Monday, December 19, 2016

December 12-18, 2016 Players known to come to the plate without batting gloves


Q. What Hank Aaron Award winner first appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated at age 16?
Hint: In 2012, he became the third youngest player ever selected to a major league All-Star team.
Hint: He became the first unanimous MVP in the National League since Albert Pujols.
- SI cover 08-Jun-2009.  He has appeared on SI’s cover several times since then as well as the cover of Sports Illustrated for Kids.  Won the Hank Aaron Award in 2015.  It is given to the best hitter in each league.
FCR - Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect responses:  Mike Trout, Kris Bryant, Joey Votto

Q. Whose 319 home runs in his 12-year major league career, exactly ties his father’s major league home run total?
Hint: His three-run bomb was the first home run hit by a Brewer in All-Star game history and earned him AS MVP honors, also a Brewers first.
Hint: He was also the first Milwaukee Brewer to win the Home Run Derby.
- Cecil Fielder’s total came in 13 seasons and doesn’t include his production in Japan.
FCR - Sharif Elgamal, Redwood City, California
Incorrect responses:  Robin Yount, Cecil Fielder

Q. What baseball spark plug led Lawrence E. Elkins High School to the USA Today national championship with his father as the coach?
Hint: No other Horned Frog baseball player has more career games played or at-bats.
Hint: He wears #13 and was drafted in the 13th round.
Hint: The year he led the majors in hits, he won his franchise’s first Silver Slugger award at his position.  Not bad considering that his franchise is well over a century old.
- HS championship 2002
- Record set at TCU
- 199 hits in 2013
FCR - Steven Coleman, Belleville, Illinois
Incorrect responses:  Jose Altuve, Roberto Clemente, Pete Rose, Pee Wee Reese, Ken Griffey, Jr., Chris Carpenter

Q. Among all New York Yankee switch-hitters, who holds the franchise record for strikeouts in a season?
Hint: He was behind the plate for an historic perfect game pitched in Yankee Stadium.
Hint: He is the only person to hit home runs from each side of the plated in a regular-season MLB game outside North America.
- 151 K’s in 2000 (Mickey Mantle’s most ever was 126 in 1959.)
- David Wells’s perfect game 17-May-1998.  It was the first ever regular-season perfect game in Yankee history.
- 2 HR in Tokyo 31-Mar-2004 at the Tokyo Dome
FCR - Adrian Fung, Toronto
Incorrect responses:  Yogi Berra, Butch Wynegar, Brian McCann, Matt Nokes, Nick Swishers

Q. Whose catch did Steve Bartman thwart?
Hint: His uncle won a batting title, beating out a Hall of Fame teammate.
Hint: He was the first NL player to play against a team managed by his father.
Hint: He was once named his team’s MVP during their World Series championship season.
- Interesting how much more well-known the name Bartman became than Moises.
- Matty Alou hit .342 in 1966, the same year that teammate Roberto Clemente won his only MVP.
- After six seasons playing FOR his father Felipe, on 20-Jun-1997 he played for FLA against him.
- FLA won 1997 WS
FCR - Jim Hindley, Burlington, Ontario
Incorrect responses:  Jesus Alou

Q. What Brahma Bull did the Indians ride for two months this year (although they originally got him from Buffalo)?
Hint: Hardly surprising that he is both tough and fast as his parents were an amateur boxer and champion sprinter respectively.
Hint: His mother’s father is in the U.S. Track and Field Masters Hall of Fame.
Hint: He was the coveted Catfish Hunter Award’s 10th honoree.
- Attended Pierce College in Los Angeles (the Brahma Bulls) and was a key player for CLE in September and the postseason in 2016.  (Played for the Buffalo Bisons before being called up to the majors.)
- He is the son of Loyce Crisp, a fast food restaurant owner and former amateur boxer and Pamela Crisp, a former champion sprinter.
- The Catfish Hunter Award honors an Oakland A's player whose play on the field and conduct in the clubhouse best exemplifies the courageous, competitive and inspirational spirit demonstrated by the late Hall of Fame pitcher.
FCR - Robert Kapernick, Ft. Myers
Incorrect responses:  Andrew Miller, Corey Kluber, Jonny Gomes

Q. Who, when he made the Cuban national team in 2002, became the first teenager to do so in nearly 20 years?
Hint: He famously injured his ankle in a celebration at home plate following his game-ending, walk-off grand slam.
Hint: He was singular through 2010.
Hint: One season he played 158 games with a World Series-winning team.
- He is still considered the best rookie in the history of Cuban baseball.
- Home plate awkward landing 29-May-2010
- He played as “Kendry” Morales through the 2010 season
- He played 141 games at DH for the 2015 KC Royals.
FCR - Michael Campos, Redmond, Washington

Q. What Rookie of the Year Award winner was traded after two seasons in the majors and, in his first full season, led his new team in games, plate appearances, at-bats, hits, runs, doubles and RBI and was second on the team in triples and stolen bases?
Hint: Not surprisingly, he made the All-Star team that season and got his first AS hit, a double.
Hint: He has played games at six different positions in the majors, but none at catcher which is where he was drafted.
- AL ROY in 2013 with TBR.  Led the 2016 Padres in many offensive categories.
- Has played 1B, RF, CF, DH, LF & 3B.
FCR - Jake Hopper, Houston
Incorrect responses:  Ted Sizemore, Eric Hinske, Jayson Werth, Richie Ashburn, Albie Pearson, Lou Piniella

Q. Whose 24 home runs passed Bo Jackson for second all-time in his state for home runs in a season by a high school player?
Hint: As a senior, he led his high school team to a national championship.
Hint: A trade to Baltimore would see him achieve the rare avian trifecta.
Hint: His team lost a five-game LCS to the eventual World Series champions in spite of his 3 home runs.
- HR record for the state of Alabama
- Rasmus helped lead Russell County to a national championship in 2005 as they finished the season ranked first in both the National High School Baseball Coaches Association poll and the USA TODAY Super 25 baseball rankings. Rasmus graduated from Russell County High School in 2005.
- Has already played for the Cardinals 2009-11 and Blue Jays 2011-14.
- 2015 ALCS vs. KCR
FCR - Prisco Panza, Shelton, Connecticut
Incorrect responses:  Frank Thomas, Corey Patterson, Ron Hansen, Reggie Jackson, Adam Jones

Q. What player receives an encouraging chant every time he comes to the plate?
Hint: In his rookie season, he went from April to October and had exactly zero hits.
Hint: He did manage to eke out 2 bases-on balls.
Hint: Earl Averill is 3rd in similarity score.
- He was 0 for 2012 for TBR.
- That’s Earl Averill, JUNIOR !
FCR - Paul Goodson, Cheyenne
Incorrect responses:  Kyle Schwarber, Bob Uecker

Q. Whose abuse of and then rehab from alcohol and marijuana delayed his entry into the majors by four years?
Hint: His Hispanic teammates call him the White Bear.
Hint: He has become such a strong MLB player that only the league MVP finalist on his team had a greater OPS+ last year.
Hint: He attended school in Odessa, but not in Russia.
- His recovery is a great success story.
- “El Oso Blanco
- Jose Altuve had an OPS+ of 154 in 2016
FCR - Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect responses:  Josh Hamilton

Q. In 2015, who tied a 1903 team record for the most consecutive scoreless innings caught by a catcher?
Hint: Although a Venezuela native, he played for team Italy in the 2009 World Baseball Classic.
Hint: He began his pro career as a switch-hitter, but was told by coaches to stick to batting righty.
- 56 scoreless innings, tying the team record held by Ed Phelps.
- His last names gives away his Italian heritage.  His father was born in Italy.
FCR - Fernando Luis PiƱeres, Washington, DC
Incorrect responses:  Geovany Soto, Wilson Ramos

THEME FOR THE WEEK - Major league batters known to go to the plate eschewing batting gloves, at least part-time.

(Click each for evidence of bare-handed batting.)
Select additional players with reputations of sporadic glovelessness:
Homer Bailey
George Brett
Delino DeShields, Jr.
Conor Gillaspie
Mark Grace
Vladimir Guerrero
Jason Kendall
Doug Mientkiewicz
Brad Miller
Doug Mirabelli
Jamie Moyer
Blake Swihart
Preston Tucker

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Steve Berman, Bergenfield, NJ (after Carpenter)

Incorrect theme guesses:
Monday   - 2013 Home Run Derby contestants

Tuesday - players who have homers while Max Scherzer was pitching

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