A Tale of Two Leagues

How Baseball Changed as the Rules, Ball, Franchises, Stadiums and Players Changed, 1900–1998

$29.95

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About the Book

With the advent of interleague play and the realignment resulting from both the Milwaukee Brewers’ jump from the American League to the National League and the creation of Central divisions, many baseball fans cried foul, claiming that their beloved game was being governed by infidels who cared nothing for tradition. These exasperated purists complained that realignment would mean the loss of existing rivalries, that interleague play would cheapen the thrill of the World Series, and that each move would contribute to the loss of statistical continuity. But change, even radical change, is nothing new to baseball.
Arguing that self-alteration is perhaps the national pastime’s truest tradition, this book shows that it is customary for management to change not only the rules, but the ball, the franchises, and the stadiums. The author considers the key rule changes, franchise moves, ball modifications, and variations in the player pool, and traces the effects each of these had on the game’s statistics.

About the Author(s)

Statistical analyst Russell O. Wright is the author of a series of Chronology reference works on subjects including American housing, education, immigration, public health, transportation, and the stock market. He is also the author of several McFarland baseball books and lives in Rancho Palos Verdes, California.

Bibliographic Details

Russell O. Wright
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 224
Bibliographic Info: 80 diagrams, 11 tables, chronologies, index
Copyright Date: 2014 [1999]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9374-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Acknowledgments v

List of Figures ix

List of Chronologies and Tables xii

Preface 1

Introduction 3


Part I: The Chronologies 7

Development of the Rules, Ball, and Franchises 8

Stadiums and Yearly Changes 15


Part II: Offensive Measures 21

Runs 22

Batting Average 42

Home Runs 62

Stolen Bases 82

Part III: Defensive Measures 103

Strikeouts 104

Walks 124

Errors 144

Double Plays 164

Part IV: Leaders and Records 185

Offensive and Defensive Leaders 186

Records and the Designated Hitter 204


Index 209

Book Reviews & Awards

“[an] interesting book”—Choice; “Wright catalogues the shifting tides of a game many otherwise believe is much the same as it was a hundred years ago”—USA Today Sports Weekly; “liberal use of charts, chronologies and lists”—Sports Collectors Digest; “highly recommended”—Midwest Book Review.