Stillwater News Press

Opinion

March 29, 2014

GEORGE WILL: Will’s baseball quiz: Take a swing at these

STILLWATER, Okla. — “Andre Dawson,” Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully once said, “has a bruised knee and is listed as day-to-day. Aren’t we all?” Yes, so use some of your remaining time constructively by identifying the player or players who:

(1) Won three batting titles by at least 44 points (two players).

(2) Hit more than 50 home runs in a season in which he had fewer than 50 strikeouts.

(3) Won a batting title hitting .361 but slumped to .243 the next season.

(4) Was the oldest MVP.

(5) Caught the most games.

(6) Was the first catcher to hit 40 home runs.

(7) Batted at least .300 and drove in at least 100 runs in each of his first 11 seasons.

(8) Hit 50 home runs in one season and stole 50 bases in another (two players).

(9) Had 3,000 hits and 1,500 walks (four players).

(10) Had 3,000 hits, 300 home runs and a career .300 average (four players).

(11) Received the most unintentional walks.

(12) Is the only American League player to have 100 walks, 70 extra-base hits and 30 stolen bases in a season.

(13) Are the only three National League players with such a season.

(14) Was the first lefthander to win 300 games.

(15) Won three ERA titles before age 26.

(16) Was the last player to have 600 hits with three teams.

(17) Is a Hall of Famer whose lowest winning percentage in 10 pitching seasons was .643.

(18) Had 10 consecutive 200-hit seasons.

19) Had eight league home run titles, ranking second to Babe Ruth’s 12.

(20) Completed 237 of the 370 games he started in the 1950s.   

(21) In 1968, the “year of the pitcher,” hit 10 home runs in 20 at-bats in six games.

(22) Contracted tuberculosis, interrupting his Hall of Fame career at second base and perhaps costing his team a third consecutive pennant.

(23) Hit five home runs in a doubleheader (two players).

(24) Was the first African-American to win an American League batting title.

(25) Are the only active players to have at least 350 home runs and a .320 average (two players).

(26) Had his record for most home runs in the first 10 seasons of a career broken by Albert Pujols.

(27) Had 27 wins in a season pitching for a losing team (three players).

(28) Was the World Series MVP on a losing team.

(29) Three times hit at least 40 home runs and had fewer strikeouts than home runs.

(30) Made All-Star Game rosters at catcher and second base.

(31) Played the most games at first base.

(32) Had only 54 wins at age 30 but won 318.

(33) Won two World Series MVP awards as a position player.

(34) Other than Jackie Robinson, had his number retired by three teams.

(35) Although a relief pitcher, started a season 17-0 and finished 18-1.

(36) Threw 16 shutouts in a season.

(37) Was the last pitcher with 10 shutouts in a season.

(38) Hit the most career doubles.

(39) Won 16 consecutive Gold Gloves (two players).

(40) Won the Cy Young Award in his rookie season.

(41) Was an All-American basketball player (Duke) before being an MVP.

(42) Compiled the most total bases in a game.

(43) Had the lowest World Series ERA (minimum 30 innings pitched).    (44) Walked six times in a nine-inning game.

Bonus question: Who said, “The reason the Mets have played so well at Shea this year is they have the best home record in baseball.”

Answers:

1) Rod Carew, Rogers Hornsby

2) Johnny Mize, 1947

3) Norm Cash, 1961-1962

4) Barry Bonds, 40 in 2004

5) Ivan Rodriguez

6) Roy Campanella

7) Al Simmons

8) Brady Anderson, Barry Bonds

9) Rickey Henderson, Stan Musial, Pete Rose, Carl Yastrzemski

10) Hank Aaron, George Brett, Willie Mays, Stan Musial

11) Rickey Henderson

12) Mike Trout

13) Bobby Abreu, Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds

14) Eddie Plank

15) Clayton Kershaw

16) Johnny Damon

17) Babe Ruth

18) Ichiro Suzuki

19) Mike Schmidt

20) Robin Roberts

21) Frank Howard

22) Red Schoendienst, 1959

23) Nate Colbert, Stan Musial

24) Frank Robinson, 1966

25) Miguel Cabrera, Albert Pujols

26) Eddie Mathews

27) Grover Cleveland Alexander, Steve Carlton, Eddie Rommel

28) Bobby Richardson, 1960 Yankees

29) Ted Kluszewski

30) Craig Biggio

31) Eddie Murray

32) Phil Niekro

33) Reggie Jackson; 1973 A’s, 1977 Yankees

34) Nolan Ryan; Angels, Astros, Rangers

35) Roy Face, 1959

36) Grover Cleveland Alexander

37) John Tudor, 1985

38) Tris Speaker, 792

39) Jim Kaat, Brooks Robinson

40) Fernando Valenzuela, 1981

41) Dick Groat, 1960

42) Shawn Green, 19: single, double, four home runs

43) Harry Brecheen, 0.83

44) Jimmie Foxx

Bonus answer: Ralph Kiner, of course.

George Will’s email address is georgewill@washpost.com

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