Paragraph 1.02 The objective of each team is to win by scoring more runs than the opponent. Prior to the 1930 American League season, and prior to the 1931 National League season, fly balls that bounced over or through the outfield fence were home runs! Babe Ruth reportedly had no "bounce" home runs; Lou Gehrig had a few, so did Rogers Hornsby and many, many other players of that era.
The picture at the upper left does not portray an actual occurrence of a "bounce" home run under the old rule, but it does depict the effort by Jose Canseco of the Texas Rangers to turn the baseball clock back in time to his version of the rule. Baseball historian Bill Jenkinson estimates that Babe Ruth probably lost about 75 home runs because of the pre-1931 rule. Part of the rationale for the "infinitely long" foul lines is that in the early years ballparks did not always have foul poles. Until 1920, in the last of the ninth inning or in the bottom of an extra inning, home runs that drove in the winning run ahead of them were scored only as singles, doubles, or triples, according to how many bases the baserunner needed to advance to score the winning run. In 1918 Babe Ruth hit a "home run" with a teammate on first base in the bottom of the ninth inning of a tied game. In 1968 the Special Baseball Records Committee voted to restore home runs to players who had lost credit for them because of the above-mentioned pre-1920 rule. The table below shows how the game of baseball evolved from 1876, when the National League was formed, to 1920.
National League begins play with eight teams: Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Stockings, Chicago White Stockings, Cincinnati Red Stockings, Hartford Dark Blues, Louisvlle Grays, Mutual of New York, St. If an umpire is unable to see whether a catch has been fairly made, he may confer with spectators and players.
Home plate is positioned at its current location: the angle formed by the intersection of the first and third base lines. A spectator who "hisses or hoots" at or insults the umpire may be ejected from the grounds. The number of strikes required for a strikeout is four (this rule was adopted for this season only). Home plate is to be made of rubber, dropping the marble type, and is to be 12 inches square. It is a ground-rule double instead of a home run if the ball is batted over the fence in fair territory and the fence is less than 210 feet from home plate. A sacrifice bunt is statistically recognized, but the batter is charged with a time at bat. It is a ground-rule double instead of a home run if the ball is batted over the fence in fair territory and the fence is less than 235 feet from home plate. The infield fly rule is adopted: the umpire may call an infield fly when there is one out and first and second base or first, second, and third base are occupied. A foul tip was classified as a strike (a foul tip is a batted ball that goes sharp and direct from the bat to the catcher's hands and is legally caught. The first official balk rule: a pitcher is compelled to throw to a base if he makes a motion in that direction. The shape of home plate is changed from a twelve-inch square to a five-sided figure seventeen inches wide.


The American League agrees with the National League that any foul ball not caught on the fly is a strike unless the batter has two strikes on him. The sacrifice fly rule is adopted, exempting the batter from an at-bat when a run scores after a catch. Earned runs are charged to a pitcher when a player scores by means of safe hits, sacrifice hits, bases on balls, hit batters, wild pitches, and balks.
3_4* In 1876, if a batter with 2 strikes did not swing at a well-pitched ball, the umpire called "good ball". Using basic statistics, new measures of performance at various levels of sophistication have been developed to adjust for each era's idiosyncracies and to more or less standardize many player and team performance measures. Have some fun resurrecting the old-timers or sending current players back in time to go toe-to-toe with Ty Cobb or The Babe.
Correct answers are indicated by an audio of a home run call [(Babe Ruth, Hank Aaron (career #715), Bobby Thompson ('51 playoff "shot heard 'round the world"), Kirk Gibson ('88 World Series game 1), Mark McGwire (#62) or Eddie Murray (career #500)]. Incorrect answers result in "boos", a Harry Caray "holy cow", poor Bill Buckner's infamous error in the '86 World Series (sorry, Boston Red Sox fans), or a Bob Uecker audio. The ball shall be a sphere formed by yarn wound around a small core of cork, rubber or similar material, covered with two stripes of white horsehide or cowhide, tightly stitched together. Until 1975 the rules required that the ball covers be made of horsehide, but as horsehide became more expensive, in 1975 the rule was changed to allow either horsehide or cowhide. The Rawlings production facility in Costa Rica produces over 20,000 dozen major league game balls a year (minor league baseballs are made at the Rawlings plant in China). Prior to the 1950's baseballs were treated with mud made with dirt from the infield where the game was to be held. Solving the "mud" issue was no small matter since many pitchers are adherents of the philosophy "if you're not cheating, you're not trying".
NOTE: No laminated or experimental bats shall be used in a professional game (either championship season or exhibition games) until the manufacturer has secured approval from the Rules Committee of his design and methods of manufacture. NOTE: If the umpire discovers that the bat does not conform to (c) above until a time during or after which the bat has been used in play, it shall not be grounds for declaring the batter out, or ejected from the game.
Many players prefer to use black-colored bats, particularly during night games, because it is more difficult for the fielders to see the ball coming off the bat.
One famous attempt to capitalize on the absence of a minimum height requirement met with short (no pun intended) term, but not long term, success. When positioned in his normal batting stance, Gaedel's strike zone measured about 6 inches top to bottom (see above picture). An INFIELD FLY is a fair fly ball (not including a line drive nor an attempted bunt) which can be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, when first and second, or first, second and third bases are occupied, before two are out. He may throw the ball with virtually any motion he chooses, provided that he is facing the batter at the moment of wind-up. Before this year, when a ball was lost, the umpire gave the team five minutes to find it before he threw in a new one. It is not a foul tip unless caught and any foul tip that is caught is a strike, and the ball is in play. The following excerpt, with key words deleted, is taken from the Official Major Leagues Rulebook.


Each ball shall be enclosed in a sealed package bearing the signature of the league president, and the seal shall not be broken until just prior to game time when the umpire shall open each package to inspect the ball and remove its gloss. An indentation in the end of the bat up to one inch in depth is permitted and may be no wider than two inches and no less than one inch in diameter.
Any such material or substance, which extends past the 18 inch limitation, shall cause the bat to be removed from the game. Louis Browns, had instructed Gaedel that under no circumstances was he to swing at a pitch. The pitcher, catcher and any outfielder who stations himself in the infield on the play shall be considered infielders for the purpose of this rule. When he arrived at home plate, the umpire disallowed the homer with the explanation that the ball had landed on foul ground somewhere out in Manhattan Field." (As Bob Uecker would say, "you'll need a visa to go find that ball") (my comment).
It is not a catch if it is a rebound, unless the ball has first touched the catcher's glove or hand).
It shall be set in the ground with the point at the intersection of the lines extending from home base to first base and to third base; with the 17 inch edge facing the pitcher's plate, and the two 12 inch edges coinciding with the first and third base lines. To make his point, Veeck reportedly told Gaedel that a sharpshooter with a scope rifle was positioned in the centerfield scoreboard and that if Gaedel swung at a pitch, he would be shot on the spot (the existence of the sharpshooter has never been verified). When it seems apparent that a batted ball will be an Infield Fly, the umpire shall immediately declare "Infield Fly" for the benefit of the runners. Schell, Baseball's All-time Best Hitters, How Statistics Can Level the Playing Field, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey 1999.
The top edges of home base shall be beveled and the base shall be fixed in the ground level with the ground surface. Detroit manager Red Rolfe protested Gaedel's participation to the home plate umpire, but St.
This was Gaedel's only at bat in a major league game since he was promptly banned from the league by AL president Will Harridge. If the ball is near the baselines, the umpire shall declare "Infield Fly, if Fair." The ball is alive and runners may advance at the risk of the ball being caught, or retouch and advance after the ball is touched, the same as on any fly ball. Louis manager Zachary Taylor produced a legitimate contract, filed with the AL and cleared by umpire Ed Hurley. If a declared Infield Fly is allowed to fall untouched to the ground, and bounces foul before passing first or third base, it is a foul ball.
If a declared Infield Fly falls untouched to the ground outside the baseline, and bounces fair before passing first or third base, it is an Infield Fly.
On the infield fly rule the umpire is to rule whether the ball could ordinarily have been handled by an infielder_not by some arbitrary limitation such as the grass, or the base lines. The umpire must rule also that a ball is an infield fly, even if handled by an outfielder, if, in the umpire's judgment, the ball could have been as easily handled by an infielder. If on an infield fly rule, the infielder intentionally drops a fair ball, the ball remains in play despite the provisions of Rule 6.05 (L).



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