Major League Baseball has been around in some form or fashion for nearly 150 years. From the days of Babe Ruth and Ted Williams to the time when Hank Aaron became the home run king or the more recent exploits of the likes of Mariano Rivera and Miguel Cabrera, one of the things that have always been synonymous with America's pastime are the statistics and the history associated with them.
Along those lines, one of the unique things about baseball is that history can be made on any given day or night at the ballpark, especially if you are paying close enough attention. The 2013 season was no exception, as players and teams alike added their names to the record books. Here is a rundown of some of those baseball "firsts" that may have initially gone unnoticed.
IN 2013, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN BASEBALL HISTORY A BATTER…
Struck out more than 10 times in the first four games of his team’s season (Brett Wallace).
Drove in 16 runs in his team’s first four contests (Chris Davis).
Had both a hit and a strikeout in 15 straight games (Joe Mauer).
Owned a Triple Crown line of at least .340-15-60 at the end of May (Miguel Cabrera).
Hit 12 home runs in a month, yet did not draw a walk (Domonic Brown in May).
Collected 10 total bases and five RBIs in a game in one of the first two contests of his career (Yasiel Puig).
Hit two extra-inning home runs, one of which was a walk-off grand slam, in the same game (John Mayberry Jr.).
Tied an extra-inning contest with a grand slam (Kyle Seager).
Hit a home run in consecutive at-bats against Mariano Rivera (Miguel Cabrera).
Amassed 13 hits and 18 RBIs over a four-game span (Alfonso Soriano).
Homered twice in a game after the 13th inning (Matt Adams).
Knocked home a run in each of his first six postseason contests (Pedro Alvarez).
Supplied an outfield assist and a walk-off hit — both in extra innings — in a playoff game (Carlos Beltran).
Reached base in 31 consecutive postseason games (Miguel Cabrera).
Hit a second career go-ahead grand slam in the playoffs (Shane Victorino).
Charted multiple hits and multiple RBIs in all three World Series openers in which he’s played (David Ortiz).
Drove in 13 runs in his first eight World Series games (Mike Napoli).
Beat both reigning Cy Young Award winners in back-to-back starts (Justin Masterson).
Struck out 35 batters in a season before he issued a walk (Adam Wainwright).
Fanned more than 10 batters in a start of less than five innings (Alex Cobb, 13).
Pitched nine scoreless innings, walked none, struck out at least 12 and allowed only hit, yet failed to win the game (Matt Harvey).
Struck out at least 14 men, walked fewer than two and did not allow an earned run, yet took the loss (Chris Sale).
Began a season 10–0 despite not throwing a complete game (Max Scherzer).
Defeated former Cy Young Award winners in each of his first two major- league starts (Gerrit Cole).
Won five consecutive starts for one team, then made his next appearance for another (Matt Garza).
Threw a second career game in which he whiffed at least 14 batters, allowed no more than one hit and walked fewer than two (Yu Darvish).
Struck out more than 40 batters in a calendar month while issuing no more than one walk (Cliff Lee, 54).
Struck out 100 batters, but allowed fewer than 10 walks in a season (Koji Uehara).
Punched out 12 batters without allowing a hit in a playoff game (Anibal Sanchez).
Walked one batter over a span of five postseason starts (Wainwright).
Lost a postseason start in which he allowed no earned runs and two or fewer hits (Clayton Kershaw).
Started, won a World Series-clinching game for a second team (John Lackey).
Allowed no runs and struck out at least 15 foes in back-to-back games (Texas Rangers).
Hit a walk-off home run in four consecutive home games against the same opponent (Rangers vs. Los Angeles Angels).
Went 407 contests without a complete game (Milwaukee Brewers).
Boasted nine players with 200 career home runs on its roster at some point during the season (New York Yankees).
Hit 100 fewer home runs in a non-strike season than they did the year before (Yankees).
Fanned at least 13 times in each of the first four games of a season (Houston Astros).
Finished its season with 15 straight defeats (Astros).
Won four elimination games in four different cities in six days (Tampa Bay Rays).
Trotted out nine pitchers in a nine-inning playoff game (Rays).
Carried no-hitters into the sixth inning of three postseason games in a row (Detroit Tigers).
Failed to get an RBI from its cleanup hitter in 17 consecutive postseason games (Tigers).
Won the first two games of a postseason series despite batting below .150 (St. Louis Cardinals).
Won a World Series game in which all three of its pitchers used were under the age of 24 (Cardinals).
Won two straight World Series games with the winning run scoring on an error in the seventh inning or later (Cardinals).
—Compiled by Bruce Herman for Athlon Sports. This is just one of the features that can be found in Athlon Sports' 2014 MLB Preview magazine, which is available on newsstands and online now. Starting with 21 unique covers to choose from, Athlon covers the diamond and circles the bases with enough in-depth preseason analysis, predictions and other information to satisfy fans of the national pastime from the Bronx to the Bay and everywhere in between. Order your copy now!