Jan 22, 1857: Base ball Rules
Submitted by BTGrimes on Tue, 01/22/2013 - 6:00am
9-inning rule established
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - A convention of "Base Ball" organizations met in New York on this date in 1857 and established that the game would consist of nine innings. This clarified a rule set down in 1845 by the same club that the first team to score 21 "aces" (runs) was the winner, though each team was to have an equal number of at bats.
Other rules established at that convention were:
All the above changes remain in place to this day, except the pitching distance which was later codified at 60-feet, 6-inches. A number of rules appeared and evolved over the years, such as the infield fly rule, what consitituted a foul ball and whether it counted as a strike.
How many strikes for a "strike out" and how many "balls" for a walk varied from time to time before settling on 3 strikes and 4 balls in the late 1800s. At one time a batter wasn't awarded first base until 9 balls were called.
Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, by John Thorn, Simon & Schuster, 2011
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