Sports Trivia

There are 100 tiles in a 'Scrabble' crossword game.

St. Bernard is the patron saint of skiers.

The annual White House Easter egg-roll was started by President Hayes in 1878.

The dimensions of a regulation football field are: 360 feet long and 160 feet wide.

The distance between the pitcher's rubber and home plate in baseball is 60 feet, 6 inches.

The maximum weight for a golf ball is 1.62 oz.

While the Chinese invented gunpowder, they were not the first to develop firearms.

Sam Colt invented the "revolving pistol." Therefore, all revolvers are correctly called pistols.

A 12 gauge "rifled slug" does not spin, even though there are grooves on it's bearing surface. A slug actually travels like a dart.

Revolvers cannot be silenced, due to all the noisy gasses which escape the cylinder gap at the rear of the barrel.

A perfect game in baseball is one in which the same player pitches the entire game without allowing any player of the opposing team to reach first base -- by any means.

At Jack Russell Stadium in Clearwater, Florida, on June 26, 1985, organist Wilbur Snapp played "Three Blind Mice" following a call by umpire Keith O'Connor. The umpire was not amused, and saw to it that Mr. Snapp was ejected from the game.

Babe Ruth hit his first major-league home run on May 6, 1915. He was playing for the Boston Red Sox at the time. 'The Sultan of Swat' went on to smash 714 round-trippers before he retired, from the Boston Braves, in 1935.

Baseball rules were codified in 1846 by Alexander Cartwright of the Knickerbocker Baseball Club.

Baseball's National League was born in 1876. Eight competing baseball teams met in New York City's Grand Central Hotel. The first president of the new league was Morgan Gardner Bulkeley, who later became a US Senator. The eight original cities with teams were: Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Louisville and Hartford. Two of the original teams are now in the American League (Boston and New York) while Louisville and Hartford are now minor-league baseball towns.

Baseball's home plate is 17 inches wide.

Basketball was invented in 1891 by James Naismith. He set out to invent a game to occupy students between the football and baseball seasons.

Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history: Spades - King David, Clubs - Alexander the Great, Hearts - Charlemagne, Diamonds - Julius Caesar.

Eddie Arcaro, one of the greatest jockeys in horse race history, rode 250 losers before he won his first race. Ultimately, Arcaro won 4,779 races - including five Derby winners, six in the Preakness, and six in the Belmont Stakes, on such famous horses as Whirlaway, Citation, and Kelso.

Golfers use an estimated $800 million worth of golf balls annually.

In 1905, 18 men died from injuries sustained on the football field. President Theodore Roosevelt stepped in and instituted safety measures to make the game safer.

In 1970, 127 runners ran the NY Marathon. In 1998, 32,000 did.

In a typical season major league baseball will require 4,800 ash trees worth of Louisville sluggers.

In playing poker, there is one chance in 500 of drawing a flush.

Olympic badminton rules say that the bird has to have exactly fourteen feathers.

On February 6, 1971 the first golf ball was hit on the moon by Alan Shepard.

Parker Brothers was founded by George Swinerton Parker, 18, in 1885. The first game produced was 'Banking,' in which the player who amasses the most wealth is the winner.

Pitcher Joe Nuxhall of the Cincinnati Reds hurled his first major-league game in 1944. Nuxhall, the youngest pitcher in major league baseball, was only 15 years, 10 months and 11 days old when he pitched that game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Poland's Stella Walsh (Stanislawa Walasiewicz)-won the women's 100-meter race at the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, becoming the first woman to break the 12-second barrier. When she was killed in 1980 as an innocent victim in a robbery attempt, an autopsy declared her to be a male.

Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes in New York in 1919, to become the first horse to capture the Triple Crown. This was the first time that the Belmont Stakes had been run as part of thoroughbred racing's most prestigious trio of events. Sir Barton had already won the first two jewels of the Triple Crown -- the Kentucky Derby in Louisville, Kentucky and the Preakness Stakes in Maryland.

The 'huddle' in football was formed due to a deaf football player who used sign language to communicate and his team didn't want the opposition to see the signals he used and in turn huddled around him.

Decatur, Illinois was the original home of what is now the Chicago Bears (then the Stalley Bears.)

The sport with highest ratio of officials to participants is tennis. A singles match should have 13; ten linesmen, one net, one foot-fault, plus an umpire.

In the 1950's the hula hoop was banned in Tokyo due to the large number of traffic accidents it caused.

The 1957 Milwaukee Braves were the first baseball team to win the World Series after being relocated.

Kresimir Cosic is only non-American player in NBA Hall of Fame.

In the four major US professional sports, (Baseball, Basketball, Football, and Hockey) there are only seven teams whose nicknames do not end with an "S."
Basketball: The Miami Heat, The Utah Jazz, The Orlando Magic.
Baseball: The Boston Red Sox, The Chicago White Sox.
Hockey: The Colorado Avalanche, The Tampa Bay Lightning. Football: None.

A forfeited game is baseball is recorded as a 9-0 score. In football it is 1-0.

The hammer throw is illegal as a high school sport in all states except Rhode Island.

The Toronto Maple leafs used to be called the Toronto Arenas, then the St. Patricks and finally the Maple Leafs.

In 1986 Danny Heep became the first player in a World Series to be a designated hitter (DH) with the initials "D.H."

Max Baer once shouted out in the middle of a world title boxing fight 'Ma, he's killing me!'

More Hollywood films have been made about boxing than about any other sport.

The Yale Crew team was the first college sports team, started in 1843. The Yale-Harvard crew race was the first, and the longest-running American intercollegiate sports event. The first race was held in 1852.

Jackie Robinson was the only person to letter in four sports at UCLA. Of all of them, he supposedly liked baseball the least.

The first black player in the American League was Larry Doby with the Cleveland Indians in 1947.

The first cover of "Sports Illustrated," in 1954, showed National League umpire, Augie Donatelli, behind the plate with two major-league stars: catcher Wes Westrum, and batter Eddie Matthews.

First Instant Replay was used during Army Navy Football Game at Municipal Stadium Philadelphia on December 7, 1963, invented by Tony Verna (CBS Director.)

The first Kentucky Derby was run at Churchill Downs in 1875 with Aristides as winner.

The first Rose Bowl game was held in 1902 in Pasadena, California. The University of Michigan beat Sanford 49-0.

The first pick (by Eagles) in the first NFL draft in 1935, was Jay Berwanger from the University of Chicago. He never played in the league

The first players elected to Baseball Hall of Fame were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson & Walter Johnson in 1936.

The first professional football team to sport an insignia on their helmets was the Los Angeles Rams in 1950, who hand painted yellow horns on their blue leather helmets.

The first Soccer World Cup was held in Uruguay in 1930 and attracted 13 competing countries.

The first Super Bowl was played in 1967. The Green Bay Packers of the National Football League defeated the Kansas City Chiefs of the American Football League, 35-to-10.

The first triple jump in figure skating competition was performed by Dick Button in 1952.

The first Wimbledon Tennis Competition took place in 1877 solely as an amateur competition. Men's singles was the only event that took place. There were 22 competitors and the championship was won by Spencer Gore.

The Four Horsemen of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame played together for the last time in 1925, as the Irish downed Stanford in the Rose Bowl, 27-10. The Four Horsemen were Jim Crowley, Elmer Layden, Don Miller and Harry Stuhldreher.

The game of volleyball was invented in 1895 by William G. Morgan.

Fishing is the biggest participant sports in the world.

The record for the most Olympic medals ever won is held by Soviet gymnast Larissa Latynina. Competing in three Olympics, between 1956 and 1964, she won 18 medals.

The record for the most major league baseball career innings is held by Cy Young, with 7,356 innings.

A bullet fired from the 7.62 x 51mm NATO cartridge (also called the .308 Winchester) is still supersonic at 1000 yards.

New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner and the late M*A*S*H star McLean Stevenson were both once assistant football coaches at Northwestern University.

Baseballer Connie Mack's real name was Cornelius McGilicuddy.

Australian Rules Football was originally designed to give cricketers something to play during the off season.

Seven Olympic gold medal winners eventually went on to win the Heavyweight Championship of the World

Many Japanese golfers carry "hole-in-one" insurance, because it is traditional in Japan to share one's good luck by sending gifts to all your friends when you get an "ace." The price for what the Japanese term an "albatross" can often reach $10,000.

Cathy Rigby is the only woman to pose nude for Sports Illustrated. (August 1972)

Since 1896, the beginning of the modern Olympics, only Greece and Australia have participated in every Games.

Top English soccer club Liverpool were formed because their local enemies, Everton, couldn't pay the rent for their stadium. Therefore Liverpool took over at the stadium (Anfield) and became England's top soccer team ever.

Wild Bill Hickok was killed playing poker, holding two pairs - aces and eights, which has become known as 'Dead Man's Hand.'
The NBA (National Basketball Association) is celebrating its 50th year. The top-payed player that first year was the Detroit Falcon's Tom King who made $16,500. He managed this salary by not only playing for the team (salary $8,000 plus a $500 signing bonus) but also by convincing the team owner to hire him to be the publicity manager and business director for which he was paid an additional $8,000. Photos exist of King, still in his uniform with a typewriter on the bleachers, hammering out a press release after a game. Source: "American Heritage" magazine

Rules govern the size, weight, compression, and performance of tennis balls. However, until 1978, a player could legally use absolutely anything as a tennis racket. Source: "Invention & Technology" magazine

Chuck Conners, best known as "The Rifleman," played for the Boston Celtics in the first year of the NBA (National Basketball Association). His game was not much to speak of. He could run, and he could rebound, but he was a poor shot, averaging 4.6 points a game while making only 24% of his field-goal tries at a time when 28 to 30% was respectable. He was more renowned for his theatrical antics. Source: "American Heritage" magazine

There is all of 6 grams of gold in an Olympic Gold medal.

The only bone not broken so far during any ski accident is one located in the inner ear.

The silhouette on the NBA logo is Jerry West.

Jerry West is also the silhouette for the Mountaineer which stands outside the Mountainlair (student center) at West Virginia University.

The silhouette on the Major League Baseball logo is Harmon Killebrew.

In 1963, baseball pitcher Gaylord Perry remarked, "They'll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run." On July 20, 1969, a few hours after Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, Gaylord Perry hit his first, and only, homerun.

The "huddle" in football was formed due a deaf football player who used sign language to communicate and his team didn't want the opposition to see the signals he used and in turn huddled around him.

The two quickest goals scored in the NHL were three seconds apart.

Dartboards are made out of horse hairs.

Gatorade was named for the University of Florida Gators where it was first developed.

When the University of Nebraska Cornhuskers play football at home, the stadium becomes the state's third largest city.

Chris Ford scored the first ever NBA three-point shot.

Will Clark of the Texas Rangers is a direct descendant of William Clark of Lewis and Clark.

The pitches that Babe Ruth hit for his last-ever homerun and that Joe DiMaggio hit for his first-ever homerun where thrown by the same man.

Joe DiMaggio had more home runs than strikeouts during his career.

Bank robber John Dillinger played professional baseball.

The only two people in the baseball hall of fame that had nothing to do with baseball (i.e they did not play, coach, own a team, etc.) are Abbott and Costello.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is the only city in the U.S. with three sports teams that all wear the same colors.

There are nine rooms on a 'Clue' game board. A forfeited baseball game is recorded as a 9-0 score.

Until 1967 it wasn't illegal for Olympic athletes to use drugs to enhance their performance during competition.

Until the 1870s, baseball was played without the use of gloves.

The Olympic Games were held in St. Louis, MO. In 1904, the first time that the games were held in the United States.

The only father and son to hit back-to-back home runs in a major league baseball game: Ken Griffey, Jr., and his father, Ken Griffey, Sr., both of the Seattle Mariners in a game against the California Angels on September 14th, 1990.

The Ouija board is named for the French and German words for yes - oui and ja.

The Vince Lombardi Trophy is awarded to the winners of the Super Bowl.

The world's first roller coaster opened in 1884 at Coney Island, New York. It was designed by Lemarcus Thompson, a former Sunday school teacher.

There are 43,252,003,274,489,856,000 different color combinations possible on a Rubik's Cube.

The World Rubik Cube championship was held in Budapest on June 5, 1982. Nineteen National Champions took part. Minh Thai, the US Champion, won by solving the Cube in of 22.95 seconds. The world record, in competitive conditions, grew progressively lower and now stands at 16.5 seconds.

The only two days of the year in which there are no professional sports games (MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL) are the day before and the day after the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

In case you ever find yourself piloting a dogsled, shout "Jee!" to make the dogs turn left and "Ha!" to go right.

Olympic Badminton rules say that the bird has to have exactly fourteen feathers.

A game of pool is referred to as a "frame."

The Kentucky Derby is the oldest continually held sports event in the United States (1875); the second oldest is the Westminister Kennel Club Dog Show (1876).

The last NASCAR driver to serve jail time for running moonshine was Buddy Arrington.

Race car is a palindrome. What's a palindrome, you ask? Something spelled the same way forward and backwards!

No NFL team which plays it's home games in a domed stadium has ever won a Superbowl. (Texas Stadium, home of the Cowboys, is not a dome, there is a large hole in the roof.)

The Los Angeles Rams were the first U.S. football team to introduce emblems on their helmets.

The home team must provide the referee with 24 footballs for each National Football League game.

Steve Young, the San Francisco 49ers quarterback, is the great-great-grandson of Mormon leader Brigham Young.

Michael Jordan makes more money from Nike annually than all of the Nike factory workers in Malaysia combined.

The Cincinnati Reds baseball team name was officially changed to the Redlegs during the anti-communist movement.

Table tennis balls have been known to travel off the paddle at speeds up to105.6 miles per hour.

There are 336 dimples on a regulation golfball.

The first instance of global electronic communications took place in 1871 when news of the Derby winner was telegraphed from London to Calcutta in under 5 minutes.

In 1898, one of the first programmes to be broadcasted on radio was a yacht race that took place in British waters.

The first NBA player to score 38,000 points was Kareem Abdul-Jabar in 1989.

The only person to be elected to both the baseball and football Hall of Fames is Cal Hubbard.

A bowling pin need only tilt 7.5 degrees in order to fall down.

At one point in August 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the first professional team to field nine players who were either black or Latino. Coincidentally, this was the same year that they won the World Series.

Soldier's Field is the oldest field in the NFL.

The first professional football team to sport an insignia on their helmets was the Los Angeles Rams in 1950, who hand painted yellow horns on their blue, leather helmets.

In 1935 Jesse Owens broke 4 world records in 45 minutes.

Sports command the biggest television audiences, led by the summer Olympics, World Cup Football and Formula One racing.

Gymnasiums were introduced in 900BC and Greek athletes practised in the nude to the accompaniment of music. They also performed naked at the Olympic Games.

The very first Olympic race, held in 776 BC, was won by Corubus, a chef.

The first modern Olympic Games were held in Athens, Greece in 1896. There were 311 male but no female competitors.

In his time, Michael Schumacher was the highest paid sportsman, ahead of Tiger Woods and Arnold Palmer. (Not including sponsorship endorsements.)

The high jump method of jumping head first and landing on the back is called the Fosbury Flop.

Korfball is the only sport played with mixed teams, consisting of 4 men and 4 women.

The Major League Baseball teams use about 850,000 balls per season.

About 42,000 tennis balls are used in the plus-minus 650 matches in the Wimbledon Championship.

A baseball ball has exactly 108 stitches, a cricket ball has between 65 and 70 stiches.

A soccer ball is made up of 32 leather panels, held together by 642 stitches.

Basketball and rugby balls are made from synthetic material. Earlier, pigs' bladders were used as rugby balls.

The baseball home plate is 17 inches wide.

Golf the only sport played on the moon - on 6 February 1971 Alan Shepard hit a golf ball.

Bill Klem served the most seasons as major league umpire - 37 years, starting in 1905. He also officated 18 World Series.

The oldest continuous trophy in sports is the America's Cup. It started in 1851, with Americans winning for a straight 132 years until Australia took the Cup in 1983.

Volleyball was invented by William George Morgan of Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1895.

A badminton shuttle easily travels 180 km/h (112 mph).

Ferenc Szisz from Romania, driving a Renault, won the first Formula One Grand Prix held at Le Mans, France in 1906.

The high jump method of jumping head first and landing on the back is called the Fosbury Flop.

The largest baseball card collection, 200,000 cards, is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The modern Olympic Games were held in the first time in 1896 at Athens and were then followed by the 1900 Paris games. The winter games were added in 1924.

Football (soccer) is the most attended or watched sport in the world.

Boxing became a legal sport in 1901.

More than 100 million people hold hunting licences.

Jean Genevieve Garnerin was the first female parachutists, jumping from a hot air balloon in 1799.

In 1975 Junko Tabei from Japan became the first woman to reach the top of Everest.

The oiuja board was invented by Isaac and William Fuld, and was patented July 1, 1892.
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