Sunday, December 24, 2017
2017-12-24 AL ROYs w/30 HRs
Q. What famous Cuban scientist/author is responsible for some of baseball’s most interesting and controversial discussions this century?
Hint: He was the first visiting player to hit five home runs in a season in SkyDome.
Hint: He also hit 25 home runs in a season in SkyDome as a non-visiting player.
- 25 HR as a Blue Jay in 1998
FCR - David Krassin, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses: Kendrys Morales, Carlos Delgado, Rafael Palmeiro
Q. Whose record for home runs in a rookie season did Aaron Judge sail right through in 2017?
Hint: He was a pitching star in college.
Hint: He was the fist player to hit 30 home runs in each of his first four seasons in the majors.
A. MARK McGWIRE
- Hit 49 HR in 1987; Judge hit 52 in 2017
- 30+ HR 1987-1990, a record since shattered by Albert Pujols
FCR - Naftali Greenwood, Kiryat, Israel
Incorrect guesses: Adam Dunn, Dave Kingman, Wally Berger, Frank Robinson
Q. Who is the only American League outfielder to win the All-Star Game’s MVP award twice?
Hint: He was the first player with 150 home runs and 150 stolen bases before his 26th birthday.
Hint: Only Ty Cobb had accumulated a higher WAR at the same age.
A. MIKE TROUT
FCR - Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect guesses: Ken Griffey, Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Eric Davis, Mickey Mantle, Tony Oliva
Q. Who was the first woman to pitch in the Negro Leagues?
Hint: Her diminutive height, (actually average for a woman of her day) led to her commonly-used nickname.
Hint: In a three-year stint for Hank Aaron’s old team, she racked up a record of 33-8 and added a batting average of .262.
Hint: She was the star of a Negro League Panel held at the 2009 SABR Convention in Washington, DC.
Hint: After her professional baseball career, she attended nursing school and, in her words, “Became a nurse for 30 years.”
Hint: A baseball field in the DC area bears her name.
- Played 1953-55 for the Indianapolis Clowns
- Life detailed in Michelle Green’s juvenile-lit biography of Johnson, “A Strong Right Arm”
- An inspiration to Moné Davis
FCR - Jeb Stewart, Birmingham
Q. Who sported the highest uniform number of any player on the Chicago White Sox in 2017?
Hint: His mother chose the number so that people would remember it.
Hint: In the 2013 World Baseball Classic, he was a standout for his country, hitting .383 with 3 home runs and 9 RBI.
Hint: He once destroyed some incriminating evidence by eating it.
Hint: His childhood nickname “Pito” has not followed him to the major leagues.
A. JOSE ABREU
- He sports #79
- Didn’t want to be caught with a forged passport, so downed it with beer on a flight to Miami.
FCR - Jess Forrest
Incorrect guesses: Manny Ramirez, Melky Cabrera, Harold Baines
Q. Who leads his 50+ year-old franchise in career home runs, but never was selected to an All-Star team.
Hint: He never played for any other team in his major league career of more than a decade.
Hint: He is also their career leader in bases-on-ball and runs created.
Hint: He presented flowers to five mothers and their children before an American League game on Mothers' Day 2006.
A. TIM SALMON
- 299 HR
- 970 BB; 1,206 RC
FCR - Steve Cardella, Sacramento
Incorrect guesses: Rob Deer, David Wright, Jimmy Wynn, Dave Kingman, Troy Glauss
Q. Whose record did Tim Salmon tie when he had hit 13 hits in the space of 3 games, among non-Hall of Famers?
Hint: Although actively courted by pro football and pro basketball, the money offered by a major league team made it an easy decision.
Hint: He once played on a team with Ted Williams as a teammate and Babe Ruth as the manager.
Hint: Two years after leading the league in RBI and total bases, he was traded for an eventual Hall of Famer. (Other players were involved on both sides of the trade.)
- Sorry. Hits, not homers. (Sorry. Not blaming this on weapons-grade pain meds. Blaming it on industrial-strength pain meds!)
- Played with Williams and Ruth – [From SABR Bio: “Dropo played in Fenway Park almost six years before his major-league debut – and played on the same team as Ted Williams, with Babe Ruth as his manager. On July 12, 1943, a group branded Ruth’s All-Stars played an exhibition game at Fenway against the Boston Braves to benefit the war effort. There weren’t enough available major leaguers to fill the All-Stars’ roster, so a call was made to Fort Devens. After his sophomore year at UConn, Dropo had joined the Army and trained at Devens. He and some others traveled into Boston. He was 0-for-2 in the game, but helped complete a double play at first. Dropo, Williams, Dom DiMaggio, Ruth, and company beat the Braves, 9-8.”
FCR - Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Q. What bespectacled All-Star was Billy Pierce’s regular golfing partner after their playing days?
Hint: When he hit 30 home runs in each of his first two full seasons in the majors, he was the first to do so in a generation.
Hint: Opie once sang about his home town.
A. RON KITTLE
- They played golf together right up until the end of Pierce’s life.
- 35 HR in 1983, 32 in ‘84
- Born in Gary, Indiana, the subject of a song in “The Music Man” belted out by Winthrop Paroo played by Ron Howard who was Opie on “The Andy Griffith Show”.
- Movie preferences shown on “Fun Facts” on RonKittle.com.
FCR - Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Q. Who is the only American League player to homer in the first at-bats of his first TWO major league games?
Hint: He only had two additional home runs the entire rest of that season.
Hint: He had an 88% success rate stealing bases while playing NCAA baseball.
Hint: He has an unusual oral superstition that relates to his performance during games.
A. AARON JUDGE
- HRs: 13-Aug-2016 & 14-Aug-2017 [Reader Doug Greenwald pointed out that the Cards’ Keith McDonalds also homered in his first at-bats of his first 2 major league games, hence the late specification of AL for Judge.)
- Played at Fresno State University
FCR - Nooooooooobody!
Incorrect guesses: Turk Wendell, Mark Quinn, Tuffy Rhodes
Q. Who joined Harmon Killebrew as the first American League teammates to both hit a grand slam in the same inning?
Hint: Killebrew said of him, “He wants to win at everything—cards, ping pong, handball or baseball. He wants to be the first on the airplane and first on the bus.”
Hint: His manager said of him, “[He] was my leader on the bench, a beautiful buffer for me.”
Hint: His owner said of him, “[He]’s got the best arm on this club since Jackie Jensen.”
- GS X 2 18-Jul-1962
- Manager quoted was Billy Martin
- Owner quoted was Calvin Griffith
FCR - Craig McGraw
Incorrect guesses: Tony Oliva, Rod Carew, Rich Rollins, Dave Winfield, Fernando Tatis
Q. Who was the penultimate Cuban national to come and play in the majors without having to defect?
Hint: He was the first player from his team, but not from his franchise, to win a league batting title.
Hint: His is the only retired Cuban native with a career batting average above .300 (200 G min.)
Hint: Due to an unhealed thumb sprain, his at-bats, far more than those of his contemporaries, resulted in bats flying into the crowd or toward players and coaches on the sidelines.
- Bert Campaneris was the very last non-defect Cuban immigrant. (Many have been non-defective, but that’s a whole ‘nother question.)
- Won the AL batting title with MIN in each of his first two full seasons in the majors, 1964 & 65. [Mickey Vernon, Buddy Meyer and Goose Goslin won batting titles when the Twins were the Washington Senators (1901-1960)].
- Hit .304 (Jose Abreu finished 2017 with a career average of .301.)
FCR - David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses: Roberto Clemente, Zoilo Versalles, Minnie Minoso, Rico Carte
Q. Who won the National League Comeback Player of the Year Award the year after leaving the Cubs as a free agent and then, as a Dodger, making the All-Star team and helping them reach the postseason?
Hint: He led the league in hits and triples in his first full season. Never led in either category again in his 14-year career.
Hint: A Texas rookie knocked him off the coveted Double Unique list, after being on it for a decade.
Hint: His dad would reward him with a quarter every time he got a hit, but docked him half a buck whenever he struck out.
Hint: He shares an unusual distinction with Don Mattingly that both would wish away if they could.
- Nomar and Donny Baseball starred for their teams for many years, yet those teams only won the World Series after they had left the team.
FCR - Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect guesses: Rick Monday, Dusty Baker
WEEKLY THEME – American League Rookie of the Year winners with 30 home runs in their rookie seasons.
Player Year HRs
Abreu............. 2014..... 36
Allison............ 1959..... 30
Canseco......... 1986..... 33
Dropo............. 1950..... 34
Garciaparra.... 1997..... 30
Judge............. 2017..... 53
Kittle............... 1983..... 35
McGwire......... 1987..... 49
Oliva............... 1964..... 32
Salmon........... 1993..... 31
Trout............... 2012..... 30
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Jack Sullivan, Louisville
Incorrect theme guesses:
Tuesday - Players implicated in enhanced performance/steroid investigation.
- Stars who Admitted Steroid/PED Usage
Wed - ROY winner that led the league in RBI at some point
- Right handed AL ROY winners
- Unanimous AL ROYs
Sat - Rookies of the Year that throw and bat right and are 6' 2'' or taller.
- Rookies of the Year who hit 30 or more Home Runs
Sun - AL Rookies of the Year, batted and threw right handed, had at least 28 home runs, over 90 RBI's their rookie year and never accused of steroid use.
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