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One day in 1920, a man named Bill Doak stopped in to the Rawlings sporting goods store in St. Louis and changed baseball forever.
Doak was a pitcher for the Cardinals, a team that the Rawlings brothers, George and Alfred, had been fitting out with uniforms and baseballs since 1907. Like all players, Doak’s non-throwing hand wore the standard gear of the era—which was, essentially, just a flat leather glove. But as Doak explained to the Rawlings, catching a baseball would be easier if someone connected the space between the thumb and index finger with some leather webbing to create a pocket.