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

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