OCR Interpretation

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.) 1911-1917, February 10, 1916, LAST EDITION, Image 10

Image and text provided by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library, Urbana, IL

Persistent link: http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045487/1916-02-10/ed-1/seq-10/

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The National league celebrated its
fortieth anniversary at a dinner last
night in New York, listened to a lot
of oratory and decided the organiza
tion was not too old a party to begin
life anew and try to wipe out the
memory of the brand of pastiming
put on exhibition last year in the
Charley Ebbetts of Brooklyn had
nothing to say about baseball being
in its infancy, but former President
Taft crticised the use of coachers by
big league teams, saying he didn't
like "those fellows on the side lines."
Charley Weeghman and Percy
Haughton were there, but kept quiet,
being novices among the diamond
politicians present-
Ebbetts, however, at the league
meeting, proposed a change in the
draft rules that sounds like common
sense and should work out well if the
magnates are not too blindly selfish.
Ebbetts wants the eighth place in
each of the major leagues to have
first pick of the minors. The sev
enth place team would get next
choice, and so on. In this way the
weaker teams would have an oppor
tunity to build up to the strength of
the first division club and a better
balanced race would result.
This proposition will be put before
the American league, and, if adopted
there, will be enforced by the nation
al commission. It is one of the best
pieces of baseball legislation ad
vanced for several seasons.
But Ebbetts also had another idea
that doesn't listen so well. He would
limit the number of 25-cent seats in
each ball park to 2,000. That would
be a severe blow to several magnates
who depend on the two-bit boys for
their best returns.
As some club owners get along in
the world they seem to forget what
these quarter seats have meant to
them in the past. Loyalty has been
built up via the bleachers and the
most rabid fans come from that sec
tion. All over the country magnates re
fer to the White Sox as a hot bed of
partisanship. They bewail the fact
that they can't build up such a loyal
following as that behind Charley
Comiskey, a following that will stick
to the team through thick and thin,
encouraging the players and adding
to the coffers of Comiskey by patron
age. That Comiskey following was built
up through the bleacher seats of the
old Sox park. A following was se
cured that became known as the Sox
spirit When the new park was built
provisions were made for the bleach
er fellows, and they stuck. Gradu
ally the sun-dodgers progressed to
the 50-cent and 75-cent cushions, but
another generation grew up to oc
cupy the bleachers.
In the bleachers lies the real
strength of baseball, and the mag
nates will make a big mistake if they
throttle this section. The step should
be the other way, with the creation
of more 25-cent seats.
Baseball is not grand opera, and
will not draw grand opera prices.
Boston Braves have bought Ed Ko
netchy and Pitchers Elmer Knetzer
and Frank Allen. All were Pittsburgh'1
Fedefals, and cost the Brave people
$18,000. - Koney has a large contract,
with a year yet to run.
The Reds bought Catcher Huhh
and Shortstop Esmond. The latter
jumped the Reds. Grover Gilmore,
Kawfed outfielder, was sold to "St.
Paul of the American ass'n.
The rish some organized mag
nates are making to sign ex-Federals
doesn't jibe with their past assertions
that no jumpers would ever be allow
ed in their parks. Neither does it
bear out the assertion that there were
only six or eight men in the Federal
league capable of sporting big league
uniforms. But it does look as though
the magnates were ready to admit

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