Since 1871 when the National Association became the first ever professional baseball league, well over 20,000 players have played in the major leagues. If one were to take a look at the alphabetized list of all those players they would find the list bookended by a couple of Windy City-izens. The first name they would come across is present day Chicago White Sox reliever David Aardsma. This will be Aardsma second season in the land of Jordan after pitching the 2006 season for the crosstown Cubs. Hammering Hank Aaron and brother Tommie Aaron held the number one position in the book of baseball names until 2004 when Aardsma made his MLB debut for the San Francisco Giants.
At the other end of the alphabet is another Chicago player, outfielder Dutch Zwilling. Zwilling played four seasons of professional ball (1910,1914-16). Like Aardsma, he was a member of the Chicago White Sox (1910) and the Chicago Cubs (1916), plus two years for the Chicago Chi-Feds of the Federal League (1914-15).
Here are a couple of other noted name facts- Tigers’ reliever Joel Zumaya is last on the alphabetized list for present day players, and only five players are listed in the book of names after Joel Zumaya. I’ve already given you one! If you can name the other four in my comment section, you get a free cab ride to anywhere in New York care of Carl The Cabbie.
There are only two players ever to play in the major or minor leagues with the first name of Ambiorix, and they both play presently for the New York Mets’ organization. Reliever Ambiorix Burgos, from the Dominican Republic, will probably see time with the major league Mets this season, while fellow countryman, outfielder Ambiorix Concepcion will most likely start the season at triple-A New Orleans.
Before you look at the list below, try and guess which name has been more popular throughout major league baseball history: Gonzalez, Jackson, Smith, Johnson, Rodriguez, Brown, Anderson, Harris, Hall, Adams, Hernandez or Jones.
Number of players who have played in the majors with these last names:
Anderson– 39 (and 1 Andersen)
Gonzalez – 26 ( and 5 Gonzales)