11 Little-Known Facts About Major League Baseball

Posted Mar 09, by Greg Porter

The record for lowest attendance at an MLB game is 347 fans!

 

Ever gone to a sporting event and wondered how the team could survive with so little fans in the stands? Even when this thought crosses your mind, there are usually at least a couple thousand people there. Imagine going to a game and seeing only a few hundred!

How could this happen? In 2011, The Florida Marlins played the Cincinnati Reds and broke the record for the least amount of people at an MLB game. The previous record had been set in 1979 at an Oakland Athletics game with only 653 people. The reason only 347 people turned out was because of Hurricane Irene.

Many of those who had purchased tickets decided to flee the area and save their belongings from the potential damage than attend a sporting event. Justin Cohen, a fan at the game, counted five sections with only three or four people in them and three that were completely empty!

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Deion Sanders is the only person to hit an MLB home run and NFL touchdown in the same week. He's also the only person to play in the World Series and the Super Bowl.

Deion Sanders is a beastly athlete. After having a successful career in Florida State, he also started a career both in Major League Baseball and the National Football League. He was very successful in both. In the 1989 season, he hit a home run and score a touch down in the same week, becoming the only player to ever do that. He is also the only man to ever play in the Super Bowl and the MLBs World series. While he won two Super Bowls, he never won a World Series, though.

Sanders was a perennial All-Pro and was named the 34th best Football player of all time in the NFL.  Since his retirement, he's been inducted to both the College and Pro Football Halls of Fame and went on to become a media analyst. 

Learn more about his awesome career here.


Every MLB ball is covered in mud from a secret location in New Jersey that only one man knows.

It’s called Lena Blackburne Baseball Rubbing mud, and is used to allow pitchers to have a better grip over the balls. Before this mud came along, baseballs were rubbed in water and dirt, but this usually gave the ball a brown appearance. 

Sometimes tobacco juice, shoe polish, and dirt were also used. When Lena Blackburne was a third base coach for the Philadelphia Athletics, he decided to set off on a search for something better to use, all the way back in 1938. 

He found the perfect mixture of mud within 10 years, said to be somewhere near Palmyra, New Jersey, and then founded the company to sell it. By the 1950’s, it was so popular that every major league team was using it.

Today, only the company’s owner, Jim Bintliff, knows the location. The mud is cleaned and screened, and a secret ingredient is added before sale (so don’t get your hopes up about finding some laying on the ground). Bintliff takes 1,000 pounds of mud once a year, every year, and sells it the next season. It’s today considered the perfect rubbing mud. 

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Some MLB players PEE on their hands to improve their grip!

Moises Alou and Jorge Posada have something in common. Despite the fact that most other players wear gloves to play baseball, they do not. This might be disadvantage, because it reduces the amount of grip that they can put on a bat or ball. 

 

The way they manage to NOT wear gloves is very simple: they pee on their hands to improve their grips. While it might seem strange, it's hard to argue against Moises Alou, he's hit over 300 home runs and has been selected an All-Star six times in his 17 year career. However, Slate researched the issue and found that if anything, peeing on your hands might actually soften your hands. Who's right? Would you pee on yourself to improve performance? Tell us in the comments!

 

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\"\" Former MLB player Carl Everett doesn\'t believe dinosaurs ever existed!

Everett, whose 13-year Major League career ended in 2006 with the Seattle Mariners, was known for his boisterous personality and strong opinions, both on and off the field. The most publicized (and hilarious) of these beliefs was the ‘fact’ that dinosaurs did NOT exist. The reason for his conviction is simple - “Jurassic” Carl is an Apostolic Christian, so he takes every word of the Bible as literal truth.

In a notorious interview back in 2000, C-Rex had this to say: “\"God created the sun, the stars, the heavens and the earth, and then made Adam and Eve. The Bible never says anything about dinosaurs. You can\'t say there were dinosaurs when you never saw them. Someone actually saw Adam and Eve. No one ever saw a Tyrannosaurus rex.\" But we’ve seen their fossilized remains...nope, Everett believes those are a man-made hoax. This is also a man who finds the Moon Landing a difficult pill to swallow. However, he does believe THAT can be proven, but dinosaurs are “far-fetched” in his not-so-humble opinion.
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The average life span of a major league baseball is 6-7 pitches.

If you’ve watched a lot of baseball, this might seem a little strange. It’s not terribly often that we see a baseball get destroyed during a major league game every inning. But there are a few reasons why this is so. First, the reason why we don’t often see them destroyed in game is because baseballs are often switched after they are hit or when the pitcher requests a different ball due to damage on the ball he is using. This is mostly due to convenience reasons because retrieving the same ball can be time consuming. 

In a July 6, 1998 article in the Denver Post, the official supplier of baseballs to all professionally baseball leagues in the United States shed some light on the subject. According to him, the reason the average lifespan of a ball is so short isn’t because it wears but because every foul ball is lost to the fans, every home run is lost, and whenever a ball is scuffed, the umpire discards it for batting practice. This makes things a little depressing for Screwie the talking baseball in the film Everyone’s Hero. 

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Gaylord Perry’s manger joked that “They’ll land man on the moon before he hits a home run” – he scored one an hours after Apollo 11 landed.

Gaylord Jackson Perry is a former MLB right-hand pitcher. Like most pithers, he was famous for his inability to hit a homerun, which caused his manager Alvin Dark to say “They’ll put man on the moon before he hits a home run.” 

There are other variations of this story, but that doesn’t change the fact that just as Apollo 11 dropped Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the moon, Perry hit the first home run of his baseball career. 

He has pitched for 8 different teams from 1962-1983. During his 22 year long careers, he’s earned 314 wins, 3534 strikeouts, a 3.11 run average, and a nomination for the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1991. And yet that homerun is what he will be remembered fondly for. July 20 1969 represents a small step for more than one man. 

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A woman struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back and for that she was banned from playing Baseball!

This is wild. A 17 year old girl named Jackie Mitchell rocked baseball in the 1930s. Mitchell was one of the first female baseball players in history. Her father began teaching her to play baseball as soon as she could hold a ball. She happened to be neighbors with MLB Hall of Famer Dazzy Vance who continued to teach her how to pitch. He taught her what became her signature pitch; a devastating sinker. 

When she was 17, she began touring around with different teams and making a name for herself. At one point she even struck out 9 batters in a row! The owner of the Chattanooga Lookouts, Joe Engle, spotted her in 1931 and signed her to a contract to play for the New York Yankee’s AA minor league baseball club, Lookouts.

It was with this team that she faced some of the greatest players. She was put in a game to pitch with her first batter being Babe Ruth himself. She threw a high ball first, but the next two Ruth swung and missed. He didn’t even nick the ball. She then threw her sinker and he struck out, pissed.

Lou Gehrig strode onto the field next and she threw him three consecutive sinkers and he too struck out. She ruffled too many feathers and within a couple days of that game, her contract was voided and she wasn’t allowed to play ball anymore.

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Outfielder José Canseco agreed to a celebrity boxing match, but sent his twin brother instead!

The MLB player agreed to appear at a Celebrity Boxing match, but fans were surprised to see that the man's tattoos didn't match Jose's, but rather his brother Ozzie!

Ozzie never made it up in the ring, he instead was escorted off the nightclub where the fight was scheduled. It has been reported that Ozzie has showed up instead of Jose for autograph signings. 

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The Seattle Mariners are owned by Nintendo of America.

The Mariners are actually one of only three MLB teams under corporate ownership. The other two are the Toronto Blue Jays and the Atlanta Braves.
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Speaking of Nintendo, do know know what the word \"Nintendo\" means? Find out at OMG Facts. Also, check out what Nintendo used to do before it got into the video game industry.

The American Sports industry is worth $422 billion and employs 1% of the population!

It’s almost common sense to know that the sports industry is one of the largest in America and brings in huge, billion dollar profits, but do you know just how big it actually is? It is well known that the star athletes make the headlines after being paid a couple million to play yet this still leaves billions left over after athlete’s salaries are paid. 

This is distributed between advertising, different leagues, team owners, coaches, physical therapists, and a variety of other jobs essential to the world of sports that most of us don’t consider. The total size of the American sport’s industry is believed to generate around $422 billion, with a whopping $27.8 billion spent on advertising. 

The NFL starts the list by generating around $9 billion in revenue. With 32 teams in the NFL the average team value is around $1 billion with around 66,957 spectators at each game. Next is baseball, bringing in a revenue of $7.2 billion with each team being worth an estimated $523 million.

Next is the NBA then the NHL, and NASCAR rounds out the bottom with $645.4 million. While these statistics may sound amazing, put in perspective the results are baffling. There are around 3 million American jobs invested in the sports industry, which is roughly 1% of the entire US population! To learn more about the sports breakdown, click below!

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