Monday, June 29, 2020

2020-06-22 Pitchers who have won an ERA title for teams in two different leagues.

MONDAY  -  22-Jun
Q.        Who was the first pitcher to have a 300-strikeout season in the American and National Leagues?
Hint:     His cousin pitched in the majors for six teams over seven seasons
Hint:     His major league brother had the same cousin.
-  305 K MON in 1997 & 313 K for BOS in 1999.  Randy Johnson is the only other pitcher who can make this claim.
-  His cousin is Denny Bautista.
-  His brother and one-time teammate is Ramon Martinez.
FCR -  Frank  Stephenson, Rome, Georgia
Incorrect guesses:  Nolan Ryan, Gaylord Perry, Phil Niekro, Randy Johnson, Rube Waddell, Curt Schilling

Q.        What pitcher has struck out more batters than any other lefty in history?
Hint:     Some of his best work was done wearing a mullet.
Hint:     He was the first pitcher to win both games six and seven of a World Series on consecutive days.
A.         RANDY JOHNSON  [SABR Bio]

-  4,875 career K, 2nd all-time.
-  “Business in front—party in back.”
-  WS G 6 & 7 won on 03- & 04-Nov-2001
FCR -  Lincoln Mitchell, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Sandy Koufax, Steve Carlton, Warren Spahn, Lefty Grove

Q.        What moundsman is the career leader in games started?
Hint:     He gave up more earned runs that any other pitcher in history.
Hint:     He only attended school up until the sixth grade.  He dropped out so he could help on the family farm.
Hint:     His only minor league experience was in the city (town) where the Hall of Fame is now.
A.         CY YOUNG  [SABR Bio]
-  Started 815 G.  Nolan Ryan is 2nd w/773.
-  Surrendered 2,147 earned runs over 22 major league seasons.  Phil Niekro w/2,012 is the only other pitcher with more than 2,000.
-  Played for the Canton (Ohio) Nadjys in 1890 and the Canton (Ohio) Statesmen in 1912.  The Pro Football Hall of Fame opened in Canton Ohio in 1963, almost 8 years after Young’s death.
FCR -  Donald Black, Bluffton, South Carolina
Incorrect guesses:  Early Wynn, Nolan Ryan, Walter Johnson

TOOSDAY  -  23-Jun
Q.        Who was the first pitcher to strike out more than nineteen batters in a nine-inning game in the modern era?
Hint:     No pitcher in history has stuck out more American League batters.
Hint:     There is no truth to the rumor that he is a collector of scrap lumber.
A.         ROGER CLEMENS  [SABR Bio]
-  On 09-Apr of his MVP season, 1986, Clemens mowed down 20 Seattle Mariners, including Phil Bradley 4 times.  Clemens stuck out 20 again in a G 10 years later.  On 18-Sep-1996 he again stuck out 20 Tigers in a 5-H shutout, handing DET their 101st loss that year.
-  Proud owner of 4,167 AL Ks.  Has an additional 505 in the NL for a total that puts him 3rd on the all-time list behind Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson.
-  In a WS G on 22-Oct-2000, w/NYM, Yankee Clemens took umbrage at a portion of a Mike Piazza broken bat as it was headed his way and threw it out of the playing field.  Unfortunately, was headed right at Piazza the runner.  On purpose?  You be the judge!
FCR -  Tim Luca, San Mateo, California
Incorrect guesses:  Kerry Wood, Tom Cheney, Charlie Sweeney, Nolan Ryan, Randy Johnson, Walter Johnson, Steve Carlton

WEDNESDAY  -  24-Jun
Q.        What two-time Cy-Young Award winner had been reluctant to switch from playing the outfield?
Hint:     His record of 13-0 still stands as a record in the second half of a season.
Hint:     He signed with the Orioles and the Blue Jays toward the end of his career hoping for a comeback, but injuries stood in the way each time.
A.         JOHAN SANTANA  [BR Bio]
-  CYA winner in 2004 & 2006, both time unanimously.  Made the switch from the outfield to the mound in 1996 after the Astros convinced the 17-year old that his extraordinary arm might be the best way to the majors for him.
-  In 2004, Johan ended the second half with an AL 13-0 record, plus a 1.21 ERA and .154 opponents' batting average.  In September alone, with a stingy 0.45 ERA and 52 strikeouts for the 2nd consecutive month, he also limited opponents to less than a baserunner per inning for the fourth straight month.
-  Signed and released by the bird teams in 2014 (BAL) & 2015 (TOR).
FCR -  Tom Lee, Nashville
Incorrect guesses:  Rick Sutcliffe, Bret Saberhagen, Jacob deGrom, Jim Palmers,

Q.        Who is the only player who has pitched for the Giants and Dodgers as well as the White Sox and Cubs in the Live-Ball era?
Hint:     He was the first pitcher, native to North Carolina, inducted to the Hall of Fame.
Hint:     His hometown has erected a statue in his honor.
A.         HOYT WILHELM  [SABR Bio]
-  Played for NYG 1952-56, for LAD 1971-21, CHW 1963-68 and CHC 1970.  (Live-Ball Era = 1920 >… )
-  B. 26-Jul-1922 in Huntersville, North Carolina.  HOF 1985.
-  There is a statue of a young pitcher near the James Hoyt Wilhelm Fields at the Huntersville Athletic Park.  Click on this link to view the inscription containing Wilhelm’s career achievements.
FCR -  Dave Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect guesses:  Phil Douglas

THURSDAY  -  25-Jun
Q.        Who is the only pitcher to lead the majors in strikeouts for five consecutive seasons?
Hint:     In the modern era, his record for strikeouts in a single season stood for sixty years.
Hint:     He threw the first Immaculate Inning in American League history.
Hint:     He was the last out of Cy Young’s perfect game.
A.         RUBE WADDELL  [SABR Bio]
-  Led MLB in K 1903-1907. ERRATUM:  Reader David Gordon pointed out that Randy Johnson matched Waddell’s mark, leading the majors 1998-2002.  In ’98, Johnson did not lead either league, because he traded at the deadline from SEA to HOU.  His 213 +169 gave him an MLB-leading 329.  Johnson led again in ’04.
-  Had 349 K in 1904.  Sandy Koufax had 382 in 1965.  Only 2 additional pitchers have topped Waddell’s mark for a season, even in our strikeout-dominated modern game. (Nolan Ryan and Randy Johnson)
-  Immaculate Inning 01-Jul-1902, 3rd inning, the first such in the not-quite-2-year-old AL.  Waddell stuck out the Baltimore Orioles’ Billy Gilbert, Harry Howell & Jack Cronin on 9 straight pitches.  For good measure, he fanned each one again later in the 6th inning of the same game, but not immaculately.
-  Young’s perfecto 05-May-1904.
FCR -  John Rickert, Terre Haute
Incorrect guesses:  Walter Johnson, Eddie Plank, Sandy Koufax, Bob Feller, Christy Mathewson
FCR -  Ken Kirk, Corning, New York
Incorrect guesses:  Guy Hecker, Kent Tekulve, Matt Kilroy, Harvey Haddix, Claude Passeau, Dazzy Vance, Pud Galvin

FRIDAY  -  26-Jun
Q.        Which standout pitcher’s father came from a kingdom that no longer exists and he, himself did some of his best work in a league that no longer exists?
Hint:     He once threw a no-hitter and lost the game when his teammates committed eight errors.
Hint:     He played for the Pirates two years in a row, but in different cities and different leagues.
Hint:     His delivery differed from those of many of his peers as he threw sidearm and with no windup.
A.         SILVER KING  [SABR Bio]
-  Led the Players’ League in 1890 w/4 ShO, an ERA of 2.69, GS of 56, an ERA+ of 162 and a stellar pitching WAR of 13.2.  King’s father was born in the Kingdom of Prussia which, after the World Wars, eventually transformed into today’s Federal Republic of Germany.
-  Lost no-hitter on 21-Jun-1890. But to add insult to misery, in September of 1991 MLB’s Committee for Statistical Accuracy, chaired by then Commissioner Fay Vincent, changed the official definition of a no-hitter, declaring it must be a game of 9 innings or more that ends with no hits.  This stringent re-definition eliminated 36 no-hitters from the record books that were shortened by rain, darkness or other reasons, as well as two losing efforts by the home team in which the visiting team didn’t bat in the bottom of the ninth.  This last unusual circumstance was the cause of King’s dethroning.  This happened because under the rules in effect during the 19th century, King’s home team player-manager, Charlie Comiskey, chose to bat first for this game.  Since the home team trailed 1-0 after 8 1/2 innings, the visiting team did not have to bat in the bottom of the ninth.  King thus threw “just” 8 no-hit innings and was stripped of official credit for his no-no a century after it was hurled.
-  The Players League Chicago franchise was the Pirates where King played in 1890. In 1891, he played for the Pittsburgh in the National League. They had just changed their name from the Alleghenys to Pirates that very year.
FCR -  Ken Kirk, Corning, New York
Incorrect guesses: 

SATURDAY  -  27-Jun,
Q.        What Floridian is third among active pitchers in career strikeouts?
Hint:     He has pitched in the postseason playoffs for four different teams since he won his Cy Young Award which he won playing for yet a fifth team.
Hint:     He became the third pitcher in big-league history to win his first six starts of a season while posting an ERA under 0.50.  The others are Walter Johnson in 1913 and Fernando Valenzuela in 1981.
Hint:     It is known that his wife is publicly jealous of him.
A.         ZACK GREINKE  [BR Bio]
-  2,622 K, behind only Verlander and Scherzer.  Born in Orlando.
-  Represented MIL (2011), LAD (2013, 2014 & 2015), ARI (2017) & HOU (2019) in postseason play.  Won the CYA for KCR in 2009.
-  1st 6 GS = 2009
-  His wife, Emily Kuchar, is a former Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, a dancer and a model. She was Miss Daytona Beach USA 2008.  Emily is said to have been jealous of Zack when he appeared on the cover of Sports Illustrated in the 04-May-2009 issue.  One of her goals is to model for the magazine’s swimsuit issue.
FCR -  John Murray, Taylors, South Carolina
Incorrect guesses:  Schoolboy Rowe, Justin Verlander, Randy Johnson, Edwin Jackson

SUNDAY  -  28-Jun
Q.        What pitcher lost forty games in his second season in the majors than won forty-five in his third?
Hint:     He was also the team’s manager and threw 132 complete games over those two years.
Hint:     Four times in his ten-year career, he ended the season with an ERA under 2.00.
Hint:     He was the first native of Scotland to appear in a major league game.
Hint:     When informed of his death, evangelist and former teammate Billy Sunday said, “He was one of the best pals I ever had.”
A.         JIM McCORMICK  [SABR Bio]
-  Lost 40 in 1879 with the Cleveland Blues.  Was their player/manager in 1978, 1979, 1880 & 1882.
-  W/IND in 1878 he had an ERA of 1.69.  Hit pitched only 14 G that year in his maiden season.  In 1880 w/CLV his ERA was 1.85.  Neither of those fine marks led the league.  He did lead the league, however, in 1883 w/CLV of the NL and in 1994 w/COR of the Union Association, posting 1.84 and 1.54 respectively, the former mark also leading the majors.
-  Born outside of Glasgow in Thornliebank, Renfrewshire on 03-Nov-1856.
-  Sunday was his teammate on the Chicago White Stockings in 1885-86.  (This team later became the Cubs.)
FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois
Incorrect guesses:  Albert Spaulding, George Bradley, Tommy Bond, Will White

WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers who have won an ERA title for teams in two different leagues.
            Bold = led league; Ital. = Led MLB

1883 w/CLV (1.84) - NL
1884 w/COR (1.54) - UA

1888 w/STL (1.63) - AA
1890 w/CHI (2.69) - PL

1892 w/CLV (1.93) - NL
1901 w/PHA (1.62) - AL

1900 w/PIT (2.37) - NL
1905 w/PHA (1.48) - AL

1952 w/NYG (2.43) - NL
1959 w/BAL (2.19) - AL

1995 w/SEA (2.48) - AL
1999, 2001, 2002 w/ARI (2.49, 2.49, 2.32) - NL

1997 w/MON (1.90) - NL
1999, 2000, 2002, 2003 w/BOS (2.07, 1.74, 2.26, 2.22) - AL

1986, 1990, 1991, 1992 w/BOS (2.48, 1.93, 2.62, 2.41) &
1997, 1998 w/TOR (2.05, 2.65) - AL
2005 w/HOU (1.87) - NL

2004, 2006 w/MIN (2.61, 2.77) - AL
2008 w/NYM (2.53) - NL

-2009 w/KCR (2.16) - AL
-2015 w/LAD (1.66) - NL

First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Steve Klitzner, North Miami Beach (After Cy Young)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Most-successful cheaters in baseball history
               -  Pitchers with 300 Ks [seasons] in 21st century
               -  Cy Young winners who previously pitched for Montreal

Tuesday -  Fastest pitchers to 100 strikeouts

Wed        -  Pitchers with the longest careers in MLB history

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