George F. Will: Batter up!
THINK YOU'RE READY for Opening Day? Prove it. Name the person or persons who:
1. Hit the most home runs in the 1960s.
2. In 2011, joined Hank Aaron, Brooks Robinson and Pete Rose as the only players to appear in at least 140 games for 16 consecutive seasons.
3. Had the most hits in the 1950s.
4. Played for the Boston Braves, Milwaukee Braves and Atlanta Braves.
5. Had the most hits in the 1990s.
6. Had the most hits in the 1940s.
7. Holds the career record for grounding into double plays.
8. Hit .322 with 42 homers and 129 RBIs in 1970 and .333 with 37 homers and 122 RBIs in 1972, but finished second to Johnny Bench in MVP voting both years.
9. Pitched the most wins in the 1960s.
10. Has the most career hits without winning a batting title.
11. Led the majors in total bases in the 1980s, ahead of Hall of Famers Mike Schmidt, Eddie Murray, Robin Yount and Andre Dawson.
12. Is the only pitcher to hurl a shutout in four decades.
13. Only once in a 22-year career — in his last season, when he was 42 — struck out three times in a game.
14. Allowed the fewest hits per nine innings in a career.
15. Started more World Series games than any other pitcher.
16. Is the only catcher to lead a league in triples.
17. Turned an unassisted triple play in a World Series.
18. Played more than 500 games each at catcher, first and third base.
19. Has the highest single season batting average since 1901.
20. Led American League pitchers in wins in the 1960s.
21. Has 283 wins (more than 40 Hall of Fame pitchers) and 16 Gold Gloves but is not in Cooperstown.
22. Played the most games of anyone whose entire career was with one team.
23. Was the only player to win the Cy Young Award after being traded in midseason.
24. Led their three respective teams in career singles, doubles, triples and home runs.
25. Was the only lefthander since 1900 to win at least 350 games.
26. Won an American League batting title without hitting a home run.
27. Had the best career pitching record against the Yankees.
28. Leads all third basemen in combined hits and walks.
29. Is the last pitcher to win at least 20 games in four consecutive seasons.
30. Pitched three Braves wins over the Yankees in the 1957 seven-game World Series.
31. Pitched three Tigers wins over the Cardinals in the 1968 seven-game Series.
32. Pitched three Giants wins over the Athletics in the five-game 1905 Series.
33. Pitched a record 24 consecutive wins.
34. Holds the National League career record for grand slam home runs.
35. Has appeared in more games than any other pitcher.
36. Had a career batting average of .356 but never won a batting title.
37. Got at least 100 extra-base hits in two consecutive seasons.
38. Won Rookie of the Year, MVP and Cy Young awards (not in the same season).
39. Pitched the most consecutive strikeouts in one game.
40. Hit his last three home runs in one game.
41. Before David Freese did it in Game 6 of last year's World Series, were the only two players to hit an extra-inning walk-off home run when facing elimination.
42. Was hitting .394 when the players' strike ended the 1994 season on Aug. 12.
43. Said, “It beats rooming with Joe Page.”
(1) Harmon Killebrew. (2) Johnny Damon. (3) Richie Ashburn. (4) Eddie Mathews. (5) Mark Grace. (6) Lou Boudreau. (7) Cal Ripken. (8) Billy Williams. (9) Juan Marichal. (10) Paul Molitor. (11) Dale Murphy.
(12) Jamie Moyer. (13) Stan Musial. (14) Nolan Ryan. (15) Whitey Ford. (16) Tim McCarver. (17) Bill Wambsganss, Indians, 1920. (18) Joe Torre. (19) Napoleon Lajoie, .426 in 1901. (20) Jim Kaat. (21) Kaat. (22) Carl Yastrzemski.
(23) Rick Sutcliffe. (24) Musial (Cardinals), George Brett (Royals), Robin Yount (Brewers). (25) Warren Spahn. (26) Rod Carew. (27) Babe Ruth, 17-5, .773. (28) Wade Boggs. (29) Dave Stewart. (30) Lew Burdette. (31) Mickey Lolich. (32) Christy Mathewson. (33) Carl Hubbell.
(34) Willie McCovey, 18. (35) Jesse Orosco. (36) “Shoeless” Joe Jackson. (37) Todd Helton. (38) Don Newcombe and Justin Verlander. (39) Tom Seaver, 10. (40) Ruth. (41) Carlton Fisk, 1975, Red Sox, and Kirby Puckett, 1991, Twins. (42) Tony Gwynn. (43) Joe DiMaggio, about being married to Marilyn Monroe.
George Will is a commentator for ABC News and columnist for Newsweek in Washington, D.C.
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