CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
In A single game last Saturday the Milwaukee Braves' Joe Adcock hit four home runs and a double against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Sunday, Adcock was beaned by a Dodger pitcher and carried from the field on a stretcher.
Monday, demands for antibeanball legislation were renewed by press and public.
I am reminded of two pitchers who were contemporaries with the Cleveland Indians a good many years ago. To protect the innocent, let us say that one was named Jim and the other Joe.
Now Jim was known far and wide as a Nice Guy, without a mean bone in his head. Joe, on the other hand, was recognized as a dirty this-and-that who would stick a fast ball in his grandmother's ear if he thought it would frighten the old lady out of taking a toe hold against him.
The Nice Guy, being a professional baseball pitcher whose bread and butter depended upon his getting the batters out with reasonable regularity, occasionally found it expedient to knock them on their duffs as a means of discouraging undue familiarity.
At such times the batters would pick themselves up, brush the dust from their bloomers and observe to the catcher and umpire, "I've never seen old Jim as wild as he is today."
But let poor Joe, by the sheerest accident, get a fast ball two inches inside and the hitters would drop their bats and want to fight, asserting that he was trying to maim them.
I mean they were undertaking to read the pitchers' minds in the light of their reputations, and were, of course, reading inaccurately. And that is exactly what the advocates of antibeanball legislation are asking that umpires be required to do. The umps aren't having any.