More From Jesse Burkett (Hit Batsmen)

From the same news archive binge as the previous article, we get more from Jesse Burkett on the NL's rule changes, and...holy crap. Apparently there was a (thankfully short) period in the NL where hitting a batter only awarded the batter a ball, not a base:

"That rule penalizing the pitcher with only a ball for hitting a batter is a very bad one," said the great hitter. "My word on it, some of those pitchers will be bounding fast ones off the batter's ribs this season."*

Well said, Mr. Burkett. I can see why that change didn't stick.

The article also insinuates that part of the reason Cy Young jumped to the AL (which did not lessen the penalty for hitting batters) was that he thought the new HBP rule was dumb.

*The St. Louis Republic. (St. Louis, Mo.), 29 March 1901. Chronicling America: Historic American Newspapers. Lib. of Congress.


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