1866c.1

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Umps Finally Begin to Call Strikes and Balls

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Post-Knickerbocker Rule Changes
City/State/Country: United States
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult
Text

Association rules permitted umps to call strikes in 1858, and to call balls in 1864, and it's a little hard for us to imagine a game in which those features were missing.  But when did they become common?

"The safe generalization is that balls and strikes were rarely called before 1866, gradually became more and more a routine part of the game, with the process reaching completion at some point in the professional era."

Having found and summarized over 25 newspaper articles from  1858 to 1872, Richard suggests three factors that delayed implementation of the key rules:

[1] Close calls were disputed, making umpiring uncongenial.

[2] Players didn't insist on called pitches, even though longer games resulted when umpires declined to make calls.

[3] Resistance to novelty, especially outside greater New York city. 

Sources

Richard Hershberger, "When Did Umpires
Start Calling Balls and Strikes?," available on Protoball at <url>.  Page 5 of 7.

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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Submission Note email of <_/_/2013)>



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