The Goofiest Baseball Player Names Of The 19th Century

“You can just call me Wild Bill.  Holy shit, wait, you’re actually going to do that?”

~Wild Bill Widner

walter chickering

We’ve talked about early baseball, and especially baseball in the 19th century, here before.  Simply put, the 1800s were a lawless time in a lot of ways, and professional baseball was definitely included in that list.  Hell, back then, foul balls didn’t count as strikes, in 1879 it took 9 balls to get a walk, and people wouldn’t even play with a glove so errors were almost more common than hits.

Now, these oddball rules were the result of a new sport coming into its own, which was a trying process for both owners and players.  Teams and even Leagues folded overnight, and the salary a professional baseball player could hope for was about as high as you’d expect from someone placed in this tenuous position.  So while the quality of play was, by modern comparison, pretty shitty, the 19th century did have us beat in one very significant field.

The ridiculousness of their names and nicknames.  Nowhere does baseball offer more accidental hilarity than with the names that players, who though underpaid were professional athletes, went by.  These are names that fans chanted (or like, respectfully muttered to each other, we know that people wore fancy hats to baseball games back then so maybe it was a more refined affair at the time) and that are forever linked in the history books of the game as these people’s identities.

And there are some doozies of identities here.  So no more backswallash (Is that a 19th century word or did we just write gibberish?) let’s dive into some of these names.

The Goofiest Baseball Player Names Of The 19th Century

 old time baseball

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Frederick Russell Burnham: America’s Scout

“I’m not saying I can smell fear, but that’s just because I’m very modest.”

~Frederick Russell Burnham


The Boy Scouts of America have been around since 1910, and in that time they have made quite an impression on the nation.  Some of you might associate Boy Scouts with your childhood, earning merit badges and going camping and learning how to like, tie knots?  That’s a thing you did right?  Others of you, like our staff, might also associate Boy Scouts with their childhood, only the focus is more on that one kid in your High School that really stuck with it, and while it was cool that he got to use a pocket knife and shit, he always wore knee-high socks with shorts and you know definitively that he did not get laid until he was well into his 20s.  And still others of you might think of the Boy Scouts as an organization that is not particularly good at being nice to gay people.

But, something that almost no America thinks about in relation to the Boy Scouts are the men responsible for for the very idea of scouting itself.  Scouting was first established in the United Kingdom by Robert Baden-Powell in 1907 as a way to support youth physical, mental and spiritual development.  As you likely know, this goal was achieved through the focus on outdoor and survival skills, with the notion that a self-reliant child with a diverse skill set would be able to use what they learned through scouting and apply it to take constructive roles in society.

Now, “going outside” isn’t something that we really like doing much ourselves, and since we live in the age of the internet we don’t have to.  But in the pre-internet age of the early 1900s when this all started, we imagine that going out and learning how to make fires and whittle sticks into shivs (we’re assuming that’s a thing Boy Scouts did) was probably both constructive and about as exciting of an activity as you could get.  Either way, it’s an influential movement, and though it was started by a Brit, it was in fact inspired by an American man who basically taught Baden-Powell everything he knew.  A tiny man with a powerful nose who you probably haven’t heard of, which is a right we’re going to wrong.  Because there were few Americans as badass as…

Frederick Russell Burnham:  America’s Scout

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More of the Grossest Marshmallow Peeps Flavors

“Why are we still doing this?”

~AFFotD’s Candy Taste Testers

all dem peeps doe

A few weeks ago, we talked about marshmallow Peeps.  Specifically, the fact that marshmallow Peeps, which exist only to taste like sugar coated with more sugar, with the added benefit of being able to bite the head of a cute inanimate object, puzzlingly comes in a variety of flavors, most of which are horrible.  The formula for the Peep is basic—pump enough sweetness into a marshmallow as you can without it technically becoming a hate crime, drop it in some children’s Easter baskets, and laugh as you watch their parents hopefully try to control them.  Trying to make Peeps taste like anything else is just showing off.

Well actually, it’d be showing off if they were actually good at picking flavors.  Which they are not.  So, they’re showing off in the way you’re showing off if you try to do a backflip and land on your fucking neck.  Anyway, here are some more mistakes made by the Just Born company, makers of marshmallow Peeps.

More of the Grossest Marshmallow Peeps Flavors

scaaarry peep

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The Great Moon Hoax of 1835

“The universal state of amity among all classes of lunar creatures, and the apparent absence of every carnivorous or ferocious creatures, gave us the most refined pleasure, and doubly endeared to us this lovely nocturnal companion of our larger, but less favored world.”

~Not Dr. Andrew Grant

moon hoax

Your Facebook feed filled with angry responses to Onion articles and every single April Fools’ Day “prank” notwithstanding, the Internet has made it a lot harder to be tricked by people attempting to fuck with us.  Usually, when you hear a complete fallacy, and you’re not a 55-year-old Uncle who leans uncomfortably far Right or Left with their political views and who hasn’t heard of Snopes and has only a tenuous grasp on Google, you can pretty easily figure out when you’re being messed with.  Granted, people believe bullshit fake stories in The Daily Mail, but when something seems a bit too unrealistic to believe, that’s usually for a reason, and a quick web search will clear up any confusion you might be having.

The point being, the internet has made us rightfully jaded and suspicious, as you learned when you found your husband’s email address listed on the Ashley Madison leak (and especially for you, Bill, who saw your wife’s email address on there).  But we haven’t always been this way.  We used to be able to get fooled by all sorts of shit worthy of “I guess I never said it out loud” moments.  Like in 1835, when hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans and Europeans were duped into thinking the Moon was covered in a vast ecosystem that included flying bat-people.

The Great Moon Hoax of 1835

 lunar temples oh it's so pretty Continue reading

Charlie Sweeney: America’s Greatest Drunk Pitcher

“There’s no ‘I’ in ‘drinking while pitching a professional baseball game.’  Or there are six ‘I’s’ there.  Shut up.”

~A Drunk Charlie Sweeney

charlie sweeney

The infancy of baseball in America was lawless time.  The World Series wouldn’t became an established event until 1903, entire leagues were created and disbanded over the course of just one or two seasons, and most team names were just, well, silly.  Considering that, in the 1800s, baseball was relatively new and didn’t really pay particularly well, the players that decided to pursue a professional career in the sport tended to be pretty eclectic.  They had names like Ice Box Chamberlain, they routinely threw games for gamblers, hell, in 1872, during the season, a team’s left fielder straight up drowned while fishing.  So in order to stand out as someone truly (and hilariously) noteworthy during this period, you had to either be one of the early greats in the sport, or you had to be an absolute nut job.

Starting pitcher Charlie Sweeney was a little bit of both.

If you claim to have heard of Charlie Sweeney before, we might have a hard time believing you.  His career wasn’t particularly remarkable, save for a few bright spots.  He played for five seasons, winning one Union Association pennant, and finishing his career with a 64-52 record with a 2.87 ERA and 505 strikeouts.  However, in his short time on the field (and off the field) he managed to leave a legacy filled with prostitutes, alcohol, manslaughter, and a few MLB records. So hold onto your britches or whatever the fuck people said back in the late 19th century, because we’re here to tell you about…

Charlie Sweeney:  America’s Greatest Drunk Pitcher

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Dan Bilzerian Is An Attention-Whoring Douchebag

“Fuck this guy.”

~AFFotD Editor-in-Chief Johnny Roosevelt


We usually don’t weigh in with opinion pieces here at America Fun Fact of the Day.  Life’s too short for handwringing and #thinkpieces, and it is infinitely shorter when you drink and eat the way our staffers do.  But, every once in a while we might notice a trend that we feel has to be put to a stop, and it’s during times like those that our Editor-in-Chief, Johnny Roosevelt, steps out from the shadows to address important issues.  And today, he is going to do just that regarding the internet’s love affair with Dan Bilzerian.

For those of you who do not know who Dan Bilzerian is, he is a poker player whose primary occupation now is to be a social media personality.  He was born into money, with a father who was a successful corporate raider before going to jail for securities and tax law violations, and has about 12 million followers on Instagram, where he (somewhat) famously posts pictures of him living a lavish playboy lifestyle.  Every image has either naked beautiful women, guns, money, fancy cars and jets, or any combination of those ingredients.  He is, and we cannot stress this enough, is an entitled toolbag, and the fact that so many bottle service douchebags rush over to extol how he is “living the dream” is distressing, stupid, and wrong.

And so, with that being said, here is Johnny’s take on the so-called “King of Instagram.”

Dan Bilzerian Is An Attention-Whoring Douchebag

By Johnny Roosevelt

look at this fucking tool

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The Grossest Marshmallow Peeps Flavors

“I said put down the Peeps, for God’s sake!”

~Wiford Brimley

marshmallow peeps

There are three kinds of people in America.  Children, people who still love Peeps because they remember their childhood fondly, and people who think Peeps are way too sweet for their taste and/or are diabetic and don’t want to fall into another Easter coma.  But no matter what category you fall into, it’s important to remember that there is no ego to the marshmallow Peep—if you went up to someone obsessive with Peeps and said, “I think Peeps are gross, the texture is weird and they’re too sweet” they’d probably just shrug and go, “Yeah, I can see that.  I like them, though.”

That’s because the question of if you like Peeps or not depends on if you like mainlining sugar into your system until the world starts to vibrate around you, with a secondary question of if you like your world-altering sucrose delivery system to be soft and fluffy, or left out a few days so it’s a bit stale in a weirdly appealing way.  Either way, when you think of Peeps, you think of mutilated faux-chickens that all taste the same no matter what color they come in.  And you would be wrong.

Strangely, not only are there flavors of Peeps other than “Impossibly Sweet,” there are over a dozen, and just about every single one seems like a horrible idea.  Like, a two-article–spanning amount of badness.  This is what happens when you mess with perfection, people.  Or, like, just try to add weird flavors to things that don’t need any more flavor.

The Grossest Marshmallow Peeps Flavors

we three peeps

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The Eggnog Riot Happened, And Was Absurd

“Ain’t no party like a West Point party ‘cause a West Point party’s got drunks.”

~Jefferson Davis

eggnog riot

As long as there has been Christmas, there have been Christmas parties.  And as long as there have been Christmas parties, there have been Christmas parties where you wake up the next morning thinking ugh, what have I done?  But we can say with relative certainty that even your worst drunken office shenanigans paled in comparison to what happened at the United States military Academy in West Point on 1826 because, as much as you shouldn’t have made out with your office’s married secretary, at least you never had a Christmas party go so bad it caused a fucking mutinous riot.  Let’s talk history, people.

The Eggnog Riot Happened, And Was Absurd

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Official State Lottery Mottos as Euphemisms for Someone’s Junk, Ranked

“The Lottery!  Put Us In Your Mouth!”

~Fake Lottery Motto That Hopefully Has Never Been Considered

lottery balls...heh

When we set out to write an article for America Fun Fact of the Day, we’re looking to do a few things.  We’re looking to talk about something we might find very interesting, something we didn’t know about before or something we feel someone might not know about.  Or, maybe, we’re looking into food, and we want to tell you about all the horrible creations out there, or all the ways that Japan is Doing it Wrong (Goddamn it).  We are looking to, maybe with a little humor, expand your knowledge of this terrifyingly large world we find ourselves holding onto for dear life as it spins into oblivion dictated by laws we still don’t fully understand.

Today we are not writing one of those articles.  Today we are writing dick jokes.

Official State Lottery Mottos as Euphemisms for Someone’s Junk, Ranked

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Soapy Smith: America’s Con Artist

“Never con an honest John.”

~Soapy Smith (attributed)

soapy smith

Con artists are the criminals we hate that we love because deep down we respect them. Their biggest crimes involve outsmarting someone looking to screw them over in the first place, so it comes with a healthy sense of schadenfreude.  When you rob someone, you’re forcibly stealing from them, taking what is theirs that they earned.  But when you con a mark, you are letting them give you money because you’ve caught them in their greed and have found a way to take advantage of that.

Now, we’ve previously talked about cons, swindles, scams, hustles, bunkos, or what have you (we can go on all day- flimflams, gaffles, bamboozles, okay we’re done) but we’ve never really talked about the perpetrators of these crimes because, well, most of our examples of con artists come from watching movies like The Sting or, if you’re in a pinch, Matchstick Men.  But that was before we heard about Soapy Smith, the 19th century con man, gambler, and crime boss with a funny name who essentially ran Denver, Creede, Colorado, and Skagway, Alaska during various periods of time and who is so respected that even today people gather for a wake in his honor on the anniversary of his death.  So why not give this man a fun fact?  After all, criminals are Americans too!  No seriously, lots of us are criminals!  Half of our staff are felons who aren’t allowed to vote!

Soapy Smith:  America’s Con Artist

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