The Bases and Foul Lines: 1845–1856
Baseball history diagram: Bases and Foul Lines: 1845–1856. Originally the Knickerbocker rules stated that the distance between Home Base and Second Base and between Third Base and First Base, was 42 paces. According to An American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828, the pace was defined as follows; 1. A step. 2. The space between the two feet in walking, estimated at two feet and a half. But the geometrical pace is five feet, or the whole space passed over by the same foot from one step to another. The same definition was printed for the 1853 edition. The distance from any base to the one opposite it on the "diamond" was 105 feet, making the distance between the bases 74.25 feet. The third and first base foul lines were not specified in the playing rules to be marked on the playing field. The dotted lines in this diagram show the position of the four bases in relationship to each other. Click diagram to return to previous page.