Forget the home run record. My question is, how do we deal with baseball trivia in the steroid era? It's hard enough sifting through mountains of information. Do we have to put an asterisk beside any question that involves a suspected steroid user? Should we leave those guys out altogether?
Imagine trivia without Barry Bonds. You could have a whole quiz with questions just about Bonds. Did you know that Bonds and his father, Bobby Bonds, are the only two players with 300 home runs and 400 stolen bases? That one should pose no harm, since Barry probably hit his first 300 dingers before resorting to any chemical help.
Rafael Palmeiro is the only player among the top 20 in career homers who never led the league. Should we deny him a place in future quizzes, the way he denied being on the juice?
For now, my inclination is to simply look the other way. Here it is, my annual baseball trivia quiz, produced without the aid of any performance-enhancing drugs -- aside from coffee, that is. (Answers on Page D4.)
1. There are only four players with 10,000 or more career at-bats who don't have 3,000 hits. A big clue: Three of them were teammates on a World Series champion in the 1960s.
2. Lou Gehrig had seven seasons with 200 hits and 100 walks. Babe Ruth did it three times. The feat was accomplished just one other time by a Yankee. Name the player and the year. A clue: He has played the most postseason games in major league history.
3. He needs one save to move past Rollie Fingers into eighth on the career list. But he's never led his league in saves. Who is he?
4. Name the four players who have amassed 3,000 hits, 300 home runs and 200 stolen bases. I'll narrow it down a bit: They all played in the 1970s.
5. No player had 240 hits in a season for more than half a century from 1930 to 1984. Three players have done it since then. Two of them are active. One of them has done it twice.
6. In 1964, rookies led both leagues in total bases. Name each player and his team.
7. Arizona's Brandon Webb won the Cy Young Award last year for a team with a losing record. That hadn't happened since 1997, when the Cy winner in both leagues played for a loser. Name the pitchers and the teams.
8. Who is the only switch-hitter in the last 70 years to lead the National League in home runs? During his prime from 1987 to '91, he averaged 31 homers and 33 stolen bases a year.
9. Earlier this season, the Mets' Tom Glavine became the eighth left-hander with at least 2,500 strikeouts. Name the other seven. Lots of cheap points here.
10. Back by popular demand, alphabet trivia. Five players whose last name begins with the letter "G" have hit 49 or more home runs in a season. Again, a few gimmes here.
11. He's the only Yankees pitcher to win 20 games four years in a row. He's second on the Yankees' career list in wins, shutouts and innings pitched. It might help to know he has the highest earned run average (3.80) of any pitcher in the Hall of Fame.
12. Name the six switch-hitters with 300 career home runs. If you can't name the switch-hitter with the most dingers, what in the world are you even doing taking this quiz?
13. In 1951, he led the Yankees with seven saves and he also led them with seven shutouts. Two of those shutouts were no-hitters. In one of them, Ted Williams was the final out when he fouled out to Yogi Berra. Who is this amazing Yank?
14. Two teams have had three teammates win the batting title, MVP and Cy Young in the same season. Name the teams, the years and the players.
15. Who was the last Yankees pitcher to lead the AL in strikeouts? I'll give it to you on a platter: He's more renowned for giving up a famous home run.
16. Name the three pitchers who had 3,000 career strikeouts but never appeared in a World Series.
17. He and Dennis Eckersley are the only pitchers with at least 100 wins, 300 saves and 1,500 strikeouts. Somehow, he's still not in the Hall of Fame.
18. Barry Bonds has hit 65 home runs since turning 40. Who has the record for home runs after his 40th birthday? That doesn't count a fairly memorable homer he hit in the World Series.
19. Pete Rose is the only switch-hitter to win three batting titles. Name the only other switch-hitter who won more than one.
20. Name the three players who have hit at least 100 home runs for three different franchises. One of them is active.
Trivia Quiz Answers
1. Frank Robinson, Brooks Robinson, Luis Aparicio and Rabbit Maranville. The Robinsons and Aparicio played for the 1966 Orioles.
2. Bernie Williams, 1999. 3. Billy Wagner.
4. Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, George Brett and Dave Winfield.
5. Wade Boggs (240 hits in 1985), Darin Erstad (240 in 2000) and Ichiro Suzuki (242 in 2001, 262 in 2004).
6. Dick Allen (then known as Richie) led the NL. Minnesota's Tony Oliva led the AL.
7. Montreal's Pedro Martinez and Toronto's Roger Clemens.
8. Howard Johnson.
9. Steve Carlton, Randy Johnson, Mickey Lolich, Frank Tanana, Chuck Finley, Warren Spahn and Jerry Koosman.
10. Hank Greenberg, Shawn Green, Lou Gehrig, Luis Gonzalez, Ken Griffey.
11. Red Ruffing. Red Sox fans might be interested to know that Ruffing had a dismal record of 39-96 with Boston before moving to the Yanks in 1930. 12. Mickey Mantle, Eddie Murray, Chipper Jones, Chili Davis, Reggie Smith and Ruben Sierra.
13. Allie Reynolds.
14. The 1962 Dodgers -- Maury Wills (MVP), Tommy Davis (batting title) and Don Drysdale (Cy Young); the 2006 Twins -- Justin Morneau (MVP), Joe Mauer (batting title) and Johan Santana (Cy Young).
15. Al Downing.
16. Ferguson Jenkins, Phil Niekro and Gaylord Perry. Perry spent time with the 1962 Giants but didn't appear in the Series that year.
17. Goose Gossage.
18. Carlton Fisk with 72.
19. Willie McGee (1985, 1990).
20. Reggie Jackson (A's, Yankees, Angels), Alex Rodriguez (Mariners, Rangers, Yankees) and Darrell Evans (Braves, Giants, Tigers).