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Baseball: Baseball Trivia Question #16---YeahRight, per your last post on these, you're expected to

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posted on Apr, 11 2006 @ 05:55 PM
OK, this will probably be the easiest trivia question I ever post. If not, it will certainly be among them.

Name the first relief pitcher elected to the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. And please note that by "relief pitcher," I don't mean someone who never started a single game. This guy started just over 50 games, but was a reliever in just over 1,000 games.

I can remember most of his career, and I can tell y'all he was every bit as good as they say. In 1971, when he was FORTY-EIGHT years old, the Dodgers picked him up for their stretch drive. He strangled my Giants in the final innings of a big game, contributing greatly to the race's going down to the final day, when a towering rookie named Dave Kingman hit a 2-run HR to win the pennant for the Giants.


Hootie: Please sit this one out.

[Edited on 4/11/06 by BaseballHistoryNut]

[Edited on 4/12/06 by BaseballHistoryNut]

posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 07:14 AM
Just saw this one. "First reliever inducted" was a giveaway. My Man, Hoyt Wilhelm, the knuckleballer. Takes a knuckleballer to last that long, doesn't it? I remember him most with the ChiSox, although I recall him playing for a bunch of teams.

Made me think of Bob Uecker's response to "How do you catch a knuckleball?"

His response- "Wait until it stops rolling, then pick it up?"

posted on Apr, 12 2006 @ 03:24 PM
Lol, YR.

Your answer is, as you obviously know, CORRECT.

The best-known piece of trivia on Wilhelm is that he hit a HR in his first Major League at bat--something only one other Hall of Famer could say--but then he never hit another. And, that one-and-only HR was hit in the Polo Grounds, with the unbelievably shallow foul lines (279 with an overhang; 257 with an overhang).

But Wilhelm remains easily the best reliever I ever saw. If relievers counted alongside starters for career Adjusted ERA, his 146 would be only 2 points below Lefty Grove for 1st place all time, not counting an active pitcher named Pedro Martinez (at a mere 166).

Wilhelm took awhile to master his famous knuckler, getting his MLB debut at age 29, but lasting until age 49. He pitched with a slew of teams, but the ones he spent five or more years with were the New York Giants (1952-1956), the Baltimore Orioles (1958-1962) and the Chicago White Sox (1963-1968).

Here's the unbelievable stat I once heard: At one time (and, as far as I know, today as well) the record for passed balls in an inning was four in the AL and three in the NL, with four catchers sharing the latter record. What do all five catchers have in common? At the time they set those records, they were catching Hoyt Wilhelm.



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