Each year, The Crimson Sports Cube challenges its readers to a baseball trivia quiz. With the Red Sox in the midst of their first homestand of the '87 season, it is time once again for this annual rite of spring. Give yourself 6 points for each correct short answer and 4 points for each correct multiple choice. If you score...
94-100: Baseball is your life
84-92: You're an avid fan
74-82: You're fan of the game
64-72: You think you're a fan of the game
1. One of the most widespread phenomenons in baseball is that of "changing faces" throughout the league. Many recall how New York Mets' General Manager M. Donald Grant traded away the likes of Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, John Matlack, Rusty Staub, and Dave Kingman--all within a year. Then again, they remember how quickly the same Mets acquired such superstars as Keith Hernandez, Gary Carter, Ron Darling and Sid Fernandez in just as little time. It has been only six years since the Montreal Expos appeared in the split-season playoffs with one of the most promising teams in the majors. And yet, only one starting player from that '81 playoff team remains. Who is he?
2. Most know that pitcher Al Dowling served up Hank Aaron's record-breaking 715th homerun. But can you name the pitcher who surrendered the homer that tied Aaron with the immortal Babe at number 714?
3. Many believe that Boston third baseman Wade Boggs has the best chance among present major leaguers to become the first player since Ted Williams to reach the coveted .400 mark in batting. In fact, Boggs is currently the fourth-best hitter of all time with his career mark of .352 entering the 1987 campaign. The three hitters ahead of him just happen to be Ty Cobb (.367), Rogers Horns by (.358), and Joe Jackson (.356). Obviously, there are many American League pitchers Boggs loves to hit against, but if the Chicken Man were to face this one veteran hurler everyday, he would have a good chance of hitting close to .500. Name him.
4. Billy Martin's Oakland A's of 1980 were one of the most exciting teams in major league baseball. "Billyball," as it was known, captivated fans with its style of play. The A's depended on speed, Billy's smarts and strong starting pitching. Yet, Martin was often criticized for the mishandling of his pitching staff. Name Oakland's four ironman starters who led this promising staff but were never the same again.
5. The history of the Fall classic in the 1980s has not been one of repetition. No team that his appeared in the World Series has been able to repeat next year--a clear case of "from champs to chumps." Yet, three teams have played in at least two World Series in the '80s. Name these three teams.
6. Wally Joyner sprang onto the American League scene last year, posting several outstanding rookie numbers by the All-Star break. Between banging out singles and covering the bag on defense, Joyner spent a good deal of his 1986 seasons on first base. For the batter, a hit represents only one of eight ways to reach first. Name the other seven.
7. During Pete Rose's magical summer of 1978, when he tied Wee Willie Keeler's National League mark of hitting safely in 44 consecutive game, the Cincinnati legend failed to collect a hit against the Braves in game 45. How did Rose make his final out and which pitcher denied him a place in the record book on that final plate appearance?
8. Don Mattingly's many offensive accomplishments in his first four years have led several to compare him to such legends as Stan Musial, Ted Williams and Lou Gehrig. Mattingly has already snagged an MVP award, a batting title and an RBI title--something no player has done in his first three full seasons. In 1986, Mattingly led the American League in hits, doubles and slugging percentage. Perhaps even more amazing is that Mattingly struck out only 35 times in 677 at bats. Yet, the Yankees first baseman was not first in this category. In fact, he finished third behind two Red Sox. Name them.
9. Middle-inning relief is often considered pivotal in setting up the ace of the bullpen. Whenever the starting pitcher gets past the seventh inning, the manager considers it an extra advantage, as the middle relievers get some needed rest, Last year, one hurler pitched at least seven innings in 30 games, leading the majors, Name him.
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