Sunday, July 29, 2012
July 23-29, 2012 Players whose defensive plays helped insure a perfect game for a teammate
Q. Whose uniform number inspired George Costanza’s bizarre choice for his first child’s name?
Hint: He became discouraged early in his professional career and decided he’d rather mine lead and zinc. His father’s stern pep talk turned him around.
Hint: Ironically, his next professional team was the Miners.
Twint: Penicillin, only recently available at the time, once saved his life.
Twint: His father must not have been a purebred.
A. Mickey Mantle’s (Seven; Members of his family worked in the lead and zinc mines near his home in Oklahoma; 1950 Joplin Miners; Developed osteomyelitis following a high school football injury; Father Elvin “Mutt” Mantle)
FCR - Doug Wilkins, San Francisco
Q. Who did Kramer promise would hit two home runs?
Hint: The second one was ruled a triple plus an error.
Hint: He is the only player to ever play in World Series sweeps in both the National League and the American League.
Twint: He became the oldest major leaguer to steal twenty bases and hit twenty homeruns in the same season.
FCR - Steve Van Wagener, Bethesda, MD
Q. What Gold Glove winner was moved from his primary position and also used as a designated hitter just three years later?
Hint: He had been a second-team All-American at Texas A&M.
Twint: His Gold Glove win interrupted what likely would have been an eleven-year string of Gold Glove wins by Roberto Alomar.
A. Chuck Knoblauch (GG 1997; Alomar won GGs @ 2b 1991-96 & 1998-2001)
FCR - Arieh Siegal, Austin
TUESDAY TWO TIMES
Q. Who was hit on the elbow by a Randy Wolf pitch on a check swing last night?
Hint: He was called back from first base and told that it was ruled that he had swung on the pitch.
Hint: He was out since it was the third strike. Replays showed he had not gone around and that the call was in error.
Hint: His elbow is bruised, but he feels OK today, is ready to play but is uncertain about his future with the team.
Twint: Because of his speed and because he was born in the 50th state, he’s often called “The Flyin’ Hawaiian”.
A. Shane Victorino (Play; Rumors abound that he will join Ichiro in the Yankee outfield)
FCR - John Wilson, Mesa, AZ
TUESDAY TOO MUCH
Q. What Boston player/manager committed suicide during spring training of the 1907 season?
Hint: Teammates had heard him speak of it, but to this day no one knows the real reason.
Hint: He hit three triples in the first modern World Series.
Twint: He hit .354 in his rookie year in 1897.
A. Chick Stahl (Drank 4 oz of carbolic acid 28-Mar-1907; 1903 WS)
FCR - Mark Pattison, Washington, DC
Q. Who owns the single-season highest batting average for any American League player in the league’s history?
Hint: Even though he won the Triple Crown that year, it was only the third best season of his career.
Hint: He was possibly the most athletic Athletic of them all.
Twint: He was so popular in Cleveland that the team was collectively called by his first name.
A. Napoleon Lajoie (.426 in 1901, the AL’s first year; WAR ratings higher in 1906 & 1910, Cleveland Naps 1903-14.)
FCR - John Robertson, Cambridge, ON
Q. Who was the first Oakland A’s outfielder to win a Gold Glove award?
Hint: He then won the next two at the same position.
Hint: A Hall of Fame catcher tied him for the triples crown in 1972 as a result of a controversial fan interference call.
Hint: He and his wife own a successful real estate brokerage in Bend, Oregon.
Twint: His sale with Rollie Fingers to the Boston Red Sox was voided once cooler heads had prevailed, but not, how, however, before he had been issued his uniform.
A. Joe Rudi (GG OF 1974-76 [N.B. Vic Power, 1958, was the first A’s player to garner a Gold Glove.]; 9 3b in 1972, tied with Carlton Fisk; Wife Sharon & he operate Nelson Real Estate in Bend; Commissioner Bowie Kuhn voided sale by A’s owner Charlie Finley 1976)
FCR - Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA
Q. Who was the first native of Cuba selected to the National League All-Star team?
Hint: The All-Star games that year, in his third season, were his only one in his nineteen-year major league career.]
Hint: Had he been hit by just one more pitch, instead of merely leading the league in that category, the Phillies might have won the pennant.
Twint: His six steals of home for the Phillies is tied for second place on their all-time list. [Unverified]
A. Tony Taylor (1960 AS games at Municipal Stadium and Yankee Stadium, two days apart for the Phillies; 13 HBP in 1964)
FCR - Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO
Q. Who was the first native of Canada to score a run in an All-Star game?
Hint: Twice he led the National League in assists by a right fielder and six other times he was among the league leaders. His throwing arm was respected.
Hint: His name appears in the Top Ten in virtually every offensive category for the Montreal Expos and yet that is not where he had his best years.
Twint: He won the MVP by such a wide margin one year that only two other players even received first place votes.
A. Larry Walker (1998 ASG, 3rd inning for the NL; 1997 National League MVP, Walker 22, Piazza 3, Bagwell 3)
FCR - Alex Holzman, Philadelphia
Q. Which future Lou Gehrig Memorial Award winner was the first Dodger to hit 40 doubles in a season since the team decamped from Brooklyn?
Hint: He was the first Los Angeles Dodger to hit for the cycle.
Hint: In Long Beach for the 2011 SABR Convention, he held an impromptu question and answer session outside for more than an hour after his speaking assignment ended.
Hint: In 2007, the Rawlings Company named him to the Gold Glove team as the greatest defensive first baseman in the last half century.
Hint: He is the lone winner who has not been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Twint: He hosted Dodger Talk on KABC in the mid-1980s.
FCR - Matt Repplinger, Denver
Q. When caught with a corked bat, which light-hitting former Rookie of the Year winner infielder claimed it was hardly “an endorsement of the cork industry”?
Hint: In his second major league game, he tied a record with eleven assists as a third baseman.
Hint: He was inducted into the Reds Hall of Fame in 2010, even though he never finished higher than 13th in league MVP balloting.
Twint: His manager gave him a nickname based on a character in a Bud Light commercial.
A. Chris Sabo (ROY 1988, corked 29-Jul-1996; 11 assists on 07-Apr-1988; nicknamed “Spuds” by Pete Rose)
FCR - Ken White, Charlotte
Q. Of whom did Ozzie Guillen claim, “If you play against him, you hate him. If you play with him, you hate him a little less.”?
Hint: Ozzie appears to have company: In the spring of 2012, he was named the most hated player in the majors by a survey of his peers in Men’s Health magazine.
Hint: He has been active in both Total Nonstop Action (TNA) and WWE wrestling.
Twint: His heads-up play with two out in Game Two of the 2005 ALCS resulted in Pablo Ozuna scoring the winning run.
A. A. J. Pierzynski (Most hated in the July 2012 issue; Ran to first after an apparently dropped 3rd strike on 12-Oct-2005, Ozuna pinch-ran & scored on Joe Crede’s double)
FCR - Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA
Q. Before Minnie Minoso in 1952, who was the last White Sox player to win an American League stolen base title?
Hint: His career ended when he broke his leg tripping over home plate.
Twint: He had attempted suicide two years earlier during spring training, allegedly after news of an affair broke.
Twint: Rumor had it that his paramour was married to teammate Red Faber.
A. Johnny Mostil (AL SB titles 1925-26; broken leg 19-May-1929; attempted suicide 09-Mar-1927)
FCR - Gary Sarnoff, Alexandria, VA
Q. Who was the first outfielder inducted into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame?
Hint: He was the only 20th century player to hit a home run in his first major league at-bat for the Rangers.
Hint: He received almost half of his $34M career earnings between the time he played his final game and his retirement announcement.
Twint: He is the only Major Leaguer to have played baseball for the University of Montevallo.
Twint: His all-out style of play resulted in numerous surgeries, including vertebrae fusion.
A. Rusty Greer (TEX HOF 2007; HR 16-May-1994)
FCR - Jim McCoy, Melrose, MA
Q. Which player, in 1878, has been cited as the first player to turn an unassisted triple play in a Major League game?
Hint: The location of Ezra Sutton is crucial to the claim.
Hint: There is now no question that he won the first batting Triple Crown.
Hint: At the time, however, Abner Dalrymple was incorrectly declared the batting titlist and runs-batted-in were not yet officially tabulated.
Twint: An accomplished pickpocket, he was arrested at age 65.
Twint: search of his home turned up numerous purses, pocketbooks and pairs of glasses.
Twint: His police department friends and sterling reputation helped him avoid incarceration.
A. Paul Hines (“UTP” 08-May-1878; Sutton is said to have passed third base when Hines, who had caught Jack Burdock’s line drive in left field, stepped on third base. By rules of the day, Sutton, who had been on second, was retired along with lead runner Jack Manning. Other accounts have Sutton not yet reaching third when Hines touched the bag. Regardless of Sutton’s position, Hines threw to second baseman Charlie Sweasy “to make sure,” which may or may not have been the third out.)
FCR - Walt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD
OPENING CEREMONIES BONUS
Q. Who was the first player to hit a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in the Major Leagues?
Hint: His home run the next day broke up Kevin Millwood’s no-hit bid in the 5th inning.
Twint: He was only the third Indians batter to hit home runs in each of his first two games.
Twint: He was the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Year in 2003.
A. Kevin Kouzmanoff (1st pitch GS HR 02-Sep-2006; Millwood spoiler 03-Sep-2006; Earl Averill [16- & 17-Apr-1929] and Josh Bard [23- & 24-Aug-2002] also homered in their first two games; Played for Nevada, now in the Mountain West Conference)
FCR - Paul Sekula, Arlington, VA
Q. Who was the first Diamondbacks player to switch-hit home runs in a game?
Hint: His three pinch-hit home runs in 2005 tied for the most in the majors that year.
Twint: After two years in the minors he officially retired from baseball, announced in a four-word Tweet by a Padres minor league broadcaster.
Twint: He unretired earlier this year to play a few games for the Atlantic League Sugar Land Skeeters, but is not currently on their roster.
FCR - Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, MD
Q. Which Tigers shortstop was traded to the Indians to make way for Alan Trammell?
Hint: His 9th inning, two-out double ruined Ken Holtzman’s no-hitter.
Hint: A friendlier scorer might have charged center fielder Bill North with an error on the play.
Twint: His father was a basketball standout at Manhattan College.
A. Tom Veryzer (traded to CLE 09-Dec-1977 for Charlie Spikes; ruinous 2b 09-Jun-1975; father John Veryzer played for Manhattan College in the late 1940s)
FCR - Clem Comly, Wallingford, PA
Q. Who threw the first pitch in the first game ever played in the National League?
Hint: His first year and last year in the majors were in Philadelphia, but in different leagues, neither of which still exists.
Twint: As a manager, he won a pennant at age 30.
A. Lon Knight (1st P 22-Apr-1876; 1875 Philadelphia Athletics of the National Association, 1885 Philadelphia Athletics of the American Association [although his last game was played for the Providence Grays; Pennant with the 1883 Philadelphia Athletics)
FCR - Jared Lobdell, Elizabethtown, PA
Q. Who is the reigning MVP of the Venezuelan Winter League?
Hint: By pinch-running on Opening Day he became the first player to make his major league debut in 2008.
Hint: The next year he became the first player to collect five hits in a game for the Gwinnett Braves.
Twint: He was the first batter in Mississippi Braves history.
A. Gregor Blanco (PR 30-Mar-2008; 5 H Gwinnett game 31-Aug-2009; 2005 Mississippi Braves leadoff batter)
FCR - Frank DiPrima, Morristown, NJ
Q. Which second baseman set the American League record for highest fielding percentage with .995 in 1980?
Hint: The only time he led the league in a batting category was in 1979 when he led the AL in sacrifices.
Twint: After being traded for Tom Brunansky, he split time at second base with Bobby Grich.
A. Rob Wilfong (25 SH in 1979; 2B platoon w/Grich for 1982-86 Angels)
FCR - Damian Begley, New York
Q. Who led the White Sox in postseason RBI and OPS in 2008?
Hint: Earlier this year his highlight-reel “catch” was convincing enough to fool umpire Mike DiMuro.
Hint: DiMuro did not even ask to see the ball, which ended up in the hands of a front-row fan.
Twint: Three days later he made his debut as a pitcher, getting the last two outs in mop-up duty during a 14-7 loss.
Twint: His main claim to fame is his reason for inclusion in this week’s questions.
FCR - Alex Holzman, Philadelphia
WEEKLY THEME – Players whose defensive plays helped insure a perfect game for a teammate
Lajoie Addie Joss 02-Oct-1908 Great infield play in the 3rd to nip Walsh on a grounder Joss had stabbed at and missed
Stahl Cy Young 05-May-1904 Fine fielding play (Patsy Dougherty & Buck Freeman also are credited with excellent defensive plays in that game)
Walker Dennis Martinez 28-Jul-1991 Played a bad throw from DeShields into an out at first base, nipping Griffin**
Wilfong Mike Witt 30-Sep-1984 Foley ground out to him to end the game. It was the final at-bat of Foley’s major league career.
Wise Mark Buehrle 23-Jul-2009 Spectacular catch at the wall in the 9th of what would have been a home run for Gabe Kapler
*Paul O’Neill is the only player to be on the winning side in three perfect games: Browning’s, Wells’s and Cone’s.
**Alfredo Griffin is the only player in history to be victimized three times. He was on the losing sides of the perfectos thrown by Barker, Browning & Martinez.
N.B. Bunning’s game was on Fathers’ Day, Braden’s was on Mothers’ Day.
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Paul Sekula, Arlington, VA (after the Taylor question)
Horsehide Trivia blog has the questions and answers from this week as well as from previous weeks: http://horsehidetrivia.blogspot.com/
Horsehide Trivia home page: https://sites.google.com/site/tnfotobbpics/home/horsehide-trivia