1. In 1942, 41-year-old pitcher Ted Lyons starts 20 games, and hurls 20 complete games (14-6, 2.10 ERA). At the end of the season he joined the Marines.
2. Did you know that 1929 was the first year that players wore numbers on their jerseys? The team that came up with the idea? The Yankees of course (though in a twist, the Yankees game was rained out on opening day, so technically the first team to wear numbers in a game were the Cleveland Indians).
3. Five perfect games have been turned into no-hitters by errors: Walter Johnson (July 1, 1920), Bill McCahan (September 3, 1947), Dick Bosman (July 19, 1974), Jerry Reuss (June 27, 1980) and Terry Mulholland (August 15, 1990).
4. Did you know that Grover Cleveland Alexander has the record for most pitching Triple Crowns with four (W, K, ERA)?
5. Did you know that there have been two team with four starters who won 20 games in one season? Most people know of the 1971 Orioles with McNally (21 wins), Dobson, Cuellar and Palmer (20), but don’t forget the other team to have done so, the 1920 White Sox (Faber 23, L.Williams 22 and Cicotte and Kerr who won 21 each).
6. Did you know that there was once a man who pitched two complete games in one day? His name was “Iron” Joe McGinnity (apropos name huh) who accomplished the feat on August 1 1903 when he pitched both ends of a doubleheader for the NY Giants. Oh yeah…he won both games; 4-1 and 5-2.
7. Did you know that on June 23, 1917, Ernie Shore pitched a perfect game in relief of Babe Ruth (yes that Babe Ruth, when he was still a pitcher). Ruth walked the first batter of the game, then argued with the umpire, was ejected, assaulted the umpire, and was replaced by Shore. Immediately the runner tried to steal 2nd and was thrown out. Shore then retired 26 straight batters to complete the no-hitter (however the perfect game was lost because of the lead off walk). For the story see the Chicago Daily Tribune, June 24, 1917, p.A2.
8. Did you know on September 10, 1995, Greg Harris, a mustached journeyman pitcher, threw both right and left handed in the same game? He wasn’t the first pitcher to do this, Tony Mullane also accomplished the feat twice in 1892-1983.
9. Did you know that on June 12, 1970, Pirates pitcher Dock Eillis threw a no-hitter while he was wired on LSD?
10. Did you know that Joe Dimmagio’s 56 game hitting streak, the all time MLB record, wasn’t a career high? In fact, Joe D. hit in 61 straight games for the San Francisco Seals of the PCL league in 1933.
11. Did you know that the record for RBI in a game is 12, accomplished twice, once by Jim Bottomley (9-16-24) and the other time by Mark Whiten (9-7-93)?
12. Did you know Joe Sewell was the best contact hitter in major league history? He had 114 K’s…in his career…Sammy Sosa struck out 143 times in 2004! In fact, Sewell had those 114 K’s in 7,182 at bats, or one every 62.6 at bats.
13. Did you know that for one week Frank Howard was the best hitter ever? During the week of May 12-18, 1968, Howard managed to hit 10 HR over 6 games in only 20 at bats.
14. Did you know that 2 batting titles have been won by players who hit zero HR? Zack Wheat hit .335 in 1918, while Rod Carew hit .318 in 1972, but neither could manage a HR.
15. Did you know that Vince Coleman set the all time record for consecutive SB? From September 18, 1988 to July26, 1989, Coleman stole 50 consecutive bases without being caught.
16. Did you know that Norm Cash owes something to Beethoven? During what would become a Nolan Ryan no-hitter on July 15, 1973, Norm Cash, realizing the futility of trying to hit Ryan, brought not a bat to the plate, but a piano leg! He was ordered to return to the dugout to procure a bat prior to be allowed to hit.
17. Did you know that the worst team of all time wasn’t the 1962 Mets or the 2003 Tigers? The worst team of all time were the 1899 Cleveland Spiders of the NL. After losing 40 of their final 41 games, the Spiders finished the season with a 20-134 record.
18. Did you know that on October 9, 1920 Rube Marquard was arrested by an undercover police officer for scalping World Series tickets…for a game his own team was playing in!
19. Did you know that Babe Ruth’s career HR total is actually 715 and not 714? The reason for this is that prior to 1920, a “walk off” home run, if it created a winning margin of more than one run, was credited only as whatever hit would have produced the wining run. Therefore, on July 8,1918, Babe Ruth’s “walk off” HR was only credited as a triple. (His record still stands at 714 because MLB has decided to maintain the integrity of its records by allowing the ruling that was rendered to “stand” regardless of whether or not the rules were changed later.
20. The following pitcher actually threw no-hitters in games that they actually lost: Ken Johnson, (4/23/1964, Hou v Cin, 0-1, 9IP), Steve Barber (8 2/3 IP) Stu Miller (4/3/1967, Bal v Det, 1-2, 1/3 IP), Andy Hawkins (7/1/1990, NYY @ ChW, 0-4, 8IP), Matt Young (4/12/1992, Oak @ Cle, 1-2, 8IP).
21. Did you know that the longest relief outing in history was 18.1 innings by Zip Zabel of the Cubs on June 17, 1915? He got the win 4 to 3 after entering the game with two outs in the 1st inning.
22. How good was Babe Ruth? In the following years Ruth more than DOUBLED his next closest pursuer in HR: 1919 (29 to Cravath’s 12), 1920 (54 to Sisler’s 19), 1921 (59 to K.Williams and Meusal’s 24) and 1926 (47 to Hack Wilson’s 21).
23. In 2004 against his former team the Mets, Armadno Benitez had 11 saves, an all-time record vs. one team (13.1 IP, 1 ER, 12 K, 0.68 ERA, 0.30 WHIP, .091 BAA).
24. Russ Christopher is the only pitcher in ML history to have an ERA under 4 (3.82), a BB/9IP of over 5 (5.40) and a Win% below .300 (4-13 for a .235 Win%)..
25. There have only been three 3B whoever played who produced a single season of at least .325-40-100. They are Al Rosen (.336-43-135 in 1953), Ken Caminiti (.326-40-130 in 1996) and Adrian Beltre (.334-48-121 in 2004).
26. Everyone knows that Ichiro set the all-time single season hit record in 2004 with 262, but how many of you are aware that he also set the all-time single season record for singles that year with 225?
27. Barry Bonds set the all-time single season HR record in 2001 with 73, but did you know that despite all those homers he still finished 12 extra-base hits behind Babe Ruth’s single season record of 119 set in 1921?
28. When Barry Bonds set an all-time season record with 232 BB in 2004 he reached base 376 times…the second highest mark in history to the 379 times Babe Ruth reached base in 1923.
29. In 1917 Ray Chapman set an all-time single season record with 67 sacrifice hits…guess you would want him bunting in the 9th inning of a tie game.
30. In 1972 Nolan Ryan set a single season record by allowing only 5.26 hits per 9 IP.
31. In 2001 Randy Johnson set a single season record by averaging 13.4 K per 9 IP.