Clipping:Justification for reinstating the reserve jumpers

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Date Sunday, March 29, 1885

The more one investigates the case of Dunlap, the more one becomes convinced that it is one that should not be met with the severest penalty known to the profession. A fact that seems to have been lost sight of in all that has been published in regard to Dunlap is, that when he signed his contract with the ST. Louis Union club, there was no penalty in existence for a player who jumped the reserve rule. The resolution known as the Day resolution, which was the first document that inflicted a penalty on jumping the reserve rule—though the rule itself had been in vogue several years—was originally presented to the league at the annual meeting in the fall of 1883, after Dunlap had signed with the St. Louis Unions, and was not adopted till the spring meeting in March, 188. Dunlap was held under the reserve rule by the Cleveland club. There being no penalty attached to a violation of that rule, and as he could not come to any satisfactory terms with the Cleveland club, he went where he could make the best arrangement. By blacklisting him, and subsequently refusing to reinstate him, the league inflicts a penalty that was not in existence when he committed his offence. It is submitted that such action is not fair and just. The case of Shaffer is but little different from that of Dunlap. The Day resolution had been presented to the league before Shaffer had signed with Mr. Lucas, but its adoption did not take place till after he had so signed. It seems strange that an organization like the league, which claims to deal fairly and justly toward all parties, should have visited so severe a punishment on these two players under the circumstances just named. There is nothing about such action to commend itself to the public. It smacks more of spite and the gratification of an intense personal feeling than of justice.

Source Boston Herald
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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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