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Sunday, August 15, 2004

The more things change (redux)

As I search around for tidbits for an article I am writing about rules changes in professional sports, I come across the following:
The owners are always on the lookout for new players. They have capable scouts continually scouring the country. They spend thousands of dollars in the search. They pay fabulous sums for untried players of supposed ability. Their managers are eager to build up a winning club. They show no sentiment whatever. On the other hand, thousands of ambitious athletes are striving to gain admission to the Majors. Magnates are no less eager for players than the players are for jobs. What is the result of this elaborate and costly system? Magnates find there are not enough star ball players to be had at any money. In the face of all this spectacular expense what chance has the recruit to show his ability? According to Mr. Kofoed’s careful analysis he has just "One Chance in a Thousand!"

Abstract for J. C. KOFOED's "The Tough Struggle That is Faced by Players Trying to Get Into Fast Company From the Minors, And How Few Win the Goal," Baseball Magazine, February, 1914, No. 4, p. 55-59.

Absolutely beautiful...

The more things change, the more they stay the same. It seems that the adage "history repeats itself" is not as accurate as perhaps "history never changed." I have found lots of debate and commentary from the late 1800's and early 1900's that sound familiar to the late 1900's and early 2000's, including issues such as money in politics and the need for campaign finance reform, scandals in college athletics, the need for universal health care, the fear of immigration, the fear of job losses, the fear of automation and technological progress, the domination of a few teams in professional baseball, the disparity between the rich and the poor, and on and on.

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