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   Changing the Rules
   Chronology of Changes to Major League Baseball Official Rules

Table G: Rule Changes 1900-1909

Table G: Rule Changes 1900-1909
1900 A pitcher must win at least fifteen games to qualify as the league leader in the category of Winning Percentage. (The earlier rule stated that a pitcher must appear in twenty-five games.) 10.23
1900 The shape of home plate is changed, from a twelve-inch square to a five-sided figure seventeen inches wide. 1.05
1901 The first two fouls are termed strikes (in the National League). 6.05B
1901 The catcher is no longer allowed to catch two strikes on a bounce. 4.03
1901 The infield fly rule is in effect when there are no outs as well as one out. 6.05E
1901 The American League joins the majors (the National League got started in 1876), and the rule discrepancies begin. For instance, the National League declares that any foul ball not caught on the fly is a strike unless the batter has two strikes on him. The AL does not agree-at least not right away. 6.05
1901 If an offense is "flagrant" enough, the league president may suspend a player or coach who has been fined and/or ejected by an umpire 9.05C
1903 If there is only one umpire in a game, he may stand anywhere on the field he likes. 9.03A
1903 The American League agrees that any foul ball not caught on the fly is a strike unless the batter has two strikes on him. 6.05
1904 The height of the pitcher's mound is established. It may not be higher than fifteen inches above the base lines and home plate 1.07
1906 The umpire gets authority over the groundskeeper. 9.01E
1908 Pitchers are forbidden to scuff or soil a new ball. 8.02
1908 The sacrifice fly rule is adopted, exempting the batter from an at-bat when a run scores after a catch. 10.09
1908 Four umpires are assigned to the World Series for the first time. Only two work in a game at a given time.  
1909 The pitcher or catcher is charged with an error if a batter reaches first base on a wild pitch or passed ball. 10.13
1909 All four umpires assigned to the World Series work in each game.  
1909 A bunt on a third strike is a strikeout. The catcher is credited with the putout. 10.17
1909 If a runner is thrown out on an attempted double-steal, neither runner shall be credited with a stolen base. 10.08

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JCBA Vol. 20. Rule Changes (1900-1909)
Published: December 15, 2001
Copyright © 2001 by the Cosmic Baseball Association