Sunday, July 24, 2016

July 18-24, 2016 Batters with 2 defeats in the original Home Run Derby

[Theme and questions sent in to Horsehide Trivia from long-time reader Dan Massey of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.]

Q. Who, as Vic Wertz can attest, was one of a handful of outfielders whose glove was described as “the place triples go to die”?
Hint: He was the first of only two players to hit 20 triples in a season in which he achieved the 30/30 club.
Hint: He finished in the top 6 in National League MVP voting 12 times in 13 years, winning twice
Hint: The lone year in that stretch when he didn’t finish in the top half dozen in MVP voting, he still was third in the NL in total bases and actually led the league in steals.
Hint: He was in the top four in the league in WAR in each of those 13 seasons, pacing the circuit nine times.
- 1954 World Series catch off Wertz’s bat in Game 1.
- 30/30 w/20 triples in 1957 (Jimmy Rollins did it in 2007)
- Top 6 from 1954-66 except 1956 (322 TB, 40 SB); MVP in 1954 & 1965;
- Led NL in WAR in 1954, 1955, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1962-1965 (2nd in ’56 and ’61; 3rd in ’66; 4th in ’59)
FCR - Bradley Curtis, Roseville, CA
Incorrect answers:  Roberto Clemente, Dave Parker, Jeff Heath, Joe DiMaggio

Q. Whose predilection for doubleheaders is engraved on the statue of him outside his longtime home ballpark?
Hint: He liked playing so much that he led his league in games played during six of his first seven full years in the majors.
Hint: His career was helped by two legends of the Negro Leagues.
Hint: After leading the league in intentional walks for a three-year period, he was granted only three intentional passes the following year despite hitting 37 home runs that season.
Hint: His career took a significant productivity downturn after a position change, but not so much that it kept him out of the Hall of Fame.
- “LET’S PLAY TWO” statue & engraving
- Led NL in games played 1954-1955, 1957-1960 (Evidence that if he couldn’t play two, he certainly was not going to miss the one at hand!)
- “Cool Papa Bell was the first one who impressed me.  Buck O’Neil helped me in many ways. He installed a positive influence.” [Almost looks like that’s where he got his smile too!]
- Led NL in IBB from 1959, 61; only 3 in 1962.  IBB an official stat beginning 1955.
- 138 OPS+ from 1953-1961 as primary SS; 106 OPS+ from 1962-1971 as primary 1B
FCR - Adrian Fung, Toronto, ON
Incorrect answers:  

Q. Who led the AL in home runs more seasons than anyone save Babe Ruth?
Hint: His nickname belied his affable manner.
Hint: He once suffered a terrible injury during an All-Star Game.
Hint: He has almost three times as many WAR than all the other major leagues from his birth state combined and nearly six times the WAR of the next closest player born in his state.
Hint: He is a double-unique.
- Six AL home run titles (1959, 1962-1964,1967,1969); Ruth had 12
- Nicknamed Killer, but was by all accounts one of baseball's true gentlemen.
- Missed 56 games after injuring hamstring in 1968 All-Star Game.  Click here to watch it..  [Scroll to 1:06:00 to see the play.]
- Born in Idaho, has 60.3 WAR; Vance Law second with 10.6; all other Idahoans from Killebrew on down total 20.8.
FCR - Dean Kloner, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Jimmie Foxx, Ted Williams, Ken Griffey, Jr., Frank Howard, Hank Aaron,  Mike Schmidt, Barry Bonds

Q. Who is the only player beside Babe Ruth to pitch during a season where he hit 40 or more home runs?
Hint: He only surrendered one hit over 5.2 shutout innings during his major league pitching career and ended with a career ERA of 0.00.
Hint: Only 40 of his 1,841 career games in the majors were in the National League.
Hint: He was once traded straight across for a player who was immortalized on a 2-2 pitch in a call from Vin Scully.
- Pitched and hit 41 home runs in 1958 (Mantle had 42 for the AL HR title.)
- The lone hit against him was a double by Hall of Famer Al Kaline on 25-Aug-1968 while pitching for the Yankees.  It was the next-to-last batter he ever faced.
- The first 40 games of his final season, 1968, were with the Dodgers.
- Famously traded from Cleveland to Detroit on 17-Apr-1960 for former batting champ Harvey Kuenn.  Kuenn, playing for the Cubs (in the last year of his career) struck out on 2-2 pitch to cap off Sandy Koufax’ perfect game in 1965.
FCR - Jeff Fink, Howell, NJ
Incorrect answers:  Jimmie Foxx, Kirk Gibson, Dave Kingman, Jose Canseco, Harvey Kuenn, Johnny Lindell, Chris Davis

Q. Who, since the end of World War II, he is tied with Albert Belle, Cecil Fielder and Harmon Killebrew for most times leading the AL in RBIs?
Hint: He retired less than two seasons after winning his league’s MVP.
Hint: His comeback attempt the following year was made more difficult by expansion.
Hint: He played himself in his own biopic.
Hint: He worked with Keith Jackson as a college football commentator.
- Thrice he led AL in RBIs in 1955, 58 & 59, the remaining troika, also 3 X apiece.
- Won AL MVP for the 1958 season; played in ‘59, but retired for 1960 then un-retired and played in 1961 but then re-retired after the ‘61 season principally due to the introduction of air travel into major league schedules to accommodate the Los Angeles Angels games.
- Played himself in The Jackie Jensen Story,  but only in 1 scene.
- A member of the College Football Hall of Fame (U. of California), he joined Jackson in the broadcast booth for the 1966 and 1967 seasons.
FCR - Rich Klein, Plano, TX
Incorrect answers:  Frank Thomas, Edgar Martinez, Juan Gonzalez, Kirk Gibson, Reggie Jackson, Jackie Robinson, Miguel Cabrerra

Q. Who is the only University of Kansas alumnus to make an MLB All-Star team?
Hint: He did it three times.
Hint: He leads all former Jayhawks major leaguers in runs, hits, doubles, triples, home runs, RBIs . . .  well, pretty much any counting statistic.
Hint: Despite his team winning 91 games one season and his leading the league in WAR, he only managed to finish 15th in MVP voting.
Hint: Two years after that, no teammate had more runs, homers or steals in the World Series than he did.
- All-Star 1959, 1963, 1964
- 7.4 WAR in 1963, 15th in MVP
- 1965 WS – tied for team honors with 3 runs scored, 1 HR, 1 SB
FCR - Rick Tharp, Gaithersburg, MD
Incorrect answers:  Bob Cerv

Q. Who was the first American League player to lead the league in triples and strikeouts in the same season?
Hint: Four years later, he led the league in sacrifice flies and intentional walks.
Hint: He lost 64 of the first 100 games he managed.
Hint: He was the first major leaguer to wear a batting helmet with ear flaps.
Hint: He once sang on The Today Show.
- Led in K & SO in 1956 with 11 & 138 respectively.  (Jake Wood in 1961, Zoilo Versalles in 1965, Mickey Rivers in 1974 also did it.)
- In 1960 led the AL with 8 sac flies and 9 IBB
- Managed 1968 Washington Senators, started 36-64, a .360 clip.  Finished the season only slightly better at .404.
- First with helmet 02-May-1960 described in The Milwaukee Journal. Referred to as “Little League” helmet.
- Sang with the “Singing Senators,” who performed on The Today Show (caveat: This is not that episode.) in 1958.
FCR - Frank Wakefield, Franklin, KY
Incorrect answers:  Tony Gonzalez, Frank Howard, Zoilo Versalles

THEME FOR THE WEEK - Players who suffered two defeats during the 1960 TV Series Home Run Derby.  (sample only)

Mays (3-2)
Banks (1-2)
Killebrew (2-2)
Colavito (0-2)
Jensen (2-2)
Allison (1-2)
Lemon (0-2)

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Jeff Bergida, Albany, NY

Incorrect theme guesses:
Monday   - HOF players who finished their careers in NY after enjoying great success elsewhere
- Hall of Famers from Alabama

Tues - The first African American players on their franchise
- People who have won mvp honors twice
- Franchise leaders in total bases (and lots of other categories too)
- First African American players elected to HOF
- Top HR hitters in 1950s
- African-American stars who played in the Negro Leagues and the majors, who were
 twice MVP, so far. Also 500+ HRs
- African American hall of famers who played in the negro leagues

Wed - RH hitters with +500 career HRs
- Leading HR hitters at each position
- Players with the most home runs in the 1960's

Thurs - Kids from New York City
- Home runs in an all star game when there were two games in a season

Sun - Home Run Derby participants who returned to the show after being defeated.
- Players who hit home runs off Jim Bunning
- Players who got hits in 2 all star games in the same year.
- Players who appeared on HR Derby TV show.
- Players who won in an episode of Home Run
- TV show "Home Run Derby" participants who appeared again after
 losing a previous derby competition
- Participants defeated on HR Derby, who returned for another session later

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