The Greatest & Most Useful Baseball Facts For Kids

​Baseball, otherwise known as ‘America’s pastime,’ is one of the most popular sports to get your kids involved in. It teaches many valuable lessons and encourages teamwork and problem-solving. If you are a kid looking to get in the game or a parent looking for more information about the sport, we have put together some baseball facts for kids that should help you find out everything you need to know before committing.

The Most Useful Baseball Facts For Kids

The Foundations

The game of baseball has some of the deepest roots in American sports. The game was believed to have been created around the mid 1700’s or early 1800’s. There are two teams that typically play nine inning games with no clock or timer. Here are the basic baseball facts for kids about the game itself:

  • Games will go as long as they need to, with the longest game ever being called off after over 8 hours of play!
  • There is 90 feet between bases, and the distance between the pitcher’s mound and home plate is 60 feet.
  • Innings are split in half, with each team splitting offensive and defensive duties by half. The home team gets the bottom half of the inning and will be the final at-bat of the game if they are losing.
  • Teams end the inning by getting three outs. Outs can be achieved many different ways.
  • The pitcher and batter start every play. The pitcher will deliver the ball, hoping to strike the batter out. However, if the batter hits it, the defense comes into play to get the out.

Offensive Baseball Definitions

On the surface, batting can seem like a pretty simple part of the game. The pitcher throws the ball and the batter tries to hit it. Simple, right? Wrong. Being an efficient offensive player is very complex and takes a thorough amount of skill and ability. Let’s take a look at some of the offensive baseball definitions kids and parents should be aware of:

  • Bunt – There are plenty of different ways to utilize the bunt. At its core, the bunt is where you hold your bat out in an attempt to guide where the ball will go.
  • Suicide Bunt – Bunt the ball in an attempt to move a runner from first to second. This usually involves the batter getting out or sacrificing himself.
  • Hit and Run – This play relies on your batter making contact. As the pitcher goes into his motion, the runners take off and relies on the batter to keep the ball in play so they can be safe.
  • Squeeze – The type of bunt you use to get a runner home. The runner must be wary of the angle of the ball. If it is down one of the baselines, he’s going home. If it is up in the air or right back at the pitcher, he stays at third.
  • Steal – The basic principle of base running. If you’re smart and have a little speed, you can steal most bases. Wait until the pitcher gets into his motion and take off.
  • Reading Angles – This is more or less a skill than a play. Keep an eye on the pitcher’s delivery and see if there is a past ball opportunity. If you read it right, take off!

Defensive Baseball Definitions

On the defensive side of the ball, every player must know how to play his position correctly. The question every player should be able to answer before the pitch is thrown is: What am I going to do with the ball if it comes to me?

  • Outfielders – Generally a left, right and center, however sometimes coaches will decide to put a fourth out there which splits the center fielder up into left-center and right-center. They deal with fly balls to the outfield or shallow choppers.
  • First and Second Baseman – These two hold the space between first and second base as a team. They must have good communication and chemistry too, as most double plays will run through the both of them.
  • Third Baseman and Shortstop – On the other side, these two handle the space between third and second base. With less plays happening at third base, these two must have good athleticism and game sense to know where they need to go with the ball after they [hopefully] prevent it from getting through.
  • Pitcher – Every defensive play begins here. Pitches the ball to the catcher, hoping to put it in the strike zone but in a way that the batter misses his swing.
  • Catcher – Catch the pitches coming in from the pitcher. Make sure to have a good understanding of where to place your fielders, where to go with bunts, a good arm for steals and athleticism to block balls in the dirt.

31 Fun Facts About Baseball For Kids

All facts courtesy of Fact Retriever.

  1. The most stolen base is second.
  2. With 7 titles the New York Yankees have the most World Series titles.
  3. Every American President except Jimmy Carter have been throwing out the first pitch on Opening Day since William Howard Taft in 1910.
  4. ‘Swing weight’ differs in bats according to distribution of mass despite each bat weighing the same.
  5. There is a rule that a pitcher must wipe his hand on his jersey before he grips the ball for a pitch.
  6. The first pro baseball game ever to be aired on television was on August 26, 1939. It was a doubleheader between Brooklyn and Cincinnati.
  7. Babe Ruth is considered one of the best baseball players to have ever lived.

    “Soaking” was a very early baseball rule that allowed a runner who was off base to be put out by throwing a ball at him.

  8. Hot dogs are the most popular ballpark food item. Baseball fans ate 21,357,316 hot dogs and 5,508,887 sausages during the 2014 major league season. That is enough hot dogs to stretch from Dodger Stadium in LA to Wrigley Field in Chicago.
  9. While baseball games today last about 3 hours, the fastest game ever played in major league history lasted just 51 minutes on September 28, 1919. The New York Giants defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 at the Polo Grounds.
  10. The longest game on record was between the Chicago White Sox and the visiting Milwaukee Brewers on May 9, 1984. The game lasted 8 hours 6 minutes and went 25 innings.
  11. The most valuable baseball card ever is the 1909 Honus Wagner T206 baseball card, worth about $2.8 million.
  12. A player increases his chance of hitting a home run if he hits the baseball at the bat’s “sweet spot.” This spot is an area between 5 and 7 inches from the barrel end of the bat. When a player hits the sweet spot, there is less vibration, and the bat makes a satisfying “crack” sound.
  13. During a swing, a baseball bat may travels between 70-90 mph at its peak.
  14. The oldest player to hit a home run was Julio Franco (1958– ) of the New York Mets. He was 47 years and 240 days old when he hit a home run on April 20, 2006.
  15. Throwing a baseball significantly faster than 100 mph is nearly impossible. Speeds over that would create too much torque in a pitcher’s arm, leading to snapped tendons and ligaments.
  16. A baseball pitcher’s curveball can curve over 17 inches away from a straight line toward home plate.
  17. Some of the most famous baseball records include Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, Ted William’s .407 batting average in 1941, Barry Bonds’ 73 homers in 2001, and Cy Young’s 511 career wins.
  18. In baseball history, “The Dead Ball Era” refers to the years 1900–1919 when baseballs were soft and loosely wound, which made them harder to hit far. Consequently, the pitchers of the day, such as Cy Young, Walter Johnson, and Grover Cleveland had a clear advantage over hitters (though there were also prolific hitters of that time, such as Ty Cobb, Joe Jackson, and Honus Wagner).
  19. In 1882, players wore colored jerseys according to the position they played, not the team they played for. In 1883, owners ruled each team could choose its own uniform, except the stockings, which would be decided by the leagues.
  20. “Cranks” was an early term for baseball fans in the late 1880s. The term “fan” is said to be a shortened form
    of “fanatic.”
  21. During the average major league baseball game, 50 foul balls are hit into a crowd of about 31,000 people.
  22. The youngest pitcher in major league baseball history is Joe Nuxhall (1928–2007) who was just 15 years old when he entered a game and pitched 2/3 of an inning for the Cincinatti Reds.
  23. The National Baseball Hall of Fame is located in Cooperstown, New York, and was established in 1935.
  24. The first five men elected to “Cooperstown,” as it is also known, were Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Honus Wagner, Christy Mathewson, and Walter Johnson.
  25. The Boston Americans won baseball’s first World Series in 1903.
  26. A “can of corn” is an easy fly ball. The term comes from when old-time grocers used their aprons to catch cans knocked from a high shelf.
  27. Craig Biggio (1965– ) of the Houston Astros holds the record for a player most often hit by a pitch.
  28. In 2008, Dr. David A. Peters found that sliding headfirst into a base is faster than a feet-first slide.
  29. Baseball gloves have evolved more than any other piece of the sport’s equipment.
  30. The oldest baseball park still in use is Fenway Park, the home field of the Boston Red Sox, which debuted in 1912.
  31. The first pro baseball game ever to be aired on television was on August 26, 1939. It was a doubleheader between Brooklyn and Cincinnati.

There you have it! All the baseball facts for kids you could want, all wrapped up into one simple place! Note that these facts are just the basics and there is more in depth information coming. If you want to know more, check out some of our other blogs

11 thoughts on “The Greatest & Most Useful Baseball Facts For Kids

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