With an array of media outlets to plug into, fans can continue to follow the MLB game in the off-season with the announcement of awards, the discussions of free agent signings and trades, the Hall of Fame ballot elections and various social media channels to challenge our baseball intellect with trivia.
There are also other ways to exercise the baseball mind with intriguing games to kill time that doesn’t seem to be moving.
Long ago, my Dad and I would travel to work—those rides were filled with bumper-to-bumper, slow moving vehicles and the drive usually ranged anywhere between 90 and 115 minutes to complete.
During those inch-crawling trips, my Dad would often come up with the game of picking baseball All-Star teams, and his favorite was selecting a letter from the alphabet and naming an All-Star team by position of players whose last name begins with a certain letter.
The rules were that the player named to a position must have played in the major leagues and must have played the assigned position at the big league level.
For example, for the letter “A,” he would choose Luis Aparicio as the shortstop. For third base, there are few players whose last name begins with “A” that played the hot corner so his selection for third would be Luke Appling, who went into the Hall of Fame as a shortstop, but played several games at third base.
For the letter “X,” in the exercise in naming an All-Star team for each letter, I am selecting any player who has an “X” in their first or last name. The one catch I have in naming this team is that the player chosen could not have been named on a club with another letter. For example, Jimmie Foxx would be a perfect name for the X team, but because he is mentioned as the first baseman for Team F, he is not eligible for Team X—giving Mark Teixeira the first base slot on that club.
This is a fun, but meaningless exercise with no incorrect answers. For each team, I selected eight position players, a designated hitter, two starting pitchers and a closer. Some letters had an abundance of players to choose from. Thus, some great names may be missing—sorry Pedro Martinez and Juan Marichal, but I went with Christy Mathewson and Greg Maddux as my starting pitchers for letter "M." Share your thoughts on my selections. Here are my clubs, using 312 different big league names: