By Maxwell Kates

As promised, if it’s Friday, August 3, 2018, it must be time for answers to the Pecan Park Eagle Trivia Contest I first issued in June that the Eagle again published again yesterday as a restatement of the questions alone. Today you finally get the answers. Remember, there were fifteen questions, mostly relating to my columns with the Pecan Park Eagle within the past year. ~ In the words of the Great One, Jackie Gleason, “…and away we go!”

(1) Which Hall of Famer was the subject of a recent biography by Marty Appel?

The Hall of Famer was Casey Stengel and the book was entitled “Casey Stengel: Baseball’s Greatest Character.” Casey (and Marty) were integral to the 2017 SABR convention held in New York. There was a Casey Stengel panel and also a book signing at Citi Field with Marty Appel before a Mets game. Marty was also integral to my New York experience, having run into him in Central Park on the 4th of July.

Marty Appel with Casey Stengel Book.

(2) In what major league stadium did Willie Mays hit his 600th home run in 1969?

San Diego Stadium. As I wrote last August, “Giants’ manager Clyde King told Padres President E. J. “Buzzie” Bavasi that Mays would rest for the first game, on a Monday night. The Padres’ front office decided to open the left field bleachers for the second game of the series, offering a new Chevrolet to any fan lucky enough to catch Mays’ 600th home run. More than 1,200 tickets already had been sold when King called on Mays to pinch hit in the top of the ninth of Monday. Facing Mike Corkins, Mays hit his 600th home run into a sea of empty bleachers. Promotion ruined.”

Willie Mays hit HR #600 at San Diego Stadium.

(3) Justin Verlander pitched two no-hitters for the Detroit Tigers. Who were the opponents?

Milwaukee Brewers, June 12, 2007 (in Detroit). Toronto Blue Jays, May 8, 2011 (in Toronto). I remember exactly where I was for both no-hitters: in Vienna, Austria for the first and in my living room for the second.

Last out of Justin Verlander’s 2nd no-hitter.

(4) Which Astros player hit 53 leadoff home runs in his major league career?

Craig Biggio, in a career spanning 20 years from 1988 to 2007. It’s still a franchise record, though if Connecticut George hits enough Springer Dingers…

Craig Biggio

(5) Roy Halladay was the third Toronto Blue Jays’ pitcher to win the Cy Young Award. Name the other two.

Pat Hentgen was actually the first, having outdistanced Deer Park resident Andy Pettitte for the American League Cy Young Award in 1996. He was followed by another Houston-area resident, Roger Clemens, who won the Cy Young in 1997 and again in 1998. Roy Halladay, who was killed in a plane crash in 2017, won the Cy Young for the Blue Jays in 2003.

Clemens and Hentgen

(6) Who won the American League Most Valuable Player Award in 1953?

It was Al Rosen of the Cleveland Indians. Leading the league in both home runs and RBI, Rosen narrow missed the Triple Crown when he lost the batting title to Washington’s Mickey Vernon when he hit .336 to Vernon’s .337. Rosen later became a general manager, including 1980 to 1985 with the Astros.

Al Rosen as Astros General Manager, 1980-1985.

(7) Five members of the 1982 Houston Astros, four in uniform and one in the broadcast booth, also managed the team. Name them.

You’ll find them all in the Astros’ 1982 yearbook:

  • Bill Virdon (manager, 1975-1982)
  • Bob Lillis (manager, 1982-1985)
  • Art Howe (manager, 1989-1993)
  • Larry Dierker (manager, 1997-2001)
  • Phil Garner (manager, 2004-2007)

Phil Garner.

(8) According to Irish folk legend, what is the surname of the only man capable of killing a local man-eating sea serpent?

This was from a book by Michael Spencer Bown called “The World’s Most Travelled Man.” His final country was Ireland, where he writes about the legend in question:

            “A local legend says that a man-eating sea serpent lives nearby and can only be slain by a man             named McCurdy wearing clothing made of calf skin, wielding a club with three nails in it that have never been used to shoe a horse.”

             It was written in the Pecan Park Eagle about the ancestor, presumably named Liam, No one in our family has read the book – and the McCurdy ancestor it references never read any books –  but we do still have this sketch of him holding the club we also still possess. – Do we still need to dispatch that Irish sea serpent?”

Liam McCurdy ~ strolling ~ in the early days of the Emerald Isle.
~ Once Upon a Time, Liam McCurdy charmed the snakes into an unconscious state. His recent descendants have since learned that sometimes a carefully worded blog column can accomplish the same end, … but only on snakes, mind you; only on snakes.

 (9) What five Astros represented the team at the 1994 All-Star Game?

 The five Astros’ All-Stars were Jeff Bagwell, Craig Biggio, Ken Caminiti, Doug Drabek, John Hudek. Not to be outdone are the five Astros at the 2018 All-Star Game: Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, George Springer, Gerrit Cole, and Justin Verlander.

1994 Houston Astros

(10) How many African American pitchers have won 20 games in a season. Which of the ‘Black Aces’ won 20 games for the Astros one season?

There were 15 ‘Black Aces,’ African American pitchers to win 20 games in a season. The Astro was J. R. Richard, who went 20-15 in 1976.

The One and Only J.R. ~

(11) What village in upstate New York hosted the first SABR convention in 1971?

It was Cooperstown, on August 10, 1971. SABR 1 was attended by 16 members. One of the 16, Tom Hufford, is still a member, having attended the 2018 SABR convention in Pittsburgh.

Cooperstown, New York

Editorial Note: On our far too brief only trip to Cooperstown in the summer of 1994, I had to ask one of the baseball item storekeepers what he did during the cold, often snowbound, months of winter. His answer came back with the ring in a voice that you only hear from people who get asked the same question all the time.

“Inventory,” said the Cooperstown merchant. (TPPE)

(12) Name two members of the Larry Dierker Chapter, both of Irish heritage, who played professional baseball before the formation of the Houston Colt .45s. (Note that I didn’t say MALE baseball players.)

The two were Larry Miggins and Red Mahoney. Miggins, born in the Bronx in 1925, played in parts of two seasons (1948, ’52) with the St. Louis Cardinals. After playing in parts of four seasons with the Houston Buffs (1949, ’51-53), Miggins and his wife Kathleen, along with twelvchildren, settled in the Houston area.

Meanwhile, Emily Marie “Red” Mahoney (1924-2016) was a lifelong Houstonian, the only native of the Bayou City to play in the All American Girls’ Professional Baseball League. Red was an outfielder for the South Bend Blue Sox and the Ft. Wayne Daisies, 1947-1948.

Miggins claims that his childhood acquaintance Vin Scully called half the home runs he hit in a major league uniform (he hit two). {Editor’s Note: Larry Miggins’s “claim” is true and it has been verified many times over by his childhood friend and Fordham Academy classmate, Vin Scully. – Scully made the prediction while the two were still in high school that ~ one day ~ Miggins would play in the majors and that he (Scully) would be at the mike to broadcast it and the HR that followed. It happened that way on May 13, 1952 in Ebbets Field when Larry Miggins, batting for the Cardinals, hit his first MLB homer off Preacher Roe of the Dodgers, as a very young Vin Scully made the radio call for the home town Brooklyns.} ~ TPPE

Has Anybody Here Seen Larry L-A-Double-R-Y???

(13) Who is the only living Hall of Famer to work as the director of a funeral home?

Andre Dawson. Andre and his wife Vanessa have owned the Paradise Memorial Funeral Home in the Miami area since 2008. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2010.

Thanks to Russell R. Hansen for this trivia question.

Andre Dawson is the only Hall of Fame member who also operates a Funeral Home as the owner and funeral director.

 (14) What pitcher surrendered Rick Monday’s decisive home run in Game 5 of the 1981 National League Championship Series for the Los Angeles Dodgers?

Steve Rogers. He was brought in to pitch the ninth inning. Despite a solid effort by starter Ray Burris, the Expos scored only one run in eight innings, the same as the Dodgers.

Steve Rogers.


(15) Finally, who was the winning pitcher in Game 7 of the 1964 World Series?

Bob Gibson. He pitched a complete game victory over the Yankees.

Bob Gibson, 1964 World Series.

The Percy Fielding Prize

How you did is all a matter of fun, but we would enjoy your comments on trivia quizzes? Do you like them, loathe them, or simply see them as a take-it-or-leave-it part of baseball group life?

As for our early June challenge for answer submissions to these same questions by e-mail to the writer, we do have a winner to announce. The winner is Victoria Riggsbee, who reads the Pecan Park Eagle in Raleigh, North Carolina. Vickie wins a baseball card of Percy Fielding. And that will be mailed to her by yours truly, Maxwell Kates.

Percy Fielding
(Prince Fielder)

Congratulations to Victoria, and thanks to everyone who reads the Pecan Park Eagle. I hope everyone enjoys the balance of summer 2018!

It doesn’t go without saying. For baseball fans of contenders, a lot of your September enjoyment now rides on how your club handles the largely remaining rest of August. ~ Right, Astros fans?


Maxwell Kates

Bonus Question and Answer:

Oh yeah, Here’s the pictorial answer to the Bonus Question: “What was the name of Publisher Bill McCurdy’s 1950 east end Houston sandlot baseball team?



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle




  1. Mike McCroskey Says:

    It was a fun read, Bill. And, hey, who is the good lookin’ fellow in the background of the Mahoney/Miggins picture?

  2. Bob Dorrill Says:

    Mike, that’s Tony Cavender.

  3. maxwell1901 Says:

    Mike, between the subjects and the photographer of that photo you get Miggins, Mahoney, McCroskey, and McCurdy – four leaves on the Houston SABR clover. And what was the name of the hotel where the players used to stay in Houston?

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