Nix to the Moonlight Graham Base Runner

SS: “How many times do we have to run this guy down?”
3B: “Until we either keep him from scoring – or the last fan leaves – whichever comes first!

Do we really want to fill baseball rosters with a new special talent – a guy that runs the bases like Lou Brock, but never hits because he’s more like Moonlight Graham in that department?

We simply want to call attention to a tight series of points made by Davis O. Barker as a comment upon that “Extra Innings Second Base” Placed Runner idea. If Mr. Davis doesn’t write another sentence on this subject, his thoughts and observations here should be worth a pause by the Commissioner before the game ever comes closer to considering this change at the MLB level – or other any level of organized baseball play:


Wow … I could write a book on this one. I’m going to gather my thoughts later and then submit it. But let me say one thing about the Extra Innings Second Base idea … this is nothing new by any means. I remember seeing it decades ago playing Fast-Pitch Softball – especially in tournament play. They used to call it “Olympic Rules”, but I have no idea why. After watching it in action, it really doesn’t help end games if that’s your goal. The reason for that is that a strategy emerged and everybody followed it … and as a result, everybody scores one run and you keep playing … Strategy? First guy up bunts the runner to third … second guy up lifts the ball into the outfield … runner tags and scores. Now you’re left with two outs and nobody on … Bottom half of the inning – same thing. Problem: What are the chances of scoring a second run with nobody on and two outs when you say that you aren’t likely to score with nobody on and no outs without the rule. The only thing good I guess that would come out of it is that the art of bunting may return to its original standing.

~ Comment by Davis O. Barker at the Baseball at the Crossroads: To Be or Not To Be site


Res Ipsa Loquitur. ~ The thing speaks for itself.

Thank You, Mr. Barker.



Bill McCurdy

Principal Writer, Editor, Publisher

The Pecan Park Eagle


4 Responses to “Nix to the Moonlight Graham Base Runner”

  1. Fred Soland Says:

    In Mr. Barker’s analysis, it may just place more importance on an old fundamental of the game that is often times screwed up these days…the bunt. In order to bunt the runner to third with one out as Barker suggests, you have to be able to get the bunt down. That means EVERY hitter on the team had better learn to bunt because you never know when you will be called on to do so.

    Like Willie & Waylon sang “getting back to the basics of life…or the game”

  2. Wayne A Chandler Says:

    I’d say the Astros might still hit away. A single would score the first run and promise more with at least one baserunner before they made three outs.

  3. Rick B. Says:

    Let’s remind everyone of the Oakland Athletics’ Designated Runner, Herb Washington. In 1974 he appeared in 92 games – he stole 29 bases, was caught stealing 16 times, and scored 29 runs. Oh, and he had 0 (yes, ZERO) at bats or plate appearances.

    We don’t want any teams to waste a roster spot in that manner again, do we? I can see it now: $5,000,000/year for a designated runner & accusations of collusion against the owners if he isn’t signed to a 7 year-$10,000,000/year contract once he’s a free agent.

  4. Cliff Blau Says:

    They used a rule like that in the World Baseball Classic, and it went pretty similar to what Mr. Barker stated, although it’s tougher in baseball to hit an outfield fly on demand. I didn’t care for it.

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