Full disclosure: This is probably the stupidest idea for a column yet. Just skip to the comments if you're so inclined.
But it's President's Day. Before heading out to collect on your 0% APR or buy-one-mattress-get-one-free sale, maybe you should sit and ruminate about the different kinds of crats who have shaped this country. The best way to do that from a Giants-related perspective is to search for the most presidential name in Giants history.
I know, I know. You're already riveted. The Giants have had all sorts of great names in franchise history. Colonel Snover, Clyde Kluttz, Slick Castleman, and Johnny Dickshot, for four. But none of those names are especially presidential. I mean, I'd vote for Johnny Dickshot.
President Dickshot, this great nation depends on your decision. What will it be?
President Dickshot, sir, I respectfully disagree.
President Dickshot? President Dickshot? President Dickshot? Wake up, President Dickshot.
Alas, it will never be. So if the goal is to find the most presidential name in Giants history, we need some ground rules:
1. Try hard to avoid repeats, excepting Johns and Jims. No Teddys, Ronalds, or Georges. No Bills, No Richards, and no Herberts. It's too easy; those names have already been accepted as presidential. A reliever from the '75 team, Barack Stansberry, is probably the one affected the most by this.
2. Nicknames are okay, but not desirable. Teddy Roosevelt was a thing, and there have been recent presidents with informal nicknames, like Bill and Jimmy.
3. Even though we have an African-American president with an unusual name, I still think it's safer to err on the side of boring for the ultimate presidential name.
Okay, so after going over the 1,417 different players to take an at-bat for the Giants, I think I've determined the least presidential first name: Scott. President Scott (Anything) doesn't work. Apologies to the Scotts out there, but you probably shouldn't major in presidenting when you get to college. Kevin is up there, too.
My completely objective and accurate list of the most presidential names in Giants history:
10. George Foster/Warren Spahn (tie)
They'd probably win if it weren't for the first rule up there, especially Foster. Really, by "most presidential", all I'm looking for is "a name you might give a president in your horrible screenplay." President George Foster is up there.
9. Wayne Franklin
There's been a Franklin Pierce, and there's been a Ben Franklin (who was like an honorary president!), so this one is almost cheating. But it's pretty danged presidential. It's also horribly risky. Germany would elect a Stefan Finleemann, start thinking they could pick on us, and before you know it, it's World War III.
8. Milt May
I don't know if the world was ever ready for a President Milt, but there's something about it that sorta sings.
7. Alan Embree
The best president names come from undetermined ethnic origin. Off the top of my head, I couldn't tell you where names like Bush, Clinton, Reagan, Carter, or Ford come from. Embree might be British, but not overtly so. And there's never been a president Al or Alan, which seems like an oversight.
6. Christy Mathewson
Interesting question: Do Hall of Famers get more consideration for this exercise? I'm thinking they do, because I was also considering Carl Hubbell. But President Christy Mathewson would be a fine name for the first woman president.
5. Mose Solomon
He got eight at-bats in 1923, so he's the least accomplished player on the list. Maybe it's the wise connotation of "Solomon" that sells it, but I'd vote for Mose Solomon. Oh, certainly, I would. Unless he didn't share my political beliefs.
4. Yamid Haad
A nod to the current president. It was either this or Osiris Matos, but that one is more of a name you'd expect from the president of the underworld. Yamid Haad has that same mix of unusual and singsongy that Barack Obama has, and we need to think multicultural for our future presidents.
This is the Bill or Jimmy of the bunch. It's not Charles, it's Charlie, which isn't quite as childlike as some nicknames can be. There have been three Charleses as vice-presidents, which is a pretty impressive ratio, considering all the names out there.
2. Rich "Goose" Gossage/"Ducky" Joe Medwick (tie)
Either of these would be akin to "The Gipper" and "Slick Willie", and Avian-Americans have been neglected for far too long. President Gossage is probably the winner between the two. Editorial cartoonists would get ahold of the Goose name and have an easy four years..
1. Al Oliver
Calm in a crisis. Firm. Resolute. More likely to stab you in the chest than the back. A negotiator who rewards loyalty. Possibly the best two-first-name president since James Monroe. President Al Oliver.
No, you can't have those five minutes of your life back.
We all know the real answer will come in 2056, when President Posey saves us all from the firey comet. Until we get the chance to live that, I'm going with President Al Oliver. One of our greatest Americans.