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Baseball History You Didn’t Know – Dale’s Daily Data

Baseball inventor Abner Doubleday on the battlefield at Gettysburg (photo by mharrsch1@flickr)

Baseball has a rich history.  With the All-Star game being played last night I thought we’d go over some of the more unusual historical items in baseball you probably didn’t know.

In the early days of baseball, the umpire sat behind home plate in a padded rocking chair.

Babe Ruth was the first baseball player to order a bat with a knob on it. He put in his order to Louisville Slugger and he used one for the first time in 1919.

Spitballs were banned in 1920, but pitchers who already used them were allowed to continue.  Kinda like a grandfather clause.  Hall of Fame pitcher Burleigh Grimes continued to used a spit ball for the next fourteen years.  He finished his career with the Yankees in 1934.

Official baseball rules state that an umpire may not be replaced during a game except if he becomes ill or injured.

The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown opened in 1935 to celebrate baseball’s 100th anniversary.

Baseballs are stitched by hand.  108 stitches in each one.

Starting in 1901 American League balls were stitched with red and blue thread.  National League balls were
stitched with red and black thread beginning in 1911.  Both leagues went to all red stitching in 1934.

Statistics say the odds of a fan being hit by a baseball during a game are 300,000 to 1.

Abner Doubleday is credited with inventing the game of baseball.  He also aimed the first Union
gun that was fired in defense of Fort Sumter at the beginning of the Civil War.  Doubleday also was a
commander at Gettysburg and there’s a statue of him on the battlefield.



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