Sunday, October 2, 2011

September 26-October 2, 2011 The American League’s first black All-Stars

Q.         What Hall of Famer began his professional career as an Eagle and ended it as a Dragon?
Hint:     He played college basketball for Claire Bee.
Hint:     He played his first minor league game twelve years after his major league debut.
SABR:  He was Major League Baseball's first black shortstop.
Twint:    He originally played as "Larry Walker".
A.         Larry Doby (Newark Eagles 1942, 43, 46, Chunichi Dragons1962; Played basketball at the University of Kansas; 1968 Gulf Coast League Indians; Only game playing SS in the majors 17‑Jul‑1947)
First Correct Respondent – Bob Kimball, Washington, DC

Q.         Who garnered six Hall of Fame votes while still an active player?
Hint:     He lost the Rookie of the Year Award despite finishing fourth in MVP voting his rookie year (finished 2nd for ROY).
Hint:     His major league career spanned 31 seasons.
SABR:  He led the league in getting hit by pitches a record 10 times.
Twint:    He was the last Negro League veteran to play in the majors.
A.         Minnie Minoso (1951 ROY voting; Debut 19-Apr-1949, final game 05-Oct-1980)
FCR -    Paul Vastola, Fanwood, NJ

Q.         Who won or saved more than 34% of his team's victories at the age of 46?
Hint:     In a big league career that spanned 17 years, the only major league team owners he played for were Bill Veeck and Charlie Finley.
Hint:     Carl Yastrzemski was the last player to get a hit against him.
SABR:  He was the first former Negro Leaguer to pitch in the American League.
SABR:  He was also the last former Negro Leaguer to pitch in the majors.
Twint:    He was nicknamed for a piece of luggage.
A.         Satchel Paige (12 W 10 S for the 1952 Browns [64-90]; Debut 09-Jul-1948, final game 25-Sep-1965)
FCR -    Tim Phares, Laurel, MD

Q.         Who never played for the MLB team that signed him despite winning team MVP awards at the AAA level in their system?
Hint:     He was once traded for Roger Maris.
Hint:     He was selected to the first seven American League Gold Glove teams.
SABR:  He stole home twice in one game.
SABR:  He was actually four years older than his baseball age throughout his career.
Twint:    He was the first native of Puerto Rica to play in the American League.
A.         Vic Power (MVPs 1952-53 for the Kansas City Blues; Maris trade [with others] 16-Dec-1953; GG 1958-64; 2 SB 14-Aug-1958)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

Q.         Who hit into two double plays and dropped a fly ball on the night in his honor?
Hint:     He played on the American League's only two non-Yankee pennant winners in the 1950s.
SABR:  He is one of only three players to homer on the first pitch of a World Series game.
SABR:  He was never a candidate for President of the United States.
Twint:    In his best season he was the only top five MVP vote-getters who isn't in the Hall of Fame.
Twint:    He is probably most remembered for a World Series beer incident.
Twint:    His nickname was Fuzzy.
A.         Al Smith (Al Smith Night 26-Aug-1959; 1954 Indians & 1959 White Sox; WS HR G 1 1954; Best season 1955; Beer)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

Q.         Who was traded for sluggers Ray Boone and Ted Kluszewski the same year?
Hint:     He was also traded for Billy Martin.
Hint:     He was traded on the deadline two years in a row.
SABR:  He tied for the league lead in triples two years in a row.
Twint:    He was also nicknamed for a piece of luggage.
Twint:    His other nickname was Goody.
A.         Harry Simpson (Trades 1959; Martin trade {w/ others] 15-Jun-1957; Trades 1957-58; Triples leads 1956-57; “Suitcase”)
FCR -    Mike Miller, Dublin, OH

Q.         Who was a Major League All-Star three times before becoming a regular?
Hint:     He won his only MVP award by 100 votes over a trio of future Hall of Famers.
Hint:     He recorded the highest single season batting mark by catcher since his mentor 25 years earlier.
SABR:  Bill James listed him as the 15th best catcher despite the fact he was over 30 before he caught regularly.
Twint:    He played for six World Series losers.
A.         Elston Howard (MVP in 1963, ahead of Al Kaline, Whitey Ford & Harmon Killebrew)
FCR -    David Letizia, Washington, DC

Q.         Who was the Minnesota Twins’ first .300 hitter?
Hint:     He won a Gold Glove Award in his first three years as regular.
Hint:     The two pennant winners he played for sandwiched the Yankees' last 5-year pennant streak.
SABR:  He was traded for a squirrel.
Twint:    He was the top vote-getter on the 1965 AL All-Star team.
A.         Earl Battey (.302 in 1961; GG 1960-62; Pennants 1959 White Sox, 1965 Twins; Traded [w/ Don Mincher] for Roy “Squirrel” Sievers 04-Apr-1960)
FCR -    Bradley Curtis, Roseville, CA

Q.         Who held his franchise's single season home run record for the first sixteen years of its existence?
Hint:     It was eventually tied by Bobby Bonds, then broken by Reggie Jackson five years after that.
Hint:     He was one of four teammates selected to the Rookie All-star team his freshman year.
SABR:  One year, he led the Carolina League with 51 home runs.
Twint:    He ended his career with the same team he started with after a 10-year absence.
Twint:    His nickname was Daddy Wags.
A.         Leon Wagner (51 HR for 1956 Danville Leafs of the Carolina League)
FCR -    Prisco Panza, Milford, CT

WEEKLY THEME – The American League’s first black All-Stars.

Player        All-Star year     SABR Biography
Doby                1949                Bio
Minoso             1951                Bio
Paige                1952                Bio
Power               1955
Smith                1954                Bio
Simpson           1956                Bio
Howard             1957                Bio

Battey               1962                Bio
Wagner             1962                Bio

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

We thank Rick Swaine for this week’s theme and questions.  Check out his baseball crossword puzzles at:

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