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Oakland A’s trivia: Old-timey Opening Day lineups

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How well do you know the Philadelphia and Kansas City years?

Manager Connie Mack and pitcher Lefty Grove, in the year 19-spoiler.
Photo by Bruce Bennett Studios via Getty Images Studios/Getty Images

The 2020 MLB season is on hiatus, and there’s no telling when baseball might start again. In the meantime, let’s play some trivia!

With no baseball during this coronavirus lockdown, we’ve taken a look back through the history of Oakland A’s Opening Day lineups. Breaking it down by decade, we’ve challenged ourselves on the players from the 2010s, the 2000s, the 1990s, the 1980s, and the 1970s. Now it’s time to dial it back even further, to the pre-Oakland days from 1901-67.

Of course, few (none?) of us would be able to fill out any meaningful percentage of a full Opening Day lineup from the Philadelphia or Kansas City years. In fact, this time we’re not filling in blank boxes at all. Instead, I’ve picked out 20 prominent names from those eras, and provided the hint of which years they were in the A’s Opening Day lineup and which positions they played in those games.

The names are a mix of prominent Hall of Famers from A’s lore, plus some other notable star players who aren’t in the Hall, as well as a couple other HOFers who played just a couple years with the A’s but were much better-known for their work on other teams. A few are left out for various reasons, so apologies to some past A’s greats such as pitchers Eddie Rommel and Rube Walberg, first baseman Harry Davis, infielder Jimmy Dykes, outfielder Tris Speaker, and IF/OF Danny Murphy, among others.

Note that there are no game logs from 1901-03, so I’ve taken the liberty of adding those years with a question mark in a couple of instances, for players who began those seasons on the team — though in both cases, I can say for sure they were in the 1901 lineup.

This quiz will probably be a bit tougher than the previous OD Lineups editions. Even with so many fewer answers (20 instead of 100), and a word bank to choose from (recognition instead of recall), the subject matter is so much less familiar to most of us that I’ll be mighty impressed if anyone can ace it.

Without further ado, let’s get to it! The question is, how many old-timey A’s players can you match to their Opening Day years and positions, from 1901-67? I have constructed a quiz on the website Sporcle to test your knowledge, with the following instructions (make sure to read because this is significantly different than our past quizzes):

  • You can go in any order, with 10 minutes to match the 20 players to their hints.
  • You can scroll through the list of hints as many times as you want to plan out your guesses.
  • However, you only get 20 guesses! If you pick wrong on one of them, then it will lower your maximum possible score by one. So, take your time thinking it out before making your actual click on the answer box.
  • If you do get one wrong, though, you can still make a second guess on the same hint. (Theoretically, you could guess wrong 19 times on the same hint and then get it right on the 20th try, for a score of 1-for-20.)
  • Read the next paragraph about how to not spoil the answers for everyone else in the comments section.

Share your results in the comments, BUT DON’T SPOIL ANYTHING!! There is an option in the comments for ”spoiler text,” which will black out that particular text until the reader puts their mouse over it to reveal it. If you are going to share right/wrong answers, please use the spoiler option. It’s on the row of options like bold, italics, etc., all the way on the right side, in between the option to add a hyperlink and the option to add a smiley face; it looks like a black square.

DON’T BE THAT PERSON WHO SPOILS THE ANSWERS IN THE COMMENTS.

Alrighty, here is the quiz! It’s embedded below, or you can click here to play it on Sporcle’s site.

How did you do? Are there any that you can’t believe you missed?