Monday, February 8, 2016

February 1-7, 2016 Pitchers with ERAs of 3.50 or better for the Decade of the Hitter 1930-39

Q.       Who won a record nine (9!) league ERA crowns?
Hint:   The next closest pitcher has six.
Hint:   He is the only hurler to be able to boast of two immaculate innings in one season.
Hint:   He was the 2nd native of Maryland elected to the Hall of Fame.
-   Won 5 with the A’s and 4 with the BoSox
-   Roger Clemens won 4 w/BOS and 2 w/TOR
-   Immaculate inning = 3 K’s on 9 pitches (23-Aug-1928, 2nd inn.; 27-Sep-1928, 7th inn.)
-   Ruth - Baltimore (HOF 1936); Grove - Lonaconing (HOF 1947)
FCR - Ken Bell, Miami FL
Incorrect answers:  Pete Alexander, Lefty Gomez, Walter Johnson, Sandy Koufax

Q.       Which Hall of Fame pitcher played high school ball, even though he had dropped out of school in the 4th grade?
Hint:   He was the first National League pitcher to earn an All-Star game victory.
Hint:   He was the first National League pitcher to lead the league in strikeouts for 4 consecutive seasons in the All-Star era.
Hint:   He is the only pitcher to get 2 hits in one inning in a World Series game.
Hint:   He was the first person elected to the Hall of Fame from his native state.
-   1936 ASG
-   NL K leader 1932-35, his first four full seasons in the majors, totaling 775 K’s.
-   2 H in WS inning, 1934 WS, G 7, 3rd inning, 1st, a double off Auker, the 2nd a single off Hogsett.
-   B. in Lucas, Arkansas, not too far from Ft. Smith
FCR - Larry Hayes, San Francisco, CA
Incorrect answers:  Carl Hubbell, Dazzy Vance, Warren Spahn, Pete Alexander, Christy Mathewson

Q.       Who hold the record for the most consecutive scoreless inning by a left-handed pitcher?
Hint:   He ended the Yankees' 12-game World Series winning streak.
Hint:   He gave up a then All-Star game record 3 runs in one inning.
Hint:   This is offset by another fairly famous All-Star game record.
- 45⅓ IP, 13-Jul01-Aug-1933
- W in G 1. 1936 WS 30-Sep-1936; NYY had swept WS in 1927, 28 & 32    
- K’d 5 AS batter in a row in 1st & 2nd innings in 1934 ASG, a feat later tied by Fernando Valenzuela in 1986.  All 5 of Hubbell’s are in the Hall of Fame.  Of Fernando’s 5, only Cal Ripken is.
FCR - Steve Elsberry, Windsor Heights, IA
Incorrect answers:  Al Leiter, Tommy John, Cliff Lee, Randy Johnson, Clayton Kershaw, Grover Cleveland Alexander, John Franco, Sandy Koufax, Orel Hershiser

Q.       What pitcher holds the record for issuing the most bases-on-balls in a complete-game shutout?
Hint:   He once compiled a pitching triple crown the same year that a teammate of his won the batting triple crown.
Hint:   Evidently not content to lead in just those three categories, he also led in Complete Games, Win-Loss percentage, Shutouts, ERA+, Hits per 9 innings and WHIP.
Hint:   For good measure, he had 2 saves.
Hint:   With some transparent false modesty, he once said, "Nobody knows how fast I am.  The ball doesn't get to the mitt that often."
- 11 BB in ShO 01-Aug-1941
- TC in 1934; Lou Gehrig won the TC for offense.
FCR - Joe Matocha, Meriden, CT
Incorrect answers:  Lefty Grove,Walter Johnson, Eddie Lopat, Bob Feller, Sandy Koufax, Rube Waddell, Whitey Ford, Nolan Ryan, Dizzy Dean, Pete Alexander

Q.       What pitcher had to be smuggled out of Cuba to avoid the machete-wielding husband of a nightclub dancer in whose intimate embrace he was caught red-handed?
Hint:   He had 13 or more victories in each of his first 5 full season.  Unfortunately, he also had double-digit losses in each of those years.
Hint:   He was the youngest player in the National League his first season and still in the top ten youngest 2 years later.
Hint:   He was the first Dodger to lead the league in strikeouts since Dazzy Vance.
Hint:   He paid an eye-popping $15,000 in fines in 14-year big league career.
Hint:   SABR member Frishberg never compensated him a single cent.
  • Was caught in bed with the wife.  Dodgers executive Babe Hamberger had to smuggle Mungo in a laundry cart to a seaplane waiting off a wharf in order to escape the country.
  • 20 years old in 1931
  • In 1970, jazz composer-singer Dave Frishberg wrote, performed, recorded and released a song entitled “Van Lingo Mungo”, the lyrics of which are names of major leaguers. Always a baseball aficionado, Frishberg joined the Society for American Baseball Research in 1984.  Mungo and his wife both quite liked the song, but it earned them no income.
FCR - Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI
Incorrect answers:  Minnie Minoso, Pedro Martinez, Don Drysdale, Fernando Valenzuela, Kirby Higbee, Juan Pierre

Q.       Who hit the first triple in All-Star Game competition?
Hint:   He led his league in pitching wins and ERA in his first full season in the majors.
Hint:   His ERA was improved by over a third of a point (run) the following season, but he finished second to the MVP in that statistic.
Hint:   He is the only pitcher Walter Alston ever faced in an at-bat in the major leagues.
Hint:   The U.S. county where he was born had no paved roads, no electricity, and no running water at the time of his birth.
FCR - Robert Bloomberg, Seattle, WA
Incorrect answers:  Dizzy Dean, Preacher Roe, Lefty Grove, Sandy Koufax, Carl Hubbell

Q.       Who was the last major league pitcher to lose over 25 games in a season?
Hint:   He was the winning pitcher in the first night game every played at Crosley Field.
Hint:   He was the first player to play in the World Series in his first and last seasons.
Hint:   He was on a different team each time.
Hint:   He played on a World Series winner in the middle of his 15-year career with a third team.
FCR - Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI
Incorrect answers:  Jim Britt, Ben Cantwell, Johnny Van Der Meer, Ewell Blackwell

Q.       Who holds the career record for World Series wild pitches?
Hint:   He once pitched for his first major league team against the baseball team of the college that he had graduated from earlier that day.  His new team won, 11-2.
Hint:   The team had actually attended his graduation ceremony.
Hint:   He played for 13 seasons for that team and never any other.
Hint:   He almost died on the mound from the heat of a St. Louis afternoon when he collapsed on the mound with no discernible heartbeat, but was packed in ice and revived.
- 5 WP - 1933, '36, '37 WS
- The NYG attended the commencement services at St. Lawrence College in Canton, NY 12-Jun-1931.
FCR - Larry Hayes, San Francisco, CA
Incorrect answers:  Bill Hallahan, Christy Mathewson, Jack Morris

Q.       Which pitcher threw a 1-hit shutout in his final start before leaving baseball for a 27-year career in the Navy?
Hint:   It was his 197th and final career win.
Hint:   In spite of his last name, his ancestry was Scots-Irish.
Hint:   He was so unafraid to speak his mind on the field that one legendary sports journalist called him a “hothead” in the writer’s memoirs.
- Sportswriter Fred Lieb in his book, The Pittsburgh Pirates, 1948
FCR - Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, AR
Incorrect answers:  Adonis Terry

Q.       What former Tiger pitcher did Branch  Rickey fail to take by ruse away from the Cubs?
Hint:   He is the final pitcher to qualify to be in this week’s theme.
Hint:   After retiring, he had eye surgery for his detached retinas. Nevertheless, he eventually went blind.
Hint:   He is too often confused with a pitcher of the same name who was better known for his nickname.
Hint:   He was the fourth native of his state admitted to that state’s sport Hall of Fame in the baseball category, but the first not to be already enshrined in THE Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
A.       BILL LEE
- An alum of LSU, Lee was the target the great Mahatma, but tripped up by
FCR - Tim Doherty, Los Angeles, CA

THEME FOR THE WEEK - ERA below 3.50 for the hitter’s decade 1930-39 (100 W min.)

Player             ERA         IP             G         W         L
Dean               2.96       1,908.1      305      147       80
Derringer         3.48       2,589.8      318      155     164
French             3.42       2,481.2      430      156     134
Gomez            3.24       2,234.2      322      165       89
Grove              2.91       2,399.0      351      199       76
Hubbell            2.71       2,596.2      383      188     104
Lee                  3.21       1,570.2      240      106       70
Mungo             3.42       1,715.1      275      101       99
Schumacher   3.38       1,736.2      274      117       81
Warneke         3.23       2,021.0      318      144       85

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday - 1936 All-Stars

Wed     - First even pitcher to win the MVP
- Winningest pitchers of the 1930s
- Statistical leaders of the 1933 season
- Starting pitchers in the All-Star game in the 1930s
- Pitchers on the inaugural NL All Star team
- Most career 1-0 victories

Thurs    - Strikeout leaders from the 1930's
            - Pitchers who led the league in wins and saves at least once
            - League leaders in strikeouts from the 1930s

Fri        - Starting pitchers in the first All-Star games
            - Pitchers of record in the first all star games

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