Sunday, April 29, 2018

2018-04-23 Top 7 MLB batters of 1966; First time top 7 were all minorities

Q.        Who is the only person to manage the same franchise in two different countries?
Hint:     A half century earlier, he became the first ever unanimous Rookie of the Year.
Hint:     He later earned a unanimous MVP.
-  Managed MON in Canada in 2003-04 then moved with them to become WSN in the U.S. in 2005.
-  Unanimous NL ROY 1956
-  Unanimous AL MVP 1966
FCR -  Sarah Grynpas, Toronto
Incorrect guesses:  Felipe Alou

Q.        Who won batting titles in 4 out of 7 seasons, but didn’t win the MVP until his teammate won the batting title in the 6th year of that run?
Hint:     He received MVP votes in 12 out of 13 straight years and won a Gold Glove 12 consecutive seasons.
Hint:     He left us with a very round number.

-  Batting titles in 1961, 64, 65 & 67.  MVP in 1966.  Teammate Matty Alou hit .342 to his .317 and finished 9th in the MVP voting.
-  MVP votes in 1960-72, excepting 1968 when he led the NL in intentional walks.  Won GGs 1961-72.
-  Final career hit total = 3,000 , achieved on 30-Sep-1972.  (He played ½ inning in RF on 03-Oct-1972.)  He perished in that off season.
FCR -  Joe Merth, Grove city, Ohio
Incorrect guesses:  Rod Carew, Tony Gwynn, Ozzie Smith, Wade Boggs, Larry Walker, Willie McCovey

Q.        Who was the first National League player to amass 30 home runs before the All-Star break twice? (Not in the same season.  That would be a record.)
Hint:     He is the last player in his franchise’s 130+ year-old franchise to lead the league in runs batted in.
Hint:     His 60 career home runs against the New York Metropolitans has never been equaled.
-  Hit #30 on 10-Jul-1971, ASG 13-Jul-1971; Hit #30 on 22-Jul-1973, ASG 24‑Jul‑1973.  Mark McGwire did it 4 times: 1987, 1997, 1998 & 2000.  Sammy Sosa did it in 1998 & 1999.  Barry Bonds did it in 2001 & 2003.  Willie  Mays almost qualified, doing it in 1954 and then by the 2nd ASG of 1962.
-  119 RBI in 1973
FCR -  Steve Murfin, Olney, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Tony Perez, Barry Bonds, Mike Schmidt, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa, Albert Pujols, Willie Mays, Hank Aaron

Q.        Who was the second player, after Frank Robinson, to be named Rookie of the Year in the National League and later win an MVP in the American League?
Hint:     His nickname is the same as a movie that received the Oscar for Best Picture just over a decade ago.
Hint:     His career slugging percentage is higher that those of Ty Cobb, Willie McCovey, Eddie Mathews or Harmon Killebrew.
Hint:     He was on the Hall of Fame ballot 14 times, never receiving more than 19% of the votes cast.
Hint:     Any answers that involve the word “Richie” will be marked incorrect.
A.         DICK ALLEN  [SABR Bio]
-  Crash”, also the title of Allen’s autobiography and the title of the 2005 Best Motion Picture, release in 2004.
- Career SLG % = .534
-  On HOF ballot 1983-1997
-  A reading of “Crash” will explain why “Richie” is hereinafter forever inappropriate.  He was never "Richie".  That name was forced on him by a racist Philly media.  When he protested (Who wouldn't), they doubled down so then HE looked petty, when it was actually the other way around.
FCR -  Sarah Grynpas, Toronto
Incorrect guesses:  Frank Howard, Miguel Cabrera, Orlando Cepeda, Vladimir Guerrero, Mark McGwire, Josh Hamilton, Gary Matthews

Q.        Who was the last player to homer twice in a single game off Sandy Koufax?
Hint:     He is tied with three 500-HR Club members for most career homer off Koufax.
Hint:     He has a brother who is famous for NOT making it to the majors in spite of having the talent to do so.
Hint:     He hit over .375 in his first complete professional season.
Hint:     Not meaning to be too personal, but he’s been my favorite player since the Eisenhower administration.
A.         FELIPE ALOU  [ SABR Bio]
-  2 HR = 09-Jul-1966
-  7 career HR off Koufax, tied w/Aaron, Banks & F. Robinson.
-  Youngest brother Juan Rojas Alou stayed home and concentrated on his education, partly as a result of military upheaval in his home country, the Dominican Republic and partly to honor his mother’s wishes who did not want to lose her last child to baseball in the faraway U.S.
-  Hit .380 in 119 G w/ the Class D Cocoa Indians of the Florida State League, leading the league, having started the year w/9 ABs on the Class C 1956 Lake Charles (LA) Giants of the Evangeline League.
-  First heard his name called by Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons on KSFO in the summer of 1960.  He seemed very comfortable with his Hall of Fame teammates.  He played then like he too was a future Hall of Famer.
FCR -  Thomas Lewis, Gulph Mills, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Hank Aaron, Bob Uecker, Ernie Banks, Willie Mays, Tom Paciorek, Willie McCovey

Q.        What future former Yankee was the only A's player to collect a stolen base against the Reds in the 1972 World Series?
Hint:     Six different Reds stole at least one base in the same Series
Hint:     He is the only player in the modern era to pitch in the majors the season before he won a National League batting title.
Hint:     He struck out Willie Stargell to begin and to wrap up his pitching career.
Hint:     Management claimed that soggy conditions held him up.
A.         MATTY ALOU  [SABR Bio]
-  1972 WS SB = G 2 15-Oct-1972.  Played for NYY in 1973.
-  On 26-Aug-1965, on the wrong end of a blowout in Pittsburgh, Manager Herman Franks put Matty in to pitch in the 8th inning.  He struck out Hall of Famer and future teammate Willie Stargell in each of the innings he pitched.
-  In the now legendary 9th inning of the 7th game of the 1962 World Series, with NYY ahead 1-0, Matty bunted his way aboard.  The next two batters struck out*.  Willie Mays then hit a double to RF, where the outfield grass, still wet from previous rains, prevented the strong liner from going to the fence.  Many people, to this day, think Alou could have, should have scored the tying run, being one of the fastest runners on the team.  Several factors, however, held him at 3rd:  A.) Third base coach Whitey Lockman was known to coach by the book, conservatively.
                        B.) Roger Maris, the Yankee’s RF was known to have an accurate rifle arm on throws from the outfield.
                        C.)  The next two batters in the line-up were among the most dangerous hitters of that era, Willie McCovey followed by Orlando Cepeda.

  After a conference on the mound, the Yankees decided not to walk McCovey who then famously lined out to Yankee 2nd baseman Bobby Richardson to end the Series.  Lockman said he’d hold up a runner in that situation, “1,000 times out of 1,000.”  Giants manager Alvin Dark and even opposing manager Ralph Houk agreed that, “Matty would have been out by a mile.”

*Matty’s brother Felipe was the first of these two K’s and to this very day regards that failed at-bat as the most regrettable moment of his entire career.
FCR -  Barry Nelson, Guilderland, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Reggie Jackson, Mike Hegan, Rickey Henderson, Bert Campaneris, Catfish Hunter  

Q.        Who was the first native of San Pedro de Marcoris receive a Hall of Fame vote?
Hint:     He was the first player to be selected to the All-Star team via write-in.
Hint:     He was arrested and beaten by police, causing that city's mayor to suspend the officers involved and publicly declare the incident “blatant brutality”.
A.         RICO CARTY  [SABR Bio]
-     HOF vote 1985 s
-     ASG 1970
-     Beating administered by the police of Atlanta in 1971.  Quote from Atlanta Mayor Sam Massell, the most recent white Mayor of Atlanta.  He was the city’s youngest ever mayor and the first Jewish mayor of any major U.S. city.
FCR -  Adam Foldes, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Juan Samuel, Tony Fernandez, Pedro Guerrero, Orlando Cepeda

WEEKLY THEME – Top 7 MLB batting averages of 1966, the first time the top 7 were all men of color.  Ironically, Robinson is the only entrant from the American League, but his number was enough to help him to the AL Triple Crown.

1.   M. Alou          .3421
2.   F. Alou           .3273
3.   Carty              .3263
4.   Allen              .3168
5.   Clemente       .3166
6.   Robinson       .3160
7.   Stargell          .3155

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRichard Giovanoni, Morton Grove, Illinois (after first Alou)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  A regular and WS MVP
               -  Managed in the Puerto Rican winter leagues
               -  Major league leaders in hits in 1960s
               -  Players with the most hits in the 1960s   

Wed        -  Hall of Famers who played in the 1971 World Series.
               -  Hall of Famers who were on players/managers/coaches in the 1971 World Series
               -  Players who won the MVP after finishing in the top 10 and missing at least 3 times.
               -  Most home runs in the 1960s.
               -  World Series MVP’s
               -  NL MVP winners who have also been World Series MVP winners during their careers
               -  Multiple ASG appearances and who were World Series MVP’s
               -  All time HR leaders by Pirates?

Thur        -  Hall of Famers who played in the 1971 WS.
               -  Players who played in the 1965 All-Star Game.

Friday     -  Led league in total bases only one time

Monday, April 23, 2018

2018-04-16 American managers of foreign teams

Q.        What Hall of Famer shortstop was so confident in his defensive abilities that his stated goal was to win a Gold Glove while Ozzie Smith was still active?
Hint:     Although he attended college out of state, he played his entire major league career in the city he was born in.
Hint:     His World Series ring may have helped him land a job at ESPN.
-  Turns out he got his wish, depriving Ozzie (and every other NL SS) of a GG in 1994, 95 & 96.
-  B. 28-Apr-1964 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  Played 19 seasons for the Reds, 1986-2004.
- Won the 1990 WS w/CIN, sweeping the Bash Brothers of OAK.  Worked as a color commentator for ESPN television 2011-14.
FCR -  Madison McEntire, Bryant, Arkansas
Incorrect guesses:  Cal Ripken, Alex Rodriguez, Ozzie Guillen, Jimmy Rollins

Q.        When the Blue Jays set a major league record with 10 home runs in a single game, who was the only batter who hit 3 that day?
Hint:     He was the last out in Len Barker's perfect game.
Hint:     He was the last original Toronto Blue Jays player to appear in their lineup.
Hint:     On the night the Blue Jays gave away 10,000 bobblehead dolls of him, his daughter sang the national anthem.
A.         ERNIE WHITT
-  3 HR 14-Sep-1987
-  Traded to ATL 17-Dec-1989; was on TOR roster since expansion year of 1977
-  Bobblehead/anthem game, Sunday, 28-Sug-2005
FCR -  Adrian Fung, Toronto
Incorrect guesses:  Lloyd Moseby, Cito Gaston, Willie Upshaw, Jose Bautista, Alvis Woods, Otto Velez, George Bell, Fred McGriff, Jesse Barfield

Q.        Who was Randy Johnson’s first American League Manager?
Hint:     He won easily over Joe Morgan for Rookie of the Year and took home a World Series ring that same season.
Hint:     He was Sergeant Zurilli.
A.         JIM LeFEBVRE
-  Managed SEA 1989-91; Johnson arrived 30-May-1989
-  ROY 1965, the 2nd ever LAD ROY.  LAD won 1965 WS.
-  Played the role of Sgt. Zurilli on a Feb-1983 episode of M*A*S*H.
FCR -  Timothy Kearns, Washington, DC
Incorrect guesses:  Lou Piniella, Felipe Alou, Mike Hargrove, Frank Howard, Buck Rodgers

Q.        Whose perfect interim managerial record helped his team achieve a record for the most wins by any team in a season in the 21st century?
Hint:     He managed them twice again, years later, but never for a full season.
Hint:     He owns a career .667 winning percentage managing the newest team in the majors.
A.         JOHN McLAREN
-  He was 4-0 with the 116-46 Seattle Mariners of 2001.*
-  Managed the games of 03, 04, 05 & 06-Jun-2001 in relief of Lou Piniella.*  [ doesn’t recognize such managerial ‘pinch-hitting’.  The foundational structure that B-R is built on, however,, does.]
-  Managed SEA in 2007 (43-41) and 2008 (25-47)
-  Managed WAS in 2011 (2-1) [NOTE:  Newest ‘team’; not newest ‘franchise’]
Kirby Arnold — 04-Jun-2001

*Death in the family
Mariners manager Lou Piniella left Seattle before Sunday's game and returned to his home in Tampa after the death of his father-in-law. Frank Garcia, the 77-year-old father of Anita Piniella, died early Sunday morning after a long battle with ALS.
“Piniella, who seemed clearly affected by the news, will miss the three-game home series against Texas and return for Friday's game against San Diego. The funeral will be Wednesday.
“John McLaren, the Mariners' bench coach, will manage the team while Piniella is gone.

FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses:  Lou Piniella, Buck Rodgers

Q.        What former National League infielder was presciently awarded the Emerging Leader Award at the University of California San Diego?
Hint:     He has a brother with MVP votes in 8 different seasons.
Hint:     They have totaled over 320 home runs and 2,140 hits in the majors.
Hint:     One of his homers drove in his brother.  His brother had done that for him twice earlier that same season.
-  2004 awards list from Nu Alpha Kappa at UCSD.  Attended UCSD (La Jolla) & UCSD (San Diego).
-  Brother Adrian received MVP votes in 2007-10, 2013-15
-  Totals as of 19-Apr-2018:  Edgar 122 H, 11 HR; Adrian 2,021 H, 313 HR
-  Edgar’s HR drove in Adrian 20-Sep-2008; Adrian’s HRs that drove in Edgar:  25-May-2008 & 26-Jul-2008, the first one a walk-off.
FCR -  Seth Opitz, Somerville, Massachusetts
Incorrect guesses:  Chris Gwynn, Chris Giles, Dave Roberts, Vince DiMaggio, Roberto Alomar, Bret Boone, B.J. Upton

Q.        Who was the last 20th-century manager to post a winning record in each of his 1st 5 seasons?
Hint:     His absence this year hasn’t been missed—yet.
Hint:     He hails from the chemical capital.
Hint:     He has been in the voting for the National League Manager of the Year 7 times and another 2 for the AL equivalent.  No problem because he HAD been named the Minor League Manager of the Year.
-  1994-1998 = .528 over 1st 745 G
-  The Mets are off to their hottest start in the first year after his reign.
-  From Midland, Michigan, world headquarters of Dow Chemical.
-  Minor League MOY 1987 managing The Albuquerque Dukes.
FCR -  David Young, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Dallas Green, Dusty Baker, Whitey Herzog, Joe Girardi,

Q.        Who was the first manager to challenge an umpire's decision under the expanded video review rule?
Hint:     He became the 40th manager in the history of the American League’s only Chicago-based franchise?
Hint:     He had earlier become the 59th manager in the history of Chicago’s National League franchise.
Hint:     At no point was he ever offered managerial jobs with the Whales or ChiFeds, the teams of Chicago’s Federal League franchise.
Hint:     Chicago’s baseball franchise of the Players League, the Pirates, was before his time.   
Hint:     In his playing days, he stole 2 major league bases.
-  In his first game at the helm on 31-Mar-2014, Renteria challenged an umpire's decision under the expanded video review rule. He argued that baserunner pitcher Jeff Samardzija was safe at first base in spite of umpire Bob Davidson’s out call.  Video evidence proved the ump right.
-  On 07-Nov-2013, he was selected to manage CHC
-  On 03-Oct-2016, he was named manager of CHW
-  Federal League 1914 & 1915
FCR -  John Burbridge, Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Robin Ventura, Lou Piniella, Joe Maddon, Clint Hurdle

Q.        What former bear now helps guide the goats?
Hint:     He is a member of multiple Halls of Fame.
Hint:     Even with 26,000 Twitter followers and a lifetime of accolades, he is still probably underappreciated.
Hint:     He is the last person who fits this week’s theme.
-  A double UCLA (Bruin) grad, he now is the manager of the Hartford (CT) Yard Goats, a Double-A minor league baseball team in the Eastern League, in the Colorado Rockies organization.
-  He is a member of the Sacramento City College Athletic Hall of Fame, the California Community College Hall of Fame, and the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame.[19] He was also inducted into the Sacramento Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.         
FCR -  (no one)
Incorrect guesses:  Warren Schaeffer, Dave Roberts

WEEKLY THEME – American managers of foreign World Baseball Classic teams.

Larkin         2013    Brazil
Whitt          2013    Canada
McLaren     2013    China
Renteria     2013    Mexico
LeFebvre   2006    China
Collins       2009    China
Gonzalez    2017    Mexico
Weinstein  2017    Israel

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRichard Giovanoni, Morton Grove, Illinois (after LeFebvre)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Players that were at least three-time All-Stars who attended one of the colleges whose teams were in this year's NCAA Men's Basketball tournament’s Final Four.

Tuesday -  Former ML players who have managed teams in the World Baseball Classic.

Wed        -  All Stars who were coaches during the 2009 WBC
               -  World Baseball Classic managers.