Stan Musial (1920-2013) is truly an inner circle HOFer. At his retirement, he was the NL career leader in hits, doubles, triples, runs and RBI and ranked 2nd in HR and walks. Today, 50 years after his last game, not a lot has changed – he’s still the NL career leader in triples, is 2nd in hits and doubles, 3rd in RBI, 4th in walks, 5th in runs and 10th in HR.

So, a few quizzes in memory of the Man. These may be toughies (unless I’ve been too generous with the hints).

Quiz #1 – What career accomplishment does Musial share with only the listed players? (Solved by GrandyMan)

Quiz #2 – What does Musial have in common with all of the players listed (and others too)? (Solved by Hartvig) 

Quiz #3 – Musial twice had seasons with 5 or more multi-HR games, as did all of the listed players. These players (but not Musial) have something in common with another player who had a season with 5 or more multi-HR games. Who is this other player and what do the listed players have in common with him? (Solved by Mort)

Congratulations to GrandyMan, Hartvig and Mort on solving the quizzes and thanks to everyone for playing.

Hints

  • Quiz #1 – The career accomplishment involves frequency of games with a certain accomplishment during a certain part of a career. One of the other quizzes may also provide a hint.
  • Quiz #2 – The common link involves another player, also a contemporary of Musial.
  • Quiz #3 – The mystery player twice homered in games against Musial and the Cardinals.

GrandyMan correctly identified the answer to quiz #1. Musial and the other ten players above are the only hitters with 3 or more multi-HR games after turning 40. Musial is the oldest player ever with a 3 HR game, against the Mets at the Polo Grounds on July 8, 1962.

Hartvig identified the answer to quiz #2. Musial and the other ten players listed all faced Warren Spahn more than any other pitcher and are also the eleven batters Spahn faced most often. GrandyMan and Richard Chester were also in the hunt, identifying that these players were Spahn’s most common plate opponents, but not that Spahn was their most frequent mound opponent. Musial and Spahn very likely faced each other more often than any other pitcher and batter, certainly in the post-1946 period for which data are available and also likely since 4-man pitching rotations started to be used commonly.

Mort identified that only the players in quiz #3 have 2 or more seasons with 5 or more multi-HR games AND were also managed by Joe Torre. The listed players represent each of the four teams Torre has managed. Torre himself has a season (1966) with 5 or more multi-HR games and also had a couple of home runs in games he and Musial played in.

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