If you’re a baseball fan you know that nothing is better than heading to the stadium and seeing your favorite team live and in person. Nothing beats the roar of the crowd, the crack of the bat, or the feeling you get when a homerun head for the bleachers.
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With a history dating back to 1975, the MLB (Major League Baseball) has grown to become the professional sports league with the highest season attendance in the world; over 74 million people went to games in 2013. The MLB consists of 30 teams in the United States and Canada, and the season runs from April to October.
- 8 teams currently in the league date back the 1901: the Baltimore Orioles, the Boston Red Sox, the New York Yankees, the Chicago White Sox, the Cleveland Indians, the Detroit Tigers, the Minnesota Twins, and the Oakland Athletics.
- The early 20th Century in baseball is known as the “dead ball era,” because players tended not to hit homeruns as we currently think of them. In fact, all a player needed to get a home run was to have the ball bounce through the outfield and roll through the fence!
- On July 20, 1969 San Francisco Giants pitcher Gaylord Perry hit the first and only homerun of his career, 20 minutes after the moon landing. Maybe not so interesting in and of itself, but Perry had earlier declared, “They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit homerun!”
- Braves third baseman Eddie Matthews became the first athlete ever featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine on Aug. 16, 1954.
- The average minimum salary in the MLB in 1965 was just $6,000 a year, about $45,000 in 2016 dollars. Today the average minimum salary is over $400,000.