Baseball is a sport that lends itself to strange coincidences, once in a lifetime plays, and oddball characters who dominate for a time and then quickly pass into anonymity. Even the most avid followers of the game are continually surprised by what they find when digging into the record books. So check out these ten surprising baseball facts and see which ones you know and which are still new to you. You might just be surprised!
- Don Baylor played in three straight World Series, for three different teams. From 1986-88, Don was in the World Series—first with the Red Sox, then the Twins, and finally the A’s. Luckily he won in ’87 with the Twins, or this would have been a much sadder fact.
- The U.S. Army developed a hand grenade shaped like a baseball in WWII. The assumption was that any young man would be able to throw it well. Oddly enough, it didn’t catch on, and reportedly had problems with early detonation.
- Bobby Richardson is the only player to win World Series MVP for the losing team. Even though the Pirates bested the Yankees in the 1960 Series, Richardson hit .367 and drove in twelve runs, as well as hitting a grand slam. He’s the only player to have won the MVP award while playing on the losing team.
- Jim Abbott had an 11-year MLB career and pitched a no-hitter in 1993 despite only having one hand.
- The Florida Marlins hold the record for lowest attendance at a game, and not because of their play. In 2011, with Hurricane Irene threatening, an estimated 347 people showed up to the stadium for the first game of a doubleheader..
- There are only three teams that don’t use a mascot—the Yankees, Angels, and Dodgers.
- In 1957, the Cubs and Dodgers traded their entire minor league teams. The Dodgers were moving west from Brooklyn to LA and the Cubs were going nowhere fast, so they agreed to swap the teams.
- If a player attempts to use his hat to stop a ball, or throws his glove at it, all runners are awarded three bases. This is sometimes called a ground rule triple, but that isn’t technically correct, as the rule has nothing to do with the characteristics of the field. Still, can you ever remember seeing one?
- Warren Spahn ended his career with the same number of wins and hits—363. That’s actually pretty impressive for a pitcher, and he ended up with a .194 average, 189 RBI, and 35 home runs.
- The home club must have at least 90 baseballs on hand for a game. They generally only last about six pitches before being hit into the stands or being discarded due to dirt or damage.
Baseball is an endlessly fascinating game, and there’s so much history to the game that one person really can’t know it all. That’s what makes collecting memorabilia so much fun. You get your own little piece of the game that’s part of the larger history.
And if you need a safe place to store that memorabilia, then check out the cases from BallQube. Clear, durable, and easy to assemble, they’re the perfect holder for all your balls, gloves, bats, jerseys, or hats!