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Today's trivia (July 13)

Talk to almost anyone who has ever followed baseball and there's an excitement and passion in their voices when the name "Big Train" is mentioned.

Walter Perry Johnson — nicknamed "The Big Train" by sports writer Grantland Rice because the pitcher's right-handed fastball sounded like the whine of a locomotive passing over the countryside — ranks beside Ruth and Cobb in the lore of Major League Baseball.

A star during the first part of the 20th century, Johnson didn't smoke, cuss or drink and nearly seven decades after his death is still considered one of the best pitchers the game has ever produced.

He was a soft-spoken hero who called Kansas home and often came back to the plains after he became a national celebrity.

In 1906, he played in the Northwest League and later appeared in semi-pro ball in Idaho. He then signed his contract with the Washington Senators, on the back of a piece of brown wrapping paper. The terms were a $100 bonus, $350 a month and a round-trip train ticket east. He stayed with the team for the next 21 years.

And although the Senators were a consistently bad team — in fact, fans joked "Washington, first in war, first in peace and last in the American League" — Johnson won 416 games and lost only 279. His lifetime earned run average of 2.17 is one of the best of all time.

Question: What Kansas town did Walter “Big Train” Johnson hail from?

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Answer to Tuesday’s Question: The heyday of bowling in Wichita was in the 1950s and 1960s, when families would stand in line for hours on Sundays following church for dinner and bowling.

Check back at Kansas.com Thursday for the answer to today’s question.

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