Clippings:1888

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1888Clippings in 1888

Clippings in 1888 (488 entries)

Contents

'Bridegrooms' nickname

Date Saturday, March 31, 1888
Text

Sporting Life calls the Brooklyns the “bridegroom team.” That name will stick to it all season. Tearry, Silch, Cauthers and Smith were all recently married.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball academy

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

Charley Mason is nothing if not original. His latest venture is the opening of a training school for base ball players. He has leased the Pennsylvania State Fair Grounds, adjoining the Philadelphia Ball Park, and transferred the mammoth main building into a gymnasium. The building is large enough to play a game under its roof and will enable the players wintering in this city to keep in practice, as well as to get themselves into fine trim for next season. There is a gymnasium attached, in which the boys can work off their superfluous flesh and harden their muscles.; a running track on which they can practice sprinting and sliding; a cage where the batteries can work in and the building is large enough to allow hands to practice on batting and fielding. Mr. Mason has engaged four professionals to train the young pitchers and he hopes to develop some phenomenons before the season of 1889 begins. Thus far about thirty-five of the players wintering have entered the school. Mr. Mason's charges for the term, which ends about April 15, are $15, or about $3 per month.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a baseball team playing cricket

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

The [Syracuse] Stars will play cricket to-morrow [9/28] with the Syracuse Cricket Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bench-clearing brawl

Date Wednesday, April 25, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. Indianapolis 4/20/1888] The row on the ball field yesterday between the local and visiting players has been the talk of the town. A difficulty among the players occurred in the first inning, when Darling foolishly struck Hines just after the latter had scored. Hines was walking away from the plate, and Darling ran backwards to catch the ball, which was being thrown in by Ryan. Hines did not see Darling, who ran into him, and the ball went on to the grand stand. Then Darling struck Hines in the back and rushed after the ball. Hines stopped a moment and looked at him and then walked to the bench.

More trouble occurred in the fifth inning. Sullivan flew out to left field, but was not watching the ball and ran on to first base. As he passed the bag he and Esterbrook collided. They stood for a moment talking to each other, and then Esterbrook threw up his hand and struck at Sullivan's neck. The latter warded off the blow and tried to return it. And then they separated of their own accord. It looked as if the trouble was over, but the men passed remarks and Esterbrook again advanced upon Sullivan and struck him two quick blows on the neck. Sullivan tried to ward off the blows, but made no effort to return either one of them. Very few in the crowd realized what was going on at first, as there seemed to be no cause for the quarrel. The players, however, started over towards Esterbrook and Sullivan. Anson was standing near third base when the fight began, and ran across the diamond crying to Sullivan, “Hit him, hit him.”

Two officers joined the players and endeavored to separate the men. Anson said to one of them:--”You get out of here or we'll put you off the ground.” The other officer turned to Anson then and said:--”Another word from you and I'll arrest you for inciting a riot.” Capt. Denny did his best to quell the disturbance. Umpire Valentine fined Esterbrook and Sullivan $25 each, and last night telegraphed the particulars of the affair to President Young. The men were also arrested after the game but released on their promise to appear in the police court this morning.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a blackboard scoreboard 2

Date Sunday, September 2, 1888
Text

Said Comiskey as he looked at the blackboard last Monday: “That’s the way the first four association clubs will finish–St. Louis, Athletics, Cincinnati, Brooklyn.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball 2

Date Friday, May 18, 1888
Text

[Boston vs. Chicago 5/17/1888] Lynch [umpire] fined Anson $10 in the fifth. When Williamson sent the ball into the crowd along the right field fence, and the Captain, who was coaching near third, saw that a block had occurred, he rushed into the diamond and shouted to Ed to come on. Ed got the base and Anson the fine.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball 3

Date Thursday, May 31, 1888
Text

[Kansas City vs. Cleveland 5/30/1888] In the eighth inning the Clevelands were presented with the winning run. Esterday let Hotaling’s sharp one through his legs and when Faatz drove one to big Jim Davis [3B] he threw the ball past Phillips [1B] and into the crowd in right field and Pete ran home on the throw. Allen [P] got the ball while out of the box and his throw to Donahue [C] would have retired Peter at the plate, had Allen held the ball in position. But he didn’t and Hotaling’s run counted and won the game.

...

The rule under which Umpire Ferguson allowed Hotaling to score the winning run in the eighth inning is as follows: Rule 56. “Whenever a block occurs, the umpire shall declare it, and the base runners may run the base, without being put out until the ball has been returned to and held by the pitcher standing in his position.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball for an out; a ground rule

Date Monday, September 10, 1888
Text

[Kansas City vs. Cleveland 9/9/1888] Before the game Capts. McKean and Barkley agreed that a hit into the crowd or over the fences should be good for two bases. In the last inning a dispute came up over this rule. Albert’s [3b] wild throw gave Cline first and the ball went to the crowd. Cline trotted on to third, but the throws of Faatz [1b] and O’Brien [p] to Albert caught him as he came to the base. Crowell said “out.” Barkley claimed two bases because the ball had gone to the crowd. But it was not a batted ball.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball in a game on ice

Date Sunday, February 12, 1888
Text

[Spaldings vs. Chicago Boys on ice 2/11/1888] A rotund and blooming individual playing centre field in the Spalding nine distinguished himself by making a home run on a blocked ball. The ball was “blocked” by the ear of a small boy who was standing behind the first baseman. Mr. Huck stopped to see if what there was left of the small boy was worth putting together again, and the first baseman tapped him several times on the arm to signify that he had been put out at first. A happy thought struck Capt. Morton.

“Run, Huck, run!” he yelled; “it's a blocked ball! Why don't you run?”

Mr. Huck, who is not so good a ball-player as he is handsome, obeyed his Captain in a perfunctory sort of way, and by the time the Chicago Boys had discovered that blocked ball must be returned to the pitcher he had reached the home plate and scored. The small boy will recover.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken mask 5

Date Sunday, April 29, 1888
Text

In the New York-Philadelphia game Thursday a foul tip struck Ewing's mask with such force that the bars were crushed against his face, cutting it. Crane was pitching.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for a minor league convention on salary control

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1888
Text

[from the New Orleans correspondent] The days of high salaries in minor leagues are past. It has taken the minors a long time to realize that they cannot pay the salaries they have been paying and live, but most of them understand it fully now and are disposed to discuss plans for relief. I strongly advocate a convention of all the minor leagues, to be held early in the fall, before the close of the present season, so that whatever remedies are decided upon can be used in the signing of contracts immediately at the close of the present season for next year. I talked with Sam Morton in Chicago a short time ago on the subject of the convention of minor leagues the coming all, and he agreed that such a thing was necessary and promised to take an active part in bringing about such a meeting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a call for minor league representation on the Board of Arbitration

Date Wednesday, April 4, 1888
Text

[from editorial content] Every phase of the Kansas City squabble [between AA and Western League clubs] serves to illustrate the strength of the position taken by The Sporting Life in its battle last fall for Reservation Privileges and Representation upon the Board of Arbitration for minor leagues... Reservation was granted, but representation, unwisely and illogically, was refused, mainly through the opposition of the Association members of the Board, aided by Mr. John B. Day, of the League trio, Col. Rogers and President Young alone working and voting for it. … A minimum representation of the combined minor leagues upon the Board of Arbitration will make it in fact what it is in name, and not only avert all the dangerous possibilities lurking in the present condition, but be also the means of cementing and solidifying the vast and growing base ball interests of the country, without in the least destroying the individuality of the various leagues or at all interfering with the prerogatives of either of the major organizations—a contingency at least one of the two powers seems to unreasonably and weakly fear. Representation for minor leagues is a safety-valve that must be applied sooner or later to the engine of the National Agreement, in order that that bulwark of the National game may be placed beyond the possibility of destruction through ignorance, malice, caprice or selfishness.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a called shot

Date Friday, August 31, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. Indianapolis 8/30/1888] “Silver,” called Anson in the fifth, “where are you going to hit?” “Out there,” Flint said, pointing his bat to left. “Yes you will,” spoke up Boyle, who had struck the catcher out once. The ball came tot he plate and “Silver” placed it where he said he would. Anson laughed, but Boyle did not.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's glove manufacturer

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] Among the notes in your last issue is one describing a new catcher's glove. Do you know where more good catchers' gloves are made than in any other place? And how the maker came to secure the trade? I'll tell you. One spring day in 1882 Charley Snyder was walking up Main street in Cincinnati when his eyes rested upon a modest sign, which read:-- “--- Hermann, glove-maker.” He was in need of a glove, and he went in to solicit the making of one. He found a German and his wife in a small room about 10 by 15 feet in area and a patronage which was so meager they barely lived. After much trouble Snyder made them understand what it was he wanted. In a few days he had his glove, and it proved to be one of the best he ever used. Several visiting catchers saw the glove, got a point and, hunting up the German, left orders. Those gloves in turn secured other orders, and in a year or so the glove-maker had rented a neighboring building, employed help and was manufacturing gloves for players in almost every part of the country. Presently orders came in for supplies of gloves from Spalding Bros., Reach, Wright and other base ball supply dealers, so that in the years which have followed the German and his wife have made a small fortune. Snyder's visit to that little room on that spring morning nearly six years ago was like the fairy's visits of which we read.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a catcher's glove pad

Date Wednesday, March 28, 1888
Text

[from an advertisment] Henderson's Patent Catcher's Glove. Made of Heavy Gray Felt and Sheet Lead. Shaped Like a Glove, With Half and Full Fingers. Price, 50 Cts. Each. Impossible for the ball to hurt your hand. Can be used in any glove. [i.e. this is a glove insert] No Catcher Should be Without one.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim of early signs

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

The first player to give his catcher and outfielders signs as to the kind of ball he was about to pitch was Harry Wright, when he was change pitcher for the famous Red Stockings, of Cincinnati, in 1870. he worked the fast and slow ball, and would always let his catcher and outfielders know when he was going to toss a good one over the plate.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that Ward approached Erastus Wiman to back a league

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[from George Stackhouse's column][from an interview of Erastus Wiman] “It is said, Mr. Wiman, that in case there is trouble between the players and the League owners that you will back the Brotherhood in its fight against the moneyed men of base ball.”

“No, no,” said the financier. “I am out of base ball. Some time ago, probably a year or more, I might have done so, but not now. At that time I had the old Metropolitan Club on my hands, and acknowledged that I did consider such a scheme. Ward came to me and made such a proposition and I thought favorably of it at the time. Now such a thing is out of the question. I am much more interested in Canadian affairs.” The Sporting Life December 12, 1888

[from Frank Brunell's column] Two stories are on the breeze and in our Western ears to which I can add a little testimony. The first is that from Boston, which quotes Arthur Irwin as saying that a year ago while the League-Brotherhood battle was on, Erastus Wiman stood ready to back the players in their project of starting teams in the leading League cities. A New Yorker in a position to know, told me the same story during the recent League meeting, and it is undoubtedly true. And there were more capitalists beside Mr. Wiman in the scheme. The Sporting Life December 12, 1888

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a claim that the AA asked to put a franchise in Chicago or Boston

Date Sunday, January 1, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's letter] To him who does not cast his thoughts away back it may seem strange to learn from that Baltimore special [report of the previous week] that the committee have been corresponding with the League and asking for the privilege of placing an Association Club in Boston or Chicago. But this the committee has done without a doubt and have been flatly refused. … ...the Association's actions are predicated upon the circumstances surrounding the admission of the Lucas Union Association Club into the League during the winter of 1884-85. It will be remembered that this could not be done without the consent of the American Association. That body blowed and blustered over the affair considerably, and finally came down like Davy Crocket's coon. … ...it was tacitly understood—so it was alleged—that the League then and there agreed that if the emergency ever arose the association should have the privilege of placing a club in Chicago or Boston provided the Chicago or Boston Club officials as the case might be should be granted certain concessions relative to such new club. My impression, however, is that there was a limit fixed to the privilege and that the limit has expired. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette January 1, 1888

a financially self-sufficient player

Frank Fennelly has signed a Cincinnati contract for next season. This will prove good news to the patrons of the game in this city for Frank was always one of the most popular players on the team and is a faithful worker. At first it was intimated that Fennelly was tired of Cincinnati and wanted his release so that he might go to another city, but such is not the case. The great short-stop was well satisfied both with the management and the club and the only thing that deterred him from signing a contract sooner was his business interest at Fall River. On last Wednesday President Stern in returning from the East went to Fennelly’s home thinking by his personal persuasion that he might induce him to sign. He said he was surprised to find that Fennelly had a large business interest to look after which if properly cared for would net him every year twice as much money as the Cincinnati Club could afford to pay him. “I saw at once” said Mr. Stern, “that he was independent of base ball as a means of a livelihood and, though pleased to find him so prosperous, was fearful after all that he might remain firm in his purpose and refuse to come to Cincinnati. He is running a large grocery store, and his business is so good that he has four wagons and as many clerks constantly employed.” Fennelly told President Stern that he must make it an object for him to play ball or else he would never consent to sign a Cincinnati contract. They were not long in coming to terms, and Fennelly was given the limit in salary, and is to draw a handsome bonus besides. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette January 1, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club chaplain

Date Wednesday, May 16, 1888
Text

The Chicago Club is the only one in the country that has a chaplain. His name is Rev. Thomas E. Green and he is the rector of St. Andrew's Church. Perhaps the Rev. Mr. Green could, if he tried, persuade the lads to go to bed early when away on trips.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a club's expenses; finances

Date Monday, March 26, 1888
Text

Here are O. P. Caylor’s figures on the average expenses for running a base ball team of Cleveland’s size:

Salaries, fifteen men........................ $37,500

Railroad fares................................. 5,000

Sleeping car fares............................ 600

Hotel bills, 100 days....................... 3,000

Carriages......................................... 650

Advertising........................................ 1,000

Employees...................................... 2,000

Rent................................................. 3,000

Manager............................................ 3,000

Incidentals, uniforms, etc................. 1,000

______

Total..................................... $56,750

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a collective holdout

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] ...there is said to be “a combine” within the ranks of the old stagers who were allowed to remain in St. Louis. It is rumored that a very strong combination has been formed and that this combination intend to make the Browns' president dance to their music when a contract is shoved under their nose. The combine is said to contain three of the old club—the champions—and they are said to be Robinson, O'Neil and King. It is said that they intend to demand $3,000 each for their services, and not to sign a contract for a penny less than the above amount. The boys may succeed, and they may not, as the Browns' management will have a large number of youngsters to draw from and President Von der Ahe declares that he will not be dictated to when it comes to salaries. Some of the boys that visited San Francisco during the past winter claim that they have been offered big inducements to return to the land of “rainy weather” and “trade winds,” and Robinson told me a few days ago that he would go back to California unless President Von der Ahe acceded to his demands.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a complaint about the Reach ball

Date Sunday, August 26, 1888
Text

For some weeks past there has been a general complaint among Association players in regard to the Reach ball. The opinion prevails that it is a very inferior article and to this, in a measure, is traceable the light batting among the Association players. All the balls that were intended for the Southern League were palmed off on the Association when that organization went under. Yesterday one of Reach’s balls was cut in two, and a careful examination was made of its composition. The small inside rubber ball was taken to a dealer in rubber goods, and it was pronounced by him to be of a very inferior quality.

The woolen yarn pakcing is not what it is cracked up to be, and the plastic composition which forms an inside covering is as thin as tissue paper. The packing was not firm, as an indentation could be made by a slight pressure of the finger. The ball that was examined, a cut of which appears above, was used in the Shamrock game at Dayton last Sunday. The Cincinnati, Athletic, Brooklyn and Baltimore players have made complaints to the respective heads of their clubs in regard to the ball. John Reilly asserts that the Reach ball is nothing but a bundle of old woolen yarn. If Reach can not furnish a good articles it is about time the Association was looking elsewhere for a suitable ball. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette August 26, 1888

Al Reach sent on a lot of new balls yesterday. They are packed with a better article of yarn and there is a larger quantity of rubber in them. John Reilly is amazingly pleased with the new alls and hopes to raise his batting average from now on. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette September 12, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of beer and Sunday baseball; the brewery influence

Date Wednesday, February 8, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] League and respectability and Association and beer, together with Sunday ball playing, are beginning to be synonymous terms. How can the Association be so inconsistent as to require temperance among their employees and then tempt them day after day to their destruction by openly selling beer and liquors on the grounds—and advertise it, too, in the most ostentatious manner? And it gives the worst impression, too, when the most hilarious times in this respect are confined to Sundays. True, western towns wink at it, but if more truth may be added, it is not the most respectable portion of the citizens who attend Sunday games and witness, or participate in, the carousing, and to add still more truth, many attend whose conscience fails to approve, and, in fact, cannot help but respect the league more for abstaining from the feature of violating the sensibilities of the general public. The Association should not be ashamed to take a lesson from the League book in this respect. It must come to that, however, if it is wished to divide popular favor. Beer and Sunday playing are keeping thousands of people of one class away from the games, while its absence would not lose ten of the other class. But, while no doub5t many Association people acknowledge all this, they believe it almost an impossibility to accomplish the reform while so many of the association clubs are controlled by brewers, or were first started as merely auxiliary to beer gardens or beer selling. St. Louis, Cincinnati, Baltimore, and now Kansas City, nor or at one time, came under this category it is understood. Such is thought to be the case, but if injustice is done any of those clubs it is unintentional and will be corrected on receipt of information to the contrary. Now, of course, a beer man may own a club without any attempt to utilize his team as a sort of nickel-plated faucet to draw beer, but it is not apt to be the case. This beer causes lots of trouble, too. The outrageous assault by a Baltimore crowd on Umpire Brennan was caused by the beer-befuddled brain of one man who rushed into the field and was followed by hundreds of others. The beer riots of Cincinnati at base ball games, where the umpire is made the target of the heavy and deadly beer glasses, is common knowledge throughout the country. Many instances might be cited where this disgrace to the Association is retarding the growth of the game, and especially the National sport as interpreted by the Association. Don't the Association people see that the League gains in the estimation of all respectable people by contrast? This is certainly so, and unless all such pull-backs are eliminated the Association will always play second fiddle to the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a condemnation of player sales, the reserve

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] ...Clarkson, for the money he cost the Chicago Club, did good service and earned many times more than the amount he cost the Chicago Club. Therefore, what right had the Chicago Club to sell his release to the Boston Club for $10,000? The only excuse for the inauguration of the sales system was that of money invested in making a player. Said A- -, the selling magnate:--”This man cost me $500 or $1,000 to make him what he is. If you will reimburse me you can have him.” B - -, the buying magnate, paid the price and took the man. These were the original outlines of a player deal. Gradually the system has grown into broad and brutal investment for a raise in price, as hogs, houses and hops are hold and sold. Perhaps in the future the system will run into marginal sales. It will if it swells as it is swelling and has swollen in the past. … Clarkson was ready-made when Chicago got him. He cost an original nothing, outside a large salary for a short season. He earned it. And every season he earned every dollar he drew from the Chicago Club, and was his own man, and had a legal and moral right, had he chosen to exercise it, to go to Boston whenever he chose to do so, his contract with Chicago being fulfilled. Base ball law and the law of the land are very antagonistic. The sooner they are dovetailed the better it will be for the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

A conditional release

Date Saturday, June 2, 1888
Text

Oliver Tebeau was yesterday released by the Chicago club, and immediately signed with the Minneapolis club. The release is a conditional one, the Minneapolis club and Tebeau agreeing that he will return to the Chicago club in case President Spalding should want him for the Chicago team. The Minneapolis club pays $1,000 for his release, and contracts to pay him $300 a month for the remainder of the season. Although there is a string tied to Tebeau his release had to go through the regular form, and President Spalding will have to depend upon the honor of the Mineapolis management and Tebeau for his return should it be desired. The Chicago club has for several days had waivers of all claims for Tebeau from all the other league clubs, but made no effort to dispose of him. Yesterday President Spalding told him he could stay with the Chicago club and need not do anything more than he had been doing and his salary would be forthcoming. This was not agreeable. He was not willing to do nothing more than practice and hold himself in readiness for a call to take somebody's place on the team; he wanted to play and for that reason watned to get away. Sam Morton tried to get him for the Maroons, but he was unwilling to play in Chicago on any other than the league team.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the Brush plan, penalties it imposes

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from a collection of excerpts from various newspaper, mostly supporting the Brush plan] The “League's graded salary plan” will prove one of the greatest instructors in the art of record playing ever known to base ball. What a choice collection of perjurers the “graded salary plan” will develop in the territory covered by the National League tape. … The League, with its characteristic consistency, prescribes a much severer penalty for the player than it does for the club president who violates the provisions of the “graded salary plan.” The former is subject to blacklisting and the latter to a fine which will never be collected. The Sporting Life December 5, 1888, quoting the St.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a critique of the block ball rule

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column][discussing the rules with Bob Ferguson] Ferguson objects to the present rule governing “block” balls. He says the umpire, in nearly every instance of a batted or thrown ball going into the crowd cannot tell whether it becomes a “blocked” ball or not when the crowd opens to let the ball go by and then closes up again. He wants the block ball to be declared every time it goes into the crowd out of sight, unless under special ground rules limiting bases run when the crowd encroaches on the field.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the Cuban Giants

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

The Cuban Giants, who, by the way, are neither giants nor Cubans, but thick-set and brawny colored men, make about as stunning an exhibition of ball playing as any team in the country. Old-time ball players, who are perhaps a trifle awed and confused by the methodical and systematic manner in which some of the League clubs play, will have a revival of old memories if they go to see the Cuban Giants when they are really loaded for bear. They play great ball, but, outside of that, they do more talking, yelling, howling and bluffing than all the teams in the League put together. There is a sort of “get thar' spirit among them, which carries the spectators back a good many years in ball playing, and, from a spectative point of view, it is one of the best teams in the city to see., quoting the New York Sun

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the double cover baseball

Date Sunday, April 1, 1888
Text

In 1878 the Mahn “double cover” ball was introduced and was the first ball of the kind ever used. It was made as follows: A ball of molded vulcanized rubber, one ounce in weight, was taken and wrapped with woolen yarn very tightly until it was about two thirds the size of the ball required, this was then covered with horse hide; this ball was then again wrapped with yarn, but not so tightly until of the requisite size and again covered with horse hide. The “cushion,” that part of the ball between the inside ball and the outer covering, was not made so hard so as to be more easily handled by catchers and other players; the inside ball being very compact gave enough elasticity to the ball. It was also found out at this time that horse hide was the best covering for base balls and it is still so considered. Other balls were used by the different leagues and associations, made according to the old rule, but not having the double cover.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the double steal

Date Sunday, July 8, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s column] There is one play which is an excellent one, and one which the Cincinnatis used to good effect last season. With one man out, and a man on second and one on first the play was that a simultaneous steal of third and second should be attempted before the man at the bat had a chance to hit. The object was first to prevent a retirement of the side by a double play on an infield hit, secondly to produce two runs instead of one on a hit, third to score a run sure on an outfield fly. If the basement stayed on their bases this would result in a double play and end of the inning on an easy infield hit. No advancements on a fly to left or center. Only one runner on a base hit. If the play would not be successful a hit would still score the man who had safely reached a base. It is a play that should never be missed by good base runners. St. Louis uses it very much to their advantage and for a while last season the Mets did good work on the plan.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of the hit and run

Date Sunday, June 24, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s letter] [quoting John M. Ward’s How to Become a Player] Every ball player, who pretends to play the game with his brain as well as with his body, should be able to hit in whatever direction he wishes. It may not be always possible to hit in the exact direction desired and of course he can not place the ball in any particular spot, but he can and should be able to hit either to left field or right as the occasion demands. The advantage of this to the player himself and to his team can not be overestimated. For example there is a runner on first who signals to the batter that he will try to steal second on the second ball pitched. When he starts to run the second baseman goes for his base and the entire field between first and second is left open. Now if the batter gets a ball anywhere within reach and taps it down toward right field the chances are that it will be safe and the runner from first will keep right on to third. Oftentimes too the batter himself will reach second on the throw from right field to third to catch the runner ahead of him. Here now by a little head work are runners on third and second where an attempt to smash the ball trusting to luck as to where it should go might have resulted in a double play or at least one man out and no advantage gained. Many a game is won by such scientific work, and the club that can do the most of it day after day, will come in the winners in the finish. When a batter is known as one who will attempt a play of this kind it is usual for the second base man to play well over into right field allowing the second to be covered by the short stop. When the batter discovers such a scheme to catch him he should continue toward right field, in order not to betray his intention, but when the ball is pitched he should turn and hit toward left field. If the short stop has gone to take the base, the space between second and third is left open just as the other side was. [end quotation]

...

The plan suggested of the batsman knowing when the base runner is going to start to steal second so that he may hit the ball is a good one to carry out. It will win in the long run. The coacher ought to notify both base runner and batter what ball this double play should be made upon. It could be done by the coacher having a list of word signals which would be understood by all the team. There should be no mistake, either, but on what ball the runner should be off and the batter hit the ball if be a reasonably fair one, or strike at it if it be bad. The starting of the runner usually uncovers the infield at second and short, as both short stop and second baseman are likely to be more intently watching the base runner than the batter. Even if the ball does go at a fielder the base-runner has a start which may prevent a double play. This system was tried frequently by the Mets last year...

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed attempt to return to four strikes for an out

Date Thursday, March 8, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Jimmy Williams] “The attempt to change back to four strikes was a failure,” said Mr. Williams. “There was but one club in the league that voted in favor of doing so, and the joint committee, except myself, was unanimously against such a move. So it’s three strikes this season. Well, I don’t know as Cleveland will get any the worst of it. We have some very swift pitchers and it will help those sort of men.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a failed night game

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

An electric light game was attempted at Jackson [state not specified] July 4, but was not successful. The shadows were too deep and after five innings play was abandoned.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a foul tip and a snap throw

Date Friday, July 20, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. Detroit 7/19/1888] Getzein was a greatly surprised man when, after he had been sent to base on five balls in the sixth, Farrell took Campau's foul tip and sent the ball to Anson before Get could get back to first. It was a quick throw. Farrell received slight applause.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint about ghostwriters

Date Wednesday, May 30, 1888
Text

John Ward's forthcoming book will have at least the merit of originality. The president of the Brotherhood needed no assistance except such as his talented wife could give him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint about the Baltimore Club moving to New York

Date Sunday, February 26, 1888
Text

...Now, as a fact, there is but little possibility that the club will leave the city, say, this season, because it is strong enough to make a great fight and draw the crowds, which will pay a gratifying percentage on the investment; but, it will go, beyond a question unless his is done. This support is all it wants, but, in case there is no support, the franchise goes, and New York will be the city. Mr. Von der Horst, at the last meeting of the Association in Cincinnati, was one of the prime movers in the scheme to retain the Metropolitan franchise in New York, and advocated the establishment of an office here. On last Thursday one week, Mr. Von der Horst quietly crossed the Jersey City ferry to New York, saw several of his colleagues, with whom he had brief talks, and the result was the office was rented and established on Park Place, in New York, and directly opposite the Post office. Mr. Von der Horst, as chairman of the American Association, and also of the committee which had in charge the disposition of the Metropolitan franchise, had full power to rent the office. This action has some significance. The franchise in New York is held by the Association, and any club can be transferred to that place. There is one thing, however. The patrons of the game here can rest assured that if they support their own club, whether it falls by the roadside or not, they will have representation. It is a matter of business with the management. Business men do not purchase goods worth fifty cents and retail them at twenty-five cents.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a hint of the Spalding tourists going to England

Date Wednesday, November 14, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] ...if the Australian party should return home by way of England next spring, as is not unlikely, our British cousins may get an inkling of the sport...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ladies' season ticket

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from the Indianapolis correspondent] At a meeting of the board of directors on Monday night it was decided to issue a lady's season ticket, reducing the price from $25 to $16, and making good for all of the championship games. President Brush is in favor of doing everything possible to increase the attendance of the ladies, and feels that while the ticket is very cheap it will pay in the end. It is the better class of people who support base ball in Indianapolis, and the long-headed president seems to think that where the ladies go the men will be sure to follow.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late proposal to allow overrunning second base

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

How the discussion of one idea brings out another. The talk about moving the pitcher's position further back has brought out another idea of that experienced manager and close observer, Harry Wright, namely, to permit players to overrun second base as well as first. Such a change, it is argued, would save the clubs the services of many valuable players, as more injuries are due to sliding to second base than all other causes combined. The change would also go to still further lighten the burden of the umpire, as most of the close decision arise at that bag, and under present conditions it is not always an easy matter to decide correctly whether or not the player is out when he goes down into the dirt and raises a cloud. These points are strong ones, but are offset by the question whether the game would be robbed of interest by thus abolishing the clever sliding to second, which is now one of features of every first-class game of ball—on which many a game hinges and turns. The idea, however, though not new, is worth more consideration than it received when first broached some years ago.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a list of managers

Date Wednesday, February 15, 1888
Text

[See TSL February 15, 1888 p. 5 for in all professional leagues]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a manager not on the bench

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

Robert H. Leadley, Watkins' success, is a Detroit boy, and since 1884 has been secretary of the club. He is keen in financial matters, is well posted on base ball, and best of all is well stocked with common sense. He is popular with the players, and there is little doubt that he will succeed. His first act was to make Dan Brouthers field captain in Hanlon's absence, and it proved a good move. Leadley will not occupy the players' bench. He thinks the field captain should have full charge of the men during a game, and prefers to watch the contest from the stand.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a minor league club with a reserve team

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

The Camden Base Ball Club will have a reserve team this year, which will play on the home grounds the days the regular team are playing games in other cities in the semi-professional Inter-State League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a minor league salary cap

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting the International Association meeting 11/21/1888] The whole afternoon and part of the night was consumed by the discussion of a salary limit. The committee appointed at the directors' meeting, consisting of Leonard, of Rochester; O'Neil, of Syracuse, and Hobbs, of London, presented a scheme which provided, First—That no contract be made for the services of any player for a longer period than five months, from May 1 to October 1. In case of violation the player to be disqualified and the club to forfeit its franchise. Second—That salaries be limited to $1,000 per season, at the rate of $200 per month. Players violating the rule to be disqualified and clubs to lose their franchise and guarantee deposit. Third—If players receive any moneys in any way, shape or manner from the club or any one acting for the club, in addition to the salary, he shall be suspended and the club shall forfeit its franchise and guarantee. Fourth—Each club shall send to the secretary within ten days of the end of each month a true copy of the pay roll for the month, and account for all sums paid players, the account and rolls to be sworn to. Fifth—No money shall be advanced to players more than $150, which shall be deducted from his salary. Sixth—If the players shall report before April 15th they shall not be paid more than $10 per week and board. Seventh—All contracts made previous to the adoption of the salary limit must conform with the above clauses.

A compromise was finally reached by the adoption of a salary limit of $12,500 exclusive of the manager, the amount of salaries for each month to be pro rate part of the entire amount. Detroit was the only member to vote negative. The advance money clause was murdered outright.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a new catcher's glove

Date Wednesday, February 22, 1888
Text

A new catcher's glove has been put upon the market by a Milwaukee manufacturer, J. W. Sauer, whose advertisement appears in another column. Of the glove Mr. Sauer says:--”It is made with the object of giving the best possible protection against speedy pitching, and is extra well and softly padded, the padding extending well over the tips of the fingers to prevent low-curve balls breaking or smashing the fingers. It is hand-sewed.” The Sporting Life February 22, 1888 [the advertisement shows what appears to be a heavily padded left-hand glove, like fielders' gloves of two decades later.]

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a new manager in Kansas City

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

Last Saturday [6/30] Dave Rowe tendered his resignation as manager, captain and outfielder of the Cowboy team, which was promptly accepted, and Dave Rowe, and old League club manager, must seek pastures new. … The management has appointed Sam Barkley as captain with control of the men on and off the field, while Secretary Clough, a very competent and efficient secretary, will take charge of the finances and travel with the team on their trips. … Manager Barkley has secured the release of Sullivan, of the Birmingham team, of the Southern League, and this is the first step of our new manager. The Sporting Life July 11, 1888 [N.B. Baseball-reference lists Rowe as manager the entire season.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a no-reserve clause in a contract

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column][from an interview of Ezra Sutton] T”he Rochester Club has no claim on my services whatever,” said Sutton, “or I would never have signed with the Milwaukee people. Manager Leonard, of the Rochester Club has me on his reserve list, but that cuts no figure. When I signed with the Rochester Club last year I promised them that I would give them the first chance at my services for next season, as they well knew that my contract was a conditional one, and that condition was that I was not to be reserved by them, and if I so desired I could show you right here in black and what a letter from President Rhinehardt which talks for itself. I will play with Milwaukee next season—Leonard or no Leonard—and if my name is not taken off the reserve list of the Rochester Club I will bring the matter before the Arbitration Committee, and the papers that I have in my possession will only have to be looked over by the committee when a decision will be given in my favor.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a no-reserve contract 2

Date Wednesday, October 17, 1888
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] Higgins could not be reserved by the terms of the agreement made with him when he signed this summer. If he wants to put his name to a Boston contract again, he will undoubtedly have a chance to do so.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitch with movement

Date Wednesday, January 4, 1888
Text

Ward states that Sweeney used to throw a jumping ball, the most deceptive he ever stood before.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitcher wearing a catcher's glove

Date Wednesday, April 18, 1888
Text

Crane generally has a catcher’s glove on his left hand when he pitches.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a practice sliding frame

Date Tuesday, February 28, 1888
Text

Pitcher Stagg is determined that the Yale nine shall win every game it plays during the coming season. In training candidates for the nine he has devised a new scheme for teaching them to slide bases. He has constructed and placed in the gymnasium a pine frame fourteen by seven feet, covered with canvas, drawn tightly, and an overcovering of velvet carpet with its surface elevated about four feet above the ground. The candidates run a distance of twenty feet or so and then hurl themselves headlong upon this new machine. The famous little pitcher says that the nine will be the best Yale has yet produced.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for a minor league convention to reduce salaries

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

[from the New Orleans columnist “Creole”] Every league in the country is paying higher salaries than its weakest club can stand, whereas all the leagues should be run upon a basis of what its weakest clubs can afford. There is a general disposition in all leagues now to reduce salaries and the minors are about to take the initiative. They have it in their own hands to reduce salaries to a living basis, and if they will only assemble in convention and agree upon a scale of salaries, the players will have no other alternative but to accept. There are hundreds of young players coming up every season and there will be no trouble in getting all they want at their own figures. High salaries have had their inning and it is now the stockholders' time at bat. If the minors fail to take the salary problem in hand at once, they will vote themselves the most royal band of “producers” in the land. The Sporting Life August 22, 1888

[quoting an unidentified “southern man interested in base ball”] If we were to assemble in a convention we could easily arrange a plan that would reduce salaries at least 50 per cent. below what we are now paying, and thus reduce them to a point that would not only make all our clubs self-sustaining, but would also make base ball an investment for those who are spending their money in it. A salary of $75 to $125 a month for players should be the very outside in salaries. We have merely to meet and all agree that we will not exceed such a limit, and the players have no alternative but to accept. Cleveland Plain Dealer August 29, 1888, quoting the Sporting Times

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for roster limits

Date Tuesday, July 10, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Jimmy Williams] I think it absolutely necessary for the existence of the clubs that a rule be passed allowing each club in the league or association to have but thirteen players under contract. This will allow a team to have three batteries and seven fielders and will be quite a factor in keeping down expenses.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to change scoring of pitchers stats to encourage offense

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] I have a suggestion to make on this batting question, but before I make it I want to make a suggestion or two:

In the first place, what is the incentive that urges a pitcher to strike out as many of his opponents as possible and hold them down to a small number of base hits? As everybody knows, it is because hitting aids run-getting, and because a pitcher's value to his club is almost wholly determined by his ability to deceive the opposing batsmen in his delivery.

Very well, then. If this incentive were removed; if the number of hits made off a pitcher were largely determined by the fielders or a team, and to comparatively no extent at all by the pitcher himself; if, on the contrary, it was the wish and object of a pitcher to have opposing batsmen hit the ball so that the in and outfields might do the decisive playing, would not the effect be desirable?

If so, it can be had by substituting the following pitching and batting rules:

Each batsman shall be entitled to three strikes, two called balls entitling him to take first base.

In delivering the ball, the pitcher may stand and hold the ball as he pleases, so long as he does not resort to methods calculated to deceive a base-runner.

A ball over the plate, between the knee and shoulder of the batsman shall be called a fair ball.

Should a batsman be hit by a pitched ball, he shall be entitled to take second base.

The number of base hits made off a pitcher shall in no way affect his standing in the official averages. His standing shall be determined by the percentage of opponents he has sent to first base on called balls to the number of opponents who have faced him. The percentage of opponents he has struck out will also go far to show his skill as a pitcher, under the three-strike and two-ball rule.

A pitcher who shall hit a batsman with a pitched ball shall have two “bases on called balls” charged against him by the official scorer.

Under the rules I suggest a pitcher will avoid sending a batsman to base on balls, knowing that upon this point in his pitching depends his standing in the records. On the contrary, he will much prefer to put the ball where the batsman can hit it; knowing that his (the pitcher's) record will not be hurt by a a two-base hit, and that the chance of the batsman's being retired on a fly or infield hit, is preferable to the certainty of his taking first on called balls. Reducing the number of called balls from five to two almost compels the pitcher to deliver a fair ball, as he has but little margin to go upon. The penalty for hitting a batsman is also so great that a pitcher will much prefer putting the ball over the plate. In fact, the combined restrictions under which the pitcher would be placed under such rules would make him abandon the deadly curve ball, while as an offset he would be under no restrictions as to method of delivery, and would be at liberty to use all the speed, change of pace or drop and rise balls, of which he was master. It is dollars to cents that almost any league pitcher can put a ball over the plate time and time again without once missing., provided he resorts only to change of pace and lets the curve severely alone, so that if, under the rules suggested, a pitcher gave a batsman a base on balls he would have only himself to hold responsible.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to defer the Brush plan for the Australian tourists

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] Mr. Walter Spalding, the representative of the Chicago Club, has asked a vote of the League clubs on a resolution making the late classification of salaries amendments non-applicable to the players on the Australian trip until fifteen days after their return to the United States, so that they may be put on the same footing as players not in the country. The vote will be taken by mail, and should be unanimously in favor of the Spalding resolution. Doubtless it will be; as, so long as the petted star players are to be given a chance to save their bacon, it would be simply infamous to take advantage of the absence of the equally deserving players no on the way to Australia to deprive them of the period of grace. In just to the absent players, and for the sake of consistency, the Australian tourists must be given an equal chance with the stay-at-homes. Not to give them that chance would be equivalent to setting the seal of condemnation on a most meritorious enterprise, and to indirectly punishing the participants therein.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to empower umpires to suspend players

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] The idea of giving the umpires power to suspend refractory players...is a good one... The plan has decided merit, in that it would lift the burden of keeping the players in subjection from the already sadly hampered umpire to the clubs, where it properly belongs. If the umpires were empowered to suspend kicking and “dirty” players for brief periods, running from one day to, say a week, [illegible] of pay, the clubs themselves, instead of secretly encouraging the players in their kicking and trickery, would quickly put their players on their good behavior, for not only would they be paying for services not rendered, but the loss of the services of valuable players, even for the briefest period, would b3e such a serious matter to the clubs, especially in close races, that they would be in self-defence be compelled to put their players upon their good behavior.

Thus by enforcing penalties that would come home to the club instead of making the players suffer financially, we should get down to the properly solution of the umpire question by making each club responsible for the conduct of its players. …

But it is not likely to come into operation very soon because, unfortunately, the club people who regulate these things and who make and unmake the umpires and the rules governing them are the very people who would be most affected by the proposed new system, and they will undoubtedly continue as long as possible to shirk the onerous duty of themselves keeping their players in check and maintaining order upon the ball field by making the umpire the scapegoat of their dereliction of duty and the wrath of mulcted players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to give a base hit on a sacrifice

Date Wednesday, October 10, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column][quoting Tom Loftus] In order to promote team work—and on no side has the game got so much to expect from as this—I think it would be advisable to give a base hit to each player who sacrifices himself to help a runner around the bases with a run. Runs are the chief factors in deciding a game. Why not give a player who distinctly aids in the making of a run some credit for his work? The proper credit would seem to be a base hit and such a plan would bring the sacrifice hitters where they belong—in the front rank. Surely a batter who goes to the plate for a sacrifice and makes one fools the pitcher. Yet, under the present rules, the batter gets no credit and the pitcher is charged with nothing, unless by means of consecutive sacrifices an earned run is made. This is certainly not as it should be. At present the main-strength batters get all the credit. The corers and writers should have agitated this point long ago. Legislation should be made to aid the managers to get more team work. Such a rule as the one I suggest, covering sacrifice hitting credits, would met the approval of every manager in the country.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to increase offense by changing the inning to four outs

Date Wednesday, October 10, 1888
Text

Here is a novel suggestion on batting increase, offered by Tom Gunning, of the Athletics--”The number of innings should be reduced to seen, and the number to be put out in each inning be increased from three to four. This increase in the number to be put out would give a better chance for the bunching of hits and circumvent the now frequent and non-interesting scattered hitting. With four men to be put out a man might make a sacrifice without throwing too much responsibility upon one man.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to limit roster size

Date Wednesday, October 31, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] The League and Association would do a wise piece of business if at their next meetings they pass a law limiting the number of players to be contracted with by each club to eighteen before April 1, and the men under contract after May 15 to fourteen. Under the present way of doing business clubs like Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Chicago, each having an immense income, hire twenty or more players in the spring and keep them until they are useable or saleable. Clubs in towns like Cleveland are not able to do this. The expense is too great. Hence the necessity for such a rule.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to move the pitcher back; overrun second base

Date Thursday, August 30, 1888
Text

Thei dea of putting the pitcher back five feet is meeting with considerable approval among the star ball players and managers. The earnest supporters of it are represented by Harry Wright, John Clarkson, and Mike Kelly. They hold that the people who witness the game desire lots of hitting. Radbourn of Boston does not favor the idea, and claims that the pitcher should be forty-five feet from the plate. He claims that the ball cranks would rather see small scores and batters strike out with men on bases than hard hitting. Harry Wright also claims that a base runner ought to be allowed to run over second as he does over first base. These two ideas will be brought up in the fall meeting of the League.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to move the pitcher closer to the plate

Date Wednesday, October 24, 1888
Text

[from the Boston correspondent][from an interview of Arthur Irwin] “How are we going to get more batting, Arthur?” I asked.

“Move the pitcher up nearer the plate. That would be my way of doing it.”

“Nearer the plate?

“Certainly, put him back to 45 feet from the plate and we will have more batting.”

“But they are all talking about setting the box back still further, instead of moving it up nearer the batsman.”

“I know it, but it isn't the way to get what they want, in my judgment. Ask Clarkson, or any great pitcher with a head on him, and he will tell you that the farther away he is from the plate the easier it is for him to curve the ball. Any one almost can curve a ball at a long distance, but you must be pretty clever to get on the drops and shoots at 45 feet. They have got to come too quickly. The pitching won't be any too swift because the box is nearer than it is now. No one is afraid of swift pitching. They will never hurt the pitcher's effectiveness by giving him a longer distance to send the ball. That will only weaken the batting.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to put first and third bases in foul territory

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Ferguson's suggested improvement in placing the first and third-base bags on foul ground is a greatly needed amendment. Then every all hit directly to the ground which passes over or touches either of these base-bags will be declared foul, and the decision will be plain to the spectators. But the dual advantage of the suggested amendment lies in the fact that if a ball hits the bag while it lies on foul ground and is thereby diverged from its course, no fielder will be prevented from fielding the ball, as is now the case with the bags on fair ground.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to score runs by bases rather than by reaching home

Date Wednesday, October 24, 1888
Text

[from a letter to the editor by F. C. Anderson] Instead of making the players touch four bases in succession before they can add to the tally of their side let every base made during the game count in the score. For instance, if a player gets on first base that counts one point in the score. If he steals second and gets to third on a sacrifice by another player he adds two more to the score, and if he reaches home finally he makes a total of four, instead of one as at present.

By this plan everything a man does for his side is counted, and not often wasted as it is now. Base-running becomes as important as hitting. Sacrifices are nearly as valuable as base hits, and, in a word, every man is compelled to aid his side in order to aid himself. How often nowadays do men reach third by clever work at the bat and between the bases without their cleverness affecting the score at all, while a slugger who happens to get a slow ball and knocks it out of the lot is glorified because he has added to the score? This plan handicaps no one. Every man starts from the scratch, and it depends only upon himself how far he gets and how much he adds to the score of his side. Think of the advantages of this plan. If the pitcher makes a wild pitch it don't only appear in the summary, but for every man who is advanced a base by it one tally is scored against his club. He cannot indulge in bases on balls, for then he is sure to affect the result of the game. Catchers can no longer let balls pass them with impunity, for the same result will follow on a passed ball as on a wild pitch. The consequence will be that pitchers will have to put the ball over the plate and depend on head work and their fielders to put men out. Fielders won't take chances on reckless throws, because the penalty is too great, men will no longer hang on first base waiting to be batted our. Team work will follow, because there will be as much glory in stealing a base or making a sacrifice hit, as in slugging the ball out of the lot. The man who can get himself on first and work himself around, will be looked upon with more favor than he who simply depends on his slugging qualities. In other words, brain will be a premium over brawn, and the man who possesses both will be the star, even if he is outclassed in either faculty by other men.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to widen fair territory rule

Date Wednesday, September 12, 1888
Text

Manager Harry Wright is prolific in new ideas with a view to bringing about more batting without affecting the pitching and fielding departments of the game too seriously. His latest proposition is to change the foul lines. His idea is to start the foul lines from the home plate, as now, but instead of following the base paths, make them branch off independently, passing first and third bases say three fee away. This would not only increase the size of the fair ground territory, but also necessitate a slight change in the positions of the men. The first and third basemen would be required to play nearer their respective bases, and, as a natural consequence, many hits now handled by them would then be safe. Manager Wright will work this idea up during the fall, but he is likely to encounter considerable opposition. With the foul line so changed the fair foul hitting of old would again come into vogue and bring with it an added cause for endless dispute with the umpires.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a protest against the three strike rule

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] From the time the three-strike rule was adopted last fall I have felt that it was a mistake, and am stronger in my convictions now than ever before. What does it mean/ less batting instead of more. I don't call that progress. There was more batting last season than for years previous, and the games were more interesting. Now we are going to have the pitcher's game over again. Who wants to see it? I don't believe anyone does.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a release purchase gone bad

Date Wednesday, August 29, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] Ad Gumbert, has not signed a contract with the champions, and President Von der Ahe is not buying pools that he will. His release was purchased from the Zanesville Club for the sum of $1,500, the Zanesville people to draw on Von der Ahe for that amount as soon as Gumbert attached his signature to a regular contract. Gumbert now refuses to sign. It seems that the Zanesville people promised Gumbert one-third of the purchase money, or about that amount (which would be $500), and they have refused to hand him over any of this amount, hence his refusal to sign.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a reminiscence of the placement of the second baseman in the 1860s

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

“I saw the first professional game ever played in Philadelphia,” remarked Mercantile Appraiser Bell the other day. “What I mean by professional is the first game ever played in this city where an admission was charged. I also remember distinctly the first appearance of Reach on the Athletic team. At that time there was about as much fuss made over Reach's engagement by the Athletics as there was over the sale of Kelly to Boston two years ago. Reach was cracked up to be a wonder and everybody awaited anxiously the day when he was to make his debut with the home team. … Up to that time I had never seen second base played right, as as Reach played it, and I do not think anybody else on the grounds had. We had been used to seeing the second baseman stand on or quite close to the second base bag. When the Athletics took their positions in the field and Reach was seen to locate himself mid-way between first and second bases and about twenty feet back of the line (Reach always played a very deep field), the spectators began eyeing each other and asking one another question whether the new man was to play short, right or second base. It did not take us long to see that Reach knew his business, and that he was a corking second baseman. I believe that Reach was the first man to play second base properly and that he was the first one to locate the position in which all second basemen have since been playing. That one game made Reach what he is to-day. He made himself popular here and from a poor boy grew up into one of Philadelphia's leading merchants.+

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a retrospective on the early short stop

Date Sunday, December 2, 1888
Text

Tim Murnane is preparing a book of reminiscences. Among other things he says: “As near as I can learn, the position of short stop was the last one to be added to the makeup of a base ball nine. In its early days the game was played on large open fields, and the outfielders had some long runs to get a ball hit by them. Sometimes they were obliged to go to the extreme end of the field. The short stop acted as a utility man, and would go out in the field to take the ball from the outfielder and send it to the home plate or to the infield. Dickey Pearce of the Atlantics of Brooklyn was the first one to play the position as it is played now. He began to do so in 1856. George Wright was the first man to play the position deep and close to second base, so as to give the baseman an opportunity to move away from his position and in 1869 Wright and Charley Sweasy were the first players to work the two positions as they are worked today.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a row and a forfeit arising from the substitute two umpire system

Date Wednesday, July 25, 1888
Text

[from the Kansas City correspondent] The third Brooklyn game was one long to be remembered by President Byrne, as he was fined the modest sum of $1,500 for refusing to finish the game.

The double umpire system was again tried, but with the same results as has characterized the system heretofore, although until the ninth inning no decisions of either umpire caused any dissatisfaction whatever. …

...The trouble commenced when Mac [McClellan of the Brooklyns] took first. He is a clever base-runner, and covered considerable ground, but little did he know that Ehret is one of the quickest throwers in the team. At any rate Ehret, by a quick throw, caught him napping at first, and big Phillips had the ball on him in the twinkling of an eye. Donohue was giving base decisions, and declared McClennan out. The Brooklyns vowed and declared McClellan had returned to the bag ere Phillips touched him and refused to continue the game. After fifteen minutes' wrangling, during which managers, captains, presidents, directors and players joined, Donohue warned Manager McG9innigle that in ten minutes they would forfeit the game if they did not continue, and after the expiration of the specified time, during which Ehret pitched five balls over the plate, Donohue awarded the game to Kansas City by the score of 9 to 0, and fined the Brooklyn Base Ball Club a cold $1,500. he had no other course to pursue and surely acted in accordance with section 66 of the constitution.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor denied of Brooklyn and Cincinnati jumping to the League

Date Wednesday, November 14, 1888
Text

A leading member of the Brooklyn Basel-Ball Club said tonight [11/13] that there was no probability that that organization would go into the National League. The same opinion was expressed about the Cincinnati club. The Brooklyn club has not been asked to go into the league, and the chances are that such an invitation, if made, would be declined, for the reason that such a change would stop their Sunday games, from which all the profit is derived. It can therefore be put down as a certainty that the Brooklyn club will remain in the association.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of Buffalo to buy out Detroit

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

Negotiations are being conducted by certain leading Directors of the Buffalo Base Ball Club for the purchase of the franchise of the Detroit Base Ball Club, with very fair chances of success. Detroit has become a very poor ball town, now that the Wolverines can’t play for the chmapionship, and the Directors are losing money, and some are reported as being anxious to sell out to the highest bidder. Buffalo is finely situated for a League city, and the League magnates look with favor upon the scheme. Buffalo is a great ball town, as witness the large crowds at Olympic Park with a losing team., quoting the Buffalo Express

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a scheme for a collegiate English tour

Date Wednesday, May 16, 1888
Text

Manager F. C. Bancroft is working up another scheme, that of taking two ball teams to England this summer. Mr. Bancroft was in Cambridge the other day and conferred with some of the Harvard student in regard to taking a representative nine from that college and another from Yale to England, to be gone two months this summer. His idea is to play ball one day and cricket the next, and as Harvard and Yale have some good cricketers as well as ball players, there is no reason why the scheme should not be successful both financially and otherwise. And, besides, the teams would be made up of gentlemen, which would tend to boom our National game in another country. The Sporting Life May 16, 1888

Stagg, the famous Yale pitcher, has written the following letter to Manager Bancroft in relation to the proposed visit to England:--”We have talked over the scheme of going to England and have decided that Yale could not send over a nine this year. Whether Yale would consider such a project in the future I could not say. There are some difficulties with the plan aside from personal consideration.” The Sporting Life June 6, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a scheme to include car fare with the admission price

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] Manager Barnie has a new scheme to spring on the public when the club returns from the West. As an inducement toward a better attendance it is proposed to sell at headquarters tickets to the games, including care fare, for fifty cents. This will make the actual price to see the game a round forty cents, but it is doubtful if it produces as good a result as would be by selling tickets outright at forty cents.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sobriety bonus

Date Sunday, September 30, 1888
Text

When Frank Fennelly [recently sold to the Athletics] signed a contract with the Cincinnati Club last winter it was a conditional one. He was to receive a salary of $2,000 for the season, and an additional $500 was to be paid him if he refrained entirely from the use of intoxicants. On last Tuesday, when Fennelly joined the Athletics in St. Louis, President Stern gave him a check for the $500.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a straight trade

Date Wednesday, May 2, 1888
Text

Pittsburg and Detroit have consummated a deal by which Pittsburg gets a pitcher and Detroit a new third baseman. Whitney is released to Detroit in consideration of Gruber’s release to Pitsubrg, and both men have accepted terms and have joined their new clubs.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a straight trade of third basemen

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1888
Text

[from George Stackhouse's column] It was a clean swap, with no bonus on either side. Pittsburg could not get [Arthur] Whitney to sign, but New York could. Pittsburg wanted [Elmer] Cleveland and that settled the matter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion for fixed-price mandatory sales by minor league clubs

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

[from the New Orleans columnist “Creole”] If the right of reservation be given to the minors with the understanding that they must accept a fixed scale of prices for their players, say $2,000 for pitchers or catchers, $1,500 for infielders and $1,000 for outfielders. This would give the clubs a chance to accept these offers and would not be denounced by its patrons and press for so doing because it would be something over which they had no control. New Orleans would have accepted the $4,5000 [offer for three of its players] this spring were it not because the management feared the public and press, and now they have neither the players or the $4,500.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a suggestion for numbered seats in Cincinnati; usher

Date Sunday, January 8, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's letter] It would be a great encouragement if the [Cincinnati] club would give everybody a chance to secure seats in advance so that they might go out at any time during the afternoon—even after a game is begun—and find certain seats waiting for them. My suggestion is that every chair in the grant stand be numbered and a chart or diagram placed at Hawley's with coupon tickets and the privilege granted to every Cincinnati patron to go to that place any time before 1 o'clock on the day of a game and secure a seat or number of seats without extra charge. The plan would necessitate the employment of an usher, but the extra expense might well be undertaken when the increased sources of revenue are considered. Indeed an usher is needed in every grand stand to look after and suppress the brassy nuisances who always sneak in among the spectators.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a swinging bunt

Date Thursday, May 3, 1888
Text

[Indianapolis vs. Chicago 5/2/1888] Anson got in a bunt in the third inning. He swung has bat as if to strike hard, but checked it. The ball, a fair one, struck the bat and bounded to Esterbrook, who picked it up and jumped on first base. Anson claimed he did not strike at the ball, but Valentine declared him out.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a team wearing mixed uniforms

Date Wednesday, August 8, 1888
Text

The Cleveland blue uniforms are looking very dusty in these days and should be polished up. And it isn’t the thing to let one or more of the team wear white shirts while the rest are in blue.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a telegraphic baseball on canvas

Date Wednesday, February 22, 1888
Text

John Edwards, an operator in the employ of the Western union Telegraph Company here [Pittsburgh], received the copyright from Washington yesterday for a very clever invention. It is an apparatus for illustrating a base ball game while in progress. The device is very simple. A diamond representing the different positions of the players is exhibited on canvas. As soon as a move is made a card traverses the canvas from the batter's place all the way around the bases. The fielders are also shown. Mr. Edwards says it took him a year to develop this invention, and that where the League and Association will ask spectators to pay 50 cents to witness a game he will afford them the same by his plan for 1`0 cents. It is his intention as soon as the season pens to put his scheme into effect, and those who patronize him can see every game in operation in the United States for the one price of admission.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a temperance speaker addresses the Louisvilles

Date Wednesday, April 25, 1888
Text

The members of the Louisville Club will have nothing more to do with mint juleps, egg-nogs, beer and other intoxicating liquids, or at least they say so. This great transformation was accomplished by Francis Murphy, the noted temperance evangelist. Mr. Murphy, assisted by his three sons, has been conducting a very successful temperance revival here for some weeks past. At the services Saturday evening he announced that he would address the members of the ball club Monday morning during their practice at Eclipse Park.

Mr. Murphy's announcement attracted a great deal of attention. Accordingly yesterday morning when the time came for his attempt there was quite a crowd at the park, including a large percentage of ladies. Mr. Murphy had previously asked Manager Kelly's permission to address the players, and of course it was gladly given. When Mr. Murphy arrived on the grounds Manager Kelly assembled the men at the players' benches and the temperance evangelist then made them a talk. He exhorted them to be temperate. He told them how much it would do for them as players to abstain strictly from all intoxicating liquors. He cited examples of well-known players, who had been forced to retire from the diamond on account of the too frequent use of intoxicating liquors. He said he had frequently seen the Louisville men play great ball, and he knew what they were capable of. He said he wanted the Louisville Club to be the Blue Ribbon Club of America. Then it would have the nerve to beat St. Louis when the crowd was hooting at the Kentucky men and endeavoring to make them lose their heads.

Much more Mr. Murphy said in his address, which was very much to the point, but I will not elaborate upon this matter, as it has already been fully said in the daily papers here. Anyway, the players seemed considerably affected by his remarks, and when he finished one and all walked up, put on the blue ribbon and signed the pledge. Both Pete Browning and Ramsey put down their signatures with good grace, and they meant to keep their word. The Sporting Life April 25, 1888 [See Cleveland Plain Dealer 6/23/88 for Browning’s fall off the wagon]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA adopts the percentage system

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 12/5/1888] Under the percentage system as re-adopted visiting clubs will receive 20 per cent. of the general admission. This is 10 per cent. less than when the rule was in effect before. The guarantee is now $100 or $30 less than last year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA holds to the fifty cent admission, grants Athletics the reduced rate

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 7/5/1888] A three-hours debate took place on the question of twenty-five cent ball before it was put to vote. Byrne vigorously opposed a return to the old prices, and was supported by Cleveland and Baltimore. Kansas City said it would go with the majority. The vote was:--For reduction, St. Louis, Louisville, Athletic; against reduction, Brooklyn, Baltimore, Cleveland, Kansas City. [Byrne held Cincinnati's proxy.] as it requires six votes to amend the constitution, cheap ball was downed. The Athletics were given permission to meet the rate recently made by the Philadelphia League Club. Visiting clubs will receive thirty per cent of the quarter of a dollar at Philadelphia, and when the Athletics play abroad they will receive but seven and a half cents on each admission, the amount they pay visiting clubs. The Sporting Life July 11, 1888 [N.B. The following issue Barnie claimed that Baltimore voted for the reduction.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA lower status with the reduced admission

Date Wednesday, August 29, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] The American Association, by the action taken at their last meeting, practically acknowledged to the base ball world, that, compared with the League, they were really a second-class organization. The League plays no Sunday games—greatly to its credit—and charges fifty cents admission to its club games. The American Association at their convention last winter used the argument that the charging of twenty-five cents instead of fifty cents lowered them before the public in comparison with the League. It was a fact not to be gainsaid; and now, after three months' experience of the half-dollar rate, they yield the palm of superiority to the League and acknowledge themselves as a second-rate class of clubs by going back to the 25-cent tariff. The League caters to a higher class of patrons than the American Association does, and that is where they gain the advantage. The experience of the Brooklyn Club under the 50-cent tariff shows that it pays to cater to the best class of patronage, for the improvement in the character of the attendance in Brooklyn was manifest from the opening game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA maintains the New York franchise

Date Wednesday, January 25, 1888
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting 1/16-11/17/1888] It was also unanimously resolved to maintain the Metropolitan franchise now the property of the Association, and the scheme by which it is hoped to accomplish it is to maintain an office in New York for the Metropolitan Club, which was reorganized by making Mr. Vonderhorst president, Mr. Wikoff secretary and each club delegate a member of the Metropolitan board of directors.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA reconsidering the 50 cent admission; turnstiles

Date Wednesday, January 25, 1888
Text

…[reporting the AA special meeting 1/16-11/17/1888] An effort was made by Louisville and the Athletics to obtain a reconsideration of the 50 cent matter, but they failed.

Messrs. Kames, of the Athletics, and Williams, of Cleveland, were appointed a committee to arrange a plan of turnstile and report at the New York meeting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA twenty-five cent admission for boys and ladies

Date Wednesday, April 25, 1888
Text

The Athletic Club, with the beginning of the championship season and the inauguration of the 50-cent tariff, made a rather surprising change by throwing upon the grand stand to all who entered the grounds; so that now the general admission is 50 cents, but those who enter the grounds can have their choice of either sitting in the grand stand or on the open-field seats. Besides this, boys under 15 years of age will be admitted at half rates—25 cents. For the accommodation of the ladies, their male escorts and those who desire reserved seats a section to the right of the grand stand will be reserved and the seats cushioned. For this section an additional fee of 25 cents will be charges. By many this innovation is regarded as a grave mistake, calculated to drive away many of the better class of patrons. The managements, however, argues that the grand stand has accommodation for far more people than would avail themselves of it under the increased admission rate; that the space might just as well be devoted to the use of the general public as to remain empty, and that the space now reserved for ladies and gentlemen who care to pay extra is ample... The Sporting Life April 25, 1888

All of the Association clubs have now followed the lead of the Athletics inlaying down a law unto themselves, winked hard at the fifty-cent tariff and established what they call a “boys' rate.” Cleveland was the last club to asserts its independence by announcing that lads “under twelves” would be admitted for a quarter. That is the fee asked for youngsters at St. Louis and Kansas City. In Cincinnati and Louisville they are welling what they call “youths' tickets” for thirty-five cents. While not admiring the arbitrary manner in which the half rate was tacitly adopted, we cannot but indorse the move, because the percentage from each admission will remain the same, and also because it is wise to cater to the rising generation. The boys of to-day are the base ball enthusiasts of the future. Take the game away from them by putting up a tariff they cannot scale, and their education is neglected. He will lose interest in the game, and drift away from the sport. The Sporting Life May 16, 1888

One by one the Association club managers take affairs pertaining to general admission into their own hands. President Von der Ahe now charges ladies 25 cents admission, admits them free to the grand stand and gives up 15 cents of the quarter to the visiting club. He just makes a dime by the operation. The Sporting Life May 23, 1888, quoting the Cincinnati Times-Star

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA umpires adopt Gaffney's umpiring style

Date Saturday, May 12, 1888
Text

Bob Ferguson is umpiring in Gaffney’s way and within two weeks the entire association staff will be at work on this plan. Cleveland Plain Dealer May 12, 1888

All the American association umpires are now working on the plan that Mr. Ferguson is following–standing behind the pitcher when first base is occupied. Cleveland Plain Dealer May 16, 1888

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Aaron Stern on the Brush plan

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Stern] To tell you the truth, I am not favorably impressed with it. I believe in every club being master of its own affairs. I want to be able to do business with my men in my own style. I think I am able to judge what their services are worth without having someone to classify them for me. The new system may work advantageously, but I fear it will prove as much a failure as did the $2,000 limit. However, it will do no harm to try it, but I am free to confess I will oppose such a measure if brought up in the American Association. As the men will be classified according to the record, it looks to me as if the new system was offering a premium for record-playing., quoting the Cincinnati Enquirer

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

admission rate in Louisville

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1888
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent] President Davidson has made a very popular move. Henceforth admission to all parts of the grand stand will be only fifty cents. Until the present reserved seats sold for seventy-five cents, but now you can buy as many as you choose for fifty cents. Of course the visiting clubs will draw the same amount for each ticket as their percentage, and the home management will have to stand the reduction. President Davidson, however, thinks that the increased attendance will more than compensate him for the reduction in price. In this he is probably right. The seventy-five-cent rate has undoubtedly hurt the receipts very much, especially with the very bad ball that we have had.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advocating overrunning second and third

Date Wednesday, October 31, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] The idea of permitting base-runners to overrun second and third bases is gradually coming into favor, at least with those who run the clubs and foot the bills. It is argued that what little merit there is in base-sliding from a popular point of view is more than offset by the accidents to valuable ad high-salaried players, which seriously affect the position of clubs in the race and consequently hurt financially. It is an expensive luxury to have the Sundays, Dunlaps, Staleys, Richardsons and Hanlons of the game laid up for weeks at times when their clubs most sorely need them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advocating the two umpire system

Date Wednesday, February 8, 1888
Text

[from the Indianapolis correspondent] President Brush is a warm advocate of the double umpire system and will try to persuade the League to adopt such a measure. As a matter of economy he suggests that the League have four regular umpires and also a staff of three in each city, the latter to be local and receive not more than $5 per game. His idea is to allow the visiting captain to select one of the local men to assist the regular official, the latter being behind the bat, while the assistant occupies a position to make base decisions.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

amateur clubs hire professional batteries

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] With the pace of modern pitching an amateur's work behind the bat has come to be too arduous and dangerous for the general class of amateurs, and, consequently, it has of late years become a rule with amateur clubs to allow their battery players to be professionals. This rule is one which the Staten Island Cricket Club, the Staten Island Athletic Club and the New Jersey Athletic Club have in their Amateur League; hence their engagement of Carr, Gaunt and Joe Reilly to do the catching in their respective teams.

Mr. De Garmendia, of the Staten Island Athletic Club's nine, asked me to call the attention of the Amateur League to the fact that one of the clubs of that League is violating the spirit of the League rule which admits of the employment of professional players in their amateur ranks. He says that the second baseman and one of the outfielders employed by the New Jersey Athletic Club are professional players of the Monitor Club, of New York, who take part regularly in the Sunday games of that professional club, and thereby are ineligible to play in any position on any of the Amateur League's club teams, except as either pitcher or catcher. The fact that a player takes part in a professional contest regularly in Sunday gate-money games, for which service all are entitled to pay by a salary or a share of the gate money, is prima facie evidence that they are professional players, whether proof of actual payment is lacking or not. Stick to your rules, gentlemen. If you want to engage a professional team to represent your club, well and good; there is nothing against it that I see. But if, on the other hand, you only desire to use professionals as battery players, why, still well and good. But don't engage to place a limited professional nine in the field and then extend the list sub rosa, as in this alleged case. The New Jersey Athletic Club's base ball members certainly have enough good players in their ranks without need to draw upon professionals for either outfield or infield assistance, especially when it can only be done by a violation of League rules.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an 1875 exhibition game sold

Date Wednesday, May 30, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] ...the club which revived the sport in the Queen City in 1875, after an interim of nearly five years, began its existence with a purchased game. … The game was bought from the Chicago White Stockings. It was purchased with the sole aim of giving the new club a boom and with no ab initio intent to aid in winning money on the result. The Chicago Club was to get a sum certain for losing the game in the latter part, and the club itself had no idea it was aiding a lot of gamblers. The principal officials of the Cincinnati Club had no such motive, either. But unfortunately there were among the stockholders several sporting men and one or two gamblers who saw a chance to do a little robbing. They could get immense odds on the result and they had their heelers out in the vast crowd betting liberally on the Cincinnatis at odds of about 1 to 3, while they themselves pretended to be backing the Reds moderately. In the seventh inning, I think it was, the fun began. A couple of errors and some dump pitching gave the Reds enough runs to put them ahead, and in the eighth they hammered out eight runs. Scott Hastings did the catching and Mike Golden was the pitcher for the Chicagos. It was amusing to watch them lose that game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an account of the first catcher's mask

Date Monday, December 24, 1888
Text

It was funny how Tyng became a catcher. When Thayer took charge of the team he allotted Tyng (who was a third baseman) to the outfield. Tyng got huffy and resigned. He came back in a few weeks or so and began to catch Ernst in practice. Ernst had a terrible in-shoot that was hard to handle, and to give Tyng more confidence Fred Thayer devised the mask. I remember the first day he wore it. It was at Lynn, where we played the Live Oaks. The crowd there had lots of sport over it and yelled:

“Get on to the bird cage!”

That mask was a great affair. It was awfully heavy, and was built on a contract. It cost us $12 or $15, and when a fellow put it on he felt as if he was anchored. A strap held it in place about the back of the head and it was padded with hair and leather. George Wright saw there was money in it, and bought the letters patent from Thayer, who invented it more to help out Harvard than with any financial end in view., quoting a reminiscence related to Ren Mulford

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an assessment of Stagg as overrated

Date Tuesday, April 17, 1888
Text

...Pitcher John Clarkson of the Bostons, on being asked how he thought Stagg of the Yales would succeed as a professional, said: “I don’t think he would be a success. He can’t fool the batsmen enough. I know that he struck me out twice, but anybody can do that. The only ball that he puts over the plate is a fast straight ball. A good batsman can easily judge his curves. In the league he would be pounded.

“Why, we had nothing at stake and hit him for fourteen singles and seven earned runs. He has got a great catcher in Danu [?] and this is no small element of Stagg’s success. His support behind the bat is great and the way he throws down to second is a caution. Did you see the magnificent way he took those foul tips off the bat?

“He caught three in splendid style. I think that Stagg is much overrated and that Dann[?] would prove a greater success in the professional field than he.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an early squeeze play

Date Friday, August 17, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. Boston 8/16/1888] [Williamson on third] Tom Daly bunted a little ball in front of the plate and made first while Williamson raced for the home base. “Throw yourself” Anson called. Ed did, and slid over the rubber before Kelly could get his hands on the ball at his feet.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an example of coaching

Date Sunday, September 16, 1888
Text

There is a sample of Glasscock’s coaching when Tener made his debut: “Come up; come up again,” Glasscock would shriek. “He can’t catch you; he’ll never do it, he’s too long. He’ll tangle his legs. Look out, there!. Come up again. Hit that. It’s a straight ball. There she goes. Umpire, come down here and look out for that balk. Here comes an outcurve. Mr. Umpires, will you come down here? Hold on there now. His feet are out of the box. Will you come down and look? Steady, there, Chimmy. Hit this fast ball. Hug-gah, guwup, a-ga-a-go.” No new pitcher in the league ever met so hot a fire.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an explanation for the large numbers of Irish playing ball

Date Wednesday, July 18, 1888
Text

“About seven-tenths of professional ball players are of Irish extraction. Whether this comes from versatility or gift of gab we are unable to say.”--Baltimore exchange. No, it is because most of them have less parental restraint in youth and play ball on the common from childhood up. As it takes years to become expert and playing must be begun early, these lads have the advantage of American lads, whose parents won't permit them to devote all their time to the study and practice of the National game. The Sporting Life July 18, 1888

Anson and the Chicagos dirty players

Catcher Miller, of Pittsburg, says:--”These Chicago fellows are the dirtiest ball players I know of, and they do it all under orders from Anson. It is not much wonder that we tug to get back at them, is it? Dunlap has a sharp eye on the boys who are looking for a chance to get even with him. They commenced to try their funny business on Beckley at Chicago, but he gave some of them the shoulder in a way that made the others more cautious. There isn't a man in the club who wouldn't be as dirty as Anson if he knew how, and they learn fast. They play to make runs fairly if they can, if not, to make runs any way.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an illegal delivery; judgment

Date Saturday, July 14, 1888
Text

[Washington vs. Chicago 7/13/1888] Shaw had delivered one ball at Williamson when Anson called Umpire Sullivan's attention to his delivery. When the next ball went to the plate the big Captain asked for judgment and Williamson was told to take his base on illegal delivery, Shaw having jumped off the ground in the act of pitching.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an improved electric scoreboard

Date Tuesday, May 29, 1888
Text

A new feature was introduced on the Boston grounds on Friday in the shape of a base-ball register. A board partition was erected on the center-field fence, a little to one side of the flag pole. By means of electric wires which run from the board along the fence to a position in the pavilion, an operator, sitting in the latter, by touching a knob, registered on the board the decisions of the umpire as to balls and strikes, giving the number of each, and also whether a batter or runner was out, or when the ball hit was a foul. This will prove an advantage to those people who, in case of unusual noise, cannot hear the umpire’s decisions. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an indoor baseball game

Date Wednesday, March 7, 1888
Text

The first game of the season was played in Detroit last night [2/28]. It was in the Princess Rink, between the Pearl and Eclipse clubs, two lively amateur organizations, and over 1,000 people witnessed the game, which was exceedingly interesting. The boys did not play on skates, but wore rubber shoes on their feet and it was a real contest.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an injunction issued against a player jumping his contract

Date Wednesday, August 29, 1888
Text

In the Equity Court [in Washington, D.C.], last Monday morning [8/20], the case of the New Orleans Base Ball Park Association against the Washington National Base Ball Association and William Widner, to restrain the employment of the latter by the National Club, was again heard, and finally a temporary injunction against Widner and the Washington Club was granted. The case has been one of unusual interest to the base ball fraternity. It involved not only the right of a club to leave one association and join another at any time in the year, in defiance of the National Agreement, but the extent to which an individual club is bound by the action of its associates and how far it is amenable to the laws prescribed by the major leagues in the relation of player and club.

The court room was crowded with the friends of the Washington Club, who, with but few exceptions, anticipated a favorable decision. Mr. Safford read the amended bill, which, after repeating the old bill, stated that Widner's withdrawal embarrassed the New Orleans Club and that they had to employ other persons at great expense to take his place. Mr. Cook read the affidavit of H. L. Prince, an expert in base ball and a well-known writer on the subject, in which the cases of the Chicago and St. Louis clubs were cited as instances where their best players had been released and yet had won the championship, in order to combat the idea that any one man's services were essential to the success of a club.

In support of their application the attorneys for the complainant cited the cases of McCaull vs. Graham (Lillian Russell) and the recent case of Imre Kiralfy against one of his ballet girls, and after argument Judge Merrick rendered his decision, of which the following is the substance:

“It has come to be a well authenticated principle of equity that where a written contract providing for special services, which are of such a peculiar nature that a jury could not determine the amount of damages done by its non-fulfillment, the court would intervene. A court of equity could not compel the performance of a specific duty, but it could restrain the party from continuing those duties elsewhere than as originally contracted. The only inquiry is, if it be a contract requiring the performance of a peculiar service. If it be the contract of a day-laborer, whose services could be easily replaced by a substitute the court will not intervene, but in cases where the duties are of a peculiarly skillful nature, the court, by the exercise of its negative prerogatives, will restrain the recalcitrants.

“In this specific case there was a contract calling for the exercise of peculiar skill in its discharge. There has been a contract entered into between the parties under the rules of the Southern League. If the complainants had entered into another association, requiring a change in the performance of the duties of the defendant—Widner--he would have been absolved from a continuance of his contract. But it does not appear that he was required to do anything different nor that any new burden would have been imposed on him by his duties in Texas League not common to the Southern League.

“It was obligatory upon the defendant to show how the contract was made void by the change. The fact that the Southern League had been dissolved does not [illegible]. It is claimed that $109 was due him, but he should have set forth when it became due and the manner and time when it had been demanded and refused, if at all.

“In a case of this kind it is only necessary that the complainants make out a prima facie case. It is apparent that this is a contract that will expire on Sept. 30, and if it was possible for the defendants to delay and continue it beyond that time it would amount to a refusal on the part of the court to consider the matter. Under these circumstances the court feels constrained to grant the injunction as prayed for, both as to the defendant Widner and his co-defendant, the Washington Club, for to refuse it now would be to render nugatory the peculiar duties of a court of equity.” The Sporting Life August 29, 1888

The Widner case remains in statu quo, the New Orleans Club not having yet filed the required bond. Our Washington correspondent writes us that there is a report about town to the effect that the Southern club has abandoned its case against the Washingtons, on the ground that it does not care to go the expense that further litigation is bound to entail. This rumor may be due to the fact that the mail from New Orleans and the South is somewhat irregular by reason of the prevalence of yellow fever in that vicinity. … Meantime the writ of injunction is inoperative and Widner can play until the final hearing. The Sporting Life September 5, 1888

The case of pitcher Widner again came up in the Supreme Court of the District at [sic] Washington, Monday, Sept. 4, on a motion by counsel for the New Orleans Base Ball Club that the bond filed by the club be approved, and that the temporary injunction heretofore granted, conditioned upon the filing of a bond indemnifying the Washington Club in case the suit should be decided in its favor on final hearing, be put into effect.

Counsel for the Washington Club objected to the bond on the ground that there was no proof that the acting president of the New Orleans Club, who signed the bond, had authority to do so or to attach the corporate seal of the club to the papers. Justice Cox, however, overruled the objection and approved the bond, and the temporary injunction now takes effect.

There seems to be a question as to whether this injunction restrains Widner from playing anywhere except in this city, though the weight of opinion is to the effect that he cannot now lawfully pitch for the Washingtons either here or elsewhere.

Attorney Stafford, representing the New Orleans club, says on this point:--”I am not versed in base ball matters, but legally Widner cannot play with Washington anywhere, and under their rules I think all games in which he participated will be forfeited.” The Sporting Life September 12, 1888

In the equity court at Washington on Saturday last Just Cox dissolved the injunction restraining the Washington Ball Club from using the services of pitcher Widner, whom the New Orleans Club claimed, it being shown that Widner's contract with the New Orleans Club expired September 30. The Sporting Life October 10, 1888

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an injunction preserving the Polo Grounds

Date Wednesday, June 20, 1888
Text

The Central Park Board, of New York, under date of June 6, notified President John B. Day, of the New York Club, that the fences on the Polo Grounds across One Hundred and Eleventh street must be removed, and the company was given until June 9 to take its fences down. On June 8 a summons and complaint in the suit of the Metropolitan Exhibition Company against the board was served, and the enjoining order also. The complaint sets forth through its attorney that the Metropolitan Exhibition Company is a corporation organized under the laws of the State of New York; that the Polo Grounds have been leased until May 1, 1890; that the company pays a large rental; and that the fences sought to be now removed were erected by virtue of a resolution of the Board of Aldermen in June, 1880. Upon this complaint and the affidavit of Vice President Charles T. Dillingham, who says that the structures cost $40,000, and that in the event of the removal of the fences vast damage will accrue, Judge George P. Andrews, of the Supreme Court, issued the restraining order on June 8.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an oval bat

Date Wednesday, November 21, 1888
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column] Mr. Charles N. Morris, a retired printer of this city and a gentleman of wealth, has patented a new bat which he thinks will solve the batting problem. It weighs no more than the ordinary bat now in use, but instead of being rounded is slightly oval in shape, and thus presents a broader surface with which to meet the sphere. I have not seen the bat but models will be sent East for the inspection of the Leaguers. Mr. Norris is a well-known enthusiast and one of The Sporting Life's old constituents. Said he:

“I have real all the solutions of the batting problem and I have come to the conclusion that a change of bat will do more to bring about freer hitting than anything else. I claim that there will be fewer flies and not so many foul tips knocked with this bat of mine.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an umpire shin guard

Date Sunday, April 29, 1888
Text

Umpire Daniels wears a cricket pad on his right leg to protect his shins.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Anson advocates a live ball

Date Wednesday, October 17, 1888
Text

...the question of improving the batting was alluded to, and Captain Anson was emphatic in the declaration that, in his opinion, the surest way to accomplish that end is to return to the lively ball. He favors putting an ounce and a half to two ounces of suspender rubber in each ball, so that it may be as lively as the once popular “Bounding Rock.” He is opposed to making any radical changes in the game, and so far as he is personally concerned he sees no especial demand for any scheme to improve batting. He appears to be able to hit the ball with great regularity season after season, which he says is due to the fact that he takes good care of himself and keeps his eye on the ball as long as possible.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Anson wears a fielder's glove; the legality of a fielder's glove

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

[from R. M. Larner's column] Anson now wears a glove when playing first base. In this connection, Tom Burns considers that, under a strict construction of the rules, a glove should be considered a part of a player's clothing, and therefore any ball caught in a gloved hand should be decided not out, on the same principle that a fielder cannot retire a batsman by catching a ball in his cap or in his shirt. As a constructionist Tommy is quite fine.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

antedating 'fielder's choice'; scoring

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

There are three plays in the game of ball where it is an injustice to give either a base hit or an error. ... The third is what some scorers style a “fielder’s choice.” For instance: With a man on second base a ball is hit to the short stop. The short stop could easily retire the runner at first base, but instead tries to catch the man who is running for third, and fails by reason of the base runner beating the ball. Rules should be made that will cover these three plays. Cleveland Plain Dealer January 11, 1888

[from Alfred R. Crotty's, aka “Circle's” column] I don't know how they score in Philadelphia, but that was certainly a queer break made by a member of the Quaker City Association in his paper one day this week. He said it was hardly just to score either a base hit or an error in several instances cited, and among those he mentioned a fielder's choice, or base on play. In these words a fielder's choice is scored as such and nothing more. How can it be called anything else? Even if it was by slow fielding it cannot be called an error or base hit. The Sporting Life January 18, 1888

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Arlie Latham caught by the hidden ball trick

Date Wednesday, April 11, 1888
Text

In one of the St. Louis Browns-Whites [i.e. the reserve nine] games Latham had a moth-eaten chestnut worked off on him much to his chagrin. He hit safe to left and Hines fielded to Crooks, who hid the ball. Arlie moved off fist base and a quick throw to Beckley caught him napping. The crowd yelled for five minutes, and Arlie, walking up to the stand, make a short speech, offering to bet $100 that he would not be caught again that way this season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

assigning earned runs between multiple pitchers

Date Wednesday, May 2, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] There is an important scoring point yet to be covered. In the summaries of games the item “earned runs” is always calculated under the head of teams making them, and when two pitchers officiate against the team there is no means of knowing from newspaper scores just who has been punished for th earned runs. The way to calculate earned runs is under the heads of pitchers off whom they are made, or on this plan: “Earned runs—St. Louis (off Brown 2, off Smith 4).

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic Reserves last the season

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

Long, of the Athletic Reserves, has signed with the Chester Club. Betz, Hyndman and O'Rourke have been released.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics box seats

Date Wednesday, January 25, 1888
Text

The Athletics have sold nearly all their private boxes for next season. The price for a seat in a box is $20. no grand stand season tickets will be sold.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics lobby to have Sunday games in Gloucester legalized

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

What the Athletic Club has been trying to do for some years is now accomplished, namely, the legalizing of Sunday ball playing at Gloucester. The club has been making arrangements for Sunday games all season, and they were finally consummated on Wednesday last, when the Gloucester City Council passed an ordinance permitting ball playing on Sunday. It is possible that now many of the Thursday, Friday or Tuesday scheduled games will be transposed and championship games played throughout the season whenever the Athletics are at home. The new arrangement will also enable the Athletic managers to do away with many of the conflicting dates with the Philadelphia Club. The new grounds at Gloucester are located within a short distance of the ferry, directly back of Thompson's Hotel. The ground is 400 by 600 feet. It is enclosed by a high board fence, and open seats to accommodate 3,500 people have been erected. A new grand stand, capable of seating 3,500 people, is to be built at once, and the accommodations are to be first-class in every respect. William Thompson owns the class in every respect, and has made all the improvements. The Athletics do not lease the grounds, but it is reported that Mr. Thompson is given all the privileges outside of the gate receipts whenever the Athletics play there.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance at Brooklyn Sunday games

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

[See Chadwick's Chat for attendance at Brooklyn's Sunday games at Ridgewood Park.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance down in Philadelphia

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

Social clubs of all denominations throughout the city placed a boycott on the local games and patrons who were regular attendants in past years visited the games on an average of once a week. At the Philadelphia ground the attendance was even smaller than at athletic park. The first four Boston games in April were attended by less than 4,000 people, while a year ago more than 14,000 people witnessed the same games. The New York club opened the season in this city a year ago last April to 17,000 people and the series netted something over $9,000. This year it played before less than 200 people in its opening game and the series of four games attracted about 3,600 people. Last year the four Chicago games drew out something like 16,000 people, while this year the attendance did not average 1,500 to a game. The only large crowds of the season were those at the Detroit game on Decoration day afternoon, when 7.393 people passed through the gates. The only other one of note numbered 3,962 people and that was on June 2, when the Chicagos played here. Indianapolis and Pittsburg did not attract enough people to pay the guarantee of $125 per game. On the whole the Philadelphia club has lost money on its home games ever since the season opened and it is only through the efforts of Harry Wright, who was on the last schedule committee and placed his club for the choicest dates, that it has paid expenses., quoting the Philadelphia Press

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in Boston 4

Date Tuesday, August 21, 1888
Text

The attendance at the forty-three games played at Boston has been over 185,000, an average of 4,300 per game.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in Boston 5

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

The attendance at the 43 games played in Boston to Saturday, Aug. 18, is over 185,000, an average of 4,300 per game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in Boston 6

Date Wednesday, October 24, 1888
Text

The total attendance at League games in Boston this year was 265,015, or an average of 3,955 per game. The individual clubs drew as follows:--Washington, 10 games, 31,726; Pittsburg, 9 games (7 days), 23,365; New York, 10 games, 42,320; Indianapolis, 10 games, 32,444; Philadelphia, 10 games (9 days), 41,095; Detroit, 9 games, 34,145; Chicago, 9 games, 59,020.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in Brooklyn at fifty cents admission; Sunday attendance

Date Wednesday, May 16, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I see by Mr. Brunell's letter that he has been making some calculations on the basis of the alleged attendance at the Brooklyn Club's championship games this season. Let me give him a few official figures furnished me by Secretary Ebbets. It mus be borne in mind that during the eight championship games played at Washington Park from April 20, to My 5, inclusive, there were but two fine days, the other six days being cold and cloudy, and two of them attended by rain. Here are the official figures:--At the Cleveland games, 6,494; at the Athletic, 5,425; at the Baltimore, 5,989. Total 17,908. At the three Sunday games at Ridgewood Park the figures were 4,306, 5,484 and 5,045; total, 14,835. Add this total to the total at Washington Park, and the aggregate is 32,743. Double this at twenty-five cents admission, and it would require 65,486 people to have attended the eight games to have equaled the cash receipts obtained under the new fifty-cent rule, at least a third more than ever before attended the same number of games under the old twenty-five cents rule. These are facts, Mr. Brunell. Add the great improvements in the character of the attendance, and the argument in favor of the new tariff in Brooklyn is unanswerable.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

balls hit into the crowd; block ball; a ball over the crowd for a triple

Date Thursday, July 5, 1888
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Chicago 7/4/1888] So great was the crowd at the afternoon game that it became necessary to make ground rules. On any fair hit into the crowd the runner was allowed as many bases as he could make another provision made was in case that a fly ball hit anyone sitting on the wall the runner was entitled to a home run. Both rules were decidedly advantageous to the visiting team, particularly in the afternoon, when a hit of the latter kind gave the Phillies the winning run.

… The next ball Ryan [of the Chicagos] hit. The sphere sailed away towards the east until it looked a mere speck. The great crowd stood up and yelled, while Andrews speeded away until he was in the centre of that portion of the crowd that was sitting near the bicycle track. Then he threw up both hands and vanished in the crowd while Ryan trotted around the bases. Andrews appeared an instant later with the ball, convinced the umpire that he had caught it, and Ryan walked off to the bend with a crestfallen look

...One strike had been called when “he [Van Haltren] caught one of Casey's twisters on the end of his bat and started it off on a journey towards the old club house. Every one saw that it was a great hit and yelled in approval. Over the crowd the ball went and chasing it were Andrews and Fogarty. A quick return of the ball held Van at third...

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore lowers the admission rate

Date Saturday, July 28, 1888
Text

A game of base ball at the Huntington avenue grounds can hereafter be seen for twenty-five cents provided the tickets are purchased at headquarters or at the down town cigar stores. This announcement was made yesterday afternoon during the game between the Baltimore and St. Louis Clubs. Manager Barnie stated that he found it necessary to make this reduction and take the chances of punishment from the Association. Yesterday he held a consultation with President Von der Ahe who said he would stick to the Baltimore manager should he make the reduction. The manager places a certain number of tickets in the hands of the dealers and what he receives from them, he says, is his own business. He will pay all clubs the regular thirty per cent. on the face value of each ticket and will charge fifty cents for s single ticket at the grounds. For the grand stand the charge will be fifty cents, to the pavilion forty cents and to the open stand twenty-five cents., quoting the Baltimore American

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base on balls as an error, and earned runs

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

… [reporting on the meeting of the Philadelphia scorers 12/31/87] [quoting Horace Fogel] The idea of scoring a base on balls as an error for the pitcher, and yet if a three-bagger should follow this run shall count as an earned run, is simply ridiculous. I, for one, would be more faithful to the paper I represented than to print scores that were misleading and unintelligible, regardless of what the rules called for.

Mr. Niles failed to see anything ridiculous in scoring earned runs made off bases on balls. He argued that to give a pitcher an error and then if the man he sent to base on balls scored, on being batted in, and by counting that as an earned run he would be doubly punished, and he believed it would have a good effect in checking wild pitching.

Mr. Fogel claimed that the newspaper had nothing to do with punishing pitchers and he was opposed to using them as tools to aid managers in disciplining their players. The only interest a newspaper had in base ball was to chronicle the news and report the games impartially for the benefit of the readers.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base on balls no longer an error; still earned runs

Date Sunday, July 1, 1888
Text

By a unanimous vote the joint committee on base-ball rules rescinded their former action of declaring a base on balls an error. Hereafter a base on balls will appear only in the summary, but a base on ball will remain as a factor in earned runs.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

base path groundskeeping

Date Sunday, May 27, 1888
Text

The base paths near the bases are usually “fixed” for base runners in these days, loose and gritless earth being pug in round the bases.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball and the Saturday half-holiday

Date Wednesday, July 25, 1888
Text

Federal Union, No. 2,703, which is a subordinate organization of the American Federation of Labor, met last evening at No. 71 West Lake street and discussed the subject: “The Saturday Half-Holiday and How to Get it.” …...

...

An intimation that increased drunkenness would be the principal result of the charges was untrue. Everybody of any observation knew that the laboring population turned out en masse Sunday to the parks and the base-ball games. There was no “Blud Monday” in this country as there was in England, and if a Saturday half-holiday were gained ll the base-ball playing, etc., that went on Sunday would take place Saturday.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball cards 2

Date Wednesday, April 18, 1888
Text

The cigarette man had Dunlap sit for photographs in nine different ways yesterday, and to-day Jimmy Williams and his men also had their “picturs took.” Pete Hotaling smiled during the process, and it is said he looks like Jay Gould.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball finances and the one-big-league future

Date Wednesday, February 8, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] base ball must be operated by groups and the best talent will go into the first and best paid class. This will be the one big league... To it will Brooklyn belong and its advent will knock out the present League and present Association. Isn't this a reasonable view? I think so. Therefore it would be as well for Brooklyn and other clubs to make no promises. Events shape other events and Brooklyn, being a first-class town, must go with its company when the company moves. The present base ball groups as matched with the present drift of the game are falsely made up, and when the bugle sounds for a new deal, all doors will be opened and all old lines will be ripped up.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball glove manufacture

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

The largest base ball glove manufactory is said to be located at Rockford, Ill, eighty persons being employed all the year round in the manufacture.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball on railroad cars

Date Friday, July 27, 1888
Text

Justice C. J. White fined a number of boys yesterday for indulging in the noble pastime of base-ball. The reason of it was that they got into a fight, and the reason they got into a fight was that a switch engine came along and pulled the second base over into left field. The fact of the matter was that the boys were playing ball on the tops of freight cars in the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy yards at the corner of Western avenue and Kinzie street. The game came off Wednesday afternoon, and proved to be a most exciting contest. Just as the score was about to be tied a switch engine caught on to the car the umpire was on and pulled it away.

"Safe on second!” he yelled, as he journeyed up the yards. The gory avengers, however, declined to submit to this on the ground--no car--that the umpire had left the field. The Bloody Pirates, whose man was on second, thought that the decision should stand under the circumstances. While they were disputing the matter another engine hauled the second base away and then there was a row. In the midst of it officers appeared and ran in all the boys the switch engine had not disposed of. Two were discharged yesterday and the others fined from $5 to $2 each. They all promised hereafter to play only on permanent bases, but thought the switch engine should be censured for breaking up the game.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baseball on roller skates

Date Sunday, December 16, 1888
Text

At the Princess rink next Wednesday night a game of base ball on roller skates will take place...

Source Detroit Free Press
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baseball on snowshoes

Date Friday, February 3, 1888
Text

[dateline Lancaster, N.H., Feb. 2, 1888] The event of this afternoon was a game of base ball on snowshoes. It was an original conception, and caused two hours' mirth to 5000 spectators. The ball used was a foot ball, representing the balloon so often called for in the regular game, and base runners were put out by throwing the ball as in the genuine old game, so dear to our grandfathers. The remarkable slides to seconds in which snowshoes and fancy colored legs and caps become so mixed as to give an idea of a disrupted rainbow, were worth going many miles to witness. The umpire is still alive, being an unusually tough, active young man, and his friends are as surprised as they are thankful.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

baseball the big college revenue sport

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

The report in another column of Harvard's financial showing in the various sporting departments conveys the interesting information that base ball must needs be reckoned the chief sport in the category in that it brought the most money to the college treasury. The fact that base ball could draw more revenue than all the other college sports combined attests to its popularity and thus entitles it to the premiership of sports. This also applies to Yale, Princeton and all other first-class colleges. In all base ball is really the only self-supporting sport.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bases on balls no longer in the error column

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

[a circular dated June 27] The joint committee on playing rules have, by unanimous consent, amended paragraph 8, of joint rule 65, by inserting after the words 'wild pitches' the words 'bases on balls.' The effect of this amendment is to take out of the error column 'bases on balls,' and leave the latter to be included in the summary, as prescribed by rule 66. This is only carrying out the committee's original intention of so classifying 'bases on balls,' for when, last March, in new York, paragraph 7 was amended by adding that 'bases on balls, though summarized as errors, shall be credited as factors in earned runs,' the committee overlooked the fact that paragraph 8 did not mention 'bases on balls' in the exceptions excluded from the 'error column.' Hence the present amendment is merely meant to correct a manifest error and cannot be cited as a precedent for a material change in the Playing Rules in the middle of a championship season. By order of the Joint Committee on Rules, Zack Phelps, Chairman.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batter jumping from one side of the plate to the other

Date Wednesday, February 29, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column][discussing the rules with Bob Ferguson] We had a long talk over Section 5 of Rule 47, viz: “The batsman is out (5) if he plainly attempts to hinder the catcher from fielding the ball, evidently without effort to make a fair hit.” Ferguson claims that the custom in vogue with some batsmen in 1887 of jumping from the batsman's position on the left of the catcher to that on the right, ins one which should be put a stop to, and which should be defined as “hindering a catcher” in this special section. The jump was made purposely to balk both the pitcher and catcher last season, and there was then no expressly defined rule to prohibit it, nor is there this year. While the rule should not prevent a batsman from taking either position at his option, wen going to the bat, we should not be allowed to do so during his term at the bat after once taking his position.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

batting strategy

Date Friday, March 23, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Ned Hanlon] It has been said that players stood at the plate last season and allowed two and even three strikes to be called on them before attempting to hit the ball. Admitting that to be true, the batsman has his motive for doing so. The pitcher is allowed to deliver the ball over the plate at any height between the shoulder and knee. Now the batsman may have his mind on either a high or low ball. Suppose it is a low ball and two or three high ones have been pitched, the next one may be a low one, and then he will be well rewarded for waiting.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bicycling to the ballgame

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] Delegations from the Rambler, Baltimore and Maryland bicycle clubs attended yesterday's game, and found it necessary to store their wheels outside the grounds, at considerable expense and some natural anxiety as to danger to the delicate mechanism by unaccustomed handling. Learning this, Mr. Barnie and Mr. Vonderhorst have given directions to have wheelmen admitted with their bicycles at the carriage gate, and have made arrangements to store them, free of cost, in the pavilion ticket office, which is not now in use. Wheelmen will appreciate this courtesy and accommodation. They number five hundred or more in this city, and are of the sport-loving class that largely patronize the game, so baseball will be greatly the gainer by the wise concession.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bill Parks umpires a game

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

[Allentown vs. Easton 7/4/1888] Umpire Latham was assigned to officiate, but he failed to put in an appearance and the Easton management substituted a man named Parks, who claims to be an old ball player (possibly town ball), but who has no knowledge of the game as it is now played. At any rate, what Parks does not know about ball playing would fill a book.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Billy Barnie prepared to play in a regular season game

Date Tuesday, July 24, 1888
Text

[Baltimore vs. Cleveland 7/23/1888] Manager Barnie was in uniform and caught Shaw in practice. All the Baltimore catchers have bad hands and he was going to catch had not Fulmer became able to go in.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

blocking a runner from third

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

The St. Louis Browns are playing as tricky ball as ever and have added this new wrinkle:--Whenever an opposing base-runner is on third, as soon as the ball is hit the entire infield, except the man to whom the ball is batted, will start for home, ostensibly to back up the catcher, but really to block the runner, as each one after the other will cross the base path in front of the runner and thus retard his progress. They do not injure him, but simply block him adroitly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

blocking and tripping runners

Date Thursday, May 10, 1888
Text

[St. Louis vs. Cincinnati 5/9/1888] The local men were several times blocked in running the bases and Comiskey was overheard when instructing one of his players to trip Reilly at first. Despite the many acts of rowdyism, the game proved a very enjoyable one as the victory hung in the balance...

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bob Ferguson umpires without a mask

Date Wednesday, May 9, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Ferguson will not wear a mask or carry a recorder of balls and strikes in his hand when umpiring. He will regret the absence of the mask before the season is over, and he is liable to make mistakes in counting balls without a recorder, as he did last season. Bob is very fixed in his ways, far too much in some respects.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews running the Athletic reserves

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

Bobby Matthews ill have charge of the Athletic reserve nine.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews still on the Athletics

Date Wednesday, June 20, 1888
Text

Bobby Matthews is still on the Athletic pay roll. He is in good trim, but is hardly likely to be called upon to play so long as Seward, Mattimore and Weyhing keep up their present pace. Bobby says that when he does go in again he will have to depend upon his catcher for coaching, as it is so long since he has pitched that he has altogether lost the run of the batsmen, of whom many would be entirely new to him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bobby Mathews with the Athletics

Date Wednesday, May 9, 1888
Text

In the absence of Manager Sharsig Bobby Matthews is handling the Reserves. By the way, could Bobby possibly do worse than Gamble or Mattimore for the regular team? Why not have the old man a try?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bond umpiring behind the pitcher

Date Sunday, June 3, 1888
Text

Tom Bond is doing some fine umpiring in the New England League. Like Gaffney he takes his position behind the pitcher when the catcher is up close behind the bat.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club finances; ground ownership

Date Monday, April 9, 1888
Text

The fact is that the treasury of the Boston club is today bankrupt. There is not a dollar in it, so says one of the directors. In the first place, the club purchased its grounds, paying therefor $90,000, a part in cash and the balance on a mortgage. Considerable has been paid on the principal, but not all. Last season it had a heavy salary list and paid $10,000 for the release of Kelly. This season the salary list, the $10,000 paid for Clarkson, and the natural expenses of the season will reach about $80,000, and perhaps $85,000. Then there is the new grand-stand, which is to cost somewhere in the vicinity of $70,000. There has been a terrible blunder on somebody's part, and had it not been for the publication of a description and picture of the grand-stand, now under way, as it will appear when completed, the Philadelphia architect would have been discharged and new plans made. But the directors decided to push it through, and this is why they have such an elephant on their hands, Messrs. Conant and Soden furnishing the money., quoting the Philadelphia Press

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club ownership 2

Date Sunday, January 1, 1888
Text

Soden, Conanat, and Billings went through the farce of the annual meeting of the Boston Club Wednesday at Young's Hotel. President Soden voted on twenty-two shares of stock, J. B. Billings on twenty-three, W. H. Conant twenty-five, while A. J. Chase, F. F. Roundy, G. L. Lloyd, E. A. Pope, and J. B. Hart one each. G. B. Appleton, C. B. Corey, F. L. Long were represented by proxies, one share each, and John C. Haynes and Harry Wright, one share each, were absent. The triumvirate control, therefore, 68 votes of 78. the directors reelected themselves and voted each other salaries of $2,500 apiece. … Mr. Chase gave notice of his intention to move at the March meeting that the property of the association be sold at auction, its affairs wound up, and the proceeds divided among the shareholders pro rata. This means just this, that the big three intend to force the minor stockholders to sell them their holdings. They are not afraid of being outbid, for the property would be useless without the franchise, which they already have from the clubs in the National League, for a new club in Boston. The minority can make it very warm for somebody if such a move is taken. The grounds are valuable and could be used for other than base-ball purposes. The grand stand would be just as useful to the minority in possession of the ground without a franchise, as to the big three, off the grounds with a franchise. Suppose the property is sold in March, and the big three don't get it. Where could they get grounds as accessible and build new stands in time? They couldn't do it. The suit brought to compel the treasurer to show up his report is making these people very nervous. But why? Why should not these few stockholders see his report and be denied their legal and several rights? Yet the press of this city, with not one exception, is silent on this point, and has not the courage to show up this unpopular trio and their high-handed and unjustifiable proceedings. They have as good as $100,000 clear capital in land and money today. Even if they sell they will have to show their financial standing. Once can easily see the breakers that lie ahead if the directors intend to be the aggressors., quoting the New York Clipper

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club ownership 3

Date Wednesday, January 4, 1888
Text

Harry Wright still owns one share of stock in the Boston Club. A. H. Soden owns 22 shares; W. H. Conant, 23; J. B. Billings, 23; A. J. Chase, George H. Lloyd, F. F. Roundy, E. A. Pope, G. B. Hart, George B. Appleton and C. B. Corey, one each. The Sporting Life January 4, 1888

The Boston Base Ball Association has seen some changes during the past year, and as the wind is blowing now it will be out of existence within a year hence. A year ago the triumvirs owned 60 of the 78 shares. Now they own 68 or more, and before many moons they will have absorbed still more of the stock owned by the one-share-apiece members. But right here comes another interesting point. There are four shares which the “three graces” cannot buy, as the owners have already begun a suit to make the treasurer show up the books, and to compel the declaring of a dividend. Now, there is one way in which these gentlemen can be frozen-out, leaving the Boston nine in the hands of the present directors, and notice that this scheme is going to be carried out was given at Wednesday's meeting. It is simply to wind up the corporation's affairs, sell out the ground and grand stand, and divide the proceeds pro rata. The franchise would not be marketable. What could anybody do with that ball ground and grand stand with no nine to put on it. The “pro rata dividend” would not be hardly enough to give a man a trip around the world, and when things were settled up the triumvirs would be sole owners of Boston's ball club. The Sporting Life January 4, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club ownership 4

Date Friday, November 9, 1888
Text

Messrs. Soden, Billings and Conant feel secure from the regular yearly kick from the minority stockholders, as they have purchased all but one share of stock. This is held by George Lloyd (Ferguson) and he will sell for a certain figure. As each one of the old stockholders sold out they demanded and received from the club a written guarantee that each was entitled to a front seat in the grand pavilion for life.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston buys the 'big five' from Detroit

Date Wednesday, October 24, 1888
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] ...the “Three Graces” have carried through a deal that is big even for them, and think nothing of a $10,000 deal. It is not a “big four,” but a “big five” this time. Isn't this a quintette of stars:--Brouthers, Richardson, White, Bennett and Ganzel? Before this has been read each one of these five “Jim Dandies” will be at liberty to sign a Boston contract. At 2 o'clock on Wednesday morning ex-President Stearns, of the Detroit Club, and Treasurer Billings, of the Bostons, signed the papers in New York, which gave us the cre4am of the Wolverine team. So far as any deal can be perfected until the players have signed the contracts this one is complete. Only one thing can block it. Of course any one of these five men can refuse point blank to play in Boston, but there is not a fool in the lot. They are all bright young men, and over seven.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston minority stockholders again frozen out-curves

Date Wednesday, October 10, 1888
Text

The triumvirs are on top again as usual. Last spring four of the dissatisfied or frozen-out stockholders in the Boston Base Ball Association—in fact all there are left now outside of the triumvirate—brought suit against President Soden and the two directors and asked the court to compel Treasurer Billings to show the books, and if they should be found in a bad condition to remove the present board of management. The four disgruntled stockholders also asked the court to compel the present management, if not disposed, to make an annual division of the profits. The directors filed a demurrer to the whole case and to-day [10/6] the Supreme Court of the State sustained the “big three.” The Sporting Life October 10, 1888

The suit of John C. Haynes and other stockholders in the Boston base ball association vs. the managers of that association, asking among other things a dissolution of the association and a winding up of its affairs, has been settled. Cleveland Plain Dealer November 29, 1888

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston reporters

Date Wednesday, April 11, 1888
Text

W. D. Sullivan, of the Boston Globe, is to retire from the position of sporting editor and assume that of day editor of the Globe. Mr. Sullivan's letters to The Sporting Life over the nom de plume “Mugwump,” will be continued as heretofore. Billy Harris, also of the Globe, has resigned from that paper and entered the employ of the New York Press.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston scorers

Date Wednesday, March 28, 1888
Text

As usual, those eccentric Boston base ball reporters have determined to score in their regulation go-as-you-please fashion, and have agreed to substitute the total base column for the stolen base column, to put the stolen bases in the summary, to reject bases on balls as factors in scoring earned runs, and to put the “unaccepted” chance on the shelf. As least that is what the Boston Herald says. The Globe, however, contradicts it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush plan classification rules to be kept secret

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[from the R. M. Larner's column] The method to be employed in classifying players under the new rule is to be kept a secret, so as to prevent any ill-feeling that might otherwise arise, should the information be generally circulated.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buffalo reluctant to join the AA; AA vs. International finances

Date Monday, November 12, 1888
Text

Buffalo, as is well known, was entreated to join the American association last eyar, and it is understood that President Wheeler Wikoff has tendered the Buffalos a giltedged and sweetscented invitation to take the Cleveland’s place. But the stockholders and directors are said to be divided on the matter. Some of the members want to put more money in a first rate team. Others are in favor of keeping on as at present for another season, alleging that the outlook for the International association is brighter than ever. A man who knows said: ‘It would cost Buffalo $10,000 a year more to run a team in the American association than in the International and it is doubtful whether the investment would pay a cent more than at present. The skip to Kansas City is a fearful one and such teams as the Cowboys, Baltimores and Cincinnatis would not draw any better than the Torontos, Stars and Rochesters and perhaps not so well. Then there is a good prospect that Detroit and Toledo will take the places of Albany and Troy and Newark and Jersey City are anxious to again enter the International. Hamilton will probably drop out or be dropped out, as it is a mighty poor ball town. Utica wants to come in in place of Albany. With such cities as Buffalo, Detroit, Toronto, Syracuse, Newark, Jersey City, Toledo, Rochester, London and Utica, the International would be equal to the American association. A ten club league would not be too cumbersome, in view of the geographical location of the cities named, and the old international would fairly boom. If Buffalo should go into the American association with a second rate team the enthusiasm here would peter out, but if we remain in the International and get a winning team base ball stock will go up with a rush. I think Buffalo will stick to the International another year, and that we’ll win the pennant, too., quoting the Buffalo Express

Source ’ Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bunt foul balls are strikes

Date Sunday, April 8, 1888
Text

[from the AA instructions to umpires] All balls bunted to foul ground are to be called strikes.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Byrne the boss of the Association

Date Wednesday, January 4, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] Charles H. Byrne, of Brooklyn, is the boss of the Association only because some one has to be, and he was the fittest to be boss.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling strikes on bunt fouls

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick] In regard to calling strikes on bunted balls which go foul, all four of the [AA] umpires interpret the rule in a manner which I do not thing the rule was intended to admit of, and that is, that they call strikes on every bunted ball which goes foul, no matter whether it was an accident hit or not. Rule 47, section 8, says, that “the batsman is out if, after two strikes have been called, the batsman obviously attempts to make a foul hit. Obviously means, easily seen and understood, and unless the attempt is plainly intentional a strike on such a hit cannot be legally called. A case in point occurred in the St. Louis-Brooklyn game of August 4. O'Brien was on second base and no man was out, and Caruthers was at the bat with two called strikes charged to him. He then made an effort to hit a short ground ball to right short, in order to get O'Brien round to third on a sacrifice. In doing this he bunted the ball and it rolled to foul ground, and under the illegal interpretation of the rules adopted by all four of the umpires, the hit was called a strike because it was bunted. There was certainly no obvious attempt to hit the ball foul” in this case, for Caruthers' point of play was the very reverse; consequently, whether the ball was bunted or regularly struck at—a “bunt” being the pushing of the ball by the bat and not swinging the bat to meet it—the decision was an illegal interpretation of the rules, but it was an interpretation agreed on at the meeting of the president and the umpires last April, and in the Association, book, at the end of the code of rules, the umpires are instructed to enforce Rule 31, Section 3, as follows:--”all balls that are bunted foul will be called strikes by the umpire.” Rule 31, Section 3, simply says:--”A strike is any obvious attempt to make a foul hit.” In this case there was no such obvious attempt, nor is there in one instance out of twenty in which balls are bunted. The misinterpretation of the rules by the umpires has almost put a stop to bunting, simply cause it is taken for granted that every ball that is bunted foul is an obvious attempt to hit a foul ball.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

calling the fielder to make the play

Date Tuesday, August 14, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. New York 8/13/1888] Richardson, the first batter, popped up a little fly back of second base, which Pfeffer, Ryan and Duffy ran for. Anson yelled “Pfeffer” three times, but the outfielders paid no heed to the call. They came up to Pfeffer's side and made overtures to nip the swiftly dropping ball. Pfeffer stepped to one side and the ball fell between the trio to the ground.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher chewing tobacco to keep the gloves moist

Date Tuesday, July 17, 1888
Text

Lave Cross says: “The first thing I learned to do when I commenced to catch was to chew tobacco. I don’t see how a man can catch a game without a chew of tobacco in his mouth. The principal reason is that in order to hold a ball you have got to keep your gloves damp constantly. If they are dry you couldn’t hold a twister and would have a half dozen passed balls in a game. Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but the only three in the country I know of are Bushong of Brooklyn, Cook of Louisville and Daniels of Kansas City. They use water to dampen their gloves, but it is not nearly as good as tobacco.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher giving signals in 1872

Date Wednesday, November 14, 1888
Text

[quoting Tim Murnane] The first time I ever saw a catcher use signs to his pitcher was when [illegible] player used them at Middletown, Conn., in '72. Hasting was then catching for “Cherokee” Fisher. The Forest Citys at that time was one of the strongest professional clubs in the country. … The country club won the game by a score of 10 to 5, and won it by discovering Hastings' signs. When he wished the pitcher to throw to the bases he would lift the toe of his right foot a few inches from the ground, and when he wanted the ball delivered he would lift the left one. The boys “caught on” to the toe business, and would hug their bases until the left toe went up and then away they would go for second and third.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher right-hand glove

Date Thursday, May 31, 1888
Text

[Kansas City vs. Cleveland 5/30/1888] Zimmer didn’t catch in his best style and part of his bad work was caused by the thieves who broke into the players’ room on Monday night. They stole all the right-hand gloves and as he is a big-handed man and used a glove on which he could not close his hand he missed most of the fouls that came to him.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher signals the pitcher

Date Wednesday, February 1, 1888
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column][from an interview of Gus Schmelz] Still another instnce in which the error might with justice be charged to the pitcher instead of to the catcher or second baseman, is where the pitcher, either through misunderstanding the sign or through lack of control, delivers a ball the exact reverse of which the catcher has signed for just as the base-runner...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catchers calling pitches

Date Wednesday, August 1, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Manager Schmelz's instructions to young Weyhing to obey the commands of catcher Keenan was good advice. According to all accounts Keenan, like Bushong and Snyder, is a coaching catcher, and this class of catchers are valuable players in a team and far too rare. Young pitchers are too prone to disregard the advice of seniors...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catchers using just one glove; Bushong's glove

Date Sunday, September 16, 1888
Text

Bushong, as the balance of the great catchers, wears the heavy glove on the left hand and often wears nothing on the right. His left glove is a heavily-padded harness-leather-tipped affair, padded, with two layers of lamb’s wool. St. Louis Post-Dispatch September 16, 1888

Catcher A. J. Bushong of the Brooklyn club says: “I have learned that in receiving a righthanded pitcher I get all the balls on my left hand. With a lefthanded pitcher it is just the reverse, and I get all the balls on my right hand. As we catch more righthanded pitchers than lefthanders, our catchers’ left hands are generally pretty well battered out of shape. For throwing to bases a lefthanded pitcher is the best, and we are able to get the ball down to second much quicker than with a righthanded pitcher. When a runner is on first and about to start to steal second, the pitcher should send a straight, speedy ball over the plate, so that the catcher can get down ahead of the runner.” Cleveland Plain Dealer September 30, 1888

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor credits Comiskey for the Browns' success

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] Someone, I think it was Mulford, has declared that Chris Von der Ahe could throw a rake into a brush pile and scare out several good first-class ball players, so great was his luck. This thing of imputing all the good fortune of the St. Louis Club to Von der Ahe's luck is absurd. Von der Ahe's luck is Charley Comiskey. Von der Ahe's stupidity has frequently handicapped Comiskey's skill. In the captain of the St. Louis Club Von der ahe has a leader and an organizer who is worth a half a team in himself. He can lose half his best men each year and yet make a good showing. The team he now controls is not so strong by 30 per cent. as that which he had last year, but still it does pretty fair work. He cannot win the championship with it this year, but next season he will come very near the goal again. The only luck Von der Ahe has is in a freedom from sickness or injury to his men.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor proposes a graded salary scale

Date Wednesday, October 17, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] I am firmly of the conviction that a salary limit must be again established for the preservation of the National game. I suppose others are of the same opinion. But they say:--”How can a legitimate reserve rule be adopted and enforced. The old one was a farce.” I agree that it was. It would be foolishness to go back to that rule or one like it. The rule was bad in two senses. It made no distinction among the good, the poor and the moderate player. I want to see salaries graded according to the merit of the player. This is my plan:

I would make several grades—say five. Players of the first grade I would pay $3,500 a year, and that should be the limit; second grade, $3,000; third grade, $2,000; fourth grade, $1,600; fifth grade, $1,200. I would limit the number of first and second grade players pretty close, and I'd make it a reward for good conduct and temperate habits to promote a player from a lower to a higher grade, even if his playing was not quite up to the mark. I would also make demerit in discipline and habits cause for a reduction in grade and consequently in salary.

You'll ask how I would enforce the payment of the salary limit. In this way:--I would make the secretary of the Association the paymaster. He has the record of the contracts and a record of each player's salary. He should have paid to him every month from each club the sum total of all its players' salaries. If a player be promoted or degraded he should have prompt notice, so that the salary could be changed accordingly. All fines should be reported to him forthwith and entered on the books, and no fines should be made remissable.

But you say the club could pay a player a bonus direct. I would make any such infraction of the rule if discovered an offence punishable by a fine of not less than three thousand dollars. I'd make the fine so large that after its payment there would be nothing left for the favorite player.

Now, how would the players be graded. I would entrust it to a committee of players themselves. I would let each association name three players from its reserve list to make the grades, and I'd limit the number to each grade. Suppose the League appointed its committee of Anson, Ward and Bennett, and the Association named Comiskey, McPhee and Bushong. I think these men could be depended upon to do the work fairly and justly. I would take the entire list of players in the League reserved. Say there are 120 of them. These I'd divided into five equal numbers—24 in each grade. The best 24 would make grade 1 and so on down. If a club had more first grade players than another it would pay more for them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Caylor's estimate of the value of the Cincinnati Club

Date Sunday, January 29, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s letter] Not long ago I was talking with a gentleman–an enthusiast on the National game–and he asked me what I thought was the actual value of a bas ball club as property. I replied that the various clubs would have various values. Then we sat down and began to make estimates on the different clubs. When we came to the Cincinnati Club this was something like the result of the estimates:

The Cincinnati Club has a proprietary right which might be divided into three parts. First, their fences, stands, buildings and one year’s leasehold. Secondly, the reservation and contracts of players and the right to control their services under the laws of the National Agreement. Thirdly, the franchise stripped bare of tangible property–the sole right to maintain a base ball club in the city of Cincinnati. Now, suppose all these interests be carefully weighed separately. First, we will consider the fences, stands and grounds. I believe it cost something like $14,000 to fit up the grounds by filling, leveling, rolling, sodding, fencing and furnishing the present stands and buildings. Much of that is of course a dead loss, and though the outfit is worth a good many thousand dollars to the club, a forced sale of it all would hardly fetch $2,000–lease hold and all. Let us say $1,500, which is a low call. Skipping the second item, we will consider the franchise next. A year ago Kansas City offered $10,000 for a franchise in the American Association. That however, considering the size condition and situation of Kansas City, was a very unwise offer. And yet I will venture the assertion that the bare franchise of Cincinnati as a monopoly of professional base ball for the city would find many ready buyers under the present state of the game at $5,000 and maybe much more. I would guarantee its sale to the National League at the figure with a day’s notice. I think, however, there would be no trouble whatever in securing a sum as high as $10,000 for the right. Let us split the different and say $7,500.

And now comes a sale of the rights to contract for the players. Let us first dip a little into the history, or at least into the historical rumors of late base ball deals. Take first the Cincinnati Club. President Stern it is stated offered $6,000 for Ramsey, $2,000 for Maul, $4,500 for Hudson and $10,000 for Carruthers. Boston, it is said, paid $10,000 for Kelly. They actually paid $4,200 for Pitcher Sowders. Pittsburg paid $4,000 for Dunlap. The Mets paid $1,000 for Jones and $900 for Weldman. Brooklyn paid $8,500[?] for Carruthers and $4,500 for Bushong. New York would pay [illegible] for Denny if they could get him. The Cincinnatis paid $1,000 for Fennelly and had a standing offer of $2,000 for Mullane before they signed him. Brooklyn gets $7,000 for its twelve misfit, job lot remnants.

With these figures before us let us briefly estimate the marketable value of the Cincinnati collection. Take the pitchers first, and only deal with two, Smith and Mullane. It isn’t a question of what Mr. Stern would take but what he would get. Well, if he makes me his broker I’ll agree to get him a buyer inside of two days with $10,000 cash for the two and I think the sum could be raised. Why shouldn’t it? If Ramsey was worth $5,000 to him, isn’t either of the pitchers worth that sum to some other clubs, say New York or boston? For his two catchers, Baldwin and Keenan, I’ll get him an offer of $4,000. Are they not worth together as much as Doc Bushong? John Reilly, if sold long, would fetch [illegible]. I know the club that will pay that price for his release any day, and as the market goes John is cheap at the price. Then there is McPhee. Well now we’re down to the choice cut. I want to ask any of my friends in Cincinnati what should be the market quotation for Bid, when that prince of kickers and disorganizers, Dunlap, has been transferred for $4,000? Why $5,000 for McPhee’s release would be offered from several sources. Boston and Philadelphia would both bid that high first crack, and if his release would not command $7,000 I’d be very much surprised.

But we’ll put the figure at $5,000. Now, there’s Fennely. Frank is surely worth as much as the club paid for him–$1,000. Carpenter is certainly worth as much or more than Jones was last summer and the club sold Jones for $1,000. But maybe some will say that Jones wasn’t worth that price. Maybe not looking at it from the present instead of from that time. Still I’d be willing to purchase Carpenter’s release for $1,000 merely as a speculation. I think Hick would go halves with me. And there’s Tebeau and Nicol. Mr. Stern wouldn’t sell the two for $2,000 would he–so down they go for $2,000. I have left Corkhill for last, just as a boy saves the best bite of watermelon with which to off. John is not only a Corkhill but a Corker. I will take his contract on a small commission will agree to secure $3,000 cash for his release within a week.

And now let us sum up and see what we have.

Fences, building, leasehold, &c. ................. $2,000

Franchise...................................................... 7,500

Mullane and Smith...................................... 10,000

Baldwin and Keenan................................... 4,000

Reilly........................................................... 2,000

McPhee........................................................ 5,000

Fennelly....................................................... 1,000

Carpenter..................................................... 1,000

Tebeau and Nicol......................................... 2,000

Corkhill........................................................ 3,000

Serad, Viau, Bart, Kappel and O’Connor.... 1,500

_____

Total............................................................. 39,000

Now let me ask any practical base ball man in Cincinnati whether he thinks I have overestimated. I think none will say I have unless some may think I have placed the price of the franchise too high. It must be remembered, however, that an intrinsic value does not always govern the market. I have been figuring upon present prices under the present base ball boom. Something might happen to puncture the boom and that $39,000 might in one year collapse to nothing at all where it was in 1888. But under the present National Agreement laws such an event is not probable.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on earned runs, ERA

Date Wednesday, February 1, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] When I introduced the scoring of earned runs in the game, twenty odd years ago...my sole object in view was to get at reliable data on which to base a sure criterion of excellence in pitching, and the data which yielded what I wanted was simply the record of base hits. Experience had plainly pointed out that it was not justice to a pitcher to charge his work in the position with the result of any errors committed by any of the eight players engaged to support his pitching, whether those errors were such glaring ones a those of dropped fly balls, fumbled or muffed batted balls, or of muffed thrown balls, or were secondary errors such as those arising from failures to prevent successful base-running, or from a lack of judgment in not accepting plain chances for catches off the bat in cases where the falling ball was not handled. Any class of earned runs other than those earned from base hits I did not care about, as they afforded no criterion of individual excellence as regards the pitche5r's work. To runs earned from the pitching, therefore, and to those only did I pay any attention, and I want this fact borne in mind by those who since then have added to the record of earned runs such runs as are only earned off the fielding and not off the pitching, and just here I want to show the difference between runs earned off the pitching and those earned ff the fielding. A run earned off the pitching is only scored when it has been the result of a clean home run, made before three chances for outs have been given off the pitching. This to begin with. Secondly, when a three-base hit is made, and the runner sent home by another two-bagger. In other words a run is earned off the pitching only where it is scored solely by the aid of base hits, and not through the assistance of successful base-running, with one exception, and that is when a runner steals a base through the plain failure of the pitcher to watch the bases properly, and this is an exceptional case. A run earned off the fielding is scored when a runner, after reaching first base by a safe hit, steals to second through the failure of the catcher or second baseman to play his position properly, and when such runner gets to third base and then home in a similar, that is through the failure of the catcher or third baseman or the short stop check the runner's successful progress. Now, to charge a pitcher with an earned run against his pitching when a run is scored under such circumstances is gross injustice, inasmuch as only a single base hit has been made off his pitching, the run scored being actually the result of the failure of the fielders to do their work properly, and this, too, without taking into calculation any gross fielding errors. Runs earned off the fielding count for nothing as against any individual player, such as base hits do against the pitcher, and I have therefore never taken them into account in my estimate of earned runs. I wanted to get at a reliable criterion of a pitcher's work in the box, and I found it in the data of runs scored against his pitching entirely by base hits and nothing else. In regard to bases given on called balls being taken in as data in the estimate of earned runs, I ignore them altogether, inasmuch as they certainly cannot be credited to the batsman as any evidence of skillful play at the bat, and neither can they be regarded in the light of fielding errors, as called balls may be due to inaccurate pitching, to purposely giving a base on balls to get rid of a skilful batsman, or to the bad judgement of the umpire in calling them. Under these circumstances they cannot be estimated as errors such as direct fielding errors are, and so I do not consider them either as against the pitcher as an error, or in favor of the batsman as a factor in earned runs. Taking into consideration the plain fact that a pitcher cannot be justly charged as having his pitching “punished,” except through the medium of clean base hits, yielding runs before three chances for outs are offered the fielders, I do not see how any other data than base hits can be used in estimating earned runs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on scoring bases on balls and stolen bases; ERA a pitching stat

Date Wednesday, May 30, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I differ in my views in regard to earned runs from nearly every other base ball reporter, inasmuch as I estimate them entirely in accordance with the rule of their being earned solely off the pitching, and not off the fielding, or the fielding and pitching combined. Earned runs as a factor in forming a criterion of the skill are useless except as applicable to the pitching alone. They are used in the season's averages only as bearing upon the pitcher's work. Why, then, bring into the estimate of the work of base players and catchers, as is done in the case of using stolen bases and bases scored by the errors of base player and catchers factors in estimating earned runs? As regards using bases on balls as factors in estimating an earned run, the idea, in my mind, is too silly to waste argument on it. A base on balls is a battery error, and it does not belong to the column assigned to fielding errors at all, no more than the record of assistances on strikes belongs to the fielding assistance column, such assistances belonging exclusively to the battery records, which should be in the summary. The absurdity of using a base on balls as a factor in earned runs is shown in the fact of placing a run on the record as earned which has been scored by successive bases on balls without a base hit having been made.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on the three strike rule and moving the pitcher back

Date Wednesday, August 29, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column][following a discussion of reduced offense under the three-strike rule] The question to be considered, in providing a remedy, is, what would be the best plan to pursue—readopt the four-strike rule, or place the pitcher's box further back? These are the only practical methods likely to afford the batsman any relief, and of the two I favor the adoption of the rule which would place the pitcher further from the home base than he now stands. I would like to see the four-strike rule readopted, but for one thing, and that is the tendency of batsmen to wait for called balls under that rule. In placing the pitchers' box further back I favor the plan of putting it in the centre of the diamond, which would make the front line of the pitcher's box distant about sixty feet from the home base. This would give the batsman a better chance to judge the ball than he now has, and the speed of the ball would not be so intimidating as it now is. It would make the pitcher, too, a better watcher of bases than is now possible, and give him a greater chance to throw successfully to the bases. I see nothing against such a rule and everything to favor it. It would certainly help the catcher and enable him to throw to bases better. In fact it would lead to livelier batting and to more work in the field, especially in the outfield. Now is the proper time to discuss this matter while the examples are presented to us daily for consideration.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

chalk score board

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column] All last season jack O'Connor was kept in the background,a nd he is going through the same sort of experience this year. Every once in a while he is pulled out of oblivion, a uniform put on him, and he is trotted into the field. Then he makes an error or two as well as a few runs, and is trotted back to keep company with the bat bag boy and score-board chalk artist.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

challenging the ten day release rule

Date Friday, April 27, 1888
Text

Joe Quest arrived from St. Paul Wednesday. He went to the ball-grounds there April 20, but found nobody to report to. Then he formally reported to President Thompson of the St. Paul club. Thompson asked him to call around the next day, which he did. Manager Barnes was also on hand. Thompson read Quest's contract and pointed out to him that it gave the club the right to release him whenever it pleased. Joe gave him to understand that a one-sided condition of that kind did not go in law and he could not and would not stand it. Observing a stenographer present he refused to discuss the question and told the club officials that all he had to say was that he was ready to play ball as they had engaged him to do. At this Barnes jumped up and said: “Well, let him go ahead and fight it if he wants to. I'll fight him, and if he gets the best of me it's all right.” This ended the interview.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

chest protectors; an improved mask; a hint about a protective cup

Date Sunday, April 15, 1888
Text

Gaffney wears an ingenious breast and stomach protector. It is made of pasteboard in sections joined together with elastic and made to fit tight around. When Gaffney buttons up his cardigan jacket no one would know that he is provided with a protector. He says he was hit so often in the chest and over the heart that he had to take some means to save his life. The contrivance is Gaff’s own make. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette April 15, 1888, quoting Sporting South

Gaffney, the umpire, and Bushong, the catcher, are probably the only men in the business who wear chest protectors under their shirts. They are small affairs but an effective and great improvement over the cumbersome big windbag that most catchers use, and weary the spectators by putting them on and off during the game. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette May 13, 1888

In conversation the other day Bob Reach of Reach & Co. Said: “Did you see Umpire Gaffney’s suit last season? He was attired as never before was umpire–or player, for that matter. His coat and mask were expressly made by us for him. The coat was of blue flannel and was fitted with inflatable rubber tubing, which he could fill with air prior to going on the field. With this garment on he was enabled to withstand the most violent blows of foul tips, the ball bounding off easily and making but little concussion. I should not at all wonder if we made trousers of the same pattern. You must have often remarked how frequently the umpire and catcher are struck and most painfully, by foul balls. With a pair of these trousers all danger of any kind may be avoided. Then there was the mask which Mr. Gaffney wore, and which was a model of its kind. It had an open sight, far superior to anything of the kind I have ever seen, yet made so strong that the ball could not penetrate the opening. It was the only mask of the kind ever made, and it was highly praised by every player who saw it, and especially Capt. Ewing of the New Yorks, who desired me to make him a duplicate, an order that I was unable to fill. This mask, instead of having a padded rim, had one inflated, the effect being to deaden the blow of the ball. The whole outfit is very light and can be packed into a very small compass. It will be a great thing for umpires next year, providing an armor that will be almost ballproof. It will almost entirely free that individual from the many dangers that have hitherto made his task so unpleasant, and hereafter the only target that he need fear will be that in human shape.” Cleveland Plain Dealer December 23, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati players' off-season jobs

Date Sunday, February 12, 1888
Text

A large majority of the Cincinnati players have been actively engaged the past winder in some vocation and but two or three have been die. There is probably not another list of players in any city ate are as independent of base ball as a means of livelihood as the members of the Cincinnati Club. Reilly has spent the winter in this city and htough not as busily employed as he might have been doing to the Strobridge fire yet he has done considerable work for Eastern lithographing firms. McPhee who is a book keeper by occupation is unable to seek employing in this line as he would only be able to maintain such a position for but four or five months at best. He has spent the greater portion of the winter months in California nd while he has not made any money yet he was able to cover expenses. Fennelly has a prosperous grocery business at Falls River, Mass., which nets him each year more than he can make in the base ball profession.

Carpenter as a rule devotes the winter months entirely to hunting and fishing.

Tebeau has a family to care for, and since he left Cincinnati in the fall he has been employed as a clerk in a railroad office in Denver which has proved quite remunerative.

Corkhill has devoted his time very profitably since the season closed in looking after the interests of his grocery store at East Camden, N.J.

Nicol though he has not made a fortune yet has won a host of friends and more than covered his actual living expenses as Superintendent of the Gallipolis Gymnasium. Little Nick if very grateful for the many favors that were showered upon him while there and wishes to extend to the people of Gallipolis through the columns of the Commercial Gazette his appreciation of the courtesies shown him. Elmore Smith has spent most of his time in this city and has been quite actively employed in caring for the welfare of a rapidly increasing family. Tony Mullane like McPhee tried the California venture but quite about $300 lower on the trip though in health he is greatly improved. Hard has been employed as a compositor in one of the daily newspaper offices of this city. He is only a beginner, but if he perseveres he will have a very remunerative position when his base ball days are numbered. Colonel Billy Serad spent the winter at his home in Chester, Pa., and from all reports he has been living off his income of last season. Viau spent the winter in California and says he is considerably out of pocket on the trip.

Keenan as a dispenser of cocktails at the bar of the Hoffman House in Indianapolis has had a very profitable winter and also had a little time each day to devote to indoor practice in gymnasium.

Baldwin has been living with his parents in Newport, Ky., and from all reports has been behaving himself. Kappel passed the winter months at his home in Philadelphia, and has been assisting his father in his Carptenter’s business.

O’Connor is in St. Louis and but little can be learned about the young man’s movements. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette February 12, 1888

. the Brotherhood contract and the $2,000 limit

[from Caylor's column] It is just dawned upon the outside world that the Brotherhood, so far as their supposed greatest victory is concerned, were neatly trapped by the big-headed League men. Let, me, whoever, drop a word in Ward's ear, and he may depend upon it that I am right. That pretense of the $2,000 enforcement of the limit rule in the promulgation of contracts is fraudulent. I know it was not practiced by the American Association last year. Secretary Wikoff approved a number which had over $2,000 marked in the instrument. I think Nick Young's books would show a similar state of affairs if they could be uncovered. I agree with Ward that it is not fair to evade an issue which the League pretended to meet honestly. It cannot do base ball any good. The Sporting Life February 15, 1888

[from the Washington correspondent] When I dropped into League headquarters Thursday I found President Young engaged in sending out his weekly budget of contracts approved. I asked him if he had read John Ward's letter on the subject of League contracts, in which the latter claims that the full amount paid each player should appear in the contract. Mr. Young answered that he had read Mr. Ward's communication, but did not think it required a reply from him. Said he:--”The National Agreement, which is the law of base ball, is too plain on the subject to need comment. There stands the $2,000 limit clause, which prevents me from approving any contract setting forth a larger amount. It may be true that the $2,000 limit is practically a dead letter, but so long as it remains in the National Agreement I will decline to approve any contract not drawn in accordance with that instrument.” Continuing, he said he entertains the highest regard for Mr. Ward, and considers him a credit to the base ball profession. In this case, however, he has made a bad break, for he knows perfectly well what is provided for on this subject in the National Agreement. The Sporting Life February 15, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claimed liquor sales in Washington

Date Friday, April 6, 1888
Text

The Washington club will have a bar under the grand stand where liquids can be had to suit the taste. Washington is the only league club which allows this openly.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claimed use of flat bats

Date Friday, September 14, 1888
Text

The secret of the St. Louis Browns’ great sacrifice hitting has leaked out. The team has three or four flat bats, especially for sacrifice hitting, and when a man is to be advanced a player takes up this bat and faces for a right field hit. The flat bat idea was put in by Manager Wright, who has all along advocated sacrifice hitting. “A man who claims to be a first class ball player and can’t sacrifice should quit ball playing,” says Manager Wright.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Clarkson on pitching strategy

Date Wednesday, April 18, 1888
Text

Clarkson, on being asked the secret of his success, said: “Simply a little head work. Do you know there never was a batsman who didn't have some one weakness? No matter how good a batter, there will be some kind of a ball, in some one place, that he can't hit. Now, when I face a player I have never pitched against before I begin experimenting until I find out what his weakness is. I remember, ti, and always afterward know how to work him. Of course, some days you can't put the ball where it won't be hit safely, but that is the scheme I go on, and it has worked well. You know I can pitch pretty well against the Detroits. The main reason is I have studied them more closely than most of the other players because they are such terrible sluggers.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland Club finances

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column][reporting the Cleveland Club annual meeting] The books show a shortage of about $3,000 on the season of 1888, nearly all of which was spent on players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland Club ownership

Date Sunday, November 18, 1888
Text

Jimmie Williams is no longer a stockholder in the Cleveland club. Up to Monday last he owned one fifth of the club stock but was in arrears for assessments. He has turned the stock over to Secretary Hawley and it will go into a pool and be divided equally among the other six stockholders.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland accepted into the League; Detroit temporarily kept

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting the NL meeting 11/21-22] The Cleveland Club was then granted an unconditional franchise and admitted to full membership. Detroit's resignation was laid over until the spring meeting for formal acceptance, and until that time the League will be composed of nine clubs, as was the case when Pittsburg was admitted, in order to retain control of the players until all the deals are consummated.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland and the fifty cent admission

Date Thursday, November 29, 1888
Text

Cleveland people...are willing to support good high priced talent. During the past seaon Cleveland was a member of the American association. At the outset league prices prevailed, and the club books showed the speculation to be profitable. When, about the middle of the season, it was discovered that only one of the two organization which comprised the association were making money it was deemed advisable to establish a reduction of the tariff. Cleveland, naturally indignant, raised a tremendous cry against it, but it was of no avail and the price was reduced one half., quoting Tim Murnane in the Boston Globe

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland keeps the fifty cent admission; threatens to disband

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1888
Text

The directors of the Cleveland Base Ball Club met last night to talk over the proposed reduction in the price of admission to games. All were agreed that 25 cents was too low a figure, and it was decided to continue with 50 cents as the price of admission tickets. Moreover, it was declared that if the new rule of the American Association was enforced here that the franchise would be sold and the players as well, and the base ball business, so far as Cleveland is concerned, closed out. Baltimore declined to waive claim to the Cleveland players, and both Cincinnati and Baltimore have been asked to name prices on the men they want. Bakely, O'Brien, Zimmer, Faatz, McKean, Stricker and Gilks are all in demand.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland on the reversion to the 25 cent admission; finances

Date Thursday, August 9, 1888
Text

The Cleveland club feels that it has been most unjustly treated by the American association, and it certainly has. But there should have been a Cleveland club man at the Philadelphia meeting on Tuesday. Secretary Clough of the Kansas City club was at the meeting and things that if President Robinson had been there the 25 cent admission amendment could have been defeated. As it was, only Cleveland’s vote, in President Wikoff’s hands, was cast against the change. In notifying Secretary Hawley of the result of the meeting Wikoff said nothing of the change in tariff and until Mr. Cough came in yesterday it was believed that a mistake had been made in sending the news. Evidently Mr. Wikoff felt that his advocacy of Cleveland’s interests had been rather wild. The least he could have done was to notify the club on Monday night of what was going on. But he never wired a word. Kansas City and Louisville first voted against the change, but each were bribed into line, Kansas City by a promise of a perpetual franchise and Louisville by a private deal on the basis of percentage.

...

How does Cleveland propose to deal with the 25 cent tariff change? That has not yet been settled. The time is not quite suitable for a change and there is no apparent vacancy in the league. A club meeting will be held on Friday morning, at which Cleveland’s notion will be outlined. It is by no means certain that the players will not be transferred and the association franchise given up. Cleveland Plain Dealer August 9, 1888

The Cleveland club directors met yesterday afternoon, President Robinson, Secretary Hawley, Treasurer Howe and Messrs. C. Sheffield and Howard White being present. The situation was fully discussed, but action was deferred for a few days. The club may quit, but it is not probable that it will. If it does not no notice will be taken of the recent amendment to section 31 of the American association constitution and the price of admission to games will be the same as they have been all season. The directors were unanimous on that point. President Robinson voiced the club sentiment and said: “I would rather quit and lose what we have expended than let the team play for 25 cents. We tried that plan last year and lost $16,000 beside the $10,000 which the original stock turned in. This season at 50 cents he have cleared about $1,000 over the team’s expenses to date, and took that amount and assessed each stockholder $100 to buy Pitcher O’Brien. None of us want to make a cent but we do not want to give up more than $150 a year each for the privilege of furnishing Cleveland with base ball. Our books verity my statement and are open for public inspection. We are going to do the best we can, and if we go on it will be at present prices. The sentiment of the town is toward the league and we would go there at once if we could. We may quit when the team gets home. Personally I am in favor of doing so. Our players are in demand and would realize us a good part of our debt.” Cleveland Plain Dealer August 11, 1888

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cleveland to buy Detroit's NL franchise

Date Wednesday, October 24, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] It is now certain that the Detroit Club as a League club will be known no more after this season. The franchise and outfit of the club were offered some time ago to Cleveland, which had announced a strong desire to re-enter old League company. The tax for both franchise and the star players with their enormous salaries was far too heavy for the Cleveland Club, and so it was decided to split the matter, Cleveland to take the franchise and colt players and the star players to be sold to the hiest bidder. This was and is still the deal, the news of which was prematurely published and for which the Detroit bluff of going on in the League with colt players was but a thin disguise. The sale of the players was the business of the week in New York, under the hammer of auctioneer Stearns, details of which will be found in our news columns. The status of the Cleveland Club in the matter of the franchise is not so well defined. Nothing definite can be done in the premises until the meeting of the League, or until sufficient pledges are obtained to guarantee Cleveland's admission to the League in case the franchise is purchased. In the meantime the matter must remain in doubt, but the probability is that Cleveland will be found in League company next season and there is a bare chance that the scheduled games will be divided between the Forest City and the City of the Straits; at least that is a scheme the two clubs are said to have in mind. The Sporting Life October 24, 1888

[from Frank Brunell's column] Cleveland will pay Detroit more than $10,000 and take Getzein in addition to the eleen men assigned by the agreement between it and Detroit. Of the eleven, Campau and Sheffler cannot be sued, but Getzein, Gruber, Beatin, Sutcliffe, Wells, Nicholson, Duck, Twitchell, Knauss and Flanagain will be taken. The Sporting Life October 31, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

club ownership of permanent grounds

Date Sunday, February 5, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s letter] A very few of the more prosperous clubs have made outright purchases of their grounds, and a fourth–the New Yorks–would buy those they occupy were it not that a dedicated street will when opened split the field into halves from east to west. This street can be ordered open at any time by the Board of Aldermen. The Chicagos and Philadelphias however own the entire block of property on which their buildings are located, and the Boston Club has just purchased the ground upon which they are erecting most magnificent permanent buildings. The Chicagos have surrounded their block of property by a solid brick wall eight fee high. The Philadelphias besides paying $100,000 for their grounds alone have buildings thereon which cost over $50,000 making a total outlay of $150,000–$100,000 of which has already been paid in cash. The Brooklyn Club have a lease on their Washington Park property which may be renewed almost indefinitely. After they secured this lease they proceeded to improve their stands and building, which was done last spring. This is the only one of the eight Association Clubs which has any certain tenure upon its grounds. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette February 5, 1888

New York street planning and baseball grounds

[from Caylor’s letter] Everybody who knows any thing about the street arrangements of New York City knows of its one peculiarity from Union square north, viz: The blocks or “squares” are oblong... These squares from east to west are usually twice as long as those of Cincinnati, with a few exceptions running from avenue to avenue, whereas the lateral street, those running east and west, are not more than three hundred feet apart. It therefore follows that any plot of ground wide enough for a base ball field will necessarily be encumbered with an unopened street. The Polo Grounds so far have escaped but they will not last the New York Club long. New York City has been growing wonderfully during the last five years. Thousands of residences and apartment houses have gone up on the west side of Central Park until the “New City” has gradually crept around to the north of the vast pleasure grounds and joined Harlem to the down town districts. The East Side is also creeping up and Harlem is reaching down to meet the new part of the city. Thus the Polo ground is being gradually and surely hemmed in and pressed up against the north end of Central Park.. It is but a question of a few years now till the New York Club will be forced to move. They know it, but I doubt whether they have an idea of their new location. I would bet two to one taht when they leave the Polo Grounds they will leave Manhattan Island, unless they can secure a plat further up, exempt from street invasion which they can buy outright. The flats or heights of Hoboken more probably will be the future home of the New York League club. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette February 5, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs jumping leagues 2

Date Wednesday, June 13, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] There is this difference between the jumping tendencies of the clubs of the two big bodies. If there exists such a feeling among any league clubs it is among the weaker members. That there is such a desire among some of the Association clubs there can be no possible doubt, and it exists among the strongest clubs of the concern. The only way to solve this problems is to unite the strong clubs and strong, big patronage cities into one great League or Association, and let those cities which cannot support a fifty-cent admission for a high-priced team secure cheaper nines and play a cheaper game of ball. It has got to come to that as sure as base ball continues to be our National game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

collegiate professional players

Date Sunday, October 21, 1888
Text

Among the collegians who have made their mark on the diamons are Hutchinson of Yale (Des Moines), Dwyer of Hobart college (Chicago), Garfield of Oberlin (Toledo), Bingham of Harvard (Easton), Turner of Amherst (Easton), Mitchell of Pennsylvania state college (Salem), Ray of Main state college (Boston), Forrest Goodwin of Colby (Salem), Meade of Holy Cross (Lowell), Cahill of Holy Cross (Worcesters) Knowlton of Harvard (Salem and Easton), Viau of Dartmouth (Cincinnati), Vinton of Yale (Lowell), Bassett of Brown (Indianapolis); Stuart of Amherst (Troy); Kelly of Chicago university (Boston). Ward and O’Rourke have both taken legal degrees at Yale, and are full fledged members of the bar. Manning of Kansas Citys, has taken a degree in pharmacy. Gunning of the Athletics, is studying in the medical department of the University of Pennsylvania. Bushong of the Brooklyns, and Oberlander, of the Torontos, have degrees in college of dentistry. Sanders of the Philadelphia, is Nashville student. Besides these, Andy Sommers of Boston, and Eddie Seward of the Athletics, are graduates of the West Side Cleveland high school.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Columbus admitted to the AA

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 12/5-12/6/1888] Immediately after the opening of the meeting the Columbus delegates were admitted, their application formally received and their claim listened to. The Columbus men based their claim on the fact that Columbus had supported a club in the Association four years ago in good style, and that it was far better able to put a good club in the field now than it was at that time, for the simple reason that the city had greatly increased in population and was 40,000 larger than it was then. They also gave full explanations concerning the financial standing and prospect of the new club. Columbus was really the only applicant. Messrs. McGuire and Phillips, of the Milwaukee Club, however, were in the lobby of the hotel, and did not submit any bid for the place, simply because they knew that Columbus had the call with the Association. It was understood, however, that they were prepared to go before the Association, in case Columbus was rejected, and show the members that the club had backing to the amount of $25,00. The application of the Columbus Club was filed and then the delegates withdrew.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

comment on the fifty cent admission

Date Wednesday, January 4, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] The fact is—and the managers and stockholders of clubs in cities of less than 400,000 inhabitants may as well ponder over what I write—that with present Association expenses, and anything less than a one-two three team, Cleveland could not exist on a twenty-five-cent tariff. We had fair attendance during 1887 and needed nearly double what it was to hold us financially level. If Cleveland cannot have a fifty-cent team it will have no team at all. This statement will do to bet on. The twenty-five-cent tariff necessary when the Association was struggling for life ought to have been dropped two years ago. Since that its patrons have seen fifty-cent ball for half price, and valued it only half as much as they should.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

concern that a newspaper bulletin board is draw crowds from the game

Date Wednesday, November 7, 1888
Text

[editorial matter[ Our esteemed but sensational New York contemporary, the World, plumes itself upon the novel base ball bulletin which it introduced during the late world's championship series. On the board in the World window was drawn a diamond, with two sets of pegs to represent the different sides. An operator with a wire running direct to the grounds manipulated the pegs, and the batters as they came up were either disposed of or placed on whatever base they made. In this manner the spectators followed the game with considerable satisfaction and almost as well as if actually present at the grounds. The excitement aroused by the contests attracted tremendous crowds to the neighborhood and necessitated the attendance of a squad of police to keep traffic from being blocked altogether. Now, as an advertisement for the World, this was all very well, but it could hardly be considered as a good thing for base ball, and for the sake of the clubs it is hoped that no more newspapers may imitate the World's example. If the game had been played abroad nothing could have been advanced against the innovation. But the games thus detailed were actually being played at home, and these “tremendous crowds” could and should have gone right out to the Polo Grounds to see the real contests, instead of blocking up the streets in the vicinity of the World office to watch the mimic game without cost. It is altogether likely that this Wold bulletin kept a good many dollars out of the coffer of the New York Club, and the latter therefore has little reason to think well of the newspaper's so-called enterprise. The patriotism of these crowds which shouted for the Giants, working for the glory of New York and the League but a short distance away, was, of course, very pleasing, but professional base ball clubs cannot be maintained on patriotism alone, and it is to be hoped that in future the metropolitan and all other newspapers will decline to cater to such economical enthusiasts.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Coogan property was considered for the Mets

Date Thursday, December 20, 1888
Text

The Coogan property in Harlem, N.Y., to be bought for a ground for the New York club, is the same piece of lang talked of for the Mets in early 1887.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

critique of four balls for a walk, foul. tips

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

It is hard to see how the changes in the base ball playing rules suggested by the joint rules committee at New York on Tuesday will improve batting. How will reducing the number of called balls necessary to give a batter his base from five to four assist a poor batsman to make base hits? He may get his base oftener, but it is universally agreed that more hitting is desirable. The new foul tip rule will often give a batsman a life, but it will in no way help him to hit the ball. It is also likely to lead to complications as regards balls that do not come straight from the bat but that rise a little., quoting the Philadelphia Record

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cutting the ball

Date Sunday, September 16, 1888
Text

When Holbert was last in town he told a story...about Tom Deasley, the truth of which is been gravely suspected. Here it is in Holbert's own words: “In 1886, you know, when Deasley was with New York he would catch a game occasionally. It has noticed that a new ball would have to be put in play after every half inning that Tom would catch. The old ball would be completely torn to pieces. It would be as soft as jelly and the covering would be torn up and ripped and full of holes. The thing got to be very expensive you know that they began to look into it and in one game the umpires, (I don't remember who he was) got an idea that he would look at Tom's glove. When he went to get the glove it was nowhere to be found. The next time New York went out he stopped play and examined Deasley's glove, but it was the regulation mitten and all right. Well nobody could account for the way the ball got beaten up and finally the umpire noticed in a later inning that Deasley always kept the palm of his hand away and he walked up to him and made him show up the glove. This he did after some talk and what do you think the glove was? Can't imagine, eh? Well, sir, it had a piece of sheet lead on it for a palm, with dull-pointed steel spikes on it that Tome had put on it—what, don't you believe it? Well, ask Tom.” St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Day on the status of the Metropolitan franchise

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[an interview of John Day] The Metropolitans are a thing of the past, and the American Association cannot place them in this city again under their old name or under any other. If the American Association attempts to place a club in this city, it will break a clause in the National Agreement, and when they break a clause they smash the whole agreement. In case that is done, the League will put clubs in the American Association cities. Several League men will be only too happy, if this is done, and they would at once put clubs in two American Association cities.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Deacon White advocates underhand pitching

Date Wednesday, October 17, 1888
Text

[from R. M. Larner's column]“Deacon” White is a warm advocate of returning to the underhand-throwing rule, which he believes will not only improve batting, but materially reduce the expenses of maintaining the professional clubs. He contends that as long as pitchers are allowed to indulge in the throw-as-you-please style of delivery each club will be obliged to keep a large number of pitchers constantly on hand. He cited a number of instances to show that certain clubs have carried from three to five pitchers all through the season at high salaries, some of whom have not played enough to keep themselves in condition. Under the present system the strain upon a pitcher's arm is very great, and he realizes that he is liable to break down at any moment, and therefore demands the highest figure he thinks he can obtain. The Deacon says he imagines from what he has heard and read in the newspapers that the pitchers will be removed back five feet next year. This he considers a fatal and expensive mistake. Five feet further back the pitchers will have to exert themselves more than they do now, and the result will be that each club will be compelled to engage several additional pitchers to go through the season. Pitchers who are confined to the underhand style of delivery can pitch day in and day out without oerio0usly affecting or injuring themselves. One, or perhaps two, substitute or change pitchers will be all that any club will need.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Deacon White and Jack Rowe buy the Buffalo Club; Detroit's response; player sales

Date Wednesday, December 26, 1888
Text

[from the Buffalo correspondent] ...James L. White and John C. Rowe will control the stock of the Buffalo Club, hold the highest offices in the gift of the organization, manage the team, captain it, play third base and short stop respectively, and by their work lead the bashful and retiring Bisons away to the front in the International League in 1889. The Sporting Life December 26, 1888

President Stearns, of the Detroit Club, was apprised of the action of the two members of his team. He said:--”Deacon White may have been elected president of the Buffalo Club, and he may have been elected president of the United States; but that will not enable him to play with the Buffalo Club, and he won't play there. He will go to Boston and rose will go to Pittsburg, or I will know the reason why. Only last Saturday I got a letter from Rowe, in which he said he would sign with Pittsburg, and at the latter's terms. These men know that they cannot play with the Buffalo Club, and the only construction that can be placed on their conduct is that they have determined to fight the reserve rule, and will carry the case into the courts. If they do so, they will find that they have bitten more than they can chew. I knew that neither of them will play in the buffalo Club unless they want to render themselves and the club liable to expulsion. The International League is one of the associations that signed the National Agreement. If Rowe and White insist on playing with the Buffalos it will be a violation of this agreement. The players will be blacklisted, and any team that plays against the Buffalos will lay itself liable to a like penalty. They can own the club and manage it jointly, but they cannot play until they have the consent of the representative of the stockholders of the old Detroit Club.” The Sporting Life December 26, 1888

In an interview with a reporter White said:--”We are not trying to break the reserve rule. The reserve rule is all right. It is the bulwark of the National game. What I protest against is the selling of a player without his knowledge or consent. I am quite willing to break up that custom. Whether we will take the matter into the courts I cannot say until the question arises. If it comes to a question of law, the courts will have to decide it. I don't think the League can afford to go into the courts to test the question of its right to sell a player's services and transfer him without his knowledge or consent. This alleged authority is all assumed. If Rowe and myself are driven to litigation, the result might be serious to the business of base ball as now conducted. If in law the Detroit Club can send me to Boston, it can also send me to New Zealand. According to the contract, I simply give the Detroit Club the right to reserve my play in Detroit, not in Boston. The reserve rule, to the extent I have set forth, is all right and should be respected, but it never contemplated the buying and selling of players.”

“If the National League warns the other clubs in the International Association that they cannot play with Buffalo because Buffalo is playing reserved men, and the other clubs then refuse to play with my team, I shall have a good case, my lawyer tells me, to sue the League for interfering with a business venture without right and conspiring to prevent me from earning a living. This is the first case where there has been a square chance to try the reserve sale law of the League, and I am confident that it will be broken, that is, if the League will fight. If they won't fight, and simply tell Detroit to give me my release, it will end the whole matter. If the League gets beaten it means the end of the reserve and sale laws forever, and they know it and may not make the fight. They have not ofight a man on the outside, so to speak, and cannot bluff me by saying that I cannot get a job anywhere else. I shall have the support of the Brotherhood in the matter, if I want it, and I shall make the fight to the death. My contract with the Detroit Club expired last November. I fulfilled my part of that contract to the letter. There was nothing said in that contract about letting them transfer me to any place they saw fit, and there is no law that allows a man who has a contract with me for one year to say what I shall do the next year.” The Sporting Life December 26, 1888

The Boston Globe’s special man in Detroit reports Jim White as saying: “If the National league warns the other clubs in the International league that they cannot play with Buffalo because Buffalo is playing reserved men, and the other clubs then refuse to play with my team, I shall have a good case, my lawyer tells me, to sue the league for interfering with a business venture without right and conspiring to prevent me from earning a living. This is the first case where there has been a square chance to try the reserve and sale law of the league, and I am confident that it will be broken, that is, if the league will fight. If they won’t fight, and simply tell Detroit to give me my release, it will end the whole matter.

“If the league gets beaten it means the end of the reserve and sale laws forever, and they know it and may not make the fight. They have now to fight a man on the outside, so to speak, and cannot bluff me by saying that I cannot get a job anywhere else. I shall have the support of the brotherhood in the matter, if I want it, and I shall make the fight to the death. It is either the league or myself that must go to the wall this time, sure. I have bought the Buffalo club as a business venture, and expect to make money out of it and give the people as good a game as money will buy; that is, up to the salary limit.” Cleveland Plain Dealer December 21, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

deeking the runner on a trapped ball

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1888
Text

[Thompson on third base, one out] Ganzel followed with a sharp drive over second base. It was too far out for Myers, so Hoy came up for it on a hard run. He just reached it as it struck the ground. He scooped it up with one hand so prettily that players as well as spectators were in doubt as to whether or not it was a clean catch or a pick-up. Thompson was uncertain about it, and so was Captain Hanlon, and the former was directed to make for home. But just here Hoys' cunningness was shown. As he grabbed the ball up he held it momentarily aloft to create the impression that he caught it cleanly, and to further justify that idea he lined the ball to third base instead of home plate. It was the latter part of the play that confused Captain Hanlon, and he ordered Thompson to return to third. The whole performance was over in an instant, and after the dust cleared away Umpire Powers, who had not had an opportunity to say a word on the subject, decided that the ball was not caught. Hoy knew it and so did those near him, but his quick-wittedness prevented a run that inning, as the next two strikers were retired. Captain Hanlon remarked afterward that the play was so slick that the umpire was just as apt to decide one way as the other and he took what he considered the safe side of the question.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining a balk

Date Sunday, April 8, 1888
Text

[from the AA instructions to umpires] Any motion to deliver the ball to the bat must be promptly followed by delivery or a balk must be declared. The pitcher, after making a feint to throw to a base, must pause and take his position to deliver to the bat before he can legally pitcher to the batsman. He can only make one step in delivery.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining a stolen base

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

[from R. M. Larner's column] Recently several inquiries have been received at League headquarters, and in eery instance President Young has held that stolen bases should be credited every time a runner is advanced a base, when an effort is made to put him out and there is a possibility of doing so. The most exciting feature of the game is base-stealing, and those players who have the courage to indulge in the practice of working their own way around the bases should be applauded, and favorably mentioned in the official records. Bases may be stolen on the fielders as well as upon the pitcher and catcher. There are some scorers who take a different view of the subject, but if they will only consider the question intelligently they will probably agree with me. I do not contend that a runner should be credited with a stolen base when he progresses on a throw-0in from the outfield, unless there is a chance to throw him out and the bag is reached by a slide or an equally daring effort. In a game recently played here with Pittsburg Hoy was on first base. Wilmot, who is remarkably fast in running for first base, hit a slow grounder to second. Dunlap stopped the ball cleanly, but Hoy, who had his wits about him, refused to run into the fielder and allow him to make a double play; so he darted back towards first. In order to make sure of Wilmot Denny threw the latter out, but in the meantime Hoy made a dash for second and reached there safely by a long slide. Some persons refused to credit him with a stolen base in this instance. I contended, and Mr. Young sustained me, that it was a clear case of highway robbery, and the official record gives the mute credit accordingly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

defining sacrifice hits; infielders playing in

Date Wednesday, March 28, 1888
Text

[from Questions Answered] (1) It is as good as a sacrifice, but unless he deliberately batted a fly ball it is not a hit of that kind. He may have tried to bat out a home run or other safe hit and then it could not be classed as a sacrifice because a fielder caught the ball, though it served the same purpose. (2) A sacrifice hit is a hit made by a player with the intention of advancing a man or men on bases and expecting himself to be put out. It all depends upon circumstances what kind of a hit is needed. If there is a man on first or second base the batter generally bunts the ball, or hits is slowly to the infield. If, however, there is a man on third, the batter who wants to sacrifice will endeavor to send a long fly to the outfield. In the latter case an infield hit would hardly do, because the infielders play in close to the pitcher and the chances are ten to one against the runner being able to score from third. b. is right on both questions, excepting when he states that all sacrifice hits are batted to the infield.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

definition of a 'bicycle pitcher'

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] An old Boston friend of mine, well known in the base ball world, called on me, as he went West last Monday. He said that in the League only the “bicycle pitchers,” as McKean and Tim Murnane calls them—that is, the fellows who throw the ball over their heads and have big “drops,” were being hit lightly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

deking the runner at second with a fake overthrow

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

The St. Louis Browns are working a cute trick right along. When an opposing base-runner is at second base the Browns' pitcher makes an intentional wild throw over the base. The runner of course starts for third and gets fooled, as the centre fielder, who has been posted, runs up on the throw, scoops it in and, nine times in ten, gets it to third in time to put the runner out at that bag.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

displaying score cards in store windows

Date Wednesday, March 21, 1888
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column] There will be more score cards displayed in the windows of the shops about town this summer than ever before. The contracts already issued exceed several hundred. A trifle of 20 cents a week pays the expense, and after every game the sidewalks about these cards are always crowded.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

distrust within the AA

Date Sunday, October 7, 1888
Text

A general feeling of uncertainty exists as to base ball for next season and it is a feeling that will not be changed up until the annual meeting of the American Association, which is to be held in St. Louis December 11. All the Association clubs are on the edge of distrust. The pledges of each are suspected, and only the meeting will show how things stand as it follows after November, in which month the provisions of the national agreement clubs can move from one Association to another. Even then, however, it is not likely to be known whether all the clubs will go on, as each will reserve his players and wait for chances to sell them. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette October 7, 1888

a condemnation of buying and selling players

One of the worst features in base ball, and which tends more than anything else to bring the national game into disrepute, is the buying and selling of players. In some ways it is on a par with slavery and the public wonder that men of intelligence–and there are many in the base ball profession–would allow themselves to be disposed of in this manner. The reserve rule is necessary for the existence of the national game, but there is no law that can countenance the selling of a player’s services. There are facts connected with the recent barters made by the Cincinnati Club which, if true, and there are no reasons for doubting their authenticity, reflect no credit upon the local management. It furnishes evidences to show that the outrageous practice should be wiped out. If the base ball “magnates” refuse to give legislation in the matter then it is high time for the courts to draw lines of restrictions. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette October 7, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

drainage at the Huntingdon Street grounds

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

Teams will be put at work this week hauling on soil and change the grade of the field. First and second bases and the ground adjoining will be raised so that water will flow evenly over the whole field toward Broad street, instead of running to first base and down the bicycle track, as now. It will take between 300 and 400 loads of soil to accomplish this. New sod will be put on, and the field next season is expected to be much better than it was this year. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

The Philadelphia ground is being regraded at a cost of nearly or quite $1,000. Four new underground drains have been built, while first base has been raised six inches, and the ground adjoining brought up to the necessary level. The home and third bases will be the highest points on the diamond. First and second bases will be of equal elevation, six inches below hoe and third. This will give a gentle slope that will carry the water toward right field, from whence it will be drained to the bicycle track, and thence to the sewer. The catcher's position has been raised six inches. The Sporting Life December 19, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early designated hitter suggestion

Date Wednesday, August 8, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] A well-known and noted player, residing in Pittsburg, recently sent me a letter in which he makes the following suggestion. He says:--”I should like to see a rule embodied in the national code which would admit of the captain of a team having the privilege of allowing his pitcher to go to the bat or not when his turn came.” He very pointedly says, in advocating this new rule, that “pitchers, as a rule, are rather weak batters, and, besides this, when they come out of the box on a hot day at the close of a lively inning they are likely to be pretty well fatigued, and are then in no condition to go to the bat or to run bases. Then, too, in case he does go to the bat after a long inning, and happens to get his base on balls or to make a hit, and in consequence has to run bases, he comes in from the double fatigue in no trim to do justice to himself in the box in the next inning.” This point is well worthy of consideration by the conference committee.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early rumor of Detroit disbanding; Cleveland to the League; comparison with the AA

Date Wednesday, October 10, 1888
Text

Evidences are multiplying that the Detroit club is preparing to retire from the arena. Its best players are for sale and according to dispatches received last night two of them have already been disposed of, the name of the purchaser not being given. Cleveland Plain Dealer October 10, 1888

The Free Press claims to have unraveled the problem so long enveloping the Detroit base ball club. The following disposition of the club and players it says was obtained from reliable outside information: Rowe and Conway will go to Pittsburg, the price agreed upon being $8,000; Brouthers, Richardson, Bennett, Ganzel and Thompson to Boston, consideration $20,000; and White, Hanlon and Getzein to Philadelphia at $5,000. The franchise and remaining players go to Cleveland for $10,000. Cleveland Plain Dealer October 15, 1888

If the rumors about Cleveland displacing Detroit in the league are true and the change is made it will be a popular one. The town is sick of association methods and the clubs of association quarrels and magnates. And the Sunday game feature was never popular among the best class of patrons of the game in this city. Many soured on base ball because of the Sunday games. No better ball will be seen in the league than the association but it will be cleaner and not so noisy. And that will suit the town. Cleveland Plain Dealer October 16, 1888

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early sighting of Harry Stevens; Von der Ahe's rebuttal

Date Tuesday, October 2, 1888
Text

Harry Stevens, a Columbus man, has contracted for the scorecard privilege of the world’s championship series at the rate of $80 a day. Cleveland Plain Dealer October 2, 1888

[from the Columbus correspondent] Col. Harry Stevens, the crack score card man, has been treated by Chris Von der Ahe in a despicable manner. Harry had secured a promise from Eddie Von der Ahe, the sire's confidential agent, a promise that he should have Von der Ahe's right of the score card privilege in the world's championship series for fifty dollars, “and,” said Eddie, “I'll see that you shall get John B. Day's privilege for fifteen dollars, for I'll tell him that is all you are paying us.” Stevens returned to Columbus thinking the privilege was secured to him, but was made wiser a few days later by a telegram from Von der Ahe asking if he would give him $100. Harry indignantly replied that he would not and added that he presumed he was doing business with a business man. John B. Day wired a friend in Columbus concerning the matter to the effect that he had had no communication with Von der Ahe on the subject, but intimated that he was willing, for a small sum, to let Stevens have the privilege. The moral of all this is to the effect that it is better when doing business with certain people to get their signatures to a contract or else have nothing to do with them. Harry has secured the score card privilege for the Athletic games, and he is a genuine hustler; he will make a big boodle out of it. He insists that he will have the score cards for a majority of the clubs in both associations before many years. The Sporting Life October 10, 1888

[from Joe Pritchard's column][from an interview of the Von der Ahes] “Why, I asked this man from Columbus to give me a written bid, and I would consider it. This he refused to do. Had I given him the privilege of furnishing the score card for the world's series, he would have been obliged to give us a bond for the faithful performance of his share of the contract. He made us a verbal bid, and it old him that as far as I was concerned he could not have it. I believe that he bid my son Edward $35 for our interest, and $35 for Day's interest in the score card. This we refused without any ifs or ands.”

“And his statement, “ said Edward Von der Ahe, “that I told him that I could secure the New York privilege for $15 was a falsehood. I told him that he could have our privilege for $100—no less—and that he would no doubt have to pay Mr. Day the same amount. The score card that he intended to publish would have been nothing more or less than a “fake.” He intended to fill it with cheap advertisements. I will run the privilege myself, and I will get up something nice. The card is now in the hands of the printer, and it will b a credit instead of a disgrace to the world's series. It will be printed in five colors. No, this score card man from Columbus is actually crazy over this one subject, yet he is not aware of that fact. If he wanted to do business with us why did he not submit his proposition in writing? I am of the opinion that he wants to get a little newspaper notoriety, and he desires to get it at our expense.” The Sporting Life October 17, 1888

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early sighting of Louisville 'Colonels'

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

[from the Cincinnati correspondent] Considerable has been written lately about the intense rivalry that exists between the Colonels and the Reds...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of a Players League

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's colum][from an interview of an unidentified Brotherhood member] The action of the League in grading its players is not bothering me one particle, and I have not signed for next year, either. I know just about what my services are worth to my club, and this amount I shall expect to get. If the bosses attempt to bulldoze us into signing, I am of the opinion that they will find that they have bit off more than they can chew. The Brotherhood would lose no time in placing clubs right in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Washington, Chicago, Pittsburg, and, in fact, all the League cities, and the grand scheme would be carried on with just as much system and regularity as are the affairs of the League to-day. The Brotherhood is not saying much, but its members are doing considerable thinking, and they will act, and act promptly too, when they see fit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Early use of 'batter up'

Date Friday, June 8, 1888
Text

After an interval of a month since the last Tri State League game was played here, the old familiar sounds of “play ball, “now you're off,” “batter up, “ etc., will be heard once again at Pastime Park...

Source Canton Repository
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'coach' meaning to teach

Date Wednesday, October 31, 1888
Text

Pittsburg Pitcher Staley is to coach and deliver to his club a pitching phenomenon in the spring. He is more than six feet high, lives at Springfield, Ill., and is named Shannon.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early use of 'strike out the side'

Date Wednesday, April 4, 1888
Text

The feat of a pitcher striking out the entire side in one inning has already been performed, Gibson, of the Birmingham Club, enjoying the distinction against the Washingtons on March 20.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early word of Detroit selling out

Date Sunday, September 30, 1888
Text

Al Spalding is quoted as saying that Cincinnati and Cleveland will be bidders for Detroit’s franchise and team, should Detroit decide to retire this winter.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early word of the Australia trip extended to a world tour

Date Wednesday, November 21, 1888
Text

Just previous to the departure of the Chicago and All America teams for Australia John M. Ward in the course of a conversation with a friend said: “Spalding has on foot a scheme which for boldness and scope tops anything ever before attempted in the annals of sports. Instead of returning to America via California he has hit upon the idea of taking the two teams around the world, coming home via London.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early word of the Giants to be in Hoboken or Jersey City

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

[a note from Chadwick] While at Staten Island last week I saw a veteran umpire who resides in Hoboken, and who is well posted in affairs connected with field sports in that locality, and he told me that the Metropolitan Exhibition Company had all but secured a lease of the old St. George cricket grounds, foot of West Ninth street, and that in case things go wrong in their suit with the Park Commissioners in regard to the Polo Grounds and the removal of the fence the New York Club would remove their field of operations to Hoboken forthwith. The St. George cricket grounds are very desirable for the purpose, and the owners of the property realize the fact that the advent of a club like the New Yorks to Hoboken would result in a large increase in their ferry receipts and this, to them, is a very important consideration. The cricket field could readily be made one of the finest ball grounds in the country, and with a long lease to help them, the New York Club would be enabled to put up handsome stands, and give their patrons far greater convenience, than is possible at the Polo Grounds. The field at Hoboken can be reached from down town and up town quicker than the Polo Grounds, and instead of the line hot ride in the elevated cars, they would have the cool sail across the ferries from Barclay, Christopher and Twenty-third streets. Of course, if the suit ends favorably, they will retain the Polo Grounds this season, but otherwise they will go to Hoboken in July, and anyway next year. The Sporting Life July 4, 1888

[from George Stackhouse's column] The New York nine will not be located at the Elysian Fields nor at the St. George Cricket Grounds, Hoboken. In fact the team will not be located in Hoboken at all. In case the local club is compelled to leave the Polo Grounds this season—something very improbable—the nine will play out its home scheduled games at Oakland Park, Jersey City. In case of a conflict in games the Jersey City nine might be temporarily located in Hoboken, but not the Giants. That Hoboken will furnish the future home grounds of the New York Club is all rot. Even if the team is forced to Jersey City the move would only be a temporary one the local club already has new grounds in view and they are neither in New Jersey nor Long Island. They are right here in New York. As those new grounds will not be needed for some time to come, and as they will be in readiness when needed, I have probably taken up enough space on this one topic and will drop it. The Sporting Life July 11, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early work of Columbus working for an AA franchise

Date Wednesday, October 10, 1888
Text

Ever since last August Columbus has been quietly working to get a franchise in the American Association, and the directors in their expectancy swallowed their recent losses in the Tri-State League with a great deal of facial composure, so much so, in fact, that their friends remarked on the wonderful ease with which they met financial disaster. The secret of it was their possible American Association franchise.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

editorial in favor of the two umpire system

Date Wednesday, June 13, 1888
Text

[editorial column] The umpire problem is yet unsolved. In the National League there has been one continuous chorus of complaints ever since the season opened, every minor league has had more or less trouble, and even the American Association's notable experiment with an irremovable high-salaried staff, composed of the very pick of skilled, experienced umpires, has not been an unqualified success, and at least three of the staff have had from the start more or less trouble with kicking players, indignant manages and dissatisfied audiences. Even Gaffney's systems, which is being pretty generally tried, although a decided improvement over old methods, has not bee uniformly successful chiefly through physical reasons, not every umpire being possessed of Mr. Gaffney's agility, allied with quick perception. It therefore becomes daily more evident that the double-umpire system is the system which commends itself as the most practicable ye devised and the nearest to perfection that can be perceived, and it is only a question of time... The chief and, indeed, the only objection to the system is the question of increased expense, and that cannot be allowed to weigh. Unsatisfactory umpiring is dear at any price when considered in its bearing upon the public temper and the proper conduct of the game upon the field, and in view of the disreputable scenes and incidents of past season—likely to be repeated despite all checks this year—entailed by poor umpiring, a system which can almost completely ameliorate one of the greatest drawbacks to a proper public enjoyment of the sport is cheap, no matter what the cost. From every quarter the cry for the double system goes up, and it must inevitably supersede the old methods. The Association, owing to the conditions under which the present staff was organized cannot well make any change this season, but there is no bar to action by the National League. It now has an opportunity to offset the progressiveness of the younger body, with its scheduled high-salaried start umpire staff, with a still greater advance upward and onward by the adoption of the popular and proper double-umpire system. If the League fails to profit by the present opportunity the Association will next season surely show the way again by adopting the double system thus forcing the League to follow where it should lead.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

electric scoreboard in Boston

Date Friday, May 25, 1888
Text

A new feature will be introduced on the Boston grounds this afternoon in the shape of a base ball register. It is the invention of the Parker brothers of Waltham. A board partition has been erected on the centre field fence, a little to one side of the flag pole. By means of electric wires which run from the board along the fence to a position in the pavilion, an operator sitting in the latter, by touching a knob, registers on the board the decision of the umpire as to balls and strikes, giving the number of each, and also whether a batter or runner is out, or when the ball hit is a foul. This will prove an advantage to those people who, in case of unusual noise, cannot hear the umpire's decision. It is expected that the invention will be perfected so that the name of the player at the bat will also be registered.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

elevated pitcher's position in St. Louis; proto-mound?

Date Sunday, November 4, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Leon Viau] The elevation of the pitcher's box [at the St. Louis grounds] is most annoying. A new pitcher is at great disadvantage, as he is unable to get the ball at a proper elevation. You start a ball that, on an ordinary diamond, will twist around the batter's head, and it will cross the plate about waist high. The Brown's pitchers are accustomed to the elevation, which gives them untold advantage, as they can send a ball in with great speed without fear of throwing it wild. I think Comiskey had the position elevated solely for the purpose of handicapping the other Association pitchers.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

enclosed grounds improve morals

Date Sunday, May 6, 1888
Text

The old-fashioned prairie games were undoubtedly a cheap amusement to many, but the day for better things seemed to have come when, in 1883 this association [the Chicago City League] was organized. The prairie games were ungoverned and to a certain extent lawless. There was no revenue attached to the game, no special incentive to outlay of funds for appearance sake, and no obligation to patrons; hence the conduct of clubs and players was liable to depart from the gentlemanly and assume at times the rowdy. The same was true with respect to the audiences in even a greater measure. The organizers of the association believed that the confining of these unruly spirits in inclosed grounds would result in better morals, better games, better amusement, and less disturbance. In this respect their expectations have been fully realized. The games of the Amateur Association have been orderly and peaceful; they have gradually increased in attractiveness, and as athletic exhibitions are almost, if not quite, on a par with the professional teams of the National and Association Leagues.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

estimating a hit by the sound

Date Sunday, June 3, 1888
Text

Nearly all the noted outfielder having explained how they gauge a fly-ball by the “crack of the bat,” it is now in order for Hoy, the deaf and dumb centre-fielder of the Washington,s to explain how he gauges them. Although he can't hear, he judges and captures fly-balls as well as anybody.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

experimental rules

Date Wednesday, September 26, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] Why does not the joint committee on rules bestir itself and devise means whereby the many ideas advanced for the improvement of batting may receive practical trial before the close of the base ball season? Of course individual clubs can try the various plans proposed, but these go-as-you-please trial would not be near so valuable for purposes of analysis and comparison as a regular series of practice games under lines laid down by the joint committee.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielder's glove

Date Wednesday, April 4, 1888
Text

[from the A. J. Reach & Co. ad] We are so positive that we have the very best professional catchers' and infielders' glove ever made that we will send a pair to any one on receipt of price, and if upon examination they are not fully up to the high standard we claim for them they can be returned and we will refund the money. Catchers' Gloves, Per Pair - - - $5.00. Infielders' Gloves (One Only) - - $3.50. The Sporting Life April 4, 1888

By reference to our advertising columns this week our readers will see that A. J. Reach & Co. have introduced a new catching and infielding glove, which for quality, finish and requirement is a marvel. One of the improvements is the absence of the very objectionable seam at the base of the thumb. A seam-ing impossibility, but a fact nevertheless. The demand so far has exceeded the supply. The Sporting Life April 11, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fielders gloves 2

Date Saturday, May 12, 1888
Text

Captain Irwin of the Philadelphia team is the inventor of a seamless glove which scores of ball players are now wearing, and with great success. Wood, Dalrymple, Mulvey and others are late converts to the glove idea, and they drop few fly balls now. Mulvey doesn’t miss one foul fly out of two dozen. Billy Sunday was wearing Irwin’s glove when he caught that fly Saturday. It robbed Irwin of a hit and Sunday said: “That was rather discourteous, wasn’t it–using your glove to take that hit?, quoting the Pittsburgh Chronicle

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fifty cent admission in Cleveland

Date Wednesday, September 12, 1888
Text

Fifty cents admission is still charged at Cleveland, and yet the crowd is greater than Baltimore draws at 25 cents.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fogel on the rules makers

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the Philadelphia scorers 12/31/87] Mr. Fogel said he wanted to go squarely upon record as saying that he did not consider the men who were formulating our playing and scoring rules as competent to do the work assigned to them. He argued that these rules were made by a certain number of gentlemen who were financially interested in clubs, but who had no practical knowledge of the game and never scored a game in their lives. If these men would listen to sensible suggestions offered them by players and scorers who know more about the game than they do, our rules would not be half as defective and bad as they now are.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul flags

Date Thursday, March 8, 1888
Text

Umpire Ferguson had an excellent idea universally indorsed that he desired to be introduced into the rules. It was to have the flags fastened outside of the first and third base lines, so that they would no longer impede fair balls, and so that every ball that hit them would be foul.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul tip outs eliminated

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/19/1888] When the foul ball question was reached there was quite a discussion on the proposed amendment to do away with the injustice of putting the batsman out on a foul-hit ball, which afforded him no chance for the compensating advantage of gaining a base, as in the case of a fair-hit ball. It was finally decided to compromise matters by removing the out on a foul fly catch in all cases in which the catch was made within a radius of ten feet from home base. This, of course, does away with the fly tip catch, and with catches of high foul balls which fall into the hands of the catcher near the home base. It was decided, too, to allow the base-runner running from one base to another on a foul ball to return to the base he left without his being put out, as he hitherto has been on a fly catch of a foul ball. It was doubly unjust to punish a runner who had earned first base by a hit for the fault of the batsman in hitting a foul ball. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888 [N.B. The rule actually provided no out on a foul ball “not rising above the batsman's head and caught by the catcher playing within ten feet of the home base...”]

[from an unidentified member of the rules committee] Among other arguments in favor of abolishing the foul tip, was that it would tend to lighten the work of the umpire. Nearly every member of the joint committee could recall games which had been won or lost during the past season by an umpire either not hearing, or hearing when there had been none, a foul tip. If he misses one now which has been made, or calls one which has not been made, the chances are that the entire audience will not rise up and call him blessed, unless it happens to be the third strike that is called a tip or a tip that is call the third strike. The Sporting Life December 5, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

four balls for a walk

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/19/1888] Rule 48, Sec. 2 now reads: “Instantly after four balls have been called by the umpire.” This change was made on the basis of obliging the pitcher to be more accurate in his delivery, and that to accomplish this he would have to reduce his speed. Then, too, should the reduction of the number of called balls lead to more bases being taken on balls, more base-running would follow; besides which the fact of there being a runner on first base would divide the attention of the pitcher between the batsman and runner, thus having a tendency to aid the batting. The amendment is certainly in the line of equalizing the forces of the attack and defense...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

four balls for a walk; proposal to move the pitcher back; various measures to increase batting

Date Wednesday, November 21, 1888
Text

[reporting on the meeting of the Joint Rules Committee 11/20] The first matter that engaged its attention was the problem of devising a change in the rules that would increase the batting. Many suggestions were made. One was to put back the pitcher's box five feet; another to give the batsman six strikes; another to widen the fair ground; another a restoration of the high and low ball. The committee discussed the suggestions exhaustively, and finally decided to let matters stand just as they were last season, except to hold the pitcher down to four balls. Three strikes and four balls will, then, be the rule for next season. Mr. Byrne defeated the proposition to put the pitcher's box back five feet by showing that it would put the pitcher on a line with first base and thus engage him to so thoroughly control it that a runner would have no chance to steal to second.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fred Goldsmith's shoulder injury

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

[quoting Fred Goldsmith] Almost every season I was troubled with a sore arm, but when the warm weather came, I was always able to work the soreness out. Then the trouble was in the elbow or between the elbow and shoulder. One season the soreness went to my shoulder, and from that time on my pitching days were over. I have tried every remedy possible, but nothing seemed to do my arms any good. I even went to the heroic method of having my shoulder blistered like they treat a horse's leg, but even that proved unavailing. I am convinced that nothing will do a lame shoulder any good. The sensation is a peculiar one. I can go out and pitch for a short time as well as I ever did. Then my arm commences to lose its power, and after pitching half an hour it falls perfectly powerless at my side. I would not be able to pitch a full game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

free passes in Pittsburgh

Date Wednesday, March 28, 1888
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent's column] They say there will be but thirty-eight dead-head tickets given out this season. This includes the newspaper contingent. Many of the Councilmen, city officials and others who received comps last year will be sold a ticket for $8.75, which the management claims is cost price.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

free score cards

Date Friday, April 6, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Spalding] A plain score-card containing the names of the players and their positions is given to every one who wants it as soon as he gets inside the grounds. Another card, containing in addition to the names of the players a lot of information about base-ball generally, is sold for five cents. The Chicago club is the only one in the country that furnishes any kind of a score-card free.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Gaffney on umpire behind the pitcher; between the batter and the catcher

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

Manaer Gaffney says that he was led to take his stand behind the pitcher, when there were men on bases, while still manager of the Washington Club. During that team's practice work in the morning he would take his stand behind the pitcher and watch him delivering the ball. He soon found out that unless the catcher was standing close to the batsman he could not gauge the height of the ball. As to whether the ball was over the plate or not he could tell that just as accurately as though he had been in the usual position between the catcher and batter or behind the catcher. As soon as his mind was made up on this point he resolved to carry it into effect, as an Association umpire, at any time when there were men on bases. Otherwise he still stands between the batter and the catcher. The first game he umpired in this manner was between Detroit and Birmingham, Ala., during the practice season.

The experiment met with favor, both from the management and members of clubs. Deacon white, after seeing the system tried, came around to Mr. Gaffney's way of thinking and advised him to put it in practice. He did so, and has had the satisfaction of seeing his plan adopted by one of his associates. In speaking of his custom of running to bases where a play was being made, the umpire said that the plan was afterwards conceived, and in practice worked fully as satisfactorily as his first innovation. “Umpiring in this way is hard work,” he said, “but it is satisfaction to know that the umpire's decisions are seldom, if ever, disputed. It saves trouble, and I shall continue practicing it, especially as the system dispenses with the second umpire sometimes called to assist.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Herancourt destitute in Los Angeles

Date Sunday, February 19, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s letter] A short notice appeared in a Cincinnati paper this week announcing the misfortune which had come over George Herancourt. All had not been told. I heard last week of the desperate straits into which he had come but had not the heart to be the first to make it a matter of public gossip. A well known young Cincinnatian, who was in Los Angeles a month or two ago was passing through one of the principal streets of the town one day when the familiar sound of “weinerwurst” greeted his ear. The cry was not the only familiar part of it, for he thought the voice sounded familiar. He looked closely at the face of the man who stood on the corner with his bucket and uttered the words “weinerwurst, nice and hot” and it flashed upon him that the man was George Herancourt. He had not the heart to stop and speak, but after passing on a square he determined to go back and make himself known. When he came to the corner however, George was gone. The recognition had been mutual and the former Treasurer of this city had picked up his bucket and got out of the way.

When McPhee was in that city he searched for the former club president for the purpose of extending a helping hand, but failed to find him. He believe George purposely kept away.

There is not a man in the Cincinnati Club who would not gladly contribute liberally to a fund for Mr. Herancourt’s relief. They know him as the good natured liberal hearted young fellow who was at the head of the club in 1885, and who always had a ready ear for their requests financially. A better hearted, merrier, more indulgent club President never lived than Herancourt. It was indeed his over-confidence in humanity that swamped him. He was surrounded with a lot of blood suckers who lived off his purse till it was emptied and then turned their backs on him. George had his faults–who is there has not?–but his generosity and good points were in the majority always.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Myers a carpenter in the off season

Date Sunday, June 3, 1888
Text

George Myers, catcher of the Indianapolis League club, never loafs in winter, but puts his time to advantage. He is a carpenter by trade, and in accordance with an idea he conceived some years ago he builds a house every winter and generally sells it at a big profit in the spring. He hires a mason and a painter, does all the carpenter work himself, and by working all winter the three men finish the house before warm weather sets in. Myers has built five or six houses in this way, and has sold most of them. His home is in Buffalo, and he is said to be worth $20,000. He lives economically, and is credited with having never tasted liquors of any kind in his life.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Stovey in the New England League

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

Pitcher Stovey, just signed by Worcester, is the first colored man that ever played in the New England League. The Sporting Life June 6, 1888

Stovey is a great acquisition to the pitchers of the New England League, being the most like a ball player of any man I have seen in the points since Connie Murphy graduated. His color is not black enough to hurt. The Sporting Life June 27, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright on the history of the bat

Date Monday, April 23, 1888
Text

“There is one curious thing,” said Mr. George Wright, the veteran base ball player, “in connection with base ball bats and their use by both professionals and amateurs throughout the country, which, I think, has not as yet been noticed, or at least received due attention.

“I refer to the very marked changes which have taken place within my own recollection in the size and shape of base ball bats. It is queer what an effect experience, change in playing rules, and especially the science of curving the ball, have had upon them. Formerly long bats were all the rage, and players, both professional and amateur, held up logs of wood, some of them 3½ feet in length, and fanned the air in a way that would seem perfectly ridiculous to the average player today.

“Henry Chadwick, of Brooklyn, the veteran among base ball reporters, was the first to introduce what was known as the square bat. It was 42 inches in length, and was truly an immense affair. That was about the year 1860, away back in the days of the Knickerbocker, Eagle and Gotham clubs. Chadwick was always present at the games, sitting on the benches, invariably carrying an umbrella under his arm. The square bat, however, proved a fizzle, as the claim that more force was gained in the strike with less labor to the batsman proved untenable when put to the practical test.

“At about the same time a hollow ash bat, loaded with a movable ball of lignum vitae, was used as an experiment by some players. A hold was bored some distance into the larger end of the bat, the lignum vitae ball inserted, and the hole stopped up. This ball played freely back and forth in the hollow, and whenever the batsman brought forward the bat for the strike the ball rolled toward the end away from the handle, and the ball sent in by the pitcher struck the bat at a point opposite the lignum vitae ball. There was little advantage gained by this, however, as the rolling and snapping of the ball inside the bat often sounded like the ‘tick’ of a foul ball and occasioned considerable trouble.

“About the year 1873-4, in the Red Stocking nine, a couple of bats made of willow, with cane handles, like those of cricket bats, were introduced. They had a certain spring and snap to them, but cost about $5 apiece, and as one would last on average only one game, it was rather expensive. The ball went off with a snap and a spring, but the handles proved weak and were constantly breaking.

“One of the most curious bats ever gotten up was one that was put into my hands to test. From the larger end, on the outer surface of the bat, a number of grooves were run up toward the handle for about six inches perhaps. This artful contrivance was to do away, if possible, with any such things as foul or ‘ticks,’ the claim being that the ball on striking the bat would catch upon the grooves and always be hit ‘fair.’

“This, however, was soon abandoned. A laughable thing happened in connection with another ‘crank’ bat once while I was testing it, which is perhaps worthy of mention. Some person had taken a bat, bored a hole in the larger end for about six inches, inserted several small rubber balls about two inches in diameter and plugged up the end with cork, so as to give to the bat no addition weight. The idea was to have a springy bat that would not crack.

“I was striking, and neither the pitcher nor catcher knew anything at the time about the ‘crank’ bat. A ball was pitched and I struck at it, but unfortunately the stopper in the end of the bat came out and three or four of the rubber balls flew out in all directions, some at the pitcher, some at the basemen and some at the short stop. There was a pretty lively scrimmage for those balls, I can tell you. I was put out on a ‘foul,’ one ‘liner,’ one ‘pop fly’ and two ‘sky-scrapers,’ all at once. This was certainly discouraging for a batsman, and I need hardly say that this unfortunate episode brought its career to a timely close.

“The reason for the substitution of the short for the long bat is its ligher weight and the sharp, quick blow which one can give with it. In an ‘in-curve,’ for instance, the long bat would have to be brought in near the body to hit the ball at all, although the striker generally allows the ‘in’ and ‘out’ curves to pass him, and strikes at the ‘drops’ and ‘risers.’ If anyone would invent a base ball bat that would last a season without breaking a player would willingly give $5 for it. But bats made of the very best stuff are constantly breaking., quoting the Boston Herald

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

getting a scoop on publishing the League schedule

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

The League magnates are still trying to find out how their schedule got into the hands of some enterprising newspaper men before it had been adopted. …

...Voltz was at the meeting to get all the news that could be got. He was satisfied if he got no more, but no newspaper man will miss an opportunity to get a “beat,” and Voltz saw an opportunity to get one. And a big one it was at that, because to get the schedule in advance is as big an achievement to the base ball writer as getting the President's message one day before it is sent to the Senate is to regular Washington news correspondents. While the scribes were all lounging about the corridors of the Clarendon Hotel several of the League magnates emerged from the room in which the meeting was being held, and one of them called all hands up for drinks. Voltz accidentally got beside one of these League delegates, and while the latter was pouring some Apollinaris into his glass Billy's cigar dropped to the floor, or a t least in some manner be happened to look down, and in doing so his eagle eye was attracted by a document sticking out of the delegate's coat pocket, and at the top was printed something that looked like “schedule.” Voltz did not want to take possession of the paper, but fearing that one of the others might “steal” it and not wishing any paper to be so wicked as to publish the schedule before it was ratified and thus incur the displeasure of the League magnates, he deemed it advisable to take possession of the document for safe-keeping. Unfortunately for him, however, Mr. Sullivan, of the Boston Globe, and Pete Donahue, of the New York World,caught him transferring the paper to his own possession, and after getting him into a private room cruelly demanded that he let them have a copy of it. It was a case of two against one, and Voltz had to surrender. As a result the Philadelphia Press, New York World and Boston Globe published the schedule the following morning...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

getting behind on the count; a fast ball count

Date Wednesday, April 18, 1888
Text

The trouble with Weyhing is that he wastes too many balls, and thereby gets himself into a hole. He should know that after three or four balls have been called he must put the next one over the plate, and it is the straight delivery on which he is hit. The Sporting Life April 18, 1888

scoring an earned run after a fielder's choice

During Wednesday's game with Baltimore a very nice question arose with regard to scoring an earned run. Hoy went to bat, hit safely and stole second and third. O'Brien hit one of this cannon balls toward third, on which Hoy attempted to score. Shindle threw to the plate, retiring the mute, while O'Brien landed safely on first base. There was not the slightest chance for a double play, and under any circumstances but one man could be retired. Daily, the next striker, lifted the ball over left field fence for a home run, sending O'Brien home. The question arose whether O'Brien's run was earned. Under the circumstances Mr. Young, when appealed to, held that both runs were earned. In my judgment he is correct, for had O'Brien been retired at first Hoy would have scored an earned run; as it was, Hoy sacrificed himself at the plate to enable O'Brien to reach first safely. The Sporting Life April 18, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

giving the umpire the official score card

Date Tuesday, April 10, 1888
Text

[instructions from Wikoff to the AA umpires] The official score—The score-card agreed upon by the two captains and handed to the umpire before the game begins I s to be regarded as the “score” referred to in the rule giving the order of batting, and this cannot be changed except a player becomes disables by illness or injury, so as to cause him to retire from the contest.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

going to great lengths to sign a minor leaguer

Date Sunday, January 29, 1888
Text

In an interview President Spalding of the Chicagos told a Tribune man how he got John Clarkson. Said he: “In the fall of 1884 we were pretty hard up for ptichers and there seemed to be no chance to get one that was any good. I had heard all about Clarkson and had offered $1,000 for his release and $1,000 at that time was a big figure for a release, but I couldn’t get him. One day the president of the northwestern league of that year dropped in to see me. He said he was on his way to Milwaukee and his league would hold a meeting there; the East Saginaw club was behind in its dues and the chances were it would be expelled. Before he went away I got him to promise me that if East Saginaw was expelled he would telegraph me as soon as the action was taken. As soon as he went out I sent for a young fellow that had been Clarkson’s roommate during the summer, and I engaged him to go there and bring Clarkson here in case the club was expelled. I told him I would telegraph him as soon as I heard from Milwaukee, and if my message said the club was expelled I wanted him to see that Clarkson came here on the first train. He went to East Saginaw and saw Clarkson. The meeting at Milwaukee was held and the club expelled. I got my telegram from the president of the northwestern league and immediately sent a message to East Saginaw. Eight minutes after it reached there my man and Clarkson were on board a train bound for this city and had left Caylor sitting in a hotel. Caylor wrote to Mills, who was then president of the league, and tried to establish that I had not acted on the square, and Mills wrote me a long letter asking an explanation. I wrote back and told him exactly what had occurred, showing that I had not done a thing until the East Saginaw club was expelled, and wound up by saying I had only indulged in a little ‘practical base ball,’ which Caylor didn’t understand. He decided that my part of the transaction was all straight. That expression, ‘practical base ball,’ amused him greatly, and I never meet him now without his referring to it.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

grabbing the runner's belt

Date Sunday, September 2, 1888
Text

All the league clubs are kicking about the dirty ball Jack Glasscock is playing. Jack was always full of tricks, and when with the Maroons was always getting into trouble on account of them. Once when Gore was playing with the Chicagos, he was on third base at Union park. A high fly was knocked to the outfield, and Gore prepared to score on it. Glasscock slipped up behind him and caught him by the seat of the pants with both hands. Gore made a break when the ball was caught, but could not move. Suddenly Glasscock let go and Gore fell on all fours. When he recovered the ball had been fielded in.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

graded salaries proposed by Brush

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

To Mr. Brush, of the Indianapolis Club, belongs the credit of originating the grading of salaries plan adopted by the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

grandstand fee in Baltimore

Date Wednesday, May 2, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] The Baltimore grand stand has an extra charge of twenty-five cents attached. It was noticed you claimed it was free, but was probably misled by having the word pavilion used to you. The pavilion was formerly a right field bleacher. It was afterwards roofed, and a small extra charge made. Now that is free, but the grand stand still wisely commands the usual extra. It is much better to have it that way in this city, and in fact better pleases the masses, while there are some who would not attend at all unless they could purchase exclusiveness. So, to cater to all fancies, it is much better to have graded seats so that all tastes may be suited.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright gave signs as a pitcher

Date Wednesday, November 14, 1888
Text

[quoting Tim Murnane] Harry Wright, now manager of the Philadelphia Club, was probably the first ball player to use signs. He was pitching for the Cincinnati Reds in '69, and always signed his catcher when he was going to deliver a slow drop ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright on scientific batting

Date Wednesday, February 15, 1888
Text

This is Harry Wright's opinion of scientific or “place” hitting as given to Ferguson, of the Boston Herald:--”I think that scientific batting is a possibility to our players and so is heaven; but there is precious little hope of either at present. I have a theory that, as the weather grows warm and the boys have their hair cut short and fall off in their batting about the same time, there is a relation between the two of some kind. But what it is and what is the good of the information is beyond my ken. There may have been a period when I was regarded as a scientific batter myself, but there are few, if any, left to tell the tale.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home crowd assists with new balls

Date Thursday, August 16, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. New York 8/15/1888] It [the crowd] cheered the home players, cast slurring remarks at the men in gray, and in the last inning assisted their favorites by refusing to return two old balls, and new ones were substituted.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Horace Phillips not allowed to handle the money

Date Wednesday, June 20, 1888
Text

Base ball men are puzzled as to what Horace Phillips duties are. He isn't allowed to handle the cash; he cannot release or engage men without orders from above, and he isn't allowed to sit on the players' bend, a place where a manager, of all places, should be during a game, especially with such a go-as-you-lease team as Pittsburg.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how 'record players' play

Date Wednesday, January 4, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column][from an interview of Clarkson to an unidentified Boston reporter] When the ball comes into the territory of a player who plays for a record he makes no vigorous efforts to capture it if the chances are in favor of his scoring an error. By simply making a feint to hold a widely batted ball he gives the impression that he would have taken it if he could, but he is careful not to get too near the flying ball and thus have a black mark set against his name if he fails to make the catch.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how games were corrupted

Date Wednesday, May 30, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] Another veteran player told me last summer some of his experience in those corrupt days of the game. Mike McGeary at that time was a notable player, but every once in a while when Mike's nine was playing, he would not be well, would have a Charley-horse or something of the kind, and would lay off. On such occasions Mike invariably got up on the stands back of the Gold Board, and that stand had no roof over it. Consequently Mike carried a very peculiar yellow umbrella or sun shade. It was amusing and instructive to notice how often Mike raised his yellow parasol, and just as often lowered it. Indeed, he seemed to go through a regular drill with it, and his fellow players down in the field could always know where their captain was by the shade of his peculiar umbrella. “By gosh it's hot,” Mike would say and up went his umbrella. Strange to say a few bad errors would invariably follow, and a number of runs would result to his club. Then Captain Mike would move over into another part of the stand where some one was offering a heavy bet that his club would not score a run in the next inning. A man following close to Mike would take the bet. In order to wipe the perspiration from his brow the yellow umbrella had to be lowered and while this work was being done, his men out on the field would become possessed, and fairly knock the ball out of the enclosure. That old yellow umbrella was worth more to McGeary in those days than any old pair of shoes or gloves in these days of the $2,000 limit rule.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how people try to get in free; counterfeit tickets and scalpers; barbed wire

Date Sunday, September 2, 1888
Text

Secretary Brown of the Chicago Ball Club has many laughable experiences to relate about the devices people employ to gain admission to the games. “The worst class of cranks,” said he, “that we have to deal with are the ones to whom we issue free tickets. They will send over for half a dozen or a dozen tickets for a game, and I f something happens which prevents them from attending they forget to return the pass3es. Consequently we lose the sale of so many good seats. Sometimes some enterprising young man will get hold of tickets that are exactly like ours and stand on the streets a block or so away selling them for half price. If the rascal is caught he will claim that a friend who couldn't attend gave them to him to sell. Others will come to the gate claiming they lost their tickets and ask to be let in. they say they are regular patrons and plead plaintively to be admitted. Once in a a while a boy will come along carrying a bat which he declares belongs to one of the players and that he was sent to get it. As soon as he gets into a far corner of the bleaching boards he forgets to deliver the bat. The small boy, the emblem of genuine Americanism, will get in some way, no matter how many strings of barb wire and policemen you place along the fence. I often receive requests for passes from aspiring young captains of amateur teams who say they will hire the grounds some day to repay it. I have these beats down pretty fine down, and few of them get in.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how side contracts to break the $2,000 limit operate

Date Sunday, November 25, 1888
Text

The nature of the private contracts differed. In some cases, as in the case of Dunlap's engagement with the Detroits, there was a private contract between Dunlap and a man identified with the club by which the player bound himself to this man for a term of years for the sum of $4,000 a year. All that was required of Dunlap was that he should play ball for the Detroit club during the term of his engagement. He signed the regular $2,000 contract and was paid at that rate by the club. The man with whom he executed the private contract made up the difference. The aggregate sum paid to Dunlap on both the official and side contract all came out of the Detroit club's treasury.

Here in Chicago, in making up the excess above the limit, Mr. Spalding would execute a variety of contracts. He would first have the regular limit contract, and then a private contract between himself, personally, and the player, to pay so much additional in any event, and a third, binding himself for a further sum in the event of the club winning the pennant, usually termed a championship contract. Over and above these agreements there existed the famous “booze contract,” which provided that the player should receive a certain additional sum for abstaining from the us of intoxicating liquors during the base-ball season.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the Brush plan came to be adopted

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Nimick] The salary and classification questions were settled after it was demonstrated, that unless such a system prevailed, the League would go to pieces. I first gained the consent of Philadelphia, Washington, Indianapolis and Cleveland for the presentation of the propositions, and showed plainly that unless they were favorably acted upon these clubs with Pittsburgh would have to drop out of the League at the close of next season. After considerable discussion Chicago, which, by the way, has a smaller salary list than Pittsburg, came over to our side. It was followed by New York. Boston was the last to give in. we showed in our arguments that the life of the League depended upon the passage of these measures, and they were finally adopted.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how to field a ground ball

Date Wednesday, May 2, 1888
Text

[from Joe Hornung, from a series on the various positions] To handle a low hit or ground ball get well in front of it, and just before it reaches you place your heels together, hold your hands apart, about knee-high. Watch the ball closely, and when it reaches you bring your hands together in front of the ball. Should it happen to pass your hands it will be stopped by your feet. Should it bound, your hands are ready to receive it. By a little practice these features are easily acquired.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

improvements to the ground impeded by a short lease

Date Tuesday, July 10, 1888
Text

For the benefit of a correspondent who complains about the bleaching-boards not being covered, as proposed by President Spalding, it may be said that such was the latter's calculation if he could have released the grounds. But as the present lease terminates next year the management did not feel able to incur the expense.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

incentive clause

Date Thursday, March 29, 1888
Text

Pitcher King of the Browns and President von der Ahe today came to terms and King signed a contract to play with the Browns the coming season. ... He is to receive $2,500 for the season’s work and $500 additional if he wins two thirds of the games he pitches and the Browns win the American association championship. Cleveland Plain Dealer March 29, 1888 [N.B. He did and they did.]

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis Club manager embezzled

Date Tuesday, December 4, 1888
Text

President Brush of the Indianapolis club has finally made public the charges against ex-Manager Spence of the Hoosier club. The President says:

“The case is a clear one and is simply this. We played two games in Brooklyn at the close of the league season. Well, after the team reached home we were drawn upon for $50 by Byrne. As we owed the Brooklyn club nothing, we wrote to inquire what the amount was for and asked if the amount was not mixed up with our receipts in some way. Byrne returned us a sword statement that our receipts during the games there were $124 and that the $50 had been given to Spence. We examined our books and found that instead of Spence having reported $124 for the Brooklyn games we had received only $80. We at once took measures to find out if he had made false returns from any other city. Our club played in Cincinnati before the league season opened and we found that Spence had failed to report the full amount of his receipts, though the shortage was only $11. We wrote to Jersey City, where the club played on June 7, and received a letter from Manager Powers of that club. The letter stated that the Indianapolis club played at Jersey City on June 7. The receipts were shown to be $214.70. We only received $175.70, making a shortage of $40, which Mr. Spence has not accounted for.”

President Brush has made efforts to have Spence blacklisted, but the league is not anxious to deal with the affair. The case is not done yet, however.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

indoor baseball 3

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

Mid-winter base ball is the latest thing in Chicago, and Mid-winter Base Ball League, composed of the Farragut, Oakland, Carlton and Douglass clubs, having arranged a season to close Jan. 23. … Special rules have been made to govern the games, which are played in rinks, among them being straight arm pitching; runner not to leave his base until the ball is struck at or gone by the catcher; a batsman becomes a runner on three strikes not caught, or four unfair pitched balls, &c. Only rubber soled shoes are worn.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

indoor baseball in Philadelphia

Date Wednesday, December 26, 1888
Text

The first attempt to play base ball indoors in this city [Philadelphia] was made this afternoon in the main building of the Pennsylvania State Fair grounds. The teams were made up of a few of the professionals wintering in this city, and were divided into teams called “Up-Town” and “Down-Town.” The latter team included such well-known players as Clements, Andrews, Welch, Burns, and Fusselback, and they scored a comparatively easy victory by the score of 6 to 1. Kilroy and Knouft were the only prominent players on the “Up-Town” team. The diamond was rather small, but the ball used rendered run-getting a rather difficult task. About 2,000 persons witnessed the game, which, taken altogether, could not be considered a glittering success. Chicago Tribune December 26, 1888

The intelligent party who sent out stories on the Philadelphia indoor game on Tuesday writes thus of it: “The diamond was about twenty feet smaller than the regulation size, the ball was not as lively as the professional ball, runners were permitted to overrun the bases and only one fielder was used on a side. Outside these few changes the game was much like the ordinary base ball contest.” It must have been very like “ordinary base ball.” Cleveland Plain Dealer December 27, 1888

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

inducing the opposition to drink

Date Wednesday, July 25, 1888
Text

[a story related by Tim Murnane from 1883] Ed Cuthbert, an old-time player and one of the trickiest men ever engaged in the business, was living in St. Louis at the time, and a scheme was put up for him to go to Philadelphia with plenty of money and spend it like a lord among the members of the Athletics. Cuthbert carried out his part of the programme in good shape, but Lew Simmosn smelled a rat, and accordingly laid his wires to get even on the St. Louis gentleman. He kept a sharp lookout for his players while at home.

In the meantime he furnished a young Philadelphian with plenty of coin and gave him instructions to follow the St. Louis Browns around the country and named two or three men that could be easily induced to drink wine and stay out late nights. When the Philadelphia boys got to St. Louis they were closely guarded, while the St. Louis management little dreamed of the fine work Lew Simmons was getting in. When the teams met the next day Fred Lewis, one of the their strongest batsmen, was in anything but a fit condition to play a championship game. He kicked up a great row and was threatened with expulsion. He had been doing the town the night before with a young friend from Philadelphia and did not care to play any ball.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

instituting the color line

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting the International Association meeting 11/21/1888] Mr. Dixon of Hamilton, offered a resolution that no colored player be signed by the International Association. His motion was lost, Hamilton, London and Rochester voting for it. A motion was finally passed that no contracts of colored players except the two now in the League (Walker, of Syracuse, and Grant, of Buffalo,) should be approved. Should either player be released they cannot be signed by any International Association team.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intentionally taking a triple rather than a home run

Date Saturday, October 6, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. New York 10/5/1888] After two strikes had been called Tom [Burns[ hit a straight ball with all the strength he could command. It arose high in the air, sailed over the entire left field,a nd dropped on the other side of the rope fence. It was a great hit, and Tom could easily have made a home run out of it, but he preferred to stay on third base and keep Murphy under the bat.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

James Hart's Australian tour

Date Saturday, March 31, 1888
Text

“Buck” Ewing, catcher of the New York club, says he is going to Australia with a ball team next winter, and the team will not be Spalding’s: “I go with Jim Hart’s combination. Jim Hart arranged for an Australian trip early last fall, on the same plan as Spalding’s. Ten of the twenty or more men who will go on the trip have already been named. They are Pfeffer, Kelly, Williamson, Wood and Irwin of Philadelphia; Carroll of Pittsburg and John Ward. The names of the other two men I’ve forgotten.” The chances are, however, that Spalding’s agent in Australia has made such preparations that the Hart combination’s trip will be given up.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Jewish baseball clubs

Date Wednesday, April 18, 1888
Text

From Brooklyn we learn that a movement is on foot to organize an amateur association made up entirely of clubs whose members are Hebrews. Negotiations are now in progress with a view to establishing such an association, and the following clubs are already interested in it:--Friendship, of Brooklyn, Washington Irving Union, of New York, and Young Men's Hebrew Association, of Newark.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Kansas City AA franchise made permanent

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 9/28] The report of the finance committee recommending that a permanent franchise be granted Kansas City was read, and then Mr. Speas introduced Mr. Holmes, a Kansas City capitalist, heavily interested in the cable railways of the Cowboy town. Mr. Holmes announced that he owned the controlling interest in the Kansas City Western Association team, and had decided to consolidate with the American Association team, and hereafter have but one club in Kansas City. The two teams had thirty men under contract, and from this number a very strong nine could be made up. This pleasing news turned the scale for Kansas City, and after a very lively discussion, a perpetual franchise was unanimously voted the club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Kansas City grounds

Date Sunday, July 15, 1888
Text

Clubs visiting Kansas City are handicapped by the grounds on which they are expected to play. The diamond is laid out in a gulch between two hills, and the outfield is encircled by a drain ditch. Beyond are piles of rubbish and clusters of underbrush uncomfortably near to the outfielders’ positions. When the Clevelands were playing there recently a Kansas City player made a home run on a little hit, which on good grounds would not have been more than a two bagger. The ball fell in some underbrush back of center and Hotaling refused to go after it as he said he believed the place full of snakes. The umpire was forced to bring out another ball.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ladies admitted to the Cleveland grandstand free

Date Saturday, May 5, 1888
Text

Ladies are not charged for seats in the grand stand at association park.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

late use of a pitcher's 'points'

Date Tuesday, June 26, 1888
Text

It is not generally known that Bakely talks to himself a great deal while in the points and when the batters are hitting him hardest he keeps up an incessant stream of comment.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League umpire uniforms

Date Wednesday, February 8, 1888
Text

The League proposes to supply its umpires with regulation uniforms this season similar to that worn by Umpire Doescher last year. No charge will be made for them, but umpires will be required to present a neat and orderly appearance in all championship contests. The Sporting Life February 8, 1888

flooding the field for a rain-out

Buck Ewing and a few of the Giants while in ‘Frisco did not care one day about playing about two weeks ago and took a hose and watered the grounds. The hose would not reach second base and then the trick was discovered. Cleveland Plain Dealer February 9, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

limited progress on implementing the Brush plan

Date Wednesday, December 19, 1888
Text

[ from R. M. Larner] “The new classification rule takes effect on and after to-day [12/15] and a ll players who are not under contractual obligation now will have to be graded in accordance with the provision of the law.” This was the remark of the president of the League this morning when your correspondent called at League headquarters to glean the latest information on the subject. Mr. Young expected a flood of new contracts by to-day's mail or by telegraph, but he was disappointed when he discovered that a brief telegram from Manager Loftus, announcing that Joseph Lohbeck and Oliver Tebeau had signed with the Cleveland Club, was the extent of his correspondence. Up to date only two clubs, Washington and Indianapolis, have complied with Mr. Young's request made several weeks ago for a statement showing what players are to be exempt from classification. These lists should have been in hand to-day, was yesterday, Friday, was the last day the players and managers had to come to an understanding that will be bending under the rules. Philadelphia, New York, Boston and Pittsburg should have had their lists in by this time, and it is supposed the desired information is now en route to Washington. Mr. Young positively declines to give out the names and grades of the classified players, on the ground that such information, so far as he is concerned, is to be regarded as secret. He says he will not be responsible for any guesses that may be made in any quarter, and he will neither affirm nor deny any statements made on the subject. Each club will be furnished with a classified list of its own players, but the New Yorks will not be permitted to know how the Boston or any other club is graded, and vice versa. …

Mr. Young has already proceeded far enough to realize that he has a difficult and a very disagreeable task before him. He proposes to do full justice in every instance as he prefers to be in their favor rather than against them. The members of the Washington and Indianapolis team, including Denny and Glasscock, have been rated, but as above stated, nothing definite on the subject can be learned from Mr. Young. The Sporting Life December 19, 1888

[correspondence from A. G. Ovens] Mr. Brush tells me that none of the local [Indianapolis] players will be signed before they are classified by President Young. The Sporting Life December 19, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

local reporters keeping quiet about player indiscretions

Date Wednesday, September 12, 1888
Text

The charges of dissipation against certain of the Athletic players, published in last week's Sporting Life, were the subject of general local comment during the week. … A majority of the local base ball reporters were also acquainted with the facts published in The Sporting Life, but they remained silent because they were apparently afraid that it might injure the club. Our only motive in publishing the facts was to brace the team up at this critical stage of the championship race and to give the guilty players notice that they could not longer nullify the efforts of their hard-working fellow-players or jeopardize the team's pennant chances without prompt exposure.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville Club manager

Date Wednesday, June 20, 1888
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent] Kelly had forwarded his resignation from Cleveland, where the club was playing. This was accepted by Mr. Davidson, who expects to manage the club himself.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

manager of the St. Louis Club fired

Date Wednesday, August 29, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard] The change from the percentage to the guarantee system has knocked James Gifford out of a situation, as he will sever his connections with the Brown stockings on the 1 st of next month. Mr. Gifford was signed as the manager of the champion team, but he has attended mainly to the business of the club, and Comiskey has looked after the men both on and off the ball field. Since Mr. Von der Ahe has disposed of his Western League team he has traveled almost continually with the Browns and he always looks after the boys whenever he is on the road with them. Mr. Gifford is one of the oldest, as well as one of the best managers in the country, and since he has come to St. Louis he has made a great many friends, all of whom are sorry to see him leave. He has two offers that I know of, but whether he will accept I am unable to say.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

managing transport from the ball park

Date Sunday, July 22, 1888
Text

The Cincinnati patrons of base ball are much indebted to the Street Railway Company for the many conveniences that are afforded them in going to and from the Park. Superintendent Harris is at the ball grounds whenever there is a game and makes all the necessary arrangements for transporting the patrons as quickly as possible up town. In the latter half of the ninth inning he signals the cars at the stables by means of an electric bell, and they are generally in waiting when the game is concluded. Occasionally there is a ten- and eleven-inning game and then the whole railway system in the western part of the city is thrown into confusion, as there are no side tracks at the park, and the extra cars block the main line.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

marching onto the field as a team

Date Tuesday, May 22, 1888
Text

The Indianapolis club, too, has the latest idea of forming before practice at the end of the field and marching up, company front, until they reach the diamond. Kelly reviewed them as they marched today, and gave them a word of praise on their appearance, which caused Capt. Jerry Denny's bosom to swell with pride and his cheek to assume a lovely hue.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mathews wants to be an umpire

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

Bobby Matthews wants to become an umpire. Why not give the veteran a chance? He umpired several games last season and showed that he could fill the bill admirably. Bobby has made formal application to the American Association.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

middle infielders assisting the outfielders

Date Wednesday, May 2, 1888
Text

[from Arthur Irwin, from a series on the various positions] The moment a base hit is made, if it be to left field, he [the shortstop] must run out to help that fielder in with the ball if he requires assistance. If the hit is made in the right field, the he should cover second base, while the baseman is helping the right fielder.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Milwaukee Club buys its real estate

Date Wednesday, February 22, 1888
Text

The directors of the Milwaukee Club last evening closed the deal for a new park, which will be located on the corner of Seventh and Chambers, bounded by Eighth the Nileigh streets, dimensions of same being 366 x 588 feet. They purchased the property outright, paying for same $25,000, which, with the cost of grand stands and fences (estimated cost $10,000), will bring the figures up to $35,000.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mocking Chadwick 2

Date Monday, May 21, 1888
Text

[from a column by “Ferguson”] An exchange says it is not known who is the “father of the game,” but that Henry Chadwick is the man who first wrote up the rules. This, then, accounts for the general misery of these ill-conditioned paragraphs. It is natural enough. Chadwick knows nothing about play. His mind has been for years running on the matter of home runs and the desire to make them as the real reason why batters do not bat; and it is rank with another equally absurd idea, to wit, that of “scientific batting” or “placing the ball,” dropping in the exact convenient spot where fielders are astonished to find it, and therefore cannot field it.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mullane practicing to be a switch pitcher

Date Sunday, April 8, 1888
Text

Tony Mullane is developing as an ambidextrous pitcher. In the game at Cincinnati Sunday he struck out the first man at the bat in the sixth inning, delivering with the right hand, and then, changing to left-handed delivery, struck out Smith and Viau in succession.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Murnane on infielder positioning

Date Monday, July 2, 1888
Text

Few ground balls go between third and short now, when the positions are played properly. The third baseman should take more ground off the bag and play on the line, while the short can play deep and not too far away to miss accepting a chance to get a hard hit ball that may pass the third baseman. Nash is playing third base this season as he never played it before; he goes for everything he can lay his hands on, and often makes stops in front of Wise at short stop. If the ball gets by Nash, Wise has time to get it, and being a hard, quick thrower, can get his man. While Nash was playing second base during the Chicago series several balls went between third and short, one of which lost a game to the home team. First and second base can work together and make it difficult to get a ground ball through them, as illustrated by Pfeffer and Anson of the Chicago club, or Burdock and Morrill of the home team. First basemen are now playing deeper than formerly, depending on their pitchers to cover the bag when a ball is hit to the left of them. When a baseman knows that the pitcher will cover the bag he goes for anything within his reach. This has always been one of Chicago’s strong points. They never fail to back up. Pfeffer introduced several new points of play at second base while in this city. With a man on first base he always played close up to the base line. If the ball was hit to him he could meet it much quicker and surer than if he was fifteen feet back of the line, as most other men play it. If the ball was not hit and the runner tried to steal second he was sure to be in front of the man running to second, and never failed to get his man. Players like Pfeffer who study team work are sure to be valuable men., quoting Tim Murnane

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL fifty cent admission universal

Date Wednesday, March 7, 1888
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting 3/2] The admission fee question was the first business. The Pittsburg and Washington clubs at the annual meeting forgot to have the privilege of selling three tickets for a dollar renewed, and it lapsed. At yesterday's meeting they asked for a special renewal, but this was refused. That made it certain that the Philadelphia Club would not get a renewal of the twenty-five cent privilege. Messrs. Reach and Rogers made a strong fight to hold two of the clubs with them, as it required a two-thirds vote, under a special agreement, to deprive them of the privilege, but it was in vain. Since Pittsburg and Washington could not have their concessions, they were not disposed to see Philadelphia alone in privileges, and accordingly a resolution making the fifty cent fee apply to all League Clubs was passed by a vote of 7 to 1. Turnstiles will be placed on all grounds, and the visiting club will receive twelve and one-half cents for every person registered.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

National League attendance

Date Wednesday, October 24, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Nick Young] The attendance at the League games during the season of 1888 was the largest in the history of the game. [N.B. This is probably not true.] The patronage of base ball has shown a steady increase from year to year, and I do not believe it has reached its maximum by a large majority. The game is constantly growing in popular favor, and its hold upon the better class of citizens in the various communities becoming stronger as the honesty and integrity of the game are more clearly recognized.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new Sunday grounds in Gloucester

Date Wednesday, April 11, 1888
Text

Arrangements have been made to add a big base ball ground to the list of summer attractions at Gloucester. A plot of ground 600 feet square, the western end of which will be less that 100 yards from the river bank, has been selected, and work on it was begun last week. The contract calls for its completion by May 1. The grand stand is to seat 10,000 people and the managers of the Athletic Club have made arrangements for a series of games between the reserve nine and other clubs. The grounds will be owned and under the management of William Thompson.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young conflates high player sales prices with high salaries

Date Sunday, January 15, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Young] At the present rate of compensation but few cities are able to support a first class team of players. Every community wants its local club to stand a fair chance against its rivals but there are but few clubs that can afford to pay from $3,000 to $10,000 for a single player. Unless something is done to insure a reasonable scale of salaries for players several of the larger [sic] cities will be compelled to abandon their members in the League and American Association.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young on the Brush plan; how to grade players; players on the Australian tour

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[an interview of Nicholas Young by R. M. Larner] “The subject was fully and freely discussed from every conceivable standpoint, and it seems to me that the League has taken a wise step—one that is calculated to stimulate and encourage the game more than anything we have done in many years. It will not affect rising and ambitious players. But it places a premium on honest and efficient work on the ball field, and requires good general department off the diamond. It will prevent players drawing large salaries because of their previous records. It is not only a step in the interest of the clubs, but it raises good ball playing to a standard that it has never attained before. Intelligent players will recognize it and it depends on their own exertions whether they shall be benefited by it.”

“Do you propose to make these classifications without any assistance?” inquired your correspondent.

“Oh, no,” said he; “I will consult certain persons and we will form a sort of civil service commission and pass upon the merits of the respective players. During the playing season I will make arrangements to obtain reliable reports of the playing and deportment of the players. In other words, I will establish something in the nature of a secret service department. I do not mean by that to establish a spy system, but I propose to have reliable and unbiased reports upon which these classifications may be based.”

“What about those players who are now absent from the United States with the Australian party? They will not be able to sign the required agreement before Dec. 15. How does this new rule affect them?”

“It does not apply to any player who has already signed a contract or entered into an agreement with any club, up to that date. The League will not break faith with the Brotherhood and the provisions of the existing contract will be carried out to the letter. This new rule is intended to apply only to future agreements. Those players held in reserve for next season cannot be classified at any salary below that which they received during the past season, as shown by existing contracts.”

“When do you propose to begin your work of classification?”

“I shall enter upon that duty at once, so as to be in readiness to approve classified contracts in accordance with the new law. At present it must be regarded in the nature of an experiment, as it can only apply to that class of players who are drifting about, beyond the reach of the reserve rule. It may be a year or two before the practical effect of the new project will be felt, but the indications are that it will infuse new life into the game, and the meritorious players will have some incentive to display their skill to the best advantage. It will do away with that vicious star system and put all players on their mettle.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

night games by gaslight

Date Wednesday, August 29, 1888
Text

[from the Indianapolis columnist] The Indianapolis management has experimented and is satisfied that base ball can be played at night by gas light, and it will be tried when the club gets back home, probably with Chicago. President Brush has been investigating the idea for some time and finally concluded that it would work. The first test was made on Tuesday night and was so successful that it was at once decided to carry the scheme into effect. That it will be a go is conceded on all sides. The test was made with only two lights. They were located along the centre field fence about thirty yards apart, being between thirty and forty feet high, having a cross-bar at the top like that on telegraph poles, and about the same length. This cross-piece has burners on the upper side, about six inches apart, and when the gas is turned on it makes a solid flame, say four feet long. These two burners along made the park perfectly light, and a ball could be seen as well as if it had been daytime. Nearly all of the home players were there, together with two or three hundred other people, and the experiment was pronounced a grand success. Balls were batted high into the air and could be seen without the slightest difficulty, while grounders could be handled with perfect safety. A new ball was tried and then an old one, but the result was the same. Batter stood at the home plate and knocked balls all over the field, and they were caught with ease. The players all said it would be a god, and Manager Spence, who has had some doubt about the success of the scheme, admitted that there was no reason why ball could not be played at night as well as in daytime in Indianapolis. The light is perfectly steady and free from shadows. The gas company is at work fixing things and the other lights will be put up to-morrow or next day. It is the intention to put up sixteen, and if two furnished enough light to play ball by it can easily be imagined what sixteen will do. There will be four on each side of the park, two being on the grand stand. The Sporting Life August 29, 1888

The attempt to play ball by natural gas light will probably prove to be a failure. The park was illuminated this way last night, all the lights being in place, and the ball could not bee seen well at all. There was a wind blowing at the time, however, which interfered materially. Some changes will be made in the arrangement of the lights, and then it will be tried again. Indianapolis News September 6, 1888

At last Indianapolis admits that the natural gas experiment is a failure. Cleveland Plain Dealer September 19, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no reduced price for boys at AA games

Date Wednesday, April 25, 1888
Text

President Von der Ahe is anxious to have all the small boys in town attend the Brown Stocking games, and he wants to admit them for twenty five cents, allowing the visiting team fifteen cents for every one that passes in. He telegraphed President Wickoff about the matter yesterday, and the latter gentleman replied that all admissions were fifty cents, boys and men the same price, and that children in arms should be admitted free. This thing of charging a boy fifty cents admission will not work and a reduction ought to be made. A large number of youngsters have always attended the games in this city [St. Louis], and while they are willing to pay twenty-five cents very few of them can must up half a dollar for each game.

{The Athletic Club has decided to adopt a half-rate for boys without asking the consent of its fellow clubs, claiming a constitutional right to do so. In view of President Wikoff's decision, quoted above, the club is likely to get into a controversy about the matter.--Ed.}

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no signals for a bunt

Date Sunday, June 10, 1888
Text

In the game at Philadelphia June 2, in the sixth inning, in which the Phillies scored six runs, while Anson was kicking against the umpire's decision that Delehanty [sic] was safe at the plate Irwin, who was at bat, fixed up a little scheme that worked to a charm. Buffinton and Farrar were on first and second bases respectively and Fogarty was coaching at first base. Irwin ran down and posted Fogarty and Buffinton, and Fogarty ran over and whispered to Farrar. Irwin bunted the first ball pitched and beat it to first base. Farrar and Buffinton knew what was coming and were on the move as soon as the ball was delivered.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

noise makers

Date Friday, October 5, 1888
Text

[Chicago vs. New York 10/4/1888] The cranks were not satisfied with small horns. Some hand foghorns that made hoarse sounds whenever the Giants made a play.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

obstructing a runner with a catcher's mask

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

Mike Kelly has invented a new trick. With a man on third and another on first as soon as the latter goes down to second he throws the ball, but before so ding, he places his mask on the line about four feet from the plate. If the runner on third attempts to score on the return of the ball, he will not be able to slide in on account of the mask being in his road. By this means Kelly can get the ball back in time to prevent the runner from scoring.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

overrunning second and third bases voted down

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/19/1888] The committee refused to adopt the needed amendment to the base-running rules, extending the privilege of over-running first base to all the bases, on the same grounds that were urged against repealing the old foul-bound-catch rule, viz, that it would do away with the attractive feature of sliding to bases—a very mistaken idea. So base-runners will still be obliged to run the risk of serious injuries in sliding to bases after reaching first safely as hitherto.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

owned versus leased grounds

Date Friday, April 6, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Spalding] No the [Boston] club owns the grounds and can afford to put up a $75,000 grand stand. The Chicago club has leased grounds and for that reason cannot afford to erect an elegant and substantial grand stand. When we get grounds of our own, Chicago will have a grand stand second to none. As it is, only Philadelphia and Boston will have better stands this season, and until the Philadelphia club's new grounds were opened last year the Chicago club's stand was the finest in the country. But give us the grounds we want and we will give the people the finest stand in the land.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ownership of the Louisville Club

Date Wednesday, June 20, 1888
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent] I am now able to announce the terms upon which Messrs. Lyons, Jackson, Zach and John Phelps sold their stock in the club to Mr. Davidson. The Eclipse Base Ball Association was incorporated in 1882, the first year of the American Association. The capital stock was placed at $3,500, divided into shares of $10 each. Mr. Davidson, until recently, owned 100 shares. Messrs. Lyons, Jackson and the two Phelps owned 201 shares. Mr. Davidson bought all this, paying $22.50 per share. He now owns 301 out of the 350 shares of the capital stock. The remainder, with the possible exception of a few scattered shares, is owned by Vice President and City Manager John R. Botto. If the club can play winning ball this will be a good investment for Mr. Davidson, as $22.50 per share makes the valuation of the club $8,750. If it continues its present record, however, no money can be made.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

park effects

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1888
Text

It is much easier to make a big home run record in the League than it is in the Association, for the simple reason that there are more League grounds with short outfields than there are in the younger organization. Frequently home runs are made on short outfield grounds on fly balls that would have been easy outs had the outfielder a chance to get under them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

paying off a wildcat bleacher and a spite fence

Date Tuesday, April 24, 1888
Text

John Deppert has annoyed the [Detroit Club] base-ball management much by erecting and maintaining a wildcat stand on his grounds, overlooking Recreation Park, to which a large part of the public was admitted for 10 cents, thereby diminishing the park gate receipts. The matter was taken into court by the club and to the Supreme Court by Deppert. President Smith thought the easiest way was to buy Deppert off, and today a financial agreement passed between him and the wildcat-stand man which will result in the stand being taken down. The fence which now incloses a portion of the grounds will also now be taken down. It was put up to obstruct the view of Deppert's customers. Chicago Tribune April 24, 1888

a charge of bad faith in the $2,000 limit discussion

[a note from Frank Brunell] It can be announced that a war is brewing between the Brotherhood of Ball Players and the National League. The cause for action is the existence of the $2,000 limit clause. Until a few weeks ago, on assurances from the League that its members tried to secure its repeal, but had been blocked by the American Association members of the Board, the Brotherhood believed that the League had acted in good faith. It now suspects that the League did not honestly try to secure the repeal of the obnoxious clause, and it suspects aright. Consequently there is a collection of facts going on, and a row will follow the discovery that the diplomacy of the League was so deftly used to nullify the concessions to the Brotherhood. The Sporting Life April 25, 1888

[from an article by Frank Brunell] At the Cincinnati meeting, and in the Grand Hotel, Col. John I Rogers, of Philadelphia, chairman of the Board of Arbitration, favored the retention of the $2,000 limit clause and argued in favor of its retention on the ground that it would still be of assistance in keeping salaries down. John B. Day, of New York, favored the abolition of the clause because it was out of joint with the Brotherhood contract, and the custom of exceeding the amount that was said to exist. Mr. Rogers held his ground as tenaciously and eloquently as he can when he has an interest at stake, and President Young was, as usual, placing himself on the right side of the fence. Zach Phelps, of Louisville, was with Mr. Rogers and they made the fight together, and were able to induce the others not to eliminate the clause. These are the facts as I believe. They do not prove that the Association wanted to clean the $2,000 clause off the books. It is not necessary to prove that. The Association has never professed a fatherly love for the Brotherhood. Neither has it “recognized” or dealt with it. But this does certainly prove that the League committee did not deal with the Brotherhood in the fullness of faith... The Sporting Life May 2, 1888

[Rogers' denial, in which he claims there was no debate.] ...Permit me to add that, shortly after my return to Philadelphia, the president of the League wrote for my opinion as to his right to promulgate a contract specifying a salary in excess of $2,000.

I replied that he could not do so, but that each League club, out of respect to the eighteenth clause of the new (Brotherhood) contract, should recognize its perpetuating provision by making “side contracts” with certain players, whose services were worth more than $2,000, for an additional bonus or gratuity, with a clause giving the player an option of renewing this extra bonus agreement each year, or on the club's refusal, having the right to demand his release from reservation.

And this, while not a universal rule, has been followed by all, or nearly all, of the League clubs in making contracts with players whose ability entitle them to compensation in excess of $2,000. While not as satisfactory as the absolute repeal of the limit clause, and the consequent avoidance of a necessity for side contracts, it is the best that can at present be accomplished.

There is no desire on the part of the League to take advantage of the existing limit rule in its dealings with the players, and I think the Brotherhood are entirely satisfied of this fact. The attempt of Mr. Brunell, therefore, to stir up a war by affecting an inside knowledge of the proceedings of the Board of Arbitration meeting different from what was given out to the public is most futile and slanderous. The Sporting Life May 9, 1888

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

paying players to monitor the turnstiles

Date Sunday, March 11, 1888
Text

As the receipts are to be divided, it will necessarily cause strict management and close observance to get all the money that will come in at each gate. All the clubs have experienced much trouble in keeping their players at the gates during the progress of a game, as they will invariably become so interested in the result that they will leave the turnstiles unprotected to witness the play. Though the cincinnati Club will have a man to accompany the team on all its trip s this season to look after the monetary matters, yet unassisted he will not be able to watch all the entrances. To make it an inducement for the players to guard the gates carefully, Mr. Stern has decided to give them extra compensation for the time they devote to this work. The players who are not in the game will take turns at the turnstile. By offering the extra inducement, President Stern hopes that the players will faithfully look after the interest of the club at the gates.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia and Athletic Clubs official scorers

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

Before Harry Wright arrived he [Harry Diddlebock] was the official scorer for the Philadelphia Club... … John [Campbell] is Mr. Fogel's successor as official scorer and the secretary of the Athletic Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia baseball reporters

Date Wednesday, March 28, 1888
Text

Frank M. Dealy, late of the Mercury, has assumed charge of the sporting department of the Evening Call.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia reporters

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

[the Philadelphia lineup for an upcoming game between Philadelphia and New York scorers] At a meeting meld on Friday afternoon the following team was selected from the twenty-five scorers representing the Quaker City press at the games each day, viz.:--Horace S. Fogel, of The Sporting Life and Public Ledger, pitcher; S. L. Jones, of the Associated Press, catcher; W. H. Voltz, of the Press, first base; Robert L Fitzgerald, of the Item, second base; Ed Cole, of the Call, third base; W. R. Lester, of the Record, short stop Frank Hough, of the North American, left field. Phil Nash, of the News, centre field, and H. H. Diddlebock, of the Times and Inquirer, right field.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia scorers association; reporters

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

Pursuant to a call issued by Mr. P. F. Nash, of the News, the base ball writers of Philadelphia met on Dec. 31, at the News office and effected a temporary organization under the name of the Philadelphia Base Ball Scorers' Association. The following gentlemen were present:--A. M. Gillam, Record; Harry Sheldon, Call; S. H. Jones, Associated Press; L. C. Hartman, Item; W. H. Voltz, Press; Hezekiah Niles, Bulletin and Transcript; H. H. Diddlebock, Times; Frank Hough, North American; Harry Lipman, Sunday World; P. F. Nash, Frank Anderson and J. Shriver Murphy, News; James A. Campbell, Taggart's Times, and Horace S. Fogel, Ledger and The Sporting Life. The Sporting Life January 11, 1888 [N.B. The article later states “Mr. Hartman represented the Item, but Mr. Campbell, the scorer...”]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phillies release Tyng

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

Pitcher Tyng was released by the Philadelphia Club on Friday on the strength of a telegram received from Harry Wright, who is now with the club in Indianapolis. Tyng was the pitcher of the Staten Island Club, and he had a great reputation among amateurs as an all-around player, but he has failed to fill the bill with the Phillies. … Tyng's contract with the Philadelphia Club is peculiar; in fact he has a double contract. He was signed as a player for one year at the limit, and from that, we suppose, he could be released at any time. His contract as director of athletic sports is separate and for three years at a salary of $1,000 per year and a percentage. It will, we presume, be a difficult thing for the club to squirm out of the latter contract should Tyng be disposed to hold the club to it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher giving signals in 1870

Date Friday, June 1, 1888
Text

The first player to give his catcher and outfielders signs as to the kind of ball he was about to pitch was Harry Wright, when he was the change pitcher for the famous Red Stockings of Cincinnati in 1870. Harry worked the fast and slow ball and would always let his catchers and outfielders know when he was going to toss a good one over the plate. Leather hunting was a favorite pastime with the outfielders when Harry was in the box. The old man was always afraid of some bum batter. The sluggers he could work., quoting Tim Murnane in the Boston Globe

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitcher signaling the basemen, catcher; reading the basemen; stealing signs

Date Sunday, November 11, 1888
Text

[quoting an unidentified article by Tim Murnane] Last season, more than any other, the fielders have been coached by private signals from the pitcher. The Boston club, a month or so ago, gave Krock of the Chicagos a severe pounding. It was on the second trip of Anson's men to this city. Pfeffer was playing second base, and, by watching his movements, the home team could tell when the pitcher was about to deliver a ball out from the plate or in close to the batsman. The Chicago man changed his position too quickly.

Radbourn asserts that his ill luck this season was owing to several clubs “getting on” to his signs. Radbourn and Clarkson both believe the pitcher is the man to work the batter, and not the catcher.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching rotation 6

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] The rotating battery order plan puzzled the Eastern paragraphers. One says the order looks as if lightning had struck the team.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching rotation 7

Date Sunday, July 8, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s column] Have you noticed that the Chicagos give every pitcher his regular turn? The Athletics are doing the same thing with success. Manager Sharsig told me he would not have his team depend upon one pitcher more than another. He made them understand that every pitcher was equally good and the team must have as much confidence in one as in the other. Isn’t that a good idea? I believe the Cincinnatis would do well to alternate Viau, Mullane and Smith. Three better pitchers would not be pitching by August if each took his turn, regardless of the

results of the individual games.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club finances 4

Date Friday, January 13, 1888
Text

[reporting the annual meeting of the Pittsburgh Athletic Club 1/12/1888] [the treasurer's report] It showed that during the 12 months $72,000 had been expended by the club; and that the receipts were a trifle short of $80,000. Between $35,000 and $40,000 had been expended in players' salaries and purchase money. The balance had gone toward traveling expenses, ground rent, etc.

Source Pittsburgh Post
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

platoon hitters?

Date Wednesday, July 18, 1888
Text

Harry Wright laid off all his left-handed batters to-day [7/11] in view of the fact that Baldwin was to pitch.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players' occupations

Date Sunday, September 16, 1888
Text

The league players who have mastered trades are as follows: Krock is an iron molder; Flint, a tanner; D. Richardson, a typesetter; Clarkson, a jeweler; “Smiling Mickey” Welch a potter; Galvin, a blacksmith; and Roger Connor, a brass finisher.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poor prospects of the AA

Date Sunday, November 4, 1888
Text

The future of the American Association is shrouded in uncertainty. Its affairs were never in such a complicated state, and unless the leaders in the organization take some decided stand a general breaking up seeks inevitable. Every club mistrusts its colleagues and good will and harmony are painfully lacking. It is definitely known that Cleveland will joint forces with the League, which leaves a vacancy to be filled. No end of trouble was experienced by the Association a year ago in securing a suitable city to fill the gap caused by the retirement of the Mets, and a similar status of affairs against exists. Still more discouraging is the fact that Baltimore is not the ragged edge and the future existence of its club is very doubtful.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

poor support for a minor league team in Chicago

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] Up to this season the question whether or not a good ball team as a member of some meritorious young organization could not put up a 25-cent game in this city and demand a part of the patronage the League team is now enjoying, and which it has enjoyed for years past, has often been asked. The failure of Morton's team to draw a paying attendance has answered that question most conclusively. Playing a much prettier game than Anson's team has been playing for five weeks past, its game occurring upon the same grounds, and its opposing teams well-manned young organizations from some of the most prosperous towns in the West and Northwest, the Western Association games in this city draw hundreds only where the League team attracts thousands.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

posting the lineup

Date Wednesday, August 8, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] ...every club should have upon its grounds facing the stands a large sign board on which five minutes before the game begins the names of the men in the game and their positions should be displayed. And changes in the team should bring changes on the board. Such an arrangement could be made for $25, and while it might not increase the sale of score cards it would increase the comfort of the patrons of the game. This eternal cry of:--”Here yar score cards; canttellemwithoutem,” always has struck me as one of the small bunko games to which we are all contributors.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

praying for victory

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

A. A. Stagg, who was here [Cincinnati] with the Yale Glee Club this week, made a manly reply to the few cynics who ridicule his idea of praying for strength to win a ball game. He did not evade the question, but spoke right to the point.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pre-game batting practice

Date Sunday, June 10, 1888
Text

Henry Chadwick, in a recent article makes a suggestion worthy of the attention of all base ball managers. It refers to the method of preliminary practice now in vogue. Mr. Chadwick rightly contends that the present system is all wrong. He recommends the adoption of a new method of preliminary practice at match games which would admit of balls being pitched to the practicing batsmen. This would afford just as interesting an exhibition of fielding, and one more varied in its attractions for the spectators than is possible under the existing method of fungo batting practice. Mr. Chadwick thinks that were the batteries to take turn in regular practice, with the batsmen in position, new points of play might be tested to great advantage in the battery work as in the batting.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professionals barred from the YMCA

Date Friday, January 27, 1888
Text

A few days ago several members of the Allegheny Base-Ball Club applied for membership in the Young Men's Christian Association gymnasium [in Pittsburgh] in order to prepare themselves for work the coming season. They were considerably surprised when told today that professionals were not admitted to membership. About forty professional ball-players will leave the city this season. Many were hoping to secure admission to the city's only gymnasium to get into condition for play. The decision caused considerable surprise in base-ball circles.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposal for a single-entity league

Date Wednesday, October 31, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] If I could mould a league as I would I would select eight clubs within the broad, brave State of Ohio and set up one strong and impartial man to govern it. He should make contracts with men for five years, take all receipts, pay all salaries, and divide all profits among the clubs. Some would get less than they earned, but all would be sustained and the general benefit increased. It is an erroneous idea to suppose the big town should reap all the profits of the home games. The visiting teams help to draw the money and should share it, and it is better to pay a little extra to insure good visiting teams than be in a constant stew, as is the Association, to get new teams to patch up its circuit. … Of course the pooling panacea for the Ohio League would not do for the National League. But where the general profits are so small as they were in the Tri-State League of 1888, a feasible and novel—in base ball—method, such as it is, would surely be worth an honest trial. A careful and thorough presiding officer would be needed to do the business of such a league. And what a hit he could make if successful. He couldn't fail.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposal to increase offense with a lively ball, smaller home plate

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column][quoting umpire Gaffney] My idea is to make the ball one-third livelier than it now is. If such a ball was used the fine stops now made by the infielders would never be made. Hard hit side balls would go safe, and long flies and line hits, now easily judged and caught, would, in a great many cases, get away and down. Try the lively ball, and if it wouldn't increase the batting sufficiently reduce the size of the plate so that the ball would be more within the range of the batsman's eye. The plate now measures 17½ inches across from corner to corner. Reduce it to 12 inches across and batting would increase a good deal.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposals to counter reduced offense: four strikes, high-low strike zones, move the pitcher

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

[editorial:] And still the batting gets weaker and weaker, and tiresome extra-inning games are the order of the day—a result predicted last winter by The Sporting Life, after the alterations in the pitching and batting rules. Undoubtedly a change will have to be made, but just what sort of a change is the question,a st he rule makers seem unwilling to return to the four-strike rule. That would be a confession of blunder. John M. Ward comes to the front with a suggestion. Says he:

“The pitcher has the advantage. Last year, under the four-strike rule, things went well enough, but they had to make a change, though what for nobody knows. They ought to put the pitcher five feet further back. Why, under the underhand delivery the distance was forty-five feet, and it is now but five feet farther back under the much swifter throw. If the distance were fifty-five feet, you would find that it would be no harder upon the pitchers, while the batsmen would greatly improve in their work. They would have more time to prepare for and gauge the ball. The batsman does not have time to meet the ball at present. It is on him before he knows it. Such a rule would help the game amazingly.”

Captain Hanlon, of the Detroits, in common with the majority of the players, also isn't satisfied with the batting, and says:

“I would like to see a return to the high and low ball. Then the pitcher would have to deliver the ball where you wanted it, and you would have some idea where it was coming. The umpiring would not be any harder than it is now on the batsman when strikes are called on balls that pass at the level of your hair or ankles. The batting would then be improved, and that the people want.”

The possible changes are narrowed down to three, namely, returning to the high and low ball, four strikes, or putting the pitcher further back. The first named change would not be advisable as the restoration of the high and low ball would only revive the old troubles and add to the burdens of the umpires who already have their hands only too full, and for whose benefit mainly the distinction was done away with. A return to the four-strike rule is apparently out of the question for the reason given above. The most feasible solution of the trouble then that presents itself is Mr. Ward's suggestion, however, however, is not original with him, [illegible] Manager Wright [illegible]. It is unlikely that any change will be made now, nor would it be desirable, the season being on the wane, but the subject should be given very careful consideration from now on, so that when the time comes for amendment of the rules a change may be made, in accordance with popular demand, that may stand the test of at least one season without tinkering. More batting is certainly needed. Under the four-strike rule there was perhaps a trifle too much; under existing rules there isn't enough on the average to prevent games from becoming slow and tedious alike to players and spectators. A happy medium is needed, and to the discovery of that rule makers should bend their energies. The Sporting Life August 22, 1888

Tom Loftus says: “We want more batting. I don’t care much how it comes, but think the 55 feet amendment would help it.”

Comiskey favors the 55 feet rule, which he says will make the bunter more effective and give the batter more of a chance. Close plays on bunted balls near the plate are almost universal now. With an extra five feet such balls would be safe. Comiskey also says that it will aid the base running a little, but at the same time a good fielding pitcher will be able to get enough balls that now pass him safely to make up for the bunt advantage gained by the batter. Any increase of batting under the 55 feet change will, Comiskey, thinks, be temporary. “We want a permanently effective rule,” he says.

Umpire Gaffeny has a new idea on the subject. He advocates the adoption of a ball on third livelier than that in use. Such a ball would go out faster and harder and less fine stops would be made in the infield and more would get away from the outfielders. “I think,” say Mr. Gaffney, “that the one third livelier ball would increase the batting a good deal. If it didn’t increase it enough reduce the size of the plate. At present it measures seventeen and one half inches from corner to corner. Make it twelve inches across and the ball will be brought more within the reach of the batter.

...

Mickey Welch wants the high and low ball restored. So does Buck Ewing. Pitcher Sanders of the Phillies wants the four strike rule again and Seward, Casey and Weyhing think they would like to try the 55 feet rule. Cleveland Plain Dealer August 31, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed payback for hitting batters

Date Wednesday, August 29, 1888
Text

Manager Spence waxes wroth at Keefe's batsman-hitting propensity, and he wants some nervy twirler to say to Keefe:--”Whenever you hit a man in the game I intend hitting you.” This, Mr. Spence thinks, would compel abandonment of Keefe's intimidating tactics and result in the loss of more games by New York.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects for Cincinnati and Brooklyn jumping to the League

Date Wednesday, November 7, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Aaron Stern] Should Brooklyn to into the League, then you can rest assured that the Cincinnatis will be right behind them . From what I heard Bryne say I should just that he doesn't want to have anything to do with the League, and is well pleased with the Association. It is my intention, however, of attending the League meeting in New York, and you can assured that Brooklyn will be closely watched. The Cincinnati Club has the money to buy a League franchise if it is necessary to do so, but I would much prefer to remain with the Association, as I believe there is more money in it. You can announce that the Cincinnati Club officials are in favor of having the Association operated on the percentage system next season. This is the only equitable way upon which the Association can be run.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects of the Giants moving to Jersey City

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] A point in connection with the Jersey City Club has been brought to my attention. A well-known New Yorker, who takes considerable interest in the National game, and especially in the success of the New York League Club, tells me that Mr. John B. Day has much at stake in maintaining a good club in Jersey. It is evident, says my informant, that the New Yorks will have to give up the Polo Grounds very soon, perhaps before the present season terminates. Mr. Day has made every effort to secure grounds elsewhere, without success, as it is impossible to secure sufficient territory within the city limit for love or money. Mr. Day realizes this fact, and therefore he has, at a large outlay, established a good team in jersey City, and is slowly but surely loading the New Yorkers across North ?River to the prospective home of the Giants. The games between Jersey City and Newark have drawn thousands of people across the river, and by the time the New Yorks are ready to locate in Jersey the patrons will have become familiar with the ferry trips.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

protecting the score card monopoly

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 3/5] An amendment was made to Section 68 of the constitution. It provides for a fine of $50 for giving out the batting order to any other than the person whom a club shall name at the beginning of the season, and who shall have sole charge of preparing the score cards for the club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proto-mound

Date Saturday, September 22, 1888
Text

The pitcher's box on the Chicago ball grounds is six or eight inches higher than the plate and bases. Visiting pitchers claim this is a great advantage over the batter.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

purchasing the real property of the Huntingdon Street grounds

Date Wednesday, January 25, 1888
Text

Circumstances had arisen which rendered it necessary for Al Reach and John I. Rogers to purchase the grounds occupied by the Philadelphia Club individually, and not on behalf of the club itself, and this they did Jan. 16, when the right and title was given to them for $50,000 cash and $50,000 on bond and mortgage. Mr. O'Kane three years ago purchased the grounds for $50,000 subject to a mortgage of $50,000. he held the ground under agreement to deed to the Philadelphia Base Ball Club within three years from Jan. 1, 1886. The improvements made on the ground and the expense entailed have made it impossible for the club to buy the grounds the third year (1888). Mr. O'Kane, who desired to make other investments, notified the club to find another purchaser. This they could not do, and Al. Reach and John I. Rogers took the title. The club can buy from Messrs. Rogers and Reach, but only on payment of the consideration money, none of club's money being used in the present purchase. There is no doubt that he club will ultimately own their grounds, as the property is rapidly rising in value, and its location is a value of itself to the club, outside of its real estate appraisement.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Reach reportedly scouting for the Athletics; the value of minor league stats

Date Monday, September 17, 1888
Text

A. J. Reach was here [Lima] yesterday in search of new players. It is understood that he is after the release of Left Fielder Bottenus of the Toledos for the Athletic club. He is also said to be very desirous of buying First Baseman Hillery, Second Baseman Grimm (who is also a fine catcher), and Right Fielder Rooks of Lima. As Toledo was playing here he had an opportunity of judging the merits of all the players in one game. Cleveland Plain Dealer September 17, 1888 [Only John Grim of these were signed.]

President Reach’s visit through the tri-state league convinced him that no dependence can be placed in official averages. Raising players to sell has become a business, and it looks as though the official scorers were instructed to fatten up the averages of any player the club would like to dispose of. Cleveland Plain Dealer September 23, 1888, quoting the Pittsburgh Chronicle

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reduced admission for ladies; ladies day

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 7/5/1888] It was also decided that ladies may be admitted to the games for twenty-five cents, the visiting club to receive the same percentage as when fifty cents was charged, and one day in each week, excepting Saturday, Sunday and holidays, may be set aside as ladies' day, and ladies admitted free.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reduced admission in St. Louis

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

The reduction in the price of admission to thirty-five and fifty cents has proven beyond a doubt that St. Louis is still a good ball town at popular prices. The Athletics opened here and fully 6,000 people attended the game. The crowd was even a little larger on Saturday, and the attendance on Sunday was about 8,000, the grand stand being filled and the bleaching boards were pretty well loaded down, too.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reduced hitting and the three strike rule

Date Wednesday, August 8, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] Games are becoming frequent where no base hits are made on either side. [N.B. There were four no-hitters that season.] We had several instances of it during the last few weeks. … [examples of low-hitting games follow] So it goes. If any batter gets an average of 300 per cent. this year it will be only such men as Anson, Reilly, Stovey, O'Neil, Connor. They'll be few, however, very few. [N.B. Batting was in fact down significantly from 1887.]

The rules committee made a number of very yellow mistakes in its last conference. Mistakes of which only a practical exemplification could convince them. … They will have to go back to the four-strike rule or restore the high and low ball. If they do the latter they will restore the old system of contention over the dividing line of the high and low limit. What they should have done was to have let the rules along last year. The committee, however, had several new men on it and there was an eager desire among them to rip something. They ripped.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Relative popularity of various sports

Date Saturday, December 22, 1888
Text

[from the annual report of the Brooklyn Department of Parks] On the parade ground there were played 1,430 games of base ball, 23 foot ball, 113 cricket and 7 lacrosse.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

replacing Cleveland in the AA

Date Wednesday, November 7, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] The American Association will apparently not find it quite so easy a matter to find a suitable successor for Cleveland as anticipated. The Buffalo Club has made no authorized official application for admission to the American Association, and the directory of the club is divided on the subject, the weight of numbers and opinion being, however, against leaving a certainty in the International Association for a decided uncertainty—entailing poor position, higher salaries and all round increase of expenses—in the American Association. Outside of buffalo the range of available cities, under the present financial pace, is limited. Detroit would fair no better in the Association than it did in the League; Toledo has been tried and found wanting and Columbus alone seems open. Milwaukee would be a good city, but an Eastern city is wanted, as Cleveland was classified and scheduled with the Eastern group, and in this section only Hartford, Newark and Jersey City seem available. The last named city is said to be anxious for a place in the Association, and to be making efforts in that direction. President John B. Day, of the New Yorks, is the reputed owner of the Jersey Club, and that fact fatally handicaps the club, as the American Association would hardly care to chance a repetition of Metropolitan Club experiences. A very strong sentiment is going up all round in favor of letting either Louisville or Baltimore out, strengthening the weaker clubs with the surplus players and going through the season with six well balanced clubs instead of adding an eighth weakling to the already too long list of tail-enders. And this may be the final solution to the problem at present vexing the unhappy American Association.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the Baltimore Herald

Date Wednesday, March 21, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] One of the older base ball reporters has come back to Baltimore. It was only learned during the week that Mr. John Roche had taken hold of the base ball department of the Herald, though it was judged by the style in which the matter was lately put together that there had been some change for the better. John is an old hand at the bellows. He was the first official scorer of the Baltimore Club and edited the base ball department of the American.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the Philadelphia North American

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I was very glad to meet Mr. Hough, of the North American, in New York. Harrry Wright spoke to me in the highest terms of his impartiality as a base ball critic, and of the interest he took in the game. Before this, however, I had read several articles of his, which had impressed me with the truth of what Harry confirmed. Such writers, I regret to say, are rather scarce in the base ball world.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporter for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat

Date Wednesday, November 21, 1888
Text

[signature line to a letter to the editor] Very sincerely yours, Joseph A. Murphy, Sporting Editor St. Louis Globe-Democrat.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Reporters' Association moribund

Date Wednesday, December 19, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] The exceedingly small attendance at and the utter lack of interest displayed in the annual meeting of the “National Base Ball Reporters' Association,” which is hereafter to be known as “The Scorers' League,” would seem to indicate that the organization started with such a flourish of trumpets one brief year ago is already falling into 'Innocuous desuetude.” those most directly interested—the journalists—apparently care little or nothing for the organization, which is just about what might have been expected of the fraternity.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reserve teams farm teams

Date Wednesday, January 4, 1888
Text

The style for next season seems to be for each club to “father” another club, with the idea of utilizing it as a sort of reserve nine where all extra players may be kept in practice and ready for use on short notice. The Chicago and St. Louis clubs have teams of the same name in the Western League; the Detroit Club has the Toronto club, of the International Association; the New York Club has the Jersey City Club, of the International League; the Washington Club will, it is said, furnish backing for the new Troy (American Association) Club, and the Philadelphia managers are seriously considering the advisability of taking hold of the Allentown Club. The Sporting Life January 4, 1888, quoting the Philadelphia Record

The report that the Detroit club has secured a controlling interest in the Toronto Club is emphatically denied by the Toronto officials. The Sporting Life January 4, 1888

President W. M. Douglass of the Allentown club and President A. J. Reach of the Philadelphia club held a long consultation in reference to sending the unemployed players of the Philadelphias to Allentown. This would enable the Philadelphias to retain control of a larger number of players than they usually carry, but President Reach said he did not see how his club could do it. The Allentown club is a member of the central league, under the protection of the national agreement, and this proves a bar to any such deal. The Phillies could farm out players to such clubs as the Camden and Harrowgate, but not to any club a member of an association under the protection of the national agreement.

If this can be done some of the Philadelphia players may be sent to Allentown, which club would thus become a sort of reserve nine for the local league team. The Philadelphia club has no financial interest in the Allentown club, as has been erroneously stated in some quarters. Cleveland Plain January 6, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Richter on the American Association

Date Wednesday, October 24, 1888
Text

[editorial matter] It was at first feared in the Association that the probable withdrawal of Cleveland would entail a reorganization of the League circuit, Indianapolis and Washington being dropped for Cincinnati and Brooklyn or Baltimore. Such a move would of course break up that erratic collection of clubs known as the American Association and surely lead to the one great league talked of so long. Such a fate for the Association would be regrettable, but not undeserved. With all its faults the Association has served and still serves a useful purpose in that it helps to keep the game extended over a larger territory than would be possible with only one great league, gives lucrative employment to many first-class players, promotes a healthy rivalry that serves to keep the affairs of the game from becoming monotonous, and, above all, prevents a close corporation or monopoly in base ball. But through mismanagement and blunders upon blunders of very description this organization has knowingly reduced itself to a secondary place in public estimation and placed itself in position to have the ground cut from under it at almost any time. The possibility of events which are hurrying the organization to ultimate destruction was foreseen, pointed out and even admitted one and even two years ago...

It is, however, probable that the rickety organization will enjoy one more year of life, as the time is not yet quite ripe for the one-league scheme. Differences have yet to be smoothed over and conflicting interests reconciled. From present indications Cleveland will be the only seceder in November. If the League accepts Cleveland in place of Detroit the Cincinnati Club will have to remain where it is unless it can buy out Indianapolis. The latter club, however, is said to be willing to try it another year, and if this be so, Cincinnati will have to wait, as the League will positively do nothing to oust either Indianapolis or Washington, and both clubs will continue to remain members of the League just as long as they have a mind to.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rising salaries 5

Date Sunday, March 18, 1888
Text

With the exception of one or two there is not a club in the Association whose salary list for next season is not greatly in excess of what it has been in past years. It is true one or two of the clubs have expended large sums in securing the best of talent, noticeably the Brooklyns, yet President Byrne says that his salary list will exceed that of any previous year by some $12,000. Mr. Stern in figuring upon the expenses of the local club for the season, claims that it will require at least $10,000 more to run the team than it did last year. The Athletic Club has also been very liberal with its players in regard to salaries and from a reliable source it is learned that the salary of the Baltimore Club has tripled in the past five years. From this it can plainly be seen where the responsibility for the high tariff rests. The managers are in part to blame for this unhealthy state of affairs and they should be censured for submitting to extortion and injudicious competition among themselves. Now that the public is called upon to foot the additional expense, they are beginning to realize the true status of affairs and are equitably dividing the blame between players and managers. It is true the managers hold the power in their right to reserve the men, who are to a certain extent at their mercy, but they do not deem it advisable as a rule, to coerce players. By agreeing to the demands of their men managers maintain that they will do their work more faithfully and cheerfully. By the heavy additional expense that has been shouldered upon a number of the Association clubs they will have a hard struggle to realize even a small profit and the sum that at best they can clear would hardly justify them in so large an outlay of capital. The heads of clubs must necessarily take all the risks while the players incur none. Yet they draw their large salaries whether there are fifty or a thousand spectators present. If players salaries continue to increase in ration with past years it is only a question of time that we shall have a seventy-five cent tariff, or possibly more. “The line must be drawn” said President Byrne recently, “at that, too, at no distant date on exorbitant salaries.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Rogers resigns as League lawyer

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting the NL meeting 11/21-22] The question of dispensing with Colonel Rogers' services as counsel and attorney to the League, and, incidentally, with the payment of his salary of $2,000 a year, was brought up by three League clubs. The other six, including Detroit, sustained Col. Rogers. The latter, however, became offended at the action of the three—New York, Boston and Chicago—and offered his resignation, which was finally accepted, after all efforts failed to induce a withdrawal of the resignation. The League thereupon also resolved not to retain another attorney at a fixed salary, but to instruct President Young to employ one whenever, in his judgment, the interests of the League so demanded and to pay his fees out of the treasury. Of course, Colonel Rogers will be retained on every occasion.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rules committee consults on the scoring rules; Chadwick and sacrifice hits; Brotherhood

Date Wednesday, November 7, 1888
Text

[discussing the upcoming rules committee meeting] In order that the best and most satisfactory results may be arrived at, Chairman Rogers says, unofficially, that if the National Scorers' Association can agree upon needful changes in the scoring rules, and will send a committee, the same will be received and the suggestions given a careful consideration. There is a strong disposition among the members of the committee in favor of recording sacrifice hitting. Its value to team work is at last recognized, and if Mr. Chadwick, its chief advocate, can but formulate some system by which such hits can be properly and intelligently scored without conflict with or subversion of other well-established scoring rules, and present the same to the meeting, we can assure the “father of base ball” o f amost favorable reception of his scheme and its almost certain adoption if it should prove practicable. It is not known whether the Ball Players' Brotherhood has any views in the matter of changes in rules, or whether it has appointed a committee to attend the meeting. If it has, however, the same will, of course, receive a hearing should such be asked.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

runner missing the bag an appeal play

Date Sunday, August 19, 1888
Text

The Baltimores lost a game to the Cincinnatis recently, owing to Goldsby’s failure to touch second base when he made his fine triple into left field. Mullane saw that the runner failed to touch the base and accordingly made the claim which was allowed by Gaffney. The latter in speaking of the incident after the game, remarked “I saw that Goldsby did not touch the base yet I would not have declared him out had not the claim been made by one of the Cincinnati players. Time and time again base runners fail to touch the bags yet it is seldom the opposing side makes the claim. In the excitement of the moment they fail to watch their chances, and thus many a game is won and lost. Had Mullane overlooked Goldsby’s failure to touch second the Reds would have had one less victory to their credit.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

running the bases backward

Date Wednesday, May 9, 1888
Text

Whoever heard of the batter running the bases the wrong way? Dan O’Leary did it in Port Huron in 1883. He was so excited that he made the circuit by way of third instead of first on a home run hit. Dan was hot when the umpire called him out.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scorers not consistently recording stolen bases

Date Wednesday, August 1, 1888
Text

[from Answers to Correspondents] In many games no bases are stolen; in others the scorers fail to score them. We must print the scores as furnished us.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring RBIs and sacrifice hits

Date Wednesday, June 20, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I should like to see a record kept in each game of the hits made by batsmen which bring in runs; it would furnish interesting data on which to base an opinion as to the merits of each batsman of ta team in “playing for the side” at the bat. Another record which should be kept, as equally useful, is that of hits made by batsmen which, though yielding outs, either forward runners on bases or send runs in, these hits being known as sacrifice hits. Both of these classes of hits are valuable as showing team work at the bat, but the existing scoring rules recognize neither of them...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a strike out on a foul tip

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

A Philadelphia contemporary makes the following suggestion:--”When a batsman foul tips out after having two strikes, why should it not be scored as a strike-out, and the pitcher given an assist? In such a case the pitcher is clearly entitled to an assist, as missing the third ball, or touching it so lightly as not to change its course, and as to enable the catcher to hold it, is virtually the same as a strike out, and the pitcher has to work just as hard to get rid of the man at the plate as if he had struck him out.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring a walk-off home run 2

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

[from R. M. Larner's column] There is another point with regard to making up the official records that has recently been raised, and this is as to when the game shall be declared ended after the winning run has been scored in the last half of the final inning. To illustrate the question, suppose the score is even on the last half of the ninth inning and Deasley is on third base. O'Day follows with a long hit over the centre field fence for a home run, or down to the club house for three bases. Of course, Deasley makes the winning run before O'Day reaches first base and the game is over. This is the usual practice in such cases, and in making up the individual records O'Day only gets a base hit, because he went no further after the game was decided. In the interest of helping individual records, Mr. Young has decided that a game shall not be terminated until the ball is again in play after the winning run is made. Under this ruling O'Day would receive credit for a total of four bases and a run or three bases, instead of a single hit. The Sporting Life July 4, 1888

[from a letter from Young] I notice our friend Larner entirely misunderstood me in one point contained in his last letter. … The point was raised by one of my numerous base ball correspondents last week, and I answered in accordance with the written law that the game terminates when the side last at bat scores the winning run in the ninth inning. In conversation with Mr. L. I expressed the opinion that an amendment should be made to the rule so that, in such case, a batter making a home run should receive full credit for the hit. The Sporting Life July 11, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring bases on balls in earned runs

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

It was Col. John I. Rogers' idea to have bases on balls figure as factors in earned runs in order to inflect some stronger punishment upon the pitcher than an error for a base on balls the reporters fought against it, but were overruled.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring earned runs by reconstructing the inning

Date Wednesday, July 25, 1888
Text

[from Questions Answered] [presumably in answer to a question about whether the run is earned] Certainly. The fact that three hits followed in succession goes to show that he would have been driven home anyhow even if he had not been advanced to second on a passed ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring runs after a walkoff run

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[from R. M. Larner's correspondence] Mr. Young then called attention to one of the new rules, which requires the ball to be returned to the pitcher before the game terminates, in the following instance:--Should the game be at a tie at the last half of the ninth inning, and the side at bat have one or more men on bases, all the runs that are scored on a subsequent safe hit will be counted prior to the return of the ball to the pitcher. For instance, a two or three-bagger will be credited to the batsman after the winning run has been scored, and should he make a home-run hit that must also be accredited to him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring sacrifice hits 6

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting the NL meeting 11/21-22] In the fourth column of the score a player will get credit for a sacrifice hit every time that he advances a base-runner on other than a base hit. The error column will be used as usual. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

[from Ren Mulford's column] “I claim,” asserted Mr. Schmelz, “that it is not base ball to try and sacrifice when there is one out and a man on first. This rule will only tend to increase the evil we want to lessen.” The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

At the recent meeting of the Board of Arbitration in Pittsburg there was present a quorum of the playing rules committee. Acting upon a suggestion which had been made to the committee by a number of well-known base ball writer, the rule for was materially amended. Under the rule adopted in New York, flies popped up in the infield and dropped, or easy bunts to the baseman not properly handled, might have been classified as sacrifice hits. This is obviated in the new rule, the language of which is as follows:

“In the fourth column shall be placed sacrifice hits, which shall be credited to the batsman who, when but one man is out, advances a runner a base on a fly to the outfield or a ground hit which results in putting out the batsman, or would so result in handled without error.” The Sporting Life December 19, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases 6

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 3/3] In the rules on base-running a new section was added, which reads as follows:

In the fourth column shall be scored bases stolen, and it shall be governed as follows:--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. But any manifest error is to be charged to the fielder making the same. If the base-runner advances another base he shall not be credited with a stolen base, and the fielder allowing such advancement is also to be charged with an error. If a base-runner makes a start and a battery error is made, the runner receives 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.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring stolen bases 7

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

[from Caylor's column] ...Bierbauer had a thrown ball before the runner got to second and put it down on him two feet from the base. In doing so he dropped the ball, and the base-runner crawled up to the base and was safe. To my hold astonishment I was told by Murphy and Munson (the official scorers), and every man in the newspaper box that the new scoring rule in such a case required that no error be given to the basemen, unless the base-runner gets to third on the play; but that if the error be a poor throw, the thrower must have an error. Fay, of the Republic, though scoring that way, denounced it as idiotic. I refused to believe that such a rule existed, but was assured upon the combined evidence of every scorer there that such was the case. I asked Munson why the rule excused the baseman when there was no excuse, and he said it was for the purpose of encouraging base-running. But I insisted that base-running would be just as much encouraged if the base-runner got credit for the stolen base and the baseman for the error, as they did under the rules last year. George said something about not being an earned run if the baseman got an error, and also something about the inexplicable meaning of last year's stolen base rule. At least, Bierbaur didn't get an error for the rankest misplay I ever saw at second base.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring strike outs removed from the assist column; three strikes kept in

Date Wednesday, March 7, 1888
Text

[reporting on the joint committee meeting of 3/2] The only change made in the rules by the conference committee was... and one change in the scoring rules relative to the assistance on strikes, which were thrown out of the tabulated score and placed only in the summary. The three-strike question was fully discussed, but, by a vote of 4 to 2, it was decided to let the rule remain as adopted at the December meeting, viz.:--three strikes.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring team errors

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 3/5] Under the head of base hits, as an amendment to Section 3, Rule 65, the following was adopted:

That when a player reaches first base through an error of judgment, such as two fielders allowing the ball to drop between them, the batter shall not be credited with a base hit or the fielder charged with an error, but it shall be scored as an unaccepted chance, and the batter shall be charged with a time at bat. The Sporting Life March 14, 1888

Chadwick on the two umpire system

[from Chadwick's column] I did expect to see the League adopt the double umpire system, but a short-sighted policy in regard to the additional outlay incurred prevented them. It is bound to become the rule eventually, as it is the only true solution of the umpire problem. All the League need to have done would have been to have engaged a staff of regular salaried umpires to umpire games behind the bat, and to have appointed a local staff of three umpires from which to select one for each home game, to be paid by the game, these home umpires to act only as judges of the base-running. It is a very unwise policy not to select the very best class of men for the honorable position of umpire of a game that can be had, this class can only be secured at salaries commensurate with the importance of the onerous duties they are called upon to perform. In other words, first-class umpires come high, but you must have them. The Sporting Life March 14, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Baltimore

Date Sunday, February 5, 1888
Text

Manager Barnie yesterday announced that on the 15 th of February, Wednesday one week, the season tickets of the Baltimore Club would be placed on sale. The number will be limited to fifty, and $28 will be asked for them. The tickets will only admit the holder to the championship games which, according to the announcement of the Schedule Committee, will be seventy in number. The average per game will be forty cents, a savings of thirty-five cents on each game. This includes an admission to the grand stand.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Cincinnati 2

Date Sunday, January 29, 1888
Text

On the 1 st of the month a hundred season tickets will be placed on sale at Hawley’s for thirty-five dollars apiece. They will admit the holder to seventy championship games and will also be transferrable. At this rate a single ticket will cost but fifty cents and will entitle the holder to a seat in the grand stand. An extra inducement is offered those who purchase the first fifty season tickets as they will be allowed seats in the pavilion boxes which are conceded to be the best points on the grounds to witness a game. The regular price for a seat in a pavilion box is one dollar.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Cleveland 2

Date Saturday, April 7, 1888
Text

The season tickets of the Cleveland club are now ready for distribution. They are of two classes, $28 admitting to the pavilion and $35 to the grand stand. This makes them cost 40 and 50 cents each respectively per game. They can be obtained at Treasurer Howe’s office, room 5, Leman block.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Cleveland 3

Date Tuesday, December 4, 1888
Text

[reporting on the Cleveland Club meeting 12/3/1888] Three classes of season books were provided for as follows: Class A–Admit to seventy games, pavilion, $28. Class B–Admit to seventy games, grand stand $35. Class C–Club book, admit to club box or grand stand boxes, with full privilege of grounds, $50.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

side contracts over the $2,000 limit

Date Wednesday, March 21, 1888
Text

All the League players have signed $2,000 limit contracts. The payment of more than that sum is guaranteed by verbal agreement.--St. Louis Republican. No; special contracts are signed.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sign stealing

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1888
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column] Cleveland's coachers were called down by Umpire McQuade. Time and again he warned Charley Snyder and McKean not to interfere with the batter—to confine their coaching to the base-runners—but Snyer, who had mastered Viau's signs, was singing them over to the batter despite this warning. Charley worked it in this way: For a certain ball he would should “Stricker, take my bat,” and the call was varied with “Cub, take care of my bat,” “Take good care of my bat,” et cetera. The result of the disobedience was that Cleveland's coachers were sent to the bench,and so far as they were concerned that ended the performance on the lines. The Sporting Life August 15, 1888

[from Chadwick's column] This point of interpreting a pitcher's signals is regarded as a big thing by some managers as well as captains, but if they would devote half the time to training their men down to regular team work at the bat that they do to working this trick, they would gain a great deal more than the trick yields them. Illegitimate methods of play apparently find more favor in weak minds than legitimate methods do. The Sporting Life August 29, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

signing Ed Delahanty

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

The Philadelphia Club has purchased from the Wheeling Tri-State Club the release of Delehanty [sic throughout], its second baseman, and has made satisfactory terms with him. The release will not take effect until Monday evening, after the Wheeling Club shall have completed its series with the Kalamazoo Club. The Philadelphia directors recently sent out an agent to watch his play, and the reports were so flattering that negotiations were opened with the Wheeling officials, who appraised his services at rather fancy figures. Mr. Reach left on Tuesday night for Wheeling, and the next day purchased Delehanty's release for $2,000 and accepted the latter's terms as to salary. Delehanty is certainly the best second baseman, and one of the greatest batters and base-runners in any of the minor leagues. Whether he will show up as well in fast company remains to be seen. Mr. Reach thinks he will.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

skepticism over the Brush plan

Date Saturday, November 24, 1888
Text

Old timers like Kelly and Dunlap take no stock in the new rules. They do not appear to rely so much on the Brotherhood for protection as upon the bad faith of the very men who adopted the amendment. It is intimated that a good player who now receives say $1,500 over the new limit, may be able to sell an old uniform to his manager for the difference between the limit and his present salary.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sliding arm guards

Date Wednesday, April 25, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] Princeton taught a lesson in base-sliding while here. The lads wore long gauntlets which came up high on the arms, and the way they skated or glided or slipped along for that fifteen or sixteen feet of do-or-die called forth the tumultuous applause of the spectators.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sliding technique

Date Saturday, May 19, 1888
Text

Ward is the scientific slider. He runs toward the base at a breakneck pace, and when within a few yards of it dashes to the ground, throwing his legs outward as he does so and passing behind the baseman. His trick has not bee learned by others yet, but it it is a good one, and rarely is he caught when stealing to a base. … To describe Connor's movements as he slides to a base would take a volume. But, put briefly, it is as if he were sitting on a wave and went first into the trough of the seas and then rose to the crest. He slides in feet foremost, lying on his back, but regains an upright position as soon as his feet touch the base. Just how it is done nobody seems to know, and it is doubtful if Roger could tell. Chicago Tribune May 19, 1888, quoting the New York World

[Philadelphia vs. Chicago 5/19/1888] Pfeffer has introduced a new slide. He throws his body away from the base-line and reaches one foot for the bag. He worked it successfully in the second inning when he ran from first to second after Wood's catch of Williamson's fly. Wood made a perfect thrown to Irwin, who reached for Pfeffer just as he went down,and was surprised when he discovered that, after apparently dodging away from the base, Fred had stopped with one foot resting against it. Pfeffer and Williamson practice the new slide every day. Chicago Tribune May 20, 1888

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sliding technique; hook slide

Date Wednesday, January 4, 1888
Text

Little Hugh Nicol, of Cincinnati, one of the most successful base-stealers in the profession, concerning his methods of stealing, says:

“I play as far off of first as to make it nip and tuck which will get back first, me or the ball. Then I set my left spikes and get a spring in that foot. At the first and faintest motion to pitch I fire myself away from that left foot and make a gain of five feet anyhow, and then it's a spring for second. Most players began to slide to soon. You don't want to slide until within about eight feet of the base, for you're losing speed when on the grounds. Always, just the instant before making the dip, I look to see how the ball is coming. If it's coming high I take the bally-bust in front of the baseman, for nine out of ten of them swing back with the ball, and I ain't there. That fools them. If it's coming low I go behind them and twist out with my right toe and left knee. If it's going to a a pretty close thing and the ground is good and dry, I've got all my legs and arms to kick up a big dust, so the umpire can't see how the thing is, and my story is as good as the second baseman's when the cloud clears away, don't you see?

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

smoke at the Pittsburgh grounds

Date Wednesday, May 30, 1888
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent's column] There is a smelting furnace on Grand avenue right near the grounds, and almost eery game recently has been bothered by a huge supply of smoke blown from the stack. Several times it has been impossible to locate the fielders from the scorers' box. The smoke is a nuisance and something should be done to prevent the annoyance. Some day, unless the trouble is remedied, a player will be injured, or what is worse, the Pittsburg Club will lose a game on account of the smoke and then there will be a big howl which will bring about some change.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Southern League finances

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

[from the New Orleans columnist “Creole”] The Southern League clubs in each season of 1886 and 1887 averaged losses of six to seven thousand dollars each. This was done in a basis of a $2,500 salary list per month. The days for such salaries in minor leagues are past and a movement is now on foot to cut salaries forty to fifty per cent., and when this is done the salary lists of the Southern League clubs can be brought within a living basis.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding considered all along making the Australian tour a world tour

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column=] Last August, before Mr. Spalding returned home from his summer visit to the Atlantic coast, he sent for me at his Broadway office to have “a private talk with him on a very important subject.” It was in strict confidence that he told me of the project he then had in view, and he wanted to learn my opinion as to its practical value before he took any steps to carry it out. What he told me I kept to myself, as required; but now that he has published the matter himself, I am free to comment on it, and the project in question was his proposed return home from Australia via the European continent and Great Britain.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding on Sunday baseball

Date Wednesday, June 20, 1888
Text

Spalding has refused to take charge of the Western League club in Chicago. He says:--”Not much. I take no charge of players who rely on Sunday games for their financial salvation.” He lets them play on his ground, though.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding's factory burns down

Date Wednesday, August 1, 1888
Text

A. G. Spalding & Bros.' sporting goods factory at the corner of Wentworth avenue and Fifty-fourth street, Chicago, was burned July 26. The building was a large frame structure. Its destruction was complete. The Sporting Life August 1, 1888

an early version of the story of Von der Ahe’s introduction to baseball

An exchange asserts that Von der Ahe got into the business through accident when the old original St. Louis team disbanded. Chris had a little beer saloon near the grounds, and without the games he might as well close. Pierce, Pike, Chapman and a few others asked him to put up money for an outfit, and he handed out $100. They made him president, and, as they played good ball, he made money. With Teutonic shrewdness he went into the business heavily. Result: the small saloon keeper is now–or at least he says he is–“der boss manager,” and worth $150,000 outside of his players, whose release couldn’t be bought for another $100,000. Cleveland Plain Dealer August 3, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding's plan for an Australian tour

Date Wednesday, March 28, 1888
Text

...[from Harry Palmer's column] President A. G. Spalding, associated with Captain Anson and one other gentleman, will next fall take to the antipodes two crack ball teams, not so much through any expectation of making money out of the enterprise itself, but for the purpose of showing the Australian people the beauties of the American game in order that it may become established there upon the same basis of public favor that it has enjoyed in this country for years past.

The idea is not the outgrowth of impulse with President Spalding, but is the result of some months of thought and careful inquiry. “In my judgment,” said he to your correspondent, “such a trip would prove a losing venture to any man who undertook the journey with any expectation of making money out of the gate receipts of his games. In undertaking such a trip I do so more for the purpose of extending my sporting goods business to that quarter of the globe and creating a market for goods there, rather than with any idea of realizing any profit from the work of the teams I take with me. We have shipped a few goods to Australia during the past three years, and the trade from there has been growing so steadily that I feel confident of being able to build up a business there, as the result of my contemplated venture, that will, in the end, repay me.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis reserve team

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] President Von der Ahe is now, no doubt, of the opinion that but one club can be kept up in St. Louis, and but very little money can be made even then. His experimental White Stockings cost him about $7,000, so I hear from good authority. He will realize probably this amount when the players and franchise are disposed of, but there are still several players, as well as the franchise, yet to be disposed of, and should he get back the full amount he has expended, where is there any profit in the enterprise? The fact has been demonstrated upon two occasions that the city will not keep up two professional clubs, and it is now safe to say that it will be some time before another club is placed in the Future Great. The Sporting Life June 27, 1888

After worrying the Western Association for many weeks Mr. Von der Ahe has finally taken himself and his St. Louis Whites out of the Association for the Association's good. The mistake in admitting both St. Louis and Chicago was pointed out last winter when the scheme was first broached. The fate of the Whites had for some time been a foregone conclusion. Its best players had been sold and transferred to other clubs, the worthless franchise had been vainly hawked about for weeks and finally the collapse came Saturday, June 23, when Von der Ahe unceremoniously disbanded the team, which had been held together only long enough to enable its owner to realize all he could out of the sale of players to reimburse him for his loses. The Sporting Life July 4, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Stagg at prayer

Date Thursday, March 29, 1888
Text

A New York Special says: “Between Beefsteak John's on the Bowery and the lager-beer saloon next door is a dark, narrow stairway leading up to a strange little sanctuary on the top floor. It is used for holiness meetings. On the walls are placards which are diversified, as for instance: 'The Lord is My Shepherd,' 'Gentlemen Will Please Not Use Tobacco,' 'Blessed Be They Name,The Management Will Not Be Responsible for Hats and Coats Stolen in This Room.' The appearance of the crowd yesterday justified such precautions. A more typical assortment of toughs, sneaks, and yahoos could not be scraped up in all Slumdom—men with faces bleared and blotched by all kinds of debauchery, pluguglies of bulldog visage, crooks of sly gaze and soggy countenance, hard characters of every slum caste. It is in this place that Yale's great pitcher, Stagg, passes his Sunday afternoons when in the city. He is quite an exhorter, and no addresses delivered to this hard gang are more fervent and earnest than his. Said the Rev. Donnelly yesterday: “Stagg is consistent both here and elsewhere. He prays most earnestly for victory just before every game, and he has won the championship during the last two years. That shows Christianity is pretty good.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stalling a game to give the pitcher rest

Date Monday, March 26, 1888
Text

Mike Kelly relates the following incident of the ends to which Anson will go to win a game of ball: We were playing against the New Yorks. It was in the last inning and the game was 5 to 5. McCormick was pitching and I was catching. McCormick had pitched in two or three games that week with a pretty sore arm. He was tired in the last inning and Anson was the first to notice it. The umpire called a good ball a strike and Anson objected. To his mind, he said it should have been a ball. He had a ten-minute argument, and getting near me gave the tip that I should hurt my finger. The next ball did that. I had to go in the dressing-room, and it was fully ten minutes before I could show up. In the meantime Fred Pfeffer had been hurt by a pitched ball in practicing, and as a result there was almost half an hour delay. McCormick braced up and felt pretty good again. He pitched a great inning and then we made one run in the next. We had won the game. If McCormick had not got the rest we would have been slaughtered.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

status of Sportsman's Park real estate

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] There will be no improvements made at Sportsman's Park the coming season, as the property is still in the courts. Just as soon as arrangements can be made President Von der Ahe will purchase the entire property and change things around in such a manner that the old frequenters of the place will not be able to recognize it. Where the eye-sore (or sore-eye) grand stand now rests will be erected a grand stand that will make the “Boston Three” wild with envy. … The masonry will be of Lake Superior red sandstone and the frame of the stand will be of iron, it will be put together on the truss plan, and posts will be few and far between. It will be two stories in height and the seating capacity will be more than double that of the old structure. All the seats will be under cover and those paying a quarter admission will be out of the weather just the same as those who put up a half a dollar. Besides this improvement there will be new free seats erected in right and left field, and a year or so later a new club house will be added to the attractions. Mr. Von der Ahe says that the appointments of Sportsmans' Park will be second to none in the country, just as soon as he is able to purchase the ground.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stealing signs

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

Irwin is one of the great battery sign discovers of the League, and aids Philadelphia to many a game by the trick. Hugh Daily was a good one at the business and “Cub” Stricker isn't slow.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

strikes on foul bunts abolished?

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column] One of the best things the committee on rules did was to smash that section which compelled an umpire to call a strike on an attempted fair bunt. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888 [N.B. The rule remained on the books.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitute player rule added

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting the NL meeting 11/21-22] Ten men will be placed on the score card instead of nine, and the extra man's services can be called upon at any time. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888 [N.B. The previous attempt at a substitute player rule had been nixed by the AA.][N.B. The rule in fact only allowed a substitution at the end of an inning.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

substitute umpires; two umpires

Date Wednesday, July 11, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting of 7/5/1888] Resolved, That in case any regular umpire of this Association shall for any cause not be present to officiate at any scheduled or postponed game where he is required to officiate, the captains of the contesting teams shall each designate a member of his team to act as umpire of the game then to be played, said players so acting shall alternate in calling balls and strikes and base decision. The player acting shall in each case call balls and strikes on the opposing club and make base decisions for his own club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sunglasses

Date Sunday, July 22, 1888
Text

[Baltimore vs. Cleveland 7/21/1888] Bob Gilks appeared in clouded glasses during practice, but filed them away when business began. If Gilks would stick to the glasses he might beat the sun.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

switching sides of the plate within an at bat

Date Thursday, May 24, 1888
Text

[Cincinnati vs. Cleveland 8/23/1888] Snyder did fine work at the bat without making a hit in the fourth. He changed sides on Viau until he brought out a wild pitch on which Albert scored.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of hiring a pitching coach

Date Wednesday, February 1, 1888
Text

It is quite likely that Bobby Matthews will be retained by the Athletic Club as a coach for the many pitchers the club now has on its team.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of moving the pitcher back five feet; a late proposal to allow overrruning at second

Date Friday, August 31, 1888
Text

...Manager Harry Wright of the Philadelphia Club is now strongly advocating putting the pitcher back five feet. In a conversation this week in Philadelphia Mr. Wright said something must be done for the batsman. “It would be out of the question to go back to the straight arm pitching, as the curve ball is the most scientific part of the game. It won’t do to make the pitchers keep both feet on the ground, as that is apt to strain a man. Putting the pitcher’s box five feet back, making it fifty-five feet instead of fifty, as it now is, I think, will bring about the desired result.

“In cricket the bowler is twenty-to yards from the batter and yet the ball comes to the player plenty fast enough. I had Pitcher Casey out on the grounds the other day and had him try the new distance, and I am satisfied that it is just what we want. A batsman has a chance to see the ball and will not get frightened when one of these strong young men get into the box and try to knock a batter’s head off.”

John Ward of the New Yorks and several other well-known players favor placing the pitcher back five feet.

At Willard’s Hotel this morning, Kelly, the umpire, Clarkson and Radbourn sat in one group. I thought I would feel them on the new point.

“What do you think of putting the pitcher back five feet more?” I asked Umpire Kelly.

“A good thing,” said he, right away. “I think it would make more batting, and when you get batting you are bound to see fielding and base running.”“

Radbourn was dead against the idea and said: “Why, where did you ever see ball games as interesting as the ones that Boston and Providence put up a few years ago? It’s a mistake to think that people want large scores; they want to see close games, and the only way to see them is to have small scores. Why, one run was generally enough to win one of those games, and nothing will wake up a crowd like seeing two or three men struck out with a man on third base. If the change is made it will help two or three clubs who are composed of heavy hitters. I think it would be better for the game if they would put the pitcher back to his old distance of forty-five feet.”

John Clarkson didn’t fully agree with Rad. John said: “Something must be done to favor the batsman, as the pitcher under the present rule of high and low balls had the best of it.”

“What effect will the extra distance have on the curves?”

“Considerable,” said Rad; “the curve won’t amount to anything. A ball commences to curve about forty-two feet away from the pitcher’s box and would be useless at the proposed distance.”

John Kelly and Clarkson thought a pitcher could learn to control the curve and make it just as effective as ever, but Rad was positive it could not be done. Make Kelly joined the party and was asked his opinion. “A good move,” said he. “Something must be done to head off these young fellows who get in the box and try to knock one’s head off.”

Manager Morrill thinks well of the new rule. He says it will give the batter more time to judge the ball.

“What effect will it have on base running?” he was asked.

“Well,” re plied,” the pitcher will be in a better position to see the runner at first, and will hold him closer to the base. A little more base running would be a good thing for the game. I find that all the players outside the pitchers are in for the new move. Harry Wright is also advocating another move in the right direction, and that is to allow a player to run second just the same as first. There are more hurt in sliding to second than in any other way. It also makes it hard for the umpire to decide whether or not a runner is out when he goes head first into the dirt. Many a good player has been laid up in that way.

“It would look more manly,” said Mr. Wright, “to see men keep on their feet.”

There is little doubt but that these new ideas will be adopted. St., quoting the Boston Globe

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of the AA reinstating the fifty cent admission

Date Wednesday, October 10, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] What can one think of a pair of business men like C. H. Byrne, of Brooklyn, and a. Davidson, of Louisville, who voted for a 25-cent tariff with guarantee, six weeks ago, and are now ready to return to the 50-cent tariff again? Such was their declaration at St. Louis and with them stood Aaron Stern, who also declared in favor of the 50cent rate.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of the Chicago Club buying its grounds real property; ownership; finances

Date Saturday, January 14, 1888
Text

The Chicago base ball club has a surplus of $75,000 in its treasury and President Spalding proposes to buy the grounds now occupied by the club. Some of the smaller stockholders are kicking freely because they don’t have a voice in the management of affairs, but that doesn’t make any difference to the bigger stockholders, who run the club as they see fit. The dividends are big enough but the little fellows want a finger in the pie when it comes to directing matters.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of the St. Louis Club buying Sportsman's Park real property

Date Wednesday, January 25, 1888
Text

The improvements to be made at Sportsman's Park the coming spring will not amount to much, as President Von der Ahe intends to make a great many changes in 1889, if he is able to get hold of the park in its entirety. Should he purchase the ground either this or next year he will put up oneof the finest grand stands in 1889 that was ever built.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tarps for the base paths

Date Monday, July 2, 1888
Text

Detroit is to buy a tarpaulin to cover the runways of the ground during rains. This is a good idea. Cleveland out to imitate it.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

team errors 2

Date Wednesday, May 16, 1888
Text

[Boston v. Pittsburgh 5/10/1888] [from the Pittsburgh correspondent] It is strange, nevertheless true, that in to-day's game several good players were missed, seemingly because of the failure of the field captain to give proper instruction. An unaccepted chance fell between Smith, Dalrymple and Sunday, and yet either man could have gotten under it. Again, Fields chased in after a short fly and failed to reach it. The ball was in Mauls' territory.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

team errors abolished; scoring sacrifice hits; stolen bases; error column

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/19/1888]The unaccepted chance rule was abolished, and it was also agreed to put the stolen bases in the summary, replacing it in the tabulated score with a sacrifice hit column. Such hits were to be scored for any kind of a hit ball, other than a safe hit, that moved a player up one or more bases, no matter if an error was made by a fielder on the hit. A fly out that moves a player up a base, counts for a sacrifice and a stolen base as well. The error column was done away with altogether... In the morning, however, when the results were given to the newspaper men, there was a general howl over the elimination of the error column, and while the League was in session, members of the Scorers' Association held a meeting and sent in the following communication, signed by a score of singers, protesting against the proposed elimination of the error column from the tabulated score...

This protest had considerable weight and when the consideration of the rules was reached in the League meeting it was deemed best to reconsider the report. Accordingly the joint committee met again on Tuesday. Messrs. Byrne, Rogers, Day and [Walter] Spalding being present, and in a few moments the required change was made, the committee unanimously voting to restore the error column to its original place in the tabulated score.... and to place stolen bases in the summary. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

[from George Stackhouse's column] [discussing the brief elimination of the error column] This absurd rule was brought about in rather a peculiar way. Most of the scorers, especially the local delegates, had left the room when this error fraud was brought up. A few scorers were in the room writing their “copy” for the morning papers instead of listening to the suggestions offered. The result was that two or three nincompoops were enabled to run this ridiculous rule through before its real significance was recognized.

I was very much surprised to learn the next day that my good brothers Brunell and Mulford had assisted in having the errors thrown out. I was quite sure, however, they have seen the error of their ways by this time and have repented. They are generally quite sensible in base ball matters. The gentlemen were probably half asleep or they never would have allowed such a ridiculous thing to be carried out.

It is all very well to encourage team work. It is a most commendable thing to do. It can be done, however, in a more sensible way than by taking out the base hit and error columns. The public at large that so nobly supports base ball look upon these two features with special interest in the reports of base ball games. By throwing them out you deprive the public of one of its pleasures. Neither can base ball men afford to antagonize the supporters of our great game. One verdant Western journalist, trying to excuse his action in voting for this change, remarked that the public had to be educated. Any scorer who imagines for an instant that he can foo the public on base ball had better get out of the business. The sport is watched too closely at present to allow of any educational schemes. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

[from Ren Mulford's column] When the possibility of such a thing [eliminating the error column] was broached at the conference by both Col. Rogers and Mr. Byrne and endorsed by Mr. Schmelz, there were not a dozen words spoken against the proposition by visiting newspaper men, but when the morning dawned a protest as long as a man[s leg was drawn up and loaded into a howitzer, which was fired directly at Mr. John B. Day—a member of the committee who, when the new rule was passed, was sleeping the sleep of the tired, for he had made an early escape. The players would hail such an innovation with delight, and looking upon the reform in the light of one that would materially decrease record playing and give courage to the far too many men who are foolishly afraid of errors, and instill in them a spirit heretofore foreign to their natures. I said that if such a radical departure could be successfully made it might be a good thing for the game. Frank Brunell followed in the same strain. So did Will Rankin. It would have been inconsistent for us to sign the protest that was presented to the committee. I had not idea that the error would be abolished. It was restored, however, and the first grounder that is fumbled in '89 will be charged up “as usual.” The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

team errors not being scored

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] Among the many scoring rules acted upon last winter in Cincinnati by the Base Ball Reporters' Association of America, was the following:--”That when a player reaches first base through an error of judgment, such as two fielders allowing the ball to drop between them, the batter shall not be credited with a base hit or the fielder charged with an error, but it shall be scored as an unaccepted chance, and the batter shall be charged with a time at bat.” In several instances during the present season I have noticed careless fielders allow fly balls to come down between them when the ball should have been easily captured while in the air, and these errors of judgment were generally scored as hits and charged up as such against a pitcher. In one of the recent Cleveland or Brooklyn games this very play came up. O'Neill and White allowed a ball to come down between them, and it was the only hit secured by the visitors.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

territorial rights; ineligible players; California as a refuge from the National Agreement

Date Saturday, December 1, 1888
Text

[reporting on the arbitration committee meeting 11/30/1888] Several important changes were made in the national agreement by the board of arbitration at its first day’s session here. The most notable were those which absolutely prevent any association from locating a club in the territory of another association party to the national agreement; which forbid any player under contract or reservation from playing with a club or picked nine containing an ineligible player...

...

The action taken prohibiting players as well as clubs from taking part in games with towns [sic] containing blacklisted or ineligible men would have shut out several games the Australian nines played on the coast. It will put a stop to certain players using California as a lever in gaining or attempting to gain their salary demands.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA abandons the fifty cent admission; reinstates the guarantee

Date Wednesday, August 15, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 8/7/1888] Mr. Barnie, of Baltimore, then urged that action bet taken on the question of a reduction of the tariff, and he made a strong and vigorous argument in favor of reduction. It was soon apparent a majority of the clubs deemed a reduction necessary. Cleveland was opposed to any changes, and it was supposed Brooklyn was also. The latter, however, was not opposed to a reduction, but in reality favored it, but was opposed on principle to the percentage plan. It was ready to vote for reduction if the guarantee system was established, and each club control its own receipts. This was finally agreed to and a guarantee of $130 was fixed upon. Under the new rule each club shall charge not less than 25 cents, leaving it optional with clubs to charge more if they so desire. The change goes into effect Aug. 25.

Mr. Wikoff, with Cleveland's proxy, will not have an easy time in explaining his course. Had Mr. Robinson, of Cleveland, and Mr. Stern, of Cincinnati, been present, the outcome might have been different. It looked very much as if these gentlemen thought the meeting was only called to settle a dispute in which they felt no interest and did not care to bother with. The change in the tariff became a necessity the moment the League club in this city went back to twenty-five cents and the Athletics followed suit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA debates the fifty cent admission

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 3/5] The question of the admission rate was then taken up. Mr. Kames, of the Athletic Club, presented a resolution which provided for an amendment to Article 31 of the constitution, and which would allow the Athletics to charge an admission fee of twenty-five cents. The opposition to the resolution was strong from the start, but the Athletic delegates only yielded their ground after a struggle lasting for two hours and a half. Mr. Pennypacker, in order to strengthen the claim, produced a petition signed by 900 of Philadelphia's citizens. He also offered to give visiting clubs 30 per cent. of the 25-cent fee, or 7½ cents, and take only 15 per cent. of the other clubs' 50-cent fee, which would also amount to just 7½ cents. The rule is to give and take 30 er cent. but all propositions were met by the arguments put forward by the Brooklyn Club that base ball was the cheapest of all amusements even at 50 cents, and in consideration of the fact that ball players' salaries, rental of grounds, and cost of traveling were increasing every year it was only fair that the price of admission be increased and placed on the same basis with the League. Finally by a vote of 7 to 1 the amendment of Mr. Kames was defeated.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA fifty cent admission to exclude the rough element

Date Wednesday, May 2, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Byrne] The right kind of people and the people we want for our patrons will be more attracted to the sport as they see the roughest element excluded per force of prices. Don't misunderstand me—I do not refer to the laboring classes by this latter phrase, for they are the people we want to benefit by furnishing relaxation—a kind of labor-to-refreshment-benefit—but we do want to exclude the tough and the rowdy whose presence is degrading to a gentlemanly sport, and has been handicapping its success financially with the respectable portion... The Sporting Life May 2, 1888

Chadwick resigns from the Clipper; its reporters and editors

[from Chadwick's column] By the time this reaches you you will have learned that I have resigned my position on the Clipper. Having accepted an editorial position on the Outing magazine under its new management, I found that it became necessary to give up my writing on the Clipper, as my magazine work would not admit of my doing both. So I had to decide which I would attend to, and as the magazine writing suited me best, I left the old paper, after thirty years of editorial work on it. In fact, though I did not take editorial control of its base ball columns after Frank Queen's death, Mr. Garne taking entire editorial charge then, and when he resigned his position, a year ago, the dramatic editor, Mr. Fynes, took editorial charge. The veteran Al. Wright is still on the paper, and Will Rankin has been engaged to do the local reporting. I take pride in being able to state that during the whole thirty years of my Clipper work I have never penned a line for the paper—or any other either—which could not be openly read out aloud in any family circle. The Sporting Life May 2, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA woos Cleveland to stay

Date Wednesday, November 14, 1888
Text

President Chris Von der Ahe floated in and out of town yesterday afternoon. He came at 3:30 and left at 7:30 and during the four hours he was busily engaged with Secretary Davis Hawley and Treasurer G. W. Howe of the Cleveland club. What passed those gentlemen treat as they have, to date, treated the Detroit-Cleveland deal, with an excuse that for business reasons the facts must be kept secret. But Von der Ahe isn’t a silent man and Von der Ahe’s mission is easily told when dovetailed with the information that on Monday afternoon at Cincinnati Aaron Stern, representing Cincinnati, C. Von der Ahe for St. Louis, W. Walz for Baltimore and W. Davidson for Louisville met with President Wikoff of the association, who voted Brooklyn’s and Kansas City’s proxies and agreed to make the percentage system a law for the season of 1889, visiting clubs to receive 25 per cent. of the gate reciepts. It was also agreed to have a shorter championship season and the meeting gave out the alleged fact that three applications had been made for the vacancy caused by the withdrawal of the Cleveland club.

Von der Ahe came here to convey the greetings of the association to the Cleveland club and say unto its officers that the new law had been made for Cleveland’s benefit and request them to stay in the association. The answer was easily given. There is no weakening on the Cleveland club’s league stand, if the league does not give it cause to weaken by qualifying the terms of its franchise. Every business reason impels it toward the league. Higher class ball, players and larger profits lie there, and thither Cleveland is going, if she can do so with safety and justice to herself. So that Mr. Von der Ahe’s mission was a failure.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the AA's eighth club; tried to place a club in Chicago

Date Sunday, January 15, 1888
Text

It is known that the Association first sought to fill the vacancy by changing the Chicago Maroons or Western League team into the American Association. But A. G. Spalding refused to allow the change to be made. Then an effort was made to get the Boston League Club to put a team into the American Association. The triumvirs feared to give the Association a foothold in a city where they are none too popular. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette January 15, 1888

The vexed question of properly locating the Metropolitan franchise will, in all probability, be settled this week, as the committee which has had the matter in charge has progressed far enough to request a special meeting of the American Association. President Wikoff accordingly issued a call for a meeting to be held Monday, Jan. 16,, at the Grand Hotel, Cincinnati. What city has been selected is still uncertain, as the members of the committee have been unusually close-mouthed and have done their work very quietly. Troy, Albany and Hartford have all been under consideration, and a Baltimore report states that Kansas City has an excellent chance of selection. There is, however, a strong feeling in some quarters that the club should be located in New York at any cost. The Sporting Life January 18, 1888

Ex-president Hotchkin of the old league club of Troy asked President Robison [of the Cleveland Club] how much the salary of an association team would amount to. “Our’s costs about $28,000,” said Robison. “Don’t attempt to put in such a team here,” was Hotchkin’s answer. “It wouldn’t pay. Our league team of 1882, in which Tim Keefe, Buck Ewing, Roger Conner, Mike Gillespie, Fred Pfeffer, William Holbert and John Cassidy played, cost us between $12,000 and $13,000.” Cleveland Plain Dealer January 19, 1888

...[reporting the AA special meeting of 1/16-11/17/1888] The report of the committee on vacancy made it apparent that an Eastern club could not well be selected. Troy, Hartford, Atlanta, Newark and Albany were willing to enter but had not sufficient financial backing to enter a team in these days of high salaries. New York was out of the question, as the committee reported the utter impossibility of securing a ground to play upon. Kansas City was then sprung upon the meeting by the Brooklyn Club.

The Athletics were utterly opposed to having the eighth club located anywhere but in New York City. Louisville jointed in the fight against Kansas City, and Cleveland also objected to the new deal, as it would class her among the Eastern clubs. After an hour of debate Cleveland was won over, and then it only remained to secure the vote of either Philadelphia or Louisville to secure the Cowboys' admission. Meanwhile Mr. Whitfield was again called in and new conditions submitted to him, which he immediately telegraphed to the officials of his club. Pending answer the Association adjourned late at night to meet again Tuesday morning.

When the meeting reconvened the next day, Mr. Whitfield announced that the new conditions had been accepted by his club. …

Mr. Whitfield then again retired and after some debate the Athletic and Louisville clubs surrendered, and Kansas City was admitted by unanimous vote upon three conditions. First they are required to furnish a bond of $10,000 as an agreement that they would fulfill all the obligations to the Association, and secondly, that Kansas City was to pay the fares of all visiting clubs numbering not more than fourteen men, from St. Louis to Kansas City and return. The Metropolitan players were then appraised at $7,000 and Kansas City given the privilege of selecting any or all of these men... The Sporting Life January 25, 1888

Bob Ferguson suggests abolishing scoring base hits and errors

Bob Ferguson, the well known umpire, said in an interview yesterday that he was in favor of abolishing the base hits and errors in base ball games, declaring they are the greatest evil ever introduced. “If a player is credited with one more error than he has made in a game,” continued Mr. Ferguson, “he is all broke up and will do nothing but talk about that error and declare the reporters are trying to down him. If a game is scheduled for the following day he is unstrung and consequently plays his position poorly. You have no idea how sensitive base ball players are. They will not mind half so much an unjust criticism on them as they will the failure of a reporter to credit them with all their base hits, or see an extra error against them. I really believe there would be more interest taken in the national game were runs to be made the chief feature of the game. If the base hits and errors and the computing of players’ records were done away with you would see the men do better work. They will strive to outdo one another in scoring runs, and the runs win the game after all.” Cleveland Plain Dealer January 23, 1888

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletics bring a keg of beer to a game

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

Not satisfied with going around “lushing” at night time, President Von der Ahe charges them [the Athletics' with bringing a keg of beer to the grounds on July 4. Speaking about this matter the other day Mr. Von der Ahe said: “Mr. Sharsig came to me and stated that the boys had a keg of beer [illegible] near the dressing room, and asked me whether I would not have the ground-keeper remove it from the grounds. I immediately went up to the dressing room and asked my ground-keeper whether there was any beer on the ground. He said he did not know. I have a negro employed to help the ground-keeper do his work, and from him I learned that the Athletics had a keg of beer further up along the fence, and that they gave him fifty cents to bring it in. I went up to where the Athletics were and saw that they had a keg of beer there. Seeing that none of my men were around I came back and told Sharsig of what I saw. Sharsig wanted me to have the keg removed. I told him it was none of my business what his players did and if he wanted the keg emptied he should empty it himself. To tell you the turth, it looked to me as if Sharsig was afraid to go up there to discipline his own men. When a manager is afraid of his own players they will, of course, have a picnic with him. Well, my players saw what was going on and they were happy, as they thought they were going to have an easy thing of it that afternoon. I was never so mad in my life as I was after that game. To think that we were beaten by a lot of drunken ball players riled me and I felt like selling out and quitting the business.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Beacon Club to disband?

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] I learned to-day that the sequel to the sudden death of Carl Fredericks, manager of the Beacons, would be the disbanding of the best amateur base ball organization New England has ever had outside of the colleges. … Of late years they have been the only out and out amateur nine we have had. Love of ball playing has been the stimulus that has kept the organization alive, and nobody has found more fun in the game that the Beacons. They have always caught in their net the best college players in this vicinity.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Big Four Detroit players stick together; no League interference in Boston deals

Date Wednesday, November 14, 1888
Text

The League will not interfere. Indeed, it cannot. Its committee has been perfectly cognizant of the transaction, and knew about it before its consummation and gave its consent. It has not been known up to the present writing that an agent of the Boston Club visited Washington when the Detroit Club was there on the last trip, and was closeted there several hours with the players that Bosto9n wanted. The players agreed to come to Boston on the condition that Rowe, White, Richardson and Brouthers should not be separated. The consent of the players having been secured, all seemed easy. Then Pittsburg stepped up and wanted a finger in the pie. Therefore Boston had to drop Rowe. Pittsburg also wanted Ganzel, but this was more than it could secure. Now Rowe comes forward and declares that he will positively not play in Pittsburg next season under any conditions. He wants to come to Boston. Mr. Rowe is a very determined gentleman, and it will take a great deal more than mere words to make him change his mind. Pittsburg may have thought it was doing something great to step in the way it did and interfere with a deal that was not of Boston's, but of Detroit's players', seeking. These men had played together for years, and did not want to be separated. Boston was not anxious to get Rowe, and did not even contemplate securing him in the original deal. The Sporting Life November 14, 1888, quoting the Boston Herald

...the grand rush made by the Boston “Big Three,” in gathering in the pick of the Detroit Club's players, has stirred p a bitter feeling which is rapidly appearing on the surface. New York and Chicago were willing to keep hands off and give the weaker clubs a chance to secure some of these men, but Boston isn't built that way. Boston must be satisfied first, last and every time, and then the others can have what is left. It looks very much, therefore, that the coming League meeting will not be such a love feast as some people anticipate. The Sporting Life November 21, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood and the $2,000 limit

Date Wednesday, March 7, 1888
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting 3/2] The next business of importance was the reception of the committees representing the League and Ball Players' Brotherhood. All of the League leaders withdrew from the room except Messrs. John B. Day, John I. Rogers and A. G. Spalding, who received the Brotherhood committee, which comprised Messrs. John M. Ward, Ned Hanlon, Dan Brouthers and Arthur Irwin. The very important matter of the salaries of the players was considered. As the $2,000 limit rule had long been a dead letter, the Brotherhood committee wanted it abolished entirely, in order that the salary of players could be written in full in the contract, as the League agreed to do at the annual meeting. The Brotherhood argued that this constitutional clause was generally violated and was, indeed, a “dead letter,” that the National Agreement had no jurisdiction in the new contract, and that the salary limit rule was but a subterfuge and shield. The League committee, however, squirmed out of the hole by insisting tat the National Agreement covered the case, and that salaries could not be written in full in the contract so long as the rule stood, which would be until the American Association consented to act with the League to eliminate the [illegible]... consumed in discussion, but the League committee was obstinate and the Brotherhood committee finally consented to a compromise, under which it was agreed that contracts should stand at $2,000, as heretofore, and that for extra compensation individual contracts with managers shall be made. The Sporting Life March 7, 1888

rumored abolition of beer in the grandstand in St. Louis

[from Joe Pritchard's column] One of the greatest improvements to be made at Sportsman's Park, the coming season, will be the abolishment of the sale of beer in the grand stand. The custom is a Western one, and it has certainly been a nuisance at all the parks where it has been followed. I know of a great many people who will not attend places of amusement where beer is peddled promiscuously. This is their privilege; but I do not know of a person that will remain away from a ball game because the amber fluid is now hawked around in the crowd. The Sporting Life March 7, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood and the salary limit and advances as signing bonuses

Date Wednesday, February 8, 1888
Text

[from a letter from Ward] The League seems to have met some difficulty in carrying into effect one of the—to the playher—most important clauses of the new contract. I am informed that Carroll, of Pittsburg, received a communication from President Nimick asking his signature to a contract for $2,000, offering to pay him the balance of his salary as an advance,and alleging as a reason for this request that President Young would refuse to promulgate a contract calling for any sum in excess of $2,000. Eitehr I have been misinformed, or there is some misunderstanding on Mr. Nimick's part. It was perfectly understood between the League and Brotherhood committee that paragraph 1, under section 13, contemplated the insertion in the contract of the full amount of salary to be received and when the League committee's work was accepted by the League that was the virtual repeal, so far as the League and its players are concerned, of the so-called $2,000 limit rule. There was one set of cases spoken of in which it was understood an exception was to be made and the entire sum paid to the player not inserted. Those were the cases in which player were signed from some outside association, in which cases, it was claimed by the League committee, it was always necessary to pay the player a larger sum the first season than he was really worth because a part was in reality a bonus to him for the right of reservation acquired over him. It was upon the 15th and 18th sections that the two committees were for a long time unable to agree, and the 15th, as it now stands, is not at all the original one presented by the Brotherhood committee, but a new one drawn up by the League committee and accepted as a compromise in consideration of the League committee's acceptance of the 18th. In the discussion of the section the names of several players were mentioned who received above the limit, and these were cited by the League committee as special instances in which the section would work an unfairness to one or two clubs. This shows that there was no misunderstanding on the committee's part as to the intent of the section. It was therefore only in furtherance of this plain understanding that the League asked the American Association at Cincinnati to repeal entirely the $2,000 limit rule. The Association, it is true, refused, but that the League would offer this as a pretext for failing to keep its compact with its players is scarcely credible. There has never been among the clubs, even from the first, the slightest pretension to keeping the rule, and its continued existence is one of the absurdities of “base ball law.” It would indeed be a peculiar sense of honor which would insist upon keeping faith in respect to a rule which is continually violated when such an insistence involved a direct breach of faith of a serious nature. That would be a face in which some of the League officials would not care to play a part. Moreover, the 19th section of the contract reads:--”And it is further understood and agreed that the rights, duties, privileges and powers of the respective parties hereto are to be governed, limited and determined by the covenants and conditions herein, and the express terms of the this contract, and not in any wise by the terms, covenants or condition of any foreign or other document or instrument to which either party hereto may be a part, etc.” That is to say the player may at any time learn all the relations which exist between himself and his club by a reference to his contract, and whatever agreements the club may enter into to regulate its relations with other clubs or persons it cannot make any which will affect its agreement with him, nor will he be bound by any such. Conceding the compact with the Brotherhood, the League could not, then, conscientiously offer the refusal of the American Association as an excuse for a failure to carry out that compact. But inasmuch as the meaning of the section was thoroughly understood at the time of its adoption, and the League afterwards acted upon that understanding, and since the Brotherhood has not been officially notified in any way that any difficulty has arisen, I am much inclined to believe that President Nimick was laboring under a mistaken impression; and I am still further convinced of this by the straightforward declaration of President Smith, of Detroit, that the salary should be written in full and that he would make no further efforts to sign his men until the matter is settled.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood as a beneficial society

Date Wednesday, June 20, 1888
Text

[reporting on the Brotherhood meeting 6/10/1888] Steps were taken looking to the development of the beneficial feature of the order. An amendment was made to the constitution by which the relief committee is authorized to receive an application for assistance from any member. The conditions upon which help will be given are:--First, that the applicant is sick or disabled, and second, that he is in actual need. Finding these conditions to be true, upon investigation, the committee will give the applicant a specified sum top be paid back when the member recovers his health and is in a position to refund. No man need, therefore, feel that he is accepting charity. The mere fact that a man is out of funds at any time will not be sufficient to found a claim upon the order. The idea is not, by any means, to establish a loan association for the benefit of prodigal players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood with Ward overseas

Date Wednesday, November 21, 1888
Text

The absence of John M. Ward, president of the Ball Players' Brotherhood, for the entire winter, has led to much quiet speculation as to how the affairs of that organization will progress in his absence, and what moves, if any, the Brotherhood has in view. All these speculations we can authoritatively set at rest. Mr. Ward's absence will not hamper the Brotherhood in the least. The government is in the hands of an executive committee, and authority has never been vested in any one official, although Mr. Ward, while on the field, had considerable power and exercised a general supervision as president and chairman of the committee. All reports to the contrary notwithstanding, there will be no meeting of the Brotherhood council until the regular spring meeting, and at the annual League meeting next Wednesday the Brotherhood will neither be represented nor request a hearing upon any topic whatever. There will be some individual grievances, perhaps, presented to the League by Brotherhood members, either in writing or in person, but the Brotherhood itself, nor any committee representing it, will not be on hand. The Brotherhood got all it wanted last winter in the way of recognition and a new contract, and is quite satisfied with its present relations to the League and with the very smooth and pleasant progress of event since.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood's first reaction to the Brush plan; retrospective on the $2,000 limit

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

Secretary-Treasurer Keefe, of the Brotherhood, was questioned to-day [11/24] relative to the Brotherhood's opinion of the action of the League in adopting the new salary limit rule. Said he: “I arrived from Albany last Tuesday morning, and have been more amused than interested to read the reports of the League meeting in New York. Though I cannot say definitely what shape the action the Brotherhood will take, depend upon it we are not going to sit idly by and allow the League to deal as unfairly by us and in as bad faith as has been the case. They broke faith with us last year when they promised to abolish the $2,000 limit clause and did not. At that time when we asked Mr. Rogers why the League acted so, he tried to throw the blame upon the American Association. When we came to investigate we found that Mr. Rogers was to blame.

“The action of the League this year is in direct violation of our contract clause, which states that a player when reserved shall not receive less than he received the previous season. It certainly is time to act. There will be plenty of fun ahead for the League. Why, it is the old $2,000 limit business over again. Do you think Ewing is going to play for any $2,500 next season, or that this rule is going to hasten his signing? Do you suppose that the New York Club is going to be without his services on account of this rule? Not a bit of it, depend upon it. This whole this was originated by Indianapolis, and the League could have got along with out. How Glasscock and Denny will kick. I see in the papers that there will be a great rush of players to sign before Dec. 15, but I do not think so.

“I shall not lose any sleep about the matter. I shan't rush to sign, and I don't think any of my comrades and friends will we won't assemble until next spring, but 'when our Houses of Parliament to assemble, let them tremble.' It won't bother the Brotherhood, even if a few of the members sign. Our body was never as strong as it now is. Nor shall we advise any of our men to hold off. Every one can act as he deems best. You can see how unfair this attempt of the League will work upon those players who have gone to Australia. Won't Ward and the others be mad?

“I think I have covered about all that can interest the public, and think that you had better reserve all further mention of myself in connection with base ball matters until next spring. You will hear from me then without fail.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

The Brotherhood, the reserve, and the salary limit

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

[from the Detroit correspondent] The salary limit rule preventing the signing of a player for more than $2,000 is still on the League law books, but as is well known is a dead letter. One of the provisions of the new form of contract is that a player shall not be reserved at a less salary than that he played for the previous season. John Ward has advised players to insist that the total amount of salary to be paid be written in the contract. The question is: --Would nick Young promulgate a contract calling for more than $2,000? Mr. Smith [Detroit Club president] considers it ridiculous to keep a deal letter on the books, and thinks the limit should be abolished, so long as none intend to live up to it. It is better to have it understood all around.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brush plan for graded salaries

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting the NL meeting 11/21-22] The entire [second day] was spent in revising the constitution, and many important changes were made. The principal changes were made in the clauses relating to salaries and contracts and the result was the adoption, despite the opposition of New York and Boston, of a salary limit.

Section 29 was amended to give the president-secretary extraordinary power and reads as follows:

“All contracts between a club and its players shall be executed by the secretary of the League on behalf of such club, and may be either by telegram or writing, to be followed within 30 days thereafter by a regular League contract which, after registry, shall be transmitted to said club, and notice thereof transmitted to all other League clubs and all associations, parties to the National Agreement of Professional Base Ball Associations.”

The next section provided for a salary limit and formulated rules for its enforcement as follows:

The compensation for all League players for services as players shall be limited, regulated and determined by the classification and grade to which such players may be assigned by the secretary of the League, after the termination of the championship season, as follows:

Class A—Compensation $2,500.

Class B—Compensation $2,250.

Class C—Compensation $2,000

Class D—Compensation $1,750.

Class E—Minimum compensation $1,500.

But this section shall not prohibit the payment of extra compensation for the services of one person to each club, as field captain or team manager.

In determining such assignment, batting, fielding, base-running, battery work, earnest team work and exemplary conduct, both on and off the field, at all times, shall be considered as a basis for classification.

Each player upon executing a League contract shall make affidavit in form prescribed by the secretary of the League, to the effect that the consideration prescribed in said contract includes all salaries, bonuses, rewards, gifts and emoluments and every other form o compensation expressedly or impliedly promised him for his services as player during the term of such contract, and satisfactory proof to the secretary of the League of any false statement in such affidavit, shall, after fair notice to such player, blacklist him, unless the ruling of the secretary be reversed by the Board of Directors of the League upon proper appeal, hearing and counter-proof.

The president of each club shall, between the 20th and 31st days of October of each year, file an affidavit with the secretary of the League setting forth the full payment as salaries, bonus, reward, gift, emolument and every other form of compensation, express and implied, made to each player in full settlement of his services as player for and during the season then terminating.

A violation of the limit to compensation prescribed in Section 30, or any false statement in said affidavit, shall, upon satisfactory proof to the secretary of the League, subject the club to which said president belongs to a fine of $2,000 and the release of any player, the subject of such illegal compensation or false statement, from reservation by such club for the succeeding year, which player, however, will be retained under reservation for such other club as the League may determine.

Negotiations for the release from contract or reservation and for services of players other than those of National League clubs, shall be carried on exclusively through the secretary of the League or his duly authorized agent.

The president, secretary or manager of a club shall file with the secretary of the League, either by letter or telegram, a written offer for the release and salary for said player. If two or more League clubs file an offer for the same player, the offer first received shall have priority of claim to such player, until such negotiations fail, when the offer next in order filed shall be entitled to negotiation and so on in sequential order with any subsequent offers. But no club shall have prior claim to any such negotiations for more than one player not under contract with it as required by another League club. Negotiations carried on directly or indirectly with any such player except through the secretary of the League shall forfeit all right to contract with and subsequent reservation of such player or by the club so offending. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

[editorial matter] The section referring to the negotiation with the engagement of players from other leagues is certainly excellent and eminently practicable, and will effectually put a stop to a growing abuse by means of which minor players are enabled to put competing clubs against each other in the market, thus forcing not only their salaries up far beyond market value, but by force of example swelling the already excessive salaries of major league players.

The grading of salaries strikes one as the least practicable feature of the scheme. The idea is not a new one. President Howe, of the Cleveland Club, presented it to the League several years ago, but it was incontinently sat upon as visionary and impracticable. That this idea should now, after the lapse of years, be taken up and incorporated, in almost the original form in the League constitution, shows most strikingly the growth of the spirit of reform... In theory this section is beautiful—indeed, the entire scheme is so—but whether it will work satisfactorily in practice is a question. To make the apportionment properly would be a heavy task for the entire board of League presidents and managers, but to delegate to one man the power of grading of salaries and the punishment of clubs whose creature he is, is to impose upon him an enormous task, confer unlimited arbitrary power, and make him at once a dependent and yet an autocrat, and saddle him with tremendous power and responsibility. Under such a scheme more or less injustice cannot be avoided. The president of the League is but human, and his range of knowledge, judgment and acumen must necessarily be more or less limited. He must depend, in forming his classes, upon the advice of the club presidents, the reports of managers and the returns of official scorers, and these in turn cannot fail to be more or less actuated and influenced, wittingly or unwittingly, by personal likes, dislikes or other motives, and thus players will be at the mercy of and buffeted between many conflicting arbiters. It is also a serious question whether such a classification will not lead to jealousies, dissensions... The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Phillies drop their admission rate

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

The fifty-cent rate has proven a decided failure in the second city of the Union (in point of population only), and the League was the first to admit it. The high rate never had a fair show in Philadelphia. The unprecedented bad spring [N.B.: referring to an unusually cold and wet spring] gave it a black eye, the continued newspaper comment served to keep alive the agitation against it, and the rather poor playing of both local clubs at the beginning of the season also intensified the opposition to paying double prices. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, the rate could have been maintained, were but one big club located here. With two clubs, however, it simply became a question of freeze-out for one or the other. The Phillies had the call last season, but this year through their accumulating misfortunes, they were not able to maintain their prestige, and were getting the worst of the fight. Every League club having had a turn here, and all, without exception, having received convincing proof of the intense unpopularity of the high tariff, an appeal was made by the Philadelphia Club for a change. A mail vote was taken, and on Friday President Young notified Mr. Reach that by unanimous vot4e of the League clubs the Philadelphia Club would be allowed in future to reduce the price of admission to 25 cents. The change went into effect Saturday.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Staten Island Athletic Club

Date Wednesday, May 23, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] ...I had an opportunity to witness the first match of the Amateur League's season, and the event took me to West Brighton, Staten Island, to see the rival nines of the Staten Island and New Jersey Athletic clubs play together. It was a cloudy day, with showers, and yet a very fashionable assemblage of spectators were gathered on 's beautiful grounds to see the math; the grand stand, especially, presenting a very attractive sight, crowded as it was with beautiful girls. When I took my seat at the reporter's desk and looked around I was delighted to see such a beautiful ball field at the command of amateur players. The Sporting Life May 23, 1888. [N. B. The Staten Island Athletic Club still exists as a running club.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the UA starting reserving players

Date Wednesday, June 13, 1888
Text

[from a long history of the UA war by Mills] ...at their [the UA] “important meeting Held in the city of Washington Sept 18 and 19, 1884 (before the expiration of their first and only season), “it was unanimously agreed that next season the salary list should be curtailed; that each club should select players by the first of October, 1884.” (See full report of proceedings of Union Association meeting, Sporting Life of Sept. 24, 1884) This “selection” of players by each club was precisely the same as our “reservation” of players...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the advantage of batting last

Date Wednesday, May 9, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I was glad to see the home team in this game go to the field instead of to the bat. Some of the players claim, very mistakenly, that the advantage of facing the new ball first and batting the pitching before the pitcher can get down to his work is greater than that of being last at the bat. The experience of the Brooklyn team last year shows that the very reverse of this is the case. Out of twenty-three games in which the home team went to the bat first at Washington Park last season, they lost seventeen, and the most of these were lost after they had started with the lead. The fact is that the advantage of being last at the bat gives a team confidence in their ability to bat well...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the appearance of Clarence Duval

Date Friday, June 8, 1888
Text

The Chicago club carried away with it from this city [Philadelphia] what the players hope will prove a mascot. People who saw Miss Vernona Jarbeau's performance in “Starlight” recently will remember the diminutive African who came on in the third act and caused a stick to perform amazing gyrations in the air, and who figured on the play bi9lls under the patrician name of Clarence Duval. He remained in town as a sort of page in waiting to Miss Jarbeau, and his propensity for always being around where anything particular is going on caused his appearance at the base-ball grounds the other day. Each of the Chicago players rubbed his hands over the back of the youthful negro before going into the fray, and the Chicagos won the game. Yesterday he was again on the field, and again the Chicagos won. That settled it. The necessary negotiations were entered into with Mr. Jeff D. Bernstein, Miss Jarbeau's manager, and culminated in the “coon's” desertion of the theatrical stage for the base-ball field.

“I hear you've lost your 'snowball,'” said a reporter to Miss Jarbeau last night.

“Yes,” replied the vivacious actress with a laugh, “the fascinations of the ball game were too alluring for him. We picked him up in the snow in Decatur, Ill., last winter, and he's been with me ever since.
 “Of course he hesitated about leaving such a charming mistress?”

“I'm afraid he didn't think of that. I hope he brings good luck to the Chicagos.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the baseball reporters 2

Date Wednesday, January 11, 1888
Text

[a synopsis of a piece from the Cincinnati Times-Star about various AA city baseball reporters: Ren Mulford, Jr., Cincinnati Times-Star and The Sporting Life; F. C. Richter The Sporting Life and the Ledger; Horace F. Fogell The Sporting Life; Frank Hough, North American; A. M. Gillam, Record; Billy Volts, Press; H. H. Diddlebock, Times and Inquirer; Steve Nash, News; John Campbell, Item; Henry Chadwick, Clipper and Eagle; Geroge E. Stackhouse Tribune, Morning Journal and The Sporting Life; John H. Mandigo, Sun; June Rankin, Herald and News; Mike Lane, Star and Sporting World; Will. M. Rankin, Male and Express, J. C. Kennedy, Times; Pete Donahue, World; Edgar S. Sheridan, Missouri Republica; M. A. Lane, Post-Dispatch; Joseph A. Murphy, Globe-Democrat; Al Spink, The Sporting Nes; Dr. Isaac H. Tanner, Baltimore Morning Herald; Harry Saltzer, Sun; Joe C. Gittinger, American; John A. Baird, Louisville Evening Post; Oliver Cromwell, Louisville Commercial; Joseph A. Altsheler, Courier-Journal; Frank H. Brunell, Cleveland Plain Dealer; J. W. Kline, Herald; Harry Weldon, Cincinnati Enquirer; Ban B. Johnson, Commercial-Gazette.] The Sporting Life January 11, 1888

[a follow-up by The Sporting Life about reporters in the NL cities: Harry Boynton, Inter-Ocean; Chicago Times until recently “Chunky” Powers, Spalding's Nemesis, now Clinton C. Riley; Fred Mallory, Morning News; Harry Palmer, Evening Journal, sporting Life, formerly News and Tribune;DeWitt Ray, Herald; Johnny Wilke and Tom Gallagher, Tribune; Thomas S. Fullwood, Pittsburgh Leader; Alfred R. Crotty, Chronicle-Telegraph and The Sporting Life as “Circle”; John D. Pringle, Post; Charles A. Layman, Commercial-Gazette; Edward F. Stevens, Boston Herald; W. D. Sullivan, Globe and The Sporting Life as “Mugwump”; W. I. Harris, Globe; Jacob C. Morse, Herald and NY Clipper; C. F. Matheson, Detroit Free Press and The Sporting Life; G. A. Tomlinson, Tribune; thomas May, evening News; A. T. Cowell, Washington Evening Critic; J. W. O'Rourke, National Republican; Robert M. Larner, Morning Post and The Sporting Life; Rudolph Kaufman, Eveing Star; John H. doyle, Sunday Herald, s. C. Simms, Republic, R. Wade, The Captial; Scott; C. Bone, Indianapolis Sentinel; Harry S. New, Journal; romeo Johnson, News.] The Sporting Life January 18, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the bleacher roof at the Huntingdon Street grounds

Date Wednesday, March 21, 1888
Text

The Philadelphia Club is having quite a problem on hand with regard to covering the bleaching boards. Canvas won't do; galvanized iron would be the thing, but the cost would be enormous. Contractors are now figuring on tin roofs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the catcher rubber band snap trick

Date Sunday, September 16, 1888
Text

[from an article about catcher’s gloves] When Michael J. Kelly, now of Boston, was playing with the Chicagos he wore a glove with heavy tips on the finger ends. Passing around the body of the glove was a heavy rubber band. Every one who has seen Kelly catch knows that, unlike most catcher, does not wait for the ball with his hands resting on his knees, but holds them close together as though to coach the pitcher at what spot to place the ball. By long practice Kelly had acquired the knack of snapping the rubber band just as the batter struck the ball. Now, in case he failed to hit it, the umpire in the excitement of the moment would naturally think the slight noise made by the band was caused by a “foul tip” (which Kelly would claim, of course,) and which would cause the batter, much to his disgust, to be called out. This scheme worked successfully until Umpire Conley caught him and stopped the trick. Kelly now wears an ordinary felt-lined glove and has given up most of his tricky Chicago tactics. St.

Source St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the cause of rising salaries

Date Wednesday, January 25, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] We all know how base ball prices have advanced, and how the $15,000 team of 1879 or 1880 cost $25,000 or more in these days of ours. Young blood, “limited protection,” and hoggishness. There is no doubt about the raise in prices. But there are some concealed causes for it. And some of them are necessary causes, too. One is the increased cost of batteries. In the $15,000 team days two batteries were plenty. Now four or five are necessary. Are the pitchers and catchers less able to work, or are they “working” clubs and systematically doing less than their duty? Neither! The game has grown more acute and the acuteness is of the all-round order. Batting, fielding and base-running has sharpened so that only a team of high class specialists can hope for success in first-class company. In the $15,000 team there was usually two of the batterists able to play in or outfield positions, and play it well enough not to weaken the general game played by the other men. But those days are past and the man who turns over the past and paints word picture of wonderful men “who played greater ball than has ever been played since,” may mean well enough and believe what he paints to be a copy of the truth. But he is wrong. The game of to-day is a game of specialists. Not six men in the leading groups can play more than one position properly, or for all there is in it. Ask one of your thoughtful players if I am not right. … Specialists, even while of the unfinished class, cost money, and it has been the chase for specialists as much as anything else that has whispered “Excelsior” into the capacious and none too discriminating ear of the base ball manager and got him into the trick of spending money too fast...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the claimed invention of the figure-eight ball cover

Date Wednesday, November 14, 1888
Text

[a letter from one C. H. Jackson] West Brookfield, Mass., Nov. 4.--I inclose a clipping relating to base ball. I am the inventor of the base ball cover referred to. Fifty-five years ago, when a boy of ten years, my mother gave me yarn enough, of her own spinning, for a ball. Next thing was leather for a cover. I was a poor boy and couldn't buy. An old shoemaker gave me two small pieces, and said perhaps I could piece them up. My efforts resulted in the exact shape now in universal use. About twenty years ago I showed to a nephew of mine the cover of my boyhood. He was working for Harwood, the great ball maker, of Natick, Mass. Harwood adopted this cover at once, as it takes much leather and has but one seams, instead of five or six. Well, I didn't reap the fortunate, as I didn't get it patented, but no matter, I've “got there all the same.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the color line 3

Date Wednesday, October 3, 1888
Text

Anson will not allow the Chicago team to play against colored players. Last season he would not play with Newark until they consented to keep Stovey and Walker on the bench, and when the team played the Syracuse Stars a week ago he demanded another player in place of Walker, the Stars' crack catcher.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the declining condition of the AA; percentage vs. guarantee

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from the editorial column] ...The American Association was never in a worse condition than it is to-day. Partisans and those who know nothing of the practical conduct of professional base ball may sneer at or make light of this assertion, but that doesn't alter the facts. Each season the Association finds some club member dropping by the wayside or withdrawing with just that many valuable players, and the list of desirable cities from which to select suitable successor is also with each year growing exasperatingly smaller. This everlasting drawback, added to a vacillating policy, unstable purpose, lack of business tact and unity, ever increasing expenses and steadily decreasing income, has served to drag the Association down step by step from the safe and commanding position it occupied a few years ago to present hard struggle for bare existence. … A high tariff, qualified percentage and a perfunctory equalizing of a few clubs were the means adopted to stave off the evil day and rejuvenate the patient. The expected results, however, failed to materialize. High tariff proved only a partial success, several clubs were almost ruined by it, and the experiment had to be abandoned in mid-season. Unwisely the percentage system was simultaneously discarded, thus driving out a club member, and to complete the disaster the result of the work in the field was but a repetition of that of former seasons, half the clubs being out of the race almost from the start. In fact, the results were just what had been predicted and expected. So in the course of a year the Association has gained nothing, perhaps not even sense from bitter experience. In fact, it is to-day in even more precarious position than it was last December, and a most uncertain future lies before it.

The loss of the Cleveland Club and players is more serious than partisans care to acknowledge, and the Association will find it impossible to satisfactorily fill the breach made by that club's withdrawal. Choice is restricted to Columbus, Buffalo, Milwaukee, Worcester and Jersey City. None of these cities are of the first class, such as should find a place in the circuit of a major league, and each is sadly handicapped in some way or other. At present Columbus is the most earnest in the effort to secure admission, and seems to have decidedly the best chance of securing the franchise. Buffalo seems unwilling to try its fortunes in the Association; Milwaukee is out of the circuit, an Eastern club being needed to make up proper geographical division; Worcester is well located, but not large enough or enthusiastic..., and Jersey City, the most desirable city of the lot by reason of location and population, is handicapped by its National League ownership. On the whole, however, it matters little which city is selected, as by reason of local drawback, weak tam and other disadvantages incidental to entrance into fast company, the successor of Cleveland, no matter where located, will but be more or less of a dead weight on an Association already afflicted with too many clubs weak in finances and teams.

Financially the situation of the Association could hardly be worse than it is. But three clubs out of eight made any money worth speaking of this year. Of the rest all lost money, some very heavily, and none are in condition to stand the drain much longer. In fact, another season like that of 1888, will simply wipe out one-third or more of the clubs, and practically break up the Association. Next year, as this, the race will be confined to four clubs at the most, and with so many tail-enders to carry, the Association will have to return to the percentage system. There are no ifs ands or buts in this question. Even under the best conditions the percentage system is the only system under which professional base ball should be operated. In such desperate straits as the Association finds itself, that system is the only one under which it can work and maintain itself. To continue the guarantee system with a new weakling in a small city, added to the three or four weaklings already in the ranks, simply means irretrievable ruin to half the clubs. This fact has been put so plainly of late before the delegates, that at this writing the indications are favorable to a return to the percentage system.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the early shortstop

Date Sunday, April 8, 1888
Text

Tim Murnan, one of the oldest veterans in the business, is preparing a book of reminiscences. Among other things he says: “As near as I can learn the position of short-stop was the last one to be added to the make-up of a base-ball nine. In its early days the game was played on large open fields, and the outfielders had some long runs to get a ball hit by them. Sometimes they were obliged to go to the extreme end of the field. Men played but a few games and their arms were not in condition to make long throws, and the basement hugged their bases much close than at the present time. The short-stop acted as utility man, and would go out in the field to take the ball from the out-fielders and send it to the home-plate or to the in-field. Dickey Pearce of the Atlantics of Brooklyn was the first man to play the position as it is played now. He began to do so in 1856. George Wright was the first man to play the position deep and close to second base, so as to give the baseman an opportunity to move away from his position, and in 1869 Wright and Charley Sweasy were the first players to work the two positions as they are worked today.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the failure of the St. Louis reserve White nine

Date Wednesday, June 13, 1888
Text

The Whites [St. Louis Western League] are still the property of Mr. Von der Ahe, and from the present outlook the team will not be sold in a body as neither Denver nor Lincoln could raise enough money to buy the club. Herr has been ordered to Cincinnati, and he will play there with the Browns to-day or to-morrow, and if he can hold his own with the champions he will be played regularly by Comiskey. Staley's transfer to the Browns is only a matter of a very short time. The Whites will be sold piecemeal and the franchise placed later on. The club is playing good ball and making money away from home, but they are no attraction in St. Louis and will be a losing nine.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the fight to reinstate the high-low strike zones

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/19/1888] There was a strong fight in the committee for the introduction of the high and low ball rule, eliminated from the code two years ago. It was argued by its advocates that it would aid batting, but only in the form of being of advantage to certain veteran sluggers, at the cost of ultimate disadvantage to rising young batsmen, whom the existing rule was training up to hit all balls between knee and shoulder. But the chief obstacle to its re-introduction was, first, that it was a step backwards, and secondly, that it was one of the chief obstacles to successful umpiring in the calling of balls and strikes. The return to this rule was voted down by 4 to 2, Mr. Day being its most prominent advocate, as it would benefit not only his team batsmen, but two of this pitchers—Keefe, especially.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the financial situation

Date Wednesday, September 5, 1888
Text

[editorial column] Financially, the season has everywhere, on the whole, been an utter failure, and it may be safely asserted that about three clubs have absorbed pretty much all the money there was in the business: Chicago, New York and Boston have every reason to be satisfied with the financial results of the season, but none of the other League clubs can look upon the net results with equal complacency. Two of the remaining five clubs will probably quit the season with a profit—but a profit altogether disproportionate to the labor, capital and risk involved—the rest will end the season more or less heavy loser. In the Association matters are even less satisfactory. The two leading money makers, Cincinnati and Brooklyn, acknowledge being behind last year in net gains; the Athletic Club will probably realize a small profit; Louisville expects to quite even, and the rest will, with the reduction of the admission rate and the return to the guarantee system, quit sure and heavy losers.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the first baseman's position

Date Wednesday, May 2, 1888
Text

[from John Morrill, from a series on the various positions] A first baseman on taking his position in the field should stand from 10 to 15 feet towards second base and about 10 feet back of the line in order that he may stop any ground balls knocked in his direction. When the ball is hit to any other infielder the first baseman should run to the base at once and stand about 10 inches in front of the bag. This will be close enough to allow him to get the ball and touch the base, and at the same time does not interfere with the base-runner. … When a runner is on first the baseman should stand close to the bag to prevent the runner from taking too much ground also to handle the ball quickly when thrown to him by the pitcher for the purpose of catching the runner napping. When the ball is delivered to the batsman he should run off towards second base so that he may stop the ball should it be hit in his direction.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the history of the Day Resolution

Date Wednesday, June 13, 1888
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[from a long history of the UA war by Mills] While the annual meeting of the League , at which the National Agreement was ratified by that body, was in session in Washington in November, 1883, we learned that emissaries of the wreckers were in negotiation with certain of our reserved players, and that one, at least, had agreed to serve a Union club for the season of 1884. In the course of the discussion which ensued I urged, in substance, that, unless the League should take some action forbidding such a course, the reserving club might, in the emergencies of the playing season, be tempted to induce such deserting reserved player to return to its team by the offer of a higher salary than the Union club was paying him, and thus, in effect, reward such player for having deserted the reserving club, and so encourage, instead of discouraging, similar desertions; and that the only way to prevent such action, consistently with our reserve rule, was to debar the reserving club, in the event of its reserved player contracting and playing with a Union club, from thereafter employing him. The prohibition thus suggested by me met the approval of our convention, but it was then suggested by the long-headed president of the New York Club, Mr. John B. Day, that inasmuch as we could not know until the following spring which of our reserved players would actually play with Union clubs, the better course to take would be to give notice of the substance of our intended action at that meeting—so that our reserved players might have due notice—but to defer the actual enactment of such a law to our spring meeting, when we would be in a better position to judge if the proposed enactment fully covered the ground, and could amend it if necessary. This course met the unanimous approval of cur convention. … The “Day Resolution” was subsequently adopted by both [the AA and NWL].

Source Sporing Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the history of the Staten Island club

Date Wednesday, May 9, 1888
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[from Chadwick's column]Among the regular amateur organizations of the Metropolis the most prominent is the Staten Island Cricket and Base Ball Association, which dates its birth from the Staten Island Cricket Club organization in 1872.This club was an off-shoot of the St. George Cricket Club, whose grounds have been at Hoboken for the past thirty years.A few of the old members—among them Mr. Cater—started a club at Staten Island, and out of this arose the present organization.The Sporting Life May 9, 1888[N.B. This club still exists as a cricket club.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the lemon peel cover named

Date Monday, July 9, 1888
Text

The design of cover now in universal use differs widely from the old “star” pattern. It consists of two strips of leather cut something like the figure 8, or even like the heelless sole of a baby's shoe. These, when laid over the sphere, exactly cover it and are more easily sewn together than any other pattern, and if the man who invented it had only patented his idea, he might have been reaping a fortune for his pains.

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the liquor privilege in Cincinnati

Date Wednesday, February 8, 1888
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“The bar privileges at the park will be let on one condition next season, and that is there is to be no liquor sold on Sunday. Any one securing the privilege must sign a contract to this effect.” --Cincinnati Commercial-Gazette. While the club is about it it might also prohibit the peddling of liquor in the grand stand. Association base ball will never be as high-toned as it should be until this nuisance is done away. If the spectators must drink let them do as they do in theatres—go out to the bar.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Baltimore grounds placed on hold

Date Sunday, February 5, 1888
Text

The Baltimore Club did a wise thing the past week by re-engaging the old grounds, and the announcement met with general approval. The new grounds are but a short distance from the one played on last year, but an impression, had prevailed that they were about a mile beyond, and some even went so far as to spread it around that they were at Waverly. Such is not the case. It was an impossibility to get the new grounds in proper shape for the coming season, although the management intended to attempt the feat. A number of workmen several months ago began to grade the grounds, but the heavy snows came on and stopped all work. The ground is now very muddy, and will not be in condition for rolling for a few months. Further, the manager showed his good judgment in holding on to the old grounds, when he took into consideration the car-line accommodations which exist now. Had the club been able to start the season on the new grounds, but one car line could be used, and it could please or displease the public as it chose. The far could be raised if it saw fit and a protest laughed at. Now, the Frick and Blue line have an equal chance to haul the passengers. In the course of the year these companies will, no doubt, work for an extension of their tracks and will run to the grounds, thus defeating monopoly and giving cheap transportation. Besides this advantage, the club will be out to little expense in fitting up the old grounds, and they will have a show to make some money. As soon as the winter is over an immense roller will be used to get the ground in a solid form, and special attention will be paid to the field.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new Boston pavilion

Date Friday, May 25, 1888
Text

The erection of a new grand stand or pavilion, to take the place of the structure that for years had served that purpose, had long been contemplated by Messrs. A. H. Soden, W. H. Conant and J. B. Billings, three gentlemen composing the board of directors, and principal owners of the stock, of the Boston Base Ball Club. Until recently it was not deemed feasible to commence the undertaking. It is true that the club has made a great deal of money in the past few seasons, but nowhere near so large an amount as has been credited to it by the general public and many newspapers. Still the public has supported the club most generously in the days of both defeat and victory. The seasons have been prosperous financially, and near the close of last year's playing season the directors of the club determined to carry out the desire they had long held of giving to the base ball public of this city and vicinity accommodations for witnessing the national game unexcelled in any other city in the country. A few weeks before the close of last season, Messrs. Conant and billings visited and inspected the new grand stand on the Philadelphia league grounds, and subsequently negotiations were opened with Architect John J. Deery of Philadelphia, who had designed the grand stand in the City of Brotherly Love, and, at the solicitation of the directors, he submitted plans for the new building, and they were accepted. The cost of the structure, the architect said, would not exceed $35,000. How, then, may be inquired, does it happen that the actual cost is reported at $70,000? This can best be answered, perhaps, by the architect, and perhaps not. The fact remains, however, that the directors have been put to the expense indicated by the last sum. When the Boston gentlemen opened the bids for the construction of the building, they found that the lowest bid for doing the carpenter, iron and mason work was $55,000, or $20,000 more than they originally contemplated. This did not include the seating of the pavilion or the architect's commissions. Long and earnestly did the Boston directors discuss this new turn in affairs. The idea of abandoning the plan of having a new stand was not entertained for a moment; the question was whether they should proceed according to the plans already before them, or should they pay Mr. Deery his bill, secure new plans, and erect a less expensive building...

Source Boston Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the old $2,000 limit abolished

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[reporting on the arbitration committee meeting 11/30/1888] The National Agreement was then taken up and the changes in the agreement, made necessary by the League's adoption of the graded salary plan, were made. They relate to the approval of contracts and salary limit. The latter was abolished and clubs are permitted to make their own compensation.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pitcher covering the ball in his delivery

Date Wednesday, February 22, 1888
Text

[from Questions Answered] After complying with the rule in respect to position, he can, while in the act of pulling back his arm, preparatory to delivering the ball, cover it with both hands. In fact, it is necessary for the pitcher to do this, else he could not get command of the ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the potato trick

Date Wednesday, December 5, 1888
Text

[from Questions Answered] There is a runner on first base and the pitcher is in his box. The latter throws a potato over the first baseman's head. The runner, thinking it was the ball, starts for second and is touched by the pitcher, who runs over to the line with the ball in his hand. Is the runner out? … Answer-- Yes, he is out. The base-runners must be on the alert for such tricks. This is on a par with that old chestnut of a baseman hiding the ball, the pitcher getting into position and the runner, thinking the man in the box has the ball, leaves his base and is touched out. In the absence of a rule prohibiting such trickery the umpire has no other alternative but to give the runner out as soon as he is touched with the ball when not on a base.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the pregame exchange of score cards

Date Sunday, April 8, 1888
Text

[from the AA instructions to umpires] The score card agreed upon by the two captains and handed to the umpire before the games begin, is to be regarded as the ‘score’ referred to in the rule giving the order of batting, and this cannot be changed except a player becomes disabled by illness or injury, so as to cause him to retire from the contest.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the prospect of Cleveland jumping to the League

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
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[from the Louisville correspondent] Right here I would like to say a few things about Cleveland. I think that the Cleveland officials are very much disappointed because those of the other clubs have not been tearing their hair and rushing around, begging them not to desert them. There has been no haste to lasso the Cleveland Club and drag it back into the Association. Consequently the Clevelanders will stay of their own accord. If Cleveland wants to go out of the American Association, for heaven's sake let her go. There are a number of better ball cities conveniently located. Cleveland is now the poorest ball town in the Association. She has a set of directors who are continually kicking and saying what they would do in the League. Let 'em go to the League, and take Brunell and all their other baggage with them—that is, if the League would have them, which I doubt exceedingly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the scorecard privilege in Chicago

Date Wednesday, February 15, 1888
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] I met him [Fred Pfeffer] at the Grand Opera House the other evening for a moment and asked him what the outlook was for the score card privileges this year. “First rate,” was the reply. “I have only made a preliminary skirmish since I closed the contract with Mr. Spalding and I have already secured over $2,000 for the season. I shall remain here for a week or ten days to continue at work upon the card, and from present prospects I should say that I will have a rattling good thing in it.” Pfeffer has a good address, is a good talker and very widely known here, so that I think under his management the score card should prove a source of increased revenue to the club, and of a very neat little income to the second baseman himself.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the status of the AA New York franchise; Kansas City

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 3/5] The Kansas City delegation made a brave battle to have their franchise made unlimited and perpetual, instead of from year to year, as it is now, but the Association rejected their appeals and determined to maintain the franchise in New York City, despite the published opinions to the effect that the franchise had lapsed. In pursuance of this determination the following resolutions, offered by Mr. Phelps, were adopted:

Whereas, Because of the inability of the Metropolitan Base Ball Club to secures grounds on which ti play during the season of 1888, they have been compelled to temporarily suspend play, and whereas there is much surmise and speculation in the community as to the intention of the Metropolitan Club in reference to its its remaining located in New York City, be it therefore

Resolied, That the American Association hereby publicly avows and declares that it is their purpose and intention to continue the Metropolitan Base Ball Club in New York City and that while the said corporation remain shall located in said city still leave is given the company to discontinue the play of games temporarily until some suitable grounds can be obtained on which to play its games; that there is no purpose or intention of abandoning or relinquishing their franchise and right to play in said territory, and that said club shall be and is allowed further time to procure grounds and arrange to play, when a schedule will be so arranged as to allow them to take part in the contests for the championship.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ticket scalping

Date Thursday, July 5, 1888
Text

President Spalding caused the arrest of two ticket speculators outside the grounds before the morning game and had them locked up for violating an ordinance which prohibits the selling of tickets on the street.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tie goes to the runner 2

Date Sunday, April 8, 1888
Text

[from the AA instructions to umpires] The umpire must call the man running to first base safe, if he gets to the base at the same time the ball is held on the base. The ball must be held by the base player before the runner reaches it to declare him out.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tie goes to the runner 3

Date Tuesday, April 10, 1888
Text

[instructions from Wikoff to the AA umpires] Favoring the ball in base-running—The umpire must call the man running to first base safe if he gets to the base at the same time the ball is held on the base. The ball must be held by the base-player before the runner reaches it to declare him out.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

transferring regular season games to better paying cities

Date Wednesday, September 26, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] It is not probable that many more games will be played here this season. In most instances the club fails to draw the guarantee, and the manager wisely transfers what contests he can to other cities whenever tempting terms are offered.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

triumvirs sole owners of the Boston Club

Date Tuesday, November 20, 1888
Text

Soden, Conant and Billings are now the sole owners of the Boston Base Ball Club, having secured possession of the only outstanding share of the stock. Chicago Inter Ocean November 20, 1888

a proposal to eliminate the foul fly out

[editorial matter] ...the abolition of the foul put-out would... add to the batting very materially be decreasing the chances for outs, increasing the chances for hits, and, by removing the fear of foul tips and flies at critical periods, promote freer hitting. The foul put-out is an anomaly, and should be sent to keep the foul bound catch and other old-time absurdities company in limbo. It is altogether illogical and unsatisfactory, vexatious and unjust, to the batsman to permit a put-out on a batted ball on which neither a base can be gained, a base-runner advanced nor a run scored, everything going for nothing except the accidental tip or fly. The foul put-out simply punishes the batsman for attempting to hit the ball, adds to the fielder's already large proportion of chances, and incidentally increases the chances for errors without compensating chances for the batsman. The Sporting Life November 21, 1888

Source Chicago Inter Ocean
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

twenty-five cent boys' admission NL Philly

Date Wednesday, June 6, 1888
Text

Boys under 15 years of age are admitted to the Philadelphia grounds for 25 cents, but only at the gate Fifteenth and Lehigh avenue. This rule went into effect Decoration Day.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two kinds of balks

Date Sunday, April 8, 1888
Text

[from the AA instructions to umpires] Not only does the base runner on a base take a base on an illegal delivery of the ball to the bat, but the batsman also; and in case ll the bases are occupied, or only third base, a run is scored by such a balk. But when an ordinary balk–not involving the delivery of the ball–is made, in such case only base runners take bases and not the batsman.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two umpire system too expensive

Date Wednesday, September 26, 1888
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] I asked President Young to-day if the seeming success of the double-umpire system, as tried in a few of the League cities during the latter half of the season, would lead to its adoption by the League for next year. “Oh, no!” he replied, “It is too expensive. What we want and need is one good umpire for every game, and he can do all that two can.

Source The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two umpires in a League game

Date Wednesday, July 18, 1888
Text

[New York vs. Chicago 7/17/1888] Owing to the disgraceful scenes on the ball field during the other two games, it was agreed to try the double umpire system. Ex-Umpire Powers of the Western Association and ex-league Umpire Furlong were chosen, and while they erred in some cases there was much less fault finding than before.

In the double umpire system the umpire alternate after every inning. One would attend to the bases while the other would call balls and strikes.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two umpires in a minor league game

Date Wednesday, June 27, 1888
Text

The double umpire system was tried at St. Paul, Minn., June 11, in the game between the St. Paul and Minneapolis teams. It was the first time it was ever tried in that city, and it gave satisfaction.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two umpires in a regular season game; authority to forfeit

Date Wednesday, September 19, 1888
Text

[New York vs. Chicago 9/12/1888] In the forfeited game two umpires—Powers and Daniels—officiated, and on this Manager Mutrie based a loop-hole for escape from the consequences of his captain's act [refusing to play after the fifth inning claiming injury]--a heavy fine. Mutrie set up the claim that Powers was not authorized to act in the disputed game, and therefore could not legally forfeit it. Mr. Spalding thereupon telegraphed President Young, of the League, asking what instruction he had issued to Powers and Daniels. The following reply was received Thursday:

"Your telegram received. It is not necessary for me to issue any further orders to Daniels or Powers. They were instructed to umpire in Chicago until otherwise instructed, and are now simply obeying orders... "

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

two umpires in the Philadelphia exhibition games

Date Wednesday, April 18, 1888
Text

The opening game of the spring series for the local championship was played at the Athletic ground, Monday, April 9, before 5,083 people. … The double-umpire scheme was tried. Doescher, of the American Association staff, gave the home-plate decision, while Daniels, of the League looked out for the bases.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tyng gives an account of the invention of the mask

Date Sunday, March 18, 1888
Text

[from a letter by Tyng] Catching in those days was no child's play. It was the time of swift underhand throwing, and severe accidents were not uncommon. In the fall of 1876 Thatcher left college and Fred Thayer, the captain of the nine, wanted me to fill his position regularly on the nine. To this my family was strongly opposed, and I told Thayer I would not be allowed to catch unless he could get up some protection for the face, and suggested that a mask somewhat in the nature of a fencing mask might answer the purpose.

Thayer accepted the suggestion, went to a wiremaker in Boston and between them they evolved the first mask ever used on a ball field, and on which Thayer tool out a patent.

A few tests made in the gymnasium showed that although large and unwieldy, it was a perfect protection. In appearance it looked very much like a bird cage, and bore as near a resemblance to the mask now in use as the first steam engine to the one of the present day.

When it made its first appearance on the field it was a subject of great amusement and ridicule to the “bleaching board” element, and all such guys as “mad dog” and “muzzle 'em” were very frequent whenever I went up behind the bat; while on the part of the opposing players I was subjected to good natured though somewhat derisive pity.

For the first year, if I remember rightly, hardly any one beside myself used the mask, but broken noses and damages eyes soon brought conviction that catching behind steel bars was preferable to unnecessarily exposing one's features to a target for erratic foul tips, and the general adoption of the mask was the consequence.

Source Chicago Inter Ocean
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

types of slides

Date Sunday, May 27, 1888
Text

The favorite system of going to a base in the association is the head long slide, though some men slide feet first and are very successful. Faatz is one of them. He throws his feet into the base and his body outside the line. The advantages of the headfirst slide are, ability to side outside and back of the line so as to avoid the sweeping touch of the baseman and still get the hands on the base; ability to reach the base after missing it on the slide; ability to stop at a given point, the hands acting as an anchor or brake; ability to deceive the umpire, that official being to wobble on a hand than on a foot contact with the base.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind second base

Date Wednesday, July 4, 1888
Text

Umpire John Kelly has improved upon Gaffney's method of umpiring from behind the pitcher and actually judges balls and strikes from behind second base, with men are on bases. He says that he can judge balls and strikes just as well from that position without running the risk of interfering with the catcher's throwing to the infielders. Pitchers Carey and Welch back up Kelly's claims.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the catcher and foul tips

Date Tuesday, September 4, 1888
Text

[Louisville vs. Cleveland 9/3/1888] One of the weak spots of the umpiring behind the pitcher system was shown up in the third inning when Cook plainly foul tipped out. But Mr. Ferguson called it a strike. Cleveland Plain Dealer September 4, 1888

[Baltimore vs. Cleveland 9/14/1888] In the eighth inning Snyder fouled out to O’Brien, but Doescher, who was back of the pitcher, did not hear the tip and declared it a strike in spite of the protests of the visitors. Cleveland Plain Dealer September 15, 1888

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the pitcher 5

Date Wednesday, May 2, 1888
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent] He [umpire Gaffney] occupies the usual position when none are on bases, but the moment a player reaches first he stations himself behind the pitcher. He is then in a favorable position to watch the movements of the pitcher, the position of the ball when it passes over the plate, and to be at either base by a short spring whenever the ball is thrown there. When a play takes place at a base he is actually on the spot, and is almost infallible in decisions at that place of most contention, second base. There is actually no cause for a murmur of disapproval from spectators, and indeed, you see there is none, for the very fact of the umpire's being immediately at the point where the play is made is convincing that he has the best means of deciding the result of it. If this feature is adopted by all the umpires, it will be very much better for themselves, the public, the players and the game. The Sporting Life May 2, 1888

The system was tried by Mr. Gaffney in the South last spring, and in the recent Baltimore-Brooklyn-Cleveland series, and Messrs. Byrne, Barnie, Williams and Von der Ahe unite in pronouncing it the best system of umpiring ever devised, and superior even to the two-umpire system—which received such a satisfactory trial in the last world's championship series—in that the expense is less, there is no divided authority and the results are equally good. In addition to the testimony of the above gentlemen, must be added that of the press and public, wherever the system has been tried, that it is a revelation in umpiring. With such testimony in its favor, there is every reason why the new method should receive a thorough trial at the hands of all the umpires of the Association, and the officials of that body are acting wisely in the step they have taken. All the clubs should, and doubtless will, sign the request. The Sporting Life May 9, 1888

Umpire Lon Knight, of the New England League, and umpire McDermott, of the Tri-State League, have adopted Gaffney's style of umpiring from behind the pitcher. The Sporting Life May 9, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire behind the pitcher and the two umpire system

Date Sunday, May 20, 1888
Text

[from Caylor’s letter] There is some talk just now of adopting the umpiring system of standing in the center of the diamond. I don’t think it will ever come into general use. It was tried before Gaffney gave it his sanction. Kelly made several attempts at it and in every case it proved unsatisfactory. The true system and that which is bound to come in time is the double system–one umpire to call balls and strikes and decisions at the home plate, and one just outside of the diamond to give base decisions. Kelly told me in Chicago last fall a year ago that he was satisfied it was the true system and would come into use. I don’t believe he has changed his opinion since that time. During the session of the joint rule committee at the Tremont House in Chicago not long afterward I had a talk with Charley Comiskey. He was urging the adoption of a rule providing for the double umpire policy. Said he to me after the committee had adjourned “I want to see that come to pass because I believe in base running. There is nothing so discouraging to a player or anything that will so soon break p his daring base running as to make a good slide into second base at the cost of skinned hands, torn uniform and the endangering of his limbs, and then to be called out by an umpire sixty or a hundred feet away, while the second baseman did not come within a foot of him. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette May 20, 1888

a pick off throw to the right fielder

One of the cleverest tricks that have been played in an Association game this season was by McCarthy, the right fielder of the St. Louis Browns. It was in one of the Kansas City games, and the Cowboys had two men on the bases, and no one out. Big Jim Davis was at first and Barkley was at second. Comiskey was playing well off the bases, and Davis, feeling secure, took a strong lead toward second. McCarthy, as the scheme had been previously arranged, was signaled by the catcher to come in, and he quickly covered first base. When the pitcher returned to throw to McCarthy, Davis realized that he had been trapped and before he could recover from his surprise he was put out. Barkley, taking in the situation at a glance, started for third and was thrown out, thus allowing a double play to be worked. The next batter lined the ball out for two bases, which might easily have scored the two base runners. Cincinnati Commercial Gazette May 20, 1888

Arthur Whitney, the well-known third-baseman, is in a peculiar position. He is under reserve to the Pittsburg Club, which club will neither sign nor release him [N.B. Whitney was holding out for more money] and which substantially traded him to Detroit for pitcher Gruber and then repudiated its bargain. It appears that President Nimick, of Pittsburg, gave a written agreement to the Detroit directors to exchange on even terms. Detroit thereupon negotiated with Whitney. He wanted $2,500 for the season. Detroit offered him $2,100. Whitney agreed to the terms. Then Phillips came to Detroit and negotiated with Gruber. The colt wanted $2,000. Phillips was inclined to close everything when somebody told Phillips that Gruber had a lame arm, whereupon Phillips declared the deal off unless Detroit would pay a good round sum for Whitney, and returned to Pittsburg. Gruber, however, had no lame arm at all, and the Detroit directors were amazed at Pittsburg's action, and were at first inclined to sue Nimick for breach of contract or else lay the matter before the Board of Arbitration, but finally concluded to drop the matter.

The unfortunate player, Whitney, however, who had in the meantime gone all the way to Detroit to report, was not icnlined to let the matter drop and have all his trouble for nothing, and has announced his intention of holding the Detroit Club to the payment of his salary. Whitney left Lowell for Detroit at the instance of the managers of that club, who paid his expenses. The Detroit management accepted his terms of $2,500 per year, and ordered him to report for duty. Whitney obeyed, and was then told he was not needed. He has reported for duty every day and claims his salary, and will bring suit if refused.

When Mr. Nimick was informed of Whitneys' resolve and the ground he took he was considerably surprised. “That is a new point in base ball law,” said he. “I wonder if Whitney has any case? I suppose if he has it is through some of Watkins' fine work. The deal for the exchange of Whitney was simply this. We were to exchange Whitney for Gruber. We could not make terms with Gruber and it fell through. Then Detroit telegraphed here and wanted to know our cash price for Whitney. We answered $3,000, and since have had no work with them.”

While the New Yorks were in Pittsburg last wee Ward, of the Brotherhood, was quiestioned as to Whitney's claim. Said he:--”White is an innocent party, and the law, if he cares to invoke it,w ill compel the Detroit Club to carry out its contract. The National Agreement, of which the reserve rule is a part, will not hold in law, and when the Michigan club offered him $2,500 unconditionally, and he accepted the same way, the player can hold the club for the salary offered, especially if he reports for duty, as has Whitney.” The Detroit Club may be able to redress its complaint against Pittsburg, but certainly Whitney has a equitable claim against the Detroits for $2,500. Mr. Whitney is not a member of our Brotherhood, and we can take no action in the matter. Just the same, he is a ball player and our interests are in common.”

A prominent Pittsburg lawyer, who is somewhat a base ball enthusiast, said Friday concerning the Whitney contract:--”Whitney's contract, if such a thing exists with Detroit, was condition, and Whitney went to Detroit knowing that fact, as he is a aware of the National Agreement, [illegible] is governed by certain rules, regulations and by-laws. He knew, or ought to have known, all these regulations, and he further knew, as a member of the League, that he could not make a valid contract with Detroit until his contract with Pittsburg was legally terminated by an unconditional release. There is but little doubt that all ball players in the League are subject and must be governed by the rules, regulations and by-laws of the organization which are reasonable and not against public policy or do not infringe upon a personal right. Mr. Whitney entered the League fully cognizant of all these facts, and must therefore be considered as having accepted all the conditions imposed thereby. Whitney, therefore, cannot legally make a contract with Detroit.” The Sporting Life May 23, 1888

[from the Haverhill correspondent] Mr. Whitney claims that he has been the victim of a conspiracy; that he is prevented from engaging in his profession, and, in other words, that the Pittsburg management have boycotted him, and he proposes to sue them for damages, and in the judgment of the best lawyers in this section he has a very good case. Base ball laws are notoriously not good laws... The Sporting Life June 6, 1888 [N.B. Whitney subsequently was traded to and signed with New York.]

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire chest protector

Date Tuesday, July 24, 1888
Text

Since he was hit by a vicious foul tip at Chicago Lynch wars a protector across his chest.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpires empowered to eject players

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

[reporting the NL meeting 11/21-22] Umpires will only be allowed to fine players from $5 to $25, but if a player should grow abusive the umpire can order him to retire and call another player.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpires' uniforms 2

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[reporting on the AA special meeting 3/5] In regard to , it was decided that the umpires be allowed to select their own uniform. It need be of no particular style as long as it is neat.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpiring from behind the pitcher

Date Wednesday, August 22, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column][interviewing Fred Goldsmith, AA substitute umpire] Accustomed as he was to the occupancy of the pitcher's box and to seeing umpires do their work for years, he thought it would be a comparatively easy task to discharge the duties of the position, but his practical experience during the past month of service opened his eyes to some facts in umpiring of which he was not previously aware. I asked him about his experience in judging balls and strikes from the position behind the pitcher, and he said he could judge as to both more accurately than from behind the bat, owing to his pitching experience, but that he could not judge foul balls so well there as from behind the bat.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

upward pressure on salaries

Date Sunday, November 18, 1888
Text

When a player paid a reasonable sum, hears of the princely salary that Boston and Brooklyn have pledged certain men it is but natural that he should be discontented at receiving a third of the amount. Players who, a year ago, were drawing salaries of $1,200, now demand double the amount.

Source Cincinnati Commercial Gazette
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

villainous howling coaching

Date Sunday, July 22, 1888
Text

[Baltimore vs. Cleveland 7/21/1888] The villainous yells Burns and Tucker during the sixth inning should not have been allowed. There is a great difference between coaching and mere howling and Umpire Doescher should protect the public against any such exhibitions in the future. Cleveland has no use for such ball playing.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe charges Byrne with tampering

Date Sunday, August 5, 1888
Text

[from a letter from Byrne to Wikoff dated July 31, 1888] During and subsequent to the recent ivist of the Brooklyn club to St. Louis to play there its regular scheduled games, the prominent journals of that city published statements and charges openly and publicly made by Mr. C. Von der Ahe, the president of the St. Louis club, that I as president of the Brooklyn base ball association had tampered with one of the players of the St. Louis team, viz., Mr. James O’Neil; in other words, that I had been endeavoring to make him dissatisfied with his position in the St. Louis club by tempting offers in the Brooklyn team and had thereby caused him to neglect his work and play negligently so as to secure his release. Furthermore it was charged that I had influenced Mr. Robert Ferguson, one of the official umpires of the association, to prostitute his position for the benefit of the Brooklyn club and to the direct damage of the St. Louis club. At first, I deemed these emanations merely the result of pique and disappointment resulting from the St. Louis club suffering defeat at the hands of the Brooklyn team, and I bore the charges in silence if not in patience. I find, however, the are being constantly reiterated until now my patience is exhausted and further silence must needs imply a sense of guilt. The notoriety these charges has achieved renders it proper that the American association should take steps promptly to investigate them. The faith of the public and the press in the integrity of the national game cannot long be maintained if charges of this nature can be made against any person identified with it and remain unanswered or uninvestigated. Cleveland Plain Dealer August 5, 1888

[reporting the AA special meeting of 8/7] Mr. Byrne admitted that one of his players with his (Byrne’s) knowledge had written to O’Neill that in case he should be released by St. Louis the Brooklyn club would like to engage him. This communication he said was sent to O’Neill after the Brooklyn club had heard reports that the St. Louis club contemplated releasing that player and was not done with the intention of inducing O’Neill to leave the St. Louis club. A resolution was adopted declaring that Mr. Byrne had been indiscreet in communicating with O’Neill instead of the St. Louis management and the matter was then dropped. Cleveland Plain Dealer August 8, 1888

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe proposes a tour to Australia

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[from an interview of Von der Ahe] after having looked the ground over, I have about concluded that a trip to Australia would be a better one than a trip to England. The winters there are open and we could play the game all the season around. My idea would be to start from here at the close of the regular season, visiting the leading cities of the South and Mexico, and then go on to San Francisco, stopping a various points en route. From San Francisco we would go by steamer to Australia. Such a trip would introduce the game to thousands who have never yet seen it. The Sporting Life March 14, 1888, quoting the St.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe the AA chairman; the AA considers the Brush plan

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 12/5-12/6/1888] On Thursday the Association reassembled, and the work of revising the constitution was taken up after Mr. Von der Ahe had been elected to the chairmanship. The principal change considered was that providing for a graded salary and limit similar to that adopted by the League at its recent meeting. The subject was discussed for several hours. The good points were described, and the criticisms of the press on the matter were submitted. The most favorable point that struck the Association was that portion of the rule relating to the purchase of players from the minor leagues. It was decided finally to refer the salary matter to the gentlemen composing the Board of Arbitration—Messrs. Byrne, Stern and Krauthoff. They were authorized to act as a confederation committee, to report on the plan modified after the League scheme. This report is to be made at the spring meeting of the Association, to be held in Columbus on March 12. The committee on salary and codification have plans, and they are authorized to consult with the League managers regarding any improvement in the scheme. The idea is to make the salary limit more binding, and to have no loophole for getting around it. By referring the matter to a committee the Association hope to formulate a plan that will be superior to the League. The committee also expects to reap some advantage from the action of the League clubs and players during the winter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward advocates moving the pitcher back

Date Wednesday, September 26, 1888
Text

[from a communication from Ward] The ... proposition, which would remove the pitcher further from the batter, is to my mind the best yet offered. I wish distinctly to disclaim its authorship, which has been attributed to me. I do not know how first suggested it. It has doubtless suggested itself to many different persons, because it is at the same time the most natural, the simplest and the most efficacious solution of the difficulty. Under the oldtime slow pitching the distance was fortyfive feet; yet now, with the speed twice as great, it is only fifty feet. A further increase is advocated by Harry Wright, Anson, Robert Ferguson, Clarkson and many other careful observers. Anson thinks the pitcher should be placed in the middle of the diamond, which would remove him about thirteen feet farther away than at present. I believe, however, we should begin with five feet. It is only necessary to increase the batting about 20 per cent. If this distance does not effect the desired increase, lengthen the distance again in 1890, but for the present make it fiftyfive instead of fifty feet.

This change would not only help the batting but, incidentally, it would relieve two other difficulties and be of great benefit to the game.

In the first place it would make the catcher’s work easier. To catch a swift pitcher at fifty feet is hard enough, but when, in addition, he is wild, as many are and always will be, the difficulty and danger of the undertaking is greatly increased.

In the second place, it would free the batter form much danger. Standing before a swift pitcher, expecting a ball on the plate, it requires the liveliest kind of dodging to escape a ball pitched at the body. Only one who has been hit can appreciate the force of the blow. Five players killed outright and a number seriously injured is the record already for this season, though among the killed have been no professionals, owing to the fact either that we are more skillful in getting out of the way or that our heads are harder; yet a number of professionals have been seriously and dangerously hurt. If anyone thinks the five extra feet would make but little difference let him try facing a swift pitcher at the two distances and he will see his mistake.

The objection advanced that the increased distance would make it impossible for the catcher to throw a runner out at second is untenable. The only loss of time would be that required by the ball to pass through the extra five feet, and, at the speed with which it is thrown, this would be insignificant. And it would be more than compensated for by two other facts. The pitcher would be in a much better position to watch the runner and hold him close to the first base and the catcher would handle the ball more quickly and safely on account of the better view he would be able to get of it.

It is also said that any increase of the distance would make the strain upon the pitcher too great. It would do nothing of the sort. The pitcher throws the ball now with all his force, and he could do no more if he were placed 100 feet away. Moreover, if brute force should, as I fancy, be at a less premium he would employ less speed and more skill and the strain would really be lightened.

Another absurd objection is that it would rob a pitcher of much of his skill. As though such a thing were possible! Skill is a product of the mind, and you can no more rob a man of his skill than you can change the texture of his brain. You may render that skill less effective, but in this instance that is the end sought.

Source Cleveland Plain Dealer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward on 'baseball law' and reserve rule

Date October 1888
Text

The general public may not know that there is a law in this land higher than the common law. “Base-ball law” is a law unto itself, and so reckless have these legislators become, in the undisputed exercise of their powers, that they make but little pretense to conformation with the rules laid down by courts of law and equity. It do not wish to be understood as denouncing the National Agreement, or even its most radical feature, the reservation of players. Base-ball owes much to its restraining influence upon the piratical tendencies of club managers. I speak only of its abuses and the methods by which it is sought to visit the sins of these managers upon the heads of the players. “Our National Game” by John Montgomery Ward, The Cosmopolitan Vol V No 6, October 1888, pp.

Source “Our National Game by John Montgomery Ward, The Cosmopolitan Vol V No 6
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward on player sales

Date October 1888
Text

In justice to the principle of reservation, it should be added that, originally, it contemplated no such mercenary application, but that this feature has been tacked on or rather developed by the cupidity of the club managers. The justification offered, that the sale can not be effectuated, without the consent of the player himself, is no justification at all. A man who is dissatisfied with a club, or who, for any reason, wishes to make a change, may be willing to consent to almost anything if that consent is the only way in which he can accomplish the change. So also, the assertion that the player is always benefited by an increase of salary, though not necessarily true, would only prove the injustice of his former reservation, by showing that the selling club had paid him a less salary than he was really worth. The reserve rule was made that a club might retain its players, not that it might sell the. It never contemplated the creation of such a right, and its prostitution to such a vile purpose, more than anything else, has served to bring the rule itself into disrepute. It is wrong in principle, a reflection on the framers of the rule, an insult to decent players and a dishonor to our national sport. “Our National Game” by John Montgomery Ward, The Cosmopolitan Vol V No 6, October 1888, pp.

Source “Our National Game by John Montgomery Ward, The Cosmopolitan Vol V No 6
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward on salary negotiations

Date Wednesday, April 18, 1888
Text

[from an open letter by Ward] The New York Club holds me on its 'reserve' list and the National Agreement between all club managers prevents me from engaging with any other club. I am completely in the power of the New York Club, and must sign at the figures it offers or be disbarred entirely from a livelihood at my profession of ball playing. In view of thee facts, do you think my position favorable for a 'strike?' And as between the New York Club and myself, do you consider it especially entitled to your sympathy? There is no monopoly in the world more exclusive than base ball, and yet this club appeals to you. I have made no demand upon the New York Club because this implies some power of enforcement and of this I have absolutely none. I have simply stated the salary which I think my services worth, and I have told them I should entertain no hard feelings should they decide that I am asking too much. If the New York Club will grant me an unconditional release from its 'reserve,' I will find another club willing to pay a fair sum for that release, perhaps as much as was ever paid in a similar transaction, and in addition I will give the New York Club $1,000 of my first season's salary. Do you believe now that I am 'imposing' or asking anything that is unfair? But the New York Club says it cannot pay the salaries asked in justice to its other players. What subterfuge! The club itself is responsible for making these matters known. But, even so, there is not a player on the team who would begrudge another a dollar received more than himself or play one whit less earnestly on that account. Each of them knows too well the disadvantageous position which the player occupies in a matter of this kind.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward on the $2000 limit

Date Thursday, February 9, 1888
Text

President John Ward of the Ball-Players' Brotherhood has taken up the salary problem with Fred Carroll's case as an example, and writes as follows from California:

“The league seems to have met some difficulty in carrying into effect one of the—to the player—most important clauses of the new contract. Ia am informed that Carroll of Pittsburg received a communication from President Nimick asking his signature to a contract for $2,500, offering to pay him the balance of his salary as an advance, and alleging as a reason for this request that President Young would refuse to promulgate a contract calling for any sum in excess of $2,000. Either I have been misinformed or there is some misunderstanding on Mr. Nimick's part. It was perfectly understood between the league and the brotherhood committee that Paragraph 1, under Sec., 18, contemplated the insertion in the contract of the full amount of salary to be received, and when the league committee's work was accepted by the league that was the virtual repeal, so far as the league and its players are concerned, of the so-called $2,000 limit rule.

“There was one set of cases spoken of in which it was understood an exception was to be made and the entire sum paid to the player not inserted. Those were the cases in which players were signed with some outside association, in which cases, it was claimed by the league committee, it was always necessary to pay the player a larger sum the first season than he was really worth because a part was in reality a bonus to him for the right of reservation acquired over him.

“The association refused the league's request to repeal the $2,000 limit rule, but it is scarcely credible that the latter would offer this as a pretext for failing to keep its compact with its players. There has never been among the clubs, even from the first, the slightest pretension to keeping the rule, and its continued existence is one of the absurdities of base-ball law. Inasmuch as the meaning of the section was thoroughly understood at the time of its adoption, and the league afterwards acted upon that understanding, and since the brotherhood has not been officially notified in any way that any difficulty has arisen, I am much inclined to believe that President Nimick was laboring under a mistaken impression.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward on the Brotherhood contract and the $2,000 rule

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

[from a letter from Ward][regarding a meeting at the League spring meeting] There was no attempt on the part of the League committee (which was the same that originally met the Brotherhood committee when the contract was agreed upon) to deny the understanding had had concerning paragraph 18. they claimed, however, that the action of the American Association prevented this being carried into effect; that is, it is not allowable by the National Agreement to promise [illegible] calling for more than two thousand dollars. Convinced that an effort had been made in good faith to have the limit rule suspended, the Brotherhood committee made no further attempt to press that point because of the apparent impossibility of gaining the consent of the Association. The committee then sought some other means by which the same end might be reached, and the result was the following understanding with the League:

The player shall not be reserved at a figure less than that mentioned in paragraph 18 of the contract; and as this portion of the new contract does not take effect until signed, this paragraph will operate for the first time upon the reservations of next fall. But by the “limit rule” the sum named in the paragraph can not exceed $2,000, so that if the player is to receive more than that sum he must provide for the balance in a side contract. In order that the player might not be reserved for 1889 at a salary less than that received for 1888, the Brotherhood committee asked the League that in all cases where such side contracts were made they should agree to continue the bonuses therein provided for, as a condition precedent to the exercise of the right of reservation. This would have reached the same result as originally intended by paragraph 18, but this the League committeemen refused to do. They had no doubt, they said, that in certain cases certain clubs might be willing to do this, but they were unwilling to agree that all clubs should do this in every case. Inasmuch as the original intent of the contract was that eery player might insist upon the insertion of the entire salary in the contract, and this was accepted by the League, their refusal here was a clear repudiation of the former obligations. The fact that the obligation was not enforceable in the particular manner originally contemplated did not in any wise relieve the League from the moral duty to abide by it, so long as the same result could be reached in another way. The insistence by all players upon the statement of the entire salary in the contract would no doubt have had a tendency to lower salaries. Realizing that the figures named in the contracts for 1888 would be thereby perpetuated, no club would have been willing to commit itself to a heavy list, and for this reason the Brotherhood committee made less effort to secure this as an absolute right of the player than it otherwise might have done. From a pecuniary point of view, the players will profit by the League's refusal, though the manner of doing it is unbusinesslike and farcical. To agree in one contract to receive a certain sum for salary and in another contemporaneous contract to receive another sum for an old pair of shoes, or as a “bonus,” or “advance,” when every one knows the two sums together are meant as salary, is repugnant to common sense and the instincts of open dealing. But, thanks to Mr. Phelps, this must be the procedure for another year. Though several of the local papers, before the meting, spoke of “the fight between the League and Brotherhood,” “the Brotherhood's ultimatum,” &c., there was no trouble of any kind. Since that eventful evening last fall, when the moguls with closed eyes and at one gulp swallowed the pill of recognition, there has been no semblance of a fight. The players have asked only what was fair and this the League has readily granted. The few points of difference were settled in a spirit of mutual concession, as is meet and proper between two parties whose interests are practically the same. Each learned something of the grievances of the other and both will be better for the knowledge gained.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward sold to Washington

Date Wednesday, November 28, 1888
Text

New York, Nov. 23, 1888.--The following agreement has been entered into this day between the Metropolitan Exhibition Company, of New York, party of the first part, and the Washington Base Ball Association, party of the second part: The party of the first part agrees to release John Montgomery Ward to the party of the second part for the consideration of $12,000, to be paid to the party of the first part on the signing of the said Ward. In consideration of $1 received by me this day the above agreement shall hold good. {Signed} John B. Day, President Metropolitan Exhibition Company. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

[from R. J. Larner's column] A letter has been addressed to Mr. Ward at Sidney, Australia, setting forth in detail Mr. Hewitt's proposition. This communication I was permitted to see before it started on its voyage to the other side of the world. It was couched in comprehensive language and gives Mr. Ward a thorough understanding of what he may expect, and what will be expected of him if he will consent to joint the Washington Club next season. The communication referred to will probably reach Sidney as soon, if not in advance, of the Australian party. The Sporting Life December 5, 1888

` Chadwick recodified the rules

[reporting on the joint rules committee meeting 11/19/1888] Mr. Byrne, during the meeting, called attention to the fact that he had before him a new classification of the rules which embodied a much-needed reform in the codifying of the playing rules, and he stated that this important work had been performed voluntarily in the furtherance of the interests of the game, by Mr. Chadwick. President Young also endorsed this desired improvement in the code, a copy of which had been sent him by Mr. Chadwick. When the new codifying of the rules came up for approval it was unanimously endorsed by the committee and a vote of thanks was tendered Mr. Chadwick for his work, which had occupied him nearly a week to prepare. The Sporting Life November 28, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward supports the reserve

Date Wednesday, October 10, 1888
Text

[from an interview of John Ward] That late story published about the Brotherhood going to knock out the reserve rule was all bosh. I have no idea how it originated. While clauses in the rule might be erased with benefit to both players and clubs, it would not be wise to abolish the rule as a whole. It is one of those necessary evils, you know.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ward wants his release

Date Wednesday, October 31, 1888
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I had a long chat with John Ward, and he told me that he had had a talk with Mr. Day about his future work on the field, and that he had claimed from Mr. Day his promise to release him if the club won the pennant this year. This promise Mr. Day has reluctantly fulfilled, and Boston will be the scene of John's field wok in 1889, that is if satisfactory arrangements can be concluded, and these include an iron-clad contract, giving him entire control of the team, or he will not take charge of it. With such a team as Boston will control in 1889, and with Ward as its captain-manager—John does not want to have anything to do with the business department—if Boston does not win the pennant next year then they never will again.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington Club finances, ownership

Date Wednesday, October 31, 1888
Text

[reporting on a meeting of the Washington Club directors 10/25] Secretary Burket submitted a statement of the club's financial afairs, showing that the expenses during the past season exceeded the receipts by something like $5,000. President Hewitt stated that he was anxious to give Washington a first-class team for next season, and it would be necessary to expend about $20,000 to carry out the idea. He said he was willing to put up half that amount, or perhaps all of it, provided he could get control of the entire stock. After a lengthy discussion all of the present stockholders were induced to give Mr. Hewitt an otpion on their holdings, which amounts toa bout $4,500. It is probable that theyw ill retire from the club, leaving MR. Hewitt sole proprietor of the franchise and all that goes with it. The Sporting Life October 31, 1888

NL exhibitions on Sunday

[editorial matter] The Chicago base ball team and the All-American base ball team, composed of players picked from various League teams, both under the personal direction of Mr. Spalding, played regular games of base ball for gate receipts at St. Paul last Sunday, and the New York team, we are informed, is announced—presumably with the consent of President Day, who is with the team—to play an exhibition game in St. Louis on Sunday, Oct. 28, also for gate money. Now, Sunday games are common enough, but what makes the above cases worthy of special comment is that regular National League teams are participating therein. This League draws the line very rigidly at Sunday championship games, and frowns down even exhibition games on the Sabbath. Presidents Spalding and Day have been two of the greatest stickler for strict observance of the prohibition of such desecrating games, yet here we find all at once a radical departure from long-established rule and usage, and that in a quarter least expected. The question of distinction between championship and exhibition games does not enter here, as both styles of games are played for gate receipts, and if it is wtong to play one kind of game on Sunday, it is equally wicked to play the other. That such clubs as Chicago and New York should for financial considerations play any ball at all on the Lord's Day must certainly weaken to some extent the League's position on the Sunday playing question, and give point to the assertions very frequently made by Association writers that the League's professed abhorrence and position prohibition of Sunday games is not due at all to principle, but is merely a matter of business policy. The Sporting Life October 31, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington Club finances; ownership

Date Sunday, December 2, 1888
Text

It is generally known that the Washington Base-Ball Club has been losing money, but the extent of the losses has never been printed. It has leaked out that the club lost $23,000 during the last three seasons. This amount has all, or nearly all, been borne by the late President of the club, Mr. Hewitt, and the club is indebted to the Hewitt estate to a large amount. Since the recent Ward deal steps have been taken to collect some of this money for the benefit of the estate, and possibly to help meet the extraordinary expense that the stockholders will have to bear by carrying a fancy player like Ward and other good men whom, it is claimed, they will sign. During the present week every stockholder has been notified to come up and pay $500 on each share of stock held by him. There are something like fifteen shares of stock altogether and Mr. Hewitt holds eight or nine, or at least enough to amount to a controlling interest. The par value of the stock has always been $500 per share until the recent decision of Mr. Hewitt to double it. This heavy assessment on such unprofitable stock has created dissatisfaction among the small fry, and it will be almost sure to drive some of them out of the concern. Credence is given to the assertion that Mr. Hewitt has an ulterior purpose on account of his alleged understanding with the New York managers that he would have to get all of the stock or they would not consent to let Ward go to his club.

Source Chicago Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington wants a reduced admission

Date Wednesday, November 21, 1888
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] The League will be requested to allow the Washington management to return to the system of selling three admission tickets for one dollar, as was done season before last.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

weather signals on game day

Date Wednesday, February 8, 1888
Text

The Athletic Club has made arrangements to display weather signals in the central portion of the city the coming season. It has not yet been definitely decided just where these signals will be displayed, but is more than likely that one will be stationed at Tenth and Chestnut streets and another at Eighth and Arch streets. The idea is to hoist flags at these various stations an hour or so before the commencement of the game on each day when the athletic Club is at home. If the weather is good and the grounds are in a fit condition to play, these flags will be displayed, and the people down town will know that a game will take place. Heretofore the patrons of the club had nothing to go by, and were frequently disappointed in going all the way to Twenty-sixth and Jefferson streets only to learn that no game would take place on account of the bad condition of the grounds, and others were frequently disappointed on other days when it rained in the morning, and they remained away because they thought the grounds would be too muddy.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Welday Walker on the color line

Date Wednesday, March 14, 1888
Text

Steubenville, O., March 5.--Mr. McDermitt, President, Tri-State [formerly Ohio State] League.--Sir: I take the liberty of addressing you because noting in the sporting Life that the “law permitting colored men to sign was repealed, etc.,” at the special meeting held at Columbus, Feb. 222, of the above-named League of which you are the president. I concluded to drop you a few lines for the purpose of ascertaining the reason of such an action.

I have grievances, and it is a question with me whether individual loss subserves the public good in this case. This is the only question to be considered—both morally and financially—in this, as it is, or ought to be, in all cases that depend upon the public for success—as base ball. I am convinced beyond doubt that you all, as a body of men, have not been impartial and unprejudiced in your consideration of the great and important question—the success of the “National game.”

The reason I say this is because you have shown partiality by making an exception with a member of the Zanesville Club; and from this one would infer that he is the only one of the three colored players—Dick Johnson, alias Dick Male, alias Dick Noyle, as The Sporting Life correspondent has it; Sol White, of the Wheelings, whom I must compliment by saying was one, if the the surest hitter in the Ohio League last year, and your humble servant, who was unfortunate enough to join the Akrons just ten days before they “busted.”

It is not because I was reserved and have been denied making my bread and butter with some club that I speak; but it is in hopes that the action taken at your last meeting will be called up for reconsideration at your next.

The law is a disgrace to the present age, and reflects very much upon the intelligence of your last meeting, and casts derision at the laws of Ohio—the voice of the people—that say all men are equal. I would suggest that your honorable body, in case that black law is not repealed, pass one making it criminal for a colored man or woman to be found in a ball ground.

There is now the same accommodation made for the colored patron of the game as the white, and the same provision and dispensation is made of the money of them both that finds its way into the coffers of the various clubs.

There should be some broader cause—such as want of ability, behavior, and intelligence—for barring a player than his color. It is for these reasons and because I think ability and intelligence should be recognized first and last—at all times and by everyone—I ask the question again, why was the “law permitting colored men to sign repealed, etc.?” Yours truly, Weldy W. Walker.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Western League attendance in Chicago

Date Wednesday, June 13, 1888
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] The attendance at the week-day games [of the Chicago WL club] has thus far not averaged over 500 people, the attendance Decoration Day of 1,800 people at the two games being the largest yet recorded. It is too bad, too, for the Western Association teams are putting up a very pretty game, and one that eery town in the circuit should support handsomely. The Sporting Life June 13, 1888

the Brotherhood on the contract

[reporting on the Brotherhood meeting 6/10/1888] The committee on contracts which met the League last fall made a report of the result of its work. While the report in general was highly satisfactory, the fact was pointed out that the League had failed, through opposition, which it claimed was beyond its control, to carry out the clause relative to the insertion of the full amount of salary in the contract. Inasmuch as the Brotherhood committee had made important concession to secure the insertion of this clause originally, the League's failure was much deplored, and the question will doubtless receive future consideration. The Sporting Life June 20, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why Cleveland is jumping to the League

Date Wednesday, November 21, 1888
Text

[from Frank Brunell's column] The Association has no right to blame Cleveland for going into the League and all the abuse and slurs heaped upon it by the small literary fry of Association clubs is undeserved. The meeting which reduced the tariff first ut us out of joint with the Association. Not only was the legislation bad, but it was done with unnecessary clumsiness and unexpectedly. After that Cleveland made two efforts through Secretary Hawley at the St. Louis special meeting, and treasurer Howe during the last Eastern trip of the Clevelands, to come to an understanding with the Association clubs. Both officials were snubbed and given no satisfaction. The 50-cent tariff might be returned to, but certainly there was no chance of percentage. That was the information given, in effect. Even Louisville, with special percentage privileges, wasn't in favor of Association percentage. Then came the Detroit chance. It was accepted.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Wikoff reelected AA president

Date Wednesday, December 12, 1888
Text

[reporting the AA meeting of 12/5-12/6/1888] In the evening the election for officers came up and a lively time was the result. It was thought that the pins had been set up for the election of Mr. Zack Phelps, of Louisville, to the position, but when it came to a vote it was found that the clubs were equally divided as between Phelps, and the incumbent, Wheeler Wikoff. Wikoff had St. Louis, Columbus, Kansas City and Cincinnati, while Baltimore, Brooklyn, Louisville and the Athletic Club favored Phelps. When Mr. Phelps, who had been led to believe that his candidacy was the wish of nearly all of the clubs, saw that he had not even a majority and that a deadlock was the result he withdrew before a vote was taken, and Mr. Wikoff was unanimously elected president, secretary and treasurer for another year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

word of Von der Ahe planning a European tour

Date Wednesday, January 4, 1888
Text

Von der Ahe can hardly be serious in his announced intention of taking two teams to England next summer. In the first place, the championship season here would interfere, and in the second place it would not pay. It was tried once before and failed financially, and the same result would await another venture, as the English are as indifferent to the game now as then. The Sporting Life January 4, 1888

President Chris Von der Ahe of the St. Louis Browns say anent the proposed European trip next fall: “I shall take a double team to :Europe next fall, and my agent will go over in a month or so to make all the arrangements and work up the business. You have stated that I would find it up-hill work, just as Spalding and Wright did. Now, I want to say that there has been a great change in England regarding base ball in the last fifteen years, and there are great numbers of Americans over there, and any number of Englishmen who have been here and returned. I talked with many people about this plan, and all seemed to think it would pay. I propose to try it.” Cleveland Plain Dealer March 24, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series attendance

Date Wednesday, October 31, 1888
Text

Just 51,455 people saw the fifteen world's championship games last season. Chicago turned out the smallest crowd, 378, and Brooklyn the largest, 6,746. the games commenced this year a week later than they did last.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series finances

Date Wednesday, November 14, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column][a breakdown of each day's gate receipts, followed by:]

Total......................... $24,362.10

Total expenses......... $ 8,000,00

Total amount divided. $16,362.10

Fifty per cent. each $ 8,181.05

Of the New Yorks' share of the receipts $200 was paid to each of their eighteen players, reducing the club's profits by some $3,600.

[daily gate receipts from 1887 World Series follows] … total, $424,000. This expenses of the trip were $18,000, leaving a balance of $24,000. This was divided evenly, so that St. Louis received $12,000 and Detroit $12,000.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series format 2

Date Wednesday, November 7, 1888
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] Manager James Mutrie, fo the New York Club, said to your correspondent last Sunday at Sportsman's Park:--”Just say for me that if I ever engage in another world's series, the ball will stop rolling just as soon as the series is decided. Some of our boys were told, before the series bean, that they would be allowed to leave the club just as soon as the championship was decided, and several of our crack players held us to our promise. Ewing left for Cincinnati, Ward for the West to join the Australian party, Brown for his home in California, Connor was in bad form, and Keefe was not asked to go in the box again after last Friday's deciding game. After the series was decided, and we were declared the world's champions, we ought to have had matters so arranged that we could have picked up our traps and departed. The games played after the series had been won by us were mere farces. Our boys did not care whether they won them or not. It is a difficult task to handle a lot of ball players during the season, no matter how sharp you watch them, but since my men won the world's series and have caught up with so many acquaintances from all parts of the country it is a hard matter to keep them in good form. The Sporting Life November 7, 1888

a condemnation of the AA

[from Frank Brunell's column] Certainly the Association ought to die a gradual death. And certainly it will and deserves to. The International Association is infinitely more preferable to it as a business institution, and I trust, for its own sake, that Aaron Stern is diplomatising—American Association for lying—about Buffalo and that it has not asked for a franchise. The towns, as towns, are no better in the Association than International, salaries double, expenses triple, and a club has to wear armor plate to keep the knives of the Association out of its vitals. There is no use for honesty, business sagacity or truth among the Association clubs. The ball is a different kind of ball from that played in the League. And it is nearly as good. But one club cannot trust another, and it is a general chase for the spoils from January 1 to December 31. And when the latter day comes Byrne has all the spoils that he can carry without spilling. That's the way it goes. The Sporting Life November 7, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

World Series gate split; admission fee

Date Wednesday, October 10, 1888
Text

The [World] series will open in New York and close in St. Louis. After deducting the expenses the receipts of the games will be divided, but whether the players will share in this division, and if so, in what proportion, is not stated. The price of admission will be $1. Where games are played on outside grounds 20 per cent. of the receipts will go to the ground owners, while the other 80 per cent. Will go to the two clubs. The Sporting Life October 10, 1888

Some changes were made during the past week in the arrangements for the world's championship series between New York and St. Louis. A great outcry was made over the high rate of admission, and so the following modifications were agreed to by Messrs. Day and Von der Ahe: General admission, 50 cents; grand stand, $1; reserved seats in certain sections of the grand stand, $1.50. One change of date had also to be made, owing to the demand of the Boston Club for 25 per cent. of the receipts of the game to be played in their city. This the contesting clubs would not concede, and the Boston game will now be played on the Polo Grounds. Under the arrangement, four games will be played in New York, four in St. Louis, one in Brooklyn and one in Philadelphia. The latter game will be played on the Philadelphia Club's ground, Mr. Munson having made satisfactory arrangement with the score card man. The Sporting Life October 17, 1888

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger