In honor of the quickly approaching Easter Sunday celebration this weekend, I thought it would be a good time to highlight and rank some of the greatest Easter player names in Major League Baseball history.
Some players on the list never reached the big club, but everyone listed here have played professional baseball for one of MLB's organizations.
Names are plucked from everything "Easter" including symbols, traditions, common food, and the literally obvious.
There is no criteria for ranking these players based on stats or performance, as all decisions were solely based upon how Easter relevant their names are/were.
Sit back and enjoy, and feel free to add any other options in the comment thread after you're done reading. Here we go:
Spring was a pitcher for a number of teams over eight off-and-on seasons from 1955-1965. He retired with a 12-5 record and 4.26 ERA in 185 IP.
It is obvious as to why a man named "Spring" would crack this list, but the lack of creativity or uniqueness to his name leaves him at the bottom of the list.
Currently a minor league pitcher within the New York Yankees organization, Pope has logged nearly 400 IP in his professional career.
He is working hard to reach the big club in 2011 or 2012, but while his quality arm is climbing the ranks, his name is not--coming in at No. 19 on this list.
Wine was a major league Infielder for the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos from 1960-1972.
While the drink he is named after may also represent strong religious symbols, it is not solely a Christian or religious beverage--leaving him on the outside looking in at No. 18.
Cross was a catcher and outfielder who spent most of his career in Philadelphia (both with the Athletics and Phillies) from 1887-1907.
No one needs much of an explanation as to why a "Cross" would end up on the list, but it was not enough to bump him up near the Top 10 of the list.
Eddie Priest has a very brief major league career, and he was able to log just six innings pitched with the Cincinnati Reds in 1998.
Another obvious choice for the best Easter name in MLB history, Priest falls into place at No. 16 here on my list.
Christian, an outfielder known primarily for his speed, played in 24 games for the New York Yankees during the 2008 season.
Christianity is of course at the epicenter of the Easter Sunday celebration, so it was difficult for Justin not to end somewhere in the Top 20.
Mike Palm is another player on the list who enjoyed a very short-lived career in Major League Baseball. He logged just three innings pitched with the Boston Red Sox in 1948.
Based of course on the religious tradition of "Palm Sunday," Mike was able to jump into the bottom half at No. 14.
A current outfielder for the New York Mets, Pagan has a breakout season for the Mets in 2010—in which he hit .290 with 11 HR, 69 RBI and 37 SB.
Angel may or may not have had some spiritual intervention last season to help him rise to the top, but he was unable to rise any further than No. 13 here.
Church is as well known for his concussion problems as his play on the field, but he had some solid contributions in his seven-year outfield career.
I'm pretty sure that explaining a man named "Church" is not necessary in this scenario, so I will just say that he rests at a well-deserved No. 12.
Mike Lamb was a major league infielder; primarily with the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros from 2000-2010.
A common symbol of both spring and Easter, the lamb is represented well here at No. 11 by MLB's own "Lamb".
Now in his 13th season in Major League Baseball, Ted Lilly has accumulated around 115 victories and 1500 K in his solid career.
The Easter Lilly is a strong symbol of the holiday's celebrations and services, and Ted subsequently cracks the Top 10 as a result.
A first baseman and outfielder from 1909-1918—primarily with the Pittsburgh Pirates—“Ham” collected 146 RBI in 465 games played.
Ham is one of the most common delicacies of Easter dinner across the world, and it also happens to be my personal favorite. That's enough reason for me to place Hyatt here at No. 9.
An outfielder primarily in the Chicago Cubs and Pittsburgh Pirates organizations, Billy Sunday logged over 2000 at bats from 1883 to 1890.
Both the day that Easter falls on annually and the most common day of religious services within the Christian religion, "Sunday" is the perfect name to crack this list here at No. 8.
Another victim of a "here today, gone tomorrow" MLB career, Travis Chick threw just five innings with the Seattle Mariners in 2006.
Baby chicks are a symbol of new life, as well as being born from an egg, so Travis represents a strong connection to Easter and its holiday traditions. He's good enough to check in at No. 7 on the list.
A minor league pitcher within the Boston Red Sox and Chicago White Sox organizations, Kenneth Yoke won 74 games from 1953-1958—including 20 in a 262 IP season at Single-A in 1957.
Though not exactly the same spelling as the food "yolk," the pronunciation is enough to be worthy of a spot on a list influenced greatly by eggs and furry creatures.
Joe Rabbitt was very briefly an outfielder for the Cleveland Indians in 1922. He collected a grand total of just 3 Abs in Major League Baseball, and I think this is where I make a joke about speed and rabbits.
Another player name that needs no introduction or explanation, any holiday that promotes the existence of the "Easter Bunny" needs a Rabbitt on the list.
Edward Lent had a very brief minor league career within the Washington Senators organization in 1959 and 1960—barely lasting longer than the sacrificial tradition of Easter that his name represents.
Lent itself ends of Easter Sunday, and it may be the tradition most associated with the holiday (other than egg hunts). This is more than enough to land Edward at No 4.
Jesus Montero is a highly touted catching prospect currently in the New York Yankees minor league system (though likely not for long).
He has been destroying the ball in Triple-A, batting upwards of .400 thus far on the early season, and is on a mission to rise to "The Show" soon.
Any man named Jesus could have landed on this list without much thought, and Montero is the most famous current player of the bunch.
Born Thomas Francis Madden in 1882, “Bunny” Madden was briefly a catcher for the Boston Red Sox and Philadelphia Phillies over 45 games (1909-1911).
Another obvious choice based on the Easter Bunny tradition that encompasses the celebratory holiday, Madden nearly climbed to the pinnacle of the list.
Who could have possibly beaten out a "Bunny" for the top spot?
Luke Easter was a first baseman and outfielder with the Cleveland Indians for 491 games from 1949-1954.
He averaged about 29 HR and 103 RBI from 1950-1952, and was one of the first African-American players ever to play for Cleveland—Larry Doby being the first in 1947.
The only choice that could beat out men named "Jesus" and "Bunny" would be an "Easter".
I hope that you had as much fun with this list as I did, and be sure to leave any other options in the comment thread that you think I may have missed. Happy Easter to all those celebrating this weekend, and be safe!