Can I Connect Any 2 MLB Players From History?

As you may know, I possess a bizarre amount of useless baseball history knowledge. Ever since receiving a gigantic Encyclopedia of Baseball for my 10th birthday in 1992, I have been memorizing statistics, records, and standings. I always want someone to try quizzing me but to no avail. So today, I will quiz myself.

Baseball-Reference.com has a frivolous feature called Oracle of Baseball where you enter any two player names ever and it will connect a chain of common teammates. Today, I will attempt to wow you with my baseball knowledge.

I am choosing two players completely at random and will try to talk my way through connecting the two, before checking my answer online.

Marlon Byrd, current Phillies outfielder
&
Kevin Tapani, former Twins pitcher from early 90s

Let’s see…

Tapani pitched with the Twins through about 1995 when he was teammates with a very young Eddie Guardado.

Guardado came back to the Twins in 2008 when he was teammates with Justin Morneau.

Morneau and Byrd played together in Pittsburgh last season.

I think that’s accurate.

According to baseball-reference.com, yes, my way is accurate.

But there is a much shorter connection…

Wow, they were both teammates with the ageless wonder, LaTroy Hawkins! Tapani on the ’95 Twins, Byrd on the ’13 Mets.

How about another one? Glad you asked!

I’ll try 80s power-hitter Ben Oglivie and current White Sox lefty Chris Sale.

Oglivie was with the ’82 Brewers, where he was teammates with Paul Molitor. Molitor played on the ’97 Twins with Brad Radke, who was on the ’06 Twins with Jesse Crain. Crain was teammates with Sale in Chicago.

…And, the results?

Wow, I was damn close! Oglivie played with Paul Molitor, who I am surprised to learn played with AJ Pierzynski on the ’98 Twins, who was Sale’s catcher in Chicago as recently as 2011.

Got any more for me? Think I can be stumped?

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