Sunday, October 30, 2011

October 24-30, 2011 National League "Sporting News Comeback" Player of the Year Award winners who were on American League teams their prior season.

Q.         What St. Louis Cardinals pitcher has finished 3rd, 2nd and 1st in Cy Young Award voting?
Hint:     He led National League pitchers starts, batters faced and innings pitched in 2011.
Hint:     His first career home run was a grand slam.
Hint:     He drove in two additional runs that day, a record for a Cardinal pitcher.
Twint:    He was a Pioneer and then played in the Pioneer League the following season.
A.         Chris Carpenter (CYA 3rd 2006, 2nd 2009, 1st in 2005; GSHR 01-Oct-2009 vs. Kip Wells; Trinity High School Pioneers [Manchester, NH] 1989-93, 1994 Medicine Hat Blue Jays)
First Correct Respondent - Derek Norin, Arlington, VA

Q.         What perennial All-Star switch-hitter was the only batter to get a hit off Derek Holland in Game Four of the 2011 World Series?
Hint:     He is neither particularly big nor fat, but has nicknames containing each word.
Hint:     He’s the only former Yankees position player still suiting up in this year’s postseason.
Twint:    He was the Most Valuable Player of the 1998 AAA World Series.
A.         Lance Berkman (Game 4; “Big Puma”, “Fat Elvis”; 2010 Yankees)
FCR -    Tom Kennedy, Houston, TX

Q.         Who led the National League in ERA despite a lackluster 11-9 record?
Hint:     After Sandy Koufax in 1963, he was the next National League pitcher to win a Cy Young Award the season after a teammate won it.
Twint:    He is one of six players traded away by the Indians who later won a Cy Young Award.
A.         John Denny (1976 2.52 ERA; CYA 1983, Steve Carlton 1982
FCR -    Randall Chandler, Germantown, TN

Q.         What former Texas Ranger hit two grand slams in one inning?
Hint:     He hit them both lefty—otherwise it would have been a switch-hitter record.
Twint:    He built a church in his home town where the dominant religion is baseball.
Twint:    Sammy Sosa could have probably afforded it better.
A.         Fernando Tatis (GSs 23-Apr-1999 off Chan Ho Park; Church in San Pedro de Marcoris, Dominican Republic)
FCR -    Frank DiPrima, Morristown, NJ

Q.         Who lent Fernando Tatis his bat which Tatis then used to hit his two grand slams in the same inning?
Hint:     In 415 career stolen base attempts, he racked up an impressive 84% success rate.
Hint:     He is the only Cincinnati Reds player to hit a home run in his first World Series at-bat.
Twint:    Marge thought he was a malingerer.
A.         Eric Davis (66 CS; WS HR 16-Oct-1990 1st inning off Dave Stewart; his lacerated kidney was mis- or under-diagnosed by team owner and non-doctor Marge Schott.)
FCR -    Judah Kaplan, Silver Spring, MD

Q.         Who was the manager who let Chan Ho Park pitch to Tatis again in the same inning?
Hint:     He is the only manager to keep a team in first place from Opening Day to the last day of the regular season and fail to win the World Series.
Twint:    He was a teammate of both Hank Aaron and Sadaharu Oh.
Twint:    This former Aggie is again managing in the majors after a ten-year hiatus.
A.         Davey Johnson (N.B.  All R on the 2nd GS unearned due to an Eric Karros throwing error earlier in the inning; 1997 Orioles; w/Aaron 1965-72 Atlanta Braves, w/Oh 75-76 Yomiuri Giants; Attended Texas A&M University, Mgr. 2011 Nationals, last managed 2000 Dodgers)
FCR -    J.R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         Whom did Ernie Banks succeed as the Chicago Cubs shortstop?
Hint:     He was the last shortstop to lead the National League in strikeouts.
Hint:     He compensated for that by turning one more double play than he had strikeouts that season.
Hint:     He married a famous former teammate’s sister that same season.
Hint:     He also hit for the cycle that same year.
Twint:    His son was the first Yankee shortstop to hit more than fifteen home runs in a season.
Twint:    He managed the Silver Sox to a championship.
A.         Roy Smalley, Jr. who passed away last week (114 K in 1950; Married Gene Mauch’s sister Jolene 05-Aug-1950; Cycle 28-Jun-1950; Roy Smally III 16 HR in 1982; 1961 Reno Silver Sox in the California League.
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI

Q.         Who was the last Yankee pitcher to lead the American League in strikeouts?
Hint:     He once struck out the side on nine pitches.
Twint:    He was the only player in uniform at both Roger Maris' 61st season home run game and Hank Aaron's 715th career home run game.
A.         Al Downing (217 K in 1964; 9-strike inning 11-Aug-1967 2nd, K’ing Tony Horton, Don Demeter & Duke Sims; w/Yankees 01-Oct-1961 & w/Dodgers on 08-Apr-1974)
FCR -    Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA

Q.         Who holds the record for spoiling the most no-hitters with a home run?
Hint:     He was the lead-off hitter for two different World Series champions and led six additional teams to playoff berths.
Twint:    He appeared to be picking nits off the shoulders of his uniform as he headed toward first base after hitting most of his 297 major league home runs.
Twint:    Probably the most famous person born in Chicago on Christmas Day.
A.         Rickey Henderson (81 career lead-off HRs; WS w/1989 A’s & 1993 Jays, also to postseason with 1981, 90, 92 A’s, ’96 Padres, ’99 Mets & 2000 Mariners,  b. 25-Dec-1958)
FCR -    Derek Norin, Arlington, VA

Q.         Who was kept on the Giants’ roster in spite of his 9.45 ERA because of the Bonus Baby rule?
Hint:     He surrendered Hank Aaron’s 500th career home run.
Twint:    Before coming to the majors, he once struck out 26 batters in an American Legion game.
A.         Mike McCormick (High ERA in 1956; Aaron HR 14-Jul-1968)
FCR -    Michael Frank, New York

Q.         Who was the first player to hit a home run in a 1-0 game three times in one season?
Hint:     He hit 20 home runs in a season for six different franchises, a record.
Hint:     He hit 35 home runs in a season for four of them, the only player who can make that claim.
Twint:    He, Carl Everett and Elijah Dukes attended the same high school (although not necessarily at the same time).
A.         Gary Sheffield (1-0 HRs 2001; 20/35 HR: 33 w/1992 Padres, 42 w/1996 Marlins, 43 w/2000 Dodgers, 39 w/2000 Braves, 36 w/2004 Yankees, 25 w/2007 Tigers; Hillsborough High School [Tampa, FL]
FCR -    Jerry Wachs, New York

WEEKLY THEME – National League Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award winners who were on American League teams their prior season.

Player               Season         Team             Previous
Berkman          2011       Cardinals    Yankees
Carpenter        2004       Cardinals    Blue Jays
Davis              1996       Reds          Tigers
Denny             1983       Phillies        Indians
Downing          1971       Dodgers     A’s/Brewers
Henderson       1999       Mets           A’s
Johnson          1973       Braves        Orioles
McCormick      1967       Giants         Senators
Sheffield         1992       Padres        Brewers
Tatis                2008       Mets           Orioles

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Gregg Gaylord, Chicago

Sunday, October 23, 2011

October 17-23, 2011 The first ten players to hit two home runs in a World Series

Q.         Whose last name developed into an adjective describing tremendous home runs, even while he was still a player?
Hint:     His most famous statue shows him with a mitt that is not his and his most famous photo shows him with a bat that is not his.
Twint:    He himself had no fewer than three nicknames in common usage before he retired.
A.         Babe Ruth (“Ruthian”; Statue at Camden Yards with right-hander’s glove, photo [leaning on Bob Feller’s bat]; “The Bambino”, “The Sultan of Swat”, “The Caliph of Clout”, More of his nicknames)
First Correct Respondent - Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI

Q.         Who is the only manager to win more than 35 World Series games?
Hint:     He was once fined by the commissioner for allowing his picture to appear in a beer ad (his picture, not the commissioner’s).
Twint:    He is the only man to wear the uniforms of, the Yankees, Giants, Dodgers and Mets while all were still New York teams.
Twint:    He once teased Joe Garagiola saying, "When they list all the great catchers—you’ll be there, … listening!"
Twint:    He had the only hit in what otherwise would have been the first ever Opening Day no-hitter.
A.         Casey Stengel (37 WS W; $500 by Ford Frick for Rheingold Beer ad in 1962; Near‑no‑hitter H off Pete Schneider 16‑Apr‑1918)
FCR -    J.R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         What Hall of Famer was purchased by the Yankees for half of what Alex Rodriguez made per plate appearance in 2011?
Hint:     He led the league in home runs four times before the trade, but never again after becoming a Yankee.
Twint:    A statue with his likeness was rumored to have been erected on the campus of University of Massachusetts.
Twint:    He was an expert duck hunter and raised hunting dogs.
Twint:    His son Franklin played baseball for the University of Maryland.
A.         Frank Baker (15-Feb-1916 Yankees paid Athletics $37,500, A-Rod’s salary per plate appearance in 2011 $74,766.36; UMass staffers know of the rumor, but no one currently working there has ever seen the statue.)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

Q.         Who is the only manager to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates to a 100-win season?
Hint:     He did it twice, but they only won the World Series in one of those seasons.
Twint:    He took part in the Cherokee Strip, Oklahoma land dash in 1893, but was unable to stake a suitable claim.
A.         Fred Clarke (1902, 1909)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         What Hall of Famer first honed his athletic skills by tossing fresh eggs against the side of the family's barn?
Hint:     He was the first player in American League history to lead off consecutive games with home runs.
Hint:     The games were played on the same day.
Hint:     Those were half the home runs he had all season.
Hint:     These were also ONLY THE 3rd AND 4th HOME RUNS the first two of his then career eleven career home runs that had cleared the fence.
Twint:    He holds the Red Sox franchise record for career stolen bases.
A.         Harry Hooper (HRs 30-May-1913; 300 of his 375 SB were w/Boston AL)
FCR -    Jim McCoy, Melrose, MA

Q.         What Hall of Famer attempted to use a black and white striped bat during a game, but was stopped by the umpire.
Hint:     He went three for four that day with his more conventional bat.
Hint:     He was the team’s star and this was Opening Day.
Twint:    He won World Series rings for different American League teams eleven years apart.
A.         Goose Goslin (Umpire Harry Geisel ruled bat illegal 12-Apr-1932; 1924 Senators, 1935 Tigers)
FCR -    J.J. McCoy, Washington, DC

Q.         Who was the first American Leaguer to hit to two triples in a World Series?
Hint:     For good measure, he did it in the same game.
Hint:     For even better measure, three teammates also hit triples in that same game.
Twint:    Earlier that season, he’d hit three triples in a game.
A.         Patsy Dougherty (WS G5 07-Oct-1903; 3b same G Cy Young, Chick Stahl, Jimmy Collins; 3bX3 05-Sep-1903)
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamazoo

Q.         Who led the Federal League in batting average and stolen bases in both of its major league seasons?
Hint:     This led to his being call the Ty Cobb of the Federal League.
Twint:    He is the only 20th century player to be picked off first base three times in one game.
Twint:    His infield single spoiled spitballer Jimmy Lavender’s no-hit bid.
A.         Benny Kauff (FL 1914-15; Pick-offs 26-May-1916; One-hitter 14-Jun-1916)
FCR -    Rick Huhn, Westerville, OH

Q.         Who is the only American League player to collect 120 runs batted in a season while hitting fewer than five home runs?
Hint:     He’d had 118 the season prior with the same home run total.
Hint:     He served as the athletic director and baseball coach for the University of Vermont from 1918-52.
Twint:    No other player, born and raised in Vermont, had more years in the majors.
A.         Larry Gardner (1921; 1920)
FCR -    Tom Zocco, Rocky Hill, CT

Q.         Who was the first Yankee to get a hit in Yankee Stadium?
Hint:     He lost his starting spot to a Hall of Famer.
Twint:    His team’s owner game him most of the credit for the franchise’s first World Series championship.
A.         Aaron Ward (18-Apr-1923; Tony Lazzeri; Jacob Rupert)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

WEEKLY THEME – The first ten players to hit two home runs in a World Series

Baker           1911     G2, G3      Bio
Clarke          1909     G1, G5      Bio
Dougherty    1903     G2            Bio
Gardner        1916     G3, G4      Bio
Goslin          1924     G2, G4      Bio
Hooper         1915     G5            Bio
Kauff           1917     G4            Bio
Ruth             1923     G2, G6      Bio
Stengel        1923     G1, G3      Bio
Ward            1922     G2, G4

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

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 10-16, 2011 Active players who hold a major league franchise's all-time record for home runs in a seaso

Q.         Who ruptured his Achilles tendon on his team’s final play of 2011?
Hint:     He totaled 100 career home runs faster than anyone in major league history.
Hint:     A week before winning the National League Most Valuable Player Award, he was name the MVP of the Major League Baseball Japan All-Star Series.
SABR:  His injury was sustained while playing his “home town team”.
Twint:    He was the first player to win a $10,000,000 arbitration award in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
A.         Ryan Howard (Injury on the final play of NLDS in Philadelphia 07-Oct-2011; 100th HR in 325th game 27-Jun-2007; MPV of MLBJASS 08-Nov-2006, NL MVP announcement 20‑Nov‑2006; arbitration award)
First Correct Respondent – Walt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD

Q.         Who was the first Cleveland Indian to hit thirty home runs a year for six consecutive seasons?
Hint:     He was also the first one to do it seven times.
Hint:     He was named the Best Teammate in Major League Baseball with over three times the votes of any other player.
Hint:     He was traded that very off-season.
SABR:  He set a major league record by scoring in each of the White Sox's first seventeen games one season.
Twint:    His college alma mater awarded him an honorary degree and named their baseball stadium after him.
Twint:    He also played college basketball.
Twint:    He, like many well-tested products, played in Peoria.
A.         Jim Thome (30 HRs 1996-2002; Tribune Co. survey in 2005; R in 17 straight G for 02-Apr-2006 thru 22‑Apr‑2006; Illinois Central College; Thome’s native Peoria, Illinois is a traditional test market for new products and ideas.)
FCR -    Mike McCroskey, Sugar Land, TX

Q.         Who became the youngest player to homer in a World Series on Mickey Mantle’s 65th birthday?
Hint:     For good measure, he hit another one.
Hint:     He twice won the “Baseball America” Minor League Players of the Year Award.
Twint:    He carries a scar from a childhood iguana bite on his chest.
A.         Andruw Jones (19 years, 180 days 20-Oct-1996; MLPOY 1995-96)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         What Ontario native holds the record for postseason home runs for the Milwaukee Brewers?
Hint:     He hit a batting practice home run in Tiger Stadium when he was only twelve years old.
Twint:    His first career hit was off Hideo Nomo, but he never homered off him.
Twint:    He is the youngest player ever to hit 50 home runs in a season.
Twint:    He and his father are the only father/son combination each to hit 50 home runs in a season.
A.         Prince Fielder (4 postseason HR, Ontario, California; 50 HR 2007; Father Cecil Fielder 51 HR 1990)
FCR -    J.R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         Who was given a plaque by his team’s owner declaring him "The greatest clutch hitter in the (100+ year) history of the team"?
Hint:     He still plays for that team.
Hint:     He was the last 20th century American League position player to go an entire season (minimum at-bats) without a hit.
Hint:     Only three other players in the entire century equaled that mark.
Twint:    He led the American League in run batted in for consecutive seasons.
Twint:    The year before he had 139, but that was only good for second place, behind La Gua Gua.
A.         David Ortiz (Red Sox owner John Henry & president Larry Lucchino on 06-Sep-2005; Larry Littleton [0-23 in 1981], Kevin Elster [0-20 in 1994], Ortiz [0-20 in 1999] [Eddie Tucker] went 0-20 for Cleveland Indians in 1995; Miguel Tejada w/150 RBI in 2004)
FCR -    Joe Merrill, Brunswick, ME

Q.         Who was the last Colorado Rockies batter to hit forty home runs in a season?
Hint:     He came within one first place vote of winning the Rookie of the Year Award.
Twint:    Only he, Lou Gehrig and Chuck Klein have totaled 100 extra base hits in a season twice.
Twint:    He was the highest-paid National League position player in 2011.
A.         Todd Helton (49 HR 2001; ROY 1998 Kerrie Wood; XBH Gehrig [1927, 30], Klein [1930, 32], Helton [2000-01]; $19,000,000 [partly deferred])
FCR -    Walt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD

Q.         Who holds the all-time record for the most All-Star votes received by a player in a single season with 7,454,753?
Hint:     Only once before in his eight-year, five-team major league career had he received serious All-Star consideration.
Hint:     His accent belies his nationality.
Twint:    Joey Bats right-handed.
A.         Jose Bautista (AS votes 2011)
FCR -    Matt Dicker, Arlington, VA

Q.         Whose career .239 batting average over eleven seasons seems at odds with his 2011 $10,000,000 salary?
Hint:     He has played for six different teams in the majors over that span, not counting seven different teams in the minors.
Hint:     That does not count the six minor league teams he played before reach the majors.
Hint:     He also played in the Cape Cod League.
Twint:    He was both a Husky and a Raider.
A.         Carlos Pena (Wareham Gatemen; Northeastern University and Wright State University)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

WEEKLY THEME – Active players who hold a major league franchise's all-time record for home runs in a season.

Slugger     HRs      Year/Team
Jones         51       2005 Braves
Ortiz           54       2006 Red Sox
Fielder        50       2007 Brewers
Pena           46       2007 (Devil) Rays
Bautista      54       2010 Blue Jays
Helton         49       2001 Rockies
Thome        52       2002 Indians
Howard       58       2006 Phillies

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Walt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 3-9, 2011 Pitchers in the Hall of Fame class of 1946

Q.         What pitcher holds the 20th century record for victories in a season?
Hint:     He was a coach on the World Series champion Senators.
SABR:  He lost his coaching job, literally, to a clown.
Twint:    Before coming to the majors, he worked for the state mental hospital in Middletown, New York.
Twint:    He also played baseball for them and the team was called The Asylums.
A.         Jack Chesbro (41 W in 1904; WS 1924; Al Schaact replaced him as coach mid-1924; Asylums in 1894)
FCR -    Michael Frank, New York

Q.         Which Hall of Fame pitcher has the lowest career ERA?
Hint:     No pitcher in the 20th century ever pitched more innings in a single season.
SABR:  As a batter one season he had 156 plate appearances without ever drawing a walk.
Twint:    He was a Ram but his son, also a major leaguer, played for the Fighting Irish.
A.         Ed Walsh (Career ERA 1.82 [not a typo]; 464 innings in 1908; 0 BB 1907; Fordham University & Notre Dame.)
FCR -    Will McCracken, Bradenton, FL

Q.         Who managed the Chicago White Sox to their first pennant?
Hint:     He has more career pitching victories than Hall of Famers Waite Hoyt, Catfish Hunter or Jim Bunning.
SABR:  His close relationship with President Roosevelt greatly assisted in enabling major league baseball to continue during the war.
Twint:    Bobo Newsom called him, “… the greatest humanitarian who ever lived.”
A.         Clark Griffith (1901; 237 W;   WWII “Green Light Letter”)
FCR -    Peter Beagle, Oakland

Q.         What pitcher holds the record for most strikeouts in a season by an American League lefty?
Hint:     He once entered the first game of a double header in relief, recorded the last two outs then tossed a twenty-inning complete game win in the nightcap.
Hint:     He did cartwheels after the victory, not only because he had won, but because he had defeated Cy Young.
SABR:  He was once involved in a trade that included five Hall of Famers.
Twint:    He played for George Stallings, Ollie Beard, Tony Mullane and Frank Graves in his lone season as a Tiger.
A.         Rube Waddell (349 Ks in 1904 w/ the A’s; Double header 04-Jul-1905; 08-Dec-1899 Traded by the Louisville Colonels with Fred Clarke, Honus Wagner and others to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jack Chesbro & others along with $25,000; Minor league Detroit Tigers of 1898)
FCR -    John Shiffert, Morrow, GA

Q.         What pitcher is the only 300 game winner to have never played minor league ball?
Hint:     No lefthander has more career shutouts.
SABR:  A week after losing his last major league decision to Walter Johnson, going down 1-0 in 11 innings, he announced his retirement.
Twint:    His brother Ira was the baseball coach at Gettysburg College for 35 years.
A.         Eddie Plank (Ira Plank)
FCR -    Walt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD

Q.         Who won 207 minor league games after accumulating 207 National League wins?
Hint:     By the way, he also had 39 American League wins.
SABR:  All this was after winning an additional 24 games in the minors.
Twint:    He won more games in a season than any other major league Baltimore Oriole in the 20th century.
A.         Joe McGinnity (26 W for the 1901 Baltimore Orioles)
FCR -    Walt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers in the Hall of Fame class of 1946

Chesbro            Bio
Griffith              Bio
McGinnity         Bio
Plank                Bio
Waddell            Bio
Walsh               Bio

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