Evolution Of Baseball Prior To 1940

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The evolution of baseball like many other evolutions of our time has been drastic and is continuing as we speak. Prior to 1940 baseball had many rule changes, equipment modifications, and strategy innovations. To name just a few pitchers were banned from “soiling” a ball in 1908, shin guards were introduced in 1908, in 1920 all “freak” deliveries were outlawed such as the spitball, and in 1925 pitchers were first allowed to use a resin bag. These new changes in baseball were just a few of the many events and rule changes that occurred prior to the 1940’s. The first rule change that I will write about is the 1920 rule where umpires were required to change the ball out of the game when it became dirty and how the spitball and other quirky pitches …show more content…

The late 1800’s and early 1900’s baseball was very tough and brutal on players as they had little to no equipment. For instance, the glove was originally intended to just knock the ball down, catchers weren’t required to wear a mask, batters did not have to wear a helmet, umpires did not wear any protective gear, and shin guards were not brought into the game until the early 1900’s. As you could imagine, many players had mangled fingers, damaged shin bones, bruises up and down their bodies and so on. The overall evolution of equipment in baseball has been slow and very gradual, many changes in equipment have come because of something happening such as the Chapman incident in which it took an individual’s life for baseball to change the rules and equipment procedures. Prior to factories and machines, the baseball was made by hand and was generally made by local townsmen or the players themselves. This made for a lot of balls to be different weights and shapes which made them never quite the same as the next one in line which made for the ball to have different movements when being pitched and sometimes hit. Over the course of time the baseball has changed from a very loosely wound ball to very tight and compact ball which gives the ball more pop and flight. Baseball also changed the color of the baseball from a leather brown to the current white we have today which is due to the visibility and safety factor. Overall, the ball itself was probably the largest equipment factor prior to 1940 as many changes were brought in, such as the implementing of a cork center and the classic figure-8 style

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