Monday, January 29, 2018

2018-01-22 SABR's 19th-Century Overlooked Legends

Q.        Which American Association hitter, in 1882, played the fewest games in a season where he had 100 hits?
Hint:     His other stats that were stratospheric and all league-leading: 
.378 Batting average
.430 On-base percentage
.510 Slugging
.940 OPS and
223 OPS+
Hint:     Five years later, he would hit over .400, but finished 2nd to a superstar Canadian.
Hint:     His batting prowess led to the prominence of the Hillerich & Bradbury Co. as a major bat maker.  In addition, he named each of his bats and kept hundreds of them in his mother's basement.
Hint:     He was unnecessarily incarcerated in an insane asylum after his retirement due to mastoiditis.
A.         PETE BROWNING  [SABR Bio]
-  1882 = 69 G, 109 H
-  1887 = He hit .402, substantially behind Tip O’Neill’s .435.
Mastoiditis, a painful condition that left him nearly deaf, was obviously misdiagnosed.
FCR -  Rich Wolfe, Scottsdale
Incorrect guesses:  Dan Brouthers, Harry Heilmann, Cap Anson, Mike Trout

Q.        Who do we now know was the first-ever player to come to bat in the major leagues?
Hint:     He went 2-for-4 in that game.
Hint:     He and his brother formed the first major league brothers battery.
Hint:     He was the first player to complete his major league career with exactly 20 seasons.
A.         DEACON WHITE  [SABR Bio]
-  2B, leading off 1st inning 04-May-1871, The Cleveland Forest Cities vs. The Fort Wayne Kekiongas.  KEK prevailed 2-0.
-  Caught for his brother Will w/CIN 1878-80.
-  Played 1871-1890 (Cap Anson also played 1871-90, but did not complete his career then.  He played 7 more years.)
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses:  Ed Delahanty, George Wright, Harry Wright, Jim O’Rourke

Q.        Who was the first major league player to lead his league in triples and home runs in the same season?
Hint:     He did it again eleven seasons later.
Hint:     He was the first major leaguer to tally 100 career home runs.
Hint:     He changed his name from so his mother would not see his name in box scores.
Hint:     He retired with more runs scored than games played.
-  Led the majors w/14 3b & 6 HR in 1880 w/WOR
-  Led the NL w/20 3b & 16 HR in 1891 w/BSN
-  Hit HR #100 03-Sep-1890 off Jersey Bakley.  Finished w/122 HR’s.
-  Family name was  "Stowe".  It was a time when many mothers considered being a ballplayer unsavory.
-  Played 1,489 G, scored 1,495 R
FCR -  Bill Deane, Cooperstown
Incorrect guesses:  Gavvy Cravath, Ty Cobb, Roger Connor, Lou Gehrig, Sam Crawford

Q.        Who was the first player to compile a 40-game hitting streak?
Hint:     He began this streak one game after the end of a 20 gamer.
Hint:     In a famous play, he was rounding third in the top of the 12th inning when he was tripped by the third baseman.
Hint:     Hall of Famer Wee Willie Keeler was the best man at his 2nd wedding.
A.         BILL DAHLEN  [SABR Bio]
-  His 42-game hitting streak in 1894 was a record until 1897, and remains the 4th longest in history and the longest by a right-handed NL hitter.
-  Tripping incident 15-May-1902.  3b Charlie Dexter was the perp.
-  On 22-Dec-1903, Dahlen went down the aisle a second time, marrying Jeanette Hoglund. Willie Keeler was Dahlen’s best man.
FCR -  Bill Carle, Lee’s Summit, Missouri
Incorrect guesses:  Wee Willie Keeler, Cap Anson, Wilbert Robinson, John McGraw, Nap Lajoie

Q.        Who, if the research is correct, hit the first home run in the history of the National League?
Hint:     It was his only home run all year, but he managed a batting average of .429 to lead the league.
Hint:     One year, he had more than 140 hits in fewer than 80 games.
Hint:     His baseball contemporaries had the highest of praise for him.
Hint:     He retired to work for the Gas, Light and Coke Co.
A.         ROSS BARNES  [SABR Bio]
-  W/CHC, hit the 1st NL HR 02-May-1876 off Cincinnati’s Cherokee Fisher
-  HR in 18767
-  1875 = 143 H in 78 G
-  “Orator” Jim O’Rourke called Barnes “the greatest second baseman the game ever saw.”  In 1896, A.G. Spalding “declared Ross Barnes to have been the greatest ballplayer in America,” and Tim Murnane said of Barnes:  “His left-handed stops of hard-hit balls to right field were the prettiest stops ever made on the Boston grounds. As a base-runner no man of the present day is his equal, and as a batsman he must be reckoned very high.”
-  Worked in Chicago and was working for Peoples Gas, Light and Coke Co. Coke in this case is industrial fuel.
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses:  Willie Keeler, Kiki Cuyler, Billy Hamilton, Hugh Duffy

Q.        Who was the first person to play the shortstop position, taking his place as a “short fielder”?
Hint:     He helped found a bank in Ridgefield, Connecticut.
Hint:     He served in the Connecticut state legislature in 1870.
Hint:     His father’s practice helped him earn his nickname.
A.         DOC ADAMS   [SABR Bio]
-  He played SS for the Knickerbocker club of New York in 1849
-  His father was the well-known physician Dr. Daniel Adams, born in 1773; graduated from Dartmouth in 1797; received his medical degree in 1799.  Adams himself followed with a medical degree from Harvard by the time he was organizing baseball teams in New York.
FCR -  Steve Berman, Bergenfield, New Jersey
Incorrect guesses:  John Montgomery Ward, Dickey Pearce

Q.        Who was the first pitcher born outside the U.S. to throw a no-hitter?
Hint:     Only he threw more wild pitches than Nolan Ryan in a major league career.
Hint:     He’s one of the few who could have it both ways.
Hint:     He joined the Chicago Police Department after 18 years of professional baseball.
-  B. 30-Jan-1859 in Cork, Ireland.  On 11-Sep-1882, pitching in the American Association for the Louisville Eclipse, he no-hit the Cincinnati Red Stockings 2-0.
-  343 WP; Ryan had 277.  Mullane also holds the mark for the 2nd-most WP in a season w/63 (which nonetheless pales in comparison to Mark Baldwin’s 83 in 1889 for the Columbus Solons of the AA.)
-  On 18-Jul-1882, (and probably other times as well) in the middle of his sophomore season, he pitched ambidextrously in the same game.  Mullane suffered an injury to his right arm and managed to teach himself to throw left-handed. Mullane resumed throwing right-handed once the injury healed, and he would even alternate throwing righty and lefty in the same game, which was easy for him since he did not wear a glove. Mullane would face the batter with both hands on the ball, and then use either one to throw a pitch.
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Bert Blyleven, Johnny Vander Meer, Dolf Luque, ,Cy Young

Q.        Whose records for number of seasons leading National League shortstops in fielding percentage and assists did Ozzie Smith break in the 1980’s?
Hint:     He was the first native of what is now the state of West Virginia to play in the majors.
Hint:     He was almost universally considered the greatest fielding shortstop of his day.
Hint:     He led the National League in hits in consecutive seasons.
Hint:     In games played at shortstop, he ranks just behind Phil Rizzuto and held the position of career leader in most games played at short for 11 straight seasons.
Hint:     His hitting performance in his rookie season at just a tick over .200 wasn’t a good indicator that he would lead the National League in batting at .336 over a decade later.
-  Glasscock led in fielding % 7 times and in assists 6 times.
-  ML debut 01-May-1879; B. 22-Jul-1857 in Wheeling, Virginia.  Wheeling became part of West Virginia when that state was carved out of Virginia 20‑Jun‑1863.
“. . . one of the greatest players from a fielding standpoint the game has ever known. . .” - The National Game.
-  Scooter is #44 @ 1,647 G.  Glasscock had 1,629 and is #46 on the list.  Career SS G leader 1887-97.
- His .209 in 1879; hit .336 in 1890 to lead the NL.
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses:  Honus Wagner, Everett Scott, Arky Vaughn, Marty Marion

Q.        Who was the first pitcher to earn 40 wins in a season for the franchise that became the Los Angeles Dodgers?
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to earn 40 wins in a season for the team that became the St. Louis Cardinals.
Hint:     He was the first National League pitcher to score more runs in a season than he allowed as a pitcher (minimum 50).
Hint:     He was the star pitcher on five league champions in a ten-year career.
Hint:     He was also a star on offense.  He once scored more runs than he allowed as a pitcher in a season.  In another he hit more home runs in a season than he surrendered.  (Reasonable minimums apply.)
A.         BOB CARUTHERS  [SABR Bio]
-  He was the only one, going 40-11 for the 1889 AA Brooklyn Grooms
-  His record was 40-13 for the 1885 St. Louis Browns.  In both cases his WAR was twice as high as his next highest teammate’s.  [10.0/5.1 & 8.7/3.7]
-  In 1892, scored 76 R; allowed 75.  In 1887 he hit 8 HR, allowed 6.
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses:  Old Hoss Radbourn, Tommy Bond, Albert Spalding, Jack Chesbro

WEEKLY THEME – SABR’S Overlooked Legends

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRoger Kathmann, Cincinnati (after Adams)


Incorrect theme guesses:

Saturday -  Players who played in the 1800's who have been closest to being selected to the Hall of Fame without making it.
Sunday   -  The top vote getter's from the Eras Committee. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

2018-01-15 Pitchers who won the All-Star game when it was played in their home parks

Q.        Among 20th-century Hall of Famer pitchers, who trails only Whitey Ford in career win/loss percentage?
Hint:     He was the first righthander with 300 strikeouts and a sub-2.00 ERA in the same season since Walter Johnson.
Hint:     As youngsters growing up in meager circumstances, he and his brothers needed a ball for their games, they sometimes “borrowed” a head from one of their sisters’ dolls.
-           W/L % = .6865 (Ford’s .6901)
-           In 1997, 305 K & 1.90 ERA. (Johnson in 1910 & 12)
-           Brother Ramon also became a major leaguer.
FCR -  David Johnson, Swarthmore, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Juan Marichal, Bob Gibson, Dizzy Dean, Christy Mathewson

Q.        What pitcher, in only his second full season, pitched and won the first-ever regular-season major league game played at night in the state of New York?
Hint:     He is the major leaguer with whom the term “back-to-back” is most often associated.
Hint:     He got hooked on baseball listening to the Giants sweep the Yankees in the World Series.
-           First night G at Ebbets Field 15-Jun-1938 was also Vander Meer’s 2nd consecutive no-hitter.
-           1922 WS = NYG over NYY 4-0-1
FCR -  Joe Haardt, McLean, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Harry Gumbert, Don Newcombe, Harvey Haddix, Wilbur Wood, Tommy John, Charlie Hough

Q.        Who is the only Dodgers pitcher to throw a no-hitter during the 1980’s?
Hint:     He was the last pitcher to give up a World Series hit to Reggie Jackson.
Hint:     He was the first left-handed pitcher to win 200 career games without ever winning 20 games in a season.
A.         JERRY REUSS  [SABR Bio]
-  No-hitter 27-Jun-1980
-  Jackson’s last WS H, G 5 25-Oct-1981; 2nd inning ground-rule 2b
-  Ended with 200 wins; had 18 in a season 3 times
FCR -  Til Strudwick, Baltimore
Incorrect guesses:  Fernando Valenzuela, Rick Honeycutt, Hideo Nomo

Q.        Who is the only pitcher to homer in four consecutive games played?
Hint:     He also holds the record as the youngest player ever to pitch in a World Series game.
Hint:     At age 15, he pitched his team to the Babe Ruth League national championship. In that tournament, he no-hit a team from New Orleans, walking seven, striking out 10 and not allowing a ball to be hit out of the infield.
A.         KEN BRETT  [SABR Bio]
-  Home run games:
09-Jun-1973 off SDP’s Bill Greif
18-Jun1973 off NYM’s Ray Sadeki
23-Jun-1973 off MON’s Tom Walker
-  WS appearance G 4 08-Oct-1967 [19 yrs 1 mo.]
-  The El Segundo (CA) All-Stars captured the 1964 Babe Ruth League national championship.
FCR -  Steven Elsberry, Windsor Heights, Iowa
Incorrect guesses:  Dwight Gooden, Madison Bumgarner, Don Drysdale, Rick Ankiel, Mike Epstein, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Don Gullett, Jim Palmer

Q.        Who was the first player to earn Minor League Player of the Year honors twice?
Hint:     Who was the first Red Sox P to allow 30 home runs in a season.
Hint:     Among many choices, he chose to become a Cougar.
Hint:     He likely violated NCAA rules while in college.
A.         GENE CONLEY  [SABR Bio]
-  “Sporting News” MLPOY 1951 & 1953
-  Gave up 33 HR for BOS 1961, his career high
-  Accepted cash and the use of an automobile from grateful alumni
FCR -  Scott Matteson, Shawnee, Kansas
Incorrect guesses:  Bruce Hurst

Q.        Who was the first pitcher to win two Opening Day games for the Expos?
Hint:     He was the only 20th century pitcher to suffer 20 losses in a season for the Expos.
Hint:     He once suffered a cracked rib while breaking up a double play as a pinch-runner.
Hint:     He surrendered Pete Rose’s 3,000th career hit.
A.         STEVE ROGERS [SABR Bio]
-  Won Opening Day starts in 1982 & 1983 (But that was after he lost Opening Day starts in 1976, 78 & 80.)
-  Was 15-22 in 1974 to lead the majors in losses.
-  Cracked Rib 30-Aug-1981
FCR -  Victor Piacentile, Yorktown Heights, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Bill Stoneman, Steve Renko, Jerry Koosman, Randy Jones, Bill Gullickson, Roger Craig

Q.        Who was the first pitcher to earn 99 career saves for the Orioles?
Hint:     He was the first to appear in 70 games in a season for them.
Hint:     He once pitched 1/27th of a no-hitter.
Hint:     He surrendered Mickey Mantle’s 500th home run.
A.         STU MILLER
-  Exactly 99 career saves for BAL
-  Led the majors w/71 appearances w/BAL in 1963
-  Pitched the last out after Steve Barber has retired 26 Tigers on 30-Apr-1967.  Unfortunately, it was not in a victorious effort, due to Barber’s having issued 10 bases-on-balls.
-  Mantle’s 500th 14-May-1967
FCR -  Barry Kramer, Baltimore
Incorrect guesses:  Hoyt Wilhelm, Dick Hall, Pete Richert, Tippy Martinez, Moe Drabowsky, Tracy Stallard, Eddie Watt, Gregg Olson, Milt Pappas

Q.        Who was the last man on the mound when the Commissioner called the All-Star game a draw?
Hint:     Ironically, he had been the first native of his home county to earn a pitching win in an All-Star game?
Hint:     Until 2017, he was the all-time leader of career pitching victories for natives of his country.
- In the 2002 ASG he had finished pitching the bottom of the 11th when innovation struck.
-  W in the 2001 ASG.
-  Passed by Felix Hernandez for most career pitching victories by a Venezuelan when The King got his 157th on 25-Jul vs. BOS.
FCR -  Rick Tharp, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Vincente Padilla, Bert Blyleven

Q.        Who leads all left-handed pitchers for career WAR for the Toronto Blue Jays?
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to make 3 consecutive Opening Day starts for T.O.
Hint:     He was the first Blue Jays to earn a pitching victory in the All-Star game in Toronto.
A.         JIMMY KEY
-  Key = 30 WAR in 9 yrs.
-  O.D. starts 1987-89
-  ASG W 1991
FCR -  Vince Granieri, Cincinnati
Incorrect guesses:  Dave Stieb, David Wells

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers who won an All-Star Game played in their home park.

Pitcher           Team      Park                                   Date
Vander Meer.. CIN..... Crosley Field.................... 06-Jul-1938
Conley............ MLN... County Stadium............... 12-Jul-1955
Miller.............. SFG.... Candlestick Park.............. 11-Jul-1961
Brett............... PIT..... Three Rivers Stadium...... 23-Jul-1974
Reuss............. LAD.... Dodger Stadium............... 08-Jul-1980
Rogers........... MTL.... Olympic Stadium.............. 13-Jul-1982
Key................. TOR... SkyDome......................... 09-Jul-1991
Martinez......... BOS... Fenway Park.................... 13-Jul-1999
Garcia............ SEA.... Safeco Field..................... 10-Jul-2001

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeDavid Washburn, Marietta, Georgia (after Reuss)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Brother combinations with the greatest combined career win totals.
Tuesday -  Pitchers who started an MLB All-Star Game in their home ballpark.

Wed        -  Pitchers who lost no hitters in the ninth inning