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I am the son and heir
Of nothing in particular

-- "How Soon Is Now" by The Smiths, 1985

As we learned on Tuesday, where Baseball's Hall of Names is concerned, it's not all that hard Keeping Up with the Joneses. Ah, but could a team composed completely of ballplayers bearing the name of ashamed motel attendees all over North America, do just that?

The early guess here would have been that a team of all Smiths would take (and perhaps sweep) the Jones season series, 18-1 or 17-2 (they play so often because they are both members of the Generic Name Central Division). But a closer look suggests just a 10-9 or 11-8 advantage to the Smith Boys.

Let's see.
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It's been all over Da Box recently ... Mientkiewicz, Grudzielanek, Catalanotto, Menechino, now Schoeneweis, which by my count has been spelled nine hundred and four different ways on this site since yesterday.

It's time to see if we can't mix it up a bit, draw the right tiles and spell it out ... a full roster for the Batter's Box All-Scrabble team. (Today's Honourary Team Captain is Mike Denyszyn, also known as "3141 21141(10)41" who scores a 33!)

To post and read "Make Your own Roundup" news, please visit yesterday's old and now-ironically-named New for the sake of new QOTD thread, which was posted late in the day when the original thread asploded.

But first, play the game!

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According to one of Batter's Box's various Ryans earlier today, "It took [the Blue jays] until 2002 to finally have a Smith and there still hasn't been a Jones in the team's history." I can't resist a challenge (such as the one subsequently issued by Mike Green, so here goes with the All-Jones team proposed in today's main thread.

A few notes ... exactly 90 players named Jones have appeared in a big league uniform. And exactly one of those players, William Timothy Jones, caught one inning of one game for the Cardinals in 1989; and as far as I can tell, no other Jones has ever appeared behind the plate in a big league uniform.

So we're not exactly starting with a bedrock foundation; even the aforementioend W. Timothy's versatility -- primarily an infielder, he appeared in at least one game at every position, including pitcher -- goes to waste, since nobody else can catch. But we might have the greatest defensive outfield of all time.
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As 2004 comes to a close, it's time to present the eighth of what will be 12 "all-month" teams for your discussion and ridicule. There's no easy name for the December squad (though we're looking forward to introducing the March Hares and the April Fools in months to come), but given the spirit of the season, we'll go with the December Holidays. If we're looking for a team captain, rest assured that my former boss John December wasn't a ballplayer of any sort, and Toronto's own Roy Halladay was born in September -- though somehow he escaped notice in formation of the September Morns -- so he's right out.

But in looking for a Christmas miracle, we'll find that team captain ... on December 9, 1957, a child was born unto the people of Orlando, Florida, and it was future Reds, Cubs and White Sox catcher Steve Christmas. Now, as for the rest of the team ...
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As the Hot Stove League has brought the departure of one Carlos' (Delgado's) palo de beisbol grande and brief rumours of it being replaced by another Carlos' big bat (Lee, now of the Brewers), and the past season saw the dismissal of still another Carlos from Toronto's own managerial hot seat, it brings to mind the possibilities of an All-Carlos team. Here's one very quick take; can you do better?
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We're not gonna make it, no no
We're not gonna make it
'Cuz we don't have the talent
And we don't have the time"

- "We're Not Going to Make It
by The Presidents of the United States of America

Okay, unless you've been -- well, let's not say "in a cave somewhere," even that has political undertones these days -- unaware, tomorrow the United States will begin the pre-recount, pre-lawsuit process of electing a new president. (Either way, presuming the popular vote matches the electoral result, it will be the first time elected for the victor.) And that brings us to the inevitable "Baseball Hall of Names" All-Presidential-Names team.

From (Claudell) Washington to (Guy) Bush, it's an interesting challenge; and if you ever wondered why U.S. presidents throw out the first pitch on Opening Day, keep an eye on the pitching staff that develops throughout this process. As for defense policy and (offensive) production jobs, this team might fall a little short. But there will be plenty of campaign promises of success in those areas.
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You may recall (or not) that when "Baseball's Hall of Names" debuted on Da Box about a year and a half ago, the historical background on the concept dated back to the 1970s when my dad and I would try to come up with a "All-Food Team," a task handled with true gastrointestinal fortitude here by Bauxites in March 2003.

So now we turn to you again, Bauxites ... help us fill out the All-Baseball-Terms team on today, which is (not coindidentally),dear ol' dad's birthday. The only real difference between developing this one and the old All-Food efforts are that instead of "Hey, what about Bob Lemon?" exchanges in -- naturally -- the dining room, this team developed over e-mail; and, of course, there is a different set of ground rules.
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To celebrate this summer's Olympiad in Greece, we've assembled the all-Grease team for our ongoing Baseball's Hall of Names collection.
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It's that time again ... introducing the Batter's Box All-August team, a squad made up entirely of players born in the month named for good ol' Augustus Caeser.

You might remember that last month, we named our All-July team the July Franks, in honor of the best player in major league history named for the month of July, the ageless Julio Franco. The 62-year-old Braves first baseman, incidentally, has an August birthdate.

And you might think the best of major leaguers named for the month of August would be (drumroll please) ...
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OK, what does that headline mean? Well, you figure it out.

It's time to distract the nay-sayers and the speakers/writers of the umpteen iterations of "it's a small sample size and I know I shouldn't be concerned but ... " with another round of Anagramatics. The subject? The 2004 Blue Jays, of course.

We haven't visited this turf in quite some time, so quickly ... this is all about personal anagrams, which can tell you everything you need to know about a person in that same quirky way The Magic Eight Ball works in Washington, D.C.

The rules for personal anagrams are simple: start with the letters in a name as it is used every day and rearrange them to reveal true meaning. If nothing works very well ... cheat.
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That's right ... it's the return of Baseball's Hall of Names: Philosophy 101 Edition. Inspired by a teriffically interesting discussion in the We'd Love To Help, Here's Ten Bucks thread -- hey, any discussion that includes a legitimate comparison of John Stuart Mill to Barry Bonds qualifies as interesting -- I thought we'd try to build an All-Philosophers Team.

No, not the Garry "If I Ain't Startin', I Ain't Departin'" Templeton type of philosopher, but rather a team of players who share names with noted philosophers, theologians, etc.

Here's the thing, though ... it seems that virtually every candidate I can come up with was a pitcher. Which leads to an interesting, ah, philosophical question of sorts in itself. Do philosophers make better pitchers? Or is it the reverse?

Read on for a rotation from Kuhn to Jung and a bullpen stocked with Foucault and Hume. And let's build a real lineup ... if, ah, reality exists, that is ...
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So rumor has it that your Toronto Blue Jays might soon be Blue no more. If anything good comes out of this, at least it's another opportunity for ...

Baseball's Hall of Names: Episode III
The True Colors Edition

Let's see if we can build a team entirely composed of players whose last names are colors. (Are the color wheels whirring in your head already? You got your Whites and your Browns and your Greens ...

Ah, but there is one rule (of course) ...
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Baseball's Hall of Names: Episode II
What's This All About?

Remember, even if you lose all, keep your good name.
For if you lose that, you are worthless.

--Irish Proverb

In honor of St. Patrick's Day, when we celebrate Ireland's patron saint driving all the player agents -- er, snakes -- out of the old country, this week's Hall of Names nominees come with the ruddy look of a hard day's work, a pint of Guinness, and an afternoon in the bleachers at Fenway.

The question: What caliber of major league team can we assemble using only players who bear the most common Irish surnames?
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Episode I: Food For Thought
Monday, a new feature will launch on Da Box ... call it Baseball's Hall of Names. Or maybe Name That Team. It's always so tough to come up with a good name for something. In the meantime, here's some background, part essay, part history, part word game.

[Obligatory Confusing Gammonsian Quoted Lyric Lead]:
Like the singing bird and the croaking toad
I've got a name; I've got a name
And I carry it with me like my daddy did ...

-- Jim Croce

Like most baseball fans, I grew up talking about the great game with my dad -- yes, per the lyrics above, we have the same name -- who saw DiMaggio at The Stadium and turned 16 the year Mantle debuted. The two Micks (the centerfielder and the psychologist) even share a birthday, though dad is four years younger than the Commerce Comet.

In our conversations -- and they still pop up from time to time -- we would speculate about life's great mysteries. For instance, what current players would eventually be enshrined in Cooperstown? Rose? Obviously. This kid Schmidt? Let's see how he turns out ...

And often, we would spend time trying to create "All-Star" lineups based on arbitrary rules involving names of players throughout the sport's history.

The All-Food Team was a favorite.
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