Friday, August 10, 2012

Evening The Odds

Although pitchers certainly had it much easier, it would be erroneous to suggest that the scales were unfairly tipped in favor of moundsmen during baseball's gilded age. The following perks helped level the playing field to a great extent:

--Before 1858, there were no called strikes and a batter was not retired if a ball was caught in flight. That same year, rules no longer required a batter to touch each base in order.

--In 1867, players were allowed to call for a low or high pitch.

--Prior to 1895, a foul tip was not considered a strike if caught.

--From 1885 to 1893, one side of the bat could be flat.

--In 1901 and 1902, foul balls were not counted as strikes in American League games.

Imagine how long a Yankees/ Red Sox game might take with these regulations in effect!

Next Time: Those Wonderful nicknames from yesteryear

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