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Trivia Answers Thursday

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Bill McKechnie

Now that the Derek Shelton Era has officially begun, it’s time for the answers to Tuesday’s managerial quiz.

... who was the first Pittsburgh manager?

A. Patsy Donovan B. Pie Traynor C. Al Pratt D. Horace Phillips

Answer: C

Al was the first manager of the Pittsburgh Alleghenys, while Horace Phillips was the first manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. A little bit of a trick question, but no one’s keeping score here.

How many player/managers have the Pirates had?

A. Four. B. Thirteen C. None D. Nine

Answer: B

The last Pirates player/manager was Billy Herman in 1947. Pirates ownership deliberately traded for Herman after the 1946 season because they believed he’d be a great manager. His former team, the Boston Braves, got second baseman Bob Elliott, who went on to be the 1947 National League MVP and led the Braves to a World Series title the following year. Moral of the story: the Pirates have a rich history of trading players who went on to be stars for other teams. It’s almost a tradition now.

What Pirates manager has a perfect record?

A. Bill Burwell B. Honus Wagner C. Donie Bush D. Tom Burns

Answer: A

It’s easy to have a perfect record when you only manage one game, as Burwell did in 1947 after Billy Herman resigned with one game left in the season.

Who went 0-for-Pirates managing career?

A. Alex Grammas B. Clint Hurdle C. George Creamer D. Hugo Bezdek

Answer: C

Okay, Creamer actually managed the Alleghenys, but he did go 0-for 8 during his brief tenure. I had to throw him in because in 1883, the year before he managed, he and two other Allegheny players were fined $100 (roughly $2500 in today’s money) and suspended indefinitely (obviously he came back) for being drunk during a game. That situation was not uncommon in nineteenth-century baseball.

Who was the last Pirates manager to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

A. Bob Ferguson B. Jim Leyland C. Danny Murtagh D. Bill McKechnie

Answer: D

Again, a tiny bit of a trick question as McKechnie was inducted strictly as a manager—Billy Herman came after him, but he went into the Hall as a player. I enjoyed researching McKechnie, who was an amazing manager but had quite possibly the worst sense of direction ever—in a famous story, he once thought he was in Pittsburgh but was actually in Detroit. He was also a very religious man who solved the problem of players who liked to party too much by rooming with them on the road. I bet that would have straightened out Creamer.