Originally written on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 6/11/12

Last week, while I was writing a chapter on Bernie Williams for Marc Normandin and Sky Kalkman’s Hall of Very Good book, I typed “Bernie Williams” into Baseball-Reference approximately 87 times. Each of those times, this is what I saw:

If I were smarter, I would have started typing in “Bernabe Williams,” or even just left the damn tab open for five seconds. But instead, I kept pulling up the page and searching the same thing. And each time, I was taken to that page and had to click again to get to the one I wanted. That’s a lot of extra clicks.

The Bernie Williams who played from 1970-74 was an actual major leaguer. Not a very good one, but a major leaguer nonetheless. Someone, somewhere, could conceivably decide to search for his player page. But even if bootleg Bernie Williams had been a career minor leaguer, or a player in the independent leagues, or a draftee who never played professionally, B-Ref still would have shown me both results as if they were equally likely to be the one I was looking for. Unless you want to pretend bootleg Bernie Williams and every other off-brand baseball player never existed, that’s how it has to be.

So, inspired by bootleg Bernie Williams, here are five other players who’ve cost a lot of people a lot of clicks:

This is the kind of Mickey Mantle you can buy on Canal Street. He looks just like the real thing at first, and then you get him home and take a closer look, and you realize, “Aw, man, it’s Mickey E. Mantle. No wonder he was so cheap.”

Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves at third base, where he retired with a .971 fielding percentage, at the time the highest ever. Bootleg Brooks Robinson played nine games at third base, where he made two errors in 22 chances for a .909 fielding percentage. After at least one of those errors, someone undoubtedly said, “He doesn’t exactly look like Brooks Robinson over there” and wore a self-satisfied smirk for the next three innings.

This Ty Cobb was almost certainly named after the one you know, the noted nice guy and top-notch namesake material who played for the Tigers. If he wasn’t, it was quite a coincidence, since he even had the same middle name. That’s where the similarities ended, though, since Tupelo Ty Cobb couldn’t hit. He passed away at age 36, eight years before his namesake, who was 29 when he was born. The original was even better at being alive.

When fans of the unsanctioned Say Hey Kid talk about “the Catch,” they don’t have to specify which one. It was the only one he ever made.

Bootleg Ernie Banks hates doubleheaders. He had to play in both ends of one on September 5, 2008 for the low-A Jamestown Jammers, and he hasn’t been seen in the minors since.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Bills suspend assistant coach for first six games of 2015

Trent Richardson has 50-50 chance at making Raiders roster

Rex Ryan takes subtle jabs at Jets' upper management

Everett Golson responds to Paul Finebaum's criticism

Mark Sanchez says it ‘crazy’ to call Chip Kelly racist


Malcolm Butler daring Brady to throw his way in practice

Geno Smith confident worst is behind him and the Jets

Ronda Rousey knocks out Bethe Correia in 34 seconds

Von Miller earns dismissal from NFL’s drug program

Ian Kennedy watches birth of daughter on FaceTime before start

Matt Williams wants Bryce Harper to stop getting ejected

WATCH: Dez Bryant throws punches at training camp

There's no need for Notre Dame to join a conference

WATCH: Benches clear during Royals-Blue Jays game

Jim Harbaugh gives Nicki Minaj a shoutout on Twitter

The Kardashian sisters still call Caitlyn Jenner 'Bruce'

Tennessee fan recreates Neyland Stadium in backyard

Lolo Jones: I could last at least a minute against Rousey

Bears have very strict rules for media during training camp

Jamaal Charles: I feel like I'm the LeBron James of football

Ronda Rousey: I'll fight Cyborg if she stops taking steroids

Danny Garcia beats Paulie Malignaggi, remains undefeated

Bobby Wagner, Seahawks agree to contract extension

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Notre Dame doesn't need a conference

Rex takes jabs at Jets' management

Sanchez: It's 'crazy' to call Chip racist

Ronda Rousey calls out Cyborg

Five most underrated players in the NFL

Five potential NFL salary cap casualties this preseason

Winners and losers of the 2015 MLB trade deadline

Pirates do Pirates at deadline: Neat little moves

Mets acquire Cespedes from Tigers

Ranking the NFL’s 32 head coaches

Five worst baseball trades since 2000

Examining the state of the NFL

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker