Sunday, September 11, 2016

September 5-11, 2016 Grand Slams in an ALDS game

Q. Who did Kramer promise would hit two home runs?
Hint: He is the first player to reach the 20/20 club after his 38th birthday.
Hint: He is a descendant of Mark Twain and the brother of a New York Times food critic.
Hint: He was never Secretary of the Treasury nor does he have anything to do with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Hint: He also never played  professional soccer in England.
Hint: He never won a medal for Australia in the Paralympics.
Hint: He is not a Newfie.
Hint: He is not the first to successfully perform a gymnastics move that now bears his name.
- From a famous episode of Seinfeld, with Kramer over-promising a young bedridden hospital patient.  Episode.
- 20th HR that year:  25-Aug-2001 (already had stolen 21 bases)
- Brother of NYT food critic Molly O’Neill.
- He is neither Paul O’Neill nor Paul O’Neill .
- He is not Paul O’Neill.
- He is not Paul O’Neill.
- He is not Paul O’Neill.
- He is not Paul O’Neill.
FCR - Patrick Roth, Chicago, IL
Incorrect answers:  Danny Tartabull, Ed Kranepool, Don Mattingly, Bill Buckner, Clint Hurdle

Q. What lefty hit the first grand slam in Red Sox postseason history?
Hint: He won the Player of the Year Award in the league that had similarly honored Dizzy Dean, Hank Greenberg and Joe Morgan.
Hint: He was born in one of Los Angeles rougher suburbs.
Hint: He led all American League left-fielders in put-outs and games played the same year he had his best offensive season.
- Texas League, 1992
- B. in Compton 04-Aug-1969.
- Best season was 1999
FCR - John Romps, Dover, New Hampshire
Incorrect answers:  Fred Lynn, Carl Crawford, Mike Greenwell, Vern Stephens, Ted Williams, Johnny Damon

Q. Who was the last Cleveland Indian to hit 50 home runs in a season?
Hint: No Indian has ever hit more in a season.
Hint: No Indian has hit more in a career.
Hint: Only one (1) Indian has even had a season with 40 since then.
Hint: The very next year he led the National League in homers.
Hint: One season he had more than 300 plate appearances when he did not put the ball in play.
- 52 HR in 2002
- Travis Hafner had 42 in 2006
- 47 HR for PHI in 2003 led the NL
- 302 in 1999: 127 BB + 171 K + 4 HBP (Mark McGwire also did this in 1998.)
FCR - Steven Haas, Clarksville, MD
Incorrect answers:  Albert Belle, Rocky Colavito, Manny Ramirez

Q. Was the first batter since WWII to win an American League batting title while playing for a last-place team?
Hint: He also led the league that year in doubles.
Hint: The next time he led the league in hitting, his team finished first.  His contribution was huge as he also led the league in games played, doubles, runs scored, OBP, OPS, OPS+ and was third in MVP voting.
Hint: That same year he became the first player to collect 7 RBI in a postseason game.
- Hit .343 for the last-place (7th) 1992 Seattle Mariners.
- He hit 42 doubles that year.
- In 1995, the Mariners finished  in first place in their division
- 1995 ALDS, Game 4 07-Oct-1995
FCR - Rick Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers:  Paul Molitor, Wade Boggs, Vic Wertz, Ferris Fain, Mickey Vernon, George Brett, Norm Cash, Carlos Beltran, Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams, Alex Rodriguez. Eddie Murray

Q. At the end of the 1998 season*, which Baltimore Oriole had the longest active consecutive games played streak?
Hint: He was the first player to break the $10-million-per-year-compensation contract in MLB.
Hint: He had the honor of being Pedro Martinez’ first All-Star Game strikeout.
Hint: He is one of only 6 players in MLB history to have nine consecutive 100-RBI seasons.
- 334 games.  Teammate Cal Ripken had ended his streak of 2,632 games a week earlier.
- Joined CHW in 1997 as a free agent with at contrac at $10M+ per season.
- 1996 ASG, 6th inning, 09-Jul-1996.  It was Pedro’s only K that day.
- 100+ RBI: seasons 1992-2000
FCR - Paul Healey, Minneapolis, MN
*Deemed to mean the space after the end of the  ‘98 season and the start of the’99.
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Cal Ripken, Roberto Alomar, Mike Bordick, Brooks Robinson, Miguel Tejada

Q. Which player’s mother worked in Venezuela 11 months of the year to support a family of 7 in the Dominican Republic?
Hint: Those 7 shared a 1-room shack.
Hint: His brother made it to the majors as well, even playing on the same team for  3 seasons.
Hint: According to the similarity scores method, his most similar player at age 29 was none other than Willie Mays.
Hint: A teammate once opined, "He hits balls that aren't even close to the strike zone harder than I've ever hit a strike."
- Grew up in Nizao, DR.
- Played with brother Wilton on MON 1998-2000, 02
- Quote from Lee Stevens (Stevens had 144 career HRs.)
FCR - Timothy Kearns, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Roberto Clemente, Miguel Cabrera, Pedro Guerrero, Roberto Alomar, Yorvit Torrealba, Felipe Alou

Q. Who spoiled Daniel Cabrera’s attempt at a no-hitter, lacing a 1-out single in the 9th inning?
Hint: It is easy to forecast that he will break the record for most career home runs hit by a player at his position.
Hint: His current contract is tied with that if Albert Pujols as the 5th largest ever.
Hint: He is the only position player ever to have won a World Series ring and a WBC championship.
- Cabrera’s dominating close call was 28-Sep-2006, before 54,000+ at Yankee Stadium.  It was the Yankees’ last game in their penultimate series in their new stadium.  In their history, they never drew more fans than the 4,298,655 they had that year.  In MLB history, it was the 2nd highest attendance total ever—only COL in ’93 had a better year.  NYY finished ‘06 10 games in first (27 ahead of BAL!), but Cano’s single was their only happiness that day.
- Jeff Kent’s 301 is the all-time standard, but Cano will finish 2016 with 265 +-.  It took Kent 17 seasons.  Cano has compiled his total in 12 and appears very healthy.
- A 10-year contract worth $240,000,000.  2016 was the 3rd year thereof.
- Octavio Dotel, Santiago Casilla, Daisuke Matsuzaka & Koji Uehara, all pitchers, are the other double-winners.
FCR - Brendan Lambert, Colchester, CT
Incorrect answers:  David Ortiz

Q. Whose record for home runs by a National League switch-hitter did Chipper Jones break?
Hint: He hit his first home runs for the White Sox.
Hint: He was the fist player to homer against the a franchise that came into existence during his career.
Hint: He benefitted from a famous Ponzi scheme.
- 248 of Bonilla’s 287 career home runs were hit when he played for a National League team.  Jones broke the record when he hit his 249th homer on 02-Sep-2002.
- Bonilla debuted with CHW 09-Apr-1986 and played 75 games with them before he was traded to the senior circuit’s Pirates 23-Jul-1986.
- Home run against the Rockies was on Opening Day 05-Apr-1993 at Shea Stadium.
- After his subpar 1999 season, the Mets released Bonilla, but still owed him $5.9 million. Bonilla and his agent offered the Mets a deal: Bonilla would defer payment for a decade, and the Mets would pay him an annual paycheck of $1.19 million starting in 2011 and ending in 2035, adding up to a total payout of $29.8 million.  Mets owner Fred Wilpon accepted the deal mostly because he was heavily invested with Ponzi scheme operator Bernie Madoff, and the 10 percent returns he thought he was getting on his investments with Madoff outweighed the 8 percent interest the Mets would be paying on Bonilla's initial $5.9 million.  Bonilla will be 71 years old by the time the Mets’ obligation ends.
FCR - Bill Maisannes, Charlottesville, VA
Incorrect answers:  Lance Berkman, Harold Baines, A.J. Pierzynski, Ted Simmons

THEME FOR THE WEEK - Players who hit grand slams in an ALDS.

Batter Date For Vs. Off

*The ball landed a mere 3 rows in front of my friend Jim Nelson and me.

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Adam Balutis, Arlington, VA (After Martinez)

Incorrect theme guesses:
Tues - Players with 5 or more hits in 1999 ALCS
- All time home run leaders by players with O apostrophe names

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