Facts About Baseball

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The historic origins of baseball go back to early folk games such as stool ball, poison ball, and goal ball as early British folk games such as cricket and rounders have the same characteristics as baseball. The actions involved in folk games were similar involving a ball thrown at a target with an opposing player defending the target by attempting to hit the ball away. A successful hit could score points by the batter running between bases while fielders were on the defensive.

Fact 1. In 1876, the National League began with 8 teams called the Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisville Grays, Mutual of New York, and St. Louis Brown Stockings.

Fact 2. The classic Louisville Slugger bat is made from white ash. The wood is selected from trees of at least 50 years from Pennsylvania and New York. White ash is the preferred choice due to its combination of hardness, strength, weight, ‘œfeel,’ and durability.

Fact 3.  In Asia, baseball was introduced to Korea by missionaries in 1838. In Japan, the game was introduced later but became popular at the college level by 1873. Baseball became a professional sport in Japan in 1936 with the establishment of the Japanese Professional Baseball League. Taiwan was introduced to baseball by Japan in 1895 when Japan controlled Taiwan.

Fact 4. The baseball rule book has changed annually since the first rule book for the National League was issued in 1877.

Fact 5.  Prior to the 1930 American League season and prior to the 1931 National League season, fly balls that bounced over or through the outfield fence were considered home runs.

Fact 6. On August 21, 1920, Babe Ruth lost a home run because the umpire disallowed the home run on the basis that the ball had landed on foul ground in a Manhattan field.

Fact 7. At the Dodger Stadium’s  inaugural in 1962, the foul poles were positioned entirely in foul territory which caused a special dispensation by the National League allowing the foul poles to stay as they were. This was rectified after the season by adjusting the home plate and changing the location of the bases in order to make the foul poles fair.

Fact 8.  In 1968, the Special Baseball Records Committee resorted to restore home runs to players who were disadvantaged by the pre-1920 rule. However, the public outcry over this resulted in a status quo.

Fact 9. In terms of sibling involvement, there are more than 350 sets of brothers who have been involved in the Major Leagues.

Fact 10. The first Major League All-Star game was played on July 6, 1933 at Comiskey Park in Chicago. It was initiated to celebrate Chicago’s Century of Progress Exposition.

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