How Baseball Has Changed Over The Years - Lackawanna College - Essay

1522 words - 7 pages

Vaughan �1
Ja’nai Marcel Vaughan
Mlodzineski, Micheal
ENG 105 AB- College Writing
How baseball has evolved since its creation
The game of baseball is always evolving. In recent years the changes have been
pretty significant. Like for instance how they changed the time players have in-between
innings, or how most stadiums added extra netting around the first and third base
areas. There have even been major changes to the core of the game as well. Like how
in 2016 the rules on sliding were changed so middle infielders would avoid
unnecessary injury. After that many players had to seriously change the way they
played. That decision was a drastic change to the game and seriously evolved the way
it is played to this day. Players have had to adapt to changes for over a hundred years
and still do today. That itself evolves the game further as we go on. Nevertheless, our
main focus is going to be how the players have evolved their game from recent times
to current times in terms of hitting, pitching and in fielding the three main parts of the
When it comes to hitting its not the actual swing of hitters that has had a drastic
change but more of the safety and difficulty that has evolved. The safety of hitting back
in the 1900s was almost imaginary. The MLB didn’t even have helmets for their players
until 1941. Which was extremely late. Other safety implements such as catchers gear
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and shin guards were added during the 1890s and 1900s. The need for helmets was
even ignored after Ray Chapman was killed after being fatally beaned by Carl Mays in
1920 (Ortiz, 2018.) Hitters also evolved through the pitch speed they have adjusted to.
Back in the 1930s, pitchers would throw on average 10%-15% slower than they do in
today’s game.
A huge change for hitters is the type of bats used. Back in the 1860s-1920s, many
hitters fiddled around with the shape and size of the bat. In those days it wasn’t rare to
see a bat that was 38-42 inches long, and 50 ounces heavy. That is a huge change
compared to what the average hitters use today, which can be anywhere from 31-34
inches long and 30-32 ounces heavy (Stamp, 2013.) Players in the older era also
tinkered with the barrel and knob of the bat. They would create bats that had a flat
barrel or even curve it. And they would alter the knob in the bat in various ways, such
as adding two knobs or making the knob super thick and shaped close to a grape or
olive. Compared to what is required in today’s game their ideas were crazy. Today’s
game requires a barrel to be no more than 2 5/8 inches in diameter and straight with
the ‘bat drop’ (inches of length minus ounces of weight) can be no more than 3
(according to MLB Rulebook 1.10 (a) )
The last major thing that evolved with hitting is the type of wood used to make bats.
Back during the early stages of baseball players would mainly make bats out of ash
wood, or pretty much any type of wood that was available to them. Nowadays players
Vaughan �3

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