Monday, May 22, 2017

2017-05-15 Black Pre-Expansion Most Valuable Players

Q.        Which player received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2005?
Hint:     He was the last Montreal Expos manager.
Hint:     He was, not surprisingly, the first Washington Nationals manager.
Hint:     He had previously won the Triple Crown, on his way to hitting 586 career home runs.
-  Expos mgr 2002-04; Nationals mgr 2005-06
-  1966 AL TC
FCR -     Morris Buenemann, Florissant, MO
Incorrect answers:  Felipe Alou

Q.        Which player received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President George W. Bush in 2002?
Hint:     When he was elected to the Hall of Fame, only Ty Cobb had received a higher percentage of votes.
Hint:     He hit a combined 420 home runs for the Milwaukee Braves and Milwaukee Brewers.
Hint:     …with 335 Atlanta Braves home runs thrown in for good measure.
A.         HANK AARON
-  97.8% HOF votes to Cobb’s 98.2%
FCR -     Barry Zamoff, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Jackie Robinson

Q.        Which player received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2013?
Hint:     His National League record for home runs by a rookie shortstop stood for 53 years, until it was broken by Troy Tulowitzki.
Hint:     He played 23 games in left field during his transition from shortstop to first base, making way for Andre Rodgers.
A.         ERNIE BANKS
-  19 HR in 1954, broken by Tulo’s 24 in 2007
-  23 LF games in 1961
FCR -     Scott Matteson (via Facebook)
Incorrect answers: 

Q.        Which player posthumously received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Ronald Reagan in 1984?
Hint:     He was an All-Star for Kansas City one year and starred for Montreal the next year.
Hint:     He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991.
-  1945 Negro League East-West All-Star for KC Monarchs, 1946 Montreal Royals.
FCR -     Rich Lerner, Silver Spring, MD
Incorrect answers:  Dick Howser, Larry Walker

Q.        Which player received the City of New York Bronze Medallion, the highest civilian honor bestowed by the city, in 1969?
Hint:     He had the fewest plate appearances of any position player elected to the Hall of Fame for his major league playing career.
Hint:     He has the best caught stealing percentage in major league history.
Hint:     His team paid him a higher salary the year after his retirement than he ever earned during his career.
-  4,815 career PA
-  57.4% CS
-  Dodgers paid him $50,000 in 1958, following his career-ending car accident
FCR -  Jim Turner, Tallahassee, FL
Incorrect answers:  Yogi Berra, Gil Hodges, Monte Irvin, Mickey Mantle, Phil Rizzuto, Tom Seaver, Casey Stengel, Dave Winfield

Q.        Which player was personally thanked by Martin Luther King Jr. and Barack Obama for the sacrifices he made as a trailblazing major leaguer?
Hint:     He trained new Army recruits during the Korean war.
Hint:     He played on the same team as Larry Doby during his first and last professional seasons.
Hint:     Former teammate Maury Wills credited him with saving Wills’ life.
-  Visited by MLK shortly before his assassination, thanked by Obama in 2010
-  Recognized by Wills for helping him overcome substance abuse in the 1980's
-  Played on same team as Doby in 1944 (NNL Newark Eagles) & 1962 (NPB Chunichi Dragons)
FCR -  Barry Zamoff, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Hank Aaron, Satchel Paige, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson

Q.        Who was named commissioner of the White House T-ball League by President George W. Bush in 2006?
Hint:     He was a frequent golf partner with President Bill Clinton.
Hint:     He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barack Obama in 2015.
A.         WILLIE MAYS
FCR -  Jim Campbell, Townsend, TN
Incorrect answers:  Hank Aaron, Yogi Berra, George H.W. Bush, Bob Costas, Michael Jordan, Stan Musial, Cal Ripken, Jr.

WEEKLY THEME – Black Pre-Expansion Most Valuable Players

Jackie Robinson........ 1949................ BRO
Roy Campanella........ 1951, 53, 55.... BRO
Willie Mays................. 1954................ NYG
Don Newcombe......... 1956................ BRO
Hank Aaron................ 1957................ MLN
Ernie Banks............... 1958, 59.......... CHC
Frank Robinson......... 1961................ CIN

            Notes:  All are in the National League.  F. Robinson won the year before the NL expanded.  Two of these players also won after expansion, but in different cities:  Mays in 1965 with SFG and F. Robinson in the A.L. with BAL  in 1966, this time with a unanimous vote.

FCR to Identify Theme – Stuart Shapiro, Highland Park, NJ

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tues       -  Triple Crown winners who were also managers
               -  Players who were awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom
               -  Top home run hitters with Negro League experience
               -  Participants in the Home Run Derby
               -  Guys who hit the most home runs in the 1960's
Wed        -  All my childhood baseball heroes
               -  MLB players who have received the Presidential Medal of Freedom and are in the Hall of Fame
               -  African-American players with 500+ home runs
               -  First black players to hit 500 home runs
               -  Players on 1963 Topps card #3
               -  Players debuting in the 1950's who hit 500 home runs
               -  Players debuting in the 1950's who were elected to the Hall of Fame
Sat          -  Hall of Famers who played in both the Negro Leagues and majors
               -  Negro League vets who made the Hall of Fame based on their MLB career
Sun         -  Negro League players enshrined in Cooperstown who played in MLB
               -  Negro League players who won awards in the majors
               -  Negro League players who won the Silver Slugger Award
               -  Black players entering the majors in the 1950's
               -  Black players entering the majors before 1955
               -  Black players entering the majors before 1956 who are in the Hall of Fame
               -  Former Negro League players who received high civilian awards
               -  Hall of Famers who played for the Kansas City Monarchs
               -  Black players prior to 1956 who won the MVP Award
               -  Hall of Famers honored by Presidents
               -  Negro Leaguers who qualified for the Hall of Fame as major leaguers
               -  Negro League vets who won MVP or Cy Young Awards

Questions archived here:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

2017-05-08 Pitchers with multiple Silver Slugger Awards


Q.        Whose now-famous pitching motion included an ostensible celestial supplication on every pitch thrown?
Hint:     He accomplished an unprecedented awards combination that hasn’t yet been replicated.
Hint:     He became the first player to be awarded $1,000,000 through salary arbitration.
-  Was awarded the 1981 National League Cy Young Award and 1981 National League Rookie of the Year Award.  Many other have won both awards.  No one else has won them for play in the same season.
-  $1 M arbitration in NYT
FCR -     Steven Coleman, Belleville, Illinois
Incorrect answers:  Luis Tiant, Andy Messersmith, Blue Moon Odom, Mark Fidrych, Hideo Nomo, Juan Marichal

Q.        Who owns the lowest ERA of any World Series pitcher with at least 20 innings pitched?
Hint:     After 2,500+ days as a Double Unique, a 7-inning Dodger has kicked him off the list.
Hint:     He is regularly rumored to be a participant in the All-Star Game Home Run Derby.
Hint:     He once killed a snake and saved the rabbit inside.
-  WS ERA 0.25, spoiled by a solo HR by Salvador Perez in G 1 in 2014
Madison Younginer debuted in 2016.
-  SFG management don’t want to see their star pitcher hurt by hitting a bunch of home runs, so they limit his batting exploits to his own games.  His 16 career HR is the most of any active pitcher.
-  As detailed in his 2014 Sports Illustrated “Sportsman of the Year” write-up, "One day during spring training this year in Scottsdale, Bumgarner and his wife were roping cattle when Madison was startled by a large snake he figured was a rattler.  He quickly grabbed an ax and hacked it to pieces.  When Ali, an expert field dresser, examined what was left of the snake, she found two baby jackrabbits inside pieces of it and extracted them.  A short while later the Bumgarners noticed that one of the rabbits had moved slightly.  It was alive."
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas
Incorrect answers:  Orel Hershiser, Babe Ruth

Q.        What combustible Venezuelan once led the National League in pitching victories for a team that ended the season thirty (30!) games under .500?
Hint:     In each of five of those victories he hit a home run.
Hint:     No other Venezuelan pitcher has ever led the NL in pitching victories.
-  16-7 for the 66-96 CHC in 2006
-  He had 6 HR for the year
-  Venezuelans Johan Santana and Felix Hernandez have been league wins leaders in the AL.
FCR -  Joshua Flowerman, Flanders, New Jersey
Incorrect answers:  Johan Santana, Juan Marichal

Q.        Who is the only pitcher to throw two no hitters for the St. Louis Cardinals?
Hint:     He also pitched two no-hitters in the minors.
Hint:     He passed away less than a week after throwing out the first pitch at Game 7 of the World Series.
Hint:     The Cardinals selected 25 other players before they picked him the year he was drafted.  Only one of those ever made the majors.
A.         BOB FORSCH
-  No-no’s 16-Apr-1978 & 26-Sep-1983
FCR -  Morris Buenemann, Florissant, Missouri
Incorrect answers:  Joaquin Andujar, Ken Forsch, Bob Gibson

Q.        What Hall of Fame pitcher surrendered a record 7 consecutive hits in his 2nd All-Star Game start?
Hint:     After he gave up two hits in the next inning, he was replaced by a man who would become his teammate the following season.
Hint:     He once became so violently ill on a team flight that he broke a rib vomiting.
Hint:     His number was retired before a rain-delayed game in the presence of attendees from SABR’s 40th annual national convention.
A.         TOM GLAVINE
-  7 straight hits, 1st inning of the 1992 All-Star Game
-  Replaced in the 2nd inning by Greg Maddux.
- Redefining the phrase "star hurler," he broke a rib in 1992 after vomiting up airplane food.
-  ATL retired number 47 06-Aug-2010.
FCR -  Daniel Blumenthal, Falls Church, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Roger Clemens, Atlee Hammaker, Ferguson Jenkins, John Smoltz

Q.        What future Diamondback finished second to D-Back Randy Johnson the first time Johnson won the National League Cy Young Award?
Hint:     He was NLCS MVP for the Mets during the only season he pitched there.
Hint:     He missed two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Hint:     He now serves as a major league pitching coach for one of his former teammates.
-  2nd to Johnson in 1999 NL CYA
-  Pitched 10 games for 2010 ARI
-  Missed 2006-07 seasons
-  P CO for SEA, 2016-
FCR -  Josh Flowerman, Flowers, NJ
Incorrect answers:  Mike Butcher, Cole Hamels, Jose Mesa, Brandon Webb

Q.        Which former DH is the only eight-time winner of the American Century Championship?
Hint:     He was the Dodgers’ first-round pick, straight out of high school, in 1971.
Hint:     He was traded to the Pirates for Jerry Reuss in 1979.
Hint:     He fought an opposing coach (one of his former teammates) during a game in 1986.
A.         RICK RHODEN
-  Won American Century Celebrity Golf Championship 1991, 93, 95, 97, 99, 2003, 08-09
-  DH 11-Jun-1988
-  Traded for Reuss 07-Apr-1979
-  Fought Bill Robinson 06-Jun-1986 after an argument about ball scuffing
FCR -  Skip Carpenter (via Facebook)
Incorrect answers:  Ken Brett, Mike Easler, Lee Lacy, Rick Reuschel

Q.        Which right fielder led the 1983 Florida Instructional League in home runs, with 9?
Hint:     He won the Fred Hutchinson Award the following season.
Hint:     He played three games for the Angels and eight games for the Phillies in his final major league season.
Hint:     He is currently a college coach.
-  1-0 record (3 starts) for 1992 CAL, 1-4 (8 starts) for 1992 PHI
-  State College of Florida (Bradenton) Manatees pitching coach
FCR -  Thomas Van Hook, Lindsay, TX
Incorrect answers:  Jim Eisenreich

WEEKLY THEME – NL pitchers who have won multiple Silver Slugger awards

Bumgarner   (2)     2014 & 2015
Forsch          (2)     1980 & 1987
Glavine         (4)     1991, 1995, 1996 & 1998
Hampton      (5)     1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 & 2003
Rhoden        (3)     1984, 1985 & 1986
Robinson      (3)     1982, 1989& 1990
Valenzuela   (2)     1981 & 1983
Zambrano    (3)     2006, 2008 & 2009

FCR to Identify ThemeDavid Washburn, Marietta, GA (after Forsch)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tues       -  LH Pitchers with either a) 3 HR in a season or b) 10 or more career HR
Wed        -  Silver Slugger pitchers who have thrown a no-hitter
               -  Pitchers since 1980 who have at least 10 home runs
               -  Silver Slugger pitchers with at least 3 home runs in a season
Thurs      -  Pitchers who lost potential clinching postseason games
Sunday   -  Pitchers who have hit the most home runs since 1990

Monday, May 8, 2017

2017-05-01 Batters who hit 1,500 hits in the 1950's: 1950-59

Q.        Who became the oldest batter to appear as DH after a 12-year hiatus since his previous at-bat of any kind?
Hint:     He was once struck by a pitch and homered in the same at bat.
Hint:     He was the first publicly acknowledged Cuban ball player in Major League Baseball.
-  DH AB 11-Sep-1976.  In 3 tries, he could not reach base against the redoubtable Frank Tanana.  Minoso did get a hit the following day.  It would be his last ever, even though he had 2 more at-bats 4 years later at age 54, the first one against… You guessed it—Frank Tanana!
-  According to Minoso’s own Internet bio, “In a minor league game, Minoso turned into a pitch that struck him.  The umpire refused to give him the base. Minoso hung in and homered later in the same at bat. After he rounded the bases, the umpire asked if he was happy with the way things turned out.  ‘Give me my first base the first time,’ Minoso told the ump.”
-  B. in Havana, Cuba 1925
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect answers:  Jose Cruz, Vladimir Guerrero, Juan Samuel, Armando Marsans

Q.        Who hit 57% more World Series home runs than any other player while wearing a National League uniform?
Hint:     He evolved vulpine, patrician chromatic sobriquets, occasional partnered with horizontal topiary geographical references.
Hint:     His final career hit came fittingly in October, but wearing the uniform he would have once deemed anathema.
A.         DUKE SNIDER
-  Eleven NL WS HR’s, spread over 5 Fall Classics.  Chase Utley is next with 7.
-  “Silver Fox”; “Duke of Flatbush”
-  Got a single inch-hitting for Billy Pierce in what would have been Pierce’s final career at-bat 03-Oct-1964 then scored on Willie Mays’s walk-off HR.
FCR -  Richard Marston, Newport Beach
Incorrect answers:  Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson

Q.        Which Hall of Famer suffered through a broken finger, pleurisy and bruised ribs during one season before sitting out the next with tuberculosis?
Hint:     He legitimized his selection to the All-Star game one year by hitting a game-winnings home run in the 3rd-longest All-Star game in history.
Hint:     He was traded during the same season he led the league in hits.
Hint:     He won a World Series as a player with the same team that he later skippered to a championship.
-  Troubles in 1958; TB in 1959.
-  200 H in 1957; trade to NYG 15-Jun-1957.
-  W in 1946 WS; Mgr in 1967 WS
FCR -  Michael Green, Las Vegas
Incorrect answers:  Johnny Callison, Lou Boudreau, Frank Robinson, Stan Musial

Q.        Which future Rookie of the Year was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, but signed instead with a team sporting eagle feathers?
Hint:     Having studied deep into the writings of Marx and Engels, he once opined, "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."
Hint:     He was the first former pitcher to manage teams from each league to the World Series.
A.         ALVIN DARK
1948 ROY with the Boston Braves
-  Pitched one inning on 27-Sep-1953 for the NYG.  Led the 1962 SF Giants and the 1974 Oakland A’s to the World Series, winning it all with the latter.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Dallas Green

Q.        What is the only player listed in the top 20 in career hits, singles, doubles and triples?
Hint:     He slips to top 30 in home runs.
Hint:     He is the only General Manager to preside over a World Series champion in his lone season in that capacity.
Hint:     He knew his playing days were numbered when teammates began to compliment him on what he considered routine defensive plays.
Hint:     As a youngster, he was a big fan of evaporated milk.
A.         STAN MUSIAL
-  Ranks   4th in hits w/3,630
              19th in singles w/2,253 (tied with Wade Boggs)
                3rd in doubles w/725
              19th in triples w/177 (tied with Rabbit Maranville)
-  Ranks 30th in home runs w/475 (tied with Willie Stargell)
-  GM of 1967 STL
-  Retired as a player following the 1963 season.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Hank Greenberg, Al Rosen, Lou Gehrig, Rod Carew, George Brett, John McGraw

Q.        What baseball patriarch was second in the majors in triples in each of his first two years, but never again cracked the top 10 in his remaining 13 big league seasons?
Hint:     In his sophomore season, he led his league in triples.
Hint:     He did lead his team in triples twice more.
Hint:     He was energized by a trade after his third year that saw him with double-digits in home runs in every one of his full seasons with his new team.
Hint:     In his only season where he played every game on the schedule, his team changed its name.
A.         GUS BELL
-  Father of Buddy Bell; grandfather of David Bell & Mike Bell; Hit 11 3b in 1950; 12 in 1951.
-  Led PIT in 3b in 1952; led CIN in 3b in 1955 (and MLB in games played in ’55)
-  Averaged 20 HR per season in his 8 full years in Cincinnati.
-  Cincinnati became the Red legs 1954 through 1960 (As soon as they changed back to Reds, they won the pennant!)
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect answers:  Ray Boone, Jimmy Wynn

Q.        Who is the only Hall of Famer with a twin sister?
Hint:     After watching him play in a high school all-star game, the observant Tall Tactician Connie Mack advised him to switch from playing catcher.
Hint:     More than 80% of major league organizations showed interest in him and he signed with 3 of them.
Hint:     His value to his team was easily shown by the 8 times in 12 seasons with them that he had 700+ plate appearances.  In 3 of the remaining 4, he was over 640.
Hint:     His speed was such that well after retirement, he won a footrace against then active major leaguer Dick Allen.
-  Sister Donna passed away in 1992.  She was born just before midnight and he, just after.  He always referred to her as his older sister.
-  He was the state of Nebraska’s representative on the West team of Esquire Magazine’s American Legion Junior Baseball East/West All-Star game in 1944 at the Polo Grounds where Mack saw him play.
-  13 of the majors’ 16 had scout watch Ashburn.  Contracts he signed with the Indians and Cubs were invalidated by Commissioner Landis on technical grounds.
FCR -  Adam Foldes, New York City
Incorrect answers:  Jimmie Foxx, Kirby Puckett, Robin Roberts

Q.        Who was the first player to win the MVP and Gold Glove awards in the same season?
Hint:     Teammates of his were 2nd and 3rd in the league MVP voting that year.  (All three are now in the Hal of Fame.)
Hint:     His manager once decided to rest him for a couple of days but lamented his decision, saying, "I took it for a couple of days.  Then I had to put him back in the lineup.  On the bench, he was driving me crazy!"
Hint:     He once hit a bloop double on that hit his own glove in shallow center field.
A.         NELLIE FOX
MVP & GG 1959
-  Glove hit 04-Aug-1950
FCR -  Mike McCroskey, Sugar Land, Texas
Incorrect answers:  Frank Robinson, Willie Mays, Roger Maris, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Cal Ripken, Phil Rizzuto, Maury Wills

WEEKLY THEME – Players with at the 1,500 hits in the 1950’s:  1950-59

Ashburn........... 1,875
Bell................... 1,551
Dark................. 1,675
Fox................... 1,837
Minoso............. 1,526
Musial.............. 1,771
Snider.............. 1,605
Schoendienst... 1,517

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRobert Charkovsky (After Musial)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  MLB players who played in 4 decades
Sun         -  Players included in the 1954 Red Hart dog food baseball card set