About Us

Here at Backbeat Tours we tell people from all over the world about our unique city everyday. From Graceland to the Grizzlies, Beale St. to the Burbs we are passionate about Memphis. This blog is where we share quirky, behind-the-scenes tales of Memphis, past and present.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Nine-Inning Trivia: The Quirky History of Memphis Baseball

Spring is here and that means baseball is back in town again!  The Memphis Redbirds kick off their 15th season at AutoZone Park tonight with a four-game homestand against the Iowa Cubs.

Why do we love Memphis baseball? Is it because of the cool, retro feel of AutoZone Park? Or the zany antics of Rocky the Redbird? Yes, but that's only part of the story. What we really love about Memphis baseball is that its history is loaded with tales of the "it could only happen in Memphis" variety. For example, did you know that the origins of the Memphis Zoo are linked to a baseball bet? Or that Memphis is the only city in history to have a team named after a virus?

Step on up to the plate and see if you can knock it out of the park in these nine innings (nine questions) of Memphis baseball trivia. Check your answers at the end.

1.  In what year was professional baseball first played in Memphis?
a. 1877
b, 1907
c. 1937
d. 1967

2. Which member of the Grand Old Opry also played baseball for Memphis?
a. Earl Scruggs
b. Roy Acuff
c. Slim Whitman
d. Charlie Pride

3. The Memphis Zoo was founded as a result of a baseball bet over what type of animal?
a. an armadillo
b. an eagle
c. a tiger
d. a bear
Memphis Zoo 1914-15

4. Which of these Memphis players, considered the greatest pitcher of his generation, was the oldest rookie in major league history at the age of 42 years old?
a. Charlie Lea
b. Satchel Paige
c. David Cone
d. Lancy Lynn

5. What Memphis baseball stadium burned to the ground on Easter Sunday, 1960?
a. Russwood Park
b. Tim McCarver Stadium
c. Overton Park Field
d. Martin's Field

6. Which of the following was not the name of a Memphis baseball team?
a. The Blues
b. The Turtles
c. The Bowl Weevils
d. The Fever Germs
Question 7

7. Name this former Memphis right fielder (pictured), who famously played only two innings in the major leagues and never got a chance to bat (hint: he was portrayed by Burt Lancaster in the movie Field of Dreams):
a. Clarence "Sunbeam" Mitchell
b. "Shoeless" Joe Jackson
c. Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown
d. Archibald "Moonlight" Graham

8. This Christian Brothers High School graduate played for the Memphis Chicks before becoming a two-time All-Star and World Series champion with St. Louis:
a. Joe Garagiola
b. Johnny Bench
c. Tim McCarver
d. Ted Simmons


9. Name the player with the longest home run in Memphis history:
a. Tim McCarver
b. Bo Jackson
c. Albert Pujols
d. Stubby Clapp

Answers: 1: A, 2: D, 3: D, 4: B, 5: A, 6: C, 7: D, 8: C, 9: B

By Michael Flanagan and Bill Patton

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