The more things change . . .

Everything people worry about in baseball today is right here in this short, unbylined item from December of 1951. You’ve got your revenue sharing (i.e., road attendance); your anxieties about new media and new distractions (television); your sales and marketing (the studying of television); your highly selective self-presentation (in reality, the biggest problem was the Reds’ home attendance, which, at 588,688, ranked next to last in the league); your whining about short-term losses while staying quiet about capitalization (within ten years, Bill DeWitt, Sr., would pay $4.6 million for the Reds); and your fetishizing of player development. In fact, the only surprise is that teams actually used to disclose such things.

Cincinnati Reds Lost $42,355 Last Season

Cincinnati, Dec. 18 (AP) — The Cincinnati Reds lost $42,355.62 last season, stockholders were told last night at their annual meeting.

Failure to draw on the road was the big factor, since the club increased its home attendance 49,474 over the 1950 season. It played to only 655,588 fans on the road — 146,585 less than the year before.

In making his report, Powel Crosley, Jr., president, said it was difficult to determine the effect televising of games has on attendance.

Cincinnati televised only weekday afternoon games last season, and it indicated the club would continue the policy in 1952.

Crosley, who was re-elected president at today’s meeting, said he was hopeful of more fruitful returns from the club’s farm system and working agreements with minor league teams.

“The standings of the clubs on our farm organization last year was pretty low and I think they can be improved,” he told the meeting. “It is also quite possible that more promising young ball players will be brought into the organization. This is a very important matter.”

Gabe Paul was re-elected vice president and general manager; Lewis Crosely, vice president; and T. M. Conroy, secretary and treasurer.


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