Sunday, November 3, 2013

October 28-November 3, 2013 Notable players who spent part of their minor league careers playing for Las Vegas

Q.         What catcher helped lead the 2013 Pittsburgh Pirates to their first postseason play in two decades?
Hint:     He replaced Jorge Posada.
Hint:     He played ball for the same college as did Joey Bats.
Twint:    One of his middle names is homage to a famous saxophone player.
A.         Russell Martin (2013 Pirates; Replaced Posada on the Yankees in 2011; Chipola College also Alma Mater of Jose Bautista; Full name: Russell Nathan Jeanson Coltrane Martin, Jr [John Coltrane])
FCR -    Philip Hochberg, Rockville, MD

Q.         What reliever converted an unbelievable 84 consecutive save opportunities?
Hint:     He was the pitching coach for the French national baseball team for the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Hint:     He once hit a triple in the same game where the opposing pitcher did as well.
Twint:    He only played one season after he was named in the Mitchell Report.
A.         Eric Gagne (84 saves in a row 2002-04; France failed to win a game and did not qualify for the main BCS tournament; Triples on 21‑Aug‑2001 It was the first of Brad Penny’s career.  It was the only triple of Gagne’s career.)
FCR -    Richard Nicholson, Richmond, VA

Q.         Who was the first player since Hank Aaron in 1963 to finish in the top two in both home runs and steals?
Hint:     That same year, he led the National League in runs, home runs and RBI but lost the MVP Award to Ryan Braun.
Twint:    Some credited his improved performance to the fact that he was no longer dating Rhianna.
A.         Matt Kemp (Finished behind Michael Bourn’s 61 SB w/40, tied with Emilio Bonifacio, Cameron Maybin & Drew Stubbs, finish 1st in HR w/39; 2011)
FCR -    Tommy Garber, Austin, TX

Q.         Who is the highest-paid player on the Washington Nationals?
Hint:     It was well-earned.  In 2013 as he finished in the top ten in the league in home runs, slugging and OPS.
Twint:    His baseball bloodlines are strong.
A.         Jayson Werth ($16,000,000 in 2013; 25 HR, .532 SLG, .931 OPS; Bloodlines:  His mother, Kim Schofield Werth, competed in the U.S. Olympics Trials in the long jump and 100 meter dash.  His father, Jeff Gowan, played a year in the minor leagues and was a standout wide receiver at Illinois State.  His grandfather, Dick "Ducky" Schofield, played 19 years in the majors and his uncle, Dick Schofield, played 14 years in the majors.)
FCR -    Alan Work, White Plains, NY

Q.         What manager has two World Series championships with his current team, but garnered his only Manager of the Year Award with a different team?
Hint:     In his twelve years as a major league manager, his teams have won six division titles.
Twint:    He is the only person to both play for and manage the San Diego Padres.
A.         Bruce Bochy (WS 2010, 12, MOY 1996 w/SDP; Played for SDP 1983-87, mgr 1995-2006)
FCR -    Jeff Fink, Howell, NJ

Q.         Who holds the rookie record for consecutive games with a hit?
Hint:     He still holds that record for his franchise.
Twint:    He hit the first-ever home run for the Florida Marlins.
A.         Benito Santiago (34-game hitting streak for the Padres in 1987; HR 12‑Apr‑1993 in the team’s 7th [!] G)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York, NY

Q.         Who led Blue Jays batters in bases-on-balls in 2013?
Hint:     He’s been in the top four in home runs in the majors each of the past two season.
Hint:     He was the starting first baseman for the team that won the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Twint:    He had a five-RBI inning in July of this year.
A.         Edwin Encarnacion (82 BB; Dominican Republic National Team; 5 RBI 26‑Jul‑2013 7th inning)
FCR -    Bob Elliott, Mississauga, ON

Q.         Who would have been Rookie of the Year but for the advent of Jose Canseco?
Hint:     He was nicknamed after a fictional theme park.
Twint:    He was a collegiate teammate of Rick Aguilera.
Twint:    Brandon Phillips attended the same high school.
A.         Wally Joyner (1986 ROY voting; “Wally World”, the vacation destination of the Griswold family in the 1983 movie Vacation;
FCR -    Charlie Vascellaro, Baltimore, MD

Q.         Who was the last player to score five runs in a game in the 1980s?
Hint:     He and two other Phillies were the first trio of teammates to get one hundred bases‑on‑balls apiece in the same season.
Hint:     After a ten-year career in the majors, he collected a single off an All-Star pitcher, walked off the field, shook hands with his teammates in the dugout, descended into the clubhouse, retired for good.
Hint:     He was replaced in that game by the reigning league MVP and a certain‑to‑be Hall of Famer.
Twint:    He led the Phillies in HR, RBI, hits and runs during the 1991 season.
Twint:    He once said, "I would think I drive most hitting coaches crazy. During one single at-bat I used six different stances on six pitches. Oh yeah, I also struck out. So what do I know?”
A.         John Kruk (5 R 10‑Aug‑1989; 100+ BB 1993 w/Darren Dalulton [117], Lenny Dykstra [129] & Kruk [111]; Retirement single against Scott Erickson 30‑Jul‑1995; Replaced by Frank  Thomas)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York, NY

Q.         Who was the first National League player to collect 200 hits in a season without hitting a triple?
Hint:     He made up for it with his league-leading 48 home runs.
Hint:     He has received MVP votes each of the last three seasons.
Hint:     He will very likely receive MVP votes again in 2013.
Twint:    He was one of the record six players who hit grand slams on 21‑May‑2000.
A.         Adrian Beltre (200 H, 0 3B in 2004); GS 21-May-2000)
FCR -    Richard Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD

Q.         What switch-hitting former Dodger and former Padre is a cousin of Kanekoa Texeira?
Hint:     He was the MVP of the International League, playing for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons.
Hint:     In addition to his four Gold Glove Awards, he has also won the Lou Gehrig Memorial Award in and the Branch Rickey Award.
Twint:    He owns two World Series rings both earned playing for red-clad teams.
Twint:    His home-team fans serenaded him during the World Series, hoping to boost his spirits (and batting average).
Twint:    Only he and Jim Thome have hit multiple postseason grand slams.
A.         Shane Victorino (Texeira; IL MVP 2005; GG 2008-10 & 2013, LGMA 2008, BRA 2011; WS 2008 Phillies, 2013 Red Sox; Fans’ song:  Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds”, which begins with the lyrics, “"Don't worry about a thing, Cause every little thing gonna be all right.”  It was also Victorino’s walk-up song during the season; Thome’s GS G 6 ALCS 13‑Oct‑1998 & G 2 ALDS 07‑Oct‑1999, Victorino’s’ GS G 2 NLDS 02‑Oct‑2008)
FCR -    Blake Sherry, Dublin, OH

Q.         Who was the first second baseman since World War II to collect 200 hits, 20 home runs, 100 RBI and hit .300 for two seasons in a row?
Hint:     He was the first batter to come to the plate to "The Macarena".
Twint:    He was the first infielder to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same inning.
Twint:    Quoth Berman, “One if by land, two if sea, three if ___________________.
A.         Carlos Baerga (Stats 1992-93; Macarena 1995); Switch-hit HRs 08‑Apr‑1993, 7th inning
FCR -    Thomas Hablitzel, Hudson, OH

Q.         What former Atlanta Brave was the first native of Venezuela to manage in the major leagues?
Hint:     He’s seventh all-time in career Total Zone Runs at Shortstop, but two of the players ahead of him are fellow Venezuelans.
Twint:    He’s one of a very few people with a Manager of the Year Award, a Gold Glove and a World Series ring (as a manager).
A.         Ozzie Guillen (Mgr first in 2004 [Managerial debut:  05‑Apr‑2004; Al Pedrique managed the Diamondbacks later that same year.], played for ATL 1998-99; TZR rating 99, #4 Luis Aparicio 149, #5 Omar Vizquel 134; Award combo also done by Davey Johnson & Joe Torre)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, San Diego, CA

Q.         Who was the first player to retire with more than 1,000 strikeouts and fewer than 1,000 hits?
Hint:     He was the first player to hit 20 home runs in a season in which he batted under .200.
Hint:     The high point of his career was a game-tying home run on Easter Sunday.
Twint:    Five times in his career he was signed as a free agent.
A.         Rob Deer (853 H, 1,409 K, since joined in this special club by Russell Branyan; 1991 25 HR batting .179; Easter HR 19‑Apr‑1987 to give the MIL their 12th straight win to start the season; Signed as a free agent w/ DET 1990, w/ CAL 1995, SDP 1995 [2X] & SDP 1996)
FCR -    Charlie Vascellaro, Baltimore, MD

Q.         What Texas Ranger outfielder went over the fence for what many baseball observers consider the best ever home-run-robbing catch?
Hint:     He won his team’s MVP award that same year.
Hint:     In his one All Star Game appearance, his fellow teammate hit a game winning homer and was named MVP.
Twint:    His father, also a major league All-Star, played in the majors under the very same name.
A.         Gary Matthews, Jr. (“The Catch01‑Jul‑2006 off batter Mike Lamb.  It would have been Lamb’s 2nd HR of the G and 4th hit; ASG PNC Park 11‑Jul‑2006, HR by Michael Young; Father Gary Matthews)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York, NY

Q.         Which player hit his 40th home run of the season on his 30th birthday?
Hint:     That same season, he led his league in hits and led the majors in doubles, batting average, slugging, OPS and OPS+.
Hint:     Before his professional baseball career, he turned down a basketball scholarship offer from the University of North Carolina.
Twint:    His father served as the Cubs' Pacific Rim coordinator from for five years.
Twint:    His uncle was in the majors for eight seasons with the Cards, Padres, Indians and Dodgers.
A.         Derrek Lee (HR 06‑Sep‑2005; Father Leon worked for Cubs 1998-2002; Uncle Leron Lee
FCR -    Rod Nelson, Detroit, MI

WEEKLY THEME – Notable players who spent part of their minor league careers playing for Las Vegas.

Player            Team      Years
Baerga            Stars     1989
Beltre               51s        2001
Bochy              Stars     1983, 84, 88
Deer                Stars     1995, 96
Encarnacion    51s        2010
Gagne             51s        2001, 05, 06
Guillen             Stars     1984
Joyner             Stars     1997, 99
Kemp              51s        2006, 07
Kruk                Stars     1984, 85, 86
Lee                  Stars     1997
Martin              51s        2006
Matthews        Stars     1999
Santiago          Stars     1986, 90, 92
Victorino          51s        2003-04
Werth              51s        2004, 05

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Louis Schiff, Deerfield Beach, FL (after Werth Q.)

Horsehide Trivia blog has the questions and answers from this week as well as from previous weeks:

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