1854.1

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NY Rules Now Specify Pitching Distance "Not Less Than 15 yards;" Ball Specs Defined

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

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."

The point of the meeting was for the Knickerbockers, Gotham, and Eagle Clubs to adopt and use the same rules.

[B] 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

The rules standardization was announced in the New York Sunday Mercury, April 2, 1854.

[A] The 17 playing rules [the 1845 rules number 14] 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.

[B] 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 distance was used in games played before 1854?

Is it seen as 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 March1, 2007



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