Monday, April 10, 2017

2017-04-03 Players whose names are also Occupations

Q.        Which future All-Star homered off Nolan Ryan in his first major league at-bat?
Hint:     He and three of his college teammates became All-Stars in the majors.
Hint:     One year the only person who beat him in number of MVP votes was a teammate.
Hint:     In his last season in the majors pulled off the rare feat of hitting a grand slam in each league in the same year.
A.         WILL CLARK
Ryan HR = 08-Apr-1986
1989 MVP = Kevin Mitchell (314 to 225 pts.)
-  AL GS = 20-Jul-2000 playing for BAL off Ramon Martinez;
   NL GS = 24-Sep-2000 playing for STL off Todd Van Poppel
FCR -  Doug Greenwald, San Francisco
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Murray, Rafael Palmeiro, Nomar Garciapara, Terry Francona, Jim Thome, Mark McGwire

Q.        Who was the first veteran pitcher of the Negro Leagues to be elected to the Hall of Fame?
Hint:     He could have easily gone toe-to-toe with Yoda for philosophical witticisms.  (Does Yoda even have toes?)
Hint:     Some very knowledgeable baseball people place him above Walter Johnson as the greatest pitcher ever.
HOF 1971 (Jackie Robinson did play briefly in the Negro Leagues and was elected to the HOF in 1961.)
-  One example: “I don't generally like running. I believe in training by rising gently up and down from the bench."  Other examples.
FCR -  Vince Granieri, Cincinnati
Incorrect answers:  Bob Feller, Cool Papa Bell

Q.        Against what pitcher did Adam Dunn tie then break the single-season record for strikeouts by a batter, a standard that had lasted for almost as long as Roger Maris' single-season home run record??
Hint:     It was he and a fellow pitcher who accompanied Adam Greenberg to the Cubs' training room to watch over him after Greenberg suffered a concussion when he was hit in the back of the head with the first pitch he ever saw in the majors.
Hint:     Rod Dedeaux had a lot to do with his baseball development.
A.         MARK PRIOR
-  Records K’s = 30-Sep-2004.  Dunn’s new record broke the one held by Bobby Bonds since 1970, 34 years.  Maris’ HR record lasted from 1961 to 1998, 37 years.  Ryan Howard broke Dunn’s record 3 years later, in 2007.
-  Played baseball at USC under Dedeaux.
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas
Incorrect answers:    Tom Seaver, Randy Johnson, Carlos Zambrano

Q.        Who was the first player to win the Rookie of the Year Award in the American League?
Hint:     He was the first Washington Senators player to win an American League home run title.
Hint:     A highly respected hitter in his career, he hit ten grand slams and ten pinch-hit home runs.
Hint:     A future Hall of Famer was on his baseball team at Beaumont High School in St. Louis.
Hint:     He was traded by the Senators the year before they left town for the Twin Cities.
Hint:     His bonus for originally signing with the Browns was a new pair of cleats.
Hint:     He is one of only nine to play for both the original AL Washington Senators and the expansion Senators.
-  42 HR in 1957.  He also led the AL w/114 RBI.  Finished 3rd in MVP voting behind M. Mantle and T. Williams who each had near-career years.
-  HOF Earl Weaver played ball at his high school at the same time he was there.  Weaver was on the JV while Sievers played varsity.
- On the Senators 1954-59 then the new ones 1964-65
FCR -  Chuck Durante, Dover, Delaware
Incorrect answers:  Harmon Killebrew, Frank Howard, Eddie Yost, Larry Doby

Q.        What pitcher relieved the last-active player born in Ireland in both of their only appearances in a major league game?
Hint:     He is the only player in the history of the majors who achieved his unique accomplishment.
Hint:     He taught himself a proper lefty windup by looking at himself in the mirror and comparing what he saw with pictures of Johnny Vander Meer in a copy of Life magazine.
Hint:     Years later, he won the U.S. amputee golf championship.  Twice.
-  Only game 04-Aug-1945.  Pitched in relief of Joe Cleary, last Ireland-born major leaguer.
-  Pitched on a prosthetic leg, having lost his during an U.S. air raid over Berlin.  I recommend his SABR biography.
Vander Meer in Life 27-Jun-1938, two week after his double no-hitter.
- Won golf titles in 1968 & 1971.
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect answers:  Monty Stratton, Joe Cleary, Jim Abbott, Lou Brissie, Burt Shotton, Armando Roche, Pete Gray

Q.        Who was the starting pitcher WHO FACED the home-team Reds in the first night game ever played in the majors?
Hint:     It’s believed that his career was shortened because he acted upon the advice of too many coaches.
Hint:     Often used as a pinch hitter, he hit .333 in 1938 and .344 in 1939.
Hint:      He was the Scouting Director for Charlie Finley's Kansas City A's from 1960 to 1968, instrumental in assembling a scouting staff and finding the players who would become the core of the Oakland Athletics' three World Series Champion teams.
A.         JOE BOWMAN
-  1st night game 24-May-1935Paul Derringer, of course, started for the Reds.
-  He stayed in KC rather than move to Oakland and scouted for the Braves and Orioles.  Working for Charlie O. was strenuous.
FCR -  Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Whitlow Wyatt, Johnny Vander Meer

Q.        What American League team’s staff ace led the majors in pitching losses in 2016?
Hint:     He pitched for the United States national baseball team in the qualifying tournament for the 2011 Pan American Games.
Hint:     He stopped the powerful the Cuban national baseball team and the publication USA Baseball called his game the “International Performance of the Year”.
Hint:     He pitched 4 perfect innings for the champion U.S. in the 2017 World Baseball Classic.
Hint:     As he had before, he served as a guest analyst for ESPN and ESPN Radio during the 2016 World Series.
-  9-19 in 2016 for TBR
FCR -  Steve Murfin, Olney, Maryland
Incorrect answers: 

Q.        Who was the first pitcher to surrender four home runs in a single major league game?
Hint:     After Tony Mullane, he was the next pitcher to pitch ambidextrously in a major league game.
Hint:     His nickname reflected his cold and calm demeanor on the mound.
-  4 HR by Bobby Lowe, the first to do it 30-May-1894.
-  Ambidexterously threw in May 1888. (Mullane did it in 1882.)
FCR -  Leonard Levin, Providence
Incorrect answers:  Paul Foytack, Moxie Manuel, Cal McLish, Greg Harris

Q.        Who is the only batter besides Ted Williams to walk in 20% of his career plate appearances?  (reasonable minimums apply)
Hint:     In one of the best years of his career, his runs exceeded his hits.
Hint:     He has an unusual connection with a famous episode of “Seinfeld”.
Hint:     His first six years of professional baseball were with the Baltimore Orioles.
A.         MAX BISHOP
-  1,156 BB in 5,789 PA = .0199689, which rounds nicely to 20%.  Williams’ number was .206477 or 21% based on 2,021 BB in 9,788 PA.  San Francisco’s John Fisher noticed one we missed.  Barry Bonds had a percentage of 20.29% (2,558 BB in 12,606 AB).
-  1930 = 111H & 117 R
-  Bill Nowlin, in his great biography of Bishop, reveals that “… [Bishop] holds his arms stiff at his side when he runs.” [Atlanta Constitution, September 16, 1931.  The 156th  episode of the sitcom Seinfeld, which aired 15-May-1997, titled "The Summer of George", there is a character who walks with her arms straight down at her side.
-  Played for the Baltimore Orioles of the International League 1918-1923. 
FCR -  Bill Deane, Cooperstown
Incorrect answers:      Keith Hernandez (12.5%),
                        Babe Ruth (19.4%),
                        Danny Tartabull (13.1%),
                        Rafael Palmeiro (11.2%),
                        John McGraw (16.9%),
                        Paul O’Neill (10.7%),
                        Bobby Grich (13.2%),
                        Ken Phelps (17.1%),
                        Jay Buhner (13.4%),
                        Joey Votto (15.8%),
                        Willie Keeler (5.5%),
                        Eddie Yost (17.6%),

Q.        What former Astro, once exclusively right-handed hitter, had rejected an offer from Harvard in order to play professional baseball?
Hint:     Playing in the farm system of his first major league organization, he became an effective switch-hitter.
Hint:     He became an Olympic medalist while representing his country.
Hint:     He is the first player in history to lead off the 7th game of a World Series with a home run.
-  Played for HOU in 2014.
-  Originally drafted by COL in the 14th round of the 2004 MLB June Amateur Draft.
-  Won a bronze medal with Team USA in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect answers:  Craig Biggio, Carlos Beltran

WEEKLY THEME – Players whose names represent an occupation.

Names considered by not used:


First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Chaunce Venuto, Tooele, Utah (after Clark)

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