Monday, November 20, 2017

2017-11-13 Hall of Famers who hold career World Series Records

Q.        Whose long-standing mark for career winning percentage did Clayton Kershaw pass this year?           
Hint:     He (not Kershaw) broke Babe Ruth’s pitching record for consecutive scoreless World Series innings pitched.
Hint:     No pitcher ever lost more career World Series decisions.
A.         WHITEY FORD  [SABR Bio]
- Kershaw’s .692 moved him into 3rd place all-time and bumped Ford’s .690 back to 4th.  [In 1st is Albert Spalding (.795) followed by Spud Chandler (.717)]
- Ruth’s record of 29⅔ consecutive scoreless innings set in the 1916 & 1918 WS was broken when Ford pitched 33⅔straight no-run innings in the 1960, 61 & 62 WS.  His streak was ended by Willie Mays on a bunt single by Jose Pagan in the 2nd inning G1 of the 1962 Fall Classic.  Mariano Rivera is the current record holder*.
- 8 career WS L’s.
*Rivera came really close to Ford as a postseason record.  Between the 1998 ALDS and the final game of the 2000 ALCS, Rivera racked up 32⅔ straight scoreless postseason innings.  Ford, not Rivera, is the current record holder both for the World Series AND the postseason.
FCR -  Kenny Fink, The Villages, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Roy Face, Orel Hershiser, Lefty Grove

Q.        Who is the undisputed career leader in doubles?
Hint:     Albert Pujols will need 179 more to catch him.
Hint:     He led the American League in all three Triple Crown categories exactly once each, but alas, in three separate seasons.
A.         TRIS SPEAKER  [SABR Bio]
- 792 2b.  Pujols, the active leader, has 619.
- 10 HR in 1912; .386 in 1916; & 123 RBI in 1923.
FCR -  Naftali Greenwood, Kiryat, Arba, ISRAEL
Incorrect answers:  Yogi Berra, Ty Cobb, Craig Biggio

Q.        Of all players who tallied 1,800 games played at second base, who was the one who never played any other position?
Hint:     Before he passed away on Monday, he was not only the oldest living Hall of Famer, he was the oldest living former major leaguer.
Hint:     He was the last surviving major leaguer who played in the 1930s, having begun his career with the Red Sox in 1937, two years before Ted Williams rookie season.
Hint:     His high school was an unusually fecund source of major league talent.
Hint:     He gave his country a year of military service in the middle of his 14-year career.
Hint:     The year he returned, the Red Sox won 103 games and the American League pennant.
Hint:     At the height of his career he finished #2 twice in WAR on teams packed with talent and once #1.
Hint:     He is still the only Red Sox player to hit for the cycle twice.
A.         BOBBY DOERR   [SABR Bio; NYT Obit]
- Played 1,856 G, all for BOS
- Died just 115 days short of his 100th birthday.
- Attended the John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, as did some two dozen other major leaguers including Eric Davis, Bob Watson and Gene Mauch.
- Missed the 1945 season.  In ’46, BOS had a great year.
- Was #2 in WAR for BOS in 1944 & 1948.  Was #1 in 1943.
- Cycles 17-May-1944 & 13-May-1947, both at Fenway.
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect answers:  Johnny Pesky

Q.        Who won a World Series MVP in the first year with his new team after playing 15 years with his original major league team?
Hint:     He was the winning run when you-know-who did you-know-what to you‑know‑whom.
Hint:     Wait !  You don’t know?  You must not be from Philly.
Hint:     He is a major candidate for a major award for the 2017 season.
A.         PAUL MOLITOR  [SABR Bio]
- He scored from first base when Joe Carter took Mitch Williams deep to end the 1993 WSRickey Henderson scored the tying run ahead of him.
- Oops!  Already won the 2017 AL Mgr of the Year !
FCR -  Doug Greenwald, San Francisco
Incorrect answers: 

Q.        Who did Rogers Hornsby once call, “… the only man I would pay admission to watch play.”?
Hint:     His American League stolen bases title was the last one before nine consecutive such titles by a player who would be voted into the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     His involvement in amateur boxing as a teenager game him the name we know him by today.
Hint:     Ben E. King had a hit song about his native neighborhood, though he was more Jungle than Rose.
Hint:     Serving a lifetime sentence for assault, he was paroled after 5-years before the start of his baseball career.
Hint:     His major league General Manager once justified his being on the team, saying, “[He] may not have the fattest average in baseball, but he gives the fans a show with his daredevil running and sliding, his terrific fielding and clutch hitting.”
A.         JIM RIVERA  [SABR Bio]  [Obit]
- Led the AL in SB in 1955.  Luis Aparicio took the next 9 from 1956 to 1964.
- Born Manuel Joseph Rivera, his association with classmate and fellow boxer Jim Dorso led to his being called Jim also.
- Born in Spanish Harlem
- He led the league in triples once and stolen bases once, sliding on his belly many years before that style was fashionable in the majors.
- He served 5 years in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, and was paroled in 1949.
- Quote from CHW GM Ed Short.
FCR -  R.D. Lerner, silver Spring, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Enos Slaughter, Ty Cobb

Q.        Which player appeared on the TV show “Toast of the Town” [also known as “The Ed Sullivan Show”] on   
                                                      13-Apr-1958 and again on
Hint:     In addition to Cooperstown, he is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame of an adjacent state.
Hint:     He once claimed that the only color of sweater he didn't own was “navy brown”.
A.         YOGI BERRA  [SABR Bio]
- Appearances such as these as well as others from other TV shows are readily available on the Internet via YouTube.  Here’s an example:  WML
- Was inducted into the inaugural class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, along with Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Bruce Springsteen.
- awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Berra's son, Larry, accepts on his behalf.
- I’m inclined to believe him on the sweater.
FCR -  Naftali Greenwood, Kiryat, Arba, ISRAEL
Incorrect answers:  Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Leo Durocher

Q.        Which Hall of Famer died on the same day as Game One of the World Series?
Hint:     Coincidentally, the winning pitcher of that game and he are the only two pitchers in a quite exclusive club.  It may be baseball’s most exclusive club of all time.
Hint:     In addition to Cooperstown, he is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame of an adjacent state.
Hint:     For 12 straight seasons, he reached the 20-win level.
Hint:     He is buried in a plot just behind his college alma mater.
- Only 2 pitchers elected to the Hall of Fame in its first-ever class of 5.
- Inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1965.
- Won 20+ G 1903-1914
- Buried within sight of Bucknell University
FCR -  Gary Sarnoff, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Jim Bunning

Q.        What New York Yankee has hit more triples than any other?
Hint:     His career RBI numbers top those of any other Yankee ever.
Hint:     By one (1!) he had the most Yankee extra-base hits.
A.         LOU GEHRIG  [SABR Bio]
- 163 career 3b
- 1,995 career RBI
- 1,190 XBH (Babe Ruth had 1,189)
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect answers:  Babe Ruth, Willie Randolph, Mickey Mantle

Q.        Which Hall of Famer stopped pitching during a World Series game to watch a plane fly over the stadium?
Hint:     He had vanity plates reading “GOOF” on his car.
Hint:     When asked if he threw a spitball replied, “Not intentionally, but I sweat easily.”
Hint:     He once walked 11 batters as he pitched a complete-game shutout.
A.         LEFTY GOMEZ  [SABR Bio]
- Work stoppage was in G 2 of the 1936 WS.
FCR -  Al Blumkin, Brooklyn
Incorrect answers:  Joe Niekro, Rube Marquard, Rube Waddell, Lefty Grove, Dizzy Dean, Wilbur Wood, Bobo Newsom, Mark Fidrych, Bugs Raymond, Billy Loes, Bill Lee

Q.        Who played in eight World Series (50 games) without hitting a home run but hit home runs from each side of the plate in All-Star competition?
Hint:     He was an Al-American running back for his college, which, BTW, had the same name as his high school.
Hint:     In college he didn’t just play football, basketball, and baseball—he was the captain of all three teams.
Hint:     He went from college to the majors, having talked the big league club’s manager out of sending him to the minors.
- Played in WS 1921-24 for NYG then in WS 1928, 30, 31 & 34 for STL.  Played in the majors’ first 3 ASG 1933-35 for STL.  Homered in ’33, batting lefty off General Crowder then off Lefty Gomez in ’34.
- After being signed by John McGraw of NYG, Frisch convince the manager that if he were forced to play in the minors, his father would make him quit baseball to work the family farm.
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Murray, John Olerud

Q.        What batter had a five-year stretch where he led his team in stolen bases, runs and home runs?
Hint:     He also had at least one hit in the All-Star game in each of those same years.
Hint:     It wasn’t as if his team didn’t have additional talent.  No fewer than 5 of his teammates were All-Stars in each of those seasons.
Hint:     He was an honorary colonel in his state’s militia.
A.         MICKEY MANTLE  [SABR Bio]
- Fantastic streak 1956-60
- Colonel Mantle of the Oklahoma State Militia
FCR -  No one!
Incorrect answers:  Honus Wagner, Willie Mays, Edd Roush

Q.        Which Hall of Famer had seasons where he hit .372, .365 and .360 yet never won a batting title?
Hint:     He also had 8 additional seasons where he hit above .340.
Hint:     No other player is within 100 games of his career total at his position.
Hint:     No other player is within 100 for the career lead in sacrifice hits.
A.         EDDIE COLLINS  [SABR Bio]
- In each of his 3 best seasons for batting average, there was a player who finish with a BA over .400.  (3 different players)  He never finished better than 4th in he league in each of those year.
- Played 2,650 G @ 2b.  Joe Morgan is in 2nd place w/2,527.
- Successfully sacrificed 512 times.  Jake Daubert takes the silver w/392.
FCR -  Derek Granger, Chandler, Arizona
Incorrect answers:  Tris Speaker, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Harry Heilmann, Chick Hafey

Q.        Who is being honored with a profile on the MLB channel as this question is being sent?
Hint:     A portion of the calendar has been associated with him.
Hint:     Hooton, Sosa, Hough.
Hint:     His ability to promote almost exceeded his ability to play.
- MLB TV “The Making of Mr. October”.  They’ll undoubtedly run it again.
- Because of his 5 home runs during the 1977 World Series, the media crowned him with this sobriquet and it stuck immediately.
- In the 6th and final G of that WS, still wondering if New York really loved him, Jackson homered off Burt Hooton in the 4th; Elias Sosa in the 5th; and Charlie Hough in the 8th, each time on the only pitch of the at-bat.
FCR -  Michael Green, Las Vegas
Incorrect answers:  Bo Belinsky, Steve Yeager

Q.        Who is the last National League pitcher to hit at least 5 home runs in each of 2 seasons?
Hint:     Before Randy Johnson in 2001, He was the last pitcher to score 2 runs in a World Series game.
Hint:     He had surrendered a home run to the first batter he ever faced in the majors, a batter whose entire major league career was that one season.
A.         BOB GIBSON  [SABR Bio]
- 5 HR in 1965 & 1972
- 2 R, G 4 1968 WS
- In his debut in the 7th inning on 15-Apr-1959, the first batter, Jim Baxes, homered on a 3-0 pitch.  It was the first of his 17 career homers, all hit in 1959.  Among the 17, he homered additionally off Hall of Famers Jim Bunning and Early Wynn as well as off standouts Billy Pierce, Bill Monbouquette and Camilo Pascual.  Pretty good one-season career.
FCR -  Bill Deane, Cooperstown
Incorrect answers:  Warren Spahn, Don Drysdale, Don Newcombe, Madison Bumgarner, Mike Hampton, Tom Glavine

Q.        Who is the last pitcher to throw 30 complete games in a single season?
Hint:     He was the only pitcher to surrender 4 home runs in a game in the “year of the pitcher”.
Hint:     He once hit for the cycle—but in a season—not in a single game.
- 30 CG in 1975.  Only 9 G did he start and not finish.  Not surprisingly, he led the majors in innings pitched (328) and batters faced (1,294) that season.
- 4 HR G 14-May-1968Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Rich Rollins and Bob Allison all took him deep in Minneapolis.  Oakland still won the game 13-8.  The 4-HR game was his next start after his perfect game against these same Twins 08-May-1968            in Oakland.
- “Cycle” in 1971.
FCR -  Richard Walker, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Mickey Lolich, Denny McLain, Steve Carlton, Phil Niekro, Ferguson Jenkins, Juan Marichal, Robin Roberts, Bob Gibson, Wilbur Wood, Don Drysdale

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Famers who hold career World Series records

Berra                At-Bats (259), Hits (71), Doubles (10), Plate Appearances (295), World Series Championships (10)

Collins             Sacrifice Hits (8)

Ford                 Wins (10), Losses (8), Bases on Balls (34), Innings (146), Strikeouts (94), Games Started (22)
Frisch               Doubles (10**)

Gehrig              On-Base Percentage [50 min PA] (.477)

Gibson             Consecutive Pitching Victories (7), Consecutive Complete Games (8)

Gomez             Wins without a loss (6)

Hunter             Home Runs allowed (9)

Jackson            Slugging Percentage [20 G min] (.755)

Mantle             Home Runs (18), Runs-Batted-In (40), Runs Scored (40), Bases‑on‑Balls (43), Extra‑Base Hits (26), Strikeouts (54), Total Bases (123)

Mathewson       Complete Games (10), Shutouts (4)

Molitor             Batting Average [50 min AB] (.418*)

Ruffing            Opening Game of Series Wins (5)

Speaker            Triples (4***)

*Tied w/Pepper Martin
** Tied w/Berra

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Hall of Famers with color in their nicknames

Sunday, November 12, 2017

2017-11-06 Players who hit 5 Grand Slams in one season

Q.        Who is the only major league All-Star ever to attend the University of Chicago?
Hint:     When he was young, his father, and 8-year professional ball player himself, had to pay his son just to play catch.
Hint:     As an adult, he reflected on his teenage years, saying, “I thought talking to human beings was just something that could make things complicated and unpleasant.  So I didn’t talk much.  I just watched people.”
A.         ERNIE BANKS
-  AS 11 times between 1955 & 1969; University of Chicago alum
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses:  Roy Henshaw, Charlie Gehringer, Curtis Granderson

Q.        Who was the first LDS pitcher to win an LDS game in the National League?
Hint:     He joined a very elite “club” by winning a Cy Young Award in each league.
Hint:     One of his former teams, the Philadelphia Phillies called him, “…one of the most respected human beings ever to play the game.”
Hint:     He was elected to his third All-Star team (of 8 overall) but did not play because a line drive which broke his leg four days earlier.
Hint:     Ten times in his 16-year MOB career his win total was in double figures.  Only thrice did that happen in the loss column.
Hint:     Twenty-three times have perfect games been pitched.  His was the 20th, making him the only pitcher in history with a no-hitter in the regular season and the playoffs.
A.         ROY HALLADAY Obit
-  He was a member of the Mormon Church, full name:  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or “LDS”.  Not only won the first League Division Series game he ever pitched, but he threw baseball postseason’s second ever no-hit game on 06-Oct-2010.  [Note:  Jaret Wright was the first Mormon pitcher to win an LDS game 02-Oct-1997 and did it in the AL.]
-  Winners of a CYA in each league are:
Pitcher                    American League    National League
Gaylord Perry         1972 w/CLE            1978 w/SDP
Pedro Martinez       1999 w/BOS           1997 w/MTL
Randy Johnson      1995 w/SEA           1999 w/ARI
Roger Clemens      1986 w/BOS           2004 w/HOU
Halladay                 2003 w/TOR           2010 w/PHI
Max Scherzer         2013 w/DET           2016 w/WSN
[Martinez, Johnson & Clemens won the award additional times.]

-  Line drive by Texas’ Kevin Mench on 08-Jul-2005 broke Halladay’s tibia in the 3rd inning.
-  Perfect game 29-May-2010
FCR -  Frank Stephenson, Rome, Georgia
Incorrect guesses:  Dennis Martinez, Jim Bunning

Q.        In a poll of New York Yankee fans in the 1990s, who was chosen and the greatest Yankee first baseman of all time?
Hint:     No one has ever had more at-bats in a season without stealing a base.
Hint:     Nor did he even attempt one.
Hint:     He owned one of baseball’s better mullets.
-  Apparently those taking the poll had forgotten about Nick Etten.
-  1986:  677 AB, 0 SB, 0 CS (2 Orioles tie for 2nd place on that list.  Cal Ripken in 1983 and J.J. Hardy in 2012 each had 663 AB w/0 SB.)
Mullet worn in 1991 season.
FCR -  Tom Brodkin, Lake of the Woods, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Jason Giambi, Joe Pepitone, Lou Gehrig, Norm Siebern, Hal Chase, Tino Martinez, Chris Chambliss

Q.        Whose 46 home runs one season went practically unnoticed even though it was not only his career high, but the most anyone had ever hit in the history of his franchise?
Hint:     It was 7 more than the next highest season total by a batter in the 60+ years the team had been in existence a d that total had been decades earlier.
Hint:     He had gone on a winter tour to Japan with the Dodgers in 1956 and later returned in 1969 to play for the Buffaloes.
Hint:     He was not recognized as having led the American League in RBI in his best season until almost 60 years after the fact.
A.         JIM GENTILE
-  He hit his 46 HRs in 1961 when everyone was focused on Mantle and Maris making a run at Babe Ruth’s previously impregnable 60.  Harmon Killebrew also hit 46 that year in the AL with perhaps even LESS public acclaim.
-  Scrawny Ken Williams hit 39 HR in 1922 for SLB.
-  In 2010, researchers from SABR found an error in the game records from the 1961 season; an extra RBI had been credited to Roger Maris, on a run which had in fact scored on an error, reducing Maris' total 141, dropping him into a tie with Gentile for the lead.
FCR -  Rich Klein, Plano, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Frank Howard, Norm Cash, Nelson Cruz

Q.        Among active players, who has hit into the most career double plays?
Hint:     From the start of his career in the majors, he didn’t fail to hit 30 home runs a season until his 14th year.
Hint:     He has averaged 28 homers per season since the streak ended.
Hint:     He hit a grand slam and turned an unassisted triple play in his first college game.
-  362 GIPD.  His 26 led the majors in 2017 and catapulted him past Cal Ripken’s career 350 into first place all-time.
-  30 HR average 2001-2012 with a total of 475 during that period.
-  Attended and played for Maple Woods Community College in Kansas City.  This feat was in his FIRST game!
FCR -  Mark Lewers, Blacksburg, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Miguel Cabrera, Willie McCovey, Jim Thome

Q.        What former Tiger had a candy bar named for him the season he led his league in slugging for the Indians?
Hint:     He had been voted MVP of the Junior College NCAA D-1 World Series.
Hint:     Around his major league teammates, he was known to wear a T-shirt announcing, “I’m not very smart, but I can lift heavy things.”
Hint:     When he hit for the cycle, he was the first Indian to do it in 25 years.
-  Considered a project my management when he first came to the majors and sometimes called a donkey by teammates, those morphed into “Pronk”, a nickname Hafner never found offensive.  Pronk Bar; SLG .659 in 2006.
-  Led the Tigers of Cowley Community College  of Arkansas City, Kansas to the NJCAA WS title in 1997.  They won again in 1998, even though Hafner had turned pro.
-  Self-deprecating T-shirt was only half true.
-Cycle 14-Aug-2003; Andre Thornton’s cycle was 22-Apr-1978
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Rocky Colavito, Asdrubal Cabrera, Albert Belle, Odell Hale, Earl Averill, Jim Thome

Q.        Who was the first Milwaukee Brewer to appear in the All-Star Home Run Derby twice?
Hint:     Only Randy Johnson made the pin stripes appear longer.
Hint:     He twice tied the Brewers’ franchise record for home runs in a season.
Hint:     He now coaches high school baseball in his native state.
-  HRD 2002 & 2003.  Totaled 10 HRs in ’02 w/rounds of 6 & 4, but was out quickly in ’03 w/a solitary shot in the first round.
-  Played for NYY 2008, his last MLB season.  He was 6’7” compared to Johnson’s 6’10”, who pitched for NYY 2005 & 2006       .
-  45 HR in 2001 & 2003, tying Gorman Thomas’ 45 in 1979.  Price Fielder is the current record holder.
Coaches now at Summit High School in Bend, Oregon.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Prince Fielder, Greg Vaughn, Corey Hart, Gorman Thomas, Rob Deer

WEEKLY THEME – Players with 5 grand slams in a season

Slammer       Year       For           Date            Off                         WL
Banks......... 1955...... CHC...... 11-May........ Russ Meyer............. W
                                                    17-Jul          Ron Negray              L
                                                   02-Aug         Dick Littlefield           W
                                                   19-Sep         Lindy McDaniel        L

Gentile........ 1961...... BAL....... 09-May........ Pedro Ramos.......... W
                                                        "              Paul Giel                  "
                                                    02-Jul          Phil Regan               W
                                                    07-Jul          Ed Rakow                W
                                                   22-Sep         Don Larsen              W

Hafner......... 2006...... CLE....... 01-May........ Brandon McCarthy.. L
                                                    03-Jun         Brendon Donnelly    W
                                                    01-Jul          Joe Mays                 W
                                                    07-Jul          Kris Benson             W
                                                    08-13          Luke Hudson            W

Pujols......... 2009...... STL........ 11-Apr......... Roy Oswalt............. W
                                                    25-Apr          David Patton            W
                                                    21-Jun         Gil Meche                 W
                                                    03-Jul          David Weathers       W
                                                   04-Aug         Sean Green             W

Mattingly...... 1987...... NYY...... 14-May........ Mike Mason............ W
                                                    29-Jun         John Cerutti             W
                                                    10-Jul          Joel McKeon            W
                                                    16-Jul          Charlie Hough          W
                                                   25-Sep         Jose Mesa               W
                                                   29-Sep         Bruce Hurst              W

Sexson........ 2006...... SEA....... 12-Apr......... Danny Graves......... W
                                                   22-May         Eric Bedard              W
                                                    10-Jun         John Lackey             W
                                                   08-Aug         Seth McClung          W
                                                   08-Sep         Rick Bauer               W

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeMike Caragliano, Flushing, NY (after Gentile)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Thurs      -  Hitters who led in RBIs only one time but with 140 or more RBIs

Fri           -  All Stars who never made a fall Classic