Baseball Facts

Knowing baseball facts is part of being a baseball fan. We all know that Barry Bonds has hit the most home runs and Pete Rose collected the most hits.

That Cy Young has the most wins and the Yankees have won the most World Series.

But since our game has been around for so long, I thought it would be interesting to look for some little known baseball facts.

* Did you know that the American League MVP Award was first given in 1911? It was called the Chalmer's Award and Ty Cobb was the first winner.

* On June 3, 1932, the Yankees Lou Gehrig became the first player to hit four home runs in a game. He did it against the Philadelphia Athletics.

* On April 6, 1973, Ron Bloomberg of the New York Yankees became the very first desinated hitter at Fenway Park in Boston. The Red Sox Luis Tiant walked him.

* In 1968, the Boston Red Sox Carl Yastrzemski won the American League Batting title with a .301 average. He was the only American Leaguer that season to hit over .300.

* In game 7 of the 1960 World Series between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the New York Yankees, the Bucs second baseman Bill Mazeroski hit the famous home run to give the Pirates the World Championship. But did you know that in the eighth inning, reserve catcher Hal Smith hit a three run homer to put the Pirates up 9-7. The Yanks tied it in the ninth and then Maz hit the famous home run. But if had not been for Hal Smith, Mazeroski would have never been the hero.

* We all remember game 6 of the 1975 World Series between the Cincinnati Reds and the Boston Red Sox. Carlton Fisk hit that now famous long ball to win the game in the bottom of the 12th inning. But in the bottom of the eighth with the Reds up 6-3, the Red Sox Bernie Carbo hit a pinch hit, three run home run to tie the game at 6-6. So if it had not been for Bernie Carbo, that famous sight of Carlton Fisk waving the ball fair would never have happened.

* On August 16, 1920 at the Polo Grounds in New York, pitcher Carl Mays delivered a fastball to Ray Chapman. The practice of that day for pitchers was to dirty up the baseball as much as possible so that it was harder for the batter to see it. Sometimes the pitcher would scuff or even spike the ball.

It was twilight as the fast ball slammed into Chapman's head. It hit him so hard and was so loud that Carl Mays actually fielded the ball and threw to first base. Ray Chapman died in the hospital twelve hours later. It was believed that he never saw the pitch. This prompted Major League baseball to change the rules about scuffing and dirtying up the baseball.

* Remember Don Larsen's perfect game in the 1956 World Series? Well, in the 1947 World Series, Yankee pitcher Bill Bevins came within one out of a World Series no hitter. With two outs, Cookie Lavagetto of the Brooklyn Dodgers, came up and hit a double, scoring two and breaking up the no-hitter. Bevins lost his no hitter and the game but the Yankees went on to win the Series.

* Joe Sewell played 13 seasons for the Cleveland Indians and the New York Yankees. In 7,132 at bats, Sewell struck out only 114 times. He was such a great contact hitter that during four of his seasons he struck out only four times.

* During a game at Wrigley Field in 1984, Cubs second baseman Ryne Sandberg hit two late inning home runs off the St. Louis Cardinals ace reliever Bruce Sutter. Over shadowed in that game was that the Cardinals Willie McGee hit for the cycle.

* On May 22, 2003, Los Angeles Dodger pitcher Darren Dreifort struck out seven Colorado Rockies in two innings becoming the first pitcher to do so. Dreifort struck out the side in the first. In the second, after whiffing the first two batters, Aaron Cook struck out but reached first base when the ball got by the catcher. He then struck out Greg Norton for his seventh strike out in two innings.

* Pitcher Nolan Ryan has had his jersey number retired by three different clubs. The California Angels, The Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers.

* Dodger pitcher Don Newcombe became the first player to win the Rookie of the Year(1949), the Cy Young and MVP awards(both in 1956) during his Major League career.

* Robin Roberts of the Philadelphia Phillies gave up more home runs during his career than any other pitcher. The Hall of Famer allowed a total of 505.

* During the 1972 season, Rod Carew became the first player to win a batting title without hitting a single home run. Rod hit .318 that year.

* On June 23, 1915,Philadelphia A's pitcher Bruno Haas had a rough day. In his debut with the A's he gave up 15 runs and 11 hits to the New York Yankees in nine innings. He also walked 16. A record which still stands. Just for fun he also threw three wild pitches.

More Baseball Facts On The Way Soon.


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