WHO AM I?
A Baseball History Quiz
By Glenn Guzzo
Strat-O-Matic’s glossy-carded 2001 Hall of Fame Baseball set is still a great Christmas gift. Can you identity these stars from that set of 192 all-time greats?
Even if you can’t, this quiz will give you a fascinating history lesson.
The answers are at the bottom of the quiz.
1. About one-third of the pitchers in this set have “N” power, but only I am an 8N hitter.
2. We are 1-2 in our ability to strike out left-handed hitters. We are 1-2 in our ability to fan right-handed hitters. But those Ks come at a cost: We are the only pitchers with fewer than 10 double-play chances.
3. Hall of Fame pitchers don’t balk much. Well, all but me. My BK rating is more than double the next highest rating.
4. Among all the pitchers in the Hall of Fame who could fool both hitters – and their own catchers – with knuckleballs, spitballs and split-finger fastballs, the two of us are the only pitchers in the set with wild pitch ratings of zero. Can you name either of us?
5. Great pitching and great fielding don’t always go together. Only three of the 61 pitches in the set have zero error ratings (e0) in this set. Can you name any of us?
of pitchers have no ballpark-homer diamonds on their cards. I am the only one with 5 diamonds.
7. I am one of only two pitchers with no walks on their cards, but I pay a price for that pinpoint control – I have the most ballpark-homer diamonds vs. RH hitters – 3.
8. I yield no walks and no ballpark homers.
9. I am the only pitcher who doesn’t even allow ballpark singles to RH hitters.
10. I am the only pitcher with fewer than 10 on-base chances vs. RH hitters, but I barely scratch the top 25 among 61 pitchers in on-base vs. lefty hitters.
11. Surprise – I am a Dead Ball pitcher, but I rank third in carded strikeouts
12. Only 14 of us southpaws are in this set, but I yield more on-base and more total bases to left-handed hitters than anyone, lefty or righty.
13. I am practically unhittable by lefties – 2.4 hit chances, 4.8 total bases, 0 homers, no ballpark singles or homers. Alas, I walk more lefties than anyone. More righties, too.
14. Only three of us are 6-rated closers: Rollie Fingers, Hoyt Wilhelm and me.
The Position Players
15. I am the only player rated 1 defensively at two infield positions.
16. Ernie Lombardi is considered perhaps the slowest man ever to be a baseball star. I alone in this set can match his Running 1-8 rating. The much bigger upside: I am No. 2 in total bases vs. RHP, more even than Babe Ruth.
17. I am the only player whose only position is 2B, 3B or SS and who has no * steal rating.
18. Talk about a one-dimensional Hall of Famer. Nobody else comes close to this combination of bad ratings: I am a 4 defensively wherever you play me, only one of seven who is a 4 at his primary position. I have a +2 arm in the outfield, one of eight that bad. Only four of us are both a 4(+2) in the outfield. I am one of the worst half dozen base runners at 1-9. I am one of six whose primary position is anything but C or 1B who is not an asterisk stealer. I am one of three with both D-D bunt and hit-and-run ratings.
19. Three guesses who has the -5 throwing arms in the outfield: Roberto Clemente, Willie Mays and me.
20. Seventeen very special players are * stealers, 1-17 runners, A bunters, B hit-and-run guys, 1 defensively with a minus arm (if a C or OF). As you might expect, 14 were Dead Ball players. How many of us other three can you name. (Hint: 1 was a Pre-War II player, two Post-War).
21. I am the only batter with no walks on my card.
22. Eight batters in this set have “w” power vs. both LHP and RHP. Most of those are catchers (like Ray Schalk) and middle infielders (like Nellie Fox and Dave Bancroft). But two of us are outfielders. Of course, it was the Veterans Committee who voted us in, not the more selective writers.
23. Babe Ruth is No. 1 in home run chances vs. LHP and vs. RHP. We runners-up may surprise you. HINT: It’s not Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Frank Robinson, Ted Williams or Mike Schmidt. NEXT HINT: No. 2 vs. RHP is an infielder. No. 2 and No. 3 vs. LHP are catchers.
24. Only 43 of 131 batters go up in the clutch (another 10 are 0), and only two of us are double-digit + in the clutch.
25. Every batter can hit ground ball double plays on their cards. Only I have a mere 1 chance on each side of my card.
26. You’ve heard all about lefty-bashers in Strat-O-Matic, but to make the
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1. 8N hitter: Red Ruffing
2. Top two strikeout pitchers: Sandy Koufax and Nolan Ryan
3. Highest BK rating: Steve Carlton
4. wp-0 ratings: Dizzy Dean and Al Spalding
5. e0 ratings: Candy Cummings, Kid Nichols and Hoyt Wilhelm
6. 5 ballpark diamonds: Robin Roberts
7. Control, but HR vulnerability: Juan Marichal
8. No walks, no ballpark homers: Pud Galvin
9. No ballpark singles vs. RH hitters: Sandy Koufax
10. Tops vs. RH hitters: Walter Johnson
11. Dead Ball strikeout artist: Rube Waddell
12. LHP weak vs. LH hitters: Herb Pennock
13. Few hits, many walks: Nolan Ryan
14. 6-rated closer: Three Finger Brown
The Position Players
15. 1-rated IF: Bobby Wallace (SS and 3B)
16. 1-8 speed, with 2nd best TB vs. RHP: Willie Stargell (81.7 TB; Rogers Hornsby has 82.2)
17: IF without * stealing: Brooks Robinson
18: One-dimensional player: Harmon Killebrew
19. -5 OF arm: Sam Thompson
20. Post-Dead Ball players with speed, bat control and defense:
Frankie Frisch, Luis Aparicio and Joe Morgan, all infielders
21. Walk-less batter: Charles Comiskey
22: OFs with “w” power: Richie Ashburn and Lloyd Waner
23: High HR chances: Eddie Mathews vs. RHP (10.4 HR chances to Ruth’s 12.0) and Roy Campanella and Ernie Lombardi vs. LHP (11.3 and 10.2 chances to Ruth’s 15.0)
24: Double-digit plus in the clutch:
Cap Anson and Travis Jackson (both +10 vs. LHP and RHP)
25: Lowest DP-hitter: Richie Ashburn
26. Billy Hamilton