Sporcle Saturday: Pitchers and catchers

This past week saw the first signs of the offseason hobbling (gingerly, ever so gingerly) towards its terminus: pitchers and catchers officially reported to Spring Training this past Tuesday. Of course, in today’s baseball environment the date is pretty much in name only, as most pitchers and catchers are already in camp by the deadline, not to mention a fair number of position players, too. Still, though, it remains the first milepost in my head on the road to a long-awaited spring thaw. Let the BSOHL articles commence!

As you’ve no doubt guessed by now, pitchers and catchers are the theme of today’s Saturday Sporcle, namely: how many of the opening day starting pitchers and starting catchers can you name since 1980? We’ve covered opening day starting pitchers before, but catchers will add a twist to that. Still, my hope is that you’ll all improve on your scores from last time, at least as it relates to starting pitching. Good luck!

Quiz Parameters

  • As always, last names accepted in addition to both first and last. A couple of trickier spellings warrant just the first name of the player accepted as well.
  • You’ll have ten minutes to attempt completion.
  • For hints, I’ve provided the season and the position: I’ve also (at least on Sporcle’s website) arranged it to display in columns in the hope that it will help you to keep track of where you’re at. If you’ve having difficulties doing the quiz on this site, I’d recommend clicking the direct link.

Useless information to amaze, annoy, confound, and/or confuse your friends:

  • .354: the highest WPA logged by a catcher on this list. (2-4 with a home run and 3 RBI in a 5-3 win against the Red Sox, in 1981…probably no surprise who this is)
  • -.157: the lowest WPA logged by a catcher on this list. (0-5 with 5 Ks in a 3-2 loss to the Mariners in 1996)
  • For pitchers: the highest WPA logged was .584 in 2005 (8 IP, 2H, 5 K, 0 R in a 1-0 win), while the lowest was by the same player in 2008: -.517 (1 2/3 IP, 7 runs on 7 hits in a 10-8 loss)

Direct link here

All data from baseballreference.com

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Perfect score 76/76. I got all of them pretty fast but the 1980 guys threw me for a bit- I pulled it out w 55 ticks to spare! What heroics! 


Very impressive. Well done


Boomer got 69! I’ve opened up quite a big lead now! Yeah baby!


Hell of an idea. Our scores have been close but the last two weeks I dominated 

Right Size Wrong Shape

I actually thought about this. It might be fun to do a leaderboard. We all know asinwreck and Ken will win, but I like scoreboards.


65. Should have had 69 had not forgotten the 2001-2004 catcher. The others had long escaped memory—the catchers of 1980, 85, 86, the 88 and 89 pitchers, and handful of others. Good sporcle.

Brett R. Bobysud


Not bad.

Josh Nelson

I have no memory of the 1998 catcher

Joliet Orange Sox

I agree. The 1998 catcher was the one name that didn’t ring any bells at all when I saw what I missed. I looked him up. He had a 15 year major league career playing for 8 different teams with only one year with over 300 ab’s (not 1998 with the Sox).


He had a reputation as an excellent handler of pitchers, possibly inflated by being with the Braves at the peak of their 90s dominance.


I got 60, but a few familiar names I didn’t remember. The 1988 pitcher I don’t remember at all.

Trooper Galactus

66/76, including everybody from 2000 on. Got all of the 90s except the 98-99 catchers and the 90 pitcher. Wouldn’t have ever guessed the ten I missed.

Patrick Nolan

66, with the standard perfect score in the Era That Matters

Jim Margalus

72. Should’ve gotten 73. That 1988 pitcher is a helluva pull.

Right Size Wrong Shape

I feel accomplished now because I beat Jim. (73). I pulled 1988 out of a hat with 5 seconds left. Never heard of the 1980 catcher, blanked on 1982 pitcher, and couldn’t come up with the 1999 catcher. Tried

and of course

Joliet Orange Sox

I remember the 1988 pitcher because the Sox had traded Jose Deleon for him. There were high expectations for the 1988 pitcher and he got off to an ok start of the season but by the end of the year was a pitcher you were afraid to see warming up as a reliever. The trade was saved when Lance Johnson who had also come over in that trade developed into a good major league center fielder.


63. Shamed that I completely spaced a guy that alone would have brought me to 67.
Thanks, Ted. These are a highlight of Saturday mornings.


Try as I might, I will never remember that

Ricky Horton
was a member of the White Sox. 75/76.


have his score baseball card. Extensive baseball card collections go a long way in these quizzes.


Agreed…I have the entire Topps Sox run from 1959 to now, and it definitely helps, especially with some of the randos.



for giving me

The more I do these the more I feel like I have dementia.



I can’t believe I forgot about 

, and I must have misspelled 
Jaime Navarro
. Don’t feel bad about missing the 80s deep cuts.

Trooper Galactus

You know, just typing the latter’s last name would have gotten you both him and a catcher.