In 1905, Johnny Evers was twenty-three years old and still developing as a player. He, Joe Tinker, Frank Chance and Johnny Kling constantly worked on various plays, and Evers began questioning the prevailing methods of the time.
One thing he questioned was the practice of infielders setting their feet after fielding a ball and then throwing overhand to first base. “The record for running the distance from the plate to first base,” he noted, “is 3 1/5 seconds. That means the runner is covering twenty eight feet per second…(losing) even one-tenth of a second…will give the runner an advantage of 2.8 feet according to this example.”
He and Frank Chance began working on a sidearm snap throw that Evers would use when necessary and even be able to throw while on the move. By the end of the year he had it perfected. It was nothing less than the birth of modern infield play.