Draft's early rounds filled with some great names

12 Comments

Often in sports there’s talk of “big-name players,” but this post isn’t quite about that (or really about much of anything, as you’ll soon see).
Maybe it’s just me getting old and thinking ahead to all the botched pronunciations in my future, but I’ve been amazed by the number of “interesting” names being drafted so far, beginning with the trio of Bryce Harper, Jameson Taillon, and Manny Machado in the top three spots.
Sure, there has been the occasional Gary Brown and Kyle Parker and Matt Harvey mixed in, but a ton of non-traditional, awesome-sounding, and/or crazy looking names have caught me eye:
– Christian Colon
– Barrett Loux
– Delino DeShields
– Karsten Whitson
– Deck McGuire
– Yasmani Grandal
– Dylan Covey
– Hayden Simpson
– Mike Foltynewicz
– Kolbrin Vitek
– Kellin Deglan
– Chevez Clarke
– Cito Culver
And that’s just in the first round! Some others, from the second and third rounds:
– Cartier Goodrum
– Ralston Cash
– Stetson Allie
– Taijuan Walker
– Chance Ruffin
– Mike Kvasnicka
– Bryce Brentz
– Taylor Lindsey
– Noah Syndergaard
– Asher Wojciechowski
– Yordy Cabrera
– Griffin Murphy
– Drew Smyly
– Andrelton Simmons
– Angelo Gumbs
– Addison Reed
– Cameron Rupp
I suppose this is what happens when the children of Generation X parents start becoming draft-eligible. And yes, I’m just jealous that my Baby Boomer parents named me something ordinary like “Aaron” instead of something amazing like “Cartier” or “Stetson.”
UPDATE: In the sixth round, the Phillies drafted an outfielder named Gauntlett Eldemire. Game over.

Must-Click Link: Remembering Eddie Grant the first major leaguer to die in combat

3 Comments

As you get ready for Memorial Day weekend and whatever it entails for you and yours, take some time to read an excellent article from Mike Bates over at The Hardball Times.

The article is about Eddie Grant. You probably never heard of him. He was a journeyman infielder — often a backup — from 1905 through 1915. If you have heard of him, it was likely not for his baseball exploits, however: it was because he was the first active baseball player to die in combat, killed in the Battle of the Argonne Forest in October 1915.

Michael tells us about more than Grant’s death, however. He provides a great overview of his life and career. And notes that Grant didn’t even have to go to war if he didn’t want to. He was 34, had the chance to coach or manage and had a law degree and the potential to make a lot of money following his baseball career. He volunteered, however, for both patriotic and personal reasons. And it cost him his life.

Must-read stuff indeed. Especially this weekend.

The Indians are unveiling a Frank Robinson statue on Sunday

Getty Images
8 Comments

The Cleveland Indians will unveil a Frank Robinson statue at Progressive Field on Saturday.

Robinson’s tenure in Cleveland was not long, but it was historic. On April 8, 1975, he became the first African-American manager in Major League history. He was a player-manager. One of the last ones, in fact. He spent two years in that role and then a third year — a partial year anyway — as a manager only. Robinson would go on to manage the Giants, Orioles and the Expos/Nationals, compiling a career record of 1065-1176 in 16 seasons. He is now a top MLB executive.

Robinson was, of course, a Hall of Fame player as well, lodging 21 seasons for the Reds, Orioles, Dodgers, Angels and Indians. He won two MVP awards and hit for the Triple Crown in 1966. Overall he hit 586 home runs – 10th all time – and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. For an inner-circle Hall of Famer with that kind of resume he is still, strangely enough, underrated. I guess that happens when your contemporaries are Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Mickey Mantle.

Anyway, congrats to Frank Robinson for yet another well-deserved honor in a career full of them.