Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Baseball Trivia: More Comebacks Than Conway Twitty

On Opening Day this season, Miguel Cabrera hit a homer in the bottom of the first inning off of Shane Bieber, in a blizzard. It was a two-run shot – Jeimer Candelario had singled two batters before – and thus produced the first run of the 2021 MLB season.

That was the eighth time in the last 15 years that the season’s first runs were scored via the home run (53.3%). From 2018 through last season, the initial runs also came on home runs by, in chronological order, Ian Happ, Stephen Piscotty, and Giancarlo Stanton. Before that, in 2017, Evan Longoria drove in Corey Dickerson on a sacrifice fly – off of Masahiro Tanaka – to usher in the scoring. And Longo is the only one in that 15-year span to do it on a sac fly.

One year before that, the subject of our trivia question drove in the first run of the 2016 season with an RBI single off of Adam Wainwirght. He is the only player in that span to drive in the inaugural run of the season playing his position. His initials could stand for Fantasy Curling League. He bats and throws left-handed and finished his career with exactly 18.0 bWAR. His career slash line is a famished .156/.189/.197 and he struck out 9.4 times for every walk he drew, but surprisingly had a .244 BABIP. His career Average Exit Velocity was 87.9 (not quite elite) and 63.0% of his hits went to center field.

Despite that low AEV, he did have a Max EV of 109.1 during the 2016 season.

Fantasy Curling League’s 2016 Spray Chart. (Photo Credit: Author Screen Capture/Baseball Savant)

He won back-to-back Rookie of the Month Awards in 2006, Player of the Week once each on the AL & NL, and Comeback Player of the Year in the AL (2010) and NL (2013). A one-time All-Star and World Series champion, it is highly doubtful that he will receive much support for the Hall of Fame. He was been traded for A.J. Pierzynski, Eduardo Escobar, Drew Hutchison, and Teoscar Hernandez.

When you need to get Conway Twitty out of your head, the ANSWER is there to alleviate your suffering.