Sunday, May 19, 2013

May 13-19, 2013 Lefty catchers with 25 home runs in a season

Q.         Who is the only player in major league history to lead his league in games played at catcher for eight consecutive seasons?
Hint:     Bill James lists him as the greatest catcher of all time.
Twint:    Although he’s from The Hill, he never pitched.
A.         Yogi Berra (1950-57; James calculates Berra’s standing with Win Shares; The Hill is the neighborhood in St. Louis where Berra grew up.)
FCR -    Bob Newton, Bethesda, MD

Q.         Which Hall of Fame catcher never led the league in an offensive category, but led eleven times in defensive categories?
Hint:     He caught 100 games for thirteen straight seasons.
Hint:     Two Hall of Fame shortstops played on his U.S. Navy team during World War II.
Twint:    Berra refers to him with great respect as his mentor.
A.         Bill Dickey (Pee Wee Reese, Phil Rizzuto)
FCR -    John Choynowski, Rising Sun, MD

Q.         Of whom did Hall of Famer Carl Hubbell say, “He brings a quarterback’s mind to catching.  He’s an intellectual behind the plate.”?
Hint:     During his junior year in college he was third among the Big Ten Conference quarterbacks in passing.
Hint:     When he signed with a major league team, he sent part of his signing bonus back to his university as partial payment for not playing his senior year.
Hint:     After Jackie Robinson nullified his trade from the Dodgers to the Giants, he was involved in the next players traded between the two teams.
Twint:    His brother umpired games he played in, both in the minors and majors.
A.         Tom Haller (Trade to L.A. 13-Feb-1968; QB in 1957 @ Illinois; Brother Bill)
FCR -    Paul Hirsch, Danville, CA

Q.         What former Giant has a .300 postseason batting average and won a World Series title with his third team?
Hint:     In a 2011 poll, he was voted the Most Hated Man in baseball by his major league peers.
Hint:     He is the only major league player ever traded for Boof Bonser.
Twint:    In a famous brawl, he was the recipient of a punch to the face from Cubs catcher Michael Barrett following a collision at home.
A.         A.J. Pierzynski (WS win 2005; Poll in Men’s Journal magazine; Trade 14-Nov-2003, sending Bonser, Francisco Lirano & Joe Nathan to Minnesota from San Francisco; Barrett fight 20-May-2006)
FCR -    Jay Berman, Manhattan Beach, CA

Q.         Who returned to local politics in Knoxville, Tennessee after his playing day, turning down multiple major league coaching offers in the process?
Hint:     The commissioner kicked him off the 1957 All-Star team.
Twint:    He cheerfully gave me his autograph in his own home in 1999.
A.         Ed Bailey (Was an aide to U S Representative John J Duncan, Sr. for 12 years, served on the Knoxville City Council from 1983 to 1995; 1956 Reds’ fans stuffed the AS ballot box and the commissioner invalidated some of the totals; I happened to be in Knoxville and he graciously answered the phone and invited me over!)
FCR -    Alex Holzman, Philadelphia, PA

Q.         Who was the first regular-season designated hitter in Phillies history?
Hint:     He was injured in a car accident on the way home from John Kruk's bachelor party.
Twint:    He served as bullpen coach for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
A.         Darren Daulton (16-Jun-1997; Bullpen coach 2001)
FCR -    Doug Pepper, Tulsa, OK

Q.         Who was the first player not named Carlton Fisk or Lance Parrish to win the American League Silver Slugger Award as a catcher?
Hint:     His first game in the majors was for the Giants, but he became a starter with the Tigers.
Hint:     One season he had four multi-home run days at Yankee Stadium.
Twint:    He caught one of the most famous no-hitters in Yankee history.
A.         Matt Nokes (SS 1987; Debut 03‑Sep‑1985; HRs 1991 18‑Jul27‑Jul, 01‑Aug & 30‑Aug; No-no by Jim Abbot 04‑Sep‑1993)
FCR -    Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA

Q.         Who was the last catcher to lead the Chicago Cubs in doubles for a season?
Hint:     In his major league debut, he threw out the only two baserunners who attempted to steal, Tony Fernandez and Tony Gwynn.
Hint:     This former Paladin owns and operates an eponymous baseball academy in his hometown.
Twint:    He is not the Canadian composer, conductor, and tenor saxophonist who created the music for the 2008 Angelina Jolie movie Changling.
A.         Rick Wilkins (25 2b for the 1994 Cubs; Debut 06‑Jun‑1991; Rick Wilkins Academy of Baseball, Jacksonville, FL)
FCR -    Andy McCue, Riverside, CA

WEEKLY THEME – Left-handed-batting catchers with 25 home runs in a season.  [Much thanks to David Vincent for verification of the data.]

Catcher       Year     HRs
Bailey         1956     26
Berra          1950     28
                  1951     27
                  1952     30
                  1953     26
                  1955     26
                  1956     30
Daulton       1992     27
Dickey        1937     29
                  1938     27
Haller          1966     26
Nokes         1987     28
Pierzynski   2012     26
Wilkins        1993     28

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

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

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