Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Baseball Trivia: In The Company Of Famers

DID YOU KNOW? Bo Bichette, who is turning 23 today, has already cracked the top 10 in homers hit……for players born on March 5th. His 16 career Bichette Blasts put him exactly in 10th place on that list.

Of all active players born this day, Kyle Schwarber has the most with 121 round-trippers. Now, the guy with the most home runs of all March 5th babies is the answer to today’s trivia.

He never played with Bo’s dad, Dante Bichette, but got close, as far as Six Degrees of Octavio Dotel goes (that’s my nickname for Baseball Reference’s Oracle tool). They both played with Brian Daubach, a name that looms oddly large in my mind for as short of a career as he had. Daubach was our mystery man’s teammate for just the 2003 season, but never once shared the infield with him in 49 starts at first base. In the midst of Daubach’s brief few seasons, he crossed paths with Bichette at the twilight of his playing days, but in the early days for our mysterious masher.

Not quite the right kind of mashing, Aaron. Aaron was a teammate of our trivia ticket, by the way.

This big right-handed first baseman played all but 81 of his career games for the same American League team. He is in the top 100 all-time for total bases; 83rd place with 4083. That’s 19 ahead of Wade Boggs! On the all-time list for grounded into double plays, he’s 18th with 282. Wouldn’t you know, that’s five less than Derek Jeter? He has the same number of World Series rings as Boggs – and a bunch less than Jeter – but at least he didn’t sell out to win with the Yankees.

A six-time All-Star and an ALCS MVP, yet never a Silver Slugger, despite a four-year run averaging 37 homers and 105 RBIs, an .894 OPS, and an ISO that hovered around .245. One time his teammate and highly efficient starting pitcher threw a nutty-accurate behind-the-back pass to him on a grounder up the first base line. Widely underrated as part of the play, was our mystery man’s excellent bare-handed catch to ensure the out. He never won a Gold Glove either.

For his career, he is among a list of only 32 names of players who have 1100 or more runs scored, 430-plus bombs, at least 1400 driven in, an on-base percentage north of .350, and 2300 or more hits. While he outhit four Hall of Famers – Harmon Killebrew, Willie McCovey, Willie Stargell, and Mike Schmidt – on that list, he has only bested 2% of the BBWAA vote in his lone year on the ballot. Interestingly enough, he has the lowest bWAR (28.0) on that list, by quite a sizeable margin; some 29.5 back of Stargell; should give you some decent context. Who is this sure-handed slugger?

Here’s the ANSWER for when you wimp out and give up.

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