Baseball quiz: Like a finely seasoned salad

We can’t all be Caesar Cardini, who is said to have invented the salad that bears his name, but we all certainly can take this inspired quiz.

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Who was the White Sox’ manager before the team hired Tony La Russa the first time?

Who was the White Sox’ manager before the team hired Tony La Russa the first time?

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

It is most definitely July. You can tell by the combination of oppressive heat and huge thunderstorms. Can you tell I’m not a fan of this month? July was named after Julius Caesar in 44 B.C. Julius Caesar was a Roman general, statesman and historian. He did not, however, invent the Caesar salad, nor is it named after him. It was named after its creator, Caesar Cardini, a French-inspired Italian chef who immigrated to America before moving to Mexico to escape prohibition. Cardini’s daughter claimed July 4, 1924, was the day her father created the masterpiece. Running short of supplies, her father threw together lettuce, olive oil, raw egg, croutons, Parmesan cheese and Worcestershire sauce and served his concoction. All of this is just my way of saying, in the words of someone wise: ‘‘Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put it in a fruit salad.’’

Use your (Patrick) wisdom on this week’s quiz and don’t strike out.

1. The first time Tony La Russa was the manager of the White Sox, who immediately preceded him in that role?

a. Paul Richards

b. Don Kessinger

c. Larry Doby

d. Chuck Tanner

2. This is as close as I can get to a geography question without a GPS: This coming week, the Sox are playing the Guardians. In 2021, which state’s major-league teams had more wins:

a. Illinois

b. Ohio

c. The same

3. Since 2000, the most victories in July for a Chicago team has been 18, achieved by both the Sox and Cubs. Who did it most recently? (Extra dressing if you know the year.)

a. Cubs

b. Sox

c. The same season

4. On June 30, Patrick Wisdom struck out for the 100th time this season. That doesn’t make him a bad person, just a guy who whiffs a lot. Paul Konerko played for the Sox for 18 wonderful seasons. How many seasons did Paulie have 100+ strikeouts?

a. 1

b. 18

c. 5

d. 9

5. While we’re on the subject of strikeouts, let’s give Wisdom something to shoot for or to avoid, depending on your point of view. Former Sox Pat Seerey holds the all-time Chicago record for whiffs in July with 48. Since 2000, who holds the Chicago record for most strikeouts in July? (Extra anchovies in your salad or on the side if you know the year or the total.)

a. Corey Patterson

b. Kris Bryant

c. Jim Thome

d. James McCann

6. Who holds the record for the most career saves in Chicago history? (Extra Parmesan cheese if you know the total.)

a. Lee Smith

b. Bruce Sutter

c. Bobby Thigpen

d. Bobby Jenks

7. On May 25, 2022, Josh Rojas of the Diamondbacks hit three home runs at Wrigley Field. Before that, who was the last visiting player to hit at least three homers in Chicago?

a. Nelson Cruz

b. Manny Machado

c. Brad Miller

d. Jose Abreu

8. By the time June ended, the Yankees had hit 58 homers in the month. By the time June ended, did the Cubs and Sox combined have more, fewer or the same number of homers as the Yankees?

9. Caesar Cardini recycled what was left in the kitchen to create his famous salad, which got me thinking about the cycle. Two players completed their cycle by slamming a walk-off homer against the Cubs. Who are they?

a. Ken Boyer

b. Nolan Arenado

c. Carlos Gonzalez

d. Babe Herman


1. Player/manager Don Kessinger was at the helm for the first 106 games of 1979 and went 46-60. Tony La Russa, 34, took over, and the Sox went 27-27 the rest of the season.

2. The Cubs and Sox went 164-160. The Reds and Guardians went 163-161.

3. The Cubs went 18-9 in July 2009. The Sox went 18-8 in July 2010.

4. Paul Konerko had five seasons in which his strikeout total ranged from 102 to 110.

5. Kris Bryant had 37 whiffs in July 2015.

6. Lee Smith had 180 saves, but Bobby Thigpen had 201.

7. Nelson Cruz hit three at Comiskey (you can call it what you want) on July 25, 2019, but it was Brad Miller who did it on July 8, 2021, at Wrigley. Now before you get on my case about including Jose Abreu as a possible answer, I would like to remind you that on Aug. 22, 2020, Jose and his Sox were visiting Wrigley, and the big guy went deep three times.

8. The Cubs hit 27 homers and the Sox hit 20 in June for a combined total of 47. That would have put them behind the Yankees, the Braves (54 homers) and the Blue Jays (50 homers).

9. Ken Boyer of the Cardinals did it in the 11th inning of the second game of a doubleheader on Sept. 14, 1961, and Carlos Gonzalez of the Rockies did it on July 31, 2010.

Send your questions, ideas and compliments to See you next week!

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