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PITCHING RULES.

NO WRITER ATTRIBUTED

In connection with the discussions on pitching which have been going the rounds of the press, the following from the Clipper on League pitching rules may be of interest : "The question which will be 'before the house' at the annual conventions of the League and the American Association will be whether it is best to allow an unrestrained freedom of movement in the pitchers delivery-admitting of either a pitched, a tossed, a jerked or an overthrown ball to the bat-or to still further limit the delivery so as to prevent the direct overthrow. There is one evil in connection with the rule of an unrestricted delivery of the ball which requires careful consideration so as to put a stop to it, and that is the effort to intimidate the batsman by willfully throwing the ball at him, or so close to him as to amount to the same thing. For years past the rules governing the calling of strikes and balls have been such as to give undue advantage to the pitcher, and also to prevent the necessary freedom of action in batting requisite in acquiring the art of placing the ball. Under the existing rule the pitcher is allowed to deliver seven balls before he can be punished for sending in unfair balls while the batsman is punished for failing to strike at the first three fair balls sent in to him. This is an advantage given the pitcher which has a damaging effect on the batting, especially in the matter of trying to bat with skill by placing the ball instead of the haphazard way in vogue now. One of two things is needed to get rid of this unfair division of the penalties in question, and one of these is to extend the calling off strikes to every other fair ball delivered-allowing the batsman a chance at six fair balls instead of three, or by reducing the number of unfair balls allowed the pitcher to the same number as the fair balls allowed the batsman. The only equitable rule would be six called balls and six fair balls, leaving the pitcher entire freedom in his method of delivery as regards a pitch or an overhand throw. The return to 'square pitching,' as it called, is out of the question, as that would involve a return to the old time scores of a hundred and odd runs to a game. Under the existing rules there is too much 'battery' work in a match and too few chances given the field. This can alone be obviated by allowing the batsman greater freedom of action in batting, and this can only be done by extending the number of fair balls he is allowed to strike at from three to six, obliging the umpire to call a strike on every other fair ball delivered, instead of, as now, on every fair ball in succession. This rule has never yet been tried. In regard to the throwing, the past season's experience has shown that it is almost impossible to prevent the high delivery, especially in view of the prevalence of the mania for a swift delivery. The pitching problem is one not easy to solve, but it is about time that the batsman should not be placed at such a disadvantage as he now is."

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