By comparison, in MLB, home run rates rose above 1.0 per game in 1994 and have been there ever since except for 20, peaking in 2000 at 1.17 per game; they're currently at 1.01 per game.
, "Mizuno initially said the increase was due to foreign batters hitting so many home runs and was also related to the higher number of games being played in domed stadiums, where wind is not a factor," but the union chairman demanded a more honest reckoning.
An excerpt of my work from the latter ran at Deadspin last August.
Hitting a few highlights: In 1974, the coating of the ball changed from horsehide to cowhide, coinciding with a 15 percent drop in per game home run rates.
Given that finding, it's not difficult to imagine how the slightest differences in the balls from batch to batch or year to year could lead to a plethora of towering 425-foot home runs instead of 375-foot warning track fly balls.
One day in 1920, a man named Bill Doak stopped in to the Rawlings sporting goods store in St. Doak was a pitcher for the Cardinals, a team that the Rawlings brothers, George and Alfred, had been fitting out with uniforms and baseballs since 1907.
Wrote the With the new ball, home runs rates dropped by more than 40 percent, from 0.93 per team per game in 2010 to 0.54 per game in 2011 and 0.51 per game in 2012 according to data from
The players' union, which felt that games had become less interesting, asked the league to review the matter.
Forensic testing found a transition from all-wool yarns to increasingly synthetic ones.NPB secretary general Kunio Shimoda said the league asked Mizuno to "adjust" the ball to give it more bounce off the bat but demanded it remain silent.Kato, who denied knowing about the latest change — even when he had issued an order for the previous one — is now under pressure to resign.The most glaring finding was the effect of the tolerances.
According to the study, "two baseballs could meet MLB specifications for construction but one ball could be theoretically hit 49.1 feet further," which breaks down to 8.4 feet attributable to being on the light side of the tolerance for weight (5.0 ounces, as opposed to 5.25 ounces) and another 40.4 feet attributable to being on the high end for the coefficient of restitution (.578).
Like all players, Doak’s non-throwing hand wore the standard gear of the era—which was, essentially, just a flat leather glove. “Evolution” is a technically apt term for the succession of Rawlings gloves, which have grown larger and more technically sophisticated every year since 1919. All Rawlings gloves are still sewn, laced and formed by hand with choice leather—especially the Heart of the Hide gloves.