At home at fenway

Keeping on eye on Dustin, Papi, Youk & a few good books

Of “42”, Anibal Sanchez and Theodore Roosevelt Lilly

Posted by athomeatfenway on April 30, 2013

Ted Lilly keeps cool like his namesake

Ted Lilly keeps cool like his namesake

Last night Don Mattingly wrote in 37 year old Ted Lilly for a start against the Colorado Rockies.  Lilly, who was 10-2 lifetime against the Rocks, was making his second appearance of the year after coming off the DL .

With the Dodgers one game over .500 and angling to close ground on the Rockies and D Backs, Ted Lilly didn’t deliver.  He reinjured himself.  He is heading back to the DL.  Ted Lilly allowed 8 hits and 2 BB in 3 innings, yielding 5 runs. 

This is not a good harbinger for the old lefty’s future ability to stay in the big money game that is Major League Baseball today.   His days of expensive cars and real estate deals could be ending.

Not a good day for Ted Lilly.

Correction.  Not a good day for Theodore Roosevelt Lilly III.  That is his christened name.  His son is christened TR the IV, by the way.  This naming phenomenon, surely one of the most unique in baseball history, can be traced back to TR III’s great grandfather, who rode with the original TR and his Rough Riders in the Spanish American War.

Ted’s great grandfather admired Teddy Roosevelt greatly.  TR the III gains psychic power and confidence from his namesake and his legendary energy for living and accomplishing things.

TR was a wonderful conservationist who signed the proclamation creating Yosemite as our nation’s 5th national park.  Ted Lilly grew up 40 miles from Yosemite  and attended Yosemite High School.

Such beautiful continuity and connection.  Truth is more fascinating than fiction.

I wish Theodore Roosevelt Lilly well in his bid to continue his major league dream.  He is 2 years removed from complete health and a regular work load.  We can be confident that this reticent, determined player will not give up until they take the game away from him.

When it comes to ballplayers so Presidentially named, there have been 69 others.  There have been 19 George Washington’s, by far the most prolific Prez Player name, the best of which was 6x stolen base king, George Washington Case.

There have been 3 Abraham Lincolns, 4 U.S. Grants, 5 Andrew Jacksons, one Franklin Delano Wiend to play in the bigs.

3 William McKinleys.  3 Woodrow Wilsons.

The greatest of all these was of course Grover Cleveland Alexander.  Hall of Fame 1938,.  373 wins.  6 K titles.  5 ERA crowns.  He ranks far above Grover Cleveland Baichley, Land and Lowdermilk.

But the best and most unique Presidential Player name is by far the one-and-only CALVIN COOLIDGE JULIUS CAESAR TUSKAHOMA McLISH.

McLish’s Dad took use a full scoop of creativity when given permission to name the boy.  Cal McLish was monikered after our 30th President, a Roman Emperor and the capital city of Choctaw Nation.

Cal McLish had a wonderful career.  It came in 2 distinctive parts.  Starting in 1944, He struggled for 12 years, bouncing around the minors with an ERA approaching 8.00 and putting runners on base in plentitude.

But Cal put it together in 1956.  For the next 8 years, he started 315 games, completed 1300 IP, and registered a dandy 3.08 ERA.

Nice turnaround.

Like his linguistic teammate, McLish, Ted Lilly won’t give up either.  Not until they away the old apple.

Go Ted.

Go Sox.


A tip of the hat to Anibal Sanchez, who K’d 17 Braves 4 days ago at Comerica, setting the single game record for the Motor City Kitty Kats.    That’s a nice trick and one that gives Justin Verlander a goal to surpass.  Wouldn’t be surprised if JV beats it one day.

This is a nice piece of work for this 29 year old with 149 career starts under his belt.  It goes nicely on his resume with his no-hitter against the D Backs in 2006, Sanchez’s rookie year.

Imagine if he had made 133 of those starts for a better team than the lowly Marlins, his previous employer.  Instead of a career 51-52 WL,  better hitting teammates might have netted him another 20 wins.

So add Anibal to the well-established list of talented Venezuelan big leaguers, a roster of 400+ men headlined by Aparicio, Vizquel, Armas, and Sanchez’s teammates Miggy Cabrera and Victor Martinez.

No wonder Venezuelans are fiercely proud of their own.

Anibal was Red Sox property until he was traded in 2005 with Hanley Ramirez +2 to the Marlins for Josh Beckett, Mike Lowell +1.

No regrets on that one among Sox fans.  But you have to smile at how well things have turned out for Anibal Sanchez.  I wish him all the luck in the world against 28 major league opponents.


Best line I heard this week:  “In the mid-1960’s, people used to say that the “TC” on the Twins cap did not stand for Twin Cities; it stood for Twenty Cubans, because the Twins signed so many talented Latins.”  (– Paul Hensler, Ellington, CT man and author of The American League in Transition, 1965-1975.)

Amusing debate:  On the Facebook Baseball Book group there has been jousting about the movie “42”.  The subjects of contention are whether the computer images of Forbes Field and Ebbetts Field are correct, and how the film failed to cover the very significant civil rights work that Jackie performed after retirement.  Lastly, there has been debate whether or not actor Chadwick Bozeman’s physique was too “cut” to resemble the barrel chested Jackie Robinson at age 28.

These are fine points of amusement but they matter little.  I am just glad the film was made.  I hope Rachel, Sharon and David Robinson consider making a sequel.  Jackie’s life story tells a long and important, heartrending and heart lifting, story about America.

Go Sox.

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