Q. Which player, active in 2021, but with fewer than ten seasons in the majors, has won a Rookie of the Year Award, a Most Valuable Player Award, an LCS MVP Award, has played in sixty-six postseason games and owns a World Series ring?
Hint: #1 Oh, I forgot to mention the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards and his being an All-Star.
Hint: #2 His father played a couple of games for the Angels.
- #2 Father Clay Bellinger finished his career in Anaheim w/2 G after 3 seasons as a utility man with NYY.
FCR - Matt Dicker, Chicago
Incorrect guesses: Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, Bryce Harper, Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts, Francisco Lindor, Rafael Devers, Kris Bryant
Q. After Heinie Zimmerman in 1912, who was the next Chicago Cub to win a batting title?
Hint: #1 He hit for the cycle in his first professional game.
Hint: #2 He was the first manager to be fired during Spring Training.
- Ans. Cavarretta led the majors in 1945 with a .355 batting average
- #1 With the B-level Peoria Tractors at age 17 in 1934, Cavarretta played RF & hit for the cycle in his 1st G with them.
- #2 He got fired during spring training in 1954 after frankly admitting that his Cubs were unlikely to finish above 5th place. (They finished in 7th place.)
FCR - Tony Hughes, Woodbridge, Virginia
Incorrect guesses: Bill Madlock, Billy Williams, Bill Buckner, Rogers Hornsby, Stan Hack, Kiki Cuyler
Q. Which one-time San Francisco Giant often wore nothing on his back during games?
Hint: #1 In the twentieth century, he was the oldest player to win his first batting title.
Hint: #2 Twice he was on teams where he and eight other teammates had one hundred hits in the same season.
- #1 1st & only BA title was in 1982 when he hit .331 for MON. That distinction has since been claimed by other players who were older for their 1st.
FCR - Joe Merrill, Montpelier, Vermont
Incorrect guesses: Dick Groat, Barry Bonds, Bill Terry Lefty O’Doul, Matty Alou, Ted Williams, Bill Mueller
MIDWEEK BONUS —19-Jan
Q. Who was the first native of the Dominican Republic to win a batting title in the majors?
Hint: #1 He was the only player to steal a base against the Cincinnati Reds in the 1972 World Series.
Hint: #2 Almost exactly a decade earlier, Whitey held him at third.
- Ans. In 1966 Alou hit .342 for PIT and led the majors.
- #2 He might have scored the tying run from 1B in the 9th inning of G 7 on Willie Mays’s double of the 1962 WS. Third base coach Whitely Lockman went by the conservative “book” and held Alou at 3rd. McCovey lined out and the G end 1-0 and the WS ended NYY 4-SFG 3.
FCR - Art Mugalian, Minneapolis
Incorrect guesses: Herb Washington, Felipe Alou, Marty Alou, Bert Campaneris, Rico Carty, Jesus Alou, Frank Taveras, Tony Perez
Q. Who singled off Bob Feller in his first at-bat of the only All-Star game he ever played in?
Hint: #1 He was called "Hippity" by the press, but tabbed "Cotney" by friends and teammates.
Hint: #2 His hometown, his high school and his college all had the same name.
Hint: #3 Played with or for an amazing twenty-six Hall of Fame teammates, coaches and managers during his time in the majors.
Hint: #4 His bother played in the NFL.
- Ans. Started in CF in the 1946 ASG.
- #1 Cotney because of his blond "cotton-top" hair as a youth. Hippity because, well…
- #2 Born and raised in Hastings, Nebraska; attended Hastings High School; attended Hastings College.
- #3 Played with and/or for Joe Medwick, Johnny Mize, Enos Slaughter, Stan Musial, Billy Southworth, Red Schoendienst, Billy Herman, Warren Spahn, Ralph Kiner, Honus Wagner, Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel, Bill Dickey, Whitey Ford, Mickey Mantle, George Kell, Hal Newhouser, Rick Ferrell, Phil Rizzuto, Ted Lyons, Roy Campanella, Gil Hodges, Pee Wee Reese, Jackie Robinson & Duke Snider.
- #4 Brother Harry Hopp, was drafted by the Detroit Lions in 1941 and played in the NFL until 1947.
FCR - Tal Smith, Sugar Land, Texas
Incorrect guesses: Clint Courtney, Ben Chapman, Dave Concepcion
Q. Which BBTL infielder/outfielder was Curt Schilling's 3,000th career strikeout victim?
Hint: #1 He was recruited to play football at Notre Dame.
Hint: #2 His father had also played in the majors.
- Ans. Curt’s K = 30-Aug-2006. Swisher whiffed thrice that day.
- #1 A 3-sport athlete in high school, Swisher chose to play baseball at Ohio State.
- #2 Father Steve caught for 3 NL teams over 9 seasons.
FCR - Jim Lubell, Hillsboro, Oregon
Incorrect guesses: Darrel May, John Mayberry, Jr.,
T.G.I.F. SPECIAL —21-Jan
Q. Which player came out of Angels Camp, but never played for the Angels in the majors?
Hint: #1 On Opening Day one year, he set a new major-league record for first basemen, committing three errors in the same inning.
Hint: #2 He actually got MVP votes playing for a last-place team.
Hint: #3 It’s interesting that his remarkable nickname is not batrachian but piscatorial.
- #2 In 1952, with his 1.3 WAR, landed 2 votes in the NL MVP race, finishing tied for 38th, next to last. Teammates Murray Dickson and Ralph Kiner also received votes that year.
- #3 Metkovich’s home town, in Calaveras County, is home to the famous annual frog jumping contest, where Mark Twain’s literary career was launched. The nickname we know him by is from his Boston teammates. After Metkovich stepped on a catfish trying to pull the hook out of its mouth, a barbed fin went through the crepe sole of his shoe and incapacitated him during 1940 Spring training.
FCR - Bill Henry, East Greenwich, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses: Bob Brenly
Q. Under whose managerial guidance did an American League Most Valuable Player winner set a single-season record for runs driven in for his new team?
Hint: #1 He was invited to train with the U.S. Olympic speed skating team, having won eight national championships as a youngster.
Hint: #2 He set a minor league (perhaps professional) record when he stole seven bases in one game.
- #1 Declined the invitation to focus on baseball.
- #2 Had 7 SB for Class A Visalia on 08-Jun-1975, just 2 years after being drafted in the 1st round by NYM. (On 26-May-1977, an 18-year-old Rickey Henderson stole 7 bases against the Fresno Giants, setting a California League record that still stands.)
FCR - Mark DeLodovico, Rockville
Incorrect guesses: Eddy Alvarez, Cap Anson
Q. Which player was caught stealing exactly once in each of ten consecutive seasons?
Hint: #1 He was the first to hit for the cycle and the first to homer three times in a game for his young franchise.
Hint: #2 His All-Star game single sent Pete Rose crashing into Ray Fosse in 1970.
- Ans. 1 CS in 1964-73
FCR - Mark Kanter Portsmouth, Rhode Island
Incorrect guesses: Nate Colbert, Cesar Cedeno, Amos Otis
WEEK’S FINALE —23-Jan
Q. Which third baseman once completed a double play by throwing out a batter who had just struck out?
Hint: #1 He was one-for-one in All-Star competition, his hit coming off a two-time MVP and future Hall of Famer.
Hint: #2 The teams he played in included those in Montreal, Oakland and Milwaukee.
- Ans. Haas was playing third base and there were runners on first and third. The batter K’d, but the ball eluded the C. The runner on 3rd was out trying to score. The alert Haas threw the ball to 1st to get the batter out, since he had not advanced after the 3rd strike. Baseball-reference notes that it's rare for a batter who has struck out to be thrown out at 1st, by the 3rd baseman, completing a double play.
- #1 Pinch-hitting for Ewell Blackwell in the 1947 ASG, Haas singled off Hal Newhouser.
FCR - ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.
Incorrect guesses: Sal bando
WEEKLY THEME – Players with fifty games in center field and first base in the same season.
Player Year Team G@1st G@CF WAR
Note: Pepitone not included in week's questions.
FCR identifying theme – Philip Trostler, Norwich, Connecticut (after Cavarretta)
Incorrect theme guesses:
Monday - Most total bases by a rookie in a single postseason
Tuesday - Never made the top 5 (or some other number) in the MVP vote except the year they won
Wed - Players who played first base and outfield only on defense
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