Quiz – Mystery Ballplayers

Here is a list of well-known ballplayers, all connected by a common seasonal batting achievement.

Your job: find that common batting feat, and identify the missing ballplayers needed to complete this list.

Note: there is no significance to the multi-column list; a single column list would have worked just as well

Congratulations to Ed on identifying these hitters as the record holders for home runs in a season at a specific age. After that, it was a true team effort to identify the remaining mystery players, shown in red above. So, thanks to everyone for playing.

Interestingly, there is a single HR ┬árecord-holder for every age – no ties. See the complete list of these record HR seasons after the jump.

Player HR Year Age Tm
Tommy Brown 2 1945 17 BRO
Phil Cavarretta 8 1935 18 CHC
Tony Conigliaro 24 1964 19 BOS
Mel Ott 42 1929 20 NYG
Eddie Mathews 47 1953 21 MLN
Joe DiMaggio 46 1937 22 NYY
Prince Fielder 50 2007 23 MIL
Jimmie Foxx 58 1932 24 PHA
Babe Ruth 54 1920 25 NYY
Roger Maris 61 1961 26 NYY
Hank Greenberg 58 1938 27 DET
Ken Griffey 56 1998 28 SEA
Sammy Sosa 66 1998 29 CHC
Sammy Sosa 63 1999 30 CHC
Alex Rodriguez 54 2007 31 NYY
Sammy Sosa 64 2001 32 CHC
Mark McGwire 58 1997 33 TOT
Mark McGwire 70 1998 34 STL
Mark McGwire 65 1999 35 STL
Barry Bonds 73 2001 36 SFG
Hank Aaron 47 1971 37 ATL
Barry Bonds 45 2003 38 SFG
Barry Bonds 45 2004 39 SFG
Darrell Evans 34 1987 40 DET
Ted Williams 29 1960 41 BOS
Barry Bonds 28 2007 42 SFG
Carlton Fisk 18 1991 43 CHW
Julio Franco 5 2003 44 ATL
Julio Franco 6 2004 45 ATL
Julio Franco 9 2005 46 ATL
Julio Franco 2 2006 47 NYM
Julio Franco 1 2007 48 TOT
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 2/18/2013.

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49 Comments on "Quiz – Mystery Ballplayers"

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Richard Chester
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I’ll take a stab at the Sosa-Maris line: Those two and Mark McGwire are the only players with a season of 60+ HR, fewer than 30 doubles and less than a .300 BA.

Insert Name Here
Guest

It’s my understanding that this is not 7 mini-quizzes together; it’s one large quiz in which there are 7 mystery players and 14 given that share the same feat. It’s outlined as such in that bottom paragraph.

Insert Name Here
Guest
Okay, so I noticed immediately that these are all sluggers, particularly HR sluggers, all having at least one 40-HR season, and all but Teddy Ballgame having at least one 45-HR season. Also, they all have stretches of consecutive seasons of 150+ OPS+, and all of them but Maris and Fielder have stretches of 3+ such consecutive seasons. Also, Maris is the only one not to have an OPS of at least 1.000. Just some things I noticed, no guesses yet. I’m also curious as to if this is a single-season or career accomplishment (or perhaps both, as we saw in… Read more »
cubbies
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well, i dont know if im on the right track, but everyone here has at least one season with RBI > 130 and runs > 100 and HR > 43.

not sure if this is significant, or just a coincidence because everyone on this list is so accomplished.

Josh
Guest

Is the achievement most home runs without hitting a triple?

Insert Name Here
Guest

It can’t be. Joe DiMaggio hit at least 4 triples in every season.

RJ
Guest

I’ve got to imagine Pujols is on the list.

Luis Gomez
Guest

All those players are former HR leaders. Other than that, I have nada.

Luis Gomez
Guest

Are the mystery players still active?

GrandyMan
Guest

Is one of the criteria leading your league in home runs?

Paul E
Guest

How about they all led their league in homers AND had a team mate who led the league as well….Gehrig, Canseco, Mantle, kiner, Matt Williams, Sandberg, and Cabrera

Paul E
Guest

…with at least 40

Paul E
Guest

….but, then again, where are Mays and McCovey?….and Doug, too late for cookies and milk?

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

I have no idea what the answer is.
Just wanted to mentioned this morsel that I just read:

next year, the Mets’ two highest paid outfielders will be…

Jason Bay and
Bobby Bonilla

Doug
Guest

Some things are priceless. For everything else, there are the Mets.

Paul E
Guest
Supposedly, the Wilpons approached Bonilla about paying out the last year of his contract over 10 years with like 8% interest. He didn’t want to do it…his ex-wife said he was a fool not to take the offer. So he took Freddie up on the idea. Now, if the US Dept of Justice doesn’t think the Wilpons knew that Madoff was running a Ponzi scheme to THEIR benefit as earlier investors, Eric Holder must have the IQ of a retarded mosquito. Guaranteeing Bonilla those kind of returns is evidence enough to cast suspicion that Wilpon knew he could do better… Read more »
Mike L
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This is a really interesting list. Obviously not the answer, but take a look at how many of these players began their careers when they were 20 or younger.

Insert Name Here
Guest

In fact, the oldest any of these players was in his first season was 22 (Maris and McGwire… funny how that works out, huh?)

Ed
Guest

Is it most home runs for each age? For example, Ott has the most homeruns at age 20. Mathews has the most at age 21. Etc.

Insert Name Here
Guest

Yes, this would explain why some of the mystery players don’t sound like the biggest sluggers (based on how Doug has described them).

Following with that, I can identify Tony Conigliaro as one of the mystery players, for having the most HRs at age 19, although Bryce Harper came pretty close in 2012.

Jeff J. Snider
Guest

That seems like the right answer, although I can only find five of the missing six. You have Tony Conigliaro at 19, Darrell Evans at 40, Carlton Fisk at 43, Julio Franco at 44 & 45 & 48, and Jack Quinn at 46. Maybe I’m missing someone?

Ed
Guest

I assume it would be Phil Cavarretta with 8 home runs at age 18.

Insert Name Here
Guest

Except Jack Quinn’s not an answer; Franco hit 9 dingers at age 46, while Quinn hit only one. Instead, you should list Tommy Brown, who hit 2 HRs at age 17.

Additionally, nobody 16 or younger has hit a HR, so the six mystery players are Brown, Cavarretta, Conigliaro, Evans, Fisk, and Franco.

Hartvig
Guest
Prince Fielder has the most home runs in a season for a 23 year old. Jimmy Foxx for a 24 year old Babe Ruth for a 25 year old Roger Maris for a 26 year old Hank Greenberg for a 27 year old Ken Griffey Jr for a 28 year old Sammy Sosa for a 29 year old Sosa again at 30 ARod at 31 Sosa again at 32 McGwire at 33, 34 and 35 Bonds at 36 Aaron at 37 Bonds again at 38 & 39 Darrell Evans at 40 Williams at 41 Bonds at 42 Fisk at 43… Read more »
Insert Name Here
Guest
If Ed is correct, then the players line up as so: Most HRs at age 19 — Tony Conigliaro (24) (one of the “mystery” players) Most HRs at age 20 — Ott (42) Most HRs at age 21 — Mathews (47) Most HRs at age 22 — DiMaggio (46) At age 23 — Fielder (50) At age 24 — Foxx (58) At age 25 — Ruth (54) At age 26 — Maris (61) At age 27 — Greenberg (58) At age 28 — Griffey (56) At age 29 — Sosa (66) At age 30 — Sosa again (63) At age… Read more »
Hartvig
Guest

Phil Cavaretta at age 18 is probably one of the mystery players also

Richard Chester
Guest

Also
At age 17–Tommy Brown
He is the youngest player to hit a HR.

Reply to post 43: Franco, not Quinn, holds the record for 46 years old.

mosc
Guest

So if it’s true that Franco was in fact several years older than he said he was (common guess is 3 or 4 years), that’s an even more impressive end to a career then.

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