Monday, January 10, 2022

2022-01-03 Baseball players who played in roles of baseball players other than themselves in a movie or on a television show


Q.  Which modern player holds the National League record for longest hitting streak?

Hint:  He held the career record for reaching base on catcher’s interference until his was passed in 2017 by Jacoby Ellsbury. 

Hint:  A manager he replaced and he had attended the same high school.


-  44, third behind DiMaggio’s 56 in 1941 and Willie Keeler’s 45 in 1896-97.

-  Reached based on catcher’s interference = 29 X.

-  Russ Nixon, who managed the Reds from 1982-83 and Rose (1984-1989) went to Western Hills High School in Cincinnati.  Vern Rapp managed CIN between them, for 121 games.

FCR -  Evan Thompson, Mesa

Incorrect guesses:  Tommy Holmes, Willie Keeler



Q.  Who was the first post-expansion player to be intentionally walked with the bases loaded?

Hint:  He hit more home runs at Dodger stadium than any other non-Dodger.

Hint:  He won more MVPs in a Pittsburgh Pirates’ uniform than any other player.


-  Bonds got his free pass on 28-May-1998, when Arizona manager Buck Showalter ordered Bonds walked with the bases loaded and 2 out in the bottom of the 9th inning of an 8–6 G. Showalter would rather face Brent Mayne with a 1-run lead than face Bonds with a 2-run lead.  Mayne flied out and ARI held on to win 8–7.  Josh Hamilton was IBBed 10 years later w/3 men aboard on 17‑Aug-2008.

-  Bonds hit 29 HR at the ballpark in Chavez Ravine.

-  Won 2 MVPs w/PIT (1990, 1992), 5 w/SFG.  McCutchen, Stargell, Parker, Clemente & P. Waner each won a single NL MVP.  (Amazingly, none for H. Wagner!)

FCR -  Doug Christy, Sarasota

Incorrect guesses:  Willie Stargell, Willie McCovey, Bobby Bonds



Q.  Who was the first Devil Ray position player to make the All-Star team?

Hint:  His Rookie of the Year award was followed by two more from the same team, the only time that’s ever happened in the American League.

Hint:  A famous poster has him dressed like a Saturday Night Live cast member.


-   AL ASG in 1999, but didn’t play due to injury.  It was his 6th and final AS appearance.

-  ROY in 1986 for the A’s followed by Mark McGwire & Walt Weiss.  Only the Dodgers have a longer consecutive streak and they have had two!  1979-82 & 1992-96.

-  Poster seen here, styled to imitate the Blue Brothers poster of John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd.  (Actual original bash)

FCR -  Matt Clairmont, New Minas, Nova Scotia

Incorrect guesses:  Wade Boggs, Wil Myers, Evan Longoria Fred McGriff, Rolando Arrojo



Q.        Which pitcher won the final game of both the College World Series and the major league World Series?

Hint:     The award for outstanding college pitcher was then named for him.

Hint:     No one would be surprised if his favorite song were the WWI standard “K-K-K-Katy” by Billy Murray.


-  He got the win in G 4 of the 1999 NYY WS sweep of ATL.  He was the P on the NCAA Champion team for the final G in 1983, when Texas won.  He pitched a complete G w/9 K.

-  It used to be called the Rotary Smith award, until the Rotary Club decided to create a new award for the greatest college pitcher, not just player.  They named it after Clemens in 2004, but dropped his name after 2009.

-  Clemens has 4 sons, all with “K” names in tribute to his career success with strikeouts — Koby, Kody, Kory & Kacy, so why not a theme song?

FCR -  Dan Greder, Ames, Iowa

Incorrect guesses:  Stephen Strasburg, Justin Verlander



Q.  Which pitcher, in a year his team won the World Series, had a higher batting average for that season than any of the eight position player teammates in the starting lineup?

Hint:     Even though his 14-year MLB career is all within the Cy Young Award era, he only ever received CYA votes the year he won it.  However, he received MVP votes in 4 different seasons.

Hint:     He’s the only pitcher to start both All-Star games in one season.


- In the 1965 regular season, he had a BA of .300, higher than any Dodger teammate who qualified for the batting title.

-  He won the CYA in 1962 and received MVP votes in 1957, 1962*, 1963* & 1965.  *MVP won by a Dodger teammate.

-  Drysdale was the starting P of both ASGs (1) & (2) in 1959, the 1st year of the 2 X ASG experiment.

FCR -  Madison McEntire, Bryant, Arkansas

Incorrect guesses:  Walter Johnson, Red Ruffing, Vern Law, Don Newcombe, Warren Spahn, Bob Gibson, Catfish Hunter



Q.  Who is the only triple crown winner to never lead the league in BA, HR or RBI any other year?

Hint:     He was on base for the only triple play of Denny McLain’s thirty-win season.

Hint:     He’s the only player with a statue outside major league stadiums in three cities he played in.


-  TC in 1966. However, he led in SLG and OPS 4 X ea. & ½ of those led MLB.

-  01-Sep-1968, Robinson was on 1st for a 1-6-3 TP, McLain’s only 1 in his career & it happened during the 30-W season!

-  Cincinnati, Baltimore, Cleveland.  Henry Aaron has statues outside 3 major league stadiums, but all in the same city.  Click here to see.

FCR -  Thomas Hablitzel, Hudson, Ohio

Incorrect guesses:  Carl Yastrzemski, Hank Aaron, Harmon Killebrew, Joe Medwick, Bob Friend



Q.        Who did Wade Boggs replace at third base for the Red Sox?

Hint:     Coincidentally, each had finished third in Rookie of the Year voting.

Hint:     He still has more postseason hits than any other Oakland A’s player.


-  A sort of Wally Pipp story redux. Lansford was injured, Boggs subbed for him and hit .349.

-  They each came in 3rd, Lansford in 1978, Boggs in ‘82.

-  Lansford owns 39 H in the postseason. Rickey Henderson has 37 and Joe Rudi has 36.

FCR -  Mike Sarks, Sarasota

Incorrect guesses:  Butch Hobson, Joe Foy



Q.        Who was the first black player to win a World Series game?   [NOTE:  The original question, “Who was the first rookie pitcher to start a World Series game?” was my editing mistake.  I apologize.]

Hint:     He credits Mickey Mantle with helping the Marlins win their first series, a year after Mantle’s death.

Hint:     His name hangs from the rafters at Chase Field, even though he never wore a uniform for them.


- Started G 1 in the 1952 WS and won!

-  In G 7 of the 1952 WS, Mantle took a slight step back in the box when Black was pitching, Black didn’t notice & Mantle hit a home run.  In 1997, Black was in the Marlin’s dugout and he noticed Bonilla was getting jammed, so he told him to take a step back the next at bat, as Mantle had, and Bonilla homered.

-  ARI put a cut out of a baseball with his name, honoring his years working in their community relations department.

FCR -  Ethan Aronoff, Los Angeles

Incorrect guesses:  Mel Stottlemyre, Livan Hernandez, Babe Adams, Bob Walk, Dylan Lee, Dontrelle Willis, Josh Beckett, Bob Welch, Marty Bystrom


SUNDAY —09-Jan

Q.  Who is the only player to get a double play on his only pitch of the game, in both the major leagues and in Japanese baseball?

Hint:  When he was a boy, his favorite player growing up was Willie Randolph.  He ended up on a team where Randolph was a coach.

Hint:  In one of his first appearances in pro ball, he struck out Michael Jordan.


-  His 1-pitch appearance happened on 07-Sep-2007 in Japan where it had never happened before nor has it since.  In the U.S., it was on 10-Aug-1999, B 8th.

-  Nitkowski grew up in the NYC suburbs and was a Yankees fan.  Randolph coached NYY 1994-2004 and Nitkowski was a Yankee in 2004.

-  K’d M.J. in 1994.  In 127 games in AA, Jordan struck out 114.  Nitkowski talks about it here.  His story on Jordan starts at 11:20 on the film.

FCR -  Phillip Ross, Denver

Incorrect guesses:  Hideo Nomo, Masahiro Tanaka, Kazuhiro Sasaki



Q.  Who had the most sacrifice hits in a season this century?

Hint:  Outside of pitchers and Negro League players, only Matt Stairs played on more MLB teams.

Hint:  His Hall of Fame manager put him in the lineup at shortstop, replacing a Hall of Fame player there.  Fans, writers and the shortstop replaced, were not happy.


-  Clayton had 24 SH in 2004.  Only one other player more than 20 in that period.  Click for list.

-  11, tied with a lot of others.  Stairs played on 12.

-  Ozzie Smith felt the STL manager Tony LaRussa forced him out by putting Clayton in the lineup at SS in 1996.  It was a whole thing.

FCR -  Mark DeLodovico, Rockville, Maryland

Incorrect guesses: 



WEEKLY THEME – Baseball players who played in roles of baseball players other than themselves in a movie or on a television show



Black – Played fictional player Joe “Rubber Arm” Simms on The Cosby Show, Season 7 episode 22, "There's Still No Joy in Mudville".  Aired 04-Apr-1991.


Bonds – Played a fictional baseball player on Beverly Hills 90210.  Season 4 episode 24, “Cuffs and Links”, character named Barry Larson, 10 minutes in.  Aired 16-Mar-1994.


Canseco – Played fictional player Chus Ortez, on Nash Bridges, season 4 episode 10, "Hardball".  First aired 14-Dec-1998.


Clayton – Played Miguel Tejada in Moneyball (2011).


Clemens – Played an unnamed Philadelphia A’s pitcher in Cobb. (1994).  He shows up 34 minutes in.

Drysdale – Played a few fictional players on TV, including “Lawman” and “The Millionaire” (both 1960), “Flashing Spikes” (1962), a 1969 episode of “Then Came Bronson” & others.


Lansford – Played the fictional White Sox player Kit “Hit or Die” Kersey, the final out in the 1994 Angels in the Outfield.  You’ll see him 1 hr 28 min in.


Nitkowski - Played Dutch Leonard in 42 (2013). 1 hr 17 min in.


Robinson – Played a fictional Negro League player Frank “Payday” Potter on The Cosby Show, Season 7 episode 22, "There's Still No Joy in Mudville".  Aired 04-Apr-1991.


Rose – Played Ty Cobb in the made-for-TV movie Babe Ruth, 1991.  It aired on NBC.  Rose appears at the 55-minute mark.


First Correct Respondent to Identify ThemeWarren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan (after Joe Black)


Big thanks to guest author Sarah Grynpas for the questions, hints and theme this week.



Incorrect theme guesses:


Tuesday -  Most career hits and NOT in the Hall of Fame

               -  Highest WAR for players not in HOF

               -  Major record holders not in the Hall of Fame

               -  People who hold records in major categories not in the hall of fame

               -  Non-HOFs of extraordinary accomplishments

               -  Players who hold an MLB lifetime record but are not in the HOF

               -  Players with more than 20-year careers entirely in NL

               -  Record holders not in HOF

               -  MVP winners not in the Hall of Fame

               -  Players with WARs above 75.0 not in the Hall of Fame

               -  MLB career statistical leaders not in the Hall of Fame

               -  Players who reached base safely more than 5,000 times

               -  All time leaders in statistical categories

               -  Multiple batting title winners who have sub-.300 career averages

               -  Qualified players snubbed for the Hall

               -  Players who should be in HOF but for…

               -  MVP Players who have been shunned by the Hall of Fame

               -  Most seasons on the NL All-Star roster

               -  Players who should be in the HOF


Wed        -  MVP's who had a relative also play in the majors

               -  Players who were accused of cheating

               -  Players who have testified in front of Congress

               -  Players caught in PED scandals

               -  Players with most WAR not in HOF, excluding those not yet eligible

               -  Players with multiple post-season awards but who are not in the Hall of Fame

               -  Steroid guys

               -  MVPs who have been sanctioned by MLB


Thu         -  Baseball villains or appeared on TV


Friday     -  MLB players who appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson


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