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Baseball: BASEBALL TRIVIA QUESTION #2

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posted on Mar, 2 2006 @ 05:47 PM
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[The answers to this question are easily found with the right search words on Google. PLEASE don't do that, or, if you do it, please don't post the answers.]


Something which has essentially disappeared in recent years, except when necessary to make up games, is the doubleheader. Once a staple of team's schedules and real drawing card for clubs, they are so rare that I cannot remember the last time either of the teams in my area--the Giants or the A's--had one scheduled from the beginning of the year. And that being the case, the record at issue in this question may stand for a long, long time.

Any serious baseball fan knows nobody has ever hit five home runs in one MLB game. Joe Adcock, Willie Mays and I believe Mike Cameron came close to getting #5, but could not do it.

HOWEVER, two players have hit five home runs in one DAY, in scheduled doubleheaders.

As ballplayers, the two are not comparable. One is certainly among the 20 greatest players in MLB history, and arguably among the 10 greatest--though, like Tris Speaker, he appears in danger of becoming either forgotten or only vaguely remembered. One can only wonder how, when one stares across his incredible stats. I will post some of those stats when I post the answers to this question. You'll all agree with me, I think.

The other player was once the youngest player in MLB, racked up 13 RBI's to go with his 5 HR's (the great player, with 6 total hits, had only 8 RBI's), and claimed to have been present the day the great player had his five-HR double-header. He would have been eight years old that day, but since he was born in the city where it happened, his claim is credible. He was a good power hitter, once finishing second in his league in HR's, but he struck out far too often, and his skills took an abrupt and terrible decline when he was 28, as he batted .207. The next two years he hit .156 and .178, and then, at age 30, he was done.

QUIZ: Can you name EITHER, or BOTH, of these men?




posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 01:32 AM
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As a kid i remember Nate Colbert (SD), hitting 5 hrs, and 13 rbis in a DH.
I remember McGwire hitting 5 hrs in a DH, for my fantasy team early 90's.

Neither is a top 10 player imo, and i don't think McGwire as a rookie was the youngest in MLB.

Bob Horner strikes me as a guy who might have been the youngest in MLB at some time, or Eddie Mathews.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 01:43 AM
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Originally posted by HOOTIE
As a kid i remember Nate Colbert (SD), hitting 5 hrs, and 13 rbis in a DH.
I remember McGwire hitting 5 hrs in a DH, for my fantasy team early 90's.

Neither is a top 10 player imo, and i don't think McGwire as a rookie was the youngest in MLB.


McGwire hit 5 HR's in two consecutive games, but they were on separate days. Colbert was once the youngest player in MLB, and he did indeed get 5 HR's and 13 RBI's in a DH, so you got the hard one.

The other player was enormously better than McGwire or Horner.



Bob Horner strikes me as a guy who might have been the youngest in MLB at some time, or Eddie Mathews.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 02:24 AM
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Originally posted by HOOTIE
As a kid i remember Nate Colbert (SD), hitting 5 hrs, and 13 rbis in a DH.
I remember McGwire hitting 5 hrs in a DH, for my fantasy team early 90's.

Neither is a top 10 player imo, and i don't think McGwire as a rookie was the youngest in MLB.

Bob Horner strikes me as a guy who might have been the youngest in MLB at some time, or Eddie Mathews.



Let me try this again. Obviously I did a bad job of it the first time.

Colbert is the obscure one of the two, and was purportedly present when the great player had his day of glory. You are correct that Colbert drove in 13 runs that day.

Perhaps you know--I sure don't--why Colbert's fairly good career crashed and burned when he was only 28. He didn't appear bound for the Hall of Fame or anything, but he was a decent power hitter at a difficult time for such things in baseball history, and he played in what was a horrible hitters' park until they moved in the fences-- unless the Padres played in some other park from 1969-1973.

McGwire's 5 HR's were hit in 2 consecutive GAMES, but not on the same day, as they did not come in a double header, according to all of my resources. McGwire is someone who rates pretty well on most people's all-time lists because of his final seasons, but:

(1) You already know what I think about those seasons;

(2) Injuries caused him to retire at age 37 and miss the "decline phase" of his career, when stats like on-base average, slugging percentage and runs created per 27 innings fall off badly in a few years' time; and

(3) Even if you accept all of his stats, and don't dock him for missing his "decline phase," he's STILL no way a match for the other player. Nobody I know would dream of putting McGwire among the Top 10 or Top 20 players in MLB history. Anyone who wouldn't put this other guy there is seriously underinformed on the subject.

Now, that's a pretty good clue, no?

B.H.N.



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 04:29 AM
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Now that i think about it, yea McGwires 5 hrs came not in a DH.

Not sure why Colbert declined early.

As to this maybe top 10 player, nothing rings a bell. Aaron never hit 3 in a game, Cobb wasn't a power hitter, nor Wagner. So that narrows it down to Ruth, Gehrig, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Musial, Schmidt. Since Colbert was there, that narrows it down to Schmidt, Mays, Mantle. I never recall Mays doing it. I know Schmidt had some huge days at Wrigley, so i will say Schmidt?



posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 06:47 PM
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Originally posted by HOOTIE
Now that i think about it, yea McGwires 5 hrs came not in a DH.

Not sure why Colbert declined early.

As to this maybe top 10 player, nothing rings a bell. Aaron never hit 3 in a game, Cobb wasn't a power hitter, nor Wagner. So that narrows it down to Ruth, Gehrig, Mays, Mantle, Williams, Musial, Schmidt. Since Colbert was there, that narrows it down to Schmidt, Mays, Mantle. I never recall Mays doing it. I know Schmidt had some huge days at Wrigley, so i will say Schmidt?




Cobb actually did hit 3 in one game, late in his career, with the live ball. The story goes that before that game, he said he was going to "try for home runs" that day, just to show that he, too, could hit HR's like Ruth, if he wanted to debase himself by playing that mindless style of baseball.

But the answer to the question is:

STAN MUSIAL,

who was either the greatest or second-greatest left fielder of all time, at least until Bonds did what he did. (Sorry, Rickey, I'm one of your biggest fans, and I rate you well ahead of Yaz and the underrated Goslin, but you were no Stan the Man.)

For people who are too young, or too uninformed about baseball history, to know just how tremendous a player Musial was, here are some examples:

(1) In 1948, he had what is arguably the greatest season in baseball history not had by someone named Ruth or Bonds. He
led the league in batting average (.376), on-base (.450) and slugging (.702, back when a .700 slugging average was a huge feat). He led the league with 135 runs scored, 230 hits, 429 total bases (the 6th best ever) and RBI's (131), and created a whopping 192 runs, which was 68 (!) more than the next best (Mize). It's also the second-highest single-season Runs Created since WW II, trailing only You-Know-Who in 2001. An incredible season.

(2) For his career, Musial:

-----Led the league in Doubles EIGHT times, and his career total (725) is #3 all-time;

-----Led the league in Triples FIVE times, and his career total (177) is easily the highest since WWII, with only Clemente being in the same stratosphere;

-----Hit 475 HR's, which was the highest career total by someone who never won a HR crown, until Eddie Murray came along;

-----Racked up 1,951 career RBI's, the FIFTH best ever;

-----Scored 1,949 runs, the NINTH best ever;

-----Won SEVEN batting titles, SIX on-base titles and SIX slugging titles;

-----Won THREE MVP Awards, and, according to Bill James, did better than anyone else in MVP voting... until You-Know-Who;

-----Had excellent career on-base percentage (.417) and slugging percentage (.559) totals, surpassing Mays, Mantle and Aaron in the latter, and Mays and Aaron in the former; AND, THE BIG STATS:

-----RANKS NUMBER TWO ALL TIME IN TOTAL BASES (6,134);

-----RANKS NUMBER TWO ALL TIME IN EXTRA-BASE HITS (1,377, behind only Aaron); AND

-----RANKS NUMBER THREE ALL TIME, BEHIND RUTH (#1) AND AARON (#2), IN RUNS CREATED.


Now, I know most baseball fans realize Stan Musial was a good, or even very good, player. But I strongly doubt that, 42-1/2 years after his retirement, very many fans realize he was anywhere near THIS great. He was a contemporary of Teddy Ballgame's, and he's been largely forgotten or minimalized by a whole lotta people, because he's fallen into the shadows of Williams, Mays, Mantle and Aaron.

It is NOT an inescapable fact that ANY of those four men was a better player than Musial. I happen to believe that some of them were, but given all of the above stats, and remembering the hellacious season Musial had at age 41 when I was a 9-year-old in 1962, my advocatorial skills would not be hard-pressed at all to make an argument for Musial over any of those four guys, including Wilie Mays.

So those stats don't lie. Bill James rates Stan the Man as the #8 best player in MLB history. I say he was at LEAST that good.

B.H.N.



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