Sunday, March 27, 2011

March 21-27, 2011 Second basemen with two seasons with 30 home runs each


Q.         What Hall of Famer was named for pitching legend Ryne Duren?
Hint:     He was recently beaten out by Mike Quade and displayed his displeasure publicly.
Hint:     He was a Parade Magazine All-American as a high school quarterback.
SABR Hint:       He was the first player to hit two home runs off of Bruce Sutter in one game.
Twint:    He was throw-in in a trade where star shortstops were exchanged.
A.         Ryne Sandberg (Quade is the new Cubs manager; All-America list in 1977; Sutter HRs 23‑Jun‑1984; Traded with Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus 27-Jan-1982.)
First Correct Respondent – David Matchett, Toronto

Q.         What obsessed Hall of Famer refused to attend motion pictures lest they damage his legendary eyesight?
Hint:     Although his name and his stats might indicate that he’s plural, he’s really just one person.
SABR Hint:       For six consecutive years, he led his league in Batting Average, On-Base-Percentage, Slugging Percentage, OPS and OPS+.
Twint:    He hit teammate Art Fletcher in the face because, "It was the only way I could think of to stop him talking.  I couldn't get a word in edgewise."
A.         Rogers Hornsby (Stat years 1920-25)
FCR -    John Shiffert, Morrow, GA

Q.         Who holds the Washington Nationals’ single-season home run record?
Hint:     Only Rickey Henderson has hit more leadoff home runs.
SABR Hint:       He was once traded for the current (career) major league home run leader.
Twint:    He was born in the same city as the Cub’s career home run leader.
A.         Alfonso Soriano (46 HR in 2006; Leadoff HRs; Traded for Alex Rodriguez; Sammy Sosa also born in San Pedro de Marcoris in the Dominican Republic.)
FCR -    Peter Beagle, Oakland

Q.         Who, according the Baseball Digest, is the only second baseman to regularly bat cleanup for his team?
Hint:     Even though he played for the Indians and Blue Jays, all nine of his postseason home runs came as a National Leaguer.
SABR Hint:       He was a key piece in helping the Blue Jays win their first championship.
Twint:    He has hit more home runs than any second baseman in history.
A.         Jeff Kent (Helped the Blue Jays by being traded for David Cone 27-Aug-1992; Edison High School, Huntington Beach, California)
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah, GA

Q.         Who was the last manager of an American League team in St. Louis?
Hint:     He had earlier managed the other team in town.
Hint:     He also played for both teams.
Hint:     He was the first shortstop to win the BBWAA MVP award.
Hint:     He once boasted, “I did everything in baseball.  I played, managed, coached and even owned a team.”
Hint:     As a player, he won a Most Valuable Player Award without leading the league in any offensive category.
SABR Hint:       He was Luis Aparicio’s major league first manager.  [I only went to one source and I can't document that this is true.  My apologies.]
Twint:    He was the quintessential member of the “Gashouse Gang”.
FCR -    Bob Kimball, Washington, DC

Q.         Who recorded the final at-bat at Veterans Stadium by grounding into a game-ending double play?
Hint:     His high school has had more alumni in the National Football league than any other school.
Hint:     It also has an alumnus in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
SABR Hint:       His first game as a member of the U.S. team was on a field seemingly named in his honor.
Twint:    He will likely begin the 2011 season on the disabled list.
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn

Q.         Who hit the last home run at Shea Stadium?
Hint:     His first major league stolen base was a steal of home.
SABR Hint:       His own teammate beat him out for Rookie of the Year, though he finished a strong third in the voting.
Twint:    His last name means “owl” in Swedish.
A.         Dan Uggla (HR 28-Sep-2008; SB 21-Apr-2006; ROY voting 2006)
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn

Q.         Who is the only man to manage two different American League teams in the same city?
Hint:     Only he, Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig hit two home runs against Bob Feller in 1938.
SABR Hint:       He played the violin in the Duck orchestra.
Twint:    Pete Ward attended the same high school.
A.         Joe Gordon (1961 Kansas City A's, 1969 Kansas City Royals; ’38 HRs 12-Jun & 05-Aug; University of Oregon orchestra; Jefferson High School, Portland, OR)
FCR -    Fred Brillhart, Mechanicsburg, PA

Q.         Who was the first post-expansion player to hit three doubles in a World Series game?
Hint:     He became the first American League player to homer twice in the first inning of a game.
SABR Hint:       The next player up became the second such.
Twint:    In 1992, he became the first-ever third-generation big leaguer in baseball history.
A.         Bret Boone (WS 2Bs 26-Oct-1999, all off Andy Pettitte; Same inning HRs w/Mike Cameron 02-May-2002; Grandfather Ray and father Bob were major leaguers.)
FCR -    Steven Elsberry, Windsor Heights, IA

WEEKLY THEME – Second basemen with two seasons with 30 home runs each.

Boone          2001, 03
Gordon        1940, 48
Hornsby       1922, 25, 29
Kent             1998, 2000, 02
Sandberg     1989, 90
Soriano        2002, 03, 05
Uggla           2007-2010
Utley            2006, 08, 09

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Joe Ullian, Santa Barbara

Monday, March 21, 2011

March 14-20, 2011 Highest season OPS+ performances by players not in Hall of Fame, but eligible to be


Q.         Who is the only player to hit more than 40 home runs in his rookie season?
Hint:     It is not recorded whether he shed tears over the achievement.
SABR Hint:       He averaged one home run per 10.61 at bats, the lowest at bats per home run ratio in baseball history.
SABR Hint:       Babe Ruth is second at 11.80.
Twint:    A portion of an interstate highway was named for him in Missouri.
Twint:    Today it is named Mark Twain Highway.
A.         Mark McGwire (49 HR in 1987; Famously wept at a congressional inquiry 17‑Mar‑2005)
First Correct Respondent – Ken White, Charlotte, NC

Q.         Which slugger admitted after retiring that he’d used a corked bat throughout his career?
Hint:     He once played an entire major league game at first base without handling a ball in play.
SABR Hint:       After winning the batting title, his 118 point drop-off the next year, is a record.
Twint:    He was All-Lone Star Conference as a running back at Sul Ross Teachers College.
Twint:    He was drafted by the Chicago Bears in the 13th round after graduating.
A.         Norm Cash (02-Jun-1963)
FCR -    David Serota, Kalamazoo

Q.         What three-time batting champion hit for the cycle twice?
Hint:     He was born where the most famous baseball bats are born.
Hint:     The bats (and the company) have the same nickname he did.
SABR Hint:       In his best season, although hitting 31 points higher than his next best season, he did not win the title.
Twint:    When he was thirteen years old, his father was killed by a cyclone.
Twint:    He stayed with his mother after that, growing up, living and dying in the house where he was raised.
A.         Pete Browning (Won batting titles in 1878, 1885 & 1890; Cycles 08‑Aug‑1886 & 07‑Jun‑1889; His best season .402 in 1887; Born in Louisville and called the “Louisville Slugger”; 7; House in Louisville, Kentucky)
FCR -    Bradley Curtis, Roseville, CA

Q.         Who hit the first National League home run?
Hint:     Although he was born in New York and died in Chicago, he began and ended his major career in Boston, but in different leagues.
SABR Hint:       He was the first player to lead two different leagues in batting average.
Twint:    He was called a “seceder”, a huge epithet at the time.
A.         Ross Barnes (02-May-1876 off Cherokee Fisher)
FCR -    Bradley Curtis, Roseville, CA

Q.         Who was the manager of the only Union Association league champions?
Hint:     As a player, he was famous as an ambidextrous infielder who could catch and throw with either hand.
SABR Hint:       He set a major league record by scoring 160 runs in a 113-game season.
SABR Hint:       He only played in 101 of those games.
Twint:    He died of a distended tubercular rectum.
Twint:    He succeeded Forrest Phillips as manager of Pittsburgh when Phillips was “given a vacation” and entered an asylum.
A.         Fred Dunlap (1884 St. Louis Maroons)
FCR -    Timothy Randolph, Hebron, OH

Q.         What slugger’s playing career was abruptly ended by a stroke at age 31? [He lived to a ripe old 55.]
Hint:     Baseball historians place him as the greatest first baseman in the ten-year run of the major league American Association.
Hint:     He once fell two home runs shy of winning the Triple Crown.
SABR Hint:       He was the first player to collect 300 total bases in a season.
SABR Hint:       He was the first and only captain of a team named Ward’s Wonders.
Twint:    His last job in baseball was as a Federal League press box attendant.
A.         Dave Orr (Near TC 1884 w/9 HR; 301 TB in 1886 in 131 G)
FCR -    John Michael Pierobon, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Q.         What pitcher was dealt to Brooklyn because of his gambling habits?
Hint:     Only he and Al Spalding won 200 games with fewer than 100 losses.
SABR Hint:       Friday’s answer hit for the cycle against him.
Twint:    As a starting pitcher, he once hit two home runs in a game, but the game ended when he was tagged out at the plate trying for a third.
A.         Bob Caruthers (Brooklyn deal 27-Nov-1887; Cycle 12-Jun-1885; 218 W – 99 L)
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn

Q.         Whose outfield assist total of 50 still stands as the all-time record for a single season?
Hint:     Setting a standard that even Norm Cash would struggle with, his batting average fell 165 after finishing 2nd in the batting race the year before.
SABR Hint:       His brother also played in the majors.
Twint:    He didn’t play the blues when he played for the Blues.
A.         Orator Shafer (50 A in 1879 in 72 G; .369 in 1884 to .195; Taylor Shafer)
FCR -    Barry Nelson, Guilderland, NY

Q.         Who conspired with Jim Devlin to throw a late-season game to Cincinnati for $25?
Hint:     After the game he was seen around Cincinnati wearing fancy new jewelry.
Hint:     He was black-listed at the end of the season by Hall of Famer William Hulbert.
SABR Hint:       He played for four top Brooklyn teams before the first Major League was formed.
Twint:    He was a substitute umpire during three years of his major league career.
A.         George Hall (06-Sep-1877; 1866 Brooklyn Enterprise, 1867 Excelsiors, 1868-69 Brooklyn Star, 1870 Brooklyn Atlantics)
FCR -    John Michael Pierobon, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

WEEKLY THEME – Eligible non-Hall of Famers with OPS+ seasons of 200.  OPS+ is a statistic designed to measure offensive performances against those one’s peers.  An OPS+ of 100 represents the average for all players in a given period.

Barnes         231    1876
Browning      222    1882
Caruthers      200    1886
Cash            201    1961
Dunlap         258    1884 (4th all-time!  Only Barry Bonds ranks higher.)
Hall              200    1876
McGwire       216    1998
Orr               203    1885
Shafer          202    1884

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

March 7-13, 2011 Players elected to the Hall of Fame in their second year of eligibility

Q.         Who, according to his biographer Allen Barra, is the greatest catcher of all time?
Hint:     Neither Hanna nor Barbara would likely disagree.
SABR Hint:       He became a Vice President for Yoo-Hoo corporation principally due to his love of their beverage product.
Twint:    He’s got ten rings (10!).
A.         Yogi Berra (Barra’s book “Yogi Berra: The Eternal Yankee”; Hanna-Barbera cartoon character Yogi Bear with a name too close to be a coincidence; Yoo-Hoo)
First Correct Respondent - Art Springsteen, Sunapee, NH

Q.         Who pitched the first perfect game in the American League?
Hint:     He didn’t win much serious hardware, but now he IS major hardware.
SABR Hint:       Symmetrically, he spent eight years with the Spiders.
Twint:    Holds the career record for pitching victories.
Twint:    Holds the career record for innings pitched.
Twint:    Holds the career record for games started.
Twint:    Holds the career record for complete games.
Twint:    Holds the career record for losses.
Twint:    Holds the career record for batters faced.
A.         Cy Young (05-May-1904; Cy Young Award, given to the league’s outstand pitcher each season; 511 W, 7,356 IP, 815 GS, 749 CG, 316 L, 29,565 BF)
FCR -    Rick Zucker, St. Louis

Q.         Who holds the career record for assists by an outfielder?
Hint:     Many consider him the best centerfielder ever to play.
SABR Hint:       He holds the career record for doubles.
Twint:    Until Craig Biggio also did the feat in 1998, he had been, for 86 years the only player to hit 50 doubles and steal 50 bases in the same season.
A.         Tris Speaker (449 A; 792 2b; 50/50 in 1912)
FCR -    Michael Daponde, Sacramento

Q.         Who is the only second baseman to win a League Championship Series Most Valuable Player Award and an All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award?
Hint:     No second baseman has won more Gold Glove Awards.
Hint:     Only one second baseman has won more Silver Slugger Awards.
SABR Hint:       He hit .313 in 58 postseason games.
Twint:    He once dated French professional tennis star Mary Pierce.
A.         Roberto Alomar (ALCS MVP 1992, ASG MVP 1998; 10 GG; 4 SS)
FCR -    Ira Kotel, Short Hills, NJ

Q.         Which player led the American League in triples in 457 at-bats one season and then in 508 at-bats the following year, had no triples at all?
Hint:     He is the first player born in his state to be elected to the Hall of Fame.
SABR Hint:       In a high school state tournament basketball game he once score 42 points and had 39 rebounds in a losing effort.
Twint:    How he looked as a child is where he got his nickname.
A.         Carlton Fisk (9 3b in 1972, 0 in ’73; Born in Vermont, but also claimed by New Hampshire since that is where his parents lived at the time of his birth.  He is the only Hall of Famer from either state; “Pudge”)
FCR -    John Rickert, Terre Haute

Q.         Which pitcher’s 2.74 ERA is the best career mark (minimum 3,000 IP) since the end of the deadball era (1920)?
Hint:     He was the first left-handed batter to retire with more than 150 career hits without ever hitting a triple.
SABR Hint:       This native New Yorker played his whole career for a New York team.
Twint:    He has more losses than any pitcher in World Series history.
A.         Whitey Ford (8 WS L)
FCR -    John Burbridge, Elon, NC

Q.         Whose career World Series record for saves did Mariano Rivera break?
Hint:     He was briefly a Cardinal.
Hint:     His father was briefly in the Cardinals farm system.
SABR Hint:       He earned a win during the game where Gaylord Perry got his 3,000th strikeout.
Twint:    He struck out Johnny Bench on a fake intentional walk in the World Series.
A.         Rollie Fingers (01-Oct-1978; Ersatz IBB 1972 G 5)
FCR -    Rich Klein, Plano, TX

Q.         Who was the first American League player to hit fifty doubles in a season?
Hint:     His 86-point advantage gave him a batting title by the widest margin in history.
SABR Hint:       He was the first New England native in the Hall of Fame.
Twint:    He broke his hand trying to punch a Hall of Fame teammate, drawing a 5-week suspension without pay.
A.         Napoleon Lajoie (51 2b in 1910; .426 in 1901 over Mike Donlin’s .̀340; Elmer Flick)
FCR -    Joe Haardt, McLean, VA

WEEKLY THEME – Players elected to the Hall of Fame in their second year of eligibility.

1972     YOGI BERRA
1974     WHITEY FORD
1937     Napoleon Lajoie
1937     Tris Speaker
1937     Cy Young

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Bill Deane, Cooperstown, NY (after the Speaker question)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

February 28-March 6, 2011 Lefties with 40 saves in a season.



Twint:    “Wild Thing”
A.         Mitch Williams
First Correct Respondent - John Ricker, Terre Haute



Twint:    “Rags”
A.         Dave Righetti
FCR -    David Krassin, New York





Twint:    “Billy the Kid”
A.         Billy Wagner
FCR -    Alan Work, White Plains, NY




Twint:    “Nasty Boy”
A.         Randy Myers
FCR -    Peter Mitchell, Mission Viejo, CA




Twint:    Fifteen seasons; two All-Star games; one Cy Young Award.
A.         Mark Davis
FCR -    John Rickert, Terry Haute




Twint:    Played almost every day.
A.         Eddie Guardado
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn




Twint:    T-Rex
A.         Brian Fuentes
FCR -    Judah Kaplan, New York

WEEKLY THEME – Lefties with 40 saves in a season.

Davis           44 in 1989
Fuentes        48 in 2009
Guardado     45 in 2002
Myers           53 in 1993; 45 in 1997
Righetti        46 in 1986
Wagner        44 in 2003; 40 in 2006
Williams       43 in 1993

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – David Krassin, New York (after the Wagner question)