Sunday, July 28, 2019

2019-07-22 Players who led the league in on-base-percentage four consecutive seasons in the modern era

Q.        Who got on base in regular season games more often than any other qualifying batter in major league history?
Hint:     Interestingly, John McGraw (as a player) ranks third on that list.
Hint:     He (not McGraw) leads his franchise in at least 18 different offensive categories.
Hint:     He only played for that team in the majors.
A.         TED WILLIAMS  [SABR Bio]
- His .482 career OBP is not in any danger of being equaled any time soon.  Joey Votto is the current active leader at .422.
- McGraw racked up a healthy .466 OBP, behind only Babe Ruth’s .474 and Williams’.
- Williams in the Red Sox leader in so MANY areas.  Go here for the full list:
FCR -  S. R. Wright, Naperville, Illinois
Incorrect guesses:  Edgar Martinez

Q.        Whose .358 lifetime average is the highest ever by a right-handed hitter?
Hint:     He is the only right-handed batter in National League history to record 250 hits in a season.  (“Record”?  Yeah.  Why not?)
Hint:     He the first player in major league history to record 2,000 hits in a decade.
Hint:     The guy could RAKE!
-  Only Ty Cobb’s career batting average is higher [.366].
-  Got 250 H in 1922
-  He averaged 200 H/yr, a goal players feel proud to get even once.  He actually did it twice.  1919-28 = 202 H/yr then 1920-29 = 209 H/yr.
FCR -  Art Loomstein, St. Louis
Incorrect guesses:  Joe Jackson, Hank Aaron, Chuck Klein

Q.        Who is the first player in history to have four straight 200-hit seasons in which he also got walked 100 times in each of those years?
Hint:     Only he and Ty Cobb have pitched in a major league game before getting 3,000 hits and then also pitched after hitting that milestone.
Hint:     Though he never played for them, he had a tangential relationship with the San Diego Padres.
Hint:     He once said of his teammates, “I didn't know if the guys on the team wanted to hug me or slug me.”
A.         WADE BOGGS  [SABR Bio]
-  First pitched              3,000th H                   Pitched again
   01-Sep-1918        19-Aug-1921 (2)  04-Oct-1925 (Cobb)
   19-Aug-1997        07-Aug-1999        10-Aug-1999 (Boggs)
-  The occasion of his remark was the longest documented professional baseball game ever between the Rochester Red Wings and Boggs’s Pawtucket Red Sox played over 18/19-Apr-1981.  It lasted 33 innings, 8 hours and 25 minutes.  His sentiment about his teammates came about when Boggs drove in the tying run in the bottom of the 21st inning to prolong the proceedings.
-  Because of Boggs’s highly-disciplined, insanely regimented pre-game chicken meal, he was eventually nicknamed “Chicken Man”.  During that time, SDP had a guy, Ted Giannoulas, as their semi-official mascot.  He was their chicken man as he dressed in an elaborate chicken costume for games and even community activities.
FCR -  Nels Johnston, St. Thomas, Ontario
Incorrect guesses:  Ted Williams, Barry Bonds, Pete Rose, Johnny Pesky, Ichiro Suzuki, Babe Ruth

Q.        Who is the only player to win league MVPs in consecutive years for different teams?
Hint:     He was born in the same California city as were his father, Dusty Baker, Ken Hubbs, Alvin Davis, Adam Kennedy, Bobby Kielty, Chief Meyers, Troy Percival, Eric Show and Kawhi Leonard.
Hint:     His father was the first major leaguer to have more than two 30/30 seasons.
Hint:     He attended and played for, the same university as did his Hall of Fame cousin.
A.         BARRY BONDS  [SABR Bio]
-  MVP 1992 for PIT; MVP 1993 for SFG
-  Born in the city where my mother was born, Riverside, California.
-  Bobby Bonds had 30/30 seasons in 1969, 73, 75, 77 & 78.  He had an amazing 11 seasons of 20/20.
-  Attended Arizona State University as did Reggie Jackson
FCR -  Alan Miller, Berkeley Hills, California
Incorrect guesses:  Frank Robinson, Steve Garvey, Prince Fielder, Mickey Cochrane, Ken Griffey, Jr., Frank Robinson

Q.        What player once explained his defensive training thus:  “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:     He never did win a Gold Glove Award.
Hint:     He had to settle for only one RBI in his final season after having 100 RBI each of his previous 13 seasons.
Hint:     His 220 hits were the most ever by an American League player during a 40 home run season.
A.         LOU GEHRIG  [SABR Bio]
-  The Gold Glove was first awarded in 1957.  Gehrig’s career ended in 1939.
-  In 1930, he matched his 220 H, a personal high, with 41 HR.
FCR -  Sarah Grynpas, Toronto
Incorrect guesses:  Not Ozzie Smith, Cal Ripken, Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx, Jim Thome, TroyTulowitzky, Robinson Cano, Freddie Freeman

Q.        What active position player leads all other current National Leaguers in career WAR?
Hint:     He is the only major leaguer to win the Lou Marsh Trophy twice.
Hint:     In the end, he turned Mel Ott around.
A.         JOEY VOTTO
-  WAR of 59.5  (Next closest in Ryan Braun at 47.2.)
-  Won the Lou Marsh Trophy in 2010 & 2017.  (Wayne Gretzky is the only 4‑time winner.)
-  “tto” is the reverse of “ott”.  (You know… in the end.)
FCR -  Adrian Fung, Toronto
Incorrect guesses:  Mike Trout, Walter Pujols, Clayton Kershaw, Albert Pujols, Bryce Harper

Q.        Who is the youngest player to win the J.G. Taylor Spink Award?
Hint:     He  was the 25th player picked in the amateur draft and was not his team’s first pick.
Hint:     He could easily win the Tim Duncan-John Olerud Bland Interview Award.
Hint:     His father holds the 4th highest NCAA batting average for a season (min. 150 AB).
A.         MIKE TROUT
-  Won the Spink Award at 19 years 2 months in 2010.  [Topps presents the J.G. Taylor Spink Award to the Topps/Minor League Player of the Year.  This award should not be confused with the identically named J. G. Taylor Spink Award that is the highest award given by the Baseball Writers Association of America (BBWAA).]
-  Picked 25th by LAA in 2009 one slot behind Randal Grichuk.
-  He seems like he’d rather be doing anything else when he’s being interviewed.
-  Father Jeff Trout played for the University of Delaware and hit .519 in 1983.
FCR -  John Romps, Dover New Hampshire
Incorrect guesses:  Damon Berryhill,

WEEKLY THEME – Players who led the league in on-base-percentage four consecutive seasons in the modern era.

Player           Year    to    Year
Boggs.......... 1985......... 1989         5X
Bonds.......... 2001......... 2004         4X
Gehrig......... 1934......... 1937         4X
Hornsby....... 1920......... 1925         6X
Trout............ 2016......... 2019*       4X
Votto............ 2010......... 2013         4X
Williams...... 1946......... 1949         4X or 7X**
*Assuming he finishes this season as AL leader.
**Had also led the AL in OBP 1940-1942 before spending 1943-45 in the service.

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemePatrick Ray, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  League leaders with losing managerial records
               -  Most hits by decade

Wed        -  Something to do with consecutive batting titles

Friday     -  3 or more consecutive OBP titles
               -  Consecutive seasons with over .450 OBP
               -  .450+ OBP in 3 consecutive years

Sunday   -  5+ times OBP league leader in a career
               -  3+ consecutive years leading league in OBP
               -  4+ consecutive years over .400 OBP
               -  1+ year over .450 OBP
               -  Career over .415 OBP

Monday, July 22, 2019

2019-07-15 BLTR Batters who led the NL in HR (Min. 40)

Q.        Who was the first National League player in the modern era to hit four home runs in one game?
Hint:     He was the first outfielder voted Most Valuable Player by the BBWAA, as it is done today.
Hint:     No other outfielder in any league in the modern era had more outfield assists than he did in the season where he also led the majors in total bases.  Both were personal bests.
A.         CHUCK KLEIN  [SABR Bio]
-  4 HR 10-Jul-1936, 10-inning G
-  NL MVP 1932, by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.  No other player received even 1 1st-place vote and all for 4th-place PHI.
-  44 OF A in 1930 w/445 TB (4th best all-time)
FCR -  Mike Eisenbath, St. Charles, Missouri
Incorrect guesses:  Willie Mays, Ed Delahanty, Roberto Clemente, Joe Medwick, Joe Adcock, Mel Ott, May’s

Q.        Who was the first player to hit thirty home runs for each of six consecutive seasons for the Cleveland Indians?
Hint:     He once hit a home run in each of seven consecutive games.
Hint:     Ryan Howard broke his franchise record for most RBI by a Phillie in an expansion‑era season.
Hint:     He retired as an Oriole before catching up to Reggie.
A.         JIM THOME  [SABR Bio]

-  30+ HR 1996-2001 for CLE
-  7 straight G w/HR 25-Jun through 03-Jul-2002.
-  131 RBI for PHI in 2003.  Howard broke it 4 X, 2006-09.
-  Finished in 2012 w/BAL w/2,548 K, 2nd only to Reggie Jackson’s all-time record of 2,597.
FCR -  Frank Prusik, Gaithersburg, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Jim Gentile, Albert Belle, Cola Vito, Rocky Colavito, All Rosen (sic), Greg Luzinski, Manny Ramirez    

Q.        Who is the youngest position player ever to make a major league All-Star team?
Hint:     It wasn’t until his fourth season in the Bigs that he faced a pitcher younger than he was.
Hint:     He is one of only seven 22-year-olds to hit 40 home runs in a season.
-  19 yrs old for ASG in 2012.  He walked and struck out.
-  Faced Jacob Lindgren on 10-Jun-2015.  It was Lindgren’s 6th & penultimate G in MLB.  He is 5 months younger than Harper 12-Mar-1993 to Harper’s 16‑Oct‑1992.
-  The other 6 are Johnny Bench, Joe DiMaggio, Juan Gonzalez, Eddie Mathews, Mel Ott & Alex Rodriguez.
FCR -  Dan Silverberg, Aventura, Florida
Incorrect guesses:  Al Kaline, Andrew Jones, Tony Conigliaro, Alex Rodriguez, Mel Ott, Ken Griffey, Jr., Eddie Mathews, Robin Yount

Q.        What one-time Detroit Tiger twice led the National League in home runs?
Hint:     He was the first player to hit two home runs in each of two different opening day games.
Hint:     He was over .500 as a manager only in his final season.
A.         EDDIE MATHEWS  [SABR Bio]
-  47 HR in 1953 & 46 HR in 1959 for MLN.  Played for DET 1967-68.
-  2 X 2 HR: 13-Apr-1954 & 14-Apr-1958
-  50-49 for the 1974 Braves
FCR -  R. D. Lerner, Silver Spring, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Rusty Staub, Jim Thome, Norm Cash, Kirk Gibson, Darrell Evans, Frank Howard, Hank Greenberg

Q.        Who once set a record of 92 RBI, then the fewest recorded in a 40-home-run season?
Hint:     He was the first player to hit his 400th career home run playing for the Mets.
Hint:     He once blurted out, live over the air on a radio broadcast, boasting of his own slugging prowess at the plate, on a Ford Motor Company Broadcast no less, that “The Cadillacs are down at the end of the bat.”
Hint:     No National Leaguer has more World Series home runs.
A.         DUKE SNIDER  [SABR Bio]
-  1957 = 40 HR, 92 RBI (Fewer RBI had now been hit in a 40-HR season by Ken Griffey, Jr. in 1994, Barry Bonds in 2003; Mike Trout in 2015 and Joey Gallo in 2017 with a remarkable 41 HR and only 80 RBI!)
-  NYM HR 14-Jun-1963 off CIN’s Bob Purkey
-  11 WS HR
FCR -  Jerry Miller, Liberty Hill, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Dave Kingman, Gil Hodges, Al Kaline, Willie Mays, Mike Piazza, George Foster, Ralph Kiner, Carlos Beltran

Q.        Who was the first National League left-handed batter to slug fifty home runs in a season?
Hint:     He homered three times for the Yankees in the same World Series when he was almost 40 years old.
Hint:     He was runner-up in the MVP balloting in consecutive seasons.
Hint:     He would receive MVP votes a total of nine additional times in his career without ever winning the award.
A.         JOHNNY MIZE  [SABR Bio]
-  51 HR in 1947
-  WS HR X 3 for NYY 1952
-  Consecutive MVP runner-up seasons (1939-1940)
FCR -  Charlie Fouche, Dalton, Georgia
Incorrect guesses:  Jim Thome, Ralph Kiner, Mel Ott

Q.        Who had a thirty/thirty season at thirty?
Hint:     He was the first player from his country to win an MVP.
Hint:     He was the first National Leaguer to have an extra-base hit in six consecutive plate appearances.
A.         LARRY WALKER  [SABR Bio]
-  Was 30/30 @ 30.  At 30 yrs old in 1997 hit 49 HR and stole 33 bases.
-  NL MVP in 1997 for COL.  Born in Maple Ridge, BC.
-  On 21-, 22-May-1996, against PIT, he had 2B, 3B, HR, 2B, 3B, 3B.
FCR -  Duncan Crowl, San Juan Capistrano, California
Incorrect guesses:  Sammy Sosa, Roberto Clemente, Alfonso Soriano, Cedeno, Vlad Guerrero, Shawn Green, Andre Dawson, Barry Bonds, Orlando Cepeda,

Q.        Who was the youngest player in major league history to hit 50 home runs in a season?
Hint:     Though an Ontario native, he attended high school in Melbourne.
Hint:     His nickname was “Uncle Phil”.
-  Hit 50 HR at age 23 in 2007.
-  Born in the city of Ontario, California;  Went to HS in Melbourne, Florida.
-  Teammate Delino DeShields (fils) nicknamed Fielder “Uncle Phil” based on the alleged resemblance with the avuncular character of the same name on the television show, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, played by actor James Avery.
FCR -  J.P. Wanamaker, Binghamton, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Jimmie Foxx, Mickey Mantle, Phil Nevin, Phil Cavarretta

WEEKLY THEME – National League BLTR season home run leaders (Minimum 40)

Fielder........ 50...... 2007
Harper........ 42...... 2015
Klein.......... 43...... 1929
Mathews.... 47...... 1953
................... 46...... 1959
Mize........... 43...... 1940
                    51...... 1947
                    40...... 1948
Snider........ 43...... 1956
Thome....... 47...... 2003
Walker....... 49...... 1997

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeSam Bass, Decatur, Georgia

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Prayer that won the betting triple crown (sic)

Friday     -  Hit grand slams for two or more National League teams

Sat          -  Players who hit 300 HRs.
               -  Players who hit HRs for two or more NL teams.
               -  Player who hit WS home runs.

Sunday   -  Left handed batters
               -  Pretty good lefthanded hitters with over 40 in year
               -  They all were first basemen
               -  Kings of the three great outcomes
               -  Players who led league in OBP and Slugging in same year
               -  Bats L Throws R players who led league in Slugging.
               -  BL TR
               -  They all batted left handed but threw right handed
               -  They were all right-handers who taught themselves how to bat left-handed. 
               -  Players with 200+ home runs and 500+ strike outs
               -  players who Bat left, throw right and hit 40 or more Home runs.
               -  How about left handed hitter who led the league in HR and RBI in the same season
               -  All bat left, throw right power hitters
               -  They were all left handed hitters
               -  They're all players who hit lefty but threw righthanded and hit at least 40 hr in a season for an NL team. They also all were named All Stars at least twice.
               -  All wired backwards and hit left-handed while throwing properly right handed
               -  All hit at least 400 home runs batting lefty, but throwing righty
               -  Left handed homerun champions and strikeout leaders