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Sports Saturday

For a time, Christmas was in Chicago in the summer

Put this quiz under your tree as a gift of baseball knowledge.

Cubs catcher Steve Christmas moves to tag Tim Raines without the ball in the Expos’ 4-2 victory on April 26, 1986, at Wrigley Field.
Sun-Times

It’s not the holiday season without hot chocolate, a log in the fireplace and a quiz from yours truly, the elf on your baseball shelf.

Wishing you all the happiest and the healthiest of -holiday seasons, and I look forward to quizzing you in 2022.

Let the quiz begin!

1. True or False?

Steve Christmas played for the White Sox and the Cubs.

2. Nellie Fox, the White Sox Hall of Fame second baseman, was born on ­Christmas Day in 1927. For seven consecutive seasons (1954-60), Fox led the American League in what category?

a. Singles

b. Doubles

c. Triples

d. Sacrifice bunts

3. Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson was born on Christmas Day in 1958 in Chicago. Three of the following big-leaguers also were born in Chicago — who wasn’t?

a. Fred Lynn

b. Greg Luzinski

c. Jim Rice

d. Wally Pipp

4. In your home, you might have ­Christmas garland. In my quiz, I have Jon Garland, who pitched for the White Sox from 2000 to 2007. He was a first-round draft choice in 1997 for which team?

a. White Sox

b. Cubs

c. Angels

d. Yankees

5. Which of these Cubs was not a ­National League Rookie of the Year?

a. Billy Williams

b. Kris Bryant

c. Ernie Banks

d. Kerry Wood

6. Robin Ventura is one of 13 players who have hit two grand slams in one game. He did it for the White Sox on Sept. 4, 1995. Only one player has hit two grannies in the same inning. Who is he?

a. Nomar Garciaparra

b. Frank Robinson

c. Fernando Tatis

d. Rudy York

7. Dennis Eckersley, who has become as good of an announcer as he was a pitcher, was primarily a starter for the Cubs in 1985-86. Which of the following teams did Eck not pitch for?

a. Cardinals

b. Red Sox

c. Athletics

d. Angels

8. We recently lost a baseball great. Roland Hemond was the White Sox’ general manager from 1970 to ’85. At the winter meetings in 1975, per instructions from owner Bill Veeck, Hemond set up a table in the hotel lobby with a sign that said:

a. “I’m wheelin’. Are you dealin’?”

b. “Free cookies with every trade.”

c. “Open for business.”

d. “That’s Veeck as in ‘wreck.’ ”

9. According to Baseball-Reference.com, the most-viewed player page in Illinois in 2021 is:

a. Shohei Ohtani

b. Joey Votto

c. Anthony Rizzo

d. Bryce Harper

ANSWERS

1. So true. In 1984, Christmas was with the Sox, and in 1986, he was with the Cubs.

2. Nellie was a singular sensation.

3. Jim Rice was born in Anderson, South Carolina.

4. Garland was selected by the Cubs. In 1998, the Cubs traded him to the White Sox for Matt Karchner.

5. Ernie Banks finished second in 1954 to Wally Moon.

6. Fernando Tatis did it on April 23, 1999, in the third inning. Top that, Junior!

7. To paraphrase the words of Duane Allman, Eck was no Angel.

8. Hemond was indeed ‘‘Open for business.” The Sox made six trades in a few days, with 22 players changing hands.

9. In Illinois and across the baseball universe, 2021 was Shohei time!