The owners considered many proposals in addition to radio and electric lighting to lure more fans through the turnstiles. To help the owners, The Sporting News was quick to publicize other proposed innovations. The editor wrote, “if the magnates are barren of ideas, The Sporting News suggests that they read ‘The Voice of the Fan’ column in this publication each week.”1 Some ideas proved impractical, while others quickly became an established part of the game. Some of the ideas would be implemented… after a few decades.
We Want More… No, Less Scoring
During the days of my youth, conventional wisdom held that sports fans wanted scoring and lots of it. With the American League setting records for batting futility in 1968 and professional football capturing the attention of ever-increasing numbers of people, pundits claimed that baseball needed to juice the offense. In reality, the American League experienced greater attendance in 1968 than during the home-run display of 1961. In the 1920s baseball fans witnessed the home-run revolution led, of course, by the incomparable Babe Ruth, who out-homered most American Leagues teams by himself. Eventually other homerun kings such as Hack Wilson, Hank Greenberg, and Jimmie Foxx demonstrated Ruthian abilities to swat the long ball, but they did not seize the public’s fancy in the same way. When the National League as