Sunday, April 28, 2019

2019-04-22 Four home runs in a game plus an All-Star Game home run

Q.        Who is the first National League Rookie of the Year Award winner to later lead his league in stolen bases for four consecutive seasons?
Hint:     No one has more career stolen bases in All-Star games.
Hint:     He was the first player to get 200 hits after his team moved to a new city.
Hint:     Two seasons later, he led the majors in hits.
A.         WILLIE MAYS  [SABR Bio]
-  NL SB leader in 1956, 57 & 58. His 27 in 1959 led the NL, but Luis Aparicio stole 56 bases in 1959 for CHW and took them to the WS. Aparicio also led the majors in SB an amazing five times!. Vince Coleman is the only NL ROY to lead ML 4 times.
-  6 ASG SB
-  208 H for SFG in 1958
-  190 H in 1960 led MLB
FCR - Larry Lamb, Oakwood, Ohio
Incorrect guesses:  Lou Brock, Maury Wills, Jackie Robinson, Luis Aparicio, Bert Campaneris, Sam Jethro, Kenny Lofton, Tim Raines, Ralph Garr, Tommy Harper

Q.        Who is the only member of the 400-home-run club with more than ten steals of home?
Hint:     For each of thirteen straight seasons he batted in more than 100 runs.
Hint:     He once explained, “In the beginning I used to make one terrible play a game.  Then I got so I'd make one a week and finally I’d pull a bad one once a month.  Now I'm trying to keep it down to one a season.”
Hint:     Amazingly, he was not elected to the Hall of Fame the first time he received votes.
A.         LOU GEHRIG  [SABR Bio]
-  Stole home 15 times, hit 493 home runs
-  100+ RBI 1926-38
-  Received 22.6% of the votes in 1936 (Not only was he still active that year, he won the AL MVP!).  Entered the Hall via Special Election in 1939.
FCR -  Victor Piacentile, Yorktown Heights, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Dave Kingman, Alfonso Soriano, Willie Mays, Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Barry Bonds

Q.        What first-round Hall of Famer has been a vocal advocate for an electronic strike zone in major league games?
Hint:     He once homered off brothers in the same game.
Hint:     He was the third player inducted into the Little League Museum’s Hall of Excellence.
-  Went public with this view in 2014.  He is not alone.
-  On 17-Apr-1976 had HR off the Cubs’ Rick and Paul Reuschel.
-  LL HOE induction 1991 w/Nolan Ryan.  Tom Seaver had been inducted in 1988.
FCR -  Pat Ray, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Incorrect guesses:  Chipper Jones, Tom Glavine

Q.        What Princeton man had his record for National League grand slams broken by Willie McCovey?
Hint:     Though it has been approached, no one has ever broken his MLB record for sacrifice flies in a single season.
Hint:     While managing in the majors, he once dissuaded a drunken and disconsolate player from a suicide attempt.
A.         GIL HODGES  [SABR Bio]
-  Born in Princeton, Indiana, Hodges hit 14 grand slams over his 18-year playing career.  McCovey hit his 15th on 19-May-1974.  McCovey’s 18 is still the NL record.
-  Hit 19 sac. flies in 1954.
-  He saved pitcher Ryne Duren from doing something un-doable.
FCR -  Lawrence Creeden, Boulder City, Nevada
Incorrect guesses:  Eddie Murray, Dave Sisler, Jimmie Foxx, Mel Ott

Q.        Who was the first player in the expansion era get seven hits in one game?
Hint:     He believed that his uniform number was more suited to a rookie.  The organization agreed and assigned him number 6.  It no doubt helped as that same year, he led the majors in slugging with a number that began with 6.
Hint:     A few years later, he played the full schedule of games at his outfield position without a single error all year.
-  7-H G 24-Jun-1962.  It was a 22-inning G.  He got up 10 times.
-  Originally assigned #38 and played with it on his back 1955-57.  Received #6 for the 1958 season.  Slugged .620, beating out NL MVP Ernie Banks by 5+ basis points.
-  In 1965 w/CLE he played 162 G, had 256 chances, made 256 outs.
FCR -  Phil Williams, Charlotte, North Carolina
Incorrect guesses:  Rennie Stennett, Cesar Gutierrez, Tony Oliva, Al Kaline, Roger Maris, ,Stan Musial

WEEKEND (One question only)
Q.        Who holds the Cincinnati franchise record for most total bases in a single game?
Hint:     Only Babe Ruth and he have hit their 20th home run of the season in the same game where they pitched.
Hint:     He is in the super-exclusive Double Unique Club.
-  Hit 17 total bases were on 06-Jun-2017 against STL.
-  On 14-Aug-2017, he pitched the bottom of the 8th in a blowout G surrendering a 2-run HR to JASON (Not Gordon) Heyward.  In the prior ½inning, he blasted his 20th HR of the season.
-  In the long recorded history of the major leagues, there has never been another player named Gennett and there has never been another player who went by Scooter*.
FCR -  Sarah Grynpas, Toronto
Incorrect guesses:  Mark Whiten, Darrel Chaney, Ernie Lombardi, Walker Cooper, Woody Woodward, Cy Seymour

*Baseball-reference is my standard for Double-Uniques, as I explain in the header of the D-U site.  Rizzuto is—and was—Phil.  "Scooter", his nickname, was used far more after his career than during.  Similarly, Goose Goslin is still a Double-Unique because Gossage is "Rich" (as he insists now more strongly than when he was a rookie.) and "Goose" is his nickname.  Also, Pee‑Wee Wanninger’s hyphen keeps him on the list.  All of which, I know, I smugly failed to mention the first time.

SUNDAY BONUS (Not part of this week’s theme)
Q.        Which was the first World Series where each team had its league’s batting champ and RBI champ?
Hint:     All those players in the question are now in the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     They were inducted in the same year
Hint:     The managers of both teams are in the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     Both managers entered the Hall of Fame in the same year.
Hint:     Due to infrastructure issue, the Series was not televised.
A.         1909 WORLD SERIES
-  Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb were the league leaders in both categories.  [Cobb hit .377 and knocked in 107 runs.  Both measures led the majors, as did his Triple-Crown-clinching 9 home runs.  Wagner’s stats were .339, 100 RBI.]
-  Wagner & Cobb were inducted to the Hall together in 1936, the Hall’s first “class”.
-  Managers Fred Clarke (PIT) and Hughie Jennings (DET) were elected posthumously to the Hall in 1945, but not actually inducted until 2013.
-  Television wasn’t invented until 1927 and the first televised major league ball game wasn’t until 1939.
FCR -  Pat Ray, Paradise Valley, Arizona
Incorrect guesses:  1946, 1956, 1963

WEEKLY THEME – Players who hit 4 home runs in a single game AND homered in an All-Star game.

Name                    4 HR G          ASG HR          ASG Venue                              Off
Gehrig............... 03-Jun-1932...... 1936......... Braves Field (Boston).................. C. Davis
                                                      1937......... Griffith Stadium (DC)                           Dizzy Dean

Hodges.............. 31-Aug-1950..... 1951......... Briggs Stadium (Detroit)............. F. Hutchinson

Mays................. 30-Apr-1961...... 1956......... Griffith Stadium (DC).................. W. Ford
                                                      1960b....... Yankee Stadium (NY).................. W. Ford
                                                      1965......... Metropolitan Stadium (KC)........... M. Papas

Colavito............. 10-Jun-1959...... 1959b**.... L.A. Coliseum.......................... Roy Face

Schmidt............. 17-Apr-1976...... 1981......... Cleveland Stadium.......................... R. Fingers

Gennett............. 06-Jun-2017...... 2018......... Nationals Stadium (DC).................. E.Diaz

**Only one here to do both in the same season.  (And it got him no better than 4th in the 1959 MVP voting, behind a trio of pennant-winning White Sox future Hall of Famers.)

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – R.D. Lerner, Silver Spring, Maryland

*     Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Hall of Famers with the arm of Ramon Laureano, the power of Joey Gallo, the speed of Byron Buxton, the hand-eye coordination of Mike Trout and the fielding prowess of Andrelton Simmons.

Wed        -  Players with 4 home runs in a game
               -  Players with 4 home runs in a game at least 300 HR in their career
               -  Players who have multiple time MVPs in the Hall of Fame

Thurs      -  4 home run/game men who also played on a World Championship Team during their career

Fri           -  Players who hit 4 home runs in one game in the 20th century
               -  Players with 4 HR in one game plus hey have hit more than 350 career home runs
               -  Players with 4 HR in one game plus hey have hit more than 370 career home runs

Sat          -  4 hr/game guys, team won the ball game and scored double figure runs
               -  Hit 4 HR in a game and in the All-Star Game the same year

Sunday   -  The only players to hit their four home runs in a game in an even numbered month- April, June, August. All the others were in an odd numbered month – May, July, September (none in March).
-                     -  All on the road

Sunday, April 21, 2019

2019-04-15 Select players traded for Doyle Alexander

Questions, hints and theme submitted by Patrick Ray of Paradise Valley, Arizona.

Q.        Who is the only pitcher in major league history to record both 200 wins and 150 saves?
Hint:     Tiger Woods called him the best golfer outside of the PGA Tour that he has seen.
Hint:     He is a distant cousin of Hall of Famer Charlie Gehringer.
A.         JOHN SMOLTZ  [SABR Bio]
-  213 W/154 S
-  “Smoltzy?  Well, I had not ever played with an amateur that had ever shot the scores he shot... I've gone out there with him when he's shot 69-67 in the same day … so it's pretty phenomenal.” ~Tiger Woods.
-  “My grandmother was a Gehringer.” ~John Smoltz during the playoff broadcast on 11-Jun-2016.
FCR -  Jess Forrest, Chicago
Incorrect guesses:  Dennis Eckersley, Tom Glavine

Q.        Who won a Rookie of the Year Award, a Triple Crown, two Most Valuable Player awards and the Presidential Medal of Freedom?
Hint:     He is one of only two major league players to have his number retired by three different organizations.
Hint:     He hit a home run in first at bat as a player-manager.
-  His #20 retired in Cincinnati, Baltimore & Cleveland (Nolan Ryan has also had his uniform number thrice retired.)
-  HR as Mgr 08-Apr-1975 off Doc Medich of NYY
FCR -  Samuel Olken, Chicago
Incorrect guesses:  Dan Bankhead   

Q.        What former Rookie of the Year hit a home run in his first major-league at-bat?
Hint:     He has a no-hitter on his major league résumé.
Hint:     He also served two years in prison.
-  1st AB HR = 03-Sep-1974 off Charlie Hough
-  No-no = 26-Sep-1976 vs. ATL
-  Indicted in December 1997 and released on bail in November 1999; acquitted in February 2000 of the most serious charges and found guilty of criminal trespass and simple assault and so sentenced to three years of probation.
FCR -  David Krassin, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses:  Dwight Gooden, Hoyt Wilhelm, Vida Blue, Denny McLain, Ron LeFlore, Steve Howe, Bo Belinsky

Q.        What 24-year veteran catcher is the uncle of former baseball commentator on Canadian television?
Hint:     He (the uncle) won a Little League World Series championship and an MLB World Series championship.
Hint:     He owns a brew pub in one of the best possible locations.
A.         RICK DEMPSEY  [SABR Bio]
-  Gregg Zaun, former MLB catcher, is Dempsey’s nephew and was regularly seen from 2006 through 2017 between innings during Blue Jays games, among other events.
-  LLWS in 1963 with Canoga Park-Woodland Hills, California; WS in 1983 w/BAL.  In fact, he was the WS MVP n ’83.
-  Restaurant located inside the gates at OPACY.
FCR -  Gene Baccaglini, Columbia, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Carlton Fisk, Gary Sheffield , Rusty Staub, Tim McCarver, Bob Ueker

Q.        What righty led the league in saves and games finished then was in the top five for the Cy Young Award and top 25 for the MVP award in his last full year in the majors?
Hint:     He has more games finished, saves and strikeouts and a better career pitcher’s WAR than any other pitcher born in his state.
Hint:     He grew up in the same small town where, over century ago, my Scottish great‑grandparents made a new life, benefiting from the homesteaded act.  It’s also now known as “Baseball Town, USA”.
A.         DUANE WARD
-  In 1993, Ward had 45 S (tied w/ KCR’s Jeff Montgomery), 70 GF, finished #5 in CYA voting, tied for 22nd in league MVP voting and…oh yeah, led his team to a World Series championship.
-  His 272 GF, 121 S & 678 K plus 10.15 WAR led all pitchers born in the state of New Mexico.
-     Farmington, New Mexico, a town with fewer than 300 people at its founding in 1901, occupies the northwesternmost corner of the state.  Archibald and Stella Meikle and their infant daughter Margaret (my grandmother) made a 160 acres granted them by the federal government in 1904 into a moderately successful farm.
FCR -  Steve Klitzner, North Miami Beach
Incorrect guesses:  Bob Gibson, Rich Gossage, Mike Marshall, Dennis Eckersley, Lee Smith, Mike Mussina, Keith Foulke

Q.        What pitcher led his league in ERA at the age of 35, but never led the league in any other major category during his sixteen-year career?
Hint:     In his MLB debut, he pitched nine innings, gave up one hit but no earned runs, struck out ten, but took a no-decision.
Hint:     One of his Oakland, California high school teammates was a future Hall of Famer.
A.         RUDY MAY
-  2.46 ERA for NYY in 1980 led the AL
-  Debut G = 18-Apr-1965
-  Attended Castlemont High School, Oakland w/Joe Morgan
FCR -  Michael Ageno, San Francisco
Incorrect guesses:  Bob Forsch, Saul Rogovin, Vernon Law, Rick Honeycutt

Q.        What former Yankee and Minnesota Twin’s only All-Star appearance was in the same season he led his team to a World Series championship?
Hint:     This former Ram was in the tenth year of his fourteen-season career.
Hint:     In his ninth season, he had parlayed a Player of the Week Award into a Pitcher of the Month Award.
Hint:     A grass roots fan club was created for him near the bullpen where home fans blew on an official whistle every time he came into the game.
-  AS + WS = 1983; Played for NYY in 1974-76, for MIN in 1988.
-  Attended Colorado State University.
-  Was voted AL Player of the Week near the end of July 1982 when he had finished 6 straight G, including a W & 2 S.  That topped off a terrific July where he appeared in 16 of the Os’ 27 G w/4saves, 2 holds and a W.
-  “Tippy’s Tweeters” were a grass roots fan club was created for Martinez near the bullpen in left field of Memorial Stadium in 1980.  Fans blew on an Official Oriole Tweeter every time he came into the game as the reliever and again if he struck out the side.
FCR -  Steve Berman, Bergenfield, New Jersey
Incorrect guesses:  Roger Erickson, Jim Bouton, Carl Pavano

Q.        What BBTL 13-year veteran pitcher played high school baseball with a first-ballot Hall of Famer whom he later held to a .222 BA in the majors?
Hint:     He plunked me not once but twice during a fantasy fan fantasy day at the park of the team with whom he spent his entire major league career.
Hint:     He has been an All-Star, a 20-game winner and a part-time pastor at a Christian church.
-  El Segundo High School, California with George Brett, who went 12-54 against McGregor.
-  Plunking took place at OPACY during a fan appreciation celebration in October 2009.  McGregor spent his playing career and is spending his post-playing career with the Orioles.
-  …that is when he’s not preaching at the Rock City Church.
-  Had a 20-8 record in 1980 and was an AS the next year in Cleveland, but did not play.
FCR -  Steve Klitzner, North Miami Beach
Incorrect guesses:  Preacher Roe, Vern Law

Q.        Who was the last player from the Quebec Provincial League to reach the majors?
Hint:     Taking full advantage of the geography of North America, he finished his professional career in the Mexican League.
Hint:     His lone home run in the majors came at the expense of John Candelaria.
Hint:     He did not write “Rita’s Tune”.
Hint:     If you have locked on to this week’s theme, he should not be difficult to identify.
A.         PEPE FRIAS
-  Frias played for the Quebec City Carnavals in 1971.  The independent Quebec Provincial League folded at the end of that year.  It had been a haven for black and Indian players excluded from organized baseball.
-  HR = 02-May-1979
FCR -  Steve Berman, Bergenfield, New Jersey
Incorrect guesses: 

WEEKLY THEME – Players traded for Doyle Alexander

Traded by LAD to BAL for Frank Robinson 02-Dec-1971

Traded by BAL to NYY for Rick Dempsey, Tippy Martinez, Rudy May & Scott McGregor 15-Jun-1976

Traded by TEX to ATL for Pepe Frias 06-Dec-1979

Traded by ATL to SFG for John Montefusco 12-Dec-1980

Traded by TOR to ATL for Duane Ward 06-Jul-1986

Traded by ATL to DET for John Smoltz 12-Aug-1987

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeMichael Craig, Gilbert, Arizona (after Robinson)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  National League pitchers who recorded a win and save in the World Series
               -  The good parts of some of the most lopsided trades in history
               -  Hall of Famers involved in lopsided trades