Sunday, April 15, 2018

2018-04-09 Hall of Famers who played in the Federal League

MONDAY (Not related to this week’s theme.)
Q.        Five major leaguers have career totals of 400 home runs, 3,000 hits and 600 doubles.  Who is the only switch-hitter on that list?
A.         None of the above.  Trick question.  [Beltran is the switch-hitter, not Beltre.]
Player                        HR          H           2b
1 Hank Aaron            755       3,771      624
2 Stan Musial             475       3,630      725
3 Adrian Beltre           462       3,059      618
4 Carl Yastrzemski    452       3,419      646
5 Cal Ripken              431       3,184      603
FCR -  Ken Auerbach, Bonita Springs, Florida
Incorrect guesses:  Eddie Murray, Pete Rose, Mickey Mantle, Chipper Jones

Q.        Who is the only 300 game winner who never played minor league ball?
Hint:     Until his total was passed by Warren Spahn, he was the winningest lefty of all time, a span of 62 years.
Hint:     He was a decent docent.
A.         EDDIE PLANK  [SABR Bio]
-  He was recruited directly out of college by Connie Mack.
-  With his 198th victory on 28-Jul-1909, Plank passed Jesse Tannehill.  On 29‑Sep‑1962, Plank was passed by Warren Spahn, when Spahn won his 327th.  Spahn has more win than any other left-handed pitcher in history and is not likely to lose that status any time soon.
-  Plank often took teammates and visiting team members on tours of the Gettysburg battlefield, very close to where he grew up.  He has descendants who still live in the area.
FCR -  Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller, Hoss Radbourn, Herb Pennock

Q.        History’s winningest manager said he would use which pitcher he had just one game to win?
Hint:     He was often asked to be the 3rd-base coach between starts because he was so adept as stealing the other team’s signs.
Hint:     For almost a half century, he was the only player born in his home state elected to the Hall of Fame.
A.         CHIEF BENDER  [SABR Bio]
-  Connie Mack is the source of the quote.  Won 3,371 game in his 53 years as a manager.
-  Born in Minnesota.  Elected to the Hall in 1953.  Next was Dave Winfield in 2001.
FCR -  Matt Dicker, Chicago
Incorrect guesses:  Connie Mack, Christy Mathewson, Dazzy Vance, Walter Johnson, Pete Alexander, Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, George Earnshaw

Q.        Who did “Baseball” magazine consider the 2nd-best shortstop of the Deadball Era, behind only Honus Wagner?
Hint:     He once threatened to kill a teammate with a pair of the trainer's shears during a clubhouse argument.
Hint:     His twin sister passed away when they were quite young.
Hint:     The Indians sold him to the Senators for $200.
A.         JOE TINKER  [SABR Bio]
-  Magazine quote, “Admit that he (Wagner) is in a class by himself, a most obvious statement, and then state what is equally obvious, that the head of the shortstop department outside the Flying Dutchman clearly belongs to the Chicago star.” By writer F.C. Lane
-  Third-baseman Harry Steinfeldt was the object of Tinker’s aggression.
-  The Great Falls Indians sold Tinker to the Helena Senators, also in the Montana State League, later in the 1900 season because of their dire financial position.
FCR -  Andrew Distler, New York city
Incorrect guesses:  Roger Peckinpaugh, Bobby Wallace, Georges McBride, Ray Chapman, Johnny Evers

Q.        Which Hall of Famer was left-handed, but learned how to throw with his right due to the scarcity of mitts for left-hand throwers?
Hint:     A chronic complainer, there is only one know picture of him smiling.
Hint:     He a short, thick-handled bat that weighed 48 ounces, one of the heaviest ever in baseball.  For comparison, Tony Gwynn used a bat that weighed 32 ounces.
Hint:     He is the only player in the Hall of Fame who had a twin brother.
A.         EDD ROUSH  [SABR Bio]
-  Smiling in Spring Training with the Reds.  See how overjoyed he is to become a Hall of Famer
FCR -  Bill Deane, Cooperstown
Incorrect guesses:  Earl Averill, Luke Appling, Ty Cobb, Rick Ferrell, Paul Waner, Johnny Evers, Ping Bodie

Q.        What Hall of Famer’s name is due to not where he was born, but when.
Hint:     He always gave 60%.
Hint:     He and a mound opponent once each threw 1-hitters in the same memorable game.
Hint:     The last player he ever hit with a pitch was yesterday’s answer.
-  Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown, born 19-Oct-1876
-  Brown & Lefty Leifield both tossed 1-hitters 4Jul-1906.
-  HBP Edd Roush in a highly-touted game on 04-Sep-1916 in a loss to Christy Mathewson and the Reds at Weeghman Park, Chicago.
FCR -  Walter Cherniak, Woodbine, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Pete Alexander, Smoky Joe Wood, Early Wynn, Dazzy Vance

Q.        Who is the only manager to lead two different National League teams to World Series titles?
Hint:     His daughter says he was very self-conscious about his bald head and cleverly hid it like this:  When catching and going after a pop‑up, he always managed to flip off his mask without removing his cap.
Hint:     In is best offensive season, he had 9 more stolen bases than RBI.
Hint:     And only 2 fewer sacrifice hits.
A.         BILL McKECHNIE  [SABR Bio]
-  Won WS w/1925 PIT (3 Hall of Famers) and the 1940 WS w/CIN (1 Hall of Famer), but lost the 1928 WS w/STL (6 Hall of Famers + 3 more who appeared 9 or more times on the HOF ballot in addition to 5 more with at least one appearance—that team was loaded!)
-  In 1914, he stole 47 bases, had 38 RBI and led the FL w/36 SH.
FCR -  Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Nap Lajoie, Leo Durocher, Wilbert Robinson

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Famers who played in the Federal League

Bender          1915 Baltimore Terrapins

Brown           1914 St. Louis Terriers;
                       1914 Brooklyn Tip-Tops; &
                       1915 Chicago Whales

                       1915 Newark Peppers

Plank             1915 St. Louis Terriers

Roush           1914 Indianapolis Hoosiers; &
                       1915 Newark Peppers

Tinker            1914 Chicago Chi-Feds; &
                       1915 Chicago Whales

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRichard Giovanoni, Morton Grove, Illinois (after the Roush question)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Wed        -  Hall of Famers who played for Connie Mack

Thursday-  Hall of Famers with twins, who never played for the twins.

Monday, April 9, 2018

2018-04-02 Eight players from the original HOF ballot in 1936 who never got elected to the Hall

Q.        Who has the highest career batting average for a player who never won an annual league batting title?
Hint:     Babe Ruth said, “[He] was the most natural & graceful hitter who ever lived!”
Hint:     His first 1,000 major league at-bats resulted in 389 base hits.
Hint:     He nicknamed his bat “Black Betsy”.
A.         JOE JACKSON  [SABR Bio]
-  He said, "What a hell of a league this is.  I hit .387, .408 and .395 the last 3 years and I ain't won nothin' yet!"  He might have won in 1910 but didn’t have enough at-bats to qualify.  In 1911 & 1912 he was outhit by Ty Cobb who hit .409 and .420 respectively.  His career average is .356, comfortably 3rd all-time.
-  Ruth copied his batting style and his nickname for his bat.
FCR -  Richard Marston, Newport Beach, California
Incorrect guesses:  Ted Williams, Lou Gehrig, Joe Sewell, Lefty O'Doul, George Sisler

Q.        Who led his league’s first basemen in errors seven times, but was considered during his career to be the best-fielding first baseman ever?
Hint:     He is the only BRTL batter to win a major league batting title.
Hint:     He was the first American League player to hit three triples in one game for a New York team.
Hint:     He was banned from the majors for life by Judge Landis for peripheral involvement in the Black Sox scandal.
A.         HAL CHASE[SABR Bio]
-  BA = .339 in 1916 for CIN
-  3b X 3 = 30-Aug-1906 for
FCR -  Rick Gross, Miami
Incorrect guesses:  Keith Hernandez, Hal Prince, Bill Terry, Chick Gandil, Jimmy Sheckard, Gene Paulette, Joe Gedeon, George Sisler

Q.        Who was the starting catcher for the great Chicago Cubs teams of the early 20th century?
Hint:     One of his famous battery mates called him, “…one of the greatest catchers who ever wore a mask”.
Hint:     He won the world pocket billiard championship during one off-season, choosing to retire from baseball to pursue a career as a pool shark.
Hint:     He was the first major leaguer to record hits in 12 consecutive plate appearances.
A.         JOHNNY KLING  [SABR Bio]
-  Averaged 109 games behind the plate for seven straight years, 1902-08.
-  Quote from a grateful Ed Reulbach who won nearly 60 games in just over 3 seasons with Kling behind the plate.
-  Quit to play pool in the 1908-09 off-season.  Returned a year later to play four more seasons in the majors.
-  12 straight H in 1902, though his accomplishment was not uncovered until 2009.
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Gabby Hartnett, Roger Bresnahan, Jimmy Archer, Jimmie Wilson, Pat Moran

Q.        Who was buck naked in a bathtub when he was strangled by infuriated roommate Ty Cobb?
Hint:     He was the first Dodger pitcher to have a 20-win season.
Hint:     He got the first save in the history of Ebbets Field.
Hint:     He was the losing pitcher in Rube Marquard’s 19th consecutive win.
A.         NAP RUCKER  [SABR Bio]
-  Rucker and Cobb were teammates on the 1905 Augusta Tourists of the South Atlantic League.  The two Georgians roomed together and often went to the park early so Cobb could practice hitting against left-handed pitching.  That season Nap became one of the first players to experience his roommate’s fury firsthand.  When they arrived home after each game, Cobb would bathe first, then Rucker, but one day Nap was knocked out of the game and left the park early.  Cobb arrived home to find Nap already in the bathtub and flew into a rage, attempting to choke the naked Rucker. “You don't understand,” Cobb seethed, “I’ve just got to be first--all the time!”
-  Was 22-18 in 1911
-  Ebbets Field save = 26-Apr-1913
-  Marquard G 03-Jul-1912
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas

Incorrect guesses:  Bill Donovan, Dazzy Vance, Burleigh Grimes, Tom Lovett, Gus Wehying

Q.        Who is the only man to manage the Naps and the Tip-Tops?
Hint:     He was the first American League batter to homer immediately following back-to-back homers by teammates.
Hint:     His 60 sacrifice hits in 1908 still stands as the second-most all-time.
Hint:     He grew up playing ball with the Delahanty brothers (Yes, THOSE Delahanty brothers!)
Hint:     He was the first player to hit a home run in each of 4 straight games.  He regarded “small ball” with disdain, notwithstanding the era he played in.
A.         BILL BRADLEY  [SABR Bio]
-  Managed the 1905 Cleveland Naps to a 20-21 record then the Federal League’s 1914 Brooklyn Tip-Tops to an even .500 record at 77-77.
-  Followed HRs by Nap Lajoie & Piano Legs Hickman on 30-Jun-1902.  The HRs were on 3 consecutive pitches by the Reds’ Jack Harper.
-  His 60 SH in ’08 were passed only once, by the ill-fated Ray Chapman in 1917 w/67.
-  Grew up in Cleveland’s Payne Avenue district and also played with Tommy Leach, one of the first World Series heroes.
-  Bradley once stated, “Brilliant coaching makes me tired," he once bluntly declared. "This idea... that coachers, teamwork and the so-called inside ball makes or unmakes a team, is foolishness.”  HRs in 4 straight G 21-24‑May and put together a 29-game hitting streak the same season.
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses:  Nap Lajoie, Home Run Baker, Willie Keeler, Lee Magee

Q.        What Highlander became the first American Leaguer to steal home twice in a game?
Hint:     His fiery temper and pugnacious outlook earned him the nickname “The Tabasco Kid”.
Hint:     After being sent to the minors toward the end of his career, he befriended a young Casey Stengel.
A.         KID ELBERFELD  [SABR Bio]
-  Stole home twice 20-May-1907.
-  In evidence of his chronic pugnacity, we present the following ejection information from

As player:
Date                 Team      Umpire                   Reason
  21-Jun-1902            DET         Jim Johnstone         HBP non-call
  10-Aug-1902           DET         Tommy Connolly   Call at 2B
  03-Sep-1903           NYY        Tommy Connolly   Balls and strikes
  15-Apr-1904            NYY        Frank Dwyer           Balls and strikes
  20-Aug-1905           NYY        Jack McCarthy        Called K (Pushed umpire)
  14-Sep-1905           NYY        Jack Sheridan          Called third strike
  08-May-1906           NYY        Billy Evans              Call at 1B
  30-May-19061         NYY        Silk O'Loughlin      Call at HP
  08-Aug-1906           NYY        Silk O'Loughlin      HBP non-call
  08-27-1906              NYY        Jack Sheridan          Call at 2B
  03-Sep-19061          NYY        Silk O'Loughlin      Call at HP (Spiked umpire)
  05-Oct-1906            NYY        Tommy Connolly   Call at 2B
  13-Apr-1907            NYY        Tommy Connolly   Called third strike
  18-Jun-1907            NYY        Silk O'Loughlin      Catch/trap call
  25-Jun-1907            NYY        Jack Sheridan          Call at HP
07-May-1909         NYY        Tim Hurst                Call at HP
18-Jun-1909           NYY        Silk O'Loughlin      Call at 3B
07-Aug-1909          NYY        Tommy Connolly   Called third strike
07-Jul-1910            WSH        Jack Egan                Fair/foul call
01-May-1914         BRO        Cy Rigler                 Balls and strikes
10-Jun-1914           BRO        Al Orth                     Balls and strikes
04-Jul-19142           BRO        Lord Byron              Charging mound

As manager:
Date                    Team     Umpire                Reason
27-Jun-1908           NYY        Silk O'Loughlin      Call at 1B
19-Aug-1908          NYY        Silk O'Loughlin      Balls and strikes
20-Sep-1908           NYY        Billy Evans              Call at 1B
28-Sep-19082            NYY        Silk O'Loughlin      Bench jockeying

-  According to Stengel biographer, Maury Allen, in his 1979 book, “You Could Look It Up: The Life of Casey Stengel”, Elberfeld was generous with his time and his wisdom. The veteran and the 22-year-old protege sat together on trains, roomed together in hotels, dined together in restaurants, shared thoughts on the bench and talked for hours about baseball.  On September 15, 1912, Stengel was called up to Brooklyn. Elberfeld threw a farewell party for Stengel, ordering him to buy a new suit.  “You gotta dress like a big leaguer before they believe you are one”, quoth he, for $22.00, and a new suitcase for $17.50.
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Wee Willie Keeler

Q.        Who was the catcher for the first perfect game in the modern era?
Hint:     In spite of 6 hits and 4 RBI, he was lifted for pinch-hitters twice during his only postseason series.
Hint:     He was one of the players whose absence was deeply felt by the losingest major league team of all time.
Hint:     He played for the Perfectos and caught a perfecto.
A.         LOU CRIGER  [SABR Bio]
-  Perfecto thrown by Cy Young 05-May-1904.
-  Pinch-hit for in the 1903 World Series by Jack O’Brien and Duke Farrell, resulting in a K and sac fly respectively.
-  On 29-Mar-1899, he was “assigned” to the St. Louis Perfectos by the Cleveland Spiders management who owned both teams and wanted to pool the talent in St. Louis.  The Spiders went 20-134, finished 12th of 12 in the NL and had no player with a WAR over 1.0.  Such shenanigans are, as you might guess, no longer allowed.
-  Played for the St. Louis Perfectos in 1899.  They became the Cardinals the very next season.
FCR -  Lee Dembart, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses:  Ossee Schrecongost, Charlie Bennett, Ron Hassey

Q.        What Oakland native’s .213 lifetime batting average is the second worst all-time among players with at least 3,000 at bats?
Hint:     He and his son of the same name were the first father/son combo to each claim having caught in a World Series.
Hint:     Jr’s college tuition was paid by an old roman Hall of Famer.
Hint:     He was a professional Bunny.
-  Sullivan defensive prowess was seen as more than overcoming his offensive dearth.  He had 3,647 AB.  Bill Bergen, also a catcher, hit .170 in 3,028 AB.  Bobby Wine is 3rd on that list at .215 in 3,172 AB.
-  Sr. caught for CHW in the 1906 WS; Billy, Jr. caught for DET in the 1940 WS
-  White Sox franchise owner Charles Comiskey paid tuition to Notre Dame for both Billy, Jr. and Ed Walsh, Jr., son of Hall of Famer Ed Walsh.
-  Played for the 1896 Cedar Rapids Bunnies.
FCR -  Bob Flynn, Chandler, Arizona
Incorrect guesses: 

Q.        Who was the American League’s youngest player?
Hint:     For about 10 months, he was the youngest ever in the history of the majors.
Hint:     He played in parts of 11 seasons in the majors, all but 2 games for the A’s.
Hint:     His log of home runs surrendered looks like a “Who’s Who” of the post-war American League:  Ted Williams, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Joe Gordon, Rudy York, Vic Wertz, Larry Doby, Al Rosen, Ferris Fain, Eddie Yost, Walt Dropo, Tommie Henrich, Bobby Doerr and Vern Stephens… 98 home runs in all.
Hint:     During World War II, he led his team to win the “G.I. World Series” of occupied Germany.
A.         CARL SCHEIB..[ SABR Bio]
-  Debuted 06-Sep-1943, 16 yrs. 248 days old
-  Joe Nuxhall took Scheib’s title as the youngest when he pitched two-thirds of a inning in a game for CIN on 10-Jun-1944, younger b than Scheib y nearly a year.  After those 2 innings, however, he did not see action in the majors for another 8 years, whereas Scheib was useful to his team right away.
-  In the military WS of 1946, he pitched and showed considerable offensive skills as well.
FCR -  Lee Dembart, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses: 

WEEKLY THEME – The only players of the 50 who appeared on the first ever Hall of Fame ballot in 1936 who never were elected.

Name       Career WAR     X on HOF ballot
Jackson............ 62.2............ 2
Rucker............. 47.4............ 7
Bradley............ 37.2............ 6
Elberfeld.......... 33.0............ 5
Kling............... 24.9............ 9
Chase............... 22.8............ 2
Criger.............. 10.7............ 6
Sullivan............. 6.0............ 3

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRichard Giovanoni, Morton Grove, Illinois (after Bradley)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Players with the nickname "Shoeless".

Tuesday -  Players who have been banned for life.
               -  The Black Sox Scandal, or the players involved
               -  Players banned from baseball
               -  Players with more than 5,000 ABs whose last game was in the World Series
               -  Players who have bet (supposedly) on WS games.

Wed.       -  The players who received votes in the first balloting for election into the Hall of Fame but did not get enough votes for entry.