Monday, December 11, 2017

2017-12-04 Donruss #1 cards 1981-89

Q.        Whose fantastic total of 1,590 double plays turned as a shortstop is second only that that of Omar Vizquel?
Hint:     He is, however, second to no one in number of Gold Glove awards won as a shortstop.
Hint:     He remains the only shortstop to win a Gold Glove while playing for the Padres.
A.         OZZIE SMITH
-  Vizquel’s total was 1,734
-  Smith = 13 GG, Vizquel is 2nd w/11
-  GG for SDP 1980, 81
FCR -  Jerry Mora, Prescott, Arizona
Incorrect guesses:  Bill Mazeroski

Q.        Who was the first player to have ten 200-hit seasons?
Hint:     He played for a team in another country to pursue a career goal.
Hint:     He won Rookie of the Year, MVP and multiple Gold Glove awards in the outfield.
A.         PETE ROSE
-  200 H 1965-66, 68-70, 73, 75-77 & 79
-  Reached 4,000 H while with Montreal Expos in 1984
-  1963 NL ROY, 1973 NL MVP, NL OF GG 1969-70
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, VA
Incorrect guesses:  Ichiro, Robin Yount

Q.        Who was the last pitcher to toss at least 20 complete games in a season?
Hint:     He led the league in CG two other times, with 11 and 12.
Hint:     He was considered a good-hitting pitcher but only hit .300 once in his 17-year career.
-  20 CG in 1986
-  11 CG in 1981, 12 CG in 1987 (tied w- Rick Reuschel)
-  .304 in 1990
FCR -  Vince Granieri, Cincinnati, OH
Incorrect guesses:  Bert Blyleven, Steve Carlton, Catfish Hunter, Rick Langford, Mickey Lolich, Phil Niekro, Warren Spahn

Q.        Who struck out the most times as a Brewer?
Hint:     He won MVP as an OF but was not an All-Star that year.
Hint:     It was his second MVP.
A.         ROBIN YOUNT
-  1,350 K’s
-  1989 MVP in OF (he also won MVP in 1982 at SS and was an AS that year)
FCR -  Wayne Strumpfer, Sacramento, CA
Incorrect guesses:  Hank Aaron, Ryan Braun, Cris Carter, Gorman Thomas

Q.        What former Phillie was named 2010 PCL Manager of the Year?
Hint:     Although not known as a third baseman, he was the Cubs’ starting third baseman in-between Ken Reitz and Ron Cey.
Hint:     In his final season, he was the Cubs’ second-ever DH.
Hint:     His nephew was a Devil Ray.
-  2010 PCL MOY for Iowa Cubs
-  Starting 3B in 1982
-  DH 18-Jun-1997
Jared Sandberg played for TBA 2001-03
FCR -  Adam Foldes, New York, NY
Incorrect guesses:  Larry Bowa, Keith Moreland

Q.        Before Clayton Kershaw in 2014, who was the last Dodger to win the National League MVP Award?
Hint:     His brother-in-law was his teammate from 1979-84.
Hint:     He is frequently cited as having provided the greatest moment in Los Angeles sports history.
Hint:     He is the only person to win an American League Championship Series MVP Award and a Manager of the Year Award.
A.         KIRK GIBSON
-  1988 NL MVP
-  Brother-in-law of Dave Rozema
-  1984 ALCS MVP, 2011 NL MOY
FCR -  Phil Hertz, North Bethesda, MD
Incorrect guesses:  Sandy Koufax

Q.        When Charlie Manuel was fired, who did new manager Ryne Sandberg promote to first base coach?
Hint:     He was signed as a player by then-scout Joe Maddon.
Hint:     He batted .370 in the LCS, but .000 in his three career World Series games (8 AB).
Hint:     He replaced Merv Rettenmund as Padres hitting coach in 2007.
-  Promoted to 1B coach in 2013
-  10-27 in LCS (5-11 in 1986 ALCS, 5-16 in 1998 NLCS), 0-8 in 1998 WS
-  Replaced Rettenmund 31-Jul-2007
FCR -  Damian Begley, New York, NY
Incorrect guesses: 

Q.        Who was the only player ever traded for frequent free agent T.J. Mathews?
Hint:     He was drafted by the Expos in 1981 as a pitcher but did not sign.
Hint:     He was a top-10 pick three years later, as an infielder.
Hint:     He earned $60,000 in his first major league season, 11 million in his last.
A.         MARK McGWIRE
-  Traded for Mathews, Eric Ludwick & Blake Stein 31-Jul-1997
-  Expos’ 8th-round pick, 199th overall
-  A’s 1st-round pick, 10th overall
FCR -  Timothy Kearns, Washington, DC
Incorrect guesses:  Phil Nevin, Tim Wakefield

Q.        Who holds the record for most RBI during a game in which one player accounted for ALL of a team’s RBI?
Hint:     He was the only player other than Wade Boggs to lead the AL in IBB between 1987 and 1992.
Hint:     He tied Boggs in 1988.
Hint:     His nephew was a 1B/OF for the Braves from 2013-15.
-  9 RBI on 02-Sep-1996
-  18 IBB in 1988
-  Uncle of Joey Terdoslavich
FCR -  Rich Klein, Plano, TX
Incorrect guesses:  Fred McGriff

WEEKLY THEME – Donruss card #1 in each set 1981-89

1981       Smith
1982       Rose
1983       Valenzuela
1984       Yount
1985       Sandberg
1986       Gibson
1987       Joyner
1988       McGwire
1989       Greenwell

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme –  ¯\_()_/¯

Incorrect theme guesses:

Thursday   -     Top 10 middle infielders in terms of WAR during the post-expansion era
               -  “A partial list of players who irritated me as a Cardinals fan.”
Sunday   -  Rookies in 1987
               -  All-Star first basemen during the 1980s

Questions archived here:

Monday, December 4, 2017

2017-11-27 Hall of Famers who gave up career home runs to Babe Ruth


Q.        Who is the only New York Yankee pitcher with 4 consecutive twenty-win seasons?
Hint:     No pitcher has collected more career RBI as a batter.
Hint:     He once led the majors in games lost and led the league in complete games in the same season with 25 each.
Hint:     The nickname came from his hair color, but his family called him Charley and his wife called him Charles.
A.         RED RUFFING  [SABR Bio]
-  Won 20, 20, 21, 21 in 1936-39.  His NYY team won the WS each year.
-  1928 w/BOS was 10-25 + 25 CG (Also led AL w/125 ER.)
-  273 career RBI
-  Full given name:  Charles Herbert Ruffing.  He signed some autographs “Chas. ‘Red’ Ruffing.”
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect guesses:  Carl Mays, Red Barber, Bob Shawkey, Red Rolfe, Ted Ruffing, Reed Ruffing, Red Ruffin, Jim Thorpe

Q.        Who took Christy Mathewson's place on the Giants-White Sox world tour following the 1913 season only to discover that he had forgot his passport after the teams were already at sea?
Hint:     In his only World Series, his outstanding performance on the mound was overshadowed by his attempting to steal 3rd base in game 2 then finding a teammate already there.  And no, he never played for Brooklyn,
Hint:     He and a teammate each pitched for same franchise for 20 seasons, 11 of which overlapped.
A.         RED FABER  [SABR Bio]
-  Bottom of the 5th of G 2 of the 1917 WS , Faber tried for 3rd base and was thrown out.  He was the winning pitcher in 3 G in that WS with a 2.33 ERA.  It was the last WS championship for the city of Chicago until the Sox won the 2005 WS.  The Dodgers come to mind here because of Babe Herman.
-  Hall of Fame teammate Ted Lyons pitched for Pale Hose 1923-42 &1946.  Faber’s years were 1914-33.  They were teammates 1923-33.
FCR -  Michael McCroskey, Sugar Land, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Jim Thorpe

Q.        Who is the only pitcher to win the National League Most Valuable Player Award more than once?
Hint:     He finished in top 10 in MVP voting an additional three times.
Hint:     His 45 consecutive scoreless innings pitched is a record for leftys.
Hint:     He was the first to no-hit the Pirates after the Deadball Era.
-  NL MVP 1933 & 1936
-  No-hitter v. PIT 08-may-1929
FCR -  Thomas Ostertag, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Walter Huntsinger, Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn, Hal Newhouser, Bob Gibson, Dazzy Vance

Q.        Who was the only pitcher to win 300 games between WWI and WWII?
Hint:     He was the first American League pitcher to collect a strikeout in an All-Star game.
Hint:     As a minor league player, he was once sold for an outfield fence.
A.         LEFTY GROVE  [SABR Bio]
-  Won exactly 300
-  Correction:  Grove’s K was the 2nd as Lefty Gomez has stuck out Dick Bartell in the 2nd inning of the same game.  Grove WAS the first to strikeout a player who would become a Hall of Famer, though.  Grove K’ed Gabby Hartnett in the 7th.  All this activity was in the first-ever All-Star game, held in Chicago in 1933.
-  In 1920, Jack Dunn, owner of the AA Baltimore Orioles arranged to buy Grove’s services from D-league Martinsburg for an amount that secured the building of the outfield fence for Martinsburg since they had begun the season playing all their games on the road, lacking, you know… a fence.
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect guesses:  Grover Cleveland Alexander, Lefty Gomez

Q.        Who was the first Hall of Famer born in Kansas?
Hint:     He won more games in a ten-year span that any other pitcher in the modern era.
Hint:     His career total of 159 extra-base hits is the most ever by a pitcher.
-  B. 06-Nov-1887 in Humboldt, Kansas
-  According to Bill James, Johnson won 265 G 1910-1919.
-  159 EBH = 24 HR, 41 3B, 94 2B
FCR -  Charley Riordan, Chevy Chase, Maryland
Incorrect guesses: 

Q.        Which Hall of Famer appeared in vaudeville plays and was a mortician during the off season?
Hint:     His grades suffered so much from his other extracurriculars that he was not allowed to play baseball for his high school.
Hint:     He stopped Ken Williams’ hitting streak at 28, but allowed George Sisler to extend his streak to 24 in the same game.
Hint:     In a game at the end of his sophomore year, he pitched 9 perfect innings on before losing the game in the 10th.
A.         WAITE HOYT  [SABR Bio]
Erasmus Hall High School.  He later got his grades up and made the team.
-  Streaks game:  25-Aug-1922
-  Lost no-hitter 24-Sep-1919 [Question and answers under review]
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas
Incorrect guesses:  Rube Marquard, Bobo Newsome, Ernie Shore, Cap Anson, Smoky Joe Wood

Q.        What pitcher had his starts exactly on exactly six days rest the “golden years” of his career?
Hint:     World War II ended his career, or so everyone thought.  He made a post-war attempt at a comeback, and actually did start 5 games for his old team with an ERA under 4.00, but with a less-than-stellar 1-4 winning record.
Hint:     In his last full season, after 10 years of being in the running, he final led the league in ERA and would have led the majors had Mort Cooper not posted a fantastic 1.78 for the Cards.
Hint:     He never stuck out more than 75 batters in a season, in spite of a Hall of Famer career winning over 250 games.
A.         TED LYONS  [SABR Bio]
-  Lyons was started every Sunday for the last 5 years of his career, going 52-34 in those games.
-  Had an ERA of 2.10 in 1942 at age 42, and became the first 40-year-old to win a league ERA title.
-  Career wins 260-230.  Highest K year was 1933 when he struck out 74 while leading the league in losses.
FCR -  Madison MacEntire, Bryant, Arkansas
Incorrect guesses:  Johnny Beazley

Q.        Which Hall of Fame hurler tried to heal his arm trouble by using bee-sting therapy?
Hint:     In a game near to the beginning of his major league career, Connie Mack chose him as the Opening Day starter.  He responded by pitching a 1-hitter where exactly 2 runners reached first.  Both would become Hall of Famers.
Hint:     He raised thoroughbreds and hosted fox hunts in his hometown.  I guess that chivalrous enough.
A.         HERB PENNOCK  [SABR Bio]
-  In 1928 he developed a sore arm, which he attempted to cure through "bee sting therapy" meaning he would expose his arm to a swarm of bees.  His arm swelled painfully, showing no improvement.  He later told reporters, "All I can say is that nature intended self-respecting bees to spend their time getting honey out of flowers and not go drilling into a pitcher's arm."
-  Baserunners on 14-Apr-1915 were Tris Speaker w/a 1st inning 2-out BB & Harry Hooper who had the only hit in the 9th inning:  a 2-out single on a slow roller to second.
-  Born and raised in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, less than an hour from Shibe Park, he built chrysanthemum greenhouses on his Kennett Square property, and collected antique furniture.  He also he never swore nor drank, all of which gave him an aura of royalty.  His nickname, The Squire of Kennett Square, summed up his persona.  Posthumously, he was more often referred to as The Knight of Kennett Square.
FCR -  Save Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect guesses:  Chief Bender

Q.        What Hall of Fame pitcher claimed he once had pitched seven innings without throwing a ball; every pitch was either hit, missed, or called a strike.
Hint:     Hey, *I* am in no position to contradict him!
Hint:     After George Sisler had broken Ty Cobb’s record for the most hits in a season, this pitcher gave up Sisler’s next hit, his 250th.
Hint:     He played on the first ever major league team with 9 eventual Hall of Famers he among them.
Hint:     His brother was nicknamed “The Giant Killer”.
-  He never said when this fantastic stretch of innings was.
-  Sisler’s 250th 29-Sep-1920.  Cobb’s record was 248 in 1911.
-  Brother Harry was Nicknamed "The Giant Killer" for his prowess against NYG during the final few games of 1908.
FCR -  David Reed, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Harry Coveleski, Dizzy Dean, Herb Pennock

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Fame pitchers who gave up career home runs to Babe Ruth.


First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Yankee pitchers who won the opening game of a World Series that the Yankees eventually won  

Tuesday -  Players nicknamed Red
               -  Players with Christmas colors in nickname
               -  HOF pitchers that were/are red-heads
               -  Hall of Famers who played for franchises in Chicago and Boston
               -  Players with Red or any color in their nickname.
               -  Players nicknamed Red

Wed        -  Pitchers that pitched & won two games the opening game & the clinching game
               -  250-Game winners who played their entire career with one team
               -  200 plus game winners who lived to be in their 80’s

Thu         -  200 plus game winners who led their leagues in ERA

Sun         -  HOF pitchers whose careers who won all their Gs between WWI & WWII
               -  Top 7 pitchers of shutouts from the beginning of the ‘live’ ball era to WW II
               -  Is it Hall of Fame starters with the lowest winning percentages
               -  HOF pitchers who were the first from their respective states inducted into Hall.
               -  Hall of Fame pitchers between the world wars.
               -  Hall of Fame pitchers from the 1920s who won at least 200 games

Monday, November 27, 2017

2017-11-20 Living former All-Stars who have reached the age of 91


Q.        Who suffered through a broken finger, pleurisy as well as bruised ribs during the 1958 season, just a year before sitting out the 1959 season on the DL?
Hint:     In fairness, he did play 5 games in ’59, but lost part of a lung that year in a battle with tuberculosis.
Hint:     He suffered a severe eye injury in the Civilian Conservation Corps prior to WWII.
Hint:     He was discharged from the US Army in 1945 due to a shoulder injury and severe eye problems.
Hint:     After 3 seasons in the minors, he played 19 years in the majors and was a major league manager for another 14 years beyond that.
-He also coached in the majors for an additional 18 years not included in the seasons mentioned above.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Ralph Houk, Don Zimmer

TUESDAY (Not included in this week’s theme)
Q.        Before the advent of Mike Trout, who was said to be the finest athlete ever to come out of a New Jersey high school?
Hint:     An early turning point for him was when he took the money meant for the purchase of a saxophone and used it to but a baseball glove.
Hint:     He once answered an opposing player’s grand slam in the top of an inning by hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the same inning.
A.         MONTE IRVIN  [SABR Bio]
- Irvin earned 16 varsity letters in four sports at Orange High School in Orange, Jew Jersey.
- Double GS, 6th inning 18-May-1950; first GS hit by the CubsRube Walker
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect answers:  Joe Medwick, Larry Doby, Joe Charboneau, Goose Goslin, Willie Wilson, Todd Frazier

Q.        Who was the first National League pitcher to win the Cy Young Award with an ERA over 3.00 that season?
Hint:     All other pitchers, in either league, who received CYA votes that year, had lower ERAs.
Hint:     He hit 12 home runs the year he played in Japan.
- ERA of 3.06 in 1956 playing for BRO, /10.0 votes for the first CYA ever awarded.
- Only one CYA given for both leagues until 1967.
- Others receiving votes were Sal Maglie ERA 2.89  for BRO* [4.0 votes]; Whitey Ford 2.47 ERA [1.0 vote]; and Warren Spahn ERA 2.78 [1.0 vote]
*Began the year w/CLE, pitching a total of 5 innings over 2 games for them
FCR -  Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Bob Gibson, Jim Lonborg, Vern Law, Early Wynn, Pete Vukovich, Brandon Webb, LaMarr Hoyt

Q.        Who is the only player to win the GG award with 4 different teams?
Hint:     Before Vida Blue in 1971, he was the last left-handed pitcher to have a 20-win season for the A's.
Hint:     He is tied with Willie Mays for a record that can never be broken.
Hint:     His brother once replaced Yogi Berra.
A.         BOBBY SHANTZ  [SABR Bio]
- GG for NYY (1957-60); PIT (1961); HOU (1962) & STL (1963)
- 24-7 in 1952 for PHA
- Only he and Mays won GGs in each of the first 8 years the award was offered (1957-63).  Mays won 5 more (1964-68).
- Billy Shantz was put in at C in place of Berra 29-Jun-1960 in the top of the 9th.  It was his last appearance in the majors and he caught Jim Coates for exactly 4 batters.
FCR -  Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Bob Welch, Billy Pierce, Joe Torre

Q         Who is the only Pittsburgh Pirate to hit for the cycle twice since Ralph Kiner was a rookie?
Hint:     When John Olerud hit for the cycle a second time, he broke this player's record for the fewest triples of any player who hit for the cycle twice in a career.
Hint:     Maybe rain sooner?  He homered off Spahn and Sain a total of 7 times.
Hint:     Reminiscing about his career, he once told a biographer, “I’m the first white player who ever got hit by a pitch from a black player.  Everyone kind of hesitated when he hit me, there was almost like a hush. It was like, what’s gonna happen next?”
- Westlake had 33 career triples; Olerud had 13*.
- HBP anecdote told to Ed Attanasio in This Great Game:  “But nothing happened and the game went on.  It didn’t matter to me one way or another,” added Westlake.  [P was Dan Bankhead, MLB’s first black pitcher.  G was 26‑Aug-1947, Bankhead’s MLB debut and his only game that year.]
*Both triples in Olerud’s cycles were the only triples he had in each of those seasons.
FCR -  Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Dick Groat, Hank Sauer, Gus Bell, Ted Kluszewski, Ralph Kiner, Frank Thomas, Joe Garagiola, Danny Murtaugh, Bob Skinner, Dick Stuart

Q.        Who was the first White Sox player to hit a home run over the right field grandstand in Comiskey Park?
Hint:     He hit it off a Hall of Fame pitcher.
Hint:     Yet in high school, he turned down a scholarship to play football for the University of Texas.
Hint:     Ted Williams declared that he “…was the most underrated and best clutch hitter I ever played against.”
Hint:     George Steinbrenner offered him the position of General Manager of the Yankees.  He did not accept, not wanting to uproot his family.
- Off Bob Lemon
- Steinbrenner offer came in 1982, shortly after Robinson’ s 5 years as GM of the Texas Rangers.
FCR -  Rick Tharp, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Ted Kluszewski, Greg Luzinski, Luke Appling, Frank Thomas

Q.        When Joe Torre hit into 4 double plays in one game, whose National League record did he break?
Hint:     He was the Dodgers third baseman when their home stadium moved from Ebbets Field to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum?
Hint:     He shared an unusual first name with a legendary automobile pioneer.
Hint:     He was born in the same city where, just over a decade later, one of the greatest third basemen of all time would be born.
Hint:     He and two teammates once won a game dramatically with three consecutive home runs.
- 3 GIDP 15-Aug-1953 for CHC; Torre’s 4 GIDP 21-Jul-1975
- First name Ransom like Ransom Eli Olds, founder of the Oldsmobile.
- Played for BRO 1956-57 and for LAD in 1958
- Born in Little Rock, Arkansas 10-Feb-1926.  Brooks Robinson was born there too, 12 years later on 18-May-1937.
- 3 HR 29-Jun-1956
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect answers:  Gil Hodges, Junior Gilliam, Don Hoak, Pee Wee Reese, Dick Groat

Q.        Who was named California Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year in 1942, playing for Pasadena High School for starring in basketball and baseball?
Hint:     He briefly played professional basketball with George Mikan.
Hint:     At the time of his selection to his only MLB All-Star team, he was leading the American League, hitting .366.
Hint:     He was the third base coach for a team that won consecutive division championships in each of the 4 seasons he coached there.
A.         IRV NOREN  [SABR Bio]
- Pasadena High School has additional notable alumni, e.g., George Patton, Howard Hawkes, Jerry Tarkanian, Michael Cooper, Bob Eubanks, Eddie Van Halen and Stan Smith.
- He played for the National Basketball League’s Chicago American Gears in 1946-47.  Scored exactly 1 point before following wise advice to focus on baseball.  Jackie Robinson and George Crowe also played in that league.
- All-Star in the 1954 G.  He replaced Ted Williams in LF in the 9th, but did not get to bat.
- Coached the Oakland A’s 1971-74.  (They won a 5th the following season without him.) Coached the Cubs in 1975.
FCR -  Anthony Zydlewski, Virginia Beach
Incorrect answers:  Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Junior Gilliam, Dave Ricketts, Bobby Doerr, Monte Irvin

WEEKLY THEME – Living former All-Stars who are now at least 91 years old

Player                   Born                All-Star years
Doerr................. 07-Apr-1918........ 1941, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51
Irvin................... 25-Feb-1919....... 1952
Westlake........... 08-Nov-1920....... 1951
Robinson........... 15-Dec-1920....... 1949, 51, 52, 53
Schoendienst.... 02-Feb-1923....... 1946, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54,55, 57
Noren................ 29-Nov-1924....... 1954
Shantz............... 26-Sep-1925....... 1951, 52, 57
Jackson............. 10-Feb-1926....... 1954, 55
Newcombe........ 14-Jun-1926....... 1949, 50, 51, 55                                    

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme –  ¯\_( ” )_/¯

Incorrect theme guesses:

Friday     -  Oldest living players to appear in a World Series

Sat          -  Oldest living all stars

Sunday   -  Oldest living former All-Star players now that Bobby Doerr has passed
               -  Living players over 90 who played at least 10 years in the major leagues
               -  All-Star players who also coached and scouted AND who served in the U.S. military