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10 bits of baseball history I learned from "A Game of Inches"

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A-Rod is a bit too late to nail Toronto's Rajai Davis.

Kathy Willens/AP

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2. Sliding evolved from a defensive to a more offensive skill.

At first, sliding into base was seen as a means of applying the brakes to avoid overrunning the base without incurring a charley horse. But eventually its potential for avoiding tag-outs received increasing emphasis. Some runners, however, remained reluctant in the early years to slide at all because the infields were less finely groomed and sometimes pebble-strewn.

Baseball books: 9 personal favorites

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