Baseball was invented by Alexander Cartwright, modeling it upon the stick and ball game that he played then. The first known club match with rules written by him was played in June 19, 1846.
Each baseball game has 12,386,344 possible plays.
The odds of a fan being hit by a baseball are 300,000 to 1.
The shortest major league player was Eddie Gaedel, who was three feet, seven inches tall. His sole appearance in an MLB game was a publicity stunt.
The tallest player in Major League history is Minnesota Twins' pitcher Jon Rauch, who is six feet, eleven inches tall.
Baseball legend states that the silhouette on the MLB logo is Harmon Killebrew, who played for the Washington Senators, the Minnesota Twins and the Kansas City Royals. He was second to Babe Ruth in total homeruns.
A strange rule of this game is that before every game, umpires remove the shine from the balls by rubbing them. The number of balls that they rub before every game is around six dozen. The mud with which the balls are rubbed is also location specific. Ideally, it should only come from a particular area in Burlington County, New Jersey.
Fidel Castro was once a star baseball player for the University of Havana.
In 1965, the minimum annual salary for a baseball player was $6,000, just a thousand dollars more than it had been in 1947.
A regulation baseball has 108 stitches.
The very first baseball game was played on June 19,1845, across the Hudson River in Hoboken, New York.
In baseball, a "can of corn" refers to a fly ball that is easy to catch.
Robert Redford attended the University of Colorado on a baseball scholarship.
In an effort to sell more licensed apparel, minor-league baseball teams were changing their names so often that the sport's governing body now limits franchises to team name changes every three years.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, in New York, houses the largest collection of baseball cards: 200,000.
The first perfect nine innings baseball game was achieved by John Lee Richmond on 12 June 1880.
Giants baseball catcher Roger Bresnahan introduced shin guards in 1907.
In 1897, the Washington Senators became the first baseball team ever to introduce "Ladies' Day."
The longest baseball game was between the Milwaukee Brewers and the Chicago White Sox and lasted for eight hours and six minutes. Due to MLB rules forbidding an inning to start after 1 o'clock AM, fans had to come back the next day to finish the game.
The average baseball only lasts about a week. Each baseball can only be used one time in a MLB game.
Pitcher Nolan Ryan struck out more players in his career of 27 seasons than any other pitcher.
Manager Alvin Dark of the San Francisco Giants told reporters that NASA would "put a man on the moon before Gaylord Perry hits a home run." When Perry finally hit a home run, it was 20 minutes after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.
Having been open for nearly 100 years, Fenway Park in Boston is the oldest baseball stadium still in use.
The Louisville Slugger Museum, Kentucky holds the largest baseball bat in the world. This bat weighs 68,000 pounds and measures 120 feet.
The only person credited with umpiring two major sports, football and baseball, is Cal Hubbard.
In 1978, during a match between Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles, a fan suffered a heart attack. He was saved by a baseball player, George "Doc" Medich, who was a medical student during off season.
From April 30, 1982 to September 19, 1990, Cal Ripkin, Jr. played 2632 straight games, which means he didn’t miss a game in sixteen years!
Mike Schmidt earned the first $500,000 salary in baseball in 1977.
The 1926 New York Giants hold the record for the longest consecutive winning streak with 26 games in which they beat every National League team.
The infamous nickname “the Babe” was a take off on a reporter’s statement calling Babe Ruth one of “Dunn’s babes” when he was signed as a rookie by Jack Dunn. Other names that stuck with him throughout his career included “The Great Bambino” and “The Sultan of Swat”
In July 1934, Babe Ruth paid a fan $20 dollars for the return of the baseball he hit for his 700th career home run.
Babe Ruth put a cabbage leaf under his hat during every game. He would change it for a new one every 2 innings.
Baseball star Babe Ruth was born George Herman Ruth. He played in 2503 games and had a lifetime batting average of .342.
Babe Ruth was a large man during adulthood, Babe Ruth stood 6’2 and weighed over 300 lbs during his professional baseball career.
Babe Ruth married a waitress named Helen Woofwood in October of 1919 and had two daughters, Dorthy and Julia. They divorced in 1929 and Ruth married Claire Hodgson later that same year.
Babe Ruth batted, caught and pitched left-handed.
Ruth was first signed to the Boston Red Sox in 1914. He remained with the Red Sox until 1920, when he was traded to the New York Yankees. Ruth played first base and was an outfielder. He was added to the pitching rotation as well. His last year of baseball was spent playing for the Boston Braves. He retired in 1935.
Babe Ruth died in New York in August of 1948. He was only 53 years old.
National League/Major League Rule Change and Event Timeline 1876-1920
|1876||National League begins play with eight teams: Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisvlle Grays, Mutual of New York, St. Louis Brown Stockings|
|Pitcher - pitches from 6 foot square, must pitch underhand; batter - can request high or low pitch; strikes - only if batter swings and misses|
|Foul balls - out if caught on fly or after 1 bounce|
|If an umpire is unable to see whether a catch has been fairly made, he may confer with spectators and players.|
Bases required to be canvas-covered and 15 inches square, same as present-day size.
|Home plate is positioned at its current location: the angle formed by the intersection of the first and third base lines.|
|A time at bat is not charged to a batter who walks.|
|1879||All pitched balls must be called strikes, balls, or fouls.|
|The number of strikes required for a strikeout is three|
|The pitcher had to face a batsman before pitching to him.|
|A staff of umpires was first introduced.|
|1880||Base on balls was reduced to 8 "called balls."|
|The base runner was out if hit by a batted ball.|
|The catcher is required to catch a third strike on the fly to register an out.|
|1881||Base on balls was reduced to 7 "called balls."|
|The pitching distance is lengthened to fifty feet.|
|The pitcher is fined for deliberately hitting a batter with the ball.|
|A spectator who "hisses or hoots" at or insults the umpire may be ejected from the grounds.|
|1882||The American League is formed.|
|Umpires may not confer with spectators or players.|
|1883||A foul ball caught on the bounce is no longer an out. It must be caught before it touches the ground.|
|Pitcher's arm is allowed up to shoulder height when delivering a pitch.|
|1884||Almost all restrictions on a pitcher's motion are lifted. He may throw the ball with virtually any motion he chooses, provided that he is facing the batter at the moment of wind-up. He is allowed only one step before delivery.|
|Base on balls was reduced to 6 "called balls."|
|1885||The bat may have one flat side. (This rule lasted only one year.)|
|Home base could be made of marble or whitened rubber.|
|Chest protectors worn by catchers and umpires for the first time.|
|1886||Base on balls was reduced to 5 "called balls."|
|The size of the pitcher's box was reduced from a 6-foot square to 4 feet by 7 feet.|
|An umpire may introduce a new ball at any time. Before this year, when a ball was lost, the umpire gave the team five minutes to find it before he threw in a new one. An umpire must have two baseballs at his disposal at all times.|
|A hit batsman is not charged with a time at bat.|
|1887||The number of strikes required for a strikeout is four (this rule was adopted for this season only).|
|The size of the pitcher's box was reduced to 4 feet by 5 1/2 feet.|
|The batter is no longer allowed to request a high or low pitch.|
|Bases on balls were recorded as hits for this season only.|
|The batter was awarded first base when hit by a pitch.|
|Home plate is to be made of rubber, dropping the marble type, and is to be 12 inches square.|
|1888||The strikeout, once and for all, is set at three strikes.|
|A base on balls is not counted as a hit and not charged as a time at bat.|
|A batter is credited with a base hit when a runner is hit by his batted ball.|
|It is a ground-rule double instead of a home run if the ball is batted over the fence in fair territory and the fence is less than 210 feet from home plate.|
|A hit batsman is awarded first base and credited with a hit.|
|1889||A base on balls is reduced to 4 "called balls", and there it remains.|
|A sacrifice bunt is statistically recognized, but the batter is charged with a time at bat.|
|1891||Substitutions are permitted at any time during the game, but once a player has been substituted for, he cannot re-enter the game.|
|1892||It is a ground-rule double instead of a home run if the ball is batted over the fence in fair territory and the fence is less than 235 feet from home plate.|
|1893||Pitching distance is increased from 50 feet to 60 feet 6 inches; it has not been changed since.|
|The pitching box is eliminated (never to be seen again, though present-day pitchers are still said to get "knocked out of the box") and a rubber slab 12 inches long and 4 inches wide is substituted.|
|The pitcher is required to place his rear foot against the slab; the rear foot must maintain contact with the slab throughout the windup and pitch delivery.|
|A batter credited with a sacrifice bunt is not charged with a time at bat.|
|Foul bunts are classified as strikes if the batter has less than two strikes.|
|1895||Pitching slab is enlarged to its present size of 24 inches long and 6 inches wide.|
|Bat dimensions are set to present-day values: a maximum of 2 3/4 inches in diameter and 42 inches in length.|
|The infield fly rule is adopted: the umpire may call an infield fly when there is one out and first and second base or first, second, and third base are occupied. (The infield fly can be a source of confusion for fans. Here's the rule book definition of infield fly.|
|A foul tip was classified as a strike (a foul tip is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher's hands and is legally caught. It is not a foul tip unless caught and any foul tip that is caught is a strike, and the ball is in play. It is not a catch if it is a rebound, unless the ball has first touched the catcher's glove or hand).|
|1898||The first official balk rule: a pitcher is compelled to throw to a base if he makes a motion in that direction.|
|1899||The balk rule is refined: a pickoff throw may not be faked; when there is a baserunner, once the pitcher begins his motion to deliver a pitch to the batter, the pitcher must complete his motion and pitch the ball.|
|1900||The shape of home plate is changed from a twelve-inch square to a five-sided figure seventeen inches wide.|
|1901||The American League joins the majors. Major league baseball now consists of two leagues, the National League and the American League, and the rule discrepancies begin. For instance, the National League declares that any foul ball not caught on the fly is a strike unless the batter has two strikes on him. The American League does not consider these foul balls as strikes - at least not right away.|
|The infield fly rule is in effect when there are no outs as well as one out.|
|1903||The American League agrees with the National League that any foul ball not caught on the fly is a strike unless the batter has two strikes on him.|
|First World Series is played. The Boston Americans of the AL defeats the Pittsburgh Pirates of the NL 3-0 in game eight and wins the Series 5 games to 3.|
|1904||The height of the pitcher's mound is established. It may not be higher than fifteen inches above the base lines and home plate.|
|1908||Pitchers were prohibited from scuffing or soiling a new ball.|
|The sacrifice fly rule is adopted, exempting the batter from an at-bat when a run scores after a catch.|
|1909||A foul bunt attempt when the batter has 2 strikes is a strikeout.|
|1910||The cork center is added to the official baseball.|
|1912||Earned runs are charged to a pitcher when a player scores by means of safe hits, sacrifice hits, bases on balls, hit batters, wild pitches, and balks.|
|1920||All freak deliveries, including the spitball, are outlawed, with a "grandfather clause": each team is allowed to designate two pitchers as spitball pitchers for the 1920 season (it would take two decades for pitchers to compensate for these restrictions and to develop new legal pitches).|
|The batter was given credit for a home run in the bottom of the ninth inning or an extra inning if the winning run was on base when the ball was hit out of the field.|
|The ball has its gloss removed before a game by the umpire.|