Don’t know much about history? Take this baseball quiz and find out

April 15 is a significant day in baseball history, including Jackie Robinson’s debut in 1947.

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Jackie Robinson

April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day across Major League Baseball.


To paraphrase Sam Cooke,

“Don’t know much about history

Don’t know much biology

Don’t know much about science book

Don’t know much about the French I took

But I do know that I love baseball

And I know that if you love it too

What a wonderful world this would be.”

As I like to periodically remind our wonderful readers, the weekly quiz is designed to be a fun combination of baseball, pop culture and history. However, its primary goal is to entertain. Each week, via email or Twitter, I hear from several of you as to how you did on the quiz. I’m rooting for you. Many times, you write to tell me a personal story relating to one of the questions and how the answer brought back memories. I love those. The quiz never should be taken too seriously. Your results won’t be memorialized on your permanent record. However, the one thing I want you to always pay attention to are my closing words each week: Have fun and learn a lot. April 15 is a significant day in baseball history. So please have fun and please learn a lot.

1. Today is Jackie Robinson Day throughout baseball. Today you won’t be able to tell who your favorite player is even with a scorecard because today all your favorites will be wearing No. 42 in honor of Jackie. When Jackie’s No. 42 was retired throughout the sport in 1997, a number of active players were wearing the number. Who was the last player to wear uniform No. 42?

a. Scott Ruffcorn c. Mariano Rivera

b. Mo Vaughn d. Dave Smith

2. On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson made his major-league debut for the Dodgers. What position did he play?

a. 1st base c. 3rd base

b. 2nd base d. Left field

3. On April 15, 1954, the Orioles defeated the White Sox 3-1. What was the significance of that game?

a. Minnie Minoso made his White Sox debut.

b. Cal Ripken Jr. made his Orioles debut.

c. The Orioles made their Baltimore return after 52 seasons.

d. It was the final game that John McGraw managed the Orioles.

4. On April 15, 1957, the President of the United States officially opened the season by tossing out the first ball at Griffith Stadium in Washington, D.C., as the Orioles defeated the Senators 7-6. The ball that POTUS threw was the 10 millionth Spalding baseball to be used in major-league play. Who was the President who threw the ball?

a. Richard Nixon c. Harry Truman

b. Dwight Eisenhower d. Ronald Reagan

5. On April 15, 1958, the Giants defeated the Dodgers 8-0. What was the significance of that game?

a. It was the first time the Dodgers had ever been no-hit.

b. It was the first MLB game played in California.

c. Willie Mays hit four homers.

d. Don Drysdale made his debut on the mound.

6. On April 15, 1968, the Astros beat the Mets 1-0. What was the significance of that game?

a. This was the first interleague game.

b. The winning run was scored when the Mets gave up four consecutive walks.

c. This was the longest shutout by innings in baseball history.

d. Nolan Ryan threw his first no-hitter.

7. On April 15, 1977, Hank Aaron had his uniform No. 44 retired. What was the significance of that event?

a. No. 44 was the highest number ever retired.

b. Aaron became the first player to have his uniform number retired by two teams .

c. Aaron was born on 4/4/34. He wore No. 44 because No. 34 was taken.

d. Aaron’s number was the 44th retired in baseball.

8. On April 15, 2009, every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 in honor of the anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color line. One player had a particularly memorable day going 6-for-6 and hitting for the cycle. Who was that player?

a. Ian Kinsler of the Rangers

b. Harold Baines of the White Sox

c. Troy Tulowitzki of the Rockies

d. Derrek Lee of the Cubs

9. April 15, 2022, was the 75th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier. Which (if any) of the following events did not happen last year?

a. New York City temporarily renamed part of 42nd Street and Broadway “Jackie Robinson Way.” The Empire State Building is illuminated in the colors of the Brooklyn Dodgers with a rotating 42 in Jackie’s honor.

b. The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inaugurates an exhibition dedicated to Robinson, with a special emphasis on the 1946 season he spent with the Montreal Royals of the International League.

c. The Los Angeles Dodgers unveiled a Jackie Robinson statue at Dodger Stadium, the first statue in Stadium history.

d. All true.

e. All false.

I hope you had fun today (and learned a lot).

I leave you with Robinson’s legacy summed up perfectly in his epitaph:

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.”


1. Mariano Rivera, the all-time saves leader and baseball’s first unanimous Hall of Famer wore the digits in each of the 1,115 regular season games he pitched, plus 96 more in the postseason. Ruffcorn was the last White Sox to wear it. Mo Vaughn was the last Red Sox, Mets, and Angel to wear it. Dave Smith was last No. 42 for the Cubs.

2. While Jackie became renowned as a second baseman throughout his career, in his first game he played first base, a new position for him.

3. The 46,354 fans witnessed the beginning of a new era in Baltimore sports history as baseball returned to the city for the first time in 51 years. The Browns were one of baseball’s worst teams having only 12 winning seasons in St. Louis before they move to Baltimore. Following the 1902 season, the Orioles moved to New York and became the Highlanders and eventually the Yankees. All the other answers are silly.

4. Vice President Nixon, an avid baseball fan, threw out the first pitch in Baltimore in 1957. This time, I like Ike for this feat. Dwight Eisenhower was the man with the ball.

5. At Seals Stadium in San Francisco, in front of 23,448 fans, major-league baseball made its California debut. The other answers are just more silliness.

6. It took six hours and six minutes for the Astros to defeat the Mets in the Astrodome in a game that required 24 innings to resolve. It’s the longest shutout in MLB history. In the bottom of the 24th, the Astros scored on a single, a balk, an intentional walk, a groundout, another intentional walk, and an error. Tom Seaver started for the Mets and threw 10 innings and allowed two hits.

7. The Atlanta Braves retired Aaron’s No. 44 during a pre-game ceremony. Oddly, the previous season, the Milwaukee Brewers had retired Aaron’s number. Making Hank the first to have his number retired by two teams. BTW: on the Braves’ new City Connect uniforms, the bottom of the jersey has “Keep swinging No. 44” stitched on the bottom. “Keep swinging” was Aaron’s motto during his playing days.

8. The Rangers led by Ian Kinsler defeated the Orioles 19-6. This was the first time a player had gone 6-for-6 and hit for the cycle in a nine-inning game since Farmer Weaver in 1890.

9. All of the answers are true.

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