Monday, February 2, 2015

January 26-February 1, 2015 Middle infielders who led their league in intentional bases-on-balls

Q.         Who was the first shortstop to hit forty home runs in one season?
Hint:     He had five such seasons.
Hint:     No other National League shortstop has ever done it even once.
Hint:     His one-time manager, Leo Durocher, specifically exempted him from The Lip’s famous (apocryphal) quote “Nice guys finish last”.
Twint:    You are dearly missed “Mr. Cub”.
A.         ERNIE BANKS (44 HR 1955; 44, 43, 47, 45 & 41 season 1955, 57-60; Durocher said of Banks  “Banks is one nice guy who finished first—but he had the talent to go with it.”; Died Friday 23-Jan-2015 of a heart attack just seven days before his 83rd birthday.)
FCR -    Jerry Mora, Prescott, AZ           
Incorrect answers:  Alvin Dark, Alex Rodriguez, Pee Wee Reese, Vern Stephens

Q.         Whose Red Sox franchise record did Roger Clemens break when he struck out twenty batters in a single game?
Hint:     He was the first Red Sox pitcher to play two consecutive seasons without committing an error (minimum 50 chances per season).
Hint:     A paragon of tenacity on a poor-performing team, he lost ten or more games for six straight years, yet made the All-Star team in three of those seasons.
Hint:     He was a teammate of both Willie May and Mickey Mantle.
Twint:    He surrendered the last grand slam a New York Yankee pitcher ever hit.
Twint:    He is the only Red Sox pitcher to allow thirty home runs in a season for three consecutive years.
Twint:    In Chicago on the first of August 1962, he no-hit a White Sox team that had three future Hall of Famers.
A.         BILL MONBOUQUETTE (17 Ks 12-May-1961; Errorless 1963-64; Also a teammate of Ted Williams, Al Kaline, Carl Yastrzemski, Dick Williams, Eddie Matthews, Whitey Ford, Bobby Cox, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal and Gaylord Perry; GS to Mel Stottlemyre 20‑Jul‑1965; 30+ HR allowed 1963-65;  No-hitter 01‑Aug‑1962)
FCR -    Charlie Vascellaro, Baltimore, MD
Incorrect answers:  Jim Lonborg, Ellis Kinder, Stu Miller

Q.         Who has the lowest career batting average for any second baseman in the Hall of Fame? (At least 90% of games at second base).
Hint:     He won the first Gold Glove awarded to a National League second baseman.
Hint:     His greatest defensive skill was considered to be “The Pitcher’s Savior” – a term coined by the man who recruited him.
Twint:    Despite World Series heroics, including scoring the clinching run, it was the losing team’s second baseman that won that year’s WS MVP.
A.         BILL MAZEROSKI (.260 career BA; 1960 WS hit .320, with 5RBI’s besting even Clemente, and hit the only WS Game7 walk-off homer, yet Bobby Richardson of the losing NYY was series MVP; 1958 GG, Nellie Fox won 1957 when only one GG was awarded for the majors; Known for turning double plays, it was Branch Rickey that recruited Maz to the Bucs, and who coined the phrase that is now spoken as “A pitcher’s best friend”)
FCR -    Chuck Durante, Dover, DE
Incorrect answers:  Rabbit Maranville, Joe Morgan, Nellie Fox, Dal Maxvill, Johnny Evers

Q.         Who is the only player to triple twice in an All-Star game?
Hint:     He was the last first baseman to lead his league in triples (100 games minimum).
Hint:     No first baseman has even equaled that number of three-baggers since.
Hint:     Billy Martin once said of him, "He could bunt .330 if he tried."
Twint:    No player born outside the U.S. has more major league hits.
Twint:    Pitcher Alan Bannister quipped, “He is the only guy I know who can go 4-for-3.”
A.         ROD CAREW (ASG 11-Jul-1978; 16 3b in 1977; 3,053 H, 23rd all-time’; B. 01-Oct-1945, Gatun, Canal Zone, Panama, has 3,053 H)
FCR -    Kevin Johnson, Broken Arrow, OK
Incorrect answers:  Don Mattingly, Stan Musial, Mickey Vernon, Vic Power, Ferris Fain, Lou Gehrig

Q.         Who was the first American League player to hit 25 home runs as a shortstop in his rookie season?
Hint:     He joined Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Wade Boggs as Red Sox batters who won consecutive American League batting titles.
Hint:     He joined another similarly elite group of Bosox when he collected ten RBI in a game.
Twint:    Some say he married up.  Some say she married up.  Seems to be working.
Twint:    His in-season, hard-core workout regimen impressed even long-time fitness enthusiasts.
A.         NOMAR GARCIAPARRA (30 in 1997; Batting champ 1999, 2000; 10-RBI G: 10‑May‑1999; Married to noted soccer player Mia Hamm since 22-Nov-2003; SI article, cover)
FCR -    Mike Massaroli, Staten, NY
Incorrect answers:  Vern Stephens, Gene Stephens, Dale Alexander, Rico Petrocelli, Miguel Tejada, Cal Ripken, Tony Conigliaro, Carl Yastrzemski, Dom DiMaggio, Ramon Martinez

Q.         What St. Louis Cardinals speedster is the only player to lead the National League in triples for three straight years?
Hint:     He became the youngest player to have a 200-hit season.
Hint:     He is the only National Leaguer to have 100 hits from each side of the plate in the same season.
Twint:    Often viewed by management as a malcontent, it’s not inappropriate that he led the Outlaws to a league title.
A.         GARRY TEMPLETON (Triples titles:  1977-79; 200 H in 1977 @ age 21; 100+ from each side:  1979, 211 total; Traded away from STL after multiple obscene gestures, nevertheless, managed the AA 2010 Chico Outlaws to the championship of the Golden Baseball League)
FCR -    Douglas Sher, Charleston, SC
Incorrect answers:  Willie McGee, Vince Coleman, Ozzie Smith, Eckstein

Q.         Who was the sweet-fielding shortstop on the last team in organized baseball to call Havana home?
Hint:     Ironically, Cuba was his native land but he had to work up to that AAA level after playing C ball in Tucson and A ball in Savannah.
Hint:     His team stayed right up to the very eve of Castro’s revolution, notwithstanding being wounded by gunfire earlier in the season by some over-exuberant Fidel acolytes.
Hint:     Opting for safety over glory, the team moved to become the Jerseys of Jersey City.  I’m confident their jerseys were very nice.
Twint:    His 118th career home run was the only run scored in Jim Maloney’s first no-hitter.
FCR -    Chuck Durante, Dover, DE
Incorrect answers:  Zoilo Versalles, Jose Valdevieso, Elio Chacon, Felix Mantilla, Bert Campaneris

Q.         Who the Washington Senators’ lone representative to the 1958 All-Star game?
Hint:     Two Hall of Famers were on that team.
Hint:     A 1973 book claimed, “In fact, he may have looked more like a ballplayer than any other ballplayer who ever lived."
Hint:     He managed teams in the minors for 21 seasons finishing .500 or better 13 times.
Hint:     He was as good at one-liners as Lefty Gomez or Yogi Berra.  Judge for yourself:
            ~ “I managed good but, boy, did they play bad.”
            ~ “The main quality a great third base coach must have is a fast runner.”
            ~ “I got a big charge out of seeing Ted Williams hit. Once in a while they let me try to field some of them, which sort of dimmed my enthusiasm.”
            ~ “I think it’s a good idea [Little League baseball]; it keeps the parents off the streets.”
            ~ “There are three things the average man thinks he can do better than everybody else: build a fire, run a motel and manage a baseball team.”
Twint:    He played 5 season in the minors and 11 in the majors which prepared him well for his managing career.
A.         ROCKY BRIDGES (Quote from The Great American Baseball Card Flipping, Trading and Bubble Gum Book, Brendan C. Boyd & Fred C. Harris)
FCR -    Richard Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers:  Roy Sievers, Wayne Terwilliger, Harmon Killebrew

Q.         Who played in more games than any other Los Angeles Dodger?
Hint:     He replaced Maury Wills at shortstop mid-way through Wills’s final year.
Hint:     He replaced Tommy Lasorda 24 years later.
Hint:     In the minors he played in the outfield and infield and then, in the majors, the infield with Davey Lopes.
Twint:    His nickname was acquired when Walter Alston told Ken Boyer to teach him the ropes.
A.         BILL RUSSELL (2,181GP with LAD, 2nd most for the franchise with Zack Wheat holding the franchise record w/2,322 G as a Brooklyn Dodger; 1972, Wills’ last year, Russell played 121 G at short; 1996 replaced Tommy mid-season; 1970 Spokane Indians, 1972-1981 LAD as part of the Garvey, Lopes & Cey long-lived infield; Nicknamed “Ropes”)
FCR -    Timothy Kearns, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Davey Lopes, Steve Garvey

Q.         Who set the National League record for reaching base by catcher’s interference the most times in a season?
Hint:     His father named him after a pinch hitter whose penultimate major league at bat was the most famous of his eleven-year career.
Hint:     He garnered a World Series ring one season though he never played a single postseason game in his career.
Hint:     He was once the second out in a rare 8-6-2-2 double play.
Twint:    He dismissed the assertion that he could be compared to his famous father.
A.         DALE BERRA (Catcher’s interference 7 X in 1983; Dale Mitchell struck out to end Don Larsen’s perfect game 5 1956 WS [Mitchell had 1 more AB in G 7.]; “We Are Family” 1979 Pittsburgh Pirates awarded him a ring for his 44 G that season, though he didn’t make the WS roster; 02-Aug-1985 Carlton Fisk tagged out Bob Meacham and Berra in rapid succession as they tried to make it home after a Rickey Henderson single and a blunder by Meacham; “You can’t compare me to my father.  Our similarities are different”.)
FCR -    Jason Hoagland, Columbus, OH
Incorrect answers:  Cookie Rojas, Cookie Lavagetto, Ron Hunt, Jason Kendall 

WEEKLY THEME – Middle infielders who led their league in intentional bases-on-balls
Player               Year     IBB
Banks               1960     28
                        1959     20
Mazeroski         1962     16
Russell             1974     25
Cardenas          1965     25
                        1966     18
Templeton         1985     24
                        1984     23
Garciaparra       2000     20
Berra                1983     19
Carew               1975     18

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday   -  Notable players who have died over the last year
               -  People who had an obituary on Horsehide Trivia

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