Quiz – Post-War Batters (solved)

Here are what might appear to be a random collection of ballplayers. Represented are players from each of the past 7 decades.

But, there is a common batting feat that connects the following list of players. What is that feat?

Hint: these are only retired players to achieve this feat since 1946

Congratulations to Insert Name Here and Richard Chester. INH identified these players as the only retired players with careers of 1500 or fewer hits that included a season since 1946 of 200 hits and 50 RBI. Of the 102 retired players with a 200 hit season since 1946, only 11 failed to parlay that success into a career of more than 1500 hits. Those 11 include the 10 players in our quiz plus Bob Dillinger, whose 200 hit season produced only 44 RBI. Dillinger’s career was only 753 games, the only player of those 102 not to reach 1000 games, which was the alternative solution to the quiz identified by Richard Chester.


Quiz – Post-War Batters (solved) — 48 Comments

  1. Over 200 H in their best season, less than 1500 H in their career (which is why all active players are excluded from the results).

  2. I’m going with a 200-hit season, but with 75% of hits being singles as part of the solution. Obviously, it’s not the full solution, as the Play Index brings up 44 results for such a queue.

  3. Dillinger was still a player after 1951.
    He spent four more years with Sacramento of the PCL.
    I wonder if he couldn’t get an MLB job or if that was by choice.
    He was a Californian (southern, but still), an the PCL was a ‘respectable’ league in the early 50’s…

  4. Wow, I’m actually surprised to get one of these correct.

    Then again, oneblankspace’s original guess helped a lot. I also think it’s interesting how our monikers share the common interest in anonymity. Anyway, t thanks for the help, OBS.

    • From b-r bullpen:
      “In addition to his injured finger from 1954, he had back problems and broke his nose 13 times during his career.”

      How do you break your nose 13 times?

      • I dunno. Bar fights? His wife liked to hit him in the face with a frying pan? “During his career” doesn’t necessarily mean “on the field of play”.

        I don’t think it hurts much after the tenth or so break….

    • Allegedly, the Yankees tried to cut Mikey Mantle’s pay after his 1957 MVP season, because he had “only” 34 HR, compared to 52 in 1956, and “only” 94 RBI, compared to 130 in 1956.

      According to B-R, he did get a $5,000 raise after his 1957 season. I’m sure that these weren’t the only times pre-free agency the game’s best players were offered pay cuts after (to what looks like us) great seasons.

      • Yankee GM George Weiss was always looking for the flimsiest of excuses to cut a player’s salary (except for Joe D. of course).

  5. Wait a sec…..the answer listed above has to be wrongly written. It says…

    INH identified these players as the only retired players with careers of 1500 or fewer hits that included a season since 1946 of 200 hits and 50 RBI.

    If the 50 rbi part is right, I found a FEW players above that had 200 hits in a season, but MORE then 50 rbi’s……

    • Check the list (not including Dillinger, remember) and in fact they all have one or more 200-hit seasons with 50 RBIs AND less than 1500 career hits.

      • Oh, I see what you mean now. When Doug wrote “200 hits and 50 RBI”, he meant that they all have AT LEAST 200 hits and 50 RBI in one season, despite their 1500 or fewer career hits.

    • I think I’ve worded it correctly. The players above have both:
      a) career with 1500 or less hits; and
      b) a season since 1946 (could be more than one) with 200+ hits and 50+ RBI

      The alternative solution is a) above plus:
      b) 1000+ career games; and
      c) a season since 1946 (could be more than one) with 200+ hits

  6. Unless you mean two DIFFERENT seasons? If that is the case, it kinda sucks to penalize Rosen for the 3 seasons he had of only a handful of AB’s…

  7. Wow, Pesky is a WWII “what could have been.”

    200 hits in a pure rookie season at age 23.
    3 years away.
    Then 2 more 200 hit seasons upon his return.

    The next three years the hits went down, but he apparently got discerning and cullenbined 99+ free passes.

    • When Ted Williams was on the HOF Veterans Committee (the 90s?),there was some talk of possibly making Pesky a Veteran’s Committee pick, I don’t know how serious it was.

      Even giving him WWII credit, Pesky’s career was rather short; 1270 games actually played, 1700+ with WWWII credit.

    • Hmm … Howley and West both played college ball for West Virginia. But Richardson apparently didn’t go to college(?), although he did end up the baseball coach at South Carolina. So, I got nothin’.

    • I was going to say that each won a league championship and also finished last with the same franchise. Except, it’s not quite true. The Lakers finished last the year after West retired, and never missed the playoffs in his playing career.

  8. Has there ever been a player that started off slower in HoF voting and went on to get in than Richie Ashburn? Ashburn received 2.1% in his first year. I know the writers never voted him in, but still.

    • I don’t know the answer to Tim Pea’s question but I have to say that as much as we criticize the current voters, some of those earlier ballots were quite strange. For example, in 1968, Terry Moore received 11.7% of the vote. If you’re like me, you’ve never heard of Mr. Moore before.

      Part of the reason that Moore received so many votes is because it was his last year on the ballot. Which seems like a lousy reason to vote for someone for the Hall of Fame. If a couple of voters voted for him, fine. But 11.7%??? Here are Moore’s career “highlights”:

      *Highest runs scored: 92
      *Highest number of base hits: 163
      *Most home runs: 17
      *Most RBIs: 77
      *# of times hitting above .300: once
      *# of times playing more than 130 games: once
      *Highest placement in MVP voting: 12th

      Sure he missed three years to WWII but they were years 31-33, hardly the prime of his career. Even adding those years back in, he doesn’t come close to meeting the Hall’s standards. What the heck were voters thinking?

      Of course, there’s also Johnny Vander Meer who regularly got over 25% of the Hall vote. Sure the back-to-back no hitters was an amazing feat but that seems like a lousy reason to put someone in the Hall. Was there any other reason to vote for him? Not that I can see. 119 career victories, never won more than 18 games in a single season, career losing record. Again, I just don’t get it.

      • Well, he did play CF between Musial and Slaughter on the 1942 championship team. And he did share a name with a beautiful Hollywood actress.

      • Part of Moore’s appeal may have come from being viewed as the National League equivalent of Joe DiMaggio at least from a defensive standpoint and we tend to forget nowadays how much of the DiMaggio mystique was centered around his defense.

        Don Larsen was another one a lot like Vander Meer. Fifteen years on the ballot with a peak of 12.3% of the vote with a career of 81-91 record even though he pitched for the Yankees in what are normally a players peak seasons (ages 25 thru 29) and in 4 of those 5 years they won the AL pennant.

        In fact, other than the criteria about who is eligible for consideration (10 years service/5 years retired, not banned from baseball etc) there are almost no rules or guidelines for the voters EXCEPT:

        “6. Automatic Elections: No automatic elections based on performances such as a batting average of .400 or more for one (1) year, pitching a perfect game or similar outstanding achievement shall be permitted.”

        and you can’t vote for more than 10 people in any 1 year.

        I don’t know if that rule was in place when people were voting for Vander Meer or Larsen but if it was it’s pretty clear that some people chose not to understand it.

        • I definitely remember that rule being in place when Larsen was receiving votes. That being said, I interpret the rule as something that binds the BBWAA as a whole, not individual voters. In other words, it bars the BBWAA from automatically putting people in the Hall who meet a particular criteria without going through the regular voting process.

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