Over the years, we here at Pinstripe Alley have had some run learning and reading about amusingly named players from Yankees history. There’s one area we haven’t totally explored though: players whose names make full sentences.
If a player’s surname is a verb, that can lead to fun opportunities to make full, gramatically correct sentences out of just the two words in a player name. That got our creative juices flowing, so here is a team of players/full sentences.
P: Ben Shields
Shields tossed 26 innings over two seasons with the Yankees from 1924-25. He then nearly died from tuberculosis, and wouldn’t return to the majors until 1930 with the Red Sox. He’s also keeping someone safe from something, so that’s nice.
C: Doc Powers
Powers played so long ago that he played for the National League’s Louisville Colonels alongside a young Honus Wagner. A little while after that, he spent part of the 1905 season playing for the then New York Highlanders. That was also so long ago that the transaction that brought him to New York was considered a loan from the Philadelphia Athletics. His name also could describe parts of “Back to the Future.”
1B: George Burns
A former MVP winner, Burns played 13 total games with the Yankees across the 1928-29 seasons. He also describes when dad tries to cook dinner.
2B: Stephen Drew
One of the more infamous Yankees of recent memory, the team acquired him in a rare trade with the Red Sox as they attempted to retool during the 2014 season. That didn’t work and neither did re-signing him for 2015, despite a random 17-home run burst. For purposes of this exercise, he doubles as what your child’s teacher tells you what happened at preschool today.
SS: Woodie Held
A 16-year MLB veteran, Held was most famous for playing elsewhere, spending seven years in Cleveland, and winning a World Series with the Orioles in 1966. However, he came up with the Yankees in 1954 before returning to the minors and eventually getting traded away in 1957 as part of the deal that sent away Billy Martin. His name could also mean something dirty, or just describe something that probably happened in a “Toy Story” movie.
3B: Bob Seeds
“Suitcase Bob” got his nicknamed for the amount of teams he played for over the course of his career. That included a 13-game stop with the Yankees in 1936, where he was thrown out trying to steal second, ending Game 5 of the World Series. (The Yankees did go on to win the series, however.) His name also sounds like you saying what your neighbor is doing in the garden.
LF: Howie Shanks
After 11 years with the Senators, and two with the Red Sox, the Yankees acquired Shanks in a trade ahead of the 1925 season. Considering that he finished his one season in New York with a 68 OPS+, he probably did a lot of what his name suggests.
CF: Chicken Hawks
Probably the best name in general on the team, Hawks had a very weird MLB career. He played 41 games for the 1921 Yankees, and hit pretty well. However, he then returned to the minors for the next year. He reappeared for the 1925 Phillies, again played decently well, but would then never make it back to the majors. Anyway, his name sounds like a description of the reverse version of the Chick-Fil-A commercials with the cows.
RF: Scott Pose
Pose made 54 appearances as a bench player for the 1997 Yankees, and spent the next year in the team’s minor league system. His name also can be a full sentence if you add a comma.
DH: Aaron Judge
Hey, you know this guy. He’s another one that needs a comma, but it was hard not to throw him in as a bonus option.
Shoutout to the other options considered, including Randy Winn, Virgil Trucks, Spike Owen, Tim Raines, Dusty Cooke, and Jake Stahl.