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In 1981, America still considered NBC's old Saturday afternoon "Game of the Week" a must-see TV event. There was still a Sunday afternoon two-for-the-price-of-one doubleheader being played somewhere or other almost every weekend. The world's idea of a cerebral sort of statistic was -- well, what? -- ERA? Many sane human beings still thought those round, generic mounds of concrete known as "multipurpose stadiums" were kind of cool. And our concept of watching highlights was pretty much confined to making sure we caught the last five minutes of "This Week in Baseball" -- once a week.
Needless to say, then, folks thought stuff like wild cards, interleague play and $6-million draft picks was some kind of cross between sacrilege and science fiction. So clearly, 1981 on the old baseball calendar was longer ago than we think.
We've seen this sport revolutionized by roughly 2 trillion innovations since then. Which meant narrowing them down to the top 25 was tougher than hitting a Nolan Ryan fastball. But we've done it. Somehow. So here they are -- the 25 biggest Innovations of the last 25 years.