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Doc Adams, center, with other Knickerbockers

Daniel "Doc" Adams (1814–1899) was an American baseball player and executive who is regarded as an important figure in the sport's early years. He began his career with the New York Knickerbockers in 1845 and played for the club into his forties (pictured, center, in 1859). Researchers have called Adams the creator of the shortstop position, and as club president six times between 1847 and 1861, Adams advocated rule changes that resulted in nine-man teams and nine-inning games. When the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed in 1858, he led the rules and regulations committee of the new organization. In his role, Adams ruled that the field's bases should be 90 feet (27 m) apart, the modern distance, and supported eliminating the "bound rule", which allowed for balls caught after one bounce to be recorded as outs. Adams' contributions in creating baseball's rules went largely unrecognized for decades after his death, but in 1980 a letter about him appeared in The New York Times and by 1993, researcher John Thorn had written about Adams' role. His nickname came from his medical work; he later became a bank president and member of the Connecticut legislature. (Full article...)

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