35 Fascinating Facts about Baseball

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1 Nolan Ryan

Nolan Ryan

After 27 years in the MLB, at age 46, Nolan Ryan’s final pitch clocked in at 89 mph. He had a lifetime winning percentage of .526, was an eight-time MLB All-Star, and his 5,714 career strikeouts rank first in baseball history. Ryan also threw a record 7 no-hitters, 3 more than any pitcher.

2. Every ball used in an MLB game is covered in mud that comes from a secret location in New Jersey. A man skims through riverbanks to find the mud, then refines it before it’s applied to balls. It is called the Lena Blackburne Original Baseball Rubbing Mud.

3. In the early days of baseball, players would often steal across the field from first base to third.

4. When the Mets beat the Red Sox in the 1986 World Series, many Yankee fans attended the parade celebrating the Mets’ win, saying that “anyone who beats Boston is worth coming down for.”

5. The New York Mets are still paying Bobby Bonilla, a man who last played for them in 1999, $1.19 million per year until 2035.

6 Dock Ellis

Dock Ellis

Dock Ellis was an MLB pitcher. He claims to have never pitched a single game while sober. His crowning achievement is pitching a no-hitter while high on LSD.

7. Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Rube Waddell would often be distracted by shiny things, puppies, and balloons while on the mound. He once ran off the field to chase a fire truck on the way to a fire. He certainly had what we now know as ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder).

8. Nolan Ryan is the only pitcher in MLB history to have struck out seven pairs of fathers and sons.

9. Baseball catcher Dave Bresnahan threw a potato to deceive a baserunner into being tagged by the ball. The league banned him but fan-support forced the club to retire his number. At his retirement ceremony, he said: “Gehrig played 2130 games & hit 340; all I had to do was bat .140 & throw a potato.”

10. Long-time professional baseball pitcher Satchel Paige, who debuted in the MLB at the age of 42, would sometimes instruct his infielders to sit down behind him, and then he would strike out the next three batters.

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11 Eric Bruntlett

Eric Bruntlett

In 2009, an MLB player named Eric Bruntlett made two consecutive fielding errors, putting runners on first and second. On the next play after that, he made the 15th unassisted triple play in MLB history, winning the game.

12. From 1953 to 1958 the Cincinnati Reds officially changed their name to the Cincinnati Redlegs because they were afraid of being thought to be associated with communism.

13. In 1985, the Pittsburgh Pirates’ mascot acted as a middleman between cocaine dealers and the Pirates’ players. He delivered the coke to the stadium and completed the deals with players there. He also frequently was high while dressed as The Pittsburgh parrot during the game.

14. Jim Abbott, a man born with just one hand, had an 11-year career as a pitcher in Major League Baseball. The highlight of his career came in 1993 when he pitched a ‘no-hitter’, one of baseball’s highest achievements for a pitcher.

15. Detroit Tiger pitcher Daniel Norris purposely lives off just $800 a month, despite a $2 million signing bonus. When asked why he chooses to continue to live so conservatively. He asked back, “Who am I to deserve that? What have I really done?”

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16 Joel Youngblood

Joel Youngblood

Joel Youngblood is the only Major League Baseball player to get hits for two teams on the same day. As a member of the Mets, he played an afternoon game against the Cubs. After the game, he was traded to the Expos, which played that night against the Phillies in Philadelphia.

17. Boston Red Sox of Mookie Betts bowled a perfect 300 at the World Series of Bowling – in the same week he was awarded an MLB Gold Glove.

18. The Cleveland Indians once had a “10 cent beer night” that ended in the crowd rioting and attacking the players and umpires. Players and coaches used baseball bats to fend off the rioting fans.

19. Ken Griffey Jr. played with his dad during the MLB season of 1990 and in one game, Sr. and Jr. hit back-to-back home-runs.

20. MLB pitcher Tug McGraw was asked if he preferred to play on grass or Astroturf and he responded by saying “I dunno, I never smoked any Astroturf.”

15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History

21 MLB umpires

MLB umpires

Major League Baseball umpires are required by rule to wear black underwear, in case they split their pants.

22. When baseball player Chuck Finley was told of his ex-wife’s allegations against him of heavy steroid, alcohol, and marijuana use, he responded with “I can’t believe she left out the cross-dressing.”

23. New York Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon used stem cells to regenerate broken tissue in his throwing arm.

24. In 1925, an all-black baseball team in Wichita, Kansas played an exhibition against a local KKK Klavern, with Irish Catholics serving as umpires. The black team won 10-8.

25. During the 2007 baseball season, the Los Angeles Dodgers added an infielder named Chin-Lung Hu. After Hu singled in his third at-bat in a game on September 23, Dodgers announcer Vin Scully said, “Shades of Abbott and Costello, I can finally say, ‘Hu is on first base.'”

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