Baseball, Labor and Economics

Article excerpt

To the editor:

RE: Is baseball still our National Pastime? By Bob Barry Jr. and Sr., in The Journal Record, Friday, May 25.

Great subject. What appropriate timing. I of course, support the side of Mr. Barry the elder. His maturity, intellect, and compassion for baseball, the most noble of all human endeavors, still overshadow the youthful exuberance and inexperience of Junior.

Baseball may or may not be our national pastime, because so many minor sports are clamoring for our attention. TV has golf, indoor football, the WNBA, NASCAR (which isn't even a sport), hockey, and the NBA playoffs this time of year, but not much baseball.

Bob Junior begins his rebuttal by stating that he is not blaming Curt Flood or Andy Messersmith, when in reality, we should recognize them as the Moses and Abraham of baseball, leading the way out of the reserve clause for all those who were chained to a contractual obligation with no choice over whom their employer would be. This was not only a milestone for the labor movement, but also a milestone in democracy and freedom.

Mr. Barry Junior's statement that players have lost a passion for the game seems to get lost when I see Omar Visquel and Robbie Alomar turn the double play, when Randy Johnson strikes out 20, and when Sammy Sosa, who was traded from the Rangers to the Cubs by George W. Bush, hits 66 home runs, and does not win the NL home run crown.

If Bob Junior tires of new faces and changing rosters, he needs to turn only to his own industry to see a new news anchor, weather person, or sports guy every time we turn on the tube. Seems only Messrs. Barry and England prevail.

I'm a hopeless fan of baseball. I played, taught, listened, watched, wrote about, and love the game. I enjoyed the works of "Rug" Renny, Max Nichols, Harry Caray (when he was on KMOX), Bob Costas, Dizzy and Pee Wee, Tim McCarver, Vin Scully, Mel Allen, and "Bud" Harrelson, not to mention both the Barrys. Of course, guys like Dizzy Dean and Mel Allen couldn't work today, because they reported baseball in an unreserved, no-holds-barred fashion, telling the listeners much more than just the score. …

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