I have an issue of Baseball Digest to thank for this post (you have an issue of Baseball Digest to blame for this post.) My lovely friend Hannah gifted me with a subscription for Christmas and my inspiration has been derived entirely from a reader letter within that publication.
As a fan of alliteration, I could hardly resist the enticement to come up with an all-time Cubs all-star team of only alliteratively named players. The Cubs current roster is sadly devoid of alliterative names (save Casey Coleman) but we fortunately fare a little better historically. I did a bit of digging and compiled the following team as best I could. Please keep in mind that options did not abound at every position.
Ahem! Without further fanfare, I present to you the Chicago Cubs all time alliterative team:
Catcher: King Kelly (1880-1886)
“He was as good a batter as anybody and a great thrower, both from the catcher’s position and from the field, more men being thrown out by him than by any other man that could be named.” -Adrian ‘Cap’ Anson. (Speaking of Mr. Anson…)
First Base: Adrian Anson (1876-1897)
The premier player of his day, Mr. Anson was the first player to reach to 3,000 hit plateau. He holds the NL record for most seasons hitting above the .300 mark, with 19. He also won 4 batting titles and 8 RBI crowns.
Second Base: Fred Pfeffer (1883-89, ’91, ’96-97)
Mr. Pfeffer was widely regarded as the best defensive second baseman of his (gloveless) era.
Third Base: Sammy Strang (1900, 1902)
Third base was a particularly shallow pool. Sammy batted .296 in 1902 and recorded 39 stolen bases. He was known as “The Dixie Thrush.”
Shortstop: Pinky Pittenger (1925)
Shortstop was an even shallower pool than third base. Pinky definitely garners extra cool points for his awesome name.
Outfield: Kiki Cuyler (1928-1935)
Ranked by Bill James in 2001 as baseball’s 39th all time greatest right fielder. Elected to the Hall of Fame in 1968.
Outfield: Sammy Sosa (1992-2004)
Don’t you dare judge me for including Sammy. Don’t. You. Dare.
Outfield: Doug Dascenzo (1988-92)
Starting Pitcher: Rick Reuschel (1972-1981, ’83-84)
Two-time all star, two-time gold glove winner, 214 career wins, etc., etc.,
Starting Pitcher: Dizzy Dean (1938-1941)
1953 Hall of Fame inductee. Won 42 games with the Cubs in 3 full seasons.
Starting Pitcher: Orval Overall (1906-1910, 1913)
Starting Pitcher: Buttons Briggs (1896-1898, 1904-1905)
Orval and Buttons have two of the greatest names in history, in my opinion, alliterative or non.
Starting Pitcher: Scott Sanderson (1984-1989)
Relief Pitcher: Goose Gossage (1988)
Honorable Mentions: Joe Girardi (1989-1992, 2000-2002), Bill Buckner (1977-1984)
If I have unintentionally snubbed any deserving parties, I hope that you my readers will keep me on my toes as always and inform me of the fact!