Cuicchi: Visionary baseball changes suggested 50 years ago

From SABR member Richard Cuicchi at The Tenth Inning Blog on July 1, 2013:

I was recently reading through some The Sporting News magazines from 1963-1964, and I was amazed at the number of and types of changes to the game of baseball that were being talked about during that time. The changes being proposed had a wide range of implications, from the game on the field to the structure of professional baseball.

Fifty years later, the types of changes noted would have to be considered visionary, since a number of them were ultimately adopted in some form or fashion, and in some cases are still being considered.    Back then, leaders within Major League Baseball seemed to be looking for innovation ideas to keep the game sustainable and also to grow its popularity.  It seems there were some strong baseball personalities who were behind several of the ideas—people like Branch Rickey, Paul Richards, and Charlie Finley.

Today, I believe there is still an emphasis on growing the popularity of the game, but it seems to be driven more by modern-day marketing—huge TV contracts, merchandising, advertising, improving fan experience, and the use of social media–versus improvements in how the game is played.

Below, I’ve cited several articles from The Sporting News that contained suggestions and ideas for changes to the game.  I’ve provided a short synopsis and my commentary for each article.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 1, 2013. Last Updated: July 1, 2013.