Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/373

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341
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

great as it was; not to his ability as a writer, forceful and graceful as his literary efforts were ever acknowledged to be; not to his accuracy as a statistician, perfect as were his achievements along those lines; but to his indomitable energy and sublime courage in behalf of the integrity of Base Ball that our national game is most indebted for its high standing in the estimation of the American people.

Coming upon the stage of action at a time when the gambling and pool-selling evils were threatening its very life, he threw himself with all the force of an ardent nature into the struggle. He saw the managers of the early associations temporizing with the abuses referred to, encouraging them by continued toleration; but never for an instant did he falter in his demands for a clean game. He made enemies by the hundreds; he received the personal abuse of unscrupulous newspapers and their correspondents; he called upon his head the anathemas of all who were guilty, and the sneers and jibes of the weak and vacillating. He demanded the eradication of gambling. He exhorted strict temperance in the ranks of all ball players and advocated extreme measures in dealing with habitual inebriates. He insisted upon fair treatment of umpires, seeking always the enactment of rigid rules protecting them against rowdies, whether on the field, in grandstand or on bleachers. During the early evolution and development of the game, he was for many years Chairman of the Committees on Rules in the leading Associations. In that position his efforts were uniformly for rules looking to the upbuilding of an edifice of sport that should withstand the shocks of all time.