Monday, September 30, 2019

2019-09-23 Pennant-winning managers who hadn’t been with the team at the start of the season

Q.        Which Hall of Famer appeared in only 6 games during the last 5 seasons of his 18-year major league playing career?
Hint:     His on-field cheer became his nickname.
Hint:     He still shares the shortstop record of 425 put-outs in a season after more than 120 years.
Hint:     No one else has ever been hit by a pitch more times in a season or in a major league lifetime.
-  He was however the player/manager for DET in each of those seasons, inserting himself only occasionally into games as a player.
-  His famous yell was  “Ee-Yah!”
-  He set the record in 1895 and was tied in 1914 by Donie Bush.  Only 5 other SS have ever exceeded 400 in a season.
-  He holds both HBP records:  51 times in 1896 and 287 for a career.
FCR -  Michael Campos, Redmond, Washington
Incorrect guesses:  Fred Clarke, Alan Trammel, Ernie Banks, Minnie Minoso, Donie Bush, Rabbit Maranville, Leo Durocher

Q.        Which pitcher has the most career 20-win seasons for the Cleveland Indians?
Hint:     He never pitched for any other team in the majors.
Hint:     He trails only Wes Ferrell for career home runs by a pitcher.
Hint:     Who was the first American League hurler to give up a walk-off home run in the World Series.
A.         BOB LEMON  [SABR Bio]
-  Has 7 seasons of 20 or more wins
-  Played 13 years w/CLE.
-  Hit 37 HR, however, only 35 as a pitcher which ties him for second with Warren Spahn whose 35 were all hit in games he pitched.  Ferrell had 38, 37 as a pitcher.
-  He surrendered the 10th-inning, pinch-hit, walk-off home run to Dusty Rhodes in G 1 of the 1954 WS.
FCR -  Rich Ottone, Sykesville, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Bob Feller, Early Wynn, Sam McDowell, Stan Coveleski, Satchel Paige, Ralph Terry, Jim Bagby, Mel Harder

Q.        Who was the only National League catcher to hit a triple in the All-Star game?
Hint:     He was the first National League catcher to win the MVP under the current voting system.
Hint:     He participated in the World Series on a very regular basis, every three years, four times in a row.

-  AS G 3b in 1936 off Lefty Grove.
-  MVP in 1935 voted by the BBWAA, the same season his Cubs won the pennant.  That year, 4 additional teammates of his received MVP votes.
-  With neat 3-year intervals, the Cubs won the NL flag 1929, 1932, 1935 & 1938.
FCR -  Rich Klein, Plano, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Tim McCarver, Roy Campanella, Buster Posey

Q.        Who is the only manager with 25 years between Opening Day victories?
Hint:     So great is his commitment to church that he attends daily.  So great was his attachment to his cigars that he was known to leave a lighted cigar outside church while attending Mass only to pick up the stogie immediately following the service.  He stopped smoking, cold-turkey, following heart surgery.
Hint:     His son-in-law played for eight years in the majors.
Hint:     He was born the year an original Boston Red Stockings (1871) player died yet he managed players who are active in the majors in 2019.
A.         JACK McKEON  [SABR Bio]
-  Smoking trouble caused his cardiovascular issues and he had the wisdom and strength to quit.  He recently told a SABR group that he’s still tempted but has not had a smoke since he quit in 2013.
-  His son-in-law, Greg Booker, played principally for SDP.
-  Sam Jackson was a utility man for BOS in 1871 and died in 1930. With FLA in 2011 on his last year as manager, McKeon managed Giancarlo Stanton, Anibal Sanchez and 4 more are still active in 2019.
FCR -  Doug Wedge, Edmond, Oklahoma
Incorrect guesses:  Connie Mack, Felipe Alou, Tommy Lasorda, John McNamara, Tony LaRussa, Branch Rickey, Calvin Griffith, Yogi Berra, Joe Torre, Frank Robinson

Q.        Which player's wife was allowed to spread his ashes over the playing surface of Wrigley Field after his death?
Hint:     He led the league in fielding percentage more times that any other National League first baseman.
Hint:     He was incorrectly credited with a run-batted-in during a game in 1930, that when corrected almost 70 years later would alter one of baseball most revered records.
A.         CHARLIE GRIMM  [SABR Bio]
-  Charlie died in 1983 and his wife, Marion Sayers Grimm, obtained permission to spread his ashes on the field in April of 1984. Former Cubs owner Bill Wrigley assisted Mrs. Grimm. 
-  Led in fielding % 7 times.  Was never lower than .993% in the years he led: 1920, 23, 24, 28, 30, 32 & 33.
-  In the G on 28‑Jul‑1930(1) Grimm was credited with one of Hack Wilson’s 2 RBI. When the typo was discovered in 1999 by Cliff Kachline, one of SABR's founding members, it changed Wilson’s already unbreakable record for RBI in a season from 190 to 191.  Babe Ruth correctly predicted that his record of 60 HR in a season would be broken before Wilson’s RBI record.  No one has come within 25 of that record since 1938.
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect guesses:  Hack Wilson, Phil Cavarretta, Jim Leyland

Q.        Who married a former Miss Wisconsin two years after he led the majors in hits in his rookie season?
Hint:     In his first ten full Major League seasons, he hit over .300 in eight of them including winning an American League batting title.
Hint:     He played in one World Series and managed in another.
A.         HARVEY KUENN  [SABR Bio]
-  On 29-Oct-1955, he married former Miss Wisconsin 1954, Dixie Ann Sarchet in her hometown of Stevens Point, WI.  Playing for DET in 1953 he led MLB in H w/209 and was named AL Rookie of the Year.
-  AL Batting champ in 1959 w/.353.
-  Played for SFG in the 1962 WS losing to NYY in 7 G.  He managed MIL to the WS 20 years later, falling to STL in 7 G.
FCR -  Jeff Frost, Gilbertville, Iowa
Incorrect guesses:  Paul Molitor, Robin Yount, Ralph Kiner

Q.        Who was the last person to manage a major league game in street clothes?
Hint:     He earned the nickname “Barney” because of his speed.
Hint:     He was Duke Snider’s first managers in the majors.
Hint:     He helped Branch Rickey solve a religious dilemma.
A.         BURT SHOTTON  [SABR Bio]
-  Last game managed in civvies was Sunday, 01-Oct-1950.
-  An extremely swift center fielder during his playing days—Shotton averaged 38 SBs over his first six full seasons—he was nicknamed after Barney Oldfield, the celebrated late nineteenth-century/early twentieth-century bicycle/auto racer.
-  Snider’s debut was 17-Apr-1947, two days after Jackie Robinson’s. Since Dodger skipper Leo Durocher had been suspended by Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler prior to the season for consorting with gamblers, coach Clyde Sukeforth managed the team's first 2 game before Shotton became the permanent replacement.  So Snider’s debut was also Shotton’s first day as manager.
-  Branch Rickey had vowed to his mother that he would avoid ballparks on Sundays.  He sensed that he could trust Shotton and, in 1914–15, he became the Browns’ “Sunday manager”.
FCR -  Jeff Kallman, Las Vegas
Incorrect guesses:  Walter Alston, Casey Stengel, Chuck Dressen, Ted Turner, Clyde Sukeforth, Max Carey, Walter Johnson

Q.        Who was the only qualifying player to hit.400 in the Union Association?
Hint:     He was famous for playing second base bare-handed which took advantage of his amazing ambidextrous ability to turn double plays.
Hint:     His renown was such that an equally adept player in the Negro Leagues was nicknamed “The Black __(him)_____”.  That Negro Leaguer is now in the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     In the Players League, he was the only player to have more hits than games played.
A.         FRED DUNLAP
-  Dunlap’s golden year in the majors was in a league that was only around for one year, the Union Association.  His 1884 stats were so dominant that they were Ruthian before that was a concept.
-  Even though some of his contemporaries had begun to use gloves, he gained increasing fame for firing runners out by throwing with either bare hand which wouldn’t be possible for a fielder with a glove.
-  Hall of Famer Frank Grant’s nickname makes a compelling case to have Dunlap join him in the Hall.
-  In yet another major league that lasted only a year, he played in 1 G and had 2 H.
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses:  Ray Dandridge, Mike Kelly, Honus Wagner, Bid McPhee

Q.        What papal manager was from Salamanca?
Hint:     He wore both hats as general manager and field manager of a team that he took to the World Series.
Hint:     Even though that team played .500 ball in the subsequent season, it was his last year as a big league manager.
Hint:     As a player in the minors, set a league record by hitting safely in 38 consecutive games.
Hint:     It is somewhat surprising that he never made it to the majors as a player considering that he racked up a minor league career batting average of .374 during his six seasons in the lower leagues.
A.         PAUL OWENS
-  Nicknamed "The Pope", allegedly by Dick Allen, because of his resemblance to Pope Paul VI.  He had attended Salamanca High School in upstate New York.
-  GM & mgr. of the 1983 PHI.  Let go after the following season.
-  Batting streak was in 1957 with the Olean Oilers of the Class D New York‑Pennsylvania League.
-  Minor league career spent entirely in B, C & D levels of the minors.
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses:  Pants Rowland, Eddie Dyer, Cap Anson, Fred Luderus

Q.        Who is the only Boston manager to have played every position on the diamond as a player?
Hint:     He even pitched in seven of his fifteen playing seasons, demonstrating that his appearances on the mound were more than a gimmick.
Hint:     He was a better manager than anyone besides Cap Anson according to fellow manager.
Hint:     His reputation for integrity led to his nickname.
A.         JOHN MORRILL 
-  He pitched in 7 of the 15 seasons he played then managed the Boston Beaneaters 1882-1888 and the NL Washington Nationals in 1889.  (In 1882 the NL Boston team was called the Red Stockings.  They changed to Beaneaters the following season.)
-  Comparison was by Hall of Famer King Kelly.  Anson managed 21 seasons, including before and after the tenures of both Morrill and Kelly.
-  “Honest John”, as he was known.
FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota
Incorrect guesses:  Bill Carrigan, George Stallings, Deacon McGuire, King Kelly, Harry Wright, Fred Mitchell, Bill McKechnie

WEEKLY THEME – Pennant-winning managers who hadn’t been with the team at the start of the season.

Name                       Team                  League
Dunlap.......... 1884 SLM............ Union Association
Grimm........... 1932 CHC............ National League
Hartnett......... 1938 CHC............ National League
Jennings....... 1924 NYG*.......... National League
Kuenn........... 1982 MIL.............. American League
Lemon........... 1978 NYY............ American League
                       1981 NYY............ American League
McKeon........ 2003 FLA............. National League
Morrill............ 1883 BSN............ National League
Owens.......... 1983PHI............... National League
Shotton......... 1947 BRO............ National League
*Jennings, unlike the rest on this list did not finish the season with the Giants.  He had stepped in when McGraw became ill and relinquished the reins upon Mugsy’s return.

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeRandall Chandler, Germantown, Tennessee (After Kuenn)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  HOF players who won multiple pennants as managers
               -  Hall-of-Famers who won the World Series as both player and manager
               -  Players who have a team record for home runs at a position

Wed        -  Managers who won pennant 
               -  Managers who won pennant, first year at the helm of the team.

Thurs      -  Managers who managed in the World Series against managers who were later elected to the Hall of Fame.

Friday     -  Lost WS as both player and manager
               -  SWEPT in WS as both player and manager

Sunday, September 22, 2019

2019-09-16 By position, oldest players to hit 3 home runs in a game.

Q.        What Yankee slugger had a candy bar named for him?
Hint:     He was famous for hitting three home runs in a single World Series game.
Hint:     He once played for the Baltimore Orioles.
Hint:     He once led the American League with 41 home runs for the Yankees but finished second in the MVP that year.
-  3 WS HR in G 6 18-Oct-1977
-  Played for BAL in 1976, (or it is told by the ancients.)
-  Hit 41 HR for NYY in 1980 but finished way behind George Brett for reasons that soon becomes obvious when you look at Brett’s batting average that year.
FCR -  Dennis Bartel, La Verne, California
Incorrect guesses:  Babe Ruth

Q.        Who was the first Yankee slugger to have a candy bar named for him?
Hint:     He was famous for hitting three home runs in a single World Series game.
Hint:     He once played for the Baltimore Orioles.
Hint:     He once led the American League with 41 home runs for the Yankees.
A.         BABE RUTH [SABR Bio]
-  Most historians believe it way too great a coincidence that a candy bar one letter different from the most popular icon of the day at the point where he became an international celebrity (1920) was not named for him.  A sham P.R. campaign by the Curtis Candy Company reached back into the 19th century and found the popular but by then little-referenced daughter of President Cleveland, Ruth Cleveland, for a plausible name sake.  A 12-year-old girl, dead from diphtheria 16 years previously, is hardly a credible eponym for a new confection.  Keep in mind, this was the same gullible public who accepted that Abner Doubleday had invented baseball.
-  Hit 3 HR in G 4 of the 1926 WS 06-Oct-1926 & 1928 WS G 4 09-Oct-1928.
-  Played for the 1914 AA Baltimore Orioles of the International League, an affiliate of BOS.
-  Hit 41 HR for NYY in 1923 but DID win the MVP that season.  It was his only MVP because of a rule that was concocted specifically to prevent him from winning it additional times.  Judging by WAR alone, he could have won it easily an additional 9 times before even accounting for charisma or additional tickets sold.
FCR -  Dan Greder, Ames, Iowa
Incorrect guesses:  Reggie Jackson

Q.        Who was good enough to take Vin Scully’s breath away?
Hint:     His father was born in a country that no longer exists.
Hint:     Since his last at-bat over a half century ago, only Tony Gwynn has finished with a higher career batting average.
Hint:     At the time of his retirement, his totals of times at bat, hits and runs scored were second only to those of Ty Cobb.  His career RBI total was exceeded only by those of Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig but were #1 in the National League.  At that time he also held the major league record with 1,377 extra-base hits.
A.         STAN MUSIAL  [SABR Bio]
-  "How good was Stan Musial?  He was good enough to take your breath away." ~ Vin Scully
-  Father born in Austro-Hungary, now Poland.
-  Finished with a career b.a. of .331.  (Gwynn’s is .338)
-  Musial retired after the 1963 season with a career batting average of .331.  At the time of his retirement, his totals of times at bat (10,972), hits (3,630), and runs scored (1,949) were 2nd only to those of Cobb.  His RBI total was 1,951 was bested only by the Babe and the Iron Horse but were all records for the NL (since surpassed).  His major league record of 1,377 extra-base hits was broken by Hank Aaron in 1973 and Barry Bonds in 2006.
FCR -  Dr. Charlie Fouché, Dalton, Georgia
Incorrect guesses:  Sandy Koufax, Roberto Clemente, Larry Miggins, Minnie Minoso, Willie Mays

Q.        Which former Saluki is the only centerfielder to win a Gold Glove after his 39th birthday?
Hint:     He was met by his 13-year-old son, Austin at home plate after hitting his 300th career homer.
Hint:     By doing so, he entered the uber-exclusive 300/300 club.
Hint:     He and Reggie Sanders each hit his 250th career home run in the same game.
A.         STEVE FINLEY [SABR Bio]
-  Finley was 39 in 2004 when he won the last of his 5 GG.  He is an alum of Southern Illinois University.
-  Only 8 players have accumulated 300 HR & 300 SB in their careers.
-  250th w/Sanders who is also a 300/300 Club member, hit on 09‑Apr‑2004.
FCR -  Joe O’Neil, London, ON
Incorrect guesses:  Jim Edmonds, Brady Anderson, Junior Griffey

Q.        Who was the last player to come to bat in a major league game Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium?
Hint:     He grounded into a double play to end that game which contributed to his being the all-time leader in grounding into double plays.
Hint:     That is one of his records that has been broken.
Hint:     Teaming with his kid brother, he turned 287 double plays.
A.         CAL RIPKEN  [SABR Bio]
-  Last G at Memorial Stadium 06-Oct-1991.
-  He broke Hank Aaron’s record of 328 GIDP ending with 350.  Albert Pujols is the current record holder w/394.
-  Billy Ripken played w/Cal 1987-91 & 1996.  They played in 663 games together, 634 times when both were starters.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Brooks Robinson, Billy Ripken, Travis Fryman

Q.        Who led his league in home runs more seasons than anybody except Babe Ruth?
Hint:     His franchise single-season home run record was set during his first MVP year and then broken by a player in his only MVP year.
Hint:     His alma mater university is famously said without a leading article.
-  Led the NL in HR 8 X.  Ruth led the AL an amazing 12 X.
-  Schmidt hit 48 HR in 1980, his first of three MVP seasons. In 2006, during his sole MVP year, Ryan Howard shattered that record by 10 in finishing up with 58.
-  He attended Ohio University, not “The” Ohio University. (and certainly not “The Ohio State University”)
FCR -  Jeff Kallman, Las Vegas
Incorrect guesses:  Gavvy Cravath, Ralph Kiner, Barry Bonds

Q.        Who is the only Dominican-born second baseman ever to register a WAR of at least 7.0 in a season in the majors?
Hint:     He did it four times.
Hint:     He can no longer be called a Mariner.
Hint:     He has garnered MVP honors in the MLB All-Star game and in the World Baseball Classic.
-  Year - WAR
   2010 - 8.1
   2012 - 8.4
   2013 - 7.8
   2016 - 7.3
-  Traded from SEA to NYM after the 2018 season
-  ASG MVP in 2017; WBC MVP in 2013 where DR went undefeated
FCR -  Michael Craig, Gilbert, Arizona
Incorrect guesses:  Alfonso Soriano, Roberto Alomar

Q.        Who was the next player since Ted Williams did it to have an on‑base percentage greater than .475 in consecutive seasons?
Hint:     He founded "Operation Gumby" to assist children with bed wetting issues.
Hint:     He was Jesse Orosco’s, John Burkett’s and Kelvim Escobar’s 1,000th strikeout victim.  (One K of Ks!)
-  .476 OBP in 2000, .477 in 2001
-  Orosco’s K = 02-Aug-1997
   Burkett’s K = 23-Aug-1997
   Escobar’s K = 07-Apr-2006
FCR -  Benjamin Chase, Huron, South Dakota
Incorrect guesses:  Barry Bonds, Albert Pujols, Tony Gwynn, Wade Boggs, George Brett, Eddie Yost, Frank Thomas

Q.        Who was the 27th out of Len Barker’s perfect game?
Hint:     He led the onslaught when the Blue Jays set the still-unsurpassed (and un-tied) record of ten team home runs in a single major league game.
Hint:     I have eaten at his Mother’s.
A.         ERNIE WHITT  [SABR Bio]
-  Barker’s perfecto 15-May-1981.  Whitt was pinch hitting for catcher Buck Martinez.
-  On 14-Sep-1987, TOR manhandled BAL pitching to the tune of 10 HR.  Whitt hit 3, each off a different pitcher.
-  Whitt was in an ownership group that bought a restaurant chain called Mother’s.  Comparable to Shoney’s and you could feed the whole family for a reasonable price.  The chain was purchased out of receivership by Little Caesars pizza in 1989.  (I ate at several of them during my time in Canada in the 1980s.)
FCR -  Dr. John Rickert, Terre Haute
Incorrect guesses:  George Bell, Alvis Woods, Buck Martinez, Lloyd Moseby, Cito Gaston

Q.        Who is the only pitcher in the modern era to hit three home runs in one game?
Hint:     Two years later, he threw a no-hitter, prevented from being a perfect game by a future Hall of Famer.
Hint:     He hit the only home run in his no-hitter.
A.         JIM TOBIN [SABR Bio
-  3-HR G 13-May-1942.  Since 1910, 70 pitchers have hit 2 HRs in a game, but only Tobin has a game w/3.
-  The only player to get on base in Tobin’s no-hitter on 27-Apr-1944 was Paul Waner who symmetrically walked as the first batter of the game and then again with two out in the 9th.
-  Led off the bottom of the 8th w/ a solo HR.
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses:  Rick Wise, Babe Ruth, Warren Spahn, Tony Cloninger, Jim Lemon, Earl Wilson

WEEKLY THEME –  By position, oldest players to hit 3 home runs in a game. (Theme suggested by Larry Hayes of San Francisco)

Position       Player, team     Age (yrs.days)        Box
           P....... Tobin, BSN............ 29.137........ 13-May-1942
           C....... Whitt, TOR............. 35.093........ 14-Sept-1987
          1B...... Giambi, COL......... 40.131........ 19-May-2011
          2B...... Cano, NYM............ 36.274........ 23-July-2019
          3B...... Schmidt, PHI......... 37.260........ 14-June-1987
          SS...... Ripken, BAL.......... 35.278........ 28-May-1996
          LF...... Musial, STL........... 41.229........ 08-July-1962
          CF...... Finley, ARZ........... 39.047........ 28-Apr-2004
          RF...... Ruth, BSN............. 40.108........ 25-May-1935
         DH..... Jackson, CAL........ 40.123........ 18-Sept-1986

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Patrick Ray, Paradise Valley, Arizona         (after Giambi)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Tuesday -  Home run hitters who had food products named after them
               -  Players who have hit home runs clearing the roof of Tiger Stadium (or Briggs Stadium or Navin Field, the Detroit Tigers home field at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull until 1999).

Wed        -  Had a three homer game after turning 39
               -  Hitting 3 home runs after turning 39
               -  Oldest guys to hit three taters in a game
               -  Catholic's who won both World Series & were multiple All -- Stars

Thurs      -  Former “Baltimore Orioles” who have hit at least 300 dingers

Sunday   -  # 1 All-Star at a position in a decade