Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 18-24, 2011 Major league parks re-named for team owners.

Q.         What arena saw its first major league night game played after 74 years of day games?
Hint:     It used to be Steve Bartman’s favorite place to watch a game.
SABR Hint:       It’s famous for its ivy on the outfield walls.
Twint:    It hosted the second annual National Hockey League Winter Classic in 2009.
A.         Wrigley Field, Chicago (First game with lights 08-Aug-1988; Ivy; NHL game)
First Correct Respondent - David Serota, Kalamazoo

Q.         Where did Don Denkinger make his infamous call?
Hint:     Nolan Ryan threw his first no-hitter there.
SABR Hint:       It recently underwent a $250,000,000 renovation.
Twint:    The 2012 All-Star game will be held there.
A.         Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City (WS call 26-Oct-1985; No-hitter 15-May-1973)
FCR -    Rick Zucker, St. Louis

Q.         What stadium got its name because the National League wouldn’t allow it to be called “Budweiser Stadium”?
Hint:     Six World Series were played there.
SABR Hint:       An All-Star game was once played there when the temperature on the field was 106° F at game time.
Twint:    The team and city built a new stadium next door, but didn’t change the stadium’s name.
Twint:    A World Series has already been played in the new stadium.
FCR -    Andrew Borders, Princeton, NJ

Q.         The decrepitude of which park was used as a weak excuse to threaten to move a major league team to Tampa?
Hint:     This was only one of many excused used, all equally weak.
SABR Hint:       It was frequently called "The Baseball Palace of the World".
Twint:    It was the site of the first ever All-Star Game.
A.         Comiskey Park, Chicago (ASG 1933)
FCR -    Gregg Gaylord, Chicago

Q.         Which stadium’s roof was used to combat an aphid infestation?
Hint:     Jay Buhner hit the first triple there, his only triple that season.
Hint:     Rod Stewart headlined the first concert held there.
SABR Hint:       The Buffalo Bills play home games there.
Twint:    It was the first stadium to have a fully-retractable motorized roof.
A.         Rogers Centre, Toronto (Aphids 03-Aug-2001; 3b 18-Jun-1989; Bills games began 07‑Dec‑2008 and are one game per year, the first time an NFL team has established a “home” series outside the U.S.; Concert 08-Jun-1989)
FCR -    Bruce Berger, Ft. Collins, CO

Q.         Which park had a 33’ high “Spite Fence”?
Hint:     It was host to the first night All-Star game.
SABR Hint:       The original statue of its owner now sits outside another major league stadium.
Twint:    The statue shows him as tall and tactical.
A.         Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia né Shibe Park (High fence built to block the view from the houses across 20th street; ASG 1943; statue outside Citizens Bank Park)
FCR -    Dave MacEntee, Beacon, NY

Q.         On the original grounds of what stadium is Howard University Hospital now located?
Hint:     It was where the concept of a “tape measure home run” was invented.
SABR Hint:       It was also home to a major baseball team that had moved from Pittsburgh.
Twint:    It was the home to a major football team that had moved from Boston.
A.         Griffith Stadium, Washington (Hospital; Tape-measure HR; Homestead Grays; Washington Redskins)
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah, GA

Q.         Where did Chuck Klein play his first major league game?
Hint:     It had a 60’ high right field wall 280’ from home plate.
SABR Hint:       It was the site of Babe Ruth’s first postseason appearance.
Twint:    The 1924 Colored World Series was held there, owing to its larger capacity.
A.         Baker Bowl, Philadelphia (30-Jul-1928;  WS Game 1, as a 9th inning pinch hitter 08-Oct-1915)
FCR -    Leonard Krugel, Austin

Q.         Where was the first major league night game played?
Hint:     Three weeks before its opening, it was flooded by the Mill Creek Flood.
SABR Hint:       Bobby Bonds was the last batter there.
SABR Hint:       It was known for a decade a “The Palace of the Fans”.
Twint:    After being decommissioned as a stadium, it was used by the city as an impound lot.
A.         Crosley Field, Cincinnati (Night game 24-May-1925; MCF; 24-Jun-1970; POTF 1902-1911 was actually its predecessor.  [The hint was in error.]; Impound lot 1970-72)
FCR -    Prisco Panza, Milford, CT

Q.         Which stadium’s demise was featured in Eminem’s hit “Beautiful”?
Hint:     It was declared a state historic site in 1975.
Hint:     It was listed as a national historic place in 1989.
SABR Hint:       It was located at the corner of ___________ and ___________.
Twint:    11,111 home runs were hit there.
Twint:    It opened the same day as did Fenway Park.
Twint:    It was renamed from the previous owner to the new owner.
A.         Briggs Stadium, Detroit (Michigan and Trumbull; Navin Field)
FCR -    Jim Ewalt, Alexandria, VA

Q.         At which stadium did the only World Series triple play occur?
Hint:     Slim Caldwell was hit by a bolt of lightning there during his debut game with the team.
SABR Hint:       During his 7-0 run there, Walter Mails posted a sparkling 1.85 ERA.
SABR Hint:       The only two right-handed hitters to homers over the 45’ right field wall were both pitchers.
Twint:    The Tigers, Bulldogs and Indians all played NFL games there.
A.         Dunn Field, Cleveland (1920 WS TP 10-Oct-1920; Mails; 24-Sep-1920; Pitcher HRs Walter Johnson 19-May-1925 & Smokey Joe Wood 28-Aug-1921)
FCR -    Leonard Levin, Providence

WEEKLY THEME – Major league parks re-named for team owners.  Not all the re-christenings were official.

Venue                          City/Team                   Originally                     Owner
Baker Bowl                   Philadelphia Phillies     National League Park     William F. Baker
Busch Stadium              St. Louis Cardinals       Sportsmans Park          Augie Busch
Briggs Stadium             Detroit Tigers               Navin Field                    Walter Briggs
Comiskey Park              Chicago White Sox      White Sox Park             Charles Comiskey
Connie Mack Stadium    Philadelphia A’s           Shibe Park                    Connie Mack
Crosley Field                 Cincinnati Reds            Redland Field                Powel Crosley
Dunn Field                    Cleveland Indians         League Park                  Jim Dunn
Griffith Stadium             Washington Senators   Boundary Field              Clark Griffith
Kauffman Stadium        Kansas City Royals      Royals Stadium             Ewing Kauffman
Rogers Centre               Toronto Blue Jays        SkyDome                     Ted Rogers
Wrigley Field                 Chicago Cubs              Weeghman Park            Philip Wrigley

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Bill Carle, Lee's Summit, MO (after the Kauffman question)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 11-17, 2011 Starting pitchers who won a Cy Young Award with Fewer than 18 Victories

Q.         Who shared World Series MVP honors with Curt Schilling?
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to throw a perfect game after his 40th birthday.
SABR Hint:       His 300th win was one of only eight he earned for his final team.
Twint:    He won it in a rainstorm in a game that probably should have been postponed on account of inclement weather.
A.         Randy Johnson (Perfect game 18-May-2004; 300th W 04-Jun-2009)
First Correct Respondent – Bob Kimball, Washington, DC

Q.         Who was the last pitcher to throw a perfect game for the New York Yankees?
Hint:     After his debut with the Royals, he won a total five World Series rings with two different American League East teams.
SABR Hint:       He was the American League player representative during the 1994-95 players' strike.
Twint:    He won the first Marty Lyons Childrens Award for his off-field accomplishments.
Twint:    He quarterbacked his football team at an all-boys Jesuit school.
Twint:    He led his team to the district football championship.
Twint:    He also played point guard on the school's basketball team.
Twint:    He did not play baseball in high school because they did not have a baseball program at the time.
A.         David Cone (WS TO 1992, NY 1996, 98, 99, 2000; Rockhurst High School)
FCR -    Judah Kaplan, New York

Q.         After Orel Hershiser in 1988, who was the next pitcher in the majors to compile a 40+ scoreless innings streak?
Hint:     He was his team’s Opening Day starter in 2009, but did not appear in another game all year.
SABR Hint:       He got his first Major League assignment when Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling went down with injuries.
Twint:    A section of Highway 60 is named in his honor.
A.         Brandon Webb (42 scoreless IP 20-Jul through 17-Aug 2007; “Brandon Webb Highway” near Ashland, KY)
FCR -    Gregg Gaylord, Chicago

Q.         Who was the first player to be awarded $1,000,000 through arbitration?
Hint:     He was a Cardinal and Oriole and even a Red Wing, but never a Blue Jay.
Hint:     He surrendered Steve Carlton’s only career grand slam.
SABR Hint:       In the past thirty seasons, he and Mike Hampton are the only left-handed pitchers to win the National League Gold Glove Award.
Twint:    His screwball was regarded the best one since Carl Hubbell’s.
Twint:    He is the youngest of twelve children.
A.         Fernando Valenzuela (19-Feb-1983; 16-May-1984 all 4 runs unearned; GG 1986)
FCR -    Bert Rosica, McClean, VA

Q.         Who faced Barry Bonds more than any other pitcher?
Hint:     No one gave up more home runs to Bonds.
SABR Hint:       He was his team’s second draft pick, after they’d selected Drew Hall.
Twint:    His brother is a long-time major league pitching coach.
A.         Greg Maddux (Pitched to Bonds 157 times; 1984 MLB draft; 9 HR; brother is Mike Maddux)
FCR -    Dave Mason, Ottawa

Q.         Who was the first right-handed pitcher to have 300 strikeouts with an ERA under 2.00 since Walter Johnson in 1912?
Hint:     His brother Jesus rose to the majors with the Dodgers.
SABR Hint:       He was once traded for Delino DeShields.
Twint:    He threatened to “…drill Babe Ruth in the ass.”
A.         Pedro Martinez (Stats year 1997 for Montreal; Jesus Martinez, called up in 1996, but never played in the majors; DeShields trade 19-Nov-1993.)
FCR -    Stefan Grossman, Bethesda, MD

Q.         Which new Brewer started the 2011 season on the DL after fracturing a rib playing basketball?
Hint:     He is married to a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader.
SABR Hint:       His first Major League hit was a home run against Russ Ortiz.
Twint:    He was named Gatorade National Player of the Year in 2002.
Twint:    The next year he was Sporting News Minor League Player of the Year.
A.         Zack Greinke (wife Emily Kuchar; 1st H HR 10-Jun-2005)
FCR -    John Wilson, Mesa

Q.         Who was the first PAC-10 player to win the Freshman of the Year Award and the Pitcher of the Year Award in the same season?
Hint:     Even so, Ian Kennedy was chosen ahead of him for the all-conference team.
SABR Hint:       He had been selected in the 48th round of the major league draft, and so decided to attend college instead.
Twint:    It took him nine games to move from Low-Class A too AAA.
A.         Tim Lincecum (PAC-10 award in 2004; minor league rise in 2006.)
FCR -    Mitchell Below, Oakland

Q.         Who was the last Major Leaguer born in Italy?
Hint:     He was raised in Canada.
Hint:     He played briefly in Japan, but requested his release because his young son had been ill since the family moved to Japan.
Hint:     After his career ended he returned to his adopted hometown to teach high school.
Hint:     He was inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988.
Hint:     Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame president and CEO Tom Valcke had once been his student.
SABR Hint:       He roomed with Al Kaline for five years when both were young Tigers.
SABR Hint:       In later years he said his career highlight was hitting a 2-run home run in Yankee Stadium on Opening Day.
Twint:    In his first Major League at-bat, Satchell Paige struck him out (as he recalled it, on three straight pitches).
Twint:    His next-door neighbor was NBA and MLB player Hank Biasatti (also born in Italy).
A.         Reno Bertoia, who passed away this week: (Windsor, ON; Opening Day HR 11-Apr-1961; Debut 22-Sep-1953)
FCR -    Rich Klein, Plano, TX

Q.         Who was the last manager of the Philadelphia A's?
Hint:     In his ninth season, his batting average was fifty points below the league average, yet his on-base percentage was fifteen points above league average.
Hint:     Even with the low average, he received two first-place votes in that year’s MVP balloting.
Hint:     Before he started wearing glasses on the field, he threatened the record for lowest single-season batting average by a player with at least 400 at-bats.
Hint:     After donning glasses to correct for astigmatism, he twice had more walks than hits in a season.
SABR Hint:       His record for most career home runs by an A's shortstop lasted for 59 years.
SABR Hint:       He committed an error on what would have been Paul Waner's 3,000thcareer hit.  The hometown scorer originally gave Waner a hit, but Waner motioned for the scorer's attention and indicated that it should be scored an error and the call was changed.
Twint:    After his baseball career ended he spent 10 years working for Wilson Sporting Goods, based in Honolulu, Hawaii.
A.         Eddie Joost, who died this week: (A’s Mgr ; 1947 stats-Avg .206, OBA.348, 114 BB; More BB than H 1947, 49; A’s SS HR record 116 broken by Miguel Tejada in 2002; E on Waner 17-Jun-1942.)
FCR -    Rich Klein, Plano, TX

Q.         Who is the only pitcher to face Barry Bonds more than 50 times without surrendering a home run?
Hint:     After Hippo Vaughn in 1919, he was the next Cubs pitcher to steal home.
SABR Hint:       He pitched the first shutout at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
SABR Hint:       The losing pitcher also went the distance.
Twint:    He lost the closest Cy Young Award vote in history.
A.         Rick Sutcliffe (Pitched to Bonds 51 times; 29-Jul-1988 Charles Nagy; 06-Apr-1992 ; 1987 CYA lost to Steve Bedrosian by 2 voting points.)
FCR -    Rich Klein, Plano, TX

Q.         Who was the first Mariners pitcher to hit a home run?
Hint:     It was a grand slam off a two-time Cy Young Award winner.
Hint:     All four runs were unearned.
Hint:     He wears long sleeves during games to keep sweat from running down his arm and interfering with his grip.
SABR Hint:       Although he had more substantial offers with other teams, he signed with the Mariners because his idol played for them.
Twint:    At age 14, his fastball was clocked at 94 miles per hour.
Twint:    He is active in domestic violence awareness and with the humane society in his adopted city.
A.         Felix Hernandez (23-Jun-2008, Johan Santana; Hero was Freddie Garcia; Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Seattle King County Humane Society)
FCR -    Mark Lewers, Blacksburg, VA

WEEKLY THEME – Starting pitchers who won a Cy Young Award with Fewer than 18 Victories

Pitcher          Record      Year        Team           League
Cone               16-5         1994        Royals         American
Greinke           16-8         2009        Royals         American
Hernandez       13-12       2010        Mariners       American
Johnson          17-9         1999        D’Backs       National
Lincecum         15-7         2009        Giants          National
Maddux           16-6         1994        Braves         National
Martinez          17-8         1997        Expos          National
Sutcliffe          16-1         1984        Cubs            National
Valenzuela       13-7         1981        Dodgers       National
Webb              16-8         2006        D’backs       National

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Gregg Gaylord, Chicago

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 4-10, 2011 Hall of Famers who hit three triples in one game.

N.B.  This week’s theme, questions and hints come to us from Gregg Gaylord of Chicago.

Q.         Who won 12 consecutive gold glove awards his final 12 seasons?
Hint:     His first five years in the major leagues, he batted over .300 only once and averaged .282.
Hint:     The next 13 years, he averaged .329, batting under .300 only once.
SABR Hint:       He batted .310 and .414 in the World Series in the only two World Series he played in.
Twint:    In 14 World Series Games, he walked only twice, in 60 plate appearances.
A.         Roberto Clemente (WS 1960, 1971)
First Correct Respondent - Christopher Bell, New York

Q.         Who was the first Cubs player to have his uniform number retired?
Hint:     One season, he led the National League in errors at shortstop.
Hint:     The next year, he set a new league record for fewest errors at shortstop.
SABR Hint:       Leo Durocher tried to replace him several times, but failed.
Twint:    How many shall we play?
A.         Ernie Banks (#14 retired 22-Aug-1982; Most SS errors: 32 in 1958; Fewest: 12 in 1959; Let’s play two.)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         Who was considered by many to be the most graceful center fielder ever to play the game?
Hint:     Even so, he called his brother, who toiled for his team’s biggest rival, “…the best defensive outfielder I’ve ever seen.”
SABR Hint:       They both played for their respective same teams their entire careers.
Twint:    His brother led the league once in stolen bases, a feat he never achieved.
A.         Joe DiMaggio (Brother Dom)
FCR -    Ron Kaufman, Pickering, ON

Q.         Who once missed over a month of the season when broke his hand after throwing a punch at a future Hall of Famer?
Hint:     Whether he hit the wall or the other player’s jaw is a matter of some dispute.
Hint:     At 35 years old he won the batting title by one point over another Hall of Famer to be.
Hint:     He accomplished it in a season-ending doubleheader, racking up eight hits, six of which were bunts.
SABR Hint:       He played at least 20 each at five different positions (and over 2,000 at one of them).
Twint:    He was one of the few active players to have a current team named after him.
Twint:    His top ten Similarity Score players are all Hall of Famers.
A.         Napoleon Lajoie (Batting title 1910; 09-Oct-1910; 21G 3b, 26G OF, 73G SS, 286G 1b & 2,035G @ 2b; Cleveland Naps 1903-14; Similarity Scores)
FCR -    John Rickert, Terre Haute

Q.         Who, in first four career at-bats, struck out looking, grounded out, flied out and lined out and ended the inning with each one?
Hint:     His fifth at bat resulted in his first career “on base” as a result of an error.
Hint:     If not for the error, it would have been an inning-ending out.
SABR Hint:       Despite this debut, he won the Rookie of the Year Award.
Twint:    The next year he only played in 34 games.
Twint:    In his next full season, he won the batting title and Most Valuable Award.
Twint:    His year after THAT one was even better.
A.         Willie Mays (25-May-1951; 1951 ROY; 1954 MVP; 1955 led in HR and others.)
FCR -    John Rickert, Terre Haute

Q.         Who played in six All-Star games, had a cumulative batting average of .500 and played every inning?
Hint:     At a banquet in his honor he said he had a reputation of being a man of few words, and wasn’t going to spoil that reputation.
Hint:     … then he sat down.
SABR Hint:       He once tersely told an opposing catcher who talked to him in the batter’s box, “I’m working.”
Twint:    He missed his own Hall of Fame induction although he was still alive and well.
A.         Charlie Gehringer
FCR -    Phil Oppenheim, Sacramento

Q.         Who was the first MVP to emerge from a team's own farm system?
Hint:     He once placed third in a major league batting title race to a teammate, but was less than 1/3 of a basis point behind him.
SABR Hint:       He was injured much of that season.
Twint:    He once drove in twelve (12!) runs in a game.
A.         Jim Bottomley (St. Louis Cardinal’s farm system; 1931 batting race Chick Hafey hit .34889, Bill Terry hit .34861 to Bottomley’s .34817; 12 RBI 16-Sep-1924)
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn

Q.         Who was his team’s leadoff hitter for the final eleven seasons of his career?
Hint:     His career only last twelve seasons.
Hint:     His team won the World Series in three of those years and the pennant in another.
SABR Hint:       He was once traded for Elmer Smith.
Twint:    He had 43 put-outs and never made an error in 16 World Series games.
Twint:    After suffering a near fatal collision in center field, he returned to play the next year.
Twint:    That year, he had another serious collision and he ended his career saying “I’m getting out of this game before it kills me.”
A.         Earle Combs (Smith trade 07-Jan-1924 by Louisville [American Association] to the Yankees with additional considerations)
FCR -    Phil Oppenheim, Sacramento

Q.         Who won a batting title and a slugging title in a year in which he only hit four home runs?
Hint:     He also led in Games, Plate Appearances, At Bats, Runs, Triples and Stolen Bases, yet still didn’t win the MVP.
SABR Hint:       One of his Mud Hen teammates also became a Hall of Famer.
Twint:    He was the object of Lajoie’s affection, mentioned in the Midweek Bonus.
A.         Elmer Flick (4HR 1905; The Most Valuable Player Award didn’t yet exist; Joe McCarthy)
FCR -    Leonard Skonecki, Fostoria, OH

Q.         Who was the first person honored with a plaque in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium?
Hint:     He decided on baseball over the practice of law because he could make more money.
Hint:     It was one of his law professors (who later became chief justice of the Supreme Court) who counseled him in this decision.
SABR Hint:       He led the National League in bases-on-balls four times.
Twint:    He died so suddenly from an infection that he had been in uniform less than a week before.
Twint:    The league canceled all games for his services and scheduled double-headers for the following day.
Twint:    He had managed his team to six pennants in the prior eight seasons.
A.         Miller Huggins (William Howard Taft; died 25-Sep-1929; No game 27-Sep-1929)
FCR -    David Letizia, Washington, DC

Q.         Which Hall of Famer died at the youngest age?
Hint:     He played his entire career for one manager.
Hint:     A Hall of Fame manager.
SABR Hint:       He hit a base- loaded single in the 12th inning to beat Walter Johnson who was pitching his first World Series game.
SABR Hint:       The Senators ultimately won the series, but Johnson intentionally walked this player twice in the final game.
Twint:    His family name seems oddly appropriate.
A.         Ross Youngs (Died 22-Oct-1927 at age 30; Mgr. John McGraw; 04-Oct-1924)
FCR -    John Rickert, Terre Haute

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Famers who hit three triples in one game.

Banks               11-Jun-1966
Bottomley         15-May-1923
Clemente          08-Sep-1958
Combs             22-Sep-1927
DiMaggio          27-Aug-1938
Flick                 06-Jul-1902
Gehringer          05-Aug-1929
Huggins            08-Oct-1904
Lajoie               13-Jul-1904
Mays                15-Sep-1960
Youngs             11-May-1920

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