Sunday, December 19, 2021

2021-12-13 Players from families of 13 children, i.e., players with exactly 12 siblings

MONDAY  —13-Dec

Q.  Which moundsman was famously named for one U.S. president and portrayed by another?

Hint: #1  Only Cy Young and Walter Johnson notched more career victories.

Hint: #2    In 1915 he had the fifth most shutouts of any major league season ever.


-  Ans.  HOF Alexander’s birth name is Grover Cleveland Alexander, Grover Cleveland being the 22nd & 24th U.S. president.  Alexander was born in the middle of Cleveland’s first term.  A biopic of Alexander came out of Hollywood in 1952 entitled “The Winning Team” with the pitcher played by a young Illinois actor who later became the 40th U.S. president.  (Reagan almost got top billing.)  Audiences like it well enough.

-   #1  Alexander is tied with Mathewson at 373 W.  Young had 511, Johnson 417.

-   #2  Alexander’s 1915 season saw him shutout opponents 12 times, but few were prepared for what he did the following season when he racked up the all time record:  16 (tied with George Bradley’s 1876 effort).

FCR -  John Bath, Gahanna, Ohio


TUESDAY  —14-Dec

Q.  Which lefty threw a still standing major league record 513 strikeouts in his rookie season?

Hint: #1  Among his twenty-nine victories that same year were a no-hitter, five shutouts, three one-hitters and four two-hitters.

Hint: #2  He was famous as a pickoff artist, with a wicked underhand delivery.

Hint: #3  As a youngster, he worked in a glass factory.

A. MATT KILROY  [SABR Bio] [Thorn/Wulf Bio]

-  Ans.  Had 513 Ks for the 1886 American Association Baltimore Orioles.  When he pitched, there were many differences from the modern game.  BBs were 6 balls and the pitcher was only 50 feet from home plate.  It was also the last season batters could request a high pitch or a low pitch.  Nonetheless, his record will stand… um, forever?

-  #1  He had other no-hitters in his 10-year career, but the 1 he threw as a rookie was the only one that went 9 innings.

-  #2  Underhand pickoff throws are now disallowed in MLB.

-  #3  He grew up in Philadelphia, the son of Irish immigrant parents.

FCR -  Jerry Wolper, Pittsburgh

Incorrect guesses:  Cy Young, Eddie Plank, Rube Waddell



Q. Which bi-lingual baseball executive was in the front office in Milwaukee for that city’s only World Series championship; in Arizona for theirs; with the White Sox for their most recent one; and with the Orioles for their turnaround success in the late 1990s?

Hint: #1  He has been thrice voted MLB Executive of the Year.

Hint: #2  He drafted Hank Aaron’s first contract; He signed Tony La Russa to his first managing job; He signed pitcher Mike Mussina to his first professional contract.

Hint: #3  He is the second recipient of the Baseball Hall of Fame's Buck O'Neil Lifetime Achievement Award.  O’Neil himself was the first.

Hint: #4  He is the architect of the MLB’s Arizona Fall League.

Hint: #5  Minor League Baseball recognized him as “The King of Baseball”.

Hint: #6  He founded the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation.

Hint: #7  He has been an integral part of the success of the Society of American Baseball Research (SABR) who has an award for scouts named in his honor.

Hint: #8  The Arizona chapter of SABR is named in his honor.


-  Ans.  + #1-8:  Please click on the Bio & Obit above.  You’ll be glad you did.

FCR -  Adrian Fung, Toronto



Q.  Which pitcher threw two no-hitters in the same season at age 35?

Hint: #1  Both games were 1-0 shutouts.

Hint: #2  In his first season as a professional, he set a league record with 418 strikeouts.

Hint: #3  He was the last pitcher to win an Opening Day game for the St. Louis Browns.


-  Ans.  No-hitters:  15-May, then after going 3-13 in his next 16 decisions, he recorded his 2nd on 25-Aug-1952.  Born 26-Apr-1917.

-  #2  K record set w/1938 Andalusia Bulldogs of the Class D Alabama-Florida League.  It might also have been 420.  Sources differ.

-  #3  He beat his old team DET 10-0 on 14-Apr-1953.

FCR -  Vince Guerrieri, Elyria, Ohio

Incorrect guesses:  Allie Reynolds, Johnny Vander Meer, Dizzy Dean, Satchel Page, Bobo Holloman, Hoyt Wilhelm, Bobo Newsome



Q.  Who founded the Hill of Dreams baseball academy in the Dominican Republic?

Hint: #1  He married the daughter of Juan Marichal.

Hint: #2  As a rookie, he was a teammate of Ken Griffey, Sr.  He became a teammate of Ken Griffey, Jr. when he staged a comeback in 2001.

Hint: #3  He had a small role in the 2008 very underrated baseball movie Sugar.


-  Ans.  In 1999, Rijo opened a baseball academy built on a hillside near his hometown of San Cristobal called Lomo del Sueno, or, Hill of Dreams.  “I know a lot of dreams are going to come true there,” he said.  The complex included 7 ball fields, 10 indoor batting cages, 1 track, 2 weight rooms, 2 dining rooms, 4 locker rooms, & housing for 600.  “I can pass on all the knowledge that I learned about the game to those kids,” he said.  In its 1st 2 years, his academy helped nearly 100 youths sign minor-league contracts.  It is now run by CIN & NYY.

-  #1  They are no longer together.

-  #2  Played w/Sr. in 1984 on NYY.  On 17-Aug-2001, warming up in the bullpen, he caused such an ovation at Cinergy Field that his new teammate, Ken Griffey, Jr. had to back out of the batter’s box until the applause died down.  Read more here.

-  #3  He played the part of Alvarez in Sugar, essentially doing his real-life job.  His appearance was virtually a cameo.

FCR -  Elliott Frankfother, Rock Falls, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Mario Soto



Q.  Which Hall of Famer was targeted as the most qualified candidate to break major league's color line before he was drafted into the military in 1942?

Hint: #1  He used the assumed name “Jimmy Nelson” to protect his amateur status while attending university where he planned a career in dentistry.

Hint #2  There is a beautiful statue of him in a park named for him in his hometown.

Hint: #3  He was the only player to steal any bases for his team in his first World Series.

Hint: #4  He played with six future Hall of Fame teammates before arriving in the majors and three more thereafter.


-  Ans.  He served but came back well to a fine career, joining the MLB NYG in 1949.

-  #1  Attended Lincoln University in Chester County, Pennsylvania only briefly.

-  #2  The statue & park are in Orange, New Jersey.

-  #3  He stole both bases for NYG in the 1951 WS, including a steal of home in the 1st inning of the 1st G. of his 1st MLB WS.

-  #4  Playing for the Newark Eagles 1938-43, 45-48, he played with Ray Dandridge, Willie Wells, Mule Suttles, Leon Day, Biz Mackey & Larry Doby.  With NYG, Willie Mays & Hoyt Wilhelm were teammates 1951-55.  In 1956 on CHC, he played with Ernie Banks.

FCR -  John Laycock, Sykesville, Maryland

Incorrect guesses:  Larry Doby, Satchel Paige



Q.  Which Pirate was punished for refusing to play after Robert Kennedy was assassinated?

Hint: #1  Ichiro Suzuki broke his record for plate appearances in a season.

Hint: #2  He was the first National League player to win Most Valuable Player and Gold Glove awards in the same season.


-  Ans.  Punishment on 10-Jun-1968.  The RFK assassination had taken place 4 days earlier 06-Jun-1968.  That’s the date of G he sat out.  Research continues to determine the nature & extent of PIT’s punishment.

-  #1  Wills had 759 PA in 1962.  Pete Rose tied that in 1976.  Ichiro had 762 in 2004, but Pete Rose, & Dave Cash also broke it and before Ichiro did.  Jimmy Rollins’ 778 in 2007 in the current standard.

-  #2  NL MVP & GG @ SS = 1962.

FCR -  Andy McCue, Riverside, California

Incorrect guesses:  Roberto Clemente, Dave Cash, Al Oliver, Bill Mazeroski, Dave Parker, Dick Groat


FRIDAY  —17-Dec

Q.  Who was the first player to hit an inside-the-park in Toronto's Exhibition Stadium?

Hint: #1  Ike made the team he managed, change parks.

Hint: #2  He is the only batter in Red Sox history with a Sam Horn.


-  Ans.  05-May-1977, 5th inning

-  #1  Managing HOU in 2008, Cooper & the team moved to Milwaukee’s Miler Park for 2 G, 14- & 15-Sep-2008 because of Hurricane Ike.

-  #2  You can blame this one on Nolan Ryan.  On Flag Day 1972, in a 15-inning G, the Angel’s Ryan struck out 10, 6 of which were Cooper’s.  A 6 K performance by a batter was christened a “Sam Horn” by BAL teammate Mike Flannagan for Horn’s 6K 17-Jul-1991 vs. KCR.

FCR -  Matt Clairmont, New Minas, Nova Scotia

Incorrect guesses:  Kelly Gruber, Toby Harrah, Bump Wills


T.G.I.F. SPECIAL  —17-Dec

Q.  Which one-time Yankee catcher had three brothers who played in the majors?

Hint: #1  He was in the majors in uniform for thirty-nine seasons with only small hiatuses.

Hint: #2  He regularly sing in a quartet with teammates as they traveled by train to away games.

Hint: #3  He was well-known as a peacemaker with a steady, calming disposition.


-  Ans.  His brothers, Jack O'Neill, Jim O'Neill, Mike O'Neill also had MLB careers.  Steve’s playing career was longer that those of his brothers’ combined, 17 to13 (4+4+5).  He played for NYY in 1925.

-  #1  Baseball career:  Player 1911-1928; manager 1935-1954; coach 1935, 41, 49, 50.

-  #2  Ray Chapman, Joe Graney, Joe Evans and/or Doc Johnston were the other regulars.

-  #3  He regularly inserted himself between combatant in conflicts on or off the field.  Nevertheless, he was tossed from 8 G as a player and 9 as a manager.

FCR -  Bradford Altman, Chula Vista, California

Incorrect guesses:  Bill Dickey, Frankie Crosetti, Joseph Molina, Birdie Tebbetts, Ralph Houk



Q.  Which former Met surrendered a grand slam to Mets reliever Jack Hamilton for Hamilton’s only career homer?

Hint: #1  He threw all four shutouts recorded by the 1962 Mets staff, each the first game of a double-header.

Hint: #2  He had the most career pitching victories for the Mets before Tom Seaver had a chance at it.


-  Ans.  Pitching for STL on 20-May-1967, Jackson gave Jack his only dinger, a doozy.  It was 4 of his 7 career RBI.

-  #1  Recorded 4 of his career 14 ShO that year on

29-Apr(1)- over PHI;

22-Jun(1)- over HOU;

27-Jul(1)- over STL; &

28‑Aug(1)-1962 over PHI.

-  #2  Jackson had managed 43 W in his 6 years w/NYM.  Seaver breezed past that mark in 1969 on his way to 198 for the Miracles.

FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Incorrect guesses:  Jay Hook, Jack Fisher, Jerry Koosman, Roger Craig, Jack Graney 



Q.  Which current infielder of Haitian descent has averaged 244 strikeouts per 162 games played, over his seven year career? 

Hint: #1  He has only played for one team in the majors.

Hint: #2  He finished high in the Rookie of the Year voting.

Hint: #3  He represented his team his team well with a two-out RBI in the All-Star game.


-  Ans.    The most Ks he had in any one season was 183 in 2021, but he led the majors in 2020 w/90.  Sano was born in San Pedro de MacorísDR, to Haitian parents.

-  #1  All 7 seasons have been w/MIN.

-  #2  3rd in 2015 AL ROY vote behind Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor.

-  #3  Played in the 2017 ASG, helping the AL win 2-1.

FCR -  Wesley Story, Richmond, Texas

Incorrect guesses:  Trevor Story


SUNDAY  —19-Dec

Q.  Which one-time Oakland A’s player was the first native of Panama to be named to a National League All-Star team?

Hint: #1  The Encyclopedia of Baseball Catchers shows his lifetime batting average of .296 as the fourth-highest by a catcher since World War II and tenth highest for all catchers in Major League history.  (Reasonable minimums apply)

Hint: #2  He was once traded, straight across, for a manager.


-  Ans.  Played for OAK in 1977.  1st ASG = 1971.   Did not see action that year but was on the NL squad 2 X more and got a H in the 1972 ASG despite playing behind Johnny Bench.  Born in Colon, Panama.

-  #1  EOBC rankings.

-  #2  In Nov 1976, traded to OAK for mgr Chuck Tanner.  (Not precisely “straight across” since PIT threw in $100,000.)  Sanguillen then returned to PIT in 1978 and played for Tanner for 3 seasons.

FCR -  Frank Ittner, Atlanta

Incorrect guesses:  Carlos Ruiz, Ivan Rodriguez



Q.  Who led the Baltimore Orioles in games, at-bats, hits and doubles in the 1929 season?

Hint: #1  Five of his siblings were born in Germany, but he was born in Detroit.

Hint: #2  He was born a century before nine-eleven.


-  Ans.  For the 1929 AA international League O’s, Loepp played 164 G, had 630 AB, 197 H & 40 2B and was just off Al Bools HR total of 31, hitting 27 himself.

-  #1  13 kids in all.  See below.

-  #2  Born 11-Sep-1901.

FCR -  Steven Wright, Naperville, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Joe Houser, Charlie Gehringer, Del Pratt, Johnny Frederick, Heinie Manush, Germany Schaefer



WEEKLY THEME – Players from families of 13 children, i.e., players with exactly 12 siblings



Player                   Birth order           Career WAR

Alexander.................. 6th of 13.................. 116.0

Cooper.................... 13th of 13.................... 36.0

Irvin.......................... 8th of 13.................... 32.1

Jackson................... 13th of 13...................... 5.6

Kilroy....................... 7th of 13.................... 23.2

O’Neill.................... 10th of 13.................... 26.3

Rijo......................... 11th of 13.................... 34.9

Sanguillen................. 7th of 13.................... 27.6

Trucks....................... 4th of 13.................... 42.4

Wills......................... 7th of 13.................... 39.6

Loepp...................... 10th of 13..................... -0.3

Sano.......................... 1st of 13...................... 8.4

There are no doubt others.



First Correct Respondent identifying themeWarren Kent III, Whitehall, Michigan (after O’Neill)




Incorrect theme guesses:


Monday  -  Pitchers with 100 wins for two franchises.

               -  Pitchers who have won multiple Triple Crowns

               -  Pitchers who won 20 games in a season for three different teams

               -  Players with documented alcohol issue


Tuesday -  Pitchers with pWARs above 10 in their rookie years


Thurs      -  Players who set records, that most likely will never be broken


Sunday   -  Players from Central or South America or the Caribbean who played in an All Star Game


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