AAGPBL History: League and Baseball Trivia
AAGPBL History: League and Baseball Trivia
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Trivia
- The first night game played at Wrigley Field was July 1, 1943. The lights were portable and were removed immediately after the game. They were used again in July 1944, according to Sue Macy author of the book "A Whole New Ball Game". It was amazing that the lights were allowed at all in Chicago because at the time, a brown-out was in effect for the entire lakeshore because of the war. Dottie Hunter, a Canadian presently living in a nursing home in Winnipeg, remembers that the lights were not very bright and were not much good for lighting a ball field.
- All but one of the league's managers were men, many of whom enjoyed successful major league careers. Bill Wambsganss had made the only unassisted triple play in World Series history and Jimmy Foxx hit 534 career homers. Mid-season 1950 the Kalamazoo Lassies fired their manager and Mary "Bonnie" Baker was sent over from the South Bend Blue Sox to finish the season as manager.
- Mary Baker appeared on the popular television show What's My Line? and her picture also appeared in Life Magazine. Mary later returned to Regina, Saskatchewan, and became Canada's first female radio sportscaster.
- Sophie Kurys, also known as the Flint Flash, played in the league from 1943-1952 and stole 1,114 bases surpassing the former major league record of Lou Brock of 939 stolen bases. In 1944 Kurys stole 166 bases and in the majors, Rickey Henderson, who stole 130 bases in 1982, is regarded as the game's greatest base thief. Just remember that Rickey didn't wear a skirt!
- Dottie Schroeder was the only player to play all 12 seasons of the AAGPBL's history.
- Doris "Sammye" Sams and Jean Faut were the only All-Americans to earn two Player of the Year Awards. Sams earned her honors in 1947 and 1949. Faut was so honored in 1951 and 1953.
- Although not an AAGPBL player, 17 year old female minor-league pitching sensation, Jackie Mitchell struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig back to back in an exhibition game between the New York Yankees and the Chattanooga Lookouts on May 11, 1931. The following day Baseball Commissioner, Kenesaw M. Landis cancelled her minor-league contract citing that baseball was too demanding for women.
- In the 1927 season, Ruth hit 60 homers and Gehrig hit 47 for the Yankees. The 107 home run hitting success of the duo led fans to dub this lineup in the batting order "Murderers Row".
- Did you know there are 108 stitches in a regulation sized baseball?
- The first recorded baseball game was played in Beachville, Ontario in 1838. One year before Abner Doubleday supposedly invented the game in Cooperstown, New York.
- The first "rain check" was issued in Detroit in 1888. Holders of tickets for a rained out game were admitted free of charge for the next scheduled match.
- After FOX televised a National Hockey League game in 1996 using a computer chip in the puck to create an on screen image of an orange puck, many Canadian hockey fans felt that the American influence was bastardizing their national pastime. Few hockey fans know that the Americans had used orange baseballs for the first televised games in 1939 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn. In 1970 major league owner Charlie Finley tried to convince the league to go back to using the orange balls but his idea was voted down.
- No major league team had slugged more than eight home runs in a single game until September 14, 1987 when the Toronto Blue Jays shattered the mark with ten homers in an 18-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
- Baseball's greatest outfielder Joltin' Joe DiMaggio the "Yankee Clipper" at one time was married to Marilyn Monroe, on whose crypt he had six red roses placed three times a week until his death in 1999. Illustrated is Monroe's Department of Defense identification card bearing the name Norma Jeane DiMaggio. Prior to "hitting" on Marilyn, in 1941 Joe began the greatest hitting streak in history gathering 91 hits in 56 consecutive games and amassing a lifetime batting average of .325.
- Throughout his career Roger Maris was dogged by the claim that his 61 home runs in 1961 could not be compared to the 60 homes Babe Ruth struck in 1927. Ruth achieved his record in 154 games while Maris required 162. The record books still have an asterisk beside Maris' name to indicate he technically did not better Ruth's mark. One item the books often overlook is that Maris achieved 60 homers in 684 trips to the plate while Ruth required 689 at-bats.
The "Sultan of Swat," Babe Ruth hit his first professional home run in Toronto. The homer was his first and only "round-tripper" in his minor-league baseball career. A prior homer hit in Fayetteville, North Carolina was during an exhibition game.
- The 1929 New York Yankees were the first team to have numbers on their uniforms. The numbers corresponded to their spots in the batting order.
- In 1919, eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of fixing games for the Mob during the World series. Shoeless Joe Jackson, a shoe-in for the Hall of Fame, hit .375 for the series, was banned for life. "Say it ain't so, Joe."
- Baseball fans weren't always called "fans" but used to be called kranks. The first book about baseball was published in the 1880's and was called The Kranks: his language and what it means written by Thomas Lawson.
- Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier when he signed with the Montreal Royals in 1946. Prior to that time, black players were not allowed to be signed by major-league clubs. The following season he went on to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
- The first five inductees honored in 1936 into the National Baseball Hall of Fame were Ty Cobb, Honus Wagner, Babe Ruth, Christy Mathewson, and the "Big Train" Walter Johnson.
- In minor league ball play at least two umpires have been killed from batters deliberately hitting them on the head with the bat after what apparently was an incorrect call. Sam White in Alabama (1899) and Ora Jennings in Indiana (1901).
- The wildest pitch on record was made by Canada's Phil Marchild of the Philadelphia Athletics on August 1, 1948. Phil's high, hard pitch beaned Samuel Wexler square on the top of his head. Sam was sitting ten rows up in the grand stand halfway between third base and home plate and had just bent over to pick up a dropped program when Phil let go with the pitch. Phil later admitted to having some control problems that day.
- The most valuable baseball card is that of Honus Wagner of the Pittsburgh Pirates 1900-1917. Wagner is a Hall of Famer but was famous for trying to stop the production of the cigarette company sponsored card. Wagner was against smoking and only a handful of his 1910 Sweet Caporal cigarette baseball cards were printed before he successfully stopped the print run. In 1991 a mint Wagner card was auctioned to Wayne Gretzky and Bruce McNallfor for US$451,000. Wayne Gretzky subsequently sold the card to an Alabama company that joined Wal-Mart who in turn gave the card away as a prize to Patricia Gibbs. Gibbs sold the card September 21st, 1996 at Christies New York auction house for US$640,500.
- The second highest sale for sports memorabilia took place on September 24th, 1996 when Dan Jones, a salesman from Towson, Maryland, received US$500,000 US for the ball he caught September 6th, 1996. What was special about the ball was that it was Eddie Murray's 500th home run which links him with Willie Mays and Hank Aaron as the only players to have reached 3,000 career hits and 500 home runs.
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