Q. Who has won the Silver Slugger Award the most times?
Hint: #1 He was only three years old when the first time he was in a major league clubhouse.
Hint: #2 He has won more Gold Gloves than any other National League outfielder with five hundred career stolen base.
- #1 Visited with the SFG clubhouse in Candlestick Park when he dad Bobby had already formed a friendship with teammate Willie Mays.
- #2 Has 514 SB and 8 GG.
FCR - Morris Buenemann, Florissant, Missouri
Incorrect guesses: Ken Griffey, Jr., Tony Gwynn
Q. Who hit the most home runs of anyone born in the Dominican Republic?
Hint: #1 He became the fourth member of a very elite group, joining Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez.
Hint: #2 He was voted MVP of the Midwest League the season he played there.
- Ans. Has 675 career HR as of 20-Jul-2021. Pujols had 620 HR when he stroked his 3,000th hit on 4-May-2018.
- #1 All 4 players have at least 600 career HR and 3,000 hits.
- #2 MVP in the Class A Midwest League playing for the 2000 Peoria Chiefs.
FCR - Steven Coleman, Belleville, Illinois
Incorrect guesses: Sammy Sosa, David Ortiz, Vladimir Guerrero, Alfonso Soriano, Orlando Cepeda, Miguel Cabrera, Nelson Cruz, Rafael Palmeiro, Carlos Delgado
Q. Who was elected to the Hall of Fame by the thinnest possible margin?
Hint: #1 He was the King’s penultimate victim.
Hint: #2 He and a teammate each scored twice in a single World Series inning.
Hint: #3 In his second full season, he was edged out for league MVP by player who had barely a third of his WAR that year.
- Ans. Was included on 75.38% of the ballots in 1953, the lowest of all players voted in by the BBWAA. The next lowest percentages belonged to Ferguson Jenkins (75.4%), Ralph Kiner (75.41) and Willie Keeler (75.55).
- #1 In the 1934 All-Star game, “King” Carl Hubbell struck out 5 batters in a row, all of whom would be elected to the Hall of Fame. Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Simmons & Joe Cronin.
- #2 In the 7th inning of G 4 in the 1929 WS, Simmons homered off Cubs’ ace Charlie Root to open the onslaught. Foxx singled and scored when 2 successive teammates singled. After 2 pitching changes & only 1 out, Simmons & Foxx singled in succession and each scored when Jimmy Dykes doubles. 2 K’s closed out the inning but not before the A’s had racked up a WS-record 10 R in the inning, wiping out an 8-run CHC lead.
- # Simmons’ hefty WAR of 6.6 plus major-league-leading 253 H & 392 TB still left him 4 voting points behind WSH’s SS Roger Peckinpaugh (124 H, 160 TB, 2.7 WAR) in the AL in 1925.
FCR - Matt Dicker, Chicago
Incorrect guesses: Nellie Fox, Larry Walker, Al Kaline, Joe Medwick
MIDWEEK BONUS —21-Jul
Q. Who won back-to-back MVPs for a team that finished in the second division each year?
Hint: #1 The same pitcher surrendered both Willie Mays’s and his 400th career home runs.
Hint: #2 He didn’t play baseball in high school.
- Ans. MVP in 1958 & 1959, finishing ahead of 8 eventual Hall of Famers each time. The NL had 8 teams before 1962 and Banks’s CHC finished 5th, i.e., in the 2nd half of the teams, or “second division” in the baseball parlance of the day.
- #2 His high school, Booker T. Washington HS in Dallas, didn’t have a baseball team when he attended.
FCR - Richard Lerner, Silver Spring Maryland
Incorrect guesses: Hal Newhouser, Dale Murphy, Steve Carlton, Sandy Koufax
Q. Whose record for the most hits in his first five full years in the majors did Ichiro break?
Hint: #1 In his MVP year, he led the majors in hits and doubles, but led his league in an additional ten offensive categories.
Hint: #2 He was an all-state football player in high school and Notre Dame coach Knute Rockne had made arrangements for him play football for them.
- Ans. Medwick had 1,064 H 1933-37; Ichiro had 1,130 2001-05. Ichiro had the 40 more G (770 for Joe; 810 for Suzuki), but still beat Medwick over his 1st 770 games with 1,093 H.
- In 1937, Medwick led MLB in H (237) & 2b (56). He led or tied the NL in G (156), AB (633), R (111), HR (31), TBI (154), BA (.374), SLG (.641), OPS (1.056), OPS+ (182) & TB (406).
- #2 Medwick chose baseball over football when he signed with the Cards at age 17.
FCR - Michael Temple, Chicago
Incorrect guesses: Ty Cobb, Chuck Klein, Rogers Hornsby, George Sisler, Lou Gehrig, Paul Waner, Al Simmons, Willie Wilson
Q. Who was the last batter to hit six home runs off the same pitcher in a single season?
Hint: #1 The year he led the majors in home runs and runs batted in, he was only nineteen points from taking his league batting title and therefore the Triple Crown.
Hint: #2 He has ten letters in his last name and hit forty home runs in a season. Only five other players can claim that distinction.
- Ans. Max Surkont surrendered HRs to Klu on 27-Apr (twice), 25-Jun (twice), 24‑Jul & 27‑Aug-1954. Kluszewski’s slugging percentage against Surkont in ’54 was 1.130. 2 other MLB batters have dominated a pitcher w/6 HR in the same year: George “Highpockets” Kelly of 1923 NYG vs. Vic Aldridge* of CHC’s & Ted Williams of 1941 BOS vs. CHW’s Johnny Rigney.
[NOTE: Bryant, Arkansas’ Madison McEntire confirmed that Jim Thome has passed Kluszewski, Aldridge & Williams because in the 2002 season, 7 of his 52 HR that year were off MIN’s righty starter Rick Reed: 10-Apr, 21-Apr, 04-Jun (X2), 17-Jul & 25-Sep-2002 (X2), 2 in Cleveland & 5 in Minnesota.]
- #1 In 1954 Klu led MLB in HR (49) & RBI (141) but his .326 BA was only good for 5th best in the NL behind Willie Mays’s only career batting title. He also finished 2nd behind Mays in NL MVP voting.
- #2 Big Klu did it thrice as did C. Yastrzemski. C. Granderson and E. Encarnacion (twice ea.), R. Campanella and R. Petrocelli (once ea.) are the others.
*Aldridge only gave up 17 HR in 1923, more than ⅓ of which were off the HOF bat of Kelly. Rigney’s luck against Williams wasn’t anything to brag about at 29%, but very few moundsmen got the better of Teddy Ballgame in ’41.
FCR - Michael McCroskey, Sugar Land, Texas
Incorrect guesses: Jim Thome, Carl Yastrzemski, Roy Campanella, Rico Petrocelli
Q. Who hit the grand slam that helped his team win its first title in more than eighty-five years?
Hint: #1 At the beginning of the following season, he was made team captain.
Hint: #2 He presented a sitting U.S. president with a jersey from his team with the president’s name on the back.
Hint: #3 He was ranked the #1 catcher in the nation during his senior year in high school.
Hint: #4 He was taken right before and right after Yellow Jackets.
- Ans. GS was hit in G 2 of the 2005 WS. CHW hadn’t won WS since 1917
- #1 He was made team captain for the 2006 season and held that title through the end of his career in 2014.
- #2 The 2005 WS champ CHW were invited to the White House where Konerko presented President George W. Bush with a White Sox jersey.
- #3 Didn’t play a single G at C in the majors.
- #4 Was chosen 13th overall in the 1994 Draft. Georgia Tech alumni Nomar Garciaparra and Jason Varitek were taken at #12 & #14.
FCR - Mark Hayne, Dumfries, Virginia
Incorrect guesses: Scott Podsednik, Jason Varitek, Johnny Damon, Anthony Rizzo, Jason Varitek, Bill Mazeroski, A.J. Pierzynski, David Ross, Carlton Fisk, Johnny Damon, Kent Hrbek
Q. Who holds the record for most doubles in a season by a catcher?
Hint: #1 He played for nine major league franchises.
Hint: #2 He was the first catcher to win the Fielding Bible Award following the last time of Yadier Molina’s string of wins.
- Ans. Lucroy hit 53 2B in 2014. No other catcher has ever even hit 50.
- #1 Lucroy has suited up in MLB for MIL, TEX, COL, OAK, LAA, CHC, BOS, WSN & is still active, playing for ATL.
- #2 Molina was awarded the FBA 6 times, his last in 2013. Lucroy was the honoree in 2014.
FCR - Evan Wologodzew, New Milford, Connecticut
Incorrect guesses: Ivan Rodriguez, J.T. Realmuto
WEEK’S FINALE —25-Jul
Q. Who was the first catcher in the Expansion Era to be the throwing half of three “strike‑‘im‑out‑throw-‘im-out” double plays in one game?
Hint: #1 He was the National League record-tying ninth player on his squad to collect 100 hits in the same season.
Hint: #2 He was the first player to get a hit in an All-Star game in a park which shared his last name.
- #2 [See week’s summary below.]
FCR - Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois
Incorrect guesses: Dale Murphy, Ed Bailey, Gary Carter
WEEKLY THEME – Players with two doubles in a single All-Star game.
Player Date Venue (Career) WAR
* Game ended in a tie. Broadcasters Buck and McCarver stated that if the NL won, Miller would be named MVP. If the AL won, Konerko would be named.
First Correct Respondent to Identify Theme – Warren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan (after Simmons)
Incorrect theme guesses:
Monday - Players with the most home runs after age 40
Wed - The nine players with at least 12 seasons of 100+ runs batted in
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