A wealth of statistics may be one of the most significant benefits of baseball’s allure. Many know which famous baseball players own the best records. Yet, history holds facts about baseball that prove the sport’s enduring qualities.
There may not be another game on Earth with more intriguing stories than professional baseball. So if you enjoy learning new baseball facts, keep reading. Here are eleven facts about baseball you may not already know.
1. First Facts About Baseball
How baseball came into existence is still a subject of debate. However, many of the game’s rules began with Cricket and Rounders. The first documented Cricket match happened in England in 1597. Rounders first appeared in 1744, also in England.
The game with teams officially playing baseball was the New York Knickerbockers and a squad of cricket players in 1846.
2. First World Series
Players began playing professional baseball with the first major league formed in 1871. Then, in 1876, the league became the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. This league had the best baseball teams until an upstart appeared in 1901, the American League of Professional Baseball.
The competing leagues agreed to play a championship series of nine games, sponsored by the New York World Newspaper. The American League’s Boston Americans defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates in eight games to become the first World Series Champion.
3. First All-Star Game
Newspapers had a remarkable effect on the benefits of baseball for fans. America was in the grips of The Great Depression in 1933 when a Chicago sports editor devised the idea to attract more visitors to the World’s Fair.
Arch Ward not only convinced the commissioner that a game should commence with the best famous baseball players of the time. Ward also proposed the idea of letting fans vote for teams’ rosters. As a result, Comiskey Park on Chicago’s Southside hosted the first All-Star game on July 16, 1933.
4. Oldest Team
Although the New York Knickerbockers played the first professional game, the first Major League team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings. Soldiers returning from the Civil War brought the game home, and in 1866, Cincinnati fielded the first team to pay players for their skills.
The Red Stockings recruited players as they traveled the country. When the team played in Cincinnati, the grounds of Union Cricket Club served as their home field.
5. World’s Oldest Stadium
Fans who know their baseball facts recognize Fenway Park as the oldest stadium still used by a Major League team. The ballpark, constructed in 1912, also has the smallest seating capacity in the Major Leagues, with only 37,731 people.
It might surprise you that Fenway is not the oldest professional baseball stadium still used. Labatt Park in London, Ontario, Canada, is still home to the London Majors of the Intercounty Baseball League. The London ballpark first opened in 1877 and continues to delight fans.
6. Baseballs Arrive Dirty
The Philadelphia Athletics once had a third base coach named Lena Blackburne who wanted a substance to take the shine off new baseballs. Blackburne discovered mud near the Delaware River that suited the job.
The mud took the shine away and left the ball white while not becoming too soft. With this particular mud, Lena started a business that exists today. All Major and Minor League baseballs get rubbed with Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing Mud before entering games.
7. Yogi Rules the Diamond
Of all the famous baseball players past and present, no player has enjoyed more success than Yogi Berra. The legendary Yankee catcher holds the record for most World Series appearances with fourteen.
Berra is also the only player ever with ten championship rings, one for each finger. Considering the New York Yankees have 27 championships, the most in baseball history, Yogi played in almost 35% of them.
8. The Master of Longevity
A fellow named Cap Anderson enjoyed the benefits of baseball in the early days of professional sports. But Nolan Ryan matched Anderson’s streak of 27 seasons in Major League baseball.
Ryan pitched from 1996 to 1993, amassing seven no-hitters. Nolan also holds another Major League record. Ryan recorded 5,714 strikeouts throughout his career. This Hall of Famer is one of the most valuable Cooperstown pins in any collection in the history of famous baseball players.
9. Odd Player Facts
Some baseball facts worth noting don’t involve the most famous baseball players. For example, in 2019, pitcher Edwin Jackson became the first player to don the jersey of 14 different baseball clubs.
Continuing the theme, John William Lindsey has the honor of spending 16 seasons in the minors. His longest streak for minor league play got rewarded by joining one of the best baseball teams, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in 2010. Lindsey was 33 when he made his Major League debut.
10. The Long and Short of Baseball
The longest baseball game ever played lasted 26 innings, but it did not set the record for the time of play. On May 8, 1984, the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox endured 25 innings that lasted 8 hours and 6 minutes.
In 1919, the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Giants finished a nine-inning game with incredible efficiency. The Giants needed only 51 minutes to defeat the Phillies 6-1. The two teams must have had a train to catch to perform that feat.
11. Weird Baseball Facts
Playing baseball as a left-hander usually puts a person on the pitcher’s mound, the outfield, or first base. If you have trouble remembering the last lefty to play catcher, Benny Distefano is not a name associated with famous baseball players. However, Benny the lefty played three games for the Pirates in 1989, over thirty years ago.
Of course, watching baseball has its oddities. For example, you can view professionals playing baseball in Arizona from a swimming pool, but you still need to buy a ticket at hellotickets.com for the game.
Facts About Baseball Are Fun
The grand old game enjoys a long and rich history, so it’s no surprise there are some intriguing baseball facts. Yet, one of the most significant facts about baseball is that the game has endured for a long time.
Some of the rules have changed, and so have the players. But baseball remains a favorite pastime among many worldwide. So if this look at baseball facts hit a home run with you, please return soon for more intriguing articles.