Feb 20, 1963: Ever changing strike zone
Submitted by BTGrimes on Wed, 02/20/2013 - 7:00am
In the Zone
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - Many consider baseball an unchanging game of tradition allowing fans to compare the statistics of today's stars to yesterday's, but it's a myth. For example, the strike zone has changed numerous times over the years, and many
On this date in 1963 the manager of the San Francisco Giants, Alvin Dark, bemoaned the fact that the strike zone had been raised from the top of the batter's arm pits to the top of the shoulders. Dark told the Associated Press (AP) that he was worried that his pitchers will have trouble keeping the ball down even though the bottom of the strike zone had not changed, "It's the way they [the umpires] stand that raises or lowers the strike zone. If they're up higher [to see the higher strike] it may pull the strike zone up."
Each umpire's strike zone notwithstanding, here, according to mlb.com, are the "official" changes over the decades to just the strike zone:
1876 - One foot above the ground to the shoulders, and the batter calls whether he wants the pitch low or high.
There have also been changes to how many balls is a walk, whether foul balls are counted as strikes, the makeup of the baseball, the height of the pitcher's mound, just to name a few.
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