Friday, August 08, 2008


Alexander Cartwright codified the original rules for baseball in 1845. June 19, 1846 marks the first game, between the Knickerbockers and the New York nine, to be played under these rules.

  1. The bases shall be from "home" to second base, 42 paces; from first to third base, 42 paces - equidistant.
  2. The game to consist of 21 counts or aces, but at the conclusion an equal number of hands must be played.
  3. The ball must be pitched, and not thrown, for the bat.
  4. A ball knocked outside the range of the first or third base, is foul.
  5. Three balls being struck at and missed and the last one caught is a hand out; if not caught, is considered fair, the striker bound to run.
  6. A ball being struck or tipped and caught either flying or on the first bound is a hand out.
  7. A player, running the bases, shall be out if the ball is in the hands of an adversary on the base, or the runner is touched by it before he makes his base; it being understood, however, that in no instance is a ball to be thrown at him.
  8. A player running, who shall prevent an adversary from catching or getting the ball before making his base, is a hand out.
  9. If two hands are already out a player running home at the time a ball is struck, cannot make an ace if the striker is caught out.
  10. Three hands out, all out.
  11. Players must take their strike in regular turn.
  12. No ace or base can be made on a foul strike.
  13. A runner cannot be put out in making one base when a balk is made by the pitcher.
  14. But one base allowed when the ball bounds out of the field when struck.
- Baseball's Book of Firsts

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