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The Lou Gehrigs And Cal Ripkens Of Television

In June of 1925, a backup first baseman for the New York Yankees filled in for the then starter, Wally Pipp, and for the next 14 years, never gave up that spot, earning him the moniker “The Iron Horse,” as he put together a Hall of Fame career with the Bronx Bombers of the 1920s and 30s. From the time that quiet man took his position at first base for Pipp, Lou Gehrig set, what some believed would be an unbreakable record of 2,130 consecutive Major League Baseball games, spanning those 14 seasons. Amazing as that record was, it was finally broken in September of 1995, by Cal Ripken Jr., who, after he broke the record, went on to shatter it, finally playing in 2,632 consecutive games (16 plus seasons) for the Baltimore Orioles highlighting his Hall of Fame Career in Major League Baseball.

Both men were quiet, unassuming men, who went about their business with desire, dedication, and determination. All the accolades bestowed on both of these men are, and will always be justified, and definitely well-deserved, by the two of them. Equally amazing, if not more, is that both achieved their accomplishments while playing for only ONE team in their career, a feat that has become rare in today’s rosters of MLB players.

But this piece today is not really about baseball, (though I will talk America’s Pastime whenever I get the chance), it is about other substitutes, people in television who took over for other actors and/or actresses in the same roles, just as Gehrig took over for Pipp. (And who did Ripken, Jr. replace at Shortstop for the Orioles? It was Mark Belanger, who was a teammate of Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, and Jim Palmer, among others from the highly successful Orioles teams of the 60s and 70s.)

For whatever reason some actors and actresses left their roles as television series’ characters and were replaced by others in the same roles helping the series continue on for multiple years. Today’s questions are who did the replacement actors and/or actresses replace, or who was the first actor/actress to play the role before being replaced?

You guessed it, its quiz time again, courtesy of the Voice from the Bullpen. Grab your quiz supplies, refuel that caffeine tank or quench that thirst with a cold beverage, and let’s tackle this latest collection of fairly useless trivia questions. Ready?

1.) Who did Dick Sargent replace as Darren on the television series Bewitched?

2.) Who did Pat Priest replace as Marilyn on the television show The Munsters?

3.) Who did Sarah Chalke replace as Becky on the sitcom Roseanne?

4.) Who did Brian Forster replace as Chris on The Partridge Family?

5.) Who did Donna Reed replace as Miss Ellie Ewing on the TV drama Dallas?

6.) Who did Lee Meriwether replace as Catwoman on Batman?

7.) Who did the person whom Meriwether replaced in question 7 replace as the first Catwoman?

8.) Who did Leif Garrett replace as Leonard Unger on the sitcom The Odd Couple?

9.) Who did Damon Evans replace as Lionel Jefferson when All in the Family spun-off to The Jeffersons?

10.) Who did John Astin replace as the arch-criminal The Riddler, on the series Batman?

11.) Who did John Hart replace as The Lone Ranger on that television western?

12.) Who replaced Hart in the same role as questioned in Number 11?

13.) Who replaced Phyllis Coates in the role of Lois Lane in Superman?

14.) Who did William Bendix replace in the role of Chester on the early television show, The Life of Riley?

15.) Who did Sandra Gould replace in the role of Gladys Kravitz on TV’s Bewitched?

16.) Who did William Christopher replace in the role of Father John Patrick Francis Mulcahay on M*A*S*H?

17.) Who did Grant Goodeve replace as David Bradford on the series Eight is Enough?

18.) Who did Judy Ann Elder replace as Harriet Winslow on the sitcom series Family Matters?

19.) Who replaced Phil Burns as Jerry Seinfeld’s father, Morty, on Seinfeld?

20.) A number of collies portrayed the beloved rescue and family dog, Lassie, ironically all of them male canines playing the role of the famed female dog. Who played the first Lassie, and who played Lassie the longest during the 20 year run of the program?

Wow! This one was a challenge, wasn’t it? Hopefully, it was a fun challenge to take on. Only 20 questions this time, but twenty “toughies.” If nothing else, it may have sent you back to the days of some of these television programs and brought you back to those family living rooms where everyone sat together to watch, basically, the three channels with which most of us grew up.

Here are the answers in case you need them:

1.) Dick York played Darren Stephens first.

2.) Pat Priest took over the role from Beverly Owen.

3.) Lacy Goranson played Becky first, and later returned to the role.

4.) Jeremy Gelbwaks played the family’s first drummer.

5.) Barbara Bel Geddes was the Matriarch of Southfork.

6.) Lee Meriwether replaced Eartha Kitt.

7.) Eartha Kitt replaced Julie Newmar.

8.) Garret replaced Willie Aames in that role.

9.) Damon Evans replaced Mike Evans. (No relation)

10.) Frank Gorshin was the first giggling Riddler.

11.) Hart replaced Clayton Moore.

12.) Trick question … Clayton Moore returned to the role of The Lone Ranger replacing Hart.

13.) Coates replaced Noel Neill.

14.) Bendix replaced Jackie Gleason.

15.) Alice Pearce was the original Gladys Kravitz.

16.) Christopher replaced George Morgan (who only portrayed Mulcahay in the pilot episode of M*A*S*H).

17.) Goodeve took over for Mark Hamill (Yes, Luke Skywalker!)

18.) Elder followed Jo Marie Payton on Family Matters.

19.) Burns was replaced by Barney Martin.

20.) Pal was the first male collie to play Lassie. (Males were used because their bigger size made Lassie look more impressive, and also because female collies tend to “blow coat” (go through a massive hormone-induced shedding process) with each heat cycle.) The collie who played Lassie the longest was Baby, ironically, Pal’s grandson.

And there you have it. Five points for each correct answer. A little trivia to start your morning. A test of your memory to brighten your day. Maybe a little motivation to work hard so you will never be replaced until it is on your terms. Meanwhile, have a great week everyone!

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