Clipping:Proposals for scoring; defining an earned run

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Date Sunday, November 12, 1876
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Scorers everywhere would thank the League for a definition of an “earned run” which would answer every case. One man holds that a run can be “earned” off the batting only; in other words, that nobody can “steal” a base. Another is more liberal, and allows that there may be good base-running, as well as good batting. Shall a base on called balls be counted as a base hit in determining an “earned” run, and the batting average of a player? Shall the same count as an error for the pitcher? Shall it be simply called “a base on called ball,” and nothing else? Shall the pitcher be given an “assistance” on “three strikes, out?” Should not a player given an “assistance” in all cases of thrown balls, muffed, the same as when caught, if the throw would have secured an “out” without the error? It is a necessity to score an assistance in such cases in order to obtain more nearly the total of fielding chances. The League can settle these questions and render uniform the system of keeping scores. Again, shall a distinction be made between the base hits and earned base hits, the same as between runs and earned runs? Earned base hits are those made before three chances for “outs.” The distinction would be made, of course, in the interest of pitchers, as thereby their skill would be shown when accorded by perfect support in the field. Another point came near escaping notice. It has to do with batting records, and is worthy of consideration, although no way appears to accomplish what is desired. It is a matter of general knowledge that some batsmen strike to win, and just as well known that other strike [not] to win but it is an individual record they are striving for. To illustrate: the former class, when a runner is on third base and one hand is out, will attempt to strike to right field in order to bring the runner in. The latter class will forget the man on third and bat in their own interest. Now, no recognition is given the efforts of the former in the score, as at present kept, and what is desired is a system of scoring which shall give credit to him who bats for his side, in distinction from him who serves selfish ends when it comes his turn to strike.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings

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