Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 20-26 Selected players with uncles who played in the majors

Q.         Which catcher received three no-hitters for the Marlins?
Hint:     He was only the fourth catcher ever to win a Gold Glove in his rookie season.
SABR Hint:       During his playing career, he ranked second only to Ivan Rodriguez in throwing out base runners, with a 39% average.
Twint:    He is a member of the Portland Sea Dogs Hall of Fame.
A.         Charles Johnson (No-hitters:  Al Leiter 11-May-1996, Kevin Brown 10-Jun-1997, A.J. Burnett 12-May-2001; GG 1995; Rookie GG Cs:  Bench, Fisk, Alomar; Portland Sea Dogs)
First Correct Respondent - Christopher Bell, New York

Q.         Who scored the first run for the Washington Nationals?
Hint:     He missed the entire 2000 season when he strained a hand muscle while checking his swing in a Spring Training game.
SABR Hint:       His career .401 on-base average places him in the top ten among active players although he has yet to play a game this year.
Twint:    He is as famous for his trips to the disabled list as he is for his patience at the plate.
A.         Nick Johnson (R 2nd inning 04-Apr-2005; Strain 10-Mar-2000; Top 10 OBP)
FCR -    Kenny Fink, Ocala, FL

Q.         What Dallas, TX native played his entire career for the Texas Rangers?
Hint:     Admittedly, it was career of only 98 games over three seasons.
SABR Hint:       He finished just south of Ft. Worth and just south of Mendoza.
Twint:    Three namesakes of his have played in the majors.
Twint:    He was the last of the four players with this name to play in the bigs.
A.         Bobby Earl “Bob” Johnson (Career avg .197; Bob Johnson, Bob Johnson, Bob Johnson; final year 1983)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

Q.         Who is the only teammate to beat Tony Gwynn for a league batting title?
Hint:     He was the first player to appear in an All-Star game as a member of the Florida Marlins.
SABR Hint:       He is the only player to have hit 35 home runs in a season for four different teams.
Twint:    He had gold inlays with his initials installed in his front upper teeth.
Twint:    They are now removed.
A.         Gary Sheffield (1992 .330 to Gwynn’s .317; AS 1993; 35 HR for Marlins, Dodgers, Braves, Mets)
FCR -    Dave MacEntee, Beacon, NY

Q.         What MLB Network and NESN color analyst used the phrase "Cowboy Up" and referred to his team as "idiots" to motivate them?
Hint:     He once reached base in 71 consecutive games, although that stat had only begun to be tracked the year before.
SABR Hint:       Comedic actor Bill Murray was his first professional boss—one of them anyway.
Twint:    He was a replacement player during the 1994–95 strike.
A.         Kevin Millar (2004 Red Sox; 1993 St. Paul Saints)
FCR -    Phillip Oppenheim, Sac-town

Q.         Who was the first Yankee shortstop to hit more than fifteen home runs in a season?
Hint:     He was the first Minnesota Twins batter to hit home runs from each side of the plate in the same game.
SABR Hint:       He had already done it four seasons earlier when he was on the Yankees.
Twint:    At 6' 1", his last name is not really descriptive.
A.         Roy Smalley (16 HR 1982; SH HRs 30-May-1986, 05-Sep-1982)
FCR -    Prisco Panza, Milford, CT

Q.         What switch-hitting catcher won a World Series title with Florida?
Hint:     He was the fourth Blue Jay to hit home runs from each side of the plate in the same game.
SABR Hint:       He had a teammate on the Astros who was also his teammate in high school.
Twint:    He only retired as a player after the 2010 season and is now a broadcaster.
A.         Gregg Zaun (1997 Marlins; SH HR 13-Sep-2006; Mark Loretta on the 2002 Astros, St. Francis H.S. in La Canada, CA)
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah

Q.         What Hall of Famer led the league in runs batted in during his first full season in the majors?
Hint:     He played for a pennant-winning team in each of the next four seasons.
Hint:     The player he was promoted to replace had just been kicked out of baseball.
Hint:     His brother played briefly for the Philadelphia A’s.
SABR Hint:       Bill James has referred to him as, "…the worst player in the Hall of Fame".
Twint:    He shares the National League record with seven home runs in six consecutive games.
A.         George "High Pockets" Kelly (94 RBI in 1920; NY Giants 1921-24; Hal Chase; 7 HR 11-16-Jul-1924)
FCR -    Steve Van Wagener, Washington, DC

Q.         What current New York Met once garnered the Brooks Robinson Award?
Hint:     He led his team in stolen bases in his first full season in the majors.
SABR Hint:       He won a World Series with them the following year.
Twint:    He has played at least five different positions for each of the past three seasons and has played four different spots to his credit already this year.
A.         Willie Harris (Award given to the top minor league player in the Baltimore Orioles organization; 19 SB with 2004 White Sox; 2005)
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah

Q.         Who stole 2nd, 3rd and home in the same inning and is still active in the majors?
Hint:     His four steals in that game tied the franchise record for his 127-year-old team.
SABR Hint:       He planned on being a Georgia Bulldog until the Orioles selected him in the first round of the 1997 draft.
Twint:    His current team seems apt, given his resemblance to Uncle Sam.
A.         Jayson Werth (Steals 12-May-2009; Washington Nationals)
FCR -    Steve Deal, Charlotte

Q.         Who was Nolan Ryan's 4,000th strikeout victim?
Hint:     He was the last 20th century Red Sox player to hit an extra-inning pinch-hit home run.
SABR Hint:       He was the first New York Met to appear in a World Series game as a designated hitter.
Twint:    As head coach of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio, he has won two division championships.
A.         Danny Heep (K 11-Jul-1985; 02-Jul-1989; 21-Oct-1986)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

Q.         What Terp missed two prime years of his career due to military service?
Hint:     His Hall of Fame brother-in-law managed a team in his league during most of his career.
SABR Hint:       He was killed in an automobile accident while he was a bench coach with the Twins.
Twint:    He was elected to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007.
A.         Sherry Robertson (U of MD; Mgr. Joe Cronin; d. 23-Oct-1970; Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

Q.         What east Texas native played for the Indians, Senators and Giants in the 1920s?
Hint:     He was a Tiger too.
SABR Hint:       He was better known for his famous relative than for the 20 hits he got in his 53 major league games.
Twint:    Figure out why he earned a question this week and you’ll have this week’s theme deciphered.
A.         Tex Jeanes (b. Maypearl, TX 19-Dec-1900; Trinity University Tigers [In fairness, they probably didn’t have the tiger as a mascot when Jeanes attended.]; uncle was Tris Speaker.)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

Q.         Whose first major league hit came 24 years to the day after his father’s first major league hit?
Hint:     Both hits were doubles.
SABR Hint:       He had stints in the minors in each of his first four majors, totaling 275 games.
Twint:    His sister is an R&B/hip hop recording artist.
A.         Tony Gwynn, Jr. (19-Jul-2006 off Brian Wilson; AAA Nashville Sounds; Anisha Nicole)
FCR -    Gregg Gaylord, Chicago

WEEKLY THEME – Selected players with uncles who played in the majors.

Player               Uncle
Gwynn              Chris Gwynn
Harris                Ernie Riles
Heep                Matt Batts   Bio
Jeanes              Tris Speaker      Bio
Kelly, Bio          Bill Lange
Millar                Wayne Nordhagen
Robertson         Clark Griffith     Bio
Sheffield           Dwight Gooden
Smalley            Gene Mauch
Werth                Dick Schofield
Zaun                 Rick Dempsey

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Joe Ullian, Santa Barbara (after the Sheffield question)

Monday, June 20, 2011

June 13-19, 2011 Batters with three grand slams in a calendar month.

Q.         Whose two-run triple over Curt Flood's head gave Detroit the 1968 World Series title?
Hint:     He played center field when Mayo Smith moved Mickey Stanley to shortstop.
Hint:     Both the Chicago Bears and New York Titans tried to sign him as a quarterback before he signed with the Tigers.
Hint:     He played professional softball with former Tigers teammate Norm Cash.
SABR Hint:       After Ty Cobb, he was the next Tiger to go six-for-six in a game.
Twint:    From 1985-1994, he was a color analyst on the PASS Sports cable television service.
A.         Jim Northrup (WS G7 10-Oct-1968; 6/6 28-Aug-1969; Softball team The Detroit Caesars; PASS)
First Correct Respondent – Alan Work, White Plains, NY

Q.         Who owns the best career slugging percentage for the New York Mets?
Hint:     He was the first regular-season designated hitter in Dodgers history.
SABR Hint:       He played for three teams in California and one in Florida.
Twint:    Among NY Mets batters, only Ed Kranepool has hit into more double plays.
A.         Mike Piazza (SLG .542, DH 12-Jun-1997)
FCR -    Alan Work, White Plains, NY

Q.         Who was the first Cincinnati Reds player to hit for the cycle in the expansion era?
Hint:     He was the first Orioles player to compile a thirty-game hitting streak.
SABR Hint:       Eleven years earlier, he had become the fastest to compile a 30/30 season.
Twint:    Marge thought he malingered.
A.         Eric Davis (Cycle 02-Jun-1989; streak 1998; 30/30 02-Aug-1987;
FCR -    Randall Chandler, Germantown, TN

Q.         Which Detroit Tiger, who was later a teammate of Ted Williams, is the only player to be struck out by Teddy Ballgame during Williams’ lone major league pitching appearance?
Hint:     He struck out on three pitches.
Hint:     He is the only Red Sox manager that did not earn at least one win for the team.
SABR Hint:       Sammy Sosa broke his record for home runs in one month.
Twint:    In one game, he struck, looking, four times against rookie Boo Ferriss.
A.         Rudy York (K 24-Aug-1940; 20 HR by Sosa in June 1998, York had hit 18 HR August 1937; 4K 13-May-1945)
FCR -    John Rickert, Terre Haute

Q.         Who was the first native of Jamaica to get a hit for the American League in an All-Star game?
Hint:     He was also the first native of Jamaica to get a hit for the National League in an All-Star game.
Hint:     He is the only native of Jamaica to get a hit in a major league All-Star game.
SABR Hint:       He began what should have been the second triple play in World Series history.
SABR Hint:       Umpire Ted Davidson admitted after the game that he had blown the call.
Twint:    After retiring from baseball, he changed the spelling of his last name.
Twint:    It’s the original family spelling.
A.         Devon White (b. Kingston, Jamaica; TP manqué 20-Oct-1992; Whyte)
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah

Q.         Who advanced to first base on a passed ball after becoming a Hall of Fame pitcher's 3,000th career strikeout victim?
Hint:     His major league career began in Canada and ended in Japan.
SABR Hint:       He was the last 20th century player to collect an extra-base hit in four consecutive innings.
Twint:    He managed the Tigers for their last season in Tiger Stadium.
A.         Larry Parrish (Phil Niekro K 04-Jul-1984; EBH innings 2-5 30-Jul-1978)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edewood, WA

Q.         Who hit into Randy Velarde’s unassisted play?
Hint:     He was implicated in a sign-stealing scandal with teammate Alex Rodriguez.
Hint:     He was nicknamed “Roy Hobbs” for his success as a later-in-life rookie.
SABR Hint:       He is the hitting coach for the Lake Elsinore Storm.
Twint:    He was placement player during the 1994-95 stoppage.
A.         Shane Spencer (UTP 29-May-2000; A-Rod teammate in Texas; Hobbs; Storm)
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah

Q.         Who correctly predicted Matt Tuiasosopo’s first major league home run?
Hint:     He also correctly predicted which at-bat and what the count would be.
Hint:     Dave Niehaus said, just before the pitch, “I’ve never been so excited for a 3-1 count.”
SABR Hint:       He was one of the base runners put out in John Valentin’s unassisted triple play.
Twint:    He made four errors in one game, tying the major league record for third basemen.
Twint:    His replacement in the field tied that same record three days later.
A.         Mike Blowers (HR 27-Sep-2009; UTP 08-Jul-1994; 3E 03-May-1990, 3E Edgar Martinez 06‑May‑1990)
FCR -    David de la Fuente, San Francisco

WEEKLY THEME – Batters with three grand slams in a calendar month.

Blowers               03-, 14- & 18-Aug-1995
Davis                   01-, 03- & 30-May-1987
Northrup              24- (2X) & 29-Jun-1968
Parrish                 04-, 07- & 10-Jul-1982
Piazza                  09-, 10- & 24-Apr-1998
Spencer               18-, 24- & 27-Sep-1998
White                   10-, 15- & 20-May-2001
York                    16-, 22- & 30-May-1938

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Jim Moyer, Ellicott City, MD (after the Piazza question)

N.B.  This week’s questions were already planned at written at the time of Jim Northrup’s passing.  We simply moved him to the top of the week.

Monday, June 13, 2011

June 6-12, 2011 Players with dreadlock in 2011


Q.         Who recently retired rather than face another drug-related suspension?
Hint:     His 28 postseason home runs are the most all-time.
Hint:     He trails only Lou Gehrig and Alex Rodriguez in career grand slams.
SABR Hint:       He was the first player after World War II with 160 RBI in a season.
Twint:    He once famously said, when asked if he and his team had been tested for Attention Deficit Disorder, "If they did, I don't remember it."?
A.         Manny Ramirez (21 GS; 165 RBI in 1999)
First Correct Respondent - John Van Cleve, New York

Q.         Whose nickname is derived from a sugary children’s cereal?
Hint:     He has been on ten minor league team and four major league teams in his thirteen-year professional baseball career.
SABR Hint:       His defensive stats place him among the best outfielders in baseball.
Twint:    One major league club claims that he is the best defensive centerfielder in the majors and by a wide margin.
A.         Coco Crisp (Coco Krispies, birth name Covelli Loyce Crisp; Defensive claim)
FCR -    Prisco Panza, Milford, CT

Q.         Who, according to Bobby Cox catches the ball as well as Andruw Jones did in his prime?
Hint:     He was named the Pittsburgh Pirates organization's Minor League Player of the Year in 2006.
Hint:     He was the first Pirate rookie to hit three home runs in a game.
SABR Hint:       He went to Fort Meade, but never worked at NSA.
Twint:    He has a teammate with the same last name, although they’re not related.
A.         Andrew McCutchen (31-Jul-2009; Fort Meade High School, Daniel McCutchen, U.S. Census Bureau ranks the name as the 7,797th most common in the country.)
FCR -    Joe Gavaughn, Philadelphia

Q.         Who earned the Golden Spikes Award as the best amateur baseball player in the U.S. in 2003?
Hint:     He won the Dick Howser Trophy the same year.
SABR Hint:       He set an NCAA Division I record with a .473 career batting average.
Twint:    His grandfather Victor played in the Negro League with the Newark Eagles.
Twint:    His younger brother plays AAA ball. [now in the majors]
A.         Rickie Weeks (Golden Spikes Award 2003; Dick Howser Trophy; Victor & Jemile)
FCR -    Kenny Fink, Ocala, FL

Q.         Who drove in the winning run for the Pirates in the deciding game of the 1971 World Series?
Hint:     His surprise bunt in Game One of the 1962 World Series drove in Willie Mays, ending Whitey Ford's World Series consecutive scoreless World Series innings streak at 33.2.
Hint:     He had the highest batting average (among non-pitchers) in the ’62 Series.
SABR Hint:       He guided three teams to Puerto Rican Winter League championships.
Twint:    He led the National League in pinch-hits in 1969, falling one short of the league record.
A.         Jose Pagan, who passed away on Tuesday (8th inning RBI 2B in 1971 WS Game 7; .368 [7-19] 1962 WS AVG, Jack Sanford led all batters with .429 AVG in 7 AB; PRWL champs Bayamon Cowboys 1975-76, Arecibo Wolves, Ponce Lions; 19 PH in 1969)
FCR -    Matt Gibson, Barboursville, WV

Q.         What former All-Star, now in his ninth season in the majors, has never played for another big league team?
Hint:     He led the league in steals for three consecutive seasons, including leading the majors in two of those.
SABR Hint:       He has led the majors in triples three times and is among the leaders again this year.
Twint:    He is his franchise’s career leader in stolen bases and triples, even though only ninth on their games played list.
Twint:    His is also their single season record holder for stolen bases.
A.         Jose Reyes (NY Mets; Mets leaders; SB 2005-07; 983 G; )
FCR -    Alan Work, White Plains, NY

Q.         Who holds the all-time record for runs batted in on Opening Day with nineteen?
Hint:     He won the Most Valuable Player Award following his first season in the American League, after four All-Star seasons in the National League.
SABR Hint:       His older brother was a major leaguer for eight seasons.
Twint:    If you take the odd statistical grouping of four years of 200 hits, six years of 100 runs and nine year with 100 RBI, only he, Hall of Famers Al Simmons, Lou Gehrig and Stan Musial qualify.
A.         Vladimir Guerrero (AL MVP 2004; Wilton Guerrero)
FCR -    Phillip Oppenheim, Sacramento

Q.         Who was his team’s lone All-Star representative in his first year with the team, won the team’s award for most outstanding pitcher, and then had to undergo “Tommy John” surgery the next season?
Hint:     He tied a teammate for the league lead in hit batters in his first year in the league.
SABR Hint:       He has only faced eleven batters in the postseason and carries an ERA of 21.60.
Twint:    He was once traded for Josh Hamilton.
A.         Edinson Volquez (T in HBP w/Johnny Cueto; traded 21-Dec-2007 for Hamilton with Danny Herrera)
FCR -    Steven Young, Middletown, MD

Q.         Who is the only player currently in the majors whose uniform number once matched his birth year?
Hint:     After playing for three teams in the National League, he now plays in the AL and has switched to a single-digit uniform number.
Hint:     He was the youngest player in the National League in his rookie season with the Mets.
SABR Hint:       He was oldest youngest player in National League history.
Twint:    He was a three-time all-Florida high school basketball player.
A.         Lastings Milledge (#85, b. 1985; Mets, Nats, Bucs, now ChiSox;  Youngest; 21 yrs old, Lakewood Ranch High School, Bradenton, FL)
FCR -    No one

Q.         Who pitched the first no-hitter in the history of the A League Dayton Dragons?
Hint:     He tied a teammate for the league lead in hit batters in his rookie season.
SABR Hint:       He was named the Reds’ Minor League Pitcher of the Year in consecutive seasons.
Twint:    His hometown has produced more major leaguers than any other.
A.         Johnny Cueto (Rain-shortened, 5-inning no-hitter 13-May-2006; T in HBP w/ Edinson Volquez; ML POY 2006-07; San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic)
FCR -    Jim Moyer, Ellicott City, MD

Q.         Of what Cardinal rookie is it said that he could throw a ball through a wall, but only if he could hit the wall?
Hint:     He had visa problems and was not allowed into the U.S. when he was called up.
SABR Hint:       He went directly from AA ball to the majors, but gave up five earned runs, including two home runs in two innings in his major league debut.
Twint:    He does not play in Jimmy Kimmel’s band.
A.         Maikel Cleto (Debut 02-Jun-2011; Kimmel’s band is the Cletones)
FCR -    David de la Fuente, San Francisco

WEEKLY THEME –       Players with dreadlock in 2011.  This list is probably not definitive and Volquez and Milledge now sport different dos.

Cleto                Photo
Crisp                Photo
Cueto               Photo
Guerrero           Photo
McCutchen        Photo
Milledge            Photo
Ramirez            Photo
Reyes               Photo
Volquez            Photo
Weeks              Photo

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Joe Ullian, Santa Barbara (after the Crisp question)