Monday, January 26, 2015

January 19-25, 2015 Players whose college mascot was a reptile

Q.         Who was voted his league’s Most Valuable Player just after his team finished dead last in their division?
Hint:     He was the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger winner that season too.
Hint:     He won it narrowly, over a player who would end up with him in the Hall of Fame.
Twint:    He hit over 30 home runs in a season three times and stole over 30 bases in a season three times.
Twint:    They don’t synch up, however, and he is now forever denied membership in the exclusive 30/30 Club.
Twint:    He did make the 20/20 Club five times, though.
A.         ANDRE DAWSON (MVP 1987 w/CHC; 2nd place Ozzie Smith)
FCR -    Bob Kimball, Sutton, MA
Incorrect answers:  Alex Rodriguez, Steve Carlton, Vladimir Guerrero, Ernie Banks, Dale Murphy, Ryne Sandberg

Q.         Who was the first infielder to accomplish thirty home runs and thirty stolen bases in the same major league season?
Hint:     That very same season, he became the first player to hit thirty home runs from the leadoff position.
Hint:     Playing on a first-year expansion team, he led the entire league with 73 stolen bases.
Twint:    Willie Stargell was a teammate on his high school baseball team.
A.         TOMMY HARPER (31 HR, 38 SB in 1970 while playing; SEP 1969 73 SB; Attended Encinal High School)
FCR -    Blake Sherry, Dublin, OH
Incorrect answers:  Alfonso Soriano, Rickey Henderson, Alex Rodriguez, Chuck Carr, Tim Raines, Maury Wills

Q.         Who was the first National League shortstop to win World Series Most Valuable Player Award?
Hint:     He once had two game winning bunts in a 17-day stretch, the second of which was a walk-off.
Hint:     Sixteen days after that, he hit a walk off grand slam.
Twint:    He is the only Cardinal to get three doubles in a World Series game, the third providing the margin of victory with an 8th inning RBI.
A.         DAVID ECKSTEIN (2006 MVP, other SS to win: Jeter, Trammel & Dent won in the AL & Edgar Renteria won w/the Giants in 2010; 22-Jul-2005 walk off bunt, and game winning bunt 06-Jul-2005 top 9th; 07-Aug-2005 to beat the Braves 5-3; 2006 WS G4 in the 3rd, 7th and 8th 5-4 final)
FCR -    Dave Ramsden, Barcelona, Spain
Incorrect answers:  Cole Hamels, Maury Wills, Marty Marion, Ernie Banks, Juan Uribe, Honus Wagner, Jimmy Rollins, Zoilo Versalles, Dick Groat, Bill Russell, Phil Rizzuto, Ozzie Smith

Q.         During the two-season reign of Cincinnati’s Nasty Boys, which reliever accumulated the most total saves?
Hint:     He was the second Reds pitcher to hurl an immaculate inning.
Hint:     In his lone World Series victory, he handed a future Hall of Fame pitcher the final loss of that pitcher’s 0-2 World Series career.
Twint:    When, on the spur of moment he anointed himself team physician, he managed only to sever all his ties with the franchise.
Twint:    He managed this by opining on live television that a certain #1 overall draft pick should “suck it up” instead of complaining of elbow pain.
A.         ROB DIBBLE (1990-91: 42 SV, Myers 37, Charlton 3; Immaculate Inning:  04‑Jun‑1989, t8th vs SDP, downed Carmelo MartinezMark ParentGarry Templeton, Pedro Borbon had done it 23‑June‑1979; He topped Dennis Eckersley in Game 2 of the 1990 WS; Speaking of ailing Stephen Strasburg in 2010, who not long thereafter needed Tommy John surgery, Dibble was fired as the Nationals color analyst)
FCR -    Terry Alan Martin, Carleton, MI
Incorrect answers:  Randy Myers, Norm Charlton, Will McEnaney, Eric Plunk

Q.         Who was the first player to hit ten home runs during a season in which he collected fewer than fifty hits—and did it twice in his All-Star career?
Hint:     He was the first rookie to homer twice in his first World Series game.
Hint:     He twice led the American League in bases-on-balls and was an All-Star five times.
Hint:     He really did not like his nickname.
Twint:    He was an outfielder on a team that many believe to be the best of all time.
A.         CHARLIE KELLER (10 HR 49 H in 1945, 13 HR 36 H in 1947; Rookie WS HR 07‑Oct‑1939 1st & 3rd Abs;  MiLB POY 1953; Nicknamed “King Kong Keller” because of his power; Members of this [putative] All-time Outfield:  Keller, Joe DiMaggio and Tommy Heinrich.)
FCR -    Douglas Sher, Charleston, SC
Incorrect answers:  Gene Tenace, Andruw Jones

Q.         Who is “Mr. Cub”?
Hint:     No other player played more games in a Cubs’ uniform.
Hint:     He was the first National League player to win back-to-back MVP Awards.
Hint:     He was the first Chicago Cub to have his uniform number retired.
Hint:     He made his professional debut with the Kansas City Monarchs, after being signed to his first contract by future Hall of Famer, Cool Papa Bell.
Hint:     He never played in high school because his Dallas high school did not have a baseball team.
Hint:     He is the only Chicago Cub to amass 1,000 extra-base hits.
Hint:     He was the first player to win a Gold Glove Award for the Cubs.
Hint:     He finished ahead of Hank Aaron in the Rookie-of-the-Year balloting.
Hint:     He was one of only three shortstops named to the All-Century team.
Twint:    He was the first black to play for the Cubs.
Twint:    He was awarded the Presidential of Freedom in 2013 (…and by a White Sox fan no less!).
Twint:    Although he was the only player Sandy Koufax struck out three times on the day of Koufax’ perfect game against the Cubs, he was one of only four players to homer off Koufax seven times in his career.
FCR -    Charlie Vascellaro, Baltimore, MD

Q.         What notable DH had the privilege of managing his son in the majors?
Hint:     He debuted with the Reds, shortly after Johnny Bench did.
Twint:    He learned base running from Pete Rose and passed on his knowledge to George Brett.
A.         HAL McCRAE (Father of Brian McRae; Debut 1968)
FCR -    Bob Kimball, Sutton, MA
Incorrect answers:  Ken Griffey, Tony Perez, Bob Boone, Felipe Alou, Pete Rose

Q:         Who is the only player in MLB history to be caught stealing four times in one game?
Hint:     After Willie Mays, he was the next Giant to lead the league in triples.
Hint:     He was the last San Francisco Giant to lead the league in hit-by-pitch.
Twint:    He spent his entire career with the Giants and was an opening day starter each one of those years.
A.         ROBBY THOMPSON (27-Jun-1986 on 3 hit and runs, though he did have 2 RBI in the victory; 1989 11/3B, Mays 20/3B 1957; 13HBP 1989; Played 2B 86-96)
FCR -    Josh Sullivan, Tomball, TX
Incorrect answers:  Bobby Bonds, Ron Hunt, Willie Kirkland, Ray Durham, Brett Butler

Q.         Who took Larry Doby’s outfield position the first time Doby was traded from the Indians?
Hint:     He and the other player traded for Doby, along with one other, were the last of the original Senators to lead the league in games played.
Hint:     His rookie season saw his only All-Star appearance, and though he didn’t have an at bat, he replaced Ted Williams in leftfield.
Twint:    Eight years later he joined Williams as a Red Sox outfielder.
Twint:    His distant cousin with the same last name threw two no-hitters with the Royals.
A.         JIM BUSBY (25-Oct-1955: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Chicago White Sox for Jim Busby and Chico Carrasquel; GP155 in 1954, also Eddie Yost; 1951 ASG top 9th, AL behind 8-3; Traded to BOS for the 1959 season; 4th cousin of KCR  pitcher Steve Busby.)
FCR -    Dave Goss, Wind Gap, PA
Incorrect answers:  Gene Stephens, Jim Lemon

Q.         Which All-Star shortstop hit only seven career home runs (minimum 1,000 games)?
Hint:     He was the first Mets shortstop to win a Gold Glove.
Hint:     It was the only one of his career.
Hint:     A weak hitter, he may be best remembered for his competition with the greatest hitter of all time.
Twint:    As a 19 year old, he had offers from the Yankees but took one with the Mets saying “I figured I could make that club fast.”
A.         BUD HARRELSON (16y career 7 HR, 1,533 G , AS 1970-1; GG 1971; Pete Rose, the hit king, and he had an infamous fight in the 1973 NLCS, the Rose-Bud Incident; SABR BIO quote, he wanted more playing time so he thought the Mets, coming off their 40-120 inaugural season in 1962, offered him the best shot)
FCR -    Greg Kelminson, Dallas, TX
Incorrect answers:  Walt Weiss, Ray Ordonez, Elio Chacon

Q.         After Mark McGwire, who was the next Cardinal to lead the National League in bases‑on‑balls?
Hint:     The prior year he led the majors in runs, hits and doubles.
Hint:     In fact, he obliterated the franchise record for doubles in a season by a middle infielder.
Hint:     It was held in a tie by no less than Rogers Hornsby, Frankie Frisch and Sparky Adams.
Hint:     No player, active in the majors today, has ever had more doubles in a season.
Twint:    His high school team, with his dad as his coach, won a National Championship.
Twint:    His father also won the High School Baseball Coach of the Year Award.
A.         MATT CARPENTER (95 BB 2014; 2013 126R/199H/552B; He tied the three at 46 2B on 04-Sep-2013 and finished with 55; 2002 USA TODAY National Prep School Championship guided by his father Rick Carpenter)
FCR -    Jimmy Goggin, Williamsburg, VA
Incorrect answers:  David Eckstein, Albert Pujols, Tommy Herr, Edgar Renteria, Lance  Berkman

Q:         Who held the record for most hits in a World Series for over 50 years?
Hint:     His Hall of Fame manager said of him “I hate his guts, but I want him on my team”.
Hint:     He played nearly equal numbers of games at second base, shortstop and third base accounting for nearly all of his more than 1400 career games.
Twint:    If not for his error in Game 5 of the World Series against the White Sox, it might have been 100 years between World Series Championships for the Southsiders.
Twint:    The only categories he ever led the league in were caught stealing and hit-by-pitch.
A.         BUCK HERZOG (12 h 1912 WS topped by Bobby Richardson’s 13 in 1964; Joe McCarthy and he were known for their mutual antagonism; 490 G @ 2B, 473 G @ 3B & 459 G @ SS G in 1,471 G 1908-20; Series tied 2-2, NYG leading 5-4 bottom 7th, his error tied the game and let Game 4 slip away.  CHW took the next game to win the series 4-2 in 1917.  Their prior WS victory was 1906, and their next not until 2005; 28 CS in 1915 & 14 HBP in 1919.)
FCR -    Michael Berry, Culver City, CA
Incorrect answers:  Pete Rose, Gil McDougald, Bobby Richardson, Frankie Frisch, Eddie Collins, Mark Koenig, Yogi Berra, Babe Ruth                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

WEEKLY THEME – Players whose college mascot was a reptile

Carpenter          TCU                           Horned Frogs
Coleman           Florida A & M             Rattlers
Dawson            Florida A & M             Rattlers
Dibble              Florida Southern         Water Moccasins
Eckstein           Florida                       Gators
Harper              San Francisco State   Gators
Herzog              Maryland                    Terrapins
Keller                Maryland                    Terrapins
McCrae             Florida A & M             Rattlers
Stanley             Florida                       Gators
Thompson        Florida                       Gators

Also available:       Jake Arrieta, Ron Swoboda, Mark Ellis, Pete Donohue, Marquis Grissom, Danny Heep, Les Fleming, Lance Niekro, Mike Stanley plus a few lesser lights.

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Incorrect theme guesses:

Wed        -  Players who garnered MVP votes in their first year with a new team

Sun         -  Players who wore size 9 ½ cleats
               -  Players who have been all stars at 2 infield positions

We archive our questions here:

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 12-18, 2015 Three-homer games five or more times

Q.         Who is the only player to collect 100+ RBI in three consecutive years for three different teams?
Hint:     He had been the Sporting News College Player of the Year before going pro.
Hint:     He was the first major leaguer to use bats made by the Original Maple Bat Corp.
Twint:    He was the first Blue Jay to hit a home into the fifth deck at Sky Dome.
A.         JOE CARTER (105 RBI for CLE in 1989, 115 for SDP in 1990, 108 for TOR in 1991; SNCPOY 1981, 1st maple bat use 1997; 5th deck HR 27-Jul-1996)
FCR -    Kirk Colwell, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Incorrect answers:  Robin Ventura, Pete Incaviglia, Greg Vaughn, Reggie Jackson, Milton Bradley, Reggie Sanders, Dave Winfield, Adam Dunn, Bobby Bonds, Gary Sheffield

Q.         Who leads all Puerto Rican-born players in career home runs?
Hint:     …in career runs-batted-in?
Hint:     …in bases-on-balls?
Hint:     Alas, he also leads in strikeouts.
Hint:     In the game where he hit his 300th career home run, he also hit three more.
Twint:    He was MVP of the Southern League with the Knoxville Smokies at age 21.
A.         CARLOS DELGADO (473 HR; 1,512 RBI; 1,109 BB; 1,745 Ks; 4-HR G 25-Sep-2003)
FCR -    Bill Deane, Cooperstown, NY
Incorrect answers:  Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente, Juan Gonzalez, Sammy Sosa, Mark Teixeira

Q.         What home run champion had a batting average lower than that of his league’s Cy Young Award winner that season?
Hint:     His hit the first and third home runs surrendered by that pitcher surrendered that same year.
Hint:     Besides Hall of Famers Lou Gehrig and Jimmie Foxx, he is the only player with eight RBI in three different games.
Twint:    He was a tops moundsman for Hall of Fame coach Rod Dedeaux.
Twint:    Slugger Jim Thome recounts his childhood memories of seeking this player’s autograph.
A.         DAVE KINGMAN (1982 w/37 HR, hit .204 while NL CYA Steve Carlton hit .218 [Note: Several readers found that CYA Bob Gibson outhit HR champ Johnny Bench .303 to .293 in 1970.]; HR off Carlton Autograph story)
FCR -    Eugene Schwartz, Weston, CT
Incorrect answers:  Duke Snider, Al Rosen, Harmon Killebrew, Willie Mays, Ralph Kiner, Hank Aaron, Graig Nettles, Mark Reynolds

Q.         Who is the only player to have over 700 plate appearances in a season where he hit 60 home runs?
Hint:     He twice led the majors in RBIs, and twice led his league in homers, but not in the same years.
Hint:     Despite his nickname, he never won or played in a “Majors Championship”.
Twint:    And really, you shouldn’t blame Bartman for that.  There is still the matter of the goat.
A.         SAMMY SOSA (stats 66/63/64HR with 722/712/711PA 1998/99/2001; RBI 158/160 1998/2001, HR 50/49 2000/2002; Cubs announcer Chip Caray called him “Slammin’ Sammy”, the same nickname as Sam Snead who won 7 Major Championships to Sosa’s WS goose egg; Cubs “Billy Goat Curse”)
FCR -    Charles Vascellaro, Baltimore, MD
Incorrect answers:  Jimmie Foxx, Mark McGwire

Q.         Who ended Don Mattingly’s five-straight-Gold-Glove streak?
Hint:     It was the only such honor of his career.
Hint:     He holds the record for most total homers hit in two consecutive seasons.
Twint:    Of him it was said "He hit a pop-up against us one day that went so high . . . all nine guys on our team called for it."
A.         MARK McGWIRE (1b GG 1990 after 1985-89 Donnie Baseball’s first streak of GG wins.  He then won 91-94; 135 homers [70/65 HR 1998-99]; Quote by Marlins coach Rich Donnelly)
FCR -    Dean Kloner, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Wally Joiner, Fred McGriff, Cecil Fielder

Q.         Who was the first National League position player to come in second in MVP voting in back-to-back seasons?
Hint:     His first sports passion was tennis and he won a county championship as a young man.
Hint:     At age fifteen, he was playing on a college varsity baseball team.
Hint:     At age seventeen, he was signed to a major league contract after a scout watched him for only one game.
Twint:    He is the only player to hit fifty home runs in a season with fewer than fifty strike outs.
Twint:    He finished his career with five consecutive World Series championship rings.
A.         JOHNNY MIZE (2nd in MVP voting 1939-40; Piedmont College; 1947 51 HR/42 Ks; 1949-53 NYY WS)
FCR -    Jan Finkel, Swanton, MD
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Murray, Mike Trout, Babe Ruth, Eddie Collins

WEEKLY THEME – Three-homer games five or more times

Slugger      Date                 Victim(s)
Carter*        29-Aug-1986      B. Stanley, S. Stewart, T. Seaver
                  28-May-1987     W. Gardner, J. Leister, T. Bolton
                  24-Jun-1989      C. Hough
                  19-Jul-1989       G. Gonzalez, A. Anderson
                  23-Aug-1993      J. Hernandez, A. Lopez

Delgado     04-Aug-1998      T. Stottlemyre, E. Gunderson, D. Patterson
                  06-Aug-1999      R. Helling, J. Zimmerman
                  04-Apr-2001      P. Wilson, D. Creek, K. Hill
                  20-Apr-2001      M. Suzuki, T. Cogan, R. Hernandez
                  25-Sep-2003**   J. Sosa, J. Kennedy, L. Carter

Kingman     04-Jun-1976      B. Hooton, A. Downing
                  14-May-1978     D. Rau, M. Garman, R. Rhoden
                  17-May-1979     R. Lerch, D. Bird, R. Reed
                  28-Jul-1979       P. Falcone, N. Allen
                  16-Apr-1984      M. Young, E, Vande Berg

Sosa          05-Jun-1996      T. Mulholland, R. Springer
                  15-Jun-1998      C. Eldred
                  09-Aug-2001      M. Hampton, G. White
                  22-Aug-2001      M. Suzuki, R. Coppinger
                  23-Sep-2001      T. Redding
                  10-Aug-2002      S. Chacon, M. Corey

McGwire     27-Jun-1987      K. Schrom, E. Vande Berg, S. Bailes
                  11-Jun-1995      Z. Smith
                  14-Apr-1998      J. Suppan, B. Manuel
                  05-May-1998     T. Green, W. Gomes
                  18-May-2000     C. Schilling, W. Gomes

Mize           13-Jul-1938       J. Turner
                  20-Jul-1938       S. Castleman, B. Lohrman
                  13-May-1940     J. Vander Meer, E. Riddle, M. Shoffner
                  08-Sep-1940      R. Sewell, D. Lanahan, D. MacFayden
                  24-Apr-1947      J. Sain
                  15-Sep-1950      A. Houtteman

*Had an addition 3-HR day, but over 2 games of a double-header:  11-Aug-1989 (2)
** 4-HR G

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Carl Morton, Vernal, UT

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday   -  Most RBI not in the Hall of Fame

Thursday  -  Retired players who hit three home runs in a game more than three times and are not in the Hall of Fame

Friday      -  Players who matched their league leading rbi total in a different season where they did not lead the league

We archive our questions here:

Sunday, January 11, 2015

January 5-11, 2015 Select prime numbers retired

Q.         Which Detroit Tiger won the American League MVP Award between Hank Greenberg’s two MVP seasons?
Hint:     He is the only player to make the American League starting lineups in the first six All-Star games.
Hint:     He was the first player elected to the Hall of Fame using the “runoff” rules.
Twint:    He was one of the “G-Men”.
A.         CHARLIE GEHRINGER (MVP 1937, Greenberg 1935 and ‘40; Started 1933-38 ASG; There was no first ballot winner in 1949, and a complicated “runoff” ballot occurred where only Gehringer made the cut; Gehringer/Goslin/Greenberg played together winning ’35 WS)
FCR -    David Ramsden, Barcelona, Spain
Incorrect answers:  Goode Goslin, Hank Greenberg, Hal Newhouser

Q.         Who is the only Brave to win a league Most Valuable Player Award more than once?
Hint:     His were consecutive.
Hint:     He led his league in RBI both seasons and in homers the next two consecutive years.
Twint:    Nolan Ryan said of him “I can’t imagine Joe DiMaggio was a better all-around player.”
A.         DALE MURPHY (MVP 1982-3 (list of multiple winners); led RBI 109/121 then HR 36/37 1984-5; Ryan’s full quote: "I can't imagine Joe DiMaggio was a better all-around player than Dale Murphy.")
FCR -    Dean Kloner, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Henry Aaron, Eddie Mathews, Warren Spahn

Q.         Who was the first pitcher to win an ERA title for a major league team domiciled on the west coast?
Hint:     He was the winning pitcher in the only All-Star game he ever played in and did it on his home field.
Hint:     He was the first pitcher with 100 career saves in Baltimore Orioles’ history.
Hint:     He and a teammate are the only pair to combine in a losing no-hit effort against an American League team.
Twint:    The 137th career home run he surrendered was Mickey Mantle’s 500th.
Twint:    Unfortunately, he is probably best remembered for an occurrence that never occurred.
Twint:    He is the Giants pitcher in Danny Kay’s immortal “The Dodger Song”.
A.         STU MILLER (ERA title 1958 for SFG; 1961 ASG; Exactly 100 Sv for BAL; With Steve Barber no-hit DET 30-Apr-1967; Mantle HR 14-May-1967; Stumbled awkwardly from the mound during a wind-up during his only All-Star appearance.  It was at Candlestick Park on a day [11‑Jul‑1961] when winds were swirling.  A balk was called, but Miller always claimed that was NOT blown off the mound.)
FCR -    Richard Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers:  Hoyt Wilhelm, Arthur Rhodes

Q.         Who is the only Houston Astro to win the Rookie of the Year Award?
Hint:     He is also the only Astro to win MVP despite breaking his wrist after playing only 110 games that season.
Hint:     He and his American League counterpart that were born on the same day.
Hint:     He holds the Astros single season records for home runs, batting average, on base percentage, slugging percent, OPS, games played, runs scored, total bases, bases on balls, intentional bases on balls, sacrifice flies and at bats per home run.
Twint:    He wasn’t an “A”, but he was a “Killer”.
Twint:    55.7%
A.         JEFF BAGWELL (ROY 1991; MVP 1994 strike-shortened season, he broke his wrist on a pitch by Andy Benes 10-Aug-1994; AL MVP Frank Thomas born 27-May-1968; HOU team records 47 HR, .368 BA, .454 OBP, .750 SLG, 1.201 OPS, 162 GP, 152 R, 363 TB, 148 BB, 27 IBB, 13 SF & 10.3 AB/HR; "Killer B’s” Biggio and Bagwell plus several others such as Berkman, Beltran, Bell, Berry;  Hall of Fame voting percentage in the most recent election)
FCR -    Mark Jones, Birmingham, AL
Incorrect answers:  Craig Biggio, Ken Caminiti, Curt Blefery, Jim Wynn, Glenn Davis, Joe Morgan, Cesar Cedeno

Q.         Name the only National League infielder who passed these statistical thresholds:            200 home runs + 400 stolen bases + 600 doubles.
Hint:     One year he collected 88 RBI hitting in the leadoff spot.
Hint:     He is the only player from his franchise to win a Gold Glove Award as a second baseman.
Hint:     He did it in four consecutive seasons.
Twint:    He will be the first player inducted into the Hall of Fame as an Astro.
A.         CRAIG BIGGIO (291 HR, 414 SB, 668 2b [Among ALL players, Barry Bonds, Rickey Henderson & Paul Molitor also qualify.]; 88 RBI in 1998; GG 1994-97; HOF 2105)
FCR -    Neil Cohen, Brooklyn, NY
Incorrect answers:  Joe Morgan, Chase Utley, Ryne Sandberg, Jeff Kent

Q.         Who holds the record for most consecutive seasons leading his league in stolen bases?
Hint:     When the streak ended he never led the league again.
Hint:     Ironically, he once contributed to his team not making the playoffs due to a base running error, leaving his team in the odd position of finishing ½ game out of first.
Twint:    After he was released by the Red Sox, he ended his career despite a “fill in the amount” offer from the Yankees.
Twint:    His reply read, “Dear Mr. Steinbrenner, thank you very much for your offer but I just get released once in my lifetime.”
A.         LUIS APARICIO (SB leader 9 seasons 1956-64 [In only 4 did he also lead in CS.]; 02-Oct-1972 blunder left them ½ game behind in a strike shortened season where games could not be made up; SABR BIO regarding the interchange with Steinbrenner mentions that he considered playing another year)
FCR -    Howard Wasserman, Pembroke Pines, FL
Incorrect answers:  Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson, Vince Coleman, Maury Wills

Q.         Who was the first native of Venezuela to win the All-Star Game MVP award?
Hint:     He once worked a walk against Rick Wise, turning a perfect game into a mere no-hitter.
Hint:     He was one of the inaugural inductees into the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame.
Twint:    He claimed he didn’t spit in the umpire’s face.
Twint:    He once was tied up and robbed at his farm in Venezuela during the 2002 World Series, forcing him to miss part of a game (his biggest complaint that day)?
A.         DAVE CONCEPCION (Wise BB 23-Jun-1971; Latino HOF 2010 inductees included, among others, Luis Aparicio, Rod Carew, Juan Marichal, Tony Perez, Orlando Cepeda, and Roberto Clemente; b6 BB 23‑Jun‑1971; Spitting story; Robbery)
FCR -    Dave Williams Glastonbury, CT
Incorrect answers:  Orlando Cepeda, Omar Vizquel, Zoilo Versalles, Fernando Valenzuela, Luis Aparicio, Juan Marichal

Q.         Name the last National League pitcher to win thirty games in a season.
Hint:     He helped lead his team to a World Series victory that year, though he gave up the only home runs the opponents hit.
Hint      Granted, each was hit by a future Hall of Famer.
Twint:    Both he and his brother were the only winning pitchers for their team in that series.
Twint:    In the last World Series appearance of his career, he gave up Joe DiMaggio’s second career World Series home run—a shot that sealed the victory for that game.
A.         DIZZY DEAN (30-7, 1934, only NL’ers Mathewson, Alexander and McGinnity won 30 in the modern era, all before Dean; 1934 WS Hank Greenberg game 1, and Charlie Gehringer game 5; He won games 1 & 7, brother Paul Dean won G 3 & 6; 1938 WS game 2 NYY win 6-3 over CHC, DiMaggio belting a 2-run shot off Dean in the top of the 9th.)
FCR -    Bob Flynn, Chandler, AZ
Incorrect answers:  Denny McLain, Warren Spahn, Denny McLain, Pete Alexander, Carl Hubbell, Lefty Grove

Q.         Who was the only qualifying pitcher with a season ERA under 2.00 in the 1950s?
Hint:     He once hitch-hiked to get home from the airport with two teammates who would become Hall of Famers.
Hint:     Ironically, home had been friendly to him that year.  His record was 13-0.
Twint:    He surrendered pitcher Ellis Kinder’s only career home run, a grand slam.
Twint:    While pinch-hitting for Roger Maris, Carroll Hardy hit his first career home run off him.
A.         BILLY PIERCE (1.97 ERA on 1955; Hitch-hiked home with Willie McCovey & Orlando Cepeda after flying back from Los Angeles 03-Oct-1962; Kinder HR 06-Aug-1950; Hardy HR 18-May-1958)
FCR -    Blake Sherry, Dublin, OH
Incorrect answers: Hoyt Wilhelm, Jim Konstanty, Whitey Ford, Elroy Face, Dean Chance, Bob Friend, Sandy Koufax

Q.         Who was the next New York Yankees to win an American League batting title after Mickey Mantle’s in 1956?
Hint:     No Yankee ever hit more doubles in a season than he did.
Hint:     His restaurant became a favorite destination in the Midwest.
Twint:    His record of six grand slams in a season was tied by Travis Hafner in 2006.
A.         DON MATTINGLY (.343 in 1984; 53 2b in 1986; Mattingly’s 23; 6 GS in 1987)
FCR -    Andrew Distler, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Yogi Berra, Lou Piniella, Dave Winfield, Paul O’Neill, Moose Skowron, Bobby Richardson

Q.         Who was the last first baseman to bat over .380 for a season (qualified for batting title)?
Hint:     He was expressly named after the doctor who delivered him.
Hint:     When speaking of how a player will adjust his position to defend against him he said, “It goes right by his glove and I laugh.”
Twint:    A Hall of Fame pitcher said of him: “He has no weakness as a hitter.  Anything you throw he can handle.”
A.         ROD CAREW (1977 BA .388 with George Sisler (twice) and Bill Terry prior to that; Born in Panama, named after Dr. Rodney Cline; Catfish Hunter quote from Carew’s HOF web page; Full quote from Bref Bullpen: "I get a kick out of watching a team defense me. A player moves two steps in one direction and I hit it two steps in the other direction. It goes right by his glove and I laugh.")
FCR -    Mark Jones, Birmingham, AL
Incorrect answers:  Norm Cash, Bill Terry, Babe Herman, Andres Galarraga, George Sisler, John Olerud

Q.         Who was the first of Fernando Valenzuela’s five consecutive All-Star whiffs?
Hint:     His 3,000th career hit it was off a (future) Hall of Fame pitcher and it drove in a (future) Hall of Famer.
Hint:     In a 22-season career, he only led the league once in a Triple Crown category and only once finished as high as third in MVP voting.
Twint:    He was the first player to collect 100 RBI in a season after his 40th birthday.
A.         DAVE WINFIELD ([ERRATUM!:  Winfield was Fernando’s 1st K in 1984 ASG, but that was a 1-inning appearance.  Valenzuela’s famous string of 5 Ks came in the 1986 game where Don Mattingly was the 1st victim.]; RBI drove in Kirby Puckett, video: 16-Sep-1993; 1979 NL RBI leader with 118; Career Stats and MVP votes; 108 RBI 1992, Harold Baines had 103 in 1999 at age 40)
FCR -    Doug Greenwald, San Francisco, CA
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Murray, Wade Boggs, Eddie Murray, Rickey Henderson, Paul Molitor

Q.         Who hit the first postseason inside-the-park homer in Yankee stadium?
Hint:     The bases were empty, but it broke a tie and was the eventual game winner.
Hint:     He was the first Brooklyn player to lead his league in on base percentage.
Hint:     It was the only major category in his playing career where he put up a league leading number.
Twint:    As a successful Hall of Fame manager, the only season he won 100 games his team finished second.
A.         CASEY STENGEL (1923 WS G1 top 9th inning and, famously, it was the first homer of any kind in The House That Ruth Built; Video of the “fast footed feat; Brooklyn Robins 1914 OBP .404; NYY1954 103-51 second to CLE 111-43)
FCR -    Larry Farin, Plano, TX
Incorrect answers:  Pee Wee Reese, Dolph Camilli, Carl Furillo

Q.         Who was the first Brave to hit forty home runs in a season?
Hint:     He is also the only Brave to have done so in three consecutive seasons.
Hint:     He won two World Series rings, one each for helping to beat the teams that now have most World Championships in their respective league.
Twint:    The last hit of his career was in the 1968 World Series against a future Hall of Fame pitcher.
A.         EDDIE MATHEWS (47 HR 1953; 47/40/41 1953-5; Rings with the 1957 MLN over NYY, and 1968 DET over STL; Game 4 single 2nd inning against Bob Gibson)
FCR -    Bill Deane, Cooperstown, NY
Incorrect answers:  Dale Murphy, Joe Adcock, Davey Johnson

Q.         Who is the oldest pitcher ever to win a league Most Valuable Player Award?
Hint:     The last team he played for was one he had played for earlier in his career, but in a different capacity.
Twint:    He was the first pitcher to accumulate fifteen postseason saves.
Twint:    Lon Simmons said to him during the 2004 HOF induction speeches, "OK, you can stop taking the ugly pills.  They're not working."
A.         DENNIS ECKERSLEY (MVP 1992, 38 yrs. Old; Played for BOS 1978-84 as a starter.  Finished in the bullpen in 1998.)
FCR -    Adrian Fung, Toronto, ON
Incorrect answers:  Barry Bonds, Rollie Fingers, Don Newcombe, Sandy Koufax

Q.         Who was the National League player representative during the 1994-95 players' strike?
Hint:     He once broke a rib vomiting on a team flight.
Twint:    He briefly went on the DL, but still had five starts in every calendar month that season and finished second in the Cy Young Award voting…
Twint:    …a step lower than he had finished the prior season.
A.         TOM GLAVINE (Rib break 1992; CYA 1991)
FCR -    Mary Shea, Milwaukee, WI
Incorrect answers:  David Cone, Joe Girardi, John Smoltz

Q.         Who is the only American-born Hall of Famer to die outside the United States?
Hint:     He was the last player to hit a grand slam at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Hint:     He was replaced by Rick Monday.
Twint:    He hit Opening Day home runs twice (different years).
A.         DON DRYSDALE (Died 03-Jul-1993 in Montreal; GS off Don Nottebart 09-Aug-1961; Monday replaced him as a Dodgers announcer; Opening Day HRs 11-Apr-1959 & 12-Apr-1965)
FCR -    Warren Campbell, Toronto, ON
Incorrect answers:  Earl Weaver, Ed Delahanty

WEEKLY THEME – Prime retired numbers:

Retiree            #     Team
Gehringer          2      Tigers
Murphy             3      Braves
Bagwell            5      Astros
Biggio              7      Astros
Aparicio          11      White Sox
Concepcion    13      Reds
Dean              17      Cardinals
Pierce             19      White Sox
Mattingly         23      Yankees
Carew             29      Angels
Maddux          31      Cub & Braves
Stengel           37      Yankees & Mets
Mathews         41      Braves
Eckersley        43      A’s
Glavine           47      Braves
Drysdale         53      Dodgers

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Carl Morton, Vernal, UT

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday   -  Consecutive MVP winners
               -  Guys famous for being quiet

Tuesday   -  Players eligible for the Hall of Fame in 2015
               -  Eligible players not voted into the Hall with this year’s class

Wed        -  Players who have led their position in games played for a 10-year period while winning at least one gold glove

We archive our questions here: