Sunday, September 26, 2010
Q. Who has played the most games at catcher in major league history?
Hint: He has also thrown out more would-be base stealers than any other catcher.
Twint: He’s not really all that pudgy.
A. Ivan Rodriguez (2,383 games caught (and counting) with 645 Caught Stealers (and counting) for a career CS% of 46% (645/768); Nicknamed “Pudge”)
First Correct Respondent – Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Q. Who hit the first regular-season home run for the Florida Marlins?
Hint: He was the only Padre to compile a 30 game hit streak in the 20th Century.
Twint: He is the only catcher to win the Gold Glove award for the Padres.
A. Benito Santiago (12-Apr-1993, 6th inning, off Trevor Wilson of the Padres in the Florida franchise’s 7th game; 34-game hitting streak in his rookie season, 1987; GG 1988-90)
FCR - Judah Kaplan, New York
Q. Who was the catcher on the first French-Canadian battery in major league history?
Hint: He attended the same high school as that battery mate.
Hint: His father used to play saxophone in Montréal subway stations to help pay for his baseball training.
Hint: His middle name is Coltrane, after the famous saxophonist.
Twint: In an effort to quit the use of smokeless tobacco, Martin began wearing a custom-fitted mouthpiece during the 2009 World Baseball Classic and Spring Training.
A. Russell Martin (W/Eric Gagné; Polyvalente Édouard-Montpetit High School; Full name is Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin Jr.)
FCR - Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO
Q. Who was the first Pirates rookie to be named to the All-Star team?
Hint: He tied a national high school record by hitting safely in 43 straight games at Torrance High School.
Hint: He was named Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News, even though he finished third in the MLBWAA voting.
Twint: He once went five-for-five, but didn’t have an RBI or a run in that game.
A. Jason Kendall (AS 1996; ROY 1996, finished behind Todd Hollandsworth and Edgar Renteria; 5/5 G 03-May-1999)
FCR - Joe Merth, Grove City, OH
Q. Who was appointed manager of the California Angels after their manager was injured in a team bus accident?
Hint: He played 10 years in the majors for the team that drafted him and never for any other team.
Twint: His teammates nicknamed him “Duke” for his accurate impersonations of John Wayne.
A. John Wathan (Replaced Buck Rodgers, 22-May-1992)
FCR - John Krassin, New York
Q. Who ended Greg Minton’s record of 269.1 consecutive innings without surrendering a home run?
Hint: He was a successful Buffalo and was drafted by Buffalo.
Twint: He was traded for the father of a famous country/western singer.
A. John Stearns (HR 02-May-1982, G1; Played for the University of Colorado football team and was drafted by the Bills in the NFL; Traded for Tug McGraw, father of Tim McGraw)
FCR - Phil Oppenheim, Sacramento
Q. Who, while still an active major leaguer, discovered Baylor standout Ted Lyons?
Hint: He nearly came to blows with a teammate during the World Series when his star pitcher continually ignored his catcher’s sign.
Twint: He sent a telegram to every catcher who caught a no-hitter until his death in 1970.
A. Ray Schalk (Near fight came when he realized some of his teammates intended to intentionally lose the 1919 WS)
FCR - Rod Nelson, Detroit
Q. Whose leave of absence to pursue a billiards career resulted in his team’s only non-pennant-winning season in a five year span?
Hint: He owned the Kansas City Blues and abolished the practice of racially segregated seating.
Twint: After going 3 for 4 in his major league debut, he knocked Win Mercer out in a collision at the plate.
A. Johnny Kling (Cubs, 1906-08, 10, Pool career in 1909 may have been partly a contract negotiation ploy with the Cubs; Owned the Blues 1935-37 after which he sold them to the Yankees who re-instituted segregated seating.)
FCR - Bill Carle, Lee's Summit, MO
Q. What catcher claimed to be the first to wear shin guards under his stockings?
Hint: He suffered a broken ankle and a broken leg on similar plays in consecutive seasons.
Hint: During his playing career, he was a vaudeville performer with the Dumont Minstrels in Philadelphia.
Twint: He was offered a bribe to lose a series with the Giants in 1908. Instead of accepting, he reported it.
A. Red Dooin (Injuries 1910-11; Performed for Dumont while he was playing for the Phillies.)
FCR - Phil Oppenheim, Sacramento
WEEKLY THEME – Catchers who had 20 steals in a season
Player Year SB
Dooin 1908 20
Kendall 1998 26
Kendall 1999 22
Kendall 2000 22
Kling 1902 24 (Played one game at SS. Probably didn’t have 5 SB that day.)
Kling 1903 23
Martin 2007 21
Rodriguez 1999 25
Santiago 1987 21
Schalk 1914 24
Schalk 1916 30
Stearns 1978 24 (1 SB as PH)
Wathan 1982 36
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Joe Ullian, Santa Barbara
Thanks to Chuck Rosciam of Dameron, MD for this data.
Monday, September 20, 2010
Q. For which team did Fred Lynn win the American League Most Valuable Player Award?
Hint: He also won the Rookie of the Year Award for the same team.
Twint: He beat out a Hall of Fame teammate for both awards.
A. 1975 Red Sox (ahead of Jim Rice for both awards)
First Correct Respondent - Mike Lynch, Portland, OR
Q. For which team did Rick Sutcliffe win the National League Cy Young Award?
Hint: His Hall of Fame teammate won the National League Most Valuable Player Award the same season.
Twint: They led the team to its first postseason appearance in 39 years.
A. 1984 Cubs (MVP Ryne Sandberg; last postseason appearance 1945 WS)
FCR - Frank Workman, Lake Forest Park, WA
Q. For which team did Joe Torre win his first Manager of the Year Award?
Hint: That season marked the team’s return to the World Series after a 14-year absence.
Twint: It was the last season Mariano Rivera saved fewer than 25 games.
A. 1996 Yankees (Shared the award with Johnny Oates of the Texas Rangers [Torre also won the AP Manager of the Year Award in 1982 with the Atlanta Braves, one year before the inception of the BBWAA Award.]; Yankees returned to WS for first time since 1981; Rivera had 5 saves [John Wetteland was the team’s closer])
FCR - Ken Bell, Chicago
Q. For which team did Mike Marshall first save 20 games in a season?
Hint: The only pitchers with a winning record on that team were Steve Renko, Bill Stoneman and John Strohmayer.
Twint: That season marked the first time the team did not finish in last place.
A. 1971 Expos (Renko 15-14, Stoneman 17-16, Strohmayer 7-5)
FCR - P.L. Cohen, Brooklyn
Q. For which team did Matt Williams make his Major League debut?
Hint: That season he split time at shortstop with a player formerly named Gonzalez.
Twint: The team reached the NLCS that season, but Williams did not play.
A. 1987 Giants (split time with Jose Uribe, who changed his name from Gonzalez during the 1984 season; Giants lost NLCS to the Cardinals)
FCR - Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA
Q. What was the last American League team managed by Lou Piniella?
Hint: Two seasons later they dropped half their name.
Twint: After the abbreviation, the team made its first postseason appearance.
A. 2005 Devil Rays (shortened to Rays in 2007; 2007 postseason appearance)
FCR - Joe Ullian, Santa Barbara
Q. Which team used its first overall pick to sign Dave Roberts, and the next day inserted him into their lineup as the third baseman?
Hint: They used their first pick in the secondary phase of the draft to select Warren Cromartie.
Twint: Leron Lee was their only .300 hitter. (In fact, he was the only regular who hit above .270.)
A. 1972 Padres (drafted Roberts 06-Jun, inserted into lineup 07-Jun [12th inning]; Cromartie did not sign with Padres, which was the third of five teams to draft him)
FCR - Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA
Q. Which team’s opening day lineup included Freddie Benavides, Jerald Clark and Alex Cole?
Hint: None of the three were with the team the following season.
Twint: Armando Reynoso was the only pitcher with a winning record for the team.
A. 1993 Rockies (Reynoso 12-11)
FCR - Robert Muse, San Diego
WEEKLY THEME – Major league teams coached by Don Zimmer
1974-76, 92 Red Sox
1983, 86, 96-2003 Yankees
2004-06 Devil Rays
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Abbey Garber, Dallas (after the Wednesday question)
Monday, September 13, 2010
Hint: He is the most recent player to join the of the 600 home run club.
Twint: He faced teammate Andy Pettitte in a simulated game last week, with Reggie Jackson acting as umpire.
A. Alex Rodriguez (simulated game 04-Sep-2010)
First Correct Respondent - Mike Henderson, Silver Spring, MD
Hint: He prompted a promotion whereby bald fans gained free admission to one game a year.
Hint: During the six years the promotion was active, 298 women took advantage and entered for free.
Twint: He was part of a classic quote from the sitcom Seinfeld.
A. Jay Buhner (Buhner Buzz-Cut Night; Frank Costanza to ‘The Boss’: “How could you trade Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps?!”)
FCR - Peter Mitchell, Mission Viejo, CA
Hint: He was the Most Valuable Player of the 1987 Pan-Am Games, even though his team did not win the championship.
Twint: The next year he won a gold medal in the summer Olympics.
Twint: After winning the gold medal he may have smoked a cigar manufactured by his father.
A. Tino Martinez (1988 Team USA Olympic gold medal)
FCR - Jimmy Goggin, Williamsburg, VA
Hint: At one time he held the Brewers record for most home runs in a season.
Twint: He and Noochie were traded for Junior.
A. Richie Sexson (45 HR in a season [twice], tied w- Gorman Thomas [broken by Prince Fielder]; traded to ARI in 2003 with Noochie Varner for [among others] Junior Spivey)
FCR - David Krassin, New York
Hint: He was a TV commentator for the 2003 World Series, in which his brother played.
Twint: He was the first third-generation Major Leaguer.
A. Bret Boone (brother Aaron played in 2003 WS; son of Bob, grandson of Ray)
FCR - Bob Muse, San Diego
Hint: He won a World Series ring with the Twins, but was not on the team the following season.
Hint: He had the first regular-season hit at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
Twint: He was once traded for Bert Blyleven.
A. Paul Sorrento (1991 Twins WS; Camden hit 06-Apr-1992; traded for Blyleven 03-Nov-1988)
FCR - Mitchell Below, Oakland
Hint: In his seventh Major League season, his 103 RBI nearly matched the 112 RBI he had amassed in his first six seasons combined.
Twint: After being called out in a 2009 blog post, he vowed to return “every dime I’ve ever made” if he tested positive for steroids.
A. Raul Ibanez (103 RBI in 2002, 112 RBI from 1996-2001; blog post at http://www.midwestsportsfans.com/2009/06/raul-ibanez-great-start-comes-with-steroid-speculation/)
FCR - Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA
Hint: He hit his 500th career home run on Father’s Day with his father in the stands.
Hint: He was the 20th member of the 500 HR club.
Twint: An experimental hamstring surgery bears his name.
A. Ken Griffey, Jr. (500th HR 20-Jun-2004; The Junior Operation uses titanium screws to reattach a torn hamstring)
FCR - Arieh Siegal, Austin
Hint: At one time he held the Brewers record for most home runs in a season and also for most strikeouts in a season.
Twint: He was drafted by the Pilots in the first round of the 1969 draft, but didn’t play for Seattle until 1984.
A. Gorman Thomas (45 HR in 1979, since tied by Richie Sexson and broken by Prince Fielder, 175 K in 1979 since broken by Rob Deer, Jose Hernandez and Richie Sexson)
FCR - Larry Farin, Plano, TX
Hint: He is the only Designated Hitter to win a batting title.
Hint: He was nicknamed Papi, but he wasn’t Big.
Twint: He has a street and an award named in his honor.
A. Edgar Martinez (1995 AL batting title at [played 7 games in the field, 138 as DH] He also won a batting title in 1992, but had more game at third base that year than at DH; Edgar Martinez Drive [formerly South Atlantic Street in Seattle, WA] and Edgar Martinez Award [formerly Outstanding Designated Hitter Award], both renamed in 2004)
FCR - Matthew Repplinger, Denver
Hint: After bouncing a home run off of a car in spring training, teammate Jim Thome said “I couldn’t believe how far that kid hit that ball!”
Hint: He was the first player to hit a home run into the upper deck in right field at New Yankee Stadium.
Twint: He was nicknamed 3TO, or “Three True Outcomes” — BB, K or HR.
A. Russell Branyan (shown at Braves spring training in 2004; car-bounce HR in spring training 1998; RF UD HR 21-Aug-2010)
FCR - Joe Ullian, Santa Barbara
WEEKLY THEME – Mariners who have hit 30 home runs in a season.
Boone 37 in 2001, 35 in 2003
Branyan 31 in 2009
Buhner 40 in 1995, 44 in 1996, 40 in 1997
Griffey 45 in 1993, 40 in 1994, 49 in 1996, 56 in 1997, 56 in 1998, 48 in 1999
Ibanez 33 in 2006
Martinez, E. 37 in 2000
Martinez, T. 31 in1995
Rodriguez 36 in 1996, 42 in 1998, 42 in 1999, 41 in 2000
Sexson 39 in 2005, 34 in 2006
Sorrento 31 in 1997
Thomas 32 in 1985
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Jim McCoy, Melrose, MA