Monday, January 25, 2021

2021-01-18 Imperfect Games

MONDAY  —  18-Jan

Q.        Who led the National League in strikeouts five times in a six-year span, then pitched another eight seasons never again leading even once?

Hint:     For many years, he and his brother held the record for most wins by a pair of brothers.

Hint:     His National League record for strikeouts in a Modern Era season stood for 58 years.


-  Led NL in Ks 1903-05 & 1907-08.  He placed among the league’s top ten annual strikeout leaders for a dozen straight seasons (1901-1912).

-  Mathewson won 373 G.  Brother Henry’s career record was 0-1.  Their combined career victory total was surpassed on 23-April-1974 when Gaylord notched the Perry brothers’ 374th win.  Phil and Joe Niekro (with 539) are the current record holders.

-  Struck out 267 in 1903.  Koufax broke the record in 1961 with 269.  The current record is 382, set by Koufax 4 years later.  Overall modern MLB record is Nolan Ryan w/ 383 in 1973.

FCR -  Leonard Epstein, Dallas

Incorrect guesses:  Dizzy Dean, Gaylord Perry, Jim Perry, Dazzy Vance, Rube Waddell, Stan Coveleski, John Clarkson

 TUESDAY  —  19-Jan

Q.        Whose reputation for “gentlemanly conduct” is belied by the fact that he hit more than 200 batters in his career?

Hint:     At age 35, he led the league in strikeouts and batters hit.

Hint:     One run was frequently enough to win the game when he pitched.


-  Johnson hit 205 batters, a total exceed only by three pitchers whose careers began in the 1800s: Gus Weyhing (277), Chick Fraser (219), and Pink Hawley(210)

-  In 1923, led AL with 130 strikeouts and led the majors w/20 HBP.

-  Johnson holds the record for wins (38) and losses (26) by a score of 1-0.

FCR -  Lincoln Mitchell, New York City

Incorrect guesses:  Christy Mathewson, Pedro Martinez, Jim McCormick, Bob Gibson, Don Drysdale, Bob Feller, Nolan Ryan, Jim Bunning



Q.        Who is the active leader in pitching won-lost percentage?  (As always, reasonable minimums apply, but may not necessarily be stated.  In this case it’s the 50 decisions or as Baseball-Reference puts it, one decision for every ten team games.)

Hint:     He and his high school classmate were once the highest paid athletes in their sports.

Hint:     His career WHIP is fourth best all-time.

A.         CLAYTON KERSHAW  [B-R Bio]

-  Career 175-76 = .697 W-L %.

-  Kershaw and Detroit Lions Quarterback Matthew Stafford were classmates at Highland Park High School in Dallas Texas.  In 2017, Stafford was the highest paid player in the NFL as was Kershaw in MLB.   [Game face]

-  Career WHIP of 1.003 trails only Addie Joss, Ed Walsh, and Mariano Rivera.

FCR -  Tom Howell, Reno

Incorrect guesses:  Greg Maddux, Al Spaulding, John Lester, Justin Verlander



Q.        Who has more career victories, shutouts, games stated, strikeouts, innings pitched and batters faced than any other pitcher in Los Angeles Dodger history?

Hint:     These records hold for all Dodger history going back to Brooklyn, beginning in 1884.

Hint:     He is the only pitcher to start thirty games in a season twenty times.

Hint:     He was also the first pitcher to strike out 100 batters in 20 consecutive seasons.

Hint:     He was the first pitcher to earn 300 wins while only winning twenty games in a season once.

Hint:     He famously surrendered the first of Fergie Jenkins’ thirteen home runs in the majors.

Hint:     He also surrendered the first of Nolan Ryan’s and half of Ryan’s career total.

Hint:     He is the only player for whom the Dodgers have retired a uniform number who did not play in Brooklyn.

Hint:     He was a broadcaster for major league postseason games even before his playing career finished.

Hint:     His strikeout total of 209, was the most by a National League rookie since Grover Cleveland Alexander’s debut season.

Hint:     He rooted for the Yankees as a boy and was the All-Star Game MVP when it was held in Yankee Stadium.

Hint:     His 1,000th career strikeout victim was Willie Mays.

Hint:     He holds the major league record for career at-bats by a pitcher without a home run.

Hint:     He holds an unusual MLB record for pitching the most games of at least nine innings where he received no decision.

A.         DON SUTTON  [SABR Bio]

-  Sutton had   233 W

52 SHO

533 GS

2,697 K

15,567 BF  in his 16 years with LAD.

-  He had an additional 2 seasons w/27 & 29 GS.

-  100K per year in each of his 1st 21 seasons (1966-1986) and then 99 in 1987.

-  Had a career record of 324-256 and won 21 G in 1976 for LAD.

-  Jenkins’ HR 23-Apr-1966.

-  Ryan HR 12-Apr-1980.  Ryan hit 1 more, 7 years later.

-  Uniform #20 retired 14-Jul-1998.  His only Dodger connection during childhood was his mother, whose favorite player was Duke Snider.

-  Sutton started his broadcasting career in 1987 working the League Championship Series for NBC before his 1988 retirement.  He then split his time in 1989 between the Dodgers Z Channel and the ATL.  He then joined the well-known broadcast team of Van Wieren, Skip Caray & Ernie Johnson, Sr. spending 18 years with the ATL calling the action on TBS.

-  Sutton had 206 K in his rookie year, 1966.  Alexander had 227 K in 1911.

-  ASG MVP 1977, Sutton’s 4th & final ASG.

-  K’d Mays 27-May-1971

-  1,354 AB, 0 HR

-  Pitched 17 G, 9 innings or more w/o a decision in any of those G

FCR -  Sarah Grynpas, Toronto

Incorrect guesses:  Don Drysdale



Q.        Whose string of seven consecutive top-five finishes in Cy Young Award voting ended in 2020?

Hint:     He recently ended of string of ten consecutive years with 30 or more starts.

Hint:     He is the sixth pitcher to win the Cy Young Award in both leagues.

A.         MAX SCHERZER  [B-R Bio]

-  From 2013-2019, he finished 1st, 5th, 5th, 1st, 1st, 2nd & 3rd.

-  Had 30+ GS 2009-2018, leading the league in that category w/33 in 2015 & 34 in 2016.

-  Gaylord Perry, Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay and Scherzer have won the award in each league.

FCR -  Ronn Tarter, Cary, North Carolina

Incorrect guesses:  Justin Verlander, Zack Greinke



Q.        Which 200-game winner started on Opening Day for three different teams, but was released five times during his career?

Hint:     He was traded from his hometown team because the team owner didn’t like his mustache.

Hint:     He finished second in Cy Young race the only year he got a vote in his 22-year career.

A.         JERRY REUSS  [SABR Bio]

-  OD starter for PIT in 1974, 1977; for LAD in 1982; & for CHW in 1989.  Released by LAD, CIN, MIL, CHW & HOU.

-  Cardinals owner August Busch didn’t like Reuss’s mustache and ordered his GM to trade him after the 1972 season.  Born and raised in The Gateway to the West, Reuss won 198 games after being traded from STL.

-  2nd in CYA voting in 1980, spoiling an otherwise unanimous selection for Steve Carlton.

FCR -  Jesse Asbury, Norman, Oklahoma

Incorrect guesses:  David Wells, Mike Morgan, Rollie Fingers, Dennis Eckersley, Jack Morris, Esteban Loaiza, Joe Niekro, Luis Tiant


THURSDAY    21-Jan

Q.        Who was the losing pitcher in the first and nineteenth games of Hall of Famer Rube Marquard’s famous winning streak in 1912?

Hint:     He was one of three Georgia natives who received votes in the Hall of Fame’s first-ever election.

Hint:     A Hall of Famer gave him credit for rescuing his baseball career.

A.         NAP RUCKER  [SABR Bio]

-  Marquard won his first 19 decisions of 1912, a record that still stands.  Rucker was rocked in the 1st G—Opening Day, 11-Apr, which the Giants won 18-3.  Rucker pitched a complete-game four-hitter but lost 2-1 in the 19th & final game of the streak, 03-Jul.

-  HOF 1936 voting results for Georgians:  Ty Cobb 222, Bill Terry 9, Rucker 1.  Cobb went in that year & Terry made it in 1954.  Rucker received votes in 6 additional elections, but never had more than the 15 he got in 1942.  It’s interesting to note that Rucker and Cobb were roommates when they played for the Class C Augusta Tourists in 1905.

-  Brooklyn Superbas teammate Casey Stengel admitted, “If it hadn’t been for him, I reckon I wouldn’t have even stayed in baseball.”  In 1913, Stengel had had trouble hitting low pitches so Rucker would take him to the ballpark every morning and throw a steady diet of low balls.  Stengel played for 14 years in the majors w/1,219 hits.  One supposes many of them were off low pitches.

FCR -  Joe O’Neill, London, Ontario

Incorrect guesses:  Eppa Rixey, Jimmy Lavender, Ed Walsh


FRIDAY    22-Jan

Q.        Who broke Babe Ruth’s record for career home runs after that record had stood for almost half a century?

Hint #1:   For fifty years, his name was first in any alphabetical list of major league players.

Hint #2:   At age 23, he was the Most Valuable Player in the National League.

Hint #3:    Of the next eight players receiving MVP votes that year, seven are today in the Hall of Fame.

Hint: #4   He received MVP votes in nineteen seasons of his 23-year MLB career.

Hint: #5   He was the first player to be a unanimous selection to the All-Star team.

Hint: #6   No one made more major league All-Star teams and it’s likely no one ever will.

Hint: #7   No other player has more career runs batted in.

Hint: #8   No other player’s bat was responsible for more career total bases than his.

Hint: #9   In eight seasons, his home run total was forty or greater.

Hint: #10  He was the last player in the majors who had played in the Negro Leagues.

Hint: #11  In his 23 season in the majors, he never hit fewer than ten home runs.

Hint: #12  His first game in the majors was the first day that players were required to take their mitts with them when they left the field at the end of each half inning.

Hint: #13  He was the first player to win a Gold Glove award and batting title the same season.

Hint: #14  He was the first player in to post 40 home runs and 30 stolen bases in the same year.  It wasn’t done again for another quarter century.

Hint: #15  He hit a home run in every League Championship Series game he played in.

Hint: #16  He was the first player to ground into 300 double plays.

Hint: #17  He was the first to be a member of both the 500 home run club and the 3,000 hit club.

Hint: #18  He is the only player to win all three legs of the Triple Crown more than once during his career, yet never win the Triple Crown.

Hint: #19  No one hit more home runs off Sandy Koufax than he did.

Hint: #20  In 2001, President Bill Clinton presented him with the Presidential Citizens Medal, the nation’s second-highest civilian award.  In 2002, he received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor, from President George W. Bush.

Hint: #21  He didn't play organized high school baseball because only white students had teams.

Hint: #22  A future commissioner of baseball sold him his first car.

A.         HANK AARON  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Passed Ruth’s 714 on 08-Apr-1974 off Dodger pitcher Al Downing in the 4th inning.  His HR was on the 4th pitch of the 4th inning in the 4th game of the 4th month in a year divisible by 4.  IN addition, he wore uniform #44 as did Al Downing.  He won the HR title in 4 seasons and 4 times hit 44 HR.  One season he tied for the league lead with Willie McCovey.  Willie’s uniform number?  You got it. 44.  Reggie Jackson would be quick to point out that he too wore #44 and that he led the league in HR 4 X.

-  #1     Aaron was first alphabetically and his brother Tommie was second until David Aardsma debuted w/SFG in 2004.

-  #2, 3 NL MVP in 1957.  Behind him in the voting that year were, in order, Musial, Schoendienst, Mays, Spahn, Banks, Mathews & F. Robinson.

-  #4     Received MVP votes straight from 1955 through 1973.  During that time, ne never didn’t receive MVP consideration.

   -#5    Unanimous AS in 1959—players voted for the teams that year.

   -#6    Aaron was a NL AS 25 times in an unbroken string 1955-75.  (There were 2 AS G per season 1959-62.)

-  #7     Accumulate 2,297 RBI.  Ruth ended with 2,214.

-  #8     Career TB = 6,856.  Stan Musial is a distant 2nd w/6,134.

-  #9     Only the AL’s Babe Ruth did it more times—9.

-  #10   His last MLB season was 1976.

-  #11   No other player can make that claim.

-  #12   Amazingly, players had been able to simply leave their gloves somewhere near their positions and retrieve them when they went back out.

-  #13   He was the 2nd of his 3 GG (1958, 59 & 60) when he hit .355.  He also won a batting title in 1956 when he hit .328.

-  #14   In 1963 he had 44 HR and 31 SB.  In 1988 Jose Canseco hit 42 HR w/40 SB.

-  #15   1969 NLCS, a HR in each of the 3 G.

-  #16   He passed #300 in 1974.  Cal Ripken, Ivan Rodriguez and Albert Pujols have since passed his 328 GIDP total.

-  #17   500th HR 14-Jul-1968; 3,000th H 17-May-1970.

-  #18   HR 1957, 63, 66-67; RBI 1957, 60, 63, 66; AVG 1956, 59)

-  #19   He homered off Koufax 7 X, as also did Felipe Alou, Ernie Banks & Frank Robinson.

-  #20   If a higher award is ever created, he’d no doubt be one of the first recipients.

-  #21   Grew up in fully segregated Mobile, Alabama.

-  #22   Milwaukee car dealer Bud Selig was the salesman.

Incorrect guesses: 


FRIDAY    22-Jan

Q.        Who started the last game in Washington Senators history and the first game in Texas Rangers history?

Hint:     He led the league in ERA the first season he graduated from being a spot starter to a full-time member of the starting rotation.

Hint:     He was the fourth of the five pitchers to have their no-hitters broken up by a lone Cesar Tovar hit.

A.         DICK BOSMAN  [SABR Bio]

-  Last as a Senator* 30-Sep-1971.  The game was forfeited by WSA because fans stormed the field.  First G in TX 15-Apr-1972.  Bosman took the 1-0 loss.

-  Led AL in 1969 with an ERA of 2.19.

-  Bosman’s no-hitter was foiled by Tovar’s H on 14-Aug-1970.  The other 4 were, Barry Moore, Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar & Catfish Hunter.

*Second iteration of Modern Era Washington Senators.

FCR -  Dave Wise, Hyde Park, New York

Incorrect guesses:  Jim Bibby


T.G.I.F. SPECIAL    22-Jan

Q.        Who threw the first no-hitter at San Francisco’s AT&T Park?

Hint:     It was the first no-hitter by a left-handed Giants pitcher in 80 years.

Hint:     He married a famous Dominican model and television host.

A.         JONATHAN SANCHEZ  [B-R Bio]

-  He no-hit SDP with Eli Whiteside behind the plate on 10-Jul-2009.  AT&T Park had been opened since 2000, but had only had that name since 2006.  It is now Oracle Park.

-  Four right-handed Giants (including 2 HOF) had thrown no-hitters since BRTL Carl Hubbell did it in 1922.

-  Married Audris Rijo.  (Sadly, their marriage lasted just four months.)

FCR -  Steven Harmon, Sacramento

Incorrect guesses:  Juan Marichal, Madison Bumgarner, Mike McCormick, Dave Dravecky, Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum


SATURDAY    23-Jan

Q.        Which one-time Pittsburgh Pirates’ pitcher had three separate stints with the San Francisco Giants?

Hint #1:    He once earned an assist by throwing his glove to first base.

Hint #2:    He has recorded at least one pitching victory against every existing major league team.

Hint #3:    In his twenty seasons in the majors, he made the All-Star team just once, but he made it as the starting pitcher.

A.         TERRY MULHOLLAND  [B-R Bio]

Ans.-  Pitched in 22 G for PIT in 2001.  Played for SFG in 1986 88, 89 and again in 1995 and finally in 1997.

-  #1     On 03-Sep-1986, in the bottom of the 3rd, when NYM’s Keith Hernandez led off with a grounder to the pitcher, the ball got stuck in the webbing of his glove.  Mulholland threw his glove with the ball in it, to first-baseman Bob Brenly who caught both for the putout.  Orlando Hernandez (1999) & Darryl Kile (2001) have also been recorded making almost the same play.

-  #2     Since 1998 when MLB grew to 30 teams, Mulholland and 18 others pitchers have beaten each one.  Mulholland’s favorites to face were WSN (17-5, 3.11 ERA) and LAD (9-7, 2.25 ERA).

-  #3     Named starting pitcher to the 1993 ASG by ATL Mgr. Bobby Cox.  He pitched 2 innings, surrendering 1 R, a solo HR by Kirby Puckett.

FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota

Incorrect guesses:  Dave Dravecky



Q.        Which Duke University graduate flew for the U.S. Army Air Corps in World War II, played for the Syracuse Nationals (later the Philadelphia 76ers), played for the Toronto Maple Leafs, had multiple offers to play college football and pitched a no-hitter in his first season in the majors?

Hint:     He fought in World War II, his father fought in World War I and his grandfather fought in the Civil War.

Hint:     Shoulder and arm trouble curtailed his once promising career.

A.         BILL McCAHAN  [SABR Bio]

-  Played for Syracuse  in their first year of operation, 1946-47, scoring a total of 94 points in 27 G.  Played baseball for the AAA Toronto Maple Leafs the year before he was called up to the majors.  Threw a no-hitter in his 1st full season with PHA.

-  McCahan joined the newly-formed U.S. Army Air Corps (became the U.S. Air Force in 1947) and earned his wings . His father, William Glenn McCahan Sr., was a sergeant serving in France during WWI.  Bill’s grandfather John A. McCahan was a captain in the 205th Pennsylvania Infantry in the Civil War.

-  His owner, Connie Mack, had predicted that McCahan’s future looked as bright as that of NYY’s Spud Chandler, then the most recent pitcher to win the AL MVP.

FCR -  Jim Lovelace, Kent, Ohio

Incorrect guesses:  Dick Groat


SUNDAY    24-Jan

Q.        Who ran a successful dental practice while pitching in the majors?

Hint #1:   His nickname of “Doc” was almost inevitable.

Hint #2:   He also had a brief managerial career.

Hint #3 : Only recent actions by MLB make his question valid.

Hint #4:   His testimony in a famous trial put him in danger and he moved his practice to East Coast where he was a frequent guest at SABR gatherings.

Hint #5:   His brother also played in the majors.

A.         FRANKLIN “Doc” SYKES  [Bio]

-  On 16-December-2020, MLB officially elevated many of the Negro Leagues to “Major League” status.  The bulk of his practice was following his retirement from pitching.

1 -  In early professional baseball almost any player with some college under his belt was called “Doc” by teammates, coaches and fans alike.  Having an actual medical school graduate (Howard University, Washington, DC) would seal the deal.

2 -  Managed the Hilldale Club in 1918 whose team members included Hall of Famers Louis Santop and Judy Johnson.

3 -  MLB declared that the Negro Leagues, where Sykes played, now have sufficient documentation to be regarded major leagues.

4 -  While living in Decatur, Alabama in 1931, Sykes provided critical testimony in the Scottsboro Boys trial, challenging the fairness of an all-white jury. The backlash of his involvement in the case eventually caused him to move to Baltimore where he lived for the next half century.  Prolific SABR researcher John Holway befriended Sykes in his later years.

5 -  Brother Melvin only played a single season, 1926.

FCR -  Kevin Johnson, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Incorrect guesses:  Bobby Brown, Steve Arlin, Doc Prothro, Doc White, Doc Bushong, Doc Medich, Doc Ferrell, Dock Ellis, Jim Lonborg, Doc Edwards, Jack Jones, Ed Lafitte, Wabishaw Wiley, Doc Casey




WEEKLY THEME – “Imperfect Games”.  Modern Era pitchers whose no-hit games were denied “perfect game” status because of teammates’ errors.  Each gave up no-hits, no walks & hit no batters.  If the documentation proves reliable, 19th century pitchers Pud Galvin, Charles Radbourn and John Clarkson would also have qualified this week.


Pitcher                         Date                      Miscreant                                    Details

Mathewson............ 13-Jun-1905................. Billy Gilbert............... Won 1-0 w/2 errors…

                                                                  Bill Dahlen ................ Struck out 2 host CHC.

Johnson................. 01-July-1920................ Bucky Harris.............. Struck out 10 guest BOS.

Kershaw................ 18-Jun-2014................. Hanley Ramirez.......... Struck out 15 guest COL.

Scherzer................ 02-Oct-2015(2)*........... Yunel Escobar............ Struck out 17 host NYM.

Reuss.................... 27-Jun-1980................. Bill Russell................ Struck out 2 host SFG.

Rucker.................. 05-Sep-1908................ Phil Lewis.................. Won 6-0 w/3 errors…

                                                                  Harry Lumley............. Struck out 14 guest BSN.

                                                                  Tommy Sheehan

Bosman................. 19-Jun-1974................. [Himself].................... Struck out 4 guest OAK.

Sanchez................. 10-Jun-2009................. Juan Uribe.................. Struck out 11 guest SDP.

Mulholland............ 15-Aug-1990............... Charlie Hayes............. Struck out 8 guest SFG.

McCahan............... 03-Sep-1947................ Ferris Fain.................. Struck out 2 host WSH.

Sykes.................... 11-Sep-1922(1)............ Blainey Hall............... Struck out 2 guest Atlantic

                                                                  Louis Miller............... City Bacharach Giants


*This was Scherzer’s second no-hit, no-walk imperfect game of the season.  On 06-Jun-2015, he had retired the first 26 batters before hitting PIT’s Jose Tabata with two out in the ninth.  Scherzer retired the next batter to preserve the no-hitter.  Tabata, was 4 G away from the end of his MLB career.  He suspiciously, unnecessarily and uncharacteristically crowded the plate during his at-bat.


FCR for Week’s ThemeGreg Holcombe, Bloomingdale, Illinois (after Reuss)




Incorrect theme guesses:


Monday  -  Hall of Famers with January birthdays

               -  Pitched multiple shutouts in one World Series

               -  Most innings pitched by a starting pitcher in a World Series game


Tuesday-   Inaugural HOF class

               -  The first players elected to the BBHOF

               -  Pitchers with the most career victories per season

               -  Players who won ERA title five (or four) times or more

               -  Pitchers who have led the league in ERA a certain number times? Four times? Five times?

               -  Pitchers with 10 or more seasons with 20 or more starts and an ERA under 3.00


Wed        -  Pitchers who have five or more 200-strikeout-plus seasons


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.