Bock: Meet the man who created the shortstop position

From Hal Bock at NY Sports Day on September 3, 2017:

You probably never heard of Doc Adams but that’s all right because a lot of people around modern baseball never have either. They are too busy with fancy analytics and esoteric statistics. That’s a shame, since without ol’ Doc, there would be a bushel full of base hits squirting between second and third base because he’s the man who invented the position of shortstop.

Unconcerned by today’s fascination with the exit velocity of the baseball, Doc Adams paid more attention to simpler issues like that gap between second and third base and the difficulty outfielders had relaying what in the 1850’s was a lightweight baseball. So Adams invented a solution, a player who would drift beyond the infield to make those throws from the outfield less demanding.

Nobody occupied that area of the diamond until Adams realized it would help the outfielders and, in the bargain, aid infielders defend a crucial piece of the diamond’s geography.

Smart cookie, this Adams fellow.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: September 5, 2017. Last Updated: September 5, 2017.