Baseball is much more than just a game; it is a tradition, a passion, and an obsession.
To show you just how fascinating and exciting this sport is, we gathered the most interesting baseball facts.
Are you ready?
Baseball History Fun Facts
1. When was Baseball invented?
One of the most popular myths in baseball history is connected to the origins of the game. For a long time, it was believed that American Civil War General Abner Doubleday invented the game in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839.
However, facts about baseball history say otherwise. It seems Doubleday was named as the creator of the sport in an effort to prove that baseball originated in the US, a story that stuck for many years until modern historians disproved it.
2. Who really invented baseball?
Exeter-born Henry Chadwick was a cricket reporter who fell in love with baseball and significantly contributed to making it the game it is today.
In addition to devising box scores and creating the stats system used to analyse games (including batting average and ERA), he also edited the first baseball guide sold to the public.
More importantly, he helped make the sport popular, which is why he is often called “The Father of Baseball”.
Nowadays, baseball is one of the highest-paid sports in the world.
3. The New York Knickerbocker Club was established in New York City in 1845.
In September 1845, a group of New York City men established the amateur New York Knickerbocker baseball club.
One of the men, Alexander Joy Cartwright, developed a new set of rules for the game, which included the diamond-shaped infield and the three-strikes rule (among others).
4. When was the first baseball game played?
The first competitive baseball game was played on 19 June 1846. Baseball’s first competitive game was played in Hoboken, i.e. on New Jersey’s Elysian Fields, between the Knickerbockers and the New York Mutuals.
Unfortunately, it ended in defeat for the KnickerBockers, who lost by a score of 23:1 in four innings.
5. Is baseball an Olympic sport?
Even though baseball debuted at the 1904 Summer Olympics, it wasn’t an official Olympic sport until 1992. Baseball was last contested at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing when South Korea took the gold medal home.
The sport was dropped from the program then; however, it has been revived for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
6. Which is the most-watched baseball game?
The Field of Dreams was the most-watched baseball game in the last 16 years. The Yankees vs White Sox game which took place on August 13, 2021, in Dyersville, Iowa, was the most-watched game in the past 16 years, with a viewership of about 5,903,000 on Fox and Fox Deportes.
According to baseball history facts, this is the largest recorded audience since the Yankees-Red Sox match in October 2005.
7. How many people follow baseball?
Baseball ranks 7th as of 2021 when speaking of the most popular sports in the world. Its fan base consists of 500 million people scattered around the world
, however, most of the fans are concentrated in the US, Cuba and the Dominican Republic.
What is more, facts about baseball show that the sport has been enjoying a massive TV viewership in Japan as well, which comes as no shock given that the Japanese Nippon League has gained hundreds of millions in TV rights deals.
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MLB Fun Facts
8. When was the MLB founded?
MLB was formed in 1903 with the merger of the National League and the American League. The NL, formed in 1876, and the AL, established in 1901, were two separate entities at the time. MLB baseball history and facts tell us that back then, they were engaged in the “baseball war”, characterised by rivalries between the leagues who would often steal players from each other’s squads.
The leagues buried the hatched in 1903, though, leading to the creation of the World Series, where the annual winners from both leagues compete for the title of national champion.
9. The first World Series matched the Boston Americans and the Pittsburgh Pirates.
The debut World Series was played in 1903 between the champion of the American League, the Boston Americans, and the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League.
Boston prevailed over Pittsburgh, winning the World Series with five games to three in a best-out-of-nine series.
10. How many teams are in the MLB?
At the moment, there are 30 teams within one of the most profitable sports leagues the MLB, 29 of which are in the US and one in Canada. In the beginning, each league (AL and NL) had eight teams.
The number of teams, however, doubled in the 1960s, and by 1998 the latest teams (Arizona Diamondbacks and Tampa Bay Devil Rays) were added, bringing up the total to 30.
11. Who has the most MLB wins in a season?
The record of 116 wins in a 162-game season has only been achieved by two teams in the history of major league baseball, facts and stats show.
These teams were the Seattle Mariners in 2001 and the Chicago Cubs in 1906.
12. Who is the youngest MLB player?
Joe Nuxhall of the Cincinnati Reds was the youngest player ever to appear in a Major League Baseball game. When he made his debut on June 10, 1944, the team’s left-handed pitcher was just 15 years and 316 days old.
Leroy “Satchel” Paige, on the other hand, holds the record as the oldest MLB player—he was almost 60 years old when he played his last professional match.
13. What is the longest baseball game ever?
The longest game ever played in Major League Baseball in terms of time lasted an incredible 8 hours and 6 minutes. It took place in May 1984 in Chicago and matched the White Sox and the Milwaukee Brewers, who played an impressive 25 innings over the course of two days. The exciting game concluded with the White Sox winning 7-6.
The fastest game in MLB history took place on September 28, 1919. This match between the New York Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies lasted only 51 minutes, with the Giants winning by a score of 6:1.
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14. Each ball used in MLB has 108 stitches.
According to Major League Baseball facts, every baseball features a rubber or cork core covered in white horsehide or cowhide and has 108 double hand-sewn red stitches with the first and last stitches hidden behind the leather.
The average lifespan of a baseball in MLB is about seven pitches, with 6-10 dozen balls used per game.
15. There was a time when African-Americans were banned from the MLB.
African-Americans were banned from competing in Major League Baseball games in the first half of the 20th century. Nevertheless, African-Americans created “Negro Leagues” in which some of the world’s best players competed.
The colour line was finally broken when legendary player Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers, which later became the first player number to be retired in the MLB.
This is also known as one of the most iconic moments in sports and in the MLB.
16. Who threw the fastest pitch in baseball?
The first fastball Aroldis Chapman fired was in 2010 when he was playing as a rookie relief pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds.
MLB facts and trivia show that the fastball clocked at an astounding 105.1 mph. He fired two more pitches like this in his career—one the following year and another when playing against the Yankees.
17. Which is the oldest baseball stadium?
Home to the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park is the oldest MLB ballpark still in use today. It was constructed in 1912 and has since hosted 11 World Series games.
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18. How much is the baseball revenue?
The MLB remains one of the most profitable sports leagues in the US, with over three and a half billion gained in revenue in 2020, averaging at around $122 million per team.
Major League Baseball facts also show that the league-wide revenue has exponentially risen in the past ten years, with MLB currently gaining twice as much compared to 2010 and in 2022 it is expected to hit over 11$ billion in revenues.
The interest in MLB and baseball is constantly rising which is why MLB has one of the biggest broadcasting contracts with some of the likes as ESPN, Turner sports and Apple.
19. Which is the most valuable MLB franchise?
The New York Yankees are not just the most valuable team in MLB; they are also one of the most recognisable sports brands in the world.
Established in 1901 as the Baltimore Orioles and rebranding in 1913, the Yankees have won the World Series an impressive 27 times, miles ahead of the second-ranked St. Louis Cardinals, who have won the trophy 11 times.
Interesting Facts About Baseball Bats
20. How long are MLB bats?
It wasn’t until the 1800s that the size of bats was regulated—in 1859, it was decided that bats would not be longer than 2.5 inches in diameter and in 1869, a rule was introduced stating that the baseball bat must be 42 inches long.
The shape was regulated in the 1890s when the committee banned flat bats. The diameter was extended to 2.75 inches around this time as well.
21. 95% of MLB players use maple wood bats.
For years, ash was the material of choice for bats, but, in 2001, Barry Bonds hit a record-breaking 73 home runs in a single season with his maple bat, prompting others to copy him and start using maple too.
Facts about aluminum baseball bats, on the other hand, show that these are only used in high school, college, and little league ball.
22. The first metal bat was patented in 1924.
Despite the fact that the first patent was issued to William Shroyer in 1924, metal bats were not used in baseball until 1970, when Worth Sports Company introduced the first-ever baseball bat made of aluminum.
Five years later, Worth held the largest share of the American aluminium bat market and produced the first official bats for Little League and NCAA Collegiate.
23. Corked baseball bats do not increase the distance of hits.
Corked bats are lighter because they are loaded with less dense materials. This enables a faster swing, but it also weakens the bat, making it more susceptible to damage and breaking.
Corking a bat is illegal in the MLB and subject to punishment and even ejection.
24. The Louisville Slugger is one of the most popular baseball bat brands.
The first bat from this brand was made by “Bud” Hillerich after witnessing hitter Pete Browning break his own during the game. Browning spread the word about his custom-made bat among the other players, and the rest is history.
Today, Louisville Slugger is one of the most iconic bat brands, still used by 20% of MLB players.
Facts About Famous Baseball Players
25. Babe Ruth started his career as a pitcher.
Perhaps one of the best American athletes and definitely baseball’s biggest icon, Babe Ruth made his major league debut at Fenway Park on July 11, 1914.
During his career, he won 89 games and three World Series for the Boston Red Sox as well as seven AL pennants and four World Series with the New York Yankees.
26. Who has the most MVP MLB awards?
Bonds has received a total of seven NL MVPs, more than any other player on record. On top of that, this MLB baseball player, facts and databases show, holds the record for most career walks, most career home runs (a whopping 762) and most home runs in a single season (73).
Sadly, despite his many accolades, Bonds has not been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame due to steroid and doping scandals.
27. Mike Trout is regarded as one of the best baseball players in the world right now.
Mike Trout is the first and only player in history to hit 30 home runs, steal 45 bases, and score 125 runs in a single season.
He is considered to be one of the best young baseball players ever and possibly the best player at the moment.
28. Ted Williams has been called the greatest hitter who has ever lived.
Ted Williams was the last MLB player to bat over .400 in a season. Also known as “Teddy Ballgame”, Williams spent most of his 19 years in MLB as a left fielder for the Boston Red Sox.
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29. Hank Aaron was the first to break Babe Ruth’s home run record.
The baseball player facts show that Hank Aaron is one of the only two players ever to hit at least 30 home runs in a single season fifteen times or more.
He also holds the record for most All-Star selections (a total of 25), while, together with Willie Mays and Stan Musial, he shares the record for most All-Star Games played (each appeared in 24 games).
30. Who has the most career grand slams in baseball?
Alex Rodriguez not only holds the record for the most grand slams, but he is also the youngest player to reach 500 career home runs.
He accomplished this achievement when he was just 32 years old.
A-Rod has also hit another record in baseball history by signing two of the most lucrative contracts—the 10-year contract with the Rangers for $252 million and the one with the Yankees for $275 million.
31. Who has the greatest batting average in baseball?
Ty Cobb, nicknamed The Georgia Peach, was one of the first players to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, historical facts reveal.
Ty Cobb also holds the record for the highest career-hitting average (.366) and the most batting titles (12).
32. Which player has the most MLB career wins?
Young holds several records in MLB, including the most career wins (511), most career losses (315), most career innings thrown (7356), and the most games started (815).
In fact, he was such a legendary player that the Cy Young Award has been given to the best pitcher each season ever since his death in 1956.
Some Random Baseball Facts and Trivia
33. A League of Their Own is the highest-grossing baseball movie of all time.
The 1992 comedy-drama titled A League of Their Own, which follows two young women trying to establish the first female professional baseball league, is the highest-grossing baseball-themed movie to this day, with a revenue of $107.5 million.
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34. Baseballs are rubbed with a very specific type of mud before each game.
The mud, which comes from the New Jersey side of the Delaware River, is cleaned and then applied to six dozen baseballs before each game.
35. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is the unofficial anthem of American baseball.
This song was written by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer in 1908. The chorus is traditionally sung during the middle of the seventh inning at every game.
36. William Howard Taft was the first president to throw a ceremonial ball.
President William Taft, a semi-pro baseball player himself, became the first president to throw a ceremonial first pitch on April 14, 1910.
Since then, every president has thrown the first ball on Opening Day. The only exceptions are Jimmy Carter, Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
37. The Black Sox Scandal was one of the most shocking moments in baseball.
Known as one of the most notorious scandals in the history of the sport, the “Big Fix” of 1919 is still debated among historians and fans. When eight players from the Chicago White Sox were accused of intentionally throwing the 1919 World Series for a gambling syndicate, the nation was in disbelief.
Even though the players were found not guilty at the 1920 trial, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis permanently banned all eight of them from organised baseball.
38. Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. were the first father-and-son duo to play in MLB at the same time.
Although there were many father-son duos in MLB throughout the years, Ken Griffey Senior and Ken Griffey Junior were the first to play for the same team—the Seattle Mariners.
39. Visiting teams always wear grey uniforms.
The custom of home teams wearing white and visiting teams wearing grey dates back to the 1800s. In the past, travelling teams didn’t have time to wash their jerseys, so they wore grey to effectively cover the dirt.
40. A Babe Ruth card is the most valuable baseball card ever sold.
Recently a private buyer bought a baseball card showing Babe Ruth as a minor league pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles.
Although the selling price of this pre-rookie card was not disclosed, the item itself was appraised at £4.3 million, making it the most baseball valuable card of all time.
41. Hitting four home runs in a single game is considered one of the greatest accomplishments.
Only 18 players have ever accomplished this record in baseball history. The first one to do so was Bobby Lowe in 1894, while the most recent was J.D. Martinez in 2017.
42. The most expensive autographed baseball was sold for $191.200.
Heritage Auction Galleries sold the most expensive autographed baseball ever in an auction held on May 5, 2006, in Dallas, Texas.
The ball, signed by baseball legend Joe DiMaggio and actress Marilyn Monroe in 1961, was sold for an amazing $191.200.
43. Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth were both struck out by a 17-year-old pitcher.
Here is one for the odd baseball facts list! In the 1930s, Jackie Mitchel became a legend when she struck out both Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth while playing for a minor league team.
44. Hot dogs are one of the most popular food in ballparks.
It comes as no surprise that hot dogs are an integral part of the baseball experience. But did you know that more than 26 million hot dogs and sausages are eaten during a typical baseball season?
Another one of lesser-known facts about baseball is that the tradition of eating hot dogs comes from European immigrants who served sausages at games because they were easy to make and handle.
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45. The Yankees were the first to introduce numbers on the backs of uniforms.
It had been attempted in 1916, but back then, the idea of putting numbers of uniforms (even on the sleeves) was considered “unbecoming”.
However, when the Yankees proposed it (who at the time had won two consecutive World Series and had Ruth and Gehrig on their team), everyone followed suit.
46. Olympic-gold medalist Jon Rauch is the tallest player in MLB history.
At 6 feet, 11 inches (210 cm), pitcher Jon Rauch is the tallest player in MLB. Batter Eddie Gaedel, who stood 3 feet and 7 inches tall (109.2 cm), is the shortest player ever.
47. Alyssa Nakken is the first full-time female coach in Major League Baseball.
According to baseball facts & trivia for kids, she began her career as an assistant coach with the San Francisco Giants in January 2020. She was promoted to base coach in July 2020, becoming the first female coach and the first to coach on-field during a major league game.
48. Pitcher Jim Abbot was born without a right hand.
Jim Abbot was an MLB pitcher who was born without a right hand. Despite the handicap, Abbot pitched for ten seasons and finished with an 87–108 record as well as a 4.25 ERA. He currently works as a motivational speaker.
49. Cuba has won 25 gold World Cup medals.
When it comes to the Baseball World Cup, Cuba has taken home the most medals. The country has won 25 gold medals out of 31 overall. In contrast, the United States has won 15 medals at the World Cup, only four of which are gold.
50. Japan triumphed at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, winning the gold medal in baseball.
The USA lost 2-0 to host Japan at the 2020 Summer Olympics, while The Dominican Republic beat South Korea for the bronze.
This is the first gold medal in baseball for the Japanese, as well as the first silver for the USA, which had previously won gold in 2000 and bronze in 1996 and 2008.
Hitting It Out of the Park
Often referred to as America’s National Pastime, baseball has evolved throughout history to become a beloved sport, with fans passing down their adoration to the next generation.
We hope these baseball facts have proved entertaining and encouraged you to try your hand at this beautiful game.
How long is a baseball game?
The duration of a baseball game depends on the preferences of the home team, but the average Major League Baseball game lasts around three hours.
How to wear a baseball cap?
There are a few different ways to wear a baseball cap. The most common way is to wear it so that the brim is in the front. You can also wear it so that the brim is in the back, or so that it’s tilted to the side.
How many players are on a baseball team?
A baseball team typically has nine players. These players are the pitcher, catcher, first baseman, second baseman, shortstop, third baseman, left fielder, centre fielder, and right fielder.