Pitchers & Catchers Report to Ft. Myers

Monday, December 15, 2014

Trivia's Off Until Next Tuesday

Hello all Trivia regulars at the Caledonia: Trivia will NOT be happening this week, due to a private party being staged at the Caledonia tomorrow night.

We will return with Trivia Night a week from tomorrow, December 23rd at 8 PM, and we will definitely have plenty of Trivia that night about the coming Christmas holiday.

See you all next week!

Trivia Night Postponed

Hey Caledonia Trivia folks: Trivia Night will NOT be happening this Tuesday night, December 16th, due to a private party being held in the bar that night. Sorry for the late notice. No decision has yet been made on whether it will be moved to Wednesday this week or not. Trivia Night will DEFINITELY be happening on Tuesday night, December 23rd at 8 PM. I will update with more information when it becomes known.

See you all soon!

Friday, December 12, 2014

My Q&A With Stadium Journey

I had the pleasure to be interviewed recently by Jon Hart, who is part of a great web site called "Stadium Journey," which reviews ballparks from the US and all over the world.

Jon is also the author of a terrific book he recently wrote called "Man Versus Ball: One Ordinary Guy and His Extraordinary Sports Adventures," which I reviewed here earlier this year. In it, Jon did everything in sports from playing semi-pro football to working as a vendor at Yankee and Shea Stadiums.

In the interview, I talked about my Red Sox fandom here in New York, my love of Trivia, my background acting career and my ill-fated appearance on "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire."

You can check it out here. My thanks to Jon and everyone over at Stadium Journey for a great Q&A!

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Miley & Porcello

The above headline will be two-fifths of your Boston Red Sox rotation for 2015.

After losing out on Jon Lester, the Red Sox moved quickly to add veteran starters, and traded Rubby De La Rosa, Allen Webster and a minor leaguer to Arizona for lefty Wade Miley, and then sent Yoenis Cespedes to Detroit for righty Rick Porcello.

Here's everything you need to know about Miley and Porcello.

Miley, 28, will be under Red Sox control for three more years, and Porcello, 26, can become a free agent after this season. I was impressed with De La Rosa in his time in Boston in 2014, as I thought he could become a back-of-the-rotation starter or an effective bullpen arm. Webster was very hot-and-cold, and should get a legit chance to open in the Arizona rotation in 2015.

Anyway, Plan B is under way, with plenty more to come this offseason.

UPDATE: The Sox brought in their third starter in less than 24 hours when Justin Masterson agreed to a one year, $9 million deal. Glad to see him come back, as it brings the staff more flexibility, as he can be a back end of the rotation starter, or long reliever.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

It's The Cubs

Jon Lester made his decision, and he's moving to the National League, to pitch in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field.

Theo Epstein offered Lester a 6-year, $155 million deal, and he took it. It also includes a vesting option for a seventh year.

That was something the Red Sox were not going to match. Nor should they. The Cubs have money to spend, and are looking for an ace. They haven't had a winning year since 2009, and have a lot of talent in their system.

It will be interesting to hear Lester's press conference when the Cubs introduce him, and why he's going to Chicago. My friend Cormac Eklof points out today that he better not use the word "contend" and I agree with him. The Cubs are a long way from that. They are pointed in the right direction, but they are two years off at least from a playoff berth.

The Red Sox best offer to him was 6 years at 135 million. I don't blame him for taking the best offer, as he, like all other baseball players, are businessmen. But you rarely hear any admit to the real reason they jump to a certain club: money. It's always "I want to play for a contender" or "I've always dreamed of playing for this team."

Face facts: the Red Sox ultimately blew it with Lester. Their original offer of  4 years, $70 million last spring wasn't even close to getting a deal done. (I refuse to say "insulting", as offering ANYONE a deal of nearly $18 million a year to play baseball is never "insulting," no matter what idiot sportswriter says that.)

Jon Lester has always been an honorable man, someone worth rooting for. I wish him luck in Chicago. But now it's time for the Red Sox to look ahead to 2015.

Bring on Plan B.

Trivia Q&A: December 9

It was a miserable, rainy day in New York on Tuesday afternoon, but that didn't stop a good crowd from turning out that evening for Trivia at the Caledonia. It was another night that the bar was filled, and it was a boisterous night as well.

We had a really close race to the finish, with the top three each separated by one point each going into IQ Trivia. But the team of The Quinn/Lowerre Appreciation Society (who also won Best Team Name) did best in IQ Trivia, getting 13 points and winning the night by three points with a total of 45. They were in first place the entire evening, and it was their first ever win at Trivia Night. My congratulations to Victoria, Helen and their friends (both from the UK and US) on their win. And they celebrated long into the night as well!

Second place went to Sony Pictures Password Protectors with 42 points, and third place went to Awesome Ironic Name, or Roger with 39 points.

Current Events
1. Priceline.com selected what western city as its top travel destination for Christmas in the US for 2014?
2. What female pop singer recently passed Paul McCartney as the world's wealthiest recording artist, worth $800 million according to Wealth-X?
3. What magazine issued an apology last Friday after a story they broke about an alleged rape of a UVA student in November fell apart due to inconsistencies in the story?
4. Ashton Carter was named to replace Chuck Hagel in what position in the presidential cabinet last week?
5. What female singer received her 47th career Grammy nomination last Friday, surpassing Dolly Parton for the most ever by a female artist?
6. Democrat Mary Landrieu lost her bid for a fourth term as a senator from what US state after losing a runoff election last Saturday to Republican Bill Cassidy?
7. What film was number one at the box office for the third straight week in the US and now has grossed over $250 million in total?

2000s Trivia
1. Ken Jennings won over $2.5 million as a contestant on what quiz show in 2004?
2. What cartoon TV show, based on the Griffin family, became popular in the early 2000s?
3. What European country was the first to legalize same-sex marriage in 2001?
4. The 2004 Summer Olympics were held in what European city?
5. Michael Jackson died on the same day in 2009 as what famous Hollywood actress?
6. Apple launched its first iPhone in what year of the decade of the 2000s?
7. What rapper had the most combined sales in albums of any artist of the 2000s?
BONUS: 8. What classic rock band's 2000 greatest hits album was the top-selling album of the decade?

Celebrities' Nation of Birth Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Martin Short
2. David Ortiz
3. Antonio Banderas
4. Nicky Minaj
5. Christian Bale
6. Russell Crowe
7. Keanu Reeves
8. Pierce Brosnan
9. Jean Claude Van Damme
10. Charlize Theron

General Knowledge
1. What did the dish run away with in the nursery rhyme "Hey Diddle Diddle?" ( 1 pt)
2. What is the only planet not named after a Roman god? ( 1 pt)
3. Who piloted the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic Ocean? ( 1 pt)
4. Bradley Cooper and Ed Helms starred in what 2009 comedy film? ( 2 pt)
5. What does an ornithologist study? ( 2 pt)
6. The Hockey Hall of Fame is located in what city? ( 2 pt)
7. What is the lightest of all elements in the Periodic Table? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In the 1995 comedy film "Mars Attacks," the music of what country musician eventually killed off the Martians when they heard it and repelled the invasion? ( 4 points)
2. "The Soldier's Song" is what European nation's national anthem? ( 5 points)
3. The world's highest waterfall is located in what South American country? ( 4 points)
4. After Genesis and Exodus, what is the third book of the Old Testament? ( 4 points)
5. "Fashion Avenue" is a nickname for what avenue in an eleven block stretch of Manhattan?  ( 3 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Las Vegas; 2. Madonna; 3. Rolling Stone; 4. Secretary of Defense; 5. Beyonce; 6. Louisiana; 7. "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay."

2000s Trivia
1. "Jeopardy;" 2. "Family Guy;" 3. Netherlands; 4. Athens; 5. Farrah Fawcett; 6. 2007; 7. Eminem; 8. The Beatles.

Celebrities' Nation of Birth Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Canada; 2. Dominican Republic; 3. Spain; 4. Trinidad & Tobago; 5. UK; 6. New Zealand; 7. Lebanon; 8. Ireland; 9. Belgium; 10. South Africa.

General Knowledge
1. The spoon; 2. Earth; 3. Charles Lindbergh; 4. "The Hangover;" 5. birds; 6. Toronto; 7. hydrogen.

IQ Trivia
1. Slim Whitman; 2. Ireland; 3. Venezuela; 4. Leviticus; 5. 7th Avenue.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Gil & Looie Denied Again

The Veterans Committee met in San Diego yesterday to decide if any of 10 possible candidates would enter the Hall of Fame next summer, and came away with no one making it in.

This was the "Golden Era Committee," and they look at candidates from the era of 1947-1972. Gil Hodges and Luis Tiant were among the ten, and the two I was pulling for the most. 16 members made their choices (7 were MLB Hall of Famers), and Dick Allen and Tony Oliva missed each by just a single vote. (12 was needed for election, as that would be 75%.)

Jim Kaat missed by just two votes. Both Hodges and Tiant received less than four votes. The Golden Era Committee did not say exactly how many they got, my guess as to not embarrass the candidate if he should receive none. Follow this link to see the complete results.

I fear this will be the last time both Hodges and Tiant will have a good chance to get in. They will not be considered again until 2017, and the committee considers different eras every year. (Next year will be the ones from after 1972, and in 2016 it will be those players from the pre-integration era.) And the fact they did not garner much support doesn't help either Hodges or Tiant's cause.

There was a major push to get Gil Hodges in, as there is a Facebook group called "Gil Hodges Belongs In The Baseball Hall of Fame" that gathered over 2,000 signatures on a petition to call attention to it.

The election by the writers will be announced on January 6th, and it figures that a number of worthy candidates will be elected, such as Pedro Martinez, Randy Johnson, John Smoltz, Mike Piazza and Craig Biggio all having excellent chances of going in this summer.

It's just a shame that worthy men such as Gil Hodges and Luis Tiant will be on the outside looking in for the foreseeable future, and may ultimately never get in.

Monday, December 08, 2014

Lots of Stuff From The Last Decade On Tuesday


On Tuesday night, December 9th, the Special Category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "2000s Trivia," seven questions about the decade in pop culture, history and sports. No particular reason for doing it, as we haven't done it in a while. The Q Train lightning round will be "Celebrities' Nation of Birth Trivia." I will give you the names of ten current celebrities who were born outside the United States, and you have to tell me in what nation they were born in. And every answer will be a different country.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What is the only planet not named for a Greek god?"

We get started at 8 PM tomorrow. The weather is not supposed to be good on Tuesday, but don't let that stop you. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you for Trivia on Tuesday night!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Trivia Q&A: December 2

We had yet another great turnout at the Caledonia, with the bar filled up again, and probably the biggest crowd we've so far had. And it was another night where everyone was into the Trivia.

We had a three-way tie going into General Knowledge round, and the top four separated by six points going into IQ Trivia. But the team of A$AP Snyder got 4 of 5 correct in that final round to grab their first ever win. Congrats to Christine and her friends on a nice come-from-behind win.

We had a tie for second place between Mickey Rourke's Boxing Club and Thanks For The Mammaries, both with 46 points. We broke the tie with: "How many feet is the Tower Bridge's span?" (As we had a question about the bridge earlier in the night.) Mickey Rourke's Boxing Club was closest to the right answer (800 feet to be exact) and wound up taking second.

Best Team Name: Anal Bum Cover

Current Events
1. The suit worn by which character from "The Wizard of Oz" was sold at auction last week for an astounding $3 million?
2. The Dakota apartment in NYC of what legandary actress who died this year, which she bought in 1961 for $40,000, is now going on the market for $26 million?
3. Workers in six states in what retail chain walked out on strike ahead of the Black Friday madness calling for higher wages and better hours?
4. The wife and mother of Scott Stapp, lead singer of what rock band, are seeking to have him committed for 60 days of psychiatric observation due to his ongoing drug problems?
5. Phillip Hughes, a cricket player from what country, died last week after he was struck in the head by a ball during a match?
6. It was recently revealed that the studios of what talk show host was a target for terrorists in 2009, but the bombers were caught by police before they reached the Chicago-based show?
7. Sony Pictures was the victim of a recent cyber attack resulting in a leak of five movies and disabling its networks and email. What country's government is thought to be behind the attack?

Q-Tip Trivia
1. Which of the following artists have had an album sell at least 40 million copies worldwide? a. AC/DC; b. Pink Floyd; c. Whitney Houston; d. Backstreet Boys.
2. Which of these films was Morgan Freeman nominated for an Academy Award for? a. Driving Miss Daisy; b. Invictus; c. Unforgiven; d. The Shawshank Redemption.
3. Which of these celebrities died while in their 30s? a. Kurt Cobain; b. Elvis Presley; c. Marilyn Monroe; d. River Phoenix.
4. Which of these statesmen won the Nobel Peace Prize? a. Martin Luther King; b. Yasser Arafat; c. Winston Churchill; d. Franklin D. Roosevelt.
5. Which of these US currency bills does not have a US president on them? a. $10; b. $20; c. $50; d. $100.
6. Which of the following classic sitcoms were set in New York City? a. Bob Newhart Show; b. The Cosby Show; c. All in the Family; d. Mary Tyler Moore Show.
7. Which of the following cities has a team in all four major sports: MLB, NFL, NBA and NHL? a. Seattle; b. Atlanta; c. Los Angeles; d. St. Louis.

TV Characters Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the show they appeared on)
1. Carrie Mathison
2. Don Draper
3. Jack Tripper
4. Elaine Benes
5. Samantha Jones
6. Fox Mulder
7. Nucky Thompson
8. Monica Gellar
9. Rick Grimes
10. Al Bundy

General Knowledge
1. The Tower Bridge spans what English river? ( 1 pt)
2. Bel Air is a lavish celebrity suburb of what US city? ( 1 pt)
3. Who did Jimmy Carter succeed as US president? ( 1 pt)
4. What color are the black box flight data recorders? ( 2 pt)
5. How many fluid ounces of soda are there in a standard can? ( 2 pt)
6. On the TV series "Friends," how many times did the character Ross get married? ( 2 pt)
7. Panama hats were originally made in what South American country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In mythology, Morpheus was the Greek god of what? ( 4 points)
2. What still-running TV show made its debut in 1952, with host Dave Garroway calling it "a new kind of television show?" ( 5 points)
3. In what country would you find the desert plateau fortress called Masada? ( 4 points)
4. The rover called Sojourner explored what planet in 1997? ( 3 points)
5. What number one hit Beatles song was written by Paul McCartney and was based on a dream he had about his mother, who died more than a decade earlier? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. The Cowardly Lion; 2. Lauren Bacall; 3. Walmart; 4. Creed; 5. Australia; 6. Oprah Winfrey; 7. North Korea.

Q-Tip Trivia
1. all; 2. a,b,d; 3. c; 4. a,b; 5. a,d; 6. b,c; 7. none.

TV Characters Trivia ("The Q Train)
1. Homeland; 2. Mad Men; 3. Three's Company; 4. Seinfeld; 5. Sex in the City; 6. The X-Files; 7. Boardwalk Empire; 8. Friends; 9. The Walking Dead; 10. Married With Children.

General Knowledge
1. Thames; 2. Los Angeles; 3. Gerald Ford; 4. orange; 5. twelve; 6. three; 7. Ecuador.

IQ Trivia
1. Dreams; 2. "The Today Show;" 3. Israel; 4. Mars; 5. "Let It Be."

Monday, December 01, 2014

Favorite Boob Tube Actors On Tuesday


On Tuesday night, December 2nd, the Special Category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "Q-Tip Trivia." I will ask you seven general knowledge questions, and it will be multiple choice. 1, 2, 3 all 4, or none can be correct. You will get a point for each correct choice (one point if the answer is none). You have to be careful, because if you make a wrong choice, you will get zero points for that question.

The Q Train lightning round will be "TV Characters Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous TV characters, mostly of the recent vintage, and you will tell me what show they were on.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"The Tower Bridge spans what English river?"

We get going at 8 PM on Tuesday. The Caledonia is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We continue to have great turnouts every Tuesday night, and I thank you so much for that. I look forward to seeing many of you on Tuesday for a great night of Trivia!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 25

We had another great crowd in on Tuesday night at the Caledonia, with the bar full up and everyone enjoying the night.

The scores were a definite improvement over last week, with the team of Mortal Wombat winning the night, with a total of 51 points. It was the first time at the Caledonia we had a solo winner, as Matt, who has been a loyal regular for a long time, came in without his other regulars and easily won, by 11 points. Congrats to Matt on his solo success.

Second place went to Helen Keller's Blind Date (who won for Best Team Name) with 40 points, and third place went to Team Formerly Known As Hashtag Topical Name with 37 points.

Current Events
1. What Australian actor was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" for 2014?
2. What company was recently ranked number 1 in the S&P 500 at a $672 billion worth, and may soon become the first trillion dollar company?
3. What 62-year-old actor announced last week he will be returning to the boxing ring at the end of the month against a 29-year-old contender in Russia?
4. The Independent newspaper from the UK reported that "Always Look On the Bright Side of Life" by Monty Python is now the top funeral song there, topping "My Way" by Frank Sinatra. What Monty Python movie was the song featured in?
5. Students around the country posted on Twitter last week with disgusting lunch pictures and sarcastic tweets "thanking" what person for those lunches?
6. Oscar-winning director Mike Nichols died last week at the age of 83. What 1968 film did he win the Academy Award for Best Director for?
7. A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest among a crowd of spectators at a volleyball match in what Asian country on Sunday, killing 45 people?

Thanksgiving Trivia
1. The first Thanksgiving celebration in America took place in what current US state?
2. What 19th century US president issued the "Thanksgiving Proclamation" making the last Thursday in November the holiday?
3. What folk singer, in 1967, recorded "Alice's Restaurant," about a memorable Thanksgiving Day in his life?
4. What was the original name for the Pilgrims?
5. What West African nation also celebrates a Thanksgiving Day every November?
6. Canada celebrates its Thanksgiving Day every year in what month?
7. Of the three utensils we use to eat (fork, spoon and knife), which was not present at the first Thanksgiving feast?

Movies By Decade Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the decade and year)
1. Goodfellas
2. Casablanca
3. On The Waterfront
4. West Side Story
5. Monster's Ball
6. The French Connection
7. Ghost
8. It Happened One Night
9. Glory
10. The Deer Hunter

General Knowledge
1. What actor who an Oscar for his role in the classic film "The Godfather?" ( 1 pt)
2. What has the longest neck of any land animal? ( 1 pt)
3. Tea was first grown in what Asian country? ( 1 pt)
4. Boko Haram is the militant Islamic group currently running rampant in what country? ( 2 pt)
5. Which soap product made claims in ads to be "99 and 44/100% pure?" ( 2 pt)
6. What British royal is also known as the Duchess of Cambridge? ( 2 pt)
7. Wilhelm Rontgen of Germany won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1901 for what discovery? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. The Fisherman's Ring is worn by what famous person? (4 points)
2. The Sea of Tranquility is located where? ( 4 points)
3. "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway," "Trespass", and "And Then There Were Three" were three albums from the 1970s by what rock group that achieved superstar status in the 1980s? ( 4 points)
4. What European country issued the first postage stamp in 1840? ( 4 points)
5. In 1903, what did the Binney and Smith Company make that came out in eight colors? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Chris Hemsworth; 2. Apple; 3. Mickey Rourke; 4. "Life of Brian:" 5. Michelle Obama; 6. "The Graduate;" 7. Afghanistan.

Thanksgiving Trivia
1. Massachusetts; 2. Abraham Lincoln; 3. Arlo Guthrie; 4. The Puritans; 5. Liberia; 6. October; 7. fork.

Movies By Decade Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 1990s (1990); 2. 1940s (1942); 3. 1950s (1954); 4. 1960s (1961); 5. 2000s (2001); 6. 1970s (1971); 7. 1990s (1990); 8. 1930s (1934); 9. 1980s (1989); 10. 1970s (1978).

General Knowledge
1. Marlon Brando; 2. giraffe; 3. China; 4. Nigeria; 5. Ivory; 6. Kate Middleton; 7. x-rays.

IQ Trivia
1.The pope; 2. On the moon; 3. Genesis; 4. England; 5. Crayola Crayons.

Monday, November 24, 2014

We Give Thanks On Tuesday


Tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Trivia will be "Thanksgiving Trivia," seven questions connected to this most American of holidays coming up this Thursday. The Q Train lightning round will be "Movies By Decade Trivia." I will give you the names of ten classic films, and you have to tell me the decade of its original release in theaters. And if you can give me the exact year, I will give you a bonus point for each you get correct.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What actor won an Oscar for his role in 'The Godfather'?" 

We get started at 8 PM at the Caledonia. We've been filling up the bar nicely over the past couple of months (and I thank you for that), and seats have been going quickly. Earlier you can get in, the better. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you as we give thanks and have a great night of Trivia!

Hanley. Panda.


The Red Sox might quite the splash late last night (more like an earthquake) when they came to terms with both Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval on five-year contracts.

Ben Cherington got the two middle of the orders bats he needed. Ramirez figures to go to the outfield, most likely left field, as the Sox are still committed to Xander Bogaerts at shortstop. Ramirez apparently agreed to a 5 year, $90 million deal, while Sandoval agreed to a 5 year, $102 million contract.

Both deals are risky, of course. I've never been the biggest fan of Ramirez, who has had injury problems the last two years, and has on occasion not given his best efforts. Sandoval's weight has been a long time issue, but I bet the Sox see him as a DH when David Ortiz' career comes to a close.

These free agent signings tell me that both Yoenis Cespedes and Will Middlebrooks will be on a new team next year. I'm betting both will be packaged in a big swap for a starting pitcher. Lots of candidates out there.

And now the attention turns to Jon Lester, as the Red Sox offered him a six-year deal last week, and a decision from him should be happening soon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 18

On a very cold night in New York, we had a really great turnout for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub. I appreciate all of you who braved the arctic temperatures for an interesting night of Trivia, with nine teams taking part.

It was one of those nights where I may have made many of the questions are bit too hard, as the overall scores reflected it. That happens every once in a while, but the team of I Used to Be With It But Then They Changed What It Is won for the second straight week, winning with 32 points, and was the only team to get two correct in IQ Trivia. Congrats to Larry and his friends on the back-to-back wins.

It was also a pleasure to meet Victoria and Helen, two very nice girls from England who recently moved to New York who were in for Trivia for the first time. They won for Best Team Name, as they are the founding members of my "fan club!"

Second place went to Those Other Guys with 24 points, and third place went to What Is Our Team Name with 21 points.

Best Team Name: The John Quinn Fan Club, All the Way From The UK!

Current Events
1. What rock superstar had a mid-air scare last week when the rear door of his private Learjet fell off during a European flight?
2. A mansion on Staten Island that was featured in what epic early 1970s film was put up for sale last week with an asking price of nearly $3 million?
3. What Asian nation was struck by a 7.3 magnitude earthquake last Friday?
4. What legendary comedian has been in the middle of a PR crisis in recent weeks as allegations he sexually assaulted more than a dozen women over the last three decades has resurfaced?
5. What late British rock legend's guitar is going up for auction in London next weekend & is expected to go for at least $600,000 and is a guitar he gave to his cousin in 1967?
6. Jane Byrne, who in 1979 was elected mayor of what large American city, and still is the only female mayor elected there, died last weekend at the age of 81?
7. What hit song from 1984 was recently re-recorded for its 30th anniversary last weekend by an all-star cast of pop musicians for Ebola relief?

American Music Trivia
1. In 1997, what famous rapper was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles?
2. What was Elvis Presley's first number one single in the US in 1956?
3. What legendary R&B singer was nicknamed "Soul Brother Number 1" and "Mr. Dynamite?"
4. Dave Grohl rose to fame in the early 1990s as a member of what rock band?
5. What American female pop artist has had the most number one singles on the US charts in history, with 17?
6. What American pop singer is the oldest woman, at 52, to have a number one single on the US charts?
7. Who was the first country artist to sell over 10 million copies of an album?

1-10 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This is the number of the residence of the British Prime Minister, on Downing Street in London.
2. This number was the title of an album by both Foreigner and Blues Traveler.
3. This is the number of oceans in the world.
4. Andrew Jackson was this number US president.
5. This is the atomic number of helium.
6. This number was worn by sports immortals Ted Williams and Gordie Howe.
7. You find the letter "F" on a standard touch tone phone on this number.
8. This is the number of points on a Star of David.
9. The pitcher in baseball is represented by this number.
10. This is the number of musicians in an octet.

General Knowledge
1. Azure is a variation of what color? ( 1 pt)
2. Amarillo, Odessa and Big Spring are all cities in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. How many games did Joe DiMaggio hit in consecutively to set the all-time record in 1941? ( 1 pt)
4. What year did Prohibition officially end in the US? ( 2 pt)
5. The Leaning Tower of Pisa is leaning in what direction? ( 2 pt)
6. In 1962, what was the name of the first James Bond movie? ( 2 pt)
7. The Beaufort scale measures what in terms of weather? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In 1944, Iceland declared its independence from what European country? ( 4 points)
2. Chess is believed to have been invented over 1500 years ago in what Asian country? ( 4 points)
3. What famous TV family lived at 9764 Jeopardy Lane in Chicago? ( 3 points)
4. Michael Johns and Joanne Borgella, who both died in 2014, were the first people to pass away who were made famous on what TV show? ( 4 points)
5. "Operation Neptune Spear" was a 21st century mission to accomplish what by the US military? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Bono; 2. "The Godfather;" 3. Indonesia; 4. Bill Cosby; 5. John Lennon; 6. Chicago; 7. "Do They Know It's Christmas?"

American Music Trivia
1. Notorious BIG; 2. "Heartbreak Hotel:" 3. James Brown; 4. Nirvana; 5. Mariah Carey; 6. Cher; 7. Garth Brooks.

1-10 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. ten; 2. four; 3. five; 4. seven; 5. two; 6. nine; 7. three; 8. six; 9. one; 10. eight.

General Knowledge
1. Blue; 2. Texas; 3. 56; 4. 1933; 5. south; 6. "Dr. No;" 7. wind speed.

IQ Trivia
1. Denmark; 2. India; 3. The Bundys; 4. "American Idol"; 5. Kill Osama Bin Laden.

Monday, November 17, 2014

They Were All Born In The USA


On Tuesday night, the Special Category for Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will be "American Music Trivia," seven questions about American musical artists, mostly along the pop lines, as the American Music Awards will be airing this weekend.

The Q Train lightning round will be "1-10 Trivia." I will ask you ten general knowledge questions where the answer will be a number from 1 to 10. Every answer will be a different number.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Azure is a variation of what color?"

We get going at 8 PM tomorrow. We continue to get some very good turnouts at the Caledonia, so the earlier you can make it in, the better your chance of getting a good seat. I look forward to seeing you Tuesday for a great night of Trivia Q&A!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Trivia Q&A: November 11

We had another great crowd turn out on Tuesday night for Trivia, once again filling up the Caledonia. And it is so good to see many of you turning into regulars.

It was a close night of Trivia all the way through, as the top five teams were separated by just three points going into IQ Trivia. There was a three-way tie for second going into that round. But one of those teams, Hi, I'm Troy McClure. You Must Remember Me From Trivia Nights Such As This One was the only team to get 3 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia (it was a tough round), and pulled out a three-point win with a total of 40 points.Congrats to Larry and his friends on a fine victory.

Second place went to Tramps Like Us with 37 points, and third place went to Shot-Winning Team Name (Insert Laugh Here) with 36 points (they also won for Best Team Name).

Current Events
1. What world leader was ranked number one in Forbes magazine's ranking of the most powerful leaders in the world for 2014?
2. What female pop singer pulled her entire back catalog of her music from the streaming service Spotify last week, in what some believe is an effort to drive up her album and song sales?
3. What former late night talk show host will be the final guest on Craig Ferguson's last "Late Late Show" on CBS next month?
4. Two wealthy men bid $300,000 to have a lasagna dinner with what American rock superstar last week, and the money was raised for a foundation that aids injured servicemen?
5. President Obama got into a back-and-forth spat last week with what retired superstar athlete over his golf game?
6. What comedian said in a recent interview that he's learned about autism spectrum disorders, and he says he actually sees it in himself?
7. What 1970s classic rock band's lead singer turned down a reported $800 million offer from Richard Branson for a 35-date tour for the band in 2015?

Veterans and Veteran's Day Trivia
1. What 20th century US president signed the bill proclaiming November 11th as Veteran's Day? a. FDR; b. Dwight Eisenhower; c. Harry Truman; d. JFK.
2. Veteran's Day was once known as what? a. Memorial Day; b. Heroes Day; c. Decoration Day; d. Armistice Day.
3. What was was originally called "The War to End All Wars?" a. WWI; b. WWII; c. The Civil War; d. Vietnam War.
4. What has been the most deadly war in American history? a. WWII; b. Vietnam War; c. The Civil War; d. Revolutionary War.
5. What flower is the symbol of Veteran's Day? a. rose; b. poppy; c. lily of the valley; d. forget-me-not.
6. What conflict has the most living US veterans as of 2013? a. Vietnam War; b. Gulf War Era; c. Korean War; d. WWII.
7. Name 2 of the 3 US states that have 1 million or more veterans currently living there.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Three's Company, the 1970s sitcom, was based on a successful British series.
2. John Adams was defeated for re-election by his own Vice-President.
3. Birds never fly at night.
4. Fleas are bloodsuckers.
5. There is a man named John Rambo on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.
6. Sri Lanka's name comes from a Laotian word for "too many darn elephants."
7. Prince Harry served as a second lieutenant in the war in Afghanistan.
8. Sharing night-time photos of the Eiffel Tower is illegal.
9. Apples are the world's most popular fruit.
10. Leonardo daVinci famously cut off his ear and gave it to his girlfriend.

General Knowledge
1. The University of Notre Dame is located in what US state? ( 1 pt)
2. Winners of the Masters golf tournament are awarded what color jacket? ( 1 pt)
3. In the original "Star Wars", who provided the voice of Darth Vader? ( 1 pt)
4. What is the highest-ranking hand in the game Texas Hold 'Em? ( 2 pt)
5. 21st Century Fox and News Corp are both owned by what media tycoon? ( 2 pt)
6. "Up All Night" was a number one album in 2012 for what pop group? ( 2 pt)
7. Most historians believe what is the world's oldest written language? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. In 2002, what comedy series was named the best television show of all-time by TV Guide? ( 3 points)
2. "The Card Players," a 19th century painting by what French artist, is the most expensive work of art of all-time? ( 5 points)
3. To avoid any association with the Nazis, SS Cars Ltd., a European car company, changed its name to what after WWII? ( 4 points)
4. The environmental group Greenpeace was founded in 1971 in what country? ( 4 points)
5. What mid-1970s film was the first movie ever to gross $100 million at the box office in the US? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Vladimir Putin; 2. Taylor Swift; 3. Jay Leno; 4. Bruce Springsteen; 5. Michael Jordan; 6. Jerry Seinfeld; 7. Led Zeppelin.

Veterans and Veterans Day Trivia
1. b; 2. d; 3. a; 4. c; 5. b; 6. a; 7. California, Texas and Florida.

True or False Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. true; 2. true; 3. false; 4. true; 5. true; 6. false; 7. true; 8. true; 9. false, tomatoes; 10. false, Vincent Van Gogh.

General Knowledge
1. Indiana; 2. green; 3. James Earl Jones; 4. royal flush; 5. Rupert Murdoch; 6. One Direction; 7. Egyptian.

IQ Trivia
1. "Seinfeld;" 2. Paul Cezanne; 3. Jaguar; 4. Canada; 5. "Jaws."

Monday, November 10, 2014

We Honor The Veterans On Tuesday


On Tuesday night, November 11th, we will honor the men and women who have served our country with the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia, with "Veterans and Veterans Day." It will be seven questions about the holiday, and those we honor on Veterans Day. All the questions will be multiple choice.

The Q Train lightning round will be another edition of "True or False Trivia."

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"In the original 'Star Wars,' who provided the voice of Darth Vader?"

We'll get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, which is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. So do your patriotic duty and come on out for Trivia tomorrow night. I look forward to seeing many of you then!

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The Truck Leaves On Honest Abe's Birthday

14 weeks from today, it will be the 206th birthday of our greatest president, Abraham Lincoln. But it many parts of our great nation, it will be Truck Day.

Yep, the Truck will leave Fenway on February 12th and head for Ft. Myers that day. It seems a very long way away, but it will be here before you know it.

Pitchers and catchers officially report on February 20th, and the rest of the squad on February 25th. Spring Training games begin March 3rd.

Gordon Edes has more about that and the complete Red Sox Spring Training schedule here.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

The Remodeling Begins

It was an exciting finish to the World Series last week, as Madison Bumgarner basically put the Giants on his shoulders and led them to their 3rd World Series victory in five years.

But now the 2014 season is complete, and we turn the page to what will surely be a fascinating off-season for the Red Sox and their fans.

The five day window after the World Series has now past, and we will see who they pursue this winter. The usual suspects are out there: Jon Lester, James Shields and Max Scherzer are out there are top starters, and you can't swing a dead cat without hearing the name Giancarlo Stanton mentioned as a trade possibility.

I really don't know where Ben Cherington will go with all of this. He has a ton of freedom to do what he wants to, as the club has money to spend on free agents, prospects to trade, as well as attractive MLB players that he can trade as well. It will probably reach a fever pitch when the Winter Meetings begin in San Diego on December 7th.

The trade for Yoenis Cespedes last July 31 tells me that Cherington is not afraid to make bold moves, and I have a feeling he will pull off another shocker (or maybe two) this winter. He's got a plan that I am sure he is keeping close to the vest right now.

But the first interesting move of the off-season was the Sox resigning Koji Uehara to a two-year extension. He will be 40 next summer, and obviously the Sox believe that his late-season struggles in 2014 was just a blip on the radar.

I am not going to make any predictions on what the Red Sox will do this winter. I just feel it will be an offseason of surprises. There will be a lot of pressure on Ben Cherington to make all the right moves as he did in 2013, which resulted in a championship. I'm not betting that will happen again.

But who knows.

I can only guarantee that the Red Sox team that takes the field in Philadelphia on April 6th will look very different from the one that concluded the 2014 season last September 28th.

Trivia Q&A: November 4

We had another nice turnout for Trivia at the Caledonia on Election Night, a nice bounce back from last week's slight decline. The bar was full and the folks were really enjoying the night's Q&A.

The scores for the first two categories was extremely low (especially in Politics & Election Trivia, as the highest score was actually 3 of 7), but the teams were basically bunched together heading into The Q Train lightning round, where most teams got a 9 or 10 out of 10.

The team of ISIS Company Softball Team (who won for Best Team Name) got 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia, and forced a tie with Hashbrown: Am I Doing This Right? at 38 points. We had a tie breaker question: "How many electoral votes did Ronald Reagan win by in the biggest landslide in history in 1984 over Walter Mondale?" The answer was 512, and Hashbrown was closest in their guess, and won the night. Congrats to Matt and Monica on another fine win.

Third place went to Lil' Bitches, who had 27 points.

Current Events
1. What world leader was called "chickenshit" by an anonymous figure within the Obama administration as reported by Atlantic magazine last week?
2. What country's prime minister announced last week a binding referendum will be held in 2016 on whether to change the country's national flag, one that has the Union flag on it?
3. What country announced they will quarantine all visitors to the country for 21 days, even though the country has never had a case of Ebola?
4. What troubled actress and her brother are being sued for $60 million by an ex-business associate over a fashion app they are working on, as the man claims they stole the idea from him?
5. A suspected cop killer was captured by US Marshals last week after a grueling 48-day search in what US state?
6. What iconic R&B/pop singer, who is 64 years old, announced he will become a father for the 9th, 10th and 11th time, as his girlfriend is expecting triplets?
7. Wilson Kipsang and Mary Keitany won the men's and women's titles at the NYC Marathon on Sunday. What country do they both hail from?

Politics & Election Trivia
1. What US president was elected with the most lopsided vote in history in terms of electoral votes?
2. Thomas Menino, the former mayor of Boston who died last week, was elected how many times?
3. What 20th century president was the last one elected who had never attended college?
4. The two current longest-serving members of Congress, John Dingell and John Conyers, both represent what northern US state?
5. Who was the last Democratic president elected carrying at least 46 states?
6. Who was the last US president to serve who was not elected to the office?
7. Who was the first US president to serve who was not elected to the office?

2012 Presidential Election Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the party who won the state.)
1. New Jersey
2. Texas
3. Nebraska
4. Florida
5. Alaska
6. Minnesota
7. Ohio
8. Missouri
9. Virginia
10. Georgia

General Knowledge
1. The Falkland Islands are found off the coast of what country? ( 1 pt)
2. What is the last letter in the Greek alphabet? ( 1 pt)
3. What is number is 100 cubed? (1 pt)
4. What character from the sitcom "Cheers" appeared as a contestant on Jeopardy? ( 2 pt)
5. What European country was in charge of developing and building the Suez Canal? ( 2 pt)
6. What creature is strongly suspected to be the initial transmitter of the Ebola virus? ( 2 pt)
7. How many terrestrial planets are in this solar system? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Who was the only person to sign all three documents that founded the US: the Declaration of Independence, The Treaty of Paris and the US Constitution? ( 4 points)
2. Flora, Fauna and Merryweather were three characters featured in what fairy tale? ( 5 points)
3. Most historical scholars believe that Buddha was born in the 5th century BC in what present-day Asian country? ( 4 points)
4. Which current British royal is known as the Duke of York? ( 4 points)
5. The California Perfume Company was the original name of what cosmetics company? ( 3 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Benjamin Netanyahu; 2. New Zealand; 3. North Korea; 4. Lindsay Lohan; 5. Pennsylvania; 6. Stevie Wonder; 7. Kenya.

Politics & Election Trivia
1. Ronald Reagan (1984); 2. five; 3. Harry S. Truman; 4. Michigan; 5. FDR (1936); 6. Gerald Ford; 7. John Tyler.

2012 Presidential Election Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Dem; 2. Rep; 3. Rep; 4. Dem; 5. Rep; 6. Dem; 7. Dem; 8. Rep; 9. Dem; 10. Rep.

General Knowledge
1. Argentina; 2. Omega; 3. 1 million; 4. Cliff Clavan; 5. France; 6. bat; 7. four.

IQ Trivia
1. Ben Franklin; 2. Sleeping Beauty; 3. Nepal; 4. Prince Andrew; 5. Avon.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Voting & Trivia: Two Things To Do Tuesday


Tuesday is Election Day in the United States, so we at Tuesday Night Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will honor it in both our rotating categories. The Special Category will be "Politics and Election Trivia." I will ask you seven questions connected to elections and those elected in some way, many at the national level.

The Q Train lightning round will be "2012 Presidential Trivia." I will give you the names of then US states, and you have to tell me which party they went to in terms of electoral votes in the Obama-Romney election: Democratic or Republican.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What is the last letter of the Greek alphabet?"

We get started at 8 PM at the Caledonia, which is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. I look forward to seeing many of you after you've cast your ballots on Tuesday night for a great night of Trivia Q&A!

Saturday, November 01, 2014

"Scribe: My Life In Sports"

Bob Ryan is an interesting character. He is best known from his appearances on the ESPN sports shows "Pardon the Interruption," "The Sports Reporters" and "Around the Horn" over the last 25 years, and as a guy with very pointed opinions, and not afraid to say them.

I've also known him from his days as a sportswriter with the Boston Globe. When I was offered a copy of his book "Scribe: My Life In Sports," I thought that baseball would be a major part of his tome. But basketball is the major part of his biography, as he covered the Celtics for many decades.

I have to admit that I am not the biggest basketball fan in the world, but that certainly didn't discourage me from reading his book. He has written 11 books in the past, but this one begins at his beginning.

Ryan begins his story as a kid growing up in Trenton, New Jersey, where sports played a huge part in his youth. He lost his dad at the age of 11, and was raised by his mother. He eventually went to Boston College, found a job as an office boy at the Boston Globe (where he met a young Peter Gammons), and worked his way up in the sports department, eventually getting the Celtics gig in 1969.

From there, Ryan tells a plethora of interesting stories covering the Boston Celtics legends, from Red Auerbach, Dave Cowens, up to the Larry Bird Era and the last Celtics championship in 2008.

While the book is centered on basketball and the Celtics, Ryan also talks at length about his days covering college basketball, and his encounters with legendary coach Bobby Knight are particularly fascinating. And he also enjoyed his time covering the Olympics (11 in all), especially when the pros debuted in 1992, the so-called "Dream Team."

Ryan does talk about his brief times covering the Red Sox, in the mid-1970s, and early 1980s, and does talk briefly about the Red Sox winning the 2004 World Series.

Ryan has an impressive resume covering all different sports, and lists golf as his favorite to cover. But he talks about not being very hockey literate, and really is conflicted about the game of football. He calls it "barbaric" but also "wouldn't dream of missing a Super Bowl or National championship game."

Bob Ryan has been covering the world of sports for nearly five decades, and if you've read and enjoyed his work over the years, you'll certainly find something to like in "Scribe."

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 28

The crowd was a bit lighter than in past weeks at the Caledonia for Trivia on Tuesday night. Maybe some folks were more interested in the World Series, the opening of the NBA season, or saving themselves for the Halloween celebrations on Friday night.

No matter, we still had a spirited group of folks come out for Trivia. The team of SuperNintendo Chalmers pulled out the win, as they were trailing going into IQ Trivia by two points, and were the only team to get 3 of 5 right in IQ Trivia, and won the night with 42 points and three-point margin of victory. Congrats to Larry and Tom on their win.

Second place went to Smell My Feet with 39 points, and third place went to Dental Damn Yankees (who also won for Best Team Name) with 31 points.

Current Events
1. "Goodfellas" actor Frank Sivero filed a $250 million lawsuit against current what TV series last week, claiming the show based a character on his most famous role?
2. Toys R Us pulled the action figure toys from what TV series after they received an online petition from over 9,000 signers protesting the stores selling the figures?
3. What recent Oscar-winning actor was recently chosen to star in a biopic about Apple founder Steve Jobs?
4. A driver knocked over a Ten Commandments monument in the capital city of what state last week, a monument that the ACLU had been suing to have removed?
5. Legendary rock guitarist Jack Bruce died last Saturday at the age of 71. What rock group was he part of with Eric Clapton in the late 1960s?
6. A South African court sentenced former Olympian Oscar Pistorius to how many years in prison for his girlfriend's murder last week?
7. Promising young rookie MLB player Oscar Taveras was killed on Sunday in a car crash with his girlfriend in the Dominican Republic. What NL team did he play for in 2014?

October 31st Trivia
1. On this day in 1941, Mt. Rushmore was officially completed. Of the four US presidents immortalized there, which one is second from the left?
2. In 1956, which two European countries began bombing Egypt to force them to reopen the Suez Canal, which they closed two days earlier?
3. In 2011 on this date, the United Nations announced that the world population had reached what landmark number?
4. On this day in 1860, Juliette Gordon Low was born. She founded what American youth organization?
5. In 1864, what western US state joined the Union and became the 36th US state?
6. On this day in 1992, what astronomer & physicist was reinstated by the Roman Catholic Church after he was found guilty of heresy charges 359 years earlier?
7. Actor/director Peter Jackson was born on this day in 1961. For which film did he wain an Oscar for Best Director in 2003?

Horror Films Trivia ("The Q Train") (Name the decade)
1. Psycho
2. Night of the Living Dead
3. Poltergeist
4. The Blair Witch Project
5. Halloween
6. Interview With a Vampire
7. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
8. The Exorcist
9. Friday the 13th
10. Saw

General Knowledge
1. Who won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for "Goodfellas?" ( 1 pt)
2. The Tampa Bay Lightning play in what sports league? ( 1 pt)
3. The Jetta TDI is a model of what car manufacturer? ( 1 pt)
4. What constellation is known as the Archer? ( 2 pt)
5. What pop singer wore a "meat dress" at the 2010 MTV Music Awards? ( 2 pt)
6. In which field of medicine is amniocentesis used? ( 2 pt)
7. What US state is the most densely populated state in the US? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What veteran entertainer is credited by Guinness World Records with logging the most hours on US television? ( 3 points)
2. "You'll Never Walk Alone" was a number one hit in the UK in 1964 by what British Invasion pop group? ( 5 points)
3. The Roman province of Lusitania is today made up of nearly all of what Western European country? ( 4 points)
4. In 2006, a National Geographic map had soccer as the most popular sport in nearly every nation in the world. What team sport tops the list in just three: Latvia, Lithuania and the Philippines? ( 4 points)
5. The Battle of Leyte Gulf, which is widely considered the largest naval battle in history, occurred during what war? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. "The Simpsons;" 2. "Breaking Bad;" 3. Christian Bale; 4. Oklahoma; 5. Cream; 6. five; 7. St. Louis Cardinals.

October 31st Trivia
1. Thomas Jefferson; 2. Britain and France; 3. 7 billion; 4. Girl Scouts; 5. Nevada; 6. Galileo Galilei; 7. "The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King."

Horror Films Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 1960s (1960); 2. 1960s (1968); 3. 1980s (1982); 4. 1990s (1999); 5. 1970s (1978); 6. 1990s (1994); 7. 1950s (1956); 8. 1970s (1973); 9. 1980s (1980); 10. 2000s (2004).

General Knowledge
1. Joe Pesci; 2. NHL; 3. Volkswagen; 4. Sagittarius; 5. Lady Gaga; 6. obstetrics; 7. New Jersey.

IQ Trivia
1. Regis Philbin; 2. Gerry and the Pacemakers; 3. Portugal; 4. basketball; 5. World War II.

Monday, October 27, 2014

It Never Gets Old

10 years ago today.

It still gives me chills and a tear in my eye.

In Honor of All Hallows Eve


On Tuesday night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Tuesday Night Trivia will be "October 31st Trivia." It will be seven questions about all kinds of things that happened in the world on Halloween, none of which are connected to any ghosts or goblins.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Horror Films Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous horror films and you will tell me what decade the film originally came out. BTW, there will be only original films, and no remakes.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"The Jetta TDI is a model of what car manufacturer?"

We get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've had some great turnouts over the last few weeks, so I would recommend you get in early to guarantee getting a seat. Thanks for all the great support, and I look forward to seeing many of you tomorrow night!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Stadium Reviews From Around The World

I received an email from a gentleman named Paul Swaney the other day, and he runs a cool website you might like to check out, "Stadium Journey."

His site has reviewed 1,998 stadiums from around the world, 41 countries in all. This includes every team sport you can think of, from baseball, American football, basketball and hockey, to soccer and even NASCAR. This past season, they reviewed every MLB ballpark, and about half the minor league parks.

Paul sent me the links for all the Red Sox affiliates throughout their minor league system, and of course, the big club. Here they are for your convenience:

Fenway Park:  http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/fenway-park-s1
Pawtucket:  http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/mccoy-stadium-s287
Portland:  http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/hadlock-field-s295
Salem: http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/lewisgale-field-at-salem-memorial-baseball-stadium-s312
Greenville:  http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/fluor-field-at-the-west-end-s219
Lowell:  http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/edward-a.-lelacheur-park-s259

Here are a few others to check out:
MLB Rankings:  http://www.stadiumjourney.com/news/10-22-2014/856/2014-mlb-ballpark-experience-rankings

Liverpool FC (Anfield): http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/anfield-s509
Minnesota Vikings (TCF Bank Stadium): http://www.stadiumjourney.com/stadiums/tcf-bank-stadium-s486/
Stadium Journey Main Page: www.stadiumjourney.com

You can also check out Stadium Journey on Facebook and Twitter.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 21

We had another huge crowd in for Trivia at the Caledonia on Tuesday night. 10 teams took part, and the bar was filled with an enthusiastic group really into the Trivia. It is so gratifying to see a lot of the same folks in every week, and some new people as well. Our Trivia Night continues to grow, and I can't thank you all enough for the success so far.

It was really a two-team race in the last three rounds. The team of Kansas City's Nickname Is Fred won by ten points, getting 52 in total, including getting 4 of 5 in IQ Trivia, and getting all 7 of the General Knowledge questions correct as well (it was a tough round, and it will be a bit easier next week). Second place went to They Might Be Giants, But They'll Never Be Royals! with 42 points, and third place went to Land of the Quizfits with 28 points.

Best Team Name: Better Late Than Pregnant

Current Events
1. What actor was selected last week to host the 2015 Academy Awards for the first time after he has hosted the Tony and Emmy Awards previously?
2. What billionaire internet entrepreneur donated $25 million to the CDC in the fight against Ebola last week?
3. What controversial South American nation was elected to the UN's National Security Council last Thursday?
4. What classic rock band is currently being sued in a Pennsylvania court by a 1960s band called Spirit, as they claim the band stole their most famous song from them?
5. A cue card writer on what late-night talk show was fired last week after getting into an altercation with the show's host and another writer?
6. The World Health Organization declared yesterday that the Ebola outbreak in what West African nation has been contained, with the last case there being declared negative?
7. Police have identified a suspect wanted in a series of murders of seven women found dead in different parts of what Midwestern US state?

World Series Trivia
1. When was the last time the Kansas City Royals were in the World Series before 2014? a. 1980; b. 1985; c. 1988; d. 1995.
2. How many times have the San Francisco Giants won the World Series in this century? a. 0; b. 1; c. 2; d. 3.
3. Which Yankees Hall of Famer holds the record for playing on the most World Series champions, with 10 in all? a. Babe Ruth; b. Lou Gehrig; c. Joe DiMaggio; d. Yogi Berra.
4. Which one of the following teams have never won a World Series? a. Washington Nationals; b. Arizona Diamondbacks; c. Cleveland Indians; d. Miami Marlins.
5. What team won three consecutive World Series in the 1970s? a. NY Yankees; b. Los Angeles Dodgers; c. Oakland A's; d. Cincinnati Reds.
6. Which Red Sox player was the MVP of the 2004 World Series? a. Manny Ramirez; b. Keith Foulke; c. David Ortiz; d. Curt Schilling.
7. Name 2 of the 4 years the New York Mets appeared in the World Series.

US and World City Nicknames ("The Q Train")
1. The Gateway City
2. The City of David
3. The City of Light
4. Sin City
5. The Forbidden City
6. The Square Mile
7. The Eternal City
8. The Pearl of the Danube
9. The Big Easy
10. The Emerald City

General Knowledge
1. The country of Burkina Faso is located on what continent? ( 1 pt)
2. "Motor City Madman" is the nickname of what rock star? ( 1 pt)
3. Zane Grey wrote many books in what genre? ( 1 pt)
4. What 1964 film included the characters Major Kong, Lt. Lothar Zogg and General Jack D. Ripper? ( 2 pt)
5. What famous American poet wrote the poem "Howl?" ( 2 pt)
6. What was the name of the casino the infamous gangster Bugsy Siegel opened in 1947? ( 2 pt)
7. In what US state was the "Burning Man Festival" held in 2014? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What number constitutional amendment limited the number of terms a US president could serve to two? ( 3 points)
2. What is the largest southern US city that borders the Cumberland River? ( 5 points)
3. In 2007, what 1990s musician was recognized by RIAA as the top-selling solo artist of all-time, passing Elvis Presley with over 123 million units in US sales? ( 4 points)
4. The child care facility at Nike Headquarters in Oregon was named for what controversial sports figure until it was quietly changed in 2012? ( 4 points)
5. What professional sports team was originally named in honor of a famous local sporting event, the Preakness Stakes? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Neil Patrick Harris; 2. Mark Zuckerberg; 3. Venezuela; 4. Led Zeppelin; 5. The Late Show With David Letterman; 6. Nigeria; 7. Indiana.

World Series Trivia
1. b; 2. c; 3. d; 4. a; 5. c; 6. a; 7. 1969, 1973, 1986, 2000.

US and World City Nicknames ("The Q Train")
1. St. Louis; 2. Jerusalem; 3. Paris; 4. Las Vegas; 5. Beijing; 6. London; 7. Rome; 8. Budapest; 9. New Orleans; 10. Seattle.

General Knowledge
1. Africa; 2. Ted Nugent; 3. Westerns; 4. "Dr. Strangelove;" 5. Allen Ginsburg; 6. The Flamingo; 7. Nevada.

IQ Trivia
1. Twenty-two; 2. Nashville, TN; 3. Garth Brooks; 4. Joe Paterno; 5. Baltimore Colts.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Greatest Comeback: 10 Years Later

It was really nervous on the night of October 20, 2004.

It was Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS between the Red Sox and Yankees. The Sox had been down 0-3 in the series, and had won the last three game in a row to make history, as not team had ever played in a postseason Game 7 after losing the first three games. My friend Adam predicted an 11-0 Sox win after they won Game 6.

He wasn't too far off.

It was a night for the ages. The Sox scored early and often, and had an 8-1 lead by the 7th inning. Johnny Damon blasted two home runs, Derek Lowe was spectacular. Even bringing in Pedro Martinez in the 7th inning (why Tito?) couldn't spoil it, and made the pathetic Yankee fans look even more pathetic with the chants at him. Mark Bellhorn's 8th inning home run shot down any comeback attempt, and sent the "loyal" Yankee fans to the exits. 10-3, Red Sox.

I was at the Riviera Cafe in the West Village with about 150 other Sox fans, and partied into the night with my friends in seeing the Myth of Yankee Superiority exploded forever that night.

The World Series was a forgone conclusion, but we'll talk more about that next week. My friend Allan at The Joy of Sox has an excellent retrospective of the 2004 ALCS up on his site. Worth reliving it, especially with all the great newspaper covers from Boston and New York he's put up.

But of course, "Four Days In October" is a great documentary to relive this 10th anniversary, especially since me and my friends are in it, starting at the 33:00 mark (I'm the guy wearing the Sox jersey sitting at the bar).

Happy 10th Anniversary, Everyone!

The Fall Classic Takes Center Stage


Tomorrow night, the World Series begins in Kansas City, with the underdog and red-hot Royals taking on the NL champion San Francisco Giants. As the game is going on, we will have "World Series Trivia" as the Special Category for Trivia Night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, starting at 8 PM. It will be seven questions on the Fall Classic, and the first six will be multiple choice, for those of you not huge hardball fans. The seventh question will be a multiple answer question worth more points.

The Q Train lightning round will be "US and World Cities Nicknames Trivia." We did "Countries Nicknames" last week, so why not do cities? I'll give you the nicknames of 10 big cities from here and abroad, and you tell what town I'm talking about.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Zane Grey wrote many books in what genre?"

We get started right around 8 PM. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've had some big crowds lately, so please do get in before 8 PM to ensure getting a seat. Thanks so much for the great support, and I'll see many of you on Tuesday night!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My Ballot For the 2014 BBA Awards

I am a member of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, and every year we vote on the postseason awards, ahead of when the MLB writers vote is announced. Here is my vote for the American League and National League Pitcher of the Year (Walter Johnson Award), Relief Pitcher of the Year (Goose Gossage Award), and the Stan Musial Award (MVP). Just my opinion, I could be wrong:

NL Pitcher of the Year
1. Clayton Kershaw, LA
2. Adam Wainwright, STL
3. Johnny Cueto, CIN
4. Doug Fister, WAS
5. Cole Hamels, PHI

AL Pitcher of the Year
1. Corey Kluber, CLE
2. Felix Hernandez, SEA
3. Chris Sale, CHI
4. Jon Lester, BOS-OAK
5. David Price, TB-DET

NL Relief Pitcher of the Year
1. Craig Kimbrel, ATL
2. Aroldis Chapman, CIN
3. Trevor Rosenthal, STL

AL Relief Pitcher of the Year
1. Greg Holland, KC
2. Zach Britton, BAL
3. Dellin Betances, NY

NL MVP
1. Clayton Kershaw, LA
2. Giancarlo Stanton, MIA
3. Andrew McCutchen, PIT
4. Buster Posey, SF
5. Anthony Rendon, WAS
6. Josh Harrison, PIT
7. Adrian Gonzalez, LA
8. Anthony Rizzo, CHI
9. Adam Wainwright, STL
10. Matt Carpenter, STL

AL MVP
1. Mike Trout, LA
2. Nelson Cruz, BAL
3. Michael Brantley, CLE
4. Jose Bautista, TOR
5. Miguel Cabrera, DET
6. Jose Abreu, CHI
7. Jose Altuve, HOU
8. Victor Martinez, DET
9. Josh Donaldson, OAK
10. Robinson Cano, SEA

The Willie Mays Award for Rookie of the Year was previously awarded earlier this week to Jose Abreu for the AL, and Jacob deGrom for the NL. The Connie Mack Award for Manager of the Year was previously awarded to Clint Hurdle for the NL, and Buck Showalter for the AL.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 14

We had yet another terrific crowd in for Trivia on Tuesday night. The Caledonia was once again filled to capacity, and I can't thank you all enough for another tremendous turnout. Soon we will have to figure a way to add more seats to the bar to accommodate all our Trivia players. What a great problem to have.

The team of Canadian Trivia Is Redundant won the night, getting 52 points (including a perfect sweep of the IQ Trivia questions), and taking it by a full ten points. Congrats to Alex and his crew on another great win. Second place was very close the last two rounds, but it went to Stephen Hawking's School of Dance (which also took the Best Team Name honors) with 42 points, and third place went to Let's See a Double Feature With Geno Smith The Day Before The Game with 41 points.

Current Events
1. Thieves broke into the museum dedicated to what Hall of Fame baseball player last week in New Jersey, stealing priceless memorabilia dedicated to him?
2. What female pop singer was selected as the halftime act for next February's Super Bowl?
3. It was recently revealed that NBC tried unsuccessfully to hire what late-night talk show host to become the new host of their Sunday morning political show "Meet the Press?"
4. Malala Yousafazi, at the age of 17, became the youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner last Friday. What country is she from?
5. What actress checked into a rehab shortly after she made shocking abuse claims against her father on Twitter?
6. The fiancee of John Kitzhaber, governor of what western US state, admitted last Friday to accepting $5000 to be in a "green card marriage" to an Ethiopian man?
7. A statue of what controversial American made an appearance in Union Square Park last Friday, but the police ordered it removed due to a lack of a permit to display it?

Canada Trivia
1. How many oceans border the nation of Canada?
2. What was the last Canadian city to host an Olympic Games?
3. Name Canada's two national sports.
4. What late Canadian actor's brother was Canada's Deputy Prime Minister from 1984-1986?
5. How many countries in the world are larger than Canada in total land area?
6. Rogers Centre, a major Canadian ballpark, is located in what city?
7. Name 2 of the 3 largest Canadian provinces by population.

Country Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Land of the Rising Sun
2. The Gift of the Nile
3. The Land of Hope & Glory
4. The Land of Milk & Honey
5. The Land of the Incas
6. The Hermit Kingdom
7. The Boot
8. The Rainbow Nation
9. The Hexagon
10. The Land of Oz

General Knowledge
1. Europe recently won the 40th Ryder Cup in what sport? ( 1 pt)
2. The Dewey Decimal System categorizes what? ( 1 pt)
3. Dolly, the first successfully cloned mammal, was what kind of animal? ( 1 pt)
4. Death Valley is located in what American desert? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the most widely spoken language on Earth? ( 2 pt)
6. How many laps are there in the Indianapolis 500? ( 2 pt)
7. Ben Nevis is the highest mountain in what country? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Who did the Associated Press pick as the Athlete of the Decade for 2000-2009? ( 4 points)
2. Cebuano and Tagalog are the two most common native languages spoken in what Asian country? ( 3 points)
3. For the first time since 1932, two women topped Quigley Publishing's 2013 list of the "Top Money-Making Stars." Name the two Oscar-winning actresses. ( 4 points)
4. Charles Fairbanks, Charles Curtis and Charles Dawes were all early 20th century Americans who all held what position? ( 5 points)
5. What popular rock singer/songwriter came in first in a 2012 poll that asked Americans who they'd pick to compose a new national anthem? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Yogi Berra; 2. Katy Perry; 3. Jon Stewart; 4. Pakistan; 5. Amanda Bynes; 6. Oregon; 7. Edward Snowden.

Canada Trivia
1. Three; 2. Vancouver (2010); 3.hockey and lacrosse; 4. Leslie Nielsen; 5. one (Russia); 6. Toronto; 7. Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia.

Country Nicknames Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Japan; 2. Egypt; 3. England; 4. Switzerland & Israel; 5. Peru; 6. North Korea; 7. Italy; 8. South Africa; 9. France; 10. Australia.

General Knowledge
1. Golf; 2. books; 3. sheep; 4. Mojave; 5. Mandarin Chinese; 6. 200; 7. United Kingdom.

IQ Trivia
1. Tiger Woods; 2. The Philippines; 3. Jennifer Lawrence and Sandra Bullock; 4. Vice President of the United States; 5. Bruce Springsteen.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"America's Hat" Trivia On Tuesday


Tomorrow night at the Caledonia Scottish Pub, the Special Category for Trivia will be "Canada Trivia." It will be seven questions about our neighbors to the north in honor of their celebration of Thanksgiving Day this week. The Q Train lightning round will be "Countries' Nicknames Trivia." I will give you the names of ten famous nicknames of countries from around the world, and you have to tell me what nation I am talking about. (BTW, "Great White North" and "America's Hat" will not be among the nicknames.)

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"Europe recently won the 40th Ryder Cup, in what sport?"

We get started at 8 PM on Tuesday night. The Caledonia is at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. We've some really nice turnouts over the past few months, and I thank you all for your great support. I look forward to seeing many of you on Tuesday for another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Thanks Josh & Ryan

Two notable Red Sox pitchers from the recent past called it a career this past week: Josh Beckett and Ryan Dempster.

They weren't teammates on the Red Sox, but they briefly played together on the Florida Marlins in 2001 and 2002. Both had terrific careers, but while neither will be going to the Hall of Fame, both retire as World Series champions with the Red Sox. (And Beckett won another ring with the Marlins in 2003.)

Beckett left the Sox in 2012 in the much-heralded trade with the Dodgers, that also sent Adrian Gonzalez and Carl (I Can't Shut Up About How Much I Hate Boston) Crawford. His time had clearly ended in Boston, and a divorce was the best things at the time for all concerned.

Way too much was made of that "Beer and Chicken" nonsense of 2011, but Beckett does deserve much of the blame for the Sox not making the playoffs that year. He and Jon Lester had miserable months of September, and it cost the team dearly. They were supposed to lead the Sox into the postseason, and their failures killed the season.

But that's not what most fans should remember about Beckett. Every fan should always keep in mind that he was the main reason the Red Sox won a second World Series in the 21st century, as he simply stellar. He went 4-0 in that postseason, including being MVP of the ALCS, winning Game 5 that sent the series back to Boston. This coming off a 20-win season that year.

Yeah, the way Beckett left Boston may still be fresh in many fans minds, but when all is said and done, Beckett brought a title to Boston. And that should never be forgotten, and won't be. I'm sure he'll be warmly received when the Sox have a 10th anniversary remembrance of the 2007 Champions in 2017.

Dempster was brought in as a free agent in 2013, and not many people were jumping for joy when the Red Sox signed him. His numbers weren't anything to get excited about (8-9 with a 4.57 ERA), but he became a valuable guy in the clubhouse who ate up innings on the team that shocked the baseball world and won the 2013 World Series.

And fans will never forget the statement he made against one Alex Rodriguez on a Sunday night that August.

Dempster also walked away from the second year of his two-year, $28 million deal with the Sox after the World Series to be with his family. Not every player can walk away from $14 million. He did some work on the MLB Network, and did not officially retire until this week.

I wish both Josh Beckett and Ryan Dempster all the best in their retirements, and thank them both for the great memories they leave Red Sox fans. They retire champions, from two championship Sox teams.

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Trivia Q&A: October 7

We had another terrific night of Trivia at The Caledonia on Tuesday night, as the bar was filled and everyone seemed to enjoy it. The crowd was rather boisterous, and it was a really close night in terms of scores. In fact, something happened after the third round that I have never seen happen in any Trivia Night I have ever done before. There were seven teams playing, and every team was one point behind the other. And it was really strange since we had a five-way tie for second place after the second round!

The team of Multiple Scoregasms won the night, coming from last place in the third round and had two amazing last rounds, getting 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia to pull off a one point victory with 39 points. Second place went to The Central Park Bears with 38 points, and third place went to Mortal Wombat with 37 points.

Best Team Name: My Name Is Keith. I am Your Bartender, and I Like Things On The Harder Side

Current Events
1. What European country recently abolished all tuition fees in their colleges and universities for the coming school year?
2. What controversial actor was accused of assault and battery after he allegedly attacked a technician during a visit to a dentist last month?
3. According to Pollstar, what NY-area concert venue has sold more tickets to concerts & touring shows than any other US arena in the first nine months of 2014?
4. Jean-Claude Duvalier, the former "president for life" of what country he ruled for 15 years before fleeing into exile in 1986, died last Saturday at the age of 63?
5. The family of the late iconic actor John Wayne is currently locked in a legal battle with what American university over using his nickname on a bourbon bottle?
6. American John O'Keefe and Norwegians May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser were awarded the Nobel Prize in what field on Monday?
7. What movie thriller grossed over $38 million this past weekend in its opening week to become the number one film in the US at the box office?

Italy Trivia
1. Italy's flag is what three colors?
2. Leonardo da Vinci painted the Mona Lisa in Italy in what century?
3. In 1890, Italian Giuseppe Airoldi is credited with inventing what, something you see in newspapers every day?
4. What small country is located totally within northern Italy, has a population of 30,000 and is the oldest constitutional republic in the world?
5. Venice's international airport is named for what Italian traveler and explorer?
6. What is the name of Italy's largest island?
7. How many time has Italy won soccer's World Cup?

Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Beldar Conehead
2. Wayne Campbell
3. Matt Foley
4. Ed Grimley
5. The Church Lady
6. Emily Litella
7. Stuart Smalley
8. Alex Trebek
9. Tommy Flanagan, Pathological Liar
10. Barack Obama

General Knowledge
1. What country leads the teams in the opening parade for every Summer Olympics? ( 1 pt)
2. Clemson University is found in what US state? ( 1 pt)
3. What was the name of the SUV famously driven in June 1994 by Al Cowlings? ( 1 pt)
4. Titan is the largest moon of what planet? ( 2 pt)
5. What is the only US state that touches the Atlantic Ocean and Lake Ontario? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the branch of medicine that deals with cancer? ( 2 pt)
7. The month of March always starts on the same day of the week as what other month?  ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. What is the largest bay in the world? ( 4 points)
2. What European car company was founded in 1922 as the Swallow Sidecar Company, originally making motorcycle sidecars before developing passenger cars? ( 5 points)
3. What is the smallest state in the US west of the Mississippi River in land area? ( 3 points)
4. What small European nation is the world's most densely populated country? ( 4 points)
5. At the age of 54, Elena Kagen is the youngest person who is part of what group of people? ( 4 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Germany; 2. Charlie Sheen; 3. Barclays Center; 4. Haiti; 5. Duke; 6. medicine; 7. "Gone Girl."

Italy Trivia
1. Red, white and green; 2. 16th century; 3. crossword puzzle; 4. San Marino; 5. Marco Polo; 6. Sicily; 7. four.

Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. Dan Aykroyd; 2. Mike Myers; 3. Chris Farley; 4. Martin Short; 5. Dana Carvey; 6. Gilda Radner; 7. Al Franken; 8. Will Ferrell; 9. Jon Lovitz; 10. Fred Armisen & Jay Pharoah.

General Knowledge
1. Greece; 2. South Carolina; 3. Ford Bronco; 4. Saturn; 5. New York; 6. oncology; 7. November.

IQ Trivia
1. Bay of Bengal; 2. Jaguar; 3. Hawaii; 4. Monaco; 5. US Supreme Court.

Monday, October 06, 2014

Honoring Italy & SNL On Tuesday


On Tuesday night, Trivia at the Caledonia Scottish Pub will feature "Italy Trivia" as the Special Category, in honor of the upcoming Columbus Day holiday next Monday. I will ask you seven questions connected in some way to that great nation.

The Q Train lightning round will be "Saturday Night Live Characters Trivia." In honor of the NBC show beginning its 40th season a couple of weeks ago, I will give you the names of ten famous characters from that show, and you have to tell me which actor or actress played that character on the program.

The Sneak Peek question for this week is:
"What country leads the teams in the opening parade for every Summer Olympics?"

We get rolling just after 8 PM tomorrow night. Thanks to all of you who have been turning out each week and making Trivia at the Caledonia such a success. The pub is located at 1609 2nd Avenue, between E. 83rd and 84th Streets. Hope to see many of you on Tuesday for another great night of Trivia Q&A!

Friday, October 03, 2014

"Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914"

As we all know, America loves an underdog. There have been many in baseball history, and most think of the 1969 New York Mets as the gold standard for it. And there have been many amazing comebacks as well, with the most famous being the New York Giants coming back to win the National League pennant in 1951 (who coincidentally, pulled it off 63 years ago today).

But there was a forerunner for both underdog and comebacks in MLB history. It was the 1914 Boston Braves, who pulled off the most amazing comeback in baseball history, and it is chronicled in the new tome, "Baseball's Greatest Comeback: The Miracle Braves of 1914" by J. Brian Ross.

The Braves were a pretty nondescript team, playing second fiddle in the city of Boston to the Red Sox, who had won the World Series in 1912. The Braves had not won a pennant in their history and had finished fifth of eight teams in 1913, after ending up in the basement the previous four seasons. They broke from the gate in 1914 losing 16 of their first 19 games, and it looked like another last place finish was in store for them.

On July 4th, they dropped a doubleheader (you remember them, right?) to the Brooklyn Dodgers, and they stood at 26-40 in last place. A few days later they played an exhibition game against Buffalo of the International League, and were humiliated, 10-2. It was the naadir of a lost season. But right after that, their fortunes turned. And dramatically.

Ross does a nice job setting up the times the Braves won it all in 1914: it was the Progressive Era, which was marked by invention and innovation. But it was also a dangerous time, as war was looming in Europe, and would engulf the world.

Ross also talks extensively about many of the major stars of the era, like John McGraw, Christy Mathewson and Connie Mack. He also focuses on the only stars playing for the Braves, future Hall of Fame infielders Rabbit Maranville and Johnny Evers. The section on Evers is especially interesting, as he went through a few tragedies during his playing days. The Braves also had a colorful manager named George Stallings, a figure really lost to MLB history, and Ross' depiction of him is as a real character.

A combination of amazing pitching, great defense and timely hitting put the Braves on an amazing run, as they won 68 and lost just 19 the remainder of the season. They took over first place on September 8th, as the mighty New York Giants slumped in August, and the Braves won the league by an astounding 10 1/2 games, as they went 26-5 in September.

The Braves met Connie Mack and the mighty Philadelphia A's in the World Series. They were one of history's greatest teams, winning three of the past four World Series. Ross does well here describing each of the World Series games, which was a Braves sweep. (The Braves played their two home games at Fenway Park, as Fenway had a larger capacity than Braves Field.)

If I do some criticisms of the book, is that it is a bit short (only 153 pages), and there was little followup on the aftermath of the Braves' miracle season. (It turned out to be just a one-year wonder, as the Braves finished second in 1915, and wound up back in the second division by 1917. The A's suffered a worse fate, as Connie Mack began breaking up his championship squad, as he was short of money. They finished 43-109 in 1915. So the 2014 Red Sox aren't the first team to win a title and finish last the next year.)

But it overall an enjoyable read, and the parallels to the 1969 New York Mets are quite evident. J. Brian Ross brought a deadball era champion back to life, and despite some faults, it is well-worth your time to check it out, especially if you are a fan of old time baseball history.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Trivia Q&A: September 30

We had another good crowd in at the Caledonia for Trivia, as the AL Wild Card Game was going on (and will become an instant classic for sure). The team of Lester? I Don't Even Know Her led for the first four rounds, but were overtaken when the team of I Can't Read That Out Loud got 4 of 5 correct in IQ Trivia and wound up winning the night with 38 points, for their first ever Trivia Night win. Lester? Wound up in second with 32 points, and Brains of Kyrgykstan finished third with 25 points.

Best Team Name: Good Name Next Time!

Current Events
1. What US state was hit by a 6.2 earthquake last Thursday, causing minimal damage, and it was estimated that it was 32,000 times less powerful than the state's worst earthquake of 1964?
2. The president of the region of Catalonia, from what country, authorized an independence referendum for November 9th last week over the country's government opposition?
3. The daughter of the infamous BTK serial killer criticized what author recently for having written a screenplay based on the 2005 Kansas case?
4. A new book recently claimed that what legendary comedian faked his own death 30 years ago, and the author, his friend, claims he will reveal his prank to the world soon?
5. Dennis Kimetto set a new marathon world record last Sunday of 2:02:57 in what European capital city?
6. Over 30 people are feared dead after a volcano erupted on Mount Ontake in what Asian country?
7. Ashraf Ghani was sworn in last Sunday as the new president of what Asian country?

Which Came First Trivia
1. a. The American Civil War ends; b. Canada becomes an independent nation.
2. a. Saigon falls and Vietnam unifies; b. Richard Nixon resigns and Gerald Ford becomes president.
3. a. OJ Simpson is indicted for double murder; c. MLB players walk out on strike & the World Series is later canceled.
4. a. American Idol debuts on Fox; b. Survivor debuts on CBS.
5. a. Barack Obama is born; b. JFK is inaugurated president.
6. a. New England Patriots win their first Super Bowl; b. Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 86 years.
7. a. Bernie Madoff is arrested for running a Ponzi scheme; b. Barack Obama is elected 44th US president.

1-2-3-4 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. This is the number of state capitals named after US presidents.
2. Catcher is this number on a baseball team.
3. On a telephone, this number key is associated with the letters D, E and F.
4. Cancer is this number sign of the zodiac.
5. This is the number of US presidents who have been impeached.
6. In volleyball, this is the number of sets needed to be won to win a whole match.
7. This is the total number of Oscars won by Matt Damon in his career.
8. This is the maximum number of times Friday the 13th can happen in a given year.
9. This is the number of future US presidents who signed the Declaration of Independence.
10. Hall of Fame athletes Ozzie Smith and Oscar Robertson wore this number.

General Knowledge
1. In what classic game can you be ordered to "go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200?" ( 1 pt)
2. What is the sixth planet from the sun? (1 pt)
3. Jakarta is the capital of what Asian country? ( 1 pt)
4. Michael Hutchence was the lead singer of what pop/rock band? ( 2 pt)
5. Matthew Brady was a noted photographer of what war? ( 2 pt)
6. What is the largest bone in the human body? ( 2 pt)
7. Geronimo was the noted leader of what American Indian tribe? ( 3 pt)

IQ Trivia
1. Where in the human body would you find the metacarpus? ( 4 points)
2. Kate Winslet won an Academy Award for Best Actress for what film? ( 3 points)
3. What US state shares the Lake of the Woods with Canada? ( 4 points)
4. The city where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in 1914 is now the capital of what independent nation? ( 4 points)
5. In August 2014, California native Kevin McCarthy became only the 25th person in American history to hold what post? ( 5 points)

Answers
Current Events
1. Alaska; 2. Spain; 3. Stephen King; 4. Andy Kaufman; 5. Berlin; 6. Japan; 7. Afghanistan.

Which Came First Trivia
1. a; 2. b; 3. a; 4. b; 5. b; 6. a; 7. b.

1-2-3-4 Trivia ("The Q Train")
1. 4; 2. 2; 3. 3; 4. 4; 5. 2; 6. 3; 7. 1; 8. 3; 9. 2; 10. 1.

General Knowledge
1. Monopoly; 2. Saturn; 3. Indonesia; 4. INXS; 5. Civil War; 6. femur; 7. Apache.

IQ Trivia
1. Hand; 2. "The Reader;" 3. Minnesota; 4. Bosnia & Herzogovina; 5. Majority Leader of the House of Representatives.