Strange baseball trivia, stats, facts, and oddities from Major League Baseball.
When the U.S. Army designed hand grenades for World War II soldiers, they made them the size and weight of a baseball. Reason: “Any young American should be able to throw it.”
Speaking of Bob Feller, the only time his mother came to the park to see him play in his 18-year big league career, she was hit in the head by a foul ball…from a pitch he threw.
Only two MLB pitchers have struck out their age in a single game: In a 1936 game, the Cleveland Indians’ 17-year-old ace Bob Feller struck out 17 batters. And in 1998 the Chicago Cubs’ Kerry Wood, age 20, struck out a record-tying 20 batters.
In the 1994 season Jeff Bagwell won the MVP award for the National League, and Frank Thomas won the MVP for the American League. Both players were born on May 27, 1968.
In the first game ever played at New York’s Shea Stadium in 1964, Pittsburgh Pirates slugger Willie Stargell hit a home run. In the first game ever played at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in 1966, Stargell hit a home run. In the first game ever played at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium in 1970, Stargell hit a home run.
For 50 years, Hall of Famer Hank Aaron was the first player listed alphabetically in the Baseball Encyclopedia…until 2004, when San Francisco Giants pitcher Dave Aardsma made his MLB debut.
What do the Mets, Astros, A’s, Yankees, Royals, Braves, White Sox, Pirates, Dodgers, Rockies, Blue Jays, Cardinals, and Tigers have in common? Octavio Dotel pitched for all of them, making him the only person to ever play for 13 major league teams.