Quiz – Who are we? (solved)

There are two players in this quiz with a lot of similarities in their careers. Your job is to figure out their identities based on these clues:

  1. We were both born in New York City.
  2. We both played over 200 games for teams in the same two cities.
  3. We both played over 200 games at each of the same two positions.
  4. We were both All-Stars playing a third position in a third city.
  5. We both have older brothers who played in the majors.

Congratulations to no statistician but and Voomo Zanzibar! They teamed up to make short work of this quiz, identifying the mystery players as Joe Torre and B.J. Surhoff. More after the jump.

The similarities between them include:

  1. Torre was born in Brooklyn, Surhoff in the Bronx.
  2. Both played 200 games for teams in Milwaukee and Atlanta.
  3. Both played 200 games (actually, more than 300) at both catcher and 3rd base.
  4. Torre was an All-Star as a Cardinal first baseman, Surhoff as an Oriole left-fielder.
  5. Torre’s older brother Frank was a first baseman with the Braves and Phillies. Surhoff’s older brother Rich was a pitcher with the Phillies and Rangers.

Brandon Inge is the only other player with 300 games at catcher and 3rd base.

More germane is the similarity, and differences, in their career totals.

Rk Player WAR/pos XBH From To Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO HBP GDP SB BA OBP SLG OPS Tm
1 Joe Torre 57.6 655 1960 1977 19-36 2209 8802 7874 996 2342 344 59 252 1185 779 1094 85 284 23 .297 .365 .452 .817 MLN-ATL-STL-NYM
2 B.J. Surhoff 34.3 670 1987 2005 22-40 2313 9106 8258 1062 2326 440 42 188 1153 640 839 33 169 141 .282 .332 .413 .745 MIL-ATL-BAL
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/19/2017.

Different offensive eras (as reflected in their WAR scores) but those totals are within 5% of each other in G, PA, H, XBH, and RBI.

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9 Comments on "Quiz – Who are we? (solved)"

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no statistician but
Guest

I’ll take a shot and say one of the two is Joe Torre, just to get the ball rolling.

Doug
Guest

Good ball rolling! You’re half way there.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

And B.J. Surhoff

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Doug
Guest

Right you are Voomo. Their counting stars are very close, within 5% of each other in G, PA, H, XBH and RBI.

Paul E
Guest

yes….and, one guy’s at 98 OPS+ and the other 129. And, Surhoff never approached 129 OPS+ in a SINGLE season. Pretty incredible but, when you consider the offense of Surhoff’s era, all things are possible to him who gets PA’s

Torre was very under rated. When he took off all that weight, it was just incredible how he hit in 1971 with the Cards.
Never knew Surhoff had a brother who played at the ML level or, at least I don’t recall

David P
Guest

I was thinking the same re Surhoff’s brother. The name sounds vaguely familiar but wouldn’t have been able to tell you a thing about him.

They also have two nephews in professional baseball.

Colin Moran is a former first round pick (#6 overall) who debuted last year with the Astros.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/moranco01.shtml

His older brother Brian Moran was a 7th round pick who has yet to make it to the majors:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=moran-001bri

no statistician but
Guest

Neutralized batting raises most of Torre’s stats and lowers Surhoff’s. Torre’s comes in at .834 OPS lifetime and Surhoff drops to .727—to point out a relevant one. The gap in runs created using this method leaps from 121 in Torre’s favor to 275. I’d say the WAR difference is justified.

Paul E
Guest

N S B,
And, the neutralized batting confirms the roughly 30% difference in OPS+ by a roughly 30% difference in neutralized runs created, correct?

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