Clipping:The argument to allow professionalism

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Date Thursday, December 5, 1867

We shall first present to our readers the argument in favor of changing the rules so as to allow a club to compensate any of their players for special services rendered, or, in other words, the reasons given for an amendment abolishing the restrictions prohibiting the services of professional players in match games. In the first place, the existing rules in reference to paid players in match games are mere dead letter laws, having no effect beyond that of leading to dishonest practices in disguising the method of compensating professionals of a nine. Secondly, we do not see anything more discreditable in paying a man for his services in a base ball match than there is in doing the same thing in cricket, and cricket professionals are, as a class, as honest as any that can be found–the Wright family, for instance. The most potent reason for the change, however, is that there is no rule that can be adopted that will prevent players from being paid, and the only question, therefore, is whether it is not better to make a law to regulate that which cannot be prevented, if legally prohibited, or to have rules on our statute books which are regularly violated season after season, thereby bringing all our rules into contempt.

Source Ball Players Chronicle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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