Sporcle Saturday: Happy Zeke Bonura Day

Good morning!

It was on this day in 1937 that the White Sox threw Zeke Bonura Day. From the New York Times the next day:

They gave Zeke Bonura an automobile as Chicago’s ‘most popular player’ today, and the big first baseman showed his appreciation by banging out four hits, driving in five runs and leading the White Sox to a 14-to-8 victory over the Senators.

The fans voted Zeke the city’s outstanding performer for May, and the automobile was the prize.

New York Times, June 12, 1937

Or as the Daily Chronicle described him:

Zeke Bonura, the champion banana and spaghetti eater of the majors, hit a homer, two doubles and a single, driving in five runs as the White Sox won their eleventh game in twelve starts by beating Washington.

The Daily Chronicle, June 12, 1937

Anybody who has been Sporcling over the years, or participates in Sox Math on the broadcasts, knows that Zeke Bonura appears quite a bit on the offensive side of things. He was a consistent offensive force in the mid-30s for a team that didn’t have a particularly rich history when it came to things like hitting for power and average.

Bonura was just the second player in franchise history to cross the 20 home run threshold in 1934, four years after Carl Reynolds. He was, however, the franchise pioneer when it came to hitting lots of doubles and home runs. In fact, as you likely have guessed by now, he’s the theme of today’s Sporcle: players who have logged both at least 30 doubles in a season and at least 20 home runs. And he did that in back-to-back seasons, 1934-35, a feat which wouldn’t be repeated again until 1991-92. In all, there are 55 names on this list. How many can you guess? Good luck!

Quiz Parameters

  • I’ve allotted 10 minutes for completion attempts.
  • For hints, I’ve provided the season and position of the player in question.

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

  • Power and speed? That would be the 2001 right fielder’s season, with 25 stolen bases to go along with 40 doubles and 31 home runs.
  • The highest OPS+ (and OPS) on this list: 212 (1.217), during the 1994 season.
  • The highest number of triples from the players on this list? 10, the 2001 second baseman.

Direct link here

All data from stathead.com

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Ted Mulvey
Ted Mulvey

White Sox fan, homebrewer, academic librarian. Not necessarily in that order, but quite possibly.

Articles: 310
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asinwreck

Oh, this quiz is a salve given the 2022 team’s power outage. (Though last night was better.) 55-55 with 7:41 left. Thank you for the happy memories, Ted.

Right Size Wrong Shape

53/55. Missed two guys from before I was born with common last names.

stevev

53/55 Embarrassed about 1963 given recent occurence. Kind of surprised that there was only 1 name from 1970’s.

Joliet Orange Sox

The 1970’s player who does appear in the quiz came over to the Sox in a trade that sent off Tom Bradley. Bradley put up 11.6 bWAR for the Sox in his two years with the team by throwing almost 550 IP with an ERA under 3.00. Chuck Tanner rode his starters hard. The Sox traded him after that when he was just 25 years old and Bradley then had one ok year at the age of 26 and then was essentially done. His career bWAR is lower than his bWAR with the Sox.

In addition to the centerfielder who appears in the quiz, the Sox got back a 25-year-old pitcher named Steve Stone in the Bradley trade.

ecivokrak

This has been the only Saturday Sporcle I can remember that I almost beat Asinwreck: 55/55 with 7:42 left.

My grandfather was born in Bridgeport in 1930 and he would talk about Zeke Bonura as his favorite player as a kid (not Ted Lyons or Luke Appling). It’s strange because my grandfather would have been only 7 when Bonura went on to play somewhere else. Zeke must have left quite an impression on the South Side.

Last edited 5 months ago by ecivokrak
roke1960

55/55 with 7:07 left. Surprised some of the 70s sluggers didn’t make the list.