Monday, January 28, 2019

2019-01-21 Players who led off a World Series game with a home run

NOTE:  This week’s theme is based on an idea sent to us by reader Tom Cuggino of Wheaton, Illinois.

Q.        Whose record for career stolen bases is the greatest of all time?
Hint:     Perhaps he is too?
Hint:     He broke a record that Arlie Latham had held for more than a century.
Hint:     Harry Hooper, Brady Anderson and he have all hit lead-off home run in both games of a double-header.
-  Career SB = 1,406 (939th SB and self-assessment 01-May-1991)
-  Increased his own career record for stolen bases 12 straight years.  Latham had done it 9 times, the last in 1896.
   Henderson’s = 05-Jul-1993 off Paul Abbott & 05-Jul-1993 off Mark Clark
   Ronal Acuna joined this elite club in 2018
FCR -  Eugene Schwartz, Weston, Connecticut
Incorrect guesses: 

Q.        Who was the first post-war player to lead the majors in doubles, triples and stolen bases in the same season?
Hint:     That same year, he became the first player to hit a double, triple and home run in a single World Series game.
Hint:     While still playing baseball, he opened a flower shop.
A.         LOU BROCK  [SABR Bio]
-  In 1968 he had 46 2b, 14 3b & 62 SB.
-  2b, 3b & HR in 1968 WS, G 4, 06-Oct-1968
-  Florist located in Clayton, Missouri.  It was simply called “The Flower Shop”.
FCR -  Robert Osman, Great Neck, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Jackie Robinson, Amos Otis, Curt Flood, Willie Mays

Q.        Who is likely to be the top vote-getter in next year’s Hall of Fame election?
Hint:     He played a season in the postseason.
Hint:     He evinces a wry smile at the mention of Jorge Julio.
A.         DEREK JETER  [SABR Bio]
-  His 72.4 WAR is highest among those who will be eligible for the first time for 2020 induction.
-  His record of 158 postseason games is the equivalent of an entire additional season.  His average was just under 150 G, for his full seasons.
-  Was 1 for 14 vs. the otherwise unremarkable Julio.
FCR -  Ronn Tarter, Cary, North Carolina
Incorrect guesses:  Mariano Rivera, Curt Schilling

Q.        Who, according to writer Katherine LaGrave, owns more major league records than anyone else in the history of the game?
Hint:     He led the majors in games played in a season four times, once after he had turned forty.
Hint:     Although he was thrown out stealing a career 43%, he still said, “You don’t think you’re going to get caught.”
A.         PETE ROSE  [SABR Bio]
-  LaGrave, quoted in CheatSheet names a few:  Rose is still the all-time major league leader in H (4,256), G (3,562), AB (14,053) & outs (10,328).
-  Played in 162 G in 1982 @ age 41.
-  Quote refers to his gambling.
FCR -  Jim Turner, Tallahassee
Incorrect guesses:  Ty Cobb, Ichiro Suzuki, Babe Ruth, Stan Musial, Henry Aaron, Cal Ripken

Q.        Who holds the 20th century record for most plate appearances in a season?
Hint:     He broke Albert Hall’s Carolina League record of 100 SB in a season.
Hint:     He and Bruce Hurst share an uncomfortable distinction.
A.         LENNY DYKSTRA  [SABR Bio]
-  773 in 1993, since broken by Jimmy Rollins w/778 in 2007
-  Stole 105 Carolina League bases in 1983.  Hall had 100 SB for Durham in 1980.
-  Dykstra (1993) and Hurst (1986) had already been selected as World Series MVPs until the fortunes of their respective teams turned.
FCR -  John Michael Pierobon, Fort Lauderdale
Incorrect guesses:  Jimmy Rollins, Rickey Henderson, Vince Coleman, Juan Samuel, Willie Wilson, Andruw Jones, Pete Rose

Q.        Who was the last player to collect five hits in a game twice in the same season in the 20th century?
Hint:     One year in the following century, he was a cowboy, an idiot and a champion.
Hint:     He became the last 20th century American Leaguer to collect 10 doubles, 10 triples and 10 home runs in a season.
-  5-H Gs = 18-Jul-2000 & 11-Sep-2000.  6 of those 10 H were 2b.
-  2004 WS Champs BOS called themselves ‘idiots’ and told each other to ‘cowboy up!’, meaning to stay steady and endure the hardships.
-  In 2000, he had 42 2b, 10 3b & 16 HR.
FCR -  Robert Osman, Great Neck, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Kevin Millar, Bill Mueller, Chuck Knoblauch

Q.        Who is a right-handed ornithologist?
Hint:     His real name is a bit of a misnomer concerning his batting.
Hint:     He was the main center fielder on the USA Olympic team.
Hint:     He channeled Jimmy Piersall in a moment of glory.
Hint:     To celebrate a recent team success, he ordered bottles of $200 scotch for all teammates, coaches and team staff… 108 bottles in all.
-  “Dexter” refers to the right side in Latin, but Fowler is an ambidextrous batter.
-  Played for the 2008 Olympic team.
-  On a World Series home run, he ran with his body turned backwards as he went from first base to second.
-  He bought Johnnie Walker Blue Label for everyone in the Cubs major league organization.
FCR -  Humbert  Kilanowski, Providence
Incorrect guesses:  Mookie Betts, Adrian Beltre,

Q.        Whose diving catch in right-center field to start the top of the seventh inning helped preserve his teammate’s perfect game?
Hint:     He also helped the cause from his leadoff spot, going 2 for 5 with 3 RBI and a run scored.
Hint:     He returned to play for this the past season.
Hint:     His piscine nickname plays off his family name and a team he has been on for six seasons.
-  SFG’s Matt Cain’s perfecto 13-Jun-2012
-  His was clearly the catch of the game.
-  Played for SFG again in 2018 after playing for ARI in 2017.
-  Nickname is “White Shark” for ‘tiburon blanco’, his former team La Guaira Tiburones, in the Venezuelan Winter League.  Coincidentally, Tiburon is a residential community a few miles from AT&T Park (as the shark swims) northwest across the San Francisco Bay.
FCR -  Kenneth Auerbach, Bonita Springs, Florida
Incorrect guesses:  Ichiro Suzuki, Mike Trout, Marlon Byrd

Q.        Which player had a fan's beer dump on his head while watching a home run sail over the fence in a World Series game?
Hint:     It was his second World Series in a decade, on different teams and against different opponents, but under the same manager.
Hint:     He did not throw out the first pitch of the first game at Yankee Stadium.
A.         AL SMITH  [SABR Bio]
-  Beer dump 02-Oct-1959, G 2, when Charley Neal of the Dodgers homered, possibly influenced by his home run hit in the previous game.
-  In the WS in 1954 and 1959, both AL teams were skippered by Hall of Famer Al Lopez (CLE) (CHW).
-  Ceremonial first pitch at Yankee Stadium was thrown out by New York governor Al Smith on 18‑Apr‑1923.  Five years later ran unsuccessfully for president.
FCR -  David Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect guesses:  Charlie Silvera, Lonnie Smith

Q.        Who homered in both of a teammate’s no-hitters one year?
Hint:     He was an original member of an expansion team.
Hint:     Teammates recalled him screaming at his manager when his name was left off the lineup card, implying he was a “twin”.
A.         GENE WOODLING  [SABR Bio]
-  HRs in Allie Reynolds’ No-nos  12-Jul-1951 [off Bob Feller]; 28-Sep-1951 off Harry Taylor
-  Played on the 1962 NYM.
-  He and teammate Hank Bauer were teasingly called the “Gold Dust Twins” and were platooned by Yankee manager Casey Stengel.  Stengel later confirmed in front of the team that the one guy who didn’t go behind his back was Woodling.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Carl Everett, Yogi Berra, Harmon Killebrew

Q.        What veteran of three consecutive World Series had a law degree while he played but became a pharmacist after retirement?
Hint:     His rookie year was also his franchise’s first season.
Hint:     During his fifteen year career, he had fourteen Hall of Fame teammates.
Hint:     Experienced ensigns, admirals and even raw recruit sailors learned that it was best to avoid his locker.
A.         DAVY JONES  [SABR Bio]
-  Played in the WS with DET 1907, 08 & 09.  After retiring from baseball he himself qualified as a pharmacist at the USC.  He had his law degree from Dixon College in Illinois.
-  Broke in with the 1901 Milwaukee Brewers, their first year of existence, an expansion team in the brand-new American League.  That same franchise today is the Baltimore Orioles.
-  Played with Hall of Famers Hugh Duffy, Bobby Wallace, Jesse Burkett, Joe Tinker, Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, Mordecai Brown, Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb, Hughie Jennings, Ray Schalk, Ed Walsh. Edd Roush and Harry Heilmann.  Jones jumped teams so frequently, his teammates called him ‘Kangaroo’.
- “Davy Jones’s Locker” is seagoing jargon for the bottom of the sea, especially regarded as the grave of those drowned at sea.
FCR -        Tom Lee, Nashville
Incorrect guesses:  Moe Berg, Hughie Jennings

WEEKLY THEME – Batters who led off a World Series game with a home run. 

Jones............ DET @ PIT..... G 5,... 13-Oct-1909..... off Babe Adams
Woodling...... NYY @ BRO... G 5,... 04-Oct-1953..... off Johnny Podres
Smith........... CLE @ NYG... G 1,... 30-Sep-1954 ... off Johnny Antonelli
Brock........... STL @ DET.... G 4,.. 06-Oct-1968... off Denny McLain
Rose............. CIN @ OAK.... G 5,.. 20-Oct-1972... off Catfish Hunter
Henderson..... OAK @ SFG... G 4,.. 28-Oct-1989... off Don Robinson
Jeter............. NYY @ NYM... G 4,.. 25-Oct-2000... off Bobby Jones
Damon......... BOS @ STL.... G 4,.. 27-Oct-2004... off Jason Marquis
Blanco......... SFG @ KCR... G 2,.. 22-Oct-2014.... off Yordano Ventura
Fowler.......... CHC @ CLE.... G 7,... 02-Nov-2016 ... off Corey Kluber

Tom Cuggino clarifies, “There are 11 others who led off the bottom of the 1st in a World Series game as well.”

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeSteve Klitzner, N. Miami Beach            (after Dykstra)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  HOF players with 6 letters in first name, “son” in the last name
               -  Players who are fan favorite
               -  Players with more than 3000 hits and more than 350 stolen bases.
               -  First ballot HOF electee’s

Wed        -  Something to do with 3,000 hits
               -  Players in the last 55 years who had 3000 hits, 500 doubles, and 300 stolen base attempts.

Sun         -  Isn’t Monkees-related.  [technically not incorrect]

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

2019-01-14 All-Star Pitchers coached by Mel Stottlemyre

Q.        Before Jeter, Posada and Pettitte, who was the most recent Yankee honored with a plaque dedicated to him in Monument Park in Yankee Stadium?
Hint:     His second career home run was an inside-the-park grand slam.
Hint:     He and his son account for 302 pitching victories
Hint:     He and his sons also account for 302 pitching victories
Hint:     He owned a sporting goods store in Yakima, Washington and saved display posters for a young Scott Brandon.  (Yes, that Scott Brandon!)
Hint:     He was the first Yankee pitcher to win five games in the month of April.
Hint:     He was the pitching coach for teams that won five World Series championships.
-  Was surprised with the plaque honor 20-Jun-2015.
-  ITPGS 20-Jul-1965
-  He won 164 G, his son Todd won 138 G, his son Mel, Jr. was 0-1 is his major league career.
-  Scott knew all 3 pitching Stottlemyres in his younger days.
-  Was 5-0 in Apr-1969.
-  Pitching coach for NYM in 1986 & NYY in 1996, 1998, 1999 & 2000.
FCR -  Duncan Crowl, San Juan Capistrano, California
Incorrect guesses: 

Q.        Who was the worst victim of “He was a star, but he got old” syndrome since Frank Robinson?
Hint:     He reached 1,000 career strikeouts in the fewest games pitched.
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to record two separate winning streaks of more than fifteen games each.
Hint:     His first ERA title was not secure until the final day of the season when a pitcher with a much better ERA fell short of the number of innings to qualify for the title.
A.         ROGER CLEMENS  [SABR Bio]
-  Released by BOS 05-Nov-1996.  Would go on to win 4 additional Cy Young awards.
-  1,000 K in 143 G.  Record now held by Yu Darvish @ 134 G.
-  20 in 1998-99, 16 in 2001
-  His 1986 league-best ERA of 2.48 would have been trumped by Mark Eichorn’s 1.72, but his 157 IP didn’t meet the minimum.  Eichorn finished 6th in that year’s CYA voting & 3rd in the ROY voting.
FCR -  Terry French, Kansas City
Incorrect guesses:  Ron Guidry, Yu Darvish, Tom Seaver, Dwight Gooden, Tim Lincecum, Luis Tiant, Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Vida Blue, Steve Carlton

Q.        What Red Sox pitcher had been an All-Star with the Mets and Yankees, had won a Cy Young Award with a third team and won a World Series ring with yet a fourth?
Hint:     He had a stretch of 10 years between 20-win seasons.
Hint:     He once struck out 19 batters in a 9-inning game on the last day of the regular season.
A.         DAVID CONE  [SABR Bio]
-  AS w/NYM 1988 & 92; AS w/NYY 1997 & 99; CYA w/KCR 1994; WS w/TOR 1992; Played for BOS in 2001.
-  20-3 in 1988 & 20-7 in 1998
-  19K = 06-Oct-1991
FCR -  Jesse Asbury, Norman, Oklahoma
Incorrect guesses:  Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Bartolo Colon

Q.        What pitcher holds the all-time postseason career records for games started, innings pitched and games won?
Hint:     Pitchers in second place on those lists would have to increase their totals by 26%, 27% and 27% respectively just to tie his.
Hint:     He was only a .500 pitcher for a National League team in the postseason.
Hint:     Five times he finished in the top 6 of Cy Young Award voting, but never took home the top honor.
-  44 GS; 276.2 IP; 19 W
-  Tom Glavine @ 35; Glavine @218.1 & John Smoltz @ 15.
-  Had a 1-1 record for HOU in 2005.
-  His close loss to Pat Hentgen in 1996 still rankles Yankee fans.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Whitey Ford, Roger Clemens, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz, Cy Young, Curt Schilling

Q.        What two-time Padre was the last 20th century pitcher to earn the win in both games of a double header?
Hint:     He was the first post-expansion pitcher to surrender home runs to brothers in the same game.
Hint:     He was teammates with 12 Hall of Famers over his 20+ year career.  (This number will certainly be larger by EOB next Tuesday.)
Hint:     He, however, garnered less than 1% of the vote in his first year of eligibility.
A.         DAVID WELLS  [SABR Bio]
-  DH = 17-Jul-1989 (1) & 17-Jul-1989 (2).  He didn’t start or finish either game.  Played for SDP 2004 & 2006-07.
-  Cal and Billy took him deep 15-Sep-1990
-  Was teammates with Roberto Alomar, Dave Winfield, Jack Morris, Alan Trammell, Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, Wade Boggs, Harold Baines, Frank Thomas, Mike Piazza, Trevor Hoffman, Greg Maddux.
-  5 votes (0.1%) in the 2013 HOF election
FCR -  Sarah Grynpas, Toronto
Incorrect guesses:  Randy Myers, Gaylord Perry, Randy Jones, Joe Niekro, Sterling Hitchcock

Q.        Which Cy Young winner was the first pitcher to collect 200 strikeouts in each of his first three seasons?
Hint:     The first two of those led the majors.
Hint:     His nephew is the only slugger to join 500-home-run club playing for a National League team since Ken Griffey, Jr. did it..
Hint:     He has an honorary doctorate.
A.         DWIGHT GOODEN  [SABR Bio]
-  1984 = 276 K; 1985 = 268 K; 1986 = 200 K.  (754 in 3 years!)
-  The 200 K in 1986 didn’t make the majors’ top ten.
-  His nephew is Gary Sheffield.
-  His honorary “doc” was given to him in much the same way that Doc Adams, Doc White, Doc Crandall, Doc Parker , Doc Newton and other got theirs.
FCR -  J.P. Wanamaker, Binghamton, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Roger Clemens

Q.        Who was the first Cy Young award winner to be traded during the season after he won the award?
Hint:     Exactly one month after the trade, having gone to the other league, he faced the other Cy Young Award winner as they both started the same game.
Hint:     He was the pitcher who gave up Rod Carew’s 3000th hit.
A.         FRANK VIOLA
-  1988 CYA winner
-  Faced the Dodgers’ Orel Hershiser 28-Aug-1989.  Viola pitched a 3-hit, 9-inning shutout and the Mets won 1-0.
-  #3000 for Carew 04-Aug-1985
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  CC Sabathia, Rick Sutcliffe, Nolan Ryan, Mark Davis, Gaylord  Perry, Tom Seaver, David Cone

Q.        Who was the losing pitcher in David Cone’s perfect game?
Hint:     Entering his first stint with the Yankees, The Hardball Times selected him as their “consensus pick for the Cy Young”.
Hint:     He has a victory against every major league team.
Hint:     He was the first Hispanic pitcher to get three shutouts in the new millennium.  (Not so much a hint as just a stray fact, I know.  I know!)
-  Cone’s perfecto 18-Jul-1999
-  First played for NYY in 2004.
-  3rd ShO 28-Aug-2001; Freddy Garcia’s 3rd was 18-Sep
FCR -  Larry Hayes, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Lui Tiant, Pedro Martinez, Roger Clemens, Orlando Hernandez, La Troy Hawkins Hoyt Wilhelm, Bartolomeo Colon

Q.        Who is the only pitcher, born and raised in Hawaii, with 300 major league starts?
Hint:     Thrice in his fifteen-year career, he led his league in fewest hits per nine innings, the first two of those leading the majors.
Hint:     In four seasons, he made not a single error and so tied for the league lead in fielding percentage.
Hint:     His heritage is mostly Portuguese, with some Irish and Maori.
A.         SID FERNANDEZ  [SABR Bio]
-  GS = 300 on the nose
-  H9 in 1985 = 5.7; in 1988 = 6.1; in 1990 = 6.5
-  1.000 % fielding in the NL in 1985, 88 & 89 and in NL in 1994.
FCR -  Frank Stephenson, Rome, Georgia
Incorrect guesses:  Ron Darling, Charlie Hough, Danny Graves, Atlee Hammaker, Mike Cuellar, Milt Wilcox

Q.        Who holds the American League record for highest one-season earned run average by a pitcher with a inning record?
Hint:     He is the only pitcher to win a Cy Young Award when he was a teammate of Barry Bonds.
Hint:     He flinches when you mention Sil Campusano.
A.         DOUG DRABEK
-  ERA of 5.74 in 1997, W/L of 12-11
-  CYA 1990; Bonds w/PIT 1986-92
-  The Phillies’ Campusano got a hit with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th for the G’s 1st H on 03‑Aug‑1990.
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses:  Jim Bouton, Tim Lincecum

Q.        What pitcher tossed eleven collegiate no-hit inning in an NCAA playoff game, only to lose the game in the twelfth inning?
Hint:     He grew up speaking French, Chinese, and English.
Hint:     He wrote a book whose title is about not the stats of baseball, but the stats of A baseball.
A.         RON DARLING  [SABR Bio]
-  Pitched for Yale vs. Frank Viola & St. Johns on 21-May-1991.
-  Spent his early years in Hawaii
-  Wrote “108 Stitches
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses: 

WEEKLY THEME – All-Star starting pitchers coached by Mel Stottlemyre Sr.

Player            Yrs/Teams under Stott                   Career WAR
Clemens............. 2001, 03 NYY................................. 139.0
Cone................... 1988, 92 NYM; 1997, 99 NYY.......... 61.7
Pettitte................ 1996, 2001 NYY............................... 60.7
Wells................... 1998 NYY......................................... 53.8
Gooden............... 1984-86, 88 NYM............................. 48.2
Viola................... 1990-91 NYM.................................... 47.4
Vazquez............. 2004 NYY......................................... 43.6
Fernandez.......... 1986-87 NYM.................................... 31.5
Drabek................ 1994 HOU......................................... 27.7
Darling................ 1985 NYM......................................... 19.0

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme¯\_()_/¯

Sure, now. But that doesn't mean that Clemens didn't do it too.  The hint didn't say "...holds the record..."
Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Pitchers who won 20 games in a season under pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.
               -  Mel Stottlemyre (RIP) was their pitching coach with the late 90s Yankee
               -  Players who have testified in Congress
               -  Pitchers who have testified in Congress

Wed        -  Yankees pitchers who made All-Star team under pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre.
               -  Pitchers coached by Mel Stottlemyre
               -  Pitchers for the 1999-2000 Yankees
               -  Pitchers who started at least 30 games for the Yankees in 1999
               -  Pitchers who hold a strikeout record for the Yankees
               -  Has to do with 1990s-era Yankee pitchers
               -  And they all won a world series when he was the pitching coach

Thurs      -  Pitchers who won the World Series while being coached by Mel Stottlemyre.
               -  They all had Mel Stottlemyre as their pitching coach with the Yankees

Friday     -  Something to do with pitchers coached by Mel Stottlemyre

Sunday   -  Pitched for a NY team in the 90s, on either the winning or losing side of a no-hitter
               -  Pitched a CG Shutout for a NY team in the 90s