Sunday, December 20, 2015
December 14-20, 2015 Players buried in Colma, California
Q. Which Yankee legend was further immortalized by Hall of Famers hailing from Queens and Jersey?
Hint: The Boones surpassed his clan by having four major-league All-Stars in the family.
Hint: He was professionally associated with a couple of “professors”.
Hint: He passed away in Hollywood, Florida in 1999 at age 84. The official cause of death was lung cancer, but some say he died of a broken heart.
Twint: He narrowly missed on a potentially lucrative endorsement contract for ballpark condiments.
A. JOE DiMAGGIO
- Rock and Roll HOFers Art Garfunkel (born in Forest Hills, Queens, NY) and Paul Simon (Newark, NJ) sang about our nation turning its lonely eyes to him in the first rock song to win the Grammy for Record of the Year (1969): Mrs. Robinson.
- Although all three of the DiMaggio brothers made All-Star teams, four members of the prolific Boone family (Ray, Bob, Bret and Aaron) were named to Mid-Summer Classic rosters.
- His younger brother Dom was nicknamed "The Little Professor" while his last manager and occasional drinking buddy Casey Stengel was dubbed "The Old Perfessor".
- Joe was devastated by the untimely death of his ex-wife Marilyn Monroe and was said to have arranged to have a dozen long-stemmed roses delivered to her crypt 2-3 times a week for twenty years after her death.
- Had Joltin' Joe's famed hitting streak lasted just one more game past its record 56, it was rumored that The H.J. Heinz Company of Pittsburgh, PA -- makers of ketchup, mustard and relish -- was prepared to offer him $10,000 to promote its wares. The Heinz's historical advertising slogan was "57 Varieties" of products, even though at the time of its coinage this huge conglomerate offered just over 60 different types of food items.
FCR - Ken Auerbach, Bronxville, NY
NOTE: This week’s questions, hints and theme come from relatively new reader Larry Hayes of San Francisco.
Q. Who has held the National League's single-season record for putouts for 95 years?
Hint: He set his record in the 154-game season era.
Hint: He is the nephew of another famed major leaguer nicknamed after Evangeline: a little girl saved from drowning by the title character of a literary classic penned by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Hint: With his highest single-year HOF voting percentage just 1.9%, he was nevertheless enshrined in Cooperstown in 1973. His selection has been panned by historian/analyst Bill James as "the worst player in the Hall of Fame."
Hint: He was nicknamed not for any sartorial preference, but for his then unusual height.
Twint: After a couple cups of coffee, he was called up to the Bigs for good when his position's incumbent star (who once led his league in his middle name) was chased from the major leagues.
A. GEORGE KELLY
- 1,759 POs at 1B in 1920.
- His uncle was pre-1900’s star Bill "Little Eva" Lange. The original female "Little Eva" had an "uncle" who saved her from dying after she accidentally fell into the Mississippi River. "Little Eva" (formal given name Evangeline) was saved by one of her father's slaves named ... Uncle Tom. Both were characters in the famed anti-slavery book written by Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin.
- Kelly was inducted in the HOF by its Veterans Committee, which at that time was chaired by one of Kelly's ex-teammates and good friends -- Frankie Frisch. Under the accusation of cronyism, Frisch was instrumental in the dubious selections of Kelly and other former-Frisch fieldmates. James made his claim in his renowned 2001 book, The New Bill James Baseball Historical Abstract.
- George "High Pockets" Kelly was given his moniker because of his above-average height of 6' 4". This distance meant his trouser pockets were located considerably higher off the ground than those of most men of his era.
- Kelly took over at 1B for Harold Homer "Prince Hal" Chase, who was banished from organized baseball amid a cloud of suspected gambling/game-throwing allegations. Chase led the Federal League in round-trippers in 1915 with 17.
FCR - Richard Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers: Phil Rizzuto Pee Wee Reese, Taylor Douthit, Bill Lange, Rabbit Maranville, Tommy McCarthy, Frank Chance
Q. Which player, an MVP just two years earlier, when traded to his team's most hated rivals, mid-season, refused to report and never played for them?
Hint: He didn't play in the majors for nearly two years, during which time he worked on his cattle ranch.
Hint: He finished in the top 25 MVP voting seven times over an eight-year stretch, but failed to reach that level of support during the only season in which he led his league in OBP.
Twint: His brother died following a bout with a one-time Heavyweight Champion of the World.
- While playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers Camilli developed a deep hatred for the cross-town Giants and their fans. When he was traded to the last-place Giants in July 1943, he refused to report and stayed home at his ranch in Northern California. Camilli said: “I hated the Giants. This was real serious; this was no put-on stuff. Their fans hated us, and our fans hated them. I said nuts to them, and I quit." Camilli was signed as a free agent in June 1945 by the Boston Red Sox where he played his last 63 major league games.
- Dolph's brother Francisco -- who boxed under the name Frankie Campbell -- died of cerebral hemorrhaging 12 hours after losing to Max Baer in 1930.
- In 1937, despite playing a full season, leading the NL with a superb .446 OBP and posting a career-best batting average of .339, Camilli failed to garner even a single MVP vote. His Phils finished in 7th place with just 61 wins, 5 games out of the NL cellar.
FCR - Jim Turner, Tallahassee, FL
Incorrect answers: Jackie Robinson, Coot Veal, Phil Rizzuto, Jackie Jensen, Bobby Doerr, Dick Allen, Arky Vaughan, Rogers Hornsby, Curt Flood
Q. Which five-tool superstar voluntarily abandoned his major league career at the pinnacle of his success at the age of 28?
Hint: A lifetime .330 hitter, he rapped 1,056 hits in 813 games during his seven-year career.
Hint: Hall of Famer Clark Griffith, noted major league player, manager and club owner, once said of him, “I have seen all the other great outfielders – Speaker, Cobb, DiMaggio – in action, and I consider ___ _____ the equal of, if not better than, all outfielders of all-time. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do.”
Hint: His early retirement decision was unrelated to his prowess on the field.
Twint: He played for the Colts and the Orphans, but never the Cubs.
A. BILL LANGE
- The baseball career of Griffith -- a teammate of Lange's in the 1890s -- spanned 64 years and vastly different eras. His accolades for Lange thus merit serious consideration.
- Over the winter of 1899, Lange fell in love with Grace Anna Giselman. Her father was a wealthy and socially-connected San Franciscan who did not take well to Lange's affection for his only daughter. Only after Lange agreed to forsake his baseball career and enter the family's lucrative insurance business did the father consent to the marriage. Many attempted to lure him back onto the playing field after his marriage. Lange resisted them all and never played baseball again.
- 1893-1897: Chicago Colts (NL); 1888-89: Chicago Orphans (NL) same team that became the Cubs in 1903.
FCR - Bill Deane, Cooperstown, NY
Incorrect answers: Ross Youngs, Jackie Jensen, Joe Jackson, Bo Jackson, Pete Reiser, Mike Donlin, Hank Greenberg, Billy Sunday, Rogers Hornsby, Richie Ashburn, Tony Conigliaro
Q. Who owns World Series rings won 30 years apart?
Hint: In his position as third base coach for Seattle, he waved outfielder Billy Williams around third to score on a base hit to right field by former All-Star Tommy Davis. It was the last run Williams ever scored in his major league career.
Twint: He wore the uniform numbers of:
A) a current HOFer,
B) a storied manager and
C) a player who will be inducted into Cooperstown in July 2020.
- Crosetti, nicknamed "The Crow", won rings in 1932 (as a player) and 1962 (as a coach), both for the Yankees, with a combined career total is more than anyone else in the history of the game. Crosetti earned eight rings as a player and nine more as their 3B coach. Yogi Berra, with 15 total World Series rings, came closest to matching Crosetti's 17.
- Third base coach of the 1969 Seattle Pilots, on 16-Aug-1969, Crosetti sent rookie outfielder Billy Williams (10 MLB ABs) home on the single to score his first and only run in the Big Leagues on . )The long-time Cubs HOFer outfielder of the same name scored the last of his 1,410 major league runs in 1976 while finishing out his career with the Oakland Athletics.)
- Crosetti wore uni number 5 (immediately before Joe DiMaggio) from 1932-1936, number 1 (Billy Martin's #) from 1936-1944 and number 2 (Derek Jeter's number) from 1945-1968.
FCR - Frank Workman, Lake Forest Park, WA
Incorrect answers: Bob Lemon, Joe DiMaggio
Q. Who was the first major leaguer to hit three home runs off the same pitcher in two separate games?
Hint: He slugged one of the longest home runs in All-Star game history off of the same pitcher.
Hint: Even though he only became a major league regular at the age of 31, he didn’t literally run in quicksand.
Twint: He was the first league MVP on a second-division team.
A. HANK SAUER
- Phillies' southpaw standout Curt Simmons was thrice victimized by Sauer on 28‑Aug‑1950 and 11‑Jun‑1952.
- For good measure, Sauer connected for yet another notable homer versus Simmons, blasting a ball completely over the leftfield roof at Shibe Park during 1952's Mid-Summer Classic. (Oops! Sauer hit that AS HR off HOF’er Bob Lemon, not Simmons.)
- Although Sauer broke into the Bigs in 1941 at the age of 24, he spent the next seven years between the minors and serving his country in World War II. Noticeably slower afoot than the average major league outfielder, Sauer mostly played RF in 1953-54 when deliberate-paced Ralph Kiner was the Cubs’ left fielder. Frank Baumholtz was the fast one in center which led Chicago newspaper man Mike Royko to dub the trio “Frankie Baumholtz and the Quicksand Kids”.
- During the post-1900 eight- (and ten- ) team single league era without divisions, teams which finished with records among the upper half of the standings (i.e. in the top four until 1959 or top five starting in 1960) were said to have finished in the "first division". Teams finishing in the bottom half of the league were described as being in the "second division". In 1952 Sauer’s 5th place Cubs didn’t keep him from winning the NL's Most Valuable Player Award with one of the closest votes in history.
FCR - Richard Marston, Newport Beach, CA
Incorrect answers: Reggie Jackson, Ernie Lombardi, Willie McCovey, Orlando Cepeda
Q. Who had 309 hits in professional baseball in 1925?
Hint: He had 226 the next season in the same league.
Hint: In the majors, he had three ”cup of coffee” seasons on the mound, then pitched his first major league victory.
Twint: In an area already renowned for its bridges, his home city named one after him.
Twint: Just prior to Horace Smith's induction in 2003, he was the very first American named to the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame.
A. LEFTY O’DOUL
- In 1925, he played 198 games for the Salt Lake City Bees of the AA Pacific Coast League.
- In 1926, he played 180 games for the PCL’s Hollywood Stars.
- His victory over the World-Series-Champions-to-be Yankees 23-Apr-1923 was actually the only one of his major league career. Arm problems forced him to turn full-time to batting, obviously with tremendous results.
Built in 1933 by Joseph Strauss, the same engineer who designed San Francisco's world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, the Third Street Bridge is now adjacent to AT&T Park. It was re-christened the Francis "Lefty" O'Doul Bridge in 1969.
- Horace Smith, a Civil War veteran, introduced baseball to Japan in 1872-73. O'Doul served as the sport's quasi-official goodwill ambassador to Japan before and after World War II. Lefty is credited with spreading the popularity of professional baseball throughout the Land of the Rising Sun and was enshrined in their Yakyu Taiiku Hakubutsukan in 2002 ("Yakyu" is the Japanese word for baseball.)
FCR - Peter Cottrell, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers: Tony Lazzeri, Joe Dugan, Bucky Walters, Sailor Stroud
WEEKLY THEME – All of these major leaguers are buried in Colma, California, the small town that is San Francisco's southern city border. It is famous for its cemeteries with nearly 2,000,000 people laid to rest within its city limits. By the 2010 Census, the living population of Colma counted just 1,792 souls. Colma's city motto: "It's Great to be Alive in Colma."
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, AR
Incorrect theme guesses:
Tuesday - HOF born in San Francisco or Bay Area
- Hall of Famers buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, Colma, CA
- Hall of Famers who hail from the San Francisco area
- Hall of Famers born in the Bay Area
Wed - SF natives and led the league in rbis
- Bay area products who played in New York and were part of baseball families
- Players from San Francisco who played for a New York team and had a family member who played in the big leagues
Thursday: - Hitters born in the SF Bay Area with career WAR over 20
Saturday - Players born in San Francisco
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