Catcher’s Box (1883)

“The Blues were white washed in the first inning and then Doss took the catchers box and Marquette scored but two runs in the next four innings making a total of six only ….” The McPherson {KS} Freeman, September 28, 1883, p3 [Ken Liss]

“Trot, his catcher, was not up to his usual standard either, and played a very slovenly game.  The catcher’s box is a poor place for a left-handed thrower, as was shown in yesterday’s game.  For a Cincinnati player to reach first was nearly equivalent to going to third.”   Cincinnati Enquirer, July 13, 1884, p10 [Richard Henderson]

  • NOTE: The interesting thing is that there was in fact no such thing in 1884, except in the very loosest sense.  The first and third baselines extended backwards into foul territory, with the wedge behind the plate reserved for the catcher and umpire.  “Catcher’s box” wouldn’t be used in the rules until 1950.  The 1884 usage seems to have been in parallel with “pitcher’s box,” which was a standard term. (Richard Henderson)