1854.1

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Three NY Clubs Meet: Agreed Rules Now Specify Pitching Distance "Not Less Than 15 yards"

Salience Prominent
Tags Post-Knickerbocker Rule Changes
Location Greater New York City
City/State/Country: NYC, NY, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult
Text

[A] Concordance: The Knickerbocker, Eagle, and Gotham Club agree to somewhat expanded rules.  Sullivan writes: "In 1854 a revised version of the original Knickerbocker rules was approved by a small committee of NY baseball officials, including Dr. (Doc) Adams. This document describes the first known meeting of baseball club representatives. Three years later, a much larger convention would result in the NABBP."

[B] Pitching:  The New York Game rules now specify the distance from the pitcher's point to home base as "not less than fifteen yards."

[C] The Ball: "The joint rules committee, convening at Smith's Tavern, New York, increased the weight of the ball to 5½ to 6 ounces and the diameter to 2¾ to 3½ inches, (corresponding to a circumference varying from 8 5/8 to 11 inches)."

 

 

 

Sources

[A] John Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden (Simon and Schuster, 2011), page 83.The rules standardization was announced in the New York Sunday Mercury, April 2, 1854.

[B] The 17 playing rules [the 1845 rules listed 14 rules] are reprinted in Dean A. Sullivan, Compiler and Editor, Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825-1908 (University of Nebraska Press, 1995}, pp. 18-19.

[C] Peverelly, 1866, Book of American Pastimes, pp. 346 - 348.  Submitted by Rob Loeffler, 3/1/07. See "The Evolution of the Baseball Up to 1872," March 2007.

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Query

Do we know what pitching distances were used in games played before 1854?

Is it seen as merely coincidental that the specifications of a base ball were so close to those of a cricket ball?

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Submitted by Rob Loeffler
Submission Note March 1, 2007



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