Sunday, May 8, 2022

2022-05-02 Players of note who were briefly 21st-century San Francisco Giants.

MONDAY  —02-May

Q.  Who won Sports Illustrated's inaugural Hope Award?

Hint: #1  A former Rookie of the Year, he was name Player of the Week ten times in his career.

Hint: #2  He violently eschews any cranial palpitation or taction.


-  Ans.  Beltran won the Hope Award for his work in assisting his fellow residents of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

-  #1 AL ROY W/KCR in 1999.

-  #2  He asked teammates, coaches, the media and fans not to touch his head.  His teammates mostly complied.  [Note:  Adrian Beltre is also not crazy about his noggin being fingered, maybe even more than Beltran.]

FCR -  Greg Gits, Glen Ellyn, Illinois

Incorrect guesses:  Adrian Beltre


TUESDAY  —03-May

Q.  Who was the last player to lead his league in stolen bases for five straight seasons?

Hint: #1  Jim Thome called him “the most talented player in baseball”.

Hint: #2  He was the first batter to hit a home run off Washington Nationals pitching.


-  Ans.  Lofton led the AL in SB in 1992 (66), 1993 (70), 1994 (60), 1995 (54) & 1996 (75).

-  #1  Lofton and Thome were teammates on CLE 1992-96, 1997-2001.

-  #2  Homered in WSN’s debut G 04-Apr-2005, 5th inning off Livan Hernandez.

FCR -  Dave Jackson, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Incorrect guesses:  Rickey Henderson, Vince Coleman, Juan Pierre, Willie Wilson, Tim Raines



Q.  Who turned down a full-ride football scholarship to the University of Miami to play pro baseball?

Hint: #1  He led the majors in OBP and his league in OPS and OPS+ the season after he won the Most Valuable Player Award, when he didn’t lead the league in anything.

Hint: #2  He proposed to his wife on national television.


-  Ans.  He also had an offer from University of Florida to play baseball, but signed w/PIT when they drafted him 11th overall in 2005.

-  #1  Voted MVP in 2013.  In 2014, he led MLB in OBP (.410) & led the AL in OPS (.952) & OPS+ (166).

-  #2  Proposal on the Ellen TV show.

FCR -  Warren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan

Incorrect guesses:  Alex Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, Joe Mauer, Carlos Correa, Kirk Gibson



Q.  Who has hit at least ten home runs for each of eight major league teams?

Hint: #1  He was the first player to bat in ten runs in a National League Division Series.

Hint: #2  He was the batter hit-by-pitch ending Pedro Martinez' bid for a perfect game.


-  Ans.  Check him out.

-  #1  10 RBI = 2005 NLDS for STL

-  #2  HBP = 8th inning on 13-Apr-1994.  Sanders charged Pedro on the mound, somehow reasoning that he had been thrown at on purpose.

FCR -  Michael Schneider, Wilmington, Delaware

Incorrect guesses:  Dave Kingman, Fred McGriff, Matt Stairs, Jim Thome



Q.  Which rangy former Cub was named an All-American twice in college, was named conference Player of the Year, won the Dick Howser Trophy, the Golden Spikes Award, the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year Award and Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award?

Hint: #1  No National Leaguer ever struck out more in his rookie season.

Hint: #2  He was nevertheless named the majors’ Rookie of the Month twice that year.


-  Ans.  Playing for the University of San Diego, Bryant was named an All-American in 2012 & 2013, Freshman of the Year & Player of the Year for the West Coast Conference; won the Dick Howser Trophy & Golden Spikes Award in 2013;was named the USA Today Minor League Player of the Year Award; & Baseball America Minor League Player of the Year Award in 2014.

-  #1  199 K led the NL in 2015.

-  #2  MLB ROM in May & Aug 2015.

FCR -  Rich Lerner, Silver Spring, Maryland

Incorrect guesses:  Javier Baez, Mark Prior, Corey Patterson, Anthony Rizzo, Shawon Dunston



FRIDAY  —06-May

Q.  Which two-time Royal tied for the American League lead in sacrifice flies for the only black ink his career produced?

Hint: #1  He was one of four Yankees who won a GIBBY the same season.

Hint: #2  He homered in the only All-Star game he ever played in.


-  Ans.  His 10 SF tied with those of Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion for the AL lead.  (Donaldson won the AL MVP that season.)  Cabrera played for KCR in 2011 & 2017.

-  #1  In 2006, GIBBYs were won by NYY’s Jeter, Rivera, Wang as well as Cabrera.  (GIBBY is a backronym for MLB’s Greatness in Baseball Yearly.)  Cabrera won for the play he made on 06‑June‑2006, where he robbed Manny Ramirez of a home run in Yankee Stadium in the 8th

-  #2  Hit a HR off Matt Harrison in MLB’s 2012 ASG.

FCR -  Joseph Cohen, Holden, Massachusetts

Incorrect guesses:  John Mayberry, Paul Blair, Lou Piniella, Darrell Porter, Danny Tartabull 



Q.  Which one-time Boston Red Sox outfielder hit thirty home runs in the only season he stole thirty bases?

Hint: #1  He attended a university that won the baseball NCAA championship, albeit after he was already in the majors.

Hint: #2  He ended his career in the majors in the same city where he had gone to college.

A.  JOSE CRUZ (Jr.)  [SABR Bio]

-  Ans.  Playing for TOR in 2001, Cruz hit 34 HR & stole 32 bases.

-  #1  Cruz went to Rice University in Houston.  They won the national college title (D-1) in 2003.  Cruz played in MLB 1997-2008.

-  #2  His las MLB team was HOU in 2008.

FCR -  Kevin Audo, Thornton, Colorado

Incorrect guesses:  Tommy Harper, Brady Anderson, Jackie Jensen, Reggie Smith, Ken Williams (X2), Jacob Ellsbury, Dante Bichette, Jose Canseco, Mookie Wilson, Mookie Betts



Q.  Which BLTR Double-Unique turned down a scholarship to Florida State University to sign with the Milwaukee Brewers?

Hint: #1  He is the most recent player to join the very small club whose other members include Gil Hodges and Rocky Colavito.

Hint: #2  He was twice the Player of the Week inside the month he was named the MLB Player of the Month.


-  Ans.  Gennett was selected off waivers by CIN before he reached the majors with MIL.  He bats left and throws right and is the only “Scooter” every appears in MLB and also the only “Gennett”.

-  #1  These are players who have homered four times in a game and homered in an All-Star Game.  The additional ones who have done both are Willie Mays, Lou Gehrig & Mike Schmidt.

-  #2  POW 2 X in May 2018.

FCR -  Randall Chandler, Germantown, Tennessee

Incorrect guesses:  J. D. Martinez, Christian Yelich


SUNDAY  —08-May

Q.  Which player begged to be put into the lineup the next day after having multiple facial bones shattered by a 94.5 MPH fastball?

Hint: #1  He had a 1.000 fielding percentage for his first two years in the majors.

Hint: #2  Nine hundred and seventy-eight players were chosen ahead of him in the June Amateur Draft that started his career.


-  Ans.  Ouch!  ATL P Webb certainly hadn’t intended the HBP since the bases were loaded at the time in the G on 17-May-2021.  Pillar probably didn’t look in the mirror before asking.  His manager did, however, let him bring out the lineup card before the next G.

-  #1  Perfect fielder for his 1st 80 G.  His prowess as a ball hawk is well-documented.

-  #2  Round #32 in 2011.  Billy Burns was the other player in that round to reach “The Show”.

FCR -  Frank Ittner, Atlanta

Incorrect guesses:  Mike Piazza, Paul Konerko, Tony Conigliaro, Paul Blair, Aaron Rowand



WEEKLY THEME – Players of note who were briefly 21st-century San Francisco Giants.


Player            Yr/SFG         WAR        Noteworthy

Beltran............ 2011........... 70.1........ 2002 led MLB in G; 1999 AL ROY; 9 X AS; 3 x GG; 2 X SS



Bryant............. 2021........... 28.7........ 2015 led NL in K; 2016 led NL in R; 2015 NL ROY, 2016 NL MVP, 2016 WS, 4 X AS



Cabrera.......... 2012........... 20.6........ 2012 WSG MVP; Suspension 2012-13; Led AL in SH in 2015



Cruz............... 2003........... 19.6........ 2000 led MLB in G; 2003 GG



Gennett.......... 2019............. 7.1........ D-U; 2018 AS; 4HR/1 G



Lofton............. 2002........... 68.4........ 6 X AS; 4 X GG; 5 SB titles, Led MLB in 3B in 1995



McCutchen..... 2018........... 45.8........ 5 X AS; GG; 4 X SS; Led NL in H in 2012; In 2014 led NL in OPS, OPS+ & led MLB in OBP



Pillar............... 2019........... 16.5........ 2012 Midwest League MVP w/Lansing Lugnuts



Sanders.......... 2002........... 39.8........ 1990 Midwest League MVP w/Cedar Rapids Reds; 1995 NL AS; Career 300/300 Club (304 SB/305 HR)



First Correct Respondent identifying theme – Many were called.  No one was chosen.



Incorrect theme guesses:


Tues    -  Oldest players to play centerfield

            -  Outfielders who appeared in the postseason for six different teams

            -  Players who were traded as reigning all stars from one league to another league & were all stars in that league that year

            -  Players who played on the most teams in the postseason


Wed     -  All-Stars who were highly recruited athletes in other sports

            -  Career Center Field WAR leaders not in the Hall of Fame


Fri        -  Players who played for the Giants one year and were All-Stars that season

            -  Players who played for the giants only one year and were on a Topps All-Star Rookie Team


Sat       -  Player of the Week Award winners who have played just one season with the San Francisco Giants


Sun      -  Players who have played for at 3 teams in their careers, including just one season with San Francisco Giants



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