The longest professional baseball game in history was played between the Pawtucket Red Sox and the Rochester Red Wings in 1981. The game’s first 32 innings were played over the course of eight hours, until of the president of the league finally had to postpone the next inning in order to save the delirious players. The players saw people on their way to Easter mass by the time they finally left the stadium. The 19 fans who remained throughout the 32nd innings received lifetime passes to McCoy Stadium. When Wade Boggs’ father complimented him for getting four hits in the game, Boggs admitted that he had been at bat 12 times. The Red Sox won in the 33rd inning held 65 days later.
The official website for the classic basketball movie Space Jam is still up and the same as it appeared in 1996. The “Press Box Shuttle” tab informs us that there is no Space Jam news at the moment.
The fastest recorded slapshot in any competitive hockey game was made by Denis Kulyash of the Russian team Avangard Omsk on February 5th, 2011. The puck hit 110.3 mph, fast enough to go from St. Paul to Winona in just under one hour via Highway 61 (not accounting for traffic).
Wilt Chamberlain set the NBA’s single-game scoring record by racking up 100 points for the Philadelphia Warriors on March 2nd, 1962. Chamberlain set five other league records in that game, but sadly, no video footage of his feat exists.
The World Wife Carrying Championship is held annually in Sonkajärvi, Finland. Competitors must carry their wives on their backs throughout a challenging 832 foot long obstacle course. A competitor may practice one of three types of carry: piggyback, over the shoulder, or “Estonian-style,” where his wife hangs upside-down with her legs around his shoulders.
The sport of purring originated in England in the early 17th century. A purrer holds onto his opponent’s collar and attempts to kick at their shins until he forces them to the ground. The loser cries out “sufficient” when he has had enough. Success in purring requires agility, the ability to endure pain, and strong shins.
Professional sports aren’t only for the young. The great Satchel Paige played his last professional game in 1965 when he was 59 years old. Yoshiazuma Hiroshi is the oldest active sumo wrestler at age 40. Hershel McGriff became the oldest driver to win a NASCAR feature race when he was 61 years old. He retired in 2009 at the ripe old age of 81.
Dogs have many of their own sports, too. In lure coursing, sighthounds compete against one another to determine who is best among them at running down prey. Prey seldom volunteers to participate in lure coursing, so a system of mechanized lures and pulleys that simulate the unpredictability of chasing small animals is implemented instead. In hound trailing, hounds race along a path with no markers to guide them save for a previously laid down scent. And then there is Schutzhund, a series of complicated trials involving tracking, obedience, and protection. Schutzhund was initially developed specifically to test German Shepherds, but is now open to other breeds as well.
Cats do not play sports.
Despite being the smallest country in the world with only 0.17 square miles, Vatican City has its own national soccer team, Selezione di calcio della Città del Vaticano. Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone once said “If we just take the Brazilian students from our Pontifical universities we could have a magnificent squad.”
An American cow has a 1 in 17,420,000 chance of becoming a football that is used in the Super Bowl.
By David Scheller