One of the (many) things I love about the start of the baseball season is seeing the players whom I missed over the last (too) many months. There’s something about seeing the faces, seeing them run, pitch, hit and field that just reminds me how much better things are when they are playing. Sometimes, I just extol about the beauty of the 6-4-3 double play. But not today. While we await new moments to savor, let’s play our quiz.
Have fun and play ball!
1. Albert Pujols last played for the Cardinals in 2011. St. Louis is where he won the NL Rookie of the Year award in 2001. Who was the winner in the AL?
a. Angel Berroa, Royals c. CC Sabathia, Cleveland
b. Ichiro Suzuki, Mariners d. Alfonso Soriano, Yankees
2. Zack Greinke last played for the Royals in 2010, and he was the Opening Day starter (just like this season). I was kind of surprised to learn that it was his only Opening Day start for the Royals. In 2009, when Greinke won the Cy Young Award, Gil Meche was the Opening Day pitcher against the White Sox. Who was the starter for the Sox?
a. Mark Buehrle c. Gavin Floyd
b. John Danks d. Bartolo Colon
3. A former member of the Sox is Tom Brady’s brother-in-law, and apparently, he did not have
much advance warning that Tom was un-retiring. Who is he?
a. Carlton Fisk c. Steve Lyons
b. Kevin Youkilis d. Keith Foulke
4. From 2017 to 2021, the Red Sox paid more payroll dollars than any other team in baseball ($2,213,038). Which Chicago team paid more?
a. The Cubs b. The White Sox
C. The same (within $50,000)
5. Last season, fan favorite (and one of mine as well) Tim Anderson had 17 homers and 18 steals. Now I know that is far from a 30-30 season and not even really close to a 20-20, but it is his third 17-17 season. Since 1969, only one other member of the Sox had three 17-17 seasons. Who might he be?
a. Aaron Rowand c. Ray Durham
b. Chris Singleton d. Alex Rios
6. I love the triple. Who doesn’t love the triple? You gotta love the triple. Only one player in baseball has hit at least one triple each of the last 12 seasons. Who is this object of my appreciation?
a. Andrew McCutchen c. Elvis Andrus
b. Jason Heyward d. Brett Gardner
7. There have been 12 different White Sox pitchers and 13 different Cubs pitchers who’ve had 30+ saves in a season. Two of those 25 each had four different seasons of 30+ saves. Who are they?
a. Lee Smith c. Bobby Thigpen
b. Bobby Jenks d. Bruce Sutter
8. Raise your hand if you are a Mark Buehrle fan. OK, OK, you can put your hands down. My hand was up so you know I’m not being mean with this question about Buehrle’s 2006 season, when he finished with a 12-13 record and a 4.99 ERA in 204.0 innings pitched. Which isn’t true about that season?
a. He struck out under 100 batters
b. He made the All-Star team
c. He led the league in hits allowed
d. He led the league in home runs allowed
9. Which of the following players completed his diploma at Duke University in the summer of 2015 while rehabbing his knee from a torn ACL?
a. Marcus Stroman c. Andrew Vaughn
b. David Bote d. Michael Kopech
Now wasn’t that fun? Tell your friends and family to join us next Saturday. In the meantime, write to me and send a question for the quiz or tell me how you did — or how I did.
1. In 2001, Ichiro was both the AL Rookie of the Year and MVP.
2. The 2009 season marked one of nine times Mark Buehrle started for the Sox on Opening Day, the most of any pitcher in team history.
3. Kevin Youkilis, who played 80 games for the White Sox in 2012 and 953 games for the Red Sox, is married to Julie Brady, Tom’s sister. “I got a message on a chain, and then like 15 minutes later I was at somebody’s house and I’m trying to keep it quiet — don’t tell anybody, right? Because I don’t know when the news is coming out, and it was instantaneous news,” Youkilis explained.
4. From 2017 to 2021, the Cubs paid $2,062,670 in payroll dollars per win, the fourth-most in baseball. The Sox paid $1,314,435 per win, 24th in baseball.
5. In the 1998, 2000, and 2001 seasons, Ray Durham had the coveted 17-17 seasons.
6. It is Jason Heyward, who has totaled 38 triples since 2010.
7. Lee Smith in 1984, 1985, 1986 and 1987 for the Cubs and Bobby Thigpen in 1988, 1989, 1990 and 1991 for the White Sox are our 30+ save closers.
8. In 2006, Buehrle struck out 98. His 9-6, 4.02 record at the break somehow was good enough to make the All-Star team. He led the league with 247 hits allowed. He gave up 36 homers, which tied him with Josh Beckett behind Carlos Silva of the Twins, who allowed 38.
9. Stroman graduated from Duke in May 2016 and considers graduating from Duke his highest achievement in life.