Baseball may be one of America's favorite pastimes, but it's truly a game where facts and statistics rule. Many people make their living tracking and analyzing baseball statistics. Coaches and players make decisions based on a combination of data and emotions. Discover a few of the many interesting baseball facts and expand your appreciation of this fascinating game.
20 Baseball Facts That Made History
Baseball Player and Coach Facts
Some of the most interesting baseball facts are about players and coaches.
First Black Major League Player
On April 15, 1947, Jackie Robinson became the first African American to play for a Major League Baseball (MLB) team after the Negro Leagues were formed. He played first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers for ten years. Prior to joining the Dodgers, Robinson played in the Negro Leagues for one season.
Longest-Playing MLB Athletes
Two people hold the record for the most number of baseball seasons played, though the individuals played during different centuries. Both Nolan Ryan and Cap Anderson played in the major league for a total of 27 seasons. Ryan played from 1966 through 1993. Anderson played from 1871 through 1897.
Most MLB Teams Played for
In 2019, pitcher Edwin Jackson became the first player in history to play for 14 MLB teams, a feat accomplished within the first 17 years of his still-active career. The previous record was held by Octavio Dotel, also a pitcher. Dotel played for 13 teams during his 15-year MLB career.
Most Time in the Minor Leagues
John William Lindsey holds the record for spending the most time in the minor leagues before being called up to the majors. Lindsey played in the minor leagues for 16 years before being called up to play for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2010. He made his MLB at the age of 33.
Player With Most World Series Championships
MLB Hall of Famer Yogi Berra holds the record for playing on the most world championship teams. He earned ten World Series rings, all of which he won as a player for the New York Yankees. He was proud to point out that he had a World Series ring for every one of his fingers, a feat that no other player has accomplished.
Coaches With Most World Series Championships
Two coaches share the record for leading teams to the most World Series wins. Both did it with the same team — the New York Yankees. Joe McCarthy coached the Yankees to seven championships during his tenure with the team, which lasted from 1931 through 1946. Stengel's tenure with the Yankees was 1949 through 1960, a time during which the team also won seven World Series championships.
Most Wins by an MLB Coach
Connie Mack, who coached the Philadelphia Athletics from 1901 through the 1950 season is the winningest coach in MLB baseball history. Interestingly, he also has more losses than any other coach as well. That's because he served as a coach for 50 years. He helped establish the team in Philadelphia after playing for 15 years and serving in management roles for a few more. Due to Mack's longevity in the sport, it's not likely that any coach will ever beat his record for the highest number of wins.
First Female MLB Coach
In July of 2020, Alyssa Nakken became the first full-time female MLB coach, working for the San Francisco Giants. Alyssa, who has a master's degree in sports management, started working with the Giants in 2014. She started out as a front office intern and worked in other roles (player development, recruitment, international operations, and health/wellness) before moving to one of the team's assistant coach positions. She played softball in college.
In baseball, statistics are critical. Discover some key baseball facts in the form of record-setting sports statistics.
All-Time Home Run Record
With a total of 762 home runs to his credit, Barry Bonds holds the MLB record for all-time home runs. Bonds played for a total of 22 years. He was with the San Francisco Giants for 15 years, then spent the last seven years of his MLB career with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Players With More Than 700 Home Runs
Bonds, Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth are the only players in MLB that have hit more than 700 home runs. Aaron's home run record is 755. He held the all-time record until 2007 when Bond surpassed him. Ruth has 714 home runs. He held the record from 1935 until 1974 when Bonds surpassed Aaron's record.
Single Season Home Run Record
Barry Bonds also holds the record for the most home runs in a single season. The record stands at 73 home runs, which Bonds achieved in 2001. The previous record was 70 runs, which was set by Mark McGuire in 1998.
Most Consecutive Games
Cal Ripken, Jr. holds MLB's record for the most consecutive games played. Ripken played MLB from 1982 through the 1998 season. During that time, he played in 2,632 consecutive games. The previous record of 2,130 had been set by Lou Gherig, who retired in 1939. Ripken surpassed Gherig's record in 1995 and went on to finish that season and play three more without missing a game.
Most Career Strikeouts
Nolan Ryan holds the record for the most career strikeouts in MLB history. He racked up 5,714 strikeouts during his professional baseball career. He became an MLB pitcher in 1966, when he was just 19 years old. He retired in 1993 at the age of 46.
Hank Aaron holds the record for the most runs batted in (RBI) in MLB history. He played for 21 seasons, spending 19 years with the Milwaukee/Atlanta Braves and two years with the Milwaukee Brewers. During his career, he batted in 2,297 runs. In 1957, his power hitting helped the Atlanta Braves win the World Series for the first time since 1914. At the time he retired, Aaron held the record for most home runs.
Baseball Stadium Facts
The stadiums where baseball is played are just as much a part of the sport as the players, coaches and statistics.
Largest MLB Baseball Stadium
With a seating capacity of 56,000, Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles is the largest baseball stadium in the United States. By seat capacity, it's actually the world's largest baseball stadium. Dodger Stadium was built in 1962. The stadium has two huge screens to make it easy for fans to keep an eye on the on-field action.
Smallest MLB Baseball Stadium
Boston's Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, is the smallest stadium currently being used by an MLB baseball team. It's also the oldest MLB stadium. Fenway opened in 1912; the stadium has undergone a few renovations since that time, including the addition of 4.000 seats in 2001. The historic stadium's current seating capacity is 37,731.
World's Oldest Baseball Stadium
The oldest continually operating baseball stadium in the world is not a Major League stadium and it's not in the United States. Labatt Park in London, Ontario Canada has been in continual use as a baseball stadium since 1877. It is the home field of the London Majors, an independent amateur minor league team that is part of Canada's Intercounty Baseball League.
Most Hitter-Friendly Ballpark
Coors Field in Denver, Colorado is considered to be the most hitter-friendly ballpark in baseball. This has more to do with the stadium's altitude rather than how it is constructed. This park sits at an altitude of nearly a mile above sea level. The 20th row of the park's bleachers is exactly a mile above sea level. The higher the altitude, the lower the air pressure, so the further baseballs go when they are hit.
Only Baseball Stadium With a Swimming Pool
The home field of the Arizona Diamondbacks has a swimming pool in the ballpark. Fans who wish to watch the game from the water or poolside have to purchase tickets for the stadium's pool suite. The pool suite holds 35 people. Each year, tickets for the pool suite typically sell out for the season by early May.
First Domed Baseball Stadium
Built in 1964 and opened in 1965, Houston's Astrodome is the world's first domed baseball stadium (it was also used for football). The stadium is no longer used as a sports arena, but it does still stand. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2014. Plans are in place to convert it to a multipurpose event venue and parking facility.