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Sorry, I don't know how else to communicate with you...re: a Supreme Court case, I thought the same thing, but the criminal defense attorney told me that wasn't what happened. If you find out differently, I'd be interested to know.
Asked by: Glenn

Answered: 7/5/2020
 I don't have the patience to be a constitutional scholar, but one case which is clearly relevant is Ashe v. Swenson, 397 US 436 (1970).   In that case, there was a poker game in a private basement in Lee's Summit, Missouri, which is a Missouri-side suburb of Kansas City.   Six guys in the poker game.  Three or four men broke into the poker game and robbed all six participants.  Whether it was three guys or four is a critical issue here; some of the victims insisted it was three, others insisted it was four.  Anyway, the robbers made their escape in a car belonging to one of their victims, and ditched the car on a highway not too far away.   Three men were arrested walking on the highway near where the car was abandoned; a fourth man--Ashe--was arrested, also walking on the highway, some distance away.   
 
All four men were put on trial, together, and charged with robbing one of the men in the poker game, a man named Knight, who I believe was the owner of the car.   The jury acquitted them.   The state of Missouri then put Ashe on trial, apparently alone, on a charge of robbing a different one of the six poker players.  He was convicted, and spent most of the 1960s in jail as lower courts affirmed his conviction, arguing that his double jeopardy protection had not been violated.  
 
The Supreme Court, however, ruled that his rights HAD been violated, since these were the same actions for which he had already been acquitted of robbing Knight.  If you were there and involved in the robbery, you were guilty of robbing each of the defendants, therefore, once you were acquitted, you could not later be convicted of the same crime.   
 
The decision, of course, cites earlier decisions, as all Supreme Court cases do, and it SEEMS to be saying--again, my understanding of constitutional law is limited--but it seems to be saying that this interpretation was already established in federal law, but that due to the 14th amendment, it also applied to the states.  

 

Re: attendance vs caliber of players employed, I think you're overlooking the different cultural space occupied by pro vs college sports. There is widespread regional fanaticism in college sports culture, made possible by the fact that college sports developed such that access to the highest level of competition was not as restricted as that in MLB and other professional sports. As a result, all kinds of highly-driven local fanbases remain viable economic propositions despite the much greater number of teams. Pro sports, on the other hand, are culturally-positioned as "the best of the best".  
 
I'm a Nebraska fan and my team has been unprecedentedly terrible for 4 of the last 5 years. We continue to sell out every game. I saw us get stomped by OSU in a stadium that remained 60%-70% full to the end. That doesn't happen in MLB - bad teams still have diehard fans, but the fairweather fans that drive the real economic gravy train stay home, and they sure as heck don't sell out the stadium.
Asked by: belewfripp

Answered: 7/5/2020
 You're just making it up as you go along.  There's no "different cultural space occupied by pro vs. college sports."  They're directly competing for the same sports dollar.   It's just that more of it goes to college than to the pros.  

 

Just a bit more about Dick Pahmahmie: He did go 18-10 in 1949, with a 3.63 ERA, but he might have been better in '48, when he went 13-3 with a 2.51 ERA. He fell off pretty dramatically after that, but it does look like he was Topeka's star pitcher for two years there, as you remembered.  
 
Asked by: BobGill

Answered: 7/5/2020
 Thanks. 

 

 
I’ve heard and read that story about Finley from old interviews of Marvin Miller. According to Miller, "Charlie Finley was the only owner out there with any sense when it came to free agency." "The other owners were running scared of free agency and were doing everything possible to prevent it." "But Finley came right out and said, [Allow every player to be a free agent after every season]." "Finley’s proposal was considered off the wall by the other owners but to me it was a big worry." Miller shrewdly offered the owners what seemed like a compromise by limiting players to free agency after 6 years of service time. According to Miller, "I didn’t want free agency every year, you flood the market that way and salaries would only be a fraction of what they became." "You just want a few guys out there every year, this way the demand was far greater than the supply, Finley was the only owner who understood that."
Asked by: John-Q

Answered: 7/5/2020
 Thanks.   It is probably not unexpected that when everybody was in agreement except one guy that everybody hated, the one guy that everybody hated was actually the one guy who understood the problem.  
 
Image result for photos marvin miller

 

I just googled Mayetta Kansas and learned that its population declined somewhat through most of the 20th century but has since rebounded and has been increasing since the year 2000. Two questions: were you aware of this and do you attribute it to anything in particular? Thanks.
Asked by: manhattanhi

Answered: 7/5/2020
 Casino.  It's the casino.  Mayetta got a casino about 2000--a large, well-run operation.   The tribe at this time is well-managed; they have a number of tribal businesses spinning off the casino--a big hotel, a race track, a couple of others.   The town is thriving economically because of the casino.  

 

Does your Kansas book include material related to your personal experience of relations between the races in your hometown, as you talked about it in that answer about Dick Pahmahmie? (I hope so.) And, while we're at it, any update on what's happening with the book?
Asked by: MarisFan61

Answered: 7/5/2020
 No, and no. 

 

Just a comment. When I had a summer job as a popsicle man in Birmingham in the early 70s, the owner and I would talk baseball. He had gone through the school system with Charley Finley. He said the guy was an asshole in elementary school.  FWIW.
Asked by: markj111

Answered: 7/5/2020
 Charlie Finley's wild free agency idea would have made for an ...

 

The game of baseball may not depend on any one player, but doesn't the appeal of MLB rest on the generally understood premise that this is the most competitive baseball on earth? If the owners in MLB decided they could do without Betts and Trout and Verlander, and a substantial number of the best players went to Japan, or Mexico, or the Lost Civilization of Atlantis Central Division, wouldn't there be a significant fall-off in interest, attendance and revenue?
Asked by: Fireball Wenz

Answered: 7/4/2020
 I'm not convinced that there is any connection, any reliance on that belief.  I would guess that many times more people attend college football or college basketball games than attend NFL or NBA games.  Of the ten largest stadiums in the world, none in an NFL stadium; eight are college football stadiums.   Nobody is under the illusion that these players, the college players, are the best in the world.  It doesn't have anything to do with the appeal of the sport.  

 

Thanks so much for the whole story of Dick Pahmahmie. When I went looking for the right player, there were two that seemed possible, and he was "the other guy." There were two reasons that I went past him. The main one was that his page on baseball-reference (https://www.baseball-reference.com/register/player.fcgi?id=pahmah001ric) is just blank on some of the usual bio info: where he was born, death date or current age, which seems to mean a guy was pretty unknown, and I guessed that this player wouldn't be. Also his biggest year was actually 1949 (where he is shown as going 18-10) and I guessed that your guy's big year wouldn't have been quite that far back. (I recognize that such listed records can be incomplete or wrong.) BTW from that page it seems he likewise had his whole career in organized ball with that Topeka team, also likewise 5 years, from 1948 to 1952. Thanks again very much for expanding on the story.
Asked by: MarisFan61

Answered: 7/4/2020
 Thank you.  I did a little googling after that, and found (1) Dick's grandson, son of Dick Jr., is now the head of the Tribal Council up in Mayetta, and (2) Actually the oldest son's name was Albert, not Abner.  We called him "Ab"; I no doubt proceded from that.  Albert was born in late 1943 (I had guessed 1944), which would indicate that Dick Sr. was too old to be a prospect by the time he had his big season in 1949.  

 

Bill, thanks for your response re: "The Man from the Train". One question I had when reading your book concerned your statement that back then, to avoid the Double Jeopardy problem in cases of multiple, simultaneous killings, prosecutors would sometimes charge someone with only one killing so they could re-try the accused on others later if they wanted. I wondered how this worked today, so I asked a local criminal defense attorney. He told me that generally the court would order the cases over the crimes to be consolidated but upon motion & for good cause, a petition may be made to have separate counts tried separately. "Good cause shown" might be when multiple defendants are charged, but factually, one defendant is far less culpable than the others. That defendant would want to avoid being painted as guilty with one broad stroke of the brush.  
 
Generally it is defense attorneys who are more likely to file to separate cases, but the prosecution can do it also.  
 
Anyway, thanks again.
Asked by: Glenn

Answered: 7/4/2020
 Thank you.   There must have been a Supreme Court case that in effect told the courts to stop allowing this trick.   I'll try to figure out what it was.  

 

It seems as if Charlie Finley understood the free agency problem right away. By only letting a few free agents trickle out at a time, they were massively inflating salaries because the supply never kept up with the demand. If you’re making Richie Zisk & Larry Hisle two of the highest paid players in baseball, how much were Schmidt, Fisk and Brett worth? Was there ever a movement by some of the owners during the 80’s or early 90’s to adopt Finley’s plan of yearly universal free agency?
Asked by: John-Q

Answered: 7/4/2020
 I did not know or remember that Finley had that plan.   But two points (a) Finley was despised by all 23-25 other owners, universally.  He was an asshole.   If he supported ANY idea, it was probably doomed because he supported it.  (b) Bowie Kuhn, who was leading the owners and had amazingly strong support among the owners, had NO understanding of markets, and also, Kuhn hated Finley more than anyone else did.  

 

tkoegel: I remember being saddened... about the loss of minor league baseball in the restructuring... and the old system that started at Class D was restructured...  Removing colorful locales like Medicine Hat.  
 
Please don't mourn the Hat - the A's and Blue Jays had a Rookie League affiliate there from 1977-2002. The Medicine Hat Mavericks have played in the Western Canadian Baseball League (collegiate summer baseball) since at least 2003, winning three titles. Beautiful team logo: https://medicinehatnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Mavericks-logo-300x263.jpg.  
 
The Okotoks Dawgs play 25 minutes from my house. I've been meaning to take my family to a game for years and need to get to it when the league resumes next summer.
Asked by: bewareofdow

Answered: 7/4/2020
 The road to Okotoks is paved with good intentions.  

 

At what point is it appropriate for me to acknowledge that I’m apparently going to call Bryce Harper Brian Harper for his entire career?
Asked by: Michael p

Answered: 7/4/2020
 Perhaps we can get an autocorrect feature, when we type "Brian Harper", that will ask us "Did you mean Bryce Harper?"

 

Bill,  
Regarding the runner on second in extra innings rule, this is what MLB.com has to say:  
"The runner placed on second base at the start of each half-inning will be the player in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning’s leadoff hitter, or a pinch-runner."  There's not going to be a designated runner, or a choice about who the runner will be (unless the team puts in a pinch-runner.)  
What do you think the odds are that any team will play 60 games this year?  Isn't it likely a few players on each team will test positive, and the whole team'll be forced to go into quarantine for two weeks, probably more than once?
Asked by: W.T.Mons10

Answered: 7/4/2020
 I don't know that I am better qualified to judge that issue than the people making the schedule.  They think they can make it work, so I'll wish them the best, and hope they are right.  

 

Hey Bill --  
 
Re: Stengel. In the late '40s and early '50s, he seemed to use Allie Reynolds both as a starter and as a reliever. Seems Virgil Trucks got similar usage. Was that standard practice with other top starters with other teams?  
 
Asked by: tdwalla

Answered: 7/4/2020
 It was universal practice in the 1925-1940 era.  There is NO pitcher in that era who is purely a starter or purely a reliever.   They all did both roles at least some times.  Dizzy Dean, Carl Hubbell, Lefty Grove, Red Ruffing; they all came out of the bullpen many times in their careers.  By the late 1940s it was not as common; bullpen specialists were beginning to take over the high-leverage late-inning situations, but top starters continued to be used as emergency relievers until the mid-1960s.   From 1958 to 1960, Don Drysdale made 28 relief appearances.  

 

 
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