Batter up! Major League Baseball (MLB) is celebrating its opening day earlier than ever before in 2019, with all 30 teams 29 from USA and one from Canada) scheduled to take the field on 28 March. To get baseball fans everywhere in the spirit, we’ve rounded-up nine ballpark records that you won’t believe!
Longest opening day baseball game
Back on 5 April 2012, the Toronto Blue Jays (Canada) and the Cleveland Indians played a game that lasted 16 innings until the Blue Jays ultimately defeated the Indians 7-4.
Most Major League Baseball home wins to start a season, team
The Los Angeles Dodgers set a modern Major League Baseball (MLB) record by winning their first 13 straight home games to start the 2009 season, surpassing the previous mark of 12 straight by the 1911 Detroit Tigers.
The previous year, the Dodgers also achieved the record for the largest attendance at a baseball match when a crowd of 115,300 people watched them play the Boston Red Sox, at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, California, on 29 March 2008.
Largest collection of autographed baseballs
As of August 2011, Dennis M. Schrader (USA) has collected 4,020 baseballs, all autographed by different professional baseball players. The collection was verified by both the president of All American Sports Collectibles and the St. Petersburg Museum of History.
Dennis received his first autographed baseball from Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle of the New York Yankees in March 1956, and has been travelling the US collecting more ever since. His highlights include baseballs signed by Babe Ruth and 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson.
Youngest player to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in a Major League Baseball season
At the age of 21 years 53 days, Mike Trout (USA, born 7 August 1991) became the youngest player in MLB history to hit 30 or more home runs and steal 30 or more bases in the same season. He achieved this feat while playing for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2013. Before Trout, the youngest person to achieve this had been 22-year-old Alex Rodriguez playing for the Seattle Mariners in 1998.
Mike Trout recently also secured the record for the largest MLB contract for a baseball player at $426.5 million over 12 years with the Los Angeles Angels.
Most home runs in the same Major League Baseball game by siblings on the same team
They say your teammates are like your family and for these record-holders it's true. The most home runs in the same Major League Baseball game by siblings on the same team is four, achieved most recently by BJ and Justin Upton (both USA) playing for the Atlanta Braves between 2013 and 2014.
They tied the record already shared by Wilton and Vladimir Guerrero (both Dominican Republic) set while playing for the Montreal Expos between 1998 and 2002, and Jason and Jeremy Giambi (both USA) while on the Oakland Athletics between 2000 and 2001.
Most dogs attending a sporting event
The most dogs attending a sporting event is 1,122, achieved by the Chicago White Sox (USA), in Chicago, Illinois, on 13 September 2016.
The attempt took place during the annual "Bark at the Park" at U.S. Cellular Field. All dogs were seated with their owners in the outfield seating areas and it gave new meaning to the phrase "the crowd went wild"!
Oldest pitcher to win a Major League Baseball game
At 49 years 151 days Jamie Moyer (USA, born 18 November 1962) became the oldest pitcher to win a major league game while pitching for the Colorado Rockies against the San Diego Padres on 17 April 2012.
Conversely, the youngest player to play in a Major League Baseball (MLB) game is Joe Nuxhall (born 30 July 1928) who pitched for the Cincinnati Reds against the St Louis Cardinals aged 15 years 316 days at Crosley Field in Cincinnati, Ohio. The game took place on 10 June 1944, four days after the D-Day invasion in Europe, with all Major League baseball teams affected by the draft.
First inside-the-park home run in All-Star baseball history
On 11 July 2007, Ichiro Suzuki (Japan) of the Seattle Mariners (USA) hit the first inside-the-park home run in All-Star Game history.
Suzuki, who also holds the records for most base hits in a Major League Baseball season (262), most stolen bases consecutively in a Major League Baseball season (39), and most base hits in a career - professional baseball (4,257) recently announced his retirement from playing professional baseball after 27 seasons in Japan and the Major Leagues.
Largest wooden baseball bat
The largest baseball bat measures 408.9 cm (161 in) with a circumference of 101.6 cm (40 in) and is owned by the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks baseball club (Fargo Baseball L.L.C) of Fargo, North Dakota.
The bat is known as 'Big Bruce' and made from white ash, the same material as major league baseball bats. It was named after Bruce Thom, President of the RedHawks' Minor League Baseball team the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks.