20 Crazy Sports Stats You Never Knew

Zack Pumerantz@z_pumerantzAnalyst IIIJune 20, 2012

20 Crazy Sports Stats You Never Knew

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    Behind every magical athletic performance is a concealed packet of facts.

    Not breakfast preferences, pregame rituals or tendency to fold during a poker game, but rather a collection of unknown pieces of knowledge that keeps fans eager to learn more.

    These stats form the backbone of the sports world and give fans a true perspective on different achievements and records. A necessary asset indeed.

    Let's take a look at the craziest sports stats you never knew. Some may be loosely classified as facts, but necessary shares either way.

    Grab that record book.

20. Mark McGwire's Statistical Climb

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    Mark McGwire's record-setting 70 home runs in the 1998 season traveled a total of 29,598 feet, enough to fly over Mount Everest

    The baseball did most of the work.

19. Hammerin' Hank

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    Take away Aaron's 755 home runs and he still has more than 3,000 hits.

    The statistics don't lie. The man was a beast.

18. Desmond Howard Returns the Favor

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    Howard is the first and only player to win the Super Bowl MVP (Super Bowl XXXI) from solely special teams.

    His 99-yard kick return was the dagger.

17. Baseball's Intricacies

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    Each baseball game has 12,386,344 possible plays

    And somewhere around 10 times as many sunflower seed shells.

16. Three Quick Ones

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    An 18-year-old Tommy Ross scored the quickest soccer hat trick ever...90 seconds.

    Clearly an early bloomer.

15. Frank Robinson Switch Hits

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    Frank Robinson is the only player to be named MVP in both leagues.

    Sheer focus.

14. Brett Favre's First Packer Completion

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    Brett Favre's first completion as a Packer was to himself.

    Enjoy the visual proof.

13. Scoring Prowess

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    Scoring five or more goals in a single NHL game has only been accomplished 60 times.

    By 44 talented individuals.

12. Jon Rauch vs. Jose Altuve

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    6'11" Rauch facing 5'5" Altuve on May 1 was the biggest height differential in baseball history (excluding Eddie Gaedel).

    The biggest height discrepancy ever was far more than just another routine at-bat.

11. Hockey Developments

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    NHL overtime was eliminated during WWII because there were restrictions on train travel, so they couldn't risk going long and missing the one and only train that night. It was only reinstated in 1983-84

    We continue to yearn for epic shootouts.

10. America's Slow Pastime

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    The actual playing time in an MLB game is nine minutes and 55 seconds, despite routinely finishing at around three hours.

    The rest of the time features spitting, scratching and salivating.

9. Gridiron Flop

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    There have only been 14 four-interception games in NFL history

    From a single defender, of course.

8. Ruling Their Field

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    Brian Rudge (2012, pictured) and Drew Coble (1990) are the only two umpires to be behind the plate for two no-hitters

    The clutch gene rules again.

7. Defensive Attack

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    Ten goalies have scored a goal in a National Hockey League game.

    Some didn't even have to touch the puck.

6. Early October

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    A total of 63 errors were made in the 1886 World Series.

    The St. Louis Browns beat the Chicago White Stockings 4-2. Old school classic.

5. The Golden Arm

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    Four strikeouts in an inning has only occurred 60 times.

    Sixty is clearly the new lucky seven.

4. Hole in One

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    JFK's golf clubs sold for $772,500 at a 1996 auction. The buyer was Arnold Schwarzenegger.

    Only Total Recall can deliver us Arnold's true reaction to the leaked news

3. The Finances of a Pigskin

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    It takes 3,000 cows to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year's supply of footballs.

    And just as many reporters to surround Tim Te'Bro after every movement.

2. The Formula to Victory

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    From a complete stop, a human is capable of outrunning a Formula One race car for about 30 feet.

    Time to juice up those competitions.

1. Nearing Perfection

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    The perfect inning (nine pitches, nine strikes, three outs) has only been achieved 46 times.

    Most expected selection: Nolan Ryan

    Most surprising selection: Byung-Hyun Kim