Landers: Why is a game 9 innings? The backstories behind baseball’s iconic rules

From Chris Landers at MLB’s Cut 4 on December 16, 2016:

For decades, baseball has remained such a constant that its rules and structure have become as cherished as its greatest players. The run-scoring environment might have changed a bit since 1905, but the fundamental look and feel of the game hasn’t. Legendary sportswriter and Spink Award winner Red Smith, as always, said it best: “Ninety feet between bases is perhaps as close as man has ever come to perfection.”

But, while Red certainly had a point, the story behind that perfection was less divine intervention than a whole lot of trial and error. So, how did baseball get here? Why are there four balls and three strikes, anyway? You have questions, we have answers.

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Originally published: January 4, 2017. Last Updated: January 4, 2017.