Clipping:Proposed rules amendments on balls and strikes

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Date Sunday, December 7, 1873

Instead of having unfair balls “called,” as now, it would be advisable to have all unfairly-pitched balls called “wides,” and three of such wides to give a base, as in the case of called balls now, leaving balls to be called only in such cases as a ball pitched within the reach of the batsman, but not at the height he calls for, and allowing bases to be given on every four such balls, instead of three. This would divide the regularly unfair balls from those which are fair in one sense, though not in another, and umpires would have their duties made plainer in judging of an unfair delivery.

In calling strikes, too, a change in the present rule is advisable, inasmuch as experience has shown that the rule admits of too much partiality being shown by an umpire in calling strikes. The rule should be worded so as only to punish the striker for willfully refusing to strike at fair balls. As it is now, it punishes him for not striking at balls which are simply fair in the opinion of the umpire, and one umpire may differ materially from another in his idea of what constitutes a fair ball.

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


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