Clipping:Two umpire system in the Chicago City League

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Date Sunday, August 21, 1887

Another plan to do away with the trouble raised by the umpire question has been proposed in Chicago, where it is now being tried by the City League. It is nothing more nor less than the employment of two umpires at each game. One umpire stands immediately behind the catcher and pays particular attention to all balls which come from the other end of the battery, in addition t which he is also required to watch third base. The second umpire is stationed just back of the pitcher’s box and he watches first and second bases and decides upon all plays made there. The experiment is being watched with a great deal of interest, as where there is only one umpire that official is kept busy watching the battery and bases and deciding critical points in the infield. The only objection so far against the new scheme is the additional cost. The Philadelphia Times August 21, 1887

Ward proposes modifications of the reserve; should be in the player contract; buying and selling players

[from an interview of Ward] I believe a contract should be agreed upon which should itself determine all the relations which are to exist between the player and his club, without any reference to any documents on the outside. The present form declares the player bound 'by the constitution of the League and the articles and covenants of the National Agreement.' yet, it is simply impossible for a player to know what those documents are. They are changed from time to time and one cannot keep track of them at all. If the player is willing to concede the right of reservation to the club, let that be stated in the contract, and if there are any limitations on the right, let them also be stated. Let the words of the contract itself contain the entire agreement between club and player, then any player may at any time know what to expect and what is expected of him.

I do not think the time has yet come when base ball can do away with the reserve rule. The great majority of players still favor it, though they think it needs modification. The time during which a club may reserve a player should be limited to, say, three or five years and the number of reserved should possibly be reduced. Of course the player might stay after the reservation time limit had expired, if he wished.

The new contract should be drawn in such a way as to do away entirely with the buying and selling of players. I don't think this should be a very difficult matter. A club has a right to sell its claim on a player under contract to it when the player also agrees to the transaction. But let it be distinctly stated that in such a case the buying club buys only the unexpired term of the contract and not the right of reservation or sale, and at the termination of the contract the player goes free upon the market. This would soon put an end to the selling of players under contract, because it would so reduce the prices paid as to rob the business of its profits. As for the selling of a player not under contract, let no such right be recognized at all. A player released from reservation to be free upon the market to all clubs, and no such thing tolerated as a release of a player from one club to another. This should be carefully worded and carefully stated in the contracts. The Sporting Life August 24, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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