Sunday, March 18, 2018

2018-03-12 Panamanian natives who became All-Stars


Q.        Four American League players have strung together 4 or more batting titles.  It’s been done by Nap Lajoie, Ty Cobb and Wade Boggs.  Who is the 4th?
Hint:     He retired 4 days after he turned 40.
Hint:     Since World War II only Tony Gwynn, George Brett and Ted Williams have had higher single-season batting averages than he did in his MVP year.
Hint:     He, however, had 50+ hits more that year than any of those three had in their big seasons.
Hint:     He is the only player to triple twice in a single All-Star Game.
A.         ROD CAREW  [SABR Bio]
-  Won batting titles 1972-75 (Also won in 1969, 77 & 78)
   Lajoie 1901-04; Ty Cobb 1911-15; & Boggs 1985-88
-  Last game 05-Oct-1985; turned 40 01-Oct-1985
-  Hit .387987 in1977.  Gwynn hit .394 in 1994; Brett hit .390 in 1980; and Williams hit .3885 in 1957
-  Carew had 239 hits, Gwynn 165, Brett 175 & Williams 163
-  Two 3b in 1978 ASG, both off 1st-year Giants’ ace Vida Blue
FCR -  Jeff Cohen, Wantagh, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Tony Oliva, Ted Williams, Harry Heilman, Alex Rodriguez, Paul Molitor, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Ichiro Suzuki, George Sisler

Q.        Whose Spanish nickname was “The Horse”?
Hint:     He was the only 20th century player to homer in his first major league at-bat for the Chicago White Sox?
Hint:     In his second season in the majors, he and four teammate each scored 100 runs.
Hint:     Two years later, he and four teammates each hit 25 home runs one season.
Hint:     His home town in English makes it seem like he’s from Oklahoma.
Hint:     He won his first Silver Slugger Award the same season he made his first All-Star team.
A.         CARLOS LEE

-  “El Caballo”
-  Debut HR 07-May-1999 off knuckleballer Tom Candiotti
-  100+ R for CHW in 2000 = Ray Durham 121, Frank Thomas 115, Lee 107, Jose Valentin 107, Magglio Ordonez 102
-  Magglio Ordonez (38), Frank Thomas (28), Paul Konerko (27), Carlos Lee (26), Jose Valentin (25) (2002 Chicago White Sox)
-  25+ HR for CHW in
-  From Aguadulce = Sweetwater
-  SS & AS 2005
FCR -  Doug Wilkins, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Magglio Ordonez

Q.        Who played more games at catcher for the Pirates of Pittsburgh than anyone else in history?
Hint:     He was the catcher in the historic line-up where every position was manned by a player of African heritage.
Hint:     He was unable to stop Bob Moose's wild pitch allowing George Foster to score the pennant-clinching run in the bottom of the 9th of game 5 in the 1972 NLCS.
Hint:     He swung a 40-ounce bat compared to the 35-ounce bat of Frank Howard.
-  Reader Richard Giovanoni gives us this additional insight on this otherwise simple answer:  Sanguillen did play more games for the Pirates than either Jason Kendall or George Gibson, but according to my calculations off, played fewer innings as a catcher than either one.
Kendall:       G at C for PIT = 1,205;    Innings at C for PIT =  10,283.2
Gibson:        G at C for PIT = 1,055;    Innings at C for PIT =    9,733.0
Sanguillen    G at C for PIT = 1,038*;   Innings at C for PIT =    8,912.0
 * 1972 shows a one game discrepancy in appearances & fielding games at catcher, included above.
-  All-Black line-up game 01-Sep-1971
Rennie Stennett         2b
Gene Clines               CF
Roberto Clemente     RF
Willie Stargell             LF
Sanguillen                  C
Dave Cash                 3b
Al Oliver                     1b
Jackie Hernandez      SS
Dock Ellis                   P
-  Moose/Foster game = 11-Oct-1972
-  Most major leaguers today use a 32-ounce bat.
FCR -  Jerry Mora, Prescott, Arizona
Incorrect guesses:  Tony Pena, Benito Santiago, Jason Kendall

Q.        Who was the first foreign-born player to lead the American League in home runs for a season?
Hint:     His Hall of Fame manager opined that he could, “…does all five things.  He can hit, run, field, throw and hit for power.”
Hint:     Showing great baseball insight, he once said, “And, personally, I think the author of the platoon system was a guy who couldn’t hit lefthanders.”
Hint:     Some of his nicknames were Spiderman, Banana Man and Philosopher-Home Run King.
Hint:     Some think his swing was the sweetest, most liquid in all of baseball.
A.         BEN OGLIVIE  [SABR Bio]
-  41 HR in 1980, tied w/Reggie Jackson; Born in Colon, Panama
-  Larry Doby managed Ben in the Venezuelan league during the winter of 1972.
-  His lack of playing time early in his career was very frustrating to him.
-  Check him out at the 2:00 minute mark on this video.  (If you find a good video of Oglivie’s swing, please share it.)
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses: Vic Power, Jose Canseco, Tony Armas, Duke Snider, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Harry Davis, John Olerud, Juan Gonzalez

Q.        What pitcher holds the all-time career record for games finished?
Hint:     His first pitching coach was Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm.
Hint:     He is the only player be named the most valuable player of a World Series, a League Championship Series and an All-Star Game.
Hint:     An opposing team once gave him a gift of a chair made from the bats he’d broken.
Hint:     He was the last active major leaguer born in the 1960’s.
-  GF = 952 (Trevor Hoffman next with 856)
-  Wilhelm coached him
-  The Twins gave him the bat chair they had titled “Chair of Broken Dreams”.
-  B. 29-Nov-1969.  Oldest player in the majors in 2013 at 43.
FCR -  Jack Fahey, Oak Forest, Illinois
Incorrect guesses:  Bartolo Colon, Dennis Eckersley, John Smoltz, John Wetteland

Q.        Whose 9th-inning, two-out double ruined Dave Stieb’s perfect game?
Hint:     He set an unusual record when he had the most times reaching base via interference in a single season.
Hint:     He was once caught stealing twice in an inning.
-  Stieb’s G 04-Aug-1989
-  Reached 1st on interference 8 times in 1992.  Jacoby Ellsbury is now the single-season leader, with 12 in 2016.
-  CS X2 = 17-Apr-1990
FCR -  Victor Piacentile, Yorktown Heights, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Julio Franco, Carlos Baerga, Bob Watson, Don Baylor, Wade Boggs

Q.        Who is the only player in history to catch four National League no-hitters?
Hint:     Hearing his nickname might elicit a “Gesundheit”.
Hint:     He’s the last player to qualify for this week’s theme.
A.         CARLOS RUIZ
-  Catcher for no-hitters:
   1.) Roy Halladay's perfect game on 29-May-2010
   2.) Roy Halladay in G 1 2010 NLDS vs. CIN 10-Oct-2010
   3.) On 01-Sep-2014, he was  the catcher when Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles & Jonathan Papelbon combined to no-hit ATL.
   4.) Cole Hamels no-hit CHC on 25-Jul-2015 w/ Ruiz behind the plate.
-  Nickname = “Chooch”
FCR - 
Incorrect guesses:  Ernie Lombardi, Choo Choo Coleman, Alan Ashby, John Roseboro

WEEKLY THEME – Natives of Panama who became All-Stars

Player           City                All-Star years
Carew............. Gatun.............. [18] 1967-84
Rivera............. Panama City... [13] 1997, 1999-2002, 2004-06, 2008-11, 2013
Lee................. Aguadulce......... [3] 2005-07
Oglivie............ Colon................ [3] 1980, 1982-83
Sanguillen...... Colon................ [3] 1971-72, 1975
Kelly............... Panama City..... [2] 1992-93
Ruiz................ David................. [1] 2012

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeJohn Michael Pierobon, Fort Lauderdale (after Lee)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Panamanian players with multiple All-Star game appearances
               -  Players with major coronary problems
               -  Players who wore 29 playing for LA-based teams

Tuesday - Most career hits—Panamanian born
               -  Players born in Panama
               -  Players from Panama and multiple all stars
               -  Panamanian-born players with the most games played in the majors
               -  Players born in Panama, with Multiple All Stars & have over 2,000 hits

Friday     -  Panamanians named to the all Panamanian all-time team.
               -  Career WAR leaders born in Panama

Sunday, March 11, 2018

2018-03-05 Leading pitchers with most games without ever appearing in relief

Q.        Who is the only Atlanta Braves pitcher to win 20 games in consecutive seasons?
Hint:     He was the National League player representative during the longest work stoppage in major league history.
Hint:     He holds the record for surrendering the most consecutive hits in a single All-Star game.     
Hint:     He hold another record he’d rather forget:  Most bases-on-balls given up in a single National League Championship Series.
-  Won 20, 20 & 22 in 1991-93 respectively, in 93 leading the majors.
-  NL player Rep during the 1994-95 strike.
-  As the reigning CYA winner, he started the 1992 All-Star Game in San Diego and after getting leadoff hitter Roberto Alomar to ground out in the first inning, he surrendered 7 consecutive hits (all singles) to:
                                    Wade Boggs
                                    Kirby Puckett
                                    Joe Carter
                                    Mark McGwire
                                    Cal Ripken
                                    Ken Griffey, Jr.    and
                                    Sandy Alomar, Jr.
      He left the inning with the NL coming to bat down 4-0.  I guess it coulda been worse.  Robbie Alomar, feeling left out, singled off Glavine to start the 2nd.  Maddux came on before the end of the 2nd.
-     He walked 11 Marlins in the 1997 NLCS.
FCR -  Jim Casey, Savannah
Incorrect guesses:  Phil Niekro, Greg Maddux, John Smoltz

Q.        Who leads all active pitchers in career complete games?
Hint:     After Dick Donovan did it in 1963, he was the next Cleveland Indians pitcher to collect a pinch hit.
Hint:     As the starting pitcher during a major league day game in Southern California, he once hit a home run that traveled 440 feet.
Hint:     He un-initialized when he went to the Brewers.
-  38 CG  (Bartolo Colon has 37)
-  PH 20-Jun-2003
-  Monster HR 21-Jun-2008 off Chan Ho Park at Dodger Stadium in L.A.
-  Came into the majors as C.C. Sabathia with the initials standing for his birth names, Carston Charles.  During a press conference 07-Jul-2008, he asked that he be known only as “CC”.
FCR -  Tim Luca, San Mateo
Incorrect guesses:  Don Sutton, Bartolo Colon

Q.        Who is the only active pitcher with 4 league strikeout titles?
Hint:     In 3 of those 4, he also led the majors.
Hint:     The only player ahead of him in the June amateur draft, debuted in the majors almost eleven years after he did.
Hint:     He is in the Top Ten career WAR for a team he no longer plays for.
Hint:     He is one of a trio of teammates who threw multiple pitches in excess of 100 MPH in the same game, the first time such a feat was ever recorded.
Hint:     He, Nolan Ryan and Roger Clemens are the only American League pitchers ever to strike out 250 or more batters in a season after turning 33 years old.
-  Led the AL in K’s 2009, 2011, 2012 & 2016 w/269, 250, 239 & 254 respectively.  The first 3 also led MLB.
-  Matt Bush, selected #1 overall in the 2004 Draft, debuted 13-May-2016, virtually 11 years after Verlander’s debut on 04-Jul-2005.
-  Is #9 for DET w/career WAR for them of 54.7, just ahead of Hank Greenberg’s 54.1.
-  On the anniversary of his MLB debut, 04-Jul-2006, at McAfee Coliseum in Oakland, he, Joel Zumaya & Fernando Rodney each “went triple digits” more than once.
FCR -  Jess Forrest, Chicago
Incorrect guesses:  Max Scherzer, Walter

Q.        Who was the first 21st-century pitcher to toss a shutout before his 21st birthday?
Hint:     He was the only teenager to play in MLB in 2005.
Hint:     He was the only teenager to make an Opening Day roster in 2006.
Hint:     He was the first 21st-century pitcher to make his major league debut as a starting pitcher before his 20th birthday.
Hint:     Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser is his logical antecedent.
-  ShO = 28-Aug-2006; 21st b’day = 08-Apr-2007
-  Debut 04-Aug-2005.  Debuted as a starting pitcher.
-  “Prince” Hal; “King” Felix
FCR -  David Krassin, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses:  Matt Cain, David Price, Clayton Kershaw

Q.        Who received a franchise-record $4 million signing bonus before being declared eligible for that year’s draft?
Hint:     Together, his brother and he plunked 179 batters in major league games.
Hint:     He led the American League twice in pitching victories.
Hint:     He led the majors once each in Games Started, Strikeouts and WHIP.
Hint:     In addition to his well-celebrated no-hitter, he once took the loss in a combined eight-inning no-hitter.
-  Was taken 12th overall in the 2004 June Draft, but was already a wealthy pro.
-  Brother Jeff had 124 career HBP, Jered added his 55 to the total.
FCR -  Steve Berman, Bergenfield, New Jersey
Incorrect guesses:  Gaylord Perry, Joe Niekro, Jim Perry

Q.        What wily righty was named the Cincinnati Reds Minor League Pitcher of the Year, not once, but two years in a row?
Hint:     In his MLB debut, he was perfect through 5 innings and became the first pitcher to throw 10 strikeouts and 0 walks in his career opener in the Bigs.
Hint:     He was relieved in that game by a veteran pitcher who had played on a World Series championship team 16 years before.
Hint:     He grew up in the most famous small baseball town in the world.
Hint:     His is 0-3 in the postseason pitching for National League teams, where he has spent 95+% of his major league innings.
Hint:     In the partial season he spent in the American League, he managed to pick up a World  Series championship ring.
-  CIN MLPOY 2006-07
-  First game 03-Apr-2008, won 3-2 over ARI.  Relieved in the 8th by David Weathers, a late-season-call-up for the 1992 Blue Jays.
-  Won WS with KCR in 2015.
FCR -  Timothy Kearns, Washington, D.C.
Incorrect guesses:  Tom Seaver, Jake Peavy, Mike Mussina, Don Gullet, Bronson Arroyo

Q.        What U.S. Olympic team hero was the first Brewers’ pitcher to strike out 18 in a game?
Hint:     In his first major league victory, a teammate helped by slamming three homers.
Hint:     He had double-digit wins in 7 of his first 8 major league seasons.
Hint:     Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda attended his wedding.
-  18 K = 16-May-2004
-  1st W = 3 HR by Geoff Jenkins on 28-Apr-2001
-  Wedding story.  Lasorda was his coach on the Olympic team.
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Ben McDonald, James Shields, Zack Greinke, Don Sutton

Q.        What lefty’s decade-long career was spent entirely with the White Sox?
Hint:     His brother, a teammate for 3 seasons once homered to help ice a victory of his.
Hint:     Country singer Blake Shelton officiated at his wedding later that same year.
Hint:     During his career, he had teammates who:
a.)   Have been elected to the Hall of Fame
b.)   Have thrown 2 perfect games
c.)    Was the most hated man in baseball
d.)   Had won the Cy Young Award
e.)   Won the Rookie of the Year Award
f.)     Was starting pitcher in the All-Star Game
-  CHW 2007-2016
-  Brother Jordan Danks on CHW 2012-14.  HR on 25-Aug-2013.
-  Married country artist Ashley Monroe of the Pistol Annies 24-Oct-2013.
-  Teammates
a.)   Have been elected to the Hall of Fame – Jim Thome
b.)   Have thrown 2 perfect games – Mark Buehrle & Philip Humber
c.)    Was the most hated man in baseball – A.J. Pierzynski
d.)   Had won the Cy Young Award – Jake Peavy
e.)   Won the Rookie of the Year Award – Jose Abreu
f.)     Was starting pitcher in the All-Star Game – Chris Sale
FCR -  Tom Kennedy, Houston
Incorrect guesses:  Billy Pierce, Mark Buehrle

Q.        Who was the first Dominican-born pitcher to lead the American League in ERA?
Hint:     He also led in fewest hits per nine innings, WHIP & ERA+.
Hint:     His teammate won the Cy Young Award that season.
Hint:     Three years earlier, he had finished the season with 26 wild pitches, only the second pitcher since 1905 to throw more than 25 in a year.
Hint:     That stat didn’t hurt him as he led the majors in won/loss percentage.
Hint:     His hardware collection includes two World Series Rings.
-  ERA = 2.93 in 1996 led the AL.
-  Teammate Pat Hentgen won the CYA that year.
-  Tony Cloniger threw 27 WP in 1966.  Red Ames of NYG had 30 WP in 1905.
-  W-L% = .824 in 1993.
-  WS w/TOR 1992 & 1993
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect guesses:  Pedro Martinez, Juan Marichal, Luis Tiant, Roberto Hernandez (Fausto Carmona), Orlando Hernandez, Diego Segui, Juan Pizzaro

Q.        Who managed the team that won the first-ever major league championship?
Hint:     A strong two-way player, he was easily the most productive player on that team.
Hint:     As a pitcher, he started 237 career games and finished 227 of them.
Hint:     He was a star pitcher long before the first major league was formed.
Hint:     He was humiliatingly fired right on the diamond, during a game by the team’s directors in spite of a season WAR triple that of any other player and a 49-18 record as manager.
-  Player/manager (more of what we could call a ‘captain’ today) for the 1871 Philadelphia Athletics of the National Association.  With a record of 21-7, they won the pennant by 2.0 games.  They picked up Hall of Famer Cap Anson from Rockford for the next season yet fell to 4th.
-  As early as 1864 he was such a star that he was allowed time off from service in the Civil War to pitch in an important series.
-  Fired in October, he was replaced by Cap Anson who went on to manage more major league victories than anyone else in the 19th century.
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  George Zettlein, Frank Bancroft, Clark Griffith, Al Spalding, Walter Johnson

WEEKLY THEME – Major league pitchers with the most games started without ever appearing in relief.

Glavine........... 682
Sabathia......... 509
Verlander....... 385
Hernandez..... 375
Weaver........... 331
Cueto............. 283
Sheets............ 250
Danks............. 247
Guzman......... 240
McBride.......... 237

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeLarry Hayes, San Francisco

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Pitchers (left-handed?) who have double-digit ERA's for their careers in All-Star games.

Wed        -  Pitchers who have thrown a no hitters in the 21st century.
               -  Starting pitchers who were selected to at least six All-Star games