Why are baseball games nine innings long?


A fun historical dive over at Mental Floss, with a heavy assist from baseball historian John Thorn. The question: why baseball games are nine innings long.

No, the answer is not about some previous effort to pick up pace of play in light of players like, um, Eli-David Ortizerson constantly adjusting his batting girdle or whatever the heck went on in the 19th century. It was really about a battle to keep a baseball club exclusive — and back then, they really were “clubs” in the common definition of the term — and a somewhat obsessive desire to have the number of innings match the number of players, even though there is no logical reason why those things should be the same.

A good, fun read. And a reminder that, like a lot of things in this country, baseball began by a bunch of white guys who wanted to keep their little club exclusive and keep out the riffraff.