The Pitcher’s Mound

Just in case you were curious.

Originally, there wasn’t even a mound on a baseball diamond. Pitchers threw underhand (essentially throwing up), and a mound made no sense whatsoever and wasn’t even thought of. Instead, there was a box with its front edge located 45 feet away from the front edge of the plate, and the ball had to be released within the box. In 1881, it was moved back to 50 feet to increase offense, which they knew even then increased attendance. Up to that point, pitchers worked quite well throwing underhand with two perfect games already thrown, but when you hear “Hit it back through the box”, this is where that phrase comes from as players literally hit it back through the box when hitting it up the middle.

Four years later, pitchers were allowed to throw overhand, tilting the power back in favor of the pitcher. In 1887, the box was standardized to size of 4 feet wide by 5 and half feet long. Why is this important? It increased the total distance of box to plate to 55 feet, 6 inches, and pitchers now had to pitch from the back of the box. Another six years passed, and the box became obsolete, and the rubber was introduced. Offense began reigning supreme again, and pitchers realized that a plate (or rubber as it was later called) increased velocity. Also, 5 more feet were added to the distance to hopefully completely even things out, making the distance 60 feet, 6 inches.

After refining their techniques of throwing overhand, pitchers also realized that a mound could help. At this point, their momentum took the pitch to the upper part of the zone, but a mound could redirect that, lower. Groundscrews began tinkering with the idea, adding an inch here and there, but it was not standardized. John Montgomery Ward took credit for the invention of the mound, but it’s not really known who really started it. Shibe Park was rumored to have a 20 inch mound, but most others were around 15 or 16 inches high. In 1903 with the combining of leagues, standardization was desired, and the mound now had to be 15 inches high.

This worked for a number of years, but after 1968 and a thorough domination by pitchers, the MLB pushed back for offense. The mound was lowered to 10 inches to decrease the downward plane given to pitchers. It worked.

Today, the mound is in the center of the diamond (duh), the middle sitting 59 feet from the plate. Exactly 18 inches back from that, the rubber sits at 60 feet, 6 inches. The mound, itself, is 18 feet in diameter. It can only be 10 inches taller, but some pitchers will tell you that visiting bullpen mounds are not to standard heights, making it difficult to adjust. I do not believe that there are rules about bullpen mounds.

While there are no rules regarding the height of bullpen mounds, there are common sense rules that one should follow when betting online. Be smart and know your limits. Responsible
wagering is the key to a positive gaming experience. Remember, your actions directly effect family and friends.


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