On episode 1,164 (sheesh) of the excellent baseball podcast Effectively Wild, hosts Ben Lindbergh and Jeff Sullivan answered a listener's e-mail about popular as well as valuable first names throughout the history of Major League Baseball. Yes, the stove is cold. Nevertheless, I'm one of the weirdos who finds this stuff to be interesting and Lindbergh's research uncovered that "Bill" and "John" are the two most popular names, while "Mike" was third but the most valuable on a WAR-per-name basis. Schmidt, Piazza, Mussina, Trout, et al,...sounds about right.
The Cardinals have been around longer than any person currently walking this earth has been alive so sure enough they've had plenty of Bills, Johns, and Mikes suit up in their exquisite uniform. You can probably rattle a few off of the top of your head right now. To put a concrete number on it, and piggy-backing off of Effectively Wild, I did a search using the Baseball Reference Play Index and found the totals to be as follows (the search also included Michael, William, and Jonathan):
1. John - 62
2. Mike - 59
3. Bill - 54
The most valuable Cardinal John by bWAR was Johnny Mize (39.0). Mike Mowrey (10.2) wears the crown for Mike (10.2). And the organization's first African-American player, Bill White (28.1), leads all of the Bills.
Totaling all of them up by WAR (for strictly batting), this is how it stands:
1. John - 58.0
2. Bill - 40.8
3. Mike - 38.2
The most valuable name throughout Cardinals history, however, is Stan, at a grand total of 127.8 WAR. Way to go, Stan Royer.
That's all. Please proceed with your weekend.