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Bill Chuck

Baseball quiz: And now for something completely different ...

Michael Palin (from left), John Cleese, Terry Jones, Terry Gilliam and Eric Idle attend the premiere of “Monty Python: Almost The Truth (The Lawyers Cut)” in October 2009 in New York. (AP)

I can’t remember not loving Monty Python. John Cleese, Michael Palin, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle and the late Graham Chapman and Terry Jones were brilliant individually and even better together.

The Dead Parrot; the Lumberjack Song; Nudge, Nudge; Spam; the Spanish Inquisition; the Dirty Fork and the Ministry of Silly Walks are all sketches that still make me laugh. Oftentimes, the show would eschew both punch lines and endings, replacing them with Terry Gilliam’s animated sequences or by a random Python announcing, “And now for something completely different.”

This brings us to this week’s quiz. It has nothing to do with Monty Python, but it is completely different. And you can quote me on that. Have fun and learn a lot!


1. “The game begins in spring when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone.”

a. Robert Frost

b. A. Bartlett Giamatti

c. John Belushi

d. Joe Garagiola

2. “Respect for the game of baseball — when we all played it, it was mandatory. It’s something I hope we will one day see again.”

a. Ferguson Jenkins

b. Ryne Sandberg

c. Frank Thomas

d. Tony La Russa

3. “There are only two seasons – winter and baseball.”

a. Bill Veeck

b. Tom Skilling

c. Bud Selig

d. George Halas

4. “I grew up in central Illinois midway between Chicago and St. Louis, and I made an historic blunder. All my friends became Cardinals fans and grew up happy and liberal, and I became a Cubs fan and grew up embittered and conservative.”

a. Tom Ricketts

b. George Will

c. Jim Belushi

d. John Stossel

5. “I’d play for half my salary if I could hit in this dump [Wrigley Field] all the time.”

a. Babe Ruth

b. Barry Bonds

c. Albert Belle

d. Rocky Balboa

6. “If I’m honest with you, you might not like me for a day or two. But if I lie to you, you’re going to hate me forever.”

a. Ozzie Guillen

b. Joe Maddon

c. Leo Durocher

d. Richard Daley

7. “I’d never even been to Wrigley Field. I never even enjoyed baseball that much, but I loved being there, the crowd was lovely and they all sang with me!”

a. Betty White

b. John Mullaney

c. Mr. T

d. Bea Arthur

8. “The way to catch a knuckleball is to wait until it stops rolling and then pick it up.”

a. Wilbur Wood

b. Hoyt Wilhelm

c. Bob Uecker

d. Casey Stengel

9. “HE GONE!”

a. Harry Caray

b. Hall & Oates

c. Hawk Harrelson

d. Mel Allen

And now for something completely different. A happy and healthy new year to you all. Thank you for a great year, your readership and your emails. See you next year!


1. A. Bartlett Giamatti was the seventh commissioner of Major League Baseball (all too briefly) and was a past president of Yale University. These words are from “Take Time for Paradise: Americans and Their Games.”

2. At the end of Ryne Sandberg’s Hall of Fame speech, he said these words and ended it by saying, “Thank you, and go Cubs!”

3. Bill Veeck was one of baseball’s great owners and certainly its greatest promoter. Here in the Land of the Quizmaster, it’s always baseball season.

4. It’s hard to believe that George Will can be both a conservative columnist, whom I’m not fond of, and the author of a Wrigley Field biography, “A Nice Little Place on the North Side,” which I am quite fond of.

5. Babe Ruth also said, “Paris ain’t much of a town.”

6. Joe Maddon said this to Kris Bryant as he was determined to make the Cubs in 2015 and the Cubs were determined to get another year of eligibility out of him.

7. This was Bea Arthur after singing the stretch at Wrigley. Arthur first became well-known to the public at large by playing Edith Bunker’s cousin Maude on “All In the Family.” “Maude” was spun off, and its iconic theme, “And Then There’s Maude,” was sung by Donny Hathaway, the soul singer who famously ­collaborated with Roberta Flack.

8. Bob Uecker was one of Johnny Carson’s favorite guests because Uke is just naturally funny. Bob also said, “I led the league in ‘Go get ’em next time.’ ” “Career highlights? I had two. I got an intentional walk from Sandy Koufax, and I got out of a rundown against the Mets.” And as he said when receiving the Frick Award at the Hall of Fame, “I signed a very modest $3,000 bonus with the Braves in Milwaukee, which I’m sure a lot of you know. And my old man didn’t have that kind of money to put out. But the Braves took it.”

9. As a player, Ken “Hawk” Harrelson spent nine years in the major leagues as a right-handed-hitting outfielder/first baseman with the Kansas City A’s, Washington Senators, Boston Red Sox and Cleveland Indians. The fact that only the Red Sox have the same name today is not his fault. As an announcer for the White Sox, he was a most entertaining homer, famously saying, “You can put it on the board! Yes!” after a Sox home run and “He gone! Grab some bench!” after a Sox pitcher struck out an opposing hitter.

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