36 Fascinating Baseball Facts to Kick Off the Season

A new baseball season is upon us and, to kick it off, we thought we’d do a roundup of all the interesting baseball facts we’ve covered on TodayIFoundOut to date to give you some interesting things to talk about as you while away the hours watching the games. Without further ado:

doubleday-340x363Abner Doubleday Did Not Invent Baseball

This myth has been widely spread since 1907 and even today is sometimes presented by such people as Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig.  The fact of the matter is there is no record of Civil War General Abner Doubleday having anything to do with baseball.  This includes Doubleday himself never mentioning it in the many letters and journals he wrote in his lifetime.  Somewhat humorously, the only real reference to Doubleday concerning sports appeared in his obituary in 1893, which stated he was a man “who did not care for outdoor sports”. So what happened in 1907 to make people start thinking Abner Doubleday invented baseball?  In 1905… (more)

glenn-burkeThe Only Major League Baseball Player to Openly Admit He was Gay During His Career Also May Have “Invented” the High-Five

“They can’t say that a gay man can’t play in the Majors, because I’m a gay man and I made it.”- Glenn Burke… Major League Baseball has been going strong now for well over a century. Many thousands of players have taken the field since the beginning of organized professional baseball, but only one, Glenn Burke, ever “came out of the closet” during his playing career, letting managers, teammates, and owners know he was gay.  Burke also is noted as being the man who popularized, and possibly invented, the high-five. Burke was born in 1952 in Oakland, California.  By the age… (more)

Eddie-GaedelThere Once was a Little Person Who Played in Major League Baseball

This man was 26 year old, 3 feet, 7 inch tall Eddie Gaedel.  Gaedel was signed by Bill Veeck to a Major League contract of $15,400 ($100 per game), which was the set minimum one could pay a little person performance act, per event. Gaedel was an evenly proportioned dwarf (the term for such a person at the time was “midget”, with dwarfs who were disproportionate in some way being called just dwarfs). When Veeck began scheming ideas to bolster attendance for his newly acquired, struggling team, the St. Louis Browns… (more)

Moses_Fleetwood_Walker-340x437Jackie Robinson was Not the First African American to Play Major League Baseball

The great Jackie Robinson accomplished an amazing amount in his lifetime both on and off the field.  Despite all the adversity and pressure he experienced, he somehow managed to put up legitimate Hall of Fame numbers doing what is often described as the hardest thing in all of sports- hitting a round ball with a thin round stick.  One thing that he didn’t do, something that’s often credited to him, was become the first African American person to play in the Major Leagues.  That was something that had been done at least three times before Robinson made his historic Major League debut on April 15, 1947.  Now if you happen to be a trivia buff and knew that already, odds are you think the first was actually Moses Fleetwood Walker, the second was his brother Weldy Walker, and you’re probably scratching your… (more)

kitty_Burke-340x513The Woman Who Batted During a Major League Baseball Game

It’s pretty obvious that no Major League Baseball player would be caught dead wearing a dress to the plate.  But one batter wore one, and turned the at-bat into an outrageous incident that left fans hooting and hollering. Nightclub singer Kitty Burke hit a ball thrown by St. Louis Cardinal pitcher Paul “Daffy” Dean, becoming the only woman to ever bat during an official Major League Baseball game. Her at-bat did nothing to advance MLB’s gender barrier that had recently risen up, but it did demonstrate baseball’s amazing tendency to constantly show you something you’ve never seen before, even for lifelong fans. Kitty’s infamous plate… (more)

john-odom-340x225There was Once a Baseball Player Traded for Bats

“Bat Man”, as he was nicknamed after the trade, was actually named John C. Odom.  His life ended tragically just six months after the momentous trade. After being signed by the San Francisco Giants in 2003 out of Tallahassee Community College, Odom was assigned to play in “A” ball.  He pitched  for a total of four seasons for the Giants, splitting time between their Salem Keizer Volcanoes and Augusta Greenjackets A-ball affiliates. During that time, he underwent Tommy John surgery (2005) and dislocated his shoulder (2007), which held his progression back somewhat. The Giants decided to let him… (more)

charlie-sheenCharlie Sheen Once Bought 2,615 Tickets to a Major League Baseball Game so He Could Improve His Odds of Catching a Home Run Ball

Charlie grew up with a love for acting and baseball. As with acting, Sheen started out demonstrating quite a bit of promise in baseball. At Santa Monica High School, he was a shortstop and pitcher. His pitching ability was particularly impressive.  Jerry Nyman, former White Sox and Padres pitcher and one time minor league pitching coordinator for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, said about Sheen, “He was a good baseball player, among the best at the school…  He might have played pro ball, and if he played pro ball, he might have gone on to make the big leagues. If Charlie Sheen had chosen to go that route, who knows what would happen?” In high school, Sheen, then known as… (more)

john_dillinger1Famed Bankrobber John Dillinger Once was a Professional Baseball Player

One of the many things I love about baseball is how many people that you know of, for an entirely different reason, happen to also have been ball players. President George Bush played in the first two College World Series’ and kept a well-oiled first baseman’s mitt in his desk in the Oval Office, just in case. Dwight Eisenhower played minor league ball in Kansas. Actor Kurt Russell played in the minor leagues before an injury ended his career.  Writer Jack Kerouac was a star ballplayer in high school and college and even invented his own fantasy baseball game.  I love highlighting these guys because it makes them more human – baseball has that effect on people, a great equalizer. How many fathers and sons, with nothing in common due to differing generations, found a language they both understood in baseball. Think back… (more)

lizzie-murphy-340x388The First Person to Play for Both Baseball’s National League and American League All-Star Teams was a Woman: Lizzie “The Queen of Baseball” Murphy

On August 14, 1922, a collection of baseball stars gathered at Fenway Park in Boston. An exhibition all-star game had been set-up to honor and raise money for the family of Tommy “Little Mac” McCarthy- Boston Red Sox great in the 1880s and 1890s. The game featured the Boston Red Sox, World Series champs only three seasons ago, versus a group of professional baseball players, some who actually played in the majors and others who made their living brainstorming. About half-way through the game, Lizzie Murphy, the proclaimed “Queen of Baseball,” subbed in to play first base. Met with jeers – and even louder cheers – her entrance into the game made history; Lizzie Murphy had become the first female to play in a baseball game against major league players. But that wasn’t and wouldn’t be the only time… (more)

germany-schaefer-340x420There Once was a Major League Baseball Player Who Stole First From Second

We’ve all seen the occasional child playing football accidentally run the wrong way on the field, and if you watch enough T-ball, you might even occasionally see a kid run the wrong way on the base paths.  It turns out, there was once a Major League Baseball player who did this, only he did it on purpose. The man was Herman “Germany” Schaefer, who also had other nicknames given to him such as “Dutch” and “The Prince”.  Schaefer was a notorious prankster in baseball who would do things like wear rain coats or carry a lantern out onto the field during the game, trying to hint to the umpire that they should call the game because of rain… (more)

baseball1-340x512How Each MLB Team Got Its Name

Atlanta Braves: Founded in Boston by four former Cincinnati Red Stockings players in 1871, the team was first known as the Boston Red Stockings, then the Red Caps until the 1880s when they were called the Beaneaters (presumably after the area’s famous Boston Baked Beans). In 1912, the team was bought by James Gaffney of Tammany Hall fame. As Tammany Hall’s symbol was a Native American (it was named after Tamanend, a famous Native American leader), the nickname Braves was chosen. Other than a brief change to the Bees from 1936-1941, the organization retained the name when it moved to Milwaukee in 1953, and then to Atlanta… (more)

Jackie-Mitchell-shaking-hands-with-babe-ruth-340x284There Once was a 17 Year Old Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig Back to Back

What’s even more impressive about that was neither Ruth nor Gehrig managed to even get the bat on the ball when they swung.  Ruth swung and missed twice before taking a called third strike.  Gehrig swung and missed three times, striking out on just three pitches.  Unfortunately for her, what she got for her efforts was to be promptly banned from Major and Minor league baseball by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis. The woman was Virnett Beatrice “Jackie” Mitchell, one of the first female professional baseball players in history.  Mitchell’s baseball life started out about the same time she was old enough to pick up a ball.  Her father initially taught her to play baseball, but she got… (more)

baseball-drugs-340x225The Major League Pitcher Who Claimed He Threw a No-Hitter While on LSD

Not even 10,000 fans were in the stands in San Diego on June 12th, 1970 for that evening’s doubleheader between the San Diego Padres and the Pittsburgh Pirates. Dock Ellis, the Pirates’ starting pitcher for the first game, was in the bullpen warming up. Something was off with Dock that night. He had only arrived to the stadium at 4:30 pm, a mere hour and half before the 6:05 pm start time. When he did get there, he had trouble locating his locker. In addition, he seemed very confused about what day of the week it was. As Dock rocked back and forth and began his motion for his first pitch of the ball game in the bottom of the 1st in a 0-0 ball game, he, and everyone else in the ballpark that evening, were not aware this was going to be a game of mythical proportions. Dock Ellis was about to pitch the first, and only, no-hitter of his career. And he would do it while high on LSD. The story begins with Dock in Los Angeles (about 120 miles from San Diego) enjoyin… (more)

Oeschger_Field-340x226The Longest Game by Innings in Major League Baseball History

It was a cloudy, overcast Saturday morning on May 1, 1920.  Pitcher Joe Oeschger (pronounced esh-ker) didn’t even think the game would be played, as it had rained most of the morning.  And even if it was played, he didn’t think he would be the starting pitcher.  “Manager (George) Stallings usually pitched me on Sundays because I went to church”, he recalled. Oeschger did turn out to be the starter for the Boston Braves that day at Braves Field.  His opponent would be Leon “Caddy” Cadore of the Brooklyn Dodgers.  Oeschger was glad to be going against Cadore that day, as “Caddy” had beaten him 1-0 earlier in the season in an 11-inning pitching duel. “I wanted to even things”, he recalled. The soon-to-be-legendary game started precisely at 3:00 p.m.  The Dodgers drew first blood in the fifth inning, when Ernie Krueger scored… (more)

paul-wanerThe Only Major League Baseball Player to Refuse a Hit

Paul Glee Waner played baseball in the big leagues for 20 seasons, from 1926 to 1945.  They called him “Big Poison” despite Waner being a small man at 5 ft. 8 1/2 in. in height and never weighing more than 153 pounds. Despite his somewhat diminutive stature and the fact that he thought that he played better slightly drunk or hungover, Paul was a superb hitter.  Why did he think drinking helped him?  “Paul thought you played better when you were relaxed, and alcohol was a good way to relax”, explained his kid brother, Lloyd. Casey Stengel said of Waner’s game-time drinking, “He had to be a very graceful player, because he could slide without breaking the bottle on his hip.” Honus Wagner… (more)

baseball-340x28210 Strange Major League Baseball Feats That Have Only Been Accomplished Once

One of the great things about baseball is that it’s amazing with how many games there are per season, even lifelong fans frequently see things during games that they’ve never seen happen before. With that in mind, here are a few of the stranger feats in Major League Baseball history that have only happened once to date:  One guy gets a hit in two different cities for two different teams on the same day:  On April 4, 1982, Joel Youngblood drove in two runs with a single for the New York Mets in a game at Shea Stadium against the Chicago Cubs.  Joel was promptly traded to the Montreal Expos.  He immediately flew to Philadelphia in time to get a hit in the 7th inning at Veterans Stadium… (more)

MoeBergGoudeycardFormer Major League Baseball Player Moe Berg was Once a Secret Agent in the Predecessor to the CIA

Morris “Moe” Berg was originally recruited to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the predecessor to the CIA, in August of 1943 when he was 41 years old and had been retired from baseball for about four years.  At the time of his recruitment, he had been working for the Office of Internal-American Affairs, stationed primarily in South America, with his job being to monitor the physical fitness levels of U.S. troops there.  The OSS recruited him primarily for his ability to fluently speak multiple languages with little to no accent.    Among the languages he spoke were: German, Italian, French, Spanish, Japanese, Greek, Russian, Hebrew, Sanskrit, and Latin, among others. At first, Berg served primarily as an operations officer, but was soon recruited into the Secret Intelligence division of the OSS.  In this position, Berg was often parachuted behind enemy… (more)

Harry-Chiti-e1305816033382There Once was a Major League Baseball Player That was Traded for Himself

That player was Harry Chiti.  Chiti was a catcher who played in the major leagues from 1950-1962, taking two years off in that span to fight in the Korean War.  The momentous event of getting traded for himself happened in 1962 when Chiti was traded from the Indians to the New York Mets, who were an expansion club that year.  Chiti was acquired for a “player to be named later”.  After putting up abysmal numbers in 15 games with the Mets, the Mets traded him back to the Indians as the “player to be named later”, officially making him the only MLB player ever to be traded for himself. Upon being returned to the Indians, they immediately assigned him to their AAA club… (more)

ken-griffey-jr-340x435From Attempted Suicide to MLB Superstar-The Life and Very Complicated Times of Ken Griffey Jr.

Despite spending the last decade or so of his career often injured, Ken Griffey Jr. was a 13-time All-Star, a 10-time Gold Glove winner, a 7-time Silver Slugger award winner, 1997 MVP,  6th all-time in career home runs with 630, and he accumulated nearly 80 WAR (more on “WAR” in the Bonus Facts below). Any number you look at, it’s clear Ken Griffey Jr., nicknamed “The Kid,”  was one of the greatest players ever to step onto a baseball field. He became a superstar when he was only 19 years old, starting in center field for the Seattle Mariners in 1989. But just because someone is successful, famous, and rich (it’s estimated he made over $150 million during his playing career) doesn’t mean they can’t be sad or, even, depressed. After becoming one of the biggest can’t-miss prospects in baseball history, at the age of 18 the man who would not only be known for that beautiful swing, but… (more)

baseballHow Baseball Groundskeepers Achieve Checkerboard Patterns in the Ballpark Grass

Most of us have had the opportunity to stand in awe as our eyes perceive the beauty of a perfectly mowed grass in a baseball stadium. Stripes, checkerboard style, or even artistic expressions add flair to a baseball field. But how exactly do they get these patterns in the grass?  Some say the grass is mowed at different heights or is colored to achieve the effect, but neither assumption is true. Rather, patterns in the grass have everything to do with how the grass is bent, which affects how the light hits it. When the light from the sun hits the grass, the color changes tone depending on how it is bent, which allows the creation of the checkerboard or designed effect. Specifically, strips of grass will appear lighter in color when the sunlight reflects off the full length of grass blades.  Thus, the lighter grass is very likely bent away from you. The sections of… (more)

Mickey-Mantle-340x533When Mickey Mantle was Banned from Baseball

In 1983, Mickey Mantle was threatened by the commissioner of baseball, Bowie Kuhn, that if he didn’t stop working for the Claridge Casino in Atlantic City, he’d be put on baseball’s permanently ineligible list, which meant he’d be banned from any Major or Minor League Baseball related activities including coaching, scouting, etc. at any level.  This is the same list Pete Rose got himself on for gambling while with the Reds. At the time, Mantle was primarily working as an official representative of the casino, occasionally working as a greeter and at various charity events put on by the casino, such as autograph signings and golfing events.  Mantle needed the… (more)

baseball-340x509Why “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is Sung During the 7th Inning Stretch of Major League Baseball Games

You might be surprised to learn that this staple of Major League Baseball games is actually something of a modern practice, first starting as a regular part of the seventh inning stretch with the White Sox in the late 1970s, thanks to Hall of Fame broadcaster Harry Carabina, better known as Harry Caray. Before this, the song had occasionally been sung by fans at various baseball games (both amateur and in the Major Leagues), but never as a regular thing nor at any designated time. The first known instance of this was at a Los Angeles high school game in 1934. It was also played before one of the games in the 1934 World Series when Pepper Martin and the St. Louis Cardinals Band played it. Harry Caray started… (more)

ashburn-e1308738064819Hall of Famer Richie Ashburn Once Struck a Spectator with Foul Balls Twice in the Same At Bat, the Second Time as She was Being Carried Off on a Stretcher

The event happened on August 17, 1957 during a game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Giants.  The spectator was Alice Roth.  Roth was the wife of Earl Roth who was an editor for Philadelphia’s Bulletin newspaper, which Ashburn himself would later write for, along with the Philadelphia Daily News.  During the at bat, Ashburn hit a foul ball that struck Roth squarely in the face, breaking her nose.  The game was then paused as medics came in to tend to Roth.  As they were carrying her away on a stretcher, play was resumed and Ashburn fouled off the first pitch thrown to him.  This foul subsequently struck Roth as she was being carried off by the medics. From that game on, Roth chose… (more)

pete-rose-340x452Whitey Ford Gave Pete Rose His “Charlie Hustle” Nickname

It was during spring training of what would turn out to be Pete Rose’s rookie year that Ford gave the nickname to him.  The exact event that lead to the nickname is somewhat in dispute.  The most commonly held story is that he gave Pete Rose the nickname after Rose drew a walk in a spring training game, but instead of jogging up the line, he sprinted. However, according to Mickey Mantle, that wasn’t the first time Ford called him that.  Rather, it was in a spring training game where Mickey Mantle hit a home run way out of the ballpark; rather than just watch it sail overhead, Rose ran to the wall and jumped as high as he could to try to catch the ball that was long gone.  Mantle stated that when he got back to the dugout, Ford said “Did you see Charlie Hustle out there?” In any event, tha… (more)

jim-gentile-baseball-card-340x241Jim Gentile Becomes the First Major League Baseball Player to Hit a Grand Slam in Back to Back Innings

Yesterday Josh Hamilton tied an MLB record with 15 other players, hitting four home runs in one game.  Something even more rare happened on this day in history, Baltimore Orioles first basemen, ‘Diamond’ Jim Gentile, managed to hit a grand slam in two consecutive innings (the 1st and the 2nd inning, both home runs estimated at 410 ft), becoming the first player in history to manage this feat, on his way to a monster year. In that year, Gentile’s second full season in the big leagues, he hit .302 with a .423 on base percentage, mashed 46 home runs and drove in 141 runs, by far the best season of his career, though he was a solid all-around player for the majority of his career.  That 1961 seasons he also managed 5 total grand slams, a record that would stand for 26 years until Don Mattingly would hit 6 in 1987, oddly the only grand slams Mattingly hit his entire illustrious career… (more)

Babe-Ruth-1918-340x443After Facing One Batter, Babe Ruth Punches an Umpire for Throwing Him Out of the Game. Ruth’s Replacement Then Throws a No-Hitter

On this day in history, 1917, Babe Ruth was on the mound for the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park against the Washington Senators.  He threw four straight balls, at least as far as the umpire, Clarence “Brick” Owens, was concerned, walking Ray Morgan.  Ruth thought the second and the fourth pitch were both strikes, so charged the umpire and reportedly yelled at him, “If you’d go to bed at night, you *expletive*, you could keep your eyes open long enough in the daytime to see when a ball goes over the plate!” As you might imagine, the umpire didn’t take too kindly to this and told Ruth that if he didn’t shut up and get back to the mound, he’d be thrown out… (more)

kur-russell-340x525Kurt Russell Played Minor League Baseball Until an Injury Ended His Career

While the Russell family is mostly known for their acting, “Baseball is really the family business that nobody knows about because our other business was sort of out there in the public and seen by a lot more people,” said Kurt Russell. Kurt’s father, Bing Russell, who is perhaps best known for his role as deputy Clem Foster in Bonanza and Robert in The Magnificent Seven, also played in the minor leagues, playing in 1948-1949 for the Carrollton Hornets. Besides acting, Bing Russell went on to own and run the Portland Mavericks baseball team. Kurt inherited his… (more)

red-stockingsThe First Professional Baseball Team Was the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings

The first fully professional baseball team was the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings, ten men on salary for eight months from March 15th to November 15th.  The team was organized by Harry Wright, who also played center field for the team and managed the defensive positioning, which was something that typically wasn’t done at that time. The Cincinnati Red Stockings won their first game on May 4th, 1869 by a score of 45-9.  They then went on to go 57-1 (wins-tie), touring the U.S. playin… (more)

Henry_Chadwick_BaseballThe Baseball Box Score was First Developed by Henry Chadwick

The baseball box score was first developed and introduced by Henry Chadwick, “The Father of Baseball”.  Chadwick also authored Baseball’s first rule book; devised the batting average and earned run average; compiled the game’s first instructional guides and player and statistical reference books, among a variety of other contributions to the game.  He is also the only writer to have been elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in the non-writers wing. Henry Chadwick was born on October the 5th, 1824 in Exeter, England.  As a boy, he was a huge fan of cricket and an avid player of “rounders”, which was the precursor to baseball.   In 1837, he… (more)

babyruth-340x453Baby Ruth Candy Bars Actually Were Named After Babe Ruth

The rumor that they were not was actually started by the company who made them originally, the Curtiss Candy Company founded by Otto Schnering. They claimed it was named after Ruth Cleveland, the granddaughter of President Grover Cleveland. Ruth Cleveland supposedly visited their plant and, while there, inspired the name for the candy bar. There are a quite a few problems with the official line, but the main problem is that Ruth Cleveland died in 1904 at the age of 12 years old, some 17 years before the Baby Ruth candy bar was create… (more)

hot-dog-340x226The Name “Hot Dog” Was Not Coined at a New York Giants Baseball Game

You’ll often hear that the name “hot dog” comes from a cartoon drawn by T.A. Dorgan during a New York Giants baseball game at the Polo Grounds around 1902-1906 (date varies depending on who’s telling the story). At this game, he supposedly observed a vendor, Harry Stevens, selling “hot dachshund sausages”. Dorgan, being inspired by this, drew a dachshund in a hot dog bun, but didn’t know how to spell dachshund, so just wrote “hot dog”. As nice of a “word origin… (more)

Verlander_warms_up-340x510In High School, MLB Star Justin Verlander Traded a Small Percentage of His Eventual $3.12 Million Signing Bonus for a Chocolate Milk

This happened while the future MLB superstar was in the 10th grade at Goochland High School in Virginia.  Short 50 cents needed for a chocolate milk that day, he asked his friend Daniel Hicks for the money. So I said, ‘How about I give you 0.01% [actually it was .001%] of my pro signing Bonus if you give me 50 cents now?’ He found a napkin, wrote it up, and I signed it. I forgot about it, but after I signed [with Detroit], he comes over and whips out this old napkin. I’m like, oh my God! My Bonus was 3-point-something million…(more)

Joe_Engel-340x564Joe Engel and The Shortstop Who was Traded for a Turkey

Professional sports teams have always tried to find unique ways to get fans into the seats. Whether it was the legendary Bill Veeck batting the shortest player in baseball history (Eddie Gaedel at 3 foot 7 inches) or Disco Demolition Night at Comiskey Park in Chicago, sometimes the game plays second fiddle to the crazy promotions. Hardly anyone was better at this than Joe Engel, known as the “Barnum of Baseball”. Engel began his career in baseball as a mediocre pitcher for the Washington Senators, but his skills as a scout began his ascent into upper management. Engel is credited for discovering such Hall of Fame talent as Joe Cronin, Goose… (more)

babe-ruth-340x191Babe Ruth – The Ladies’ Man

A former teammate of Babe Ruth’s once recalled the Bambino by saying, “You’ve got to remember, this guy wasn’t born. He fell out of a tree.” Ruth grabbed life by the throat (or maybe it was another part of life’s anatomy) and shook it up… frequently. Ruth spent a good portion of his youth cooped up in St. Mary’s industrial school, listed as an “incorrigible”. After he was released, Ruth seemed to spend the rest of his life “making up for lost time.” He went through women like they were Lay’s Potato Chips. Most men, even the greatest ladies’ men, have particular “favorite types” of women, subjective turn-ons, and particular traits they… (more)

red-scare-340x253The Cincinnati Reds were Once Renamed the “Redlegs” Due to the Second Red Scare

The Cincinnati Reds name was originally inspired by a previously existing team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, which was the first fully professional baseball team.  This former team had ten men on salary for eight months to play baseball for the Red Stockings.  It was organized by Harry Wright, who also played center field for the team and managed the defensive positioning, which was something that typically wasn’t done at that time.  The Cincinnati Red Stockings were wildly successful early on, going 57-1 (wins-tie) in their first season while touring the United States.  They followed this up by winning 24 straight games the next season before losing 8-7 in 11 innings to the Brooklyn Atlantics, which resulted in their attendance declining substantiall… (more)

astrodome-e1311330484973AstroTurf Was Originally Named “ChemGrass” Before Being Used by the Houston Astros Baseball Team

AstroTurf was originally named “ChemGrass” before being used by the Houston Astros Major League Baseball team in the Astrodome. Contrary to popular belief, AstroTurf was not first used or invented for the Houston Astros.  For instance, before being used by the Astros, it was used at such sporting venues as Moses Brown School in Rhode Island, among others.  AstroTurf was actually originally invented in 1964, two years before the Astros would use it, by Donald L. Elbert, James M. Faria, and Robert T. Wright, working for Monsanto Company.   At the time, a subsidiary… (more)

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