Today in History: April 12

vic_willis_catchers_mask

 

In 1877,

Less perilous the catcher's task

As baseball permitted

You could wear a mask.*

The first of the "tools of ignorance",  the 1900 version is pictured above. It was a Harvard student who came up with the prototype.  At first the fans thought it would reflect on the manliness of the game.  But it actually freed the pitcher from worrying about battering his battery mate.  Now the hurler could use the newly developed curveball and any future trick of the trade with a clear conscience.  And the catcher's face didn't need to be rearranged.

harvard-nine-2

 

Filed under: History by day

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  • Other than not having the flap under the chin, this doesn't look any different than the current one.Maybe it's because they didn't have 4k iPhone cameras in 1877.

    Also not disclosed is when baseball players first wore the cup.

  • Aha, battering in the battery... so that's why the pitcher and catcher, who are not the batters, are called that. Hmm.

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