Wednesday, January 18, 2006

The Back Of The Card

Andy has been making a detailed analysis of Glen Sather’s career, Alex has been contemplating politics, and I’ve been doing very little.

But as promised, here are the answers to yesterday’s trivia questions:

1. What do the five all-time leaders in career OPS have in common?
In retrospect, they probably have a lot in common (as Andy pointed out, they were probably all named MVP).

What I was thinking of was a personal quality, rather than an award/achievement. The personal quality? They all batted left-handed. It makes sense, it’s just something I never realized. The lefties are Ruth, Williams, Gehrig, Bonds and Helton.

2. Among active players, who has hit the most triples?
The guesses of Bonds, Biggio and Vizquel were all aimed in the right direction, but it’s the mightily old Steve Finley, who turns 41 in March. He only hit three triples last year, but recorded five seasons of 10 or more, the most recent being in 2003.

From ‘91-’93 Finley managed an impressive 36 triples, and his career total is 112. Only Kenny Lofton is close, and he’s got 98.

The active-player leader-board is still far below the all-time career leader-board. In fact no active player is in the top-100 all-time. Sam Crawford holds the record with 309, and Ty Cobb had 295. Crawford even had 12 inside-the-park homeruns.

3. Who was the batter that put the ball into play on the last unassisted triple play in the majors?
In the comments we had guesses of Bonilla and Kent. I took that feedback, and offered additional clues:
• The Mystery Batter and Bobby Bonilla played for the same club, but not at the same time.
• The Mystery Batter and Jeff Kent played for the same club, but not at the same time.
• The clubs held in common with the Mystery Batter are neither of the two franchises that have had both Bobby Bonilla and Jeff Kent as players.

Narrowing the field didn’t help.

The Mystery Batter and Jeff Kent shared membership in the Blue Jays – Kent started with the Jays in 1992 before being traded to the Mets. The Mystery Batter also shared a club with Bonilla’s final stop, the Cardinals.

Of course Bonilla and Kent each spent part of five seasons with the Mets, but our third point ruled that club out of the picture. Bonilla also had a brief stint with the Dodgers, which Kent now calls home.

So our Mystery Batter played for both Toronto and St. Louis, and never called the Mets home. Who could it be? Woody Williams, who spent 10 of his 15 major league seasons with the Blue Jays and Cardinals.

I promise I’ll never be that pedantic again.

Here are three more trivia questions for you:
The longest gap between unassisted triple plays in the majors is 41 years. What is the shortest gap?

The last two pitchers in each league to achieve the Triple Crown were Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez. Who were the last two batters?

Barry Bonds holds the record for most bases on balls in a career. Only two other players in the top ten had careers that overlapped with Bonds. Who were they?


At 5:10 PM, Blogger Alex said...

1 - 1 day
2 - Carl Yastremski (AL) and Joe "Ducky" Medwick (NL)
3 - Rickey Henderson and Cal Ripken Jr.

At 5:26 PM, Blogger Avi Schaumberg said...

You batted 4-for-5. Nicely done.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Andy Grabia said...

I was gonna guess:

1. Same game

2. Yaz

3. Henderson and Boggs


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