Tuesday, April 29, 2008

All the President's Men

I've mentioned before on this blog how much I enjoy "Big League Poets" by Mikhail Horowitz. Mr. Horowitz also contributes to Elysian Fields Quarterly, which bills itself as a baseball literary magazine. He constructs rosters with a theme. Here's one of my own fantasy rosters, using players who are named for or have the same last name as one of our country's presidents.

First the lineup, then the commentary.

All the Presidents, Man

1b Brian “Buck” Buchanan
2b Woodrow Wilson Williams
SS U.L. Washington
3b John Kennedy
C Gary Carter

RF Lew Ford
CF Trot Nixon (Christopher Trotman Nixon)
LF Joseph Jefferson Jackson

SP Grover Cleveland Alexander
RP Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wieand
DH Reggie Jackson
PH Randy Bush

Brian “Buck” Buchanan (1b): It's a stretch (so to speak) to put him at first base, because he was primarily an outfielder and DH. But he did appear at 1b in 43 of his 213 big league games, most likely not as a late-inning defensive substitution. He played for the Twins for a while and it always pained me to watch him run.

Woodrow Wilson Williams (2b): 1938 through 1945. Woody Williams made over 1,300 plate appearances, mostly for Cincinnati.

U.L. Washington (ss): Man, I liked U.L. Partly for his name, but mostly for that toothpick.

John Kennedy (3b): 1962 to 1974. Over 2,000 plate appearances for six teams in both leagues, including the short-lived Seattle Pilots. He was playing the year his presidential namesake was shot.

Gary Carter (c): Carter was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003. Jimmy Carter won the Nobel Peace Prize the year before.

Lew Ford (RF): Leeewww!

Trot Nixon (CF): When Nixon ranges over into right field and almost bumps into Ford, he can say "pardon me."

Joseph Jefferson Jackson (LF): You might know him better as Shoeless Joe.

Grover Cleveland Alexander (SP): Not only named for a president, but for an emperor, too.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wieand (RP): This gentleman with the complete presidential appellation pitched a grand total of 6.3 innings in the majors, all in relief.

Reggie Jackson (DH): If he had been running for President, he'd be called Mr. November.

Randy Bush (PH): How'd you like to be known as a great bench player? Bush was said to be one of the best pinch hitters in the game, and it may be true.

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