Monday, March 29, 2021

2021-03-22 Pitchers who threw consecutive one-hitters

MONDAY  22—Mar

Q.        Which pitcher has the highest winning percentage of road games of any pitcher in the Modern Era who has at least 100 road decisions?

Hint: #1    He has won more games than any other pitcher for his franchise and it’s been around for more than 115 years.

Hint: #2    He twice finished in the top five in MVP voting and twice in the top five in Cy Young Award voting.

A.         WHITEY FORD  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Road % is .695.  (116-51)

-  #1     236 W for NYY.  NYY’s 1st season was 1903.

-  #2     5th in MVP votes in 1961 & 3rd in 1963, both times finishing behind non-pitching teammates; 3rd in CYA voting in 1956 & 1st in 1961.

FCR -  Mark Pattison, Washington, DC

Incorrect guesses:  Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson, Pedro Martinez, Rick Sutcliffe, Jim Palmer, Clayton Kershaw, Robin Roberts, Mickey Lolich, Ron Guidry, Justin Verlander



Q.        Which one-time Boston Brave was the first pitcher to play in five World Series in the Modern Era?

Hint: #1    He wasn’t on the winning side in any of them.

Hint: #2    He surrendered the first of the World Series home runs that cemented Frank Baker’s nickname.

A.         RUBE MARQUARD  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Played in WS in 1911, 1912, 1913, 1916 & 1920.  Played for BSN 1922-25.

-  #1     Series were won by PHA, BOS, PHA, BOS & CLE respectively.

-  #2     In the 1911 WS, Baker took Marquard deep in G 2 on 16-Oct.  Marquard was criticized in print for how he had pitched to Baker, but in the very next WS G, the next day, the person who had done the criticizing, gave up a second HR to Baker.  From that moment, Frank Baker would never NOT be Home Run Baker.  The pitcher with that uncharacteristic (and untimely) criticism?  Marquard’s gentlemanly teammate, Christy Mathewson.

FCR -  Tony Monti, Whitestone, New York

Incorrect guesses:  Rube Marquand, Warren Spahn, Johnny Sain, Mordecai Brown



Q.        Which former Saluki once graced the cover of Sport Illustrated alongside Andre Dawson?

Hint: #1    He was the ace of an American League East pitching staff that boasted six pitchers who had a minimum of ten wins apiece.  Apiece!

Hint: #2    He had the most Wins Above Replacement (WAR) for a pitcher for the entire 1980s.

A.         DAVE STIEB  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  SI cover.  18-Jul-1983.  Stieb had attended Southern Illinois University.

-  #1     Here are the year-end records for those 6 pitchers on the 1987 Blue Jays:

P                          W-L

Jimmy Key           17-8

Jim Clancy           15-11

Dave Stieb           13-9

Jeff Musselman   12-5

John Cerutti         11-4

Mark Eichhorn     10-6

Of Note:  On that same team’s staff can be found:  a.) A Cy Young Award winner (Flanagan), b.) A future perfect game pitcher (Wells), c.) 2 league Saves leaders (Henke & Ward), d.) Another franchise’s career leader in pitching games and games finished (Lavelle [SFG]) and e.) A future Hall of Famer (Niekro).

-  #2     His WAR from 1980-89 was 45.2.  Second was Bob Welch at 35.1.  Click here for analysis.

FCR -  Sarah Grynpas, Toronto

Incorrect guesses:  Jack Morris, Rick Sutcliffe



Q.        Which Cleveland Indians pitcher, in the pros at age 17, struck out a future Hall of Famer, and a few others, in his first start in the majors?

Hint: #1    He was so sought after as a teenager that 14 of the 16 major league teams offered him a contract.

Hint: #2    He appeared as a guest on “To Tell the Truth” before he ever appeared in a major league game.

Hint: #3    In his fifteen-year MLB career, he was only traded once and that was for a future Hall of Famer plus another player.

Hint: #4    The very thing that drove him out of baseball led to his success afterwards.

A.         SAM McDOWELL  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  On 15-Sep-1961, McDowell struck out Harmon Killebrew plus 3 additional Twins (He got All-Star catcher Earl Battey 2 X.) in 6⅓ scoreless innings of work.  Did not get a decision.  He had pitched in the minors at age 17.

-  #1     He chose CLE principally because of the principal, an impressive signing bonus of $75,000.

-  #2     On 16-Jun-1960 he appeared on the popular show.  Start at minute 16:00.

-  #3     On 29-November-1971, he was traded by CLE to SFG for Gaylord Perry and Frank Duffy.

-  #4     Alcohol consumption in weapons-grade quantities caught up with him when he was switched the bullpen.  He later was a successful counselor with athletes, particularly  baseball players, who also struggled with alcoholism.

FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Bob Feller, Herb Score, Bob Lemon



Q.        Who hit the first triple in All-Star competition?

Hint: #1    He remains the only person to play in and umpire a major league All-Star Game.  (Not the same game—that’d be a record!)

Hint: #2    He is the only pitcher ever to strike out a certain Hall of Famer in a major league game.

A.         LON WARNEKE  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  1933 ASG, 6th inning off General Crowder

-  #1     Named to NL AS in 1933, 34, 36, 39 & 41; Umpired 1952.  From 1940 through 1955, he umpired more than 1,000 MLB games.

-  #2     On 27-Sep-1936, Walter Alston played 2 innings of major league baseball.  He made an error at 1B on the first ball hit to and Warneke struck him out to end the game.  It was Alston’s only time at bat in the majors.  Managing was clearly his calling, his strength.

FCR -  Richard Giovanoni, Morton Grove, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Earl Averill, Ron Warner, Ken Burkhart



Q.        Who was the first pitcher to strike out the initial five batters in a World Series?

Hint: #1    He is the only one to be the losing pitcher in consecutive All-Star games.

Hint: #2    He used changes in his uniform number to help himself out of a slump.  It worked so well he was the league’s MVP by the end of the season.

A.         MORT COOPER  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  G 5, 1943 WS

-  #1     Lost in 1942 & 43

-  #2     NL MVP in 1942.  Uniform #13 saw him through his 1st 13 wins (along with a sparkling 1.92 ERA) of that season, but then he performed so poorly in back-to-back starts, with 10 ER in just 6⅔ IP, that he tried wearing #14 to change his luck.  Watch the story here.

FCR -  Kevin Johnson, Broken Arrow Oklahoma

Incorrect guesses:  Roger Clemens, Vic Raschi, Bucky Walters, Hal Newhouser, Carl Hubbell



Q.        Which Green Wave infielder narrowly lost a batting title to Jackie Robinson?

Hint: #1    Before playing in the majors for eight seasons, he played for three major universities.

Hint: #2    In addition to serving as an interim president of an expansion team, he became president of the American League and was on the Board of Directors of the Hall of Fame.

Hint: #3    He knew exactly how best his future wife-to-be should describe him to her parents.

Hint: #4    He was a player when he got to observe the first Old-Timers Game but was a fixture at those events long after his playing days had ended.

Hint: #5    He once gave medical advice to Home Run Baker.

Hint: #6    He never claimed he operated with his rings on.

Hint: #7    His World Series OPS is almost 500 basis points higher in the postseason.

Hint: #8    He hit a double and scored the game’s only run against the other league’s historic MVP in the opening game of one World Series.

A.         BOBBY BROWN  [SABR Bio]  [MLB Obit]

-  Ans.  Playing for the International League‘s AAA Newark Bears in 1946, Brown ended the season batting .341.  Montreal’s Robinson took the title at .349.  Brown had played for Tulane University while in med school there that same season.

-  #1     He played for Stanford and UCLA in addition to Tulane.

-  #2     He was interim president of the Texas Rangers in 1974 and president of the AL 1984-94.

-  #3     Brown advised his intended, Sara Kathryn French, “Tell your mother that I’m in medical school, studying to be a cardiologist.  Tell your dad that I play third base for the Yankees.”

-  #4     He only played for the Yankees and was welcomed with open arms when attending events for retired players.

-  #5     He dispensed some medical advise to a fallen Home Run Baker during the 1947 Old Timers Game.  Read here.

-  #6     Before going full-time into his cardiology practice in the Dallas area, Brown was in NYY WS victories 4 times performing extremely well.

-  #7     Career WS G = 17.  Career WS OPS = 1.207 compared to his regular season OPS of .742.  His only postseason experience was in WS in 1947, 1949, 1950 & 1951.

-  #8     Doubled and scored the G’s only R in the opener of the 1950 WS, sending pitcher Jim Konstanty & PHI down to defeat.  After the WS, Konstanty was named NL MVP, the first relief pitcher MVP ever.  (Rollie Fingers [1981], Willie Hernandez [1984] & Dennis Eckersley [1992] have since equaled Konstanty’s singular honor.)

FCR -  Dave Jackson, Irving, Texas

Incorrect guesses: 


FRIDAY  26—Mar

Q.        Which one-time Atlanta Brave and Texas Ranger was the enigma who tossed an enigma?

Hint: #1    In his fifteen-year career, he only received Cy Young Award votes once.

Hint: #2    It took switching to a league where he wasn’t required to bat for him to win a Gold Glove for his fielding.

A.         R.A. DICKEY  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Dickey never had a right ulnar collateral ligament.  Doctors said he should not be able to twist a doorknob, much less throw a pitch, without extreme pain.  The knuckleball that was his calling card in the majors was an enigma to batters (at least when it wasn’t a conundrum, paradox or unsolvable riddle).

-  #1     Won the NL CYA in 2012 pitching for the Mets.

-  #2     Won the AL GG for pitchers in 2013, his 1st season w/TOR.  (He did come to bat 6 X that season & got 2 H, 1 of them an RBI double.)

FCR -  Jason Hammon, Arlington, Texas

Incorrect guesses:  Len Barker, Kenny Rogers, Dick Donovan, Al Hrabosky, Charlie Hough



Q.        Who struck out more batters in a single season than any other pitcher in the 146-year history of the Braves franchise?

Hint: #1    He achieved that strikeout record at time when foul balls were not counted as strikes.

Hint: #2    He set many other franchise standards that season.  However, all except the strikeout mark were exceeded by a Hall of Fame teammate five years later and to this day holds the “silver medal” position in those categories.

Hint: #3    He was an active member of the earliest form of a players’ union even as his team owner was the actual author of the infamous Reserve Clause.


-  Ans.  In 1884, Buffinton struck out 417 batters in 587 innings over 67 G.  The team then in Boston, was known as the Beaneaters.

-  #1     Buffinton is still second in single season pitching WAR, wins, innings, G started, compete Gs and batters faced for the Braves franchise.  John Clarkson’s tremendous season in 1889 for Boston is when many of Buffinton’s records were surpassed.

-  #2     Buffinton served on the executive council of the Base Ball Players Brotherhood, the fledgling players union organized by visionary New York Giants player John Montgomery Ward.  Principal club owner Arthur Soden was author of the restrictive reserve clause in the standard player contract.

FCR -  Ken Kirk, Corning, New York

Incorrect guesses:  Kid Nichols, Dad Clarkson, Jim Whitney, Tommy Bond


SUNDAY  28—Mar

Q.        Which pitcher was the Louisville Colonels’ career leader in strikeouts even though he only played for them for less than five of the team’s eighteen seasons?

Hint: #1    Sportswriter Hugh Fullerton said he “…almost could twist the cover off the ball by sheer strength.”

Hint: #2    In his second year in the majors, he started 67 games and finished 66 of them.

A.         TOAD RAMSEY  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Played for LOU 1985-89 and struck out batters 1,225  in that span.  Franchise lasted from 1882 through 1899.

-  #1     It was said that his hand strength was developed during the years he was a mason since he would grip each brick so hard while preparing to place it.

-  #2     Of his career 241 starts, he finished 225.  It was a different time.

FCR -  Karen Hermele, Denver

Incorrect guesses:  Matt Kilroy, Jim Devlin, Rube Waddell, Oscar Charleston, Guy Hecker



Q.        Which nineteenth century power pitcher was so talented but so temperamental that he pitched for six years in the majors but for seven different teams in a total of three major leagues.

Hint: #1    He was, however, a fan favorite partly because he was a statistical leader on every team for whom he played for more than fifteen games.

Hint: #2    Emotionally was not the only way he was handicapped which led to the nickname he’s known by a century and a half later.

Hint: #3    The physical handicap goes a long way to explain why he was 34 years old when he made his major league debut.

A.         HUGH DAILY  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Between 1882 & 1887 he excited then disappointed everybody on BUF (NL), CLV (NL), CPI (UA), WHS (UA), SLM (NL), WHS (NL) & CLE (AA).

-  #1     For CPI, he was #1 in WAR and #2 for CLV.

-  #2     At age 13 his left hand was hit by an errant bullet and he never regained complete use of it.  His enduring sobriquet of “One Arm” was only slightly misleading.

-  #3     His right arm and overall athleticism was eventually too much to ignore.

FCR -  John Rickert, Terre Haute

Incorrect guesses: 



WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers who threw one-hitters in consecutive starts.


Buffinton..... NL... Philadelphia Phillies...... 06-Aug-1887 &  09-Aug-1887



Cooper........ NL... St. Louis Cardinals....... 31-May-1943(2) & 04-Jun-1943

                                                                    Billy Herman        Jimmy Wasdell



Daily............ UA... Chicago Browns.......... 07-Jul-1884 &    10-Jul-1884



Dickey......... NL... New York Mets............ 13-Jun-2012 &     18-Jun-2012

                                                                    D. Jennings        Wilson Betemit



Ford............. AL.... New York Yankees...... 02-Sep-1955 &     07-Sep-1955

                                                                    Carlos Paula      Jim Finigan



Marquard..... NL... New York Giants......... 28-Aug-1911 &    01-Sep-1911(2)

                                                                    Rube Ellis           Fred Luderus



McDowell.... AL.... Cleveland Indians........ 25-Apr-1966 &    01-May-1966

                                                                    Jose Tartabull    Don Buford



Ramsey....... AA... Louisville Colonels....... 29-Jul-1886 &    31-Jul-1886



Stieb............ AL.... Toronto Blue Jays....... 24-Sep-1988 &     30-Sep-1988*

                                                                    Julio Franco       Pete Stanicek



Warneke...... NL... Chicago Cubs.............. 17-Apr-1934 &    22-Apr-1934*

                                                                    A. Comorosky    Ripper Collins


*For Stieb these were the last two starts of the season; for Warneke, the first two.


First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeDavid Washburn, Marietta, Georgia (after Stieb)




Incorrect theme guesses:


Monday  -  Hall of Famers who died in 2020



Tuesday -  Left handed pitchers that played in five or more World Series

               -  Pitchers who won two or more games during a World Series despite being on the losing team

               -  Most consecutive starts won by his team

               -  Hall of Famers who lived to be in their 90’s

               -  Left handed pitchers who lived to 93

               -  HOF pitchers with double digit winning streaks

               -  Pitchers with the highest winning % for each franchise, with a minimum of 100+ wins for that team


Thursday-  Led his franchise in consecutive scoreless innings

               -  Led his franchise in consecutive wins


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