Major League Baseball pitcher Ed Porray is the only player in league history to not be born in a country. He was born on a fishing boat in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean on December 5th, 1888. His birth certificate lists “At sea, on the Atlantic Ocean” as his birthplace.
It has been 32 years since a left-handed catcher played in a Major League Baseball game. His name was Benny Distefano and he played for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1989.
Cincinnati Reds player Adam Dunn once hit a home run from Ohio to Kentucky. The ball left the stadium and bounced off of the street onto a piece of driftwood in the Ohio River, stopping in Kentucky.
In 1911, inmates on death row played baseball for their lives. If they won, execution was delayed. If they lost, their execution went ahead as scheduled.
Baseball players have tried to fool base runners into an out by using a fake ball made with a frozen, painted potato. The hidden potato trick has a hundred year history, and was last used in a 1987 minor league game.
The Brooklyn Dodgers name stems from a nickname given in the 1890s to people who, in a matter of life and death, had to evade railcars speeding down the streets. They were known as trolley dodgers. Trolleys were new inventions, which led to two issues. First, cities lacked the safety infrastructure which protects pedestrians today (e.g. well-delineated pedestrian paths which minimize intersection with traffic to deliberately designed, high-visibility crossings). Second, trolleys were much faster than the alternatives with which people were accustomed (horse carriages), and so folks were much less prepared to deal with them safely.
Baseball hall of famer Larry Walker was fixated on the number 3. He wore number 33, was married on November 3 at 3:33 and his phone number had “as many threes as the phone company would allow.” In 1993, he signed a $3 million contract.
In 2014, Russians purchased 500,000 baseball bats, but only one ball. It may not make sense, but in Russia baseball bats are much more frequently used for protection, rather than for actual game.
In 1939, Major League pitcher, Bob Feller, tested the speed of his pitches by throwing them against a racing motorcycle before radar guns were invented.
Baseball is so popular in Japan that many fans are surprised to hear that Americans also consider it their national sport.