I had a severe case of writer’s block, so I decided to do what I do best;  come up with some sports trivia that’s a little out of the mainstream and/or something that you just cannot find with a simple Internet search.  ENJOY!

MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL

Miller Huggins was the revered manager of the New York Yankees from 1918-1929.  Huggins died on September 25, 1929 at the age of 50 – before the end of the season.  He was the first person to receive a monument at Yankee Stadium on May 30, 1932.  The second and third players were Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth in that order.  The three monuments resided in (and were in play) in the cavernous 461-foot center field at Yankee Stadium through the 1973 season.

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Hall of Famer Sam Crawford holds the Major League record with 309 career triples.  Carl Crawford of the Los Angeles Dodgers leads all active players with 121 career triples, currently tied for 96th all time.

When Mickey Mantle retired at the end of the 1968 season, he was third on the all-time career home run list with 536 round-trippers, trailing only Babe Ruth (714) and Willie Mays (587).

If Joe DiMaggio had retired after the 1950 season instead of after the 1951 season, his career home run total would have been greater than his career strikeout total (349 HR’s and 333 SO’s).  Let’s just say that no other player is even close to achieving this feat for a career, nor are they even close to the minus-8 differential he ended up with after playing the following season (361 HR’s and 369 SO’s).

PRO FOOTBALL (NFL)

New York Jets kicker Nick Folk has never missed an extra point in his career, converting all 292 attempts.  If he never played another game, he would hold an NFL record for extra points without a miss. 

Former NFL quarterback Brett Favre was a grandfather while still an active player.  He is the only person in NFL history to do so.

Michael Vick has the highest yards per rushing attempt (7.0) than any player in NFL history with 6,000 or more rushing yards in their career.

When NFL HOF’er Raymond Berry retired as a wide receiver from the Baltimore Colts in 1967, he had a then-record 631 career receptions.  The next highest career total at that time belonged to HOF’er Bobby Mitchell (507).  Since the start of the 1968 season, 56 players have more career receptions than Raymond Berry and ten of those players have 1,000 or more career receptions.

NBA

Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson and Hall of Fame NBA center Bill Russell were classmates and basketball teammates at McClymonds High School in Oakland, CA.

Wilt Chamberlain could palm a 16-pound bowling ball WITHOUT the holes in it!

Harvey Pollack passed away on June 24, 2015 at the age of 93.  He was the last, original NBA employee when it was founded in 1946.  Despite his distinguished legacy, he was the brainchild of one of the NBA’s most iconic pictures when he wrote the number “100” on a blank sheet of paper and had Wilt Chamberlain hold it in the air after his record 100-point game on March 2, 1962.

HOCKEY (NHL)

Toronto Maple Leafs center Irvine “Ace” Bailey was the first professional athlete in a major sport to have his number retired.  Bailey sustained a career-ending injury on December 13, 1933 when his skull was fractured after a hard check by legendary Boston Bruins defenseman Eddie Shore.  On February 14, 1934 the Maple Leafs retired his #6 jersey.

In 1947, Boston Bruins right winger and defenseman Aubrey “Dit” Clapper was elected to the Hockey Hall of Fame immediately upon his retirement, making him the first member to have the five-year waiting period waived.  His #5 was retired by the Bruins that same year.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL

The 1961 Alabama Crimson Tide football squad won the National Championship and gave up only 25 points in 11 games.  It was the first of six National Championships for their coach Paul “Bear” Bryant over his 25 seasons from 1958-1982.

In 1971, the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team won the National Championship with a 13-0 record.  They are the only team to defeat the #2, #3, and #4 nationally-ranked teams in the final poll taken after the postseason.  They beat #2 Oklahoma (11-1) 35-31 in Norman, OK.  #3 Alabama (11-1) 38-6 in the 1972 Orange Bowl, and #4 Colorado (10-2) 31-7 on their home field in Lincoln. For the record, Oklahoma and Colorado were in the same conference, and Colorado’s two losses came against Nebraska and Oklahoma!

That’s it for this month.