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A baker's dozen -- or should that be Dusty Baker's Dozen? -- major leaguers whose last or family names begin with letter "D" have been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame; just one of them didn't make it primarily as a player, that being the Hall of Names D-team's manager, Leo "the Lip" Durocher.

The relative paucity of Cooperstown residents -- recall our recent "C" team had no less than thirty men, including 23 players, inducted -- makes for a bit a scramble to put together this All-D team; and not even a man nicknamed "The D-Train" will make it, though perhaps Dontrelle Willis will get some consideration when we get to an All-W team. Nor can we make an exception for one of the most recent Hall of Famers, Ryne Dee Sandberg ...

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It's time to knock off another alphabetic character and assemble an all-letter team for the Hall of Names; this is the 13th letter we've written (har!) meaning we're exactly halfway through the alphabet -- only we're not doing anything so wacky as, say, going alphabetically, so today let's just say we're sailing the high C's.

Would you be surprised to learn that there are thirty men in the Hall of Fame whose last or family name begins with the letter "C"?

Of course, they're not all players -- but we do have a nice starting point with the purported inventor of the game itself in Alexander Cartwright and the man who invented the box score, Henry Chadwick. Need a commissioner? Don't worry, be Happy Chandler. An umpire? Choose among Nestor Chylak, Jocko Conlon and Tom Connolly. Then, before we get to the 23 C-players, there's Charlie Comiskey ...

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In the comments to a recent Batter's Box poll about Hall of Fame nicknames, Box reader Jefftown observed, "I think 'Rube' could be the best common nickname in baseball," then asked, "Have you ever done an All-Rube Team? It'd have a few stars, with Waddell, Marquard, and Foster."

Well, no, we haven't ... until now. Sort of.

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It stands to reason that a fair number of Batter's Box readers are at least nominally familiar with the world of online communications -- after all, this is a Web site and you are reading this, ergo, you know a little something about the online world.

I have to admit, I thought it would be pretty simple to put together a Hall of Names team based on this theme, but once you get past the fine young RHSP Brandon Webb with the D-Backs and stretch to include borderline HOF 3B Graig Nettles, the cupboard is pretty bare. We have a Hacker and a Dell, but the guy who opens the door to filling out a complete roster, believe it or not, is former PIT and CIN All-Star LHSP John Smiley ...

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The May 2005 Royal Panes Hall of Names entry bemoaned the fact that top Pirates pitching prospect Zach Duke had not yet reached the majors (nor had Prince Fielder) and thus was not eligible for the squad.

The best young Pirate-developed lefty since John Candelaria has changed all that with a 1.23 ERA and 21:4 K:BB ratio in his first three big league starts this month. (Incidentally, has anyone nicknamed this guy "Duke of Hurl" yet?) And that makes him eligible for today's team -- what, we just finished up All-Willie and All-Mickey teams, and you couldn't see the All-Duke team coming a mile away?

Of course, Zach is only the third player in big league history to bear the surname "Duke," so we'll need a little leeway ...

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If you're paying attention, you know that one of the Hall of Names stories that ran earlier this week was an All-Mickey team; as we follow it here with what is essentially an all-Willie team, you can guess the next logical step, right? If you know anything about New York City baseball in the 1950s, it should be obvious, especially with the added clue that it's all leading up to a very special musical rendition of Baseball's Hall of Names soon to follow.

But we're not just giving this team the Willies, as it were ...

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As you all learned in your perusal of Batter's Box over the past 24 hours, yesterday was my birthday, and we tried something new in the Hall of Names arena, with a piecemeal all-July 20 team. And as promised, we continue this narcissistic trend with a followup ... the all-Mick(ey) team.

Now, there have only been 45 Mickeys (or Micks) to play major league ball, but three of those have made it to the Hall of Fame, including of course a particular Yankee CF you've all certainly thought up already. What it doesn't include ...

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Well, It's My Birthday, Too

No, seriously, today really is my birthday. And in my best Jack Benny voice, I can tell you that I'm 39 today. (Really. I was celebrating my third birthday at the Toledo Zoo while Neil Armstrong was taking "one small step.")

So I thought I'd build myself a little Narcissism Central Hall of Names team to celebrate -- what,. an All-Mick(ey) team? Well, yes, but that comes tomorrow.

First, here's the start of what may or may not turn out to be 366 short Hall of Names teams ... it's the All-July 20 team. And against all odds, although only 32 men total have made the majors having been born on that date -- none on my actual birthday, alas -- two of them even made the higher-level All-July team, the July Franks, which debuted here more than a year ago.

If you want to build an all-birthday team of your own for Batter's Box Interactive Magazine ...

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Well, we haven't revisited an all-letter team in our Hall of Names stroll through the alphabet since June 21, when we looked at an All-K team. We have generally accepted that the best team so far has been the All-R squad, with perhaps a challange from the various iterations of the All-M team(s).

Now, meet the Killer B's. No, not just Bagwell and Biggio -- though hey, those two just might wind up making this team, what say? -- but an all-time team made up entirely of players whose last or family name begins with the letter "B."

If only every position were as deep as C for the B's ...

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This week, the Boston Red Sox have made or have plans to make two trades, in each acquiring a 6'5" RHRP named Chad -- Bradford from the A's and Qualls from the Astros.

There is no truth to the subsequent rumour that they are hard after Blue Jay Chad Gaudin or that they have any chance at acquiring NL Saves leader Chad Cordero.

The truly remarkable thing about this confluence of Chadness ...

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Gonna need some help on this one ... so let's throw it open to everyone.

On a team where Toby Harrah is almost certainly the shortstop, Dick Nen is the first baseman, his son Rob (oh, if he only went by Bob to be a double palindrome!) is the closer, 1980s lefty Dave Otto is quite likely to be a regular part of the rotation. You can see we need some help.

But wait, you ask, what IS a palindrome?

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I know, it's not really fair -- Rob went and put together that awfully nice effort of an All-Canada Day team by using the names of the delegates at the Québec Conference of 1864, and thusly found himself stuck with source names like Chapais, Tache and Haviland -- not exactly the kinds of names you find littered throughout major league baseball history.

So it's not really a fair fight against a July 4th U.S. Independence Day squad where we find signers of the Declaration of Independence named Morris, Johnson, Clark, Lee and Williams. One suspects the American July holiday team may be a bit deeper than those "Canada Day Trippers" Rob came up with.

But before we skip to the inevitable shellacking, let's find out for sure ...

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138 years ago today -- well, right now, I think -- the British North America Act recognized the Dominion of Canada. And what better way to honour those drunken louts in Sir John A's first cabinet than a Hall of Names article?

But wait, there's a twist here...

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There are two things we need to remember about the Devil Rays:

1. They've only been around since 1998.

2. They suck, and they always have.

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They weren't always the New York Yankees. In fact, they didn't always play in New York.
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