Baseball StatisticsTrivia:

Who had the most career home runs among players who never hit 30 or more in a single season? Al Kaline hit 399 homers in his career, but never had more than 29 in a single season.

Who had the most career home runs among players who never hit 40 or more in a single season? Eddie Murray never hit more than 33 homers in a single season - he hit 504 in his career. Stan Musial was close, with 475 lifetime homers, and never more than 39 in a season.

Who are the only major leaguers to win the Rookie of the Year, the Cy Young, and MVP awards, in their careers? Don Newcombe of the Dodgers (1949, 1956, 1956), and Justin Verlander of the Tigers (2008, 2011, 2011).

Who had the highest ERA among single-season 20-game winners? Bobo Newsom had a 5.07 ERA for the St. Louis Browns in 1938. He was 20-16.

Forty-one times, a player has hit 50 or more home runs in a single MLB season. Of those 41, who had the highest batting average? How about the lowest? In 1921, Babe Ruth hit .378 with 59 home runs. In 2005, Andruw Jones hit .263 with 51 home runs, for the low . . . which broke Roger Maris' 44-year record of .269 when he hit 61 in '61. 

Three pitchers have pitched more than 2,000 innings and given up fewer than 7 hits per 9 IP. Nolan Ryan (6.56) and Sandy Koufax (6.79) are two of them. Who is the third? Andy Messersmith (6.94).

The Astros called up  a player who played in the last game of 1963. He went to the plate 5 times. He was 3 for 3 and walked twice. He also had 3 RBIs and 4 runs scored. He played RF - and never again appeared in a major league game. Who was this player? It was John Paciorek

Since 1900, one player had 57 extra-base hits in a season, with NO home runs. Who is he? He's in the Hall-of-Fame. The post-1980 record of 44, is held by another Hall-of-Famer. Who is he? Who holds the record (32) for this century (he's not, and won't ever be, in the HOF)? Nap Lajoie hit 48 doubles and 9 triples in 1906, Ozzie Smith hit 44 doubles and 4 triples in 1987, and Juan Pierre hit 24 doubles and 8 triples in 2007.  

Any decent baseball fan knows that the Yankees have the most championships (27 World Series, 40 pennants) in major-league history. What franchise is second? The St. Louis Cardinals have won 11 World Series', and the Dodgers (Brooklyn and Los Angeles) have won 18 pennants.

Who had/has the most career home runs among Canadian-born major leaguers? Okay, he's also on top for most games, hits, doubles, walks, RBI's, Runs Scored, and Stolen Bases, too. That would be Larry Walker after a great 17-year career with the Expos, Rockies, and Cardinals (ending in 2005). He also has the highest batting average, slugging average, OBA, and OPS, among all Canadian-born major leaguers since 1900 (> 2000 PA). Do you think that Justin Morneau, Jason Bay, or Russell Martin, can surpass any of those stats? 

Prior to Mickey Mantle, what was the single-season record for home runs by a switch-hitter? Ripper Collins, firstbaseman for the 1934 (Gas House Gang) St. Louis Cardinals, hit 35 home runs.

What is the highest regular-season batting average by a player on a World Series champion (with enough plate appearances to qualify for the title)? That was Babe Ruth's 1923 season - .393 (see the next question). No World Series team has ever had a full-season regular player who hit over .400.

Babe Ruth NEVER struck out 100 times in a season (he DID strikeout more than a hundred hitters; he did it three times as a pitcher). How many different players HAVE struck out 100 or more times in a season?  For the record, the most strikeouts Babe Ruth ever had in one season was 93, in 1923. That was also the year that he set the still-standing record for highest batting average by a Yankee - .393 (he also hit 41 homers in 1923)! Through 2013, 739 different players have struck out at least 100 times in a season. Those 739 players have reached 100 K's 2,349 times! Thirty-two players have had 10 or more seasons with 100 K's. Danny Moeller was the first player to strikeout 100 times in a season (1913). Reggie Jackson did it 18 times! Eighty-nine times, a player has had exactly 100 K's in a season. Three different players have reached the 200 plateau. One, Mark Reynolds, did it three times! Mark Reynolds also holds the record with 223 Ks in 2009. Adam Dunn just missed with 222 in 2012. Chris Carter and Drew Stubbs are the others who topped 200.

Ten pitchers since 1960 have won 20 or more games in a single season in both the American League AND the National League. See how many you can name. Gaylord Perry, Tommy John, Curt Schilling, Randy Johnson, Frank Viola, Jerry Koosman, David Cone, Andy Messersmith, Bill Singer, and Ferguson Jenkins.

Six players have hit 40 or more homeruns in a single season in both the American League AND the National League. See how many you can name. Ken Griffey Jr., Jim Thome, Mark McGwire, Darrell Evans, Shawn Green, and Dave Justice.

Ten pitchers have won 100 or more games in both the American League AND the National League. See how many you can name. Cy Young (221 wins in the AL, 290 in the NL), Gaylord Perry (139, 175), Ferguson Jenkins (115, 169), Nolan Ryan (189, 135), Randy Johnson (164, 139), Kevin Brown (102, 109), Jim Bunning (118, 106), Dennis Martinez (141, 104), Pedro Martinez (117, 102), and Al Orth (105, 100) were the pitchers to accomplish that feat. 

What hitter had the most strikeouts in a season in which he walked more than he struck out? In 1998, Mark McGuire struck out 155 times - and walked 162 times.

How many 20-win seasons have MLB pitchers achieved since 1900 (inclusive)? If a pitcher had more than one 20-win season, count each occurrence. 818 through the 2012 season! You can check out the complete list by clicking the 20W Seasons tab at  Various XERA Stat Sheets. 

Barry Bonds, in 2007, became the all-time MLB leader in career homeruns. He beat Hank Aaron's record. Hank Aaron beat Babe Ruth's record. What post-1900 player had the record prior to Babe Ruth? Gavvy Cravath. Cravath's career ended in 1920. At that point, he led Babe Ruth 119 to 103. Babe Ruth hit 59 home runs in 1921.

Name the two pitchers who won and saved at least 150 games each. Dennis Eckersley (197 wins, 390 saves) and John Smoltz (213 wins and 154 saves), all of his saves came in a 4-season stretch . . . 2001 - 2004 . . . 10, 55, 45, and 44, respectively).  

Of the hitters who have hit 400 or more homeruns, 5 have more than four times as many strikeouts as homers. Name them. Willie Stargell, Jim Thome, Dave Kingman, José Canseco, and Reggie Jackson.

Of the hitters who have hit 400 or more homeruns, only 6 have fewer than twice as many strikeouts as homers. Name them. They are Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Lou Gehrig, Mel Ott, Hank Aaron, and Babe Ruth.

Of pitchers with more than 2000 IP, who has the best SO/BB ratio in modern (1900 -) baseball history? It's Curt Schilling. He had 3,116 strikeouts, and 711 walks, for a ratio of 4.38 to one! 

Since 1951, who had the most stolen bases in one season without being caught? Chase Utley of the Phillies set a new record for this in 2009 - with 23 straight steals. Alcides Escobar was 22-0 in 2013. Quintin Berry (2012) and Kevin McReynolds (1988) were 21-0. Carlos Beltran, now with the Cardinals, stole 28 straight for the Astros in 2004, but he played for the Royals that season, as well. He was "only" 14 for 17 in stolen base attempts with Kansas City. 42 for 45 for the season - not too shabby!  

Of pitchers with more than 2000 IP, who had the fewest strikeouts per inning in modern (1900 -) baseball history? That would be Jack Russell, who struck out 418 hitters in 2,051 IP from 1926 to 1940 - an average of 1.83 strikeouts per 9 IP!

Of pitchers with more than 2000 IP, who had the fewest walks per inning in modern (1900 -) baseball history? Cy Young wins that honor. From 1900 through 1911, he walked 449 in 3,334 1/3 innings, an average of 1.11 walks per 9 innings. He won 244 and lost 165 in that period.

What player had the most Stolen Bases in a single-season in which he was caught more frequently than he was successful? He's better known, in baseball, for something other than playing the game. In 1914, Miller Huggins stole 32 bases; he was caught 36 times!

Who is the only player in (post-1900) MLB history to have at least 5000 PA with a lifetime batting average over .300 and an OBA under .340? Ralph Garr (.306/.339) , who played for the Braves, White Sox, and/or Angels from 1968 to 1980 wins that honor!

The Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Yankees competed in 44 World Series games. Name the only player who played in every one of them. Pee Wee Reese.

What player had 30 triples (total - 16 one season, 14 the next) over two consecutive seasons - without any stolen bases? Johnny Mize had 16 triples in 1938 and 14 in 1939. He had no stolen bases.

What pitcher, with at least 162 IP, had the highest single-season ERA in the last 30 years? José Lima "wins" that award with his 6.99 ERA in 2005 with the Kansas City Royals. 

This sounds the same as the last question, but it's not: What pitcher, with enough innings to qualify for the ERA title, had the highest single-season ERA in the last 30 years? Jim Deshaies gets the honor here. His ERA with the Minnesota Twins in 1994 was 7.39. He only pitched 130 1/3 innings that year - but it was enough to "qualify" in that strike-shortened season.

What outfielder, with enough plate appearances to qualify for the title, had the lowest single-season slugging average in the last 30 years? That would be Astros Centerfielder Gerald Young's 1989 season. In 146 games, he had a slugging average of .276! His batting average was .233 and he had no homeruns. He DID steal 34 bases that year - in 59 attempts!

What pitcher had the most combined wins and saves in his career? Mariano Rivera, 734!

Who was the first switch hitter to hit a home run from each side of the plate in a single game, twiceThe answer is Jim Russell. He did it for the Braves on June 7, 1948, and for the Dodgers on July 26, 1950. He hit only 67 homeruns in his career. Mickey Mantle had his third switch-hit-homer game on May 18, 1956, to set the new record.  

One season (after 1913, when MLB started to keep track of hitter's strikeouts), a hitter had more than 220 hits, more than 25 homeruns, a batting average over .350, AND struck out fewer than 10 times! Name the player and the season. Boston Braves outfielder Tommy Holmes (224, 28, .352) did it in 1945. That was also the year that Holmes set the, then, NL record of getting a hit in 37 straight games. He led the league in hits, doubles, home runs, slugging average, and OPS that year, but finished second to the Cubs Phil Cavarretta (by .003) for the batting title. Cavarretta won the MVP award!

What pitcher had the most consecutive seasons with at least 20 wins and 200 or more strikeouts? Walter Johnson accomplished that dual feat from 1910 through 1916 (7 years). He won 199 games during that stretch, and maintained an ERA of 1.56 - never exceeding 1.90!  

What pitcher had the most consecutive seasons with at least 200 IP and an ERA lower than his league's ERA? He did it for 17 straight seasons! Warren Spahn did it from 1947 through 1963.

What hitter had the most consecutive seasons with at least 400 plate appearances, a batting average of at least .300 AND an On Base Average of at least .400? There's that number 17 again - Ty Cobb did it from 1909 through 1925. 

Who is the only MLB player to have a career (more than 5000 plate appearances) OBA more than .150 above his Batting Average? Max Bishop (2B, primarily for the Philadelphia A's, back in the 20s and early 30s) had a lifetime batting average of .271 and an OBA of .423. Gene Tenace (.241/.388/.147), Barry Bonds (.298/.444/.146), Eddie Stanky (.268/.410/.142), Eddie Yost (.254/.394/.140), Ted Williams (.344/.482/.138), Adam Dunn (.249/.383/.134), Babe Ruth (.342/.474/.132), and Mark McGwire (.263/.394/.131) round out the OBA more than .130 above his Batting Average group. Now, THAT would be a lineup!

What player had a 5-year cumulative batting average over .400?! From 1921 through 1925, St. Louis Cardinal secondbaseman  Rogers Hornsby maintained a 5-season average of .402! In 696 games, he had 2,679 at bats, 1,078 hits, 206 doubles, 66 triples, 144 homeruns, a .690 slugging percentage, and a .474 OBA (OPS of 1.164)!

What is the most homeruns hit in a single season by a hitter who struck out fewer times than he homered? Who did it? Johnny Mize, of the New York Giants, hit 51 homeruns in 1947, with only 42 strikeouts. Of course, playing his home games in the Polo Grounds helped bring up the homer total.  In 1934, Lou Gehrig hit 49 homeruns, and only struck out 31 times! Roger Maris, by the way, only struck out 67 times when he hit 61 in '61.

Some impressive numbers on the other side of that ratio: Rick Monday hit 8 homeruns in 1968, and struck out 143 times! Benji Gil had 9 HR's with 147 K's in 1995, and Jóse Hernandez had 13 homeruns in 2003 - and 177 K's!

Who is the only player to pinch hit for Ted Williams? Carroll Hardy is the answer. Here's a more complete story, as found in http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carroll_Hardy, a highly-recommended website.

Late in the 1960 season, Hardy was on the bench for the Boston Red Sox. Ted Williams, in the final days of his Hall of Fame career, fouled a ball off his foot in the first inning of a game on September 20. After he limped off the field, Hardy finished the at-bat for him, becoming the only player ever to do so. Hardy lined into a double play. On September 28 at Fenway Park, in his final major league appearance, Williams hit his 521st and last home run against Jack Fischer of the Baltimore Orioles. In the ninth inning, he was replaced by Hardy in left field. "They booed me all the way out and cheered him all the way in," Hardy later remembered. Then, on May 31, 1961, Hardy pinch-hit for rookie Carl Yastrzemski, making him the only player in major league history to go in for both future Hall of Famers.

Also in that Wikipedia article: Most die-hard baseball fans know that Hardy has the honor of being the only player ever to pinch-hit for Ted Williams, but few people know that Hardy's pinch-hit resume goes well beyond this claim to trivia immortality. A reserve for the majority of his career, he debuted with the Cleveland Indians in the 1958 season. On May 18, celebrating his 25th birthday, he pinch-hit for Roger Maris and belted his first major league homerun, a three-run blast off Billy Pierce, to lead Cleveland to a 7–4 victory over the Chicago White Sox.

Of pitchers who have thrown at least 800 innings in the majors, who was the toughest to hit (that is, gave up the fewest hits per inning)? Herb Score was the answer until Billy Wagner reached 800 innings in 2008. Yes, they gave up fewer hits per inning than Nolan Ryan, Sandy Koufax, or Pedro Martinez! Wagner, through 2009, has given up only 6.08 hits per 9 IP in his career.

If you have a baseball stats trivia question, send it to dwight@xera-baseball.com. We'll be glad to research it, and send you the answer. If we think it'll be of general interest to baseball fans, we'll publish it on this site.   

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