About the Book
Are today’s major league baseball pitchers better than ever? Or do they pale in comparison to the great hurlers of 20, 30 or 40 years ago? This book tackles a
debate that has been traveling baseball circles for several years. With changes in everything from the size of the playing field to the composition of the ball, it’s a tall task to compare pitchers over the 170-year history of the sport in America. No stone is unturned as this work delves into every facet from the ancient roots of the game to the bigger size of today’s players.
The first chapters reach back to the first known "batting contests" in Egypt 5,000 years ago and bring readers to a popular 18th century English game called rounders, which evolved into organized baseball in 19th century America. The following chapters then pace through the changes in rules that helped mold baseball into its modern form, and discusses innovators like James ’Jimmy’ Creighton and Asa Brainard, early stars like Cy Young and Walter Johnson, and modern day standouts such as Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood. The book explores rule changes, adaptations to pitching and pitching strategies, and the effect of pitcher injuries and conditioning, among other influences. Fourteen former major league players comment on the game. The final chapter reviews what has happened to major league pitching. Appendices give stats for major league starting pitchers with comparisons by era, list those with more than 5,000 career innings pitched, list relief pitchers and their single season save records, and a look at the increase in major league home runs from 1919 to 2004.
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