Clipping:Player pay; the professional baseball club boom

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Date Sunday, January 16, 1876

Professional baseball players have been more than well paid for their services, while in many cases the prices obtained are simply ridiculous. About five years ago baseball had acquired such a wide popularity that several of the professional clubs then in existence had made money, and the knowledge of this fact, more than any desire to still further popularize and foster the best interest of the game, aroused the “accursed thirst for gold,” and induced many persons to believe that by starting a professional nine they had discovered a royal road to fortune. The consequence was the demand for proficient players was considerably in excess of the supply, and the price of the article rose to a fictitious value. Men who would have been glad to have earned $15 or $20 a week by constant and hard work all the year through, found themselves suddenly of importance, and demanded and obtained salaries varying from $1,500 to $2,000 per annum for work of the pleasantest and most health-giving description, and considered themselves insulted if they were offered such a paltry sum as $1,000 per annum. On the principle that one should make hay while the sun shines, these men were not to blame for getting as much money for their services as they could, and those persons who fancied in a national game they had found a new El Dorado closed with them on any terms. The past season, however, in a measure ruled the inflated rates of players, and its beneficial effects will soon be visible.

Source New York Sunday Mercury
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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