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Baseball Innovations of the Past

Baseball technology has improved dramatically since the game was invented. Majestic Athletic-wear and The Weather Channel recently released a YouTube video explaining the technology behind the fabric of player jerseys:

Subtle innovations like creating a fabric that allows sweat to evaporate more easily improves the player’s experience on the field, and is a big improvement on wool jerseys. Performance increases with good innovations like this.

We take a look at a few of the forgotten, bad baseball innovations.

Irrigation Cleats

The head groundskeeper of the Pirates, Clamp Dinglittle, wanted to cut his work time in half by having the outfielders wear these cleats to irrigate the field during the game, instead of staying up late or getting up early. Six broken ankles saw these new shoes in the trash.

Medieval Body Armor

Catchers were getting beat up due to lack of body protection. This caused Glefty Haldale to create for his Cardinals the most durable, and intimidating, body armor based off an idea he saw in a dusty book at the local library. It did not work out as the protection was simply too strong.

X-tra Finger

Patent still pending (after 30 years), Dravis “Gums” Coward created an extra digit to be strapped onto a pitcher’s hand, to create super pitches. It caused more trouble than it was worth, leading to an ERA of 45.32 for pitchers who tried it.

Arms R Bats

Twenty-five years before “X-tra Finger,” Dravis’ father, Pfrit “Goatmeat” Coward, tried to increase production from a depleted offense with the Cincinnati Reds’ implementation of Arms R Bats. Tying bats to player’s arms led to only 32 HR’s that season, and a record 832 errors.

If you could innovate baseball equipment, what would you do? Post in the comments!