Clipping:Interpreting the new pitching rules 2

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Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887

[from an interview of Lon Knight, describing the AA umpires' meeting 3/7] The pitching rules came in for the greatest share of our attention. We worked about two hours over them. There was a large diagram drawn on a blackboard, which afforded us practical illustration. Now the pitcher, in the first place, will have to face the batter. This won't mean, as it did last year, turn the face merely, but it means turn the whole body. I thought of this point, and said:--'Gentlemen, you had this in your rules last year and it amounted to nothing.' Then we had a great kick and talk, and finally decided that to face meant literally to turn, practically, the whole body. Now, in the case of a right-handed pitcher, he will stand with his right foot on the rear line of his position. This, you will observe, will enable him to stand in a three-quarter position and yet show the umpire and batsmen his whole front. This is what the umpire will exact. The ball, too, must be in plain sight all the time. It cannot be hidden behind the back or upon the hip. Of course, the pitcher will swing his arm back before the last motion is made to deliver the ball. This will be allowable, but when the ball is delivered both feet must be upon the ground. The pitcher can step forward one step in delivering the ball, and he can even be out of his box after the ball has finally left his hand and his delivery is completed without incurring a penalty. … Any illegal delivery is a balk, and gives the batter and base-runner his base. Any motion that the pitcher makes to throw with his arms before he moves his body will be a balk. If he wants to throw to a base he must do no fooling. He must turn and throw, and must then come back to position. He can feint all he wants to, but he must turn to do so, and must return to position before pitching. This is imperative.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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