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Recent discussion in the Holy Cow! Look at These Numbers thread suggested the possibility of an All-Jewish All-Star team -- or what we call in these here parts, a Hall of Names roster.

And with guys like Sandy Koufax, Al Rosen, Lip Pike, youngster Ryan Braun and former Jay All-Star Shawn Green among those available to populate the lineup, it might turn out to be a fine ballclub ... a club that Mike Green has suggested we call "The Seed of Abraham," but for which a truer baseball name might be "The Milwaukee Hebrewers" ... Okay, maybe as a home city, Milwaukee doesn't so much work there. But we'll do our best in putting together a team we will grit our teeth to call ...

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A friend of mine at work just had a baby, and several others working on the same floor are due shortly, so a propos of nothing, I thought I'd see what the most popular baby names in the U.S.A. are right now. That, of course, spurred a Hall of Names project ...
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If you were paying attention last week, you knew this Hall of Names was coming ... completing All-Birthday teams for my nuclear family, after seeing teams for Mom (Feb. 17), Dad (Oct. 20), big sister Eileen (Aug. 27) and even myself (July 20), we finish up with the oldest sibling -- and frankly, the one who likes baseball the least in the family, though maybe she'll still appreciate this roster -- in big sister Mary.

So let's see if a decent team can be built from the 56 men who have played in the big leagues bearing a birth date of September 5.

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The clock has turned to Sept. 3, the first Monday in September, and here in the U.S.A. and in Canada, that means it's a holiday -- Labor Day.

And a holiday, of course, means a visit to Batter's Box's own Baseball Hall of Names, where in the past we've seen rosters built for Christmas, Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Canada Day and others. But where sometimes we will simply build a team of players born on the designated holiday (Dec. 25 for Christmas, etc.), with a "floating date" holiday like today, that would be, well, entirely too laborious.

So instead, we invite your contributions to build a team of players who sound like they deserve the day off today ... for instance ...
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So as you know by now, young Clay Buchholz has tossed a no-hitter for the Red Sox, in just his second big league start. Does this earn hima a place on an All-Clay Hall of Names roster? Let's find out ...
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The All-Birthday Hall of Names team started off some time back quite narcissistically, as I compiled a team of players with whom I shared a birthday, July 20. Since then, several dozen dates have taken on roster-shaping posts (from me and from others) and of course, I built teams for my own mom (Feb. 17) and dad (Oct. 20). Well, I have two sisters -- neither one a huge baseball fan -- who have birthdays over the next two weeks, and to complete the (nuclear) family tree, we'll see if teams for their birthdays can take root (see, that's a "family tree" joke) as well.

That means today, my #2 sister, Eileen -- the middle child, the golden girl who was high school valedictorian and all that other soul-crushing perfect role model stuff -- but to whom baseball growing up was no more than "Oh, that Davey Concepcion is cute ..." gets an All-August 27 team.

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Seems an obvious set of initials has been overlooked in our Hall of Names journeying ... ballplayers with a moniker shortened to "B.S.," a great and powerful pair of letters, initially speaking, which of course, anyone can tell you, stands for ...
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Yesterday, young Diamondacks righty Micah Owings put on a positively Ruthian display of hitting and pitching, holding the Braves to three hits -- all solo homers -- over seven innings, while hitting two homers and driving in six runs hisownself. Owings is 7-for-14 with two doubles and three homers in his past five games and has evened his rookie W-L record at 6-6. Does this power/pitching modus operandi already make him, at the age of just 24 (25 next month), the greatest M.O. in major league history?

Well, the answer to that, of course, is "Mel (Ott) No!" Young Owings isn't even the best M.O. currently active (and we don't mean "Mo Rivera") as there is a fellow named ...
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A long, long time ago, Mick presented his all-July 20 team, and it was pretty good. He's done other days too (like August 9, December 25, April 14, and the devilish June 6s.) But, were any of these teams the best? So, it's Friday and time for a challenge.
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Just three men in major league baseball history have gone by the initials "J.R." as their "first name." Just one of those, former Houston ace J.R. Richard was truly a star of Ewing Oil magnitude, so it's only appropriate that he played on a Texas-based ballclub. The others were J.R. House, a career .105-hitting catcher with the 2003-04 Pirates and the '06 Astros and J.R. Phillips, a .188 career hitter from 1993-99 with the Giants, Phillies, Rockies, and yes, the Astros.

So all three men named "J.R." played in Houston, where presumably plenty of Astrodome and Minute Maid photographers -- maybe even our own Named For Hank -- photographed them at work, leading to the obvious question ...
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Shaun Marcum is off to a nice start in his big league career; so nice, in fact, that he is already the greatest player named "Shaun" in the history of the game. (Albeit true, his only competition, Shaun Fitzmaurice, had two singles in 13 AB in nine games as an OF with the 1966 NYM).

Of course, there have also been a fair number of players named Sean, Shawn and even Shawon, so young Mr. Marcum, with his (so far) 12 career wins and (as yet) 119 career ERA+ still has a ways to go to catch the Caseys, Chacons and Dunstons of the baseball universe.

All of which leads us to ...
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So we are well past the time of this season's Midsummer Classic, headed into the heat of the pennant races and still months off from the annual awards-fest that follows the crowning of the World Series champion. But favorites are already emerging to win, for instance, the '07 Rookie of the Year awards (FWIW, Vegas says Ryan Braun in the NL and Daisuke Matsuzaka in the AL).

But that leads to an interesting question ... historically, which league produces the best Rookies of the Year? And to answer that, let's dive into a special edition of Baseball's Hall of Names ...
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Jason Frasor turns 30 today.

Nobody born on Aug. 9 has (yet) been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, though one may "percivere" into the shrine one day and another has "neon"-ed his way to consideration for the NFL Hall in Canton.

Actually, no less than 55 men born on this day have played in the major leagues, including a half dozen or so (like Frasor) still active. So presumably we will be able to cobble together a pretty decent 8/9 ballclub in this "Frasor" edition (even though Jason isn't even going to make the team!) of the Hall of Names, which we can only call ...

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I'm not quite sure what it was that got me thinking about the name "Joel" -- maybe it was the acquisition  (and insertion into the rotation) of ex-phenom Joel Pineiro by the Cardinals. Maybe it was the debut with the Nationals of young righty Joel Hanrahan, whose two-game career OPS+ (347!) and ERA+ (130) portend great things. Heck, maybe I just heard a song on the radio by Billy Joel.

Regardless, it was off to BaseballReference.com, where I found that a search for the name "Joel" currently has 25 returns -- and 25 is a magic number in the baseball world. The question is, can we flip that 25 into a passable 25-man roster? Let's see ...


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Well, it's August -- the trade deadline has passed, we are well into that time of the season known as "the pennant race," even closing in on that related time called "the stretch drive."

But it's August ...
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