Sports Trivia: 48 Interesting Sports Facts
Did you know golf is the only sport that has been played on the moon? Or that the average lifespan of an MLB baseball is five to seven pitches? And were you aware that only two days per year don’t feature a professional MLB, NBA, NHL, or NFL game? Though they might not change your betting strategy, these facts sure are fun. Who knows, maybe the next time you place a bet will be the next time a new record is broken and new sports trivia is created. Or maybe these sports facts will help you win the next round at weekly trivia night. Read on to find 48 fascinating, unique, and incredibly interesting facts about sports.
Legendary Athlete Facts
- All-time MLB home-run leader Barry Bonds is the only member of the 500/500 home runs and steals club, not to mention the only member of the 400/400 home runs and steals club.
- Hall-of-fame NFL quarterback Steve Young attended Brigham Young University. This college is named after Brigham Young of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, who also happens to be the great-great-great-grandfather of Steve Young.
- In 1935, Jesse Owens broke three world records and tied another in 45 minutes. Owens broke the world records for the 220-yard dash, the 220-yard low hurdles, and the running broad jump, and equaled the world record for the 100-yard dash.
- Wilt Chamberlain never fouled out of an NBA basketball game.
- Wrestling legend Kevin Nash was highly-recruited for basketball coming out of Michigan. He was the second most sought after, behind Magic Johnson.
- Hall of Fame pitcher Gaylord Perry stated, “They’ll put a man on the moon before I hit a home run.” This was in 1963. Six years later, just hours after Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface, Perry hit the first and only home run of his career.
- Babe Ruth acquired his 700th home run baseball by paying the fan who caught it $20.
- Cal Hubbard is the only person in both the football and baseball Hall of Fame.
- Pelé is the only player to ever be a part of three different World Cup winning teams.
- Tiger Woods made his first hole in one at the age of eight years old.
- Brett Favre, Tom Brady, and Jerry Rice are the only players to play in more than 300 games and don’t play the kicker position.
Unique Facts About Sports Rules
- President Teddy Roosevelt wanted to ensure player safety, so he warned that he would ban football unless they established more player safety. In response, the rules were revised and introduced the forward pass. According to the new change, an incomplete forward pass cost teams a 15-yard penalty.
- A forfeited game in baseball is recorded as 9-0. This correlates to the number of innings scheduled to be played out every game.
- Football was essentially born from Rugby. In 1882, new rules were added to Rugby that evolved the game so each team gets three tries to advance the ball five yards. Touchdowns were originally worth four points each.
- NFL rules state the home team must provide 36 balls for outdoor games and 24 balls for indoor games. They must be ready to be inspected by the referee two hours before the game.
Incredible Facts That Showcase Endurance
- The longest tennis match took place in 2010 at Wimbledon, where John Isner of the United States defeated Nicolas Mahut of France in a match that lasted 11 hours and five minutes. It spanned over three days.
- The longest MLB at-bat since 1988 is 21 pitches by the San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt versus the Los Angeles Angels’ Jaime Barria in 2018. This at-bat ended in a fly ball out.
- The average true playing time in an MLB game is nine minutes and 55 seconds, despite commonly finishing at over two and a half hours.
- Larry Lewis is the oldest person to run a 100-yard dash in 17.8 seconds. He set the world record at 101 for runners over 100.
- Barry Bonds received 1,870 unintentional walks and 688 intentional walks in his career. The total distance he walked equals 43.6 miles as a major league player.
Sports Facts that Are Stranger than Fiction
- The HBO comedy Curb Your Enthusiasm once helped save a man from being falsely accused of murder. Larry David’s acclaimed series happened to be filming at Dodger stadium the night the murder happened. Their cameras miraculously caught Juan Catalan, proving his alibi true as well as his innocence.
- The popular yo-yo toy began as a weapon in the Philippines in the 16th century before being distributed in the United States as a toy in 1929. It was four pounds and had a 20-foot-long cord at the time.
- In 1962, former MLB catcher Harry Chiti was traded from the Cleveland Indians to the New York Mets for a player to be named later. After a poor performance, Chiti became that “player to be named later”, making him the first player to ever be traded for himself.
NFL Sports Facts
- Here’s another interesting Pittsburgh sports fact. In 1943, the Steelers and the Philadelphia Eagles both lost so many players who were serving in WWII, they joined together to become the Steagles for the season.
- The Buffalo Bills appeared in four consecutive Super Bowls from 1991-1994 and lost them all.
- Deaf quarterback Paul Hubbard was the first to use the “round formation huddle” in football to ensure that his teammates could interpret his hand gestures.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers, Pirates, and Penguins all share the same color uniforms. It is the only city where the major sports teams all share the same flair – black and gold.
- The largest point spread in the history of the NFL came in a game between the Denver Broncos and the Jacksonville Jaguars. Denver was favored by 26.5 in the second week of 2013.
MLB Sports Facts
- In order to prevent disaster, a black underwear policy is enforced on Major League Baseball umpires while on the job in case they split their pants.
- Babe Ruth used a cabbage leaf that had been chilled over the ice-box to keep him cool while playing outfield. He would wear it under his cap while he played.
- In August 1971, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the first professional team to field nine players who were either black or Latino. The same season they won the world series.
- It is calculated that Major League Baseball teams use about 850,000 balls per season.
- Mark McGwire’s 70 home runs in 1998 soared almost 30 thousand feet, enough to clear Mount Everest.
- Mickey Mantle has 18 home runs and 40 RBI’s in World Series games, the most ever in both categories.
NBA Sports Facts
- There has never been a quintuple-double in the NBA and only four players have recorded official quadruple-doubles with all positive statistics. Nate Thurmond posted 22 points, 14 rebounds, 13 assists, and 12 blocks, Alvin Robertson posted 20 points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, and 10 steals, Hakeem Olajuwon posted 18 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists, 11 blocks, and David Robinson posted 34 points, 10 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 blocks.
- Muggsy Bogues (5′ 3″) is the shortest person to play in the NBA and Manute Bol (7′ 7″) is the tallest person to play in the NBA. At one point, they played on the same team (Washington Bullets).
- Shaq has attempted 22 three-pointers in his entire career and has made only one by way of the bank shot.
Soccer Sports Facts
- Only six of all the World Cups have been won by the host country.
- On average soccer players run about seven miles each throughout the span of one game. This is a per-player statistic.
Golf Sports Facts
- During the early iterations of golf, the balls were originally made of feathers and leather. Feathers were moistened and wrapped tightly around the leather which helped it dry. The process of making them was long, tedious, and they were predictably unreliable.
- In 1971, Apollo 14 Commander and original Mercury astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American to fly in space, also became the first to tee off on the lunar surface. Shepard said the ball went “miles and miles.”
- The chances of making a hole in one are 12,500 to 1 and 2,500 to 1 for professionals.
NASCAR & Horse Racing Facts
- Most NASCAR teams use nitrogen in their tires instead of air. The reason for this is because nitrogen has a much more consistent rate of expansion and contraction compared to air.
- Between two and three jockeys are killed each year. Who says horse racing isn’t a dangerous sport?
- The favorite horse wins about 30 percent of the time at horse track races.
Interesting Facts About the Olympics
- The first recorded Ancient Olympic race, held in 776 BC, was won by Corubus of Elis, a chef. He won the stadion race which was a 200-yard sprint.
- The gold medals in the Olympics are silver-plated, but they used to be solid gold. The last time they were solid gold was 1912.
- Yellow, green, red, black, and blue are the five colors that appear in every flag in the world. This is why they were chosen as the colors to represent the Olympic rings.
Betting on Sports in Las Vegas
The seemingly endless amount of incredible sports facts is a testament to the beauty of the unscripted drama sports give to us. If these sports facts are inspiring you to place some bets on your favorite legendary athletes or sports, Circa | Sports is the ultimate sportsbook in Las Vegas for sports betting. With options for betting on NFL, MLB, NBA, soccer, golf, NASCAR, horse racing, and more, you’ll be able to put your sports knowledge to the test. And no matter which team you’re repping, stop by LIDS at Circa for jerseys, hats, and more to get some team spirit.
Witness some incredible action at the three-story, Las Vegas sports haven, the Circa | Sports Sportsbook. While there, grab a burger or a drink at Victory Burger to catch the action. You can also stop by Golden Gate, the D, or one of the other Circa | Sports locations in Las Vegas to place your bets in person. Can’t make it into the sportsbook? Download the Circa | Sports app on iOS or Android to have your bookie right in your pocket.
Whether in person or on the app, join Circa | Sports for your premier place to bet on sports in Vegas.