Monday, February 27, 2012

February 20-26, 2012 Pitchers with a 20-win season with no (0) home runs surrendered

Q.         What Hall of Famer has 33 documented nicknames?
Hint:     He was the third of three different teammates to win league ERA titles in consecutive years.
Twint:    Researchers have recently called into question his date of birth.  Stay tuned.
A.         Babe Ruth (Nicknames:  Babe
Herman the Great
His Eminence
Homeric Herman
The Big Monk
The Babe
The Bambino
The Barnstorming Babe
The Behemoth of Biff
The Behemoth of Bust
The Big Bam
The Bulky Monarch
The Caliph of Clout
The Circuit Smasher
The Colossus of Clout
The Goliath of Grand Slam
The Great Bambino
The High Priest of Swat
The Home Run King
The Infant Swategy
The King of Clout
The King of Diamonds
The King of Swing
The Maharajah of Mash
The Man
The Monk
The Prince of Pounders
The Rajah of Rap
The Slambino
The Sultan of Swat
The Wally of Wallop
The Wazir of Wham
The Wizard of Whack;
Dutch Leonard in 1914 w/0.96 [not a typo], Smoky Joe Wood in 1915 w/1.49, Ruth w/1.75 in 1916)
N.B.  Several readers pointed out that our research had been woefully insufficient, at least according to The Year Babe Ruth Hit 104 Home Runs: Recrowning Baseball's Greatest Slugger by Bill Jenkinson.  Page 379 of said tome, under the heading “Miscellaneous Data” give us the following:  “A Partial List of George Herman Ruth’s Nicknames or Titles”.  Here are those from that page not contained in our original list:
Abou Ben Ruth
Ace of Clubbers
Babe the Mighty
Babe the Ruthless
Ball Mauling Majesty
Baltimore Adonis
Baltimore Behemoth
Baltimore Blizzard
Banzoi of Bingle
Battering Babe
Battering Infant
Batting Babe
Bazoo of Bust
Biffing Babe
Blistering Babe
Boston Mauler
Bruising Babe
Burly Babe
Bustin’ Bambino
Bustin’ Behemoth
Busting Brobdignagian
Bustling Babe
Caliph of Crash
Chief Cudgeler
Colossus of Swat
Czar of Crash
Czar of Slam
Demon Slugger
Demon Swatter
Goliath of the Bludgeon
Grand Colossus of All Hitters
Harlem Catapult
Heroic Figure of our National Sport
His Royal Highness
His Royal Nibs
Human Howitzer
Invincible Invalid (in 1929)
Jumbo Jouster
Khedive of Klout
King of Clout
King of Diamonds
King of Swat
Kleagle of Klout
Maharajah of Maulers
Mandarin of Maul
Mastadonic Mauler
Master Mauler
Mauling Mandarin
Mauling Marvel
Mauling Menace
Might Basso Profundo
Mightiest of Maulers
Mightiest of the Mighty
Mighty Man of Baseball
Monarch of Maulers
Monarch of the Home Run
Oriole Infant
Oriole Sharpshooter
Potentate of Pounders
Prince of Pummelers
Prince of Punch
Prince of Punchers
Rajah of Swat
Royce Rools of Diamond
Ruth the Rampant
Ruthless Ruth
Samson of Swat
Smashing Infant
Son of Swat
Stalwart Infant
Swat Sultan
Swattingest Swatter of Swatdom
Sweet Swatter
Terror of Pitchers
The Menace
Titan of Thump
Wali of Wallop
Wazzoo of Wham
Wizard of Wallop
Wizard of Whack
Wonder Man
Don’t forget the biographical research subject of Leigh Montville’s terrific The Big Bam.  It’s a memorable read.
First Correct Respondent – Walt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD

Q.         Whom did Nolan Ryan pass to become the all-time strikeout king?
Hint:     …the first time.
Twint:    He surrendered Babe Ruth’s final home run at Yankee Stadium.
Twint:    Not to mislead you, but it was in a 1942 War Relief Exhibition.
A.         Walter Johnson (27-Apr-1983 [Ryan & Steve Carlton frequently traded places atop the list until Ryan took 1st place for good by the end of 1984]; Johnson/Ruth exhibition 23‑Aug‑1942)
FCR -    Abbey Garber, Dallas

Q.         What Hall of Fame pitcher was the major leagues’ first 200-game winner?
Hint:     He pitched a shutout in the first National League game ever played in Chicago.
Hint:     This reinforced the term “being Chicagoed” as meaning being shut out.
Hint:     He, more than anyone else, is responsible for promulgating the myth that Abner Doubleday invented baseball.
Twint:    His name appears on many a baseball glove.
Twint:    He hosted a world baseball tour 1888.
A.         Al Spalding (204 W in the NA; SHo 10-May-1876; 25-Apr-1876)
FCR -    Steve Bonfield, Calgary

Q.         Who was the president of the first International Association of Professional Base Ball Players?
Hint:     He made his professional debut at age 17 for the Excelsior club, drawing the praise Hall of Famer of Henry Chadwick.
Hint:     He was the first to throw two complete games in one day in the National League.
Hint:     He won both games.
Twint:    In 1874, he was implicated in a game-fixing scandal with John Radcliffe, Denny Mack, Bill Craver and Nat Hicks.
A.         Candy Cummings (1887 IAPBBP; CGs 09-Sep-1876; Scandal)
FCR -    Bill Garrod, Edgewood, WA

Q.         What Hall of Famer pitcher was born in Maryland but is better known for being “from” Delaware?
Hint:     He holds the 20th century record for most losses in a season.
Hint:     He had four 20-win seasons for the Pirates.
Hint:     He also had four 20-win seasons for the Braves (their predecessors, actually).
Twint:    The Boston Sunday Journal reported that "(His) has speed and the most elusive curves. His 'drop' is so wonderful that, if anyone hits it, it is generally considered a fluke."
A.         Vic Willis (b. 12-Apr-1876 in Cecil County, MD, grew up in Newark, DE; 12-29 in 1905; 20 Pittsburgh W 1906-09; 20 Boston W 19-898-99, 1901-02)
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee's Summit, MO

Q.         Who is the only pitcher to throw for 40 innings in one World Series?
Hint:     He is also the only one with over 35.
Hint:     He was once traded with three Hall of Famers with another Hall of Famer.  (Other players were involved on both sides.)
Twint:    His ratio of 1.25 walks per nine innings is the lowest of any pitcher’s whose career was entirely after the modern pitching distance was established.
A.         Deacon Phillippe (44 IP in the 1903 WS; Traded with Honus Wagner, Fred Clarke & Rube Waddell [among others] for Jack Chesbro [among others]; 1.2532/9IP, 60’60” est. 1893)
FCR -    Art Springsteen, Sunapee, NH

Q.         Who was the first left-handed pitcher to win twenty games in a season for the Pirates?
Hint:     He was also the first left-handed pitcher to win twenty in a season for the Red Sox.
Hint:     His brother enjoyed a ten-season career in the majors.
Twint:    His career batting average, although he was primarily a pitcher, was higher than that of his position-playing brother’s.
A.         Jesse Tannehill (The Q should have read "Who was the last LHP to earn 25 W in a season for the Pirates?" 25-13 for PIT in 1898; 21-11 for BOS in 1904; Lee Tannehill; .255 to .220)
FCR -    Ray Luurs, Blaine, MN

Q.         Who was the first pitcher to appear in a major league game after his 48th birthday?
Hint:     He was the second position player to appear in a major league game after his 50th birthday.
Hint:     He remains the oldest person ever to play in a major league game.
Hint:     He holds the record for the longest streak of years coaching for the same team.
Twint:    He set the record for a pitcher by handling thirteen chances in one game.
Twint:    That record was tied by Ed Walsh three years later.
A.         Nick Altrock (First of all:  Props to our astute readers.  That said, we need to come clean on a couple of things we put out on Altrock:
A.)  The question originally said 45th, but should have read 48th birthday, Born 15‑Sep‑1876, 30‑Sep‑1924 @ 48 yrs. 13 days;
B.)  His last game as a pitcher was 06-Oct-1929 @ 53 years and 21 days, setting the set the all-time record.  Satchel Paige wasn't in our list because of indeterminate birthday issues.  However, most researchers now agree on his birthday as 07-Jul-1906, meaning HE was really the oldest to appear in a game in the majors;
C.)  Altrock set the record for oldest position player when he passed Hall of Famer Jim O’Rourke with an appearance 27-Sep-1931, and on 01‑Oct‑1933 he passed himself setting the record.  In a sneaky twist, Charley O’Leary a player-coach for the Browns, pinch hit the next year, on 30-Sep-1934.  Until recently he was thought to have been 51 at the time, but the latest research shows that he was born in 1875, 7 years earlier than previously reported, meaning that in 1934 he wrested the record from Altrock, 31 years before Paige claimed the title for good. 
D.)  42 years as a coach with the Washington Senators, 1912-1953, really IS the record for most consecutive years with one team and he DID have 13 FC 06-Aug-1904.
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee's Summit, MO

Q.         What pitcher had a streak of more than 1,000 consecutive innings without allowing a home run?
Hint:     This means no inside-the-park, no bounced-over-the-fence and no over the fence on the fly.
Twint:    Five of the nine career home runs he surrendered in 214 games were of the inside-the-park variety.
Twint:    He was recently nudged from the top 25 in career ERA by the great Mariano Rivera.
A.         Ed Killian (Streak 18-Sep-1903 through 07-Aug-1907)
FCR -    Fred Brillhart, Mechanicsburg, PA

Q.         Who was traded for the infielder who was not credited with being “…fleeter than birds”?
Hint:     Later that season, he pitched a no-hitter.
Hint:     Recent changes to the rules of what can constitute a no-hitter have downgraded his effort because it only lasted seven innings (a complete game under the rules of the day).
Hint:     On a parallel note, he dueled the great Christy Mathewson to a 1-1 tie that was ended so the Giants could catch a train.
Twint:    He surrendered Honus Wagner’s 2,000th career hit.
A.         Jake Weimer (Traded 24-Oct-1905, sending Harry Steinfeildt to the Cubs; 24-Aug-1906; 23-May-1904; 22-Jun-1908)
FCR -    Al Blumkin, Brooklyn

Q.         What pitcher led the first ever professional baseball league in ERA?
Hint:     Not that anybody was keeping track then, but he also lead in ERA+ and WHIP.
Hint:     He was called “The Charmer”, but he never played for a team in Charm City.
Twint:    He surrendered the first home run in major league history.
Twint:    Alas, he also gave up the first-ever grand slam.
A.         George Zettlein (HR by Ezra Sutton 08-May 1871; GS by Charley Gould on 05-Sep-1871; 2.73 for the 1871 Chicago White Stockings of the National Association; ERA+ 158, WHIP of 1.342; Baltimore did not have a team in the majors during his entire career.
FCR -    Jerry Wachs, New York

Q.         Whose major league record for consecutive scoreless innings did Walter Johnson break?
Hint:     He holds the American League record for shutouts in a season.
Hint:     He has five wins and no losses in World Series play, representing two teams.
Hint:     He became a championship winning coach at Duke University.
Hint:     His nickname derives from the college he attended.
Hint:     He took hunting expeditions in Palestine every winter.
Twint:    He is the only American League pitcher with two extra-inning home runs.
A.         Jack Coombs (53 consec. I in 1910, Johnson’s record was then broken by Don Drysdale in 1968 and is now held by Orel Hershiser; 13 ShO in 1910 [thru June, he only had 1 ShO];  Colby College in Waterville, ME; Palestine, TX; HRs 17-Jul-1911 & 29-Aug-1911 against Detroit, the last homer ever hit in old Bennett Park.)
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamazoo

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers with a 20-win season with no (0) home runs surrendered.

Altrock        20    1906          Bio
Coombs     31    1910          Bio
Cummings  35    1875          Bio
Johnson     25    1916 & 20 in 1919        Bio
Killian         23    1905          Bio
Phillippe     20    1905          Bio
Ruth           23    1916          Bio
Spalding     38    1872          Bio
Tannehill     20    1902          Bio
Weimer       20    1906
Willis          23    1906          Bio
Zettlein       29    1875

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Jeff Miller, Brookeville, MD

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 13-19, 2012 Cougar alumni who became All-Stars in the majors

Q.         Which Pittsburgh Pirates Cy Young Award winner has a son currently on a major league roster?
Hint:     He is a pitching coach in the Diamondbacks’ organization.
Twint:    In his thirteen year pitching career, he once led the league in wins and another season led in losses.
A.         Doug Drabek (CYA 1990; Kyle Drabek; 1990: 22-6, 19993:  9-18)
FCR -    Tim Hagerty, Portland, OR

Q.         Who came closest to Barry Larkin in the most recent Hall of Fame balloting?
Hint:     He famously refused to give T.K. the ball.
Hint:     He was the first Blue Jays pitcher to win 20 games in a season.
Twint:    His 21-6 record that year was only good for fifth in the Cy Young Award voting.
A.         Jack Morris (382 votes 66.7% to Larkin’s 495 and 86.4%; wouldn’t come out of G 7 of the 1991 WS, eventually resulting in his team’s victory; 21-6 in 1992)
FCR -    J. J. McCoy, Washington, DC

Q.         Who is the only Mariners pitcher to start a season 8-0?
Hint:     That eighth win was his hundredth career victory.
Twint:    In 2010 he re-joined the Dodger organization, this time as a minor league pitching instructor.
A.         Aaron Sele (8-0 in 2001; Dodger pitcher coach)
FCR -    Randall Chandler, Germantown, TN

Q.         Whom did Joe Nathan pass to become the Minnesota Twins career saves leader?
Hint:     He surrendered a devastating 10th-inning home run to Dave Henderson in Game Six of the 1986 World Series.
Hint:     For the next quarter hour, sales of “We Broke the Curse!” tee shirts soared.
Twint:    He was picked in the 37th round of the 1980 draft as a third baseman, but signed after being picked in the 3rd round of the 1983 draft as a pitcher.
A.         Rick Aguilera (passed by Nathan 10-Aug-2011; Hendu HR 25-Oct-1986)
FCR -    Brian Wood, Pacific Grove, CA

Q.         Who played the “corner” for eight years with the same three teammates?
Hint:     They were all at one time All-Stars.
Hint:     In another example of teammate solidarity, he shared one of baseball’s highest awards with not one, but two teammates.
Twint:    He is #5 on the Los Angeles Dodgers career home run list.
Twint:    His avian nickname belies his speed.
A.         Ron Cey (Dodger IF mate w- Bill Russell [SS], Davey Lopes [2B] & Steve Garvey [1B]; 1981 WS MVP w- Pedro Guerrero & Steve Yeager; “The Penguin”)
FCR -    Peter Mitchell, Mission Viejo, CA

Q.         Who holds the record for hits in his rookie season by an Angel? (This refers to the major league franchise—never mind the city designation.)
Hint:     He was only an All-Star as a rookie, in spite of fifteen more productive seasons in the bigs.
Twint:    His nickname reflected a fictional theme park.
A.         Wally Joyner (172 H in 1986, finishing a close second behind Jose Canseco in the ROY voting; “Wally World”, a parody of Disneyland in the movie Vacation)
FCR -    Jeff Bergida, Albany, NY

Q.         Which future Hall of Famer spurned over 100 college football scholarships to sign with the Expos as a shortstop?
Hint:     His first All-Star appearance came as a left fielder, replacing Pete Rose.
Hint:     After breaking his thumb in an outfield collision, his team moved him to what they thought would be a safer position behind the place.
Hint:     He is the only National Leaguer to appear in 2,000 games at catcher.
Hint:     He was the first Expos player to hit twenty home runs in four consecutive seasons.
Hint:     He was the first post-expansion catcher to throw out the same would-be base stealer thrice in a game.
Hint:     He was the catcher who stopped Davey Lopes’s consecutive bases stolen streak at 38.
Twint:    He hit an Opening Day, extra-inning, walk-off home run in his first day as a New York Met.
A.         Gary Carter who passed away this afternoon (ASG 15-Jul-1975; Fracture in 1976; 2,056 NL G @ C; 20 HR 1977-80; 3 CS Lenny Randle 15-Apr-1978; Lopes CS 24-Aug-1975; Mets HR 09‑Apr‑1985)
FCR -    Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, AR

Q.         Who was the first baseman in what Sports Illustrated dubbed “the greatest infield ever”?
Hint:     He might be the most boring player interview in the television era.
Twint:    Turns out Rickey Henderson knew about this guy’s metal head plate all along.
Twint:    He was Henderson’s teammate on three different teams in the majors.
A.         John Olerud (SI 06-Sep-1999 w/ Mets teammates Edgardo Alfonzo, Rey Ordonez & Robin Ventura)
FCR -    Russ Lake, Champaign, IL

Q.         Who was the first Mariner to hit a home run and steal home in the same game?
Hint:     He was once picked by a Chicago newspaper as the second-best-looking major leaguer, after Jim Palmer.
Twint:    His only World Series hit came as a pinch-hitter for Hall of Famer Don Sutton.
Twint:    His brother has the most career plate appearances among Major Leaguers with a perfect on-base percentage.
A.         Tom Paciorek (HR/SBH 05-Jul-1980, Chone Figgins also HR/SBH 28-Jul-2010; WS H 17‑Oct‑1974; brother John 3-3, 2 BB in his only MLB game 29-Sep-1963)
FCR -    Jeff Korell, Van Nuys, CA

Q.         Who won the Padres Chairman’s Award ten years after Tony Gwynn won the inaugural one?
Hint:     He is one of six pitchers to surrender an Opening Day home run to Barry Bonds.
Hint:     When he won the club’s Clyde McCullough Award, it ended a string of four seasons where Trevor Hoffman had been the honoree.
Hint:     Hoffman also won it the next two years.
Hint:     Like former teammate David Cone, he had an aneurysm in his pitching arm.
Twint:    After being repeatedly pounded in spring training, his manager opined, “Never in my life have I seen baseballs get that small that fast.”
A.         Woody Williams (Chairman’s Award; Bonds HR 02-Apr-2001; McCullough Award; Bruce Bochy quote from spring training 1999)
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamazoo

Q.         Who was the first Red Sox pitcher to allow 30 home runs in a season?
Hint:     He can boast of being the winning pitcher in the All-Star game.
Twint:    He is the only player to win a World Series ring and an NBA championship ring.
A.         Gene Conley (33 HR in 1961; W 1955 All-Star Game; 1957 WS, NBA Championships 1959-61)
FCR -    Randall Chandler, Germantown, TN

Q.         Who hit two home runs in Team USA’s gold medal-winning games against Cuba?
Hint:     He is a three-time winner of the Cool Papa Bell Award.
Twint:    He played high school, college and major league baseball in the same city.
A.         Michael Bourn (HR in 2006; The James "Cool Papa" Bell Legacy Award is given annually to the SB leaders in the NL & AL; Nimitz High School, University of Houston, Houston Astros)
FCR -    Jared Lobdell, Elizabethtown, PA

Q.         Who won division titles with both the Cubs and the White Sox in years when neither team went to the World Series?
Hint:     He was the 2001 Mountain West Conference Coach of the Year.
Twint:    He trails only Harmon Killebrew in career home runs by an Idaho native.
Twint:    Willie Stargell and Manny Sanguillen were teammates of both him and his father.
A.         Vance Law (1983 White Sox & 1989 Cubs, 71 HR to Killebrew’s 573, father Vern)
FCR -    Gary Sarnoff, Arlington, VA

Q.         Who is the only player to amass sixty career saves for the Cincinnati Reds before the save became an official statistic?
Hint:     He was the victim of identity theft later in life, and his death was erroneously reported in 2007, when the identity thief passed away.
Twint:    He and Jim Brosnan were the first teammates to both earn 15 (retroactively awarded) saves in the same season.
A.         Bill Henry (64 S 1960-65 [S official in 1969]; 15 S w/Brosnan in 1961)
FCR -    Fred Brillhart, Mechanicsburg, PA

WEEKLY THEME – Cougar alumni who became All-Stars in the majors.

Player           School                           All-Star years
Aguilera      Brigham Young       1991-93
Bourn*        Houston                  2010
Cey            Washington State    1974-79
Conley        Washington State    1954, 55, 59
Drabek       Houston                  1994
Henry          Houston                  1960
Joyner        Brigham Young       1986
Law            Brigham Young       1988
Morris         Brigham Young       1981, 84, 85, 87, 91
Olerud        Washington State    1993, 2001
Paciorek     Houston                  1981
Sele            Washington State    1998, 2000
Williams      Houston                  2003

*Bourn’s high school’s mascot was also the Cougars.  Aguilera and Williams come with the Lions and Bobcats respectively.

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

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