Clipping:Opposition to scoring bases on balls as hits

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Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
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[from the Baltimore correspondent] Can't keep silent on this one point any longer, it must be said, because it is almost the universal sentiment here. That lying perjurer, the base-on-ball-base-hit, is seriously injuring the game with patrons. The invitation given to the batsman by the four-strike-five-ball business to tiresomely wait for a base on balls and be credited with a base hit is wearying spectators and prolonging the game and bringing censure on the umpire. It is making record players. IN the last Athletic game one player, Davis, who seldom can hit a ball anyway, and that day couldn't touch it with a boxing glove, had a batting (?) average of .600, while Griffin, a hard hitter and an emergency batter, too, who banged the ball all over the lot when bases were full, had a batting record for all this of .400, two hundred per cent. less than the man who tired out spectators, and yet readers of that score in other cities were probably saying to themselves--”What a slugger that Davis is.” in the first game Milligan hit Kilroy hard every time he stepped to the plate, and for this exceedingly clever work had a batting record of .500 while Seward, who never even touched the ball with the bat is credited with .750, just one quarter better than Milligan for actually doing nothing with the stick. Instances might be multiplied indefinitely. … Mark well the prediction—after the warm weather comes and the first curiosity of spectators is satisfied, the attendance will be seriously affected. It is not very easy to rekindle the flame when you have once blown it out in the patron. “Play ball?”--yes, play ball—don't play baby. The Sporting Life April 27, 1887

The howl from the groundlings against some features of the new rules still continues. President Nick Young is the latest to give way to the pressure and pronounce against the base-hit-for-base-on-balls rule. Manager Barnie is hot against it, as announced in our special despatch last week, and he and Mr. Byrne, of Brooklyn, are now in correspondence with all the big club, with a view to passing two amendments to the new rules. The first is to abolish the rule by which bases on balls are scored as base hits, and the second is to change the rule that allows the batter four strikes back to the old three-strike rules. The Sporting Life May 5, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings

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