I spent an enjoyable afternoon with the BLOHARDS yesterday at the Yale Club in Manhattan. They have two meetings a year, and I always do a round of trivia and give away some prizes.
At this meeting, Jeff Bailey of the Red Sox was an invited guest from the team. He came off as a rather personable and a quiet guy. He happily signed autographs and spoke for a few minutes with WFAN's Ed Randall, and was named the International League's MVP on Tuesday. At the conclusion, he got a standing ovation from the crowd.
I did my trivia about midway through the luncheon. The prizes I gave away were gift certificates to Professor Thom's and some cool bar t-shirts. I asked four questions about the Sox. Here they are:
1. Which Red Sox player once hit into a triple play and hit a grand slam in the same game?
I was surprised that nobody got this question right away. I had to give out some hints, and I practically had to give it away before some said, "Scott Hatteberg." The winner got a $20 gift certificate.
2. Which Red Sox player has played in the most postseason games in club history?
This one wasn't too hard. A few seconds passed before somebody yelled "Jason Varitek." The winner got a $20 gift certificate, a t-shirt and fake Manny Ramirez wig. (More on that later.)
3. Where did the Red Sox have their spring training home just before moving to Winter Haven, FL in 1966?
I knew one of the older Sox fans would guess this one right, and one did immediately, and got a $20 gift certificate and shirt: "Scottsdale, AZ."
4. And what I thought was the hardest question of the four: What Red Sox player holds the team record for the highest batting average in the team's postseason history?
People were yelling out every conceivable answer, but then I finally said, "He's not a beloved figure in team history." And finally someone yelled out, "Jose Offerman." And that won him a $50 gift certificate. (Yep, Offerman batted .429 in his Red Sox postseason days.)
It was a lot of fun doing trivia. I also gave a plug to Bill Nowlin, as I used his fine book "Red Sox Threads" to get the questions from. Damon Woo, who famously caught Manny Ramirez' 500th home run, was on hand and did a recreation of his legendary grab, with my friend Frank Minishak wearing the Manny wig and swinging a bat with his arms up in the air. Joe Cosgriff of the BLOHARDS threw Damon a ball from the podium and he caught it. Good stuff.
We also had a slide show of the events in baseball since the last meeting, with Hank Steinbrenner and Manny Ramirez both getting the group's legendary "Horse's Ass Award." I had the pleasure of chatting with Damon Woo and Ed Randall afterwards, and I was also happy to once again meet Tina Cervasio (pictured), who was also there. (She also came up to the mic with a Manny wig and Red Sox jersey, and once again told the story of meeting Manny after his 2007 ALDS homer against the Angels and having him explain it to her by simply putting his arms up in the air.) I met her last April. The former NESN reporter is now with MSG here in New York. She is a very pleasant lady to talk with, and I hope she can make it down to Trivia Night one of the days!
It was a fine afternoon hanging with the many Red Sox fans based here in the New York area, doing lots of trivia and Yankee bashing. I'll be back again next season with more Red Sox trivia.