Clippings:1885

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1885Clippings in 1885

Clippings in 1885 (355 entries)

Contents

a balk move 4

Date Friday, June 5, 1885
Text

Radbourn has a new move—that of throwing a back-hander ball to Start, in trying to catch a man napping at first.--Providence Star. Before this item travels any farther, let it be known that the above “new move” is a balk, and Radbourn did not use it but once in Boston last Wednesday, in consequence of a warning from Umpire Cushman.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bicycle track at the new Chicago grounds

Date Sunday, May 31, 1885
Text

The question of providing the park with a bicycle track for racing purposes was suggested to the management by local wheelmen and so earnestly was the idea supported that three weeks ago the Chicago Bicycle Track Association was formed and the sum of $2,500 raised to meet the expense of laying a track which it was intended shall be equal if not superior to any in the country.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a blown call on a block ball

Date Thursday, August 27, 1885
Text

[Lawrence vs. Brockton 8/26/1885] In the sixth inning Tanner of the home team struck a long one over the fence for a home run, but the umpire said only two bases. The ball was thrown back to the diamond, and should have gone to the pitcher's box in order to make it a live ball, but instead Brosnan held the ball and touched Tanner, who was off the base, and the umpire called him out. The audience protested, and Stewart [umpire], feeling insulted, left the field, and would not return until 35 minutes had passed. The game was then continued under protest...

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a botched attempt to trade Indianapolis players to Detroit

Date Wednesday, June 24, 1885
Text

This city [Detroit] was thrown into a flutter of excitement over the wholesale transfer of the Indianapolis team to Detroit. The soothing pill administered to the Indianapolis directors by the Detroit management was too agreeable to let pass, and the result was that $5,000 of Detroit's money captured the prize. It was a well-known fact that Buffalo, Chicago and St. Louis were dickering for players from this nine, but they were left in the shade to cool off from this unexpected move of the Detroits. The team, comprising ten men and Manager Watkins, started with Messrs. Moloney and Stearns, Detroit directors, for Detroit, from when they go pleasuring through Canada, up the St. Lawrence, until the ten days limit expires, when they will be eligible to sign.; their signatures will then be secured, and they will then return to participate in the July series. The Sporting Life June 24, 1885

From the reports of our correspondents and from other sources we learn that Indianapolis will have considerable trouble to deliver its team to Detroit, and the famous Brooklyn-Cleveland deal will not be so successfully emulated, as the matter was not so well managed. When the agreement between Indianapolis and Detroit was made the latter paid over part of the purchase money, $2,000, the balance, $3,000, to be paid when the men were signed. Secretary Young was then communicated with, who informed the Detroit management that the Indianapolis team could not be signed until the expiration of the ten days' limit. All the men except Casey then signed temporary contracts and notice of their release was promulgated, which made them eligible to contract June 24. In order to prevent any tampering with the team they were sent to Mt. Clemens, Mich., there to remain and practice until the legal limit had expired. Keenan and McKeon, however refused to go notwithstanding all entreaties, threats and blandishments. McKeon and Keenan each were offered a three years' contract, the former's being for $500 a month for the remainder of this season, and $4,000 a season for the next two years, making him one of the highest priced ball players in the country. Keenan's contract was for $3,400 a year.

The pair, really the most important of the purchased team to Detroit, however, held off and remained in Indianapolis until Wednesday, when they left for Cincinnati, where offers from other clubs at once poured in upon them. Cincinnati made a dead set for them, and Mr. Herancourt is said upon good authority to have offered McKeon $1,000 a month for the balance of this season, as well as for next year, Keenan to receive $600 a month for the same time. The Chicago and St. Louis clubs also made them great offers, and Detroit informed them that if there was nothing in the way to prevent but the difference in salaries offered, they had as much money as any one else and would pay as much for them. They manifested no disposition to accept any of these offers, but from the fact that they went to Cincinnati to consult with Mr. Herancourt, and from statements made by the latter, it may be inferred that Cincinnati has bagged the prize. The Detroit people are mad and threaten legal proceedings and an injunction. Of course, under base ball rules the players cannot be blacklisted. Detroit will also refuse to pay the balance of $3,000 due Indianapolis on the deal. Meantime the club will conclude to hang on to its old players, although they expected to retain only Bennett, Hanlon, Wood and Weldman, and had sent out requests for bids for the release of Scott, Phillips, Ringo, Getzein, Morton and Dorgan. It is also reported that San Crane will not sign with Detroit, but will come back to his old love the Mets. The Sporting Life June 24, 1885

At exactly twenty-five minutes past twelve o'clock last Tuesday night the celebrated and much desired Indianapolis battery—McKeon and Keenan—affixed their respective signatures to contracts to play in Cincinnati the rest of the season. The officials of the Cincinnati Club were not worrying themselves sick in regard to signing these men, as they had the matter all satisfactory arranged before they completed negotiations. Last week President Herancourt telegraphed to every club in the American Association asking if they (Cincinnati Club) could open negotiations, and received an immediate and favorable reply from all of them. He did this in order to give the men assurance that they would incur no risk in signing with the Cincinnati Club. The Sporting Life July 1, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a brick wall enclosing the grounds

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[describing plans for the new Chicago West Side Grounds] Instead of the unsightly board fence that usually surrounds base ball grounds, a handsome brick wall, twelve feet high, will entirely surround the grounds. No other base ball and athletic grounds in America will have a brick wall for a fence, and in fact there is only one such grounds in the world, and that the celebrated Lords' grounds in London, located in the very centre of the finest residence part of that city. The Sporting Life March 11, 1885

Work on the improvements is being rapidly pushed. The twelve-foot brick wall that will enclose the entire block is nearly completed and the grand stand and other buildings are rapidly assuming shape. Beyond all question the Chicago base ball park will be the finest and best in the world. Its neat brick buildings, substantial wall, and well-kept lawns will place it far in advance of any other base ball grounds, and the cities of the East will undoubtedly pattern after Chicago's usual excellence as soon as they see how far they are surpassed. The Sporting Life April 22, 1885

an Olympics player goes semi-professional

The Nationals, of Philadelphia, have reorganized as a semi-professional team for 1885. The nine includes Siffel, of the Athletics, Metz, of the Olympics, and McCann, catchers.... The Sporting Life March 11, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher released due to sore hands

Date Friday, June 12, 1885
Text

The reason for the release of Fusselbach, who caught for the Athletics, is that his hands were so pounded out of shape that he was compelled to quite playing ball. He will catch no more this season. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher suffering from sore hands

Date Saturday, June 6, 1885
Text

Bushong complained of sore hands last Monday and Robinson caught in his place. He expressed a willingness to take his place behind the bat, but Mr. Von der Ahe would not allow him to do it. Bushong’s hands are not hurt in any way but simply sore from constant use. He expects to catch in all the four games with the Athletics. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's hands in bad condition

Date Thursday, July 30, 1885
Text

Crotty’s hand is still in a bad condition, and he will not be able to catch for several days. St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 30, 1885

rumored AA meeting to consider the reserve, war with the NL

To-day a secret meeting of the American Association of base-ball clubs is to be held. The place of meeting has not been made public, but the probability is it will be held in Pittsburg. The main question before this meeting will be a discussion as to whether or not the reserve rule is to be abrogated, and it is not an easy matter to predict what the result will be. Three clubs are quoted as being against the rule and four in favor of it, while one is on the fence. St. Louis, Baltimore, Brooklyn and the Athletics will vote to abolish the reserve rule, the managers of these clubs having put themselves on record in this regard. Pittsburg, Cincinnati and Louisville will vote against the rule, the two former because they think their clubs are strong enough and the latter because it is too poor to secure a high-priced team. ... The Metropolitans, therefore, will hold the deciding vote, as should they vote with St. Louis the rule will be abolished, and if they vote against a change the result will be a tie, which will leave the rule in place. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 1, 1885

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the League is trying to force Lucas to buy out the Mets

Date Saturday, March 14, 1885
Text

There is something more than a strong suspicion hereabouts that the league’s action at their recent meeting was an attempt to force Mr. Lucas to buy out the Metropolitans and thus relieve the Metropolitan Exhibition company, which also owns the New York league club, of a very large white elephant. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the reinstated players will pay their own fines

Date Friday, May 15, 1885
Text

“It is an error,” said A. G. Spalding, president of the Chicago base-ball club, to a Chicago Herald man yesterday, “to conclude that the contract breakers will not be the ones to pay the thousand-dollar fine we imposed on each of them as the price of the reinstatement into the League or that the money will come out of Mr. Lucas or any other of the managers who may engage them. I know personally, as far as Glasscock and Briody are concerned, that the thousand dollars will be paid by each of them by installments within the year, Mr. Lucas having advanced them the money in order that they might play this season. When Mr. Lucas and myself were talking over the subject when it was first broached, I said to him plainly: ‘Mr. Lucas, if we fine these fellows will you pay their fines, or will you make them pay the money themselves?’ ‘Mr. Spalding,’ he answered, ‘I pledge you my word I’ll not pay a dollar of fines without taking every cent out of the salaries of the men I advance money to.’ On this assurance, I voted to reinstate the men, and Mr. Lucas has since told me that the men were to pay back by the end of the season the money advanced. It strikes me that’s heavy enough punishment.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a cricketer bowls a baseball curve

Date Saturday, September 19, 1885
Text

[cricket: English amateurs vs. Philadelphia picked eleven 9/17 - 19/1885] The visitors had now an average of 30 for each wicket, which if kept up meant 300 runs for the innings, or 100 more than “our boys” made. At this juncture Captain Dan Newhall gave over the bowling into the hands of Noble and Lowry. Noble is very fast, with the curve while the ball is in the air, which is peculiar to base ball pitchers. The Philadelphia Times September 19, 1885 [The innings closed with the Englishmen scoring only 147.]

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a crushed catcher's mask

Date Wednesday, June 24, 1885
Text

Dailey's [of Providence] eye was severely bruised by a foul tip crushing in his mask in the Philadelphia game, and he will not be able to play for a week or two at least.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a daring slider

Date Wednesday, September 9, 1885
Text

Reccius is the most daring slider in the Louisville nine, and this helps out his base running immensely. He is not a very swift mover, but he gets there by taking the dust.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the Metropolitan grounds

Date Wednesday, February 25, 1885
Text

The park is situation in a rather gritty neighborhood amongst the foundries and refineries on the East River, and is laid out with Spartan simplicity, no unnecessary expense being incurred.

The out field is composed of pure, unadulterated clay, but the diamond is apologetically covered with a consumptive sod, which is not nearly so green as the scum under the free stand, which marks the playful visits of the mighty river that flows by the left field fence.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a dissent on scoring wild pitches and strike out assists

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

[Washington correspondent “Keene” commenting on the Boston sportswriters' proposal in the previous issue.] It is proposed to include wild pitches and passed balls in the error column, and to credit the pitcher with an assistance on each “struck out,” these items to be at the same time specified in the summary.

If uniformity alone is desired, these gentlemen could readily secure it by following the rules of the League relative to scoring, which provide for a statement of the items considered in a proper manner, based upon a well-founded distinction between ordinary field work and the work of the batteries.

There is a wide different, and the elimination of the assistance on strikes and passed balls was a progressive step which should be further improved upon.

The proposed amendments are nothing in reality but a return to the old practice of scoring battery work in the columns which should represent fielding alone.

It is apparent to every one, who has at all considered the matter, that the scores of the games and the records published do no properly show the work of the pitcher and catcher, upon whom, in proportion to their efficiency, the bulk of the work devolves.

The writer of this acted as official scorer during the years 1876-7 for one of the most successful professional clubs in this country, and in the latter year compiled and published the first accurate table showing the work of both pitchers and catchers, which has been imitated very frequently since, but owing to divers and deficient methods of scoring the data are not generally sufficient to properly construct the same.

Excepting the pitcher and catcher, almost every ball handled by the fielder enters into the number of “chances” which form the basis of calculation determining his average.

On the other hand every ball passing from the pitcher to the catcher after the second strike is called until the batter is retired, and especially while a man is on base, affords an opportunity for error.

The line between a wild pitch and a passed ball is sometimes as five-drawn and as hard to determine as the line between law and equity, as every reporter can testify, when he remembers how often he has differed with the man at his elbow on this point.

If such an error is made, to charge it to either pitcher or catcher without any compensating record of the balls pitched upon which errors might have been made and were not, is certainly an invidious distinction.

It is true that this distinction would not be manifested in comparing the records of pitchers with each other, etc., provided the same system of scoring were adopted, but it would be entirely as easy to adopt a system in which all players would be placed on the same basis and strict justice done to each.

Passed balls and wild pitches are certainly errors, and, as admitted by the promulgators of the circular referred to, they are as certainly treated as such; but they are essentially errors of the battery alone.

The best possible solution of the question would be to score only strictly fielding work in the columns “A.” and “E.” whereby all players would be credited with their proper rank in fielding, and to further provide in the summary for the work of the battery, which should include “assistance on strikes, bases on balls, wild pitches, passed balls, put out on strikes,” and the number of balls pitched affording chance for error..

The latter could be scored with less trouble than the “strikes called” and “balls called” in the manner of a few years ago, and the result would enable the base ball statistician to record accurately and correctly the work of each player in his position.

I am sure that those reporters and scorers who have endeavored to compile records of clubs and individual players and experienced the universal difficulty in separating the figures to obtain a correct result, will appreciate the above remarks, and never so much as after demonstrating their value by a practical application. The Sporting Life January 14, 1885

attempting to catch balls from the Washington Monument

Paul Hines, Charlie Snyder, Ed Ewell and several local ball tossers went over to monument lot Thursday [probably 1/8] and endeavored to catch a ball thrown from the top of the monument. Five balls were thrown from the top of the shaft, but none were caught. A ball which was intended for Snyder to catch came to Hines, who stood about fifty yards away from the former. It came so unexpectedly and with such velocity that it went through Hines' hands like a flash of greased lightning.

The players wore very thick catchers' gloves during the experiment, but those who witnessed the attempt declare that the ball comes down with such force as will carry away fingers, hands, gloves and everything that attempts to stop its downward course. Sam Trott, of the Baltimore tea, together with Hines, Snyder and others, went out again this afternoon [probably 1/9] and made another attempt to capture a ball from the monument. The great difficulty appears to be in properly judging where the ball is going to land. It is true, the ball can be seen from the moment it starts on its downward course, but it is almost impossible to guess within ten yards of its stopping place. The Sporting Life January 14, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed maneuver to put Brooklyn in the NL, Cleveland in the AA

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

...it may be said that more than talk has been used in finding a place in the American Association for Cleveland. But all endeavors were in vain. At one time such a change could have been made. Now it cannot. … There is no such deal on hand, notwithstanding an alleged reliable authority says there is. Brooklyn had League aspirations if the Mets could have been transferred to the City of Churches. At one time the transfer looked certain. Now, on the authority of President Byrne, of the Brooklyn Club, it is not probable. Cincinnati and Baltimore, notwithstanding an unofficial declaration, have no League aspirations and never had., quoting the Cleveland Herald

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fielder with a glove

Date Wednesday, August 5, 1885
Text

I saw Arthur Irwin [Providence shortstop] yesterday. He was in George Wright's getting a padded glove so that he can go to playing. His finger is well knit together, but stiff and sore. He thinks he shall join his team next week.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a football association

Date Wednesday, September 16, 1885
Text

The American Foot Ball Association met Sept. 5 at Newark, N.J. New York, Trenton, Paterson and all the local clubs were represented. It was decided that the drawing for the cup ties should take place on the evening of Sept. 26. All clubs wishing to contest for the cup must register their players on or before that day, and any club wishing to joint the association should address the secretary, J. Walden, Orange, N.J.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a foul tip in a delicate spot

Date Monday, July 13, 1885
Text

[Brooklyn vs. St. Louis 7/12/1885] While Sullivan was at the bat a foul tip hit Hayes [catcher] in the lower portion of the abdomen and he had to retire... (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a game on roller skates

Date Wednesday, August 19, 1885
Text

The Rochester and Binghamton clubs had Aug. 4 at the Pioneer Rink, Binghampton, N.Y. Five innings were played, and the score at the finish stood 3 to 0 in favor of the Binghamptons. The running of bases was where the fun came in, and, as the runners tumbled rather than skated around the bases, falling in their wild career and knocking the feet out from under all near them, the spectators shrieked.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hidden ball trick 4

Date Wednesday, October 28, 1885
Text

In the New York-National game last Saturday Baker neatly worked an old “chestnut trick” on O'Rourke. O'Rourke struck a ball through Gladman, and White, picking it up, fielded it to Baker at first, who held it. O'Rourke complained of lameness and desired a man substituted to run for him. Baker refused, and Barr made ready to deliver a ball to Connor, the next batsman. O'Rourke stepped off the base to run to second when Baker pounced upon him, and the great manipulator of balls was out, amid the jeers of the vast audience.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint that the blacklisted players will be reinstated

Date Tuesday, April 7, 1885
Text

[from an interview of Lucas] “My associates in the league during this my last visit East treated me with marked courtesy and kindness, and I am now satisfied that they all along were controlled by the best of motives and that now that they have come to look upon the situation in its real light they will deal with me and my old players in a more kind and friendly spirit than they did before. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican April 7, 1885

The meeting of the presidents of the league clubs which was to be held in this city to-morrow [New York 4/10] to consider the reinstatement of the several blacklisted players at the request of Mr. Lucas, has been postponed. It is not known when the meeting will take place now, if indeed it takes place at all. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican April 10, 1885

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hypocritical argument for reinstating the expelled and black-listed players

Date Sunday, April 5, 1885
Text

… It was generally anticipated that a strong effort would be brought to bear upon this committee [the Arbitration Committee] by Mr. Lucas and his supporters to the end of securing the readmission into the league clubs of the reserve-rule jumpers and of the contract-breakers as well, provided the strong feeling entertained by the clubs against the latter class could be overcome or the character of their punishment changed. On the contrary, not a word was heard from Mr. Lucas or any his representatives, and the committee transacted its business and adjourned without even so much as mentioning the names of Mr. Lucas or his players.

But one inference can be drawn from these facts—viz.: that the friends of the disqualified players have had some intimation from the league authorities that the matter would be taken out of the hands of the committee and reserved for consideration at a special meeting of the league, which must necessarily be held very soon. If such is the case, then Mr. Lucas' present attitude can not only be understood but commended as well. Such a course upon the part of the league could but reflect great credit upon the management in that it would demonstrate the fact of its having awakened to a full realization of the vital importance of the interests at stake and the necessity for prompt and determined action thereupon. There seems to be no good reason against the measure already advocated by the Tribune, viz.: that of fining the reserve-rule jumpers instead of expelling them. And if this will hold good with the reserve-rule breakers it will be just as effective and constitutional with the contract-breakers, provided the fine is proportionately heavier, in accordance with the gravity of their offense. The league can easily afford to readmit all who are willing to pay their fines, and to permit Mr. Lucas to select from among them material for as strong a team as he can get together. With the semi-professional team that now represents St. Louis in the league and the comparatively weak team at Detroit Chicago would be the one strong league team in the West, while the East would have three strong teams in Boston, Providence, and New York, and two fairly good teams at Buffalo and Philadelphia. A crack professional team at St. Louis is what is wanted to stimulate base-ball interest not only west of New York but throughout the country as well.

The report that Cincinnati would vote affirmatively in the matter of reinstatement, provided Mullane's name was also erased from the black list, is, if true, an exceedingly small piece of business. Mullane's case is in no way similar to those of the other disqualified players, as a glance at the pages of the Guide for 1885 will show, and the American Association, in acknowledging its willingness to condone the offenses of this player plainly shows that its regard for the National agreement is by no means of as high a quality as it should be. Let the league take the management of its interests in its own hands and do the right thing without considering the likes or dislikes of either rival or a present friendly organizations.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a marble slab in front of the pitcher's box

Date Wednesday, April 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA umpires' meeting] A unanimous request was made by the umpires that all clubs put a marble or glass slab, a foot wide, on the front outer edge of the pitcher's box. They say that it is impossible to watch the pitcher's foot and at the same time judge properly the passage of the ball and position of the batsman. Representatives of five clubs who were present agreed to put down this slab, and it is probable that all will see the advisability of it, and will comply with the request. The Sporting Life April 8, 1885

[quoting Chadwick] The umpires have requested all American clubs to place a marble or glass slab, a foot wide, on the front outer edge of the pitcher’s box. This slab, they claim, will allow them to devote their attention particularly upon the high delivery of the ball. The president insisted upon a strict construction of the rule prohibiting the overthrow, and the umpires were notified that they must promptly inflict the penalty every time the hand holding the ball passes above the line of the shoulder when the arm is swung forward in delivering the ball... St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 11, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a minor league club put under the AA ban

Date Monday, June 15, 1885
Text

Under date of June 12 Secretary Wikoff, of the American Association, issued a circular which contains the following: “The Indianapolis Club having played a game of base ball with the St. Louis (League) Club the clubs of the American Association are notified that under resolution adopted at Baltimore March 2, 1885 (page 80 of ‘Guide Book’) they cannot play any game of ball with the Indianapolis Club.

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitching delivery stepping out of the box

Date Thursday, October 1, 1885
Text

[New York vs. Chicago 9/30/1885] His [Keefe's] ugly habit of stepping out of the box in the delivery of the ball counted in his favor, and he was frequently admonished to keep within his position.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player curses the audience

Date Wednesday, August 26, 1885
Text

The most notable event of the week [in Providence] has been the retirement of Jack Farrell without pay for obscene and disgusting language addressed to the audience on the field which should entitle him to a suspension.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a players' union

Date Wednesday, November 4, 1885
Text

[Von der Ahe] ridiculed the proposed ball players' union, and added:--”If such an organization is started and any of my players want to join it they can do so. There is a great demand for good players all over the country, but fortunately the supply will not be exhausted before the beginning of next season, and I am prepared to promise the St. Louis public as good a club next year as they have had this.” The Sporting Life November 4, 1885

The movement to establish a base ball players' protection union seems to have subsided as suddenly as it was started. It originated in the brain of a Cincinnati reporter, and got no further. The Sporting Life November 25, 1885

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for an electric scoreboard

Date Sunday, February 1, 1885
Text

An Eastern enthusiast has discovered a plan which, if practical, will knock the score-card privileges of the different parks higher than Gilroy's kite. It is described as follows: On the fence opposite the grand stand are to be painted two large squares resembling in every respect the base-ball score we see in the daily papers, but on a score large enough to be easily read by the denizens of the stand. These scores are worked by electricity by the official scorer in the reporters' stand, and each run, base hit and error is down in black and white before the ball is back in the pitcher's hands. Thus the people have the summary of the game, so far as played, constantly before their eyes, and to any one who has noticed the avidity with which a base-ball enthusiast devours the score of the game he saw played the day before this will appear no small achievement.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a railroad owns part of the Boston grounds; park factor

Date Tuesday, April 7, 1885
Text

It appears that the Providence railroad corporation owns a strip of land about sixteen feet in width now included within the inclosure of the Boston base ballgrounds. Yesterday morning, without a moment's notice to the officials of the club, a gang of workmen employed by the railroad corporation obtained entrance to the grounds by tearing away a board in the lower fence, and began digging away the earth preparatory to erecting a fence. The line of land owned by the railroad folks takes in the new left field fence and quite a number of seats back of third base; consequently the club will have to pull down its fence and the seat on the left hand side of the grounds, and move all forward about seventeen or eighteen feel. This will, of course, make the ball grounds narrower by the distance stated, and more home runs will probably result thereby.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rationale for reinstating the expelled players

Date Monday, April 13, 1885
Text

The league is in a very critical position, as every person who will take the time to ponder can easily see. There were very few clubs that made money last year, and as the times are hard it cannot be said that the prospects are any brighter just now. The American association is strong; it never was stronger; it has a strong octet of clubs, with a fine corps of players. Should Lucas drop out of the league, it would leave that body with seven clubs in a lop sided state. This would mar the schedule and spoil the whole programme of the campaign. To have Lucas in with the nine he now has would be suicide, as was amply proved by the game with the Browns Saturday. It would be suicide for Lucas; it would be suicide for the league. He could not draw at home; he could not draw away from home, especially as Lucas is not a player and is not on exhibition in every contest. But strengthen the team, let him have Dunlap, Shaffer and Rowe, who have signed with and are under engagement to him, and he will have a nine worth speaking of. … The rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis would be what it used to be in seasons gone by. It is therefore a question whether the league cares to lose thousands of dollars for each of its club or make corresponding amount. … The league cannot at such a crisis afford to lose its prestige to the American association, nor to endanger its own future, nor that of its members, and it is safe to say that this will not be done, and that by the dawn of another week the matter will be satisfactorily adjusted for the league, the public and for Mr. Lucas.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a reprehensible trick to get a new ball in play

Date Wednesday, August 12, 1885
Text

St. Louis son Wednesday's game from Louisville by a reprehensible trick. Louisville had the game well in ahnd by 2 to 0. St. .Louis had not even made a hit up to the eighth inning when, after one man was out, Nicol got to first on a fumble by Miller. A short fly by Foutz next placed Nicol an Zthird and Foutz on second, and Bushong came to the bat and hit fou. The ball went over the south wing of the grand stand into a yard adjoining the ground. In an instant Latham ran up to Superintendent Solari, who was standing near the players' benches, and whispered to him. Observers at once predicted that the ball would not be found. Solari walked rapidly to the gate at the West end of the South wing of the grand stand, and left the field as if to hurry up the search for the ball. In less than a minute he returned and cried out: “The ball is lost.” A new ball was then brought into use and Bushong quickly drove it to centre for two bases, bringing in Nicol and Foutz and tieing the score. A hit by Gleason brought in Bushong, whose run won the game. This was rough on Louisville.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a second nine at Harvard

Date Wednesday, March 18, 1885
Text

The base ball management has shown unusual enterprise this winter, introducing several new features into the work of the candidate for the nine. The latest thing proposed by the energetic captain, S. W. Winslow, '85, is the establishment of a second nine, which will give the regular 'varsity and freshman nines much needed practice during the coming season. This is a thing that ought to have been done years ago, and indeed, it was unsuccessfully tried in 1882, but the Harvard captains for many years have either been incompetent or unable to carry out their ideas, and many things have been left undone. It is intended that this second nine shall play no games except with the college nines, and these about four or five times a week. When not playing a game they will assemble on the field as usual and “knock up” for the regular men.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a standing conference committee

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting] At the request of the National League, who propose similar action, was appointed, consisting of Messrs. Von der Ahe, Byrne and Simmons, who are to consult and act in matters concerning both organizations, which are not comprehended in the duties of the Arbitration Committee. The result of the action of a similar committee in the Lucas-Von der Ahe case was so important and simplified matters so effectually, that the usefulness of such a body seems beyond question.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion that Spalding wants to put an AA club in Chicago

Date Wednesday, February 4, 1885
Text

[quoting an unnamed “well-known member of the League] ...Al Spalding, of Chicago, is smart and ambitious. He thinks it would be to his advantage to have an American club in Chicago, especially if he owned it. Well, he quietly laid his plans, went to St. Louis, saw Lucas, and some people connected with the American club, and the matter was so arranged that the American Association incorporated it into their agreement as one of the conditions to admit Lucas. Spalding, of course, offered no objection and it was agreed to. Chicago will have an American club in 1886, even if it has to buy out a franchise, as Lucas did that of Cleveland. You can set that down as just about right.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a yachtsman on the Olympics

Date Wednesday, June 24, 1885
Text

Gilbert, of the Olympic Club, won first prize in the Pennsylvania Yacht club regatta on Monday last with his yacht, the Thomas M. Seeds.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA abolishes the foul bound out

Date Monday, June 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 6/7/1885] Another important change was made in rule 45, which does away with the foul-bound catch.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA adopts overhand pitching; abolishes the foul bound out

Date Monday, June 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 6/7/1885] After considerable discussion an amendment to rule 23, allowing pitchers to deliver the ball as they pleased, and wiping out all restrictions, was adopted. On motion of Byrne the foul bound rule was discarded by a unanimous vote. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA adopts the overhand delivery; eliminates the foul bound; home club choice of innings

Date Wednesday, June 17, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 6/7] Mr. C. H. Byrne moved that Rule 23 be amended so as to wipe out all restrictions upon the pitcher, allowing him to deliver the ball as he pleases. The motion was finally adopted. Mr. C. H. Byrne next made a motion, seconded by Lew Simmons, to change Section 3 of Rule 45 so as to do away with the foul bound. This motion prevailed by unanimous vote. Rule 42 was amended to read as follows::=”That the choice of innings shall be given to the captain of the home club and the manager or representative of the home club shall be the sole judge as to the field being in fit condition to play the game as scheduled.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA declares Indianapolis players released

Date Wednesday, March 25, 1885
Text

[from a letter from Jos. Schwarbacher, President of the Indianapolis BBC] At their [the AA] Pittsubrg meeting it was resolved to declare our reserved players released, which resolution was duly carried out on the 14th of February last. At the Baltimore meting some of our men under contract and whose contracts show the approval of Secretary Wikoff, were declared released...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA declines to reinstate a player

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting] The board of directors met as a preliminary to the assembling of the convention and considered the case of D. Rowe, who made application to be reinstated. This afforded an opportunity for the members to ventilate their opinions on the question of reinstatements in general, and a decided and unanimous negative prevailed.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA does not reinstate players

Date Wednesday, June 17, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 6/7] The cases of the reserve jumpers next occupied the attention of the meeting. It was generally believed that there would be no trouble inputting these men—Bradley, Gleason and Weaver—once more into good standing, but when the motion was made to reinstate, amendments were offered to include Mullane, under suspension for a year, and Dave Rowe, blacklisted by St. Louis. This complicated matters at once and led to a long discussion and so much feeling was developed over the motion that those in favor of it saw that it could not obtain a two-thirds vote, which was necessary to pass it, and the motion was withdrawn, and it was finally decided to stand by the action taken in the meetings in Pittsburg and Baltimore, and not to recognize the contracts of any players who had been black-listed for reserve-jumping or contract-breaking.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA gives choice of innings to the home club

Date Monday, June 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 6/7/1885] Rule 42 was amended so as to read: “That the choice of innings shall be given to the captain of the home club, and the manager or representative of the home club shall be the judge as to the field being in fit condition to play the game scheduled. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA refuses to reinstate its expelled players

Date Wednesday, May 6, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA directors' meeting] ...Mr. Von der Ahe, of the St. Louis Club, made application for the reinstatement of David E. Rose and Thomas Dolan, who jumped contracts with him last season. The proposition caused a two hours' discussion, the general tenor of which was strongly against showing any countenance to contract jumpers. The cases in hand it was decided to refer to the general meeting of the Association. The Sporting Life May 6, 1885

[reporting on the AA special meeting] A motion was made to reinstate all blacklisted, suspended and expelled players and jumper except those disqualified for selling games. This motion provoked much lively talk and had a few supporters. On a division it was lost, however. This brought Von der Ahe to his feet with a written protest against the refusal to reinstate D. E. Rose and Thomas Dolan. He warmly contended these two at least ought to be taken into the fold again. The case of each player was fully discussed and the convention absolutely refused to grant the request of the St. Louis president. The Sporting Life May 6, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA refuses to reinstate the expelled and blacklisted players

Date Monday, June 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 6/7/1885] Contrary to all expectations, at the American Association meeting held yesterday at the Girard House, in Philadelphia, the blacklisted players, particularly Rowe and Gleason, were not reinstated. ... The subject of the reinstatements was last taken up and it was finally decided to stand by the position taken at the Pittsburg meeting. The truth of the matter is that all the clubs are in favor of reinstating the men, but the Cincinnatis will vote for the reinstatement only on condition that Mullane should also go in. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA reportedly gives Mets permission to relocate to Staten Island; Erastus Wiman

Date Wednesday, October 28, 1885
Text

Since the American Association gave the Metropolitan Exhibition Company permission to transfer the Metropolitan Club from New York City to Staten Island, it has become apparent that the American Association will no longer be represented in New York. It is said at Staten Island that Erastus Wiman, under whose direction the Metropolitan Club will be, is negotiating for a piece of land of about ten acres near West New Brighton, for which he expects to pay $170,000. This ground is to be fitted up for the Metropolitan Club with the latest improved club houses and grand stands. The move is well liked by the Staten Island people. The Sporting Life October 28, 1885

Newspapers are talking about the removal of the Metropolitan Club to Staten Island, as though it had been accomplished. This is premature. The minutes of the Association will show that the Mets asked for this permission, but it was not granted. The matter lies on the table and there is some opposition to the scheme. The Sporting Life November 25, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA salary lists

Date Sunday, March 22, 1885
Text

The salary lists of the American Association Ball Clubs are said to be as follows: Pittsburg, inclusive of the $6,000 paid for the release of the players to the Columbus Club, $22,000; Louisville, $26,000; Baltimore, $25,000; Cincinnati, $28,000; Brooklyn, $27,000; Metropolitan, $26,000; Athletic, $30,000.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

abolishing the ten day rule

Date Wednesday, August 26, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 8/20] The meeting by resolution abolished the ten-day's rule outright, so far as the American Association is concerned, by refusing to respect it from the date of the meeting. Of course this was a violation of the National Agreement, but the American Association states that it considers that the League first violated the National Agreement by reinstating the reserve jumpers and that thus its provisions were no longer binding upon the American Association except at pleasure. The Sporting Life August 26, 1885

The abrogation of the ten-day rule by the National League, following so closely upon the same action by the American Association at its special meeting not long since, was a sensible move. It had outlived its usefulness, and its provisions had been rendered nugatory by the practices of the present day. When it was adopted such a thing as buying a player's release was almost unknown, and the intention was, when a man was released, to give everybody a bona fide chance to engage him if they wanted to, but as it works now, if a manager buys a player's release and gets his promise before doing so that he will sign with him when his ten days are up, it simply puts the player in the way of a terrible temptation to act dishonorably.

The rule was continually evaded and should have been repealed long ago. It any limit is fixed at all in the future it should be a very strict one, for if a manager wants a man bad enough to buy his release he wants him immediately, and if he is willing to pay for him he ought to have him. The Sporting Life September 9, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advocating hit by pitch rule for the NL

Date Wednesday, September 9, 1885
Text

The adoption of the American system of giving a base to the batsman hit by a pitched ball will be strongly urged at the next League meeting. This thing of continually dodging cannon balls, and the dread of severe injury affects batsmen, especially the more timid or those who have been hit once or twice, more than people imagine.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an account of Von der Ahe

Date Wednesday, June 10, 1885
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] Clever Chris Von der Ahe is pardonably proud of his boys, and the boys seem to be very fond of him. He is very careful to cater to their comfort, while requiring strict discipline, and is upon easy, friendly terms with all the players, and invites their confidence by entering with spirit into their pleasures and sympathizing with their little annoyances. He fires away at them on the field when matters are not going to suit him, but he does it in his frank, off-hand manner, and recovers his natural good nature so easily and quickly that it is plain to them that there is not a spark of malice in his whole rotund body, and they weather the storm and profit by the reaction of increased kindness, as all sensible players should.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an accurate analysis of the Big Four situation

Date Wednesday, October 7, 1885
Text

Discussion as to the legality of the Detroit-Buffalo deal still continues and many of our contemporaries fail to understand the modus operandi by which Detroit was deprived of the fruits of her strategic coup, although the matter does not seem difficult of comprehension. Buffalo was privileged to sell her stock to whom she pleased, and under the National Agreement, modified by the abrogation of the ten-day rule, Detroit secured control of the players in a legal manner, but at the Saratoga conference meeting a rule was adopted binding all the clubs of the League and American Association not to contract for players, at the time under engagement to such clubs, until Oct 20. Under this rule Detroit, although controlling the Buffalo Club, could not release Buffalo's players and transfer them to Detroit in the matter attempted, as, to the League, these clubs, although now under one control, were still separate and distinct organizations and located in different cities. A great deal of stress is laid upon the claim advanced by Detroit that the deal was made before the pledges exacted from the clubs by the Saratoga conference were promulgated, and that therefore the deal was legal. In another instance an American Association manager has been hauled over the coals pretty lively by his local constituents because he did not try to secure some of this material before he signed the pledge. In both cases one point has been overlooked. Each organization was bound to abide by the acts of its committee at Saratoga from the time such acts were adopted until approved or rejected in regular representative meeting. The League committee had full power from the League to act in its behalf, and the American Association committee was given such power at the Atlantic City special meeting. The pledge afterwards exacted by mail was supplementary to the formal notice given all clubs prohibiting the negotiation for players prior to Oct. 20. The pledge was merely exacted to make the matter more binding, as it were, and to make clubs particularly realize the importance of compliance with the notice. Had the pledge never been exacted the clubs would still have been bound to obey the rule passed at the conference, upon mere notification of such action, and President Young would have even in that case been justified in interfering, as he did, with the carrying out of the deal. Several cases of players released and signed since the Saratoga conference have been cited, but it is probable that the joint committee acted with a view to preventing just such transactions as the Detroit-Buffalo deal, whereby an entire team of valuable players could be gobbled up by one club to the exclusion of all others desirous of having at least an even chance of securing material to strengthen themselves, and not to interfere with unimportant individual cases. However, the rule will not undoubtedly be strictly construed, and while the release of players from League or American clubs is not preventable, the engagement of such released players until Oct. 20 is impossible, and if effected such contracts will not receive approval. The rule, however, only applies to League and American Association players, and players from outside organizations may be signed at will.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an accurate explanation for high salaries

Date Wednesday, July 8, 1885
Text

[from a column by “Veteran”] Why and how the clubs have allowed this evil [of inflated salaries] to grow to its present proportions is explained in a few words. As has been said before, the matter of financial success has not been the principal one; as a rule the stockholders of a club want a winning team and don't care whether they make a cent or not so long as they can win. They also get the idea if they can get certain players they can win and are willing to pay almost any salary for them, even more than they can afford, in the hope if they can get a winning team they can draw better, and make enough money to pay out. Right there is the delusion. Nobody can tell in the fall what team can win next summer, and thus it happens that expenses are increased that the receipts of the business cannot meet, and the club is bound to fall behind. In clubs that are run by individuals almost the same feeling prevails, and the greedy player is always ready to take advantage of this feeling on the part of the management, and generally feels that he is the man necessary to fill the breach, for who ever saw a ball player that did not think he was one of the best, if not the very best man in his position in the country? Added to this is his natural desire to get all he cn for his services. It is a great deal easier to win games in the fall and winter in the imagination and on paper than it is on the field during the next season, as many clubs have found to their cost.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an admission the League has better players

Date Friday, February 6, 1885
Text

Lew Simmons says: “The League was more afraid of a fight than the American Association, because League Clubs had more to lose. If the National agreement had been broker there would have been a raid by the club managers of one organization on the players of the other. I would have been after Paul Hines as quick as I could have reached a telegraph office. The League has a great many players that American Association clubs would like to get, but we have only a few men that would be in great demand in the League.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an amateur club sociable ball

Date Tuesday, April 14, 1885
Text

The Roxbury Base Ball Club, one of the leading amateur organizations in the state, comprising among its members young men well known in Boston society, gave its second annual sociable at Palladio Hall last evening. The affair was a complete success, about fifty couples being on the floor. The gentlemen were in full evening dress, while the costumes of the ladies were very rich and handsome. There was on exhibition an elegantly hand painted satin banneret, which has been offered by Mr. J. J. Gillespie to the player making the best batting average during the season. It will be placed on exhibition at Currier's hat store, corner of Eliot and Washington streets. The floor director was Manager John F. Dever, and he was assisted in the discharge of his duties by the members of the nine.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an analysis of the NL resolution implementing the new National Agreement

Date Wednesday, December 2, 1885
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] If any one believes that the League people are declining in their proverbial diplomacy, they have only to study the true inwardness of the late resolution in relation to released players to be disabused of the idea. They first join the Association in constructing a National Agreement that appears on its face to carry with it the right of the Association to hire a League player after he has first been on the market to them for a stipulated time and vice versa. The Association seems to have joined in this in the interest of patching up the desirable peace, and because they believed there was a bare chance of now and then picking up a League player. Besides this the Association reluctantly agree that the number to be reserved by each club shall be increased to twelve. After gaining these concessions, behold the crafty diplomacy of the League people in passing a resolution whereby they make it impossible for a desirable player to leave their ranks except to be placed among the criminal players on the black-list.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an assessment of the relative strength of the NL and AA

Date Wednesday, November 4, 1885
Text

The National League is still the leading base ball organization, but solely by reason of prestige and seniority. In all other respects it has now a formidable rival in the American Association, which body has been steadily growing in power, influence and playing strength, and has time and again compelled the League to recognize it as a rival worth conciliating. In point of playing ability also the two organizations are nearly upon a level footing despite the fact that the younger organization has from its inception held to the lower tariff, which indeed has been the main element of success, and has been the main element of success, and has in a great degree contributed to the wide spread and remarkable revival of interest in the National game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an attempt to tighten the ten day rule

Date Wednesday, February 4, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting] The following was adopted as a pledge of the American Association, and is similar to a resolution passed recently by the League:

Resolved, That this Association will punish by expulsion any club or player negotiating for services of a player and compensation therefore while such player is under reservation or contract, or for entering into any kind of agreement or contract for services prior to the expiration of ten days from the secretary's notice of release of the player, as provided in the National Agreement.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early claim that the Arbitration Committee lacked jurisdiction over reserve jumpers

Date Sunday, March 1, 1885
Text

According to Mr. [Newton] Crane the American association, and not the arbitration committee, have full power to act with regard to their own reserve-rule breakers. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early hint that Spalding wants a six club circuit

Date Wednesday, October 14, 1885
Text

It has been intimated by an authority on base-ball in this city that Buffalo would not only surely be dropped from the league...but that the circuit next year would embrace six clubs only.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an expelled AA player reinstated

Date Monday, September 14, 1885
Text

Notice of Dave Rowe’s reinstatement in the American Association was received here last Saturday evening, the consent of all the clubs in the Association having been telegraphed to Secretary Wikoff. Mr. Ben Fine, manager of the St. Louis League Club, yesterday wired President Young asking if he had received notice of Rowe’s reinstatement. If an affirmative answer is received here this morning or before this afternoon’s game, Rowe will take his place in left field on the St. Louis nine, as under the action of the Saratoga meeting it is not necessary to wait until ten days expire. ... Tom Dolan’s and Jack Gleason’s cases will not be acted upon until the meeting of the American Association in October, and when they are reinstated they will be free to sign with any club they choose to, as they are not bound to the Lucas Club in any way. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an infield fly double play 3

Date Wednesday, June 10, 1885
Text

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 6/9/1885] [Schaffer on second, McKinnon on first] Pfeffer made a beautiful double play all by himself... Caskins popped up a fly in Pfeffer’s field, but that player purposely let the ball go to the ground, and quickly picking the sphere he ran and touched Schaffer on second. Caskins, in the meantime, occupied first base, on which stood McKinnon, and as the latter refused to leave his bag he too was forced. For a moment the players were bewildered and declined to leave, but Ferguson [umpire] promptly decided both out. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican June 10, 1885

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 6/9/1885] Pfeffer did a pretty piece of work in the ninth inning by which he recorded a double play for himself and drew forth much applause from the audience. Shafer had taken his base on Anson’s error, and had reached second on McKinnon’s base hit. Glasscock then knocked a fly to Pfeffer, which the latter dropped. Glasscock reached first, but Shafer and McKinnon, thinking that Pfeffer had held the ball, stood their bases, and Pfeffer, running to second, touched Shafer, who should have run to third, and then put out McKinnon by touching the second base with the ball. Chicago Tribune June 10, 1885

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an informal AA meeting to allow the overhand delivery, eliminate the foul bound

Date Wednesday, June 3, 1885
Text

An informal conference to discuss [rules changes] was held at the Bingham House... those present being President McKnight, Barnie, of the Baltimore Club; O.P. Caylor, of the Cincinnati Club; Mr. Fairman, of the Pittsburg Club, and Messrs. Simmons, Sharsig and Mason, of the Athletic Club. All the clubs represented but Cincinnati were in favor of amending the rules so as to permit the high-arm throwing and of removing the restrictions at present imposed by the balk rule. Caylor, of Cincinnati, expressed himself as bitterly opposed to any change in the rules and St. Louis is likely to side with him. An effort was also made to abolish the foul bound, but this, too, was opposed by Caylor. The meeting adjourned without taking any definite action, owing to the fact that to make any changes at an informal meeting the rules require unanimous consent, which could not be obtained owing to the objections interposed by Messrs. Caylor and Von der Ahe. A change is, however, considered certain as six clubs are said to be in favor. To accomplish the change it is only necessary for four of the eight clubs to combine and request President McKnight to call a special meeting, where a two-thirds vote will prevail. … The remove of the restrictions ...would also be favorable to the pitchers of all the clubs, with the exception of St. Louis and Cincinnati.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an underhand pitcher

Date Thursday, August 13, 1885
Text

[Baltimore vs. Athletic 8/12/1885] ...Lovett...was a terror to the Baltimore men. He used the underhand delivery altogether and held the visitors down to four safe hits.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arguing for first base on a hit by pitch

Date Sunday, October 18, 1885
Text

An exchange says: “In the American association when a batter is hit by a pitched ball he doesn't limp around for five minutes with an 'he-tried-to-kill-me' expression on his face. No, brother, he runs right down to first base, and the game goes on. Let's have that rule in the league.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics' attendance, finances; grandstand ratio

Date Friday, June 26, 1885
Text

Philadelphia is a great base ball town. The Athletics have drawn 71,600 people in the last sixteen games and the receipts including grand stand have been $20,000. The Philadelphias have done even better. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican June 26, 1885

It is said that the actual number of spectators who have witnessed the Athletic club games in Philadelphia this year is 162,762. This includes attendance at exhibition games in April. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican July 11, 1885

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Atlantics of Brooklyn under Dicky Pierce

Date Wednesday, July 8, 1885
Text

the Atlantic Club, of Brooklyn, have organized, and, under the management of Dicky Pierce, are about making a trip through Pennsylvania...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

automatic home run for a ball hit over the fence

Date Friday, May 1, 1885
Text

[Chicago vs. St. Louis 4/30/1885] Lewis drove the ball in the ninth inning into the carriage yard on a fly and reached third, but was given a home run, under the league rules which allow a home run on a hit over a fence 210 feet or more from the home plate. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore blocks an Eastern League club

Date Wednesday, February 25, 1885
Text

Mr. Diddlebock has again been in correspondence with the manager of the [Baltimore] home club, and tendered the control of an Eastern League team to him, but the manager declines to accept the offer or to accord the privilege to anyone else. There seems to be a firm dead-lock, so far as that matter is concerned, and it is hardly probable that the young organization has sufficient leverage to pry away the obstacle to a representation in this city.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Barnie forbids an Eastern League club in Baltimore

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

[from a report by Diddlebock] While a club in Baltimore would shorten the jump between Lancaster and Washington, I do not regard it as absolutely necessary to the success of our undertaking. Mr. Barnie at present declines to give his consent for a club in that city.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball cards

Date Wednesday, July 8, 1885
Text

Send four cents in stamps for a set of The Sporting Life base ball cards.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball on roller skates 2

Date Thursday, January 15, 1885
Text

Dan O'Leary has organized a roller skating base ball team at Detroit, which includes Weldman, Bennett, Hanlon and several other professionals. Dan wants to play the Boston team.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

basemen wearing gloves

Date Tuesday, August 25, 1885
Text

Esterbrook’s hands are very sore. He plays third base with gloves. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 25, 1885

In a game at New York, Connor, the first-baseman of the New Yorks, threw his glove down by the bag, and so intent were all the players on the game that a little dog ran across the grass, picked up the glove, and ran off with it without being detected by anybody, save some persons in the audience. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 25, 1885

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batter refuses to ask for high or low ball

Date Wednesday, August 12, 1885
Text

In Boston last Thursday “Orator” Shaffer refused to tell Umpire Sullivan what sort of a ball he wanted, high or low, and the umpire rightly called two strikes on George before he knew it. McKinnon and Glasscock kicked, but were met by the following reply from Sullivan:--”I will call every ball that passes over the plate a strike, if the batsman refuses to tell me what kind of a ball he wants.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting out of turn 4

Date Saturday, May 30, 1885
Text

During last Friday’s Providence-Chicago game, Umpire Gaffney was called upon to decide a point seldom, if ever, before raised in a League game. Heretofore, when Clarke [sic] and Flint have played, the batting order has been arranged so that the former has batted No. 8 and the latter No. 9. From some cause–probably carelessness on the part of Anson–that order was reversed, and Flint made batsman No. 8 and Clarkson No. 9. In the third inning Clarkson went to bat when it was Flint’s turn, and struck out. Flint then went to the plate and was given his base on balls. At this point it was discovered that each man had batted out of turn, and Umpire Gaffney’s attention being called to the fact, he decided both men out. Anson then claimed that Gore, who batted No. 1, should be the next man at the bat, but the umpire decided that Clarkson was the one so entitled, on the ground that, though having previously struck out, Flint had reached his base on balls before the error was discovered, and, Clarkson being the next batter in the regular order, he was the one to go the bat. In his decision giving both men out, Mr. Gaffney was undoubtedly right, but in deciding that Clarkson was entitled to go to the bat instead of Gore, the Herald is of the opinion that he was wrong. There appears to be no situation of affairs known to the game where a player can go to the bat more than once in the same inning, except where the entire side has “struck round.” When the two men were decided out the play, as far as they were concerned, was completed, and the game should have proceeded with the batsmen in regular order; that is, Gore, being the next striker after Clarkson, whould have been allowed to take his position. Umpire Gaffney has reported his decision, with the attending circumstances, to President Young of the League. St., quoting the Boston Herald

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

before the big game

Date Wednesday, October 7, 1885
Text

[New York vs. Chicago 10/1/1885] At noon there were one thousand or more awaiting admission at the Congress street entrance, and at two o'clock the number had been increased to three thousand. At this hour the gates were opened, and the people poured into the grand and open stands and into the two thousand extra seats that had been provided upon the bicycle track surrounding the ball field in a stead stream, until at 3 o'clock there were ten thousand people within the walls. At 2:30 P.M. Austin's full military band of twenty pieces marched to the tap of the drum across the field to the club houses on the east end of the grounds, and forming in a Maltese cross escorted the Giants back upon the field to the stirring strains of the music. The ovation tendered the visitors was all that they could wish, and the band returning to the club houses left the visitors to fifteen minutes of practice. Then the bell tapped, and as the visitors retired from the field a hum arose from the vast crowd, while ten thousand pairs of eyes were turned in eager expectation toward the club houses. A drum tap signaled the Whites to fall in, and the band, forming in a hollow square, with the players in double file within marched upon the ball field amidst a burst of music and such cheering as had certainly never before been heard upon a ball field. As the stalwart fellows wearing the blue and white of the Chicagos circled in front of the grand stand and stopped at the home plate the crowd went simply wild. Men and women arose to their feet, and standing upon the chairs and benches acted like ten thousand school children instead of sensible and reasonably inclined people. It was an ovation of which the White Stockings may feel proud all their lives long, and such a one as has rarely before been tendered a ball team. At 3 o'clock the ball tapped for the game...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bill Parks an Eastern League umpire

Date Friday, June 19, 1885
Text

William R. Parks, of Easton, has been appointed an Eastern League umpire.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

blacklisted players reinstated, fined; the AA threatens war

Date Wednesday, April 22, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 4/18] President Young sent out the call for the meeting to be held at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York City, and the clubs who were not represented by delegates were represented by proxy. The Providence and Philadelphia clubs put forth strenuous objections to the action taken in reference to the blacklisted players, but it did not amount to anything, as they were overruled, which was distinctly understood among the representatives of the League long before the meeting was called. …

The following resolution was adopted:--”Resolved that the provision of the resolution known as the Day resolution, adopted March 1884, shall not apply to Hugh Dailey, E. M. Gross, Fred Dunlap and George Shaffer, and the penalties thereby imposed are hereby mitigated and changed into pecuniary fines of $500 each, provided that this does not operate or take effect until the amount is paid into the League treasury or satisfactory security given.”

A resolution was adopted reinstating John W. Glasscock, Charles Sweeney, Charles F. Briody, James McCormick and Frederick L. Shaw. A penalty of $1,000 was placed upon each of these offenders, who will not be allowed to play until the penalty is paid or suitable security given. The Sporting Life April 22, 1885

The reinstatement of the blacklisted players by the League has given umbrage to the American Association, who will have a special meeting at Pittsburg April 27 to consider the matter. The American Association considers that the reinstatement of the reserve jumpers by the League without consultation with the American Association was a violation of the National Agreement and illegal, while the League holds that each organization governs the cases of its own players whether contract breakers or reserve jumpers. The true inwardness of the matter appears to be that the American Association is tired of the summary, arbitrary, and high-handed methods of the League in dealing with matters affecting the interests of both organizations, and there is a disposition to resent this and refuse further intercourse with the League. There is considerable talk about war between the two bodies, but we do not think the case will become so serious. A war would inflict incalculable injury on both organizations, and would perhaps result in the downfall of the game in public favor. Should it come to that, however, the League would probably, in its present condition, get the worst of the fight. But a war is not an inviting project under any circumstances, and it behooves the American Association to act with that discretion which has characterized it all through the past stormy winter, and which has greatly raised it in public estimation. The Sporting Life April 29, 1885

[from an interview of President Nimick of the Alleghenys] He said that the League seemed to think that they had made all they could out of the American Association—they had even carefully postponed their reinstatement meeting until the opening day of the American Association championship so as to get all possible exhibition games with American Association clubs—and now they ruthlessly throw aside the rules about ineligible reserved players, which rules were prepared by themselves, to establish the new and dangerous precedent of strengthening a particular club. Mr. Nimick believed that this action was an acknowledgment of weakness, and the despair of approaching dissolution. The thriving clubs of the American Association, with the popular prices of admission, have made the League lose caste. The Sporting Life April 29, 1885

[from an interview of McKnight] He hoped and believed that there would be no such war as that last year between the National Agreement clubs and the Union Association. In such a case the rule of one or the other of the two great bodies must follow. He believed that the American Association would respect the League's contracts with players, but they might refuse to respect the reservations of the League in the fall, as the League had shown that they do not themselves respect that rule. Such a fight would be a good thing for the players, as it will keep salaries up, and he thought the League would suffer most, eventually, in higher salaries and loss of players.

Mr. McKnight explained that the displeasure of his Association is not caused by any vindictive feeling toward the ineligible reserve jumpers but because the League has ignored one of the strongest rules of the National Agreement in assuming the right to reinstate those players. He considered their offenses to be much less than those of the contract breakers, and under the rules the League had a perfect right to reinstate all their own expelled players. Had they only done so and then asked for a general conference to act on the reserve breakers, the American Association might have agreed. But, at the last conference, the League people had been as positive a sever that they would never agree to reinstate any of the disqualified players. When it was decided to admit the Lucas Club President McKnight was present when the president of the League informed Mr. Lucas that his admission was contingent on his promise to never ask for any of those players, and Mr. Lucas made the most solemn pledge that he would never ask such a thing. No sooner was he admitted than he changed his motto of last year so that it now reads: “I am the League!” The Sporting Life April 29, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

blocking clubs from selling out

Date Wednesday, September 30, 1885
Text

[from an interview of McKnight] I asked Mr. McKnight about the exact meaning of the agreement entered into by the clubs of the two leading associations that they would not engage, prior to Oct. 20, any player released by a club of either body, explaining that many people thought it unnecessarily hard on players released. The gentleman explained that general legislation of this kind must be for the good of the whole, even though a few individuals suffer. This agreement was made so that there could be no possibility of any club selling out to another, and was the only feasible way to prevent it. If a club should sell out to, and be absorbed by, another, a whole team of players would be thrown out of employment, while under this arrangement only a few players will be held out. It was well known that Providence and Buffalo were dickering to dispose of their players. Had they been permitted to do so an equal number of players, considered inferior, would have been discharged by the purchasing clubs. But then look at the predicament of the League had those clubs given up. There was our principal reason for this agreement. The people who have large amounts of money invested in these clubs must act like business men and protect their interests. They cannot look to the interest of each individual player and lose money by so doing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Unions finances

Date Wednesday, January 21, 1885
Text

The Union Club in Boston, as everybody knows, was a financial failure. Now an assessment of $50 a share has been levied upon the already disconsolate stockholders. Some intend to refuse payment on legal grounds, and will contest the matter in the courts if necessary. The club is in insolvency, and owes some $10,000.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston attendance, finances; directors' salaries

Date Wednesday, July 15, 1885
Text

There have been twenty-six games played here this season. Then there was the afternoon of Decoration Day, when but four innings were played, but as no money was refunded the receipts can be counted in, and the attendance, which was over 5,000, helps to swell the total. As another game must be played in place of the four inning, there is an opportunity to draw another and nearly as large as on Decoration Day. There are thirty games yet to be played, and the total attendance, by turnstile count, at the League grounds this season has been 67,335. the gate receipts to date thus amount to $33,667. Two-thirds of this sum goes to the Boston Club, making their share in round numbers $22,444. At the lowest reasonable estimate the receipts from the grand stand will increase this to $25,000.

The aggregate attendance at the first twenty-six games played here last year was 76,831. This is, with the tremendous crowd at the New York game on Decoration Day afternoon, estimated at 15,000, the number of tickets the directors said they sold. The receipts were, thus $38,415, making the Boston's share $25,610, which, with grand stand fees, would amount to $28,000. Thus it will be seen that the receipts for the first twenty-six games last year do not exceed very much the income for the same number of games this season. The Bostons first trip to New York and Philadelphia was profitable everybody knows, and as their expenses are practically nothing when they play in Providence, they must make some money every time they play there. Finally they are going to come out ahead on their present Western trip. The attendance at their games in the West has already figured up to over 20,000.

They are sure to get $3,000 while away, and their expenses are not over two-thirds of this. Everybody knows that last year Boston's club made a great deal of money, and this year's receipts for the corresponding time are only slightly behind. The only conclusion is that the directors are not going to lose much wealth in spite of bad playing by their charges. Of course, not enough money has yet been made to pay all expenses, but thirty more games are to take place on the home grounds and unless the attendance dwindles away to nothing these same three gentlemen, who are at the helm of Boston's League club, will receive very good interest on their money invested, considering their salaries of $2,500 apiece.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bradley gets a judgment against the Cincinnati Unions

Date Wednesday, November 11, 1885
Text

The suit of George Bradley against the Union Base Ball Association of Cincinnati, for $600 unpaid salary claimed to be due him by the backers of the defunct Cincinnati Union Club, has been decided in his favor, a judgment of $636 having been given in his favor. The Sporting Life November 11, 1885

The success of George Bradley in his recent suit against the Union Base Ball Association, of Cincinnati, is of National interest to every one—player or stockholder—concerned in the profession of base ball playing. His relations with that club are familiar to base ball readers. In order to secude him from the Athletics he was given a two years' contract at $2,600 per annum. When he made his famous break to rejoin the Athletics the Cincinnati Unions, in order to reatin him, induced Mr. Gerke, the wealthy brewer, to make the contract with Bradley a personal one. Bradley received his salary in full, minus a $75 fine, during 1884, but in the fall of that year the Union Association fell to pieces, and of course, Bradley, who was blacklisted, was unable to obtain employment. By his personal contract he was to get $600 advance on his salary for 1885 on Nov. 1, 1884, but when the time came the money did not. He was put off and finally refused payment. On this he sued for the $600, and the suit was tried before Judge Force and a jury in Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago. The jury were out only eleven minutes, when they returned a verdict in full, with a year's interest, amounting to $636. The judge charged that Bradley was not at fault for the club's retiring from business; that the club had no exucse whatever to terminate the contract, but must stand by it in full. Under this charge Bradley can recover the rest of the salary, viz: $2,000, and there is no doubt that he will enter suit therefore unless it is compromised, which, it is reported, has been done. The result of this trial is important, and will be of interest to all who hereafter jump into wildcat base ball schemes. It will put a damper upon the organizers of such associations and will serve as a pointer to players who may be cajoled into joining such organizations to sign only personal and unconditional contracts for two or three years, and they will be sure of all they sign for. It is but just that the men who have money, and hold it up to tempt players to desert the regular and old-established business clubs, should not be allowed to have a string attached to the ball. The Sporting Life November 25, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brooklyn beats out Lucas for the Cleveland players

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

The biggest sensation in connection with the resignation of the Cleveland Club from the League was the clever scoop of the players of that club by the Brooklyn Club, with the assistance of Mr. Hackett and the officials of the Cleveland Club. Mr. Lucas was after the majority of the players, and had made numerous offers to buy the franchises of the Cleveland Club, simply in order to get their reserve list. In any event he wanted some of the players badly, in order to strengthen his team in the event of his getting into the League, and was prepared to offer big money for them. The Cleveland Club officials were not willing that he should have any, and so the present successful scheme was hatched up. The start was made at the American Convention, at which Manager Hackett was present apparently as a looker-on. An interview with Mr. Byrne was had and a satisfactory conclusion reached. Mr. Hackett was engaged as Manager for Brooklyn next season, and at once started on a little pilgrimage for the good of Brooklyn. The result of that pilgrimage is that six of the best men in the Cleveland Club of last season have pledged themselves to sign contracts with Brooklyn and have accepted advance money from Manager Hackett as the agent of the Brooklyn Club. The six men are Harkins, Krieg, Hotaling, Phillips, Pinckney and Smith, and Bushong ha agreed to go to Brooklyn also.

Leaving Holyoke Dec. 16 he reached Ilion, N.Y., on the 17th and got a pledge from Pete Hotaling. He went to Cleveland on Dec. 18, and after a short stay started ostensibly for Detroit, but really for Chicago. He reached that place on the 19th, and after eight hours' hunt the immortal old guardian of first base, Mr. William Phillips, was found and dealt with. On the 20th Mr. Hackett got two men. He dropped into Peoria, Ill., in the morning and got George Pinckney out of bed and made an agreement with him. The eh skipped to Chillicothe, Ill, and had Krieg's signature in a short time. Then Hackett returned to Chicago and on Monday, December 22, met Messrs. H. V. Lucas and Newton S. Crane, his lawyer, there. They wanted the pilgrim to get the Cleveland players for St. Louis and the pilgrim's terms to manage the St. Louis League team of 1885. Hackett was shy and reticent and Lucas open. They parted with an agreement on the part of Hackett to think the matter over and let Lucas know in the future. Then the wanderer turned his nose toward Cleveland and was seen by the local newspaper men. Still he “knew nothing,” but meanwhile managed to get Bushong's conditional agreement to play in Brooklyn next year. On December 24 Mr. Hackett “struck” Pittsburg, and hunted up Smith, who was in bed. Hackett knew that the Pittsburg Club wanted Smith and was very wary. He sought to persuade Smith to go to Holyoke for a vacation, but said nothing about his real object. Smith would not go because of some social holiday engagements. After warning Smith about his fealty to Cleveland and being assured that it was staunch, Hackett left him with a promise to be back in a week and take him to Cleveland for “some fun.” Christmas Day saw the pilgrim in New Brunswick, N.J., where, after a Christmas dinner of a sandwich and a cup of coffee, Harkins was hunted up and secured. Thus on Christmas night the trip was finished, and the next day Hackett reported to Brooklyn, was congratulated and departed for home. Two days' rest saw him off again. Boston was his point, and after seeing a player whom Brooklyn wanted, he called at New York again and thence went, via Philadelphia, to Pittsburg. Here Smith was seen and last Thursday both went to Cleveland. On Friday the scheme was broken to Smith and he too pledged himself to go to Brooklyn. During the entire trip the pilgrim slept on the cars, traveled incog. and kept his lines close and intact.

All the players are now in a town near the Canadian border, and will stay there until they have signed regular contracts to play with the Brooklyn Club next season. These will be signed next Tuesday. There has been some outcry about a violation of the amended constitution of the American Association, but this was cleverly evaded by securing the pledged before the men were released....

Mr. Lucas passed through Philadelphia on his way to New York, and was seen on the train by a Sporting Life reporter. He expressed himself sanguine as to admission to the League. In Cleveland's deal with Brooklyn he considered himself badly used, as he paid that club's officers solid cash for their franchises solely for the purpose of securing their assistance in obtaining the most desirable reserved players. Instead of so doing they backcapped him and worked in the interest of Brooklyn. The Sporting Life January 14, 1885

[from a letter by F. H. Brunell] ...it is well to have it understood that every step taken by Mr. Byrne, president of the [Brooklyn] club, and by Mr. Hackett, its manager, has been with the full knowledge, consent and co-operation of the Cleveland Club previous to the release of its players, and therefore in no way conflicting with the National Agreement. The Brooklyn Club officials are among the staunchest supporters of that famous instrument, and are too level-headed to violate its letter or spirit. Mr. Byrne came here quietly, transacted his business with Messrs. G. W. Howe and C. H. Bulkley, the owners of the Cleveland Club, two of the most reliable gentlemen ever identified with the National game in this country, and everything was transacted on a simple business basis. He has not undertaken to interfere in the affairs of other people, and justly feels the same treatment should be accorded him. It has been charged that the Brooklyn Club's negotiations with the Cleveland men was a violation of the National Agreement. This is nonsense. Some time since Mr. Barnie, of Baltimore, negotiated with Cleveland and secured Muldoon. Pittsburg and Columbus had mutual business relations which all approved and indorsed. Mr. John B. Day, of the New York League Club, is now dealing and negotiating with his partners in the Metropolitan American Association Club to secure Keefe and Esterbrook for his League team. No one for a moment intimates that in these cases the agreement has been violated, and yet Brooklyn's position will found to be, when all the facts are known, much stronger than any of the cases named. The Sporting Life January 14, 1885

The seven Cleveland players...were not secreted in a small town near the Canadian border as reported, but were all the time since their release at a hotel in Cleveland under the watchful eye of Byrne and Hackett. Their whereabouts must have been well known to base ball managers as it is said they were deluged with offers. The Sporting Life January 21, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brooklyn every day ladies' day; no season tickets

Date Saturday, April 18, 1885
Text

The Brooklyn Club’s president announces the interesting fact that every match day will be “lady’s day” at the Washington Park Ball Ground this season. This is a sound policy, and it is singular that other clubs do not adopt it. The club will issue no season tickets this year, nor will it issue any complimentary passes except the usual courtesies to the press. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brooklyn's Cleveland signings in question

Date Wednesday, January 28, 1885
Text

It will be a surprise to many if they will be able to explain the matter away when called upon by the Arbitration Committee at their next meeting, a protest having been made against their actions by one or two clubs. The following notice has been sent out by Nick Young:

“I am not authorized to declare the contracts made by the Brooklyn with the disbanded Cleveland Club valid and binding in view of the question which has been raised as to whether such contracts were made in accordance with the National agreement.”

This would indicate that there was more fun ahead. Brooklyn should not have been in such a great hurry to have been led on by Manager Hacket. It is understood that the Brooklyn management was not offered the first chance, but the clubs to which the offers were first made either did not want the players or did not care to get into trouble.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buffalo sells out to Detroit; Buffalo Club finances; the big four; franchise as property right

Date Wednesday, September 23, 1885
Text

The sale of the franchise of the Buffalo Club to Detroit was officially announced on Thursday, Sept. 17, to the great surprise of not only the general public, but also to all the base ball magnates who are supposed to know all that is going on behind the scenes. The first intimation the public had of the matter was the follow dispatch which appeared in the daily papers of Thursday:

Buffalo, N.Y., Sept. 17.--Great surprise was manifested here to-day by the official announcement that the franchise of the Buffalo Base Ball Club had been sold to the Detroit management for $7,000. At the recent Saratoga conference the Buffalo management announced its determination of staying in the National League, but the plucky Detroiters came on here, offered to buy a majority of the stock and got it. The club here has been sinking a lot of money. The average attendance was 500, while 800 people were required to pay expenses. The Detroiters did not want the franchise as they have on hand that of the Indianapolis Club, which cost them $5,000, but they did want Brouthers, Richardson, Rowe and White, and to get them paid a good price. They have guaranteed to complete the season here, but as they have ordered the four best men to report to them Saturday night, when the transfer takes effect, it is probable that the club they will furnish will be rather “light waisted.” It is probable that the Buffalo management will go into the State League and start on a 25-cents-a game basis. The Buffalo's lease of Olympic Park has yet three years to run.

… The money paid, which was $7,000, which was paid over by Detroit on the 16th inst., will be sued for the payment of all the obligations incurred by the present management. The surplus, if any, will be placed in the hands of a trustee for the benefit of every shareholder of the stock as now held. The lease of the grounds, and the buildings and miscellaneous other property, will also be placed in the hands of the same trustee to be disposed of as may be deemed best, all stock to receive its pro rata interest in it. The new owners have agreed to finish the League season in Buffalo, and it rests with them to say whether there will be a League club there in 1886.

Mr. Leadley, the secretary, Mr. Watkins, the manager, and Directors Stearns and Molony engineered the scheme, with the assistance of centre fielder Hanlon. The inside story of the deal is said to be as follows:

In the latter part of last July Director Stearns went to Buffalo with a view to securing Rowe, Richardson, Brouthers and White, of the Buffalo team. It was hoped that they could be secured for this year, as the Buffalo team were in a badly crippled condition at that time and were on the verge of dissolution. The Buffalos did not disband, but the result of Mr. Stearns' visit was that the four Buffalo players were practically pledged to join Detroit next season since that time there have been continual negotiations by the Detroit with a view to securing a definite contract from these four Buffalo players. It was difficult to make any open agreement, as the League rules forbid any offer or negotiation with a player while he is a member of a League club. Hanlon, however, was a particularly good friend of Brouthers. The latter had given Hanlon the tip that he would jump at the chance to come to Detroit. This induced several of the Detroit directors to try and secure a contract, notwithstanding the League rules. When the Detroit Club were in Buffalo last week a meeting was held in a room at one of the hotels. The four coveted players were present; likewise Messrs. Watkins and Leadley. There had been considerable informal talk between Hanlon and the players prior to the meeting. Mr. Leadley drew a contract in writing binding the four men to play with Detroit next season in case they would be released from Buffalo. This was signed by Brouthers, Rowe, White and Richardson, and the Detroit managers were satisfied with their streak of luck. It was considered particularly fortunate, as the chances of securing two other crack players from another League club were materially strengthened. These two had said they would come to Detroit if the four Buffalo men came. The contract was virtually good for six first-class players.

The next thing was to get the men away from Buffalo, and several days were consumed in negotiating with the officers of the Buffalo Club to secure the release of the desired men. The latter, however, took a leaf from the Indianapolis book, and seeing a chance to get out whole from an enterprise which gave no indications of every yielding any adequate return for the money invested and the labor bestowed, stood out for the transfer of the whole club or nothing, and Detroit was finally compelled to buy out the entire team and franchise. … The sale avoid the necessity of making up any deficit, and it is expected that the surplus, after all liabilities, will permit a dividend of about 20 per cent. on the stock.

It is just possible that Detroit's speculation may turn out very profitable to Detroit outside the acquisition of the strong players, as a League franchise is a valuable possession, and Cincinnati parties want it badly. Indeed it is said that McLean, Thorner, Gerke and the other Cincinnati people who are anxious to locate a League club in Porkopolis, were in with the deal to secure the franchise, and that it has perhaps already been transferred to them, or if it has not been it certainly will be whenever Detroit gets the matter into proper shape and finds itself secure in its position. The Pittsburg Club, too, is said to be anxious to secure the franchise, and is believed to have offered a large sum therefor. The franchise is of no value to Detroit, who simply wanted the “big four” players, and either of the above-named cities will no doubt secure it.

...Manager Watkins, of the buying club, left for home at midnight on the Michigan Central road, taking with him Rowe, Brouthers, White and Richardson, whom he proposed to play against New York o Saturday, transferring McQuery, Crane and Donnelly to Buffalo. In addition to the “big four” Conway, Myers, Lillie and Force will be taken to Detroit at the end of the season. The others will probably be released.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Byrne warns off competitors for Cleveland players

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

[a telegram from Byrne to Barnie] We secured release of Cleveland men at very large outlay, and have honorable promise from certain men to come to Brooklyn. Hope our associates in Association will not interfere with us.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's signs

Date Wednesday, April 15, 1885
Text

...Hardie pitches at will when Sam is back, and by Trott's signs when he is up behind the bat.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick's recommendations for the pitching rules; move the pitcher back

Date Wednesday, November 11, 1885
Text

… The new rule which prevailed in the League during May and June, by which the forward step in delivery was prohibited, was not fairly tried. The mistake made by the majority of the pitchers in regard to the correct interpretation of the rule prejudiced several of them against it, and that was that the rule required the pitcher to keep his backward foot on the ground in delivery, when the fact was that it did nothing of the kind. The effect of the rule was to reduce the speed of the delivery without in any way preventing or impeding a thorough command of the ball. It is plainly evident that if the wear and tear of catchers is to be stopped or lessened, and the tedious method of the 'pitchers' games removed, something must be done to reduce the speed of the pitching.

The prohibition of the forward step in delivery is one method, and we think it is the best; but the putting the pitcher back five feet further might obviate the difficulty., quoting Chadwick

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charging interest on advance money; life insurance

Date Wednesday, April 1, 1885
Text

The Chicago plan might be adopted by most clubs as a benefit to themselves. We understand that President Spalding pays his men whatever advance they want when they sign on conditions, viz.: Each player must take out and pay for a life insurance policy ample to cover the sum advanced and assign it to the club. Then the sum advanced is divided up into an equal number of amounts, and each amount is made into a promissory note. These notes fall due in order, one on each pay day, until the entire amount is provided for; and each note bears six per cent. interest. In other words, the club will lend its money to its player when it is secured and paid the usual rate of interest.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

chest protector 4

Date Wednesday, April 15, 1885
Text

The catchers’ is greeted with amazement in the South. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club offers bonuses for sobriety

Date Wednesday, May 27, 1885
Text

...Anson says that the men are strictly prohibitionists, and are determined to remain so, tempted by that $300 to $400 extra inducement as a reward for constant sobriety. The season is young yet, and the sultry atmosphere of July and August has not invited them “to seek the consolation which the bar-room grants.” One old weather-beaten toper, when he heard that Anson's Prohibitionists wouldn't drink any more, said the other day that “you can't reform a common drunkard in one season,” and he knew what he was talking about.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago threatens to drop out from the League if players are not reinstated

Date Tuesday, April 14, 1885
Text

Notwithstanding reports to the contrary, it is now stated upon pretty good authority that a meeting of the several Eastern league club Presidents—whether formal or informal is not known—was held in New York Saturday, April 4, and that some very significant talk was indulged in by those present bearing upon the probable action of the league with reference to the blacklisted players. The Boston Journal in a recent issue says that as the result of the meeting Dunlap, Shafer, and Sweeney will not only be reinstated, but that when the St. Louis league club appears in the field against the Chicago team the 30th inst. It will present, along with these players, Glassock, McCormick, and Briody, the Cleveland contract-breakers of 1884.

The report goes on to state, further, that at the meeting referred to President A. G. Spalding of Chicago plainly informed his associates that his club would drop out of the league unless Mr. Lucas of St. Louis was enabled to secure the best talent the country afforded. The only way to give him a good nine was to give ST. Louis the black-listed men and Sweeney. He stated that his investment in base-ball in Chicago this season would involve between $60,000 and $75,000, which would represent only his new grounds, and his salary list. Unless there should be a good league nine in St. Louis, one that the natural rivalry between the two leading cities in the West should make a drawing card in both, there would be no inducement for him to risk such an outlay, for there would be no prospect of a return of his money.

Mr. Spalding argued that if the disqualified players were reinstated and secured by Mr. Lucas the attendance at the ST. Louis games would be very large and visiting clubs would reap a harvest, whereas if theose players were kept out, St. Louis would be dead to the league. He also made the point that after admitting Mr. Lucas the league occupied an absurd position in punishing players for whose misconduct Lucas was largely responsible. Mr. Spalding claimed that his club had been for years the mainstay of the weaker league clubs, and that I had a right to ask reasonable favors at their hands. Chicago Tribune April 14, 1885 [N.B. Spalding goes on to confirm the arguments, but deny he threatened to leave the NL.]

[from an interview of an unidentified director of the Chicago Club] I tell you this explanation [of the NL vote to not reinstate the players] was not satisfactory to the Chicago directors and stockholders, and after several conferences had been held the directors passed a resolution instructing President Spalding not to expend a dollar in fitting up the grounds until he knew how the Lucas matter was going to be handled. It may surprise you some to know it, but I tell it to you as a fact that the Chicago Club had fully made up its mind not to submit to any more injurious legislation at the hands of the league. What would we have done? Why, what do business-men do generally when the affairs of a partnership are conducted to their financial detriment? Pull out, don't they? Now, you know Spalding had to go to New York on business about the 1st of April, and before leaving he arranged by telegraph for a meeting there with Messrs. Root, Soden, and Day. The President of the Chicago Club left for New York with blood in his eye and grit in his teeth. I don't pretend to know just what took place at the conference between Root, Soden, Day, and Spalding, but I do know that when Spalding got back to Chicago it was evident that his labors had not been in vain, and that very day orders were given to go ahead with the work with all possible speed. What the assurances were that Spalding received in New York I am not at liberty to say, but you may rest assured they were satisfactory to the Chicago Club. Chicago Tribune April 16, 1885, quoting the Boston Herald

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

chicks dig the long ball

Date Wednesday, November 25, 1885
Text

A Chicago paper publishes quite a romantic story concerning Ed. Williamson's first meeting with the lady whom he married in St. Louis last winter. She was a New Orleans girl visiting with friends in Chicago; the champions were getting worsted in the game she was looking at, and Williamson, who was at the bat, was looked to to pull the coals out of the fire. He got the ball he wanted and sent it kiting. The result was three tallies by the other men and a home run for himself. Williamson made that home run straight into the girl's heart. That night there was a reception to the club at the hotel, and she was presented to the home-runner. They looked into each other's eyes, and the umpire Cupid cried out: “One strike.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati not in the NL

Date Sunday, January 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting] Had the Detroit Club resigned, there would have been a splendid opportunity for the Cincinnati Union Club. Detroit, however, sent on a delegate, who stated that his club was on a good financial basis, and was ready to play out another season. This, of course, settled Cincinnati's chances for the present, and President Thorner, who had come to the meeting on the invitation of a League official, did not put in an application.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati still in the running for a League franchise

Date Wednesday, January 28, 1885
Text

The League Committee having been relieved of the work of settling the trouble between the two associations, it will now investigate the standing of the Detroit Club, and find, if possible, if they are really continuing on with the idea of selling out their club with a profit later on. Should this prove the case there is a fair prospect of there being still a chance for Cincinnati.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland Club disbands

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

There will be no Cleveland Club in the National League of 1885. the club resigned its franchise on Saturday and the letter containing the resignation reached President Nick E. Young, at Washington, yesterday morning. On Saturday afternoon a part of the eleven players reserved, under the National agreement, were released by telegraphic message, and the remainder were naturally set at liberty by the arrival of the resignation of the Cleveland Club. This was but the natural outcome of the deliberations of the stockholders, and was taken after a thorough endeavor to strengthen the playing team up to the necessary strength to make a winning fight for the championship, and after it was found that there were no local parties who were wiling to share the expense of a losing venture. Cincinnati Enquirer January 7, 1885, quoting the Cleveland Herald 1/6/85

President Young says that Cleveland has formally tendered its resignation from the League, chiefly on account of lack of patronage, and with the understanding that the St. Louis Unions should take its place. Cincinnati Enquirer January 9, 1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland players going to Brooklyn

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

All the [Cleveland] players are now in a town near the Canadian border, and will stay there until they have signed regular contracts to play with the Brooklyn Club next season. These will be signed next Tuesday. All the pledges were given before the men were released, to be in harmony with the amended American Association constitution, and all the pledges given are good. … ...there is no danger but that such men as Phillips, Hotaling, Bushong, Krieg, Harkins, Pinckney and Smith will live up to their agreements. These seven players, with Swartwood, Jack Hayes, Cassidy, Terry and two strong League players whose release will be purchased by the club, will form Brooklyn's playing team for 1885., quoting the Cleveland Herald 1/6/1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland resigns from the NL; Mutrie schemes to block Brooklyn

Date Saturday, January 10, 1885
Text

The National Base-Ball League is to-day in session at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. The session is secret and will not be concluded before night. The resignation of the Cleveland Base-ball Club, which has been in the hands of President Young for several days, was accepted. The action on the case of the Detroit Club cannot be ascertained, but it is known that the club will not remain in the League. This will leave two vacancies. Well authenticated statements go to show that Mr. Lucas of St. Louis will be taken into the fold.

This morning a secret conclave was held in the rooms of Mr. Lucas at the Hoffman House. Mr. James Mutrie, manager of the New York League team, was closeted for several hours with Mr. Lucas. It is said his mission was to pledge the support of the New York delegates to aid Mr. Lucas in his efforts to gain admittance to the League, provided that he verify his claims of having made contracts with the seven members of the defunct Cleveland Club who are claimed by the Brooklyn American Association Club. Mr. Lucas promised to comply with the condition. This, of course, leaves the Brooklyn Club without any players and forces the Brooklyn managers to accept the terms of the Metropolitan Exhibition Company for a transfer of the Metropolitan players to Brooklyn. A note just received at 3 o’clock from Mr. Lucas says: “Nothing of a definite nature has been done as yet. A great deal depends on the action of Mr. Von der Ahe. Matters are very encouraging, and I have no doubt as to the admission of my club to-day, providing Von der Ahe gives his consent. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

closing the loophole in the ten day rule

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

The agreements given by the Cleveland players to the Brooklyn Club are worthless, and every one of the men are on the market now, free to accept the proffer of an American, League or Union Club. At the last meeting of the American Association a strict rule was adopted on this subject on account of the Mullane case. It is herewith appended, and any one by reading it will readily see the force of the above remarks:

“Any club, officer or manager who shall, during the ten days intervening between the dates of a player's release and the date of his eligibility to contract, as provided for in the National Agreement, induce any player to sign any stipulated agreement, or to make or to pretend to make any oath, affirmation or affidavit to a promise tending to evade the spirit or the letter of what is known as the ten-day rule of the National Agreement, shall be fined in the sun of (blank) dollars, said sum to be fixed by the Board of Directors.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

coach interfering with the play

Date Wednesday, July 15, 1885
Text

[Providence vs. St. Louis 7/3/1885] With one out Irwin was given first on balls. Gilligan hit a long safe hit for two bases, and the ball was quickly fielded to Dunlap, who threw to Briody. At the time the throw was being made, Denny, who was coaching, started towards the home plate, running inside of the foul line, say six or eight feet ahead of Irwin, passing in front of Briody just as the ball neared him, and clearly preventing him from getting the ball, Irwin in the meantime scoring. [Umpire] Cushman decided Irwin safe, as he was bound to do, and fined Denny $25, which, under the circumstances, was the best he could have done, as the interference was not that of the run.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

commentary on the implementation of the new National Agreement

Date Wednesday, November 25, 1885
Text

It is a very harsh rule on players, bearing even harder than the reserve rule. The players will be most affected by section 4, which makes blacklistment the penalty for the refusal to sign a contract, however unfair, or for refusing to play with a club to which one is assigned by the League secretary.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

commenting on the AA surrender

Date Sunday, February 1, 1885
Text

The American association made an amusing attempt to “let itself down easy” by passing a resolution requesting the league to consent to the establishment of an association club in Chicago. A casual glance at this resolution would lead many to suppose that the association was simply gaining a point whe5re it had lost one, that is, by consenting to a league club in St. Louis, the association was gaining one in Chicago. Such, however, was not the case. The resolution was prepared simply to cover up the base, wholesale surrender of the association, and it has been admitted that such was the motive of the action taken since the meeting. There is no vacancy in the association, the same circumstances do not exist as in the Cleveland-St. Louis movement, and there was no necessity of the passage of any such resolution.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

competing telegraph companies, the telegraph franchise

Date Wednesday, June 24, 1885
Text

The Western Union Telegraph Company having made arrangements with the management for the sole right to use their instruments at Oriole Park, their enterprising rivals, the Baltimore and Ohio, have established a station on the roof of a house near the grounds. From this position they score the game and transmit it directly to this and other cities. The position is not the best for accurate scoring.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

complaints about the new pitching delivery rule

Date Wednesday, April 15, 1885
Text

That the new pitching rule is a sad failure and calculated to result in the physical prostration of the best pitchers in the League, seems to be the general verdict of those who have watched the experiments in the April contests thus far. Radbourn and Lovett complained of lame backs after a week's trial in a warm and genial climate, Buffinton, of Boston, has arrived at the conclusion that a change pitcher would be very acceptable upon the regular nine, Harry Wright arranged two pitchers in his practice games, and it is reported that “Larry” Corcoran don't want any more of it. Most assuredly Radbourn and Buffinton have been batted more freely than under the old style, as shown in the score of the games thus far plsyed, and it stands to reason that they cannot under the confinement of the fixed and restricted position of the body and feet, be so effective or sustain the increased physical strain which is in the nature of muscular torture. Whether the legislation was directed at any particular pitcher or not, it would seem that some other expedient than increasing the physical exertions of those of the these men who are constantly exercised during the game in order to secure increased batting and larger scores, could have been devised. It may place all pitchers on a par, but there is every reason to predict that pony batteries will be frequently called into service to relieve the over-taxed “regulars,” and possibly the championship struggle will be doubly interesting on that account. The Sporting Life April 15, 1885

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 4/18] The new pitching rule, which has so severely strained the pitchers and threatens to disable many of them, was considered and several delegates favored a modification. It was, however, finally resolved that the rule be given one more month's trial. If it does not then work better it will be changed. The Sporting Life April 22, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cricket explained

Date Sunday, September 27, 1885
Text

[headline] The Game of Cricket. Technicalities of the Play and Scoring Explained. Strong Points of “Eleven Gentlemen of England.” Positions and Records of All New England Fifteen.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

crowd noise interferes with fielding

Date Wednesday, May 20, 1885
Text

The Boston players claim that their fielding has been seriously interrupted by the cries of the crowd, which begin as soon as a fly is struck, and prevent one player from hearing another. Several balls were lost from this cause yesterday. If audiences would refrain from any kind of demonstration whatsoever until a play is completed, they will facilitate the work of the home team and of visiting teams. Boston Herald May 20, 1885

the status of the National Agreement

[from a letter from McKnight] As the resolution adopted at our meeting of April 27th shows, we propose to respect all contracts of the National League and of all National Agreement organization and to consider the National Agreement still in force as regards all its members except the National League. We will not respect reservations of players by the National League. While all our people deplore the disagreement which has arisen, yet we feel that self-respect compels us to refuse any longer to be abused by the arrogance of the older Association. We are now as strong as they, and we have the sympathy of the public and of the players. Ours clubs as well as theirs will suffer in pocket, but the side which upholds the right will win. The Sporting Life May 27, 1885

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cutting the minors out of the reserve

Date Wednesday, August 26, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 8/20] The committee was instructed to confer with the League committee upon the best method of preserving the reserve rule and of prevention of contract breaking. The sense of the meeting was that no protection shall be extended outside the League and American Association, but that the contracts of minor organizations should, in the main, be respected. The Sporting Life August 26, 1885

conflicting dates at the Polo Grounds

There will be three conflicting dates at the Polo Grounds next week between the New Yorks and Mets. The New Yorks will play a League championship game every day in the week, meeting the Providence Club on Monday and Tuesday and the Bostons Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The Metropolitans play the Baltimores Tuesday and Wednesday, and the Athletics Friday. The clashing will be avoided by commencing the American Association games at two P.M. and the League games at four P.M., or immediately after the completion of the American Association games. The Sporting Life August 26, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

David Reid comes out in favor of reinstating the blacklisted players

Date Saturday, March 14, 1885
Text

[from the columns of “Ixion”] That Mr. Lucas feels intensely sore over the refusal of the League to reinstate his men is but natural and logical. They overlooked his offenses and then declined to receive the men whom he was the cause of having blacklisted. To the general public this may seem strange: to Mr. Lucas and to those who understand League methods and despotism it is not at all so. They work in their own way–that is the two or three magnates who control its destinies–and they do as they choose, without, indeed, consulting some of the less important members of the body. Mr. Spaulding, Mr. Day and Mr. Soden have things as they wish them and it is a despotism. The League bitterly follows any offender against its slightest rules and at the same time would not hesitate to entice any man it needed to break contract or act dishonorably with an outside club. Their tardy and reluctant recognition of the American Association was an act of self-protection–self-preservation, in fact–and, if necessary, they would take any similar steps which would be to their advantage. “The end justifies the means” is their motto, and in everything they do the perception of the old ruler of the League, Mr. Hulbert, is evidenced. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defects in scoring

Date Sunday, January 4, 1885
Text

The National League and American Association at that annual meetings neglected to revise the scoring rule. In fact, very little attention was given this most important subject. Complaints of made-up records, of both clubs and players, have been so frequent that members of both organizations pledged themselves to a thorough revision and the fact that neither association took any action is certainly strange. The base ball reporters of the Boston papers have agreed upon scoring rules of their own for this year and they have wisely drawn up a petition, which Mr. Soden will present at the spring meeting of the League. The petition, which has already been extensively signed by scorers and reporters in all the League cities, proposes two amendments: Strike out the last paragraph of section 6 of rule 70 and insert “an assist shall be given the pitcher when the batsman fails to hit the ball on the third strike, and the same shall be entered in the summary under the head of ‘struck out.’” Add the following to second 7: “Wild pitches and passed balls shall be charged to the pitcher and catcher respectively in the error column, and shall also appear in the summary.” The times scores will be made upon this basis, which is the only true one.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit Club refuses to sell out to Indianapolis, buys Indy out instead

Date Sunday, June 14, 1885
Text

Manager Watkins of the Indianapolis Ball Club today [6/13] returned from Detroit. He went there to learn whether the league club of that city would be kind enough to perish and make way in the league for the Indianapolis Club. He returned discouraged as to this scheme. “Twenty thousand dollars wouldn't buy that club out...” … President Marsh of the Detroit Base-Ball Club today said the Detroit Directors would not sell out to Indianapolis. Manager Maston has been given orders to strengthen the team, and it will finish the season and continue in the league next year as well. Chicago Tribune June 14, 1885

The Indianapolis Base-Ball Club is a thing of the past, and the Western League has probably faded from existence with it. Representatives of the Western League from Keokuk, Kansas City, and Milwaukee met here [Indianapolis] today [6/15] under a call to discuss the future of the organizaiton; but negotiations with Directors Mahone and Stearns of the Detroit Club kept the Indianapolis delegates away, and no meeting was held. During the afternoon a conclusion of the negotiation was reached, and the Indianapolis players were transferred to Detroit, the consideration being $5,000, which is about enough to reimburse the local club for its losses last year and so far this season. … The Kansas City club had two games scheduled to play in Indianapolis this week, and ll the Western league delegates denounced the manner in which they have been treated by Indianapolis. They left for home tonight, not knowing what would be their base-ball future; but the dissolution of the league is conceded. Chicago Tribune June 16, 1885

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit to remain in the League

Date Sunday, February 8, 1885
Text

It now looks as if Detroit would remain in the League another season. Latest advices from there state that there is no doubt about the $10,000 being subscribed, but that there may possibly be some question about its being paid up. Charles Morton, manager of last year's Toledo Club, has been engaged to take charge of the team, but as yet no player's contract has been forwarded to the League Secretary for him to promulgate.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit waives its ownership of the Buffalo franchise

Date Wednesday, December 2, 1885
Text

[reporting on the recent NL meeting] The Detroit Club has has now no more to do with the Buffalo franchise than had the flowers of spring in Ko-Ko's familiar case. Detroit, in return for the privilege of retaining the “big four” without further contest, generously and voluntarily offered to surrender the Buffalo franchise to the League, thus getting nothing for their expenditure of $12,000 except the four players mentioned. The offer was accepted. The franchise is now in the hands of the League, who will select Buffalo's successor.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit's argument for the legality of the Big Four deal

Date Wednesday, September 30, 1885
Text

Messrs. Marsh and Moloney visited Chicago last week and had an interview with Mr. Spalding, details of which will be found elsewhere. The Detroits claimed that the transfer was perfectly legal notwithstanding the Saratoga agreement, as its adoption by both the League and the American Association was not formally promulgated until Sept. 17—a day after the Detroit-Buffalo deal was made. As a contract or a release is not binding until tits promulgation, Detroit thinks it would be found in law that the agreement in question did not go into effect until the 17th. Detroit also claims to have documentary proof that both the letter and spirit of the agreement were being violated in the efforts of other clubs to get the Buffalo players, and mentions President Soden, of the Boston Club, as the chief criminal in this regard. However, the result of the conference with Spalding and the refusing of President Young to allow the Buffalo players to play with Detroit, is that Detroit will play out the season with the old team; Buffalo will finish with such players as can be picked up cheaply; the big four will lie idle for the balance of the season, and the whole matter will be finally adjusted at the meeting Oct. 17. Meantime Detroit gives it out that the big four will certainly be found with Detroit next season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Diddlebock ousted by the Eastern League

Date Wednesday, July 29, 1885
Text

The Eastern League hald a special meeting at Baltimore Friday, July 24, deposed Mr. Diddlebock from the presidency and secretaryship and elected Mr. Ballard, of Newark, his successor. The charge against Mr. Diddlebock was “neglect of duty and general incompetence.” Mr. Diddlebock was not notified of the meeting, knew nothing of it, and was not given a chance to defend himself at all. The meeting was so secret that nobody but those present knew anything at all about it. [Diddlebock challenged the legality of the special meeting.] The Sporting Life July 29, 1885

The upshot of the squabble between the Eastern League and the deposed president, Mr. Diddlebock, was another special meeting in regular form last week, at which the deposition of Mr. Diddlebock and the election of his successor was confirmed, or rather legalized. The Sporting Life August 5, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dismissing talk of hippodroming

Date Saturday, August 15, 1885
Text

In an editorial the Chicago News says regarding the honesty of base-ball: “The silly season persists in remaining longer than usual. And it seems sillier than it was last yet. We are now gravely told that the New York and Chicago ball clubs systematically hippodrome for the gate money. We are asked to believe that games are won and lost between these clubs with reference to the number of spectators that may be attracted thereby. We are asked to believe that the New Yorks gave last Friday’s game to Chicago, because the New York management thought a local defeat would bring increased attendance at succeeding games, but there are few so gullible as to comply with the request. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 15, 1885

the economics of professional baseball

[from a column by “Veteran”] The salaries of the American clubs range all the way from $18,000 to $30,000 per season. Each club plays fifty-eight games on its own grounds, so that the club that pays $30,000 salaries must take in over $500 per game to pay salaries alone, to say nothing of the immense expenses of rent, police, advertising, etc.; this is also premising that the guarantees will pay traveling expenses which they will not quite do.

Taking all expenses into consideration, a club with a salary list must average good days and bad, playing good ball or bad, at least 2,500 paying people per game to get out even. How many cities can stand this? Or, rather, how many do? The number is very small indeed. In fact (and I say this upon the very best information) there are not more than six clubs in the League and American together this year that will pay expenses. The Sporting Life August 19, 1885

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

disputing the status of the World Series

Date Wednesday, November 11, 1885
Text

[from an interview of Spalding] There is another mistake which, through the enterprise of the newspapers, has become widely established, and that is that the series just finished has been contested to decide the championship of the world. That is nonsense. Does any one suppose that if there had been so much as that at stake that I should have consented to the games being played in American Association cities, upon their grounds, and under the authority of their umpires? The truth is, that the St. Louis people were anxious to play a series of exhibition games in the cities in which they have since appeared, and that to make the play interesting Von der Ahe and myself contributed $500 each toward a purse. The Sporting Life November 11, 1885

Mr. Spalding's statement regarding the world's championship is not altogether disingenuous. There was a sort of understanding that the series would serve as a test of the relative strength of the two clubs, and that it was to be a kind of inter-championship contest. The reason why more of the games were not played in Chicago was that it was thought the games would draw better in St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburg and other cities, and that the profits would put money in the treasury of each club. In the latter respect the project did not pan out as well as was anticipated, largely on account of unfavorable weather. But it is not fair to deny to the St. Louis Browns the full credit for having shown their ability to beat Chicago half the time at least. The Sporting Life November 11, 1885, quoting the Chicago Mirror

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

distinction between black-listed and expelled players

Date Friday, January 9, 1885
Text

As to Dunlap, Shafer and others black-listed by the Arbitration Committee, he [Young] said it was very likely that they would all be reinstated; but expelled players, like Sweeney, McCormick, Briody and Glassock, would have to remain outside the pale of the League. “Players on the black-list, is must be understood,” said Mr. Young, “are men who signed contracts with Union or other clubs while under server, but were not expelled by clubs for so doing. On the other hand, men who broke contracts after playing with a club can not expect lenience, for their eyes were wide open.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

double deck ballpark in Philadelphia

Date Wednesday, June 10, 1885
Text

The grand stand and pavilion at Recreation Park will undergo repairs during the absence of the Philadelphia Club. The roof of the grand stand, on which the pavilion rests, will be strengthened, in order to guard against possible accident from overcrowding on big days. The reporters' desk in the pavilion will be boxed off, thus reserving the space in the rear of the desk for members of the press. This is a much-needed improvement, as was made evident during the New York games last week. The Sporting Life June 10, 1885

During the absence of the club many alterations and improvements have been made at Recreation Park. Immediately adjoining the grand stand double-deck pavilions have been built along Columbia avenue, each of which will contain 376 new chairs now being manufactured of a superior make. Some have been placed in position. All will be delivered in a few days. They will be numbered and reserved for the use of ladies and gentlemen. No smoking will be allowed in these pavilions. New benches have been erected in left and right fields and over the club house on Ridge avenue and inside the entire length a paling fences. These will the new pavilions will give an increase of 2,250 seats and will make the entire seating capacity 7,150. The old grand stand has been strengthened by double posts and iron braces and can hold a great additional weight. The reporters pavilion has been boxed in . The entrance to left field open benches has been removed to Columbia avenue, west of the grand stand. The Sporting Life July 15, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

drainage at the new Chicago grounds

Date Sunday, May 31, 1885
Text

As it stood formerly, the field was below the level of the street and each shower of rain left it little better than a huge mud-hole. Earth was hauled from a distance, and, after a perfect system of drainage had been laid, this was so distributed as to form a lawn gently sloping from the centre of the field in each direction to the base of the 12-foot brick wall which entirely surrounds the grounds.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early move to reinstate the expelled players

Date Wednesday, January 28, 1885
Text

[quoting an editorial in the Chicago Mirror of American Sports] Now that the National Base Ball league voted unanimously to bury the hatchet and take to its bosom its most dangerous enemy, Mr. Lucas of the St. Louis Unions–a determination unquestionably in the interest of base ball, since it establishes the league’s jurisdiction in the second most important city in the West and the keen rival of Chicago in all things, and at the same time breaks the back of the Union association by taking away the man whose brains and money made its existence possible–it is natural and reasonable to expect that the league will go a step further and restore to good standing the two players blacklisted because of their refusal to be bound by the reserved rule. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican January 28, 1885

If the league wants to retain the good will they have created for themselves here they must reinstate Dunlap, Shafer, Sweeney and the rest of the boys. To give St. Louis a league club and deprive them of the favorites in the team is like giving a man soup and denying him salt. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican January 28, 1885

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of a players' union, brotherhood

Date Sunday, March 15, 1885
Text

A movement is on foot to organize a union among base ball players. The recent action of the league and American association has shown that players have no rights which these associations will respect, and something will have to be done by the players to protect themselves. If organized, they would be in a position to dictate to clubs, instead of being dictated to by them. The abolishment of the most slavish and unjust reserve rule is a measure which should be insisted upon. There is no class of men in the country so admirably situated to successfully carry on such an organization. The ball players cannot be made; they must be born; and when they as an organized body demand certain concessions, managers will have to grant them. Their places cannot be held by other men. Players need have no fears of managers withdrawing from the business, as while the players only demand what is proper and just, plenty of capital will be ready to go into the business. Men would receive better salaries if organized and could play with the club of their choice instead of being compelled to remain where they first sign and play for whatever the club may please to give them. If the players were organized there would be no such cases as that of Paul Hines, who is compelled to play with Providence, where he has been badly treated, for $1,800 or remain idle, although he could readily get several hundred dollars more and better treatment from any one of half a dozen other club. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of reinstating expelled players

Date Sunday, February 8, 1885
Text

The league and American association will probably be called upon at an early day to decide once for all whether or not players who jumped the reserve rule, like Dunlap and Shafer, or who violated their contracts and went to another club, like McCormick, Glasscock, Briody and Shaw, shall be reinstated into full and complete fellowship with the organization from which they seceded. This is evidence from the agitation now being made by the St. Louis people and press on behalf of the players now under contract with Mr. Lucas, who has recently been admitted to the league, most of whom, unfortunately, are now prevented from playing with any club party to the National agreement by reason of their being either reserve rule jumpers or contract breakers. The league at its annual meeting, in legislating upon the petition of Shaw, a contract breaker, announced as its policy, that players of the classes mentioned should be forever debarred from membership in that body. When Mr. Lucas was admitted to the league he was given to understand the position of the league to be as stated, and in this position he acquiesced. The pressure upon him from the St. Louis base ball public, reenforced by all of the principal papers of the city, will be so great that he may be compelled to ask that his reserve rule jumpers, like Dunlap and Shafer, may be reinstated. In that case, the league will again be called upon to define its policy.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'minor league'

Date Wednesday, August 5, 1885
Text

A good many minor league players have an idea that good work in their class is wasted. This is a big mistake, as managers of big teams have an eye on many promising young players who can't be reserved in the small organizations. Do your best, lads, and luck may strike many of you.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early word of Keefe and Esterbrook to New Yorks

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

Mr. Day said to-day [1/6] that it is the intention of the company to transfer Esterbrook to the New York team. They are also trying to get Morris, the left-handed pitcher of the Columbus Club, to pitch for the New Yorks. If they do not succeed they will take Keefe from the Metropolitan Club.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ejecting a fan

Date Friday, September 18, 1885
Text

Umpire Sullivan had a spectator removed from the St. Louis grounds Wednesday for using insulting language.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

enclosed grounds with Sunday baseball

Date Saturday, May 16, 1885
Text

There will be no end to Sunday ball-playing this season, and especially in this vicinity. Thus far some half-dozen grounds have been thrown open to the public, with only a barrier a twenty-five cents for them to get away from at the gate, but the people don't mind this even a little bit. They chuck down their quarters as though it were pebbles they were parting with, and it is wonderful to see how the umpires are laying the ministers cold. Not a word from the former's lips is lost, while no one seems to know what the latter is talking about. Six to eight thousand people will attend each baseball ground, while the churches would imagine that the world was coming to an end were they to be flooded in this manner.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Esterbrook and Keefe sign with the New Yorks

Date Wednesday, April 15, 1885
Text

[See TSL850415 for an amusing story about Esterbrook in Bermuda.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

expanded powers of the AA president

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

Hitherto it has been a special clause in the American Association's constitution that each club “shall have the right to regulate its own affairs, to make its won contracts, to establish its own rules, and to discipline, punish, suspend or expel its own manager, players or employees.” Under the new constitution of the Association, however, this right of self-control by clubs has been materially infringed upon, and to the important extent of delegating to the president of the Association—now not a member of any club, but a salaried official—the power to “suspend either a manager or a player of a club” who, in his opinion, has violated any of the rules of the Association applicable to drunkenness or any disgraceful conduct on or off the field.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

expelled and black-listed players

Date Sunday, February 22, 1885
Text

There are twenty-seven expelled and black-listed men who are not eligible to play ball with any of the base-ball clubs now in existence. This is the aggregate of all the players disqualified by the association parties to the National agreement last season, and the list is made up by contributions from the League, American Association, North-western and Eastern Leagues. The possibility of these men being reinstated is just now the one absorbing topic in base-ball circles.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ezra Sutton's finances

Date Wednesday, February 11, 1885
Text

Sutton of the Boston club has purchased a residence and [illegible] acres of land in Palmyra, N.Y., for [illegible]. He has a cider mill and a saw mill attached to the place, and, as he intends to run them both, his time in winter will be fully occupied.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Farrar used the flat bat

Date Thursday, March 26, 1885
Text

Because Farrar had very good luck last season with a flat bat, that article is expected to create a revolution in batting. Crowley had just such a streak as Farrar on the last western trip. He averaged over .419, and he didn't use a flat bat. Ergo.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fear of a rupture in the National Agreement

Date Sunday, January 11, 1885
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting of 1/10/1885] Probably one of the most important meetings that has ever been held by base ball men in this country was that held by the National League... although at which seemingly but little business was transacted. There is a heavy undercurrent, however, of which the base ball men seem to be in mortal terror, and which may destroy all the peace and harmony which now exists between the National League and the American Association, through the articles of the national agreement. … …there were grave fears of a rupture between the two leading associations unless the consent of the St. Louis American club could be secured. Everything hinged upon this important matter, and so critical was this single thread which united the two leading associations that Manager Barnie of the Baltimore club and Messrs. Simmons and Sharsig of the Athletics of Philadelphia attended the meeting, and worked like beavers in the interest of the American association to prevent a rupture of the national agreement, which would result in a regular war between the two associations. Boston Herald January 11, 1885

[reporting the NL special meeting of 1/10/1885] Several sessions were held during the day, but the most important of them all was the evening session, which closed with the understanding that the St. Louis Union club would come to an agreement with the St. Louis American Association club before the annual spring meeting of the league, or else another club would be admitted in its place. Boston Herald January 12, 1885

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielding backing up plays

Date Wednesday, June 3, 1885
Text

One thing, however, might be noticed, that is true of every American Association club, with the possible exception of the Metropolitans, viz., the want of proper “backing up” each other in the field. The Chicago League team gave some exhibitions in this line when here [St. Louis] that reflect great credit upon the “drill work” of their captain. When a ball, for example, is batted to left field, the centre fielder should run at full speed to a position on the line of the hit, back, some distance, of the left fielder, not with a view to catch the ball, but to stop it in case it passes the left fielder. Work of this sort will win many a game tha6 the lack of it will lose. The Sporting Life June 3, 1885

McKnight reporting for the Pittsburgh Times

H. D. McKnight is writing base ball briefs for the Times under the name of “Infield.” The evening papers copy his remarks as original, and it makes Denny real mad. The Sporting Life June 3, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fine the pitcher for not covering first

Date Monday, May 11, 1885
Text

One of Harry Wright's new rules is that every time a pitcher fails to cover first base when Farrar goes for a ball he is fined$1. The fine is imposed to make him think quick, and a $1 fine answers just as well as a larger one. Boston Herald May 11, 1885, quoting the Philadelphia Record

Vice President Hendricks and Senator Gorman attend games

Vice President Hendricks and Senator Gorman, of Maryland, are base ball enthusiasts and regular attendants at the National game. The Senator especially is absorbed in the game. When the nines come upon the field he scans the score card, eyes each player with the critical look of a base ball manager, and, bending forward with eager interest, watches the game as it progresses. If a brilliant play is made he is the most vigorous of applauders. An error brings to his face an expression of profound disgust. His interest increases with each inning, until at the ninth, if the game is close, his whole soul seems to be centered in the flying ball. The Vice President is somewhat more reserved, but shows marked appreciation of the beauties of the game and the merits of the players. Senator Gorman was once actively interested in professional base ball, and Hendricks was, it is told, in the long ago, in the primitive days of the game, third baseman of a Hoosier team. Both earnestly desired the admission of the Nationals to the American Association, as they wish to see the highest quality of base ball. If opportunity offers neither will be slow to exert his influence to this end. The Sporting Life May 13, 1885

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ganging up on the umpire

Date Sunday, July 19, 1885
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 7/18/1885] The harmony of the contest was principally marred by the constant “kicking” of the visiting team. They objected to eery close decision made in favor of the home team, and in one or two instances they were apparently justified in protesting against the umpire's decisions, but it should have been done in the proper manner. The rules do not admit of the players gathering around the umpire, as was the case in once instance, and attempting to induce him to change a decision.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Bradley sues the Cincinnati Unions

Date Wednesday, June 3, 1885
Text

Geo. Bradley's suit against the president of the defunct Cincinnati Unions for two year's salary still lags, but he has a good chance of winning it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

girding for war

Date Saturday, January 17, 1885
Text

McKnight said to the Associated Press agent: “The objections to Lucas's admission are many and important. Last season the Union Association, of which Lucas was the President and ruling spirit, did incalculable injury to the cities of the League and the American Association, forcing the Cleveland Club to disband, getting players of various clubs to break their contracts, and forcing salaries up to preposterous figures. Many clubs of the National agreement allies were thus made to lose money, the unions, of course, lost money; and now comes Lucas and demands admission to the League, and the League seems willing to take him in, while it will strictly enforce the punishment of the poor players whom he deluded.

“The American St. Louis Club suffered severely by last year's rivalry and by Dolan's desertion, and Von der Ahe therefore positively declines to agree to Lucas' admission. As the matter affects that club more than any other, several clubs had already notified me that their votes should be given in whichever way Mr. Von der Ahe would vote. Although the League proposes to admit Lucas strictly under rules of the national agreement and of the League, and that although they will insist on his dropping his disqualified players, yet the American Association can not prevent the League at its spring meeting from so amending its Constitution as to permit Lucas to play Sunday games and lower his admission price to twenty-five cents, all of which will seriously hurt Von der Ahe's club. Again, were this precedent established, in case another club dropped from the League that body would want to put a club in Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Brooklyn or Baltimore. If the American Association needed a club would the League consent to let them place one in Boston or Chicago? The National Agreement was made and adopted for the purpose of preventing either of its members from doing any thing which would injure others. This is a vital provision and must be observed or the agreement ceases.” Cincinnati Enquirer January 17, 1885 [See also SLPD 1/19/85 for a long statement by Von der Ahe and SLR 1/23/85 for a long statement by McKnight]

[reporting on the NL special meeting] 1/21] A communication from Hon. J. O'Neill was read. He stated that hehad come to the meeting on behalf of Mr. Von der Ahe, with full authority to act for him, and that he would like to appear before the meeting. He was at once asked to come in. what passed between him and the delegates could not be learned, but it was hinted that there was a pretty hot time for about two hours. President McKnight, of the American Association, also appeared before the meeting, and told what he thought of the deal. What at two o'clock an adjournment was taken for lunch, it was said that nothing had been done toward a settlement. Four American clubs were represented at the hotel, and at least two, Byrne, of Brooklyn, and Barnie, of Baltimore, had on their war paint. They were decidedly against Mr. Lucas being admitted to the League, and said they preferred to see the National agreement broken, and that if the agreement was to be broken there was no better time than now. They were of the opinion that in such an event the League would get the worst of it. As the afternoon passed it could be easily seen that the trouble was settling down into a fight between the two association, as after the morning meeting it had ceased to be merely a question of whether Mr. Von der Ahe would consent to the St. Louis Unions being admitted to the League. Soon after the adjournment of the morning session Mr. McKnight said: “Both Mr. O'Neill and myself made long speeches in the meeting-room, both of which proved unsatisfactory, and we were given one hour and thirty minutes to communicate with Mr. Von der Ahe. We telegraphed to the latter gentleman and the answer came back: 'I will not change my answer sent to the last meeting.'”

This was reported to the meeting as soon as the answer was received from Mr. Von der Ahe. A meeting of the representatives of the American Association clubs that were present was called by President McKnight, who stated the case to them and explained what had been done. The meeting lasted for nearly two hours, when they announced their decision to sink or swim together, and that if the League decided to break the National agreement, they would fight to the bitter end. It was then announced that a special meeting of the Arbitration Committee had been called directly after the adjournment of the League meeting.

It was after five o'clock when the afternoon meeting was called. By this time more ball-players had gathered in and around the hotel than was ever seen before at one time in this city, and the excitement has become very great.

After attending the morning session Mr. Lucas was excluded from the meeting the remainder of the day. But this was a sort of blind, as the League made no secret of the fact that they want to protect Mr. Lucas and his club.

At the evening session a committee consisting of Messrs. Day, Soden and Root was appointed to confer with a committee from the American Association, to try to settle the question at issue. A resolution was passed giving full power to the members of the committee, and authorizing them to act as they see fit in the conference. There was a desire on the part of Boston, Providence, Chicago and Buffalo to break the national agreement and to admit the St. Louis and Cincinnati Union Clubs, but it was overruled. Cincinnati Enquirer January 22, 1885

The League meeting to-day proved another victory for H. V. Lucas. President McKnight, of the American Association, and J. J. O'Neill, appeared before the delegates and said Mr. Von der Ahe would not consent to have Lucas in the League. Lucas said he would go in anyway, and asked the League to sustain him. The league said it would break the national agreement. McKnight asked for a truce, and telegraphed Von der Ahe. Von der Ahe replied, “Be firm.” McKnight was afraid, and said while Mr. Von der Ahe could stand a fight, other clubs in the American Association could not. He then asked that before the League break the national agreement a committee be appointed to confer with the delegates at a special meeting of the American Association to be called for Monday in Pittsburg. The League appointed J. B. Day, A. H. Soden and H. T. Root with full power to act. They go prepared to break the national agreement unless Von der Ahe gives his consent or the American Association goes back on Von der Ahe. The association will probably do the crow-eating act. Lucas is satisfied with his triumph over the American Association and Von der Ahe. Cincinnati Enquirer January 22, 1885

The leaving of the matter to Messrs. Soden of Boston, Day of New York, and Root of Providence, virtually admits Lucas to the League, as all three of these gentlemen have already expressed themselves willing, if forced to, to break away from the national agreement. At the meeting of the American association at Pittsburg on Monday they will try to carry their point peaceably if possible, and failing in that there is not a doubt that they will report favorably to the Lucas club anyhow, and this will of course precipitate a war between the two associations. In the East the Baltimore, Brooklyn and Athletic clubs of the American association are without the capital to make such a fight successful, while the Metropolitans, controlled by the New York league team, will, in the event of such a complication, simply withdraw, and this will rob the American association at the very outset of its strongest and best Eastern representative. In the West the Pittsburg and Louisville clubs are without the financial backing necessary to make a warfare of the kind profitable. On the other hand, the league clubs of New York, Providence, Boston and Philadelphia are all well off financially, and are just waiting the chance to secure players the breaking away of the national agreement will offer. In the West the Chicago, Buffalo and St. Louis clubs of the league are all well backed and so equipped that not a single one of them will suffer, should it come to a fight for players. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican January 23, 1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

girding for war 2

Date Monday, January 19, 1885
Text

The action of the American Association precipitates a crisis in the affairs pertaining to the national game of base ball, inasmuch as the league will not be called upon to decide whether or not it will quietly pocket the affront placed upon it, or whether it will withdraw from being a party to the national agreement, and thus create a disruption between it and the other parties to the agreement. … ...with all its advantages and wise provision, the national agreement was never intended to be used as a shield behind which undue advantage could be taken of, or blows dealt at, any of the associations parties thereto. It was never intended to be sued as a prop by one association in imposing selfish and unreasonable demands upon another, and yet, in the light of rec3ent developments relative to the filling of the existing vacancy in the league, it would seem as though the American association had done that very thing.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

giving the pitcher an assist on a strike out; uniform scoring

Date Wednesday, March 4, 1885
Text

...the rules last season required that “pitchers' assistance on strike-outs” should be recorded in the summary and separated from the fielding assists of the pitcher incorporated in the regular 'assist” column; but there were few papers which followed this rule and placed the total assists in that column. The object of this rule was a judicious one, the design being to separate the legitimate fielding record of the pitcher from his pitching record, while of necessity both were included in estimating his fielding average. True, those assists on strike-outs could be readily determined from the number of strike-outs in the summary, but there is no good reason for not rigidly complying with the established rules of the League even in this comparatively unimportant particular. The League rules were adopted to secure uniformity in scoring among scorers of the league club, and many of their official scorers are press reporters; consequently the publication of the scores in their respective papers are looked upon as reliable and valuable summaries of championship contests, from which those who desire may estimate percentages or records and obtain accurate results when the clubs are at home and broad.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright on the delivery rules: a hint of the set position

Date Friday, June 19, 1885
Text

Harry Wright says in regard to the change in the pitching rules: “There will be more broken fingers and bruised hands, more passed balls and wild pitches, and the game will not be a s steady or as interesting. There will not be that chance for head work and variation in the pitcher’s delivery; there will be less batting and therefore more strike-outs, fewer men on bases, fewer chances for brilliant plays and less base running. I am of the opinion that a change will be made next season by which the pitcher will be compelled to keep the right foot on the ground.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home run record

Date Wednesday, July 8, 1885
Text

Stovey is trying to catch his of last year. He has made seven so far.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home team chooses the innings

Date Monday, June 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 6/7/1885] Rule 42 was amended as follows: That the choice of innings shall be given to the Captain of the home club, and the manager or representative of the home club shall be the sole judge as to the field being in fit condition to play the game as scheduled.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the salary cap can be evaded

Date Wednesday, October 28, 1885
Text

“Two thousand dollars” is the limit for players, eh? Let's see: Spalding approacheth Clarkson, of the Chicagos, with “Clarkie, my boy, we have reserved you, but have agreed to give you only $2,000 this year.” Clarkson shuts one eye, and as he gets an out-curve on a puff of cigar smoke, he says, “Spaldie, my dear boss, you can't have my services for $2,000 next year; I'll work first.” But Spalding is not discouraged; no indeed. “Clarkie, my boy, you own an old unitorm, as I am aware; now we can't give you but $2,000 salary, for we Leaguers have agreed on that sum and we must be honest, but I'll give you $1,000 for that old uniform if you will wear our new one next year.” Clarkie's uniform goes up the spout for $1,000 and no promise is broken.

“Again: Smiling Jim Mutrie skips up to Buck Ewing and whispers in his ear, “Buck, I am sorry that I can't offer you but $2,000 this year, but we Leaguers have promised and we keep our promises, you know, according to contract, which, you know, means everything for the association and nothing for the player; but we must have you, and we have reserved you and needn't give you but $1,000, if we choose to be mean.” Buck feels of his finders, which have been banged many times this season in honor of the $3,300 received, and madly says: “Well, I guess not; I'll go back to my dray for $600 a year, first.” But Jim smiles. “Buck, I'll give you $1,400 for that pair of kids you are wearing—think of Buck wearing kids—if you will wear a pair of catcher's gloves for the New Yorks next year.” Buck being willing to go bare-handed all winter, sells his gloves, takes part of the money and signs contract for $2,000., quoting the Fall River News

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

implementing the new National Agreement; player trades

Date Wednesday, November 25, 1885
Text

[a resolution passed at the NL meeting 11/19] That upon the release of a player from any League-club, in accordance with section 5 of the National Agreement: 1—The services of such player shall be exclusively subject to the League club that shall within ten days from date of said release signify in writing to the Secretary of the League its acceptance of said services. 2—If more than one League club signify such acceptance within ten days, then the accepting club that shall file with the secretary of the League the written assent of the released player over his signature to contract with such club shall be exclusively entitled to his said services, provided that in all cases said assent be signed subsequently to said release. 3—If more than one League club signify such acceptance within said ten days, and the written assent of the released player to contract with be notified with the secretary of the League for thirty additional days thereafter, then the secretary of the League shall decide by lot which of the said clubs shall be exclusively entitled to said services. 4—The signing of said written assent by any released player to more than one League club or his refusal to execute a contract with a club in accordance with his written assent thereto or in accordance with his assignment under this resolution within reasonable time, shall upon proof to the satisfaction of five League clubs, black-list each player as prescribed in section 14 of the League constitution. Provided that in the event of a failure to black-list such player the services of such player shall be controlled by the club to which his assent in writing was first given.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

implementing the new pitching delivery rule; new balk rule

Date Friday, May 1, 1885
Text

It struck the admirers of Dunlap and Sweeney as very curious, yesterday, that neither the captain nor the pitcher understood the new pitching rule until Umpire Cushman took the ball, assumed the pitching position, and made a diagram of a balk for both of them. St. Louis Post-Dispatch May 1, 1885

The initial game in the League championship race has developed one point to the satisfaction of both players and spectators, and that is that the new balk rule, or rather the construction of it, is a farce. Two bases were given a player on balks, and this because the pitcher moved his arm and touched the ball with his right hand after having taken his position. It leaves the pitcher but a poor show to catch a runner at the bases, and in this way destroys all interest at a place where a great portion of it is usually centered. After the pitcher has once taken his position, according to the construction of the rule, it is impossible for him to stop a man from running his base, because he must deliver it or have a balk called on him. The sooner this rule is revised the better it will be, as in its present shape it is entirely dissatisfactory. St. Louis Post-Dispatch May 2, 1885

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inconsistent scoring of dropped third strikes

Date Wednesday, September 9, 1885
Text

Some League scorers are unmindful of the rule which requires that the pitcher shall be credited with a strike-out in the summary whenever the batsman fails to hit the ball in the third strike, and only give such credit when the batsman is put out by the catcher or at first base.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis a candidate for the NL slot

Date Tuesday, January 27, 1885
Text

President Schwabacker, of the Indianapolis Base-ball Club, on Monday received a telegram from President Young, of the National League, asking him to forward a formal application for membership in place of Cleveland at the meeting to be held in New York, which was done. Mr. Schwabacker also received a letter from President McKnight, of the American Association, in which the writer stated that he had forwarded to the League officials the votes of four Association clubs against so amending the existing agreement as to allow the Lucas Club to enter the League, and that there was a good chance for Indianapolis to get the vacant place. Mr. Schwabacker, however, personally prefers to joint the proposed Western League, having had his faith in the older associations badly shaken, but will enter the National League if possible, and then if the Western League shall be a success he can withdraw and become a member of it., quoting in unidentified exchange

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

infield fly

Date Monday, August 3, 1885
Text

Umpire Ferguson says that if men are on bases and a pop fly is struck, which the fielder makes no effort to catch, allowing the ball to drop to the ground, the bases are forced and a double play can be made, but if the fielder attempts to catch the ball, and it drops to the ground after touching his hand, the batter alone is out.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inflated player salaries

Date Wednesday, February 11, 1885
Text

As an illustration of the extent to which players' salaries have advanced, the experience of the Boston team is given on the authority of one of its officers. In 1883, they won the championship with a team which cost, in round number, $14,000; in 1884 the salary list had increased to $22,000, and in the present year it requires $30,000 to meet the engagements made to date, with a strong probability that this sum will receive a considerable increase before the season is over. One man on the team received for the present season an advance of $1,000 in salary over that of the season of 18884. last year the competition for players by the Unions was a bonanza for the profession, but after the present season, if peace continues to prevail, the managers may again have their innings.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inter-league play reinstated

Date Wednesday, September 2, 1885
Text

[reporting on the conference committee meeting of 8/24] It was also understood and agreed that the clubs of the two associations would interchange games after the championship season. It is quite safe to assume that the report of this conference committee, when submitted, will be adopted, as the delegates present, having a thorough knowledge of the situation of the clubs of their respective associations, were thoroughly equipped to pass intelligently and in a business-like way upon the important measures before them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Jimmy Williams' doings

Date Wednesday, February 4, 1885
Text

[Williams] is now secretary of the Columbus Water Works Company, as he has a happy faculty of “catching on to” and holding soft jobs right along.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John Ward takes his law degree

Date Wednesday, May 27, 1885
Text

Among the members of the graduating class of Columbia Law School is Johnnie Ward, the popular captain of the New York League Club. The commencement exercises will take place in the Academy of Music Wednesday evening, May 27. Although Ward is only twenty-five years old he has been famous as a ball player for several years. He was born in Pennsylvania, and first studied at a military institute. He early evinced a fondness for the study of law, and decided to adopt it as a profession. He has spent his earnings as a ball player on his education. If he proves as successful a lawyer as ball player he will be pre-eminent as a member of the bar.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

justification for reinstating the reserve jumpers

Date Sunday, March 29, 1885
Text

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
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

left-handed specialist

Date Wednesday, November 11, 1885
Text

Harry Wright's idea in endeavoring to secure a left-handed twirler is for the effect such a delivery would have when sandwiched occasionally between the good right-handed men, and especially when arrayed against clubs having a preponderance of left-handed batters. Mr. Wright, however, hasn't any very exalted notion of the staying power of left-handed pitchers, as a rule.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

limited membership in the National Agreement

Date Wednesday, February 25, 1885
Text

It is not at all probable that the Arbitration Committee will ever again admit a new organization to unqualified membership which gives it an equal representation in the committee with the old established associations. The experience of the past teaches that such a policy is unwise. Qualified admission gives all the advantages of protection without a voice in the making or unmaking of laws., quoting an unidentified Cincinnati exchange

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas and Von der Ahe come to terms

Date Wednesday, February 4, 1885
Text

They first shook hands and then a half-hour's conversation ensued, which resulted in Mr. Von der Ahe promising to no longer oppose Mr. Lucas, but to do all in his power towards making League club in St. Louis successful. The terms of the agreement and the concessions made by each party were for good reasons kept private. It is said that Mr. Lucas conceded Mr. Von der Ahe a sum in damages--$2,500 is the amount stated—but this is all guesswork. Not even the delegates to the American Association meeting were let into the secret.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas intended to sign the Cleveland players; the price

Date Friday, January 16, 1885
Text

Lucas will certainly not get any of the Cleveland men, and it is openly reported here that he will not pay the $2,000 balance due the Cleveland Club from the late deal. Cincinnati Enquirer January 16, 1885

Mr. Lucas, it now appears, really did buy out Cleveland, and actually paid $500 down when the club resigned from the League, and is to pay $2,000 more when he is sure of membership in the League. Lucas also claims to have made an agreement with Vice President Howe that he was to have first choice of the players, and he charges that Mr. Bulkley and Manager Hackett acted in very bad faith when they made the Brooklyn deal. The Sporting Life January 21, 1885

Brooklyn signs the Cleveland players; keeping them sequestered

It is a fact that the seven Cleveland players—Kreig, Smith, Philips, Hotaling, Pinkney, Harkins and Bushong—have been kept in strict confinement at the Weddell House, watched by Byrne and Hackett both by day and night so close that when a gentleman from Cincinnati, who chanced to spend a day or two in Cleveland on other business, came near one of these players they were at once ordered to retire to the respective rooms. … Von der Ahe's, Lucas' and Thorner's presence here in not adding any to the quietude of the Brooklyn representatives. Such a gathering of base-ball managers as are here at present to guard these valuable men has never been known in the annals of base-ball. Cincinnati Enquirer January 16, 1885

President McKnight, of the American Association of Base-ball Clubs, arrived in this city this morning, to be present at the signing of the players of the late Cleveland Club with President Byrne, of the Brooklyns, and also to determine what action the association will take in the proposed amendment which the League desires made to the national agreement. President Von der Ahe, of the St. Louis Club, arrived last night, and will to-morrow sign Bushong. Cincinnati Enquirer January 17, 1885

The scene about the Weddell House [in Cleveland], as the hour approached when the players could legally be signed, was a weird one. The players dozed about in chairs while Manager Hackett paced up and down the floor, holding his watch in his hand waiting for the hands to reach the midnight hour. Hotaling and Phillips were not present, and both President Byrne and Mr. Hackett exhibited some nervousness on that account. When midnight came Manager Hackett walked down to the corner where the boys were sitting, and said: “Come, boys: you can sign now.” all present followed, and in ten minutes more all had affixed their signatures to their contracts. Twenty minutes later Hotaling came in and he was quicly signed. Still the big first-baseman did not come. An hour and a half crept slowly by when the door was slowly pushed open and the blonde countenance of Bill Phillips appeared. Manager Hackett grasped his hand and led him to a table upon which his contract lay. Phillips seized the pen and wrote his name in a sweeping hand across the bottom. This completed the task. The players shook hands, said their good-byes and went to bed. They had been at the hotel for five days for the necessary time to elapse. Cincinnati Enquirer January 19, 1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas killed the Cleveland franchise

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

...the club's [Clevelands] franchises were offered for sale, but nobody appeared anxious to buy except Mr. Lucas, of St. Louis, and to him Messrs. Howe and Bulkley would not sell, as they considered him mainly instrumental in bringing the club to its present condition. Thus matters have been hanging for weeks. However, all things must have an end, and the end here came Saturday, Jan. 3, when the club mailed its resignation from the League to President Young, at Washington.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas pays the reinstated players' fines

Date Wednesday, April 29, 1885
Text

As soon as the disposition of the cases of the blacklisted men by the League was announced, Mr. Lucas sent on five drafts of $1,000 each, and on receipt of these President Young declared the players above-named eligible to contract April 29, just one day before the League championship season commences, which shows that Messrs. Lucas, Young, Spalding, et al. Calculated their scheme to a nicety. The money thus paid n will be placed in the League treasury and will be sued for association purposes. Of the fines imposed, Mr. Lucas will pay those of his own men, while he advanced the money to Glasscock, Briody and McCormick to pay theirs. The Sporting Life April 29, 1885

Lucas can’t play AA expelled players

It was generally rumored around town to-day that both Rowe and Gleason would be played by the St. Louis Club against the Chicagos, and that Mr. Lucas was waiting for a consultation with Mr. Al. Spaulding, president of the Chicago Club, on the subject. The latter gentleman arrived from Chicago this morning and registered at the Southern. When questioned in regard to the matter, Mr. Spaulding said: “From all the data that I have I don’t see how Rowe, Gleason and Doland can be played to-day. They are to-day expelled members of the American Association, and as the League proposes to stand by the National agreement we can’t play them. No, they can’t be played unless Mr. Lucas has some information which is not in my possession.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 30, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas purchased Cleveland franchise, has first claim on Cleveland players

Date Saturday, January 10, 1885
Text

St. Louis is the purchaser of the Cleveland franchise, and has acquired thereby the first claim upon these players. They are the most valuable asset of the defunct organization, and the club without them is like “Hamlet” with the Prince of Denmark omitted. They are not free to sign until ten days after notice of their release has been sent out by President Young, and this has not yet been done and will not be done until the League has settled their status. The statements in the Cleveland papers, and emanating from a semi-official source, that these men can sign on Tuesday next, is simply untrue. Tuesday is ten days from Saturday last, when their releases were telegraphed to Mr. Young, but Mr. Young did not promulgate notice of their release in any such hasty manner, and has not yet done so. At the very earliest these men can not make any contracts until a week from Tuesday, and knowing ones here say that by that time they will have received such instructions as will convince them it is to their interests to remain in a League Club, and they will sign with St. Louis.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas taking care of blacklisted players; early hot dog sighting

Date Wednesday, March 18, 1885
Text

According to St. Louis reports Mr. Lucas will take care of all his blacklisted players with the hope that in another year they will be taken into the fold again and he may then avail himself of their services. Dolan is to have the score card privilege; Jack Gleason will be a park policeman; Rowe will have the “Wiener wurst” stand, while Dunlap, Shaefer and Sweeney will snatch tickets.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas threatens to revive the UA

Date Thursday, January 22, 1885
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting of 1/21/1885] Mr. Lucas renewed his application for admission to the league, agreeing to abide by the national agreement and the league constitution and playing rules. He stated further that he should not give up his club and grounds at St. Louis, but, if not admitted to the league, would continue the fight of last season in the Union or some other association. He was very frank in his statements, and made a better impression on the league delegates than McKnight and O'Neill, whose arbitrary remarks widened the impending breach between the two associations.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas trying to nab Cleveland and Detroit for the UA

Date Sunday, January 4, 1885
Text

[a column by “Ixion”] The Unions are hard at work, and have a surprise in store. There is no doubt as to their venture being the incorporation of the Cleveland and Detroit Clubs in their association. This would be a blow to the League, and would strengthen them materially at all points. If the deal is made there will be some breezy times ahead.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lucas's consideration to Cleveland to resign from the League

Date Monday, January 19, 1885
Text

The directors of the defunct Cleveland Club declare that they will sue Lucas for $2,000, balance due on the contract made with him that for the consideration of $2,500 Cleveland resigned from the League. Lucas paid $500, and the balance will be due when the League lets him in. whether it does or not the directors of the Cleveland Club will try and get their money.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

measuring the right field fence in the new Chicago grounds

Date Sunday, June 7, 1885
Text

[St. Louis vs. Chicago 6/6/1885] Burns then went to first on balls in the fourth, and he and Dalrymple were brought in by Gore's four-base hit over the right-field fence, amidst great applause. At this point Capt. Dunlap “kicked” against Gore's taking four bases on the hit, claiming that the right-field fence was not the regulation distance from the home plate. Notwithstanding President Spalding's assertion that the distance was 216 feet Dunlap insisted upon a measurement with Ferguson's yard tape measure before he would acknowledge himself in the wrong. The performance drew forth some very decided expressions of disapproval from the large audience.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mets excluded from AA planning; a new National Agreement?; McKnight

Date Wednesday, August 26, 1885
Text

[reporting on the upcoming conference committee meeting 8/24] The League committee has full power to act. The American committee had not, and to enable them to act intelligently the American Association held a secret meeting at Atlantic City, Thursday, Aug. 20, for the purpose of agreeing upon some method of procedure, and for the instruction of their committee. The meeting was strictly private, and all the clubs were represented except Pittsburg and the Metropolitans. The former's representative, Mr. Nimick, mistook the date and arrived too late, and the Metropolitan Club was not invited to the meeting at all, owing to its connection with the New York League Club, the American Association not desiring its private business to become prematurely known to the League. The session was long and harmonious, and from the action taken it may be said that the present National Agreement is practically a thing of the past, and that a new agreement will have to be adopted. The Sporting Life August 26, 1885

I [the Pittsburgh correspondent] asked President McKnight about the secret meeting of the American Association at Atlantic City. He said that he had not bee notified of any meeting, and understood that it occurred because most of the club presidents were East and some one thought it well to have a consultation. Of course, any conclusion which they unanimously arrived at would be binding, even if it was theoretically informal. He did not know whether or not the Metropolitan Club had been invited to attend, but he did not think that the Association had any desire or intention of dropping out that club. The Sporting Life September 2, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mill resigns his honorary membership in the NL

Date Wednesday, November 25, 1885
Text

Ex-President A. G. Mills sent a positive note resigning his honorary membership in the League. He never forgave the reinstatement of the black-listed men, and it looks very much as if the decadence of the League can be dated from the day this unwise step was taken. The resignation was accepted.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league club finances

Date Sunday, September 20, 1885
Text

Brockton, which is now comfortably certain of the [Eastern New England League] pennant, has done better than all her rivals in the matter of dollars and cents. The manager of the Brocktons made a cost outlay of $2000, of which $1000 were spent for the lease of the grounds and an equal sum for the improvements, fences and grand stands. The club made good this sum from its earnings, paid all current expenses, and is several hundred dollars ahead.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league umpire pay rate

Date Tuesday, July 14, 1885
Text

New York state league umpires receive $8 for each game umpires, the amount to be paid by the club on whose grounds the game is played. In case the amount paid does not reach $75 a month and expenses, the balance is to be paid out of a general fund.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor leagues and the National Agreement

Date Wednesday, December 30, 1885
Text

The secretary of the Board of Arbitration, under the new National Agreement, recently forwarded copies of the articles of qualified admission to such leagues and associations as asked for admission, and has received back the articles signed by the following: The Eastern League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, The New York State League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, and the Eastern New England Association of Base Ball Clubs. The Southern League and Canadian League have not yet been heard from. Requests for articles should be addressed to the secretary, C. H. Byrne, Fifth avenue and Fourth street, Brooklyn, N.Y.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor leagues and the reserve

Date Wednesday, December 2, 1885
Text

[from an editorial regarding the draft regulations from the Arbitration Committee] The date when these minor leagues may sign their players in safety should perhaps be brought a little nearer the close of the playing season. In other respects the protection offered does not differ materially from that of last season, and the minor leagues will have no cause to complain of the generosity of the big leagues. Their contracts and blacklist will be respected, thus enabling them to retain as well as discipline their players during the playing season. The power of reserve is not granted them, as, indeed, it should not have been. If they develop players of extra merit, they will be enabled to enjoy their good luck and avail themselves of the services of such players for an entire season. But it would be a manifest injustice to rising players to be reserved in such minor leagues, thus debarring them from rising into a higher class at a corresponding increase in salary, and keeping them in clubs whose tenure of life is, on the whole, insecure, and whose financial responsibility is not always of r best.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor leagues in the new National Agreement

Date Wednesday, October 28, 1885
Text

[reviewing the new National Agreement] To this [arbitration] committee also was referred the question of the status of the minor leagues. This was wise and we trust that the smaller organizations will receive considerate treatment at the hands of the Committee upon the occasion of the next meeting. In fact it would be politic to treat them fairly, else with maximum salaries at $2,000 the great bodies may find that free-booting is a game at which all can play, and that these smaller leagues would not hesitate to create discord in the ranks of the big clubs by offers of salaries equal to and exceeding those fixed by the new law. We think , however, that the Committee, which is composed of the best brains and talent in the base ball business, will weigh the question well and act in a manner conducive to the welfare of all—big and little. The Sporting Life October 28, 1885

[reporting on the meeting of the Arbitration Committee 10/17] An appeal was made on behalf of the Eastern league by J. I. Rogers, soliciting prompt recognition as a party to the new National Agreement, in order that the players of the said association might be protected from League and American Association spoliation. The answer of the committee to the appeal was made in the form of appointing a special committee to draft a set of rules for the qualifications of new members of the National Agreement, said committee to report to the regular meeting of the Arbitration Committee, which is to be held in Philadelphia Dec. 8. From Oct. 20, therefore—the day the League and American Association are open to contract for players—to Dec. 8, the clubs of these two associations will be free to engage any player—not now under special contract—belonging to any Eastern League, Southern League, New England League or any other outside organization, of the kind. The Sporting Life October 28, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane's unpopularity

Date Wednesday, December 2, 1885
Text

Tony Mullane still hangs out for more than $2,000. It behooves Tony to be very careful, as he is cordially detested by all the base ball magnates as well as many players and it may be that they are laying low to get another whack at him, and by putting him where the “base ball dogs won't bite him,” make a “shining example” of him. They would be only too glad to do it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Murnan now a journalist

Date Wednesday, October 21, 1885
Text

No one expected that Tim Murnan would bob up as an editor, but he has graduated from the base ball professional and now figures as manager and editor of The Sporting Times, a weekly publication, which made its first appearance last Friday.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mutrie confirms there had been talks between the Mets and Brooklyns

Date Wednesday, January 21, 1885
Text

[from an interview of James Mutrie] There is no truth whatever in the many newspaper reports of a deal with any other base ball club except Brooklyn.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL adopts two ball system

Date Thursday, November 19, 1885
Text

[reporting the NL meeting of 11/18/1885] ...the playing rules were taken up. The first change was in the fourth paragraph of rule 13, which was stricken out and the following substituted: “Should the ball be knocked outside of the inclosure, or be lost during the game, the umpire shall at once call for another ball.” This change was the work of President Young, who has shown that in many cases where Bob Ferguson used two balls this season, it was with good effect.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL refuses to meet with AA

Date Tuesday, May 5, 1885
Text

Unless the standing conference committee of the American Association give better reasons for holding a meeting with the similar committee of the league than have been given, the meeting will not be held. President Soden of the league committee, after conferring with his associates, has so notified President Von der Ahe of the association committee.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL rejects Sunday exhibitions

Date Wednesday, February 25, 1885
Text

Mr. Lucas, through Mr. Young, has asked the other League clubs to consent to a temporary waiver of the Sunday law so as to allow the Lucas Club to play exhibition games on Sunday with the Von der Ahe Club during April. A mail vote was taken by Mr. Young and every league club voted in the negative. The matter will, however, be brought up again at the next meeting of the League, as the people of St. Louis are largely in favor of such games, and Mr. Lucas has been requested to use his utmost efforts to induce his League colleagues to give their consent.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

negotiations to bring Lucas into the NL

Date Sunday, January 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting] Presdident Young said that there was no disposition on the part of the League to violate any part of the National agreement. The admission of the St. Louis Union Club to the League all hinges on Mr. Von der Ahe's consent. If he does not give it there is some probability that the deal will be off, although there are one or two members who are ready to accept the Union Club in any event. Von der Ahe, however, has the matter entirely in his own hand, as there are not enough of these members to accomplish any thing. It now remains to be seen whether he wants opposition in St. Louis next season or not. … The excitement among the clubs ran very high this morning, when the Presidents of every club in the National League received a telegram from Mr. Von der Ahe to the effect that he protested against an opposition club in St. Louis. For several hours afterward the telegraph wires were kept hot carrying messages asking him to reconsider his decision. Messrs. Barnie, Simmons, Day and Sharzig telegraphed several times asking him to do it, and thus save a rupture in the national agreement. They thought that the League was bound to have a club in St. Louis to fill the vacancy, and that if Mr. Von der Ahe did not consent one would be established anyhow, in defiance of the tripartite fraud, and thus precipitate a fight between the League and American Associations. Von der Ahe, however, steadily refused to do the martyr for the benefit of the other members, and the messenger boys kept up the dance between the hotel and the telegraph office nearly all afternoon. Messages were also sent to President McKnight, Byrne and other members of the American Association, asking them to use their influence to bring Von der Ahe around to a realizing sense of his duty, but up to eight o'clock in the evening no reply has come.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young questions the legality of the Big Four deal

Date Wednesday, September 23, 1885
Text

[an interview of Nick Young] I received a dispatch from Buffalo stating that the Buffalos had released certain players and that the Detroits had engaged them. I immediately telegraphed to the officers of both organizations that their action was contrary to the Saratoga Agreement, which was to the effect that both the American and League clubs should not negotiate or contract with any player now under engagement with any League or American club prior to Oct. 20, 1885. Such an agreement certainly stands in the way of any such transfer as has been stated, and if the officers of these two clubs have violated the agreement they must answer for it. The Sporting Life September 23, 1885. [N.B. The absence of any mention of the ten day rule suggests it had been abolished at Saratoga.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young stalling on the Cleveland releases; did Lucas buy a property right?

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

[from a letter by F. H. Brunell] No little comment has been made on the action of Mr. N. E. Young in declining to publish the releases of the Cleveland men sent to him on Saturday, Jan. 3, and which, if he had done his duty, would have made them eligible Jan. 13. He has, under date of Jan. 5, acknowledged the receipt of these releases and also the positive resignation of the Cleveland Club from the League. Even if he had published this last notice, which, under the League rule, he was bound to do, these men would be eligible the 15 th. He publishes merely notice that Cleveland has tendered its resignation. All this is unaccountable action for the National League, which has heretofore occupied such a high standard in all its affairs. It looks very much as if work was being done that could not bear investigation, and that a suicidal policy, perhaps even the disruption of the National Agreement, may ensue. Mr. Young surely has never acted thus of his own volition. He has, we fear, been influenced by advisers. The resignation of the Cleveland Club was absolute. Most of its players had previously been released and the club had disbanded. The purpose evidently had been to delay matters, call the meeting of the League, and then accept the resignation, and if determined to take in Lucas and Thorner, give them a chance to fight for players. The American Association has not been the aggressor in this matter. It has occupied a straight and dignified position. If the agreement is crushed the League must shoulder the responsibility, and but few weeks will elapse ere it finds what a fatal mistake it has made. The Sporting Life January 14, 1885

Another reason for this delay is stated to have been Mr. Young's desire to save Mr. Lucas a property right, which he claimed to have bought from Cleveland. The Cleveland Club's officers, however, deny that Mr. Lucas bought anything of them but the resignation from the League. The team and contracts, they say, had been previously sold to Mr. Byrne for a large sum of money. It is but just to Mr. Young to state that he disclaimed any ulterior motive in delay in sending out the notices of release. He says he simply delayed matters until the League meeting, as he was undecided whether, as a point of law, he could accept the resignation of the Cleveland Club and release of its players until the League had taken action thereon. The Sporting Life January 21, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young's defense of the reinstatement; his inconsistency

Date Wednesday, May 6, 1885
Text

[from a letter from Young to Wikoff] The National Agreement bound the different association to respect the reserve lists promulgated by each other. It provided (sec.3) that the reservation shall continue (presumably forever) unless the player shall sign a contract with his club, or he is released, or his club disbands, resigns, or is expelled from its association. Hence, when certain players of League clubs refused to recognize their reservation and signed contracts with hostile clubs, the League, at its special meeting held March 4, 1884, adopted what has since been known as the “Day resolution,” as follows:--”That no League club shall, at any time, employ or enter into contract with any of its reserved players who shall, while reserved to such club, play with any other club.” Prior to this a reserved player could contract and play with any club not a party to the National Agreement, and, his reserve still continuing, he could, when he pleased, sign with his original club with all his privileges unimpaired. The “Day resolution” merely prevented this, and it applied only to League clubs. It was never incorporated in the National Agreement. It was unnecessary so to do, as the National Agreement prohibited the clubs of the other associations from interfering with reserved League players. It is true that the substance of the “Day resolution” was adopted by the American Association, for the purpose of affecting its players who had also disregarded the reserve rule. The Arbitration Committee, by an order passed April 19, 1884, promulgated the action of the League and American Association, but they were careful to recite it as “enacted legislation” and not as part of the National Agreement. Said order provided that if any club violated this law all the other clubs under the National Agreement would be notified of the fact and refuse to play with the offending club. I presume this order is the law of the Arbitration Committee to which you refer, but it is not a law. It is a mere declaration of what has been enacted and how its violations shall be promulgated from one association to another. Any other construction of this order would be ridiculous, because it would imply a usurpation of legislative power by the committee. The Sporting Life May 6, 1885

[from a letter from McKnight in which he quotes a letter from Young to McKnight dated 2/26/85] I notice what you say about the Association's having control over the players expelled by clubs for breaking contracts, etc. I quite agree with you that such men deserve greater punishment than the reserve-deserters, while under our laws, as they stand, it is possible for each association to reinstate the players expelled by its club members in the case of the former, while they have, in my judgment, no jurisdiction over the latter. The Sporting Life May 13, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no backs on the seats at Sportsman's Park

Date Wednesday, April 1, 1885
Text

[a letter to the editor] I would suggest an improvement at Sportsman’s park, which I thin is very much needed and would be greatly appreciated, namely, the putting up of backs to the reserved portion of the seats. A comparison between the grand stand accommodations at the Lucas park and that at Sportsman’s park, is decidedly disadvantageous to the latter, and as the enjoyment of a game is seriously marred by the [illegible] and discomfort caused by the defect alluded to, I think Mr. Von der Ahe owes it to his patrons to see that the proper remedy is added before the opening of the regular season. If you will give above space in your valuable columns you will greatly oblige a number of subscribers. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no deal between Brooklyn and the Mets

Date Sunday, January 4, 1885
Text

We can say now officially that the negotiation which was pending between the Brooklyn Club and the Metropolitan Exhibition Company last November terminated before the convention was held, and that since then there has been no further action taken on the subject, nor will there be. It was thought at one time that if the Brooklyn Club could secure the services of the pick of the Metropolitan team to make up the new Brooklyn team it might prove advantageous. But circumstances have occurred since then to show the Brooklyn Club that they could do better, and they are now glad that their first offer was rejected. It is, therefore, now out of the question that any of the Metropolitan Club players will be in the Brooklyn team next year., quoting the Clipper

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no enforcement of the salary cap

Date Wednesday, October 28, 1885
Text

[reviewing the new National Agreement] The rules regulating salary and prohibiting advance money lose somewhat in force from the fact that no penalty is attached to violation or evasion of the law; an easy matter for unscrupulous managers, no matter how stringently regulated and enforced the rule may be. It is a step, however, in the right direction, as a start in a much-needed reform has been made; and that is a point gained, as further improvement will from time to time suggest itself, and ultimately the matter be adjusted on a satisfactory basis, and so regulated that compliance can be made universal and sure.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no more advance money

Date Wednesday, September 2, 1885
Text

[reporting on the conference committee meeting of 8/24] ...it was fully determined to abolish the advance money system, and hereafter no money will be advanced on contracts prior to the opening of the season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no provision in the National Agreement to reinstate players

Date Wednesday, February 18, 1885
Text

An examination of the rules and regulations of the National Agreement reveals the fact that no provision whatever is made for reinstatement of players expelled or suspended under the Agreement. This being the case, an amendment will be necessary to effect their reinstatement. If this amendment is made by the Arbitration Committee, a two-thirds vote of each association party to the agreement will be necessary for its adoption. The Sporting Life February 18, 1885

rubber home plates

The new rubber home plates are now being made by the New York Belting and Hose Manufacturing Company. Harry Wright has given the manufacturers valuable assistance in the way of suggestions, designs, etc. several samples will be soon ready, when a practical test of the new plates will be made. The Sporting Life February 18, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no recognition of outside contracts

Date Monday, October 19, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL/AA joint meeting 10/18] One of the most important actions of the meeting of this committee was a resolution which they passed to the effect that contracts between players and clubs not members of the national agreement at the present time would not be recognized by them; but on December 8, when they meet again, at Philadelphia, the Eastern League, the Southern League or any other association that wishes to become co-members under the national agreement can do so and receive the same protection as the League and American Association. The Philadelphia Times October 19, 1885

playing a joke on Von der Ahe

Quite a joke was played upon Chris Von der Ahe during the convention in New York on Friday. A bogus dispatch was cooked up by Al Spalding and others to the effect that the Chicago-St. Louis game at St. Louis that afternoon had broken up in a great riot; that Anson and Comiskey had come to blows; that Comiskey had been terribly beaten, and that both were in jail, with Anson in danger of lynching, etc. Chris didn't tumble for quite a while and his distress and worriment were comical to witness and afforded much amusement to all in the secret. The Sporting Life October 21, 1885

[Spalding's account to the Chicago correspondent:] “Von der Ahe left here with me Wednesday night,” said he, “and at Pittsburg the next evening a telegram was handed him on the train, announcing the trouble between his club and Umpire Sullivan. He was greatly worried over it, and the last words he said to me that night were “Py golly! Auf dem fellers cut up some mongy shindes mit dot game to-morrow, I hobe dey got in der lock-oop, de whole gang ov 'em. Vat you dink, will dey haf some more row aboud id?” I told him no, that everything would be right, as they would probably mutually agree upon another umpire for the remaining games. Next day, at New York, I saw he was beginning to get very nervous as the afternoon wore away, and he finally asked me, as I met him in the hotel lobby, if I had heard anything from the game. I had spoken to Sage and marsh about Chris' anxiety that morning, and so, when the clerk handed me a message from St. Louis, was not surprised. I broke it upon before Chris and read, and then asked to see it. I handed it to him without a word. He read:

“St. Louis, Mo., Oct. 16.--A. G. Spalding, Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York:--Sullivan commenced to umpire game. Anson objected, Comiskey insisted he should, which provoked Anson. From words they came to blows. Anson unhurt and Comiskey badly used up. Both arrested and now in jail. Will try to bail Anson, but may not succeed, as feeling is strong against him. Advise me what to do. Think you had better tell Von der Ahe and Brown.”

Chris. took it all in, every word of it, and it was better than a minstrel show to see his face while he read. He said “Py golly” half a dozen times before he got through, and finally wheeled around on his heel and yelled, “Jimminy cricket!” Sullivan in jale, Anson gnacked and Comiskey in der look-oop, and—and--, See her Spalding, you soon-ov-a-gund, you vas der feller vat got me in dis exhibition game pisness, but I sthop it purdy damn quick; you see auf I don'd.” And off he rushed for the telegraph office. It took four of us fifteen minutes to convince him that the whole thing was a job, and of course it cost him the seltzers all around. We always manage to enjoy life when Chris is around.” The Sporting Life October 28, 1885

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no return checks discouraging saloons

Date Monday, May 18, 1885
Text

Parties who are figuring on opening saloons in the near vicinity of the new Chicago Ball Park will do well to give up the idea. President Spalding has decided to issue no return-checks during games, and this will cut off saloon patronage from the grounds, and as just before and just after every game of ball people are in too much of a hurry to stop for a drink the outlook for the saloonists is rather gloomy. They had better choose some other locality.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no sprinkler on the field

Date Thursday, July 9, 1885
Text

[Providence vs. Chicago 7/8/1885] The heat was intense, and the wind blew so violently that the grant stand trembled under the strain. Clouds of dust were swept across the diamond, almost blinding the players and making them restive and ill-humored. Under such circumstances the ball-going public would doubtless feel grateful to the management if a sprinkling-cart were brought into requisition upon the streets surrounding the grounds, and a hose with a smaller sprinkler attached used upon the diamond.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no war between the NL and the AA

Date Tuesday, August 25, 1885
Text

[reporting on the joint conference meeting 8/24/85] It was decided to allow exhibition games between the two organizations to be played after the close of the regular season, which is a clear case of backdown by the Association in regard to the blacklisted players. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

non-intercourse between the AA and NL

Date Wednesday, June 24, 1885
Text

Early in the week Secretary Wikoff sent out notices to the American Association clubs prohibiting them from playing with the Indianapolis Club, on account of that club having played a game with the St. Louis League Club. The disbandment of Indianapolis of course prevents any possible trouble over this, but it would indicate that the American Association is really determined to cut off all intercourse with the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

non-wood bats

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting] It was proposed to change rule 12 so as to allow the use of other material than wood in the manufacture of the bat, but it was decided that those clubs feeling so inclined could experiment with other substances in their exhibition games and thus come to the next meeting better prepared to legislate intelligently on the subject.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

not base on a hit by pitch in NL

Date Thursday, November 19, 1885
Text

[reporting the NL meeting of 11/18/1885] A strong effort was made to have a change made in the rule to allow a batsman to take his base when hit by a pitched ball, but the New York delegates made a strong fight against it, and it was lost by a vote of 5 to 3.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Olympic Club of Philadelphia annual meeting

Date Wednesday, November 25, 1885
Text

At the annual meeting of the Olympic Club, of Philadelphia, on Wednesday evening, Henry Clay was elected president; John Norris, vice president, and W. P. Stilz, secretary and treasurer. The board of directors consists of Messr. B. F. Cake, Chas Buob and J. I. Dailey.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Olympics of Philadelphia ballpark available for rent

Date Wednesday, August 12, 1885
Text

[advertisement] Olympic Ball park. 18th and York Streets. Can be engaged for base ball and other sports. Apply to Charles Buob, Fifth Street Market.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Only Nolan has lost his control

Date Tuesday, July 28, 1885
Text

The Philadelphias thus far have lost every game in which Nolan has pitched. In no game has he been hit very hard nor was his support poor, but he always manages at some critical point to lose control and either allows his opponents to bunch their hits or sends men to bases on called balls... (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

outlaw stands

Date Sunday, August 2, 1885
Text

In consequence of the action by the authorities, one or two of the parties who have erected stands outside of the Boston ball grounds have removed them, but one party, said to be a Mr. Sullivan, who has erected the highest and apparently the most dangerous one, refuses to remove it, and, it is said, proposes to contest any proceedings against him in court.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ownership of the franchise

Date Wednesday, September 30, 1885
Text

If this [the Big Four being free agents] is the case Detroit will get nothing for the $7,000 except Buffalo's franchise for which she has several offers which she hopes to sell to advantage. It is by no means certain, however, that Detroit's expectations even in this quarter will be realized, as the point has been raised that the franchise cannot be transferred without the unanimous consent of the League, which reserves to itself the right to decide what cities may obtain membership.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher constrained by the catcher's ability

Date Friday, August 14, 1885
Text

[Cincinnati vs. St. Louis 8/13/1885] The principal cause of yesterday’s defeat of the Browns by the Cincinnatis was the fact that Foutz could not put as much speed into the ball as he usually does, as Sullivan clearly demonstrated the fact that he could not hold tem. It was very plain when Foutz pitched a swift ball, as Sullivan almost invariably dropped it. As a result the Porkopolitans hit Dave freely, securing ten base hits, of which two were doubles. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 14, 1885 [N. B. Doc Bushong usually caught Foutz, but had split a finger.]

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher covering first

Date Wednesday, May 13, 1885
Text

One of Harry Wright's new rules is that every time a pitcher fails to cover first base when Farrar goes for a ball he is fined $1. The fine is imposed to make them think quick, and a $1 fine answers just as well as a larger one.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitchers as fielders and the pitching rotation

Date Saturday, August 15, 1885
Text

The accident to Charley Comiskey is a very unfortunate one, particularly at the present time. It means that on the days when Caruthers and McGinnis pitch Foutz will have to play at first, and when Foutz twirls, Caruthers must go to left, Robinson to second and Barkley to first. This keeps both these pitchers almost constantly in play and they do not receive the rest which is so necessary. Of course when McGinnis pitches Caruthers will be off the field, but that is only in every third game. Besides missing their rest there is always the chance of these two pitchers injuring themselves by throwing to bases, etc. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching delivery rule 2

Date Wednesday, February 4, 1885
Text

There is among many players a singular misconception of the definition of the new League rule governing the pitcher's position, the idea prevailing that the rule requires both of the pitcher's feet to be on the ground when the ball leaves his hand. The fact is that the rule only requires him to keep the forward foot on the ground; the lifting of the backward foot being of no account, as the pitcher cannot lift that foot until the throw of the ball is made and the ball has left his hand. The rule works in this respect like that governing a “no ball” in cricket. That rule requires the bowler to have one foot on the ground behind the “crease” when delivering the ball. The umpire only watches to see that the foot is on the ground, as the fact of his lifting it shows that the ball has left his hand. Were the pitching rule such as to oblige the pitcher to keep the back foot on the ground after delivery, he would be so restricted in his deliver as to destroy his aim; besides which he would be liable to strain himself. The Sporting Life February 4, 1885 [N.B. This version of Rule 27 was only on the books one year.]

The League has instructed Secretary Young to explain to the umpires that, according to the new pitching rules, the pitcher must keep his forward foot stationary on the ground, but may slide his rear foot up to the forward one, provided some part of said foot touches the ground. The Sporting Life March 18, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club finances, salaries

Date Wednesday, November 4, 1885
Text

Well, the Pittsburg Club came out of the season just ended about even in finances. All their accounts are not closed up yet, so they cannot tell exactly whether they will be a few dollars ahead or behind. And this after Manager Phillips figuring out that the club would clear not less than $9,000 profit. The owners of the club are satisfied with the prospects for next season in regard to finances, if the team draws as well as id did the past season. Their expenses will be less by $6,000, which they paid bonus to Columbus a year ago, and also by some reductions of salaries. No matter what other clubs will do, Mr. Nimick will stick closely to the $2,000 limit. There were only three other players—Morris, Mountain and Carroll—who were above that limit last season, and they will come down to the limit, while several others will be proportionately reduced. The Sporting Life November 4, 1885

[reporting on the Pittsburgh Club annual meeting] The club cleared a little money—how much was not given to the public—and estimating from that the directors feel confident that under the reduced expenses of next season they can realize a fair proportion of the large amount of money invested in the club. The Sporting Life December 9, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player salaries 2

Date Sunday, March 29, 1885
Text

The salaries for the season will be higher than ever before, and $2500, formerly an unknown figure to pay a player, will be considered as not at all extraordinary. The largest salary reported is that of O'Rourke of the New Yorks, who will receive $4200. The excellent remuneration offered skillful ball players has attracted an excellent class of amateurs, and not a few collegians, whose earning are carefully saved either as a fund for future investment or to further their education.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players won't slide

Date Wednesday, June 17, 1885
Text

Many hands are thrown out at the bases. In fact the Baltimores have become a “snap” for the practice of the poorest throwers. Almost any catcher can make a good base-throwing records against them. People are wondering at the cause of this, known that, with two or three exceptions, the team is composed of fleet runners. One great cause, perhaps, is the fact, which may not be universally know, that the members of the team were all reared in the lap of luxury and are too tender to bump the hard ground and slice off a few ounces of flesh for every base stolen. In other words, with an exception now and then, they will not slide for the bases. Of course, when a player does not do this he must begin to put on the brakes before he reaches the base, so as not to be carried over by his own momentum, and just at that moment, the most critical in the whole play, he is touched with the ball. It may be asserted that any player can learn to slide, and by practice become so skillful as not to injury himself. It is like learning to swing. The flesh naturally recoils from the first few attempts, but when it is acquired the candidate wonders why he didn't learn sooner.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

playing for a release 2

Date Wednesday, July 1, 1885
Text

In the ninth inning of Wednesday's game [in Baltimore], when there were men on bases, the manager directed Casey to strike at only the balls that come where he had called for them. Utterly ignoring this Casey almost put himself out by striking at the wildest kind of balls. The manager believed this to be only carrying out well devised plans on Casey's part, and determined to fine and suspend him, but afterward reconsidered his action. To release players for faults at this time in the season is more of a reward to them than a punishment, for it is the means of throwing them on a strong market where the lively competition is very likely to enhance their salaries. The only way to deal with determined obstinacy and willful misplaying is to fine, suspend or expel.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pointing out that the St. Louis NL club has been playing against expelled players

Date Saturday, April 18, 1885
Text

Because the St. Louis league players played against a picked nine which included Dunlap, Shaffer, Sweeney, Rowe and Gleason, the Cincinnati Gazette claims that the league club has violated league law, and calls for its expulsion from that organization. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

politicking about the Detroit big four, status of the Providence Club; Washington's prospects

Date Wednesday, November 25, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/18-11/19] … a very important meeting it proved to be, characterized by great excitement and considerable dissension and ill-feeling, which led to a number of important questions being left open for future settlement. … The situation was greatly complicated through the Detroit “big four” deal and the effort to oust Providence. Detroit held Buffalo's vote, and thus Detroit, Buffalo and providence held together for mutual protection, and a deadlock ensued, these three preventing a two-thirds vote on all questions affecting the interests of either.

...The Providence Club could not be ousted owing to the assistance it received from Detroit and Buffalo and refused to resign. It also refused to make known its intentions for next season,unless a number of conditions were complied with and certain guarantees given. This the majority refused to do and a deadlock ensued. It is believed that all sorts of inducements were offered to Brooklyn to leave the American Association and take Providence's place, as with Brooklyn in the League there was no doubt that Pittsburg would drop into Buffalo's place. Both clubs had representatives present watching events. The matter could not be made satisfactory to Brooklyn, however, as that club could not be guaranteed a team able to cope with its rival in New York. It is also said that the deal could have been made to transfer the best of the Providence team to Brooklyn, but Boston objected unless guaranteed Radbourn and Daily. This again blocked the scheme and the Brooklyn Club then positively refused to negotiate further. The Pittsburg Club followed suit and the League was left just where it was when the meeting opened. The buffalo deal also complicated matters. Several of the clubs, particularly New York, Philadelphia and Boston were in favor of taking the big four from Detroit and placing them on the market. Philadelphia was dead set for Richardson and for him offered to help Detroit to the other three, but Detroit refused all overtures, insisting upon all or none, as they knew well that the players would not go to Detroit unless in a body. All sorts of propositions were made, Chicago and New York pledging themselves not to touch any of the four, and the upshot of the matter was that Messers. Young, Spalding and Day were appointed a committee to consider the matter and devise some satisfactory settlement. This committee was in session until long after midnight, and had a warm fight. It was clear to Spalding and Nick Young that any report made by the committee depriving Detroit of its men would be defeated in convention, as the Detroit-Buffalo men, in addition to having the support of Providence, had evidently secured the co-operation of Philadelphia, which club had changed its tactics, presumably with an eye on a renewal of the 25-cent privilege. St. Louis, too, turned over to Detroit, and this was sufficient to give the late minority the majority. The jig was up for New York, Boston and Chicago, but Mr. Day held out for a long time, and was bent on making a fight or postponing the matter, as he still had hopes of securing Brooklyn's consent to enter the League in Providence's place, and thus help the three big cities in the fight. Late in the evening the Detroit people came to Byrne of Brooklyn, and informed him that they had secured the upper hand and could guarantee Brooklyn the players they wanted, provided the club would enter the League, but Byrne positively refused all overtures, informing them that it was then too late; that the time for such action had passed; that Brooklyn had been willing to purchase the Providence franchise at one time, but that now the matter had been decided and they had resolved to stand by the American Association. Spalding subsequently went to Byrne and added his persuasive powers to Detroit's wooing, and invited Byrne into the meeting to discuss the matter. But the latter finally and irrevocably refused, and as this refusal also voiced the sentiment of Pittsburgh the committee was fain to give up the fight, knuckle down to the late minority, and make their report accordingly to the meeting the next day.

When the League again met on Thursday morning, all was plain sailing and business was rushed through. The special committee made their report, awarding the “big four” to Detroit, and the report was accepted. The weaker clubs then took the bit into their teeth and ran matters to suit themselves. The question of filling the vacancies was next considered, and it was determined to hold the question in abeyance. Buffalo and Providence were held as still being members of the League until the spring meeting. The application of Washington for the first vacancy was given precedent over all others, and they were assured admission if they secured the franchise of either Buffalo or Providence. It was said that Washington would buy out Buffalo's franchise and be entered as a Western city, but it is more likely that the Nationals will purchase the Providence franchise and that Detroit will sell Buffalo's franchise to some Western city.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poor base running

Date Wednesday, June 17, 1885
Text

Season after season the Detroits have been criticised for their miserable base-running. The local papers have printed altogether columns of comments on this question, and still there is no improvement in this direction. The team, with possibly the exception of one or two members, is without doubt the poorest one in the League in regard to this point. It actually requires a hit and a good one to advance a runner from base to base. If a Detroit player secures first he apparently thinks that the man following must do something to get him along the line.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

posting attendance figures

Date Monday, July 13, 1885
Text

[Brooklyn vs. St. Louis 7/12/1885] Yesterday the Browns shut out the Brooklyns before a crowd which, according to the figures posted at Sportsman’s park, numbered 8,126. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pressure from Chicago stockholders to reinstate the St. Louis players

Date Thursday, April 16, 1885
Text

A tremendous pressure was brought to bear upon President Spalding by the Chicago club stockholders to join forces with Lucas and help him out of his troubles. It must be remembered that the Chicago stockholders realized only a small dividend last year, and they have just now been called upon for heavy assessments to fit up the new playing grounds, which will cost fully $20,000. They could see a good outlook ahead with a winning nine and a strong rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis, provided the latter was allowed to put a good club in the field. But the prospect was not so brilliant in case Lucas should have to present a scrub nine, by reason of his inability to play Dunlap, Shaffer, Sweeny and Rowe. Therefore, when President Spaulding returned from the March schedule meeting, he was met on all sides with indignant protests from his stockholders against what they considered the very short-sighed action of the League in voting against the reinstatement of the reserve jumpers. St., quoting the Boston Herald

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

problems with the brick wall in Chicago

Date Wednesday, August 12, 1885
Text

Another section (about 100 yards) of the brick wall surrounding the new Chicago grounds toppled over again last Sunday night. The Sporting Life August 12, 1885

A high brick wall instead of a wooden fence surrounds the new Chicago grounds, and already twice this season sections of the wall have been blown down. St. Louis Post-Dispatch August 22, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposal that the Arbitration Committee be restricted to the major leagues

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting] [from a resolution adopted by the AA] ...in the opinion of this association, the Arbitration Committee should be composed only of representatives from the American Association and National League, and we urge that the League take similar action, and that the Arbitration Committee be organized upon this basis. The Sporting Life March 11, 1885

[reporting on the NL special meeting] President H. H. Diddlebock, of the Eastern League, is here, and he received every assurance that the National League had no intention of siding with the American Association in its attempt to force the Eastern League out of the National Agreement. The Sporting Life March 11, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed Eastern and Western leagues, post-season playoff

Date Sunday, July 12, 1885
Text

It is apparent to all lovers of base ball that next season will witness some radical changes in the complexion of base ball organizations. It is quite probable that the present organizations will go by the boards and in their stead will be formed two associations to be called an Eastern and Western League. Such a scheme has been canvassed for years and The Sunday Herald has repeatedly urged the adoption of such a plan. Harry Wright and Manager Scanlon were the first to adopt views in favor of the scheme among base-ballists and there is now a big feeling in favor of it. At the end of the season the two leading clubs of the respective associations could play a series of games to determine the question of championship. It is to be hoped that if next year does not witness the consummation of the project the one following (1887) will, as it is beyond question the only way to promote great rivalry between cities and sections. The (Washington, D.C.)

Source Sunday Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects for Cincinnati Unions to join the League

Date Friday, January 9, 1885
Text

Concerning the admission of the Cincinnati Unions into the League, in the event of the resignation of Detroit, Mr. Young said he was not prepared to express an opinion. Should such a contingency as the withdrawal of Detroit arise, the League would take steps to secure another club to fill the vacancy, care being taken to secure the most eligible, and one which would materially advance the interests of the association. One other club besides the Cincinnatis had made application for the vacancy if Detroit withdrew, but it was a confidential matter for the present. Cincinnati Enquirer January 9, 1885

[reporting on the upcoming NL special meeting] Concerning the admission of the Cincinnati Union Club no very definite information can be given at this writing. If Detroit resigns, or is dropped by the League, the Queen City Union Club will have a very good chance for the vacancy. President Thorner and another delegate from Cincinnati are here [NYC] to attend the meeting on the invitation of League official and are hopeful. It is the general opinion that the Detroit Club will go to pieces, as it has been losing money for both the stockholders and the other League clubs for several years. Cincinnati Enquirer January 10, 1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects for Sunday baseball in Chicago

Date Sunday, February 15, 1885
Text

...it is said that Mr. Spaulding has long been in favor of the innovation of Sunday games in the League. All other Sunday amusements are allowed to run wide open in the Windy City. The Chicago Unions last year illustrated the possibilities of Sunday base-ball in Chicago, and Spaulding, no doubt, wants a slice of the profits. The Chicago Unions' week-day games on the home grounds last season did not draw more than a handful of people, but were patronized on the day of rest by crowds numbering from three thousand to four thousand. League championship games would prove a much better drawing card, and it is doubtful whether there would be room enough in the park to accommodate Sunday patrons.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Providence Club finances 7

Date Saturday, January 31, 1885
Text

[reporting on the Providence Club annual meeting] The association's financial condition is thoroughly first-class, and a dividend of 10 per cent cash was declared.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Providence Club finances; season ticket prices

Date Wednesday, March 25, 1885
Text

The board of directors of the Providence Association have declared a dividend payable to the stockholders, and have fixed the prices of the season tickets the same as last year, viz., $18 for gentlemen and $12 for ladies, with grand stand privileges.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Providence to sell out, an agreement for no poaching

Date Wednesday, December 2, 1885
Text

[reporting on the recent NL meeting] As Providence...lost considerable money by playing through the scheduled season when her club broke down, thus avoiding a serious break in the League ranks, it was resolved to allow Providence to reimburse herself by selling such of her players as would bring the required sum, all the clubs agreeing to keep their hands off the men, Providence to dispose of them as she sees fit. The Sporting Life December 2, 1885

uncertainty in the NL about eight teams for next season

[reporting on the recent NL meeting] It is probable...the [Providence] club will go by the board, in which event the balance will be transferred to Washington. But even if Providence drops out, Washington is by no means sure of the place, as it will not be permitted to enter unless an eighth club is secured in the West. If such a club is not secured there is every probability that but six clubs will enter the field, the Providence and Buffalo players being so disposed as to strengthen the other clubs, thus equalizing the playing strength of the entire League. Six clubs make an awkward schedule, but, if necessary, it can be managed. The Sporting Life December 2, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pushback against having two balls

Date Wednesday, September 30, 1885
Text

Umpire Curry introduced the two-ball racket in St. Louis last week, but Captain Morrill, of the Bostons, couldn't see the utility of it, and refused to play with two balls, so whenever the ball went over the fence foul the game was delayed until it was returned.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

raiding the Nationals

Date Wednesday, November 11, 1885
Text

This city [Washington] has been visited by managers of various out-of-town clubs, whose object here was to sign some of the National's members. So far the visits have been successful, as Powell, Fulmer and Hoover go to Baltimore, Cook to Cincinnati, and White and O'Day to Louisville.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

raiding the minor leagues

Date Monday, October 19, 1885
Text

The meeting of the arbitration committee of base ball clubs adjourned at 1 o'clock this morning [10/18], after the members had organized by electing N. E. Young, chairman, and C. H. Byrne, secretary. One of the most important actions of the meeting of this committee was a resolution, which it passed, to the effect that contracts between players and clubs not members of the national agreement at the present time could not be recognized by them. But on Dec. 8, when they meet again at Philadelphia, the Eastern league, the Southern league, or any other association that wishes to become a member under the national agreement, can do so, and receive the same protection as the league and American association. By this time, however, the American association will be able to strengthen the weak points in its clubs with the best players of the smaller associations. The managers of the Eastern and Southern leagues have spared neither time nor money to bring out good players, only to have them taken away by the larger association. The league was in favor of admitting the Eastern league under the new agreement, but the American association fought against it and carried its point. John I. Rogers, one of the delegates from Philadelphia, worked hard for the Eastern league, but without avail.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reinstated players paying in installments

Date Wednesday, May 27, 1885
Text

The reinstated players are paying their fines in monthly installments. They will think of their folly every pay-day.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

renegotiating the Saratoga agreement

Date Wednesday, October 21, 1885
Text

[reporting on the Joint Committee meeting of 10/16] It soon...became apparent that the programme outlined at Saratoga was not acceptable in all particulars, and that probably the whole thing would have to be gone over again. The new National Agreement had been made out in full legal form by the committee, and slips of it had been prepared. A general conference upon the matter was had, and then arose such a series of objections and suggestions that a new report was necessary. From what could be learned it appeared that the graded salary plan met with unexpected opposition, several clubs, said to be the Athletic, New York, Detroit and Boston clubs, being “forninst” it. The Buffalo-Detroit deal had also unsettled matters greatly, and last, but not least, the American Association promptly negatived a proposition to the effect that the players of each body should be completely reserved to the organization as a whole of which the club they are been [sic] playing with was a member. In other words a League player, if released, could only be engaged by another League club unless he received a release from the League as well as his club; American Association players ditto. These are said to have been a few of the many objections made to the original report, and which rendered a complete revision necessary.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the Baltimore American; official scorer

Date Wednesday, October 28, 1885
Text

Mr. John S. Gittinger, the official scorer of the Baltimore club, and formerly on the Day and Evening News, is now doing the base ball work for the American. It is needless to say that that department of the American will be well attended to.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the New York World

Date Wednesday, September 30, 1885
Text

The loquacious and indiscreet young base ball editor of the New York World, Mr. Peter Donahue, for some reason or other got real mad at The Sporting Life last week and gave it a scolding in this usual rambling, incoherent style.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporters play ball

Date Wednesday, July 15, 1885
Text

[Philadelphia vs. New York baseball reporters at the Polo Grounds 7/9/1885] The fielding was about even, but the Philadelphians were vastly superior at the bat, pounding the old-time straight pitching of A.B. Ranking, of the New York Herald, with ease. The New Yorkers could do nothing with the really skilful curving of Rooney, of the Record, who struck out ten men and in the second inning disposed of the entire side in order on strikes. He received excellent support from Jones of the Associated Press, in fact the two formed quite a good battery. Lester, of the Record, guarded first without an error. Fitzgerald, of the Item, and Norris, of the Record, also did good work at second base and short field respectively. Dando, of The Sporting Life, did credit to himself and the paper he represented by doing the best fielding for his side and carrying off the batting honors by a large majority. He got in a home run, a triple and a double. With the two first named hits four runs were brought in besides his own, he thus, directly and indirectly, adding seven runs to the score. Fogel, of the Press, Nash, of the News, and Diddlebock, of the Times, had no opportunity to display their ability as outfielders, as not a single chance was offered them. Fogel made a three-base hit, which could have been turned into a home run had he taken chances on it. For the New Yorkers W. Ranking, of the Sporting World, Mr. Plummer and Mr. Farrelly did the best work in the infield, the first-named making a magnificent one-handed stop and throw of a hot liner from Lester's bat in regular professional style. Kennedy, of the Times, and Donahue, of the World, also made good catches in the outfield. Kennedy was the slugger of his side. A heavy rain brought the game to a conclusion in the seventh inning.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reviving the baseball agency idea

Date Sunday, April 19, 1885
Text

Sam Morton, the old Northwestern League secretary, will conduct a base-ball agency this season at Spalding Bros., No. 108 Madison street.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Rhoner resigns from the Metropolitans, sells out

Date Wednesday, May 20, 1885
Text

Fr. Frank Rhoner, the president of the Metropolitan Club, resigned May 11. He sold his 175 shares of the stock to Mr. Joseph Gordon, a real estate broker, and the latter has been elected president.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Richmond does a salary dump

Date Wednesday, August 26, 1885
Text

Nash, the great third baseman, and Johnson, the heavy hitting outfielder, of the Virginia Club, have been released, the Bostons having secured them for $1,250. The Virginia Club has secured Tomney and Parker, of the Lancaster, to take their places. They will probably receive much less salary and this bonus will enable the club to play the season out.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

riding to the ball park in uniform

Date Wednesday, May 20, 1885
Text

Lucas has been here [Boston] with his men. He knows a thing or two about advertising his team, a very clever scheme of his being to have them put on their ball suits at the hotel and ride to the grounds in open barouches.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Root of Providence resigns over the reinstated players

Date Sunday, May 10, 1885
Text

Henry T. Root, President of the Providence Base-Ball Association, has tendered his resignation, to take effect at once. He sent his resignation to the Board of Directors at once on hearing that the blacklisted players had been reinstated, but he only made it public tonight [5/9]. The association will not accept his resignation, but he refuses to serve the association any further.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor of the Eastern League withdrawing from the National Agreement

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

...it was gathered that the Eastern League in case of their not being sustained in their position by the Arbitration Committee [on placing a team in Baltimore], would cast loose from the provisions of the National Agreement and avail themselves of the services of the 25 or 30 disqualified players, such as Dunlap, Schaefer, Sweeney, Shaw, McCormick, Briody, Glasscock and the others whom they believe they need have no fear of engaging under the circumstances. It is not certainly known what 3will be the sequel, but the probabilties are that it will be another case of Union Association.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor that Lucas will jump to the Western League

Date Sunday, March 22, 1885
Text

Supposing this to be the true state of affairs, what is the proper course for the league to pursue? There appears to be but one course that can be adopted. The league cannot continue with but seven clubs; it is almost equally an impossibility to continue with six clubs, supposing one of the seven to be dropped. It is undeniably the fact that today Mr. Lucas holds the key to the whole situation. The winning card is in his hands if he chooses to play it. As a matter of self-preservation there appears to be no course for the league to adopt but to yield to the inevitable, and consent to the reinstatement of Dunlap, Shaffer and Sweeney under certain conditions as, for instance, the infliction on them of a heavy fine, to be paid to the league treasury. Such a step would probably be acceptable to Mr. Lucas. In fact, he has stated that he would be satisfied with such action. His main point is to secure a strong team to represent St. Louis in the league.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor that Lucas will jump to the Western League 2

Date Wednesday, March 25, 1885
Text

From the tone of the St. Louis press we would judge that Mr. Lucas is in active sympathy with the movement to enter St. Louis and Cincinnati in the Western League. A formal application is said to have been forwarded to President McKim on behalf of both cities, and it is also stated that Kansas City and Indianapolis, smarting under the Ringo and Robinson outrages, are not averse to the admittance. These two may be willing, but Cleveland, Toledo, and we dare say Milwaukee, will never consent to the admission of Lucas and Thorner. We trust, however, that Mr. Lucas has been misrepresented in the matter. What would he have to gain by joining the Western League, run on the guerrilla plan, except to save a little money and gain cheap glory? Were he to take his club containing the blacklisted players into the Western League, his team would be as far superior to that League as it was in the Union Association last year, and would win a hollow victory and cheap glory. Is that the kind of base ball the St. Louis people want. Will that satisfy them? No, indeed! They want the best, and for that reason were so anxious to have their city represented in the League. We'll venture to say that the Lucas club could better satisfy the St. Louis public as tail-ender in the great National League than as leader in the Western League. The Sporting Life March 25, 1885

...President Lucas has addressed communications to the several presidents of League clubs, beseeching a reconsideration of the action of the League whereby it refused to readmit reserve-jumpers and contract-breakers to the fold. He tells these officers that he is placed in a most unhappy and unenviable predicament by the heavy pressure brought to bear upon him by intimate personal friends and the united press of St. Louis to resign from the League in recognition of its unjust and arbitrary action, and unite with a movement to establish a rival association, to which all players under the ban of the League or not under engagement are to be freely admitted. He says that he and his friends will be subjected to heavy pecuniary loss by placing a weak club in the League, and he makes one final plea and inquiry as to whether the decision is irrevocable. The Sporting Life March 25, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of Cincinnati in the NL

Date Wednesday, September 30, 1885
Text

In the West Cincinnati's chances [to fill a vacancy] are still the best. Messrs. Thorner & co. are still bidding for the place and laying their plans accordingly, but from Chicago comes the news that the vacancy will be filled in a manner hinted at before, but denied at the time, viz, by the jump of the Cincinnati American Club into the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of Lucas joining the League; the Cleveland players; a split in the National Agreement

Date Tuesday, January 6, 1885
Text

For several days past rumors have been afloat regarding the sale of the Cleveland and Detroit Clubs to St. Louis and Cincinnati Unions respectively. The rumor was confirmed to-day [1/5] by a special in the New York Times from Indianapolis, which gives a talk of Mr. Lucas, who said he and Cincinnati had purchased the charters from the above-named League clubs. To substantiate that report, your correspondent saw Mr. Dunlap this evening, who says that Lucas, in a talk with him here [Philadelphia] during Christmas week, told him that it was a positive thing, and that all the Union players black-listed for breaking the reserve rule will be reinstated after paying a fine of $500 to $1,000. Cincinnati Enquirer January 6, 1885

Mr. Lucas has very little to say in regard to the latest base-ball sensation. He denies that he ever told an Indianapolis reporter or a Cleveland reporter that he was going to leave the Union and joint the League, but when asked if he intended to do as reported declined to answer. He has kept away from reporters as much as possible since his return from Cleveland and Indianapolis, and refuses to talk until after the meeting of the Union Association in Milwaukee.

But, while Mr. Lucas will not talk, the opinion prevails among his friends, and will do to bet on, that his club will take Cleveland's place in the League. It is understood here that he can enter the League and retain Dunlap and Schaeffer, but also Rowe, Sweeney and Boyle, and, in fact, all his old players. Mr. Lucas would not give them up under any circumstances. It is also understood that the club will be allowed to play Sunday games, but not sell beer on the grounds.

Mr. Lucas will also make a fight for some of the Cleveland players, and if Manager Hackett succeeds in carrying them off to Brooklyn he is sharper than he is given credit for being.

Mr. Lucas wants only two or three of the Cleveland players, and it is safe to say he will get them.

It is also believed that the Cincinnati Unions will take the place of Detroit in the League. If all these changes are brought about there may be a rupture between the League and American Association, and then there will be a collapse of the reserve rule, followed by some lively bidding for first-class players.

There will probably be some interesting developments in a few days. Cincinnati Enquirer January 7, 1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runners intentionally obstructing fielders

Date Wednesday, August 12, 1885
Text

Von der Ahe says his base-runners have orders to run into fielders when they can make a point by it. This is the Chicago plan; but they are bigger and heavier fellows that the St. Louis men. It may happen that some of Chris's boys may get knocked out themselves at their little game. O'Neil got a dose which laid him up a third of the season, and Comiskey and Gleason, judging by the talk that is going around, will get a tumble some near day that will land them both in the hospital. If this thing should happen soon it would badly cripple the Browns, especially on their approaching Eastern trip.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runners slide

Date Wednesday, July 22, 1885
Text

The batting and base-running of the team is their [the Detroits'] strongest playing feature, in this they excel all others; in the latter feature Crane, Hanlon, McQuery and Donnelly lead in th order named. When one of these men attempts to steal a base and he finds it a close race between himself and the ball, he makes a “land slide” of at least twenty feet and secures the base before the baseman can reach him. This bold and successful style of base-running has earned for the Detroits many a run, especially at critical moments, when defeat stared them in the face.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

salary lists; finances

Date Wednesday, November 11, 1885
Text

Last season the total salaries paid by clubs was pretty nearly as follows: New York about $32,000, Cincinnati about $30,000; Chicago, Athletic, Providence, Boston, Pittsburg, Detroit, and both St. Louis clubs in the neighborhood of $25,000, with the others stringing along downward to the Baltimore club at about $19,000. The bonuses paid by Brooklyn, Detroit and Pittsburg in the wholesale deals for players which they made might be added to their actual salary lists, running all three up to nearly $30,000. It may be claimed that New York, Louisville, Cincinnati, St. Louis (American), Chicago, Phillies and Athletics certainly all made profits on the season, and that therefore they should give their players some benefit of it and not cut down thei4r salaries, but leave the poorer clubs to regulate their own. Here comes in the difficulty—how can you explain and make it satisfactory to Morris, of Pittsburg; Brouthers, of Buffalo; Radbourne, of Providence; Henderson, of Baltimore; Nelson, of the Mets, whey they should not receive as high salaries as equal players in other clubs? Most of the money-making clubs would have been willing to leave the salary question as it was, but to the poorer clubs the new rule became a necessity. The Sporting Life November 11, 1885

a proposed rule change to the diamond

If there is one thing base ball needs more than another it is freer batting. Efforts in this direction have heretofore been confined to attempts to reduce the pitchers' effectiveness, but all have proved futile... A Boston gentleman, who has given the subject considerable thought, now comes forward with a plan, which, while radical, is the best that has yet been proposed to improve the game... [a diagram of the diamond, with the angle at home and second is increased, first and third decreased; and the pitcher moved back five feet.] The idea appears to slightly change the angle of the diamond. … By it the catcher would be brought ten feet nearer second base, which would prevent free stealing, and would also enable the second baseman to return a thrown ball to the catcher in time to cut off a base runner. The pitcher would be placed back five feet, thus reducing the distance between him and second base fifteen feet, enabling him to guard both first and second base more easily; the batsman is five feet further from the pitcher and could therefore more easily hit the ball, thus reducing the number of strike-outs considerably and making livelier fielding by giving more chances. The distance from third to first would be increased, thus giving scientific batters and good runners a better chance to beat the ball to base. The change of foul lines would lessen the number of tedious foul balls; would give more chances to drive the ball between the infielders; would save many pretty hits now called foul; would spread the outfielders more, thus increasing the number of safe hits, and, besides, enable them to make, with the increased territory, more difficult running catchers; would give chances for longer hits. It would lessen the damage from errors and make more earned runs, as base runner would have to hut their bases more closely, depending upon hitting to score.... The Sporting Life November 18, 1885

[reporting the NL meeting 11/18] One of the changes which was asked to be made and which took up pretty much the whole day was that of changing the shape of the diamond–that is, to set the first and third bases out further and bring the second base nearer the pitcher and, in case the change should be made, the pitcher to be set back five feet, which would reduce the distance between the pitcher and second base about fifteen feet, which, it is claimed, would enable him to guard second and third bases mor easily. The batsman would have more chance to hit the ball, being further from the pitcher. After a long discussion it was finally voted down, as they decided that they would first find out what they were doing. The Philadelphia Times November 19, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoreboard

Date Saturday, May 30, 1885
Text

Some people are hoggish and want the earth, but the modest baseball reporters of Louisville only want a large blackboard placed on the grounds showing the patrons the result of each inning, so that the reporters won't be bored to death telling the newcomers the score, as is the case with the reporters at the Polo Grounds in New York City. This is not a hint at the New York management, but is only telling how things are in Louisville.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoreboard at Boston

Date Tuesday, July 21, 1885
Text

Complaint is made that spectators are allowed to sit or stand in front of the blackboard containing the scores of games away from home at the Boston grounds in such a way as to prevent hundred of people from seeing the board.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a base on balls as an at bat

Date Wednesday, March 4, 1885
Text

...the Boston Herald has made a practice of including “bases on called balls” as a time at bat, and have not recorded an error against the pitcher in the error column, and this independent system has been copied by a few other papers of more or less prominence in violation of the League scoring rules.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring battery errors

Date Thursday, December 17, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA annual meeting 12/10-12/11] The scoring rules were left intact, but the following definitions and instructions were unanimously agreed upon:

All “battery errors” are to go in the summary and to be excluded from the error column.

A wild pitch is a battery error, even if it lets in a run.

A passed ball is a battery error, even if it lets in a run.

A missed third strike which allows the batsman to make first base is a passed ball, and therefore a battery error.

A base given on balls, or by hitting the batsman with the ball is a battery error.

When the batsman misses the third strike and reaches first base through no fault of the pitcher, the pitcher is to be credited in the summary with a “struck out.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring notes: hit by pitch

Date Wednesday, May 6, 1885
Text

[from a circular by McKnight to AA scorers] When a batsman is sent to first base for being hit by the pitcher, or on a balk, it should not be called a “a time at bat,” but should be scored like a base on balls. The Sporting Life May 6, 1885

scoring notes: dropped third strike

[from a circular by McKnight to AA scorers] If the catcher drop or pass the ball on a third strike, and cannot recover it in time to throw the runner out at first, it counts as a passed ball, but if he recovers the ball in time and makes a bad throw to first base, it is an error and not a passed ball for him; if the catcher throw the ball properly and the baseman fails to make the put-out the baseman gets an error and the catcher gets credit for an assist; all this on the principle that only one error can be counted where only one base is made. In all the above cases the pitcher must get credit, in the summary, for a strike-out. The Sporting Life May 6, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season ticket price in Boston

Date Sunday, March 15, 1885
Text

At a meeting of the directors of the Boston club, last evening, the price of season tickets for the coming season was fixed the same as last, namely $20 for general admission to the grounds, exclusive of the grand stand, and $30 including admission to the grand stand and a reserved seat.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets for St. Louis NL Club

Date Thursday, April 23, 1885
Text

The season tickets for the St. Louis league club are now ready for distribution, and can be had on application to H. V. Lucas at the Union grounds. They admit to the reserved seats to fifty-six games, and all for $25. Only 100 are to be sold. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

six or eight clubs in the League?; the League wants Pittsburgh

Date Wednesday, December 30, 1885
Text

The League committee, empowered by the League at its last annual meeting to consider the advisability of filling the Providence and Buffalo vacancies, and to act according to its judgment, has come to the rescue of the distressed Washingtonians, however. We are given to understand that a mail vote has been had on the question of admitting the Nationals and a western club yet to be selected, and that three of the committee—Reach, Day and Soden—favored the eight club scheme, while one—Spalding—strenuously opposed the increase. So determined is Mr. Spalding in his opposition that he threatened to do all he can to defeat the matter at the spring meeting. Lucas is believed to be inclined to side with Spalding, while Detroit is thought to be favorable to eight clubs. As we understand the matter, however, the committee was given full power to act and, having decided by three to one to increase the membership to eight clubs, we think such decision will be binding upon the League. … The eighth club must now be located somewhere in the west. Indianapolis and Rochester are considered the most available points although it is whispered that there is still a lingering hope that Pittsburg may be the city after all. This is the city of all cities the League undoubtedly would like to possess.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

slow curves 3

Date Wednesday, May 6, 1885
Text

Shallix, of the Cincinnatis, is said to have a new delivery this season, altogether different from what he had last summer. He formerly shot the ball across the home plate like a rifle ball, but now he depends entirely on his for his efficiency. So far he has been very successful.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

small attendance at the world series games; results

Date Wednesday, October 28, 1885
Text

[from the Chicago correspondent] The lads can scarcely refer to it hereafter as a pleasant trip, and it may safely be relied upon that so far as the Chicago Club is concerned there will be no more inter-association games after the close of the championship season. The games amount to nothing financially, as they are recognized as exhibition games and but slimly patronized, especially as the interest in base ball games ends with the championship season. Besides, the players don't exert themselves, hence they are not a fair test of skill; discipline is relaxed after an arduous championship campaign; and last, but not least, the umpire has no control over the clubs, not having the power to enforce authority. The Sporting Life October 28, 1885

This left the record in favor of Chicago by three victories to St. Louis' two. Before Saturday's game, however, it was mutually agreed to throw out the forfeited game, leaving the clubs even at two games each, and that Saturday's game decide the series. Under this agreement the game was played and the result was an easy victory for the American champions.

The Chicago Club is much chagrined at the defeats inflicted by St. Louis, a club they under-rated, and the loss of the “world's championship,” a title which amounts to little, is yet irritating to the white-hosed lads. The Sporting Life November 4, 1885

...Al Spalding is not a little annoyed at the idea which seems to have gotten abroad that Chicago lost the “championship of the world” to the Browns as the result of the recent series. Through some mistake it was telegraphed over the Associated Press wires, at the conclusion of the last game in Cincinnati, that by mutual consent the disputed game in St. Louis had been declared off... The game in question was never declared off, and the statement that it was so announced at Cincinnati just prior to the game is, according to both Anson and Spalding, false. In speaking upon the subject recently Spalding said to me: “The game was not declared off, and nobody would have had any authority to take such a step the series consequently stands tied, each team having three games...” The Sporting Life November 11, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Soden buys out the Providence Club

Date Wednesday, December 9, 1885
Text

One of the most masterly prices of base ball generalship in the history of the game was revealed to the public last Monday, when it was telegraphed all over the country that President Soden, of the Boston Club, had, personally, bought out the Providence Club bag and baggage. This startling piece of news proved true enough. The amount paid for the franchise was $6,600, which enables the Providence stockholders to get out whole and gives Mr. Soden sole control of the franchise and players, enabling him to take the pick for himself and to dispose of the rest in such manner as to reimburse him for his original outlay. The whole affair was mostly cleverly managed and carried out without a slip, by the diplomatic and strategic president of the Boston Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Soden changes his mind on the expelled players

Date Sunday, April 19, 1885
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting of 4/18/1885] The all absorbing subject of dealing with the blacklisted reserve rule jumpers and contract breakers was then brought to the attention of the meeting by President Soden of the Boston club. In doing so he gave a clear and concise statement of the causes which brought about the present condition of affairs in the league. He reviewed the cases of the players and said that while at first he was strongly opposed to the reinstatement of any of the players, subsequent events had led him to change his mind. He then strongly and emphatically advocated the reinstatement of the reserve jumpers and contract breakers as a matter of business policy, and because the vital interests of the league demanded that such a step should be taken. The result of the games between the St. Louis League Club and the St. Louis American team had developed the fact that the former was utterly incapable of playing a creditable game with such teams as it would have to meet in the league; that the St. Louis team, as at present constituted, was simply a target of ridicule, and that the league itself would be weakened and made a laughing stock. In justice to Mr. Lucas, and in justice to the league, the St. Louis Club should be given the men it asks for.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding opens a New York store

Date Wednesday, April 8, 1885
Text

That enterprising and liberal Western house, A. G. Spalding & Bros., on Wednesday, April 1, opened their New York store, which is situated at 241 Broadway, a most excellent location, and on which no expense or trouble have been spared to render the establishment a credit to the metropolis and worthy of patronage and support. … The firm also have a complete stock of goods at their store, 158 Madison street, Chicago. Eastern and Southern customers, however, are requested to send their orders direct to the New York house.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding the 'father of base ball'

Date Wednesday, September 23, 1885
Text

President Marsh of the Detroit Ball Club and one of the directors returned from Chicago, where they had a consultation with Spalding, the father of base ball...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spectators taking reporters' chairs

Date Wednesday, June 10, 1885
Text

The grand stand and pavilion at Recreation Park is to be remodeled and improved during the absence of the Philadelphia Club. The reporters are to have their space boxed in to prevent outsiders from carrying off their chairs.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis Club finances 3

Date Wednesday, January 28, 1885
Text

The regular annual meeting of the stockholders of the St. Louis (Am.) Club was held Monday evening, Jan. 12. The treasurer's report was read, showing matters to be in a healthy financial condition, and demonstrating a fund of nearly $18,000 upon which to conduct future operations. Mr. Von der Ahe informed the stockholders of his policy in getting rid of the dissipated and insubordinate element in the nine, and of his engaging only men who had a good personal as well as professional record....

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis Maroons frozen out by the League

Date Friday, May 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting of 3/7] The league meeting in New York yesterday was full of bitter disappointments to the base ball public of St. Louis. It was confidently expected all along that Mr. Lucas’ disqualified players would be reinstated, but they were denied forgiveness and forever shut out from playing with a national agreement club. Even the privilege of playing Sunday games and of charging 25 cents admission was denied Mr. Lucas. In fact he received nothing but the cold shoulder. To have thrown up his membership then and there would no doubt have been his best policy. The reinstatement of the old favorites who stuck by Mr. Lucas was demanded by the St. Louis public, and any club he could get together, however strong in playing strength it might be, would not be popular with these men out. However, the engagement of a strong team by him is out of the question. For him to play in the league with a weak club, playing no Sunday games and charging 50 cents admission, is bound to prove a losing venture. It would be much better for him to retire from the league altogether. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis Unions finances; subsidizing the UA

Date Sunday, February 1, 1885
Text

A certain morning paper said that Lucas sunk $40,000 in the Union Association. This is all bosh, but is on a par with the many other wild stories tarted by the enemies of the organization. The truth of the matter is that one-fourth of this amount will more than cover his losses. His own club made money, but he, in common with the Cincinnati Union Club, his main stay in making the fight, was compelled to pay out money to keep up such weaklings as the Boston Unions, Altoonas and Nationals. Mr. Henderson, of the Baltimore and Chicago Unions, who acted honorably all the way through, was the heaviest loser in the Union Association. Had there been two more men in the Union Association like Messrs. Lucas and Thorner, every association in the country would now be paying homage to the young organization.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Star Spangled Banner

Date Tuesday, April 7, 1885
Text

A brass band played the “,” fifteen hundred men cheered themselves hoarse and many ladies waved handkerchiefs at the ball grounds in Trenton yesterday while Trenton’s champions swung the Eastern League pennant to the breeze.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

support for the new pitching delivery rule

Date Wednesday, April 22, 1885
Text

It is understood that the new League pitching rule was designed to aid the batter and by making it impossible to repeat those tiresome “pitchers' games,” enhance the interest of spectators. Judging from what has been seen here [Baltimore] it will attain the desired object, provided it is not too great a tax on the endurance of the pitcher. The experience in this city has been that it produced a moderately good batting game with some brilliantly sharp fielding to counteract it. To be sure, the fielders cannot stand around and eat peanuts during the game, but that is just what the spectators desire, they want to observe a little life among them. They want to see eighteen men play instead of four. It would be a much better game to see ever man who went to the bat hit the ball than to see half or more of the, ignominiously strike out. When the League clubs play together, where the pitchers of both contesting clubs work under the same rules, the game should be better balanced. As it is, in the exhibition games, the League clubs have the worst of it, as the pitchers of the opposing teams pitch under the old rule, that is, at last, the Bostons do.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of Cincinnati jumping to the League

Date Wednesday, July 22, 1885
Text

In discussing the probable disbandment of the Buffalo Club, a Chicago contemporary makes the statement that the Cincinnati American Club is anxious to desert the American Association. It says:

“In the event of Buffalo's dropping out the vacancy would probably be filled by the Cincinnati American Association Club, which was in correspondence with the League with a view to securing the membership of Detroit a few weeks ago when it was thought a vacancy was about to occur in that direction. Cincinnati then made application for admission to the League, but asked to be allowed to remain in the American Association until the latter's schedule was finished. This phase of the proposition was not favorably considered at the time and probably would not be acceded to now. In that case it would remain with Cincinnati to decide whether to drop out of the American Association at once and enter the League, or to stay in the Association and take its chances at the close of the season.”

This will not be very startling news to the American Association officials, as Cincinnati has been very sore over the Mullane matter, has always shown a preference for League company, and at the last annual meeting went so far as to openly threaten withdrawal from the American. Neither will there be any great alarm or regret felt, evens should this threat now be carried out. Indeed, the American clubs view the contemplated jump very calmly, as either of two good cities stand ready to take her place. The League would, no doubt, be very glad to have Cincinnati within the fold, as it is vastly superior to Buffalo as a base ball town, and would add strength to the League as a whole, although there are many who believe that a League club under present League rules as to admission rates, Sunday games and liquor selling, would not pay in the Paris of America. The Sporting Life July 22, 1885

Secretary Caylor, of the Cincinnatis, in an interview denies that his club is a candidate for the League. He does not say so in his paper, however. The Sporting Life July 29, 1885

[from an interview of Young] “I must announce that the present American Association club at Cincinnati has not in any manner indicated a desire to enter the League. The applications that I mentioned as having been received by me were from a former leading spirit in the League and a new organization which is desirous of locating at Cincinnati.” The Sporting Life August 12, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of a player's protective union; brotherhood

Date Saturday, June 27, 1885
Text

A movement is on foot among the professional ball-players to form a protective union. It is understood that the scheme emanated from the fertile brain of the versatile Billy Voltz, formerly of Cleveland. Over 200 ball-players have signified their willingness to joint such an association. The plan is to assess them $5 per moth, making a reserve fund of $1,000 a month, of $6,000 a season, to be used during the winter for sick and indigent subscribers to the fund.(St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA abrogates the National Agreement; non-intercourse with the League

Date Wednesday, May 6, 1885
Text

The American Association holds that the National Agreement has been violated and has served formal notice upon the League that it will no longer be bound by its provisions, at least so far as the reserve rule is concerned, and demands a conference. It is to be hoped that a conference will be held and mutual concessions made. Indeed, a report is current that such a meeting is to be held in New York this week. Up to the present, however, this report lacks verification, and is altogether improbable, as each side seems determined to maintain the position it has assumed. The Sporting Life May 6, 1885

[reporting on the AA special meeting] [the following resolution was passed:] That the standing conference committee of this Association be requested to meet the standing conference committee of the League and propose this ultimatum:--That, inasmuch as the National League has seen fit to set aside the penalties of its reserve rule where it conflicts with the interest of said League, this Association will no longer agree to abide by that part of the National Agreement which relates to the reservation of players by the various clubs of the parties to said National Agreement, or that part of said Agreement regulating such reservation. But that it will join with the National League in respecting all that part of the National Agreement which refers to contracts made and promulgated from time to time by various associations parties to said agreements, and that part of the National Agreement regulating such contracts.

The question of the modification of the resolution adopted at the Association meeting held at Baltimore, refusing to play any club employing in its team any of the disqualified players under the National Agreement, was brought up, but it was speedily voted down and the rule sustained. The Sporting Life May 6, 1885

Manager Phillips of the Pittsburgs has notified the Buffalos that he will not play two games with them, for which the contracts have been made. Thus the gulf widens. St. Louis Post-Dispatch May 9, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA stands firm on the reserve

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting] [from a resolution adopted by the AA] ...the American Association hereby instructs their members of the Arbitration Committee to vote against all efforts which may be made to reinstate any one of the disqualified players who have broken the provisions of the reserve rule, and the American Association pledges itself to never contract with or employ as player, manager or umpire, any of such disqualified players under the reserve rule, nor to play any game of ball with any club or association who shall at any time employ or countenance said players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA umpires' uniform

Date Wednesday, April 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA umpires' meeting] The uniform will consist of coat and trousers of blue yacht cloth, the same as they wore last season, with a white flannel cap or, if they prefer, a white straw hat.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA's legal strategy

Date Wednesday, December 16, 1885
Text

It will be set forth that the action taken was entirely legal, according to the constitution. The fact that the Metropolitan Club did not receive notice of the special meeting at which it was expelled will be met with the section which says that the president shall call special meetings upon the request of half of the clubs. It will be shown that ifve of the clubs on last Monday night asked for such a meeting on the next day, and the Mets were then thrown overboard, and further that at the annual meeting of Wednesday the action of the special meeting was affirmed. It will also be demonstrated that the Metropolitans have no valuable franchise; that they are without a ground or other property, and, in fact, where nothing but twelve ball players held together to play games. It will be also contended that the alleged sale of the club to play on Staten Island in place of New York abrogates any rights they otherwise might have possessed. In addition it will be offered in evidence that the Mets in December, 1884, voted to expel the Indianapolis and Richmond clubs from the Association under similar circumstances to their own expulsion. Counsel will argue that the Association is in effect a myth and that there is nothing to prevent any club from being summarily dropped at any time.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the American Association's implementation of the new National Agreement

Date Wednesday, December 16, 1885
Text

[a resolution of the AA] That, upon the release of a reserved player from his contract with any American Association club, in accordance with section 5 of the National Agreement, the services of such player shall be exclusively subject to the American Association club that shall within ten days from the date of said release signify in writing or by telegraph to the secretary of the Association its desire to secure the services of said player. Any eligible player, however, who shall at any time subsequent to his release express his desire or willingness, in writing or by telegraph, to contract with any American Association club, shall be subject exclusively to said club, who may at once contract with said player and play him in its team. The club availing itself of such services shall forthwith notify the secretary of the Association of its contract with said player, and notice thereof shall at once be transmitted to all other association parties to National Agreement.

If more than one Association club signifies a desire to secure the services of a released player within the said ten days and no written or telegraphic assent of said player to contract with either of the clubs be filed with the Association, then the president and secretary of this Association shall determine which of said clubs shall be entitled to said player's services. The signing by a released player of any written or telegraphic assent to contract with more than one Association club, or his refusal to execute a contract in accordance with his written or telegraphic assent so to do, or his refusal to execute a contract in accordance with his assignment under this resolution within ten days, shall subject said player to the penalty of being blacklisted, satisfactory proof of his guilt being furnished the Board of Directors. In the event of said player not being blacklisted, the club to whom his assent was first given shall have exclusive control of his services.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Big Four blocked from Detroit, are free agents

Date Wednesday, September 30, 1885
Text

When the news of the deal and the transferal of the big four to Detroit was first published it was at once perceived that Detroit had committed a breach of faith by violating the pledges exacted by the Conference Committee at Saratoga. A flood of protests, coupled with threats of expulsion, from the League presidents poured into Detroit on the 18th and 19th, and the Detroit directors began to realize the gravity of the situation, and becoming alarmed, telegraphed to the officers for instruction. The answer was not to play the four men transferred, but to return them to Buffalo, which was easier said than done, as the four, thankful for their release from a club they had for years been anxious to leave, absolutely refused to play again for Buffalo. They returned temporarily to Buffalo on Tuesday, and from there they scattered, Brouthers going to Chicago, White to his farm at Corning, N.Y.., Rowe to Colorado, and Richardson on a hunting expedition. What course they intend to pursue is known only to themselves and the Detroit directors. What course they intend to pursue is known only to themselves and the Detroit directors. Brouthers was seen by a Buffalo reporter and said they could not say where they would play next year. They all have honorable releases from the Buffalo Club, and will go just where they can get the most money, Detroit having no hold upon them whatever. They may play there and they may not. From this it would appear that the players will put themselves upon the market after Oct. 20, and if Detroit wants them she will have to outbid the other clubs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Big Four want a dream team

Date Wednesday, October 7, 1885
Text

From a reliable source we learn that the “big four” have expressed their intention of playing in Detroit next season, and nowhere else, principally for the reason that the four want to go to one club and also because they will be in congenial company, several of the present Detroit team being close friends.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Boston Club buys its grounds

Date Wednesday, February 11, 1885
Text

Our [Boston] League club's association now owns the South End grounds. In accordance with a vote passed at its last meeting, the purchase has been made. The sum paid for the property was $100,000. of this amount $25,000 were paid in cash, and for the remaining $65,000 a mortgage was given on the grounds, the interest to be five per cent. Although these are the terms of the sale as they will stand, since they were made by the three directors of the Association, who own 60 of the 70 odd shares, the transaction will not be legal unless ratified at a meeting of the stockholders, and consequently such a meeting has been called for next Tuesday.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Boston Unions playing as a cooperative team

Date Wednesday, March 25, 1885
Text

John Irwin, well known as the third baseman of the Boston Union Club last season, will at once proceed to put an independent cooperative team in the field, which will make engagements with clubs in the western New England, eastern New England and Intercollegiate associations during April. Boston Herald March 25, 1885 [N.B. The Boston Unions played April exhibition games with the Bostons.]

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Brotherhood forms

Date Thursday, October 22, 1885
Text

[minutes of the founding meeting of the Brotherhood held 10/22/1885] We, the undersigned, professional base-ball players, recognizing the important of united effort and impressed with its necessity in our own behalf, do form, ourselves this day into an organization to be known as the “Brotherhood of Professional Base-Ball Players.” The objects we seek to acplish are: To protect and benefit ourselves collectively and individually; To promote a high standard of professional conduct; To foster and encourage the interests of the game of Base Ball.” From the minutes book of the Brotherhood, quoted at www.huntauctions.

Source Minutes of the founding meeting of the Brotherhood
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cincinnati Unions' ballpark lease

Date Wednesday, August 26, 1885
Text

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
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Cleveland Herald the club organ

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

The Leader of that city [Cleveland] still continues to print all sorts of rumors, schemes, etc., about the Clevelands, concerning which the order of the club, the Herald, says...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Eastern League adopts the overhand delivery; adds the marble slab

Date Wednesday, May 27, 1885
Text

[reporting on the Eastern League special meeting of 5/26/1885] The pitching rules were so amended as to remove all restrictions from the pitcher while in the act of delivering the ball. This does away with the balk rule and permits the pitcher to deliver the ball from above the shoulder. Each club was ordered to place a piece of flagging or marble in front of the pitcher’s box.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Eastern League kept out of Baltimore

Date Wednesday, April 8, 1885
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the Arbitration Committee] The question of the right of the Eastern League to a club in Baltimore caused considerable discussion, but no feeling was manifested over the subject. The committee reaffirmed the action taken at its fall meeting, and the clause of the seventh section of the national Agreement permitting an Eastern League club in Baltimore was declared stricken out.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League abolishes the ten-day rule

Date Thursday, September 3, 1885
Text

The ball clubs of the National League have by vote abolished the rule requiring that ten days shall elapse between a player's release and reengagement.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League rejects Sunday exhibition games

Date Tuesday, February 17, 1885
Text

Later a dispatch was received [by Lucas] from President Young stating that all the club officials had voted in the negative to the request to waive the Sunday provision in so far as it related to the St. Louis League Club and the St. Louis Browns playing Sunday games together. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League revokes the new pitching delivery rules

Date Wednesday, June 17, 1885
Text

Change seems to be the order of the day, and in accordance the new League pitching rule has gone the way of all flesh. On Saturday, June 5, President Soden and Directors Billings and Conant, of the Boston Association, voluntarily sought an interview with Director Allen, of the Providence Club, and the former having admitted that his amendment to the pitching rule had proven a failure in not having accomplished the increased batting and scoring sought for, and in materially injured the Boston Club, requested him to notify President Young that he desired to have the pitching rules of 1884 restored. Mr. Allen, after listening to their suggestions, coupled with those of Mr. Stevens, of the Boston Herald, decided to communicate with President Young by telegraph, and did so at six o'clock in the evening before starting for Providence. He was governed in this action by sympathy with the Boston Club, which found itself in a most discouraging condition in being deprived of the services of Hornung and both pitchers showing up poorly under the new style of delivery, and because he believed that it was for the best interest of the game that the rule should be restored, as many of the best pitchers have been seriously handicapped, and the players generally, as well as the public, seem to be in favor of a return to the over-hand style. President Young, upon receipt of the telegram from the Boston and Providence clubs, at once issued an order to his staff of umpires to change rule 27 so as to conform to the rule of last year. The order took effect June 9. Appended is a letter from Mr. Young which explains matters fully:

Washington, June 8, 1885.--Editor Sporting Life:--At the special League meeting held in New York, April 18, five clubs declared in favor of changing rule 27 of the playing rules to conform to the rule of 1884. After a full and free discussion it was finally unanimously agreed that the amended rule should be given one month's trial, and if at the expiration of that time it was found to be working a positive injury to any one club, the change should be made. I have this day received communications from two League clubs stating that the amended rule is working a positive injury to their respective clubs. In view of this information and the above agreement, I will instruct League umpires accordingly. Yours truly, N.E. Young, Secretary. The Sporting Life June 17, 1885

The public does not like the return of the League to the old pitching. No better games have been seen than those played under the new rule. They were full of life and dash; now they will degenerate again into those monotonous and tiresome strike-out-three-or-four-hits-to-a-game contests. The change is to be regretted. The Sporting Life June 17, 1885

[from an interview of Harry Wright] ...as far as the interests and the enjoyment of base ball were concerned the restrictive pitching rule was preferable. There was prettier pitching and more real science than before, as a pitcher could not depend upon speed merely. The change will result in the knocking out of the catchers, and the club without a good supply will be handicapped. There will be more broken fingers and bruised hands, more passed balls and wild pitches, and the game will not be as steady or as interesting. There will not be that chance for headwork and variation in the pitcher's delivery; there will be less batting, and, therefore, more strike-outs, fewer men on bases, fewer chances for brilliant plays and less base-running. I am of the opinion that a change will be made next season by which the pitcher will be compelled to keep the right foot on the ground. The Sporting Life June 17, 1885

The return to the League rule of pitching of 1884 has proved costly to the club catchers, while it is not apparent that it has been of any advantage to any club. The change made in introducing the new rule was designed to relieve the catchers and to add to the batting by lessening the pace of the pitching. That its repeal was a mistake is becoming daily more apparent. The Sporting Life July 15, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Metropolitans and the New York franchise

Date Wednesday, December 30, 1885
Text

Even with the Metropolitans' removal to Staten Island the American Association will not lose their New York City franchise, under the National Agreement, as the Metropolitan Club is still a New York corporation, with headquarters 314 Broadway.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Metropolitans fined for the Keefe/Esterbrook trade

Date Wednesday, May 6, 1885
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting] ...the first thing done was to overhaul the Metropolitan Club for the equivocal position it had of late occupied toward the Association for the transfer of Keefe and Esterbrookl to the National League, thus strengthening the League at the expense of the Association. This case provoked a two hours' discussion, which at times became very warm. Finally a motion was made to politely ask them to tender their resignation. This was carried, but almost immediately another motion was passed to reconsider the original one. It was then moved that the Metropolitans be ignominiously expelled at once, as they had flagrantly violated section 8, article 6 of the constitution. This was lost. A long discussion followed, and a definite charge was preferred against the club for violation of the rule mentioned and against its secretary, James Mutrie, for assisting in the transfer of the two players already named. The convention temporarily adjourned and the directors convened. They unanimously adopted the following resolution:

“It appearing to this board that James Mutrie, secretary of the Metropolitan Ball Club, a member of this Association, has been a party to a direct violation of section 8, article 6, of the constitution, in being a party to negotiations made in the release of T. J. Keefe and T. J. Esterbrook from said club and their contraction with the New York League Club, it is hereby ordered that the Metropolitan Club, of which James Mutrie is a member, pay to the secretary of the American Association the sum of $500 as a fine for the violation of the constitution, said amount to be paid within thirty days.”

… It was further resolved by the convention, “That the American Association will never recognize James Mutrie as an officer or a player of any club in the Association again.” The Sporting Life May 6, 1885

[from a letter from McKnight] I was asked to attend a special meeting of the League last January, and there complaints were made to me that the American Association was not adhering strictly to the rules of the National Agreement regarding bargaining with or for players before they were eligible. The League gentlemen claimed that they construed the rules more strictly than we. In order to conform to their ideas our Association, at its schedule meeting when Messrs. Rhoner and Mutrie were present, added to our constitution the present section 8, of article VI., which orders that “If any club, club officer, manager or player shall, during the ten days intervening between the date of a player's release and the date of his eligibility to contract as provided for in the National Agreement induce a player to sign any stipulation, agreement or contract, or to make or to pretend to make any oath, affirmation or affidavit to ta promise tending to evade the spirit of the letter of what is known as the ten-day rule of the National Agreement, said club, club officer, manager or player shall be fined in the sum of $--, said amount to be fixed by the board of directors.” Surely Mr. Mutrie's action in taking Keefe and Esterbrook out of the country and guarding them until they signed contracts with the New York Club was equivalent to inducing them to make affirmation to a promise. At least it was a serious violation of the rules in the manner complained of by the League. The Mets, while naturally protesting against the fine, must allow that it was deserved. … Fining a club is not without precedent, for the Cincinnati Club was fined three years ago for breaking our rules in playing a League club. The Sporting Life May 13, 1885

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Metropolitans' injunction made permanent

Date Wednesday, December 23, 1885
Text

[See The Sporting Life December 23, 1885 for the court's ruling. Also 1 Pa.C.C.R. 134. Also 17 W. N. C. 153.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mets and the AA make peace

Date Wednesday, December 23, 1885
Text

Later in the evening President McKnight, Lew Simmons, Sharsig and Mason met Mr. Williams and Manager Gifford at the Continental Hotel, and a little quiet talk was indulged in with the result that many misunderstandings were cleared away, and the way opened for a satisfactory settlement of the difficulty. All of the gentlemen seemed inclined at once to meet each other more than half way, and the result was that finally the Athletic Club people and President McKnight expressed themselves as satisfied that the court was right, that injustice had been done Mr. Wiman and that they were in favor of making amends and of reinstating the Metropolitan Club. Mr. Barnie was not present, he having gone to New York immediately after the court's adjournment, but it is believed that he is in favor of this course. It is believed that the other members of the Association will also be agreeable at any rate all the clubs will at once be communicated with by Mr. McKnight, and another meeting called in perhaps a week (the last meeting, under the ruling of the Court, being illegal), for this city, at which the Metropolitan Club will be represented and treated as if nothing had happened. So mote it be. The Sporting Life December 23, 1885

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 12/28] Erastus Wiman, who purchased the franchises of the Metropolitan Base Ball Club, of New York, clinched his recent victory in the courts over the American Association last night. The Mets were admitted to full membership, with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto. It was an unpleasant dose for the other seven clubs of the Association to swallow, but they gulped it down, with a wry face, as prescribed by Judge Thayer, even to the dregs at the bottom of the cup. ...

It took about four hours for the Association to reach the foregoing determination. ... The regular meeting was not held until nearly eleven o’clock. For three hours before that hour the club representatives, other than the Mets’, conferred together as to what their course should be. The scheme of forming a new association, without the Mets, was discussed at length, but dropped as being inadvisable. One lawsuit was all they cared for, and it was decided to go on with the business just the same as if the Mets had never been expelled. The Philadelphia Times December 29, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Mullane injunction made permanent

Date Saturday, March 21, 1885
Text

The United States circuit court yesterday directed a decree absolute to be entered in the case of the St. Louis Athletic association vs. Tony J. Mullane, against the defendant. This ends the Mullane case, which has occupied the attention of the courts and base ball readers for nearly a year. The victory is a decided one for Mr. Lucas, but the conclusion of the litigation has been reached at too late a day to enable him to reap the full advantages of it. The suit was originally brought to the June term of the state circuit court, where Judge Horner immediately granted a temporary restraining order, forbidding Mullane to play with the Toledo club while under contract with the St. Louis Union association club. It would have been possible for the Toledo club to have had an immediate hearing of the case on its merits by filing a motion to set the restraining order aside. In fact, as we are informed, this is the usual practice. But the Toledo club and Tony refused to take this course, preferring to dodge the issue. They had the case removed to the United Stated court, and as that court was in vacation from June until September, the case could not be heard. As soon as possible Mr. Lucas’ attorneys called it up, when Tony’s attorneys withdrew from the case, the Toledo club having lost its interest in him on account of the trick he played it in signing with the Cincinnati club after the Toledos had sold him to Von der Ahe. A temporary decree against the defendant was then entered, and yesterday this was made final. In the meantime and almost immediately after the suit ws originally brought here another action was brought against Tony in Cincinnati to restrain him from playing in Ohio, the American association having three cities in that state, Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati, where the Toledo club would have to play. The temporary injunction was granted by the state court, but the case, as in this city, was removed to the United States court, and Tony’s lawyers filed a motion to set aside the injunction against him. This, the court, Judge Baxter, at once granted, without hearing from the St. Louis Union club’s attorneys. Afterwards he consented to hear arguments on a motion to set aside his ruling, but dismissed them with the now famous ruling that “base ball was too trivial a matter to take up the time of the court.” In vain it was urged that base ball was a business in which millions of dollars were invested, that hundreds of persons made it their livelihood, that it attracted the attention of thousands of persons in every large city in the United States, and that it was every bit as respectable as any theatrical or other exhibition business. The judge, whose experience of base ball had been limited to corner-lot games, decided that the players and the clubs had no rights he was bound to respect. The case is still pending there, but it will be soon disposed of. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican March 21, 1885

A decree pro confesso having been heretofore entered in the United States Circuit Court in the case of the St. Louis Athletic Association against Tony Mullane, the temporary restraining order was made permanent today. This disables Mullane from playing with any club in this State until he has purged himself of the contempt of court with which he was charged by playing after the temporary order was granted. Chicago Tribune March 21, 1885

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mullane precedent on released players

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

Since the decision in the Mullane case, which is believed to be a precedent for similar cases, it is the unwritten law of the profession to respect such transactions as the Toledo-St. Louis, Columbus-Allegheny and Cleveland-Brooklyn affairs, although they do not come within the strict interpretation of the terms of the National Agreement or the instructions under it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NL does not reinstate players

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting] The League, to the great chagrin of H. V. Lucas, of St. Louis, positively declined to reinstate any of its blacklisted players. This puts an end to all further hope of the contract jumpers getting back into the League and shows the ball players that they cannot do as they please in violation of the League constitution and laws.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NL tries to amend the National Agreement

Date Wednesday, January 21, 1885
Text

This situation of affairs developed a little plan concocted at the league meeting, which, if successful, would have insured Lucas' admission to the League despite Von der Ahe's protest and without any infraction of National Agreement rules. This scheme was to amend the seventh section of the National Agreement by inserting after the words “any party hereto located” the words “except that the preceding provisions of this section shall not apply to the St. Louis Athletic Association of St. Louis, Mo.” … The resolution to amend was unanimously passed at the League meeting, and was mailed Monday by President Young to all the American Association and Eastern League clubs, it requiring a two-thirds vote of each Association member of the National Agreement to pass the amendment. The St. Louis Club at once became aroused to its danger, and Mr. Von der Ahe quickly took steps to defeat the proposed amendment. He wired each American Association club as follows:--”Do not vote for amendment to National Agreement until you hear from me. Letter now on the way.” Then he at once set out for Cleveland, where Mr. Byrne, of Brooklyn, was staying, waiting to sign the Cleveland men. President McKnight was also there to be present at the signing. These gentlemen consulted, and the result was the following dispatch:

Cleveland, O, Jan. 15.--N. E. Young, president National League of Base Ball Clubs, Washington, D.C.:--Three clubs of the American Association have already voted against the proposed amendment to the National Agreement. This settles it on our part. H. D. McKnight, Prest.

As the dispatch states this settles the proposed amendment, two negative votes sufficing to defeat it. The clubs which voted in the negative are Brooklyn, St. Louis and no doubt Cincinnati, which club had just cause to be apprehensive if such a method of evading the provisions of the National Agreement should be success.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Olympic Club holds a fund raiser

Date Wednesday, March 18, 1885
Text

The Olympic Base Ball Club, in order to secure financial aid and to place the club on a firm footing for 1885, have secured the Chestnut Street Theatre Monday evening, March 23, the attraction being the successful comedy “Mamzelle.” Tickets for the benefit can be had of the following: Wm. P. Stilz, 993 North Fifth street: Ben Cake; 45 North Front street; Chas. E. Holliweill, 125 South Third street, and Walt Gilbert, 121 South Eleventh street, or any of the club members.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Olympic of Philadelphia propose an amateur city league

Date Wednesday, January 28, 1885
Text

The only proper way for amateur clubs to form associations is to do so in their respective cities and vicinity. This idea was broached by a member of the Olympic Club, which, by the way, is the oldest ball organization in exist5ence, for a series of games to be played by the Young America, Riverton, P. R. R. Club, Tioga and Olympic, and for the formation of an association, with rules, &c., to govern same. The idea was received favorably and with the desire to push it for the season of 1885. Such an organization could be made permanent and very effective, as Philadelphia contains some very strong, strictly amateur clubs, each being the possessor of enclosed grounds. … [signed] Olympic Ball Club. The Sporting Life January 28, 1885

a German newspaper baseball departments

Among the new features in base ball circles in Cincinnati next season will be a regular base ball department in our leading German paper, the Volksfreund. The Sporting Life January 28, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Philadelphia baseball reporters

Date Wednesday, July 8, 1885
Text

The reporters of this city held a meeting at the Journalists’ Club yesterday and made arrangements for their base ball match with the New York reporters on the Polo Grounds in New York to-morrow. The team selected is as follows: John Norris, the Record, l.f.; R. Fitzgerald, the Item, 2b; Thomas S. Dando, Sporting Life, 3b; H. S. Fogel, the Press, s.s.; W. R. Lester, the Record, 1b; P. F. Nash, the News, c. f.; H. H. Diddlebock, The Times, r.f.; Samuel Jones, Associated Press, c.; J. J. Rooney, the Record, p., F. C. Richter, Sporting Life, and F. Hough, North American, substitutes.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Saratoga agreement superceded

Date Saturday, October 17, 1885
Text

[reporting on the joint conference committee meeting of 10/16 – 10/17] This [10/16] was the day set apart for the annual meeting of the National League and the American Association of Base Ball Clubs. This time ofr the league meeting was fixed for 10:30 A.M., at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, but prior to that hour the joint special committees of the league and the American association held a session in order, if possible, to modify the Saratoga agreement of Aug. 24, so that it would meet the approbation of both associations. This they failed to do, and the time for holding the league meeting was postponed until 4 o'clock in the afternoon. During the interval the committee was in constant sessions with many intermissions for consultations with representatives of various club, and by 4 o'clock there was absolutely nothing left of the Saratoga agreement, so many had been the modifications, and the committee then announced a further adjournment until 7:30 in the evening. In the mean time, still further troubles had developed, and, as it was impossible to settle these without much more deliberation, it was finally decided to adjourn the meeting until 10:30 on Saturday morning.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the balk rule a dead letter

Date Wednesday, September 2, 1885
Text

The League umpires have received instructions from Secretary Young to strictly enforce the balk rule, which has remained a dead letter up to Aug. 24. It is about time some attention was paid to this rule.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball editor of the Missouri Republican; reporter

Date Wednesday, April 29, 1885
Text

[A letter in defense of Newton Crane from John W. Kearney, Base Ball Editor, Missouri Republican]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the case for the overhand delivery in the AA

Date Wednesday, June 3, 1885
Text

It seems to be the popular verdict that the rule restricting the American Association pitchers to the delivery of the ball at a level with or below the shoulder must go. It certainly has lost any favor that it may formerly have had in the West. In nearly all the games played this season it has been a constant bone of contention, and a growing germ of ill-feeling between the captains of the respective clubs, the captains and umpires, the umpires and the audiences, and a signal for journalistic outbursts all along the line. In the first place it's useless. Even though it were rigidly enforced by all the umpires (which decidedly is not the case) it could not be satisfactory in its general results, because in a measure it defeats the very thing it aims to accomplish, viz.: --Increase the batting and diminish the pitcher's effectiveness. A pitcher who is being continually “called down” by the umpire and “guyed” by the audience can accomplish no accurate work; he will pitch wold or weaken, or become nervous and lose his “gauge” to such a degree that the opponents gain an unfair advantage. No lover of the sport enjoys a game replete with wild pitches and bases on balls, and nothing conduces so much to that as the fear on the pitcher's part of getting his arm too high. Over a year's actual trial has proved this, and a careful observance in all states and emergencies of the game has put beyond reasonable question the fact that this restriction works to general disadvantage and dissatisfaction. Let the opinion of every honest, experienced player be solicited, and see if it be not largely condemned. Let the pitcher deliver as under last season's League rules and give the batter double room at the plate. This will work the desired result and meet with as much satisfaction as can be expected when dealing with the professional and non-professional, the skilled and the unskilled, the learned and ignorant public. No one can enjoy a game when the objective point of the eyesight is the pitcher's arm and the objective sound is the umpire's decision on the legality or illegality of the delivery. No wonder the audiences howl.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the championship of the United States

Date Sunday, October 11, 1885
Text

The two clubs are to play a series of games for and a purse of $1,000, to be divided among the players of the winning team. Chicago Tribune October 11, 1885

The second game for the championship of the world between the Chicago and St. Louis clubs... Chicago Tribune October 16, 1885

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the cost of the Brooklyn-Cleveland deal

Date Wednesday, January 28, 1885
Text

Mr. Byrne would not talk about the cost of the Cleveland deal, but a prominent official said to me:--”The Cleveland deal cost the Brooklyn Club about $9,000. This included advance money. Of this amount less than four thousand dollars was paid to the Cleveland directors.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the death of David Reid

Date Wednesday, May 13, 1885
Text

Mr. Dave L. Reid, secretary of the St. Louis Browns and sporting editor of the Post-Dispatch, died suddenly in St. Louis on the evening of the 3d, with paralysis of the heart, at the age of 36 years. His death will be sincerely mourned by a large number of his friends. His writings on sporting subjects have always been recognized as correct and true. Resolutions have been drafted expressing regret at losing so valuable a friend. The club wore crepe at Pittsburg in memoriam of the departed companion. His remains were taken to New York for interment.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the demise of the Beacon Club?

Date Wednesday, November 11, 1885
Text

The Beacon nine has always been a resort for college graduates who won notoriety on their base ball teams, and has thus had the cream of the resident intercollegiate players. I am afraid that we are to enjoy the excellent ball playing of the Beacons no more. It is no small task to look after all the dates and business arrangements of a club which plays out of town almost every Saturday during the summer. For a long time George Sawyer has acted as captain and manager for the Beacons, and has devoted much time to looking after the interests of the club. He can no longer take the time from his law practice, and consequently, the Beacons are without a manager. Then, too, the genial third baseman of the nine, Mr. Welch, will play ball no more, and with these two men gone the team is somewhat broken up. What plan will be adopted for next year is not yet decided upon. .. They want to play ball some more, and they have one man among their number who could manage the team. Harry Hall is the one they look to now that George Sawyer retires, but he is in the South. Should he return next spring it is possible that he will take up the reins and run the club. He has money and leisure, and would be just the man for the place.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of a new ball on batting

Date Monday, July 6, 1885
Text

[Baltimore vs. St. Louis 7/5/1885] Not until the ninth inning did they [the Baltimores] succeed in scoring. After the Browns had been given their half of the inning the Baltimores demanded a new ball, as the one with which they had been playing ripped. The Browns objected, but the new ball was allowed, and the result was the visitors batted Caruther’s delivery to all sections of the field, earning four runs before they were retired. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican July 6, 1885 [They needed seven to tie.]

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of the new pitching rules; batter closer to the plate; hint at the set position

Date Sunday, April 5, 1885
Text

Under the present [i.e. new] rule the forward foot of the pitcher must remain motionless while in the act of delivering the ball. Previous to this season all pitchers have been allowed to move about the box, so long as they kept within its prescribed limits. The weight of the pitcher is now brought upon his forward foot and this necessarily produces a strain upon him which detracts from his speed and in many instances spoils his effectiveness. Curve balls will not bother the League batsmen so much as formerly. He now stands closer to the plate and is within reach of any ball which comes within one foot of the home plate. The Philadelphia Times April 5, 1885

The new pitching rule adopted by the National League does not give the satisfaction that was expected. Keeping the forward foot stationary detracts from the speed and exhausts the strength, and all the League pitchers who have done steady work are laid up with sore backs and are covered with strengthening plasters. An effort is to be made to change the rule, and it will probably receive a unanimous vote. Harry Wright favors a change. He says it is impossible for any pitcher to stand the tremendous strain that the new rule requires. He favors a change to keep the back foot stationary in order to allow the pitcher to take a stride and to do away with the present great exertion required of the pitcher. The Philadelphia Times April 19, 1885

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the fifty cent admission in St. Louis

Date Wednesday, July 8, 1885
Text

The attendance at the [St. Louis] League grounds during the past week, though an improvement on the previous week, is not what it ought to have been. It is not the fault of Mr. Lucas or of his nine, but rather that of the League for insisting upon a fifty-cent tariff. At twenty-five cents in place of a thousand the average would have been four or five thousand, and in place of receipts averaging less than five hundred dollars per game the result would have shown from a thousand to twelve hundred dollars from each day's contest. On Saturdays, at twent7-five cents admission, this town is always good for from eight to twelve thousand. Harry Wright says that there is no doubt but that the same exception should be made here that is made in Philadelphia, for, to use his own words, “the St. Louis League Club is in just the same position that the Phillies were in '83, when the Athletics were winning right along and playing at twenty-five cents, while the League tariff was stiff at fifty cents.” The Sporting Life July 8, 1885

President Lucas has asked the other League clubs to consent to the 25-cent tariff, with 40 per cent of the gate receipts to the visiting club, as is done at Philadelphia. Buffalo also wants this privilege. Detroit, probably now with a winning team, is satisfied to let the rate remain as it is. The Sporting Life July 15, 1885

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the flat bat 2

Date Saturday, January 17, 1885
Text

The flat bat idea is not so much of an experiment as is generally supposed. The scheme has been tried and found to work well. It is not designed for the thoughtless sluggers–men who hit with their whole strength at every ball pitched them–but for the scientific batter who tries to place his hits. Farrar, of the Philadelphia Club, used a bat that was flattened on one side on the last Western trip of the team last season, and made twenty-six base hits in the sixteen games played, gaining a batting average for the trip of .419. He pained the bat carefully after doctoring it, and the trick was not discovered. The surface should not be made perfectly flat, as that would leave bothersome edges, and also hurtfully lessen the weight, but just enough should be taken off to remove the exact roundness–say one-quarter of an inch. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the flat bat not popular

Date Wednesday, April 22, 1885
Text

The flat bat does not seem to recommend itself to the majority of players. It does seem like a kind of a barn door arrangement, anyhow. All these experiments are the proper thing, however, and can be adopted or discarded by mutual consent at any time during the season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the flat bats; a doctored bat

Date Tuesday, January 27, 1885
Text

Harry Wright says that every batsman who tries to “place a ball” will flatten his bat at the end this coming season. Farrar of the Philadelphia Club, when he went West with the team last September, flattened his bat and then painted the bat to hide it, and he made twenty-six base hits in sixteen games by it. All that is needed is to take off enough wood on one side, within a foot of the end of the bat, so as to take off the roundness., quoting the Philadelphia Item

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the graded salary proposal; classification; $2000 limit

Date Sunday, October 18, 1885
Text

[reporting on the joint conference committee meeting of 10/16 – 10/17] Caylor proposed to the meeting that a grade be made, and that pitchers and catchers be paid $1800, out-fielders $1700 and in-fielders $1600. The delegates from Louisville and Baltimore favored this mode of fixing salaries, while the Athletic delegates favored the plan of letting the players get as much as they could. The League men, however, favored a limit of $2000, and they will make an effort to have their point carried.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the grand division of players

Date Wednesday, December 9, 1885
Text

Everybody knows what Detroit got, but the public is not so generally informed on what Philadelphia's plum in the pie is. This is the entire deal in a few words. Detroit secures the “big four” intact, and releases Wood, Casey and McGuire to the Philadelphias, who also get Farrell, of the Providences. President Soden buys the Providence franchise; releases Farrell to Philadelphia; transfers Radbourn and Daily to the Bostons and holds the remainder of the Grays to dispose of as he sees fit. This is the sum and substance of the whole thing and I had if from President Soden yesterday that the stories which are going the rounds in regard to the signing of the various other men are all false. The Sporting Life December 9, 1885

Milwaukee refuses to join the League; Pittsburgh declines

Milwaukee flatly refused to enter under the Sunday restriction and the 50-cent rate. This left but Indianapolis open, and as that city is not considered by the League committee as promising, although willing to enter, another desperate effort was made to secure Pittsburg. A final appeal was made to Mr. Nimick to join the League, and Spalding went in person to Nimick and used all his persuasive powers. He offered the vacancy to Pittsburg at the latter's own terms, without a cent of expenditures, and with every assistance possible in the way of securing strong players. Mr. Spalding offered to bring Messrs. Day and Soden, of the committee, to Pittsburg to ratify any compact that might be made and also intimated that all hopes of Brooklyn entering had not yet vanished. It was a sore temptation and Nimick went expressly to Brooklyn last week to confer with the Brooklyn management. When he learned, however, that Brooklyn had finally and fixedly determined to stay in the American Association he made up his mind at once and irrevocably declined Spalding's offer, which determination was ratified at the annual meeting of the Pittsburg Club last week. The Sporting Life December 9, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the lease on the Polo Grounds

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

The management of the Metropolitan Exhibition Company yesterday [1/5] signed a new lease of the Polo Grounds for five years. Heretofore they could get it from year to year from the Manhattan Polo Company, but as the lease of the grounds has run out, the Exhibition Company got it direct from the owners at one-half what they have heretofore paid for it.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the list of black-listed players

Date Sunday, February 22, 1885
Text

George Bradley, who left the Athletics to come to the Cincinnati Unions.

Fred Dunlap, left the Clevelands to go to the St. Louis Unions.

Em. Gross, left the Philadelphias to join the Chicago Unions.

Jack Gleason, left the Louisvilles to join the St. Louis Unions.

George (Orator) Shafer, left the Buffalos to joint the St. Louis Unions.

Hugh Dailey, left the Clevelands to join the Chicago Unions.

“Buck” Weaver, left the Louisvilles to join the Keystone Unions.

Levis and Phelan, left the Peorias to join the Baltimore Unions. Cincinnati Enquirer February 22, 1885

holdouts

Hines and Gilligan, of the Providence, and Farrar, Andrews and Manning, of the Philadelphias, are the malcontents in the League who have not yet signed contracts for the coming season. They are not satisfied with the salary offered them, but they will have to play for whatever the managers choose to give them or lay off this season. There is no Union Association to help them out of the dilemma, and next season their situation will be worse as regards salaries. Cincinnati Enquirer February 22, 1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the list of contract breakers signed by the UA

Date Sunday, February 22, 1885
Text

The list of expelled men makes a more formidable array than those on the black.-list. Although the Union Association took no 0parti n the disreputable business of contract-breaking until the season was half over, and only then when they were forced to by the outrageous attack of the National agreement followers, sill they have more expelled than black-listed men.

The first contract-jumper employed by the Union Association was Boyle, who left the Actives, of Reading, Penn, to join the St. Louis Unions. About this time Moore and Barnie McLaughlin left the same club to accept engagements with the National and Kansas City Clubs, respectively. This broke up the Active team, but in the face of this fact these men were reinstated by the Eastern League the other day. The list of men expelled for jumping contracts to joint the Union Association is made up of:

Sweeny, Dolan and Rowe, of the St. Louis Union Club.

McCormick, Briody and Glasscock, of the Cincinnati Unions.

Shaw, of the Boston Unions.

Kid Baldwin, Jerry Sweeny and Decker, of the Kansas City Unions

Atkinson, of the Chicago Unions.

Powell and Fulmer, of the Nationals, of Washington

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the list of contract-breakers from the UA

Date Sunday, February 22, 1885
Text

Tony Mullane jumped contract with the St. Louis Unions to Toledo.

Meinke jumped contract with the Baltimore Unions to go to Detroit.

Ed Hengle and Billy Foley jumped Chicago Unions' contract to go to St. Paul.

Lou Dickerson and Bill Taylor jumped St. Louis Unions' contracts to join the Baltimores and Athletics, respectively.

Billy Geer jumped contract with Keystones to joint the Brooklyns.

Thos. Gunning jumped his contract with Chicago Unions to go to Boston, League.

Mike Mansell jumped contract with the St. Louis Unions to go to Pittsburg.

Sullivan and Colgan jumped their contracts with Baltimore Unions to go to Pittsburg.

Larry Corcoran jumped the Chicago Unions to go to Chicago League.

Scott jumped the St. Louis Unions to go to Detroit.

Tom Bond jumped the Boston Unions to go to Indianapolis.

Trick McSorley jumped contract with the Chicago Unions to go to Peoria.

Pinkney jumped two contracts with the Baltimore Unions to go to Cleveland and Peoria.

All these cases of contract-breaking occurred last season. This winter, while the Union Association was still in existence the National agreement people began their disreputable business again. Kreig, under contract to Kansas City, was stolen by Cleveland. The Philadelphia League team slipped in and robbed the same club of Ganzel. The St. Louis American team took Robinson after he had also signed with Ted Sullivan. On top of this Myers and Porter, of the Milwaukee, were induced to break contract by the Philadelphia and Brooklyn teams. This out to show conclusively to every unpartisan mind just who is responsible for the wholesale disregard of contracts last season.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the membership of the Beacon Club

Date Wednesday, March 4, 1885
Text

So long have the Beacons been maintaining this high standard that they have become a regular institution in the base ball world here, and they are second only to the Bostons in popularity and reputation. There is not a player on the team who is not a student, a member of some profession or a business man. Nearly all of their games are played on Saturdays, as they are not at leisure on other days.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the merits of newspaper reporters as official scorers

Date Wednesday, March 4, 1885
Text

There has been considerable discussion in meeting of the League as to the wisdom of the appointment of newspaper men as official scorers, as by their publication of the scores the returns which otherwise would be known only to the scorer and the secretary of the League until their publication in the official guide, as seen by the players, who are afforded an opportunity to criticise them and complain of injustice and favoritism, which may result in the impairment of the harmony and efficiency of the team. On the other hand, many of the newspaper men of the country have been amateur or semi-professional players in the past, and are perhaps as well qualified to score a game as any other person of good judgment who may not have been a player. They are compelled to educate themselves in the mysteries of the game at all events, as base ball has taken a firm hold upon the American people, and it is has become a necessity to publish full scores and ample descriptions of contests to satisfy the public demand.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Chicago grounds

Date Wednesday, February 25, 1885
Text

After many vexatious delays the club has secured a five-years' lease of the block bounded by Congress, Harrison, Throop, and Loomis strees. The block has a frontage of 660 feet on Congress street and 400 feet on Loomis street, and is at present unoccupied save for a little one-story cottage, which will be removed from its present site within the next few days. The Van Buren street cars pass within a block of the grounds, and the Madison and Ogden avenue cars within five blocks. Chicago Tribune February 25, 1885

\

the effect of the UA on player discipline

In 1884 all of the League and American clubs found it difficult, if not impossible, to bring any strong coercive laws to bear on their players in the way of penalties for slighted field services or for acts of insubordination; the stumbling block in the way of the application of strict club rules in punishing violations thereof being the existence of the rival Union Association, which kept its doors wide open for the admission of all discontented League or American players of note who desire to join its ranks. The result of having such an association to go to in case of need was demoralizing in the extreme on the clubs of the League and American Association, the latter finding it difficult to discipline their men, when occasion required, without running the risk of obliging them to kick out of the traces and got o clubs where they could do better, and also act pretty much as they pleased. This year all this is changed, and in the place of the lax observance of club rules for temperance habits and the nullification of laws to enforce team work in the ranks, all the League and American clubs now have the power to enforce every rule, and to insist upon the carrying out of every club law exacted for the preservation of club discipline, and of every rule made to support the system of team work in the field. St. Louis Post-Dispatch February 28, 1885

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new National Agreement adopted; increased reserve; waivers; salary cap

Date Wednesday, October 21, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL/AA joint meeting 10/17] The National League and American Association, in joint meeting, have just approved the new National Agreement reported by the Joint Conference Committee. [The text of the agreement follows, including:] [minor leagues excluded] [increasing the reserve to twelve per club]

[the waiver system, to wit:] Upon release of player from contract with any club member of either association hereto, the services of such players shall at once be subjected to the acceptance of the other clubs of such association expressed in writing to secretary thereof for a period of ten days after notice of such release, and thereafter if said services be not so accepted said player may negotiate and contract with any other club. The secretary of such association shall send notice to the secretary of the other association of said player's release on date thereof, and said acceptance of his services at or before the expiration of ten days notice.

[salary cap:] No club shall pay to any of its players for one season's services a salary in excess of $2,000, nor shall any club employing player for any portion of season pay said player for his services at rate in excess of said maximum salary, nor advance payment for such services prior to 1st day of April in any year, except a sum of money in the month of March sufficient to pay for the transportation of such player from his home to the city where his club is located; provided that any player to whom the provisions of this agreement applies, whose services are required by any club member of the Association, shall be entitled to receive for such at least $1,000. The Sporting Life October 21, 1885

Under the new agreement the two great associations will have full control of their players at all times. A player released by a club will not be eligible to join a club of another association until he gets a complete release from the organization of which his club is a member. This is a new scheme of the League, by which they hope to prevent a club of the American Association from strengthening itself at the expense of a weaker League club, as has been the case on several occasions. The Philadelphia Times October 13, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new pitching rules a throwback to 1868

Date Saturday, March 14, 1885
Text

The new pitching rule can hardly be called progressive; it is rather a return to the style in vogue in 1868, when Dick McBride, Tom Pratt, Martin and Harry Wright were the favorite pitchers, and when heavy batting and large scores were the rule and not the exception. “It was hard work pitching with the feet upon the ground in those days,” said Harry Wright, “and I remember that my back was nearly broke before a game was half-finished.” The League adopted the new rule in obedience to the demand of the public for better batting. The Philadelphia Times March 14, 1885

Eastern League finances; threat to withdraw from the National Agreement

“Why, they dare not withdraw from the agreement, “ said a prominent member of the Chicago club yesterday. “They are paying their players salaries ranging from $800 to $1,200, while we pay ours from $1,200 to $3,000. Let them come any such game as that [withdrawing from the national agreement] and the National League will break them at the opening of the season by buying all their best players. When it comes to fight, it is the sheerest nonsense for any organization or combination of organizations to do battle with the league. There will be but one organization in Baltimore this season, and that will be the American team, and for reasons which they clearly realize the Eastern league will not, in my opinion, attempt a withdrawal.” Chicago Tribune March 15, 1885

[reporting on the Eastern League special meeting] After a long discussion the meeting decided that the Eastern League should take the position that the disbanding of the Monumental Club last season did not deprive it of the right to locate a club in Baltimore this year. The Monumental Club, of Baltimore, was then unanimously admitted to membership. The Sporting Life March 18, 1885

[from an interview of McKnight] Mr. McKnight stated that at the meeting of the Arbitration Committee held in New York last nOvember, the opinion had prevailed that the Eastern League had disbanded, but Secretary Diddlebock came before the meeting and explained plans that he had for its reorganization and named a number of cities containing clubs desiring to enter, including the seven which are now members and several other Eastern cities. The committee thought the prospects were bright for the new Eastern League, and advised Mr. Diddlebock to go to work, but declined to permit a club in Baltimore. He was perfectly satisfied then, and expected to take Hartford or New Bedford for his eighth club. Since he failed to get one of those cities, he thinks he should be allowed to bring to light last Year's Monumental Club, but the Arbitration Committee had amended the national Agreement, cutting out the clause permitting that club. They also passed a resolution that if the Eastern League showed six good clubs on April first, they should be continued in the place of last year's Eastern League. They have only two of the same clubs and have no right to claim the privileges of last season's League except through the courtesy of the other members of the National Agreement. The Sporting Life March 25, 1885

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the obstacle of the fifty cent tariff

Date Wednesday, September 30, 1885
Text

In the East three cities are mentioned for Providence's place—Brooklyn, Washington and Baltimore. Brooklyn will remain in the American Association; put that down for a fact. Washington must get into either one or the other organization. It's a matter of life or death, but would prefer to go into the American Association, if possible, and a trade may be made with Baltimore. There are certain parties in the latter city anxious to have a League club located there, and if a good team could be secured it is not at all impossible that Barnie might be persuaded to enter the scheme and throw up the American franchise in favor of Washington. The great bugbear of the backers in either city is the 50 cent tariff. If that were reduced or the price of admission left optional with the home club, as is the case in Philadelphia, it is believed that the League could have their pick, not only in the East but in the West. Whether any such concession will ever be made by the League is a matter of doubt, as the League has always maintained that the rate is only commensurate with the exhibition given, and that one distinctive mark of superiority over all other base ball organizations has been and is the ability to exact and command this higher tribute from the public.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the parity argument for six clubs

Date Wednesday, December 30, 1885
Text

Those who argue that the reduction of the National Base Ball League membership to six clubs is a confession of weakness on the part of that historic organization will find themselves mistaken. It is, on the contrary, a proof of strength, for it shows that the policy of the League is actuated by sound business principles. To support base ball under the present high rate of expense a liberal public patronage is indispensable. Now if any one thing is more certain than another in base ball management it is that the public will not patronize one-sided contests; they will not pay to see strong clubs win games from weak clubs. They care nothing about the number of clubs in the League or Association; what they want to see and will pay to see is a series of close and exciting contests. Given six clubs so equally matched in playing strength that the result of every game is in doubt until the last inning is played, and the championship is an open question up to the very last of the season and the attendance of great crowds is a certainty. The League has done wisely to drop out two weak clubs and divide their valuable material among the six remaining clubs. The outlook for 1886 is very flattering. Boston, Philadelphia, Detroit and St. Louis will take the field in far better shape than ever before. Chicago and New York will not be materially strengthened; they were strong enough already, and it would have been unwise to have added to their strength at the expense of the other four clubs. It would be better for the American Association if that body had the benefit of a little more of the business ability which characterizes the management of the League., quoting “Spalding's Chicago Organ”

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the permission to play on Staten Island

Date Wednesday, December 23, 1885
Text

[from an interview of George Williams, secretary of the Metropolitan Club] Before Mr. Wiman made the purchase he was assured that games could be played on Staten Island, and a rule was passed at the October meeting held in this city to that effect. To corroborate our statement as regards this matter I have a letter in my possession from President McKnight, of the American Association, dated Nov. 23, 1885, in which he says that all the players ought to sign as soon as possible, and asks some questions regarding the ground on Staten Island, and whether or not the Baltimore and Ohio scheme would interfere without project. It was thought at first that a portion of the base ball ground would be used as the terminus of the new road. This alone ought to set at rest all doubts on this question. The Sporting Life December 23, 1885

a claim that Wiman was a catcher

Mr. Erastus Wiman, who refused to be bounced by the American Association, is a great admirer of all sports, but particularly of base ball, and in his youth was quite a good amateur catcher. The Sporting Life December 23, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher given an assist on a strike out; scoring errors for wild pitches and passed balls

Date Wednesday, March 11, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting of 3/7] Scoring rules were taken up and section 6 of rule 70 was amended to read “an assist shall be given the pitcher when the batsman fails to hit the ball on three strikes, and the same shall also be put in the summary.” This is really crediting a pitcher with an assist which he is not entitled, but it is done to make an uniformity in scoring. Section 7 of rule 70 was amended by adding “wild pitched and passed balls shall be charged to the pitcher and catcher respectively in the error column, and also in the summary.” This, like giving the pitcher an assist, is recorded twice to prevent confusion in the scoring rules. The Sporting Life March 11, 1885

Wild pitches and passed balls shall be charged to the pitcher and catcher respectively in the error column, and shall also appear in the summary. This is a victory for the Boston base ball scorers, as they have been fighting for this change in the rules for some time, but it took considerable fighting before it could be carried. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican March 8, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitching delivery rules and base stealing

Date Wednesday, June 3, 1885
Text

The changing of the rules governing the pitcher's delivery in both League and American Association has improved base-running to a great degree. The pitcher can not now keep a runner hugging first base like he could last season, and unless he is supported by a first-class catcher who is able to throw accurately and swiftly to second, he is at a great disadvantage.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitching rule

Date Sunday, June 7, 1885
Text

At the special meeting of the national league held in New York on the 18th of last April, a strong effort was made by the Providence, Chicago, Detroit, buffalo and St. Louis clubs to have the new pitching rule repealed and the old one restored. This was as strongly opposed by the Boston, New York and Philadelphia clubs, and finally the matter was compromised by the league voting to try the new rule during the month of May, and if, on the 1 st of June, it was found to work to the serious disadvantage of any one club, it should be repealed by a mail vote and the old rule restored. During the discussion, Mr. Allen, the representative of the Providence club, put the question directly to each delegate: “Will you vote for the repeal of the new rule June 1 if the Providence club asks for it?” and each delegate answered in the affirmative. The rule has had a months' trial. The expected increase in batting has not been forthcoming. Fewer men have struck out than under the old rule, and the fielders have been more actively employed, but the hard, terrific work with the bat so confidently, expected as one of the results of the new rule has been a failure. Not only that, but it has been destroyed the effectiveness of some of the best pitchers in the profession, as in the case of Buffinton, Rqdbourn, Galvin, Corcoran and others. It has handicapped, more or less, every pitcher in the league, and consequently the pitchers are unanimously opposed to it, not only on the ground of interfering with their effectivelness, but as too severe a strain on their physical system. No club has suffered from the new rule so severely as the Boston. Not only has one of its pitchers—and one of the best in the country—been seriously handicapped, but the games of the past month have demonstrated that the Boston players cannot do effective batting against the pitching under the new rule, while under the old one their record with the stick was a proud one. Providence has also been badly affected by the new rule, and has never ceased in its opposition to it. Yesterday Mr. Allen came to Boston and consulted with the directors of the Boston club relative to repealing the obnoxious rule. The result was that the Boston directors voted to ask for its repeal, in accordance with the request from Providence. The votes of Boston and Providence were at once transmitted by wire to President Young, and that gentleman will at once, undoubtedly, communicate with the other league clubs, and ask them to vote on the proposition. It is sincerely to be hoped that the new rule will be repealed; it fact, it must be if the league stands by its action at the meeting of April 18. Not to do it is to work harm to a majority of the league clubs, and is to force the best pitchers of the professional out of the organization into that of its rival. The Boston club originated the rule, and now that it has signified its unwillingness and desire to have it repealed, its wishes in this respect should be recognized and favorably considered by its colleagues. That this will be the result may be confidently expected, and in the course of a few days the change be announced.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the price of a private box

Date Wednesday, January 14, 1885
Text

The [Allengheny] club are disposing of the private boxes and season tickets rapidly. The former they get $50 each for, exclusive of the price of the season tickets, and as they hold four persons, the club will derive a snug little revenue therefrom.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the price to permit a minor league club in Baltimore

Date Sunday, February 15, 1885
Text

Barnie wants $3,000 before he will permit Dr. Massmon [sic] to establish an Eastern League in Baltimore. He is not asking one dollar too much.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rise in salaries

Date Wednesday, July 8, 1885
Text

[from a column by “Veteran”] When the American Association was organized in 1882 salaries were at a low ebb and player were glad to get employment at any salary at all, but to what enormous proportions have they now grown? For instance, Comisky, of St. Louis, played for $450 in 1882; in 1885 he gets $3,000, or thereabouts. Wolf, the splendid right fielder of Lousiville, played in 1882 for $36 per month and Browing for $50; each now receives in the neighborhood of $1,800 per season. Tony Mullane signed for $540 in 1882 and $5,000 in 1885. Jack O'Brien, of the Athletics, played for $450 in 1882; in 1885 he gets about $2,200. Jim Keenan got $750 in 1882, and he now receives as much as that per month, if reports speak truly. Swartwood got $600 in 1882 and $1,800 in 1885. I might go on for a long time with similar comparison.s I give these American Association figures, as I am most familiar with them. I expect the League could furnish many similar examples. Even in the League, which until the last two years contained the best palyers and paid the heaviest salaries from $1,200 to $1,500 were considered good salaries to first-class players, pitchers and catchers and the best of batsmen and fielders. Not is is not an uncommon thing for outfielders to get $2,000, and pitchers and catchers from $2,500 to $3,000. Indeed the list of players getting $2,000 to and upward in the League and American Association would be quite a long one. The day when $15,000 per season was considered an exorbitant salary list is not long past, while now a club that cannot show up a salary list of $25,000 is considered a second-class institution. And this extravagance in salaries is not confined to the League and American Association. All the smaller organizations are affected in like manner.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the scramble for the reinstated players

Date Wednesday, May 6, 1885
Text

Notwithstanding the fact that Shaw owes his reinstatement to Boston, and had promised to sign with that club, he refused to abide by his promise and signed with Providence for more money. Legally he was under no obligation to Boston, but morally he was. But what are moral obligations to a contract-jumper?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the transfer of the Mets to Staten Island, the purchase by Wiman; the Mets expelled

Date Wednesday, December 16, 1885
Text

...It appears that at the joint conference meeting in New York, in October, the American Association, at its separate special meeting, was applied to by the Metropolitan Club for permission to play games at Staten Island during the ensuing season, by arrangement with Mr. Wiman, the owner of the Staten Island Ferry and of a pleasure ground at Staten Island. This request seemed harmless enough, and as it was thought that it would inure to the benefit of the club and as the Brooklyn Club had previously been granted permission to play certain of its scheduled games at Coney Island, it was concluded to extend the Mets the privilege asked. Since then it appears that negotiations have been going on between the owners of the Metropolitan Club, whoever they are or were, and Mr. Erastus Wiman, by which the club was to be transferred bag and baggage to Staten Island, thus vacating a territory open alike to the League and American Association, but which once vacated, under the National Agreement, could have been closed forever to the American Association at the option of the New York League Club. The peculiar method of running the Metropolitan Club by its League backers has always been a source of constant annoyance and irritation to the other members of the American Association, so much so that the club has been more than once on the very verge of expulsion. The latest scheme by which the American Association club was to have been set completely into the shade in order to give the New York League Club fulls wing was a little too much, and the very large stock of patience of the American Association clubs was completely exhausted, and it was resolved to dispose of the matter for good and all. With this end in view a special meeting of the delegates was quietly called preliminary to the regular annual meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to consider the advisability of consolidating the offices of president and secretary, and so to consider what action should be taken toward the Metropolitans.

The special meeting was held at the Girard House Monday evening. All the clubs were represented except Louisville and the Metropolitans. The former failed to reach the city until after the meeting was over, but knew of the matters to be considered, and its sentiments thereon where known to the other members. The Metropolitan was not invited at all, as indeed, it has not been to any of the recent special meetings for the reason that the clubs were afraid to trust a club so completely under the domination of a rival organization. President McKnight presided at the special meeting, which was in session three hours, and gave the two knotty questions careful and thorough consideration. The upshot of the matter was that it was decided, under Article XIII, of the Constitution, to amend the Constitution so as to bring about the consolidation of the offices and to drop the Metropolitan Club from membership, substituting the National Club, of Washington. The amendment in each case was carried unanimously, and the matter was then laid over for ratification at the annual meeting on Wednesday. The meeting also decided to apportion the players of the defunct club among such clubs as needed strengthening, and accordingly Lynch, Cushman, Holbert and Reipschlager were assigned to the Nationals; Brady, Nelson and Foster to Baltimore, and Hankinson to Pittsburg. Both Louisville and Brooklyn wanted Orr and Roseman, and it was decided to let the players choose between them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

theatrical replay of a game

Date Wednesday, August 5, 1885
Text

Ormond H. Butler, the well-known ex-umpire and ex-manager of the Alleghenys, now in the theatrical business, has borrowed an idea from our Southern friends. He is now in Chicago negotiating for a downtown theatre or other eligible hall, to report games by telegraph. The stage is to be set in the form of a miniature ball field. Every player is given his position, and every movement of the game is to be shown on the platform, each stage of the game being closely followed. Each ball and strike will be shown, each foul, base hit, home run and every feature of the game enacted. He was to have opened with the Chicago-New York game of yesterday.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Thorner on putting a NL club in Cincinnati

Date Wednesday, September 16, 1885
Text

[from an interview of Justus Thorner] I can give you very little information regarding a League club for next season, although a company of capitalists are ready to back such a club here at any time, and join the League in case a vacancy should occur. There has been a great deal of talk in reference to this matter in the newspapers throughout the country, through which latter medium we find out more of what is going on than through any other direct channel. Directly, we have had no correspondence with any members of the League, nor have any meetings taken place, as reported in several of the eastern papers, but should any club drop out of the League we will be ready to jump into the breach and put a first-class team in the field. In case such a thing should happen, we will rebuild our entire stands and make it a facsimile of the Lucas Union Park in St. Louis, for which we have the plans in our possession. The Sporting Life September 16, 1885

Lucas gives up day to day operations of the Maroons

There was much excitement in base ball circles here [St. Louis] when it was announced that Mr. Lucas had relinquished personal control of the Maroons. That the move was one dictated by wisdom no one can doubt. It has been clearly shown that it is impolitic for the same man to both own and manage a base ball club. The intimacy that naturally exists between a manager and the players tends to create a familiarity that is fatal to discipline. More especially is this true when the president of a club is the manager, for as long as there is no higher tribunal than the manager himself the player is apt to presume u0pon the intimacy that exists between them. On the other hand, when there is a higher “court” to pass upon matters of club discipline the player feels more restraint and conducts himself in a more circumspect manner. This is undoubtedly one of the reasons of Mr. Lucas' retirement. The new managing director, Mr. B. J. Fine, is a railroad man, accustomed to the rigid discipline of his class and able and determined to enforce the same thing in a ball nine. The Sporting Life September 16, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

throwing out a runner forced of his base on a walk

Date Saturday, August 1, 1885
Text

Umpire Sullivan gives a poor excuse for the blunder he made in Philadelphia, in deciding a base runner out, who was forced off his base on balls. Sullivan says the man tried to steal the base before he called the sixth ball, and in consequence thereof he was a base runner; but good common sense would tell the idiot that the runner was entitled to second base the moment he gave the batsman his base on the sixth bad ball.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tim Murnan reporter

Date Wednesday, December 30, 1885
Text

The Boston Times, Tim Murnan's paper, says... The Sporting Life December 30, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tom Pratt building a roller rink

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

Tom Pratt, late of the Keystone Club, has entered into another speculation which we trust will result less disastrously than his Union base ball speculation. He has taken down the fence and grand stand at Keystone Park, and will use the same in the construction of a roller skating rink at Ridge and Columbia avenues. He has associated with him Messrs. Holgate and Serrill. On Saturday he purchased six hundred pairs of roller skates from Reach & Co.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

UA disbands

Date Friday, January 16, 1885
Text

At a meeting held in Milwaukee yesterday, the Union Base-ball Association was formally disbanded and the new Western Association formed. The new association adopted a resolution never to allow any club playing under the management of Lucas of this city or Thorner of Cincinnati to join it. Clubs will be organized in Indianapolis, Toledo, Columbus and St. Paul. Neither Lucas or Thorner were present at the meeting. Mr. Lucas is in Milwaukee to-day. St. Louis Post-Dispatch January 16, 1885

The only teams represented at the meeting of the Union Base-ball Association, held here [Milwaukee] this afternoon [1/15], were those of the Kansas City and Milwaukee. The failure of President Lucas to either appear in person or submit a communication to the association [was] severely criticised, and it was decided to disband the Union and make an attempt to reorganize a new league under the National and American League agreement. The meeting adjourned, subject to the call of the President, A. V. McKim, of Kansas City, having been selected as temporary occupant of that position. Cincinnati Enquirer January 16, 1885

Those present were by no means discouraged, and hoped for the best from the apparent poor aspect. Several plans of reorganization were laid before the meeting, but all rejected. Finally Mr. “Ted” Sullivan of Kansas City, and Director Kipp of Milwaukee were chosen by those present to communicate with the clubs at Toledo, Columbus and Cleveland, and with the clubs of St. Paul and Minneapolis as a joint team for the two cities. They were to sound the views of the members of those clubs as to reorganization and the best mode of it. It was further decided that the new league shall be formed under the “tripartite agreement,” which now governs the national associations. The short meeting was then adjourned subject to the president’s call, to await the result of the correspondence of Messrs. Sullivan and Kipp. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican January 16, 1885

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

UA recruiting clubs

Date Saturday, January 3, 1885
Text

The Unions are sanguine of having an unusually good season. Mr. Lucas has been absent from the city for some time and his mission, as is well known by those on the inside, is in the nature of a tour with Justus Holmer [sic] of Cincinnati, and they are canvassing Toledo, Detroit and Cleveland, it may be in the interests of the Unions, and possibly with a view of consummating their League project. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the pitcher 2

Date Wednesday, August 19, 1885
Text

De France, the latest acquisition to the Southern League staff, gets behind the pitchers to umpire. His novelty does not take well, as foul tips, when exceedingly fine, are often called strikes. De France is exceedingly corpulent, and would be a good specimen for a dime museum to pose as a fat man. When umpiring behind the bat he is exceedingly unfortunate in being hit by fouls and wild pitches, hence his position back of the pitcher.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the pitcher 3

Date Tuesday, September 8, 1885
Text

It is quite possible that next season will see umpires of the league making their decisions from behind the pitcher's box. It has been urged by base-ball professionals that this point offers more advantages to the umpire than the one he now occupies, and a general sort of an agitation in favor of the change will undoubtedly produce an effect—possibly before the season is over. It is urged first that the umpire is not bound by any rule to occupy any special position. It is optional with him whether he stands behind the batter, behind the catcher, on either side of the home plate, or behind the pitcher. The first thing the friends of the new position claim is that it is safer for the umpire. He will not be hit so frequently, and can better judge of the delivery from the fact that he will not be inclined to shut his eyes as he now is when he sees the ball coming. He is in a much better position to watch the play at bases where the finest points for his decision usually arise, and he can determine results with an accuracy that will be much more satisfactory to the players and the spectators. Foul tips can be as easily heard from behind the box as from the position they now hold; and the only seemingly strong point against the idea is that there would be some difficulty in judging of sharp hits close to the foul lines. Friends of the proposed change hold, however, that, by running up quickly, the umpire could reach a point where he could make the decision just as easily as he now can.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire carries extra balls

Date Wednesday, July 15, 1885
Text

In Chicago the umpire starts into the game with a couple of extra balls in his pockets and when a foul tip sends the sheepskin over the fence he merely rolls one of the “extras” to the pitcher and goes right on with the game. The Sporting Life July 15, 1885

Buffalo rumored to disband; Pud Galvin sold to Pittsburgh; Buffalo players refuse to commit to sales

It is now stated authoritatively that the Buffalo Club in the National Base Ball League will disband before to-morrow night. The president of the buffalo has notified the other league presidents of the intention, and has asked for bids for the release of his best men. He offers to release his best players to any other club upon payment of a gross bonus of not less than $5,000. St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 17, 1885

The attempt of the Buffalo club to sell the services of several of its best players, in order to relieve itself of debt, has resulted in the outbreak of more or less ill feeling between the players and the management, and the point has been reached where such men as Brouthers, Richardson and Rowe are said to have determined that they will not bind themselves to go to any club that purchases their release, but when released they will accept the best offers made to them. It is well known that in several instances—notably in the case of the recent Cleveland league club, and latterly of the Indianapolis club—where a club finding itself playing a losing game, and unable to draw a paying patronage at home, or for some other reason, has replenished its treasury by asking for bids for the services of certain players, and the latter, with rare exceptions, have acquiesced in the “deal.” The Buffalo club, finding itself in a precarious financial condition, attempted to avail itself of the same practice. Galvin was sold to the Pittsburg club for a good round sum, and an attempt was made ti dispose of some of the other players in the same manner. Brouthers, Rowe and Richardson were the men most eagerly sought after, and the management was ready to receive offers for their services. It is said that a representative of the Philadelphia club went to buffalo and sought an interview with the players named, but when the terms upon which the directors would release them became known they were so fabulous that the Philadelphia agent would not agree to them. It is represented by Buffalo parties that, on learning of the large sum which the management demanded for their release, Brouthers, Richardson and Rowe determined to command their own services, make their own terms, and do nothing beyond playing an honest game of ball that would enrich the club treasury. It is further reported, on Buffalo authority, that the club management, finding itself blocked in its efforts to fill its depleted treasury by the sturdy independence of its three best players, has determined to resort to retaliatory measures, which means that a decision has been reached to carry on the club to the end, and at the close of the present season reserve the players mentioned, and keep them on the reserve list till just prior to the opening of next season, when the club will collapse, and the players be thrown upon the market after the principal clubs of the country have engaged their men for the season. If this report is true, and the Buffalo management is up to any such scheme, it will avail nothing detrimental to the interests of the players mentioned. At the very hour that either Brouthers, Gore or Richardson are at liberty to engage with any club outside of Buffalo, and at whatever stage of the season, they will not have to wait long for most tempting offers from the principal clubs in the country. Individually or collectively, they would prove a tower of strength to any organization. Boston Herald July 17, 1885

The sensation of the week was the release by the Buffalo Club of James Galvin, our best pitcher, who has been with the club for years, and who is generally regarded as one of the best pitchers in the League. He was released to Pittsburg for a consideration, variously estimated from $600 to $1,500, and will be eligible to play with that club July 22. the release caused the greatest surprise and rumors were rife that the club would dispose of the rest of its players and disband before the second Eastern trip became due. The directors of the club denied this, however, and gave as a reason for Galvin's release that his work, as well as that of nearly the entire team, had not been satisfactory, and that it was thought best to let Galvin go and such others as could be advantageously disposed of, and finish the season with such material as could be picked up.

Let the directors say what they may, there can be no reason to doubt that disbandment was intended, and that the plan was only defeated through circumstances. In the first the attempted sale of the players was bunglingly managed, and in the second place the players upset all calculations by refusing to become a party to any deal.

From all that can be gleaned the directors of the club sent out notices to the other League club presidents that the best part of the team was open for bids, and accordingly Messrs. Reach, of the Philadelphia Club, and Messrs. Soden and Billings, of the Boston Club, together with some other base ball notables, were early on hand to make a dicker, and telegrams poured in from other clubs. Richardson was the man wanted by the Philadelphia Club, Myers was wanted by the Pittsburgs to catch Galvin, and the Boston Club wanted Rowe, Brouthers and probably one or two others. However, these three players were most in demand. The home club only wanted the earth for the release of the men; in fact, would name no figures, but preferred to let the other clubs bid, hoping by this means to run up the bids to the very highest figures obtainable. Just at this point, however, an unforeseen and insurmountable obstacle arose and the Buffalo management found that their scheme for replenishing their treasury would have to fall through because they could not deliver the goods. The men refused to be sold off to the highest bidders. They said in effect that rather than be the source of any such income to the Buffalo Club they would play the season out there, even as a loss to themselves. They would give no pledges to any one, and when the managers found themselves thus balked in their plans their only recourse was to proclaim a directly opposite policy and say that they never meant to disband; that they were simply satisfied that certain of their men were not doing their best and would be released for a good sum, and that they certainly could do no worse, and perhaps better, with those whom they would hire to take their places. So the directors from abroad departed with their cash still in their pockets and the directors at home remained at home with their hoped-for cash still out of their pockets. The Sporting Life July 22, 1885

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire uniforms 2

Date Wednesday, July 29, 1885
Text

A league umpire ought to wear a dress befitting his position. The appearance of the individual who has been officiating in this city of late is enough to disgrace any ball ground.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire wearing a chest protector

Date Wednesday, September 2, 1885
Text

Gaffney wished to retire from umpiring on account of being so frequently struck with the ball, a blow in the chest from a foul tip having a short time ago brought on a hemorrhage. He wears a thick pad now and feels safer.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Umpiring a throwback game; high and low balls, umbrella

Date Sunday, July 5, 1885
Text

[reporting a throwback game of old Athletics vs. old Atlantics 7/4/1885] The contest was marked by old-time plays and enthusiasm. Lysander P. Pratt, a brother of Tom Pratt, the old Atlantic pitcher, was selected as umpire and he performed his duties in the old regulation style, calling for “knee-high” and “hip-high” balls and calling “time” while he requested someone in the crowd to accommodate him with a cigar. Mr. Pratt also wanted an umbrella, but there was not one on the ground. The Philadelphia Times July 5, 1885

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

uniform scoring; wild pitches and passed balls and bases on balls; Boston reporters

Date Wednesday, January 7, 1885
Text

[a circular by Boston baseball reporters, signed by E. T. Stevens of the Herald; W. D. Sullivan of the Globe; E. H. Talbot of the Journal; B. L. Beal of the Journal; J. C. Morse of the Courier; and E. H. Farnsworth of the Post] It seems desirable that, in League cities at least, the newspapers which devote considerable space to base ball should publish scores on a uniform basis, all either crediting or omitting certain errors in the error column. According to League rules, passed balls and wild pitches are not charged against the players making them in the error column, but are printed in the summary following the tabulated score; they are also included by the secretary of the League in making up his averages, both of teams and of individuals. They are undoubtedly errors, since they are plays on which a runner makes one or more bases, while perfect play would have held him where he was. The principal [sic], and, it is believed, the only reason for the present manner of recording them is that the score may show distinctly fielding errors.

The members of the Boston press, each on his own account, have for several years charged to the pitcher wild pitches and (with one exception) bases on balls, and to the catcher passed balls in the error column, also giving a credit to the pitcher in the assist column for every time that the batsman fails to hit the ball on the third strike, these statistics being given as well in the summary in order that the reader may see how many of the errors were so-called battery errors. At a meeting of the base ball scorers of this city, held recently, it was voted to adopt a uniform system of scoring, as follows: The assist column to include the number of times the batsmen fail to hit the third strike, credited to the pitcher; the error column to include the number of wild pitches and bases on balls, charged to the pitcher, and the number of passed balls charged to the catcher; the summary to include, under the caption of “struck out – By –“ (the name of the pitcher), the number of batsmen failing to hit the ball on the third strike off his delivery, and the wild pitches and passed balls. Objection has been made to the plan, that it apparently does injustice to the pitcher and catcher, in that they have many more chances for errors than any other players, but this objection will not hold when it is remembered that the comparisons of a season's work are classified, i.e., pitchers with pitchers, catchers with catchers, fielders with fielders, etc.

Inasmuch as the League acknowledges these plays to be assists and errors, but for technical reasons omits them from the tabulated score, it is believed that united action by League newspapers will induce the officials of the League to amend that portion of the playing rules which relates to scoring so as to agree with the changes suggested. To that end a petition to the League has been drawn up, a copy of which is enclosed. Your earnest consideration of it is requested. If you concur in the views herein expressed please sign it and return to Mr. Talbot of the undersigned, and with like documents from other scorers it will be forwarded and presented to the League at its March meeting by President Soden, of the Boston Club, by whom the changes will be advocated before the meeting. [The petition follows.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

vagueness about the new reserve system

Date Wednesday, October 28, 1885
Text

[reviewing the new National Agreement] The change in the clause referring to reservations of players is important, in that it confers upon each body party to the agreement greater power over its own clubs, and assists to better control of the players. This section, however, and the section relating to negotiations for released players are in a condition to require special legislation to give them significance and effect. The language is not at all clear and may give rise to complications which may disturb the harmony now existing. The idea is to enable each organization to control and retain the players now under contract therewith, in order to shut off the ruinous competition which has been the main cause of the excessively large salaries, and also to enable the League and Association to retain within their fold those players they have nurtured and reared. But exactly how this is to be done is not well defined. Upon the face it would appear that a released player is not free to go where he will, but is subject to the offers of the other clubs in the organization of which he was a member. Should three or four clubs compete for his services, how is the preference to be settled? By the player's option? Suppose a player should await the legal limit for signing and refuse to serve in any of the bidding clubs with a view to going into another association, what shall be done with him? Is he free to must he, against his will, sign with a club in his association? And if so with what clubs, supposing offers equal? These are some of the questions that will arise for solution. A system of bidding by clubs, the excess over the salary limit to go into the general fund, is spoken of, but the agreement is silent on this point. It s quite clear that this matter will require the early attention of the Arbitration Committee, which is, we believe, endowed with ample powers for the practical application of every section of the new agreement. Indeed, the committee has been given extraordinary powers, and now becomes an important court of appeals, with almost arbitrary control in some cases, notably in their power to punish violations of the new National Agreement.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vanderhorst and the Baltimore Club

Date Wednesday, December 30, 1885
Text

[from an interview of Barnie] [regarding a rumor that Von der Ahe owned some Baltimore Club stock] “I don't know how that report got started, except that they have got Mr. Vonderhorst's name mixed up with that of Chris Von der Ahe.” Chris, said Barnie, “does not own, nor never did, a dollar's worth of stock in the Baltimore club. Mor. Vonderhorst, the wealthy brewer of this city, did talk of entering the business, but he had not done so yet, and that is why the rumor got abroad, no doubt.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe makes his demands; talk of the Nationals in the NL

Date Sunday, January 11, 1885
Text

At ten o'clock this morning [sic: probably evening][1/10] President Von der Ahe telegraphed the League that he would allow the St. Louis Unions to have a League franchise on condition that Mr. Lucas reimburse him for all the losses he has sustained last year, and pay him back all the money he had advanced to players of next season. On top of this the stipulations imposed by the League prohibiting Sunday games, bar privileges and not allowing him to play black-listed players as well as providing a fifty-cent tariff, makes Mr. Lucas' franchise practically worthless. Mr. Lucas was seen a short time after the reception of the telegram and asked if would accept the conditions. “Not much, I won't,” was the reply.

Several members of the League denounced Mr. Von der Ahe's demands as outrageous—one member going so far as to say that, as far as he was concerned, he was willing and ready to tell the American Association to “go to hell,” and wade in on their own hook. If it meant war,he was of the opinion that the League would not get the worst of it, as it was well able to take care of itself. Mr. Lucas will not accept the conditions, and an entirely new deal is now in progress. The League, it is thought, instead of putting in the Lucas club will turn around and elect the Nationals, of Washington, to membership. Matters are now beginning to shape themselves in that direction, and, although the League may not make the change this meeting, it will probably accept the Capital City Club at a later date. Cincinnati Enquirer January 11, 1885

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 1/10/85] During the evening session a despatch was received from Mr. Chris. Von der Ahe stating that he would not give his consent to a League club being placed in ST. Louis unless Mr. Lucas would pay in full the amount of money he lost last season in addition to the advance money he has paid out this season. Mr. Lucas estimates the amount at about $10,000 and positively declines to accept. He says if the League will give him 12 hours he will squash Von der Ahe. The Sporting Life January 14, 1885

It leaked out through one of the directors of the St. Louis club that Mr. Von der Ahe was quite willing to see the league represented here, but was going to hold out as long as he could to force, if possible, some pecuniary consideration for his losses of last summer, or to get an interest in the new club. Mr. Lucas’ friends insist that no such terms can be made with him; that Mr. Lucas is quite willing and desires to act in a friendly way with him in everything, but that he will not pay anything for the privilege to do so, and that it is not in his power as a league member to agree to any conditions which might bind his associates. (St. Louis) Missouri Republican January 15, 1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe's demand and/or denial thereof; St. Louis Club finances

Date Monday, January 19, 1885
Text

From information developed here [Washington] it seems that the St. Louis base-ball issue is a question not of sporting ethics, as some have tried to make out, but of dollars and cents. Mr. Von der Ahe's position has been explained to President Young. He takes the ground that what Mr. Lucas asks of him is a valuable business privilege. It is very questionable, he thinks if St. Louis can sustain two high-priced first-class clubs. Therefore, in consenting to Mr. Lucas entering the League he is increasing that club's chances of success. He also demonstrates by figures that the Association club in St. Louis made no money last year, the course of Mr. Lucas having run up salaries to such a standard that expenses swept away all possible profits. In view of these facts Mr. Von der Ahe takes the position that he is entitled to be paid for his consent. The price is all that stands in the way of a settlement. As nearly as can be learned the amount which Mr. Lucas is expected to pay is about $20,000. Mr. Von der Ahe is visiting several cities explaining to base-ball men just what the situation is. He has not come, and perhaps will not, but his position is much better understood than it was by the League officers before the explanations were made a day or two ago. The latest information is that he has the requisite votes to keep the arrangement with the League if he finds it necessary to call for them, and that the League will not break over the agreement with the association by taking Mr. Lucas in without the consent of the latter organization. Cincinnati Enquirer January 19, 1885

Mr. Von der Ahe says now that he will never consent. Mr. Lucas’ friends state that Von der Ahe had, at one time, agreed to leg Lucas in, if Lucas would pay him all expenses arising out of the fight with the St. Louis Union Association last year, including the loss of Catcher Doland, and that Mr. Von der Ahe thought that $20,000 would sufficiently compensate him. This Mr. Von der Ahe denies in toto. St. Louis Post-Dispatch January 21, 1885

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

war is averted

Date Sunday, January 25, 1885
Text

Some light was thrown upon the base ball situation yesterday by the arrival of Mr. Lucas from New York, where he had been in attendance upon the league meeting. The same train brought Congressman John J. O’Neill also. The latter had represented Mr. Von der Ahe in New York, and under instructions from him had gone before the league and gave a wartime speech. This did not awe the gentlemen in convention, as was anticipated, but appeared to have the contrary effect. At the gathering of the American association representatives and in the lobbies of the hotel it was apparent that these gentlemen were not willing to go to the length of war to support Mr. Von der Ahe, and as war seemed inevitable in case Mr. V on der Ahe should remain obstinate, Mr. O’Neill determined to come out to St. Louis, to see what he could do with Mr. Von der Ahe. The two were closeted all yesterday morning, and in the afternoon Mr. Norker and other directors of the Sportsman’s Park association joined them. As a result of their consultation Mr. O’Neill waited upon Mr. Lucas late in the afternoon with a proposition, the nature of which could not be ascertained. It is understood that it contained a demand for money for the favorable vote of the St. Louis club on the amendment to the National agreement, but the amount was not learned... (St. Louis) Missouri Republican January 25, 1885

[reporting on the AA special meeting] [a message from Von der Ahe:] To the President and Directors of the American Association: The difficulties between H. V. Lucas and myself having been amicably adjusted, I hereby withdraw my objections to the admission of the League club in the city of St. Louis. Very respectfully, Christ Von der Ahe.

The next matter was a preamble and resolution, which was adopted, and reads:

Whereas, Mr. A. G. Spalding, of the Chicago Base-ball Club, has signified his willingness for the admission of an American Association club in the city of Chicago; therefore be it

Resolved, That the committee appointed to confer with the League be directed to obtain from the League committee a pledge of permission for the American Association, of so desiring, to locate a club in a city where a League club now exists.

The meeting then adjourned till two o'clock. Cincinnati Enquirer January 28, 1885

Reach on the reserve; the relative strengths of the NL and AA

[quoting Al Reach] I think the reserve law stands—at least I hope so. The best players, by all odds, are in the League, and if there was a war we League managers could not approach a player in another League club. We would have to steal from the Americans, and outside of possibly a dozen American players the League would have nothing to work on, while the American clubs could better themselves with out players very materially. In other words, if the two associations began 'stealing' players the Americans could approach at least seventy-five or one hundred of our players that would be better than what they have, while we would only have about a dozen to pick from. Cincinnati Enquirer January 27, 1885

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward a switch hitter:

Date Wednesday, September 2, 1885
Text

Johnny Ward says he will continue batting left-handed. He does not make a large number of base hits, but he stands a better chance of beating a slow grounder or a fumbled ball to first base. He says that a left-handed man has an advantage of ten feet or more over a right-handed man in reaching first base. There's meat in this.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington reporter for the Sporting Life

Date Sunday, February 15, 1885
Text

Dick Larner, the Washington correspondent, who gave the story publication in the Sporting Life...

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why an umpire resigned

Date Friday, July 3, 1885
Text

“Why did your brother resign?” he [Harry Decker, brother of NL umpire Stewart Decker] was asked.

“Stewart was doing his duty conscientiously; he favored no nine. Because he would not decide for home nines when they did no deserve it, he was severely criticized by the papers in those places, and, of course, that worked against him. I met him here [Pittsburgh] when he was going through on his way to St. Louis. He told me then that he hated to be licked into line for doing what he knew to be right. Said he: ‘Harry, I’d sooner go right into battle and be shot down than to stand the jeers and guys of a crowd at a ball game. It is impossible t satisfy a crowd when they have been prejudiced. It is terrible.’ Here is a letter he wrote to me from the Lindell Hotel, St. Louis, on June 24.” It reads:

I have decided to quite at the close of this month. Are you surprised? Well, I have fallen into a state of feeling peculiarly senstive, that makes it almost unendurable for me to stand the abuse, which is heaped on me because some newspapers in the East took occasion to severely criticize; and consequently it has traveled from one two to another, and they are ready to continue the good work. Besides, one or two of the managements are opposed to me, and make it unpleasant for Mr. Young to assing us, since they do not wish me to have their games. This was caused primarily by several decisions given against “home nines,” and then a little personal controversy, in which I became a little angry and displayed a little too much independent for their Highnesses, and hence the action. I am better out of the business, and this month, in all probability, closes my career as a “base-ball umpire.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch July 3, 1885

a bean ball

[New York vs. Chicago 7/3/1885] Williamson was the most unfortunate player of all. He was kicked on the ankle in a scramble for the ball, and in the ninth inning was knocked down by a wild pitch, the ball striking him over the left eye and making a deep cut. Although stunned by the blow, he took up the bat again after being deluged with water, and audience encouraging him with hearty cheers. Chicago Tribune July 4, 1885

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why the League delayed reinstating the expelled players

Date Sunday, April 19, 1885
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 4/18] ...your correspondent learned the inside history of this remarkable change of base on the part of the league and the information comes from a source which is unquestionable. It appears that one of the reasons why the league refused to reinstate Mr. Lucas’ players at the league meeting in March was because the American association had passed a resolution at their meeting held in Baltimore a few days previous forbidding their clubs to play any games with league clubs if the league reinstated the blacklisted and expelled men. As many of the league clubs had already arranged games with American association clubs and would sustain a heavy pecuniary loss in case these games were declared off, it was decided to refuse Mr. Lucas his request. When, however, the league saw what a howl of indignation went up from the St. Louis public over the action of the league and began to realize what a short-sighted policy it had adopted, a change of sentiment began to show itself. Spalding of Chicago, who was particularly anxious to have close games with St. Louis, and who is one of the shrewdest business managers in the league, took the matter up and became the strongest advocate for St. Louis. He finally asked Mr. Lucas and Mr. Crane to meet him in New York to confer with other league representatives. That was really the secret of the mission of those gentlemen when they were here [New York] early this month. When the managers got together, which was on the 4 th of April, all of those in attendance were in favor of a general amnesty except Mr. Root of Providence. Mr. Allen, his associate, endeavored to persuade him to act in harmony with the other clubs but he obstinately refused to do so. Finally Spalding brought the matter to a head by declaring that he did not propose to have false sentiment stand in the way of good business judgment, and that no matter what Providence did, Chicago would play the St. Louis nine, including all its blacklisted men, on April 30, when it opened the season in St. Louis. Mr. Root left the conference, but Mr. Allen remained, and it was then agreed by all those present that the men under expulsion for any act in connection with the Union association should be reinstated, and that this should be done at the meeting held to-day [4/18], thus enabling the league clubs to play their games with the American association clubs. When asked whether this action would provoke a war your correspondent’s information said he was confident it would not. He said the American association would be too busy with its championship games to stop to parley or to fight, and that even if they were not there was no disposition on their part to fight. They had tried a big game of bluff, which had not worked, although they were beginning to flatter themselves that it would. (St. Louis)

Source Missouri Republican
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wiman buys the Mets

Date Wednesday, December 9, 1885
Text

The latest sensation in this city [New York] was the deal which was consummated to-day [12/4], at 121 Malden Lane. For some time past there have been rumors in circulation to the effect that the Metropolitans were to be purchased by a Staten Island million heir [sic], but the thing had hung fire for so long that the public had begun to lose all faith in the deal ever coming to a head. They were utterly astounded, however, to-day, when they ascertained that Mr. Erastus Weyman [sic], of the firm of Dunn [sic], Weyman & Co., 314 Broadway, had visited Mr. John B. Day and presented his check for $25,000 for the Metropolitan Club's franchise and the team as it stands. It was certainly a great relief to Mr. Day, as it took a white elephant off his hands, which has been a burden to him ever since he has been in the League. Mr. Day was so highly elated over the sale that he went out and treated himself to a cocktail, and would not allow any of his friends to join him in his happiness. The Sporting Life December 9, 1885 [N.B. Dun, Wiman & Co. was the Canadian version of R. G. Dun's Mercantile Agency.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wiman enjoins the AA

Date Wednesday, December 16, 1885
Text

...It appears the Mr. Williams, after his momentary pause at the door of the meeting room, hied himself to the law office of Messrs. Wagner and Cooper. These limbs of the law had been consulted the previous evening, had procured a copy of the Association's constitution, and labored earnestly through the night in preparing a bill in equity to restrain the Association of consummating the action of expulsion. On Wednesday morning, bright and early, the lawyers appeared before Judge Arnold in Common Please Court No. 4, with petition for an injunction on the ground set forth as follows:

The bill was filed in the name of the Metropolitan Base Ball Association—Erastus Wiman, president; Geo. F. Williams, secretary, and J. H. Gifford, manager—against Lew Simmons, William Sharsig, Charles H. Byrne, William Barnie, William A. Nimick, H. B. Phillips, Chris. Von der Ahe, Zah. Phelps, James A. Hart, George L. Herancourt, O. P. Caylor and H D. McKnight. The bill is quite lengthy, and quotes extensively from the constitution by which the American Association is governed. It avers that Messrs. Williams and Gifford came to this city on Tuesday as representatives of the Metropolitan Club to attend the annual meeting which was to take place Wednesday. Shortly after their arrival they were served with a notice that at a special meeting of the Association the membership of the Metropolitan Club was forfeited and conferred upon the National Club, of Washington. It declares that the constitution contains no provision for special meetings; that no notice of the proposed action was given to the plaintiffs; that the meeting was entirely illegal and its action void. The plaintiffs claim that their club cannot be deprived of membership except by expulsion for certain specified causes, none of which have ever been alleged against them. The requirements of notice and trial when such charges are preferred have been neglected. The bill avers further that the admission of the National Club is without authority and in fraud of the plaintiffs' rights; that the Metropolitan Club has made expensive arrangements for the fifty games which it expected to have played upon its grounds during the coming season, and that the action of the defendants, if sanctioned by the Court, will work irreparable injury. They, therefore, make the following prayers for relief, all of which are granted, for the time being, by the preliminary injunction allowed by Judge Arnold: First, an injunction restraining the defendants from holding any meetings without the presence and recognition of the plaintiffs, Williams and Gifford, as representatives of the Metropolitan Club, and their full participation in the proceedings. Second, an injunction restraining the admission of the National Club, of Washington, into membership in the American Association, or the grant to that club of any of the rights and privileges of a member of the Association. Third, an injunction restraining McKnight, or his successor as president of the Association, from appointing any committee to prepare a schedule of championship games for the season of 1886, until the rights of the plaintiffs are determined by the court. Fourth, an injunction restraining the defendants from making or publishing any schedule under the name of the American Association of Base Ball Clubs without the consent of the plaintiffs, or without giving in said scheme to the Metropolitan Club the full assignment of games with the other clubs in the Association.

Judge Arnold granted a preliminary injunction in all of the prayers and the counsel secured the necessary papers, which were given into the hands of Clerk Sol. W. May, of the sheriff's office, who served them on the Association just as it had practically finished up its business. Of course the Association at once adjourned and secured the services of P. R. Rothermel, Esq., the counsel of the Athletic Club. The Sporting Life December 16, 1885 [See also same issue for the hearing and preliminary injunction.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wiman threatens legal action, and a competing league

Date Wednesday, December 16, 1885
Text

Mr. Wiman finding that appeals [to the AA] were useless, resorted to bull-dozing methods. He threatened to take the matter into the courts. “It is an outrage,” said he, “perpetrated upon me without authority of law or precedent. With no vestige of fair play or legality our franchise has been revoked. But I will not tamely submit. I have rights and shall have them enforced. It is indecent, unbusinesslike and ungentlemanly.” He also declared that he would bring damage suits separately against every club in the Association. Also that he would have base ball on Staten Island even if the court decided against him. He further announced that he would organize another league, patronize dissatisfied players and place an opposition team in every American Association city, even if it cost him $500,000(?) [in original].

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

working the umpire

Date Wednesday, June 3, 1885
Text

In the “good old days” it was considered dishonorable for a player to claim he had put a player out when he knew he hadn't. Now every player is expected to make the claim or bluff, as they call it, and if they can work the umpire so much the better. This is certainly a most reprehensible practice, as it has more to do with putting an audience onto an umpire than any other thing. It is a common thing to see a player make a bluff at putting out a man and throw down the ball, and the whole side start in as a matter of course. If he belong to the home team and the umpire should disallow his claim, then there is a terrific howl. If he belongs to the visiting club the decision is greeted with cheers and jeers for the visitors. Again, it is a common occurrence for the captains and members of the different teams to claim men are out or not, as their interests may dictate, and when they fail to get the decision they want they make remarks or motions indicative of disgust, as much as to say “we are being robbed of the game.” All such are taken up by the audience, who make anything but friendly demonstrations if the decisions are adverse to their pets. Indeed, it is not very uncommon for captains to try and intimidate the umpire by putting the crowd onto him in this way. Managers and club officers are largely responsible for such conduct on the part of the players; they all wink at it and some of them openly encourage it. I know of more than one club official who last year told the captain of his team to kick and he would pay the fines. In my opinion this is certainly anything but good policy. It can not be advantageous to have riotous proceedings on the grounds of a club, nor to encourage the hoodlum element to be boisterous and threatening.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series shares 2

Date Wednesday, October 7, 1885
Text

...Messrs. Spalding and Von der Ahe have just concluded an interesting arrangement for a series of games between the Chicagos and the St. Louis Browns to decide the championship of the United States , and at the same time to give the players of the two clubs a substantial benefit. Each club puts in $500, and the players of the club winning the majority of the series of seven or nine games to have a purse of $1,000 The first game will be played in Chicago Oct. 15. The entire gate receipts will be given to the home players. The same clubs play in St. Louis Oct. 16, when the St. Louis players will take the proceeds. Games will then be played in Cincinnati, Louisville, Philadelphia, Washington, Indianapolis, and other cities, weather permitting. It is to be hoped that the players will enter into these games with the proper spirit, as they would into regular championship contests, thus giving the public excellent exhibitions and affording a basis for a partial settlement, at least, of the vexed questions of relative superiority.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

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