|American League||National League|
|AVG||Ty Cobb||DET||.390||Jake Daubert||BKN||.350|
|HR||Frank Baker||PHA||12||Gavvy Cravath||PHP||19|
|RBI||Frank Baker||PHA||113||Gavvy Cravath||PHP||128|
|Wins||Walter Johnson1||WSH||36||Tom Seaton||PHP||27|
|ERA||Walter Johnson1||WSH||1.14||Christy Mathewson||NYG||2.06|
|K||Walter Johnson1||WSH||243||Tom Seaton||PHP||168|
|Boston Red Sox||79||71||0.527||15½||41–34||38–37|
|Chicago White Sox||78||74||0.513||17½||40–37||38–37|
|New York Yankees||57||94||0.377||38||27–47||30–47|
|St. Louis Browns||57||96||0.373||39||31–46||26–50|
|New York Giants||101||51||0.664||—||54–23||47–28|
|St. Louis Cardinals||51||99||0.340||49||25–48||26–51|
In American tort law, the Baseball Rule holds that a baseball team or, at amateur levels, its sponsoring organization, cannot be held liable for injuries suffered by a spectator struck by a foul ball batted into the stands, under most circumstances, as long as the team has offered some protected seating in the areas where foul balls are most likely to cause injuries. This is considered within the standard of reasonable care that teams owe to spectators, although in recent decades it has more often been characterized as a limited- or no-duty rule, and applied to ice hockey and golf as well. It is largely a matter of case law in state courts, although four states have codified it.
The rule arose from a pair of 1910s decisions by the Missouri Court of Appeals, both considering suits filed by spectators at home games of the minor league Kansas City Blues. In the first, considered to be the case that established the rule, the court upheld a trial verdict against the plaintiff, holding that his decision to sit outside the netting the team had installed behind home plate constituted contributory negligence and assumption of risk on his part. Conversely, in the second, decided a year later, the court upheld a verdict for a plaintiff who had been struck in the eye by a foul ball that passed through a hole in the netting between him and home plate. Other state courts accepted those cases as precedent and used them to decide similar cases.
By the 1930s it was interpreted as requiring teams to erect protective screening over the stands behind home plate, a practice that had already become common in the late 19th century due to injuries from foul balls, which rose after an 1884 rule change allowed overhand pitching. Courts have seen it as balancing the team's duty of care toward spectators with the spectators' interest in having an unobstructed view of the game available and perhaps being able to take home a recovered foul ball as a souvenir. It has been held to apply in some other situations besides foul balls—when a player deliberately threw the ball into the stands as a souvenir, for instance—but not in others, such as errant pitches from a relief pitcher warming up in the bullpen, situations where multiple balls are in play (such as (formerly) batting practice), where struck spectators are not in the seating areas of the venue or where they may have been distracted by the team's mascot.
In the wake of some serious injuries caused by foul balls in Major League Baseball (MLB) parks in the 2010s, including the first foul-ball spectator death at an MLB game in almost 50 years, there have been calls for the rule to be re-examined or abolished altogether, as more spectators are struck by a foul ball than players in the game are hit by a pitch. While MLB has required all of its teams to extend their protective screens to cover the area to the far end of the dugout on either side of the field, critics note that it is no longer possible for spectators to choose to sit under those screens given that all seats in the venue are reserved for those who buy them, many for the entire season. Further, they say, balls are hit harder and spectators, who on average now sit closer to the field than they did in 1913, have more distractions. Two states' supreme courts have declined to adopt the rule, which has been criticized as a relic of the era before the adoption of comparative negligence; a widely read William and Mary Law Review article further argues that the Baseball Rule fails the law and economics standards of optimally allocated tort liability.Erskine Mayer
Jacob Erskine Mayer (born James Erskine Mayer, January 16, 1889 – March 10, 1957) was an American baseball player who played for three different Major League Baseball teams during the 1910s. In his eight-year career, Mayer played for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Pittsburgh Pirates, and the Chicago White Sox.
A right-handed pitcher, Mayer's repertoire of pitches included a curveball which he threw from a sidearm angle. As a result of his curveball, then Brooklyn Dodgers manager Wilbert Robinson called Mayer "Eelskine" because the pitch was "so slippery."Mayer won 20 games in a single season in both 1914 and 1915. He appeared in the 1915 World Series as a member of the Phillies and in the 1919 World Series as a member of the White Sox, a series noted for the Black Sox Scandal.
He was 91–70 in his career, with a 2.96 ERA. He was one of the all-time best Jewish pitchers in major league history through 2010, 3rd career-wise in ERA (behind only Barney Pelty and Sandy Koufax), 7th in wins, and 10th in strikeouts (482).