Posted on November 05 2019
Ah, baseball. America's pastime. Be it for the love of the game or because you're waiting for something a little out of the ordinary to happen, millions of people tune in to baseball, or attend a game at their chosen stadium, every year. Because strange things do sometimes happen, the sport holds even more allure, for many. On occasion, funny or interesting occurrences go down in the record books and become an official part of baseball history.
With all of that said, what are the top five must-know baseball facts that every fan should be aware of?
Wrong Way Jimmy
Jimmy Piresall didn’t actually run backwards during the 100th homerun of his career, he simply faced backwards during running – but ran the bases in the correct order. It was the eccentric player’s way of celebrating. Chronicling his bipolar disorder battle, a movie and book entitled Fear Strikes Out used Jimmy's life as their basis. But, running the bases backwards wasn't his only escapade.
Jimmy also did the following:
- To heckle an umpire, he climbed a grandstand roof.
- At Yankee Stadium, he had a conversation with the Babe Ruth monument.
- He wore a Beatles wig when he walked up to bat (on at least one occasion).
Sad to say, however, that the backward running of the bases by Jimmy also prompted a pink slip from manager Casey Stengel.
Different Teams – Same Game
Well, not exactly the same game, but for three straight World Series, Don Baylor managed to participate. The thing is, every game was played for a different team! Don Baylor hauled in 3 silver slugger awards, won 1979 MVP, and was an excellent member of a handful of baseball teams. One of the most underrated players ever, he was also a world-class manager.
So, three times in his career, Taylor made the World Series. He played with the Red Sox in 1986, the Twins in 1987, and the Athletics in 1988. Though he was seldom used in 1987, the championship did go to his team, the Twins.
The Biggest Loser / Winner
The World Series MVP was won by Bobby Richardson. But his team lost! In the historic 1960 World Series, Richardson played for the Yankees. It was assumed by most everyone watching the game that the Yankees would slaughter the Pirates. Unfortunately for Richardson and the Yankees, that was not what happened.
A major upset occurred when Pirates’ Bill Mazeroski nailed the winning homerun. But Richardson's stellar MVP performance was undeniable with a grand slam, 12 runs driven in, and having batted .367.
What Are the Chances?
"They’ll put a man on the moon first!" That's what Gaylord Perry's manager said about Perry’s chances of hitting a homerun. Back in the day (1962), baseball pitchers were expected to hit as well as pitch. Not well, perhaps, but hit, nonetheless. Gaylord Perry was a pitcher. So it was understandable why Alvin Dark, then manager of the San Francisco Giants, would make that comment. But right after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon in July 1969, Perry stepped up and nailed his first career homeroom.
How Many Pitches Does It Take to Win a Game?
Answer: Only one if your name is Ken Ash! Brought into a game against the Cubs, Reds pitcher Ken Ash faced two on and no outs in July of 1930. With no outs and a runner in scoring position, it was a scenario dreaded by all relief pitchers. Fortunately for Ash, however, and the Reds, a triple play was promptly delivered!
In the bottom of the inning, Ash was pinch-hit for and a rally was staged by the Reds to win the game 6 to 5. The man with virtually no name (prior to that) was suddenly in the history books. He would be the only baseball pitcher to take his team to victory with nothing more than one pitch.
We at Hat Heaven hope you've enjoyed this little collection of baseball oddities. For further appreciation and enjoyment of the game, check out our wide selection of baseball caps.