Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 19-25, 2012 Pitchers with 100 saves before the save became an official statistic in 1969

Q.         Who famously hit the only home run of his 21-year Hall of Fame career in his very first at-bat?
Hint:     He got his first career pitching win that day thanks, in part, to that home run.
Hint:     Some people claim that he hit his only career triple that day.  He did only have one, but it was the following season, the same year he hit two of his three career doubles.
Twint:    He set a record for rookies for most games played as a pitcher (since broken).
Twint:    Jackie Robinson’s retirement precipitated his first trade in the majors.
A.         Hoyt Wilhelm (HR/W 23-Apr-1952; 3b 04-Jun-1953, 2bs 04-May & 18-Jul, 3rd 2b 25‑Sep‑1966; 71 G in 1952; Robinson’s retirement necessitated a first-string first baseman so the Giants traded Wilhelm for former Giant)
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO

Q.         Whose record for pitching Games Finished in the National League did Kent Tekulve break?
Hint:     He was the first 20th century National League pitcher to earn ten victories in a season while suffering only one loss that year.
Hint:     His manager called him “Sam Spade”.
Twint:    He was the first Pirates pitcher to win the Sporting News Fireman of the Year Award.
A.         Roy Face (574 GF in NL, Tekulve ended with 638; FOY 1962)
FCR -    Frank Workman, Lake Forest Park, WA

Q.         What Dodgers pitcher led the majors in winning percentage in 1963?
Hint:     He was Tommy Lasorda’s pitching coach for fifteen years.
Twint:    He was the first pitcher to appear in fifty games in ten consecutive seasons.
A.         Ron Perranoski (16-3, .842; LAN coach 1981-94; 50+ G 1961-70)
FCR -    Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA

Q.         Who was the first 20th century pitcher to appear 100 consecutive games without suffering back-to-back losses?
Hint:     He acquired his nickname because of his size and facial resemblance to an Argentine boxer.
Hint:     He led his league in games six times, tying the record held by Joe McGinnity.
Twint:    He would have a World Series victory in his record by today’s reckoning of pitching wins.
Twint:    Even though he was in a serious automobile accident in which he lost his left arm, he continued to pitch in oldtimers’ games.
A.         Firpo Marberry (Luis Firpo; WS W in 1924 went instead to Tom Zachary)
FCR -    Fred Brillhart, Mechanicsburg, PA

Q.         What Detroit native attended Berkley High School, but was a basketball star at Michigan State?
Hint:     He surrendered a home run in fellow Polish-American Tony Kubek's final major league at-bat.
Hint:     He struck out Hall of Famers Willie Mays, Duke Snider and Willie McCovey and All-Stars Dick Groat and Julian Javier in two innings of work.
Twint:    Sportswriter Jim Murray wrote that "He brings one weapon—a fastball.  It's like saying all a country brings to a war is an atom bomb."
A.         Dick Radatz (Berkley HS, MI; Kubek HR 03-Oct-1965; Ks in 1963 All-Star Game)
FCR -    Mitchell Below, Oakland, CA

Q.         What former Ram was the General Manager of the “Miracle Mets”?
Hint:     In college, he once struck out sixteen and scored the game-winning run, the game’s only run, on a passed ball.
Hint:     In an exhibition game, he pitched a shutout against the House of David.
Hint:     He had ten complete games as a Yankee rookie, three more than he would total in the remainder off his thirteen-year major league career.
Twint:    He compiled a 1.10 ERA in eight World Series appearances.  Never lost a game.  Never lost a Series.
Twint:    Author Richard Tofel claimed that this player’s nickname came from 1935-37 Yankees teammate Pat Malone, who had tired of his incessant complaining about meals and accommodations.
A.         Johnny Murphy (Fordham University Rams; Fordham 1-0 over Columbia 23-Apr-1929; Nickname “Grandma”)
FCR -    Damian Begley, New York, NY

Q.         Whose pitches did a fellow All-Star pitcher call “…slow, slower and slowest”?
Hint:     A Hall of Fame opponent quipped, “I still don't see how [he] threw the ball that soft and got it to home plate.”
Hint:     He won an ERA title on a team in its first year in a new (and, one might fairly assume, grateful) city.
Twint:    He served up Mickey Mantle's 500th career home run.
A.         Stu Miller (First quote by Milt Pappas; 2nd quote Frank Robinson; ERA title 1958 w/SFG; Mantle HR 14‑May‑1967)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         Who was the last Yankee pitcher to hit a home run before the advent of the designated hitter?
Hint:     Although he played 21 seasons in the majors, including for the Cardinals, Giants, Cubs, Royals and Yankees, no team of his ever advanced to postseason play.
Hint:     He had a brother who also played in the majors and another brother who played minor league baseball.
Twint:    He once retired 32 consecutive batters over a four-game span.
A.         Lindy McDaniel (HR 28-Sep-1972 off Mickey Lolich; Brothers Von & Kerry Don; 32 straight retired 18-, 21-, 23- & 25‑Aug‑1968, finally snapped w/a pinch-hit double by Gates Brown)
FCR -    Roger Erickson, Kansas City, MO

Q.         What pitcher had an 18-year career in the Bigs with over 800 appearances but never once spent time on the disabled list?
Hint:     When he retired, the only people who had pitched in more games in the majors were Cy Young, Hoyt Wilhelm and Lindy McDaniel.
Hint:     After his playing days, he was pitching coach for the Giants, Twins and Indians, two of which he had played for.
Twint:    He held Hall of Famers Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Johnny Bench, Harmon Killebrew, Bill Mazeroski, Joe Morgan, Stan Musial, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Willie Stargell to a collective .149 batting average (28-for-188).
A.         Don McMahon (874 G)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         Who was the first pitcher to save thirty games in a season in the majors?
Hint:     This stalwart righty struck out 293 and won 20 games in his first professional season.
Hint:     Only Eddie Plank, Sandy Koufax and he finished their careers with final major league seasons of ERAs under 1.80.
Twint:    He was the first pitcher to appear in 84 games in a season.
A.         Ted Abernathy (20-13 for the 1952 Roanoke Rapids Jays of the Class D Coastal Plain League; 1.70 in 1972, Plank 1.79 in 1917, Koufax 1.73 in 1966; 84 G 1965)
FCR -    John Wilson, Mesa, AZ

Q.         Before Tim Wakefield did it in 2001, who was the last Red Sox pitcher to win a game as both a starter and reliever in the same series?
Hint:     Although he spent twelve years in the majors, he didn't make his debut until he was nearly 32 years old, earning him the nickname “Old Folks”.
Hint:     The only home run he hit in the majors was a grand slam off ace Billy Pierce.
Hint:     During one game at Fenway Park, a seagull flew over and dropped a three-pound smelt that landed on him while he was pitching for the Browns.
Twint:    He set the American League record for most consecutive games pitched, none complete, but at the time it was also the league record for most games pitched in a season.
A.         Ellis Kinder (Start/W; 18-Jul-1950, Relief/W: 20-Jul-1950; B. 26‑Jul‑1914, Debut 30‑Apr‑1946; GS off Pierce 06‑Aug‑1960, he also won that game; Smelt smack 17‑May‑1947, he won that game, beating Boston 4–2; 1953 69 straight G)
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO

Q.         Who was the first 20th century National Leaguer to toss shutouts in his first two starts?
Hint:     The baseball field on the campus of Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia is named in his honor.
Hint:     In one stretch, he pitched in seven of his team’s eight games, earning three wins, four saves and allowing no earned runs.
Twint:    He was the first pitcher to suffer a loss at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
A.         Al Worthington (ShOs:  06-Jul & 11-Jul-1953; Worthington Stadium; Excellent stretch:  18‑ through 31-Jul-1965; LA L 18-Apr-1958)
FCR -    Bob Wilber, Spokane, WA

Q.         Who surrendered Willie McCovey's first major league home run?
Hint:     He had a ritual of touching his hat, belt and shirt before every pitch.
Twint:    After his first year in the majors, his pitching record was 0-7.
A.         Ron Kline (McCovey HR 02-Aug-1959; Debut year 1952)
FCR -    Randall Chandler, Germantown, TN

Q.         Who was the first player ever to pitch in eighty major league games in a season, along the way breaking the record set in 1879?
Hint:     When the Twins hit five home runs in a single inning, he surrendered that odious fifth one.
Hint:     Not entirely his fault.  He had nothing to do with the first four.
Hint:     Two batters and two hits later, he finally got the out he was sent in to secure.
Twint:    No other pitcher has ever given up at twenty home runs in a season while making three starts or fewer.
Twint:    He missed by one year being a teammate of Hank Aaron’s on the Indianapolis Clowns.
A.         John Wyatt (81 G in 1964, record of 76 set by Will White in 1879, tied in 1883 by Pud Galvin and Charles Radbourn; 5th HR by 09-Jun-1966; 23 HR in 1965, 0 starts; On the Clowns 1953-55, Aaron in 1952 )
FCR -    Steven Elsberry, Windsor Heights, IA

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers with 100 saves before the save became an official statistic in 1969.  These saves were not recorded earlier, but were retroactively figured in the 1960s.

Abernathy         103
Face                 188
Kinder               102
Kline                 103
Marberry           101
McDaniel          122
McMahon          106
Miller                154
Murphy             107
Perranoski        107
Radatz              119
Wilhelm             196
Worthington      107
Wyatt                103

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

November 12-18, 2012 Ten stolen bases and fifty home runs in the same season


Q.         Who claimed to have had a better year than the president?

Hint:     The amount of his salary demands one year were only because he thought $1,000 per week sounded pretty cool.

Twint:    He broke the single-season home run record four times.

A.         Babe Ruth (Quote attributed to Ruth following the 1929 season.  U.S. presidents made $75,000 per year between 1909 and 1948.  Ruth went from $70,000 in 1929 to $80,000 in 1930; From 1922 to 1926, the Yankees paid Ruth $52,000 per season; HR record 1919 w/29, 1920 w/54, 1921 w/59 & 1927 w/60)

FCR -    Bob Dorrill, Kingwood, TX



Q.         Whose .365 is the highest season batting average ever by a switch-hitter?

Hint:     He never accumulated 200 hits in a season.

Hint:     He was the first American League batter to lead the league in home runs and triples in the same season.

Twint:    He drove a car with Oklahoma license plate number “77-7777”.

A.         Mickey Mantle (.365 in 1957; Career high in H 188 in 1956; HR/3b 1955, Tied w/teammate Andy Carey for 3b lead)

FCR -    Bob Kimball, Washington, DC



Q.         Whose baseball team has paid him no less than $20 million per season for the past twelve consecutive seasons?

Hint:     He played for the U.S. in the 1992 World Junior Championship, where he led the team with 16 RBI, scored 15 runs, hit .264 and slugged .509 as the team won Silver.

Twint:    A player he was once traded for made the assist in the final out of Matt Cain’s perfect game.

A.         Alex Rodriguez (traded for Joaquin Arias [PTBNL in the Alfonso Soriano trade] 23-Apr-2004)

FCR -    Derek Norin, Arlington, VA



Q.         What’s rookie’s arrival in the majors was so highly anticipated that a wire service photo of him making his way from Sioux City, Iowa was distributed to the national press?

Hint:     He was a basketball and football star in high school.  The skyhook was his signature move on the court and he could kick and throw for over fifty yards on the gridiron.

Hint:     His first major league hit, a home run, was hit off a future Hall of Famer.

Twint:    He was the first player to receive over 400 votes for the Hall of Fame in his first year of eligibility.

A.         Willie Mays (1st HR vs. Warren Spahn on 28-May-1951; 409 HOF votes [94.7%] in 1979)

FCR -    Arieh Siegal, Austin, TX



Q.         Who is the only* player to win MVP awards in consecutive seasons for teams in different divisions?

Hint:     Although he was only 6th in Rookie of the Year voting, two other Rookie of the Year Award winners were born in the same city he was, a city of fewer than 200,000 souls.

Hint:     He later more than compensated for an only very good debut.

Hint:     A hint of his future stardom was when he was named the Carolina League Player of the Month.

Twint:    He chose to attend college after high school because the Giants signing offer was under the dollar goal he had set for himself.

A.         Barry Bonds (MVP 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates, NL East, 1993 SF Giants NL West; ROY Ken Hubbs 1962, Alvin Davis 1984, Riverside, CA; Attended Arizona State University & graduated in 1986 w/a degree in criminology; CLPOM 1985, playing for ;  Giants offered & $70K, he wanted $75K.)

FCR -    David Krassin, New York, NY

*Bill Deane points out that when considering the question alone, Frank Thomas also qualifies because the White Sox moved from the AL West to AL Central between those years.



Q.         Whose rookie card helped launch the Upper Deck company?

Hint:     He hit the last home run in the Kingdome, ensuring his place in history by robbing Juan Gonzalez of a home run later in the same game.

Hint:     His ten-year run of Gold Glove Awards ended when he switched leagues.

Twint:    He broke his wrist while making a highlight-reel catch on Kevin Bass’s line drive, severely abridging his season.

Twint:    His dad spent one season as a Rockies coach.

A.         Ken Griffey, Jr. (1989 card; last Kingdome HR 27-Jun-1999; AL OF GG 1990-99; Bass catch 26-May-1995; Ken Sr. COL CO in 1996)

FCR -    David de la Fuente, San Francisco, CA



Q.         Who was the only American League player with at least 10 doubles, triples, home runs and stolen bases in 1990?

Hint:     He was once ejected and suspended for using a corked bat.

Hint:     After a thorough investigation by MLB it was found to be the only one of his 77 bats to have been altered.

Hint:     The Rangers gave him a $3,500 signing bonus even though their Dominican scout’s report described him as “malnourished”.

Hint:     He hit his first career home run off of Roger Clemens, and the two retired within two weeks of each other 18 years later.

Hint:     It was the only home run he would hit against The Rocket.

Twint:    Friends and close family call him Mikey.

Twint:    He twice led the league in home runs, both times hitting more than 15 fewer homers than his top single-season total.

A.         Sammy Sosa (26 2B, 10 3B, 15 HR, 32 SB in 1990; corked ejection 03-Jun-2003; 1st HR 21-Jun-1989, last game 29-Sep-2007, Clemens’ last regular-season game 16-Sep-2007, last ML game [ALDS] 07-Oct-2007; NL HR ldr 2000 [50] & 2002 [49], top HR year 66 in 1998)

FCR -    Alan Work, White Plains, NY



Q.         Who is the only player to lead off four consecutive games with home runs?

Hint:     He set the American League record for most consecutive successful stolen base attempts only to see Tim Raines break the record later that season.

Hint:     He hit an All-Star double off of a pitcher he had previously been traded with.

Hint:     Baseball America listed him as the top prospect in the AL East in 1988.

Hint:     His 1993 season was shortened by chicken pox.

Twint:    Only Cal Ripken Jr. appeared more often in the Orioles lineup during Ripken’s record-setting consecutive games streak.

Twint:    He became known for his “Luke Perry” sideburns.

A.         Brady Anderson (leadoff HR 18- 19- 20- and 21-Apr-1996; 36 consecutive SB in 1995; 1997 AS 2B vs. Curt Schilling [traded w-Anderson for Mike Boddicker on 29-Jul-1988; 1330 G during Ripken’s streak)

FCR -    Damian Begley, New York, NY



Q.         Who was the first player to have 100 RBI in a season in which he played in both leagues?

Hint:     That same year, he became the first player to hit forty home runs in a season while playing for two teams.

Hint:     Two seasons down the road, he was named Comeback Player of the Year.

Twint:    His cousin won a no-quite-fully-deserved American League Most Valuable Player Award.

A.         Greg Vaughn (HR, RBI 1996; COPY 1998; Cousin Mo Vaughn, ALMVP 1995 when most baseball historians now agree it should have gone to Albert Belle)

FCR -    Michael Daponde, Sacramento, CA



WEEKLY THEME – Ten stolen bases and fifty home runs in the same season


Player         HR     SB     Year

Anderson    50      21      1996

Bonds        73      13      2001

Griffey        56      20      1998

                 56      15      1997

Mantle        54      12      1961

                 52      10      1956

Mays          51      24      1955

Rodriguez   54      24      2007

                 52      18      2001

Ruth           59      17      1921

                 54      14      1920

Sosa          66      18      1998

Vaughn       50      11      1998


First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one


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Sunday, November 11, 2012

November 5-11, 2012 Players credited with inventing or designing baseball-related products

This week’s theme and questions are from reader Barry Sparks of York, PA.

Q.         Who was the first Yankee to homer in his first World Series at-bat?
Hint:     He roomed with Ernie Banks in the Negro Leagues.
Hint:     He was named to six All-Star teams in six years.
Twint:    He was the first black to model clothes for the men’s fashion magazine GQ.
A.         Elston Howard (WS HR 1 28-Sep-1955; ASGs 1960 to 1962; GQ appearance following his 1963 MVP)
First Correct Respondent - Christopher Bell, New York

Q.         Who authored the book that ranks third on Sports Illustrated’s” Top 100 Sports Books of All Time”?
Hint:     He shares a nickname with Orel Hershiser.
Hint:     He pitched in his only All-Star Game in 1963.  He had one perfect inning.
Hint:     He was once traded for Roric Harrison and Dooley Womack.
Hint:     Yes, THE Dooley Womack!
Twint:    He helped form the Vintage Base Ball Federation.
A.         Jim Bouton (SI 100; “Bulldog”; ’63 ASG 6th inning; Harrison/Womack  trade 24-Aug-1969, Bouton mocked his own baseball status by highlighting how unknown his former teammate Womack was; VBBF).
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO

Q.         Who came up to the majors as a pitcher, played 281 games in the outfield, but was elected to the Hall of Fame as a catcher?
Hint:     Told his friends he was born in Ireland, but he was actually born in Toledo, Ohio.
Hint:     Played all positions but designated hitter during a seventeen-year career.
Twint:    He was the catcher in four World Series shutout games.
A.         Roger Bresnahan (4 Sho in 1905 WS; HOF 1945)
FCR -    Mike McCroskey, Sugar Land, TX

Q.         Who compiled a 35-game hit streak as a 22-year-old in his second major league season?
Hint:     He went 5-for-5 in his major league debut.
Hint:     He is still seventh on the all-time triples list.
Twint:    He is still seventeenth on the managerial wins list.
Twint:    He was elected to the Hall of Fame as a player/manager.
A.         Fred Clarke (Streak 1895; Debut 30-Jun-1894; 220 3Bs; 1,602 Mgr W; 1945 HOF)
FCR -    Art Springsteen, Sunapee, NH

Q.         Who was the first St. Louis Cardinals pitcher to lead the league twice in ERA?
Hint:     He lost 20 games in a season and three years later won 20 games.
Hint:     He’s behind only Bob Gibson for most career shutouts by Cardinal pitcher.
Twint:    He was one of seventeen spitballers allowed to use the pitch after it was banned in 1920.
A.         Bill Doak (1914 and 1921; 1917 and 1920; StL ShO: Gibson 56, Doak 30)
FCR -    J.R. Richardson, Clarksville, MD

Q.         Who is the son in the only father/son tandem in the Hall of Fame?
Hint:     One of his last actions as American League President was to overrule the umpire’s decision and restore George Brett’s “pine tar” home run.
Hint:     He is credited with ending the 1981 baseball strike.
Hint:     He had a 40-year career in baseball including being the Yankees’ farm system director in the 1940s.
Hint:     His son has served as a major league executive for more than 25 years.
Hint:     He becames the oldest living Hall of Famer upon Phil Rizzuto passing in 2007.
Twint:    As eight years as the general manager of the Yankees, the team never made the postseason.
Twint:    The ALCS MVP Award is named for him.
A.         Lee McPhail (who passed away Thursday:
FCR -    Harvey Judkowitz, Miami, FL

Q.         Who was the first major leaguer to play a complete season without an error?
Hint:     Had a 21-game hitting streak in his first full season.
Hint:     On Ford Frick’s recommendation, he was accepted as the baseball coach at Florida State University, where he led the Seminoles to three College World Series appearances.
Hint:     He followed up on 189 wins at FSU by coaching the Michigan State University baseball team to more career wins that anyone else ever had.
Twint:    During World War II, he applied seven times to enter the service before being accepted for “limited service”.
Twint:    Once in the service, he recruited eighteen-year-old trumpeter Carl Severnson to entertain the troops at Ft. Lewis.  (The trumpeter was later known as “Doc”.)
A.         Danny Litwhiler (Errorless year 1942 w/ the streak extending to 187 consecutive games in the outfield; Hitting streak 1940; FSU 1955-63; 488 W @ MSU
FCR -    John Gottko, Corvallis, OR

Q.         Who surrendered Pete Rose’s 3,631st hit, the one that broke Stan Musial’s hit record?
Hint:     He was once traded with a now popular announcer for The Mad Hungarian.
Hint:     He was voted #83 on Kansas City Royals Top 100 list.
Twint:    He shares a nickname with a Hall of Famer.
A.         Mark Littell (Record H 10-Aug-1981; Traded with Buck Martinez for Al Hrabosky; “Country” [Enos Slaughter])
FCR -    Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA

WEEKLY THEME – Players credited with inventing or designing baseball-related products.

Bouton                  Big League Chew (bubble gum).  Amurol Products introduced Big League Chew in 1980.  Big League Chew generated $18 million in wholesale sales in the first 12 months.  Bio
Bresnahan             Introduced catcher’s shin guards in 1907.  Bio
Clarke                   Had patent for flip-down sunglassesBio
Doak                     Fielder’s glove with webbing between thumb and figure.  The Premier Players Glove (often referred to as the Doak model) was introduced in 1920. Bio
Howard                 Batting donut ring.  Invented in the early 1960s; originally called the Elston Howard on-deck batting weight. Bio
Littell                     Nutty Buddy (virtually indestructible protective athletic cup). Bio
Litwhiler                 JUGS speed gun and Diamond Grit (used to absorb water on the field; originally called Danny Dust.  Litwhiler didn’t stop there.  Here are some of his other contributions:

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Dick Adams, Ellicott City, MD 

Horsehide Trivia blog has the questions and answers from this week as well as from previous weeks: