Sunday, March 30, 2014

March 24-30, 2014 Hall of Fame players with 135 games in their final seasons

Q.         Who did actor Thomas Jane play in a 2001 HBO movie?
Hint:     He got his start in professional baseball with a Class D team in Independence, Kansas.
Hint      With no false modesty, he once said, "I guess I'm what this country is all about."
Twint:    Hint: Bob Costas and Billy Crystal are two of his most famous fans.
A.         Mickey Mantle ("61*"; 1949 Independence Yankees)
FCR -    Randall Chandler, Germantown, TN
Incorrect answers:  Roger Maris, Ty Cobb, Satchell Paige

Q.         Who made his major league debut one week after graduating from high school?
Hint:     He was the youngest player to hit three home runs in a game.
Hint:     He said, "I wasn't meant to be a superstar.  I'm not Mickey Mantle or Willie Mays."
Twint:    He unsuccessfully tried to convince his manager that he didn't deserve to start in a World Series.
Answer: Al Kaline (Debut 25‑Jun‑1953; 3 HR 17‑Apr‑1955 off Johnny Gray, Bob Spicer and Bob Trice at age 20; Manager Mayo Smith in 1968 WS)
FCR -    John Romps, Bedford, NH
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Mathews, Robin Yount, Duke Snider, Harmon Killebrew, Mel Ott, Ed Kranepool, Tony Conigliaro, Bobby Bonds, Andruw Jones, Bo Jackson, Brooks Robinson, Mike Schmidt, Ken Griffey, Jr.

Q.         Who, behind Koufax and Gehrig, was the third-youngest player elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame?
Hint:     He was the first player to go homerless in a season with 500 or more at bats and two years later hit 30 or more homers.
Hint:     Of him, Frank Thomas said, "He never had a bad day."
Twint:    He was the first player to earn $3 million a year (and it was less that he could have made).
A.         Kirby Puckett (Koufax 36, Gehrig 36; Puckett 40; 0 homers in 557 at bats in 1984 then 31 homers in 1986; $ contract following the 1989 season when he stayed with Minnesota when he would likely have earned more elsewhere.  He crossed the $3 MM threshold in 1991 @$3,166,667)
FCR -    Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, MO
Incorrect answers:  Roberto Clemente [Oops!  Clemente WAS the third youngest.  Please edit the question appropriately in your mind.], Roberto Alomar, Tony Oliva, Roy Campanella, Rod Carew, Robin Yount, Mel Ott, Babe Ruth, Luis Aparicio, Thurman Munson

Q.         Who was the first leadoff hitter to lead the league in walks and batting average in the same season?
Hint:     He recorded 500 or more putouts in the outfield on four occasions.
Hint:     Leo Durocher said, "He's the fastest man I've ever seen running down to first base."
Twint:    He had more hits than did any other player in the 1950s.
A.         Richie Ashburn (97 walks and .350 average in 1958; PO 1949 [514], 1951 [538], 1956 [503], 1957 [502]; 1,875 H 1950-59)
FCR -    Howard Johnson, Norman, OK
Incorrect answers:  Curt Flood, Pete Rose, Maury Wills, Lou Brock, Rickey Henderson, Jackie Robinson, Kirby Puckett, Pete Reiser, Don Mueller

Q.         Who was picked off of first base by a rookie pitcher right after getting his 3,000th hit?
Hint:     He had an eleven-year gap between the first and second times he hit for the cycle.
Twint:    He once won a batting title on the last day of the season.
Twint:    He is the only player to win batting titles in three different decades.
A.         George Brett (Picked off by Tim Fortugno 30‑Sep‑1992; Hit for the cycle 28‑May‑1979 and 25‑Jul‑1990; 1976, Brett .333, Hal McRae .332, Rod Carew .331; .333 in 1976, .390 in 1980, and .329 in 1990)
FCR -    Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, RI
Incorrect answers:  Craig Biggio, Rickey Henderson, Rod Carew, Wade Boggs, Chipper Jones, Tony Gwynn, Carl Yastrzemski, Willie Mays, Robin Yount

Q.         Who hit 25 home runs the season after he came out of retirement?
Hint:     His record so far is 20-22.
Twint:    During his career, he had a season with fifty stolen bases and another with forty home runs.
Twint:    He was the fourth Chicago Cub to have his number retired.
A.         Ryne Sandberg (Retired after 1994 season, returned in 1996 w/25 HR and 12 the next year before retiring for good; 54 SB in 1985, Record as manager of the Phillies in 2013; 40 HRs in 1990; Banks [14], Williams [26], Santo [10], Sandberg [23].
FCR -    Mel Williams, Elkhart, IN
Incorrect answers:  Sammy Sosa, Rick Ankiel, Manny Ramirez, Jackie Jensen

Q.         Who is the only MLB player with 100 pitching victories and 2,000 base hits?
Hint:     His name was recorded only as "Wood" in his first major league game.
Hint:     His first name was incorrectly listed as "James" on his burial certificate.
Hint:     He was the first second baseman to record twelve assists in a game.
Twint:    He was the second pitcher in major league history to toss a perfect game.
Twint:    He received a law degree from Columbia University and had a successful legal practice after his baseball career.
A.         Monte Ward (164 W & 2,104 H; Debut 15‑Jul‑1878; Perfecto 17‑Jun‑1880; 12 A 12‑Jun‑1892)
FCR -    Josh Sullivan, Tomball, TX
Incorrect answers:  Smokey Joe Wood, Lefty O’Doul, Kid Gleason, Babe Ruth, Wilbur Wood

Q.         Who played in 1,103 consecutive games?
Hint:     His bat is on display at the Hall of Fame Museum.
Hint:     Babe Ruth said, "That man was a master of the bat."
Twint:    In his 8,333 major league plate appearances, he struck out two times in a game only twice.
Twint:    Two times was the most he ever struck out in a game.
Twint:    Only in four of his fourteen seasons did he even accumulate double digits in strikeouts.
A.         Joe Sewell (Streak began 13‑Sep‑1922 & ended 30‑Apr‑1930, 7th all-time; Bat "Black Betsy" on display at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum in Birmingham; 2 Ks 13‑May‑1923 & 26‑May‑1930; 10+K 1921-24, his first 4 full seasons)
FCR -    Erik Watkins, Grimes, IA
Incorrect answers:  Everett Scott, Joe Jackson, Wee Willie Keeler, Ty Cobb, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Musial, Billy Williams, Deacon White, George Sisler, Lou Gehrig

Q.         Who holds the record for career inside-the-park home runs?
Hint:     Ty Cobb broke his record for hits in a season.
Hint:     Although his Hall of Fame plaque says he hit over .400 three times, later research wiped out one of the .400 seasons.
Twint:    Although he made his major league debut as a pitcher, he collected 2,850 hits in his career.
A.         Jesse Burkett (55 IPHR; Cobb's 248 hits in 1911 broke Burkett record of 240 in 1896; his 1899 batting average was adjusted to .396; Debut 22‑Apr‑1890)
FCR -    Andrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA
Incorrect answers:  Honus Wagner, Ty Cobb, George Sisler, Rogers Hornsby, Harry Heilmann, Tris Speaker, Nap Lajoie, Hughie Jennings, Ed Delahanty

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Fame players with 135 games in their final seasons

Player       Games     Team
Ashburn      135       1962 NYM
Brett           145       1993 KCR
Burkett        148       1905 BOS
Kaline         147       1974 DET
Mantle        144       1968 NYY
Puckett       137       1995 MIN
Sandberg    135       1997 CHC
Sewell         135       1933 NYY
Ward          138       1894 NYG

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Paul Moehrigner, Flanders, NJ (after the Wed. Q.)

Incorrect theme guesses:

               -  Hall of Famers who spent whole career with one team
               -  Youngest all-stars by position
               -  HOFers who played for one team their entire career.

               -  Team career home run leaders who only played for one team

We archive our questions here:

Sunday, March 23, 2014

March 17-23, 2014 Walk-off home runs surrendered by Hall of Famer pitcher Dennis Eckersley, who coined the term

Q.        Which player made the Hall of Fame with the lowest percentage of votes awarded any first-ballot electee?
Hint:     He won an MVP playing shortstop and another playing centerfield for the same team nine years later—the only player to win the award playing positions so diverse.
Hint:     He and George Brett, often linked together, played their final game 03‑Oct‑1993.
Twint:  His brother is the only major league player to appear in a game without ever actually appearing in a game.
A.         Robin Yount (77.46% was 0.04% lower than Jackie Robinson’s 77.50%; MVP 1982 SS, 1989 CF; older brother Larry Yount officially announced as the pitcher was hurt while warming up, pulled and only “officially” appeared because he had been announced though he never threw a pitch)
FCR -  Alex Griffel, Great Neck, NY
Incorrect answers:  Paul Molitor

Q.        Who is the only player first to lose two World Series with the Indians and then win two World Series with the Red Sox?
Hint:     He the major league career postseason home run record holder.
Hint:     He is also in the career postseason top ten list for games played, at-bats, plate appearances, runs scored, hits, total bases, doubles, runs-batter-in, singles and bases-on-balls.
Hint:     He finished second to Bob Hamelin for American League Rookie of the Year without getting a single first place vote.
Twint:  He once planted a flag by the Green Monster while receiving a standing ovation for becoming an American citizen.
A.         Manny Ramirez (CLE WS 1995, 1997, BOS 2004, 2007; Postseason offensive leaders list; 1994 ROY vote; 11‑May‑2004 standing ovation at Fenway)
FCR -  Tim McCarthy, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers:  David Ortiz

Q.        Who replaced Donnie Baseball?
Hint:     That same year he won the first of his four rings in five World Series trips.
Hint:     He finished second for AL MVP to former teammate Ken Griffey, Jr.
Twint:  He was the Mariners only first-round draft pick in the 1988 June amateur draft.
Twint:  He comes from tobacco, not from Tobacco Road.
A.         Tino Martinez (1996 1B after Mattingly retired following the 1995 season; WS 1996, 98, 99 & 2000, losing only in 2001; 1997 MVP vote; 14th pick; His family are multi-generation cigar makers.)
FCR -  David Krassin, New York, NY
Incorrect answer:  Paul O’Neill

Q.        Whose career home run total trails only those of Jeff Bagwell and Richie Hebner among Massachusetts natives?
Hint:     He is one of only two Royals to lead the American League in strike outs.
Hint:     The other one is Bo Jackson.
Hint:     He hit a single right after the famous 1985 World Series Denkinger safe call at first base.
Twint:  He was only the second player in major league history to strike out in nine consecutive plate appearances.  (position player)
Twint:  With a middling total of 181 career round-trippers, his nickname nevertheless mirrors a home run call.
A.         Steve Balboni (Bagwell 449 HR, Hebner 203 HR, Balboni 181 HR; 1985, 166K; G 6 1985 WS, Jorge Orta mistakenly called safe to lead off the 9th inn.; 9 Straight Ks 20-, 21- & 22‑Aug‑1984; Nicknamed "Bye Bye")
FCR -  David Krassin, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Hal McCrae, Amos Otis, George Brett, Carlos Pena, Lonnie Smith, Dan Iorg

Q.        Who was the first visiting player to score a run at Mile High Stadium?
Hint:     He played for the Rockies the very next year.
Hint:     He tore cartilage in his knee while shoveling snow just after signing a contract with the Reds.
Hint:     He never played another game in the majors.
Twint:  After retiring from the majors, he became a scout for the Padres.
Twint:  He holds MLB record for most pinch hits in a season.
A.         John Vander Wal (1st R 09‑Apr‑1993; Reds contract SDP scouts; 28 pinch hits, 1995)
FCR -  Matt Dicker, Arlington VA
Incorrect answers:  Dwight Gooden, Dante Bichette, Walt Weis, Eric Young

Q.        What long-time former White Sox player was their hitting coach during their 2005 World Series winning year?
Hint:     He is currently the Braves batting coach.
Hint:     In 1985 he led the majors with 163 games played even though his team's won/loss record that year was 85-77.
Twint:  A native of Douglas, GA, he had four years of Coffee before having his first "cup of coffee" in 1982.
A.         Greg Walker (CWS Hitting coach 2003-2011; Braves 2012-current; There was a 4-4 tie vs BOS 31-Jul-1985 which MLB doesn't count in the standings but does count for stats; attended Coffee High School, Douglas, GA)
FCR -  Mark Linneman, Sacramento, CA
Incorrect answers:  Harold Baines, Tony Fernandez, Alex Rios, Ron Kittle, Scott Fletcher, Ron Karkovice

Q.        Who is the only player with 100 career pinch hints to hit a home run in his first World Series at-bat?
Hint:     He was hitting .319 when his league folded in 1990.
Twint:  He hit an impressive .452 in July 1983.
Twint:  He only went to the postseason once in his eighteen-year, seven-team major league career, but earned a World Series ring for his efforts.
A.         Jim Dwyer (1983 WS G1, 1b, 1 out, 103 PH;  Hit .319 for the 1990 Sun City Rays of the Senior Professional Baseball Association.)
FCR -  Michael Berry, Culver City, CA
Incorrect answers:  Manny Mota, Gates Brown, Rusty Staub, Matt Stairs, Cliff Johnson, Pete LaCock, Amos Otis, Chuck Essigian, Jose Offerman, Julio Franco

Q.        Who was the first Detroit Tigers player to join the 20/20 club?
Hint:     He was among those declared no-risk free agents as a result of the Players' Association collusion suit against the owners.
Twint:  "I don’t believe what I just saw!"
Twint:  His career highlight moment has been voted the greatest moment in Los Angeles sports history.
A.         Kirk Gibson (1984 27 HR/27 SB; Collusion case 1985; Walk-off home run G 1 1988 WS, Jack Buck with the famous radio call.)
FCR -  David Krassin, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Gates Brown, Ron LeFlore, Tony Phillips, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammel, Bobby Higginson, Harvey Kuenn, Chet Lemon, Curtis Granderson. Lee Lacy

WEEKLY THEME – Walk-off home runs surrendered by Hall of Famer pitcher Dennis Eckersley, who coined the term “Walk-Off Home Run”

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Paul Moehrigner, Flanders, NJ (after the Wed Q.)

Batter           Date                Inning
Balboni         29‑Jul‑1988     10th
Dwyer          06‑Sep‑1987   9th
Gibson          15‑Oct‑1988    9th
Martinez       24‑Sep‑1995   9th *
Ramirez       16‑Jul‑1995     12th
Walker          01‑Jul‑1987     10th
Yount            03‑Sep‑1991   9th

*I was there!  This was the only game I ever attended live in the Kingdome.  Indoor firework immediately ensued.

Incorrect theme guesses:

               -  Players who never played in the minors
               -  Career grand slam leaders
               -  First-round draft picks
               -  Players with an American League home run titles
               -  Silver Slugger winners who went to high schools named after presidents

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

Sunday, March 16, 2014

March 10-16, 2014 Forty-Niners

Q.         What former college quarterback announced his retirement on 15‑Sep‑2013 after seventeen seasons with the Colorado Rockies?
Hint:     His career saw him barely losing the Rookie of the Year Award to Kerry Wood.
Hint:     Not to mention five All-Star selections, three Gold Gloves, four Silver Sluggers and six seasons where he received MVP votes.
Twint:    Only he Jimmie Foxx and Lou Gehrig had 400 total bases in consecutive seasons.
A.         Todd Helton (Retirement; 402 TB in 2000, 405 in 2001, Foxx w/438 in 1932 & 403 in 1933 Gehrig w/419 in 1930 & 410 in 1931)
FCR -    William Dickerson III, Atlanta, GA
Incorrect answers:  Nary a one

Q.         Who is the Colorado Rockies' career leader in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OBP, Adjusted OPS+, Offensive Win percentage, times hit by pitch and power‑speed #?
Hint:     He is also the all-time leader in games, at bats, hits, doubles, home runs, RBI runs, stolen bases and bases-on-balls by a player born in Canada.  All-time.
Hint:     He once collected an extra-base hit in six consecutive plate appearances.
Twint:    He threw out five pitchers at first base on one-hop liners to right when he was in the minors.
Twint:    NHL Hall of Famer Cam Neely was his teammate when they played youth hockey.
A.         Larry Walker (6 EBH
EBH    Inn.
2b       5th
3b       6th
HR      7th

2b       1st
3b       4th
3b       5th

*HR in the 1st, but lined out in the 3rd.)

FCR -    Pete Weston, Monument, CO
Incorrect answers:  Todd Helton, Dante Bichette, Vinny Castilla

Q.         Who finished 2nd in the MVP vote the first year Willie Mays took that honor?
Hint:     He was the first player to lead the majors in intentional bases-on-balls when they first officially record the stat.
Hint:     He had the most homers in the 1959 World Series, and accounted for three of his team’s total of four.
Twint:    John Lithgow wrote a chapter about him in Cult Baseball Players.
FCR -    Mark Hayne, Dumfries, VA
Incorrect answers:  Duke Snider, Chuck Essegian, Roy Campanella, Eddie Mathews, Gil Hodges, Stan Musial, Mickey Mantle, Wally Moon, Willie McCovey

Q.         Who is the only player to lead his league once in home runs, once in RBI and once in batting average and then cleverly choose to do them all in the same season?
Hint:     He won a Gold Glove in his third year and then played seventeen more years in the majors without repeating than honor.
Twint:    Josh Hart knows who he is. In fact, he said he needed more paper.
A.         Frank Robinson (TC 1966; GG 1958; Showalter/Hart affair)
FCR -    Steven Elsberry, Windsor Heights, IA
Incorrect answers:  Carl Yastrzemski, Joe Medwick, Joe Torre, Mickey Mantle

Q.         Who was the first player to hit thirty home runs in each of his first five major league seasons?
Hint:     He holds the record for most home runs in April in one season.
Twint:    He helped force my favorite trivia question to have a serious qualifier.
A.         Albert Pujols (30 HR 2001-05; 14 HR in April 2006; The questions was, “Who are the only players, exactly one from each position, who have won league MVPs in consecutive years?”  The answer used to be
C    – Yogi Berra         1954-55
1B  – Jimmie Foxx     1932-33
2B  – Joe Morgan       1975-76
3B  – Mike Schmidt    1980-81
SS  – Ernie Banks       1958-59
RF  – Roger Maris      1960-61
CF  – Mickey Mantle   1956-57
LF  – Dale Murphy      1982-83
P    – Hal Newhouser  1944-45
DH – Frank Thomas   1993-94

But these three have ruined the symmetry of the answer:
3B  – Miguel Cabrera  2012-13
LF  – Barry Bonds      1992-93, etc.
1B  – Albert Pujols     2008-09
FCR -    Elijah Kaplan, Teaneck, NJ
Incorrect answers:  Ralph Kiner, Eddi8e Mathews, Alex Rodriguez, Mark McGwire, Rudy York, Orlando Cepeda, Dave Winfield, Ken Griffey, Jr., Ron Cey, Frank Thomas, Sammy Sosa, Juan Gonzalez, Jimmie Foxx, Wally Berger

Q.         Who was the last player in the 20th century to receive five intentional walks in a game?
Hint:     Only he, Willie McCovey and Jeff King have hit two home runs in an inning on two different occasions.
Twint:    His nickname is derived from his keen eyesight.
A.         Andre Dawson (5 IBB 22‑May‑1990; HR X2/Inn:  30‑Jul‑1978, 3rd, 24‑Sep‑1985, 5th; [N.B.  It has come to our attention that Alex Rodriguez also homered twice in an inning two times: 05‑Sep‑2007 & 04‑Oct‑2009]; He can see the strike zone like a “Hawk” according to his uncle who bestowed the moniker.)
FCR -    Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI
Incorrect answers:  Barry Bonds, Mel Ott, Jeff Bagwell, Mark McGwire, Joe Carter, Babe Ruth, Alex Rodriguez, Bill Nicholson, Jimmie Foxx, Eddie Murray, Mike Schmidt, Ned Williamson

Q.         Who was the first left-handed batter to hit thirty home runs in a season for the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Hint:     He was also the first Dodger to hit three home runs in a game in Dodger Stadium.
Twint:    He owns the longest consecutive-game hitting streak in Toronto Blue Jays history.
A.         Shawn Green (49 HR in 2001; 3 HR 15‑Aug‑2001; 28-G hitting streak 29‑Jun through 31‑Jul‑1999)
FCR -    Tim Doherty, Los Angeles, CA
Incorrect answers:  Willie Davis, Adrian Gonzalez, Reggie Smith, Duke Snider, Ron Fairly, Wes Parker, Wally Moon

Q.         Who won home run titles playing three different positions?
Hint:     His major league career began by entering a game to pinch-run, advancing one base on a wild pitch then being removed as the inning ended.
Hint:     He never played on a team that won a postseason series.
Twint:    His injury during the All-Star game was excruciating to watch.
Twint:    He is the only member of the 500-home-run club who hit a grand slam as a teenager.
A.         Harmon Killebrew (HR titles @ 3B 1959 & 69, @ LF 1962-64, @ 1B 1967; Debut: 23‑Jun‑1954; AS G medial hamstring rupture 3rd inn. 09‑Jul‑1968; GS 21-Jun-1956 @ 19 yrs 357 days)
FCR -    Brian Engelhardt
Incorrect answers:  Jimmie Foxx, Dave Kingman, Mike Piazza, Ernie Banks, Robin Yount

Q.         Who is the only player to hit home runs off Walter Johnson in consecutive innings?
Hint:     One of these homers was inside the park.
Hint:     In fact, he is one of only two players that had more than one home run in a single game off The Big Train.
Twint:    He finished second in the MVP vote in consecutive seasons, each time losing out to a Philadelphia A's player.
Twint:    Oh, yeah—one more thing:  He’s also the greatest first baseman of all time.
A.         Lou Gehrig (13‑Aug‑S1926 IPHR t4, fence clearing HR t5; Jack Fournier two IPHR same game 31‑Aug‑2014; 1931 MVP Lefty Grove, 1932 MVP Jimmy Foxx)
FCR -    Stephen Smith, Lafayette, IN
Incorrect answers:  Tris Speaker, Joe Jackson, Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Sam Crawford

WEEKLY THEME – Players who hit 49 home runs in a season but never more than that in any other

Slugger           Year
Dawson           1987*
Gehrig             1934*, 36*
Green              2001
Helton             2001
Killebrew         1964*, 69*
Kluszewski      1954*
Pujols             2006
Robinson        1966*
Walker             1997*
*Led league

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Stephen Smith, Lafayette, IN (After the Klu Q.)

Incorrect theme guesses:

               -  Players who have a movie-inspired nickname
               -  MLB players who also starred in another sport other than baseball.
               -  Players that played QB in college football with a Super Bowl winning teammate
               -  Hank Aaron Award Winners with Badass Goatees

               -  Players who played 10 or more years on an expansion team
               -  Famous Rockies
               -  Rockies all time stats leaders
               -  Rockies who led the league in batting

               -  Players who have scored a run in 14 or more straight games

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