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THE GLOVE AND THE MASK

06-12-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
When a glove is mentioned in conjunction with 19th century base ball the listener or reader must not think of the glove as it exists today. The glove started out as merely a leather work glove, with or without full fingers, and progressed to a more padded piece of equipment. It is impossible to pinpoint the first player to wear a "glove" but there have been reports as early as 1860 that catchers were wearing them. It is logical that the catcher would be the first position player to wear them as they handled hundreds of pitches per game as well as foul tips. It would seem that the first baseman would be the next position player to don a "glove."
 

Evolution of Baseball Equipment

06-08-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

A minimum of equipment was employed in 19th century baseball, and changes in its regulation were infrequent. No batter wore a helmet during the 19th century. "Gloves" did not become common until the late 1880s and the baseball has retained the same dimensions, weight and leather pattern since 1872. Only one attempt to regulate uniforms was made by the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs in 1882. This was due to the emergence of the American Association of Base Ball Clubs, which began play in 1882 and attempted to differentiate themselves from the six-year old National League.

19th century bats looked and felt different than today's bats. They were generally heavier and considerably thicker in the handle and had more of a gradual taper from the handle to the barrel. They were made with or without knobs on the handle and on various parts of the bat would be painted "rings" that would reflect the team color.

 

The Past and Future of the Baseball Bat

06-04-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

All these innovations were developed to aid in hitting. More recently though, the bat was redesigned to aid the hitter.

During the dead-ball era, baseball players used to grip the bat differently, holding it further up the grip. The knob at the end was to keep players' hands from sliding off the bat. But in the modern game, players hold the bat with their hands as low as possible - sometimes even covering the knob. Graphic designer Grady Phelan created the Pro-XR bat in response to the modern grip.

The major innovation on the Pro-XR bat is the new ergonomic knob, slanted to ensures the batter's hand doesn't rub against it. The design reduces injury, as well as the chances that a bat will be thrown by preventing the hand's ulnar nerve from sending a "release" signal to the brain. Limited testing suggests that the bat will reduce pressure on the hand by 20 percent. It has been approved by the MLB and is currently used in play. But despite the major benefits it offers, baseball players are a stubborn and superstitious lot, and it's unlikely that the Pro-XR will become the league's go-to bat - unless someone starts breaking new records with it.

 

The Past and Future of the Baseball Bat

06-03-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
While the bat hasn't changed dramatically since the late 19th century, there are a few short-lived oddities and attempts to improve on the design, like the "mushroom" bat from Spalding and the Lajoie (above), designed by Ty Cobb rival Napoleon Lajoie and said to offer a better grip and improve bat control. And then there's this incredibly strange design, patented in 1906 by Emile Kinst:
 

The Past and Future of the Baseball Bat

05-26-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

By the 1860s, there were almost as many types as baseball bats as there were baseballs. And like early pitchers, who made their own balls, early batters were known to sometimes whittle bats to suit their own hitting style. 

As you might imagine, the results were quite diverse - there were flat bats, round bats, short bats and fat bats. Generally, early bats tended to be much larger and much heavier than today's. 

The thinking was that the bigger the bat, the more mass behind the swing, the bigger the hit. And without any formal rules in place to limit the size and weight of the bat, it wasn't unusual to see bats that were up to 42 inches long (compared to today's professional standards of 32-34) with a weight that topped out at around 50 ounces (compared to today's 30).

 

Years of Service (21 or more)

05-21-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

Player

Years Played

Total

Cap Anson

1871-1897

27

Nolan Ryan

1966-1993

27

Deacon McGuire

1884-1912

26

Tommy John

1963-1989

26

 

CAREER LOSS LEADERS

05-18-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

  1. Cy Young, 314
  2. Pud Galvin, 310
  3. Nolan Ryan, 292
  4. Walter Johnson, 279
  5. Phil Niekro, 274
  6. Gaylord Perry, 265
  7. Don Sutton, 256
  8. Jack J. Powell, 254
  9. Eppa Rixey, 251
  10. Bert Blyleven, 250
  11. Bobby Mathews, 248
  12. Warren Spahn, 245
  13. Robin Roberts, 245
  14. Steve Carlton, 244
  15. Early Wynn, 244
  16. Jim Kaat, 237
  17. Frank Tanana, 236
  18. Gus Weyhing, 234
  19. Tommy John, 231
  20. Ted Lyons, 230
  21. Bob Friend, 230
  22. Greg Maddux, 227
  23. Ferguson Jenkins, 226
  24. Red Ruffing, 225
  25. Tim Keefe, 225

 

CAREER GAMES LEADERS

05-15-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

  1. Jesse Orosco, 1252
  2. Mike Stanton, 1178
  3. John Franco, 1119
  4. Mariano Rivera, 1115
  5. Dennis Eckersley , 1071
  6. Hoyt Wilhelm, 1070
  7. Dan Plesac, 1064
  8. Mike Timlin, 1058
  9. Kent Tekulve, 1050
  10. Trevor Hoffman, 1035
  11. Jose Mesa, 1022
  12. Lee Smith, 1022
  13. Roberto Hernandez, 1010
  14. Mike Jackson, 1005
  15. Rich "Goose" Gossage, 1002
  16. Lindy McDaniel ,987
  17. Todd Jones, 982
  18. David Weathers, 964
  19. Rollie Fingers, 944
  20. LaTroy Hawkins, 943
  21. Gene Garber, 931
  22. Eddie Guardado, 908
  23. Cy Young, 906
  24. Arthur Rhodes, 900
  25. Sparky Lyle, 899


 

CAREER STRIKEOUT LEADERS

05-12-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
  1. Nolan Ryan, 5714
  2. Randy Johnson, 4875
  3. Roger Clemens, 4672
  4. Steve Carlton, 4136
  5. Bert Blyleven, 3701
  6. Tom Seaver, 3640
  7. Don Sutton, 3574
  8. Gaylord Perry, 3534
  9. Walter Johnson, 3508
  10. Greg Maddux, 3371
  11. Phil Niekro, 3342
  12. Ferguson Jenkins, 3192
  13. Pedro Martinez, 3154
  14. Bob Gibson, 3117
  15. Curt Shilling, 3116
  16. John Smoltz, 3084
  17. Jim Bunning, 2855
  18. Mickey Lolich, 2832
  19. Mike Mussina, 2813
  20. Cy Young, 2798
  21. Frank Tanana, 2773
  22. David Cone, 2668
  23. Chuck Finley, 2610
  24. x-Tom Glavine, 2607
  25. Warren Spahn, 2583
 

CAREER ERA LEADERS

05-08-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
  1. Ed Walsh, 1.816
  2. Addie Joss, 1.887
  3. Jack Pfiester, 2.024
  4. Joe Wood, 2.030
  5. Jim Devlin, 2.050
  6. Mordecai Brown, 2.057
  7. John Ward, 2.102
  8. Christy Mathewson, 2.133
  9. Al Spalding, 2.136
  10. Rube Waddell, 2.161
  11. Walter Johnson, 2.167
  12. x- Mariano Rivera, 2.214
  13. Jack Weimer, 2.231
  14. Orval Overall, 2.233
  15. Will White, 2.276
  16. Babe Ruth, 2.277
  17. Ed Reulbach, 2.284
  18. Jim Scott, 2.298
  19. Tommy Bond, 2.312
  20. Reb Russell, 2.334
  21. Andy Coakley, 2.350
  22. Eddie Plank, 2.350
  23. Larry Corcoran, 2.355
  24. George McQuillan, 2.381
  25. Eddie Cicotte, 2.382 
Active Players Closing In 
x-Johnathan Papelbon, 286
x-Jose Valverde, 286

 

CAREER SAVE LEADERS

05-05-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

  1. Mariano Rivera, 652
  2. Trevor Hoffman, 601
  3. Lee Smith, 478
  4. John Franco, 424
  5. Billy Wagner, 422
  6. Dennis Eckersley, 390
  7. Jeff Reardon, 367
  8. Troy Percival, 358
  9. Randy Meyers, 347
  10. Rollie Fingers, 341
  11. x-Joe Nathan, 341
  12. John Wetteland, 330
  13. Francisco Cordero, 329
  14. Roberto Hernandez, 326
  15. Jose Mesa, 321
  16. Todd Jones, 319
  17. Rick Aguilera, 318
  18. Robb Nen, 314
  19. Tom Henke, 311
  20. Rich "Goose" Gossage, 310
  21. Jeff Montgomery, 304
  22. x-Francisco Rodriquez, 304
  23. Doug Jones, 303
  24. x-Jason Isringhausen, 300
  25. Bruce Sutter, 300

 

Major League Baseball Pitching Leaders

04-30-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

CAREER WIN LEADERS

  1. Cy Young, 511
  2. Walter Johnson, 417
  3. Grover Alexander, 373
  4. Christy Mathewson, 373
  5. Pud Galvin, 364
  6. Warren Spahn, 363
  7. Kid Nichols, 361
  8. Greg Maddux, 355
  9. Roger Clemens, 354
  10. Tim Keefe, 344
  11. Steve Carlton, 329
  12. John Clarkson, 328
  13. Eddie S. Plank, 326
  14. Don Sutton, 324
  15. Nolan Ryan, 324
  16. Phil Niekro, 318
  17. Gaylord Perry, 314
  18. Tom Seaver, 311
  19. Charlie Old Hoss Radbourn, 308
  20. Mickey Welch, 307
  21. Tom Glavine, 305 
  22. Randy Johnson, 303
  23. Early Wynn, 300
  24. Lefty Grove, 300
  25. Bobby Mathews, 297

 

CAREER TRIPLES LEADERS

04-28-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
  1. Sam Crawford, 312
  2. Ty Cobb, 297
  3. Honus Wagner, 252
  4. Jake Beckley, 244
  5. Roger Connor, 233
  6. Tris Speaker, 223
  7. Fred Clarke, 223
  8. Dan Brouthers, 206
  9. Joe Kelley, 194
  10. Paul Waner, 190
  11. Bid McPhee, 189
  12. Eddie Collins Sr., 187
  13. Ed Delahanty, 185
  14. Sam Rice, 184
  15. Jesse Burkett, 182
  16. Edd Roush, 182
  17. Ed Konetchy, 182
  18. Buck Ewing, 178
  19. Stan Musial, 177
  20. Rabbit Maranville, 177
  21. Harry Stovey, 174
  22. Goose Goslin, 173
  23. Tommy Leach, 172
  24. Zack Wheat, 172
  25. Rogers Hornsby, 159

How many names do you recognize? It's interesting to see that triples in baseball have become a lost art. Are the stadiums smaller? Are the outfielders faster? Are their arms stronger? Or are coaches risk averse since a player can score from second on a single and the benefit of being 90 feet closer is simply to score on a sacrifice fly? We would love to hear your opinions on "where have all the triples gone?"

Active players with the most triples

  • Carl Crawford 120 age 33
  • Jose Reyes 115 age 32
  • Jimmy Rollins 112 age 36
 

Bat + Ball = Excitement

04-24-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »
Ever since the first recorded game, June 19, 1846 at Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey, the spirit of baseball has swept America off its feet. Although changes have altered the sport throughout the years, the foundation upon which baseball was built still remains the same. That foundation is the classic conflict between the pitcher and batter. It is this conflict that continues to amaze the older fans and attract the new ones.
 

CAREER DOUBLES LEADERS

04-23-2015  |  By: X Bats |  (0) Post comment »  |  Read comments »

  1. Tris Speaker, 793
  2. Pete Rose Sr., 746
  3. Stan Musial, 725
  4. Ty Cobb, 724
  5. Craig Biggio, 668
  6. George Brett, 665
  7. Nap Lajoie, 657
  8. Carl Yastrzemski, 646
  9. Honus Wagner, 640
  10. Hank Aaron, 624
  11. Paul Molitor, 605
  12. Paul Waner, 605
  13. Cal Ripken, 603
  14. Barry Bonds, 601
  15. Luis Gonzales, 596
  16. Todd Helton, 592
  17. Rafael Palmeiro, 585
  18. Robin Yount, 583
  19. Cap Anson, 581
  20. Wade Boggs 578
  21. Charlie Gehringer, 574
  22. Ivan Rodriguez, 572
  23. Bobby Abreau, 565
  24. 24. Jeff Kent, 560 
  25. Eddie Murray, 560