Ed Kranepool celebrated his birthday last Thursday. Maybe you’ll be celebrating soon, too.
That’s because you have a chance to win the best prize we’ve ever given away here, The New York Mets 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD Set , a TEN-DISC bonanza from A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions chock full of Mets highlights, Mets history and Mets hysteria (the good kind). In this handsome package, you’ll find the World Series films, World Series games, big-deal clinchings, home runs you’ve never forgotten and a slew of seasons captured for posterity.
(And on the bonus material disc, you’ll even get a little something I had a hand in scripting, a short video describing the Mets’ “Origins” that runs regularly inside the Mets Hall of Fame and Museum at Citi Field; I had zero idea it would be included here.)
This is a great set, one you, the diehard Mets fan, won’t want to be without, one you, the diehard Mets fan, will want to give to another diehard Mets fan if you already own it. It includes the 50 Greatest Players DVD. It includes the updated (through 1988) An Amazin’ Era. It includes the final game of the 2000 NLCS, which I mention because I’ve never seen it aired anywhere since October 16, 2000 — and I didn’t see it that night ’cause I was at Shea for it.
It’s got a lot. And to win it, you’re going to need to give me a lot…a lot of Ed Kranepool.
The theme of our contest is Fifty Sheas of Krane, in honor of the man who held the all-time Mets career hit record for 26 years and still holds the densest longevity records in the Met annals. Nobody was a Met longer than Ed Kranepool, nobody (probably) will ever be a Met and nothing but a Met longer than Ed Kranepool and few have cut quite so Metsian a figure as Ed Kranepool.
As Ed Kranepool was the longest-serving Met, this examination (quiz doesn’t seem quite right to describe it) will be the longest we’ve ever run to award an item. But as mentioned, it’s not just any item. It’s an outstanding item. Sure, you can skip the challenge we’re about to put forward and purchase The New York Mets 50th Anniversary Collector’s Edition DVD Set directly from A+E Networks Home Entertainment/MLB Productions  — and it will be well worth the investment — but c’mon…have some fun with us.
Make use of the Internet, especially (but not exclusively) the indispensable Baseball-Reference.com , and, if nothing else, get lost in some box scores for a while. And if you win, you gain not just a truly deluxe collection, but an Amazin’ sense of accomplishment.
The deadline for answers to be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org is Sunday night, November 18 at 11:59 PM EST. First one to 50 correct answers wins the prize. If we don’t get someone with all 50, we’ll take whoever gets the most right soonest.
Time to get ready like Eddie. Good luck!
1. Who was the first player to pinch-run for Ed Kranepool?
2. How many future Met coaches played in the last Polo Grounds game in which Ed Kranepool collected a base hit — and who were they?
3. What was Ed Kranepool’s postseason batting average against future Hall of Fame pitchers?
4. What future Detroit Tigers pitcher attended the same high school as Ed Kranepool?
5. In which year’s Mets highlight film — as featured on SNY’s Mets Yearbook — does Ed Kranepool discuss his second-place finish in the team bubble gum-blowing contest?
6. How many hits did Mets wearing No. 7 collect before Ed Kranepool wore it?
7. How many home runs did Ed Kranepool have to hit to set the all-time career Mets home run record (which he held for more than a decade) and whose mark did he surpass?
8. Chronologically, what future Met was born closest to Ed Kranepool without being born after Ed Kranepool?
9. How many players who played in Ed Kranepool’s final big league game had already been part of losing American League World Series teams and who were they?
10. The Eddie Kranepool Society, unofficially the longest-running blog in all of Metsdom, regularly refers to the current chairman and chief executive officer of the Mets by what nickname?
11. What percentage of his major league hit total did Ed Kranepool accumulate before the first presidential election in which he was eligible to vote?
12. Ed Kranepool once shared a Topps baseball card with his manager. Who was the manager and what was the headline over the image on the card?
13. Who were the two future Hall of Fame pitchers against whom Ed Kranepool hit three home runs apiece?
14. How many Mets played their final game as Mets before Ed Kranepool played his first game as a Met?
15. How many Ed Kranepool teammates managed the Mets and who were they?
16. The last time the Mets sent Ed Kranepool to the minors, what prospect did they bring up to take his spot on the roster?
17. In which year’s Mets highlight film — as featured on SNY’s Mets Yearbook — does Ed Kranepool visit his old high school?
18. How many hits did future teammates of Ed Kranepool get against the Mets in the first full big league game Ed Kranepool played — and who got them?
19. What is the “first” that connects 1938 Reds pitcher Johnny Vander Meer to 1964 Mets center fielder Ed Kranepool?
20. What Met made the first pinch-hitting appearance wearing No. 21 after Ed Kranepool stopped wearing it?
21. Ed Kranepool collected 1,252 hits while wearing No. 7, including 85 as a pinch-hitter. It took more than a quarter-century, but eventually the sum total of Mets who wore No. 7 after Ed Kranepool exceeded that total of 1,252. In the game in which the 1,253rd hit collected by the sum total off all Mets who wore No. 7 after Ed Kranepool was recorded, what extraordinary feat did a Mets pinch-hitter (a lefty batter like Kranepool, but not someone who wore No. 7 as a Met) accomplish that no Mets pinch-hitter had done before? And what was the date of the game in question?
22. How many men were inducted into the Mets Hall of Fame before Ed Kranepool?
23. How many hits did future teammates of Ed Kranepool get against the Mets in the first big league game in which Ed Kranepool collected a pinch-hit — and who got them?
24. For what political candidate did Ed Kranepool appear in a television commercial wearing his old Mets jersey after he was retired as a player?
25. When he made his major league debut, Ed Kranepool became the 45th player in Mets history. Who was the 44th?
26. Ed Kranepool pinch-ran three times in his 18-season big league career. Who were the three Mets for whom he pinch-ran?
27. What part of the baseball field inspired the name of the Amityville restaurant co-owned by Ed Kranepool and Ron Swoboda in the early 1970s?
28. What unlucky distinction do Ricky Romero, Edinson Volquez and Kent Tekulve share when it comes to a Met hitting milestone Ed Kranepool was the first to reach?
29. What Met stranded Ed Kranepool on base after Ed’s first pinch-hit?
30. In what feature film, released after he played his final Mets game, did Ed Kranepool appear as himself?
31. Who was the last Ed Kranepool teammate to play for the Mets?
32. Ed Kranepool appeared on one National Baseball Hall of Fame ballot, alongside five former Met teammates. Who were those teammates?
33. Who is the only Met to have shared a birthday with Ed Kranepool?
34. Who gave up the home run that knocked Ed Kranepool from the all-time career Mets home run lead?
35. In the last game he played in the big leagues as a 17-year-old, who did Ed Kranepool replace on defense?
36. Who else scored on the same Jim Hickman two-run single that produced Ed Kranepool’s first Shea Stadium run?
37. What future major league manager attended the same high school as Ed Kranepool?
38. For what brand of shaving cream did Ed Kranepool appear in a television commercial late in his career?
39. In which year’s Mets highlight film — as featured on SNY’s Mets Yearbook — does Ed Kranepool sit down and reflect on his Mets career?
40. What future Met gave up a hit to Ed Kranepool in an official game that ended in a tie?
41. How many future Hall of Famers played in the first big league game in which Ed Kranepool played two defensive positions — and who were they?
42. Who scored the winning run in the first game Ed Kranepool started?
43. Ed Kranepool once shared a Topps baseball card with a teammate. Who was the teammate and how were they described on the front of that card?
44. How many other Mets played their final game as Mets in Ed Kranepool’s last game and who were they?
45. In the book, Bad Stuff ’Bout The Mets, what does author Chico Escuela claim Ed Kranepool borrowed “and never give back”
46. In his very first big league game, Ed Kranepool was a defensive replacement for who?
47. Rufus King was the last Federalist Party nominee for president. What does this have to do with Ed Kranepool?
48. Who is the only Met to have played as a Met with a teammate of Eddie Kranepool and a teammate of Eddie Kunz?
49. How many players who played in Ed Kranepool’s final big league game had already been part of winning National League World Series teams and who were they?
50. Who pinch-ran for Ed Kranepool following Ed’s final big league hit?