Clipping:Claims that Buck Ewing is a PL traitor

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Date Saturday, November 29, 1890

[from an article by Frank Brunell] I said above that the Players' National League had fallen—for what's the use of declaring that it's on its feet—because of a lot of foolishness and a little treachery inspired by one man. That's how it looks to me. And the one man is William E. Ewing. Ask the players who were in this League of ours to stay and fight and make sacrifices, what they think of what I think. I have an idea that there'll be a few who are with me. Buck went into the move as he went in. you know how that was. He had a guaranteed contract, and the League organ's “Buck can't lose” wasn't far out of the way. That's all right. It was the New York Club's business—and Buck's and Buck knew his. The interest didn't hold up and we didn't get all the people. As the thing stands now, this may as well be admitted, though perhaps it's poor policy. Policy! Ugh! When I hear the word the long spectre of a year's “policy” flashes past my eyes and is only effaced by the balmy whisper:-- “You wove fewer romances than the other fellows.”

But let's to Buck. When the interest flagged Buck found the dear public neglecting him and thought of the future and the game's place in it, as affecting Mr. Ewing, of Cincinnati, O. He grew despondent. His feeling for John B. Day took its place by the side of his despondency and suspicions. John B. followed on, and with him Anson & Co. they talked Buck into the “fixing” mood, and he fixed Mr. Talcott. Once “fixed” Mr. Talcott rushed into it as stock brokers unload unprofitable stocks, and compromise, consolidation or absorption with a “throw down” attachment were all overlooked by him in the one grand effort to “fix.” It's “fixed,” too. But what a botch. Buck ran into me in June, soon after Day and Anson had visited him outside the Polo Grounds. He was despondent then and anxious to have the “fixing” begun. I had too much faith in Mr. Talcott then and too much belief in Buck to think that either would do anything against our organization, willingly or otherwise. But I now know, or think I do, that Mr. Talcott got Buck's word-picture of the situation as I got it and from it come the seeds of the present dilapidated “fixture”

Buck kept on the path he had chosen. In July Roger Connor and he quarreled in Buffalo over some discouraging talk Buck had made to the New York players, and from that time on he was under suspicion. July 27 he made a deal for him and Mike Kelly to meet Anson at Youngstown. Kelly came ahead of his team to Cleveland from Chicago, but showed Anson's dispatch to Johnson and didn't meet him. Without Kel Ewing didn't go either. He was watched on the train. Anson, if he went to Youngstown, had his trip for nothing. The purpose was to get Kelly and Ewing to jump for so much and guarantee that they would be protected in every way. There was uncertannty all around until the conference game came up, and no one suspected even how that was wound in with the original.

Side plots of this kind were going on the whole season. Anson made a similar break at “Cub” Stricker in the East, and within two weeks a local newspaper man, who ought to be above such things, made a crafty move at Stricker, no doubt, as a League agent. Before his move one of his reporters had pretended to pave the way for his chief and declared that he had. But he weakened when he met Strick. The game was bribery and contract breaking. “Cub” was square and refused to meet his man. The final move was made after the first day of the recent League meeting. Stricker still swears that he will not play beside McKean, and means it. He prefers to go to a minor league, and who can blame him. There will be more trouble to the “old masters” on account of this feeling between the players than they affect to believe. The Sporting Life November 29, 1890

A New York paper asks:-- “Can anyone tell how Buck Ewing can get the worst of it?” Not so long as he can retain his skill as a double-rider. Buck, like Melville, the circus man, is a big success at riding two horses at one time. The Sporting Life December 6, 1890

[quoting M. B. Lemon, a Pittsburgh PL Club stockholder] You can say for me that while I have the highest regard for President McCallin [of the Pittsburgh PL Club], other people have sold the Players' League out, and none taken such a despicable hand in it as Buck Ewing, of New York. In view of this treachery, and for the reason that people will be connected with the consolidated Pittsburgs with whom I wish no business associations, I have determined not to put another cent of money into the enterprise. The Sporting Life December 13, 1890

Source Sporting Life
Submitted by Richard Hershberger
Origin Initial Hershberger Clippings


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