Craig Calcaterra

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Baseball’s original rules sell for $3.26 million


We recently linked a story from baseball’s official historian John Thorn about the 1857 meeting in which the rules of baseball, which had been played for some time, were revised, formalized and written down. Stuff like clubs agreeing that you have to catch a ball on the fly to be out and that sort of thing.

The notes of the meeting were written in longhand and they still exist. And, as Richard Sandomir notes in the New York Times, they just sold for a lot of money:

A group of documents from 1857 that set down some of the fundamental rules of baseball was acquired at auction Sunday by an unidentified buyer for $3.26 million, making it one of the highest-priced pieces of sports memorabilia . . . “Laws,” which was written by Daniel Adams, who was known as Doc, established rules such as nine men on a side, 90-foot base paths and nine innings to a game. Adams played for the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, where he pioneered the shortstop position, and later became its president as baseball’s popularity increased. He referred to batters as “strikers,” balks as “baulks” and runs as “aces.”

If these go for that kind of money, just imagine what the unwritten rules would go for.

The Braves have tried to, hahahaha, trade Hector Olivera

Atlanta Braves' Hector Olivera heads to first base after hitting a double in the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015, in Miami. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz)

Yahoo’s Jeff Passan reports that the Braves have tried to trade Hector Olivera since his arrest for assault and battery earlier this month in Arlington, Virginia.

Good luck with that, boys.

Olivera is on administrative leave and a suspension is likely coming under MLB’s domestic violence policy. And he’s not shown that he’s a good player. Other than that, sure, he’s totally someone a team would give something up to sign. One opposing executive told Passan that he “can’t believe they even asked.”

And you think the Braves actual on-the-field performance is pathetic.

Strobe specs have fixed Joe Mauer

Minnesota Twins first baseman Joe Mauer watches his single off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Nick Tropeano during the first inning of their baseball game, Sunday April 17, 2016 in Minneapolis.(AP Photo/Andy Clayton-King)

Well, not by themselves. Recovering from brain injuries takes time and care, not just new glasses, and it’s been a long road back to productivity and health for Joe Mauer. But Joe Mauer is back this year, hitting .328/.452/.448. His batting eye is back, with his strikeouts down and his walks up and he looks like the old Joe Mauer in the early going.

As Mike Berardino reports in the Pioneer Press, part of that recovery involves some new glasses for training. Training with friggin’ strobe lights:

For that resurgence, at least some of the credit must go to the discontinued, goggle-like glasses Nike sent him this offseason. Mauer brought them to spring training and showed them to hitting coach Tom Brunansky, who became an instant believer.

Young Twins hitters such as Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario have been using the dark, wraparound glasses that include a small control switch on the frame to alter the speed at which the internal strobe light flashes. Korean slugger Byung Ho Park has tried the technique, as well.

It’s hard to get an idea of how that all works, but basically, it seems, the strobe is just causing you to get less visual information about the incoming pitch and requires you to either anticipate where the ball is or to just respond more quickly. Sort of like the blast shield on Luke’s helmet when he’s training with his light saber on the Millennium Falcon or something.

Either way, it’s cool to see Mauer hitting again.