Sunday, September 17, 2017

2917-009-11 Non-Hall of Fame players with statues outside major league stadiums

Q.        Who was the only qualifying pitcher in either league in the 1950's to end the year with an ERA under 2.00?
Hint:     He won The Sporting News Pitcher of the Year Award twice in the American League in that decade.
Hint:     Carroll Hardy hit his first major league home run off him, pinch-hitting for Roger Maris.
Hint:     His record was 13-0 at home the last time his team won the pennant.
Hint:     It was the only season in his 18-year career he received Cy Young Award votes.
-  ERA was 1.97 in 1955 (Would likely have won the Cy Young Award, but it didn’t exist until 1956, the year after Cy Young died.)
-  Won the award 1956, 57
-  Homered for Maris 18-May-1958
-  Perfect at Candlestick for SFG in 1962.
FCR -  Blake Sherry, Dublin, Ohio
Incorrect guesses:  Bobby Shantz, Roy Face, Early Wynn, Whitey Ford, Bob Feller, Bob Lemon

Q.        Who is the only 20th–century rookie to win his league’s batting title?
Hint:     For good measure, he won it again in his sophomore season.
Hint:     He was the first designated hitter to homer in a major league game.
Hint:     He was the last batter to face Lew Burdette in a major league game.
A.         TONY OLIVA
-  He hit .323 in 1964 in an era that favored pitchers.  He was an All-Star that same year and was one half-hearted vote for Wally Bunker from being a unanimous Rookie of the Year.  Other rookies to win batting titles are Ross Barnes (.429 in 1876), Pete Browning (.378 in 1882), Abner Dalrymple (.354 in 1878) and Ichiro Suzuki (.350 in 2001).
-  Hit .321 in 1965.
-  1st DH HR 06-Apr-1973 off the future Hall of Famer Catfish Hunter
-  He grounded into a double play 16-Jul-1967 as Burdette pitched a single inning in relief.
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Ron Blomberg, Dave Winfield, Al Kaline, Fred Lynn, Rod Carew, Carl Yastrzemski

Q.        Who was the only Milwaukee native to play for the Milwaukee Braves?
Hint:     He was the first former major leaguer to host Saturday Night Live.
Hint:     There is no truth to the rumor that he drives a Chrysler of any kind, but no one said he wasn’t ready for prime time.
A.         BOB UECKER
-  B. 26-Jan-1934 in Milwaukee; played for MLN 1962 & 1963
-  SNL host 13-Oct-1984 Same day as G 4 of the WS
-  Played George Owens on all 118 episodes of the TV sitcom “Mr. Belvedere”.
FCR -  Rick Zucker, St. Louis
Incorrect guesses:  Hank Aaron, Johnny Logan

Q.        Who was the last home run champion to have fewer strikeouts than home runs that season?
Hint:     He was also the first player to hit more than one home run in his first ever World Series game.
Hint:     The year he led the league in hits, he also led in intentional walks.
Hint:     He once quipped, “I’m not sure what the hell charisma is, but I get the feeling it’s Willie Mays.”
-  1954 w/CIN, hit 49 HR & struck out 35 times
-  2 HR G 1 in the 1959 WS 01-Oct-1959
-  1955:  192 H, 25 IBB
-  In Klu’s greatest season, 1954, Mays beat him out for NL MVP, though he finished a strong 2nd place in the voting.
FCR -  Richard Walker, Arlington Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Barry Bonds, Johnny Mize, Yogi Berra, Albert Pujols, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, Andruw Jones, Orlando Cepeda

Q.        Who joins Hall of Famer Al Kaline as the only players to hit 375+ home runs in their careers, yet never hit more than 29 home runs in any one season?
Hint:     No other lefty has hit more career home runs or drawn more intentional bases-on-balls in the history of his 117-year-old franchise.
Hint:     …and he played for 4 other teams during his 22-year career!
Hint:     The only time he reached the World Series, his team was swept.
Hint:     He was originally scouted at age 12 by the legendary Bill Veeck.   
-  Baines - 384 career HR, season high, 29 HR in 1984.  Kaline - 399 career HR, 29 HR’s in 1962 & 1966
-  Among CHW lefties, 1st in HR & w/187 IBB
-  Played for OAK in 1990 who were swept by CIN in 1990 WS
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas
Incorrect guesses:  Ted Kluszewski, Jim Edmonds, Eddie Murray, Vada Pinson, Eddie Murray, Jim Thome, Carl Yastrzemski, Stan Musial, Curtis Granderson, Harmon Killebrew, Larry Doby

Q.        Who was the first second baseman to win six Gold Glove awards?
Hint:     As it turns out, they were also consecutive.  Then, after a 3-year hiatus, he won two more.
Hint:     He was history’s first-ever American League Championship Series Most Valuable Player.
Hint:     He hit for the cycle the same year that his Hall of Fame teammate did.
A.         FRANK WHITE
GG’s – 1977-82, 1986-87
-  Cycle 26-Sep-1979; George Brett’s cycle 28-May-1979
FCR -  Kellin Neilson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect guesses:  Roberto Alomar, Mark Belanger, Bobby Grich, Davey Johnson, Ryne Sandberg, Bobby Richardson, Rod Carew, Robinson Cano, Carlos Baerga, Lou Whitaker, Bill Mazeroski, Nellie Fox

Q.        What former Blue Jay's apparent 300th career home run bounced off a speaker in the Kingdome, resulting instead in a lofty single?
Hint:     He had hit a home run in Briggs Stadium at age 16 as part of an all-city high school game.
Hint:     In his second major league at-bat, he homered off a future Hall of Famer.
Hint:     He was a left-handed batter until age 10, when his father changed him to right-handed in Little League.
-  Homer nixed 05Jun-1979.  The following day was his personal D-Day, when he got his 300th off future Blue Jay Jack Morris.  Horton had played 33 G for TOR in 1978.
-  A star slugger at Northwestern High School in Detroit, Horton hit a home run at Briggs Stadium (which would become Tiger Stadium the next year) in the city championship game in 1960, earning him the nickname “Willie the Wonder.”
-  Second at-bat in his 3rd G, he pinch-hit a HR off the BAL’s Robin Roberts.
-  His father, Clinton Horton, had moved the family from Arno, VA to Detroit when Willie was five years old.  Willie was the youngest of 14 children.
FCR -  David Bender, Washington, DC
Incorrect guesses:  Carlos Delgado, Prince Fielder, Joe Carter

Q.        Who broke Hall of Famer Eppa Rixey’s franchise record for most games pitched for the Cincinnati Reds?
Hint:     He is still in the team’s Top 10 all-time for Games Started, Shutouts, Batters Faced and Innings Pitched.
Hint:     His debut game in the majors did not presage a long career:  10 batters faced with only 2 retired, a wild pitch, 5 earned runs for a debut day ERA of 67.50.
Hint:     So unseemly was that start that he didn’t pitch again in the majors for another 8 years, but eventually made the National League All-Star team—twice.
Hint:     When he passed away ten years ago, his services were attended by 6,000 people.
A.         JOE NUXHALL
-     Rixey ended w/440 G for CIN in 1933.  Nuxhall’s 484 stood for 10 years and is still the top spot for left-handers.
-     274 GS = 9th; 20 ShO = 10th; 9,204 BF = 6th; IP 2,169⅓ = 6th.
-     Debut 10-Jun-1944 at the tender age of 15, facing an STL that included 5 All‑Stars two batting champions including the immortal Stan Musial.
-     All-Star in 1955 & 1956
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guess:  Jim Maloney

Q.        Who was the first Minneapolis native to play more than one season for the Twins?
Hint:     He was their first Minnesota Twin with a $1 Million-a-year salary.
Hint:     He homered 8 times in his first month of April in the majors.
Hint:     He is remembered for a bit of chicanery when he shoved a base runner off the bag and then tagged him out.
A.         KENT HRBEK
-  B. 21-May-1960 in Minneapolis.  Played for MIN his whole career, 1981-94.
-  Made $5.5 Million over 5 seasons, 1985-89.
-  8 HR 06-25-Apr-1982.
-  Pushed Ron Gant off of 1B & tagged him out in G 2 of the 1991 WS.
FCR -  Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect guesses:  Kirby Puckett, Ron Herbel, Chuck Knoblauch, Paul Molitor, Bob Allison, Tom Brunansky, Tony Oliva

Q.        Who holds the nearly unbreakable record for most times leading his league in being hit-by-pitch?
Hint:     He was the first native of his country to collect an RBI in an All-Star game.
Hint:     He set a record with two teammates by being three on the same team when receiving their first Gold Glove Award.
Hint:     He had his first 20/20 season with the Padres.
-  HBP AL leader 1951-54, 1956-1961 = 10X; Frankie Crosetti & Don Baylor led 8 X each; Ron Hunt & Frank Robinson did it 7 X each.
-  Native of Cuba; ASG RBI 1953, 9th inning
-  GG with Nellie Fox & Sherm Lollar in 1957, the first year the award was given
-  20 HR + 30 SB in 1950 for the San Diego Padres of the Pacific Coast League
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Ron Hunt, Craig Biggio, Roberto Alomar

Q.        Who is the first manager fired after his team won 103 games that season?
Hint:     He lost out on being the Rookie of the Year by the slimmest of margins.
Hint:     As a player, he led the league in sacrifice hits the same season he let in plate appearances.
Hint:     He was found to have a brain tumor two days after guiding his team to a victory in the All-Star game?
A.         DICK HOWSER
1980 NYY 103-59.  Gene Michael was the general manager of that team.
-  Had 6 1st-place votes to Don Schwall’s 7.
-  736 PA and 16 SH in 1964 to lead the AL, playing for CLE
FCR -  Arieh Siegal, Austin (from Facebook)
Incorrect guess:  Art Howe, Fred Hutchinson, Jim Fregosi, Yogi Berra

WEEKLY THEME – The non-Hall of Fame players whose statue likenesses adorn major league stadiums.  [Click each for photo of statue.]

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – [Null set]

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Players on the Golden Era ballot
               -  Players who received HOF votes but fell short in the 2014 Golden Era election

Wed        -  World Series participants during 10 years 1958-1967
               -  They all have their number retired (except Uecker who has 50 for his years in baseball) and have a statue
               -  None of them won an MVP or CY Young and have a statue

Friday     -  Players who made their first impact while still in high school

Sat          -  Arguably, the worst players with statues outside their home ballparks
               -  Everyone made their MLB debut before age 21
               -  All worked for teams honoring them with statues after playing careers were over
               -  All have baseball diamonds named after them
               -  World Series rings with the teams that gave them statues
               -  All statues were made/introduced after 2000.
               -  These are the most recent players given statues by their teams

Sunday, September 10, 2017

2017-09-04 No-hitters by pitchers whose last name begins with "P"

This week’s theme and questions were submitted by reader John Michael Pierobon from Fort Lauderdale.

Q.        Whose wife, Carole, disappeared in 1982 after leaving the couple's home in the Chicago suburb of Wheaton?
Hint:     He made his major league debut with the Baltimore Orioles.
Hint:     In his career, he hit 20 home runs as a pitcher.
Hint:     He twice lead the American League in wild pitches thrown.
Hint:     BRTR
A.         MILT PAPPAS
-  Debut - 10-Aug-1957 (He pitched two scoreless innings vs. NYY.)
HR log, including a game where he went deep twice while throwing a complete-game shutout – 27-Aug-1961
-  Led the AL in WP in 1959 & 1960 w/14 & 10 respectively, the former also leading the majors.
-  Batted Right; Threw Right
FCR -  Eric Stone, Los Gatos, California
Incorrect answers:  Hoyt Wilhelm, Joe Altobelli,, Early Wynn, Chuck Estrada, Bob Turley, Ralph Terry

Q.        Who holds the Baltimore Orioles franchise record for career pitching wins?
Hint:     He became the youngest pitcher to win a complete World Series game.
Hint:     Of the 303 home runs he surrendered in his 19-year, one-team career, not one was a grand slam.
Hint:     He still provides cogent, trenchant commentary behind the mic.
A.         JIM PALMER
G 2, 1966 WS at Dodger Stadium, becoming the youngest pitcher (20 years, 11 months) to win a complete WS G, defeating LAD 6-0.
-  Color man for BAL broadcasts on the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN)
FCR -  Naftali Greenwood, Kiryat, Arba, Israel
Incorrect answers: 

Q. Who pitched consecutive shutouts for his first two games in the majors the same month that Stark Trek debuted on NBC?
Hint:     The bad news? He didn’t get a single for the BBWAA Rookie of the Year Award. The good news? He did win the Sporting News Rookie Pitcher of the Year Award for his league the following year.
Hint:     He was also credited with a win in a shutout performance in the World Series.
Hint:     He has a solar surname.
A.         TOM PHOEBUS  Bio
-  Debut G: 15-Sep-1966; 2nd G 20-Sep-1966Star Trek’s first episode was "The Man Trap", airing at 8:30 PM on 08-Sep-1966.
-  He was given the 1967 Sporting_News_Rookie_of_the_Year_Award
-  Won the 2nd game of the 1970 WS, 11-Oct.
-  Phoebus is a Greek sobriquet for Apollo, god of the sun.  [Why NASA’s moonshot was called “Apollo” still baffles me.  ~ dbb]
FCR -  Bill Deane, Cooperstown
Incorrect answers:  Fernando Valenzuela, Sonny Siebert, Jim Palmer, Wally Bunker

Q.        Who is the only major leaguer with a Cy-Young-Award-winning big brother?
Hint:     He made his major league debut with a team that won the pennant that season, but he was not placed on the postseason roster, even though his rookie baseball card had been issued that same season.   
Hint:     He is mentioned in the hit song “Talkin' Baseball”.
Hint:     He hit his first career home run within minutes of Apollo 11 landing on the moon, as foretold by the oracle.
Brother: Jim Perry 1970 AL CYA, 3 years older.  Gaylord had 2 CYA’s of his own.
-  First Topps rookie card: 1962.  Actual rookie card:  1963.
Terry Cashman’s 1981 hit “Talkin’ Baseball
- An urban baseball legend boldly states that his first manager, Alvin Dark, holding forth on Perry’s offensive skills, pronounced, “There’ll be a man on the moon before he hits a homer in the majors.”  Perry’s first home run came 7 years into his 22-year career on 20-Jul-1969, not long after the stadium announcer had told the crowd that Neil Armstrong had taken his historic step.  The story is so good that it practically doesn’t matter whether it’s true.
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect answers:  Phil Niekro, Jim Perry, Greg Maddux, Bret Saberhagen, Vance Law, Blue Moon Odom, Joe Niekro

Q.        Who was the architect of the Yankee dynasty that operated un Joe Torre?
Hint:     He was the third “M” the only time Yankees batters hit home runs back‑to‑back‑to‑back by players whose last names began with M.
Hint:     He had the privilege (sic) of managing the Yankees when George Steinbrenner owned the team.  Twice!
Hint:     His nickname was derived from his slender frame and certainly not by anything he did with his bat.
Hint:     These are some of the draft picks he was responsible for:  Derek Jeter, Fred McGriff, Mike Lowell, Mike Pagliarulo, among many others.
Hint:     These are some of the players he successfully obtained in trade:  Charlie Hayes, Jim Abbott, Paul O’Neill, David Cone, among many others.
Hint:     Here are some of the free agents he signed: Bob Watson, Dave Winfield, Jimmy Key and Pettitte, among many others.
Hint:     In his playing days, he was a known master of the hidden ball trick.
-  GM of NYY 1980–81, 1991–95
-  Batting behind Bobby Murcer and Thurman Munson, Michael hit the 3rd-in-a-row home run off Lew Krause of the Oakland A’s to open the bottom of the 6th inning on 10-Aug-1969.  It was Munson’s first career HR and the only one he hit that year.  Michael had 2, but none as famous as this one.
-  NYY Mgr under “The Boss” for the 1st 56 G of the 1st ½ of 1981 the 1st 26 G of the 2nd ½ of 1981 and the middle 86 G of 1982.
   -  Just enough meat on those bones.  Official programs listed him at 6’3” and 183 lbs.
FCR -  Jim Lovelace, Kent, Ohio
Incorrect answers:  Billy Martin, Gil McDougald

Q.        Who changed a certain impertinent foul pole into a pesky one just by renaming it?
Hint:     He is listed at least 17 times in the top pitching statistical categories for his franchise.
Hint:     He never played for any other team in the majors, but did manage for that franchise in the minors at three different levels.
Hint:     The year he led the majors in win and compete games and led his league in ERA, innings pitched and batters faced, he didn’t receive a single Cy Young Award vote, although it got him on his first All-Star team.
Hint:     He too is mentioned in the hit song “Talkin' Baseball”.
A.         MEL PARNELL
-  Parnell’s managerial record (scroll down)
-  Had his best year 1949.  Cy Young Award first awarded in 1956.
FCR -  John Burbridge, Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania
Incorrect answers:  Johnny Pesky, Boo Ferris, Bob Feller, Dizzy Dean, Terry Cashman

Q.        Which former Cal pitcher was the first to throw a no-hitter in Yankee Stadium?
Hint:     He won exactly 100 regular-season major league games in his career.
Hint:     He was also 4-0 in postseason play.
Hint:     He surrendered Mel Ott’s 400th career home run.
-  No-no 27-Aug-1938.  Attended the University of California in Berkeley 1926-28.
-  Won WS in 1936, 37, 38 & 39 w/NYY winning the 4th, 3rd, 3rd & 2nd G respectively.
Ott’s 400th 01-Jun-1941
FCR -  Bob Flynn, Chandler, Arizona
Incorrect answers:  Walter Johnson, George Mogridge, Eddie Lopat, Tex Carleton, Allie Reynolds, Bob Feller

Q.        Who struck out Honus Wagner twice in a game while still in high school, Wagner being a 7-year National League veteran coming off a pennant season?
Hint:     He was the starting tackle on a University of Illinois team that went 10-2-1.
Hint:     Seven (7!) additional players from that Illini football team later played major league baseball.
Hint:     He once struck out 29 Negro Leaguers in a 15-inning barnstorming affair, which got him kicked out of college paving the way for his major league career.
Hint:     Although he was a righty, his nickname describes one of his physical characteristics.
Hint:     He was traded away from a team whose dynastic run began the very next season while he joined a staff with four (4!) 20-game losers the year before, the only such team in major league history*.  When he later rejoined his old team, they had begun to slip.
Hint:     He later played briefly for the Tigers.
-     K of Wagner was following the 1903 season.
-  Impressive football season was 1902 , incredibly finishing only 4th in the Western Conference.
-  The additional major leaguers were
Jim Cook (end) and
“Big” Jeff is listed as being 6’1”, 185 lbs.
-  Traded from CHC in December 1905.
-  The woeful 1905 Boston Beaneaters set a high watermark for futility and execrable field management.
-  Their overworked 1905 staff included
Irv Young 20-21,
Vic Willis 12-29,
   *Pfeffer (13-22) helped them repeat that unwanted record in the ’06 season, joining teammates Young 16-25, Vive Lindaman 12-23 & league leader Gus Dorner 8-25.
-  Pfeffer rejoined CHC at the end of 1910 and posted a meager 1-0 record with a little more than 40 innings pitched.  Improbably, that Cubs team had another player who name began with “Pf…”, former NL ERA leader, Jack ‘The Giant Killer’ Pfiester, only 6-3 himself that season.
   -  Player/manager for the Class C Pawtucket Tigers of the Colonial League, although there are researchers’ differences as to which Pfeffer this was.
FCR -  Rick Fink, Edison, New Jersey
Incorrect answers: 

Q.        What pitcher threw a modern record 44 innings in one World Series?
Hint:     He walked three batters and struck out 22 in that Fall Classic.
Hint:     Fans with short baseball memories voted him the greatest right-handed pitcher in the history of that 125+-year-old franchise.
Hint:     SABR says he earned his nickname “…because of his reticent demeanor, his humility and the way he lived his life.”
Hint:     He grew up outside the United States.
1903 WS
-  From age 3 to 17, he lived near Athol in the Dakota Territory.  It wouldn’t become a state until 1889.
FCR -  Phil Ross, Denver
Incorrect answers:  Mariano Rivera, Christy Mathewson, Joe Wood, Madison Bumgarner,

Q.        What hurler had an unusual trifecta in his rookie season with the Milwaukee Brewers: 3 wins, 3 losses and a 3.00 ERA?
Hint:     In a four-year span in the heart of his career, he pitched more innings than any other hurler in his league. Appearing mainly for second-division teams, he averaged 23 wins & 430 innings pitched per season and completed 98% of the games he started.
Hint:     In his last full year in the majors was the league leader in hits allowed, runs allowed, home runs allowed, assists as a pitcher and losses.
Hint:     He became the second pitcher ever to strike out 18 batters in one game.
-  3 X 3 = 1884
-  Four years = 1885-88
-  Last complete season = 1888.
-  18 K = 03-Oct-1884, less than 4 months after the first such feat ever, Dupee Shaw’s gem on 19-Jul.
FCR -  Mark Hayne, Dumfries, Virginia
Incorrect answers: 

WEEKLY THEME – Major league pitchers whose last name starts with “P” who pitched a complete-game no-hitter.

Palmer............. 13-Aug-1969......... OAK BAL 8
Pappas............. 02-Sep-1972.......... CHC 8  SDP 0
Parnell............. 14-Jul-1956........... CHW 0  BOS 4
Pearson........... 27-Aug-1938......... CLENYY 13
Perry............... 17-Sep-1968*......... STL 0 SFG 1
Porter............. 06-Jun-1888......... KCC 4 BAL 0
Pfeffer............. 08-May-1907 ...... CIN 0 BSN 6
Phillippe......... 25-May-1899**..... LOU 7 NYG 0
Phoebus.......... 27-Apr-1968.......... BOS 0 BAL 6

* Bob Gibson was the opposing pitcher.
**Only his 7th career start.

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeSteve Berman, Bergenfield, New Jersey (After Perry)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Guys who won 20 games for Orioles in the 1960s
               -  Orioles pitching staff
               -  Orioles pitchers who pitched an MLB no hitter
               -  Teenagers who have played with the Orioles
               -  All-time Orioles win leaders

Wed        -  Orioles pitchers with 3 straight complete game shutouts
               -  Orioles pitchers who have pitched no hitters.
               -  Orioles right-handed rookie pitchers whose last names all begin with P, and who hit a home run and pitched at least one shutout in their rookie seasons.
               -  60s pitchers who won WS games as teenagers
               -  Most career wins for Orioles by players whose last name starts with P
               -  Baltimore Oriole pitchers who hit under .200 with exactly 1 home run in their first full season
               -  Pitchers who were involved in no-hitters by the Baltimore Orioles/St. Louis Browns franchise.
               -  Authors of no-hitters in the year of the pitcher, 1968

Fri           -  Pitchers whose first names start with P and won 100 or more games

Sun         -  Pitched a no hitter and 3 consecutive shutouts
               -  Pitched complete game after pitching no hitter