If “Baseball Player” is ever a “Wheel of Fortune” Category

Loyal VORG reader Jeff Gelman emailed me recently:

A short time after his call-up to the majors I read that Andy Pettitte had become just the second major leaguer with 4 t’s in his last name, joining Mickey Tettleton. I don’t know if anyone else has since joined this club . . .

Anyhow, I thought that perhaps you’d research which player last names contain the most of each letter. In the event of a mega-tie, perhaps an indication of the number of players and which one made the most recent major league debut?

In the interest of being thorough, I compiled the record-holders for first, last and combined names, using the Lahman Baseball Database as a name/spelling source (we’re going by how they were referred to in their careers, not necessarily their given name).  Each table below lists the letter tallied, the “record” for most of that letter in the name, the number of players sharing that record, and the most recent debut of any such player.

In the first name group, we’ve previously written about Atahualpa Severino.  Severino is one of only three players to have a “letter record” all to himself.  Meanwhile, no  “2 V” player has suited up since Gavvy Cravath in 1908:

First

Most

Players

Most recent debut

A

4

1

Atahualpa Severino

9/6/2011

B

3

120

Bobby LaFromboise

4/10/2013

C

2

171

C.C. Lee

7/14/2013

D

2

304

David Hale

9/13/2013

E

4

2

Pee Wee Reese

4/23/1940

F

2

209

Tuffy Gosewisch

8/1/2013

G

3

3

Gregg Zaun

6/24/1995

H

3

1

Hung-Chih Kuo

9/2/2005

I

3

1

Keiichi Yabu

4/9/2005

J

2

12

J.J. Hoover

4/25/2012

K

2

19

Kensuke Tanaka

7/9/2013

L

3

7

Glenallen Hill

7/31/1989

M

2

199

Tommy Medica

9/11/2013

N

3

7

Brennan Boesch

4/23/2010

O

4

2

Choo-Choo Coleman

4/16/1961

P

3

3

Phillippe Aumont

8/23/2012

Q

1

26

Arquimedes Caminero

8/16/2013

R

2

734

Roger Kieschnick

7/31/2013

S

2

142

Jesus Sucre

5/24/2013

T

2

330

Matt Shoemaker

9/20/2013

U

2

8

Julius Matos

5/31/2002

V

2

2

Gavvy Cravath

4/18/1908

W

1

651

Wilfredo Tovar

9/22/2013

X

1

184

Xander Bogaerts

8/20/2013

  Max Stassi

8/20/2013

Y

2

8

Yunesky Maya

9/7/2010

Z

2

29

Gonzalez Germen

7/12/2013

In the last name group, we also had previously discussed the “2 Q” beauty of Al Alburquerque.  He also shows us as the most recent debut for someone with 3 Us in his last name.  Getting back to Jeff’s initial question, Mark Strittmatter is the first and only “5 T” player in major league history.  Also, is anyone ever going to tie or surpass the 2 Xs in Jimmie Foxx?:

Last

Most

Players

Most recent debut

A

5

1

Jarrod Saltalamacchia

5/2/2007

B

3

3

Jim Bibby

9/4/1972

C

3

28

Daniel McCutchen

8/31/2009

D

3

7

Robert Dodd

5/28/1998

E

4

7

Todd Wellemeyer

5/15/2003

F

3

4

Al Federoff

9/27/1951

G

3

11

Kevin Gregg

8/9/2003

H

3

1

Eddie Hohnhorst

9/10/1910

I

3

20

Nick Christiani

8/23/2013

J

2

2

Jair Jurrjens

8/15/2007

K

3

9

Ron Klimkowski

9/15/1969

L

4

3

Kurt Stillwell

4/13/1986

M

3

10

Jordan Zimmermann

4/20/2009

N

4

6

Cliff Pennington

8/12/2008

O

4

1

Brian Omogrosso

7/3/2012

P

3

16

Denis Phipps

9/3/2012

Q

2

1

Al Alburquerque

4/15/2011

R

4

1

Arnie Portocarrero

4/18/1954

S

3

30

Max Stassi

8/20/2013

T

5

1

Mark Strittmatter

9/3/1998

U

3

3

Al Alburquerque

4/15/2011

V

2

12

Elih Villanueva

6/15/2011

W

2

21

Chris Withrow

6/12/2013

X

2

1

Jimmie Foxx

5/1/1925

Y

2

10

Drew Smyly

4/12/2012

Z

2

73

Miguel Gonzalez

9/10/2013

 

In the combined first/last name group, the magic number is “7”, as PeeWee Reese has 7 Es, the highest number of any given letter in a full name.  we also had previously discussed the “2 Q” beauty of Al Alburquerque.  He also shows us as the most recent debut for someone with 3 Us in his last name.  Also, Hugh High could be a member of the “4-H Club”:

Total

Most

Players

Most recent debut

A

6

2

Armando Galarraga

9/15/2007

B

4

18

Bobby LaFromboise

4/10/2013

C

4

4

Francisco Cruceta

9/21/2004

D

4

5

Todd Redmond

8/18/2012

E

7

1

Pee Wee Reese

4/23/1940

F

5

2

Jeff Pfeffer

4/16/1911

G

4

5

Greg Legg

4/18/1986

H

4

1

Hugh High

4/11/1913

I

4

6

Nick Christiani

8/23/2013

J

3

3

Jair Jurrjens

8/15/2007

K

3

33

Kensuke Tanaka

7/9/2013

L

5

7

Lyle Luttrell

5/15/1956

M

4

3

Tom Timmermann

6/18/1969

N

5

7

Andy Sonnanstine

6/5/2007

O

5

1

Choo-Choo Coleman

4/16/1961

P

5

1

Pepper Peploski

6/24/1913

Q

2

1

Al Alburquerque

4/15/2011

R

5

3

Darryl Strawberry

5/6/1983

S

4

9

Josh Sharpless

8/1/2006

T

5

2

Mark Strittmatter

9/3/1998

U

3

11

Al Alburquerque

4/15/2011

V

3

1

Gavvy Cravath

4/18/1908

W

3

1

Woody Woodward

9/9/1963

X

2

2

Jimmie Foxx

5/1/1925

Y

3

2

Yunesky Maya

9/7/2010

Z

3

3

Buzz Dozier

9/12/1947

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