Monday, November 1, 2021

2021-10-25 American League Rookies of the Year elected unanimously

 MONDAY  —25-Oct

Q.  Who is the only player to never finish lower than fifth in MVP voting in every full season he played in the majors, nine straight years?

Hint: #1    He is the only player to be named All-Star Game MVP in back-to-back years.

Hint: #2    He joined the 30/30 Club in his rookie year.


-   Ans. In 2012-20 Trout finished 2nd, 2nd, 1st, 2nd, 1st, 4th, 2nd, 1st & 5th respectively.

-   #1   Voted ASG MVP in 2014 & 2015.

-   #2   in 2012 he hit 30 HR and led the majors w/49 SB.

FCR -  Doug Christy, Sarasota

Incorrect guesses:  Jackie Robinson, Fred Lynn, Roberto Clemente


TUESDAY  —26-Oct

Q.  Which position player has the most walks and strikeouts in the history of the Angels’ franchise?

Hint: #1    He ranks second in nineteen career offensive categories for the Angels.

Hint: #2    During his time in the majors, he led weekly chapel services.

A. TIM SALMON  [Wiki Bio]

-   Ans.      970 BB, 1,  360 K

-   #1   Check ‘em out here.

-   #2   Salmon is known to be very spiritual.  Before going pro, he attended Grand Canyon College, established by the Arizona Southern Baptist Convention.

FCR -  Preston Salisbury, Starkville, Mississippi

Incorrect guesses:  Troy Glaus, Brian Downing, Vlad Guerrero, Garret Anderson, Bobby Grich, Mike Carp, Albert Pujols



Q. Who broke Mark McGwire’s major league record for home runs by a rookie, but lost it two years later?

Hint: #1    He still holds that record, but just for his league.

Hint: #2    In a scant five-season period, he managed to amass thirty-one postseason hits.


-   Ans.     Hit 52 HR in 2017 for NYY.  IN 2017 NYM’s Pete Alonso hit 53 HR in his rookie MLB campaign.

-   #1   Alonso now holds the record for MLB rookies, but Judge’s 52 looks good for now.

-   #2   Judge ha played in at least 1 postseason game in every one of his 5 full seasons.

FCR -  Doug Christy, Sarasota

Incorrect guesses:  Giancarlo Stanton, Sammy Sosa



Q.  Who was the first player to hit thirty home runs in each of his first four seasons in the major leagues?

Hint: #1    He is the only player ever to average sixty home runs per season over any four-year period while playing for multiple teams in the majors.

Hint: #2    His career record for ratio of at bats per home run, is better even than Babe Ruth’s.


-   Ans.     Big Mac hit 30+ HR 1987-91:  49, 32, 33 & 39.  He also hit 40 or more 6 X.

-   #1   From 1996 thru 1999, McGwire totaled 245 HR, averaging 61.25 HR per season.

-   #2   McGwire’s 10.61 HR per AB is the best all-time followed by Ruth’s 11.76, Bonds’s 12.92 & Thome’s 13.76.

FCR -   Leonard Epstein, Dallas

Incorrect guesses:  Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds, Josh Gibson, Ralph Kiner



Q.  Who was the first American League player to hit a home run in each of his first three major league games?

Hint: #1    After Mark McGwire in 1987, he was the next rookie to lead his team in batting average, home runs, runs scored and walks for the season.

Hint: #2    He is the only player from the Southern Conference to win the Baseball America College Player of the Year Award.

Hint: #3    He is also the only player from the Southern Conference to win the Golden Spikes Award.


-   Ans.     1st 3 HR = HR 10-Sep11-Sep & 12-Sep-2019

-   #1   Led SEA 2020 w/ .262 AVG, 11 HR, 37 R & 34 BB. 

-   #2 &3  BB America CPOY & Golden Spikes for the Mercer University Bears in Macon, GA in 2016.

FCR -  George Alfano, Redlands, California

Incorrect guesses:  Lance Berkman, Robin Ventura, Chipper Jones, Frank Thomas, Trevor Story, Juan Gonzalez, Ricky Weeks


THOR’S DAY  —28-Oct

Q.  Which twenty-seven year-old BRTR first baseman led the majors in slugging and OPS+ as a rookie?

Hint: #1    That year he also led his team in hits, doubles (tie), home runs, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, total bases, hit-by-pitch and intentional bases on balls.

Hint: #2    The first time he parents saw him play in the majors was in an All-Star game.


-   Ans.     In 2014, Abreu led MLB in SLG w/.581 & OPS+ w/173.

-   #1   His number were 176, 35, 36, 107, .317, .383, .964, 323, 11 & 15 respectively.

-   #2   Abreu made the ASG for the AL as a rookie .  His parents had left Cuba only a few weeks before.

FCR -  Warren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan

Incorrect guesses:  Jackie Robinson, Walt Dropo, Frank Thomas, Pete Alonso


FRIDAY  —29-Oct

Q.  Who is the only player to hit two grand slams in one game in his home stadium?

Hint: #1    He is in a “club” whose only other members are Ted Williams, Carl Yastrzemski and Wade Boggs.

Hint: #2    He claims that the wrist injury he suffered was not as a result of the public wrist massaging he gave himself during at-bats.


-   Ans.   GS X2 at Fenway on 10-May-1999, 1st & 3rd innings.

-   #1   Only those 4 have won consecutive AL batting titles for BOS.

-   #2   While bending, unbending and re-bending his wrists during at-bats as he tightened and re-tightened his batting gloves, he left the world to wonder whether is was a healthy activity.  In September 1999, he was hit by a pitch on his right wrist.

FCR -  Madison McEntire, Bryant, Arkansas

Incorrect guesses:  Tony Cloninger, Fernando Tatis, Joe Pepitone, Jim Gentile, Bill Mueller, Manny Ramirez, Mark Whiten, Fred Lynn, Mike Greenwell, Von Hayes, Jim Northrup


T.G.I.F.SPECIAL  —29-Oct

Q.  Who was the first player to win the All-Star MVP and World Series MVP awards in the same season?

Hint: #1    He led the majors in hits twice—once near the beginning of his career and once near the end.

Hint: #2    His name translates to one of the things he is best at.


-   Ans.   He won the ASG MVP & WS MVP in 2000.

-   #1   Jeter led MLB in H in 1999 w/219 (his 4th full season) and in 2012 w/216 (the 18th season of his 20-season career).

-   #2   The verb jeter in French means “to throw”.

FCR -  John Null Sugar Land, Texas

Incorrect guesses:  Ichiro Suzuki, Kirby Puckett



Q.  Who played slightly more than 18,500 innings at catcher in his career in the majors?

Hint: #1    Six more runs batted in would have him on top of the career RBI list for catchers. (Minimum 85% G @ C.)

Hint: #2    After making the All-Star team nine times, he was almost traded to the Yankees to be their full-time designated hitter.


-   Ans.     Had 18,506 innings at C playing for 2 AL teams.

-   #1   W/1,330 career RBI, Fisk lines up very close behind Mike Piazza (1,335) and the other Pudge (1,332).

-   #2   Negotiations for a trade for Fisk’s services between CHW & NYY, in exchange for former MVP Don Baylor, ended in a stalemate.  Fisk ended his career 9 years later still with the Pale Hose and still catching.

FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Ivan Rodriguez, Mike Piazza, Joe Mauer, Ted Simmons, Gary Carter



Q.  Which All-Star infielder had his AK-47 stolen from his rented home?

Hint: #1    He played for a college where Latin-X students comprise more than three fourths of the student population.

Hint: #2    He hit the 300th home run that Max Scherzer surrendered.


-   Ans. Stolen from his spring training residence in Port Charlotte, Florida in late March 2011.  Longoria called the AK-47, which he owned legally, “a personal item”.

-   #1   Played at Rio Hondo College in North Whittier, California.

-   #2   Longo’s HR provided the only scoring in SFG’s W in G #3 of the 2021 NLDS.

FCR -  Mike Sparks, Sarasota

Incorrect guesses: 



Q.  Who broke Ted Williams’ record as the quickest to tote up fifty career RBI?

Hint: #1    In his second season in the majors, he played in only two games.

Hint: #2    He is the first player in his franchise’s history to homer in his first two games in the majors.


-   Ans.   Not promoted to the big club until the second week of June, 2019, Alvarez quickly caught up.  By the time he had played 45 G, he had 51 RBI, beating the previous record of 47 set by Ted Williams in 1939.

-   #1   Álvarez sat out the beginning of the 2020 season after testing positive for COVID-19.  He returned 14-Aug-2020.  After the 2nd G he had arthroscopic surgery on both knees & didn’t play the rest of the season.

-   #2   HR in 09-Jun-2019 & 11-Jun-2019.  He ended with 28 even though he hadn’t joined the parent club until June.

FCR -  David Ramsden, Barcelona, Spain

Incorrect guesses:  Walt Dropo, Andruw Jones, Kyle Schwarber, Willie Mays


SUNDAY  —31-Oct

Q.  Which one-time New York Mets player is the only major leaguer whose younger brother was voted MVP of an All-Star game?

Hint: #1    A former Padre, he became the first American League rookie to start the All-Star game at catcher, well before his time with the Dodgers.

Hint: #2    His daughter sang the national anthem ahead of the MLB All-Star Futures Game one year.


-   Ans.   One year after Sandy had the honor in 1997, hermanito Robbie was the ASG MVP in 1998.  He ended his career w/NYM in 2007.

-   #1   In the 1990 ASG at Wrigley Field in Chicago, the starting AL catcher was Sandy Alomar, Jr.  He played 27 G w/LAD in 2006.

-   #2   Brianna Alomar had sung the anthem at least once a year since age 13 for CLE home games.  The Future Games’ honor came in 2019 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.

FCR -  Tom Lee, Nashville

Incorrect guesses:  Roberto Alomar



WEEKLY THEME – American League rookies elected Rookie of the Year unanimously:

Rookie            Team         Year

Abreu.............. CHW........ 2014

Alvarez............ HOU......... 2019

Alomar............ CLE.......... 1990

Fisk................. BOS......... 1972

Garciaparra...... BOS......... 1997

Jeter................ NYY.......... 1996

Judge.............. NYY.......... 2017

Lewis.............. SEA.......... 2020

Longoria.......... TBR.......... 2008

McGwire......... OAK......... 1987

Salmon............ ANA.......... 1993

Trout............... ANA.......... 2012


First Correct Respondent identifying theme – David Washburn, Marietta, Georgia (After Judge)




Incorrect theme guesses:


Monday  -  Players with nicknames associated with a place, i.e., Mike "Millville Meteor" Trout

               -  Players with animal names

               -  Highest WAR w/no postseason wins


Tuesday -  Fish

               -  Angelfish

               -  Angel All-Star outfielders

               -  Select players with fishy names

               -  Players with fishy names

               -  Angels in the outfield

               -  Players whose names are types of fishes

               -  Angel fish


Wed        -  Unanimous rookies of the year

               -  Rookies who won all first place votes for ROY

               -  Rookies of the year with over 100 strike outs

               -  Unanimous Rookies of the year with > 100 strike outs



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