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   Changing the Rules
   Chronology of Changes to Major League Baseball Official Rules

Table 6: Changes to Rule 6




Table 6. Changes to Rule 6 (The Batter)
DATE RULE CHANGE Rule
1858 Balls caught on one hop are no longer outs. 6.05
1858 The called strike is introduced. 6.05
1879 All pitched balls must be called strikes, balls, or fouls. The number of strikes in an out is officially three. 6.05
1879 There are nine balls in a walk. 6.08A
1880 The catcher is required to catch a third strike on the fly 6.05
1880 The base on balls decreases to eight. 6.08A
1881 The base on balls is seven. 6.08A
1883 A foul ball caught on the bounce ceases to be an out. It must be caught before it touches the ground. 6.05A
1884 A base on balls is six. 6.08A
1886 A base on balls is five. 6.08A
1887 A batter hit by a pitched ball is entitled to first base and not charged with a time at bat 6.08b
1887 The batter is no longer allowed to request a high or low pitch. 6.08b
1887 A strike-out is called on four strikes. (This rule lasted only one season.) 6.05
1888 . The strikeout is back to three strikes. 6.05
1888 It is a ground-rule double instead of a home run if the ball is batted over the fence in fair territory where the fence is less than 210 feet from home plate 6.09
1888 A hit batsman is awarded first base and credited with a hit. 6.08
1889 A base on balls is four, and there it remains. 6.08A
1892 It's a ground-rule double instead of a home run if the ball is hit over the fence in fair territory if the fence is less than 235 feet from home plate. 6.09
1894 The batter is charged with a strike for hitting a foul bunt. 6.05D
1895 . The infield fly rule is adopted: the umpire may call an infield fly when there is one out and first and second or first, second, and third base are occupied. 6.05E
1895 A strike is charged to a batter for a foul tip. 6.05A
1901 The first two fouls are termed strikes (in the National League). 6.05B
1901 The infield fly rule is in effect when there are no outs as well as one out. 6.05E
1901 The American League joins the majors (the National League got started in 1876), and the rule discrepancies begin. For instance, the National League declares that any foul ball not caught on the fly is a strike unless the batter has two strikes on him. The AL does not agree-at least not right away. 6.05
1903 The American League agrees that any foul ball not caught on the fly is a strike unless the batter has two strikes on him. 6.05
1926 It is a ground-rule double instead of a home run if the ball is hit over the fence in fair territory if the fence is less than 250 feet from home plate. 6.09
1931 A fair ball that bounces through or over a fence or into the stands is considered a ground-rule double instead of a home run. 6.09
1973 The year of the DH. The American League votes to accept the designated hitter rule on a three-year experimental basis. The National League votes against it. 6.1
1976 The American League accepts the DH as a permanent part of the rules. The National League reaffirms its opposition. 6.1

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JCBA Vol. 20. Rule 6 Changes
URL: http://www.cosmicbaseball.com/jcba20_rule6.html
Published: December 15, 2001
Copyright © 2001 by the Cosmic Baseball Association
email: editor@cosmicbaseball.com

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