Clipping:The Cincinnati Unions' ballpark lease

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Date Wednesday, August 26, 1885

If there is a League team in Cincinnati next season, which is now quite unlikely, Thorner et al will not control it. By the way, one of the reasons why the old Union crowd is so anxious to have a club in some organization is that that is the only way in which they can get rid of a big white elephant. When Thorner et al made their great coupe [sic] to freeze Caylor's team out of the American Associations by taking their ground away from them they had to enter into a one-sided bargain to get it. The railway company which controlled the old ground would only lease it on one condition, viz.: that in case championship games should be played therein the rent should be $2,000 per annum; if no championship games should be played $5,000 should be paid in order to make up to the company the loss of extra travel to the grounds. Thorner et al were so cock-sure of getting into the American Association if they could dispossess the American club of their ground—no one other being available, as they thought—that they were prepared to go to any length to secure the lease. The company, however, would not give them a lease, but insisted on having a responsible individual for lesee, and would accept none other than Mr. McLean, proprietor of the Cincinnati Enquirer. This was the railroad company's ultimatum, and so, after much persuasion, Mr. McLean was finally included to become the lessee. Well, the plot to oust the Caylor club was an ignominious failure. The American Association refused to even consider the application of Messrs. Thorner & Co. The Caylor club secured new grounds after great trouble and expense, and despite the obstacles thrown into their way by the Thornerites, and poor McLean was left in the cold with an expensive ground upon his hands. When the Union Association project was broached, McLean thought he saw a chance to utilize his ground, and thus the Cincinnati Union Club had its inception. Every base ball reader knows the disastrous result of that experiment, which cost McLean still more good money. He now has the unused grounds to pay for at a rental of $5,000 per annum for a term of years, with no chance of evading payment and little prospect of realizing a dollar on his investment except by turning it into a truck farm, or mayhap a brick yard if the soil be suitable, unless a League club be started in Porkopolis, in which event the club's backer could doubtless secure the ground at almost any price. Now, do you wonder at the Enquirer's daily howls for a Cincinnati League Club?

Source Sporting Life
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Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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