Clipping:Chadwick on giving assists to pitchers on strike outs

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Date Wednesday, December 28, 1887

[from Chadwick's column] The question of crediting a pitcher's assistance on outs on strikes elicited considerable discussion, and I think the conclusion arrived at in the matter was not sound. While not disputing the justice of giving a pitcher a credit for an assistance on strikes, I do claim that such an assistance is in no sense a fielding assistance; and therefore claim that it should not be placed in the assistance column in the score proper, but under a special head in the summary. It was decided, however, that while the assistance on strikes should be recorded in the assist column in the score, the secretaries of the League and Association, in making up their annual statistics, should strike out from the pitcher's fielding averages of assistances, all assistances on strikes, and place them under a special head. But why put the secretary to this extra trouble when it can be done so much easier by leaving out assistances on strikes from the column of fielding assistances? My argument in favor of this making of assistances on strikes out of the fielding records, was that in striving to make the fielding averages of a pitcher a criterion of his ability as a fielder, and not as a pitcher and fielder combined, the figures indicating his fielding skill, were so mixed up with those showing his pitching ability in striking out batsmen, as to render the averages utterly useless as fielding averages. Two years ago, when one-armed Hugh Daily excelled as a pitcher in striking batsmen out, his fielding averages were made to excel those of all other pitchers in the Association, simply by the placing of his assistances on strikes in the column of fielding assistances, the averages thereby making him the best fielder in the box of the season, when the simple fact 3was that his physical disability necessarily made him the poorest and gave the lie direct to the figures of the averages. It is this inconsistency I wanted to see avoided in the future, and it can only be done by not placing assistances on strikes in the fielding assistance column in the score.

Source Sporting Life
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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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