Baseball rules trivia

In the earliest version of baseball, how many balls were needed for a walk?

Without looking it up, I seem to remember it was 6.

Six was one of the stops along the way. But it started higher than that.

Actually in the earliest rules there were no walks. There were unlimited balls. They soon found out that made for some very long at bats and games.

Close. In the earliest rules there was no such thing as a ball. When they developed the concept of a ball in 1863 it was considered almost unsportsmanlike conduct, that the pitcher didn’t throw something the batter could hit. So after three inaccurate pitches, the ump issued a warning and registered one ball. Three more bad pitches, another warning, a second ball. Three more bad pitches, the batter took first base and any baserunners moved up whether first base was occupied or not. So it took nine bad pitches for a walk.

It was a few more years before the concept of a strike zone was developed; previously it was completely up to the umpire. And there was a brief period where the hitter could specify if he wanted the pitch high or low; the pitcher had to comply.

Can you imagine Perry Costello without a strike zone in the rulebook? :grimacing:

So basically can you imagine Perry Costello :rofl:


Ah, it was essentially Angel Hernandez rules.

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How could that be–1863, I mean–we all know Abner Doubleday didn’t invent the game until after the Civil War. :sweat_smile:

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