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In honor of Labo(u)r Day in North America, here's a real "workmanlike" Hall of Names team and an invitation to make it better; I admit this one is slapped together with the three actual "Workmans" (and one Works) in big league history plus various Farmers, Carpenters, Millers and Smiths and a few other obvious hey-that-name-is-a-job folks.

And before anyone suggests it, no, we aren't making this an "All-Traded" team, as that would get unwieldy fast.

It'd be nice to have each name used only once -- although we're not close to doing that right now -- and to introduce all kinds of other artisans and occupations into the lineup ... just keep it to last/family names, okay?

So please welcome ...

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What, you were expecting "H is for Halladay, Henke and Hillenbrand"? Sorry, Blue Jays fans, but not a single player on the 25-man All-H roster (which I suppose will be tagged "The Preparation H") spent his career primarily or even notably as a Blue Jay.

No, there's no room on this team made up entirely of players whose last/family name begins with the letter "H" for Roy Halladay or Pat Hentgen, Aaron or Glenallen Hill, Shea Hillenbrand or Orlando Hudson (or Eric Hinske for that matter) ...

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I won't go into the long and tedious details, but I've spent some time thinking about game show hosts recently -- and that naturally led to a Hall of Names take on the topic.

That's right, a team made up entirely of players who share their last/family name with renowned game show hosts such as Len "Bob" Barker, Andre "Richard" Dawson and Blake "Ben" Stein.

As with any game show, of course, a loud nasty buzzing sound will occur ...

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So we've seen the Chacin-Chen matchup; as recently as August 25, there was the legendary Chacin-Chacon matchup. But what are the Chances of working mid-1970s OF Charlie Chant, who is one of the few double-"Ch"s in big league history, into the discussion?

Incidentally, in a nice bit of symmetry, after five AB with the '75 A's, Chant was traded to the Cardinals for another double-initial guy, IF Larry Lintz, who once stole 50 bases in a season (1974 to be exact) for the Expos.

Alas, Choo Choo Coleman, does not qualify for this squad, as we are only considering last/family names ...

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It's no exaggeration, and only slightly a groaner of a pun, to say, "Gee, this is a heck of a team." Consider that you could make a more than passably adequate Hall of Names team just with the 25 Gonzalezes and six Gonzaleses who have played in the majors, and you have some idea just how Good (and we're not talking Detroit/Toledo Tiger/Mud Hen Andrew Good here) this team can be.

There are no weak spots on this team made up entirely of players who had last names beginning with the letter "G" (yes, yes, go ahead and snicker -- there are no weak G spots. There, it's overwith) ...

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Sunday, Monday, Happy Days.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Happy Days.
Thursday, Friday, Happy Days.
The weekend comes,
My cycle hums,
Ready to race to you.
These days are ours ... happy and free. (Those Happy Days)
These days are ours ... Share them with me. (oh baby)
Goodbye gray sky, hello blue.
There's nothing can hold me when I hold you.
Feels so right, it can't be wrong ... Rockin' and rollin' all week long
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Not to Mention Near, Far, North and South?

If you've been following along since Baseball's Hall of Names was introduced here back in March of 2003, you know I stole the idea from my dear ol' dad (that's Mike Doherty Sr. here on Batter's Box). His original concept became our inaugural HoN squad, the All-Food team.

Recently, he sent me an e-mail with a draft of an all-directions team, but suggested it couldn't be done; by his strict rules, that's correct. But since -- as he is aware, I am all too likely to do -- we can and have relaxed the rules, we are now headed in a whole new direction, as it were.

How? Well ...

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Initially Speaking, That Is

An interesting twist on the Hall of Names (initially speaking) ... who are the best double-initial players for each of the first 23 letters of the English alphabet?

Put your mind at ease -- that's not a random stopping point; there has never been a major league player whose last name began with "X" and none of the "Y" and "Z" players had alliterative first names. (Jimmie "Double X" Foxx, though a worthy Hall of Famer, here obviously is not a true Hall of Namer.) Well, unless you count RHRP George Washington "Zip" Zabel, who was 12-14 for the 1913-15 Cubbies -- that's your alliterative double-initial Chicago CCubs. (Come to think of it, some of the others -- I.I. and Q.Q. won't exactly be a walk in the park either.)

The Cubs, of course, are the only non-Pennsylvania-based team to have an alliterative name; that is, unless you cheat just a little and count the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim along with your Pittsburgh Pirates and Philadelphia Phillies.

But we're not interested in teams here. We're looking for the very best alliterative, double-initialed players from AA to ... uh, WW. And as always, a few rules ...

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In recent Hall of Names forays, we've been focused on common family names (like Davis, Lee and Miller) with occasional off-the-beaten path themes like All-Body Parts and a riff on a popular baseball song.

But now, let's return, by George (literally), to the roots of baseball's Hall of Names.

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Consider: Greg Legg, IF, 1986-87 Phillies. Rollie Fingers, Hall of Fame reliever. Roy Face, All-Star closer, 1960s Pirates. Armando Benitez, All-Star closer, active.

That's right, it's time to build our all-body-parts Hall of Names team (and presumably Tom Cheek will be calling the games). As you can see ...

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Ladies and gentleman, welcome to Leesburg, Virginia for tonight's game.

Currently being driven to the mound in the world-famous 1969 Dodge Charger from "The Dukes of Hazzard" The General Lee, to perform tonight's national anthem is the love-lee star of stage and screen, actress LeeLee Sobieski. She will be accompanied by noted musicians Tommy Lee and David Lee Roth followed by a special rendition of "God Bless the U.S.A." by Lee Greenwood.

Throwing out tonight's ceremonial first pitch is Lee Chaden, executive vice president of the Sara Lee Corporation.

You get the idea?

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As we learned in the most recent All-Davis Hall of Names feature, we've now covered the six most common American surnames in our quest for the best baseball name ... now we move on to #7, and this, with all due respect to Geoffrey Chaucer, is truly "A Miller's Tale."

A total of 81 men named Miller have made it to the bigs as of this writing -- that actually well outpaces the 61 Davises, so I guess statistically you have a better chance of making the bigs if you're a Miller than a Davis, even though the latter is higher up on the most-common American names list -- ah, but no less than nine Davises have made major league All-Star teams, with another pre-All-Star-era player enshrined in Cooperstown, while the Millers have produced no Hall of Famers and just three All-Stars.

Five billion points to the Bauxite who can name all three of those All-Star Millers without clicking through to the full story first; you're on your honor here.

Well, let's clarify ... there's is, sort of anyway, one Miller in Cooperstown ...

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Hall of Names Candidates in Review ...
... and Playing for the Davis Cup

Auld Will the Bard once noted, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet." Though perhaps in baseball terms, we would simply say "That which we call a Rose by any other name would still be Pete."

Anyway, I recently found myself scanning the list of the most common surnames (family names, last names, whatever you want to call them) in the United States, birthplace not only of shloads of people with these names, but of the Great Game of baseball itself. According to the good folks over at InfoPlease, these are the most commone surnames in the U.S. right now:

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if you've been paying attention to Baseball's Hall of Names since it started up back in March of 2003, it shouldn't surprise you to learn that we have teams entirely made up of players named Willie, Mickey and Duke -- and the latter team would be much stronger now that Pirate lefty Zach Duke [caution: hyperbole alert] has started down the path to Cooperstown to be with those other three guys mentioned earlier.

Of course, Willie (Mays), Mickey (Mantle) and Duke (Snider) are inextricably linked by their time together in the 1950s patrolling CF in New York for, respectively, the Giants, Yankees and Dodgers. The trio of Hall-of-Famers were further immortalized in the refrain to the catchiest of bubblegum baseball songs ever written, "Talkin' Baseball (Willie, Mickey and the Duke)" by Terry Cashman.

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Okay, let's get the team name out of the way right now. Do we dub these guys, a roster full of major leaguers whose last or family name starts with the letter "F," in honour of a passable mid-1960s comedy western starring Ken Berry and Forrest Tucker, the "F Troop"? Should we be worried about the inevitable F-U matchup? Well, probably, as we'll just give in and name these guys, inevitably, "The F-Bombs."

It's a surprisingly strong team, with a starting rotation entirely made up of Hall of Famers and a bullpen that any of the other 24 all-letter teams will have a hard time matching; a very Fox(x)y infield -- abetted by a shortstop Canadian baseball fans know well -- and no less than three 50-homer guys in the starting lineup.

It will be hard to F this one up, kids ...

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