Clipping:Questioning the need for a pitching rotation

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Date Tuesday, September 23, 1884
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According to a Brooklyn writer, Radbourne of the Providence has exploded a well accepted theory which has gained ground of late years. Club after club this season has time and again been obliged to place their change pitchers in positions owing to the alleged lame arms and lame shoulders–ro some other lame excuse–presented by their leading pitchers to avoid work in the box which they ought to be made to attend to, considering the high wages they are paid. This little game was worked so successfully that pitcher after pitcher was allowed to lie off every other match. This racket was worked in the Providence club very successfully by Radbourne and Sweeney until the former found that Sweeney was rather getting the best of him in the game. Then it was that he began to kick, and that was the beginning of the trouble in the Providence camp, which ultimately led to the retirement of Sweeney, while Radbourne was left in command of the position. But with this command came a position of affairs not taken into the original calculation. Radbourne boasted that if Sweeney should leave the club he would pitch the club into the championship himself, if the boys would back him up in the field. His challenge was taken up by the directors, and admirably has he thus far fulfilled his promises, his work in the box being unprecedented in the history of League pitching since Sweeney left the Providence fold. Over twenty successive championship matches in which Radbourne has pitched have ended in noteworthy victories for the Providence Club. But, as before remarked, this wonderful success has been achieved at the cost of the complete overthrow of the claim of pitchers being unable to stand the “great fatigue” incident to continuous work in their positions. What Radbourne can stand, hardier pitchers than he can stand more readily, and he has proved pretty conclusively the absurdity of the claim that consecutive work in the box is too trying an ordeal for pitchers to stand without their breaking down under the pressure. What is the work of a first-class League pitcher during a season’s campaign? Why nothing more than nine innings of pitching once a day–occupying less than two hours of labor out of the twenty-four–during an average of four days a week. Why it is simply nonsense to assert that this is an arduous task for any man of the healthy class of athletics who compose the leading pitchers of the day. What Radbourne has done they can all do. He did it to fulfill a boast of his prowess as a pitcher. Let the others be made to earn their high wages just as much as Radbourne has his. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings

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