The Battery in Baseball

In baseball, the pitcher and catcher are collectively known by which term?

And the answer: battery.    

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In baseball, the battery consists of a pitcher and catcher from the same team, usually the combo that's in the game. It's believed the term was coined in the 1860s by sports historian Henry Chadwick, who compared the "firepower" of a team’s pitching staff to that of the artillery batteries used in the American Civil War.

Baseball is a complex sport, with a rulebook hundreds of pages long. While it's been played in various forms throughout history, a 1905 investigation into the origins of the sport laid claim to its beginnings in early America, at the hand of a man named Abner Doubleday. Hailing from Cooperstown, New York, Doubleday purportedly created the sport one summer in 1839, instantly creating an American classic which would, from then on, honor its players at a hall of fame from his city.

However, the commission assigned with this task failed to thoroughly fact check or conduct any further investigation on the matter. It was soon revealed that this story was likely fibbed (or at least poorly remembered), drawing from the account of one mining engineer named Abner Graves, who was a schoolmate of Doubleday. Instead, the real history of baseball in the United States dates back to the 18th century. Its most direct ancestors appear to be two English games: rounders (a children’s game brought to New England by the earliest colonists) and cricket. The game grew in popularity after the American Revolution, finding interest in schoolyards and playgrounds, and again after the Industrial Revolution.

In 1845, a group of men in New York formed the first baseball team, or as it was known at the time, the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club. The club would put forth a set of rules that began its codified differentiation from sports like cricket, and contains updates that are still a part of the game today.

Learn more about the history of this fascinating sport here.

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