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Sometimes, a Hall of Names story just happens.

Yesterday, Batter's Box's own Mike Green tagged a Colorado player with the nickname Manny "Habeas" Corpas, and pretty soon, with contributions from Mike, Alex Obal and Magpie, we had an entire Hall of Names roster of players with "Latin" names -- no, not an All-Latin-American team, that'd be too easy.

Instead, this is the team team that plays pro bono until a post mortem is necessary. They "May" scream mea culpa at some point, but it will be a bona fide effort. So let's move on and start by meeting the captain of this ad hoc squad, none other than the man actually named ...
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It's Father's Day in the U.S. and Canada, and to reiterate a story I have related a number of times here on Da Box, it was my own father who more or less created this "Hall of Names" idea back in the 1970s when we dreamed up the All-Food team.

As such, he has himself been the inspiration for a number of teams of the more than 250 that now exist in Baseball's Hall of Names, including one for his own birthday and one we collaborated on called, unfortunately, The Bad Names Bears. We've also done an All-Fathers & Sons Hall of Names entry a while back, featuring Griffeys, Bondses, Alous and the like; but for today, it's simply Happy Father's Day as we break a long-standing Hall of Names rule and meet ...
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Yesterday, we challenged the readers of Batter's Box to "brainstorm up a few uniquely-named ballplayers ... Maybe even put together a roster of such men."

The response was creative and inventive, and thanks in large part to the Lahman Database machinations of Bauxite John Northey, we do in fact have a full roster of such men, a result I predicted might be "well nigh impossible" to achieve. So, as I often am in baseball projections, that was way wrong -- but as Baseball's Hall of Names often is, this roster is at least quite entertaining. See for yourselves, and take time to meet (and yes, to critique) ...
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I heard on ESPN tonight that Pirate RHSP Ian Snell is the first pitcher named "Ian" to ever appear in the big leagues.

Actually, he's only the second player named Ian in the game's long history. The other is Rangers' 2B Ian Kinsler, 0-for-4 against Snell, who was dominant in allowing no earned runs in a complete game win. So we had baseball's first-ever Ian vs. Ian matchup. (Alert the media!)

But that got me to thinking ... who are the players who had or have truly unique given/first names? It's a harder question than you might think.

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Howard is one of those names ... as a family name, there's Ron and there's Ken and so many more; as a first name, there's Cosell and Hughes and an even wider variety. And believe it or not, in the world of baseball, even with so many given- and family-named Howards around, the most popular placement for it is as a middle name.

So, as we have witnessed the greatness of Ryan Howard hitting a baseball 700 feet every other day or so for the last year-plus, we find ourselves asking the fateful question ... Howard -- first, middle or last?

Let's find out ...
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What's with that headline? Well, it's the answer to the riddle, "What did the man say about the bundle of loose-leaf Greek poems that needed to be straightened and stored? (Okay, sorry about that.) Actually, it's a Hall of Names look at whether or not we can build a roster (or at least a lineup) of players bearing the baseball-centric given name of "Homer."

This entry in the Hall of Names is inspired by the big league debut of one Homer Bailey, the tall and lanky Texan who scattered five hits over five innings in winning for the Reds Friday night. He's already just seven wins shy of becoming the all-time winningest Homer ... That said, let's meet ...
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Never accuse a major league ballplayer of "jakin' it." Well, maybe San Diego baseball fans would actually be thrilled if their entire starting rotation started "Jake-ing it" in the manner of young Mr. Peavy. Could we build a representative (read: decent) Hall of Names roster built entirely of choices from the 56 men in big league history who bore the first name "Jake"?

Actually, to clarify, given our usual "no nickname" rule, of those 56 MLB Jakes, only two have actually been named "Jake" (Mooty and Westbrook) and just 27 of the 56 -- that's less than half -- were even named "Jacob," so we will go with the full search on the name, including nicknames, to amass our 56 candidates, finding just one Hall of Famer and three All-Stars (two active, both pitchers, both already named here!). But as they say in Cleveland these days, let's get started -- it's a beautiful day for baseball at ...
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Over the past two days, we've met Hall of Names squads made of birthday boys from May 24 and May 25 -- and frankly, neither team was all that impressive. Neither roster boasted a single player in the Hall of Fame for his exploits in the majors (the 5/25 squad did have Negro League legend Martin Dihigo) and Box Hall pundit Mike Green projected that, if placed in the 2007 AL East, the two day-teams would combine for 111 wins.

So an All-May 26 team (today's) can't be any worse than that, right? Right? Um ...

Okay, first, let's start with a little brain-teasing Hall of Names challenge ...

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Yesterday, we met a team composed of players born on May 24; perhaps the less said of that team, the better. Reader comments ranged from the (admittedly quite charitable) "This is like a collection of bench players" to "Hello, shutout." The most positive thing written, and this should tell you something -- was Mike Green's claim that the team "would be a load of laughs, especially when they lost." Of course, he projected the team would have lost 121 times in the '07 AL East, so that is a LOAD of laughs.

Could a team made up of the 53 players born today fare better than that? Hey, at least this team has a Hall of Famer on its roster, though ...
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No less than 49 big league ballplayers, including several currently active, share a May 24 birthday. That's almost two rosters full of candidates for an All-5/24 team, and though not a single one has yet been named to Baseball's Hall of Fame -- Bartolo Colon is the active player with the best chance, so odds are the number will stay "nil" indefinitely -- it seems like we might be able to build a pretty good squad.

Er, maybe not. Anyway, let's find out, as we meet ...
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In honor of yesterday's 133rd running of the Kentucky Derby, let's see if we can have the "Sweet Sense" to piece together a Hall of (Place) Names team made up entirely of MLB alumni who were born in the Bluegrass State.

There have been 260 such men so far -- frankly, more than I thought there would be ...
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It's May 1, also known as "May Day" ... and as an erstwhile Bauxite pointed out recently, we haven't had a new Hall of Names entry in quite some time -- in fact, it's been a month, dating back to the All-Muppet team on April 1. So some kind of May Day squad -- well, you might expect a Lee May/Willie Mays/John Mayberry/Mayo Smith team to emerge as a favorite, but you know what?

It's been done, as a sidebar to the 2005 All-May team, Meet The May Bee-Knots. So instead, we will focus on assembling the 13th of what will be 366 teams some day ...

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It's time to play the music
It's time to light the lights
It's time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.

Yes, it's Opening Day -- or, to be more precise, tonight is Opening Night for the Cardinals and Mets -- so it's time to cue the music (not just anthems) for a Hall of Names team that reminds us, for all the court room battles, for all the medical drama, for all the behind-the-scenes clubhouse headlines that drive the sport during the off-season (and sometimes, during the season itself, unfortunately), baseball is all about fun.

That's right, it's an all-Muppet team. Now, to be sure ...
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For all the (more than 240 now!) Hall of Names teams we've built here at Batter's Box, only upon noticing that the recent All-Born-on-St.-Patrick's-Day squad had an outfielder named Jimmie Hall did it finally occur to me that we might build a team of players named Hall. And as it turns out, if you search the greatness of for players named Hall, you find there have been 25 such major leaguers -- and that's a nice roster-friendly number, isn't it?

But actually, we'll have to expand our search just a bit, to include the 13 other players who had last/family names that started with "Hall" -- say, a pretty fair RHSP familiar to Blue Jay fans just became eligible -- as we take time to meet ....
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Earlier today in the ongoing Trivia Challenge thread, Bauxite Calig23 posed what he called a "St. Patrick's Day themed question," regarding Blue Jays born on this day. It made me realize, shame-facedly at that, that for all the holiday-themed Hall or Names all-birthday teams we have produced here at Batter's Box, we've never done one for St. Patrick's Day.

So, while we still have a few minutes left of March 17, here's a roster made up of the 36 big league players (through the 2006 season) born on March 17; it's a team that we can only Dublin ... er, a team that we can only dub ...

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