The Ole Ball Game

team batting first or second

by jim brown
(sterling heights, mi)

Evolution Of The Baseball

Evolution Of The Baseball

Jim asked: I was watching a mlb game on tv and the commentators were discussing the home team batting first or second.

It was said that until the 1960s the home team had the option of batting first or second. That the last time a team opted to bat first was in 1903.

It was said the reason a home team would opt to bat first was to get first crack at a new ball as a ball was seldom taken out of play in early baseball. Is there any truth to this?

Rick answered: Jim, thank you for your question.

The photo above shows the vast difference in the evolution of the baseball.

It would be a likely reason for making such a selection, as baseballs were certainly not high tech at that time, much the same as bats, gloves and catcher's gear.

Not much money to be had, balls were at a premium. Vast difference from the modern day era of the game. Ball touches the ground, ball is taken out of play.

Solid strategy to bat first, as pitching was different then, than now. Get the ball when it was at it's peak.

Yours in baseball,


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