Doctor actually stumped the field, on a question about Home Runs, of all the
(1) Who hit the most HR in his first 1000 MLB at-bats?
The record for HR in first 1000 AB is 75. The most frequent guess I
got was Mark McGwire; he hit 71. Eric Davis hit 72. Some people
guessed Ken Phelps; he hit 74, and is tied for #2 all-time with the
immortal Rudy York.
The winner is "Diamond" Jim Gentile, truly a forgotten man. Gentile
had the misfortune to be a first baseman in the Dodgers' organization
during a time when they had this guy named Hodges playing. Finally,
he managed to get traded to Baltimore in the fall of '59, at age 26.
In 1960, he hit 21 HR and drove in 98 in only 384 at-bats. In 1961,
he went bananas with 46 HR (5 Grand Slams), 141 RBI, .302 avg., .646
slugging pct., etc. He hit 30 of those homers on the road; Memorial
Stadium isn't exactly a slugger's park. How good was his season? In
the year of the Great Ruth Chase, with Mantle and Maris turning in
unbelievable years that no one will ever forget, Gentile got 5 of the
20 first-place votes for AL MVP! He still didn't have 1000 AB, but he
started hot the next year, and managed to break Rudy York's record, set
in 1939. Gentile hit "only" 33 HR in '62 (23 on the road), and got
traded to K.C., then Houston, then Cleveland, tailspinning all the way.
He retired at age 32, with less than 200 major-league home runs, but
more than 200 minor-league home runs.
(2) Who was the last AL player to have 10 triples, 25 HR, and 40 doubles in a
Robin Yount, 1982. 12 triples, 29 HR, 46 doubles.
Correct answers from Illya Gerdes, Joe Sterbenc, Tim Mavor.
(3) What was the last team to have 2B, SS, and 3B all lead the league in TC/G
in the same year?
Lots of guesses for recent Cardinals teams (good guess, but Herr never
had that much range; just great hands and quick release). A few for
recent Twins teams (not even close). A few of you got it right:
the Baltimore Orioles. It was 1974, and the infield of Bobby Grich,
Mark "Blade" Belanger, and Brooks Robinson was about as good as you
could ask for, defensively. Paul Blair was good that year, but it's
hard to get a lot of PO's in CF when everyone is grounding out to the
infield. Other teams to do it: '29 ChiSox, '08 Braves.
No team has ever had 2B,SS,3B,and CF all lead the league in the same
year. The two closest were the '74 Orioles and the '59 Pirates. On
the '59 Pirates, of those four positions the only player who *didn't*
lead the league was Bill Mazeroski! It was the only year in an eleven
year stretch that he didn't... the other Pirates involved were***
Groat, Don Hoak, and Bill Virdon.
Correct responses from David Elliott, Tim Mavor (though it was Grich, not
Davey Johnson), and Dave Till (same comment).
Bonus: the all-back-to-back MVP team:
C: Yogi Berra
1B: Jimmy Foxx
2B: Joe Morgan
3B: Mike Schmidt
SS: Ernie Banks
OF: Mickey Mantle
OF: Roger Maris
OF: Dale Murphy
P: Hal Newhouser
Tim Mavor, Joe Sterbenc, and Dave Nichols got them all.
Dave Elliott and Dave Till missed one each (Newhouser and Foxx, resp.)
Joe Lundy had 7.8 correct names, and one player out of position.
Thank you all for the interest and participation. Let's hope the tradition
continues, come April.
David M. Tate | "It made the basses of their being throb in
| pizzicati of Hosanna..."
"A Man for all Seasonings" | -- Wallace Stevens