Saturday, December 9, 2017
Baseball name synchronicity
Here is a little something that has been nagging at me for awhile. Perhaps it's been nagging at you (but not likely).
When former Giants and Phillies pitcher Al Holland arrived in the major leagues in the late '70s, he was the first MLB player with the last name of Holland since a guy named Bill Holland pitched three games for the Senators in 1939.
OK, not that weird, right?
But, to me, this is.
Since 2010, there have been two pitchers in the major leagues with the last name of Holland. And they're not related.
Derek Holland, who is from Ohio, and Greg Holland, who is from North Carolina, are the first Hollands to appear in the majors since Al Holland exited in 1986. It's the largest "Holland epidemic" since the 1930s when there were a handful of marginal players with that name.
And these two Hollands showed up at basically the same time (Derek in '09 and Greg in '10).
OK, maybe still not that weird for you.
How about this?
Tigers pitcher Michael Fulmer, who made his big league debut in 2016 was the first Fulmer to appear in the majors since way back in the 1880s when a couple of guys named Chris and Chip Fulmer played for a few years.
Sure, there was Brad Fullmer about 15 years ago, but he spells his name with two Ls.
And, that's a minor detail because I'm too busy being baffled by this:
White Sox pitcher Carson Fulmer also made his big league debut in 2016. So both Carson and Michael -- not related -- are the first Fulmers to show up in major league baseball in 125 years and THEY SHOW UP IN THE SAME YEAR AND BOTH ARE PITCHERS???
Does this blow anyone else's mind?
Here is another one that has amazed me for years. And once again it involves a couple of pitchers.
Tim Stoddard was called up to the major leagues for the first time in 1975. He had a few scattered appearances in '78 but made his mark in 1979 with the AL champion Orioles.
Then in 1981, with Tim Stoddard still pitching for the Orioles, Bob Stoddard makes his pitching debut with the Mariners.
THEY ARE THE ONLY STODDARDS TO PLAY IN THE MAJORS!
THEY ARE NOT RELATED.
Tim Stoddard, who grew up in East Chicago, Indiana, played until the 1989 season. Bob Stoddard, who grew up in the San Jose area, played until 1987.
For seven glorious and weird years, there were two pitchers named Stoddard and it had never happened before or has since.
There has to be a name for this phenomenon.
And if there isn't, I'm coming up with something.