Love your mothers and love this Mother’s Day baseball quiz

Think about how proud your mom would be if you ace this trivia test.

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Sammy Sosa

Cubs slugger Sammy Sosa addresses the crowd during “Sammy Sosa Day” festivities at Wrigley Field Saturday, Sept. 20, 1998, in Chicago.

Michael S. Green/AP

Now you might think Anna Jarvis was a florist or a greeting-card writer, but it turns out she was neither. After her mother’s death in 1905, Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children. But you are not wrong if the cynic in you thinks of the commercial angle. Jarvis picked up financial support for her idea from John Wanamaker and in May 1908 organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia. By 1912, many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day. But Jarvis was a purist. By 1920, she had become disgusted with its commercialization and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies. By the time of her death in 1948, Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar. There’s your history lesson. On to the quiz. Have fun and learn a lot.

1. On Mother’s Day 2016, Joe Maddon was managing the Cubs, who were facing Bryce Harper and the Nationals. The Cubs walked Harper seven times in the first three games of the four-game series. In the finale on Mother’s Day, the game went 13 innings (won by a walk-off home run by Javy Baez) and the Cubs walked Harper six times and hit him with a pitch in a seventh plate appearance. Since 1974, three Cubs have recorded 100 or more walks in a season. Who didn’t?

a. Sammy Sosa c. Carlos Pena

b. Kris Bryant d. Gary Matthews

2. On Mother’s Day 2007, Fred Lewis of the Giants celebrated by hitting for the cycle. He also had two singles in the seventh inning. Jose Abreu is the last White Sox player to hit for the cycle, doing it in 2017. The Cubs haven’t had a cyclist since the turn of the 21st century. Who was the last Cub with a single, double, triple and homer in one game?

a. Andre Dawson c. Randy Hundley

b. Ivan DeJesus d. Mark Grace

3. In 1955, Mother’s Day was May 8. Five days later (May 13, just like today) at Yankee Stadium, Mickey Mantle hit homers from both sides of the plate for the first time in his major-league career. ‘‘The Mick’’ accomplished this particular feat 10 times, all with the Yankees. I’ll give you four other players who did it. You have to tell me the two players who accomplished the feat with five teams.

a. Carlos Beltran c. Melky Cabrera

b. Ruben Sierra d. Nick Swisher

4. In 1958, Mother’s Day was May 11. At the first Busch Stadium (really Sportsman’s Park) in St. Louis, Stan Musial went 5-for-8 in a doubleheader as the Cardinals twice topped the Cubs to complete a four-game sweep. The rivalry continued the next day in Chicago, with ‘‘Stan the Man’’ picking up another hit to leave him with 2,999. On May 13 at Wrigley, Musial collected his 3,000th hit with a pinch double off Moe Drabowsky as the Cards won their sixth consecutive game, all against the Cubs. Musial finished his career with 492 hits against the Cubs. List them all from the first to the last. Nah, I’m joking. My question is simple: Was his hit total against the Cubs the most against any of his rivals? Yes or no?

5. In 1969, Mother’s Day was May 11. On May 13, Ernie Banks reached 1,500 RBI with a seven-RBI game as the Cubs buried the expansion Padres 19-0. Name the players with the other RBI in that game. Nah, I’m joking. My question is simple: Was the 19-run differential the largest for the Cubs in a shutout victory? Yes or no?

6. In 1982, Mother’s Day was May 9. The Cubs beat the Astros that day. In their next game May 11, the Cubs beat the Braves, giving them 7,999 all-time victories. They lost the next day and hit the road. On May 13 in the Astrodome, the Cubs won for the 8,000th time in their history with a 5-0 blanking of the Astros. In the Cubs’ long history, they now have more than 11,000 victories. Which player has played in more Cubs victories than any other?

a. Billy Williams d. Ernie Banks

b. Gabby Hartnett e. Ryne Sandberg

c. Stan Hack

7. On Mother’s Day 2010, who pitched the 19th perfect game in big-league history?

a. James Shields c. Clayton Kershaw

b. Dallas Braden d. Adam Wainwright

8. The use of pink bats on Mother’s Day first was allowed in 2006. Utility infielder Bill Hall hit a walk-off homer that day with a pink bat with his mom’s signature on it instead of his own. On May 12, 2013, MLB introduced another Mother’s Day product that would have our friend Anna Jarvis rolling over in her grave. What was it?

a. Pink Franklin batting glove

b. Pink Under Armour cleats

c. Rawlings baseball with pink stitching and graphics

d. Pink EvoShield protective gear

9. Our walk-off question of the week pertains to a member of the White Sox. He not only had a walk-off hit on Mother’s Day 2015 but followed it up with a walk-off homer on Father’s Day 2015. Who is this ultimate parental honorer?

a. Melky Cabrera d. Avisail Garcia

b. Jose Abreu e. Tyler Flowers

c. Gordon Beckham


1. Kris Bryant is our outlier; his high was 95. Sammy Sosa holds the Cubs’ record with 116 walks in 2001. He also had 103 in 2002. 2. All four of these fellows hit for the cycle. On May 9, 1993, Mark Grace became the 11th — and latest — player to hit for the cycle in franchise history. Jimmy Ryan was the first on July 28, 1888, against the Detroit Wolverines.

3. Carlos Beltran and Nick Swisher each accomplished the feat with five teams. Beltran: Mets (5x), Cardinals (3x), Royals (2x), Astros (1x), Yankees (1x). Swisher: Athletics (5x), Yankees (5x), White Sox (2x), Indians (1x), Braves (1x). 4. It turns out Stan Musial’s hits against the Cubs were his fewest against any of the pre-expansion teams. He had 526 lifetime hits and a .340 batting average in 426 games against the Pirates.

5. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t ask such a granular question. But you all should remember the Cubs topped the Pirates 21-0 on April 23 of last season. 6. Stan Hack and Gabby Hartnett each played in 1,037 wins. Ryne Sandberg played in 1,038. Billy Williams played in 1,039. They call Ernie Banks ‘‘Mr. Cub’’ for many reasons, including his all-time-leading 1,124 winning games.

7. Adam Wainwright picked up a victory against the Pirates that day. Clayton Kershaw pitched eight scoreless innings to top the Rockies. James Shields lost to the A’s as Dallas Braden was perfect against his Rays. 8. It’s hard to believe it took MLB until 2013 to introduce the pink-stitched ball. All the other items listed were already in use (and there have been more since).

9. Gordon Beckham delivered an RBI single off the Reds’ Aroldis Chapman on Mother’s Day, then hit his first career walk-off homer in the 11th inning on Father’s Day to beat the Rangers.

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