Monday, August 28, 2017

2017-08-21 Players Who Won the MVP of the Only All-Star Game They Ever Played in

Q.        Who, when he played his first game in the majors, took away the unique status that Vic Janowicz had enjoyed?
Hint:     He was the first player to play in the majors with an artificial hip.
Hint:     He filed a defamation of character lawsuit against a newspaper for publishing a story that stated he had taken steroids.
A.         BO JACKSON
-  They are the only major leaguers who have won college football’s Heisman Trophy.  Janowicz won as a halfback/punter for Ohio State in 1950.  Jackson won as a running back from Auburn in 1985.
-  Article published in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin 24-Mar-2005.
FCR -  Bob Charkovsky, Washington, DC
Incorrect answers: Dick Groat, John Olerud, Jackie Jensen

Q.        What former Atlanta Brave enjoyed an MVP-level first half, then sat out the rest of the season as his team went on to win the World Series?
Hint:     His reason for sitting out was not an injury, but he still received a full postseason share of $377,003.
Hint:     Three teams later, he signed for a second time with Kansas City.
Hint:     His nickname is a fast-fading profession.
-  On 15-Aug-2012, when he was leading the NL in hits and batting average with 159 and .346 respectively, he was issued a 50-game suspension for testing positive for testosterone.  His outstanding year was with SFG.
-  After leaving SFG, he played for TOR, CHW and now KCR, having played with them in 2011.
-  Is called “the Milkman”.
FCR -  Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Incorrect answers:  Deion Sanders, Fred McGriff, Brian Jordan, Carlos Beltran, Darrell May, Jeff Francoeur

Q.        Who followed Fergie Jenkins, Vida Blue and Denny McLain down an unwise path?
Hint:     He was born in the path of totality (but not during it).
Hint:     Once, as the last year’s Cy Young Award winner, he was well along the path to a no-hitter when it was spoiled by the next year’s MVP.
Hint:     He was traded by the Padres for someone who would be voted Manager of the Year.  That manager worked for an owner who was described by a SABR member in Sports Illustrated as “pathological”.
A.         LaMARR HOYT
-  Hoyt, December of 1986 became the 4th Cy Young Award winner to be convicted of a felony.  Dwight Gooden became the 5th.
-  Born in Columbia, South Carolina, a city that the moon darkened on Monday.
-  In Hoyt’s one-hitter on 02-May-1984, Don Mattingly singled in the 7th and was the Yankees’ only man to reach base that day.
-  On 13-Mar-2013, S.L Price wrote “Art of the Deal gone Wrong” about Marlins’ owner Jeff Loria in S.I.  The article also discussed the firing of popular manager Ozzie Guillen, who had been Manager of the Year in 2005 with CHW.  In 1984, Guillen was traded to CHW for Hoyt.  Other players were also involved in that trade.
FCR -  Rich Klein, Plano, Texas
Incorrect answers:  Dwight Gooden, Randy Jones, Steve Howe

Q.        What multiple-Gold-Glove winner, after 7+ years and 4,000+ plate appearances in the majors, hit his first walk-off home run last night, 23-Aug-2017?
Hint:     The pitcher who surrendered it is a close personal friend of his.
Hint:     He hit it against a team with bona fide credentials for making the playoffs this year.
Hint:     He finished high in Rookie-of-the-Year voting the year that Craig Kimbrel won the award.
Hint:     He has two league pennants on his résumé.
Hint:     The only player in MLB history with more RBI in his first 28 postseason games is Lou Gehrig.
A.         ERIC HOSMER
GG in 2013-15; Historic HR 23-Aug-2017
-  Pitcher was Greg Holland who was Hosmer’s teammate for 6 years on KCR.
Holland has had a major positive impact on his new team, COL.  Despite Wednesday’s loss, they began play on Thursday with a 3-game cushion as a Wild Card playoff team.
- Finished behind Jeremy Hellickson and Mark Trumbo for AL ROY honorsKimbrell was the unanimous ROY selection in the NL that same year, 2011.
-  Represented the AL in WS playing for KCR in 2014 & 2015.
-  According to, Hosmer has amassed 27 postseason RBI in his first 28 postseason games.  Lou Gehrig has 33 over an equal span.
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas
Incorrect answers:  Josh Harrison, Miguel Cabrera, Manny Machado, Adrian Beltre, Freddy Freeman
Q.        Which St. Louis Cardinal was pelted with batteries when the Cardinals visited the Phillies in 1999?
Hint:     His name could be a complete sentence.
Hint:     He was the first 21st century right fielder to start a triple play.
Hint:     He and his brother were taken in the same round of the same draft.
A.         J.D. DREW
-  As if they needed encouragement.  ArticleHere’s why that happened.
-  No direct object required. [According to Mrs. Henderson @ OHS 19xx.)
-  TP 01-Aug-2002.  In MLB history, according to SABR, only 23 TP’s have been recorded, with records going back to 1876.  Last year, Adam Eaton turned the trick, only the 2nd such this millennium, perhaps not quite so aesthetically pleasing as Drew’s, but 3 outs none the less.
-  Drew was actually drafted 3 times:  by SFG in 1994 in the 20th round; by PHI in the 1st round in 1997; by STL in 1998 in the 1st round.  His brother Tim was taken 28th overall by CLE in the 1997 draft.  Their brother Stephen was drafted twice.
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect answers:  Justin Upton, Joe Medwick

Q.        Who are the 3 Hall of Famers born in Baltimore?
Hint:     One has a museum to him built in the house he was born in.
Hint:     One only played for a single team in the majors and never played in the minors and he’s definitely not acidic.
Hint:     One is the most recent inductee of the three.
A.         BABE RUTH  1936
AL KALINE    1980
FCR -  David Reed, San Francisco
Incorrect answers:  Cal Ripken, John McGraw, Jimmie Foxx, Mark Teixeira, Frank “Home Run” Baker, Cool Papa Bell, Brooks Robinson

Q.        The man who was the first to win both the Rookie of the Year Award unanimously AND a league MVP unanimously, but was unique in that regard for only one season.  Who was he and who joined him in that very unique club?
Hint:     They are both Hall of Famers.
Hint:     They both their each award playing on a different team.
-  Robinson 1956 (Reds),1966 (Orioles)
-  Cepeda 1958 (Giants), 1967(Cardinals)
FCR -  John Rickert, Terre Haute
Incorrect answers:  Fred Lynn, Jim Rice, Mickey Mantle, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson, Rod Carew, Ken Griffey, Jr.

Q.        For whom has Topps created a card available for only the next 24 hours.
Hint:     Actually, a little less by now.
Hint:     He today set an impressive all-time record.
Hint:     He never starred alongside Roger Rabbit.
-  Watch the countdown clock.
-  Hoskins has hit 11 home runs in his first 19 in the majors.
-  No relation to Bob Hoskins.
FCR -  Doug Greenwald, San Francisco
Incorrect answers:  Chad Bettis, Cody Bellinger

Q.        What unites this lineup?
Hint:     The guys in the lineup ARE the hints!

1b -      WILL CLARK
2b -      Jerry Adair
RH -    Dave Heaverlo
PH -     Jake Beckley*
PA -     Joe Garagiola
Very Honorable Mention -      ROGER MARIS

ALL CAPS = All-Star
*Hall of Famer

A.  The All-Follicly-challenged team, i.e., Baldies, and they were bald during their playing days AND before it was the cool thing to do.
FCR -  Vlae Kershner, Centerville, Ohio
Incorrect answers:  Home Run leaders by position

WEEKLY THEME – Players who won the game MVP of the only All-Star Game they have ever played in:

ASG          MVP                  Representing
1985    LaMarr Hoyt            AL:  CHW
1989    Bo Jackson              AL:  KCR
2008    J.D. Drew                 AL:  BOS
2012    Melky Cabrera         NL:  SFG
2016    Eric Hosmer             AL:  KCR

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeStephen Katsoulis, Matthews, North Carolina (After Cabrera)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  NCAA football players who played baseball
               -  Kansas City Royals who have hit 30 home runs in a season
               -  All Stars in two major sports.
               -  NFL and MLB players
               -  MLB All-stars from Auburn
               -  Two-sport players
               -  Heisman Trophy winner to play in the Big Leagues

Tues.      -  players who played professionally in 2 different sports
               -  All star game MVPs

Sunday, August 20, 2017

2017-08-14 Vanderbilt University alumni MLB All-Stars

Q.        What oxymoronically-named starting pitcher was traded two weeks ago from a last-place team on one coast to a first-place team on the other?
Hint:     The team he left got 1.) A minor league pitcher, drafted in the 40th round who has not played at any level this year; 2.) A minor league middle infielder who, this year alone, has played for four (4!) teams in four leagues on three different levels; and 3.) A third player who has logged not quite as much major league playing time as did Moonlight Graham.
Hint:     In his best season, he led his league in shutouts and was third in the Cy Young Award voting.
Hint:     He quarterbacked his high school football team to back-to-back 5A state titles in consecutive seasons and won honors as the best high school athlete in his state both years.
A.         SONNY GRAY
-  Homonym “sunny” is the opposite forecast of “gray.
-  He was traded from OAK to NYY 31-Jul-2017 for 1.) James Kaprielian, 2.) Jorge Mateo & 3.) Dustin Fowler whose entire major league experience is ⅔ of the top of the 1st inning on 29-Jun-2017.  (Moonlight Graham played one full inning 29‑Jun‑1905 for NYG.)
-  In 2015 led the AL w/2 ShO (tied w/4 others).  3rd in 2015 CYA vote.
-  Played quarterback for Smyrna (TN) High School's football team, guiding them to back-to-back 5A State titles in 2006 and 2007.  He was voted Gatorade Player of the Year by The Tennessean in 2007 and 2008 for his overall athletic success.
FCR -  Gary Stone, Centerport, New York
Incorrect answers:  Sean Doolittle, Edwin Jackson, Jared Weaver

Q.        What #1 over-all draft pick owns the most lucrative salary ever dispensed by his franchise?
Hint:     He is currently the highest-paid player in the American League.
Hint:     After the better part of a decade in the Bigs, he has placed in the Top 10 in Cy Young Award voting 4 times—thrice in the top 2!
Hint:     The first ten players on his Similarity Scores boast a total of 7 Cy Young Awards, an additional 18 top 5 CYA vote tallies, not counting an additional 8 to 10 placements.
Hint:     Just weeks after his first appearance in the big leagues, he earned a memorable save in Game 7 of the ALCS, putting his franchise in their first World Series.
Hint:     In high school, he was awarded Top Male Athlete of his county three years running.
A.         DAVID PRICE
-  Drafted #1 in the 2007 June Amateur Draft; On 4-Dec-2015, he got a 7-year, $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox.
-  His $30,000,000 base this year is #1 in the AL.
-  Won the CYA in 2012.
-  Stats are similar to those of lefties Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner and Johan Santana, among others.
-  Top Male Athlete for Rutherford County, Tennessee 2002, 03, 04.  Also was Pitcher of the Year for those same years.
FCR -  Josh Murphy, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Incorrect answers:  Giancarlo Stanton, Max Scherzer, Steven Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Bryce Harper, Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke, Jake Arietta

Q.        What BLTR slugger is the last National Leaguer to lead his league in strikeouts with fewer than 190?
Hint:     Giancarlo Stanton already has hit more home runs this year than he (the BLTR slugger) did when he led the league in round-trippers.
Hint:     His uncle was once a major league manager.
Hint:     Scott Boras helped him transition from black & gold to black & orange.
-  186 K
-  36 HR in 2013 w/PIT
-  Uncle Pat Murphy managed SDP in 2015, the third of three.
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas
Incorrect answers:  Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla

Q.        Whose Seattle Mariner record for longest hitting streak did Ichiro Suzuki break?
Hint:     As a third-base coach, he replaced his manager when said manager was suspended for inappropriate, in-game argumentation.
Hint:     Seems fair then that this same manager replaced him when HE was suspended for similar shenanigans.
Hint:     Only six players have ever enjoyed a better career batting average with the Mariners.
Hint:     After his playing days, he was the General Manager of a team in the Puerto Rican Winter League for three seasons.
A.         JOEY CORA
-  Hit in 24 straight G 02- thru 29-May-1997; Ichiro hit in 25 straight almost exactly a decade later 07-May- thru 01-Jun-2007.  Ichiro broke his own record with a 27-game streak 2 years later.
-  Coached for CHW 2004-11 under Mgr. Ozzie Guillen.  When Ozzie was ejected, Cora would manage; when Cora was ejected, Guillen would direct traffic at third base.
-  SEA career batting averages:         Suzuki             .322
                                                            E. Martinez     .312
                                                            A-Rod              .309
                                                            P. Bradley       .301
                                                            T. Paciorek     .296
                                                            R. Cano           .294
                                                            J. Cora            .293
-  Research correction:  Joey's brother Alex Cora was the GM for Puerto Rican team.
FCR -  Gary Hoffman, Moon Township, Pennsylvania
Incorrect answers:  Edgar Martinez, Feliz Fermin, Tom Paciorek, Juan Segura, Lou Piniella, Alvin Davis

Q.        What star pitcher’s refusal to sign with the Yankees allowed him to go on to a collegiate career where he won the Dick Howser Trophy, the Golden Spikes Award and the Rotary Smith Award, among others?
Hint:     41 of the 42 players taken ahead of him signed with the team that drafted them.
Hint:     When he signed after college, he was the #2 overall pick and signed for $10.5 million which stood as the record for a draft pick for 8 years.
Hint:     After his 6th season in the majors, he carried with him a reputation as a whiner.  As he continued to claim that it was an unfair characterization, his pitching coach upbraided him with, “You’re acting like a 50-year-old grumpy man.  You need to take a step back.  Start being a better teammate.  Start having a better attitude.”
A.         MARK PRIOR
-  Drafted by NYY as the 43rd and final pick of the 1st round of the 1998 MLB June Amateur Draft.  Accepted an athletic scholarship to USC.
-  Drafted the 2nd time in 2001 by CHC.
-  Pitching coach Larry Rothschild with the avuncular admonishment.
FCR -  David Young, New York City
Incorrect answers:  Gerrit Cole, David Price, Kris Benson, Brien Taylor, Zack Greinke, Jered Weaver, Scott Sanderson

Q.        Who was the last pitcher with consecutive 20-win seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates?
Hint:     His parabolic trick pitch was ripped for a home run by a future Hall of Famer in a mid-season exhibition game.
Hint:     Three of his cousins played in the majors.  One of them was even was elected to the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     In his best season, he led the majors in complete games by a pitcher.
A.         RIP SEWELL
-  Had 21 pitching wins in each of 1943 & 1944.  Those were his only 20-win seasons.
-  His ‘eephus’ was hit out of the park by Ted Williams in the 1946 All-Star Game.
-     A.) Cousin Tommy Sewell had exactly one (1) at-bat in the majors.  He was pinch-hitting for pitcher Percy Jones, but did not make it to first base.
      B.) Cousin Luke, Tommy’s brother, enjoyed a 20-year career in the majors.
      C.) Their brother Joe made it to Cooperstown as the epitome of a contact hitter.
-  25 CG in 1943.  His 21 wins also led the majors.
FCR -  Jeff Kallman, Las Vegas
Incorrect answers:  Vernon Law, John Candelaria, Doug Drabek

Q.        Who was the only pitcher ever to be the Yankees' lone representative on an All‑Star team?
Hint:     This ex-Expos became a player’s agent after he retired, representing Frank Thomas, Todd Helton and Lance Berkman among others.
Hint:     Most people liked him well enough, but on 02-May-1992 Shane Mack, Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek and Randy Bush had a deep appreciation for him.
Hint:     During his pitching career, he had victories against all 26 teams then in the majors.
1991 ASG (It was his only ASG.  He did not get in.)
-  All four homered off him in the 5th inning on 02-May-1992 at Yankee Stadium.
-  Nolan Ryan, Tommy John, Don Sutton, Mike Torrez, Gaylord Perry, Rick Wise, Doyle Alexander & Rich Gossage also achieved victories against those same 26 teams.
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect answers:  Stan Bahnsen

WEEKLY THEME –  Vanderbilt University alumni MLB All-Stars

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeDave Washburn, Marietta, GA
(after Alvarez)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  1st round picks from Vanderbilt
               -  (Active?) Pitchers (or just players?) who attended Vanderbilt University.
               -  Pitchers from Tennessee
               -  1st-round draft picks

Wed        -  Vanderbilt first rounders who were all stars.
               -  Former Vanderbilt players
               -  MLB players who were 1st round picks out of Vanderbilt
               -  Vanderbilt 1st round picks who became MLB all-stars
               -  Top athletes from Tennessee currently in the majors.
               -  All managed or coached by Tim Corbin

Fri           -  Players were drafted out of high school who signed with Vanderbilt instead.