Monday, July 27, 2020

2020-07-20 Batters who led their league in walks and strikeouts in the same season.

MONDAY  —   20-Jul
Q.        Which modern era Hall of Famer is the only man to pitch over 1,000 innings and have a lifetime batting average above .300?
Hint:     He is the only charter member of the Hall of Fame who never managed in the major leagues.
Hint:     He gave his bat the same name that Joe Jackson had given his bat.
A.         BABE RUTH  [SABR Bio]
-  1,221⅓ IP; Career BA .342.  19th century HOF Al Spalding (2,886⅓ IP, .313 BA) was the only other man to post these two incongruous marks.
-  In addition to inaugural classmates Cobb, Johnson, Wagner & Mathewson all being skippers, all 6 players in the 2nd HOF class also managed in the majors.  Thus… of the first 11 players elected to the HOF, only Ruth never managed.
-  Black Betsy”.  Jackson named all of his bats, but this was his best-loved.  It was 34½” long, weighed 40 ounces and the handle had a slight curve.  Ruth’s version was an inch longer and weighed up to a three-quarters of a pound more!   In the off season, both players soaked these hickory bats in barrels of oil to harden them; this contributed to their dark hue.  Ruth copied more than just the lumber.  Quoth he, ”I copied Jackson's style because I thought he was the greatest hitter I had ever seen, the greatest natural hitter I ever saw. He's the guy who made me a hitter.”  Legend has it that Jackson allowed Ruth, and only Ruth, to borrow hiss “Black Betsy” on occasion when their teams met.
FCR -  Lincoln Mitchell, New York City
Incorrect guesses:  Christy Mathewson, Honus Wagner, Walter Johnson

Q.        Who hit more career home runs than any other switch-hitter?
Hint:     He was the first player to hit at least forty home runs in a season where he had fewer than a hundred runs-batted-in TWICE.
Hint:     He had more career World Series extra-base hits than any player who has ever lived.
A.         MICKEY MANTLE  [SABR Bio]
- Player                 HR        Years             Games    At-bats
Mickey Mantle.... 536..... 1951 -1968....... 2,401...... 8,102
Eddie Murray...... 504..... 1977 -1997....... 3,026.... 11,336
Chipper Jones.... 468..... 1993 -2012....... 2,499...... 8,984
Carlos Beltran.... 435..... 1998 -2017....... 2,586...... 9,768
Mark Teixeira..... 409..... 2003 -2016....... 1,862...... 6,936
Lance Berkman.. 366..... 1999 -2013....... 1,879...... 6,491
Chili Davis.......... 350..... 1981 -1999....... 2,435...... 8,673
-  In 1958 he had 42 HR & 97 RBI; in 1960 it was 40 HR & 94 RBI.  Hank Aaron, Adam Dunn and Joey Gallo are the only others to do it more than once.
-  26 career XBH in WS play.
FCR -  Paul Nielsen, Bowie, Maryland
Incorrect guesses:  Eddie Murray, Chipper Jones

TUESDAY     21-Jul
Q.        What slugger holds the record for the most home runs hit in (out of) Yankee Stadium in a single season?
Hint:     His second- and third-best home run season totals combined  barely eclipse the amount he hit in his best single year.
Hint:     He was born just outside Waterloo.
Hint:     His mother, father and brother are all teachers.
A.         AARON JUDGE  [B-R Bio]
-  33 Yankee Stadium HR in 2017.  Roger Maris hit 30 there in 1961.
-  54 HR total in 2018 & 2019 (27 + 27).  Hit 52 in 2017.
-  Born in Linden, California.  Linden and Waterloo are both suburbs of Stockton in Northern California.  Growing up, Judge was a die-hard San Francisco Giants fan.
-  He and his brother are both adopted.
FCR -  Frank Stephenson, Rome, Georgia
Incorrect guesses:  Roger Maris, Curtis Granderson, Kevin Maas, Graig Nettles, Giancarlo Stanton, Frank Howard, Don Mattingly

WEDNESDAY     22-Jul
Q.        Who was the first New York Yankee to have consecutive multi-home run games twice in a season?
Hint:     He is one of five Yankees to homer in the All-Star game and the World Series the same year.
Hint:     He was the first player to lead the Oakland A's in batting average and runs batted in for five consecutive seasons.
A.         JASON GIAMBI  [B-R Bio]
-  On 20- & 21-Jul- then again 28- & 29-Aug-2005, Giambi hit multiple homers in each game.  No other Yankee has done that.
-  In 2003, Giambi joined fellow Bronx Bombers Lou Gehrig (1936 & 1937), Joe DiMaggio (1939), Mickey Mantle (1955 & 1956) and Derek Jeter (2001) in turning this unique trick.
-  Led A’s in both of these categories from 1997 through 2001.
FCR -  Steven Harmon, Sacramento
Incorrect guesses:  Reggie Jackson, Jeremy Giambi, Rickey Henderson, Nick Swisher, Graig Nettles, Don Mattingly, Tony Lazzeri

Q.        Who was the first National League player to hit two home runs in an inning in the twentieth century?
Hint:     He enjoyed a five-year period where he averaged more than 140 runs-batted-in per season.
Hint:     He aspired to be a professional boxer but it was as an amateur pugilist in a game in 1929 that he decked a pitcher on the opposing bench.  For good measure, he knocked out the pitcher’s teammate later that night at the train station.
A.         HACK WILSON  [SABR Bio]
-  2 HR = Playing for NYG on 01-Jul-1925, 3rd inning off PHI’s Clarence Mitchell & Jack Knight.
-  Wilson’s RBI production 1926-1930 averaged 141.6 RBI per year (109, 129, 120, 159 & 191*)
-  In an often exaggerated account, Wilson clocked CIN pitcher Ray Kolp during the game on 04-Jul-1929 then clobbered Kolp's teammate Pete Donohue that night at the train station.  Commissioner K.M. “The Scowl” Landis in January 1930 formally banned all major-league ballplayers from boxing for money.
*All-time single-season record.  Babe Ruth said that his 60 HR record would be broken but that this one wouldn’t (and that’s when he thought it was just 190!)  No one has come within 25 of that mark since 1938.
FCR -  Steven Wright , Naperville, Illinois
Incorrect guesses:  Charley Jones, Chuck Klein, Fernando Tatis, Jr., Rogers Hornsby, Arky Vaughn

THURSDAY     23-Jul
Q.        Which one-time Baltimore Oriole was the first player to hit thirty home runs for seven consecutive years for the American League team based in Cleveland?
Hint:     He retired in time NOT to break one of baseball most famous career offensive records.
Hint:     No one in major league history hit more walk-off home runs.
A.         JIM THOME  [SABR Bio]
-  From 1996 through 2002 Thome hit 38, 40, 30, 33, 37, 49 & 52 home runs for CLE.  He continued the streak the next 2 seasons, but  for PHI.  He played for BAL for the final 28 G of his major league career.
-  Retired with 2,548 batter strikeouts, just 51 short of Reggie Jackson’s all-time 2,597 Ks.  Thome’s K average over 22 MLB seasons was 116.
-  His home run won the game for the home team an astounding 13 times:
Watch YouTube for all 13 here.
FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, IL
Incorrect guesses:  Albert Belle, Kenny Lofton, Al Rosen, Eddie Murray

Q.        Whose baseball uniform number 3 has possibly been worn by more fans than any other jersey?
Hint:     Although originally a pitcher, his greatest seasons were amassed as one of baseball’s most prolific sluggers
Hint:     His chosen lifestyle, although emulated/admired by many, has been matched by few. The father of just a single daughter, official birth records have confirmed that he had several other children.
Hint:     He posted a career OPS of just over .800 in the stadium bearing his name.
A.         DALE MURPHY  [SABR Bio]
-  Murphy played for 15 seasons for the ATL, who fashioned themselves as “America’s Team” in part thanks to Ted Turner’s pioneering WTBS cable television network.  Their nationwide fan base helped popularize their stars—none more than Murphy. His uniform #3 continues to be seen in many quarters.
-  Pitched and caught in youth baseball and in American Legion ball. Started his professional career behind the dish before transforming himself into a Gold Glove centerfielder.
-  A devout member of the Mormon Church, Murphy and his wife, Nancy have 7 sons and a daughter.
-  He posted a .819 OPS mark when his team played there at Jack Murphy Stadium against the host Padres 1981-93.  The venue had been called San Diego Stadium 1976-80.
FCR -  Jerry Miller, Liberty Hill, Texas
Incorrect guesses:  Babe Ruth, Sadaharu Oh, Alex Rodriguez, Jimmie Foxx, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Lazzeri

FRIDAY     24-Jul
Q.        What San Francisco-born slugger won the Most Valuable Player award during his tremendous 1941 season, beating out two teammates?
Hint:     He formed a productive duo with Ruth in the early 1930s and saw the very last of The Babe in 1935.
Hint:     He hit the first televised home run.
A.         DOLPH CAMILLI  [SABR Bio]
-  Camilli beat out Dodger teammates Pete Reiser and Whit Wyatt, who finished 2nd and 3rd in the voting, to win the National League MVP honors.
-  Met and married Ms. Ruth Wallace in 1931 while playing minor-league baseball in Sacramento, CA.  Their union produced five children including son       Doug, who carved out a 9-year MLB career as a catcher.  Dolph was playing 1B for the Phillies on 30-May-1935 when Babe Ruth swung his bat for the last time in the majors. Ruth grounded out to Camilli unassisted.
-  In the night-cap of a twin-bill played on 26-August-1939, Camilli hit the 1st ever televised HR over the right-field wall scoreboard at Ebbets Field.  At the time, there were only about 400 television sets in the entire New York City area.
FCR -  David Serota, Kalamazoo
Incorrect guesses:  Joe DiMaggio, Bill Terry, Lou Gehrig, Pete Reiser, Ernie Lombardi

SATURDAY     25-Jul
Q.        What one-time Oakland A’s slugger, who famously wore #44, hit exactly forty home runs in each of four consecutive seasons?
Hint:     It’s an unmatched streak in major league history.
Hint:     He once hit a home run that left the state he was in, ending a century-old gap.
Hint:     He had a cameo role in an Oscar-winning movie.
A.         ADAM DUNN  [B-R Bio]
-  Precisely 40 HR in 2005, 2006, 2007 & 2008, the last season split between CIN & ARI.  Dealt to the D-Backs 11-Aug-2008 in a multi-player and cash trade.  Dunn ended his career w/OAK, playing 25 G there in 2014.  Dunn never led the league in HR in any season.  His 462 career HR are higher totals put up by any Hall of Famers named Jeff Bagwell, Carl Yastrzemski, Andre Dawson, Mike Piazza or Duke Snider, yet he received 0.03% of votes cast, the exact amount that when added to Derek Jeter’s total in the same HOF election would have given Jeter 100% and tied him with Mariano Rivera.
-  Streak’s uniqueness verified by the late David Vincent.
-  On 10-Aug-2004, playing for CIN, Dunn crushed a Jose Lima fastball that left the Great American Ball Park, bounced on an adjacent roadway and splashed down in the Ohio River, which at that point is technically, legally, Kentucky.  The last home runs hit into the state of Kentucky were on 02-Sep-1899, when 6 different Louisville Colonels went deep against the Senators.  It was the last major league game played in the state of Kentucky and shows a 105-years span between HRs that landed there.
-  In “The Dallas Buyers Club” for which his role of Ron Woodruff, Matthew McConaughey won an Oscar for Best Actor and Jared Leto won an Oscar for playing Rayon, Dunn appears as a bartender.
FCR -  David Krassin, Los Angeles
Incorrect guesses:  David Justice, Reggie Jackson, Willie McCovey, Chris Davis, Jose Canseco, Mark McGwire

Q.        Who is the only player since Ralph Kiner to lead the National League in home runs for three consecutive seasons?
Hint:     Even though  he set a record for the number of ballots in his first year eligible for the Hall of Fame, his batting average as a rookie was a derisory .196.
Hint:     He has been an advocate for an electronic strike zone for many years.
A.         MIKE SCHMIDT  [B-R Bio]
-  NL HR leader 1974-76.  Kiner led 7 times! (1946-51)
-  Although not a % record, his 444 votes in his 1st year of eligibility was a record.  He never had a batting average below the Mendoza line again. (although he flirted with it a couple of times)
-  Strike one article
FCR -  Thomas Hablitzel, Hudson, Ohio
Incorrect guesses:  Hank Aaron

Q.        Who was the third and most recent A’s batter to lead the American League in strikeouts for three consecutive seasons?
Hint:     In a game in 2009, he capped his team’s improbable comeback from ten runs down with a seventh-inning home run.
Hint:     He was named in the infamous Mitchell Report on Performance-Enhancing Drugs.
Hint:     His ten-season career saw him play for six major league teams.
A.         JACK CUST  [B-R Bio]
-  From 2007-2009, Cust stuck out 194, 197 & 185 times, joining Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx (7066 & 84 K 1929-1931) and Reggie Jackson (4X = 171142135 & 161 K 1968-1971).
-  On 20-July-2009, OAK roared back from a 12-2 3rd-inning deficit to beat MIN 14-13 with Cust’s 7th-inning HR proving to be the go-ahead run.
-  He was named in the Mitchell Report, but refuted the single accusation and no further investigation followed.
-  Click for Cust’s MLB career.
FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois
Incorrect guesses:  Mike Schmidt, Khris Davis, Scott Hatteberg, Matt Stairs, Jason Giambi, Jose Canseco

SUNDAY     26-Jul
Q.        Who is the first ever major leaguer to go by the nickname “Dutch”?
Hint:     He was the middleman in the very first triple play ever turned in St. Louis major league history.
Hint:     He also worked as a major league umpire.
A.         HERMAN DEHLMAN  [B-R Bio]
-  Can find no previous reference for “Dutch” a common nickname given to players with an even slightly suspected Teutonic background.
-  Playing in only the second month of National League history, 1B Dehlman of the St. Louis Brown Stockings (a forerunner, but not a direct descendant of the Cardinals franchise), fired the ball to 3B to nail the runner there completing the  6-3-5 triple play.  It was the 2nd documented TP in MLB history.
-  He worked regularly as an umpire in the National Association, for a total of 14 games between 1873 and 1875., apparently while still an active player!  (Heck, I did the same in my old “Cindy Larue” co-rec softball league.)
FCR -  Warren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan
Incorrect guesses:  Dutch Reuther, Herman Long, Casey Stengel, Dutch Dotterer, Dutch Leonard

WEEKLY THEME – Batters who led their league in walks and strikeouts in the same season.

Batter              BBs         Ks                 Year         League
Dehlman.......... 11......... 21................ 1875........... NA
Ruth............... 170......... 93................ 1923........... AL
                        142......... 81................ 1924........... AL
                        137......... 89................ 1927........... AL
                        137......... 87................ 1928........... AL
Wilson............ 105......... 84................ 1930........... NL
Camilli............ 110....... 107................ 1939........... NL
Mantle............ 129....... 120................ 1958........... AL
Schmidt.......... 128....... 148................ 1983........... NL
Murphy........... 141......... 90................ 1985........... NL
Thome............ 127....... 171................ 1999........... AL
Giambi........... 129....... 140................ 2003........... AL
Cust............... 111....... 197................ 2008........... AL
Dunn.............. 105....... 222................ 2012........... AL
Judge............. 127....... 208................ 2017........... AL

First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeTom Cuggino, Wheaton, IL (after Thome)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Monday  -  Guys who looked good in stripes
               -  All-time home run hitters at each Yankee position
               -  Yankee outfielders
               -  Yankee Hall OFs
               -  Yankees with their numbers retired
               -  All time Yankee line-up
               -  Retired numbers on the Yankees
               -  Top 10 career home run hitters for the New York Yankees
               -  All-time World Series home run leaders
               -  Hall of Famers who played in the outfield for the Yankees

Tuesday -  Yankees in Monument Park
               -  Players with more than 60 home runs in a season
               -  Retired uniform numbers of Yankees 1-7

Wed        -  Yankees who led the AL most times striking out
               -  Yankees who have led the league in home runs
               -  Yankees with 40 HR seasons

Sat          -  Players who had the same HR total; 3+ years in a row
               -  Guys who hit 45 homers in a season in which they were not MVP?

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