Friday, November 24, 2006

November 24th, 1955

Rafael Santo Domingo Born

I know I just did a funny name day the other day, but I promise this one isn't just funny names, it's funny names with a theme: people with world capital names. Of course, having the same name as a world captial doesn't necessary mean you are from that world capital. Rafael Santo Domingo, for example, may share his last name with the seat of the goverment of the Dominican Republic but he was nonetheless born in Orcovis, Puerto Rico. Santo Domingo has had more sucess as a capital than Santo Domingo did as a ballplayer; he got only seven plate appearences over the course of his career walking once and hitting a single another time.

As it turns out, with the notable exception of one world capital, they don't generally make great players. Kelly Paris played small parts of five seasons with the Cardinals, Reds, Orioles and White Sox in the '80s, but hit just .217 doing it. There have been six different Sydney's to play in the big leagues, but they are all more-or-less interchangably mediocre. There's Miguel Cairo who has made a respectable eleven--to this point--year career has a utlity infielder and can claim a career .328 average in nineteen post-season games. Jose Lima won twenty-one games one season but also has had six of his thirteen seasons end with an ERA over six.

It should be obvious what world capital is the far-and-away leader in big league players: Washington. All said thirty-four players have been named Washington with eighteen of them being fully named for the same Washington who inspired the city's name. Three Washingtons have been All-Stars, the best is probably Claudell Washington who made the team twice ('75 and '84) and spent seventeen years in the Majors. I suppose this might be a trifle jingoistic, but when it comes to capital players, America really is number one.

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