Sport: The Frantic '40s

Sport, which Webster calls "a diversion of the field," was suffering from inflation.

As inflation will, it had sneaked up unbeknownst. All of a sudden, with a rule change here, a new technique there, games that used to be well-balanced and even-paced had become frantic high-scoring battles. Judging by attendance, and audience enthusiasm, the crowds liked it that way. But here & there a small voice could be heard—asking what had happened to football, hockey and basketball.

In the frantic '403, fences had been shortened to make the home run cheaper; and in a...

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