Richard Lerner of Silver Spring, Maryland gave us this week’s theme.
Q. What former Tiger did ESPN dub as “The Greatest Athlete of All Time”?
Hint: Archery became his pass-time after baseball.
Hint: He was the first player to play in the majors with an artificial hip.
A. BO JACKSON
FCR - Steven Coleman, Belleville, Illinois
Incorrect answers: Kirk Gibson, Howard Hill, Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Mark Fidrych, Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb, Jim Thorpe
Q. What Hall of Famer played in the outfield for the Yankees the year before Babe Ruth joined the team?
Hint: His 2 singles in 22 at-bats did not bode well for his future with the Yankees.
Hint: One hopes he spent his $400 salary wisely.
A. GEORGE HALAS
- Yes, THAT George Halas! Football Hall of Fame.
FCR - Bob Flynn, Gilbert Arizona
Incorrect answers: Bob Muesel, Casey Stengel, Lefty O’Doul
Q. Who pinch-hit for Roger Maris, Ted Williams & Carl Yastrzemski? (…not in the same game. That would be a record.)
Hint: He got a single for Yaz, hit a walk-off home for Maris and hit into a double play for Teddy Ballgame.
Hint: He once homered off a player who went on to have a successful medical practice.
Hint: Life started for him in the small Great Plains burgh that is now the mecca for a huge annual gathering.
- PH for Maris 18-May-1958; for Williams 20-Sep-1960; for Yaz 31-May-1961. The HR for Maris was a walk-off job in the 11th. It victimized that year’s AL All-Star starting pitcher, Billy Pierce who had just come into the game to face him. It was Hardy’s 1st career HR. He would hit 16 more, 3 of which are discussed in today’s answer.
- HR off Ron Taylor 11-Apr-1962. Taylor is a recently retired Toronto doctor and was for years the Blue Jays team physician.
- Born in Sturgis, South Dakota where some 500,000 bikers amass for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, held there annually since the early 1940’s.
FCR - Jeff Freedman, Westwood, California
Incorrect answers: Wade Boggs, Al Kaline, Gene Stephens
Q. What Heisman Trophy winner could not make the Pittsburgh Pirates winners?
Hint: His barely-above-the-Mendoza-line batting average might have even contributed to their woes.
Hint: The unfortunate end of his sports career occurred in a manner eerily similar to that of a Hall of Famer he played against in his major league debut.
Hint: He ended his professional career as a mid-level civil servant in the government of the state of his birth.
A. VIC JANOWICZ
- Hit .252 and .151 respectively for a career average of .214
- Debut 31-May-1953, with Roy Campanella behind the plate for BRO. Both were victims in serious car crashes.
- Was an administrative assistant to the auditor for the state of Ohio.
FCR - Dave Williams, Glastonbury, Connecticut
Q. What former U.S. Marine does SABR call, “…the greatest athlete ever to emerge from the Greater Boston area.”?
Hint: He and Hank Aaron Made their major league debuts on the same day.
Hint: In spite of leading American League first basemen in assists and fielding percentage, he was not among the three players receiving league Rookie-of-the-Year votes.
Hint: His baseball prowess led to his golden sobriquet.
Hint: After high school he received literally scores of scholarship offers from what are now known as D-1 schools, including Notre Dame and Tennessee.
Hint: He chose to pro instead, turn but soon found himself serving his country during the Korean War.
- They do add “arguably” to their evaluation in the Agganis bio.
- 89 assists and .990 fielding %; Grim, Finigan & Kaline got ROY recognition.
- Known as the “Golden Greek” which reflected his heritage as well.
- The scholarship offers were mostly to play football.
FCR - Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect answers: Ted Williams, Ernie Banks, Bryce Harper
Q. What former All-American athlete disappeared from his MLB team on a road trip in the middle of the season?
Hint: He had been drafted by 4 different professional sports teams, by one of them twice.
Hint: He had played on a national championship team in the Connie Mack Division of the American Amateur Baseball Congress.
Hint: He has dedicated himself to helping victims of the Flint water crisis.
Hint: He debuted and finished in the majors with teams sporting orange in their uniforms.
A. RICK LEACH
- Playing for TOR in 1987, as the Blue Jays arrived in New York in the middle of an 11-game winning streak 08-Jun, Leach simply disappeared for 4 days, re-joining the team in Baltimore, citing “personal problems”.
- Drafted in baseball by the PHI in the 11th round of the 1975 MLB June Amateur Draft from Southwestern HS (Flint, MI), then PHI in the 24th round of the 1978 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Michigan and finally the Detroit Tigers in the 1st round (13th overall) of the 1979 MLB June Amateur Draft from University of Michigan. Drafted in football in 1978 by the NFL’s Denver Broncos but chose baseball for safety reasons.
- He attended high school in the Flint, Michigan area.S
FCR - Ron Kaufman, Thornhill, Ontario
Incorrect answers: Dave Winfield, Kirk Gibson, Gene Conley
Q. What former infielder became the Yankees starting catcher when the team traded away a former MVP?
Hint: A future MVP is the one who took his place.
Hint: He coached his alma mater’s baseball team to the college World Series and was named Coach of the Year.
Hint: He held the record for coaching victories at that school until 2013.
A. JAKE GIBBS
- NYY traded Elston Howard (MVP 1963) 03-Aug-1967 to BOS.
- Coached at Ol’ Miss (University of Mississippi)
FCR - Bob Dorrill, Kingwood, Texas
Incorrect answers: Jorge Posada, Frankie Crosetti, Thurman Munson, Bobby Richardson, Jim Leyritz, Doc Blanchard
WEEKLY THEME –
MLB players who had been the MVP of a college football bowl game -
Agganis - 1953 Senior Bowl
Gibbs - 1961 Sugar Bowl
Jackson - 1986 Cotton Bowl, 1984 Liberty Bowl and 1984 Sugar Bowl
Janowicz - 1952 Hula Bowl and 1951 East-West Shrine Game
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Nobody was all that close
Incorrect theme guesses:
Monday - Major leaguers who were pros in other sports
Wed - Players who both hit a HR and scored an NFL touchdown in the same stadium
- MLB players also playing in the NFL
- Athletes who played both pro baseball and football
- Athletes who played another sport professionally in addition to baseball
- Football stars, maybe All-Americans
- American League outfielders who played in the NFL
Thu - People who played in MLB bit achieved other notable success in the NFL as players and/or executives
- Players in both MLB and NFL whose last names began with either "H" (Halas & Hardy) or "J" (Jackson & Janowicz)
- Baseball players who also lettered in Football in college
Fri - College Football All-Americans who played in the Majors
- MLB players in the College or Pro Football Hall of Fame
Sun - College football All-Americans who played Major League Baseball
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