Who's on first?

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In honor of the MLB playoffs, which started yesterday, I thought I'd "throw out" a few quirky factoids that make the game our true "American Pastime."

Of the four major sports in this country, baseball is the only one that isn't played against a clock.

The longest game in MLB history was on May 1, 1920 between The Boston Braves and The Brooklyn Robins. The game lasted 8 hours and 22 minutes, went 26 innings, and was finally called a tie with a score of 1-1

In theory, baseball is also the only sport with no fixed outer boundry. The playing field extends from home plate to eternity. A homerun can be any distance a player can hit it.

Though there's a lot of discussion as to who hit the longest homerun and how many feet it traveled ("˜cause, let's face it, we're merely estimating here), most seem to agree that the honor goes to Mickey Mantle in Yankee Stadium. In addition to the couple he hit over 600 feet, it is said that in an exhibition game, he hit one closer to 700!

ACBaseball.jpgMost importantly, baseball is the only sport that could inspire "Who's on First?" by Abbott and Costello. In addition to being translated into over 30 languages, Time magazine called it the "Best Comedy Sketch of the 20th century." After the jump you'll find a cool link where you can listen to an MP3 stream of the routine, as well as other fun factoids courtesy of Wiki:

  • It was said that Abbott and Costello performed "Who's On First?" a thousand times in their careers, and rarely was it performed the same way twice.
  • Once, they did the routine at President Roosevelt's request.
  • It was featured in the team's 1940 film debut, One Night in the Tropics.
  • The duo reprised the bit in their 1945 film The Naughty Nineties, and it is that version which is considered their finest recorded rendition.
  • In 1956 a gold record of "Who's On First?" was placed in the Baseball Hall of Fame museum in Cooperstown, New York.
  • An early radio recording was placed in the Library of Congress' National Recording Archives in 2003.
  • In 2005 the line "Who's On First?" was included on the American Film Institute's list of 100 memorable movie quotes

Enough reading about it! Go listen to the real deal, here.

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October 4, 2006 - 3:00am
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