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Quiz: Homer & the Chief — SOLVED

In the wake of Homer Bailey‘s big contract … Since 1916, what feat is shared by only Bailey and Allie Reynolds?

(My quizzes have often given too much info up front. Not this time!)

Congratulations to Bix and Jim! Both correctly answered that Allie Reynolds and Homer Bailey are the only pitchers from 1916-2013 with at least two no-hitters in which the opposing starting pitcher had already thrown a no-hitter or would do so in the future.

In fact, Reynolds and Bailey both had one of each:

  • On July 12, 1951, Reynolds defeated Bob Feller, 1-0, behind Gene Woodling’s 7th-inning home run. Feller had already thrown all three of his no-hitters, including the previous one in the majors, just 11 days earlier. (In the nightcap of that Feller no-no, Bob Chakales held Detroit to 4 hits for his only career shutout.)
  • Then, on Sept. 28, 1951, Reynolds held the Red Sox hitless and bested Mel Parnell, as the Yankees clinched a share of their third straight pennant (they’d lock it up in the nightcap). Parnell got his no-hitter about five years later, in his final season.
  • On September 28, 2012, Bailey no-hit Pittsburgh, nursing a 1-0 lead all the way from the top of the 1st inning to beat A.J. Burnett. It was the first no-hitter against the Bucs since Bob Gibson in 1971, and it sealed their 20th straight non-winning season. Eleven years earlier, Burnett had no-hit the Padres, setting a searchable record of 9 walks in a regulation-no-hitter (he also hit a man).
  • Then, on July 2, 2013, Bailey turned the trick on San Francisco and Tim Lincecum. Eleven days later, The Freak flung 148 pitches and no-hit the Padres.

Incidentally, none of the seven pitchers whom Nolan Ryan defeated in his no-hitters ever threw one themselves.

Quiz – Pre-Expansion Pioneers (solved)

These are the only players who, in the 1901 to 1960 period, had a career accomplishment that has become rather more common since then. What is it?

Congratulations mostly to ATarwerdi96! And a nod to Richard Chester for getting the final detail. They teamed up to identify that these are the only players to compile 600 games from 1901 to 1960 at each of two positions, with at least one of them in the infield. With expansion has come expanded opportunities for versatile players to shine all over the ball field. More after the jump.

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2013 Weird and Wacky Team Highlights – NL Edition

Following up from the AL version, here’s a collection of statistical tidbits for last year’s NL teams that you probably won’t find anywhere else.


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Jim Fregosi, 1942-2014

Jim Fregosi died last Friday at age 71, after a half-century in major league baseball as a player, manager and front-office adviser. (Read his obituary in the Los Angeles Times and his SABR biography.) Some reflections on Fregosi’s career, and tangential wanderings:

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2013 Weird and Wacky Team Highlights – AL Edition

As we wait impatiently for the new season, here’s a quick look back at last year and some of the more unusual team accomplishments of that season. And I do mean unusual – chances are you won’t find these stats anywhere but HHS.

More after the jump.

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Stealing home: never with two strikes unless …

Unless you’re a backup catcher with exactly one stolen base in your career. Then it’s a great play … especially if it works.

That’s what happened back in 1982, four hours into this game on what was no doubt a steamy August afternoon in St. Louis. Tom Tango posted a discussion of this play on his website last month, and I thought it might also interest our readers here at HHS.

More after the jump on the rules implications of stealing home with two strikes on the batter.

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Circle of Greats: 1932 Balloting

This post is for voting and discussion in the 47th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG).  This round is for voting on the group of players born in 1932.  Rules and lists are after the jump.

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Circle of Greats 1933 Results: Voters Give a “Hoot” for Gibby

Bob “Hoot” Gibson has been elected as the latest inductee to the Circle of Greats. Gibson was a consistent winner over a 17-year career with the Cardinals, with 20 wins in 5 of 6 seasons (1965-70), 15 wins in 10 of 11 seasons (1962-72) and 12+ wins with a winning record for 13 straight seasons (1961-73). Gibson’s 251 career wins are tops for his generation of pitchers with their entire careers between 1955 and 1980.

As impressive as his career accomplishments are, Gibson is probably most remembered for an iconic 1968 season, and for his dominating post-season performances in three memorable 7-game World Series. More on Bob Gibson after the jump.

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Quiz – Alex Cobb (stumped)

Alex Cobb, the Rays’ young right-hander, has made an impressive start to his major-league career. Among active starters with 300 career IP, Cobb is one of only 11 pitchers with a career HR/9 below 0.75 and a SO/BB ratio above 2.5. His .641 career winning percentage ranks second in that group, behind only Lance Lynn‘s mark of .654.

Cobb also authored a game start that is unique among all major league starts of the past 5 seasons. What is that start and why is it so unusual?

Hint: Prior to Cobb’s start, there had been 6 other such games in this century (since 2000). There were 13 such games for 1990-99, 44 for 1980-89 and 110 for 1970-79.

It appears I’ve stumped the panel, for a change. The unusual thing about Cobb’s game is that his game score was less than the number of batters he faced. Add in 8 innings pitched and it’s the only such game since 2008. With long starts becoming as rare as double-headers, and almost every pitcher usually able to register at least a handful of strikeouts (a big part of game score), these games are really getting scarce. The other matching games are after the jump.

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Quiz – Season Symmetry (solved)

The lists below identify the only players with seasons since 1901 matching different search criteria. The common trait is that all of the search criteria exhibit the same type of symmetry. What is the season symmetry that describes each of these player lists?

List #1 List #2 List #3 List #4 List #5
Reggie Jackson Jason Kendall Kevin Millar Neal Heaton Don Wilson
Mike Cameron Robin Yount Russell Martin Sammy Stewart Steve Rogers
Carlos Lee Dwight Evans Derrek Lee Chuck Rainey Nolan Ryan
Bret Boone Darrell Porter Ellis Burks Paul Splittorff Jim Clancy
Gary Gaetti Richie Hebner Bill Madlock Spud Chandler Joe Niekro
Carlton Fisk Brooks Robinson Bobby Murcer Harry Gumbert Mike Marshall
Jim Rice Johnny Logan Minnie Minoso Ted Lyons Pete Broberg
Frank Robinson Bing Miller Steve Hargan
Eddie Collins

No fooling the panel who made quick work of this one. Congratulations to brp, bstar and David Horwich who teamed up to identify the symmetry as having two or more seasons with identical totals for the same two common counting stats (with appropriate minimum totals). Details are after the jump.

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