Baseball Sports Oddities and Trivia Part 1

Some random facts and trivia about the sport baseball.

A MINI-ENCYCLOPEDIA OF SPORTS ODDITIES

BASEBALL

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company statisticians report that a study comparing major league baseball players with males from the general populace indicates that ballplayers have significantly longer life spans. The study also reveals that third basemen live longer than other ballplayers, while shortstops have the shortest life span.

In May, 1894, the legendary John McGraw, then with the Baltimore Orioles, got into a fight with Boston's third baseman. Soon both teams were battling, and the warfare spread to the stands, which were promptly set on fire. The entire ballpark burned to the ground, along with 170 other Boston buildings. The memories of that incident were so bitter that when the New York Giants--with McGraw managing--won the National League title in 1904, McGraw refused to play in the world Series against the American League champion Boston Braves.

On May 30, 1922, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs played a doubleheader. In the first game Max Flack played in the outfield for the Cubs, and Cliff Heathcote was in the Cardinal outfield. Between games they were traded for each other, so in the second game Heathcote played in the Cub outfield while Flack chased fly balls for the Cardinals.

When he was playing for Washington early this century, Germany Schaefer was on first base and a teammate was on third. Schaefer broke for second, hoping to draw a throw from the catcher so his teammate could race home. However, the catcher made no throw. So Schaefer decided to start over. He stole first base. The catcher made no throw. There was quite a bit of screaming, but a check of the rule book showed that Schaefer's backward theft was not illegal. When play resumed, Schaefer stole second base again. This time, the catcher threw--too late--and Schaefer's teammate scored from third. Later, the rules were amended to state that if a player ran the bases backward, he was automatically out. Schaefer sometimes ran the bases forward in an unusual manner, too. Once, he hit a home run over the fence and proceeded to slide into first base, second base, third base, and home plate

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