Clipping:An account of the founding of the Athletics

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Date Wednesday, September 8, 1886

Manager Phillips, of the Pittsburg Club, in a talk with a reporter the other day fell into a reminiscent mood from which the following was evolved: “Base ball is not what it used to be as far as making a start is concerned. In 1881 [sic: probably late 1880] Sharsig, Mason and I started the Athletics in Philadelphia with $9. that paid for the stockings, Sharsig having old uniforms. We paid $3 a day for the ground at Oakdale Park. At the end of two weeks we got about $2 apiece for our work. The largest crowd we had numbered 300. I went to work to 'make or break' and engaged the Boston Club to play two games, guaranteeing them $300 and $100 in case of rain, without a cent in the treasury to pay it. Fortunately for all concerned, we had an attendance of five or six thousand people in the two days, although at that time the grounds seated only about four hundred people. We paid the players twenty-five per cent. of the receipts, which they divided among ten men. With the money realized from this game we purchased a small stock of lumber, and three of us went out in the morning and built additional seats, until we had a seating capacity of a couple of thousand. Our hard luck disappeared with these Boston games, and in the four months that remained of the season we divided $5,000 among ourselves. The attendance at the League exhibition games was very large. This is one of a few instances where a base ball club started on little or no capital. From that club over $100,000 has since been made. But there are very few cities where this is likely to occur again. Now, instead of $9, it take $9,000 to get a good team, to say nothing of fixing up the grounds.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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