Sunday, March 5, 2017

2017-02-27 Select major leaguers who had been on NCAA baseball championship teams.


Q.        Who was the first Seattle Mariner to win the Rookie of the Year Award?
Hint:     A teammate of his came in second.
Hint:     He held the team’s career home run record until Ken Griffey, Jr. broke it.
Hint:     He still holds the Mariners’ record for the most consecutive games reaching base to start a career.
A.         ALVIN DAVIS
-  AL ROY 1984Mark Langston finished with 3 first-place votes to Davis’ 25.  Hall of Famer Kirby Puckett had none but finished 3rd based on voting points.
-  Davis’ HR total was 160.  Junior hit his 161st on 15-Jun-1994. […and would go on to his another 256 for them.]
-  Reached base from his debut game on 11-Apr-1984 until his 47th straight game on 11-Jun.
FCR -  Jerry Mora, Prescott, Arizona
Incorrect answers:  Edgar Martinez Jay Buhner, Ichiro Suzuki, Bret Boone, Alex Rodriguez, Omar Vizquel

Q.        What Jack was an ace?
Hint:     Not as slender as Chris Sale, he nevertheless is associated with a stick figure.
Hint:     He had 7 straight years of double-digit wins including two 20+ win years in a row.
A.         JACK McDOWELL
-  “Stickfigure” is the name of his band.  Maybe Sale should sit in?
-  10+ W seasons:  1990-95; 20+ W seasons:  1992-93
FCR -  Lincoln Mitchell, New York City
Incorrect answers:  Jack Morris

Q.        What Boston Red Sox player led the American League in RBI in the 1950’s?
Hint:     A truly versatile athlete, he also led once in stolen bases and once in triples.
Hint:     Extensive research has revealed that he is the only player to pinch-run in the World Series for someone who later became American League president.
-  RBI lead:  1955 w/116, 1958 w/122 & 1959w/112.
-  SB lead:  22 in 1954; Triples lead:  11 in 1956.  He also excelled as an All-American halfback at Cal, scoring a touchdown in the 1949 Rose Bowl.
-  Playing for NYY, he pinch-ran for Bobby Brown in the 1950 WS.
FCR -  Art Springsteen, Sunapee, New Hampshire
Incorrect answers:  Ted Williams

Q.        Who is the all-time Montreal Expos career leader in games, at-bats, hits, extra-base hits, total bases, RBI and doubles?
Hint:     He is still the leader in each named category even if you add in the career of any Washington National.
Hint:     He is the only Expo to win a Gold Glove at his position.
A.         TIM WALLACH
-  G = 1,767, AB = 6,529, H = 1,694, XBH 595, TB = 2,728, RBI = 905, 2b = 360
-  GG = 1985, 88, 90 @ 3b
FCR -  Fred Mistretta, Montvale, New Jersey
Incorrect answers:  Rusty Staub, Tim Raines, Gary Carter, Andre Dawson, Vladimir Guerrero, Warren Cromartie, Hubie Brooks, Marquis Grissom

Q.        What pitcher’s nickname was closely linked with a major event that took place less than a month after his debut in the big leagues?
Hint:     When he was inducted into the Red Sox Hall of Fame, he was the team's record-holder for most games pitched by a left-hander and the third-highest win total by a Red Sox leftie.
Hint:     Not exactly an organization guy, he was barely tolerated by managers, general managers and owner and idolized by reporters.
Hint:     His grooming habits presaged the modern era.
A.         BILL LEE
-  “Spaceman” debuted 25-Jun-1969; Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon 20-Jul-1969.
-  Most games pitched by a BOS left-hander (321) and the 3rd-highest win total (94).
-  Antics reported in a movie:  “Spaceman:  A Baseball Odyssey
-  Fully hirsute for some of his career.  Marge Schott would NOT have approved.  Today’s look.
FCR -  Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Incorrect answers:  Oil Can Boyd, Babe Ruth

Q.        Who was the first Boston team manager to be the manager of an All-Star team after winning the World Series?
Hint:     Boston has had major league teams since 1871.
Hint:     He knew the game, having played for 9 professional teams over 11 seasons.
Hint:     His career playing time was split between the infield and the outfield.
-  2005 ASG, 2004 WS.  The Sawks previous WS win occurred 15 years before the All-Star Game existed.  Similarly, the Boston Braves won their only modern WS title in 1914, 19 years too early for an All-Star game connection.
-  Drafted by CHC in 1977, but chose school.  Drafted by MON in 1980, made the big team in ’81.  Released by MIL in 1990 then finished by paying 86 more games in the minors that same season.    
FCR -  Ray Palen, ,Clermont, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Dick Williams, Fred Haney

Q.        What former Rookie of the Year led two different teams in saves in the same season?
Hint:     He has averaged 27 saves a season over his 12-year career.
Hint:     He was named to the NCAA College World Series Legends Team.
Hint:     Although he has never led his league in saves, he has led 4 different teams in saves a total of 11 times.
-  In 2014 led SDP w/24 saves & LAA w/17 saves
-  342 saves through 2016t
-  Has led OAK, COL, SDP & LAA in saves
FCR -  Terry French, Kansas City, Missouri
Incorrect answers:  Francisco Rodriguez

Q.        What reliever had 0 saves in 7 of the 9 years of his career, but then had more than 30 each in the remaining 2?
Hint:     His ethnicity helped him break a long-standing record held by Hank Aaron.
Hint:     He managed to put in time with 8 different teams in that 9-year span.
Hint:     He started his collegiate career at Penn State but transferred to a school less known for its athletic prowess.
-  38 saves in 2009, 31 in 2010 both for SEA
-  Is now first alphabetically in all lists of major leaguers
-  Played for SEA, NYM, SFG, ATL, BOS, CHC, NYY & CHW
-  Transferred to Rice University in Houston.
FCR -  Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Incorrect answers:  Donnie Moore, Jose Mesa

Q.        Who hit the major leagues’ first ever pink-bat home run?
Hint:     He hit it off a Hall of Famer in front of 50,000+ people.
Hint:     He won a bronze medal for the United States in the Olympics.
Hint:     He has been a coach for the Padres and A’s.
A.         MARK KOTSAY
Pink HR 14-May-2006, Mothers’ Day at Yankee Stadium off Randy Johnson.  Attendance:  52,587
-  Hitting coach for SPD in 2015; Bench coach for OAK in 2016
FCR -  Adrian Fung, Toronto
Incorrect answers:  Merv Rettenmund, Davey Lopes, Mark McGwire

Q.        What local hero tried to make Georgians forget Andrelton Simmons?
Hint:     His father and brother played college baseball; his mother played collegiate basketball and tennis; his sister softball.
Hint:     In recent trade talks, he was considered “untouchable”.
Hint:     Despite that label, he was hit by a pitch during a simulated game and suffered a concussion, setting back his professional debut by weeks.
-  Is from Atlanta; played more than passable shortstop for the Braves in 2016, placing 10th on the team in WAR.
-  In a simulated game against Yoan López in July 2015, he was hit in the mouth with a pitch.
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect answers: 

Q.        Who owns the lowest batting average of any player since the end of the Dead-Ball era?  (2,000 AB min.)
Hint:     He is the author of Baseball: Play the Winning Way.
Hint:     The baseball field at a major university was named for him.
Hint:     He is twice deserving to be included in this week’s theme.
-  Lifetime average:  .213
-  Also the co-editor of the highly-respected The Baseball Coaching Bible
-  The University of Arizona's former baseball field, Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium, is named in honor of Kindall and former coach Frank Sancet.
-  He played on the University of Minnesota NCAA championship team in 1956 then coached the Arizona University baseball team to 3 such championships:  1976, 1980 & 1986.
FCR -  Adrian Fung, Toronto
Incorrect answers:  Branch Rickey

Q.        Who was the first manager to lead the Indians to the League Championship Series in this century?
Hint:     Never a ROY, but he was  MOY.
Hint:     He twice won more than 90 games with the Tribe.
Hint:     In his four-year playing career in the majors, he managed to squeeze all his home runs into one season.
A.         ERIC WEDGE
-  Lost 2007 ALCS to BOS
-  93 W in 2005; 96 W in 2007
-  5 HR in 1992 for BOS
FCR -  Paul Rupright, North Olmstead, Ohio            
Incorrect answers:  Charlie Manuel, John Farrell, Terry Francona, Mike Hargrove, Tony LaRussa

Q.        What pitcher’s 14-year career saw him once lead the majors with 17 hit baseman one season, but balancing that by later leading his league in complete games with 7 one year and with shutouts another year with 2?
Hint:     His 17 plunks did not prevent him from being selected to the All-Star team that year.
Hint:     Recognizable and well known for his unique delivery, he was also known as the nicest guy in baseball.  (There might be 17 guys who would dispute that.)
Hint:     He and his wife now travel to U.S. colleges speaking on "Faith in Sports" and "How to Stay Married in a Career Dominated Lifestyle."
A.         PAUL BYRD
-  17 HBP and ASG in 1999
-  7 CG in 2002; 2 ShO 2007
FCR -  Benjamin Chase, Huron, South Dakota
Incorrect answers:  Justin Masterson, Kent Tekulve

WEEKLY THEME – Select major leaguers who had been on NCAA baseball championship teams--with no teams repeated.

Player                    University                Championship Year
Jensen.................. Cal............................... 1947
Kindall................. Minnesota.................... 1956
Lee...................... USC............................. 1968
Francona*........... Arizona........................ 1980
Davis.................... Arizona State............... 1981
McDowell............. Stanford....................... 1987
Wedge................ Wichita State............... 1989
Byrd.................... LSU............................. 1991
Kotsay*.............. Cal State Fullerton...... 1995
Street*................ Texas........................... 2002
Aardsma............. Rice............................. 2003
Swanson*.......... Vanderbilt.................... 2014

**Named MOP, “Most Outstanding Player” of that series

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeJoe Ullian, Santa Barbara (after Jensen)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Wed        -  All-Stars who played in the Pac 8 (10/12)
               -  All- Stars with particularly colorful nicknames
               -  California HS players of the year who went on to become MLB All-Stars

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