Posted on May 03 2020
The MLB has been in existence for over 130 years. Naturally, analytical data, statistics, and box scores are dutifully followed by baseball fans everywhere. But during many MLB events, occasionally, out of the ordinary occurrences take place. As technology progressed, advanced methods of analysis and tracking became possible. Though many have gone unnoticed by some, we’re going to introduce you to a few fun facts that you may or may not have been clued into concerning MLB events, statistics, etc.
What's Your Lucky Number?
In terms of numbers, one decidedly unique year was 1963. Most Valuable Player Award trophies were won by pitcher Sandy Koufax of the Los Angeles Dodgers and catcher Elston Howard of the New York Yankees – and 32 was worn by each of them. Additionally, also wearing number 32 was Most Valuable Player Award winner Jim Brown, of the NFL, during that same year.
You Can Go to Jail for That!
At Exhibition Stadium in Toronto, during a game between the Toronto Blue Jays and the New York Yankees, in 1983, a seagull was struck and killed by a ball thrown by Dave Winfield while warming up. No big deal, right? Au contraire! Toronto police arrested Winfield for his "foul" act. The charge? Cruelty to animals. Of course, the following day, the charges were dropped. It wasn't done on purpose, after all. Or was it?
That's a Homerun – Or Is It?
"The Dead Ball Era" occurred during the beginning of the 20th century. Until 1930, if a ball was hit, took a bounce within the field of play, then went through the outfield fence or bounced over at, a homerun was credited to the player who hit the ball. Credited with a number of these "bounce" home runs was Lou Gehrig. Today, of course, this would not technically be referred to as a homerun.
Before the 1920 season, the "walk-off home run" didn't exist – at least the phrase didn't. Before 1920, if a homerun was hit by a player in the bottom of an extra inning or in the bottom of the ninth inning, it was only actually credited as a triple, double, or single – dependent upon how many bases were needed for a winning run to advance.
Was Babe Ruth All He Was Cracked up to Be?
Though, reportedly, Babe Ruth did not hit any of the bouncing home runs of the Dead Ball Era, his talents were not without question. With a career average of .344, he was undoubtedly an astounding hitter. But when asked to pinch hit, he wasn't quite so inclined. As a pinch hitter, with no more than 13 hits in 67 at-bats, Ruth was a paltry .167 during his career.
He Couldn't Hear the Roar of the Crowd, But…
Major-League Baseball's first deaf player was William "Dummy" Hoy. He played for 15 seasons. His stats were as follows: 596 stolen bases, 2044 total hits, and a .288 batting average. He batted against pitcher Dummy Taylor of the New York Giants in his final season. What's the significance? It was the first time that two deaf players faced each other in an MLB game.
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