Test your baseball Jeopardy! skills

Leave a comment

Alex Trebek.jpgI tried out for Jeopardy! when I was in law school.  I passed the quiz
and got to play the little pretend Jeopardy! game with the real buzzers
and everything and was put in the contestant pool. Sadly — and unlike my former boss and unlike long time CTB reader Sara K — I never got the call. I suspect they found me to be too annoyingly clicky with the buzzer during the audition. The jerks.

In light of that experience, Jeopardy! has always been something of a sore spot for me. I’m a trivia fiend, and every time I set aside my grudge and watch the show I run the freakin’ board. In light of this, I was drawn to ‘Duk’s latest post over at Big League Stew, in which he searched the Jeopardy! archives for all Final Jeopardy answers that had to do with baseball. He reproduces them for us in the post, with the questions at the bottom.

While it was mostly a fun time waster, he really did it in order to figure out if his gut instinct — to bet all the money he had, regardless of the strategy involved if the category was baseball — was the correct one:

“Let’s say you’re on Jeopardy and you’re absolutely routing your two
opponents. You have $40,000 going into the final round, while one of
your opponents has, let’s say, $15,000. You’re guaranteed to move onto
the next day, but the final category comes up and it has something to
do with baseball, which is your favorite sport. How much — if anything
— do you risk?”

Despite my considerable Jeopardy-fu, I’ll admit that my answer to that question was to play it conservative. But then I read the ten answers he found and got all ten right before the thinking music in my head stopped.  Since they’re not that hard, I’d have to change my strategy and wager it all.

How about you?  And don’t cheat.  And when you’re done, follow ‘Duk’s link to all of the baseball-related Jeopardy! answers going back to 1984.  Or better yet, save them until Sunday so you’ll have something to do while the rest of this demented country watches five hours of commercials and claims that it’s the greatest sporting event in the world.

Kirk Gibson home run happened 30 years ago

AP Images
1 Comment

With the Dodgers trying to make it back to the World Series for the second year in a row — and trying to win it for the first time in 30 years — it’s worth looking back at the last time they won it. More specifically, it’s worth looking back at the signature moment from the last time they won it. Which, really, was one of baseball’s all-time signature moments.

Yep, I’m talking about Kirk Gibson’s famous game-winning home run off of Dennis Eckersley of the Oakland Athletics in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, which happened 30 years ago tonight.

All playoff magic for anyone too young to remember Bill Mazeroski’s homer in 1960 is measured against Gibson taking Dennis Eckersley downtown to turn a 4-3 deficit into a 5-4 win. Heck, even if you were around in 1960, it’s far less likely that you saw Mazeroski’s homer than it was for you to have seen Gibson’s. Nationally broadcast in prime time to a nation of millions who had not yet fragmented into viewers of hundreds of obscure cable channels and various forms of streaming entertainments, it was a moment that sent shockwaves through the world of sports.

For my part, I was fifteen years-old, sitting in my living room in Beckley, West Virginia watching it as it happened. Like most of the rest of the country, I was convinced that the Dodgers had no chance to beat the mighty Bash Brothers and the 104-win Oakland A’s. Especially given that the Dodgers’ leader, MVP-to-be Gibson, was hobbled and not starting. Even when he was called on to pinch hit, I had no faith that he’d be able to touch Eckersley, the best relief pitcher on the planet, let alone hit the ball with any kind of authority.

But, as Vin said when he called it, the Dodgers’ year was so improbable that, in hindsight, it made perfect sense for Gibson to have done the impossible: