Harry Sinclair

Sinclair Oil’s dinosaur logo is as powerful a brand identifier as Exxon’s tiger or Mobil’s Pegasus. When Harry Sinclair died at the age of 80 in 1956, his obituaries in the Los Angeles Times1 and the New York Times2 highlighted his oil exploits—but did not mention his baseball interests.  In the early 1900s, Sinclair was an owner of a minor-league team in the Midwest, then became a highly significant figure in the controversial Federal League. His contribution involved helping navigate a resolution to the controversy ignited by the league’s challenge to Organized Baseball.

Harry Ford Sinclair was born on July 6, 1876 near Wheeling, West Virginia.3 His parents, Phoebe and John Sinclair, also had an older son. They settled in Independence, Kansas when Harry was eight years old.4 It seemed that he would be a local boy heading towards being a fixture in his community when he enrolled at the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. But a destiny of being a druggist like his father—dispensing prescriptions and learning the occasional gossip from town quidnuncs—got interrupted when the elder Sinclair could not get traction for his business.5

John’s death triggered an inheritance that Harry squandered, belying his future success. “I thought that the property which I inherited from my father would last me all my life—as long as I lived—but it did not take me long to blow it in, as is said,” admitted Sinclair in 1916. “I was pretty well cleaned out by the time I was 24. Then I had to go to work. After looking over all the vocations carefully I decided that travelling offered the greatest opportunities and variety. I travelled for a year and was as badly off at the end as before.”6

Sinclair then tried being an agent of stock investments in Ponca City, Oklahoma for a St. Louis concern. Its legality was questionable. But as long as the greenbacks kept coming in, neither Sinclair’s employers nor his clients were bothered. Whether by greed or ignorance, or a little of both, Sinclair made bad business decisions. With their money lost, investors wanted Sinclair prosecuted. That is, if they could find him—which they didn’t.

He suffered physically as well. Part of his foot had to be removed after Sinclair shot himself when cleaning his shotgun. “He received $2,500 from an accident insurance policy, an amount of money that would later be widely exaggerated and at times incorrectly attributed to financing his oil company,” clarifies Sinclair historian Jeffrey L. Rodengen.7

With Kansas rich in oil prospects, Sinclair sold lumber for operators’ oil derricks in his home state.8 He also began his baseball career in 1906 with ownership in the Class D Kansas State League (KSL). As discussed below, this turned out not to be a smooth proposition.

Graduating to oil entrepreneur, Sinclair persuaded investors to join him in financing oil leases but conditioned his deals on holding the executive reins himself. Fortuitous timing was crucial in Sinclair building his fortune; the rise of the automobile’s popularity, thanks to Henry Ford, created a demand for oil. When other oil producers generated excess, Sinclair bought their assets at a discounted price. His independence against larger, more established entities was attractive to smaller companies; Sinclair expanded his holdings by exchanging Sinclair Oil stock for their properties.9 By 1913, his portfolio included 62 oil companies, eight drilling rigs and a bank in Tulsa (with his brother).10

It was around this time that Sinclair became involved in the Federal League, with the specter of his previous ownership experience. A dispute had erupted between the KSL and the Class C Missouri Valley League, an eight-team venture. The MVL accused the KSL of interfering with exclusive contracts between towns and the MVL to host games, thereby jeopardizing financial guarantees and investments. The MVL ended after one season; three teams defected—Pittsburg, Parsons, and Fort Scott—and five towns rounded out the eight-team Kansas State League.

Backed by Sinclair and M. L. Truby, the Independence Coyotes were one of four teams that made it through the season. Inadequate fan bases, unstable financing, and franchises shifts led to the KSL’s downfall. By July, Vinita had taken over the Pittsburg club, but faded along with Fort Scott. Iola also had trouble staying afloat financially, so Cherryvale took its place.11 And so, the KSL became a six-team league, further contracting to four when Chanute defaulted on league payments and Cherryvale, though it was profitable, got kicked out to make the number of teams even.12 Parsons dissolved in August, hastening the demise of the KSL.13

In 1907, Sinclair and Truby joined the Oklahoma-Arkansas-Kansas League. Rival owner C. W. Hodge of Bartlesville, Oklahoma hastened the truncation of the six-team league to four teams by August. Seeing blood in the water when Fort Smith suffered financially, Hodge appeared to help matters while cloaking his true intention—luring the Fort Smith players to sign with him. Disbanding the Tulsa club was the other part of his dual-sided axe, which earned him no good will. “This action caused considerable bitter feeling among the other teams and [the] directors said a great many things to each other at Coffeyville yesterday which would not look well in print,” reported the Independence Evening Star.14

With Fort Smith gone, there was a chance—perhaps even a likelihood—that the league’s powers would conjure an excuse not to pay forfeiture fees for games not played or monies owed them. Sinclair, ever the businessman, brooked zero tolerance when it came to his coffers. Standing against the league as he did the oil industry’s establishment, Sinclair did not waver. When it was suggested that Independence get out of the league, Harry told them he would do that in a minute, and not stand a moment on the order of his going,” detailed the Evening Star. “This team has a berth in the Western association [sic], and would be glad to get into it. But as it is the best paying town in this circuit that was the last thing the other directors wanted.”15

Sinclair and Truby confronted what they felt was poor umpiring with a drastic and rare move—refusing to take the field for the August 31 game against Coffeyville because of an umpire with the Dickensian name of Barndollar. Truby, though not present, apparently instigated the inaction, thereby incurring the ire of league president Fred McDaniels. One representative from each team assumed the umpiring duties; Independence lost 6-0.16 Unlike its competition, which had praised Sinclair over Hodge, the Coffeyville Daily Journal poked fun at the former: “Don’t you know, Sinclair, if you had been umpiring balls and strikes and Truby had been waddling after the base runner—you couldn’t have won?”17

McDaniels went to the September 1 game to investigate the duo’s claims of malfeasance against Barndollar, who got the green light to umpire the game, which Independence lost 1-0.18

The Independence Daily Record backed its baseball leaders by repeating the Journal’s barbs about the umpiring and countered them in the September 4 edition: “The above from the Coffeyville Journal is further evidence of the feeling of that city toward Independence. Coffeyville heaps injury upon insult. This arraignment of Messrs. Sinclair and Truby is small and contemptible. Manager Truby in true sportsmanship spirit permitted Mr. Barndollar to umpire a game with his home team. His decisions did not give satisfaction and it was the prerogative of the manager to refuse to permit Barndollar to umpire again. The castigation [sic] by the Journal was discourteous to a visitor, narrow in social conception and a public outrage. But that is all Independence can expect from Coffeyville.”19

Two days later, Sinclair announced his retirement from baseball, effective September 16; this shortened the season by about a week.20 It’s unclear whether the umpiring conflict was a factor.

And so, the truncated, four-team Oklahoma-Kansas League ended the season:21

Sinclair and Truby did not dismiss the idea of owning a stake in the Independence team, but they did not want the obligation of running it.22 Yet they stayed on for one more season, to the joy of Independence’s baseball fans. Mayor A. C. Stich declared, “I have come to the conclusion that baseball is one of the institutions of Independence and will be as long as we have Marve Truby and Harry Sinclair to take care of the baseball interests.

“They are the real things—the real sports of the town.”23

Sinclair returned to baseball with the Federal League. He was not involved in the FL’s founding in 1913, with franchises in Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Indianapolis, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh.24 Even so, he became an integral voice.

For the FL to thrive, it needed wealthy owners like Sinclair, who invested in the Kansas City franchise, which the FL absorbed after the team’s tremendous financial suffering led to forfeiture. His partner was Pat Powers, a former long-time president of the Eastern League. But the local stockholders owning the team refused to let their operation fall under the FL’s aegis, so they sued. The court ruled that a lack of procedural obeyance vitiated the transfer, which left the team in the hands of the KC owners and the Powers-Sinclair duo outside the ownership circle. But there was another route— the Indianapolis franchise had a financial state as precarious as its Kansas City counterpart.

Sinclair had gotten to know Phil Ball, the St. Louis Terriers owner, who advocated for the oilman’s ownership in this third league.25 “I have known Sinclair for several years,” said Ball in 1915: Last winter I met him in Tulsa. ‘How’s the baseball business?’ he asked. ‘Expensive,’ was my answer. ‘Any money in it?’ said he. ‘No,’ said I, ‘but it’s lots of fun. Why don’t you come in and get your feet wet?’ The next thing I knew he was wet all the way up to his knees. I should say he has $600,000 in baseball and he’s just getting warmed up.”26

The franchises in the Federal League’s 1914 season consisted of: Indianapolis Hoosiers, Chicago Whales, Baltimore Terrapins, Buffalo Buffeds, Brooklyn Tip-Tops, Kansas City Packers, Pittsburgh Rebels, St. Louis Terriers. The only difference in 1915 was the transfer of the Indianapolis club to New Jersey.

Reportedly worth $50,000,000 in 1915, Sinclair had the wherewithal to elevate the Federal League’s stature by financing the hiring of blue-chip players. New York City was a target location for the franchise, but Sinclair’s plans were blocked by prospective sites being snatched up by Harry Hempstead, the president of the New York Giants. Sinclair settled for Newark, New Jersey.

And so, the Garden State got a new team, christened the Peppers. Its home games were played in nearby Harrison. The ballpark was aptly named Harrison Park.

Critics bombarded the proposition as tomfoolery. Joe Vila of The Sporting News called Harrison and Newark “25-cent towns.”27 Those who doubted Harry Ford Sinclair did not know Harry Ford Sinclair. Labeled an “outlaw” by baseball’s establishment, the Federal League’s setup opposed the AL and the NL, which were organizations housing individual enterprises—joining together for common goals—winning games, increasing attendance, yield in profits. The FL utilized a singular organizational paradigm: all the teams would feed from the same financial trough with the owners having an equal number of shares apiece in exchange for $25,000. Moreover, stadium leases would fall under the league’s control. “If it owned its grounds, it gave the league sole rights to them,” explained baseball historian Harold Seymour. “All these measures were to guard against desertion of the member clubs.28

The Newark Peppers beat the Baltimore Terrapins 7-5 in Maryland’s harbor city to kick off its 1915 season. Their exploits were covered in the Newark Evening News with the passion of a press agent touting the team’s abilities. “They never know defeat and are dangerous at all times. [Manager Bill] Phillips has his speed merchants and sluggers following each other in the batting order in such a way that there is always trouble in store for the opposing team.”29

On April 16, the Peppers introduced their home field. An array of politicians lined up for the event, an opportunity to be seen by the voters as a link to northern New Jersey’s team. More than 26,000 fans came to the first game, a 6-2 loss to the Terrapins. The Evening News reported that the figure reflected paid admissions but another 5,000 snuck in.30

At a banquet honoring New Jersey’s latest entry into the sports pages, veteran ballplayer Germany Schaefer, one of baseball’s more comedic fellows, exclaimed, “We’ve got the best baseball team in the league. And I’m sure we’ve got the best manager. You know I’m not used to talking, but I have just one thing to say. I’ve had a warm spot in my heart for Newark and I tell you that I’m glad to be with you now.”31 Sinclair had Kansas Congressman Philip Campbell, described as a “life-long friend,” serve as his proxy because “pressing business matters” prevented him from attending the opening game: “No one ever handed Harry Sinclair a gold brick and when he put his money in the Newark club, he knew what he was doing,” declared the congressman.32

In May, Sinclair used the perquisite of wealth to procure a “special train” that brought about a dozen friends from Independence to Kansas City to see the Peppers on the road.33 “Harry entertained them royally and they all had a glorious time,” reported the Evening Standard, an Independence newspaper.34

The Peppers finished 1915 with an 80-72 record.35

By this time, it was clear that a battle was shaping up to be an epic conflict between the upstart Federal League and the two established major leagues. President James A. Gilmore had laid out the blueprint towards the end of the prior season, claiming that his priorities superseded, by any length, a possible détente with the established leagues. Debunking accusations of financial malfeasance while deflecting the issue of conciliation, Gilmore had declared, “I don’t care anything about it. My colleagues are not in search of peace.”36 Sinclair also signaled that the battle with AL and the NL would not end with mercy, quickness, or predictability. Touring his team’s ballpark site before the 1915 season, he explained, “The fight with organized baseball is only in its infancy right now. You can’t tell what may happen—and that soon. There’s no telling what sort of a wonderful ball team we may have here before long.”37

Sinclair, despite the enjoyment of owning a baseball team, heralded an egress. Acknowledging his financial strength in bolstering the Federal League while tamping down the reports of substantial losses, Sinclair clarified: “When all the provisions of the peace agreement are carried out I shall have retired from baseball, so far as having any financial interest in a club is concerned. I have been in the game one year and have been considered the moneybag of the Federal league [sic], but let me tell you the money I lost in the venture is hardly worth mentioning. To place the Federal league losses in the millions is a joke. I am going out of baseball because there doesn’t seem to be a place in it for me, and I don’t want to break down any doors.

“I am leaving baseball with the impression that organized baseball has been much fairer to the players than the public seems to believe and I think that in the future the lot of the player will be better than it was before the coming of the Federal league [sic].”38

Vowing an unyielding vigilance until the major leagues met its demands, Sinclair paced the Federal League’s steps towards resolution. Though he was a key factor in a treaty with the major leagues, his participation was looked at askance, at first. “It was generally believed that the Oklahoman did not know much about the game and would prove a mark for the Organized Ball diplomats when it came time for the final settlement, but his baseball knowledge proves a distinct surprise,” declared Philadelphia scribe Chandler D. Richter.39

There were conflicting reports about leaving baseball outside his portfolio after the FL. “Before I get through with baseball I am going to have a major league pennant winner,” promised Sinclair. “After that I don’t care much what happens. The fans have been led to believe that the Feds were in baseball to wreck the game but I think we have played fair. The National Leaguers have done most of the talking. We are willing and anxious for peace but it must be made at terms satisfactory to all.”40

The Federal League’s owners got $700,000 from their AL and NL counterparts in exchange for ending their venture quietly.41 While the FL could attract ownership, players, and managers with war chests sufficiently stocked to compete with the major leagues, there were footholds impossible to change. Levitt points out that the minor leagues offered a substantial benefit.42 It’s clear that the Federal League’s level of play would have diminished from lack of quality players over time, unless owners wanted to invest in creating their own minor league teams. This seemed to be a scheme surpassing indulgence.

The Baltimore Terrapins saw dimness where others say daylight—owner Ned Hanlon sued the major leagues on a monopoly claim. In 1922, the United States Supreme Court ruled that baseball was not subject to the Sherman Anti-Trust Act of 1890.

There was talk that Sinclair would buy a major-league team. One of his rumored targets was the New York Giants, reportedly in partnership with former Boston Braves owner Jim Gaffney.43 Stories also circulated about bids for the St. Louis Browns44 and the Chicago Cubs.45 The Cincinnati Reds and the Cleveland Indians were available for prospective buyers.46 But Sinclair didn’t see a viable deal.

“I’ve sold all my players except one, and I’m through with baseball,” announced Sinclair in February 1916. “And the best part of it is that I have made money, instead of losing the large sums I read of every day.”47

But absence from the day-to-day vagaries of baseball ownership did not void Sinclair’s interest in the game. Joining other baseball executives, he helped arrange for copies of The Sporting News to be sent overseas to American soldiers during World War I. Noting Sinclair’s impact during his brief tenure in the Federal League, the magazine underlined the credit that did not come easily from skeptics: “There are a lot of boys in khaki who lined up with Sinclair in those days, and there are a lot of the rest of us who didn’t line up who gained a new appreciation of the ‘oilman’ in the ‘peace without victory’ that was made in that other war.”48

Sinclair also incorporated horse racing into his portfolio by buying Rancocas Farms in southern New Jersey from tobacco heir Pierre Lorillard IV. Like his baseball exploits, horse racing was a short-lived opportunity for him: 1920-1923. Sam Hildreth, a member of the National Museum of Racing Hall of Fame, was Sinclair’s trainer; they had met at Belmont Park when the oilman benefited from the trainer’s insight on horses. The Daily Racing Form attributed Sinclair’s initial interest to friends getting him involved in the sport.49

“Sinclair wasn’t really into breeding, mostly racing,” explains Allan Carter, Historian at the Racing Hall of Fame. “He bought yearlings and two-year-olds. Lorillard was a breeder, so he was more successful. Mad Hatter, Grey Lag, and Zev were the three most prominent horses under Sinclair. After the Teapot Dome scandal, Sinclair returned. But he wasn’t as successful. I don’t think he lost interest. But Hildreth died. It was hard to replace him. His changes at Rancocas included a new training track. Between Lorillard and Sinclair owning Rancocas, it was quite an establishment.”50

Grey Lag’s titles included the Belmont Stakes and the Dwyer Stakes. Named after a Sinclair friend—Colonel J. W. Zeverly, an “oil operator and railroad promoter”51—Zev won the Belmont Stakes and the Kentucky Derby in 1923. Sinclair became an international name in horse racing circles that year when Zev beat favored English horse Papyrus in a match race at Belmont Park for $100,000.52 Sinclair took no credit for the victory: “I was the least significant figure in the whole thing. Credit must go to Zev, Earl Sande and that master horseman, Sam Hildreth.53

That year, fire ripped through Rancocas. Conjecture circulated that arson was the cause, but an electrical problem was to blame, according to Sinclair’s investigators. “I cannot believe the fire was of incendiary origin. It would bother me much if I thought so,” declared Sinclair.54 Forty-two horses were reported to have died in the blaze. The estimated loss was $700,000. But Sinclair gave nary a second thought to the financial impact: “I do not care so much about the financial loss as I do about the probably inability to replace and the cause of the fire.”55

There was, however, a loss impossible to appraise: the damage to Rancocas’s breeding activity. “What the stallions and mares cost is a matter of record, but their present values for breeding purposes cannot be given,” explained the Reading Times. “Since Inchcape and Cirrus has [sic] been in the stud we have not had a chance to try out their youngsters. Without these trials the question of our financial loss will remain unsettled.”56

A maverick who helped shape the oil business in the first half of the 20th century, Sinclair went from success to scandal when he and fellow oilman Edward Doheny allegedly bribed President Warren Harding’s Secretary of the Interior—Albert Fall—for the right to drill in Wyoming’s Teapot Dome Oil Field, named after Teapot Rock. The field’s oil reserves belonged to the United States Navy for emergency purposes. Sinclair sent his trucks to the site, which caught the attention of Leslie Miller, an independent oilman who later became Governor of Wyoming. Miller contacted Wyoming Senator John B. Kendrick; a Senate investigation blew the lid off corruption in the Harding administration.

Harding’s death in 1923 precluded further inquiries into presidential involvement—and a possible impeachment. Sinclair and Doheny were found not guilty of bribery, but the former got tagged for a nine-month prison sentence in 1929 based on a contempt of Congress conviction and sending private investigators to uncover dirt in the jury members’ lives. Sinclair served six months. Fall got convicted, giving him the distinction of being the first serving Cabinet member to serve a prison sentence.

When he got his first gasps of freedom, Sinclair sold his mansion at 2 East 79th Street in Manhattan, an enormous abode designed by C.P.H. Gilbert. Originally owned by banker Isaac Fletcher, the house stands on Fifth Avenue overlooking Central Park. When Fletcher died in 1917, his will dictated that the mansion go to the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Sinclair bought it the following year.

In 1930, Sinclair unloaded the mansion and Rancocas.57 He relocated to California, where he presided over the rise of Sinclair Oil into a major force in 20th century transportation. With the migration from cities to suburbs after World War II came an increased need for automobiles and more opportunities for Sinclair and his oil brethren.

Sinclair’s name is fixed in the chronicles of American business, sports, and popular culture. Petroliana collectors will gladly hand over money for Sinclair Oil merchandise. Though not as well-known as Secretariat, Seabiscuit, or Man o’ War, Sinclair’s thoroughbred Zev ranks among them.

And it is not unusual to see someone sporting a Newark Peppers jersey at a SABR conference.

Sinclair died on November 10, 1956 in Pasadena, survived by his son Harry Jr., daughter Virginia M’divani [sic], and wife, Elizabeth Sinclair (née Farrell), whom he married in 1904.

Harry Sinclair’s life and career featured persistence for success and recalcitrance against doubt. Where others saw impracticality, he saw opportunity.



This biography was reviewed by Andrew Sharp and Rory Costello and fact-checked by Chris Rainey.



1 “Harry Sinclair, Oil Magnate, Succumbs at 80,” Los Angeles Times, November 11, 1956: 1.

2 “Harry Sinclair Dies; Teapot Dome Figure Headed Oil Concern,” Associated Press, New York Times, November 11, 1956: 1.

3 “Harry Ford Sinclair, Oil Man, 1876-1956,” Kansas Historical Society, https://www.kshs.org/kansapedia/harry-ford-sinclair/12204, Accessed June 2, 2018.

4 Jeffrey L. Rodengen, Sinclair Oil Corporation, Fueling America’s Journeys For 100 Years (Fort Lauderdale: Write Stuff Enterprises, 2017), 15.

5 Ibid.

6 “Great Oil Capitalist Who Is Famous as Baseball Magnate,” Publication Title Unavailable, Harry Ford Sinclair Biographical File, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, January 30, 1916.

7 Rodengen, 18.

8 A Great Name In Oil: Sinclair Through Fifty Years, Sinclair Oil Corporation (1966), Page 14.

9 Ibid.

10 A Great Name In Oil, 14.

11 “End Of The State League,” Topeka Daily State Journal, August 11, 1906: 12.

12 “State League Reorganized,” Parsons Sun, July 7, 1906: 2.

13 “End Of The State League.”

14 “New Race Starts,” Evening Star (Independence, Kansas), August 9, 1907: 1.

15 Ibid.  “Harry forced the league to pay Independence the forfeit money due for those games at Ft. Smith out of Ft. Smith’s $300 guarantee and he forced the league to pay for the games we should have played there, but did not because of the breaking up of the club.”

16 “Base Ball News: Saturday’s Game,” Coffeyville Daily Journal (Kansas), September 3, 1907: 3.

17 Ibid.

18 Base Ball News: Sunday’s Game,” Coffeyville Daily Journal (Kansas), September 3, 1907: 3.

19 “Show Their Spirit: Coffeyville Journal Heaps Injury Upon Insult On Independence People,” Independence Daily Record (Kansas), September 4, 1907: 1.

20 “To Cut The Season Short,” Evening Star (Independence, Kansas), September 6, 1907: 5.

21 “Standing of the Teams,” Coffeyville Daily Journal (Coffeyville, Kansas), September 17, 1907: 2.

22 “Are To Retire From Base Ball,” Independence Daily Reporter (Kansas), February 7, 1908: 1.

23 “Truby’s Gems Win Victory in First Game,” Independence Daily Reporter, May 9, 1908: 6.

24 Hugh S. Fullerton, “Federal League Organizes Today,” Chicago Daily Tribune, March 8, 1913: 10.

25 Levitt, 197.

26 W. J. O’Connor, “Peace Plans Halted Until Landis Suit Is Dropped: Harry Sinclair, Tulsa’s Millionaire Oil Operator, Is to ‘O.B.’ What the 42-Centimeter Guns Were to Liege,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, December 19, 1915: 38.

27 Joe Vila, “Vila Draws Dark Picture For Feds,” The Sporting News, April 1, 1915: 1.

28 Ibid.

29 “Sport News and Views,” Newark Evening News, April 12, 1915: 22.

30 “Thirty-Two Thousand Persons See First Contest Of Federals Here,” Newark Evening News, April 17, 1915: 31.

31 “Federal League Given Enthusiastic Reception By 900 Fans At Banquet,” Newark Evening News, April 16, 1915: 35.

32 Ibid.

33 “To See Harry’s Team Play,” Evening Standard (Independence, Kansas), May 24, 1915: 2.

34 “A Maker Of Ball Players,” Evening Standard (Independence, Kansas), May 27, 1915: 5.

35 For a detailed account of the 1915 Newark Peppers, see Bill Lamb, “April 1915: The Newark Peppers Return Major Leagues [sic] Baseball To New Jersey,” The Inside Game: The Official Newsletter of SABR’s Deadball Era Committee, September 2018, 22-26.

36 “Barrow Circuit Is Dead, Says Gilmore,” Courier-News (Bridgewater, NJ), September 11, 1914: 8.

37 “Predicts Long Struggle Among Baseball Ranks,” Newark Evening News, March 26, 1915: 35.

38 “Federal Losses Small, Says Harry Sinclair,” Oakland Tribune, December 24, 1915: 7.

39 Chandler D. Richter, “Harry Sinclair Behind Gun To See Fed Men Are Treated Right Before Peace Is Made,” Evening Public Ledger (Philadelphia, PA), December 21, 1915: 19.

40 Ibid.

41 Levitt, 246.

42 Ibid.

43 “Sinclair May Make Bid For The Giants,” New York Times, December 17, 1915: 13. William A. Phelon. “Baseball History in the Making.” Baseball, March 1916: 18; “Percy Haughton Owner of Braves.” The Day, January 10, 1916: 12.

44 “Confer On Browns’ Sale,” New York Times, January 4, 1916: 14.

45 “Sinclair To Be Part Owner Of The Cubs,” January 5, 1916: 14.

46 Levitt, 248.

47 “Sinclair Quits Baseball,” New York Times, February 29, 1916: 8. The remaining player was Rupert Mills, who demanded full payment of the $3,000 on his 1916 contract. Powers countered with a demand that Mills fulfill his obligations, so Mills showed up to the ballpark ready to play. After two months, bad publicity influenced Powers to settle.

48 “Some More Well-Known Baseball Men Who Aid in Sending The Sporting News to Boys at Front,” Sporting News, September 20, 1917: 5.

49 “Owner Of America’s Hope,” Daily Racing Form, https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1923101901/drf1923101901_16_6#q=Sinclair#fq=55_s%3A%221920s%22fq%5B%5D=63_s%3A%221923%22fq%5B%5D=64_s%3A%2210%22, October 19, 1923, Accessed June 15, 2018.

50 Telephone interview with Allan Carter, June 7, 2018.

51 “Name Of Zev Explained,” Daily Racing Form, https://drf.uky.edu/catalog/1920s/drf1923110301/drf1923110301_13_4#q=Sinclair#fq=55_s%3A%221920s%22fq%5B%5D=63_s%3A%221923%22, November 3, 1923, Accessed June 15, 2018.

52 “Zev Is Selected To Race Papyrus,” Associated Press, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, October 20, 1923: 11. Sinclair had two other horses that won the Belmont Stakes.

53 “Sinclair Says Zev Will Meet Any Horse, Any Time,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 21, 1923: 5. “Zev wasn’t my horse today. He belonged to the public. I am glad that America was not disappointed. He is a true thoroughbred and is ready to meet any horse at any time or place.”

54 “Fire Origin Puzzles Owner Of Rancocas,” Philadelphia Inquirer, April 16, 1923: 14.

55 Ibid.

56 “Rancocas Stables Burn, 36 Horses Killed,” Reading Times, April 16, 1923: 3.

57 William Braucher, “Rancocas Stable Passes Out With Harry Sinclair,” Central New Jersey Home News (New Brunswick), September 14, 1931: 11.

Full Name

Harry Ford Sinclair


July 6, 1876 at Wheeling, WV (US)


November 10, 1956 at Pasadena, CA (US)

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