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

Read more

Great Names in Baseball History: A true “4-A” player

You might have missed this minor transaction from this morning’s sports section, but the Washington Nationals now possess a true “4-A” player, as Atahualpa Severino was recalled from the minors today. Just who or what IS an “Atahualpa“: Atahualpa, Atahuallpa, Atabalipa, or Atawallpa (March 20, 1497 – July 26, 1533), was the last Sapa Inca … Read more

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