Baseball innovations over the years and today - Art Source - Patents As Art

Baseball innovations over the years and today

April 21, 2022

vintage Fenway Park baseball artwork

Baseball, more than any other major sport in the US is considered to be the purest game as it was originally intended to be played.  Perhaps, that’s a main reason why it’s considered “America’s Game” and is rabidly beloved by it’s statistics loving fan base.  Many fans would be surprised, however, at how many innovations have been made over the years that have made the game more entertaining and competitive.  

As we are now hearing about a major change coming in 2023 for the MLB, the implementation of a pitch clock, to speed up the game, we thought we’d look back at some of the other improvements over the decades that have made the game better.

Pitching has changed a lot over the years. In the early days of baseball, pitchers threw underhand and didn't have a lot of control over where the ball went. Today, pitchers throw overhand and can place the ball exactly where they want it.  With advances in training and technology, pitchers are now able to throw harder and with more accuracy than ever before. These days, it's not uncommon for pitchers to throw over 100 miles per hour. And while some hitters can still manage to hit these pitches, it's become much more difficult to do so.

In addition to throwing harder, pitchers are also now able to throw more types of pitches. This can make it difficult for hitters to predict what a pitcher is going to throw next. There are now over a dozen different types of pitches that pitchers can throw, and each one has a different effect on the ball. With so many different options, it's become difficult for hitters to know what to expect.

Fielding has changed a bit over the years. In the early days of baseball, fielders didn't have gloves and didn't have a lot of range.The baseball glove is one of the most important inventions in the history of the game. It was first used in the 1870s and quickly became an essential part of the game. The baseball glove not only allows players to catch the ball more easily, but it also protects their hands from injury.  Can you imagine how surpirsed today’s professional players would be to know that gloves didn’t always exist in the game!

The catcher’s mask one of the most important inventions in baseball history This simple piece of equipment has protected catchers from serious injury for over a century.

The first recorded use of a catcher's mask dates back to 1877, when Jim Tyng of Harvard University donned one during a game. Tyng's mask was made of metal and leather and covered his entire face. It was not until 1885 that a player wore a mask in a major league game. That player was Fred Thayer, who played for the Worcester Ruby Legs. Thayer's mask was similar to Tyng's, but it had a single wire running across the front.

The modern catcher's mask was invented in 1887 by Daniel Carter Beard. Beard's mask was much lighter and more comfortable than previous models, and it soon became the standard for all catchers.

As baseball season is back in full swing (get it 😄 ) We celebrate baseball and it’s new rules and inventions.  We can’t wait to see how the new pitch clock rule will impact the game.  Already in the minor leagues games are at least 20 minutes faster without having a significant impact on scoring. Have a happy baseball season!

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