List Of Baseball Facts
Baseball is, without a doubt, one of the most popular sports in America. Known as “America’s Pastime,” its history is thoroughly intertwined with the history of the United States, but it also has its own unique history of records, excitement, and even scandal. What are some facts about baseball? What should baseball fans know about the sport? Below, we’ll give you a list of exciting and interesting baseball facts to increase your knowledge of this storied sport.
- The inventor of baseball is disputed. Many believe that it was invented by Civil War hero Abner Doubleday, but historians believe it was invented by mining engineer Abner Graves.
- The first official set of rules for baseball were created by Alexander Joy Cartwright in 1845.
- The New York Knickerbockers were the first American team to play a game of baseball.
- The first time the word “baseball” was used was in John Newbury’s A Little Pretty Pocket-Book.
- There were eight original teams in the MLB: the Boston Red Stockings (now renamed the Atlanta Braves), the Chicago White Stockings (now renamed the Chicago Cubs), the Cincinnati Red Stockings, the Hartford Dark Blues, the Louisville Grays, the Mutual of New York, the Philadelphia Athletics, and the St. Louis Brown Stockings.
- Baseball became known as “America’s Game” and “America’s Pastime” in 1907, when a special commission appointed by A.G. Spalding declared that the sport was a purely American sport with no relation to “rounders,” a similar British game.
- The unofficial anthem of baseball, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” was written in 1908 by Jack Norworth and Albert von Tilzer, neither of whom had ever attended a baseball game before writing the song.
- William Howard Taft was the first U.S. President to throw the opening pitch at a baseball game, on April 14, 1910.
- The only baseball player to be killed by a pitched ball was Ray Chapman, who died 12 hours after being hit in the head by a pitch on August 16, 1920.
- The Baseball Hall of Fame was opened in Cooperstown, New York in 1936.
- The first person to break the color barrier in the MLB was Jackie Robinson, whose iconic #42 jersey is now retired across the entire league. Every year, the MLB celebrates April 15 (they day of Robinson’s debut in 1947) as Jackie Robinson Day, and on that day, every player wears #42.
- The World Series was first broadcasted on television in 1947.
- The Philadelphia Pythians were the first all-Black baseball team.
- 227 major leaguers served in the military during World War I, and over 500 served in World War II.
- The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was created during World War II.
- Baseball became an Olympic sport in 1992, after long being an exhibition sport. It was removed from the games in 2008, but returned for the 2020 Tokyo Games. It is also set to be part of the 2028 Los Angeles Games.
- There are 162 games per team in every MLB season.
- The shortest MLB game ever lasted 51 minutes, and occurred between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies on September 28, 1919.
- The shortest professional baseball game ever played (across all leagues) lasted 31 minutes, and occurred between the Asheville Tourists and the Winston-Salem Twins on August 30, 1916.
- The longest MLB game ever lasted eight hours and six minutes, and occurred between the Chicago White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers on May 8, 1984.
- The longest professional baseball game ever played (across all leagues) lasted 8 hours and 25 minutes, and occurred between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings on April 18–19, 1981.
- The first MLB team to wear numbers on their jerseys was the New York Yankees, whose original jersey numbers corresponded with their place in the batting order.
- Every MLB baseball must have exactly 108 stitches.
- The New York Yankees have the most Hall of Famers of any MLB team, with 27.
- Four baseball players have achieved the record of hitting five home runs in a single game: Pete Schneider (1923), Lou Frierson (1934), Cecil Dunn (1936), and Dick Lane (1948).
- Barry Bonds hit the most home runs in MLB history, with 762, and holds the record for the most walks in MLB history, with 2,558.
- Ty Cobb has the best MLB batting average of all time, at .3662.
- Cal Ripken Jr. holds the record for most consecutive baseball games played, at 2,632.
- Pete Rose holds the record for most games played in MLB history (3,562), the record for most at-bats in MLB history, (14,053), and the record for most hits in MLB history (4,256).
- Rickey Henderson holds the record for the most runs scored in MLB history, with 2,295, and the record for the most stolen bases in MLB history, with 1,406.
- Hank Aaron holds the record for the most total bases earned in MLB history, with 6,856, and the record for most RBIs, with 2,297.
- Reggie Jackson holds the record for the most strikeouts while batting, with 2,597.
- Cy Young holds the record for most innings pitched in MLB history, with 7,356.
- Nolan Ryan holds the record for the most strikeouts as a pitcher in MLB history, with 5,714.
- Walter Johnson holds the record for the most shutouts as an MLB pitcher, with 110.
- Alex Rodriguez holds the record for the most grand slams in MLB history, with 25, and was the youngest player to reach 500 career home runs.
- Since William Howard Taft began the tradition, every U.S. President has thrown out at least one opening pitch at a baseball game, except for Jimmy Carter, Donald Trump, and (thus far) Joe Biden.
- The record for the smallest crowd at an MLB game was allegedly set on September 28, 1882, when a game between the Troy Trojans and the Worcesters supposedly had only six people attend.
- The record for the largest crowd at an MLB game was 115,301 people, which occurred at a preseason game on Saturday, March 29, 2008, between the defending World Series winners, the Boston Red Sox, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. were the first father-son duo to play for the same MLB team at the same time, playing for the Seattle Mariners in 1990. The Griffeys hit back-to-back home runs during a Mariners game on September 14, 1990.
- The most expensive baseball card ever sold was a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle card, which sold in August of 2022 for $12.6 million.
- Richie Ashburn of the Philadelphia Phillies once hit the same woman with two foul balls in a row, both on August 17, 1957. Ashburn’s first foul ball broke the woman’s nose, and while she was being carried off on a stretcher, Ashburn hit a second foul that struck her again.
- Joel Youngblood is the only MLB player to play for two teams on the same day. He played for Mets in an afternoon game against the Cubs, and was then traded to the Expos after the game, playing a night game for them against the Phillies that very same day.
- Fenway Park, home of the Boston Red Sox, is the oldest MLB ballpark that is still actively used, having been built in 1912.
- 95% of modern baseball players use bats made of maple wood, while ash was previously most popular.
What are some interesting facts about baseball?
One interesting fact about baseball is that its invention is the subject of dispute. Though the sport is such an important part of American history, historians aren’t sure exactly who invented it. For many years, it was believed that Abner Doubleday, a Civil War hero, invented baseball in 1839. However, later historians disputed this as a myth, and some have claimed that it was invented by an engineer named Abner Graves.