Clipping:Barkley sues the AA

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Date Wednesday, March 24, 1886

President Nimick and Secretary Scandrett, of the Allegheny Base Ball Club, and Attorney J T. Buchanan were engaged until an early hour this morning preparing a bill in equity in the Barkley case against the American Association. It sill not be filed in court before to-morrow.

It is lengthy and exhaustive, but does not ask the Court to decide on Barkley’s personal conduct. The question to be determined, according to the bill, is whether or not the association Directors exceeded their power when they punished Barkley. It goes on to show they did, and in substance argues the following:

The Directors had no right to try Barkley on any charges of dishonorable conduct. He was never informed that any such charges were to be preferred against him. Nor were any preferred. He was tried and punished under the old constitution and that constitution did not empower the Directors to punish, fine or expel any player for the first offense. All that the Directors could do was to “direct” the club of which the player was a member to “discipline” him. Only on the second offense could the Directors directly inflect punishment of any kind.

This is the chief line on which the association will be assailed. The bill recites the case from beginning to end, always keeping in view the fact that the Directors had no power whatever under their law to punish him even though charges had been preferred against him. Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette March 24, 1886

The filing of the bill in equity in the suit of S. W. Barkley against the American Association, which was to have taken place yesterday, was delayed through the necessary papers not having been printed in time. I am informed, however, that Barkley's complaint was filed in the Court of Common Pleas here today. The contents of the bill were not made public and the hearing was postponed until Monday owing to the illness of the judge. The Sporting Life March 31, 1886

...Sam Barkley's bill in equity was filed in the Pittsburg Court on Saturday, March 27. On Monday, th 29 th, it was presented to Judge Stowe in champers by Moontooth Brothers and Buchanan, the plaintiff's solicitors, and a motion made to restraining the clubs of the American Association from playing any games with the Pittsubrg Club, in which Barkley was barred from participating. The bill is a very lengthy one, and recites the action of the Association at Louisville and Cincinnati, and the causes which led to Barkley's signing with the Pittsburgs, all of which has already appeared in these columns. … His argument is that the Association could compel the Pittsubrg Club to discipline him, but it could not act in his case as an Association.

The Court did not seem inclined to lose much time over the matter, and when upon brief investigation Judge Stowe found that the defendants were absent, and that notice had been served on the Pittsburg Club only, he refused to grant an ex parte preliminary injunction. He signed a petition for an order for service on the other defendants—that is, all the other clubs of the Association...

Chariman Byrne had a consultation with President Wiman, of the Metropolitans, and that gentleman declared himself unequivocally with the Association in this fight, and at once instructed his Pittsburg lawyers—Messrs. Cassidy and Richardson—to take charge of the case there while the Philadelphia counsel, Messrs. Wagner and Cooper, who so successfully conducted his memorable fight against the Association in the Philadelphia court last winter, were also instructed to confer with Mr. Byrne as to the best methods of defense in the present suit. … The Sporting Life April 7, 1886

The Barkley case is to be settled out of court. At the hearing in the suit at Pittsburg, April 2, Judge Stowe intimated pretty clearly that the American Association acted irregularly and in a manner which could not stand the test of law when they suspended Barkley under the old constitution, under which the club, and not the Association, should have punished the player. The rehearing at Cincinnati it appeared, was also rendered nugatory through President McKnight's failure to serve proper notice upon Barkley. From the whole tenor of the judge's remarks it was quite evident that Barkley had a good case with fair prospect of winning. Still the American Association had a formidable array of counsel present and threatened to make a prolonged fight, with a good chance of avoiding a final judgment until late in the summer. The chances of both plaintiff and defendant for final victory in court were about even, and this fact evidently impressed itself upon both, so that it was less difficult to bring about an amicable settlement than would have been supposed. After the court's adjournment Mr. Nimick and Byrne met in the office of the Association's counsel, and, after a desultory discussion, a compromise was suggested. This seemed to meet with the approbation of the counsel of both parties, and accordingly another meeting of all concerned was held later in the evening to consider the matter. Meantime Mr. Byrne wired all the clubs, asking whether they would sustain him in any settlement he might make, and received affirmative replies from the majority. At the night meeting, after a long session, Mr. Byrne finally, at the request of all the parties present, drew up an agreement, under the terms of which Barkley is to be reinstated, but disciplined by a fine of $500, to be paid to the Association within a specified time. In return Pittsburg is to release M. P. Scott to Baltimore, all the other Association clubs agreeing to keep hands off him. This settlement was satisfactory to all and the counsel agreed to unitedly ask the Court to withhold any further decision or opinion in the case for the present. The Sporting Life April 14, 1886

Source Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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