Sunday, April 26, 2020

2020-04-20 Players born in places named in Beach Boys songs

Q.        Who is the youngest infielder ever to hit a triple in modern World Series history?
Hint:     He is the only shortstop to win a Silver Slugger Award in consecutive seasons for the Red Sox.
Hint:     In his first six full seasons in the majors, he was twice an All-Star, three times a Silver Slugger and garnered MVP votes two times.
-  3B in G 3 of 2013 WS, 26-Oct., off STL starter Joe Kelly.
-  SS in 2015-16 also 2019
-  Career stats
FCR -  Mary Shea, Milwaukee
Incorrect guesses:  Nomar Garciaparra, Rico Petrocelli, Rafael Furcal, Vern Stephens

Q.        Who had more hits than anyone else in a Montreal Expos uniform?
Hint:     He was Steve Carlton’s 3,000th major league strike out.
Hint:     He hit the first ever home run against the Florida Marlins.
Hint:     His teammates called him Eli.
A.         TIM WALLACH  [SABR Bio]
-  He had 1,694 H playing for MON.  He is also (and will always be) their leader in games (1,767), plate appearances (7,174), at-bats (6,529), outs made (5,115, doubles (360), RBIs (905) not to mention Total Based (2,728).
-  K by Lefty = 29-Apr-1981.  Carlton would go on to strike out over 1,000 more = [4,136, 4th all-time.]
-  HR vs FLA = 05-Apr-1993 off Charlie Hough
-  Nickname in reference to actor Eli Wallach.
FCR -  Rick Gross, Miami
Incorrect guesses:  Ellis Valentine, Andre Dawson, Tim Raines      

TUESDAY – Apr-21
Q.        Who was the first National League player to be a designated hitter in a regular season game?
Hint:     He is still the only player to hit a home run onto the roof of a building near Wrigley Field.
Hint:     He was a bat when the National League got its first 40/40.  And much happiness and rejoicing was had by all throughout the land.
-  He was SFG’s DH during the majors’ 1st regular-season interleague game, playing TEX in Arlington on 12-June-1997.
-  His blast on 11-May-2000 landed on top of the 5-story residential building across the street from Wrigley at 1032 W. Waveland Ave.  The 18-mph wind blowing out to left that afternoon probably gave it a bit of a friendly nudge.
-  On 27-Sept-1996 in Colorado, Hill was at the plate with a 2-0 count, when teammate Barry Bonds stole his 40th base of the season which, when coupled with his 42 HRs that year, made Bonds just the second player to earn entry into an imaginary and highly exclusive 40HR/40SB club.
FCR -  Mary Shea, Milwaukee
Incorrect guesses:  Andres Galarraga, Dave Kingman, Orlando Cepeda, Alfonso Soriano, Ron Swoboda, Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonds

Q.        Who is the only player to hit home runs from each side of the plate in a game for four different major league teams?*
Hint:     This one-time Yankee switch-hit home runs more times than Mickey Mantle did.
Hint:     Halfway through the last season of his nineteen-year career, he hit into a double play and a triple play in the same game then helpfully explained that it had been a “bad biorhythms day” for him.
A.         CHILI DAVIS  [SABR Bio]
-  Switch-hit HR for SFG, CAL, MIN & KCR.*Further research shows that Carlos Beltran AND Nick Swisher have passed Davis and homered from both sides in a game for 5 teams:  Beltran’s five games - 1st G the feat was accomplished with each team:
KCR 29-June-2000, HOU 01-July-2004, NYM 30-July-2006, STL 30-Sept-2012 and NYY  20-June-2015.  Swisher did it with OAK, CHW, NYY CLE & ATL.
-  Played for NYY 1998-99.  Had 11 career Gs w/switch-hit HR.  Mantle had 10.
-  DP & TP G = 17-Jun-1999  -Tying him w/P Clarence Mitchell who did it in the 5th G of the 1920 WS.
FCR -  R. D. Lerner, Silver Spring, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Carlos Beltran, Ruben Sierra, Mark Teixeira, Eddie Murray, Nick Swisher, Bernie Williams

Q.        Who was the first pitcher to win the Baseball Digest Rookie of the Year Award?
Hint:     He and his brother each pitched a shutout in their respective major league debuts.
Hint:     He was one of the first pitchers to win the Labatt's Pitcher of the Year Award.
Hint:     He went to the postseason with the Phillies, the Yankees and the A’s.
-  BD ROY 1975
-  Brother Pat Underwood played for DET 1979-80, 82-83.
-  Labatt’s is the Canadian brewer who once was the owner of the Toronto Blue Jays.  Underwood won the award in the 3rd yeas of the history of that franchise, 1979.
-  Played for PHI in 1976, NYY in 1980 and OAK in 1981.
FCR -  David Krassin, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses:  Rick Reuschel, Bobby Shantz, Dizzy Dean, Don Newcombe

Q.        Who was a 1,216,000,000-to-1 shot to reach the major leagues?
Hint:     His mother felt doubly blessed and was proud to say so.
Hint:     An elite defender as an amateur, he caught the eye of a future Hall of Fame shortstop.
A.         MPHO’ GIFT NGOEPE  (“mm-POH Gift n-GOH-pay”)
-  He was the first player born on the continent of Africa, population 1.216 billion people, to reach the majors.
-  His mother’s story of her son’s birth (“a gift from God”) inspired her to name him Gift twice.  Once in her native Sotho tongue—'Mpho’—and again in English so “white men would know too.”
-  In 2008, he went to Italy for the MLB European Academy where guest instructor Barry Larkin (HOF 2012) took notice of Gift’s gifts.  Shortly thereafter, PIT eagerly signed Ngoepe for a $15,000 bonus.
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses:  Mike Piazza, Dummy Hoy, Jim Abbott, David Eckstein

Q.        Who played for the Yankees before the Empire State Building was erected but later played for the Skyscrapers?
Hint:     He was born outside the United States, but was a U.S. citizen before he turned twelve.
Hint:     His first major league manager was in the American League and was a no-doubt Hall of Famer.  His last team was in the National League, but managed by the same man!
Hint:     The season he pitched for the Angels, his ERA was a respectable 2.51.
A.         ROY CASTLETON  [SABR Bio]
-  He actually played for NYY in 1907.  He played for the Class D Salt Lake City Skyscrapers in 1913.
-  Born in Salt Lake City, Utah 26-Jul-1885.  Utah was granted statehood 04‑Jan‑1896.
-  Clark Griffith was his manager with NYY and in CIN, neither being his longest stint as a manager in the majors.  The Old Fox managed WSH from 1912 to 1920.
-  Played for the Class A Pacific Coast League Los Angeles Angels in 1910.
FCR -  Gregg Pericich, Torrance, California
Incorrect guesses:  Lefty Gomez, Jack Quinn

Q.        Who played shortstop for the Cubs after Ernie Banks moved to first base?
Hint:     He recorded the last putout at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Hint:     A stadium bearing his name was erected for him in his home country.
Hint:     He was the first player from his country to make it to the majors yet he still holds nearly every offensive record among players from his country.
A.         ANDRE RODGERS  [SABR Bio]
-  Rodgers began playing SS for CHC in 1961 as Ernie segued to 1B.
-  Playing 1B for CHC on 20-Sep-1961 at the Coliseum, Rodgers caught the toss from P Barney Schultz for the 2nd out of the 13th inning.  A walk-off single ensued to win the game for LAD.
-  The original Andre Rodgers National Baseball Stadium was erected in 1966 but razed in 2006.  Its replacement is under construction and scheduled to re-open by 2021.
-  Five other Bahamian players totaled 12 seasons in MLB.
FCR -  Chuck Durante, Dover, Delaware
Incorrect guesses:  Jerry Kendall, Hiram Bithorn, Don Kessinger, Gene Baker

Q.        Who was the WAMCO lead-off?
Hint:     He won seven Gold Gloves using the exact same glove.
Hint:     He is the only one-time National League Milwaukee Brewer to have won three World Series championships.
A.         DEVON WHITE*
-  The heart of Toronto’s 2nd World Series win team in 1993 was the first 5 batters in the line-up:  White-Alomar-Molitor-Carter-Olerud, i.e., WAMCO.  (Rickey Henderson, Tony Fernandez and an outstanding pitching staff might have had a hand in it too.)
-  White used the same glove for his entire 17-season MLB career.
-  Won WS with TOR in 1992-93.  Also won with FLA in 1997.
* Since 2003, he has used the original spelling of his name, Devon Whyte.
FCR -  Jason Hammon, Arlington, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Paul Molitor, CC Sabathia, Rickey Henderson, Sal Bando

Q.        Which pitcher hit his first two major league home runs off the same pitcher merely a week apart?
Hint:     These two blasts represented fully a third of his entire 16-year, 732 plate appearance, major league home run production.
Hint:     His hair style evolved from a shoulder-length semi-mullet to corn rows during his career, but it was more his unusual delivery style that pitching couches focused on.
Hint:     He taught Kevin Millar how to play guitar and they recorded songs together.
Hint:     His wind up was unique and seemed to bother umpires and hitters alike.
-  1st HR 05-Apr-2006 of Glendon Rusch; 2nd HR 11-Apr-2006 off… well, you know.
-  Full hair then wow!  His straight-legged pre-delivery kick was one of a kind.
-  Not only did he record with Millar, but Arroyo, Johnny Damon and Lenny DiNardo sang backup vocals on the Dropkick Murphys’ punk-revival of the 1904 Bosox fan song “Tessie” that became the anthem of Red Sox Nation all over again in 2004. The newer version recounts how the singing of the original "Tessie" by the Royal Rooters fan club helped the Boston Americans win the first World Series in 1903.
-  Bronson’s delivery had excellent location, but his unique windup was always interesting to watch.
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses:  Tim Lincecum, Carlos Zambrano, Dontrelle Willis, Luis Tiant

Q.        On whom was the “Bull Durham” character Ebbie Calvin LaLoosh said to be based?
Hint:     His fastball was nicknamed “White Lightening” and was believed by some baseball insiders to be as fast a 110 miles per hour.
Hint:     He was on the Topps 1963 Rookies card, but never made it to the majors.
Hint:     In the minors, he played nine seasons, laboring for teams in levels D (short-season), D, C, B, A, AA, and AAA.
Hint:     Fourteen of the sixteen teams he pitched for in the minors were part of the Baltimore Orioles farm system.
Hint:     Ted Williams stepped in against him in a batting practice for one pitch and said he didn’t even see the ball.
Hint:     Adding to the anxiety of batters who faced him, he wore thick prescription glasses.
A.         STEVE DALKOWSKI  [Bio]
-  We know that character better as Nuke LaLoosh as he earned his nickname during the film.  Dalkowski also had blazing speed, but erratic ability to hit the strike zone.
-  No accurate radar guns were in existence in Dalkowski’s time, but very few people who saw him pitch believe that his fastball was anything less than 100 mph.
-  Rookie card #496 in the 1963 set.1
FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses:  Ryne Duren, Ron Guidry, Steve Howe

Q.        What promising Baltimore Oriole rookie was unceremoniously released a year and a half after he had led the league in shutouts and complete games?
Hint:     After more than two decades after breaking in, he is still a double unique.
Hint:     The Yankees picked him up to make some emergency starts in the wake of Chien Ming Wang's foot injury.
Hint:     He was suspended or released more than once for his misbehavior off the field.
-  Finished tied for 5th in ROY voting in 1998.  Finished tied for most ShO in the AL in 2004 with Jeremy Bonderman and Tim Hudson w/2 each.  His 5 CG tied him with Jake Westbrook and Mark Mulder.
-  No other Sidney has ever made the majors.  Neither has any other Ponson.  D-U
-  The NYY got him 19-Jun-2008 after he had been released by TEX.
-  With infractions too numerous to enumerate, Ponson is now viewed by most as a talent out of control.
FCR -  Rich Ottone, Sykesville, Maryland
Incorrect guesses: 

Q.        Which speedy catcher broke his thumb during his first Major League season but returned to full time duty within two seasons transformed into a standout center fielder?
Hint:     He once made an error that loomed much larger because it was in the postseason.
Hint:     He and a teammate once stole more than fifty bases each in the same season.
-  Broke his thumb after 6 G in 1908, but by 1910 was a regular and had 100+ H in each of the next 5 seasons.
-  Muff said !
-  In 1911 teammate Josh Devore stole 61 bases while Snodgrass added 51.  Even Devore didn’t lead the NL as Bob Bescher of CIN had 81 SB.  Nevertheless, NYG in 1911 did set and still hold the modern season team record for most SB w/347.
FCR -  Mark Hayne, Dumfries, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Craig Biggio, Jake Westbrook, Dale Murphy, Willie Wilson, John Wathan, Fred Merkle

Q.        What righty reliever made his only All-Star team the year he led the league in games finished?
Hint:     He has no other black ink in any major stat in his ten year career with 500+ appearances.
Hint:     He’s also a double-unique.
Hint:     Chris Berman would have introduced him with, “____________ if you’ve got ‘em.”
-  AS in 1995 w/PHI.  Led NL w/54 GF.
-  “Slocumb if you’ve got ‘em.” – a take-off on the phrase, “Smoke ’em if you’ve got ‘em,” heard in every army movie made before 1972 (or so).
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  John Smoltz, Don McMahon,  Aurelio Lopez, Keith Foulke

Q.        What young pitcher had more victories than any other on the Red Sox the season before they got Lefty Grove?
Hint:     He also had more losses.
Hint:     He pitched a no-hitter for West High School with a Yankees scout in the stands.
Hint:     The Los Angeles Times once called him “…the outstanding young pitcher in the country this season.”
Hint:     He died in the same California town where, eight years later, Jeff Kent was born.
A.         GORDON RHODES  [SABR Bio]
-  12-15 in 1933 on BOS.
-  Pitched for West High School in Salt Lake City, the oldest public high school in Utah.
-  Quote is from Bob Ray of the L.A. Times.
-  Died in the Los Angeles County city of Bellflower, California 22-Mar-1960; Kent was born there 07-Mar-1968.
FCR -  Leonard Levin, Providence
Incorrect guesses:  Red Ruffing, Smoky Joe Wood

Q.        Who is the only major leaguer born in the country of Peru?
Hint:     He considers himself Venezuelan but grew up in the United States.
Hint:     He underwent Tommy John surgery before even reaching the majors.
Hint:     The high school he attended is famous for reasons outside of sports.
-  Born in Lima, Peru.  Both parents are from Venezuela but moved to Florida when Jesus was a mere one year old.
-  Drafted by WSN in 2106 in the 3rd round, 94th overall.
-  He attended Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida.  Life there was shattered when a gunman shot and killed 14 students and 3 school staff members while wounding 17l others in February 2018.
FCR -  Adam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia
Incorrect guesses:  Tom Lynch

WEEKLY THEME – Select natives of places mentioned in Beach Boys songs.

Player                 Place                           Song
Arroyo                Florida Keys                Kokomo
Bogaerts             Aruba                          Kokomo
Castleton            Salt Lake City             Salt Lake City
Davis                  Jamaica                       Kokomo
Hill                      Santa Cruz                  Surfin’ USA
Luzardo              Peru                            Surfin’ Safari
Ponson               Aruba                          Kokomo
Rhodes               Salt Lake City             Salt Lake City
Rodgers             Nassau, Bahamas      Kokomo
Slocumb             Jamaica, New York     Kokomo
Snodgrass          Ventura                       Surfin’ Safari
Underwood         Kokomo                       Kokomo
Wallach              Huntington (Beach)     Surfin’ Safari
White                  Jamaica                       Kokomo
(Hey!  Click a link—give a listen.  Anthems of a generation.)

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeAdam Balutis, Arlington, Virginia

Background for Ngoepe: These alternative Surfin’ Safari lyrics were seldom used as The Beach Boys opted to go with one slightly different stanza that was included on the 45 rpm version used for this record’s widespread radio airplay. 

Maybe heightening of U.S. racial tensions at that time contributed to why they chose to sub in:

They're anglin' in laguna in Cerro Azul
They're kicking out in Dohini too
I tell you surfing's mighty wild
It's getting bigger every day
From Hawaii to the shores of Peru

instead of:

Surfin' is big in Sunset Beach
They do it in South Africa too
They're all getting stroke on this surfin' craze
From Hawaii to the shores of Peru

After all, the origin of the Swahili word safari (journey) is African!

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Players who are nicknamed for famous actors

Tuesday -  Players who managed in Albuquerque
               -  HR leaders with “ALL” in their last name

Thurs      -  Players who were born outside the United States who are in the Hall of Fame

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