Baseball is an American institution and led by Major League Baseball, it gives us hours and hours of pleasure as we follow the highs and lows of our favorite teams as they fight it out to appear in the World Series.
Who doesn't love as the strains of "Take me out to the ball game" come through the baseball park's sound system? Or what about the taste of the hot dogs. They just taste best at a ballpark. And don't get me started on the beer! Beer, hot dogs and baseball sure go together.
It is said that the sport of baseball was invented in 1839. All we know is that from the turn of the 20th century which saw the introduction of the World Series, baseball franchises have pitched, swung and caught their way to the ultimate glory.
Do you know who won the World Series in 2018? Or what about which team has won the most World Series titles? What about the pitcher who has the most strikeouts in MLB history? Well, expect questions such as these as you try for a home run to show you truly are an MLB expert!
So step up to the plate and swing for the bleachers!
Who won the 2018 World Series?
Boston Red Sox
The 2018 World Series was won by the Boston Red Sox. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 to claim baseball's most prestigious title for the ninth time, and first time since 2013.
Can you name the player who was voted MVP of the 2018 World Series?
Although there were a few players vying for the MVP award after the 2018 World Series, it was difficult to overlook Steve Pearce. Why? Well, his three home runs in the World Series was the first time a Red Sox player had achieved the feat since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
The 1919 World Series betting and match-fixing scandal was better known as the __________?
Black Sox scandal
Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were accused of under performing for money during the 1919 World Series. All of them were acquitted during a trial but they were banned from having anything to do with baseball ever again.
The only person to play in a Super Bowl and a World Series
Incredibly, Deion Sanders played both in the MLB and the NFL. Sanders appeared for the Atlanta Braves in the World Series in 1992 although he was not on the winning side. He can boast two Super Bowl wins, one for the San Francisco 49ers and one for the Dallas Cowboys.
In 1983, Yankees right fielder Dave Winfield was jailed for something he did on the baseball field. What was it?
Urinating in the bullpen
Killing a seagull with a throw
While warming up, a throw from Dave Winfield hit a seagull at the ground of the Toronto Blue Jays' Exhibition Stadium. He was jailed after the game for cruelty to animals but the charges were later dropped as it was not intentional.
From the list below, can you name the baseball player with the most hits in history?
Pete Rose hit 4,256 hits in his career. Rose played for the Cincinnati Reds as well as the Philadelphia Phillies and Montreal Expos. He later managed the Reds but was banned from baseball after it was discovered he bet on games.
Who broke Roger Maris' all-time home runs in a season record in 1998?
Ken Griffey, Jr.
Roger Maris set the single-season home run record in 1961. And it has stood for more than 30 years until Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs in the 1998 season. His combined homers traveled 29,958 feet, which is a little taller than Mount Everest!
Before every game, the baseballs to be used are rubbed in something. Do you know what it is?
That's right, every baseball is rubbed with a kind of mud that takes the shine off the ball and helps pitchers grip them better. The ingredients in this mud are a secret which only Jim Bintliff, the owner of the company that supplies the mud, knows.
True or False. Sliding head-first into a base is faster than sliding feet first?
If you're brave enough, you will get there quicker by sliding head-first into a base. This was proven in scientific studies which were conducted in 2008 by Dr. David A. Peters. It takes a brave player to go head-first, however.
Now based in Los Angeles, from where are the Dodgers originally?
The Dodgers were formed in 1883 and played in Brooklyn, New York, until the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958. And how did the Dodgers' name come about? Well, the franchise was named after the "dodging" skill inhabitants of Brooklyn used to beat the tram system in the city.
Which baseball franchise has the most World Series wins?
Boston Red Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers
New York Yankees
The New York Yankees are the most successful franchise in MLB history. They have won the World Series 27 times, with the last coming in 2009. They have also been crowned Eastern Division champions on 18 occasions.
Craig Biggio holds a very different kind of baseball record. Do you know what it is?
The player most hit by a pitch in the modern era
A seven-time All-Star, Craig Biggio played for the Houston Astros from 1988 to 2007. During that time, he was hit by a pitch 285 times, which beat the modern record of Don Baylor. It was still two short of Hughie Jennings who played from 1891 to 1918.
Can you name the MLB pitcher who threw the most strikeouts in his career?
Nolan Ryan leads the field when it comes to strikeouts in MLB history with 5,714. He began his career in 1966, playing for 27 years until 1993. During this time, the eight-time All-Star played for four teams. A member of the Major League Baseball All-Century Team, Ryan only won the World Series once.
Which baseball pitch is affectionately known as "Old Number One"?
Without a doubt, the fastball is most pitchers' go-to pitch. Why? Well, its the quickest and gives a batter the least reaction time. Aimed properly and it's very difficult to hit. So that's why its called "Old Number One." The catcher's sign for a fastball is also just one finger extended so the name coincides with that as well.
Who was the first African-American to play in the major leagues?
Jackie Robinson played for the Brooklyn Dodgers between 1947 and 1956. A six-time All-Star and a World Series champion, Robinson had a batting average of .311 and smashed 137 home runs during his career.
A ball that has been altered by a foreign substance
A "spitball" in baseball is illegal because a foreign liquid or substance changes the ball. It can be spit (hence the name) or petroleum jelly, for example. This makes the ball move strangely through the air.
The area where baseball pitchers warm up is known as the _________.
The designated area for any pitcher is called the bullpen. It's there that relief pitchers spend time keeping their arms in the groove, ready to be called upon at any time by the manager to come out to the diamond and relieve the starting pitcher (or another relief pitcher who is not performing so well).
On which date was the first-ever baseball game televised in the United States?
August 26, 1939
The first time baseball was shown on American television was on August 26, 1939. It wasn't just one game but a doubleheader which featured the Cincinnati Reds and the Brooklyn Dodgers. The game was played at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, NY.
Who is considered the inventor of the sport of baseball?
Abner Doubleday is considered to be the father of baseball, with the first games played in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839. This has been disputed over the years even though in 1905, a commission declared him the inventor of the game.
A catcher who wants the pitcher to throw a curveball will hold up how many fingers?
A fastball is one finger; a curveball is two fingers. That covers the two most-pitched balls in a baseball game. Of course, in the Majors, it is not that simple as a catcher can use a number of signs to tell the pitcher exactly where in the pitching box he wants the pitch to end up.
The aim of the knuckleball is to make sure the baseball does not spin too much in flight. This means it travels in an erratic manner, which makes it difficult for the batter to hit. The ball is held with the knuckles. Hence the name.
Baseball is not an Olympic sport. It was played at the Summer Olympic Games from 1992 to 2008. Efforts continue to get the sport back in the Olympics. The last team to take gold in baseball at the Olympics was South Korea.
How did Boston Red Sox player Jimmy Piersall celebrate his 100th home run?
He walked the bases.
He ran the bases backward.
Jimmy Piersall played for the Boston Reds Sox in the early part of his career, from 1952 to 1958. An eccentric, Piersall suffered from bipolar disorder which was the subject of the book and movie, "Fear Strikes Out."
Do you know for how many innings the longest game ever recorded lasted?
On May 9, 1984, the Chicago White Sox and the visiting Milwaukee Brewers played the longest baseball game on record. It lasted for a monumental 25 innings which took eight hours and six minutes. The White Sox eventually won by a score of 7-6.
What is the name of the fielding position behind the batter?
The main job of the catcher is to cleanly catch any pitch missed or not swung at by the batter. He has other jobs as well. The catcher helps in defensive plays since he can see the entire field while also calling the type of pitch he wants the pitcher to throw.
If a pitcher has thrown a pitch that is easy to hit, he is said to have done what?
Thrown a peach
Tossed a salad
Baseball has many colorful terms to describe certain aspects of the sport. A "tossed salad" has to be one of the best! In effect, the pitch is so easy, the batter can't help but send the ball on its way.