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Baseball: BASEBALL TRIVIA QUESTION #7---The 500 HR Club (Easiest one yet)

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posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 10:15 PM
(HOOTIE: Please give others 24 hours--it is 9:45 p.m., Pacific Time, right now--to try these questions. You are a mortal lock to get at least 3 of these right, and I'd be willing to bet a hefty sum that you'd get all 4 on the first shot.)

The 500 HR Club is perhaps baseball's most hallowed group. Since 1995, it has grown from 14 members to 20, with not only notorious figures like McGwire, Bonds, Palmeiro and Sosa joining, but also two less suspect members: Ken Griffey, Jr., whose career really nose-dived during the peak of Steroid Ball, and Eddie Murray, who is probably the most steadily-very-good-but-never-great player in baseball history.


Here is a really interesting statistical phenomenon about the 500 Home Run Club:

1. The first four members were born in the years 1895 (Babe Ruth), 1907 (Jimmie Foxx), 1909 (Mel Ott, with an asterisk because of the Polo Grounds' dimensions) and 1918 (Ted Williams).

2. NO member was born between 1918 and the end of 1930.

3. Then, suddenly, FOUR guys were born in the single year 1931 who would go on to become the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th members of the 500-HR club.




posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 10:57 AM
Thanks god!!

I recently was looking at the 500 run club chart, well a couple of months ago when i was doing something on here. And i remember the 3 M's that was in the charts in the top 10 around them positions, Mays, Mantle and Matthews. I hope i dont get egg on my face and im wrong lol..

posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 06:52 PM
Dear TRD and others:

Mays, Mantle and Mathews are.... ALL CORRECT!

VERY good job, TRD, considering you are a self-professed ignoramus when it comes to baseball! Ha ha ha. Some ignoramus!

OK, anyone want to try and guess who #4 is. He has two big things in common with Mays, but not Mantle or Mathews:

(1) He is black; and

(2) He is still living.

MANY people believe WILLIE MAYS is not only the greatest MLB center fielder ever, but its greatest "career value" PLAYER of all time, period, including Babe Ruth.

MANY people believe that MICKEY MANTLE was by far the greatest "peak value" MLB CF of all time (Cobb might give him a good run; not sure, but the other three can't), and further believe that if it hadn't been for his osteomyelitis and his arm injury in the late 50's, he might have challenged Ruth as the game's greatest player. I would say he might have challenged all others besides Ruth for the game's second best player, but for those things. Like Ruth, he seemed to be able to drink beyond belief and play phenomenally well.

EDDIE MATHEWS is becoming forgotten, but using Bill James' stats and ranking system, he is by far the second greatest 3rd baseman ever, despite James' inexplicable (and unexplained) hometown decision to put Brett ahead of him. Mathews was probably one of the FIVE GREATEST players ever up to age 30--at least prior to Steroid/HGH Ball--and it was expected he, and not his then far less heralded teammate in RF, would break Ruth's record.

Since he "only" wound up with 512 HR's and 1453 RBI's--playing in one of the worst hitters' parks in post-1950 MLB history (362 to straightaway right, 392 to the vast acreage in right-center, and 408 to center)--he wound up being viewed as a disappointment. Unlike Aaron, he got only 452 at bats in Atlanta, because he washed up young and was pretty much done by age 34.

But despite his premature decline and retirement, you have to figure he would have hit 600 HR's in a normal park, or damn close to it. That makes him a much better player than he is remembered for being. And oh, yes, he committed 12% fewer errors than the average 3B of his time, and had about 10% better range.



In addition to the fact he's black, he's also a guy many people would rate #1 all time at his primary position. He doesn't deserve that ranking--the guy who DOES deserve it is the most obvious #1 choice of any player at any of the 9 positions, including right field (Babe Ruth's turf)--but it's still a fact many people would rate this guy #1 at his position, and he's probably Top 5 in career value among all players whose primary position was the same as his.

If you know your 500-HR chart by heart, this guy is in a dead tie with Mathews for 17th place all time, with 512.


posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 09:02 PM
Only 80 minutes left until Hootie can answer this question--i.e., at 12:45 a.m. Eastern, or 9:45 p.m. Pacific. And I guarantee you, in the extremely unlikely event Hootie didn't already know this fourth guy's name, he sure knows it now, after I put up the above clues.

B.T.W., Hootie, thanks much for being a gentleman and leaving this one be so someone else--TRD, as it turns out--could get some (most) of them right. I appreciate it.


posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 11:30 PM
TRD, nice job. I would have never have guessed Matthews.

Ernie Banks

posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 11:36 PM
Thank you, Hootie, for finishing the picture--and for forbearing this long. Thanks also for your candor about Mathews.

Now, quick:

Grab James' 2000-2001 book, look at his four main rating criteria, look at Brett's stats vis-a-vis Mathews', then look at their total career Win Shares, then tell me, PLEASE, how in the hell James ranks home-town boy Brett ahead of Mathews.


posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 03:34 AM
Brett did play longer for one.
Mathews had better peak years, but was downhill at age 33.
Looking at HOF Batting and HOF Standards, Brett wins there.

posted on Mar, 16 2006 @ 03:38 PM

But look at James' criteria. Mathews wins on EVERY SINGLE ONE.

If you look at his lengthy discussion about Cobb vs. Mantle, he points out that Mantle wins one or two, but only as flukes--e.g., Mantle had the best THREE peak years, but Cobb had the best FOUR; and Mantle had the best FIVE, but Cobb had the best SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, etc., plus much better career Win Shares, plus better Win Shares per 162 games, etc.

James then goes on to say that virtually every other expert would take Cobb over Mantle. (I'm pretty close to an expert, and I wouldn't take Cobb over Mantle. Cobb had Sam Crawford and several other fine players, and won ZERO rings in 24 years; Mantle won a million, and it's not like Hank Bauer, Gil McDougald, etc., were 1927 Yankees material. It was pretty much Ford, Berra and Mantle... NOT in that order.) Anyway, James says that if he owned a team, he would take Mantle over Cobb in a New York minute, and have no qualms, and he's sure he'd never regret it, but that objective ratings and his own system force him to rate Cobb above Mantle.

Ok, then, HOW THE HELL can he rate Brett over Mathews, when EVERY SINGLE CRITERION in his ranking system--check it out; I'm not kidding--puts Mathews ahead of Brett, some by a big margin? As I've said before, I know Mathews declined drastically after a certain point, and was out of the game real young. You could win a lot of money in barrooms, betting people they couldn't name the only member of the 500 HR club whose last at bat was for the winning team in a World Series. It was Eddie Mathews, pinch hitting for the 1968 Detroit Tigers, at age 36. He'd been washed at least 2 or 3 years, which is really bizarre, unless it was a huge injury or chronic condition.

But you are Mr. "Big Seasons," and Mathews has it all over Brett there. I do remember, clearly, Brett's 1980 season and how the country held its breath to see if he'd stay above .400, as he did for so much of the season. And until I read James book, his discussion of his ranking system, and his numbers on these two guys, I was POSITIVE Brett was #2 all-time at 3B.

But remember, I was born in 1953, not 1943. I didn't see Mathews' great seasons. I don't remember the long period when everyone thought Mathews was a better player than Aaron, and believe it was Mathews, not Aaron, who would break Ruth's 714 record. So it's natural that I, based on what I saw, think of Brett as the better player.

Now, neither one of us is required to accept James' system, nor any particular ranking of his. As I've said, I think he seriously underrates Goose Goslin, who was victimized terribly by Griffith Stadium. But I will say this with confidence: If you read James' explanations of his different ranking stats, and you then look at how Mathews and Brett compare on EACH of those stats, you will feel compelled to conclude JAMES should have--indeed, was obliged to--rank Mathews ahead of Brett.

He was true to his system, albeit apologetically so--in explaining why he ranked Cobb over Mantle. I respectfully dissent, although your career length can sure be enlisted on Cobb's side there. But his addiction to K.C. players got the best of him on Mathews v. Brett, and while laying out their respective ranking numbers--and letting us all see how unjustifiable HIS #2 ranking for Brett was in light of their numbers--he said not one word to explain a ranking which, in the context of his ranking system cannot be justified.

I'm not nearly as big on 1, 2 or 3 huge seasons as you and James are, which is why I rank Aaron much higher than either of you. I could be persuaded to go back where I was before James' book on Mathews v. Brett. Pretty easily, in fact. But James himself is in an indefensible position, and that is unquestionable.

Both you and I, however, need to bear in mind: (1) how much of Brett's great career we experienced (in my case, 100%); and (2) how many of Mathews' great seasons we experienced (in my case, maybe one or two good seasons, but zero great ones). That's GOT to color our judgments.



posted on Mar, 19 2006 @ 04:37 PM
I would have never got the other player, but im glad i got something right for a change lol..

Yep definatly a ignoramus when it comes to baseball facts, except the ones i have looked at and read. I remember alot of things by just looking at them once...

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