Times have changed especially baseball


The rationale we now use to explain the strange things happening is: “Times Have Changed.” This is true; times have changed especially baseball.

Modern day players stats are compared to old timers that missed 3 to 4 years while in the service. Ted Williams served in both WWII and Korea. Years ago the season started around the 18th of April (Patriot’s Day). Now it starts in March and people complain about the weather. All Sundays and Holidays were scheduled double headers. Now a double header is very unusual. Grover Cleveland Alexander pitched 16 shutouts in 1916 and 12 in 1915. Now a Cy Young award winner is lucky to have five complete games. Alexander was asked by sportswriters to discuss him striking out Tony Lazzeri with the bases loaded. He said, I don’t care to talk about it. If Lazzeri had hit the ball I would have been a bum. You could talk for hours about what pitchers have lost since the purpose pitch has been taken away.

Baseball owners lived baseball all their lives. Most of the games were day games. At 6:00 PM The Fred Waring Show (Radio) gave the day’s ball scores. We knew Jo DiMaggio’s streak was still alive before supper. Now scores of some games aren’t in next morning’s paper. The Sporting News would publish box scores of the high minor league. At one time there were 51 minor leagues. Now the USA Today Baseball Weekly might have two pages about the minor leagues.

Hank Greenberg once had 100 runs batted in at the all-star break. Now million dollar ballplayers don’t have 100 RBI’s during the whole season. Many games were played in less than two hours. A 3 to 2 game now takes three hours.

Babe Ruth once played in Fort Wayne. The Players Association now doesn’t want to play any exhibition games during the season. Some players don’t want to play in the all-star game and some won’t play for months at a time.

Travis Jackson once held out over a contract dispute that lasted until the first day of spring training. Travis wanted to play baseball so bad he couldn’t hold out.

Out of town people knew where the ballpark was located. Now you have to ask the location of the new ballpark that no doubt will be razed in 25 years. Because of steroids the home run record is a shambles. Babe Ruth set the record in 1927 (60) and it took till 1961 for Roger Maris to get his 61. Thirty some years later everybody was breaking the record. It was obvious something was “Going-On.”

Your TV announcers have a problem explaining to us why high paid players are not producing. There is Jet lag, only being home half the time, injuries, and problems with management. These excuses don’t seem to change. If you are a true baseball fan you have to accept these changes, but don’t let people sell you a bill-of-goods on how much better baseball is now. You see folks, I grew up during some of the times I’m talking about and as far as I’m concerned there’s no argument to the above statement because that’s the way I saw it.

More Stories You'll Enjoy!