Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Baseball and Toys in the Attic
"Leaving the things that are real behind, leaving the things you love from mind. All of the things that you learned from fears, nothin' is left for the years"~from Aerosmith's "Toys in the Attic"
I recently came across a newspaper article from May 7, 1930 which told the weird story of a 71 year-old man whose effort to have all baseball players declared insane was into its sixteenth year. At that point the old gent was taking his petition to judge number eighteen. This, despite the fact that the man had been a fan of the game for over sixty years. I guess you could call him long-suffering.
"One of the signs of insanity," said Louis R. Gemmett, "is in the method of scoring. A batter makes a one base hit, after which he proceeds at high speed to first base, ignoring the fact apparently that his effort is useless to his team unless his mates are successful in their efforts to make additional hits in order that he may continue on around the bases and register a score. That's crazy, isn't it?
"There should be two pitchers, one right and one left-handed, in the box at the same time. The batter wouldn't know which one was going to pitch. The purpose of the pitcher is to deceive the batsman, and baseball players are crazy to think one pitcher alone can fool batters.
"The players are crazy to let an umpire make a final ruling in a game. There ought to be a judicial committee to act upon every disputed decision.
"And it's crazy to call a game on account of rain. There ought to be a canopy over the field, suspended by balloons, so that play could go right on, no matter what the weather."
Mr. Gemmett: visionary, lobbyist, forerunner to the frivolous lawsuit.