Quiz – Find the Mystery Players (solved)

This quiz concerns a career (min. 5000 PA) batting feat accomplished since 1901 by only a handful of the all-time greats … plus a few other guys who have each played their entire careers within the past 25 seasons.

So, who are these other guys hobnobbing with baseball’s elite? That’s for you to find out based on the list below, conveniently ordered by the career batting feat that only these players have achieved.

Congrats to Insert Name Here, aweb and Josh who identified the mystery players bolded above. Congratulations to Howard who identified that these players have the 10 highest career RBI per game rates of all players with 5000+ PAs, and are the only players with a rate of more than 0.8 RBI per game.

Ryan Howard joined the group just yesterday – he currently has exactly 5000 PAs. Will be interesting to see if he can stay on the list. Some players (Greenberg, Gonzalez, Belle) benefited from a short career and/or retiring at an early age before their decline phase dragged down their career rate stats. Williams may have the most impressive accomplishment with missing a large chunk of his prime years to military service and thereby compiling almost one-third of his career PAs in his age 35 season or later.

Some clues:

  • These would still be the only players on the list if the career requirement was just 100 PA
  • Mystery Man 1 (Juan Gonzalez) was a teammate of a 300 game winner (Nolan Ryan) and a 3000 hit man (Rafael Palmeiro)
  • Mystery Man 2 (Ryan Howard) is still active, is a winner of multiple MLB awards (2005 RoY, 2006 MVP), and is the only one of the three Mystery Men to play on a world championship team (2008 Phillies)
  • Mystery Man 3 (Albert Belle) was a teammate of four 500 HR hitters (Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Eddie Murray, Frank Thomas) and three 3000 hit men (Eddie Murray, Dave Winfield, Cal Ripken)
  • Mystery Man 1 and Mystery Man 3 debuted in the same season (1989) but were never teammates. Neither ever played with or against Mystery Man 2.
  • Mystery Man 1 and Mystery Man 2 have won the same MLB award (1996 and 1998 MVP for Gonzo). Mystery Man 3 never won an MLB award.
  • NOTE: above references to MLB awards do NOT include Gold Gloves or Silver Sluggers
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donburgh
donburgh
7 years ago

Is MM #1 Jeff Bagwell? Going solely by the hint, don’t know how the list fits in yet.

Dan McCloskey
Editor
7 years ago
Reply to  donburgh

If MM #1 is Jeff Bagwell, perhaps MM #3 is Ivan Rodriguez, based on the “debuted in the same season” hint. It would seem quite possible that Pudge fits the teammate hint as well.

donburgh
donburgh
7 years ago
Reply to  Dan McCloskey

I would think that #1 and #3 played in the same league, and the opposite league from #2, since they never played against him. Assuming they were contemporaries of course.

Jim
Jim
7 years ago

Is #2 Albert Pujols?

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago

Based on the 3rd clue, MM #2 must be one of 5 players: Pujols, A-Rod, Dustin Pedroia, Ryan Howard, or Buster Posey.

Josh
Josh
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Mystery Men 1 and 3 have to have retired before Mystery Man 2 started his career, or retired not long after, because MM2 never played with or AGAINST either one. Since MM1 and MM3 had to have played their entire careers within the last 25 years, starting with Posey, as the youngest, might make sense. Hss his career been long enough to achieve this career feat though?

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago
Reply to  Josh

Actually, no, he has only 1557 PAs… so Posey’s not MM #2.

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago
Reply to  Josh

That rules out Pedroia as well.

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago

Is MM #2 Ryan Howard?

Ken
Ken
7 years ago

Is MM #2 Miguel Cabrera?

John H
John H
7 years ago

is MM #3 Jose Canseco?

John H
John H
7 years ago
Reply to  John H

Nevermind duh.. read the rule for #3.

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago

Because Howard is MM #2, MM #1 must be either a RoY or MVP who never faced Howard, either because he retired before Howard’s 2004 debut and/or played his entire career in the AL and never faced Howard. The former seems most likely, since that would fit with MM #3 not winning an MLB award and debuting the same year as MM #1.

With clue #2 in mind as well, is MM #1 David Justice, who was a teammate of both Tom Glavine and Derek Jeter, won the 1990 NL RoY, and retired in 2002?

Josh
Josh
7 years ago

MM2 was the only one to play on a WS winner…which eliminates Justice. Too bad too, I thought you had something.

aweb
aweb
7 years ago

Thome, Murray, and Ramirez were all teammates at the same time, but I haven’t been able to link them with another 500 HR hitter.

Other possible overlaps – championship era Blue Jays had Winfield, Molitor, and Henderson (3000 hits) in a short time frame.

How about Albert Belle as MM#3 – I haven’t found four 500 HR hitters or three 3000 H guys for him, but his offense looks like the list of players presented, and he never won a major award.

Josh
Josh
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Is Juan Gonzalez MM1?

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug: If you read my e-mail I sent you the answer a couple of hours ago. I won’t divulge it here. I did not any of the clues.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Should be “I did not need any of the clues”.

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Something involving OPS above .900 and/or OPS+ of at least 130?

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago
Reply to  Doug

David Justice and Albert Belle debuted in the same season. How about that for a coincidence?

aweb
aweb
7 years ago

Accomplishment…>2.1 TB/game played? Something that walking gets in the way of unless you are a really, really good hitter?

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago

Continuing on aweb’s “good thought”… greater than .5 TB/AB?

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago

Okay, now I’m embarrassed… that’s equivalent to SLG, isn’t it?

Howard
Howard
7 years ago

130 RBI per 162 games?

Insert Name Here
Insert Name Here
7 years ago
Reply to  Howard

This matches with the order they are displayed in. And fitting screen name for such an answer, Howard.

Howard
Howard
7 years ago

Thanks, though I would have preferred that mom named me Gehrig.

Doug
Doug
7 years ago
Reply to  Howard

Howard is correct. Well done.