Monday, March 26, 2018

2018-03-19 Players who hit their franchises' first TWO cycles

Note:  Items IN ALL CAPS AND UNDERLINED were not in the original question

MONDAY (Monday questions not connected with this week’s theme)
Q.        What connects these players?
                        Ron Darling
                        Sid Fernandez
                        Charlie Hough
                        Kurt Suzuki &
                        Shane Victorino
A.         All-Stars who were born in Hawaii
FCR -  David Washburn, Marietta, Georgia
Incorrect:  Hawaiians to win a World Series; All Rule 5 picks; Gave up HR’s to Reggie Jackson; Played on a pennant winner/playoff team; All played for the Mets; No longer live in Hawaii

MONDAY II (Also not connected with this week’s theme)
Q.        Who is the only pitcher to lead both the NL and AL in shutouts – in the same season?
A.         CC Sabathia (C.C. Sabathia at the time) in 2008 – 2 ShO in AL w/CLE then traded to MIL (which had conveniently switched leagues 10 years earlier) and led w/3 ShO for the NL.
FCR -  Ken Auerbach, Bonita Springs, Florida
Incorrect:  Rick Sutcliffe, Randy Johnson, Bartolo Colon

MONDAY III (Once again not connected with this week’s theme)
Q.        Who set a World Series record in the first modern World Series that has never been broken?  What is that record?
A.         Tommy Leach of the Pirates hit four (4!) triples in 1903 against Boston.  Never equaled.  It was an 8-game Series, but he had his 4 by the 5th game.  Deacon Phillippe’s 5 complete games in the same WS also still stands.  Also, Brickyard Kennedy surrendered 10 runs in the 5th G.
FCR -  Michael Caragliano, Flushing, New York
Incorrect:  Deacon Phillippe - 3 wins;

MONDAY IV (Still not connected with this week’s theme)
Q.        What two all-time records were set in one game on 14-Sep-1987?
Hint:     One has an outside chance of being tied or broken, the other?  Never.  I’ll stand by that.
A.         In the process of clobbering the visiting Baltimore Orioles 18-3, the Toronto Blue Jays hammered ten (10!) home runs.  No other team has ever even hit 9 in a game.  Sensing a lost cause, Manager Cal Ripken, Sr. put future manager Ron Washington in at short replacing Cal, Jr. and ending his consecutive-innings played streak at 8,264.  Award-winning SABR researcher Trent McCotter gives this account of Ripken’s accomplishment, which neither he nor his father were aware of that warm night in the worst stadium in the majors:  Ripken’s Record.
            In 1999 the Reds came close with 9 HRs in a game 04-Sep-1999
FCR -  Adam Fung, Toronto
Incorrect:  Most total bases in one game  (19 by Shawn Greene)

Q.        Who holds the single-season record for most hits by a first baseman?
Hint:     He is widely believed to be the best player in the history of his franchise.
Hint:     Ty Cobb called him “the nearest thing to a perfect ballplayer.”
Hint:     Branch Rickey was his mentor and coach in college.
A.         GEORGE SISLER  [SABR Bio]
-  He put wood on the ball safely 257 times in 1920.  The only better number at any position is Ichiro’s 262.
-  His best work was done for the St. Louis Browns.
-  Branch Rickey coached Sisler at the University of Michigan.
FCR -  Mark Pattison, Washington, DC
Incorrect guesses:  Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Cap Anson, Lou Gehrig, Bill Terry

Q.        Who was the last active player from the MLB original expansion?
Hint:     The Angels shipped him to the Mets to get pitching prospect Nolan Ryan.
Hint:     A postseason, in-game tactical decision he made, no matter how logical at the time, will haunt him forever.
A.         JIM FREGOSI  [SABR Bio]
-  Was a rookie with the 1961 Los Angeles Angels and retired after 20 games with PIT in 1978.
-  Trade for Ryan 10-Dec-1971.  The Angels also got Frank Estrada, Don Rose & Leroy Stanton.
-  To pitch the 9th inning with a 6-5 lead, he summoned his closer, a man with 43 saves in the regular season that year.  That pitcher proceeded to walk the best base stealer of all time and then, with one out, gave up a hit to another future Hall of Famer.  The 4th batter of the inning, his team’s clean-up hitter, had won an RBI title and had averaged 112 RBI over the previous 8 seasons.  Many eyes were on Fregosi to see if he were considering a pitching change.  No change was made and the momentum of the continued unbroken.  The batter lined a 2-2 fastball over the left field fence for a 3-run home to win the World Series.  1993 WS.
FCR -  Chaunce Venuto, Tooele, Utah
Incorrect guesses:  Ed Kranepool, Bobby Valentine

Q.        Who is the Houston Astros’ all-time career leader in both stolen bases and time caught stealing?
Hint:     As a 20-year-old, he led the majors in doubles.  To show it wasn’t an aberration, he did it again the following season.
Hint:     In his first All-Star game start, he played alongside Roberto Clemente in his last.
Hint:     He was traded to the Reds for a player who would become a World Series MVP.
-  487 SB; 149 CS
-  40 2b in 1971; 39 2b in 1972.  Fourteen major league seasons later, he had never reached those heights again.
-  Traded to CIN for Ray Knight on 18-Dec-1981.  Knight would win the WS MVP in 1986 for NYM.
FCR -  Thomas Hablitzel, Hudson, Ohio
Incorrect guesses:  Craig Biggio, Joe Morgan, Jose Cruz, Jimmy Wynn, Rusty Staub, Skip Jutze, Denis Menke

Q.        Which player had the highest batting average in his final major league season IN THE 19TH CENTURY?
Hint:     It was also his personal best career season for doubles and RBI.
Hint:     He was the first player to collect more RBI in a season than the number of games he played… and he did it twice!  (Reasonable minimums apply.)
Hint:     His career was cut short for the same reason that baseball lost J.R. Richard at his peak.
A.         DAVE ORR  [SABR Bio]
-  .371 in 1890 in the Players League
-  1884 = 110 G/112 RBI; 1890 = 107 G/124 RBI
-  Both were felled by stroke.  Jeff Gray [Jeffrey Michael Grays] also suffered a stroke just as he was hitting his stride.
FCR -  Gary Moore, Walker, Michigan
Incorrect guesses:  Hack Wilson, Eddie Waitkus, Pete Reiser, Kirby Puckett, Ted Williams, Juan Gonzalez, Lou Gehrig

Q.        Who received the first recorded intentional bases-on-balls IN MAJOR LEAGUE HISTORY?
Hint:     He is the only player to hit for the cycle in a game where he pitched.
Hint:     It was once believed that he threw 10 wild pitches in a single game, but research has proved that to be no more accurate than the Abner Doubleday myth.
Hint:     He was one of the first BRTL players of note in the majors.
A.         JIMMY RYAN
-  In the 9th inning of a 1896 game with the Chicago Colts [Cubs], New York Giants team captain Kid Gleason, more than a decade before he became a major league manager, instructed teammate Jouett Meekin to throw 4 balls outside the strike zone to Ryan.  Ryan was enjoying his 8th of 12 seasons of hitting .300 or better.  George Decker, the next Chicago batter, promptly struck out to end the game and a tactic was born.  [See The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball, 2nd Ed., p. 488]
-  Cycle as a P = 01-Jul-1891
-  He batted right and threw left.
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses:  Nolan Arenado, Guy Hecker

Q.        Who was the first Cincinnati major leaguer to win more than one home run title?
Hint:     He was an artist at the Strobridge Lithographing Company throughout his baseball career.
Hint:     He was the first player to hit for the cycle more than once.
Hint:     He did it in the span of a week.
A.         JOHN REILLY  [SABR Bio]
-  HR leads = 11 in 1884 & 13 in 1888 for the Cincinnati Red Stockings of the American Association.
-  Strobridge Lithographing Company of Cincinnati [posters]
-  Cycles:  12- & 19-Sep-1883
FCR -  Michael Griffin, Southaven, Mississippi
Incorrect guesses:  Joe Start, George Wright, Harry Wright, Lipman Pike, Johnny Bench, George Foster

WEEKLY THEME – Players who hit their franchise’s first TWO cycles.

Reilly..... for the.. Reds....... 12- &.............. ….. 19-Sep-1883
Orr......... for the.. Giants..... 12-Jun-1885... &... 10-Aug-1887
Ryan...... for the.. Cubs....... 28-Jul-1888.... &... 01-Jul-1891
Sisler..... for the.. Browns... 08-Aug-1920.. &... 13-Aug-1921
Fregosi.. for the.. Angels.... 28-Jul-1964.... &... 20-May-1968
Cedeno. for the.. Astros..... 02-Aug-1972.. &... 09-Aug-1976

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeSteve Berman, Bergenfield, New Jersey (After Orr)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Theme for this week is that there is not a theme.

Wed        -  Players who hit for the cycle in reverse natural order: home run, triple, double, single.
               -  Players who led their league's fielding position in errors, assists and double plays all in the same season

Thursday-  Players who have hit for the cycle.
               -  Players who were All-Stars at 21
               -  Players who hit for the cycle more than once.
               -  Players who have hit for multiple cycles on the same team

Friday     -  They cycles that won games.
               -  Players who have hit for multiple cycles, with singles being used to complete the cycle.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

2018-03-12 Panamanian natives who became All-Stars


Q.        Four American League players have strung together 4 or more batting titles.  It’s been done by Nap Lajoie, Ty Cobb and Wade Boggs.  Who is the 4th?
Hint:     He retired 4 days after he turned 40.
Hint:     Since World War II only Tony Gwynn, George Brett and Ted Williams have had higher single-season batting averages than he did in his MVP year.
Hint:     He, however, had 50+ hits more that year than any of those three had in their big seasons.
Hint:     He is the only player to triple twice in a single All-Star Game.
A.         ROD CAREW  [SABR Bio]
-  Won batting titles 1972-75 (Also won in 1969, 77 & 78)
   Lajoie 1901-04; Ty Cobb 1911-15; & Boggs 1985-88
-  Last game 05-Oct-1985; turned 40 01-Oct-1985
-  Hit .387987 in1977.  Gwynn hit .394 in 1994; Brett hit .390 in 1980; and Williams hit .3885 in 1957
-  Carew had 239 hits, Gwynn 165, Brett 175 & Williams 163
-  Two 3b in 1978 ASG, both off 1st-year Giants’ ace Vida Blue
FCR -  Jeff Cohen, Wantagh, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Tony Oliva, Ted Williams, Harry Heilman, Alex Rodriguez, Paul Molitor, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Ichiro Suzuki, George Sisler

Q.        Whose Spanish nickname was “The Horse”?
Hint:     He was the only 20th century player to homer in his first major league at-bat for the Chicago White Sox?
Hint:     In his second season in the majors, he and four teammate each scored 100 runs.
Hint:     Two years later, he and four teammates each hit 25 home runs one season.
Hint:     His home town in English makes it seem like he’s from Oklahoma.
Hint:     He won his first Silver Slugger Award the same season he made his first All-Star team.
A.         CARLOS LEE

-  “El Caballo”
-  Debut HR 07-May-1999 off knuckleballer Tom Candiotti
-  100+ R for CHW in 2000 = Ray Durham 121, Frank Thomas 115, Lee 107, Jose Valentin 107, Magglio Ordonez 102
-  Magglio Ordonez (38), Frank Thomas (28), Paul Konerko (27), Carlos Lee (26), Jose Valentin (25) (2002 Chicago White Sox)
-  25+ HR for CHW in
-  From Aguadulce = Sweetwater
-  SS & AS 2005
FCR -  Doug Wilkins, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Miguel Cabrera, Jose Abreu, Magglio Ordonez

Q.        Who played more games at catcher for the Pirates of Pittsburgh than anyone else in history?
Hint:     He was the catcher in the historic line-up where every position was manned by a player of African heritage.
Hint:     He was unable to stop Bob Moose's wild pitch allowing George Foster to score the pennant-clinching run in the bottom of the 9th of game 5 in the 1972 NLCS.
Hint:     He swung a 40-ounce bat compared to the 35-ounce bat of Frank Howard.
-  Reader Richard Giovanoni gives us this additional insight on this otherwise simple answer:  Sanguillen did play more games for the Pirates than either Jason Kendall or George Gibson, but according to my calculations off, played fewer innings as a catcher than either one.
Kendall:       G at C for PIT = 1,205;    Innings at C for PIT =  10,283.2
Gibson:        G at C for PIT = 1,055;    Innings at C for PIT =    9,733.0
Sanguillen    G at C for PIT = 1,038*;   Innings at C for PIT =    8,912.0
 * 1972 shows a one game discrepancy in appearances & fielding games at catcher, included above.
-  All-Black line-up game 01-Sep-1971
Rennie Stennett         2b
Gene Clines               CF
Roberto Clemente     RF
Willie Stargell             LF
Sanguillen                  C
Dave Cash                 3b
Al Oliver                     1b
Jackie Hernandez      SS
Dock Ellis                   P
-  Moose/Foster game = 11-Oct-1972
-  Most major leaguers today use a 32-ounce bat.
FCR -  Jerry Mora, Prescott, Arizona
Incorrect guesses:  Tony Pena, Benito Santiago, Jason Kendall

Q.        Who was the first foreign-born player to lead the American League in home runs for a season?
Hint:     His Hall of Fame manager opined that he could, “…does all five things.  He can hit, run, field, throw and hit for power.”
Hint:     Showing great baseball insight, he once said, “And, personally, I think the author of the platoon system was a guy who couldn’t hit lefthanders.”
Hint:     Some of his nicknames were Spiderman, Banana Man and Philosopher-Home Run King.
Hint:     Some think his swing was the sweetest, most liquid in all of baseball.
A.         BEN OGLIVIE  [SABR Bio]
-  41 HR in 1980, tied w/Reggie Jackson; Born in Colon, Panama
-  Larry Doby managed Ben in the Venezuelan league during the winter of 1972.
-  His lack of playing time early in his career was very frustrating to him.
-  Check him out at the 2:00 minute mark on this video.  (If you find a good video of Oglivie’s swing, please share it.)
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses: Vic Power, Jose Canseco, Tony Armas, Duke Snider, Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Harry Davis, John Olerud, Juan Gonzalez

Q.        What pitcher holds the all-time career record for games finished?
Hint:     His first pitching coach was Hall of Famer Hoyt Wilhelm.
Hint:     He is the only player be named the most valuable player of a World Series, a League Championship Series and an All-Star Game.
Hint:     An opposing team once gave him a gift of a chair made from the bats he’d broken.
Hint:     He was the last active major leaguer born in the 1960’s.
-  GF = 952 (Trevor Hoffman next with 856)
-  Wilhelm coached him
-  The Twins gave him the bat chair they had titled “Chair of Broken Dreams”.
-  B. 29-Nov-1969.  Oldest player in the majors in 2013 at 43.
FCR -  Jack Fahey, Oak Forest, Illinois
Incorrect guesses:  Bartolo Colon, Dennis Eckersley, John Smoltz, John Wetteland

Q.        Whose 9th-inning, two-out double ruined Dave Stieb’s perfect game?
Hint:     He set an unusual record when he had the most times reaching base via interference in a single season.
Hint:     He was once caught stealing twice in an inning.
-  Stieb’s G 04-Aug-1989
-  Reached 1st on interference 8 times in 1992.  Jacoby Ellsbury is now the single-season leader, with 12 in 2016.
-  CS X2 = 17-Apr-1990
FCR -  Victor Piacentile, Yorktown Heights, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Julio Franco, Carlos Baerga, Bob Watson, Don Baylor, Wade Boggs

Q.        Who is the only player in history to catch four National League no-hitters?
Hint:     Hearing his nickname might elicit a “Gesundheit”.
Hint:     He’s the last player to qualify for this week’s theme.
A.         CARLOS RUIZ
-  Catcher for no-hitters:
   1.) Roy Halladay's perfect game on 29-May-2010
   2.) Roy Halladay in G 1 2010 NLDS vs. CIN 10-Oct-2010
   3.) On 01-Sep-2014, he was  the catcher when Cole Hamels, Jake Diekman, Ken Giles & Jonathan Papelbon combined to no-hit ATL.
   4.) Cole Hamels no-hit CHC on 25-Jul-2015 w/ Ruiz behind the plate.
-  Nickname = “Chooch”
FCR - 
Incorrect guesses:  Ernie Lombardi, Choo Choo Coleman, Alan Ashby, John Roseboro

WEEKLY THEME – Natives of Panama who became All-Stars

Player           City                All-Star years
Carew............. Gatun.............. [18] 1967-84
Rivera............. Panama City... [13] 1997, 1999-2002, 2004-06, 2008-11, 2013
Lee................. Aguadulce......... [3] 2005-07
Oglivie............ Colon................ [3] 1980, 1982-83
Sanguillen...... Colon................ [3] 1971-72, 1975
Kelly............... Panama City..... [2] 1992-93
Ruiz................ David................. [1] 2012

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeJohn Michael Pierobon, Fort Lauderdale (after Lee)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Panamanian players with multiple All-Star game appearances
               -  Players with major coronary problems
               -  Players who wore 29 playing for LA-based teams

Tuesday - Most career hits—Panamanian born
               -  Players born in Panama
               -  Players from Panama and multiple all stars
               -  Panamanian-born players with the most games played in the majors
               -  Players born in Panama, with Multiple All Stars & have over 2,000 hits

Friday     -  Panamanians named to the all Panamanian all-time team.
               -  Career WAR leaders born in Panama