In baseball, the Holliday season started in July, when the Baltimore Orioles took a high school infielder named Jackson Holliday with the first pick in the amateur draft. He played like a happy Holliday, reaching base in nearly half of his 90 plate appearances in the minor leagues.
Jackson’s father, Matt, wore red (for the St. Louis Cardinals) and green (for the Oakland Athletics), and while he never played with Candy (Maldonado), he homered three times off Cain (Matt). He also played for Tony La Russa, who once managed a fellow named Steve Christmas.
Matt Holliday played his last game in 2018, the same year Gift Ngoepe – the first major league player from Africa – played his. And here is our annual gift to you: a baseball quiz put together with care, in hopes that your answers soon will be there.
1. With 62 home runs in 2022, Aaron Judge, the American League winner of the MVP award, has 216 homers across the past six seasons (2017 to 2022), easily the most in Major League Baseball. Who ranks second?
a. Nolan Arenado
b. Bryce Harper
c. Kyle Schwarber
d. Eugenio Suárez
2. Paul Goldschmidt, the National League’s MVP, is a former eighth-round draft pick. Only two other MVPs in the 2000s have been drafted lower. One is Albert Pujols. Who is the other?
a. Josh Donaldson
b. Ryan Howard
c. Jeff Kent
d. Dustin Pedroia
3. Only two pitchers have won three Cy Young Awards, thrown three no-hitters and won two World Series championships. One is Justin Verlander, the reigning AL winner. Who is the other?
a. Bob Gibson
b. Sandy Koufax
c. Tim Lincecum
d. Max Scherzer
4. Sandy Alcantara won the first NL Cy Young Award in Miami Marlins history, leaving only two franchises that have never had a pitcher win the award, which was first given in 1956. One is the Colorado Rockies. Which is the other?
a. Los Angeles Angels
b. Pittsburgh Pirates
c. Texas Rangers
d. Cincinnati Reds
5. Both rookies of the year, Julio Rodríguez in the AL and Michael Harris II in the NL, had at least 20 stolen bases. When was the last time that happened?
a. 2018 (Shohei Ohtani and Ronald Acuña Jr.)
b. 1996 (Derek Jeter and Todd Hollandsworth)
c. 1973 (Al Bumbry and Gary Matthews)
d. It had never happened before
PICK TWO TEAMS
1. Which two franchises have reached only one World Series and lost it? (Pick two) Milwaukee Brewers, Washington Nationals, San Diego Padres, Rangers, Tampa Bay Rays, Rockies
2. The New York Yankees have faced 12 AL teams in the postseason. Which are the two teams they have not faced? (Pick two) Toronto Blue Jays, Seattle Mariners, Orioles, Rangers, Kansas City Royals, Chicago White Sox)
3. Which are the only teams with more than 100 losses in 2022? (Pick two) Athletics, Chicago Cubs, Nationals, Pirates, Reds, Royals
4. The Mariners returned to the playoffs in October for the first time since 2001. Which two teams now share the longest active playoff drought? (Pick two) Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Marlins, Orioles, Pirates, Detroit Tigers
5. The Houston Astros are the only expansion team with an overall winning record. Which two expansion teams have the next-best overall winning percentage, both at .498? (Pick two) Angels, Blue Jays, Diamondbacks, Expos/Nationals, New York Mets, Rays
1. Albert Pujols’ strong final season nudged his career wins above replacement total past the 100 mark, to 101.6 WAR. Among Hall of Famers who played their entire careers in the expansion era (1961 to present), who has the most WAR?
a. Johnny Bench
b. Steve Carlton
c. Greg Maddux
d. Rickey Henderson
2. Yadier Molina collected eight NL Gold Gloves in a row from 2008 through 2015. Which three AL catchers won Gold Gloves during those years? (Hint: One was an AL MVP, one was a World Series MVP and one finished his career as Molina’s backup in St. Louis.)
3. David Price retired with 157 wins, four short of the record by pitchers drafted No. 1 overall. Who holds the record?
a. Floyd Bannister
b. Mike Moore
c. Gerrit Cole
d. Andy Benes
4. Stephen Vogt finished his 10-year career with a home run in his final at-bat for the Athletics. Which two-time MVP runner-up was the last Oakland player to do this, in 1982?
a. Sal Bando
b. Gene Tenace
c. Joe Rudi
d. Dwayne Murphy
5. Kurt Suzuki retired with the most career hits (1,421) for players born in Hawaii. Who is second on that list?
a. Shane Victorino
b. Benny Agbayani
c. Kolten Wong
d. Lenn Sakata
TWO PLAYERS, SAME ACHIEVEMENTS
1. Carlos Beltrán is a retired switch-hitter with 350 or more homers who played in the World Series for the Astros and the Cardinals, just like: Who?
2. Tony Gwynn was a left-handed-hitting Hall of Famer with 3,000 hits who played for only one team and reached the World Series twice, losing both times, just like: Who?
3. Jim Palmer is a Hall of Famer who beat Sandy Koufax in the World Series and also won a championship as a reliever in the 1980s, just like: Who?
4. Mike Trout is an expansion-era right-handed hitter with multiple MVP awards and a career .300 average, .400 on-base percentage and .500 slugging percentage (min. 1,000 games), just like this Hall of Famer: Who?
5. Giancarlo Stanton has been an MVP, an All-Star Game MVP and a Home Run Derby winner, but has never played in a World Series, just like this Hall of Famer: Who?
1. Use the clue to name the player whose last name is an animal:
a. Hall of Fame second baseman who led AL in hits four times in the 1950s:
b. Pirates righty who no-hit the Mets in September 1969:
c. Slugger who led majors in strikeouts four times from 1987 to 1993:
d. First player to have four hits, including two homers, in a World Series game (2002):
e. Astros righty who started the clinching game of the 2019 American League Championship Series versus the Yankees:
2. Use the clue to name the player whose last name is a color:
A. Hit four home runs in Milwaukee on May 23, 2002:
B. Second baseman whose No. 20 is retired by the Royals:
C. Threw a no-hitter and made two World Series starts in 1997:
D. Last switch-hitter to win AL MVP Award (1971):
E. Righty who started playoff games for A’s and Yankees in 2010s:
3. Use the clue to name a player whose last name is the same as a U.S. president:
A. Lefty for 1985 Royals who pitched the only immaculate inning in World Series history:
B. Pitcher whose No. 19 is retired by the White Sox:
C. Earned his 300th victory with the San Francisco Giants in 2009:
D. Lefty who won the 1961 AL Cy Young Award:
E. Losing pitcher for Texas in Game 7 of the 2011 World Series:
Can you identify each pair of players whose last names rhyme?
1. Most career starts as a Met without starting in the World Series/Pitcher who won three World Series for the Yankees, one for the White Sox:
2. Earned 300th career victory at Yankee Stadium in 1985/Winning pitcher for the Cardinals in the 2006 World Series clincher:
3. Earned Padres’ only victory in 2022 National League Championship Series/Only player with 50 doubles and 50 homers in a season (1995):
4. Set NL record for longest consecutive games streak (1,207 games from 1975 to 1983)/Starting pitcher for NL in 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field:
5. Pitched perfect game at Texas in 1984/Holds record for most seasons as NL home run leader (eight)
1. How many times have the Astros eliminated the Yankees from the AL playoffs?
2. Dusty Baker made his MLB playing debut with Atlanta on Sept. 7, 1968, against the Astros. Which three Hall of Famers started for the Braves that day?
3. Only one shortstop besides Jeremy Peña has won a league championship series and World Series MVP award in the same season. Who is he?
a. Bucky Dent
b. Derek Jeter
c. Edgar Renteria
d. Corey Seager
4. Match the Astros standout with the organization that first signed him:
5. The Astros have more combined no-hitters than any other franchise – four, including their four-pitcher effort in the World Series. Can you name the last four Astros to throw complete game no-hitters? The years were 1986, 1993, 2015 and 2019.
1. Bryce Harper won the MVP award in 2021 and led the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series in 2022. Who is the only player to win an MVP for the Phillies but never play for them in the World Series?
a. Dick Allen
b. Chuck Klein
c. Robin Roberts
d. Scott Rolen
2. Who, besides J.T. Realmuto, is the only position player in major league history to play only for the Phillies and the Marlins?
a. Alex Arias
b. Darren Daulton
c. Jim Eisenreich
d. A.J. Ellis
3. Before David Robertson, who was the last player to appear in the World Series for both the Phillies and the Yankees?
a. Mariano Duncan
b. Charlie Hayes
c. Raúl Ibañez
d. Sparky Lyle
4. Match the Phillies player with his college:
Alec Bohm, Rhys Hoskins, Aaron Nola, Kyle Schwarber
Louisiana State/Indiana/Sacramento State/Wichita State
5. Ranger Suárez sent the Phillies to the World Series by saving the NLCS clincher against the Padres. Can you name the other lefties who have been on the mound when the Phillies won the NLCS?
a. Tug McGraw and J.C. Romero
b. Al Holland and Mitch Williams
c. Mitch Williams and J.C. Romero
d. Tug McGraw and Willie Hernandez
Pick Two Teams
1. Brewers and Rockies
2. Blue Jays and White Sox
3. Athletics and Nationals
4. Angels and Tigers
5. Angels and Blue Jays
2. Joe Mauer, Salvador Perez, Matt Wieters
Two Players, Same Achievements
1. Lance Berkman
2. Carl Yastrzemski
3. Jim Kaat
4. Frank Thomas
5. Ken Griffey Jr.
A. Nellie Fox
B. Bob Moose
C. Rob Deer
D. Tim Salmon
E. Brad Peacock
A. Shawn Green
B. Frank White
C. Kevin Brown
D. Vida Blue
E. Sonny Gray
A. Danny Jackson
B. Billy Pierce
C. Randy Johnson
D. Whitey Ford
E. Matt Harrison
1. Sid Fernandez, Orlando Hernández
2. Tom Seaver, Jeff Weaver
3. Blake Snell, Albert Belle
4. Steve Garvey, Matt Harvey
5. Mike Witt, Mike Schmidt
2. Hank Aaron, Phil Niekro, Joe Torre
4. Alvarez-Dodgers; Maldonado-Angels; Montero-Mets; Pressly-Red Sox
5. Mike Scott, Darryl Kile, Mike Fiers, Justin Verlander
4. Bohm-Wichita State; Hoskins-Sacramento State; Nola-Louisiana State; Schwarber-Indiana