Monday, November 27, 2017

2017-11-20 Living former All-Stars who have reached the age of 91


Q.        Who suffered through a broken finger, pleurisy as well as bruised ribs during the 1958 season, just a year before sitting out the 1959 season on the DL?
Hint:     In fairness, he did play 5 games in ’59, but lost part of a lung that year in a battle with tuberculosis.
Hint:     He suffered a severe eye injury in the Civilian Conservation Corps prior to WWII.
Hint:     He was discharged from the US Army in 1945 due to a shoulder injury and severe eye problems.
Hint:     After 3 seasons in the minors, he played 19 years in the majors and was a major league manager for another 14 years beyond that.
-He also coached in the majors for an additional 18 years not included in the seasons mentioned above.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Ralph Houk, Don Zimmer

TUESDAY (Not included in this week’s theme)
Q.        Before the advent of Mike Trout, who was said to be the finest athlete ever to come out of a New Jersey high school?
Hint:     An early turning point for him was when he took the money meant for the purchase of a saxophone and used it to but a baseball glove.
Hint:     He once answered an opposing player’s grand slam in the top of an inning by hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the same inning.
A.         MONTE IRVIN  [SABR Bio]
- Irvin earned 16 varsity letters in four sports at Orange High School in Orange, Jew Jersey.
- Double GS, 6th inning 18-May-1950; first GS hit by the CubsRube Walker
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect answers:  Joe Medwick, Larry Doby, Joe Charboneau, Goose Goslin, Willie Wilson, Todd Frazier

Q.        Who was the first National League pitcher to win the Cy Young Award with an ERA over 3.00 that season?
Hint:     All other pitchers, in either league, who received CYA votes that year, had lower ERAs.
Hint:     He hit 12 home runs the year he played in Japan.
- ERA of 3.06 in 1956 playing for BRO, /10.0 votes for the first CYA ever awarded.
- Only one CYA given for both leagues until 1967.
- Others receiving votes were Sal Maglie ERA 2.89  for BRO* [4.0 votes]; Whitey Ford 2.47 ERA [1.0 vote]; and Warren Spahn ERA 2.78 [1.0 vote]
*Began the year w/CLE, pitching a total of 5 innings over 2 games for them
FCR -  Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Bob Gibson, Jim Lonborg, Vern Law, Early Wynn, Pete Vukovich, Brandon Webb, LaMarr Hoyt

Q.        Who is the only player to win the GG award with 4 different teams?
Hint:     Before Vida Blue in 1971, he was the last left-handed pitcher to have a 20-win season for the A's.
Hint:     He is tied with Willie Mays for a record that can never be broken.
Hint:     His brother once replaced Yogi Berra.
A.         BOBBY SHANTZ  [SABR Bio]
- GG for NYY (1957-60); PIT (1961); HOU (1962) & STL (1963)
- 24-7 in 1952 for PHA
- Only he and Mays won GGs in each of the first 8 years the award was offered (1957-63).  Mays won 5 more (1964-68).
- Billy Shantz was put in at C in place of Berra 29-Jun-1960 in the top of the 9th.  It was his last appearance in the majors and he caught Jim Coates for exactly 4 batters.
FCR -  Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Bob Welch, Billy Pierce, Joe Torre

Q         Who is the only Pittsburgh Pirate to hit for the cycle twice since Ralph Kiner was a rookie?
Hint:     When John Olerud hit for the cycle a second time, he broke this player's record for the fewest triples of any player who hit for the cycle twice in a career.
Hint:     Maybe rain sooner?  He homered off Spahn and Sain a total of 7 times.
Hint:     Reminiscing about his career, he once told a biographer, “I’m the first white player who ever got hit by a pitch from a black player.  Everyone kind of hesitated when he hit me, there was almost like a hush. It was like, what’s gonna happen next?”
- Westlake had 33 career triples; Olerud had 13*.
- HBP anecdote told to Ed Attanasio in This Great Game:  “But nothing happened and the game went on.  It didn’t matter to me one way or another,” added Westlake.  [P was Dan Bankhead, MLB’s first black pitcher.  G was 26‑Aug-1947, Bankhead’s MLB debut and his only game that year.]
*Both triples in Olerud’s cycles were the only triples he had in each of those seasons.
FCR -  Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Dick Groat, Hank Sauer, Gus Bell, Ted Kluszewski, Ralph Kiner, Frank Thomas, Joe Garagiola, Danny Murtaugh, Bob Skinner, Dick Stuart

Q.        Who was the first White Sox player to hit a home run over the right field grandstand in Comiskey Park?
Hint:     He hit it off a Hall of Fame pitcher.
Hint:     Yet in high school, he turned down a scholarship to play football for the University of Texas.
Hint:     Ted Williams declared that he “…was the most underrated and best clutch hitter I ever played against.”
Hint:     George Steinbrenner offered him the position of General Manager of the Yankees.  He did not accept, not wanting to uproot his family.
- Off Bob Lemon
- Steinbrenner offer came in 1982, shortly after Robinson’ s 5 years as GM of the Texas Rangers.
FCR -  Rick Tharp, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Ted Kluszewski, Greg Luzinski, Luke Appling, Frank Thomas

Q.        When Joe Torre hit into 4 double plays in one game, whose National League record did he break?
Hint:     He was the Dodgers third baseman when their home stadium moved from Ebbets Field to the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum?
Hint:     He shared an unusual first name with a legendary automobile pioneer.
Hint:     He was born in the same city where, just over a decade later, one of the greatest third basemen of all time would be born.
Hint:     He and two teammates once won a game dramatically with three consecutive home runs.
- 3 GIDP 15-Aug-1953 for CHC; Torre’s 4 GIDP 21-Jul-1975
- First name Ransom like Ransom Eli Olds, founder of the Oldsmobile.
- Played for BRO 1956-57 and for LAD in 1958
- Born in Little Rock, Arkansas 10-Feb-1926.  Brooks Robinson was born there too, 12 years later on 18-May-1937.
- 3 HR 29-Jun-1956
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect answers:  Gil Hodges, Junior Gilliam, Don Hoak, Pee Wee Reese, Dick Groat

Q.        Who was named California Interscholastic Federation Player of the Year in 1942, playing for Pasadena High School for starring in basketball and baseball?
Hint:     He briefly played professional basketball with George Mikan.
Hint:     At the time of his selection to his only MLB All-Star team, he was leading the American League, hitting .366.
Hint:     He was the third base coach for a team that won consecutive division championships in each of the 4 seasons he coached there.
A.         IRV NOREN  [SABR Bio]
- Pasadena High School has additional notable alumni, e.g., George Patton, Howard Hawkes, Jerry Tarkanian, Michael Cooper, Bob Eubanks, Eddie Van Halen and Stan Smith.
- He played for the National Basketball League’s Chicago American Gears in 1946-47.  Scored exactly 1 point before following wise advice to focus on baseball.  Jackie Robinson and George Crowe also played in that league.
- All-Star in the 1954 G.  He replaced Ted Williams in LF in the 9th, but did not get to bat.
- Coached the Oakland A’s 1971-74.  (They won a 5th the following season without him.) Coached the Cubs in 1975.
FCR -  Anthony Zydlewski, Virginia Beach
Incorrect answers:  Jackie Robinson, Duke Snider, Junior Gilliam, Dave Ricketts, Bobby Doerr, Monte Irvin

WEEKLY THEME – Living former All-Stars who are now at least 91 years old

Player                   Born                All-Star years
Doerr................. 07-Apr-1918........ 1941, 42, 43, 44, 46, 47, 48, 50, 51
Irvin................... 25-Feb-1919....... 1952
Westlake........... 08-Nov-1920....... 1951
Robinson........... 15-Dec-1920....... 1949, 51, 52, 53
Schoendienst.... 02-Feb-1923....... 1946, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 53, 54,55, 57
Noren................ 29-Nov-1924....... 1954
Shantz............... 26-Sep-1925....... 1951, 52, 57
Jackson............. 10-Feb-1926....... 1954, 55
Newcombe........ 14-Jun-1926....... 1949, 50, 51, 55                                    

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

Incorrect theme guesses:

Friday     -  Oldest living players to appear in a World Series

Sat          -  Oldest living all stars

Sunday   -  Oldest living former All-Star players now that Bobby Doerr has passed
               -  Living players over 90 who played at least 10 years in the major leagues
               -  All-Star players who also coached and scouted AND who served in the U.S. military

Monday, November 20, 2017

2017-11-13 Hall of Famers who hold career World Series Records

Q.        Whose long-standing mark for career winning percentage did Clayton Kershaw pass this year?           
Hint:     He (not Kershaw) broke Babe Ruth’s pitching record for consecutive scoreless World Series innings pitched.
Hint:     No pitcher ever lost more career World Series decisions.
A.         WHITEY FORD  [SABR Bio]
- Kershaw’s .692 moved him into 3rd place all-time and bumped Ford’s .690 back to 4th.  [In 1st is Albert Spalding (.795) followed by Spud Chandler (.717)]
- Ruth’s record of 29⅔ consecutive scoreless innings set in the 1916 & 1918 WS was broken when Ford pitched 33⅔straight no-run innings in the 1960, 61 & 62 WS.  His streak was ended by Willie Mays on a bunt single by Jose Pagan in the 2nd inning G1 of the 1962 Fall Classic.  Mariano Rivera is the current record holder*.
- 8 career WS L’s.
*Rivera came really close to Ford as a postseason record.  Between the 1998 ALDS and the final game of the 2000 ALCS, Rivera racked up 32⅔ straight scoreless postseason innings.  Ford, not Rivera, is the current record holder both for the World Series AND the postseason.
FCR -  Kenny Fink, The Villages, Florida
Incorrect answers:  Roy Face, Orel Hershiser, Lefty Grove

Q.        Who is the undisputed career leader in doubles?
Hint:     Albert Pujols will need 179 more to catch him.
Hint:     He led the American League in all three Triple Crown categories exactly once each, but alas, in three separate seasons.
A.         TRIS SPEAKER  [SABR Bio]
- 792 2b.  Pujols, the active leader, has 619.
- 10 HR in 1912; .386 in 1916; & 123 RBI in 1923.
FCR -  Naftali Greenwood, Kiryat, Arba, ISRAEL
Incorrect answers:  Yogi Berra, Ty Cobb, Craig Biggio

Q.        Of all players who tallied 1,800 games played at second base, who was the one who never played any other position?
Hint:     Before he passed away on Monday, he was not only the oldest living Hall of Famer, he was the oldest living former major leaguer.
Hint:     He was the last surviving major leaguer who played in the 1930s, having begun his career with the Red Sox in 1937, two years before Ted Williams rookie season.
Hint:     His high school was an unusually fecund source of major league talent.
Hint:     He gave his country a year of military service in the middle of his 14-year career.
Hint:     The year he returned, the Red Sox won 103 games and the American League pennant.
Hint:     At the height of his career he finished #2 twice in WAR on teams packed with talent and once #1.
Hint:     He is still the only Red Sox player to hit for the cycle twice.
A.         BOBBY DOERR   [SABR Bio; NYT Obit]
- Played 1,856 G, all for BOS
- Died just 115 days short of his 100th birthday.
- Attended the John C. Fremont High School in Los Angeles, as did some two dozen other major leaguers including Eric Davis, Bob Watson and Gene Mauch.
- Missed the 1945 season.  In ’46, BOS had a great year.
- Was #2 in WAR for BOS in 1944 & 1948.  Was #1 in 1943.
- Cycles 17-May-1944 & 13-May-1947, both at Fenway.
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect answers:  Johnny Pesky

Q.        Who won a World Series MVP in the first year with his new team after playing 15 years with his original major league team?
Hint:     He was the winning run when you-know-who did you-know-what to you‑know‑whom.
Hint:     Wait !  You don’t know?  You must not be from Philly.
Hint:     He is a major candidate for a major award for the 2017 season.
A.         PAUL MOLITOR  [SABR Bio]
- He scored from first base when Joe Carter took Mitch Williams deep to end the 1993 WSRickey Henderson scored the tying run ahead of him.
- Oops!  Already won the 2017 AL Mgr of the Year !
FCR -  Doug Greenwald, San Francisco
Incorrect answers: 

Q.        Who did Rogers Hornsby once call, “… the only man I would pay admission to watch play.”?
Hint:     His American League stolen bases title was the last one before nine consecutive such titles by a player who would be voted into the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     His involvement in amateur boxing as a teenager game him the name we know him by today.
Hint:     Ben E. King had a hit song about his native neighborhood, though he was more Jungle than Rose.
Hint:     Serving a lifetime sentence for assault, he was paroled after 5-years before the start of his baseball career.
Hint:     His major league General Manager once justified his being on the team, saying, “[He] may not have the fattest average in baseball, but he gives the fans a show with his daredevil running and sliding, his terrific fielding and clutch hitting.”
A.         JIM RIVERA  [SABR Bio]  [Obit]
- Led the AL in SB in 1955.  Luis Aparicio took the next 9 from 1956 to 1964.
- Born Manuel Joseph Rivera, his association with classmate and fellow boxer Jim Dorso led to his being called Jim also.
- Born in Spanish Harlem
- He led the league in triples once and stolen bases once, sliding on his belly many years before that style was fashionable in the majors.
- He served 5 years in the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary, and was paroled in 1949.
- Quote from CHW GM Ed Short.
FCR -  R.D. Lerner, silver Spring, Maryland
Incorrect answers:  Enos Slaughter, Ty Cobb

Q.        Which player appeared on the TV show “Toast of the Town” [also known as “The Ed Sullivan Show”] on   
                                                      13-Apr-1958 and again on
Hint:     In addition to Cooperstown, he is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame of an adjacent state.
Hint:     He once claimed that the only color of sweater he didn't own was “navy brown”.
A.         YOGI BERRA  [SABR Bio]
- Appearances such as these as well as others from other TV shows are readily available on the Internet via YouTube.  Here’s an example:  WML
- Was inducted into the inaugural class of the New Jersey Hall of Fame, along with Thomas Edison, Albert Einstein and Bruce Springsteen.
- awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Barack Obama. Berra's son, Larry, accepts on his behalf.
- I’m inclined to believe him on the sweater.
FCR -  Naftali Greenwood, Kiryat, Arba, ISRAEL
Incorrect answers:  Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, Leo Durocher

Q.        Which Hall of Famer died on the same day as Game One of the World Series?
Hint:     Coincidentally, the winning pitcher of that game and he are the only two pitchers in a quite exclusive club.  It may be baseball’s most exclusive club of all time.
Hint:     In addition to Cooperstown, he is a member of the Sports Hall of Fame of an adjacent state.
Hint:     For 12 straight seasons, he reached the 20-win level.
Hint:     He is buried in a plot just behind his college alma mater.
- Only 2 pitchers elected to the Hall of Fame in its first-ever class of 5.
- Inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 1965.
- Won 20+ G 1903-1914
- Buried within sight of Bucknell University
FCR -  Gary Sarnoff, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Jim Bunning

Q.        What New York Yankee has hit more triples than any other?
Hint:     His career RBI numbers top those of any other Yankee ever.
Hint:     By one (1!) he had the most Yankee extra-base hits.
A.         LOU GEHRIG  [SABR Bio]
- 163 career 3b
- 1,995 career RBI
- 1,190 XBH (Babe Ruth had 1,189)
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect answers:  Babe Ruth, Willie Randolph, Mickey Mantle

Q.        Which Hall of Famer stopped pitching during a World Series game to watch a plane fly over the stadium?
Hint:     He had vanity plates reading “GOOF” on his car.
Hint:     When asked if he threw a spitball replied, “Not intentionally, but I sweat easily.”
Hint:     He once walked 11 batters as he pitched a complete-game shutout.
A.         LEFTY GOMEZ  [SABR Bio]
- Work stoppage was in G 2 of the 1936 WS.
FCR -  Al Blumkin, Brooklyn
Incorrect answers:  Joe Niekro, Rube Marquard, Rube Waddell, Lefty Grove, Dizzy Dean, Wilbur Wood, Bobo Newsom, Mark Fidrych, Bugs Raymond, Billy Loes, Bill Lee

Q.        Who played in eight World Series (50 games) without hitting a home run but hit home runs from each side of the plate in All-Star competition?
Hint:     He was an Al-American running back for his college, which, BTW, had the same name as his high school.
Hint:     In college he didn’t just play football, basketball, and baseball—he was the captain of all three teams.
Hint:     He went from college to the majors, having talked the big league club’s manager out of sending him to the minors.
- Played in WS 1921-24 for NYG then in WS 1928, 30, 31 & 34 for STL.  Played in the majors’ first 3 ASG 1933-35 for STL.  Homered in ’33, batting lefty off General Crowder then off Lefty Gomez in ’34.
- After being signed by John McGraw of NYG, Frisch convince the manager that if he were forced to play in the minors, his father would make him quit baseball to work the family farm.
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect answers:  Eddie Murray, John Olerud

Q.        What batter had a five-year stretch where he led his team in stolen bases, runs and home runs?
Hint:     He also had at least one hit in the All-Star game in each of those same years.
Hint:     It wasn’t as if his team didn’t have additional talent.  No fewer than 5 of his teammates were All-Stars in each of those seasons.
Hint:     He was an honorary colonel in his state’s militia.
A.         MICKEY MANTLE  [SABR Bio]
- Fantastic streak 1956-60
- Colonel Mantle of the Oklahoma State Militia
FCR -  No one!
Incorrect answers:  Honus Wagner, Willie Mays, Edd Roush

Q.        Which Hall of Famer had seasons where he hit .372, .365 and .360 yet never won a batting title?
Hint:     He also had 8 additional seasons where he hit above .340.
Hint:     No other player is within 100 games of his career total at his position.
Hint:     No other player is within 100 for the career lead in sacrifice hits.
A.         EDDIE COLLINS  [SABR Bio]
- In each of his 3 best seasons for batting average, there was a player who finish with a BA over .400.  (3 different players)  He never finished better than 4th in he league in each of those year.
- Played 2,650 G @ 2b.  Joe Morgan is in 2nd place w/2,527.
- Successfully sacrificed 512 times.  Jake Daubert takes the silver w/392.
FCR -  Derek Granger, Chandler, Arizona
Incorrect answers:  Tris Speaker, Lou Gehrig, Willie Mays, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Harry Heilmann, Chick Hafey

Q.        Who is being honored with a profile on the MLB channel as this question is being sent?
Hint:     A portion of the calendar has been associated with him.
Hint:     Hooton, Sosa, Hough.
Hint:     His ability to promote almost exceeded his ability to play.
- MLB TV “The Making of Mr. October”.  They’ll undoubtedly run it again.
- Because of his 5 home runs during the 1977 World Series, the media crowned him with this sobriquet and it stuck immediately.
- In the 6th and final G of that WS, still wondering if New York really loved him, Jackson homered off Burt Hooton in the 4th; Elias Sosa in the 5th; and Charlie Hough in the 8th, each time on the only pitch of the at-bat.
FCR -  Michael Green, Las Vegas
Incorrect answers:  Bo Belinsky, Steve Yeager

Q.        Who is the last National League pitcher to hit at least 5 home runs in each of 2 seasons?
Hint:     Before Randy Johnson in 2001, He was the last pitcher to score 2 runs in a World Series game.
Hint:     He had surrendered a home run to the first batter he ever faced in the majors, a batter whose entire major league career was that one season.
A.         BOB GIBSON  [SABR Bio]
- 5 HR in 1965 & 1972
- 2 R, G 4 1968 WS
- In his debut in the 7th inning on 15-Apr-1959, the first batter, Jim Baxes, homered on a 3-0 pitch.  It was the first of his 17 career homers, all hit in 1959.  Among the 17, he homered additionally off Hall of Famers Jim Bunning and Early Wynn as well as off standouts Billy Pierce, Bill Monbouquette and Camilo Pascual.  Pretty good one-season career.
FCR -  Bill Deane, Cooperstown
Incorrect answers:  Warren Spahn, Don Drysdale, Don Newcombe, Madison Bumgarner, Mike Hampton, Tom Glavine

Q.        Who is the last pitcher to throw 30 complete games in a single season?
Hint:     He was the only pitcher to surrender 4 home runs in a game in the “year of the pitcher”.
Hint:     He once hit for the cycle—but in a season—not in a single game.
- 30 CG in 1975.  Only 9 G did he start and not finish.  Not surprisingly, he led the majors in innings pitched (328) and batters faced (1,294) that season.
- 4 HR G 14-May-1968Rod Carew, Tony Oliva, Rich Rollins and Bob Allison all took him deep in Minneapolis.  Oakland still won the game 13-8.  The 4-HR game was his next start after his perfect game against these same Twins 08-May-1968            in Oakland.
- “Cycle” in 1971.
FCR -  Richard Walker, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect answers:  Mickey Lolich, Denny McLain, Steve Carlton, Phil Niekro, Ferguson Jenkins, Juan Marichal, Robin Roberts, Bob Gibson, Wilbur Wood, Don Drysdale

WEEKLY THEME – Hall of Famers who hold career World Series records

Berra                At-Bats (259), Hits (71), Doubles (10), Plate Appearances (295), World Series Championships (10)

Collins             Sacrifice Hits (8)

Ford                 Wins (10), Losses (8), Bases on Balls (34), Innings (146), Strikeouts (94), Games Started (22)
Frisch               Doubles (10**)

Gehrig              On-Base Percentage [50 min PA] (.477)

Gibson             Consecutive Pitching Victories (7), Consecutive Complete Games (8)

Gomez             Wins without a loss (6)

Hunter             Home Runs allowed (9)

Jackson            Slugging Percentage [20 G min] (.755)

Mantle             Home Runs (18), Runs-Batted-In (40), Runs Scored (40), Bases‑on‑Balls (43), Extra‑Base Hits (26), Strikeouts (54), Total Bases (123)

Mathewson       Complete Games (10), Shutouts (4)

Molitor             Batting Average [50 min AB] (.418*)

Ruffing            Opening Game of Series Wins (5)

Speaker            Triples (4***)

*Tied w/Pepper Martin
** Tied w/Berra

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Hall of Famers with color in their nicknames