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Did Sportswriters Know the Score?

August 13, 2010 |  9:58 am

Aug. 13, 1970, Sports.

Aug. 13, 1970: Back in 1970, baseball writers were still serving as official scorers for major league games. They were paid by the clubs all of $35 a game.

Henry Aaron didn't like the idea of writers judging hits or errors and other judgment calls.

"He should be someone who sits down on the field level where he can see everything and he should be isolated from everyone else, like a fifth umpire," he told The Times' Dave Distel.

Sports editors, including those at The Times and that New York paper that also uses our name, saw the issue differently.

"Certainly we allow our writers to score," said New York Times Sports Editor Jim Roach. "It keeps their attention on the game and it improves their knowledge of the rules. It makes even more expert experts out of them."

Bill Shirley of The Times disagreed: "Let's face it, it's just a way to pay off baseball writers."

-- Keith Thursby

Aug. 13, 1970, Scoring