Sunday, January 30, 2011

January 24-30, 2011 Players whose names call to mind Sesame Street characters

Note:  This week’s theme and questions come to us from reader Arieh Siegal of Austin.

Q.         What pitcher holds the record for home runs surrendered in a single season?
Hint:     He was the pitching coach for the Netherlands baseball team in the 2009 World Games.
Twint:    He got his first major league hit off Mel Stottlemyre.
A.         Bert Blyleven (50 home runs allowed 1986; 50 SHO reached in 1985; 40 SHO reached in 1980)
First Correct Respondent - John Shiffert, Morrow, GA

Q.         Whose 90 career shutouts are a National League record?
Hint:     He was the only player elected to the Hall of Fame in 1938.
Twint:    His 28 wins as a rookie still stands as a modern day record.
A.         Grover Cleveland Alexander
FCR -    Mark Linneman, Sacramento

Q.         Whose double broke up Bill Bevens' no-hitter in the 1947 World Series?
Hint:     It was his only hit of the 1947 World Series.
SABR Hint:       It was the last hit of his major league career.
Twint:    He twice led the league in errors committed by third basemen.
A.         Cookie Lavagetto (WS G 4 03-Oct-1947; NL E leader in 1938, 40)
FCR -    David Girdany, Bedford, PA

Q.         Who logged the last hit and RBI at Philadelphia's Connie Mack Stadium?
Hint:     He was discovered by Buck O'Neil.
SABR Hint:       Scooter may have mixed him up with Hall of Famer Robertson.
Twint:    His best batting average would have led the league by over 20 points, but he didn’t have enough at-bats to qualify.
A.         Oscar Gamble (01-Oct-1970; O’Neill scouted for the Cubs at the time; Announcer Phil Rizzutto dubbed him “The Big O”; .358 in 1979)
FCR -    Chuck Durante, Dover, DE

Q.         Who holds the career record for the frequency of hitting into double plays?
Hint:     He still managed 27 career triples.
SABR Hint:       He caught both of Johnny Vander Meer’s no-hitters.
Twint:    He's one of only two catchers to win a National League batting title.
Twint:    Actually, he’s both of them.
A.         Ernie Lombardi (DP/24.3 PA [min. 6,000 PA]; No-nos; Batting titles 1938, ’42.) [Turns out, Ernie Lombardi isn't the only NL catcher to win a batting title.  He’d not even the only Cincinnati Reds catcher to do it.  Bubbles Hargrave won the batting title as the Cincinnati Reds' catcher in 1926.]
FCR -    Art Springsteen, Sunapee, NH

Q.         Who was the last Giants pitcher to throw a no-hitter before Jonathan Sanchez's no-no in July 2009?
Hint:     He was teammates with both Bucky Dent and Jose Rijo.
SABR Hint:       He is one of only a handful of pitchers to hit a home run in his first time at bat.
Twint:    He was the 7th pitcher to win the Rookie of the Year Award in his league.
A.         John "The Count" Montefusco (NH 29-Sep-1976; HR 03-Sep-1974 off Charlie Hough; Teammates w/Columbus in 1984, NL ROY 1975)
FCR -    Tony Landolt, San Francisco

Q.         Who, in 1948, set a Major League record for highest fielding percentage by a second baseman?
Hint:     Four (and three) years earlier, he led the American League in hits, runs, triples and stolen bases for consecutive seasons.
SABR Hint:       He also led the league in batting the second season, even though he hit .010 lower than the year before.
Twint:    He retired from banking after suffering a heart attack at age 38.
Twint:    He was the victim of a major transit accident a year later.
A.         Snuffy Stirnweiss (.993 in 1948; .309 in 1945 for the title, .319 in 1944; Accident 1958)
FCR -    Chuck Hilty, Reston, VA

Q.         Who followed Hall of Famer Willard Brown as the second of only four players to have won the Triple Crown in the Puerto Rican Winter League?
Hint:     He won a batting title over Tony Oliva by less than one tenth of a point.
SABR Hint:       He was Vida Blue's minor league mentor.
Twint:    He and Horace Clarke were the baseball specialists for the St. Croix department of Housing, Parks, and Recreation.
A.         Elmo Plaskett (1960-61, other two winners were Wally Joyner and Hector Villanueva; 1962 South Atlantic League .34979 to .34968; Mentored Blue on the 1969 Birmingham A's.)
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn

WEEKLY THEME – Players whose names call to mind Sesame Street characters.

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Jeff Miller, Brookeville, MD (after the Lavagetto question)

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