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 Post subject: Changes in the Game
PostPosted: January 2 19, 10:02 am 
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tl;dr

Joined: May 21 09, 12:41 pm
Posts: 4168
Since the thread about Babe Ruth when down the rabbit hole and got locked, I will just post this here and hopefully we can not get this one locked. Last night I was having trouble sleeping and saw that the MLB Network was replaying the Don Larson's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Wow. The game was a lot different back then.

I was amazed at how quickly the game went. It was almost as if they wanted to get out of the ballpark as fast as possible while still winning. The pitchers weren't messing around and throwing strikes. The batters weren't taking pitches very often and swung at the first pitch a lot. Then after an at bat was over the next guy walked straight to the box and was ready to hit as soon as the play before was over. No stepping out after every pitch to adjust batting gloves (which they didn't even have) and stuff like that. It wasn't nearly as slow paced as it is now.

Other observations:

When they threw the ball around the horn after a play, they even included the catcher and just went right around in reverse order.

The pitching motions were far more simple and more like what you see in batting practice with a simple step back added and maybe something with the hands from the pitchers I saw in that game. It was hard to tell with the camera angle and quality but it seemed like there were only two pitches being thrown, fastball and change up. I only heard change up mentioned once (only saw the last four innings) and never noticed a pitcher shaking off a sign which made me wonder if they were even throwing anything than a single pitch and just varying location and maybe speed a little.

The swings of a lot of guys were... not fundamentally sound. The art of hitting has really advanced since those days. Not just the swing itself but things like taking pitches to wait for the one you want and really just everything. It seemed like half of them were just throwing the bat out there and almost corkscrewing themselves into the ground with every swing. The swings were not balanced at all.

The in game advertisements and comedy bits were awesome. I particularly loved the commentator pitching the Ball Point Pen for $1.45. It had TWO cartridges so that when one ran out you could open it up and swap them around.

I need to watch more old games from that era while I'm not dead tired at 3am and unable to sleep to really get a grasp on just how different things are.

That being said, I have no doubt that those guys could adapt to the current science behind the game and be productive players in this era but no way they would make a college team today with the way they were pitching and hitting back then.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes in the Game
PostPosted: January 2 19, 10:08 am 
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Everday Unicorn
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Joined: April 21 06, 10:14 am
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Location: Austin, TX
Imagine being a pitcher or hitter at the top level and never seeing tape of your own mechanics (much less your opponents' mechanics and tactics - particularly in football!). Pretty interesting to think that that was just how it worked in all sports until pretty recently.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes in the Game
PostPosted: January 2 19, 10:15 am 
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GRB's obsessive compulsive baseball poster
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Pitchers being legit able to back it down to 75-80% on basically 6-9 of the order must have been nice.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes in the Game
PostPosted: January 2 19, 12:51 pm 
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tl;dr

Joined: May 21 09, 12:41 pm
Posts: 4168
Now I'm also thinking about how important advanced scouts were back in those days. Now they have all the video they could ever ask for and then some. Back then the only option would be to have advanced scouts at all of the games of the teams you have coming up on your schedule watching the games and reporting on everything they can see for themselves.

Having a great advanced scouting staff would have given a team a serious advantage assuming they could effectively relay it to a manager who could then manage accordingly and effectively share the information with his players.

We debate the manager's actual impact in the modern game but thinking about it like this makes me think that managers in previous eras probably had a much larger potential impact on wins than they currently do. Back in the 50s they didn't have 10 coaches each specializing in one aspect of the game to help them out (the Cardinals manager had 3 helpers in 1956 and 10 for 2018 not including the manager) by watching video and working with the players. All of that responsibility which is now shared by the coaching staff to prepare a team for the next game/series was on the manager being able to either work with the scouting reports or just pick it up the tendencies and such himself during the actual games. That is, if they really did put that much effort into preparing instead of taking the approach that my coed beer league teams do which is just see who shows up and how they feel that particular day with no real knowledge of the other team that goes beyond playing them in previous seasons.

*** 1956 was also the year that the Cards traded Red Schoendienst and some others to the New York Giants for some other guys I'm not familiar with off the top of my head.


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 Post subject: Re: Changes in the Game
PostPosted: January 2 19, 10:02 pm 
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AAA Minor League Player
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Joined: December 30 18, 2:28 pm
Posts: 59
Location: Chambersburg, Pennsylvania
tlombard wrote:
Since the thread about Babe Ruth when down the rabbit hole and got locked, I will just post this here and hopefully we can not get this one locked. Last night I was having trouble sleeping and saw that the MLB Network was replaying the Don Larson's perfect game in the 1956 World Series. Wow. The game was a lot different back then.

I was amazed at how quickly the game went. It was almost as if they wanted to get out of the ballpark as fast as possible while still winning. The pitchers weren't messing around and throwing strikes. The batters weren't taking pitches very often and swung at the first pitch a lot. Then after an at bat was over the next guy walked straight to the box and was ready to hit as soon as the play before was over. No stepping out after every pitch to adjust batting gloves (which they didn't even have) and stuff like that. It wasn't nearly as slow paced as it is now.

Other observations:

When they threw the ball around the horn after a play, they even included the catcher and just went right around in reverse order.

The pitching motions were far more simple and more like what you see in batting practice with a simple step back added and maybe something with the hands from the pitchers I saw in that game. It was hard to tell with the camera angle and quality but it seemed like there were only two pitches being thrown, fastball and change up. I only heard change up mentioned once (only saw the last four innings) and never noticed a pitcher shaking off a sign which made me wonder if they were even throwing anything than a single pitch and just varying location and maybe speed a little.

The swings of a lot of guys were... not fundamentally sound. The art of hitting has really advanced since those days. Not just the swing itself but things like taking pitches to wait for the one you want and really just everything. It seemed like half of them were just throwing the bat out there and almost corkscrewing themselves into the ground with every swing. The swings were not balanced at all.

The in game advertisements and comedy bits were awesome. I particularly loved the commentator pitching the Ball Point Pen for $1.45. It had TWO cartridges so that when one ran out you could open it up and swap them around.

I need to watch more old games from that era while I'm not dead tired at 3am and unable to sleep to really get a grasp on just how different things are.

That being said, I have no doubt that those guys could adapt to the current science behind the game and be productive players in this era but no way they would make a college team today with the way they were pitching and hitting back then.

I saw that game on tv, 1956, WGAL out of Lancaster Pennsylvania, when we lived on Marshall Street, with our new tv aerial. Really. I don’t remember much, I was about 10. I posted about it in another thread, on our 12” black and white. Yogi jumped right into Don’s arms. But you are right about the speed of the game.


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