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Evolution of Pitching in Major League Baseball

William F. McNeil

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ISBN 10: 0786424680 / ISBN 13: 9780786424689
Published by McFarland, 2006
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Evolution of Pitching in Major League ...

Publisher: McFarland

Publication Date: 2006

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Good

About this title


Are today's major league baseball pitchers better than ever? Or do they pale in comparison to the great hurlers of 20, 30 or 40 years ago? This book tackles a debate that has been traveling baseball circles for several years. With changes in everything from the size of the playing field to the composition of the ball, it's a tall task to compare pitchers over the 170 year history of the sport in America. This author does a meticulous job. No stone is unturned as he delves into every facet from the ancient roots of the game to bigger size of today's players. The first chapters reach back to the first known batting contests in Egypt 5,000 years ago and bring readers to a popular 18th century English game called rounders, which evolved into organized baseball in 19th century America. The author then paces through the changes in rules that helped mold baseball into its modern form, and discusses innovators like James "Jimmy" Creighton and Asa Brainard, early stars like Cy Young and Walter Johnson, and modern day standouts such as Roger Clemens and Kerry Woods. The book explores rule changes, adaptations to pitching and pitching strategies, and the effect of pitcher injuries and conditioning, among other influences. Fourteen former major league players comment on the game. In the final chapter, the author reviews what has happened to major league pitching. An appendix gives stats for major league starting pitchers with comparisons by era, those with more than 5,000 career innings pitched, relief pitchers, and their single season save records. Another table takes a look at the increase in major league home runs from 1919 to 2004.

About the Author:

William F. McNeil is a long-time baseball historian and the author of numerous books on the game. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), he is the recipient of five Robert Peterson awards for increasing the public's awareness of the Negro Leagues. He lives in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

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