Baseball is a fabulous game with an even longer history. So in this article I am going to take a trawl through time and pick out ten of the very best cool baseball facts and baseball trivia to keep you amused.
1. It is a little known fact that the last two players to achieve the distinction of hitting five base run hits on the opening day of the season were Billy Herman and Nellie Fox. Billy Herman was an NL player who achieved the feat in 1936 when he was playing for the Chicago Cubs. Whilst Nellie Fox achieved it in 1959 as a player for the Chicago White Sox in 1936. Incidentally, the Chicago White Sox also won the world series in that year. So it was a great year for Nellie, who also had the distinction of getting the MVP award.
2. The Owner of the Chicago Cubs, Bill Veeck, used to have midgets as food vendors at the clubs home ground, because he said that it meant that the paying public didn’t have to have their view of the game spoiled!
3. In 2001 Barry Bonds hit his 500th home run, and in the process became only the 17th player from the major leagues to achieve the feat. Terry Adams was the unfortunate pitcher who allowed him to hit the 500th home run.
4. These days its seems like everyone wears pinstripes on their uniforms! But did you know that the very first two teams to wear pinstripes were the Phillies and the Giants in 1911.
5. Get High Man! It was in 1976. The month was March and the ground keeper of the Angels was inspecting his home turf… Lo and behold, growing their unhindered was a marijuana plant at Anaheim Stadium. It turns out that there had been a concert by ‘The Who’ just recently, and that a visitor to that event was suspected to have planted it.
6. To consider just how long Baseball has been a part of the national consciousness. Consider the fact that uniforms were first worn in baseball in 1849. The baseball team to first wear them was called the Knickerbockers, and it consisted of trousers that were blue, straw hat and a white shirt (just perfect for sliding for home!)
7. The baseball tradition of spring training came about because in 1885 the Chicago White Stockings went to Hot Springs in Arkansas to prepare for the new season.
8. All change! Two players who know all about ‘team swapping’ are Tim Cullen and Ron Hansen. In February 1968 they were each traded. Cullen going to the White Sox from the Senators, and Hansen going the opposite route. Only to be traded back in August of the same year to the teams from where they had originally came!
9. There was a baseball film made in 1930 called ‘Hot Curves – They Learned About Women’.
10. In 1889 there was another baseball first. William Hoy from Washington threw out three runners at the plate, in a single game. And hence got himself into the record books (and this article!)