Celebrate the finest Patricks in baseball history with the MLB All-St. Patrick's Day Team
Happy St. Patrick's Day! There may not be a single Major League or Negro League player named Patrick or Pat in the Hall of Fame, but that doesn't mean this can't be a baseball holiday. So pick out something green, be sure to set the mood ...
... and enjoy the best Patricks that baseball history has to offer:
Catcher: Pat Borders
Over a 17-year big league career, Borders played for nine different teams. But he's best remembered as the starting backstop for the iconic Blue Jays teams that won back-to-back championships in 1992-93. Borders even took home the '92 World Series MVP in recognition of his .450/.500/.750 slash line and pristinely '90s mullet.
First base: Pat Tabler
Speaking of Toronto: After a solid career spent primarily in Kansas City and Cleveland -- where he was named to the American League All-Star team in 1987 -- Tabler played his final two seasons with the Blue Jays, and he now serves as the team's color commentator on Rogers Sportsnet.
Second base: Pat Listach
A fifth-round pick by the Brewers in the 1988 Draft, Listach began his career in Milwaukee with a bang -- the shortstop swiped 54 bags as a rookie, narrowly edging out Kenny Lofton to take home the 1992 AL Rookie of the Year Award. He spent four more years with the Brewers, and upon retirement in 1997, he jumped into Minor League coaching. He's currently the manager of the Tacoma Rainiers, the Mariners' Triple-A affiliate.
Third base: Pat Crawford
Clifford Rankin Crawford, nicknamed "Captain Pat" as a result of both his Irish heritage and leadership abilities, had a career that could fill a book. He bounced around semi-pro and "outlaw" teams -- not affiliated with the National Association -- until, in 1929, he finally landed his big break, signing with the New York Giants and legendary manager John McGraw. He even made some history during his two years at the Polo Grounds: On May 26, 1929, Crawford and Les Bell became the only two players to ever hit pinch-hit grand slams in the same game.
Crawford bounced in and out of the Majors for the next few years, before latching on with another baseball powerhouse: the Gashouse Gang Cardinals of the early '30s. In his final big league season, the third baseman hit .271 over 61 games as St. Louis won the 1934 World Series.
Shortstop: Pat Meares
Meares enjoyed a solid nine-year MLB career at shortstop spent entirely with the Twins and Pirates. His claim to fame, though, isn't quite as illustrious: He made the final out of David Wells' no-hitter in 1998.
Left fielder: Pat Sheridan
On paper, Sheridan's career isn't overwhelming: nine seasons of intermittent playing time all over the outfield for four different teams, and a lifetime OPS+ of 91. He certainly wasn't a great player, but he had a knack for making his moments count.
Sheridan played right field for the 1985 Royals, who sprinted all the way to a World Series championship. The team might never have gotten there, however, if it weren't for Sheridan -- he hit two homers in the '85 ALCS against the Blue Jays, including a huge solo shot in Game 7.
Then, with the Tigers in 1987, he came up even bigger. Detroit trailed the ALCS, 2-0, desperately needing a win as the series shifted back to the Motor City. Heading into the bottom of the eighth, the Tigers faced a 6-5 deficit -- until Sheridan erased it with a two-run dinger:
The Tigers eventually lost the series in five, but hey, it's better than a sweep.
Center fielder: Pat Kelly
The brother of Hall of Fame running back Leroy Kelly, Pat was no slouch in his own right -- a lifetime .264 hitter, he made an All-Star appearance in 1973 and served as a valuable platoon bat on the powerhouse Orioles teams of the late '70s and early '80s.
Right fielder: Patsy Donovan
Born in Queenstown, Ireland, Donovan began his baseball career in Canada before breaking into the big leagues with the Boston Beaneaters in 1890. Pretty soon, he'd established himself as the best Irish-born player ever: He hit over .300 for seven consecutive seasons with the Pirates, even serving as player-manager for two of them, and he retired in the top 10 on the NL's career hits list.
After his playing days were done, Donovan moved to managing full-time, piloting the Red Sox in 1910-11 -- and even helping the team sign a guy named Babe Ruth.
DH: Pat Burrell
Pat the Bat put together such a memorable career that Hall of Fame cases have been crafted in its honor. To recap: He hit 292 homers with an .834 OPS over his 12-year career and helped bring a long-awaited World Series title to Philadelphia with some very timely hitting.
SP: Pat Hentgen
The St. Patrick's Day rotation runs deep, from Patrick Corbin to Pat Dobson, but in the end we're giving the ball to the man who took home the 1996 AL Cy Young Award. Hentgen spent 10 of his 14 years in the Majors with the Blue Jays, with two World Series rings, three All-Star appearances and induction into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame to show for it.
RP: Pat Venditte
It's not often a player gets his very own entry in the MLB rulebook, but such is the case for the Majors' only ambidextrous pitcher and his Cthulhu-esque glove:
Venditte's more than just a novelty act, though -- he's put in solid work for the A's, Blue Jays and Mariners over the last two years, and he'll serve as the setup man on the All-St. Patrick's Day Team to closer Pat Neshek.
Manager: Pat Moran
Moran spent 14 years as a catcher in the Major Leagues, but he made his true mark on the game from the dugout. Moran was a big league manager for nine years, guiding the 1915 Phillies and 1919 Reds to World Series championships -- the first titles in both franchises' histories.
Executive: Pat Gillick
No team would be complete without a savvy front office calling the shots, and luckily, the All-St. Patrick's Day Team is in very good hands. Gillick is the only Patrick to be inducted into Cooperstown (by the Veterans Committee in 2010), and it's easy to see why: After a successful college career as a pitcher, he joined the Colt .45s as a scout and was eventually named GM of the Blue Jays. He built the teams that won the 1992 and '93 Fall Classics, and he later picked up another ring as GM of the 2008 Phillies.