Merits of Baseball

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Merits of Baseball is a letter written by Arthur Conan Doyle first published in The Times on 28 october 1924.

Merits of Baseball

The Times (28 october 1924, p. 13)


Sir, — As one who has sampled most British sports, may I say a word upon baseball? It seems to me that in those Press comments which I have been able to see too much stress is laid upon what may appear to us to be a weakness or a comic aspect in the game and not nearly enough upon its real claim on our attention. I fully agree that the continual ragging is from a British view-point a defect, but baseball is a game which is continually in process of development and improvement, as anyone who reads Arthur Mathewson's interesting book on the subject is aware.

The foul tricks which were once common are now hardly known, and what was once applauded, or at any rate tolerated, would now be execrated. Therefore, this rough badinage may pass away and it is not an essential of the game. What is essential is that here is a splendid game which calls for a fine eye, activity, bodily fitness, and judgment in the highest degree. This game needs no expensive levelling of a field, its outfit is within the reach of any village club, it takes only two or three hours in the playing, it is independent of wet wickets, and the player is on his toes all the time, and not sitting on a pavilion bench while another man makes his century. If it were taken up by our different Association teams as a summer pastime I believe it would sweep this country as it has done America. At the same time it would no more interfere with cricket than lawn tennis has done. It would find its own place What we need now is a central association which would advise and help the little clubs in the first year of their existence.

Yours faithfully,

Windlesham, Crowborough, Oct. 25.