Baseball, one of the most renowned sport in the United States, is liked as well as played by millions of Americans with utmost respect. It has become such an important aspect of everyone’s life, that very often it is regarded as the ‘national pastime’ of the nation.
Facts about Baseball
- It is a herculean task to narrow down the date of origin of baseball. It is believed that the game originated somewhere between the mid-1700s and early-1800s in the United States.
- The rules of baseball have been changed literally every year, right from 1877 when the first rule book was issued for the National League.
- The first baseball stadium built in the United States was the Forbes Field, built in Pittsburgh in 1909.
- The distance between the bases is exactly 90 feet in the Major League Baseball, while the distance from the pitchers mound to the home plate is 60 feet and 8 inches.
- The first professional baseball league was initiated in 1871. Most of the big cities in the eastern parts of United States had a professional team representing them by the beginning of 20th century.
- The first World Series was played in 1903 between Pittsburgh and Boston. The nine-game series was won by Boston 5-3.
- In 1997, the teams from the American League were allowed to play in the National League, thus bringing to an end one of the oldest tradition of the game. The first inter-league game was played on 12th June, 1997.
- In baseball, the umpires used to sit in padded chairs behind the home plate before 1859.
- Initially, the hits which cleared the outfield were considered as home runs. But today, the hits have to clear the ballpark, more importantly, without leaning towards the foul areas in order to be considered as a home run.
- The longest game in the history of Major League Baseball was played between the Boston Braves and the Brooklyn Robins on 1st May, 1920. The 26-inning game which was called off as a draw at the leveled scores of 1-1, actually went on for 8 hours, 22 minutes.
- The lifespan of an average baseball is just eight days. A baseball is used only once in one Major League Baseball game.
- According to Rule 301c of Major League Baseball, the umpires have to rub down 6 dozen balls and remove their slick shine before the commencement of the game.
- A day before and a day after; are the only two days in a year wherein no professional games are played in the United States.
- Superstitions prevailed in baseball as well. Legendary baseball player Babe Ruth would wear a cabbage leaf under his cap while playing, which he would change after every two innings.
- Actually left-handed, Ruth used to play right-handed while in school, the reason being unavailability of left handed gloves.
- Nolan Ryan, hailing from the Texas, holds the baseball record for striking out the most batters in his Major League Baseball career spanning over 27 MLB seasons.
- After signing for Astros in 1979, Nolan Ryan became the first player in Major League Baseball to sign as a free agent for a salary of $1 Million.
- The National Baseball Hall of Fame & Museum is based at Cooperstown, New York. The museum was built to mark the 100th anniversary of baseball in 1935.