Monday, May 8, 2017

2017-05-01 Batters who hit 1,500 hits in the 1950's: 1950-59

Q.        Who became the oldest batter to appear as DH after a 12-year hiatus since his previous at-bat of any kind?
Hint:     He was once struck by a pitch and homered in the same at bat.
Hint:     He was the first publicly acknowledged Cuban ball player in Major League Baseball.
-  DH AB 11-Sep-1976.  In 3 tries, he could not reach base against the redoubtable Frank Tanana.  Minoso did get a hit the following day.  It would be his last ever, even though he had 2 more at-bats 4 years later at age 54, the first one against… You guessed it—Frank Tanana!
-  According to Minoso’s own Internet bio, “In a minor league game, Minoso turned into a pitch that struck him.  The umpire refused to give him the base. Minoso hung in and homered later in the same at bat. After he rounded the bases, the umpire asked if he was happy with the way things turned out.  ‘Give me my first base the first time,’ Minoso told the ump.”
-  B. in Havana, Cuba 1925
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect answers:  Jose Cruz, Vladimir Guerrero, Juan Samuel, Armando Marsans

Q.        Who hit 57% more World Series home runs than any other player while wearing a National League uniform?
Hint:     He evolved vulpine, patrician chromatic sobriquets, occasional partnered with horizontal topiary geographical references.
Hint:     His final career hit came fittingly in October, but wearing the uniform he would have once deemed anathema.
A.         DUKE SNIDER
-  Eleven NL WS HR’s, spread over 5 Fall Classics.  Chase Utley is next with 7.
-  “Silver Fox”; “Duke of Flatbush”
-  Got a single inch-hitting for Billy Pierce in what would have been Pierce’s final career at-bat 03-Oct-1964 then scored on Willie Mays’s walk-off HR.
FCR -  Richard Marston, Newport Beach
Incorrect answers:  Jimmie Foxx, Frank Robinson

Q.        Which Hall of Famer suffered through a broken finger, pleurisy and bruised ribs during one season before sitting out the next with tuberculosis?
Hint:     He legitimized his selection to the All-Star game one year by hitting a game-winnings home run in the 3rd-longest All-Star game in history.
Hint:     He was traded during the same season he led the league in hits.
Hint:     He won a World Series as a player with the same team that he later skippered to a championship.
-  Troubles in 1958; TB in 1959.
-  200 H in 1957; trade to NYG 15-Jun-1957.
-  W in 1946 WS; Mgr in 1967 WS
FCR -  Michael Green, Las Vegas
Incorrect answers:  Johnny Callison, Lou Boudreau, Frank Robinson, Stan Musial

Q.        Which future Rookie of the Year was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles, but signed instead with a team sporting eagle feathers?
Hint:     Having studied deep into the writings of Marx and Engels, he once opined, "Any pitcher who throws at a batter and deliberately tries to hit him is a communist."
Hint:     He was the first former pitcher to manage teams from each league to the World Series.
A.         ALVIN DARK
1948 ROY with the Boston Braves
-  Pitched one inning on 27-Sep-1953 for the NYG.  Led the 1962 SF Giants and the 1974 Oakland A’s to the World Series, winning it all with the latter.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Dallas Green

Q.        What is the only player listed in the top 20 in career hits, singles, doubles and triples?
Hint:     He slips to top 30 in home runs.
Hint:     He is the only General Manager to preside over a World Series champion in his lone season in that capacity.
Hint:     He knew his playing days were numbered when teammates began to compliment him on what he considered routine defensive plays.
Hint:     As a youngster, he was a big fan of evaporated milk.
A.         STAN MUSIAL
-  Ranks   4th in hits w/3,630
              19th in singles w/2,253 (tied with Wade Boggs)
                3rd in doubles w/725
              19th in triples w/177 (tied with Rabbit Maranville)
-  Ranks 30th in home runs w/475 (tied with Willie Stargell)
-  GM of 1967 STL
-  Retired as a player following the 1963 season.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Hank Greenberg, Al Rosen, Lou Gehrig, Rod Carew, George Brett, John McGraw

Q.        What baseball patriarch was second in the majors in triples in each of his first two years, but never again cracked the top 10 in his remaining 13 big league seasons?
Hint:     In his sophomore season, he led his league in triples.
Hint:     He did lead his team in triples twice more.
Hint:     He was energized by a trade after his third year that saw him with double-digits in home runs in every one of his full seasons with his new team.
Hint:     In his only season where he played every game on the schedule, his team changed its name.
A.         GUS BELL
-  Father of Buddy Bell; grandfather of David Bell & Mike Bell; Hit 11 3b in 1950; 12 in 1951.
-  Led PIT in 3b in 1952; led CIN in 3b in 1955 (and MLB in games played in ’55)
-  Averaged 20 HR per season in his 8 full years in Cincinnati.
-  Cincinnati became the Red legs 1954 through 1960 (As soon as they changed back to Reds, they won the pennant!)
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect answers:  Ray Boone, Jimmy Wynn

Q.        Who is the only Hall of Famer with a twin sister?
Hint:     After watching him play in a high school all-star game, the observant Tall Tactician Connie Mack advised him to switch from playing catcher.
Hint:     More than 80% of major league organizations showed interest in him and he signed with 3 of them.
Hint:     His value to his team was easily shown by the 8 times in 12 seasons with them that he had 700+ plate appearances.  In 3 of the remaining 4, he was over 640.
Hint:     His speed was such that well after retirement, he won a footrace against then active major leaguer Dick Allen.
-  Sister Donna passed away in 1992.  She was born just before midnight and he, just after.  He always referred to her as his older sister.
-  He was the state of Nebraska’s representative on the West team of Esquire Magazine’s American Legion Junior Baseball East/West All-Star game in 1944 at the Polo Grounds where Mack saw him play.
-  13 of the majors’ 16 had scout watch Ashburn.  Contracts he signed with the Indians and Cubs were invalidated by Commissioner Landis on technical grounds.
FCR -  Adam Foldes, New York City
Incorrect answers:  Jimmie Foxx, Kirby Puckett, Robin Roberts

Q.        Who was the first player to win the MVP and Gold Glove awards in the same season?
Hint:     Teammates of his were 2nd and 3rd in the league MVP voting that year.  (All three are now in the Hal of Fame.)
Hint:     His manager once decided to rest him for a couple of days but lamented his decision, saying, "I took it for a couple of days.  Then I had to put him back in the lineup.  On the bench, he was driving me crazy!"
Hint:     He once hit a bloop double on that hit his own glove in shallow center field.
A.         NELLIE FOX
MVP & GG 1959
-  Glove hit 04-Aug-1950
FCR -  Mike McCroskey, Sugar Land, Texas
Incorrect answers:  Frank Robinson, Willie Mays, Roger Maris, Hank Aaron, Mickey Mantle, Cal Ripken, Phil Rizzuto, Maury Wills

WEEKLY THEME – Players with at the 1,500 hits in the 1950’s:  1950-59

Ashburn........... 1,875
Bell................... 1,551
Dark................. 1,675
Fox................... 1,837
Minoso............. 1,526
Musial.............. 1,771
Snider.............. 1,605
Schoendienst... 1,517

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRobert Charkovsky (After Musial)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  MLB players who played in 4 decades
Sun         -  Players included in the 1954 Red Hart dog food baseball card set

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