Highly debated as the “Most American” sport, baseball has often been seen as the defining sport in the United States. Although baseball is a North American adaptation of the British sport rounders, professional baseball is primarily an American sport with first full documentation of the game dating back to 1838.
Sports like basketball have, in general, echoed the rise of American cultural influence as leagues in different countries have been established and played at the highest level, baseball on the other hand still is, almost, exclusively played in the land of Red, White and Blue, with the exception of a countries.
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Since the MLB season is well under way, let’s check some interesting facts about baseball
During World War II, the U.S military manufactured baseball-like grenades with the same size and weight (400 g weight and 180 g size) to distribute amongst the soldiers. A majority of soldiers were young and grew up playing the sport after all.
Gangster or baseman?
John Dillinger was a famous gangster in the United States during the Great Depression who operated with a group named the Dillinger Gang
. They were accused of robbing 24 banks and a further 4 police stations (probably for arsenal) among other crimes. Before this, John Dillinger was a professional second baseman but never made it to the major leagues.
Shortest player ever
Eddie Gaedel was 3 feet and 7 inches all, making him the shortest player ever to play in a Major League Baseball game.
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Lucky number 7
Ralph Kiner is the only player to lead the league in homers for seven years straight, these were his first seven years in the league.
Under the influence
Pittsburg Pirates pitcher, Dock Ellis, claims he was under the influence of LSD when he threw his no-hitter on June 12, 1970.
Bobby Valentine gets ejected
New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine was fined $5,000 after returning to a game he got ejected from. He went into the clubhouse, simply put on regular clothes and a fake moustache and made his way to the dugout.
The suit that never caught on
James E. Bennet designed a proposal suit for catchers to replace the glove and helmet altogether with a big cage to cover the catchers head and a cushion to cover the chest. Needless to say, this never caught on.
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