All-Valentine Baseball Roster
Manager Bobby Valentine Would Have To Love This Lineup
February the Fourteenth represents love, but not just because it is Valentine's Day. Baseball fans become especially giddy because it is usually the first week when pitchers and catchers report for spring training, either in the Grapefruit League in Florida or in the Cactus League in Arizona.
America's pastime, therefore, has a special connection with the day of love, and it also has had its share of Valentines. Two prominent players have worn that name on the backs of their jerseys, infielder Bobby and outfielder Ellis.
The former spent his entire life in the game, first as a player and later as a manager. The latter was a gifted right fielder for the first Montreal Expos team to reach the postseason, a power hitter who also owned one of the best arms in all of baseball.
Other stars have names associated with that special day, even though they are not Valentines. Here is a lineup of players who have a name representing a symbol of the February Fourteenth holiday.
First Base, Pete Rose
Besides wearing the most popular Valentine flower on his back, the all-time hits leader also had the day of the month (14) right below it.
Second Base, Cupid Childs
Named after the cherub who carries the love arrows, he spent thirteen seasons in Major League Baseball at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. He was obviously a great leadoff hitter, having one year led the N.L. in runs scored. In another season he was tops in doubles, and once he led in on base percentage. Cupid played for five different clubs and averaged thirty stolen bases per year during his career.
Shortstop, Leo Cardenas
Chico was a pretty good offensive player, whether it was in the lineup of the Reds or the Twins, in an era when shortstops usually did not do much with their bats.
Third Base, Jim Ray Hart
A key part of a San Francisco lineup that also featured the likes of Willie McCovey and Willie Mays, you could say that Hart helped pump the blood in the middle for that batting order.
Left Field, Candy Maldenado
From 1981 to 1995 Candy played for seven teams, mostly the Dodgers and the Giants.
Center Field, Jose Cardenal
Cardenal had a lengthy career with numerous teams, contributing to the offense an enviable balance of power and an ability to reach base.
Right Field, Ellis Valentine
Teaming up with Tim Raines in center and Andre Dawson in left, Valentine helped form one of the best trio of outfielders during the late Seventies and early Eighties.
Catcher, Tyler Flowers
Currently with the Atlanta Braves after starting his career with the Chicago White Sox, Flowers remains one of the most respected catchers in the game today.
Starting Pitcher, John Candelaria
The Candy Man was the Cy Young Award runner up in 1977, after winning nine games for the Pirates. Overall he pitched for eight teams in his nineteen seasons, twelve of which he spent for Pittsburgh.
Relief Pitcher, Vince Lovelace
Coming out of the bullpen for three seasons, Lovelace split his career between the Angels and Mariners from 1988 through 1990.