Ask Jack 4/12/10
Q: Target Field, Schmarget Field. That professional baseball team we have is opening a new stadium. Tell us something we DON’T know about baseball!
Andrew Norris – St. Louis Park, MN
A: Wow… bitter much, Andrew? New stadiums are kind of a big deal… especially when we’re the ones paying for it, but we digress. You want to know something about baseball you might not already know? How about some of these factoids:
- If it weren’t for that cheapskate Charles Comiskey moving OUR Saint Paul Saints to Chicago, we wouldn’t have to worry about the White Sox. True story.
- When the Philadelphia Phillies won their first National League pennant in 1915, they used only 23 players. That same season, the Philadelphia A’s, the defending American League champions, employed 58 players, finishing last with only 43 victories.
- One of the most unusual victories by a pitcher happened on July 27, 1930, at Cincinnati. Right-handed rookie Ken Ash, a 28-year-old hurler from West Virginia relieved and made only one pitch. Chicago first baseman Charlie Grimm hit the pitch into a triple play and Ash was removed for a pinch-hitter in the bottom of the inning as the Reds rallied for the winning run in a 6-5 win over the Cubs, making Ash the pitcher of record.
- In a Pacific Coast League game on August 31, 1938, Dick Ward of the San Diego Padres pitched 13 and two-thirds of hitless innings but missed no-hit glory because it took his mates 16 innings to score.
- Average life span of a major league baseball: 7 pitches.
- Babe Ruth wore a cabbage leaf under his cap while playing baseball, and he used to changed it every two innings.
- The inventor of baseball is also credited with firing the first Union shot of Civil war.
- Before 1859, baseball umpires were seated in padded chairs behind home plate.
- The baseball rule book has changed every year since the first rule book for the National League was issued in 1877.
- In 1876, pitchers — by rule — had to pitch underhand, and the batter could request a “high or low pitch.”
- In 1876, batters needed to have 9 balls in order to be issues a walk.
Don’t you feel smarter now?