Sunday, December 9, 2018

2018-12-03 Switch-Hitters with 400 career stolen bases

Q.        Whose career MLB record for most double plays turned by a shortstop was broken by Omar Vizquel in 2006?
Hint:     This Tigers’ draftee has held the San Diego Padres’ single-season record for sacrifice hits for more than 40 years.
Hint:     He’s also in third and fourth place on the same list.
Hint:     Some of the fans born since then don’t even know that he played for them.
Hint:     He still holds the MLB record among shortstops for assists.
A.         OZZIE SMITH  [SABR Bio]
-  Vizquel broke it 13-May-2006 and played six more seasons.
-  Set the record in 1978 w/28.  He also holds 3rd & 4th places on the SDP’s record list for SHs in a season w/23 & 22 in 1980 & 79 respectively.  In 78 & 80, those numbers also led the majors.  Drafted by DET #2 overall in the 1976 MLB June Amateur Draft.  Drafter by SPD the following year.
-  Played for SDP 1978-81  On 10-Dec-1981, was traded by the SPD with a player to be named later and Steve Mura to the STL for a player to be named later, Sixto Lezcano and Garry Templeton.
-  Has 8,375 assists, 359 more than 2nd-place Luis Aparicio
FCR -  Mischa Gelman, Pittsburgh
Incorrect guesses:  Garry Templeton, Enzo Hernandez, Placido Polanco

Q.        Who was the first second baseman named Most Valuable Player under the system now used?
Hint:     He was known to walk onto the field under an umbrella to protest games he thought should be called for rain.
Hint:     He was the last National League player/manager to win the World Series.
Hint:     He was the first player to score two runs in World Series inning.
-  In 1931, the very first year of the MVP being presented by the Baseball Writers' Association of America (BBWAA), the first players so honored were Frisch in the NL and Lefty Grove in the AL.
-  Rain protests were during the 16 seasons he was a manager: 1933-51.
-  Won the 1934 WS playing for and managing STL.  Player/manager Lou Boudreau won the WS for CLE in 1948.
-  Scored twice in the 7th inning of G 3 in the 1921 WS, helping the Giants beat the Yankees 5-3 in their first WS appearance.
FCR -  R.J. Lesch, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Charlie Gehringer, Joe Gordon, Nellie Fox, Rogers Hornsby, Eddie Stanky, Billy Southworth, Pete Rose, Bucky Harris, Red Schoendienst

Q.        What White Sox free agent signed a $600,000 one-season contract before retiring in spring training?
Hint:     He hit .319 the season he played for the Pilots.
Hint:     He and his brother played for the same four major league franchises.  On three of them they were teammates.
Hint:     Seventy-six major league pitchers failed to retire him even once.
Hint:     Nolan Ryan tutored him in pitching although he made the majors as a position player.
-  Retired from the Devil Rays in March 2005.  Did not receive any money from that contract.
-  Played for the Wichita Pilots in 1987.
-  A teammate of his brother Sandy Alomar, Jr. on SDP in 1988-89, CLE 1999-2000, CHW in 2004.  They also both played for the Mets, but in different years, Robbie in 2003, Jr. in 2007.
-  Alomar has a perfect 1.000 batting average against 76 pitchers. Billy Taylor leads the pack with six appearances, followed by eight guys who failed to retire him in three tries, and 23 who had two shots at him. Nate Bump, Edwin Hurtado, Isidro Marquez, the Jim Morris, and former teammate Ricky Trlicek all gave up a homer to Alomar the only time they faced him.
-  Robbie was 4 years old when his father and Ryan were on the Angels together 1972-74.
FCR -  Randall Chandler, Germantown, Tennessee
Incorrect guesses:  Tom Paciorek, Fred Stanley, Greg Goossen, Tommy Davis Adam LaRoche, Jim Paciorek

Q.        Who was replaced by Casey Stengel as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers?
Hint:     As a player, he led the league in stolen bases four consecutive seasons… twice!
Hint:     Those were not the only years where he out-stole the rest of the league.
Hint:     In one stretch, he scored at least one run in 15 straight games.
A.         MAX CAREY  [SABR Bio]
-  Managed BRO 1932-33; Stengel managed BRO 1934-36.  Neither got the team above .500.  It was the first time managing for both; it was Carey’s last.  Both had played for them when the team was called the Robins.
-  Led the NL in SB 1915-18 & 1922-25.
-  Also led in 1913 w/61 & in 1920 w/52.
-  1+ R every G 23-Aug- through 06-Sep-1924 (2)… @ age 34.
FCR -  Spencer Weisberg, Renton, Washington
Incorrect guesses:  Gil Hodges, Leo Durocher, Burleigh Grimes

Q.        What National League batting champ said after switching leagues, “American League pitchers start you 0-2, and 3 hours later, it's 3-2.”?
Hint:     He also brought with him NL seasons where he had led the league in runs, doubles, OBP and plates appearances.
Hint:     He went from 106th pick in the draft to the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     He was at the plate for Dave Dravecky’s last pitch.
A.         TIM RAINES  [SABR Bio]
-  Changes leagues when he traded from the Expos to the White Sox in December of 1990.
-  Led the NL in 2b w/38 in 1984.  Led in in OBP w/.413 in 1986.  Led the majors in R w/133 in 1983 and 123 in 1987.
-  Was the 2nd pick in the 5th round of the of the 1977* MLB June Amateur Draft.  Elected to the Hall in 2017.
-  Dave Dravecky was lost for good to baseball in the bottom of the 6th in Montreal 15-Aug-1989 when the cancer in his are made him unable to throw another pitch.  Jeff Brantley finished pitching to Raines who hit a sacrifice fly.
FCR -  Preston Salisbury, Starkville, Mississippi
Incorrect guesses:  Frank Robinson, Vladimir Guerrero

Q.        Who broke Hall of Famer Ed Delahanty’s franchise hitting streak record?
Hint:     Delahanty set the record at a time when Christy Mathewson was still kicking field goals for Bucknell.
Hint:     Before Jose Altuve, he had been the most recent MVP under 5"8'
Hint:     His teammate had been the MVP the year prior.
Hint:     He attended the same high school Tommy Harper had gone to.
-  Delahanty’s PHI record of 31 consecutive MLB G with at least 1 H, set in 1899, was broken when Rollins did it off Juan Padilla in the 7th inning of his 32nd straight G 27-Sep-2005.
-  5"7' MVP in 2007
-  Ryan Howard was NL MVP in 2006 (even though teammate Chase Utley has a WAR more than 2 points higher that year, 7.3 to 5.2)
-  Attended Encinal High School in the East Bay area.  Dontrelle Willis, Chris Speier and Willie Stargell are also alumni thereof.
FCR -  Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, Maryland         
Incorrect guesses:  Joe Morgan, Hack Wilson, Yogi Berra, Dustin Pedroia, Ozzie Smith, Willie Keeler, Nap Lajoie

Q.        Who was the first MVP not born in one of the 50 united states?
Hint:     He barely edged out the player in 2nd place in MVP voting that year, a player’s whose WAR was 4.5 points higher!
Hint:     However, he broke a record that year that had been considered unbeatable.
Hint:     He played on an expansion team and managed another.
A.         MAURY WILLS
-  Born 02-Oct-1932 in Washington, DC.  NL MVP in 1962.
-  Willie Mays’s WAR was 10.5.  Wills’s was 6.0.  The highest other one that was belonged to Cincinnati’s Frank Robinson at 8.7.
-  Wills stole 104 bases in 1962 breaking Ty Cobb’s modern day record of 96, set in 1915.
-  Played 47 G for Montreal in 1969 and managed the Mariners  for 82 G in 198081.
FCR -  Will McCracken, Bradenton, Florida
Incorrect guesses:  Zoilo Versalles, Justin Morneau, Jim Fregosi, Rod Carew, Felipe Alou, Orlando Cepeda

Q.        Who was the first shortstop to won multiple Gold Gloves with teams in both leagues?
Hint:     A teammate who debuted in the same game is now in the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     His first major league team wanted him to bat right-handed.  Instead, the taught him to switch-hit.
A.         OMAR VIZQUEL  [SABR Bio]
-  Won GG w/CLE 1993-2001; w/SFG 2005-06.  (Andrelton Simmons ha since repeated the feat with ATL and CAA.)
-  Debuted 03-Apr-1989 alongside Ken Griffey, Jr.
-  Tutored in switch-hitting by Bill Plummer who managed Vizquel with the Leones del Caracas, in 1986-87 and 1988-89, and coached and managed the Mariners.
FCR -  Tom Lee, Nashville
Incorrect guesses:  Garry Templeton, Michael Young, Miguel Cabrera, Vladimir Guerrero, Ozzie Guillen, Andrelton Simmons

Q.        What former Royal, Mariner and Tiger had his best years in the National League?
Hint:     He was voted Rookie of the Year with a unanimous vote, finishing ahead of four player would become All-Stars and one of whom would pitch a perfect game in the majors.
Hint:     He thrice played in the postseason, twice in the World Series.  Never, however, was with a team that won the title.
Hint:     His nickname came because he made such an impression.
-  Played w/KCR in 1994-95; w/SEA in 1995; and w/DET in 1997.
-  ROY in 1985
-  Postseason w/SEA in 1995; WS w/STL in 1985 & 87
-  “Vincent van Go”, calling to mind the famous impressionist.
FCR -  Jeff Kabacinski, Wilmington, Delaware
Incorrect guesses:  Benito Santiago, Hideo Nomo

Q.        Whose record for at-bats in a single season did Jimmy Rollins break in 2007
Hint:     Rollins’ teammate then broke his record for most strikeouts in a World Series.
Hint:     He was the first post-expansion American League player to collect 100 hits from each side of the plate in a season.
-  705 AB in 1980.  Rollins had 716 in 162 G in 2007.
-  Ryan Howard struck out 13 times in the 2009 WS; Wilson had K’ed 12 in 1980
-  230 H in 1980.  At least 100+H from each side of the plate.  (Exact split not available at press time.)
FCR -  Mike Mattsey, Robinson, Illinois
Incorrect guesses:  Carlos Baerga, Juan Samuel, Eddie Murray

Q.        Who bunted a groundout to end a World Series?
Hint:     His name somehow makes you think of cookies, elevators and presidents.
Hint:     On the occasion of his first vote for Hall of Fame induction, he received…
 no votes.
A.         OTIS NIXON
-  Bunted with 2 out in the 9th inning of G 6 of the 1992 WS.  Pitcher Mike Timlin tossed to Joe Carter at 1b to clinch the victory for Canada.
-  Otis Spunkmeyer, cookie maker
-  A fellow nominee who had been a 4-time All-Star and a 6-time Gold Glove winner also received no votes in 2005—Mark Langston.
FCR -  Jack Fahey, Oak Forest, Illinois
Incorrect guesses:  Amos Otis

Q.        Who was the only players besides Ty Cobb to lead the Tigers in runs scored 1909‑19?
Hint:     He was offered the Yankees managerial post after Miller Huggins’ death, but turned it down since he had already committed to manage elsewhere.
Hint:     His 425 putouts in 1914 is a major league mark which has never been broken.
Hint:     The closest any other shortstop came to that mark in the 20th century was Neifi Perez with more than a hundred fewer.
A.         DONIE BUSH  [SABR Bio]
-  Bush led DET in R in 1914, 15, 16 & 17.  Cobb led all the other years, but Bush was second to him I  1909, 19, 11, 12 & 18.
-  He has already committed to manage CWH.
-  At 425 PO, he is tied with the 1895 mark set by Hughie Jennings.  Perez had 288 in 2000.
FCR -  Daniel Wilson, St. Paul
Incorrect guesses:  George Burns, Sam Crawford

Q.        After World War II, who was the first National League player to collect 15 triples in each of consecutive seasons?
Hint:     No other active player has led his league in triples more times.
Hint:     His infectious smile belies some of his off-field troubles.
A.         JOSE REYES
-  17 3b in each of 2005 & 2006
-  Triples titles in 2005, 06, 08 & 2011.
-  Let’s just leave it at that.
FCR -  Damian Begley, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Lenny Dykstra, Garry Templeton, Hughie Jennings

Q.        Whose record for most stolen bases in a season by a National Leaguer in the modern era did Maury Wills break in 1962?
Hint:     In fact, he held the top three places on that list.
Hint:     He denied a pitcher is second no-hitter with 2 outs in the 9th.
Hint:     The only seasons when he played for a team that finished higher that 3rd, he lasted only one season with them, even when his manager was Miller Huggins.
A.         BOB BESCHER  [SABR Bio]
-  81 SB in 1911
-  Also had 70 in 1910 and 67 in 1912 (67 also achieved by Frank Chance and Jimmy Sheckard)
-  Nap Rucker of the Brooklyn had to settle for a 1-hitter on 22-Jul-1911.  Rucker’s 1st (only) no-no was 09-May-1908.
-  Played for 2nd-place NYG in 1915 and 2nd place CLE in 1918.
-   Played for Miller Huggins on STL 1915-17.
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Ty Cobb, Max Carey, Billy Hamilton, Arlie Latham

WEEKLY THEME – Switch-hitters with 400 or more career stolen bases.

Raines............ 808
Coleman........ 752
Carey............. 738
Wilson........... 668
Nixon............ 620
Wills.............. 586
Smith............. 580
Reyes............. 517
Alomar.......... 474
Rollins........... 470
Bescher.......... 428
Frisch............ 419
Bush.............. 406
Vizquel.......... 404

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeWalt Cherniak, Woodbine, MD (after Raines)

Incorrect theme guesses: 

Monday  -  Players on the HOF ballot for the first time this year

Wed        -  Players with at least 10,000 career plate appearances as a switch hitter.

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