Jackie Robinson spoke here yesterday. To the 100 people who filled Emerson D. the subject of the afternoon a Student Council forum on the reasons for the apathy toward intercollegiate baseball--was purely incidental. They turned out to get a look at the National League's batting champion and most valuable player.
Robinson, in town for the Brooklyn-Boston series, appeared with a panel which also included Jeff Jones, chief northeastern scout for the Braves; Harvard Coach John P. (Stuffy) McInnis; Crimson Captain John G. Caulfield '50; and moderator Jim Britt, local radio and television favorite.
Scouts Must Live
This group concluded that interest in Harvard baseball could be heightened, and better teams produced, if the junior varsity were revived. (The College last had a jayvee baseball team two years ago.) Jones answered McInnis' claim that scouts keep boys from college by signing them as soon as they graduate from high school, pointing out that "scouts have to live, too." He also cited the need for fall baseball practice.
Caulfield suggested that college athletes be allowed to play summer ball within rules established by the NCAA; "after all, a band member is encouraged to pick up extra money playing during vacation." Concerning eligibility requirements, Robinson proposed that a boy who has signed a professional contract should still be permitted to play college ball, that high school stars should be encouraged to go to college. He said that present high bonuses attract them to the pro ranks instead.
Chats With Deans
Prior to the forum, Robinson appeared at a reception in Phillips Brooks House, where he chatted with Dean Bender and Associate Dean Watson. The 31-year-old second baseman is conscious of his own age ("Reese and I are the only old men on the team") and he added that he is getting tired of playing ball. Robinson competed in four sports for four years at UCLA before starting his professional career with the Kansas City Monarchs.
Robinson commented that the fact that the Brooklyn club accepted him without hesitation ("They wanted to win ball games and they thought I could help") helped account for his success.