Monday, December 3, 2018

2018-11-26 Players who turned 100 years old in 2018

Q.        Which Hall of Famer hit safely in all 14 Opening Day games he played in?
Hint:     His three most popular nicknames reflect his physique, his relative youth upon breaking into the majors and his dogged devotion to the game.
Hint:     Seattle doesn’t claim him, but he did play for the pilots.
A.             TED WILLIAMS  [SABR Bio]
-  Played and hit in Opening Day games in 1939, 40, 41, 42, 46, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51, 52, 56, 57 & 1960.
-  The Splendid Splinter”, “The Kid” & “Teddy Ballgame”.  He was also regularly called “Thumper”.
-  Flew for the U.S in WWII and Korea, but the Seattle Pilots didn’t exist until 9 years after he’d retired.
FCR -  Dennis Cullen, Durham
Incorrect guesses:  Ken Griffey, Jr., Lou Piniella, Tommy Davis, Don Mincher, Gary Carter

Q.        Who was the first major leaguer to ground into more than 30 double plays in a single season?
Hint:     He played 1,865 games at second base without ever playing a different position.
Hint:     Fourteen times he didn’t get into the Hall of Fame.  One time he did.
A.         BOBBY DOERR  [SABR Bio]

-  He had 31 GIDP in 1949 to pass Ernie Lombardi’s 30 set in 1938.
-  All games were with BOS.
-  HOF in 1986 via the Veterans Committee
FCR -  John Null, Sugar Land, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Nellie Fox, Bill Mazeroski, Alan Trammell, Luke Appling, Ryne Sandberg, Joe Gordon

Q.        What pitcher’s record did CC Sabathia equal by starting 100 games before his 24th birthday?
Hint:     He had thrice led the league in pitching victories and four times led the majors in strikeouts, both before even turning 23.
Hint:     Only he and Virgil Trucks have no-hit the Yankees at Yankee Stadium.
A.         BOB FELLER  [SABR Bio]
-  Bob Feller’s for CLE.  Feller had 175.  Sabathia had 114.
-  He was also a league and/or majors leader in more than a dozen other pitching categories before turning 23.
-  No-hit NYY 30-Apr-1946.  (He walked 5 & K’ed 11.)  Trucks did it 6 years later.
FCR -  J.P. Wanamaker, Binghamton, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Juan Marichal, Walter Johnson, Dwight Gooden

Q.        Who was the only player to play in every World Series between the Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers?
Hint:     Only Frankie Frisch played in more World Series games for a National Leaguer.
Hint:     He was offered the Dodgers’ manager job before it was accepted by Walter Alston.
A.         PEE WEE REESE  [SABR Bio]
-  NYY/BRO WS of 1941, 47, 49, 52, 53, 55 & 56.
-  Frisch has 50 WS G, Reese played in 44.
-  Managerial offer after the 1953 season.  Reese opted to continue playing instead.  He played 5 more seasons and was top 10 in MVP voting in 3 of them.
FCR -  Lincoln Mitchell, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Duke Snider, Leo Durocher, Yogi Berra, Gil Hodges, Phil Rizzuto, Carl Furillo, Billy Herman

Q.        Who was the only left-hander to earn twenty pitching victories in a season for the Yankees during the 1950s?
Hint:     He didn’t have back-up quite as good when he managed.
Hint:     He is on a very short list of men who pitched in five consecutive World Series.
Hint:     He was famous as a soft-throwing junk-baller who relied on finesse and it served him well.
A.         EDDIE LOPAT  [SABR Bio]
-  Was 21-9 in 1951, the only season he won 20.  Whitey Ford didn’t win 20 until the 1960s.
-  He managed 2 terrible Kansas City A’s teams to a .421 record.
-  He pitched in the World Series in 1949-53.
FCR -  Barry Zamoff, Washington, DC
Incorrect guesses:  Allie Reynolds, Vic Raschi, Whitey Ford, Bobby Shantz, Bob Grim, Bob Lemon

Q.        Who is the only player to win multiple batting titles for the original American League Washington Senators?
Hint:     He had one title in each of his stints with the team.
Hint:     In those same seasons, he led the league in doubles, the first time leading the majors.
Hint:     He also served two stints with another American League team.
Hint:     No other non-Hall of Famer ever played more games in the majors without playing in the postseason.
A.         MICKEY VERNON  [SABR Bio]
-  He hit .353 in 1946 and .337 in 1953 for WSH.
-  He hit 51 doubles in 1946 then 43 in 1953.  His 33 in 1954 also led the AL.
-  Played for CLE in 1949 & 1958.
-  Totaled 2,409 G.
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses:  Sam Rice, Goose Goslin, Cecil Travis, Roy Sievers, Pete Runnels, Harmon Killebrew

Q.        Who was the first player to have played for both World Series teams that same season?
Hint:     There is no record of his playing tennis or football professionally.
Hint:     He once led the league in pitching win percentage with fewer than 20 wins.
A.         JACK KRAMER  [SABR Bio]
-  1951 =1 G NYG + 3 G NYY
-  Tennis champion by the same name had a career that closely paralleled pitcher Kramer’s chronologically.  Football player Jack Kramer was a pro in the mid-1940 and later a broadcaster.
-  .783, 18 wins in 1948 for BOS.  He led them to within 1 G of the AL pennant.
FCR -  Howard Johnson, Norman, Oklahoma
Incorrect guesses:  Bill Bonham, Willie McGee, Sal Maglie, Lonnie Smith, Jim Thorpe, Hank Borowy, Bengie Molina, John Denny

Q.        Who took advantage of the “war years” (i.e., 1944-45) by leading his league in each season in plate appearances, runs, hits, triples and stolen bases?
Hint:     He also finished in the top 5 in MVP voting each season.
Hint:     He made the All-Star team only after all the other players had returned from the military.
Hint:     He is the last Yankee to hit 20 triples in a season.
-  His production those years was impressive indeed.
-  AS 1946.  Got himself a hit and a run.
-  22 3b in 1945, which led the majors.  He was who ended George Case’s streak of 5 consecutive seasons leading the AL in SB.
FCR -  Naftali Greenwood, Kiryat, Israel
Incorrect guesses:  Ben Chapman, Charlie Keller

Q.        Who was the first manager of the first expansion team?
Hint:     Claimed he learned a lot from Leo Durocher.
Hint:     He referred to an All-Star third baseman who later became a major league manager as “…the greatest third baseman I ever saw…”  [NOTE:  This clue was improperly worded, but is now correct as stated here.]
Hint:     Once, when trying to put his team’s unfortunate ERA into perspective, said, “It’s not big if you look at it from the standpoint of the national debt.”
A.         BILL RIGNEY  [SABR Bio]
-  Managed the Los Angeles Angels, signed the 2nd week of Dec-1960.
-  His comment was about the Giants’ Jim Davenport from when Rigney managed them.
-  Rigney managed the Minnesota Twins and gave this answer to a poorly-posed question from a reporter about the team’s no-all-that-bad ERA.  In fact, Jim Perry had won the Cy Young Award under Rigney in 1970 w/MIN.
FCR -  Herb Whalley, Houston
Incorrect guesses:  Billy Cox, Alvin Dark, Casey Stengel, Cookie Lavagetto, Yogi Berra, Don Zimmer, Jim Fregosi, Charlie Dressen

Q.        Who is the only National League third baseman to take home three World Series championship rings in the 1940s?
Hint:     His throwing was disfigured in a coal mining accident when he was a boy
Hint:     He was 3 times an All-Star and 5 times he received MVP votes.
Hint:     In his entire career, his team never finished lower than 2nd place.
Hint:     Twice he led the team in WAR.
Hint:     He played for only one franchise in his career and for only 9 years, but had teammates who were NL MVPs a total of 5 times and played with 6 who would become Hall of Famers.
-  Won WS w/STL 1942, 1944 and 1946
-  The way it mended may have even given him an advantage.
-  Only once did STL end a season more than 5 games out of 1st.
- Led them in WAR in 1945 & 47
-  MVP teammates were Mort Cooper in 1942, Marty Marion in 1944 and Stan Musial in 1943, 46 & 48.  HOF = Johnny Mize, Stan Musial, Enos Slaughter, Billy Southworth, Red Schoendienst, Joe Medwick
FCR -  Robert Osman, Great Neck, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Pepper Martin, Red Schoendienst, Marty Marion, Pepper Martin

Q.        Who was the first National Basketball Association player to enjoy a career in the majors?
Hint:     He was the first and for a long time the only basketball player at Ohio University to have his number retired.
Hint:     He made an immediate impact in baseball, leading the National League in plate appearances as a rookie and receiving Rookie of the Year votes.
Hint:     He was the only major league batter who ever faced pitcher Stan Musial.
-  He played 2 seasons for the Youngstown Bears of the National Basketball League during the 1945–46 season then the Cleveland Rebels of the Basketball Association of America during the 1946–47 season.  The latter was the precursor of the NBA.  Records carried over as the organization changed its structure and its name.  His basketball performance both in college at Ohio and in the pros was solid, but baseball turned out to be a better choice.
-  His number 54 hangs in in the rafters at The Convocation Center on campus.
-  Placed 5th behind Jackie Robinson in the first ever Rookie of the Year voting.  He went 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI in his major-league debut.
-  He reached 1st base off Musial when Solly Hemus booted his ground ball.
FCR -  George Curcio, DeLand, Florida
Incorrect guesses:  Frank Howard, Dave DeBusschere, Vic Janowicz, Mike Schmidt, Dick Groat, Gene Conley, Bill Sharman, Harry Craft

Q.        Who was the first manager to play Frank Howard at designated hitter?
Hint:     He was in uniform for the Cardinals for three National League pennants.
Hint:     He managed a major league franchise for the only season they played with that name.
Hint:     He played three games for a team that won its only pennant.  They lost all three.  He did not see postseason action.
Hint:     His cousin once led the majors in sacrifice hits.
Hint:     His two years of law school didn’t help that much with physics when he said to his player, ”Well, boys, it’s a round ball and a round bat and you got to hit the ball square.”
A.         JOE SCHULTZ  [SABR Bio]
-  Schultz managed the Tigers in 1973, Howard’s last team in the Bigs.  His 1st DH AB, however, was 12-Apr-1973 under Billy Martin who preceded Schultz, but this is a Sunday question, so threw a curve.
-  He managed the 1969 Seattle Pilots to a 64-98 record.  They moved for the 1970 season to Milwaukee, became the Brewers and went on to win division titles in both major leagues.
-  Hitting record for 3 G in 1944 for the Browns shows he went 2 for 8.
-  His cousin, Hans Lobert, led the majors with 38 sacrifice hits for PHI in 1911.
-  The quote was wisdom imparted to his young charges on the Pilots.
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect guesses:  Whitey Herzog

Q.        Whose upcoming birthday was the prompt for this week’s theme?
Hint:     He was a basketball and baseball star in high school.
Hint:     He turned down a basketball scholarship to a D-1 college, playing for a legendary coach, because he refused to quit drinking and smoking.
Hint:     He ended up quitting both and going there anyway, but not with a scholarship.
Hint:     In the U.S. army, he landed with the Allied Forces in Normandy during the D-Day invasion and quickly rose to the highest rank possible without being an officer.
Hint:     He earned a Purple Heart when he stepped on and detonated a land mine in France.
Hint:     He led teams of epidemiologists in Iran and Libya after World War II.
Hint:     He was at the first major league game I ever attended.
A.         DOUGLAS c BROWN, my dad.  His 100th birthday is later this month.  (The small c with no period isn’t a typo!)  Multiple Sclerosis claimed him before his 55th birthday.
-  Basketball scholarship offer was from BYU.  Basketball Hall of Famer Stan Watts was the head coach.
-  First MLB game for both of us was 19-Apr-1961 at Candlestick.  It was not warm.  The Reds looked like pennant winners.
-  Iran 1952-53; Libya 1954-59

-  High school graduation picture – 1935 Springville (Utah) High School
FCR -  R.D. Lerner, Silver Spring, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Warren Spahn, Bert Sheppard

WEEKLY THEME – Players turning 100 years old this year.

Player             1918
Kramer             05-Jan
Rigney             29-Jan
Doerr                07-Apr
Kurowski          19-Apr
Vernon             22-Apr
Lopat                21-Jun
Reese               23-Jul
Schultz             29-Aug
Williams           30-Aug
Baumholtz        07-Oct
Stirnweiss         26-Oct
Feller                03-Nov
Brown              30-Dec

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeAndrew Milner, Bryn Mawr, PA (after Doerr)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Player who played their entire careers with the Red Sox and whose # is retired by them.
               -  Red Sox Hall of Famers

Wed        -  Oldest-living Hall of Famers who were 90 or more at the time of their passing
               -  WW II veterans in the Hall of Fame
               -  Hall of Famers born in 1918
               -  Hall of Famers who served in each branch of the military
               -  Military veterans in the HOF
               -  The last surviving Hall of Famers who had played in the 1930s
               -  All played for one team, all WWII Veterans, all born in 1918,  all played in a World Series

Thurs      -  Most games played by position (including LHP Lopat and RHP Feller) in 1940's and 1950's

Fri           -  MLB players born in Ware, MA
               -  40s and 50s players, who perhaps did something common in an All Star game

Sun         -  Players born in every month of 1918
               -  MLB players who served in the armed forces during the WW II and/or Korean eras

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