We’ve pulled together a few little-known facts for you to dazzle your friends during the fall frenzy known as World Series mania. Drop one or two of these gems at your next get-together and family members, as well as passing acquaintances, will applaud you as a baseball trivia expert.
In the Beginning There Were the Leagues –
Baseball in America became popular during the 1800’s, and the nation’s first organized baseball game was held in 1831 in New Jersey. The game’s popularity continued to grow through the Civil War and beyond, and in 1876 the National League was formed. 25 years later, in 1901, the American League was formed.
- The first World Series was held in 1903 between the Pittsburgh Pirates, winners of the National League championship and the Boston Pilgrims, winners of the new American League championship. Playing a best-of-nine game series, no one expected the American League upstarts to win, 5 games to 3.
- In game 5 of the 1903 World Series, the Boston Pilgrims hit five ground-rule “triples”, because the crowd was so large it overflowed on to the playing field.
- The following year, National winners, the New York Giants, refused to play the Boston Pilgrims, resulting in no 1904 World Series. As early as 109 years ago, the biggest rivalry in sports history began between New York and Boston teams.
- The first unassisted triple play in World Series history was made during the 1920 series by Bill Wambsganss, Second Baseman for the Cleveland Indians.
- In the 1956 series, Don Larson of the New York Yankees pitched a perfect game against Brooklyn, for a 2-0 win in Game 5. It remains the only perfect game pitched during any World Series.
- The Most Valuable Player award was created by Sport magazine in 1955. The 1960 award went to Bobby Richardson, Second Baseman for New York, the only player to receive it who did not play with the World Series Champions.
- Winners of the 2012 World Series, the San Francisco Giants, each earned a record bonus of $377,003, according to KQED’s Bay Area Newsblog. Compare to the first series winners, the Boston Pilgrims, who each received $1,182, that is a difference of $375,821. Even taking into consideration yearly inflation increases, that’s a world class pay check!
The above facts that have been culled from MLB.com, the official site of Major League Baseball, Baseball Almanac, a site full of trivia and interesting information for the baseball buff, and Philadelphia History Channel, where the formal organization of baseball began.