Quiz – Remembering Stan (solved)

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.


Comments

Quiz – Remembering Stan (solved) — 29 Comments

  1. Quiz #1 must be age related, all of those players at first glance did well into the later stages of their career. Did they all play at least 100 games at somewhere other than 1B starting in their age 40 season?

    • I was trying to detect a pattern against Warren Spahn & Robin Roberts (like multiple multiple-home run games or seasons of more that so many home runs) but I couldn’t see it

        • I’m fairly certain those players have the most PA against Warren Spahn. I can’t figure out if there’s anything else to it because my P-I is acting funny on IE8. Damn you, Bill Gates…

          • That is correct.

            But, it’s not what the players have in common with each other.

            Think about it from each player’s perspective, not from Spahn’s perspective.

          • Top eleven in hits against Spahn: Musial, Mays, Schoendienst, Clemente, Ashburn, Dark, Boyer, Ennis , Post, Lockman and Thomas. You may notice there are no Dodgers on the top 11 versus Spahn in hits or PA. That’s because there were years when Spahn simply did not pitch against them.

          • That’s it, Hartvig. All of these players had more plate appearances against Spahn than against any other pitcher.

            Musial had the most PAs of any player against Spahn, and the others were in descending order from there (as Richard identified in comment #12). In all likelihood, Musial/Spahn faced each other more than any other batter/pitcher matchup, certainly for the period for which we have data, but also likely for the live ball era as well.

            The one who surprised me was Frank Robinson. Not so much that he faced Spahn more than any other pitcher, but that he made the top 10 even though facing Spahn only in the last 10 years of Spahn’s career.

          • Just to clarify, since now that I read my response it sounds almost identical to Grandy Man & Richard Chesters.

            Their answer was that from Spahn’s perspective these players had the most hits against him

            My answer is that these players had more hits off Spahn than they did off of any other pitcher

            I know it’s kind of splitting hairs but it’s all I’ve got right not.

          • That’s right, Hartvig.

            That indeed was the hair I was splitting in my response to GrandyMan at #14. The reason is that while someone may have faced a particular pitcher more than other hitters, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that hitter didn’t face a different pitcher more often.

          • Geez, I think this is the first time I’ve even provided part of the solution for one of these.

            I’ll get my tux rented and start working on my thank you speech for the awards ceremony right away.

  2. Doug: For quiz #3 is the player Sid Gordon? He had 5 multi-homer games in 1948 with 2 against the Cards. He no other such seasons.

  3. Quiz #3

    All players in the list were managed by Joe Torre, who had exactly 2 HRs against Musial’s Cardinals, and one season with 5 or more multi-HR games

  4. Doug: I did some random searching for the most frequent batter-pitcher match-ups since 1946. I found Phil Niekro-Pete Rose at 266 PA and Early Wynn-Yogi Berra at 254.

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