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Significant changes in the MLB over the years
Dec 13, 2021, 4:16:00 AM

Significant changes in the MLB over the years

Baseball has one of the most complex rules and mechanics out of the major sports in the world. The inception of the MLB revolutionized the sport itself, it has since then changed its rules and mechanics that paved the way for the sport to evolve.

In 1969, the New York Mets secured the victory and won the World Series. While the Mets team is still playing in Queens, there have been so many changes since then that allowed newer players to experience a different kind of sport entirely.

Most of the time, the changes are simply due to how technology has evolved, or how each mechanic gets more refined to make the game much more appealing to both players and fans.

Going back to how it started, baseball was simply a sport that everyone can follow due the accessibility of the equipment and wide range of playing grounds to enjoy the sport in. Below is a series of events and mechanics changed throughout the years of MLB, the most prestigious baseball league in the world.

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A designated hitter

Before 1973, a designated hitter didn’t exist where a batter’s only purpose of a game is to start the offence. The increased offence in the league had it dubbed ‘pitcher’s league’ because the batter replaced the spot of the pitcher as the primary offense operator to score as many points as possible.

A pitcher may be generating the defensive side, it used to be the batters getting all the glory. However, with how positions are so streamlined, anyone can make the game much more interesting. Each role is designed to specifically do a purpose that can go out of its initial function. A designated hitter, for instance, replaces the pitcher’s spot in the batting order which the defence isn’t utilized as much, and therefore running a more offensive mindset in today’s MLB.


As mentioned earlier, technology has played a vital role in the changes made to baseball. For starters, stats today are way easier to record like speed and distance of a pitch ball, and the distance of a catcher from the initial fall of a wide hit.

Now, you have so much equipment like radar guns in measuring distance and speed of a pitcher’s throw. There are also jumbotrons that record players and the field itself for people to see easier, and replays that allow referees to judge the game more accurately.

It’s simply marvelous to see tech being used in sports today. The MLB happens to be one of the most important leagues to have accurate and advanced technology to make the game much more enjoyable and fairer to watch.

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Wild cards

In 1969, both the American and the National League were split into two parts known as divisions, each with a division winner who will be meeting in the playoffs. Fast-forward to 1995, the playoff system has changed that instituted its very first wild card bracket. Teams who have not been included in the top spots of their respective divisions will battle it out to get to the playoffs and grab the opportunity to compete at a higher level.

In today’s MLB, there are two wild card teams who will meet in a single playoff game to determine which one will advance to the division series rounds where the top heavy teams are waiting for a matchup of their lives.

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Interleague play

Before the 1997 season, the only times the best players have faced off and battled it out to commemorate their supremacy in the league are during Spring Training, the All-Star Game, and the World Series.

Other than those brackets, MLB teams must follow a strict schedule where they have to compete accordingly with the opposing teams that are next in line under their schedules. However, the strike in 1994 has ensued in hopes to increase the popularity of baseball. Thus, the league created what’s known today as the Interleague play where the American League division and the National League division go at it to figure out who is the better conference.

Pitch clocks

During the Spring Training of the 2019 season, the league introduced its very own pitch clock that will speed up the games where fans bemoan how lengthy some of the games can become.

This feature includes shortening inning minutes and mound visits in order to compensate for the many dull moments of baseball where fans awkwardly wait for a team turnover or in-between innings.

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World Baseball Classic and international games

In 1996, Major League Baseball held its first regular season matchup outside of the United States or North America in general in Monterrey, Mexico. Ever since then, matchups have been held in many countries like Australia and Japan.

As the sport becomes more global by the second, baseball will continue to impress a lot of people that will bring interest to many generations of fans who will enjoy every bit of baseball they can muster.

Streaming services and MLB media

With how streamlined everything is right now, baseball is no exception. Sports networks from different countries talk about various sports where people can tune in. These media spokespeople make the media scene interesting. With streaming services, it’s easy to tune in and watch the latest coverage news of your favourite team being covered by your preferred media outlet.

Furthermore, with how accessible these platforms are to the general public, knowledge in baseball becomes more widespread for people who want to learn more about the sport and the major leagues. It calls for more awareness and marketing for the sport and it’s one of the bigger reasons why baseball has become global.

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Words: Vonn Consul

Image: PA