Sunday, February 18, 2018

2018-02-12 Dodgers Cycles

Q.        Whose election as MLB Rookie of the Year was not warmly celebrated by some individuals, and even whole teams, in each league?
Hint:     The uniform number he chose was the transposition of a well-known uniform number.
Hint:     His resulting number became the better known.  Now all MLB players and many coaches wear it on their uniforms on U.S. income tax reporting deadline day.
Hint:     A major movie celebrating his life, used those digits as its title, eschewing any text there.
Hint:     Not many know that he excelled in golf, tennis and swimming scholastically.
-  1947 MLB ROY voting  (Baseball historian Phil Wood tells us that the Dodgers assigned him No. 42.   He didn’t choose it. Phil also said top players used to receive much lower uniform numbers, suggesting maybe the equipment folks might have been slighting him.)
-  42., reversing 24, worn by Willie Mays.  On 15-Apr, every year, for one day, all uniforms in the majors bear the number “42”, honoring the day of Robinson’s debut major league game.
-  42, starring Chadwick Bosman was released by Warner Brothers in 2013.
FCR -  Doug Greenwald, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Ichiro Suzuki, Thurman Munson

Q.        Who was the last National League batter to lead the league in strikeouts with fewer than 100? (150 G minimum)
Hint:     He was the first Los Angeles Dodger to win a Gold Glove.
Hint:     He was the first 20th-century player to collect 17 total bases in a single game.
A.         GIL HODGES  [SABR Bio]

-  99 K 1951
-  GG @ 1st 1958
-  17 TB 31-Aug-1950.  Shawn Green holds the current record at 19.
FCR -  Jeff Kallman, Las Vegas
Incorrect guesses:  Ron Cey, Maury Wills, Charlie Neal, Duke Snider, Shawn Greene, Tommy Davis, Vince DiMaggio, Wally Moon, Jackie Robinson

Q.        Who passed his father’s four-year career home run total in the 43rd game of his rookie year?
Hint:     That home run was the first of 10 he hit in 10 straight games.
Hint:     He set a record for reaching 21 home runs faster than anyone in MLB history.
Hint:     His sister played college volleyball and his brother pitched last year in the Padres’ minor league system.
-  Passed his father’s total of 12 with his 13th on 10-Jun-2017.
-  10-20 Jun-2017 = 10 HR
-  On 19-Jun-2017, against NYM, he hit 2 HRs in the first 2 innings.  Those ran his season-long total up to 21 in just 51 games. For good measure, he hit another one the following night.  The previous record was held by Wally Berger, who hit 21 in 55 G in 1930.)
-  Sister Ashli played volleyball at Vanguard University.  Brother Cole was drafted by SDP, 3rd in the 15th round June 2017.
FCR -  David Krassin, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses:  Rhys Hoskins, Clay Bellinger, Ken Griffey, Jr., Terry Francona

Q.        Who performed the batting scenes as Lou Gehrig in the movie “Pride of the Yankees”?
Hint:     He led the majors in triples in his first year with his second team.  It didn’t help.  They finished last.
Hint:     The year prior, his 77 extra-base hits led the league.  He was also 3rd on his team in WAR.  Neither of those accomplishment could prevent him from being traded.
Hint:     In spite of a career .324 batting average, his votes for the Hall of Fame never rose above 6%.
Hint:     His exposure to Hall-of-Fame levels of play was extensive, having been on teams with Pie Traynor, Honus Wagner, Dan Bancroft, Al Lopez and Leo Durocher and more than two dozen others.
A.         BABE HERMAN..[ SABR Bio]
-  Pride of the Yankees (Look near the bottom under ‘Other crew’)
-  19 3b in 1932 w/CIN who finished 60-94, 30 G out in the NL.
-  Hall of Famers played with include: Wilbert Robinson, Burleigh Grimes, Dazzy Vance, Zach Wheat, Rabbit Maranville, Max Carey, Dave Bancroft, Iron Man McGinnity, Joe Kelley, Ernie Lombardi, Al Lopez, Chick Hafey, Eppa Rixey, Jim Bottomley, Gabby Harnett, Billy Herman, Kiki Cuyler, Arky Vaughan, Paul Waner, Lloyd Waner, Waite Hoyt, Pie Traynor, Hank Greenberg, Charlie Gehringer, Mickey Cochrane, Honus Wagner and Leo Durocher.
FCR -  Joseph Cosgriff, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Lefty O’Doul, Tip O’Neill, Gary Cooper

Q.        Who was the first player to win 5 Gold Gloves in a row for a team in Southern California?
Hint:     He was the anchor of the majors’ first all-switch-hitting infield.
Hint:     He hosted a radio talk show in the mid-1980s.
A.         WES PARKER
-  Won 6 consecutive GG 1967-72, all for LAD.  Willie Mays was the 1st w/5 GG for a team on the West Coast.
-  Infield of Parker, Jim Lefebvre@ 2nd, Maury Wills, @ SS and Junior Gilliam @ 3rd for the 1965 LAD.
-  [Radio reference lost.]
FCR -  Frank Workman, Escondido, California
Incorrect guesses:  Steve Garvey, Ron Fairly, Ozzie Smith, Bill Russell, Maury Wills, Roy Sievers

Q.        Which Pirates outfielder can be seen in the bottom left corner of the Norman Rockwell painting “Bottom of the Sixth”?
Hint:     He was born in a log cabin in rural town originally named “Hixville”.
Hint:     His father, uncle and brother all played in the majors.
A.         DIXIE WALKER  [SABR Bio]
-  Bottom of the Sixth”.  Official sources say that this figure is Danny Murtaugh.  Many doubt this, including me.  Murtaugh wasn’t that svelte even then.
-  B. 24-Sep-1910 in Villa Rica, Georgia.
-  Father was also called Dixie
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect guesses:  Lloyd Waner, Danny Murtaugh, Barry Bonds, Ralph Kiner, Johnny Hopp, Harry Walker, Honus Wagner

Q.        What four-time Gold Glove South Carolinian began his professional career in Medicine Hat?
Hint:     He was once traded for a World Series MVP.
Hint:     He founded the C.A.T.C.H., which provides resources and a support system for youth coping with autism.
-  33rd Round; 1998 Medicine Hat [Alberta] Blue Jays
-  Traded for Troy Glaus 27-Dec-2005 (other players were involved)
FCR -  Rick Tharp, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Milt Pappas

Q.        Who was the first pitcher to earn more than a single save in a season in the major league American Association?
Hint:     He had led the league the year before as well, but alas… ‘twas not a plural number.
Hint:     The year he led the league with 19 triples (as a batter), he was tied with no fewer than five (5!) other players.  His league-leading home run total in a different year was only tied by 2 others.
Hint:     Playing for the team we now call the Dodgers, in their first year in the National League, he collected more than 120 RBI in fewer than 120 games.
Hint:     He ended his major league career in he National League playing under a Hall of Fame player/manager.
-  He had 3 saves in 1885 with the original Baltimore Orioles; only one the year prior.
-  He had 19 3b for them in 1887, but was tied in the NL that season by John Kerins, Tom Poorman, Triple Crown winner that year Tip O’Neill, Hall of Famer Bid McPhee and teammate Jumbo Davis.
-  His 13 NL HR in 1890 were matched by Mike Tiernan & Walt Wilmot.
-  In 1890 he had 128 RBI in 119 games for BRO.
-  His last season was 1895 playing for the New York Giants under the under‑appreciated George Davis.
FCR -  Joe Haardt, McLean, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Tony Mullane, Dan Brouthers

Q.        Who was the first 20th-century player to increase his batting average for 8 consecutive seasons?
Hint:     He then proceeded to decrease that same stat in nearly as orderly a fashion.
Hint:     In his career, he played 448 games at third base, 354 in the outfield, 243 at second, 178 at shortstop and 49 at first base.
Hint:     His brother also played more than a decade in the majors.
Hint:     They were the first brothers to oppose each other in a modern World Series.
Hint:     All five of his managers in the majors are now in the Hall of Fame.
-  BA   1914.... .228           1922... .319
           1916.... .252           1923... .325
           1917.... .270           1924... .298
           1918.... .280992     1925... .297
           1919.... .281481     1926... .238
           1920.... .291           1927... .246 w/BSN
           1921.... .325           1927... .232 w/NYG

-  Doc Johnson 1909, 1912-16, 1918-22
-  Faced each other in the 1920 WS, won by Doc’s Indians.
-  Hugh Duffy managed him in 1911; then Hank O'Day in 1914; Wilbert Robinson in his Brooklyn days; Dave Bancroft in Boston and John McGraw in New York..
FCR -  Joe Haardt, McLean, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Ken Boyer, Dave Stapleton, Doc Johnston, Dane Iorg, Guy Hecker

WEEKLY THEME – Dodgers who hit for the cycle.

Dodgers Hitting For The Cycle

Player  Date

Wes Parker............ 07-May-1970
Gil Hodges............. 25-Jun-1949
         ".................... 24-Jul-1931

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeMark Decker, Hudson, Iowa (after Bellinger)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Players featured in The Boys of Summer

Wed        -  First basemen for the Dodgers in their World Series appearances.
               -  Dodgers

Sunday, February 11, 2018

2018-02-05 World Series MVP winners who were also named "Sports Illustrated" Sportsman of the Year

Q.        Who was the first left-handed pitcher to win a Cy Young Award for a team on the west coast?
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award a second time.
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in consecutive seasons.
Hint:     For all that, he never won a Cy Young Award representing his league.
A.         SANDY KOUFAX  [SABR Bio]
-  CYA 1963, 65, 66 for LAD
-  All three were for all MLB, not for either league.  CYA by league began the after he retired.
FCR -  Dennis Cullen, Durham
Incorrect guesses:  Mike McCormick

Q.        What pitcher surpassed Don Drysdale’s record for consecutive scoreless innings?
Hint:     His canid nickname seems at odds with his gregarious personality.
Hint:     He once plunked four (4!) batters in the space of two innings.
-  59 consecutive scoreless innings
-  “Bulldog”
-  4 HBP’s in innings 1 & 2 on 19-Apr-2000, Hershiser’s final season
FCR -  Morris Buenemann, Florissant, Missouri
Incorrect guesses:  Clayton Kershaw, Bob Gibson, Dock Ellis

Q.        What coach is credited with transforming Minnesota Twins’ pitcher Frank Viola from someone with a 11-25 record in his first two seasons into an All-Star, a World Series MVP and a Cy Young Award winner?
Hint:     He (not Viola) had his best professional year after spending a whole season in the military:  Led the league in ERA and WHIP and led the majors in Shutouts and ERA+.
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to throw a shutout at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in a regular-season game.
Hint:     Perhaps no player’s name has better aligned with the moniker of his last team.
A.         JOHNNY PODRES  [SABR Bio]
-  1957 ERA = 2.66;
            WHIP = 1.082;
            ShO = 6; and
            ERA+ = 155
-  ShO at the Coliseum 04-Jun-1958
-  Podres pitched for the Padres.  Their first year was his last year.
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses:  Ron Perranoski, Dick Donovan, Sad Sam Jones

Q.        Who was the first major league pitcher to strike out 300 batters in a season in both leagues?
Hint:     He was dubbed the next great strikeout artist after Nolan Ryan by… Nolan Ryan.
Hint:     He was the first Houston Astros pitcher to throw shutouts in his first four consecutive starts at home.
Hint:     He was the only Seattle Mariner pitcher to win 20 games in a single season in the 20th century.
Hint:     He allowed the first regular-season home run in major league history in the month of March.
A.         RANDY JOHNSON  [SABR Bio]
-  308 K for SEA in 1993; 364 K for ARI in 1999.  4 additional seasons of 300+ Ks.
-  Ryan quote from a 1993 TV interview
- 4 shutouts:
            ~ 07-Aug-1998
            ~ 12-Aug-1998
            ~ 28-Aug-1998
            ~ 07-Sep-1998
      All four were thrown in Houston in front of an average crowd of 43,946, nearly 15,000 above the average attendance without him starting.  In his 5th and final home start in an Astros uniform, he gave up 2 runs in 7 innings 12-Sep.  His average ERA for those starts was 0.51.
-  20-4 in 1997 for SEA; Jamie Moyer is the only other pitcher in Mariner history with 20-win seasons. He had 2.
- Frank Thomas homered off Johnson 31-Mar-1996 in Seattle.
FCR -  Charlie Fouche, Dalton, Georgia
Incorrect guesses:  Jim Bunning, J.R. Richard, Mark Langston, Mike Scott

Q.        What former Spartan is the only pitcher in major league history to hit two home runs on Opening Day?
Hint:     He owns the current major league record for the most RBI by a pitcher.
Hint:     His World Series career ERA leads all comers.  He also leads in career win-loss %, hits per 9 innings pitched and walks & hits per 9 innings pitched in world Series play. (20 innings minimum)
Hint:     During his senior year in high school, his father built a wall around their home bullpen pitching mound so that scouts and other observers would not distract him as he warmed up.
-  Led the South Caldwell High (NC) Spartans to the 2007 North Carolina State Title.  His 2 OD HR were on 02-Apr-2017 against ARI.
   -  His career WS ERA is 0.25.  The single run he gave up was a home run surrendered to the next year’s WS MVP, Salvador Perez, in the 1st G of the 2014 WS.
-  54 career RBI (also leads w/17 HR)
-  His father Kevin also build the home Bumgarner grew up in.
FCR -  Judah Kaplan, Teaneck, New Jersey
Incorrect guesses:  Derek Lowe, Red Ruffing, Robin Roberts, Christy Mathewson, Bob Welch, Bob Gibson, John Smoltz, Bob Lemon, Babe Ruth, Larry Sherry

Q.        What former Astro has the record for the most strikeouts a season by a 20th-century National League righty?
Hint:     No other native of his home state has even played in as many as half the years he logged in the majors.
Hint:     No pitcher has struck out 25 or more batters in a single World Series since he last did it.
Hint:     Interpreted one way, he’s as light as a 20th of a pound.
-  319 K in 1997 w/PHI
-  26 K in the 2001 WS
-  English /- (shillings) are 20 to a £
FCR -  Judah Kaplan, Teaneck, New Jersey
Incorrect guesses:  Nolan Ryan, J.R. Richard, Mike Scott, Billy Wagner

Q.        Who was the first player to collect 25 RBI in a season at age 45 or older in the modern era?
Hint:     He was the oldest player in MLB history to lead his league in hits.
Hint:     It was the 7th time he had led his league in hits.
Hint:     Leading the league was something of a specialty of his: 
He led the league in…   games played 5 times;
                              in…   plate appearances 7 times;
                              in…   at-bats 4 times;
                              in…   runs scored 4 times;
                              in…   doubles 5 times; and
                              in…   batting average thrice.
Hint:     Mickey Mantle gave him his nickname.  Or possibly Whitey Ford did.
A.         PETE ROSE  [SABR Bio]
-  25 RBI in 1986 @ age 45
-  140 H @ age 40 in work stoppage-shortened 1981
-  His player stat page is dotted with bold numbers.
-  In a 1963 spring training game with CIN playing NYY, he attempted to catch a Mantle HR that was 50 feet over his head.  Seeing this completely pointless effort, Mantle turned to a Ford (or Ford to Mantle) and mockingly commented, “Did you see ‘Charlie Hustle’ out there?”  Various versions of the story differ.
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Las Vegas
Incorrect guesses:  Carlton Fisk, Paul Molitor, Julio Franco

Q.        About whom did Hall of Fame pitcher Don Sutton say, “I never saw anything like it.  He doesn't just hit pitchers, he takes away their dignity.”
Hint:     In one 3-year period in the middle of his 21-season career, he finished 2nd, 3rd and 2nd in MVP voting.  He played in the same league his whole career.
Hint:     An All-Star teammate of his once said, “"If [he] asked us to jump off the (… Bridge), we would ask him what kind of dive he wanted.  That's how much respect we have for the man.”
Hint:     His great-grandfather had been a slave.  His great-grandmother was Seminole Indian.  His unusual first name was an amalgamation of his father’s first name and his mother’s maiden name.
Hint:     In a rare moment of focus on himself, he once said, “I'm proud of the fact that I'm the only player to hit a ball completely out of Dodger Stadium.”
-  Stargell took Sutton deep 7 times in his career.
-  Finished behind Joe Torre in 1971 when PIT won the pennant; behind Hall of Famers Johnny Bench and Billy Williams the next year and then nearly overtook Pete Rose in Rose’s only MVP season.  He received NL MVP votes in 8 additional seasons including finally winning the award in 1979.
-  It was teammate Al Oliver talking about the Fort Pitt Bridge and his and his fellow teammates feelings about Stargell.
-  “I was bred as an outcast, part Negro and part Seminole, in my early years raised as an Indian.”
-  Dodger Stadium blast 05-Aug-1969 off Alan Foster.  Not the last home run ever to be hit out of Dodger Stadium, but it was the first and is still the longest, a jaw-dropping 506 feet.  There was no flirting with any part of the playing field nor any bouncing off the top of any bleachers.  It cleared every part of the stadium and then part of the parking lot.  Four years later, he became the second batter to do it.  It’s been done since by Mike Piazza, Mark McGwire and Giancarlo Stanton.
FCR -  Vince Guerrieri, Elyria, Ohio
Incorrect guesses:  Reggie Jackson

Q.        Behind whom did Ernie Banks, Gene Conley and Hank Aaron finish for Rookie of the Year in 1954?
Hint:     In 1961, he was the last player to hit an inside-the-park home run in the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Hint:     Three months later, he was to score the last run ever there.
Hint:     To make room for him as a promising rookie, the Cardinals traded away a future Hall of Fame outfielder.
Hint:     Teammate Stan Musial helped him adjust his swing just before his trade to the Dodgers.
Hint:     The trade paid dividends as he was a significant contributor in the Dodgers the first-ever pennant on the west coast.
A.         WALLY MOON  (LA Times obit) [SABR Bio]
-  IPHR off Robin Roberts 10-Jun-1961 in the 4th inning.  For added flavor, he took Roberts over the wall in the 6th.
-  Last run 20-Sep-1961, 13th inning.  Only 12,000 in attendance.
-  On 11-Apr-1954, STL traded Enos Slaughter to NYY for Emil Tellinger (minors), Bill Virdon and Mel Wright.  Moon debuted on Opening Day, two days later.
-  1959 LAD.  They beat CHW in the highest attendance World Series ever, in 6 G.
FCR -  Michael Campos, Redmond, Washington
Incorrect guesses:  Wally Post, Roy Campanella

WEEKLY THEME – National League players who won the World Series MVP and were named the Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year” in the same season.

1955    Podres
1965    Koufax
1975    Rose
1979    Stargell
1988    Hershiser
2001    Schilling
2001    Johnson
2014    Bumgarner

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeBill Deane, Cooperstown

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Dodger Cy Young Award winners

Wed        -  Dodgers that won the World Series MVP
               -  Dodger World Series MVP's with 2 complete game victories and ERA, of under 2.00 for the series.
               -  NL pitchers who were WS MVP with at least one complete game and an era under 2.00 for the Series.
               -  Pitchers with two World Series CG shutouts and a World Series MVP.
               -  World Series MVP pitchers for National league teams.
               -  1) World Series MVP pitchers or 2) Pitchers named Sportsman of the Year by SI
               -  World Series MVPs who were the winning pitcher in the last game.

Thu         -  NL pitchers who won a World Series MVP
               -  World Series MVP's
               -  NL pitchers who have won the World Series MVP

Fri           -  Modern strikeout kings
               -  Starting pitchers who had great performances in the last game of a WS
               -  Pitchers who won the WS MVP
               -  National League pitchers who were World Series MVP
               -  Pitchers for NL West teams at one time, who were All-Star selections multiple times.
               -  World Series pitching -- going 2-0 with an ERA of one or better

Sun         -  WS MVPS who helped break 2+ game AL winning streaks