The absence of live sports in these unusual times can create a hankering for games of any kind. Luckily, Sporcle is right there to help. Trivia buffs are likely familiar with Sporcle already as the site is absolutely packed with quizzes pertaining to just about every category you can think of -- including baseball, in an overwhelming supply.
As we wait for real baseball to pick back up again, here are eight intensive baseball Sporcle quizzes to light up your neurons and get those competitive juices flowing. Check out the list below for links to the quizzes, and then come back to the second half of this story to see how you fared. (We’ll space that section out, so your next quiz isn’t spoiled.)
1) Name all the players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame (play here)
Roughly one percent of Major League players in history are enshrined in the Hall of Fame, making it baseball’s exclusive fraternity. But when combined with the several dozen Negro League legends also honored in Cooperstown, that makes for a roll call well north of 250. How many can you name in 20 minutes?
2) He hit 50 HRs in a season … right? (play here)
Any baseball fan roughly 30 or older has already watched two different home run booms, and has seen the single-season homer record pass hands twice. But the 50-homer club might be more exclusive than you think, and some of the names -- and some of the legends who aren’t -- might surprise you, too.
3) The highest single-season WAR totals since 1980 (play here)
You claim to be up with the current analytics. But can you take what you know now, separate your biases and name the most valuable position-player seasons -- by one metric, at least -- from the last 40 years? This quiz is kind enough to give you the player’s team and season, but that just means there’s no excuse for falling shy of a perfect score.
4) Every National League pennant winner (play here)
Some claim that Senior Circuit baseball is better than what they play over in the American League, but now’s the chance to put the purist in your life up to the test. This quiz cuts out the first quarter-century of NL ball and starts at 1901, cutting you a break and asking you to name only 118 league champs.
5) Rickey Henderson’s Hall of Fame teammates (play here)
Henderson, as you might recall, played for a lot of teams. As in, nine different clubs -- including four different stints with the A’s. That means he shared locker rooms with more than a dozen of his Hall of Fame brethren along the way.
6) Name all 30 of 2019’s Opening Day starters (play here)
The '19 season kicked off one year ago this week, so how hard can this be?
7) Each team’s longest tenured player (play here)
Players don’t stick with one team as much as they used to, but there’s still a handful of stars who embody the uniform they wear every day.
8) The seven ways to reach first base (play here)
Of all the permutations of things that can happen in a ballgame, there's just seven ways that a batter can get on base. Naming them all sounds so simple, right?
How did you do?
1) Name all the players in the National Baseball Hall of Fame
Average score: 55 percent
The easy part: Most history buffs can recite the Hall’s original Class of 1936: Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner. After that, you might get to between 50 and 100 just with baseball’s most famous names, from Ted Williams and Jackie Robinson to Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle to Johnny Bench and Hank Aaron, and so on.
The hard part: How many seconds per week do you think about John Clarkson? Bid McPhee played his whole career with one team -- do you know which one? Can you really name 264 things that have to do with any category in life?
2) He hit 50 HRs in a season … right?
Average score: 35 percent
The easy part: Some guy named Babe Ruth famously hit 60 homers in a season, so start with him. Then there’s the guys who passed him … Roger Maris, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds. Right there, you already have five.
The hard part: Wait, are we sure Greg Vaughn went deep 50 times in 1998? Brady Anderson? And Lou Gehrig and Albert Pujols never did? Double-checking and … wow, yep, that’s true.
3) The highest single-season WAR totals since 1980
Average score: 87 percent
The easy part: You probably typed in Bonds nice and early and saw eight different slots fill in. Punch in Mike Trout next, and you’re more than one-quarter of the way home. Magic!
The hard part: The team and year hints are helpful in some cases, but some of them might not be who you think. And the author racked his brain for several minutes before remembering that Adrián Beltré had a stud year before he became a Ranger.
4) Every NL pennant winner
Average score: 72 percent
The easy part: You could be like the author and have already memorized every World Series matchup since 1962 ... or you could have done better things with your life. But begin with the dynasties -- last decade's Giants, the ‘90s Braves, the Big Red Machine -- and you’re off to a decent start.
The hard part: Kudos to you for remembering which years the Dodgers lost to the Yankees all those times in the 1940s and ‘50s. And anything before World War II just feels like a crapshoot. (Hint: When in doubt, type in "Cardinals" and see if that works.)
5) Rickey Henderson’s Hall of Fame teammates
Average score: 52 percent
The easy part: Henderson and Dennis Eckersley were two of the biggest stars on that late-1980s A’s dynasty, and you might recall that stacked Blue Jays team featuring four future Hall of Famers, including Rickey, in 1993.
The hard part: If you remember Joe Morgan wearing an A’s uniform in 1984, you were either there in Oakland watching him, or you really love Joe Morgan.
6) Name all 30 of 2019’s Opening Day starters
Average score: 51 percent
The easy part: Have you heard of Jacob deGrom, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander? All of them were healthy on March 28, 2019. So, yeah, they got the ball.
The hard part: So many pitchers on this list aren’t even with those clubs anymore. And if you remember that Eric Lauer started things off for the Padres, all respect to you (he tossed six scoreless innings in the opener, by the way).
7) Each team’s longest tenured player
Average score: 42 percent
The easy part: Some guys -- like Elvis Andrus, Alex Gordon, Clayton Kershaw, Yadier Molina and Buster Posey -- are just hard to picture in any other uniform. And obviously, Ryan Zimmerman is “Mr. National.”
The hard part: Did you know deGrom is already the longest tenured Met? You did? OK, well did you know that Hector Neris is the most wizened Phillie? And there is no way you’re getting the Blue Jays answer without looking it up.
8) The seven ways to reach first base
Average score: 72 percent
The easy part: Every baseball fan knows the basics: Hits and walks. There’s two out of seven right there.
The hard part: Here’s guessing most of you struggled with the last three options on the right -- aka the plays not listed on a hitter’s Baseball-Reference page.
Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.