George Will’s 2021 Opening Day Baseball Quiz
Orioles manager Earl Weaver once said of a pitcher, “I gave Mike Cuellar more chances than my first wife.” You get one chance to name:
1. The three teams’ rotations featuring three Hall of Famers.
Answer: 1954 Indians (Early Wynn, Bob Feller, Bob Lemon); 1966 Dodgers (Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Don Sutton); 1993 Braves (Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, John Smoltz)
2. The player with the most World Series rings (6) without any from the Yankees.
Answer: Eddie Collins
3. The player who was caught just 13 times while stealing 104 bases in a single season.
Answer: Maury Wills
4. The Hall of Fame pitcher who in the 1950s averaged 301 innings, completing 237 of 370 starts.
Answer: Robin Roberts
5. The player who hit the most home runs in his first 10 years.
Answer: Albert Pujols
6. The Most Valuable Player who led the American League in errors as a fielder and in strikeouts as a hitter.
Answer: The Minnesota Twins’ Zoilo Versalles in 1965
7. The two Hall of Famers who played for 23 years, each with only one team.
Answer: Brooks Robinson, Carl Yastrzemski
8. The slugger who in 1968, the “year of the pitcher,” hit 10 homers in a 20 at-bat span.
Answer: Frank Howard
9. The six who won two MVP awards before their 26th birthdays.
Answer: Jimmie Foxx, Stan Musial, Hal Newhouser, Mickey Mantle, Johnny Bench, Mike Trout
10. The team that had a player lead the league in homers and RBIs in 1953 and a different player do it in 1954.
Answer: Indians (Al Rosen, Larry Doby)
11. The year when three center fielders were a league’s leaders in batting average, home runs and RBIs.
Answer: 1955: Richie Ashburn, Willie Mays, Duke Snider
12. The pitcher who holds the National League and American League records for appearances in a season.
Answer: Mike Marshall
13. The NL player who won six home run titles while hitting more than 500 home runs as a lefthander.
Answer: Mel Ott
14. The slugger who hit the most home runs in his final season.
Answer: David Ortiz
15. The hitter who is eligible but is not in the Hall of Fame even though he had six seasons with 200 or more hits.
Answer: Steve Garvey
16. The last teammates to have at least 150 RBIs each in a season.
Answer: Ted Williams, Vern Stephens (1949)
17. The pitcher who had 107 wins and 1,233 strikeouts through his age-22 season.
Answer: Bob Feller
18. The four players with at least 10 Gold Gloves and 400 homers.
Answer: Willie Mays, Mike Schmidt, Ken Griffey Jr., Andruw Jones
19. The second baseman who won an MVP award in the 1950s.
Answer: Nellie Fox
20. The two players who were both an NL Rookie of the Year and an AL MVP.
Answer: Frank Robinson, Dick Allen
21. The only slugger to hit 50-plus homers in a season while striking out fewer than 50 times.
Answer: Johnny Mize
22. The player with the most pinch-hit homers.
Answer: Matt Stairs
23. The holder of the Reds’ single-season home-run record.
Answer: George Foster
24. The Hall of Famer who holds the NL career record for homers by a pitcher.
Answer: Warren Spahn
25. The only non-Yankee to hit 10 or more World Series homers.
Answer: Duke Snider
26. The slugger who led the AL in homers in 1962-64.
Answer: Harmon Killebrew
27. The year of the first night game.
28. The team for which Babe Ruth hit his last home run (No. 714).
Answer: Boston Braves
29. The number of Rod Carew’s batting titles.
30. The player who won the 1964 AL Rookie of the Year award and batting title.
Answer: Tony Oliva
31. The second baseman with the most Gold Gloves.
Answer: Roberto Alomar
32. The AL MVP who hit .306 and just two homers that season.
Answer: Nellie Fox
33. The center fielder who won multiple Gold Gloves in both leagues.
Answer: Jim Edmonds
34. The Yankee who won consecutive MVP awards in 1960 and 1961.
Answer: Roger Maris
35. The franchise that has finished last a record 32 times during the modern era.
Answer: Philadelphia Phillies
First bonus question: What broadcaster said Bob Gibson “pitches as though he is double parked”?
Answer: Vin Scully
Second bonus question: Name the manager in this interview: Manager: “I won’t trade my left fielder.” Sportswriter: “Who’s your left fielder?” Manager: “I don’t know, but if it isn’t him, I’ll keep him anyway.”
Answer: Casey Stengel