Archive for April, 2014

The Wartime baseball

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

newspaper clip

The last time the Reds opened the season with 4 1 run games the ball and its makeup was suddenly questioned.

In April of 1943 the Reds General Manager Warren Giles was perturbed by a slew of low scoring games to start of the Reds season.

In the first seven games of the season the Reds had scored 13 runs and their opponents 9. The Cardinals scored 14 runs and their opponents 10 in their first seven games. Giles could probably see where this was leading, in an already war depressed economy entertainment was important. As we all know in baseball entertainment usually means offense. Citing the war time replacement cement glue used in the balls as the fault for their lack of buoyancy Giles spearheaded a drive to get the spring back in the ball before the fans fled.

To remedy this Major League Baseball immediately authorized the use of balls in storage from the prior year, a controversy occurred when the Dodgers got a hold of the 1942 balls before the rest of the league, scoring 11 runs in the first contest that they used the balls.