Sunday, January 17, 2016

January 11-17, 2016 Pitchers with 100-year-old single-season records

Q. Who was the first pitcher to win 300 games?
Hint: He had three nicknames, though the most popular of these recognized his ability to make batters’ knees turn into something akin to a common dessert.
Hint: He is the only Hall of Fame pitcher born Christmas Day.
- Won 300th in 1888 (Sources differ on the exact date.); career total 365
- Nickname Pud (Pronounced “pood”, like “foot”, not “food” nor “putt”) believed to come from his ability to make batter’s knees “look like pudding”.  Other nicknames “Gentle Jeems” or “The Little Steam Engine”.
- Born 25-Dec-1856
FCR -  Art Mugalian, Minneapolis, MN
Incorrect answers: Hoss Radbourne, Cy Young, Kid Nichols, Walter Johnson
Q. Who was the first Giants player to achieve the pitching triple crown?
Hint: He was the second Giants pitcher of only two to ever win 40 games in a season.
Hint: He won 4 of the 6 games for the victorious Giants when they won their first postseason series.
A. TIM KEEFE          
- 1888 led NL with ERA 1.74, 35 Wins, and 335 K’s.
-42 Wins 1886.  Mickey Welch won 44 the prior year.  
-The World Series prior to 1903 were exhibition games.  Still, the Giants beat the Cards 6-3 in 1889.
FCR -  Charlie Vascellaro, Baltimore, MD
Incorrect answers: Carl  Hubbell, Mickey Welch, Christy Mathewson, Hoss Radbourn, Amos Rusie, Ed Crane, Joe McGinnity, Kid Nichols, Jack Chesbro
Q. What Hall of Famer stole home in the first inning of his first World Series game?
Hint: His team only stole one more base in that Series and he did that one too!
Hint: That exceeded (by two) the opponents’ steals in the whole Series.
Hint: In spring training the very next year, he broke his ankle and didn’t play until late July.
Hint: He had been considered the most qualified candidate to break MLB's color barrier before being drafted to serve in the military in 1942.
Hint: Several years after he retired, he was named Special Assistant to the Commissioner.
Hint: He is the only left-fielder inducted to the Mexican baseball Hall of Fame.
Hint: Even though he did not play in a league there, he is also a member of the Cuban baseball Hall of Fame.
Hint: Although he grew up in New Jersey, he is one of twelve (12!) Hall of Famers born in Alabama.
  • 1951 WS 04-Oct-1951, singled off Allie Reynolds; moved to 3rd on Whitey Lockman’s ground-rule double; then stole home for the 2nd run of the inning, of the game and of the Series.
  • First game back 27-Jul-1952.
  • In 1968, he was appointed by William Eckert as an assistant to the commissioner of Major League Baseball and he served in that role through 1984, also serving under Bowie Kuhn.
  • Cuban Hall of Fame = Salón de la Fama del Béisbol Cubano  [Read Kit Krieger sent in this:  “ In fact, Monte played for Almendares of the Cuban winter league for two season (1947-1949) and led the league with 10 home runs in 1947-48. He was known in Cuba as Monte Irving.  His career stats in Cuba can be found in Figuroa's "who's Who in Cuban Baseball". Imy collection of Cuban baseball memorabilia includes a team photo of the 1947-48 Almendares team with Monte's photo. In 2004 Monte joined my Cubaball tour and was reunited with his old teammate, Connie Marrero. They were the two big stars of the Almendares team. Monte loved playing in Cuba because the money was good, there was no travel (all four teams played in Havana) and there was relatively little racism.”
FCR -  Bob Dorrill, Kingwood, TX
Incorrect answers: Larry Doby, Jackie Robinson
Q. Who had the most career pitching victories for the Providence Grays?
Hint: He is the only pitcher in baseball history to win 20, 30, 40 and then 50 games in his first four seasons.
Hint: It goes without saying that this adds to the uniqueness of his insurmountable single-season wins record.
A.   OLD HOSS RADBOURN             
- 193 Wins.  John Ward (HOF) second with 145
- From 1881-1884 , his first four seasons, he won 25, 33, 48 and then 59 games.
- 59 Wins in 1884 have never been equaled, and only two other pitchers - Guy Hecker (52 in 1884) and John Clarkson (53 in 1885) - surpassed the 50 W mark.
FCR -  Jerry Mora, Prescott, AZ
Incorrect answers: Jack Chesbro, Al Spalding

Q. To whose fastball was John McGraw referring when he said, "You can't hit 'em if you can't see 'em." ?
Hint: Unfortunately he didn’t always control his powerful pitches, as Hughie Jennings knew all too well.
Hint: In what is probably the most lopsided trade in baseball history, he was traded by the Giants to the Reds where he went 0-1 appearing in only 3 games before retiring, while the Giants acquired a very young Christy Mathewson.
A. AMOS RUSIE        
- Quote while McGraw was an Oriole player referring to the speed and strength of Rusie’s pitches.
- He once hit Jennings with a pitch that left the fellow future Hall of Famer unconscious for four days.
- Traded December 15, 1900, Mathewson exceeded his rookie limits during the  1901 season.
FCR -  Bruce Didriksen, Park Ridge, NJ
Incorrect answers: Addie Joss, Juan Marichal
Q.     Who was the first professional baseball player to wear glasses while playing?
Hint: His recently-elected Hall of Fame brother was the other half of the first battery of brothers in major league history.
Hint: He accomplished both of these firsts playing only three games in his first season—going  2-1.
Hint: The single season after his first 40-win year, he lost 40 games.  The only losing (full) season of his career.
Hint: His first full season after losing 40, he again WON 40.  For good measure, he  followed that with ANOTHER 40-win season.
Hint: In 2 of the remaining full seasons of his career, he won at least 30 games.
A.   WILL WHITE              
- Despite the glasses, his vision was sharp and he could paint the corners.
- Brother Deacon White was elected HOF 2013.  Both played for the same team in 1877 (either the Reds or Boston Red Stockings).  According to his SABR bio, they both left the Red Stockings since the reserve clause was not yet created.  BB-ref lists them as Red Stockings.
- W/L record for his full seasons:
1878 30 21
1879 43 31
1880 18 42
1882 40 12
1883 43 22
1884 34 18
- His totaled record for the rest of his career, 1877, 81, 85 & 86 is: 21/20
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI
Incorrect answers:  Walter Johnson, Lee Meadows, Carmen Hill, Specs Toporcer

Q.     Who had the most wins during the worst season in the history of the Phillies franchise?
Hint: It was the only time he’d have double digit wins in his 6 year career.
Hint: He was the first major league player to attend Syracuse University.
Hint: He lost the first game for the franchise, and Jamie Moyer lost the 10,000th.
Hint: Sadly, but ironically, he died after being hit by a car… in Detroit.
A.     JOHN COLEMAN        
- 1883 was the inaugural year of the Philadelphia Quakers - later the Phillies - when they
  went 17-81.  Coleman won 12 of those games.
- Debut May 1, 1883 Quakers lost to the Providence Grays 4-3
- He spent a single year at Syracuse (1882).
- 4-3 loss to the Providence Grays 01-May-1883.  When asked about Coleman’s loss as
 the first in 10,000, Moyer replied “I hope this doesn’t start a trend”.
- Died 31-May-1922 Detroit, MI
FCR -  Bruce Didriksen, Park Ridge, NJ
Incorrect answers: Tommy Hughes, Steve Coleman, Whitey Ford

Q. Who pitched the first National League officially sanctioned no-hitter?
Hint: He was the first major league pitcher to both win and lose 40 games in a season (not         necessarily the same season).
Hint: He got his nickname because of the constant smile he showed batters.
Hint: He gave up Cap Anson’s first home run, an inside-the-park round tripper.
A.       GEORGE BRADLEY        
- 15-Jul-1876 St. Louis Brown Stockings over Hartford Dark Blues 2-0.
- 45 wins 1876, 1879 lost 40
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI
Incorrect answers: John Montgomery Ward, Old Hoss Radbourn, Mickey Welch
Q. Who holds the record for most wins in a season by a lefty?
Hint He is the shortest pitcher to ever win 45 games in a season.
Hint: He also holds the record for most complete games pitched by a rookie.
Hint: After he retired, he ran a restaurant near Shibe Park and he was known to help the A’s pitching staff, a task for which he was not “without competence”.
A.          MATT KILROY       
  • 46 Wins 1887 for BAL of the American Association
  • At 69 inches tall, the closest any other lefty has come is 41 W 1886 by Ed Morris who stood at 67 inches
  • 66 CG 1886
  • He ran a bar, but by the time prohibition came he was listed as a hotel keeper, as quoted in his SABR Bio.
FCR -  Barry Nelson, Guilderland, NY
Incorrect answers: Lady Baldwin, Joe Borden, Bobby Shantz
Q. Which pitcher led the Players League in wins?
Hint: He also led the PL in games, games started, complete games, inning pitched, hits, bases on balls, batters faced and strike outs.
Hint: The previous year, he led his league in losses.
Hint: His catcher opined that no one, not even Cy Young himself, abused a catcher’s hands more, so powerful was his fastball.
A.        MARK BALDWIN         
- 1890 PL, with a record of 33-24
- PL 58 G/56 GS/53 CG/492 IP/494 H/249 BB/2,242 BF/206 SO
-  Columbus Solons, American Association 1889 lost 34 games (27 Wins)
- Catcher Jack O’Connor from Baldwin’s SABR Bio.  O’Connor caught Baldwin
 while with the 1889 Solons and caught Young 1892-98 with the Cleveland Spiders
FCR -  Richard Marston, Newport Beach, CA
Incorrect answers: Lady Baldwin, Claude Hendrix
Q. Who is the only pitcher to lead three different major leagues in hit batsmen?
Hint: He did it in consecutive seasons.
Hint: He is the only Columbus Solon to ever lead the league in shutouts.
Hint: He tied with two other players that year, the league’s final season.
A. PHIL KNELL          
- Players League 1890 (28), American Association 1891 (54), National League 1892 (22)
- 5 SHO 1891, American Association’s final year, tied with George Haddock and Sadie
FCR -  Paul Goodson, Cheyenne, WY
Incorrect answers: Mark Baldwin, Satchell Paige
WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers who have held a select single-season record for 100 or more years
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Nary a soul
Incorrect theme guesses:
Wed   - Pitchers who exceeded 600 innings pitched in a season
Thu - HOF pitchers who notched all their wins in the 19th century.

Fri - Players to win or lose at least 30 games in a season
Pitcher Record Year Years lasted
Baldwin 83 Wild Pitches 1889 127
Bradley 16 Shutouts* 1876 140
Coleman 291 Earned runs allowed 1883 133
Coleman 48 Losses 1883 133
Coleman 772 Hits surrendered 1883 133
Galvin 20.5 W.A.R. 1884 132
Keefe 0.857 ERA 1880 136
Kilroy 513 strikeouts 1886 130
Knell 54 batters hit 1891 125
Radbourn 59 Wins 1884 132
Rusie 289 Bases-on-balls 1890 126
White 75 Games started** 1879 137
White 75 Complete games*** 1879 137

*Tied by Pete Alexander in 1916.  He now joins this elite club.
**Tied by Pud Galvin in 1883.  His mark obviously qualifies too.
***These are the exact same 75 games.

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