Clippings:1890

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Clippings in 1890

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1890Clippings in 1890

Clippings in 1890 (573 entries)

Contents


the old Nationals recruited George Fox with a civil service job

Date Sunday, February 2, 1890
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] [from an interview of Senator Gorman] “That reminds me of how the Nationals on one occasion obtained a player who afterward proved to be one of the star men. Our nine had gone to Georgetown college to play a game, and before the contest began our attention was attracted by a tall, slim young fellow who was batting the ball up for the boys and dring the ball over the fence at the southern end of the inclosure. Upon inquiry we ascertained that the heavy batter was George Fox, and that he had just graduated and was preparing to go to his home in New York. He was questioned and urged to remain in Washington, the ample inducement offered him being a position in a Government department, for in those days there was no such thing as civil service reform, and the majority of our members were men who held offici9al positions, and wielded a great deal of influence. Our arguments proved too potent for Fox, and he consented to remain with us, and we never regretted our bargain. Some of this long drives to the willows on the White House grounds will live in the memory of the old-timers who witnessed them.” The Philadelphia Sunday Item February 2, 1890

Source ” The Philadelphia Sunday Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

infielder glove leads to triple play

Date Sunday, January 26, 1890
Text

[Baltimore vs. Cincinnati 5/21/1887] [from a retrospective article on triple plays] The Cincinnatis were at the bat. Three men were on the bases, no one out, and Jim Keenan had toed the plate. Jim is usually a sure hitter, and all the base-runners were up on their toes ready for advancement. Jim finally picked out a good one. His bat cut the air with a whizz, and the ball went on a line for waht looked like a sure base hit between second and hsort. All the runners dug theri plates into the ground homeward bound. Their flight was brought to an abrupt termination. Billy Greenwood made a side jump as the ball sped toward the field. He wore a big glove on his right hand, as he is a left-handed thrower. That glove played havoc with the Reds. They big fingers just touched the sphere. The ball was stopped in its flight. It bounced a foot high from the glove. Billy made another jump. This time he got his hand fairly on the ball and held to it. He had caught it on the fly. Quick as a flash he stepped on second base, and an instant later he threw the ball to Shindle, doubling the runner at third. In the twinkling of an eye three of the Reds were retired. Cincinnati Enquirer January 26, 1890 [N.B. 1887 accounts make no mention of the glove.]

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

expanded Brooklyn territorial rights

Date Saturday, February 8, 1890
Text

In order to preserve the orderly character of Sunday assemblages Mr. Byrne has determined to enforce the rule which the new National Agreement admits of, and that is to enforce the five mile law which prohibits the playing of any National Agreement club on any grounds within five miles of Kings County without the consent of the Brooklyn American Association Club. Any outside club which plays Sunday games on any inclosed ground in Queens County within five miles of Ridgewood Park, without the consent of the Brooklyn Club, can now be debarred from playing with any National Agreement club during the entire season. The change made in the rule from five miles distant from the city line to five miles from the county line was adopted at the Pittsburg meeting. This rule is to be strictly enforced by the Brooklyn Club this coming season.

Source Brooklyn Eagle
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comparison of professional pay for American and English athletes

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

[from the London correspondent] We hear but little—hardly the faintest echoes—of the Brotherhood trouble over here. The few papers that have referred to it have done so in a humorous strain. The highest pay a professional cricket or foot ball player gets is less than $75 a month, and the fact that fellows in the States who have received from $2500 to $4000 a season should be striking for more money is, to the English people, irresistibly funny.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new Chicago West Side grounds

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

The Chicago League Club managers have purchased a plot of ground on the corner of Park and Lincoln street in the block immediately south of the county hospital. Workmen are now engaged filling in the grounds, and will have shortly completed the drainage system, which will alone cost over $10,000. The same architect who planned the Boston, Philadelphia and New York grounds will be employed. The dimensions of the park will be 650 feet square, and will cost, when complete, $180,000. Beautiful private [illegible] promenades and a club house of large dimensions have been provided for. The seating capacity will be 15,000. It was expected to have the grounds ready for playing in the spring of 1891, but the recent attempt to deprive the club of its present grounds compelled the managers to take a new lease of them extending over a period of three years, and a delay will result, but the new park will undoubtedly be ready for occupancy in 1892. It will not only be devoted to base ball, but bicycling, tennis, foot ball, cricket, in short all manager of athletic sports.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Rochester and Toledo enter the AA

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

The American Association is making a commendable effort to re-establish itself. Rochester and Toledo have been admitted, thus bringing its membership up to six, and the chances are that two more available cities will be found ere the flowers bloom in the spring. Baltimore is said to have applied for reinstatement, and Providence, R.I.; New Haven, Ct.; Toronto, Newark, and a number of other towns are seeking admission. Washington may yet also be admitted to the circuit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe denies he applied to the Players League

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column][from an interview of Von der Ahe] “St. Louis did not apply for admission to the Brotherhood ranks,” said Mr. Von der Ahe. “I went to New York simply to see what the outlook was, and I am well satisfied with my trip. I learned a great deal about the Brotherhood while I was in Gotham. It looks to me as if there were too many bosses at times, while at other times there were no bosses at all, and then the players are easily frightened and they can stand but very few more desertions before there will be a general stampede. I looked the ground over carefully and for the life of me I don't see where the new organization is going to make any money.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a split between young and old Brotherhood players

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

Tiernan, when asked to give his reasons for withdrawing from the Brotherhood, said:-- “When I signed that Brotherhood agreement it stipulated that iw as to receive no less than I got from the New York Club for last season's work. I have had four consultations with the Brotherhood officials, but they offered me $500 less than I got last season. I was with the boys until they tried to grind me down, and then I got out. One day that silver-tongued orator, James O'Rourke, tried to talk the matter into me. He spoke at length and finally said;-- 'Look at what I am sacrificing. Just consider the risk I'm taking.' That statement caused me to laugh. Why, the old players are taking no risks. The new or young players are taking chances. Some of the veterans of the diamond, who ought to be in some old gentlemen's home, are the men that are going to be benefited. The men who are playing on the strength of reputations made a dozen years ago are reaping the harvest, while we young and rising players are handicapped. When I looked at both side of the matter I quickly came to the conclusion that the proper place for me was with the old Giants... … In speaking of Tiernan's desertion Tim Keefe said:-- 'Tiernan erred when he stated that the Players' League wanted him to sign for $500 less than he received last year. It was just the opposite, so it is stated. He received $2500 from the New York Club, and it is quite likely that he would have been paid $3000 by the Players' League. But he asked for $3800, and that was an amount which the magnates thought they couldn't stand.. the fact is, the players who are demanding such enormous salaries are simply taking advantage of the differences between the National League and the Players' League.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken promise about the reserve

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

[Ed Morris speaking of Fred Carroll] If for no other reason than that the Pittsburg National League Club broke a promise to him, Carroll should abandon the National League. When the club was transferred to Pittsburg from Columbus, President Nimick gave Carroll a written guarantee that at the end of the first season he would be given a release to go wherever he desired. When the season ended, though his guarantee bore the personal signature of President Nimick, he absolutely refused to live up to it, giving as an excuse that while he was willing to do so the other stockholders objected. He also took the pains to assure Carroll that any attempt to go to law about the matter would result fruitlessly, as he (Nimick) had no right to make the pro9mise without the consent of his co-partners, and that the document would not hold in law. Carroll then asked for an increase of salary, which was also ignored until he was forced to sign at the old terms on the opening of the season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Players League won't bid against the NL for players

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

When asked why the Players' League had not bid against its competitor for men in the market Mr. Ward said that it would not be fair to the honest players who had accepted the new League's terms, which gave the players the same salary as in 1889. These players, he said, would not be discriminated against by paying more to those who were using the quarrel between the leagues to secure exorbitant salaries.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the division of duties between the two umpires

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

[from the Players League rules] One of the umpire shall stand behind the bat, and is designated for the purpose of these rules as No. 1. The other umpire, standing in the field,shall be designated as No. 2. The two umpires may alternate at the end of each even inning. The duties of No. 1 will be to call all balls, strikes, blocks, dead balls, foul hits, foul strikes, intentional fouling of balls, all questions arising at the home plate or as to delays by the side at bat, or as to batsmen striking out of turn, and shall call play, time and game. No. 2 shall decide all other questions arising between the contestant in any game, including balks and illegal delivery.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

access to the Brooklyn Washington grounds

Date Wednesday, January 1, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] One can reach the Washington Park ball grounds from the Bridge in twelve minutes, and what with the transfer system of the Union Elevated road, five cents fare will take them to Washington Park from the Eastern District or from East New York.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

advance billing and the gate split

Date Sunday, January 5, 1890
Text

Under the new order of dividing gate receipts, as adopted by the National League, at its last annual meeting, visiting clubs will next season receive 40 per cent. of the gate receipts. This is an item well worth looking after, and the Cincinnati Club will see that its interests abroad do not suffer by reason of neglect. With that end in view, the club will engage an advance agent, who will go ahead and bill the Reds like a theatrical troupe. The wall paper to be used is now in the hands of the designer. Long John Reilly has the contract, and up in his little room on the eighth floor of the Smith Building he is engaged daily getting out the paper. Yesterday he was busy fixing up a big three-sheet poster of Nicol, the spry little right-fielder of the Cincinnati team. Little Nic shows to advantage in the position of a professional sprint-runner waiting for the pistol shot to “get off the mark.” Reilly will make designs of all the other players under contract to the Cincinnati Club, and the dead walls of New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, Chicago and other League cities will be plastered over next season with life-like portraits of McPhee, Holliday, Carpenter, Beard, Earle, Baldwin and other members of the Cincinnati Reds. Who would not be a base-ball star and be billed in flaming letters like a three-ring circus?

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Cincinnati 3

Date Sunday, January 5, 1890
Text

Thirty-five out of the one hundred season tickets to be sold by the Cincinnati Club have been disposed of. There yet remain sixty-five, which must be sold by the close of this month, when they will be withdrawn. The tickets are worth $35 and entitle the purchaser to admission to every game during the season and all the privileges of the park. As there will be ninety games during the season regular patrons will make money by purchasing such tickets, as they will get a 75 cent seat for 35 cents.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

California League joins the national agreement

Date Tuesday, January 7, 1890
Text

The California League made application yesterday by wire to Secretary Byrne, of the Board of Arbitration, for the protection of the national agreement for 1890. Protection was promptly accorded and the formal papers will be forwarded by mail.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of the American Association expanding to twelve clubs

Date Wednesday, January 8, 1890
Text
Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why Rochester joined the AA

Date Wednesday, January 8, 1890
Text

The downfall of the International, if it does disband, can be attributed to Detroit. Had that club acted in a fairer and more open manner it is probable that Rochester would have reamined in the League, and had it remained Toledo would have followed suit. The latter club only joined the American Association because Rochester intended to, and because it realized that without Rochester the International would lose caste.

But Rochester is practically gone. Toledo is in the same position, and Detroit by its double-dealing tactics is to blame. The Rochester representatives at the League meeting desired to make Secretary white president-secretary, but agreed to vote for Mr. Mills, of Detroit, for president on condition that Rochester be made a member of the schedule committee. This offer was accepted and rm. Mills was made president. When he came to appoint the committee, however, he gave Rochester the go-by. But this is not alol, by any means. Detroit has been acting in a half-hearted manner throughout, and has caused a general feeling that it would drop the International speedily were an opportunity offered to enter the National League or Brotherhood League. Doubtful of the stability of Detroit and certain of being “roasted” on the International schedule, General Brinker decided to forestall Detroit and applied for admittance to the Association. Toledo did the same without delay, and Detroit now finds that it has over-reached itself. The Sporting Life January 8, 1890 [N.B. Mills of Detroit denied everything.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore reportedly applies for readmission to the AA

Date Wednesday, January 8, 1890
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] Mr. Barnie has applied to the American Association for admittance, and this, too, after having left his old comrades in what he thought was the nine hole. The Association will, no doubt, take Barnie back into their fold again, but if they give him what he deserves, they will tell him that there is no room in the Association for Baltimore. There was, no doubt, an understanding between Barnie and a certain League magnate that Baltimore would be taken care of if she would only jump the Association. That Washington and Baltimore would be consolidated, and the goose would hang high. The League magnate referred to is a new man in the older organization, and he soon found out that he could not do for Barnie what he had promised to do, and now the latter has rapped on the Association door for admission, and Baltimore will, no doubt, be counted in at Rochester next week. The Sporting Life January 8, 1890

[reporting the AA special meeting of 1/6/1890]For the other vacancy in the eastern circuit President Phelps presented a letter from Manager Barnie, of Baltimore, asking for admission on condition that the roster be made up of twelve clubs. This proposition brought out a long debate, and by unanimous vote the membership was fixed at eight clubs. The advisability of accepting Baltimore as the eighth member of the Association, that club having forfeited its membership by withdrawal, was discussed at considerable length, and with a wide difference of opinion. It was felt that the present Baltimore management had not treated the Association squarely by deserting it when it was in a tight place, and the delegates finally decided to lay the club's application on the table... The Sporting Life January 15, 1890 (also The Evening Item Philadelphia January 7, 1890)

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

allocating minor leaguers among NL clubs

Date Wednesday, January 8, 1890
Text

...the parceling out of some purchased players by the negotiations committee—Young, Byrne and Reach—who met in President Reach's office Dec. 31 for that purpose. The men disposed of were short stop Long, first baseman Stearns and outfielder Hamilton, of the Kansas City Club. Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Cleveland and Chicago were bidders,and the price was run up so that it was decided to dispose of them by lot. Slips were prepared and placed in a hat and the drawing began. Nick Young was blindfolded and he drew out the slips. Hamilton was the first player drawn for. Boston and New York drew blanks and then Philadelphia got the first prize. Long came next and Boston got him, much to President Reach's disgust, and then Boston's luck again held good and Danny Stearns fell to that club. The consent of the men to play in the cities to which they are assigned is yet to be secured. The price paid by the League for the release of the three men is said to be $8500.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chicago Club finances 3

Date Wednesday, January 8, 1890
Text

The Chicago League Club has declared a dividend of 20 per cent..., which goes to show that the season was not so disastrous as alleged. It has been the custom of the club to place every year a certain sum to the credit of the sinking fund, which is the reason the dividend declared was not greater. When the League club bought the new grounds, near the County Hospital, it paid $103,000 in cash for them, all of this having come out of the sinking fund. Had it not been for the competition of the new Brotherhood club the League club would have spent at least $150,000 on new grounds, whereas now they will not spend a cent, having leased the old grounds for another year.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the rationale for an AA club in Brooklyn; expansion draft

Date Sunday, January 12, 1890
Text

Mr. Whitaker says that he thinks Brooklyn is a 25-cent town. With two clubs—League and Brotherhood—charging 50 cents each, he feels confident that the new organization will get the patronage. All the other clubs will give the new nine one or more players so as to place it on a level with the other teams in the organization. There have already been several applications for stock in the new club.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

indoor baseball 7

Date Monday, January 13, 1890
Text

The Thirteenth Regiment Baseball Association is to be congratulated on the progress made in its experiment of . When the scheme was inaugurated about a month ago the obstacles encountered were so many and so discouraging that it was generally thought the plan would be abandoned. The boys have succeeded in overcoming most of the difficulties, and the exhibition game of Saturday evening last may be considered a success. Nine full innings were played in two hours and a half and, as a rule, the boys played good ball. It could hardly be expected that they would do as well as the crack amateur teams which play in this vicinity during the Summer. A majority of the regimental players are beginners at the game, and their showing is therefore the more praiseworthy.\

The principal drawback noticeable Saturday evening was the weakness of the light. The fixtures were excellently distributed, but there was not a sufficient pressure of gas on. One of the officers of the Association told the reporter that the burners on the fixtures were old and were not capable of burning a larger flame. If this defect can be remedied it will help the boys materially. With better light the catchers would have fewer passed balls and the time of playing a game would be shortened.

The ball used in this indoor game is much lighter than the regulation outdoor ball. It is also less solid. In consequence it is more difficult and tiring to pitch it and the catchers find it hard work to get the ball down to second base ahead of a base-runner. The main advantage, in fact the necessity of suing this light ball, is found in the batting. If the ordinary ball were used there would not be much left of the inside beauty of the armory after one or two games. As it is, the ball must be hit with great force to send it to the “outfield.” If it strikes the woodwork it rebounds without doing any damage.

The diamond used in the armory is not of a rectangular nature. It is elongated, and the distance from home to second is greater than from first to third. This also militates against the catchers, as the base lines are only seventy-five feet long—fifteen feet shorter than the regulation. The catcher must throw the ball just about as far as he would on a ball field, while the base-runner has fifteen feet less to run. This helps the base-running, which is after all one of the most attractive features of the game.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sharsig on contract breakers

Date Monday, January 13, 1890
Text

Manager Sharsig, in reply to a question as to whether he was making any effort to get Stovey, Bierbauer, Larkin, Cross and Weyhing back, said:

“No, sir. These men, I understand, have signed Players’ League contracts, and as men of principle, I expect them to stick to their agreement. A contract is a contract, according to my way of looking at it, and I would not have a contract jumper on my team. A man who will jump a contract is not honest, and I want nothing to do with him. I would not think of such a thing as bribing a player to jump a contract, and certain League clubs who are in that business just now will be sorry for their actions before they are much older. I do think Stovey, Bierbauer, Larkin, Cross and Weyhing treated me very shabbily by deserting the Athletic Club, but since they have signed contracts to play elsewhere they shall live up to thiir contracts so far as I am concerned. If either of these men would offer to come back I would not take them unless they first obtained an honorable release from the Players’ League clubs with whom they have signed for next year. It would not be honorable on my part to sign a man knowing that he had previously signed another contract, and I propose to do nothing of the kind. The public will have very little use for clubs or players who are in the bribing or contract-breaking business. I went into base ball with clean hands, and mean to leave it some time in the distant future with a good record.

“Ever since my connection with the club the Athletics have played honest ball and employed honest players, and so long as I am connected with them they will follow in that line of business. When the time comes that we must bribe players to jump contracts and employ contract-jumpers, then I will quit the business forever.

Source ” The Philadelphia Evening Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia PL Club season tickets

Date Tuesday, January 14, 1890
Text

The directors of the Philadelphia Players’ League Club held a special meeting... yesterday afternoon. ... It was decided to issue season books, of one hundred tickets. These books will be transferrable, and all the tickets may be used at one game if the owner desires to take 99 friends with him.

In order to prevent scalpers from speculating on these books, they will be sold to responsible parties only. The object of issuing these books is to give clerks and employees in banking, mercantile, jobbing and manufacturing establishments a chance to club together and secure season tickets and get the full value of their money, which they do not get from non-transferrable books, as few can spare the time to attend all the games.

The club will also issue non-transferable season books. In addition, there will also be season tickets issued for the private boxes. The regular non-transferrable season books, as well as the 100 transferable tickets in book form, will admit the bearer to the grand stand only, and not to the private boxes. The Philadelphia Evening Item January 14, 1890

The season tickets for the Philadelphia Brotherhood Club are now ready and can be obtained either at the office of the club, room 26, 1214 Filbert street; Robert Steele’s, Broad and Chestnut streets; or at S. R. Wright’s, northwest corner Fourth and Library streets. Whole boxes seating eight persons are $240; while season books, which are transferrable, are sold for from $25 to $35, according to location. The demand for season tickets has been very large, and those desiring them should not lose any time in making application. The Evening Item Philadelphia March 18, 1890

Source Philadelphia Evening Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the American Association back at eight clubs; a club placed in Brooklyn; expansion draft

Date Wednesday, January 15, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 1/6/1890] [after the readmission of Syracuse] Letters were also read from Washington, Brooklyn and Newark, N.J. The Washington syndicate agreed to place a team in that city in case the National League did not do so, and Brooklyn and Newark both made formal application for admission. Owing to the lack of information as to the financial status of the gentlemen backing the enterprise in these cities, the whole matter of selecting the eighth club was left to the finance committee. That body was empowered to act at once and communicate with President Phelps. In order to strengthen the Association and add to its permanency the president was instructed to prepare bonds in the sum of $10,000 each to be filled out by each club, guaranteeing to play out the full schedule of 140 games during the season of 1890. The Sporting Life January 15, 1890

A special meeting of the committee appointed by the American Association with power to fill the Eastern vacancy was held at the Astor House, New York City, Jan. 9... the application before the meeting was that of W. W. Wallace, of the Ridgewood Exhibition Company, who wanted to locate a club in Newtown, or rather in Ridgewood, which is just outside of the Kings County boundary line, and therefore in Queens County, where Sunday baseball can be played. … The new club is to be named Brooklyn, and is to be run by a stock company. … The Ridgewood Exhibition Company owns its own grounds. It has a capital stock of $15,000, and in order to purchase a plot of land necessary to complete the ground, arrangements have been made ti increase the stock to $20,000, and the increase will be voted on Feb. 1. Games will be played by the club at Ridgewood Park on week days and Sunday, and the rate of admission will be 25 cents. The Association men agreed to give up one or more of the players of each club to enable the new club to form a team. … The new club expect to draw its patronage from the cities of Brooklyn and New York. Residents of the former city can reach the grounds in half an hour, and New Yorkers can get there in an hour. It has been thought that the National Agreement would prevent the establishment of a club at Ridgewood, but this is erroneous, as the Agreement simply prohibits the Association from putting a club into any city, town or county already occupied by a League club. As Newtown is in Queens county a club there does not conflict with the Brooklyn League Club, which is in Kings county. The Sporting Life January 15, 1890

President Byrne, of the Brooklyn League team, will make no opposition to the American Association placing a club in Ridgewood. The Sporting Life January 15, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA votes not to adopt the two umpire system

Date Wednesday, January 15, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 1/6/1890] It was decided not to adopt the double umpire system on account of the heavy additional expense which the system would cause.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA gate receipt percentage split

Date Wednesday, January 15, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 1/6/1890]One of the most important steps taken at the meeting was the adoption of a resolution providing that visiting clubs shall receive either $100 guarantee or 40 per cent. of the gate receipts, at their option, on all days except Decoration Day and the Fourth of July, when they shall receive 50 per cent. Last season visiting clubs received but 20 per cent.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AF of L supports the Players League

Date Wednesday, January 15, 1890
Text

Labor is becoming interested in the battle between the National League and the Brotherhood League. At the recent Boston convention of the American Federation of Labor, an organization representing 600,000 men, nearly all skilled workmen, resolutions supporting the Players' League were adopted, and similar resolutions have been passed by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, which has a membership of 460,000; the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, the Clothing Cutters' Assembly of the Knights of Labor and the Central Trades Council of Western Pennsylvania. A majority of the Benevolent Protective Order of Elks are also avowed Players' League supporters. All this would indicate that when the turnstile of the new League begins to click next April the Players' will have the call on the pubic patronage. The Sporting Life January 15, 1890

At a directors' meeting of the Philadelphia Players Club Thursday, a committee of labor men, composed of Samuel Gompers, of New York, President of the American Federation of Labor; Pl J. McGuire of Philadelphia, Vice President of the American Federation of Labor, and General Secretary of the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America; W. J. Shields, of Boston, one of the vice presidents of the latter organization, and James Dey, Business Agent of Union No. 8, of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America, one of the strongest unions in Philadelphia, called and assured the new club and the new League generally of labor support.

[quoting Vanderslice] Mr. McGuire said that the various unions had nearly all had the subject up for discussion, and that the labor journals would shortly take up the matter and urge all union men to give their undivided support to the new League henceforth. Base ball would have died out long ago but for the liberal support given it by the laboring men. Four-fifths of the spectators at any game on any day are men who do manual labor for a living, and it is to this class base ball clubs must cater if they expect to be in existence for any length of time. Mr. Gompers and his colleagues were gratified to learn that there was no long any doubt about the Players' League being an assured success, and that we were all solid and everything moving along smoothly.” The Sporting Life January 22, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players engaged in sporting goods manufacture

Date Wednesday, January 15, 1890
Text

Al Reach has a “school” in a back room in his Market street store where a number of young men are being taught the art of manufacturing base balls. Three hundred men are employed at his factory on Beach street turning out balls, and these apprentices will be transferred to that establishment as soon as they have thoroughly learned the business. Norman Baker, pitcher Anderson, catcher Decker and half a dozen others are at present in the “school.” Decker, however, is exclusively engaged in the manufacture of a glove, of which he is the patentee. Baker and Anderson are stitching the covers on the balls, which are wound by machine at the factory. Backer is becoming quite a good mechanic and turns out about three dozen balls a day. Anderson's best effort thus far has been 21 balls for one day's work.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the reserve clause as an option

Date Wednesday, January 15, 1890
Text

It is not generally thought among base ball experts that the National League club owners themselves ever regarded “reserve” as an option until soon after the players announced their intention of leaving the old League, Col. John I Rogers discovered that the word could possibly be construed to mean an agreement to renew the contract for another year. A clear idea of what reservation signified can be formed from an editorial written by Francis C. Richter in The Sporting Life of Jan. 30, 1889, months before the present controversy arose. Mr. Richter is an able exponent of base ball law, and in the conflict now being wages has taken a stand of neutrality. In the following editorial he had under consideration the case of Robert Wheelock, who was released by Lowell and signed by Detroit in 1888, a question having arisen over his release:

“As all base ball contracts expire at the close of a season no notice of release is required. Such notices would, in fact, be utterly superfluous. Managers and players have fulfilled their obligations to their clubs and prescribed, in their contracts, none of which can be for more than one season, and are free. Even reserved players are absolutely under no further obligations to their clubs, and the latter have, therefore, no further control of the men. Of course, such reserved player cannot sign elsewhere. But that is not because they have not the right, but because reserve is simply an agreement between the clubs not to employ each other's players, thus shutting the latter off from all clubs but the one reserving them.”

There is abundant evidence to show that the opinion held by Mr. Richter was the one generally shared by base ball managers as well as players, and this evidence will be presented to Judge O'Brien by the defendant's lawyers., quoting the New York World

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Munson resigns from the St. Louis Club secretaryship, backs PL?

Date Thursday, January 16, 1890
Text

The most sensational development of the day was the resignation of George Munson as Secretary of the Browns. The President somehow became convinced that Munson was acting as a Brotherhood agent. So when they met yesterday morning George encountered a storm the like of which he had not encountered in his travels. He denied the accusation and promptly resigned.

“I am done with Von der Ahe,” said he. “I have three good offers: one in the theatrical line, another in the base-ball business and the third in the advertising business.”

The retirement of Munson was another bit of poor strategy on Von der Ahe’s part, as it alienates most of the Browns, all of whom are Munson’s friends. Cincinnati Enquirer January 16, 1890

George Munson has resigned the secretaryship of the St. Louis Club. He and Von der Ahe had a row as soon as he reached St. Louis from San Francisco, and the upshot was the resignation. Mr. Von der Ahe thought that Munson ought to have been able to capture Comiskey on the trip, and also accused him of being a Brotherhood sympathizer. The Sporting Life January 22, 1890

The prospects for a Brotherhood club in St. Louis are improving hourly. George Munson, Chris Von der Ahe’s ex-secretary, claims to have $50,000 pledged, and will leave in a day or two to consult with Brotherhood leaders for the transfer of the Pittsburg Club to this city. Von der Ahe tonight said he would sell his park to Munson for $5,000 if the latter would assume an indebtedness of $26,000. This would give the club the splendid grounds of the old Association club. For this money Von der Ahe will transfer his entire club of fifteen players to the new organization. The offer will be accepted if the Brotherhood will consent to make room for St. Louis. Cincinnati Enquirer January 23, 1890

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Mickey Welch jumps to the NL, has a family to support

Date Sunday, January 19, 1890
Text

[from the column of “Veteran”] Mickey Welch, who has been shaky for some time, jumped from the Brotherhood into the League during the week by signing with the New York Club. After signing his contract Welch met Mike Tiernan, and they both called on Tim Keefe. Tim is not the man to let a business transaction interfere with his personal feelings, and he shook hands with Welch, with the remark that every man knew his own business best.

Welch explained that his action was simply one of business. He said that he would have been willing to have played with the Players’ League for $2,000 less than he signed for with the New York League Club, but they would not guarantee him his salary for more than one year at a time.

He had always been in the habit of securing a personal agreement with Mr. Day, and he felt as though he could not stop the custom now. He said that he had a large family to look after, and that he could not afford to take any unnecessary risks. Had the Players’ League guaranteed him his salary for three years he would have signed with them.

“You see by that,” continued Welch, “that I am looking out for No. 1. I think that the Players’ League will be a success, and would have liked to have come to some agreement, but could not. I suppose that the players will find much fault with me for what I have done, but I hope that they will not be too hard on me.” The Philadelphia Evening Item January 19, 1890

Pittsburgh PL Club ownership

The capital stock of the Pittsburgh Brotherhood Club is $20,000, divided into 800 shares of the par value of $25 each. The subscribers and the number of shares of stock subscribed by each are as follows: William McCallim, Mayor of Pittsburgh, 60; M. B. Lemon, member of the Legislature, 20; William a Stone, ex-United States District Attorney, 380; W. W. Kerr, mercantile manager, 80; Edward Hanlon, ball player, 80; Henry B. Rea, commission merchange, 60; C. A. Beymer, lead manufacturer, 40; Morris Baer, advertising agent, 40; W. P. Potter, attorney, 40. The Philadelphia Evening Item January 19, 1890

Source ” The Philadelphia Evening Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for an amateur national championship

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

[from a circular by the Amateur Athletic Union] The A.A.U. Of the United States invites your attention to the organizaiton of a series of open amateur base ball contests, in which to decide the Eastern and Western amateur base ball championship of the united States. .. ...a schedule of base ball games will be played on Wednesday and Saturdays... composed of teams in and about New York City, in and about Philadelphia and in and about Washington, in and about Boston, in and about Chicago and in and about St. Louis. The winners of the scheduled series of games at New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Washington...will play a series of three (or five) games for the Eastern base ball championships...so, likewise, will the Western amateur base ball championship be decided by winners of the Detroit, Chicago and St. Louis series of games. … Teams winning the Eastern and Western amateur base ball championships will be called upon to compete for the amateur base ball championship of the United States... [A. G. Mills one of the signatories]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Clarkson on his jump to the League

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Clarkson] “...General Dixwell then made me an offer to play with the Brotherhood.”

“Did he ask you how much you wanted?”

“I told him to make me an offer.”

“How much did he offer you?”

“Six thousand dollars.”

“What did you say?”

“I told him it was not enough. Negotiations ceased right there and then. A day or two later I received a telegram from Mr. Billings, the treasurer of the Boston League Club, offering me considerably more than General Dixwell had proposed, and I accepted the terms and agreed to play for three years.”

“Did you act as Mr. Conant's agent on the Pacific slope?”

“Yes; I signed Smith, Ganzel and Hardie, the California catcher, whom I regard as an excellent ball player.”

“Had the Brotherhood offered you the same terms as the League people, would have you decided to play with them?”

“As I said before, I had agreed not to do anything until I saw Mr. Conant and talked the situation over with him. The Brotherhood has construed this as a prearranged affair between the Boston club management and myself, when on the contrary I was my own free agent. Had I determined to play with the Brotherhood I should certainly have made my position known to Mr. Conant before signing a Players' contract. This was but fair to the Boston Club people, because they have treated me nicely, paying $10,000 for me release, and should naturally get the benefit of their investment. I expect that the players who belong to the Brotherhood are sore against me because I joined the League after becoming a Brotherhood man. It is true that I attended their meetings while on the California trip, but I was acting in good faith. I was not acting as an agent for the Boston Club while attending the Brotherhood meetings. As soon as I had made up my mind the joint the League I stopped all negotiations with the Brotherhood and refused to enter their councils.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pat Murphy on why he signed with the League

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Pat Murphy] First of all, I considered the interests of my family, and in so doing I was obliged to choose between a certainty and an uncertainty. The step I have taken was prompted by that one principal motive. My obligations to the men who have always treated me with kindness also demanded my attention. I was perfectly satisfied with the New York management. I have no grievances. The only fault I found was that our captain, Mr. Ewing, did not allow me to participate in more games.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed proto-batter's eye screen

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] It has been suggested that in the major leagues at least the use of signs on the fences enclosing diamonds be totally prohibited, and such an order would be a good one could it be carried. A good many players hold that “the light batting done in a good many cities by the visiting clubs is due to the dazzling effects of the glittering and many-colored signs on the fences directly on a line from the batter's box. The batter loses sight of the ball until it is on top of him, and of course fails to connect. The home team having the same background for the ball every day becomes accustomed to its peculiarities, and has the advantage of the visitors.” That there is a good deal in this cannot be doubted, and that a plain white or gray fence would probably help batsmen seems reasonable. But these signs are a source of considerable revenue to clubs and in these expensive days it is not likely that any club would consent to have any portion of its income cut off.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Players' League Polo Grounds

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

Workman began laying out the lines last Monday for the grounds of the new Players' League club in [New York]. They are at Eighth avenue and One Hundred and Fifty-seventh and One Hundred and Fifty-ninth streets, extending from the avenue line back to the bluff, a distance of 800 feet. The grand stand will be situated under the bluff and the men will bat toward Eighth avenue. There will be room for carriages and any amount of space for spectators. Tim Keefe says “it will be the finest ground in the world.” Architect David W. King will have the work in charge. The specifications provide for a double-decker grand stand seating from 6000 to 7000 people, with opera chairs, and free seats fro 14,000 people. The stand in form will resemble the present one at the Polo Grounds. There will be a carriage driveway on One Hundred and Fifty-ninth street, and on either side of it will be club houses for the players, fitted with all modern conveniences. A running track will encircle the field, and it is expected that some athletic club will use the grounds when not needed by the players. The contracts were awarded Friday.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Tommy Tucker signs four contracts

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

In explaining the Tucker deal Manager Barnie said he disposed of him because he positively refused to play again in Brooklyn, contract or no contract, and further gives this version of the entire transaction, endeavoring to make Tucker out as less venal than vacillating:

“The first contract signed by Tuycker was with the Brooklyn Brotherhood Club. It was actually signed on Sunday, Nov. 17, 1889, but was dated Nov. 18 (Monday). Tucker was to receive $300 as advance money. When he received this, however, it was in the form of a note payable in six months. Tucker saw that the $300 was in the nature of a loan, and refused to sign the note. A few days after this transaction he met Mr. Barnie. Being disgusted at the failure of the Brotherhood people to send him $300 advance money, but sending him a six months' note instead, Tucker signed an agreement or contract to play with the Baltimore Club for the season of 1890, at a salary of $3250, and also agreeing to be transferred to any National League city to which the Baltimore Club might sell his release. Subsequently, Tucker went to New York at the time of the Players' League meeting. Immediately he was surrounded by the Brotherhood players, to whom he said he had signed with the Baltimore Club, and an avalanche of entreaty was hurled at him to renew his contract with the Players' League. Finally Tucker yielded to the persuasions of the players and signed a second contract with a representative of the Brooklyn Club, receiving $500 advance money. Mr. Barnie got after him again and persuaded him to sign with the Boston Club at a salary said to be about $4000.”

The correct facts are that Tucker did sign his first contract with the Brooklyn Club on a Sunday, the contract being dated a day ahead, which is held by the Brooklyn Club's counsel to be a legal contract. He receive $300 for which he was asked to give a note, simply because the Brooklyn Club was not then incorporated, and one of the Brooklyn Club directors advanced the money from his own funds, simply taking the note as acknowledgment of the debt. Then Barnie got at Tucker and worked so upon his mercurial nature that he finally signed an agreement to play with the Baltimore Club for $3250, or to be transferred to any League club by the Baltimore Club. This agreement was only signed by Tucker, no consideration of any kind was given or responsibility assumed by Barnie, and was practically simply in the nature of a memorandum. Ward convinced Tucker of this, and the latter then expressed a willingness to return to the Brooklyn Club providing his salary was made equal to that Barnie offered. After some consideration the Brooklyn Club concluded to give Tucker what he wanted in order to satisfy him, and this is why a new contract for the larger salary was made out. He also received $200 more advance money, making $500 in all. When he signed the contract Tucker was brimful of joy, expressed himself well pleased, and publicly stated before he left for Holyoke that he “was perfectly satisfied, and that $5000 could not tempt him to desert the Brooklyn Club.” How sincere he was subsequent events show. [He played 1890 for the Boston League Club]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brotherhood grievances 2

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Ward] There were a number of rules under which the players suffered severely. Three were particularly offensived. The first was the rule which deni9ed the player the right to be heard in his own defense as soon after his suspension as possible. Under the operations of this rule, when a player was suspended his case did not come up before the Board of Arbitration until the following winter. Even where the Board revoked his suspension he was unable to obtain redress for the time he had been idle. No allowance for salary during the time he was unjustly suspended and compelled to be idle was made, and in the case of hasty and arbitrary action on the part of the club manager this rule operated most harshly.

The second rule provided that when a club went out of existence by disbandment, loss of membership or otherwise the players left in the organization were peddled out by the League magnates and the purchase money went to swell their treasury. The third, and probably the most unjust of the rules, provided for a minimum salary of $1000.

Under this rule any club could secure the services of a player as against itself, and upon his refusal to be transferred to some other club place him on the reserve list at a minimum salary of $1000.

In the case of Buffinton, who was receiving a salary of $2500 a year, the injustice of this rule was made conspicuous. Buffinton was sold to Philadelphia. As his home was in Boston he refused to go, and he was immediately placed on the reserve list at a salary of $1000.

The players made a protest against these rules and succeeded in having the first rescinded. The repeal of the other two was not conceded. These are only a few of the grievances the players have suffered from.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the formation of the Players League

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Ward] It has been frequently claimed that the idea of a Players' League originated and was fomulated on our trip around the world. As a matter of fact the idea never occurred to us there. What originally set the ball rolling that was was the attempt of the magnates to classify the players. This classification list provided for five classes of salaries. Class A to receive $2500, class B $2250, class C $2000, class D $1750 and class E $1500. The first intimation was from some American newspapers we received at Cairo, Egypt. Even then we did not thoroughly understand the scope of the proposed classification until we reached Naples, where letters and additional papers explained the scheme more fully. Of course, we talked over what action had best to taken.

The trouble culminated last June, when we asked the League to meet us and discuss an obnoxious rule. Their reply was that it was not of sufficient importance to engage the attention of the League in mid-summer, although they had classified our men and reduced salaries. We knew if the hearing was postponed until the fall it would go over until the winter, when they would practically has us at their mercy, and we would not have time to organize in time for the season. We determined to act at one. As a matter of fact, he wad all we could do to prevent a general strike of the players and a meeting was actually held on July 2 and a ballot taken whether the season should be played out or not.

It required all the persuasion which the more conservative element could bring to bear to prevent a large body of the men from refusing to play the season out. Such a course would have been fatal, as it would have alienated the public sympathy. We, therefore, played the season out, but lost no time in perfecting the plans for our new organization.

Committees were appointed to secure capital in the different cities. Pfeffer had charge of this branch in Chicago, Sanders in Philadelphia and myself in New York. We have been successful beyond our most sanguine expectations. We organized with one hundred and twenty-five players. Of this number about twenty-five deserted us.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Decker mitt

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

Catcher Decker, of the Philadelphia League Club, whose catchers' glove has been a standard article of base ball equipment, has made a new glove, which is declared by experts to be the best thing in that line ever put on the market. Cuts of the glove will be found in our advertising columns, from which the reader will gain a pretty fair idea of what this indispensable article is like. With this glove injury to the hands is impossible and there can be no such thing as broken or mashed fingers or bruised palms with it, and, in the opinion of many experts, by its use one catcher can now do the work that formerly had to be shared by two or three. Clements, Schriver, Robinson, Collins and other League and Association catchers, are using this glove and its use is bound to become universal. It is manufactured by the A.J. Reach Co., 1113 Market street, Philadelphia, under the general supervision of catcher Decker, the inventor.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the downfall of Sandy Nava to alcohol

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Did you notice the arrest of the old Providence catcher, Nava, last week for fighting in a low Baltimore dive? Here is another striking illustration of the downfall of a noted ball player by drink. The descent was from $2000 as catcher of a League club down by degrees from one fail to a still lower one, until we find him a bouncer in a wretched Baltimore dive. From ball playing to keeping a saloon, then as bartender, hackman, and now to the lowest round of drink degradation. What a lesson his career inculcates! And yet, even at this late dray, we find drinking players finding engagements. The managers who engage them are blind to their club's interests.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a natural first baseman

Date Wednesday, January 22, 1890
Text

[describing Jack O'Brien, signed by the Athletics] ...Jack is a very strong batsman... As a first baseman he has in the previous years demonstrated first-class ability, and with practice he will doubtless rank with the best in that position. As a base-runner, though, he will not shine, being too heavy for that. O'Brien could also be utilized as a catcher or outfielder in case of emergency, but weakness in throwing would render him ineligible for a permanent place in any position but first base, where he will be quite at home.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fan vote for uniform colors

Date Sunday, January 26, 1890
Text

The Indianapolis club proposes this season to leave the choice of colors for the new uniforms to the public, and to the Journal is delegated the task of ascertaining the sentiment of the patrons of the game in this regard. All communications on the subject should be addressed to the “Sporting Editor of the Journal.” Name one color for the suit and another for the trimmings. The polls will be kept open until March 1, and the result announced at that time. The combination favored by the majority will be adopted for the uniform. The progress of the voting will be announced from week to week. So send along your choice of colors.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

training technique

Date Sunday, January 26, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Jim Keenan] ...I am opposed to gymnasium practice. I believe work of that kind does more harm than good. The muscles used on the ball field are not brought into play in a gymnasium. Why, you can train hard for two months in a gym and then play a game of ball and you will be just as sore after the game as if you had not trained a moment. Hand-ball is the right sort of training. In that game you are continually stooping, jumping to one side, running, throwing, in fact using every muscle and performing every movement used in a game of ball. If I could have secured a place in the West End, I would have put up a fine hand ball court. The man that owned it wanted too much rent and I had to give it up.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Von der Ahe on Comiskey and team-building

Date Tuesday, January 28, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Von der Ahe] Ball players are an ungrateful lot. Take this man Comiskey’s case, for instance. I payed him $5,000 a year for three years, and have made him presents besides. To be sure he is a good captain, but I made him what he is and gave him reputation and fortune. It is a fact that Comiskey never signed but one man for the St. Louis Club. He never knew what men were to be on the team until I signed them. Comiskey has been given too much credit. Now, see what he will do in Chicago and then watch St. Louis without him. As heretofore, I expect to have a winning club, one that will stand right up to the Association leaders.

Source Philadelphia Evening Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

St. Louis secretary; reporter for the Republican; official scorer for Indianapolis

Date Wednesday, January 29, 1890
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] The Browns' new secretary is none other than Mr. Edward Sheridan, who served as the sporting editor of the Republic of this city several years ago. Mr. Sheridan left his position here and joined forces with the Daily Base Ball Gazette or New York, which died a bornin'. After coming West again he obtained a position in Indianapolis on one of the daily papers there, and he also acted as official scorer of the Indianapolis Club. Last year he wound up in his old town, Greencastle, Ind., where he was since been editing a weekly paper. Ed is well known in St. Louis, and his large circles of friends will be glad to see him here again.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Comiskey sour on Von der Ahe, Eddie Von der Ahe

Date Wednesday, January 29, 1890
Text

Comiskey was sour on the St. Louis management, and could not endure for another season the pickled disposition of Ed Von der Ahe or his “dad.” The boss president, junior, has done more to ruin base ball in St. Louis by the inappropriate insertion of his 'phiz' in matters beyond his jurisdiction, and indeed in Comiskey's affairs, than even his father, and Chris Von der Ahe has acted as his son dictated in many matter which led him before the public in a necessarily bad light. If Eddie Von der Ahe had not missed his vocation, perhaps St. Louis would still have a club, and perhaps the old Association would have been alive today. At all events, he was instrumental in driving Comiskey from the team, and never was liked by any of the other players. The Sporting Life January 29, 1890, quoting the St.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of a hit and run

Date Wednesday, January 29, 1890
Text

[from a column by George Edward Andrews] The batting order ought always to be made out with a good waiter leading off. He should be a good batter also to take advantage of any good ball itched, and a cool, level-headed fellow how knows, and will work every point known, to get his base. Once we have a runner on first base we have let on the first steam. Taking it for granted that our men in the batting order thoroughly understand each other, we are ready to begin. The base-runner and batsman following him have it understood that the second ball pitched is to be hit at. This understanding is either had before he goes to bat or is arrived at afterwards by preconcerted signals. This second ball is to be hit at—not blindly, but with method—to punch the ball slowly toward right field, and at the movement of delivery our runner is off for second base. In a successful attempt the second baseman of the side in the field is drawn to cover his base by the man on first starting to run down, thus leaving about seventy-five feet or more of room for the batsman to hit the ball through. In ninety-nine times out of a hundred the second baseman cannot recover himself to field the ball, no matter how slowly hit, and the first baseman cannot go for it except in very rare cases, when he fields the ball to the pitcher, who covers the base. It is very seldom, however, that the first baseman can made this play, being obliged to be right on top of his base to hold the base-runner from getting a start. Here we are now—a man on first and second and no one out, simply by a stroke of “team work.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Munson proprietor of The Sporting News

Date Thursday, January 30, 1890
Text

George Munson, former secretary of the St. Louis Browns, and propreitor of the Sporting News of St. Louis...

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home and away uniforms made official

Date Friday, January 31, 1890
Text

[reporting the NL meeting of 1/30] The first subject taken up by the delegates was the question of uniforms for the different teams. This was decided unanimously by the adoption of white suits to be worn by the team at home at all times. Visiting teams will have their own option in selecting their dress providing it is of such a color as to be easily distinguished from the home team.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit and Baltimore apply to join the NL

Date Friday, January 31, 1890
Text

[reporting the NL meeting of 1/30] The next question taken up was the applications of the Detroit and Baltimore Clubs for admission to the League. Mr. F. K. Stern represented the Detroit Club and Henry R. Von der Horst the Baltimore Club.

After holding an informal discussion on the question of admitting the two clubs before mentioned, they quietly let the matter drop it was said that the representatives of these clubs had not made formal requests for admission. The League as it now stands will consist of ten clubs.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brotherhood lawsuits compared with the Charlie Bennett case

Date Saturday, February 1, 1890
Text

Marshal Brown, who conducted the defence of Charles W. Bennett, when the Allegheny club sought to enjoin him here [Pittsburgh] in 1882, declares that the old League has no case against the players for damages or against the stockholders for conspiracy. He says the two cases are very similar, as in many respects the agreement entered into between Bennett and the Allegheny club is similar to the reserve agreement in the League contract, in that they are both merely preliminary agreements anticipating the signing of a regular contract.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

roster makeup 2

Date Sunday, February 2, 1890
Text

“I don't think a club should carry more than fourteen players,” said McPhee, of the Cincinnati club, the other day. “In order to get first-class playing out of the men they should be worked very regularly, and the only way to do this is to carry a small team. Two catchers, if they are first-class, are enough for any club, and not more than three pitchers can be worked to good advantage. One of the drawbacks to the Cincinnati club in seasons past was the fact that too many men were carried, and naturally some of them were forced to remain idle. A catcher should be worked every other day and a pitcher should be required to go in at least twice a week. Keenan caught splendid ball last year, and why/ for the very reason that he was given plenty to do and was not allowed to get rusty from lack of work. Earle is a fine catcher, but he must be constantly used in order to show to advantage his playing ability. If I was handling a team I would not use more than three pitcher, and two of them would do the bulk of the work.

Source ” Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

folding chairs in the Cincinnati park

Date Sunday, February 2, 1890
Text

[from the Cincinnati correspondent] One thousand folding chairs will be put in the grand stand at the Cincinnati Park before the opening of the season. The contract has been awarded, and the chair selected is the finest ever used in a base ball inclosure.

Source Sunday Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching philosophy from a catcher

Date Sunday, February 2, 1890
Text

[from the Cincinnati correspondent][from an interview of catcher Jim Keenan] “What is your idea about the best method of pitching?” “I think a pitcher should put them over the plate all the time and depend on his field. You know Bob Caruthers is a star twirler. Well, ‘putting them over’ is the secret of his success. One day last Summer, when the Brooklyns were playing here, with Caruthers in the box, Gus Schmelz said to him: ‘How it is, Bob, you put the ball over the plate right along, and yet you are very successful?’ ‘Well, Gus, I used to try to strike out every man in the game, but as I grew older I got over that idea. I would rather have the batter hit it now. There are eight other men in the game besides myself, and they ought to have a chance to earn their salaries’ Bob was right. Make the batter hit them, and you won’t lose by it.

Source ” The Philadelphia Sunday Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the old Nationals recruited George Fox with a civil service job 2

Date Sunday, February 2, 1890
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] [from an interview of Senator Gorman] “That reminds me of how the Nationals on one occasion obtained a player who afterward proved to be one of the star men. Our nine had gone to Georgetown college to play a game, and before the contest began our attention was attracted by a tall, slim young fellow who was batting the ball up for the boys and dring the ball over the fence at the southern end of the inclosure. Upon inquiry we ascertained that the heavy batter was George Fox, and that he had just graduated and was preparing to go to his home in New York. He was questioned and urged to remain in Washington, the ample inducement offered him being a position in a Government department, for in those days there was no such thing as civil service reform, and the majority of our members were men who held offici9al positions, and wielded a great deal of influence. Our arguments proved too potent for Fox, and he consented to remain with us, and we never regretted our bargain. Some of this long drives to the willows on the White House grounds will live in the memory of the old-timers who witnessed them.

Source ” The Philadelphia Sunday Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mental drills

Date Monday, February 3, 1890
Text

[Jack Lynch describing his coaching at Fordham College] To make a player familiar with all positions and points of the game I have a blackboard upon which is marked a correct playing field. I then select a student indiscriminately and ask him what position he plays, or, in the event of his playing a certain position, what he would do, say, if two men were on base and a ball was hit to him. Then I would ask another one, say a first baseman, how he would play his position if there was a man at this base and another at third. Then I ask a shorts top if a pitcher gave him a signal to play in a certain place what he might expect. He would answer, probably a double play. The result of this teaching is that the smallest boy in the college can tell you in an instant all the plays in a game. A code of signals is also taught, and we have them so arranged that they can be changed if by chance they are understood by other parties. New York Sun February 3, 1890

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

college athletic recruiting

Date Monday, February 3, 1890
Text

“You’ve heard of boys working their way through college by teaching, of course,” said a college man to a Chicago Tribune reporter. “I presume you know some old fellow who takes pride in telling you that he blacked boots to get an education. But that isn’t the angle now. If you are poor, and want to get an education, learn to play ball. That will take you through. I’ll bet there are a dozen or more men in the Eastern colleges who are going through on nothing but their ability to swipe a ball when at bat, and make it swerve clear out of the way when some other fellow is there.

“I know a case in point. There was a young Irishman up in New Hampshire. He never had completed his common school education, but he could fool old Anse with his curves. The Amherst team ran up against him in a game one, and it was decided that he was needed at Amherst. He went, the boys agreeing to pay his expenses through college. President Seelye examined him. After finding out how little he had studied the President asked him:

“‘And what have you done?’

“‘Fooled every man on your nine with my curves.’ was the reply.

“‘Oh–ah–yes,’ replied President Seelye, who took considerable interest in college sports. ‘That isn’t–ah–exactly a requisite for admission, but–well, you might take a special course.’

“He did, and, do you know, he got interested in his studies and got an excellent education.

“That’s only one case. There are dozens of others, and my advice to young men who want to work their way through college is to learn to play base-ball.

Source ” Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

indoor baseball spreading

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

Base ball playing indoors has certainly caught on with the members of the National Guard in Brooklyn. The Thirteenth Regiment's Association has been a success from the start. It subsequently took hold with the boys of the Twenty-third Regiment, and that crack organization, it is said, has two companies whose teams will soon be pitted against the best in the field. The Third Gatling Battery, with headquarters at Washington and Dean streets, has also organized a team which is particularly desirous of meeting the pick of the Thirteen Regiment.

Now the craze has struck the Forty-seventh Regiment, whose handsome remodeled armory at Marcy avenue, Lynch and Heyward streets, in the Eastern District, offers better facilities for playing than any other armory in the State, with probably one exception—that of the Seventh Regiment. A year ago Capt. Quick organized a team from Company E, and the boys played quite a fair game at Prospect Park. Having a number of good players in his company at present, he is making efforts to collect a team to play in the armory, and it is very likely that Capt. Christopher of Company D and one or two other companies will join in the movement. The armory is 240 feet long and 140 feet wide. Every precaution will be taken to protect the windows and chandeliers and as there is no doubt but that Col. Gaylor will grant them permission to use the armory for the purpose, the movement looks like a sure go. Capt. Quick placed the matter before the company last night, and the members were enthusiastic over the scheme. A meeting for organization will occur next week.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comparison of the Bennett case and the reserve clause

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

Marshal Brown, who conducted the defence of Charles W. Bennett when the Allegheny Club sought to enjoin him...in 1882, declares that the old League has no case against the Players for damages or against the stockholders for conspiracy. He says the two cases are very similar, as in many respects the agreement entered into between Bennett and the Allegheny Club is similar to the reserve agreement, in the League contract, in that they are both merely preliminary agreements anticipating the signing of a regular contract.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit bids to join the League; Baltimore equivocates

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting 1/29-1/30] According to arrangement, ex-President Frederick K. Stearns, of the Detroit Club, appeared before the League to advocate an increase of its circuit to twelve clubs. Mr. Stearns was accompanied by James A. Marsh and President Mills of the International League, of Detroit, and President Harry Vonderhorst, of the Baltimore Club.

Mr. Stearns told the delegates that Detroit would accept a League franchise if the circuit was increased to twelve clubs. The latter number would make it possible to make a much better schedule than with ten clubs. The increased percentage allowed to visiting club, Mr. Stearns argued, would make it possible for Detroit to support a first-class club. If Detroit was admitted another club would be needed in the East, and Baltimore could be had.

President Vonderhorst said he did not know that Baltimore would make application for admission into the National League this season. “We are in the Atlantic Association,” said he, “And it would not be fair for us to desert that body now.”

President A. G. Spalding, of Chicago, said he would just as leave have twelve clubs as ten, but an informal discussion among the delegates developed the fact that they were all against an increase. Then the subject was dropped. Neither Detroit nor Baltimore filed applications for membership. The Sporting Life February 5, 1890

The Detroit Club has not yet given up hopes of again figuring in a National League campaign, and Fred Stearns is still in the East laying pipes to accomplish that object. He has, of course, given up the idea of a twelve-club circuit and has set his machinery at work in another direction. He proposes to buy the franchise of one of the present members of the League and transfer it to Detroit. The objection point of his efforts is Washington. The Sporting Life February 12, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

home and away uniforms mandated

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting 1/29-1/30] On motion it was decided that all League clubs should dress their players in white uniforms at all games played on the home grounds, the stockings, belts, caps and trimmings to be of any color the respective clubs may choose to select. In all games played away from home white uniforms are debarred, but the clubs may suit their own taste as to the color to be worn. Thus a similarity of uniforms of opposing teams will be avoided and the clubs will still be enabled to make their own selections as to th style of their players' garb.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the preliminary injunction against Ward is denied

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

The injunction was denied and Ward scored a clean knock-down in the legal tilt with the League. In his opinion Judge O'Brien allowed that the word “reserve” held the player, as shown by his supplemental contract with the New York Base Ball Club, but maintained that the contract in its entirety was unequal in its conditions and could not be enforced in a court of equity. He recommended a speedy trial in order that the ends of justice might be served, but in a quiet and unmistakable way explained to the plaintiff that he had not a chance in a thousand to win his suit. The very inequity of the alleged contract was enough to prevent its enforcement, allowing that all claims made by the plaintiff were correct. [The entire opinion follows.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the injunction denial encourages PL signings; returning players

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

One effect of Judge O'Brien's decision is the change of heart in short stop e. J. McKean, who recently jumped his Brotherhood contract to join the National League. He decided on Thursday last to stick to his first contract and so notified Al Johnson. He also sent a long telegram to Treasurer Howe in New York informing him of his intention. The Sporting Life February 5, 1890

[quoting Frank Brunell] Under no circumstances will any man who has once signed a contract with the Players' League and then flopped over to the old League be taken back. Yes, there will be one man only—E. J. McKean, of Cleveland. He went to Al Johnson in a manly way, said he had committed an error, and was willing to refund to the old League all the advance money that was paid him. But no man like Delehanty, who, since the injunction against Ward was refused,has been running around the City of Cleveland and almost praying to be taken back, stating that he would play for a less sum than the Players' League asked him to, will ever be allowed to play in the organization with my consent. The Sporting Life February 12, 1889

[editorial matter] The effect of Judge O'Brien's decision upon the Players' League has been all that was expected and predicted. There has not been a single desertion since the decision was announced, and the confidence of the players, the backers and the public in the future of the Players' League has been heightened to a most remarkable degree. In every direction has the Players' League been strengthened. The Sporting Life February 12, 1890

The question is being considered now by the Players' League whether to receive back such of the deserters as have expressed regret for their acts and signified their willingness to return to their allegiance to the Brotherhood. There are just ten such repentant men now. The sentiment against taking ehse men back is strong and growing stronger daily. The Sporting Life February 19, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sympathy for John Day

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

Mr. Day's unfortunate position has evoked the compassion of even those who have been so unmercifully abused in his weekly paper—the players. For instance, Tim Keefe remarked the other day tat he wished Mr. Day was interested in the Players' League instead of being its chief adversary among National League magnates and added:

“He is one of the squarest men in the base ball business. If he would be satisfied with the shares that the largest stockholder in the Players' League owns we would give him a royal welcome into our ranks. He could have entire control of the New York Club of our League.”

In connection with Mr. Keefe's remarks, the following item from the New York World, which is the admitted Brotherhood paper of the metropolis, is very significant:

“There is a chance for John B. Day to get in out of the rain. If he stays out much longer he may be soaked through.”

Perhaps there's something here calculated to set the other League magnates to guessing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

indoor baseball in Chicago; rosin

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text
Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Irwin catcher's glove mitt

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

[an advertisement] The Irwin Glove Mitt, manufactured solely by Draper & Maynard, Ashland, N.H., was used last season by the following League catchers: Bennett, Ganzell, T. Daley, Mack, Murphy, Farrell, Con daily. Price, No. 1, Felt-lines, $6,00. No. 2, Leather-lined, $5.00. No. 3, Amateur, $4.00. For sale by all dealers. Send for catalogue. Arthur A. Irwin, 860 Dorchester Ave., Boston, Mass.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Day responds to the suggestion that he might jump to the PL

Date Wednesday, February 5, 1890
Text

“Let me say once for all that I deem such a suggestion an insult to my business reputation. Last autumn I refuted a similar insinuation by declaring that there was not in my nature any of the characteristics of a Benedict Arnold. Should I accept any such cowardly advice there is nothing that could be said in condemnation of my course that would be too severe.

“I have, as a member of the New York Base Ball Club, business partners who suffer equally with myself in this ungrateful conspiracy of our well-treated players to ruin us. If I were contemptible enough now to desert these partners—sell them out, betray them and join hands with the men who betrayed us, and who now add insult to injury by making such a suggestion to me—I should deserve the odium of all men.

“Besides, as a member of the New York National League Club, I am indirectly, and have been for seven years, a partner of the owners of other League clubs, whose interests, friendship and business confidence I should also betray were I to even think of accepting such an invitation. Let it be understood, once for all, I am not a Judas who will sell my friends for so many pieces of silver.

“If the players, whom we treated so generously during the years of our mutual success, succeed in their efforts to ruin the business we have built up, that they may divide the supposed profits among themselves, I will suffer equally with the men who were betrayed with me, though I do not believe the uncalled-for rebellion will result so disastrously as all that to the New York Club.

“These men, who now invite me to sell out a lease of property for $20,000 which cost nearly $60,000 last season to condition for use and to invest the $20,000, or part of it, in the purchase of the stock which they have already taken from em, are not lacking in assurance.

“Yet is it nothing more than should be expected of men who saw the club expend this money on new grounds, while they were secretly conspiring for the club's ruin, who, without a cause for complaint against the club's treatment of themselves, as they have frequently confessed, planned for the overthrow of our business while under contract with us, actuated only by a selfish motive of a hope for further gain.

Source ” The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Lehane case

Date Thursday, February 6, 1890
Text

John B. Day of the New York National League Club is doing what he can toward fracturing the national agreement in the case of Mike Lehane. Two weeks ago Lehane signed a contract that he would play with the Columbus Club at a stated salary if Manager Buckenberger could secure his release from Buffalo on or before Feb. 10. The deal was made yesterday [2/4] and Lehane notified that his terms were accepted and a contract would be forwarded immediately. Secretary White of the International League to-day notified Vice-President Lazarus of the Columbus Club that his offer for the release of Lehane had been accepted by the Buffalo management, and authorized him to treat with Lehane as to terms.

This afternoon that player telegraphed here [Columbus]: “Do not negotiate my release from Buffalo as I will not play with Columbus.” The efforts of Day and Mutrie to secure Lehane were well known and Mr. Lazarus wired both gentlemen that Columbus had purchased Lehane in a regular way from Buffalo, and warned them against treating with him any further on pain of violating the national agreement. President Phelps was then informed of the status of the matter, and he he at once promulgated the contract of Lehane with the Columbus Club. It is known that Mutrie offered the player a fabulous salary to play with New York. The trouble is the New York magnates were outwitted and are now endeavoring to get Lehane to renounce his obligations. He will be held by Columbus at all hazards. New York Sun February 6, 1890

“It is the first time I ever knew that a player under contract and reserve could sign a personal contract to play elsewhere,” said President Day of the New York Club. “This appears to be the state of affairs as the Columbus officials present it, in the case of Mike Lehane. No: It can't be done, and further, I can say that as soon as Lehane is released by the buffalo Club he will be signed to play with the New Yorks. New York Sun February 7, 1890

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

street car subsidies of a minor league club; Bill Parks

Date Saturday, February 8, 1890
Text

W. R. Parks and George W. Carman will represent Easton at the Inter-state League meeting at Allentown next Wednesday. It looks very much as if the new club will be located on College Hill, the cause for the change being that the street car company now running to the old grounds does not appear to be willing to render any financial assistance, while it is reported that the Electric Street Car Company, which runs to College Hill, has made the promoters of the new club a very flattering offer.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

isolating the PL clubs

Date Saturday, February 8, 1890
Text

There seems to be considerable misunderstanding among the many amatuer and semi-professional clubs throughout the country regarding the restrictions placed upon national agreement teams in connection with the spring exhibition games. According to the rule laid down by the national agreement no clubs belonging to the National League, American Association, Atlantic Association, New England League, Interstate League, International League, Tri-State League, Western Association, Southern League, Texas League or California League, can play games with members of the Brotherhood League. Any amateur clubs who play with Brotherhood teams will be debarred from playing any clubs of the leagues under the protection of the national agreement. Any player who plays on a team which plays a Brotherhood club will also be debarred from playing with any national agreement clubs in the future.

President N. E. Young has official warned all clubs not to arrange games with Players’ League clubs on pain of being forever ruled out of games with clubs under the national agreement.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

iron girders in the Philadelphia Players’ League park; capacity

Date Sunday, February 9, 1890
Text

[describing the plans for Forepaugh Park] In style it will resemble the grand pavillion at the Philadelphia Ball Park, being of the same shape, that is, semi-elliptical. The structure will be of woodwork, with iron girders, trusses, supports, etc., forty feet deep and each wing or angle will be 235 feet long. The main entrance will be at the corner of Broad and York streets.

Source Philadelphia All-Day City Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an account of why the American Association Brotherhood never formed

Date Sunday, February 9, 1890
Text

“You don’t know that the American Association came pretty nearly having a Brotherhood last season, did you?” inquired Long John Reilly in the Cincinnati Enquirer office, the other day.

“No; I never heard of the movement,” responded the writer.

“Yes, the Brotherhood had the Association in line, but Latham was the cause of its death before it got out of the swaddling clothes.”

“How did Arlie break it up?”

“Well, the movement started in Louisville. Every time any of the Association teams would go to New York or Philadelphia last season they were almost sure to put up at the same hotel with some League team. These League players used to fill us up with great stories of the benefits to be derived from such an organization. Guy Hecker and some of the Louisville players became enthusiastic, and they decided to organize an American Association Brotherhood. They secured a charter, or something else from the Brotherhood, and all the Louisville players signed it.”

“Our team visited Louisville next, and every member of the Reds affixed his signature to the document. Next the St. Louis Browns appeared in the Falls City, and every one of them were enrolled. The paper containing the names was then turned over to Arlie Latham, who was delegated to get the names of the players in the other five teams. Lath must have been too busy, or something interfered. He rammed the paper down his back hip-pocket, and that would up the American Association Brotherhood. The paper was never heard of again, and neither was the Brotherhood.

Source ” The Philadelphia Item
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

admission rates in Cincinnati

Date Sunday, February 9, 1890
Text

The prices of admission to all the exhibition games at the Cincinnati Park this season will be twenty-five, forty and fifty cents. At League championship games patrons will pay as follows: terrace, fifty cents; pavilion, sixty cents, and grand stand, seventy-five cents. Tickets can be reserved in the grand stand without extra charge. The reserve-seat man will be a Hawley’s until 1 o’clock of every day on which a game is played.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitch machine

Date Monday, February 10, 1890
Text

“Fred Carroll and Billy Kuehne,” says the Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette, “have invented a very curious yet simple means for training the eye to judge swiftly pitched and erratically curved balls. The machine, or whatever it may be called, has been erected in the extensive back yard of an Allegheny residence, and the boys expect to do business with it daily. At the upper end of the yard the machine is set up. It is a powerful spring securely fastened to a piece of heavy timber. On the top of the spring is a cup-like arrangement in which the regulation base ball snugly fits. This is pulled down and fastened to an ingeniously made catch, or series of catches rather, for it can be set at any curve or angle to suit the operator. The spring is on a line with a home plate at the lower end of the yard. One of the players manipulates the machine, while the others take turns with the bat. A ball is placed in the cup, the operator fastens the spring down to any catch he chooses, the combinations of curves and straight balls being almost innumerable while at the same time it is an utter impossibility for the batsman to anticipate how it is going to come. When ready, the operator relieves the catch and the ball is thrown with the force of a bullet. It requires a mighty quick eye to get on to it, and furnishes not only excellent practice but a great deal of amusement. The balls go over the plate much swifter than is possible for the strongest pitcher in the country to send them, and by becoming proficient in sizing them up a batsman will have no difficulty in hitting the most skillful twirler, as the hardest-pitched ball would look slow and easy in comparison with those thrown with the spring. The inventors will probably apply for a patent.

Source ” The Evening Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Players League and the minors; exhibition games

Date Wednesday, February 12, 1890
Text

[quoting Frank Brunell] If it is necessary , the League clubs will play among themselves; but we think we can secure games with some of the minor league organizations. You will find that before long they will be switching away from that protection which costs $250 a year, and play with clubs that will make them the most money. Then, again, we will guarantee them all the protectoral rights necessary without demanding a penny.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Day wants to buy out the Indianapolis franchise

Date Wednesday, February 12, 1890
Text

[an account of the recent NL special meeting, attributed to Hewitt] According to his story, John B. Day was anxious that Mr. Brush, of the Indianapolis Club, should dispose of his players and franchise to the New York League manger, the grounds stated for this being that New York must have the best talent available in order to compete with the Brotherhood organization.

The proposition brought out a vigorous demurrer from President Brush, who declared that he had the strongest team in the League and proposed to make money out of it this season. Besides, the forty per cent. guarantee could not fail to redound to his benefit, and after all the trouble that he had gone to with a view to securing players, he did not propose to stand aside without a remonstrance.

In vain Mr. Day appealed to the sense of fairness of the Hoosier representative, and shows that Indianapolis would not compare with New York in drawing big crowds, no matter what the attraction might be. President Brush put his foot down and declared emphatically that he would not do as requested, but would stick it out to the bitter end. He thought he would be able to transfer the championship from the East to the West, and gave his reasons at length for thinking so. The Sporting Life February 12, 1890 [also Item 2/7/1890]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington ready to sell out

Date Wednesday, February 12, 1890
Text

President Hewitt...advanced the idea that he is in the market if the League wants to purchase his franchise, and announced that he had not taken the necessary steps to complete his lease of the proposed new ball park in Washington. Considerable dissatisfaction exists in League circles over the attitude of President Hewitt on this question, and President Young said to-day that he was a loss to understand why he is acting and talking so.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush bets short on the Ward injunction

Date Wednesday, February 12, 1890
Text

An Indianapolis correspondent, who is rather close to President Brush, of the Hoosier Club, writes:

“According to the statement of President Brush, in a conversation a few days ago, anticipating a decision favorable to Ward, the real fighting between the League and Brotherhood has now begun, and any sort of methods will be regarded as justifiable if not absolutely fair. Money will be used as freely as may be necessary, and there is little doubt that it will cost the League clubs vastly more to secure good players than has been expended by the Hoosier manager in early renewing contracts with his old players at higher salaries than they had been paid before. Brush views the situation with a good deal of satisfaction compared to the feelings of others who have no players and who have no prospect of securing them through the processes of the courts when they must have them, no matter how high they come. He is now swinging round the circle in the East, looking for any desirable men that may be in the market, and evidently he has some idea of securing all that are not under engagement. He has already signed many more players than he really needs—more than the Indianapolis Club has ever had before. Still he is looking for more. It really looks very much as if Mr. Brush had some idea of forming a base ball trust of his own. Players will be badly needed by other clubs, if the fight with the Brotherhood comes to the worst, and they are likely to be scarce. Mr. Brush, however, will probably have players to sell. Altogether there are eighteen players under contract to Indianapolis to-day.”

Would it not be in the nature of retribution if the Indianapolis players, who were the greatest kickers against League tyranny and the first to desert the Brotherhood, were to be once more peddled around and sold like “hand-me-downs” in the “When” clothing shop?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phillies file lawsuits

Date Wednesday, February 12, 1890
Text

In pursuance of the League policy of persecution, the Philadelphia Club on Thursday last, through its counsel, John I. Rogers, filed in the Court of Common Please three separate bills in equity against Fogarty, Sanders and Farrar, of last year's Philadelphia team.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buffalo leaves the International Association

Date Wednesday, February 12, 1890
Text

The Buffalo Base Ball Club is out of the International Association, having failed to put up the $1,000 guarantee. The franchise was retained until now to enable Buffalo ti dispose of several players not wanted for this year's Players' team, and thus reimburse the ball capitalists.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

securing the lease to Forepaugh Park

Date Thursday, February 13, 1890
Text

For a consideration of $1,000 the lease of the ground at the northeast corner of Broad and Dauphin streets was transferred to the Brotherhood base ball club yesterday. George McKay & Company, the lessees, had an unexpired term of three years to run, but all claims were relinquished on the payment of the above mentioned sum and the moving expenses, amounting to about $500. The firm will locate at Twenty-seventh and Diamond streets and erect an office and a number of sheds.

Source Evening Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early sighting of Ella Black

Date Friday, February 14, 1890
Text

Miss Ella Black, of No. 160 Robinson street, Allegheny, Pa., is the first lady to enlist in the army of base ball writers. Miss Black’s contributions have appeared in several Pittsburgh papers, and that she has a thorough knowledge of the National game there can be no doubt.

Source Evening Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

usage of “crank”

Date Sunday, February 16, 1890
Text

[from a letter by Mutrie] I am in constant receipt of letters from all over the country and from all sorts and condition of men, and women, too, for that matter, asking all kinds of questions concerning the game. Some of these are cranks, pure and simple; some are persons who seem to write just for the fun of the thing. On the other hand, many more are from men who are interested in base ball from love of the game—a game which I maintain is unequaled in its way.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Stern and Byrne pledged to keep Indianapolis and Washington in the League

Date Sunday, February 16, 1890
Text

It is scarcely probable that the reports are true that President Byrne, of Brooklyn, and Stern, of Cincinnati, advocate the dropping of Indianapolis and Washington from the League, for the reason that those gentlemen personally pledged themselves, at the ball meeting, to oppose any such move if Indianapolis and Washington withdrew their objection to the admission of the two Association clubs. Aside from this, it would certainly be in poor taste for clubs, whose League existence numbers but a few weeks, to talk about dropping cities which have been represented in the great organization for years.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buck Ewing on John Day

Date Tuesday, February 18, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Buck Ewing] “Have you any grievance against Day?”

“Not a thing. He is the best man ever connected with the National game. When I say that I bar nobody. He is square and fair all the way through, and I would do him any favor in my power. I do not believe in breaking faith with the Brotherhood.

Source ” Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of reducing the NL to eight clubs

Date Wednesday, February 19, 1890
Text

[quoting an unidentified director of the New York Club] The drift of sentiment now seems to almost demand that there shall be but eight clubs in the organization. The situation requires it, and you can almost depend upon it to a certainty that eight clubs will be the quota. I would not like to state just what clubs will drop out, but when the time arrives to effect such an arrangement there will be no ill-feelings engendered, as generally supposed. Yes, it will take considerable money to purchase these clubs outright, but when to comes to a good fat offer I don't imagine there will be any hesitation in accepting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a college club scared off from playing the PL

Date Wednesday, February 19, 1890
Text

It was intended to open the new grounds with the Pennsylvania University team in April, but the manager of the latter has, under pressure of some other parites, decided to break his contract and has so notified President Love. He weakly feared that he would not be able 6to get on games with the Philadelphia League and Athletic clubs. Of course, this is a fact, but the few games he will be able to arrange with these two clubs will hardly compensate him for breaking a formal agreement, especially in view of the fact that he would probably have realized more money for his University team by playing with the Players' league team, which will be the great novelty of the opening season, at least. It is more than probable that the Players' club would also have given the Pennsylvania University team a date for every one they lost by sticking by their agreement. Under any circumstances the Pennsylvania University team should not have permitted itself to be bulldozed into breaking an agreement.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Florida as a spring training site

Date Wednesday, February 19, 1890
Text

John Montgomery Ward, the great ball player, played short for the New York Club last season, and through whose efforts the metropolis won the League pennant, arrived in this city [Tampa] this afternoon. … “What do you think of Florida as headquarters during winter for professional ball players?” he was asked. “From what I have seen I should think it just the place,” replied Ward. “Ball players need practice in mild climate a month or six weeks before the season opens in the North. The y may spend hours daily in a gymnasium and get their muscles as hard as iron, but that does very little good. They go out in the open air, sprain a joint, strain a muscle, or catch cold, and run the risk of being laid up for the best part of the season. With out of door work in a climate like this, men become limbered up, so to speak. That is, their muscles are elastic and in working order, ready for actual work. It seems to me that manager of these magnificent hotels in Florida have excellent opportunity to make base all a great attraction throughout the winter season. It would pay them to club together and secure a good team of professional men. Make it a local club, and if they could get good local material so much the better. With a first-class club, arrangements could easily be made with Northern teams to come down and play. Hotel managers should pay these men just as they do their musicians, and guests of hotels should be provided with cards of admission.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush has a written agreement to keep Indianapolis in the League

Date Wednesday, February 19, 1890
Text

To effectually put at rest the insane stories emanating in New York, that Indianapolis is likely to be voted out of the League, in the desire to return to an eight-club circuit, it can be stated that President Brush has in his safe an iron-clad agreement, signed by all the Presidents of the League, that Indianapolis shall continue therein. Objection was raised at the time of the admission of Brooklyn and Cincinnati against a ten-club circuit, and neither Brush nor Hewitt would vote for the admission of the new applicants until they had exacted a written agreement that the same should in no way interfere with Indianapolis and Washington. Backed by this document, Indianapolis can not be forced out by the Eastern demand for an eight-club circuit.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Day attempts to buy the Indianapolis Club

Date Thursday, February 20, 1890
Text

John B. Day and J. A. Gordon, of the New York League club, have gone, and they did not buy anything or anybody except their tickets to New York. … Before the conference of these gentlemen with Mr. Brush, yesterday morning, Mr. Day took occasion to explain his position to the newspaper representatives. “I have come here,” said he, “to buy the Indianapolis club just as it stands, and would like to take every player in it to New York. We know and appreciate what Mr. Brush has done for the League, but think that now, interested as he is in seeing a successful fight waged with the Brotherhood, he should consent to the transfer of the club to New York, if adequately compensated. Such a move would crowd out Washington and thus give us eight strong clubs at eight good points with which to fight the Brotherhood. I don't care to say what amount of money we are willing to pay for the Indianapolis players or what other means we propose to use to bring about the desired result. If we can get them we will have a club as strong as any in the League.”

After making this somewhat presumptuous statement, President Day, accompanied by Director Gordon, left his hotel to seek President Brush. The three gentlemen were closeted nearly three hours, and the result of the conference was decidedly unfavorable to the realization of the New Yorkers' hopes. Mr. Day presented his arguments in favor of an eight-club circuit, appealing to Mr. Brush's judgment to sustain him in his point that a far more successful stand could be made against the Brotherhood with eight strong than with ten weaker clubs. “In fact,” said Mr. Day, among other things, “the dates of the strong Eastern clubs with the weaker ones in a ten-club circuit might almost as well be left open, so far as attendance is concerned. There is every reason in the world in favor of an eight-club circuit as opposed to one of ten clubs.” To this Mr. Brush replied that, so far as Indianapolis was concerned, Mr. Day would remember that its representatives had gone into the League meeting last fall strongly opposed to a ten-club circuit. They had fought the admission of Brooklyn and Cincinnati, not because they opposed those clubs, but for the reason that they felt it unwise to increase the circuit. They had battled against admitting the two Association clubs until they stood alone, and then gave in only on the explicit condition that Indianapolis was, under no circumstances, to be dropped. He further told Mr. Day that the ten-club circuit had been formed over the protest of Indianapolis, and that the Indianapolis club proposed now to stand by that circuit. And so the conference ended.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professionals barred from the YMCA 2

Date Sunday, February 23, 1890
Text

The Y.M.C.A. says it is is prohibited from admitting professionals to membership, hence its stand in the cases of Denny, Boyle and Rusie. These three players wanted to buy membership tickets in order to get into the gymnasium for a few weeks before the season opens. They were barred out, however. It looks a good deal like straining a point, but the same trouble has arisen at other points. Sunday was refused admission to the Y.M.C.A. gymnasium at Pittsburg on the same ground, though he is known to be in thorough sympathy with the organization. The association says it must draw the line plainly between amateurs and professionals, but it seems as though a relaxation of the rule in certain cases would be advisable. Many of the people who help support the Association, also aid in keeping up the Indianapolis ball club, and it would not be in conflict wit their wishes were the trio of players named above allowed the use of the gymnasium for an hour every morning, when there are few members o n the floor, even if membership tickets could not, under the rules, be sold them. Surely there is nothing in the rules to prevent the free use of the hand-ball court being granted them for a brief time each day during the next two or three weeks.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumored Brotherhood suspicions about Ewing

Date Friday, February 21, 1890
Text

The Brotherhood people feel very confident about Ewing, but at the same time they take the caution to send some one to shadow him. They evidently think in their hearts that this “sturdy oak” is susceptible to sufficient inducements.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia PL Club official scorer

Date Sunday, February 23, 1890
Text

Horace Fogel, sporting editor of the Ledger, has been appointed official scorer for the Philadelphia Brotherhood Club. In this they have made a wise selection.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

striking a platted street from the plan

Date Sunday, February 23, 1890
Text

[describing the new Manheim grounds of the Germantown Cricket Club] An ordinance was secured from Councils striking a street as it was laid out through the property from the city plan, and the club is now proprietor of a block somewhat larger than the ordinary city block, with the exception of a small lot on the corner of Manheim and Morris streets, for the purchase of which negotiations are now in progress.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

drainage infrastructure of the Germantown Cricket Club

Date Sunday, February 23, 1890
Text

[describing the new Manheim grounds of the Germantown Cricket Club] The cricket field was laid out as a square of 500 feet. Much of this was raised from one foot to eighteen inches to grade. The playing platform was laid out 200 feet square, and this was dug down eighteen inches, the ground hammered and rolled and then filled in with sub-soil. The rest of the field was filled in in the same manner to a dept of ten inches. The turf, brought from Stenton and Nicetown, the former ground being entirely stripped, and the latter giving up about a quarter of its sod, has been entirely laid and is now in manure. A walk across it shows the promise of the elasticity desired and aimed at. Its level is admirable, and there should be no fraying or roughening at the edges of the field; unless the drain, running naturally toward Handsberry street, should leave so much of the Manheim street level as is unprotected by the trees to dry earlier than the rest. At all events the platform must have a body that no other ground in the city possesses, and it is likely to retain its elasticity unimpaired through the driest season under the excellent system proposed of laying out permanent and numbered wickets, and using them in rotation, or as their wear in service suggests.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a pitching machine

Date Tuesday, February 25, 1890
Text

A machine has just been invented for training the eyes to judge swiftly pitched and erratically curved balls. The machine is a powerful spring securely fastened to a piece of heavy timber. On the top of the spring is a cap-like arrangement into which the regulation base ball snugly fits. This is pulled down and fastened to an ingeniously made catch, or series of catches rather, for it can be set at any curve or angle to suit the operator. The spring is on a line with a home-plate at the lower end of the yard. One of the players manipulates the machine while the others take turns with the bat. A ball is placed in the cup, the operator fastens the spring down to any catch he chooses, the combinations of curves and straight balls being almost innumerable, while at the same time it is an utter impossibility for the batsman to anticipate how it is going to come. When ready the operator relieves the catch and the ball is thrown with the force of a bullet., quoting the New York Press

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire stealing signs

Date Sunday, February 23, 1890
Text

[from an interview of umpire George Barnum] “Have you any system that you follow while umpiring that helps you?”

“Yes: I endeavor to ascertain the signs used by the batter. This is a big aid. I can then tell what kind of a ball to expect, and can locate myself so as to be in the best possible position to judge it.

Source ” Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stealing third with two outs

Date Sunday, February 23, 1890
Text

[from an interview of an unidentified Reds player] The old stereotypes rule, which prevails in most clubs, that when two men are out and a man on second, under no circumstances must a base runner attempt to steal third. They argue that a sacrifice hit is no good at such a time, and that the runner can score from second on a base hit just about as well as he can from third, and that there is no sense in taking a long chance. Here’s where I think they are wrong. A base runner ought to steal third every time he has a chance. There is no use to handicap a fast man like Nicol or Earle with rules. With two men out and a man on second there is always a good chance. A pitcher pays very little attention to a runner then, as he thinks he will not go, consequently he can get a good lead, and a good start for a fast runner is equivalent to giving him the base. I would never make such a rule. It is good enough for slow runners, but in a pinch let a fast man exercise his own judgment.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Stern wants to keep Indianapolis in the League

Date Sunday, February 23, 1890
Text

President Stern yesterday received a telegram from the Indianapolis Journal asking him if he intended to vote in favor of reducing the League circuit and freezing Indianapolis out of the League. President Stern at once replied that Cincinnati owed its position in the League to the Indianapolis Club, and that he was not ungrateful enough to treat Mr. Brush so shabbily. President Stern also added that he was in favor of retaining Indianapolis in order to have Mr. Brush’s wise counsels and hustling ability. He believes that he is one of the brightest of League magnates. If the League had six more men of the caliber of Messrs. Stern and Brush there would be no Brotherhood.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

descriptions of various pitches

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

[from an interview of umpire George W. Barnum] Clarkson's best and most effective ball is his fast raise ball, which comes towards the batter perfectly straight, and, when within 15 or 20 feet of the plate its speed seems to increase, and it raises with a peculiar skip or jump. Another ball which is almost equally as effective, and many players consider it even more so, is his high drop ball. It is slow, and is delivered with a deliberate motion. When within five feet of the batter's head it drops across his breast and shoots over the plate. It is an exceedingly difficult ball to hit. When it is hit fair it goes into the air, and the only way a batter can strike it with any success is for the batsman to chop down on it. Not two batters out of ten, however, can accomplish that. Clarkson has also a slow ball, delivered with the same motion as his speedy ball.

Tim Keefe has the best slow ball of any pitcher in the profession. It deceives the best batters in the League. There is no difference in the delivery of that and his speedy ball. It leaves his hand apparently the same way, but it nears the plate so slowly that I have seen batters invite curvature of the spine in their frantic but fruitless endeavors to hit it. Tim also has an excellent drop, but Buffington has the best drop of any pitcher in the League. Clarkson, Keefe and Buffinton are unquestionably the heaviest pitchers in the League, and to that much of their success is due. One may have all the curves, yet not be a good pitcher.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Morrill opens a sporting goods store

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

John F. Morrill, one of the best-known base ball players, will open a sporting goods house at 12 Broomfield street, Boston, on March 1, under the firm name of John F. Morrill & Co. A full line of base ball, tennis and general athletic goods will be handled, and the business will be conducted very much on the same plan as that of Tim Keefe's in New York City. The Sporting Life February 26, 1890

A new base ball headquarters was opened last night with “Honest” John Morrill, Boston's favorite base ball player, and his business partner, Mr. W. R. Burdett, as hosts. Mr. Morrill has now severed forever his connection with professional base ball playing, and has turned his attention to the less exciting practice of fitting out athletes with the articles needed in the field of sports. The new store is at 12 Bromfield street. It is centrally located in th business district, and as the games of the Brotherhood and League clubs are to be displayed it cannot fail to become popular. Morrill has laid in a handsome stock of sporting goods and have ever reason to hope for success in his venture. The Sporting Life March 19, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis and the ten club League

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

The League may be able to persuade Mr. Brush to give up his franchise for good coin of the realm, but I doubt it. Brush is shrewd and knows a good thing when he sees it, and that he has one now nobody will deny. The League is reasonably sure to go through the season with ten clubs. It cannot and will not force Mr. Brush out unless he goes willingly, and he will not go that way. The League may squeeze Washington hard enough to persuade Mr. Hewitt to sell out to Detroit but even that is doubtful. A compromise will have to be agreed upon between Indianapolis and the League...

Now, as to the future. A compromise seems the only way out of it for Mr. Brush. He will not get out, and yet his refusal to do is a great injury to the League in general and the New York Club in particular. He is not to be blamed in the slightest in his course. He has rights and his colleagues will respect them. Still it is evident that what he can do to help out his associates he should do. Mr. Day doesn't need a great deal. With the men he has a short stop, a catcher, a third baseman and a could of pitchers would put him into the swim. The compromise that seems to me to be now probable would be for Mr. Brush, for a consideration of course, to let Mr. Day have Denny and Rusie or Getzein, and for Mr. Stern to give him Carpenter and Earle or Baldwin also for a consideration. This would provide Mr. Day with fillers for his present team and enable him to make a good front. He could pick up one pitcher of experience from the minor leagues and develop one from the lot of youngsters Mutrie has on hand all crazy to distinguish themselves.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Eddie Von der Ahe disliked

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

A St. Louis paper says that Eddie Von der Ahe has a “pickled disposition.” From all accounts, young Edouard is cordially disliked in St. Louis newspaper circles, and it is said that vengeance for his sins is wreaked upon the head of his old dad, who is his own greatest enemy.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League strategy following the Ward decision

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] The situation of the National League is at present anything but cheerful or encouraging. Hope from the law has been evidently abandoned, and an organized plan to capture Players' League men regardless of cost is now being vigorously pursued under the specious plea that “the end justifies the means.” But the scheme is meeting with but meagre success, the results being woefully disproportionate to the labor and expense involved. It is quite probable, however, that the scheme will be persisted in quite up to the opening of the season, and the Players' League will accordingly have to be on guard perpetually, prepared to checkmate every move of the enemy upon its ranks.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the history of the Brooklyn and Cincinnati jump

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text
Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Day tries to sign Buck Ewing

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

The past week furnished another sensation in the attempt of the New York Club to induce Ewing to become a double contract signer. This was but one more move in the club's plan of breaking up the New York Players' League Club by the reckless use of money, but, like the attempt on Danny Richardson, it failed completely. It appears that John B. Day and Director Joe Gordon, of the New York Club, quietly left New York on Saturday night, and on Tuesday the country was astonished by the report that they were in Cincinnati in conference with Buck Ewing. A whole day was spent by Day in trying to convince the great catcher that he ought to ignore his Brotherhood obligation and sign a League contract on top of his Players' League contract. It is not known what offers were made Ewing, but they were certainly great—some say as high as $8000 per annum for three years. Of course the Cincinnati reporters made ample use of their opportunity, and all sorts of sensational dispatches came pouring from Cincinnati thick and fast, and of such a tenor as to alarm the friends of the Brotherhood and create considerable uneasiness in New York, and Ewing was showered with telegrams beseeching him to stand by his pledges and comrades. The boys were not, however, left in suspense long, as Ewing telegraphed announcing his intention of sticking by the Players' League and authorized the Cincinnati Associated Press man to give out the following:

“When I go back to the League it will be after the rest have returned. Richardson and Connor have promised to follow me. They will have to lead and so will lots of others. There are two League men for whom I have the kindliest feelings—Soden and Day. I'd like to see them with us. They are white men. I don't care a snap of my finger for the rest.”

...[quoting an unidentified official of the New York Players' Club] “Buck unquestionably has a sympathetic feeling for John B., but he believes the old League Club president has nobody but himself and his confreres to blame for the present state of affairs.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

imposing the ban on PL exhibitions

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

H. K. Curtis, the well-known manager of one of New York's most noted semi-professional clubs—the Acmes—has published the following emphatic protest in the New York Star against one of the methods of the League adherents:

“The original Acmes of this city, are scheduled to play two games with the New York Brotherhood teams. Negotiations are also pending with the managers, whereby the Acmes expect to arrange games with other Players' League teams. Now we are semi-officially notified through the Sporting Times, John B. Day's paper, that if the Acmes play a game with a Brotherhood team, they (the Acmes) will be debarred from playing any National Agreement clubs, and also that any club playing the Acmes, after they play a Brotherhood team, will likewise by ostracized.

“Now, I beg leave to state on behalf of the Acmes that there is not a man among us that would do an act detrimental to the welfare of the national game. But we do not want to be boycotted (for we term it such) later on for doing something which we should not have done. Therefore we request the Board of Arbitration of the National League to be more explicit and describe what they term an ineligible player. They say we should not play the Brotherhood men because they are ineligible. Are we to understand by this that they are blacklisted, and if such is the case, may we ask why is it that the New York League Club is trying so hard to get these same “ineligible” (blacklisted) men to play in their team?

“To play against blacklisted men, however, might cause an injury to any club, as long as the National Agreement is in existence. We are disinterested in every shape, form and manner in the League fight with the Players, and why do they draw us into it?

“It seems to be a petty piece of business on their part, and I do not see how it can help their cause. Previous to arranging games with the Players' League I wrote at least fifty letters to managers of National Agreement clubs endeavoring to arrange games, but I have not received as much as a postal card in answer. So it is left to any one's imagination as to how many games with National Agreement clubs we will lose by playing the Players' League teams.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dickey Pearce a groundskeeper

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

The veteran Dickey Pearce is to be a ground-keeper at the Players' League grounds in Boston. A better man could not have been selected. He has had experience in that particular line, as well as in every one relating to the national game, with which he has been connected in some capacity since back in the '50s.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lettered grandstand sections

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

The Section A cranks, of the Chicago League grounds, have agreed to take a similar part of the grand stand at the Chicago Players' grounds this season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an improved batting cage 2

Date Wednesday, February 26, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I suppose you have heard of Jack Lynch's players' cage of base ball practice in colleges. It is an improvement over the base ball cages of Yale and Harvard, Jack says. He has it in use at St. John's College, Fordham, and when he began training the young Catholic ball players of the Jesuit College of St. Johns he found the facilities for effective practice rather limited, and this led him to the invention of his practice cage, which is now the only one of its kind in use. It is made of cordage used in the construction of the stoutest kind of fish netting. It occupies a space in the middle of a gymnasium 65ft. in length, 12ft. Wide and 12ft. High. The top hangs loosely from the ceiling and the sides have full play, as they rest upon the floor. No matter how hard the ball comes in contact with the netting it is almost impossible for it to do any damage, and a ball very rarely drops outside of the cage. This will be the third season for the cage, and although it has been subjected to severe usage there is not the slightest evidence of a break in any part of it. After the boys have concluded their day's labor in the cage it is removed in the simplest manner. By means of runners suspended from the ceiling and attached to the netting the cage is drawn together at one end of the gymnasium, and in less than five minutes nothing but a roll of white netting is observed dangling from the ceiling. Jack Lynch is proud of his invention and claims that it can hardly be improved upon.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League's guarantee fund

Date Saturday, March 1, 1890
Text

`In answer to questions about , otherwise known as the “corruption fund,” Colonel Rogers said: “This fund is the accumulation of five years at the rate of $1,000 per year for each club. We now have $40,000 and at our last meeting it was voted to increase this to $200,000. President Young has the control of the entire fund, which is now invested in government bonds.

“The only use to which the fund can be put is to defray proper legal expenses. This includes attorney fees. I am chairman of the law committee and we are the only ones who can draw on the fund and then only for proper and legitimate expenses.

“What any club pays out in bonuses or advance money is a matter of their own and does not concern the League as a whole. Not a cent of the fund has ever been sued for any such purpose nor can it ever be drawn on with that intention.

Source ” The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a barnstorming team to play exhibitions with the PL

Date Sunday, March 2, 1890
Text

[from a letter from Charley Mason] I have organized a strong club called the “Philadelphia Professionals” for the sole purpose of playing exhibition games with the Brotherhood clubs, and I am pleased to say that I have this day completed the entire circuit, playing two games in each city with each club as follows...

The team I have selected are the strongest players that are to be had, and will give a good exhibition of ball playing. I think it will be only a matter of time, when all the clubs will be only too glad to play the Brotherhood clubs. I was quite surprised to see the college clubs refuse to play the Players’ League. It certainly would be more to their credit and honor to play against the Brotherhood clubs. Why? The college clubs are mostly composed of gentlemen’s sons, and don’t you think it would be more to their credit to associate and play with men of honor, such as those who compose the Brotherhood, instead of playing against contract jumpers, oath violators, etc.? For good practice for any club it is best to select the best clubs to play against; hence, the Brotherhood comes in again.

Source Sunday Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

infield surface in Cincinnati; sliding

Date Sunday, March 2, 1890
Text

Billy Gale has every thing at the Cincinnati Park looking as bright and clean as the proverbial new pin. Every stone and stick has been gathered up and every broken or rotten board in the terrace and pavilion has been taken up and replaced with new timber. ... The Cincinnati team is an aggregation of fast base-runners, and every thing will be done to encourage them to take desperate chances. They can slide either feet first or head first on this new surface covering without injury. There will be no bits of gravel or sticks to scrape the skin from the arms and legs of base-runners, as was frequently the case last season.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league salary cap

Date Sunday, March 2, 1890
Text

Ball-players in clubs belonging to the Tri-State and Indiana circuit, will not grow rich the coming season. They will not need any one to help them to carry their salary away, even if it is paid to them in large copper cents. May be some of the local professionals are not [sic] warm under the collar. They claim that the salary limit of their League is outrageously low; that $500 a month for a team, including the manager, is a niggardly salary. Possibly it is, but the gentlemen at the head of these Leagues know their business. Heretofore minor Leagues have been conducted on decidedly too extravagant lines. The salaries were two [sic] high to allow the clubs to live. The wrecks that have in days gone by strewed the paths of minor Leagues have been a good teacher, and the projectors of the Tri-State and Indiana Leagues displayed good sense in calling a halt. Base-ball salaries are too high all around, and there is bound to be a reaction. The action taken by these minor Leagues is only a sample of what is to come some day in the major organizations.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club to be released early

Date Sunday, March 2, 1890
Text

In former seasons the members of the Cincinnati team have always reported March 15 and were allowed $1 a day for training until their contract came in force. This year they will report March 17, and in place of paying their expenses President Stern has agreed to release his men fifteen days earlier than their contracts call for. Should, however, any games be played after October 15 the entire team, as well as the management, will divide profits, share and share alike. If the weather is pleasant the chances are good that the boys will make a snug sum of pocket money, as the books will show that the games played after that date have hitherto drawn well at the Cincinnati Park. Should the Cincinnati Club be well up a series of games will be arranged with a leading Association team. All players who do not wish to remain after October 15 will be permitted to leave Cincinnati on account of having reported earlier than usual.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

season tickets in Cincinnati 4

Date Sunday, March 2, 1890
Text

Season tickets will be placed on sale during the week. The Cincinnati Club will send Treasurer Hettes to a few of its patrons to arrange for season tickets and choice seats for $35. There are 100 tickets in each book. They are transferrable on the day of the game.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

organized labor backs the PL

Date Monday, March 3, 1890
Text

At the meeting of the Central Labor Union, held at Clarendon Hall yesterday, the following was adopted:--

Whereas Timothy J. Keefe, on behalf of the Brotherhood, having by promises and acts lived up to all requests made on him by organized labor, and whereas the Brotherhood of New York is in our estimation a labor organization as far as possible under the circumstances of its organization, therefore be it

Resolved, That the Central Labor Union and its affiliated unions heartily endorse Mr. Keefe and his associates in breaking the chains of bondage riveted on them by the National League monopolists, and

Resolved, That the Central Labor Union and all organizations attached thereto do patronize the games played by the Brotherhood in preference to all others. New York Herald March 3, 1890

` liquor removed from Brooklyn NL park

The one notable change at Washington Park, Brooklyn, this season will be the removal of the bar. No liquors are sold on grounds where League games are played. New York Herald March 3, 1890

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

gate split

Date Wednesday, March 5, 1890
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting 3/4] [a resolution adopted unanimously] That the forty per centum of gate receipts mentioned in section 60 of the League constitution be construed and understood to mean twenty cents per capita turnstile count, except in the case of Philadelphia, where ten cents per capita turnstile count shall be paid.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

ladies' entrance at Washington Park

Date Wednesday, March 5, 1890
Text

[from J. F. Donnolly's column] There will be a new entrance built [to the NL Brooklyn grounds], which is to be used solely by lady patrons of the grounds, and innovation long desired, as the rush and crush of the male gender, both on entering and leaving the grounds, has always been a source of concern to the fair enthusiasts, whose gowns and the set thereof very often suffered through the wearers being caught in the swirl. This entrance will be designed in careful fashion, and will add to the attractiveness of the general entrance when all the changes have been effected.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

concessions at the Players League grounds

Date Wednesday, March 5, 1890
Text

[from J. F. Donnolly's column] Director Linton [of the PL Brooklyn club]...said the other day that the club was being besieged with bids for privileges abut the grounds, carousel, lemonade and lunch men, and other caterers to the hungry and amusement-loving public, having sent in propositions galore. Mr. Linton and the aforementioned bidders must imagine that a base ball game is something akin to a circus.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League adopts a ten-team schedule

Date Friday, March 7, 1890
Text

The final meeting of the League schedule committee was held to-day [3/6]. The sole business transacted was the adoption of a ten-club schedule, which was forced upon the organization by the refusal of the Indianapolis club to retire. The League early decided not to use coercive measures, and when it became evident that Indianapolis was in to stay, the last report was the adoption of the schedule. Each club plays a fewer number of games than in former years, and the basis of individual championship contests is figured on seven games in each city with the nine different organizations. The magnates of the League declare that the schedule suits them as well as a ten-club schedule could. Indianapolis Journal March 7, 1890

Several of the magnates were bound to go ahead with eight clubs, but, for once, the great men were confounded by the small ones. President Brush, physically speaking, is a midget alongside of Presidents Spalding and Soden, but from a mental stand-point he is more than the equal of these men. He held the key to the situation, but refused to unlock the combination that would retire him from base-ball and scatter his strong team to the four winds. He believes in getting something in return for the enterprise displayed in getting his strong force together. He, therefore, refused to listen to any dictation or overtures whereby Indianapolis was to be crushed. Indianapolis Journal March 10, 1890, quoting the New York Herald

If Washington is sincere in the oft-protested intention to continue there seems little danger of a freeze-out, for two reasons: one that the League, as stated above, will hesitate to take the radical action now that it would not take at the recent meeting, and another that it is extremely doubtful if it could summon the necessary two-thirds vote. Indianapolis has friends enough, if Washington has not, to make such a summary disposition of her team well nigh impossible. Indianapolis Journal March 16, 1890

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the ten-team circuit

Date Wednesday, March 5, 1890
Text

[from Tim Murnane's column] There is little doubt but that Hewitt and Brush would have been relegated to obscurity long ago in this fight but for their forethought. At the first League meting, when Brooklyn and Cincinnati were knocking for admittance, Hewitt and Brush held the winning cards. Cleveland and Pittsburg were in nearly the same boat. These four cities figured out that by letting these two outsiders in it would mean the bouncing of them later on. So before they would agree to admit them they had an agreement drawn up whereby the League cannot even vote them out.

Walter Hewitt can now pick up an amateur team and hold his franchise in the League, and the strong clubs must pay him his price or stand the racket. Brush, however, has a good team and feels sure of making some money. I am sure this winter's advertisement has stirred up the Hoosiers in such a way that the crowds at the games in that city would be much larger than ever. The Sporting Life March 5, 1890 [N.B. This agreement does not appear in the League minutes.]

[from W. I. Harris's column] Tim Murnane, my Boston colleague, has asserted that when Cincinnati and Brooklyn were admitted an agreement was made that Indianapolis and Washington should not be disturbed. I have it on the authority of John B. Day and Charles H. Byrne that no agreement of that kind, either written or verbal, was ever made. Tim says, in his last letter, that Mr. Hewitt gave him the information in New York and that Mr. Soden confirmed it. There's some romancing somewhere. I'll take an oath that Messrs. Day and Byrne told me there was no agreement made, and I presume Murnane will do the same as to his informants. The Sporting Life March 26, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush on the ten-team circuit

Date Friday, March 7, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Brush] I have never proposed to sell out and I don't intend to. I understand just what the trouble is here. A ten-club circuit is found to be unwieldy, and some of the League people want to reduce to eight clubs. They ought t o have thought of this trouble before they got themselves into it. I objected to the admission of Cincinnati and Brooklyn in the first place, and told the rest of the League people that they would have difficulty in fixing up a schedule. But they said, Oh, no, that could be arranged very easily; that there would be not the slightest difficulty on that score. Now they find that they were mistaken, and I am asked to help them out of their trouble by resigning. I don't see any justice in that. They understood very well at the time the tend-club circuit was formed that I intended to stay, and I am going to. If there is a League in the field this season, Indianapolis will belong to it.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Young’s salary, day job

Date Sunday, March 9, 1890
Text

President Nick Young, of the League, will never have to depend on sweet charity. Besides his $3,000 salary as President of the League, he receives that much more as clerk in the Second Auditor’s office in Washington.

Source Cincinnati Enquirer
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the PL discloses its schedule; League refuses exhibition games with the PL

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1890
Text

[reporting the NL meeting of 3/4-3/5/1890] [a letter from Brunell outlining the PL tour dates] There will be no material changes in this schedule as it stands. The outline is sent so that the National League can, should it so choose, avoid conflicting with our clubs in the cities of Boston, New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Cleveland and Chicago.

May I also suggest that the National League adopt a resolution permitting its clubs to play against those of the Players' National League before and after the championship season of both leagues? Such permission being granted, it would also be necessary for the National League to repeal its un-American resolution which “boycotts” all clubs playing against those of our organization, as well as any clubs which may play with a club which has played against a Players' National League club....

The communication was tabled without discussion, it not being deemed proper to recognize it, considering the spirit in which it was offered. When it was tabled one of the delegates remarked:--”We shall not take formal notice of the Brotherhood organization in just that way. When we do take notice of anything it will be of individual players; not of the organization.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

adopting a ten-team schedule; working to reduce the League

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1890
Text

[reporting the NL meeting of 3/4-3/5/1890] On Tuesday a deadlock occurred over the schedule presented by the committee—Spalding, Soden and Nimick. It had been supposed that a partially satisfactory tend-club schedule could be made, but when the committee got down to work they did not find it so easy as anticipated, and the schedule they did manage to form suited nobody. In fact, so defective was it that nearly all the delegates became convinced that an eight-club circuit was an absolute necessity and cast about for means to bring about such a thing. So, instead of meeting Wednesday morning in regular session, the time was spend in lobbying, making and breaking deals, all with a view to reducing the membership to eight. Brush, of Indianapolis, was the object of attention from all the other delegates, as he held the key to the situation, which, if surrendered, would solve the difficulty, as there would have been no trouble getting rid of Washington.

At noon the delegates assembled in the meeting room, but there was no formal session, but simply a conference. A committee was appointed, though, to devise some means of solving the difficulty. It began its work immediately and had a long conference with Mr. Brush. He could not be moved and the committee did nothing. This was the situation all day, and no session of the League was held.

All sorts of stories were afloat. It came pretty straight that Washington wanted $20,000 to withdraw. The picture was drawn that Washington was like a railroad with nothing but a right of way and two streak of rust. Even Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Brush admitted that in a financial sense an eight-club league would be a better thing, but they wanted financial salve before they would allow themselves to be offered as burnt sacrifices on the League alter. It was stated that Indianapolis wanted $75,000 for franchise and players, and that the League would not give it. It was further stated that Boston and New York had joined hands in the matter of reducing the membership and that Chicago was undecided.

In the evening at 8 o'clock the meeting reconvened and the schedule and question of membership was then discussed without interruption until about 9 o'clock, when President Young emerged from the meeting room and approached the waiting newspaper delegation. “The League,” said he, “has referred the schedules back to the committee and adjourned until 10 o'clock to-morrow morning. It will be re-arranged on the basis of ten clubs, and on thing the committee will do is to avoid race week at Cleveland.” Then Mr. Young retraced his steps to the room where the “adjournment” had taken place. Not a League delegate withdrew and the debate went on fast and furious. It was stated that Indianapolis had put a prohibitory price upon her franchise, and the fight was whether to call that bluff on the principle that it will be cheaper in the end than making a fight with ten clubs.

As Brush would not budge, and as John B. Day, Al Reach, C. H. Byrne and others were anxious to get home there could be no further delay, and in the afternoon President Young called the meeting to order. The schedule was the only thing touched upon in the meeting, and there was considerable trouble before it was adopted. The committee's schedule was the best that could be done under the circumstances, even with the best efforts of Jim Hart, an experienced schedule maker, but the bets is very bad and no one was satisfied.

In the schedule as adopted there are twenty-three open dates, fourteen actual ones and nine spent in traveling from place to place. The jumps are long and expensive, and in all ways the schedule was not satisfactory. The committee had done its best, however, and it had to be accepted. The magnates were outspoken in their disgust over the sch3edule, and even conservative Nick Young said:-- “Its a nasty piece of work all round, and very unsatisfactory. It's the best that could be done, however, and that is all there is to it.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Rogers admits the standard contract is one-sided

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1890
Text

[reporting on the oral argument in Philadelphia Ball Club v. Hallman 3/7/1890] [Col. Rogers arguing for his fool of a client] “I want to admit that this is a one-sided contract,” continued Colonel Rogers, but he claimed that professional base ball could not exist without such restrictions being put upon the players and such rights accorded the clubs. What the Philadelphia Club, therefore, asked for was for the Court not to make Hallman play ball with them, but to restrain him from giving his services to the Philadelphia Players' Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a judge compares the reserve to slavery

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1890
Text

[reporting on the oral argument in Philadelphia Ball Club v. Hallman 3/7/1890] The court was crowded with people, and when Judge Thayer, during Col .Vanderslice's argument [for Hallman], remarked:-- “How is this? Do these people claim the right to a man's services indefinitely? I see by this brief that they can release him on ten days' notice,” and Col. Vanderslice replied “Yes” and the Judge said “That's a bond of slavery,” those in the room nodded to each other, as each believed it meant that the defendant would surely win his case. The Sporting Life March 12, 1890

[from Judge Thayer's opinion, which is given in full] It is not said anywhere in the agreement that the terms upon which he is to be 'reserved' are to be the same as those upon which he was employed in 1889. The failure to designate the terms and conditions of the new engagement under which he is to be 'reserved' renders the contract of reservation wholly uncertain, and therefore incapable of enforcement, especially by a proceeding which is a substitute for a decree for specific performance, for specific performance is never decreed of a contract the terms of which are uncertain. If they made an incomplete, or uncertain or an ineffectual agreement to retain the defendant for another season it is their fault, for the agreement was evidently drawn up wholly in their interest, but the defendant's rights cannot be affected thereby.

Now if, on the contrary, it be said, as was assumed by the plaintiff's counsel on the argument that the fair meaning of Art. 18 is that Hallman should enter into another contract for the season of 1890, precisely similar in all respects to the contract executed in 1888, and embracing all its provision, then it follows, of course, that he must hereby bind himself afresh by Art. 18 to renew the contract for 1891, and again in 1891 for 1892, and in 1892 for 1893, and so on from year to year, so long as it may suit the pleasure of the plaintiffs to insist upon the reservation clause and its annual renewal; for there is no more reason and no more warrant for dropping out Art. 18 from the new contract, if the new contract is required to be the same in all respects as the old, than for dropping out of it any other of the original nineteen articles.

The only demand which the plaintiffs have made upon Hallman was that contained in the written notice served on him on Oct. 21, 1889. That notice required him to sign a new contract of similar tenor, form and term as the old contract. Such a contract must necessarily embrace Art. 18. If they intend to leave out Art. 18 they should have said so. They had no right to require him to renew the old contract upon the terms mentioned in their notice of Oct. 21, 1889. He is in no default, therefore, for refusing to comply with the demand contained in that notice, and it is too late now for them to give him a fresh notice. It is their own fault, not his, if they demanded more than they had a right to demand. The Sporting Life March 26, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

plans to improve Sportsman's Park

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1890
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] Mr. August Beinke, the well-known architect, is now at work on plans for a new grand stand, new office building, club house and dressing rooms which will be erected next season at Sportsman's Park, at a cost of about $50,000. The grand stand will be one of the finest in the land, and it will be built of brick and iron principally. Instead of the wooden fences which now surround the park a high brick wall will be placed and the park from the outside will resemble a Chinese city of “ye olden tyme.” Mr. Von der Ahe's lease expires next October, but he now holds an option for a long lease and the improvements as mentioned are certain to be made.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the influence of wives on player jumps

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1890
Text

[from Ella Black's column] What an amount the women have had to do with the stand taken by many of the players in this fight. It seems to have been a fact that when any of their wives took an interest in the sport, the men always went according to the wishes of their wives. It was through their wives that Clarkson and Bennett signed with the old body, and it was to please his wife that Billy Sunday resigned from the Brotherhood. Last summer Sunday was one of the most enthusiastic members of the Players' League and did a great deal towards interesting the present local backers in the scheme. His wife, though, had more faith in the old body, and it was her entreaties that caused him to return to it. It was the reverse in the case of “Buck” Ewing. His wife was all for the Players' League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a double stitched ball

Date Wednesday, March 12, 1890
Text

Nobody that ever handled a base ball need be told anything about Reach's American Association ball, which is simply the acme of perfection in ball making, and which can never in its general superiority be excelled. But perfect as this Reach ball was, the manufacturer has actually discovered an improvement which, while it does not make the ball any better—that would be impossible—adds greatly to its durability. This improvement consists of a double stitch, which makes the ball doubly strong, so that a thread or stitch, upon which the greatest strain always falls, can be cut or broken without affecting the ball at all and without rendering it unfit to continue in a game. The advantages from an economic point of view alone are so great as to make a further comment or praise superfluous. Every practical player can at a glance conceive how vastly this new double stitch improves the Reach ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John Morrill opens a sporting goods store

Date Thursday, March 13, 1890
Text

A new base ball headquarters was opened last night [3/11], with “Honest” John Morrill, Boston's favorite base ball players, and his business partner, Mr. W. R. Burdett, as hosts. Morrill has now severed forever his connection with professional base ball playing, and has turned his attention to the less exciting practice of fitting out athletes with the articles needed in the field of sports. The new store is a t12 Bromfield street. It is centrally located in the business district, and as the games of the Brotherhood and League Clubs are to be displayed, it cannot fail to become popular. Morrill has laid in a handsome stock of sporting goods, and has every reason to hope for success in his venture.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

new capital in the Washington Club

Date Friday, March 14, 1890
Text
Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the outcome of the Lehane case

Date Friday, March 14, 1890
Text

[the statement from Rogers] It was in evidence that the Buffalo Club, through their agent, Mr. Robert Laidley, authorized Mr. Buckenberger of the Buffalo Club [sic: should be Columbus Club] on Jan. 23, 1889, to negotiate with Mr. Lehane, a player reserved by the said Buffalo Club. Mr. Buckenberger said he would pay in salary and release money a certain sum, and on Jan. 27 made a personal agreement with Lehane to play in Columbus under a regular Association contract, to be signed on or before Feb. 15, 1890, if legally authorized to contract with the Columbus Club at that date. No release was given to Lehane by the buffalo Club until Feb. 4, 1890, after which date Lehane refused to comply with his personal agreement, and subsequently signed a regular contract with the New York Club.

The Board held that under their former precedents the contract of Jan. 27 would be invalid because it preceded instead of following the release of Feb. 4, but outside of such precedents there was a moral obligation upon Lehane to have complied with his personal agreement and to have signed a regular contract, and if Mr. Day would waive claim to Lehane the Board would prefer to enforce such obligation as far as it was in their power to do by recognizing the subsequent release of Feb. 4, 1890, as a ratification of the authority of Jan. 23, to negotiate, and the personal contract of Jan. 27. Mr. Day, therefore, declare that in view of the Board's decision affirming his position under base ball rules, he would waive all further claims on the player.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lehane case; interleague sales procedure; tension between the NL and AA

Date Friday, March 14, 1890
Text

[reporting the Board of Arbitration meeting of 3/13] [ruling on the dispute between Columbus and New York for Mike Lehane] Columbus made out a strong case, showing in the evidence submitted that they were clearly entitled to the ex-Buffalo player’s services. It was shown that their negotiations for Lehane were carried on in the regular way, and that they violated no rules in securing the services of this player. Affidavits from Manager Buckenberger, of Columbus; Secretary Fitzgerald, of Buffalo, and Manager Leadley, of Detroit, were submitted in evidence, in addition to an agreement signed by Lehane to play with the Columbus team, and the correspondence bearing on the subject whici proved conclusively that the Buckeye club had a clear title to the tall first baseman. Columbus first purchased Lehane’s relese from Buffalo, which the affidavits of Messrs. Buckenberger and Fitzgerald proved. Then Columbus, being granted permission by Buffalo to do so, negotiated with Lehane through Mr. Leadley acting as agent and got the player to sign an agreement to make a contract with that club as soon as Buffalo gave him his release. On the strength of this promise Buffalo formally released Lehane.

No sooner had the release been promulgated before New York jumped in and induced Lehane to sign a League a contract. Mr. Day had not further evidence to offer than this contract, and, on this technicality, he tried to win the case. Messrs. Buckenberger and Cohen put forth argument to show that New York had no right to make a contract with Lehane, who was reserved by the Buffalo Club, and only released on condition that he would go to Columbus. They further submitted letters Lehane wrote to several frineds in which he informed them that this release had been purchased by Columbus, and in which he stated that he was glad to get out of the International League into fast company, and he felt sure Columbus would be a good place for him to go.

After Messrs. Day, Cohen and Buckenberger withdrew from the room the Board carefully weighed the evidence in the case, but could not agree, and a deadlock, so Manager Buckenberger stated last night, ensued. According to Mr. Buckenberger the Association members voted in favor of Columbus, while the League contingent stood up for New York.

The Association people used some plain words, and the League men say that they meant what they said.

A conference was held with Mr. Day, who being informed of how matters stood, and seeing that Columbus was clearly entitled to Lehane, he decided to withdraw his case and the Board decided that Lehane must go to Columbus. After the decision was made Mr. Cohen volunteered to repay Mr. Day any advances he may have made Lehane and the expenses he incurred in sending that player on the Southern trip with the New York Club. The Evening Item Philadelphia March 14, 1890

[editorial matter by “Veteran”] I feel pretty well convinced that some of the Association Clubs would have been pleased had the result of the Lehane case been different, as it would have given them a chance to get back at the League. It is an utter impossibility for two such organizations as the League and the Association to dwell together in unity, and the fight to the death between them is bound to come sooner or later. The Association cannot forget how it was knifed by the Leauge and when the chance comes it will bury the knife to the hilt in the League carcass. It is but human nature and no one can blame them. The Sunday Item Philadelphia March 16, 1890

[reporting on the Board of Arbitration meeting of 3/13/1890] [ruling on the claims of Columbus and New York for Lehane] The New York Club based its claim upon the player principally upon a technicality, Mr. Day holding that the Columbus' agreement with Lehane wa invalid, because it was given before the player had been released from Buffalo to Columbus. In support of his position Mr. Day cited the case of Mullane, some years ago, which was decided according to the view held by Mr. Day. The latter also claimed that the fact that Lehane was with the rest of the Buffalo players offered for sale to the League after the agreement with Columbus was made, showed that the Buffalo Club was in ignorance of Lehane's agreement. Mr. Day also produced a regular contract which Lehane had signed with the New York Club.

Mr. Buckenberger [manager of the Columbus Club] explained that Lehane's name was sent to the League with his knowledge, inasmuch as he was then still dickering with the player, although he had come to terms with the club.

After both sides had submitted their evidence a long argument took place on the legal points involved. The League members of the Board clung to the Mullane precedent and were strongly in favor of awarding the player to the New York Club. Secretary Phelps, however, disposed of the Mullane precedent by showing the difference between that case and the case under consideration. In the case under consideration three clubs—Toledo, St. Louis and Louisville—were involved, and it became necessary to make the decision that was rendered then to protect the equities of all parties. In the present case Mr. Phelps argued there were no intervening equities; the Columbus Club agreed to pay a certain price to the Buffalo Club for Lehane's release and a few days alter entered into the agreement with the player. No other club or party being interested in the matter between the time the release was purchased and the agreement signed, the deal was consummated and the agreement made valid, inasmuch as the New York Club did not enter the case until long after the agreement was made.

Mr. Von der Ahe agreed with Mr. Phelps, and a deadlock ensued which could not be broken. The League delegates talked and argued, but Phelps so strenuously maintained his position on legal and moral grounds, and Von der Ahe so steadily acted with him, that it was evident that the deadlock could not be broken without a compromise. Accordingly Colonel Rogers left the meeting room, and had a conference with Mr. Day. This conference lasted about twenty minutes, and at times the debate between the two gentlemen grew quite animated, but finally they came to an agreement. Both then entered the meeting, and in a few moments Manager Buckenberger emerged with a smiling face, and announced the Mr. Day had “waived his claims” to the player and the Board had awarded him to Columbus. The Sporting Life March 19, 1890

Source Evening Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Glasscock on the supposed July 1889 strike

Date Sunday, March 16, 1890
Text

Glasscock says John Ward called the Brotherhood strike off simply to enable him to go ahead with his project, namely the Players' League, that he broke faith when he went back on the agreement to order a strike July 2, and should be the last man to complain of his action in remaining with the league. According to the Indianapolis captain, the players were ready and desirous of quitting July 2 until the objectionable classification rule should be abolished, and none of them anticipated having to stay out more than a week or ten days if that. On the eve of the expected coup Ward sent word that it was not politic to carry the scheme through, and that he would explain when he came out here. The fact is Ward had the Players' League plan outlined long before the proposed strike, and knew he never intended the latter to take place. It was simply a bluff to pave the way for his new organization, which was and is intended to further his personal ambition. His failure to order the strike as agreed was a surprise and a disappointment to the Indianapolis players, and they lost faith in him from that time. Indianapolis Journal March 16, 1890

Jack Brennan's grievance with the Athletics

[from an interview of Jack Brennan] “I tell you I was not treated right last year. Late in the season I had a trivial quarrel with Manager Sharsig about an upper berth. It was a mere personal spat, yet he fined me $50 and suspended me for the balance of the season. That meant a loss of $400 to me.”... Thus are secrets told out of school, explaining to some degree the many disappointments the Athletics have given their admirers both and home and abroad. New York Sun March 16, 1890

talk of Pittsburgh selling out; Harry Palmer the Chicago Club press agent

The attention of President Nimick, of the Pittsburgh League Club, was called last evening to a statement just made public that “Harry” Palmer, press agent of the Chicago Club, had quoted a League man, unquestionably President Spalding, of Chicago, as advising Pittsburgh to quit, and with Washington solve the ten club puzzle. Said Mr. Nimick, “It is true I have heard that Palmer voiced Spalding’s sentiments, but the only way to get rid of us is to buy us out. We have no special desire to remain in. They can’t drive us out, that is certain. Of course a good offer would be considered. Such a step would be business.” The Evening Item Philadelphia March 18, 1890

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Players League called socialistic

Date Wednesday, March 19, 1890
Text

Because the Central Labor Union, of New York, endorsed the Players' League the League organ in New York called its members a “few socialistic workmen.” of course, the exponent of base ball monopoly can have no use for organized labor in any form.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a sighting of Henry Lucas

Date Wednesday, March 19, 1890
Text

Henry V. Lucas is now general Western passenger agent of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, with headquarters in Chicago. He is rapidly rising to prominence among the railroad men of the West, and it need not surprise those who only known him as a base ball magnate to hear that his undoubted genius and energy has placed him at the head of some large railroad of the country.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL putting the squeeze on Indianapolis

Date Wednesday, March 19, 1890
Text

...there is yet some hope in the minds of some of the magnates that it will be possible to cut down the circuit before the season is admitted. The League's hope for this event coming to pass is in the way it treated Indianapolis in the matter of playing dates. Indianapolis' right to object to certain dates and to request others was simply ignored, and to an outsider it looks as if the schedule committee went out of its way to give the Hoosier team just the dates it didn't want and to lay off the team just when it wanted to play. By doing this it was no doubt the idea of the committee to scare Magnate Brush into selling out. Brush and the other Indianapolis officials were very hot indeed over the matter, but they refuse to budge and say they will go on. In Indianapolis the feeling is general that the League is trying to force Indianapolis out covertly, not daring to drop the club openly, according to former methods.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Lew Simmons running a cigar store

Date Wednesday, March 19, 1890
Text

Lew Simmons, who is doing an excellent business in his cigar emporium on Broad street above Columbia avenue, can't keep out of base ball, it seems, as the ex-manager has organized the Columbia ball club and has so far signed the following players...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

amateur play at the old Polo grounds

Date Wednesday, March 19, 1890
Text

The amateurs of this city are making good use of the old Polo Ground, at 110th street and Fifth avenue. Every clear day at least three or four game are played. The principal contests there his season have been in the series of five games between the Yorkville and Harlem players.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dickey Pearce the New York PL Club groundskeeper; soil

Date Wednesday, March 19, 1890
Text

Groundkeeper Dick Pearce is congratulating himself that that portion of the work on the grounds of the New York Club Limited allotted to him to superintend is rapidly nearing completion. Almost the entire field, with the exception of a space of about twenty feet in width, which is to be devoted to a running track, has been filled in with excellent soil composed of half loam and the balance of sand to the depth in some instances of twenty inches. Dick's thirty years experience in base ball has given him a good insight as to what a ball ground should be and it is safe to say that when he gives the word that the grounds are fit to play on they will be in as near perfect condition as new grounds can be placed.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League reduced to eight clubs; Indianapolis Club ownership; attendance

Date Friday, March 21, 1890
Text

[dateline Indianapolis] The directors of the Indianapolis Baseball Club state to-night [2/20] that negotiations for the sale of the club to New York are pending. The sale, they say, was to have been completed to-day, but up to a late hour to-night no message has been received from President Brush

Mr. Brush’s price for all his League rights and his eighteen players under contract is $67,000. The directors think he will be able to get every dollar he asks.

Since the Cleveland meeting Brush has been quietly carrying on negotiations for the sale of the club. He made one trip east, and last Monday he and Director Schmidt went to Chicago to see President Spaulding. Last night they left that city for the East, presumably for New York.

The stay-at-home owners of the club, Messrs. Meyer, Jameson, McCutcheon and Mayer, say the sale is not made because they feared the club would be forced out, but because they foresaw that they would lose money under the schedule. They figured that the club could not be kept up with less than fourteen hundred people to witness each game played. Last year the average attendance was not over one thousand.

I saw Glasscock to-night. He said he had heard nothing from Brush, but was hourly expected a telegram. “I do not believe the club has been sold yet,” said he. “Because Brush promised to wire me as soon as the deal was complete.”

...

The Indianapolis citizens are indignant over the sale. They charge that Brush has been raising the public sentiment to force a big price from the purchasers. New York Herald March 21, 1890

...A ten-club league, it was claimed, would never do, and it was stated to him very forcibly that unless he accepted the terms offered, there was but one alternative, and that was to vote him out. After twenty-four hours of consideration Mr. Brush reluctantly consented to the League's proposal. It was to purchase the players, but allow him to retain the franchise. Just what amount was paid is not known, but it is generally thought that it was in the neighborhood of $40,000. The disposition of the Washington club was of but little consequence to that of the Hoosiers. It was well understood that Mr. Hewitt could place himself where he was liable to make a little money this season, and that he had already made an application for membership in the Athletic [sic] Association. The result was the franchise of the Washington Club was bought by the League, but the players were retained.

In an interview with a Journal reporter, shortly after the negotiations were closed, Mr. Brush said: “This is an unpleasant position that I have been placed in, I must confess. I have almost assured the people of Indianapolis that I would keep the club in the League, but what was I to do? I was told that I had no other alternative but to retire. I told the League exactly how matters stood in Indianapolis, but that did not help matters any. When I found that the Club would have to go my object was to make the best arrangements possible, and I think I have succeeded. The franchise I retain, and therefore, at the first opportunity, Indianapolis will be found again in the League.” Indianapolis Journal March 23, 1890

The [Indianapolis Club] has resigned from the old organization with the understanding that if ever there is an opening in the League the Hoosier capital is to have the first opportunity to re-enter. In fact Indianapolis has not forfeited its franchise to the magnates, but has, for a financial consideration, agreed to transfer its players, who are virtually the League’s property, to that organization. The Sunday Item Philadelphia March 23, 1890

There will be no trouble among the players over salaries. That questions was all settled before Brush went away from Indianapolis a week ago. Said Glasscock this morning: “Before Brush went away he called us together and the matter of transfer to New York was discussed. He foresaw that he was going to be forced to sell and, of course, he wanted to know whether we would consent to the transfer, and what salaries we would demand from New York. Our propositions made though him have doubtless been accepted or the transfer would be announced. Indianapolis News March 24, 1890

Indianapolis and Washington have been dropped from the National Base-ball League. It was a terrible blow to those two clubs, but as President Hewitt, of the Washington Club, remarked, “It was the salvation of the League.” Mr. Brush fought earnestly and against great odds to be retained. He met the conference committee appointed at Cleveland—Robinson, Soden and Spalding—at the Fifth-avenue Hotel, on Thursday night, and told them distinctly that it was demanded by the patrons of the game in Indianapolis that the club should remain in the League. The committee, however, just as earnestly told him that that was impossible. A ten-club league, it was claimed, would never do, and it was stated to him very forcibly that unless he accepted the terms offered, there was but one alternative, and that was to vote him out. After twenty-four hours consideration Mr. Brush reluctantly consented to the League's proposal. It was to purchase the players, but allow him to retain the franchise. Indianapolis Journal March 24, 1890

The magnates refused to reveal the nature of their conference, but stated that it would be given out in a day or two. It can be stated for a fact, however, Indianapolis and Washington have sold their franchises to the League, and their players have been divided among the other clubs. New York secures Glasscock, Denny, Bassett, Hines, Buckley and Rusie, while Pittsburg will get as many of the others as are wanted. The cost of the six players to the New York Club is nearly $40,000. The Sporting Life March 26, 1890

The money required to induce Indianapolis and Washington to withdraw nor the terms of surrender were not divulged and will not be, the League delegates being pledged to secrecy. It is believed, however, that the amount is close to $80,000, and that this burden was assumed by the League as a whole. Of this amount Indianapolis gets the bulk, as Washington had only a franchise to sell. Both clubs will, it is believed, continue as members of the League; that is, their resignations will be allowed to lie without action and they will thus be members of the League without being scheduled for games, thus holding their territory under the National Agreement. This is simply a repetition of the smooth trick by which Detroit was enabled to pose as the ninth member of the League until all of its reserved players had been sold and coerced into accepting such disposition as had been made of them.

The League also disposed of the Indianapolis players. Nine of the men were assigned to New York and their contracts were at once delivered by President Brush, who had signed the men for New York more than a week previous at bonuses ranging from $800 to $5000. This shows that an understanding existed, even while Mr. Brush was assuring Indianapolis people that the club would remain in the League, and selling season tickets on the strength of this assertion and the Hoosier public's belief in his professions. The Sporting Life April 2, 1890

historical player salaries

The appended table is compiled from the League’s ledgers and shows the salaries paid to the players since the much discussed reserve rule went into effect in 1881. There is one feature of it that is certain to attract particular attention, and that is the increase of salary that invariably followed the transfer or “sale” of a player from one club to another. It is indicated in the table by a star, and shows that the players derived material benefit from such transactions. [See table] the Sunday Item Philadelphia March 23, 1890 [See also Spalding NL Guide 1890 pp. 17-23.]

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington applied to the Atlantic Association before the NL buyout

Date Monday, March 24, 1890
Text

The disposition of the Washington club was of but little consequence to that of the Hoosiers. It was well understood that MR. Hewitt could place himself where he was liable to make a little money this season, and that he had already made an application for membership in the Athletic [sic: should be Atlantic] Association. The result was the franchise of the Washington Club was bought by the League, but the players were retained.

Source Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brotherhood resistance to taking back jumpers

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

In his efforts to get these players Johnson has struck a swan, as his players have notified him that even if McKean and Zimmer should be taken back or compelled to come back through the suit which Johnson proposes to institute, that they (the Cleveland team) will not play with these men in the team. The other Players' League Clubs are also sending in protests against the reinstatement of Zimmer and McKean, because of the undisguised treachery and subsequent flops of these men. The Sporting Life March 26, 1890

[from an interview of Ward] I am informed that some of the Indianapolis players object to being transferred, and threaten to jump the old League. I would like it understood that not one man of them can return to the Players' League. We would not receive them under any circumstances. Our doors are not and never will be open to them. Of course they may jump wherever else they please. Let the magnates do whatever they see fit with the traitors. Concerning Miller, were he the only catcher in the country and I didn't have any, I would not take him. Probably the only two men who can get back are Beckley and Mulvey. In the cases of these players there are extenuating circumstances in their favor and they will play ball with us. To show how sincere Beckley is it is only necessary to say that he was to receive $3800 from the Pittsburgh National League club, and he returns to Hanlon for $2800. The Sporting Life March 26, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA substitute umpires

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 3/14/1890] [amending the constitution] Sec. 58 was amended so that the visiting club has theright to select any one substitute umpire that may be on the home grounds, and that if no substitute be present the visiting club can select one from the spectators.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the balk

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 3/14/1890] The umpires were then brought into the meeting room, introduced to the delegates, and then the playing rules were jointly gone over and a unanimous interpretation arrived at. The most important thing in this connection was the definition of the vexatious balk question. This rule will hereafter be construed to meant that any motion not followed by an immediate delivery of the ball would be a “balk.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

discoloring the ball

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 3/14/1890] The rule to the effect that when no ball is in play a third must be added, was construed to read that no member of any club has the right to discolor the ball in any way. This latter provision is to do away with the practice of players who rub a ball in the dirt before it goes to the pitcher.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA moves the pitcher back?

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA special meeting of 3/14/1890] Blocks of rubber six inches square will take the place of the stones at each corner of the pitcher's box; which is now 53 feet from the home plate, instead of 50 as formerly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comparison of the judicial rulings on the reserve

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] Judge O'Brien based his refusal of a preliminary injunction against Ward on the construction of the contract itself, which he considered unconscionable, lacking in mutuality, indefinite and uncertain. Judge Thayer reached virtually the same conclusion. Judge O'Brien, however, was so ambiguous in his references to the famous eighteen paragraph relating to reservation or option—on which paragraph the League rested its entire case—as to lead the League people to consider it a sort of judicial recognition of the reserve rule, and to hope for favorable results in other courts. But in jumping to this conclusion they simply deluded themselves, as was pointed out in The Sporting Life of Feb. 4, in which Judge O'Brien's decision was so exhaustively reviewed, the results of it so clearly pointed out, and Judge Thayer's decision really so fully anticipated, as to make extended further comment here unnecessary.

Judge Thayer in his thorough analysis of the contract, and the sparing language with which he lays bare its many flaws, shows the League people conclusively not only that they have really no contract that will hold good in law anywhere, but that they need not hope for any legal recognition of the reserve rule as it has been practiced in the past. The decisions of Judges O'Brien and Thayer show that a sort of reservation agreed to in an equitable contract could probably be enforced, but to make such enforcement possible, the terms of reservation would have to be so explici8t, so certain, as to make a one-year contract virtually a two-year contract, and so equitable as to defeat and render useless the reserve rule, whose purpose is to simply hold the player to a club from season to season, in order to keep it intact, without entailing enforceable legal obligations upon the club owners.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

terms for Sunday games in Gloucester

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

As will be seen by the schedule, the Athletics are not scheduled for any Sunday games at Gloucester, but they have thirteen Saturday and as many Friday dates, and the latter can easily be changed to be played on Sundays, if the club officials and Mr. Thompson, the owner of the grounds, can agree upon terms. Last year Billy Thompson netted $6000 as his share of the games played on his grounds by the Athletics. No wonder the Athletic Club kicked.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia reporters 2

Date Wednesday, March 26, 1890
Text

The Philadelphia Scorers’ Association held their annual meeting yesterday afternoon at the Inquirer office. ... The election of officers for the ensuing year resulted as follows: President Harry Diddlebock, Inquirer; Vice President Robert I. Fitzgerald, ITEM; Treasurer S. H. Jones, Associated Press; Secretary, Frank M. Dealey, Inquirer; Board of Directors, H. Niles, Evening Bulletin; S. M. Gillam, Record; George Mason, Ledger;  [illegible] Mills, Jr., Times, and Ed Cole, Call.

Source Evening Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush's account of events leading up the sale

Date Thursday, March 27, 1890
Text

[an interview of Brush] “There are two sides to this question,” continued Mr. Brush, “a sentimental side and a financial side. The pride we had in our club, the pride which exists in having our city represented in the National League, the desire to cater to the base-ball spirit of Indianapolis, backed by the warm assurances of support which had flooded us, were the motives which governed, but they are sentimental. When we came home [from the Cleveland meeting] a meeting of our directors was called, and we decided to take our players, whose loyalty had given us the right to assume the position we had up to this, into our confidence for consultation. We desired to know just how far, if at all, our policy had been in conflict with their interests, and a meeting was held when Glasscock, Denny, Bassett, Boyle, Rusie, Sommers and Burkett were present, and the situation was fully discussed, and they were invited to give their views and express themselves freely regarding the situation. They are all men of intelligence, fully posted, able to sum up the situation as accurately as any man connected with base-ball, and they were a unit in the opinion that the attempt to carry out the schedule adopted at Cleveland meant disaster to the League, and consequently ruin to themselves; for, with the League wrecked, their occupation as ball-players would be gone. They professed loyalty to Indianapolis, and went so far as to say that if it was our desire to stand up against the wishes of the League and attempt to play the schedule, that we would stand or fall together, but they were free to admit that they had no faith whatever in the success of the League under the schedule, and requested if, in our judgment, the salvation of the League depended upon our withdrawal and satisfactory arrangements could be made with the League, that in return for their loyalty to us we take such steps as might be deemed advisable to accomplish this result. The interests of the players to whom we owed our position, the sentiment that existed in the League in favor of eight clubs and our own judgment that there was nothing ahead but disaster, led us to take up the subject with the League committee, and during all the time that negotiations were pending with this committee we were in hopes that something might happen that would yet save us our position.

“The players were asked to submit their terms, and the conditions for withdrawal were discussed by the committee at different times before the meeting in New York. At the latter meeting the matter was under consideration the greater part of two days and two nights before arrangements were finally completed. During all these conferences the committee has been fair and honorable in its negotiations, but the committee was appointed for the purpose of securing a reduction from ten to eight clubs, and we were fully convinced that it was the desire to carry out that mission. Knowing this, we did what prudent business men would do, who had the financial interests of the men who were dependent upon them in their charge. If to stay meant wreck and disaster then good business judgment demanded that we take such steps as might be necessary to protect the men who respectfully asked us to be as loyal to them as they had been to us. Proceeding upon this basis, with a hope all the while that some arrangements might be made by which we would be enabled to retain an active membership we took such steps as we deemed necessary to enable us to retire with the best credit possible to players and management if it became an absolute necessity. This is the financial or business side of the situation.

Source ” Indianapolis Journal
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a judicial ruling on the reserve clause

Date Thursday, March 27, 1890
Text

[from the ruling of Judge Wallace in the Ewing case] In a legal sense it is merely to make a contract if the parties can agree. It follows that the act of the defendant in refusing to negotiate with the club for an engagement for the season of 1890, while a breach of contract, is not the breach of one which the plaintiff can enforce.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of Brush buying New York Club stock

Date Saturday, March 29, 1890
Text

John B. Day states that there is not one word of truth in the story that John T. Brush owns an interest in the New York Club. He has disposed of his players outright. He retains his franchise in the League and that is all. It is evident that Mr. Brush is trying to let himself down easy with the people of Indianapolis.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

University of Virginia plays a PL club

Date Sunday, March 30, 1890
Text

J. C. Morse, of the Boston Herald, telegraphs as follows from Charlottesville, Va. “The University of Virginia has dared to show its contempt for the clubs under the protection of the National agreement by refusing to obey its mandate not to play Brotherhood clubs, and to-day it met the Boston ball club. One of the officers of the College Club said that he did not recognize any right except that of the faculty to dictate what clubs hsould be met on the diamond, and this opinion was shared by his college. Certain clubs had written to the University threatening to cancel dates if they played with the Brotherhood nine, and they laughed at such threats, informing the senders that they could do as they pleased about the matter.

Source ” The Sunday Item Philadelphia
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Players' League adopts the two umpire system

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

[reviewing the PL rules] First in importance among the changes are the rules which make the use of two umpires in championship games obligatory. The players' League recognized the public call for the double-umpire system, and answered it. It will be a costly change, but is expected to satisfy the public, which pays the bills, and in consequence has a right to demand satisfaction. The majority of the playing rules committee of the new League, practical and experienced players like Ewing, Pfeffer and Ward, say that their observations have led them to believe that the double-umpire system is the only one fit for use in important games, and every game in the championship season is important.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Players' League moves the pitcher back

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

[reviewing the PL rules] Second in importance is the rule which increases the pitchers' box six inches in length and increases the distance from the front of the pitching box to the nearest batsman's line from 50 to 51 feet. Thus, as the pitcher delivers the ball with his foot on the rear line of the box, increasing the distance for a ball to go from the pitcher's hand to the bat from 50 to 51 ½ feet. All rules changing the distance between the batsman and pitcher in position have of late been looked upon as important and with awe. It is hardly likely that this change will have any very marked effect on batting, yet it is in the nature of an experiment and ought naturally to increase batting all around less than one per cent. it is, however, likely to act as a wedge for further amendments to the code. The new League will improve the rules of the game as it goes along and thus lead the procession in more than playing strength.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the infield fly rule

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

[reviewing the PL rules] Section 9 of new Rule 4, which defines how batsmen are out, is an innovation and reads as follows:-- “If, where there is a base-runner on the first base and less than two players on the side at bat have been put out in the inning then being played, the batsman makes a fair hit so that the ball falls within the infield and the ball touches any fielder, whether held by him or not, before it touches the ground.” This new section is to prevent the “juggle” double play so prevalent of late, and which has not only exasperated audiences, but has made trouble for umpires. The Sporting Life April 2, 1890

[reporting the PL special meeting of 4/2/1890] [proceedings of the meeting with the PL umpires] Particular attention is to be paid to the prevention of double plays by th4e willful dropping of fly balls. Any such ball which simply touches the fielder's hands is sufficient to put the batsman out. The Sporting Life April.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NL schedule goes head to head with the PL

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

In the new schedule adopted by the National League this obstinate organization has unmistakably thrown down the gage of battle to the Players' League, as this schedule is a fighting schedule through and through. Dates are made to conflict with the Brotherhood on every possible occasion. In New York Ewing and his men will play only eight of their seventy home games without opposition on the League ground. In Brooklyn Ward and his team have only seven open dates. In Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Cleveland and Chicago it is just the same—strife, conflict, warfare from start to finish. The plan of the League magnates is apparent. They will meet the Brotherhood in a hand-to-hand fight and will leave it to the people to decide which shall survive. The Sporting Life April 2, 1890

[editorial matter] The purpose of the League is plain. It is not, as might be supposed, to refer the dispute to public arbitration and to compel the supporters of the game to choose between it and the Players' League by giving it no opportunity through a non-conflicting schedule to support both liberally, because the League knows that for an entire season, at least, its unequal and experimental teams will prove no match for the admittedly powerful and well-equalized teams of the Players' League—teams which are collectively the strongest in point of skill and prestige ever concentrated into an eight-club League. No, the calculation of the League is to cripple the new League financially no matter how much it may suffer itself, and thus end the war and choke off business rivalry in one season no matter what the cost. The League has the wealth accumulated during past seasons of successful monopoly, while the Players' League, new to the business, has had no opportunity of creating sinking funds, has been put to the extraordinary expenses always incidental to organization, necessarily depleting its capital. The League can, therefore, easier afford to lose heavily than the Players' League can afford in its first experimental season to lose at all, especially as in the League the losses would fall on a few individuals, while in the players' League, under its cooperative principles, losses would have to be shared by many and perhaps involve the players. It will thus be seen that the League's object is to conflict wherever possible, no matter what the loss to itself, simply to divert enough patronage from its rival to prevent a profit on the season and thus to sicken the stockholders in the new League, to discourage the investment of further capital, to compel recourse to other than the gate receipts, to chill the enthusiasm and arouse the fears of the players, and to pave the way for their defection and for those internal dissension, from which alone, aside from financial disaster, the National League can hope for the overthrow of the west-organized Players' League. There is no bluff about this, as some may unwisely consider it, but a cunningly-conceived and well-executed plan of campaign, which will be carried out to the bitter end with the League's characteristic energy and persistence.

This is the fell purpose of the League that confronts the Players' League men, and they must look it full in the face and bend all their energies to defeat it. Two alternatives present themselves—one to accept the issue and take all the chances of a battle on the lines laid down by the League; the other, to avoid the issue and adopt a new schedule. To go on with the fight as it stands means probable loss; the Players' League is almost certain to vastly outdraw the National League teams as the latter are now constituted, but the new League will need a large patronage, indeed, to realize the financial expectations of its backers and players, and if the League can divert enough patronage to defeat those expectations the consequence may prove as disastrous as the League evidently calculates.

To decline the League's open challenge to battle and adopt a new schedule would perhaps look like a confession of weakness repugnant to the combative instinct in the new League,and perhaps a disappointment to that small portion of the public which likes to witness a Kilkenny cat-fight. It might also afford League partisans a chance to do some crowing. But what of that? The Players' League was not organized to fight the National League, but to establish itself in the base ball business, to give the best possible exhibition of ball, and to profit thereby; to accomplish this purpose it need but consider its own necessities first, always with an eye to the future, without knocking chips off shoulders or indulging in fights with all who choose to challenge it to battle for the edification of the outsiders who have no more material interest in the war than a spectator at a dog fight. If the Players' League shall, upon deliberation find that, all things considered, its best course would be to avoid such a battle as the League insists upon forcing upon it, it should bravely adopt such a course and leave its vindication to an intelligent public, which has its eye upon the situation, does its own thinking, and which has hitherto plainly indicated that it is not in sympathy with the League's method of crushing out business competition. The Sporting Life April 2, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

final judicial rulings on the reserve

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

The New York Club's case against John M. Ward practically collapsed when it came up in the New York Supreme Court before Judge Lawrence last Monday, March 24, and Col. Rogers did not get, and probably now will never get, the much-desired opportunity to cross-examine Ward.... [a detailed account of the proceedings follows.] The Sporting Life April 2, 1890

Judge Wallace, of the United States Circuit Court [S.D. New York] handed down his decision in the famous Ewing case in New York City, March 26. As generally expected, he denied the motion for an injunction to restrain William Ewing from giving his services elsewhere than to the New York Base Ball Club. Judge Wallace's opinion covers fifteen type-written pages. He gives the National League some pretty hard raps concerning the inequality and unjustness of the contract between its clubs and its players. He also goes into the points of law concerning the case. Here is his decision...

“The case turns upon the meaning and effect of the clause in the contract which gives the club the right to 'reserve' the defendant for the season next ensuing. It is plain enough that the option is a right of reservation for the next ensuing season only, the season ensuing the term mentioned, and does not extend beyond the term of April 1, 1890, to Oct. 31, 1890, unless the parties mutually consent to a change.” The Sporting Life April 2, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Players season tickets

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

The season tickets to the Boston Players' grounds will be issued about April 1. There will be two kinds one for $40 admitting to the grounds and grand stand, and one for $25 admitting to the grounds only. Both kinds will be transferable, and can be purchased of John F. Morrill's store on Bromfield street, and at Wright & Ditson's.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shaming the deserters

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

[from Tim Murnane's column] The train with the Boston men on held up when they got to Wilmington to wait for the way train and take the car containing the Phillies on as far as Petersburg. As the way train came rolling into the depot and it was given out that the Philadelphia League team was on board and would get off for dinner, it was suggested that all the men get in line where the passengers would have to pass within a few feet. Harry Stovey came out of the car in the middle of a shave and carried a razor. Dan Brouthers said he would not miss seeing Sam Thompson for a farm.

“Let us hiss them,” suggested one of the boys.

“Not for a thousand dollars,” sang out Mike Kelly.

“Every one a gentleman,” said Billy Nash.

“Look into their very souls and see them flinch,” was Jim O'Rourke's advice. “Here they come.”

Sure enough, with big Sam Thompson in the lead. As he caught sight of the Boston men his cheeks turned crimson and his chin went up. He looked over the heads of the men in line, after first looking for recognition and finding nothing but a cold stare.

Myers passed, but never turned his head or lifted his eyes from the platform. The color seemed to leave his face and his step was uncertain. The young players of the party looked bewildered, but the Boston men had only eyes for the deserters, as they said, and paid no attention to the inoffensive players. Clements came along with his head bobbing up and down and his face turned in the opposite direction. Schriver was an object of pity; his face changed color, and he went by with bowed head. Gleason came last, looking straight at the Boston men and a smile on his face, but the cold stare he got in return made the smile look like a ghastly bluff, and he turned color. Not one of the deserters looked back. Harry Wright and his wife came along soon after and was cordially greeted by all his old acquaintances, who had a pleasant word for the old veteran.

After that the Boston men paid no more attention to the men who had sold their honor. Several of the young players of the Phillies came back and had a pleasant talk with the Boston men, and were assured that there was nothing but the kindest feeling entertained for them. This seemed to please the boys, and they were not backward in expressing their good will for the Players' League.

From what I saw I am sure that the young men now going into the League ranks will soon detest the players who sold out their fellow players just as much as the regular Brotherhood men do now. The Sporting Life April 2, 1890

After a ten-minutes’ lunch the Phillies marched back, the Brotherhood men turning their backs as the deserters went by. This caused the crimson to rush to the cheeks of the ladies of the party. Phenomenal Smith, Burke, Allen and some others of the young players of the Quaker team mingled in with the Brotherhood men, saying they hoped they were not looked on as against the Players’ League. Hardie Richardson, Nash, Kelly, O’Rourke and some others assured the boys that it was the men who sold them out that they were down on, and not on the young men who were doing perfectly right in signing wherever they could do the best. The Evening Item Philadelphia March 24, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

payment for freelance scouting

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

[from Tim Murnane's column] In the summer of '88 I received a letter from the Detroit management asking me if I knew of any good batsmen in the New England League, saying they would pay me for any information. I wrote back that Sam Laroque, then with Lynn, was about the heaviest batting infielder in New England. In a few days I received a telegram asking what his release would cost. I didn't care to go down to Lynn and spend my own money, as I had no assurance that I would get it back from Detroit, so I sent the Detroit management the figures that Manager Murphy had given the Boston Club. My answer was something like this:-- “anywhere from $1000 to $1500; you can find out by inquiring of the Lynn management.” That was all the business I had with the Detroit people at the time.

In a few days the Western people commenced doing business direct with Lynn, which was going into the soup fast, and consequently the price of players was going down. If I remember right, Detroit got their man for about $500. They might have got him for near that figure for all I know, but I didn't care, as I said before, to waste my time in trying to find out. I considered my services wroth at least $100 for naming the man, as I have always been paid liberally giving my judgment about young players. After Laroque reached Detroit I sent those people word that they were indebted to me. I got word back from Bob Leadley asking me to send on my bill, which I did, for $25.

This letter was not answered, but on meeting Mr. Leadley in Boston afterwards, I told him what I thought of the whole affair, and he intimated that I would receive the amount due me. Time has flown, and no money has yet shown up. The above is a true statement of facts which I am willing to make oath to. I have been before the American base ball public for a good many years, and not fearing to speak my mind, would have such men as Mathison [reporter for the Detroit Free Press] after me all the time if they could point out a wrong I ever did.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an improved catcher's mitt with a pocket

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

J. W. Sauer has just invented a new catcher's mitt which cannot fail to make its mark the coming season. This mitt-glove has both the thumb and finger portions joined so as to form a pocket at their junction. A tightly stuffed roll or cushion is stitched around both the thumb and finger portion, and the margin of the hand being turned inward forms a deep concave space in the palm, which latter is well padded. A seamless front of heavy buckskin is drawn over this entire roll or cushion and gives this mitt the action of an air cushion in catching a ball. Muffing a ball is impossible and all injuries are naturally avoided. Catalogue illustrating this and fifteen others mailed on application. Address J. W. Sauer, Milwaukee, Wis.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporting attendance 2

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

At a meeting of the Philadelphia Scorers' Association last Tuesday.... was the appointment of a committee, composed of Messrs. Fogel, Diddlebock and Voltz, to confer with the managers of the three local clubs to see what arrangements could be made for getting the exact attendance at all of the games.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player involuntarily transferred

Date Wednesday, April 2, 1890
Text

When Indianapolis agreed to transfer its players to New York at the recent League meeting Paul Hines was included. He failed to reach an agreement with President Day and was released.

Supposing he was free to sign anywhere, Hines had almost concluded arrangements to play with the Washingtons this season, and was considerably surprised when he was notified to-night [4/1] that Pittsburg accepted his services. He declares he will not go there, but as he gave Nimick his terms he cannot well avoid it.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brooklyn Club flies the AA pennant

Date Friday, April 4, 1890
Text

[Yale vs. Brooklyn (NL) 4/3/1890] A preliminary ceremony was the raising of the American Association championship flag. The Yales joined hands with the Brooklyns at the rope, and as the great white banner was unfurled the spectators gave a hearty round of applause. The flag around the borders has forty-two small stars for the States of the union, and in one corner eight large stars for the clubs of the Association. In large capitals, extending the length of the flag, is the legend, “Champions, American Association, 1890.

Source ” New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

another view of the schedule war

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

The League wanted the Brotherhood to change its schedule; there is no doubt about that, and there is some disappointment at the result of the recent meeting in New York. It would have given the League a decided advantage over its rivals to have had a monopoly of the first part of the season in such cities as New York, Boston and Chicago. Experience has demonstrated that the first two months of the season are generally the banner months so far as the gate receipts are concerned, and the Brotherhood seems to have reasoned that fact and they propose to make the most of it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal for a split season

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

Charley Collins, the well-known second baseman, now umpire, gave out a novel and feasible idea at the recent International League meeting. It is to redeem a tail-ender. Chub would divide the season into two parts, one ending July 31 and the other Sept. 31. A schedule would be made out for the first portion,w hen the champions would be declared. Then all clubs start out on even terms for the second schedule, which gives tail-enders a chance to brace up and every club a try for the second pennant. Finally, the two champions play off. It is a great idea and shows that Collins is a meditative fellow.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire uniforms 3

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] It is pleasing to observe that in all leagues, both big and little, the order has now gone forth that all umpires must be uniformed. In the past not enough attention was paid to this matter in minor leagues and many umpire looked like tramps so far as attire was concerned. A neat uniform adds distinction to the position and impresses the public favorably, and for this reason the umpires should be uniformed just as are the teams.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League blacklists the PL players

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

With the 1 st of April all contract went into effect, and with that date, under the National Agreement, arrived the time when the men who had cast off allegiance to the League and defied the reserve rule would have to be proscribed, so far as National Agreement clubs are concerned. This was done in the form of the following notice in which the new players and men in rebellion are lumped with the old clubs, so that if the Players' League fails no other club but the old reserving club can employ the revoked players, and they will be thrown on the mercy of these clubs for reinstatement or relegation to obscurity:

“Washington, March 28.--The following named players under contract with, or reserved by club members of the National League, are ineligible to contract or play with any other organization during the season of 1890 unless released: [A complete list of reserved PL players follows]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the PL keeps the war schedule; division between capitalists and players

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

[reporting the PL special meeting of 4/2/1890] Before the meeting there was a division of opinion concerning the advisability of making a rdical change in the schedule, but the majority seem to think that a change would look like weakness and that anyhow if a change was made the League would also change its schedule again. This impression was strengthened by an alleged interview with President Robison, of the Cleveland Club, telegraphed from that city, in which that official was made to say that the League had in effect anticipated a change by the Players' League and had determined to meet any change by a like change in order to keep up the conflict. This interview was immediately offset by Col. John I. Rogers, who said:-- “Mr. Robison is expressing the views of the Cleveland Club only. The League made its schedule without regard to that made by the Players, and I am certain that no important change will be made, no matter what the Players may do.”

However, the war spirit predominated, especially among the players, who, of course, are less conservative than the capitalists, and when the meeting assemble there was hardly any debate upon the question, and the only change made was upon John M. Ward's motion to advance the first series two days, so that instead of starting on April 21, the first games will be played on April 19, 21, 22 and 23. April 24 was left open so as to allow a club the privilege of playing an extra or postponed game, making five games in the first series.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

PL deserters

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

[reporting the PL special meeting of 4/2/1890] The next matter which was presented for the consideration of the board was the question as to whether or not it was advisable to permit the reinstatement of certain players, who, after signing a Players' League contract, jumped back to clubs ruled by the National Agreement. This question caused a hot debate, some of the delegates declaring for war all along the line, while others favored a more conservative policy. A compromise was at last effected, and it was unanimously agreed that all players who had signed the Brotherhood agreement or a Players' League contract and who reported for duty in accordance with that agreement or contract on or before April 1 st were eligible to membership in the Players' League. This lets in Mulvey, Delahanty and Beckley, and perhaps a few others who were led into signing National League contracts, but, repenting their action, returned to their pledges.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting a balk

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

[reporting the PL special meeting of 4/2/1890] [proceedings of the meeting with the PL umpires] To prevent a balk a pitcher will be compelled to place one foot outside of the box lines in throwing to bases.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

who determines whether to play in rain

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

[reporting the PL special meeting of 4/2/1890] [proceedings of the meeting with the PL umpires] The captains of the teams are to be the sole judges whether the game shall be started in case or rain or doubtful weather, but when once started the umpires, as at present have the right to call the game or not.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the $2,000 limit the motive for the Brotherhood formation

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

[from an article by Ward in the Players' League guide] In 1885 the passage of the arbitrary $2000 salary limit rule forced the organization of the Brotherhood for mutual protection of the players.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the final opinion in the Ward suit

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

Short Stop and Lawyer John M. Ward's victory over the League was made complete March 31. Judge Lawrence, in the special term of the Supreme Court, granted the motion made by ex-Judge Howland, the Brotherhood's counsel, to dismiss the complaint in the suit brought by the Metropolitan Exhibition Company to restrain Ward from playing the the Brotherhood Club of Brooklyn this season.

The Judge evidently thought that the opinions of Judge Thayer, of Philadelphia, and Judge O'Brien, his associate upon the bench of the Supreme Court, were conclusive, for he handed down only a short opinion as follows:-- “As I am informed by counsel for the plaintiff that they do not intend to submit a brief in the case, and as I am of the opinion that the contract referred to in the complaint is one which a court of equity will not enforce, judgment will be granted dismissing the complaint with costs.”

The counsel for the National League evidently concluded that the law was against him and practically abandoned the case.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the American Association pennant

Date Saturday, April 5, 1890
Text

The new pennant, unfurled today for the first time by the Brooklyn (N.L.) Club, is a handsome burgee in red, white and blue. The field is shite, with a blue border containing forty-two blue stars to represent the Union. The words “Champions of the American Association, 1890” are in red letters in the centre of the flag, preceded by eight red stars, one for each club in the Association. The Philadelphia Times April 5, 1890

a proposal for a national amateur championship

The Base Ball Committee of the Amateur Athletic Union, which has been at work for some weeks on plans for the championship season of the nines representing the various athletic clubs in the West as well as the East, has prepared a report.

...

“That the winning teams of the two series of games in the East shall play three games at such times and places in September or October as may be hereafter determined, to decide the Eastern championship of the United States, and that in like matter shall be determined the winner of the Western amateur baseball championship.

“That the Eastern and Western champion baseball teams, as above, shall at such times and places as may be determined play a series of three games to decide the Amateur Athletic Union baseball championship of the United States for 1890, the winning team to receive the Amateur Athletic Union and the Spalding silver trophies, emblematic of such championship.” New York Herald April 6, 1890

[see New York Sun April 6, 1890 for a very reasonable proposal for reducing draws in cricket; discussion of the MCC's new rule allowing a side to declare its innings closed.]

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Charley Masons' PL exhibition team; cancellation; plays a national agreement club

Date Tuesday, April 8, 1890
Text

Charley Mason, ex-manager of the Athletic Club, brought his Philadelphia professional to town yesterday expecting to play the New Yorks limited. He was greatly surprised when told that telegrams had been sent him to the effect that the game had been canceled. Manager Mason told a Sun reporter that he had collected a team for the sole purpose of playing the different Brotherhood clubs during the exhibition season. After that the team would be disbanded. He claims that he brought his team from Philadelphia by an agreement made some three months ago, and that he received no telegrams canceling the date. He further says that he has gone to a good deal of trouble and expense just for the sake of the Brotherhood in getting a very clever fielding team together fully uniformed, and guarantees that they will play a fair game of ball. … One Wednesday and Thursday the team are billed to play the Brooklyn (P.L.) on Friday and Saturday the Bostons; then they go to Buffalo and Pittsburgh, and return home and disband. New York Sun April 8, 1890 [N.B. At least some of these games were played.]

[the Philadelphia Professionals play the Atlantic League Washington Club] [from an interview of Nick Young] It looks very much as though the Washington Club has been guilty of a direct violation of the national agreement by playing that game on Sunday with the Philadelphia professionals. Col. Rogers first called my attention to this game and I immediately telephoned Walter Hewitt to find out what he had to say about the matter. He replied that he did not know that the professionals were ineligible, did not know that they had played Brotherhood clubs. Further inquiry brought out the statement from Mr. Sullivan that even he did not know he was violating the agreement. He does not seem to have read the newspapers. Hewitt things that the Board of Arbitration ought to devise some scheme of notifying clubs of the teams which are not parties to the agreement, so as to put them on their guard; but that would be impossible; it would be much easier for the managers to keep a lookout for these things and they should be willing to do so if they have the principles of the national agreement at heart. I do no well see how the Board of Arbitration, to which the matter will be referred, can refuse to accept Mr. Sullivan's statement that he did not know what he was doing, although there has been a clear violation. There will probably be some such verdict, 'not guilty, but don't do it again,' rendered in the case. It seems to me a rather humiliating thing for a manager to confess that he does not know what sort of team he plays against. New York Sun May 9, 1890

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

drainage at Forepaugh ground

Date Wednesday, April 9, 1890
Text

The work of grading and rolling the diamond on the Brotherhood grounds has been commenced. The base path is being dug out eighteen inches and filled in with cinders to insure good drainage.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claims to the Giants' identity

Date Friday, April 11, 1890
Text

It was a regular old Polo ground attendance at the game between the New York [NL] and the Rochesters, and they hurrahed for the inscriptions which were printed in large black letters immediately at the entrance to the grounds, “We are the Giants,” and We are the People.” Their enthusiasm was turned to dismay on leaving the grounds, for the large black letters had entirely disappeared, being wiped out with yellow paint.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

official scorer in Columbus

Date Saturday, April 12, 1890
Text

The Columbus directors did a graceful act when they appointed Geo. Gordon as the official scorer of the local team. He is an ardent admirer of the game, and a close student likewise.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

origin and evaluation of the NL and PL players

Date Saturday, April 12, 1890
Text

The National League has an array of 140 players and the army of the Players' League counts 127. The following figures will show where the forces in both armies are drawn from (the Brooklyns and Cincinnatis, of the National League, brought almost their entire teams from the American Association):

Nat. League Players' League

From National League.................... 37 81

From American Association......... 36 26

From International League 5 6

From Western Association 9 3

From other leagues and amateurs 53 11

A careful student of the list of players of both organizations will come to the conclusion that of the 140 players in the National League 61 are first-class, and that the Players' League shows 75 first-class players in its total number of 127.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Scoring walk off runs

Date Saturday, April 12, 1890
Text

[reviewing the new rules] A change was made in the rule governing the completion of a game. Last years, when the side last at the bat made the winning run, the game was not ended until the hit which sent in the run had been completed and the runner had made all the bases he could by it. This year the revised rule on the point of play ends the game the moment the winner's run is scored. This puts a stop to all such disputes as that in the Boston and Philadelphia game in Philadelphia last season. Consequently the batsman making the hit which brings in the runner from third can now only be credited with a single hit. Last year he could have scored a home run.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

broader substitution rule

Date Saturday, April 12, 1890
Text

[reviewing the new rules] Under the revised rule for 1890 two extra players can go to the field, and during any part of an inning, even before a hand is put out. This will greatly add to the power of the captain to use strategic skill in his team work, inasmuch as he can now substitute a new battery instead of a single catcher or pitcher.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

enforcing the balk rule

Date Saturday, April 12, 1890
Text

[reviewing the new rules] Though no change has been made in the rule governing balks, the strict letter of the rule will be enforce this season, and no preliminary motion made by the pitcher to deliver the ball to the bat will be allowed to go unpunished by the balk penalty, if it be not immediately followed by the pitching of the ball to the bat. Last season pitchers violated the balk rule with impunity, and the result was a marked falling off in base-running.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McPhee on fielders' gloves

Date Saturday, April 12, 1890
Text

“No, I never use a glove on either hand in a game, “said Bid McPhee the other day to a Cincinnati Enquirer reporter. “I have never seen the necessity of wearing one; and, besides, I cannot hold a thrown ball if there is anything on my hands. The glove business has gone a little too far. It is all wrong to suppose that your hands will get battered out of shape if you don't use them. True, hot-hit balls do sting a little at the opening of the season, but after you get used to it there is no trouble on that score. Dunlap, Pfeffer and Yank Robinson always play bare-handed.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

spray charts and the high-low strike zones

Date Saturday, April 12, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Bid McPhee] In old days, when batsmen had a choice of a high or low ball, it was far easier to tell the way he would hit. Of course, he would call for the ball he could bat the hardest, and such hits most always go in one direction. Now, however, anything within the shoulder and the knee goes; he does not know where it is going, and a baseman or fielder is all at sea in trying to size them up.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

indoor baseball in the spring

Date Sunday, April 13, 1890
Text

Just now there seems to be a craze for indoor baseball in military circles in Brooklyn. The members of company E, of the Forty-seventh regiment, have now organized a baseball team for the season, with George W. Pink as captain. They are now in steady practice and a game has been arranged with the team of company A, of the Thirteenth regiment.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phillies sweep the spring exhibitions against the Athletics

Date Thursday, April 17, 1890
Text

For the first time in the history of the two clubs the Philadelphias yesterday succeeded in winning the seventh straight game from the Athletics, thus taking the entire spring series for the local championship. This game was no harder to win than has been the majority of those played, the score at the end being 9 to 2 in favor of the Leaguers.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an attempted catch from the Washington Monument

Date Saturday, April 19, 1890
Text

While the Boston League team was in Washington last week several of the players tried the experiment of catching a base ball tossed from the top of Washington Monument. Nichols, Donovan and Hodgman ascended to the top of the monument, carrying with them three balls. To get the direction of the wind a hat was first dropped, and was twenty seconds reaching the earth. Then came the first ball. It was just seven seconds before it struck terra firma, and out of the reach of any player.

Although the ball could be distinctly seen during its entire flight, it was impossible to judge its course with any accuracy whatever. The second ball was just 6 ¼ seconds in reaching the ground, and gain no one was in reach of it. The third ball came down in the same time as the second one, and with the same result. Then Donovan shouted down for some one to throw the balls back, but Sullivan said he wasn't yet in trim for long-distance throwing, and Brodie feared it would lame his arm.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of the clean ball rule

Date Saturday, April 19, 1890
Text

[from Ren Mulford's column] Unless I miss my guess there will be more games won and lost in th4e first inning this year than were ever so conspicuously noted before. Why? That new rule preventing the old custom of dirtying “the clean face” of the ball the moment it is tossed into play will work this revolution. The pitcher who takes his turn in the box at the opening of the game will suffer the most. It is an impossibility to get a good grip on the polished surface of a ball just out of its silver swaddling clothes. The home team will always have the advantage of sentencing the pitcher of the rival team to work the “slickness” off the sphere, and while he is doing that the other fellows are likely to be making hits and runs. In nearly every game played here this year the first inning was marked by just such performances.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League officials' salaries

Date Saturday, April 19, 1890
Text

Of the leading salaried officials of the three major leagues Zach Phelps is the lowest-salaried man, his salary being $1800, against $3200 for Brunell, of the Players' League, and $4000 for Nick Young, of the National League. But then the Association is now in a transition stage and can't very well afford to do any better. Phelps' salary won't always be so low, however, if the Association should prove the success its friends hope and expect.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a favorite and durable bat

Date Saturday, April 19, 1890
Text

[relating Bug Holliday's favorite bat] This particular bat has a history. It has been used longer than Bug has been in the business as a professional. When Orator George Shaefer was a member of the St. Louis Unions, in 1884, he selected a piece of second growth ash and took it to a planing mill. He stood by while the wood-turner worked the wood into a stock to suit his fancy. He then oiled the bat and used it for two years. In 1886, when he visited ST. Joe, Mo., he gave the bat to Holliday. Bug has had it ever since. It is his prize stick, and has assisted him not a little in making his great batting record at St. Joseph, Topeka, Des Moines, and last season with the Cincinnatis.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why are ball grounds called parks?

Date Saturday, April 19, 1890
Text

Why base ball grounds should be called parks, when the word park is suggestive of trees, hills and valleys, shade and such things as would make base ball impossible, is one of the mysteries of the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Amos Rusie

Date Sunday, April 20, 1890
Text

[Philadelphia vs. New York (NL) 4/17/1890] Big is indeed a wonderful pitcher. He shot the ball over the plate with cannon-like velocity, and used an inshoot that the Philadelphias could not touch. He has already become a big favorite. … For four innings the game was stubbornly contested. Then Rusie lost control of the ball and gave two men their bases on balls...

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lively League balls

Date Sunday, April 20, 1890
Text

[from a long article about past and present baseball manufacture] Beginning the building of a ball, the workman takes from an old peach basket full of rubber spheres one of the little globes. It is the nucleus of the ball. It is made in this country by a rubber company expressly for base ball. For many years, and until three years ago, the rubber balls were imported from England, but there was complaint that the rubber was too dense, and an American rubber company, after many experiments, made a solid rubber ball with a livelier rebound than the imported.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a reverse ground rule for block balls; disagreement over the what the ground rules are

Date Monday, April 21, 1890
Text

[St. Louis vs. Louisville 4/20/1890] The Louisville-St. Louis game ended in a row... An enthusiastic crowd of 10,000 filled all the seats and poured into the grounds, necessitating the making of ground rules. It was agreed that any hit should entitle the batter to all the bases he could make, except a hit along the foul line, which would go into foul ground. In the third inning Ryan took first on balls, and, Wolf hitting hard to left for two bases, Ryan scored. McCarthy objected to the run, claiming that Ryan should go back to third. A wrangle ensued, and Connell, after giving the customary time for the visitors to resume the game, and McCarthy still refusing, declared the game forfeited to the home nine by the score of 9 to 0. The crowd was hard to handle, threatening to pour into the field and do the players violence. To keep them quiet an exhibition game was arranged immediately afterward. The Philadelphia Time April 21, 1890

[St. Louis vs. Louisville 4/20/1890] Before the game was called Umpire Connell had Capts. Raymond and McCarthy agree upon ground rules, owing to the vast crowd. It was decided that any ball which hit fair and rolled in the crowd to the left of the foul line or was hit into the crowd in center field should entitle the batsman to only two bases. It was also agreed that any ball hitting the left field seats was fair and the batsman could have as many bases as it was possible for him to make. The ball that Wolf knocked struck the railing in front of the seats and bounded back. No one interfered with Gittinger in fielding it, but it was not returned to the diamond before Wolf was anchored safely on second. Louisville Courier-Journal April 21, 1890

[St. Louis vs. Louisville 4/20/1890] In the third inning a row occurred over the ground rules. It had been agreed that hits into the crowd should count for two bases only, but that a hit into the left field fence should count a home run. Wolff knocked a ball into the left field seats and McCarthy insisted that he should only be allowed two bases on it and that Ryan who had scored from the first should be sent back to that bag. Umpire Connell permitted the run to score, and gave McCarthy two minutes to play ball. The St. Louis captain refused to return with his men to the field and the game was forfeited to Louisville by a score of 9 to 0. At the end of the third inning the score stood 6 to 3 in favor of the Colonels. The crowd was angered over McCarthy's action, and he consented to play out the game as an exhibition contest. The final score was 13 to 13. St. Louis Post-Dispatch April 21, 1890

Source Philadelphia Time
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Phelps' instructions to umpire on player discipline

Date Tuesday, April 22, 1890
Text

The attention of the umpires of the American Association is called to the provisions contained in the rules of the American Association, which prohibit captains and players of the various clubs from disputing or questioning the decisions of the umpires. And the umpires are directed not to allow players or captains from either of the contesting clubs to come in from their positions to argue with him or to dispute concerning any decision made by him. The umpire will hereafter notify the captains of both clubs before play begins that this rule will be strictly enforced, and whenever any player or captain starts in from his position to dispute or question any decision of the umpire he will be warned by the umpire not to come in, and if he insists upon violating this rule the umpire will enforce the penalties provided in such cases.

This habit of allowing players to argue with the umpire concerning decisions which he has made and which he cannot change will go very far toward creating disorder upon the grounds and dissatisfaction among the spectators and I therefore insist that the laws on the subject be strictly enforced.

I beg leave to assure the umpires that I will see that they are sustained in their actions taken in pursuance to the directions herein given.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Players' League deserters

Date Saturday, April 26, 1890
Text

The only difference of opinion between the Players' National League people over the so-called deserters, was as to the wisdom of allowing the League to go out, bribe and sign a man, turn him into the contractual corral with the label “sacred and safe” upon him. Then the bribers chipped into a pool and went out looking for a fresh man. It didn't seem like fighting sense, this stand of the Players' National league, yet it was hung to and served the purpose. The deserters who came back came back at their original salaries, and each loses money by their return. This was accepted as an evidence of repentance, which it undoubtedly was. We lost a few men which we might easily have retaken on account of what the base ball utilitarian calls”squeamishness,” but the Boston, St. Louis and Holyoke crowds said that the public would not forget honor even in base ball. There was nothing from the ball-playing side to excuse the men who sought to wreck the Players' National League in its early weaker form. There was a business argument in favor of taking the most talented of the Judases back. It was put in words thus:-- “You weaken the other fellows and strengthen yourselves.” Finally it was left to the players, and they settled their own closest question wisely. For my own part I do not believe that one other of the men who broke agreements and contracts will ever be reinstated. It requires a unanimous vote of the board of directors—sixteen--to reinstate, and there are one or two votes that will never be cast in favor of such an action.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Players League reinstates the foul tip out

Date Saturday, April 26, 1890
Text

[discussing the Players League rules] It also official declares that the foul tip behind the bat, if legally held, retires the batsman, as under the rules of 1888.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick critiques scoring of stolen bases

Date Saturday, April 26, 1890
Text
Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opening day parades in Pittsburgh

Date Saturday, April 26, 1890
Text

[from Ella Black's column] Well the season has been opened at last and it is safe to say that the Brotherhood, as represented by the Players' League, has so far left the National League far in the rear. There was a wonderful contrast here in the opening day parades of the two bodies. The old League turn-out consisted of a band of music, the players of the Allegheny and Cleveland clubs and the reporters who were compelled to attend the game. The new club had two bands with the players and a long line of carriages, filled with well-known citizens who favor the move that has been made. The first parade in passing through the streets got no reception at all. There was neither cheers nor hisses. On the other side there was a continuous roar of applause for the Players' parade from the time it made a start from the Hotel Anderson until it passed into the new grounds. I saw both the turnouts and know whereof I speak. It was very evident the new League only needs to play anything like a fair game to capture the lion's share of the patronage...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

automated winding in baseball manufacture

Date Saturday, April 26, 1890
Text

Automatic machines for making base balls have been so successfully contrived that their introduction is likely to constitute a practical industry. Each machine winds two balls at one time, in the following way:

A little Para rubber ball, weighing three-quarters of an ounce, around which one turn has been made with the end of a skein of an old-fashioned gray stocking yarn, is slipped into the machine, then another, after which the boy in charge touches a leer, the machine starts and the winding begins. The rubber is is thus hidden in a few second, and in its place appears a little gray yarn ball that rapidly grows larger and larger.

When it appears to be about half the size of the regulation base ball there is a click, the machine stops, the yarn is cut, the boy picks out the ball and tosses it into the basket. When this basket is full it is passed along to another boy, who runs a similar machine, where the half-ounce layer of worsted yarn is put on.

The next machine adds a layer of strong white cotton thread, a coating of rubber cement is next applied and a half-ounce layer of the very best fine worsted completes the ball, with the exception of the cover.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Decker a masher

Date Saturday, April 26, 1890
Text

Jessie Dancer, a pretty, neatly dressed girl, eighteen years old, was charged at the Central last Tuesday with alienating the affections of E. H. Decker, a member of the Philadelphia Base Ball Club, who has had a lawful wife since July, 1885. the wronged wife was in court and testified to having discovered an intimacy between her husband and Jessie, and presented her marriage certificate in evidence. The girl said she had been led to believe that Decker was a single man, and broke down when confronted with the evidence of his marriage. The girl's mother asked that she be held on the charge of incorrigibility, but at a subsequent hearing her old grandmother was present and branded the girl's mother as an unfit person to have charge of her child. She promised to care for the girl as long as she lived, and was allowed to take her home with her. Decker was in New York with the Phillies when the case was heard, and could not be reached by Judge Smith, but may be attended to yet.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Galvin's balk move

Date Saturday, April 26, 1890
Text

The first umpire to call a balk on Jimmy Galvin for that peculiar nod of his head has been found in Umpire Gunning. He called it on Jeems the other day after he caught Latham napping on first base and it cost a run. Gunning declared it was a balk in every sense of the word, and laughed at Hanlon's efforts to make him think different. For years pitchers have been trying to get this move down fine. Keefe, Krock and others once thought they had mastered it, but were mistaken.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

obnoxious coaching 2

Date Saturday, April 26, 1890
Text

[from the Boston correspondent's column] For years there has been a great complaint in Boston that we do not have coaching enough. If good coaching consists of noise, or rather a perfect hubbub, what we are getting at the South End grounds must be of No. 1 order. I am as strongly in favor of coaching as anyone, and I like to see a game enlivened with a little noise, but the continual, nonsensical screaming which is kept up by Long, Tucker and Donovan, is not my idea of coaching at all. While many now are talking here about the great change in this part of the game I will guarantee that six weeks from now everybody who thinks it is funny will be disgusted with it. If it helped to make runs it would be different, but you never hear such men as John Ward, Mike Kelly, Arthur Irwin, Anson and seldom Ewing, make such show of themselves. From the same sort of coaching by Captain Darby O'Brien and his men I judged it is American Association training that we are now treated to.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

evolution of the catcher's glove

Date Sunday, April 27, 1890
Text

It is just two years since Buck Ewing created a sensation by wearing an immense glove on his left hand while taking Tim Keefe's hot shot behind the bat at the old Polo grounds. His first appearance with the glove, which looked for all the world like a big boxing glove crushed out flat by a road roller, caused a shout of laughter from the assemblage, but when the game was over Buck declared that his hand was not swollen a particle, and that thereafter nothing could tempt him to relinquish his new guard to this big left hand. All through the season Buck wore the glove, and soon it was recognized as indispensable in the paraphernalia of the big back stop. There have been numerous improvements in catchers' gloves since that time, but Buck has clung persistently to his first love.

It was in 1875 that gloves were first recognized as necessary accessories to a catcher's kit. Manager McGunnigle of the Brooklyn National League team was then catching for the Fall River team, and a game had been scheduled with the Harvard nine. Mac's hands were very sore, but it was necessary that he should catch in that afternoon's game. He was puzzled for some time as to what course to pursue, but finally the idea of wearing gloves flitted across his brain. He visited a glove store, but after thinking the matter over a few minutes decided that kids were not strong enough to withstand the pummeling they would receive, and so he selected a pair of bricklayer's gloves, thick strong things, of hard leather. In the preliminary practice at the grounds that afternoon he found that while the palms of his hands were protected, there was not enough liberty for the fingers in throwing. A jackknife quickly removed the finger ends, and during the nine innings Mac experienced very little pain from the cannon-ball delivery of his pitcher. Tyng, the inventor of the catcher's mask, was the catcher of the Harvard team at that time, and in the third inning he was tempted to try the glove. It worked so well he immediately bought a pair for himself, and being of an inventive mind, had them lined with lead. For some time McGunnigle and Tyng used gloves of the kind described, but when another genius appeared upon the field they adopted his suggestion.

This was Gunnasso of the Lowell team. He had used Mac's glove for some time, but thought there could be an improvement made on the lead lining. He happened to be in Boston one day and drifted into Kant's glove store. He had just bought a pair of walking gloves, and was preparing to depart, when the clerk called his attention to a pair of gloves that had been especially made for the foreman of a brick yard in a neighboring town. Gunnasso ordered a pair of the same kind, and, in a number of games that followed, wore them over his tight-fitting walking gloves. He removed the fingers of the right gloves, but left those for the left hand intact. Shortly after that the makers of base ball paraphernalia turned their attention to gloves. There were many and numerous experiments from that time up to within three years, all the manufacturers believing that the glove should be as light in weight as possible, while possessing the requisite strength and durability. But within the period mentioned the most prominent catchers demonstrated that the left hand had to bear the brunt of the shock consequent on the pitcher's delivery, and that the glove for that hand, in order to be successful, would have to be of a peculiar type far different from any thus far presented. Then Buck Ewing came to the front with his pillow amid roars of laughter, and it only required a few days to show conclusively that the much-needed protector had been discovered.

One of the best gloves on the market to-day is that called a “perfect pillow.” it is made of the choicest Plymouth buckskin. A continuous roll or cushion, tightly packed with curled hair, is firmly stitched around the palm, forming a deep hollow, and the thumb of the glove is a sufficient bulwark to make it impossible for a foul tip, fly, or hard-thrown ball to put the human thumb out of joint.

The “flexible glove” is made of the choicest buckskin, and is thoroughly padded with chinchilla. The padding extends from the wrist to the finger tips, but there is a break at the roots of the fingers forming a sort of hinge by which the fingers are practically separate from the hand. The right glove is of a lighter grade of buckskin, well padded or not, as the purchaser desires, and fingerless. Both gloves are hand sewed. Another left-hand glove that has met with considerable favor is made of the best buckskin, extra well-padded palm, and calf finger tips. However, it is admitted by the majority of catchers that the best left-hand glove must have a fingerless front in order to reduce the liability to finger bruises and sprains to a minimum.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire uniforms 4

Date Sunday, April 27, 1890
Text

Umpire Gaffney does not like the new umpires' uniforms. He was in love with his beautiful wine-color suit, and, indeed,he had good reason to be. That was a thing of beauty and a joy forever, and, to tell the truth, “Gaff” does not umpire as well in his new suit. He ought to be accorded special permission to make a change.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh games transfer; Day downplays it

Date Monday, April 28, 1890
Text

The following circular, issued by the officials of the local [Pittsburgh] National League Club, explains itself: “Owing to some improvements to be made at Recreation Park, which the directors desire to begin at once, the series of games scheduled with Chicago at Recreation Park for Tuesday and Wednesday, April 29 and 30, and Thursday and Friday, May 1 and 2 has, by arrangement with the Chicago Ball Club, been transferred to Chicago on these dates. This transfer has been affected by unanimous consent of the National League Clubs and will afford the management of the Pittsburgh National Club an opportunity to make such changes on the ground of Recreation Park as has [sic] been previously determined upon. New York Sun April 28, 1890

President John B. Day of the New York (N.L.) Club looks upon the changing of the Chicago-Pittsburgh series of games from Pittsburgh to Chicago simply as an ordinary business transaction. “I understand that attempts are being made to create a sensation out of the affair,” President Day said to a Sun reporter last night. “What kind of a sensation can be made out of it? It's a thing that occurs frequently, and, in this instance, the chances are largely in their favor for making more money in Chicago than in Pittsburgh, and that is all there is to it.” New York Sun April 28, 1890

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

PL twenty-five cent admission in Pittsburgh

Date Tuesday, April 29, 1890
Text

In response to the popular feeling, the local Players' League team has reduced its price of admission to 25 cents for all home games. The change will take place to-morrow [4/29]. doubtless the small attendance at recent games has hurried the change. The club directors have issued the following statement on the matter:

“Now that the base ball championship season of 1890 has fairly opened, and the base ball loving public have had an opportunity to judge between the two clubs representing our city, it has been made manifest by the attendance at the games of the Players' League Club by a majority of 10 to 1, that that organization is the popular one, and since the National League Club has, after having used every means within their power to overthrow the Players' League here at last resorting to the only remaining subterfuge, a non-conflicting schedule, it has been determined by the Pittsburg Players' League Club to further popularize itself by the introduction of a 25-cent admission to its home games. This, which goes into effect on Tuesday, should be welcomed by all.

Source ” New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player tips his cap to acknowledge the crowd

Date Tuesday, April 29, 1890
Text

[Philadelphia vs. Brooklyn (NL) 4/28/1890] Corkhill carried off the fielding honors for his club by two great catches. One of them was a running catch of a hard hit by Thompson, which, had it got past the outfield, would have been a homer.

The crowd compelled John to acknowledge their appreciation of his work. He did it by raising his cap just about half an inch.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

slide, Kelly, slide

Date Saturday, April 19, 1890
Text

[New York vs. Boston (PL) 4/28/1890] In the sixth inning a run was made by a safe hit by Kelly and Richardson and a remarkable slide to the home plate by Kelly. Ewing had the ball, but Kelly slid sideways and touched the base without being touched by Ewing.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an infield fly

Date Thursday, May 1, 1890
Text

[New York vs. Brooklyn PL 4/30/1890] The umpiring of Barnes caused much dissatisfaction, both to the players and the spectators. Barnes was once the greatest second baseman in the world, but the chances of his earning such a reputation as an umpire are slim. … With two men on bases, Joyce [3B] muffed a little fly sent up by Ewing, and O'Rourke dashed for second. Barnes decided that Ewing was out, and also called O'Rourke out. The decision was an original one, and may never again be seen on the ball field. New York Tribune May 1, 1890

Connor was on third and O'Rourke on first, with none out. Ewing then batted a fly to Joyce, who made an inglorious muff of it. He picked it up and threw to Bauer, who touched O'Rourke just as the latter was coming into second base. Barnes called both men out under the rules, which declares that when a runner is on first base and a fielder touches a fly ball with his hands the batter is out whether the ball be held or not. Barnes could decide no other way, but why he gave the decision and not Gaffney is a query. Ewing kicked over the decision for ten minutes and would not let the game proceed. He appealed to Gaffney but Gaffney upheld Barnes. Finally Barnes called for the next batter, who was Slattery. Slattery started toward the plate, but Ewing ordered him back to the bench, and “Slat” obeyed the director rather than the umpire. In vain did Barnes order up a batter. None came until Buck finally got out of breath and jerked his head to signify that the game might proceed. New York Herald May 1, 1890

“What do I think of Umpire Barnes's decision in the game on Wednesday? Nothing but a case of stupidity, that's all,” said Jim O'Rourke to a Sun reporter yesterday. “The decision was contrary to the spirit and letter of the rules. In the first place, it was not an infield hit of Ewing's, and therefore neither Ewing nor myself could be declared out. Now, what do the rules say regarding infield hits? Rule 2 of the Players' National League says that the infield must be a space of ground thirty yards square. That means the entire territory within the base lines, and not a foot more. Now, the ball that Joyce dropped was outside of the third base line by fifteen feet.”

“But hasn't it always been the case that hits stopped by the basemen and short stop while standing in their usual positions were considered infield hits?” asked the reporter.

“Yes, but the interpretation of the rules in that respect have been wrong. A ball sent to any of the infielders in the place they usually play cannot, under any circumstances, be considered an infield hit. It must be a hit to be played, even within the base line. Section 9 of rule 41 says: “If, where there is a base runner on the first base and less than two players on the side at bat have been put out in the inning then being played, the batsman makes a fair hit so that the ball falls within the infield, and the ball touches any fielder whether held by him or not before it touches the ground, the batsman shall be declared out.”

“See what latitude would be given an infielder to make such plays like that of Joyce and which Umpire Barnes says are according to rule if the enlargement of the infield other than that stated in the rules was allowed. Why, a short stop or baseman could run into the outfield for a ball, miss it, and then throw to a base catching the runner. Under Umpire Barnes's rulings, that would be an intentional miss, the same as Joyce's was decided. There's got to be a distinction made somewhere between the infield and the outfield and the rules have always made it. You can't say that even an inch outside of the base lines is in the infield.

“I am perfectly satisfied that Joyce's miss was not an intentional one. He made a supreme effort to get the ball but failed. How, then, do you think under these circumstances that it is reasonable to give Joyce so much credit for that play as for one of a scientific character. That's what he received by Umpire Barnes's decision.” New York Sun May 4, 1890

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move 5

Date Thursday, May 1, 1890
Text

[Jersey City vs. Baltimore 4/30/1890] German has a peculiar way of tossing the ball from one hand to the other while in the box, but it is not legal. Yesterday Burdock got on to it, and requested Umpire Valentine to prevent it. He cautioned German that he must use no motions to deceive the runner outside of his usual movements.

Source Baltimore American
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

loud coaching

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

[Boston vs. Brooklyn (NL) 5/2/1890] [byline O. P. Caylor] And now I want to tell you something about coaching. Hermann [Long] and Tommy Tucker [both of the Bostons] doubled up at the business in the second inning, and an excited crowd gathered on the street outside the grounds under the partially mistaken impression that a riot raged within. Heavens, you should have heard them two howl! Six strawberry peddlers doing a competitive business on the same square would have quit and gone out of the ward against this opposition by Long and Tucker. The spectators couldn’t hear their own thoughts, and Tommy Burns, who pulls a pretty deep stroke at coaching himself, didn’t open his mouth for the rest of the day, and when Tommy Burns acknowledges himself worsted in pumping noise the ne plus ultra in that line has been reached, you can bet on it.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush rumored to want to buy an AA franchise

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

[Joe Pritchard reporting] Changes in the Association circuit would not be a surprise to those whoa re on the inside, so to speak. Indianapolis is a good twenty-five-cent town and the Hoosier capital would want nothing better than to be represented in the American Association, and Mr. Brush is now adjusting his wires and hopes to work them so well that he will have a club in Indianapolis in a very short time. He has made offers to two clubs to buy them out—lock, stock and barrel—but the trades are still pending, although some conclusion may be arrived at before The Sporting Life makes its appearance again. Mr. Brush has had a taste of the national game, and he is not willing to stay out of the swim. The people of Indianapolis are howling for base ball and nothing but one of the major organizations would be tolerated there.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Decker glove patent

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

A. J. Reach, the base ball supplies manufacturer, has purchased from Decker the entire right, title and interest in this glove, which is now worn universally by catchers, and has, in fact, become indispensable because with this glove such a thing as a broker finger is impossible and catching is made wonderfully easy. The new owner, Al Reach, of this city, has taken steps to fully protect by patent this invention, which is valuable because it is sure to be profitable, since the glove is bound to come into universal use and further improvement seems impossible.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA salaries, level of play

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] In one way the desertion of the Brooklyn and Cincinnati from the American Association was an undisguised blessing to that organization in that the running expenses of the teams have been materially reduced. Clubs whch had a salary list last year of from $30,000 to $40,000 are now paying from $18,000 t0 $20,000. And but for this reduction of expenses and the raids of the Brotherhood upon the Association teams—which deprived them of their strongest players and brought their teams down to a level with first-class minor league teams—it would have been impossible for the Association to induce enough new clubs to enter and make up the circuit. In this instance, at least, much good came out of apparent evil; this will also be still more strikingly manifest when the Association shall have settled down and runs smoothly, and perhaps profitably, on, while the other two major leagues are cutting each other's throats.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed partial hits to be scored for sacrifices

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] “A change should be made in sacrifice hits. Many favor giving the batter credit for one-third hit. It is a good idea.” – New York Press

A half hit would be about the right thing. Then we shall have real team work at the bat, and the slugger who can do nothing bug slug for home runs and his personal record would soon be brought to his proper level. The Sporting Life May 3, 1890

[from Red Mulford's column] There have been many laments over the fact that under the present rules sacrifice hits have no value so far as being factors in building up a record are concerned. Several suggestions have been made in the line of amendment, one—which I deem foolish—advancing the idea to credit each sacrifice as one-third of a hit. Even if that fractional hit scheme should carry, one-third is not the right proportion, but one-fourth. There are four bases in the game and the fourth is the most essential of all. I have a proposition which I beg leave to submit to the Scorers' League, and all lay brethren without the fold as well. Under this plan of mine a percentage can be gained for sacrificing just as easily as one for hitting or fielding. Let me illustrate: Captain Ollie Bear, let us say, has played in eight games. He has these figures to his credit:

A.B. R. 1B. SH.

Beard....................... 39 8 12 9

In batting he has made .307, and I figure that as a sacrifice hitter he is deserving of a percentage of .333. He has been at bat thirty-nine times and has succeeded in making safe connection with the ball a dozen times. Subtract twelve from thirty-nine and you have twenty-seven times at bat in which he has made no hits, but on nine of these occasions he sacrificed. By the same rule of average-making carried out in safe hitting—dividing nine by twenty-seven—you have the percentage of .333, showing that he was equal to sacrificing once in every three times at bat. The idea of mixing one-third or one-quarter hits with safe hits would be just as misleading as was that old and awful rule charging a base on balls as a base hit against a pitcher. The Sporting Life May 10, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a balk move 6

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

The Baltimore Sun says: “Umpire Valentine put a veto yesterday upon German's well-known trick of tossing the ball from hand to hand before hurling it in. captain Burdock, of the Jersey City team, entered a protest, and Valentine adjudged the motion to be illegal on the ground that, as stated in the rules, it is “calculated to deceive the base-runner.” German can continue to use his other deceptive movements, however.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

managers only look at records

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

“'Records don't count. We are looking for men who play for their sides, not for individual advancement,' has long been the cry of the managers of ball clubs,” said George Tebeau the other day. “That cry don't go with me now. The truth of the matter is that managers—that is, most of them—only look at your batting and fielding record. They do'nt care how many times you have taken strikes while waiting to get a base on balls. They don't look at the number of turns you make or the number of bases you have stolen. Your hard hustling work and untiring coaching, by whi8ch you make enemies in other teams, count for nothing. All they look at is the number of hits you made and the errors recorded against you. Chance-taking cuts no figure with them. They talk about it, but that is all they do. I notice when they come to engaging players they take the men with the records. Winning players don't count. The record players are the ones that get the coin.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston Club ownership; Massachusetts legislature gets in the act

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

That close corporation known as the Boston Club of the National League is likely to feel the spear of the law, as a legislative committee is about to probe into its affairs, judging from the following article in the Boston Democrat of last Sunday, which said:

“The Solons of the Bay State who sit on Beacon Hill have had an opportunity of studying the beauties of base ball as best appreciated by the old magnates of the League, who, while professing their love's sacrifices for the noble sport, have first taken the best of financial care for themselves. The Boston Base Ball Club has for years been recognized as one of the bonanza concerns of the State, with a great income at very little actual capital on risk. Three men have, as a syndicate, ran the club to suit themselves, absorbing large sums under the head of salaries, voted and paid to themselves. At the same time a number of other stockholders have had to whistle for dividends, and have been refused any showing of the profits or income. It is furthermore claimed or averred, the syndicate in control of the club have managed to escape paying to the State Treasury dues which should have been levied on them in the form of a corporate tax.”

On Wednesday, April 23, the case of the old club was presented to the careful consideration of the legislative committee on taxation, on the petition for an act, which would make it and all similar corporations subject to the payment of just taxes. Mr. William P. Cherrington made the argument of the day, and his remarks just now in the light of the revolution worked by the Brotherhood, cannot but be interesting to people generally. Mr. Cherrington said:

[a long argument follows for requiring close corporations to file financial reports with the state in order that the the tax commissioner can place a valuation on the corporation.] [including:] Messrs. Soden, Conant & Billings are the officers, Messrs. Haynes, Cory, Hart and Long are stockholders outside of these officers. Would you not suppose that in equity these four stockholders whose money was invested in the corporation could obtain some knowledge of the value of their investment? Well, they tried to do so, but could not succeed in the Supreme Court of this Commonwealth.

On the 11th day of Nov., 1887, they filed a petition setting forth the facts, and among other things they prayed that “an account may be taken by this court of the officers of said corporation, of its assets, liabilities, and especially of its earnings and income, and that for this purpose the defendants may be required to produce the books, accounts and records of the corporation.

Second. That if upon hearing it shall be found that said defendants, Soden, Conant & Billings have violated their duties as directors, or have applied the property of said corporation to their private use, or have abused their trusts as officers of said corporation for their private advantage, said defendants may be removed from their trusts as officers in said corporation.

Third. That the shares of stock in said corporation may be enumerated so that it may be determined how many shares of said stock are now in existence.

Fourth. That any and all shares of the capital stock of said corporation which have been forfeited to the corporation, may be sold at public auction according to law, and the proceeds of the sale of such shares applied according to law.

Fifth. That the defendants, Soden, Conant & Billings, as directors of said defendants' corporation, and said defendant Billings as treasurer of said defendant's corporation, or the successor of either of said officers, in case either or all of them shall be removed from offices in said defendant's corporation, by the decree of this court, may be ordered to annually distribute such dividends as can reasonably and prudently be made upon all the stock, having due regard to the prudent and conservative management of its business.

To this petition a demurrer was filed Jan. 4, 1888. The case was heard before Judge Holmes in the Supreme Court in Equity. Under the rulings of this judge the case was dismissed by agreement of counsel without costs, Oct. 27, 1888.

Now, Mr. Chairman, if the stockholders with their money invested could not get the inside history of the money affairs of this corporation and were compelled to sell their stock at such price as the officers chose to pay for it, how, I ask, can the tax commissioner ever approximate to the value of the franchise of such corporations?

For the past four years the tax of the Boston Base Ball League [sic] has been assessed as follows:

1886............................. $95,200

1887............................. 94,200

1888............................ 119,300

1889............................. 156,700

A local tax all on their real estates.

Not a dollar went to the State for the franchise.

Now, is that its actual value?

After some other evidence in the premises had been heard the committee took the subject under advisement.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player felled by alcohol

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

[from Edwin Ewing, the Scranton correspondent] Paddy Gillespie, the New Yorks' old left fielder, is now working in the coal mines at Carbondale, sixteen miles from this city. Poor Paddy! What a tumble he took! Had he followed the precepts as laid down by Francis Murphy he would now be a Brotherhood Giant under “Buck” Ewing. Last Summer the poor fellow, as if realizing how great had been his downfall, braced up a little and was given a trial at short stop by the Carbondale Club. His fielding was all that could be desired and he batted in his old-time form. Club managers heard of it and hopes were entertained that Gillespie would recover his lost laurels. Even then his weakness would have been forgotten, but that everlasting, mysterious craving for alcoholic stimulants returned with redoubled intensity, and, alas! Paddy fell once more. So firm a hold has the accursed wine cup got on him that to-day he is a wreck of his former self, forsaken by those who honored him when he played left field for the Giants and made the “only” Clarkson “shiver in this boots.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Players club reduces admission to 25 cents

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

[from a circular by John Tener] ...it has been determined by the Pittsburgh Players' League Club to further popularize itself by the introduction of a 25-cent admission to its home games. The Sporting Life May 3, 1890

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] To-day [4/30] was the first day the 25-cent revival could be judged, for yesterday it rained before the time for calling the game and but 680 people were on hand. This afternoon Old Sol had his rays out and tempered thew ind and it really was a first-class base ball day. The crowds flocked into the gates. It was a representative array of base ball patrons. [The attendance was 1402.] The Sporting Life May 3, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of the PL increased pitching distance

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

The pitchers of the new League are nearly all well-seasoned and have always pitched a certain distance, at which, by years of practice, they have become so accustomed that now it will take them some time before they can twist the ball so that it goes eighteen inches further before it curves, drops or shoots. Buffinton, in his first game in New York, could not at first realize why his famous “drop” struck the plate instead of going over before striking ground, and, as the ball dropped too soon, the batters did not “bite,” with the result that after two or three balls had been called on him he had to put it over straight, and they hit it in every direction.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

telegraph war in Pittsburgh

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

The Western Union and Postal Telegraph companies are having a little war here over the transmission of news from the Players' League grounds. The Postal has the contract, but the Western Union has been beating it out on the news. It was found at first that the Postal wires had been tapped and that scheme was soon blocked. The next day the Western Union beat its rival again, this time by means of observations taken from a neighboring building. The information is wanted for pool rooms, which pay $50 to $100 a week.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

treating the bat with natural gas

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

A natural gas soaked bat is the latest. Veach, of the Cleveland team, recently bought a new bat and was advised the burn the varnish off it before a natural gas fire. He did so. The parafinne in the flame seasoned the stick well, and in consequence Veach is cracking out the ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

loud coaching 2

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Here is a specimen of the new style of coaching which the South End grounds spectators tolerate because it is indulged in by Boston Club players, whereas when it was confined to Association clubs they pitched into it as “rowdy ball playing.” I take the following from the Boston Herald:

“The feature of the game yesterday above and beyond all others was the loud, bullying, bulldozing coaching of both side, particularly that of Long's on the part of the Boston Club, who out-Kellied Kelly and out-Longed Long in the eal and persistency with which he gave his orders and made himself generally known to the public.

“Get er long thar.

“Hustle yerself lively.

“Don't stick tew the base.

“Git a move enter yerself.

“What yer glued thar fur?

“Only one out—and git along.

“Look-a-there, and see what I told you. Git now.

“Holy Moses, go.

“Git back to yer base, ye lunkhead.

“Dig up the dust and fly.

“Don't stick there like death to a dead nigger, but get up and go!

“Make a bee line fur home, and don't let the beans parboil under her feet!

“Do yer think yer on vacation, that yer stand there when so many good chances are going by?

“Those were the noises that rent the air.”

Tucker bellowed like a bull as of old and this was done to worry the pitcher; not to aid baserunning, for it does not do it even a little bit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporting admission

Date Saturday, May 3, 1890
Text

[from J. F. Donnally's column] The Brooklyn League Club officials have adopted the policy of giving the exact number of paid admissions, together with the free passes. This is fair and square all through and must prompt the applause of all the honest-minded. Up to date the Players here have not fallen into line. Why don't they?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catching technique

Date Sunday, May 4, 1890
Text

Tom Esterbrook was at his old place at first base. It won't do for anybody to say the “Dude” is not playing ball for all he is worth. He catches the ball in that pretty grand-stand way yet, and he set the crowd into fits of laughter by these catches. Especially was this so when Denny threw the ball over in a half circle. Tom held his hands in front of him, and when the ball struck it was like the opening and closing of a clam; his hands fly open and close on the ball with a wrist movement.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pickett case; a player enjoined

Date Tuesday, May 6, 1890
Text

Judge Arnold, of the Common Pleas Court, No. 4, yesterday granted a application made by John I. Rogers for L. C. Krauthoff, of the Kansas City Base Ball Club against John T. Pickett and the Players' League Club of this city for a mandamus to restrain Pickett from playing with the Philadelphia team during the present season. The case was argued before the Court at length last Saturday, when Mr. Rogers represented the Kansas City Club, and John M. Vanderslice and John G. Johnson appeared for Pickett.

The following decree was issued by the Court: “It is ordered that an injunction be issued restraining John T. Pickett until final hearing of the case from playing base ball with or giving his services as a base ball player for the season ending October 31, 1890, to any other club or organization, person or persons other than the Western Association Base Ball Club, of Kansas City, Missouri; and also restraining the Players' National League Base Ball Club, of Philadelphia, from employing John T. Pickett or otherwise interfering with the giving of Pickett's services for the season of 1890 to the Western Association Base Ball Club, of Kansas City, upon security being entered in the sum of one thousand dollars.” The Philadelphia Times May 6, 1890

The Pickett case was settled yesterday by Mr. Pickett repaying the $200 which was advanced to him on account of salary, and the payment to the Kansas City Club, through Mr. Rogers as attorney, of a certain sum of money (the amount of which is a matter of no public importance), in settlement and discontinuance of the injunction case and to cover certain costs and expenses which the Kansas City Club has incurred in the matter. The Philadelphia Times June 5, 1890

Source ” The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of NL Pittsburgh Club financial weakness

Date Sunday, May 11, 1890
Text

President A. G. Spalding, of the Chicago club; Secretary Davis Hawley, of Cleveland; President W. A. Nimick and Director J. Palmer O’Neill, of Pittsburg, held a conference with Presidents John B. Day, of the New York club, and C. H. Byrne, of Brooklyn, yesterday. The affair was very quietly conducted and at its conclusion those present refused to say anything regarding the business transacted.

It is understood, however, that the Pittsburg club is flying signals of distress, and the club owners have become desperate and desire an immediate change of base, as a crash is sure to come within a short time. Director O’Neill reported that his club had been losing heavily ever since the season opened, his players’ salaries had been paid with greater difficulty and something should be done to avoid a financial disaster which is threatened. New York Herald May 8

Another intimation of the real state of affairs despite so much protesting, which is really “protesting too much” is the admission of Secretary Scandrett, that the club's franchise and players would be sold if the price were forthcoming. As to the amount, he says $20,000 from Baltimore or Indianapolis and $1,000 each for the players, or from any other enterprising city that would like to give up that sum, would be about the proper caper. As the club has been continuously boasting that it was prepared to lose $20,000 this season, if necessary, this is the cause of much smiling and many sarcastic remarks.

But the biggest straw of all was the issuing of an attachment against Recreation Park, the National League ball grounds, by a Magistrate in favor of the Dening estate, owners of the park, for nine months' rent. The officials of the club tried to laugh away this little incident, but in so doing they told so many different stories that not one of them was believed. President Nimick declared they weren't behind a month in their rent and that no one had demanded the current month's rent; then it was said that J. Palmer O'Neil had made out the warrant for the rent due, but left it on his desk. Several other as simple little reasons were urged in extenuation of the debt, but the truth was the rent had no been paid and the estate's managers wanted their money.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the benefit of good drainage

Date Friday, May 9, 1890
Text

[New York vs. Philadelphia PL 5/8/1890] Many games are called sloppy on acdount of the poor fielding, but yesterday's was not sloppy in that sense. The grounders, however, were exceedingly sloppy, especially the outfield. The players would have looked much more seasonable in bathing suits than ball suits, for the outfield was a perfect sea of mud. It was so thick that O'Rourke carried several planks into his territory to keep his feet dry and when the ball happened to drop in that neighborhood in invariably buried itself. The left and centre fields were very little better, the outfielders playing at a great disadvantage. The infield was a little better, but every now and then a fielder would drop in up to his ankles, and balls that should have been fielded had to be chronicled as base hits.

[Boston vs. Philadelphia NL 5/8/1890] The ground was soft and heavy, and it was only by a liberal use of sawdust that it was got into any kind of playing condition. The infielders had plenty of fun skating around the base lines, but notwithstanding these disadvantages the fielding, as a whole, was good.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Boston PL Club ownership

Date Friday, May 9, 1890
Text

The moneyed men back of the Players’ League club [in Boston] are Lawyer Godfrey Morse, Banker T. H. Prince, Dr. C. S. Bartlett, George Wright, Charles B. Cay and John C. Haynes, of the Oliver Ditson Company. Secretary J. B. Hart is a member of a furniture firm, but Treasurer Long, it is understood, put experience instead of money into the enterprise. John Morrill owns stock, as do Kelly, Brouthers, Radbourn, Richardson and possibly others of the players.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh NL club behind on salaries and rent; apparently bailed out by the League

Date Friday, May 9, 1890
Text

Paul Hines declared to-day [5/8]:– “We were promised checks for the last two weeks of April at Chicago, but the checks didn’t arrive, and then word was given out that we would get our money when we arrived home. Litchen Gray is without a penny and has a poor suit of clothes. He has been at home all the time, and has asked for his money two or three times, but was put off. It told him to-day to go and buy a suit and I would stand good for it. I guess there is no danger of our losing the money, but the club might pay a little more promptly.” New York Herald May 9, 1890

The Pittsburg Club has been granted an extension until Saturday to pay the overdue ground rent--$3000. If it isn't paid then, the effects of the club, including grand stand, will be sold at public sale. The probability is that the League meeting in New York was for the purpose of considering the club's case, and there is little doubt but that the League will help the club financially. Rumors by the dozen are afloat concerning the future of the Pittsburg Club, but it is not believed the National League can afford to weaken at this juncture of the fight, and it will come to the rescue of Messrs. O'Neil, Nimick and Scandrett. Soden and Byrne are men who believe in fighting it out. The Sporting Life May 10, 1890

A good deal of mystery envelopes that alleged conference of League magnates in New York last week. Messrs. Spalding, O'Neil and Hawley now say that there was no conference, and Mr. O'Neil een asserts that he didn't see a single magnate while in the metropolis, and yet Messrs. Byrne and Day admitted, or are quoted as admitting, that there had been an informal talk.

If there was no conference it is singular that the Pittsburg Club should have been stiffened so suddenly, as the club last Saturday settled in part with its landlord for the arrearage of ground rent, voted $10,000 to sustain the club, recalled Paul Hines' release and deprived President Nimick of sole authority by making Mr. O'Neil virtually managing director with a new down-town ofice, which is to be the club's headquarters henceforth. It is openly stated by newspaper that the National League has furnished the money to brace the club up, and the charge has not yet been denied. The Sporting Life May 17, 18900

Source ” New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

King Kelly endorses the Decker glove

Date Saturday, May 10, 1890
Text

[Francis Richter reports:] While the Bostons were in town last week, Mike Kelly sauntered in Reach's store on Market street one day and to the surprise of everybody greeted Al. Reach in the most friendly manner. Al. was no less cordiak, and to the pleausre as well as amusement of the lookers-on the rival magnates were apparently upon the most friendly terms, and one would have imagined that no such thing as a war was in progress. What took Kelly to Reach's was the fact that he had to get one of Reach's patent lace mitts, which Kelly vowed he couldn't get along without, and which he is so pleased with that before he left Reach he gave the latter unsolicited the following testimonial:

Philadelphia, May 3.--Friend Reach:--Notwithstanding I am connected with a rival organization candor compels me to say you have the best catching glove I have ever seen, and I have seen them all. I refer to your patent lace mitt. You are at liberty to use my name as an endorsement of it in such manner as you choose. Yours truly, M. J. Kelly, Boston Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scalping counterfeit rain checks

Date Saturday, May 10, 1890
Text

A man named Max Meyers was arrested last Saturday and held for trial by Magistrate Neal for selling rain checks for the [Philadelphia] Players' League game of that day. It is alleged that the defendant bought the checks at a discount, when the game of Friday was declared off on account of the rain. He sold the checks for less than the price of admission. Suit was brought by Manager Benjamin F. Hilt, of the Brotherhood League, under the act relating to ticket scalping. It is also alleged that some of the rain checks received at the gate were counterfeits.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reporters for the Boston papers

Date Saturday, May 10, 1890
Text

The Boston Herald and Globe between them have four men on the road with the two Boston teams. The Herald has Stevens and Morse with the League and Players' team, while the Globe has Tim Murnane and Kenny. What other daily papers in the country would do so much for base ball?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player enjoined

Date Saturday, May 10, 1890
Text

[See TSL 5/10/1890 p. 5 for a long article on American Association Base Ball Club of Kansas City v. Pickett, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia, in which Kansas City obtained an injunction preventing Pickett from playing with the Philadelphia PL Club.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

interpreting the infield fly rule

Date Thursday, May 1, 1890
Text

[PL New York vs. Brooklyn 4/30/1890] With two men on bases, Joyce muffed a little fly sent up by Ewing, and O'Rourke dashed for second. Barnes decided that Ewing was out, and also called O'Rourke out. The decision was an original one, and may never again be seen on the ball-field. New York Tribune May 1, 1890

In the last half of the sixth inning Connor was on third and O'Rourke on first base, with Ewing at the bat. The New York captain knocked a high fair fly several feet behind third base and at least three feet behind Joyce, the Brooklyn third baseman, who squarely muffed the ball. O'Rourke reached second and Ewing first base. Had Joyce intentionally muffed the ball he could not have got it to first ahead of Ewing or to second ahead of O'Rourke, who had taken a long lead off first base and was waiting for the ball to either be caught or dropped. Neither could Joyce, had he caught the ball, have returned it first in time for a double. The Sporting Life May 10, 1890, quoting the New York World

The Players' League has eliminated from its playing rules the word “momentarily,” applied to fly catches and has substituted an entirely new rule in Sec. 9 of Rule 41, which is quoted below. This new rule has already made trouble and will make more unless more clearly defined. A kick over the rule came up in the New York-Brooklyn game of April 30. Joyce muffed a short fly ball, but nevertheless Umpire Barnes permitted a double play as a result of the muff. Jim O'Rourke, when subsequently questioned by a reporter, said:

“The decision was contrary to the spirit and letter of the rules. In the first place, it was not an infield hit of Ewing's, and therefore neither Ewing nor myself could be declared out. Now, what do the rules say regarding infield hits? Rule 2 of the Players' National League says that the infield must be a space of ground thirty yards square. That meant the entire territory within the base lines, and not a foot more. Now, the ball that Joyce dropped was outside of the third base line by fifteen feet.”

“But hasn't it been the case that hits stopped by the basemen and short stop while standing in their usual positions were considered infield hits? asked the reporter.

“Yes, but the interpretations of the rules in that respect have been wrong. A ball sent to any of the infielders in the place they usually play cannot, under any circumstances, be considered an infield hit. It must be a hit to be played, even within the base line. Sec. 9 of Rule 41 says:-- 'If, where there is a base-runner on the first base and less than two players on the side at bat have been put out in the inning then being played, the batsman makes a fair hit so that the ball falls within the infield, and the ball touches any fielder whether held by him or not before it touches the ground, the batsman shall be declared out.'

“See what latitude would be given an infielder to make such plays like that of Joyce's and which Umpire Barnes says are according to rule, if the enlargement of the infield other than that stated in the rules was allowed. Why, a short stop or baseman could run into the outfield for a ball, miss it, and then throw to a base, catching the runner. Under Umpire Barnes' ruling that would be an intentional miss, the same as Joyce's was decided. There's got to be a distinction made somewhere between the infield and outfield, and the rules have always made it. You can say that even an inch outside of the base lines is in the infield.

“I am perfectly satisfied that Joyce's miss was not an intentional one. He made a supreme effort to get the ball, but failed. Now, the, do you think under those circumstances that it is reasonable to give Joyce as much credit for that play as one of the scientific character. That what he received by Umpire Barnes' decision.” The Sporting Life May 10, 1890

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brooklyn PL score card privilege

Date Saturday, May 10, 1890
Text

John Ward has the Brooklyn score card privilege. He outbid all others for it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a fastball count

Date Saturday, May 10, 1890
Text

[Boston vs. New York (NL) 5/9/1890] [byline O. P. Caylor] Rusie, the indomitable, pitched again. And what a game of ball he did “put up!” Several times when the batter had three balls and no strikes he settled down to straight pitching and put the next three balls over the plate.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

more lawsuits to enforce contracts

Date Sunday, May 11, 1890
Text

John G. Johnson, J. M. Vanderslice and Alfred Moore, attorneys for the Players' National League Base Ball Club of Philadelphia, yesterday filed suits in equity against Albert Myers and the Philadelphia Base Ball Club; Samuel L. Thompson and the same organization, and John Clements, to restrain them from playing in the team of the defendant club...

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Fred Dunlap released

Date Friday, May 16, 1890
Text

Fred Dunlap was paid off and released by the Pittsburgh National League club this morning. He demanded pay for his ten days, but was asked to remain in town and practise. He finally compromised on five days and instant release, received $428.70, went outside and began to case doubt on the financial standing of the club. He said: “This club won't last much longer. They talk about cutting down expenses and yet are paying that man Guy Hecker $3,700. I have a sister who can play baseball as well as he. Hecker also violates other rules.” Dunlap says he has received no offer as yet.

Source New York Tribune
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bright prospects for the American Association

Date Saturday, May 17, 1890
Text

The American Association is more than holding its own alike in the matter of drawing capacity and playing strength. Its games are well patronized everywhere, indeed surprisingly so in the cities which were supposed to be weakest, and the race is close, exciting and decidedly uncertain. In fact, the Association has done so well that it is gaining new friends daily, its outlook for future existence is becoming brighter and the ambition of the leaders is reviving.

It is not strange, therefore, to find that the leaders are planning already for strengthening the Association next year. It is believed that Pittsburg and possibly Cincinnati may again be embraced within the circuit next season. Baltimore and Washington are also being figured upon, and Detroit can be had for the asking...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

White brothers manufacturing brooms

Date Saturday, May 17, 1890
Text

Deacon Jim White and his brother William H. White, the ex-pitcher, are now manufacturing brooms and brushes at 419-421 Auburn avenue, Buffalo.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Amos Rusie a wonderfully

Date Saturday, May 17, 1890
Text

Amos Rusie is the wonder of the season. If he holds out he is likely to lead the pitchers of the League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rejecting scientific batting

Date Saturday, May 17, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] So “Long John” Reilly does not believe in place hitting, eh? Really, John, I thought you had more judgment. While a batsman may not be able to hit all balls in any direction he chooses, he certainly can stand at the bat in such a manner as to hit a majority of the balls to the right or the left if he chooses. Place hitting needs the keenest sight and clearest judgment, besides lots of practice, but as yet I have to see the first team do any practice looking to place hitting. They all keep in the old, old rut of fungo hitting in their practice, and hence little improvement is to be seen. Ewing was formerly of your opinion, John, but now he is a place hitter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Players League suits for injuncitons

Date Saturday, May 17, 1890
Text

Counselors J. M. Vanderslice, Alfred Moore and John G. Johnson on May 10, in Philadelphia, filed three bills in equity against Albert Myers and the Philadelphia Ball Club (the National League), Samuel L. Thompson, and the Philadelphia Ball Clubs, and against John Clements. The Players' National League Base Ball Club of Philadelphia, is the plaintiff in each case.

In the cases in which Myers and Thompson and the Philadelphia Base Ball Club, Limited, are defendants, the court is asked that Thompson and Myers be restrained from playing base ball or giving services as base ball players for the season of 1890 to any corporation, club, or organization other than the plaintiff, and that the Philadelphia Base Ball Club, Limited, be restrained from interfering with Thompson or Myers until January, 1891.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a resume of Wright & Ditson

Date Saturday, May 17, 1890
Text

[from an overview of Wright & Ditson] “Harry” Ditson, as he is familiarly called, began his successful business career as partner of George Wright in the Fall of 1879, and though very young then, he possessed great forethought and judgment in the growth of athletic sports. Having witnessed a game of lawn tennis, he at once saw that the American public would make it a popular sport, and he devoted much of his time to building up a reputation on the game in this country, and his firm has control of nearly all lawn tennis appurtenances of any note in the United States and Canada.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nimick out of baseball

Date Saturday, May 17, 1890
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] It is now Ex-President Nimick, for the base ball season at least. As President Nimick explained matters the other day:-- “You know my other business matters take up nearly all my time and I really have had to neglect them just to pay a little attention to base ball. I found out lately that I couldn't handle it with any degree of satisfaction, so I turned it over to Mr. O'Neill. He has nothing on hand for the present and is a great enthusiast on the game, so I feel certain the affairs of the club will not suffer during his administration. He will take charge of the tam and will likely go on the road and watch everything. Mr. O'Neill is determined to have a winning team. We have already lost $13,000, but are not alarmed.” The Sporting Life May 17, 1890

Mr. Nimick, of Pittsburg, is no longer a League magnate. He has written a long letter to President N. E. Young informing him that he has disposed of his interest in the Pittsburg League club... The Sporting Life May 31, 1890

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Rusie a star

Date Sunday, May 18, 1890
Text

[Cleveland vs. New York (NL) 5/17/1890] [byline O. P. Caylor] There is a pretty generally acknowledged agreement abroad among baseball patrons, and ball players too, that the young man is the greatest pitching living, or dead either, for all that. Yesterday when the game ended by Davis striking out for the third time and Pitcher Rusie started across the field toward the club house the crowd jumped down from the stands and followed him. Whenever the spectators follow a player or a team from the diamond to the club house it may safely be said that the player or the team has been installed a favorite in the public heart.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Bob Ferguson on the infield fly play

Date Tuesday, May 20, 1890
Text

Umpire Ferguson says that the intentional miss of a fly ball for the purpose of making a double play is all right, “but I would suggest the imposition of a penalty to complete such a play that is make it compulsory to touch the base runner with the ball.

Source ” New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catcher mask interference

Date Tuesday, May 20, 1890
Text

Umpires of the Players' League have received a written communication from Secretary Brunell notifying them to the effect that... if catchers place their masks upon the base lines it shall be considered as a willful attempt to interfere with the runner, and the latter, in the event of his being put out, shall be declared entitled to a run.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Dunlap jumps to the Players League

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text

Yesterday [5/24] Fred Dunlap, late second baseman of the Pittsburg National League team, was signed by the New York Players' Club. Heretofore Dunlap has been paid a larger salary than any infielder in the business, and it was only because of the high salary he demanded that he did not sign with a Players' League club early in the season. Dunlap will make his first appearance with the Giants to-day, and will play short.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a block ball?

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text

In a game between two amateur clubs, the Elliots and Woodburns, of Cincinnati, O., played at Walnut Hills May 18, before about a 1000 people, a remarkable home run was scored. With two on bases, the batsman hit a ball to left field, an ordinary base hit, but the ball took refuge in a lady spectator's dress and was not found or recovered until three runs had crossed the plate, the batsman counting a home run. It was the feature of the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League's war of extermination

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text

[a letter to the editor from “B”] The National League's declaration that the present fight was one of extermination and that it was in it to stay is being borne out by its actions. When the Brotherhood took up the fight its best friends said that if the League won it would b by superior legislation. The magnates who have controlled the game for years are certainly shrewd men, and in the present fight it is known that they would stop at nothing to effect the removal of their troublesome rivals from the field. On the surface it looks as though a scheme was being hatched worthy of the genius and shrewdness of Richelieu. A few days ago Mr. Spalding came out boldly and expressed the opinion that the game was dead for the time being. Simultaneously Byrne, of Brooklyn, Stern, of Cincinnati; Day, of New York; Robison, of Cleveland, and Nimick, of Pittsburg, rushed into print with the same statement. While Mr. Spalding was sincere in his first statement, he seems to have given the cue to the League for its future action. There can be but one inference, and that is that the league has adopted a desperate measure, involving the death, for the time being at least, of the national pastime.

It strikes me that their idea is to kill all interest in the sport and then freeze the Brotherhood out by playing to empty benches. The Brotherhood is paying big salaries, and besides was under enormous expense in fitting up grounds in the cities of its circuit. The old League men argue that if, with less expense, they can kill the game and then worry along until the Brotherhood backers have tired of their bargain, then they will remain sole masters of the situation and will reorganize on a more economical basis. Left alone in possession of the field, they will proceed to build up the game with low salary limits and will in a few years make back their losses. Their plan is certainly a far-reaching one. The League magnates, of course, deny that they have any such purpose, but their whole course points to it.

If any business man went around the country telling people that his business was dead, that there was no demand for his goods, but that he proposed to run his store because he had a pride in it and was willing to lose a lot of money in it, he would be considered crazy, and justly so. When men are in a losing business they are the last ones to say so. Yet the League magnates are going out of their way to advertise the fact that their business is dead. It is a situation almost without a parallel in the history of sport. The League announces that in the whole course of its existence it clubs had declared dividends amounting to $155,000, while it declares that some of its clubs have lost over that amount. If certainly looks rather queer that if base ball is such an unprofitable venture the League should make such a desperate attempt to hold on to it. There can be but one surmise, and that is that the old League, in some quarters at least, has been making money and sees prospects of more in the future. The League magnates are all business men, and as such would not hold on to a losing venture unless they felt that in the future there would be some chance to make back their losses.

It is known that even before the Brotherhood outbreak the League had fully determined to take up the high salary evil and correct it. Here its magnates see an opportunity to bring salaries down at one clever stroke. If the Brotherhood can be wiped out and all interest killed for the time being in the game, it would be easy to cut salaries down to a low level and by stringent legislation keep them there. Then there would be big money in the game. It looks like a conspiracy of gigantic proportions. The magnates are playing a very desperate game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

third base coach deeking the fielders

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text

With a man on third the infield was playing up close. One of the Cleveland coachers ran in from third on a hit to short. Thinking it was the Cleveland player going home the ball was sent to the plate. As the batter got safely to first there was no one out. As there was no penalty for an act of this kind Umpire Knight made the Cleveland coachers stay back at the bench during the rest of the game. When Secretary Brunell heard of it he sent word to all umpires that hereafter when anything like this occurred to give the runner out.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

on scoring errors

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text

The veteran player, Jas. L. White, it is said, will urge upon the Players' League a change in the scoring rules relating to the making of errors in actual play. He thinks at present too much is left to the judgment of the scorer. An error, as defined by him, is a muffed thrown ball, muffed fly ball, or a wild throw. In the matter of ground balls, where the player is unable to field the ball, he thinks the batter should be given a hit. He goes on to say that in four cases out of six, where fielders are given errors on ground balls at present, the batter should be given credit for a hit. This, White argues, will induce certain record players to bestir themselves and go after everything within reach. Mr. White's suggestion is a good one, and it should not only be adopted by the Players' League, but by all other organizations. There is very frequently a difference of opinion among scorers on ground hits, and, as Mr. White says, infielders are frequently given errors when the batsman should be given a hit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor that the AA Brooklyn Club is failing

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text
Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intellectual property of scores

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text

May a man who has paid his money to see a base ball match write an account of the same as it progresses and throw it over the fence, for the information of persons not present? This is one of the questions that will come before the courts shortly, two Western Union reporters having been arrested at the Athletic grounds for sending reports in this way. The men so treated are Horace A. Shinn, of 1607 South Juniper street, and D. S. Fister, of 700 Preston street, employees of the Western Union Telegraph Company. They were held on Saturday last for a further hearing this week by Magistrate Romig, charged with illegally securing for their employers scores of the games played at the Athletic Ball Park, Twenty-sixth and Jefferson streets.

The prosecution is the outgrowth of a rivalry between the Western Union and Postal Telegraph Companies. The latter secured exclusive privilege of running wires into the ground, and to overreach its rival the company first named had its employees take the history of the game as it proceeded and throw the copy over the fence to a waiting messenger boy, by which means it was enabled to telegraph reports of the game as rapidly as the Postal Company.

At Forepaugh's Park Western Union reporters have also from time to time been ejected for the same offence, the Postal Company having the same exclusive rights on this ground.

It does not seem good policy for base ball clubs to offend a company like the Western Union, and to peddle out telegraphic privileges for such a comparatively small such as $250 per club, but having sold the privileges it is at least necessary for the managers to try to keep the privileges exclusive.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

early talk of Pittsburgh clubs consolidating; Pittsburgh Club grounds

Date Sunday, May 25, 1890
Text

[quoting J. Palmer O'Neill] Both clubs, he says, are losing hundreds of dollars daily, and there are many solid business reasons why they should come together. In the first place, the old League has a lease on its grounds that will expire in a year or so, and can't be renewed. The grounds have become too valuable for building lots. The new League grounds, though too near the river to be safe from freshets, are admirably located, the rent is reasonable and they can often be leased for snug sums. For instance, Forepaugh's show occupied them two days this week, paying therefor $1,000 rent and $300 to place the grounds in ever better shape than they were before.

Mr. O'Neill's next argument is that the old club's franchise is the best and, though it has no players that are “stars,” or ever likely to be, between the two clubs a first-class team could be selected. He things such a move would so please the conservative ball game patron that the patronage, at 50 cents instead of 25 cents per head, would make the consolidation a good paying business investment.

The Players' League people say they don't doubt a consolidation would much please Mr. O'Neill, but it is an utter impossibility. They admit they are losing money, but claim they have enough left to make a rattling fight, and that they won't be the first to cry “enough.” At the same time, it is asserted that after about one more pay-day for each club, unless it quits raining and the clubs are able to draw better crowds and more of them, something is bound to drop, in one side or the other.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Disagreement on sacrifices

Date Wednesday, May 28, 1890
Text

Sacrifice-hitting is becoming contagious. It may serve to get runs, but if the matter as left to the audience it would receive very few votes. – Boston . But it wins games.

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brotherhood claimed to be using a lively ball

Date Saturday, May 24, 1890
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] It is very evident that the Brotherhood ball is much more lively than the one used in the League games. Inf act, many think it is a bit too lively, because it is almost an impossibility for clean and pretty fielding on hard hitting. Ont he other hand it gives more batting, and that is what we want. Captain Kelly thinks the ball is all right. He says:-- “We might put in a dead ball and keep the score down to small figures, but you can't fool the public in that way very long. Our boys make errors, try as hard as they can, because the ball is lively, but they are, on the other hand, giving an exhibition of batting never before seen in this country. The public have been crying for hard hitting and we are giving it to them.” The Sporting Life May 24, 1890

A test of the merits of the respective balls—the Spalding and the Keefe ball—used by the two leagues, was made yesterday at Brotherhood Park. Vaughn drove the Brotherhood ball fifty yards further than the most muscular of the Giants could rap the National League article, which proved conclusively that the Players' League ball is decidedly the most lively. The Sporting Life May 31, 1890

[editorial matter] The batting in the Players' League has been somewhat heavier than was expected, and it has been proposed that the ball be deadened somewhat. It would be a great mistake, however, to meddle with the ball, which should be left just as it is. The increased pitching [distance], the heavy-hitting strength of the new teams, the large size of the new grounds and the hard weather on pitches, have all had quite as much to do with the heavy batting as the ball, just as the new grounds were largely responsible for the low fielding average of the early weeks of the season. Later one, when the pitchers are at their best, it will be found that the ball and pitching distance are just about right and that pitching skill and batting ability will be nicely balanced. Then the batting will be of just the proportion to make games lively and brilliant, to hold do0wn strike-outs, keep men on bases, afford chances for others besides the pitchers and catchers, and make the games generally uncertain, and, therefore, more fascinating and popular. The Sporting Life May 31, 1890

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Players League considers changing the schedule

Date Saturday, May 31, 1890
Text

[reporting on the upcoming PL Directors special meeting scheduled for 5/30] Several days ago two club members asked that a special meeting of the Board be called. They wanted the schedule changed. Their plan was to jump the East to the West immediately after the present series with the Western clubs, instead of playing the East against the East, according to the present schedule. Their argument was that by avoiding conflicting dates they would please the public, which is not in love with the present war of extermination. The proposition was telegraphed, and from the remaining six clubs came the strongest remonstrance. The majority claimed that the new League is no way responsible for the present state of affairs, and that in the event of a change peace would not be assured, for the National League might follow the change and continue the conflict.

They said sentiment or pride has nothing to do with their decision. They believe, for business reasons, that any change would be unwise. The two clubs who had desired a change were satisfied to drop their proposition, but before all the answers had been received a call for the meeting had been issued, President McAlpin thinking it would be well for the Board to come together for the purpose of discussing the situation. The new League has within six months established valuable franchises in eight cities, and the clubs are in excellent financial condition. In fact, notwithstanding the execrable weather, most of them have made money. The gentlemen backing the players have decided to resist all attempts of the National League to establish a monopoly of professional base ball clubs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a Sunday ground outside Baltimore

Date Sunday, June 1, 1890
Text

There is going to be a big row in this old town over Barnie's Sunday base ball movement. The Law and Order League is already preparing to jump upon him, and to-morrow the preachers will make their protests against it. The city laws plainly forbid ball-0playing on Sunday, but the management, in connection with a beer garden proprietor across the river, in Anne Arundel county, propose to have a grounds especially for Sunday games. The stands are being erected and the grounds laid off. Accommodations will be provided for over five thousand people and Manager Barnie thinks he can pack the gardens every Sunday. The proprietor furnishes the grounds and expects to reap his reward in the profit on the beer and cigars sold. The Baltimore Club is running behindhand in its finances and the Sunday game movement is a desperate resort to raise funds to make ends meet. The attendance at the home games have been thin and but little interest is manifested in the team. Barnie expects a big enough crowd at the first Sunday game, billed for June 8, to pay for the stands and other improvements and a handsome margin of profit besides. Should ti rain next Sunday, however, Barnie will be ruined, particularly if the authorities prevent further Sunday playing. This innovation is likely to hurt Manager Barnie's reputation in Baltimore. Some of his strongest supporters have been church people, who are bitterly opposed to Sunday games. Such a movement will cause these people to withdraw their patronage from the week-day games. Barnie had often been urged by the sporting community to have Sunday games, but never made the effort until he got into the Atlantic Association. No beer is sold on the grounds at the week-day games.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

PL sticks to its schedule

Date Sunday, June 1, 1890
Text

Every club in the Players' League with the exception of Pittsburgh and Buffalo were represented at a conference held by the Central Board of Directors at the resident of E. B. Talcott, Vice-President of the New York Club, on Friday evening [5/29] , which was continued over until yesterday morning. The representatives present were: President E. A. McAlpin, Vice-President Addison of Chicago, F. H. Brunell, Secretary; R. B. Talcott, New York Club; John Ward, Brooklyn, H. M. Love and J.E. Wagner, Philadelphia; Julian H. Hart, Boston; George H. Sliney and John Stricker, Cleveland.

The most important matter brought before the conference was the question of a change of schedule,. Pittsburgh was one of two cities that would like to see a change in the conflicting dates. It was for the purpose of showing the Smoky City and its other supporters that the balance o the clubs in the Players' league did not desire a change, and that Secretary Brunell upon his own responsibility called a conference of the Central Board. A vote was taken on the question, and the six clubs went on record as voting for the retention of the present schedule.

Secretary Brunell said to a Sun reporter yesterday that the vote at the conference settled the matter about the Players' league schedule beyond doubt. “It will remain just as it is,” he continued. “If the National League people want fight, they will get all they desire before the season ends. We will get all the attendance necessary for a success when the weather settles. If any club can't keep its end up and wants to retire, I have an amount of finances right in my possession that will place a club in the place of the disbanded one at short notice.

Source ” New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buffalo International League Club moves to Montreal

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

It has been evidence for some time that Buffalo would not support two clubs and that the cheaper organization—the International club—would ultimately be pushed to the wall, as the patronage was insufficient and the club was losing money. A move has been under consideration for some time, and on June 3 a deal was completed providing for the transfer of the team to Montreal. There had been some idea of placing the team in Grand rapids, Mich., but it was abandoned and Montreal secured the club. The regular International championship games will be played on the Shamrock Lacrosse grounds, in Montreal. This transfer makes almost a Canadian league of the International, four of the six clubs now being located in the land of the Canucks.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia Players League Club ownership

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

...the Players' Club was being run on business principles under an executive committee of three, with J. Earle Wagner, the principal stockholder in the club, as the directing force, but with Mr. Love as president of the corporation, to remain at the head as long as he saw fit to remain. Since our last issue Business Manager Hilt has made preparation to resign that position and to withdraw from the club. He had already sold fifteen shares of his stock to Buffinton and Farrar, and some of the players will purchase the balance he still holds. By Mr. Hilt's resignation the club will save his salary of $2500...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

intentionally being hit by pitch

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

Curt Welch continues to play the trick of being hit by a pitched ball. Welch would make a good soldier; he does not seem afraid of a cannon ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club ownership 2

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

Nimick says he has disposed of his interest in the Pittsburg Club and J. Palmer O'Neil says he hasn't. Nimick out to know better than anyone else what he has done. The Sporting Life June 7, 1890

President Nimick, when shown the dispatch in The Sporting Life about his having sold out his interest in the Pittsburg Club, said he had written Mr. Young about his retirement from the National League club management, but that he had said nothing about selling out his interest in the club, and the fact of the matter is that, though willing to sell, he still has his one-fourth interest in the club, which has cost him about $17,000. The Sporting Life June 7, 1890, quoting the Pittsburg Press

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Washington Bradley back in Easton

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

The Easton Club has signed a catcher from Norwalk named Wm. James, and also the noted third baseman George Washington Bradley. Eastonians are pleased with the engagement of Bradley, because he played great ball in that village in 1874, and has been held in popular remembrance ever since.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rising stature of professional ballplayers

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

The idea of a young man playing ball for money is not nearly as abhorrent now as it was some years ago, when a ball tosser and a loafer were synonymous terms to many minds. There is nothing at all derogatory now-a-days in a young man playing base ball for the return it brings him. In fact, it must be considered in the highest degree commendable if a young man has the requisite skill to play ball so that it will command a financial return, and he is thus enabled to defray, in whole or in part, his expenses.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Players League sticks to its schedule

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

The special meeting of the Central Board of Directors of the Players League was held according to announcement in our last issue in New York City last night, and the result is that the schedule was not changed. The meeting was held at the request of John M. Ward, who wanted to be quite sure that everybody was satisfied with the progress of the campaign and to give those who wanted a change a chance to make their plea. Personally, Ward leaned towards a change if by such a change any breaks in the line could be averted or a weak club helped along. The result of the meeting showed that no break need be anticipated, and that every club was getting along well and perfectly satisfied to fight the battle out on the lines laid down.

Philadelphia and Cleveland were the only clubs which favored a change. The New York, Brooklyn, Chicago and Boston clubs were unalterably opposed to any change, and instructed their delegates to vote accordingly. They were determined not to show the white feather at any stage, even if it should become necessary to come to the assistance of such clubs as should need it, which, judging from the reports received, is not likely to happen. After a very full discussion of the situation, it was unanimously decided to make no change whatever during the season.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players' finances

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

The Players' League contains a larger number of well-to-do players than all the other leagues put together, partly because the men have been in the business ever so much longer and have therefore had the opportunity to save from big salaries, and partly because they are a superior set of men, with the ability to take care of, as well as earn, money. Among the men who have money and property may be cited Comiskey, Keefe, Ward, Irwin, Quinn, Brouthers, White, Rowe, Dan Richardson, Whitney, Pfeffer, Buffinton, Hanlon, O'Rourke, Ewing, Kelly, Stovey, Hardie Richardson and many others.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

charges and counter-charges of biased scoring

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

[from J. H. McDonough's column] [quoting Caylor] “Talking about scoring, let us look at the game at Brotherhood Park, this city, played last Tuesday. The official scorer, who is also the Press reporter, gave Ewing's team 16 hits and 4 errors, and Al Johnson's team 3 hits and 4 errors. The World made it 16 and 4 for Buck and 3 and 5 for Johnson. These are the two organs of the Brotherhood. All the other city papers, which are non-partisan, scored it 14 and 3 and 3 and 7.”

Simply because the World and Press gave the Players' League a fair show in matter of news they were dubbed the Brotherhood organs, while the other dailies are called non-partisan. Permit me to say that it is non-partisanship with a vengeance. There are no strong National League shouters in America than the base ball editors of the Star, Sun, Tribune, Journal, and Times. They do not even condescend to attend Players' League games. They get scores, it is true, and while I do not wish to reflect on their scorers, I must say that they are not always fair.

These scores for the papers I have mentioned are furnished by two men, who work in harmony, so that there is practically no difference in all the scores. One is a young fellow, named Vila, who is in the employ of John B. Day. He never scored a professional game before this season, knows very little about the game and is anything but a competent critic of base hits or errors. The only requisite he has for the position is a good strong voice and a disposition to shout for the League on the slightest provocation. I suppose he was selected as combination scorer owing to his earnestness in marking up errors and because of his deep-seated antipathy to the base-hit column when Brotherhood men are concerned. And this is the fellow we are to be measured by. May the good Lord protect us from any more comparisons of that kind.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a colored female umpire

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

Last Sunday at Sportsman's Park, there were two amateur games played. The first one was between the West Ends, the champion colored club, and the N.O. Nelsons. The feature of the game was the umpiring of a lady, who hailed from St. Charles, Mo., where, it is said, she has umpired several games. She was a lady of color.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring sacrifice hits and batting average

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

On account of the way clubs are going in for sacrifice hitting, batting averages will mean little this year. If the players tried for hits every time they went to the bat, base hits thus computed might mean something, but the intelligent player of to-day plays ball for his side, and does not care for a batting average as long as he can help his club to win a game. If the readers of the papers that print batting averages were to examine also the sacrifice record, and put the two together, the true value of the player as a batsman will be ascertained.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League's emergency fund

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

[from R. M. Larner's column] I am informed that the League is prepared to advance money to the amount of $30,000 to such clubs as may need assistance before the present season terminates. When it was discovered that the Brotherhood had determined to make the fight the League magnates called a meeting, at which it was agreed that under the existing circumstances it would be almost impossible for the League to go through the season without losing money. It was proposed that each club should advance a certain amount to form a guarantee fund, which aggregated $20,000. if I was correctly advised a large hole has already been made in the guarantee fund, and another assessment of $1000 has been levied upon the various clubs. The last assessment was not made because the funds in the League treasury are low, but because the League has always made it a rule to have a large and substantial sum in the treasurer's sock in case of an emergency. I believe President Young could draw his check, as representative of the League, for many thousand dollars and have it honored, as I am aware that he has a snug surplus in a local bank.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

box seats 2

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

[from F. W. Arnold's column] In view of the fine patronage accorded the local [Columbus] team this season in spite of the hard luck that has attended them thus far, it has been suggested that the directors erect immediately over the grand stand and behind the catcher's position a dozen private boxes that would hold parties of four. I have talked to several gentlemen who are daily patrons of the game, and they say they would gladly pay the extra price that might be charged for the use of the boxes. It is an experiment that couldn't cost much, and would bring back in revenue a sum satisfactory to the directors. Often parties of three and four arrive at the grounds to find all the available seats taken, and to see the game at all must sit in an undesirable place or must scatter. The scheme has been proven very successful in almost every other ball ground in the major league circuits, and would prove equally successful here.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a ground rule for field conditions

Date Saturday, June 7, 1890
Text

[Brooklyn vs. New York (PL) 6/6/1890] Brotherhood Park was in bad condition for good playing. For ten or twenty feet back of the sod in the diamond the clay had been raked and the ground was soft and muggy. But the worst part was in short right field. There a small lake of water stood upon a surface about thirty feet square, running across the foul line. The mud had been scraped away and lay in a hge ridge extending out toward centre field. The right fielder at times played just back of the dirt ridge and again in the much in front of it, according to the batter’s ability. A ground rule was made to the effect that a hit into this territory should give the batter and base runners only a single base each. The New York men sent five of their base hits into this dismal swamp, and the Brooklyns dropped two in the same territory.

Source New York Herald
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reduced admission in St. Louis 2

Date Sunday, June 8, 1890
Text

In order to increase the attendance at Sportsman's Park, the management has practically cut the admission to twenty cents. This is how it is done. At every game coupon score-books will be sold for a quarter and the coupon will entitle the purchaser to one admission. The regular score-book will also be on sale for the usual nickel. The Philadelphia Times June 8, 1890

Brooklyn AA Club to home games on the Polo Grounds

Manager Kennedy of the Brooklyn Association team has made arrangements whereby, in the absence of the National League team, his club will play at the Polo grounds. The first game will be played there to-morrow afternoon with the Syracuse Stars.

“Yes,” said Manager Kennedy to a Sun reporters yesterday. “I think we ought to draw pretty good crowds. The National and Players' League clubs of both this city and Brooklyn will be away, and I will have the field all to myself. My team is now playing first-class ball, which is shown by the fact that it defeated the strong Rochesters two out of three games last week, and one game was a tie.

“The admission being only twenty-five cents will bring out a goodly number of people who many times stay away from the other games. Is hall continue to play Sunday games at Ridgewoood. There need be no fear that Brooklyn will get out of the American Association, as I consider that I have now the strongest team in the Association. There was a great deal of hard luck for us at the beginning of the season, and that gave th4e croakers a chance to circulate all manner of stories concerning Brooklyn's weakness, in none of which there was any truth. You can rest assured that we will make the other teams hustle from now on.” New York Sun June 8, 1890 [N.B. Future games were in fact played on the Polo Grounds.]

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore allegedly wants back in the AA

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

Director Walz, of the Baltimore Club of the Atlantic Association, was in town [St. Louis] a couple of days this week and had several long private communications with President Von der Ahe, of the St. Louis Club. In these interviews he frankly admitted that the Baltimore Club would like to be in the American Association. He said the club officials were sorry for having been led astray last fall when they left the Association. Walz is making a tour of the Association circuit, and feels confident of securing a franchise. The Sporting Life June 14, 1890

Barnie, as usual, doesn't agree with Walz's declaration that the only obstacle to Baltimore's re-entry into the American Association is the Columbus Club. He still states emphatically that his club will never re-enter the American Association. Walz might have known that Barnie would contradict him. The Sporting Life June 14, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a reprise in miniature of the Wiman case

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

[Galesburg tries to join the Illinois-Iowa League] The officials of the latter League were only too glad to get such a club and endeavored to get the Sterling (Ill.) club to withdraw. The latter was not willing to step out for the ridiculously low price offered by Galesburg, whereupon the League directors held a special meeting at Monmouth, Ill, without any notice to the Sterling Club, and voted Sterling out and Galesburg in and adopted a new schedule. The ground on which this summary action was taken was Sterling's alleged failure to put up the guarantee bond or pay legal assessments.

Sterling, however, was equal to the emergency. An agent of the League who came to Sterling to select some of the Sterling team for the Galesburgs was promptly sent about his business and on the following day legal proceedings began before Judge Crabtree, of the Whiteside County Circuit court. The club recited the facts of the case and showed that it put up its bond April 11 and had receipts for the League dues up to June 25. Judge Crabtree therefore issued an injunction restraining the Illinois-Iowa League from interfering with or ousting the Sterling Club and notice was at once served upon the League officials. The latter held another meeting at Galesburg on the 6th inst. After a full consideration of the situation the League came to the conclusion that Sterling's position was impregnable and that it was best to make no legal opposition to the injunction. The Sterling Club was then notified that the League clubs would play at Sterling according to the original schedule if Sterling would discontinue the legal proceedings, to which Sterling gladly agreed. This seems to have ended the battle, with Sterling victorious and happy in the knowledge that individual clubs have some rights which fellow clubs must respect.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Munson with the Brotherhood

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

George Munson has been appointed business manager of the [PL] Chicago Club. Incidentally he will do the press work, at which he is a “Jim-dandy.” Mr. Hayde will continue as secretary, and will accompany the club on all its trips. The Sporting Life June 14, 1890 [see also Spink National game p. 338]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Players' League lively ball

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I notice by a paragraph in the New York World last week that the P.L. And N.L. regulation balls were tested at the Brotherhood Park in New York, and Mr. Dickenson states that “the difference was astonishing.”

“The heavier batters in the New York Club could not knock the old League ball as far as the lighter ones could bat the Player' League ball, and when one batter tried the two he could knock the Players' ball one hundred feet further than the one used by the Nationals. This in a measure plainly shows why it is that the scores in the Players' League are larger than those in the National League.”

He should have added that the foot and a half of increase in the distance between the box and the home plate also helps the Brotherhood batsmen. This does away with the absurd talk about “the superior batting of the P.L. teams.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitch count

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] A Boston writer, in analyzing Nichols' pitching in the Decoration Day game between the Boston and Pittsburg teams, states that Nichols pitched only 100 balls in the nine innings he played in, and of these only twenty-four were called balls. This shows surprising accuracy in command of the ball in delivery, and that is one of the most important elements of success in skilful strategic work in the box. Out of seventy odd balls sent in fairly over the plate but four yielded clean hits. This is evidence of wonderfully effective pitching.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foreseeing reduced salaries

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

[from W. I. Harris's column] I wonder sometimes if the players of both leagues who have not gt guarantees or long contracts ever speculate as to the future of base ball salaries. Do they ever think what a continuance of this base ball conflict really means for them in 1891 and 1892, or what the result will be should one side or the other go under altogether. With something like 250 first-class ball players on the market, what would become of salaries? When the reduction comes, and it surely will, who will be made responsible for it by the players? Suppose the war continues. Are the backers of the various base ball clubs going to turn philanthropists and put up money for big salaries that do not come in at the gate? 'Twill be only the very best men who will last in the sunshine that follows big money, and even there will be taken from the men who keep themselves in the best of physical condition and who are to be relied upon at all stages of a season's work. The outside salaries for the majority will be in the neighborhood of $2000, and only a favored few will touch $3000. This swill be one of the results of the great fight of 1890, and a result which is pretty sure, no matter which way the fight goes. There may be some circumstances to prevent a general reduction, but they are not in sight at present. Nor do I see now how the reduction can well be avoided. It is only a question of time and not a very long time at that.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a court refuses to enforce a player contract

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

[a lawsuit by York to enjoin Frank Grant from playing for Harrisburg] Continuing Judge Simonton said:--”There is no distinct allegation in the bill that complainant will be injured by the playing of defendant Grant for the co-defendant, except as such playing involves his loss as a player to complainant. Therefore an injunction restraining Grant from playing for the other defendant would not, in any degree, lessen the injury and damage to the complainant, unless it should have the effect of compelling him to play for plaintiff. This it would not, and could not, do directly, and it is concede by the counsel for the plaintiff that the court could not compel him, by its decree, to do this directly, and, therefore, according to the principle laid down by Justice Sharswood, which is undoubtedly correct, ought not to attempt to do it indirectly.”

The Court holds as another reason why the injunction should not be granted in this case that the contract between Grant and the complainant is not mutual. The agreement set out in the bill contains this clause:

“It is further agreed between the parties hereto that the party of the second part (the plaintiff), reserves the right to abrogate this agreement at any time when it appears that the said party of the first part is not fulfilling his agreement to the best of his ability.” Judge Simonton says, under this clause it would be in the power of the plaintiff, at any moment, to dismiss the defendant from its service, and that the contract is therefore not mutual.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the growth of newspaper baseball departments

Date Saturday, June 14, 1890
Text

[from the Boston correspondent] Some idea of the growth of the base ball department in the Boston papers can be drawn from the difference in the size of the base ball force of the Globe to-day, and in '84, the last year in which we had two teams here throughout the season. Then it was the Boston League team and League Reserves, and the Boston Unions. That year one man handled the entire base ball department of the Glove. Since then it has grown so much, and has become so great a feature in the papers that at present, with both teams away, there are four men in the department besides Tim Murnane, who is its editor.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor that Cincinnati will jump to the PL

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

One of the sensations of the week was a Cleveland special to the Boston , which intimated very plainly that a certain National League team had decided Players' League leanings, and that a jump to the new League next fall was more than likely...

...

It doesn't need much guessing as to which club is aimed at here since Comiskey not very long ago stated that President Stern of the Cincinnati Club had plainly expressed himself as very much disgusted with the way things had turned out in the National League, and hinted at the possibility of a change.

Source … The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of the League moving its July 4 games

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

The opinion prevails that the Boston and Chicago League clubs will change their Fourth of July dates from Chicago to Boston. President Soden, however, flatly denies any such intention. The attempt to change the Pittsburg series of the Fourth to Brooklyn has probably been abandoned. It is among the probabilities, however, that the Cleveland series may be transferred to New York. It would be a good business-stroke for the League to leave all of the unprofitable Western cities to the Players League for the Fourth of July series, and play in the big Eastern cities on the great holiday, but it is not likely to be done.

When one of the directors of the Brooklyn National League Club was seen on the subject he was very emphatic in his denunciation of the change. He said:--”I have stated before that the National League will not change its schedule in any event, and that statement still holds good, and will continue so until the season closes. The National League began its campaign as it has in years gone by, and will go on as it has in the past. We stand at the head of the base ball profession, and anything the Players' may do is their own business and must concern them only.”

President Reach, of the Philadelphia Club, says he is not only opposed to any change of the League schedule this season, but he is in favor of meeting the Brotherhood on the same grounds next year if that organization is in existence, which he very much doubts. [N.B. The League did in fact keep the games in the West.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore Club finances; Sunday games

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

[from the Baltimore correspondent's column] The manager is already making arrangement for fall exhibition games with National League and American Association clubs. There has never been much in these fall games, but the thirst of the people for major league ball may change this state of affairs. It has been pretty clearly demonstrated that the only money to be made on Atlantic Association ball in Baltimore is from the Sunday games. It is a great pity that this should be so, but it is a fact.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foul tip strike

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

A foul tip caught within a radius of ten feet of the home plate counts as a strike in the college games.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

“Mr. Umpire”

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

The rule calling upon players to address the autocrat as is deader than a salted mackerel. Everybody calls the gentleman now presiding by his christian name or his abbreviated surname.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bogus attendance figures

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

Frank Brunell says that a “hardware discount” is put on the figures of National League attendance, which means that the figures are swollen about a third. Of the Players' clubs he says:--”The figures sent out by our clubs are nearly correct. Some are less or more by a few than the figures on which the receipts are divided. If the 'old masters' doubt this statement a general 'show-up' will be healthy and very enlightening to the public.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

reaction to the spread of Sunday baseball

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

The opponents of Sunday ball playing have been more than usually active and aggressive this season, probably because the area of Sunday playing territory is widening the high pressure speed at which professional base ball is being conducted making such remunerative games absolutely necessary to the clubs which had hitherto abstained from playing on the first day of the week, at home, at least. [Goes on the discuss Washington, Baltimore, Easton, Pa., Rochester, and Wilmington.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an improved catchers' glove; mitt; pocket

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

Ted Kennedy has recently made a great improvement in his celebrated back stop protecting glove for catchers. The glove is made three inches smaller, weighs ten ounces less, and is made with an adjustable thumb that produced a ready made concave. It does away with the “breaking in.” The Kennedy glove is acknowledged to be an actual safe-protecting glove. A steel wire encircles the fingers and thumb, and gives an absolute protection. The price of the glove is $10—the highest-priced glove in the market, but at the same time the cheapest in the end and the safest. They are made by Kennedy himself and each one is made by hand and will stay together.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scorers should include innings pitched

Date Saturday, June 21, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Why do not official scorers when they send reports to the press give the number if inning s each pitcher pitches in when more than one pitcher is employed on the team? Looking at a score in the papers, one finds the names of two pitchers on each team, without any figures on the score to show how many innings each pitched in. the summary score of a game should include the following pitching record...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a non-regulation ball in an amateur game

Date Sunday, June 22, 1890
Text

When the ball was thrown out for the first time, Centre-fielder Cake, of the Rivertons, followed a usual custom of his, called to McFedtridge to throw him the ball. Upon examination Cake at once saw that the ball was smaller than the regulation size and made objection to its use. His protest availed nothing, however, and the game was started. The first ball struck developed another new characteristic in the ball. It was dead as lead. It was soft on the outside and hard on the inside, and consequently lack3d the elasticity of the League or Association ball, falling dead from the bat instead of going out. The duplicity was further carried out by the trade make, “a. J. Rease, Extra League,” that was stamped on the ball. What is the advantage of using a “queer” ball! Only to put the opposing pitcher under a disadvantage. The home talent suffer none because they are used to the ball, but the visitors are totally unprepared for such a ball, and consequently the home club has the best of it all around. Besides this, it is not in accordance with the spirit that should govern amateur contests. Bristol has a fairly good team, but if it desires to meet respectable amateur clubs I mus at once stop all such underhand business and give the visitors fair treatment.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia baseball writers

Date Saturday, June 28, 1890
Text

[reporting on an upcoming game between and a theatrical nine from New York] The local nine will be composed of the following players:-- S. H. Jones, Associated Press; H. S. Fogel, Ledger; Robert Fitzgerald, Item; W. H. Voltz, The Press; A. M. Gilliam, Record; Ed Cole, Call; Frank Hough, North American; H. H. Diddlebock, Inquirer; Daniel Mills, Times, and H. Niles, Bulletin.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rain checks 6

Date Saturday, June 28, 1890
Text

The Athletic management has decided to issue not only to the bleachers, but grand stand patrons are also furnished with them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

marketing

Date Saturday, June 28, 1890
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] Base ball never reminded me so much of the cheap circus business as it does to-day. The League band wagon and the Brotherhood band wagon draw up in front of my office at the League and Brotherhood headquarters across the street and the musicians, perches upon their gilded wagons in their red coats and gold lace, blow their horns until they are red in the face, while the windows in adjacent business houses are filled with mechanics, shop hands and clerks, who listen until the music ceases and then go back to their desks and benches. Very few of them, however, go to the game. The plumed horses to the band wagons, the gaudy uniforms of the musicians and the flaring announcements which both wagons bear flavor very disagreeably of saw-dust, peanuts and red lemonade. How different from the good old days of 1886, '87, '88 and '89, when the crowds went to the ball games voluntarily and without the aid of band wagons or the catch-penny inducements of “Ladies' Day,” “Professional Day” and the other dizzy devices being resorted to by both local clubs.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

predicting the outcome of the Players League war

Date Saturday, June 28, 1890
Text

It is all very well to say that neither side will ever yield, and that it is a fight to a finish, but when it is seriously considered what a fight to a finish means, one is inclined to doubt very much that there will ever be a finish in the sense that one organization will be complete driven out of business.

The settlement of the war will eventually be made by the capitalists. The players will have very little to do with it, except in the case of a few who have invested some money in the scheme, hence the idea of an amalgamation, which no doubt would be against the best interests of the non-stockholding players, is not so chimerical as it may appear. Indeed, there are some good authorities on the game who believe that an amalgamation is the only course that can be taken that will continue professional base ball as a profitable investment. Those who hold this view are, however, extremists., quoting the Chicago Tribune

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on the Brotherhood's grievances

Date Saturday, June 28, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] What was the position of the players of the National League at the ending of the season of 1889? There were in command of high salaries—three to six thousand dollars for seven months of service—paid them by thoroughly responsible clubs. They were subject to no harsh laws in their club government, nor to any arbitrary enactments controlling them, which timely legislation—urged in the interest of club management on the plan of true business principles—would not have removed in the near future. But they ran wild after the ignis fatus of an impossible co-operative system in the management of professional clubs, and urged on by leaders looking only to self-aggrandizement they deliberately dropped the substance of the marrow bone of League employment which they had a command, and grasped the shadow of the Brotherhood League, and what has been the result? Let the present demoralized condition of the professional base ball world answer.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville reporter and official scorer

Date Saturday, June 28, 1890
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent] This afternoon Harry L. Means, the official scorer and base ball editor of the Courier-Journal...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a telegraph war in Pittsburgh

Date Saturday, June 28, 1890
Text

That is a most amusing fight going on between the Postal and Western Union companies for wire privileges at Players' Park. The Postal company paid $650 for the privilege, but ever since the opening the Western Union has been getting the material and actually beating its rival in speed. The Postal people thought they had located the W. U. wire in a railroad shop about one hundred yards away, and recently an addition was put on the high fence in that vicinity, but to no use. A few days ago they say a Postal employee was put in the grand stand to locate all he could. It is said that he sat beside the Western Union man who did the signs for those on the outside and was not aware of it. By a system, it is said, the Western Union gets all the score material on the outside.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a bench-clearing brawl on the diamond

Date Tuesday, July 1, 1890
Text

[New Haven vs. Baltimore 6/30/1890] Perhaps the little second baseman touched the runner too hard, for McKee turned savagely and dealt Mack a stinging blow in the neck. Reddy retaliated with a right-hander on McKee's jaw, and then they clinched, and the crowd recognized that what they at first thought was play was a real slugging match. The players of both clubs surrounded the men. The crowd shouted: “Knock him, Reddy!” “Clean him out!” and then the police took a hand. Both combatants were arrested and bailed for a hearing to-morrow.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tension between PL and NL players

Date Tuesday, July 1, 1890
Text

Mickey Welch, the fine pitcher of the New York League Club, in speaking of Ewing recently, said: “Buck is the only friend I have in the Players' League Club. Not another player in the team would speak to me after I signed a contract with Mr. Day to play in the League. I wish Ewing was with us now. You don't know how I miss him, for we were always great friends.” New York Sun July 1, 1890, quoting an unidentified exchange

Clarkson doesn't seem to be much worried at the failure of the Brotherhood men to recognize him., and when interrogated on the subject, said: “I have no fault to find with any man for not wishing to recognize me. Such a thing certainly doesn't injure me, and it may do the non-recognizer some good.” New York Sun July 4, 1890

Source ” New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Buffalo moves the July 4 game to Boston

Date Thursday, July 3, 1890
Text

Public announcement was made this morning [7/2, in Buffalo] of the transfer of the Fourth of July and Saturday games to Boston. The ball cranks are very bitter toward the management for its cowardice.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York Club ownership 2

Date Saturday, July 5, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] The only one of the big clubs that needed reorganization was New York, because the controlling interesting in that club was owned by Mr. John B. Day, who, it was understood, was not, owing to a number of reverses in recent years, able to carry the club alone through a losing season. Accordingly, the capital stock has been increased to $100,000, which gave the club the necessary capital to stand the losses it will surely suffer this season. Who took the additional stock is not known, although it is hinted that a couple of League magnates secured a large block of it, and the Mr. Dillingham, a former minority stockholder, is also more largely interested now. It is not known whether all of the additional stock has been placed. If it has been, there are some capitalists who have an abiding faith in the future of the New York League Club. Of course this increased stock has reduced Mr. Day's interest, but whether enough to give the control of the club to other parties is not known.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ewing claims the League wants to consolidate with the PL

Date Saturday, July 5, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Buck Ewing] [Ewing describes his visit to his home in Cincinnati] “I went out to the grounds that day with Loftus, and while there I met John B. Day. I knew that Spalding's representative was in Cincinnati, and also that John T. Brush, who, I believe, is interested in the New York National League Club, was in town, and that these three had been holding a conference. I shook hands with Mr. Day and we sat down together. After some conversation Mr. Day confessed that none of the National League Clubs were making money, and said that the Clevelands and Pittsburgs were ready to quit at a moment's notice. 'There are four clubs, however,' said he, 'that have agreed to stick the season out. They are the Brooklyns, the Bostons, the Chicagos, and the Cincinnatis. As far as I am concerned,' he continued, 'I would not pay my team's fare back to New York unless I thought some sort of a compromise with the Players' League could be reached.'”

“I told him,” said Ewing, “that the Players' League was losing no money, and that I did not see that it was to their interest to amalgamate. Mr. Day then further unfolded his object. It was, first, an amalgamation of the Players' League with the National League; second, the best players were to be chosen from both leagues to form a major league, the residue to go towards the formation of an association. Of course under this order of things the old magnates were to resume their position at the helm. Mr. Day asked me to lay the proposition before the Players when I met them in Cleveland, and although I told him what their answer would be I promised...”

[Day's reply:] I expect some big changes to be made within a month, or both the leagues will pull through the season. One must go next season, and I believe it will be the Players' League, as the backers of that organization have neither the money nor the experience of the National League. I do not say that all the League clubs will live through the season, but six will, I am sure, and come to the scratch in 1891, there being a solemn compact between the New Yorks, Bostons, Chicagos, Philadelphias and Brooklyns to stick together to the end. The National League is not, as reported, aiding its weaker members, its policy being to have every club stand upon its own bottom. The League is simply prepared to fight this battle to a finish, and will do it till either itself or its rival is forced to the wall. … Whatever may occur next year the chance of any compromise between the warring leagues is not only remote, but impossible. There will be no compromise this season and no efforts made to bring about one.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington Club finances 3

Date Saturday, July 5, 1890
Text

When he took charge of the club upon the death of his father the total debt was $43,458.84, including salaries due players under contract for September and October, 1888, $10,058,84, or a monthly expenditure of $5000 for salaries alone. At this time the assets were $1551.85 cash, and a deposit with the National League, as a guaranty fund, of $3000. When the club left the League he received for certain players $8200 instead of $14,000, as stated at the time; $12,000 for the option on the lease of the grounds at Capital Park and $7000 for the franchise, instead of $20,000 as alleged, and these sums have been utilized by him in maintaining the present Atlantic Association organization at the Capital.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

padded attendance numbers in the AA

Date Sunday, July 6, 1890
Text

The Players' revolt appears to be as disastrous to the interests of the game in the Association as in the League circuit. The attendance here [St. Louis] was bad last year, but it is frightful this year. There have not been 2,000 people at any Sunday game at Sportsman's Park this season, and the daily attendance has not averaged 400, this at 25 cents admission. An alleged turnstile count is posted at every game, but the figures are kept concealed in the turnstile and are usually double the actual number of people on the grounds.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in the AA

Date Sunday, July 6, 1890
Text

The players' revolt appears to be as disastrous to the interests of the game in the Association as in the League circuit. The attendance here [St. Louis] was bad last year, but it is frightful this season. The daily attendance has not averaged 400. This at twenty-five cents admission. An alleged turnstile count is posted at every game, but the figures are kept concealed in the turnstile and are usually double the actual number on the grounds.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player loan 2

Date Saturday, July 12, 1890
Text

The loaning of [Gil] Hatfield by the New York (P.L.) Club to the Bostons for the purpose, it is claimed, of taking the place of Irwin at short until the latter recovers is quite likely to make trouble in the Players' League. Hatfield left on Wednesday night for Boston. Ward, of the Brooklyn Club, protests against the action of the New Yorks, claiming that it is illegal, and every game that Hatfield plays with Boston Ward says he will protest, and he is satisfied he can have the games thrown out. If Hatfield should be regularly released and signed by the Bostons, then it would be all right. The Sporting Life July 12, 1890

[reporting the PL special meeting of 7/17/1890] Ward's protest against counting the Boston-Pittsburg games of July 10, 11, 12, in which Hatfield—a New York player “loaned” to Boston—participated was then 6taken up, and after thorough consideration the games were declared illegal, thrown out of the record, and ordered to be played over again. It was found that the constitution positively prohibited the “loaning” of players by clubs, or the playing of such players unless regularly transferred and released. It is the intention of the League to stamp out everything that may open the door to irregularities or anything suggestive of hippodroming. The Sporting Life July 19, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brooklyn Club ownership 2

Date Saturday, July 12, 1890
Text

The Brooklyn Club, National League, has filed a certificate for the full payment of the capital stock with the Secretary of State at Albany. Charles H. Byrne's name is attached to the certificate as president of the club. The cash paid in was $4350, and the balance, $25,650, was in property, consisting of the Washington Park lease and buildings, stands and fences therein, heretofore owned by Charles H. Byrne, Ferdinand A. Abell and Joseph J. Doyle, of the Brooklyn Base Ball Association or Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

debate over a dead or lively ball

Date Saturday, July 12, 1890
Text

The batting question has been sprung in the Western Association where the National League or Spalding's dead ball is used instead of Keefe's Players' League or Reach's American Association ball. The heavy batting clubs naturally object to a ball that does not give a fair showing in favor of the batter, and the management of some of the clubs are inaugurating a vigorous kick on the official ball. The Denver, St. Paul and Sioux City clubs have been especially active in the effort to secure some change, either in the ball used or in the rules, that shall favor the batter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

mixed uniforms

Date Saturday, July 12, 1890
Text

[from the Washington correspondent] ...it is not unusual to see two or three members of the home club dressed in .

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

selling players a minor league business model

Date Saturday, July 12, 1890
Text

[from the Pittsburgh correspondent] [from an interview of W. B. Howell, formerly a stockholder in the Wheeling club] When I was with the Wheeling Club that was our entire aim—to develop some good man and realize on him. I don't think I am going too far when I say that some minor league clubs took pride in turning out promising men for the big leagues. I sold Delehanty to Philadelphia for $1800, and you can bet this sum of money came in very handy. There wasn't a club in the Tri-State that didn't dispose of one or two men to fast company. The Sporting Life July 12, 1890

[from R. M. Larner's column] President Young says the financial distress prevailing in so many of the minor leagues is due to the falling off in the sale of players. In former years a minor league could develop two or three good players and dispose of them to the League for a sum sufficient to tide them over many difficulties. There has been a decided stagnation in the base ball market and but few profitable deals have been made. There was a great howl made about buying and selling players, and there was much talk about the League growing fat off of the minor leagues. As a matter of fact the League pays from five to ten times as much to the minor leagues for desirable players as the minor leagues pay to the National League for certain privileges and protection under the National Agreement. The Sporting Life July 19, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

financial condition of the American Association

Date Saturday, July 12, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA directors' meeting of 7/7/1890] A more enthusiastic and harmonious meeting of base ball magnates was perhaps never held, and all of the directors were well satisfied with the outlook. The first business considered was the financial standing of the clubs. Every club excepting the Brooklyn was making money, and good money at that.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA to hire counsel for Sunday games

Date Saturday, July 12, 1890
Text

[reporting the AA directors' meeting of 7/7/1890] The directors then decided to take up the fight against the Rochester authorities on behalf of the Rochester Club. The authorities have refused to allow that club to play Sunday games at Windsor Park, and the directors of the Association are of opinion that the club has a legal right to play there on Sunday. Accordingly it was decided to employ counsel immediately to fight the case through the courts, and Mr. Phelps will go to Rochester within ten days to help the players make up the case.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Players' League discipline

Date Tuesday, July 15, 1890
Text

The players of the New York (P.L.) Club were rather surprised when they entered the club house yesterday to find the following notice chalked on the blackboard. “Everybody will report for practice at 10:30 each morning. Excuses will not go.” Some one remarked that the notice was hardly of an official character, as it was not signed. One of the players quickly replied: “Don't believe it; everything goes that is written there. It's from Capt. Ewing. We know the writing very well.

Source ” New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York Club (NL) finances; ownership

Date Tuesday, July 15, 1890
Text

A. G. Spalding denies the story sent out from Chicago that he came to New York for the purpose of buying out the controlling interest in the National League team. Mr. Spalding was seen at his New York office yesterday. He said he had not come for any such purpose, and denied that he was or intended to become interested in the New York Club. “I understand,” said Mr. Spalding, “that some of Mr. Day's friends have persuaded him to increase the capital stock of the New York Club to $100,000 and give them an opportunity to become associated with him in the enterprise. This confidence in the ultimate success of the National League in their fight with the Brotherhood and the value of a League franchise in new York is substantially shown by their eagerness to take all the stock they could get. Mr. Day tells me that he could increase it to $200,000 if necessary, and have all the stock taken. Of course many clubs in the League and Brotherhood organizations will lose money on this season's business, and all hands will continue to lose money as long as this foolish war continues, inaugurated as it was by a a few over-enthusiastic but misguided players, urged on and assisted by plunging speculators, who saw 'millions in it.' I see no reason to change the opinion I expressed early in the season that professional base ball had received a serious blow by this Players' revolt. In fact, as the season continues it must have become apparent to the most enthusiastic support of the Brotherhood movement that such is the case.

Source ” New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

condition of the Players' League

Date Friday, July 18, 1890
Text

[reporting the PL Directors' meeting of 7/17] Various reports were read regarding the financial condition of the clubs at present. From these it was found that some of the managements had sustained heavy losses owing to light attendance and from other causes. Toward remedying this sad sate of affairs and for other necessary purposes it was decided that each club be called upon to contribute $2,500, or $20,000 in all, toward assisting the unfortunates, the assessment to take effect at once.

Mesrs. Johnson, Shire and Brunell were appointed a committee of three to visit every city represented bin the Players' League, and investigate the standing of the club playing there, and if any are found to need assistance they are to be given help at once, either financially or otherwise. In view of buffalo's crippled condition it was decided that they should be assisted at once and arrangements will be made immediately by which they will be given a new outfielder, an infielder and two pitchers.

After the meeting Secretary Brunell said: “All this talk about the Players' League being on its last legs and financially crippled is nonsense pure and simple. We will positively run through this season with the clubs now forming the circuit. No change will be made, but next season if we find it proper and advisable to make any changes we will dos o. in the matter of attendance, we have done fully as well, if not better, than the League and we are thoroughly prepared to fight this battle to a finish.

“The men who have money in this enterprise know just what they are about and have sufficient funds to carry the Players' League to success. We have no fear of the results, but will go on strengthening our clubs and perfecting our arrangements, until we have fought the National League out of existence.

Source ” The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

leadership, ownership of the Philadelphia PL club

Date Friday, July 18, 1890
Text

[reporting the PL Directors' meeting of 7/17] The affairs of the local Players' club were pretty thoroughly ventilated in the meeting, but for some cause two directly contradictory stories were given out. In giving out information for publication Secretary Brunell stated that Mr. H. M. Love was no longer president as he had disposed of his shares to J. Ear and George Wagner, and that hereafter the Wagners would liquidate all debts of the club. When Mr. Love heard that Secretary Brunell had given out this news for publication he became very angry and engaged in a wordy war with Brunell. He desired to know from what source the information had been obtained, and was told that such was the general understanding. Despite Love's denial, George Wagner maintained that it was the truth, and that Love was not president, and that he and his brother had bought Love's shares. The Philadelphia Times July 18, 1890

Ex-President Love has been bought out, bag and baggage, and it is now controlled by the Wagner brothers. The Philadelphia Times August 3, 1890

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL allegedly padding its attendance numbers with free passes

Date Saturday, July 19, 1890
Text

The marked increase in the attendance at the National League games, as compared with the Players' League attendance, which took place upon the return of the teams to the East, and which gave League adherent such comfort, is attributed by the Players' League people to the use of passes in certain of the Eastern cities, to such a degree as to make the League games almost free to the public. These tales were denied in League quarters, but at Thursday's Players' League meeting in Philadelphia a number of these passes, regularly printed and dated, were exhibited, and some were distributed among newspaper men as proof that the charges of “free ball” had not been groundless.

The cities in which it is charged passes are issued in quantities are Chicago, Boston, New York and Brooklyn. On this point the reporter of the Pittsburg Press who made the Eastern trip with the Pittburg team writes his paper:

“The National League, for some unaccountable reason, seems to be universally padding its attendance by means of the free list system. I investigated this question and with the assistance of two letter carriers of the Boston post office force, am able to prove the assertion that the old League is doing the pass act to an almost reckless extent. The first carrier I speak of, with whom I am personally acquainted, had a pad of twenty-five tickets for distribution, and another carrier, to whom he introduced me, confirmed the statement that almost the entire letter carrier force had tickets, not only for their own use but for distribution among cigar stores, saloons and business houses.”

Ward is of the positive opinion that the League magnates are striving with might and main to kill the game in order to lay the Players' League in the mire, hoping afterwards to rebuild it and to raise the new crop of enthusiasts and supporters. Ward says the cry of base ball being dead and the free ball scheme are all means toward the end the magnates seek. Ward's views are shared by all his Players' League colleagues. The Sporting Life July 19, 1890

[from Murnane's column] The Triumvirs got themselves most thoroughly disliked for years by refusing to admit even the mothers of some of the well-known League players to the games.

What a change. Now the complimentary tickets are as free as water. Think of one man in Lynn having 900 of these “comps” sent to him for distribution.

You can find them by the bunch at the police station houses, at the drug stores and about everywhere that people can be worked to “chin” for the old masters.

The above is no guesswork and I can prove the charge and add to it ten-fold.

It looks like one more desperate attempt to kill the game, for a time at least, with a hope of getting the chance later on to monopolize the business. I know for a a fact that the people who go to the League grounds free one day go to the Brotherhood grounds and pay the next day.

There was a time when the League magnates were looked on as men well up in business affairs, but was there ever a body of men more thoroughly outwitted than they have been during the last six months?

Outgeneraled at every turn, they have gone mad and are now cutting their own throats, like swimming pigs, as they manage to keep their heads above water.

What is bound to be the ultimate outcome of all this bad management? I think I can tell, and my honest opinion is that the backers of the Players' League can see it as plain as I, viz.: Get together, strengthen up the lines in a way to leave no doubt of their determination to not only live and let live, but fight and fight hard and fast. Stop at no quarter until the men who would ruin a fair business rival are given a lesson they will not soon forget.

Because A. G. Spalding and the Boston men have made two or three hundred thousand dollars out of the base ball business is that any reason they should expect to have the public always with them, whether right or wrong?

I contend that it was the honest ball players that built up the game in this country, and as most of them are no in the Players' League, it must be a queer world, indeed, if they can be defeated. The Sporting Life July 19, 1890

[from J. F. Donnolly's column] Secretary Ebbetts can't stand the talk about “snow” being plentiful at Washington Park, and when Wendell Goodwin, of the Players' Club, was credited with talking of the free passes that had been given out by the National League Club, Charley broke loose and invited all the newspaper men to an inspection of his books. He did this on the spur of the moment and proved to the satisfaction of all that the visiting clubs had been paid their percentage on the basis of the figures given to the newspapers, which Mr. Ebbetts is willing to swear were correct in all instances. He showed by money receipts that from July 5 to 19 just forty-nine free tickets had been issued to every 1000 persons. He also declared that the number of complimentary books issued this season (196) was smaller than last year. The Sporting Life August 2, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in Louisville

Date Saturday, July 19, 1890
Text

Nothing succeeds like success. Last year not 100 people a day attended the games at Louisville. The audiences this seaon are fully as large as those of 1884, which was the most prosperous year the club ever had in the Association.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the cost of balls

Date Saturday, July 19, 1890
Text

The Cincinnati Enquirer states that Loftus' club has to exercise more care in the use of base balls than they did last season, because a different system in regard to distribution of the regulation sphere obtains in the League from that in vogue in the American Association. In the latter organization clubs are privileged to use all the balls they want without charge, and the firm that furnishes them gives a handsome bonus for the word “official.” “In the League,” says the Enquirer, each club is charged at the rate of $1 a ball for every ball used. This money is taken by President young and is used to defray the running expenses of the League, such as umpires' fees and expenses. Of course the money is not given to any individual, but the club that uses the most balls is bound to pay the largest share into the League treasury. Hence considerable care is used in dealing them out.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick still favors small ball

Date Saturday, July 19, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Home-run batting is the result of the least skillful effort a batsman is called upon to make in his batting career. Take a muscular farm hand with “a good eye” and pitch him a ball within fair reach and he will slug it for a home run every time, but let him try to place a ball for a single hit or even to “bunt” it skilfully and he is nowhere. If a home run hit is the perfection of batting skill—as one might suppose it to be from the yells of applause such hits give rise to from the bleachers—then a series of home runs would make a perfect game. But what kind of a game would that be fore the admirers of skillful, strategic play at the bat, such as safe taps of the ball to short outfield, pretty “bunts,” yielding an earned base and well-placed single hits sure to forward runners to to yield sacrifice hits sending runners home. Deliver me from the home run slugging batting games of the Players' League lively ball, please. I prefer single figure contests in which sharp fielding abounds all the time.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

comparing the playing strength of the NL and AA

Date Saturday, July 19, 1890
Text

[from Albert Mott, Baltimore correspondent's column] It was universally admitted in the past that there were two base ball organization in the world that were vastly superior to all others. These were the National League and the American Association. All competent critics know that as a whole the National League was slightly superior to the American Association in playing strength, and this was freely admitted except by a few partisans. There were clubs in the American Association that might have defeated some clubs in the National League in a series of games for the championship, but League against Association, with anything like the championship at stake and there was no question as to the general superiority of the League, although the Association usually got the best of the the League in exhibition games, where the carelessness of the older body, its known prestige, and the proneness to experimenting all combined to cause such a result.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

free passes in Pittsburgh 2

Date Sunday, July 20, 1890
Text

The free ticket business has been interesting the local cranks very much of late. It transpires that the thousand or more tickets which the National league people distributed right and left, just about the Fourth, and which they claimed had been paid for by a lover of the game and an enthusiastic back of the old League, were all “complimentaries” or dead-head tickets—not over half of which, by the way, according to turnstile returns, could have been used. The old League people, when this discovery was made, retorted by declaring that the Players' League had given away thousands of tickets. This was entirely too thin to be credited by the knowing ones, especially that army of men whose delight it is to see a show or ball game for nothing, and who had pulled every string they knew of to get free tickets, only to be told that “it only costs a quarter to see a game: shell out.

Source ” The Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh PL Club finances; organization; attendance

Date Friday, July 25, 1890
Text

The Players League Club in this city [Pittsburgh] has been flying the flag of distress since its return from the late Eastern tour. When the club was organized it was as a stock company. Then it was changed to a limited copartnership. At a special and very sudden meeting of S. P. Potter's office to-day [7/24] a committee was appointed to settle up the business of the club as a limited partnership, as a charter had been received placing the club upon the basis of a stock company again so that an assessment can be made on every share of stock.

One of the stockholders told The Sun correspondent that Secretary John Tener, in his call for the meeting, said it was imperative that every stockholder should be present. He stated that something would have to be done to ride over the crisis, as the average receipts during the Eastern tour were only $60 per game. This, however, Manager Hanlon denies. He states that he sent President McCallum $1,000 as part of the proceeds of the last trip. According to the figures given to the press, there were 2,667 persons at Philadelphia, 4,134 at Boston, 950 at Brooklyn, and 3,711 at New York, making a total of 8,797 admissions at 50 cents and 2,667 at 25 cents. This would amount to $5,064.25, the local team's percentage would be $2,532.13. To be added to this is the amount taken in at the grand stand. If Hanlon sent home $1,000, this would leave $1,776 for running expenses for two weeks, or $126 a day.

A number of the shareholders claimed that they were opposed to changing the club into a stock company again and would not pay any assessment if imposed. It is thou8ght, however, that the stock of the disgruntled ones can easily be bought in.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the color line in a minor league

Date Saturday, July 26, 1890
Text

[Harrisburg jumps from the Interstate League to the Atlantic Association] The only objection to Harrisburg's admission was the fact that two colored players were members of the team. It was made a condition of admission that these colored men be released, but this Harrisburg declined to to. The Sporting Life July 26, 1890

[from the Harrisburg correspondent] The stand taken by the local management in the [Frank] Grant matter is commended on all sides. We would rather remain in the Interstate that to go into the Atlantic and dispense with the services of that hard-working player. The Sporting Life July 26, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a description of Arlie Latham's antics

Date Saturday, July 26, 1890
Text

[quoting the Boston regarding Arlie Latham] He has an inexhaustible fund of wit, and is known among the fraternity as a 'big card.' How well he sustains this reputation can be seen by the large number of spectators who crowd the bleachers near third base and shout themselves horse when he is in particularly high spirits. He is rarely guilty of repetition, which is most remarkable when his volubility is considered. Every phase of the play suggests a new idea. His legs are no less active than his brain, and, when covering his position, he personifies what the boys call a 'dancing jack.' He frequently gives expression to his feelings when an exceptionally fine play is made by his side, in throwing as clean a flipflap as was ever seen in a circus tent. He turns the most trivial incidents into mirth-provoking characterizations. He at all times preserves a remarkable equipoise, and was never known to insult a player or spectator, no matter what the provocation might be. His remarks to the umpire, from anyone else, would bring down upon him the stern reprimand of the autocrat of the diamond, but the cleverness with which he serves out his comments is never followed by a reprimand. If there is any of life in his club he will bring it out and make it show for all it is worth. He is an excellent third baseman, and a ball coming into his territory invariably means that the batsman must retire to the benches.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the triumvirs snubbed the Boston Globe

Date Saturday, July 26, 1890
Text

Two years ago Col. Taylor, of the Globe, gave the Boston Club a dinner. The triumvirate was invited and sent neither thanks nor regrets. That was not forgotten, gentlemen, and won't be. The next year the players were invited to another dinner, but not the mighty, thankless, incomparable three. See?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

attendance in Louisville 2

Date Saturday, July 26, 1890
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent] The club has been playing ball such as would win friends for any team, and the lovers of the sport here have shown that they could and would turn out when there was anything to justify it. Should the boys do one-half as well on their trip abroad as they have just done on the home grounds, Eclipse Park will not be big enough to hold the crowds that will go down to see them. The attendance has been something wonderful considering the fact that Louisville was for some years and until recently comparatively dead. As I said, though, as soon as the boys began playing good ball, the interest in them took a sudden upshoot, and the stockholders are fast making money—more money made in Louisville in months. … What gratifies President Parsons and Manager Chapman is the splendid attendance at all the games. Tuesday there were 1252 people present; Wednesday there were 725; Thursday there were 1836; Friday, 1236; Saturday, 2562; Sunday, 7125, and Monday, 2214. This attendance, the largest of any Association city in the country, has been most encouraging to the members of the team, and it has served to throw an enthusiasm into every game which has left no room for any one attending to kick about carelessness or inattention to business.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

kicking; attendance; better class of patrons in Brooklyn

Date Saturday, July 26, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] One of the causes of the society patronage given the Brooklyn Club team at Washington Park the past two months is the absence of the vulgar, rowdy kicking which prevailed in the old Association era. Kicking suits the masses, and especially the rowdy element of the bleaching board crowds, as does the noisy coaching; in fact that element revels in anything which approaches a row or a disturbance. But kicking and noisy coaching disgusts the better class of patrons of the game, and since President Byrne put his foot down against kicking by his team at Washington park, there has been a noteworthy increase in the local patronage, the grand stand crowds at the park equaling anything seen at any other League ground in the country. The attendance at the Washington Park grounds in Brooklyn during the July campaign has been the best in the character of the assemblages known in the history of the club, and as to numbers the crowds in the aggregate exceeded the combined attendance at the other three metropolitan grounds—on the Polo and Brotherhood parks in New York and the Eastern Park in Brooklyn. The aggregate attendance at Washington Park from July 5 to July 19, inclusive, exceeded 27,000 people, and the majority were grand stand occupants. Over 11,000 saw the three Cincinnati games alone. The absence of kicking unquestionably caused the remarkable increase in the grand stand attendance.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on class and the color line

Date Saturday, July 26, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] One of the anomalies of professional base ball patronage is the objection of the bleaching board occupants to the playing of colored men in the teams. Hence a case in point. The Atlantic Association is in distress. Their Jersey City Club is bankrupt. The Harrisburg Club is anxious to take its place in the Atlantic arena. There is only one obstacle in its way. The immaculate teams of Baltimore, Wilmington, Washington and Newark, and of New Haven, Hartford and Worcester—says the New York Sun—object to the playing of colored men in the Atlantic Association club teams, and the Harrisburg Club team contains one named Grant. A correspondent of the Philadelphia Times says:

“Williams and Grant, both of the Cuban Giants last year, are the two colored men now playing with Harrisburg, and the club here is under obligations to Grant, whom they will not release, even if it keeps them out of the Association. Williams is not so well liked, and his release is not objected to. Grant, who is light in color, is very gentlemanly and a great player, and his release would cause many patrons of the game to become disgusted. The question whether Harrisburg will take a place in the Atlantic Association depends upon Grant's release, and President Braden has telegraphed to all the managers asking them to withdraw their objections to his being retained. He has not received any answers, and he believes that when they do come they will show the managers firm in their action to banish the colored men from the Association and the scheme will fall through.”

The glorious inconsistency of objecting to a gentlemanly colored man in a team, while making no objection to the presence of so many white “toughs,” “roughs” and drunkards, who have been allowed for years to bring disgrace on the fraternity, is one of the absurdities of the existing condition ODF things in the base all world. I hope to see the Atlantic Association show some common sense in this matter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

shortage of new balls on the ground

Date Monday, July 28, 1890
Text

The decision by Umpire Peoples in declaring the Brooklyn-Columbus game played at the Long Island grounds yesterday forfeited to Columbus was based upon a mere technicality which the umpire himself afterward could not explain. The Columbus team had just started the last half of the eighth inning. Sneed, who was at the bat, knocked a foul, the ball going out of sight. Immediately a ball was thrown into the diamond from the grand stand, and somebody yelled to the umpire that a ball lay on the ground near him. But he called for a new ball, and as there had been a limited supply, there were none on hand. Capt. Gerhardt claimed that the ball that lay within ten feet of Peoples was in play. He picked it up and was about to throw it out when Capt. McTammany of the visiting team very emphatically said he would not play unless a new ball was forthcoming. This settled it in the mind of Umpire Peoples, and he then thought the same way. The ball just batted foul was thrown in, and with three balls in his hand it was supposed he gave the game to Columbus, for those players began to pack their bats. He had no watch in his hand not even allowing the Brooklyns five minutes in which to get a new ball. It did not take him two minutes to give the game to Columbus. The score at that time was 13 to 8 in favor of the Brooklyns.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

opposition to playing against a colored player; color line

Date Thursday, July 31, 1890
Text

Many of the Baltimore players are strongly opposed to taking part in games with Grant, the colored third baseman of the Harrisburg Club. The most decided objections are naturally made by Tate and O'Rourke, who live in Richmond, and Mack, who is a son of Kentucky.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Washington Club ownership; finances 2

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

Walter Hewitt has severed his connection with the Washington Club. Ted Sullivan, the manager, is now the chief owner. He says the team will play out the schedule. The Sporting Life August 2, 1890

“Magnate Sullivan,” as he must now be called, expects to gather around ample financial support to carry the team through the season, and he takes a very hopeful view of the situation. It is certain the attendance on the home ground has not been sufficient to pay expenses, and it is a problem to some of us how he is going to make both ends meet. The Sporting Life August 2, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

PL exhibition games with minor clubs

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

Manager Mishler, of Altoona, yesterday arranged to have Ward's Brooklyns play the Altoona Club at Altoona next Tuesday. The club claims to be independent, now that its league has disbanded. The Sporting Life August 2, 1890

[dateline Canton, Ohio] The dropping of the National Agreement seems to meet the approval of most of the sporting fraternity of this locality. After August 9 the directors propose getting several of the Brotherhood teams to play exhibition games here with the home team. Such a series of games would draw a large attendance. The Sporting Life August 2, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cause of minor league failures

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

The minor leagues continue to fall by the wayside. The last to go is the Indiana League. It is the same old story of big salaries, big railroad jumps and small gate receipts. When will the managers of the minor leagues learn economy? It seems that when a city has decided to put a club in the field the only thing figured on is getting a winning team at any cost. The result is, each club has a salary list which would wreck a mint. There can be but one result, and after June has been tided over, so as to get in the Fourth of July games, the leagues gradually disappear until only a small percentage of them finish the season. The majority of those that do finish have quite a balance on the wrong side of the ledger.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a late sighting of Henry Lucas

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

Henry V. Lucas, the old St. Louis manager, is now located in Chicago, where he has charge of the passenger department of the Baltimore and Ohio Road. He does quite a business with ball clubs, and always looks out for the comfort of the boys.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects for Sunday baseball

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

The crusade against Sunday ball playing has been pretty generally successful in the East, and Sunday playing in this section will for some time to come be only tolerated in spots. … In the American Association games are still played at Gloucester and Long Island without interruption, but at Three Rivers and Windsor Beach, the Sunday grounds of the Syracuse and Rochester clubs, the games have been stopped.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claims about attendance

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

[from Murnane's column] The idea of asserting that the League is now outdrawing the Players. … What rot! ...the last three Players' games in Boston drew over 16,000 paid admissions to less than 2500. The last two games we played in Pittsburg to over 4000 paid admissions, while the Boston Leaguers drew less than 200. The Players' League Club in Chicago has been out-drawing the League Club seven to one on the basis of cash receipts.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

minor league club finances 2

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

[from the Peoria correspondent] As the public knows but little of the inside workings of base ball management, there are a good many points in the statement of general interest:

Per month Per month

McCloskey, c.f......... $200 Firle, 1b........ $125

Nulton, s.s............... 150 Taylor, 2b..... 125

Cain, p................ 150 Deegan, 2b..... 125

Sullivan, p............ 125 Burch, r.f........ 125

Darby, p................ 100 Popkay, l.f... 125

Rudolph, p.......... 60

Johnston, c.......... 125 Total......... $1535

Hurley, janitor, per month........... 35

League assessments, per month......... 100

Ticket sellers and police, say per month........ 50

Printing and advertising, say per month............. 50

Say we play eight games at home in a month at

$60 guarantee 480

Total............................................ $2250

The above figures do not include free tickets to Peoria for players when signed, nor does it include balls, or shoes, or gloves, and many other expenses, which, if figures in, will make at least $50 per month more. Figuring thirty days to the month and the expenses at $2250, the daily expenses are $75. Eight games played at home divided into the $2250 would make it necessary to receive $281.25 at each game in order to pay expenses. This, of course, is on the basis of playing eight games at home in a month. We cannot figure any profit to ourselves when the club is on the road, and only get a guarantee of $60 for each game they play, this being no more than sufficient to pay railroad fare and hotel bills for the club. It is now clear that base ball cannot live with this burden of expense, and until a ball player can be had at a policeman's or a street car driver's pay—say $50 or $60 per month—base ball cannot pay, or mus die, unless some good-natured fellow will put up the money to keep the ball rolling.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the effect of catchers' mitts

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

Since the advent of the big catchers' mitt a marked improvement has been shown in the work of the men behind the plate. The improved glove is what makes it possible for so many catchers to go in game after game for weeks.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Detroit Club finances; attendance

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

For the purpose of showing them how the finances of the Detroit Base Ball Club have stood this year every subscriber to the $10,800 guarantee fund was requested to be at the Russell House last Friday evening. Very few were present, but the directors of the club and its attorney and assignee, W. J. Gray, were there. The expenses for 1890 were $19,510.84; total receipts, including sale of players, $9821.32, loss, $9689.52; unpaid bills, $2900; total loss, $12,489.52; guaranteed fund (collected), $8750. Another statement showed the cause of the loss. In the first twenty-five home games in 1889 the receipts were $10,904/65, and attendance 39,443. In the same corresponding games this year the receipts were $5072.48, and the attendance 17,683. The average attendance last year was about 1500 daily to about 600 this season. The creditors of the club will get nothing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Philadelphia PL Club ownership

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

President Henry M. Love, of the Philadelphia Players' Club, disposed of his interest during the week and quietly stepped down and out. The club is now in the hands of the Wagner brothers, who will run it on business principles, and cater to the local public liberally and judiciously.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

no sign of compromise

Date Saturday, August 2, 1890
Text

The World to-day [7/26] sends the following message to the president of every National and Players' League Club, and would be pleased to receive an immediate answer, at its expense, giving fully your answers and views on the following questions:

First—Would you agree to a compromise, which had for its basis the surrender of the names of cities by the Players' League clubs in return for a change of playing dates by the National League clubs, with an agreement to respect contract rights and exchange games at the end of the season?

Second—If not, is there any basis upon which you would agree to a compromise and what is it?

The World asks these questions in the interest of base ball.

The result was rather astonishing, as the answers indicated that the end of the war was as far off as ever.

Of the five answers received from National League sources four are flatfooted against any compromise, and the only sign of wavering, if it can be called wavering, is given by Pittsburg, and the diplomatic reply of Col. Rogers which left it to be inferred that a compromise on a different basis than that suggested by the World might be considered.

In marked contrast to the National League magnates the Players' League people are not only willing, but desirous to make some sort of compromise. Five of the six answers breathe the air of peace, but eh Boston Players will not hear of a compromise. [individual replies are included, as well as an interview of McAlpin where he is open to compromise]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh games transferred

Date Sunday, August 3, 1890
Text

The local National League Club has given up Pittsburg entirely till September 4, having transferred three series of games that were scheduled for this city to Brooklyn, Chicago and Cincinnati. There is therefore no reason at all for calling it either the Pittsburg or the Allegheny Club. It has nothing in common with either of those cities, and both places having so thoroughly and emphatically shown that they wanted nothing more to do with the club, it should surely no more lay claim to being a Pittsburg institution.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an interracial league

Date Friday, August 8, 1890
Text

The colored Monarchs from York, winners of the Inter-State League championship, will play the Oxfords at Frankford to-day.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

head first versus feet first sliding; blocking the bag

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

There isn't as much head-first sliding into second base as there used to be. The reason is well known to members of the profession. A head-first slide is meat for a good second baseman. He asks nothing better. They are easy to block off. A second baseman will stand right in the path on a head-first slide in such a way that he will prevent him reaching the base. He has nothing to fear, for if the runner comes in contact with him it will not be his legs that will suffer, but the runner's neck or head. With feet-first sliders it is different. The plates hurt like sixty, and no second baseman is looking for the worst of it. There is no attempt at a block when a runner comes down to the base with the iron plates of his shoes pointed for the bag.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding on fake attendance numbers

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Spalding] In this city the lying that has been going on as to the attendance at the Brotherhood games is simply outrageous. We have done some lying ourselves, but nowhere near as strong as the other fellows.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

`how Latham was traded to the NL without going through waivers

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

It seems that the Cincinnati Club signed Latham with the connivance of Von der Ahe in defiance of the National Agreement waive rule, under which the American Association clubs would have had first chance to negotiate with Latham. Both the Athletic and Columbus clubs were willing and anxious to secure Latham, and neither had waived claim, nor, indeed, been asked to waive claim. Nevertheless, Cincinnati signed the man and is playing him in championship games.

It appears that during the Association meeting last winter, when the Brotherhood was after Association players, waivers were given by the various clubs upon such players as had signed, or were suspected of having signed, Brotherhood contracts, in order to make more easy the work of getting them back or transferring them to such National Agreement clubs as might enable them to just their Brotherhood contracts...

This is not the first time the American Association has suffered through an apparently legal perversion of the National Agreement, nor is it the first time its provisions have been openly violated. For instance, some of the League club are openly violating one of its most vital section by signing men to contracts for more than one year. It is sad, but true, that the much-vaunted National Agreement is not respected in the household of its friends and adherents and that its provisions are not lived up to even by those who have most to gain by its perpetuation—the club owners, for whose protection it was chiefly designed and steadily elaborated.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

why Latham jumped

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[quoting the Cleveland correspondent] Latham has been dissatisfied with the Chicago team for some weeks, claiming that he could not harmonize with the old Chicago players, who looked with disfavor upon his coaching, and let no opportunity pass to affront him on and off the field. There were some correspondence relative to his coming to Cleveland, although I understand that no definite terms had ever been agreed upon.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

padded attendance numbers

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[from W. I. Harris's column] The denials of the falsification of figures by the Chicago Brotherhood Club have not been very loud. There has been a general denial by Secretary Brunell and a bluff about submitting the figures to the Associated Press, and Julian Hart, of Boston, has denied that he has given out any false figures. There can be no doubt that the figures given out by the Boston are correct. E. F. Stevens wrote the article, and he told me that he had thoroughly investigated the matter and was convinced that the figures, which he compiled from the original reports of the men who did the counting, were reliable. We have some proof here of their correctness. Langdon Smith, of the New York World, a Brotherhood sympathizer, is not a partisan in any sense. Mr. Smith has had much experience, and his estimate of the crowds telegraphed to the Evening World are very near the right figures.

Last Saturday, at Chicago, Mr. Smith estimated the attendance to be about 3000. The Boston figures it 2058, and the official figures given out were 6612. On Monday, according to Mr. Smith, there was “a small crowd present,” and the club gave out 2371. Yesterday Mr. Smith wired from Boston “about 2500 people were present,” and Mr. Hart, who protests so much, gave out the attendance as 4537. At Chicago yesterday the figures sent out were 2228, while Charles G. Seymour, the Chicago correspondent of the United Press, says that the attendance was about 600. There are other things, but these are enough to show that Mr. Spalding's count may be accepted as correct, and the big jump in attendance at Players' League games after July 26, bears out Mr. Spalding's assertion that it was in accordance with action taken at that Philadelphia meeting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Harry Wright cheered

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[from Francis Richter's column] Manager Harry Wright resumed his place on the players' bench at Philadelphia Park on Wednesday for the first time since last May, when he was prostrated by the severe illness which has held him in its grasp ever since. When Harry was escorted from the players' dressing rooms to the home team's bench at the Philadelphia Ball Park Wednesday afternoon the 3343 people in attendance, who had gathered there to welcome the Phillies home from their rather disastrous Western trip, stood up en masse and cheered the veteran manager for several minutes. Everybody was glad to see the popular manager back again in his accustomed seat on the bend, from whence he directs the movements of his players on the field, though the club's patrons would have been still more pleased had he so far recovered from his recent serious illness as to be able to walk out unassisted.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

high salaries elevating the game

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] In connection with this salary question it will not be amiss here to call attention to a fact that is pretty generally lost sight of, viz., that high salaries are not altogether an unmixed evil. The extremely high salaries prevalent in the base ball profession of late years, responsible though they be for many of the ills which now afflict the body of professional base ball, yet have redounded to advantage in one important particular, inasmuch as they have tended largely to raise the standard of the profession. To play base ball for a livelihood does not mean the degradation it did years ago, and a glance over the roster of the various clubs will reveal the fact that a majority of the players who have been coming to the top are from the ranks of the educated, refined and well-to-do. High salaries did this, because they soon put an end to the toughs. These had cultivated nothing but their animal tendencies from childhood up, and as soon as they were able to command large amounts of money for very little work they cultivated too freely. In consequence the managers in all parts of the country realized the necessity of signing men who had sufficient common sense and education to be able to withstand temptation. The toughs, bums and drunkards, no matter how able, are being weeded out rapidly. To-day questions of character are almost as potential as records of ability in securing engagements, and respectable young men may now enter the profession without feeling that they are inviting the suspicion and contempt of their friends and the general public. The Sporting Life August 9, 1890

choice of hotel and financial health

[from Ella Black's column] I regard the hotels at which the clubs top as a sort of thermometer by which the observant public can tell something of the financial condition of the different bodies. The high-toned expensive four dollars per day hotel was only early in the season, at a time when all the player and others connected with the clubs still clung to the idea that each and every team was going to make an enormous profit this season. Now their “dream of dollars is o'er,” and has been dispelled very decidedly. They are no longer able to stand quarters that will not make a special rate or anything of that sort. After leaving eh Anderson the clubs went to the Seventh Avenue Hotel and the Monongahela House because at both places they were given a special rate that made it an object for them to stop at either house. Now, of late both of these houses have been left in the shade and the St. Charles has sheltered the teams that visit the city. This is because the regular rate of the house is two dollars per day, and the special rate that is given to clubs is much smaller. Now, to my way of thinking this changing of hotels and gradual descent from four to two dollars per day for the team's board (per man), shows very plainly they have not any of them got any money to waste. It is not one side that is economizing any more than another, but both the major leagues are trying to do it. Ball players, like all other men love their appetites, and want plenty of good, first-class food with which to satisfy it, and it is on this account that I am led to believe that the change I referred to has been made, because the clubs could not stand it any longer to pay the expensive rates required at the first-named houses. Certainly, it is being done, and to save money can be the only reason for it. The Sporting Life August 9, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

rumor of AA and PL merger

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

The chief topic in base ball circles during the week was the proposed amalgamation of the Players' League and American Association, the ball for which was started rolling last week. Everywhere but in League circles, of course, the scheme is regarded with more or less favor, and either amalgamation of, or at least an alliance between, the two organizations is generally conceded to be entirely practicable and calculated to simplify the situation. At any rate, the matter has been made the subject of much comment, and now that it has been broached it will go on bringing out new ideas in connection with the movement and making new friends for it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on the exertion of a home run

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] What is the cost of a home run in base ball? And what attractive feature does it add to the game, compared with the chances for fielding skill it deprives the fielder of? Those are pertinent question, in thse days of slugging for home runs with a lively ball to bat with. A home run is made at the cost, to the batsman, of a run of 120 yards at his topmost speed, which involves an expenditure of muscular power needing a half hour rest to recuperate from such a violent effort. A home run hit yields just one run when no runners are on the bases—and all the infielders have to do when it is made is to look on at the fun of the sprint running, while an outfielder trots after the ball. Now a single run made by a safe nit for one base, a good steal to second, and a couple of sacrifices, costs no violent expenditure of strength; gives the infielders ample facilities for an attractive display of skill, besides affording the spectators an opportunity to see some sharp base-running in stealing single bases. Just think of the monotony of a game marked by a series of home runs in each inning. I saw one game in the days of the lively elastic ball years ago in which runs were made by the hundred, and home runs by the dozen, and a more tiresome exhibition I never witnessed.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of allowing the manager to captain the team

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] The idea of allowing the manager of a base ball team to direct his players in the field somewhat similarly to the manner of the captain of a lacrosse team in coaching his twelve, is now the talk in professional circles. It has its good points as well as its objectionable features. As managers to, it would not be advisable, I think.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring errors on throws from the outfield

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] A correspondent from the West wants to know whether I charge an error to an outfielder who throws the ball in home from deep outfield on the bound, the same as is down on a bound throw to a base player in the infield. The answer is, that it depends upon the nature of the play. In some cases I do, in others I do not. A bound throw to a base player in the infield is unquestionably an error, and if a failure to hold the bounding ball does not follow such a throw it is all the more to the base player's credit in handling the badly thrown ball. But in the case of a throw in from deep outfield the position is different, and the bound throw in a majority of instances does not excuse a failure to stop the ball as it does from an infield bound throw. An accurate throw in from the outfield to home base—except from short outfield—is a very difficult play, and when made successfully redounds to the credit of the outfielder just as much as a brilliant running catch does. But it must be borne in mind that a throw in from deep outfield is safer when the ball comes in on the first bound than when the risk is run of an overthrow in trying to send it in on the fly. Of course, if the ground is dry and hard and the ball rebounds very lively, the infielder is excused from an error in receiving the ball. But in cases of all throwing in from the outfield there should be plenty of backing up from the infield when the catcher strives to take the ball on the bound. If then a failure to stop the ball occurs down goes an error to the infield player who fails to back up properly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on strike outs

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Pitching for a strike-out record is easy work, requiring simply intimidating speed and but little skill when facing a majority of batsmen. But pitching for catches requires strategic skill of no small degree, and it gives lively work for the fielders, while pitching for strike-outs yields nothing but the wearisome pitchers' games. Rhines and Caruthers excel in pitching for catches.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a proposal to let managers coach

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

“There is one piece of base ball legislation that I would like to see rushed through at the next meeting,” said Manager Tom Loftus the other day. “The sooner they give managers the right to go on the field and actively coach the men in their charge the better the game will be off. It is a big handicap to be compelled to sit on the bench and have plays made contrary to what you would order were you in a place where you could make your wants known. A manager is always blamed for his team's misplays. Why not give him a chance to run his team. Then, if anything goes wrong, he can be held responsible. If hope the day will soon come when a manager can go on the coaching liens and there issue his orders. There will then be no chance for mistakes. The game is bound to come to it some day. The League should take the initiative in the matter.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bribing city officials

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

Forty free season tickets for that number of members of the City Council are said to have been demanded from the Cincinnati management in return for smothering an ordinance taxing base ball games.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the advantage of batting second 2

Date Saturday, August 9, 1890
Text

The Cincinnati team will in all probability henceforth give opposing teams the first turn at the bat, as Captain Latham believes in taking the outs. He says:--”I know there is considerable talk about the advantage to be gained by getting the first rap at the ball, but that does not hold good now. It used to when only one ball was used. Now two balls, sometimes three and four, are brought into play during the game, and one team has no advantage over the other in this respect. When you have the last chance yo always known what is ahead of you, and the men play better ball.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

payment structure to buy out the Indianapolis Club; price of the franchise

Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Text

An official explanation of the suits against W. A. Nimick, of the Pittsburg National League Club, to recover over $2400 on notes, was made yesterday. President J. Palmer O'Neill furnished the following:

“The trouble grew out of the transfer of games of the Pittsburg Club. In the Indianapolis deal it was agreed that Brush should be paid in notes made payable at Washington in equal installments, two, three, four and five months. These notes were given in part by each club in proportion to their supposed attendance of 1890, based upon the attendance of 1889. Each club at the conclusion of every game was to remit to President Young 10 per cent of the gross gate receipts.

“Under this method, if the attendance of one club at home exceeded its calculated proportion, it would pay more than the amount set apart for it to pay, the whole transaction to be balanced at the end of the year and so adjusted that each club would pay its ten per cent. no club was to pay more than ten per cent. of the gate receipts. The trouble comes with Pittsburg right there. The Pittsburg Club during the season up to this time has transferred five games to Chjcago, seven to Cincinnati, ten to Philadelphia and six to Brooklyn.

“The ten per cent. on these games having been remitted to President Young by the various home clubs names, the Pittsburg Club has received no credit whatever for the remittances on this account. While the amount remitted on account of these transferred games has been more than enough to pay these notes, President Young claims that he has no right to apply the money mentioned to the Pittsburg notes. If Mr. Nimick pays these notes he will certainly get a draw-back at the end of the season.”

It is intimated that the notes given by the other League clubs have not been met, and that suits have been, or will be, brought in other cities. It is also intimated that Mr. Nimick will not settled the matter until Sept. 1. The Sporting Life August 16, 1890

Anent the disclosures due to the suits against President Nimick and Pittsburg, the New York World ironically remarks:--”Gradually, the inside of the famous 'Indianapolis deal' is coming to light. From President Nimick's statement, the clubs were to be assessed in proportion to their attendance, but in the meantime, John T. Brush was to be paid. Pittsburg's assessment was $2400, and could not have been heavier than that of any other club, and probably not so large. This would make the sum paid to Brush for the temporary use of his franchise and players $19,2000. A pretty tidy sum for the young men who drew 814 (National League figures) at the Polo Grounds yesterday afternoon.” The Sporting Life August 16, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Latham sold without going through waivers

Date Sunday, August 10, 1890
Text

Latham, whose demands for money increased in proportion to the decrease of his ability to play ball, became so violent at last that he was released by Comiskey. He tried to work the Chicago team as he did St. Louis—to be always in debt to the club from $500 to $1,000. This, the Chicago men would not stand and Latham was released. Von der Ahe immediately began negotiating for the sale of the dude's release and without asking the other Association clubs to waive their claims, Latham was sold to Cincinnati for $25,00, $500 of which it is reported Latham obtained. When the Athletics and Louisville protested against the sale the boss calmly said that both clubs had waived claim to Latham a year ago when he was on the market. The sale is going to cause trouble, for both Sharsig and Whittaker have blood in their eye. They wanted Latham themselves, and so did President Parsons, of Louisville. The customary ten days did not lapse and altogether it looks as though the national agreement sustained a violent wrench.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

party rate rail tickets are legal

Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Text

Judges Hewett E. Jackson and George R. Sage, of the United States Court, handed down opinions yesterday in the case of the Interstate Commerce Commission against the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Company. The Interstate Commerce Commissioners filed a petition, asking the court to issue a writ of injunction restraining the Baltimore & Ohio from continuing to issue party rate tickets in violation of the orders and for a decree imposing upon the road a heavy fine if they failed to obey the injunction if granted. The injunction was not granted, the fine was not imposed, and the suit was dismissed at the cost of the commission.

Judge Sage holds that party rate tickets, which are not in general use, but are limited almost exclusively to traveling theatrical troupes, do not constitute unjust discrimination.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of Ewing to desert; a prescient observation about the capitalists

Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Text

The many rumors about the League's endeavors to induce Players' League men to desert culminated last Saturday in something more positive than mere surmise. Word came from Boston that Ewing and Kelly were the men referred to in The Sporting Life despatch a couple of weeks ago as being tampered with, and that since then both had gain been positively approached, and that there was reason to suspect Ewing's loyalty. As may be imagined this news created a decided sensation, and was the sole topic of discussion in base ball circles.

The Boston despatch which gave the first inkling of the affair put Ewing in a rather doubtful light. The substance of it was as follows:

“John B. Day went to the Hub Thursday night and held a long conference with the New York captain. They sent out a messenger to find mike Kelly, but the king sent word back that he had no use for the League magnates. But Ewing yielded to the arguments of the magnates and promised to use his influence in converting other members of the club. At any rate, Ewing has now approached Danny Richardson, Roger Connor and Tim Keefe with League offers, but from none of them did he obtain any encouragement. Charged with his defection by a newspaper man, Ewing indignantly denied it and swore that he intended to stick by the Brotherhood. His fellow-players, however, tell a different story. An argument held out is that the Brotherhood contracts are of no legal force and can be broken with impunity. While the New York Club is now playing the best of ball and its members appreciate the fact that Ewing is putting up a great game, they cannot now help regarding their captain with doubt and suspicion.” The Sporting Life August 16, 1890

[editorial matter] A great deal of excitement was created the past week owing to the Ewing episode, in which, we believe, Ewing was misrepresented and unjustly berated. But even had the report concerning Ewing been true, and that player shown to be really contemplating desertion from the Players' League to the National League, the excitement over the matter evinced by both factions in the present war would have been needless and uncalled for. Suppose Mr. Ewing or any other prominent player of the new League does desert? The existence of the Players' League doesn't depend upon any one player, or a dozen players—not by a long shot; not near so much, in fact, as it does upon the sand of the capitalists behind it. The loss of twenty Ewings would not be so serious as, for instance, the withdrawal of one McAlpin. Experience in the past years has proven conclusively that players can be replaced in great or small numbers, but capitalists are not so easy to find, or hold when found. The Sporting Life August 16, 1890

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

free admission for veterans

Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Text

The attendance figures during the week were absolutely worthless for purposes of comparison, as the Boston League Club admitted Grand Army men free all week.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a garbled account of Eliza Green Williams

Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Text

Brunell's paper, the Cleveland Sportsman, says:--”The 'famous' official scorer of the Chicago League Club, who has kept old Anson in base ball for years, is a woman, the daughter of Secretary Brown, of the club.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding demands total surrender; scouting PL attendance

Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Text

[an interview of Spalding] Nothing but an unconditional surrender on the part of the Players' League people will be listened to by the National League. The potency and power of the National Agreement must be maintained and reaffirmed in order to make base ball profitable again to players and clubs, and it is the only way it can be done.

To recognize any of the Brotherhood revolutionists by making a compromise would forever do harm to the game I can assure you that the League is perfectly able and ready to stand this fight for a long time yet. It is a business we have established, and we have not been in it fifteen years to surrender when we have the victory won. We are not fighting with out eyes shut, for we know how many people pay to see every Brotherhood game and how many sit in the grand stand. Ever since the season started an actual count has been taken and regularly forwarded to President Young. In this way we know just how much money the Brotherhood has taken in to fill up its treasuries, and as we have never been deceived as to their actual strength. Now the League is losing money. That we have not denied once this season. But our losses are not so much as the Brotherhood's. The difference between the League and the Brotherhood is this:--The League acknowledges that it is losing money. The Brotherhood denies that it is losing, and yet the public knows better.

The League is friendly disposed toward the players who revolted, and when the surrender does come we will prove our friendliness to them to their satisfaction. Of course the Brotherhood will surrender in time, but it will not humiliate or dishonor their leaders. It is folly pure and simple, this Brotherhood sentiment of sticking together. It is always manliness to acknowledge it when you have done a wrong and are convinced of it. These players, in order to be more manly and honorable, should go to the men whom they induced to put up their money and say in a straightforward way that they will not ask for another dollar to be spent o them in a venture that is already lost.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville reporters

Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Text

[from the Louisville correspondent's column] Harry Means, the clever base ball editor of the Courier-Journal, resigned his position with that paper to-day, and hereafter he will be base ball editor of the Louisville Commercial. The place is said to have been made some better in point of salary than was his position on the Courier-Journal, and I am glad to see him so nicely situated. He id decided the best posted man on base ball in the city, and the paper has secured a good all around man. Harry is to have charge of a general sporting department, which has been crated on the Commercial, and I suppose he will sign himself “Sporting Editor” hereafter.

Mr. Means is succeeded on the Courier-Journal by Mr. R. Semmes Colston, one of that paper's brightest reporters, who was base ball reporter before Mr. Means took the place.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

free passes and inflated attendance figures

Date Saturday, August 16, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I told the Chicago Club's president that I thought the free ticket system, which both the warring leagues had adopted, was an addition to the big blunders of this campaign of blunders. His reply was to the effect that he left it in Morton's hands to do as he liked in the matter, and Morton had followed the P.L. Club of Chicago's example, but only to a limited extent. Spalding had some figures about the P.L. attendance at Chicago during Aug.4, 5 and6, which he gave me as a sample of what the “Comiskey crowd” had been doing all along. Here are the statistics, which A. G. said were perfectly reliable, as he can prove if required:

Anno'd Actual Gross

Brotherhood League Games. Attnd's Attc'e Rec's.

Aug. 4, Chicago with New York 3000 617 $365.00

Aug. 5, Chicago with Cleveland 2147 842 488.75

Aug. 6, Chi's with Cl'd (2 games) 2228 846 484.26

This gives the average receipts at $223 per game. The above is but the latest sample of the false counting given out to the newspapers. The Sporting Life August 16, 1890

[from an interview of Nick Young] Since the season began I have been furnished with the actual attendance at all League contests, and this has necessitated my keeping another table in addition to the duties already imposed upon me as secretary of the League. Four duplicate receipts are signed by the manager of every visiting League club, one for the home manger, another for the president of the visiting club, and third to be forwarded tome and a fourth for the president of the home organization. Upon these blanks appear the actual paid attendance and upon which basis the receipts are reckoned and divided, no attention being given to persons who are admitted free. Comparisons show that the turnstile count and the published figures the next day vary from 12 to 20 per cent. so far as the National League is concerned, in Philadelphia, for instance, the manager of the League team pay considerable attention to the press, and especially when Saturday games are played, so that will account in a measure for the increased attendance over other days in the week.

Only one return has been received from New York, and Brooklyn and Buffalo appear to have been ignored entirely, so far as Brotherhood attendance is concerned. Boston and Philadelphia have also been ignored in this respect, and the experiment of counting the turnstiles has been confined to Chicago, Cleveland and Pittsburg, where it is still in vogue. Our agents pay their money the same as any other spectators, only care is exercised to secure reliable men, and if the Brotherhood want to do it they can try the same plan that the National League is pursuing. The Sporting Life August 16, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore replaces Brooklyn in the AA

Date Thursday, August 21, 1890
Text

Baltimore is again a member of the American Association's circuit. The jump was made at the Burnet House [Cincinnati] this morning. In the eloquent words of Manager Billy Barnie, “the old cow crossed the road,” but raised no dust, for there was absolutely no monetary consideration involved. It goes without saying that the Association magnates received Barnie and his boys back to the old fold with open arms and several cracked bottles. … There was a protest against the contemplated action in the shape of a telegram from Manager Kennedy of the Brooklyns, who said he would be able to finish the season provided the clubs would consent to waive the guarantee. To this proposition Manager Morton of the Toledos objected and right there and then Brooklyn's Association team became a defunct body. The new schedule will begin in Baltimore next Tuesday when the Browns and Orioles will meet...

Baltimore assumes Brooklyn's percentage in the race, and will endeavor to pull up by adding to it whatever the team may be able to wrestle from its associates. Manager Barnie said there would be no change in the players except that he expects to land a pitcher and a third baseman in a few days, but he will not sign a Brooklyn player.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire out signal

Date Friday, August 22, 1890
Text

[Tiger of New York vs. Peekskill 8/21/1890] [John L. Sullivan the stunt umpire] He seemed to be well up in the game, and when a man was put out in running to first base Sullivan moved his thumb over his shoulder to indicate that the man should get off the base. In not a single instance did any of the players attempt to question Umpire Sullivan's decision. New York World August 22, 1890

an English contract case

A case of very great interest to foot ball players in England and to ball players in America was decided yesterday in the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice. … Mr. Justice North,... dismissed the motion, with costs. He said there was no case that he knew of or had ever heard of which would be an authority for the Court restraining the defendant from playing for another club and the other defendants from employing him. He could not find that it would make the slightest difference (in a pecuniary point of view) to the persons who were suing whether Campbell played or did not play for them, and he should decline to make such an order as he was asked to make. The Sporting Life August 23, 1890

Source New York World
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore rejoins the AA

Date Saturday, August 23, 1890
Text

The sensation of the week was the sudden flop of Barnie and his Baltimore Club into the American Association, from which he jumped in anger last winter, and for which from that day until very recently he had anything but kindly feelings; a sentiment which was cordially reciprocated by the old Association magnates, a number of whom time and again made the assertion that Barnie would never again be permitted to enter the councils of the American Association in any capacity. Necessity, especially base ball necessity, knows no law, however, and therefore no great amount of astonishment was manifested when the announcement was made...

That a change in the Association circuit was imminent was evident the moment the Brooklyn Club began to release players. Pitcher Ed Dailey and outfielder Simon, both good batsmen, were the first to go, and then pitcher McCullough followed. The latter's release brought out the fact that the club was six weeks in arrears for the players' salaries, which made anything like a successful continuance of the club impossible unless the cash could be found to remunerate the players, in accordance with the contracts and base ball law. The condition of the Brooklyn Club received some consideration at the Louisville special meeting, at which it was thought that a transfer to Washington could be made. However, the clamor of the players precipitated matters, and the result was that instead of taking chances on the proposed Washington transfer it was decided to first throw out a line for some other city, and Baltimore was the one selected.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

dismissing rumors of the AA and PL amalgamating

Date Saturday, August 23, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] There is nothing in the amalgamation story, because amalgamation is impracticable unless the Players' League stoops to folly and decides to enlarge its circuit to twelve clubs, an altogether unlikely contingency. A twelve-club League presents some few advantages, but these are more than offset by many and serious drawbacks. As a means of shutting the League out of some desirable cities such a big league might prove advantageous as a war measure, but the probability is that it would prove a boomerang, and the Players' League might simply beat out its own brains with the very club it designed to crush the League with. The experience of the American Association in 1884, when it enlarged its circuit to twelve clubs to help crush the Union Association, is a case in point. Only the crafty League gained by the ill-advised move.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

third base coach deeking the fielder 2

Date Saturday, August 23, 1890
Text

Glasscock has a trick of running toward the home plate when a man is on third and a ball is hit to the field. The idea is to confuse the fielder and make him throw home with the idea of retiring what he supposes is the base-runner. Then the man on first can easily get to second on the throw in.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

NL attendance; multiplier for 50 and 25 cent cities

Date Saturday, August 23, 1890
Text

Philadelphia, in the National League, has had the largest total attendance, 206,016, but as this is a 25 cent city, 70,000 wants to be taken away to bring them to the same financial basis as the others. This will bring the Bostons No. 1 with 178,396, closely followed by Cincinnati with 178,071. Anson's team is credited with 167,380 and the Bridegrooms next with 161,482.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire out signal 2

Date Saturday, August 23, 1890
Text

John L. Sullivan umpired a game at Iona Island last Thursday, between the Peekskills and the Tigers, of New York. He gave his decision on balls and strikes in loud and impressive tones, and when a man was thrown out at first John ordered him to the bench, not orally, but by a significant jerk of the thumb over the right shoulder. A large crowd cheered the champion for his great work.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

bunting technique

Date Saturday, August 23, 1890
Text

Good sacrifice hitters are as scarce in the base ball profession as the proverbial hen's teeth. Players who can get up and bunt a ball whenever they please so that a runner can go up a base are valuable men in a team. On this point the Cincinnati Enquirer says:--”Ollie Beard and Arlie Latham are the only men in the Cincinnati team who can be relied on to follow out instructions in regard to thumping the ball. Manager Loftus was at this office last night and the subject of sacrifice hitting was introduced.

“That more players can not bunt a ball is due to their own carelessness,” said Manager Loftus. “They do not take the pains. When you instruct a player to put a runner up another base he goes to the plate with the idea that he must make the attempt on the first ball pitched, whether it be high, low or wide. Would he but exercise the same care that he does when he goes up to hit the ball out and only bunt the good ones he would have no trouble. But no; he reasons that he ought to be able to hold his bat out and hit anything. The consequence is that he either strikes out or sends up a little fly. The pitcher must get the ball over the plate, and if a batter will but wait for a strike he will have no trouble.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

clubs paying players' fines; cursing

Date Saturday, August 23, 1890
Text

[from a letter from Nick Young to an unidentified owner] As a rule, fines imposed by clear-headed and intelligent umpires are just, and very frequently they are only levied as a last resort to enforce respect for his decisions, but where a player can tell the umpire 'fine and be d----d; I don't have to pay it,' the umpire has no early control over the conduct of that player. In former seasons I have received several such reports. Last season the sum of $650 was paid into the League treasury on account of fines imposed on players by the umpires, and by reference to my accounts I find that $275 of this amount was contributed by one club in liquidating the fines of one player, who frequently informed the umpire, in substance, that he could go to h—l or any other seaport town, as his club was both wealthy and generous, and would settle any little financial differences.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh behind on paying its bills

Date Saturday, August 30, 1890
Text

A. G. Pratt & co. to-day [8/29] entered suit against the Allegheny (League) Club, to recover $700 on a note for athletic goods furnished the club. It is set forth that the club has violated the articles of limited co-partnership by operating under another name and the stockholders are individually liable.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

catchers concussions

Date Saturday, August 30, 1890
Text

A blow on the mask is dreaded by a catcher almost as much as a broken finger. A heavy blow with most catchers means a headache for several days, and sometimes longer. It frequently hurts the eyes. Almost every catcher has suffered that way at some time or another.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Nick Youngs' day job

Date Saturday, August 30, 1890
Text

President Young draws annually from Uncle Sam's cashbox $1600 as a clerk in the second auditor's office of the Treasury Department, having been appointed from the great State of New York in 1869.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

PL-AA alliance discussed

Date Saturday, August 30, 1890
Text

[reporting the PL special meeting of 8/27] The question of a deal between the Players' League and the American Association was not definitely settled. … Messrs. Johnson, Brunell and Ward, who were appointed a special committee on the welfare of the League at its last meeting in Philadelphia, made their report. Exactly what it was could not be learned, but it caused an hour's debate, and at the end of that time the Player's League was no nearer a deal with the American Association than it was last year. There are two sides to the question, which were presented to the meeting. An agreement would have its disadvantages as well as its advantages. While it would undoubtedly be a big feather in the cap of the new League to break up the so-called National Agreement, such a deal would open the door for the National League to jump in and sign as many of the Association's players as it chooses, and it needs a great many more of them than the Players' League.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

fake attendance numbers

Date Saturday, August 30, 1890
Text

Before the game at Brotherhood Park in New York last Tuesday Director Talcott said:-- “We originally intended to give our exact figures, but one day when we had about two thousand people here and there were only about five hundred at the League game the Polo Grounds management swelled their figures so that they actually compared favorably with the Brotherhood attendance. Since that we have exaggerated our figures purposely, as we were aware that our rivals were doing it steadily. I am not in favor of this thing and would like to see it stopped. I think there is only one club in the country that is giving out correct record attendance figures, and that is the Brooklyn National League Club.”

At Superintendent Bell's office after the game at the Polo Grounds the official figures were refused until the Brotherhood announcement could be learned. Then Mr. Bell gave out 2608, which was just eight more than the Brotherhood figures. Mr. Bell claimed that but 684 persons were at Brotherhood Park, and that 691 were in attendance at the Polo Grounds.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pitching shaking off a sign from his catcher

Date Saturday, August 30, 1890
Text

[from Joe Pritchard's column] In last Sunday's game with the Colonels three of the Browns were on the bases when “Count” Campau stepped to the plate with a dirty, weather-beaten piece of wagon tongue in his hands. Some one called out for a home run and the “Count” smiled. “One strike,” sang Umpire Doescher, and the ball was returned to the pitcher. Ehret was signed by his catcher, but he shook his head and a moment later the ball was on its way to the catcher, but it never reached the place where the “wood-pecker” twirler desired it should, as the “Count” swung the weather-beaten bat around quickly and hit the ball fairly on the front tooth.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

asking the umpire for judgment

Date Saturday, August 30, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column, quoting the Philadelphia Times] In a recent game Latham made an attempt to bunt the ball. He put out his bat with that intention, but Umpire McQuaid did not see the motion and called “one ball.” At this Anson entered a protest. “What's that?” the big fellow remarked. “What do you mean, Mac? He struck at that ball.' McQuaid stepped forward and asked Latham if it was a strike or a ball. “It was a strike,” said Latham, and the crowd cheered him for his honorable course.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic Club in financial straits

Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Text

A crisis which menaces the very existence of the famous old Athletic Club is approaching, and unless there is a very material change in the situation the American Association may be minus a club member. The club has been supposed to be behind hand financially for some time, but the local papers kindly refrained from mentioning the matter. The facts can be no longer suppressed, however, because the players have taken the matter in hand and propose either to force the club to pay salaries fully six weeks over-due or else quit.

As the counsel of the players held out but little hope of recovery by legal process, the players decided to appeal to the Association in accordance with Sec. 71 and 72 of the Association constitution to force the club to either pay up or release the players from contract and reservation. An appeal was accordingly drawn up by the lawyer. This will be signed by all of the players and forwarded to President Phelps to-night. Meantime the players will go on playing. They do not propose to forgo their legal claims whatever the result of this appeal, and have already engaged another lawyer to hold himself in readiness to enter suit in a day or two.

The players are very bitter against Treasurer Whittaker, the ruling spirit of the club. They say that six weeks' salary is unpaid and that he will give them no satisfaction. He is never to be found near the ground when the players want to see him,a nd leaves the burden of putting off the just claims of the players, many of whom are sorely in need of money, upon poor Manager Sharsig, who has exhausted his private funds and receives no better treatment from the club than the players. This constant evasion of the Treasurer has greatly irritated the players, and they do no know what to make of it. They fear that they are to be sold out, or dumped in some way, and are apprehensive that the club will not make the next Western trip. They also say that upon the occasion of the second Western trip, a few weeks ago, it was very doubtful whether the team would start at all up to within a day set by schedule of departure.

Regarding the financial status of the club Mr. Whittaker said that it was indebted to the officers who had no better prospects of recovering their advances than the players had of getting their salaries. He himself had of late been the only man to put up money and that he had gone as far as he could, the club now being indebted to him many thousands of dollars.

This is a lamentable condition for a club with name and prestige, such as the Athletic Club possessed, to be brought through long continued mismanagement, which the local press time and time again censured. The club does not appear to be so far in the hold but what it can be extricated from its difficulties, but the money needed does not seem to be forthcoming from those in control of the club, and cannot be raised apparently so long as the club is directed as at present. The action of the players, however, will force a settlement.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

financial condition of the Pittsburgh Club; ownership

Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Text

President J. P. O'Neill, of the Pittsburg National League Club, yesterday made a statement relative tot he condition of the club. He said:-- “There is no danger of the club going to the wall. The recent trip was a success financially, and the organization can meet all obligation. We have really reduced our old indebtedness over $5000 this season, haven't lost any money have four players signed for next year and will be to the front with a good club.

“I'll admit that it does not look well to see so many suits entered against the club, but they were all old accounts before I took charge. Besides, some persons have gone out of their way to injure us.

“Mr. Pratt agreed to take stock, and informed the newspapers that he had done so. He told us that he was 'solid' with all the newspaper men and could get certain men who sided with the Brotherhood to give the League nine a better show. We agreed to this, and each stockholder agreed to give $500 worth of his stock to Pratt for $500 of his claim for goods, or $2000 worth of stock for $500.

“There will be no more transferred games. Our series with Chicago on Anson's grounds will not be played here, as arranged, but in Chicago, as by the original schedule.”

Pratt admits O'Neill's statement about the stock, but asserts that he told the stockholders he must get Spalding's consent. Mr. Spalding, he says, didn't want the stock at any price. The Sporting Life September 6, 1890

[from Ella Black's column] The only surprise of the last ten days was the National League club trouble that was caused by the suit entered against the stockholders by Mr. A. G. Pratt, Mr. Spalding's agent here, to recover his bill of several hundred dollars for uniforms and equi0pments he had sold them. The Sporting Life September 6, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a secret meeting between the American Association and Players League

Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Text

What was intended to be a secret meeting between a conference committee of the American Association and the emergency committee of the Players' League was held at the Colonnade Hotel, Philadelphia, Tuesday, Sept. 2, but through a leak, as usual, the matter became known to the local reporters, and as a result the fact of the meeting was published to the world, together with a vast amount of er5roneous surmise as to, and comment upon, the nature and result of the deliberations of the joint committee, not one of the accounts of the proceedings being correct, for the simple reason that no reporters were present, and nothing whatever was given out. The Players' League delegates slipped away as they came unseen, and without interviews. The American Association delegates were less lucky, but judging from the published interviews, nothing as to the real nature of the deliberations has yet been revealed by them. All the plans for an absolutely secret meeting were well laid, and would have been successfully carried out but for the leak, the source of which is pretty nearly correctly guessed at by the delegates.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an electric base ball bulletin; scoreboard

Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Text

A new scheme of reproducing a ball game on a bulletin board, which is expected to revolutionize all previous methods, will shortly be foisted on the public. The latest device is worked by electricity. It consists of a board with a ball ground scene painted on it. The players are reproduced by numbers. It requires but one man to work it and by means of a keyboard he can produce any movement made during the game. A bell rings when a foul is struck and another bell announces a one, two or three base hit. Besides base ball, it will be sued to represents other amusements.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

optimism about the future of the Players League

Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Text

The outlook for the Players' League was never better, and those conversant with all the facts concerning it and with the plans for the future, are positive that there can be, by no possibility, a failure in any direction. The men behind the Players' League have been apt pupils, and in one short season have become adopts in the art and mystery of running a base ball league successfully. Results will prove this assertion true.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a rumor of Brooklyn and Cincinnati to jump to the PL

Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Text

The Players' League has a bomb under the National League the fuse is already attached and nothing remains but to apply the torch. The fireworks will go off promptly at the close of the present championship season.

From what can be learned the National league must be prepared for treachery within its won ranks, and all signs point to Cincinnati and Brooklyn as the clubs which will give their associates the knife. After the recent conference of the Players' magnates in New York it was given out that only routine business was transacted, and that the meeting had unanimously decided to take no steps looking to an amalgamation with the American Association. Of course not. The amalgamation scheme was only a blind to throw the reporters off the real scent.

Now, the question is, will Byrne jump? It makes no difference about Cincinnati. Stern would be forced to follow Byrne's lead. While the brainy little Brooklyn president has fought the Brotherhood movement hard this year, it doesn't follow that he is going to stand in his own light next season. Business is business, and Mr. Byrne is essentially business. He recently declared that he made more money in ten St. Louis games last year than he had made all this season to date, and as losing money is a novelty with him, he certainly does not relish the prospect., quoting the Philadelphia North American

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

paying for the Indianapolis franchise; Pittsburgh transferred games

Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Text

According to J. Palmer O'Neil the League has collected enough money to make good for those notes given to Brush, of Indianapolis, for League franchises and players, of which Boston is to pay about $8000, Chicago $7000, Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and New York about $6000, Pittsburg $3200 and Cleveland $3000. The Pittsburg Club has transferred five games to Chicago, seven games to Cincinnati, ten games to Philadelphia and six games to Brooklyn. The 10 per cent. on these games has been remitted to President Young by the various home club, abut the Pittsburg Club has received no credit whatever for the remittances. While the amount remitted on account of all these transferred games has been more than enough to pay these notes, President Young claims he has no right to apply the money mentioned to the Pittsburg notes. If Mr. Nimick pays these notes he will certainly get a drawback at the end of the season. It is understood Mr. Nimick will not settle the notes until Sept. 1. Sept. 1 has come and gone and the question is did Nimick settle?

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

revived attendance in Baltimore

Date Saturday, September 6, 1890
Text

[from Albert Mott's column] ...the empty benches are filled with an excited, if not an exultant, mass of humanity which at times overflows into the field. What a change from the Atlantic to the American Association. … Here it was, in the latter part of a season, when the club never would draw flies, that a change comes after the people have hungered all the season for base ball, and they tumble over each other in their efforts to get to the grounds and occupy good seats. All is again activity and life—a resurrection in a graveyard of base ball hopes.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

lawsuits against Athletic Club; finances; ownership

Date Sunday, September 7, 1890
Text

There was a little scene at the Athletic base ball grounds, Twenty-sixth and Jefferson streets, yesterday, which escaped the notice of the regular visitors to that place.

Deputy Sheriff J. B. Pattison, aided by Assistant Deputy Link, made a levy on all the goods belonging to the Athletic Base Ball Club, and especially the gate receipts. The attachment was made on a writ issued by Judge Hare, of Common Pleas Court, No. 2, giving judgment in favor of George W. Walton & Co., Limited, for $234.15, being the amount of a bill for lumber, with interest.

The attendance at the game was very light, the amount of the receipts carried off by the Sheriff being only $28. The Philadelphia Times September 7, 1890

Players of the Athletic Base Ball Club of the American Association yesterday began legal proceedings for the recovery of salaries for the month of August. None of the fourteen players have received any pay during the past month, and it is also claimed that the club in indebted to a number of them for services in July.

Last week attorneys for the players notified President Phelps, of the Association, that unless the arrearages were paid within ten days the players would seek engagements elsewhere. The players not receiving a response yesterday made affidavits and statements of their claims, which were filed in the office of the Prothonotary. The claim of Edward K. Seward is $377.56; that of Wilfred Robinson $350. George Shafer's claim is $244.30.

The remaining eleven players will institute similar proceeding later in the week. The attorneys state that the executions and attachments against the funds of the club would not prevent the players from securing the salaries remaining unpaid, as the law gives a prior lien for wages to the amount of $200 in each case in preference to all other claims. The Philadelphia Times September 9, 1890

[reporting the Athletic Club stockholders' meeting 9/11] The amount due the players for salary is $2,650. The entire indebtedness of the club, in which this amount is included, and outside of the $9,000 worth of bonds that do not mature until 1893, is $16,500 in round figures. Of this amount it is only necessary that the $2,650 due players be raised before Wednesday next, as on that day the ten days' notice would expire and the players be free to sign elsewhere. The Philadelphia Times September 12, 1890

At the last meeting of the stockholders a committee had been appointed to raise the necessary funds for carrying the club to the end of the season. This they failed to do and on Monday night [9/15] the club was practically disbanded. The scene at their headquarters on that night was a never-to-be-forgotten one. The stockholders and directors stood around talking in a whisper and the whole aspect betokened a funeral more than anything else. When it became impossible tp put the players off any longer and they were released one by one it seemed more like the breaking up of a family than the dismemberment of a club. Manager Sharsig took the whole affair more to heart than did any of the other,s, and he was truly to be pitied. Speaking of the affair, he said: “This is the most severe set-back I ever had in my life. Years of labor and constant toil have been swept away to-night, and I am just where I began again. I cannot fully realize yet the extent of my loss, but ii will gradually force itself upon me. I, of all the club, was nearer tho the men than anyone else, and, therefore, I feel it the most. Many of these players have been associated with me for years, and while we all have our faults, the parting is extremely hard.” The Philadelphia Times September 21, 1890

Up to the middle of the season the club was doing well, and according to the words of one of the officials the club had more than made expenses. They had got their share of the local patronage and away from home had done equally well. At the time the first default in payment occurred these conditions had not changed and the wonder now is where did the money go. This was answered perhaps in part when Secretary Whitaker gave out the financial condition of the club at the last meeting. Of the $17,000 indebtedness, exclusive of the $9,000 in bonds that do not mature until 1893, he said more than $8,000 was due the club officers for salaries. This was the first intimation any one had that the officers were salaried menials and it has caused no end of talk since. When stockholders say they will have an investigation ordered what are outsiders liable to think? To many it appears like an effort to save their own investment out of the wreck. However that may be, an itemized account of the club's receipts and expenditures would be an interesting article for perusal. The Philadelphia Times September 21, 1890

Judgment was entered in Common Please Court, No. 3, yesterday against the Athletic Base Ball Club in the claims of Players John O'Brien for $351.67, Joseph Kappel for $278.76, John McMahan for $483.34, William A. Purcell for $376.28 and George Shafer for $157.44. The Philadelphia Times November 2, 1890

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

purported secret negotiations between the AA and PL

Date Sunday, September 7, 1890
Text

[reporting an informal meeting between the AA and PL] [quoting the NY Sun] One thing that was considered at the meeting was whether the Players' League and American Association clubs will play exhibition games after the championship season has ended. Every club was represented by proxy, and all excepting Baltimore were in favor of these games. As it requires a unanimous vote, no decision was reached. It is said that the Association people at this meeting insisted on the return of every player taken from them by the Players' League, and on this rock negotiations were stranded. This was apparently the basis of the whole transaction on which St. Louis, Louisville and the Athletic people would bolt to the Players' League.

Should these Association clubs join the Players' League it would open up a field where new players could be secured, and the National league clubs would be made materially stronger. The National League magnates are moving along quietly, not a ripple disturbing their actions toward the American Association which would give that body even the slightest pretext to break the national agreement. This was clearly demonstrated in the Daily case.

Manager Barnie, of the Baltimore Club, who was in Philadelphia, was very outspoken about the whole matter. “I received positive assurance from Phelps and Von der Ahe, before Baltimore was readmitted into the Association, that no such deal as is spoken of had been made with the Players' League or would be. It was upon their statement that the Baltimore Club once more became an Association member. Consequently, you see I do not believe any of these yarns. If Phelps, Von der Ahe and Whitaker have made any deal they must have done so on their own responsibility. If they have made a deal, it is an act of treachery to the Association and myself, Why, Phelps and Von der Ahe told me only lately that they had been approached by the Players' League, but had declined to make a deal.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

professionalism in the amateur ranks

Date Sunday, September 7, 1890
Text

...the amateur ranks are being thinned out and spoiled by that ever-present greed for money. One club after the other has fallen by the wayside in their endeavor to compete with clubs that have a larger financial backing. Extra inducements are held out by those possessing the largest fund of available cash in order that they may get the players from other clubs that they want. It seems to be almost an impossibility nowadays to get up a team of amateurs who will go through the season without a break. A few good games played enlarges the players' heads and immediately they are up for the highest bidder. Time and time again has attention been called to this point and the decline of amateur base ball been commented on, but all to no purpose. They still go on in the way that eventually leads to total destruction, and with some the way is very short. There seems to be no way out of the difficulty so long as the managers themselves are guilty, and until they come to their senses it will go on and work havoc in all directions.

Source Philadelphia Times
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

claim of a further amalgamation effort

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[Dickinson of the New York World on a secret meeting in Philadelphia between representatives of the PL and AA held 9/10] The actual business transacted was comparatively unimportant. In a nutshell, the Association men wanted amalgamation, and the Players' League committee wanted to arrange a series of games with the Association's winning club for the championship of the world. As a sort of compromise the Association committeemen proposed a twelve club circuit, the Players' League to absorb four American Association cities, the names of which any good base ball man can guess. They argued long and eloquently, and none talked longer nor was more eloquent than the gentleman from St. Louis, and more's the pity, the responsibility for this account rests on his broad, good-natured shoulders. There was really nothing to conceal. The Association committee was not prohibited by the National Agreement or the more inferior laws of the country from meeting the Players' League men. There is, however, not the slightest chance for them to persuade the new League into forming a twelve club circuit. That's all there is to the matter. The Sporting Life September 13, 1890

Respecting the conference at Philadelphia Mr. Brunell said:-- “While in Philadelphia I met several members of the American Association and had an informal talk over the situation. The talk was unofficial and informal because the American Association has no committee with any power to act. Billy Barnie was one of those supposed to be present at the meeting. I never saw Billy Barnie when I was in the East. Why should we amalgamate? We have nothing to gain by such a move. Our circuit is already full, and we certainly could not strengthen it with any of the Association cities. Whatever overtures may have been made have come from the other side. We have made none.” The Sporting Life September 13, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic Club finances 7

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] By the way, what a lot of trouble the Athletics are having. There has been so much talk of the team's absorption by either the League or the Brotherhood and Sharsig and Pennypacker have so frankly and so frequently expressed their perfect willingness to such absorption—for a consideration—that I wonder difficulties have not long since been adjusted. I understand that the true reason is that nobody wants the once far-famed Athletics. The Brotherhood might take the club if it could get it very, very cheap. Al. Reach, I am informed, wouldn't take it as a gift, and as a friend of Mr. Reach holds somewhere in the neighborhood of $8000 worth of Athletic Club bonds I do not see how a transfer or a sale is to be looked for in the near future. This bondholder, at least, has to be settled with before the club can be sold to the Brotherhood or anybody else for a song.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an argument for the player sales system; minor league finances

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[from Harry Palmer's column] “The very features that have marked the season of 1890 as a disastrous one,” said Walter Spalding, “are arguments in favor of the old sales system and reserve rule. Every minor league in the country to-day, with the exception of the Western League, is bursted. The minor league club which in seasons past has been certain of selling tow or three of its best players to even it up financially at the close of the season, is now certain of nothing, because of the existence of the piratical Players' League. In seasons past the minor league club in need of funds could borrow enough capital to tide it along on the strength of the reserve rule, the sales system and the National Agreement. This year they have been unable to do so, and what is the result? They ave bursted.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the mitt reduces the number of catchers on the roster

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

In one respect the big glove is an enemy to catchers. It saves them from being battered to pieces, but on the other hand it reduces the number of backstops, as with this glove two catchers are all that any club need carry.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Billy Sunday to quit baseball

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

Billy Sunday told the Pittsburg management that he was going to give up the diamond at the end of the season to pursue his religious calling. He was released to Philadelphia and signed a three years' contract. Religion may be useful in more ways than one at times., quoting the Chicago Tribune

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh PL Club finances; attendance

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

The stockholders and directors of the Pittsburg Players' League Club held a special meeting to-day and increased the capital stock to $40,000. The original amount was $20,000. This action was taken after the reading of reports showing the financial condition of the club to be unsatisfactory. The new issue of $20,000 worth of stock has all been subscribed for by the old holders. The club has latter not been attracting paying attendances. The declaration is made, however, that it has no intention of quitting the field either this season or next.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

umpire hand signals

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

During the Rochester-St. Louis game of Sept. 9 Umpire Emslie suddenly lost his voice, and as he couldn't speak above a whisper, catcher McGuire, who was in uniform as extra man, had to call out decisions for Emslie. Emslie would wave his left hand and McGuire would call a ball, while a wave of the right hand meant a strike. Sometimes Mac misunderstood the signals and would call a ball when Emslie meant a strike. This usually occurred when a Rochester man was at bat. Then the umpire would shake his head vigorously and the decision would be reversed. On the whole the pantomime was very amusing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

scoring sacrifices 2

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[from a letter to the editor by “Enthusiast”] By the way, while talking of averages here is a suggestion anent the sacrifice hit and its place in determining the standing of a batter. In place or, or in addition to the columns of A.B., B.H. and Ave., have these:-- C.A.R. (chances to advance runners), C.A. (chances accepted) and Ave. In the column of C.A.R. include the times a man comes to the bat with men on the bases, of course, omitting when he is hit by the pitcher, as well as bases on balls, unless there is a runner on first. Under C.A. place all base hits made with men on bases, all sacrifices and bases on balls with first base occupied. In case of a fielding error being made the chance should be scored against the batter as not accepted, as, although the runner is in fact advanced, this is not due to the skill of the batter, but the want of it in the fielder. The only exception to this would be when the first baseman, with less than two hands out, drops the ball when thrown directly to him by the fielder who stopped it, as this must, from the fact of no attempt being made to catch the runner, be a sacrifice. Now, divide the C.A. by the C.A.R., and you will have the real value of the man as an aid to run-getting, and let this be the determining against as to his standard as a batter. Such a system, especially if given prominence over the old system of averaging, would encourage that much-desired-end, team work in batting.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an intentionally discolored ball

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[Pittsburg vs. Brooklyn 9/2/1890] [from Chadwick's column] ...a new point, involving the violation of Sec. 2 of Rule 12, which reads: “At no time shall the ball be intentionally discolored by rubbing it with the sod or otherwise.” In the first part of the ninth inning a new ball was legally introduced, but it was hit foul and did not come into play again until the Brooklyns went to the bat in their ninth inning, and when the new ball was called for—Miller having it in his hands discoloring it—he declined to give it up until he had blackened it. The umpire then put in another new ball, as Miller had made the other unfit for the fair use the rule calls for. He thought he was playing a strong point, but he failed lamentably. A ball which has been discolored in violation of the rules is not legally fit for use. The umpire was quite correct in putting a new ball in play under the circumstances, so Miller over-reached himself in this instance.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

grass versus skin diamonds and the effect on the ball

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

The reason so many young recruits from minor leagues fail when they enter faster company is due to the fact that there is a marked contrast between the two organizations, not so much in playing strength as in the surroundings. The greatest drawback to a new recruit is the different in the parks. Nine out of ten minor league clubs have a dirt or skin diamond, while every club in the National League has a grass or sodded infield. This fact has a greater influence on the work of a minor league recruit than a casual observer would imagine. Especially is this true of a pitcher. On a skin diamond the cover of the ball is skuffed and torn by coming in contact with the small pebbles. This causes the ball to became what is know as “wingy.” The cover becomes so rough that a pitcher can get a good hold and can therefore curve the ball as he leases. On a grass diamond just the reverse is the case. The ball becomes s hiny and slippery from being hit along the grass. It is hard to handle and it is for this reason that many successful minor league pitchers fail ignominiously in fast company.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a broken catcher's mask 3

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[from the Rochester correspondent's column] A foul tip from Greenwood's bat collided with catcher Munyan's mask, breaking it, and the wires cut his face so badly that several stitches were necessary to close the would. He retired from the game in favor of Trost.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

AA clubs waive reserve rights

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[from the column of Albert Mott, “T.T.T”] It is the custom in the American Association for a club to waive claim to the reserved right to the services of a player of “its own” under contract in the Players' League, and this is done “for a consideration” if possible, and without any remuneration if not. The clubs realize on these reserved rights if they can, but the main object is to cripple the Players' League. The players are then approached by every means available, and no efforts are spared to attempt to induce them to violate their three year's contracts and sign others in the Association.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore Club ownership 3

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

[from the column of Albert Mott, “T.T.T”] Mr. Von der Horst owns every stick in the stands and fences and every property right in the club solely to himself. Mr. Barnie is manager, on a salary, and is interested as a partner to the extent of profiting additionally by the club's financial success. Manager Barnie runs the club entirely himself and is not interfered with in the least, seldom even by advice, and never by absolute direction. Mr. Von der Horst has other and far more important business that engages his attention, and believes that Mr. Barnie knows more about the business of base ball than he does.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the story about luring Harry Decker with a roll of cash

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

It is a matter of unusual congratulation that during this fight there have been no attempts to coax players to jump their contracts. That was a prominent feature of the Union battles in '84, and Tom Loftus told a great war story the other afternoon. It was on Harry Decker. He was catching in Indianapolis then, and Ted Sullivan wanted him for the Kansas Citys. Ted and Peek-a-boo Veach were on the stand one day, just back of the catcher, and, in the second or third inning, Veach held up a big role of one dollar bills. “oh, Deck!” he called, “look here.” When Decker's eyes sighted the wad and the nod he was wild to get out, and fable says he stuck out his finger and got hut in the sixth inning, so he could hurry up and join Ted and Peek-a-boo. He jumped, too!

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics players sue for salary; Athletic Club ownership, finances

Date Saturday, September 13, 1890
Text

On Saturday a portion of the players who had consulted another lawyer, pile on the agony by entering a suit against the club. Mesrs. Freeman & Hutt brought the suit for Seward, $377; Robinson, $350, and Shafer $240. It is understood the rest of the players will begin suit at the end of the present week, unless it is plainly apparent that the club will be placed upon its feet again.

A special meeting of the stockholders of the Athletic Club was held in President Pennypacker's office yesterday afternoon to determine whether or not an assessment shall be levied and the clubs indebtedness wiped out or to throw up the sponge and quit. The following stockholders were present at the meeting:-- H.C. Pennypacker, W. H. Whitaker, George S. Horn, Thomas A. Mink, b. F. Shibe, G. M. Taylor, Richard J. Lennon, H. S. Locheim and Thomas S. Mitchell. Messrs. Sharsig, Snellenburg, Wilson and Toy were the absentees.

After the meeting Mr. Whitaker said no definite action had been taken and that another meeting would be held next Monday. The club owes its players $2650, and in addition to the bonded debt of $9000, which does not mature until 1893, there is an outstanding indebtedness of $16,500. With the exception of the salaries due the players, which must be paid on Wednesday next, the expiration of their ten days' notice, none of the debts are pressing.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

collegiate professionals

Date Monday, September 15, 1890
Text

That the base ball magnates are looking for brainy players is shown by the fact that of late many college-bred lads have been engaged. They are well paid. The employers know they can trust the brainy player, as a rule. He takes care of himself, and is always in condition to go upon the field and work his hardest for victory. But he will not use methods that are insulting to spectators. As a prominent exponent of the college lad in base ball, there is Clarke of the New Yorks. He never played professionally before this season. He was more lucky than amateur generally are, as he jumped into a major league club and a large salary at the first clip. He has proved himself a good player, and demonstrated that it will not be long before he will be ranked as one of the leading players in the profession. No college player who ever made a reputation for himself, but has received offers from major league clubs. The New York (N.L.) Club at one time offered Pitcher Stagg of Yale $3,000 to finish the season, after it was nearly half over. Jesse Dann, Yales' catcher, was offered big money, and Calhoun, the second baseman of the same team, received many flattering offers. Hutchinson, the best pitcher in Capt. Anson's team, is college bred. He gets a large salary.

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

John B. Day's tobacco firm

Date Friday, September 19, 1890
Text

[regarding a lawsuit filed against Day by his brother-in-law Fred Davis] In reference to the statement made by John B. Day, President of the Metropolitan Exhibition Company, regarding the services of Fred Davis, his brother-in-aw, being entirely voluntary, Mr. Davis says that it can be proved that he was sent up to the grounds by Mr. Day to look after his interests. If it has slipped his memory he can refresh it by referring to his ex-partner, John P. Davis, and his present partner, Charles P. Abbey. When the old firm of Davis & Day existed, Fred's father, who was the senior member of the firm, and had many stiff arguments with John B. Day, his son-in-law, in regard to his taking Fred away from the business and wasting his time at the Polo grounds. He also found fault with Mr. Day for the valuable time he was likewise losing from the tobacco business by going off to the base ball games. In fact, it was the stiff arguments they had upon this very point which led to the breaking up of the old firm. New York Sun September 19, 1890 [N.B. Charles P. Abbey was one of the incorporators of the New York Baseball Club on October 9, 1889.]

Source New York Sun
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the double umpire system

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

“This season ha brought out many peculiar incidents in relation to base ball,” says the New York Tribune, which then enumerates them as follows:-- “The double-umpiring system has been tried and found wanting. It has been illustrated that two poor umpires are worse than one. There has been twice as much wrangling in the Players' League, where the double-umpire system has been in vogue, as there has been in the National League, where one umpire has been the plan. Of course two good umpires would be better than one, but this season has shown that there are not enough good umpires to go around.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League to suspend the reserve

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

The League is soon to take a flank movement on the Brotherhood. … If there is not a flag of truce raised in Brotherhood quarters the League will go on with the war of extermination. To more successfully conduct their campaign the League leaders will wipe out a rule that has hitherto proved a handicap. In short, it is the intention of the League clubs which lost some of their players by the revolt to waive their reserve claim to such players. In other words, any League player in Brotherhood company can be signed by any League club that wants him.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic Club collapses

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

...The adjourned stockholders' meeting was held on Monday night. It was soon discovered that the stockholders were no nearer raising the needful cash than they had been on the previous Thursday night. All sorts of propositions were considered, and after talking over the matter for three long hours Joseph Snellenburg, Benjamin Shibe, Richard J. Lennon, Thomas Mink, George S. Horn and George M. Taylor were appointed a committee to devise ways and means for obtaining the money to pay the men off and defray the expenses of the western trip. The players, through Captain Welch, were notified to report to President Pennypacker Tuesday night at eight to receive their checks. After the meeting Messrs. Pennypacker, Whitaker and Sharsig all declared that the club would finish the season and meet all its bills. Manager Barnie, who had been notified by President Phelps that no special meeting of the Association would be held, was present at this meeting in the “interest and as representative of the Association.” he was assured that the players' salaries and other debts would be paid in full, and he seems to have been content to take their word for it and permit matters to take their course.

...On Tuesday night the players assembled in high good humor over the prospect of getting their much-needed back salaries. At 8o'clock, the appointed hour, everybody concerned except the committee was on hand, and their arrival was anxiously awaited. Time slipped on, however, and no committee made its appearance, and hope died within the needy and anxious souls present. Still they waited, hoping against hope, but at 10 o'clock it could no longer be concealed that no arrangements for cash had been or could be made. Treasurer Whittaker, in his usual bland and suave manner, told them, with faltering voice and tear-dimmed eyes, that he was pained to inform them, etc., etc., that, owing to, etc., etc., the club was in the soup, and that it could not pay the salaries,but that he would like to take as strong a team as possible on the Western trip, and that he would be willing to continue all hands at the same old rates.

This was a facer for the players, many of whom had confidently expected to receive their money. Curt Welch was the first to break the silence. “Well, then, I'm free from the Athletic Club, am I? Well, give me my release.” This President Pennypacker proceeded to do with an alacrity that was astonishing. All the other players, with the exception of Purcell, Conroy, Green and Shafer followed suit, while the President of the club was writing out the releases of the different players,each one in turn paid his respects to Treasurer Whittaker, who had to stand a severe tongue lashing from all of them.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic Club finances 8

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

Secretary Whittaker stated that the club's total indebtedness is $17,000. Of this $2650 is due players, $8000 is due to the officers and the balance is made up of various outstanding debts, such as unpaid advertising bills due the local papers, unpaid interest on the $9000 worth of bonds outstanding, unpaid accounts for material furnished last year by A. J. Reach & Co., and a large sum due Spalding Bros. for uniforms and other goods received this year; $8000 of the amount is said to be due the officers of the club for salaries and money advanced. Mr. Whittaker further said that the players were paid in full up to Sept. 1, when only about $2650 was due them. The players, however, tell a different story, claiming that the following sums are due them:-- Seward, $377; Robinson, $550; Purcell, $390; Welch, $600; Shafer, $400; O'Brien, $400; Lyons, $300; Kappel, $300, and Conroy, $300. Catcher Robinson, fielder Shafer and pitcher Seward have suits pending against the club for salaries due, and on the outcome of these legal proceeding will depend the future action of the other players.

According to one of the Athletic Club's stockholders, the profits last season reached $30,000, and if any dividend was paid he heard nothing of it. What, then, became of the money? Up to July of this year the club certainly made some money. Where did it go? With a reserve of $30,000 (these were President Pennypacker's figures) and the profits that must have accrued from the early games this year, the club should have been able to withstand the present trouble. But it didn't.

When told that a rumor was current to the effect that the officers had voted themselves large salaries, thus eating up all the profits of the club, Mr. Whitaker said:-- “As true as I stand here the monthly salaries of the officers of this club all put together only about equals Eddie Seward's monthly salary of $428.57. That is a fact, and Mr. Pennypacker and Mr. Sharsig will substantiate me in the statement.

“That is right,” said Mr. Pennypacker, “but our salaries are for twelves months in the year.”

But probably the explanation may be found in the story told by another stockholder, who declares that the club would not be in its present straits but for the fact that Messrs. Whittaker and Pennypacker, imitating the illustrious Boston triumvirate, had voted themselves large, comfortable salaries for their services as treasurer and president respectively. This was not known until the meeting before that of Monday, and it is claimed that their action was decidedly irregular, and may lead to troublesome complications. President Pennypacker doesn't like to talk about the financial aspect of the muddle, but when pushed falls back upon his old chestnut “that the failure is due to the Brotherhood movement and unfair treatment on the part of the newspapers.” The Sporting Life September 20, 1890 [N.B. Pennypacker denied the $30K figure in the following issue of TSL.]

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a comment on the AA's inaction to save the Athletics

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

In the American Association it is too expensive and troublesome to hold directors' meetings to look after a failing club or the grievances of players. Once upon a time it was too much trouble for the League to meet its players in mid-summer, and—well, we all know the result.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a player ejected 2

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

Latham was ordered off the field in the eighth inning of last Saturday's Cincinnati-Pittsburg game. The dude was on the bench and was helping Manager Loftus in coaching the Cincinnati players. Every once in a while Lath would let out a wild whoop, and he was constantly chiding the Pittsburgs. Captain Hecker insisted on his being ordered from the field, and Umpire Strief was forced to enforce the rules. Undismayed Arlie took refuge in President Stern's private box under the grand stand and continued to coach the team.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the party line on the formation of the National League

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Not since the great secession movement in the ranks of the professional fraternity in 1876, when the capitalist magnates of the old National Association seceded from that organization and set up for themselves under the batter of the National League of Professional Clubs, and left the National Association of Professional Players to die out, under its load of crookedness and revolving...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the benefit of catchers' mitts

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] What a great help to a catcher's record the padded gloves has been. Without it, with the great speed of the catchers of this season have had to face, there would have been a dearth of catchers able to continue behind the bat long ere this. As it is, here we have them catching over a hundred successive games, even beating the old-time records, such as that of Barnie, etc.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

running out ground balls

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

A few seasons back such a thing as beating out an infield hit was unheard of. It was rare, indeed, that you heard of a player making a base hit on an infield grounder that had been cleanly handled. Now it is a common occurrence. The reason for this change is, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer's notion, this:-- “Simply because the men 'p0lay ball' now, when they used to only make a bluff at it. Now every man in a team, whether fast or slow, is compelled to run out every hit. He is expected to start for first on a hit to the short stop with the same energy and determination he would use if it were a clean drive to the outfield for three bases. In older days, when a grounder was hit to any of the infielders, the batsman used to start as if he had lead in his shoes. It was taken as a matter of course that such a hit meant a sure out, and there was no need of exertion. Now the reverse is the case. A man is never out until he is actually out. He is expected to run out everything. The players in the League who do the best work in this respect are the Chicagos and Philadelphias. Anson has a standing fine of $5 for any player who does not run out his h9t. This little fine keeps the gang full of ginger.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

switching the lively PL ball into an NL game

Date Wednesday, September 10, 1890
Text

Two men in a box at Friday's League game had a great deal of fun in a queer fashion. And the tale may open the Clevelanders' eyes to possible future cases. The cunning folk in the box came loaded with a couple of Brotherhood balls in their overcoat pockets. Whenever a foul tip would sail back over the grand stand one of the men would make it a point to get the ball on its return. Putting it in his pocket he would toss Umpire McQuaid one of his imported Brotherhood balls. In a few minutes it would be in play. As everybody knows the Players' ball acts in a peculiar manner in unfamiliar hands. Viau shot one down to Earle in the second inning and the long Chicagoan hit a tap that would scarcely have driven a League ball out of the diamond. The strange ball mounted in the air like a bird and lost itself somewhere in Congress street. Earle chased round the bases with the surprised expression of a man paid a forgotten debt. The merry strangers quietly dropped their second Brotherhood ball on the grass a few minutes later. Wilmot was the first man to get a good crack at it. That, too, was lost over the South wall. Where the joke comes is in the fact that the cunning strangers' plan was to let Cleveland get the good of the lively ball, and when they had the chance they fell down without one fair jab at it., quoting the Chicago Inter-Ocean

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Wright's play at short

Date Saturday, September 20, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Harry Shafer by Ren Mulford] George Wright was the greatest short stop the world ever saw. He made plays that were simply marvelous—plays that are not deemed possible now. Ward, in his book, makes the mistake of claiming that Wright played a short field. He is wrong. I've seen George Wright cover more ground than any one in that position attempts to do now. The ball was lively and a tap sent it out like a shot.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

sacrifice doctrine; sabermetrics

Date Saturday, September 27, 1890
Text

[from W. I. Harris's column] ... There are several things to be borne in mind when considering when a sacrifice hit will count or whether there will be a chance for it to count. The average player seldom gets about .250 in the averages. This means that he makes a base hit about once in four times at bat. The very best men, whose figures ran from .300 and upward,w ill not hit safe once in three times at bat, while a large majority of the player will not average much better than one in five times at bat. Now, there are some players that seldom ever fail in an attempt to sacrifice, and the majority of them can do so four times out of five.

If these statements are correct, and I do not think that any one will deny them, it is obvious then that the chances of a successful sacrifice are about four times as good as the chances of making a base hit. In a close game—by which I mean a pitchers' contest—one run will sometimes win, and three or four are pretty sure to do so. It is therefore of the greatest importance that the ice should be broken, for a team with one run to the good finds it much easier to score than the team which has no runs at all. If there is a man on first and no one out, it often happens that a skillful sacrifice hit will send the runner to third. If the batsman hits the ball toward right field, a slow one, just as the runner on first starts to steal second, the runner nearly always reaches third, if the team has the proper signs and every man is working “one for all and all for one.” Then all that is necessary is a fly to the outfield or a slow hit to the infield to score a run or a base hit.

Team work pays and sacrifice hitting is the acme of team work. There are times, however, when sacrificing is the height of absurdity. For instance, in a game where the other fellows are four or five runs ahead in the seventh inning about the only way to win is to bat out some runs. Of course, if the other side is five ahead and your side bats out a couple of runs and the weak hitters are up and it is possible to get a third run in the inning by sacrificing, why the attempt should be made. If a batsman makes a two-base hit two sacrifices will score the run and they should always be made, no matter who is at the bat, unless it is during the latter part of a game,w hen one run is of no value. With one out a runner on second and a good hitter at the plate let him hit it out if he can. I do not believe in ever sacrificing a man to third base when there is one man out unless the base-runner is notoriously slow and it is a fact that he cannot score from second base on anything less than a two-base hit. In such a case it is sometimes advisable to sacrifice, but even then it depends very much upon who the batter may be.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the PL buys the Cincinnati Club; Cincinnati Club ownership

Date Saturday, September 27, 1890
Text

The latest and biggest sensation of the season was the report that the Players' League had been negotiating with the Cincinnati League Club with a view to purchasing it, bag and baggage. It was a great scheme, entirely worthy of the men who are so skillfully guiding the destinies of the new Players' League, and would have proved a master stroke of policy, as it would have rounded out the Players' league circuit nicely, made a serious breach in the National League circuit, weakened the latter organization in the West, and correspondingly strengthened the new League in that section, and would undoubtedly have placed the Players League in position to dictate terms to its rival.

But unfortunately for the Players' League the deal could not be completed, and at this writing does not seem likely to be, owing in the first place to premature publication, and in the second place to the characteristic acquisitiveness of the gentlemen who control the Cincinnati Club—Messrs. Aaron Stern and Harry Sterne—same name, but not related, thought hey stand each other off like real brothers when a deal for mutual advantage is concerned.

Negotiations were commenced a good while back between the party of the first part—Messrs. Stern and Sterne—and the party of the second part—the Players' League. The Players' League first offered the Cincinnatians inducements to enter the Players' League next season. This was declined, as both men are League men in sentiment—Harry Sterne particularly so. Then a bluff was made about putting a rival club into Cincinnati and the field was looked over by a committee. The Cincinnati men, however, didn't scare worth a cent, but got right down to business by offering to sell if the Players' League wanted the club so very badly. After a good deal of backing and filling Mr. Stern Mr. Stern named a big price, but when the Players' League indicated a willingness to buy at the figures named the other partner, Mr. Sterne, put in his oar, presumably without a previous arrangement with Stern (our readers should not fail to bear in mind that one of the partners has a final e to his name, which constitutes the only difference between them), and the deal came to a halt. More correspondence then followed, and as fast as one partner was satisfied the other bobbed up with a new objection, until between them the worthy Cincinnatians managed to exactly double the price on the Players' League.

The latter thought it needed the Cincinnati Club badly enough to meet even the last raise, and accordingly a meeting of the Players' League was held in New York a week and a half ago at which the mater was carefully considered and a definite price fixed beyond which the Players' League would absolutely decline to go. Messrs. Brunell and Johnson and Editor Dickinson, of the New York World, then wended their way to ST. Louis last Wednesday week to interview the elusive senior partner and clinch the bargain. They felt sure of success, but other people who realized better with whom the guileless Players' League men would have to deal, were not quite so sanguine.

And the latter were correct in their surmises. Stern and Sterne had slept a night—several nights, in fact—over their last offer to the Players' League, and according to their notion their plant had certainly increased in value while they slept. Accordingly, when the Players' League delegates met Mr. Stern—without the final e—in St. Louis last Friday they were fairly paralyzed when the affable little Cincinnati man, in his usual courtly manner, explained to them that owing to his partner's unwillingness to sell, etc., etc., he was unable to deliver the goods, etc. etc., and that the only way to appease that perverse partner was to once more double the price—take it or leave it. Here was a poser that incontinently brought the deal to a halt, as the Players' League had made up its mind how far it would go and the committee had its limit, beyond which it could not go. There was, therefore, no alternative except to leave St. Louis without accomplishing anything and declare the deal off. Accordingly after frankly telling the newspapers just how the case stood the committee disbanded, Johnson going home to Cleveland, Dickinson to New York and Brunell to Buffalo, where he will reorganize the local club. The Sporting Life September 27, 1890

The hitch in the Cincinnati deal has been overcome, as the Players' League, in its anxiety to obtain control of the one city which they imagined they needed to round out their circuit and seriously cripple the League, finally acceded to the exorbitant demands of Stern and Sterne, and bought the club, bag and baggage, at the figures of the Cincinnati magnates. It was not to be given out what the price paid for the franchise, ground and players' contracts was, but Mr. Stern in his latest interview stated that he had demanded $46,000, of which $30,000 was to be paid down and $16,000 at a stipulated future time. When the Players' League committee went to St. Louis they were prepared to purchase at $40,000, and that is about the sum the deal cost the Players' League men. The Sporting Life October 4, 1890

According to agreement the representatives of the Players' league met Messrs. Stern and Sterne, of the Cincinnati Club, in Cincinnati, Oct. 4, and completed the deal whereby the Cincinnati Club was transferred to the Players' League syndicate. … It required the entire day to settle the various details of the transfer, and it was not until 8 o'clock in the evening that the deal was completed, the consideration being $40,000, $20,000 of which was paid in cash and $20,000 in five sequential notes, payable on the first day of June, July, August, September and October next. These notes bear the personal endorsement of Messrs. Johnson, Talcott, Col. McAlpin and other responsible people. The Sporting Life October 11, 1890 [See also a long account from Dickinson of the NY World on the events leading up to the deal.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

prospects for the National League; rating the various cities

Date Saturday, October 4, 1890
Text

A number of … ways to repair the breach in its line are, however, open to the League. Baltimore is available in the East should Brooklyn also drop out and would really be a better city without conflicts than Brooklyn is with two clubs. Should Brooklyn remain true, Baltimore is still available as a Western city in place of Pittsburg, or if the latter be considered too valuable on account of its geographical location, Baltimore could take Cleveland's place and the latter's now strong team be transferred to Pittsburg, thus ridding the League of one unprofitable double-club city. Under such an arrangement but one new club would be needed in the West, but with Baltimore in the Eastern circuit two new Western clubs would be necessary. In either event the League has such cities as Indianapolis, Detroit, Louisville, Kansas City, Minneapolis or even Milwaukee to draw upon.

The two first-named are old League cities and educated up to the League standard, but otherwise not specially desirable. Louisville and Kansas City, though Sunday-playing and low-priced towns, have the advantage of possessing strong teams ready-made—a very important consideration, when it is remembered how difficult, nay, next to impossible, it is to organize any team capable of making a good showing in a major league upon the spur of the moment or even in an entire season. Either Kansas City or Louisville would, we think, forgo both Sunday games and low prices for the sake of escaping from their present insecure and probably unpalatable surroundings and becoming safely anchored in a major organization with the prestige and stability of the old National League. St. Louis is not to be considered as a League possibility at all, as that city is a poorer ball town than ever, and positively worthless without Sunday games; and it is pretty certain that the National League, no matter what its stress, will never descend to the level of the American Association and depart from its well-known line of policy as regards Sunday playing and low prices. Whenever it does it will no longer be the National League, but merely a revamped sort of American Association. Sooner than fall to that level we are sure the League would reduce itself for a season to a six-club basis.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Louisville slugger; a bat lasts ten years

Date Saturday, October 4, 1890
Text

An amusing delay occurred in the third inning of last Tuesday's Cleveland-New York game. Browning refused to take his turn at bat, because his own bat, which is ten years old, very long and heavy, had been hidden. It was restored to him when the spectators grew tired of the joke, and the Gladiator made a safe hit.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Syracuse Club not paying its AA dues

Date Saturday, October 4, 1890
Text

One of the financial incidents of the Association campaign to add to the disgraceful Athletic and Brooklyn incidents was the attachment of the Syracuse Club's gate receipts during the week by President Phelps. On Sunday last when Manager Frazer, of the Syracuse Club, went to the Louisville Club to get his share of the receipts, he found that the money had been attached by President Phelps. The Syracuse Club has not paid its dues since June and the amount due the Association approximately $500. Mr. Frazer had been asked for the money several times, but had failed to pay it, so President Phelps ordered the money withheld, and it was accordingly paid over to Mr. Phelps' secretary.

Mr. Frazer was not notified of the attachment until the last game was concluded, and if there ever was a mad man, it was the Syracuse manager. “I will give up the club right here,” said he, and he went up-town speaking in anything but complimentary terms of the Association.

At the hotel that night he took a different view of it, however, and said that he had no intention of quitting. He said that he had intended paying the money before leaving Louisville, and that it would be satisfactorily settled.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an indoor baseball league in Chicago

Date Saturday, October 4, 1890
Text

Last winter several of the Chicago cycling clubs formed indoor base ball teams and played mostly practice games. This was very unsatisfactory to two of the clubs, at least, and at a meeting held last week at the Grand Pacific Hotel a four-club league was formed:-- The Chicagos, Lincolns, Harvards and Illinois (not the cycling club of that name), but composed of young men living on the South Side. A schedule has been arranged, and the games for the inter-club championship will start early next month.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Horace Phillips suffers a relapse

Date Saturday, October 4, 1890
Text

Horace Phillips, the old base ball manager, is reported to have again become insane. Catcher George Miller, of the Allies, to-day received a letter from Charley Eden, once left fielder of the old League club, now living in Grand Rapids, saying that Phillips' complaint had returned, and he had been removed to an asylum last week. It is a little over a year since Phillips was first attacked. Since his recovery he has been in the lumber business in Grand Rapids, Mich., quoting the Pittsburgh Telegraph

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletic Club finances; debts

Date Saturday, October 4, 1890
Text

As the weeks go by new and more discreditable disclosures are made. A very interesting story could be told about the club's outstanding bonds, but that is reserved for another time. During the week it transpired that the club owed even its landlord, and was in debt to the city for rent more than $1000. The goods and chattels of the club were seized by the city last Saturday, and the stands, chairs, uniforms, and all other available goods at the ball park were to have been sold at public auction yesterday. The constable's sale, however, was prevented by the sheriff, who issued a levy under an execution granted several weeks ago on an application of Walton & Bro., a lumber firm. They Sheriff's sale will come off next Monday morning. Constable Vance on Thursday filed with the sheriff his claim, and, as rent comes ahead of everything else, the city will get the proceeds of the sale after the sheriff's costs shall have been deducted, or as much of the proceeds as many be necessary to cancel the claim. The rent due is $1666, and the constable's cost add about $20 to the bill, so that the sale must realize over $1200 or the city will be a loser. The effects of the club include 1600 chairs, the open seats (classed as lumber), refreshment stand, club house, awnings, etc.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

George Washington Bradley's post-baseball career

Date Saturday, October 4, 1890
Text

George Washington Bradely is now night watchman in a Chestnut street carriage store.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the NL meets with the PL

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

[reporting the NL special meeting of 10/9] While the delegates were indulging in their discussion a request for a hearing was received from Mr. Allen W. Thurman, of Columbus, O., who represented the Columbus Club and had been for days busily engaged in acting as a mediator with a view to bringing about a conference between the National and Players' leagues. Mr. Thurman was admitted and made a long appeal for a conference and compromise. He had, he said, had a number of conferences with the Players' League officials and had gained their consent to a conference, if the League could be induced to appoint a committee to meet a similar committee of the Players' League. Mr. Thurman also outlined a plan for combining the three present major leagues into two leagues, upon which basis the Players' League people were at least willing to confer.

Mr. Thurman's proposition for a conference was then discussed for hours by the League delegates. A decidedly hostile spirit towards compromise was shown at first by a majority of the League men, some of shoe who had suffered the most being most bitterly opposed to any deal whatever with the Players. The matter was discussed until 4 o'clock, when a recess was taken. The delegates came together again at 5 o'clock and consumed several more hours in discussion. Finally wiser counsels prevailed, and a big step was taken towards a solution of the base ball problem by the passage of the following resolution:

Resolved, That Messrs. A. G. Spalding, John B. Day and C. H. Byrne constitute a conference committee of three to confer with a similar committee of the American Association to meet the committee which we have been advised has been appointed by the Players' League, consisting of Messrs. E. B. Talcott, Wendell Goodwin and A. L. Johnson, and said committee is hereby requested to report the result of such conference to this meeting at its earliest convenience.

The delegates then adjourned until 10 o'clock to-day, when the report of the conference committee will be received.

While the League was debating the appointment of a conference committee, a number of Players' League magnates were domiciled at the St. James' Hotel, one block up Broadway, awaiting the outcome. Those present were Johnson Talcott, Goodwin, Ward and the Wagner brothers. When notice was received that eh League had appointed a conference committee, a meeting was held, at which a conference committee consisting of Al Johnson, E. Talcott and Wendell Goodwin was appointed and the subject of compromise fully considered and a plan of action outlined. The committee then proceeded to the Fifth Avenue, and at 9 o'clock was closeted with the League committee in the famous Parlor F. whose walls, could they speak, would reveal many base ball secrets.

Messrs. Spalding, Day and Byrne represented the League; Johnson, Talcott and Goodwin the Players' League, and Thurman, Barnie and Von der Ahe the American Association. The meeting organized by electing Mr. Thurman chairman and Mr. Byrne secretary. Mr. Thurman started the ball rolling by an eloquent speech, in which he demonstrated the absolute necessity of peace and a readjustment of the base ball business. He then, as a basis for reconstruction, proposed a consolidation of the existing three leagues into two stronger organizations. His scheme was to bunch the three leagues, leaving two clubs in Boston, Philadelphia, and perhaps Chicago, consolidate the duel clubs in New York, Brooklyn, Pittsburg, Cleveland and Chicago, and then regroup them into two organizations under new names; one organized to comprise Boston, new York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Pittsburg, Cleveland, Chicago and Cincinnati; the other to take in Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, or some other Eastern city, and Louisville, Chicago, Columbus and St. Louis.

… [a long discussion follows over the names of the two leagues, and a tentative agreement about locating the clubs, with two-club cities to work it out between themselves]

This was as far as the committee could go, as they had no power to bind their respective organizations to anything, the object of the meeting being merely to agree upon a general plan and report the same to their organizations for adoption or rejection and settlement of details. As neither the Players' League nor the American Association was fully or authoritatively represented, it was decided to defer any further consideration of the subject until the committees of those two organizations could confer with their respective bodies. Therefore it was decided to adjourn the conference until Oct. 22, at the Fifth Avenue Hotel. [A resolution follows where everyone agrees not to poach any players before Oct. 22.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

value of the minor league club

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

H. L. Hach and A. H. Griffin on Saturday afternoon purchased a two-thirds interest in the Minneapolis Western Association team for $10,400. Mr. Hach already owned on-third of the stopck, so he and Griffin are sole owners of the team. Mr. Griffin was formerly chief clerk in the sporting goods house of S. G. Morton & Co., and, while new in the business, is an amateur athlete of prominence and a good business man. Sam. G. Morton and Fred Glade, the retiring stockholders, have secured an option on the St. Paul franchise from J. M. Pottgieser, its present owner. The price at which the team is held is $10,000. If the St. Paul Street Railway Company will put in quick electrical or cable service from St. Paul to the West Side Park the offer will probably be accepted and the St. Paul grounds enlarged or good grounds may be secured on the east side of the river.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the value of privileges

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

The [Cincinnati] club receives from its score card and other privileges about $2000.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Cincinnati Club stock; ownership

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

[reporting of the closing of the sale of the Cincinnati Club] Vice President Talcott, when asked whether the stock would be retained by the present purchasers, said:-- “I consider it a good investment and will probably hold mine, at least for the present. Some of the stock, however, will be floated in Cincinnati. There are several gentlemen who are anxious to become interested. In fact, there are plenty of them. I am highly pleased with our prospects here.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush attends the NL meeting

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

President Brush, just before leaving Indianapolis to attend the League meeting in New York...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

foreshadowing the “hot stove” league

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

Another week or two of exhibition games, and fireside discussions of base ball will rule until next spring.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the new League standard contract

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

The new contract was drawn up by Col. John I. Rogers, at the request of the League. He made the draft early in the season, and copies were sent to Zach Phelps, of the American Association; to L. C. Krauthoff, of the Western Association; to ex-President A. G. Mills, and to several other distinguished lawyers, including Frederick Ullman, of Chicago. All except Mr. Phelps responded with very valuable suggestions, which were incorporated into the contract.

The most important changes may be summarized as follows:-- The reserve of the eighteenth paragraph is entirely stricken out, the paragraph giving the club, in clear, definite phraseology, the option to renew the contract for whatever number of years may be mutually agreed upon. The seventeenth paragraph containing the ten-days' clause is materially altered to the advantage of the player. After inserting a reason for the notice namely:-- “A lack of skill or playing ability below the standard requisite in a National League Club,” it limits the serving of the notice to the period of the playing season. A player under this form cannot be released between seasons without his consent. Another change in favor of the player is his right to appeal to the League directors against club fines and penalties. The clauses against dissipation and immorality are strengthened. [The text of the contract follows.]

While the reserve rule is no longer referred to in the contract, it does not follow that it will be stricken out of the National Agreement. In all probability it or its equivalent will always be, as heretofore, preserved as a necessity for the perpetuation of the game.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

double umpire system and player discipline

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

Another laudable innovation—the double-umpire system—proved a failure we regret to say, but not through any inherent fault of the system, which, under favorable conditions, we still believe to be the best possible method of satisfactorily conducting ball games. In the Players' League the conditions were not altogether favorable because, in the first place, the umpire were not well selected, of equal ability nor well paired; and, secondly, because the discipline in the ranks was lax, the means of enforcing discipline upon managers, captains, playing directors and other players, inadequate, and, finally, because the umpires, realizing the exceptional condition of affairs in the Players' League, had not the sand to rigidly exercise such authority as the rules conferred upon them, and were not properly backed up when they did occasionally venture to assert themselves. Under the circumstances, the double umpire system in the Players' League was undoubtedly a comparative failure and hardly warranted the great expense of maintaining it.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Pittsburgh Club finances 6

Date Saturday, October 11, 1890
Text

...Director O'Neil presented a statement of the club's financial condition during the time he has had it in charge. His statement showed that he had a good balance on the right side. Other statements showed that since June 13, this year, the club's debt has been reduced to the extent of $10,000. This has been done by money that the club has made and by assessments paid by the directors. The directors resolved to pay off all the club's debt by the 1 st of next April and to have $10,000 cash to start the season with. It is understood that this will be done by the stockholders contributing so much per month between now and April.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

pushback from within the PL to compromise

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

There are grumblings that threaten to break out with volcanic force at the meeting of the Players' League which will be held in the Fifth Avenue Hotel next Monday. All of the clubs are not satisfied with the present negotiations for consolidation. The dessentients claim, with considerable reason, that the gentlemen who represented the Players' League in the recent conference with the National League have exceeded the powers vested in them as a committee. Strong exceptions are being taken to the present proceedings.

These objections are not confined to the players, who are opposing the idea of playing in teams with the Brotherhood deserters, but they reach out among several of the most influential capitalists in the Players' league. They say they want a compromise, but that compromise must be one which will restore thorough harmony in base ball, and not one which will leave a rankling among three-fourths of the people who did lend their support to the national game during the season just finished. Under the latter conditions, they say, the situation would be just as bad as it will be if the war is continued until one league or the other is fought to a standstill.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

an objection to compromise

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

[quoting J. E. Wagner] What are the inducements offered? Absolutely nothing. It requires no mutual agreement to do away with the conflicting playing dates. Either side could have avoided that the past season had it been deemed advisable. We are not afraid of the League stealing any of our players for two years to come, because they all signed three-year contracts. A few exhibition games would be the only direct benefit of a compromise. I want it understood right here that the Philadelphia Players' Club does not propose to be forced into a circuit with Columbus, Louisville and St. Louis. Neither does the Boston Players' Club.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

purchase talks between the Pittsburgh clubs

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

The first meeting of the Players' and National League representatives here to form a combine resulted in a draw. President Nimick and J. Palmer O'Neill represented the League, and Wm. McCallin and Secretary Brunell embodied the authority of the Players' club. As the first step to a combine the National League representatives handed in a statement of assets to be paid for and [illegible] new concern. Among these assets were $7000 blown in on Rowe and White, a like amount on Dunlap, not one of whom is now in the club; also a round sum paid for men who are now with the Players' club. The Players demanded that the old League grounds and men and available assets only be considered, and the old League managers retorted with a long statement of what had been lost during the past season. A halt in negotiations was called here, and all handed decided to adjourn until Saturday, hoping to hear from the New York meeting in the meanwhile president O'Neill, of the Nationals, says that the only question that separates the clubs is one of price, and they will surely come to that at the next meeting. This has been definitely decided upon at a joint meeting of a committee from each club.

On Wednesday the Pittsburg Times said:-- “There is still a remote chance that Pittsburg's base ball clubs will be brought together. Presidents McCallin and Nimick and Director Kerr had an extended talk yesterday in the latter's office on Church street. The result of it was the belief expressed by Messrs. McCallin and Kerr that the matter had better be left to the New York meeting, Oct.22.

“It leaked out yesterday that the real price put upon the National League franchise, players and property, was $93,000, instead of $50,000, as at first reported. The sum did not stagger the Players' League people in the least, however, and they said the highest valuation they would put on everything was $10,000. This they would give the four owners of the National League club in stock, amounting to $2500 each in the Players' League club, in consideration of their withdrawal, should they make any settlement at all. The Players' League people still cling to the idea that, while peace is desired, they will not pay too high a price for what they consider a defunct organization.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

merger talks between the New York clubs

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

There was little trouble in reaching an agreement between the New York parties, and on Tuesday an understanding was arrived at by which the two clubs will be consolidated, unless the negotiations for peace now pending between the rival leagues fall through and the war breaks out with renewed virulence. On Tuesday Col. E. A. McAlpin, Edward B. Talcott, Frank B. Robinson and Postmaster Van Cott, the leading stockholders in the Players' League club, and John B. Day, of the National League club, met in the office of the Postmaster. The first question put to Mr. Day was:-- “Will you sell?” Mr. Day replied:-- “No; I'd rather go into business with you.” There was some talk over a basis for consolidation. The National League club is incorporated for $100,000, and most of the stock, it is understood, has been paid in. The Players' League club is incorporated for $20,000, but it is in debt to Messrs. McAlpin, Talcott, Van Cott and Robinson for grand stand, grounds, etc., about $80,000. It is probable that a consolidation, if there is one, will be reached on a basis of 50 per cent., each party taking $100,000 of a capital stock of $200,000, at which figure the reorganized club will be incorporated.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

player opposition to playing with jumpers

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

There seems to be a feeling that the New York Brotherhood players will refuse to play with Glasscock, Denny, Buckley, Bassett and others of the New York League team. Buck Ewing, however, has put himself on record as saying that he is perfectly willing to conform with the wishes of his backers. Buck as a great deal of influence with his fellow players, and if he advises them to do as he does there is little doubt that they will fall in line without much hesitation. The Sporting Life October 18, 1890, quoting the New York Herald

This feeling of the players was made evident to Al Johnson on Sunday. He had gone to Boston for the double purpose of attending the Bostons' benefit and explaining things to the backers of the Boston Club. Incidentally he also took the Boston and New York players into his confidence. Of this interview he says:-- “I called the players of both clubs into the Boston Club house and told them exactly what had been done. They objected strenuously to the idea of playing with the men who deserted the Brotherhood last winter, and were indignant at John Ward's expressed willingness to play with them. Julian B. Hart and General Dixwell were also present and heard what I had to say.” Mr. Johnson declined to say, however, whether any of the players had refused point blank to play with the deserters, although he admitted that Jim O'Rourke had made a pretty strong argument against any pardon of the deserters. It can be stated here that the Philadelphia players have expressed themselves in unmistakable language against any dicker with the jumpers. The Sporting Life October 18, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

League owners on the relationship between players and capitalists in the PL

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

[quoting Soden] Amalgamation is a question for the capitalists of both sides to decide now. The players have no more to say in the matter than you have. The capitalists of the new League have got them as completely under their thumbs as ever we had them in the old days. They are sick of throwing away money and they have learned that the players must be governed with a strong hand if good work is to be done. They are anxious for some form of a national agreement by which they can discipline their players. Brouthers, Radbourn, Kilroy, Kelly, Ryan and a lot of other players have been absent from their teams whenever they took a notion, and nothing was done about it. The Sporting Life October 18, 1890

[quoting Day] The players have nothing to say at all. They have not lost the money during the past season and consequently they have no interests at stake. The capitalists on both sides will do the negotiating. The players will have to do what they are told to do. If a player objects to playing with any men in the National League he will have to secure employment elsewhere. The market is overstocked with good men, and those having scruples will have to stand on one side. They'll be only too glad to play ball with anybody when the time comes. Sentiment cuts no figure in the present state of affairs. The Sporting Life October 18, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

excluding players sows seeds of discord between players and capitalists

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

[editorial matter] If consolidation fails the League will have injected in the Players' League the seed of discord. Where before all was trust and unity between the capitalists there will now be suspicion and contention, the players will probably never again have their former confidence in the integrity and sincerity of their partners—the capitalists—now that a disposition to “throw them down” has been revealed, and consequently their enthusiasm for and loyalty to the organization will be vastly affected and the tempter will find them even easier prey than heretofore. In other words, the Players' League has weakened its hold upon its own players and made it easy for the League to manipulate them should consolidation fail.

This is the exact situation the Players' League now finds itself in, consequent upon its dallying with League diplomacy, consequent upon its dallying with League diplomacy, but especially for weakly permitting itself to be cajoled into excluding the players from representation upon the conference committee. From a League standpoint this was a proper move, because that organization never has and probably never will recognize the right of the player to a share in the government of the organization. But for the Players' League, whose fundamental doctrine is “player's rights,” and whose very name is a synonym for this underlying principle, to refuse the player representation at the very first really important conference in the history of the organization was perfectly absurd; indeed, it was the crowning blunder of the season, and one from which the Players' League, if it shall survive the present contest of wit and cunning with the League, will suffer in future in many ways. The Sporting Life October 18, 1890

The old tragedy of the injustice of the mater, the revolt of the subject, the bitter struggle and the subsequent victory of the sovereign power has been re-enacted. And this time the field of sport, the base ball diamond, has been the battle ground. The Sporting Life October 18, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Athletics' property sold at sheriff's sale

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

The last act of the drama was played last Monday, when the teamless [Athletic] club was also deprived of a home, as the Sheriff sold the grand stand, the open seats and fences on the ground. The sheriff's sale was held under judgments obtained by the city for back rent amounting to $1201.51, and for a claim for lumber furnished by Walton & Co., amounting to $1435.66. Deputy Sheriff Algeo appraised the fences, building and fixtures on the ground at $765, but they only brought a trifle over $600.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stealing bats

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

In these degenerate days of base ball, if a player has a fine bat he had better put an iron anchor and a padlock to it. “Bat swiping” is considered legitimate, and nearly everybody in the profession is ready to nail a good bat every time there is a chance.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ewing's loyalty questioned

Date Saturday, October 18, 1890
Text

[from W. I. Harris's column] According to Tim Murnane, who seems to have joined the opposition to the compromise, Buck Ewing is very unpopular with the men with whom he has been associated all summer. Tim says in a recent article:-- “Ewing's loyalty to the Players' League has always been questionable, and few of the members of his team ever speak to him as they pass by.” And then Tim quotes a man whose name he does not give, but who, he says, is “a reliable member of the New York team.” This “reliable” says “his (Ewing's) mission this season has been to get John B. Day connected with our club, knowing as he did that it would be a victory for him.”

It doesn't take a divining rod to find out who this “reliable” is. Everybody knows who is the orator of the New York Players' team, and it is not necessary to name him. This little speech indicates why at least one of the men of the present Players' League team will not play under Ewing in 1891 if the amalgamation takes place. I do not know of a single man on the team who is not on speaking terms with Ewing, and I do not believe that there is one of them who will openly state that he will not speak to the great captain. There are several who are sore and who will rejoice at Buck's downfall. Buck knows who they are, but, with one exception, has no feeling about the matter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the conference committee collapses

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[reporting to aborted conference committee meeting of 10/21] At noon the National League and American Association members were in Parlor F in waiting for the Players' League delegates. Both committees were as before, Spalding, Day and Byrne for the League, and Thurman, Barnie and Von der Ahe for the American. Shortly after noon the original Players' League committee—Johnson, Talcott and Goodwin—made its appearance, reinforced by Ward, Hanlon and Irwin.

Then Chairman Thurman declined to call the meeting to order, stating that he was not chairman of a joint committee of twelve, but of nine representatives; that the National League, American Association and Players' League conference of Oct. 9 had been adjourned until Oct. 22, but that the presence of the players compelled him to refuse to act.

Finally Chairman Thurman suggested that the three players should retire temporarily so that the original committees could come together to consider the question of admitting the new members. The six Players' League men then retired from the room and went across the street to consider this proposition. After a fifteen-minutes' consultation they agreed upon a line of action and returned to the conference room. Mr. Johnson then stated that they had determined that perhaps it was best to convene as originally constituted, and then take up the question of new members. Messrs. Ward, Hanlon and Irwin then retired.

Immediately upon the retirement of these gentlemen Mr. Thurman called the conference to order. The minutes of the meeting of Oct. 9 were read, and the chairman thereupon read the communication above given and asked what action the meeting would take.

It was thereupon moved by Mr. Johnson and seconded by Mr. Talcott that inc ompliance with instruction from the Players' League their delegation to this conference be increased from three to six members by the addition to their delegation of John M. Ward, Ed. Hanlon and A. A. Irwin. A long discussion followed and during the heated part of the argument a motion was made to adjourn, but it was finally withdrawn. The vote was finally taken on Johnson's motion with the following result: [The three PL delegates for, the six NL and AA delegates against].

The chair then declared the motion lost, and the three delegates of the Players' League heretofore on the committee thereupon withdrew. On motion the committee adjourned subject to the call of the chair. The Sporting Life October 25, 1890

As was expected, the joint conference between the National League, American Association and Players' League committees did not take place on Wednesday, Oct. 22, because the two first-named committees refused to confer with the Players' League committee, to which three additional members had been added by the Players' League for its own protection. The objection of the National Agreement people was apparently based upon parliamentary grounds, but the real reason was that the additional Players' League members were ball players, with whom the League and Association people had previously announced their determination not to confer. The Sporting Life October 25, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the League working the PL capitalists

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

The National League is now upon a new tack to achieve its purpose of breaking down and swallowing up the Players' League. It appears that since Wednesday, when the joint committee was broken up by the refusal of the League and Association committees to confer with the ball players... the League magnates and their counselor, Allan W. Thurman, have been working upon individual capitalists of the Players' League, with a view to effecting a consolidation here and there and then breaking up the Players' League piecemeal. In this work the New York capitalists, who appear determined to quit, regardless of consequences to all others whom they induced to enter the business and stay therein, are apparently lending much valuable assistance, if the New York papers are to be believed. Evidently the Players' League is not yet out of danger from its own people. The Sporting Life October 25, 1890

...the danger to the Players' League is not yet over, because there is still an element of discord and dissatisfaction in the new League, while the old League presents an apparently united and still aggressive front. The National League realizes that it cannot now crush out the Players' League by force, and will henceforth exert all of its cunning and skill to effect by diplomacy what it failed to achieve by force. Balked in its first attempt to absorb the most desirable clubs of the Players' League and fashion the rest into a secondary and servile league, ti will, in all probability, now seek to accomplish in part what it failed to accomplish in entirety.

The news from New York to-day would indicate that the League people are already at work upon the new line of dismembering the Players' League piecemeal, and that they probably count upon the assistance of the New York Players' League contingent, which appear determined to carry its point of consolidation and force an issue regardless of consequences to the League as a whole. So the Players' League is not yet quite out of the hole into which it fell when it consented to enter into negotiations with the League upon a consolidation instead of a compromise basis, and it will have to keep a careful eye upon the situation and be prepared to meet new assaults, from time to time, in various and perhaps unexpected quarters. The Sporting Life October 25, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood comes out against consolidation

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[reporting the Brotherhood meeting 10/20 – 10/21] The general opinion also was that the new League should not have entered into conference with the National League on any other basis but that of compromise, which was a most elastic term, covering a wide range. Consolidation it was agreed should not have been considered at all, as that simply meant the wiping out of the Players' League and the substitution therefor of a new league, which would be the National League still, under another name, but the old conditions.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Brotherhood hints at accepting salary reductions

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[reporting the Brotherhood meeting 10/20 – 10/21] The discussion also brought out the fact that should, by any chance, next season be again unprofitable to the capitalists, it would by no means be impossible to make some arrangement whereby the players would share the burden with the capitalists; at least, that was the sentiment of every delegate present, all of whom, however, felt sanguine that, war or no war, next season would find the Players' League on top and safely established.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

players added to the PL conference committee

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[reporting on the PL special meeting 10/21] The first business was the reception of the report of the conference committee. … When the committee had finished its report Mr. Addison, of Chicago, opened the battle by moving “that the report of the committee bet accepted and the committee be continued with the addition of three player-stockholders thereto.” This motion was seconded and then debate upon it began.

Colonel McAlpin called Mr. Addition to the chair and took the floor. He spoke for half an hour, mainly in opposition to Mr. Addison's resolution. The gist of his remarks was that, owing to the deplorable condition of base ball, it was essential that some arrangement should be made for its perpetuation by means of an agreement with the other antagonistic base ball leagues. He contended that this was a critical period in the negotiations and that any step which would lead to a cessation of the negotiations should be carefully considered. He believed that a change of the committee at this period, and against the known position of the other conferees on this point, would be injudicious and perhaps fatal. He then reviewed the condition of the Players' League as he saw it, and plainly intimated that the capitalists should, in justice to themselves and the players, protect their interests without regard to sentiment. Colonel McAlpin's address was eloquent, his words well chosen and the views expressed conservative to a degree. He plainly showed though that New York was opposed to the addition of a player to the committee or to any breaking off of consolidation negotiations.

[Ward's argument] “Gentlemen, do I understand that it is a crime to be a ball player? On the committee appointed by the League and Association you will find the name of A. G. Spalding and William Barnie, both retired ball players. Are they any better than the men who take active part in the game? I am a stockholder of the Brooklyn Club, and have the right to protect her interest. I claim that it is ability, and the fact that a man is an honest player, that should entitle him to a place on any board looking to the advancement of the national game. I consider it an insult to the Players' League and hope they will so consider it.”

With these speeches the debate closed, the opposition to the Addison resolution having been confined to the New York Club, which stood alone. When the motion was put to vote it was carried almost unanimously, and Messrs. Ward, Hanlon and Irwin were named as the additional members of the committee. The Sporting Life October 25, 1890

the PL on consolidation versus compromise

[reporting on the PL special meeting 10/21] Mr. Linton then moved “that the committee be instructed to confine its deliberations in the joint conference committee to an effort to compromise and not consolidate.”

Mr. Addition moved to amend, “except when it was found to be for the best interests of base ball to consolidate.”

Mr. Addition's amendment provoked quite a lengthy discussion, which was finally settled by Ward's amendment, who moved to strike out “for the good of base ball” and substitute “for the good of the Players' League.” This was adopted almost unanimously. The Sporting Life October 25, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a benefit game for Sharsig

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

The game netted Sharsig quite a neat sum, and will give him another start in life. It is worth noting that neither Whittaker, Pennypacker or any other ex-Athletic official, except Director Mink, put in an appearance or even purchased a ticket.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

“American League” floated as the name of a combined league

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[from C. F. Holcomb's column] How would “American League” do for the consolidated name? I have not seen it mentioned.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on players' rights

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] The leading men in the players' ranks of the new League are making a great mistake, too, in their efforts to prevent a compromise between the rival capitalists, except on a basis which recognizes certain alleged rights of theirs which they claim are inalienable. The players should remember that they have had their innings this season and it has been a profitable one to nearly all of them, but only at the cost of the capitalists on both sides.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Ewing brings New York capitalists together

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] I am glad to see that one man of the old New York team of 1889 has had the manliness to offset his action in aiding the revolt of 1889 by a commendable effort to make some sort of show in grateful acknowledgment of his indebtedness to Mr. John B. Day for the years of kind consideration shown him. Buck Ewing's conduct in trying to bring the two capitalists of the rival league clubs of New York together condones much of his action against Mr. Day last winter. Moreover, Ewing shows more judgment in taking the retrograde steps he has recently than he has been given credit for. He is intelligent enough to see that the Players' League experiment is a dead failure, and that persistence in the revolt would be a financial blunder of the worst kind. It requires a great amount of moral courage to bravely acknowledge an error of judgment, and, if I mistake not, Ewing is showing considerable courage in this way at present.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

collegiate money sport

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column] Base ball evidently is the best paying sport in vogue in the colleges at which gate money is charged. Witness the receipts of the Yale base ball club for the season of 1890—of only three months' duration. The treasurer reports the receipts for Yale for this past season at $12,302, and expenses, 8968—rather high I should say—leaving a balance on the right side of $3334. This beats the receipts of all the other sports, at Yale, not excepting foot ball.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

proposed rule a foul tip a strike

Date Saturday, October 25, 1890
Text

[from Chadwick's column][from a letter from W. A. Wilson of Indianapolis] Formerly the foul tip caught off the bat was “out.” An injustice to the batsman. Now this play is “not out,” but simply “foul.” This seems just to the pitcher since the batter has failed to turn the ball from its course. A fair compromise would be to call a foul tip caught off the bat a “strike,” thus giving the pitcher credit for his skill in deceiving the batter, and yet not depriving the batter of his time at bat. This would also do away with close decisions between strikes and fouls.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore club ownership, reorganization

Date Saturday, November 1, 1890
Text

The Baltimore Base Ball and Exhibition Company was incorporated Oct. 27, by Harry R. Vonderhorst, William Barnie, John W. Waltz, William Belt and Herman Vonderhorst, for the purpose of conducting the industry of professional base ball playing, and giving, creating, and maintaining exhibitions of the game of base ball. The capital stock is placed at $6000.

The new men in the concern are William Belt, a well-known malster, and Herman Vonderhorst, a nephew of the present president. A meeting will shortly be held and reorganization follow. It is hinted that the new company will eventually be turned into a stock company. President Vonderhorst is the only one at present putting up any money, and in his own language “he is tired.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

New York Club ownership 3

Date Saturday, November 1, 1890
Text

A story going the rounds throws a little light on the New York situation. It appears that John B. Day has been gradually losing his grip on the control of the New York National League Club until, at the present time, he owns barely one-fifth of the stock. The other reputed stockholders are Soden, Billings and Conant, of Boston; Abell, of Brooklyn; Brush, of Indianapolis, and the Spaldings. Down deep in his heart, it is said, Day cherishes no deep affection for some of these gentlemen. A little over a year ago his relations with the Brooklyn and Chicago clubs were certainly not fraternal. If Mr. Day could consolidate the two New York clubs with a capital stock of $200,000, each of the present clubs taking half the stock, he would be able, by forming an alliance with Talcott, McAlpin, Van Cott and Robinson, to hold control of the reconstructed organization, and in the future nothing would be impossible for the majority of the stockholders., quoting the New York World

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

talk of club consolidations

Date Saturday, November 1, 1890
Text

[from W. I. Harris's column] Since the failure of the conference committee which it was thought, by those who engineered that failure, would end all negotiations, there have been no less than four conference between the individual capitalists representing the four cities I have named [Chicago, New York, Brooklyn, and Cleveland], and for all anyone really knows to the contrary there may have been twenty such meetings. And everything goes to show that some plan of action was agreed upon. Certainly these men did not get together merely for the pleasure of getting better acquainted. The closeness with which they have kept their own counsel as to what took place at these meetings is an indication that their conferences were fruitful. Had nothing serious come of the various conferences we would have had twenty versions of them, in which each narrator would have sought to give his side the best position before the public. Besides this it really looks as if part of the deal had been perfected. And by that I mean that appearances indicate that the two New York clubs have actually consolidated. The Sporting Life November 1, 1890

[from W. I. Harris's column] Over in Brooklyn affairs are in an advanced state of progress toward one club. A week ago there were but two directors, not counting Mr. Wirth, who holds but one share of stock, or something like it, in order to enable him to be a director, who were in favor of amalgamation, but now it is said that all but Mr. Ward have been talked into the scheme. There was a meeting of the directors yesterday [10/29] and a committee wa appointed to meet with Mr. Byrne and see what plans could be agreed upon. Mr. Ward was not present at the meeting. It is said that he did not get the notice in time to be there. Another story is that Mr. Ward was so disgusted with the turn affairs have taken that he remained away as a silent protest against the plan which he was powerless to prevent, and as an indication to his fellow players that he had nothing to do with the deals now in progress. This latter story is more apt to be the true one. The Sporting Life November 1, 1890

The impression gained from conversation with the gentlemen [PL Brooklyn Club directors] was that they would be willing to consolidate with the National League Club on a 50 per cent. basis, equal capitalization, play one year at Washington Park and thereafter at Eastern Park, provided satisfactory terms could be made in other cities where there are two clubs. No Players' League club would be “thrown down” by the Brooklyn organization. They would not stand by any obstinate or unreasonable club in their league, but would be a party to no combination which failed to consider the interests of a club that had tried honestly to settle the war. The Sporting Life November 1, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

how the Players' League committee was formed

Date Saturday, November 1, 1890
Text

[quoting Spalding] Upon my return from Europe, together with Mr. Day, I had an informal talk with three gentlemen connected with the Players League—Messrs. Talcott, Goodwin and Johnson. These gentlemen were anxious for a cessation of hostilities, and in an informal talk confessed that they had lost about all the money they cared to sink in base ball. Mr. Talcott asked me what I thought could be done. I told him that it was my opinion that if the backers of both organizations could get together without outside influences of any kind they might be able to bring order out of chaos that would be satisfactory all around. Mr. Talcott replied that inasmuch as in the Players' League certain players were also stockholders, they wanted representation on any conference committee that was appointed.

To this I replied that the League would never meet a committee of any kind upon which there was a member of the Brotherhood. It did not object to a ball players, but would never countenance the secret organization that for two years had worked to undermine and wreck it. The Players' League people then said they would like to have Mr. Ward on the committee anyway. I replied that I had the highest regard for Mr. Ward as a man and a ball player, but that the League could never meet the president of the Brotherhood in any capacity whatever. Furthermore I did not think Mr. Ward would care to sit in such a committee. I considered him too fair-minded a man not to be willing to permit the men who had lost their money in the Players' League to determine upon their own plan to get it back. Upon this point Mr. Goodwin, Mr. Talcott and Mr. Johnson all agree with me. They left to form their committee, and securing telegraphic consent from all the Players' League clubs to go ahead, President McAlpin named Johnson, Talcott and Goodwin as its members. In the meantime Mr. Day and myself had a hard time in getting the National League to appoint a committee to meet the gentlemen, and it was only after seven hours' hard work that we succeeded. We did not dictate the Players' committee, but appointed ours only after theirs had been official announced.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Brush a “League magnate”

Date Saturday, November 1, 1890
Text

That smooth and diplomatic League magnate, John T. Brush, returned to Indianapolis from the New York meeting...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

James Hart Spalding's private secretary 2

Date Saturday, November 1, 1890
Text

Jim Hart, the noted ex-manager, now A. G. Spalding's private secretary...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

a retrospective on the introduction of the chest protector

Date Saturday, November 1, 1890
Text

This most useful piece of base ball paraphernalia had a hard time getting a foothold. The catchers were slow in adopting it, and the spectators at first guyed it as baby-play. Clements, the great catcher of the Philadelphia League team, was the first to wear a catcher's protector in a game before a Cincinnati crowd. He was then back-stopping Jersey Bakely [sic] with the Keystone Unions, of Philadelphia, in 1884. Considerable fun was made of the protector, and the writer distinctly remembers that it was made the subject of adverse newspaper comment by one of the best base ball authorities in America. Now it is different. A catcher's protector is of as much importance to a back stop as are his mask and gloves. In other days a visitor to the dressing room of a ball team when the players were getting ready for a game did not need to ask who were the catchers. He could tell them by the black and blue spots that appeared on various parts of their anatomy, the result of hard thumps from unruly foul tips. The protector, mask and padded gloves have made the life of a catcher a bed of roses to what it used to be. The Sporting Life November 1, 1890, quoting the Cincinnati Enquirer. [N.B. No comment appears in the game accounts in the Enquirer or Commercial.]

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

tension in the New York PL club; relitigating the schedule conflict; finances

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

...Mr. Talcott was particularly cut up over an interview with John Ward that appeared in a morning paper in which the popular short stop was made to say that Mr. Talcott was a weakener and had seriously injured the Players' League.

“Patience ceases to be a virtue now,” said Mr. Talcott to a Herald reporter. “I don't propose to have Mr. Ward or anybody else criticise my business methods, nor shall I allow Mr. Ward to tell me how my financial interest must be managed. I am looking out for the interests of base ball in New York, and no one can dictate to me.

“Mr. Ward says that when the different clubs in the Players' League wanted to change the schedule last summer I fought them for all I was worth. That's right. I did oppose that plan, because it would have killed the Players' League. To have changed our dates then would have been showing the white feather, but the situation is different now. The fight cannot go an another year, for base ball will become a dead sport. Ward can say what he likes, but it will not alter matters with us a particle.

“Another thing that has riled me a trifle is this continued kicking and howling on the part of Ward that he has as much right to negotiate with the National League as I or any of my partners have. Wards owns ten shares of stock in the New York Club and ten in the Brooklyn Club, amounting in all to about $2000. He received a salary of $5000 from the Brooklyn Club this season, which makes him $3000 to the good. All this time I have been putting up $3000 a month to keep the New York Club on its feet. So have Messrs. Van Cott, Robinson, McAlpin and others. We have received nothing in return except high-priced ball playing. What right has Mr. Ward to talk about being out of pocket?

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Indianapolis franchise purchase note still outstanding

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

The Meredian National Bank of Indianapolis October 29 entered suit against W. A. Nimick, of the Pittsburg League, to recover $548.02, a balance claimed to be due on a note. The note was for $800, and was made March 21, 1890, by W. A. Nimick, president of the Allegheny Base Ball Club, to N. E. Young, agent, who transferred it to the bank. The note matured in four months, but $548.02 of the amount is still unpaid.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

negotiations to consolidate clubs stalled

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

With the close of the present week and within a few days of the annual meetings of the big leagues the prospect for a general consolidation of the two big leagues is effectually blighted and it would be pretty safe to predict that not more than one or two—if any—Players' League clubs will be absorbed by the National League. This is certainly due to the fact that the National League, instead of meeting its rivals fairly, has been trying to get the best of the deal, everywhere except in New York, where it had so much to gain and so little to lose by consolidating that it was absolutely essential to success to make a show of fairness. In Philadelphia there have been no approaches to a conference; in Boston the triumvirs are calmly waiting for such a turn of affairs as will throw the Players' League Club upon their mercy; in Cleveland the League people have made conditions that Mr. Johnson cannot [illegible]. … ...words, the League is apparently sure of consolidation in Brooklyn and New York, and, having secure that, is confident that it will break the Players' League and force all of the remaining clubs to sacrifice themselves.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Players' League divided

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

Excuses and explanations by the dozen will not alter the glaring fact that these individual negotiations, immediately after the conference had been broken off...were directly responsible for the present deplorable situation of the Players' League. These individual negotiations defied and nullified the action of the Players' League; gave notice to the world and the enemy that the organization was divided against itself, and that it contained an element which would rule or ruin; exposed its weakness to the very party from which it should have been studiously concealed; put the Players' League clubs individually in the position of mendicants; made it difficult to meet bluff for bluff; depreciated the value of every franchise in the Players' League; and made it impossible for all of the Players' League clubs to treat with their League rivals upon even footing, or to exact an equitable settlement.

This is a heavy indictment, and yet a calm, unprejudiced survey of the situation will convince any fair-minded person that it has not been overdrawn in the least, and that these conditions confront the Players' League to-day as the direct, though perhaps unlooked-for, result of the reopening of unauthorized consolidation negotiations by the capitalist members of the Players' League Committee upon their own responsibility.

If anything of real value to base ball or towards a mutually satisfactory clearing up of the situation had been accomplished the end would perhaps have justified the means. But so far from achieving their object the few Players' League capitalists bent upon consolidation have actually defeated it. Had they accepted the decision of their organization and held hands off it is pretty certain that the League would in time have ceased bluffing, as it always does when bluff fails to work, reopened negotiations through the proper channel and with the regularly organized committees, and then the Players' League would have had the advantage of an equal footing, and been able to make satisfactory terms for all of its members. But the consolidationists manifested as little diplomacy here as they did in their dealings with the League when they showed their entire hand to the old magnates and in return got so little of a peep at the latter's hand, that while the League knew the exact conditions of affairs in the Players' League the latter has nothing but mere surmises as to the real situation in the League. They rushed in where angels would have feared to tread, showed their condition so plainly, their desire for consolidation and disregard for other considerations so completely...

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

only New York and Brooklyn PL clubs want to consolidate

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

[quoting Ward] I want to say right here that there is just one club and a half in favor of consolidation. The New York Players' League capitalists to a man, for some reason or other, are anxious to consolidate with John B. Day. Half the Brooklyn directors want to join forces with Byrne, and the other half want to continue the fight. This talk about the clubs in Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburg and other cities wanting to combine is all nonsense. The Players' League clubs in those cities are satisfied with their present position and are not anxious to treat with their National League rivals. The Players' League had the call when the season closed, but the ridiculous and needless weakening by the local backers has placed it in an embarrassing position, while the National League magnates have been benefited. If they claim that the players should not be considered, why don't they come and tell us so instead of running round on the quiet and talking peace with the National League men? When they started in with this fight they knew very well what to expect and they have no right to squeal now.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

profit sharing likely to be abolished in the PL

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

[discussing the upcoming PL annual meeting] The clauses relating to prize moneys, equal division of profits, salries dependent upon gate receipts, etc., will probably be stricken from the constitution, so that in the future the stockholders will take all risks of losing money and the players be guaranteed their salaries in full, no matter what the receipts are. Under this system the capitalists take all the chances of losses and profits and the players get a sure thing, and are relieved of financial worriment to the betterment of their professional work.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Baltimore Club ownership 4

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

Vonderhorst is now in law what he has hitherto been only in reputation, the real, and practically the sole owner, of the Baltimore Club, and Barnie, with his one share of stock, is merely a salaried employee.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Al Wright and using percentages for championship

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

Al Wright, the veteran base ball reporters, now with a New York weekly publication, is credited with being the first to propose the percentage system in deciding championships and also with the invention of the checkerboard arrangement now used weekly in all the leading papers to show the progress of the championship race.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

cross-handed batters

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

Men who bat left hand over the right are very scarce nowadays. Ezra Sutton was the best of all , with Chub Sullivan close behind. Sutton, however, left off batting cross-handed about ten years ago. McPhee used to bat in the same way until 1882, when Snyder broke him off the habit. Many players bat up fungo in the cross-handed style, Burdock, for instance, and he is a wonderful fungo hitter. Clements is a left-handed, cross-handed hitter.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

judgments against the Athletics for back salary

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

Judgments were entered in Philadelphia last Saturday against the Athletic Base Ball Club in the suits against it by five of their players, for want of an affidavit of defense. The judgments were awarded to John O'Brien for $351.59; William A. Purcell, $376.28; George Shafer, $157.44; Joseph Kappel, $278.76; John McMahon, $483.34. These sums represent the amount of the claims of the players with interest.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

McAlpin on the good of the game

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

[from W. I. Harris's column] In a recent conversation with me President McAlpin explained his position pretty thoroughly. I will not attempt to quote him word for word, but what he said amounted substantially to this. There is no man more anxious to do the fair thing by the players than he is, but there is something of more importance than they are and that is the national game itself. He cares more about the perpetuation of base ball as our national game then he does about the money he has lost. He argues that we do not know what the style of hats and coats may be a year hence. Another year of strife might kill the public interest in base ball altogether, and the people may adopt something else in its stead. I want to take the wisest course towards the restoration of public interest in the game. I do not think that a continuance of the fight will do anything towards that, but if it is necessary to go on against experience and reason, then everybody interested should shoulder his share of the general burden that will be the inevitable result.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Chadwick on scoring earned runs and stolen bases

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

In regard to the record of runs earned off the pitching and those earned off the pitching and fielding combined, the rules should make [illegible] distinction, and the record of earned [illegible] limited to those off the pitching also. For instance, suppose the batsman leads off with a safe single, and steals second and third, and he is then sent home by a sacrifice fly ball to the deep outfield. Under the existing code this is recorded as an earned run, though only a single base hit has been made off the pitching. I established earned runs in my scoring record over twenty years ago, and did it for the purpose of obtaining a fair criterion of a pitcher's skill, based on the record of runs earned off his pitching by base hits, and by such hits only as are made before he has given the field a chance to put the side out. If the pitcher delivers three balls to the bat,a which successively afford three plain chances to put the side out, and the field fails to accept such chances, and then base hits are made off his pitching no runs can be charged to him as earned off his pitching, no matter if home runs are afterwards made; yet the existing code charges him with earned runs if earned runs are made solely by base-running unaided by but a single hit or a sacrifice. This is unjust to the pitcher, as the fault lies with the catcher's inability to throw well to base, or to the base player who fails to accept chances to put out runners properly.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

indoor baseball 8

Date Saturday, November 8, 1890
Text

Indoor base ball is becoming quite popular all over the country, but strange to say, has not yet affected Philadelphia. Chicago has many clubs, and the sport is rapidly gaining there. Winter base ball was invented by George W. Hancock and Augustus J. White, of the Farragut Boat Club of Chicago, in the year 1887, and has become a favorite amusement in the East. The game can be played in any form which allows the necessary space for the bases. It is played with a large soft ball, and a bat which resembles a billiard cue, being 2 ft. and 9 in. long and 1¼ in. in diameter. The four bases are 1½ ft. square. There are nineteen rules which govern the game as follows:

1—The pitcher's box shall be six feet long by three feet wide, and twenty-two feet from home base. 2—The bases shall be twenty-seven feet apart. 3—Eight or nine men may play on a side. 4—Only shoes with rubber soles can be sued. 5—Only straight arm pitching will be allowed. 6—A batted ball inside of foul line is fair. 7—A batter ball outside of foul line shall be foul. 8—Third strike caught is out. 9—A foul tip or fly caught is out. 10—Four unfairly pitched balls gives striker first base. 11—A pitched ball striking the batter is a dead ball, but does not give base. 12—A base-runner must not leave his base when the ball is in the pitcher's hand. 13—A runner must not leave his base on a ball not struck, until it has reached or passed the catcher. 14—A batted ball caught in rebounding from a wall is not out. 15—In over-runner first base the runner may turn back either way. 16—If a batter purposely kicked a ball he has batted he is out. 17—If a ball rebounds and strikes batter he is not out. 18—The game shall be judged by two umpires. The first will stand in the centre field and give judgments on the second and third bases. The other shall stand behind the catcher and just all points of the game. The two will change places at the end of every inning. They must not be members of either club in the game. 19—The umpires shall be sole judges of the game.

Indoor base ball was tried in Philadelphia in the State Fair building. It was not a success. Possibly some share of the want of success may be attributed to mismanagement and the inaccessibility of the building. Whether the game will spread or remain one peculiar to Chicago is a hard nut to crack. But it certainly has possibilities, although in many ways still crude. Time may evolve a great deal more than people imagine out of this latest variation of the national sport.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

stalled negotiations; status of the Cincinnati Club; proposed six-team PL

Date Saturday, November 15, 1890
Text

The Players' League people now regret having been wheedled by their New York “friends” into another conference with the National League. They claim that the latter has shown no disposition to do the square thing by all of the clubs, and that, having secured Chicago with the aid of the New York Players' League people, they are now only playing their cards to secure the controlling interest in the Cincinnati Club, and then the rest of the Players' League clubs will not be considered at all and no settlement made with them, despite the assurances of the New York people to that effect.

The Brooklyn League people are said to have endeavored to squeeze the Brooklyn Players' League men, in the belief that they had the Players' League where they wanted it. This has drawn the Brooklyn Club into line against consolidation. Philadelphia and Cleveland also claim to have little prospect of fair treatment. Several meetings of these club representatives have been held and the result is that they have come to the conclusion to maintain the Players' League at all hazards.

A Players' magnate stated this morning that he and his fellow delegates had come to the conclusion that they could not expect decent treatment from the League, and that the Players' League would be maintained as a six-club league, made up of the best players—Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Washington and Cincinnati, the control of the latter club resting with the four clubs first named. In conclusion Mr. Wagner said:-- “No more business with the National League for us. My only regret is that we did not stick to that resolution at Pittsburg and save Chicago.” The Sporting Life November 15, 1890

The National League has its rival, the Players' League, badly beaten. To effect the complete demolition of the younger base ball organization it is only necessary for the old magnates to secure a controlling interest in the stock of the Cincinnati Club now held by the Players' League syndicate. The capital stock of this club is $40,000. The National League has practically absorbed the New York and Chicago Players League clubs, each of which owns $7500 in the Cincinnati Club. To attain its end there are two ways open to the National League. The first is to make terms with the Brooklyn Players' League Club, which also holds $7500 of Cincinnati stock, and the second is to satiate A. L. Johnson, of Cleveland, who possesses a similar amount. The only hope of the Boston and Philadelphia Players' clubs is that neither of the deal can be made. The Sporting Life November 15, 1890

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Spalding buys out the PL Chicago Club

Date Saturday, November 15, 1890
Text

President A. G. Spalding, of Chicago, put at rest all doubt as to the future of his immediate rival by closing a deal yesterday morning [11/13] for the purchase of the Chicago Players' League Club. The negotiations were begun in Pittsburg by ex-President McAlpin and Mr. Addison, and were concluded yesterday morning by wire, F. G. Robinson, of the New York Club, acting as intermediary. The minor details of the deal are, of course, to be settled later, but the price has been accepted. It is said to be $20,000. The Sporting Life November 15, 1890

President Addison, of the local [Chicago] Players' League, got home from Pittsburg yesterday [11/13] . He said that he had sold the club to the National League people for $25,000 in cash and $15,000 in stock, the negotiations having been conducted through J. Palmer O'Neill and ex-President McAlpin, of the New York Players' Club. The Sporting Life November 15, 1890

[reporting the PL meeting 11/12] Addison, of Chicago, claimed to be a much-disgusted man over the turn affairs had taken and stated that he would now look out for himself and have nothing more to do with the Players' League, whose capitalists could be turned from a well-defined and settled purpose in an hour and lured into another conference with the enemy, which could only result in more “throw-downs” for somebody. He declined to go East and left for Chicago in the afternoon with a view to accepting the terms Spalding had offered him through Col. McAlpin. The Sporting Life November 15, 1890

[reporting the NL meeting of 11/12] While the League was in session a dispatch from Col. McAlpin at Pittsburg, it is said, was received by A. G. Spalding stating that the Chicago Players' League Club could be bought outright for $25,000. Mr. Spalding informed the meeting that he would give $15,000 toward such a purchase. The Boston people agreed to pay their share of the balance if the other League clubs did likewise. It was stated after the meeting that the League had decided to break up the Players' League, to buy out Chicago and Cleveland, force Philadelphia into the American Association and strand the Boston Club. The Sporting Life November 15, 1890

The Chicago deal was completed last Saturday and the club will be turned over to Mr. Spalding by Mr. Addison. For some reason no injunction was issued by Secretary Brunell, of the Players' League, although he had been ordered so to do by President Prince. Recourse to the law is, however, still open to the Players' League, it is claimed, should the latter decide to go on, an most improbable contingency. … Twenty-five thousand dollars in cash is the amount to be handed over to Addison and his partners for everything in sight and for their withdrawal from the base ball business. He was also given, it is authentically stated, $15,000 worth of stock in the new club at New York. The gift of the New York stock to Addison is practically a settlement with Spalding, for Spalding and his brother own all the League end of the New York reconstructed club. The Sporting Life November 29, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

the Athletic Club bankrupt

Date Saturday, November 15, 1890
Text

A bill in equity was yesterday [11/13] filed in Common Pleas Court No. 3, by lawyer Joseph Baringer, on behalf of Joseph J. Snellenburg, Thomas A. Mink and Richard J. Lennon, against the Athletic Base Ball Club, asking that a receiver might be appointed for that corporation. The plaintiffs state that they are stockholders of the club, which is insolvent, judgments having been entered against it in the courts and executions issued upon them, the creditors threatening to sell the property of the club.

The plaintiffs claim that if this should be done it would be at a great sacrifice, the sale being detrimental and injurious to both the creditors and the stockholders. They therefore asked the Court that an injunction be issued restraining the club from exercising their corporation rights, and also that the Court appoint a receiver to take charge of the property. Judge Finletter granted a preliminary injunction in the case.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger

Sterne's assessment of the Cincinnati Club sale and PL prospects

Date Saturday, November 15, 1890
Text

[from an interview of Harry Sterne] “The League has won the battle,” said he, “and I am honestly glad of it. The purchase of the Cincinnati Club actually broke the Brotherhood. They had to rake and scrape to raise the money, and if it had not been used here might have formed a fund to keep up the fight. I hope the League intends to do nothing rash. It looks as if the plan was to expel Cincinnati. We did not resign, for the simple reason that we had nothing to resign. To all intents and purposes Cincinnati's League franchise is in other hands, and if the purchasers of our stock violated League law they are responsible. Mr. Byrne advised me to grab at the chance to sell if the money was really offered, and I think a majority of either League or Brotherhood managers would have done the same thing had the opportunity presented itself. We have been called traitors. It is an unfair attack. With the same reason the charge could be made today against the sensible men in the Players' League who are now being applauded by all who love the game.

Source ” The Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
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