Golden Baseball Magazine

Odd Baseball Facts


Ned Williamson


Gaylord Perry


Alvin Dark
  • Babe Ruth first broke the season record for home runs in 1919 when he finished with 29 in his last season with the Boston Red Sox. (His nearest competitor in the American League had 12.) The previous record-holder was Ned Williamson, who clouted 27 in 1884. But Williamson's season was a complete outlier because the Chicago White Stockings (today's Cubs) moved in the fences in their home park to 186' in LF, 300' in CF, and 196' in RF. In fact, four members of the White Stockings hit 20+ HR that year. Williamson's second-best HR season was only nine in 1887. With the fences pushed back again for the 1885 season, the highest HR total on the club was 11 by Abner Dalrymple.

  • Hall of Famer Frankie Frisch played football as well as base­ball at Fordham University, a Jesuit college in the Bronx. As a junior in 1918, he was selected by Walter Camp to be one of the HBs on the second string of his all-American team. Frisch also played basketball and ran track, earning the nickname "The Fordham Flash." He majored in chemistry for his B.S. degree. He went straight to the New York Giants without playing a single minor-league game.

  • Hall of Fame QB Roger Staubach's first love growing up in Ohio was baseball. His heroes were the Cincinnati Reds. (To this day, he can still recite the starting lineups of the Reds and their stats from his teen years.) The rocket-armed center fielder hit .401 as a sophomore at the U.S. Naval Academy. He attributes his passing style to his baseball years. "I had a little hitch inmy delivery because of baseball," he explained. "You wind up a little when you're throwing it in from CF. Baseball actually helped me in my football career, though. At Purcell [Marian High School in Cincinnati], I was playing DB until the football coach saw me play baseball and then put me at QB because of my arm."

  • Hall of Famer and 300-game winner Phil Niekro made nine Opening Day starts and didn't win any. He was 0-7 with two no-decisions.

  • After watching future Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry smack several batting practice home runs before a 1964 game, an impressed baseball writer told Giants manager Alvin Dark that he wouldn't be surprised if Perry's power surge carried over into a game. Dark had another view. "Mark my words. A man will land on the moon before Gaylord Perry hits a home run."
    Fast forward to July 20, 1969. Perry was preparing to start a home game against the Dodgers. 240,000 miles away, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to land on the moon. About 30 minutes after the PA announcer asked the crowd to stand for a moment of silent thanks to the Apollo 11 crew, Perry came to bat in the third inning and smacked his first major league homer.

Frankie Frisch at Fordham 1919


Roger Staubach


Phil Niekro

RETURN TO BASEBALL MAGAZINE

ODD FACTS ARCHIVES

Odd Baseball Facts - I
Fours Are Wild | Non-K King | Four Inside-the-Parkers | CF HRs at Polo Grounds | Yankees' Chaotic '82 | Atlanta Bookends | WWII Slugger | Salary Comparison | Leader on All Inside-the-Park HRs | Standing O for Dr. Strangelove

Odd Baseball Facts - II
I Pinch Hit for Ted and Yaz | Three-Team Doubleheader | Games = Hits | 500 ABs, Then 0 | K and E Leader | Two Steals of Home in One Game | Only All-Sar At-Bat | Games Played: 0; Ejections: 1 | AL MVP 1-2 1941 | One At-Bat, Two Ejections

Odd Baseball Facts - III
Statistical Anomalies | Staged Triple Play
Homer into Another Ballpark | Player Traded for Himself? | Kicked Out of His Very First Game? | Out with Old, In with New | One Hit Allowed in 18 Innings | From P to 1B | Ejected While Warming Up | HR Leader with 6

Odd Baseball Facts - IV
Five Shutouts vs One Team | Baseball to Bassist | Nearly Beat VanderMeer to the Punch | Best Two-Strike Hitter | Worst Pitching Staff Ever | Who Won the ERA Crown? | One Game Pitchers | One Game Batters | Three-Pitch Inning | First Game Called by Darkness; Let's Play Two

Odd Baseball Facts - V
HR in First ML AB | Ott Oddities | Franchises with Zero No-Hitters | Consecutive Almost No-Hitters | Perfect Game Drought | Double Culprit | Unique Four-Bagger | Brief Record
2 HRs in 3,372 AB | Same WP/LP Both Ends of DH

Odd Baseball Facts - VI
Odd Facts from 2010 Season | HR in First AB of Season | Strange Trades | Exact Same Records | 34 Runs with Only Two Extra-Base Hits | Player-Managers | Two-Out Run Streak
Three Pitches, Three HRs | Complete Game Streak | Bonham Begins and Ends

Odd Baseball Facts - VII
Save in 30-3 Game | No Grand Slams | 28 Assists in One Game | Same Runner Out at Plate Twice | Same Home/Road Record; Proliferation of Playoffs | Surprise Grand Slam Leader | Boston Braves And Their "Gigantic" Home Field | A Confluence of Threes | Last Two Suits in Dugouts

Odd Baseball Facts - VIII
Back-to-Back Slam Days | Staff of Losers
Four Hrs in Season - by a Team
The Game Is Not Over Until the Last Man Is Out | Four for Four
Thomson Had Another Chance to Be a Hero
Labine's Three HRs in '55
38 Starts, 27 Passed Balls
Strange Winning Pitcher Decisions

Odd Baseball Facts - IX
Player-Managers Rule!
38 Starts, 27 Passed Balls
Strange Winning Pitcher Decisions
Miscxellaneous Odd Facts
A Collection of Odd Facts
More Odd Facts

 

 

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