Tuesday, July 7, 2009
To understand how great baseball is today, we must appreciate the evolution of the game from its most ancient phase. I always knew that the baseball rules adapted gradually over time, but I had no idea just how different baseball was back in the 1860s. Hell, you can make the case it was a completely different game.
Take a look:
-A walk was six balls, not four
-A "bamboozle" is when a foul ball is caught after the first bounce and results in the batter being out.
-There is no hit by pitch; if a batter is hit by a pitched ball, it only counts as a ball.
-There is no infield fly rule
-Pitchers were called hurlers
-Catchers were known as "the behind"
-fans were called cranks
-Hurlers threw underhand (did not throw overhand until 1880)
-No spitting, swearing, or acting in a manner that in unacceptable to a lady
-If a batter did not swing at 5 or more hittable pitchers, he got a warning
-If a pitcher failed to throw enough strikes, he got a warning and then the Umpire would begin to call balls
Strangely enough, I would love to see two major league teams play by these rules for a game. Maybe then they could fully appreciate the value of taking first base after a hit by pitch!
Posted by Jorge Says No! at 1:05 PM