A few weeks ago, the Dodgers announced that they had agreed to a minor league contract with pitcher David Aardsma.
When/if Aardsma plays his first official game for the Dodgers, his name will automatically go to the top of the list of all the people who have played for the Dodgers. That's because Aardsma's name is first alphabetically among all major league baseball players ever.
Aardsma's signing got me thinking about other recent Dodgers arrivals. The team signed pitcher Brett Anderson during the offseason. Shortstop Erisbel Arrubarrena played a little for the Dodgers last year and is still in the system. The Dodgers sure have been picking up a lot of guys whose last names start with "A".
This seemed like an excellent time to see if I could put together an all-Dodger team with players at each position who arrived earliest in the alphabet.
So I did.
For example, Sandy Alomar played catcher for the Dodgers. But there is another guy who played catcher for the Dodgers whose name appears earlier alphabetically than "Alomar". So Sandy Alomar is not on the team.
The only other rule was making sure I had a card for each player.
In the course of doing this, I thought I could find a player for every position whose last name began with an "A", too. But there was one position where that didn't work. Oh, well, that player is just going to be mentioned last when the team takes attendance.
And now, the Dodgers team that appears earliest in the alphabet:
Eddie Ainsmith (1923)
Ainsmith played a grand total of two games for the Dodgers in a 15-year career. But it counts enough for this team.
Bob Bailey (1967-68)
Here is the one player on the team without a last name that starts with "A". Bailey produced back-to-back .227 seasons for the Dodgers until L.A. said "that's enough of that" and sold him to the Expos.
Tony Abreu (2007-09)
Abreu is listed as a third baseman on most of his Dodgers cards, but he played almost as often at second. This is one of two Abreus on the team. I'm sure you know who the other one is.
Dave Anderson (1983-89, 92)
The formerly promising infielder until the Dodgers figured out he couldn't hit, Anderson platooned in the infield during L.A.'s 1988 World Series championship season.
Rich Allen (1971)
I know the position says "outfield" but Allen played almost as much third base for the Dodgers in 1971. He also played some first base that year. But before you suggest me putting Allen at first base so the team features all "A" names, that would mean moving Tony Abreu to third base and then I'd have no "A" second baseman. I am a very efficient waster of time.
Cal Abrams (1949-52)
In terms of position players, Abrams' name appears first alphabetically among any Dodgers.
By the way, this is my favorite Cal Abrams card:
It's so wide, it barely fits in a page pocket. I love TCMA so much.
Bobby Abreu (2012)
This card picture is freaky. It looks like Abreu's uniform is peeling away to reveal another uniform underneath.
Sandy Amoros (1952, 54-57, 59-60)
It's good to have a World Series hero on the team. Amoros would not have made it onto the All Earliest Alphabetical Team if the following outfielder had played just one game for the Dodgers:
But the Dodgers released Agee in spring training 1974.
Don Aase (1990)
Terry Adams (2000-01)
Hank Aguirre (1968)
Johnny Allen (1941-43)
Jamie Arnold (1999-2000)
Andy Ashby (2001-03)
I don't know why I picked six pitchers. I guess I just got tired of finding a full staff. Four of them can be starters and then throw two in the bullpen.
Aase shows up earlier in the alphabet than any other Dodger -- unless Aardsma makes the team.
Oh, I almost forgot the manager:
Dodgers' All-Early Alphabet Team
C - Eddie Ainsmith
1B - Bob Bailey
2B - Tony Abreu
SS - Dave Anderson
3B - Rich Allen
LF - Cal Abrams
CF - Sandy Amoros
RF - Bobby Abreu
P - Terry Adams
P - Hank Aguirre
P - Johnny Allen
P - Andy Ashby
RP - Don Aase
RP - Jamie Arnold
MGR - Walt Alston