20 random sports facts who may not know

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LSU QB Bert Jones vs Ole Miss
Bert Jones was one of several fomer Louisiana prep stars to shine in major college football at quarterback in the early 1970’s.

I am going to throw out 20 sports facts you may or may not know. A few may be interesting to throw out at upcoming holiday gatherings.

Aaron Judge broke the American League home run record with 62 this season. The previous mark set in 1961 by Roger Maris at 61. Betcha didn’t know…Maris was never intentionally walked during the ’61 campaign. A major reason why the fact that he batted third in the lineup. Maris was usually followed by Yankees slugger Mickey Mantle, who incidentally hit 54 homers that season.

Judge pulled down a cool $19 million salary this season, which broke down to $117,283 per game this season. Mantle earned $75,000 for the ’61 campaign and Maris was $32,000.

Major League Baseball appropriates 300,000 baseballs for each season and allows 120 balls for each game. A single baseball is estimated to be in play no more than 5-7 pitches. Baseballs cost MLB $7.00 each.

In 1963, MLB catcher Harry Chiti, who spent 13 seasons in the majors, was traded from Cleveland to the New York Mets for a player to be named later. Following a poor performance during his 15-game stint in the Big Apple, the Mets returned Chiti to Cleveland, essentially becoming the player to be named later. Chiti was traded for himself.

The oldest major sporting event in United States is the Kentucky Derby which originated in 1875.

Golf balls have 336 dimples. Special editions have up to 500 dimples, which allows the ball to travel twice as far as smooth golf balls.

Coach Prime, aka Deion Sanders, is in the news again after taking the head coaching gig at Colorado. Did you know that he played in more dual sport games than any other athlete? He spent 17 seasons in the NFL with Atlanta, San Francisco, Dallas, Washington and Baltimore for a total of 189 NFL contests. He also played 13 years in Major League Baseball, participating in 641 games.

Wilt Chamberlain at 7-1, 275, is the only NBA player to average 30 points and 20 rebounds per season. During his 15-year NBA career, I found it more interesting that he NEVER fouled out of a game. Wilt also won the BIG 8 high jump title while on the Kansas track team and was also inducted into the National volleyball Hall of Fame.

Remember the American Basketball Association? Most have seen documentaries and old footage but much of the league’s history has been forgotten over time (what isn’t?). There were four original ABA teams absorbed into the NBA when the leagues merged in 1976: San Antonio, Denver, Indiana and New Jersey.

NFL home teams must provide 36 regulation footballs for each game.

The year of the first NFL season with a bye week? 1990.

George Blanda played 26 seasons in pro fFootball with the Chicago Bears, Baltimore Colts, Houston Oilers and Oakland Raiders. He was well known for his skills as a quarterback and kicker. Did you know that he played some at linebacker while with the Bears when the iconic George Halas coached in Chicago?

There was only one person who won the Heisman Trophy and also played in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. Oregon State quarterback Terry Baker, the 1962 winner, also played point guard on the Beavers basketball team along with teammate and future NBA center Mel Counts. OSU made it to the Final Four in 1963 along with Duke, Loyola-Chicago and Cincinnati.

Beginning in 1990, the Chicago Bulls never lost three consecutive games with Michael Jordan on the active roster. Did you know Air Jordan’s nickname in high school was “Magic” after Earvin “Magic” Johnson?

Only one person is a member of both the Pro Football and National Baseball Halls of Fame. Robert “Cal” Hubbard played at Centenary College in Louisiana (1922-’24) before transferring to Geneva College. The 6-2, 253-pound offensive tackle was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame as well. He played 10 seasons (1927-’36) with Pittsburgh, Green Bay and the New York Giants. Upon his retirement from the NFL, Hubbard was a MLB umpire from 1936-’51. He was inducted into Canton as a player and Cooperstown as an umpire.

On November 20, 1972, Sports Illustrated featured four of the top quarterbacks in college football. The quartet prepped in Louisiana – Terry Davis (Bogalusa) starred for the seventh-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide, Bert Jones (Ruston) operated 11th-ranked LSU’s offense, Norris Weese (Chalmette) was a dangerous dual-threat at Ole Miss and Joe Ferguson (Woodlawn-Shreveport) was the triggerman at Arkansas.

The Cleveland Browns are the only NFL franchise to neither play in a Super Bowl or host one.

Jersey numbers in sports which identify individual players were adopted in 1929 by the New York Yankees.

There a 700,000 NFL footballs manufactured each year which requires 35,000 cows to donate their hides.

Of all Canton inductees, 46% played their entire career with only one team.

The average NFL career for a player lasts 3.3 years. For running backs, the average career spans 2.57 years. You’d think wideouts (2.81 years) and cornerbacks (2.94) would last a lot longer on average but needless-to-say it’s hard to stay healthy and keep a job in the League every long.

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Rene Nadeau


Born and raised in the New Orleans area, Rene Nadeau has been involved in sports ever since his earliest memories. Rene played basketball, wrestled, ran track, and was an All-District running back in football at John F. Kennedy High School. He went on to be a member of the LSU football program, developing a passion for the game in even…

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