Sunday, April 30, 2017

2017-04-24 MVP's at college bowl games

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.
-  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.
-  Played for PIT 1953 & 1954.  Each team lost 100+ games and had the worst records in the league.
-  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
Incorrect answers: 

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.
Harry and Henry broke in on 13-Apr-1954.
-  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
-  Debuted with DET in 1981. Finished w/SFG in 1990.
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


MLB players who had been the MVP of a college football bowl game - 

Agganis     - 1953 Senior Bowl
Gibbs         - 1961 Sugar Bowl
Halas         - 1919 Rose Bowl
Hardy        - 1955 Hula Bowl
Jackson     - 1986 Cotton Bowl, 1984 Liberty Bowl and 1984 Sugar Bowl
Leach        - 1979 Hula Bowl and 1979 Rose Bowl

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 

Monday, April 24, 2017

2017-04-17 Pitchers with more than one double-digit-strikeout World Series game

Reader Scott Matteson from Shawnee, Kansas sent us this week’s theme.

Q.        Which Hall of Famer is the only pitcher to win nine (9!) Opening Day games for the same team, all complete games?
Hint:     He managed the Cleveland Indians to a .516 winning percentage, finishing every year in the first division.
Hint:     He was born in Kansas, grew up in California, but many people seem to think he’s from Idaho.
-  All for the Washington Senators 1910-1926
-  CLE 1933 = 4th; 1934 3rd; 1935 = 3rd.
-  B. in Humboldt, Kansas; Attended school in southern California, not far from the famous Tar Pits.  He was first scouted in Idaho where he worked for the phone company and played for the local team.
FCR -  Jim Casey ( !), Savannah
Incorrect answers:  Bob Feller, Bob Lemon, Early Wynn, Ralph Houk, Gaylord Perry

Q.        Who was the first National League pitcher to amass 3,000 career strikeouts?
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to win the Cy Young Award for a team with a losing record.
Hint:     Surrendered a home run to the first batter he ever faced in the majors.
A.         BOB GIBSON
-  3,000th K = Cesar Geronimo 17-Jul-1974; career K’s = 3,117.  Only 3 pitchers achieved 3,000 K in fewer innings of the 16 pitchers who reached that plateau.  Amazingly, Geronimo was also Nolan Ryan’s 3,000th!
CYA for STL, 76-96 in 1970
-  HR in debut by the immortal Jim Baxes 15-Apr-1959, the first of the 17 homers in Baxes’ one-year major league career.
FCR -  Jerry Mora, Prescott, Arizona
Incorrect answers:  Steve Carlton, Ferguson Jenkins, Greg Maddux, Walter Johnson, Warren Spahn, Nolan Ryan

Q.        What Ivy League alumnus is the only left-handed pitcher to throw no-hitters in 3 consecutive seasons?
Hint:     Less than a year before the start of his greatest season, he almost lost the index finger on his pitching hand to amputation.  An experimental procedure saved the finger.
Hint:     When he was excelling in his high school years, his parents didn’t even know he played baseball.
-  No-hitters 1962-63-64 …OR… 1963-64-65.  Enrolled briefly at Columbia University in New York, but left when the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles.
-  Injured finder after game on 30-Jun-1962.  Won CYA & MVP in 1963.
-  Was a star in local sand lot action in Brooklyn
FCR -  Rick Steinheiser, Gilbert, Arizona
Incorrect answers: 

Q.        Who is the only Baltimore Oriole pitcher to lead the American League in strikeouts for a season?
Hint:     In a bizarre stat, he is the only 20th century pitcher to issue more bases-on-balls than hits allowed in consecutive seasons for different teams (normal minimums apply).
Hint:     He surrendered Ted Williams' 2,000th career hit.
Hint:     His full-page portrait from “Sport” magazine is the first one of an athlete I ever hung up on my bedroom wall.
A.         BOB TURLEY
-  185 K in 1954
-  1954 for BAL = 181 BB/176 H; 1955 for NYY 177 BB/168 H
Williams’ H = 11-Aug-1955
FCR -  Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Incorrect answers:  Jim Palmer, Ned Garver, Johnny Schmitz, Hal Brown, Milt Pappas, Hoyt Wilhelm, Steve Barber, Billy O’Dell, Mike Cuellar, Don Larsen, Bobo Newsome

Q.        What hurler broke Whitey Ford’s record of 10 postseason pitching victories?
Hint:     He broke his multiple-game errorless streak during the same game in which his teammates tied the major league record of hitting 8 home runs while giving up none.
Hint:     A SABR chapter president devoted an entire website expounding why this pitcher was not Hall of Fame worthy.  It didn’t work.
Hint:     Three times he’s led his league in games started, but he’s also led his league in saves at least once.
A.         JOHN SMOLTZ
-  Broke Ford’s record with his 11th postseason win 30-Sep-1998 (All of Ford’s wins were World Series wins.)
-  262-game errorless streak broken 28-May-2006
-  Led NL w/35 GS in each of 1992, 1997 & 2006.  Led MLB in saves w/55 in 2002.
FCR -  Jake Hopper, Houston
Incorrect answers:  Tom Glavine, Catfish Hunter, Greg Maddux, Andy Pettitte

Q.        What four-time World Series champion was the first foreign-born pitcher to start an Opening Day game for the New York Yankees?
Hint:     The former Cy Young Award winner that he replaced in the Yankees rotation later made a shoe commercial mocking (honoring?) his pitching motion.
Hint:     He was the majors’ first pitcher to win his first 8 pitching victories.
Hint:     While defecting from Cuba, he was stranded on the Caribbean island of Anguilla Cay for 3 days before being picked up by the U.S. Coast Guard.
-  WS rings 1998, 1999 & 2000 w/NYY and 2005 w/ CHW
David Cone (CYA 1993 w/KCA) made an Adidas TV ad.  Had replaced Cone in rotation with his MLB debut 03-Jun-1998.
-  Postseason W’s 1998-2000
-  Stranded and rescued 1997
FCR -  Rich Klein, Plano, Texas
Incorrect answers:  Mariano Rivera, Livan Hernandez

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers with more than one double-digit-strikeout World Series game

Pitcher              WS        Game        Date       K’s
Gibson              1964        5            12-Oct      13
        "                 1967        1            04-Oct      10
        "                    "            7            12-Oct      10
        "                 1968        1            02-Oct      17
        "                    "            4            06-Oct      10
Hernandez        1999        1            23-Oct      10
        "                 2000        3*          24-Oct      12
Johnson            1924        1*          04-Oct      12
        "                 1925        1            07-Oct      10
Koufax              1963        1            02-Oct-    15
        "                 1965        4            11-Oct      10
        "                    "            7            14-Oct      10
Smoltz               1996        5            24-Oct      10
        "                 1999        4*          27-Oct      12
Turley                1956        6            09-Oct      11
        "                 1958        5            06-Oct      10


First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme –  ¯\_()_/¯

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tues       -  Guys who lost & won 20 games in consecutive seasons.
               -  Top 7 strikeout leaders
               -  Numerical order of pitchers to strike out 3000

Questions archived here: