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Today is Tax Day in the United States, that annual 'holiday" which "permits" U.S. citizens (like me) to send some inordinantly huge percentage of our income to the U.S. government's Internal Revenue Service.

It'd be easy to throw together an all-financial Hall of Names team -- hey, actually, we already did that, back in April of 2004, and names like Cash, Money, Bonds, Penny and Banks filled that roster.

But today is all about taxes, the anti-Money (sorry, Don) ... so can we build a Hall of Names roster on this premise? Well, we certainly have a team captain in ...

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In 2028, when Josh Hamilton is reminiscing about his four AL MVPs during his Hall of Fame induction speech (okay, work with me here ...) someone will pronounce that he is the greatest ballplayer who ever lived named "Josh" -- and if you're only looking at Major League Baseball, that may well be correct.

With apologies to Hamilton and to fellow class of '28 HOF inductee Josh Beckett (like I said, work with me here) -- unless one of the two dozen or so men named Josh currently in the minor leagues really explodes onto the scene, the greatest ballplayer named "Josh" who ever lived never played in the major leagues. That, of course ...
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Do you realize that the Dodgers have played more seasons in Dodger Stadium than they played in Ebbets Field?
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When you walk through the garden
Got to watch your back

The last episode of The Wire is being broadcast tomorrow night. It's been called "the best show on television" - not merely the best show now, but the best show of the last twenty years, if not ever - and that's pretty much how I feel about it.
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The very first Hall of Names story on Batter's Box appeared way back on March 15, 2003 ... if you don't remember (and I barely do myself), it was the All-Food Team. Since then, nearly five years have passed, a full Baker's Dozen of Bauxites (that means 13) have stepped up to contribute to the series, which as of this writing, now stands at a count of 299. (If you care, they're all archived right here. )

But on to the business at hand, a Hall of Names team worthy of baseball's magic number, 300 (does that make this more of a Lobby of Numbers entry? Nah, that's Magpie's turf. Anyway ... )

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Okay, I'll start this Super Bowl Sunday Hall of Names exercise with a confession -- even though I now live in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, I am a New York Giants fan. And yes, I fully expect to see them completely torched by New England's Perfect Patriots today. (I hope I'm wrong, of course.)

And as much as I'd love to do a Hall of Names piece honoring XVII MVP QB Eli Manning, there have been just four MLB vets who went by "Eli," and just eight named Manning. Okay, if the Giants pull off the monumental upset, we'll see about piecing one together; but for now, as the title of this article should have already suggested, we'll focus that "honor" (jinx?) on the real probable XVII MVP QB ...
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This isn't really "Hall of Names" territory -- at least not yet. It's more of a Reader Challenge to help pass time this February Friday ...

So here's the challenge for you all -- we've played with Anagramatics here on Da Box previously, but for newcomers, "anagramatics" means ...

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From the Other End of the Spectrum
So we recently introduced our All-Age-39 team, following earlier looks at All-Age-40 and All-Age-41 squads. Let's look now to the opposite end of the age spectrum at a roster made up of players less than half the age of the geriatrics who made up the 39ers.

Stop for a moment and realize that in 2007, the only player in the major leagues under the age of 20 was Justin Upton, and he turned 20 in August. That should give you some perspective on how hard it is to earn a spot on this roster. So who does?

You've already thought of Doc Gooden, right? And maybe Robin Yount? But who else can fill out the ranks of a not-even-legally-allowed-to-drink (in the U.S. anyway) team like this one? Let's see ...
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Not many members of the MLB fraternity play into their fourth decade; in fact, generally speaking, only the elite play as long as the Jack Benny Milestone age of 39.

Here on Da Box, we have previously constructed an All-Age-40 team and later an All-Age-41 team ... yes, there was a fair amount of overlap from one to the other, but less than you might think.

As we meet an All-Age-39 team, there are a lot of familiar names; in fact, we can assemble a pretty decent squad just using the "Top 10 Leader" lists for the Age 39 Players on ... okay, not "pretty fair," make that "geriatrically unstoppable" ...

Let's meet them; they're called ...

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Today is Arlie Pond's birthday. Er, well, rather, it would have been his (record-smashing) 135th birthday, but he passed on back in 1930. You don't remember Pond, in fact, have never heard of him? Well ...
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In the annals of North American popular culture, two of the greatest heroes of the 20th century -- one fictional, one who played fictional characters -- bore the last/family name "Wayne." (We refer here, of course, to Bruce "The Batman" Wayne and to John "The Duke"Wayne.)

There have also been two major league players with that family appellation,neither particularly "heroic," LHRP Gary Wayne (14 wins and four saves mostly with MIN in the early 1990s) and RHRP Justin Wayne (eight starts and 18 relief appearances for FLA in the early part of the current decade). Fortunately, there are more than a hundred other ballplayers with "Wayne" as a first or middle name, so we shouldn't have too much trouble building a legitimate team for, no, not "The Batmen" (though that'd be a nice basebally name), but rather ...

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We've "honored" a number of legendary television series here on Da Box with cast-and-character Hall of Names teams for, among others, Star Trek, M*A*S*H, Happy Days, Gilligan's Island, The Simpsons, Stargate and even Sesame Street. So let's launch the first Hall of Names volley of 2008 with an homage to the greatest prime-time cartoon ever developed, South Park.
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You may recall that a couple of years ago, we introduced a little New Year's Eve "singalong" here at Batter's Box, with help from our indispensible friends at In doing so, Hall of Names style, we linked each viable word in the lyrics of Auld Lang Syne to the name of a past or present major league baseball player.

Now, as we change the calendar year into 2008, rather than simply revisiting that particular linkfest ode to New Year's, let's try "Another" one (literally) and dip into the lyrics of Just Another New Year's Eve by the great, the incomparable, the truly magnificant Mr. Barry Manilow. He Writes the Songs, you know.

No, really ... here we go ...

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You can make a pretty good argument that current Tiger ace Justin Verlander is the greatest player in major league history with the initials "J.V." -- you might get some protests from Joe Vosmik, Johnny VanderMeer, Jose Vidro, and in a few years, maybe Joey Votto. But for now, it appears that the not-yet-25-year-old RHSP either holds or will soon hold that title all to hissownself.

Which begs the question -- while everyone is focused on the varsity winning titles, what kind of "All-JV" team can we build from the annals of MLB history? Let's find out as we meet ...

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When you search for "Gene" at the greatness of, you receive no less than 121 returns on that search. And though I've never been into genetic modeling or even gene therapy, that seems a likely good pool of talent to build our latest entry in Baseball's Hall of Names.

So step back and put your hands together for ...

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