As we slide into the three-day celebration of baseball known as the All-Star break, I thought it might be fun to just tax our brains with a blizzard of diamond trivia.
With some help from local author Joe Taxiera’s “A Unique Look at Major League Baseball” and nostalgia from yours truly, here comes a chance to sit down with the baseball fans in your family and test your knowledge.
It’s a chance to forget PEDs and the Giants’ recent woes. Answers will be at the end of the column (don’t peek). Ready? Here we go …
1. Which two players are tied with the most single-season grand slam homers?
A. Ernie Banks B. Don Mattingly C. Travis Hafner D. Albert Pujols
2. Since 1901, which pitcher has won the most games in a single season? Bonus: how many?
A. Jack Chesbro B. Denny McClain C. Christy Mathewson D. Ed Walsh
3. What pitcher since 1950 has the most consecutive games started with a decision in every game?
A. Ferguson Jenkins B. Robin Roberts C. Nolan Ryan D. Bobby Shantz
4. What is the only World Series game to not feature a single strikeout?
A. Game 4 Dodgers-Yankees 1977 B. Game 1 A’s-Giants 1989 C. Game 4 Braves-Yankees 1957 D. Game 7 Pirates-Yankees 1960
5. How many Hall of Famers were in the second All-Star Game of 1959 (at the Los Angeles Coliseum)?
A. 11 B. 12 C. 18 D. 24
6. Which of the following played in 24 All-Star Games?
A. Stan Musial B. Henry Aaron C. Willie Mays D. All of the above
7. Who had the highest single-season batting average since Ted Williams hit .406 in 1941?
A. Tony Gwynn B. George Brett C. Rod Carew D. Ted Williams
8. What pitcher has held opponents to the lowest batting average (minimum 1,500 innings pitched)?
A. Andy Messersmith B. Sandy Koufax C. Nolan Ryan D. C.C. Sabathia
9. Who hit the only All-Star Game grand slam? Bonus: who was the pitcher?
A. Gary Carter B. Tim Raines C. Nellie Fox D. Fred Lynn
10. Who is the only MLB team since 1901 to have their longest losing streak of the season be only two consecutive games?
A. Baltimore in 1970 B. Pittsburgh in 1902 C. St. Louis Browns in 1942 D. Chicago Cubs in 1906
11. Which player has stolen home the most in a single season?
A. Ty Cobb B. Jackie Robinson C. Pete Reiser D. Rod Carew
12. In 1933, which future Hall of Famer hit the first home run in the inaugural All-Star Game?
A. Al Simmons B. Stan Hack C. Babe Ruth D. Lou Gehrig
13. Alex Rodriguez hit a grand slam homer in June 2012 — his eighth consecutive season with a bases-loaded blast. Who holds the record for most consecutive seasons with a grand slam?
A. Manny Ramirez B. Babe Ruth C. Willie Mays D. Willie McCovey
14. Which of the following players never hit four home runs in a game?
A. Babe Ruth B. Rocky Colavito C. Mike Schmidt D. Bob Horner
15. What player has the most single-season homers without driving in 100 runs?
A. Alfonso Soriano B. Harmon Killebrew C. Barry Bonds D. Hank Aaron
16. Who holds the single-season record for batters fanned in a single-season? Bonus: how many?
A. Nolan Ryan B. Sandy Koufax C. Steve Carlton D. Roger Clemens
17. Which two have hit game-ending All-Star home runs?
A. Johnny Callison and Ted Williams B. Ted Williams and Vern Stephens C. Willie Mays and Luis Aparcio D. Johnny Bench and Johnny Mize
18. Which SF Giants pitcher holds the team record for most 10-strikeout games lifetime?
A. Juan Marichal B. Ron Bryant (Davis High grad) C. Tim Lincecum D. Gaylord Perry
19. Who is the only player since 1950 to score 150 runs in a season?
A. Craig Biggio B. Rickey Henderson C. Tony Gwynn D. Jeff Bagwell
20. Which of these pitchers threw more than 300 innings in a season without allowing a homer?
A. Babe Ruth B. Jack Coombs C. Walter Johnson D. All of the above.
Good luck. Enjoy the All-Star Game.
Answers: 1) A&B. Mattingly hit six grand slams in 1987 — the only six he ever hit 2) A. Jack Chesbro won 41 in 1904 3) A. Jenkins 63 4) D. Pirates won series, 10-9 on Bill Mazeroski’s walk-off blast 5) C. 6) D. Mays started a record 18 7) A. Gwynn hit .394 in 1994 8) C. Batter hit .204 against Ryan 9) D. Lynn smacked it off Giant Atlee Hammaker 10) B. 11) A. Cobb swiped home eight times in 1912 12) C. The Bambino, of course 13) D. Big Mac did it nine straight years 14) A. Oddly enough 15) A. Soriano hit 46 in ’06 with only 95 RBI 16) A. Ryan has 383, one more than Koufax 17) A. Callison in 1964, Williams in 1941 18) C. Lincecum 19) D. 20) D.
— Bruce Gallaudet is a staff writer for The Davis Enterprise. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-747-8047.