As to baseball, what I remember was a different game, when pitchers went nine innings unless their arm actually fell off, and to complicate things for them, pitchers batted.
I remember when uniforms looked more like pajamas than something from the wardrobe of the Rockettes.
As for the strike zone, I remember when batters had to start their swing with the bat on the backside of their head. Holding your bat over the plate was already a strike.
When the first Wisconsin territorial legislature met in 1831 at Martin’s Tavern, they attempted to pass a resolution favoring Thanksgiving, but decided they couldn’t do Thanksgiving in Wisconsin anyway because there weren’t pumpkins in Wisconsin.
I felt the same way about baseball when I was a kid, because what everybody else played and what we played wasn’t the same game. Nine kids on a side wasn’t an option, though we did reduce this requirement by combining shortstop and second base. The pitcher also played first base and right field as well as most of center because left-handed batters were rare. No catcher was needed because the batter retrieved the ball and in a pinch you could include girls like Linda Belmore, who could steal third as well as Salty Walters.
Baseball wasn’t what we played because that took more kids than we had in our entire township, yet to include the opposing team.