The Chicago Tribune says: "During Monday's game in St. Louis there were several interruptions, caused by demands of the Captains that players on the opposite side stand away from the line. To avoid anything of that kind in Chicago, the management caused lines to be drawn parallel with and fifty feet back of the foul lines to indicate where the players must not come without reason. Still other lines fifteen feet from the diamond showed where the Captains and assistants might stand. The idea was a good one."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, August 25, 1876
This naturally made me think of the coach's box and so, of course, I turned to A Game of Inches. Morris wrote that by 1872, "the rules specified that a base runners' teammates had to remain at least fifteen feet away from him. Two years later the rules were amended to state that only the captain and one other player could approach that close...During the 1886 season the coach's box was introduced to try to place some restraint on the mayhem that passed on coaching." While what we have described by the Tribune is not exactly the coach's box, this does seem to fit somewhere within the evolutionary pattern of trying to "place some restraint on the mayhem..."
And Happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. Here's some Chieftains to enjoy on this fine day: