The Ole Ball Game

Were batters allowed to run to, what is now known as third base after hitting the ball?

by Eddie
(Phoenix)

Way back in the day

Way back in the day

Eddie asked: I once heard on a baseball history program that originally the first batter of each inning determined which base was first base, the first batter could run to, what we now call third base, then the rest of the inning each batter would have to follow the same order of bases. Did I hear correctly?


Rick answered: Eddie, thanks for the question.

I had never heard that before; but there were some original rules which certainly seem odd by todays set up.

The closest I could come to this situation is, in 1858, base runners were no longer required to touch each base in order. It looks like runners did need to do that, before 1858, for some reason they decided it shouldn't matter.

In 1864, each base runner must touch each base in making the circuit.

In 1867, batter's were given the privilege of calling for a high or low pitch.

In 1887, calling for high and low pitches was abolished.

Those are the closest changes to your question I was able to locate. Interesting stuff indeed.

It is amazing how the game has evolved since 1845.

Posibly some of our readers may know more about this question and can add to the discussion.

Yours in baseball,

Rick

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