In 1857, the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club called a general convention of the New York area clubs. Daniel Lucius ‘Doc’ Adams, the long time Knickerbocker president, was selected to serve as president of the convention and drafted the rules in the ‘Laws of Base Ball”. The recently re-discovered ‘Laws’ sold at auction for $3.26M in 2016, setting a new record for a baseball document. What five rules of the modern game did the ‘Laws’ establish for the first time?

  1. The distance between the bases was set to 90 feet.
  2. The number of men to a side was set to nine.
  3. The duration of the game was set to nine innings (rather than first club to score 21 runs).
  4. The distance from the pitcher to the plate was specified (the distance has been changed twice, remaining constant since 1893).
  5. Constraints were placed on betting and “revolving” (the practice by which a man could play for another club whenever he liked).