Sunday, May 29, 2022

2205-05-23 Former National League All-Star pitchers involved in broadcasting MLB games in 2022


Q.  Which former Montreal Expo was the only lefty pitcher to strike out 300 batters in a season six times?

Hint: #1  He was the first pitcher to give up a home run to a player using a pink bat.

Hint: #2  He notched his 300th strikeout one season with an immaculate inning.


-  Ans.  372 K for ARI in 2001

364 K for ARI in 1999

347 K for ARI in 2000

334 K for ARI in 2002

329 K for SEA & HOU in 1998 (Led neither league, but led MLB)

308 K for SEA in 1993

Had 3 additional season with 290+ each.

-  #1  HR by Mark Kotsay on 14-May-2006.

-  #2  300th K with immaculate inning 02-Sep-1998, 6th inning.

FCR -  Michael Schneider, Wilmington, Delaware

Incorrect guesses:  Steve Carlton, Carlos Perez, Pedro Martinez, Bartolo Colon



Q.  Who is the pitcher with the next most career wins after Randy Johnson?

Hint: #1  He is the only pitcher to win a World Series MVP playing for the Atlanta Braves.

Hint: #2  Although he’s in the baseball Hall of Fame, he was also drafted in another sport.


-  Ans.  305 W to Johnson’s 303

-  #1  1995 WS MVP

-  #2  Drafted in the 1984 NHL Entry Draft, Glavine was an excellent hockey player and called it a difficult choice when he chose baseball.

FCR -  Rob Emerson, Lowell, Massachusetts

Incorrect guesses:  John Smoltz, Lefty Grove & Early Wynn, Greg Maddux, Warren Spahn, Lew Burette, Pete Alexander



Q.  Who shattered Tom Seaver’s record for most pitching appearances for the New York Mets?

Hint: #1  He surrendered his uniform number to a Hall of Fame catcher.

Hint: #2  He ranks fifth in career saves.


-  Ans.  Seaver had 401 G; Franco ended with 695.

-  #1  Franco gave Mike Piazza his no. 31 when Mike Piazza joined the Mets in 1998.

-  #2  Finished with 424 S, 5th all-time.

FCR -  Tom Howell, Reno

Incorrect guesses:  Jesse Orosco, Tug McGraw, Billy Wagner



Q.  Who was first National League pitcher since World War II to win more than twenty games in season without striking out a hundred batters?

Hint: #1  He won the most games in the majors two years after losing the most.

Hint: #2  One announcer called him “the left-hander with the Karl Marx hairdo.”


-  Ans.  In 1976, Jones won 22 and struck out 93.

-  #1  Lost 22 in 1974.  Won 22 in 1976.

-  #2  Quote from radio broadcaster Jerry Coleman.

FCR -  J.P. Wanamaker, Binghamton, New York

Incorrect guesses:  Wayne Garland, Ross Grimsley, Phil Niekro, Andy Messersmith, Don Sutton, Bobby Shantz, Roy Face



Q.  Who is the only Tip O’Neill Award winner to pitch more than a thousand innings in the majors?

Hint: #1  He was named one of the 99 "Good Guys" in professional sports by The Sporting News.

Hint: #2  He won a World Series ring in the final season of his career.


-  Ans.  Pitched 2,387 innings over 16 MLB seasons.  Among Canadian natives, only Fergie Jenkins has more.  He won the 2000 James “Tip” O'Neill Award as the Canadian-born player who best exemplifies the ideals of the game.  Dempster was born in Sechelt, BC, an exurb north of Vancouver.

-  #1  The award is for all sports, not just baseball

-  #2  Won WS w/BOS in 2013.

FCR -  Joe O’Neill, London, Ontario

Incorrect guesses:  Mike Messina, Steve Wilson, Jim Bunning



Q.  Who surrendered Manny Ramirez' 1,000th career hit and Sammy Sosa's 400th career home run?

Hint: #1  Five times he was the Opening Day starter, tied for most in the history of his franchise at the time.

Hint: #2  In his thirteen-year MLB career, he received:  Rookie of the Year votes, Cy Young Award votes and was selected as an All-Star.

Hint: #3  A University of Texas alum, his son also played for the Longhorns.


-  Ans.  Ramirez’ H #1,000 = 18-Jul-2000; Sosa’s #400 HR = 16-May-2001

-  #2  Opening Day starter:  1996, 1997*, 1998, 1999* & 2000*.  Tied with Bob Bruce & Nolan Ryan.

-  #1  He was 11th in the 1994 ROY voting, landed 9th in CYA voting in 1996 & was on the 2000 NL AS team (though did not see action).

-  #3  Son Ryan played for Texas in 2017.

*Was the winning pitcher.

FCR -  Warren Kent, Whitehall, Michigan

Incorrect guesses:  Roger Clemens, Ben McDonald, Greg Swindell, Josh Beckett



Q.  Which Cubs pitcher was traded to the Phillies the year after leading the league in starts in a shortened season?

Hint: #1  One season with yet a third team, he suffered through nineteen no-decisions, the most in that franchise since 1908.

Hint: #2  The year he made the All-Star team, he finish third in Cy Young Award voting.

Hint: #3  After his first twenty-games-win season, someone remarked that it had been thirteen years since another pitcher had won twenty for the same team.


-  Ans.  He had 25 starts in strike-shortened 1981 for CHC, tied with that year’s CYA winner, Fernando Valenzuela

-  #1  In 1987, the year after his only All-Star season, Krukow had a record of 5-6 record, 28 starts & 19 G w/o a decision.

-  #2  That same season, he finished behind Mike Scott & Fernando Valenzuela in the NL CYA vote.  It was the only season of his 14-year career when he receive any CYA votes at all.

-  #3  The previous 20-win record for SFG was 1973 when Ron Bryant had a record of 24-12.  (Not a golden age for the Giants.)

FCR -  Erik Lundegaard, Seattle

Incorrect guesses:  Dick Ruthven, Rick Sutcliffe, Dick Ellsworth, Bill Lee, Jon Lieber, Roy Halladay, Jamie Moyer, Wilmer Mizell, John Denny



Q.  Which pitcher, a one-time Los Angeles Angel,  led the majors in hitting batters in the only season he made the All-Star team?

Hint: #1  He was frequently called “the nicest guy in baseball”.

Hint: #2  In the later part of his career, he became recognized for his unique delivery.

A.  PAUL BYRD  [B-R Bio]

-  Ans.  He had 17 HBP in 1999, 10 more than he next closest total.   Played for LAA in 2005.

-  #1 Apparently a baton had been passed from Dale Murphy to Sean Casey to Byrd.

-  #2  Late in his career, Byrd developed an old-fashioned, early 20th-century windup where he swung his arms back & forth to create deception and momentum.

FCR -  Randall Chandler, Germantown, Tennessee

Incorrect guesses:  Jim Abbott, Clyde Wright, Jim Kaat, Jim Abbott



Q.  Who was the first pitcher to collect three hits in a National League Division Series game?

Hint: #1  He was the first twenty-first century pitcher with twenty pitching wins and twenty hits as a batter in the same season.

Hint: #2  His wind-up and delivery were, um… distinctive.


-  Ans.  3 H = 04-Oct-2003, G #4 NLDS

-  #1  20/20 = 2005.  Willis won 22 & put himself on the basepaths with a hit 24 X, including 4 doubles & 1 HR.

-  #2  New York Times writer Alan Schwarz described Willis’ windup as “reminiscent of a spastic squid”.  Watch here.

FCR -  Mark Kanter, Portsmouth, Rhode Island

Incorrect guesses:  Fernando Valenzuela, Luis Tiant, Tim Lincecum



Q.  Who the SEC record for career wins by a pitcher?

Hint: #1  He was a college teammate with two would-be Hall of Famers.

Hint: #2  He was part of the West Coast God Squad.


-  Ans.  Tied at 45 W with pitcher Kip Bouknight.

-  #1  At Mississippi State, Brantley played with Will Clark & Rafael Palmeiro in addition to Bobby Thigpen.

-  #2  Wikipedia tells us that Brantley is a devout Christian.  With SFG, He & teammates Scott Garrelts, Atlee Hammaker & Dave Dravecky became known as the “God Squad” because of their beliefs. Foregoing the hard-partying lifestyle of many of their teammates, they preferred to hold Bible studies in their hotel rooms while on the road.

FCR -  Terry Sloope, Cartersville, Georgia

Incorrect guesses:  Tim Hudson, Ben McDonald



Q.  Which pitcher was the first post-expansion rookie to start the first game of a World Series?

Hint: #1  He was easily identified in his playing days by his mullet and mustache.

Hint: #2  With the correct punctuation, his name could be n entire sentence.

Hint: #3  He had a famous embarrassing accident in the broadcast booth.

A.  BOB WALK  [B-R Bio]

-  Ans.  Started G #1 of the 1980 WS on 14-Oct-1980.  He got the win.

-  #1  For example

-  #2  For example:  “Bob.  Walk?” or “I missed that play.  Bob walk?”

-  #3  Took a tumble when he leaned back too far on his chair.  He hoped no one would see it.  Everyone did.

FCR -  Tom McLaughlin, Fort Washington Pennsylvania

Incorrect guesses:  Derek Holland, Justin Verlander, Catfish Hunter



Q.  Which former Royals BLTR pitcher made it to the major leagues without being drafted, signing with the Phillies for a mere $2,000?

Hint: #1  He was brought in from the bullpen once, to face Barry Bonds.  He hit Bonds with his first pitch; A brief scuffle ensued; Both men were ejected.

Hint: #2  As a catcher, he was scholastically ESPN-adjacent.

A.  RICKY BOTTALICO  (“\bo-TAL-ick-o\”) [Wiki Bio]

-  Ans.  He was playing for an insurance company in an amateur men's league in Connecticut when a Phillies scout saw him throwing 93 MPH and signed him.

-  #1  Ejected after hitting Bonds 02-Aug-1998.

-  #2  Where he attended college, Central Connecticut State, is just over 10 miles from the ESPN headquarters.

FCR -  Jake Ironside, Asbury, lowa

Incorrect guesses:  Mark Gubicza


WEEKLY THEME – Former National League All-Star pitchers involved in broadcasting MLB games in 2022

P/Mic          For           Notes

Bottalico...... Phillies...... Studio analyst

Brantley....... Reds......... Primary color analyst

Byrd............. Braves...... Primary television color analyst

Dempster...... MLB.......... Network studio color analyst

Franco.......... Mets......... Secondary color analyst

Glavine........ Braves...... Ex-analyst for ATL (resigned in 2022)

Johnson........ D’backs.... Secondary color analyst (select games)

Jones............ Padres...... Studio analyst

Krukow........ Giants....... Co-primary television broadcaster

Reynolds..... Astros....... Secondary color analyst

Walk............ Pirates...... Secondary color analyst

Willis........... Dodgers... Secondary color analyst

First Correct Respondent identifying theme – Nary a soul!  (Although some came close)

Incorrect theme guesses:

Mon     -  Pitchers who threw perfect games and got at least 5% of the vote in their first year on the HOF ballot

            -  Pitchers with 100 or more wins for two franchises


Tues    -  Left handed pitchers to win World Series MVP

            -  Most career innings pitched for a lefty

            -  Hall of Fame pitchers who have won World Series MVP

            -  Left handers who won 100 more games than they lost


Wed     -  Most world series appearances or innings in the 1990’s

            -  Lefty pitchers who won WS MVP award

            -  Something to do with lefties

            -  Lefty HOFers who pitched from at the turn of the millennium

            -  NL lefties who made consecutive All-Star teams

            -  Pitchers who threw ceremonial first pitch on Opening Day

            -  Last 7 players to have their numbers retired who played for expansion teams


Thur     -  MLB players or their namesakes who have played hockey


Fri        -  Former pitchers who turned broadcaster


Sat       -  Pitchers who went into broadcasting

-   All Star pitchers who have gone on to a career in the media (broadcasting or photojournalism) this century


Sun      -  Pitchers who were broadcasters on both radio and television


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~ Bruce

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