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The Question: Should the spitter be legalized?
Jimmy Jemail
July 15, 1957
STAN MUSIAL St. Louis Cardinals First basemanNo. By itself, the spitter would make little difference. Few pitchers could master the delivery. But once a pitcher begins to spit on the ball, there may be all sorts of abuses. Baseball rules are made to improve our national sport. Why legalize a pitch that was banned years ago?
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July 15, 1957

The Question: Should The Spitter Be Legalized?

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STAN MUSIAL
St. Louis Cardinals
First baseman
No. By itself, the spitter would make little difference. Few pitchers could master the delivery. But once a pitcher begins to spit on the ball, there may be all sorts of abuses. Baseball rules are made to improve our national sport. Why legalize a pitch that was banned years ago?

YOGI BERRA
N.Y. Yankees
Catcher
The spitter does funny things, but so does the knuckler. You can't tell how a knuckler will break, but the spitter breaks down. I'm not saying that the spitter should be legalized. However, if it is, it will be the same for everyone, and no pitcher would be accused of cheating.

LEW BURDETTE
Milwaukee Braves
Pitcher
If it is legalized, I'll have to learn to throw it. I've never seen a pitcher throw a spitter, and I don't know what it does. I'm sure that most big leaguers don't, either. But if all the stories I've heard about the spitter are true, I don't blame the batters for not wanting it used.

TED WILLIAMS
Boston Red Sox
Left fielder
No. Even with the rabbit ball, the pitchers have all the better of it. They've got night baseball, the slider and the knuckler. That's enough of an edge. Anyway, I had several spitters thrown at me last year. How do I know? Some of the stuff got into my eyes. It isn't sanitary.

HAL JEFFCOAT
Cincinnati Redlegs
Pitcher
Yes. As a former outfielder, I know that a lot of spitters have been hit out of the park. The pitch should be legalized just to stop all the hullabaloo about it. Its reintroduction will foul up the control of many pitchers who try it. The spitter will never replace a good live fast ball.

BILLY PIERCE
Chicago White Sox
Pitcher
No. The spitter is an extremely difficult pitch to control. Its experimental use could result in serious injuries. Furthermore, the perfection and widespread use of pitches like the slider, palm ball and knuckle ball have added greatly to the pitcher's repertoire.

DUKE SNIDER
Brooklyn Dodgers
Center fielder
No, but I know pitchers who throw it. Burdette's best pitch is a low fast ball. If you think it's a spitter, you take it because it will break down for a ball. So, if it isn't a spitter, the ball comes over for a strike. That makes the threat of a spitter more effective than a spitter itself.

EDDIE YOST
Washington Senators
Third baseman
No. The pitchers already have the fast ball, curve, slider, screwball, knuckler, palm ball, fork ball, all of which they control effectively. These pitches have greatly reduced the number of .300 hitters since the spitter was outlawed. Why give the pitchers still another advantage?

WILLIE MAYS
N. Y. Giants
Center fielder
It makes no difference to me, but I wouldn't like to see it too often. The spitter was outlawed because it was a dangerous pitch. The knuckler isn't dangerous because it has to be pushed and doesn't have much speed.
But the spitter can be thrown hard and has a quick, uncertain break.

BILL VIRDON
Pittsburgh Pirates
Center fielder
Yes. The pitcher has the advantage now. If you are a .300 hitter, he gets you out seven times while you're getting only three hits. And there aren't many .300 hitters. Even so, I think the spitter should be legalized. Few pitchers will use it, and it's no more dangerous than some other pitches.

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