SABR has featured a trivia contest as part of its annual convention since at least 1982. Further considering the hundreds of contests that have taken place at our local chapter events, it is fair to say that SABR and trivia have gone hand in hand throughout our history. We steadfastly maintain that there is nothing trivial about baseball trivia.
As part of the SABR 50 at 50 project to help celebrate our Golden Anniversary, it is appropriate that we present our 50 greatest baseball trivia questions. We asked many of SABR’s best trivia stalwarts to offer questions, and then asked them all to vote on the nominees to narrow it down to 50. Like all great trivia tests, the questions range in difficulty from easy to very hard.
We invite you to test your own mastery of these questions. Once you are finished, you can click the link below and read the answers. We are interested in hearing how you did, but we also would love to hear your own suggestions for great trivia questions we might have missed. Put on your thinking caps and good luck!
1. Who broke up at least 81 no-hitters with a home run?
2. Who is the only player in history to hit a walk-off-inside-the-park grand slam home run?
3. Who are the only two players to win: a.) League MVP b.) World Series MVP and c.) All-Star Game MVP?
4. Which pitcher started the All-Star Game then played only one MLB game the rest of his career?
5. Who is the only player to play for all four original expansion franchises and ONLY those franchises?
6. What 300-game winner accumulated the same number of hits at the plate as he did wins on the mound?
7. What pitcher threw 14 consecutive scoreless innings in All-Star competition?
8. Who was the first player to reach 100 career home runs?
9. The 1927 Pirates may be best remembered for being swept by the Yankees in the World Series. However, the Pirates had two Hall of Fame players on their World Series roster who didn’t play a single game in the series. Name these two benchwarmers.
10. Who is the only player who has appeared in a World Series game at both Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park in Chicago?
11. What four modern MLB clubs were originally in the American Association?
12. What 7 men in uniform for the 1993 World Series were, during their career, named World Series MVP?
13. Walter Johnson beat Jack Bentley in the final game of the 1924 World Series. What’s the other thing that ties them together?
14. Who was the first African American player inducted into the Hall of Fame who had not played in the Negro Leagues?
15. What Hall of Famer was the first St. Louis Browns player to hit two home runs in a game?
16. Which five Hall of Famers each played for only one manager who was also a Hall of Famer during their entire major league careers?
17. Of the sluggers with more than 600 career home runs, who is the only one to never win an MVP award?
18. Who won a Gold Glove Award despite only handling 17 chances all season?
19. Who were the batting leaders in the only year when both leagues’ champions each had batting averages of .325 or lower?
20. Which country produces more major-leaguers per capita than any other country in the world?
21. What team besides the 1971 Orioles had four 20-game winners in a season?
22. Of the 16 franchises of the modern two-league era, which one has never won more than 100 games during a regular season?
23. Which three Hall of Fame members have law degrees and have managed the St. Louis Cardinals?
24. What unusual feat do Elmer Valo, Ron Fairly, Don Mincher and Diego Segui share in common?
25. Which player, over the course of his career, played with five different teammates who either had already, or would in the future, win two consecutive MVP awards in four different decades?
26. Which World Series MVPs were not on the teams they represented at the beginning of the season?
27. What four men played in the postseason in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s?
28. What player only swung the bat once in major-league play, yet retired with a 1.000 career batting average as an American Leaguer AND a 1.000 career batting average as a National Leaguer?
29. Name the pitcher who holds the major league record for most career regular season wins without ever having a single regular season at-bat.
30. Who led his league in ERA more times than any other pitcher?
31. Who is the only player to be thrown out at home twice in the same All-Star game?
32. Name 3 baseball commissioners who served for fewer than 4 years.
33. Who was the only American League batting champ without a homer that season?
34. What slugger’s name is composed of 4 body parts?
35. What four players have hit a home run as a teenager and after turning forty?
36. Who was the first batter to homer off a pitcher whose Cy Young Award came before the hitter was born?
37. Which is the only defunct major-league franchise to win 1,000 games?
38. Which player was directly involved in three of the four American League forfeits in the 1970s?
39. Name the only modern-era Hall of Fame pitcher who, over a 3-year span, led his league in wins the first year, losses the second year, and wins again in the third?
40. Who is the only pitcher to surrender home runs to all three Alou brothers?
41. Who is the only pitcher in MLB history with a perfect game, immaculate inning, and four-strikeout inning?
42. Although he never played for a New York team, this man hit 86 career home runs in New York. Name him.
43. Who was the only Rookie of the Year Award winner to be a Seattle Pilot?
44. What three pitchers have won a game as a teenager and after turning forty?
45. Name the only three pitchers in the modern era to win 20 games in a season for three different teams.
46. Who is the only pitcher to win a 1-0 World Series complete game twice?
47. Which pitcher won both bookend games surrounding the Phillies’ 23-game losing streak in 1961?
48. Who is the only major-leaguer to hit a grand slam right-handed and left-handed in the same game?
49. Which batter hit into the most triple plays in a career?
50. Who was the catcher for Phil Niekro’s 200th career win?