"The demise of the minor leagues," says Robert J. Philbin, a 48-year-old freelance sportscaster, "is only a breath away. This is no time for rule makers to go into prolonged consultation. The minor leagues' revival by the summer of 1962 depends on some drastic action that may well involve pulling off the old corn plasters and injecting a new wonder drug." Mr. Philbin's wonder drug is called Hitter's Choice and some of its rules follow:
1) Since baseball gives a decided advantage to the left-handed hitter by giving him a step less in reaching first base, Hitter's Choice allows the hitter to proceed to either first base or third upon hitting the ball.
2) Once the hitter commits himself to either third or first, any further progress around the bases must be made in the same direction.
3) The bases are enlarged an inch on each side (total four inches) and this allows all the bases to be doubly occupied. A home run with the bases doubly loaded would then account for seven runs.
4) Instead of four balls and three strikes, Hitter's Choice allows three balls and two strikes. Pitchers would be afraid to throw balls and hitters afraid to take strikes and the game would thus be speeded up.
5) If two runners try to reach the same base both must make it safely or else a double play results. This, of course, would mean that a left-handed shortstop would be just as valuable as a right-handed shortstop because he could make the pivot at second base and throw to third to complete the double play.
6) If a fly ball is hit to the right fielder only the man on first could try to score; if it goes to the left fielder only the man on third could try to score.
BAD DEAL (CONT.)
There is another move afoot to monopolize harness racing in New York state. And since New York racing so clearly dominates and sets the standards for the sport nationwide, it is disturbing to observe the inaction of the New York State Harness Racing Commission in the face of this challenge.