Sports facts for people who want to be the best at what they do. Know more about iconic athletes, strange sports, historic wins and losses, and everything in the sports world.
- In 1994, Bulgaria had the only soccer team where all players last names ended in ‘OV’.
- Baseball player, Gaylord Perry hit his first and only home run a few hours after Neil Armstrong landed on the moon.
- More than 100 children are conceived annually at the Super Bowl parking lot during tailgate parties.
- The oldest continuous trophy sport is America’s Cup.
- Golf was banned in England in 1457.
- Racehorses wear out their shoes in one race.
- Larry Lewis completed a 100-yard dash in 17.8 seconds at the age of 101.
- Japanese golfers share their luck by carrying a hole-in-one insurance.
- Honey is used as the center of golf balls.
- The University of Miami holds a record of 149 consecutive wins in regular-season weeks.
- Two to three jockeys are killed each year.
- Americans held a winning record for America’s Cup since its beginning but lost this streak to Australia in 1983.
- Archery is considered to be a prioritized sport in England compared to golf.
- The Australian rules of football were originally given to cricket players to have something to play during off-seasons.
- The 1871 Derby winner helped created the first instance of global electronic communications.
- Only Greece and Australia have participated in all Olympic games.
- Harry Chiti is the first Major League Baseball player to be traded in for himself.
- The chicken demand during the Superbowl is roughly equivalent to the population of New York.
- Henry Lewis once sank 46 billiard balls in a row.
- Mark McGwire holds a record of having 70 home runs.
Baseball player, Ken Griffey Jr. is allergic to chocolate.
Despite this, a chocolate bar was named after him. Ken was also nicknamed The Kid and held a record of hitting over six hundred home runs during his career. He was also one of the best players noted for his athleticism.
Baseball umpires are required to wear black underwear.
This rule was established so that umpires would not be ashamed if their pants were ever to split. This is a requirement set up by the MLB group.
In 1990, Michael Jordan had his jersey stolen.
Michael Jordan‘s jersey was stolen from the visitor’s locker room while they were away to play against the Orlando Magic. Due to this unforeseen circumstance, Jordan was forced to wear a no.12 jersey.
The man on the NBA logo was a former player.
This logo is a silhouette of Jerry West. He is one of many players that are featured in the NBA hall of fame. Jerry West was previously known to play for the Lakers.
Michael Jordan makes a lot of money from Nike.
This is more than what all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia annually make combined. This is enough money to be able to feel the entire world population a meal.
The referee once tossed every ball in every game for years.
This practice was done until 1937. The referee throws the ball straight up so that both teams have an equal chance of claiming it first to score.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar holds the all-time leading scorer in the NBA.
Kareem has scored a total of 38,387 points during his career. This was all achieved within his twenty seasons of playing for the Bucks and Lakers.
Softball was introduced as an Olympic medal sport in 1996.
Softball was included as one of the sports in the Summer Olympic Games between 1996 and 2008. It was removed in 2012 and 2016, but it was included in the 2020 Summer Olympics.
Babe Ruth once paid a fan to return one of his baseballs.
This ball was the same one that he hit for his 700th career home run. He paid the fan $20 to get it back.
The Pittsburgh Pirates became the first professional team to have all nine players be of black or Latino descent.
This was recorded in August of 1971. Coincidentally, this was also the year in which they won the World Series.
The first Olympic race was won by a chef.
The first Olympic race took place in 776 BC and was won by a chef named Corubus. Moments after receiving his first paycheck, he hired a cook and an agent.
Michael Phelps holds the record for the most Olympic medals won.
The US swimmer Michael Phelps won a total of 23 Olympics medals, including 23 Gold medals. He competed in four Olympics Games between the years 2004 to 2016.
Danny Heep is the first player in the World Series to be a DH.
A designated hitter (DH) allows teams to use another player to bat in place of the pitcher. However, despite his initials matching the name of the role, he is still more noted by becoming Nolan Ryan’s 4000th strikeout.
Your favorite bet at the horse track wins roughly 30% or less of the time.
The only way to win a show bet is if your horse is placed within the top 3. On average, all bets only have a 30-35% chance of winning.
Before 1900, prizefights lasted 100 rounds.
The rules changed in 1900, lowering to 20 rounds as a safety precaution for the fighters. Generally, the rule is four rounds lasting two minutes each.
The temperature of the baseball will determine how far it will fly.
A microwaved baseball will fly much further than a frozen baseball. Warmer balls weigh less and therefore can move faster with less air resistance.
Pittsburgh is the only American city with 3 sports teams that uses the same colors.
All three major sports teams from this city all make use of the colors black and yellow. These colors are based on the ones of William Pitt’s coat of arms.
Wade Boggs only ate chicken on the day of a game.
He also followed a tradition of drawing the Hebrew symbol for life in the dirt before every at-bat. If he didn’t follow this superstition he believed it would cause bad luck and lose his game. His career records show that this just may be the reason for his success.
Cheetahs were once raced at Romford Greyhound Stadium.
This was done as an attempt to increase the number of attendees during its events. The owner believed that having cheetahs race would be enough excitement to increase the audience’s interest.
Many players from the Pittsburgh Steelers and Philadelphia Eagles were lost to the WW2 military service.
The two teams combined to have enough players for the next season. This new team also combined the names of the animals of both teams to form the Steagles in 1943.
Jesse Owens once broke four world records under 45 minutes.
In 1935, Owens set a new record for the 100-yard dash, long jump, 220-yard dash, and 220 low hurdles. No one else in the track and field history has yet to break such an amount of records in this short amount of time.
Most NASCAR teams use nitrogen in their tires instead of air.
This allows the tire to have a much more consistent rate of expansion and contraction compared to air. Half a pound of pressure is enough to significantly affect traction. Nitrogen also works well for scooters.
Obsessive sports media began in 1898.
One of the earliest sports programs was broadcasted on the radio. This was coverage of a yacht race that took place in British waters.
The longest recorded tennis match lasted for 11 hours.
This took place at Wimbledon in 2010. John Isner won this match against Nicolas Mahut and it took over 3 days to complete.
Umpires once sat in padded rocking chairs.
They would sit on these chairs behind the catcher. However, this was later removed in 1859.
More people from nudist colonies play volleyball than any other sport.
This is mostly located in Europe and some cities in America. However, there are fewer areas in the US now that appeal to the idea of social nudity than there were before.
Table tennis balls can travel off the paddle at a speed of 105.6 mph.
That’s about 169.95 kph. The reason why they can travel at this speed is due to the force it absorbs when it is hit by the paddle. They also bounce well due to the hard plastic material it is made from.
The Kentucky Derby is the oldest sports event in the US.
To this day, it is held annually and first began in 1875. The second oldest sports event in the United States is the Westminster Kennel Club Dog show which began in 1876.
Sports Command has the biggest television audience in sports media.
This is led by the summer Olympics, World Cup football, and Formula One racing. The most popular sport to watch in the United States is American football, followed by baseball and basketball.
Wilt Chamberlain never fouled out of a game.
In every facet of the game, he was found to excel in all aspects for all 14 years of his career with the NBA. He also had an average of 45.8 minutes per game.
Jeanne-Genevieve Garnerin is the first female parachutist.
She jumped from a hot air balloon in 1799. This jump was recorded to be around 900 meters high (over 3,000 feet). She is also one of the earliest women to fly in a balloon.
The average MLB baseball lasts for 5 to 7 pitches.
This may be why baseballs come at the price it does. At the beginning of every game, at least 90 balls are required on hand. On average, about 60-70 baseballs are used per game.
The actual game time for an MLB game is 9 minutes and 55 seconds.
At times it lasts for 20 minutes in total. However, the reason why they take hours to complete is due to the emphasis placed on the length of games. It is a way for fans to engage themselves in the game as it happens to increase interactions amongst players and fans.
Snowboarding used to be banned at resorts in the early 1980’s.
Snowboarding was seen as a dangerous sport, as compared to skiing. The first resort which allowed snowboarding was Stratton Mountain Resort in Vermont, which is exactly why this resort is popular among snowboarders now.
Injuries from exercise equipment are common.
Over 30,000 people annually are involved in some kind of injury due to sports equipment. An extra measure of safety gear and safety practice should lessen this occurrence.
Identifying players by their jersey number was popularized by baseball.
This began as a way for announcers to easily correspond to a player’s position in the batting order. It then became a common practice to the present day which started with the Yankees in 1929.
The first modern Olympic games were held in Athens, Greece.
There were a total of 311 competitors. However, among the 311 athletes that entered to compete in 1896, not one of them was female.
Golf balls reach speeds of 170 mph.
That’s around 340 kph. Tiger Woods’ swing speed is at an average of 120 mph.
Tug of war was once an Olympic event.
Tug of war was a team event in five Summer Olympics Games from 1900 to 1920. Different clubs representing the same country could enter the same event, thus it was possible for a country to win the gold, silver, and bronze medals at the same time. In 1904, the US clubs won all three medals, and in 1908, Britain won all three medals as well.
The NFL is required to provide 36 footballs for outdoor games.
The number of footballs required for an indoor game is 24. This requirement normalized the practice of using rubber and plastic footballs rather than pigskin ones. This was also a strategy to save on the cost of football.
Fishing is the biggest participant sport on the planet.
Anyone of any age can try it. It can also be used as a leisure sport rather than a competitive one. The biggest fish ever caught was recorded to be a 2,664-pound white shark.
There is a name for three consecutive strikes in bowling.
It is called a turkey or sizzling turkey. Any additional strike after this is referred to as a bagger.
No high jumper can stay off the ground for more than a second.
This is because a human being cannot aerodynamically generate a lift while in the air. Humans also cannot use buoyancy while in the air.
Hunting is a popular sport among Americans.
Over 100 million people hold hunting licenses in the US. Texas holds the most number of hunters in one area than any other state in the U.S.
An incomplete forward pass once cost a team a 15-yard penalty.
A pass that was dropped without being touched first would mean that possession belonged to the defending team. This occurrence in 1910 was also one of the earliest recorded forwards passes in its history.
It is believed that brown-eyed baseball players perform better than blue-eyed ones.
People believed that this is so because those with darker eyes can see a white ball easier. However, research has shown that a player’s vision is not dependent on the color of his eyes.
The first baseball caps were made from straws.
They were first worn by the New York Knickerbockers in 1849. A few years after this the first merino wool baseball caps were put into circulation. This cap came with an attached visor which would later be called a bill.
The LA Lakers are popular in the Bahamas.
This may be due to the influence of Mychal George Thompson who was a Bahamian. He played a power forward-center for the Lakers. Laker Airways also reside in the Bahamas.
Cy Young holds an MLB record that many aspire to beat.
He holds a record for the most career inning during his time with the league, recording over 7,356 innings.
Boxing only became a legal sport in 1901.
The former boxing rules were tougher and the main reason why it was illegal in the first place was due to concern for the safety of the players. However, this did not mean that the sport became any safer after this.
There are only two days a year where there are no professional sports games.
This is the day before and after the MLB All-star game. The sport with the shortest season is the NFL and the longest in Major League Soccer.
A baseball has exactly 108 stitches.
The first and last stitch is completely hidden. Each stitching is also sewn by hand with 88 inches of waxed red thread. For comparison, a cricket ball only has 65-70 stitches.
Only one sport has ever been played on the moon.
A game of golf on the moon was recorded in 1971. Alan Shepard hit a golf ball on the surface of the moon.
Diego Maradona is guilty of faking his drug test.
He once took a drug test with a fake penis filled with clear urine. When he was found out he was tested positive for traces of cocaine use and tried to hide the evidence of this. Maradona continued to fail two more tests after this.
A boxing heavyweight champion invented the household wrench.
Jack Johnson came up with the idea in 1922. Johnson holds a record of 73-13-10.
The faceoff in hockey was not its original term.
Originally it was called a puck-off. It would also be referred to as the face of the puck.
Basketballs and rugby balls are made from the same material.
They are both made from synthetic materials. However, in previous models, they also used pigs’ bladders. This is also why rugby balls were also referred to as pigskin.
Breaststroke is the first stroke in swimming.
Breaststroke is one of the more popular strokes in swimming, as swimmers can swim comfortably using this stroke. It is also commonly known as the “frog” stroke, as the swimmer moves his/her arms and legs in a “frog-like” manner.
Track athletes are more likely to break records later in their race than early on.
As the body temperature rises, speed increases while the body loses heat. It also increases tissue and muscle flexibility.
The original Stanley Cup was smaller.
The original cup was only 7 and a half inches high. The current one is now a 35-inch cup.
The Super Bowl’s commercials run as long as a full-length movie.
If all of its commercials were strung together, it would take almost 4 hours to complete. All of the commercials together span for about 238 minutes.
Kevin Nash is the second most recruited player in Michigan.
The first is Magic Johnson. Kevin Nash is now a semi-retired wrestler best known for his contributions to the wrestling community.
A single golf ball has over 300 dimples.
To be precise, there are 336 dimples on American golf balls. Special types of golf balls have up to 500 dimples. These dimples create a thin turbulent boundary layer of air that clings to the ball’s surface. These balls can travel twice the distance as a smooth golf ball can.
Kite flying is a professional sport.
This sport is recognized in Thailand. The kite competitions are similar to ice skating where competitors are judged based on performances. Like ballet, it involves being able to artistically interpret compulsory figures.
Hundreds and thousands of balls are used in one season of MLB.
Around 850,000 balls are used on average per season. The MLB spends about 5.5 million dollars on baseball alone per season.
Formula One cars generate a lot of downforce.
It generates so much that it can drive upside down on the roof of a tunnel at a speed of 120 mph. The downforce it produces is around 3 times the weight of the vehicle. At low speeds, these cars can turn at 2.0 G’s.
Left-handed people are better at particular sports.
Mainly those that involve spatial judgment and fast reactions. This was stated by a research study comparing the performance of left-handed and right-handed athletes.
Turk Wendell used to brush his teeth every inning.
He would also chew licorice after every inning as well. Wendell is one of the most eccentric pitchers known to play in MLB.
60% of runners listen to music while running.
Running with your favorite music on definitely helps in getting you pumped up for your runs. Furthermore, it also helps you keep a consistent pace, as you run in sync with the beats of the music. However, always make sure you’re aware of your surroundings with your earbuds on. Stay safe and run well!
The Wimbledon championship makes use of over 42,000 tennis balls on average.
These balls are all used in the plus-minus 650 matches that occur during the event. Over 3.8 million dollars were spent just to supply the balls for the competition.
The Olympics stopped using actual gold medals after 1912.
Since then all of the gold medals that were given out have been made of silver and given a gold plating. At the time, one ounce of gold was roughly around $20. Today, the Olympic gold medals are required to be made of 92.5% silver and only contain a minimum of 6 grams of gold.
A year’s supply of footballs would require 35,000 cows.
The NFL manufactures around 700,000 footballs annually. This requires around 35,000 cows to make them. Over 3,000 cows are slaughtered in a batch to make regulation footballs.
Babe Ruth had a habit of placing cabbage in his cap.
During a game, he would place a cabbage leaf under his cap to keep him cool under the sun. He would change this leaf with a fresh one every two innings. Many people believe that this could be his trade secret to being one of the best players in baseball history.
Bill Klem holds the record for most games served.
His record stands at a total of 5,368 games umpired. This includes the 103 postseason games and the 2 MLB All-star games he served in.
A forfeited baseball game is automatically scored 9-0.
The 9-0 scoring is equivalent to the number of innings in a game. Forfeiture is also recorded if any one of the teams is not able to play.
The Dallas Cowboys hired the NFL’s first cheer team.
This team became the first-ever NFL cheerleading squad. It was established in the year 1972. These cheerleaders are not allowed to have any kind of relationship with any of the players.
The average MLB baseball rotates 15 when thrown.
On average it spins 15 times before it is hit by the batter. There is also a rough guideline for the average pitcher in the league.
The first use of the word Superbowl dates back to the third century.
It comes from a Chinese writer named Lom Ba Di. The Superbowl is a term used to refer to the annual championship game of the NFL.
Maryland’s state sport is jousting.
This was made the official sport in 1962. Since then jousting tournaments have been held and gradually increased in popularity.
Ari Petrof is a National Sauna Champion.
This Sweden athlete stayed in a 212-degree Fahrenheit sauna. He was able to stay inside for 5 hours and 10 minutes.