Baseball: Then And Now This Is An Essay That Contrasts The Game Of Baseball Today To The Game At Its Origin In The 1800s.

929 words - 4 pages

Baseball: Then and Now"The game of baseball has now become beyond question the leading feature of the outdoor sports of the United States...It is a game which is peculiarly suited to the American temperament and disposition:... in short, the pastime suits the people, and the people suit the pastime"(Charles Peverelly, 1866). Although baseball is still America's favorite pastime, the way it is played has changed greatly since it's founding in the 1800's. Baseball was originally created so there would be something the boys could do to keep busy during the summer months. Now, baseball has changed greatly because of technological and technique advancements, rule alterations, and the commercialization of the game.Since its origination in the mid 1800's, baseball has undergone many changes and advancements in technology and technique. When it was first played, there was no such thing as a glove used to help catch the ball. The fielders would play bare-handed, making line drives automatic hits and ground balls even harder to handle. The bat has undergone many changes as well. Batters used to hit the ball with a bat that had a flat side. This was comparable to a cricket paddle except slightly longer and slimmer. Now, players of any age or level use bats that are cylinder shaped with a slightly wider section on the end.In the 1800's, the general public was not as safety oriented as is today's society. This is shown by the complete lack of helmets worn by players in the mid 1800's. Now, helmets are required by rule to be worn by the batter when he is hitting. Helmets are made of a highly durable, shock absorbent outer shell with soft interior padding for comfort. Other advances were demonstrated by the change in pitching style and technique. The first pitchers threw two kinds of pitches: a high pitch and a low pitch. Then, they added outside and inside pitches. After that, change ups and fastballs were developed. Now, sliders, sinkers, curveballs, forkballs, screwballs, and knuckleballs are routine pitches. As a result of today's pitchers like Pedro Martinez and Greg Maddux - who throw less hittable pitches - hitting techniques have been worked on, and players have become better hitters. For example, the first great hitters such as Babe Ruth and Mickey Mantle would not be able to compete with Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds - the best batters of today. The advancements in technology and style have completely changed the way baseball is played, as have the many changes that were made to the rulebook.Since its early beginning in the mid 1800's through 1975, baseball has developed and modified many old rules into new rules that keep the game flowing. In 1889, a rule was introduced that if four balls were thrown...

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