In response to jidgef's comment:
In response to ampoule's comment:
As far as pitchers 'going all out' for 5 innings or whatever because bullpens now are intended to be utilized more is not true. Actually, it's the other way around. Pitchers are asked to 'pace' themselves more.
Non of this answers how a Verlander or Ryan slipped through. Actually, Verlander's velocity increases as the game progresses. And, these two guys I consider to be power pitchers from the 'modern' era.
When did the ball change? The height of the mound changed too, but I think that it was lowered to give a little more advantage to the hitter because, at that time, baseball was perceived to be a little boring and more home runs were needed to spice the game up.
With the lower mound, I would think there would be longer home runs today.
Incidentally, this is all off the top of my head. So, I may be completely wrong on the mound issue.
Amp, you are correct about the mound; it was lowered, I believe, between the 1968-1969 seasons. Yaz won the '68 batting title with a .301 average and was the only 300 hitter. Gibson had an insane season for St. Louis; I think he threw 13 shutouts. I think there have been a few ball changes, different manufacturers who wind the ball tighter.
Last summer my son was the winning pitcher in the State American Legion semi-final game and he threw 149 pitches. We lost the finals the next day and he wouldn't have pitched then anyway, obviously. But had we won the finals, we would not have played for eight days, so there was no reason to not stretch him out. He's 6'3" and at the time weighed 175 lbs., long and lean. He throws year-round, one hour once a week in the off season, and has never had a sore arm. He also does an exercise where he makes and releases a fist inside a bucket of rice for about 15 minutes every day. He throws as many breaking balls as fastballs. It's all about conditioning. I understand the owners' feeling today about protecting their investments, but the best protection in my opinion is better conditioning and more work. There is certainly some credence to Crit's comments about the workout habits and just general strength of today's teens. They spend more time in the gym than they do actually playing their sport. And they certainly don't do the chores that we or our dads did!
I remember playing sports from sun up to sun down every chance I got. I never lifted a weight in a gym until my 30's.