A baseball term that refers to the time period from 1900 until 1919. The Dead Ball Era is acknowledged to have ended following the season in which Babe Ruth had an unprecedented 29 home runs.
The Dead Ball Era is usually separated statistically from the period of baseball beginning in 1919 because of the emergence of power hitting. In its early days baseball was strategically different, relying on what is referred to as "small ball", in which speed, bunts and hit-and-runs were stressed more than attempts to hit for extra bases. Pitching and defense were also improved during this era-although it was deemed illegal, pitchers would often get away with defacing balls, which caused extra movement on pitches. As a result of these factors, the Dead Ball Era was a time when most ball games were low-scoring affairs. In fact, many modern baseball statistics are exclusive to the time period following the Dead Ball Era.