Monday, December 30, 2019

2019-12-23 Players who set their franchises' single-season home run records in their rookie seasons

Q.        Who was the first native of the state of Washington to be inducted to the Hall of Fame?
Hint:     His name and nickname were very aristocratic.
Hint:     His is the first eventual Hall of Famer to hit a home run in his first major league at bat.
Hint:     His impressive consecutive games-played streak ended due to a firecracker accident.
A.         EARL AVERILL  [HOF Bio]
-  B. 21-May-1902 in Snohomish, Washington.  Then farm country, now a Seattle suburb.
-  First name Earl, nickname “The Earl of Snohomish”.
-  1st HR 16-Apr-1929.  He homered the next day as well.
-  Last G of streak = 25-Jun-1935 @ 673 G.  During a July 1 incident in 1935, Averill was lighting firecrackers with his four children as part of a pre-July 4 celebration.  One exploded while he was holding it, and he suffered lacerations on the fingers of his right hand, as well as burns on his face and chest.  He made a full recovery and was back playing as of 14-Jul.  His streak is still the longest in CLE franchise history.
FCR -  Kevin Mix, Chicago
Incorrect guesses:      Ron Santo      

Q.        Whose franchise record for RBI in a season did Manny Ramirez break?
Hint:     Who was the first player ever to steal home after the 15th inning.
Hint:     He was the first rookie to drive in 140 runs.
A.         HAL TROSKY  [SABR Bio]
-  Manny drove in 165 in 1999, surpassing the 162 Trosky had in his 3rd complete season.
-  He stole home for CHW off the A’s Russ Christopher in the top of the 16th on 11‑May‑1944.
-  Had 142 RBI in 1934.  The current single-season rookie RBI record holder is Ted Williams who knocked in 145 in his debut season 1939.
FCR -  Steve Berman, Bergenfield, New Jersey
Incorrect guesses:  Al Rosen, Ted Williams, Willie Davis, Vern Stephens, Ryan Howard, Boston Red Sox, San Diego Padres, Fred Lynn, Carl Yastrzemski, Walt Dropo, Albert Bell, Elmer Flick

Q.        Who won a batting title playing for two different American League teams?
Hint:     He found himself in the minors after the following year in the farm system of yet a third team.
Hint:     It was the first time the American League batting champ came from a last place team.
Hint:     His batting title was the only thing that prevented a certain Hall of Famer from winning the Triple Crown.
-  Won batting title in 1932 after being traded from  DET to BOS on 13-Jun.  Those Sawks finished last in spite of he efforts that year.
-  Played for the Yankees’ AA team the Newark Bears in 1934.
-  After winning the RBI and HR titles in 1932, AL MVP Jimmie Foxx hit .364, but Alexander had the title batting with .367 for some reason (He didn’t have the requisite number of at-bat that would be required today.)
FCR -  Len Levin, Providence
Incorrect guesses:  George Kell, Nap Lajoie, Jimmie Foxx, Billy Goodman, Stan Hack, Harry Walker, Vern Stephens, Alex Johnson, Ted Williams

Q.        Whose record for home runs by a rookie did Frank Robinson come within a single blast of breaking in 1956?
Hint:     He (not Robinson) had the most career home runs in the ballpark where he debuted.
Hint:     He was the first player ever to ground into a double play in the All-Star game.
A.         WALLY BERGER  [SABR Bio]
-  Robinson hit 38 HR to tie Berger’s 1930 total.
-  105 career HR at Braves Field in Boston, home to the Braves from 1915 (following their miraculous WS win in 1914) to 1952 (the season after which the team moved to Milwaukee.)  Berger played there 1930-37, but he then played there as the opposition playing for 3 other NL teams.
-  ASG GIDP 2nd inning in the 1st such game held in 1933 in Chicago.
FCR -  Madison McEntire, Bryant, Arkansas
Incorrect guesses:  Ted Kluszewski, Mel Ott, Willie Mays, Ernie Lombardi, Ted Williams, Walt Dropo

Q.        Who received the Legion of Merit medal during World War II for creating baseball fields and leagues in North Africa?
Hint:     His nickname is he shortened version of his first nickname.
Hint:     He played for both teams on different sides of the same city.
A.         ZEKE BONURA  [SABR Bio]
-  Received the Legion of Merit Award in 1945.
-  Bonura, a great high school track athlete (the Javelin, among others), was recruited by Knute Rockne for football and track at Notre Dame.  Legend has it that it was  Rockne who spotted Bonura not wearing all his gear one day and said, “Look at the physique on that guy”.  “Physique” became “Zeke” and that stuck.
-  Debuted w/CHW; finished w/CHC.
FCR -  Dr. John Rickert, Terre Haute
Incorrect guesses:  Moe Berg, Napoleon Lajoie,

Q.        Who holds the Pittsburgh Pirates’ record for most runs batted in during a single game?
Hint:     In his rookie year, he finished sixth in MVP voting, ahead of half of dozen future Hall of Fame inductees, but he didn’t receive a single vote for Rookie of the Year.
Hint:     He was traded for both Cobb and DiMaggio during his career.
Hint:     He was also the only player ever traded for Morrie Arnovich.
A.         JOHNNY RIZZO  [B-R Bio]
-  9 RBI = 30-May-1939.  4 other Pirates have an 8-RBI in a game:  Dave Robertson, Ralph Kiner, Jason Bay (twice) and Andrew McCutchen.
-  1938 NL MVP vote.  Rizzo finished ahead of Gabby Hartnett, Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Leo Durocher, Al Lopez & Lloyd Waner.  Got no ROY votes because the first year of that award was 1947.  Rizzo was a rookie in 1938.
-  On 13-Oct-1937, he was traded by STL to PIT for minor leaguer Bernard Cobb.  (Additional players were involved in the trade.)  On 08-May-1940, he was traded by PIT to CIN straight-up for Vince DiMaggio.
-  On 15-Jun-1940, he was traded straight-up by CIN to PHI for Arnovich.
FCR -  Barry Nelson, Guilderland, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Boots Grantham, Gus Suhr, Dick Stuart, Lloyd Waner

Q.        What former Brooklyn player was the first to hit more than 45 home runs in a season for his major league franchise?
Hint:     He’s been selected as Player of the Week four times—thrice in the minors and once in the majors.
Hint:     In high school, he played lacrosse and football before deciding to focus on baseball.
Hint:     His grandfather went from a Monarch to Queens.
A.         PETE ALONSO
-  After signing with NYY with the Mets he spent 2016 with the Brooklyn Cyclones of the Class A-Short Season New York-Penn League, where he posted a .322 batting average w/5 HR and 21 RBIs in 30 G. He was selected as an All-Star.
-  Player of the Week Honors:  25-Jun-2017: St. Lucie (FSL);
                                                   23-Jul-2017: St. Lucie (FSL);
                                                   29-Apr-2018: Binghamton (EAS); &
                                                   23-Jun-2019: NYM (NL)
-  Attended Jesuit High School in Tampa for his 1st 2 HS years then transferred to Henry B. Plant HS in Tampa to finish.
-  Alonso’s paternal grandfather, Peter Conrad Alonso, fled his hometown of Barcelona during the Spanish Civil War and settled in Queens, New York.
FCR -  Tom Lee, Nashville
Incorrect guesses:  Jim Gentile, Hack Wilson

WEEK'S THEME – Rookies who broke their franchises’ single-season home run records
 in the modern era.

Rookie         Team           HR           In                  Old Record                In
Alexander.... DET............. 25........ 1929........ Harry Heilmann’s.... 21.... 1922

Alonso......... NYM............ 53*....... 2019........ Todd Hundley’s....... 41.... 1996
....................................................................... Carlos Beltran’s...... 41.... 2006

Averill.......... CLE............. 18........ 1929........ Tris Speaker’s......... 17.... 1923

Berger......... (ATL)........... 38........ 1930........ Rogers Hornsby’s... 21.... 1928

Bonura........ CHW............ 27........ 1934........ Carl Reynolds’........ 22.... 1930

Rizzo........... PIT............... 23........ 1938........ Arky Vaughn’s......... 19.... 1935

Trosky......... CLE............. 35........ 1934........ Earl Averill’s............ 32.... 1931 & 32

*Current team record
() indicates previous team cities and/or team names

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeSteve Klitzner, North Miami Beach (After Berger)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Cleveland Indians whose numbers have been retired
               -  Cleveland Indians with over 140 RBI in a season
               -  Cleveland Indians with over 200 hits in a season
               -  Indians franchise records
               -  Players who had sons in the major leagues who were known as Jr.
               -  Leaders in career home runs for the Cleveland Indians

Wed        -  Most doubles by and AL rookie

Thurs      -  Unofficial pre-1947 Rookies of the Year

Friday     -  Players who held their team’s single season RBI record, but has since been broken. 

Sat          -  Players (from the 1930's?) who set club record in their rookie year 

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Sunday, December 22, 2019

2019-12-16 Not a single Cy Young Award vote!

Q.        What Orioles part-time reliever threw a nine-inning no-hitter against the American League champion Yankees?
Hint:     He had been an Orioles for less than a month.
Hint:     He struck out a Hall of Famer as an added bonus.
A.         HOYT WILHELM  [SABR Bio]
-  No-no 20-Sep-1958
-  Signed by BAL off waivers from CLE on 23-Aug-1958.
-  Struck out Mickey Mantle (as did many pitchers) in the 7th.
FCR -  John Gottko, Corvallis
Incorrect guesses:  Tippy Martinez

Q.        What future Manager of the Year had led the majors in wild pitches during the “Year of the Pitcher”?
Hint:     That didn’t stop him from making the NL All-Star Team and getting MVP voting points the following season.  (Must have helped that his wild pitches were more than cut in half.)
Hint:     One of the most successful SABR chapters bears his name.

-  20 WP in 1968
-  1969 ASG; 9 WP; Got more MVP voting points, 6.0, than did Bob Gibson (previous year’s MVP) and as many as Juan Marichal, Joe Torre and Billy Williams received.
-  The eponymous Larry Dierker Chapter of SABR of the Houston area also claims him as an active member!
FCR -  Jerry Miller, Liberty Hill, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Lefty O’Doul, Fred Hutchinson, Roger Craig

Q.        What left-handed Jewish pitcher was the first player to collect more than one hit in the World Series after having gone hitless during that regular season?
Hint:     After Sad Sam Jones in 1923, he was the next to toss a no-hitter without recording a single strikeout.
Hint:     His Hall of Fame manager had faith in him at a young age.
A.         KEN HOLTZMAN  [SABR Bio]
-  Got a H in G1 & G7 in the 1973 WS.  Did not have an at-bat during the regular 1973 season and drew a walk during his only plate appearance 24-Sep.
-  No-no 19-Aug-1969
-  Holtzman credits his much of his success to the faith Cubs manager Leo Durocher had in him to make him a starter at age 20 in 1966.
FCR -  Jeff Orner, York, Pennsylvania
Incorrect guesses:  Sandy Koufax, Herb Score, Steve Stone, Larry Sherry

Q.        Who was the first Venezuelan pitcher to be named to a major league All-Star team?
Hint:     He was the first player born in the 1970s to appear in a major league game.
Hint:     He was once forced to change gloves during a game when the opposing manager Mike Hargrove complained that the color of his mitt was confusing hitters.
-  1994 ASG.  He pitched a perfect 8th inning.
-  Debut 24-Jul-1989; DoB 24-Mar-1970
-  While pitching with his gray-colored mitt for TBD on 17-Aug-1998, CLE mgr. Mike Hargrove succeeded in convincing home plate umpire Tim McClelland to have Alvarez change his fielding equipment.
FCR -  Frank Harris, Sacramento
Incorrect guesses:  Pedro Martinez, Rafael Soriano, Felix Hernandez, Carlos Zambrano, Mike Cuellar, Johan Santana, Fernando Valenzuela, Dennis Martinez

Q.        Who threw the 20th century’s earliest-in-the-calendar no-hitter?
Hint:     He threw the only no-hitter in history that was preceded by then followed by a no-hitter thrown by his brother.
Hint:     Larry Bowa was a teammate on his college team.
A.         KEN FORSCH  [SABR Bio]
-  No-no on 07-Apr-1979.  Bob Feller’s no-hitter, while thrown on Opening Day, was 16‑Apr‑1940.  Hideo Nomo holds the record now—thrown 04-Apr-2001.
-  Ken’s no-hitter was 07-Apr-1979.  Younger brother Bob threw one on 16-Apr-1978 and then again on 26-Sep-1983.
-  K. Forsch and Bowa played for Sacramento City College.
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses:  Bob Forsch, Hideo Nomo, Jim Perry, Gaylord Perry 

Q.        Who was the first pitcher to win twenty games in a season for two different West Coast teams?
Hint:     He threw the first major league pitch ever thrown by a Toronto Blue Jay.
Hint:     He was credited with the first official save.
A.         BILL SINGER  [SABR Bio]
          - He was 20-12 for LAD in 1969 and 20-14 for CAL in 1973.
          - TOR’s first G 07-Apr-1977.  It snowed, but they played.  Singer started but teammate Jerry Johnson was credited with the win.
         - He got the 1st S on Opening Day 1969 and never got another until the next season.
FCR -  Dan Greder, Ames, Iowa
Incorrect guesses:  Ken Brett, Tommy John 

Q.        What Cal alum is the only pitcher to throw more than ten hitless innings in two different games in the same season?
Hint:     In one of those, he gave up ten bases on balls.
Hint:     He surrendered the famous 3,630th and final career hit.
A.         JIM MALONEY  [SABR Bio]
-  He threw the 1st 10 IP of an 11-inning G 14-Jun-1965 where Mets outfielder Johnny Lewis hit a solo home run to win the G 1-0.  It was the 10th of Lewis’ 22 career HR.  Then in the 1st G of a double-header at Wrigley Field on 19-Aug-1965, Maloney no-hit the Cubs 1-0 in 10 innings.  The Cubs’ pitcher that day was Larry Jackson.  He also lasted all 10 innings, scattering 9 H, giving up only a solo HR to Leo Cardenas in the 10th.  Attended the University of California at Berkeley.
-  Maloney walked 10 in the Cubs’ G.
-  He surrendered the 3,629th as well (to Stan Musial) on 29-Sep-1963.
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses:  Ed Roebuck

Q.        Who was on the mound when Reggie Jackson stole his first base?
Hint:     He was originally scouted simultaneously by CLE and the NBA’s St. Louis Hawks.
Hint:     He is the last American League pitcher to hit two home runs in one game.
Hint:     He is the winning pitcher in the second-longest game in National League history (by innings).
A.         SONNY SIEBERT  [SABR Bio]
-  Jackson’s SB 10-Jun-1967, the only base he stole in his rookie year.  Jackson scored on a Rick Monday single.
-  He briefly considered a basketball career.  It was his favorite sport and the Hawks were his hometown team.
-  2 HR 02-Sep-1971, accounting for all 3 of the G’s runs.
-  25-inning G 11-Sep-1974.
FCR -  Dr. John Rickert, Terre Haute
Incorrect guesses:  Ron Reed, Dick Radatz, Gaylord Perry, Dave DeBusschere, Jim Bibby, Earl Wilson

Q.        Who gave up the first of Rafael Palmeiro’s 569 career home runs?
Hint:     He was caught pitching with sandpaper in his glove, was suspended, but was nevertheless selected to the All-Star team the following season.
Hint:     In an unusual feat, he and the opposing pitcher homered off each other in the same inning.
A.         KEVIN GROSS
-  Palmeiro HR 09-Sep-1986.
-  Caught and ejected 10-Aug-1987; suspended for 10 G, 01-10-Sep-1987.  AS in 1988.
-  On 14-May-1990 while pitching for MON in Dodger Stadium, Gross homered in the top of the 3rd off Fernando Valenzuela who promptly led off the bottom of the 3rd with a dinger of his own.  Amazingly, it was the only HR either pitcher hit the entire season!
FCR -  Brett Moore, Studio City, California
Incorrect guesses:  Joe Niekro, Rick Honeycutt, Atlee Hammaker, Gaylord Perry

WEEKLY THEME – All-Stars, no-hit pitchers who never got even a single Cy Young Award vote during their entire careers (Limited to All-Stars and who threw a 20th century no-hitter and played at least 10 years in the Cy Young Award era).

Pitcher      No-Hitter          Vs.                 ASG
Alvarez...... 11-Aug-1991.......BAL............. 94
Dierker....... 09-Jul-1976........MON...........69, 71
Forsch........ 07-Apr-1979.......ATL.............76, 81
Gross......... 17-Aug-1992.......SFG.............98
Holtzman... 19-Aug-1969........ATL...........72, 73
    ''............. 03-Jun-1971........CIN................''
Maloney..... 18-Aug-1965 (1). CHC..............65
Siebert....... 10-Jun-1966........WSA..........66, 71
Singer........ 20-Jul-1970..........PHI...........69, 73
Wilhelm...... 20-Sep-1958........NYY.......5359a,                                   59b, 61a, 61b, 62a, 62b, 70

N.B.: Jack Kralick and Steve Busby just missed qualifying because of not enough years of service.

Kralick........ 26-Aug-1962........KCA.............64
Busby..........27-Apr-1973.........DET..........74, 75

First Correct Respondent to identify Theme [TFCR]:
Steve Berman, Bergenfield, New Jersey (After, you know, ... nobody else could.)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Pitchers who homered in their first at bat
               -  Players who fought in Battle of the Bulge
               -  Players who hit a HR in 1st ML at bat.

Wed        -  Players who played for Leo Durocher in the final year of Leo's tenure with the club
               -  Pitchers whose first manager was Durocher and pitched a no-hitter

Friday     -  Pitchers who threw no-hitters against pitchers who also threw no-hitters

Sat          -  No hit pitchers who shared a record with another pitcher
               -  Last pitcher to throw a no-hitter against teams that haven't been no-hit in the 21st century

Sunday   -  …and are not in the Hall of Fame
               -  and played for at least three teams
               -  … and had 1,000 strikeouts
               -  …and gave up 1st HR to a 500 HR club
               -  …and didn't get a Hall of Fame vote
               -  …and pitched in both leagues
               -  …and named on < 1% of HOF ballots
               -  …and all had 100 plus major league victories