With the coronavirus pandemic still evolving by the day, there's plenty of free time while we safely practice some social distancing. Luckily, baseball history contains pretty much endless fodder for trivia.
Just as we presented a week ago, below are eight intensive baseball Sporcle quizzes to activate all those "useless" facts floating around in your head. Part one contains the quiz links and a brief description, and then save yourself from spoilers by leaving part two for when you've finished the quizzes and want to see how you fared against the average.
1) Identify each franchise’s first logo (play here)
At first glance, this quiz is about visual recognition. But as you’ll soon realize, a good knowledge of baseball history (and the long, winding road of team relocations) is essential, too.
2) Which prodigy did what? (play here)
Ken Griffey Jr., Alex Rodriguez, Chipper Jones and Bryce Harper. Four baseball prodigies who were picked first overall in the MLB Draft, and went on to achieve things at staggeringly young ages. But while these are four of the most famous players from the last quarter-century, do you know them well enough to separate their accomplishments from one another?
3) Joe Torre’s Hall of Fame players (play here)
Yes, Torre managed some pretty famous Yankees teams with some pretty famous players. But he also spent five more combined years managing other clubs than with the Yankees. Roughly three decades as a big league skipper will cross your path with a bunch of all-time talent.
4) The longest World Series droughts (play here)
Each of these 18 fanbases are all too familiar with how long it’s been since their team last won it all (if it ever has at all). But can you master all the misery league-wide?
5) Who hit the most homers in the 1990s? (play here)
On one hand, the Steroid Era yielded a ton of dingers, and some guys became very famous for hitting lots of dingers. On the other hand, a lot of guys suddenly began going deep. Can you concentrate on which 24 sluggers separated themselves from the herd?
6) The one-team-for-lifers (play here)
When someone says players don’t stay with one team like they used to, they’re referring to these guys. Name the position players who racked up the most plate appearances while spending their entire careers with just one franchise.
7) Recite the 2004 Red Sox (play here)
It’s the most famous team in recent history … or is it? This quiz asks you to name all 25 men on Boston’s curse-breaking World Series roster — a much harder task if you didn’t live and breathe this team 16 years ago in the Greater Boston area.
8) Match the HOF pitchers with the pitch types on their plaques (play here)
Some aces are synonymous with the pitches that put them in the Hall of Fame, and that’s what this quiz — researched and created this week by yours truly — tests you on.
Match up the Hall of Fame pitcher with the pitch type that’s referenced in bronze on his plaque in Cooperstown, and take note: Some pitchers have more than one pitch mentioned from their arsenal (that’s just how good they were). Can you make it through without any misses?
How did you do?
1) Identify each franchise’s first logo
Average score: 54%
The easy part: Fans who are old enough to rent a car are old enough to recognize each of the original expansion-team logos from the 1990s. And even with the script lettering Photoshopped out, we see you, Mets.
The hard part: Which old-style ‘C’ belongs to which ‘C’ franchise? Which of the multiple Washington Senators franchises morphed into which current team? Why in the world was the Brooklyn Dodgers’ ‘B’ originally red, and the Phillies’ ‘P’ blue? And if you were able to sort out the Orioles’ and Yankees’ intertwined beginnings, big kudos to you.
The 1901 Baltimore Orioles’ uniforms … shortly before they became the New York Highlanders (and later the Yankees).
2) Which prodigy did what?
Average score: 52%
The easy part: A-Rod’s highs were high enough that you likely remember how many MVP awards he took home. And who can forget Bryce’s triumphant year at the College of Southern Nevada?
The hard part: We somehow correctly answered who was drafted in the same year as Mike Lieberthal, but picking out who racked up the most Silver Sluggers — when Griffey, Chipper and A-Rod were all hitting gods for a long time — was pretty difficult.
3) Joe Torre’s Hall of Fame players
Average score: 65%
The easy part: Well, nearly everyone probably typed Derek Jeter and Mariano Rivera first. And if you were a Yankees fan in the 1990s, you certainly remember Tim Raines and Wade Boggs’ two-year stints as well.
The hard part: Randy Johnson famously beat Torre’s Yankees in the 2001 World Series, but Torre was still in the Bronx when the Big Unit later spent two seasons in pinstripes. And no matter how many times we play this quiz, we’ll never remember that Jim Thome spent that one month in ‘09 wearing Dodger Blue.
4) The longest World Series droughts
Average score: 61%
The easy part: The 2016 World Series was recent enough where most of us recall how long Indians fans have suffered. And the Dodgers have fallen just short so many times recently that their 32-year drought is becoming as famous as any team on this list.
The hard part: The key to acing this quiz is memorizing each expansion team’s first season from the 1960s, '70s or '90s. Or, alternatively, try to rattle off every team that’s still looking for title No. 1.
5) Who hit the most homers in the 1990s?
Average score: 52%
The easy part: McGwire, Sosa, Griffey, Bonds, Palmeiro. You know the drill.
The hard part: At some point, you’ll have gone through the headliners and will be staring down some empty spaces. That seven-minute time limit will start to feel real short. And if you can conjure up Greg Vaughn, Ron Gant and, yes — Dean Palmer — then you are truly the wheat separated from the chaff.
6) The one-team-for-lifers
Average score: 55%
The easy part: Some guy named Jeter famously played his whole career in Yankee pinstripes. Stan Musial (thankfully) never wore anything besides a Cardinals uniform. And Tony Gwynn was literally nicknamed “Mr. Padre.”
The hard part: You’re a pretty hardcore White Sox fan if Luke Appling was one of the first names you jotted down. Same goes for Mel Ott and the Giants (and we kind of wish Willie Mays qualified for them). But we’re genuinely curious how many people came up with Pee Wee Reese before their six minutes ran out.
7) Recite the 2004 Red Sox
Average score: 52%
The easy part: If you were alive and aware that baseball existed in 2004, odds are you’re familiar with Pedro, Big Papi, Manny, Curt Schilling, Jason Varitek and even Dave Roberts.
The hard part: Well, first of all you have to spell Doug M-i-e-n-t-k-i-e-w-i-c-z’s name correctly, something the author was admittedly unable to do without Google. Then, name the right starting shortstop (no, it wasn’t Nomar). And then, dig way deep into your memory to see if you can pull out Alan Embree, Curt Leskanic and Pokey Reese.
8) Match the HOF pitchers with the pitch types on their plaques
Average score: 68% (out of three fellow MLB.com quiz testers)
The easy part: You can’t really finish a sentence about Mariano Rivera or Trevor Hoffman’s careers without mentioning “cutters (cut fastballs)” or “changeups.”
The hard part: Where do we begin? This quiz is not meant to yield a perfect score.
The multi-pitch pitchers make this tricky. You’ll notice that John Smoltz is associated with not one, not two, but three different pitches on his Hall of Fame plaque. Five different pitchers got a curveball shoutout … and all five of them were Negro League legends. The one Major Leaguer who was very famous for his curveball was assigned a “breaking ball” instead. And, Smokey Joe Williams is somehow not the owner of the lone “fire ball” in the bunch.