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]

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