Sunday, May 1, 2016

April 25-May 1, 2016 San Diego County high school alumni who made it into management in the major leagues

The idea for this week’s theme and the questions were sent to us by Alan Goldhammer of Bethesda, Maryland. [We edited Alan’s submission to fit our format.  Mistakes made, were ours, not his.]

Q.       Whose career on-base percentage of .4817 is the best of all time?
Hint:   He gave tips on batting, not tips of the hat.
Hint:   Baseball-reference lists no less than four nicknames for him.  The media had others.
Hint:   His SABR biography begins by claiming that any argument as to the greatest hitter of all time always involves him.
- Babe Ruth is next at .4739.
- Few failed to listen to any suggestion he had on hitting.  His final career home run was perhaps his most famous, the Fenway faithful cheered as never before, but we did not come out to acknowledge the ovation.
- “The Kid”, “Teddy Ballgame”, “Splendid Splinter” & “Thumper”
- It’s a short list, to be sure.
FCR - Will McCracken, Bradenton, FL
Incorrect answers:  Harry Walker, Barry Bonds, Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner

Q.       What Hall of Famer’s* 20th-century record for most home runs in a season and career did Babe Ruth render irrelevant?
Hint:   He reportedly once hit a ball so hard that it killed a seagull in flight.  That incident resulted in his unusual nickname.
Hint:   His style of play was incongruous, almost at odds, with the baseball trends of his times, but he had a very cogent explanation.  Quoth he, “There is no advice I can give in batting, except to hammer the ball.  Some players steal bases with hook slides and speed.  I steal bases with my bat."
Hint:   His postseason record in the majors wasn’t overwhelming as he participated in only one World Series and only hit .125, but his minor league prowess was widely known.
- [*Cravath is not in the Hall of Fame.  Personal opinion slipped through on this one.]  He hit 24 HR in 1915 and had 119 before Ruth overtook him.
- Seagull is “gaviota” in Spanish and Clifford became Gavvy.
- His 1915 Phillies were drubbed, fittingly, by Babe Ruth’s Red Sox.
- Played with the Angels of the PCL for five seasons winning the pennant four times.
FCR - Adrian Fung, Toronto, ON
Incorrect answers:  Hack Wilson, Roger Connor, Frank Baker, Barry Bonds, Wee Willie Keeler, Ned Williamson, Ken Williams

Q.       Who was the only non-Yankee American League shortstop to win the World Series MVP award before David Eckstein won in in 2006?
Hint:   Two teammates finished ahead of him in the league MVP voting that same year.
Hint:   For two decades, his franchise’s only action was to re-sign him.
Hint:   He actually received Manager of the Year votes the season he led his squad to .265 winning percentage.  (not a typo)
- WS MVP 1984
- His 9th-place finish was behind Willie Hernandez (MVP winner) and Kirk Gibson (6th).
- Signed as a free agent with the Tigers in 1992, 93, 94 & 95.
- Was 9th in MOY voting.  His team, DET, finished 43-119.
FCR - Bill Gilbert, Lakeway, TX
Incorrect answers:  Marty Marion, Lou Boudreau, Bert Campaneris, Bobby Richardson, Rod Carew, Walt Weiss, Roger Peckinpaugh

Q.       What switch-hitting All-Star once broke a scoring record previously held by Hall of Famer Bill Walton?
Hint:   He is the only American Leaguer to switch-hit home runs in a game 3 times in a season.
Hint:   Proving it wasn’t a fluke, he did it twice the next season.
Hint:   He is the only Detroit Tiger since World War II to drive in more than 100 runs in each of his first two full seasons.
- Clark once held records for career and single-season points for San Diego-area high school basketball; his new single-season mark broke the previous one held by NBA star-to-be Bill Walton.
- HR from both sides of the plate 3X in 1998:  17-Jun; 26-Jul; & 01-Aug.
- HR from both sides of the plate 2X in 1999:  18-Jul & 25-Jul.
- 117 RBI in 159 G in 1997 & 103 RBI in 157 G in 1998
FCR - Chuck Hilty, Reston, VA
Incorrect answers:  Darrell Evans, Prince Fielder, Al Kaline, Victor Martinez, Matt Nokes, Mickey Stanley, Mickey Tettleton

Q.       After Darryl Strawberry, whom did the Mets pick next in the 1st round of the draft that year?
Hint:   Unlike “Straw”, he would never be an All-Star, see a post-season, capture a Silver Slugger award, or get a single MVP vote.
Hint:   He played in parts of 6 seasons and hit a grand total of 3 home runs—all in one season.
Hint:   He finished his career with the team that would later hire him as general manager—a move that, arguably, could end up with him being voted into the Hall of Fame.
- Straw picked 1st, 1980 draft.  Beane picked by the Mets 23rd spot.
- Played from 1984-89.  3 HR hit 1986.
- His tenure as GM with the Oakland A’s has brought Bill James and sabermetrics to the forefront, prompting Rob Neyer of ESPN to ask Beane if he thought he was headed to the Hall of Fame, knowing that no GM had ever done so.
FCR - Eric Stone, Los Gatos, CA
Incorrect answers:  Shawn Abner, Clint Hurdle

Q.       Who is the only National League manager to manage at least 3 years where his team never played a game in New York?
Hint:   Umpires ejected him 11 times over his managing career, but never from a game in or against New York.
Hint:   He was the first native of the state of Arizona to receive a Hall of Fame vote.
Hint:   He once had the only error in a famous pitching performance that was otherwise perfect.
- Mgr STL 1959-61
- Managerial ejections recorded on his Retrosheet page
- Received exactly one (1) Hall of Fame vote in 1966            , tied with Bobby Adams, Bob Porterfield, Chico Carrasquel & Jim Hearn
- Stan Musial pitched to only one batter in his major league career.  That batter, Frankie Baumholtz, reached on an error by Hemus 28-Sep-1952.
FCR - Rich Klein, Plano, TX
Incorrect answers:  Bill Rigney, Walter Alston, John McGraw

Q.       Who stopped Johnny Bench's 10-year run of National League Gold Glove awards at catcher?
Hint:   No defensive player at any position has a higher career WAR for the Angels.
Hint:   Until the appearance of Salvador Perez, no other Kansas City Royal had ever won a Gold Glove and he only played for them for one full season.
Hint:   He once threw out Rickey Henderson three times in the same game.
A.       BOB BOONE
- NL GG 1978 & 79; AL GG 1982, 86-89 (Bench won the NL GG 1968-77)
- Career WAR for CAL 14.5
- 1989 GG for KCR; Perez GG for KCR 2013-15
FCR - Dave Wise, Hyde Park, NY
Incorrect answers:  Bobby Grich, Jim Sundberg, Mike Scioscia, Mike Piazza, Yadier Molina, Benito Santiago

Q.       Who was the first Japanese-born player to suit up for the Cleveland Indians?
Hint:   As his country’s team lead-off hitter in an international tournament, he hit .308 and stole four bases, the most in the competition.
Hint:   One of his stolen bases is considered the most important in his franchise’s history.
Hint:   He did not surrender Hank Aaron’s last career hit.
- B. 31-May-1972 Okinawa, Japan; MLB debut 07-Aug-1999
- Played for USA in the 1999 Pan American Games
- His most notable achievement was a 9th-inning stolen base on 17-Oct-2004 in the ALCS that turned the tide for the Red Sox' to break their famous “curse”.
- A pitcher with the same name gave up Aaron’s last H 03-Oct-1976.
FCR - Rich Klein, Plano, TX
Incorrect answers:  Kazuhito Tadano

Q.       What BLTR All-Star played for two different National League World Series champions, one before and one after MLB’s first wave of expansion?
Hint:   In one steady stretch, his home run total was 13 for each of three consecutive seasons.
Hint:   It could have been 4, but he went beyond the next year.
Hint:   Won the Manager of the Year Award his first year on the job.
Hint:   He managed the AAA team in a city that was awarded an MLB team.  He managed them as well.
- Batted left, threw right; NL AS 1958, 60; played for 1960 PIT and 1964 STL.
- 13 HR 1957-59; 15 in 1960
- PCL MOY in 1967 managing the AAA San Diego Padres, top farm team of the Philadelphia Phillies.
- Managed the NL San Diego Padres in 1977 to a perfect 1-0 record.          
FCR - Bob Flynn, Chandler, AZ
Incorrect answers:  Red Schoendienst 

THEME FOR THE WEEK - San Diego County high school alumni who made it into management in the major leagues.

Alum           High School         MLB                       MLB Management
*Roberts and Skinner each managed their hometown Padres for exactly one game.

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Joe Ullian, Santa Barbara, CA (after Trammell)

Comments from Alan Goldhammer:  I graduated from Point Loma High School in 1965, the same school that Don Larsen and David Wells pitched for.  We made it to the county finals my junior year where we lost to Crawford High School and Bob Boone was the opposing pitcher that day.  My senior year we were eliminated in the semifinals by San Diego High School who had Brent Strom on the mound.  We had one player in my class who made it to the big leagues.  Mike Adamson pitched a couple of games for the Orioles after attending USC but then had arm trouble and that was his career.  I don’t know what type of arm problems he had and perhaps had he been born 10 years later new surgical techniques could have helped him.

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday   - Players who led the league in batting and homers but not RBI in a single season.
  - Players who led the league on either side of military service (just a wild guess).

Tuesday   - Players who hit .340, led the league in homeruns and rbi - but did not win the triple crown.
- Williamses with the most career HR's
- All-California All Star team
- players from San Diego who finished second in an MVP vote

Friday - Players who went to San Diego area High Schools and were elected to Breitbard (San Diego Sports) Hall of Fame
           - Players who went to high school in the San Diego area and went on to become MLB managers.

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