Monday, August 29, 2011

August 22-28, 2011 Two-time High School All-Americans, according to the “Baseball America Almanac”.

This week’s theme is from reader Brad Fox of Erie, PA.

Q.         Which World Series Most Valuable Player Award winner has been on the Disabled List 12 times since his debut in 2001?
Hint:     He was part of a seven-player blockbuster trade two years after winning the World Series MVP.
SABR:  He was voted Baseball America's Minor League Player of the Year.
Twint:    He played for the USA team in the Futures game in 2000.
A.         Josh Beckett (Minor League Player of the Year 2001; Traded 24-Nov-2005 by the Florida Marlins with Mike Lowell and Guillermo Mota to the Boston Red Sox for Jesus Delgado, Harvey Garcia, Hanley Ramirez and Anibal Sanchez; First Team High School All American Pitcher, 1998, 99)
First Correct Respondent - Derek Norin, Arlington, VA

Q.         Who, in 2007, was a single shy of being the youngest ever to hit for the cycle?
Hint:     His brother and he were both first round draft picks, although in different years.
SABR:  Peter Gammons stated that a Major League general manager had told him that "[He] was the best 20-year-old he's ever seen."
Twint:    He was the youngest player in the majors the year when Julio Franco was the oldest.
A.         Justin Upton (19 yrs 347 days on 07-Aug-2007; Justin pick #1 in 2005, brother B.J. #2 in 2002; 2007)
FCR -    Alan Monarchi, Red Hook, NY

Q.         Who was often overlooked playing alongside four MVPs, two Rookies of the Year and a Cy Young Winner in his thirteen seasons in Oakland?
Hint:     Now, in his first year on another team, plays with almost as many such winners.
SABR:  It’s hard to overlook his six Gold Glove Awards and one Silver Slugger Award.
Twint:    He hit the last cycle in the American League in the 20th century.
A.         Eric Chavez (MVPs, ROYs & CYA winners on the A’s 1998-2010: Jason Giambi, Rickey Henderson, Miguel Tejada, Barry Zito, Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza, Nomar Garciaparra. 2011 Yankees have Alex Rodriguez, Bartolo Colon, Derek Jeter, CC Sabathia; GG 2001-06, SS 2002; Cycle 21-Jun-2000)
FCR - Derek Norin, Arlington, VA

Q.         What two-time All-Star and former American League strikeout champion was given his unconditional release earlier this year, seven career strikeouts shy of 1,000?
Hint:     As a high school senior, he struck out 172 batters in 75 innings and had an ERA of 0.37.
Hint:     He was the youngest pitcher to start an Opening Day game since Dwight Gooden.
SABR:  He was drafted ahead of Matt Cain and Cole Hammers.
Twint:    He was also a starting quarterback in high school and verbally committed to play football for the University of Texas.
A.         Scott Kazmir (Release by the Angels 15-Jun-2011; Cypress Fall High School, Houston, TX; 03‑Apr‑2006 @ 22 years, 2 months and 10 days; Drafted by the Mets 1st round [15th pick] 2002.)
FCR -    Dave MacEntee, Beacon, NY

Q.         Who was the last Orioles lefty to win more than twenty games in a season?
Hint:     He won the American League Cy Young Award that same year.
Hint:     He was on the mound for the last out recorded at Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium twelve years later.
Hint:     He twice served as the Orioles pitching coach, both times under men who were more famous as pitching coaches.
Hint:     He has also served three separate stints as the Orioles broadcaster.
SABR:  He coined the term "Horn" for a six-strikeout performance by teammate Sam Horn.
SABR:  His father, Ed, was a minor league pitcher from 1944-52.
Twint:    His eldest daughter was the first non-Caesarian test tube baby born in the United States.
Twint:    To make room for him on their roster, the Blue Jays released Phil Niekro.
A.         Mike Flanagan Story Another story Story #3 (23 W in 1979; 06-Oct-1991; PC under Phil Regan 1995 & Ray Miller 1998; Broadcaster 1996–97, 1999-2002 & 2010; Horn’s 6 Ks 17‑Jul‑1991; Ed Flanagan; Daughter born 09‑Jul‑1982; Niekro released by Toronto 31-Aug-1987)
FCR -    J.R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         Who received a fifty-game suspension while playing for AAA Durham for throwing a bat at the home plate umpire?
Hint:     His older brother was an All-Star in the American League and the National League.
SABR:  He was the Most Valuable Player of the AA Southern League although he only played in 84 games.
Twint:    He twice played for Team USA in the Futures Game.
Twint:    He was traded last week.
A.         Delmon Young (Throwing incident 26-Apr-2006; Brother Dmitri Young; SL MVP 2005; Traded from the Twins to the Tigers 16-Aug-2011)
FCR -    Tony Kostello, Troy, MI

Q.         What Blue Jays’ starting pitcher was given uniform #4?
Hint:     He was traded for a Cy Young Award winner.
Hint:     He is currently in AAA for “seasoning” (not, one would assume, basil or garlic).
SABR:  In high school he hit 27 home runs and amassed a 30-1 pitching record.
Twint:    His father won a Cy Young Award with the Pirates.
A.         Kyle Drabek (Traded [with other players] from the Phillies for Roy Halladay; Father Doug Drabek CYA 1990)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         Which player was expelled three days after his team lost the 2002 Florida state high school championship game?
Hint:     In 2007 he was called up from the minors to replace a player who was 26 years his senior.
SABR:  He’s a “double unique”.
Twint:    He played for the U.S. in the Futures Game in 2005.
A.         Lastings Milledge (expelled by Northside Christian HS [St. Petersburg, FL] for having “marital relations outside of marriage”; No other major league has ever been named “Lastings”, no other has ever been named “Milledge”; replaced 48-year-old Julio Franco in ’07)
FCR -    Michael Bender, Derwood, MD

Q.         Who was the only American Leaguer to appear in 30 or more games at each OF position during the 2010 season?
Hint:     He went to the same high school (though not at the same time) as David Aardsma and Brad Lidge.
SABR:  His brother and cousin both played in the Majors.
Twint:    He was given a 50-game suspension in 2005.
A.         S (30 G LF, 69 G CF, 34 G RF; Cherry Creek HS [Greenwood Village, CO]; brother Donzell & cousin James; suspended for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program)
FCR -    Rod Nelson, Detroit

Q.         Who was the only player drafted ahead of Todd Helton and Roy Halladay to play fewer than 100 games above AA?
Hint:     Although his family name is the third most common in the history of the majors, he has not yet added to that total.
SABR:  The year after he was drafted, Baseball America ranked him as the 31st-best prospect in baseball, but he never again cracked the top 100.
Twint:    He tried to revive his career as a pitcher, but gave up after one season of independent minor league play.
A.         Jaime Jones (drafted 6th overall in 1995 [Helton 8th, Halladay 17th], played 99 career AAA games, 0 ML games; “Jones” ranks behind only “Smith” and “Johnson”; 0-2, 1 SV 5.25 ERA as a P for 2006 Kansan City T-Bones)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

WEEKLY THEME – Two-time High School All-Americans, according to the “Baseball America Almanac”.

Beckett             1998-99
Chavez             1995-96
Drabek             2005-06
Jones               1994-95
Kazmir              2001-02
McDonald         1996-97
Milledge            2002-03
Upton               2004-05
Young              2002-03

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

Sunday, August 21, 2011

August 15-21, 2011 Players with 600 at-bats in a season as a designated hitter

Q.         Who won the American League Most Valuable Player Award the year the corresponding National League award was shared?
Hint:     He appeared in the American League Championship Series for five different teams.
Hint:     He has coached for seven different franchises at the major league level.
SABR:  He hit .188 in the postseason the year he was MVP.
Twint:    He turned down the opportunity to become the first black football player for the University of Texas.
A.         Don Baylor (1979, Stargell & Hernandez tied for NL MVP; ALCS with 1973-74 BAL, 1979, 82 CAL, 1986 BOS, 1987 MIN, 1988 OAK; coached 1990-91 ML4, 1992 SLN, 1999 ATL, 2003-04 NYN, 2005 SEA, 2009-10 COL, 2011 ARI)
FCR -    Larry Creeden, Boulder City, NV

Q.         Who is the only player to collect 500 hits for four different teams?
Hint:     He set a record by appearing as a pinch-hitter 94 times in a single season.
Hint:     He was inducted into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame 20 years after being inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame.
SABR:  The Expos retired his number in 1993, though he was only on the team for slightly more than three seasons.
Twint:    His foundation provides over 600,000 meals each year to needy residents of New York’s boroughs.
A.         Rusty Staub (792 H for HOU, 709 H for NYM, 582 H for DET, 531 H for MON; 94 PH AB in 1983; NYN HOF 1986, TX BB HOF 2006; #10 retired by Expos, played in MON 1969-71, and 38 games in 1979; Rusty Staub Foundation responsible for 7 emergency food pantries in NYC)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         Who was the only batter to appear for the Royals during the conclusion of the “Pine Tar Game”?
Hint:     After hitting .171 in the Senior Professional Baseball League, he became hitting coach for four major league teams.
SABR:  His body-blocks at second base led to a rule requiring runners to slide into second when breaking up double plays.
Twint:    After Hank Majeski in 1948, he was the next American League player to have six extra-base hits in a doubleheader.
A.         Hal McRae (K’ed in Pine Tar conclusion 18-Aug-1983; .171 in 1989, hitting coach for 1990-91 MON, 1995-96 CIN, 1997-2000 PHI & 2005-09 SLN; 5 2B & 1 HR 27-Aug-1974—26 years to the day; Still called “The Hal McCrae Rule”.)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         Which Mariners coach reflected, “They used to call me lazy or lackadaisical, but the lazier I felt, the better I’d hit.”
Hint:     When he retired, he held the major league record for highest career pinch-hitting batting average. (minimum 150 AB)
SABR:  He was a high school basketball teammate of NBA Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens.
Twint:    He ended his career one game short of 2,000.
A.         Tommy Davis (1982 Mariners hitting coach; .320 PH AVG, since tied by Alex Arias; Wilkens’ teammate at Boys HS [Brooklyn, NY])
FCR -    John Wilson, Mesa, AZ

Q.         Which Seattle slugger holds the record for most at-bats in a season by a designated hitter?
Hint:     He hit exactly 100 minor league home runs.
SABR:  His number was retired by his first Major League team, making him the only non-Hall of Famer so honored by them.
Twint:    What would have been his 300th home run bounced off a Kingdome speaker, and he ended up with a single instead.
A.         Willie Horton (646 in 1979; #23 retired by Tigers in 2000; HR-turned-1b 05-Jun-1979)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

WEEKLY THEME – Players with 600 at-bats in a season as a designated hitter.

Baylor       608 in 1982
Davis        623 in 1974
Horton       646 in 1979, 615 in 1975
McRae      612 in 1978, 609 in 1982
Staub        642 in 1978, 621 in 1977

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Sunday, August 14, 2011

August 8-14, 2011 Hall of Famers who played the outfield for Casey Stengel

Q.         Who was on-deck when Roger Maris hit his 61st home run in 1961?
Hint:     He managed teams in the World Series in both leagues.
SABR:  He was the first Yankee catcher to appear in 140 games in a season.
Twint:    He appeared on “The Ed Sullivan Show” and “Saturday Night Live”.
Twint:    He was never linked to any of the missing picnic baskets.
A.         Yogi Berra (Bottom 4th 01-Oct-1961; 1964 Yankees, 1973 Mets; 151 G in 1950)
First Correct Respondent - Larry Creeden, Boulder City, NV

Q.         Who broke Dizzy Dean’s toe with an All-Star line drive?
Hint:     He had broken Bobo Newsom’s kneecap in a regular season game with a line drive two years earlier.
SABR:  He was the first native of Washington to be inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Twint:    His son hit the first home run at Wrigley Field in Los Angeles.
A.         Earl Averill (ASG with FDR in attendance 07-Jul-1937; Newsome G 28-May-1935; HOF 1975; Son Earl, Jr.’s HR 27-Apr-1961 off Camilio Pascual)
FCR -    Al Hurley, Columbia, MD

Q.         What hero of Willie McCovey’s debuted with the Dodgers two days after Jackie Robinson did?
Hint:     His nickname came from an actor’s nickname.
SABR:  He is the Dodgers’ all-time leader in career offensive Wins Above Replacement.
Twint:    He was often called “The Silver Fox” due to premature greying.
A.         Duke Snider (17-Apr-1947; John Wayne, “The Duke”; WAR 67.1)
FCR -    Patrick Fazzone, Arlington, VA

Q.         Whose “mad dash” in the 1946 World Series made him a hero in St. Louis?
Hint:     Even more impressive, he played the Series with a broken arm.
SABR:  He also played in the World Series for a team in the American League.
Twint:    He appeared as a pinch hitter in his 2,000th major league game.
A.         Enos Slaughter (WS
FCR -    Dave MacEntee, Beacon, NY

Q.         Who is the only National League player with a 50-home run, 200-hit season?
Hint:     He considered becoming a professional boxer until the commissioner nixed the idea.
SABR:  He received no MVP consideration for his seminal season.
Twint:    His shoe size was smaller than his hat size.
A.         Hack Wilson (1930; Commissioner Landis; 0 MVP votes; Shoes 6, hat 7&1/4)
FCR -    Joe Haardt, McClean, VA

Q.         Whose 361 career home runs is good, but all the more impressive when seen against a backdrop of a mere 369 career strikeouts?
Hint:     He played on World Series championship teams his first four years in the majors.
SABR:  He, along with Jesse Owens, was the first athlete to be awarded the Presidential Medal for Freedom.
Twint:    Before Nomar Garciaparra in 1999-2000, he was the last right-handed batter to win consecutive American League batting titles.
A.         Joe DiMaggio (1936-39; MOF 10-Jan-1977; 1939-40)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         Who was the first switch-hitter to win a batting title?
Hint:     He was the first 20-year-old to hit a post-season home run.
SABR:  He only played for one team in the majors.
Twint:    His rookie Topps card is the most valuable of them all.
A.         Mickey Mantle (.353 in 1956*; NY Yankees; Card; b. 20-Oct-1931 WS HR 06-Oct-1952)
FCR -    Judah Kaplan, Silver Spring, MD

*It turns out Mantle was not the first such.  That honor goes to Tommy Tucker who hit .372 for the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association in 1889.  The original question stands with the addition of “modern” or “American League”.  Thanks to our alert readers for this one.

Q.         Who was the first 18-year-old to appear in a World Series game?
Hint:     He thrice led his league in fielding percentage at his position.
SABR:  He grew up not from Comiskey Park, an ardent White Sox fan.
Twint:    His son played exactly one major league game (but managed a triple in his only at-bat).
A.         Fred Lindstrom (b. 21-Nov-1905 WS G 04-Oct-1924; 3b NL 1925, 27-28; Son Charlie Lindstrom 28-Sep-1958)
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah

Q.         Of whom was it said, in 1971, that when sober he was the greatest right fielder the Pirates ever had?
Hint:     The same source claimed that when drunk he shrank to the second-best right fielder in Pittsburgh history.
Hint:     His nickname is based on a colloquial mispronunciation.
SABR:  The retirement of his uniform number 11 was 42 years after his retirement.
Twint:    After bouncing a grounder off Eddie Joost's glove for what would have been his 3,000th hit, he openly petitioned the scorekeeper to rule the hit an error, because he didn't want his 3,000th hit to be tainted.
A.         Paul Waner (Quote source Beaver Falls, PA sports editor Joe Tronzo; Big Poison from Big Person in Brooklynese; # retd. In 2007; 17-Jun-1942 real 3,000th hit 19-Jun-1942)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         Who finished highest in the MVP voting during a season in which his brother won the award?
Hint:     He holds the modern record for most singles and runs scored by a rookie.
SABR:  He missed most of the 1930 season due to appendicitis.
Twint:    He was an Orioles scout in 1955.
A.         Lloyd Waner (6th place in 1927; 198 1b & 133 R in 1927)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         Who is the only outfielder to record 400 putouts in nine different seasons?
Hint:     He is also the only outfielder to record 500 putouts in four different seasons.
SABR:  He still holds this bizarre record:  The fewest RBI in a National League season where he played more than 150 games.
Twint:    He was the only rookie voted to the 1948 All-Star team.
A.         Richie Ashburn (20 RBI in 153 G in 1959)
FCR -    Bill Keane, West Chester, OH

Q.         Who was the first player to have a string of ten consecutive years with at least 100 RBI?
Hint:     He was the last player before Jason Giambi to hit 40 2b in consecutive seasons for the A's.
SABR:  He had three separate stints with the A’s.
Twint:    His most famous All-Star performance was more infamous than glorious.
A.         Al Simmons (100+ RBI 1924-34; 41 2b in each of 1929-30, Giambi in 1996-97; A’s 1924-32, 40-41, 44; 4th of 5 consecutive strikeouts by Carl Hubbell in 1934 ASG)
FCR -    Jim Casey, Savannah

Q.         Which umpire halted a major league game so President Roosevelt's radio address about WWII could be heard over stadium loudspeakers?
Hint:     The first game he umpired in the majors was one that he had begun as a player.
SABR:  He umpired two games where a player hit four home runs.
Twint:    He is mentioned thrice in a famous Danny Kaye song.
A.         Jocko Conlan (G stopped 27-May-1941; Song)
FCR -    Phillip Oppenheim, Sacramento

Q.         Who is the only Brooklyn Robin to lead the National League in outfield assists?
Hint:     In his major-league debut, he singled four straight times, drew a walk, drove in two runs, and stole three bases.
Hint:     As a pitcher, he led his high school team to the state championship.
SABR:  In the minors, Senators scout Mike Kahoe called him a "dandy ballplayer, but it's all from the neck down."
Twint:    His nickname came about in a poker game during a rain delay.
A.         Casey Stengel (30 A 1917; Missouri; Debut 17-Sep-1912; Casey for K.C. = Kansas City, Stengel’s home town)
FCR -    Glenn Horowitz, New York

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Famers who played the outfield, professionally, for Casey Stengel.

Ashburn         1962                    Mets
Averill            1941                    Braves
Berra             1956-60              Yankees
Conlan           1930                    Toledo Muds Hens
DiMaggio       1949-51                Yankees
Lindstrom      1936                    Dodgers
Mantle           1951-60                Yankees
Simmons       1943                    Braves         Bio
Slaughter       1954-59                Yankees
Stengel          1926, 27, 29, 31    Toledo         Bio
Snider            1963                    Mets
Waner, L.       1941                    Braves
Waner, P.       1941-42                Braves         Bio
Wilson           1934                    Dodgers

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Sunday, August 7, 2011

August 1-7, 2011 Hall of Famers who died the same year they were inducted

Q.         Who was the first commissioner of baseball?
Hint:     He was the son of a Civil War doctor and named this son after the battle site where he was wounded.
SABR:  Two of his brothers represented the state of Indiana in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Twint:    He enrolled in Cincinnati's YMCA School of Law after covering court cases for the Logansport (IN) Journal.
A.         Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (Commissioner 1921-44)
First Correct Respondent - Patrick Fazzone, Arlington, VA

Q.         Which manager converted Babe Ruth from pitching to the outfield?
Hint:     Before Terry Francona did it in 2004, he was the last manager to lead the Red Sox to a World Series Championship.
SABR:  He also managed the Tigers, preparing them for Ty Cobb.
Twint:    He is credited with discovering Honus Wagner.
A.         Ed Barrow
FCR -    Dave Williams, Glastonbury, CT

Q.         What National League President was responsible for bringing baseball to the west coast?
Hint:     The NLCS championship trophy is name in his honor.
SABR:  His son, now honorary NL president, performs his only duty in that role when he presents the trophy named for his father to that year’s pennant winner.
Twint:    He was the first Reds General Manager to win back-to-back pennants.
A.         Warren Giles (1939-40)
FCR -    Chris Bell, New York City

Q.         Who was the shortstop on the first fully professional baseball team?
Hint:     Two of his sons became golf champions.
SABR:  He is the only person to play at the top level of cricket and baseball.
Twint:    His son Beals won an Olympic Gold Medal in tennis in 1904.
A.         George Wright (Cricket 1883-84)
FCR -    Jim McCoy, Melrose, MA

Q.         Who was the first pitcher to win a major league game before turning 20 and after turning 40?
Hint:     He was farm director of the Red Sox before becoming General Manager of the Phillies.
SABR:  Connie Mack’s son Earle caught a no-hitter thrown by this (at the time) first baseman, bringing him to the attention of the Tall Tactician.
Twint:    In 1915, he was given his outright release by the A’s after coming within one out of throwing the first Opening Day no hitter.
A.         Herb Pennock (14-Apr-1915 lost the no-hitter when Harry Hooper hit a scratch single)
FCR -    J.R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         Who leads all shortstops in career putouts?
Hint:     Pete Rose broke his National League longevity record in 1986.
SABR:  He played in two World Series, fourteen years apart. [Not “won”.  Sorry.]
Twint:    His managerial career lasted less than two months.
A.         Rabbit Maranville (SS Putouts; 23 years in the senior circuit; WS 1914 & 1928; Mgr. of the Cubs)
FCR -    Kenny Fink, Ocala

Q.         Who holds the record for career losses by a lefty?
Hint:     Steve Carlton broke his National League left-handed longevity record in 1986.
SABR:  Upon his Hall of Fame election, he said, “They’re really scraping the bottom of the barrel, aren’t they?”
Twint:    He was considered the best golfer among baseball players during his career.
A.         Eppa Rixey (251 L; 21 years in the NL)
FCR -    Bradley Curtis, Roseville, CA

Q.         Who holds the record for appearing in the most East-West All-Star Games?
Hint:     As a pitcher, he holds the record for the most strikeouts in a game in both the Puerto Rican League and the Negro National League (II).
SABR:  He landed on Utah Beach, Normandy on D-Day.
Twint:    Immediately following his military discharge in February 1946, he threw an Opening Day no-hitter.
A.         Leon Day (7 E-W ASG; 18, 19 Ks; No-no for the Newark Eagles)
FCR -    Rod Nelson, Detroit

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Famers who died the same year they were inducted.

Barrow        1953      Bio
Day             1995      Bio
Giles           1979      Bio
Landis         1944      Bio
Maranville    1954      Bio
Pennock      1948      Bio
Rixey          1963      Bio
Wright         1937      Bio

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one