Monday, June 23, 2014

June 16-22, 2014 Tony Gwynn and the 8 batters he beat out for a batting title

Q.         Who was drafted in the third round of the MLB draft and tenth round of the NBA draft on the same day?
Hint:     His draft position placed him six spots behind John Elway.
Hint:     His statue at Petco Park has an inscription reading, "If you work hard, good things will happen," the motto of his father.
Hint:     The baseball field at San Diego State University is named in his honor at the insistence of the Padres owner who donated the money for its renovation.
Hint:     He had the highest single-season batting average after Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941.
Hint:     No player in the history of the National League won more batting titles.
Hint:     His son's first major league hit came 24 years to the day after his own first.
Hint:     His career batting average is the highest of any player debuting after World War II.
Hint:     His nineteen consecutive seasons batting over .300 is bested only by Ty Cobb.
Hint:     He had "5 . 5 Hole" written on the tongue of his spikes, indicating the place on the field where he most liked to slap the ball.
Twint:    He earned the nickname "Captain Video" for his pioneering use of the medium to improve his performance.
Twint:    He once sneaked into the Angels Spring Training camp to spy on a Rod Carew bunting clinic.
Twint:    He called his bat "Seven grains of pain."
A.         TONY GWYNN Obit: (Padres owner John Moores; .394 in 1994; 19-Jul-1982 and 19-Jul-2006; Round 3 of 1981 draft 09-Jun-1981, Elway chosen last in Round 2 ; 8 BA titles, tied with Honus Wagner; Tony Gwynn, Jr.; Career BA .338; Shoes; Video work; Seven grains)
FCR -    Josh Sullivan, Tomball, TX
Incorrect answers:  Dave Winfield, Ken Griffey, Jr.

Q.         Who holds the Los Angeles Dodgers record for highest batting average in a season (minimum 500 AB)?
Hint:     His OPS+ of 185 led the majors that year.
Hint:     His time with the Marlins was even shorter that his time with the Padres or A’s.
Twint:    He was the first catcher to collect 200 hits in a season.
A.         MIKE PIAZZA (.362 in 1997; 5 G w/MIA, 126 w/SDP, 83 w/OAK; 201 H 1997)
FCR -    Josh Sullivan, Tomball, TX
Incorrect answers:  Gary Sheffield, Tommy Davis, Steve Garvey, Hanley Ramirez, Zach Wheat

Q.         Who was the last 20th century player to receive six bases-on-balls in a game?
Hint:     This former Falcon and Hawk had a leg kick that actually thrust him back as he struck the ball.  (And he struck the ball often and well.)
Hint:     He changed his primary fielding position because of a player who went on to win the MVP with a different team.
Twint:    He won the Middlesex County Role Model of the Year Award.
A.         JEFF BAGWELL (6 BB 20-Aug-1999; Xavier High Falcons [Middletown, CT], University of Hartford Hawks, Swing; Moved from 3rd to 1st because of 3rd baseman Ken Caminiti; Middlesex, CT RMAA)
FCR -    Makoto Ozawa, Scarsdale, NY
Incorrect answers:  Brian Jordan, Gary Sheffield, Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott, Deion Sanders, Juan Gonzalez, Cal Ripken

Q.         What Canadian native played the most games in the majors?
Hint:     A Most Valuable Award, seven Gold Gloves, three Silver Slugger Awards and 28 postseason games were not enough to keep him on the Hall of Fame ballot.*
Twint:    He was the first National League player to collect an extra-base hits in each of six consecutive plate appearances.
Twint:    Few people remember his finish with the Cardinals.
A.         LARRY WALKER (1,988 G; 6 EBH:  HR, 3B, 2B, 2B, 3B, 3B on 21, 22-May-1996 [He slugged a ridiculous 2.833 over that indomitable span.]; St. Louis 2004-05)
FCR -    Gregg Bernstein, Oakland, CA
Incorrect answers:  Dave Winfield, Gary Carter, Terry Puhl, Rusty Staub
*As of this writing, Walker is still on the Hall of Fame ballot.

Q.         Who broke Terry Puhl's National League Championship Series batting average record, set at .526 in 1980 when he hit .650 years later?
Hint:     He’s one of the few to hit a grand slam in each league in the same season.
Twint:    Nuschler?  Really?!
A.         WILL CLARK (NLCS batting avg. record set in 1989 against the Cubs; 2 GS 20-Jul-2000 for BAL, 24-Sep-2000 for STL, last year of his career)
FCR -    Victor Piacentile, Yorktown Heights, NY
Incorrect answers:  Carlos Beltran, Manny Ramirez, Lloyd Mclendon, Billy Hatcher, David Ortiz, Mark McGwire, Kevin Bass, Davie Justice, Willie McGee

Q.         Who was the next Red Sox batter, after Bill Regan in 1928, to hit two home runs in the same inning?
Hint:     He said of his retirement plans, "I'm just gonna get big and fat when I get out of baseball"?
Hint:     He went to college in Paris.
Twint:    His numbers at his peak would have won the Triple Crown five times during his career!
Twint:    He never won a single leg of the Triple Crown in any year of his 18-year major league career.
A.         ELLIS BURKS (HR X2 in 1 inning:  27-Aug-1990, Regan's HRs:  16-Jun-1928; Paris Junior College, Paris, TX; Triple-Crown-adjacent year:  1996, 40 HR, 124 RBI & .344 avg)
FCR -    Walt Cherniak, Dayton, MD
Incorrect answers:  Rudy York, George Scott, Moe Berg, Bill Mueller, Gene Stephens, Mo Vaughn, Vern Stephens

Q.         Who was the last native of Cuba to appear in an All-Star game in the 20th century?
Hint:     He played in more major league games than any other player in the 1990s.
Hint:     On Friday, 10-Jun-2005, he and two other 500-Home-Run-Club members played in the same game.
Twint:    He is the only designated hitter to win a Gold Glove
A.         RAFAEL PALMEIRO (ASG 1999; 500 HRC X3: 10-Jun-2005 Sammy Sosa & Ken Griffey, Jr.; GG 1b 1999)
FCR -    Rich Klein, Plano, TX
Incorrect answers:  Sammy Sosa, Minnie Minoso, Tony Perez, Alex Rodriguez, Jose Canseco

Q.         Whom did writer Bill James call "the best hitter God has made in a long time"?
Hint:     He famously grounded into a double play to end a former teammate’s no-hitter.
Hint:     He now coaches in the Mexican minor leagues.
Twint:    In 1999 he was acquitted of a drug offense when his attorney used a rather humiliating defense.
FCR -    Fred Worth, Arkadelphia, AR
Incorrect answers:  Carlos Delgado, Manny Ramirez, Edgar Martinez, Wade Boggs, Craig Biggio

Q.         Who was the first Dodger to play designated hitter in a game?
Hint:     He was the first to homer in three consecutive pinch-hit plate appearances.
Twint:    He is an alum of the same high school that produced three Hall of Fame inductees.
A.         Lee Lacy (G 1 1978 WS 10-Oct-1978; HRs 2-, 6- & 17-May-1978, also received a BB during the string; HOFers from McClymonds High School in Oakland, California:  Ernie Lombardi, Frank Robinson & Bill Russell of the NBA)
FCR -    Richard Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers:  Mike Piazza, Frank Howard, Eric Karros, Reggie Smith, Rick Monday, Dave Hansen, Dave Anderson, Manny Mota

WEEKLY THEME – Tony Gwynn and the eight batters who finished in 2nd place the years he won the National League batting title.

Year     2nd Place        Team    Avg.     Gwynn’s
1984     Lacy              PIT       .321      .352
1987     Guerrero        LAD      .338      .370
1988     Palmeiro        CHC     .307      .313
1989     Clark              SFG     .333      .336
1994     Bagwell          HOU     .368      .394
1995     Piazza            LAD      .347      .368
1996     Burks             COL      .344      .353
1997     Walker           COL      .366      .372

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

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