Sunday, November 28, 2021

2021-11-22 Winning hit in Game One of a World Series

 MONDAY  —22-Nov

Q.  Which Yankee manager once, when he was a player,  was suspended for thirty days and fined $1,000 for breaking an opposing player's jaw in a fight?

Hint: #1    His uniform number caused the Yankees to think outside of the box.

Hint: #2    His nickname is “The man nobody knows.”


-   Ans.   Dickey always had a steady, friendly non-confrontational mien off the field. However, come game time, he was as a fierce a competitor as any in MLB.  This came into focus on 05-Jul-1932, in the 1st game of a twin-bill at Washington.  In the bottom of the 7th, WSN's RF Carl Reynolds, on 3rd base, broke for the plate on a suicide squeeze.  When the bunt was missed, Reynolds returned to base safely as 3rd baseman Joe Sewell had misplayed Dickey’s throw.  Reynolds headed for home, this time barreling into Dickey, who had dropped Sewell’s return throw.  Dickey thought Reynolds had deliberately tried to injure him, so... as Reynolds was returning to the plate to make sure he had touched it, Dickey clocked him square in the jaw, breaking it in two places.  AL president Will Harridge fined Dickey $1,000 and suspended him for 30 days.  NYY owner Jacob Ruppert & GM Ed Barrow both appealed the fine & suspension but they were upheld.

-   #1   The Yankees began the tradition of retiring uniform numbers with Lou Gehrig’s 4.  When they decided to retire the numbers of all worthy retirees, they became aware that both Dickey and Yogi Berra had worn #8.  So?  They retired both!

-   #2   Nickname listed in Baseball-Reference.

FCR -  Tal Smith, Sugar Land, Texas

Incorrect guesses:  Billy Martin, Bob Shawkey, Gene Michael, Bill Virdon, Ralph Houk, Stump Merrill, Casey Stengel, Miller Huggins

TUESDAY  —23-Nov

Q.  Who reached base on catcher Mickey Owen’s dropped third strike?

Hint: #1    He once had four grand slams in one season.  He didn’t hit even one grand slam in any other season of his career.

Hint: #2    At the time of his death in 2009, he was Lou Gehrig’s final surviving teammate.


-   Ans.     When Henrich stuck out w/2 out in the top of the 9th inning in the 4th G of the 1941 WS, it appeared that the hometown Dodgers had won the G to tie the WS at 2 G to 2.  However, Owen had dropped the strike and Henrich made it safely to first and NYY went on to win the G & the WS.

-   #1   Henrich hit GS on 23-Jun; 08-Jul; 30-Jul; & 17-Aug-1948.

-   #2   Henrich passed away 01-Dec-2009 back in his home state of Ohio.

FCR -  Mike Kositch, Portland, Oregon

Incorrect guesses:  Tommy Hendricks, Wally Pipp, Yogi Berra, Dale Long



Q. Which one-time Cincinnati Reds player was the first to record five hits in one LCS game?

Hint: #1    In his third full season in the American League, he led the league in triples, but never again had more than eight in a single campaign in his fifteen-plus year career.

Hint: #2    After his most productive day on offense in his entire career, he was struck in the face by a pitch and missed almost a month of action.


-   Ans.     In G 3 of the 1969 ALCS on 06-Oct, BAL’s Blair had 5 H off 4 MIN pitchers, including a HR.  Blair had 75 G w/CIN in his penultimate season.

-   #1   Led the AL w/12 3B in 1967.

-   #2   Hit 3 HR & had 6 RBI on 29-Apr-1970, but on 31-May-1970 in Anaheim, a pitch from CAL P Ken Tatum hit him in the face.  [Side note:  Jim Palmer pinch-ran for Blair.]

FCR -  Evan Thompson, Mesa

Incorrect guesses:  Bernie Carbo, Hal McRae, Lee May, Dave Collins, Billy Hatcher, Mark Koenig, Chris Sabo, Ken Griffey



Q.   Which Hall of Fame manager once famously quipped, “The secret of managing a club is keeping the guys who hate you away from the guys who are undecided.”?

Hint: #1    He dyed his hair in later years and always denied that he did it.

Hint: #2    In his first nine seasons in the majors, only once did his team finish over .500.


-   Ans.   There were very few who actually hated him.  Many of us, however, are STILL undecided.

-   #1   He was sensitive about his age especially since that was why the Yankees had let him go.

-   #2   In 1938, he guided the Boston Bees (now Braves) to a 77-75 record, i.e., .507.

FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Bobby Valentine, Billy Martin, Sparky Anderson, Joe Torre, Leo Durocher, Earl Weaver, Jimmy Dykes, Dick Williams



Q.  Whose extra-inning home run gave the home team a victory in Milwaukee for the first time in more than a half century?

Hint: #1    He led the majors in stolen bases in each of his first three seasons.

Hint: #2    He is a member of a very special “club”, occupied by only Elmer Valo, Duane Kuiper and himself.


-   Ans.   Bruton homered in the 10th inning of his 2nd major league G on 14-Apr-1953 to give Warren Spahn his 123rd career win.  The previous MLB home-team win in Cream City was 12-Sep-1901(1).

-   #1   Bruton swiped 26, 34 & 25 bases in 1953, 54 & 55.

-   #2   Only those 3 hit bases-clearing triples twice in a game.  Valo = 01-May-1951(1) 3rd & 7th;  Bruton = 02-Aug-1959(2) 1st % 6th; Kuiper = 27-Jul-1978(2) 1st & 5th.

FCR -  Rich Klein, Plano, Texas

Incorrect guesses:  Tommy Harper, Luis Aparicio, Henry Aaron, Red Schoendienst, Sam Jethroe, Scott Podsednik, Lou Brock



Q.  Who is the only person to appear as uniformed personnel for the Pirates at Forbes Field, Three Rivers Stadium and PNC Park?

Hint: #1  He was traded for a Hall of Famer ever before he reached the majors.

Hint: #2 He was the second St. Louis Cardinals player to win the National League Rookie of the Year Award.

Hint: #3    He managed three National League teams and one American League team in the majors.

Hint: #4    He was the only Yankee manager since 1923 not to manage the team in Yankee Stadium.

Hint: #5    He was the second Pirate outfielder to win a Gold Glove, preceded only by Roberto Clemente.


-   Ans.     A. In Forbes Field as a player: 1956-65, 68; as a coach: 68-70; & as a manager 1969;

                 B. In Three Rivers Stadium as a coach 1971, 86, 92-95 & as manager 1972-73

                 C. In PNC Park as a coach 2001-02

-   #1   Signed by NYY before the 1954 season then traded (w/2 others) to STL for Enos Slaughter.   Made his MLB debut on 12-Apr-1955.

-   #2   Won ROY in 1955 for STL.  Wally Moon had won it in ‘54.

-   #3   Managed PIT 1972-73; HOU 1975-82; MTL 1983-84.  Managed NYY 1974-75.

-   #4   In 1974-75, NYY played its home games in Shea Stadium, sharing with NYM, a period exactly matching Virdon’s tenure as Yankee mgr.

-   #5   His 1st (and only) GG was in 1962.  Clemente’s 1st was in 1961.  Clemente won 12 in all tying Willie Mays for most by an OF.

FCR -  Johnny Murray, Taylors, South Carolina

Incorrect guesses:  Willie Randolph, Joe Torre, Bob Skinner, Jim Leyland, Chuck Tanner


FRIDAY  —26-Nov

Q.        Who was said to be the Kansas City Royals’ “most hyped signing since Bo Jackson”?

Hint: #1  He was voted MVP of the only All-Star Game he ever appeared in.

Hint: #2  He began playing baseball at an early age, early on using the Tony Gwynn Tee Ball Hitter to take practice swings.

A.         ERIC HOSMER  [B-R Bio]

-   Ans. His performances in the minors gave hope to a franchise that had not seen the postseason since the days of Bret & Brett.

-   #1  MVP of the 2016 ASG in San Diego.

-   #2  Hosmer says his mother still has it and shows it to visitors.

FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Alex Gordon, Melky Cabrera, Wil Myers, Jeff Conine, Johnny Damon, Clint Hurdle, Bubba Starling



Q.  Which Boston native position player has played the most career games for the Red Sox?

Hint: #1    He was the first player to hit a 435+ foot home run at Petco Park.

Hint: #2    A frequently reported but oft disputed story has him owning several Dunkin’ Donuts franchises in the Boston area.


-   Ans.   Born either in Boston or in Weymouth, Massachusetts; played 223 G for BOS.  Boston-born pitcher toiled for the Sawks for 289 games

-   #1   On 28-May-2006, Bellhorn took Mark Mulder deep to the tune of 438’.  The next pitch thrown by Mulder was hit a nifty 434’ by Padres batter Josh Bard.

-   #2   Reported in the Boston Magazine and elsewhere, but confirmation was elusive.

FCR -  Warren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan

Incorrect guesses:  Carl Yastrzemski



Q.  Who is the only infielder to play for all four (former and current) modern New York teams—the Dodgers, Mets, Giants and Yankees?

Hint: #1  He was the first New York Met to collect a hit in nine consecutive plate appearances.

Hint: #2  His first career home run was the last home run ever given up by the pitcher thus victimized.


-   Ans.     a. LAD = 1989-90, 98-2000

                 b. NYM = 1994-96

                 c. SFG = 1997, 2006

                 d. NYY = 2000

-   #1  23, 24, 25-Apr-1996

-   #2  HR = 01-Aug-1992(2) off Tom Filer.  1st of 36 for Vizcaino, last of 29 for Filer

FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota

Incorrect guesses:  Rod Kanehl, Dave Kingman



Q.  Which rookie, in his twenty-first major league game, scored the game-winning run from second on a hit fielded by the pitcher?

Hint: #1  During a team tour of Japan, he worked on slowing down his swing the better to handle change-up pitches.

Hint: #2  He certainly would have won a major award if that award had existed just one year earlier.


-   Ans.   In the bottom of the 15th inning on 05-Aug-1952, Rhodes, on 2B, scored the winner when teammate Don Mueller bounced a high chopper off the plate.  It was fielded by Dodger pitcher Chris Van Cuyk, but not in time.  (“Walk-off sprint”?)

-   #1   Swing adjustment came in while the Giants toured the Far-East after the 1953 season.  Rhodes admitted his weakness, saying, “If I went to the North Pole, even the Eskimos would know enough to throw me change-ups.”  (No exhibition tours to polar regions were ever scheduled.)

-   #2   The World Series MVP Award began in 1955.  Rhodes’s performance in the 1954 Fall Classic, was the main force behind the Giants’ unexpected sweep of the Indians.

FCR -  Warren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan

Incorrect guesses:  Eddie Waitkus, Del Ennis, Babe Ruth, Richie Ashburn



Q.  Who hit a one-legged walk-off home run off Dennis Eckersley that caused a legendary announcer to exclaim, “I don’t believe what I just saw!”?

Hint: #1  He limped around the bases (not the announcer) with a now-iconic fist pump.

Hint: #2  Another legendary announcer added, “In a year that has been so improbable, the impossible has happened!”


-   Ans.     Watch it again:

-   #1   Comments by Jack Buck

-   #2   and Vin Scully.

FCR -  Michael Craig, Gilbert, Arizona

Incorrect guesses:  Josh Gibson



THEME:  Winning hit in Game One of a World Series



Batter              Team        Year                      Opp/Pitcher

Bellhorn......... BOS......... 2004*................. STL/Tavarez

Blair............... NYY.......... 1977**............... LAD/Rhoden

Bruton........... MLN......... 1958**.................. NYY/Duren     

Dickey........... NYY.......... 1939**.............. CIN/Derringer

Gibson.......... LAD.......... 1988............... OAK/Eckersley

Henrich......... NYY.......... 1949............ BRO/Newcombe

Hosmer......... KCR......... 2015**.................. NYM/Colon

Rhodes......... NYG......... 1954.................... CLE/Lemon

Stengel.......... NYG......... 1923*..................... NYY/Bush

Vizcaino........ NYY.......... 2000**.............. NYM/Wendell


*Not the Home Team

**Not a HR



First Correct Respondent identifying theme – Warren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan (after Blair)


Incorrect theme guesses:


Monday  -  Catcher who is part of a battery that appeared in the most starts together


Tuesday -  Played and coached for the Yankees

               -  All-Star in their final season

               -  Yankees who wore the number of another Yankee whose number is retired

               -  Yankees on the 1942 All-Star team

               -  Yankee WS MVPs


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