Sunday, August 25, 2019

2019-08-19 Players who tied for Awards

Q.        Who is the only player to win ten Gold Glove Awards playing first base?
Hint:     When “game-winning-RBI” was an official statistic, he set the record for the most in a single season.
Hint:     He was Tom Seaver’s 3,000th career strikeout victim.
-  GG 1978-88 11 in all
-  24 GWRBI in 1985
-  3K K = 18-Apr-1981, 4th inning
FCR -  Creg Stephenson, Theodore, Alabama
Incorrect guesses:  Steve Garvey, Don Mattingly, Eddie Murray, Gil Hodges, John Olerud, Wes Parker

Q.        Who is the only reliever with more saves than Mariano River from 2004 through 2009?
Hint:     He became the all-time saves leader for the second major league team he pitched for, now a 119-year-old franchise.
Hint:     No pitcher in MLB history with at least 350 career saves, has a higher save percentage.
A.         JOE NATHAN

-  2004-09 = 246 S (Rivera had 243)
-  260 S (Rick Aguilera ended w/254).  Got his 255th S 10-Aug-2011 vs. BOS.
-  Save pct. = .89125  (Rivera’s = .89071)
FCR -  Kellen Nielson, Blanding, Utah
Incorrect guesses:  Mariano Rivera, Billy Wagner, Jonathan Papelbon, Francisco Rodriquez, Craig Kimbrel, Trevor Hoffman, Lee Smith, Dennis Eckersley, Todd Jones

Q.        Who was the first pitcher to hit a home run in a League Championship Series?
Hint:     He was the first native of his home country to be selected by each league for All‑Star competition.
Hint:     Three of his teammate moundsmen all racked up 20 pitching victories one season.
A.         MIKE CUELLAR  [SABR Bio]
-  HR hit off Jim Perry (that year’s Cy Young Award winner), 4th inning, G 1 ALCS 03‑Oct‑1970
-  AS rep in 1967 for HOU, NL and 1970, 71 & 74 for BAL.  First Cuban native to do so.
-  As did he.  1971.  The other 3 smiles seen here belong to Jim Palmer, Pat Dobson & Dave McNally.
FCR -  Joe Liss, Metairie, Louisiana
Incorrect guesses:  Bert Blyleven, Don Gullett, Dennis Martinez, Don Robinson, Dave McNally, Frank Robinson 

Q.        What six-time avian All-Star never played for the Cardinals, the Orioles or Blue Jays?
Hint:     Yet he did play for the Cougars.
Hint:     He played on the team where, for the first time, four different players each topped thirty home runs the year they won the pennant.
Hint:     It took Columbo two times to recognize him.
A.         RON CEY
-  According to Wikipedia, he was nicknamed “The Penguin” for his slow, waddling running gait by his college coach, Chuck ‘Bobo’ Brayton.  However, one look at him walking and you knew he had borne that sobriquet his entire life.
-  Played college ball at Washington State University under legendary coach, Chuck ‘Bobo’ Brayton.
-  In 1977 LAD won the NL flag w/Steve Garvey, Reggie Smith, Dusty Baker and Cey hitting 33, 32, 30 & 30 HR respectively.
-  In episode #5 of Season 9 of the “Columbo” series, the wry, sly detective brilliantly played by Peter Falk, interrupts a celebrity poker game in search of clues.  It’s only when he comes back to the game later that he realizes that it’s a celebrity game.  He says (ISTR) “Say!  You’re Ron Cey!”  For good measure, that episode was written by Stephen Bochco.
FCR -  Jerry Miller, Liberty Hill, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Steve Garvey, Reggie Smith, Davy Johnson, Edgar Martinez, Steve Yeager, Burt Hooton, Alex Rodriguez 

Q.        Who surrendered Reggie Jackson’s first World Series home run?
Hint:     Before the White Sox did it, his team was the only one that had three pitchers string together three complete games in a League Championship Series.  (Yes.  He was one of said stringers.)
Hint:     In his third full season, he led the league with seven shutouts and posted a sub2.50 ERA but got not a single Cy Young Award vote.
Hint:     He once pitched nine days after having his skull fractured by a line drive that hit him in the forehead.
A.         JON MATLACK  [SABR Bio]
-  Jackson’s 1st WS HR = G 7 1973
-  Tom Seaver, Matlack & Jerry Koosman pitched CGs 1, 2 & 3 of the 1973 NLC.  CHW did it in G 2, 3, 4 and 5 of the 2005 ALCS (cleverly saving the Big Guy for the WS).
-  Led MLB* w/7 ShO in 1974 & had a 2.41 ERA (3rd-best in the majors) but posted a 13-15 won-loss record.  (BK would love that one!)
      *Tied w/AL leader Tiant.
-  Matlack retells the story of his head injury here.
FCR -  Timothy Brownlee, Ocean Springs, Mississippi
Incorrect guesses:  Jerry Koosman, Burt Hooton, Andy Messersmith, Don Gullett, Tug McGraw

Q.        What pitcher set a major league expansion era record by winning his first twelve career decisions?
Hint:     He was the first rookie to lead his league in games finished (60 min.).
Hint:     Craig Kimbrel broke his record for the most pitching appearances in a rookie year.
A.         BUTCH METZGER  [SABR Bio]
-  1-0 in 1974; 1-0 in 1975; 10-0 in 1976 before his first loss 28-Aug.  Hooks Wiltse had a similar record in 1904
-  Finished 62 G for SDP in 1976.
-  Pitched in 77 G in 1976 which led the NL for rookies.  Kimbrel had 79 in 2011.
FCR -  Jeff Fink, Howell, New Jersey
Incorrect guesses:  Fernando Valenzuela, Mark Fidrych, Todd Worrell, Phil Regan, Dick Radatz, Bo Belinsky, Neftali Feliz, Ron Davis, John Smoltz, Mike Marshall, Mark Eichorn

Q.        What former Tar led his league in triples in (appropriately) his third year?
Hint:     His fielding was compared favorably to that of Brooks Robinson and Billy Cox by legendary manager Gene Mauch.
Hint:     He was a holdout following a quality rookie season but got what he wanted when his manager interceded with the famously stingy French-Canadian owner.
Hint:     His congenital spondylosis eventually signaled the end of his major league career.  He is now the proud veteran of eight (8!) back surgeries.
A.         JOHN CASTINO  [SABR Bio]
-  Tars (sailors) are the sports mascot of Rollins College in Orlando where Castino was playing when he was drafted.  Led the AL w/9 3b in 1981.
-  From SABR:  Shortly after his successful rookie season, Castino received a contract from Calvin Griffith for the 1980 season.  “I received $21,000 during my rookie season and Griffith was offering just $27,500,” said Castino, who mailed an unsigned contract to his boss with a request for $50,000.  That didn’t please the Twins owner, who was known for keeping payroll down.  “I was at a banquet in Florida where I was being honored as co-Rookie of the Year.  Griffith made a loud entrance and bellowed, “Hey Castino!  I got you by the balls.  If you don’t sign the contract you’ll be out of baseball.”  When spring training began, the Twins third baseman was still unsigned.  Hoping to get what he wanted, he sat down with his skipper in the manager’s office.  “How can I help you, Rook?” asked Mauch. Castino explained the situation. Mauch then picked up the phone and called Griffith. “Give the kid his $50,000,” he said. Griffith agreed, and the deal was done.
-  Spondylosis didn’t show up until he reached for a ball hit by Dave Winfield.  The put a hairline fracture in his back and the condition he’d had all his life was revealed.
FCR -  Ken Kirk, Corning, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Mike Schmidt, David Wright, Coco Laboy, Tim Wallach, Max Alvis, Dale Long, Rodney Scott, Doug DeCinces       

WEEKLY THEME – Select players who tied with another player for a major award.

Cuellar & Denny McLain – 1969 Cy Young Award
Matlack & Bill Madlock – 1975 All-Star Game MVP
Metzger & Pat Zachry – 1976 NL ROY
Hernandez & Willie Stargell – 1979 NL MVP
Castino & Alfredo Griffin – 1979 AL ROY
Cey & Pedro Guerrero & Steve Yeager – 1981 WS MVP
Nathan & Mariano Rivera – 2009 Rolaids Reliever Award

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeBob Charkovsky, Ashton, Maryland (After Hernandez!)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Players who cameo’d on SEINFELD
               -  Players with the most consecutive games hitting Home Runs

Tuesday -  Hall of Famers born in California in October.

Wed        -  Hall of Famers born in California in October.
               -  The worst trades in MLB history (or best, depending on the end of the telescope through which we are peering)


Sunday, August 18, 2019

2019-08-12 Former players now on the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors.

Q.        What shortstop had more assists in the National League than anyone else in the history of that position?
Hint:     He led the majors in games played and plate appearances the year labor disputes cost the majors 713 games.
Hint:     The only player ahead of him with more games at shortstop who has never played another position, is in the Hall of Fame.
A.         OZZIE SMITH  [SABR Bio]
-  Had 8,375 A @ SS.  The current NL leader is Brandon Crawford w/3,239.
-  In the 1981 strike he played all 110 G w/507 PA in his last year for SDP.
-  Louis Aparicio played 2,581 G @ SS & nowhere else. Ozzie played 2,511 @ SS & nowhere else & is also, of course, in the Hall of Fame as well.  Derek Jeter has more games at SS, 2,674, but he also “played” DH.
FCR -  Richard Masson, Lexington, Kentucky
Incorrect guesses:  Barry Larkin, Cal Ripken, Omar Vizquel, Larry Bowa, Ozzie Guillen, Rabbit Maranville, Don Kessinger, Dave Concepcion

Q.        Who is the only American League shortstop to win more than one Most Valuable Player Award?
Hint:     He holds the league record for winning MVPs the most years apart.
Hint:     He was the Grand Marshall of the Fiesta Bowl parade in the off-season once during the height of his career.
A.         CAL RIPKEN  [SABR Bio]
-  MVPs 1983 & 1991.  Most years between MVPs since the BBWAA took over the voting.  Otherwise Walter Johnson (1913 & 1924) and Lou Gehrig (1927 & 1936) would have longer MVP gaps.
FCR -  Jerry Miller, Liberty Hill, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Alex Rodriguez, Robin Yount, Lou Boudreau, Derek Jeter

Q.        What former Oakland A’s player’s record for career bases-on-balls by a National Leaguer did Barry Bonds break?
Hint:     Once, after joining a new team, he proceeded to lead the league in on-base percentage four out his first five seasons, twice leading the majors.
Hint:     It’s not a stretch to say that he was the best player on the best team in the history of the majors.
A.         JOE MORGAN  [SABR Bio]
-  Morgan retired with 1,865 BB, 1,799 of which were in the NL.  Bonds now leads all players with 2,558, all done in the NL.  Morgan’s last year as a player, 1984, was spent with Oakland.
-  Joined CIN in 1972 and led the NL in OBP in ’72 & ’74, leading the majors in ’75 & ’76.
-  In 1976, the Cincinnati Reds won their division by 10 G over a very good Dodgers team, then went undefeated in the postseason, never done before or since in the Division era.  Morgan led the majors in multiple offensive categories and was a clear choice for MVP.  Finishing behind him were 3 teammates out of the next 7 vote-getters.  Bill James contends that Morgan is the best second baseman of all time.
FCR -  Steve Harmon, Sacramento
Incorrect guesses:  Willie McCovey, Ricky Henderson, Dave Parker, Gene Tenace, Jason Giambi, Mark McGwire, Bert Campaneris, Rogers Hornsby

Q.        What one-time White Sox infielder was the first Blue Jay to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game?
Hint:     He has the fourth best season batting average ever for the Baltimore Orioles.
Hint:     A year after twice leading the league in errors at his position, he won the Gold Glove Award at his position.
-  On 10-May-1991 Alomar hit a home run at SkyDome off Bobby Thigpen, a righty, to tie the score in the 9th inning.  Then in the 11th, he took Scott Radinsky, a lefty, deep to tie the game again.  However, TOR lost on a 12th-inning HR by young Sammy Sosa.
-  His .333 in 1997 trails only Melvin Mora, Cal Ripken and Al Bumbry for the O’s since 1954.
FCR -  Jesse Asbury, Norman, Oklahoma
Incorrect guesses:  Chipper Jones, Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray, Miguel Tejada

Q.        Who entered the Hall of Fame the same day as a former teammate, native to his same state, but fifteen years his senior.
Hint:     They also played the same position!
Hint:     He only played for one major league team and in one home park, but now works for the team at their new location.
Hint:     The newer of those stadiums boasts not one, but two statues of him.
-  Inducted into HoF in 1983 with former teammate George Kell.  They were teammates w/BAL 1956-57.  Brooks got 14 & 47 G @ 3rd those seasons.  Kell got 97 & 80.
-  Played for BAL 1955-1977 at Memorial Stadium which housed them 1954-1991.  Brooks is now a Special Advisor to the Orioles.
- His statue within the gates of Oriole Park at Camden Yards is located in Statue Garden with similar likenesses of 5 other Oriole Hall of Famers, to wit, Jim Palmer, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken and Earl Weaver..  Just outside the gates, but still on the stadium site is a statue of Babe Ruth.  However, immediately across the street from the stadium is a statue of Brooks that you’ll have to see to understand why it is so apt and unlike the others.  Click here (…or call me up when you are in Baltimore and we’ll go see it together.)
FCR -  Jerry Miller, Liberty Hill, Texas)
Incorrect guesses:  Al Kaline, Stan Musial, Kirby Puckett, Ozzie Smith, Chipper Jones, Bob Uecker, George Bell

Q.        Which 300-game-winning pitcher still needed 269 of those by the time he reached the age of 30?
Hint:     In his 24-season sojourn in the majors, this one-time Cleveland Indian only had three 20-game winning seasons.
Hint:     At the height of his career, he won the Lou Gehrig Award then the Roberto Clemente Award in successive seasons.
A.         PHIL NIEKRO  [SABR Bio]
-  Had turned 25 two weeks before his major league debut.
-  Won 23 in 1969, 20 in ’74 & 21 in ’79.
-  He spent 21 seasons w/The Braves but also played for NYY, CLE & TOR.
FCR -  David Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect guesses:  Randy Johnson, Gaylord Perry, Early Wynn, Jamie Moyer, Orel Hershiser, Don Sutton

Q.        Who was the first player from a National League expansion team to win an MVP, Cy Young or Rookie of the Year Award?
Hint:     He recently had to flee fires.
Hint:     His father was a member of the US Walker Cup golf team.
A.         TOM SEAVER  [SABR Bio]
-  He won the NL Rookie of the Year for the New York Mets in 1967.
-  He and his wife had to abandon their northern California home as out-of-control brush fires and forest fires threatened their home in 2017.
-  Father Charles Seaver was a legendary amateur golfer.
FCR -  Ken Kirk, Corning, New York
Incorrect guesses:  A.J. Burnett, Rusty Staub

WEEKLY THEME – Former players now on the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors.



First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRandall Chandler, Germantown, Tennessee

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  HOF short stops who played their entire career with one team
               -  HOF or MVP shortstops
               -  HOF shortstops who played over 2000 games
               -  HOF’ers who played for one team their entire career

Wed        -  HOF infielders who won a World Series
               -  HOF infielders who won a Golden Glove
               -  HOF infielders who won a Silver Slugger
               -  HOF infielders who won a World Series, Golden Glove and Silver Slugger
               -  Top middle infielders of the 70s and 80s

Thurs      -  Middle infielders in the Hall of Fame
               -  Expansion (1961-) middle infielders in HOF

Fri           -  Oriole HOFers