In spite of all that has been previously said regarding the proposal of Harvard to withdraw from the Inter-collegiate Base-ball League, it seems that our position is not yet sufficiently well understood to escape unfavorable comment from Dartmouth and of course from Yale. For the benefit of those colleges we desire to state once more the position which Harvard has taken, so far as she has taken any, upon this question.
At a meeting of the Base-ball Association this fall, a motion was made to the effect that Harvard withdraw from the league as the league was thought to be too large. This motion was referred to the executive committee without being acted upon, and the executive committee have as yet reached no decision in the matter.
Thus it will be seen that absolutely nothing has been done, which warrants the statement that Harvard intends withdrawing from the league, beyond opening a discussion as to the advisability of such a step.
We have twice expressed the opinion. and we feel quite sure that in this matter we represent the opinion of a majority of the college, that Harvard ought not to attempt any coercion by withdrawing from the league. And we have further stated that Harvard should stand by the decision of the league convention, as expressed by a majority of the delegates, in this as in all other matters. When the matter of dissolving the league as it now stands and forming two others is brought before the convention, Harvard will have a perfect right to vote as she sees fit. Our relations with Amherst and Dartmouth have always been of a most friendly nature, and we trust that they may continue so. But we cannot think that in a matter of this kind Harvard should yield the indisputable right which she possesses of voting in the convention as her interests dictate to motives of friendship.
In view of the facts, therefore, that no official action has been taken in the matter, and that all of the expressed opinions of the college have been decidedly against any arbitrary measures being taken, we do not think that the Dartmouth is justified in indulging in such an editorial screed as the following:
"Your action would be a little more justifiable if your victories exceeded ours. As it is, you act the part not of disappointed and beaten rivals so much as that of cowards. It is, no doubt, exceedingly mortifying to the wearers of the crimson to have Yale and Princeton defeat our nine and suffer defeat themselves at its hands. Harvard has gained an unenviable reputation in the past for grumbling at the result of athletic contests where she has failed to be victorious and she has strengthened it lately. Her defeats are always due to a prejudiced judge, umpire or referee, or unfair play of opponents. Her shabby treatment of Columbia last summer is in full keeping with the principle which she follows; if defeat seems a foregone conclusion it is better to skulk away. Dartmouth has had as good a nine as either Harvard or Princeton since the league was formed, but has been unlucky. When she has added three or four more departments; when she establishes a nursery for cultivating base-ball talent; when she makes use of players until they have justly earned the sobriquet of "veterans;" when her players stoop so low as to practice any means, however unbecoming gentlemen and unfair, to win a game, then may she easily lead those rivals with whom she quite successfully competes at present and who cry out against her."
As for Yale, if she thinks that the present league should be preserved let her vote according to her conviction; all that Harvard desires is the right to do the same.