Monday, February 27, 2012
February 20-26, 2012 Pitchers with a 20-win season with no (0) home runs surrendered
Q. What Hall of Famer has 33 documented nicknames?
Hint: He was the third of three different teammates to win league ERA titles in consecutive years.
Twint: Researchers have recently called into question his date of birth. Stay tuned.
A. Babe Ruth (Nicknames: Babe
Herman the Great
The Big Monk
The Barnstorming Babe
The Behemoth of Biff
The Behemoth of Bust
The Big Bam
The Bulky Monarch
The Caliph of Clout
The Circuit Smasher
The Colossus of Clout
The Goliath of Grand Slam
The Great Bambino
The High Priest of Swat
The Home Run King
The Infant Swategy
The King of Clout
The King of Diamonds
The King of Swing
The Maharajah of Mash
The Prince of Pounders
The Rajah of Rap
The Sultan of Swat
The Wally of Wallop
The Wazir of Wham
The Wizard of Whack;
N.B. Several readers pointed out that our research had been woefully insufficient, at least according to The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs: Recrowning Baseball's Greatest Slugger by Bill Jenkinson. Page 379 of said tome, under the heading “Miscellaneous Data” give us the following: “A Partial List of George Herman Ruth’s Nicknames or Titles”. Here are those from that page not contained in our original list:
Abou Ben Ruth
Ace of Clubbers
Babe the Mighty
Babe the Ruthless
Ball Mauling Majesty
Banzoi of Bingle
Bazoo of Bust
Caliph of Crash
Colossus of Swat
Czar of Crash
Czar of Slam
Goliath of the Bludgeon
Grand Colossus of All Hitters
Heroic Figure of our National Sport
His Royal Highness
His Royal Nibs
Invincible Invalid (in 1929)
Khedive of Klout
King of Clout
King of Diamonds
King of Swat
Kleagle of Klout
Maharajah of Maulers
Mandarin of Maul
Might Basso Profundo
Mightiest of Maulers
Mightiest of the Mighty
Mighty Man of Baseball
Monarch of Maulers
Monarch of the Home Run
Potentate of Pounders
Prince of Pummelers
Prince of Punch
Prince of Punchers
Rajah of Swat
Royce Rools of Diamond
Ruth the Rampant
Samson of Swat
Son of Swat
Swattingest Swatter of Swatdom
Terror of Pitchers
Titan of Thump
Wali of Wallop
Wazzoo of Wham
Wizard of Wallop
Wizard of Whack
Don’t forget the biographical research subject of Leigh Montville’s terrific The Big Bam. It’s a memorable read.
First Correct Respondent – Walt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD
PRESIDENTS’ DAY SPECIAL
Q. Whom did Nolan Ryan pass to become the all-time strikeout king?
Hint: …the first time.
Twint: He surrendered Babe Ruth’s final home run at Yankee Stadium.
Twint: Not to mislead you, but it was in a 1942 War Relief Exhibition.
A. Walter Johnson (27-Apr-1983 [Ryan & Steve Carlton frequently traded places atop the list until Ryan took 1st place for good by the end of 1984]; Johnson/Ruth exhibition 23‑Aug‑1942)
FCR - Abbey Garber, Dallas
Q. What Hall of Fame pitcher was the major leagues’ first 200-game winner?
Hint: He pitched a shutout in the first National League game ever played in Chicago.
Hint: This reinforced the term “being Chicagoed” as meaning being shut out.
Hint: He, more than anyone else, is responsible for promulgating the myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball.
Twint: His name appears on many a baseball glove.
Twint: He hosted a world baseball tour 1888.
A. Al Spalding (204 W in the NA; SHo 10-May-1876; 25-Apr-1876)
FCR - Steve Bonfield, Calgary
Q. Who was the president of the first International Association of Professional Base Ball Players?
Hint: He made his professional debut at age 17 for the Excelsior club, drawing the praise Hall of Famer of Henry Chadwick.
Hint: He was the first to throw two complete games in one day in the National League.
Hint: He won both games.
Twint: In 1874, he was implicated in a game-fixing scandal with John Radcliffe, Denny Mack, Bill Craver and Nat Hicks.
FCR - Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA
Q. What Hall of Famer pitcher was born in Maryland but is better known for being “from” Delaware?
Hint: He holds the 20th century record for most losses in a season.
Hint: He had four 20-win seasons for the Pirates.
Hint: He also had four 20-win seasons for the Braves (their predecessors, actually).
Twint: The Boston Sunday Journal reported that "(His) has speed and the most elusive curves. His 'drop' is so wonderful that, if anyone hits it, it is generally considered a fluke."
A. Vic Willis (b. 12-Apr-1876 in Cecil County, MD, grew up in Newark, DE; 12-29 in 1905; 20 Pittsburgh W 1906-09; 20 Boston W 19-898-99, 1901-02)
FCR - Bill Carle, Lee's Summit, MO
Q. Who is the only pitcher to throw for 40 innings in one World Series?
Hint: He is also the only one with over 35.
Hint: He was once traded with three Hall of Famers with another Hall of Famer. (Other players were involved on both sides.)
Twint: His ratio of 1.25 walks per nine innings is the lowest of any pitcher’s whose career was entirely after the modern pitching distance was established.
A. Deacon Phillippe (44 IP in the 1903 WS; Traded with Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke & Rube Waddell [among others] for Jack Chesbro [among others]; 1.2532/9IP, 60’60” est. 1893)
FCR - Art Springsteen, Sunapee, NH
Q. Who was the first left-handed pitcher to win twenty games in a season for the Pirates?
Hint: He was also the first left-handed pitcher to win twenty in a season for the Red Sox.
Hint: His brother enjoyed a ten-season career in the majors.
Twint: His career batting average, although he was primarily a pitcher, was higher than that of his position-playing brother’s.
A. Jesse Tannehill (The Q should have read "Who was the last LHP to earn 25 W in a season for the Pirates?" 25-13 for PIT in 1898; 21-11 for BOS in 1904; Lee Tannehill; .255 to .220)
FCR - Ray Luurs, Blaine, MN
Q. Who was the first pitcher to appear in a major league game after his 48th birthday?
Hint: He was the second position player to appear in a major league game after his 50th birthday.
Hint: He remains the oldest person ever to play in a major league game.
Hint: He holds the record for the longest streak of years coaching for the same team.
Twint: He set the record for a pitcher by handling thirteen chances in one game.
Twint: That record was tied by Ed Walsh three years later.
A. Nick Altrock (First of all: Props to our astute readers. That said, we need to come clean on a couple of things we put out on Altrock:
A.) The question originally said 45th, but should have read 48th birthday, Born 15‑Sep‑1876, 30‑Sep‑1924 @ 48 yrs. 13 days;
B.) His last game as a pitcher was 06-Oct-1929 @ 53 years and 21 days, setting the set the all-time record. Satchel Paige wasn't in our list because of indeterminate birthday issues. However, most researchers now agree on his birthday as 07-Jul-1906, meaning HE was really the oldest to appear in a game in the majors;
C.) Altrock set the record for oldest position player when he passed Hall of Famer Jim O’Rourke with an appearance 27-Sep-1931, and on 01‑Oct‑1933 he passed himself setting the record. In a sneaky twist, Charley O’Leary a player-coach for the Browns, pinch hit the next year, on 30-Sep-1934. Until recently he was thought to have been 51 at the time, but the latest research shows that he was born in 1875, 7 years earlier than previously reported, meaning that in 1934 he wrested the record from Altrock, 31 years before Paige claimed the title for good.
D.) 42 years as a coach with the Washington Senators, 1912-1953, really IS the record for most consecutive years with one team and he DID have 13 FC 06-Aug-1904.
FCR - Bill Carle, Lee's Summit, MO
Q. What pitcher had a streak of more than 1,000 consecutive innings without allowing a home run?
Hint: This means no inside-the-park, no bounced-over-the-fence and no over the fence on the fly.
Twint: Five of the nine career home runs he surrendered in 214 games were of the inside-the-park variety.
Twint: He was recently nudged from the top 25 in career ERA by the great Mariano Rivera.
A. Ed Killian (Streak 18-Sep-1903 through 07-Aug-1907)
FCR - Fred Brillhart, Mechanicsburg, PA
Q. Who was traded for the infielder who was not credited with being “…fleeter than birds”?
Hint: Later that season, he pitched a no-hitter.
Hint: Recent changes to the rules of what can constitute a no-hitter have downgraded his effort because it only lasted seven innings (a complete game under the rules of the day).
Hint: On a parallel note, he dueled the great Christy Mathewson to a 1-1 tie that was ended so the Giants could catch a train.
Twint: He surrendered Honus Wagner’s 2,000th career hit.
A. Jake Weimer (Traded 24-Oct-1905, sending Harry Steinfeildt to the Cubs; 24-Aug-1906; 23-May-1904; 22-Jun-1908)
FCR - Al Blumkin, Brooklyn
Q. What pitcher led the first ever professional baseball league in ERA?
Hint: Not that anybody was keeping track then, but he also lead in ERA+ and WHIP.
Hint: He was called “The Charmer”, but he never played for a team in Charm City.
Twint: He surrendered the first home run in major league history.
Twint: Alas, he also gave up the first-ever grand slam.
A. George Zettlein (HR by Ezra Sutton 08-May 1871; GS by Charley Gould on 05-Sep-1871; 2.73 for the 1871 Chicago White Stockings of the National Association; ERA+ 158, WHIP of 1.342; Baltimore did not have a team in the majors during his entire career.
FCR - Jerry Wachs, New York
EX-POST FACTO BONUS
Q. Whose major league record for consecutive scoreless innings did Walter Johnson break?
Hint: He holds the American League record for shutouts in a season.
Hint: He has five wins and no losses in World Series play, representing two teams.
Hint: He became a championship winning coach at Duke University.
Hint: His nickname derives from the college he attended.
Hint: He took hunting expeditions in Palestine every winter.
Twint: He is the only American League pitcher with two extra-inning home runs.
A. Jack Coombs (53 consec. I in 1910, Johnson’s record was then broken by Don Drysdale in 1968 and is now held by Orel Hershiser; 13 ShO in 1910 [thru June, he only had 1 ShO]; Colby College in Waterville, ME; Palestine, TX; HRs 17-Jul-1911 & 29-Aug-1911 against Detroit, the last homer ever hit in old Bennett Park.)
FCR - Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers with a 20-win season with no (0) home runs surrendered.
Weimer 20 1906
Zettlein 29 1875
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Jeff Miller, Brookeville, MD