Bay Area baseball fans have a lot of favorite moments, from watching a slow, arcing ball seemingly float over the wall to dot racing on the jumbotron. But no matter which team you’re rooting for, you’ve got to love the trivia associated with the game.
We’re not talking stats, the lifeblood of the baseball fan. We’re talking good ol’ push up your sleeves and rummage in the brain files to dredge up those memories of what makes Bay Area baseball so distinctive.
Step up to the plate and take a swing at these questions. (Then check your answers here.)
1st Inning: There’s still a raging debate over who invented the high five. Was it outfielder Glenn Burke, who played for the L.A. Dodgers before a short stay with the Oakland A’s — or basketball’s Derek Smith? No one knows for sure, so instead we’ll ask whose moves replaced both the handshake and the high five and might have been a precursor to the COVID elbow bump?
A) San Francisco Giants father and son, Bobby and Barry Bonds
B) Oakland A’s pitcher Dennis Eckersley
C) San Francisco’s Willie Mays and Willie McCovey
D) Oakland’s Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire
2nd Inning: OK, we promised no stats, but we couldn’t resist this one: Martinez native Joe DiMaggio had a staggering hitting streak in the majors, managing to get on base in 56 consecutive games. No one has touched that record. But what was Joltin’ Joe’s record eight years before landing in the majors, back when he played for the San Francisco Seals of the Pacific Coast League?
A) 55 consecutive games
D) Who knows? They didn’t keep records back then.
3rd Inning: In the late 1970s, baseball teams got into mascots to a ridiculous degree, launching everything from a giant San Diego Chicken to the furry green Phillie Phanatic. The mascots certainly annoyed some fans, but none more so than the one San Francisco developed as an anti-mascot to poke fun at mascot mania. His career came to an infamous end when he was tackled by two San Diego Padres, and the actor inside the suit sued the team for damages. What was the name of the mascot?
A) Crazy Crab
B) Lou Seal
C) The Old Fisherman
D) The Mayor of Frisco
4th Inning: When the Oakland A’s were still in Philadelphia in the first half of the 20th century, Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Waddell roomed with his catcher, Ossie Schreck. When they were on the road for away games, penny-pinching teams housed their players in shared rooms — often with just one shared bed, as well. So when contract time came around, Schreck demanded that Waddell’s contract include a clause forbidding him from doing one thing in bed. What was it?
A) He wasn’t allowed to snore.
B) He had to stop stealing the covers.
C) He couldn’t…
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