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Baseball Rules Committee Enlarges Strike Zone

Jan. 26, 1963 - Baseball’s rules committee, in a decisive step to give some relief to home run plagued pitchers, voted unanimously today to enlarge the batter’s strike zone by nearly a foot. This drastic action, recommended by virtually all major league managers, is expected not only to enable the pitcher to better cope with the hitter but to reduce the vast number of bases on balls which lengthened and dragged out games in recent years. The change in the strike zone will be in the area of the batter’s knees and shoulders. Under the new rule, which goes into effect this season, the definition of the strike zone will read: “Space above home plate which is between the top of the batter’s shoulders and his knees when he assumes his natural position…” The old rule, in effect since 1950, reads: “Space above home plate which is between the batter’s armpits and the top of his knees when he assumes his natural stance…” Commented the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax (pictured) today on the new zone: “I wish they’d done this eight years ago when I was just breaking in and had a lot of trouble keeping the ball down. You may see the sudden development of some 20-game winners you’d never suspect, guys with great stuff but who can’t keep the ball low.”


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