The over 130-year record books of professional baseball are filled with intriguing moments for fans across the country. Most of the time, baseball fans have continuously followed their favourite athletes through the record books, stats reports, and score lines.
Professional baseball in the twenty-first century is broken to bits, with sabermetrics and related technology analyzing every action an athlete makes during a game. But hard facts and stats aren’t the only things that excite fans, journalists, or punters who wager on MLB betting about this sports league.
There’s an almost never-ending number of fascinating facts in the league that nobody almost ever notices. While everyone focuses on the stats, sometimes, in the background is nuanced information about the athletes, stadiums, and other associated professionals that many overlook. This article highlights seven of these amazing facts and stats.
Here is an outline of seven MLB facts that are hardly known among baseball fans.
Sometime in August 1983, Dave Winfield misfired a bat that hit and killed a seagull during a match between Toronto Blue Jays and New York Yankees. During the game, which was held at Toronto’s Exhibition Stadium, the Yankees right fielder Dave Winfield hurled the bat at the bird while he warmed up between innings.
At the game’s end, fans angrily threw things at Winfield for stoning the bird. Members of the police eventually arrested Winfield and indicted him for animal cruelty. While the athlete posted bond, the police dropped the charges the next day.
Over sixty years ago, a major shareholder of St. Louis Brown, Bill Veeck, attempted to send rivals Cardinals out of town. When Bill Veeck purchased about four-fifths of the St. Louis Browns’ assets, his team and St. Louis Cardinals shared the same stadium–Sportsman’s Park. At the time, the Cardinals paid rent to the St. Louis Browns.
Employing former star athletes for the Cardinals, Marty Marion, and Rogers Hornsby, in 1952 and 1953, Veeck showed strong intentions to chase the Cardinals away from Sportsman’s Park. To further show Veeck’s eerie plan, the owner hired Dizzy Dean, pitching great for the Cardinals to serve as a play-by-play announcer. Then he decorated the stadium with his team’s memorabilia.
Unfortunately, Veeck’s actions didn’t get him his desired end. In 1953, Anheuser Busch purchased the Cardinals, and the Cardinals bought Sportsman’s Park from Veeck. Finally, Veeck sold his stake at the Browns to a team of owners that moved them to Baltimore.
During the opening day match between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Colorado Rockies, the world of baseball witnessed a switch-hitting event for the first time. Felipe Lopez, a second baseman for D-Backs, launched a second home run from a different side of the plate. Meanwhile, in the first inning, he homered in the match off Aaron Cook. The second home run saw him hit the home right-handed against Glendon Rosch, a lefty reliever.
No player had ever hit home runs from both sides of the plate during an Opening Day match. Amazingly, the game saw a repeat of the feat in the same game one inning afterwards. Tony Clark, the first baseman for the Diamondbacks launched a solo blast off Glendon–after earlier homering off Cook–with one out in the bottom of the fifth.
Cal Hubbard is the only man in baseball history to get elected into the Hall of Fame for two sports–football and baseball. Playing first as a footballer, Hubbard featured for the New York Giants and Green Bay Packers. After retiring from football, he joined baseball as an official.
Hubbard officiated as an umpire for the American League between 1936 and 1951. He featured in three All-Star games and four World Series during his career. The legend was eventually forced to retire after suffering a hunting accident that impaired his right eye’s vision.
But Hubbard remained in baseball, serving as an umpires’ supervisor until 1969. Hubbard introduced the idea that umpires should be better stationed to assist them in making more consistent calls. Major League Baseball adopted his idea and set up a four-man umpiring crew in games, which is still in use.
1963 in the world of baseball was a unique one concerning numbers. Sandy Koufax, a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, won the Most Valuable Player Award trophy in his league, wearing jersey number 32.
Amazingly, Elson Howard, a catcher at New York Yankees, also won the Most Valuable Player Award trophy for his league, wearing jersey number 32.
Now, that’s not all to the magic of jersey number 32. In the NFL, Jim Brown won the Most Valuable Player Award, wearing jersey number 32.
Stan Musial was the first baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals and a Hall of Famer. He retired in 1963 with 3,630 hits, second only to Ty Cobb in the history of MLB. Of Musial’s 3,630 hits, 1,815 were hit at home. Musial hit the other 1,815 on the road.
Edd Roush, a Hall of Fame outfielder, had a legendary 18-year career. He spent 12 of those years for the Cincinnati Reds, hitting .323 in his career. However, something really interesting happened to him in 1920. Roush was caught sleeping on duty during a game.
During a break, while players argued about the game, the legendary player took a seat in the outfield and fell asleep. The penalty? Of course, Roush was fined for this strange gaffe; the umpires ejected him for delaying the game as his teammates couldn’t quickly revive him.
Many of the facts here feature the reasons behind some major turning points in baseball history. Hopefully, if you’re a baseball fan going through this guide, you might have found an interesting fact you didn’t know about until now. We are glad we could help.