Big Cat Trivia

While researching my latest post, I came across a name that loomed large in my childhood, about whom I haven’t thought in a long time. Andres Galarraga is probably, at this point, the second-most-famous “A. Galarraga” in your baseball encyclopedia/brain. But while Armando may be more famous today, the Big Cat belongs to a couple specific groups. I’m hoping you can figure out what they are in these trivia questions.

Note: I’ve never done one of these trivia things before, as you know, so they’re not going to be as hard or clever as Doug’s… or maybe they’ll be too hard. I genuinely don’t know, but I hope it’s fun either way.

In each case, I’m going to give you a set of players with whom Andres Galarraga belongs in a group.

Q1. What multi-season accomplishment do these players, and only these players, share? SOLVED by Doug.

Babe Ruth
Jimmie Foxx
Andres Galarraga
Alex Rodriguez

Q2. A little more esoteric. What career-based accomplishment do these players, and only these players, share? SOLVED by Paul E.

Babe Ruth
Tris Speaker
Joe DiMaggio
Johnny Mize (the other “Big Cat”)
Hank Aaron
Eddie Murray*
Andres Galarraga
Barry Bonds
Alex Rodriguez
Manny Ramirez
Albert Pujols

*sort of; it’s complicated – and that’s maybe the best clue I can give you.

Pretty incredible company, eh? I mean, it’s safe to say that Galarraga is, by a WIDE margin, the worst player on either of these lists. That said, there are worse things than being the worst player on a list like these. So, do you know the answer to one of these trivia questions?

Note: The P-I at Baseball-Reference is free to everyone for a short while, and the first of these lists IS verifiable on the P-I. The second, I had to do manually.

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Richard Chester
Richard Chester
3 months ago

Here’s what I found for Q1. They each had at least 1 season with 40+ HR, 150+ RBI, 85+ SO and they led their league in HR. Foxx did it twice.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
3 months ago

You’re on the right track. This is probably too big of a hint, but I was looking for a multi- season accomplishment. Didn’t make that clear in the original post. The change is now reflected in the text above. Sorry!

Paul E
Paul E
3 months ago

#2
Batting title and RBI title in separate seasons….Murray leading the world but neither league with his .330

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul E

Getting warmer. But you’re not quite there. For example, Frank Thomas also won a batting and RBI title in separate seasons, but is not on the list.

Paul E
Paul E
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

…but didn’t win the RBI title in a season they won a batting title.??

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul E

You’re in the right neighborhood, but there are others (Goose Goslin, Kirby Puckett, maybe more) who qualify under your suggestion. You’re still missing something.

Paul E
Paul E
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Frank Thomas never did lead the AL in RBI….he was taking too many walks trying to lead the AL in runs created per 27 outs. 🙂
Pretty good company with Willie Mays…

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul E

Yeah, whoops. But I found Goslin and Puckett. Plus Edgar Martinez. So the point stands: you’re missing something.

Paul E
Paul E
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

They all led in homers as well

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul E

Correct. But what ties these guys together and not, for example, Lou Gehrig or Mickey Mantle?

Paul E
Paul E
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Well if it’s Homer’s rbi batting average….it’s the fact that they led their league in all three without winning the triple crown in a single season

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
3 months ago
Reply to  Paul E

Correct! These are the only players with a “career Triple Crown,” without a single-season Triple Crown! Pretty impressive company for Galarraga, I think!

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

If you go pre-1901 there is also Dan Brouthers, Ed Delahanty and Sam Thompson. I didn’t look them up, I have a book that lists all such players. Dr. Doom, you got them all.

Paul E
Paul E
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Yes, he’s definitely the odd man in that group…..and, yeah, Colorado definitely resurrected his career. He had three consecutive horrid seasons prior.

Dr. Doom
Dr. Doom
3 months ago

Hint for Q1:
It is a multi-season accomplishment, having to do with achieving something consecutively. Hope someone can figure it out!

Doug
Doug
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Working on it.

I’ve found this out: Galarraga has two seasons aged 35+ with 40 HR, 140 RBI, 115 R and 15 SB. No other player has any. In fact, you can lower it to 30 HR, 90 RBI, 90 R and 15 SB, and Galarraga still has the only two such seasons.

Doug
Doug
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

I’m guessing this isn’t it, but the answer you provided works for this question.
Which players have consecutive seasons batting .300 with 40 HR, 130 RBI, 180 H, 115 R and 75 SO?

Galarraga did it in 1996-97, Ruth in 1926-27, Foxx in 1932-34 (3 seasons), and A-Rod in 2001-02.

Richard Chester
Richard Chester
3 months ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug: My consecutive season PI gave the same answer.

Doug
Doug
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Okay, for three consecutive seasons, it’s batting .300 with 40 HR, 120 RBI and less than 49% of hits for extra bases. Galaragga 1996-98, Ruth 1929-32, Foxx 1932-34, A-Rod 2000-02.

Doug
Doug
3 months ago
Reply to  Dr. Doom

Ugh! 170 Hits. So obvious, and here I was messing around with XBH% to eliminate Snider. You get caught up in something, and can’t see the easy answer staring you in the face. Incidentally, 169 (or 170) hits, if used in place of XBH%, does indeed rule out 1932 for Ruth, but also adds in 1926-28, so a 4 year run becomes 6 years. You need both the Hit minimum and XBH% maximum to keep Ruth’s streak at only the three seasons of 1929-31. Galarraga’s 1995 season ranks as the fourth highest in OPS among qualified seasons with OPS+ under… Read more »