Dropped third strikes

Here is a discussion of a question that has come up among my cadre of seatmates several times over the years: why did the rule allowing a batter to attempt to reach first base safely on a dropped third strike come to be?

My seatmates and I have tended to the position that it’s a rule based in the idea that, to record an out, the defense must make a positive action, having position of the ball.

But a guy at the indispensable all-baseball.com has a different opinion. He’s fairly convincing.

God, I love this game.