Clippings:1887

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1887Clippings in 1887

Clippings in 1887 (490 entries)

Contents

$2,500 for the release of a minor league player

Date Wednesday, June 22, 1887
Text

Al Reach went all the way to Nashville after Maul, the Philadelphia lad who has created such a sensation in the Southern League as a pitcher and batsman. Al went, saw, and was convinced, and landed his fish for $,2500, the highest sum ever paid for the release of a minor league player. Three thousand dollars was the original price, but Al's persuasive voice resulted in a reduction of 500 simoleons.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Cincinnati reserve team

Date Wednesday, March 2, 1887
Text

The Cincinnati Park will have very few idle days the coming season. Manager Schmelz wilol never take more than thirtee men on a trip. In consequence there will be four or five extra players left at home all the time. It iwll not do to let these men lay around the ctiy with nothing to do. Idleness would only do them harm, and in order to give them occupation and also afford the public an opportunity of witnessing games during the absence of the Cincinnatis, President Stern has determined to organize a team similar to the Shamrocks of 1883 and 1884. This team will be made up of Cincinnati’s extra men and a number of amateurs to be engaged hereafter. This team will play exhibition games with Ohio League clubs and other combinations during the absence of the Cincinnatis.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ball hit over the fence bounces back onto the field for a triple

Date Wednesday, May 25, 1887
Text

[Athletic vs. St. Louis 5/18/1887] Larkin knocked a ball into the right field seats in Wednesday's game, and Sylvester was over the inside fence in a twinkling, but the ball struck a seat and bounded back again, and before the ball could be fielded Larkin was on third base.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bid to split gate receipts in the AA

Date Sunday, March 13, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 3/7-8] The Metropolitans, through O. P. Caylor, tried to get a change from the present guarantee system of paying visiting clubs to one of a division of the gate receipts. But he stood alone, and the change wasn’t discussed. The Philadelphia Times March 13, 1887

an AA reserve fund

[reporting the AA meeting of 3/7-8] The Messrs. Stern and Weldon spring their pet--the reserve fund scheme--on the Association. It went through in the reduced form suggested some weeks ago in The Sporting Life, seven votes being cast for it, Mr. Caylor declining for the Mets to vote in its favor, but saying that the vote would undoubtedly be cast later on. The fund is to amount to $10,000---$1,250 from each club, paid in five annual installments of $250, Oct. 1, of 1888, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892. The chairman of the finance committee is its custodian, the money must be invetsed and he must give a bond for the full amount--$10,000. The club withdrawing except from financial distress, forfeits its share in the fund. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bunted foul ball

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from the AA umpire instructions] If the batter, in attempting to “bunt” the ball, or to make a sacrifice hit, makes a “foul,” the umpire must first call “foul ball,” and then inflict the penalty under section 3 of rule 31, by calling a “strike” on the batter, and no bases shall be run or runs scored on such foul ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for two umpires

Date Wednesday, June 29, 1887
Text

Says the New York Sun of Thursday:--”A new functionary is made necessary in the ball field through the dishonesty of certain players. What we want is an assistant umpire. On Tuesday, McGarr, of the Athletic Club, seeing the umpire looking in another direction, cut across the diamond on his way to third base, and was thus enabled to score a run, the umpire not having seen him. It is a well-known fact that McGarr has many distinguished precedents for such performances. The Hon. Michael Kelly, of Boston, was notorious in this way. But perhaps Boston did not know it when she shelled out $10,000 for him.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for two umpires in regular season games

Date Wednesday, November 2, 1887
Text

[from Brunell's column] The Cleveland Club will also be found to favor the double umpire system, so successfully tried in the world's championship series. The cry of economy raised against the system will not do. Base ball cannot afford to let economy stand in the way of a so9lution of the umpire problem. It has presented too many knots for too many seasons for that. The Association should adopt the system and use two umpires in all its championship games next season. By means of it all the annoying errors made by umpires on base decisions will be wiped out, and it is worth a great deal of money to have them wiped out. Of course, the chances for bad calling of balls and strikes will not disappear; but they will be diminished, since the calling umpire will not have his attention diverted from that branch of his work by base plays.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher reluctant to play close to the bat

Date Saturday, August 13, 1887
Text

Two strikes having been called on a player of one of the visiting clubs Captain Ewing seeing O'Rourke made no move to come up to the bat to take the flyers, kindly called to him to put the mask on and take his place behind the bat. O'Rourke hesitated for a moment and then very reluctantly adjusted the mask on his face and placed himself close to the batter. In the next inning a similar occurrence transpired. He showed no sign of taking his place up by the batter again and there was a perceptible [illegible] among several of the players. Captain Ewing bit his lip and finally called out “Come Jimmy, put the mask on and give us a show.” For a time it seemed as if he was inclined not to obey the orders of the captain but he once more very deliberately took his proper position, amid a hiss or two from those in the grand stand who had noticed the little farce.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim to inventing the first catcher's glove

Date Monday, April 25, 1887
Text

Al. Pratt and Jim White faked up the first pair of catcher’s gloves ever worn, and Jim was the first man to wear them. Jim was much younger than he is now; but his hands were sore. He and Pratt dropped into a store on Broadway, New York, and purchased an old-fashioned pair of buckskin gloves. They cut the fingers off the gloves, split them and inserted lacing until they had a pair of catcher’s gloves to their liking. If they had had an idea to what extent base ball player was going to grow, they could have made a ten-strike by getting a patent on them. New York Sun April 25, 1887, et al.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collective hold out

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

Dave Foutz, Caruthers and Hudson have formed the Pitchers’ Big Three Combination and will make Von der Ahe come up with the requisite or hold out. Caruthers and Hudson are both well off and can afford to wait. Long Dave has a stake made in California and can make money enough there to keep the wolf from the door and keep Chris guessing. The Sporting Life February 9, 1887

A few weeks ago President Von der Ahe, of the Browns, issued a call to all his reserved champions to report at Sportsman’s Park yesterday. Of the 15 men reserved only 5 responded--Comiskey, Bushong, Sylvester, Robinson and Gleason. The three pitchers, Foutz, Caruthers and Hudson, ignored the call, as also did Latham, O’Neil and Welch. They have conspired to squeeze the manager out of more salary, and he is in a terrible predicament. The Chicago games are scheduled to take place in three weeks, and the Browns are not yet mobilized. Mr. Von der ahe is mad, and threatens to blacklist every one. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

Now that Gleason and Welch have affixed their sigantures to contracts, the only unsigned reserved men are Latham and the three pitchers--Foutz, Caruthers and young Hudson. These four men are still holding off for an increase in salary. It is said that all of them are asking $3,000. Asking and getting is two very different things. The Sporting Life March 23, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a de facto payment for being reserved

Date Wednesday, December 7, 1887
Text

The big pitcher Stemmyer signed a graded contract with Cleveland, which gives him but a reasonable salary for the season, but a handsome present at the end of it, if he remains in the club. Stemmyer chose this way of contracting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of loud coaching

Date Saturday, July 2, 1887
Text

[editorial matter] They say steps are to be taken shortly to abolish the present system of coaching. In fact in some cities coaching has been done away with just as an experiment and we are told the experiment has worked well. But we do not believe it. In our mind baseball without coaching is just no game at all. Some old fellows, notably Harry Wright, have announced themselves as in favor of the abolishment of the present style of coaching. By so declaring themselves they go back on their own record. Since the days of the old Haymakers coaching has been popular with the real lovers of the game. Who will forget the King boys—Mart and Steve—with their old war whoop as they called on their comrades for a rally at the bat. Who will forget the old Chicago White Stockings with Jimmy Wood on one side of the line, with Mart King as his vis-a-vis and the two coaching their sides like mad. Who will forget the old Cincinnati Reds with George Wright's grinning ivories and his shouts of “Steady there now,” and “Take care, take care.” Who too will forget Andy Leonard's queer antics and the coaching of such men as McGeary, McBride, Mallone, Fisler, Barnes, Hodes, Addy, Hasting and a host of others. It was the tricks of the trade that won in those days just as it is the tricks of the trade that win now. Men of the Anson, Comiskey and Keely stripe have learned these tricks and profited by them. Those who are too dull to learn these tricks and too bull-headed to be taught them are naturally opposed to the game as it is played today, as it was played yesterday and as it should be played for all time.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of scoring a base hit on a base on balls

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] I have been waiting to see some of my confreres of The Sporting Life hit the writers who are continually howling against the base hit for a base on balls rule. Their owls make us tired, because they are the result of a glance. One would think that ere this the value of the patient batsman of good judgment, who waits until he gets the ball he wants before he strikes at it, would have been recognized. But it hasn't been, and week after week I pick up papers who editors should, and generally do, know better, and see condemnations of this rule. Ask the men who make it a business to select players for teams, how valuable is that batsman who hits at only what he calls for. It is his skill against the pitcher's, and—under the new rules—with the chances in the pitcher's favor. Often the pitcher gives the man—if he is dangerous and the situation is critical—his base on balls rather than risk a hit and a consequent run, should he evade the responsibilities upon him without cost? It does not seem that he should. Except when in front of a “skyrocket” pitcher, the batsman who gets his base on balls earns it. Batting isn't the only ingredient of base ball that wins games, and I consider the batsman who is patient and alert enough to refuse the baits offered him by a good pitcher entitled to as much credit as though he hit the ball safely.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a defense of the hit on a base on ball; earned runs

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell’s column] The base-hit-on-balls filled a void and did the game good. It imposed the highest penalty on the base on ball–a kind of prohibitory tax. That was the base hit. It couldn’t be worse, under the rules, than a hit, and it taught the youngsters to put ‘em over the plate. ... An error carries but half the terror of a base hit, and frequent as were bases on balls this past season they will be more so next season. The telegraph gravely informs us that, at Mr. N. E. Young’s suggestion, a base on balls is still to be accounted as a factor in an earned run. Ye gods! An earned run can thus be made on four actual and nominal errors. It was bad enough when made on an actual error, dubbed a hit, but now–. It is too much. The world’s wisdom must be in other than base ball nests. The Sporting Life November 23, 1887

[from editorial content] ...the committee did not stop at retrogression, but went even to the ridiculous in declaring that bases on balls, which are to be set down as errors, shall also figure in earned run statistics. The Sporting Life November 23, 1887

the missing Boston Club shares

The minority shareholders of the Boston Club filed a bill in equity November 12, asking for an account of money received and for a reversal of the action of the directors in regard to the forfeiture and sale of seventy-two shares of stock. The defendants–Soden, Conant and Billings–control sixty-five of the seventy-eight shares of stock now in existence. President Soden says in relation to this suit:–“This whole matter relating to the forfeiture of the seventy-two shares of stock was transacted before I or my associates, Messrs. Conant and Billings, became connected with the club. At the time I was elected president, a question arose as to how those seventy-two shares should be allowed to vote. It seems that they had only been partially paid for, although the certificates had been issued. Finally the matter was referred to the Hon. Walbridge A. Field, now one of the Judges of the Supreme Court, and he went over the ground thoroughly, and finally gave his decision declaring that the seventy-two shares of stock had no legal standing whatever; that the treasurer had no right to issue them until they were all paid for in full, and, having been illegally issued, they had no standing. But I suppose the principal basis for this proceeding in court lies in the desire of the minor stockholders to gain an insight into the financial books of the corporation. We may be compelled to show the books, but until we are we certainly shall not do so.” The Sporting Life November 23, 1887 [See also TSL 5/3/1890 p. 6.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a disparaging assessment of the American Association

Date Saturday, October 1, 1887
Text

[from June Rankin’s column] The American Association has been like a naughty boy in the hands of Mother League ever since its organization, and whenever it gets sulky mama League turns it over her knee and warms its bottom with her slipper, and the Association quiets down like a little mouse. National Police Gazette October 1, 1887

[from June Rankin’s column] The League, to a certain extent, still boss the Association, as the latter have weakened every time they ever confronted the League.

In plain words, the League have not only smeared it all over the Association, but they have actually rubbed it in, and the Association people have submitted without a murmur. Thinking, no doubt, it was for the best interest of the game and that they were martyrs to the cause. National Police Gazette December 3, 1887

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fast ball count

Date Wednesday, July 20, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] ...straight balls—and when “in a hole” a pitcher can use none other unless he is a wonderful wonder...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a game ended due to lack of balls

Date Saturday, September 10, 1887
Text

A slim and disgusted crowd saw the game at Birmingham a week ago yesterday. A squabble arose in the sixth inning, Smith and Esterquest were the pitchers. The management have been compelled to use other than regular Southern League balls for the past few days and that is what precipitated the muddle. The balls became torn and, no more being on hand, the club was reduced to the alternative of suing them or stopping the game. Memphis was three runs behind at the end of the sixth inning and positively refused to play unless news balls were furnished. Manager McCarthy explained the situation to the visiting manager and captain, but they would listen to no excuse, and, after a general jowl all around, Umpire Curran decided the game in favor of the Birminghams by a score of 9 to 0.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a gloomy assessment of the AA's prospects

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

The American Association meeting was practically barren of results, except for the improved umpire system adopted and the advance of admission rates to 50 cents. The latter innovation may work well or it may prove most disastrous, and, in the latter event, the Association will be in a sad plight, as few of its clubs are in a position to face such a contingency. Some of the clubs are still suffering from reversed of previous seasons. The playing strength is still very unequal, notwithstanding the recent transfers of players; the vacancy is yet unfilled, and the chances of securing a suitable successor are decidedly poor. If a club can be found it will simply add one more tail-ender to the already too long list of weak teams; if an eighth club cannot be found nothing will be left but a reduction of the number of clubs to six. To cap all, there is no confidence in each other among the Association people, as in another year a jump to the League by either Brooklyn or Cincinnati is looked for. Everything is shaping that way, and this makes the future uncertain and to a large extend hampers individual or concerted action. The Sporting Life December 21, 1887, quoting the Public Ledger [i.e. Richter]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a groundskeeper is hired away

Date Saturday, March 5, 1887
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent] The only item of interest that has happened since I sent in my last effort, is the resignation of Billy Houston, our ground keeper. He goes to Detroit in a few days to accept a more lucrative position from the management of that club. We certainly lose a good man in Houston as he understands his business perfectly, and has at all times, kept the Park in excellent condition. His successor will be appointed in a few days.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint about Eddie Von der Ahe

Date Wednesday, July 27, 1887
Text

“Baby” Von der Ahe should be given a good spanking and taught to know his place.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint of the Players' League

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Ward] ...there is plenty of money at our disposal to organize any association or league. We know of any amount of capitalists who want to invest their money in base ball. I will go further and say that we will be recognized as an organization and we will all play next year whether the League people like it or not. The people now managing the business are powerful, and have plenty of money to back them up, but we believe that we will have the support of the masses in the stand we have taken. It is claimed that a new League could not be formed, because it would have no grounds and the other necessaries to begin with, and that it would meet the same fate as the old Union Association. Now, as to the first argument, how long would it take to get new grounds and erect new stands? Before the season was half over they would be paid for. As for the old Union Association, it would never have died had it had the Brotherhood to draw from. It lacked the proper attractions to make it a success.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a league collapse and the national agreement; dispute between the NL and AA

Date Wednesday, August 3, 1887
Text

There is quite a large-sized row on hand between the Detroit and Cincinnati clubs over the Allentown batter, Beatin and Kinslow. These players have signed with both clubs, and their contracts have been promulgated by Presidents Young and Wikoff—by the former under date of July 28, the latter on July 27. Detroit, at present, has the best of the controversy in the possession of the men. The facts appear to be as follows:--Both clubs have been dickering with the Allentown Club for this battery for some time past, but the fancy price fixed by the club, and other causes, prevented a consummation. Meantime, the Pennsylvania Association was rapidly going to pieces, and while the Detroit Club still continued negotiations with the Allentown Club, the Cincinnati Club drew off to await the final collapse, with the hope and expectation of getting the players for nothing. When the Association dwindled to two clubs Manager Schmelz went to work at the players without consulting their club. Meantime Detroit had arranged terms with the players and the latter had accepted them, and all that remained was to come to a satisfactory conclusion with their club as to the amount of release money. While this dicker was going on Manager Schmelz worked on the players and by representing that the Association was practically disbanded and that the Allentown Club was no longer under National Agreement protection, and therefore the players were free to sign without danger of punishment, induced them to sign, Wednesday, the 27 th, regular contracts with Cincinnati. He then rejoined the Cincinnati Club at New York. Of course when the Allentown Club officials hear of this they at once accepted Detroit's figures—said to be $1,5000—and by convincing the players that the Cincinnati contracts were illegal, got them to sign with the Detroit Club, whose terms they had first accepted, and on Friday they left Allentown for Detroit. The Cincinnati Club now threatens to blacklist the players of course, and proposes to even go to the courts, if necessary to gain control of the services of these men....

The probability is that the arbitration committee will be called upon to settle the case which will hinge upon the point whether the Pennsylvania Association was disbanded, or still under National Agreement protection, when the Cincinnati signed these players. Cincinnati will maintain that as but two clubs were left and no more championship games were being played the League was practically dead, and protection lapsed. Detroit holds that so long as one club is left in a League it is still under the protection of the National Agreement and subject to all its provisions, and that the protection does not lapse until official notice has been promulgated of final disbandment and withdrawal or lapse of protection. The Sporting Life August 3, 1887

The American Association is decidedly wroth at its treatment in the matter. Says a prominent official, in speaking of the matter:

“About the coolest piece of assumption that ever came under my notice is embodied in the following despatch, presumably inspired by Mr. Young:”

“Washington, D.C., Aug. 10.--The Beatin-Kinslow matter has been decided in favor of Detroit, so far as the League is concerned. President Young declined to take official notice of the black-listing of these two players by the Cincinnati Club on the ground that the records, so he claims, will show that Stearns, of Detroit, opened negotiations with the Allentown management for Beatin's services, and that terms satisfactory to all concerned were agreed upon before Cincinnati appeared upon the field. No money was paid over until the goods were delivered. In the meantime the Cincinnati management came along and secured the signatures of Beatin and Kinslow to play with the latter club. The players immediately, upon receiving a despatch from Detroit claiming their services under a prior agreement, telegraphed to President Young for advice, and at his suggestion they reported to duty in Detroit. He holds that the agreement entered into between Sterns, the Allentown management and Beatin, whereby all parties accepted the terms, is as good as a written contract, and, under the circumstances, the blacklisting of Beatin and Kinslow does not go.”

“And so the matter has been decided so far as the League is concerned” When? Where? Is Mr. Young the League? “And Mr. Young declined to take no official notice of the blacklisting because the records will show that Detroit opened negotiations first.” What records? Who has passed upon them? “And at Mr. Young's suggestion the players reported for duty in Detroit.” And that, too, after Mr. Young previously advised Kinslow that he was free to go where he pleased? “And the blacklisting don't go.” The self-constituted judge hears Detroit's side of the story, makes up his mind that that must be right and decides that the blacklisting of the poor, insignificant, puny American Association don't. go. That settles it. It's all very simple. But somehow the unreasonable American Association can't see it in that nice, rosy light, and refuses to acknowledge Mr. Young as its “boss,” censor and guardian. It really must decline to see in Mr. Young the autocrat of the base ball world, instead of the mere salaried employee of an organization to which the American Association owes no allegiance. It fails to see by what authority Mr. Young presumes to decide upon the legality or illegality of Cincinnati's claim, and the binding force of the American Association's suspension, and by what right he ignores official communications of record, whose promulgation is mandatory. It is also curious to know who made Young the judge of what he shall, or what he shall not, promulgate, as by all the National Agreement rules Mr. Young's duties in the premises are merely clerical, and where a dispute between the two organizations arises the National Agreement alone has jurisdiction. The Sporting Life August 17, 1887

President Wikoff and Chairman Phelps were in a quandary how to act, and asked Mr. Byrne's assistance in the matter. The latter, however, has in the past been so much abused and misrepresented for acts strictly in line with his official duties and for the best interests of the Association, that he was disinclined to take any hand at all in the matter. Since he has been in the West, however, he has been prevailed upon to change his mind, and some lively developments may be now looked for, as the aggressive little man from Brooklyn is a good fighter, knows his business and makes no mistakes. He certainly made none while he was chairman of the Association. He has had a conference with Messrs. Wikoff, Stearns and Schmelz, secured all the information possible about the entire case, and will this week, as secretary of the Arbitration Committee, make a formal request on behalf of the Association to the president of that body, Nick Young, for a special meeting of the committee to decide upon the dispute between the Cincinnati and Detroit clubs, and will also request suspension of the players until the question at issue is decided according to the methods provided by the National Agreement. Mr. Byrne says he will insist upon a strict compliance with the letter of the law, neither more not less. The Sporting Life August 24, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a manifest on baseball law

Date Wednesday, July 20, 1887
Text

[from Ward's resume of the history of the reserve rule] The remedy for these abuses may be difficult to find; the system has become so rooted that heroic treatment may be necessary to remove it, but go it must, like every other founded upon so great injustice and misuse of power. The only question is, whence shall the remedy proceed? Shall it come from the clubs, or from the players, or from both conjointly? The interests of the National game are too great to be longer trifled with in such a manner, and if the clubs cannot find a way out of these difficulties the players will try to do it for them. The tangled web of legislation which now hampers the game must be cut away, and the business of base ball made to rest on the ordinary business basis. There will be little need, then, of extra judicial rules to regulate salaries, for these will regulate themselves, like those of the dramatic and other professions, by the law of supply and demand; “base ball law,” that wonderful creation which no one individual seems ever yet to have mastered, will be laid away as a curios relic among the archives of the game, and the time-honored and time-proven common law will once more regulate base ball affairs: “deal” will be confined to legal limits; “phenomenons” and “wonders” will no longer receive advertising salaries, for the careful business manager will keep within justified figures; contracts may be made for periods of more than one season, the leagues will be composed of cities of nearly equal drawing strength and the percentage system will be re-enacted, thus reducing to a minimum the temptation to compete for players; the players will catch the spirit of the new order; base ball to them will be more of a business and less of a pastime; contract-breaking will be impossible and dissipation will disappear; the profession of ball playing will be looked upon as a perfectly honorable calling, and the National game will be more than ever the greatest of outdoor sports. All of these changes may never come; many of them certainly will. But it will be when the game is governed by the law of the land, when its financial conduct is placed in the hands of thorough business men, the “greats” and the “onlys,” the “rustlers” and the “hustlers,” have gone “down the back entry of time.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a minor league club's finances

Date Wednesday, November 2, 1887
Text

The annual meeting of the Manchester [N.H.] Base Ball Club was held last evening [10/26]. … The report of Treasurer Garland showed that the receipts for the past year amounted to $15,804.07; expenses, $15,067.09.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a minor league reserve

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

[a circular from the secretary of the International League] On Sept. 28 of each year, each club, member of this League, shall transmit to the secretary, a list of names of any players, not exceeding nine (9) in number, on that date under contract with such club, which such club desires to reserve for the ensuing year, accompanied by a statement over the signature of the secretary of such club, that such club is willing to pay not less than one hundred and twenty-five dollars ($125) per month as the compensation of each player so reserved, in the contract to be made with him for the ensuing season. The secretary of this League shall thereupon, upon the 1 st of October, transmit to each club, member of this League, a complete list of all the players so reserved by the clubs then composing this League, and no club shall contract, negotiate with or employ any player while so reserved by any other club. Such reservation shall terminate when the reserving club enters into contract with the reserved player, or release him from such reservation, or disbands, or is expelled by or resigns from the League without entering into such contract or releasing such player from such reservation. The Sporting Life September 28, 1887

“It is not plain just why the International League wants a reserve rule, as it will not be recognized under the National Agreement. It may be, however, that it is to prevent the stealing of players among its own clubs.”--N.Y. Sun. Your last sentence gives the reason for this reserve, which is not a new thing for the International. It was in force last year. The Sporting Life October 5, 1887

The clubs comprising the New England League have filed with the secretary the lists of players reserved by them for the season of 1888... The Sporting Life October 12, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a minor league team in St. Louis; a reserve club?

Date Wednesday, November 9, 1887
Text

Our Western League club is now an assured fact, and Manager Tom Loftus is now doing the “rassle” act for players. … The money to organize and back the new venture, has been put up by President Von der Ahe, Cahrley Comiskey and Tom Loftus, and it is said that these three gentlemen own share and share alike, but it would be safe to bet that Von der Ahe owns about half the stock, and Loftus and Comiskey the other half. The games will be played at Sportsman's Park, and the schedule will be so arranged that it will not conflict with the Association dates. … President von der Ahe was asked the other day whether the new club would be run as a feeder to the Browns, and he promptly answered “that the Western Club would be a distinct organization, and would have nothing to do with the Browns.” However, if the new club develops a good player or two, it is safe to say that the Browns' president will purchase said “cracks,” even if he is obliged to pay the purchase money over to himself.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a move in the AA to split gate receipts; Von der Ahe threatens to join the League

Date Wednesday, July 13, 1887
Text

The Western clubs are all going to make a great fight to have the Association adopt the percentage system next year. All the managers think the constitution should be changed to this effect. President Phelps, of the Louisville Club, in a recent interview on this subject said: “The association will have to come to it sooner or later. The percentage system is the only fair method of doing business, and commends itself to all sensible men. If there chances to be a weak club in a base ball organization, then it can manage to live and pay expenses. Under the present $65 guarantee plan, which the Association now observes, a losing club will sooner or later have to disband. Take the tail-enders, for instance. They are poor drawing cards wherever they appear, and unless the gate receipts are divided, such a team is handicapped. Of course some of the clubs must win up at the bottom of the list, and such teams ought to be aided by the more successful ones. The guarantee system is a selfish plan. My opinion is that the clubs should work together for mutual benefit; that is the only way to have harmony among the different members.

Manager Von der Ahe, of the St. Louis Browns, was also approached upon the same topic while in Louisville a few days since.

“What is the reason of your alleged threat to join the League?” was asked.

“I cannot give you a direct answer,” he replied.” It depends on what I get.”

“If the percentage plan is adopted in the Association, you will remain a member of the organization, will you not?”

“Yes, that is what I want. I think, however, that we shall be able to secure the percentage basis in the Association. The Western clubs all approve it, and the Brooklyns and Athletics alone oppose it. I think any one will admit that my demand is just. My club is the great drawing card everywhere. Look what we did in the East. We played sixteen games to 140,000 people, drawing about $40,000 for the Easting clubs. Decoration Day, in Brooklyn, we draw in the two games 30,000 spectators. When we played the Metropolitans on Staten Island we had the biggest crowd ever seen there. We went to Philadelphia, and the very first game was witnessed by 13,000 persons. The four games we played at Baltimore netted the Baltimore Club over $11,000. now, is it not fair that we should get some of this money? The drawing power of the St. Louis Club bring in these receipts. I have the champion club, and I have to pay my players champion prices. It is an expensive nine, for it takes lots of money to support it.” The Sporting Life July 13, 1887

[from a dispatch by Caylor] Depend on it, St. Louis is wanted in the League. Will St. Louis go? Yes, unless one thing is done, namely, unless the Association pledges itself to the percentage plan for 1888. The St. Louis team is not drawing at home but is drawing immensely at every city it visits. Von der Ahe must have the benefit of the per cent. policy or of League teams as fresh cards at home. The former will bring him the most money, and it will keep him in the Association, and that alone will do it. Can such clubs as the Cincinnatis and the Athletics afford to lose the St. Louis Browns for the few hundred dollars that the percentage system might take from them? I think not. Make it satisfactory to St. Louis to stay and the League fever danger is passed. The Sporting Life July 20, 1887

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a movement to repeal the hit for a base on balls

Date Wednesday, May 11, 1887
Text

Barnie, while in Philadelphia last week, had an interview with Col. Rogers, of the Philadelphia Club, who is a member of the joint conference committee, in reference to the rescinding of the rule giving a batsman a base hit for a base on balls. Col. Rogers, however, wisely declined to join in the proposed movement, as he justly thinks the rules should be given a longer and more thorough trial than they have had. Right you are, Colonel.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a new AA standard contract

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

See TSL April 13, 1887 p. 7 for the planned contract for 1888.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a no-reserve contract

Date Wednesday, November 9, 1887
Text

[from the Indianapolis correspondent] Manager Fogel learned that Paul Hines was very much dissatisfied with Washington, and as he had signed a conditional contract last spring, which provided that that club was not to reserve him for next year, he had determined to make the Washington people carry out their part of that contract. Fogel sought Hines immediately and asked him about it. The latter said that such was the case, and unless the Washington people acted in good faith this him he would quit the business. Fogel then asked Paul if he would play in Indianapolis if he would secure his release for him. Hines replied that it was immaterial with him where he played next year so he got away from Washington. …

When he [Fogel] told President Hewitt and his son Walter, who is secretary of the club, what he wanted they thought that our manager was joking with them. At first they refused to listen to any proposition for Paul's release. But Fogel was persistent. He told them what Hines had said, and they finally realized that there was no joking about it. Mr. Hewitt, Jr., hunted up Hines and a conference followed. The great centre fielder was not afraid to talk, and told them in plain English, that could not be misunderstood, that he would not play another season in Washington for $10,000, and he was determined that Mr. Hewitt should live up to the contract and not reserve him again. The Messrs. Hewitt tried to persuade their star player to change his mind, but it was useless for them to talk. Finally, after they saw that there was but one thing left for them to do, they consented to talk business. The Messrs. Hewitt and Manager Fogel were in conference five days and as many nights before the deal was finally consummated. President Hewitt wanted the earth for his crack player and Fogel only wanted to give him a part of it. Five thousand dollars is the price that was finally agreed upon.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a passed ball less discreditable than a stolen base for the catcher

Date Wednesday, June 8, 1887
Text

[from Brunell's column] Look through the averages of the Association and see how the passed balls have increased this season. In the local games it is easy to see their increase and the reason for it. One of the new scoring rules' stings are extracted by this means. You remember the rule. It says in effect that in the fourth columns of the score shall be scored stolen bases, which shall include every base cleanly stolen or got on an error outside those known as “battery” errors or “balks.” The catchers figure, and rightly too, that a passed ball contains less discredit to them than a stolen base, and have got into the way of working a trick which prevents one scoring a stolen base for a player who actually deserves one, and in a case clearly within view of the new rule, by dropping the ball pitched to them after a base-runner has got a good start for a safe steal. Milligan worked the new and fashionable trick to a nicety. So did Jack O'Brien, Sam Trott and Donahue. Of course a scorer has no choice in the matter. Such drops are passed balls, and a stolen base cannot be scored on such a battery error.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pickoff throw to the center fielder

Date Saturday, June 11, 1887
Text

Baby Anson is a very large man, but he could have been drawn through a keyhole when, in the afternoon game on Decoration Day at the Polo :Grounds, Gore leisurely walked in from centre field and caught Anson napping off second base and put him out.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitcher over the corner of the plate a strike

Date Wednesday, March 23, 1887
Text

One of the umpires’ instructions at the recent American Association meeting was that a ball pitched over any corner of the plate should be called a strike. The Sporting Life March 23, 1887

city extortion of free passes in Detroit

While the Detroit directors were preparing their appeal to the business pubic to purchase season tickets, why did they not add a paragraph asking the municipal gang to forego their bandit demands emphasized by threats to open streets through Recreation Park, impose a high license on games, etc.? The base ball Old Man of the Sea staggers along beneath the weight of many a Sinbad. The Sporting Life March 23, 1887, quoting the Detroit Free Press

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitcher's contract limits his workload

Date Wednesday, July 6, 1887
Text

A report from Indianapolis says:--”An attempt has been made to induce Henry Boyle to pitch alternately with Healy, but he refused to do so and claims that his contract with the club requires him to pitch only every third game. He is afraid he will break down if he attempts to do more.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player fails to clear waivers

Date Wednesday, June 8, 1887
Text

Denver for some time has been after him [Tebeau], and last Saturday, before the Cincinnatis left home, the management was offered $1,000 for his release. Manager Schmelz yesterday (Thursday) wired all the clubs to waive claim, and received replies from Simmons, of the Athletics; Watrous of the Metropolitans, and Kelly, of the Louisvilles agreeing to the request. Manager Barnie was also asked to waive claim, but refused. Manager Barnie said the reason he refused to waive claim was because he considered Tebeau too valuable to allow him to jump from the Association. He thought that as the Clevelands were in need of a pitcher they should get him. Manager Schmelz was seen last night, and admitted that Denver wanted Tebeau, and would get him if the Association clubs consented. He could not account for Manager Barnie's refusal to waive claim, and remarked that if any of the Association clubs wanted him and would pay the same price they could get him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player suspended for refusing to be photographed with a black man

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1887
Text

On June 4 pitcher Douglass Crothers, of the Syracuse Club, was justly suspended for the season for acts of insubordination and for striking the club manager. It appears that he foolishly refused to have his picture taken in the same group with Higgins, the colored pitcher, and afterwards he had an altercation with Manager Simmons and struck him in the breast, whereupon he was suspended immediately. The Sporting Life June 15, 1887. [The suspension was reduced to one month.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a premature signing via personal contract

Date Sunday, October 30, 1887
Text

There is a row in the National League over the signing of Elmer Foster, of the Minneapolis Club, by the New York Club. Manager Mutrie outwitted Pittsburg and Indianapolis squarely and secured the prize by taking foster out of town on the night of the 19 th and signing him early on the morning of the 20 th. Mutrie claims that he pays Foster a salary of $4,000, $1,000 of which was advance money. Indianapolis claims foster on a personal contract signed on October 17, and President N. E. Young, of the National League, has promulgated the Indianapolis contract. Notwithstanding President Young’s approval it is not likely that the Hoosiers’ claim will hold good. October 20 is the first day upon which contracts can be signed and any club or manager who induces a player to sign a contract before that date is liable to a fine of $500. Indianapolis will make a fight for Foster, but New York’s contract will hold good. Indianapolis also claims Pitcher W. H. Clark, late of Des Moines, who has signed with the Chicago Club. Clark also signed a personal contract before October 20, and he is, of course, only bound by his contract with the Chicago Club. There will be a lively time over these two cases, but the Hoosier club will lose both men, and will have to pay one thousand dollars in fines.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a premises liability judgment against the Syracuse club

Date Wednesday, March 23, 1887
Text

In the suit of John A. Cole vs. The Syracuse Base Ball Association for damages for injuries received through the breaking of the railing during a game at Star Park...in the summer of 1885, the jury yesterday [3/18] awarded the plaintiff $3,516.50. The Sporting Life March 23, 1887

dissension in the Kansas City management

The facts of the matter as presented by the Heim-Axman-Menges faction are these: No sooner had we got through the labor, worry and mortification of our defeat in the National League than a new trouble again presented itself. Mr. McKim who we supposed had secured the Western League franchise for the Kansas City Base Ball Association, now assumes a different air and demands $2,000 for the bare franchise; else, he intimates, he will place a team in this city if his proposition is not accepted. We were under the impression that he held the franchise merely as a sort of trustee for the Kansas City Base Ball Association. We paid him $2,600 for his stock in the Leuage club, of which amount we have had very little returned--in fact, have lost the whole $2,600--yet that was a business venture, and treated as such. This, with the $2,000 demanded, would make the most sum of $4,600 for what really cost him nothing. He proposes to impose this additional tax on us, and backs his position by a threat that unless his terms are complied with, he will prevent the Association from using the ball grounds, which he and Helm secured jointly for the use of the League club, and in which piece of ground he now owns a big lot. Well, I can safely say his exobitant figure will not be paid. Our only object in taking a position to the Western League is to keep up the interest here, as we intend to make an effort to re-enter the League or Association next season, and if McKim should conclude to keep the franhcise and play in the Western League, he does it with the sanction of the Base Ball Association of Kansas City, for we shall still continue as an organization.

McKim comes forward and makes known his side of the case. McKim gives some inside facts which will prove interesting. He says:--”Let me give you some facts aobut this base ball controversy. I thought after the Pittsburg meeting [illegible] National game this season, so I took active steps to secure a franchise in the Western League, and I made a proposition to that organization for a franchise and received this leter from the secretary of the Western League... [the letter follows]

“This goes to show it was granted to me individually, and nothing is stated in that certifcate that it was intended for the Kansas City Base Ball Associaiton. On the other hand, it plainly states that I am the grantee of the franchise, and which I propose to hold. I am perfectly willy to work in conjunction with Helm, Axman and Menges, but I feel as though I should derive some benefit for my trouble and expense.” The Sporting Life March 23, 1887

A prophecy about the fate of the AA

[quoting Watrous of the Mets] ...it is only a question of time when the Washington and Indianapolis clubs will be forced from the League and the St. Louis Browns and Cincinnatis taken in, and, unless such a clause...is incorporated in the National Agreement to prevent such action, the American Association will be wiped out of existence, as they cannot afford to lsoe many more powerful clubs. It is better to die fighting with all the chances of victory in one’s favor, than to have the league continue to steal our members. The Sporting Life March 23, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for a hybrid percentage-guarantee system

Date Sunday, August 21, 1887
Text

It is reported that at the special meeting of the League directors on Monday last a proposition was introduced providing for the continuance of the guarantee system, and also a graded percentage based on the drawing capacity of the visiting club. For instance, when the Philadelphias visit Washington and draw out a crowd beyond a certain number, they should be allowed the regular guarantee and some percentage of the gross receipts. If Chicago is able to draw out an unusually large crowd in Detroit, she should reap a certain benefit because of the attractiveness of her team. Such a system would stimulate all the clubs to get together the best drawing teams to be found, and those who simply attract an average attendance will continue to draw only the usual guarantee. Harry Wright declares that a club able to attract several thousand people beyond the average on any ground should be rewarded accordingly, and he heartily approved of the graded percentage system in addition to the present guarantee.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for a minor league draft

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] Why not give the minor leagues full protection and a representation on the Arbitration Committee that can be handled? As a consideration for these privileges reserve the right to make a draft of players for the Association and League, at the end of each season. Limit the draft per club and agree on a price per player, which shall be paid by the club taking to the club losing him. Thus the clubs are compensated for their losses, salaries are controlled, and there will be no more $1,000 packages of young blood.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for a minor league draft 2

Date Wednesday, December 7, 1887
Text

[from the Millennium plan] The minor leagues having received the inestimable privileges of reservation and representation, and the major leagues having thus, in a measure, cu off their sources of supply of young blood, some compensation must be accorded the latter by the former. …

A draft of requisition should be made for a certain limited number of players by the League and Association jointly each fall, and after the first season under this plan no player whatever should be taken from any minor league during the playing season, and not more than two, three or four players should be taken from any one minor club at one time. For each player so taken the two big leagues, as a pool, should pay a certain fixed sum to the league,not the club, from which said player is taken, or else give in exchange a League or Association player who has fallen below the standard. Such a system would do away with all the present expensive, wasteful and harmful methods of replenishing teams; the drafted player could be made to pay for their own advancement instead of being boosted at the clubs' expense. The minor leagues would get a fair equivalent for their players and the major leagues be protected from extortion and expensive experiments, getting a fair pick of just what they need and no more. … As not individual managers, but the League and Association jointly, would select the needed men, there would be no individual competition for the players, and prices would fall to a level commensurate with the ability of the drafted men. Indeed, the sorry spectacle of half-developed and unscrupulous players playing off anxious managers against each other to the point of ridiculousness would be witnessed no more and double contract deals would be impossible.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for a unified NL/AA

Date Wednesday, May 25, 1887
Text

President Spalding still has his pet scheme of one great League in mind. He never loses a chance to give it a push, and has been working hard of late with the various other club presidents to gain supporters for his plans. His idea now is to drop the Metroplitans and Clevelands from the American Association, and the Indianapolis and Washington nines from the National League at the end of this season. Then the League and the Association will be consolidated under the title of the American League. The New Yorks, Philadelaphias, Athletics, Bostons, Brooklyns and Baltimores will comprise the Eastern section, and the Chicagos, Detroits. St. Louis, Louisvilles, Cincinnatis and Pittsubrgs will for the Western division. The Western teams can make one trip East and the Eastern clubs can return the visit. Each nine could thus play six games with every other club in the League. It may be stated as a fact that several League clubs are strongly impressed with the practicality of this plan, and will give it cordial assistance should there be any chance to carry it into effect.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for interleague play

Date Wednesday, February 23, 1887
Text

Mr. Vonderhorst, of the Baltimore Club, always having an eye to business, is an advocate for a new schedule to be worked next year, which would provide for a series of games in the middle of the season, between the American Association and the League. “Instead of compelling a club to make so many trips either East or West,” said Mr. Vonderhorst, “arrangements could be made to have fewer trips, and to have a single series of say three or four games between the clubs of the two associations. The series would be a success financially, because every city having clubs would be anxious to see all the American and League teams. At present, the Baltimore patrons only have the opportunity of seeing a few of the League clubs, whereas I know, if all of them should be compelled to stop here, it would be a feature in the business, and money can be made in it. After the close of the series each association could continue its championship series. It is too late now to advocate a scheme of this kind, but it will receive attention before 1888.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for sectional leagues

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] What I want to see first is a consolidation of the clubs of the East and West in their respective sections; that is, an Eastern League for the leading clubs from Boston to Washington, and a Western League for the prominent clubs from St. Louis to Chicago, eight or ten for each section. The National Agreement answers all the purposes a single grand league could serve in promoting the interests of the game; while, on the other hand, having the clubs of the East and West under one league would be no improvement over the existing arrangement. The Interstate Railroad law has helped the movement for the organization of an Eastern and Western League considerably by increasing the outlay for the traveling now done between the two sections. Look how these trips West and East each season eat into the profits of the clubs. With two leagues, one East and one West, we should have far greater rivalry for championship honors than we now have, and, of course, more excitement and a larger patronage. Then, too, there would be a treble contest each season; first, for the championship of each section, and then for the championship of the United States.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed Detroit reserve team

Date Wednesday, October 26, 1887
Text

President Stearns serious contemplate organizing a Detroit Reserve team, and placing it in either the Ohio or Michigan State leagues. He thinks it could be made self-supporting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposed rule to make steals force plays

Date Wednesday, August 17, 1887
Text

[from Caylor's column]...I had a talk with [Ted] Sullivan about umpiring generally, and he expressed the opinion that most of the umpire's troubles came from decisions at second base, which, ion most cases, are as he claims—guess work. He suggested that the remedy for this must be found in a rule abolishing the necessity of touching a base-runner at second or third base on a steal, and making the play the same as a force-out b3y requiring the baseman to merely hold the ball on the base before the base-runner reaches it. That might relieve the umpire somewhat, but it would kill the science of base-running and base-playing. In fact, Mr. Sullivan's theory would never do.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a retrospective of the founding of the AA Athletics; finances; ownership

Date Sunday, October 30, 1887
Text

In 1880 William Sharsig and Charles Mason leased Oakdale Park, at Eleventh and Cumberland streets, and started a club to play ball on the co-operative plan. Sharsig had gained considerable experience as manager of the famous J. D. Shibe Club, at one time the amateur champions, and Mason was an old ball player. He had come from the Live Oaks, of Lynn, to the Philadelphia Club in 1876. He gave their new venture the name of the Athletic Club. In 1881 Charles Fulmer, then a famous shortstop, and now a Police Magistrate, was taken into the club and given a third interest. Fulmer and Mason were both playing on the team, and as Mr. Sharsig had his hands full looking after the financial interests of the club, it was decided to engage a manager. At this time Horace B. Phillips, now manager of the Pittsburg Club, was in New York. Horace was sent for, but he was broke and didn’t have enough money to come to this city. Fulmer sent Phillips a five-dollar note, and when he arrived here he was given a fourth interest in the club and made manager.

As soon as Phillips became settled in his new berth he made arrangements for the League clubs to play exhibition games in this city. This is where Phillips first gained his nickname of “Hustler.” He was nervy and not afraid to take some risk. Phillips first tackled the Boston Club. “A guarantee of $250, with privilege of one-half gate, with $100 for expenses in case it rains,” was the message that came from the “Hub.” The club treasury was not in a condition to stand these demands, but Phillips was undaunted, and he wired back in reply: “Terms accepted. Come on.” Phillips set to work to advertise the game. He and his partners distributed their own hand-bills and gave the public notice of the coming game in every conceivable way within their means. When the eventful day arrived the partners took account of stock and after the four had emptied their pockets they found they were worth nine dollars and sixteen cents. “If it rains to-day our name is Dennis,” said Phillips. “We can’t pay the guarantee and no other League clubs will ever play here.” But the sun shone brightly, the crowds poured through the gates and the two clubs shared over $600 between them. This was a starter. After this all the League clubs, except Cleveland, played here and the club closed the season with a handsome surplus.

Horace Phillips withdrew from the club at the close of 1881 and Lew Simmons brought a fourth interest for $200. The American Association was formed at the close of 1881and the Athletic Club was admitted to membership. Before the season of 1882 opened Charles Fulmer accepted an offer to play with the Cincinnati Club and he voluntarily released his interest in the Athletic Club, but subsequently he was paid $60 which he had expended for club matters. The Athletics finished second among the six Association clubs in 1882 and the players and managers made a good sum of money on the co-operative plan.

In 1883 the club moved to its present grounds at Twenty-sixth and Jefferson streets and became a salaried organization. This was a banner year. Not only did the Athletics win the championship, but the trio of owners are said to have divided from $75,000 to $90,000 in profits. Messrs. Simmons, Sharsig and Mason have continued as partners ever since. “We have never had a losing year,” said Mr. Simmons to a reporter of The Times last night. “We made money in 1884, ‘85 and ‘86, and we have lost nothing this year.”

When Horace Phillips withdrew from the Athletic Club he organized the Philadelphia Club as a member of the League Alliance. After the “Phillies” were admitted to the League, and Harry Wright became manager, they gained steadily in public favor, and the Athletics lost much of their former prestige. At the close of last season the Athletic franchise was valued at $150,000, and when President Von der Ahe, of St. Louis, wanted to buy a two-thirds interest in the club last spring Messrs. Simmons and Mason offered to sell out for $50,000 each. Von der Ahe offered $35,000 for both interests, and was refused. The subsequent good record made by the Philadelphia Club, added to the attractiveness of their new grounds, proved injurious to the Athletic Club, and towards the close of the season very small crowds witnessed their games. On October 22 President Von der Ahe was offered a two-third interest in the club for $30,000. It was understood that he would accept these terms on November 1, but Messrs. Simmons and Mason declined to wait until that time, and the present stock concern was formed since Monday last.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ringing endorsement of the color line

Date Saturday, July 2, 1887
Text

[from June Rankin's column] The general impression is that Crothers was about right when he refused to have his picture taken in a group with Higgins, the “Coon.” This thing of ringing niggers into white clubs and compelling the players to associate with them is beyond common decency, and Crothers deserves great credit for showing his manhood. If Syracuse wants a colored club there are plenty of niggers to be had, but this thing of having their teams made up of half black and half white, like many of the International League clubs is really disgusting and, if anything, degrading.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of a colored club in the Eastern League

Date Wednesday, August 3, 1887
Text

The Eastern League held a meeting at Waterbury, July 27, to consider the possibility of securing a fourth club in order to keep the League alive. While the meeting was in progress a dispatch was received announcing the Cuban Giants would come into the League and play at Bridgeport and this arrangement was accepted as an excellent solution of the difficulties in the situation. The League must have been imposed upon, however, as the manager of the Cuban Giants denies having made any application to the Eastern League. He says his club couldn't afford to enter any League under the National Agreement, as they could not then play within five miles of New York, where they now play profitable Sunday games.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sale to a minor league club

Date Wednesday, January 5, 1887
Text

Decker's release from Washington cost Toronto $300. All the other League clubs consented to hold hands off.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a scorer's association

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

While the American Association was in session yesterday [12/9], the many base ball reporters present acting upon the suggestion of The Sporting Life, got together and organized the Base Ball Scorers' Association of America. …

At the afternoon session Messrs. Chadwick, Brunell and J. C. Kennedy...presented articles of organization, which affirmed that the objects of the Association are to promote the interests and welfare of the National game, and to procure a thorough and uniform system of base ball scoring, giving correct data on which to base reliable statistics for the annual averages. All regular reporters of base ball of the daily and weekly press of America are eligible to membership. The annual dues were fixed at one dollar.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a secret AA meeting; a move to oust Wikoff; dissension in the AA; the guarantee system

Date Sunday, July 31, 1887
Text

The first ripple of excitement that precedes the war of the clubs which will be inaugurated before the arrangements for the two big organizations are completed for next season occurred at New York on Tuesday last, when four of the American Association clubs held a secret conference. The clubs represented were Louisville, St. Louis, Cleveland and the Metropolitan. Charges of incompetency were preferred against President Wikoff. It was intimated that it had been intended to take a vote to oust Wikoff, but the failure of William Barnie, of Baltimore, who was expected to hold a proxy from the Athletics, to arrive in time, left the meeting without a majority of clubs necessary to act in the matter. It was finally agreed to hold a special meeting of the Association in New York on September 3, and the four clubs present united in an open call to President Wikoff to call the meeting.

This is the news of the conference as it came over the wires, but there was considerably more that did not reach the newspapers. The absence of such a representative as President Charles H. Byrne, of the Brooklyn Club, was of course marked. Mr. Byrne did not receive an invitation from the meeting, simply because he has always championed Wikoff’s cause. It has been alleged that Wikoff has always acted in the interest of the Brooklyn Club to the detriment of the other clubs of the Association, and this was one of the principal charges brought against him. The Cincinnati Club was not represented at the meeting; neither was the Athletic Club, of this city. “We knew nothing about it,” said Lew Simmons, “and I do not know as we would have sent a representative, anyhow.”

Trouble has been brewing in the Association ranks for some time, and all efforts to stave it off have failed. There is cause for alarm in President Von der Ahe’s threat to join the National League. The loss of such a club, and such a team by the Association at this time would be a sad blow. The present compact circuit is strong in every way. The cities are just about the right distance apart; all have populations capable of supporting good clubs, and there has been such an improvement in equalizing the playing strength of the teams that the contests between them grow more exciting and attractive every day. Enemies of the Association have been pitching into Von der Ahe, and have been advising it to adopt such legislation as would drive the champion Browns out of the organization altogether. They argue that the vacancy could be easily filled. So it could. Buffalo is the most available city so far offered, and Buffalo would not doubt jump at an Association franchise. But Buffalo would never fill the gap. It could not support a League club, and an Association team in that city would have to be a winner to prove self-supporting. A losing club there would simply prove a drag to the Association. No city or club that could be secured would prove the drawing attraction away from home that the St. Louis Club is, and the Association club s would find a marked falling off in their receipts. The Association cannot afford to lose any of its clubs at this time, more especially St. Louis.

The present trouble in the Association is not so much President Wikoff’s incompetency, and the umpires, as it is something else. The desire of St. Louis, and perhaps one or two other clubs, to obtain a more equitable division of the gate receipts has had more to do with it than anything else. The present system, which gives the visiting club a guarantee of sixty-five dollars per game, and allows the home club to retain the remainder of the receipts, has not proven satisfactory to Von der Ahe, and he inaugurated a movement to have it changed, so that the visiting club should share in a percentage of the receipts. His trouble with the Association now is identical with that of Detroit with the League. The difference is this, that while Detroit’s threats to jump into the Association have been rapturously applauded by the organs, Von der Ahe’s threats to join the League have caused him to be jumped upon and denounced as a traitor to the Association. The Metropolitan Club has joined hands with St. Louis on the percentage plan and Managing Director Watrous says very plainly that the “Mets” will not continue in the Association unless the percentage plan is adopted. A vacancy in the Association ranks in the East would be more difficult to fill now than one in the West. Louisville is probably also in favor of the new deal and it is likely that Cleveland can be counted upon to support it. These four clubs seem to be alone, however, as it is authoritatively stated that Brooklyn, Baltimore, Cincinnati and the Athletics have entered into an agreement favoring the continuance of the present guarantee system. As it will require a two-thirds vote to amend the constitution it will be seen that there will be plenty of wire pulling between this and the annual meeting of the Association in December.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a shot at the Millennium Plan

Date Saturday, October 1, 1887
Text

[from June Rankin’s column] Richter does not altogether fancy having his grand soap-bubble scheme of pooling the baseball players criticized.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sighting of Sol White

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] Sol White, who was the crack second baseman of Walter Brown's Keystones, has signed with the Cuban Giants.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a spectacle encroaches on the St. George grounds

Date Wednesday, August 24, 1887
Text

Since the spectacle of the Fall of Babylon was started on the St. George Grounds, and the centre field of the ball ground was encroached upon by the stage, it has been a ground rule of the club that any ball hit to right field, which went to the stage, either directly from the bat or after passing a fielder, should only give the batsman two bases, either on the hit or on the muff.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion for a single-owner league model

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent’s column] Looking over some “backnumbers” lately, one of the places where Caylor had stuck a pin came to view. It was a prediction to the effect that the League and Association would consolidate in 1887. It would seem now not to be so probable, but they can do it yet before Dec. 31, that is if they are anxious to save Caylor’s reputation as a prophet. Why in the world they do not consolidate the whole thing into one grand stock company is a mystery to business men. Then there would be no fighting over the schedules, no conflicting dates, no wrecking copetition for players, but a sort of a Standard Oil concern that could dictate terms to railroads, hotels, and over the range of every field of expense. By such a system, even the saving over the present one would make an independent fortune. The present policy of independent clubs creates a financial rivalry that operates as a throat-cutting proceeding to all the parties concerned, and has long ago been abandoned in all lines of business of equal magnitude and parallel characteristics. The joint stock company project, too, is probably the only one that will ever accomplish the base ball millennium; that is, the equalization of the playing strength of teams. The Sporting Life February 9, 1887 [See also George Williams’ column TSL 870223.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a throat protector

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

Doescher's mask has a protection attachment for the throat.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA admission rates

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

[from Caylor's column] The Association will find it necessary this winter to regulate the question of gate admissions and make them uniform. Under existing laws what is to prevent the Metropolitan Club or the St. Louis Club from raising the price of gate admissions next season to fifty cents. Or again, what is to prevent either club from charging twenty cents admission to the grounds or even fifteen cents and afterwards selling a seat of any kind for sums varying from ten to fifty cents. In Cincinnati the club has very few purely twenty-five cents admissions—three-fourths of all paying from forty to fifty cents. In Philadelphia there are something like 200 free tickets out for which the visiting clubs will get nothing unless they make the tariff division at so much for each person. On some grounds ladies are admitted at the gates free, but charged at the grand stand; and unless a “forestaller” is pushed forward, more than one of the clubs will be working that screw.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA adopts a modified percentage plan

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 9/5/1887] ...the percentage question and some time was consumed in discussing it. Finally Mr. Byrne, of Brooklyn, who had all along been considered the most determined opponent of the percentage plan, proposed a compromise which found ready acceptance, Von der Ahe becoming at once its advocate. Byrne's amendment to section 31 provides for a percentage of 30 per cent. of the gross receipts, coupled with a guarantee that said percentage must not fall below $130 per game. This rate will apply also to holidays where the rule had heretofore been equal division. This percentage was not exactly what Louisville, Cleveland and Metropolitan clubs had hoped for, but as Von der Ahe turned in for it, and the Athletic, Brooklyn, Baltimore and Cincinnati clubs supported it, it was the best that could be done and was adopted unanimously.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA players and the Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, September 7, 1887
Text

[quoting Ward] We had it about fixed for a man to go ahead and do the work. He was a member of the Pittsburg Club. Just at that time Pittsburg came into the League, and that fact knocked us out. There are several men who are fully competent to organize the movement, and, since the Association players are with us in the matter of breaking up the old contract, I expect to see a brotherhood organized shortly. Comiskey, Stovey, Burns, Fennelly and a dozen others could be mentioned who could get the matter in shape. Of course we would help them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

abolishing the dropped third strike double play

Date Sunday, April 10, 1887
Text

Heretofore the rule declaring a batter out “if the ball be momentarily held,” has led to a vast amount of wrangling among opposing players, dissatisfaction to spectators, and yowling at the umpire. This new rule is intended to put a stop to all this disgusting confusion. When there is a man on first and no more than one man out...what has been the po int of sharp play by the catcher? To purposely muff the third strike, force both men to run, and then, by throwing to second, to make a double play. This he can no longer do, the batter being out upon the fourth missed strike, no matter whether the ball is caught or not.

Source Detroit Free Press
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

abolishing the force on a dropped third strike

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

[from a column by Ward defending the new rules] The batter is out in all cases on his fourth strike, whether it be caught or not, if, at the time, the first is occupied and there is thereby a chance for a double play. This rule has been severely criticized, though now it is being better received as it is better understood. It is really nothing new in principle at all, for we have played under it in the League for the past three years at least. It is simply enacting by positive rule, what formerly rested for its authority on instruction to the umpires from the secretary. The batter was out if his third strike was “momentarily held.” But the tricky catcher patted the ball down in front of him and the umpire, being directly behind and unfortunately unable to see through him, could not tell whether or not the ball had been so held. The decisions, resulting sometimes in double and triple plays, caused so much confusion that the umpires, with the approval of the secretary, decided the batter out at once in all such cases. They excepted the case where the ball plainly broke through the catcher’s hands. But sometimes the ball bounded to one side or broke through and did go out of the catcher’s reach, and the double or triple play was made. This identical case made much trouble for an umpire in Boston a couple of years since. To avoid all disputes then, the committee made the rule positive so as to declare the batter out in all such cases. The catcher is by no means relieved of the necessity of catching the ball, for if he doesn’t the runners will take advantage of the passed ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

abuses of the reserve

Date Wednesday, July 20, 1887
Text

[from Ward's resume of the history of the reserve rule] During the season of 1883 [Charles Foley] contracted a malady which incapacitated him for play. He was laid off without pay, though still held subject to the direction of his club. In the fall he was placed among the players reserved by the club, though he had not been on the club's pay-roll for months. The following spring he was still unable to play, and the Buffalo Club refused either to sign or release him. He recovered somewhat and offered his services to the club, but it still refused to sign him. Having been put to great expense in securing treatment, his funds were exhausted and it became absolutely necessary for him to do something. He had offers from several minor clubs, to whom he would still have been a valuable player, but on asking for his release from Buffalo it was again refused. He was compelled to remain idle all that summer, without funds to pay for medical treatment, and then, to crown all, the Buffalo Club again reserved him in the fall of 1884.

The second abuse was a clear violation of the spirit of the rule, and a direct breach of contract on the part of several clubs. A clause in the old form of contract gave the club the right to release any player at any time, with or without cause, by giving him twenty days' notice. Of course, this was meant to apply to individual cases and total releases. But several clubs, seeing in this a convenient means of escaping the payment of the last month's salary, gave all their players the twenty days' notice on Sept. 10, and on Oct. 1 dismissed them instead of on Nov. 1, as the contracts stipulated. One club did not even go to the trouble of giving the notice, but, in open disregard of its contract obligations, dismissed its players Oct. 1. Two of the men had courage enough to bring suit, and they recovered judgment, and finally got their full pay; but the others lost the month's wages. But now, the most extraordinary part of all, after formally releasing the men, the same clubs claimed and were conceded the right of reserving them for the following year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

acceptance of the new pitching delivery rules

Date Monday, September 26, 1887
Text

The new rules have come to stay, despite the many kicks, and it is doubtful if they will be changed in any particular except the making of “a hit by pitched ball” a base hit. The pitchers are getting used to the way of delivering the ball and are truer than they used to be. Batting has increased about twenty-five per cent. among good hitters, and a popular vote upon the question would show a great majority for the rules as they stand., quoting the New York Sun

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

access to the new Philadelphia grounds

Date Wednesday, January 19, 1887
Text

The new Philadelphia grounds are admirably situated for the convenience of the public. The Reading road runs alongside, while the Pennsylvania Germantown Junction Station is within two minutes' walk. Several lines of horse-cars run either directly to or within a few squares of the grounds, so that it will be easy for visitors to reach home within a reasonable time after the completion of a game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advanced stats to analyze pitching performance

Date Wednesday, August 17, 1887
Text

[see Sporting Life August 17, 1887 p. 3 from Cincinnati correspondent for an analysis of Reds' pitchers using win-loss, earned runs allowed, and run and fielding support.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advocacy for and obstacles to the one league plan; Spalding on the plan

Date Wednesday, June 1, 1887
Text

[from Caylor's column] ...right here I may add that the one League idea is assuming plausible shape without any extra effort. The idea is not a new one, nor has it been thought of only recently. Mr. Von der Ahe talked about it over a year ago to me on the Desbrosses street ferry, and at the time told me he believed it to be a good plan and one that would some day have to be adopted. I can say definitely to-day that there is, at this time, twice the advocacy of this plan among American Association and League clubs than there was a month ago. There are are enough clubs in the two associations now ready to advocate the plan in a rough outline to carry it into effect next fall, and the Detroit Club is one of the strongest believers in the scheme of all. But so many obstacles to an agreement will come up if the plan is ever brought up for discussion that it is extremely doubtful whether such an agreement could be reached. The League would have to make concessions on Sunday playing and liquor privileges before the plan would be at all feasible. There would also be a squabble over the disposal of players from the three or four rejected clubs. The Sporting Life June 1, 1887

[from an interview of Spalding by an unidentified Chicago reporter] It is only a question of time when some sort of a union will be made between the National League and the American Association. I don’t think, however, that such a union will come right away... The question of Sunday games is a stumbling block for one thing. The Association plays Sunday games, while the League does not. A still greater objection is the feeling the would undoubtedly arise in the public mind as to the fairness of the contest. The public is inclined to be critical as it is now, and with the clubs in one big pool, there would be ground for the idea that hippodroming was going on. There ought to be some central authority which all would recognize, and to that extent some such plan would be a good thing. However, the matter has made no progress whatever since it was first broached, for the reason that it has received no particular attention. The Philadelphia Times June 5, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

aggressive base running

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

About every club in the country announces its determination to make base-running a feature next season. Of course, they’ll all start in that way, but in a few weeks, when the players have become sore and raw, the base-running idea will take a sudden flop. Only two clubs that we know of--the St. Louis and Chicago--have the nerve to keep it up all the season round. Een the Phillies weakened in sliding as the season advanced last year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an alderman extorts season tickets from the New York Club

Date Wednesday, January 5, 1887
Text

In he spring of 1885, while McQuade was alderman he went to the manager of the New York Base Ball Club, and said that the [illegible] was before the Board of Aldermen, to put a street right through the centre of the Polo Ground, at One Hundred and Tenth street and Fifth avenue, and thirteen members of the board were going to vote for its passage. However, McQuade added that he thought he could have the mater tabled if the base ball people would give him 100 books of season tickets to distribute among the aldermen. As the tickets, admitting holders to the grounds and grand stand, are valued at $30 a book, there was a mild base ball kick, but McQuade gave the directors to understand that the street would go through the grounds unless he had the pasteboard boodle to stop it with, so the manager came down with the tickets, and it was expected that that would end the matter. McQuade took 100 books, worth $3,000, and for a few days the aldermen were quiet; but a week or two later they began to “kick” and demand tickets for not cutting the street through the Polo Grounds. The manager told one of the kickers that the tickets had already been sent down to them. This was indignantly denied. A quiet investigation was made, and it was discovered that McQuade had given each alderman a book and kept the remaining seventy-six books to distribute among his political friends outside the board. In other words, used the tickets where they would do the most good, leaving the Polo people to settle the best they could with the kicking alderman who were left out in the cold. The Sporting Life January 5, 1887, quoting the New York Herald

Pittsburgh Club ownership

[from a letter from Nimick to Nick Young] Having succeeded in obtaining a clear title to our club we are organizing a new company called the “Pittsburg Athletic Association.’ It is composed of E. C. Converse, H. R. Brown, J. Palmer O’Neal and myself. We will own the Allegheny Base Ball Club, but will run it as a distinct organization. We expect to complete everything this week and will then hold a meeting. This does not alter the ownership or personnel of our club in any way, but simply gives us what we never had before–sole ownership. The Philadelphia Times January 9, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an amateur club splitting off from the cricket side

Date Wednesday, January 12, 1887
Text

The Young American Club will meet...for the purpose of organizing upon a distinct basis. Hitherto the base ball club has been simply a branch of the Young America Cricket Club, and although the base ball division has been by far the most popular, as well as least expensive, branch of the club, yet it has been continually snubbed and set back by the cricket element, which happens to be in the majority. The base ballists and their friends have tired of this, and now propose to secede from the parent organization and set up as an independent organization. All the active players of the team and their many friends are enthusiastic in support of the movement, and no doubt a strong and permanent base ball association will be formed. The club has secured from the Philadelphia League Club the privilege of its gymnasium, and the exclusive use of the new ground for two days in the week—a very important advantage, as it insures for the club a good playing ground, with all possible conveniences. The Cricket Club says ti will put a new base ball team in the field, but the team they will be able to gather now will be only a shadow of the former Young American Club, and will do the club little or no credit. Success to the new Young American Base Ball Club! The Sporting Life January 12, 1887 [See TSL 1/19/1887 p. 5 for the organizational meeting.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an analysis of Von der Ahe's player sales

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] There is more in that boss manager out in St. Louis by the name of Von der Ahe than many give him credit for. He has a level base ball head, does not beat around the bush, but comes out bluntly with the assertion that he is not going to run a nine for fun and glory any longer. It is going to be for boodle hereafter. A walk-over for the championship means no money, and the Browns' president has found that out. What is more, he has taken the very sensible view of the case that the old favorites cease to be attractions after a while where they have been seen too long. Who thinks for a moment that Von der Ahe considers “Doc” Bushong or Foutz a weaker battery than they have been for two years, or that Curt Welch is not just as good an outfielder as he ever was? Nothing is the matter with their playing, but St. Louis is too strong, and then St. Louis people have seen these men in the Browns' uniforms so long that they want a change.

Von der Ahe is a dead copy of Al Spalding in this move. Brooklyn and Philadelphia are the two best Association towns, so he puts his star players where they will help draw the best when he gets around with the remains of the champs. And then, too, the Brooklyns and Athletics will both be big drawing cards in St. Louis. Each will have old St. Louis favorites, and their admirers will turn out to see them. How was it when the Bostons went to Chicago this year? The attendance was tremendous, as everybody wanted to see Kelly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an assessment of Mullane's character

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1887
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column] I used to think Tony a great pitcher—and so he was when he is actuated by a spirit of revenge and a warm desire to “do up” the other side. But he is not loyal. He is for Tony Mullane first, Tony Mullane second and Tony Mullane third. He has certainly proved to the satisfaction of ninety-nine out of every hundred that he don't care a rap for the club...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early attempt by Washington to get Ward

Date Saturday, August 27, 1887
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] The Ward deal which has been the subject of conversation (amongst all interested in baseball), the past ten days, has been declared off, and the management of the Washington team will have to get along without him for the balance of the season. Everybody in this city trusted that the deal would be consummated, and the hopes of seeing Johnny playing short for the Senators was expected to be a certainty. But now comes work from Gotham that Ward would not be released from the New York club under any circumstances, any therefore the high hopes of all have received a great blasting, as it were.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early mistaken claim that the New York Club bought the Troys

Date Sunday, October 16, 1887
Text

[from the New York correspondent] The sale of the Mets to the Brooklyn Club was anticipated by many, for the team has not been a profitable concern since it entered the American Association. In 1880, 1881 and 1882, as a League Alliance team, playing exhibitions with all the prominent League teams, it made money, and its success led its owner to purchase the Troy League team and join the League. That was in 1883, and in that year the Mets joined the American Association, since which time money has been lost on it.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early prediction of the Brooklyn and Cincinnati defections

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

[from Caylor's column] If that big Brooklyn team carries off the Association championship this year, it will be a League member in 1889. If Brooklyn goes, so will Cincinnati. I say stick a pin here in spite of all the earnest denials that may be made.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early sighting of John Brush

Date Wednesday, January 5, 1887
Text

[following up on a letter by a collection of Indianapolis businessmen to Spalding about buying the Kansas City franchise] The gentlemen interested are all well-known business men, who represent wealth amounting to over two million dollars. They are also of a character that will assure success in the venture. J. B. Brush is a partner and manager of “The When Clothing Company,” a mammoth concern which is a pride of the city. Mr. B. is a man of sterling business qualities, and has a reputation of being a “hustler” in anything and everything he undertakes. If the franchise is purchased Mr. Brush will, in all probability, be made president of the club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an economics argument against Sunday games

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] Of course I understand that as long as Louisville, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Brooklyn are in the American Association—and they are its staunchest pillars—it is no use to advocate the abolition of Sunday games. But I am fully convinced that if it were possible the American Association would profit by a change of policy. I am no zealot, and believe that attendance at a game of ball is healthier than the average method of passing leisure time, including church-going. But all people are not in this frame of mind, and there would be more support of the Association by those who lead in every community and arrogate to themselves the formation of public opinion if Sunday games were abandoned. The stockholders of the Cleveland Club are not Puritans, and might even leave their club play Sunday games at home if public opinion was not so strongly against it. As it is, we shall lose some of the most straight laced of the people who used to attend games here—and Cleveland is the most Puritanical of big Western towns—because the team plays Sunday games away from home. I am prepared to say, from my knowledge of the city and its people, that should the Cleveland Club play Sunday home games it would draw as large crowds as does Cincinnati or Louisville, but that the average attendance per game through the season would be a good deal less than it will be without Sunday games.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an editorial on player sales

Date Monday, October 3, 1887
Text

[editorial matter] Base ball law is as intricate as it is curious. The League and the Association, the two great base ball organizations, practically control all the players in the land. They are bound by the same rules. These rules allow each club at the end of the playing season to reserve a certain number of men and these men have absolutely no choice in the matter. They must play as they are ordered or the blacklist is the result. They may desire to go to other clubs at higher salaries but are prohibited. Any club, however, can sell a man outright to another club, as Chicago a few months ago sold a player to Boston for $10,000. The player has absolutely no rights in the matter whatever. He may have a home of his own and a family to support, but if ordered to do so must pull up stakes for another city or quit playing ball. In other words, the moment he becomes a member of a base ball club, he is no longer master of himself, but is subjected to a slavery such as no corporation, however powerful, would dare enforce. He must sign a contract to play–a contract so one-sided that while he can never protest, his employers can break it at a moment’s notice. The Philadelphia Times October 3, 1887

arbitrary power in some clauses of the standard contract

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] Undoubtedly there are some clauses in the form of contract that should be obliterated entirely, others that should be modified, and the document could be made more perfect and beneficial to both manager and player by adding some new features. Wise employers like Mr. Rogers and Mr. Phelps admit that there are some features of the form of contract that are there to merely provide for a sort of an emergency; that they are seldom enforced, and but as a kind of safety valve to restrain the player from carrying too much steam. They are understood to admit that these clauses clothe one party to the contract with unusual—and it may be said—almost unlimited arbitrary power, but that this peculiar authority is recognized as such and is safe from abuse by the managers. If all the managers were but duplicates in intelligence, judgment and wise kindness, of Messrs. Phelps and Rogers, these gigantic and despotic powers might be safely lodged with them, but, unfortunately, some managers are ignorant creatures of impulse and passion, governed by likes and dislikes, swayed one moment to thoughtless indulgences, alternated by foolish, tyrannical behavior, easily moved to malice, with blunted ideas of justice; by native ability or education unfit and by accident of fortune an arbiter over the destinies of a small body of human beings. These, in common with the wise managers, have this awful power. The Sporting Life October 5, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an evaluation of NL-AA relations

Date Saturday, September 10, 1887
Text

The League ever since its formation in the spring of 1876 has had full control of the baseball business. Their most formidable rival has been the American Association, but the moment they grew too powerful for the League to utterly ignore other tactics were brought into play by the long headed Leaguers. The American Association were given recognition and to all outward appearances the Association were given an equal share with the League in the great baseball monopoly. In every deal, however, the League bested the Association and by the time the latter tumbled to the fact that they were outwitted it was always too late to make amends, so they would simply froth a little at the mouth and vow vengeance what they would go the next time. It was the same old story over and over again each time they entered into any kind of an agreement with the League until it became quite a chestnut for them to make a bold front but always get left. This time they say they have a clear case in the Detroit-Cincinnati squabble over Beatin and Kinslow, and they have made a big bluff in the shape of showing fight, but the chances are that when the matter comes to an issue they will stick their tails between their legs and permit the League to convince them that they have made a mistake.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an experimental game with no coaching

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1887
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Boston 6/10/1887] [from the Boston correspondent's column] Harry Wright is a great hand for trying new notions and he wanted to play one of his games here this week with no coaching. Manager Morrill and Captain Kelly were willing to see how the thing would work, and so this afternoon's game was played without a bit of coaching, save when a man would forget himself for an instant, and shriek out something from the bench. It was a real nice, quiet, easygoing game, but there was just the element lacking which brightens up the play. It isn't natural for a ball player to sit quietly on the bench and hold Quaker meeting. In a ball game we want every point of the game played, and you don't get them all without some coaching. I am not making a plea for such childish prattle as Shock and Kreig, of the Washingtons, keep up, but legitimate, honest coaching, such as Kelly Morrill and Burdock do for Boston; Anson, Pfeffer and Williamson for Chicago and so on.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an improved catcher's glove

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

Arthur Irwin, the famous short stop of the Philadelphia Club, has just perfected and placed uon the market a catchers’ glove which is bound to supercede any other style of glove now in the market, as it is not only quite as cheap, but far superior in point of durability and adaptability to the work required of it. We have seen the article in question, and speak from knowledge. No player will ever, we are convinced, use any other glove after a trial of Irwin’s glove. Bushong, Jack rowe, and other great catchers have endorsed it. The glove is hand-made and sewed, has no seams on the palm and fingers to come in contact with the ball, and is so skillfully padded as to be extremely liable [sic: probably should be pliable]. It is also calculated to protect the wrist from foul tips. Irwin’s advertisement on antoher page will give futher particulars.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an infield fly play

Date Thursday, June 23, 1887
Text

[Washington vs. Detroit 6/22/1887] In the seventh inning an interesting point was raised. O’Brien and Whitney, the first men at bat, made successive singles and occupied second and first bases respectively. Shoch popped a fly over third base, which Shindle [second baseman] ran for and failed to catch, the ball striking the ends of his fingers. Shindle picked up the ball and threw to Rowe, who had covered third, and he in turn threw to Dunlap at second. Umpire Doeshcer declared both O’Brien and Whitney out on the ground that they were forced, Shindle not having ‘momentarily” held the ball as provided in section 2, rule 53, as follows... It was apparent to all that Shindle made a genuine effort to catch the ball. Dunlap called to him to drop it, meaning for him to let the ball strike the ground and then try for a dougle, which is entirely legitimate. But Shindle didn’t try to drop. He tried honestly to catch the ball and failed. There is no doubt on that point.

Source Detroit Free Press
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an informal meeting between Brotherhood and League counsel

Date Wednesday, October 26, 1887
Text

After the [Brotherhood] committee meeting and just prior to the Detroit-St. Louis game the Brotherhood lawyer, Mr. Blackhurst, and the League lawyer, Col. Rogers, were brought together by the editor of The Sporting Life and the two had an informal interchange of views on the “contract” and “recognition” questions. The conference was amicable and led to the clearing away of some doubts and misconstructions and it is possible that it may yet lead to a peaceful settlement of the issue between the League and its players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentional walk 2

Date Saturday, May 21, 1887
Text

[Rochester vs. Syracuse, date unspecified] The crisis came in the eighth inning, but it was surmounted in masterly style. Two runs had been scored by Rochester in that inning and men were on third and second with two out. If these two men reached home, the score would be tied. Lewis, probably the best batsman in the League, was at the bat. Crothers whispered to Buckley and then sent in five ball wide of the plate, purposely giving Lewis his base. The Rochester contingent in the crowd hissed, and dubbed the play a “baby act,” and some Syracusans joined in the ungentlemanly demonstration. Instead of censure, Crothers is deserving of the highest praise for the act. It proves that he is not a record player; but that he plays every point to win the gaem, and that is all he cares about. Let Crothers play his own game. He knows more about the points of baseball and more about the weaknesses of batsmen than any of his advisers. He knew that Doc Kennedy, the next batsman, is shoulder bound and cannot hit a high ball. He also knew that Kennedy had little success in hitting him last season. Kennedy batted a fly to Marr, and the scores were kept back., quoting the Syracuse Standard

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an involuntary trade

Date Wednesday, May 25, 1887
Text

Phil Reccius will probably be released to the Cleveland Club, where he is wanted to guard third base. Manager Kelly says that he has no particular need for Reccius, and that it would be doing him an injustice to keep such an excellent player on the substitute list. Reccius, however, swears that he will not play with the Cleveland team, and says that he would rather be a substitute on the Kentucky club. The price for his release has not been agreed upon, but the deal will probably be made. Phil's best work has been done for the Louisville Club, and he hates to leave it. He has many friends in this city who hold that he ought to be retained. The club can retrench expenses, however, by his release, and this is the principal reason for the transfer. The Sporting Life May 25, 1887 [N.B. The sale was made.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an opposition to the new pitching rules

Date Wednesday, February 23, 1887
Text

[from Jim Hart’s column] We played last Sunday at Alameda under the new rules, and the roasting that they got from the spectators and the city papaers was enough to condemn them forever. I can’t see how they are going to improve the game, as there has certainly heretofore been interest in the work of the pitchers. Under these rules the pitcher is the least important player on the team. In fact any person who can take the position required and throw a ball fifty feet can be a first-class pitcher under the new code. The rules might just as well be two strikes and three balls, as all prior to those are wasted. Foutz and Morris simply tossed the ball up where the batters could not help but hit it--as ball players say, the laid it on the bat. If the ball happens to be hit at a fielder, it is an out or an error; if it happens to go away from a fielder, it’s a hit, so the whole thing simmers down to a matter of luck. If these rules alst there will be no further use for high-priced pitchers. My opinion is that the spectators will not like the rules, and that the games will lack interest and the patronage drop off. I failed to hear one person speak well of the rules after Sunday’s game. The California League and the California State League say that they will not play under the rules.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an overflow crowd

Date Wednesday, April 20, 1887
Text

[Boston vs. Baltimore 4/11/1887] The crowd were literally all over the field, and frequently some would even make a dash across the diamond itself, while the confused mass that entirely surrounded the players encroached largely over the foul lines on to fair ground just in rear of first and third bases. Of course it was impossible to play the game correctly under the circumstances, and many hits were such because the fielders were unable to jump over the heads of a living barrier.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an umpire positions himself behind the pitcher

Date Sunday, August 28, 1887
Text

Umpire Powers has recently been struck with several foul tips while standing close to the bat. Yesterday he stood behind the pitcher and umpired. He performed his duties in a manner satisfactory to the players and the crowd and the latter liked the innovation.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an umpire wearing cricket pads; shin guards

Date Wednesday, December 7, 1887
Text

The question of the speediest pitcher in the League has been settled. Charley Ferguson secures the honor. Ex-Umpire John Wilson tells me that, while umpiring last spring, he was hit on the leg by one of Fergy's speedy balls that, although he wore cricket pads, the leg was so badly bruised that it is still discolored from the effects of the blow. He thinks Fergy has more speed than any pitcher living.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

anchors for the bases

Date Wednesday, May 25, 1887
Text

Detroit's ground-keeper, Uncle Billy Houston, has invented a double anchor for first and third bases to prevent them being knocked out of place. Second, which is bombarded by the base-sliders, is so fastened in the centre that it will swing around, but not come loose.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

antedate of 'hold out'

Date Wednesday, May 4, 1887
Text

Instead, he has, it is alleged, encouraged him to hold out... quoting the Cincinnati Enquirer

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

arguments for and against allowing substitutes

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting the joint rules committee meeting 11/15/1885] Delegate Spalding presented the following resolution:--”Resolved, That the question of each club having one or more extra men in uniform on the players' bench, who may be introduced into the game at any time, be brought up for discussion at the annual meetings of League and Association.” He urged its adoption, claiming that it would stop endless disputes and put a check on sulking players. Phelps also spoke in its favor. Scandrett, it is said, objected, but the resolution was finally adopted. The Sporting Life November 23, 1887

A strong fight will be made, it is believed, at the coming annual meeting of the American Association against the proposed new rule allowing two extra players' names to be printed on the score card,and giving a club power to substitute one of the extra players for another during a game. The rule was ostensibly made to give a manager a chance to lay a player off for “sulking” during a game, but will result in a club having two or three pitchers in the box during a game, as when one is batted freely he can “sulk” and have a fresh pitcher put in his place. Concerning the rule a Boston writer says;--”What is the use of the new rule? The old time-honored fashion of playing the game was that of having nine players on either side, with the privilege of substituting a fresh player for a wounded one. That went smoothly enough. Why was the change, and who called for it? Do the managers with to try experiments and, as it were conduct rehearsals in public? Very well, then, let them follow the example of Mr. Higginson in the Symphony concerts and charge a reduced price for the admission. We want the game in its perfection, not in its practice. Or is this their method of punishing refractory and ill-natured players? Suppose it is, who cares for this? Let them exercise their discipline in private and make it the business and information of those who are to suffer. The public feels no interest of any k ind in the subject, the guilt or it5s atonement. They want ball playing and best of its kind. The loving father spanks his boy in solitude both for decency and conscience sake. None of us feel absolutely sure that no trick here lurks concealed. The consequence, in practical ball playing, w3ill be anything but conducive to the gratification of the spectators and the peaceful solution of the contest. I predict, that unless this unhappy rule (which is as piteous in its woe-begone aspect as a tramp who expects a glass of rum and gets a loaf of brown bread) is amended out of existence, it will be a source of endless trouble in the playing season.” The Sporting Life November 30, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

assist on a strike-out

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from the AA scorers' instructions] An assist must be given to pitchers in the assist column when the batsman misses the ball on fourth strike, and must also be entered under the head of “struck out” in the summary. I have added “struck out” in the summary to agree with the requirements sections 6 of rule 65. The Sporting Life April 13, 1887

[from Chadwick's column] Under the new rules the absurdity of crediting a pitcher with a fielding assistance by placing assistance on strikes in the regular assistance column of the score, has been done away with, and now he is only credited with an assistance on strikes in the assistance column when he is entitled to it, and that is when his assistance is the same as in the case of a run-out, or, when the runner, after four strikes have been called, is thrown out at first base. Official scorers should bear this in mind, and not record assistance on strike in the assistance column except when the runner to first base is thrown out on strikes. The Sporting Life May 11, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

assumption of risk and foul balls

Date Wednesday, March 30, 1887
Text

James E. Dolen went to the Polo Grounds on June 8 last to see the Chicago and New York clubs play ball. He had a seat on one of the lower benches of the grand stand directly behind the catcher. In the course of the game Anson tipped a foul ball over catcher Ewing’s head, and landed it on Dolan’s eye. The sight of the eye was destroyed and a glass eye was substituted.

Dolen sued the Metropolitan Exhibition Company in the Supreme Court, claiming $25,000 damages for negligence, and the case was brought to trial before Judge Donohue yesterday [3/21]. Several witnesses testified for the plaintiff that there was no wire screen back of the catcher to protect the spectators, and that such a screen was necessary to safety. Lawyer W. H. Reed, for Dolen, argued that the absence of protection against foul balls constituted negligence on the part of the Exhibition Company.

There was no disputed as to the fact in the suit, but Judge Donohue dismissed the complaint, holding that there was nothing to show atht the company had been guilty of negligence or that it was compujlsory upon it to put up a screen or network. He said that the company appeared to have taken all necessary precautions to prevent accidents, and when a ticket to the grand stand was sold it was a mutual contract between the company and the purchaser that a seat would be provided, and a game of ball played. That ended the contract, and the spectator must take all risks of accidents.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic Club ownership

Date Saturday, December 3, 1887
Text

The Athletic Base Ball Club yesterday applied for a charter in the office of the Common Pleas Courts, the object of which is the maintenance of facilities for playing the game of base ball and of promoting atletic sport. The following are the names of the subscribers with the number of their shares attached to their names: William H. Whittaker, 100; William Sharsig, 100; Henry C. Pennypacker, 100; Lewis Simmons, 100; Charles E. Mason, 10; William S. Kames, 10; Thomas A. Mink, 5; N. L. Toy, 5; James R. F. Bell, 5; M. J. Dunn, 2; G. Morrison Taylor, 1; Richard J. Lennon, 1; Thomas S. Mitchell, 30; John L. Wilson, 1; J. H. Maxwell, 3; Charles L. Baker, 2; John W. Mink, 5; and George S. Horn, 50. The amount of capital stock is $50,000, composed of 5,000 shares at the par value of $100 each, and $5,470, or over ten per cent., has been paid into the treasurer, William H. Whittaker, southwest corner Broad and Walnut streets.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics reorganize as a stock company; ownership

Date Wednesday, November 2, 1887
Text

The Athletic Club of this city has been reorganized, and will now enter upon a new, and, perhaps, more successful career. For several years, the club has suffered from mismanagement, which slowly, but surely, dragged it down from first place in the affections of the local public to a secondary position, and gradually reduced it from one of the most remunerative base ball properties to the verge or ruin. This state of affairs has been apparent for a long time to all but the proprietors of the club, and it was not until the past season that the disagreeable truth was brought home to them most forcibly, and they were made away by painful experience that something had to be done. This season has been rather disastrous, and the proprietors were put into a hole from which extrication seem difficult, if not impossible, and there was danger that the franchise of the club would pass out of their possession. … Happily, however, such a contingency has been averted, as the Athletic Club is to be now reorganized by the Philadelphia gentlemen, with Philadelphia capital, and maintained as a Philadelphia institution.

On Friday afternoon the deal was consummated. A meeting was held at which the club was changed from a partnership concern to a stock company under the title Athletic Base Ball Association.” The capital stock of the company will be $50,000, divided in 500 shares of $100 each. The principal subscribers are W. H. Whittaker, H. Pennypacker, Lewis Simmons, and Wm. Sharsig. These gentlemen have subscribed to $10,000 each. Chas. Mason has $1,000 in stock. The other $9,000 has already been nearly all subscribed. The new company takes control of the Athletic franchise, team, ball park and all other property of the club, and assumes all liabilities.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in Boston 3

Date Wednesday, September 7, 1887
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] The aggregate attendance for the year's games on the South End grounds will be only a few short of 250,000. Last year the figures were 120,000. The net gain in the gate receipts is over $50,000.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

August Solari on drainage; placement of home plate

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

[from a letter from August Solari to Jimmy Williams] ...a ground too level or flat doesn’t make the best for all kinds of weather. The drainage of a field is a most important feature. A perfect ball ground should be highest in its centre. If you can make your diamond higher than the rest of the field, so as to throw the water off to both right and left, and always from the bases, you gain another point. This is easily done by raising the diamond six or eight inches in the centre and tapering off towards the bases gradually. In the spaces reserved for the pitcher and base paths dig out about six inches of the virgin soil and fill in with screened cinders. You can get the cinders at any foundry, but you must screen them yourself. Pound the cinders down hard and top them off with some finely-screened ashes and black mold, mixed in equal parts. This topping should be three inches thick. Then soak well with water, cover with finely-screened sand, and leave to ripen. If, after rolling, the sand is too deep, sweep part away. If you follow these directions your lines will be hard and in good condition, and never muddy, no matter how much it rains. Instruct your ground-keeper to always keep the base spaces and lines well filled up. Then there will be no holes to keep water. The pitcher’s space, and that in which the plate and catcher’s and batsman’s lines are included, should be convexed so that no water can find a place upon their faces. Your ground-man should keep the base spaces well watered, and you should use tarpaulins to cover them. These protect from sun as well as rain, and keep away the dust, the greatest enemy of honest umpiring. The foul lines and all other lines ought to be permanent. You can accomplish this by trenching each line in the shape of a V, about three inches wide and two inches deep. Fill these trenches with sand and slackened lime [sic: probably i.e. slaked lime, Ca(OH)2], which you will pour over the sand when red-hot. The hot lime will form a solid mortar and will, with vary rare filling up, last all season. As I do not know the situation of your grounds, it is impossible for me to tell you where to locate your diamond. To my mind the model diamond is one laid out so as to have the home plate in the southeast corner and second base directly northwest of it. That is the plan of Sportsman’s Park.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balls accidentally bunted foul

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

[from Nick Young's circular on rules interpretations] Rule 31, Section 4,--This rule does not include an attempt to bunt the ball fair, even though it goes foul. Umpires can very easily and readily distinguish between the two cases. In any question of reasonable doubt decide as per rule. A bunted foul ball, or any obvious attempt to foul the ball, is a strike. The Sporting Life April 27, 1887

[from Chadwick's column] The object of the rule which inflicts the penalty of a called strike on bunted foul balls, is simply to put a stop to the batsman's habit of purposely hitting foul balls in order to tire the pitcher or to delay the game. To put a stop to the method of hitting the ball known as bunting would be a drawback to batting. But to stop the repeated hitting of foul balls, whether bunted or hit ordinarily, is an advantage. No ball, in my humble opinion, which is bunted to the ground and then rolls foul should be included in the list of bunted balls on which strikes are to be called. Batsmen who bunt balls foul purposely invariably hit them in the air, and these foul hits, and these only, should be called as strikes. Bunting a ball to the ground is a part of the art of scientific batting; bunting it in the air is not. The Sporting Life April 27, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore Club finances

Date Wednesday, October 5, 1887
Text

Baltimore claims to have cleared but about $12,000 on the season, notwithstanding it had the best team the city has ever had and will finish better than ever before. At the this rate it will be a long time ere the losses of former season will be recovered.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore Club finances and the percentage system

Date Wednesday, August 17, 1887
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] ...the Oriole exchequer would very decidedly gain by the change from the guarantee plan. There have been seasons of profit, and more of loss, the balance sheet favoring the latter in the aggregate. The total losses to the end of last season may be stated to amount, in round numbers, to a sum of not less than about thirteen thousand dollars. The first part of the present season promised a very fair profit, but a change has taken place that threatens to throw the present year in the column with the majority. Anyhow, even with a reasonable again in the present year, it will hardly be enough to counterbalance losses in the past, and the grand aggregate will still be unfavorable to Baltimore as a base ball investment under the present system.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore Club finances, ownership; Von der Horst

Date Sunday, August 7, 1887
Text

Mr. Von der Horst has spent many thousands of dollars on the Baltimore Club the last three years. It has been a pet hobby with him. He has not backed the club with the sole aim, like Von der ahe, of making money out of it. Last season the club lost a great deal of money, but he paid the losses and put up the cash again this season. There will be no financial losses this summer, as the club has made money for the owners, but Mr. Von der Horst says he would be willing to lose money if the club could take the pennant.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Barnie on Frank Grant and the color line

Date Sunday, October 16, 1887
Text

Manager Barnie stopped a while in Buffalo and watched the playing of Kappel, late of the Cincinnatis, and of Grant, the colored second baseman. Barnie says he will never draw the color line; that the Baltimore Club will play with colored clubs of recognized ability, as it did in New Jersey the other day, and that if he could improve the nine by the addition of a first-class player he would do so. The Philadelphia Times October 16, 1887

Barnie doesn't believe in the color line, and is quoted as saying that if any first-class colored man would improve his team he would employ him. Nevertheless his players would have something to say about that. The Sporting Life October 26, 1887

two umpires in the World Series; the expense

The two-umpire system was a great success. During the first game both Comiskey and Latham would have been declared out by the umpire back of the plate, as it looked as if Dunlap had put the ball onto them; but Kelly was right at second, and he told me after the game that Dunlap had not only failed to touch the base-runners, but that he did not come within a foot of either one of them. It is not probable, however, that the system will be adopted, as it would be rather than expensive thing to keep up a double force of umpires. The Sporting Life October 19, 1887

Kelly and Gaffney's double umpire act has been closely watched by base ball enthusiasts here [New York]. Everybody likes it, except, possibly, the managers, who are frightened at the additional expenses such a combine would entail. The scheme, however, suits the public, and that ought to have more weight than the objections of a few penny-wise managers. Ferguson says two umpires will make just as many mistakes as one, but that the public likes it and looks upon double umpires with confidence, and as the public is the one that keeps the game going, it is the one that be catered to. The Sporting Life October 26, 1887

[from an interview of John Kelly, World Series umpire] “How did the system of having two umpires work?”

“Beautifully. It could not have been better. There was very little kicking done during the games. From the first to the last game the two nines received a thoroughly fair and impartial deal.” The Sporting Life November 9, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base anchors

Date Sunday, June 5, 1887
Text

Detroit’s ground-keeper, Uncle Billy Huston, has invented a double anchor for first and third bases to prevent them from being knocked out of place. Second, which is bombarded by the base-sliders, is so fastened in the centre that it will swing around, but not come loose.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball and business hours

Date Saturday, March 5, 1887
Text

There is more war between the butchers. A petition which has been circulated around the Diamond Market for some days will be presented on Monday, asking councils to pass a resolution requiring Market Clerk Moore to close the market stalls at noon every day during the summer except Saturdays. While a majority of the butchers in the market have signed the petition, the minority is large and active. It is composed mostly of the older butchers, who have been in the market for years, and have well established afternoon trade which they cannot afford to lose. They claim that the movement for noon closing is being run by the younger butchers, whose principal object is to get opportunity to attend base ball games and other afternoon amusements. The minority will put in a counter petition accompanied by reasons against any change.

Source Pittsburgh Post
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball on roller skates 3

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

The second game on rollers between the Princess and Cass clubs will be played to-morrow night at the Princess Rink [Detroit]. In the last match the Cass boys won through their superior ability on the skates. Captain Dan O’Leary, of the Princess nine, has therefore been putting Goldsmith, Quest and others through a course of sprouts [sic] on roller skates.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball reporter for the Detroit Free Press

Date Saturday, February 12, 1887
Text

Charles F. Mathison, sporting editor of The Free Press, slipped and fell on the icy walk in front of the City Hall about 5 o’clock yesterday afternoon, sustaining a severe injury of the spine.

Source Detroit Free Press
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

Mike Lane is making the sporting department of the Post-Dispatch a very entertaining feature of that bright and lively daily.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

battery errors should not go in the error column

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from the AA scorers' instructions] I wish particularly to call the attention of scorers to the sixth section of rule 65. The Association has strictly defined the manner of scoring battery errors and if one or two scorers are permitted to put such errors in the fielding error column, they only injure the standing of their own pitchers and catchers. The home team plays on their own grounds seven times as many games as each visiting team.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

benefits of membership in the League versus the American Association

Date Wednesday, January 12, 1887
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] So the league is now casting a covetous eye in the direction of Brooklyn. Well, now, what under the broad canopy of heaven can they offer to induce the bridge team to jump? Both organizations now have the same system of guarantee. They playing strength (and therefore the drawing properties), if not equal, have been practically demonstrated to be in favor of the younger body. Brooklyn can charge an admittance fee, and get it, too, of fifty cents in the Association as well as the League if the officials think it prudent to do so. There does not seem to be a single advantage to be gained by a transfer to the League. The club is doing well in the Association and apparently making money. Why they should they risk a leap in the dark which cannot possibly benefit them financially and which may will be for the worse. The uncertain tenure of any club in the League is not inviting. Club membership there is at the mercy of the other clubs, who may vote them out constitutionally, and just here is where a franchise in the Association is more stable and consequently of greater intrinsic value.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

betting and beer on League grounds

Date Sunday, June 12, 1887
Text

There is much complaint of open betting on the grounds in Washington and beer-selling in New York. The Philadelphia Times June 12, 1887

[from a word picture of game day at the Polo Grounds] In the good old days before Mayor Hewitt infused life into the spine of the excise law infinite beer was consumed at the Polo grounds. Now the aroma of the Dutch win is wanting in the atmosphere, but the feature is maintained so far as appearance goes by the sale of ginger pop and sarsparilla. A small army of boys issue from the inmost penetralia under the grand stand bearing trays covered with the foam-topped beverages, and they pass along in front of the hot thousands waiting the call of customers. It is a thriving trade in which everybody takes a hand. The men on the lower rows pass the full glasses up to the thirsty spectator at the top, and then pass the coin and change back and forth between the boy and the consumer until the transaction is completed. No trouble occurs about the empty glass. The consumer watched for a safe chance and tosses it into the air so that it falls into the dust below the front row, and a little later the boy returns and picks up a tray full of dusty, mud-covered glasses and takes them away to be refilled. And it may be said that if any customer finds that his ginger-pop has been mysteriously transformed to lager after passing the policeman he never complains about it, but generally orders a second supply. The Philadelphia Times July 3, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bidding to replace the Maroons

Date Wednesday, March 2, 1887
Text

The League committee of three met at the Monongahela House, Pittsburg, Feb. 21, according to call, to decide upon a successor to the St. Louis Maroons. They went into session at noon, wrestled with the problem until 9:30 and adjourned without arriving at a satisfactory conclusion. Their failure to decide upon a definite course was due to the fact that they could not unanimously agree upon either Kansas City or Indianapolis, and according to the resolution which called the committee into being any action to be binding had to be unanimous. When the committeemen--Spalding, Day and Young--went into session they called the representatives of the Indianapolis Club before them--Messrs. A. J. Treat and Louis Newberger--who proposed ti give the League $10,000 to be admitted as the eighth club, and hsowed sufficient finanical strength to get them a good, strong playing team. They said they would take the Maroon players as they stood, and agree not to dispose of either Denny or Glasscock during this year. Mr. Treat said that they did not wish to pay out a large sum of money for the Maroon franchise, but they made the proposal on purely a business basis, which was to be admitted to the League just as the other clubs had been admitted. They were not paying out money for glory. They would take the Maroon players, but would not go beyond the salary limit.

President Stromberg, of the Maroons, was next called before the triumvirate. He simply hald up both hands, told that he resigned, and watned $15,000 for his franchise. The committee accepted the resignation and the Maroon president was excused, his seance with the committee lasting just seven minutes.

E. E. Mengeathen took a turn, with propositions from Kansas City. He was closeted with the committee until 3 o’clock. He proposed to give $20,000 for the Maroon franchise and players, and to py the travelling expenses of the clubs visiting Kansas City; that is, they would allow the sum it would cost from St. Louis to Kansas City. They founded this proposition on the basis that if St. Louis had remained in the League clubs would have to go there anyway, hence the offer to pay the amount of expense necessary to go thence to Kansas City.

A majority of the committee was strongly inclined in favor of the Cowboys, President Nick Young alone being in favor of considering the Indianapolis matter father. Spalding and Day would, no doubt, have brought President Young over to their of thinking had not dispatches been received from Presidents Soden, Reach, Stearn and Hewitt favoring Indianapolis, some of them being very emphatic. This blocked the case, and the committee adjourned early in the afternoon.

Later one, however, the committee again went into session to consider further offers from Kansas City. They wrestled with the matter until 9:00 o’clock, and finding it impossible to agree they again adjourned, agreeing to leave the matter to the League meeting, which will be held at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, New York, March 7.

The matter was left in this state partly becuase the committee could not agree unanimously, partly becuase the spring meeting of the League was close at hand, and also to give the Indianpolis Club further time to strengthen themselves financially in order to make the League a better offer. The Indianapolis people have, it is said, $16,000, of which they are willing to pay $10,000 to the Maroons for their franchise and players. They will pay the League nothing for admission. This would leave them $6,000 working capital. They have also been offered $7,000 for Glasscock by Boston, and $6,000 by Washington for Denny. This would give them $19,000 for working capital, but they want to keep both Glasscock and Denny if admitted. Kansas City also insists upon retaining all the players, although it is hinted that Glasscock may possibly be released to Chicago in return for Spalding’s friendly services. Indianapolis still has the better chance of ultimate success, but must raise more money, else Kansas City will surely beat her out.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

blacklisting players holding out

Date Wednesday, March 16, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 3/7-8] Then the following addition to section 33 of the constitution, which treats of contracts, was adopted:--

“And in case any player under reserve shall willfully hold off and refuse to sign a regular contract with the club which has him reserved, for the prupose of harassing the club or compelling it to increase his salary, or shall by any means, directly or indirectly, endeavor to attempt willful extortion from the club which has him reserved, he shall, upon complaint and satisfactory evidence being furnished from the club so aggrieved, be placed upon the blacklist by the president and the secretary and notices issued to all clubs as provided by this constitution and the National Agreement.”

This is a piece of special legislation, and unworthy a place in the American constitution. It is for the benefit of the St. Louis club, and is aimed at Caruthers, Foutz and Latham, who are seeking to extort excessive salaries from their club, recognizing that they have Von der Ahe--with his early championship games with Chicago--in a tight place. Cleveland, Brooklyn and the Mets opposed it, and succeeded in cutting off a lot of its original savagery. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

[editorial content:] This is simply an outrage. There is no sense or legality in punishing any player for endeavoring to secure all the compensation possible for his services. Such an effort is not extortion in any sense of the word. It is sufficient hardship to reserve a player, thus preventing him, for the good of base ball, from carrying his services to the highest market, without seeking to coerce him by threats of attaching the stigma of the blacklist to his name into signing against his will or at a less compensation than he considers an equivalent for his services. As a matter of fact the amendment is altogether illegal in common law and under the National Agreement. Refusing to sign a contrat is not an offence in any sense of the word, and therefore is not punishable, and any player blacklisted under the amendment would have ample cause for legal action. A great many managers proceed upon the assumption that an unsigned reserved player is upon the same basis as any player under regular contract. They fail to recognize there is a vast difference between the two, and that a player not under contract, although reserved, is not amendable to discipline. The reserve rule is simply an agreement among clubs not to contract with each other’s designated players, and is not binding upon the player. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

blocking an inter-league trade; failing to clear waivers

Date Wednesday, January 12, 1887
Text

Cincinnati will hardly get pitcher McCormick, of the Chicagos, after all. Everything worked well in the negotiations to secure him; he was satisfied to go to Cincinnati; Chicago was willing to release him; all the American Association clubs agreed to keep hands off, and no League club stood in the way until New York upset the kettle with an objection to McCormick's leaving the League on the ground that it (the New York Club) wanted his services and was entitled thereto under the following rule.... This, of course, settles McCormick's prospects of going to Cincinnati, unless the New York Club waive its claim.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews promised pitching coach job

Date Monday, May 16, 1887
Text

Not long ago it was understood that the Athletics had given Matthews a promise that when his days of usefulness as a pitcher were over he would be kept on the pay roll, especially to train young pitchers. This job would suit Bob very well, but since Manager Bancroft came into power there has been a change of views.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews's personal contract

Date Wednesday, June 29, 1887
Text

As was intimated in our last Bobby Matthews is going to make the Athletic Club trouble. He has put his case in the hands of lawyer John S. McKinley and will sue to recover his salary for the entire season, $2,675. He has a personal contract for the season under which he could only be released for incompetency. He proposes to prove by ball players, managers and the scores of the games in which he has pitched that his work has been better than that of any other pitcher, save one possibly, now with the club, and that he was only released to reduce expenses. Bobby has apparently a strong case. The suit will be watched with interest by ball players and managers, and is likely to have important bearing on the entire system of base ball contracts. The suit will not, however, come to trial until the fall term, owing to the near adjournment of the courts. Roseman will also sue the club through the same lawyer. The Sporting Life June 29, 1887

Salem has made Bobby Matthews an offer. Of course, it was respectfully declined, as no club can get Bobby. Under instructions from his counsel and in furtherance of his suit, he will report daily at the Athletic grounds. The Sporting Life June 29, 1887

Bobby Matthews sat on the players’ bench yesterday, attired in an Athletic uniform. Bobby has compromised with the Athletic managers, and hereafter he is to pitch in his regular turn–when he is able. The Philadelphia Times July 26, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews's sore arm

Date Sunday, July 17, 1887
Text

Of all the old-time pitchers who were stars under the straight-arm delivery but one survives as a curvist. Bobby Matthews is that one. He was among the first to adopt the curve, and for ten years he was one of the most successful and effective of pitchers. Bobby finally fell a victim to the prevailing complaint and last season it was only on very warm days that he was able to pitch at all, and then not over two games a week. This year the same complaint troubled the veteran, and finally led to his release by the Athletic Club. A judicious course of treatment has once more put Matthews into good shape, and he says he anticipates at least five years more of usefulness out of his pitching arm.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bootleg game reports by telegraph companies

Date Wednesday, June 1, 1887
Text

Very few people understood yesterday why a stretch of awning had been run across the front of the [Cincinnati] ball park, cutting off a view of the diamond that had been obtained from the third story of a building on an adjacent corner. The Western Union folks have the contract for sending away the score by innings from the grounds, and the Baltimore and Ohio folks stole a march on them and got the same information by peeping over the fence from a room next to the roof of the building mentioned. A wire was run in the apartment rented and the Western Union folks were thus outwitted. It took them some time to discover the game, and the awning was brought into use to block it. The Baltimore and Ohio people, not to be outwitted, now send a messenger boy into the park, and after each inning he drops the result to another boy on the other side of the fence, and the operator gets the information a couple of moments later.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club attendance, finances

Date Sunday, September 25, 1887
Text

The Boston Base Ball Association has had a remarkably successful season financially, even though its team does not hold better than fifth position. During the home season, which was concluded Saturday, they played sixty of the sixty-three games scheduled, at which the total attendance was 261,000, an average of 4,350 to a game. This means that the Boston public paid $130,500 for admission fees. To this must be added at least $20,000 for grand stand, making a total of $150,000. On the first exhibition trip the club cleared $2,000, and they got $3,000 the Fourth of July at Detroit. At the sixty-three games away from home the guarantee amounts to $7,875, and on the three postponed games to be played off with Chicago they will get at least $6,000 more. To this may be added about $3,000 from exhibition games played and to be played. This would make the total receipts for the year $167,375. From this deduct salary of players, $34,750; salary of directors, $7,500; traveling expenses, $6,000; interest on mortgage, $3,600; taxes, $1,690; amount paid for Kelly’s release, $10,000; advertising and printing, $1,000; say altogether $64,540. This would leave a balance of $102,835. As the various privileges of the ball grounds will about pay for the care and maintenance thereof, it is safe to say on rough figuring that the association will end the season $100,000 ahead. Of course these figures are not official, but simply a calculation based on what is known of the club’s public transactions. The Philadelphia Times September 25, 1887, quoting the Boston Globe.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club ownership; minority shareholders

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

[from “Mugwump's” column][discussing Dr. Pope] … He owns one of the eighteen shares not included in the sixty held by the three directors, until recently. They own three more now, as they have recently bought them, making their aggregate number sixty-three of the total seventy-eight. Now, so far as getting any satisfaction out of his interest in the corporation, Dr. Pope might just as well own one share in the North Pole instead of the Boston Base Ball Association.

...One of the doctor's strong points is his memory, and it occurred to him some months ago that there were 72 shares of stock in the Boston Base Ball Association [sic] floating around somewhere. He managed to find five of them, and struck a bargain for them. It seems that seventy dollars had been paid into the treasury on each of these 72 dead shares, but the assessment of the remaining thirty dollars each had never been called for.

This afternoon Treasurer Billings was in his office on Summer street, when in walked Doctor Pope... The Doctor pulled a handful of gold out of his pocket, and handing it to Mr. Billings, said he had brought it to pay the assessment of thirty dollars each on the five shares he had recently bought. Mr. Billings appreciates a good joke, and was on the point of asking the doctor out to take something, when [Pope] said it was all straight, and he was not fooling. Of course Treasurer Billings didn't want the money. What use has a corporation for $150 when it is making a barrel of boodle. So the doctor put the shining coin back in his pocket, and after exciting the genial Mr. Billings by offering the opinion that the Bostons would finish about fifth, he went back to his business.

There is a legend that the one thing Dr. Pope enjoys above all others is a lawsuit, and it wouldn't surprise me if he had one on his hands before long. This is about what he will do. He will bring a petition in the Supreme Judicial Court, asking that Treasurer Billings show why he should not take the remaining assessment of $30 apiece on those five shares. For the life of me I can't see what the doctor is going to get out of it, should he win, unless it be the satisfaction of beating the triumvirs. But the doctor has got a long head, and if the directors will really pay fabulous prices for the remaining shares not owned by them now, it would be a much better scheme for him to have six shares on his hands than one. That is undoubtedly what he is thinking of. Let the fun go on. The louder the band players the more noise there will be.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston reporters won't score bases on balls as hits

Date Saturday, April 30, 1887
Text

The baseball reporters of the Boston newspapers, at a meeting to-day [4/29], decided to resume the former system of scoring games in relation to bases on balls, which hereafter they will not score as base hits. An effort is being made to have the rules changed in this regard.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston reporters' scoring of errors, bases on balls

Date Wednesday, May 18, 1887
Text

[from the Detroit correspondent's column] ...I will say that the Boston idea is an unmitigated nuisance. The Associated Press agent there has somehow been entrapped into adopting the Hub conceit, and the wonderful and fearful score is sent broadcast over the land. Have you seen it? It gives no base hit for a base on balls, gives the pitcher an error for giving a base on balls, and lumbers up the error column with all the battery errors. Of course, the official score will have to be in accordance with the rules, and the Boston players are safe there. But in the Boston newspaper averages they will be down at the foot of the list in batting, and the pitchers have enough errors to swamp them. There is just as much sense in the Boston scorers flocking by themselves and scoring after their own peculiar ideas as there would be in a lawyer trying to apply his own ideas to a case because the authorities didn't suit him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston reporters' scoring policy

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

The Boston reporters have agreed to score all errors in the error column and ignore the rules.--Chicago Inter-Ocean. This is not true. The Boston reporters will follow the rules. In order, however, that their readers may get an intelligent idea of the game, all errors will appear in the error column as well as in the summary, and the names of players getting first base on balls will be given in the summary. Bases on balls will not be scored as errors.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston triumvirate attempting to buy all remaining stock

Date Wednesday, July 20, 1887
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] If they have good luck the triumvirs will not only practically own our ball nine as they do now, but they will literally be the sole owners. They are making an effort to buy up the dozen or more shares outside of the sixty they already own, and they have offered big money to a friend of mine for his solitary share. He says he don't want the money and he won't sell unless all the other scattering ones do. A thousand dollars is big money for one share of stock, but every share is worth that to the “Big Three,” because if they can call in those held by the frozen-out members of the corporation, they can then divide all the profits between themselves without doing an injustice to anybody or acquiring any unpopularity. It would make no difference whether they declared a dividend or voted themselves salaries of $10,000 each. To be sure they have things all in their own hands now, but there would be no one to kick at whatever they did. The Sporting Life July 20, 1887

The Boston triumvirate are offering to buy up Boston stock at $300 a share. They have gathered in several shares in this way. The Sporting Life July 20, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

breaking in a catcher's glove

Date Wednesday, April 20, 1887
Text

The old glove—the stand-by—of the Doctor's [Doc Bushong] has been lost, and he feels pretty badly over the matter. He says that it was padded and fixed up until it was as soft to his hand as a pillow, and it was his best friend while he was up under the bat. It will take him some time to become accustomed to a new glove, and it will be several seasons before he can get as many patches on the one he wears now as he had on the old one. The latter would have been a good attraction at a dime museum. It resembled something that had been fired from a cannon.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush attends his first League meeting

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

President Brush, of Indianapolis, was an interested spectator at the late League meeting. It was the first meeting of the kind that he ever attended. After it was all over he remarked to The Sporting Life representative:--“Well, this beats everything I ever saw. If a man expects to be a successful League club president he ought to be a good policeman. Everyone looks out for himself and there is more wire-pulling and log-rolling done in one of these meetings than in any political convention I ever saw.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush becomes Indianapolis Club president

Date Saturday, July 9, 1887
Text

President Newberger has resigned the helm of the Indianapolis club to John T. Brush, a prominent merchant, who will fill the place temporarily. Mr. Newberger gave as a reason that the work interfered with his business, but the probability is the late disgraceful row in which Arundel, Glasscock and Denny played the start parts, so disgusted him that he would no longer continue at the head of an organization containing such brutal material.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush takes over the Indianapolis Club

Date Wednesday, July 6, 1887
Text

President Louis Newberger, of the Indianapolis Club, has tendered his resignation and it has been accepted. John L. Brush has been chosen to temporarily fill the position.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bunting for base hits

Date Wednesday, October 19, 1887
Text

[reporting the World Series games in St. Louis] When “the boys” bunted the ball in the first game the Detroits were standing on their head. It was something new to them to see two or three men step up to the plate in succession and make a base hit without the ball going outside the diamond. The Sporting Life October 19, 1887

[from an interview of John Kelly, World Series umpire] The Browns bunted the ball, and then the fleet-footed runners would beat it to first. This was something new to the Detroits, and especially to old Jim White, into whose territory, near the third bag, these bunted balls usually came. The Wolverines were pretty disconsolate after the game, but they did not give up. There is where their winning qualities came in. they were made of staying stuff, and they would not allow their courage to leave them. So they all got together and held a consultation. The pitchers were shown how to put the ball in so the Browns could not bunt it. They pitched very few low curves, and every hit made had to be clean and clear. There are old heads in the Detroit team, and they are hard to down. It would have delighted you to see how quick they dropped onto a point and were ready to meet each new scheme of their adversaries. The Sporting Life November 9, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Burdock on the Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, November 2, 1887
Text

Burdock, of the Boston Club, was interviewed last week, and he had this to say about what the Brotherhood intended to do:--”The players as yet are not sufficiently organized to fight the National League. It will take time to get them in a position in which they can insist upon their rights. But the day is near at hand when they will be in that position. We are satisfied with the reserve rule and the salaries paid, but we are not at all satisfied with the form of contract now in used by the managers. No player who is a member of the Brotherhood of base Ball Players will ever again sign that contract. We must and will have a new form. The present contract won't stand law. It is too one-sided and gives the player no show. As soon as a man signs it he binds himself for life to a club and becomes a mere chattel so long as he depends upon base ball as a means of livelihood. The managers can do with him as they please. If they don't want him to play ball he can't, and must remain idle forever. The manifest injustice of this appears when it is understood that in such an event he doesn't not receive a salary. The managers of a club can lay a players off without pay and even, under the present ironclad contracts, prevent him from signing with another club that might be glad to avail itself of his services. That means that they have it in their power to take the bread and butt out of our families' mouths.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Byrne on the percentage plan to split gate receipts

Date Wednesday, July 27, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Byrne] From a purely business standpoint, and this is the issue only upon which the question will finally be determined, the Brooklyn Club will oppose any such plan, unless it can be clearly shown that the positive welfare of the Association as a body depends upon such a change. The Brooklyn Club is located in the third, and I believe actually now the second city of the Union, if a census were taken this year. We have invested a large capital in our business and are constantly making improvements to make our place attractive for our patrons. Our people appreciate what we have done and give us liberal patronage, and I can't see why we should share with our neighbors the harvest we are now reaping after years of patient waiting and hard work. I know of no legitimate business where people are so carried away by brotherly love as to divide with their neighbors and I cannot see why base ball, with the immense capital invested throughout the country, should be any exception to the plain business rule, viz.: Let everyone get the benefit arising from risking his capital and the exercise of earnest endeavor and enterprise.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

California and organized baseball

Date Wednesday, May 11, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Spalding regarding Van Haltern] “California is without the jurisdiction of associated base ball organizations, is it not?”

“Yes; there is little doubt of that,” replied Al with a smile, “but not beyond our reach, just the same, should the League find it necessary to stretch its arm. Van Haltern has broken his contract with Pitsburg, has he not? Consequently Pittsburg can blacklist him, and any club which plays him or any club which plays against the team of which he is a member would be debarred from playing against any club under the protection of the National Agreement. Likewise, any player of any club so protected would be liable to blacklistment for playing with or against any California Club so debarred. As you know, not a few of the more prominent players in the League and Association have been going to California for winter games of late, and their presence has proved a source of no little revenue to California clubs. The blacklistment of Van Haltren, however, and his retention by a California League club would debar any of these visiting players from contributing, through their services, to the treasuries of Pacific slope clubs. I think I have said enough to enable you to catch my meaning now, and if Mr. Van Haltren is wise he will promptly cut loose from the influence of short-sighted friends and enter upon the only honorable court open to him. I think he has been ill-advised and does not fully understand the situation, but if he continues in ignorance of it, not he alone but some of his friends may be the losers.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

California and the blacklist

Date Saturday, May 21, 1887
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] I had a short talk with [Ed] Morris Saturday afternoon, in which he told me that he was going to get his pay or start for California. He stated that the fine was all right according to his contract, but to lay him off without pay was something he would not stand. “I can make $500 a month out on the coast, and a blacklist doesn't hurt me, for the players out there are not bound by the National Agreement, and besides the Eastern players will not find themselves in such demand next winter in California as they were last fall, as the club managers are trying to get up an agreement not to hire any foreign players. Now the case is just this:--I'm fined and laid off without pay, and I can't live without money. I'm willing to work, and I want my pay, and if the Pittsburgh club don't give it to me, then I must go to California where I can get it.

Source The Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling a strike on an intentional foul

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

[from a column by Ward defending the new rules] Any evident attempt to foul the ball is now a strike. Kelly introduced this trick two or three years ago, and since then has had many successful imitators. I always considered it a clever and legitimate exercise of skill. But it delayed the game, was positively dangerous to catchers, and, after the enactment of the rule giving a base hit for a base on balls, its abolition became a necessity. Otherwise, next season every one would have been trying it, and the games would have been prolonged to an interminable extent.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling for judgment 2

Date Wednesday, August 3, 1887
Text

When a base-runner tries to steal second on Greenwood and the catcher throws so high that the second baseman can't get it, the latter makes out he has got the ball by slapping his hands on the runner's back and asking for “judgment.” In the meantime the centre fielder has got the ball and returned it to the infield. This is called a “new” trick, whereas it is a very mouldy chestnut.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Campbell of the Item the Athletics secretary

Date Wednesday, January 26, 1887
Text

The Athletics’ new secretary John Compball, is getting in his work thus early. He says in the Item...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher can't remember the signals

Date Sunday, January 2, 1887
Text

O’Rourke says that but for one very curious failing Deasley would be the king of all catchers. Very few know of that failing, but to it are attributed almost all of Deasley’s incomprehensible blunders. It is an utter inability to remember the private signals. The pitchers–Keefe and Welch–have tried every way and every possible suggestion of mnemonics to fix their code of signals in his mind. For an hour before a game they would take him one side and try to hammer their signals into his memory. He would give them his also, and when they left the club house for the field he seemed to be well crammed with them. But the instant he got behind the bat away went all recollection not only of the pitcher’s but of his own code. A catcher playing without a well-understood code of signals is like a pilot steering without a compass. The wonder was that Deasley did so well., quoting the New York Sun

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's gloves 4

Date Sunday, May 15, 1887
Text

James O’Rourke thinks some mean man was among the spectators at yesterday’s game. His favorite pair of were stolen from under the players’ bench, and if James ever catches the fellow who did it there will be trouble. He will give a reward for the return of his gloves.

Source New York Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher's shin guards?

Date Saturday, July 23, 1887
Text

The armor of the habitual or professional baseball catcher is inadequate for safety. A wire mask over the face, a mattress chest protector, and greaves on the shin-bones are very useful in their places, but they present interstices which the ball, with deadly intelligence, aims for in its terrific flight.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor comes out against Sunday baseball; Pritchard's response

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

[from Caylor's column] There are several things the Association men ought to do for their general good if they had the courage and self-denial. First abandon Sunday ball playing, and thus step up on a social level with the League. It is a poor plea that the Association clubs cannot live without Sunday base ball. That plea is a confession that the Association is weaker than the League—a concession I, for one, am not willing to make. The League has lived twelves years without Sunday games, and it is in pretty good health now. And wherever there are two clubs representing the two bodies, the League club is fast receiving a superior recognition. Instance New York and Philadelphia. The Sporting Life September 28, 1887

[from Joe Pritchard's column] This thing of doing away with Sunday games in the East might be all right, but here in the West the question presents quite a different outlook. In the Eastern cities the week-day attendance outnumbers our Western crowds two to one, and the Western managers are obliged to have Sunday games in order to come out ahead or even on the season's work. The week-day crowds in St. Louis this season have been smaller than in any previous year since the Browns have been a club, and the Sunday crowds have not been large, unless some of the crack clubs were matched against the Browns. … Caylor argues that any city that can support a club at all can support it without Sunday games, and right there is where I differ with O. P., and I can back up my argument with facts. In the Union Association—with Sunday games—Lucas made money in St. Louis, but in the League, without Sunday games, the Napoleon of base ball, as he was at one time called, was forced to throw up both hands. President Von der Ahe would be in the same box if the Association should decide to do away with Sunday ball playing. I am positive of one thing on this Sunday question, and that is this:--St Louis is obliged to have Sunday games or do without a crack club. The Sporting Life October 5, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor doesn't understand economics

Date Wednesday, March 16, 1887
Text

[from Caylor’s column] In almost every case where a player is holding off for a larger salary his demands are unreasonable and untenable. When they can come to the club as John Reilly [a lithographer by trade] did and give written proofs that they can earn more at a business or profession than by playing ball, then there is reason and fairness to their demands and they’ll get what they ask unless it be more than the club can afford to pay. But when a player demands $3,000 or $3,500 for seven months’ services at ball playing, and it is patent to him and his feinds that he couldn’t earn a thousand for twelve months’ services at any other business, he has no just cause, and the club can afford to wait on him longer htan he can afford to wait on the club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor expelled from the AA meeting; reporters

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 9/5/1887] ...the only incident that occurred to mar the otherwise serene meeting was the expulsion of one of the Metropolitan delegates, Mr. O. P. Caylor. This gentleman whose pen and voice have for years past been at the command of the Association fo which he was an honorary member, has by his newspaper connection as contributor to The Sporting Life and other papers, aroused the opposition of business rivals, who claimed that in his capacity as a correspondent he had undue advantages over contemporaries, and also the enmity of some of the Association members, whom he in the past has seen fit to criticize. Indeed, the entire Association felt aggrieved at his comments on the Cleveland meting at which the generally condemned “blacklist” resolution was passed and it was determined to cut off his supply of inside information by barring him, as well as all other delegates connected with newspapers, from the meeting. For this reason Harry Weldon, of Cincinnati, did not come on and Geo. Munson, of St. Louis, found business elsewhere to attend to. Before the meeting was opened he was quietly informed by a committee what was in store for him in order to spare him humiliation. Mr. Caylor, however, insisted that he had done nothing warranting such extreme measures, and that he would stand his ground. … Immediately after the foll-call Mr. Caylor's presence was objected to by Mr. Byrne, on the ground that he (Caylor) was a newspaper correspondent, and that he should either be compelled ti withdraw or all newspaper men be admitted alike, and Mr. Barnie, of Baltimore, offered a formal resolution requesting withdrawal. Mr. Caylor declined to withdraw, on the ground that Mr. Byrne himself was a newspaper contributor and that another delegate, Jimmy Williams, of Cleveland, was also a contributor to the Cleveland Plan Dealer, and that they also be requested to withdraw. This point was met by the statement that these gentlemen were simply occasional contributors, were not paid for their work and did not make it a business. Caylor next made the point that he was a stockholder in, as well as manager of, the Metropolitans and therefore a regularly qualified delegate to any convention of the Association. This point was met with the assertion that every convention is the judge of the eligibility of its members, and then the resolution was put to a vote. 7 to 1 was the result, the Metropolitan Club alone voting for Caylor. The latter then resigned his honorary membership and left the room in high dudgeon and outspoken in denunciation of Messrs. Byrne and Barnie, whom he charged with having manoeuvered to bring about his expulsion. The Sporting Life September 14, 1887 [See same issue p. 3 for Caylor's response.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor leaves the Commercial Gazette

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

Mr. O. P. Caylor, our valuable correspondent, has resigned the base ball editorship of the Cincinnati Commercial-Gazette--with which paper he has been connected for years--and has gone to Florida for a brief rest before assuming the editorial reins of the proposed new daily paper in New York. Mr. Caylor, our readers will be pleased to learn, will continue to contribute regularly to The Sporting Life.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor on the reserve; proposed arbitration board

Date Wednesday, July 27, 1887
Text

[from Caylor's column] The National Agreement and its fundamental principle, the reserve rule are absolutely vital to the profession's interests—players as well as clubs. Both must be preserved, but both should be guarded and protected, so that equal rights may come therefrom to the club and the player. My plan would be an executive committee of three well known and fair-minded trusted men, who have had years of experience in base ball affairs. Such men, for instance, as Sage, of buffalo; Mills, of New York, and Kramer, of Cincinnati. Or take the two presidents of the League and Association and let them choose a third. I would go still further and trust it all to one man as arbitrator—a man whom all known to be of impeachable [sic] integrity and entirely fair-minded. Of such I could name a half score, such as A. G. Mills, of New York; Louis Kramer, of Cincinnati; Will Jackson, of Louisville' John J. O'Neil, of St. Louis; George W. Howe, of Cleveland; John B. Sage, of Buffalo; Captain Allen, of Providence; Georges Wright, of Boston. If it were a one man power the remedy could be sought and obtained most readily.

Now what power should this board of arbitration have? First, it should settle any differences between a club and a player reserved in point of salary. I would trust such a power, if well chosen, to be wholly fair and see that no injustice was done the player, and that no “extortion” was practiced on the club. Let every player have the right of appeal to this board when laid off or suspended without pay, with the provision that he must prove the injustice of his punishment or pay the costs of a hearing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick calls for a repeal of the base hit for a base on balls

Date Wednesday, October 26, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] [reviewing the 1887 rules] There is but one solitary exception, I believe, to the successful working of each amended rule, and that is in the case of the rule giving the credit of a base hit every time the batsman is sent to a base on balls. This is the one solitary failure of the new code's rules. One result of the adoption of this exceptional rule has been to play havoc with the batting averages, which it has made utterly useless as a criterion of batting skill. It has also materially interfered with the value of the pitching averages. In fact, it has destroyed the usefulness of the averages in question as a basis of estimating the relative skill of batsmen and pitchers. Unfortunately, not only base hits, but earned runs have been recorded in the averages on the basis of base hits on called balls, and consequently the estimate of a pitcher's skill as tested by runs clean earned off the pitching have thereby been rendered valueless. The Sporting Life October 26, 1887

[from Chadwick's column] ...the really fraudulent computation of “base hits on called balls,” one of the greatest blunders ever committed in connection with League statistics. This latter rule renders the batting averages for 1887 entirely worthless. Here is a batsman who faces a wild, swift pitcher with little command of the ball, and who, by patient waiting for a good ball, gets his base on balls four times out of five times at the bat, while a skillful hitter, who goes for the first ball over the plate, gets no base on balls, but makes three clean hits out of four times at the bat, (and this is done at about the same ratio game after game) and on making up the averages at the close of the season the batsman who has waited for bases on called balls in twenty-five games gets a percentage up in the three-hundreds, while the batsman who has the best average of clean hits in over fifty games is placed down in the two-hundreds of percentage, and at the close of the season we are called upon to select our batting teams on the basis of such statistics as these. The Sporting Life November 2, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick loses it; scoring at bats

Date Wednesday, November 16, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] In regard to “times at bat,” I am unable to see the correctness of the rule which does not charge a “time at bat” to the batsman who has had one or more strikes called on him, or who has given the field a chance for catching a foul ball, and who is afterwards given his base on called balls, on being hit with a pitched ball, or on a balk made by an illegal delivery. In my opinion, if the batsman has had one opportunity for hitting at a fair ball and has either struck at it without hitting it, or declined to strike at it, or has hit foul so as to afford the field a fair chance for a catcher, he should be charged with a time at bat. The Sporting Life November 16, 1887 [N.B. The 1887 rules counted an at bat on a base on balls]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on earned runs

Date Wednesday, December 28, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] In regard to scoring of earned runs, it was decided, after some discussion, to combine under the one head of earned runs, runs earned directly off the pitching—by clean hits and nothing else—and runs earned off both the pitching and fielding. For instance—Suppose the first man at the bat in the inning makes a single clean hit and then steals both second and third bases and is then sent home by the second man at the bat making a clean single hit; that is a run not earned off the pitching, but off the field, as, but for the field allowing the first runner to steal the two bases, he would—as far as the pitcher's work was concerned—have been at second base on the second batsman's hit, instead of being enabled to score a run on the hit. But suppose that after the first two batsmen had earned single bases and no base had been stolen, and that the next batsman had made a two-base hit or a three-bagger; in that case the runs scored would be clean earned off the pitching. To make no such distinction, however, and to get at uniformity of scoring as much as possible, it was decided to join the joint product of a pitcher's allowance of base hits and the field's allowance of stolen bases, with the addition of the rule allowing no bases by errors as factors in an earned run.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on giving a stolen base for tagging up

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] That rule giving the runner credit for a stolen base when he makes a base after a fly ball is caught is a good one. It requires considerable judgment to take the risk of running a base under such circumstances. The Sporting Life November 30, 1887 [N.B. The rule was not enacted.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on giving assists to pitchers on strike outs

Date Wednesday, December 28, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] The question of crediting a pitcher's assistance on outs on strikes elicited considerable discussion, and I think the conclusion arrived at in the matter was not sound. While not disputing the justice of giving a pitcher a credit for an assistance on strikes, I do claim that such an assistance is in no sense a fielding assistance; and therefore claim that it should not be placed in the assistance column in the score proper, but under a special head in the summary. It was decided, however, that while the assistance on strikes should be recorded in the assist column in the score, the secretaries of the League and Association, in making up their annual statistics, should strike out from the pitcher's fielding averages of assistances, all assistances on strikes, and place them under a special head. But why put the secretary to this extra trouble when it can be done so much easier by leaving out assistances on strikes from the column of fielding assistances? My argument in favor of this making of assistances on strikes out of the fielding records, was that in striving to make the fielding averages of a pitcher a criterion of his ability as a fielder, and not as a pitcher and fielder combined, the figures indicating his fielding skill, were so mixed up with those showing his pitching ability in striking out batsmen, as to render the averages utterly useless as fielding averages. Two years ago, when one-armed Hugh Daily excelled as a pitcher in striking batsmen out, his fielding averages were made to excel those of all other pitchers in the Association, simply by the placing of his assistances on strikes in the column of fielding assistances, the averages thereby making him the best fielder in the box of the season, when the simple fact 3was that his physical disability necessarily made him the poorest and gave the lie direct to the figures of the averages. It is this inconsistency I wanted to see avoided in the future, and it can only be done by not placing assistances on strikes in the fielding assistance column in the score.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on scoring assists for strike outs; earned runs on bases on balls

Date Wednesday, November 2, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] But the system of computing the pitchers' averages in vogue this year is still worse than that governing the batting. Suppose that it is desired to learn by the fielding averages of the League what the skill of a certain pitcher is as a fielder, and on looking at the record we find him credited with a percentage of chances accepted, made up from the data of assistances on strike as well as assistances from actual fielding. By this plan one pitcher, who is an excellent fielder in his position, but unsuccessful in striking out batsmen, is credited with a percentage fifty per cent. below that of the poor fielder who is lucky in his record of strike-outs; and thereby the averages become utterly useless as a criterion of a pitcher's skill in fielding. Assistances on strikes belong exclusively to battery work and not to fielding, such assitances not being fielding assistances as at all, but pitching assitances, and therefore battery figures just as bases on called balls and wild pitches are. But the most stupid rule of all is that giving a earned run on four consecutive bases on called balls, without a single clean hit being made, and it is on this data that the pitcher's percentage of earned runs off his pitching has been made up for 1887. Verily the scoring rules and the method of computing the averages of the season requires a good overhauling by League and American legislators this season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on the fifty cent admission

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] ...In fact, from the time when a team's cost in salaries did not exceed $6,000 or $8,000 prices have been run up to such a height that a single club's salary list now exceeds what the whole list of an Association's clubs did six years ago. Under these changed conditions it no longer remains advisable to keep the tariff of admission down to former figures; for, independent of the increased outlay incurred in placing club teams in the filed, especially in view of the fact that the Association clubs at the 25-cent tariff suffer in comparison with the League clubs at double the amount charged, though the attractions presented are now pretty nearly equal. All things considered, therefore, the raise in the tariff made by the Association is a proper move, and one made necessary by the increase of expenditure incurred by the clubs for 1888. As to the worth of the attractions presented, if it is not worth half a dollar to witness such contests as the American Association club teams can now present to their patrons, it is not worth half a dollar to see the League clubs play. In fact, the exhibition of manly sport presented by our leading professional organizations on their well-ordered ball grounds is now not only the cheapest sport to be had at half a dollar, but the most attractive field entertainment known to public out-door sports.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on the substitute rule

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] The change suggested by the committee, involving the practical introduction of eleven men as a field team instead of nine as now, is one which, though somewhat radical as an innovation on the old rule, is, nevertheless, worthy of the test of a season's experience. I think that while it may have an objectionable feature or two connected with it, that its advantages will outweigh them. I am in favor of its trial, anyway. There is one thing about this rule of allowing two substitutes to take the place of any two players the captain of the nine in the field may choose to replace, without regard to the removed players being disabled by illness or injury, which will commend itself to the patrons of the game at large, and that is that it will materially aid in putting a stop to one-sided contests occasioned by the individual inability of one or other of the battery players to do their work up to their customary high mark. There are frequently times or periods in the progress of a game when either the pitcher or catcher fails in his work without his being either injured or taken sick; and in such cases the result generally is that a contest, which promised a close fight, is changed into a dull one-sided game. It is just here that the rule giving the privilege of putting in a new battery will work to the satisfaction of the crowd of spectators.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club finances

Date Wednesday, October 12, 1887
Text

It is understood that at the close of this season, after declaring a dividend of 20 per cent. on the stock, the Chicago Club will have a surplus fund of more than $100,000, the result of three years' accumulation, which is to be used toward the purchase of the present grounds. The property is valued at fully $500,000, but the club has an option at a lower figure, which ti took in 1885, and could now sell its option at a handsome advance.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club finances 2

Date Wednesday, November 9, 1887
Text

That gigantic surplus fund of the Chicago Club will absorb all of this year's profits, but 20 per cent., which the stockholders will divide. The Sporting Life November 9, 1887

The Chicago Club has more money in its treasury than it knows what to do with, unless it shall decide to purchase its present grounds, which are now held on a lease which runs two years longer. The Sporting Life November 9, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club ownership

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

The stock is said to bne controlled by the president of the Chicago National Bank. The other large holders are Al Spalding, the president of the club; Jack Adams, at one time a partner of J. W. Doane, but now a raisin broker; Captain Anson, the famous first baseman, and Broker Trego, of the Board of Trade. Originally the stock was very much scattered. It was subscribed by public-spirited men who expected no very splendid return from the money they contributed and who probably would not have been greatly disappointed if they had gotten no return at all. There were dozens of gentlemen who subscribed simply for one share of stock. There are some of these who still hold on to their one-share lots and only wish now that they had been in a little more public-spirited mood when they were solicited to go in to 'help a club which should be a credit to Chicago.' After the nine became famous and the stock began to pay so splendidly it became good collateral, and, like all good stuff of that sort, naturally became scattered by the ups and downs of the men who held it. Genial Billy Murray, who subscribed to a big block of it in his generous-hearted fashion, had to sacrifice his hold because of the disastrous result of one of those plunges which swept his last fortune away. Trego's stock is supposed to be the holding that originally belonged to Murray. John. R. Walsh's control came, it is supposed, from his purchase of the stock that belonged to the estate of the lamented Billy Hurlbut, “the founder of the League,” and the man who first made the White Stockings a familiar name all over the country. Lawyer Culver, who has always done the legal work incidental to the business of the club, is also a holder of some of the stock.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club plans to buy real estate

Date Wednesday, June 1, 1887
Text

The Chicago Club has a sinking fund for the purchase of the park the club plays in. there is now $75,000 in the fund.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago reporters 2

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] Your correspondent will endeavor to make the columns of the Evening Journal interesting to lovers of the game, notwithstanding that the paper will go to press too early to print the scores. There is lots of interesting news of the game aside from the score, and this the Journal will try to corral each afternoon.

Dewitt Ray, who “does the game” for the Evening Mail, is one of the brightest of the bright among our local scribes. A scrap book full of Dewitt's bright comments thus far this season would make an interesting collection.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club finances, ownership

Date Wednesday, February 23, 1887
Text

When George M. Herancourt, ex-city treasurer, retired from the presidency of the Cincinnati Base Ball Club in ‘85 he owed John Hauck, president of the club last season, the neat little sum of $74,000. Mr. Hauck accepted the base ball stock owned by Herancourt in part payment of that debt and credited him with $7,600 on account. A lot of State secrets were made public in the Common Pleas Court a few days ago. Herancourt was interested in the Cincinnati Fish Company and Maltby & Co., of Baltimore, were heavy creditors. This Monumental City oyster firm brought suit against John Hauck, alleging that the stock secured from Herancourt was worth $4,500 more than he paid for it. In the trial of the suit it was developed in evidence that in 1885 the Cincinnati Club lost a cool $10,000, but that last year, despite the misfortunes that piled mountain high upon the club, money was made. True, it was very little, but there was enough to pay the interest on the money loaned to the club. The Sporting Life February 23, 1887

The agony is ended. Judge Harmon to-day [3/5] made entry in the Cincinnati Club suit. He finds the Cincinnati franchise was worth $15,000 at the time of the transfer from Herancourt to Hauck, and decides that hauck must credit Herancourt with $10,000 more than he has done. The club’s title is all right, and no public sale of the franchise will be made. The Sporting Life March 9, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club ownership 2

Date Sunday, January 16, 1887
Text

John R. McLean, proprietor of the Cincinnati Enquirer, although not showing on the surfaces, is a strong supporter of base ball, both as a lover of it and recognizing it as a good outdoor attraction for any city. Three years ago, when through bad management of the local club in Cincinnati the public interest began to wane, he set on foot the Union Association as a rival league. Players were gathered, and he purchased handsome grounds within a short street-car ride of the centre of the city, cut the admission rates, and by the competition gave Cincinnati more baseball than it had had for years. It was quite a war while it lasted, and there were foot races and balloon ascensions. No one man cares to carry a whole League on his shoulders, and Mr. McLean dropped it at the end of the season. He did not make any money, it is true, nor did he expect to when he started in, but he made the rival association lose at the same time, and taught them a lesson in the treatment of the public that has borne lasting fruit.

When just out of college, and before he obtained an interest in the Enquirer, he was catcher for the Cincinnati Club, and a pluckier one never faced a pitcher. Harry Wright and Brainerd, the Count, were the men he caught for. It was at the time when that nine was known as the parlor knights, because the men were as much at home in the parlor as on the ball field. This was in the days when masks, gloves, and shields were unknown and the position of catcher was no enviable one.

Although warned repeatedly by the veteran Harry Wright of its dangers, Mr. McLean would insist on playing close up, saying he could watch the points better and make the men hug the bases. It was while doing this one afternoon that a foul tip sharp from the bat took him full in the left eye, and he went down like an ox. He was carried home, and for two months was kept in a dark room until sight was restored to the impaired eye. It is understood that he is interested in the present Cincinnati Club.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati official scorer

Date Wednesday, March 2, 1887
Text

Harry Weldon has been chosen to act as official scorer of the Reds this season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claim of financial backing for a Players' League

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] A day or two ago I got a glimpse of a hectograph letter sent out by President Ward, just before the League meeting, which confirmed my suspicions. After telling the member to be firm and steadfast to the order, and that the fight to force the League to recognize the Brotherhood would be to the bitter end, President Ward went on to state that the interest as well as duty dictated loyalty, for if the League arrogantly persisted in its course of non-recognition a number of men, financially sound, stood ready to pay for franchises a sum that would net the players three thousand to five thousand dollars each beside their salaries. I guess that the League guesses that it did well to recognize the Brotherhood and the Brotherhood committee should be generally congratulated on its moderation and steadfast work.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clarifying the intentional foul ball rule

Date Wednesday, March 16, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 3/7-8] The anti-bunting rule was also cleared up. When the trick is resorted to the umpires were instructed to call “foul,” and later “strike.” If the ball is caught by the catcher the batsman is out, if not he is penalized with a strike.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs jumping leagues

Date Sunday, May 15, 1887
Text

... It will be remembered that at the last meeting of the arbitration committee the American Association make a determined effort to have section 6, of the national agreement, so amended as to prohibit a club from jumping from one association into the ranks of another without the consent of all the clubs of the organization to which that club might belong.

The secession of Pittsburg had opened the eyes of the American Association to the danger that continually threatened their territory from the encroachment of the League. Young Watrous, of the Metropolitan Club, led the attack for the Association, and he proposed to fight the League upon this issue unless they agreed to the amendment. But the League would not agree to it. Watrous then turned to his colleagues, Byrne, of Brooklyn, and Phelps, of Louisville, but they would not support him. “I am disgusted with the actions of the American Association,” said Watrous right out in the committee. “Before I came in here every club in the Association was for war. They wanted this section amended. We were instructed to that effect. Now that I am here I propose to follow out my instructions, but you see, gentlemen of the League, my colleagues will not support me.” Messrs. Byrne and Phelps were for harmony. So was John I. Rogers, who was looking after the League’s interest. “We don’t want to fight,” said Rogers to Watrous. “No,” retorted Watrous, “you come along and steal my best girl. You don’t want to fight, but I do.” The section was finally amended so that a club desiring to go from one association to another would have to do so in the month of November. This leaves the section about the same as it was before. The American Association territory is still open to the encroachments of the League, and the latter proposes to improve its circuit for next season by the addition of one or two of the Association clubs.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

collegians practice sliding

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

[describing the Harvard Club's spring practice routine] An hour in the afternoon two days in the week has been devoted to sliding bases in the cage. Sliding to bases has been a part of the game of base ball, in which the Harvard nines of the past have been sadly deficient, a faculty which is now everywhere recognized as an important factor in a good all-round player.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

colored players kept out of the majors

Date Wednesday, December 28, 1887
Text

Some of the finest ball players in the country are colored men, Grant, who is to play second base for Buffalo next season, being known as the “Colored Dunlap.” In Malone and Wood, colored, Detroit possess two very able exponents of the National game, and scattered throughout the land are scores of colored ball tossers who would not find the League clubs any too fast company. While the Detroits were South last spring, some of the members of the club while practicing one morning unearthed a colored player named Green, who was a perfect wonder. His throwing, batting, fielding and running were simply marvelous, and it was a long time before Bennett, Richardson, Rowe and others stopped talking about him. The Cuban Giants, of which club Malone, of Detroit, is a member, contains some very fine ball talent, and has proven its prowess by vanquishing the best of League and Association clubs. These men would prove a boon to some of the weak clubs of the League and Association, but if there is one thing the white ball player insists on doing it is drawing the color line very rigidly. And thus distracted manages cannot employ the strong material which would be so welcome. In some of the minor league clubs colored players have been employed and the white members of some clubs have shown commendable toleration. The Sporting Life December 28, 1887, quoting the Detroit Free Press

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Comiskey cursing

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1887
Text

[from charges preferred against Comiskey for conduct in Philadelphia] We charge Charles Comiskey with using, in hearing of ladies and gentlemen in the grant stand, profane language, when remonstrated with for his unnecessary kicking, to wit: “I do not care a g-- d--- for any of them.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Commentary on the limit of collective action

Date Saturday, October 1, 1887
Text

The Brotherhood are still holding a stiff upper lip, and if they have the backbone to stand firm as one they will carry their point with the League. The general impression is, however, that two-thirds of the boys, who have lived up to all they have made, will flunk along toward spring, or possibly sooner, if they are in need of a little advance money. When it comes to butting against capital it is uphill work.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

concessions in Cincinnati

Date Wednesday, February 16, 1887
Text

There are to be two new privileges this season in addition to the “score card syndicate.” Louis Wolfson will provide cushions warranted to keep the corns off frequenters of the “bleaching boards” and pavillion for a nickel a pice. Will Hennessy is to preside at a candy booth in the grand stand, and boys in unfiroms will sell the sweetmeats during the games. The Sporting Life February 16, 1887

Ban Johnson baseball reporter

Bancroft B. Johnson has succeeded O. P. Caylor as base ball editor of the Commercial-Gazette. Ban is an enthusiast of the first water and is one of those sort of “base ball fiends”--commonly called--who would rather see a game of base ball than eat. He has been a local historian on the staff of the paper that has promoted him to a place in the shoes so ably worn by Mr. Caylor. O. P. Continues to be a member of the staff and will dispense base ball comfort from New York as the season wears on. The Sporting Life February 16, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

condemnation to scoring a hit on a base on balls

Date Sunday, April 10, 1887
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] The great objection to this rule is the gross deception that it entails in the score. The score is arranged for the convenience of the public, that it may see as nearly as possible, and as correctly, just how the game was played and what each man did. If a man is credited in the score with making three hits, in order to see just what he actually did, the reader must consult the summary and subtract the number of times he got his base on balls to get at the real batting. Take that Athletic player who in one week this season led his nine in batting, having made four base hits according to the score, but in reality he didn’t make any hits in the wek but got his base four times on balls. How ridiculous! It is a shame that the public is compelled to submit to such an imposition.

Take the case of Clare, of the Boston Blues, in last Tuesday’s Newark game. The score credits the Newarks with making 23 hits off Clare, and gives the impression that he was unmercifully pounded. The truth is that he gave ten men their bas on balls, and that only 13 hits were made instead of 23. It is not just and fair to the pitcher or to the public to have this rule continue.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cost of the Interstate Commerce bill

Date Sunday, August 21, 1887
Text

It cost the Cincinnati team $4-- [illegible] to jump the team from New York to St. Louis the other day. Before the Interstate Commerce bill was enacted the trip could have been made for half the money.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

courtesy runner

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

Larkin is still too lame to run bases, and Fred Mann does duty for him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cuban Giants playing at the Elysian Fields

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

[from a letter from the manager of the Cuban Giants] The Elysian Fields will be very greatly improved by removing the left field fence down level with the house. In all probability the Cubans will open in Hoboken the first or second week in May.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cursingson of a bitch?

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

[James Roseman suspended by Frank Bancroft after a debauch] ...Mr. Bancroft said 'A Fine won't do for you, Roseman, it must be suspension. Roseman retorted: ‘You've jumped on me early, haven't you?' and then became wild and boisterous and swung himself around while Umpire Knight held him. Roseman wanted the boys to 'let me get at the --- -- - ----- 'till I hit him on the kisser,’...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Deacon White's catcher's glove

Date Sunday, June 26, 1887
Text

White has been given credit for being the first professional base ball player to use gloves as a protection for the hand, and he has again come to the front by adopting a new style of glove that most catchers will heartily indorse as soon as they see them. He knew that he was to catch the game at Sturgis [Mich.] before leaving Chicago and prepared himself accordingly. Visiting Spalding’s store, he secured a pliable pair of gloves and then had a large piece of buckskin sewed over the inner side of the left-hand glove, covering the entire distance from the wrist to the finger tips. It gives the hand the same appearance as the foot of any web-footed animal, and while it looks rather awkward it affords additional protection to the hand and fingers. When Bennett saw the glove he at once pronounced it a grand thing and immediately announced his intention of having one made like it. It prevents a foul tip from doing anything like the amount of damage that it might if the fingers of the glove were separate, and as a receiver for swift pitched balls is a decided convenience, as the surface presented is largely increased over the ordinary glove.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining an error; playing for the record

Date Wednesday, January 26, 1887
Text

[from a letter from Nick Young] I have been asked where the line of demarcation lies between a base hit for a batsman and an error for a fielder. I am free to say that the distinction is frequently so fine as to be simply a matter of personal opinion, though a few general considerations should govern the majority of cases. In the first place, I would adopt the player’s standing in scoring a hit. It is, of course, impossible for the scorer to accurately estimate the ability of each particular fielder, nor can he tell whether the players are in good form. While these important points cannot weigh with the reporter, he can just as to the honesty and sincerity of the effort made, and the result obtained should be considered in that light. “Record players” are soon recognized, and should be unsparingly dealt with. The fielder of the future is the man who tries for everything, and allows his “average” to look out for itself.

Hot drives to the infield should be held or handled if they go directly to a player. A first baseman is sometimes to be excused for failing to hold a liner from a left-handed batsman, for those hitters certainly screw a ball around to first with terrific force, but balls batted directly to a fielder should not go through him.

There is a certain bound in the outfield, between the short boudns, which is easily picked up by the skillful player, and the long bound, which can be judged with little difficutly. It strikes a few feet in front of a fielder and is liable to carom at any angle, usually leaving the ground sharply and going over the fielder’s shoulder. If the player stops it he is assisted by chance to a great degree, and should not be given an error if he fails to do so.

To score an error against a fielder who makes a long, ahrd run for a fly, the ball should strike his hands fairly and constitute a palpable muff. These catches are brillian points in fielding, and attempts at them should be encouraged in every legitimate way.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining and scoring earned runs

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

[from Questions Answered] In a recent game between Wichita and Lincoln, of the Western League, Lincoln was credited with two unearned runs and Wichita with no errors by the official scorer. The latter when questioned stated that the first unearned run was made by a batsman who was hit by the pitcher and got around by good running and outs. The other run was made by a player who got first on a force hit and was then batted in. this run was not earned, according to Nick Young's ruling, that an earned run can't be made by a batsman who reaches first base on a force hit.

...we respectfully beg to differ with President Young. While he is commonly and justly accepted as an authority on base ball rules, his logic in this case is hard to understand. The commonly accepted definition of an earned run is a run scored by the nine at bat which perfect fielding on the part of the nine in the field would not have prevented. Certainly in the case mentioned the playing of the nine in the field is perfect. If there is a man on first, the third baseman should always throw a ground ball batted to him to second base. Suppose he should throw the ball to first; A. would take second and score. As it was, B. simply took A.'s place. His run would certainly be counted. Mr. Young says that it would be unfair to score B. an earned run, because he scores on the hits of other players. How else is he to score? It would seem that the proper criterion of an earned run is the one mentioned, namely, where perfect fielding does not prevent it. Submitted to this test B.'s run is an earned run, because there was no possible way to prevent it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining earned runs; bases on balls; runner hit by a batted ball

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the Scorers' Association meeting 12/9]An earned run will be scored every time the player reaches the home base, unaided by an error, before chances have been offered to retire the side of three men. Bases on balls, being summarized as errors, shall not be considered as factors in earned runs. The rule was passed that in all cases where a base-runner is retired by being hit with a batted ball the batsman shall be credited with a base hit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining men left on base

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the Scorers' Association meeting 12/9] The next question taken up was that of left on bases and this question was presented and adopted;

The left on base item in the summary will be represented by the difference between the total of times at bat and batted balls and hit by pitchers and the total of the put-outs and runs.

This simply decides this question, that with two men out and men on either bases, if the batsman hits the ball and the play is made on one of the men on the bases it is proper to credit the batsman with being left on base. The Sporting Life December 14, 1887

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] For instance, with two men out and one or more men on the bases, the batsman hits the ball and it is fielded to head off a man either at second, third or home and the play is completed, is the batsman credited with being left on base? I claim that he should not, having never reached first base in safety, in fact, having never reached a base. A good many dispute this view. During the meeting of the Committee on Rules several members were asked about the play, and there was a difference of opinion. The Sporting Life December 14, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

detectives follow Phillies and Pittsburgh players

Date Thursday, July 7, 1887
Text

Detectives have been shadowing the players of the Philadelphia and Pittsburg Base Ball Clubs for several nights, and in consequence of evidence that has been collected against several of the players of both clubs they are to be released and other men will take their places. The important changes are to take place next week. Detectives watching ball players is the very latest novelty in connection with the national game, but things have come to such a pass that the managers have found it absolutely necessary to have their men watched, so that they can account for bad playing and get rid of players who spend their nights in carousing. The Phillies received two weeks’ pay last night and three detectives and Manager Harry Wright shadowed them all night, and in several instances the suspicions of Manager Wright were confirmed.

What he has learned will lead to the release of probably two outfielders, one baseman, a change catcher and another all-round player. It has been an open secret among men about town for the past month that several members of the Philadelphia team have been drinking hard, and it has also been know, as their records show, that they have played wretched ball. These men stayed up last Sunday night to welcome the Fourth of July and two of the players didn’t go to bed at all. On the Fourth they played two games with the Pittsburg team and both clubs played wretchedly. ...

Harry Wright went to the head of a well-known detective agency near Fourth and Walnut streets and told the detective what he wanted; that he had reluctantly come to the conclusion that some of the Philadelphia players were playing poor ball because they were dissipating. Then Manager Wright told the detective what he wanted done.

The ball players were to be shadowed and when they were caught in a saloon having a good time Manager Wright, who was to be sent for so that he could see with his own eyes just who the men were and what their condition was. The detective agreed to undertake the job and he put two other men on the case to work with him. Several of the Phillies have been watched when they were not on the field playing. How long they were to be watched is not known, but the detectives were still shadowing them at midnight last night.

The same detective was employed by President Nimick and Manager Phillips, of the Pittsburg team. On the night of the Fourth and on Tuesday night the majority of the Pittsburg team were followed wherever they went and four of them are known to have been caught drinking. Two were caught by President Nimick and Manager Phillips. That was on Tuesday night. It wad been arranged that some of the Phillies were to show some of the Pittsburgers the town. As it rained all day Tuesday the Pittsburg players had a dull time of it lounging about the Girard House, where they were stopping, but it cleared up at night and the players prepared for stealing away quietly after dark. L [The gory details follow.]

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

deteriorating relations between the League and the Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

Slowly, but surely, ever since the fall meeting of the Brotherhood of Ball Players and the Asbury Park meeting of the League directors, the League and that portion of its players embraced in the Brotherhood have been drifting to a deadlock on the question of official recognition of the Brotherhood by the League. This has now been made an issue, and both organizations have taken a stand on this issue from which neither can no escape without a square back-down. This deplorable situation has been brought about by the refusal of the League, through its president, as a matter of policy, to recognize an organization of players within its ranks, and the absolute insistence of the Brotherhood, through Chairman Ward, upon such recognition. [Correspondence between Ward and Young follow.] [See also TSL 10/5/87 for Ward's final letter in the sequence.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit Club finances 6

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

[reporting the annual meeting of 4/21] President Stearns reviewed the work of last season, when the association started out $20,000 in debt, but ended up with a balance on the right side of the ledger, and gave the outlook for the present season. Over 600 season tickets have already been sold, and Secretary Leadley's mail is daily bringing in large additions, forty books being applied for yesterday.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit Club finances 7

Date Wednesday, October 5, 1887
Text

President Stearns, of Detroit, was asked the other day how the Detroit Club had come out financially this season. Said he:--”About $5,000 ahead. The stockholders have reaped principally glory. The fact is, our players are paid salaries fifty per cent. higher than those of any club in the country, and they have reaped most of the benefit. It strikes me that in three games for the world's championship the stockholders should get a peep into the pasture. In addition to their salaries, each player gets a nice present from the club for winning the League pennant. Every club in the League has made money this season, but Detroit makes less than any, even than Indianapolis.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit Club ownership

Date Wednesday, December 28, 1887
Text

[reporting on the resignation of Detroit Club President Stearns] Messrs. Stearns, [James L.] Edson,and [G. M.] Vaile own between them 260 of the 400 shares of stock of the club as follows:--Stearns, 60; Edson, 65; Vail, 135. At Saturday's meeting these three gentlemen shook hands over a pledge not to dispose of their stock for one year, so that the club will remain under the same control for at least a year. As but 201 shares are necessary to elect a president it is seen that the three gentlemen named control that formality. The Sporting Life December 28, 1887

an assessment that Bryne runs the AA

[from the Baltimore correspondent] Several years ago this correspondence contained a tribute to the abilities of Mr. Byrne. His intellectual portrait was carefully drawn from personal observation of him in convention and out of it. He was then the intellectual superior of his colleagues with the exception of Mr. Caylor and Mr. Phelps. He is a natural diplomat, and this characteristic gave him the advantage of Mr. Caylor. Mr. Phelps having more important business to which he devoted his energies, left Mr. Byrne master of the field, and Mr. Byrne has become, what will not surprise any observant and thinking man, the ruling mind in the affairs of the Association. In fact, Mr. Byrne IS the Association. As a natural sequence of superior general abilities, he is president, secretary, board of directors and all the committees. He is “Captain, cook and all the crew/On board the Mary Jane.” The other members of “the ring” fondly delude themselves with the belief that they are participating partners, and their thinking so is one of the greatest tributes to the peculiar abilities of Mr. Byrne. Either by study or by intuition this admirable diplomat becomes thoroughly conversant with the subtlest governing characteristics of his colleagues, and he manipulates this knowledge so delicately, and yet so skillfully, that there is responding result without even the manipulation or the true product being observed by the subjects of it, and it is even justifiable to put this in print, for the members of the ring will never actually realize that it is o. they are under the influence of a species of mental mesmerism or personal magnetism that paints black white, sees trees as men walking, and all those other psychical mysteries. The Sporting Life December 28, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit and the guarantee system; a hint about defecting to the AA

Date Wednesday, July 20, 1887
Text

President Stearns gave utterance to an important opinion a few days ago. It was to the effect that the Detroit Club would not tolerate the unjust guarantee system another year. “The club will come out even the present season,” said Mr. Stearns. “But we don't propose to maintain a first-class club simply for glory. Everything points to the probability that the American Association will return to the percentage system next season, and unless the League does so, I am of the belief that three League clubs will go to the Association. Von der ahe can't stand the guarantee business. It is ridiculous on its face. Clubs like the Browns and Detroits go East and draw from $5,000 to $10,000 into the treasuries of the Eastern clubs and receive a beggarly $65 or $125 per game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit club finances; payroll; percentage gate split

Date Saturday, November 5, 1887
Text

“We have a team that entitles us to a percentage all around,” sayd President Stearns of Detroit. “Our salary list is $49,000. Chicago's is $29,000. While we are the greatest attraction that comes to Chicago, we have made $10,000 on the season and Chicago has made between $80,000 and $90,000. Still, Chicago has treated us fairly, and I don't care what anybody says. I think there is no squarer man than Spalding. What we want is to make the other fellows treat us squarely, and as sure as you live we are going to do it. The percentage system will be adopted by the League next season.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit players collectively bargain for World Series cut

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

[from the Detroit correspondent] Verily there have been lively times here the present week and all caused by the Phillies and the world's championship series. The Phillies started by he racket by knocking an eye out of the Wolverines, and the fuss caused by those defeats was immediately overshadowed by the row kicked up by the arrangements for the series with the Browns. When the management came to talk with the players in regard to terms, it was discovered that a wide difference of opinion existed. The players put in a rather startling demand for their services, intimating that each player who took part in the games would consider it the proper caper to receive $4400 for his work, and in case the world's championship was won $100 extra would fill the bill. The Detroit management stood aghast. They thought that in consideration of their very liberal and generous treatment of their players the latter would be inclined to be moderate in their demands, and not ask for more than half the earth. The players insisted on three-fourths and stuck to the demand. After considerable parleying a compromise was reached, by which the financial demands of the players were acceded to, and they in turn signed a lump contract giving the club their services to Nov. 1. It is generally admitted that the players have nothing of which to complaint.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit's salaries

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

Detroit, with a salary list of about $45,000, is supposed to be the highest salaried team in the country.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

differing opinions of the substitute rule

Date Sunday, December 4, 1887
Text

The American Association will probably approve of all the National League did in the way of changing rules, except in one instance. A strong fight will be made against the proposed new rule allowing two extra players’ names to be printed on the score card, and giving a club power to substitute one of the extra players for another during a game. The rule was ostensibly made to give a manager a chance to lay a player off for “sulking” during a game, but will result in a club having two or three pitchers during a game, as when one is being batted freely he can “sulk” and have a fresh pitcher put in his place. Manager Sharsig does not like the rule, and he says the Athletic delegates will vote against it. Manager Wright says there are some bad and some good things about the proposed new rule. It would tend to relieve monotonous games, as the substitution of two new men would create a renewed interest, but the trouble would be that spectators would begin calling for a change if a pitcher should be batted a little or a fielder should make a couple of errors. The Philadelphia Times December 4, 1887

President Spalding, of Chicago, is making strong appeals, by mail and in person, to the American Association delegates for the adoption of his pet “two substitutes” rule. The Sporting Life December 7, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

disputing what constitutes a stolen base

Date Saturday, September 3, 1887
Text

In Saturday's game Robinson was playing off first base and Weldman in an attempt to catch him napping, threw wild, and Robinson went to third. Mr. Caylor and a number of others contended that Robinson should be credited with two stolen bases, as the error had been made while Robinson was attempting to steal a base. It is absurd to say that a base runner is attempting to steal a base simply because he is playing off the base in order to get a good lead in case he should attempt to steal second. In Saturday's game, when Weldman turned to throw to first, Robinson started back for the bag as fast as he could, and it is absurd to say that he was attempting to steal a base, when, on the contrary, he was scampering back as fast as his legs could carry him. Mr. Caylor contends that the mere “playing off” of a base runner constitutes an attempt to steal a base, but will hardly be upheld by authorities.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dollar admission to World Series games

Date Sunday, October 2, 1887
Text

The report that an admission fee of one dollar would be charged to the two games to be played in this city raised considerable dissatisfaction among the regular attendants at the games and a faint cry of hippodrome was heard. Presidents Stern and Von der Ahe have both sent communications to The Times in which they say that only fifty cents admission will be charged in this city. An admission fee of one dollar will be demanded at St. Louis and Detroit, where the great local interest attached to the struggle is expected to fill the grounds, and the patrons of the game in Chicago may be charged one dollar, but fifty cents is likely to prevail as the admission fee in other cities. The Philadelphia Times October 2, 1887

The price of admission to be charged will be one big dollar. This is a good sum to be obliged to put up to see a game of ball, but then the public want to see the series, and the two great aggregations would draw will if they were to charge two dollars admission instead of one. The Sporting Life October 12, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

drainage at the Huntingdon Street grounds; proto-mound

Date Sunday, May 1, 1887
Text

[from a description of the new Huntingdon Street grounds] Surrounding the green field and running along the front of the pavilion, open seats, fences, wall, etc., there has been laid out a bicycle track fifteen feet wide and precisely a quarter of a mile long. It is built of broken stone, covered with fine loamy clay mixed with pulverized ashes, heavily rolled. The pitcher’s box and base lines are formed of the same material with convex surfaces, so as to throw off the water.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early rumor of the Players' League

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

The players are beginning to grow restive under the abuses engendered by the Reserve Rule. Some of them are men of education, many are men of shrewd business sense. It is a question how long they will endure to remain “chattels.” If they ever come to any agreement among themselves they may effect a great change. Suppose, for instance, says the New York Mail and Express, that they were to hold a convention next October, and draw up and adopt a “bill of rights.” Suppose the directors of the League refused to grant it. Suppose, further, that the players thereupon should form a co-operative league of their own, apportion their own players and their territory, and begin next season on their own hook. What would be the result? Very likely nothing of the sort will be attempted so soon. Still, such a thing is by no means impossible, and in case no change is made in the present constitution of the League and the Association it is hardly improbable. Base ball is a new business, comparatively—less than twenty years old—and its principles are not yet thoroughly determined. It is not yet past the experimental stage in respect to methods. Pecuniarily, it is a tremendous success, but the relations between employers and employees are not yet settled, and are not likely to be until they are put upon a fairer basis than the present one.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early sighting of Ban Johnson

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/7] ...a number of newspaper men [were] present, viz.--...Ban Johnson, of Cincinnati...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early sighting of Ed Delahanty

Date Wednesday, October 12, 1887
Text

Ed. J. Delehanty [sic], second baseman, received a fine silver-mounted rosewood bat for being the best batsman in the Mansfield Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of a merged NL/AA twelve club league

Date Thursday, June 9, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Von der Ahe] “Yes,” said the champions’ president, “there is a movement to form a twelve-club league, but it is hardly likely to be ready for next season. It will take some time for that. The matter was first broached at Columbus between Al Spalding and myself, and no further progress has been made since that time. There is no likelihood of the Browns going into the League next season, unless the League comes to my terms.” The Philadelphia Times June 9, 1887

Events in the base ball world would seem to be shifting toward the formation of one twelve club league. Certain clubs are in favor of such an organization. Among them are Chicago, Boston, New York and St. Louis, and if the American Association should, at its coming meeting, decide against the percentage system, things would be in shape for such a league. The Mets might drop out, and Indianapolis is at the League’s disposal. If it is not wanted, it, too, will retire. Then the planners would go on and buy out Louisville and seek to amalgamate the Athletic and Philadelphia clubs in Philadelphia. If all this could be done but twelves clubs would remain, viz: Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, New York, Washington, Pittsburg, Chicago, Detroit, Cincinnati, St. Louis and Cleveland. It isn’t likely that such a League would be formed, even were the clubs mentioned ready to aid in its formation. But the scheme is proposed and supported by the Louisville and Indianapolis are ready to sell, and by Von der Ahe’s proposed purchase of the Athletic Club. The one point upon which twelve such clubs could not agree would be the same as that at present moving the American Association–percentage vs. guarantee. Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Baltimore, Chicago, Brooklyn and Cincinnati would favor the guarantee plan and the rest the percentage plan. The Philadelphia Times August 14, 1887

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of the Mets pulling out; Wiman on buying the Detroits

Date Wednesday, July 27, 1887
Text

[quoting Erastus Wiman] I have not yet made any direct negotiation for the Detroit team. I should like to have them very much, but I do not believe I can afford to pay the price they want. Even if I do not get another team, I may give up base ball at Staten Island. The Mets are certainly not a success.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early word of Spalding's world tour

Date Wednesday, July 6, 1887
Text

Arrangements are being made to play an inter-colonial game between picked nines of New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. Word comes from Sydney to the effect that the Spalding brothers intend sending two nines to play a series of games there. If this report is true, Spalding has been keeping it very quiet.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

electric lights

Date Wednesday, March 30, 1887
Text

The scheme of having on the St. George grounds at Staten Island, to admit of playing ball at night, was supposed to have long since been abandoned. Such, however, appears not to be the case. Mr. Johnson, of New York, president of the Edison Electric Light Company, in a conversation last Wednesday, stated that the reason of failure so far to provide an artificial light capable of meeting all the requirements of ball playing was because all efforts in that direction had been based on the idea of placing the illumination at a great height above the field and throwing the original rays directly on it, thus either blinding the players by the glare, or casting shaadows, either of which make it impracticable. ... The rough outline of the plan is this: Mr. Johnson proposes to line the outside of the diamond, foul lines and extremes of the outfields with placed beneath the ground and projecting, by means of powerful reflectors, the rays upward through the covering-plates of corrugated glass. The lights themselves are to be so arranged that no direct rays will shine in the eyes of the players. From the success of additional experiments he expects a softer light to be deflected downward by atmospheric influence iluminating the usrface of the diamond and field with the brilliancy of the noonday sun, minus the glare of the original direct rays of the artificial light, and also minus those optical illusions called in the player’s vernacular “high sky,” etc., etc.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Erastus Wiman's business plan

Date Saturday, July 30, 1887
Text

The Baltimore and Ohio Rail Road have arranged with the Staten Island Terminal Company, which reduced to plain figures means Mr. Erastus Wiman, to make Staten Island their New York terminal, and the percentage allowed Mr. Wiman for the use of his ferries, etc. will be based on the business done by him for a certain term of years previous to the B.&O. taking possession. Naturally, Mr. Wiman is using every legitimate effort to attract as many people as possible to Staten Island and thus have his books make a big showing for the computation by the rail road company. In proof whereof last year he had Buffalo Bill's Wild West there for a long time, mid-summer night concerts, electric fountain displays, etc., and this year he has had Forepaugh's Circus, The Fall of Babylon, etc. The Mets have not proved the drawing card that was anticipated...

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

explaining the new pitching rule

Date Sunday, March 20, 1887
Text

The new pitching rules are still misunderstood by many, and numerous ideas prevail as to the proper position. The general impression is that the pitcher must keep both feet on the ground the moment he takes position, and until he delivers the ball. This is erroneous, because the rule gives him the privilege of a step forward... The step is not limited, and if the pitcher cares to go to the limit of the box, he can do so. ... The ball has to be held in plain view of the umpires; then the preliminary arm motion is brought into play, and as the ball is delivered the step... is taken. After the delivery of the ball the pitcher can move anywhere in the box, or even out of it.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fans rewarding home runs

Date Wednesday, June 29, 1887
Text

The silly fashion of rewarding home run hits by contributions from spectators, originated in the Southern League, has at last made its way into National League circles. At Indianapolis last Tuesday Denny made a four-bagger which won the game, whereupon the crowd, in the exuberance of its enthusiasm, began pitching dollars to the great third baseman and he was kept busy for two or three minutes picking up silver. The shower netted him $7.85. On Thursday he repeated the feat and was again rewarded with a shower of silver and also some paper money.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ferguson fired as manager of the Mets; Caylor his replacement

Date Wednesday, June 8, 1887
Text

Robert Ferguson, the ex-umpire and manager of the Metropolitan Base Ball Club, was released from the management of Wiman's Indians yesterday. Dave Orr, the big first baseman and captain of the club, was made both manager and captain until Managing Director Watrous returns from his wedding trip. The players' combined growl against Ferguson caused his removal. He will probably be appointed umpire by either the Association or League. As an umpire he has no superiors and few equals. The Sporting Life June 8, 1887

Mr. O. P. Caylor has been appointed manager of the Metropolitan Club, in place of Robert Ferguson, resigned. The players of the club voted to make catcher Holbert manager, but Managing Director Watrous did not care to take the responsibility of appointing one of the players as manager, and the players, rather than have a stranger over them, decided upon Mr. Caylor. The Sporting Life June 15, 1887

[from Joe Pritchard's column] Mr. Ferguson's duty was merely to watch over the men, but he had no power to either release or sign a player, and it seems that his suggestions were ignored entirely. He was able and anxious to secure several Western players during the winter, whose services would have strengthened the Mets materially, but I understand Mr. Watrous would not permit the veteran to even make a suggestion in regqrd to young blood. The large boodle at the back of the Mets could have strengthened the team so that it would have certainly taken second place this season, but Mr. Ferguson was bound hand and foot. Had Mr. Wiman put the Mets in the hands of Mr. Ferguson and given him full power to act, the Staten Islanders would have been in a different position in the American Association race from that which they hold to-day if the boys had played as good ball as they were capable of. The Sporting Life June 15, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders gloves

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1887
Text

In NY Giants vs. Philadelphia game - "All the New York players wore gloves except pitcher Mattimore, and he probably would too, except that he would not have been able to pitch if he had.  Someone has suggested that the New York players are getting their hands white and soft for their appearance in society next winter."  Close play at 3B where third baseman Ewing appeared to tag out Farrar, "in spite of Ewing's deliberate movements with his heavily gloved hands." New York Tribune June 15, 1887 [from David Aricidiacono]

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

finances of a Southern tour

Date Saturday, November 5, 1887
Text

From Memphis on [George] Munson will travel ahead of the combination. “We are well billed,” said the Browns secretary, “and we ought to do a flourishing business in the south and west. The Browns have never been through this exact territory before and the people who have heard so much about them are anxious for their coming. We receive two-thirds of the gross receipts on the southern tour so that we are pretty sure to make some money off it. We also expect to do well in California. In fact every one of us should clear at least $4,000 on the trip.

Source The Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

first baseman's gloves

Date Sunday, September 18, 1887
Text

“A pair of gloves lost Chicago to the pennant this year,” said an enthusiast to-day. “Anson was too pig-headed to wear gloves, and I find that he has made at least thirty-five errors by muffing thrown balls and lost about seven games this way.

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fogel proposes the modified percentage plan

Date Wednesday, November 16, 1887
Text

[a proposal by Horace Fogel] Each club shall have exclusive control of its own ground. But the home club shall, except in cities occupied by a National League and American Association club, and except on holidays, pay to the visiting club for every championship game played by it on said grounds thirty per centum of the receipts of general admission (or fifteen cents per head), providing that 1,370 or more admissions have passed through the gates, and if less than that number, the visiting club shall receive the sum of two hundred dollars. In cities occupied by a National League and American Association club the home club shall pay to the visiting club for every championship game on said grounds forty per centum (or 10 cents per head) of the receipts of general admission, providing that 2,000 or more admissions have passed through the gate, and if less than that number, the visiting club shall receive the sum of two hundred dollars. On National or State holidays the home club shall pay to the visiting club fifty per centum of the receipts for general admission.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

free passes to city politicians for Sunday baseball

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

There is one thing certain and that is that if the Cincinnatis' gates are not thrown upon [sic: probably “open”] to the Councilmen and Aldermen there will be a revival feeling among the city fathers that Sunday base ball in injurious to the moral good of the city. Several years ago the Board of Police Commissioners attempted a clever “shake down” on the Reds, closed the grounds and set a detail of police out to the Union Park and shut down on the “Wild West.” The effort was spasmodic, but if the club would bar out these people in authority they would soon find themselves in a peck of trouble. That twenty-five-free-tickets limit rule will be hard to enforce against the pressure of municipal thumb-screws that would at once be applied by blackmailers under the mask of those acting for the public good. To close the ball park on Sunday and allow the dives and concert halls to keep their doors wide open would be manifestly unjust, and yet that is what has been tried in the past.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Gaffney comes out in favor of the two umpire system

Date Sunday, November 13, 1887
Text

The secret of umpiring has been solved by the double umpire system. There is every advantage in it. The man behind the plate can watch intently the balls and strikes, and see that they are announced all right. He will on that account be in better shape to be heard by the players and spectators. A man who runs around the bases does not have time to do anything else properly, and is out of breath half the time. Now the umpire at the plate will not be obliged to cover more than five yards, except when he will go to the foul line occasionally at either first or third. The other umpire follows the ball all over the field. One thing has been discovered by the new system of double umpiring. It is that not more than two out of five men are touched at second base. There has always been much guessing on decisions at second. The more you umpire behind a man the better you will become with his individual tricks and peculiarities.

The ball is thrown down in time usually, but the baseman makes a bluff and does not touch the runner. It is sometimes hard to tell whether a man is touched at the base even by the outfield umpire, and is therefore evident that it was even more difficult when all the points were decided by one umpire. This is a great discovery. One day in the Brooklyn game I watched a close play. Ganzel was running to second and Robinson was on the base. He got the ball in time and made a break, but did not come within three inches of the runner. ‘You never touched him, Robby,’ I said. ‘Did not I touch him, Gaff?’ asked Robinson. He knew he did not, but probably did as he always has done. If he had touched the man he would have kicked on the decision, but he never said another word. Another advantage of the field umpire will be to stop base running. The runners know there is a field umpire and will touch the boys as they run the bases., quoting The Sporting Times

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Galvin on the hit for the base on balls

Date Sunday, November 20, 1887
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] The phantom hit is no more and, as “Gentle Jeems” Galvin remarked, “They ought to take the next feller that says anything in favor of a base on balls being called a base hit down to the trough and allow him to stay in until he dies.” It was never popular here and the change gave universal satisfaction.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

games taking too long; working the count

Date Wednesday, June 8, 1887
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] A complaint comes from all over the country--”The games are too long drawn out.” This is a fact, and the evil must be remedied. People have been educated to remain at a game from an hour and a half to two hours, and when the game is drawn out to two hours and fifteen minutes, and even two hours and a half, the public will call a halt by refusing to attend the games. … To remedy this evil of long games the number of balls and strikes will have to be changed. If not both then change one, make it three strikes and five balls and the pitcher and batsmen would be about on an equal footing. Under the present arrangement very few batters strike at the first two balls and a great many of the big hitters allow three balls to go over the plate before they will make an attempt to line it out. This waiting to get to first on balls not only draws the game out unnecessarily but it prevents just what all base ball men have been trying to bring out, and that is good hard hitting. If the rules are so changed that we will have three strikes and five balls, the games will be shorter and batting just about as heavy as it is at present.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Munson moves from the Maroons to the St. Louis AA Club

Date Saturday, January 15, 1887
Text

Mr. George Munson, the Maroons old secretary has left that body to accept the secretaryship of the St. Louis Brows. Mr. Munson in leaving the Maroons carried with him the well wishes of every one interested in the League organization. We do not mean by this that they were glad to see him “get out” as it were, but that they were glad to see him better himself financially. Mr. Munson took hold of the Maroons when their star was in the ascendancy and has stood by them through thick and thin. The

friends of that club naturally, therefore, regret the step he has taken. But that he had fair and sufficient reasons for making the change will develop before many moons, or at least in due time and season. The Sporting News January 15, 1887

It was merely a question of salary with George. The Browns being in a prosperous condition just now, offered him a two-years' contract at a good salary, and he accepted the offer just as he had a right to do. The Sporting News January 15, 1887

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

grandstand screen

Date Wednesday, January 12, 1887
Text

[describing the new Cleveland ground] Before the grand stand will hang a wire screen, which will protect the spectators without obstructing the view.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ground keeping; preparing the field for the winter

Date Wednesday, November 16, 1887
Text

Extensive improvements are to be made at the beautiful Philadelphia grounds. The contractor has been at work for three weeks filling up the hollows in the outfield and resodding the worn-out parts of the infield, especially back of first base and of short stop, and covering the entire infield and outfield with from three to five inches of fine garden soil. Some idea of the extent of this seemingly unimportant matter may be judged from the fact that three teams and eight men have been employed for three weeks, and about 900 loads of soil have been spread and raked over the ground, into which blue grass seed is now being sown. After this is accomplished the whole surface will be covered with stable manure, which will keep the earth warm all winter. The melting snows and rains will percolate through the manure, carrying the ammonia into the soil. In March all the straw will be removed and the heavy two-horse roller put to work. As a result the management hope to have the best turf and the smoothest field in the United States.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright on left handed pitchers; percentage of curve balls

Date Tuesday, August 9, 1887
Text

Harry Wright has a weakness for left-handed pitchers, and he gives his reason as follows: “All pitchers get in the lower right-hand corner of the box—toward first base. Now, with a right-handed pitcher the ball is thrown squarely at the batter. This becomes a necessity, as the batsman's lines to not permit him to stand otherwise than at right angles with the plate; or more properly speaking, his bat would hit a straight pitched ball at exactly a right angle. A straight pitched ball from a left-handed pitcher cuts the plate diagonally. It is harder to hit such a ball safely, and when you take into consideration that almost 40 per cent. of pitched balls are straight throws you will see the force of my theory. The drop or raise ball of a left-handed man is equally more effective than that of a right-handed one. That is why I favor left-handed pitchers.

Source The Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright on the three strike rule

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] He [Harry Wright] says that the four strike rule was a necessity last season, in view of the advantage given the pitcher by the abolition of the privilege of calling for a high or low ball; but that the experience batsmen have gained since 1886, in striking at balls between the height of the knee and the shoulder, has equalized things more, and in consequence the four strike rule now would only enable them to wait longer for a base on balls than before.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Herancourt family finances

Date Sunday, December 18, 1887
Text

[writing of Louis Herancourt, George Herancourt’s brother] For a long time Louis has not been engaged in any business, having retired from the management of the brewery shortly after the majority of stock was acquired by Mr. Casimer Werk and others, who had previous to the death of the elder Herancourt been smaller stockholders.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hiding the ball to get a new one

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

A neat trick to get a new ball was tried by the Chicagos in the last inning of Thursday's game at New York. The ball in play was fouled over the grand stand, and the second ball, not being in sight, Capt. Anson demanded that a new ball be brought out. Capt. O'Rourke refused to allow this, claiming that the other ball, the second ball, was in sight only a moment before. After a search it was found hid away under of the of the players who was lying on the ground.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

hiring away a groundskeeper

Date Wednesday, February 23, 1887
Text

Uncle Billy Huston, who superintended the grounds at Eclipse Park last year, will not be found in Louisville next season. Manager Watkins has induced him to go to Detroit, and at an advanced salary. Uncle Billy will be missed. The Sporting Life February 23, 1887

connotations of “hustler”

[from the Detroit correspondent’s column] Wonder what is the cause of Mr. Chadwick’s deep-seated aversion to the word “hustler.” I notice he never misses an opportunity to take a whack at it. In his last letter he objects to Dan O’Leary being called a hustler, because “a hustler is a trickster, unscrupulous in his methods of management.” Of course, the generally accepted definition of the term is one who humps himself and secures valuable players for his club; in fact, one who keeps his eyes wide open all the time and misses no opportunity to advance the interests of the aggregation he represents. Trickery and unscrupulousness are not necessarily among the attributes of a hustler. The Sporting Life February 23, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Horace Fogel reporter with the Sporting Life

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

...Mr. Fogle [sic], the late manager of the Indianapolis Club, but who is now the able assistant to Editor-in-Chief Richter...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

improved drainage at the Athletic grounds

Date Sunday, February 6, 1887
Text

...the well-known [Athletics] superintendent, Johnny Ryan, has been busy all winter concocting a carrying out schemes to better the grounds. The diamond has been entirely filled with a top-dressing. The paths have been excavated to a depth of one foot and filled in with cinders to act as a drain and strainer. Old players say that as soon as the paths are packed the diamond will be one of the finest in the United States. The paths will not be slippery and nothing less than a genuine flood will wet them so as to make the unfit for use. By this arrangement there will be no games postponed on account of an early rain. The Philadelphia Times February 6, 1887

The diamond is pronounced one of the finest in the country. It is as level as any ground can possibly be made and the paths are in excellent condition. The foot of cinders which have been p ut in the paths and the pitcher’s alley are well packed down, making a big improvement, much better in fact than was anticipated. “That is just where we expect to gain on the other clubs, “says Lew Simmons. “We can play in the rain just as well as the best of weather, and we do not intend to disappoint spectators who go out to see the games.” The Philadelphia Times February 27, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis Club finances 2

Date Sunday, October 2, 1887
Text

[from the Indianapolis correspondent] The financial showing for the season is about as follows: After the League franchise had been paid for and the expenses of organization, etc., been met, there was about $1,500 in the treasury. During the season $3,750 were spent in experimenting with players. Notwithstanding this outlay and the fact that the club has been a disappointment, every dollar of indebtedness will be met on October 15, and the balance on hand then will equal what the club started the season with.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

infielders playing in

Date Wednesday, July 20, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] It seems to me that the universal trick practiced by infielders, that of coming up for a short play when a man is on third and less than two hands are out isn't a good one. I have seen so many runs result from the habit in this season of batting that I have weakened on it. In not one case in five does it succeed, and I think that the chances in favor of the batsmen making a hit at such times are quadrupled, at least.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

instantaneous photography to capture the pitcher's delivery

Date Wednesday, January 26, 1887
Text

[from Caylor’s column] Mullane was “took” by the instantaneous process of photography last year, and his right foot was found to be elevated as the ball was leaving his hand. Tony says his swiftest delivery is secured this way.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

International League institutes the color barrier

Date Wednesday, July 27, 1887
Text

Grant, Stovey, Walker and Higgins are the leading colored players now in the International League who will have to seek work elsewhere next season. All are good players and behave like gentlemen, and it is a pity that the line should have been drawn against them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

International League maintains the color line

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

At the meeting of the new International Association, the matter of rescinding the rule forbidding the employment of colored players was forgotten. This is unfortunate for the colored players, as the Syracuse delegation had Buffalo, London and Hamilton fixed, making four in favor and two against it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting interference and runners hit by a batted ball

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

[from Nick Young's circular on rules interpretations] Rule 53, Section 13.--If the ball has plainly passed or been batted through a fielder, and the base runner has run fairly behind the fielder, he should not be declared out if hit by the ball. It is no longer a fair batted ball. The intent of this rule was simply to prevent the runner from obstructing the fielding of a batted ball. The umpire should be particularly careful in enforcing this rule to use judgment.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the new balk delivery rules

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick’s column] The pitcher now makes a balk if he takes more than one step in delivery; or if he steps outside of the box; or if he lifts his right foot off the rear line of the box before he sends the ball in or it leaves his hand; or if he fails to face the batsman when delivering the ball; or if he fails to hold the ball within the sight of the umpire; or if he fails to resume his original standing position after feigning to throw to a base occupied by a runner; or if, after so feigning, he fails to pause before delivering the ball; or if hemakes “any motion calculated to deceive the runner. The latter clause is one which has a special interpretation to it, inasmuch as it is meant to emphasize the clause wherein it states that the prohibited motions are “hold to include any and every accustomed motion” the pitcher uses in his special mode of delivery. By this strict rule it will be plainly seen that a pitcher can only escape making abalk in throwing to a base to catch a runner off it by standing as he does in his stated position before making any motion to deliver.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the new balk rule

Date Wednesday, January 26, 1887
Text

[from Caylor’s column] If the pitcher makes the feint to throw to first it will do him no good, for while he recovers himself and resumes his position the base-runner, who may have been driven back to the base by the feint, has time to again “take ground.” The feint cannot, under the rules, drive a base-runner back and hold him there while the pitcher delivers the ball with the same motion--a trick Morris had to perfection. As it is now the pitcher gains no advantage by making the feint, and that is partially what is meant by “any motion calculated to deceive the base-runner.” It also means any motion calculated to make the base-runner believe the delivery has begun, and on which belief he makes a start for the next base.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the new delivery rule

Date Sunday, April 17, 1887
Text

[from the NL umpire instructions] Rule 5, section 2 contains the first radical change from the old code, and to my mind is too plain to require any special explanation or interpretation. The pitcher must face the batsman, both shoulders square with the plate, with rear foot on the rear line of the box. It should not make any difference if heel projects a little outside of box. The prohibition in the section against raising the rear foot is not intended to bar the pitcher from doing so when throwing to a base, and refers to the delivery and the preparatory motions for delivery of the ball to the bat.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the new delivery rules; Ward drafted them

Date Wednesday, January 26, 1887
Text

[from Caylor’s column] Mr. Chadwick insists that under the new rules the right foot of the pitcher must be kept on the ground until the ball is delivered. I wrote about this delivery understandingly; for I was a member of the joint committee, he must know, and all these points were discussed. Ward was present, and illustrated the rule which he himself drew up, and he showed how a pitcher might step, or, rather, jump, forward in one step and bring his right foot along while his arm is coming forward. The entire committee saw this illustrated, and so will Mr. Chadwick as soon as the season begins. Mr. Ward can bear me out in this, and the “jump” which I have been writing about is not the “hot, step and jum” of the Mullane sort indulged in so freely but one might stride, where the pitcher follows his left foot with his right.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the new pitching delivery rule

Date Wednesday, March 16, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 3/7-8] the umpires were instructed that the pitching rule, requiring the pitcher to face the batsman, meant that both the face and body of the pitcher should face the batsman, that the body should be erect and that both shoulders should be equally distant from the centre from the home plate.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the new pitching rules 2

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Lon Knight, describing the AA umpires' meeting 3/7] The pitching rules came in for the greatest share of our attention. We worked about two hours over them. There was a large diagram drawn on a blackboard, which afforded us practical illustration. Now the pitcher, in the first place, will have to face the batter. This won't mean, as it did last year, turn the face merely, but it means turn the whole body. I thought of this point, and said:--'Gentlemen, you had this in your rules last year and it amounted to nothing.' Then we had a great kick and talk, and finally decided that to face meant literally to turn, practically, the whole body. Now, in the case of a right-handed pitcher, he will stand with his right foot on the rear line of his position. This, you will observe, will enable him to stand in a three-quarter position and yet show the umpire and batsmen his whole front. This is what the umpire will exact. The ball, too, must be in plain sight all the time. It cannot be hidden behind the back or upon the hip. Of course, the pitcher will swing his arm back before the last motion is made to deliver the ball. This will be allowable, but when the ball is delivered both feet must be upon the ground. The pitcher can step forward one step in delivering the ball, and he can even be out of his box after the ball has finally left his hand and his delivery is completed without incurring a penalty. … Any illegal delivery is a balk, and gives the batter and base-runner his base. Any motion that the pitcher makes to throw with his arms before he moves his body will be a balk. If he wants to throw to a base he must do no fooling. He must turn and throw, and must then come back to position. He can feint all he wants to, but he must turn to do so, and must return to position before pitching. This is imperative.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the rule on new balls

Date Sunday, April 17, 1887
Text

[from the NL umpire instructions] Rule 13, section 2. If both balls are hit over the fence in quick succession, let a new ball be furnished, even though one of the original two should come back during the interval of producing the new ball. The object of this rule is to expedite the game, and no technicalities should be allowed to stand in the way of the enforcement of the true spirit of the regulation.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the stolen base scoring rule

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] The stolen base rule as followed last year was a farce. It tended to increase base-running and so added one of the most pleasing features of the game, but when you come down to the scoring side it was a different thing. I could never understand why a man who started from first and went way around home on an overthrow of the catcher into centre field should be credited with three stolen bases. But that is what the rules called for. It is well enough to give the player a stolen base, perhaps, if he reaches second on an error of the catcher or second baseman, for if the man at first had not started he could not have reached second, and by giving him the stolen base it sets a premium on trying to go down to second. But the runner has no intention of going ot third on the same play. If he does get to third there must have been an error, while he might reach second without an error. … Here are their [the Boston scorers] regulations on base-running:

“That any attempt to steal a base must go to the credit of the base-runner, whether the ball is thrown wild or muffed by a fielder, and unless the base-runner is advanced more than one base no error is to be charged to the fielder. If the base-runner advances another base, the fielder allowing the advancement is to be charged with an error. If a base-runner makes a start and a battery error is made the runner secures the credit of a stolen base, and the battery error is scored against the player making it. The Sporting Life December 21, 1887

[from Ren Mulford's column] I am glad the base-stealing rule satisfies Boston, but I want to say that if any Cincinnati scorer would have given three stolen bases because a man made an error that was wor6th that many to the runner, he would be marked as a fit subject for a hearing in lunacy...

… ...under the old free-and-easy methods opinions as to what constituted a wild throw so widely differed. In over half the cities in the Association last season no wild throw was scored unless the ball was sent past the second baseman. Cincinnati and Cleveland charged their catchers with errors every time they failed to get the ball squarely into the second baseman's hands. A little high, a trifle low, or a bit too wide, counted an error for the man behind the bat. That is the reason Keenan and Baldwin rank so low among the catchers. The assembled scorers looked upon perfect throws to second as rarities—not more than fifty per cent. get there by the bee-line route—and it was finally decided to draw the line as it was laid down. I'll admit, for the sake of argument, that it is a startling departure, but it tends toward the uniform method of scoring that the Base Ball Reporters' Association...hopes to bring about. The Sporting Life December 28, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Irwin on the Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, November 2, 1887
Text

Arthur Irwin, of the Philadelphia Club, in talking about the Brotherhood and its objects, said just before leaving for California:--”The League doesn't seem to want to give us any privileges whatever. We have proposed to join hands with the managers and help to elevate base ball, and what we ask in return is very reasonable. We ask that a man who has fulfilled his contract with a club for a term of years shall be at liberty to make another contract where and with whom he sees fit, and without restraint; that it shall not be in the power of any club to say to a man: We are going to release you to such and such a club, and you will play there or nowhere.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

James O'Rourke opens his law practice

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

“I find that it is the opinion among a great many friends of mine,” said attorney James O'Rourke, the well-known ball player, to-day, “that now I have fledged out as a lawyer, secured a lace to sit down and displayed my shingle that my days of tossing the ball in a professional way were at an end. Perhaps it might interest you to rectify this mistake if you think it worth while. For some years to come the law business will be a side issue with me. I am young yet, in good health and I see no reason why I should give up a several thousand dollars' bird in hand for the sake of a few hundreds in the bush. Fully six months in the year I shall have time for briefs, musty law books and all that. This will sort of counter-balance my athletic life for the remainder of the twelve months of the give me a chance to do a little head work, such as studying and perfecting myself as much as possible. A ball player wears out eventually and at that time I shall drop out of the National game, as some of my enthusiastic friends declare, blossom out a level-headed age into a luminous legal light of the Park City [i.e. Bridgeport, Connecticut]. You needn't say this, however, for perhaps I may be a dismal failure. I'll tell you later what I am going to do with the bat and ball in '88.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

James O'Rourke takes his law degree

Date Sunday, May 15, 1887
Text

In a few days the New York Club will have to get along without the services of O'Rourke for three or four games. The great catcher will have more important business on hand than ball playing. He is to be examined for his degree of L.L.B. a the Yale Law School, and he expects to listen to the oration of Randolph Tucker that is to be delivered to the newly fledged lawyers at the Center Church in New Haven. O'Rourke entered the Yale Law School three years ago, and is reported to have mastered Blackstone as easily as he does a foul tip.

Last year the New York managers would not let him off to attend examination, so this year he would not sign a contract until it contained a stipulation that he should be temporarily released at examination time. O'Rourke expects to open a law office in Bridgeport as soon as the season closes next Fall, but he will not give up base ball for a year or two yet. When he does he expects to go into politics.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

James Tyng appointed Director of Athletic Sports by Phillies

Date Friday, December 23, 1887
Text

The directors of the Philadelphia Ball Club have decided to introduce other sports besides base ball on their grounds next season, and they have secured the services of James H. Tyng, of the Staten Island Club, both as a player and as director of athletic sports. Tyng has been for a number of years one of the most celebrated amateur ball players and athletics [sic]. It is said taht Tyng is to receive $2,500 for his services.

Tyng graduated from Harvard College in 1876 and from the Harvard Law School in 1879, since which time he has practiced as an attorney, first in Boston and latterly in New York. His ball career began as a third baseman on the Harvard team, but he soon officiated as catcher, and for four years formed the receiving end of the famous Ernst and Tyng batter. During the summer vacation he tried his hand at pitching for the famous Beacon Club of Boston, and with such success that after his removal to New York in 1881 he officiated almost exclusively in the box and soon became celebrated both as a pitcher and general all-around player, batter and base-runner for the Staten Island Club.

President A. J. Reach said the Philadelphia Club had been considering various plans to utilize their new ball park when their club was out of town. “Hereafter,” said he, “we will not confine ourselves strictly to base ball, but will give exhibitions of all kinds of athletic sports and all other amusements of an appropriate character. The new departure is an experiment, but I believe the public will appreciate it and that it will pay.” The Philadelphia Times December 23, 1887

[discussing Tyng's contract] It is doubtful if Tyng ever would have signed a professional contract, for he has repeated said it would be a poor bargain to play ball for a few months to be released perhaps by a disappointed manager, and then relegated to the common herd. We are glad to state his contract with the Philadelphia Club is of an entirely different nature. The position of director of athletic sports has been created for him. This gives him control of all sports on the Philadelphia ground, outside of base ball, and it is to this that he expect to devote most of his time. His profits in the business depend on his own individual labor, as he is to receive a liberal percentage, besides a fixed salary, for the department, and in this way both he and the Philadelphia Club will be benefitted. … It required considerable argument to convince him that he would not imperil his social standing by signing with the Philadelphia Club, and it was only at the urgent solicitation of his many friends in Philadelphia that he was finally persuaded to sign. The Sporting Life December 28, 1887

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

judgment in the Cleveland lawsuit against Lucas

Date Wednesday, April 20, 1887
Text

The Cleveland Base Ball Association this afternoon [4/16] obtained judgment in the Supreme Court, at Buffalo, against Henry V. Lucas, late of Union Association and St. Louis Maroons fame, for $2,255. It will be remembered that in January, 1885, Lucas, who was then the head and front of the Union Association, came here and signed an agreement to pay the Cleveland League Club $2,500 if ti would resign from the National League to make room for him. He paid $500 at the time and the contract stipulated that the balance of $2,000 should be paid when he was elected to fill the vacancy. The contract also set for that “no players, buildings, etc., are to be sold.” Yet Lucas claimed, after being elected to fill the vacancy caused by Cleveland's withdrawal, that for the $2,500 he was to get the Cleveland Club players, which, in the meantime, had been transferred to the Brooklyn Club of the American Association. He repudiated the debt and the suit was brought in the Unite Stated Court at Buffalo and service secured upon him. Lucas tried to have the case tried in St. Louis, but the Cleveland men succeeded in bringing it to Buffalo and Lucas did not put in an appearance. The Cleveland management secured their judgment without any contest, being represented by Charles B. Wheeler, of this city [Cleveland]. The Clevelanders will now go after any property that Lucas may have in St. Louis or elsewhere.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Kansas City in the Western League

Date Wednesday, January 19, 1887
Text

[reporting on the Western League meeting 1/8/1887] After a short discussion Kansas City and Hastings [Nebraska] were admitted to the League. The Sporting Life January 19, 1887

[from Pritchard's column] Now that Kansas City has been admitted to the Western League, all talk about this way station remaining in the National body is idle prattle. Every club manager, as well as nearly every 0player, that visited Kansas City last season all expressed a wish that the Cowboy town would be dropped. Drawbacks are too numerous to mention. The Sporting Life January 19, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Kansas City's prospects of staying in the League

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

Kansas City, notwithstanding her bluffing, knows very well that she must step down and out, and that nothing can save her. All talk of appealing to the law is nonsense, as the elastic League constitution provides every facility for a leagal bounce, not only of Kansas City, but any other club which the League wishes to be rid of. Chicago, New York, Boston or Philadelphia could be dropped by a two-thirds vote, and they could do not a thing to prevent it, so cleverly does the constitution now cover every point. Kansas City was shown all this at th eleast annual meeting of the League, and seeing the hopelessness of a fight acquiesced and even voted for Pittsburg’s admission. The club was given a chance to recoup itslef by the League’s waiving all right to the club’s players, and that the club can sell their releases to any club it chooses, in or out of the League. This is all the club has to sell, as the franchise is the property of the League, and the longer it persists in its fruitless opposition to the will of the League just so much less chance will it have to realize on its more desirable players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Kelly's kicking

Date Wednesday, June 1, 1887
Text

The Bostons have adopted all of Chicago's old kicking tactic, while the Chicagos have abandoned them in great part. Is this due to Kelly's departure from one and accession to the other team?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League and Association preparation for the Brotherhood

Date Saturday, October 8, 1887
Text

[from June Rankin’s column] Young players are going to be in great demand this fall. The League and Association will be chasing them with scap nets, as they will compose the playing strength of these two leading professional bodies next season if the Brotherhood continue obstinate. National Police Gazette October 8, 1887

Brooklyn Club buys out the Mets, Wiman out of baseball

The Metropolitan Base Ball Association of New York, heretofore owned and controlled by Messrs. Erastus Wiman, Walter H. Watrous and others, has been purchased outright by Messrs. F. A. Abell, J. J. Doyle and C. H Byrne, of the Brooklyn Club, as trustees, acting for a syndicate of gentlemen in and out of the Association. The sum actually paid in cash to Erastus Wiman for the entire stock, franchise, players, and all the belongings of the Metropolitan Club, was twenty-five thousand dollars. This seems quite a sum of money to pay out, but the Brooklyn men evidently knew a good thing when they aw it, and were ready and able to plank the money down. A base ball franchise in New York City, carrying with the the “trade mark” of the name “Metropolitan Base Ball Club,” and nucleus of what can be made, with proper handling, as good a team as any in the Association, is worth every dollar these enterprising men have paid for it, and when they have accomplished their purposes, there will be no difficulty in finding ready purchasers for it. The Sporting Life October 12, 1887

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League clubs signing rookies in preparation for a Brotherhood strike

Date Sunday, November 6, 1887
Text

The League clubs are still keeping up their game of bluff and the work of engaging youngsters and organizing them into reserve teams is still going on. The League is determined to be prepared for any emergency. Members of the Brotherhood have recently been giving “pointers” to the young players and the latter are harder to sign now than they were three weeks ago. It has been pointed out to them that they are being used as tools to bring the Brotherhood to terms and as soon as the veterans are ready to sign the young players will be given their release. This argument has been very successful with the youngsters and they are now demanding large sums of advance money before they will consent to affix their names to a contract. The organization of the new Western League has also created a demand for more talent and prices of young players have been run up so high that the League clubs are now compelled to pay much more money for new talent than they anticipated.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League finances

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

“This is the first time in the history of the League every club will close the season with a balance on the right side of the ledger,” says Nick Young. This is a truly gratifying state of facts and a strong argument against any change in membership.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lending a player to a minor league club

Date Wednesday, May 11, 1887
Text

President Stern has...loaned Kappel to Memphis. A bond for $5,000 has been given the Cincinnati Club as binding promise that Kappel will be returned upon receipt of telegram.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lew Simmons out of baseball?

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

Lew Simmons has dropped completely out of base ball recollection. His absence was not noticed or commented upon at Cincinnati.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

limited substitution allowed

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/16] The resolution submitted by the joint rules committee for the approval of the League and American Association, concerning the use of any number of substitutes in a game, was discussed at length and radically altered as follows:--”Two players, whose name shall be printed on the score card as extra players, may be substituted at any completed inning by either club, but the retiring player shall not thereafter participate in the game. In addition thereto a substitute may be allowed at any time for a player disabled in the game then being played, by reason of injury or illness, of the nature or extent of which the umpire shall be the sole judge.” This resolution needs the concurrence of the American Association to become a law. The Sporting Life November 23, 1887 [N.B. The AA subsequently rejected the amendment.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louis Kramer again associated with the Cincinnati Club

Date Wednesday, March 16, 1887
Text

Louis Kramer will hereafter loom up as the attorney of the Reds. He was once a large stockholder and a member of the board of directors.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville Club finances 3

Date Wednesday, March 2, 1887
Text

The statement of the receipts and expenditures for the year 1886, which was presented at this [annual stockholders’] meeting, will surprise the officials of the high-priced clubs in the East. It is a well-known fact that the Louisville team is the cheapest in either the Assoiciation or League, and that the base ball reading public may know exactly how the money came and went, the fiollowing financial statement is appended:

RECEIPTS

Gate receipts........................................................$31,665.40

Tickets sold away from park............................... 6,078.10

Amount received on foreign games................... 7,646.20

Season tickets.................................................... 245.00

Members’ tickets............................................... 410.00

Park rents.......................................................... 294.45

Privileges.......................................................... 450.00

Players’ fines.................................................... 335.00

Release of players............................................ 440.00

Total receipts......................................... $48,593.15

EXPENDITURES

Players’ and manager’s salaries........................ $23,032.75

Sundry expenses, travel, hotel bills, etc............ 14,762.70

Outstanding liabilities all paid......................... 1,490.00

Guarantees paid visiting clubs.......................... 7,021.95

Dividend on stock to date................................. 586,00

Total expenditures............................... $46,833.40

Balance on hand............................................... 4,435.57

The profits of the year, as estimated by the treasurer, were about $6,500. Hitherto the club has not paid a divident, mainly on account of the expenses incurred in making ground improvements. Had it not been for the disastrous luck of the team in the latter part of the season, when the Lousivlles lost twenty games out of twenty-one played, the club would have made at least $6,000 more than was realized. The gate receipts during the last twenty contests played on the local grounds were not enough to pay the guarantees to the opposing teams.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville Club finances 4

Date Wednesday, September 21, 1887
Text

The Louisville Club is now about $8,000 ahead on the season, and if the nine closing games on the home grounds draw well it will close the season with a profit of at least $12,000. the club has, however, been at heavy expense this year, and that sum will not be more than a legitimate profit on their investment and risk.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville Club ownership, value

Date Wednesday, August 17, 1887
Text

...a Sporting Life correspondent talked with President Phelps, of the Louisville Club:--”Could the Louisvilles be purchased?” was asked. “Certainly it could,” replied Mr. Phelps; “money will do almost anything. I control nearly three-fourths of the stock and will sell out any time I get my price.”

“What is the club worth?” “Well, I suppose that if any syndicate should offer $50,000 for the franchise, players and all, the sale could be quickly made. Not much short of that figure, however, will be an inducement to sell out.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville for a single league

Date Wednesday, June 29, 1887
Text

president Phelps, of Louisville, has put himself on record as favorable to the twelve club scheme. Mr. Phelps' plan according to the Commercial would be: “For the twelve leading base ball clubs now in the League and Association to unite into one association; then to appoint a committee of three or five, which shall select twelve of the best first basemen, twelve of the best second basemen, and so on, to be found, and also thirty-six of the best pitchers and thirty-six of the best catchers to be obtained, and to fix the salary of each player according to his position, so that each player shall receive the same salary as the other players in his position.

“These players thus selected by this committee shall be assigned to the various clubs by lot or by some other fair means of distribution. Then, after the association and clubs are organized, the clubs shall pay into the hands of the secretary of the association their proportion of the expenses, and the secretary shall pay the salaries of the players as fixed by the committee, thus avoiding the possibility of one player in one club getting advantage of another player in the same position in another club by securing a larger salary than he, though doing no better work.

“This plan, Mr. Phelps thinks, would equalize things, and one club would have no advantage whatever over another. All the clubs would be as evenly matched as possible, and the games would then be won and lost on their merits alone, the players having no advantage over each other in any way, and their only incentive for play good ball being their personal price and an honest desire to win.” The Sporting Life June 29, 1887

a question on the proto-infield fly rule

An Old Question Again Answer--Detroit, June 22.--N. E. Young, President National League, Washington, D.C.:--Men on first and second; batter pops fly to third baseman, who muffs—not purposely. Double play made and allowed. Was it right? Answer fully. Free Press.”

“Washington, D.C., June 23.--Detroit Free Press:--If the ball fairly struck the fielder's hands the batter should have been declared out and no double play allowed. In such case it is extremely difficult to judge whether the ball is purposely or accidentally muffed, and in all cases where the inducement is so great to muff the ball my instructions to umpires have always uniformly been, where the ball came in contact with the player's hands, to declare the batter out on the fly. N. E. Young, President.” The Sporting Life June 29, 1887

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville season tickets, admission

Date Wednesday, March 30, 1887
Text

The directors of the Louisville Base Ball Club held a meeting at the office of President Phelps last week, and transacted business of some importance. The price of season tickets was placed to $20, or $5 less than in other cities. The rates of admission were placed the same as last year. Each gentleman can take one lady with him free of charge to all games save those played on Sundays. Ladies alone, or where more than one accompanies a gentleman, will be charged twenty-five cents. Grand stand tickets will cost fifty cents. Others will be thirty-five and twenty-five cents, the latter admitting holders to the “bleaching boards.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Maroons assets

Date Friday, August 5, 1887
Text

The management of the defunct St. Louis Maroons have disposed of their elephant in the shape of the park and club house, which they were under contract to pay an enormous rental for until next October. They succeeded in leasing the premises to the Missouri Athletic Association at a profit. Stromberg is still paying debts, and his action in appropriating all the assets has been a surprising revelation to other stockholders. He is now defending his action in court.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Maroons minority shareholders lawsuit dismissed

Date Wednesday, June 29, 1887
Text

Judge Seddon in an exhaustive opinion overruled the demurrer to the petition in the case of the two stockholders of the defunct Maroons against the League Base Ball Company and William Stromberg, its president. The plaintiffs charged Stromberg with the misappropriation of upward of $100,000 of the company's funds, his refusal to account for the same and an unauthorized disposition of the company's property—the franchise, players, etc., and asked for the appointment of a receiver, for the ousting of Stromberg and a new election to fill the vacancy.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McKim holds control of the Kansas City club

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

Since McKim has secured the Western League franchise he has been putting in some good “licks” getting matters in shape for the coming campaign. He has organized an association which will be known as the Kansas City Athletic Association, which in addition to all out and indoor sports will control the Kansas City Ball Club...

The old League people, though out of sight of the eager public, are silently at work arranging for a co-operative club to be placed on the old League grounds.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

men in shirt sleeves in hot weather; lemonade sales

Date Sunday, July 17, 1887
Text

[Detroit vs. Philadelphia 7/16/1887] There was a big crowd considering the hot weather, over 7,000 tickets being sold at the gates. There were 4,000 people in the big pavilion, where a good breeze tempered the boiling temperature, while out on the right and left field bleaching boards 3,000 men and boys broiled and cooked under the blazing sun. Nine out of every ten men in the pavilion had their coats off, while all the men and boys on the open seats were in their shirt sleeves. A man who kept his coat on would have had a very poor chance on the bleaching boards. The crowd would have set him down for a dude. There were many ladies in the private boxes and in the three section so fthe extreme left of the pavilion. They were mostly attired in white, with big flaring sun hats, and all of them kept their fans moving not only gracefully, but vigorously. The lemonade boy had a feats. He worked hard, but he couldn’t fill the orders. The boy with the sandwich waiter and the other boys with peanuts in baskets did no business, and they gave up in disgust and were pressed into service to give out soft drinks to the perspiring crowd.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mills on rules revisions

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

[from an interview of A. G. Mills] The 'playing rules' must necessarily undergo some degree of revision at the end of each season, to keep pace with the actual development of playing skill and the to preserve the balance of power between the batting and pitching departments. quoting the Washington Herald

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league finances, salaries

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] [regarding the International League] Only Buffalo, Toronto and Syracuse will make any money this season, and some will lose a good deal. Most of the clubs cannot make ends meet... Salaries in the League run high. Necessary competition with League and Association clubs caused that. Salaries of $300 a month are paid, and $250 and $275 per month is paid to several men by several clubs, and one man in a Canadian club draws $2,000 for five months. Some of them started in a way that would mean suicide to a business man. Their expense account made an average attendance of 1,400 people necessary. No club has had such an attendance, and where it was necessary the result is obvious. The Sporting Life September 14, 1887

[from the Cleveland correspondent] It is said on excellent authority that the Oshkosh Club has paid Lovett $1,500 for two months this summer. He went there from Bridgeport, Conn., and will play in Oshkosh next season at a salary larger than that paid by the League clubs. A son of United States Sendator Sawyer, a ten millionaire, is behind the team and is willing to give money for glory. The ball players will take advantage of this readiness. Charley Morton, who managed Detroit in 1885, writes that most of his men–he is manager of the Des Moines Club–will go back there in 1888 and that salaries are as high as in the National League. The Philadelphia Times October 23, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league rights

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] I found the International managers ready to join any combination to protect minor leagues from the rapacity of the major ones. … It is a fact that of the twenty players or so in the International clubs who are fit for faster company there is not one that has not had six offers, and many have had a dozen. It is a matter of open comment among the players that Philadelphia has fixed this man, New yOrk that fellow and Brooklyn these men, while Washington will get A. and Baltimore B. These club names don't “go” except as material for suppositious cases. Some of them might through. … It's tough, and the sooner we come down to an all-round equity we'll be better off. But the all-round equity can never be in a general reserve rule. That would pinch the players, because no one supposes Hamilton, Ont., able to pay as hgh wages to ball players as New York and Chicago. The equity will have to come in remuneration for the man taken from the small by the large club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league team loaning a player

Date Wednesday, May 18, 1887
Text

Stellberger, one of Milwaukee's extra pitchers, has been released to Duluth by Manager Hart. The understanding of the release, however, is that should Manager Hart want him again during the season Duluth is to release him to Milwaukee.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mosquitoes on Staten Island

Date Wednesday, August 10, 1887
Text

Staten Island is so badly infested with mosquitoes that much of the enjoyment of the Mets' games is destroyed by the pests. Between the cold weather at either end of the season and the insects at the middle, base ball is finding it a difficult thing to thrive on Wiman's “tight little island.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane injunction dissolved

Date Wednesday, March 9, 1887
Text

Mr. Stromberg, of the St. Louis Maroons, agreed last week at President Stern’s request to have the local injunction against Tony Mullane dissolved, and there is no doubt that Tony will pitch for Cincinnati in the games at St. Louis the coming season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane sues a newspaper for libel

Date Wednesday, May 4, 1887
Text

… After the celebrated Brooklyn-Cincinnati game on June 4 last, when Byrne's men made twelve runs off Tony in the eighth and ninth innings, earning ten of them and scoring a victory—12 to 7—there were broad hints of loose work and Tony was lambasted by every paper in Cincinnati. The Times-Star headed its account “Tony, the Traitor,” and declared that the club's suspicions of Tony's queer work were strengthened by the result of that game. The Commercial-Gazette's account was quite as severe and O. P. Caylor telegraphed:--”A strange game of base ball was played in Brooklyn to-day between the Cincinnatis and Brooklyns. Tony Mullane appeared in the box for the Red Stockings, and for seven innings the Brooklyns were unable to score a run, while the Cicninnatis tallied seven. Suddenly in the eighth inning Mullane seemed to go all to pieces. The strangest part of the whole affair was Byrne's extreme anxiety about Mullane. It was principally through his endeavors that the great Tony was induced to pitch. Another suspension might do Mr. Mullane some good.”

Shortly afterwards came the Enquirer's startling story of Mullane's alleged “sell-out.” After the storm had blown over, Tony gathered himself together and hied him to a lawyer's. The result was that instead of filing suits against all the papers, he singled out the Times-Starr and asked for $20,000 damages for libel. Before the season was over it was understood that the suit would be withdrawn—at least Mullane gave Manager Caylor that idea. To get it off the calendar the Times-Star folk had it taken out of its regular order the other day to be dismissed, and what does Tony do, but crawfish on his work to O. P., and meekly declare that he is in the hands of his lawyers, and that they are going to fight the case. Foolish fellow! It is a shame that he should be the one to prove a disturbing element now—for no such harmony has existed between club, players and newspapers for years as that which marks the early season. A man who has been blacklisted for breaking his word—who has been prevented by legal injunctions from pitching in a city because of fractures contracts—would not fare well with a jury, and if Tony imagines he has a ghost of a show to gain a verdict, the delusion will be dispelled if he goes into court. Tony will find himself in a hornet's nest, and there is a disposition on the part of the newspapers to make it warm for him. Pity that a row should be precipitated by him when the club's prospects are so bright. There is more money in playing honest ball than in butting out what little brains a man has against a ne2spaper office. If Tony means fight he will get all the battle he wants, but in so doing he will imperil the chances of the club he claims to be a loyal member of. Talk as you may a man can't play battle under the rattling fire of newspaper critics.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane suspended for insubordination

Date Saturday, May 21, 1887
Text

Just before Umpire Knight called the game last Wednesday [5/18], Mullane who had been assigned to pitch, and whose name appeared on the official score care, arose from the players bench and told Manager Schmelz that he might as well put somebody else in to pitch, as he did not intend to pitch every day without receiving extra money for the task. Manager Schmelz told Mullane that he had not pitched for two or three days and he thought it no more than right that he should take his turn. Mullane, however, remained firm in his resolution, so young Smith, who was on the field in uniform, was substituted for Mullan. Manager Schmelz fined Mullane $100 and suspended him indefinitely and ordered him to leave the grounds. Mullane grasped the situation at once; went to the dressing room changed his clothes; and after the game was finished, he left the park carrying his uniform with him. Every one knows Tony Mullane, his character as a contract jumper and an unprincipled ball player. In every city in which he has played he has left some blur upon his reputation. His friends here [Cincinnati], and there are few of them, will become beautifully less when they hear of this despicable action on his part. The Cincinnati players look upon him with disgust. Although Cincinnati is in need of a pitcher still they can not put up with such conduct. At the game yesterday [5/19] Mullane made his appearance on the field and was requested to leave the grounds by President Stern. Mullane did not comply with the request so a policeman was called to put him out. Mullane resisted the officer, who gently, politely and vigorously proceeded to pummel him in true pugilistic style, and finally Mullane was kicked, cuffed and pounded by the officer until he landed in the street almost an unrecognizable mass. Mullane threatens President Stern with nothing less than instant death, but such a threat coming from such a cowardly source is not to be thought of.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane taking a hop; pitching delivery

Date Wednesday, May 11, 1887
Text

The violation of the batting [sic] rule Mullane is guilty of, according to Western reports, consists in a short hop with the backward foot before delivering the ball. He first raises the foremost foot, which the rules allow, but an instant later, and before permitting the ball to leave his hand, he makes the skip with the rear foot, which is clearly illegal. This gave him an opportunity to command immense speed.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL and AA to hold concurrent meetings

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/7] The board decided to recommend to the League and American Association the propriety of holding their annual meetings in the same city together on the Wednesday after the first Monday in December, suggesting St. Louis for 1888, and League city in 1889. Also, that the schedule meeting take place the first Tuesday in March, at either Brooklyn or New York, vice versa.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

negotiating Mike Kelly's Boston contract

Date Wednesday, February 23, 1887
Text

The contract, of course, was made out for $2,000, but Mike will get a few dollars more. He started in at $5,000 when Mr. Billings [Boston Club treasurer] asked him what he would play in Boston for. That was rather steeper than the Boston treasurer had expected, but he didn’t despair. He shoed Mike part of the letter from Spalding which convinced him that he could not sign with New York, or, in fact, any other club except the Bostons. ... The interview had been going on almost an hour and a half when the Boston treasurer brought matters to a head. He said he had come to Poughkeepsie to sign Kelly, and he did not want to go away without doing so, but he could not pay $5,000. Mike then dropped $500. Mr. Billings had not made any offer up to this time, but suddenly he named a figure which, he said, was his ultimatum. “Will you cut me down after the first year?” asked “Kel.” “You shall have the same salary next year as this,” was the answer. “I want a thousand dollars advance money.” “You can have it.” “Then I’ll sign at your ultimatum,” and he did so.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

negotiations for Von der Ahe to buy into the Athletics; Athletics ownership, value

Date Sunday, June 12, 1887
Text

...President Von der Ahe’s determination to purchase a controlling interest in the Athletic Club, if possible, has long been known, and it was generally supposed that the matter would be settled one way or the other as soon as Von der Ahe arrived here. The St. Louis president and Messrs. Simmons and Mason came together on Thursday, but no sale was effected. Von der Ahe offered $35,000 for the two-thirds interest held by these gentlemen, but it was declined. Lew Simmons said Von der Ahe’s figure was not big enough to buy out his interest alone and he knew Mr. Mason wanted as much as he did. When Von der Ahe demanded Simmons and Mason’s prices he said he was staggered. Fifty thousand dollars was very near the figure which each wanted for a one-third interest and they announced positively that they would take no less.

It is not probable that there will be a change in the ownership of the Athletic Club this season at least. Messrs. Sharsig, Simmons and Mason are too well pleased with their property to dispose of it unless they get what they consider its full value. The Philadelphia Times June 12, 1887

[from the St. Louis correspondent] George Munson, the secretary of the club, returned home this week and reports the Athletic deal off. Two of the three partners wanted $50,000 each and Von der Ahe was only willing to give $35,000 for half interest. The Philadelphia Times June 19, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York Reserves

Date Wednesday, June 1, 1887
Text

The are doing well. They have won far more games than they have lost, and are said to be self sustaining.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York area official scorers

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

Mike Lane will be official scorer at Staten Island this year, Henry Chadwick at Washington Park, and June Rankin at the Polo Grounds.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York reserve club

Date Saturday, April 2, 1887
Text

The New York club will try an experiment this season. This is a real departure for a club which has become notorious for its conservative shrinking from all innovations. What is more remarkable, the experiment is one of which has been tried by other League clubs and proved a signal failure. The experiment is the Reserve team which has been placed under the management of W. H. Becannon. Nine young players have signed League contracts and are accredited to the New York club, although the team is virtually a separate organization. The object of the reserve idea is to develop “young blood” for the regular New York team. The players are mostly local amateurs who have shown extraordinary proficiency and from their physical development and qualities as batters, fielders and base runners promise to develop into more than average ball players. The reserve team idea was tried out West several years ago and proved a failure. It promises to prove a winner in New York for the reason that patrons of the game are plenty there and the New York club supplied with the cash necessary to keep up such an organization. The Sporting News April 2, 1887

interpreting strikes on foul bunts

[from Wikoff’s circular] If the batter, in attempting to “bunt” the ball or to make a sacrifice hit, makes a “foul,” the umpire must first call “foul ball” and then inflect the penalty by calling a strike on the batter, and no bases shall be run or runs scored on such foul ball. The Philadelphia Times April 3, 1887

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York reserve team

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

The New York Club is very sanguine that its reserve-team plan will prove more successful than has been the case hitherto with other clubs who have tried it. Manager Mutrie thinks their failture was due to lack of proper management and support. The players will be in charge of Mr. W. H. Becqannon, whose service as a ball player, umpire and manager has given his sufficient experience to handle the club with profit. …

A column might be written about the advantages and disadvantages of this reserve-team scheme. Of course the main idea of forming an auxiliary nine is to develop young players so that if any of the regular League men are disabled or in any way prove unsatisfactory during the season, the management may have a new class of men to draw on to fill the places. This is plausible, but not so feasible. The Philadelphia Club in its reserve team of 1884 had a lot of most promising youngsters, but only one, Fogarty, developed well enough to become a member of the regular team. This one player was all the club got out of a large outlay of money. Some of the other youngsters have since become players, but they did not develop quickly enough to make it worth while for a club to carry them. New York will likely have precisely the same experience. If Manager Becannon could keep the team employed throughout the season expenses at least might be cleared. But after the championship season of all the base ball organizations opens nobody will have any use for exhibition games with a reserve team, and the team will either have to lie idle and eat its head off or else be discharged with the possible exception of one or two men who give extraordinary promise of future excellence.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

newspaper attendance versus actual attendance

Date Sunday, June 5, 1887
Text

There must be a peculiarity about the water in the reporters' box on the Philadelphia ground, as it creates in some of the boys the habit of seeing double in sizing up a crowd. The best way to get at the actual attendance on the Philadelphia ground is to divide the number given by the Press and Record by two and then you will have it. “I tell them they are over-estimating the attendance every day,” said Colonel Rogers yesterday, “but I see they keep at it. Newspaper attendance and actual attendance are two different things.

Source The Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young confirms the Kelly deal

Date Saturday, February 19, 1887
Text

President Young to-day approved the contract of Mike Kelly with Boston. President Young said: “There has been some doubt expressed whether or not the Boston club actually paid $10,000 for Kelly,” continued Mr. Young, “and to settle all misgivings on that point here is a letter that I sent to Mr. Spalding last Tuesday:

Washington, D.C., February 17, 1887. A. G. Spalding, Esq., President, etc. Sir—Enclosed herewith I hand you a draft of the National Bank of Redemption, Boston, Mass., on the National Park Bank of New York, for $10,000, dated February 12, 1887, in payment for the release of M. J. Kelly. The draft is payable to the order of J. B. Billings Treasurer, and by him indorsed. J. B. Billings, Treasurer

Please acknowledge receipt by wire immediately. Respectfully, N. E. Young. The Sporting News February 19, 1887

[from the Washington correspondent] ...Spalding received a telegram from Mr. Soden, of Boston, inquiring if $5,000 would buy Kelly's release, to which Spalding replied if he would double the amount and send the draft to Nick Young he would release Kelly. Spalding thought Soden had no idea of accepting, but the Bostonian took Al. Spalding up, and he had to release the only Mike. The Sporting News February 19, 1887

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young consummates, confirms the Kelly deal

Date Sunday, February 20, 1887
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] ...On Monday the base ball public was startled by the announced that Kelly–the “only Kelly”–had been released to Boston for the sum of $10,000–by far the largest price ever paid for a player, though in this case there can be lttle doubt that, to a club situated as are the “Beaneaters,” the purchase, even at the enormous figures named, was in every way a wise one.

With regard to the Kelly deal Mr. Young said to your correspondent: “The transaction was finally consummated under my very eyes. I had received authority from Mr. Spalding to transfer Kelly to Boston upon receipt of a draft for $10,000, and when that arrived on Monday last I had simply to forward and promulgate the contract of Chicago’s late star player. Stories have been set afloat to the effect that the financial detail of this transfer is exaggerated, and I have even seen it stated that there is reason to believe that the sum paid by Boston was not more than one-half the amount reported. These stores are absolutely without foundation. The consideration in this case was a regularly drawn draft on New York and I have held it in my hand and examined it carefully. The Philadelphia Times February 20, 1887

an esthetic assessment of the new delivery rule

The new pitching rules will have one good effect at least, that of doing away with acrobatic features in the box and making the game less like a circus. The Philadelphia Times February 20, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no NL Sunday exhibition games

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/16] The rule permitting its clubs to play exhibition with non-clubs on Sunday, originally passed by the League for the benefit of the St. Louis Maroons, was rescinded, and no Sunday games of any kind can now be played by League clubs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no minor league representation on the Board of Arbitration

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/7] Having given away so much, the Board refused to go further and concede the minor leagues regular representation upon the Board, not so much—in this case—from dread of the minor leagues, but from fear of each other.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nolan a policeman

Date Wednesday, July 27, 1887
Text

The “Only” Nolan is still wielding the club, but it is a policeman's club. He was appointed a member of the force in Paterson, N.J., a week ago.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

objection to a strike out on a dropped third strike

Date Saturday, March 12, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Joe Murphy] I think that the catcher should be compelled to catch the third strike as it looks like baby play to see a man hit frantically at the ball four times and then retire to the bench without a play of any kind being made.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

obnoxious coaching

Date Wednesday, July 6, 1887
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Cleveland 6/28/1887] [from Frank Brunell's column] …in the sixth inning the baby's batsmen knocked Serad out and got six runs. Then the most disgusting exhibition of rowdy coaching that I have ever seen or heard began. Tebeau and Baldwin did the dirty work. Both referred to the Cleveland players in mean, loud and uncomplimentary terms, and kept up a continual and disgusting series of senseless yawps from first and third bases. Sweeney [umpire] was insulted and accused of designedly making decisions in favor of Cleveland, and Kid Baldwin quarreled with the spectators and discussed the city and its club in loud terms with everybody who spoke to him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scorer for the Pittsburgh Club

Date Wednesday, January 19, 1887
Text

George McLain will do the official scoring for the Pittsburgs next year. McLain is a bright young attorney of this city who is dead gone on the National pastime. He is also a friend of President Nimick, and a reliable man all around.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scorer of the Athletics; reporter for the Item

Date Wednesday, January 12, 1887
Text

The Athletic Club has gone back to its first love, and Johnny Campbell, of the Item, will be the new secretary and official scorer of the club. Here's success to you, John.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scorer of the Baltimore Club

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

The [Baltimore] American devotes about the same space as last season, and the reporter on that paper is the official scorer of the club...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

one of the Louisville Four applies for reinstatement

Date Wednesday, November 16, 1887
Text

...A. H. Nichols, late of the Louisvilles, who, with Hall, Crave and others, was put upon the blacklist in 1877 for alleged crookedness. Nichols has addressed a long petition to the League requesting reinstatement so that his name may be handed down to his children without stain of crooked base ball playing upon it. He states that he has no intention of returning to the diamond, and accompanies his petition with a formal resignation from the League in the event of his appeal being granted. The Sporting Life November 16, 1887

[reporting on the NL Directors meeting 11/19] Al Nichols, the blacklisted Louisville player, filed an application for reinstatement, but the Board refused to consider it. The Sporting Life November 23, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opposition to player substitutes

Date Sunday, November 20, 1887
Text

[James] White objects to one portion of the new rules, and that is the section allowing two substitute players to be introduced at any time during the progress of the game. He is of the opinion that this will have a tendency to injure the game. In the first place he thinks it will work to the disadvantage of the best pitchers in all of the clubs. He fancies that the tendency will be to put forth what is thought to be the club’s best men until they are worn out. For instance, if a pitcher was being hit hard for two or three innings it might be thought that the day was lost for his side, and he will accordingly be retired in favor of a weaker man and saved until the day following. Most pitcher would as soon pitch an entire game as a portion of one, and going in the second day will be about the same as pitching two days in success.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opposition to scoring bases on balls as hits

Date Wednesday, April 27, 1887
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] Can't keep silent on this one point any longer, it must be said, because it is almost the universal sentiment here. That lying perjurer, the base-on-ball-base-hit, is seriously injuring the game with patrons. The invitation given to the batsman by the four-strike-five-ball business to tiresomely wait for a base on balls and be credited with a base hit is wearying spectators and prolonging the game and bringing censure on the umpire. It is making record players. IN the last Athletic game one player, Davis, who seldom can hit a ball anyway, and that day couldn't touch it with a boxing glove, had a batting (?) average of .600, while Griffin, a hard hitter and an emergency batter, too, who banged the ball all over the lot when bases were full, had a batting record for all this of .400, two hundred per cent. less than the man who tired out spectators, and yet readers of that score in other cities were probably saying to themselves--”What a slugger that Davis is.” in the first game Milligan hit Kilroy hard every time he stepped to the plate, and for this exceedingly clever work had a batting record of .500 while Seward, who never even touched the ball with the bat is credited with .750, just one quarter better than Milligan for actually doing nothing with the stick. Instances might be multiplied indefinitely. … Mark well the prediction—after the warm weather comes and the first curiosity of spectators is satisfied, the attendance will be seriously affected. It is not very easy to rekindle the flame when you have once blown it out in the patron. “Play ball?”--yes, play ball—don't play baby. The Sporting Life April 27, 1887

The howl from the groundlings against some features of the new rules still continues. President Nick Young is the latest to give way to the pressure and pronounce against the base-hit-for-base-on-balls rule. Manager Barnie is hot against it, as announced in our special despatch last week, and he and Mr. Byrne, of Brooklyn, are now in correspondence with all the big club, with a view to passing two amendments to the new rules. The first is to abolish the rule by which bases on balls are scored as base hits, and the second is to change the rule that allows the batter four strikes back to the old three-strike rules. The Sporting Life May 5, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opposition to the guarantee plan in the AA

Date Wednesday, March 2, 1887
Text

The Louisville Club will fight the $65 guarantee plan which has been in force in the Association for several years, and make a strenuous effort to have the next meeting at Cleveland adopt the League plan of dividing the gate receipts. The guarantee plan is entirely too favorable to the financial interests of the larger cities, as New York and Philadelphia. The Sporting Life March 2, 1887

[reporting the AA meeting of 3/7-8] O. P. Caylor, a staunch advocate of the guarantee system, but acting for the Mets, sought to secure a division of the gate receipts. But no one was with him, and the change was not discussed. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

out-of-town scoreboard

Date Wednesday, June 15, 1887
Text

A large blackboard is being put up at the Staten Island ball grounds for the display of all scores of the League and American Association games by innings.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

outfielder deeks the runner

Date Monday, July 11, 1887
Text

Welch played a shrewd trick in one of the Mets' games. Nelson and O'Brien were on second and first when Orr drove a fearfully high ball to right centre. Welch struck out for the place it was apparently going to light and put out hi hands as if he were getting right under it, but the ball was really far out of his reach and struck the fence, bounding back to him. The trick, however, fooled Nelson, who stayed at second and could only get to third when he saw his mistake. The big hit, therefore, availed Orr only one base.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

outfielder gauging the landing spot of the ball

Date Saturday, November 5, 1887
Text

There are few fielders in the profession that can equal George Tebeau when it comes to capturing a ball that is batted over his head. George has a wonderful knack of judging a fly; he can turn his back upon the ball and run from it at the top of his speed, taking his eye for the time being from the sphere and then turn and catch it just as it is on the point of dropping. He had accomplished the feat a number of times this season.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

paired pitchers and catchers

Date Wednesday, May 4, 1887
Text

[discussing attempts to persuade Van Haltren to come to Chicago] Van Haltren also received a telegram from Lou Hardie, of Chicago, congratulating him upon his being now a White Stocking. It seems that the ex-catcher of the Haverlys is in a very bad way, not having a pitcher for this season, and the missive sent by him is regarded as a shrewd dodge to enlist the Oaklander in the nine, and, therefore, strengthen Hardie's chances of keeping with the team the entire season. Flynn, Hardie's pitcher, besides having a sore arm, is ill, and may not be in condition to play this season. The other batteries are paired, and, of course, Hardie, being of no value to Spalding without a pitcher, is endeavoring to secure the Oakland “phenom.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pete Browing pays his bar bills

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from the Louisville columnist] Pete Browning has had a great deal of notoriety lately. A few days ago he put $300 in his pocket and sallied forth to pay old scores at various saloons in the West End. Pete, as the readers of The Sporting Life know, is something of a drinker, at times, and a considerable portion of his money goes for that purpose. He keeps a slate at several places, but he never fails to pay up at the end of the season. He went from one saloon to another, paying as high as $100 at one place. When he had paid the last debt he had just $45 left. He folded this up carefully, put it away in his vest pocket and said he was going to buy a new suit of clothes. Summoning a crowd of friends he then announced, in a most determined manner, that he had quit liquor forever.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pete Browning doesn't slide

Date Wednesday, August 3, 1887
Text

If Pete Browning would slide he would be one of the crack base-runners of the country; as it is he is a very spry man on the bases.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pitch counts

Date Wednesday, August 24, 1887
Text

The number of balls pitched in a game has been a subject of study to Professor Martin, of Louisville, and he is keeping a register. In one game Ramsey had a total of 135 balls, an average of 15 in each inning. Mullane pitched 141 balls, or an average of 17 5-8 each inning, the Louisvilles only going to bat in eight innings. His average for each man who went to the bat was 4 1-26 balls, while Ramsey's average was 3 15-16 [probably i.e. 4 1/26 and 3 15/16 respectively]. The work done by both pitchers was remarkable, however, as only one man was given his base on ball—that by Hecker. In an average game the number of balls pitched is over 200.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher obstructing the runner

Date Sunday, April 17, 1887
Text

[from the NL umpire instructions] In past seasons it has been the habit of certain pitchers, upon the ball being batted to an infielder, to cut across the first base path just in time to intercept and slow the base runn, under the pretense of backing up first. Umpires should keep an eye opn for this subterfuge and promptly check the practice.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching outside with runners on base

Date Wednesday, July 13, 1887
Text

“Boston pitches have instructions to use out-curves when runners are on bases, so that the catchers may throw to a better advantage.”--Washington Capital. Rats! All pitchers do that on the first two or three balls.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching rotation 5

Date Wednesday, July 6, 1887
Text

Two games per week is all that any pitcher can stand under this year's rules.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club finances

Date Wednesday, January 12, 1887
Text

[reporting the annual meeting of the Pittsburgh Club 1/11/1887] The financial statement showed that the club cleared a very handsome profit during the season of 1886. The directors refused to say what the exact amount is, but it was stated on reliable authority that their exchequer is increased by $9,000 or $10,000. President Nimick said to a Post representative that while he is not at liberty to mention the definite amount cleared, he and the other directors are more than satisfied with the result.

There was a long conversation regarding the estimates for next season. It was stated that the expenses of the club for this year will be about $25,000 more than last. Of this increased expenditure $10,000 goes to the players. The rent of the grounds has been increased more than 50 per cent. and a large amount of money is to be expended in improvements. The grand stand will be extended so as to seat 3,000 persons. A row of private boxes will be erected right along the top of the grand stand.

Source Pittsburgh Post
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club finances 2

Date Saturday, January 15, 1887
Text

[reporting on the Pittsburgh Club meeting of 1/11] The financial statement showed that they cleared a very handsome profit during the season of 1886. The Directors refused to say what the exact amount is, but it was stated on reliable authority that their exchequer is increased by $9,000 or $10,000.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club finances 3

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

The annual meeting of the directors of the Pittsburg Club was held at President Nimick's office on Tuesday night. There was a full attendance. Secretary Scandrett reported that the net profits of the year aggregated $7,000. High railroad fa4res, he said, caused a big drain on the receipts.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club ownership grab; challenging the grab

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

...the old Allegheny Club confessed judgment for something over $29,000. An execution was issued and the franchise and effects of the team were sold on a judgment note. The note in question was a sight note made by the Allegheny Base Ball Club to the order of A. K. Scandrett, trustee. The same note was signed by Wm. A. Nimick, president of the club, and A. K. Scandrett, secretary. After the sale the Pittsburg Athletic Association, Limited, was formed with Messr. Nimick and Scandrett as half owners, J. Palmer O’Neill another stockholder, and a man named Garner as trustee for the balance of the company.

Attorney Hoyer will attempt to prove that this transfer from the old organization to the new is illegal, and wholly without warrant. The original charger of the team omitted anything about its being an organization for profit, but rather specified that it was a company not for profit. Attorney Hoyer said yesterday that he intended to make matters very interesting before he quit. “We represent but seventeen shares out of the original two hundred, but we have rights that cannot be overlooked, “said Mr. Hoyer. “Although these people allege that a bona fide sale was made, the records do not show who the purchaser was, and the proceeds of the sale were but $30. We will also attempt to prove that when this judgment note was confessed there was no necessity for such a step. Last year the team made $12,000. Under the laws of the State they will be compelled to show that it was absolutely necessary to take this action in order to satisfy the pressure of outside creditors. If we can show the taint of fraud, when we confidently expect to do, we will throw the club into the hands of a receiver until our rights are recognized. None of our members were ever notified of an assessment, and even had they been they were only liable for the par value of their stock. They do not want to make anything out of the suit, but demand that their rights be respected.” The Sporting Life February 2, 1887

...Under the old arrangement the stock of the club was owned by some two hundred stockholders, each and every one of whom had to have something to say in regard to the running of the club. The consequence was that at the end of the second season in the Association the players were running the team, and as a result they were very near the tail end, and while some hundreds of dollars were due the players the treasury was empty.

It was then that the gentlemen who are at present interested in the club took charge and in return for liquidating the debts of the club were to receive all the stock. Some seventeen of the stockholders of the club refused to turn over their stock, and now that the team is a good paying investment, they would like to get a whack at the proceeds. It is needless to say that while the team was not a paying institution, these men were mum as oysters. It is hardly likely that they will get the whack now. The Philadelphia Times January 30, 1887

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club ownership; stockholders lawsuit

Date Tuesday, January 25, 1887
Text

The stockholders of the old Allegheny base ball club threaten to enter suit against the present club. The old stockholders claim that the present directors have [not?] the right to sell the charter of the club. A C. Hoyer has been engaged by the parties of the old club to file a bill in equity. He represents M. B. Lemon, Jas. Todd, Wm. Witherow and ex-warden Wm. Smith. Mr. Hoyer states that he will go into court alleging fraud and request that a receiver be appointed. He thinks that the old stockholders have been illegally ousted from the organization.

Some time ago a number of the old stockholders confessed judgment in the sum of $29,000. Upon this judgment the franchise of the club was sold. Those who threaten to enter suit argue that they were never apprised of the fact, that the club was in financial difficulties and that the sale of the franchise took place without their knowing it. The Pittsburgh Post January 25, 1887

The bill sets forth the plaintiffs were stockholders of the Allegheny Base Ball Club which, it is alleged, was fraudulently changed to the Pittsburgh Athletic Club. It is claimed that the old Allegheny Club was made up of 200 shares at $25 each. Owners of 183 of these shares confessed judgment for $30,000 and a sheriff's sale of the club was ordered. The owners of the remaining seventeen shares settled the judgment note and took possession of the club's franchise. The plaintiffs, therefore, claim that there was no necessity for a sale, and that they were never asked to advance money to settle the judgment note. The Pittsburgh Post January 29, 1887

A. C. Hoyer, Esq., says that he withdrew the suit against the Allegheny Base Ball Company for the old stockholders, only to have it in a new form, and have a master appointed. The Pittsburgh Post March 3, 1887

The suit of Thomas Hunter and others against the Pittsburg Club has been dismissed. The suit was brought to compel the recognition of the plaintiffs, who were shut out when the club was reorganized. The Sporting Life July 11, 1888

Source Pittsburgh Post
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh permitted discount tickets

Date Wednesday, March 16, 1887
Text

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 3/7-9] The Pittsburg Club in reply to a request for the twenty-five cent tariff was given the same privilege as Washington--of selling three tickets for a dollar, said tickets not to be sold at the grounds, however. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

[from an interview of Scandrett] We made a hard fight to secure the twenty-five cent admission rate, but it was no go. We succeeded in getting the three-tickets-for-a-dollar privilege. We argued that it was surely no difference what price was charged under the guarantee system, but the majority said that it was. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players prefer to play in the minors

Date Wednesday, December 7, 1887
Text

[from the Millennium plan] Reservation must be granted the minor leagues by the big leagues as a matter of self-protection, aside from the toning-down effect it will have on salaries. The fact that players can get as much salary in a minor league, under less severe discipline and without reservation as they can in a big league, where the work is continuously exacting and reservation fro year to year certain, is certainly not calculated to easily land young players in big leagues or to make old players in big leagues anxious to retain their places therein, or at least indifferent thereto; and to just that extent is discipline loosened. The truth of this was illustrated during the past season when many players were made dissatisfied or indifferent by communications from old confreres who had gone into minor leagues descriptive of the “very soft snaps” they were enjoying; and is further illustrated at the present time when we see so many players who give every indication of future greatness resolutely refusing the most flattering offers from big clubs, preferring to cast their lot with the minor leagues where the pay is nearly equal, and their work less likely to be overshadowed.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players who won't play on Sunday

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

...Paul Radford has been exempted from playing ball on Sunday. He is not the only player who refuses to go on the diamond field on the Sabbath. Will White, who was Cincinnati's star pitcher for so many years, never would enter the box the first day of the week, and George W. Bradley, now with the Nashvilles, ever since he experienced a change of heart at a revival here, has been a conscientious Christian and believes that playing ball is not the proper way of keeping the commandment – ”Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

private box seating

Date Wednesday, January 12, 1887
Text

[describing the new Cleveland ground] A recent change in the plans provides for twenty private boxes in the main grand stand, running from bottom to top, in two rows of ten each. Each will rent for $100, and will seat four persons. Half are engaged already, and all probably will before the season opens.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed tenting over the Athletic grounds during rain

Date Sunday, February 6, 1887
Text

[describing planned improvements at the Athletics ground] To provide against rain while the game is in progress a big rubber or canvass tenting will be stretched over the entirely diamond. Mr. Ryan [Athletics superintendent] says that they are going to have games anyhow and people need not stay at home fearing that a storm will cut the game short. The Philadelphia Times February 6, 1887

farming players to minor clubs

The “Man from Jerusalem” is a genius when it comes to turning a penny and getting the worth of his money out of anything. When Mullane and McPhee are signed the Cincinnati Club will have seventeen men under contract, and the question naturally arises what disposition can be made of so much talent, so as to keep them all actively employed and in practice. It was first suggested that a sub-team be organized to play Sunday games, while the regular club are absent. This plan has been tried so often in various League and Association cities, and invariably proved a dismal failure, that it met with strong opposition from the directors of the club. So many players could not be maintained and yet the management was loth to let any of them go. President Stern finally fixed upon a feasible plan, that of letting four or five of the players to the Emporia Club, of Kansas, an independent organization, and the agreement is so arranged that should the Cincinnati Club find need for any of the men they will be sent on at once. The men are to receive the same salaries as they would had they played in Cincinnati. This will lighten the expense of the home club and at the same time they will have five god men to fall back upon in a pinch. A cute scheme, but not original with Stern. It has been successfully worked before. The Sporting Life February 9, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

protection for the minor leagues; a rumor of a protective association; player movement

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/7] A request from the minor league delegates for a hearing was then considered. The latter delegates...had held a meeting in the morning to consider the nature of the petition to be made to the Board. At this meeting Mr. Menges presided and Mr. C. D. White acted as secretary. Several members were in favor of demanding outright protection from the Board; others advised the agreeing to pay a certain amount for the privilege. Nearly all opposed any system of draft. No special line of action was decided upon, but it was agreed to send a petition to the Board, announcing that they were in session, would like to be heard, and would appoint a committee to dos o if agreeable. This was forwarded to the president of the Board, and soon after Secretary Byrne of the latter, put in an appearance and stated that the Board would be ready to hear them after dinner at 3 o'clock, and added that they preferred to have them come in a body.

...The subject of allowing the right of reservation of players was discussed, the minor delegates participating in the discussion, and various plans were suggested as to the number of players theymight thus save from the inroads of the big leagues, starting at two and ending at nine. But the minor delegates went further, and demanded the right to fourteen men per club, the same as in the two big leagues. In return for reservation privilege the minors at first were disposed to give nothing at all in cash, and expressed determined opposition to the draft... and finally compromised on a tax of $250 per club.

The minor leagues then withdrew, and the question was discussed for hours in all its bearings by the Board. The committee was solid for reservation, and the only snag was as to the form of compensation for that privilege. The draft system... was favored almost unanimously by the committee. But the minor leagues refused to accede to this portion of the arrangement. They preferred the $250 tax, as that was virtually no bonus at all, considering the opportunity it offered for getting that, and more, back in selling players to the big leagues; such a tax enabled them also, for this small sum, to hold their men if they should see fit not to sell, and thus to build themselves into a power which could in time dictate where it now sues; and, finally, the small tax placed the minors—in their own estimation—more upon a level with the major leagues. From their standpoint the minors' position was well taken.

And they played their cards shrewdly. The bait held out was tempting—a tax which might be made to run up to a total of $16,000 to 20,000, to be divided between the two big leagues. On top of this came a very cold bluff that sooner than consent to draft the minors would dispense with reservation altogether. This bluff and a vague rumor skilfully circulated to the effect that a combination of minor leagues would be formed against the major leagues, carried the day. The League members of the Board, hardly recovered from their recent Brotherhood scare, were the first to weaken. On the Association side Phelps alone made a strong fight against unconditional reservation, and for reservation with draft. He demonstrated the impossibility of forming anything but a temporary minor league combination; he pointed out the folly of accepting a tax or bonus with one hand and returning it with compound interest added with the other hand; he protested against permitting the minor leagues to garner greater strength with each succeeding season without some system of keeping that growing power in check, and finally he proved the impossibility of satisfactorily filling possible future major league vacancies with the supply of players by draft shut off. But it was in vain. Phelps did his utmost to keep at least his side of the house in line. Byrne wavered for a long time and then went over to the League camp, and, as usual, Von der Ahe went over with him, and the minor clubs triumphed, getting what they wanted, and in the way they wanted, giving in return therefor nothing but the per captia tax, it was a great day for the minor leagues and an exceedingly frigid one for the hitherto haughtily superior major leagues. The Sporting Life December 14, 1887

[from Frank Brunell's column] The Arbitration Committee's handling of the minor league reservation plan isn't satisfactory. Under it the minor league clubs are calmly “held up” for $250 a club and in future sales will be through clubs all the year round. Instead of the player being forced to mount a self-made auction block and say:--”Who wants me? How much am I offered? Come on! Come on! Come on!”--the minor league clubs will do the wolfing and the richer clubs will profit because better able to be wolfed. The $250 tax puts me in mind of a retail license to sell whisky or the rake-off of a poker game. It is a license to sell players. Mind you I do not argue that the minor league should sell what it discovers, rears and possesses. Neither do I argue that such transfers for profit are illegal. But I do think the major leagues, in alleged wisdom assembled, could well have done justice without a price. What right have they to grant protection and equal rights. The latter are, or should be, as free as the air and the former isn't necessary if a fair deal is out. The Arbitration Committee's argument was that the minor leagues are glad to accept the tax. Yes! Why? Because they knew their men and chose the least of two evils. … The argument about stopping the fabulous prices paid through the wild, but necessary chase for young blood is no go. The chase will go on and the prices will be about as usual, except that they will be divided between the club and player. And the majors...will pay the piper as in the past. The Sporting Life December 14, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proto-infield fly rule 2

Date Wednesday, August 10, 1887
Text

[from the secretary of the International League] The question of allowing double plays on a “pop” fly in the diamond, dropped purposely or not, has been brought to my attention. It is extremely difficult to judge whether the ball is purposely or accidentally muffed, and for the benefit of all concerned, the following is the recognized rule in all principal Leagues and Association, viz.:--”In all cases where the inducement is so great to muff the ball, to enable a double play to be made, the umpires are instructed to call the batter out on a fly in case the ball comes in contact with a player's hands before touching the ground.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

questions on the new strike rule on intentionally fouled balls

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

President Morrow [of the Southern League] submits the following questions under the new rules:

1. A batter bunts four balls; each one is called a strike. Can he run on the fourth one, and can men on bases run on either of them?

2. Suppose the bases are all filled, and he should bunt the fourth ball foul, does it force the other men on bases to run?

Our answer is this: 1. No. Each ball bunted is a dead ball, and the fourth one puts him out, no difference what becomes of it, a penalty exactly similar to that of a foul strike. No base can be run on a dead ball. Therefore, men on bases cannot run nor be forced to run on such a play. This answers both questions.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

quick pitch while the umpire's back is turned

Date Friday, August 12, 1887
Text

[Athletic vs. Metropolitan 8/11/87] Sullivan [umpire] was away off in his decisions on balls and strikes, but he bestowed his unfair decisions with an impartial hand. His worst mistake, however, was in the fourth inning. Holbert was at the bat and had three strikes and four balls called on him. A foul ball had been batted over the grand stand and as the ball was being returned Sullivan turned around to pick it up. Weyhing at that moment delivered the ball fairly over the plate. Holbert thought he was out, but Roseman, who was coaching, shouting, “Go on, Billy, that's five balls.” Stovey came in and asked Sullivan what he was going to do about it, and Ted, after a moment's hesitation, decided “five balls,” although he had his back turned when the ball was delivered.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reaction to the Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] The ball players of the National League are receiving good salaries, are worked but seven months in the year, and are asked to work not more than six nor less than three hours per day. Could they enter into any other business and earn half as much? All this talk of “ball players' wrongs” is rot and nonsense. They are lucky individuals, and they know it. They draw money when they want it; they live at the best hotels in the country and dress their wives in silks and diamonds. Could they do as much in any other calling? I think not. I have any number of friends in the profession—fellows I like personally and am glad to shake hands with, but I can say to them, one and all, that this sentimental rot will not work, and the sooner it is stopped the better. Play ball, lads, individually. Make all the brilliant plays on the field and at bat that you are capable of making and you will be able to draw better salaries and advance in the profession you have chosen. Join the Brotherhood and sympathize with the policy of that organization in trying to play upon public sympathy, and—you will get left. Take my word for it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Recreation Park after the Phillies; Tom Pratt

Date Saturday, January 1, 1887
Text

Recreation Park, at Twenty-fourth and Ridge avenue, so long occupied by the Philadelphia Base Ball Club, has undergone a complete transformation and will hereafter be devoted entirely to winter sports. It will be opened to the public to-day for the first time under the auspices of the Philadelphia Toboggan Association, of which J. F. Bernard is the manager. ...

Besides tobogganing the main portion of the ground is to be devoted to skating. The ground will not be flooded, but ice is to be formed by a new process of sprinkling. As soon as the weather if favorable there will be base ball and polo matches played on skates. Thomas Pratt, so well known from his long connection with the Philadelphia Club, is to have charge of all the sports except tobogganing.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

recycling baseballs

Date Wednesday, October 5, 1887
Text

There is a firm in Brooklyn which is doing something in re-covering old League and Association balls and selling them for 50 cents each.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reducing the lavish use of balls

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting the joint rules committee meeting 11/15/1885] The question of restricting the lavish use of balls during the game by delaying for a moment or so the order for a new ball was left to the discretion of the presidents of the League and Association, who will instruct their umpires accordingly. This action was taken because of the unnecessary haste made obligatory under the rules and which gave the umpire no option but to call for a new ball, even if he knew that in a few seconds the old one would be returned. Umpires will probably be instructed to use their discretion in ordering out new balls.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the Boston Globe 2

Date Wednesday, July 6, 1887
Text

Mr. William J. Harris, of the Boston Globe, who is with the Boston team on its Western trip...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the Boston Globe, Boston correspondent to the Sporting Life

Date Wednesday, May 4, 1887
Text

W. D. Sullivan, sporting editor of the Boston Globe, who, by the way, is our noted Boston correspondent, “Mugwump,” is with the Bostons on their present trip.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the Plain Dealer

Date Wednesday, February 23, 1887
Text

“Sam Wise dropped into the office of the Cleveland Leader last Thursday. There he met the base ball editor, Mr. F. H. Brunell.”--New York Herald. Wrong, brother Stevens. Brunnell is conected with the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reserve rights for the minor leagues

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/20] [a resolution passed] Resolved, That the League members of the Board of Arbitration be instructed to vote in favor of permitting minor leagues to protect their clubs and reserve their players under such rules and conditions as said Board may deem proper.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Richter becomes the baseball reporter for the Public Ledger

Date Wednesday, October 19, 1887
Text

The Public Ledger is a power in this community, and for this reason all lovers of base ball and legitimate sports will rejoice to learn that this great paper has determined, in conformity with its new policy of enlarging its scope, to devote considerable attention to sports in general and base ball in particular. … The department has been placed in competent hands, the editor of The Sporting Life contributing to and supervising it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Richter on the guarantee system, the weakness of the AA, Wikoff, the reserve

Date Wednesday, August 10, 1887
Text

[from a long editorial signed by “Editor Sporting Life”] ...the Association's greatest dangers are from within. The first, and most serious of these, is the general mistrust, the fruit of past selfish policy fostered and nourished by the guarantee system, which is nothing more than the old, old rule of “might makes right,” or “every one for himself and the devil take the hindmost.” Not one club is exactly sure of the other clubs' plans or intentions. Professionals of loyalty deceive no one nowadays, in view of Pittsburg's chicanery. Von der Ahe has manfully declared himself, but how do Cincinnati, Brooklyn or Baltimore stand?

How can an unbroken front be presented to, and united efforts put forth against, any outward menaces under such circumstances? If the American Association were united, it could even now easily prevent the encroachments of the League, although it is in a less favorable position so to do than it was a season or two ago, but, unfortunately for itself, it is not. It is lacking in business sense, in shrewdness, in knowledge, in foresight, in strategy, in unity of purpose, in faith in each other, and, finally, in a positive head. Some of the men running the clubs are too scheming and overreaching, some too supine, some too ignorant, some too timid and others too distrustful to make united action possible under the existing regime, and so baneful have these influences been that to-day this great organization has as chief executive officer nothing but a lay figure, divested of nearly all authority, subject to the supervision of a “chairman,” and readily intimidated by the more aggressive members of the Association, and has not sufficient esprit de corps to unite upon some one man in its ranks, repose implicit confidence in him and invest him with sufficient authority to guide the floundering ship.

Unless the Association wishes to see itself reduced to the level of a minor league, shorn of its strongest members piecemeal, or possibly wiped out altogether and absorbed in a One-League monopoly, it must awake from its lethargy, inaugurate a new policy and revise its entire method of management, and the best way to accomplish this, it seems to us, is by adopting the percentage system (unwisely discarded by the League, but to which it must ultimately return). The guarantee system has been for years extolled as the greatest factor in the success of the American Association. Upon its face this was seemingly true, but beneath the surface the analytical student will see in that pernicious system the seed of all the ills which to-day afflict the Association. The guarantee system fostered and strengthened the selfish spirit which now encompasses the Association like a chain of steel, and which renders nugatory all efforts at reform, at broader legislation and at united effort for the common good, and which keep it in swaddling clothes. The guarantee plan has weakened the Association financially and has reduced it finally to but three strong financial cities—Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Cincinnati—to which the other cities are as bobs to a kite. The guarantee system indirectly drove the Mets out of New York and will directly drive them out of existence; the guarantee system will land St. Louis in the League because it can't support itself, and working like a two-edged sword will drive some other clubs into that same body because they can support themselves too well and make more money for their owners in the other organization under that system. This vastly extolled system has enriched the few at the expense of the many; it has fostered monopoly; been the potent cause of club cliques and machinations, engendered uncharitableness, selfishness, arrogance, hatred, mistrust, discontent and other evils too numerous to mention, and all for what? Simply that two or three clubs in each organization, favored by fortune with exceptional advantages in the way of large, populous and wealthy cities, may divert to their own exclusive use and profit all that great harvest which others help to sow; or, in plan words, to make these favored few the aristocrats of the diamond and the unlucky majority simply hewers of wood and drawers of water, the one inevitably growing richer and the other poorer year by year. It is un-American, undemocratic and as repellant to the sense of right, justice and equity of the base ball public as are the great odious monopolies in other walks of life, now levying tribute upon the people in general, to the great American public.

Under the guarantee plan, as it has existed in the Association and now exists in the League, none of the poorer or less well-situated clubs would have had, nor would they now have, a chance for existence, except for the reserve rule. That measure luckily enabled them to at least retain their teams in a measure secure from the encroachment of wealthy rivals. But the day of the reserve rule is waning. It has served its purpose and must go; and go soon! of which more later on. And when the reserve rule does go a great savior for the weaker clubs will go with it, and it will be succeeded by something either better or worse in its effect upon the clubs and base ball generally, as the case may be. Under the percentage plan a better and more equitable substitute can be devised, but under the guarantee system there is every possibility and great danger that the yoke may be removed from the players temporarily to the poorer clubs permanently. Without a proper substitute for the present reserve rule the poorer clubs will inevitably be overborne by the power of concentrated capital and frozen out and then the dream of base ball monopolists will be realized, namely, one great League with undisputed arbitrary power, close corporation tendencies, even more galling slavery for the unprotected and refugeless player than now, unmitigated by the salve of salaries, and—either future disturbing Union Association experiments in the many frozen-out cities, or gradual decadence of base ball for lack of healthy rivalry and competition.

This is the situation the Association will be compelled to face and to grapple with; not only for its own good, but for the good of base ball at large, for which it has in the past done much. If it shall adopt percentage it will undoubtedly take a new lease of life; should it ignore the teachings of experience and the signs of the times it will surely sign its own death warrant.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rising salaries 3

Date Saturday, January 22, 1887
Text

[from Tim Murnan's column] ...the team that won the championship for Boston in 1883 had a salary list of $13,000 while this season it will foot up about three times that amount and fourth position is good enough.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rising salaries 4

Date Wednesday, November 9, 1887
Text

[editorial content] The young players now being so eagerly sought by needy managers do not hold themselves cheaply, and not one has yet signed below the limit, $2,000. This high rate will, of course, have a tendency to force up the salaries of the old players, and, per consequence, the highest salaries ever known in base ball will rule next season. And yet the average attendance does not keep pace with the increase in expenses. Can base ball stand much more of this fierce competition?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rough play by the Browns

Date Wednesday, May 11, 1887
Text

Manager Williams, of Cleveland, expresses the opinion that the rough wok of Comiskey and Welch on the ball field should be suppressed. “What right have they,” says he, “to run against a man and block him off on his way to a base? What right have they more than anyone else to bump right into a man like Welch did recently, knock him down, roll over him and then get away from him? That is not ball playing and it is forbidden by the rules. If I was an umpire I would declare a player out every time he attempts to do anything of that sort.” Comiskey's reply to Manager Williams is that all's fair in war and base ball. He says that anything to win a game, so long as there is no danger of being declared out, should be resorted to, and that if he was allowed to tie a man up by the thumbs to prevent him from reaching a base the man would be tied up. Comiskey says the charge of being a “hoodlum” does not interfere with his sleep, and that so long as he acts like a gentleman off the field he does not care what is said of him while on it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rules suggestions from the peanut gallery

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting the joint rules committee meeting 11/15/1885] The suggestions of Umpires Powers, Daniels, Doescher, President Young, Henry Chadwick and The Sporting Life local [i.e. Pittsburgh] representative were then received and the majority laid aside for future consideration. They were as follows: --Umpire Doescher, to call a base-runner out for “cutting a base” without an appeal from the field captain, and to change men whenever the field captain saw fit. Umpire Daniels, to change the batter's box to twelve inches from the home plate. Umpire Powers, that a fly ball be held two seconds, or momentarily, in order to be called an out; also, to make imperative the definite arrangement of the batting order before the game is called, so as to guard against trouble when two men are down on the score-card for the same position; from President Young, to do away with the base on balls base hit and bunt ball question; from The Sporting Life local representative, to give a base-runner a stolen base when he leaves his base the moment a fly ball is caught, and reaches the next. Some of these suggestions were brought up as the rules were considered, but the majority were discussed at the close.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumors of League interference with the Association; League bullying tactics

Date Sunday, August 14, 1887
Text

American Association officials have at last become suspicious of the good intentions of the National League. Various rumors regarding the attitude of the latter toward two or three of the Association clubs have startled the members of the younger organization. These are but re-echoes of the warnings given by The Times time and time again. Not only has the League been charged with tampering with St. Louis and Cincinnati, but the “Mets” also have had a well-baited hook thrown to them. The secession of such clubs as these from the Association ranks could not be anything else but a death blow. The circuit could be filled out with smaller cities, but the American Association could never hope to regain the proud rank its present circuit entitles it to. The League scheme is said to be to induce Erastus Wiman to purchase the franchise and players of the Detroit Club, and transfer the latter to the Metropolitans. The latter would then be placed in Brooklyn to play against the present Association club. This would, of course, break the national agreement. But what does the League care for the national agreement, the reserve rule or any other bulwark of the game? The League imagines itself to be the strongest. It has always led in legislation, and it will break the national agreement if it is necessary to serve its own ends, and then offer a substitute in the blandest manner possible with the expectation that the American Association will acquiesce in it after a little bluster. This has been the League’s experience with the Association in the past, but whether the Association will allow itself to be hoodwinked in the future is something the League will have to find out.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sawdust to dry the bases

Date Sunday, August 7, 1887
Text

[Metropolitan vs. Athletic 8/6/1887] After Superintendent Ryan had in his usual artistic manner, covered the ground about the bases with sawdust, the game began with the Athletics at the bat.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

score card; privilege

Date Wednesday, March 30, 1887
Text

The score-card at the Sportsman’s Park will be an elaborate affair this sason. It will contain the schedule of the American Association, considerable spicy reading matter, and a large number of advertisements. It will make money for young Von der Ahe, who has purchased the privilege from the Park Association for $600.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a dropped third (fourth) strike

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from the AA scorers' instructions] If the catcher drop or pass the ball on a fourth strike when the bases are not occupied by base runners and cannot recover it in time to throw the runner out at first, it counts as an error, but if he recovers the ball in time and throws it to first base properly, and the baseman fails to make the put out, the basemen gets the 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.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a fielders choice and earned runs

Date Wednesday, January 26, 1887
Text

[from a letter from Nick Young] This query has also been propounded:-- “A. Reaches first on a safe hit; B forces him out at second--no chance for a double play; B. Finally scores on hits; is B.’s run earned? To this I would answer no. A man must earn his first. Had A. Not occupied the base, B. Would probably have been retired. It would be manifestly unfair to credit B. With an earned run after he had forced a man out by his weak batting, and scored on the hits of other players. The same rule would, of course, hold were B. To reach first on being struck by the pitcher or upon an illegally delivered ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a hit batsman

Date Saturday, April 16, 1887
Text

[quoting Nick Young] One of the questions asked me last week was if a pitcher hit a man with a ball should be given an error for it in the regular error column. My answer was yes; and further, that it did not count a base hit, or a time at the bat. However, if it should be the fifth ball called, then the batter would be credited with a base hit and no error would be charged against the pitcher.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring errors on foul flies 2

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the Scorers' Association meeting 12/9] It was further resolved that where foul flies are squarely muffed, the fielder muffing the same shall be charged with an error in each and every case.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring sacrifice hits 5

Date Wednesday, November 16, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] There certainly ought to be a scoring record made of sacrifice hits, for as a general rule, a sacrifice hit—which is a hit of such a character as to oblige the fielder to put the striker out only—is as useful in forwarding a base-runner towards home base as many a hit recorded as a base hit, and the chief object of the batsman should be to forward a base-runner to another base or to send hi home, and if a sacrifice hit will do it it is better to take the chance of the sacrifice than to run the risk of a por out which ensures the runner's being kept on a base. For instance, a runner is on third base and one man is out, and the batsman goes to the bag to bring that runner in, and in order to do so he faces the pitcher in such manner as to ensure his hitting the ball on the ground to the right field, or to tap a swiftly pitched ball safely over the heads of the infielders, and yet too close in for an outfield catch. This is the object in view, and in making the effort, even if he fails to make a clean hit, the out is almost sure to yield a run in, and hence the sacrifice, in that respect, is as useful as a base hit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring slugging percentage

Date Wednesday, May 4, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] I find that the usually clear-headed St. Louis Post-Dispatch man is urging the idea of computing batting averages on total bases, instead of first bases. I trust that he will see his error. There are some men in “der Browns” who can point it out to him. Al Bushong or Comiskey for instance. It isn't an original idea. I have seen it spring up and retire half a dozen times, and it really does possess a deceptive aspect. But its a fallacy, sure, when viewed in the light of team, and not individual, work. The batting records of ten years will show the light hitters to be surer than the men who each time go to the bat to strike out or put the ball out of the lot. They make all or nothing—generally the latter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring steals on battery errors

Date Wednesday, October 5, 1887
Text

President Young decides that players are credited with a steal on a battery error, if they make an undeniable start to steal before the passed ball or wild pitch occurs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases 4

Date Wednesday, July 6, 1887
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] ...few scorers are following the new rules as they should be followed, and that their chief error is in the item of stolen bases. The rules governing them leaves a man no chance to make errors, if he follows it inflexibly. But the expereinced scorer should use discretion and often now I score stolen bases on battery errors where, with the opening of the season, the players were robbed of them on half passed or dropped pitched balls. You remember that I wrote my observations on this point a month ago and told how, if the stolen base rule was inflexibly followed, the catchers would defeat its object. … If a runner gets a good start and is, in my opinion, entitled to a stolen base, I score him one, just as I use judgment on hard hit balls upon which seeming errors but really base hits are made. The rule must be amended after this season and the scorer given the same discretion on stolen bases as on base hits and errors. Meanwhile I am using the discretion anyhow and working on the lines that I think it was intended I should work.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases 5

Date Wednesday, November 16, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column] ...I would give credit for a stolen base whenever the runner successfully reaches a base after getting first base, and also whenever he reaches the base through an incorrect throw or a muff of the ball by the base player, when such throw or muff is palpably the result of an extra effort to put the runner out. Catchers will throw accurately, as a rule, when the chance to throw is offered them while the runner is close to the base he is about to leave. But the chances for poor throwing are greatly increased when the runner is active and alert enough to have secured a good start for his run before the catcher has the chance for a correct throw fairly given him, and though the throw is a failure and consequently an error in one sense, it is not such as error as should deprive the base-runner of the credit of a stolen base. The same rule, too, should govern the case of a muff of the thrown ball similar in character to the throwing errors referred to. Encourage base-running as much as possible for it has become, next to sharp fielding, the most exciting and attractive feature of the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases; earned runs

Date Wednesday, May 4, 1887
Text

[Nick Young's circular to scorers] In reviewing the new code with a view to ascertaining if there are any points to which the attention of the official scorers should be drawn, I have come upon the provision crediting a stolen base to a runner where the same is secured through the assistance of a misplay other than a battery error—an overthrown or fumble, for example. The philosophy of this credit is perfectly logical. The runner earns a base by making a daring attempt to secure it, and if successful, even though assisted by an error, deserves the point. These credits will, of course, be included in your official returns of stolen bases.

We now come, however, to the point which I desire to emphasize. This query has been propounded to me:--”Suppose a player reaches first on a hit, steals second on a fumble of the baseman, and is bated home, is the run earned?” I answer no. the reason is obvious, but the point should be carefully borne in mind in filling out the earned run blank in your score sheets. Earned runs, it should be remembered, are not credited to individual, nor do they have any particular bearing upon the status of a club in making up the averages which constitute the monthly and annual records. They are important factors, however, in gauging the effectiveness of a pitcher, and it is in this light alone that they should be regarded. It is then manifestly unfair to charge a pitcher with a run earned off his delivery when bases secured by fielding errors are essential factors in it. Obviously the pitcher can in no way be responsible for a muff by the baseman or overthrow by the catcher. In computing earned runs, therefore, you will scan your scores carefully and omit tallies in which the stolen base, assisted by an error, is a necessary element.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring strike outs

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the Scorers' Association meeting 12/9] It was resolved that in the summary of the scores each pitcher shall be credited with the number of strike-outs he causes in a game, and that the secretaries of the League and Association be requested to keep a record of these strike-outs separate from the fielding averages of the pitchers. It is still deemed advisable, however, that a strike-out be scored as an assist.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scouts

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

[from “Mugwump's” column] This man Anson is a veritable wonder in managing a ball team. He has some ideas entirely original, and one of them enables hyim to pick out the finest young players in the county. He takes youngsters whom he has never seen play but once, perhaps, and immediately they turn out trump cards. Everybody wonders how me makes his selections. I'll give it away. He has men on the loookout for him all over the country, whose judgment he can depend on. Tim Murnan is his agent here, and is expected to follow the New England League closely. Tim picked out Martin Sullivan for Anson last fall. Up in the International League Joe Battin is keeping his eyes open, and through him Anson may be able to pick out the best man in this League. Then, out in the Western League, “Ans” gets his tips from orator Shaffer.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Cleveland

Date Sunday, February 27, 1887
Text

The price of season tickets to the grand stand of the Cleveland Base Ball Park will be $33.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Washington

Date Wednesday, March 2, 1887
Text

President Hewitt will issue three hundred season tickets at $25 each which will entitle the holder to visit all games played on the home grounds. They will be made up in coupon books similar to those used by the New Yorks last year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

second basemen punches runners

Date Sunday, May 8, 1887
Text

Manager Kelly calls the attention of umpires to the fact that Yank Robinson has a practice of hitting a runner a punch in the abdomen as he passes second base for the purpose of winding him.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

selling liquor at Sunday games

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

The one objectionable feature of Sunday games is the selling of intoxicants. Last year, after the “rows,” it was found advisable to draw the line on all spiritous liquors, and the thousands in attendance had to content themselves with lemonade and mineral waters. There were no further commotions, either, after the rule had been established. The Sporting Life April 6, 1887

reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat

Joe Murphy, the pitcher, has branched out as a full-fledged reporter, and he is now doing the base ball on the Globe-Democrat. That paper's sporting column is now fresh and alive. Success to you, Joe. The Sporting Life April 6, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

short-hopping the first baseman

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from the AA scorers' instructions] To secure uniformity, all scorer should credit a wild throw in case a ball fielded to first base on the bound is missed by the first baseman, and exempt the baseman from error.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signing bonus

Date Wednesday, May 11, 1887
Text

[William Veech] received $1,700 a year as a salary and was paid $250 extra at the beginning of the year as an inducement to sign a contract.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signing minor league players at midnight

Date Sunday, October 30, 1887
Text

Manager Barnes, of the St. Paul Club, euchred a number of National League people who had come to St. Paul to get the pick of his players and sign them early on October 20. The visitors were Flint, for Chicago, Ted Sullivan for Washington, Nimick for Pittsburg, and Mutrie for New York. Meantime, Barnes had his contracts prepared, the sums of advance-money carefully counted in bundles, and while those seeking to break up his team were shivering on the street, was playing a winning hand. When the clock struck twelve, it was only the work of a few minutes. The boys had been hospitably entertained at Barnes' residence and were ready to sign. The contracts of Pickett, Duryea, Kemmler, Murphy and Sowders ere executed and witnessed, the advance-money paid and proper receipts given. By one o'clock the job was done, much to the disgust of the National League people, who only got Foster and Cleveland.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signing minor leaguers cheaply

Date Wednesday, October 12, 1887
Text

Contrary to the general impression outside of the city, the Oriole team is not an expensive one in comparison with others. To be sure, the salaries paid are fair, and even good, but the players gathered together last fall and winter cost no bonus. They were gotten in the interval when reservation in the minor bodies was not in force, and so there was nothing to pay to clubs for their releases.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Soden on the Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Soden] Yes, I suppose it was a victory for the Brotherhood. The main thing they were after was to be recognized. They gained that point, but we never ought to have allowed it. And we would never have had to recognize them if the Westerners had kept their mouths shut and let Rogers alone. As for the contract, I am perfectly satisfied with it. It is a fairly equitable one, in fact as much so as you can make it between a responsible party and an irresponsible one. The contract don't bother me. It is not that, but now that this so-called Brotherhood has gained a foothold, I fear we may see trouble from it in the future. They certainly gained nothing by the provision that if a player is reserved he shall be signed at the same salary the next year. The result will be we shall be very careful in signing a man and pay smaller salaries.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

softening a ball before the game

Date Wednesday, June 8, 1887
Text

[Tim Murnan reminiscing in the Boston Referee about the Brown Stockings of 1875] The balls were not sealed up on those days. The home team had to present two balls, and the visitors could choose either one. All that was necessary was to have the proper maker's name on. In St. Louis the fast work of Bradley and Clapp required a soft ball, and it was generally made so before the game by applying a bat to them against a stone slab, taking care to cover them with a cloth to keep from staining them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Solari retires as Sportsman's Park groundskeeper

Date Saturday, January 22, 1887
Text

Mr. A. Solari, for years the superintendent of Sportsman's Park, this week starts out in business for himself. To-morrow he will open a saloon and restaurant at the corner of Delmar and Taylor avenues. He sends greeting to all his friends and hopes they will all give him an early call. The Sporting News January 22, 1887

Spink appointed secretary of the Maroons

A. H. Spink, the editor of that bright sporting journal, the Sporting News, has been made secretary of the St. Louis Maroons in place of George Munson, resigned. If the Maroons do no sell out, and Spink is given a chance, he will place the club on a better footing than it ever has been. The Philadelphia Times January 23, 1887

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

souvenir jewelry press passes

Date Wednesday, March 30, 1887
Text

The Metropolitans have presented each of the local reporters with an elegant gold pin, pennant shaped, with the name of each inscribed thereon, to be worn on the vest and to be shown at the gate when the Mets play at St. George. This is done to avoid the issuance of season passbooks and is much more convenient for the scribe, being a souvenir as well and well worth preserving.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding disclaims the one-league plan

Date Wednesday, August 17, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick's column][from an interview of Spalding] In regard to the plan of having one grand league in the place of the existing National League and Association—a plan said to have originated with Spalding—he says that he not only never advocated such a plan, but is opposed to any such idea. He stands flat-footed in favor of the existence of the National League and the American Association, with both standing together as they now do under the National Agreement, and each with eight clubs and no more... The Sporting Life August 17, 1887

Spalding softens on liquor sales; New York Club sells liquor

[from Chadwick's column][from an interview of Spalding]As to the sale of beer on base ball grounds, Spalding was rather non-committal, and, if I must say so, somewhat inconsistent. That is, while he is opposed to “local option” as regards the fifty cent tariff for admission, he is willing to allow League clubs to do as the custom of their city may lead them to in the matter of selling drinks on the grand stand. He said the Chicago Club would never do it on their grounds, but if the other League clubs chose to do it it was their matter. I did not see why the same freedom of action in regard to the tariff of admission was not just as sound a doctrine, but Al drew the line at selling beer. I guess the example of the New York League Club—which has openly violated the League rule on this point—has had something to do with Al's change of base on the subject. The Sporting Life August 17, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding on a single consolidated league

Date Wednesday, July 13, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Spalding] In the first place the matter of consolidation is in exactly the same state it has been in for six months past, save that the demonstrated superiority of the St. Louis and Baltimore clubs have made it pretty clearly apparent, particularly as to Von der Ahe's team, that they are out of their class in the Association. At no time since the matter of consolidation has been considered or proposed has the time for it been considered to propitious. I cannot say, on the whole, though, that I am as anxious for it as many newspaper correspondents have represented me to be. The League is, without question, the greatest athletic and amusement organization of its kind in the world to-day. Look where you will and find any organization if you can with an aggregate salary list of $300,000 a year and expenses of fully three-quarters of a million. Point out any enterprise that can draw 138,000 people to its performances in a single day, and [illegible] it is a greater organization that the National League of American Ball Clubs. There is no comparison that I can see between the League and the Association. Von der Ahe or Von der Ahe's friends in St. Louis have been saying through the newspapers that a money consideration of $25,000 or $50,000 had been held out to him to bring his team into the League. To the devil with such talk; it is cut absolutely from whole cloth. If any such consideration has been mentioned, it has been from Mr. Von der Ahe to the League, and not from the League to Mr. Von der Ahe, and, do you suppose for a moment that the League has failed to understand that fact?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding on extending the reserve to minor leagues

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column][from a letter from Spalding to Byrne] …I would favor permitting any minor league or association, members of the National Agreement, to reserve five, seven, nine or more players on some such plan as now in vogue in the League and Association, and for the protection now given and this additional right of reserve I think it would be fair and equitable and agreeable to the minor league clubs to assess each association a certain sum or money each year, making one price where protection for the season only is given,n and a higher price where protection and the right of reserve is given. The fund so raised to be divided equally between the League and American Association, which will assist in defraying the large and increasing expenses of running the two organizations..

The result of the present plan of protecting these minor Leagues only during the season and then at its close permitting all the clubs in each Association to make a grand rush and scramble for these outside players on a given date tends to demoralize clubs, managers and players. Clubs of the two leading Associations enter into a wild competition for a few of the more prominent young players and offer salaries away beyond good business judgment and frequently more than is paid to old players of long service and established reputations, thus doing our old men great injustice. It forces the minor League clubs to undertake to pay salaries that mean bankruptcy to many before the season is half over, and also demoralizes the players, managers and everybody connected with the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding on the Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Spalding by Palmer] “Did you notice John Ward's expressed wish for a joint conference between representatives of the League and Brotherhood of players, as printed in The Sporting Life last week?”

“Yes; wants the form of contract changed, does he not?”

“Yes, among other things. He wants to do away with the one-year term and substitute a three or five years' term, the player to be free upon the market at its expiration.”

“Wee, it would not work. The players themselves would not want it. I think I should approve of such a conference, however. It would enable club officials and directors to explain many points in connection with the question which Ward brings up which I think they do not fully understand. I shall always be ready and willing to discuss any questions bearing upon the relations between the clubs and their players, if such discussion will make our relations any more satisfactory.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding on the Brotherhood 2

Date Wednesday, September 7, 1887
Text

[an interview of Spalding by Harry Palmer] Said I:--”What do you think of the result of the ball players' meeting of yesterday?”

“Nothing.”

“They took up the question of contracts and suggested certain changes they seem to think advisable.”

“Yes?”

“Did you not read the report of the meeting in this morning's papers?”

“Yes.”

“Well, the, tell me what you think of it.”

“The time for the discussion of contracts has not come yet. I'd rather not.”

“Do you feel kindly disposed toward the Brotherhood?”

“What difference would that make?”

“Possibly none at all; possibly a good deal. What I mean is do you think the objects of the organization are worthy ones?”

“Do you know what those objects are?”

“Yes; I think I do.”

“Ah? You are well posted then?”

“Why, they are the general good of ball players, are they not? A kind of benefit organization?”

“Are they?”

“Are they not?”

“Why, yes; I guess that is right.”

“Are the relations between the clubs and the Brotherhood going to be amicable?”

“Perhaps. I hope so.”

“Would you, together with the other League club presidents, consent to meet a committee from the Brother to talk over the contract and other questions?”

“My boy,” said Al after a moment' silence, “why discuss Christmas presents during the ice cream season? Let's go to lunch.” And not another word could I get out of him on the subject of the Brotherhood.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding's claimed ambition to absorb the AA; prophetic description of the future

Date Wednesday, February 16, 1887
Text

It is only a question of time until Spalding’s dream of but one base ball league will become a reality. It will not be three seasons from now until the Association will have been snowed under and the National League will be composed of Pittsburg, Chicago, Cincinnati and St. Louis in the West, and Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Brooklyn in the East. This has long been the desire of Chicago’s president, and he has been quietly working for its accomplishment ever since the birth of the American Association, and when that body loses some of its best members within the next season or two, it will then occupy the position of one of the minor leagues., quoting the Pittsburgh Globe

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spring training trials

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

The young players tried by the Philadelphia Club on the late Southern trip have all shown up fairly well in practice, but none have proved possession of sufficient ability to stay in fast League company or to displace any of the tried men of the old team. There is no doubt that all will develop into good players, but the lack of experience tells sadly against them, especially as there will be little or no opportunity for development, owing to the close and exciting League campaign which may be expected this season. Accordingly all, except perhaps Weyhing, will be allowed to go to other clubs, which have already put in bids for them, and the club will once more rely on the veterans of last season...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis Club blocked from selling its players

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

...President Stromberg, of the St. Louis League Club, is very angry because of the interference of the League committee of three with his arrangements for selling his players, and he has sent to President Young the following letter:

St. Louis, Jan. 27.--N. E. Young, Esq.:--Dear Sir: We understand that certain “disinterested friends” are endeavoring to make it appear that the Maroons are about to league the League, and for that reason they propose to prevent the company from selling the release of certain players. We write you to say that the company proposes to play the Maroons this season in the League and to play their club with a nine of their own selection, and that it will brook no interference on the part of the committee or set of men; that we will sell the release of any man we wish to sell, and if any person orpersons prevent or try to interfere with such sale they do so at their peril. These “friends” must understand that we propose to run our business in our own way, and if necessary to do so we shall invoke the law, both civil and criminal, to protect ourselves in this right. We have so far held our peace, but we think the time has come for us to speak, and we propose now to do it in terms that cannot be misunderstood. We trust that you will inform any inquiring friends of our determination in this matter. Very respectfully, William Stromberg, President, St. Louis Club.

We readily sympathize with the afflicted president of the St. Louis Club, but Mr. Stromberg’s kick is injudicious and his position is untenable. Granted that he may sell his players when, where and to whom he pleases, who will he sell them to? He cannot, under the edict of the League committee, sell them to League clubs, as they are bound by the action of that committee, and no release will be accepted nor contract approved by President Young. Of course, if no League Club can touch these players no ohter National Agreement club can. It seems like harsh treatment of the St. Louis Club by its fellow members, and yet the League is but acting in self-defence and for self-protection. It has held hands off and has given the St. Louis Club every chance to prove that it meant to act in good faith. The course of the club, howe er, has not been such as to command the confidence of its League colleagues, and, of late, the purpose of the club’s officials has been quite evident. The League committee of three was appointed solely becuase the League mistrusted St. Louis, and with a view to preventing the barter and sale of the players, and consequent disbandment of the club to the serious detriment of the League. Had the League committee not stepped in to prevent the sale of any of the Maroon players, there is no doubt that the three most valuable players would have been auctioned off, and the rest, with the franchise, transferred to Indianapolis or any other city willing to buy. By this process the St. Louis stockholders might have gotten out whole, but the srong League clubs would have been still further strengthened, and the League would have been saddled with a new club yet weaker than the present St. Louis club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis League Club finances

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

The present stockholders of the Maroons have put up in good hard cash the sum of $20,000 or more, and this amount has been used to pay off nearly all of the old debts, purchase the franchise, players, improvements on the grounds, etc. Eight thousand dollars’ worth of the stock is still unsold, and it is not being offered on the market at all, for the simple reason that buyers could not be found, the many rumors that have been current putting a damper on the Maroon stock that would be impossible to overcome. A great many of the small stockholders have been frightened into selling their stock for about half the original cost, and this also has depressed the market, and the balance of the stock now held by the corporation would not sell for half its face value, or probably a quarter thereof, if thrown on the market. About all the money that has been taken in has been paid out, and with a round lot of the stock unsold and no money in the treasury, what is the Association to do? They will either have to do down into their own pockets and raise a stake or they will be obliged to sell two or three of their most valuable players in order to get enough money to start the machinery moving in the spring.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis NL Maroons finances

Date Sunday, May 1, 1887
Text

The troubles of the defunct St. Louis League Club have at last been called to the attention of the courts. Ever since Mr. Stromberg received $12,000 from Indianapolis for the franchise the Board of Directors and stockholders of the club have been trying to get him to settle. Two stockholders’ meetings have taken place during the past week and the most serious and startling disclosures made. A committee, aided by an expert, went over the books and found that the total receipts from all sources since the club passed out of the hands of H. V. Lucas, September 2, 1886, was $55,500. The total disbursements were $58,000, leaving a deficit of about $2,500. It was shown that President Stromberg had appropriated a salary of $400 a month for his services without authority from the Board of Directors or stockholders. He had also paid $900 to a man who assisted him in selling the club without any authority and finally it developed that he sold the club without the authority of the Board of Directors and contrary to the advice of the club’s attorney. The Philadelphia Times May 1, 1887

[reporting the Maroons’ Directors’ meeting of 4/25] [report of an unnamed auditor]

Cash Receipts

Received from capital stock from Sept. 6, 1886, to March 31, 1887..........................$18,392,75

Bar receipts for same period........................................................................................$ 4,627.25

Park receipts for same period......................................................................................$20,866.50

Received for franchise.............................................................................................. $12,000.00

Total.............................................................................................................. $55,886.50

Assets

Amount due from William Stromberg as per cash statement.................................. $ 4,231.90

Saloon stock on hand............................................................................................... $ 423.75

Furniture and fixtures............................................................................................... $ 403.53

Money advanced players due from Indianapolis...................................................... $ 1,500.00

One beer pump......................................................................................................... $ 250.00

Total ............................................................................................................ $ 6,808.80

Liabilities

Total amount of capital stock................................................................................... $18.392.75

Amount of cash deficit as per cash statement.......................................................... $ 2,254.57

Amount still due F. F. Espencheid on indebtedness of $20,000.............................. $ 499.01

Amount of outstanding bills..................................................................................... $ 537.62

Total.............................................................................................................. $21,683.95

Cash Payments

Paid Wm. Stromberg................................................................................................. $ 4,231.90

Paid F. F. Espencheid on account of indebtedness of $20,000................................. $19,500.99

Hugh F. Pattison on account of salary...................................................................... $ 700.00

Julius Schoemaker on account.................................................................................. $ 380.00

Bill Richards on account........................................................................................... $ 405.00

Geo. Munson on account.......................................................................................... $ 449.45

Percentage on games played with League................................................................ $ 1,969.90

Percentage on games with Browns........................................................................... $ 3,645.96

Paid players............................................................................................................... $ 6,580.61

Paid five notes at Citizen’s Bank.............................................................................. $ 5,000.00

Paid general park expenses, which includes all not specified in the preceding........ $15,277.06

Total.............................................................................................................. $58,141.07

Deficit........................................................................................................... $ 2,254.51

The Sporting Life May 4, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis attendance depressed by its big lead

Date Saturday, August 6, 1887
Text

The St. Louis Browns have taken such a lead in the race for the pennant that all interest in it has gone. Therefore the Browns have ceased to be a drawing attraction at home, where they are looked upon as easy winner, and where the club looks for its revenue. Of course it is a big drawing card away from home, but this is of no advantage to the Browns, and this is the very reason that President Von der Ahe is anxious to get a percentage of the gate receipts. He threatens to take his club into the League if he does not get what he asks for. There are many persons who think that the Browns would be greatly benefited by getting into the League.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis reporters

Date Saturday, June 4, 1887
Text

Joe Murphy is doing base ball on the Globe-Democrat now and is doing it well. … Mike Lane, who makes the base ball columns of the Post-Dispatch so lively...

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis salaries

Date Saturday, May 7, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Von der Ahe] It may be a surprise to you but it is a fact, nevertheless that the Brown Stocking team is the highest salaried team in America. The Detroit management claims that their nine is the highest salaried and they approximate their whole list at $33,000 or $34,000. Our salary list will easily reach $35,000. .. The average salary is about $2,450 or about $3,500 per month each for the season of seven months.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis's prospects in the League

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

St. Louis... cannot possibly go on. It has no team capable of making a good battle; in its struggle to pay off old indebtedness the club has exhausted its resources, and there is no money to go with, as a large part of the club’s stock is still unsold and unsaleable. Hence there is nothing left but to sell out to the best advantage. The club might have made a deal with Indianapolis, but it asked an exorbitant price for its franchise, and at the same time attempted to sell some of the more desirable players to other clubs. Twenty-five thousand dollars was the price asked from Indianapolis. The latter, however, was not willing to pay more than $10,000, and for that sum wanted all the players. Hitherto the League committee had held hands off, but when Mutrie went to St. Louis with the announced intention of securing Denny it was time to call a halt. The New York Club had no right to negotiate for Denny. When the committee was formed it was for the purposes of distributing the strong players of disbanded blus among the weaker clubs, and the three strongest clubs, Chicago, New York and Detroit, were placed on the committee, so that they could not, without break of trust, assign players to their own clubs. President Young was subsequently put in Detroit’s place on the committee, and a provise was made that any act of the committee shall require a unanimous vote. By this metheod no member of the committee can take advantage by a combination or deal. This disposes of all the senseless chatter about Spalding and Day working to oust St. Louis to secure Glasscock and Denny. If St. Louis sells out to day, their players and the entire team will go with the franchise. For this reason Mr. Spalding called New York down when Mutrie went after Denny, and for the same reason St. Louis was stopped from further trafic in her players. As the case now stands the St. Louis Club has no alternative, but to go on in the face of certain loss, or to retire with equally certain loss. The club has no money to go on with and cannot hope to make both ends met during the season under the newly adopted guarantee plan with strong opposition at home. If the club chooses to sell out it can sell nothing but its franchise. The players will go with this in a body and individuals cannot be singled out and sold to any club other than the one purchasing the franchise.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stealing a player on a technicality

Date Wednesday, November 9, 1887
Text

[from George Stackhouse's column] The New York Club or rather its rulers were informed that there was irregularity in the contracts of some of the Metropolitan players. It awoke with a start and the result was that Thomas O'Brien, formerly of the Jersey City Club, but later a Metropolitan Indian, was signed a Giant. … From what I can leanr there is quite a difference of opinion between Walter W. Watrous and O. P. Caylor. Caylor was, as you know, manager, and Watrous managing director. Here the question hinges. Watrous intimates that he supposed that Caylor had attended to the proper singing of the players and Caylor thought apparently the other way. Who is to blame is not for me to say, but there has been gross negligence somewhere. … [quoting Day:] “He was not a member of the club 31 days after he first agreed to play for it. The Metropolitans' management had to file his contract within 30 days, and failing to do so really set the man at liberty. When the n Club bought out the Metropolitans ti probably did not inquire into the case, and so reserved the men under misapprehension.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

strikes for an out reduced back to three; players cut out of the decision process

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting the joint rules committee meeting 11/15/1885] The tug of war came when rule 48 was reached. All sections passed muster until section 3, when an amendment was made that the batsman becomes a base-runner after three strikes have been declared. Jimmy Williams opposed this. He wanted to see heavy batting and thought a change would interfere with it. Phelps also took a hand, but Barnie was on the fence. When voting came, however, Barnie and Phelps receded and the word “three” was inserted. The League was solid for three strikes. The Sporting Life November 23, 1887

President Ward, of the Brotherhood, thinks that, on the whole, the changes made by the joint rules committee were not good and deplores the absence of assistance from a committee of players, as was the case last year when Anson, Ward and Comiskey were invited to be present and give their views and labors to the joint committee. This year, for some reason, the players, who are nothing if not practical, were totally ignored. “The return of the three-strike rule,” said Ward, “is certainly a step in the wrong direction. When the code was revised a year ago the object sought was mainly the encouragement of batting. With this in view, restrictions were placed upon the pitcher and an additional strike allowed the batsman. I have no doubt that the fourth strike about compensated for the abolition of the high and low ball. It also operated to give a batter additional confidence. With the leeway which it gave him he was not apt to go to the bat rattled and nervous. I think the change will soon manifest itself in the way of decreased stick work.” The Sporting Life November 30, 1887

[from Harry Palmer's column][from an interview of Ward] I see no necessity for such a change [from four to three strikes]. I think it was due to the fact that the batting averages ran over .400 this year. But that indicates nothing. The actual hitting of our heavy batsmen is but little heavier this year than last. It was the credit of a hit for a base on balls that raised the averages. The Sporting Life November 30, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitute players watch the gates

Date Sunday, October 2, 1887
Text

Under the percentage system the extra players carried by all Association teams on trips next season will have something more to do than eat ice cream at hotels and take carriage rides to the grounds. Next season the visiting clubs will be interested in the gate receipts and they will have to have some one to look after their interests. This will fall to the lost of the extra players, and before the close of next season there will be a good many members of the Association who will know more ab out working a turn-stile than they ever knew in their lives before., quoting the Cincinnati Enquirer

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitute runners

Date Wednesday, March 9, 1887
Text

In a letter from Mr. Young, of the League, in reply to a query as to the interpretation of the substitute rule in the new code, he says:--”The object of rule 52 was to do away with the old-time habit of saving the pitcher by having another player do his base running, and also the substitution of a good runner for a poor one. Under the present rule, if a man is so lame or disabled that he cannot run the bases, he is obliged to retire. If a man is temporarily disabled by running from say first to second, this should not prevent another player of the nine from taking his place and completing the circuit of the bases.” The Sporting Life March 9, 1887

Diddlebock no longer reporter for the Philadelphia Times

Diddlebock is no longer on McClure’s Times, and yet that paper lives, and the base ball department is as good as ever. The Sporting Life March 9, 1887

Indianapolis joins the League; St. Louis and Kansas City out; dividing up the players; Washington threatens to resign the League

[reporting on the NL special meeting of 3/7-9] St. Louis desired to reamain in the League if they could be allowed to play Sunday championship games. This being out of the question, they were ready to dispose of their franchise for $15,000, or be given the privilege to dispose of their playes for what they could get in the general market. Kansas City, through the proxy of Mr. Fine, withdrew their proffer of $20,000 for the St. Louis franchise, an announcement which created surprise. They stood prepared, however, to bid as high as the highest for League membership, and repeated their offers made at the Pittsburg meeting in regard to mileage expenses. ...

The committee worked all the afternoon and adjourned in the evening without reaching a settlement. Indiapolis made various propositions, but St. Louis insisted on a higher price than the Hoosiers were willing to pay. They started at $20,000, and came down to $15,000. Indianapolis finally made $12,000 the limit they would bid for the St. Louis franchise and playes, and St. Louis was given time until the next day to consider this ultimatum. With this ultimatum the Indianapolis delegates submitted a list of players they wanted. Before making out their list it was indicated that Whitney, McQuery, Radford and Myers of Kansas City, were not for sale to Indianapolis. Ating on this suggestion the following list was handed in: Pitchers, Boyle, Kirby, Healey and Weldman; catchers, George Myers, Hckett and Graves; first baeman, Shomberg; second baseman, Bassett; shorts stop, Glasscock; third baseman, Denny; left field, McGeachy; centre field, Seery, and right field, Cahill. The work of the committee was somewhat hindered by Washington’s insistance upon a share of the players, and the club’s senior representative actually threatened to resign. Some of the delegates evinced a disposition to cut the Gordian knot and solve the problem by accepting Washington’s bluff of resignation, making a six-club schedule and distributing the strongest players among the remaining. Horse sense, however, prevailed in the end, and Washington was looked after when the preliminary details were settled.

When the committee went into session again Tuesday St. Louis announced her acceptance of Indianapolis’ offer. This cleared up all the troubles, and the St. Louis players were transferred to the League and Indianapolis elected to membership. The terms under which Indianapolis comes into the League are as follows:--It is to pay $12,000 for the entire corps of St. Louis players, the money to be paid within fifteen days. As security for this amount it has given its note, indorsed by the other League clubs. The League is secured in that if Indianapolis fails to take up that note the players will revert to the League. The players secured by Indianapolis for this money are Glasscock, Denny, Myers, Boyle, Mappis, Healey, Graves, Krby, Seery, Cahill, McGeachy, Arundel, quinn, Ake, Cullender, Schomber and Toohey.

With St. Louis disposed of, Kansas City was considered. Two propositions were submitted to the Cowboys’ delegation on Monday evening. One was to pay $6,000 for the entire corps of players, and the other was to pay it $4,000 and allow it to retain all but six of its old players, it being understood that Kansas City is to enter the Western League. Whitney and Donnelly were exempt from this offer, as the League had promised that they should go to Washington, and Bassett and Hackett, who had been promised to Indianapolis. The Kansas City delegation telegraphsed home for instructions, and when the reply came it was a refusal of both propositions of the League, and a substitute proposition submited to the effect that the League should pay $4,000 and allow Kansas City to retain all but three of its players. This offer the League at once rejected and then submitted to Kansas City its ultimatum; namely, to pay the club $3,500 and allow it to retain all but five of its players. This business occupied all of the second day, and the League adjourned until Wednesday pending Kansas City’s answer to the League’s ultimatum.

On Wednesday when the League again met, Kansas City telegraphed her resignation from the League and acceptance of the League’s offer of $6,000 or the players. All was now plain sailing and the business was finished in short order. Indianapolis purchased George Weldman, Bassett and Hackett, of Kansas City, from the League for $1,000; Washington got Whitney, Al Myers, Donnelly and O’Brien for $2,500, and the Mets got Paul Radford for $500, all the League clubs agreeing to keep hands off. This already gives the League back $4,000 of the $6,000 expended and leves a number of desirable players still on the market. In order to settle all future disputes about the “star” players of the late St. Louis Club Indianapolis was required to give a bond not to sell or release Glasscock, Meyers, Denny and Boyle for one year. The Sporting Life March 16, 1887

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday baseball in Cleveland

Date Wednesday, August 10, 1887
Text

We are to try Sunday base ball and the first game will be played between the Clevelands and the Mets on Sunday, August 21, at Association Park. The question was decided at a full meeting of the stockholders—there are but seven—held last Monday. The vote was five to two without Jimmie Williams, had he been here it would have been six to two. After that we shall get but two championship Sunday games, viz., with Louisville, Oct. 2, and St. Louis, Oct. 9. But some of the Ohio and International League teams will be brought here for exhibition games. The Euclid avenue entrance to the ground and the bar will be closed on Sundays, and the stands will be doubly policed so that the best of order will be maintained. The wisdom of the move is questionable.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sunday games and the gate split

Date Wednesday, January 26, 1887
Text

Eastern clubs in the Association have for years cast a covetous eye towards the receipts of Sunday games in the West, and at one time there was a serious attempt made to class those days with the Fourth of July and other holidays when the visiting club takes half the receipts instead of the guarantee of $65. It appears now that only two clubs in the West will continue to have Sunday games, and the opportunity is afforded to get enough votes to pull through the old project of a division. The only thing that seems to be in the way is the policy just now of offending Mr. Von der Ahe, whom the League wants so much.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

supply and demand and ball players

Date Saturday, November 5, 1887
Text

It is high time that the idea that crack ball-players get more than they are worth was exploded. Men like Latham and Comiskey are scarce. Ten thousand men might be examined before one could be found combining all the qualification of a first-rate ball players, mental and physically, as they do. They are very different from the average man, and are worth a great deal more. They are experts in their business, and experts in nearly every other calling in life are higher paid than these men. They may have been cart-drivers before they became professional ball-players, but they are as different from ordinary cart drivers as Daniel Webster and Rufus Choate were from the ordinary “shyster” lawyer who carries his office in his hat. It is no arguing to say that players like Robinson of the Browns, Hanlon and Dunlap could not earn more than $15 a week at any other occupations. Neither could the Rev. Dr. Talmage as a book-keeper., quoting the Baltimore Herald

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

suppressing offensive coaching

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

[from a column by Ward defending the new rules] The coaching lines are drawn sixty-five feet farther away, and the term coaching is given a legal definition. The umpire may now give his entire attention to the game and won’t be confused by some one howling in his ears. Van Court, the ex-League umpire and now in ‘Frisco, believes this the best change of all for the umpire.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

swinging for a dropped third (fourth) strike

Date Saturday, September 10, 1887
Text

In the last inning yesterday, when Hines was on first, O'Brien had three strikes called on him, when a ball was pitched him which was some distance over his head. He struck at it, making four strikes, yet by striking at it, he made his first. It was a fine piece of shrewdness on O'Brien's part., quoting the Washington Republic

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of Detroit leaving the League if the guarantee plan is retained

Date Wednesday, August 17, 1887
Text

[discussing the upcoming NL special meeting] A strong effort will be made to abolish the guarantee system now in force, and an equally determined effort will be put forth to maintain it, there is far more feeling on this question beneath the surface than the general public has any idea of. If the advocates of percentage gain the day, the League need give itself little or no concern as to its circuit for next year, as it can then retain all its present members. Should the guarantee people remain on top, or should no method be devised by which matters can be made more pleasant for Detroit, then a breach in the ranks may be looked for and the League will have to bestir itself to not only find another stop-gap between now and fall, but the League “lawyers” will have their hands full to devise ways and means of not only keeping all the cities, players, rights and privileges the League now has, but of helping itself to more at the probable expense of its rival, the Association. Whatever will be done at the meeting the public will be none the wiser for a time, at least, as secretiveness is eminently a League characteristic, and it will not show its hand immediately unless it suits its purpose so to do.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of Detroit to the AA

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] The Detroit Club oughto to be looked after by the American Association without further delay. The knock-down that the Wolverines received at the late meeting of the League has, no doubt, set the Detroit people to thinking, and whil ethey are in an unsettled state of mind it would be an excellent opportunity to invite them to join the American Association. President Wikoff ought to be empowered to act in this matter and he ought to open negotiations with the Detroit president without further delay. It will not do to be slow about this matter, but action must be taken imediately, and if the proposition thrown out by the Association is a good one, it's dollars to cents that the big left-handed crowd will be seen at Sportsman's Park next season. And what crowds they would draw. They would be a great card for the Association. The policy of the Association, however, seems to be to wait within their own doors until a crack club comes along and asks for admission. This is not business. If the Association wants the Detroits let the percentage system be adopted and then set the nets and the club will be landed high and dry. When the League wants any particular club they go after that club and they make propositions. If the first offer is not accepted it is followed by another and then another. There is no such thing as let up, and no such word as fail.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of a minor league club in St. Louis

Date Wednesday, November 2, 1887
Text

It is now a settled fact that we are to have a Northwestern League club in this city [St. Louis]. St. Louis will take the place of Lincoln, Neb., and Tom Loftus will manage the team for Mr. Von der Ahe.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of a single entity league

Date Wednesday, June 8, 1887
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column][relating a conversation with an unidentified League official] The stock company will own all of the teams—the weak as well as the strong ones—and its members will receive their dividends upon the amount of stock they hold—not upon the amount of the earnings of any one club. In other words, the men contribute the sum of $100,000 each toward meeting the expense of putting a well organized and thoroughly equipped ball team in ten or more desirable cities of the East and West, and then enjoy the profits of the ten clubs as the amount of stock they might hold would call for. You understand that the stock company would employ the players of all the clubs; would employ a competent manager to take charge of each; would establish substantially appointed grounds in each city where it saw fit to locate a club; would meet the expenses of operation out of the company's treasury; and would manage its affairs through its officers and board of directors, just as any other corporation would do.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of an association of minor leagues; abuses by the majors

Date Wednesday, September 7, 1887
Text

[a letter from “a prominent base ball official of one of the minor leagues” to Manager Hart of Milwaukee] I write this letter to you to suggest the advisability of an organization of the minor base ball leagues for self-protection. Under the present order or things the minor leagues are compelled to put up with whatever unfair legislation the two older organizations choose to make, and it will always be so until we organize and demand fair treatment. I believe that if a convention of minor leagues was called and an organization formed a great many of the present abuses that we are now comp0elled to submit to could be corrected. The best of our local players have been tampered with over and over this season direct by the managers of the two older associations, and when we complained to President Young, of the National League, his answer was that he knew it was not right, but there was no remedy for it. This sort of thing made these players thus tampered with play indifferent ball, with a view to getting their release, and has caused us a great deal of annoyance all through the season. Another serious imposition we have to submit to is in our not being allowed to reserve players like the National League and American Association. The minor league club goes to the expense of developing a good player and then, being unable to reserve him at the close of the season, must stand idly by and see him gobbled up, without any compensation, by the two preferred leagues, and probably with a view to selling him back again in the spring to the same league from which he was taken. The better thinking people of the National League and American Association know this is not right, and would not defend themselves very hard if we made a good fight against them. I write this letter to you for the reason that you are better known to the base ball world, and because I believe that you would be the proper person to start the move. My idea is that a convention should be called in time to allow us to have a representative at the next joint meeting of the League and American Association.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of putting an AA club in Chicago

Date Wednesday, August 24, 1887
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column][from an anonymous source] “It is probable that Chicago will have a team in the Association next year, and with that accomplished, Von der Ahe will not want to enter the League. The plan is to start a base ball park on the North Side, and to arrange it so as to remedy the inconveniences now suffered by the public in attending the games of the League. The grounds will be more spacious and will be so arranged that thousands will not be forced to sit under a broiling sun or suffer a drenching in the event of a sudden storm. The Yerkes street car management will guarantee a sufficient number of cars so as to obviate waiting and crowding in going to or returning from the game. With the cable system, bridges at Rush, State, Dearborn, Clark and Wells streets available for private equipages, it is believed that the public will have ample facilities for visiting the grounds in a comfortable manner...”

Inasmuch as no base ball organization now under the protection of the National Agreement could establish a team and grounds in this city without the consent of President A. G. Spalding and the Chicago League Club, and as it is quite natural to presume that the Chicago Club would never consent to such an arrangement as that above outlined, it is difficult to understand just how the projected scheme for an Association grounds in this city could be carried out, unless the Association should withdraw from the protection of the National Agreement, and openly declare war upon Spalding and the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of the AA raising admission rate

Date Wednesday, October 5, 1887
Text

Manager Jimmie Williams, of the Clevelands, created something of a sensation here [Louisville] last week by divulging a scheme to raise prices of admission in the Association to the scale used in the league. Jimmie admitted that the attempt was in its incipiency, but acknowledged that the presidents of the several clubs were thinking seriously of it. I saw President Zach Phelps and asked him what he thought of it. He, too, was evasive, and would not commit himself on the subject.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of the fifty cent admission for the AA

Date Sunday, October 2, 1887
Text

[from the Cleveland correspondent] The schoolmaster seems to be abroad in the American Association. Ideas are springing up as fast as mushrooms, and it would seem as if the “hog policy” of the past had been abandoned. The clubs are talking of... fixing the general admission fee to games at fifty cents. There is no reason why Association ball should be cheaper than League ball. It is past the era of weakness and is far more energetic and generally attractive as a whole than League ball. ... ...certainly the prices of admission should go up. The Association teams cost as much to maintain as those of the League...

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

team errors

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the Scorers' Association meeting 12/9] Resolved,That when a player reaches first base through an error of judgment, such as two fielders allowing a ball to drop between them, the batter shall not be credited with a base hit or the fielders charged with an error; but it shall be scored as an unaccepted chance, and the batter shall be charged with a time at bat.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

telegraph contract; starting time

Date Wednesday, March 9, 1887
Text

A contract was signed [by the Cincinnati Club] with the Western Union Telegraph Company a few days ago, and an operatior will be at the Park to wire the result of each inning as it is played to Association cities. Games are called in Cincinnati earlier than in any other city in the country, and that prevents a posting of the results of contests in other cities. Last season the experiment of beginning play at half-past three met with so much favor that it was continued during the year. The Sporting Life March 9, 1887

layout of the press box

[from the Cincinnati correspondent] Instead of individual desks in the press room, the newspaper boys themselves have suggested a series of lockers where they can keep their coats, paper and the like, and one long desk with each one’s place assigned. Out in that room, exposed to the atmosphere, good furniture would soon warp, and the new plan is just as practicable. The Sporting Life March 9, 1887

[from Chadwick’s column] There is one thing which club managers should pay particular attention to this season, and that is to see that the regular base ball reporters of the city press in each League and American city not only have facilities given them for reporting the games fully, but also that they be freed from the annoyanced they are so frequently subjected to from the buzzing of the talkative and gossiping class of members of the press, who, though reporters in one sesne of the term, are not of the class of base ball reporters who take down notes of the games for special reports of the contests in detail. I remember the last time I visted the Athletic grounds in Philadelphia that while the “regular” men were attending to make up detailed accounts of the game a number of reporters occupied seats in the reporter’s stand who had nothing to write out but mere descriptive matter, and many of them nothing at all, and they annoyed the “regulars” exceedingly by their loud “chin-music.” The “regulars” are few in number and are well known, and these should be given a place by themselves, where the “chinners” cannot disturb them. The other reporters--afternoon paper men and weekly newspaper reporters who are only there to look on and to talk--should be in a separate box. All professional clubs owe a great deal to the newspapers, and they cannot do too much in the way of providing their representatives with every facility for reporting the games. I have yet to see any model box for reporters on any club grand stand I have ever attended. There may be such a place somewhere, but I have not seen it. Here in the metropolits there are not ten regular men who are called upon to report games in deatil, and yet about thirty or forty “reporters” claim seast at the most important contests. The reporters’ row of seats at the Polo Grounds are in the way of the grand stand people, and the press box could easily be placed to greater advantage on top of the stand where the regular men could be by themselves. Matters could be greatly improved at Washington Park and at the St. George grounds in this respect. The Sporting Life March 9, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Terry Larkin wants to get back in baseball

Date Wednesday, January 26, 1887
Text

[A letter from Frank Larkin dated 1/13] Editor Sporting Life--Sir:--Being a constant subscriber to The Sporting Life I could not help seeing your favorable notice of myself in the issue of the 5 th inst., for which I felt very much pleased, as also your reply to the Cleveland Plain Dealer. I have turned over a new leaf and put a little mucilage thereon, which I hope will stick. I am in fine condition, my arm is all right again, and intend to have another chance to play “the game of my life,” (to use a too-muchly used expression), if I get a chance this season. We had a very find ground at the Home, where I was, and some very good players, so that I have had plenty of practice and am not in the least rusty, and I trust, that before the season of ‘87 is over, that the Plain Dealer will be plain enough to acknowledge that I have reformed for good and all, no more to be the most gorgeous drunk,” of the age. Partdon me for taking up so much of your valuable time and space, and I will “put a pin in it right here.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Terry Larkin's condition

Date Wednesday, January 5, 1887
Text

Frank Larkin is said to be perfectly sobered up, in good condition, and anxious to play ball once more, that being his only means of livelihood. Six months ago he was at his own request committed to the Inebriates' Home at Fort Hamilton. During that entire six months he hasn't touched a drop of liquor, and it is thought that he has now entirely conquered his weakness. He has still many friends in Brooklyn who would like to see him get a position with a minor league club, in order that he may show the professional that he has redeemed himself. Larkin is a splendid player when in good condition.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

testing the new coaching rules

Date Wednesday, May 4, 1887
Text

It is already a matter of complaint that Burns, Comiskey and other Association captains totally disregard the new coaching rules, and that they and their men yell from the coaching lines, from the players' bench, from their fielding positions and while running the bases. The rules expressly declare that a captain and assistant only may coach and that only while in their positions on the coaching lines, addressing their remarks to the base-runner. The base-runner himself has no right to open his mouth to speak to a batter or another base-runner. Umpires should enforce the rules. Laxity or indulgence in one particular simply invites violation of the rules in other and more particular points sooner or later. If umpires wish to save themselves trouble and annoyance in the future, they should, right now at the opening of the season, enforce all the rules without fear or favor.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the 'throw me the ball' coach's trick

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

[Hamilton vs. Toronto 9/7/1887] [Wright on first base] Shepard was pitching for Toronto, Bob Emslie umpiring and Mike [Mansell] was coaching for the Hams. A foul ball was driven into left and returned, was thrown to Shepard, who stood within the lines of his position and waited for Decker to don his mask. Quoth Mike to Shepard:--”Trow me the ball, Shep!” Shep obliging “trew” it; Mike “let 'er go” and told Wright to run home, which he did. A lurid kick went up from Jay Fantz, who is quite a captain, of course upon the point that Shep was out of the box. But Emslie let Wright's run in and it won the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA adopts the 50 cent admission

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

The tariff question occupied the rest of the day and provoked prolonged and exciting discussion. Brooklyn, St. Louis and Cleveland led in the fight for the increase to fifty cents, while Louisville, the Athletics and Cincinnati were against it. Cincinnati wanted forty cents to rule, but the fifty-cents advocates won, though the Athletics were given the privilege of charging a quarter in case the Philadelphias did not increase their prices.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA and NL umpire problem

Date Wednesday, July 13, 1887
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] With a capable president—one who was wise, honest, firm and independent, one with a determination to grant no special favors and to stand or fall by that motto—much of the present difficult with umpires would be a thing of the past. The umpire who receives an appointment on the recommendation of a manager feels under obligations to the source of his employment. He may be a perfectly honest man, but it is human nature to be somewhat biased in favor of one's friends. The other managers become suspicious and want to know, you know. They want to learn who recommended the appointment of umpire so-and-so, and when they do find out it is an easy matter for them to convince themselves by observation that that special manager is being favored by a certain umpire, and then comes the dissatisfaction, anger, charges of robbery, etc., and patrons in different cities take it up and then the umpire and the game suffers whether he is really guilty of partiality or not. If the system is continued it will soon be that every manager will own his own umpire. Each manager will assert there is one honest umpire in the Association, and the other three are robbers. No, sir, gentlemen of the Association, the umpire reform must be among yourselves. You have had good officials, but the great fault lies with a radically pernicious system. There are several things required to perfect the system. First, have a president in fact, whether that be Mr. Wikoff, Mr. Pritchard or Mr. somebody else, but whoever he is be sure that he is conscientious, independent and a good judge of character and men. Then he must be left entirely free and unhampered in his selections for the very important office of umpire. Then you must open your purse strings a little wider and give him the wherewithal to secure the best men. Why is John Kelly managing a base ball team instead of umpiring and subduing rowdy players and riotous spectators? Why—because you wouldn't make it to his advantage to umpire. Good men are almost priceless in this position, but poor ones are worth just nothing at all, because they are allowing the game to become more rowdy day by day, and in the end your financial interest will suffer. The very best financial base ball investment you can make is to get as near a perfect corps of umpires as possible. The increased popularity o the game among the better class will repay you fifty per cent. the second season after its accomplishment. You have not begun to reach the patronage that is open to you, and you never will until you sink unprofitable selfishness in this umpire matter, and go in for the general welfare of the game. The Sporting Life July 13, 1887

[from the Washington correspondent's column] The presidents of different clubs have protested against certain umpires, and request that they never be assigned to games in which their respective clubs participate. … Mr. Young now proposes to take matters into his own hands, and says “that hereafter no request of a like character will be heeded, and that he will send his men wherever he thinks best regardless of what others may think, and if the League is not satisfied with the appointments that they will be compelled to raise the salary of the position.” He is tired of this continuous complaint and says that it is impossible for him to keep competent men at such a low salary. … The situation is such that it will compel Mr. Young to show his backbone and nerve in the management of the umpires. The Sporting Life July 13, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA balks at the earned run definition

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 12/7-9] An objection was made to that peculiar ruling which made a base on balls both an error and a factor in earned runs. It was referred back to the joint committee on rules for unravelling at a special meeting, when the schedule committees assemble in New York in March.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA puts the NL on formal notice regarding the Beatin case

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

[from a letter from Byrne to Young dated 8/20/87] I am informed by Mr. Wikoff that upon his calling your attention more directly to his notice of suspension, you advised him that you were satisfied Detroit's claim to Messrs. Beatin and Kinslow was a good and valid one, and that ended the matter so far as the League was concerned. Permit me to suggest that your ipse dixit does not settle this matter so far as either the League or the Association is concerned. The League and Association being the creators of and the parties to the National Agreement, and the same being in force, it remains to be seen if one party thereto can ignore and over-ride the provisions and conditions of the said Agreement whenever it sees fit or finds it convenient to do so.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA rejects the substitution rule

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 12/7-9] The amendment allowing two substitutes on the bench, who could take their places in a nine at any stage of the game, was overwhelmingly rejected, but the League was granted the privilege of trying it as an experiment if they so desired. This is Spalding's pet idea.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA resolves against the hit for a base on balls, four-strike outs

Date Wednesday, May 18, 1887
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 5/13] Resolved, That the committee on joint rules of the Association confer with the committee on joint rules of the National League as to the advisability of so changing the scoring rules that hereafter the batsman will not be credited with a base hit when securing his base on balls; also that paragraph three, rule forty-eight, be changed to read: “Instantly after three strikes have been declared by the umpire,” thus coming back to the three-strike rule.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA umpire committee

Date Sunday, September 11, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 9/4/1887] President Von der Ahe, at the solicitation of several members, agreed to withhold his charges of incompetency against President Wikoff, but he insisted that the power of appointment of umpires should be taken out of Wikoff’s hands. To this the Association agreed and Messrs. Byrne, of Brooklyn; Robinson, of Cleveland, and Phelps, of Louisville, were appointed as a committee to attend to securing umpires for next season. The committee was given ample power and discretion to secure good men. There was a unanimous sense of the meeting that there should be an improvement in the umpire system and all the delegates were in favor of high salaries and also make the situations a permanency. Hereafter no umpire will be removed at the request of three clubs until he has been given the benefit of a hearing before the committee.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics adopt vocal coaching

Date Wednesday, June 8, 1887
Text

The Athletic players during the past week introduced the system of noisy coaching here and succeeded in thoroughly disgusting the better portion of the attendants at the Athletic games. The local papers have been unsparing in condemnation of the innovation, and the North American very concisely sums up the local sentiment when it says:--”Vocal coaching should be done away with altogether. It si simply disgusting to be compelled to listen to the howling of a couple of deep-lunged, loud-voiced players for the greater part of an afternoon. Besides, nearly all the legitimate coaching necessary could be done by signs.” This hits the nail on the head. If the present system is not materially modified and the big-mouthed and stentorian-voiced brayers are not summarily squelched, it will be necessary to prohibit coaching altogether. Indeed, the “no coaching” system has already been tried in several cities and has caught on immensely wherever tried, the audiences manifesting their pleasure in every way possible. And what is somewhat surprising is that the games played under the new deal were full of life, comparatively free of errors, and with base-stealing above the average. It will not do to assert that coaching is without its pleasant features, or that its advocates are found entirely on the “bleaching boards” or among the hoodlums, for some of the most earnest advocates of coaching, amusing or offensive, are found among the really respectable element in constant attendance upon base ball games. But it is safe to assert that coaching, in the extreme to which it has been carried of late, is a repellant instead of an attractive feature of the game, and has lost more dollars to club treasuries than were over attracted to them by coaching, good, bad or indifferent. And it is also safe to assert, because fully demonstrated, that the game can be played without coaching, and be as attractive, exciting and scientific as with it—that is, coaching as practiced now. … silent coaching, a complete code of signals, will serve every purpose and go a great way toward elevating the game. The “no-coaching” plan should be given fair trial. It is an innovation, to be sure, but one which should be adopted as a standard rule.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Beatin case resolved

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the Arbitration Committee meeting of 9/6/1887] President Sterns testified as to the manner in which he had engaged the battery, exhibiting telegrams proving that he had closed with the men through Mr. Reuter, then manager, on July 20, seven days before Cincinnati signed them, agreeing to pay $1,500 for their release, and to pay Beatin $300 and Kinslow $200 per month salary. Detroit thus established priority of acceptance.

Manager Schmelz's claim on the services of the men was based on a contract made on July 27 with the men personally. Mr. Schmelz held, and so persuaded Beatin and Kinslow to believe, that the contract with the Detroit Club w3ould not hold, since it was made with Mr. Reuter, manager of the Allengown Club, and not with the men themselves. He also asserted that President Young had given on July 27 that the Pennsylvania State League had disbanded, and that the players of the Allentown Club were eligible to sign with any club.

President Reuter, however, testified that he was authorized by the men to make terms for them with the Detroit Club. Affidavits by the players in question sustaining Mr. Reuter's testmony were then put in evidence.

The case having thus narrowed down to a question whether the acceptance of Detroit's terms by these players, made by their authorization, through the Allentown Club instead of personally, was valid in base ball law was quickly decided unanimously by the committee. Some testimony was introduced showing that even after acceptance of Detroit's terms Allentown had by wire, as late as July 26, offered these men to other clubs, including Cincinnati, for $500 more than Detroit had agreed to pay. This showed the Allentown people up badly as hucksters in players, but did not affect the question at issue, viz.: Detroits' priority of claim and the validity of acceptance through an agent. [The text of the ruling follows.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood and a critique of player sales

Date Sunday, September 25, 1887
Text

The Chicago Times is championing the players’ cause. It predicts trouble unless the brotherhood is recognized. It says: “As a matter of fact there ought to be. The players have only asked for what the managers, were they disposed to be half fair, would grant without the asking. The demands they made upon the League were natural and in the interest of justice. The main one was that the sale of players be stopped and that chattel slavery be abolished in base ball as it was in the cotton fields of Mississippi and Louisiana. In this demand every honest lover of base ball will join and it will be a bad day for the managers if they insist on ignoring the players.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood lawyers upSporting Life reporter

Date Wednesday, September 21, 1887
Text

The Brotherhood's Committee on Contracts has retained lawyer Jas. F. Blackhurst (our ex-correspondent--”Layman”) to formulate its ideas in due shape. Mr. Blackhurst understands base ball thoroughly, is conversant with base ball laws and legislation, and is in every way fitted to advise the committee upon legal points.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood meets, wants a new contract

Date Wednesday, September 7, 1887
Text

[reporting the Brotherhood meeting of 8/28/1887] ...It was the sense of the convention that a new form of contract is necessary. Each point of the contracts was carefully one over, and features were suggested to be incorporated in the new contracts.

One of the clauses which the Brotherhood will insist on having in the new contracts will allow a player to be released unconditionally, so that he can go where he pleases, and in case a club disbands, the players under contract should be permitted to go where they like, the disbandment of the club being equivalent to a release, so as to render impossible in the future cases like those of the disbanded Kansas City and St. Louis clubs, where the players were peddled out to the highest bidders. With regard to the “reserve” rule, most of the delegates thought that it should stand, with a few minor changes.

A committee of three, consisting of Hanlon, Irwin and Ward, was appointed, with full power to act in the matter. This committee will at once ask the League managers to meet them at an early date that a contract, satisfactory to both sides, may be drawn up. If the League should refuse to meet the Brotherhood, then the latter will draw up what it considers a just contract and submit it to the League.

...and finally some action was taken in regard to intemperance. The meeting was unanimous in its desire to assist the League to rid itself of the drinking ball players, but in a businesslike way. Heretofore players have been fined $200 or $300 at a time for drinking, but with no effect. The plan proposed by the Brotherhood is to fine a player $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second, $100 for the third. Then, if he is not man enough to stop drinking for the remainder of the season, he should be suspended as a way of getting rid of him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood provides legal assistance to players

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

It has been denied in certain quarters that the Brotherhood was instrumental or had anything to do with Radbourn's reinstatement by Boston. Well, the fact is that Rad was advised “to demand a copy of the charges against him and to present himself daily for duty, practice”, etc. [illegible] pay day; but lo and behold. Rad had no grievance thereafter. Apparently the Brotherhood had nothing to do with the matter, but who advised Rad and who employed the Boston lawyer?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood threatens to leave the League

Date Wednesday, November 9, 1887
Text

[a letter from Ward to Young dated 10/31] Mr. N. E. Young, President, &c.:--Dear Sir:--At the regular annual meeting of the Council of the National Brotherhood of Ball Players at the Grand Hotel, Cincinnati, Oct. 27, it was resolved to again communicate with the League with a view to obtaining a hearing for the Brotherhood. We have already gone further in this direction than would have been justified by any ordinary circumstances, but fearing that you may have been misled as to our aim by unauthorized statements, we have decided to make one more effort to secure a conference. As chairman of the Brotherhood Committee I am directed to again request you to meet us and discuss the terms of an equitable contract, and I am further instructed to say to you that, not having been accorded a hearing before the 15th of November, the one hundred and twenty-five members of the Brotherhood will take your refusal to be final and, after that date, consider themselves absolved from all allegiance to the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood's demands, threats, grievances

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Ward] ...unless we receive recognition there will be no contracts signed for the season of 1888. our demands are perfectly just. In the first place, the League must recognize us as a body. After that we will expect them to present contracts that are equitable for both player and manager. We do not object to the reserve rule or the clause relative to the discharge of men on ten days' notice, etc.; but every ball player in the country is subject to rules that are absolutely tyrannical. Men can be suspended without pay or fined at the whim of any set of directors, and still be held by an iron grip. Take for instance the case of Radbourn, of the Bostons. He was suspended without pay because the officials of the team allege that his work was not satisfactory. Mark you, no charges were made against him, and he wa refused his release. Now, if you fail to satisfy your employers they can either discharge you or you can quit. In Radbourn's case they simply held him by an iron-bound contract without pay, and had he quit the club he would have been debarred from playing in any club recognizing the National Agreement in the United States. If the Brotherhood had not existed 'Rad' might yet have been without work and without salary. Under the present contract system a player can be fined for walking around the corner and buying a cigar if the officials of a club in their wisdom see fit to construe the act into an offense. But what we most object to is being sold like cattle. This evil must be checked, or it is going to injure the National game. It is on this point that the League refuses to recognize us, for it has been a great source of revenue to its clubs in having the privilege of selling its best players wherever and whenever it liked. The men have made their reputations, not the club. Then why should the clubs. Then why should the clubs have the right to sell those men and force them to go to some club they may not like to go with?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Browns refuse to play a colored team; the color line

Date Wednesday, September 21, 1887
Text

The St. Louis Club was advertised to play the Cuban Giants at West Farms, N.Y., last Sunday. President Von der ahe had entered into a regular written contract with the management of the Cuban Giants, whereby he was to have received a guarantee of $250, or half of the gate receipts if they exceeded that mount. He telegraphed twice on Saturday in reference to the final arrangements, and the game was extensively advertised in good faith. About ten o'clock last Sunday morning a dispatch was received from Von der Ahe in Philadelphia stating that his nine was in a crippled condition, and that, though sorry to disappoint the public, he could play play [sic: should be “could not”] the game.

The real reason for Von der Ahe's team's failure to come to time was that the players refused to go. On Saturday night he was presented with the following letter signed by all the players but Comiskey and Knouff:

Philadelphia, Pa., Sept. 10.--To Chris Von der Ahe, Esq.--Dear Sir:--We, the undersigned members of the St. Louis Base Ball Club, do not agree to play against negroes to-morrow. We will cheerfully play against white people at any time, and think by refusing to play, we are only doing what is right, taking everything into consideration and the shape the team is in at present.

The letter angered Mr. Von der Ahe very much, but after talking the matter over with the players he concluded not to insist upon their playing. He said he was very much surprised at the action of his men, especially as they knew a week before that the game was arranged, and yet they waited until the very last minute before the informed him of their opposition.

Over 7,000 people were present at West Farms to see the game, and there was much disappointment over the Browns' failure to appear. Manager Bright, of the Cuban Giants, announced his intention to bring suit against Mr. Von der Ahe, but the latter had business in New York Wednesday, and probably settled the matter amicably.

The statement telegraphed all over the country that this was the first time in base ball history that the color line had been drawn was erroneous. In 1884 Anson refused to play the Toledos until catcher Walker had been withdrawn, and this season, in arranging a game with Newark, he stipulated that Stovey and Walker, the colored battery, should not play. Syracuse and Buffalo have had trouble from their white players over the colored men, Higgins and Grant, and at the last International meeting a resolution was passed prohibiting the employment of colored players in future.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Colored League and organized baseball

Date Wednesday, February 23, 1887
Text

The Colored League will not get the protection of the National Agreement, and doesn’t really stand in need of it, as there is little probability of a wholesale raid upon its ranks even should it live the season out--a highly improbable contingency.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Huntingdon Street grounds

Date Saturday, April 30, 1887
Text

Base ball enthusiasts in this city will be well pleased if the weather to-day is clear and bright, as it will witness the opening of the Philadelphia Ball Park, the new grounds of the Philadelphia Club, at Broad and Huntingdon streets, and it will also be the opening of the National League championship season in this city. President A. J. Reach and Secretary John J. [sic] Rogers were busy yesterday in making the final arrangements for the great event to-day. Over two thousand invitations have been issued to public dignitaries, clergy and men prominent in all callings. To these Colonel Rogers had received nearly fifteen hundred responses.

“I had made a calculation,” said Colonel Rogers to a reporter of The Times, “that I would not receive over one thousand acceptances, but here I am snowed under with nearly five hundred more. And not only that; the majority write that they will be accompanied by two or three ladies each and some by four or five. The clergymen of all denominations have responded very favorably to our invitation and they all say they will bring ladies.”

Prior to the game, which begins at 4 o’clock, a concert will be given by Beck’s Miliary Band of twenty-five pieces. The concert will begin promptly at 3 o’clock, when the following programme will be rendered....” The Philadelphia Times April 30, 1887

The whole structure has for its foundations one hundred and twenty piers of brick and stone, built from five to eight feet into the solid earth, which uphold the seating platforms. There are no wooden posts on the main floor of the pavilion. Wrought-iron columns, twenty-four feet apart, are set along the front and rear, with none intervening to obstruct the view of the game. From these iron columns, in immense spans, rise the well-braced iron roof trusses, sixteen in number, upon which the roof is constructed. Upon this roof, facing the ball field, are fifty-seven private boxes, the three central ones being reserved for the press and directors. The end boxes are quite large, the others are purposely built small enough to contain eight seats, with standing room for several more. These boxes are separated by turned posts in front and paneled partitions, every other post rising above the roof lines in a banneret standard. The backs of the boxes are finished in panels and blinds. They are reached by double, broad stairs from the corner belvidere, landing upon the promenade platforms on the crown of the room, but protected by railings. The Philadelphia Times May 1, 1887 [see also TSL 5/4/1887 p. 10]

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League softens on Sunday ball

Date Sunday, July 31, 1887
Text

[reporting an interview of John Day] Sunday championship games would not be tolerated by the League, but if the Browns joined the League they might be accorded the privilege of playing exhibition games on Sunday. The League wants St. Louis. There can be no mistake in this.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Louisville manager encourages his club to kick

Date Wednesday, May 11, 1887
Text

John Kelly has found a weak point in the Louisville Club, and it the meekness of the players. The Louisville Club has long had the reputation of being anything but fighters. They seldom coached, never objected to the umpire, and acted like good schoolboys under the eye and rod of the master. But Kelly says that it won't pay, and has instructed the boys to pull the glove off the iron hand. All winning clubs fight for points, however small, and Kelly says that he can't afford to give his rivals one single advantage. He is going to win the pennant, if the Louisvilles can do it. The players have been instructed to bluff, kick, bulldoze and yell whenever there is a point to be gained. Of course, ungentlemanly and indecent conduct is forbidden, and such behavior will be promptly fined; but Kelly wants the men to play with vim, dash and determination. All this comes of the games with the St. Louis Browns, who by their bulldozing tactics have succeeded in winning several victories not merited. Kelly will meet them on their own grounds, and fight them with their own weapons and tactics.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Metropolitan franchise turned over to the AA

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

The Metropolitan franchise is now the property of the Association, having been turned over by the Brooklyn Club, which only reserved the privilege of disposing of the old Metropolitan players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mets' trainer

Date Wednesday, July 13, 1887
Text

The Metropolitans have their trainer, “Jerry” Davis on the trip with them. It is Jerry's first trip West and he is badly disappointed at seeing no buffaloes or Indians.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Mullane injunction revoked

Date Saturday, March 5, 1887
Text

Yesterday afternoon a representative of the St. Louis Athletic Association walked into the United States Court and asked that the injunction restraining Mullane from playing ball in Missouri be set aside on payment of costs by the defendant. Immediately a representative of the latter stepped forward and expressed a willingness to pay the costs. The clerk figured up the costs which amounted to $51.65. This amount was paid and the injunction immediately set aside. Mullane can now play ball in St. Louis or in any other part of Missouri. The original proceedings were entered by the St. Louis Athletic Association (St. Louis Unions) with whom Mullane had signed a contract, but which he afterward violated. The Sporting News March 5, 1887

Detroit Club calls for support from local businesses

A circular has been issued by the Detroit Club, which has been sent to the merchants of this city, making an appeal to them for financial support for the season. The appeal does not ask for contributions in the way of charity, but asks that the business men come forward and purchase liberally of the season books. The price for 63 games has been placed at $25, which entitles the holder to a seat in the grand stand. In the circular, which was evidently prepared by President Stearns, the action of the League is explained which changed the percentage into the guarantee system. The position is taken that the club has advertised the city more than anything else that has ever been done in the way of public organizations. Business men have profited by this and it is thought they should come to the support of the club. The Philadelphia Times March 6, 1887

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Phillies' trainer

Date Sunday, July 24, 1887
Text

About the happiest man on the Philadelphia ball grounds is Tom Taylor. He is a little man, who wears a red jacket and a white cap. Sometimes Tom Taylor rakes the stones out of the gravel around the bases with a long-handled rake as big as himself and sometimes he hunts up foul balls which are hit into the crowds in the open seats. After each game Tom Taylor rubs down the pitchers and the catchers’ arms. For the want of a better title Tom Taylor is known as “the trainer.” When the Phillies go away on a trip Tom Taylor is disconsolate. He sits and mopes when left alone and his only consolation is found in throwing the ball around with the “kids,” as he calls the players who are left at home.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Pittsburgh meeting and Kansas City and Indianapolis

Date Saturday, March 5, 1887
Text

Talking about the Pittsburg meeting President Young said recently: “I was naturally surprised at the weakness displayed by Indianapolis, but the problem would have been settled for all that, had not the several League clubs been so emphatic in their instructions with regard to the admission of the Hoosiers. I realize, of course, that not being present and hence unable to note the turn affairs were taking, the gentlemen who wires us so regularly were working conscientiously for the best interests of the League. Had they been in position to appreciate fully the status of affairs on Monday afternoon, Kansas City would now be secure in her League franchise, and the whole matter satisfactorily disposed of. With regard to the prospects for the future, I can say only that every indication points to the admission of the Cow-boys at the meeting in New York a week from Monday. The Indianapolis scheme, like any other arrangement made at this stage, rested upon the financial showing made before the recent meeting of the players' committee, and when that failed to realize the expectations of those who favored the establishment of a team in that city, we were forced to look in another direction. As I have said, the strong preference express on all sides for Indianapolis alone prevented the prompt admission of Kansas City. The question now resolves itself into a very simple conundrum. Can Indianapolis between this date and the one set for our meeting raise sufficient money to warrant the League in locating a team there?

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Sporting Life's Millennium Plan; criticism of it

Date Sunday, September 11, 1887
Text

The idea of equalizing the playing strength of the clubs of the League and Association is one which has bothered the leaders of the game for years. The present idea is not original. It may be somewhat more elaborated, but the question of “pooling” players was discussed in the early days of the League and very frequently since. It is right brilliant idea for the weaker clubs and it is not strange that they all seem to favor it. It seems absurd to ask club owners who have spent years of energy and shrewdness, and who have expended thousands of dollars in capital in building up their teams, to turn back to where they started from and divide up their stock in trade among men who have had the same opportunities, but have neglected to improve them. It is a case of “Please help the poor!” “Please help the blind!” said George Munson, the secretary of the St. Louis Club, and he is more than right. ...

There will be a determined opposition to any plan that seeks to rob one club for the benefit of others. There are many other objections in addition to those already mentioned which can be urged against it. It would have the effect of doing away with the training of young players. Under the system proposed how many clubs would take the risk of spending thousands of dollars to purchase new men, and pay their salaries for the season, and then, just as they were becoming of some use, to have them taken away? Not many. There would be no incentive to secure new men. Club managers who had been unlucky in the pool drawing would hope for better luck next time. Some foolish, inexperienced manager might take the risk of training two or three youngster, but when they were taken from him at the close of one season he would hardly care to repeat the experiment in another season. While at present the new “pooling” plan seems to have some adherents, its opponents are in the majority and they will grow before the annual meeting of the Association in December. The Philadelphia Times September 11, 1887

The special meeting of the American Association last Monday may, in future times, be referred to as the most important convention in the history of base ball, inasmuch as by it was taken the first step towards a complete revolution of base ball government, methods and measures. ...the consideration of The Sporting Life's “millenium” plan and the appointment of Messrs. Byrne, Phelps and Von der Ahe as a committee to assist the editor of this paper to formulate the new plan and put it in proper shape for adoption by the Association at the annual meeting in December. …

This committee will, upon the close of the playing season, get the plan so far as it can be applied to the Association individually, i.e., the equalization of playing strength and the regulation and fixity of salaries, into shape for adoption. This equalization can be most easily, equitably and successfully achieved by a

Pooling of players and distribution by lot after classification according to a method which reduces the element of luck to a minimum, and puts every team upon as nearly euqal footing as human ingenuity can plan them.

But this is only a part of the general scheme and can be accomplished by the American Association within itself under the present National Agreement and without the co-operation of the National League. The assistance of the senior organization, however, will be needed if The Sporting Life plan is to be carried out to its full scope and intent, and a conference between the Association committee and the League officials would pave the way for the complete reorganization of the National game contemplated in the plan, an outline of which is hereby given:

1—A system of equalization of playing strength which, while giving the public better ball, will destroy the present unhealthy and demoralizing competition for players.

2—A system of graded salaries and a new method of compensation which, while fair for the players, will enable all Leagues to live.

3—A system for all Leagues for self-sustaining reserve corps for a specific purpose.

4—A system of draft or requisition of rising players by successive stages from minor to major leagues, thus keeping up a regular flow of new blood at small expense.

5—A system of more equitable contracts between players and employers, and for the better regulation and settlement of all differences between player and manager or club and League. The Sporting Life September 14, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the coach asking for the ball trick

Date Wednesday, May 11, 1887
Text

Sowders has learned a new trick. During a temporary suspension of play—but while the game was practically in progress, the umpire not having called time—Captain Hanlon, who was standing at the coaching line near third base, asked Sowders, who was fooling with the ball, to give him a catch. Billy, who is noted for his accommodating disposition, tossed the ball toward the Detroit captain, who made no effort to catch the ball, but yelled to Brouthers, who was on third, to run home. The big first baseman reached the plate safely, but the umpire decided he would have to go back to third, apparently much to the disgust of himself and Hanlon. The Sporting Life May 11, 1887, quoting the St.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the color line 2

Date Friday, July 15, 1887
Text

the International Leagues Directors held a secret meeting at the Genesee House [in Buffalo] yesterday morning [7/14], and the question of colored players was discussed, several representatives declared that many of the best players in the League were anxious to leave on account of the colored element, and the Board finally directed Secretary White to approve of no more contracts with colored men.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the complete list of blacklisted players

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

E. J. McKean, who has been blacklisted by the Cleveland Club, is the first player to be so punished this year. The list of players now ineligible to play ball in any National Agreement club is a rather long one. Here is the roll: [the list follows]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the danger of rising salaries

Date Wednesday, February 23, 1887
Text

[from George Williams’ column][discussing the Kelly deal] My own opinion is that though Boston may have doen well for themselves, they have hurt base ball very much. The time has come to cry halt or the business will be ruined; not only in the League, but in the American Association as well. In Boston, a club giving a fifty-cent game, pays $10,000 for a single player, and in St. Louis Von der Ahe agreed to pay $5,000 for Ramsey [N.B. This deal didn’t go through.] to play in a twenty-five cent game, and no doubt will give the player $3,000 salary. Now where is this to stop? It is bad enough to pay big money for the release of a player, but this salary business is getting to be a little too much of a goodthing, and I cannot see how captial invested in base all clubs is going to get a fair return if men can secure such enormous salaries. To pay sixteen men nearly $40,000 for seventy home games is udertaking too much risk, and the time will come when managers will see that they are giving all the plums to the players who run no risk and get all the profits.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the decline of Phenomenal Smith

Date Wednesday, January 5, 1887
Text

[from a column by George Williams, former manager

.0 of the Mets] ...there is to be no contest over Phenomenal Smith. The New Yorks now would not give $500 for him (they doubled my bid of $3,000 last summer), and the Detroits do not want him. When I offered $3,000 for Smith's release he was worth the money as an advertisement, and was in his prime, but I never considered him as the equal of some pitchers in the American Association or League. Had I got him when I wanted Smith he would have earned all that he cost, but now he is no longer a phenomenon. Even in California he does not come up to the mark.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the development of the hop, skip, and jump delivery

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

[from a column by Ward defending the new rules] It is said that the new position will be too much of a strain--that it is unnatural. In reality, barring the overhand throw, it is the exact position and motion in vogue prior to 1884. With the over-hand throw came the desire ofr more speed, and to get that pitchers adopted the running jump. The new style is the simplest and most natural possible, and this is evidence by the fact that pitchers formerly did more work with less fatigue than has been possible under the outgoing system. Out of four or five pitchers and as many catchers it has often been difficult to select a battery in condition. The game had developed abnormally in the pitching department. A premium was placed on mere speed, and skill legislated out of the position. In their efforts to keep up this speed, the pitchers wore themselves out and battered down their catchers. Even to the lover of the so called “pitchers’ game” the system could not have been satisfactory. A records of a few base hits no longer necessarily indicated a skillfully pitched game. It might, and often did, mean only that some fellow who could throw a ball like a streak of lightning had managed, through the intimidating effect of a few bruised ribs, to frighten the batters away from the plate. The new regulations will reintroduce strategic work and the sinning pitcher next season, other things being nearly equal, will be the one possessed of the most skill.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of the new delivery rules

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

[from Chadwick’s column] The effect of the new pitching rule is undoubtedly to reduce wild, swift pitching, and to drive pitchers into learning to attain a better command of the ball, inasmuch as it deprives them of the privilege of taking two steps in delivery, in doing which they gained the power to give the ball an additional impetus, of course at the cost of accuracy of aim in sending it in. This reduction of speed is largely offset by the removal of the privilege involved in the “high” and “low” balls the batsman was last year allowed to call for. A decided advantage is given the pither for the employment of strategic skill in the latitude of delivery now allowed him. That the new rule will disconcert the class of pitchers who were last season accustomed to do the jumping act in delivery there is no doubt; but the absence of this jumping busi9ness is a gain to the game. When the rules are framed to encourage a wild, swift delivery of the ball to the bat at the cost of encouragement for the employment of strategic skill in pitching, the game is set back.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of the new pitching rules; quick pitching

Date Friday, May 13, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Horace Phillips regarding Fred Morris] Under the old rules he was the greatest pitcher in the country. His work with Carroll was something phenomenal. He delivered the ball from any portion of the box and did it so quickly and in such rapid succession that a batsman who had a fashion of hammering the plate had no chance to get ready before the sphere had passed him. But he is not so effective under the new rules and I tell you they hurt lots of them.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the end of the Olympic Club

Date Sunday, August 28, 1887
Text

The Olympic Club of Philadelphia, which was the oldest organization in this country, is now defunct, internal dissensions having led to its disbandment. It was organized as a town ball club in 1833, and adopted the game of base ball in 1860. Many of the most influential residents of the Quaker City have figured on its rolls during the last half century., quoting the New York Clipper

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the hit-and-run

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

[from a column of advice from Tim Murnan] Never make up your mind to hit a ball until it is on the way, unless pre-arranged with a base-runner on first, then bunt it out to right field.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the illegality of lending players

Date Saturday, May 21, 1887
Text

[from the Cincinnati correspondent] Cleveland wanted Kappell but would not pay any bonus for him so when President Stern loaned his services to Memphis a tremendous howl went up all along the line as to the illegality of the proceeding, and pressure was brought to bear on President Morrow of the Southern League with such success that he refused to ratify the agreement and Kappel returns to Cincinnati. For the benefit of “Gentle James Williams” and all other ambitious club managers who want Cincinnati players let me turn Job's Comforter by repeating President Stern's words: “Kappel will return to Cincinnati and go on the players bench and stay there the entire season, and draw his salary in full even if he never plays a solitary game. He will also go on my reserve list for next season. They have forced me to bring him back from Memphis and think I will loan him to an Association club. But I promise you the club that gets his services will pay me my price and a good round one at that.

Source The Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the legality of the blacklisting

Date Wednesday, January 19, 1887
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] A case in a court in Connecticut was lately decided which has an important bearing on base ball. The plaintiff accused the defendants of conspiracy in “blacklisting” him, and the latter were convicted and fined. The judge in his decision said that he was clearly of the opinion that a conspiracy designed to hinder any man from putting his labor on the market when, where and for such compensation as he may agree for, is equally criminal with any conspiracy designed to hinder the sale of merchandise or dealer, and is more disastrous in effect than any other form of conspiracy except that to take life. To convict of such conspiracy circumstantial evidence is competent and may be conclusive. It is sufficient if it is shown that the parties had a mutual understanding to the common design, and the part each was to perform in the attainment thereof. The court was satisfied that the defendants had a mutual understanding that a man not approved by one should not be employed by the other. This was to all intents and purposes a boycott upon the individual.

“Blacklisting,” and “suspending” for a long period, which is the same in effect as blacklisting, is undoubtedly illegal and would not stand in court, and, besides, the conspirators are liable to be caused to pay a good, round sum in damages for each case of it. This method of attempting to enforce discipline among base ball players has had its day of unquestioned good policy, but it is of doubtful advantage at the present time, and should not only be abandoned in practice, but wiped out from all base ball records. It is doubtful if the system has no the desired effect in suppressing wrongs, and the privilege certainly has, in some instances, been abused. Its primary object was the suppression of criminal crookedness, but it has been abused in its application to minor offences. It is a dangerous thing to put such autocratic power over individuals in the hands of fallible mortals.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the millennium plan

Date Wednesday, December 7, 1887
Text

[See TSL December 7, 1887 for an extravagant plan to reorganize baseball.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the modern city-nickname construction

Date Friday, July 29, 1887
Text

The New York Giants want one more victory to go ahead of the Boston, but the Beaneaters must lose a game.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the modified percentage plan adopted

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/16 et seq] This [the percentage system] was the real bone of contention of the meeting, and the rest of the session was spent in discussing it without any result being arrived at. Mr. Rogers made an able and exhaustive two-hours argument against percentage; Mr. Stearns pleaded in favor, and all present took a hand in the discussion.

The League resumed its session on Thursday morning at 10 o'clock, the debate on the percentage question being continued. Mr. Grey, of Detroit, replied to Col. Rogers, and all the other delegates expressed their views upon the question, and then Detroit's amendment providing for a $200 guarantee and 30 per cent, was put to the vote and beaten. Compromises were then in order, and the following one was agreed upon and passed:

“Each club shall have exclusive control of its own grounds, but the home club shall pay to the visiting club for each championship game played by it on said grounds 25 per cent. of the receipts for general admission; provided, however, that when such 25 per centum shall be less than $150 the home club shall pay to the visiting club the sum of $150.”

The vote on this was seven to one, Philadelphia turning in for it, and Boston alone voting against it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new contract

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[reporting on the NL meeting 11/21] The League committee, Rogers, Day and Spalding, and the Brotherhood committee, Ward, Hanlon and Brouthers, met in conference on Friday and went over the new form of contract presented by the Brotherhood in detail. The League then assembled to hear the joint committee, and in short order ratified the new form with but few alterations, the most important change being made in the clause relative to the distribution of players in the event of a club disbanding. This was changed entirely the moment the League showed the Brotherhood the absolute necessity of controlling the players in such a contingency. The new contract drawn up by the Brotherhood’s counsel and adopted proves to be a much more equitable agreement than the old one. The principal changes made affect sections 6, 7, 8, 15 16 and 18. By the terms of players may not be fined at the discretion of the managers for certain offenses, a graded limit being named for repeated offenses. Neither can a club reserve players for the ensuing season at $1,000, as was previously the case, but clubs must now pay reserved players the salary named in the contract. Players are also exempted from the charges of fifty cents per day for traveling expenses. In the future, if a club disbands, resigns or is expelled the players of such club will not be compelled to go to another club unless that club will pay the same salaries as the club resigning, disbanding or expelled. Uniforms are no longer to be purchased at the expense of the players, excepting that $30 may be deducted from the players’ salaries for the first outfit. In section 6 the word “drunkenness” was stricken out as being an undefinable term, and the section made to read as below. The change is expected to be productive of much good, and will prevent men drinking while off duty. Players may be “docked” a pro rata amount of their pay for time lost by illness from natural causes. If a player is injured in the performance of duty and thus incapacitated his pay shall go on just the same, but he may be released; such release must, however, be absolute and unconditional. Any violation of contract by the managers may be held as proper ground for dissolution of contract if their players desire it. Another change provides for a fine of $50 for neglect of duty and does away with suspension. The Brotherhood favored the plan of sending all fines to the secretary of the League, but they agreed to allow this to be struck out. [The text of the contract follows. Notable features include excluding outside documents from incorporation by reference; and contractually defining the reserve.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new pitching delivery rules

Date Saturday, January 29, 1887
Text

The first thing the pitcher will have to attend to in studying up the new rules is the method of taking his stand in the “box,” preparatory to delivering the ball to the bat. Formerly he could hide the ball behind his back—which he is now prohibited from doing—and could stand within the lines of his position in such a way as to admit of his taking one or two steps in delivery, as his position was then a space of seven feet by four in extent, besides which he had the privilege of lifting his feet. All this is now prohibited under the new rules.

The changes are very important, the main effect of them being to force the pitcher to learn to obtain a better command of the ball in delivery; and they also have the effect of reducing his power to send in very swift ball. The double code, while it enabled him to attain greater speed in delivery, necessarily obliged him to sacrifice accuracy of aim and fear catchers, besides placing the batsman in the position of being obliged to devote nearly all his attention to avoid being severely hurt by being hit by the pitched ball. The Sporting News January 29, 1887

a new catcher’s glove design

Arthur Irwin has invented a catcher’s glove which is indorsed by Jack Rowe, Bushong and others. It is handmade with no seams on the palm and fingers to come in contact with the ball and is padded in a manner to make it pliable. It also protects the wrists from foul tips. Detroit Free Press February 1, 1887

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new pitching delivery rules and accuracy

Date Sunday, January 9, 1887
Text

The changes are very important, the main effect of them being to force the pitcher to learn to obtain a better command of the ball in delivery; and they also have the effect of reducing his power to send in very swift balls. The double code, while it enabled him to attain greater speed in delivery, necessarily obliged him to sacrifice accuracy of aim and wear of catcher, besides placing the batsman in the position of being obliged to devote nearly all his attention to avoid being severely hurt by being hit by the pitched ball.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new substitute rule Anson's idea

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

[from Caylor’s column] That idea of having two extra men in uniform who may be substituted at any time during the game for any other two men in the team is Anson’s idea. He sprang it a year ago at the first meeting of the committee on rules, and he and Spalding urged its adoption with a good deal of persistence. Just put it down, and pin it there, that the Chicago Club is going to be a big winner from that rule. The claim that it is made to punish men in the team who sulk in untenable. In nine cases out of ten the two extra men will be a pitcher and a catcher. It is a rule that will work to the disadvantage of the weaker batting teams.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the nominal salary limit retained

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting on the Arbitration Committee meeting of 12/7] The Board of Arbitration meanwhile took up the work of amending the National Agreement, but few important changes were made up to article VIII., which contains the $2,000 limit rule. The League representatives wanted this limit abrogated, but Phelps, of Louisville, made a determined battle for the old rule, on the ground that even if violated it had a certain value to the poorer clubs and set up a standard for the valuation of salaries. The discussion on the rule was animated and prolonged, but Phelps finally won his fight and the rule was allowed to stand.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the patent for the chest protector

Date Wednesday, June 1, 1887
Text

A. G. Spalding & Brothers have purchased the patent of Grey's body protector for base ball catchers, from Wm. Grey, of Hartford. The protector was invented about three years ago and was used for the first time by Tony Murphy, the present catcher of the New Haven Club. Since that time the protector has come into general use, and Mr. Grey has been receiving about $800 a year in royalties. The price paid by Spalding for the patent is $5,000.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the percentage of grandstand admissions

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent][from an interview of Phelps] Last season more than three-fourths of our patrons paid 25 and 50 cents to see the games. Over half of the three-fourths paid 50 cents and sat in the grand stand. Upon one occasion we had 10,000 people present and we sold only 1,900 25-cent tickets. The Sporting Life December 21, 1887 [N.B. This calculates to approximately 38 cents per person.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitchers for three innings each

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

The new Cleveland Club played the first game of its life on the 7th inst. The Cleveland Club's opponents were a local aggregation named the Shamrocks. The Clevelands used three batteries, changing with each trio of inning.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rationale for the new rules

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

[from a column by Ward defending the new rules] The governing thought of that meeting was a desire to releive the umpire, and while the committee wdoes not, by any means, imagine it has made the position a sinecure, it does hope and believe that it has brought the permance of its duties within the bounds of ordinary human capacity.

Looked at from the standpoint indicated the “new code” will be seen to be perfectly harmonious, from any other it would be a mass of contradicitons. Ambiguous rules are made definite and doubtful cases plain; further restrictions are placed upon players and captains; responsibility is removed from the umpire and placed upon other shoulders; abuses are corrected and others guarded against; questions of discretions are made dependent on positive rule, and, finally, certain changes are made which will render some cases less difficult of decision.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reasons for the new delivery rule; the size of the box; balks

Date Wednesday, February 9, 1887
Text

[from a column by Ward defending the new rules] In the pitching department several important changes are made. They were necessary to weed out three flagrant abuses which grew up under the loose wording of the old rules.

(1) The pitcher was supposed to keep within the lines of his position while in the act of delivering the ball, yet everybody knows he constantly stepped out.

(2) A rule required him to face the batter, meaning that he should not turn his back at all, but he did so at pleasure.

(3) He was not to balk, and he did.

(1) His right foot shall be on the rear line of the box; he shall not raise it until in the act of delivering the ball, nor make more than one step in the delivery. The reason he could step over under the old rule was becuase he was allowed a hop, skip and jump, and at the instant when he did strike out the umpire’s whole attention was taken up with the ball. He could not watch that and at the same time see the pitcher’s feet. Under the new rule the umpire sees that the pitcher’s rear foot is on the rear line, which he has ample time to do, and, seeing that, knows it will be a physical impossibility for him to strike over the forward line. The box was shorted to 5½ feet because it was believed the longest striding pitcher would not cover more than that distiance. It was desired not to place the pitcher farther away than formerly, which would have been the case if he had been placed on the rear line of a seven-foot box. If the box is too short, as some claim, it will be an easy matter to lengthen it to six feet. There is a difference of opinion between two or your correspondents as to the meaning of this section of the rule. The idfference, however, is only apparent, as I am sure the two gentlemen would find if they could meet and each illustrate what he means. The pitcher may raise his right foot in the act of delivering. But he is only allowed one step. Thereafter, after he has stepped forward with his left foot he may raise the right before the instant when the ball leaves his hand; but I don’t think he ever will because, as one of the gentlemen claims, no man in delivering the ball ever does. He gets his “purchase” from that foot on the ground. This last point, I think, is the cause of the misunderstanding. Certainly no one claims that the pitcher may jump forward with the right foot and then makde his step. Such a construction would at once defeat the purpose of this clause, which was to keep him within his position. It is obvious that in a 5½ box he would necessarily go out every time.

(2) He must take his posiiton facing the batter, with both feet squarely on the ground, his left to the left of an imaginary line from his right foot to the centre of the plate. He shall hold the ball fairly in front of his body and in sight of the umpire. These provision will effetually prevent him from turning his back.

(3) The adoption of the carefully-worded balk rule of the American Association, with the addition of the clause forbidding any motion calculated to deceive the runner, must certainly do away with balking. The additional clause I believe to be an essential part of the rule. Last year many pitchers made a forward motion which, from the umpire’s position, was plainly not a motion to pitch; but from the position of the runner at first base, who got a side view, the pitcher seemed to have started to pitch. On the technical ground that it was not “one of the habitual motions in pitcher,” the umpires refused to declare it a balk. It was made with the deliberate intent of deceiving the runner; it did so deceive him,an di f he was a man with any ambition to reach second he generally was caught off first. It was a sharp trick by the pticher, but it was unfair and discouraged one of the prettist features of the game. Of course, the additional cluase refered to must have a reasonable interpretation, like any other statute law. It does not prohibit a feight to throw to first, for that is perfectly legitimate. It means any motion calculated to deceive the runner into believing that the pitcher has started to pitch.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reserve list to be kept secret

Date Wednesday, September 28, 1887
Text

Neither the pubic nor the players this fall will have the pleasure of knowing what men will be reserve by the clubs having more than fourteen men under contract until the clubs are ready to divulge the reserve list. President Young has just sent out to each League president the following circular:

September 22.-Sir:--On or before Oct. 5, you will please send me a list of players, at present under contract with your club, that you desire to reserve for the season of 1888. This list must not exceed fourteen in number. I am directed, by the Board of Arbitration, to SPECIALLY request all League clubs not to make public its reserve list until after its official promulgation by the secretary. Yours truly, N. E. Young, Sec'y.

{President Wikoff will issue a similar circular to the Association clubs, who are pledged along with the League clubs to maintain secrecy. This course was decided upon at the recent meeting of the arbitration committee in Philadelphia—Ed.}

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reserve raises the value of a player's sale

Date Wednesday, July 20, 1887
Text

[from Ward's resume of the history of the reserve rule] [discussing the sale of players] If the buying club received a claim for the remaining term of the player's contract only, the price would be regulated accordingly and the deal perfectly legitimate. But a fictitious value was always given, because the buying club bought not only the player's services for the unexpired term of his contract, but the right to reserve or sell him again. It is not, then, the ordinary assignment of a legal contract claim for future service which makes the price, but the anticipated operation of the reserve rule. The rule is, therefore, being used not as a means of retaining the services of a player, but for increasing his value for the purpose of sale. This is a clear perversion of the original intent of the rule. The assertion of any such claim at the time of its adoption would have killed it then and there. The clubs claimed that the right to retain the services of a valuable player was necessary for the conservation of the game, and with that understanding the players tacitly acquiesced in the seizure. They never received any consideration for the concession; and when the Chicago Club sells Kelly for $10,000 it simply makes that sum out of Kelly, for which it has never given him the slightest consideration.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the scorers on stolen bases

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the Scorers' Association meeting 12/9] ...the definition of a stolen base was called for. As may be imagined the discussion waxed warm. Mr. Chadwick was in favor of any interpretation that would be an inducement for base-runners to keep moving. Manager James A. Williams, of the joint committee on rules, was called in to give the committee's construction, and he said they were very liberal. Every scorer present aired his ideas, and as a result this sense of the Association on the base-stealing rule was announced:

That any attempt to steal a base must go to the credit of the base-runner, whether the ball is thrown wild or muffed by a fielder, and unless the base-runner is advanced more than one base no error is to be charged to the fielder. If the base-runner advances another base, the fielder allowing the advancement is to be charged with an error. If a base-runner makes a start and a battery error is made the runner secures the credit of a stolen base, and the battery error is scored against the player making it. Should a base-runner overrun a base and then be put out he should receive the credit for the stolen base.

...Hereafter, when the base-runner runs a base, after a fly has been caught by an outfielder, he shall be credited with a stolen base.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the scramble for free agents 2

Date Sunday, October 2, 1887
Text

The introductory scramble for the season of 1888 will take place on Thursday, October 20, which is the first day upon which contracts may be signed for the ensuing year. Upon that date also ceases the protection of the national agreement afforded to minor leagues for the present year. This is said to have been an off year for the development of young players by the minor organizations, but there is enough stock on the market to make the opening scramble interesting. The Indianapolis, Washington and Pittsburg Clubs, of the League, and the Brooklyn, Metropolitan and Cleveland Clubs, of the Association, will be head over heels in the struggle for new talent, and the country is now said to be flooded with their agents. The Philadelphia Times October 2, 1887

The annual scramble for new players has been going on since Thursday. The League clubs had out the most agents, and their scoop nets pulled in the cream of the talent. Manager Mutrie hooked E. E. Foster, of the Minneapolis Club, the leading batsman of the Northwestern League, and Cleveland, the crack third baseman, of St. Paul. The Chicago Club secured the pink of the Oshkosh Club, the champions of the Northwestern League, and O’Connell, the pitcher of the Waterbury Eastern League team. Manager Phillips is said to have secured a prize in young Mays, the left-handed pitcher of the Oswego Club, for the Smokey City team. Ted Sullivan has been hustling for Washington, and is reported to have a string full of talent. Manager Fogel, of the Hoosiers, was fooled on Foster, but he is said to have plenty without the great hitter. President Von der Ahe pulled in Devlin, the left-handed pitcher, formerly with the Phillies; Hoover and Kenyon, catchers, and Halliday, fielder, all of the des Moines Club. Halliday is a big hitter and has made twenty home runs this season. President Harry Von der Horst, of the Baltimore Club, accomplished a neat piece of work in securing Shindle from the Detroit Club. The League champions did not reserve Shindle and the Baltimore Club had his name to a contract a few minutes after 12 o’clock on Thursday morning. The Philadelphia Times October 23, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the short careers of pitchers; their shortage

Date Wednesday, August 31, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Charles Mason] A few years we had plenty of pitchers, but to-day they are getting rarer and good ones are a very scarce article. The East has been scoured for good men, and it is an impossibility to find any in that section. Years ago every young player wanted to be a pitcher, but to-day things are different. These well-founded stories of men lasting only a few years in the box keeps the rising material from becoming pitchers. I have often asked youngsters why it is that they don't become pitchers instead of catchers or fielders, and the universal answer has been that pitchers don't last long.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the Mets

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 12/7-9] The Metropolitan franchise was recognized as being in existence and the committee appointed last night made no report. Mr. Byrne said New York may stay in, but he intimated that Milwaukee was a pretty good town for a ball team. The Association vane seemed pointing to Wisconsin.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the two umpire system tried in California

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[correspondence from Umpire Ben Young] The double umpire system is a beauty. It is not perfection, but the next thing to it. We tried it on the coast here last Sunday, and it worked well. If it is too expensive some arrangement could be made by which the local substitute should have full jurisdiction over second base only. This would increase the cost but very little, but the full-fledged double umpire system is much better. Yet, I doubt, if it will be ever introduced. As it is the umpire is most niggardly paid, and I don't believe two will be engaged.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the umpire close behind the catcher, moving around the field

Date Wednesday, June 29, 1887
Text

...the few games that Jennings umpired in this city [St. Louis] showed him to be one of the best umpires in the country, and the people that watched his work here were surprised when they heard that the Eastern clubs were dissatisfied with his work. He was the first umpire that officiated here this season to go up behind the catcher and properly judge the balls and strikes, and his base decisions were simply marvelous. He was all over the field and he kept the crowd in a good humor by the broad grin he wore on his handsome face. The Sporting Life June 29, 1887

a balk move

Captain Ward and Phil Powers had quite an argument to day on what constituted a balk. It grew out of a decision on Wednesday, when McCormick caught Ward between the bases. “What do you call a balk?” asked Ward. “any Motion of a pitcher calculated or intended to deceive a base-runner,” said Power. “Well,” said Ward, “McCormick grasps the ball, puts his foot down and feints to deliver. He does this whenever he wants to throw to the base. It is a balk. He did it twice when I was on the base after the first inning, but I didn't run. This thing will soon be as bad as it used to be and should be stopped.” The Sporting Life June 29, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the value of fast balls

Date Wednesday, February 2, 1887
Text

“The speedy straight ball will be the successful delivery of the season,” said a well-known pitcher the other day. “You may talk of curves, drops and rises, but give me the swift, straight ball every time, which, if properly commanded, is a daisy. You first put a hot one directly past the batsman’s head, and you can bet that he will get away from the plate. Keep them all close to him and he will not get a good lick at it, and if he does it will either go up in the air or down on the ground. I saw Caruthers pitch a game against the Chicagos in the championship match, and he did not pitch a single curve ball.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the wealth of baseball club owners

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

A writer in a Cincinnati exchange takes a fellow-writer to task for a bad guess as to the wealth of base ball men, and then proceeds to give himself away just as badly as follows:--”The richest man in the Association, as some one has called Von der Ahe, has never squandered much of his wealth pandering to the palates of his fellow base ball officials.” How absurd that paragraph is, to be sure—quoting Von der Ahe as the second man of wealth now in base ball—making Spalding the first. There are a dozen men in the business to-day who could size up against Von der Ahe's stock without making much of a hole in their own pile. Probably the most wealthy of them all is Abell, of the Brooklyn Club. He has more money than twenty Von der Ahes could command. Then Spalding is nearer a millionaire than the owner of a quarter million. His New York business alone is worth a hundred thousand. Soden, of Boston, with his two partners, Billings and Conant, could produce a cool million and a half. John b. Day has not only made $400,000 or $500,000 in the last six years, but his wife is an heiress of a fine fortune. Hewitt, of Washington, and his family, can control a few millions at very short notice, and could deposit collaterals for the amount inside of two hours. Frank Robinson, of Cleveland, would consider himself a ruined man if he had to be contented with what Von der Ahe owns. The Detroit trio could buy out a small railroad or Government building. President A. S. Stern, of Cincinnati, could buy Von der Ahe out and not seriously diminish his own bank account, while Al Reach, of Philadelphia, though a quiet, plain, every day man, could give each of his children as much as Von der Ahe owns and continue right along in business at the old stand. The fellow who first wrote that, Von der Ahe's financial encomium, and those who have been so industriously copying it, have been using the mails and the press to deceive the public.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tom Pratt unengaged

Date Wednesday, April 13, 1887
Text

Why don't some minor League club engage the veteran Tom Pratt as manager. Here's a man with a life-long experience in base ball to whom such a position would just now be most welcome. He has all the qualifications that go to make the successful base ball manager.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tom Pratt's reduced circumstances

Date Wednesday, January 5, 1887
Text

Tom Pratt is employed in a local rink. We regret to say that this once well-to-do gentleman is in sadly reduced circumstances. The unfortunate Keystone Union Club speculation cost him a great deal of money, and since then he has been no more lucky in his other business ventures.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tony Mullane's saloon is shut down

Date Sunday, January 16, 1887
Text

Tony Mullane’s case, which involves the seizure of his saloon fixtures for non-payment of the Dow law tax, has been taken into court. The goods were replevined by May, Stern & Co., who sold them to Mullane. The firm claims that Tony never paid for the fixtures, and that they, and not the county, are entitled to them.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

transit problems to Staten Island

Date Saturday, July 16, 1887
Text

Staten Island would be one of the greatest baseball resorts in the world if they paid the slightest attention to the accommodation of the public, but in this particular they are sadly at fault. They succeeded on one occasion of getting 8,000 people to go down to St. George to see the Metropolitans play ball. When the game was over there was no way for this vast assemblage to reach New York City, except by boat. There was only one boat in, and it would not begin to accommodate more than one quarter of the crow. The boats only run every twenty minutes or half hour, and those who could not get on the first boat had to stand out in the street, packed together like sardines, until they got a chance to catch a boat, and it was an hour and a half to two hours after the game was over before the last of them got a chance to get a boat home. The attendance at the games has been gradually diminishing ever since. The same trouble was experienced at other night entertainments, and on one occasion, when there was not much of a rush, the twelve o'clock boat was discontinued and a number of passengers were left on the island over night, among whom were a couple of young gentlemen and ladies, and one of the ladies sat in the ferry home and cried until morning.

Source National Police Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trouble finding a city to take the AA franchise

Date Wednesday, December 21, 1887
Text

“I am asked to urge the home club to joint the American Association,” said a reporter of one of the local [Buffalo] papers as he sat down over against a leading director of the local base ball club; at which the said leading stockholder delivered himself about in this wise:--”Did the party who sent the urgent request send along any money to help us out with? No, you can bet he didn't. But it would take $40,000 to start in the Association, for Cleveland lost at least $20,000 last season. I tell you it's just the fellows who don't want to risk a cent who talk “Association” to us. It would take three days to talk a Buffalo man into taking a $20 share of base ball stock, and he would expect to have the whole say of the games and dictate the appointment of all the players. I've been there and I know. No, sir; butter to be the head of a mouse than the tail of a rat.” From which it may be inferred that Buffalo will stay in the new International Association. The Sporting Life December 21, 1887

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] Who, now, who ever before saw such a spectacle as an Association franchise going a-begging? … Even Kansas City, though geographically undesirable, hints that it would actually have to be paid to accept the franchise. The almost absolute certainty of bringing up the rear of the championship procession is the drawback. So the franchise proves to be worthless. The Sporting Life December 21, 1887

[from Frank Brunell's column] The eighth club question is the question to Association men, and one that none of them seems able to answer. Of course it was discussed at Cincinnati—everything from whisky to a future state was discussed there—but the discussion was indefinite. Kansas City was at the meeting, but there was a chain on Menges and he didn't care, he told me, to leave the Western League. At any rate he made no bid with a $17,000 bonus attachment, all of which proves that Menges is growing in experience and wisdom. Columbus, O., was in with a sort of feeler. It would like the place if it didn't cost too much. Buffalo didn't show up, the Pittsburg scheme was framed in violation of the National Agreement, Jim Hart was too busy in California to bring Milwaukee into line, and some of the sages merely hinted that Hartford, Conn., ought to be a good tow. So it went, and Chairman Vonderhorst and Presidents Robinson, of Cleveland, and Abell, of the visionary Mets, are at present a committee to fill the gap. The Sporting Life December 21, 1887

[from a letter from Jim Hart, manager of the Milwaukee Club] ...i had a telegram from Mr. Byrne, of the American Association, which implied that the franchise could be had for Milwaukee if I desired it. I gave the matter sober thought and concluded that it would be an unwise move to make, for the following reasons:--My desire is to give Milwaukee a team that will win a fair share of games, thereby being a credit to the city. To take a place in the Association simply meant that Milwaukee would be at the tail end of the race, and that at an increased expense, while the quality of ball would be no better to witness than the article I propose to offer the patrons next season, with the Western Association teams. Mr. Byrne assured me that all clubs desired to help the new member. I know exactly what the help is. It is simply to give the new club a chance to buy the players that they have not further use for, at bonuses that would make the tail-end team cost as much, or more, than the winning team. The Sporting Life January 11, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

trouble with having colored players

Date Saturday, June 11, 1887
Text

A new trouble has just arisen in the affairs of certain of the baseball associations. It seems to have done more damage to the International Association than to any other we know of. We refer to the importation of colored players into the ranks of that body. At Syracuse an open revolt has followed the signing of Higgins, the colored pitcher of that club. At first certain of the Syracuse players tried to queer him by refusing to support him as well as they were able to. Later they took other means but Higgins appears to have held his own throughout. The climax came, however, when Manager Simmons asked his players to sit beside Higgins while a group portrait was being taken of that team. Crothers the St. Louis boy and Simon the Stars great left fielder begged to be excused from taking part in such proceeding. The manager insisted and Crothers responded by banging the manager one. The latter then suspended Crothers. Simon's fate still hangs in the balance and in the meantime there is no peace nor quiet in all Syracuse.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two star players resign from the Brotherhood, sign standard contracts

Date Wednesday, November 9, 1887
Text

[quoting Ward] The Council of the Brotherhood, at its meeting in Cincinnati, the 27th of Oct., voted for good reasons to receive the resignation of several members, Williamson, who was one of these, has tendered his, and I am informed, has since signed with the Chicago Club. I do not care to mention any other names at present. [Flint was also reported to have signed a contract.] The Sporting Life November 9, 1887

In some way the fact that Flint had signed leaked out yesterday, and Mr. Spalding hearing of it, at once gave the matter to the Chicago papers, which published it in full this (Wednesday) morning... The Sporting Life November 9, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two umpire system in the Chicago City League

Date Sunday, August 21, 1887
Text

Another plan to do away with the trouble raised by the umpire question has been proposed in Chicago, where it is now being tried by the City League. It is nothing more nor less than the employment of two umpires at each game. One umpire stands immediately behind the catcher and pays particular attention to all balls which come from the other end of the battery, in addition t which he is also required to watch third base. The second umpire is stationed just back of the pitcher’s box and he watches first and second bases and decides upon all plays made there. The experiment is being watched with a great deal of interest, as where there is only one umpire that official is kept busy watching the battery and bases and deciding critical points in the infield. The only objection so far against the new scheme is the additional cost. The Philadelphia Times August 21, 1887

Ward proposes modifications of the reserve; should be in the player contract; buying and selling players

[from an interview of Ward] I believe a contract should be agreed upon which should itself determine all the relations which are to exist between the player and his club, without any reference to any documents on the outside. The present form declares the player bound 'by the constitution of the League and the articles and covenants of the National Agreement.' yet, it is simply impossible for a player to know what those documents are. They are changed from time to time and one cannot keep track of them at all. If the player is willing to concede the right of reservation to the club, let that be stated in the contract, and if there are any limitations on the right, let them also be stated. Let the words of the contract itself contain the entire agreement between club and player, then any player may at any time know what to expect and what is expected of him.

I do not think the time has yet come when base ball can do away with the reserve rule. The great majority of players still favor it, though they think it needs modification. The time during which a club may reserve a player should be limited to, say, three or five years and the number of reserved should possibly be reduced. Of course the player might stay after the reservation time limit had expired, if he wished.

The new contract should be drawn in such a way as to do away entirely with the buying and selling of players. I don't think this should be a very difficult matter. A club has a right to sell its claim on a player under contract to it when the player also agrees to the transaction. But let it be distinctly stated that in such a case the buying club buys only the unexpired term of the contract and not the right of reservation or sale, and at the termination of the contract the player goes free upon the market. This would soon put an end to the selling of players under contract, because it would so reduce the prices paid as to rob the business of its profits. As for the selling of a player not under contract, let no such right be recognized at all. A player released from reservation to be free upon the market to all clubs, and no such thing tolerated as a release of a player from one club to another. This should be carefully worded and carefully stated in the contracts. The Sporting Life August 24, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two umpires for the World Series

Date Wednesday, September 7, 1887
Text

There will be two umpires in the great games this fall between the League and Association pennant winners for the championship of the world. As the St. Louis Browns will be the Association club to contest for that honor, Von der Ahe has already engaged McQuade as one of the umpires. The other will be selected from the League. Both umpires will officiate in each game. While the Browns are at bat McQuade will give the ball and strike decisions, and the other umpire will be stationed on or near second base to call the base decisions. When the League club is at bat McQuade will go to second base and the League umpire will call balls and strikes.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire job security; AA umpire committee

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[editorial content][regarding the AA umpires] To enable the umpires to feel secure in their positions Mr. Byrne, as chairman of the umpire committee, has made special contracts, by which umpires can only be removed for certain causes, and then only on written charges and specifications, with ample opportunity for the delinquent to be heard in his defense. This is as it should be. An actual offence, not a fancied grievance, should alone cause the dismissal of a man occupying such a prominent and important position.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire mask

Date Saturday, June 4, 1887
Text

Dave Rowe:--I want the umpires in the Western League to wear masks and to stand up where they can see the ball. You hear me Pete. The :

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire mask 2

Date Saturday, July 9, 1887
Text

Umpire Doescher has very wisely concluded to wear a mask, and is having one specially made for himself. The tip that cut his chin the other day also lamed his shoulder. It caromed from his shoulder to his chin.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire mask 3

Date Wednesday, July 13, 1887
Text

Valentine is considered the laziest umpire ever seen in the League. He should wear a mask and stand up close. The Sporting Life July 13, 1887

Umpire Doescher has very wisely concluded to wear a mask, and is having one specially made for himself. The tip that cut his chin in Chicago the other day also lamed his shoulder. It caromed from his shoulder to his chin. Valentine should follow suit or he will some day have his handsome phiz damaged. The Sporting Life July 13, 1887

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire not wearing a mask 4

Date Thursday, May 19, 1887
Text

[Detroit vs. Philadelphia 5/18/1887] Umpire Connell refused to wear a mask and for this rashness got a stinging hit on the mouth with a foul tip.

Source Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire running with the batter; calling steals of second; two umpires

Date Sunday, July 31, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Billy Quinn on umpiring] I almost always run with the batsman to first base and many a time I get nearly to second before the runner or the ball from the catcher reach the same spot. It is for such work as this that good muscle and wind are required. The very hardest thing for an umpire to decide is whether a player has been touched in running to second base on th attempt to steal. It is hard enough when the base runner remains nearly upright and the ball reaches the baseman on the fly, but you may imagine the difficulty that sometimes arises when the base runner slides and kicks up such a cloud of dust that the base is entirely obscured and momentarily the runner as well. I can see that it is possible for a runner to slide beyond a base and be touched out, and yet the umpire should be unable to see it by reason of the dust and thus render a mistaken decision. Such things make me frequently incline to the opinion that there should be two umpires to a game.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire salaries

Date Wednesday, August 10, 1887
Text

A Washington correspondent quotes President Nick Young as saying that at the next meeting of the League a proposition will be made to improve the umpire system. At present the League staff are paid 41,000 and actual traveling expenses. The numerous changes in the personnel of the staff during the present season has occasioned much trouble and unnecessary expense. The only solution of this problem seems to be to increase the salaries of umpire to $1,500 per season with traveling expenses and appoint only men who can command the respect of players and public. A superior class of men can be secured at this increased figure, who will be retained throughout the season, regardless of protests from managers, unless it can be proven that they are totally incapacitated to remain on the staff. Five instead of four men will compose the staff, and while the odd man is laying off he will only be paid at the rate of $1,000. Whenever an umpire is injured or deserves a short vacation, the fifth man slips into harness at a full rate of compensation.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire salaries 2

Date Wednesday, December 14, 1887
Text

The salaries of the four Association umpire are as follows:--Gaffney, $2,500; Doescher, $2,300; Ferguson, $2,200, McQuade, $2,000.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire salary negotiations

Date Wednesday, November 23, 1887
Text

One of the events of the [League] meeting was the signing of Umpires Doesher and Gaffney by the Association late Wednesday night. They would hav3epreferred the League, but could come to no terms, although they had a talk on the subject with President Young after the meeting had adjourned. Mr. Young's reply, in substance, was that they should sign where they could get the most money. Doesher was hot at his and told Gaffney that he had a good notion to sign with the Association. A friend of the latter heard the remark and slipped away on the hunt for Byrne to strike while the iron was hot. Byrne was, however, absent and Barnie was asked to hunt him up. When the Bald Eagle of Baltimore learned what the object was, he said, “Why, I'll sign him myself.” Mr. Abell was called and the two called Doescher, yanked him out of the hotel and around the corner, and in 15 minutes had his signature. When the party returned to the hotel after Gaffney the latter had disappeared, having gone to some theatre. Near midnight he appeared again at the hotel, and was then seized and induced to sign. All this was going on right under the eyes of the League people, and yet not a soul tumbled to the true state of affairs, and the facts were not divulged until the following day. Both men receive over $2,500 apiece. An agent has been sent by Mr. Byrne to Hartford to sign another League umpire, Daniels, and by this time he, too, has probably been added to the Association staff.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire's chest protector

Date Wednesday, July 27, 1887
Text

Umpires who stand close to the plate—where they ought to be—are continually being hit and injured by foul tips. In fact that occurs in nearly every game. There's a necessity for an umpire's breast protector, that will protect the shoulders, while the legs should be provided with pads.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire's mask 4

Date Saturday, June 11, 1887
Text

Joe Quest has always borne an excellent reputation for honesty and fairness, but his work this season has been marred by several unfortunate episodes. Joe's position as he stands well back from the catcher to judge balls and strikes is a very bad one. Wearing no mask, it is quite natural that he should turn his face away as the ball is delivered, but it is equally impossible for him to form an intelligent opinion as to whether it passes over the plate or not. President Young has warned him that there is a decided clamor for his removal. Joe promises to put on the mask and do more “hustling” on base decisions. It is to be hoped that he will succeed in holding his position.

Source Sporting News
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire's mask and chest protector

Date Wednesday, June 1, 1887
Text

Dave Rowe is talking of getting up a petition to have the Western League adopt a rule compelling umpires to wear a mask and protector and stand closer to the catcher than they are in the habit of doing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpires' pay

Date Sunday, July 31, 1887
Text

[from an interview of Billy Quinn on umpiring] In the International League the umpire gets $250 a month and has to pay his own expenses out of it, hotel bills, car fair and the like. In the American League [sic] and the National League he gets $200 a month and has his expenses paid for him. So you can see that if he wants to he can lay by nearly the whole of his month’s pay. The season lasts about six months, and that would leave him a thousand dollars or more clear profit. The other six months of the year he can work at something else.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

various disputes within the AA

Date Wednesday, May 18, 1887
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 5/13] The call for the meeting had been kept very quiet, the meeting was very secret, and but little of the business transacted was given out for publication, but the real purpose of the meeting was to put a quietus on the kickers who were, under the guise of coaching, violating the rules and bringing the game into disrepute. Cleveland, Louisville and a number of other clubs were disgusted with the tactics of the St. Louis and Cincinnati players. There was also some complaint at the high-handed way Von der Ahe and Phelps were running things. Then the Mets and Cleveland had a little grievance to ventilate, namely, the action of Cincinnati in loaning players to outside clubs while their teams so sadly needed strengthening. There was also a little difficulty to be adjusted between Brooklyn and Cincinnati over Corkhill. Brooklyn holds documentary proof of Cincinnati's agreement to transfer the great John to Brooklyn, notwithstanding which Corkhill is now illegally playing with the Cincinnati team, he not yet having signed a contract for this season. There was also a little kick against Cuthbert's umpiring in St. Louis to be settled, as well as some questions of policy under the Inter-State Commerce law, and last, but not least, Barnie and Byrne's crusade against certain features of the new rules had to be considered.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

vendors in the grandstand

Date Wednesday, October 19, 1887
Text

[reporting the World Series games in St. Louis] I wonder how this sounded to the refined, pearl-tinted ears of the Detroiters:--”Beer, soda, cider, wine, cigars and whisky!” This was the cry of the waiters in the grand stand.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe on the entrance of the Maroons

Date Wednesday, April 6, 1887
Text

Von der Ahe is quoted as saying that there will be no more rival clubs in St. Louis while the Browns are in existence. He only consented to the Maroons' entrance, two years ago, under terrible pressure from his own Association and will never again yield. If that be true, Union Park is doomed, so far as professional base ball is concerned.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe working to get Wikoff replaced

Date Wednesday, June 29, 1887
Text

...Mr. Von der Ahe has not let up a bit in his efforts to have President Wikoff ousted and has been making an active canvass agaisnst him. Mr. Wikoff has had a great deal of trouble with his umpires this season, and his handling of the corps, as well as many of his releases and appointments, have caused considerable dissatisfaction with his administration and this has given Von der Ahe a handle. If a special meeting of the Association should be held soon, as seems likely, the question of a change may be brought up, but the probability is that no change will be made until the end of the season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe's threat to join the League; argument about Wikoff, splitting gate receipts

Date Tuesday, August 2, 1887
Text

Just before yesterday’s game President Von der Ahe mounted the Athletic grand stand and, coming into the reporters’ box, said: “Gentlemen, I see that several papers say that the statement I made in New York about joining the League is a cold bluff. I simply want to say that I meant what I said then, I mean it now and I will mean it on September 3.” The Philadelphia Times August 2, 1887

There has been considerable talk and discussion during the past week over American Association affairs. All the clubs have been heard from, but even now it is a very difficult matter to say certainly where more than two or three of them stand. St. Louis and Brooklyn lead the opposing factions. The former is for the removal of President Wikoff and the percentage plan, and the latter is for the present guarantee system and is championing Wikoff’s case. Mr. Byrne denies that all the gentlemen named were at the secret conference in New York, but as Wikoff has called the special meeting after nearly a week’s delay, it is probable that he took plenty of time to find out that the called issued from New York was genuine and no hoax. Byrne is determined in his opposition to any change in the system of dividing the gate receipts, and he claims to have Cincinnati, the Athletics and Baltimore with him. He is probably counting his chickens before they are hatched, as Von der Ahe claims to have two of these clubs on his side. Byrne, in a very weak argument, proposed to let St. Louis get out of the Association. He thinks the Association could get along without St. Louis. Possibly it might, but with the present champions out of the circuit the beginning of the downfall of the American Association would follow. The Association lost one of its best cities when Pittsburg joined the League. Cleveland has not yet and never will fill the gap then made, but the lesson learned seems to have been forgotten by some of the Association clubs. The Philadelphia Times August 7, 1887

...Von der Ahe seems to be very much in earnest in his threat to jump and while in Philadelphia entered the newspaper box at the Athletic grounds and announced to the reporters that he was not bluffing, but was firmly resolved in his intention to enter the League in case his demands for a living chance were not acceded to by the Association. There is a disposition on the part of the clubs opposed to percentage, supposed to be Athletic, Brooklyn, Cincinnati and Baltimore, to grant the St. Louis Club special privileges. There is also a strong undercurrent in some quarters in favor of taking an even more determined stand, in case Von der Ahe cannot be placated by reasonable means, and to prevent at all hazards the transferal of so many fine players and so attractive a team to a grasping and overshadowing rival. The loss of the Pittsburg players was even a greater loss than the city they represented, and there isn't the slightest doubt that each and every club felt in pocket the loss of that team as an attraction. Cleveland as a city counterbalanced Pittsburg, but as a drawing attraction, it is needless to remark, the Cleveland team could not offset the Pittsburg team, this season at least. To now lose Von der Ahe's team would even be a greater calamity. True, the Browns might jump from the frying-pan into the fire, and the establishment of a rival team in the Mound City, even at a loss, might prove a damaging blow, financially, to the “genial German,” but this policy of revenge would not compensate for the loss all the Association clubs would suffer by reason of the absence of the star team of the Association.

But the Association is not in a position to prevent the withdrawal of the Browns, except by absolute surrender to the president of that club (whom concession will doubtless make more arbitrary than ever), because the house is divided against itself. There is no unity, no fixed purpose and no spirit of sacrifice for the common weal... The Sporting Life August 10, 1887

rumor of the Metropolitans to disband

[from George Stackhouse's column] Present indications point with a considerable degree of accuracy to the disbandment of the Metropolitan Club at the end of the present season. There is no danger of its dissolution at present and it will fulfill all its obligations to the Association this season, and play out its full complement of games, if the other American Association clubs do the same. The Metropolitan Club has been an unfortunate one and has steadily lost money for its luckless owners for the last three or four years. Even in the year which the Metropolitans won the pennant they lost money. The Metropolitans, as a local institution, died when the present New York Club was organized. Victory and popularity for the New Yorks meant in a measure defeat and small gate receipts for the Mets. It would have been a happier thought to have disbanded the Mets when the local League club was formed. W hen Keefe and Esterbrook were taken from the Mets to strengthen their local rivals a few years ago, the local public saw the move and recognized its significance fully. It is better that the New York Club was never born, or that when born the Indians had been forced out. Under one management one eats up the dividends of the other. Under different managements the results have been nearly the same. The Metropolitans draw nicely when the Giants are away from home, but not so when the Giants are ambling over the green at the Polo Grounds. The Sporting Life August 3, 1887

Walter W. Watrous, a director of the “Mets,” says: “If the percentage plan is [sic: should be “is not”] adopted the Metropolitans will not be in the Association next year. I can place all our men to good advantage. Every man of them will go into the League, for I would not be wiling to have them in the Association when there would be a chance for any of them to strengthen the teams that voted against our life in the Association.” The Philadelphia Times August 7, 1887

Messrs. Wiman and Waltrous say there will be no Metropolitan Club next season unless the percentage plan is adopted. O. P. Caylor says the Mets will exist under either the guarantee or the percentage system. Which is which? The Philadelphia Times August 7, 1887

Source The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst named as owner of the Baltimores

Date Sunday, May 29, 1887
Text

When Harry Vonderhorst, the wealthy brewer and the owner of the Baltimore Club, learned that his team had won the third game from the Cincinnatis he straightway invited a score or more of rich beer-makers from other cities attending the Brewers' National Convention to drink a basket of champagne with him. And they did so, and cheered Vonderhorst and Von der Ahe. The Philadelphia Times May 29, 1887

Mr. Harry R. Vonderhorst, who is one of the owners of the Baltimore Club... Baltimore Sun June 17, 1887

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Vonderhorst's role in the Baltimore Club

Date Wednesday, November 16, 1887
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] ...if rumor is true, already efforts are being made to organize the club into a stock company so as to make in the future a wider distribution of earnings, if so fortunate, or losses, if as usual. Mr. Vonderhorst has been, so far, shouldering about all these losses, it is understood, even before he publicly became a participator in the business of the club, and if he has now come to the conclusion that a little broadcast distribution of responsibility through the medium of a stock company is desirable, it cannot be wondered at.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward on baseball law; labor and capital

Date Wednesday, November 30, 1887
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column][from an interview of Ward] The organization of the Brotherhood...was due almost entirely to a feeling which existed among some of us, who had given the subject much thought, that base ball had grown into too huge an amusement enterprise to exist under and be controlled by base ball law. The contract which clubs were each year asking their men to sign were not legal instruments. A club or a player could have at any time appealed to the law and have set aside the provisions of that contract. Under such circumstances one or two powerful League clubs could at any time have found a means of making such a code subservient to their ends. This was not in accordance with the rapid and remarkable growth of the game as a business enterprise. It protected neither club nor the player. It was practically a useless instrument—this contract. I, together with others, felt that no change in the existing condition of things could be affected by individual effort. Whatever was accomplished must be the result of concerted action, and to this end the Brotherhood was organized. Almost immediately after our organization was effected, sensational newspaper writers—self-constituted champions of our cause—placed the objects of our Brotherhood upon 'a labor and capital' contest basis, and began to lace words in the mouths of myself and other members which told what our organization would do if the League did not accede to our demands. Now, there was no spirit of 'demand' or coercion in the breast of any official connected with the Brotherhood. Our desire was simply to meet the League in friendly conference to the end of bringing about the existence of relations which would prove mutually beneficial—and beneficial to the game itself as to club stockholders and to players. To be sure, there was a desire upon the part of the Brotherhood for official recognition at the hands of the League. We did not deserve it through any spirit of bombast or shallow conceit, but because we believed it would exert an elevating influence in the direction of our profession. And it has done so. The circumstance of that meting and its results has lifted the game and the professional ball player to a point in public esteem which neither ever before occupied.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward's manifesto: the Brotherhood and the reserve

Date Wednesday, July 20, 1887
Text

[See TSL 7/20/1887 p. 1 for a long piece, including a resume of the history of the reserve, from Ward in the form of an open letter to Young.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington Club finances 2

Date Wednesday, October 12, 1887
Text

It is now said that that Washington Club has cleared about $12,000 on the season. Against this there is a deficit of $23,000 from 1886. sot the club is still in a hole, but the assets in the way of players, franchise and a three year's lease of the grounds, with an option to purchase the ground at 50 cents per square foot, more than offsets the deficit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wikoff's AA presidency; McKnight

Date Wednesday, July 13, 1887
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] No doubt Mr. Wikoff is a good executive officer—in fact, a better secretary and treasurer than president. It was supposed he was selected to merely do the routine work of the office—to keep the records and accounts in proper shape, and this he is eminently capable of doing. It appeared to be the intention that he should only be nominally the president, and that the “chairman” should really do the duties of the office—or, rather, advise the president what to do, and that advice should in fact amount to an instruction by which he should be guided. Even if the intention was not such, the practice has been so. Mr. Wikoff has usually been guided by the instructions (or advice if that word if preferred) of Chairman Byrne first and Chairman Phelps latterly. This advice has usually appeared to be impartial and wise. However, it would undoubtedly be much better to have a capable man for that office, whoever that may be, and then not only make him president in name, but in fact. No manager should ask of the president, nor should he grant, special favors. He should be the servant of the Association and not of any one club or clique of clubs. A manager should remember that a very temporary advantage may be gained by having a special favor granted, but that the system is evil, and that he and the general welfare of the game will suffer from such practices in the long run. If the president will favor any one manager in any of his official acts he will certainly do so with another at the cost of the first one. Eventually it becomes a matter of who can make the hardest pull on the president. If he feels that the tenure of his office depends on his diplomacy in playing one manager against another, or, if he is convinced by the actions of managers that he must arrange, in executing his duties, a system of policy to keep their support, then come the troubles and annoyances of the past and the discredit of the game. This was the complaint against his predecessor, and it is asserted that to secure his last re-election he solemnly promised six different persons appointments on the schedule committee of three.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Will Rankin loses his press pass

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

Will Rankin says the New York Club treated him too harshly—far more so than the article complained of warranted. He made no direct charge of crookedness, but simply asked for explanations. He was not ruled off the Polo Ground as stated, but his seat in the reporters' gallery and his pass book were taken from him and he must now enter upon the same footing as other spectators.\

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wiman's motivation for buying the Mets

Date Wednesday, October 12, 1887
Text

Mr. Wiman, however, had in another direction accomplished what he had undertaken. His relations with the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad were such that he is to receive for the ensuing ninety-nine years a pro rata amount from the railroad company for all persons using the Staten Island ferry during the last two years. This was one of his main reasons for planting the club on Staten Island, in conjunction with his other amusement enterprises. So while actually losing money on the “Mets,” he will fully recoup himself in another direction.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wiman's rumored attempt to buy out the Detroit Club

Date Sunday, July 17, 1887
Text

...a [rumored] deal is in progress between Erastus Wiman, owner of the Metropolitan Club, of the American Association, and the directors of the Detroit Club, of the National League, whereby for a large amount, at the close of the present season, the Detroit Club is to withdraw from the National League, and its player transferred in a body to Staten Island, and will next season play in the American Association for the Metropolitan Club. The deal has gone so far as to quote prices. The directors of the Detroit Club have fixed their lowest price at $50,000, and Mr. Wiman is said to have offered $40,000. It is said the chances of the deal being made are excellent, as Mr. Wiman is not the kind of a man to let $10,00 interfere with a transaction of this magnitude. The Philadelphia Times July 17, 1887 [N.B. The negotiations apparently did in fact take place.]

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series gate split

Date Wednesday, October 5, 1887
Text

The net receipts [of the World Series], or the money left after the expenses of travel and hotels have been defrayed, will be divided between the management of the two clubs, the winner taking seventy-five per cent. and the loser twenty-five per cent., less the percentage which goes to the managers of the grounds on which the games are played. … Apart from the special arrangements made between Mr. Sterns and the Detroit players for the remuneration of the latter, the two presidents will deposit $600 each, and the total $1,200 will be given to the club winning the series, to be divided equally among them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Young's conflict of interest as League President and Arbitration Committee chairman

Date Wednesday, September 14, 1887
Text

[reporting the Arbitration Committee meeting of 9/6/1887] [regarding the Beatin case] The case could easily have been settled by the two presidents, Messrs. Young and Wik0off, or by a mail vote without the trouble and expense of a formal meeting of the Arbitration Committee had there been mutual explanations and had not Mr. Young been handicapped by his dual offices of president of the League and chairman of the Arbitration Committee. The two positions conflict and it is quite likely that at the regular meeting of the Committee Mr. Young will resign the chairmanship, leaving him free to act as president of the National League unhampered.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger