Sunday, October 15, 2017

2017-10-09 500-home-run club members who have been coaches in the majors

(Continuation of previous week.)

Q.        Since 1930, who is the only player to win the National League Most Valuable Player awards for 2 different teams?
Hint:     He holds the New York/San Francisco Giants record for home runs in a single season.
Hint:     He also holds the team record for bases-on-balls for a single season.
A.         BARRY BONDS
-  NL MVP for PIT in 1990 & 1992; for SFG in 1993, 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004 [Was also 2nd in MVP voting in 1991 & 2000.]
-  73 HR in 2001
-  232 BB in 2004.  He also holds the 2nd, 3rd, 9th & 14th most in a season.
FCR -  Mark Yecies, Sarasota, Florida
Incorrect guesses:  Orlando Cepeda, Johnny Mize, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson

Q.        Who was so good that he was bad?
Hint:     He bought his first automobile from a salesman named Bud Selig.
Hint:     He has his own dealership today.
A.         HANK AARON
-  His nickname “Bad Henry” was meant purely ironically.
-  His first city in the majors was Milwaukee where Selig owned a dealership.
-  Owns Hank Aaron Toyota in suburban Atlanta
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect guesses:  Joe Torre, Bob Newsome, Bob Uecker

Q.        Who is the only player to hit 3 home runs in a postseason game more than once?
Hint:     He is also the first one to do it even once.
Hint:     His beloved step-daughter appeared recently at an event sponsored by a museum named for him.
A.         BABE RUTH
-  3 HR in G 4 1926 WS; G 4 1928 WS
-  “Recent” is relative especially for the 101-year-old Julia Ruth Stevens.  I had my picture taken with her in 2012 in Baltimore when she appeared as a guest of the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum. (alas it’s on a cell phone that was stolen.)
FCR -  Madison McEntire, Bryant, Arkansas
Incorrect guesses:  Reggie Jackson, Yogi Berra, Willie Mays

Q.        Who made a New York City street game famous, if not emulated, across the country?
Hint:     THOSE were simpler times.
Hint:     He grew up in a family that most sociologists would not refer to as “nuclear”.
Hint:     His most thorough biographer claims that he purposely missed certain pitches early in a game knowing a pitcher would think that he’d found a weak spot.  He’d used that to good effect in subsequent innings.
Hint:     His swing had no weak spots.
A.         WILLIE MAYS
-  New Yorkers played stickball, a clever adaptation of baseball for space-restricted urban environments.
-  Mays was raised by multiple relatives, mostly his older sister.
-  Charles Einstein wrote three books with Mays as the subject.
FCR -  Lee Dembart, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses:  Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, Alfonso Soriano

Q.        Who has hit an All-Star game home run in each league?
Hint:     One of them earned him All-Star Game MVP.
Hint:     The place where he was born has seen a lot of water recently.
Hint:     The place where he grew up has seen a lot of fire recently.
-  ASG HR’s:  NL 1959 [2]; AL 1971 (MVP)
-  Born in Beaumont, Texas, which felt the full fury of Hurricane Harvey.
-  Raised in Northern California where wildfires are still burning out of control in some areas.
FCR -  Frank Workman, Lake Forest Park, Washington
Incorrect guesses:  Alfonso Soriano

Q.        Whose nationally-viewed, completely-unexpected lachrymosity was viewed by many as hardly concomitant with his culpability nor even his “alleged” malfeasance?
Hint:     Recruited to one of the top college baseball programs in the U.S., his pitching skills had been well-honed, widely-admired and feared by all who stood in to face him.
Hint:     His robust brachioradiales and those of several teammates became key components in a publicly-enacted performance-related kudos.  They were self-congratulatory, to be sure, but soon became a fan favorite.
A.         MARK McGWIRE
Wept openly before Congress, sputtering that he didn’t want to talk about the past (alleged abuse of performance-enhancing drugs).
-  Played baseball at the University of Southern California under legendary coach Rod DedeauxMcGwire had dominated the game from the mound, but by the time he was drafted 8th overall by OAK in 1984, it was his power at bat and steady hand at 3rd base they sought.
Bashed his meaty forearm with that of A’s teammate Jose Canseco as a sort of muscle-bound ‘high five’ after either of them homered or did something equally heroic.
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Roger Clemens, Tommy John, Rollie Fingers

Q.        In Joe DiMaggio’s final season in the majors, what teammate of his wore uniform #6?
Hint:     He was the third player from his native state inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
Hint:     Three more have been inducted since then.
-  Since Ruth had been #3, Gehrig #4 and DiMaggio #5, Mantle was assigned uniform #6, a hint of the great things the Yankees expected of him.  After a stint back in the minors, he returned to the big club on 24-Aug of his rookie season, 1951, and was assigned #7, which he proceeded to make iconic.
-  Oklahoma native brothers Paul and Lloyd Waner became Hall of Famers in 1952 and 1967 respectively.  Mantle made it in on his first ballot in 1974.  Three players succeeded him: Willie Stargell (1988), Johnny Bench (1989) and Negro Leaguer Bullet Rogan (1998).  One manager, Bobby Cox, was voted in in 2014.
FCR -  Rick Zucker, St. Louis
Incorrect guesses:  Yogi Berra, Andy Carey, Elston Howard

Q.        Who was the first player to pinch-hit a grand slam in each league?
Hint:     He was the youngest player to play catcher in the modern major league history.
Hint:     He once walked 6 times in a single game.
A.         JIMMIE FOXX
-  P-H GS’s:  21-Sep-1931 for PHA & 18-May-1945 for PHI.
-  Played C on 26-May-1925 @ 17 yrs. 204 days
-  6 BB 16-Jun-1938
FCR -  Danny Shilkett, Pensacola
Incorrect guesses:  Jim Pagliaroni, Pudge Rodriguez, Tim McCarver

Q.        Which Hall of Famer ran for a Ward Alderman during his playing days, losing in a landslide?
Hint:     He was the first player to hit at least 45 home runs in a season without hitting 10 in any single month.
Hint:     He was the first National League first baseman to record 22 putouts in a game.
A.         ERNIE BANKS
-  8th Ward Chicago 1963
-  45 HR in 1959 (MVP season):  5 in Apr; 7 in May; 9 in Jun; 8 in Jul; 9 in Aug; & 7 in Sep.
-  22 PO 09-May-1963
FCR -  Patrick Roth, Chicago
Incorrect guesses:  Willie McCovey

Q.        Of whom did Seattle sportswriter David Ginsburg say, “[his] bronze bust in Cooperstown will chatter only slightly less than the man himself.  The first line of text on the monument should read: ‘He spoke rarely & carried a mighty bat’.”?
Hint:     No player active in 2017 is within 35 places of catching him on the career leader board for games played at his position.
Hint:     He belongs to one of baseball’s most exclusive clubs.  (Picture a venn diagram.)
-  Murray’s HOF plaque.
-  Racked up 2,413 career games at first base.  It should be noted that he played almost 600 additional games at other positions.
-  He is one of only five (5!) players with 3,000 career hits of which at least 500 were home runs:  H. Aaron [3,771/755], A. Rodriguez [3,115/696], W. Mays, [3,283/660], R. Palmeiro [3,020/569] & Murray 3,225/504].
FCR -  Tim Phares, Laurel, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Adrian Beltre, Jim Bottomley

WEEKLY THEME – 500 home run club members who have been coaches in the majors.           

Pos Name        HRs  Coached
1.     Bonds        762   Marlins 2016
2.     Aaron        755   ~
3.     Ruth          714   Dodgers 1938
5.     Mays         660   Mets 1974-79
10.   Robinson   586   Orioles 1978-87
11.   McGwire    583   Cards 2010-12; Dodgers 2013-15; Padres 2016
18.   Mantle       536   Yankees 1969-70
19.   Foxx          534   Cubs 1944
23.   Banks        512   Cubs 1967-73
27.   Murray       504   Orioles 1998-2001; Indians 2002-05; Dodgers 2006-07

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Know-body!

Incorrect theme guesses:

Friday     -  HR career leaders in descending order.
               -  Top HR hitters of all time

Sunday-  -  Group of players who collectively have homered in every MLB park since 1910.

Monday, October 9, 2017

2017-10-02 Pitchers who have beaten both the Red Sox and Yankees in postseason play

This week’s questions, answers and theme were submitted by Walt Cherniak of Woodbine, Maryland.

Q.        Who was the last pitcher to throw more than 10 complete-game shutouts in a season?
Hint:     His college baseball coach later coached a team to an NBA championship.
Hint:     He is one of only three players to be named World Series MVP more than once.
A.         BOB GIBSON
-  13 ShO in 1968.  No pitcher has had more in a season since the end of the Deadball Era in 1920.  His season mark ranks 3rd all-time.
-  He was coached by Bill Fitch at Creighton University in Omaha in the mid-1950’s.  Fitch went on to a very successful basketball coaching career.
-  WS MVP 1964, 1967.  Sandy Koufax and Reggie Jackson also won the award twice each.
FCR -  Dave Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Madison Bumgarner, Greg Maddux, Sandy Koufax, Randy Johnson, Steve Carlton, John Tudor, Jack Morris

Q.        Who was the last National League pitcher to start consecutive World Series openers?
Hint:     He ended up as the starting pitcher in three World Series openers in a row.
Hint:     In his senior year in high school, he was All-State in baseball, basketball and football in a sports-crazy state.
Hint:     He came to the majors to stay after only playing in 11 minor league games.
A.         DON GULLETT
-  G 1 1975 WS & G 1 1976 WS for CIN
-  G1 1977 WS for NYY
-  11 G for the 1969 Sioux Falls Packers
FCR -  Art Springsteen, Sunapee, New Hampshire
Incorrect guesses:  Greg Maddux, Cliff Lee, Tom Glavine, Sandy Koufax, Mort Cooper, Adam Wainwright, Cole Hamels, Bob Gibson, Joe Blanton, Warren Spahn

Q.        Which Cy Young Award winner reached No. 39 on the Billboard country music chart with his debut album earlier this year?
Hint:     He spent his entire 15-year career with the two Bay Area clubs, making 30 or more starts 11 times.
Hint:     A man of varied passions and interests, he has, in no particular order:
1.)   Dyed his hair blue;
2.)   Practiced yoga and transcendental meditation;
3.)   Portrayed a U.S. Navy officer on JAG and
4.)   Married a former Miss Missouri.
A.         BARRY ZITO
2002 CYA; Country single “That Sound” composed and sung by Zito
-  2000-06, ’15 w/OAK; 2007-2013 SFG
JAG:  Zito played a baseball-playing Petty Officer Crawford in the season 9 episode #9 “The Boast”.  Zito married Amanda Seyer, Miss Missouri 2007.
FCR -  Lincoln Mitchell, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Tim Lincecum

Q.        Who was the last pitcher on the mound when the 2002 All-Star game ended in an 11-inning tie?
Hint:     Felix Hernandez passed him earlier this year for the top spot in wins by an MLB pitcher born in Venezuela.
Hint:     He threw seven scoreless innings in a World Series-clinching game, but was not the winning pitcher.
2002 ASG – It was his last All-Star appearance even though he played 11 more seasons in the majors.
-  Garcia 156 W; King Felix 160
-  Garcia started Game 4 of the White Sox WS sweep in 2005 and threw 7 scoreless innings.
FCR -  Thomas Ostertag, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Javier Vasquez, Fernando Valenzuela, Carlos Zambrano, Vicente Padilla, Dennis Martinez, Bartolo Colon

Q.        Who was the only pitcher to defeat the Chicago White Sox during their 2005 postseason?
Hint:     He was named in the Mitchell Report after he was shown to have purchased $25,000 of human growth hormone (HGH) from a Florida dentist.
Hint:     He was one of the last pitchers in baseball to use an old-fashioned windmill windup before delivering a pitch.
A.         PAUL BYRD
-  Won G 1 2005 ALCS
-  On 21-Oct-2007, Byrd was accused of using HGH by the San Francisco Chronicle which accused him of spending $24,850 on HGH and syringes from 2002 to 2005.  Byrd defended himself, claiming that he was being treated for a tumor on his pituitary gland and had taken the drugs under medical supervision.  It turned out this was before the condition was found.  One of the sources of his HGH was a Florida dentist whose license had been suspended for fraud and incompetence.  Byrd was cited in the Mitchell Report on illegal use of performance-enhancing substances in baseball.
-  Byrd’s motion
FCR -  Patrick Roth, Chicago
Incorrect guesses:  Roger Clemens, Ross Ohlendorf

Q.        Who was the last Washington Nationals starter to win a post-season game?
Hint:     His career mark of walks per 9 innings ranks near the top among active pitchers.
Hint:     He is among the tallest pitchers in the game.
Hint:     He probably wished he were a couple of inches shorter when a Gregor Blanco line drive hit him in the head during the 2012 World Series.
A.         DOUG FISTER
-  G 3 NLDS 06-Oct-2014
-  2.077 BB/IP only bested by names like Sale, Bumgarner & Kluber.
Fister stands 6’8”.  Only Alex Meyer, Chris Young are taller among players on 2017 rosters.  (Please let us know of others.)
Blanco lined back to Fister in the bottom on the 2nd in G 2 of 2012 WS.  Fister stayed in the game.
FCR -  Benjamin Chase, Huron, South Dakota
Incorrect guesses:  Max Scherzer, Tanner Roark, Sammy Solis, Chris Young, Jordan Zimmermann, John Lannan

Q.        What former Monarch is the all-time college strikeout leader in the history of his state, his school and his conference?
Hint:     He was the fourth pitcher from his franchise to win an MVP award, fifth instance.
Hint:     He has thrown 30 consecutive scoreless innings in the post-season against the Athletics, the longest such streak by any pitcher against any team.
Hint:     Led the league in pitching losses 2 seasons after winning the Rookie of the Year Award.
Alum of Old Dominion University, mascot Monarchs.  In 2004, he broke his own record and established a new Colonial Athletic Association record with 151 K’s. Finished as the all-time career strikeout leader in Old Dominion, the CAA and the Commonwealth [State] of Virginia history with 427 K’s in 335⅔ IP.
MVP in 2010 with DET.  Previous Tigers AL MVP pitchers are Willie Hernandez 1984, Denny McLain 1968, Hal Newhouser 1944 & 1945,
ROY 2006; 11-17 record in 2008.
FCR -  David Krassin, Los Angeles
Incorrect guess:  Fernando Valenzuela

Q.        Which pitcher struck out four batters in the first inning of an American League Championship Series game?
Hint:     Despite sharing a rotation with three present or future Cy Young Award winners, he led the American League in ERA in 2013.
Hint:     He was one of an MLB-record eight rookies in the lineups when he no-hit Arizona in his 13th big-league start.
Hint:     He won his big-league debut in Yankee Stadium in 2006 as part of a combined shutout.
-  He had 4 K's for DET in G 1 of the 2013 ALCS vs. BOS 12-Oct
-  2013 DET mound mates:
      - Justin Verlander 3.46 [AL CYA 2011],
      - Max Scherzer 2.90 [AL CYA 2013, NL CYA 2016],
      - Rick Porcello 4.32 [AL CYA 2016]
      - Sanchez 2.57 [4th in CYA voting that year]
-  Rookie Marlins in no-hitter on 06-Sep-2006 were:  Sanchez his own self, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Mike Jacobs & Eric Reed.  D-Backs rookie who played that day were Carlos Quinton, Conor Jackson & Miguel Montero.
-  MLB debut 25-Jun-2006
FCR -  Gary Moore, Walker, Michigan

Q.        Who was the Mariners' second amateur draft pick the year they took Ken Griffey, Jr. first?
Hint:     No other Ohio State alumnus has won more games as a big-league pitcher.
Hint:     Almost three-fourths of victories his were earned while pitching for teams in his home state.
Hint:     In recent years, he's toiled as a pitching coach for the Nuts, Dust Devils and Yard Goats.
A.         DAVE BURBA
SEA took Burba as the very first pick of the 2nd round in the 1987 MLB June Amateur Draft.
-  This Ohio native got 85 of his 115 career victories either for CIN or CLE.
-  That’d be the 2011 Tri-City Dust Devils (Pasco, WA), the Modesto Nuts and the Hartford (CT) Yard Goats.
FCR -     Ken Main, Portland, Maine

Q         What pitcher has thrown the most innings for single team in a season in the American League since Justin Verlander last led the league in that category?
Hint:     Not just an innings hog, but he also played for the Hogs.
Hint:     In his MLB career of only 5 full seasons, he has a Cy Young Award, 3 Gold Gloves and 2 All-Star selections.
Hint:     His name may be difficult to pronounce if you are not from Thuringia.
-  232 IP in 2015 [Price had 248.1 in 2014 but split between TBR & DET.  Verlander had 238.1 in 2012.]
-  Pitched for the University of Arkansas Razorbacks (hogs).
-  The Keuchel name is of German origin.  From Thuringia?  Who knows?
FCR -  Mark DeLodovico, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Corey Kluber

Q.        Who went from the Whitehouse to Cleveland?
Hint:     He’s played for many teams as a professional, but no others in the majors.
Hint:     He’s the last player, for now, to qualify for this week’s theme.
Hint:     Neither he nor Keuchel qualified when the week began.
A.         JOSH TOMLIN
-  Played in the minors at 7 different levels.
FCR -  Doug Greenwald, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Corey Kluber, Bob Feller, Trevor Bauer

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers who have beaten the Red Sox and Yankees in postseason play.

Burba         1998 ALDS vs. BOS, G 2;       1998 ALCS vs. NYY, G 2
Byrd           2007 ALDS vs. NYY, G 3;       2007 ALCS vs. BOS, G 4
Fister          2011 ALDS vs. NYY, G 5;       2013 ALCS vs. BOS, G 4
Garcia         2000 ALCS vs. NYY, G 1, 5;   2005 ALDS vs. BOS, G 3
Gibson        1964 WS vs. NYY, G 5, 7;       1967 WS vs. BOS, G 1, 4, 7
Gullett        1975 WS vs. BOS, G 5;          1976 WS vs. NYY, G 1
Keuhchel     2015 ALWCG vs. NYY G;       2017 ALDS vs. BOS G 2
Sanchez      2012 ALCS vs. NYY, G 2;       2013 ALCS vs. BOS, G 1
Tomlin        2016 ALDS vs. BOS G 3;        2017 ALDS vs. NYY G 2
Verlander    2012 ALCS vs. NYY, G 3;       2017 ALDS vs. BOS, G 1
Zito            2000 ALDS vs. NYY, G 4;       2003 ALDS vs. BOS, G 2

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Pitchers featured in “Black Aces”, the book by Mudcat Grant         
               -  NBA players

Sunday   -  Former CYA winners to start a game in the postseason
               -  Theme is winning pitchers in Game 2 of playoffs