Sunday, June 8, 2014

June 2-8, 2014 Batters who homered off Babe Ruth

Q.         Who is the only forty-year-old player to get 200 hits in a season?
Hint:     With a career batting average of .322, he batted over .300 in 15 of his 20 career seasons, with no year less than .293.
Hint      He made a highly controversial catch of a ball off the bat of Earl Smith in the World Series.
Twint:    Two future Hall of Famers who witnessed the catch, called it the "best catch I ever saw" and the "best catch ever made in baseball".
Twint:    Questioned his whole life about the play, he always answered as Commissioner Landis had asked him to, with a maddeningly vague retort:  "The umpire called him out."
A.         SAM RICE (207 H in 1930—already 40 years old when the season began, b. 20-Feb-1890; Catch in G 3 1925 WS; Quotes from Goose Goslin & Bucky Harris respectively, Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis)
FCR -    Eric Stone, Los Gatos, CA
Incorrect answers:  Rod Carew, Derek Jeter, Honus Wager, Tris Speaker, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Zach Wheat, Max Carey, Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford, Nap Lajoie, Pete Rose

Q.         Who, along with teammates Joe Jackson and Eddie Collins, publicly promised their team's owner that they would capture the 1917 American League pennant?
Hint:     They went on to win the World Series that year a feat that team would not duplicate for 88 years.
Hint:     He scored the final run of the final game of that Series.
Twint:    He received a lifetime ban for his knowing about and failing to expose the "Black Sox" scandal.
Twint:    He felt his punishment was unnecessarily severe, once telling in an interview, "A murderer even serves his sentence and is let out.  I got life."
Twint:    Though he has been dead for over fifty years, there are efforts to reinstate him posthumously, to receive—as it were—an honorable discharge.
A.         BUCK WEAVER (Chicago White Sox owner Charles Comiskey, 1917 CHW; 1917 WS; Banned by baseball commissioner K. M. Landis; Told to told novelist James T. Farrell)
FCR -    David Knox, Pinson, AL
Incorrect answers:  Babe Ruth, Eddie Cicotte, Happy Felsch, Red Faber, Chick Gandil, Swede Risberg

Q.         Who was the first Cleveland Indian to win a league Most Valuable Player award?
Hint:     He was the also the first player in major league history to hit 60 doubles in one season.
Hint:     Only Earl Webb hit more doubles in a season.
Twint:    He is the first of only two first basemen to turn an unassisted triple play.
A.         GEORGE BURNS (1926 AL MVP [Indians Hall of Famer Tris Speaker had won the Chalmers Award in 1912.]; 64 2b in 1926; Webb 67 2b in 1931; Burns tied for 2nd w/Joe Medwick; UTP 14-Sep-1923)
FCR -    Ron Kaufman, Thornhill, ON
Incorrect answers:  Tris Speaker. Lou Boudreau, Earl Averill, Al Rosen, Joe Gordon, Nap Lajoie, Chase Utley, Joe Jackson

Q.         Who was the third player in the majors to hit thirty home runs in a season?
Hint:     Two days later, Rogers Hornsby equaled his 30 and went on to take the majors' home run crown that year with 42.
Hint:     He replaced Tris Speaker in centerfield when Speaker was traded from the World Champion Red Sox to the Cleveland Indians.
Twint:    That same year he got his only World Series ring.
FCR -    Scott Matteson, Shawnee, KS
Incorrect answers:  Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Cy Williams, Jimmie Foxx, Ken Williams, Ray Chapman, Steve O'Neill

Q.         Who was the only person in uniform for all three Yankee perfect games?
Hint:     An iconic coach, he changed his uniform number every year to reflect the number of years he had been in baseball.
Hint:     Last year he wore #66.
Hint:     In all, he wore the uniforms of fourteen different teams as a big league player, manager, or coach.
Hint:     He won two World Series championships as a player and four as a coach, but his greatest accomplishment came as a manager when led the Cubs to the postseason.
Hint:     That earned him Manager of the Year honors, missing unanimity by one vote, the lone remaining vote going to a former teammate.
Hint:     He managed the Red Sox to three consecutive 90-win seasons.
Hint:     For that effort all he got was one playoff game, a harrowing loss.
Twint:    Spaceman Bill Lee gave him his nickname, The Gerbil.
Twint:    The balls he took to the head on three different occasions were a significant part of why all major league batters wear helmets today.
A.         DON ZIMMER (Perfectos:  Don Larsen’s, David Wells’s & David Cone’s; WS wins:  1955, 59, 96, 98, 99 & 2000; 1989 Cubs; MOY 1989 [Roger Craig]; Red Sox 1977, 78, 79; 1978 one-game playoff with Yankees.  Dent went deep.)
FCR -    Timothy Kearns, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Yogi Berra

Q.         Whose mid-season designation as manager ended the managerial career of Walter Johnson?
Hint:     He was the Cleveland Indians' starting catcher for their 1920 World Series winning team.
Hint:     In Game One of that series, he hit two doubles with two RBIs against Rube Marquard providing the margin of victory in the Indians 3-1 win over the Robins.
Twint:    The Robins' Hall of Fame manager, Wilbert Robinson, dubbed him the "King of Maskmen".
A.         STEVE O'NEILL (1935 replaced Johnson; Managerial record; 1920 WS; 1920 WS G1 boxscore; nickname reference SABR BIO)
FCR -    Larry Creeden, Henderson, NV
Incorrect answers:  Clark Griffith, Pinch Thomas, Tris Speaker

Q.         Who holds the major league record for sacrifices in one season?
Hint:     Despite a shortened career, he is also sixth on the career list for sacrifices.
Hint:     His stolen base total one year was his franchise's record for 63 seasons.
Hint:     He often regaled his teammates with his singing and piano playing.
Twint:    It's a shame he's not better known for what he did during his career rather than how it ended.
A.         RAY CHAMPMAN (67 sacrifices in 1917; 334 in his career; 52 SB in 1917; Was killed with a pitch thrown at dusk by Carl Mays 16-Aug-1920)
FCR -    Gary Glasser, Fort Lee, NJ
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Collins, Jerry Royster, Nate Adcock, Denny McLain

Q.         Who was the first Yankee to lead the American League in stolen bases?
Hint:     That was the first time any Yankee stole more than fifty in a season.
Hint:     His total of 510 hits in the majors paled in comparison to the 2,093 he got in the minors.
Hint:     That was enough to get him elected to the International League Hall of Fame.
Twint:    His brother and cousin both played in the majors.
Twint:    The year he led the AL in stolen bases, he didn’t lead the majors, but he had twelve more than George Burns, who led the NL.
A.         FRITZ MAISEL (74 SB in 1914; Brother George Maisel, cousin Charlie Maisel; major league SB leader that year was Benny Kauff from the Indiana Hoosiers of the  Federal  League)
FCR -    Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA
Incorrect answers:  Ben Chapman, Wally Pipp, Hall Chase, Earle Combs, Birdie Cree, George Selkirk

Q.         Who was the first professional baseball manager for a team in Beckley, West Virginia?
Hint:     When a couple of Hall of Fame Marylanders became his teammates, he was already a seasoned veteran.
Hint:     He went to Boston before they did.
Twint:    He came from the same home town as Mel Allen.
Twint:    His nickname was "Bugger".
Twint:    He was the only player to homer off Babe Ruth when Ruth pitched for the Yankees.
A.         FRANK WELCH (Player/mgr 1931-32; Lefty Grove and Jimmie Foxx joined the A’s in 1925, Welch had been with the team since 1919; Bought by the Red Sox in the 1926 off-season, Grove was traded to  Boston in 1933, Fox in 1935; Welch and Allen born in Birmingham, Alabama)
FCR -    No one
Incorrect answers:  Frank Baker, Frank McCormick, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove, Sol White, Dick Hoblitzell

WEEKLY THEME – Batters who hit home runs off noted pitcher Babe Ruth.

Batter            Date              For      Of note…
Burns          27-Aug-1917     DET
                  24-Apr-1918      PHA
Chapman    13-Jul-1915       CLE      IPHR
Maisel         02-Oct-1914     NYY
O'Neill         28-Aug-1915     CLE      Bounced
Rice            25-Jun-1919     WSH     IPHR
Walker        10-Aug-1915     SLB
                  30-May-1919     PHA
Weaver       16-Jun-1917      CHW
Welch         01-Oct-1921      PHA     IPHR

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Dave Washburn, Marietta, GA (After the Burns Q.)

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