20 Fun Facts About Baseball You May Not Know About
Here are 20 fun facts about baseball you may not know about!
1. The Idea That Abner Doubleday Invented Baseball Is A Myth:
You may have heard that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839. Not only is this story false, but it doesn’t even come close to the real origins of America’s beloved sport. So, how and why did this myth begin? In 1907, a commission led by businessmen convened to specify the origins of baseball. However, instead of acknowledging baseball’s derivation from cricket and rounders, they gave credit to Civil War hero Abner Doubleday.
2. The First Mention Of The Term 'Baseball' Dates Back To 1744:
In 1744, John Newbery wrote a children’s book called ‘A Little Pretty Pocket-Book’. This book featured a short poem and an illustration of a baseball game. However, it looked slightly different from a modern-day baseball game.
3. The Longest Game In The History Of Baseball Lasted 26 Innings:
On May 1st of 1920, a game between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Boston Braves lasted the equivalent of three whole games! And it could have lasted even longer, but the game was called due to darkness. After three hours and fifty minutes, the game was tied at 1.
4. In Terms Of Time, The Longest MLB Game Lasted 8 Hours And 6 Minutes:
While the longest game in terms of innings is between the Dodgers and the Braves, the longest game in terms of time happened between the White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers. On May 8th, 1984, the two teams started a game that would take over two days to complete. This 8-hour long game was a 3-3 tie with a total of 25 innings.
5. The Fastest Major League Game Ever Recorded Lasted Only 51 Minutes:
On September 28, 1919, the New York Giants beat the Philadelphia Phillies 6 to 1 in a game that lasted only 51 minutes. By today's standards, a game this short seems hard to believe, but back in 1919, the games had fewer breaks and weren’t scheduled around TV commercials, which made them shorter.
6. The Shortest Home Run Ever Hit Traveled Only 24 Inches:
On a rainy day back in 1900, Andy Oyler, a minor league player for the Minnesota Millers, hit the shortest home run in history. This home run traveled only 2 feet! How did this happen? Oyler made solid contact and took off to first base. As he ran, he realized that he was the only one who knew where the ball had gone. The ball got lost, buried in the mud only 24 inches from home plate.
7. The Oldest Ballpark In The Country Is Fenway Park In Boston:
Built in 1912, the hundred-and-nine-year-old Fenway Park in Boston is the oldest ballpark in the United States. It is also one of the smallest ballparks in the country, seating only 37,221 people.
8. A Woman Once Got Hit Twice In The Same Game By The Same Player:
In 1957, MLB fan Alice Roth got hit twice by Richie Ashburn. The first foul ball hit her on the nose, and as she was being taken away by medical personnel, Ashburn fouled off the next pitch, which struck Alice Roth in the leg. Talk about foul luck, am I right? But fear not, the odds of getting hit and injured by a foul ball while on the stands is 300,000 to 1.
9. The Record Of Most Home Runs In One Game By One Person Is 4:
The first player to reach 4 home runs in one game was Bobby Lowe in 1894, but so far, 18 other players have achieved this feat. The most recent player to achieve this was J.D Martinez in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2017.
10. The Most Expensive Autographed Baseball Sold For $191,200:
In 2006, the Heritage Auction Galleries sold the most expensive autographed ball ever. This ball was signed by the legendary Joe DiMaggio and film star Marilyn Monroe.
11. The New York Yankees Were NOT The First Team To Wear Numbers On Their Backs:
Even though the Yankees are often given credit for being the first team to wear numbers on the back of their jerseys, it was actually the Cleveland Indians. Why are the Yankees given credit? Their game was scheduled earlier, but rain forced postponement, which made the Cleveland Indians the first official team to wear numbers on the back of their jersey uniforms.
12. Until The American Civil War, There Were 2 Versions Of Baseball:
Before the Civil War, people played two different versions of baseball. One was the Massachusetts game which used a softball, and the other was the New York's game which used a hardball. The New York version became prominent because Civil War soldiers from New York and New Jersey taught their game to other soldiers.
13. Since The Civil War, Baseball Has Earned The Tag of "America's National Pastime":
During the Civil War, both Union and Confederate soldiers played baseball to boost morale and find an escape when they had the time. Because of this, baseball increased in popularity nationally during 1861 and 1865, and the rest is history.
14. A Baseball Scandal Turned The Chicago White Sox Into "Black Sox"
In 1919, accusations befell eight players of the Chicago White Sox of intentionally losing the World Series. These eight players were banned from baseball for life! One of them was Joe Jackson, one of the greatest hitters of all time, but being kicked out made him ineligible for the Hall of Fame.
15. All MLB Baseballs Have Exactly 108 Stitches:
Did you know that all MLB baseballs have exactly 108 hand-stitched double stitches? These stitches need exactly 88 inches of thread to ensure that none of the material comes loose.
16. A Major League Baseball Only Has A Life Of 5-7 Pitches:
Major League baseballs have a relatively short life of 5-7 pitches. That means that a typical game uses approximately 70 balls!
17. The League Banned The Use Of Spitballs In 1920:
A spitball is a baseball pitch in which the ball has been altered by applying a substance like saliva (hence the name) or vaseline. The last legal spitball to win in an MLB game was Pirates’ Burleigh Grimes in 1934 against the Giants. Why were spitballs banned? Because a spitball has a foreign substance, as well as the wind resistance and weight balance change, so it doesn’t behave like normal pitches.
18. A Player Once Died As A Result Of A Pitch:
On August 16, 1920, Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians became the only player in MLB history to have died by a pitch. Yankees pitcher, Carl Mays, threw a ball that hit Chapman on the head.
19. Cuba Has Won The Most Baseball World Cup Medals:
With 31 medals, 25 of which are gold, Cuba has the record for most Baseball World Cup medals. The United States has won 15, 4 of which are gold.
20. All Baseballs Used In MLB Games Are Rubbed With A Very Specific Mud:
That’s right. All MLB baseballs are rubbed with a specific mud sourced from a secret location. Only one person knows the location of this mud and sells it to the MLB every season. What makes this mud special? This mud is the only foreign substance allowed by the MLB. It exposes the leather of the ball and provides a better grip. Other companies have tried to duplicate this unique and mysterious mud, but they’ve all failed.
We hope you enjoyed this blog and found these fun baseball facts interesting. If you would like to read more tips, information, and advice about baseball, check out the rest of our blogs.