Sunday, August 05, 2007

Baseball Geekery

Thanks to Brave Astronaut, who runs the Order from Chaos blog, my long-dormant interest in baseball trivia is being slowly reawakened. So to "celebrate," here's a small quiz for you to consider. The first question is a softball -- no pun intended -- and the second question asks you to identify a series of players. All players are pitchers, and to my knowledge all are still alive. No Googling! (Oh, and blame BA for this.)

1. This active -- and not grossly overpaid -- player has compiled a record 19 consecutive seasons with double-digit wins, and should hit twenty shortly. Who is he?

2. These eight pitchers managed to get over 200 career wins without ever winning 20 in a season. Identify each one:

a) I was the first to accomplish this "feat." I played 17 seasons, starting with the Orioles and ending with the Cubs. I came within a pitch of hurling a perfect game. I was also a bit of a pain to get along with during my career, and 25 years after retirement got into an on-air argument with the ump who "ruined" my perfect game. I'm also one of the few who struck out three batters on nine pitches in one inning, in 1971.

b) Before the '07 season started, I had the most wins of this bunch. I too started my career with the Orioles, and finished 23 years later as a reliever in Atlanta. I revived my flagging career in the '80s with a team that no longer exists.

c) My seventeen-year career (most of which occurred in and around La-La-Land) is probably best known for the off-the-field antics of my celebrity ex-wife, including our own well-publicized dust-up.

d) My nineteen-season career was pretty unremarkable until two incidents within the past two years (yes, I'm still pitching!). Hints: I told that camera guy to get out of my face and of course I never doctored that ball.

e) I pitched for 25 seasons, beginning as a quality finisher before a mid-career revival as a starter in the Lone Star State. If you don't knuckle under the pressure, you should guess my name.

f) Although I was a Cardinals draft pick in '67, I made my mark with two other traditional NL powers in the 80s and 90s, one of which finally beat their hated rivals in 1981. I ended my career playing for six teams in three seasons, and am currently an announcer for one of those "traditional powers."

g) I started my career in the early '70s as the second best pitcher on my team. Considering the "other guy" was maybe the best pitcher of his era, that was fine by me. I was a flame-throwing kid who hurt his arm and was reborn a junkballer, but still amassed nearly 3000 strikeouts in my career. I never did make it to the World Series, and retired in 1993 after pitching for both the Mets and Yankees that year.

h) I've had two 19-win and three 18-win seasons, so you could understand why I hate being on this list. But I'm still pitching, so there's hope, right? I'm the third member of this gang to begin his career with the Orioles, and currently am paid quite handsomely to pitch so-so ball. Based on the guys around me, I should have several Cy Youngs and World Series titles to my credit already, but I have neither.


ADR said...

Thanks to BA for pointing me to yet another opportunity to show my baseball nerd credentials. This one made me work a little.

1) Greg Maddux
2a) I thought at first that this Fergie Jenkins but he was a Cy Young winner a couple of times. So let's go with Milt Pappas
2b) Dennis Martinez
2c) Chuck Finley
2d) Kenny Rogers
2e) Charlie Hough
2f) No Clue at all. It's got to be a Dodger (the '81 clue) but I can't get past Don Sutton in my head - but he can't be it since he is broadcasting for the Nats. Certainly not a "traditional power."
2g) Frank Tannana
2h) Mike Mussina

Brave Astronaut said...

He's scary, but he's good.

Archivalist said...

Sheesh...I guess my clues made it just too easy. Anyway, the last answer is Jerry Reuss. We are in the presence of greatness.

ADR said...

Thanks. The clues did help alot. But that's also what I get for spending a large part of my childhood reading the backs of baseball cards.