Sunday, February 6, 2011

January 31-February 6, 2011 Canadian Born Major Leaguers with the most games played at each position, plus a manager.

-This week’s questions and theme come from reader David Matchett of Toronto.

Q.         Who is the only pitcher to win 100, strike out 1,000 and surrender 200 home runs in each league?
Hint:     One year he lost 5, 1-0 games.
Hint:     Twice, after winning 20 games, he spent the offseason playing for the Harlem Globetrotters.
SABR Hint:       He was born near the terminus of the Underground Railroad.
Twint:    On February 1 he will be featured on a postage stamp.
A.         Fergie Jenkins (W 169 NL/115 AL, K 2050/1142, HR 273/211; 1-0 games in 1968; Globetrotters in 1967-9; b. Chatham, ON; Canada Post stamp in honour of Black History Month)
First Correct Respondent - Robert McQuown, Rolling Meadows, IL

Q.         Who is the only batting title qualifier since 1932 with three consecutive seasons hitting over .360?
Hint:     He was a nine-time winner of the Tip O’Neill Award.
SABR Hint:       He played hockey with Hall of Famer Cam Neely.
Twint:    He lost the Lou Marsh Award one year to, in his words, “a car”.
Twint:    But he won it the following year with 26 fewer home runs and 63 fewer runs batted in.
A.         Larry Walker (.360+ 1997-9; Tip O’Neill Award to best Canadian baseball player; Played street hockey with Neely as kids in Maple Ridge, BC; Marsh Award to Canada’s top athlete, lost in 1997 to Formula 1 champ Jacques Villeneuve, won in 1998)
FCR -    Jim Moyer, Ellicott City, MD

Q.         Who is the only man to have played for all four of the 1969 expansion franchises?
Hint:     He also played for two other expansion franchises.
Hint:     …and six other major league teams.
SABR Hint:       …and a team in Japan.
Twint:    He hit more pinch hit home runs than anyone else in major league history.
A.         Matt Stairs (Montreal 1992-3, Milwaukee 2002, KC 2004-6, SD 2010; Texas 2006, Toronto 2007-8; Boston 1995, Oakland 1996-2000, Chicago Cubs 2001, Pittsburgh 2003, Detroit 2006, Philadelphia 2008-9; Chunichi Dragons 1993; 23 PH HR)
FCR -    Joe Ullian, Santa Barbara

Q.         Who was the first player to record 10 hits in a National League championship series?
Hint:     He has the best career fielding percentage for a right fielder (minimum 500 games).
SABR Hint:       He is a member of the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.
Twint:    He is a member of the Saskatchewan Sports Hall of Fame.
Twint:    He was in uniform at the Beijing Olympics.
A.         Terry Puhl (10 hits in 1980 NLCS; .9936 in 788 games at RF; managed Team Canada; TBBHOF 2006; SSHOF 1994) 
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         Who was the first American League third baseman to have a season with 100 runs, 100 RBI, 25 home runs and 25 steals?
Hint:     He retired two weeks after being on a World Baseball Classic team's roster due to the effects of a concussion.
Hint:     He didn't actually play in the WBC that year.
SABR Hint:       He also played volleyball at the national level.
Twint:    He played goalie for the Selkirk Steelers in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
A.         Corey Koskie (Stats in 2001:  100/103/26/27; WBC Canadian team in 2009; National Canadian Juvenile Volleyball tournament MVP)
FCR -    Mitchell Below, Oakland

Q.         Who, as a rookie, set a record for most errors at second base (since broken)?
Hint:     Later in his career he switched positions and twice led his league in fielding percentage.
Hint:     He played for six major league teams in his first 130 games.
Twint:    In his first year with his seventh team he led the majors in triples.
Twint:    His nickname belied his relatively early departure from the game at age 34.
A.         Charles “Pop” Smith (89 errors at 2B in 1880; best fielding percentage at SS in 1886 and 1888; Cincinnati, Worcester, Cleveland, Buffalo, Philadelphia and Louisville 1880-2; 17 triples in 1883)
FCR -    Dave Mason, Ottawa

Q.         Who scored the only run in the major leagues’ first perfect game?
Hint:     Waite Hoyt described him as “probably the most disgusting man I ever knew”.
SABR Hint:       He popularized the fielder’s glove and invented the first football scoreboard.
Twint:    He simultaneously kept wives and children in Boston and New York.
Twint:    He is one of only two former major leaguers whose place of death is listed as “Atlantic Ocean”.
A.         Arthur Irwin (Lee Richmond’s perfect game 12-Jun-1880)
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn

Q.         Who was the losing pitcher in the game that started the Red Sox’s epic comeback in 2004?
Hint:     He holds the Yankee record for most games pitched in a season.
SABR Hint:       He holds the major league record for most seasons with 80+ games pitched.
Twint:    He is the #4 “Q” on the all-time Saves list.
Twint:    He’s from London, but he is not British.
A.         Paul Quantrill (ALCS G 4 surrendered HR to David Ortiz in 12th inning; 86 games in 2004, 80+ 5 times; behind Quisenberry, Quinn and Qualls in saves list; born in London, Ontario)
FCR -    Rod Nelson, Detroit

Q.         Who was the first major leaguer catcher to catch 140 games in a season?
Hint:     The next year he was the first to catch 150.
SABR Hint:       He is one of only nine catchers to have 200+ assists in a season.
Twint:    He finished his active career as a player/coach under John McGraw.
Twint:    He managed his son-in-law, who played his old position for his old team.
A.         George Gibson (140 games in 1908, 150 in 1909, 203 assists in 1910, player coach with NY Giants in 1917-18, SIL Bill Warwick, caught 1 game for 1921 Pirates)
FCR -    Dave MacEntee, Beacon, NY

Q.         Who was the first Phillie to have 10 or more doubles, triples and home runs in one season?
Hint:     He was the first of only three major leaguers born on his native island.
SABR Hint:       He hit the first home run in Philadelphia’s old Baker Bowl.
Twint:    He is the only player to lead a major league in saves one season and home runs hit in another.
Twint:    He was the second player born outside the USA to win a major league home run title.
A.         George Wood (22/19/14 in 1887; Prince Edward Island, Canada; 7 HR in 1882, 2 saves in 1888; BB HR 30-Apr-1887; George Hall of Stepney, England was 1st in 1876)
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamzoo

Q.         Who played first base in the Stonewall Infield?
Hint:     He died at age 43 from a neurological disorder.
SABR Hint:       Three of his 17 career home runs were hit off Hall of Fame pitchers.
Twint:    He was thrown out at first base by the right fielder during a perfect game.
Twint:    He finished up as a Cowboy.
A.         Bill Phillips (Stonewall Infield—Cleveland, early 1880’s; Syphilitic locomotor ataxia at age 43; HRs off Ward, Radbourn and Galvin; June 12, 1880, thrown out by Worcester RF Lon Knight in Lee Richmond’s perfecto; KC Cowboys 1888)
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn

Q.         What major league manager piloted Detroit to its first World Series Championship?
Hint:     The year before, he had led Detroit to its best winning percentage ever.
SABR Hint:       He managed over 900 games with a winning record by age 41 but never managed in the majors again after that.
Twint:    After his baseball career he was the Justice of the Peace in Marysville, Michigan.
Twint:    He shares a birth place with Tonto and The Great One.
A.         Bill Watkins (1887 Detroit Wolverines WS Champs; 1886, 87-36 .707; 452-444 .504; Brantford, Ontario, Jay Silverheels and Wayne Gretzky)
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamazoo

WEEKLY THEME – Canadian Born Major Leaguers with the most games played at each position, plus a manager.

Player         Pos         G          Birthplace
Gibson       C         1,194        London, ON
Irwin            SS          947        Toronto, ON
Jenkins       SP          594        Chatham, ON
Koskie        3b           908        Anola, MB
Phillips       1b        1,032        Saint John, NB
Puhl            CF          342        Melville, SK
Quantrill      RP          777        London, ON
Smith          2b           713        Digby, NS
Stairs          DH          415        Fredericton, NB
Walker        RF       1,718        Maple Ridge, BC
Watkins      Mgr         914        Brantford, ON
Wood         LF        1,192        Pownal, PE*

NB:  Phillips, Smith, Irwin, Wood and Watkins were born before there was such a country as Canada.  Canadian Confederation, the birth of Canada as a nation, took place on 01‑Jul‑1867, and originally included the provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. There are now 10 provinces and three territories in Canada.

*Some references have Wood as a native of Boston.  Recent research, however, has found that he was born in Pownal, Prince Edward Island and moved to Boston with his family when he was 6 or 7 years old.

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Maxwell Kates, Toronto

David Matchett adds the following research notes:

-  Justin Morneau and Jason Bay are about a season and a half away from taking over at 1B and LF so the list will remain the same through 2011. Russell Martin at catcher and Jesse Crain at relief pitcher may also make the list but that's about it for the foreseeable future.

-  Gaylord Perry and Randy Johnson were 5 and 9 NL home runs from joining the list.

-  The last to hit 360+ for 3 years was Al Simmons in 1929 to 1931.  Boggs and Gwynn each had 4 years at 360+ but no more than two consecutive.

-  Stairs was the inspiration for the quiz.  One of my all time favourites - how could you not love a short, fat, bald guy who has a 20-year career?

-  Munson and Chambliss had 10 hits in the ALCS in 1976 but Puhl was the first in the NL.  Some sources (e.g. the Texas BBHOF site) show him as having the best fielding percentage of all outfielders but since he retired Darryl Hamilton, Darren Lewis and Vernon Wells passed him.  He's still #1 in RF.  Ichiro is #1 active but needs to go errorless over the next three years to pass him.

-  Koskie He was on the team Canada roster for the 2009 WBC but he didn't play in either game (a thrilling loss to the US and a devastating loss to Italy—I was at both games.  (I met Joey Votto a year ago and he still couldn't believe they’d lost to Italy!).  The concussion happened over two years earlier and this Koskie’s final attempt at a comeback.  Maybe: He was on a WBC team and retired 2 weeks later...

-  Smith led the American Association in triples with 17 in 1883 playing with the Columbus Buckeyes.  Dan Brothers lead the NL that same year, also with 17.

-  The Hoyt quote about Irwin is taken from page 39 of Ed Barrow: the bulldog who built the Yankees' first dynasty by Daniel R. Levitt.  Here is  source about popularizing the fielder's glove:

-  The two other players from PEI were Henry Oxley, who caught 3 games in 1884 and Vern Handrahan, who pitched in 34 games with KC from 1964 to 1966.

-  At the time of his retirement only two other major leaguers had played more games at first base than had Phillips.  (Through 1888 Cap Anson 1,092; Joe Start; 1,069, Phillips; 1,032).

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