Clipping:Brunell's account of the conference committee

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Date Saturday, December 6, 1890

[from Brunell's column] ...Upon the first meeting of the two conference, or confidence, committees hinged the fate of the Players' National League. The conference was a mistake. How fatal a one we all know now. We had been most successful as fighters, not diplomats, although we got the best of all diplomatic moves during the spring. But fighting was our game. When I declare that the New York party, which threw us down, drew the Players' League trickily, irregularly and under false pretenses into that conference you will be surprised, or rather y7our readers will, for you know the game. ..

… The proposition Johnson had in mind was a consolidation of the Brooklyn and Cincinnati interests so that the two Brooklyn clubs could own the amalgamated Brooklyn clubs and the Cincinnati Club too, they to assume the $20,000 worth of notes given by our people for that latter organization. The scheme was a fairly pretty one and might have worked if another scheme hadn't met and collided it to death.

...a telegram, signed E. A. McAlpin, was shown me by one of our clubs. It asked for permission to appoint a conference committee, and an affirmative answer had been sent. I wired Johnson and McAlpin both, begging them not to confer. No answer came. I went on with my work in the West and prayed for the best, but knowing in my heart that the “dinky dink” was a work. Then came the meeting between six competent men on one side, and three men, two of whom were incompetent, on the other. Mr. Talcott was incompetent because dead-set for compromise, and Mr. Goodwin because he had no knowledge of his men or experience with his subject and had virtually been “fixed” by Mr. Talcott. The confidence committee agreed on a truce, which really recognized the reserve rule. During the truce the League fixed its men, and I went into the minor leagues and signed three or four pitchers that were needed. After this history is open and straight, except upon the point of how that conference, or confidence, committee was appointed. When we met at Pittsburg Colonel McAlpin told me he never appointed it, but that Mr. Talcott had used his name and appointed the committee himself. Later, and in our meeting, Colonel McAlpin went into detail and declared that while at Sing Sing, N.Y., burying a relative, Mr. Talcott had appointed the committee and that the first thing he knew of its existence came to him through the newspapers. Of course, the committee was illegal; the constitution allows no such bodies so to be appointed. On Colonel McAlpin's statement, it was fraudulent.

But it seems that Col. McAlpin overlooked one thing. That was a telegram sent to E. B. Talcott from Sing Sing, N.Y., authorizing the appointment of that committee. a. L. Johnson saw the telegram, but Mr. Talcott chose the members of the committee and saw to it that a majority favored the so-called consolidation scheme. He himself had been figuring with A. W. Thurman for some time, and the New York terms had virtually been fixed. Col. McAlpin's talk about three clubs having dickered before his own is based on false information and shows that the League was spreading such information to breed distrust and lead to club fixing and not League settlement. But let us drift back to Johnson and his mission East for a moment or two. After a conference with Byrne, who knew what was going on in our New York party, Johnson was steered into the consolidation game and appointed a member of the confidence committee. While we were working in the West on one scheme another wing was on another lay in the East. A pretty organization that t5o win over an alert and smoothly working enemy.

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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