Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Fun Facts About Baseball

The first World Series was played between Pittsburgh and Boston in 1903 and was a nine-game series. Boston won the series 5-3.

The New York Yankees have dominated the amount of World Series Championships won. They have 27 under their belt, the next highest is the St. Louis Cardinals with 11.

The shortest major league player was Eddie Gaedel—he was 3 feet, 7 inches tall. The tallest player in MLB history is the Minnesota Twins’ pitcher Job Rauch who stands at 6 feet, 11 inches tall.

US Army during WWII developed a grenade that was about the same size and shape as a regular baseball making it easy to use for the American soldiers who had grown up playing baseball.

MLB National League (1876) predates the Football League of England (1888) and is the oldest professional sports league that is still in existence.

Carlos Beltran was the first switch hitter to hit 300 home runs and steal 300 bases.

The Star Spangled Banner was first played during the seventh-inning stretch at Game One of the 1918 World Series. The song became the official national anthem in 1931.

The tradition of spring training began in 1886. Continuing into the 1940’s, the Boston Red Sox, the Cincinnati Reds, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Highlanders (now the New York Yankees) got ready for the baseball season in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

A regulation baseball has 108 stitches

San Francisco Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry was not much of a hitter. In 1962 Giants manager joked that “They’ll put a man on the moon before Gaylord Perry hits a home run.” During a game on July 20th, 1969, a mere 20 minutes after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Perry stepped to the plate and hit his first career home run.

Boston Red Sox slugger, Ted Williams (1918-2002) missed almost five full baseball seasons while serving as a fighter pilot in WWII and the Korean War and still managed to hit 521 home runs.

The Yankees, Cubs, Angels and Dodgers are the only four MLB teams that lack a mascot. The Yankees used to have one, but he quit after being beaten up by fans, who didn’t want a mascot.

The average life span of a major league baseball is 6-7 pitches.

Deion Sanders is the only person to hit an MLB home run and NFL touchdown in the same week. He's also the only person to play in the World Series and the Super Bowl. 

The record for lowest attendance at an MLB game is 347 fans! It was in Florida - the Marlins versus the Reds - and it happened during Hurricane Irene. 

Every MLB ball is covered in mud from a secret location in New Jersey that only one man knows. It’s called Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing mud, and is used to allow pitchers to have a better grip on the balls. When Lena Blackburne was a third base coach for the Philadelphia Athletics in 1938, he decided to set off on a search for something better than tobacco spit to use. He found the perfect mixture of mud within 10 years, said to be somewhere near Palmyra, New Jersey, and then founded the company to sell it. By the 1950’s, it was so popular that every major league team was using it. Today, only the company’s owner, Jim Bintliff, knows the location. The mud is cleaned and screened, and a secret ingredient is added before sale. Bintliff takes 1,000 pounds of mud once a year, every year, and sells it the next season. It’s today considered the perfect rubbing mud. 

Philadelphia A's (now the Oakland Athletics) manager Connie Mack has 3,755 career victories, more than any other manager in history.

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