Okay, so yesterday I was working under the impression that not only had the Tampa Bay Rays changed their name from Devil Rays to Rays, but they had also changed the name of all their players to have Ray in them. Turns out that part was an unfounded rumor. In fact, the Rays don’t have anybody on their roster named Ray, and they’ve never had a single Ray in franchise history.
There are only two actual Rays in the league right now, and neither of them play for the Rays. Ray Durham has been hit by two pitches this season, both with the Giants before he was traded to the Brewers. Ray King hasn’t been hit by any pitches, by he has hit one batter while pitching for the Nationals. So there is a Ray playing 2nd base for the Brewers and a Ray pitching for the Nationals, but no Rays playing for the Rays.
But then, there isn’t anyone named National playing for the Nationals or anyone named Brewer playing for the Brewers either, so it’s not clear why I’d expect the Rays to be any different. There’s never been anyone named National in the major leagues (or Expo for that matter), but there have been 7 Brewers (Billy, Jack, Jim, Mike, Rod, Tom and Tony Brewer). None of them ever played for the Brewers. Billy, the most recent Brewer, played for the Yankees, Oakland, and ended with the Phillies in 1999.
You know something about the Phillies? They don’t have a single player named Phil on their roster. Even though they play in Philadelphia – which is Greek for “the City of Phil”. Phil Dumatrait plays for the cross-state Pirates – he’s hit two batters, but not been hit. Phil Coke and Phil Hughes have both pitch for the Yankees this year (Hughes hit one batter), and Phil Stockman hit a batter the Braves.
There’s nobody in the league named Pirate, Brave, or Yank – but there have been two guys named Yank in major league history. Yank Robinson last played in 1892 for the bronze age version of the Washington Senators. He got hit by 65 pitches. Yank Terry played for… the Red Sox. From 1940 to 1945. If he played there now, they’d probably make him go by his given first name, which was Lancelot, and that might get him hit by more than his 0 career HBPs.
There’s never been a major league player named Sock, but there have been 88 different players named Red. Some of them even played for the Red Sox, and more appropriately, the Reds. Red Steiner, Red Nonnenkamp, Red Kellett, Red Ruffing, Red Rollings, Red Shannon, Red Bluhm, Red Kleinow, and Red Morgan got hit by a total of 21 pitches for the Red’s Sox, but they haven’t had a Red on the roster since 1945. The Reds have had 8 Reds on their roster, but non since Red Barrett in 1940. Red Killefer got hit by 32 pitches for the Reds, but he and Red Ehret with 1 are the only Reds who have been plunked for the Reds. The last Red to get hit by a major league pitch was Red Schoendienst who got hit 14 for the 1963 Red Birds – aka the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Cardinals, while we’re on the subject, have never had a player named Cardinal. The only Cardinal in major league history was Conrad Cardinal who pitched just one year for Houston in 1963 (he never hit a batter or got hit). There obviously has never been a player named Astro, but in 1963 Houston was known as the Colt 45s – and the only Colt in major league history played for the Padres. Colt Morton has played 10 games for the Padres in the past 2 seasons, and is till in their organization, but he hasn’t been hit by a pitch yet.
There haven’t been any Padres in the major leagues, but there have been 7 Deacons, including Deacon White, who got hit by 41 pitches, but never played for the White Sox. He played briefly for the stone age version of the Cubs, but Cub Stricker never played for the Cubs, but he did get hit by 34 pitches. Getting back to the Whites, there have been 3 who played for the White Sox – Rick, Ed and Doc. But none of them ever got hit by a pitch for the White Sox. The sum total of all the players named White have been hit 353, but the only White currently in the league plays for the Rangers. There’s never been a player named Ranger in the majors, but there are a lot of the same letters in Angels. There have been 18 Angels in the majors, including 4 currently in the league, and they’ve been hit by a total of 36 pitches. But none of those Angels was ever hit by a pitch while playing for the Angels. Angel Moreno was the only Angel to play for the Angels, and he hit one batter for them. That’s 1 more than all the players name Rocky have ever thrown for the Rockies. Their have been 9 players named Rocky in the majors, but none of them ever played for the Rockies. Rocky Cherry is the only current Rocky in the league, but he pitches for the Orioles. There has never been a player named Oriole in the majors, but the Orioles were the last stop in the career of Marlin Stuart, who is the only Marlin ever to play in the majors, but he retire 39 years before the Marlins became a franchise. He hit 14 batters, which is 10 more plunks than all the guys in the majors named Jay have had this year. But, neither Jay Bruce nor Jay Payton plays for the Jays. (Neither of them are Blue either, as far as I know). Jay Bruce is the 40th Jay to play in the majors, but none of them has ever played for the Blue Jays. Jays have been hit by 253 pitches, which is pretty good, even if it is 32 less than Craig Biggio had by himself.
There have never been any major league players named Met or Indina or Twin or Royal (though Royal Ivy plays basketball). There has never been a major leaguer named Mariner or Dodger or Diamond (front of back), but there probably could be some day (along with Ranger or Brewer as a first name). And there have been a lot of names that start with A, but none that are just A.
Hopefully that clears things up on the Rays issue.