After a rookie campaign that saw him slash .282/.388/.599, post a 2.6 WAR in just 374 plate appearances, and win ROTY honors, Bob Hamelin has been of little use to the common baseballing fan.
However, were one ever to get curious about Hamelin’s career stats, and were one to search for said stats on FanGraphs, and were one — instead of typing Hamelin’s entire surname into the search box — were one to type only the first three letters of it, then one would find a rather peculiar and LOL-able thing: namely, that there have been seven players with the first name “Ham” in the history of the Majors.
Here they are below, with very, very, very, very, very important notes.
Player: Ham Allen
Given Name: Frank Erwin Allen or Homer S. Allen
Years Active: 1872-1872
Teams: Middletown Mansfields
PA / WAR: 66, 0.1
Notes: Was born either in Augusta, Maine, or Hamden, Connecticut. Died either in Natick, Massachusetts, or Hamden, Connecticut. Died either on February 6, 1881 or January 7, 1892. Is generally mysterious.
Player: Ham Hyatt
Given Name: Robert Hamilton Hyatt
Years Active: 1909-1918 (with years off for WWI, presumably)
Teams: Pirates, Cardinals, Yankees
PA / WAR: 1012, 4.2
Notes: With that 4.2 WAR, is most successful Ham. Also, at 6’1″ and 185, is almost biggest Ham, too. (Ham Patterson, below, was 6’2″, 185.)
Player: Ham Iburg
Given Name: Herman Edward Iburg
Years Active: 1902-1902
IP / WAR: 236.0, -1.6
Notes: Born in San Francisco. Died in San Francisco. Played minor league ball with the San Francisco Wasps (1901) and San Francisco Seals (1903) of the California and Pacific Coast Leagues, respectively. Also played for Portland Browns (1904) and Oakland Oaks (1905) of the PCL.
Player: Ham Patterson
Given Name: Hamilton Patterson
Years Active: 1909-1909
Teams: St. Louis Browns, White Sox
PA / WAR: 54, -0.3
Notes: Managed such baseballing stalwarts as the Oskaloosa Quakers (1906-07), Pueblo Indians (1908), Wichita Witches (1915), Vernon Tigers (1916), Dallas Giants (1917-18), Dallas Marines (1919), and Dallas Submarines (1920-21).
Player: Ham Schulte
Given Name: Herman Joseph Schulte
Years Active: 1940-1940
PA / WAR: 488, -0.6
Notes: Born Herman Joseph Schultehenrich.
Player: Ham Sweigert
Given Name: Unknown
Years Active: 1890-1890
Teams: Philadelphia Athletics (of the American Association)
PA / WAR: 2, 0.0
Notes: From the Bullpen: “Ham Sweigert is one of four amateur players who made their only major league appearance for the Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association on October 12, 1890 against the Syracuse Stars. It was the last game of the season, and was played in Gloucester, NJ. Early researchers confused this Sweigert with a Hampton Sweigert, who was a minor league player at the time. It is in fact very unlikely that they were the same two men, and in fact, this Sweigert probably had another first name, as absolutely nothing else is known about him or his three teammates for that day, Bob Stafford, John McBride and John Sterling.”
Player: Ham Wade
Given Name: Abraham Lincoln Wade
Years Active: 1907-1907
PA / WAR: 1, 0.0
Notes: Was hit by a pitch in his only Major League plate appearance. Also, per the Bullpen, played for several teams in Connecticut, both as a pitcher and as an outfielder. Also: named Abraham Lincoln.