Monday, October 10, 2016

October 3-9, 2016 Expansion franchise WAR leaders

Q. Who is the only player to hit 20 home runs in a season in games at the Astrodome?
Hint: No one ever said that he copied his batting stance.
Hint: He was the first National League player to receive 6 bases-on-balls in a game.
Hint: Until Carlos Correa won it in 2015, he was the only Astro to win the Rookie-of-the-Year Award.
Hint: Without the one vote going to Orlando, he would have been elected Rookie of the year unanimously.
- 20+ HR in Astrodome in 1997, 1998, 2000 and 2003
- His batting stance is so unusual, he actually steps back when he swings.
- ROY votes 1991
FCR - Jeff Fink, Howell, NJ
Incorrect answers:  Jimmy Wynn, Joe Morgan

Q. Who is the only man to win 3 straight batting National League titles thrice?
Hint: His son was drafted in a higher round than he was.
Hint: He won the batting title and league MVP his first year as a professional.
Hint: He got his 2,000th hit and his 3,000th hit on his mother's birthday, 6 years apart.
Hint: The Pirates played the theme from "The Munsters" when he appeared at bat in their ball park.  In his home park, he requested no walk-up music at all.
- Won the NL batting crowns 1987-89, 1994-96 & 1995-97.  NOTE:  The question was supposed to specify NL.
- Chosen 3rd round of the 1981 MLB June Amateur Draft, behind Phil Bradley but ahead of Sid Fernandez & David Cone.  Son Tony Gwynn, Jr. was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the 2nd round of the 2003 amateur draft, behind only James Houser, but ahead of Andre Ethier.
- Batted .331 for the 1981 Walla Walla Padres of the Northwest League of which he  was voted their first ever MVP.
- Gwynn's 2,000th and 3,000th hits both came on August 6th; 1993 and 1999 respectively. August 6th happens to be the birthday of his mother, Vendella Gwynn.
- “The Munsters” theme.
FCR - Alex Remington, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  Ty Cobb, Wade Boggs, Pete Rose, Honus Wagner, Stan Musial, Bobby Bonds

Q. Who played more games at catcher than anyone else in National League history?
Hint: He was the first National Leaguer to homer in 4 consecutive Opening Day games.
Hint: This future All-Star spurned over 100 football scholarships, including one from UCLA, to sign with the an MLB team as a shortstop.
Hint: He was born where they make movies.  He easily could have been a leading man.
Hint: He once broke up a perfect game with a HBP, becoming his team’s only baserunner.
- 2,056 G @ C
- Born in Culver City, California, home of Sony Pictures, TriCoast Motion Pictures and  Culver Studios.
- Spoiled Bob Forsch’s bid for a perfect game on 26-Sep-1983.  Still, it WAS a no-hitter.
FCR - Andrew Distler, New York
Incorrect answers:  Ivan Rodriguez,

Q. Who trails only Cal Ripken in career double-plays grounded into?
Hint: If this season had been a couple weeks longer, he might have already dropped to 3rd.
Hint: His walk-up song was "Shake Your Bon-Bon" by Ricky Martin.
Hint: In his retirement ceremony with his original team, instead of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch from the mound, he went to his usual position behind the plate and threw from behind home plate to second base.
Hint: Many baseball analysts believe he is a lock for the Hall of Fame.
- Ripken DBP = 350; Rodriguez = 337; Albert Pujols = 336
- Pudge becomes Hall of Fame eligible in 2017.
FCR - Josh Murphy, Cedar Rapids, IA
Incorrect answers:  Carlton Fisk, Mike Piazza, Johnny Bench, Ted Kluszewski, Bob Boone

Q. Who is the only third baseman to hit 20 doubles, 20 triples and 20 home runs in the same season?
Hint: He was the first American League player to win two Baseball Digest “Player of the Year Awards”.
Hint: He is the only player to hit three home runs in a postseason game that his team lost.
Hint: He made his batting instructor a household name (at least among serious fans).
- 1979:  23 HR; (league-leading) 20 Triples; and 42 doubles.  Only six other players from any position ever had such a season, including Hall of Famers Jim Bottomley and Willie Mays.
- BB Digest POY 1970, 1980
- 3 postseason HR 1978 ALCS, G 3, 06-Oct-1978
- Batting Instructor Charlie Lau
FCR - Bob Preusser, Littleton, CO
Incorrect answers:  Adrian Beltre, Carney Lansford, Brooks Robinson, Eddie Matthews, Pablo Sandoval

Q. Who is the only non-NY Yankee to collect 140+ RBI in 3 consecutive seasons?
Hint: Amazingly, only in one of those years did he lead the league.
Hint: He was the first player to hit 13 home runs in a single month of April.
Hint: He was the last 20th century player to lead his league in home runs for 3 consecutive seasons.
Hint: A certain K-infused pitcher was hoping to add a couple more K’s to his total, when  instead, he was part of a historical, record-setting performance.
- 140+ RBI 1996-98
- 13 HR April 1997
- AL HR leader 1997-99
- Kirk McCaskill from Kapuskasing, ON failed to K a father and son who both went by “Ken”.
FCR - Frank Workman, Lake Forest Park, WA
Incorrect answers:  Mark McGwire, Albert Belle, Juan Gonzalez, Cecil Fielder, Sammy Sosa, Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig

Q. Who was the first National League player to collect 100 runs + 100 bases-on-balls + 100 RBI + 100 extra-base hits in a season?
Hint: He had 100 extra-base hits the next year.  No other player in major league history has had consecutive such  seasons.
Hint: A week before he retired, he  successfully executed the hidden-ball trick against an All-Star St. Louis Cardinal infielder.
Hint: Not surprisingly, his team retired his number.  A bit more surprising was the pinto horse they gave him.
- 2000 season:  138 R, 103 BB, 147 RBI, & 103 EBH
- 2001:  105 EBH
- Hidden-ball pick-off of Matt Carpenter 19-Sep-2013
- No. 17 retired on  the 17th of August 2014.  Retirement horse.
FCR - Bob Bogart, Glen Rock, PA
Incorrect answers:  Craig Biggio, Mel Ott, Rogers Hornsby

Q. Who was the first American League player to win the MVP award while playing for a team that did not have a winning record?
Hint: Only two other players accumulated 3,000 hits at a younger age.
Hint: His fans thought he had a good chance to reach 4,000, but instead he abruptly retired at age 37.
Hint: He accomplished a baseball feat that had only been equaled by Stan Musial.
Hint: He is the only player at his position ever to lead the majors in hits and total bases in the same season.
- He reached the mark at 36 years, 359 days old,  Only Ty Cobb and Hank Aaron were younger.
- Only Yount and Musial were MVP’s playing in the infield and
- Led MLB in H & TB = 1982 w/210 & 367
FCR - Andrew Fung, Toronto
Incorrect answers:  Josh Hamilton, Paul Molitor, Rod Carew, Bobby Shantz, Alex Rodriguez, Juan Encarnacion

Q. What slugger owns the record for the most total home runs in a single home run derby?
Hint: He was a football star at Notre Dame.
Hint: In the first two years of the "Statcast" measuring system, he was responsible for the two hardest-hit balls recorded by the system .
Hint: Former big leaguer John Vander Wal said, “The kid was hitting balls so far, it reminded me of that Munsters episode where Herman tried out for the Dodgers.”
- He hit a double at 119.7 mph on 01-May-2015 and a single on 12-May-2015 clocked at 120.3 mph.
FCR - Frank Workman, Lake Forest Park, WA
Incorrect answers:  Todd Frazier, Josh Hamilton

Q. Who hit the final home run of the 2011 season?
Hint: He may have been a Dirtbag, but he was drafted ahead of Clayton Kershaw.
Hint: Tulo made him move to third.
Hint: At third in the majors, however, he has been Rookie of the Year, won a Silver Slugger Award, won the Gold Glove Award twice, been on 3 All-Star teams and 5 times received MVP votes.
- 28-Sep-2011, a day that decided the playoff fates of several teams.
- He was the 3rd pick in the 2006 MLB Draft.  Kershaw was 7th.
- Longoria attended Rio Hondo Community College, where he played shortstop. In his freshman season, he earned first-team All-State honors and was offered a scholarship by Long Beach State University. However, because they (The Dirtbags) already had Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop, he moved to third.
FCR - Jason Hammon, Arlington, TX
Incorrect answers:  Nolan Arenado, Josh Hamilton

THEME FOR THE WEEK - Position players whose career WAR is the best in their respective expansion franchise’s history.

Team Player WAR     Yrs played w/team
KCR*      George Brett          88          21          (1973-93)
HOU*      Jeff Bagwell          79          15          (1991-2005)
MIL*        Robin Yount           76          20          (1974-93)
SEA        Ken Griffey, Jr      70          13          (1989-99, 2009-10)
SDP*      Tony Gwynn          68          20          (1982-2001)
COL*      Todd Helton           61          17          (1997-2013)
WSH    Gary Carter           55          11          (1974-84)
TEX        Ivan Rodriguez      49          13          (1991-2002, 2009)
TBR**     Evan Longoria       46            9          (2008-16)
MIA** Giancarlo Stanton    27            7       (2010-16)

*Only team played for in the majors
**Active in 2016

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme –

Incorrect theme guesses:
Wednesday   - Players who've spent entire careers with one team

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