Baseball quiz: The quizmaster meets the Beatles

In honor of the anniversary of the band’s shows at Comiskey Park in 1965, this quiz has a musical motif.

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The Beatles take the field at Comiskey Park before their performance Aug. 20, 1965.

Gene Pesek/Sun-Times

If you are reading this quiz, you know who the Beatles are, right? But did you know that 57 years ago today, the Beatles played in Chicago? On Aug. 20, 1965, the Beatles played the old Comiskey Park. The fans went wild when the band, “wearing khaki army-like jackets, [raced] onto their stage atop second base,” a reporter shared. 

The Beatles performed at 3 and 8 p.m. The first concert was seen by 25,000, and the second drew 37,000. Tickets for the shows went for $2.50, $4.50 and $5.50. A promotion run by the soft drink 7UP also offered purchasers the chance to win a pair of tickets, with 2,000 available. 

According to, the Beatles’ set list featured 12 songs: the short version of “Twist And Shout,” followed by “She’s A Woman,” “I Feel Fine,” “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” “Ticket To Ride,” “Everybody’s Trying To Be My Baby,” “Can’t Buy Me Love,” “Baby’s In Black,” “Act Naturally,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “Help!” and “I’m Down.”

Do you want to know a secret? Today’s quiz uses the works of John, Paul, George and Ringo, and I’m sure you’ll get through it even though it is a long and winding road.

1. “When I was younger, so much younger than today. I never needed anybody’s help in any way,” sang the Beatles in “Help.” Since 2000, who is the youngest pitcher to appear in a game for Chicago?

a. Mark Buehrle

b. Mark Prior

c. Jon Garland

d. Carlos Zambrano 

2. In May 1966, the Beatles released a single with “Paperback Writer” on one side and “Rain” on the other. The Cubs’ first night game was set to be played Aug. 8, 1988. But when the rain came, they had to run and hide their heads. As a result, the first night game actually took place Aug. 9. This is a two-parter: Who was the opponent for the rained-out game, and who was the opponent for the game that was played?

a. Cardinals

b. Phillies

c. Mets

d. Brewers

3. “You say yes, I say no. You say stop, and I say go, go, go. Oh, no. You say goodbye, and I say hello,” were the Beatles’ lyrics in “Hello, Goodbye.” As the Cubs say hello to some new players, fans are saying goodbye to Jason Heyward. He has played seven years for the Cubs, one for the Cardinals and five for the Braves, for whom he hit 84 homers. Combined, did Heyward hit:

a. More homers with the Cubs and Cards as he did for the Braves?

b. Fewer homers with the Cubs and Cards as he did for the Braves?

c. The same number of homers with the Cubs and Cards as he did for the Braves?

4. “Yesterday” is the most covered song in the history of pop music. You know the lyrics so well: “Yesterday. All my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay. Oh, I believe in yesterday.” This brings me to the question: Which Chicago pitcher has the most losses after a win by their team?

a. Dylan Cease

b. Michael Kopech

c. Kyle Hendricks

d. Drew Smyly

5. John Lennon sang and played the harmonica on “I’m a Loser.” “What have I done to deserve such a fate? I realize I have left it too late,” were his lyrics. From 2011 to 2020, which Chicago pitcher recorded the most losses?

a. Jon Lester

b. Kyle Hendricks

c. John Danks

d. Jose Quintana

6. Ringo was the lead singer on “With A Little Help From My Friends.” He sang, “Oh, I get by with a little help from my friends. Mm, I get high with a little help from my friends. Mm, gonna try with a little help from my friends.” Starters who go at least five innings but no more than seven need help from their friends in the bullpen. Since 1995, what Chicago starter has won the most games when not going more than seven innings?

a. Mark Buehrle

b. Jon Garland

c. Jon Lester

d. Carlos Zambrano

7. OK, you deserve an easy one: From 1983 to 1999, you might have thought that Darryl “Strawberry Fields Forever” — or Strawberry bats forever — but that was the length of his career. Strawberry played for four teams in that stretch. The Mets, Yankees and Dodgers are three. Which was the fourth?

a. Cubs

b. White Sox

c. Giants

d. A’s

8. Who is the only Beatle to throw out a first pitch in Chicago?

a. John Lennon

b. Paul McCartney

c. Pete Best

d. Richard Starkey 

e. George Harrison

f. Ringo Starr

9. In 1969, John took the lead in writing and singing “Don’t Let Me Down.” Here’s a question about a guy who definitely didn’t let the White Sox down. In Game 2 of the 2005 World Series, Paul Konerko hit a grand slam to give the Sox a 6-4 lead in the seventh, but the Astros tied it in the ninth. Which Sox player didn’t let the team down by hitting Chicago’s only walk-off homer in postseason history? Need a hint? He hadn’t homered in 129 games in the regular season.

Feel free to drop me a line at because:

If there’s anything that you want

If there’s anything I can do

Just call on me, and I’ll send it along

With love, from me to you. 

Just remember friends, all you need is glove. 


1. Carlos Zambrano was 20 years and 80 days old pitching for the Cubs in 2001. Jon Garland was 20 years and 281 days pitching for the Sox in 2000. The two Marks were 21.

2. On 8/8/88, the game was to be against the Phillies. On 8/9, the Cubs met the Mets. The Cubs won 6-4.

3. With the Cardinals, Jason Heyward had 13 homers; with the Cubs, he hit 62. My math says that 75 is fewer than 84.

4. At the time of this writing, Michael Kopech had five losses after the White Sox won, the most of any of these guys.

5. John Danks had 60 losses, and what did he do to deserve such a fate, you ask? To start with, he had a 4.79 ERA and a 1.396 WHIP. 

6. From 2000 to 2011, Mark Buehrle was Chicago’s Ringo, winning 89 games, thanks to his friends in the pen.

7. In 1994, Darryl toured the outfield in Candlestick Park in San Francisco, and it became Strawberry Fields.

8. During the White Sox’ 2005 championship season, Pete Best, the Beatles’ first drummer, became the only Beatle to throw out a ceremonial first pitch.

9. With one down in the bottom of the ninth and Brad Lidge on the mound for the Astros, Scott Podsednik homered to right-center to win Game 2 of the World Series.

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