Monday, October 26, 2020

2020-10-19 October regular-season no-hitters

 MONDAY  —  19-Oct

Q.        Who is the only right-handed pitcher to finish in the top five vote getters for the Cy Young Award for seven consecutive seasons?

Hint:     No other major league pitcher had more total strikeouts in the decade 2010-2019.

Hint:     He once sported eyes of three different colors.

A.         MAX SCHERZER  [B-R Bio]

-  CYA Vote positions

      2013 – 1st

      2014 – 5th

      2015 – 5th

      2016 – 1st

      2017 – 1st

      2018 – 2nd

      2019 – 3rd

Lefty Clayton Kershaw had a similar string 2011-17.

-  In that 10-year period he struck out 2,452 batters.  Justin Verlander (2,260), Clayton Kershaw (2,179) & Chris Sale (2,007) were the only other ones with more than 2,000.  [ERRATUM:  Greg Maddux also finished in the top 5 in the Cy Young voting for 7 consecutive seasons, 1992-98.]

   -Scherzer was born with one hazel-colored eye and one brown eye, but while practicing bunting before the on 18-Jun-2019, not a start day for him, an errant bunt came up and caught him in the face, breaking his nose and blacking his right eye.  He still pitched and won a game 2 days later, but rocking a hazel eye, a brown eye and a black eye.

FCR -  David Umansky, Washington, DC

Incorrect guesses:  Justin Verlander, CC Sabathia, Pedro Martinez, Clayton Kershaw, Corey Kluber, Greg Maddox

TUESDAY    20-Oct

Q.        What baby-face pitcher, in his rookie year for the Orioles, set a record for the number of strike outs in a single season?

Hint:     He never reached even 50% of that total again in a season.

Hint:     He became the pitching coach for the A’s.

Hint:     The year after he led the league in losses, he led the majors in wins.

A.         MATT KILROY  [SABR Bio]

-  Kilroy struck out (wait for it… ) 513 batters for the Baltimore Orioles of the American Association in 1886.  While this number has been confirmed, pitching circumstances 140 year ago were substantially different from those today.

-  His next best K season was in 1887 where he racked up 217, a total he tied in 1889.

-  His relationship with Connie Mack’s Philadelphia A’s pitching corps was never formalized.

-  In 1886, Kilroy suffered 34 losses against 29 wins.  His record was 46-19 in 1887, a year where he started 69 and finished 66 of them.  That win total is still the all-time single-season record for a left-handed pitcher.

FCR -  Jake Flynn, Los Angeles

Incorrect guesses:  Rick Honeycutt, Milt Pappas, Bob Turley, Wally Bunker, Rube Waddell, Mike Boddicker, Dave Stewart, Erik Bedard, Mike Mussina, Chuck Estrada, Dave McNally



Q.        Which Hall of Fame pitcher surrendered but a single hit in his major league debut, that hit being by another Hall of Famer?

Hint:     He (the pitcher) had as many hits that day as did the opposition.

Hint:     He was the reason for the first modern all star game.

A.         ADDIE JOSS  [SABR Bio]

-  MLB debut 26-Apr-1902.  The lone hit was a controversial 6th inning single by Hall of Famer Jesse Burkett.  On the softly-hit 2-strike hit, CLE RF Zaza Harvey charged in and, according to most accounts, caught the ball 3” from the ground.  But umpire Bob Caruthers ruled differently, saying that Harvey had scooped the ball off of the ground, ending the tantalizing prospect of a no-hitter in Joss’s debut.

-  Joss added an RBI double.

-  Joss was felled 2 days after turning 31 by tubercular meningitis.  He was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Toledo, OH.  Two months later, a group of star players from other AL teams played Joss’s team, the Cleveland Naps, in an exhibition game to benefit Joss’s widow, Lillian, and their two children.  15,000+ tickets were sold for the game raising $12,914.

FCR -  Joe O’Neill, London, ON

Incorrect guesses:  Babe Ruth, Walter Johnson, Bob Feller, Carl Hubbell, Christy Mathewson, Juan Marichal


THURSDAY    22-Oct

Q.        Who was the first Expos pitcher to strike out 250 batters in a season?

Hint:     He was the General Manager for another expansion franchise, overseeing their only World Series championship.

Hint:     He attended college in Moscow.

A.         BILL STONEMAN  [SABR Bio]

-  251 K for MON in 1971, 3rd in the NL that year

-  GM for ANA 1999-2004 then LAA 2005-07; WS champs in 2002

-  Attended the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho.

FCR -  Jeff Kallman, Las Vegas

Incorrect guesses:  Steve Rogers, Pedro Martinez


FRIDAY    23-Oct

Q.        Who was the National League’s ERA leader the first year after the league adopted the pitching distance still currently in use, sixty feet, six inches?

Hint:     He was the pitcher in the Cincinnati Reds’ ”Pretzel Battery”.

Hint:     Active in the U.S. military, he is buried in Normandy.

Hint:     The Borneo Python is named for his namesake.


-  Pitching distance was moved from 50’ in 1892 to 60’6” in March of 1893.  Breitenstein led the league that season with an ERA of 3.18.

-  During Breitenstein’s years with STL (1893-1895) & CIN (1897-1900), the main catcher for both teams was Heinie Peitz.  The parents of both men had been born in Germany.  The nickname reportedly developed when the pair were drinking beer and eating pretzels after a game.  A fan noticed them and yelled, “Look, it's the ‘pretzel battery’.”

-  During WWI, Breitenstein was named director of an athletic camp especially organized for U.S. military servicemen.  He died in St. Louis at the age of 65 and is interred in Saint Peter's Cemetery in the Normandy area of St. Louis.

-  The scientific name for the now endangered Borneo python is “Python breitensteini”.  It is a species of non-venomous python native to Borneo.  The name is in honor of Heinrich Breitenstein, a German doctor and naturalist who collected amphibians and reptiles in Borneo in the 1870s and discovered the species.

FCR -  Willis Kern, Bloomington, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Billy Rhines, Juan Marichal, Pretzels Getzien, Gary Nolan, Amos Rusie


SATURDAY    24-Oct

Q.        What pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds in the 1890s was believed to be a black man passing as white?

Hint:     In his rookie season, he pitched only one game, but it became famous enough that games like it bear his name.

Hint:     His feat that day is noted on his grave.

A.         BUMPUS JONES  [SABR Bio]

-  Historian Gary Ashwill presents statements from Jones’s home town.  While not conclusive, it is compelling.

-  The Dodgers’ Ross Stripling came close to pitching a “Bumpus Jones” when, on 08-Apr-2016, he no-hit SFG for 7⅓ innings.

-  Money for his gravestone was raised by a young player named Curtis Hughes whom Jones had encouraged as a player.

FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Clarence Stephens, Ice Box Chamberlain, Bill Pfann, Fred Blank


SUNDAY    25-Oct

Q.        Which thirty-one-year-old rookie pitcher was the first to throw an extra-inning no-hitter?

Hint:     It was a watermark game for several other reasons.

Hint:     Less than a year later he threw another no-hitter, hitting a three-run home run in support of his own cause.

A.         SAM KIMBER  [SABR Bio]

-  No-hitter 04-Oct-1884

-  Uniqueness of the game and records set in that game are documented by SABR historian David Nemec. 

-  The second no-hitter was in the minors.

FCR -  Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, Maryland

Incorrect guesses:  Jim Maloney



WEEKLY THEME – Regular season no-hitters thrown in the month of October.

Kimber............ 04-Oct-1884

Kilroy.............. 06-Oct-1886

Breitenstein.... 04-Oct-1891

Jones............. 15-Oct-1892

Joss................ 02-Oct-1908

Stoneman....... 02-Oct-1972

Scherzer......... 03-Oct-2015



First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeBill Deane, Cooperstown (after Stoneman)




Incorrect theme guesses:


Wed        -  Pitchers (righties?) who have thrown a no-hitter and a one-hitter

               -  Threw a no hitter in their first month of existence

               -  Pitched two no-hitters


Sat          - No hitters thrown earliest in a career


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