Clipping:Skepticism about League concessions to the AA

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Date Saturday, December 20, 1890

[from TTT's column] Is the Association so foolish as to believe the League will ever permit a competitor of equal merit in the personnel of the game and territory to become an actual rival for its business? If so, how foolish is the trust. If territory is conceded, then must the clubs be so inferior in playing strength as to be shorn of equal prestige and therefore patronage. And with it must be conditions that have always been vital to Association clubs—such as internal lubricants and restrictions from exhibiting every day in the week. With weaker clubs and the same prices inferior games would result and absolutely starvation patronage. Will the League permit teams of equal strength find non-conflicting dates? The Association would be subaqueous fools to believe it. The League could have had the same result in 1891 with the Players' League. The first was for advantages, and the League will have vastly superior advantages to the Association or concede nothing. This is the only logical result, and the Association people are a flock of trusting lambs if they cannot see it, and may God bless their fleecy innocence. The proposer thing for them to do is to at once and without delay negotiate with those people who have now strong clubs in remunerative cities and complete a circuit and an equitable business arrangement, and then, after becoming a powerful business concern of equal prestige with the League negotiate with that body for a protective business arrangement. Every day's delay is fatal to the prospects of the Association, inasmuch as the clubs and cities which are now available will become less so. Players will lose hope, and while not openly contracting will so commit themselves as to unintentionally play into the hands of the great monopoly. Delays are always dangerous, but never more dangerous than in the present situation of the Association. If the Association must wait until January it will be put off to February, and then to March, and then find itself, whenever the time comes, an organization of unbalanced cities supporting unbalanced villages, a state of affairs that neither guarantees nor liberal divisions of gate money will give life to, or a minor league except in name in the larger cities unproductively filling in the vacant time of the one and only great base ball monopoly to half-filled benches of the hoodlum element. The Association may trust in “assurances” from League people or from its own president, but the result will be just as here outlined just as sure as the law of cause and effect. The Sporting Life December 20, 1890

[quoting the Philadelphia Press] From semi-official utterances in New York papers it is evident that the League is not so much in love with the idea of permitting the Association to locate clubs in Boston and Chicago as it was when the cry was “Let us have Peace.” If Mr. Spalding, as the representative of the League, gave the Association and the Boston Players' League people to understand that the League would offer no opposition to the location of a club in those cities, it is the duty of the League to make good that promise, despite the rights of Conant, Soden and Billings under the territorial clause of the National Agreement. The triumvirs will not voluntarily consent to a rival club in their city. They're not built that way. But they should be forced to, and no false sense of duty to the Agreement should prevent the other League magnates from carrying out a promise, equally sacred, made to another set of men. The Sporting Life December 20, 1890

[from an interview of Von der Ahe] The American Association is in good shape at present—in fact in better condition than for years past—and the club owners will not sit idly by and allow the League to dictate to them. The League people know well that the Association would not hesitate one moment to join hands with the remnant of the Brotherhood that is left, in case any dirty work was done, and they also know that one of the best circuits that was ever organized could be arranged for 1891. this fact alone insures harmony, and I feel no uneasiness as to the treatment we are to receive at the hands of the National League people. The Sporting Life December 20, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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