The stars known by three names represented all of the answers in one category on a popular game show last week, and I correctly identified three. Van Halen’s David Lee Roth was the musical answer, while Billy Bob Thornton and Joe Don Baker were the two actors I recognized.
For some reason, I had expected the category to include a sports figure that matches the description, but the other two responses were not athletes. After some thought, I understood why no sports star was showing up, as I could only think of a handful of three names.
Here are the best examples of baseball, enough to complete a lineup.
First base, Willie Mays Aikens
The famously named slugger helped propel the Kansas City Royals to a pennant and several playoff appearances.
Second base, Billy Jo Robidoux
Mainly a left fielder, Robidoux would be invited to replace in second place for our three-name team.
Shortstop, Chin Leng Hu
Because he spent most of his career with the Dodgers, this outfield gave broadcaster Vin Scully to declare Hu first when he reached base.
Third base, Jim Ray Hart
Beating more than a hundred home runs over his career, Hart was one of the San Francisco Giants ‘powerful hitters of the’ 60s.
Left Field, Wily Mo Pena
He broke into the big leagues with Cincinnati, who a few years later traded the underperforming slugger to the New York Yankees.
Center field, Shin Soo Choo
After several successful seasons in Cleveland and Cincinnati, Choo signed a lucrative free agent contract to play for his current team, the Texas Rangers.
Right Field, John Ford Griffin
With a gentle left-handed swing, Griffin hit over .300 in two different stints with the Toronto Blue Jays in the early 2000s.
Seeker, John Ryan Murphy
He supported Joe Mauer for a season with the Minnesota Twins, who sent him several years later to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Starting pitcher, John Henry Johnson
Over a ten-year span, the southpaw spent time with Boston, Texas and Milwaukee, but his best season was when he scored eleven wins for Oakland track and field.
Relief pitcher, Ryan Rowland Smith
Seattle relied on this guy to be the Mariners left-hander specialist for four years, and he returned in 2014 to enjoy a comeback year with the Arizona Diamondbacks.