Quiz – Modern Mashers (and one ahead of his time) (stumped!)

This quiz involves eight players, all but one of which were active in the past 30 years. Yet they are only players in majors history to retire with a certain career accomplishment. What is it?

Seems I’ve managed to stump the HHS panel. The quiz answer is that only these players recorded a 3000 PA career having 45% of hits go for extra bases, and with doubles comprising 45% of extra-base hits. More after the jump.

Hint: there are two parts to the answer, both involving the same number (which is also the number of batters faced by the last Cubs pitcher to record an extra-inning shutout away from Wrigley)

Having 45% of hits go for extra bases is the hard part, with only 18 such careers in majors history, and more than half of those by players with fewer than 7000 career PA. To also have doubles as 45% of extra-base hits requires a fairly even split between home runs and doubles. Too many home runs and doubles will drop below 45% of XBH, and too many doubles likely means a player won’t have 45% of his hits for extra-bases.

But, there is one player who is turning that home run-doubles balance on its ear. Chris Young qualifies for this group right how, despite having 54% more doubles than home runs. There are 720 retired players with 300 extra-base hits and 50% more doubles than home runs, and none of them has 45% extra-base hits (Scott Rolen is closest with 42%). Even just looking at careers through age 32 (Young’s age last season), nobody in the group has previously been at 45% extra-base hits (closest was Brad Wilkserson at 43.5%; Rolen was 43.1%).

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Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
3 years ago

I think 45 is the number and, I’ve got nothing else… ;o)

Doug
Doug
3 years ago
Reply to  Scary Tuna

45 is indeed the relevant number.

Another clue: Jose Bautista and Chris Young are the only active players who currently qualify to join this group.

oneblankspace
oneblankspace
3 years ago

wow.. a 7-0 victory in 11 innings. In the first game of a twi-night doubleheader, no less.

Scary Tuna
Scary Tuna
3 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug, is there anything else tying the question to that Cubs game? Did something about the game inspire you to think of the quiz question? Or, conversely, did the number 45 somehow lead you to recall that game?

Doug
Doug
3 years ago
Reply to  Scary Tuna

There is no connection to the game. It was just a way to provide the clue that the answer involves the number 45.

When I was thinking of some unusual event related to 45, the extra-inning shutout came to me. Then I just picked one of the games where I could say it was the last time that event happened.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago

Hitters with somewhat similar profiles, for the most part. For Luke Scott to be 2nd on the list in front of Thome and Schmidt who played twice as many games – it feels like it has to be some kind of weird rate stat or some kind of obscure percentage.

And then you have Greenberg whose career triple slash was probably something like .300/.400/.600, whereas Young is closer to .200/.300/.400 ha

David P
David P
3 years ago
Reply to  ThickieDon

I don’t think it’s any sort of ranking. I think it’s just the order of when their careers were.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago
Reply to  David P

Fine – even if Scott is not actually “Number 2”, he’s still in the top 12. To have Luke Scott and Chris Young in the same top 12 as Greenberg and Ortiz and such is a conundrum.

I’ve got one of the criteria, but not both. XBH / Hits is greater than 45% for all of these guys, but also for a few other guys (McGwire, I’m guessing, Adam Dunn, too, I’m sure).

I don’t have paid access to the Play Index so I can’t see everything.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago

XBH / Hits is greater than 45% for all of these guys, but also for a few other guys (McGwire, I’m guessing, Adam Dunn, too, I’m sure), so there’s got to be some other constraint. I’m not seeing it and I don’t have access to the full P-I.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago

Babe Ruth, too. Kingman is just short at 44.89% – not sure if he gets rounded up to 45% in the P-I.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Well then that’s Gorman Thomas, not Dave Kingman.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago

By the way, this is for players with at least 3000 PA.

Bonds is also above 45% XBH. Russell Branyan, Carlos Pena.

Albert Belle.

And of course, Rob Deer.

I don’t know what the difference between the Bonds, Belle, Branyan, Pena, Deer, Ruth, McGwire bunch and the Greenberg, Thome, Delgado bunch is though.

Doug
Doug
3 years ago

Thickie Don (welcome to HHS!) has half of the answer. The other half also involves 45.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago

And TTO % is less than 45.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago
Reply to  ThickieDon

Ouch but that doesn’t work for Albert Belle

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago

Can’t figure it out. Any more hints?

Doug
Doug
3 years ago
Reply to  ThickieDon

The answer involves the type of extra-base hit.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Nice.

Maybe I’m missing something here, so apologies if I’m incorrect.

One reason I didn’t submit the 45% doubles as an answer is Albert Belle*. He went for extra bases in 45.8% of his total hits, but then 49% of his XBHs were doubles.

Additionally, Thome only had 41% doubles go for XBH.

Am I doing something wrong?

* I don’t have full access to the P-I, so I’m not 100% sure that Albert Belle is among the 18 with 45% of hits going for XBH.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
3 years ago

Doug: It looks like Thome and Schmidt had a double/XBH ratio of less than 45%and Belle was above 45%.

Doug
Doug
3 years ago

Sorry I messed it up, guys.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Not mad at all. This stuff is awesome.

ThickieDon
ThickieDon
3 years ago

Luke Scott retired with 46% of his hits going for extra bases, 53.8% of which were doubles.