Can You Name These Members of the Baseball Hall of Fame?

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By: Zoe Samuel

7 Min Quiz

Could you identify this player from his knuckle-curve?

Noted for his intelligence, poise and knee-buckling knuckle-curveball, Mike "Moose" Mussina played the first half of his career for Baltimore and the second half for the New York Yankees. A rare pitcher, Moose was a decent defensive player with a good glove, and a man capable of reliably completing the New York Times Sunday crossword in pen.

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Who is this member of the 500 home run club?

Jim Thome made baseballs afraid. A power-hitting first baseman who spent the bulk of his career in the American league, Thome played for eight teams over his career, was an all-star five times, and during his brief stint in the National League, was the home run leader for a season.

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This man gave players actual nightmares before games. Can you name him?

Mariano Rivera was a shortstop, then a middling starting pitcher, but by the time he reached the majors, he was a reliever in the tutelage of one of the great closers. When Mo took over as the closer for the New York Yankees, he became a legend with a cutter he could use to paint corners of the strike zone or shatter bats at will. He was the only unanimous selection to the Hall of Fame.

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A former teammate of A-Rod, this intimidating force was inducted into the Hall in 2019. Who is he?

Edgar Martínez is one of the finest players to work for the Seattle Mariners, but the best summary of his legacy in Washington State is "The Double". A seven-time all-star, Martínez clinched the 1995 ALDS against the New York Yankees by hitting a key double in the eleventh inning, allowing the Mariners to advance.

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Some Hall of Famers are known for one thing. Who is this player, who was known for many things?

Roy Halladay seemed to become an expert in everything to which he turned his hand. As he advanced in years and knew that he would lose some speed on his fastball, he turned to a fellow player at the All-Star Game, Mariano Rivera, who showed him how to throw a cutter. Armed with the cutter, he threw a perfect game in the 2010 regular season and a no-hitter in the 2010 postseason.

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Number one draft picks don't always work out, but this one did. Do you know his name?

Chipper Jones was the third baseman for the Atlanta Braves from 1995 to 2012. He hit 468 home runs. He had a career average of .303. He was the 1999 NL MVP. All of these things are respectable achievements, but that in 2008, in the autumn of his career, he became the MLB batting champion, is truly remarkable.

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Did you catch the name of this catcher?

All seven of the teams that employed him should thank their lucky stars for Iván "Pudge" Rodríguez. Pudge wasn't just a wonderful defensive catcher; he was a virtuoso standing in the batter's box. Three hundred eleven home runs may not sound like much for a member of the Hall, but consider that tacked onto a player with 13 gold gloves and you have a solid selection.

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Some players play rough and play hard. Can you name this player, who is alleged to have sharpened his cleats?

If one player embodied the roughhouse, anarchic, fairly prejudiced early world of professional baseball, it would be Ty Cobb. Ty Cobb was a legendary small ballplayer, known for hitting lots of singles and doubles and stealing plenty of bases. Still, when he was challenged on his notion that hitting homers like Ruth was easy, he proceeded to hit several that day as proof.

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This player established himself in the pitching firmament in the early 20th century. What's his name?

The glory days of the New York Baseball Giants would not have happened were it not for Christy Mathewson. Religious and educated, Mathewson was a new breed of ballplayer. Given his prodigious talent and strong character, it is no shock that, following his early death, he became one of the first class of Hall of Fame inductees.

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Some people like to introduce themselves with a card. Can you guess what name would be on this player's card?

Honus Wagner is perhaps best known today because his face graces the most valuable baseball card sold at auction, but he is a lot more than just a pretty face. A towering talent, he is considered the most exceptional shortstop ever to this day and was even called the greatest player by noted ego Ty Cobb.

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This player wasn't the first baseball superstar, but he remains its most famous. What is his name?

No single baseball player casts a shadow as long as The Babe's. He was one of the greatest pitchers of all time, playing for the Red Sox. Then he was traded to the Yankees, becoming a right fielder and the single season and career home run record holder, numbers that stood for decades.

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Some players move on to manage, and some managers make their mark and wind up in the Hall. Who is this manager?

A middling catcher with a sub .250 average, Connie Mack became one of the great managers. As a manager, he ranks third in most World Series wins, with five championships under his belt. While he also managed many teams that ended in the last place, this was mainly due to front office problems outside of his control.

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When your position is tough, being great is even tougher. Who is this guy?

Tris Speaker is one of the great five-tool players in baseball history. As a center fielder, he was a marvelous blend of speed and skill. At the plate, he was a terror. In some ways more valuable than home runs, he was noted for doubles, 792 to be precise, an MLB record that still stands.

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Some players are so prolific, their records tower over everything. Who is this remarkable player?

Cy Young was such an amazing pitcher, the award for each league's best pitcher is literally called The Cy Young Award. He compiled 511 career wins. He was a young flame thrower who evolved in a control artist who always found a way to get outs. He is the model for the great starting pitcher.

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This player felt pretty lucky. What was his name?

Most people remember Lou Gehrig as the first famous person to die as a result of ALS, resulting in ALS being called simply "Lou Gehrig's Disease" for decades. Why was he famous? He batted behind Babe Ruth. He was a torrid home run hitter. In 16 years, several of which were plagued by ALS, he hit 493 homers, averaged .340, and batting in 1,995 runs.

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You'd be happy if you held a record for wins. What is the name of this winner?

"Happy Jack" Chesbro was a pitcher for three teams, spending the bulk of his time with the Highlanders (later renamed the Yankees). A sturdy starter, despite debuting for New York for the first iteration of the team in 1903, he set an AL record in 1904 with 41 wins, a record that still stands.

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This player's life and times sure were fascinating. Who is this Hall of Famer?

As told in the documentary "The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg," the native New Yorker was nearly a Yankee, except for the presence of Lou Gehrig. As a Tiger, Greenberg almost broke Babe Ruth's home run record and was given special dispensation to play on Jewish high holidays, before serving in WW2 and returning to finish his career.

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Not all greats are in the Hall for playing. What is the name of his Hall of Famer?

Once the owner of the Brewers, Bud Selig became the ninth Commissioner of Major League Baseball in 1998 after acting in the role for six years. His term in office saw the torrid rise of steroid use and the initial crackdown, an overhaul of many a stadium, and the increased popularity of team-cable-stations.

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With a retired number in the bag, this player's place in the Hall was assured. Can you recall his name?

A Red Sox fan from an early age, Jeff Bagwell must have been over the moon when they drafted him, and heartbroken when they traded him as a prospect. Playing for the Astros, Bagwell hammered 449 homers and 1,529 RBIs while hovering just under a .300 average.

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Any team would be happy to add this unit to their arsenal. Who is he?

The suggestively named Randy Johnson's suggestive nickname "The Big Unit" had to do with his giant stature. Standing at 6 feet 10 inches tall, the big lefty won the Cy Young Award five times, carved up batters like turkeys, and even killed a bird unfortunate enough to play into the path of one of his demonic fastballs.

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Some players are men of few words. Who is this one, whose mouth got him in trouble?

Occasionally arrogant, Pedro Martinez was a star pitcher for the Red Sox and later, the Mets. In 2004, after losing to a surging Yankees team, he showed some unusual humility, an act that, in light of his past arrogance, resulted in frequent fan chants at Yankee Stadium of "Who's your daddy?"

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One of the first great reliever specialists, this player remains a prized mentor. What's his name?

Only Mariano Rivera has more All-Star selections as a reliever than the Goose, who defined the new role relievers would play in his 22-year career. Known for his sometimes overbearing aggression, he compiled 310 saves and an ERA of 3.01 in 1,002 games and remains a mentor to young Yankee pitchers.

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An inspiration to Derek Jeter, this player's retirement marked the end of an era. Who is he?

Cal Ripken Jr. had a WAR of 95.9. That alone should gain entrance to the Hall of Fame. That he spent all 21 years of his career with the Baltimore Orioles, changing the role of the shortstop and redefining the type of athlete who would play the position is just gravy.

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When you win eight of something in baseball, that's a big deal. Who is this eight-time battle title holder?

That's right, eight batting titles. Mr. Padre was a great player on a new team, the Padres, and he made his mark with astonishing skill at the plate combining contact, power, and a fabulous eye. A right fielder, Tony Gwynn never hit below .309 in a season, won every kind of award one can for his position and batting, and even stayed with the Padres his whole career.

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A player's change of roles can be a rebirth. Who is this renaissance man?

Dennis Eckersley had two baseball careers. His first was as a starter, from 1975 to 1986, with mixed successes, and a few excellent starts. It was when he was traded to the Cubs that he became the legendary Dennis Eckersley, one of the greatest relievers of all time.

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This player's numbers were insane for his position. Who is he?

Mike Piazza has the most home runs for a catcher, but even if that weren't the case, he'd still have a strong argument to be in the Hall of Fame. Piazza had a slugging percentage of .545 and 427 career homers.

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The magic number for this player is 13. Who is he?

Thirteen. That's how many consecutive gold gloves Ozzie Smith won as a shortstop, a feat that would argue for his place in the Hall, except that he was also an excellent all-around player. With a respectable .262 average, Ozzie Smith had numbers adding up to a WAR of 76.9.

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An owner once referred to this Hall of Famer as "Mr. May." What's his name?

Dave Winfield was one of the first great Padres, but he is perhaps best remembered for his time in New York where, under the fiery George Steinbrenner, he was one of the new generations of well-paid free agent superstar Yankees of the 1980s. When Steinbrenner felt he was underperforming one season, he mocked his good play early on, dubbing him "Mr. May."

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The player you see here was part of a cadre of greats who played together. Who is he?

Bob Lemon was part of the team that brought a championship to Cleveland for the first time in 30 years. With seven 20-win seasons and seven consecutive all-star selections, after retiring as a player, he went on to manage, leading the Yankees to their 1978 World Series.

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Do you recognize this nine-time all-star?

Bob Gibson is the sort of player the fans love, and teams cherish. He played his entire career with St. Louis, throwing a no-hitter, selected for nine all-star games, winning two Cy Young awards, two World Series, and two World Series MVP awards. Truly one of the greats.

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This Hall of Famer has a street named for him. Who is he?

Tom Yawkey is one of the few baseball executives in the Hall of Fame, and like most executives, he is a complicated story. He is celebrated as the longtime President and owner of the Boston Red Sox, whom he nurtured through decades of futility with passion. On the other hand, he was a complicated man with very backwards ideas about race, making the Sox the last team to integrate.

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Some players didn't play on Sundays, but this one played on sundaes. Do you know who this is?

The Mick remains one of the most iconic Yankees of all time, and one of the greatest ballplayers ever. An astonishing switch-hitter and fleet-footed outfielder, his career was hobbled by injuries, and his life was haunted by his personal demons. In retirement, he opened a restaurant in New York City noted for its sundaes.

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Father time had nothing on this player, who kept on going until he was 47! Can you recall his name?

Satchel Paige loved playing the majors, and in his six-year MLB career, he had respectable numbers, but those numbers aren't the whole story, as he entered the majors at 41. Before the MLB, Paige was one of the superstars of the Negro League, and one of the arguments for the eventual integration of the major leagues.

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Some players manage to be examples on and off the field. Who is this role model?

There is a reason the Roberto Clemente Award has little to do with on-field play. Though Clemente was one of the greatest players of his generation and a 12-time all-star, he is best remembered for his charity work. In 1972, while delivering humanitarian aid to Nicaragua, the Puerto Rican national hero died in a plane crash. Following his death, the Roberto Clemente Award was established in his honor.

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This player has enough rings to cover a fist. Can you remember who he is?

Lefty Gomez remains one of the most legendary pitchers in the history of the New York Yankees, and later, the Washington Senators. A left-hander, as his name would suggest, Gomez was part of the Yankees teams of the 1930s that compiled five World Series victories, in which he won seven games without any losses.

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Famous for his koans, this player could have it both ways and neither at the same time. What is his name?

Yogi Berra was one of the greatest players of all time, even among Hall of Famers. He had 10 World Series victories. He was an All-Star 18 times. He caught for Don Larsen and Whitey Ford. Perhaps he is best known for his koan-like truisms, which include such nuggets as "It ain’t over till it’s over," and "You can observe a lot just by watching."

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This power pitcher threw so hard, it shortened his career. Who is he?

Sandy Koufax didn't blossom until fairly deep into his career, but once he did, he became a legend. He threw the eighth perfect game and a record four no-hitters. He is only one of five Hall of Fame pitchers with more strikeouts than innings pitched, and he is also famous for his decision not to pitch a game in the World Series because it fell on Yom Kippur.

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Hitting a benchmark is tough in baseball, but this man did it. Do you know his name?

Winning 20 games in a season is tough for a pitcher, especially today when starters are treated like high-strung racehorses who might break an ankle because they saw a tree that spooked them. Warren Spahn not only won 20 games in more than one season, but he also won them in 13 seasons, as well as one 23-7 season when he was 42 years old.

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This dynastic player is well remembered by his old club, though they wonder what could have been. Who is this player?

Ken Griffey Jr. could have been like A-Rod (minus the attitude) if he had remained healthy. One of the great natural hitters, the son of Ken Griffey Sr. played for the Mariners, but repeated injuries hobbled him and ended his career prematurely. Considering his injuries, his WAR of 83.8 is mind-blowing and more impressive than A-Rod's steroid-achieved 117.8 WAR.

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Some players become immortal on their own, while others do it as part of a legendary team. Who is this mythic player?

The Chairman of The Board, Whitey Ford was part of the New York Yankees's dream team of the 1960s, with a 2.75 ERA and yes, six World Series championships. In 1958 he posted an ERA of 2.01 in 30 games, leading the AL in ERA, and in 1961 he posted a 25-4 record, the best in the league, with 209 strikeouts.

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Image: Wikicommons by Keith Allison

About This Quiz

Baseball isn't just the national pastime; it's an expression of the American philosophy. Baseball embodies many ideals that are part of the American ethos. Unlike games like soccer, baseball isn't against the clock, so as long as players score, they can keep on scoring. Taking dives is frowned on in baseball, unlike other sports where faking an ankle fracture to get someone carded is just considered "part of the game." Baseball is even tied into the fabric of American mythology, with its apocryphal story of Abner Doubleday inventing the game in the sleepy village of Cooperstown, New York.

Cooperstown is baseball's ultimate shrine; hardcore baseball fans make a pilgrimage there at least once in a lifetime to see the Babe's bat or the ball that Mariano Rivera used to teach Roy Halladay his cut fastball. If Yankee Stadium is the grand "cathedral of baseball," then Cooperstown is its Pantheon. Established to help the village withstand the Great Depression, the Hall of Fame has become more than just a tourist attraction. It is a place where legends meet once a year to induct new members of their elite fraternity. It is a museum where the history of the sport is recounted in all its glory and all its ugliness. It is simply "Cooperstown," the Mount Olympus of baseball.

How well do you know your Hall of Famers? Would you recognize them on sight? It's time to test that knowledge, so grab your glove and put on your rally cap, because it's time for the first pitch!

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