Monday, July 3, 2017

June 26, 2017 Active lefties with a career OPS over .850

Q.        Ted Williams, Ty Cobb and __________ had a season with an OPS+ of 190 or better at age 22 or younger.
Hint:     His on-base percentage that year had been exceeded only by Ted Williams and Jimmie Foxx for players 22 or younger.
Hint:     He played for 3½ full years in the majors before facing a pitching whose birth he didn’t proceed chronologically.
Hint:     He shares an unusual characteristic with The King.
-  OPS+ of 198* in 2015 (100 is the major league average).  Williams scored a nifty 235 at age 22 in 1941.  Cobb’s equivalent was 193 in 1909.
-  OBP @ age 22 was .460.  Williams = .553 (not a typo); Foxx = .463
-  Flied out against young Jacob Lindgren on 10-Jun-2015.  Lindgren is 147 days younger than Harper.
Elvis Presley and Bryce Harper both have the middle name Aron.
*OPS+ is 100*[OBP/lg OBP + SLG/lg SLG-1] adjusted to the player’s ballpark(s).
FCR -  Bill Stetka, Columbia, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Mike Trout, Mel Ott, Ken Griffey, Jr., Mel Ott, Aaron Judge, Barry Bonds, Al Kaline, Joe Jackson

Q.        In the 140+ year history of the Cincinnati Reds, who emerges as their all-time career OBP, OPS and Adjusted OPS+ leader?
Hint:     He eschewed the metal bat in high school in preparation for playing the majors, an outcome he assumed was obvious.
Hint:     He attended the same high school as Harper.
Hint:     The caption on his Sports Illustrated cover seemed at odds with his native culture.
A.         JOEY VOTTO
-  OBP .424; OPS .963; OPS+ 1.57 going into Tuesday night’s game.
-  Votto graduated from Richview Collegiate Institute in Toronto in 2002, the same high school as former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
-  cover of Sports Illustrated on 30-Aug-2010 with the caption “TIME TO GET MEAN”, meanness not being an attribute very often attributed to Canadians.
FCR -  Adrian Fung, Toronto
Incorrect answers:  Pete Rose, George Foster, Johnny Bench, Dave Concepcion, Kris Bryant

Q.        Who was named the "Best Defensive 1st Baseman" in his league by Baseball America the same year he was the National League Rookie of the Year?
Hint:     In addition to his MVP trophy, won not too long after, he received the Ted Williams Award at the Boston Baseball Writers dinner as well as the Josh Gibson Award.
Hint:     He still holds the record for most home runs in his second full season in the majors
A.         RYAN HOWARD
-  Was named the "Best Defensive 1st Baseman" in the International League by Baseball America in 2005.  NL ROY 2005.
-  MVP in 2006, Ryan received the TWA at the 68th annual Boston Baseball Writers dinner and the JGA given annually by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum to the majors' top home-run hitter. He and Derek Jeter also shared the Oscar Charleston Legacy Awards from the museum.
-  52 HR in 2006, in the process breaking Mike Schmidt’s team record of 48 set in 1980.
FCR -  Ron Kaufman, Thornhill, Ontario
Incorrect answers:  Jeff Bagwell, Albert Pujols, Paul Goldschmidt, Orlando Cepeda, Fred McGriff, Jackie Robinson

Q.        What twice-drafted pitcher set a record for futility so futile that it actually endeared him to a fan base than had been weaned on futility?
Hint:     He bore his burden with professional aplomb, even grace.  No winning; no whining.
Hint:     Amidst a woeful streak where his major league employer lost 193 games over two seasons, he lost 14 games as a starter and 13 in relief before winning a game. 
Hint:     That broke a record set in 1910 and 1911 by the redoubtable Cliff Curtis of the Boston Doves and Boston Rustlers (now Braves).
Hint:     He ended his career in the majors with a respectable 3.89 ERA.
A.               ANTHONY YOUNG who passed away on Tuesday at age 51 due to inoperable brain cancer.
-     Drafted by the MTL in the 10th round in 1984 from high school and again by NYM in the 38th round in 1987 out of the U. of Houston.
-     Beginning with a loss as a starter on 06-May-1992 and not ending until after a loss in relief on 23-Jul-1993, Young lost 27 consecutive decisions, a record what may well last another century.
-     On the positive side, he did manage 16 saves during the drought and in one game, the 26th L, he retired 23 straight SPD batters after a leadoff single only to lost 2-0 when light-hitting 2nd-year, double unique, ex-Boilermaker Archi Cianfrocco homered with a man on for the game’s only scoring.
-     Some of Curtis’ descendants paid Young a visit hoping the unusual record could “stay in the family”.  That was his wish also, but it was not to be.
FCR -  Beth Woodell, Baltimore
Incorrect answers:  Roger Craig

Q.        Who is being compared to Fred McGriff, Darrell Evans, Chris Chambliss and Orlando Cepeda as the best at his position in his franchise’s history?
Hint:     Notwithstanding, he has expressed willingness to change positions for the overall benefit of the team.
Hint:     He is the only player in the history of his franchise to cap off a cycle in extra innings.
Hint:     He finished 2nd in the Rookie-of-the-Year voting, losing out to his own teammate.
Hint:     When you ask him what country he is from, the answer is confusing.
Hint:     He owns hundreds of Chili Davis baseball cards.
-  Sensing that the Braves might need to move to 3rd base, he actually approached the team about the move.  Again, nothing yet.
Craig Kimbrell (now with the Red Sox) got more votes for the 2011 NL ROY.
-  Although he was born in the U.S., both his parents are Canadian natives and he holds citizenship in both sovereign nations.
-  Decided to specialize and estimates that he has over 200 discrete baseball collectors card of Chili Davis.
FCR -  Ron Kaufman, Thornhill, Ontario
Incorrect answers:  Mark Ellis, Joe Torre, Joe Mauer, Miguel Cabrera, Mark Teixeira, Frank Howard, Paul Goldschmidt

Q.        Who is only the second second baseman to win the MLB All-Star Game Home Run Derby?
Hint:     His father’s career pitching record percentage in the majors is an even .500 and pitched to him in that Home Run Derby.
Hint:     His name, now famous, was only accepted reluctantly by his mother.
Hint:     He gave his own son the same name.
Hint:     With a World Series championship on his resume, he now toils for a franchise that has never even had the opportunity to lose a World Series.
2011 HRD; Ryne Sandberg won in 1990.
-  Father Jose Cano has a lifetime pitching record of 1-1.
-  Won a ring with NYY in 2009.  Is now in his 4th season of a ten-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.
FCR -  Adrian Fung, Toronto
Incorrect answers:  Dan Uggla, Chase Utley, Roberto Alomar

Q.        What Red Sox draftee made the majors with the Padres but made his first All-Star team with yet another club.
Hint:     He won over his new fan base when he banged out three game-winning RBI in his first six games.
Hint:     Forty-two of his career 152 home runs were hit on the first pitch of the at-bat.
Hint:     He’s doing very well, even now, as a cancer survivor.
-  Drafted by BOS in 6th round of the 2007 draft.  Traded by them to SDP for Adrian Gonzalez.
-  3 G-winning RBI for CHC:  HR 30-Jun-2012, Singe 01-Jul-2012; HR 02-Jul-2012
-  Was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma at age 18.
FCR -  Justin Zeleny, Columbia, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Ed Sprague

Q.        Before Nolan Arenado did it just two weeks ago, who was the last MLB batter to complete a cycle with a walk-off home run?
Hint:     Only one time in his decade-long career has he received MVP votes, but that time he was catapulted into 3rd place in the voting.
Hint:     That same season he led his league in hits and batting, hitting over .330 and led the majors in total bases with more than 350.
Hint:     He was the first player since Johnny Mize in 1936 whose first seven major league hits went for extra bases.
Hint:     He once had outfield assists as a left fielder, center fielder and right fielder in consecutive games.
-  HR 31-Jul-2010 (Arenado cycle 18-Jun-2017)
-  3rd place MVP voting 2010
-  197 H, .336 BA & 351 TB
-  7 EBH, all2b from 30-May-2008 thru 07-Jun-2008.
-  OF assists playing RF 23-Jun; CF 27-Jun; LF 28-Jun-2009.
FCR -  Barry Nelson, Guilderland, New York
Incorrect answers:  Josh Hamilton, John Olerud, Derek Lee

Q.        Who was the historian of the oldest chapter in the Society of American Baseball Research?
Hint:     A long-time member of SABR, he was the official keeper of SABR's home run statistics.
Hint:     For that and other contributions too numerous to list, he was presented with SABR's highest honor, the Bob Davids Award, in 1999.
Hint:     He was regularly sought out and quoted by MLB, ESPN, Fox, USA Today and scores of additional media entities regarding the home run.  He had information that pre-dated the major leagues, but could also pin-point something that happened in any of that day’s games.
Hint:     Perhaps his greatest augmentation of baseball knowledge and history was his role as the founding secretary of Retrosheet.
Hint:     He also served as the official MLB scorekeeper for Washington Nationals home games.
Hint:     He also authored the definitive biography of Bob Davids, SABR’s founder.
Hint:     A tireless researcher, he was well-known for his generosity in sharing otherwise impossible-to-find baseball facts and his ability to distinguish fact from lore.
A.         DAVID VINCENT who passed away this weekend
-  Probably best-known for his contributions to the SABR Home Run Encyclopedia. maintains, among other things, a database of the play-by-play accounts of every game in major league history.  Long may it prosper. relies on Retrosheet for the accuracy its game information.
Shown with Bob Davids accepting his award in 1999.  Bob Davids bio.
-  His contributions to Horsehide Trivia for the past 20 years have been bountiful and will be sorely missed.
FCR -  Rich Klein, Plano, Texas

WEEKLY THEME – Active lefties with a career OPS over .850

Cano           .852
Freeman     .871
Gonzalez    .855
Harper         .896
Howard       .859
Rizzo           .850*
Votto           .963

*Has slipped slightly since this list was compiled.

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  - 

Tues       -  Left-handed bat NL MVP of the 21st century
               -  Recent participants in the home run derby at the all-star game

Sat          -  Most walks in a season this decade

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