Baseball facts can be fun to learn, right?
At least that’s what you hear when you ask questions like, “Say, what’s ‘RBI’ stand for?” “Why should I care who won the World Series this year?” or “Really, who’s on first?”
Don’t worry: you’re not alone. If you have a special someone in your life who’s a baseball fan, though, you’ve probably learned that these can be conversation killers.
So what if you didn’t grow up with the game? You’ve decided to learn some facts about baseball, and you want to know enough to show you’re starting to love it . . . or at least getting up to speed on baseball facts enough to talk about the game a bit. Toss these out any time you need to hit a home run. (Sorry. Metaphors are part of the baseball facts fun.)
What’s the Oldest Stadium?
Fenway, opened in 1912, which the Boston Red Sox say currently boasts an official capacity of 37,731, is the oldest baseball stadium. If you hear someone talk about the Green Monster, they mean the high left field wall located there.
The newest stadium, the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust, which opened in 2017, holds 41,149 people. Its features include a terrace named for Hank Aaron, a retired right fielder who held the record for most home runs up until 2007. Surpassed only by Barry Bonds, the home run king, Aaron has more than anyone ever, including Babe Ruth.
Who’s the Best Player Now?
The fan in your life no doubt has a favorite team and player. You can make an impression by sporting this Men’s Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant Majestic White 2017 Gold Program Cool Base Player Jersey. Not only is the GQ-ready Bryant one of the top players today, but the Cubs won the 2016 World Series. That was huge news because it was their first championship since 1908. By the way, you don’t have to splurge on the jersey if it’s not your taste. A simple T-shirt like this Women’s Chicago Cubs Kris Bryant Majestic Royal 2016 World Series Champions Name & Number T-Shirt will do the job, too.
How Are Stats Calculated?
RBI stands for “runs batted in.” It’s one of the basic statistics in baseball, and it represents how many times a player has driven a teammate over home plate to score a run. You’ll also want to know the term “batting average”—that’s the number of hits a player gets divided by his number of turns at bat. It’s excellent to bat .300, or get a hit three tries out of 10. Also important is a pitcher’s ERA, or “earned run average”: the number of earned runs allowed by a pitcher per nine innings. You could drown in baseball statistics, but start with these three and you’ll be good.
Seriously, Though—Who’s on First?
Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” is one of the most iconic comedy bits of all time. If you’ve never seen it, you should at least know the phrase as a punchline.
Here are some more fun pop culture facts about baseball: Joe DiMaggio, an all-time New York Yankees great, was married to Marilyn Monroe, later sold Mr. Coffee on TV, and got name-checked in Madonna’s “Vogue.” Baseball fans love, love, love a handful of movies, including Field of Dreams, with the famous “If you build it, they will come” line. If someone says, “There’s no crying in baseball!” they’re quoting Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own.
Which Teams Play Where?
Most big American cities have a Major League Baseball team. A few even have two, like New York, with the Yankees and the Mets. That’s because there are two leagues, the American and the National. The American League lets pitchers skip batting. This is a very big deal to some fans!
These baseball basics will allow you to hold your own out on the field. Who knows, maybe you’ll discover you actually enjoy learning facts about baseball after all!