Baseball Cure for the Insane

From the Sheboygan Press, July 19, 1911. Click on article to enlarge.
Baseball Cure for the Insane

BASEBALL CURE FOR INSANE
Treatment Is Not Altogether New-
Expert Says It Quickens Sluggish Brains and Wits.

Baseball dope, the batting averages league standings. vital statistics and the rest of the assorted, first-aid-to the curious information, is now being put to practical use In curing backward minds and incorrigible students In the Newton Technical high school, Boston.

However, the use of baseball for the treatment of ailing minds is not altogether new,.for Dr. W. O. Krohn. former professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, and head physician at the Kankakee asylum, asserts that baseball was used most beneficially while he was at the state institution and he had as an assistant Frank Pfeffer, who pitched for the Cubs last year and this year la with the Boston Nationals
Dr. Krohn is a firm believer in the use of baseball as a treatment for the Insane, but says that it is especially valuable in quickening dull wits and speeding the sluggish brain into activity

“You might say without departing from the literal truth that baseball makes the insane sane and the sane insane,” said the doctor. “At least the sane often give manifestation of violent insanity while the Insane seem rational while under the Influence of baseball.”
.
The new curative baseball scheme became effective when it was found that baseball was something which, if properly applied instilled a new interest into the fading intellects of the unfortunates. It made smiles of intelligence come on their faces Their listless eyes brightened for a moment, apathy was dispelled, the half-open mouths closed — all at the mention of Hans Wagner’s batting average and its comparison to Lajole’s cunning. Dr. Krohn la an all-around heavyweight expert In the psychological lore, and talks Interestingly of his experience with the Inmates of the state institution.

“In Kankakee there are men lunatics who sit from day to day and don’t move a muscle or think a thought,” said the doctor. “They don’t live; they merely endure like a piece of furniture. Come up behind a group of them and whisper to them. ‘How about a Mule game of ball.’ and you’ll see a change that is surprising.”
Dr. Krohn told of the successful the material found in the asylum. “They’ll take their positions in the field when the game is called, A man who Is in for believing himself to be the missing link is pitcher. Another
himself a complete Egyptian dynasty is catcher. The first baseman is the same sad fool you will see at other times, walking around with his bead thrown back. He is balancing his nose for fear it might fall off his face if he didn’t. And so with the rest of them. Crazier than a quilt.

“And the fans. They’re still crazy. Only in a conventional war for the time being. ”

“The first ball is thrown. It’s hit. The batter runs to first base. His mind is as clear as a looking glass.”

“The whole thing is only a case of making the person occupy himself with something that is interesting to him and baseball is one of the very few things that can interest the insane.”

“With the same idea in mind, faculties of schools for backward and Incorrigible students have stimulated the feeble minded by making them employ their time working at something they liked, aAnd the faculties learned that there was nothing as generally popular as baseball dope.”



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