Baseball Players Named After Cities and Their Greatest Accomplishments
As noted by Sebek this morning, Sunday afternoon, Oakland A’s pitcher, Dallas Braden faced 27 Tampa Bay Rays and promptly got all 27 to record outs, otherwise known as a “perfect” game.
The perfect game remains one of the most elusive accomplishments in baseball, with Braden becoming just the 19th pitcher in MLB history to throw one.
Perhaps as elusive but not quite as prestigious is Braden’s other accomplishment—being a Major Leaguer named after an American city.
After some quick research, it’s safe to say that there aren’t many people who are talented enough to play baseball at a high level and do so while being named after a major metropolitan area.
It’s a short but distinguished list. Here are some of the most notable accomplishments by others whose first or last name is shared with that of a major US metro areas (or nicknamed at least)
1905 — Buffalo Bill Hogg
Had one save, which was good enough for second in the American League due to the fact that only nancies couldn’t pitch complete games in 1905.
Plus his name was Bill Hogg.
1914 — “Seattle” Bill James
Finished third in the voting for National League MVP after going 26-7 for the Boston Braves.
His 26 wins that year accounted for 70 percent of his career total.
In other words, he was a slightly more dramatic one-year wonder than Pat Hentgen.
1959 — Orlando Cepeda
Became the first Puerto Rican born player to start an All-Star Game, and this was a time when starting in an All-Star Game meant more than people exercising their right to vote online up to 25 times for their favorite players.
1964 — Denver LeMaster
Led the Major Leagues in wild pitches with 20.
Rumor has it he had two brothers named Boulder and Colorado Springs LeMaster, but as usual, Denver hogged the spotlight.
1969 — Rick Austin
Signed with the Cleveland Indians after being selected in the MLB draft for the fourth time in three years.
Each of the three previous times he was drafted and did not sign, his negotiating leverage increased when he was able to show signed offer sheets from production companies in the porn industry.
Let’s just say, Rick Austin had alternatives.
1994 — Steve Phoenix
Became the 13th player to make the Major Leagues from Grand Canyon University and upon his debut, immediately became the MLB career leader in, “times asked whether he was brothers with River and Joaquin.”
2000 — Reggie Cleveland
Was given the honor of becoming the namesake for Bill Simmons’, “Reggie Cleveland All Stars,” which feature athletes whose names might cause one to assume they are of another race.
In other words, the name Reggie Cleveland sounds like a black dude, but in reality, he looks like Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad
2008 — Daryl Boston
Leveraged his spectacles into a role as Private First Class in Tom Henke’s Army with a unique specialty:
2009 — Ron Washington
Managed the Texas Rangers while high on cocaine.
Hard to believe after looking at his 1989 Donruss card.
2010 — Dallas Braden
Threw a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays.
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