By Tony McClean
Updated: February 9, 2005
NEW HAVEN, Conn. — The helmets are being put away in the NFL, conference play continues to heat up in college hoops, the PGA and LPGA are just starting in earnest, and we might not see a hockey puck for quite a while.
It can only mean one thing: pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training is just days away. While some of you try to dig out of the snow and or look for that umbrella, BASN tries to warm you up with our third annual Great American Baseball Trivia Quiz.
Here’s the drill. We’ll give you some baseball questions from all aspects (Negro Leagues, Major Leagues, HBCU, etc.) of the sport. Maybe you’ll learn a little something or maybe we’ll jar a memorable moment for you.
Let’s get it started!!!!!
1. What Florida A&M product was the major league’s first black general manager?
Answer: Bill Lucas, who served 23 years as a player and executive for Atlanta, was the Braves’ GM from 1976 until his death in 1979. While serving as the team’s farm director, he developed several players including two-time MVP Dale Murphy.
2. Who is the only player to homer in both the Negro League and Major League All-Star Game?
Answer: Jim “Junior” Gilliam”. While with the Baltimore Elite Giants in 1950, Gilliam connected for the game’s only homer in a 5-3 win by the West at Comiskey Park. Nine years later while playing for the hometown Dodgers, he connected off Billy O’Dell in the AL’s 5-3 win at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
3. Which National League pennant winner had the majors’ first all-black outfield?
Answer: The 1951 New York Giants. Made up of three ex-Negro Leaguers, the Giants were keyed by Monte Irvin (Newark Eagles) in left, Willie Mays (Birmingham Black Barons) in center, and Hank Thompson (Kansas City Monarchs) in right. However, they lost to the Yankees in the World Series in six games.
4. True or False? In 1945, his lone season with the Kansas City Monarchs, Jackie Robinson helped lead K.C. to the Negro League World Series.
Answer: False. Although Robinson batted .345, the Monarchs went just 32-30 during Jackie’s time in K.C. The Cleveland Buckeyes, led by Sam Jethroe’s league-leading .393 BA, upset the Homestead Grays to a sweep of the Negro League crown.
5. Speaking of Robinson, he was the NL’s Rookie of The Year in 1947. Who was the American League’s first African-American Rookie of The Year?
Answer: Tommie Agee. Known more for his heroics with the Miracle Mets of 1969, Agee hit 22 homers and led AL outfielders in putouts to earn Rookie of the Year honors for the White Sox in 1966.
6. What North Carolina A&T product was the first black player for the St. Louis Cardinals?
Answer: Tom Alston. A member of the Greensboro Red Wings, Alston played in 91 games and 271 at-bats over four seasons with St. Louis. The majority of it came his debut season of 1954. He hit .244 with four homers, all of those in ’54.
7. True or False? Jack Johnson, the first black heavyweight boxing champ, had a brief career in the Negro Leagues.
Answer: True. Johnson was a first baseman for the Philadelphia Giants in 1903-04. In 1913, he used the Chicago American Giants as a cover to flee the U.S. to avoid charges on the then “Mann Act”.
8. What country music star played for two Negro League teams before getting a tryout with the Los Angeles Angels in 1961?
Answer: Charley Pride. As an outfielder and pitcher, Pride played for the Birmingham Black Barons and Memphis Red Sox in 1953 and 1954. An arm injury would cut short his baseball career.
9. What is the historical signifigance of September 1, 1971?
Answer: On this date, the Pittsburgh Pirates fielded the first all-Black lineup in major league history. Danny Murtaugh’s lineup, which won the game 10-7 over the Phillies, was made up of Rennie Stennett, 2b, Gene Clines, cf, Roberto Clemente, rf, Willie Stargell, lf, Manny Sanguillen, c, Dave Cash, 3b, Al Oliver, 1b, Jackie Hernandez, ss, Dock Ellis, p.