Clipping:Clarification needed in the new base-steal scoring rule

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Date Wednesday, March 17, 1886
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[from a column by “Scorer”] The rule is, in my humble opinion, hardly explicit enough, and in order to secure uniformity in its execution a circular with full explanations from the president to the scorers would be very valuable. There is naturally a great deal of latitude in the execution of such rule; even more than in the matter of base hits and errors, which no two scorers hardly score alike. It gives an opportunity for a good deal of favoritism. For instance, a base-runner is on first and starts for second; the catcher throws the ball wild, but not out of the reach of the baseman; the balls gets there in plenty time to catch the runner, but comes in such a manner it cannot be handled effectively. If the catchers is a favorite of the scorer the runner gets credit with a stolen base, if he is not the catcher gets an error; again, if the ball is thrown a little low and the second baseman drops it, although it arrives in time, the same thing would occur. Of course instances can be multiplied when the matter of judgment enters into the decision. There is another case it will be difficult to score, for as I understand the rule, there is no provision made for it. A man is on first, he attempts to steal second, the catcher overthrows second base and the base-runner not only goes on to third but comes home through the slow handling of the ball by the centre fielder or by his i8naiblity to throw home accurately. How many stolen bases does the runner get, or does he get any? Such matters as this should in my opinion be made clear.

Source Sporting Life
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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings

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