Dickson: A modest proposal to combine Negro Leagues and MLB

From Paul Dickson at The National Pastime Museum on March 6, 2017:

For all of its popularity, the All-Star Game did not prove to be the shot in the arm baseball needed. Fans continued to stay away from ballparks in droves. In fact, the situation seemed to get worse. Cubs President William Veeck Sr. was in New York City on August 22 for a Cubs-Giants game, but the game was rained out.

The writers who covered the National League were “looking for a rainy day story,” which Veeck gave them. With an eye to Cubs attendance, which despite the Century of Progress and the Game of the Century drawing more people to Chicago, the situation was grim. Cubs attendance had already shrunk by another 400,000 during the 1933 season, which still had weeks to go. As he had before, he proposed a series of midseason games between American and National League teams as a means of stimulating interest in the game. He maintained that the game was in “critical condition” and that aggressive action had to be taken to revive interest before the 1934 season.

“There is no use kidding ourselves any longer,” Veeck told Alan Gould of the Associated Press. “Only one big league club of 16 made money last year.” He pointed out that anyone who looked at the attendance figures from July 5 until the middle of August saw that the game was in the doldrums and teams might soon go out of business.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/modest-proposal

Originally published: March 6, 2017. Last Updated: March 6, 2017.