Monday, April 26, 2021

2021-04-19 Pitchers with fifteen years on the Hall of Fame ballot, but never elected and still not in.

MONDAY  19—Apr

Q.        Who won the Cy Young Award the year after Cy Young died?

Hint: #1    He hit fifteen home runs and batted .271 in a ten-year MLB career.

Hint: #2    He was the only National League pitcher to steal home during the 1950s.

A.         DON NEWCOMBE  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  In 1956, Newk became the first ever Cy Young Award winner.  Young had passed away the previous November.

-  #1     He also had 33 2B & 108 RBI in a career that argues against the DH.

-  #2     On 26-May-1955, after hitting a 2-run triple, Newcombe stole home off PIT reliever Roy Face for BRO’s final R of the G.  Newk then pitched the 9th, securing his 7th W and 3rd SHO of the season.  There has only been one other pitcher steal of home in the ensuing 65 seasons.  (Reader Elliott Frankfother pointed out that Rick Sutcliffe stole home on 29-Jul-1988, and Darren Dreifort stole home on 12-Jun-2001.)

FCR -  Evan Thompson, Mesa, Arizona

Incorrect guesses:  Robin Roberts, Warren Spahn, Vern Law



Q.        Which one-time Yankee reliever defeated the Yankees in the World Series?

Hint: #1    From 1954 through 1961 he had at least ten complete games each season, one year leading the majors.

Hint: #2    The small town where he was born is known as “a Living Memorial to World War I.”

A.         LEW BURDETTE  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Debuted in the majors with NYY in 1950.  W/MLN in 1957 won the WS and with his 3-0 record, was named WS MVP and became the first pitcher since Stan Coveleski in 1920 to earn 3 CG Ws in a WS.

-  #1     His CG totals were 13, 11, 16, 14, 19, 20, 18 & 14 1954-61.

-  #2     Born in Nitro, West Virginia.  The name comes from nitrocellulose, the main ingredient in smokeless gunpowder, produced there during The Great War.

FCR -  Dave Jackson, Irving, Texas

Incorrect guesses:  Bobby Shantz, Don Larsen, Ralph Terry



Q.        Whose record for most career strikeouts by a left-handed American League pitcher did CC Sabathia break?

Hint: #1    With no score in the sixth inning of a World Series Game Seven, he picked off two runners at first base.

Hint: #2    Capitalized?  Very funny!

A.         MICKEY LOLICH  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Lolich ended with 2,679 L Ks.  Sabathia passed that with his 2,680th in 2017.  Sabathia retired with 2,965 AL Ks.

-  #1     In the 1968 WS, Lolich nabbed Cardinal speedsters Lou Brock and Curt Flood to thwart a rally and keep the game scoreless.  Lolich and DET broke the tie in the very next inning (against the formidable Bob Gibson in his last WS start, no less!) en route to a WS championship.

-  #2     Mickey LOL-ich

FCR -  Evan Thompson, Mesa, Arizona

Incorrect guesses:  Eddie Plank, Randy Johnson, Sam McDowell



Q.        Who was the oldest starting pitcher to win an Opening Day game?

Hint: #1    He needed surgery after leading the league two years in a row in winning percentage.

Hint: #2    He beat Larry Bird to school.

A.         TOMMY JOHN  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  On Tuesday, 04-Apr-1989, NYY beat MIN 4-2 with John’s 7 innings earning him the W.  John was 45 years, 10 months and 13 days old.

-  #1     Led the NL w/.696 in 1973 and led MLB w/.813 in 1974, but missed all of 1975 with some medical procedure.

-  #2     John attended Indiana State University in Terre Haute in the early 1960s, Bird in the late 1970s.

FCR -  John Rickert Terre Haute

Incorrect guesses:  Charlie Hough, Jack Quinn, Jamie Moyer, Warren Spahn, Nolan Ryan



Q.        Who pitched to both Ted Williams and Darryl Strawberry?

Hint: #1    He won Gold gloves playing for three different major league teams.

Hint: #2    He surrendered a home run to Bert Campaneris on the first pitch Campaneris ever saw in the majors.

A.         JIM KAAT  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Williams (2 for 3 lifetime vs. Kaat) played from 1939-1960.  Strawberry, 1-4 in his 2 G against Kaat, played from 1983-2007.  Kaat’s career was 1959-1983.

-  #1     Won GG for MIN 1962-72, for CHW 1973-75, for PHI 1976-77 – 16 GG in all.  Only Greg Maddux has more.

-  #2     Campy’s HR:   Top of the 1st 23-Jul-1964.  For good measure, he homered again off Kaat in the 7th inning on the 6th pitch he saw in the majors.

FCR -  Dan Greder, Ames, Iowa

Incorrect guesses: 


FRIDAY  23—Apr

Q.        Which pitcher, who appeared for the Detroit Tigers in their World Championship season, did Max Fried pass in 2020 to now have the best single-season winning percentage?

Hint: #1    Both times he pitched in 68 games in a season, he led the league.

Hint: #2    Trevor Hoffman broke his record for most career relief appearances for one club.

A.         ROY FACE  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  According to Baseball-Reference, Fried’s 7-0 in 2020 (1.000%) topped Face’s 18-1 (.947) in 1959.  Faced appeared in 2 G for DET in 1968.

-  #1     Appeared 68 times in 1956 & 1960, the former also leading MLB.

-  #2     Face had 775 for PIT and Hoffman had 902 for SDP and is the current NL record holder.

FCR -  Tom Hablitzel, Hudson, Ohio

Incorrect guesses:  John Hiller, Denny McLain, Willie Hernandez, Mickey Lolich, Aurelio Lopez



Q.             Which All-Star righty’s substandard first inning prevented his teammate, Orlando Cepeda from being history’s first designated hitter?

Hint: #1    Twice in his career he had scoreless-innings streaks of at least forty innings.

Hint: #2    Frank Robinson showed him where here was.

A.         LUIS TIANT  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  On 06-Apr-1973 at Fenway Park, Tiant loaded the bases full of Yankees in the 1st inning, bringing up the 6th batter, DH Ron Blomberg.  Tiant walked him, walking in a run.  Cepeda was the 6th batter in the Sawks’ lineup and could easily have been the first DH if the early innings of the opposing pitchers that day, Tiant and Mel Stottlemyre had switched their early-innings experiences.  Stottlemyre was in his penultimate season and Tiant was at the height of his career.

-  #1     Scoreless streaks of 41 IP in 1968 then 40 IP in 1972.  Walter Johnson (1913 and '18) is the only other pitcher in baseball history with multiple scoreless streaks of at least 40 innings.

-  #2     On 8-May-1966, FRobby became the only player to hit a ball completely out of Baltimore’s Memorial Stadium when he got a hold of a Tiant fastball.  The Orioles commemorated the feat by placing a flag at the location where the ball left the ballpark.  The orange flag had just one word on it: “Here”.

FCR -  Lincoln Mitchel, New York :City

Incorrect guesses:  Catfish Hunter, Juan Marichal, Gaylord Perry, Jim Lonborg, Mel Stottlemyre



Q.        Which Orioles pitcher returned to the clubhouse after being shelled in a game, only to tear the clubhouse apart when he found that someone had stolen his Flash Gordon comic book?

Hint: #1    He holds the record for the current Baltimore Orioles for the most losses in a season.

Hint: #2    His manager that year said, “The only thing (he) fears is sleep.”

Hint: #3    His avian nickname had nothing to do with the fact that he’d played for the Orioles.

A.         DON LARSEN  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  On 19-Jul-1954, BOS hung 8 ER on Larsen in just over 3 innings.  People seek different balms when bombed.

-  #1     In 1954, Larsen had a record of 3-21, to lead the majors in that latter department.

-  #2     Larsen’s manager w/BAL was Jimmy Dykes and was, by turns, amused and amazed by Larsen.

-  #3     His nickname, Gooney Bird, was given to him by his Yankees teammates in recognition of his widely known rambunctiousness.

FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Steve Barber, Fred Glade, Pat Dobson


SUNDAY  25—Apr

Q.        Who was the only rookie pitcher to win three games in one World Series?

Hint: #1    He once pitched every inning of a twenty-one inning game and didn’t issue a single base-on-balls.

Hint: #2    Since the beginning of the twentieth century, no pitcher has pitched at least 250 inning in a season where he walked fewer than 20—except this guy.

Hint: #3    He was on the wrong side of one of history’s most notable victories.

Hint: #4    One look at him tells you how he got his nickname.

A.         BABE ADAMS  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Adams was the winning pitcher of G 1, 5 & 7 of the 1909 WS, holding Ty Cobb to a single hit in 11 at-bats in those games.

-  #1     In a classic matchup with the Gants’ Rube Marquard on 17-Jul-1914, both starters pitched the whole game.  2 NYG batters, Dave Robertson & Fred Merkle, were each 0 for 8 against Adams.

-  #2     In 1920, Adams threw 263 innings and walked exactly 18 batters.

-  #3     On 22-Sept-1911, Adams was the losing pitcher in Boston Rustler Cy Young’s 511th and last victory.

-  #4     He appears exceedingly youthful.  Here he is at the beginning of his career.  The contrast with his team’s shortstop must have been jarring.

FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Ralph Branca, Mordecai Brown, Mickey Lolich, Chief Bender, Sal Maggie, Christy Mathewson



WEEKLY THEME – Pitchers with fifteen years on the Hall of Fame ballot, but never elected and still not in.


Pitcher                     Career WAR









Tiant........................  .....65.7


First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – David Washburn, Marietta, Georgia (after Tommy John)



Incorrect theme guesses:


Tuesday -  Players in the first game there were more black than white players on the field

               -  Pitchers who hit two or more home runs in a game two times or more in their career

               -  Pitchers who have hit 2 home runs in a game

               -  Pitchers who got MVP votes in their 20's, but didn't get Cy Young Award votes until their 30's


Wed        -  Victorious pitchers who hit home runs in World Series games

               -  Theme is players who should be in the hall of fame

               -  250 game winners not in Hall of Fame

               -  HoF eligible pitchers with 200+ wins that are not in the HoF


Thu         -  Modern-era pitchers who have won the most games w/o being elected to the HOF

               -  Non-HOF LHP with highest WAR

               -  Non-HOF LHP with highest WAR in the "live-ball era


Fri           -  Left-handers who have the most wins but are not in the HOF


Sat          -  Pitched in a memorable World Series game



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Sunday, April 18, 2021

2021-04-12 Players who would no longer qualify as Double-Uniques if they had gone by their first names.

MONDAY  12—Apr

Q.        Who has hit more doubles in a single season for the New York Metropolitans than any other player?

Hint: #1    That same season, he landed in their all-time single-season Top Tens in RBI, Total Bases and Extra-Base Hits and OPS as well as leading the team in WAR.

Hint: #2    After Red Schoendienst in 1945, he was the next Cardinals rookie to start in left field on Opening Day.

A.         BERNARD GILKEY  [B-R Bio]

-  Ans.  Hit 44 2B in 1996, passing Howard Johnson’s 41 hit in 1989.  [For the sake of our many 19th-century team buffs, please know that the single-season doubles record for the American Association’s NY Metropolitans of the mid 1880s was the 32 hit by Dave Orr in 1884.]

-  #1     In 1996 for 4th-place NYM, he had 117 RBI, 321 TB & 73 XBH with a Slg% of .562 & an OPS of .955.  His 8.1 WAR was, by almost twice, the highest of any season of his 12-year career.

-  #2     Started in LF for STL on OD 1991.

FCR -  Kevin Decker, Hillsborough, New Jersey

Incorrect guesses:  Keith Hernandez, Ken Boyer, Ray Lankford, David Wright, Vince Coleman, Joe Torre, Hank O'Day, Billy Meyer, King Kelly, Val Picinich

 TUESDAY  13—Apr

Q.        Which one-time Boston catcher was the best player on the worst team?

Hint: #1    He was on the losing side twice in perfect games thrown by future Hall of Famers.

Hint: #2    He twice umpired major league games that his team was playing in, one of them behind home plate.


-  Ans.  Schrecongost caught for the 1899 Cleveland Spiders before he and most of the good players on the team were “transferred” to the St. Louis Perfectos, also of the National League also owned by the same group.  The Spiders, once a legitimate big league team was reduced to 2nd and 3rd string players and finished with a record of 20-134, 8 of the 20 coming before the forced migration.  His WAR in Cleveland tied teammate Chief Zimmer.  In 1901 Schrek played 86 G as the 1st-team C for the new AL club in Boston.

-  #1     He was on PHA when BOS’s Cy Young pitched the first perfect game of the 20th century 05-May-1904 and then on CHW when CLE’s Addie Joss pitched the 2nd perfecto of baseball’s Modern Era 02-Oct-1908.

-  #2     Umpired games on 02-May & 22-Jul in 1903.

FCR -  Jason Hammon, Arlington, Texas

Incorrect guesses:  Hank Gowdy



Q.        Which switch-hitting lefty, drafted in the first round by an American League team, led the majors in ERA playing for a National League club in just his third season in the Bigs?

Hint: #1    He’s one of very few players who might regret having made the All-Star team.

Hint: #2    People familiar with his first name might be students of 20th-century British politics.

A.         ATLEE HAMMAKER  [B-R Bio]

-  Ans.  Drafter #21 overall by KCR in 1979, he was traded to SFG for Vida Blue after his rookie year in the majors.

-  #1     In his only All-Star appearance, Hammaker became the only pitcher in All-Star history to surrender a grand slam.  It was Fred Lynn who hit it in the 1983 Midsummer Classic.

-  #2     Clement Atlee was Britain’s Prime Minister 1945 to 1951.

FCR -  Mark Pattison, Washington, DC

Incorrect guesses:  Dizzy Dean, Vida Blue, Madison Bumgarner, Dwight Gooden, Rube Marquard, Dock Ellis



Q.        Who is the only pitcher to hit three triples in one game?

Hint: #1    He issued history’s first recorded intentional walk.

Hint: #2    His pitching speed was cited as the main reason for a rule change made over 100 years ago.

Hint: #3    He was born in same locale as was a certain Hall of Fame second baseman.

A.         JOUETT MEEKIN  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Meekin hit 3 triples on 04-Jul-1894 in a game that saw his Giants defeat the Cleveland Spider 21-11.

-  #1     This strategy was first used with two outs and the tying run at 2nd base in the 9th inning of a 1896 contest when NYG field captain Kid Gleason instructed teammate Meekin to give slugger Jimmy Ryan (.308 career BA) four wide ones to face the weaker-hitting George Decker instead.  Meekin promptly fanned Decker to end the game.  This strategy has been utilized over 1,000 times a season on average since IBBs started being officially tabulated In 1955.

-  #2     The reason for the increase in the 1892 pitching distance from 50' to 60'6" was that pitchers like Cy Young, Amos Rusie and Meekin threw too fast at the shorter distance.  Offensive production shot up in the wake of that change.  To help restore the historical balance between the pitcher and hitter, MLB is currently studying moving the mound back even farther.  In fact, the Atlantic League will move their mounds back 12" for the final 60 games of their season n 2021.

-  #3     Billy Herman and Meekin were both born in New Albany, Indiana, an across-the-Ohio-River suburb of Louisville, Kentucky.

FCR -  Chris Betsch, New Albany, Indiana (really!)

Incorrect guesses:  Cy Young, Amos Rusie, Abner Dalrymple, Walter Johnson, Dave Brain


FRIDAY  16—Apr

Q.        To whom did the Dodgers give a five-year contract worth $25 million and then play him all of twenty-two major league games over the life of that contract?

Hint: #1    All those games were in the first year of the contract.

Hint: #2    His repeated unpaid suspensions from the Dodgers were announced by the Giants manager.


-  Ans.  Arruebarrena was reported, quite vaguely, not to have been in “compliance with the terms of his contract.”

-  #1     22 G in 2014

-  #2     SFG Manager Gabe Kapler worked as LAD’s director of player development at the time.

FCR -  Steve Weinberg, Mundelein, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Darren Dreifort, Steve Howe, Yasiel Puig, Darryl Strawberry


T.G.I.F. BONUS  16—Apr

Q.        Who pinch-hit twice for Stan Musial?

Hint: #1    He was reasonably good getting hits; he was maximally good at not getting hit.

Hint: #2    His brother was a batting champion, but broke one of baseball’s most sacred rules.

A.         COAKER TRIPLETT  [B-R Bio]

-  Ans.  Triplett pinch-hit for The Man on 08-May-1942 (popped out to 1B) & 17-Sep-1942. (Singled but was picked off and replaced before he could play in the field).  Pete Whisenant also pinch-hit for Musial on 30-Aug-1955 but, alas, only did it once.

-  #1     Triplett’s .250 BA during the WWII years, 1942-1945, indicates that he was a reasonable batsman.  His ability to avoid getting hit by pitches shows a career HBP total of zero!  He was one of a mere five men with 1,000 PAs during those war years with nary a HBP, including one from New Albany, Indiana.

-  #2     On 11-Aug-1946, Floyd Hooper Triplett, Coaker’s younger brother, playing for the minor-league (A) Columbus Cardinals was banished from baseball for life for betting $20 on the Columbia (SC) Reds on 3-Aug-1946.  Hooper had won the South Atlantic League’s batting crown in 1940 with a .369 average.

FCR -  Ken Kirk, Corning, New York

Incorrect guesses:  Harry Walker, Dal Maxvill, Dixie Walker, Frank Torre, Wally Shannon



Q.        Which former Tigers pitcher explained a mid-season disappearance by claiming he was kidnapped by a group of men and forced to drink a large quantity of alcohol?

Hint: #1    The first pitch he ever threw to Babe Ruth was hit for a home run.

Hint: #2    He spent his entire twelve-season major league career pitching for National League teams.

A.         FLINT RHEM  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Nobody believed it, given his history with alcohol.  He had played for the Clemson Tigers in college.

-  #1     Faced Ruth in the 1st on 06-Oct-1926, the 4th G of the WS.  Ruth also smacked the 1st pitch of his very next AB against Rhem for another HR on his way to a record-setting three HRs in a single WS game (since thrice tied).

-  #2     Had 3 separate stints for STL: 1924-32, 1934 & 1936.  Also pitched 2 years each for PHI & BSN.

FCR -  Alex Swingle, New York City

Incorrect guesses:  Bugs Raymond, Grover Cleveland Alexander, Rube Waddell


Q.        Which BLTR infielder was a late season call-up for the Red Sox because he had played so well in the minors, leading his team to the Little World Series?

Hint: #1    The following spring, the media felt he had the best chance of making the team because he was clearly favored by team manager Joe Cronin.

Hint: #2    He was born and died in the same hamlet where a former U.S. president lives.


-  Ans.  His team, the Louisville Colonels lost in the 1946 minor-league Little World Series to Jackie Robinson’s Montreal Royals.  Shofner led his Louisville team in BA and RBI.

-  #1     In March of 1947, long-time Boston Globe sportswriter Hy Hurwitz summed it up in this headline: “Shofner captures Cronin’s Fancy; Leads Scrap for Hot Corner Job.”

-  #2     Crawford, Texas is not only where Shofner was born, raised and died, it is also where George W. & Laura Bush make their home.

FCR -  Joe O’Neill, London, ON

Incorrect guesses:  Bobby Doerr, Dalton Jones,



Q.        Whom did Moe Berg call, “The finest prospect I’ve seen in a long time.”?

Hint: #1    In his third big league season he had seven future Hall of Fame teammates.

Hint: #2    He was the coach of the baseball team of one of the the first Ivy League schools to go to the NCAA College World Series.

Hint: #3    He is an alum of one the ten oldest institutions of higher learning in the U.S.


-  Ans.  Berg was a catcher with BOS and warmed up young Dickman on his first day with the team, 16-Jun-1936.

-  #1     With him on BOS in 1946 were Joe Cronin, Bobby Doerr, Jimmie Foxx, Lefty Grove & Ted Williams as well as coaches Herb Pennock and Hugh Duffy.

-  #2     Dickman coached Princeton University from 1949 to 1951, leading the school to the College World Series in 1951.

-  #3     Attended Washington and Lee University, established in 1749, is a private liberal arts university located in Lexington, Virginia.  Its first major benefactor was George Washington, who endowed the academy with $20,000 in 1796, at the time the largest gift ever given to an educational institution in the US.  The school’s name is a combination of its early benefactor and General Robert E. Lee, who was president of the university from 1865 until his death in 1870.

FCR -  Michael Shea, Dublin, IRELAND

Incorrect guesses:  Red Rolfe, Ethan Allen, Ted Williams, Tony Lupien, Smoky Joe Wood, Frankie Frisch


WEEKLY THEME – Players who would no longer qualify as Double-Uniques if they had  gone by their first names.



D-U player                                 WAR            Because we also have

Barbaro Erisbel Arruebarrena........ -0.4........ B. Garbey, Canizares

George Emerson Dickman.............. 0.1........ G. Foster, Davis, et al

Otis Bernard Gilkey....................... 21.6........ O. Nixon, Clymer, et al

Charlton Atlee Hammaker............... 9.5........ C. Jimerson

George Jouett Meekin................... 25.7........ G. Sisler, Springer, et al

Charles Flint Rhem.......................... 5.6........ C. Johnson, Nagy, et al

Freeman Osee Schrecongost....... 12.3........ F. Brown

Frank Strickland Shofner................ -0.1........ F. Robinson, Catalanotto, et al

Herman Coaker Triplett................... 1.1........ H. Long, Franks, et al


First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – No one hit the nail right on the head, but coming very, very close was Warren Kent, Whitehall Michigan (after Arruebarrena).




Incorrect theme guesses:


Monday  -  Appeared in a movie as a baseball player

               -  Players who played (debuted?) for an MLB team located in their home town.


Tuesday -  Double Uniques


Wed        -  Double unique names who played for the Cardinals

               -Double uniques who go by their middle name

               -  MLB'ers who went by their middle name

               -  Real first names are also last names of other big leaguers


Sat          -  Their baseball first name is actually their middle name and their given first names have been used as a first and last name by other players

               -  Double uniques who had a name that sounded the same as another player


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.