Baseball quiz: April showers bring May flowers

They also bring rainouts, which we saw a lot of this month. We also saw too many injuries. But we never see too many questions.

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Rick Sutcliffe winds back to pitch

Rick Sutcliffe winds up to pitch during a game in the 1987 season at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Well, we made it through the first month of the season. Actually, some of us didn’t make it all the way through. There were too many visits to the injured list. We had wins and wind and losses and rain throughout the month, but that’s April, right? We also had a 21-0 victory by the Cubs, which got me thinking about the 21-0 win the Bears had over the Giants on their way to winning the Super Bowl in 1986. There are many who think the Cubs have as much of a chance of winning the World Series this year as they have of winning the Super Bowl. But let’s enjoy the moments as they come.

Here’s a quiz that’s ideal for the end of the month. Have fun.

1. The Chicago record for wins in the first month of the season is 17. Who holds it?

a. Cubs

b. White Sox  

c. They share it 

2. Roger Clemens had 57 wins in March/April, the most of any pitcher. Which pitcher, who spent some time pitching in Chicago, had the most March/April wins?

a. Rick Sutcliffe 

b. Ferguson Jenkins  

c. Tom Seaver  

d. Mark Buehrle

3. After 12 MLB seasons, Jake Arrieta is retiring. From 2015 to ’17, it was hard to find a better pitcher than the Cubs’ Arrieta, who led the majors with 54 wins. During that span, Arrieta won the Cy Young Award once and had a 2.71 ERA. The following four ­pitchers trailed Arrieta in wins, but did Arrieta have a better ERA than each of them? You have a chance to get four right answers on this question.

a. Max Scherzer (50 wins)

b. Zack Greinke (49 wins) 

c. Chris Sale (47 wins) 

d. Clayton Kershaw (46 wins)

4. Good for Arrieta for retiring when he did. He was aware enough to know, as he said, “It’s just my time.” This got me thinking about Steve Carlton, the great pitcher, who stayed too long at the fair. At the end of “Lefty’s” 1983 season, he had a record of 300-200 and a 3.01 ERA. When he finally hung up the cleats five years later, he was 329-244 with a 3.22 ERA. Which of the following teams did Carlton toil for in those last five seasons?

a. White Sox

b. Mets 

c. Twins  

d. Giants 

e. Indians 

f. All of the above

5. Today is Michael Kopech’s birthday, He was born April 30, 1996, in Longview, Texas. On that date, the Sox lost 5-3 to Cleveland and finished the month with a record of 15-10. The 1996 Sox went 85-77. Who was their manager that season?

a. Ozzie Guillen

b. Jerry Manuel

c. Gene Lamont

d. Terry Bevington

6. You can shop Chicago at the virtual Made in Chicago Market today (there’s more in the paper about this). This got me thinking of second jobs for ballplayers back in the day. They had outside gigs to make some money for the family. Even though it’s April, can you tell me which of the following players sold Christmas trees in a parking lot?

a. Jim Palmer  

b. Stan Musial

c. Roy Campanella  

d. Richie Hebner

7. By the time April is finished, Seiya Suzuki will have drawn a lot of walks. Who holds the Chicago record for most walks in March/April?

a. Sammy Sosa  

b. Jim Thome

c. Frank Thomas  

d. Ron Santo

8. On April 23, Miguel Cabrera became the 33rd member of the 3,000-hit club. He also became the second member of the club who picked up his 3,000th hit in the month of April. Who was the first?

a. Alex Rodriguez  

b. Cal Ripken Jr.

c. Lou Brock  

d. Albert Pujols

9. As I stated, “April showers bring May flowers.” Which of the following are not real major-leaguers?

a. Pussy Willow  

b. Pete Rose

c. Tyler Flowers  

d. Tulips McGee


1. The same. The Cubs won 17 games in 2008 and 2016. The Sox won 17 in 2000, 2005, 2006, and 2016.

2. Here are the March/April winners in ­order: Ferguson Jenkins (42), Mark ­Buehrle (32), Tom Seaver (29) and Rick ­Sutcliffe (28).

3. Arrieta had a better ERA than three of these great pitchers. Only Clayton ­Kershaw (2.07) was better. The others were Max Scherzer (2.76), Zack Greinke (2.93) and Chris Sale (3.21).

4. Carlton did not play for the Mets, but he also pitched for the Phillies.

5. Terry Bevington took over the managerial reins from Gene Lamont in 1995 and remained through 1997. He finished with a 222-214 record.

6. Stan Musial sold Christmas trees from a parking lot alongside his St. Louis Cardinals teammates Red Schoendienst, Marty Marion and Terry Moore in the late 1940s. Jim Palmer sold suits in a clothing store in Baltimore. Campy owned and operated a liquor store in Harlem. Richie Hebner was a gravedigger. 

7. Sammy Sosa had 26 walks. Jim Thome had 25.

8. Cal Ripken Jr. picked up hit No. 3,000, a single, on April 15, 2000, against the Twins. A-Rod hit his (a homer) on June 19, 2015, off Justin Verlander of the Tigers. Lou Brock did it on Aug. 13, 1979, off Dennis Lamp of the Cubs. Albert Pujols got his on May 4, 2018, when he singled against the Mariners.

9. Pussy Tebeau played in 1895, but there was no Pussy Willow. I bet you knew Pete Rose. Tyler Flowers was a White Sox catcher from 2009 to ’14. And while Daisy Davis played in the 1880s, there was no Tulips McGee. 

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