Clipping:Dividing the responsibilities of two umpires

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Date Wednesday, November 17, 1886

[from a letter to the editor] The idea of having two umpires has been strongly urged—one behind the pitcher and one behind the catcher. But the principal objection to that, and it is a serious one too, is that the umpire in the field would interfere to a considerable extent with the fielding. But it is not my intention to become a sophist in this matter, but to advance an idea that for all I know may be a chestnut. If it is ring it down. It stands to reason, and is generally admitted, that there is more dissatisfaction among spectators caused by close decisions on the bases than from any other cause. Person seated in the right field benches on a line with first base see more mistakes of umpires than can be seen from any other part of the field. In almost every game men reach first base safely, but are called out, or vice version. The same applies to second base. The umpire is not in a position to see these things, consequently he has to trust considerably to luck. An umpire has his hands full watching balls and strikes, and has very little time for the bases. Now my idea is this: Place an umpire immediately back of first base, and on a line with second, and let it be his sole duty to watch those bases and the right field foul line; the other umpire's duties to be confined to balls and strikes, third base decisions and the left field foul line. This would do away with the necessity of his running into the field. And, as will readily be seen, the decisions of the two umpires will in no manner conflict. I have read The Sporting Life for several years and have never seen the above idea in print, so thought I would sprint it as new.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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