Sunday, December 14, 2014

December 8-14, 2014 American League season home run champs whose teammate took the title the following season

Q.         Whose iconic nickname is a result of his minor league manager bringing so many young players to professional baseball?
Hint:     He broke Socks Seybold’s American League record for home runs in a season.
Twint:    He then held it for the next 42 years.
A.         BABE RUTH (Jack Dunn recruited Ruth; Seybold hit 16 in 1902.  Ruth hit 29 in 1919 and never looked back.  Roger Maris is the current record holder with 61 hit in 1961.)
FCR -    Christine Scully, Oglesby, IL
Incorrect answers:  Home Run Baker, Roger Connor, Frank "Wildfire" Schulte

Q.         Whose record for career grand slams did Alex Rodriguez break?
Hint:     As a competitor, he wasn’t just ferocious—he was ferrous.
Twint:    His retirement was the first of many.
A.         LOU GEHRIG (23 GS, A-Rod 24; Called the Iron Man; His uniform #4 was the first such ever retired in the majors.)
FCR -    Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, AR
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Murray, Robin Ventura, Roger Maris, Gil Hodges, Jimmie Foxx, Willie McCovey

Q.         Who was the next batter to win a Triple Crown after Ted Williams’ two in 1942 and 1947?
Hint:     He led the league in home runs four times, but his Triple Crown season was the only time in his eighteen-season career when he led in batting average or RBI.
Hint:     For years he wondered why the outfield grass couldn’t be watered by hand.
Twint:    Jane Leavy, writing his definitive biography, uncovered facts she wishes she hadn’t.
A.         MICKEY MANTLE (TC 1956; Injured his knee tripping on a hidden lawn sprinkler in the outfield.)
FCR -    Brian Wood, Pacific Grove, CA
Incorrect answers:  Frank Robinson, Fred Lynn, Carl Yastrzemski

Q.         Who led the America League in home runs and RBI one year in the middle of Babe Ruth’s career?  [No.  Not Babe Ruth.]
Hint:     Ruth a led in home runs the two years before and six straight years after.
Hint:     He hit for the cycle three times in his career, something only two other players ever did.
Twint:    The first two times the Yankees hit three consecutive home runs in a game, he hit the first of the three.
Twint:    The second and third homers were off the bats of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig both times.
A.         BOB MEUSEL (33 HR in 1925 Ruth led in 1923-24, 26-31; 3 Cycles [All 3 on the road]:  07-May-1921 [all H off Walter Johnson], 03-Jul-1922 & 26-Jul-1929; Back-to-back-to-back:  10‑Sep‑1922 4th inning & 04-May-1929 7th inning)
FCR -    Adrian Fung, Toronto, ON
Incorrect answers:  Ken Williams, Rogers Hornsby, Tony Lazzeri, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Al Simmons, George Sisler, Babe Herman

Q.         Who did Christy Mathewson cite as the hardest hitter he ever saw in spite of the fact that he never homered off him?
Hint:     He never led his league in batting, but was second four different times.
Hint:     He also never led the league in slugging, but was second four times and third four other times.
Hint:     His record in the Negro Leagues and Pacific Coast League is just as impressive.
Twint:    He is the first player with National League and American League home run titles.
Twint:    He is the oldest player to lead the American League in triples for a season.
A.         SAM CRAWFORD (Minor league record:, Negro League record:; 16 HR w/CIN in 1901 & 7 HR w/DET in 1908; 19 3b in 1915 @ 35 yrs 13 days)
FCR -    Geehoon Hong, Bayside, NY
Incorrect answers:  Joe Jackson, Josh Gibson, Ken Williams, Pop Lloyd, Mike Donlin, Louis Santop, Cool Papa Bell, Joe Tinker, Oscar Charleston

Q.         Who was the first black player to lead a major league in home runs?
Hint:     He was born in Camden, but grew up in New Jersey anyway.
Hint:     He once knocked himself out making a home-run-robbing, game-saving catch.
Twint:    His 121 strikeouts in 1953 were the most by an American League batter since 1910.
A.         LARRY DOBY (32 HR 1952, B. 1923 Camden, SC, HS in Paterson, NJ; On July 30, 1954, playing the Washington Senators, Doby robbed Tom Umphlett of an apparent game-tying home run by leaping above the fence at Cleveland Municipal Stadium near the 380-foot mark and backhanding the ball with the top of his glove, his torso entirely above the fence.  He then came down on the awning above the bullpen located behind the fence, bounced off it and fell back onto the playing field still holding the ball.  Left fielder Al Smith raced over and retrieved the ball from the knocked-out Doby's mitt to keep the baserunner from advancing; 128 K by Jake Stahl 1910)
FCR -    Neil Bhaerman, Pittsburgh, PA
Incorrect answers:  Rob Ducey, Willie Mays, Nigel Wilson, Roy Campanella, Frank Robinson

Q.         Which Hall of Famer was the first batter to hit thirty home runs against the Toronto Blue Jays? [Not in the same season—that would be a record.]
Hint:     Some of those homers helped him lead the American League in total bases for three consecutive seasons.
Hint:     The only other American Leaguer to accomplish that was Ty Cobb 1907-09.
Twint:    The second of those seasons saw him win the MVP with a 90% vote.
A.         JIM RICE (34 career HR vs. TOR; 382 TB in 1977, 406 in ’78, 369 in ’79; MVP 1978)
FCR -    Blake Sherry, Dublin, OH
Incorrect answers:  Reggie Jackson, Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, Eddie Murray, George Brett, Don Mattingly

Q.         Who was the first American League player to collect 200 hits in a season without hitting a home run?
Hint:     He’s another “double unique”.
Twint:    Five years earlier, he became the first American League player to receive bases-loaded-intentional-bases-on-balls.
Twint:    The manager who made that call is now in the Hall of Fame.
A.         NAP LAJOIE (1906:  214 H, 0 HR; Intentional walk 23-May-1901, 9th inning; Called by Clark Griffith)
FCR -    Steven Elsberry, Windsor Heights, IA
Incorrect answers:  Rod Carew, Ichiro Suzuki, Doc Cramer, Juan Pierre, Kirby Puckett, Nellie Fox

Q.         Whose 55-year-old franchise record did Travis Hafner break when he took Kris Benson deep on 07-Jul-2006?
Hint:     He teamed with George Steinbrenner and made an unsuccessful offer to buy the Yankees.
Twint:    Was MVP ASAP & IMHO an AOK MOT.
A.         AL ROSEN (Pronk hit his 5th grand slam of the season that day [He’d hit one more that year.] Rosen had 4 in 1951; Failed to buy NYY in 1972; AL MVP 1953 unanimously, only 4th full year in the league [“Most Valuable Player – As Soon As Possible – In My Humble Opinion – All OK – Member Of the Tribe (Jewish)])
FCR -    Tucker Warner, Spottsylvania, VA
Incorrect answers:  Hank Greenberg, Rocky Colavito, Jim Busby

Q.         Who was the first slugger to hit thirty home runs and bat under .220 for an American League expansion team?
Hint:     His first major league home run was off that year’s Cy Young Award winner, later elected to the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     He was once tagged out by a catcher whose leg had been broken by the previous runner.
Hint:     He swatted 51 homers in a Pacific Coast League season.
Twint:    He was Horsehide Trivia’s Cover Photo subject yesterday.
A.         GORMAN THOMAS (32 HR .215 in 1985; 1st HR off Jim Palmer 04-15-1973; Tagged out at home by Buck Martinez 09-Jul-1985, Phil Bradley out just ahead of him; 51 HR for the 1974 Sacramento Solons)
FCR -    Adrian Fung, Toronto, ON
Incorrect answers:  Steve Bilko, Dave Kingman, Frank Howard, Leon Wagner, Jay Buhner, Rob Deer

Q.         Who is the only batter to amass over 500 home runs yet fall short of double digits in triples for his career.
Hint:     He twice had games with three intentional bases-on-balls.
Hint:     He holds the record for the most home runs in a season where he didn’t steal a single base.
Hint:     To be fair, that year he didn’t have a single attempt either.
Twint:    He was the first player to hit a home run that hit the scoreboard at Jacobs Field in Cleveland, denting the scoreboards' giant Budweiser sign in the process.
A.         MARK McGWIRE (583 HR/6 3B; 3 IBBs 24-May-1998 & 06-Jun-1998; 1999 65 HR/0 SB; HR off CLE scoreboard 30‑Apr‑1997)
FCR -    Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA
Incorrect answers:  Harmon Killebrew, Jim Thome. Barry Bonds, Manny Ramirez, Dave Kingman, Ralph Kiner, Frank Thomas, Mickey Mantle. Ted Williams, Willie McCovey, Eddie Mathews

Q.         Who took two of Miggy’s three legs the next season?
Hint:     He’s well-known for pressing.
Hint:     He was drafted by the Yankees and Angels.
Hint:     His strikeout rate kept him out of the World Series.
Hint:     He followed in the noble tradition of Ty Cobb and Rocky Colavito.
Twint:    He is only the fourth major leaguer to hit home runs in each of his first four games of a season.
A.         CHRIS DAVIS (Miguel “Miggy” Cabrera won the batter’s Triple Crown (HR, RBI & BA titles in the same season) in 2012 (44/139/.330).  In 2013 Cabrera again won the batting title (.348), but Davis bested him and led the AL with 53 HRs & 138 RBI in 2013; A reputed beast in the weight room; Drafted NYY in 2004 & LAA in 2005, instead attended and played for Navarro College; Drafted by and on the roster of TEX in 2010, but left off the postseason roster w/Ks in 33.3% of his AB; On 06-May-2012 Davis was the designated hitter until he was pressed into service as a relief pitcher in the 16th inning. He gave up no runs in 2 innings of work.  He was the first position player in the AL to be the winning pitcher in a game since Rocky Colavito on 25‑Aug‑1968. He and losing pitcher Darnell McDonald were the first position players on opposing teams in the same contest to each work in relief since Ty Cobb and George Sisler on 04-Oct-1925; HRs in 4 straight games of the season 02-, 03-, 04- & 05-Apr-2013, others to do so:  Nelson Cruz [2010], Mark McGwire [1992]& Willie Mays [1971].)
FCR -    Richard Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers:  Mike Trout, Nelson Cruz, Adam Dunn

Q.         Who is the last White Sox player with a grand slam on opening day?
Hint:     Never known for his wheels, he manufactured wheels after his retirement.
Twint:    He was the first player to win a home run title for the White Sox.
A.         BILL MELTON (GS 07-Apr-1971 [2]; Help his father make wheels for roller blades; HR title 1971)
FCR -    Geehoon Hong, Bayside, NY
Incorrect answers:  Greg Luzinski, Ron Kittle, Frank Thomas, Joe Crede, Dick Allen, Don Baylor

WEEKLY THEME – American League season home run champs whose teammate took the title the following season.

Player       Year     HRs      Teammate    Year   HRs        Team
Crawford   1908        7         Cobb          ‘09         9         DET
Davis        2013      53         Cruz            ‘14       40         BAL
Doby        1952      32         Rosen         ‘53       43         CLE
Gehrig       1936      49         DiMaggio    ‘37       46         NYY
Lajoie        1901      14         Seybold      ‘02       16         PHA
Mantle       1960      40         Maris          ‘61       61         NYY
McGwire    1987      49         Canseco     ’88       42         OAK
Melton       1971      33         Allen           ’72       37         CHW
Meusel      1925      33         Ruth            ’26       47         NYY
Rice          1983      39         Armas         ’84       43         BOS
Rosen       1953      43         Doby          ‘54       32         CLE
Ruth          1930      49         Gehrig*       ‘31       46         NYY
Thomas     1979      45         Oglivie**      ’80       41         MIL

            *Tied with Ruth
            **Tied with Jackson

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday   -  Yankees with retired numbers
               -  Murderers’ Row
               -  Hall of Famers with ten or more steals of home base.
               -  Players with 200 or more home runs and ten or more steals of home base
               -  The 1927 Yankees
               -  Players who had more than five years of 100+ walks and runs (or RBIs)
               -  Players who have hit over 400 home runs and have also pitched in a game
               -  Famous Yankees with nicknames
               -  Yankee retired numbers
               -  Yankees all-time home run leaders
               -  Yankees all-time home run leaders, in order
               -  Yankees who have led the American League in homeruns

Wed        -  Top Yankee batting averages in history

Thursday  -  Most grand slams by All-Star break

Saturday – Something to do with striking out

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