Sunday, September 18, 2016

eptember 12-18, 2016 Hall of Famers whose debuts were all 1880

MONDAY (Not connected with this week’s theme.)
Q. Four (4) times has a National League team accomplished the remarkable feat of hitting five (5) home runs in one (1) inning.  Every time, the same franchise has been on the receiving end of that offensive largesse.  Name that generous team.
[No hints.  We’ve gone outside our normal format, but just for this question.]
*Only career home run.

FCR - Jason Hammon, Arlington, TX
Incorrect answers:  Chicago Cubs, Colorado Rockies, Philadelphia Phillies, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks

Q. Who holds the record for the most pitching wins in a season?
Hint: Following that season, he often could not comb his hair with his pitching hand.
Hint: He had to be convinced to give up his career as a butcher to pursue a playing career.
Hint: Disfigured from being shot in the face in a hunting accident and suffering from the effects of syphilis, he lived out his life as a recluse in the back of his saloon.
- 59 W in 1884
FCR - Jeff Epstein, Dallas, TX
Incorrect answers:  Jack Chesbro, Kid Nichols, Denny McLain, Christy Mathewson, Walter Johnson, Bill Walsh, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Ed Walsh, Pud Galvin

Q. Who was the first player to win a game with a grand slam with 2 out in the bottom of the 9th inning?
Hint: Turns out it was the first grand slam ever recorded in the five-year-old National League.
Hint: He started his career at 3B, even though he threw left-handed, which may explain how he came to commit 60 errors in only 83 games as a rookie.
Hint: When moved to first base for his sophomore season, he showed barely measureable improvement, committing 46 errors in 85 games.
Hint: Management, determined to put him somewhere other than first base, moved him to second base 2 years later and he rewarded them with 71 errors in 67 games.
Hint: He held the majors’ career home run record for over 2 decades until the advent  of Babe Ruth.
- Rookie season:  1880
- Played 2nd base in 1884
- 138 career home runs, broken by Ruth 18-Jul-1921
FCR - Andrew Distler, New York, NY
Incorrect answers:  Home Run Baker, Jack Clements, Ned Williamson, Harmon Killebrew, Cy Williams, Ken Williams, Gavvy Cravath, Casey Stengle

Q. Who was the first manager to lead the Baltimore Orioles to a pennant title?
Hint: He is considered the managerial ancestor of dozens, perhaps scores, of major league managers.
Hint: As a player, he was the last out in the first perfect game ever pitched..
Hint: He pioneered many baseball game “techniques”, some  of  which prompted  rules changes and some of which are in use today.
- 1894 NL pennant
- On the 1894 Orioles alone, he was skipper to Hall of Famers John McGraw, Hughie Jennings, Kid Gleason, Joe Kelley, Dan Brouthers, Willie Keeler, Wilbert Robinson and Toney Mullane who SHOULD be in the Hall.
- Lee Richmond’s perfect game:  12-Jun-1880
- Hanlon invented or perfected the hit-and-run, the Baltimore chop, bunting, platooning right- and left-handed hitters among others.
N.B.  Reader Josh Murphy of Cedar Rapids, Iowa has put  together an interesting list, showing how many managers were themselves managed by manager who were managed by Ned Hanlon:  Managerial Lineage.
FCR - Rick Zucker, St. Louis, MO
Incorrect answers:  John McGraw, Wilbert Robinson, Paul Richards, Hank Bauer, Hughie Jennings, Earl Weaver, Whitey Herzog, Joe Kelley

Q. Of whom did the 1919 Reach Guide say,"In his prime the greatest player of the game from the standpoint of supreme excellence in all departments: batting, catching, fielding, base running, throwing and baseball brains. A player without a weakness of any kind."?
Hint: He is credited with inventing the pregame clubhouse meeting.
Hint: His obituary had these words, "He did not allow the platitudes of the multitudes to turn his head.".
Hint: Before his pro career, he took a job as the delivery driver of a team of mules for Meddux & Hobart, a Cincinnati distiller, and played baseball on Sundays, his one day off each week.
Hint: His last job in baseball was as the coach at Miami (OH) Military Institute.
FCR - Larry Hayes, San Francisco, CA
Incorrect answers:  Harry Wright, Heinie Groh, Honus Wagner, Branch Rickey, Wilbert Robinson, Sam Crawford, Hal Chase, Ty Cobb, Edd Roush, Ray Schalk, Joe Jackson

Q. What Brooklyn-born hurler accumulated 300 victories playing for the same franchise?
Hint: The team had four names and two home cities during his tenure with them.
Hint: Only he has struck out the first nine opposing batters of a major league game.
Hint: Wikipedia documents him as being the majors’ first pinch-hitter.
- 307 W over 13 seasons, 1880-92
- Beginning in Troy, New York in 1879 in the, the team was called, at first, The Haymakers, based on an earlier team that played in the area.  They settled on Trojans for obvious reasons. The Trojans were expelled from the NL shortly before the end of the 1882 season, but arose like a phoenix in 1883 in New York City and called themselves the Gothams, with four standouts from the ‘82 Trojans.  Within 2 years, they were rebranded the Giants.  It could be argued that the Trojans and Gothams were separate franchises, but those finely drawn distinctions matter more to modern baseball historians than they did at the time.
- On 28-Aug-1884, Welch struck out the 1st 9 batters he faced.  On 22-Apr-1970, Tom Seaver of the Mets struck out the final 10 Padres for the overall record.
- Pinch hit on 10-Sep-1889.
FCR - Bill Deane, Cooperstown, NY
Incorrect answers:  Hoss Radbourn, Sandy Koufax, Tim Keefe, Jack Chesbro, Dazzy Vance

Q. Who set the all-time record for lowest ERA for a season and did it in his rookie year?
Hint: That record has stood safely unchallenged for over 125 years.
Hint: He held the career record for strikeouts for 20 years before it was broken by Cy Young.
Hint: His first season was the last in which pitchers threw from 45 feet, so for most of his career he pitched from 50 feet. His final season was the first at the current distance of 60’ 6”.
Hint: All four of his father’s brothers were killed fighting for the Union during the Civil War.
-  ERA of 0.86 in 1880.  Though he only pitched 105 innings that year, he qualified for the lead based on his team’s 83-game schedule.
- Keefe sailed past Jim McCormick’s career K total of 1,704 to his 2,564 which fell to Cy Young in 1908.
FCR - Dave Serota, Kalamazoo, MI
Incorrect answers:  Grover Cleveland Alexander, Amos Rusie

THEME FOR THE WEEK - Hall of Famers whose major league debut was in 1880; 4 of them in the same week--3 on the same day!

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Connor 01-May-1880
Ewing 09-Sep-1880
Hanlon 01-May-1880
Keefe 06-Aug-1880
Radbourn 05-May-1880
Welch 01-May-1880

Incorrect theme guesses:
Sunday   - Veteran's Committee Hall of Famers
- 19th century Players in the Hall of Fame