Sunday, November 27, 2011

November 21-27, 2011 Major leaguers who appeared on the cover of "Sports Illustrated" in 1955, its first full year of publication.

Q.         Who said, “I think I was the best ballplayer I ever saw.”
Hint:     Willie McCovey said, “He was the finest player I ever saw, make no mistake about it.”
Twint:    Leo Durocher said, “He’s Joe Louis, Jascha Heifetz, Sammy Davis and Nashua rolled into one.”
A.         Willie Mays
First Correct Respondent - Alan Work, White Plains, NY

Q.         Who is the career home run leader among players born in Netherlands?
Hint:     His 35 minor league home runs in 2010 led the entire Mariners franchise (including the Major and minor league teams).
Hint:     He was part of the European Big League Tour in Netherlands earlier this month.
Hint:     He played for the Gold Medal-winning Dutch team in the 2007 European Championship and also for the Dutch team in the 2009 WBC.
Twint:    His sister is a professional basketball player in Europe.
Twint:    His father won a silver medal with the Dutch national baseball team in the 1979 European Championship.
A.         Greg Halman (2 HR, Robert Eenhoorn is the only other Netherlands native to hit a ML HR; sister Naomi Halman plays for Canary Islands)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         Who said, “Slump?  I ain’t in no slump.  I just ain’t hitting!”
Hint:     Mel Ott said, “He stopped everything behind the plate, and hit everything in front of it.”
Twint:    Paul Richards said, “He’s the toughest man in the league in the last three innings.”
A.         Yogi Berra
FCR -    J.R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         Who said, “If there ever has been a man born to be a hitter, it was me.”
Hint:     Stan Musial said, “He was the greatest hitter of our era.”
Twint:    Carl Yastrzemski said, “He studied hitting the way a broker studies the stock market.”
A.         Ted Williams
FCR -    Peter Mitchell, Mission Viejo, CA

Q.         Who said, “I’m a great BP pitcher.  Now I realize I was throwing BP the last few years of my career.”
Hint:     Ted Williams said, “He had the best fastball of any left-hander I ever faced.”
Twint:    Tris Speaker said, “If nothing happens to this kid, he’s going to be one of the best who ever pitched.”
A.         Herb Score
FCR -    Russ Lake, Champaign, IL

Q.         Who said, “I don’t care much for Halloween because its colors remind me of the Giants.”
Hint:     About him future Giants manager Roger Craig said, “He was a great defensive player.  He could jump higher than any outfielder I ever saw.”
Twint:    Gene Mauch opined, “He looked better striking out than any of us did hitting a triple.”
A.         Duke Snider
FCR -    Christopher Bell, New York

Q.         Who said, “As long as I have a chance to beat you, I’m going to take it.”
Hint:     Tommy Lasorda said, “He was my idol.  He had an electrifying personality, and he was the most aggressive manager I’ve ever seen.”
Twint:    Branch Rickey said, “He had the ability to take a bad situation and make it immediately worse.”
A.         Leo Durocher
FCR -    Russ Lake, Champaign, IL

Q.         Who pointed out, “There was anti-Semitism throughout my playing days, and it came from the stands, it came from the managers, the coaches and players.”?
Hint:     Cleveland columnist Hal Lebovitz said, “He was like Albert Belle in that he was a perfectionist and very emotional.”
Twint:    Casey Stengel said, “He’ll give you the works every time:  Gets all the hits, gives you the hard tag in the field.  That feller’s a real competitor.”
A.         Al Rosen
FCR -    Henry Hascup, Lodi, NJ

Q.         Who said, “I throw the ball as hard as ever, it just takes longer to get to the plate.”
Hint:     Kansas City columnist Bill Vaughn said, “He’s a pretty good pitcher for a hitter.”
Twint:    Maury Wills (recovered from alcohol and cocaine addictions) said, “I’m standing here with the man who saved my life. He was a channel for God’s love for me because he chased me all over Los Angeles trying to help me.”
A.         Don Newcombe
FCR -    Randall Chandler, Germantown, TN

Q.         Who said, “Perhaps the truest axiom in baseball is that the toughest thing to do is repeat.”?
Hint:     Vin Scully said, “I always imagined him as the type of guy who would ride shotgun on a stagecoach through Indian country.”
Twint:    Sparky Anderson said, “He’s my hero.  He’s inconspicuous and the players do the job.”
A.         Walter Alston
FCR -    Henry Hascup, Lodi, NJ

WEEKLY THEME – Major leaguers who appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in 1955, its first full year of publication.

Alston            26-Sep
Berra             11-Jul
Durocher        11-Apr
Mays             11-Apr
Rosen            18-Apr
Score            30-May
Snider            27-Jun
Williams         01-Aug

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Gregg Gaylord, Chicago (after the Durocher question)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

November 14-20, 2011 Active players with 4,000 career total bases

Q.         Who is the career home run leader among active players?
Hint:     He also leads in runs scored, runs batted in, total bases and extra base hits.
Twint:    He’s a distant second in strikeouts.
A.         Alex Rodriguez (629 HR; 1,824 R, 1,893 RBI, 5,215 TB, 1,153 XBH; Jim Thome has the K lead with 2,487 to A-Rod’s 1,916 and only trails all-time leader Reggie Jackson by 110.
First Correct Respondent – Gary Glasser, Fort Lee, NJ

Q.         Whose tag of J. T. Snow at home plate ended the Giants season in 2003?
Hint:     He held the ball aloft for the cameras, in a defiant, exuberant pose.
Hint:     Many claim he’s the best catcher of all time.
Twint:    In the history of the majors, no one has played more games at catcher.
A.         Ivan Rodriguez (NLDS G 4; 2,427 G at C)
FCR -    Jim Satterly, DeLand, FL

Q.         What speedster outfielder plays himself in the movie Moneyball?
Hint:     He was a player Billy Beane admitted he couldn’t afford to keep.
Hint:     He has hit more triples that all but five other Kansas City Royals.
Twint:    Per Wikipedia, his first concussion was from a hit he took from Warren Sapp in a high school football game.
Twint:    His mother was born in Thailand.
A.         Johnny Damon (Moneyball uses archival footage of him; 47 3b as a Royal)
FCR -    Jeff Freedman, Los Angeles, CA

Q.         What New Jersey native played the most games in a New York Yankees uniform?
Hint:     He played for four years in the minor leagues and was MVP of the Class-A Florida State League.
Twint:    I’ve heard certain members of the tender gender assert that he’s the awesomest, handsomest, humblest, greatest baseball player ever to live.
Twint:    Only he and Wade Boggs hit a home run for their 3,000th hit.
A.         Derek Jeter (2,426 G; Minors 1992-95, FLS MVP 1994; 3,000th H 09-Jul-2011)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         Who leads all current major league first basemen in games, putouts and assists?
Hint:     He has never played for the Yankees.
Twint:    He is a five-time All-Star, four-time Silver Slugger, four-time National League Player of the Month, and three-time Gold Glove winner.
A.         Todd Helton (2,001 G, 17,382 PO, 1,577 A)
FCR -    Rod Nelson, Detroit

Q.         Who is the only switch-hitter in MLB history to have a .300 career batting average and 400 or home runs?
Hint:     He was the first third baseman to have 100 RBI in eight consecutive seasons.
Hint:     He barely missed the mark with his totals on each end of that streak.
Twint:    He is the career NLDS career home run leader.
A.         Chipper Jones (.304, 454 HR; 100 RBI 1996-2003; 9 NLDS HR)
FCR -    J.J. McCoy, Washington, DC

Q.         Who once averaged 100 runs batted in and 100 walks and 100 strike outs over a fourteen-year period?
Hint:     His lowest season strikeout total over that span was 113.
Hint:     He hit only .235 during his time with the Dodgers, but the fans hated to see him go.
Hint:     He was released from major league teams four times during his career.
Twint:    He is putting all ten of his nieces and nephews through college.
A.         Jim Thome (1995-2008 100 RBI, 104 BB, 144 K)
FCR -    Matt Dicker, Arlington, VA

Q.         What free swinger had more major league hits than any other player born in his country?
Hint:     He played with his brother for three years on a National League team.
Hint:     He played for fourteen years in the majors before it was discovered that he had lied about his age.
Twint:    Few players in major league history can challenge his prowess as a “bad ball” hitter.
A.         Vladimir Guerrero (Dominican Republic; 2,590 H; Brother Wilton, Montreal Expos 1998-2000)
FCR -    J.J. McCoy, Washington, DC

A-Rod         5,215
Damon       4,146
Guerrero     4,506
Helton         4,028
I-Rod          4,451
Jones         4,579
Jeter           4,430
Thome        4,595

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeJoe Merrill, Brunswick, ME

Sunday, November 13, 2011

November 7-13, 2011 Color pictures from the cover of the SABR's Fall 2011 BRJ

Q.         Who saved baseball on 06-Sep-1995?
Hint:     He owns the third highest percentage votes for Hall of Fame induction.
Twint:    His father coached the Baltimore Orioles for 15 years.
A.         Cal Ripken (Broke Lou Gehrig’s consecutive-games-played record that night [Of course, he didn’t save anything, but the media thought that was a catchy headline.]; 98.53%; Cal Ripken, Sr.)
First Correct Respondent - Jeff Bergida, Albany, NY

Q.         The structure of which major league stadium was inspired by Ebbets Field?
Hint:     A structural steel "bridge" motif throughout it reinforces the connection to New York's five boroughs.
Twint:    The park was designed by architects Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum.
A.         Citi Field
FCR -    Andy Peikon, Chappaqua, NY

Q.         Who is the only pitcher to appear in All-Star games in the decades of the 1970s, 80s and 90s?
Hint:     He’s regularly seen on television as a baseball commentator.
Twint:    He was history’s first to pitch 100 career complete games while earning 100 career saves.
A.         Dennis Eckersley (ASG 1977, 1982, 1988, 1990, 1991, 1992; Appears on TBS, particularly in conjunction with LDS and LCS games; 100th CG in 1986—had on 3 save at the time.  Never got another CG [only 2 more starts], but had 387 more Saves.)
FCR -    Dave Mason, Ottawa

Q.         Who was the most recent player to have a uniform number greater than 50 retired?
Hint:     The Marlins selected him with the 8th pick overall in the 1993 expansion draft.
Twint:    He started his career as an infielder, but ended his career with the record for most career games finished by a pitcher.
A.         Trevor Hoffman (#51 retired by the Padres 21-Aug-2011; 856 games finished, passed by Mariano Rivera in 2011) [N.B.  Gregg Gaylord has put forth credible evidence that Hoffman was actually the 7th pick in that draft.]
FCR -    Matt Dicker, Arlington, VA

Q.         Where did Mike Cameron hit four home runs in one game?
Hint:     It got the nod for construction after the owner threatened to move the team to Florida.
Twint:    The park where the team played before now was named by a Hall of Famer for a Hall of Famer.
Twint:    The current iteration is now named for a phone company.
A.         Comiskey Park II (4 HR 02-May-2002; Comiskey Park named by Charles Comiskey; Name changed to U.S. Cellular Field in 2003)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         Which stadium is home to the statues of six Hall of Famers and one of a community organizer?
Hint:     Brian Moehler was the winning pitcher in both the first game at this park and the last game at its predecessor.
Twint:    It is one of only two current major league stadiums with a keyhole.
A.         Comerica Park (statues of Ty Cobb, Al Newhouser, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Al Kaline, Ernie Harwell and Willie Horton; The dirt strip between the pitching mound and home plate is called a “keyhole”.)
FCR -    J. R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         Who played the most career major league games without ever batting, pitching or fielding?
Hint:     He served his franchise well but also served well in his franchises.
Hint:     A former Spartan, his largesse was not spartan.
Twint:    He held the world record in both the 50 and 60 yard dashes.
Twint:    He was caught stealing in both his League Championship Series games.
A.         Herb Washington (105 G, 0 PA; Owned five McDonald’s franchised restaurants and became known for his philanthropy and community work; 5.0 seconds in the 50 5.8 seconds in the 60; Attended Michigan State University; CS 1974 ALCS G 2 & 3)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

Q.         Which stadium was the fastest to reach 50,000,000 in total attendance?
Hint:     It was the only stadium at which Tim Raines Sr. and Jr. played together in the Major Leagues.
Twint:    At the time it was built, the warehouse behind right field was the longest building in the United States.
A.         Oriole Park at Camden Yards (19-Aug-2008 50 millionth fan, just 17 years after opening; Raines & Raines played together 3, 4, 5 and 06-Oct-2001)
FCR -    J. R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         What player promoted the amazing benefits of flax seed oil?
Hint:     He is fourth all-time in career home runs for a 130-year-old franchise.
Hint:     It was his first team.
Twint:    He is second all-time in home runs for a 129-year-old franchise.
Twint:    His National League record of reaching base in fifteen consecutive PLATE APPEARANCES [NOT games] was tied by John Olerud in 1998.
A.         Barry Bonds (He claimed that flax seed oil supplements were the source of his increase in performance after age 35; 176 HR behind Stargell 475, Kiner 301 & Clemente 240; 586 HR for the Giants; )
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         What future MVP was traded cross-town for a former MVP?
Hint:     They were both raised in the same small town.
Hint:     He hit his first career home run off of Roger Clemens, and his last one he hit 19 years later off of Joe Saunders.
Twint:    Family and friends call him “Mikey.”
A.         Sammy Sosa (traded for George Bell 30-Mar-1992; raised in San Pedro de Marcoris, DR; 1st HR 21-Jun-1989, 609th HR 26-Sep-2007)
FCR -    Judah Kaplan, Silver Spring, MD

IN MEMORIAM (Not theme-related)
Q.         Who is the only native of France ever to be a major league All-Star?
Hint:     He was the starting pitcher in his only All-Star appearance.
Hint:     He was also the winner.
Hint:     Three seasons before that, he threw a no-hitter.
Twint:    He was a minor league star for three years in his home town of Memphis before going to the majors.
Twint:    The Memphis Redbirds have a statue of him outside AutoZone Park, the AAA stadium.
A.         Charlie Lea (b. 25-Dec-1956 in Orléans; 1984 ASG; No hitter 10-May-1981)
FCR -    David Krassin, New York

WEEKLY THEME – Color pictures from the cover of the SABR's Fall 2011 The Baseball Research Journal—40 Years of SABR

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Russ Lake, Champaign, IL (after the Thursday question)


Monday, November 7, 2011

October 31 - November 6, 2011 Major league home run champs who were teammates of Babe Ruth

This week’s theme and questions were composed by Barry Sparks of York, PA.

Q.         Who batted .363 in six World Series?
Hint:     He was among the American League stars playing in the benefit for Addie Joss’ widow.
Twint:    He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame the same year as Joe DiMaggio.
A.         Frank “Home Run” Baker (WS 1910, 11, 13, 14, 21, 22; Joss benefit game 24-Jul-1911; HOF 1955)
First Correct Respondent - John Robertson, Cambridge, ON

Q.         Who was a rookie at age 19 and played until he was 40?
Hint:     He helped convert Hall of Famer Larry Doby from a second baseman to a centerfielder.
Twint:    He taught Will Rogers how to use a lariat.
A.         Tris Speaker (Rookie season 1907, final one 1928)
FCR -    Tom Blaha, Bowling Green, OH

Q.         Who was the first American League player to lead the league in both home runs and strikeouts in the same season?
Hint:     He once played for the Kalamazoo Celery Champs.
Hint:     Tris Speaker, well known for playing a shallow centerfield, made an exception for him and played deep when he was at bat.
Twint:    He led American League first basemen in putouts four times.
Twint:    He even led National League first basemen in putouts once.
A.         Wally Pipp (HR/K lead 1916 12/82; AL PO 1915, 19, 20, 22, NL PO 1926)
FCR -    Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA

Q.         Who is the only American Leaguer to hit for the cycle three times?
Hint:     He drove in the fourth most runs during the decade of the 1920s.
Twint:    He and his brother played against each other in three consecutive World Series.
A.         Bob Meusel (Cycles 07-May-1921, 03-Jul-1922, 26-Jul-1928; RI 1920-29:  Ruth 1,335, Hornsby 1,153, Heilman 1,133, Meusel 1,006; Brother Irish Meusel WS 1921, 22, 23)
FCR -    J. R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         Which National League player had the highest single-season hit total since the last NL Triple Crown?
Hint:     He joined his brothers in the outfield for a historic major league first (and only) time.
Hint:     He was the first batter to appear at Atlanta (later Fulton County) Stadium.
Hint:     The next day, he hit the first ever triple there.
Hint:     He was inducted into the Hispanic Heritage Baseball Museum Hall of Fame.
Hint:     He played three seasons for the Taiheiyo (now Seibu) Lions.
Twint:    He won the National League batting title in 1966.
Twint:    His RBI total of 27 that year is the lowest ever by a batting champ.
A.         Matty Alou (231 H in 1969;  15-Sep-1963; ATL AB 12-Apr-1966; HHBMHOF 23-Jun2007; Lions 1975-77)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         Who took an eight per cent pay cut the season after he had over 150 RBI?
Hint:     He once said, “Let’s face it, I’m not a headline guy.”
Twint:    When he died, major league ballparks flew their flags at half-mast.
A.         Lou Gehrig (Pay cut 1933; d. 02-Jun-1941)
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamazoo

Q.         Which former Cardinal great threw out the ceremonial first pitch before Game 7 of this year’s World Series?
Hint:     He is the only St. Louis Cardinal to pitch two no hitters.
Hint:     They were the only no-hitters ever thrown at Busch Stadium (at that iteration of Busch Stadium).
Hint:     It had been 54 years since the last Cardinal no-hitter there.
Hint:     He also pitched two no-hitters in the minors.
Hint:     He won the first ever Silver Slugger Award given to a National League pitcher.
Hint:     For good measure, he won it again seven years later.
Twint:    When his brother Ken threw a no-hitter, they became the first brother duo with that distinction.
Twint:    They are still the only siblings with complete-game no-hitters.
A.         Bob Forsch (1st pitch 28-Oct-2011; No hitters 16-Apr-1978, Jesse Haines no-hitter 17-Jul-1924; 26-Sep-1983, SS 1980, 1987)
FCR -    Harvey Judkowitz, Miami, FL

Q.         Whose record for RBI by a rookie did Joe DiMaggio break?
Hint:     He played on a major league team that finished 61½ games out of first place.
Hint:     He played all nine innings for the National League in the inaugural All-Star Game.
Twint:    He went 0 for 15 in a World Series.
A.         Wally Berger (119 RBI in 1930. DiMaggio had 125 in 1936 [The Phillies’ Chuck Klein had 145 in his first full season 1929, ergo Joe D. broke the AL rookie RBI record.  Oops!  I'm freely admitting here that I had confused Berger with Ken Williams, whose RBI numbers weren’t impressive until his 7th season in the majors.  Sorry about that.  My fact-checkers have been duly scolded.]; 1935 Braves; 1933 ASG; 1939 WS)
FCR -    Tom Zocco, Rocky Hill, CT

Q.         Whose nickname reflected his propensity for enthusiastically promoting himself?
Hint:     Despite (or perhaps because of) the high opinion he had of himself, he played for five different AL teams over a period of four seasons.
Twint:    He was one of the players involved in a trade for Shoeless Joe Jackson.
A.         Braggo Roth (1918-1921; Jackson trade 21-Aug-1915)
FCR -    Jim Hartley, Silver Spring, MD

WEEKLY THEME – Major league home run champs who were teammates of Babe Ruth

Player    League   HR Titles        Ruth’s Teammate         SABR Bio
Baker        AL       1911-14          1919, 21-22 Yankees       Bio
Berger       NL       1935              1935 Braves                   Bio
Gehrig       AL       1931, 34, 36   1923-34 Yankees            Bio
Meusel      AL       1925              1920-29 Yankees            Bio
Pipp          AL       1916, 17         1920-25 Yankees            Bio
Roth          AL       1915              1921 Yankees                 Bio
Speaker    AL       1912              1914-15 Red Sox            Bio

First respondent to correctly decipher the theme – Gregg Gaylord, Chicago (on his fifth try)