The Great American Baseball Trip

What You've Said

Here's some of the interesting comments you've sent us about Interleague Play! To send us some too, please go to the feedback page or join in our online conversation and go to the section on Our National Pastime.

(Comments on other subjects can be found on a separate page)

From: R E McAuliffe
Date: June 11, 1997

I am a die hard baseball fan for whom interleague play is the last straw.

I am now no more interested in baseball than I am professional roller derby. Baseball may gain 10 fans for every one like me they lose. But those ten won't be as good a fan as I was for most of my 38 years. And in 5 years or so theyll be on to watching something else.

If baseball isn't going to keep to its traditions than it really is nothing more than a boring child's game of rounders.

The fact that the owners feel they can "experiment" with anything this major just shows they have no clue of what the game is all about. It's just a business to them.

From: Bob Canter
Date: June 20, 1997
Comments: Here are my comments on Interleague play. I am a traditionalist; I don't like the designated hitter, and I didn't think I was going to like inter- league player either. When I first heard about it, I agreed with those who said: "there they go, messing up baseball again."

However, I have to admit that after witnessing Interleague play, it's been fun for the fans and good for baseball, at least in the short term. My son and I went to the Oakland Athletics first Interleague game, on Thursday, June 12, in Oakland versus the Dodgers. (The A's won, 5-4 Also, for you history buffs, I scored the game, so I have a record of it). It was fun being able to see Nomo, who pitched, and the other Dodger players who normally I would only get to see on TV, or go over to S.F. and see them when they play the Giants. I thought it was fun seeing Piazza as a DH instead of catcher. (He got 3 hits). And as far as I can tell, it's really brought the fans back to the ballpark.

Two concerns. One, as you mentioned, it does really mess up recordkeeping; i.e., lifetime and single-season League records. Example: What is the National League records for home runs in a single season? The answer of course, is 56, by Hack Wilson of the Cubs in 1930. What happens if some young slugger on a National League team hits 57 or more, but several are in Interleague play, against American League teams? How do we account for this in the official records? This to me is a tough problem.

The other is a long-range question. Is this just a short-term fad, a novelty that will wear off, or a long-term trend that is good for the health of the game? No one knows for sure at this point, but I think this is the really critical question.

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