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A baseball trivia quiz for the holidays

A baseball trivia quiz for the holidays

Here's 50 questions to go with that eggnog
A baseball trivia quiz for the holidays
Willie McCovey of the San Francisco Giants at batting practice before a game in June 1980.
Photographer: Larry C. Morris/The New York Times

When I was 7, my second-grade teacher assigned a project called “Christmas Is …” We each made a little book and filled every page with a different way to finish that sentence. Christmas is giving, Christmas is love, Christmas is Santa, and so on.

On one of my pages, I wrote “Christmas is Manny Trillo’s birthday” — which it was, of course. How did I know that? I was crazy about baseball, and he was the second baseman for my local team, the Philadelphia Phillies. How could I not know his birthday?

Retaining such trivia, I soon realized, was not normal. But what can I tell you? When baseball tidbits go into my brain, they usually don’t come out. I don’t know why this is, but at least I’ve made a career out of it.

So here is my gift to you, the baseball fan in winter: a wide-ranging trivia quiz to enjoy with that holiday eggnog. I made it 50 questions long, mostly because baseball fans like round numbers, but also to honor Charlie Morton of the Houston Astros, who wore No. 50 while closing out the seventh game of this year’s World Series at Dodger Stadium. Morton got a ground ball to second base — Trillo’s position.

Happy birthday, old friend, and warmest greetings to all!

Answers are below the quiz.

Paths to the Hall of Fame

1. Which of these Hall of Famers never played for the Oakland Athletics?

  • a) Billy Williams
  • b) Mike Piazza
  • c) Jim Bunning
  • d) Willie McCovey

2. Which of these Hall of Famers never played for the San Francisco Giants?

  • a) Phil Niekro
  • b) Steve Carlton
  • c) Duke Snider
  • d) Goose Gossage

3. Which of these Hall of Famers never played for the Astros?

  • a) Robin Roberts
  • b) Nellie Fox
  • c) Don Sutton
  • d) Luis Aparicio

4. Which of these Hall of Famers never played for the Los Angeles Angels?

  • a) Eddie Murray
  • b) Orlando Cepeda
  • c) Frank Robinson
  • d) Hoyt Wilhelm

5. Which of these Hall of Famers never played for the Boston Red Sox?

  • a) Fergie Jenkins
  • b) Juan Marichal
  • c) John Smoltz
  • d) Rollie Fingers

Team tidbits

1. The two highest numbers to be retired for players — 56 and 72 — were both retired for members of the Chicago White Sox. Who wore those numbers?

2. Who played the most games in the history of the Montreal Expos?

  • a) Jose Vidro
  • b) Tim Raines
  • c) Tim Wallach
  • d) Vladimir Guerrero

3. Who holds the Milwaukee Brewers’ franchise record for career wins (117)?

  • a) Teddy Higuera
  • b) Ben Sheets
  • c) Jim Slaton
  • d) Pete Vuckovich

4. Who is the only pitcher to win a World Series game for the San Diego Padres?

  • a) Tim Lollar
  • b) Andy Hawkins
  • c) Andy Ashby
  • d) Eric Show

5. Which pitcher started the most World Series games for the Big Red Machine in the 1970s?

  • a) Gary Nolan
  • b) Jack Billingham
  • c) Don Gullett
  • d) Tom Seaver

New York Yankees

1. Which four teams besides the Yankees did Billy Martin manage?

2. Who was on deck for the Yankees when Aaron Boone homered to win the 2003 American League Championship Series?

3. Which pitcher won the first regular-season game and the first World Series game at the new Yankee Stadium?

4. Which Yankee did not win an MVP Award in an ALCS?

  • a) Andy Pettitte
  • b) Orlando Hernandez
  • c) David Wells
  • d) David Cone

5. In the opening of the 1988 movie “Big,” which Yankees pitcher does Josh Baskin pretend to be?

  • a) Ron Guidry
  • b) Rick Rhoden
  • c) Dave Righetti
  • d) Ed Whitson

Common names, uncommon feats

1. Give the first name for each player named Williams:

  • a) Only player to hit 10 career homers off Bob Gibson
  • b) Scored on Kenny Rogers’ bases-loaded walk to end the Braves-Mets National League Championship Series in 1999
  • c) Won the 1971 NL Rookie of the Year Award for the Atlanta Braves
  • d) Hit a World Series home run for three different teams in three different decades

2. Give the first name for each player named Smith:

  • a) Struck out for the Colorado Rockies to end the 2007 World Series
  • b) Managed the Philadelphia Phillies, Cincinnati Reds and Detroit Tigers from 1955-1970
  • c) Won the World Series with three different teams in the 1980s
  • d) Allowed Tony Gwynn’s 3,000th career hit, against the Expos, in 1999

3. Give the first name for each player named Jones:

  • a) Leading winner (21-8) for the Yankees’ first championship team, in 1921
  • b) Caught the final out of the 1969 World Series for the New York Mets
  • c) Won the NL Cy Young Award in 1976 for the San Diego Padres
  • d) First All-Star in Seattle Mariners history (1977)

4. Give the first name for each player named Davis:

  • a) Won two NL batting titles for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1960s
  • b) Won the 1984 AL Rookie of the Year Award for the Mariners
  • c) Lost twice to Orel Hershiser for the A’s in the 1988 World Series
  • d) Allowed Randy Johnson’s only career home run, against the Brewers, in 2003

5. Give the first name for each player named Jackson:

  • a) Hall of Fame shortstop for the Giants in the 1920s and ‘30s
  • b) Was 8-20 for the 1962 Mets
  • c) Won Game 7 of the 1979 World Series for the Pittsburgh Pirates
  • d) MVP of the 1989 All-Star Game


1. Of the 16 pitchers to appear in 1,000 games, only four are left-handers. One is Dan Plesac. The three others pitched for the Mets. Who are they?

2. The Mets have had a different opening day starter in each of the last seven seasons. Name them.

  • 2011:
  • 2012:
  • 2013:
  • 2014:
  • 2015:
  • 2016:
  • 2017:

3. The Mets used the first pick of the 1966 draft on a high school catcher, Steve Chilcott, who never reached the majors. Who was picked second by the Kansas City A’s?

4. Which former Detroit Pistons forward did the Mets beat in Game 2 of the 1969 NLCS?

5. Who made the most career starts for the Mets without starting for them in the World Series?

  • a) Bobby Jones
  • b) Sid Fernandez
  • c) Craig Swan
  • d) David Cone

No-hitters and perfect games

1. Who are the only two pitchers to throw a no-hitter against the Kansas City Royals? (One in 1973, the other in 2008)

2. No pitcher has thrown two perfect games, but one catcher has caught two perfect games. Who is he?

  • a) Joe Girardi
  • b) Ron Hassey
  • c) Jeff Reed
  • d) A.J. Pierzynski

3. Which current manager made the last out of a perfect game?

  • a) Gabe Kapler
  • b) Mike Matheny
  • c) Dave Martinez
  • d) Craig Counsell

4. Which three pitchers have thrown no-hitters at Citi Field?

5. Who is the only St. Louis Cardinals pitcher to throw two no-hitters?

  • a) Jesse Haines
  • b) Bob Gibson
  • c) Bob Forsch
  • d) Darryl Kile

World Series

1. Name the four stadiums (none in use for baseball anymore) that have hosted the World Series and the Super Bowl.

2. Name each player’s team in his final World Series appearance:

  • Eddie Mathews:
  • Tony Perez:
  • Willie Randolph:
  • Eddie Murray:

3. Four prominent members of the World Series champion 1992 Toronto Blue Jays had the initials D.W. Who were they?

4. Who has played the most games (2,831) without ever reaching the World Series?

  • a) Rafael Palmeiro
  • b) Ken Griffey Jr.
  • c) Rod Carew
  • d) Ernie Banks

5. Which Hall of Famers made the last outs of the following World Series?

  • a) 1956:
  • b) 1962:
  • c) 1975:
  • d) 1984:
  • e) 2000:


1. Of the 17 pitchers chosen first overall in the draft, only two have at least 100 career victories and an ERA under 4.00. David Price is one. Who is the other?

  • a) Floyd Bannister
  • b) Tim Belcher
  • c) Andy Benes
  • d) Mike Moore

2. Only six No. 1 overall picks have won the World Series with the team that drafted them. Who are they?

3. Which Hall of Famers were drafted with consecutive picks in the second round in 1971?

  • a) Jim Rice and Dave Winfield
  • b) George Brett and Mike Schmidt
  • c) Carlton Fisk and Andre Dawson
  • d) Gary Carter and Dennis Eckersley

4. Which No. 1 overall draft pick played the most games in the majors?

  • a) Alex Rodriguez
  • b) Chipper Jones
  • c) B.J. Surhoff
  • d) Harold Baines

5. Which future NFL quarterback was not drafted by an MLB team?

  • a) Steve Young
  • b) Tom Brady
  • c) Dan Marino
  • d) Colin Kaepernick

Besides Babe Ruth …

1. Besides Babe Ruth, name the four Most Valuable Player Award winners who have four-letter first and last names. (Hint: three in the 1970s, one in the 2000s.)

2. Besides Babe Ruth, who is the only player with at least 600 homers and at least two World Series championships?

3. Besides Babe Ruth, who are the only three players to hit three home runs in a World Series game?

4. Besides Babe Ruth, who homered in the first All-Star Game in 1933?

  • a) Lou Gehrig
  • b) Al Simmons
  • c) Frankie Frisch
  • d) Bill Terry

5. Besides Babe Ruth, who are the only two players with four 50-homer seasons?

  • a) Sammy Sosa and Alex Rodriguez
  • b) Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire
  • c) Barry Bonds and Alex Rodriguez
  • d) Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire

Random fun

1. The subject of the very first color photo above the fold on the front page of The New York Times was a baseball player wearing No. 1 in October. Who was it?

  • a) Mookie Wilson in 1986
  • b) Otis Nixon in 1992
  • c) Tony Fernandez in 1997
  • d) Bengie Molina in 2002

2. Which pair of players were not born on the exact same day?

  • a) Greg Maddux and Dave Justice
  • b) David Cone and Edgar Martinez
  • c) Jeff Bagwell and Frank Thomas
  • d) Jorge Posada and Ramiro Mendoza

3. Who is the only player with 500 hits for four different teams?

  • a) Roberto Alomar
  • b) Rusty Staub
  • c) Gary Sheffield
  • d) Carlos Beltran

4. Which future NBA Hall of Famer was an active member of the Brooklyn Dodgers — though he never played a major league game — when the Giants’ Bobby Thomson hit “The Shot Heard Round the World” on Oct. 3, 1951?

5. Which three Hall of Famers were born on Christmas?


Paths to the Hall of Fame

  • 1-c) Jim Bunning
  • 2-a) Phil Niekro
  • 3-d) Luis Aparicio
  • 4-b) Orlando Cepeda
  • 5-d) Rollie Fingers

Team tidbits

  • 1-Mark Buehrle 56, Carlton Fisk 72
  • 2-c) Tim Wallach
  • 3-c) Jim Slaton
  • 4-b) Andy Hawkins
  • 5-a) Gary Nolan


  • 1-Twins, Tigers, Rangers, A’s
  • 2-Karim Garcia
  • 3-Cliff Lee
  • 4-d) David Cone
  • 5-b) Rick Rhoden

Common names

  • 1-Williams: a) Billy, b) Gerald, c) Earl, d) Matt
  • 2-Smith: a) Seth, b) Mayo, c) Lonnie, d) Dan
  • 3-Jones: a) Sad Sam, b) Cleon, c) Randy, d) Ruppert
  • 4-Davis: a) Tommy, b) Alvin, c) Storm, d) Doug
  • 5-Jackson: a) Travis, b) Al, c) Grant, d) Bo


  • 1-Jesse Orosco, Mike Stanton, John Franco
  • 2-2011: Mike Pelfrey; 2012: Johan Santana; 2013: Jon Niese; 2014: Dillon Gee; 2015: Bartolo Colon; 2016: Matt Harvey; 2017: Noah Syndergaard
  • 3-Reggie Jackson
  • 4-Ron Reed
  • 5-b) Sid Fernandez

No-hitters and perfect games

  • 1-Nolan Ryan 1973, Jon Lester 2008
  • 2-b) Ron Hassey (Len Barker and Dennis Martinez)
  • 3-a) Gabe Kapler (Dallas Braden)
  • 4-Johan Santana, Chris Heston, Max Scherzer
  • 5-c) Bob Forsch

World Series

  • 1-LA Coliseum, Joe Robbie/Pro Player Stadium, Metrodome, Jack Murphy/Qualcomm Stadium
  • 2-Eddie Mathews: Tigers; Tony Perez: Phillies; Willie Randolph: A’s; Eddie Murray: Indians
  • 3-Duane Ward, Devon White, Dave Winfield, David Wells
  • 4-a) Rafael Palmeiro
  • 5-1956: Jackie Robinson; 1962: Willie McCovey; 1975: Carl Yastrzemski; 1984: Tony Gwynn; 2000: Mike Piazza


  • 1-c) Andy Benes
  • 2-Darryl Strawberry (Mets), Chipper Jones (Braves), Darin Erstad (Angels), Pat Burrell (Phillies), Carlos Correa (Astros), Luke Hochevar (Royals)
  • 3-b) George Brett and Mike Schmidt
  • 4-d) Harold Baines
  • 5-a) Steve Young

Besides Babe Ruth

  • 1-Vida Blue, Pete Rose, Fred Lynn, Jeff Kent
  • 2-Albert Pujols
  • 3-Reggie Jackson, Albert Pujols, Pablo Sandoval
  • 4-c) Frankie Frisch
  • 5-b) Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire

Random fun

  • 1-Tony Fernandez
  • 2-d) Jorge Posada and Ramiro Mendoza
  • 3-b) Rusty Staub
  • 4-Bill Sharman
  • 5-Rickey Henderson, Nellie Fox, Pud Galvin
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