Monday, December 18, 2017

2017-12-11 MVPs who were swept in the World Series

Q.        Who is the only Hall of Famer besides Babe Ruth to be the all-time career leader in more than two offensive categories, as presented highlighted in gold on the main page of his web site?
Hint:     He leads in other categories, but not ones appearing on the main b-r page.
Hint:     He probably doesn’t remember this, but he was born in the back seat of a taxi on a cold day in a cold city.
Hint:     One of his major league teammates once admired, “It wasn't until I saw [him] that I understood what baseball was about.”
Hint:     Fans got both more and less of what they had anticipated when he gave his Hall of Fame acceptance speech.
-  Is the leader in R, SB & CS
-  Also leads in career lead-off HRs, SB in a season, CS in a season
-  B. 25-Dec-1958 in Chicago.  The National Weather Service reports that the high that day was 37°F and the low was 27°F, with a trace of snow.  (No mention of wind in the Windy City that day, but gotta believe… )
-  Athletics teammate Mitchell Page had the classic quote.
-  Absent from his HOF acceptance speech were his trademark self-references in third-person, his well-meaning malapropisms and his general disregard for decorum.  This was both a disappointment and a relief.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, Stan Musial, Hank Aaron, Rod Carew, Ty Cobb

Q.        Besides Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana, who is the only Triple Crown winner born outside the United States?
Hint:     He tied a record once held exclusively by Mike Schmidt.
Hint:     He was the first National League player to hit a walk-off home run in his first major league game.
-  B. 13-Apr-1983 in Maracay, Venezuela
-  Won consecutive MVPs as a third baseman in 2012-13.  Schmidt has been history’s only back-to-back MVP 3rd baseman for 1980-81.
-  HR 20-Jun-2003 off Tampa Bay’s Al Levine.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Carl Yastrzemski, Nomar Garciapara, Albert Pujols, Dizzy Dean, Fernando Valenzuela, Juan Marichal

Q.        Who is the only player in history who can correctly claim that he hit 40 doubles, 20 triples and 30 home runs in a single major league season?
Hint:     He made a habit of tilting his baseball cap over his left eye.
Hint:     His family was disappointed when he failed his television audition for a part on “The Munsters”.
A.         JIM BOTTOMLEY  [SABR Bio]
-  In 1928, helping the Cardinals to their 2nd-ever pennant, he racked up 42 doubles, 20 triples and 31 home runs.  He led the NL is the last two.
Fred Gwynne doppelganger
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect guesses:  George Brett, Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Stan Musial, Albert Bell, Ken Hunt

Q.        Who was the first black coach in the American League?
Hint:     Popular lore has it that he was once a road roommate of Ernie Banks.
Hint:     He popularized the signaling to teammates during play that there were two out by using his index and pinkie fingers.
Hint:     Leaders in his home town refer to him as, “Our Jackie Robinson”.
A.         ELSTON HOWARD  [SABR Bio]
-  NYY 1st B coach 1969-79
-  Supposedly roomed with Banks when both played with the KC Monarchs.  Records don’t show them with the team at the same time.
-  Born and raised in St. Louis.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Roy Campanella, Larry Doby, Monte Irvin, Buck O’Neill, Gene Baker, Minnie Minoso, Frank Robinson

Q.        What pitcher has a pitching Triple Crown, 2 ERA titles, a World Series Championship and 6 All-Star Selections but is not in the Hall of Fame (although qualified)?
Hint:     He hit 99 career doubles in games he pitched.
Hint:     Only 2 other pitchers, both Hall of Famers, had more career hits as batters.
A.         BUCKY WALTERS  [SABR Bio]
-  {Kudos to readers who figured out that the second hint was in error.  Apologies to the rest of you.}
FCR -  Walt Cherniak, woodbine, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  All incorrect guesses forgiven because of lax hint construction.

Q.        What Hall of Fame second baseman didn’t deny the appropriateness of his nickname “Cocky”?
Hint:     Ty Cobb, who seldom praised the efforts any opponent, was often laudatory.
Hint:     He was the first player from his franchise to cop an MVP of any kind.  He then twice finished 2nd in MVP voting to players from the Hall of Fame’s first class.
Hint:     He is the only player to get his 3,000th major league hit off a pitcher with the same last name.
A.         EDDIE COLLINS  [SABR Bio]
-  Quoting the SABR bio, written by Paul Mittermeyer, “An Ivy League graduate, Collins was one of the smartest players of his day, and he knew it. Saddled with the nickname “Cocky” from early in his career, Collins drew the resentment of teammates for his self-confidence and good breeding that at times seemed as though it belonged more in a ballroom than a baseball clubhouse.
MVP in 1914 (4th & final AL Chalmers Award); Finished behind only Babe Ruth in 1923 then behind Walter Johnson in 1924 in AL “League MVP votings.  The current BBWAA system began in 1931.
-  3,000th H off Rip Collins 03-Jun-1925
FCR -  Cappy Gagnon, South Bend
Incorrect guesses:  Honus Wagner

Q.        Whose 1st-inning RBI single was nullified by umpire Art Frantz because the pine tar on his bat exceeded the 18-inch limit?
Hint:     He was endowed with a plethora of sobriquets, including, but not limited to: “Tug”, “Tugboat”, “Squat”, “Squatty”, “Squatty Body” and “The Walrus”.  And those were from people who LIKED him!
Hint:     His rivalry with a certain other AL ROY winner became the stuff of legend.
-  Nullified single 19-Jul-1975
FCR -  Gary Sarnoff, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Walt Dropo, George Brett

Q.        Who hit more than 20 triples in his rookie season?
Hint:     He was the first 20th century National Leaguer to have at least 200 hits in each of 4 consecutive seasons.
Hint:     Only four players in major league history have hit more doubles in a season.
Hint:     His best year in college was as a pitcher where he compiled a won-lost record of 23-4 with an ERA of 1.70.
Hint:     He finished his playing career with Miami.
A.         PAUL WANER  [SABR Bio]
-  22 3b in 1926
-  200+ H 1927-30
-  62 2b in 1932 Doubles leaders list
-  Pitching record from East Central State Teachers College (now East Central University) in Ada, Oklahoma in 1922.
-  In 1946, played 62 G for the Class C Miami Sun Sox
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses:  Willie Keeler, Tim Raines, Rickey Henderson, Ichiro Suzuki, Chuck Klein, Luis Gonzalez,

Q.        Who was the only person to be a player, coach and final manager for the Sonoma County Crushers?
Hint:     He once hit a hung slider that helped extend a curse.
Hint:     Sports Illustrated reported that he once needed dental reconstruction surgery after biting into an overheated microwaved doughnut.
2002 Sonoma County Crushers (from m one-time home town, Rohnert Park California) of the independent Western Baseball League.
- It was his single off Calvin Schiraldi and subsequent score for NYM in the 10th inning of G 6 of the 1986 WS that allowed the game to continue, eventually leading to the Mets victory.
FCR -  Bob Flynn, Chandler, Arizona
Incorrect guesses:  Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent

Q.        Whose modern record for games pitched in a season did Kansas City’s John Wyatt break in 1964?
Hint:     His bespectacled face against a blue background was the first baseball card I ever saw that I had bought with my own money.  I had never heard of him and worried it was a mistake.
Hint:     He started game one of the World Series after having started zero games for his team during the season.
A.         JIM KONSTANTY  [SABR Bio]
-  Konstanty pitched in 74 G in 1950; Wyatt in 81 in 1964.
-  It was the 1961 Topps MVP series, #479.   I later worked for a company that did business with his sporting goods store and he graciously sent me a signed autograph.
-  G 1 1950 WS
FCR -  Dave Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Ryne Duren, Hoyt Wilhelm, Joe Black, Pud Galvin, Lindy McDaniel, Jim Brosnan, Hoss Radbourn

WEEKLY THEME – MVP's who got swept in the World Series.

1927 Paul Waner
1928 Jim Bottomley
1939 Bucky Walters
1950 Jim Konstanty
1963 Elston Howard
1989 Kevin Mitchell
1990 Rickey Henderson
2012 Miguel Cabrera

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Timothy Kearns, Washington, DC

Incorrect theme guesses:

Wed        -  players with 9 or more RBI in one game

Extra       -  Each participated in but failed to win lost World Series in the corresponding year.
               -  They won their league MVP but they did not win the World Series that year as their team came up short in the Fall Classic.
               -  MVP’s that lost in the World Series
               -  They all lost the World Series.
               -  They all lost 4-0 in the World Series
               -  They did NOT lead their league in RBIs despite having the most RBIs in one game that season.
               -  All played for WS team that was swept.
               -  Played in but never won a world series
               -  Their team didn't win the World Series that season!
               -  MVP winners who lost the world series the same year.
               -  Didn't get an MVP vote the season after winning MVP
               -  Year player won MVP
               -  Win a game in the World Series.
               -  They all played in the WS that year but were all on the losing side.
               -  Players who played on losing world series teams in a year they won mvp
               -  They struck out three times in a World Series game
               -  They were all MVP's that year and, except for Cabrera, it was their only MVP.
               -  Lost  world series the year of their achievement
               -  League MVPs on World Series losing teams
               -  MVPs whose teams lost the World Series.
               -  MVP players who lost in the WS in their MVP seasons
               -  None of them GIDP despite having at least 500 AB

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