10 sports facts you probably didn’t know

10 sports facts you probably didn't know

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Danielle Padilla - Online Editor

Thought you knew everything there was to know about sports? Test your knowledge on the history of sports by reading through these bizarre, unheard of sports events that did not make the cover of the Los Angeles Times, but are nonetheless worth the read!

1. Baseball player hits bird during game and faces possible animal cruelty charges

On April 21, 2003, minor league pitcher Jae-kuk Ryu of the Chicago Cubs was put under investigation for supposed animal cruelty charges after hitting an osprey bird with a baseball. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission launched an investigation into Ryu’s actions. Endangering or killing an animal is punishable by $500 and up to 60 days in jail. If Ryu did get charged with animal cruelty, he might have had to make a short stop to jail in order to fulfill his sentence.

2. Ray Caldwell pitches a complete game after being struck by lightning

During a game against the Philadelphia Athletics in 1919, Ray Caldwell, pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, was struck by lightning. Caldwell was hit during the ninth inning of the game but refused to go home. He instead stayed and finished the game with the final out for the win. That is a striking end to a great game.

3. Deadly soccer match between Peru and Argentina ends with the death of 328 people

In the 1964 Olympic qualifying soccer game between Peru and Argentina, a riot broke out in the crowd after game officials made a controversial call about a play earlier in the game. The crowd started to throw bottles and other miscellaneous items at the pitcher. Police responded by throwing tear gas into the crowd, causing panicked spectators to rush toward the exits. However, the stadium doors were locked and the flocking stampede of fans trampled numerous people. Police should have opened the exits before deciding to blind the public. Who do you think was more blind: the police or the spectators?

4. Shaquille O’Neal has an unforgettable, missed-free-throw record

The now-retired NBA star Shaquille O’Neal has an outstanding missed-free-throw record. O’Neal has a total of 5,317 missed free throws from the beginning of his career to the time he retired in 2010. Even though O’Neal was on the Boston Celtics when he retired, he was not lucky enough to salvage his free-throw record. I guess leprechauns bring more bad luck than good.

5. Live pigeon shooting used to be an Olympic Sport

Live pigeon shooting was an official event at the 1900 summer games in Paris. The event consisted of 100 pigeons being released in front of competitors who then shot at the pigeons. The event was poorly received by the public and that was the last time live pigeon shooting was a part of the Olympics. Surprisingly enough, no one flew the coop when the event started; they all stayed until the end.

6. Six NFL teams do not have cheerleaders

Although there are numerous teams that have support from cheerleaders, many teams in the NFL do not have a cheer team. Teams including the Bears, Browns, Giants, Lions, Packers and Stealers do not have cheer teams at any of their games. However, although the teams do not have a pep squad, this has not stopped these NFL teams from winning five Super Bowls within the last decade. One, two, three, four, cheerleaders are not needed to score!

7. The Boston Bruins took home a misspelled team name on their Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup is a time-honored tradition that has been the symbol of hard work and success for years. However, when the Boston Bruins were awarded with the Stanley Cup in 1972, the engraving was misspelled as “BQSTQN.” The ’72 Bruins Stanley cup will forever be engraved with the unforgettable words “BQSTQN” Bruins to commemorate their victory.

8. Golf is the only sport that has been played on the moon

Alan Shepard Jr., a man who was a part of the Mercury Seven Launch, was the fifth person to walk on the moon. Although he was the fifth to step foot on the moon, Shepard was the first to play golf on the moon. While on the moon, Shepard found time to hit two golf balls on the moon’s surface. This makes golf the first sport to be played on the moon. That accomplishment is pretty out-of-this-world, right?

9. Seventy-eight percent of NFL players go broke after two years of being retired and sixty-eight percent of NBA players are broke after five years of being retired

In 2009, Sports Illustrated estimated that 78 percent of NFL players go broke after two years of retirement, and 68 percent of NBA players are broke within five years of retirement. Some examples from football are Lawrence Taylor, Micheal Vick and Terrell Owens. According to basketball statistics, Latrell Sprewell, Antoine Walker and Allen Iverson prove this trend to be true. Knowing that these players were once loaded with cash and are now broke is hard to believe, even for someone who is not athletic.

10. USC Trojans has a superfan

Giles Pellerin has attended a total of 797 consecutive Trojan football games. Pellerin has attended every single Trojans football game since he was a college freshman until the time of his passing in 1988 at age 91. The last game he attended was the USC-UCLA Rose Bowl game. Pellerin has traveled the entire country attending each Trojan game — talk about a die-hard fan!