Sunday, July 6, 2014

June 30-July 6, 2014 Leadoff and walk-off home runs by the same player in the same game

Q.         What speed merchant is the all-time leader in runs scored in a season and career runs scored per game played?
Hint:     He is the first Hall of Famer born in New Jersey.
Hint:     He has a namesake in the majors this year with some similar skills.
Twint:    He was the first Philadelphia Phillies player to win the National League batting title.
Twint:    He ranks fourth in on-base percentage in major league history.
A.         BILLY HAMILTON (198 R in1894; B. Newark, NJ; Modern Billy Hamilton; Batting title .340 in 1891; Career OBP .455 [trailing on Williams, Ruth & McGraw)
FCR -    Nick Batselos, Rockville, MD
Incorrect answers:  Rickey Henderson, Tim Raines

Q.         Who was the first native of Puerto Rico to be selected to the American League All-Star team?
Hint:     He twice Gold Glove Awards at first base playing for two different teams each season.
Hint:     He won five additional Gold Gloves.
Twint:    He was the last active player in the majors to have played for the Philadelphia A’s.
A.         VIC POWER (AS 1955; GG 1958 [KCA & CLE], 1964 [MIN & LAA]; GGs Also in 1959-63; 1954 A’s, ret. 1965, a few weeks after Nellie Fox did)
FCR -    Larry Creeden, Boulder City, NV
Incorrect answers:  Carlos Delgado, Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Alomar

Q.         Which player holds the record for most hits in the month of April?
Hint:     He leads in every conceivable offensive career category for players born in his native state.
Twint:    He was a punter for the 1994 Nebraska Cornhuskers national championship football team.
A.         DARIN ERSTAD (48 H Apr 2000; B. ND; Kicking for Neb.)
FCR -    Brad Fox, Erie, PA
Incorrect answers:  Vern Stephens, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Pete Rose, Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, Jose Altuve

Q.         Whom did the Tigers acquire in exchange for Prince Fielder?
Hint:     This is second time he has been a Tiger.
Hint:     He has twice been a member of the 30/30 club.
Twint:    Led his high school team to two state championships in baseball.
A.         IAN KINSLER (Trade for Fielder 20-Nov-2013; Attended University of Missouri; 31 HR/31 SB in 2009 & 32/30 in 2011; Attended Canyon del Oro HS in Tucson)
FCR -    Alex Griffel, Great Neck, NY
Incorrect answers:  Howard Johnson

Q.         Who was the first player in major league history to steal 25 bases and hit thirty home runs in his rookie season?
Hint:     That only garnered him fourth place in Rookie of the Year voting.
Hint:     Although a regular starter, he has only once hit above .250 in his nine-year career in the Bigs.
Twint:    He is active in community affairs and an active user of Twitter.
A.         CHRIS YOUNG (2007:  32 HR, 27 SB; 4th place ROY voting; Twitter account)
FCR -    Richard Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers:  George Case, Jose Canseco, Brandon Phillips, Dan Uggla

Q.         What pitcher's widely-read autobiographical account of a year of his career, The Long Season, was written entirely by him?
Hint:     It is still considered a pioneering effort contributing to the success of subsequent books such as Ball Four and The Bullpen Gospels.
Hint:     Jimmy Cannon, a respected sportswriter, called it "the greatest baseball book ever written."
Hint:     The Saturday Evening Post declared him, "... quite possibly the most intellectual creature ever to put on major-league uniform."
Hint:     He played for an American Legion team with teammates Don Zimmer and Jim Frey that made it to the national finals.
Hint:     His contribution during that championship run included two shutouts in the regional and sectional finals, one a two-hitter and the other a three-hitter.
Hint:     In his nine-year career in the majors, he was a journeyman starter then finished as a reliable closer.
Hint:     "I don't mind catching your fastball at all.  Naturally, I'd want to have a glove on in case you might be having an especially good day." -Batterymate Gene Green, joking with him about his lack of velocity.
Twint:    He was teammates with Hall of Famers Ernie Banks, Ralph Kiner, Monte Irvin, Stan Musial, Frank Robinson and Nellie Fox.
Twint:    His last manager was Hall of Famer Al Lopez.
A.         JIM BROSNAN (SABR Bio; NY Times Obit; The Long Season; Cincinnati’s Bentley Post American Legion team made the national finals in 1946)
FCR -    Dave Johnson, Swarthmore, PA
Incorrect answers:  Jim Bouton, Stu Miller

Q.         Who passed Tim Wallach for the Cal State Fullerton school record for runs scored in a season?
Hint:     This twelve-year major league veteran has thrice been plunked by a pitch three times in a game.
Hint:     He once drove in the walk-off, 11th-inning game-winning run by being hit by a pitch.
Hint:     He once went over the wall to catch a Prince Fielder drive that, if not caught, would have resulted in a game-tying grand slam.
Twint:    He was an Academic All-American in college.
Twint:    His soul-patch facial hair, while not unique in baseball, has been his trademark for many years.
A.         REED JOHNSON (101 R in 1999 for Cal State Fullerton; 3HBP 29-Apr-2006, 07-Apr-2006 and 16-Apr-2005; Walk-off HBP 12-Jun-2008 vs. ATL; Robbed Fielder 12-Apr-2009 with Cubs leading 6-2; Soul-patch)
FCR -    Alex Poterack, Providence, RI
Incorrect answers:  Aaron Rowand, Mark Kotsay, Phil Nevin, Torii Hunter

WEEKLY THEME – Batters who have hit a lead-off home run and a walk-off home run in the same game.  Thanks to David Vincent for verification of this information.

Player            Date                Innings
Hamilton     17-May-1893     1st & 10th
Power         07-May-1957*    1st & 10th
Erstad        25-Jun-2000      1st & 11th
Johnson     15-Jun-2003      1st & 10th
Kinsler        19-Jul-2009       1st & 12th
Young        07-Aug-2010     1st &   9th
            *His first 2 HRs of the season

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Paul Sekula, Arlington, VA (after Power)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday   -  Players with 4 stolen bases in their first ML game
               -  Former U.S. Secretaries of the Treasury
               -  Former and current players with the same name
               -  Players with Dead-Ball Era Run Scoring Records
               -  Players with more than 2000 hits and 500 Stolen Bases.

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