Sunday, October 29, 2017

2017-10-23 AL pitchers starting WS openers in back-to-back years (Non-Yankee edition)

Q.        Who ranks third all-time in career W.A.R.?
Hint:     He was elected to the Hall of Fame on the first ballot.
Hint:     An artist discovered how difficult it was to represent his legendary pitching motion.
-  3rd in WAR [But 1st in peace!] behind Babe Ruth and Cy Young, just ahead of Barry Bonds.
-  Not just 1st ballot, but 1st HOF class in 1936!
-  It’s probably best Johnson didn’t live to see this statue by Omri Amrany outside of Nationals Park.
FCR -  Morris Buenemann, Florissant, Missouri
Incorrect guesses:  Juan Marichal, Christy Mathewson, Sandy Koufax, Warren Spahn, Pete Alexander, Nolan Ryan

Q.        Who led the American League an astounding eight (8!) times in earned run average?
Hint:     Yet he ranks behind Chris Sale on the all-time ERA list.
Hint:     He was a credit to his handedness.
A.         LEFTY GROVE  [SABR Bio]
-  For good measure, he also led it a 9th time!  AL ERA leader 1926, 1929-32, 1935-36, & 1938-39.  [That’s dominance Holmes!]
-  Career ERA of 3.06 ranks 183rd whereas the 2.98 of Chris Sale ranks 167th
-  “Lefty” is a handy, obvious, organic moniker.
FCR -  Philip Fickling, San Diego
Incorrect guesses:  Lefty Gomez, Cy Young, Jim Abbot, Ed Walsh

Q.        What pitcher did baseball’s winningest manager say he would start if, “… I had one game I had to win.”?
Hint:     Baseball lore has it that he invented the slider (during a ho-hitter, no less), even though his name is the nickname of a different pitch.
Hint:     He was the first, and for half a century—only, native of his state in the Hall of Fame.
A.         CHIEF BENDER  [SABR Bio]
-  Bender pitched for Connie Mack on the Philadelphia A’s for 86% of the innings he logged in his 16-year MLB career.  Half of the remainder were thrown for the team across town.
-  His no-hitter was 12-May-1910 vs. CLE.  “Bender” is the descriptive sobriquet of a well-thrown curve ball.
HOF 1953, born in Crow Wing County, Minnesota (where the movie “Fargo” was filmed).  Dave Winfield joined him in 2001 and Paul Molitor in 2004.
FCR -  Arieh Siegal, Austin
Incorrect guesses:  Christy Mathewson, Bob Feller, Eddie Plank, Walter Johnson, Connie Mack, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Cy Young, Waite Hoyt, Carl Hubbell, Lefty Grove

Q.        What World-Series-MVP-winning pitcher had career offense totals of 1 plate appearance, 1 at-bat, 0 hits, 0 walks and 4 runs scored?
Hint:     He once surrendered a home run on the VERY FIRST PITCH of the season!
Hint:     Commenting on his yet-to-bloom control, his high school baseball coach said, “He could throw hard enough to knock down the backstop.  He just couldn’t hit the backstop!”
Hint:     No other pitcher in the history of the American League has ever accumulated more career putouts.
A.         JACK MORRIS [SABR Bio]
-  1991 WS MVP.  He managers noted his speed an occasionally put him in to pinch-run.
Dwight Evans led off the 1986 season by taking Morris deep on the first pitch thrown 07-Apr at home in Detroit.
-  Highland Park High School baseball coach Bill Lorenz had that observation.
-  Leads in career AL pitcher putouts w/387
FCR -  Doug Greenwald, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Eddie Plank, Rex Barney, Ron Guidry, Sandy Koufax, Roger Clemens

Q.        Whose scowl caused the earth to rumble? (Or at least so say the ancients.)
Hint:     In a four-year period, a little over half-way through his 16-year major league career, he finished 3rd, 4th, 2nd & 3rd in Cy Young Award voting.
Hint:     He once had 6 pitching victories in a single month of April.
Hint:     He also won his first 2 decisions in May that year.
-  His piercing scowl of his eyes under his cap, dark as he peered in for his sign, may not have intended to intimidate, but few batters say that it didn’t.  No one can say for sure whether this caused the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, but the timing is very suspicious.
-  CYA finishes 19878-90 respectively.
-  6-0 April 1988.  He won on the 4th, 9th, 14th, 19th, 23rd & 28th of April.  2 @ home. 4 on the road.
-  In May-1988, he won on the 3rd & 8th.
FCR -  Rick Tharp, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Bob Gibson, Rich Gossage, Mitch Williams, Randy Johnson

Q.        What pitcher’s major league debut failed to impress his Hall of Fame manager, since he surrendered 10 runs in a single inning pitched?
Hint:     The local newspaper called him, “…the thinnest pitcher in captivity,” saying further that “He reported yesterday from college in North Carolina.  His front elevation is 6 feet 3 inches, and he looks as if he weighed about 110 pounds.”
Hint:     He found success elsewhere, however, with double-digits in wins in each of the next 4 seasons, two of them World Series Championship seasons.
Hint:     His chance for a third World Series ring was thwarted by his military service.
Hint:     In his career, he played for managers who took their teams to the modern World Series a total of 18 times, including winning it 8 times.
A.         ERNIE SHORE  [SABR Bio]
-  In fairness, only 3 of the runs were earned on 20-Jun-1912, hurling in mop-up relief of a lop-sided game for the Giants and manager John McGraw.
-  Quote was from The New York Times.  SABR reports that his actual weight then was 180 pounds on a 6’4” frame.
-  He was a mainstay of the Red Sox staff 1914-1917, including championship years 1915 & 1916, he enlisted in the Naval Reserves as the U.S. joined the effort in The Great War.
-  Played for McGraw (10/3), Bill Carrigan (2/2) & Miller Huggins (6/3).
FCR -  Gary Moore, Walker Michigan
Incorrect guesses:  Ken Holtzman, Clyde King, Warren Spahn

Q.        Who was the first player to hit a home in the World Series without a single plate appearance during the regular season that year?
Hint:     He once threw a no-hitter while striking out no one.  (Not perfect:  he did walk 3!)
Hint:     He received a base-on-balls in a major league game shortly after the advent of the designated hitter.  It would be a quarter century before a pitcher on that same team got one again.
Hint:     Curtis Granderson could tie him in 2018.
-  WS HR 16-Oct-1974
-  Zero-K no-no 19-Sug-1969
Bill Hands of MIN walked him on 24-Sep-1973.  (Holtzman was pinch-hitting for Joe Rudi!)  A’s Jimmy Haynes on 25‑Jun‑1998 was the next pitcher to receive such largesse at the hand of Shawn Estes of SFG.
Granderson and Holtzman are both alumni of the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Holtzman played 15 years in the majors.  The Grandy Man just finished his 14th.  (He’s not on the LAD WS roster.)
FCR -  Ralph Fessler, Ellicott City, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Catfish Hunter, Mike Cuellar, Dave McNally, Don Gullet

WEEKLY THEME – American League pitchers who started the opening games of consecutive non-Yankee World Series.

Bender........ 1910-11..... PHA
Grove.......... 1930-31..... PHA
Holtzman..... 1972-74..... OAK
Johnson...... 1924-25..... WAS
Morris.......... 1991-92..... MIN/TOR
Shore.......... 1915-16..... BOS
Stewart........ 1988-90..... OAK

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme –  ~

Incorrect theme guesses:

Wed.       -  Left-handed Hall of Fame pitchers who started Game 1 of the World Series
               -  Hall of Fame pitchers who pitched in the World Series, who either are from, lived in or who played for teams from Maryland
Thur        -  American League starting pitchers with at least 2 world series decisions in consecutive years,
               -  World Series pitchers who pitched in both the starting game and in the World Series Clinchers.
               -  AL Strikeout Leaders who pitched in multiple World Series games, and won the Clinching Game.
Sun         -  AL pitchers that won clinching games of the WS  

Questions archived here:

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