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The Question: Are today's baseball players sissies compared to the old-timers? (Asked of members of the Baseball Hall of Fame)

Sept. 06, 1954
Sept. 06, 1954

Table of Contents
Sept. 6, 1954

Pat On The Back
  • Herewith a salute from the editors to men and women of all ages who have fairly earned the good opinion of the world of sport, regardless of whether they have yet earned its tallest headlines

Sportsman
  • The President's love of sports is as much a part of his personality as the Eisenhower grin. And whether opponent is par, a rainbow or visiting team, Ike plays hard

Table Of Contents
Soundtrack
Spectacle
  • Color photographs by Mark Kauffman show what it is like to stand up against Robin Roberts

The Wonderful World Of Sport
Football
Health
Motor Sports
Under 21
  • The ball boys at Forest Hills have to work hard but it's all in fun and sometimes a lucky retriever is rewarded with the champ's racket

Sport In Art
Fisherman's Calendar
Baseball
Horse Racing
Yesterday
Bowling
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Last Laugh

The Question: Are today's baseball players sissies compared to the old-timers? (Asked of members of the Baseball Hall of Fame)

The Answers:

This is an article from the Sept. 6, 1954 issue

LEFTY GROVE
PHILADELPHIA A's
PITCHER

"Yes. The old-timers did a lot more with much less. On the field the other guys were our enemies. No fraternizing. Today a guy will get a single and start gabbing with the first baseman. He can't pitch and play every position on the team. Pitcher Radbourne did. He played in 85 games one year and won 60."

PAUL WANER
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
OUTFIELD

"No. Baseball is a more aggressive game today. The players can't let up a bit. In my day we could. Today the pitcher has to throw hard to every man in the line-up. That's the reason for so many substitutions. There are many more home-run hitters playing today. And there are cracker-jack fielders."

ROGERS HORNSBY
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
SECOND BASE

"Yes. It would seem so, but it's the fault of the managers, not the players. They change men too often. A pitcher will be removed for one bad pitch. A left-handed batter will be removed for a right-hander, for the percentage. Would they ever have taken out Cobb, Speaker, Wagner or Frisch?"

AL SIMMONS
PHILADELPHIA A's
OUTFIELD

"No. It was soft for us. We had no Sunday games. Besides double-headers, today's players have to play day, night and Sunday baseball. But, of course, we did have players like Ty Cobb, who led the American League in hitting 12 times. He had 4,191 hits when he retired. And 'Shoeless' Joe Jackson. What a man!"

CARL HUBBELL
N. Y. GIANTS
PITCHER

"Many of the players today are fully as good as most of the old-timers. But comparisons are difficult to make. One of Ty Cobb's great assets was base-stealing; in the 1915 season he stole 96 bases, a record that still stands. With the rabbit ball today, why risk an out? It's better to wait for the long hit."

CY YOUNG
CLEVELAND INDIANS
PITCHER

"Yes. They can't take it. I've seen some of them threaten the pitcher when a ball brushed them back. Most rugged old-timers took this as a part of the game. It's the rule today to use several pitchers in one game. Iron Man McGinnity pitched 55 games for the Giants in 1903. He won three double-headers in one month."

FRED CLARKE
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
OUTFIELD

"Yes. I'll prove it with one man, Hans Wagner. Everyone calls him the greatest shortstop of all time. But he was also the greatest outfielder I ever saw. And he could play first base better than Hal Chase. With the rabbit ball he would have hit 60 home runs every year. Anyone like him today?"

JIMMY FOXX
PHILADELPHIA A's
FIRST BASE

"Today they don't have the great number of tough players and hitters. That is because life is different. As a kid I used to shovel manure with a pitchfork. Today everything is done by machines. There'll never be an 'Old Hoss' Radbourne again. In one season he pitched the last 27 games and won 26."

PIE TRAYNOR
PITTSBURGH PIRATES
THIRD BASE

"No. Players today like Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Duke Snider, Eddie Mathews, Mickey Mantle, Bob Feller, Phil Rizzuto and Peewee Reese are as rugged as any of the old-timers. The trouble is that they are handicapped by having to play day and night baseball. This shortens their careers."

FRANKIE FRISCH
N.Y. GIANTS
SECOND BASE

"It's tough to say who are the tougher. Night games and the rabbit ball have changed everything. The managers seldom play for one run. And the players swing from the end of the bat. But baseball is a nicer game today. They meet you at the train and drive you to the park. TV has them hamming. But we got more fun out of the game."

ED WALSH
CHICAGO WHITE SOX
PITCHER

"Certainly. Our player limit was 15. We had to play every game. Now every ball club has at least 25 players and the managers use the double platoon system. We had three or four pitchers. Now they have 10. I pitched 66 full games in one season, won 40 and saved 12. They paid me $2,800. What would they pay me today?"

ILLUSTRATIONELEVEN PHOTOSILLUSTRATION"He calls them more closely than most umpires, doesn't he?"