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One Tiny Tidbit On: The Reds, The Twins, The Blue Jays and The Rangers

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Baseball is here! Inspired by an old feature on The Black Table, we're previewing the season by going team-by-team and distributing Four Things You Don't Know about them. Today we close out this feature with four leftover tidbits from four different teams. On Monday we'll begin previewing the World Cup teams, so if you have a tidbit on your favorite soccer squad, send it to us at

• 1. Cincinnati Reds. Pete Rose was not responsible for the first major ban imposed on the Cincinnati Reds. In 1880, the Cincinnati Red Stockings were expelled from the National League for ten years due to their insistence on selling beer at the ballpark, and for playing Sunday games. Upon their readmittance to the National League, the team shortened their name to the Reds, due in part to the success of the National League's Boston Red Stockings prior to and during Cincinnati's absence. Every team in baseball now sells beer at the park and plays on Sundays, making this the only instance in history in which Cincinnati was ahead of its time about anything. — (thanks to Annie DiMario).


• 2. Minnesota Twins. On July 17, 1990, Gary Gaetti and the Twins recorded two triple plays against the Red Sox at Fenway Park. In the fourth inning, with the bases loaded, Gaetti went 5-4-3 on a ground ball hit by former teammate Tom Brunansky. In the eighth, with runners on first and second, Jody Reed grounded to Gaetti, who again stepped on third, fired to shortstop Al Newman at second, who relayed to first for the triple play. Despite the defensive gems, the Twins lost, 1-0. The twin triple plays were a major league record and ran Gaetti's personal total to five. — (thanks to Anil Adyanthaya).

• 3. Toronto Blue Jays. First baseman Shea Hillenbrand lives in a suburb of Toronto in a trailer. This is no joke. The guy is a complete lunatic. — (thanks to Rich Niman)

• 4. Texas Rangers. Steroid connection? Jose Canseco came to the Rangers at the end of the 1992 season, where he met a young Rafael Palmeiro. Palmeiro had averaged less than 14 home runs per season before meeting Canseco, but would average 38 afterwards in seasons where he played more than 140 games. — (thanks to Fennis).

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