Tricky Baseball Trivia

June 29, 2011

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If you’ve been reading The Soap Boxers very long, then you know that I’m a big baseball fan.  Major league baseball has been around since 1876, and teams play a game almost every day, so there’s an almost bottomless well of trivia to tap into. 

So without further ado, let’s jump in. All question refer solely to stats achieved in the Major Leagues – but these questions aren’t for rookies! Answers are at at the bottom (below the wonderful selection of baseball-related items).

1)  From the moment Hank Aaron homered off Al Downing on April 8, 1974 until Barry Bonds broke hit his 756th home run on August 7, 2007, Aaron was the career home run king, with 755 home runs. How many times did Aaron hit more than 50 homers in a season?

2) This pitcher won an MVP and Cy Young and also tossed a no-hitter. He won 197 games in his Hall of Fame career, recording his final career start in 1987.

3) Who has the longest hitting streak of any living Hall of Famer?

4) Hall of Famers are often selected to a great many All Star games during their career. Of the Hall of Famers who played their entire careers in the All Star Game era, which two players have the distinction of being selected to the FEWEST All-Star games?

5) On April 25, 1935, the Pittsburgh Pirates allowed a member of the Boston Braves to hit three home runs against them. Why was this significant?

6) On September 7, 1974, Graig Nettles of the Yankees broke his bat during a game. What happened next?

7) This Hall of Famer homered in his first career at bat … and never hit another home run.

8 ) On July 15, 1994, pitcher Jason Grimsley stole something from a locked room in a major league stadium. What did he steal?

9) On July 6, 1983, Fred Lynn homered off Atlee Hammaker. What is significant about Lynn’s homer?


1) Aaron never hit more than 50 homers in a season – but he did hit at least 40 in eight seasons.

2) Dennis Eckersley threw a no-hitter for the Indians in 1977. His final career START was in 1987 … after which he became a full time closer. He notched 390 career saves. His 51 saves and 1.91 ERA in 1992 earned him the Cy Young and MVP Awards. Yep, I threw some red herrings into this one 🙂

3) Joe Dimaggio hit in 56 straight games, but he is dead. Hit King Pete Rose had a 44 game hitting streak and is still alive – but isn’t a Hall of Famer. This makes Paul Molitor’s 39 game streak in 1987 the longest of any living Hall of Famer.

4) Ferguson Jenkins and Robin Yount were each chosen for three All Star Games. Interestingly, Yount was snubbed in his 1989 MVP season. When Bert Blyleven is inducted next month, he’ll set the bar even lower – he made only two All-Star teams.

5) Those home runs were the final three homers of Babe Ruth’s career. After playing for the Red Sox and most famously the Yankees, he was lured to the Boston Braves with the possibility of eventually becoming the team’s manager.

6) Six super balls flew out of the bat. Nettles said the bat was a gift from a Yankees fan in Chicago. Whether Nettles or the fan doctored the bat, you have to give them bonus points for creativity.

7) Hoyt Wilhelm didn’t start his career until he was just shy of his 30th birthday. When he retired 20 years later, he had appeared in 1070 games (most as a reliever) and racked up 227 saves. The home run he hit on April 23, 1952, was the only dinger of his career.

8 ) Grimsley, then playing for the Cleveland Indians, climbed through the air ducts to retrieve a bat from the umpires’ room. The bat was seized from Indians slugger Albert Belle under suspicion of being corked.

9) Lynn’s homer in the 1983 All Star Game was the first – and only – grand slam in All Star Game history.

OK – how well did you do?

3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lazy Man and Money
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 12:25:12

    I got #1 and #3 and #8. I can’t believe that I missed Eck. I would have guessed the fewest AS games by a Hall of Famer to be a relief pitcher.

    I can’t believe I’ve never seen film of Nettle’s “corked” bat.


  2. kosmo
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 13:31:47

    You’d have guessed wrong 🙂 Step back and realize how few relief pitchers are in the Hall of Fame, If a pitcher is dominant enough to make it to the Hall of Fame, they’re going to make several All Star teams. Mariano Rivera, for example, has been named to 11 All Star teams. Papelbon has been named to 4, Brian Wilson has already been named to two teams in his three full seasons as a closer (his beard was also named to an All Star team).

    Look at the closers already in the Hall, and you’re seeing guys who made it to 6+ All Star games.

    I’m guessing that Yount’s situation was that as an SS early in his career, he would have lost out to Ripken in the voting a lot. As an outfielder later in his career, he would have lost out to fan favorites like Jose Canseco, Bo Jackson, Kirby Puckett, Ken Griffey Jr., and Rickey Henderson. Then, when the managers were filling out their rosters, there were teammates like Molitor (also a Hall of Famer) and Plesac who would be named as the Brewers token representative. even thought Yount was consistently very good, he wasn’t the best player on his team every year.


  3. Living with Balls
    Jun 29, 2011 @ 14:44:45

    These were pretty tough but fun. I could only get a couple without cheating.


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