Strike Four: The Evolution of Baseball

Strike Four: The Evolution of Baseball


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Baseball began as a schoolyard game, brought to America by the colonists. It evolved rapidly over the second half of the nineteenth century, with innovations and rule changes continuing throughout the twentieth century and into the modern era. But why and how did these changes take place?

In Strike Four: The Evolution of Baseball, Richard Hershberger examines the national pastime's development, from the reasoning behind new rules and innovations to the consequences of these changes-both intended and unintended-that often led to a new round of modifications. Topics examined include the dropped third strike, foul territory, nine innings, tagging up, balls and strikes, tie games, equipment, the infield fly rule, and many more.

Ultimately, this book provides the reader with a narrative history of how baseball evolved from an informal folk game to the sport played in ballparks around the world today. As such, Strike Four is a wonderful reference for sports fans and historians of all generations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538121146
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 03/08/2019
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 953,547
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Richard Hershberger is the author of numerous articles about baseball history, specializing in the nineteenth century and in the development of the rules. He is a member of the Society for American Baseball Research.

Table of Contents

Foreword John Thorn ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Introduction: Who Makes the Rules and Why? xv

1 Premodern Baseball 1

2 Strikeouts and the Dropped Third Strike 9

3 Foul Territory and Dead Balls 17

4 Three-Out Innings 25

5 Tagging Runners, Nine Men, and Force Plays 29

6 Balks and Stolen Bases 37

7 Nine-Inning Games 43

8 The Diamond 49

9 The Fly Game 57

10 Tagging Up 63

11 Swift Pitching and the Balk 69

12 Called Strikes and the Base on Balls 77

13 Implementing Balls and Strikes 83

14 The Early Strike Zone 93

15 The Early Umpire 105

16 The Fielding Revolution 113

17 The Ball and Bat 121

18 Overrunning First Base 129

19 Extra Innings, Tie Games, and Suspended Games 135

20 Fair-Fouls and the Foul Pole 143

21 The Batter's Box 153

22 Curveballs and Overhand Pitching 157

23 The Modern Pitch Delivery and Balk 167

24 Hit by Pitch 181

25 Gloves and Mitts 187

26 Catchers' Equipment and the Catcher's Box 197

27 Four Balls and Three Strikes, Foul Tips, and the Modern Strike Zone 209

28 The Infield Fly Rule 215

29 The Modern Umpire 223

30 Player Substitutions 233

31 The Foul Strike 239

32 The Spitball 247

33 The Pitcher's Mound 253

34 The Designated Hitter 259

35 Video Replay Review 265

36 The Future 269

Notes 273

Bibliography 285

Index 289

About the Author 297

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