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The Question: Ford Frick, Commissioner of Baseball, says that television is killing the minor baseball leagues. Is it?

Oct. 04, 1954
Oct. 04, 1954

Table of Contents
Oct. 4, 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

Under 21
Sportsman
Table of Contents
Spectacle
  • A champion who was very nearly crippled a few days before the race takes charge of the Kentucky Derby of standardbred pacing—and prevents a filly from upsetting a nine-year-old tradition

Soundtrack
The Wonderful World Of Sport
Treasure Diver
Motor Sports
Bowling
Fisherman's Calendar
Column Of The Week
Baseball
Acknowledgments
Horse Racing
Health
  • An engineer turned gymnast eliminates the grunt and groan from exercises and builds balanced bodies instead of bulging biceps

Golf
Yesterday
19th Hole: The Readers Take Over
Last Laugh

The Question: Ford Frick, Commissioner of Baseball, says that television is killing the minor baseball leagues. Is it?

The Answers:

This is an article from the Oct. 4, 1954 issue

JOHN L. REEVES
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
PRESIDENT
TEXAS LEAGUE

"I think that 'crippling' is a more appropriate word. Certainly this 20th century Cyclops is wreaking havoc with us. The minors are comparable to a stabbed man, bleeding profusely, but not going to die. The transfusion that will save us is Little League Baseball, now rejuvenatng local interest."

SEN. E. C. JOHNSON
DENVER, COLO.
PRESIDENT
WESTERN LEAGUE

"Ford Frick is dead right. Almost half the minors have given up the ghost. The rest are hanging on the ropes. When we are all dead and gone, the major leagues will be operating their clubs with class 'C' ballplayers. There is only one remedy—'Stop doing it.' This is a plain case of murder."

HAL TOTTEN
CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA
PRESIDENT
THREE I LEAGUE

"Yes. It's already killed off some excellent cities. TV will doom the minors completely if it creates baseball networks and diverts interest from home teams. Solution? Limit promotions to home territory. Recreate local loyalties. Otherwise armchair fans will watch 'E' baseball from major league parks."

F. J. SHAUGHNESSY
MONTREAL, CANADA
PRESIDENT
INTERNAT'L LEAGUE

"Every minor club owner and a majority of big league owners agree. It's impossible to compete with major league broadcasts into minor league territory. We had to pull out of Jersey City and Newark for that reason. If each major club limited TV to its local station, minor league attendance would benefit."

HOWARD L. GREEN
FORT WORTH, TEXAS
PRESIDENT, BIG STATE
BASEBALL LEAGUE

"TV is only one of many factors damaging baseball in the hinterlands. Today's players lack the 'old college try.' Baseball leaders lack courage. The Commissioner and top executives permit a few wealthy owners to lead them or push them around. We need Ty Cobb's spirit and the courage of a K. M. Landis."

DALE MILLER
SEBRING, FLA.
PRESIDENT, FLORIDA
INTERNAT'L LEAGUE

"Certainly. I'm president of one of the 'victim leagues.' Radio and television broadcasting of major league games into our territory was the 'cancer' that killed the Florida International League. Complete subsidy of the minors below class 'A' by the majors is their only hope of survival."

ROBERT B. ABEL
TACOMA, WASH.
PRESIDENT, WESTERN
INTERNAT'L LEAGUE

"TV hurts, but it's not the main cause of our ills. We could combat television, radio and other forms of competition if we could get the players. We can't. That's why we're being driven to the wall. The best solution is to limit the number of players a major or minor league team can control."

FRANK L. SUMMERS
STAUNTON, VA.
PRESIDENT
PIEDMONT LEAGUE

"TV is certainly hurting the minors. But it's here to stay. We'll have to learn how to live with it. Radio people went into the television business. Railroads bought into bus lines. Major leagues should allot a portion of the TV profits to the minors, to keep alive the hand that feeds them."

T. H. RICHARDSON
WILLIAMSPORT, PA.
PRESIDENT
EASTERN LEAGUE

"Yes. Take Hartford, Conn. as an example. The city abandoned baseball in 1953 after drawing only 36,281 fans in 1952, due to TV saturation of major league games. The only solution is for the major leagues to underwrite the losses of the minors with a portion of their TV millions."

GLENN E. (TED) MANN
DURHAM, N.C.
PRESIDENT
CAROLINA LEAGUE

"Yes. TV is like the telephone, the automobile, the airplane, the radio. All have changed our way of life. The only solution is for the TV people to clear channels for certain programs via the telephone company at a price. The money should be divided equitably between all parties concerned."

ILLUSTRATIONTEN PHOTOSILLUSTRATION"Oh, for goodness sakes! Are you going to watch him run the whole 80 yards?"