Monday, November 22, 2021

2021-11-15 No. 1 draft picks who attended private universities

MONDAY  —15-Nov

Q.  Which Tampa Bay six-foot five-inch lefty ace graced the cover of the MLB 2K13 game box the year after winning his first Cy Young Award?

Hint: #1    In his second full season he was tapped as the starting pitcher in that year’s All-Star game.

Hint: #2    That same year he had six more pitching victories than his league’s Cy Young Award winner.


-   Ans.   Box cover.  Price won the 2012 AL CYA by a narrow margin over DET’s Justin Verlander.

-   #1   Started & pitched the 2 scoreless innings in the 2010 ASG.

-   #2   With the voter’s giving credence to some more recently adopted pitching metrics, they chose SEA’s Felix Hernandez as the AL’s 2010 CYA winner.

FCR -  Doug Christy, Sarasota

Incorrect guesses:  Blake Snell, Scott Kazmir, Randy Johnson, Matt Garza, Matt Moore, Mike Moore


TUESDAY  —16-Nov

Q.  Which future All-Star took the loss for Team USA against Cuba in the 1988 Baseball World Cup?

Hint: #1    Even though he led the league in losses one season, he did receive votes in that year’s MVP balloting, much on the strength of his leading the league in strikeouts and strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

Hint: #2    Of his 403 career games pitched, 391 came in the National League.

Hint: #3    His brother, also a pitcher, won twenty-nine games in the majors


-   Ans.     Took L in relief of Jim Abbott in 1988 BWC Gold Medal game.

-   #1   14 L, finished 22nd in NL MVP voting in the shortened 1994 campaign.  Led the NL in K w/189 and K/9 @ 9.9.

-   #2   Pitched 12 G for 1995 SEA.

-   #2   Brother Alan Benes had an 8-year MLB career.

FCR -  Jack Fahey, Oak Forest, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Ben McDonald, Gaylord Perry, Steve Avery



Q. Who was the first pitcher to bat for the Mariners in a regular-season game?

Hint: #1    Two years later, he broke a decade-long hitless streak by American League pitchers, when he hit a double in the World Series.

Hint: #2    One year after losing 17 games, he won 17 games, becoming the first right-handed Mariners pitcher to win 15 or more games in a season.

A. MIKE MOORE  [Wiki Bio]

-   Ans.     Batted for PR Donnell Nixon in the top of the 9th on 24-Apr-1987.  Hit into FC.

-   #1   Hit a 2B (2 RBI) for the A’s in 2nd inning of 1989 WS G4.  Last AL P w/a H was Tim Stoddard for BAL in 1979 WS G4.

-   #2   17 L in 1984, 17 W in 1985.

FCR -  Michael Kositch, Portland, Oregon

Incorrect guesses:  Erik Hanson, Felix Hernandez, Jeff Fassero, Mark Langston, Freddy Garcia



Q.  Which player, currently active, whose first name is his mother’s maiden name, was once chosen the Most Outstanding Player in the College World Series?

Hint: #1    In his second season in the majors, although he only started 135 games, he led all National League shortstops in errors.

Hint: #2    Three seasons later, he ranked second in Defensive W.A.R.


-   Ans.   His parents are Cooter and Nancy (née Dansby) Swanson.  Was the MOP in the 2014 College World Series.  “Dansby” is actually Swanson’s middle name.

-   #1   Had 20 errors in 2017 at SS w/ATL.

-   #2   His Defensive WAR in the Covid-shortened season of 2020 was 1.3, 2nd only to the  1.4 of the redoubtable Nolan Arenado.

FCR -  Mark Hayne, Dumfries, Virginia

Incorrect guesses:  Starlin Castro, Andrelton Simmons, Brandon Crawford, Didi Gregorius ,



Q.  Which former Tiger and Arizona Diamondback once called 911 because his wife was armed and threatening him?

Hint: #1    He was once named the Baseball America College Player of the Year.

Hint: #2    Born in Wisconsin Georgia to parents who were big baseball fans, they even chose the names of this player and his siblings based on a certain notation in a baseball scorekeeper’s handbook.

Hint: #3    His high school produced another major leaguer, an All-Star with a longer MLB career.


-   Ans.   He had a (let’s say…) dynamic relationship with his wife Anna.  Benson played for the Clemson Tigers in college.  He ended his time as a major leaguer w/ARI.  [Erratum => Benson was NOT born in Wisconsin, but in Kennesaw, Georgia.

-   #1   Selected as the Baseball America College POY in 1996.

 -  #2   All four Benson kids’ given names begin with K, the notation used when a player struck out during an at-bat.

-   #3   His teammate at (Sprayberry HS (Marietta, GA) was Marlon Byrd [MLB career WAR of 25.8 to Benson’s 13.1]  MLB teammates for 1 season = 2009 /TEX.

FCR -  Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, Maryland

Incorrect guesses:  Travis Fryman


FRIDAY  —19-Nov

Q.  Which one-time Seattle Mariner is the only major league pitcher to surrender a base hit to All-Star bullpen ace Dan Quisenberry?

Hint: #1    That same season, he led the National League in complete games and led the majors in shutouts.

Hint: #2    He once threw a complete game, giving up a mere three hits, no earned runs and lost!


-   Ans.   In Busch Stadium II on 06-Jul-1989, with the bases loaded, Quiz singled off the Dodgers’ Belcher who was immediately replaced on the mound.  That was Quisenberry’s only H in his 11 PA in the majors.  In 3 seasons in the minors, Quisenberry got thrice as many, racking up 3 (Three!) H.

-   #1   1989 CG = 10; ShO = 8.

-   #2   CG = 16-Sep-1988, was Tom Browning’s perfect game.

FCR -  Mary Hums, Louisville

Incorrect guesses:  John Tudor, Randy Johnson, Chuck Finley, Jamie Moyer, Gaylord Perry, Steve Carlton, Mike Morgan, Joaquin Andujar 



Q.  Which player was selected by the San Diego Padres in the 1971 amateur draft, but did not sign since he had been accepted to attend a certain, colorful, New England Institution?

Hint: #1    He hit his first major league grand slam during Pascual Perez’ hundredth career pitching victory.

Hint: #2    In his first full season as a major leaguer, he led his league in sacrifice hits.

A.    BILL ALMON  [Wiki Bio]

-   Ans.     Signed later with SDP right away after being the first player over-all.  He had been at Brown University in Providence.

-   #1   On 25-May-85, Almon hit his 24th career HR, but it was the first one with three teammates on base at the time. [Now, as for Perez that G couldn’t have represented his 100th win for at least 2 reasons:  a.)  He was the losing pitcher that day and b.) His career total was 67 W in MLB.  He did have another 67 professional wins outside the majors.  We have been impressed by how many of you were not put off by his inclusion in the question.]

-   #2   In his first full season as a major leaguer, he led all others w/20 WH.

FCR -  George Alfano, Redlands, California

Incorrect guesses: 


SUNDAY  —21-Nov

Q.  What pitcher tore a muscle while warming up in the bullpen, just hours after having participated in an octopus-throwing contest?

Hint: #1  As an amateur, he was lauded for throwing 103 MPH.

Hint: #2  Before tearing his muscle, he had saved 22 games in a season.  In the three seasons after, he saved a total of three.


-   Ans.   Anderson & Tigers’ teammate Jeff Weaver competed in contest to win Detroit Red

Wings playoff tickets.  Anderson continues to deny any connection between the two events.

-   #1   When Anderson began his professional career in the minors (after signing for a reported $2.5 M) in 1998, he blew past hitters with a fastball that reportedly touched 103 MPH on several occasions.

-   #2   Anderson’s record.

FCR -  Greg Gits, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Joel Zumaya, Steve Dalkowski, Bobby Jenks



WEEKLY THEME – No. 1 draft picks who attended private universities


Player______ Draft Year       College           Drafting Team           Career WAR

Almon................... 1974....... Brown............................ SDP                       4.6

Anderson.............. 1997....... Rice............................... DET                      -0.6

Belcher................. 1983....... Mt. Vernon Nazarene... MIN                      26.7

Benes.................... 1988....... Evansville...................... SDP                     31.2

Benson................. 1996....... Clemson*........................ PIT                       13.1

Moore.................... 1981....... Oral Roberts................. SEA                      27.9

Price...................... 2007....... Vanderbilt...................... TBD                      40.4

Swanson............... 2015....... Vanderbilt...................... ARI                         9.1

*Not a private university.  Apologies.



First Correct Respondent identifying theme – Dave Jackson, Chapel Hill, North Carolina




Incorrect theme guesses:


Monday  -  Golden Spike Award winners who were drafted No. 1 and played in MLB


Tuesday -  College pitchers who went number one overall & later became all stars

               -  Pitchers with less (sic) than 100 complete games and exactly 1 save

               -  Pitchers drafted #1 overall who became All-Stars

               -  150 or more wins and 1 save


Wed        -  Pitchers who were No. 1 draft picks for expansion teams

               -  #1 Overall Draft Pick Pitchers with double digit WAR

               -  1st Overall Draft Picks who made major league debut within one season after being drafted

               -  MLBers who played for team USA in college

               -  #1 overall draft picks by expansion teams


Thurs      -  #1 Overall draft picks who played for Team USA in international competition, winning a medal with that team



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