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Any Questions #311 - "Perfect Games"

Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox, one of only two teams with three perfect games.
Ian Pickus
Guaranteed Rate Field, home of the White Sox, one of only two teams with three perfect games.

WAMC's Ian Pickus and resident quizzer Mike Nothnagel switch seats as they take aim at perfection.

Last week's challenge
Start with the word COMBINATION. Drop one letter and you can rearrange the result to spell a two-word phrase (two letters, eight letters) for what a lazy person has. What is the phrase?
Answer: If you drop a C, you can spell NO AMBITION.

On-air questions: On this date in 1907, St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Ed Karger pitched a perfect game against the Boston Doves, a 3-0 victory in St. Louis. But…..it was the second game of a doubleheader and was scheduled for only seven innings, so it is not officially recognized by major league baseball as one of the sports 23 perfect games (as of this show). Karger would eventually finish his six-year career with the Boston Red Sox. In honor of the perfect game that wasn’t, today’s show is all about other perfect games.

1. On Yogi Berra Day in 1999, which marked the Yankees Hall of Fame catcher’s first visit back to the stadium after he was fired as manager 14 years earlier. On that day, Yankees pitcher David Cone threw an 88-pitch perfect game against Montreal. In attendance was retired pitcher Don Larsen, the only player in the sport’s history to pitch a perfect game when?
2. The 2009 film The Perfect Game is based on the 1957 Little League World Series — the first to be won by a non-U.S. team, the Monterrey, Mexico Industrial Little League. The film’s title comes from the fact that pitcher Angel Macias threw the tournament’s first and only perfect game in the championship game to seal the win. That title game took place in the “birthplace of Little League” in Williamsport in what state?
3. Then-Arizona Diamondbacks manager Bob Brenly summed up Randy Johnson’s 2004 perfect game against the Atlanta Braves by saying it was “one of those nights where a superior athlete was on top of his game.” In addition to tossing one of just 23 perfectos in baseball history, Johnson is also one of the game’s tallest pitchers ever. At 6-foot-10, Johnson is three inches taller than what current Yankees right field sensation?
4. On July 28, 1994, Texas Rangers lefthander Kenny Rogers needed 98 pitches to toss a perfect game against the California Angels. The Rangers were paced offensively by home runs from Jose Canseco and Ivan Rodriguez, who joined the Hall of Fame last month. But Rogers pitched only two more times that summer, including a loss on August 7th. Why?
5. Only two teams have had three perfect games in their history: the Yankees and the Chicago White Sox. Only two teams have had three perfect games thrown against them, the Dodgers and what 1998 expansion team, which became the second major league franchise in Florida?

Extra credit
1. The 1994 film The Scout ends with pitcher Steve Nebraska, played by Brendan Fraser, throwing a perfect game — on all strikeouts for the Yankees. The scout in the title is played by what actor, who was nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 1988’s Broadcast News?
2. The highlight of Dallas Braden’s five-year career all spent with the same team was a 2010 perfect game. Braden played Little League baseball about 70 miles to the east in Stockton, Calif. With what big league team did he throw his perfect game?

This week's challenge
Start with the word no-hitters. Rearrange the letters and you can spell a six-letter noun and a three-letter verb you do on the noun. What are the words?

On-air questions

1. In the World Series (1956 World Series, a 2-0 win over Brooklyn in Game 5)
2. Pennsylvania (Little League was founded in 1939 with three teams; it now says it’s in 80 countries with 2.4 million players a year)
3. Aaron Judge
4. The strike (baseball stopped on August 12th and didn’t resume until the next April, marking only the second time the World Series wasn’t played)
5. The Tampa Bay Rays (Devil Rays)

Extra credit
1. Albert Brooks
2. Oakland


A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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