Monday, September 21, 2020

2020-09-14 Players Who Inspired Rule Changes II

MONDAY  —  14-Sep

Q.        Who led the American League in OPS in its first year of operation?

Hint:     A manager, on a team he never played for, conspired to give him a car.

Hint:     He was taller than average for the position he played and, perhaps alignment with his name, people were drawn to him and not just teammates.

A.         NAP LAJOIE [SABR Bio]

-  in the American League’s inaugural 1901 season, Lajoie led batters in nearly every conceivable offensive category including OPS (On-Base Percentage Plus Slugging Percentage)—a statistic that wasn’t even popularized until 1984.

-  In his only year managing in the majors, St. Louis Browns’ skipper Jack O’Connor ordered his 3rd baseman Red Corriden to play on the outfield grass when Lajoie batted, thus allowing Lajoie to lay down eight bunt singles in a season-ending double-header.  This chicanery (calumny?) was contrived out of jealousy/hatred of Ty Cobb and to enable Lajoie to overtake Cobb for the AL batting crown which came with a free automobile sponsored by Chalmers Automobile Company.  Full scandal details here.  For his role in this debacle, O’Connor was fired and never again hired to manage in organized baseball.

-  Napoleon Bonaparte, although no giant, was of unremarkable normal height.  Still, a misconception remains that he was short.  Lajoie, on the other hand was a sturdy 6’1”, well above average for his time, particularly among middle infielders.  In French, “La joie” means joy.  Nap was almost universally well-respected and admired by teammates and rivals alike.

FCR -  Philip Trostler, Norwich, Connecticut

Incorrect guesses:  Dwight Evans, Don Mattingly, Frank Thomas, Wee Willie Keeler, Travis Hafner, Eddie Collins, Cal Ripken, Sandy Alomar, Jr


TUESDAY    15-Sep

Q.        Who was the only player to reach base in what would have been Walter Johnson’s perfect game?

Hint:     He was also the first player to hit two homers in a modern World Series-clinching game

Hint:     He never played or managed for the Yankees, but many credit him with the Yankees winning many championships.

A.         HARRY HOOPER  [SABR Bio]

-  Reaching on an error by rookie 2B Bucky Harris, Hooper was the only base-runner versus The Big Train 1-July-1920.  Johnson still had the no-hitter, the only one of his career.

-  2-HR G 5 1915 WS.

- Hooper was key in convincing the Red Sox to let Babe Ruth play every day.

FCR -  Willis Kern, Bloomington, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Frank Crosetti, Ed Barrow, Frank Baker, Miller Huggins, Tris Speaker



Q.        Which manager holds the all-time American League record for ejections?

Hint:     He was the first manager to lead his seventy-year-old franchise to 100-win seasons.

Hint:     He once explained, “We're so bad right now that for us, back-to-back home runs means one today and another one tomorrow.”?

A.         EARL WEAVER  [SABR Bio]

-  The 3 ahead of him in number of ejections, managed all or most of their games in the senior circuit.

- A franchise-best 109 wins in 1969 and then four more 100-win years in 1970, 1971, 1979 & 1980.The Browns/Os franchise has never had any other 100-win seasons.

-  Quote was in 1972 when the Orioles weren’t quite up to the standard they had set 1969-71.

FCR -  David Skelton, Woodway, Texas

Incorrect guesses:  Billy Martin, Bobby Cox, Mike Scioscia, AJ Hinch, Connie Mack



Q.        Who is the only player to hit a pennant-clinching grand slam on the last game of the season?

Hint:     He turned down a chance to play for the Yankees to attend NYU.

Hint:     It was a holy day when he hit two home runs.


- Dramatic 9th inning GS 30-Sept-1945.

-  The Yankees had Lou Gehrig, so it was a defendable decision.

-  2 HRs on Jewish New Year Rosh Hashanah 10-Sept-1934.  After some additional deep soul-searching, Greenberg stuck with his decision not to play on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement, later that same season.

FCR -  Mark Pattison, Washington, DC

Incorrect guesses:  Shawn Green, Dick Sisler


THURSDAY    17-Sep

Q.        Who has the second-shortest career tenure of any manager in Texas Rangers history?

Hint:     He played on three different teams that won a pennant, but he never won a World Series.

Hint:     He is the only second baseman to walk more than 135 times in a season (and he did it three times).

A.         EDDIE STANKY  [SABR Bio]

-  One game on June 22 1977, it lasted 3:16.  Del Wilber’s one game was a mere 2:09.

-  1947 Dodgers, 1948 Braves, 1951 Giants

-  In 1945, Stanky walked 148 times!  (Tied w/Barry Bonds for 14th all-time.)*  Stanky also walked 137 X in 1946 & 144 X in 1950.  The only other second baseman who comes close is Joe Morgan who walked 132 times in his first MVP season, 1976.

FCR -  Vince Guerrieri, Elyria, Ohio

*To be fair Bonds also holds 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 9th, 20th, 52nd, 62nd, 79th & 90th positions in the top 100.  Still, Stanky keeping impressive company at 32nd, 79th, 228th & (ahem!...) 446th

Incorrect guesses:  Connie Ryan, Eddie Yost, Joe Morgan, Toby Harrah


FRIDAY    18-Sep

Q.        Who managed a team to the longest losing streak in modern major league baseball history?

Hint:     He then oversaw the longest consecutive-game losing streak by National League team in the National League’s expansion era.

Hint:     He managed the home team in the first major league game held in a foreign country.

A.         GENE MAUCH  [SABR Bio]

-  Managed the 1961 Phillies (23 losses without a win; from 29-Jul through 20-Aug).

-  Managed the 1969 Expos.(20 straight losses from 13-May through 07-Jun).

-Manager for the Montreal Expos for their franchise debut home G:  14-April-1969, a packed-house victory over the then NL champs, STL.

FCR -  J.P. Wanamaker, Binghamton, New York

Incorrect guesses:  Casey Stengel, Frank Robinson, Ray Miller, Cal Ripken, Sr.


SATURDAY    19-Sep

Q.        Which former Reds second baseman was the first player to amass a thousand career plate appearances as a designated hitter?

Hint:     His team won a World Series over a team that he helped coach to a championship more than two decades later.

Hint:     He’s the only person to manage his son for an expansion team.

A.         HAL McRAE  [B-R Bio]

-  1st DH PA on 15-Apr-1973; 1,000th on 23-Sep-1976

-  While a player, McRae’s KCR beat STL in 1985.  STL—with McRae as a coach—won it all in 2006.

-  Managed son Brian McRae for KCR 1991-1994.

FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Incorrect guesses:  Ken Griffey, Red Schoendienst



Q.        Which Trojan and one-time New York Giant played for the major league Reds in two different cities?

Hint:     One season, he played all nine positions on the diamond.  (Not in the same game, that would be a record!)

Hint:     He was once presented with a gold medal.

A.         KING KELLY  [SABR Bio]

-  Kelly debuted with the Cincinnati Reds in 1878.  In 1890, he jumped, as did many others, to the short-lived Players League.  Their Boston installation was the Reds and they won the league’s on pennant with Kelly as player/manager.  Played for NYG in his final season, 1893.  He was born in Troy, New York.

-  Playing for the Chicago White Stockings Kelly manned all nine positions during his 1884 season.

Outfield – 63 games

Catcher – 28 games

Shortstop – 12 games

Third Base – 10 games

First Base – 2 games

Pitcher – 2 games

Second Base – 1 game

-  The Boston Globe newspaper presented Kelly with a gold medal after the 1887 season inscribed to the “champion base runner” of the Boston Base Ball Club.  The medal is now in the Hall of Fame.

FCR -  Rick Pyle, Concord, California

Incorrect guesses:  Jim Thorpe, Jackie Robinson, Buck Ewing, Morgan Murphy


SUNDAY    20-Sep

Q.        Which pitcher, in his first-ever major league start, singled off Walter Johnson?

Hint:     Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sent him to the Yankees, a move that was essentially for money.

Hint:     He had a winning record for the Red Sox in 1915 but didn’t pitch for them in the World Series.

A.         CARL MAYS  [SABR Bio]

-  Mays compiled a .268 batting average over his 15-year career.  (Johnson still won that 1st G.)

-  Frazee ran the Red Sox like a Broadway production and was chronically short on cash.  After a controversial move by Mays, Frazee took the easy way out by avoiding any disciplinary measures and simply getting rid of Mays and      recouping some income.

-  Used mostly in relief, had a 6-5 regular season record, 2.60 ERA with 7 saves.  Not in his favor was the fact that he was a rookie.

FCR -  Vince Guerrieri, Elyria, Ohio

Incorrect guesses:  Babe Ruth, Smoky Joe Wood, Herb Pennock



WEEKLY THEME – Even more players who influenced rules changes (See Horsehide Trivia quiz 06-Jul-2020).  Round of applause goes to Toronto’s Sarah Grynpas for researching and drafting the questions for this week.


Larry LajoieRule: White sanitary stockings are officially made a part of the uniform after blood poisoning nearly costs Baseball one of its earliest superstars.


Earl WeaverRule: A phantom DH can’t be substituted until he’s had at least one PA.


Harry HooperRule: Baserunners can advance as soon as the fielder makes contact with the ball.  Hooper was famous for juggling a fly ball as he eased closer to better throw out a running tagging up.


Hank GreenbergRule: Size limitations on first baseman mitts.


Eddie Stanky — Rule: On-field defensive players are not allowed to distract the batter when he’s at bat. Stanky, while playing 2B would wave his arms as the pitch was being delivered.


Gene Mauch — Rule: Existing rules did not prohibit interference against defensive players who ventured into an opponent’s dugout while attempting to catch a foul ball. On 4-July-1966 Phillies manager Mauch knocked a ball out of NYM C Jerry Grote’s mitt.  The rule was changed during the off-season.


Hal McRaeRule: A baserunner who takes out an infielder without a reasonable chance of reaching the base means the ball is dead.


King Kelly- Rule: No player substitutions until the ball is dead.  The story goes that Kelly was on the bench one game in the bottom of the ninth with two outs.  At the time the rules allowed a player to substitute himself into a game just by making an announcement.  As the batter lofted a pop foul near the Boston bench, Kelly stood up and said in a loud, clear voice, “Kelly now catching.”  He caught the ball barehanded and won the game.  The rule was formally changed in 1910, 16 years after Kelly’s death.


Carl MaysRule: Umpires must replace ball when it becomes dirty or damaged.


First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeDave Raglin, McLean, Virginia




Incorrect theme guesses:


Monday  -  Hall of famers with 4 syllable given names


Tuesday -  The old-time team that Mr. Burns originally suggested in the Simpsons episode ‘Homer at the Bat’.

               -  In the Simpsons episode Homer at the Bat in February 1992 ...these are the major league players originally selected by Mr. Burns to play in the championship softball game until his assistant Mr. Smithers informs him they are all dead.


Sunday   -  Some kind of award they all won


If you know someone who would enjoy receiving Horsehide Trivia, please refer them to this site:


This week’s quiz archived here:  http://horsehidetriviA.


Horsehide Trivia encourages independent research.


No comments:

Post a Comment