Night baseball may not have crippled more players than bursitis, but close observers agree more and more with the passing of the years that the arc lights have cut short the careers of many of the hired hands.
Joe DiMaggio pointed out, in discussing his retirement, that he could have played with the Yankees two years longer if Larry MacPhail had never introduced the arcs to the majors. Hank Greenberg has expressed the thought that the majors may have to adopt some variety of the two-platoon system to keep their athletes able and alert under the pressure of modern conditions. ...
The significant statement, "The day of the ten-year man is past," has been voiced often enough to become a cliche.
In view of this, it is saddening to observe that the two leagues scheduled a record number of night games for 1952. ...
But the effect of night ball on the health of the players is not its only disadvantage. Over any extended period, a heavy night schedule must destroy the interest of millions of young fans - through irregular eating and sleeping - the ticket buyers of tomorrow.
There was a time when the average youngster of grammar school age could see every week-end game, even if he couldn't always buy his seat. The free school tickets amounted to season passes for active traders in the lavishly-distributed pasteboards.
But few are the kids who can talk their parents into taking them often to games from which they can't hope to arrive home before midnight. The little fellows turn to the neighborhood movies, or to television. They never develop the fanatic interest which made their fathers and grandfathers the customers of today.
It's a story as old as the fable of the goose which laid the golden egg. The shortsighted assassin of that fabulous fowl no doubt lived to regret his greed. It is safe to predict that many major league club owners will have a similar experience.
The Sporting News, March 19, 1952
Few, also, were the kids who lived within driving distance of a major league ballpark. I guess they had been already written off as lost causes.
The TSN editors also bemoaned a "talent pinch" in the majors, stating: "There just aren't enough high grade ball players to go around." That was one reason why kids not being able to watch night games was so bad. They would not be inspired to play baseball, further diluting the sport's talent pool.
This is certainly odd talk during what is usually celebrated as baseball's "golden age".