Pardon a baseball observation: Back in the 1980s when I acquired the Baseball Encyclopedia, I was struck by the fact that Hank Aaron, who was then the all-time home run king, also happened to be first alphabetically in the volume’s comprehensive list of the records of all the men who have ever played in the major leagues. What a wonderful happenstance—all the more so as he barely beat out his younger brother Tommy, who had a career total of 13 home runs. (Good thing their parents named him Tommy instead of Alvin.)
Well, as I was watching the Nationals lose (alas) to the Atlanta Braves last night, I realized that journeyman Braves reliever David Aardsma has displaced Aaron in the first position all-time alphabetically. (Update: Aardsma earned this distinction way back in 2004, as he reminds me via Twitter.) I will take some consolation in the fact, though, that if the next edition of the Baseball Encylopedia (if, that is, there will ever be a next edition—I gather that the most recent dates from 1996) continues to list position players separately from, and prior to, pitchers, Hank Aaron will still be at the top.