Welcome To “A Querc From The Merc”: A New Regular Blog Feature

Welcome to A Querc From The Merc, a weekly blog with updates, humor, feel good stories all things softball!


With opening day a week away, the snow has finally melted, clay has been placed on lined fields and the smell of fresh cut grass will soon fill the air, behold the 2019 season is finally here. Despite Punxsutawney Phil promising an early spring, Mother Nature gave us some last minute snow, but alas it’s now time to smell the hot dogs cooking in the snack stands, hear kids playing on the playground while parents stand against the fences and grandparents sit in their beach chairs to watch the greatest game in the world.

A few quick facts about softball:

1. Softball was originally an indoor sport. It was invented in 1887 by George Hancock, a journalist for the Chicago Board of Trade, as a form of indoor baseball to be played during the winter. The next year the game moved outside, and rules and a league were established by the Boat Club in 1889.
2. In the Chicago area, where softball originated, there is still a variant of the original game called 16-Inch Softball or mushball. This kind of softball uses bigger, squishier ball and no gloves.
3. The first softball wasn’t even a ball. According to the story, during a Harvard –Yale football game in Chicago, a Yale fan had thrown a rolled up boxing glove at a Harvard supporter, who hit it back with a stick. That gave George Hancock the idea to develop a ball and a bat.
4. Softball is among the safest sports in which children and adolescents participate. The rates of injury for softball and baseball are low in comparison with other sports.

5. The name softball dates from 1926, but there is no clear explanation where the name comes from. Some say that the name originates from the first ball, intended for indoor play that was bigger, softer and squishier. Since then, the ball hardened but the name stuck. Others say that the name comes from the method used to pitch and the fact that it is not wound as tightly as a baseball. But other than name, there’s nothing soft about softball.

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