1892 Winter Meetings: The Price of Monopoly and the Start of the Modern Game

This article was written by John Bauer

This article was published in the Baseball’s 19th Century Winter Meetings: 1857-1900


Baseball's 19th Century Winter Meetings: 1857-1900Following years of posturing and outright conflict, first with the Brotherhood, then in the final showdown with the American Association, the National League achieved monopoly status. Twelve clubs, deemed the strongest of the two great major leagues of the 1880s, stood alone in a combination at the top of Organized Baseball.

After deep financial losses during the Brotherhood war of 1890, followed by the costs of continuing conflict in 1891 and paying off those clubs left behind from consolidation, the League magnates expected a robust peace dividend from its monopoly position. Peace, however, did not equate to profit. Having completed its first season since 1881 as the exclusive league for major-league baseball, the League clubs approached the offseason awash in red ink and looking for ways to return to the black. The League faced a virtual crisis in New York, as its biggest club suffered the deepest losses of all.

Financial instability led to questions about the new 12-club structure itself. In looking to correct course, the clubs looked to save money as well as make money. To that end, clubs engaged in deep cost-cutting efforts with respect to player salaries, pursued rules changes to increase offense, and altered the schedule to maximize attendance.

Financial crisis in the league and salary-cutting efforts

Financial problems dogged the League throughout the 1892 season. The hard-won and expensive monopoly failed to produce the expected windfall and declining attendance only exacerbated the League’s problems. In early October as the season approached conclusion, the magnates met in New York to initiate steps to address the financial situation. Aggregate League losses were estimated at $100,000, with New York ($25,000), Baltimore ($18,000), and Brooklyn ($12,000-$20,000) accounting for more than half of that total.1 In a refrain that would echo throughout baseball’s coming history, NL President Nick Young commented, “One thing has been demonstrated clearly — that base ball must in future be conducted on a purely business basis. …”2

Coming out of the New York meeting, the magnates undertook to save costs where possible, and salary reduction was the primary means for doing so. All signs pointed toward implementation of an informal salary cap of a $30,000 across League clubs. There was nothing formal in its institution, but that number took hold. Young deflected talk of a concerted effort to reduce salaries. As The Sporting News reported, “So far as salaries are concerned, it was agreed to let every club regulate its own affairs. …”3

The reserve clause, combined with the lack of competition from another league that might offer higher salaries, assisted the magnates’ effort to achieve a salary cap, formally or informally, by forcing individual maximums. While there was no formal limit as in the 1880s, $2,400 became the informal limit for individual players in the 1890s.4

Clubs adopted differing approaches to achieving the common goal of a salary cap through individual forced limitations. They also got to work immediately. In an effort to save a half-month’s salary and force salary reductions, New York released three players, Shorty Fuller, Amos Rusie, and Mike Tiernan. New York President John B. Day blamed lower attendance and the Brotherhood fight for the moves. It also appeared that Day retaliated for the players’ earlier refusal to accept midseason salary cuts and intended to induce compliance among others.5 One New York official commented, “Take my word for it, few players will get over $2,500 next year.”6

Washington served all but three players with 10 days’ notice of their release, a move intended to save the club $2,500 in salaries for the final half-month of October.7 Club President and former Association stalwart Chris Von der Ahe took similar steps in St. Louis. Pittsburgh pressured its players to call their contracts on October 15, effectively giving back two weeks’ salary.8 Other clubs, in an attempt to provide a legal veneer to the effort, wrote up new contracts for just six months instead of 12; still others drafted one-year contracts with some money paid in the offseason as a way to exercise control over a player’s physical condition when he reported in the spring.

The magnates reconvened at the Richelieu Hotel in Chicago on November 16 and 17 (reported by The Sporting News9 to be the first League meeting held outside of New York). The Board of Directors, composed of Von der Ahe, Boston’s Arthur Soden, Cincinnati’s John Brush, Baltimore’s Harry Von der Horst, Washington’s Frank Elliott, and Chicago’s James Hart, met first.10 [The Clipper says that Nick Young was present at the meeting, but not that he was on the board of directors. See “The League-Association,” New York Clipper, November 26, 1892: 608.]

After formally awarding the 1892 pennant to Boston, the Board considered the financial situation. Reporting in his capacity as league secretary, Young confirmed that all but one club lost money, blaming increased salaries and the costs of the NL-AA consolidation; however, this was “nothing … to be alarmed at.”11

Whether the losses were alarming or not, they were having an effect as teams initiated preparations for the 1893 season. The schedule was likely to be reduced from 154 games and the start of the season pushed back until late April; preseason trips to Florida also seemed likely to be abandoned.12 One aspect of the 1892 schedule not likely to be repeated was the split schedule. Breaking “the division into two terms failed to awaken the expected interest.”13

Some players were not content to acquiesce to the League’s salary-cutting efforts. The case of Tom Burns is notable for its exposure of League methods to shed salary. Pittsburgh provided Burns with a three-year contract as player-manager, but fired him two months into the 1892 season. After his contract was discharged by Pittsburgh, Burns sued the club for damages and won a $1,500 verdict in January.14 Pittsburgh had charged that Burns oversaw a club rife with drinkers and gamblers (and Young even testified to this effect); in response, Burns claimed he was not aware of any club rule on these topics.

Pittsburgh President William Temple also claimed that he had been forced to take Burns in an apparent mistaken belief that Cap Anson would join him in the Steel City in 1893. A disappointed Temple asserted, “We did not want Burns without Anson. …”15 Burns won in the courtroom but lost on the field; he never played another major-league game.16

Players attempted to hold out against the salary reductions, but their intransigence generally failed to reverse the trend. Tony Mullane held out against Cincinnati’s efforts to cut his $4,000 salary but he eventually signed. Bid McPhee similarly refused Cincinnati’s terms, going so far as to claim he would never again play for the Reds.17 (He would.) Chicago outfielder Sam Dungan signed his contract in late January, which Hart believed was a first step in other players doing the same.

Hart announced that players must sign by February 1 or face fines for every day their contracts remain unsigned.18 Chicago’s battery of Bill Hutchinson and Malachi Kittridge accepted contracts for reduced salaries by Hart’s deadline.19 Several Cleveland players submitted their contracts in early February. Several more Chicago and Cleveland players did not sign for reduced money, with an apparent new deadline of March 1 placed upon the recalcitrant players. Brooklyn, New York, Boston, and Washington were also reported to be having troubles bringing their players to heel.

Philadelphia had no players under contract as late as February, but club secretary Will Shettsline reported that reduced terms would be submitted to Phillies players. Shettsline declared, “We do not intend to pay anything like the salaries we did last year.”20 Philadelphia even went so far as to offer players a profit-sharing plan, provided there was a substantial improvement in gate receipts from 1892.21 Jack Glasscock eventually accepted reduced terms from St. Louis, Fred Pfeffer returned to Louisville at a much lower salary, and Rusie eventually agreed to his pay cut from the Giants. Without a rival organization to spark a bidding war for talent, players fell in line with the new reality.

Rumors and discussions about realignment and consolidation

In the wake of a campaign with diminished attendance and profits, discussions about realignment and consolidation occurred during the offseason. There was some possible “buyer’s remorse” about the consolidation of the previous winter. During the League meeting in early October, some Eastern clubs suggested splitting the League into an eastern and western association of current League members. Others floated reverting to an eight-team circuit, but it is not clear where the so-called ironclad provision binding the clubs for 10 years fit into the discussion.

Brooklyn’s Charles Byrne provided a voice for optimism and maintaining the status quo, believing that 1893 would prove prosperous as the League recovered from the Brotherhood war.22 Von der Ahe also favored maintaining a 12-team alignment, blaming weather and consolidation debt for the League’s troubles, issues that would improve with time.23

With rumors of restructuring and consolidation, cities outside the League looked out for ways to reclaim major-league status. Kansas City sought such status either through League membership or through a revived American Association. Rumors about a resurrected Association or Players League persisted, but lacked the investors to turn such schemes to reality. Milwaukee hoped games from Chicago would be shifted to the north. When pressed for opinions on a single 12-team league or two eight-team leagues, sportswriters expressed preference for the latter as a growth measure for the game.24

For cities hoping to join the League, Louisville’s situation provided a possible opening. In what seemed to be an annual tradition, Louisville was on shaky financial footing and occupied a tenuous position within the League. By late January, while the Colonels hired the experienced Billy Barnie to manage the team, Louisville had yet to secure a home ground for the coming season.

New club President Fred Drexler sought to remedy that problem by placing a newspaper advertisement that he claimed generated 20 offers for sites.25 Further, reports out of Indianapolis suggested that Louisville was on a verge of disbanding and that John Brush would attempt to purchase a franchise for the Indiana capital.26 Milwaukee and Buffalo also jockeyed for position in the event Louisville’s place proved up for grabs.27

By mid-February, the situation stabilized. The club directors met on February 16 and pledged to furnish the money required (approximately $50,000) to finance club operations. The stockholders also agreed to put up more funds and voted to double the available shares.28 Around the same time, principal shareholder and vice president J. George Ruckstuhl reportedly purchased land near the old railroad stockyards for lease to the Colonels as a ballpark site.29

By the time of the League’s meeting in March, Ruckstuhl felt confident enough to assert that Louisville was in the League to stay. Despite that confidence, consolidation talk emerged as the meeting started. Boston favored shrinking to an eight-team league. One plan suggested that Louisville and either Cincinnati or St. Louis would be dropped in the West and Baltimore and Washington would be dumped in the East.30 Fortunately for League fans in those cities, only Boston had the necessary appetite for follow-through.

Despite Boston’s argument for consolidation and its owners’ (the so-called “triumvirs” of Arthur Soden, William Conant, and J.B. Billings) willingness to accept more of the burden to buy out certain clubs, interest in consolidation appeared to begin and end with Boston.31 Twelve teams it would be. On the eve of the season, Louisville’s place in the League remained open to question once again. Amid reports that Milwaukee interests were willing to pay $10,000 for the Colonels and still without a confirmed grounds, Ruckstuhl confirmed that his club was staying in the Falls City for 1893.32 After an uncertain offseason filled with stories of financial and structural retrenchment, the 1893 season witnessed the same 12 clubs as had contested the prior season.

Significant rules changes for the 1893 season

While the League considered options for dealing with financial issues, the November meeting was also momentous by setting in motion major rules changes for the 1893 season. In Chicago, the League evaluated several proposals that would alter the look and play of the game on the field. The proposed changes included lengthening the distance between the bases to 93 feet, positioning pitchers in the center of the diamond, abolishing the bunt, and calling the foul tip a strike.33 One Eastern owner stated about adding three feet to the basepaths, “We all seemed favorably impressed with the 93-foot base line, and it need not be surprising if it is adopted. The change would hardly be perceptible.”34 With the league-wide batting average bottoming out at .245, making it harder to reach base appeared counterproductive. The League appointed Brush, Von der Ahe, and Soden to the Playing Rules Committee, charged with providing a report during the spring meeting.

The interval between League meetings did nothing to dampen speculation or commentary about possible rules changes. Young felt compelled to respond to a rumor about possibly adding bases, declaring, “It is all poppycock to talk about changing the number of bases and the appearance of the diamond. … Base ball has reached a stage of perfection which no change in the diamond could possibly improve.”35

By mid-December, the rules committee contacted players and sportswriters for input. Cleveland’s Frank Robison expressed opposition to 93-foot baseline, providing a forerunner to today’s pace-of-play arguments. “If the games are drawn out much longer … the crowds will be impatient. Under the present arrangement patrons can get home just in time for dinner.” Sportswriters, whether or not concerned with dinner plans, also disapproved any plans to extend the diamond. While Byrne and Von der Horst seemed to favor the change, the 93-foot baseline appeared “practically dead.”36

While sentiment favored moving the pitcher farther from the plate, the actual distance remained an open question. Opinions varied about adding between 3 feet and 15 feet from the then-current 55½ feet. (Under the rules of the time, the distance was officially 50 feet, which measured the distance from the plate to the front of the pitcher’s box, and 55½ feet reflected the distance from the plate to the back line of the pitcher’s box.)37 Sportswriters believed moving the pitcher back would increase batting, thus favoring some change in this area.38 Player-managers Anson and Charles Comiskey reportedly favored preserving the status quo for the most part, with the exception of pushing for a balk rule that would increase and encourage base running.39

The Playing Rules Committee, by this time composed of Byrne, Von der Horst, and Brush, met in February in New York with the goal of hammering out proposals for formal League consideration in March. Over the course of several days, the committee agreed on a package of reforms. The report called for no enlargement of the infield, presumably ending talk of extending the baseline to 93 feet. The pitcher would be moved to the center of the infield, thus extending the distance from home plate to approximately 63 feet. The pitcher’s box would be abolished, to be replaced by a 12-inch “boundary plate” on which the pitcher must stand when delivering the ball.

This proposal generated confusion about what the pitcher could do, ensuring significant discussion in March. The committee recommended abolishing the flat bat, and there was to be a “lucid” definition of a balk. Rules related to the “actual playing of the game” were to be simplified, and rules pertaining to the duties and powers of umpires were to be codified. Finally, official scorers were to be instructed that players making a sacrifice hit that advanced a runner were not to be charged with an at-bat, a move that would boost batting averages.

Between the time of the committee adopting its report and the League annual meeting, opposition emerged to the proposals. Anson, Hart, Comiskey, John Montgomery Ward, and Pittsburgh manager Al Buckenberger were reported to be opposed to some degree.40 Byrne countered that the changes must be adopted or “baseball will be a dead letter.” He further discounted the thoughtfulness of the opposition, claiming that those against the changes “have not given the matter any attention whatsoever.”41

The League commenced its meeting in New York on March 7, and most of that day was spent considering the Playing Rules Committee report. The magnates invited newspaper reporters, players, managers, and umpires into their conclave to offer views on the proposed changes. “Heated discussion” ensued on the question of moving the pitcher back. Byrne emerged as the strongest voice for moving the pitcher to the center of the infield, as called for the committee’s report. Six clubs voted against the changes, with Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Louisville, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis forming a bloc.42 When the suggestion was made to move the pitcher back only five feet, to 60 feet 6 inches, the changes passed with only Cleveland’s Robison opposed.

While the magnates compromised on the distance, they retained the committee’s proposal concerning the boundary plate. As written, the new rule (Rule No. 27) required that “[t]he pitcher shall take his position facing the batsman, with both feet square on the ground, one foot in front of and in contact with the plate. He shall not raise either foot unless in the act of delivering the ball, nor make more than one step in such delivery.”43

Other proposals from the committee report were adopted. Not only was the flat bat formally abolished, but new Rule No. 13 prescribed that “the bat must be made round and of hard wood and may have twine on the handle or granulated substance applied not to exceed 18 inches from the end. No bat shall exceed 42 inches in length.”44 The balk rule was clarified to state that motions to deceive a baserunner would be declared a balk but “[w]hen the pitcher feigns to throw the ball to a base”45 he must resume his former position before delivering the ball to the plate.46

On-field mingling among opposing players was prohibited, and specific requirements to provide home and visiting benches were adopted. Sacrifice hits would no longer result in hitters being charged with an at-bat, but there remained some questions about which sacrifices qualified for exemption under the new rule. There was no dispute that infield sacrifices fell within its the scope and intent. That is, the rule was intended partly to encourage teamwork, which was apparently evidenced by an infield sacrifice. An open question existed about whether outfield fly balls similarly expressed teamwork. Some argued that a batter hitting a fly ball intended to make a hit and better his personal batting record. Because the committee was not clear about which hits qualified for the exemption and which did not, this issue would remain an open one.

Efforts to strengthen the Giants

The size of New York’s financial losses became a subject of particular concern throughout the league. New York’s loss was the largest, and the League discussed the club’s situation at its November meeting. By December, the depths of New York’s despair became more apparent. The Sporting News reported that losses, in fact, exceeded $32,000, and $13,000 was still owed to the players.47 The club asked its shareholders to put more money into the club. To relieve the situation, New York announced intentions to put before shareholders on January 6 a plan to issue $50,000 in bonds.48 By the time of that meeting, half of the desired money had been raised.49

New York also appeared likely to raid across the East River to improve its situation. The Giants hoped to induce Ward to return from Brooklyn to the club for which he last played in 1889; the Grooms, however, were demanding a high price for their captain.50 To the added chagrin of Brooklyn, rumors circulated that Brooklyn’s Byrne would be persuaded to assume the presidency of the Giants.51 The club, bereft of leadership and hampered by a complicated ownership structure, failed to elect a president at its January 13 board meeting. While it appeared Day would retain the job he had held since the club’s inception, by early February New York City Postmaster Cornelius Van Cott seemed poised to accept the presidency of the Giants. The looming February 9 annual meeting appeared likely to be the most important in club history.

During the meeting, Day surrendered the presidency of the club to Van Cott. He retained his $25,000 investment in the club, but would play no active management role.52 Board member J.W. Spalding also stepped aside, part of an apparent deal whereby he and Day settled their differences by agreeing to mutual withdrawal from club management.53 In the course of the meeting, Ward, a Giants stockholder, declared himself. He announced his wish to play one more year, and that such year be played in New York or nowhere. His current club, however, remained intent on exacting maximum value for its asset.

Brush and Robison intervened to break the impasse and received credit for persuading Byrne to agree on transferring Ward.54 Indeed, the club secured Ward’s transfer and the player signed a contract to captain the Giants in 1893. New York initially announced Pat Powers would be retained as manager, but within days of this announcement, Powers was out and Ward received complete control to manage the club.

Managerial authority attained, Ward focused on obtaining the players he needed to improve the team. “I am confident that we can get a good team together and that the interest in this game will revive.”55 Reports had placed Danny Richardson, Roger Connor, and Mike Kelly on the Giants’ target list. Byrne objected where Richardson was concerned, claiming that Brooklyn was to receive Richardson per the terms of the agreement to release Ward to the Giants.56 Indeed, against the player’s own preference, Richardson eventually signed with Brooklyn from Washington on April 5. Meanwhile, Connor had yet to sign with the Phillies, rendering his status uncertain.

Several magnates openly viewed an improved New York as good for their businesses. As noted above, two owners played a role in brokering Ward’s move from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Soden, who also held stock in the Giants, believed his club was helped by a strong New York team. “When New-York is all right it helps everyone connected with the sport,” he said.57

Boston informed New York that Kelly might be made available to the Giants. Kelly was expected to play for New York with a slight bump on his prior salary with Boston, an apparent exception to the austerity trend in salaries.58

Cleveland’s Robison intervened again to reinforce the Giants. While he did not want to part with his own player-manager, Patsy Tebeau, Robison consented to exchanging his 22-year-old third baseman, George Davis, for the Giants’ 33-year-old Buck Ewing. For Robison, payback partly motivated the deal; New York helped him previously achieve an equal division of gate receipts.

While the trade annoyed local press and fans, Robison asserted Ewing was the better batsman and Cleveland would not suffer in the deal.59 In fact, both players performed well at the plate in 1893, but Davis would provide New York with a lineup mainstay for the remainder of the century. One of Boston’s triumvirs, Billings, stated that Cleveland deserved credit for agreeing to the swap; of course, it seemed possible the deal would also weaken Boston’s closest rival from the prior season.

By the time of the March annual meeting, advocating assistance for the Giants became a cause célèbre. The New York Times described the scene at the Fifth Avenue Hotel, noting, “They say that unless baseball booms in New-York it will be practically dead throughout the country.” 60 Louisville’s Ruckstuhl, dealing with existential issues related to his own club, proclaimed, “If I had my choice I would give New-York a team that would sweep the country. New-York is the pivotal point in baseball and she must be well provided for.”61

Shortly after the meeting, the Phillies traded Connor to New York for two players and cash. The Giants signed Kelly in May for what would be the final 20 games of his career. It was clear that the health of the Giants was of paramount importance throughout baseball. While advocacy and action to improve the Giants demonstrated an unusual concern for a competitor within a monopoly organization, the results were mixed. The 1893 Giants finished fifth, barely over .500 but three spots higher than 1892; attendance, meanwhile, more than doubled. The fans returned even though the pennant was not much closer than in the prior season.

Sunday baseball and scheduling

New York’s boost in attendance came despite the Giants’ continuing opposition to Sunday baseball. Despite the potential for increasing gates by hosting Sunday baseball, league-wide sentiment on Sunday baseball remained split. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland remained steadfast in opposition.62 The other seven were expected to play Sunday games, although Brooklyn would do so only away from home.

In one instance, however, the desire for Sunday baseball led to a club reorganization. Chicago, where Albert Spalding long opposed Sunday baseball, adopted plans to host Sunday baseball, partly motivated by the potential for increased gates from World’s Fair patrons. To do so, the club formally reorganized, effectively splitting into two legal entities overseeing the club. The previous legal entity became a land company, with Spalding as one of three sole owners. This “old club” acquired territory at Polk and Lincoln Streets in Chicago to be leased to the “new club,” the baseball club, for a 10-year term and upon which a new 12,000-seat ground would be built for $30,000.63 By creating the “new club,” Hart squeezed out those former shareholders, including Spalding, objecting to Sunday baseball. Hart fully expected the new board of directors to approve his plans for Sunday baseball.

The League appeared resolved to assist Chicago in having a successful season at the gate with the World’s Fair scheduled for the following summer. Reports suggested that the magnates adopted a resolution in November giving Chicago the power to change games scheduled for other grounds to the Windy City.64 While there was some question whether World’s Fair attendees would turn out for the local nine, the Colts wanted to maximize attendance. Anson signed four new players in December, as part of efforts to improve a team that finished seventh in 1892.

When the League adopted its 1893 schedule during its March meeting, the fixtures appeared drawn to favor Chicago. As expected, the League reduced the number of games from 154 to 132 and planned for an April 27 opening. Chicago received 70 home games (as opposed to 66), with three games taken from Baltimore and one from Louisville.65 Opponents considered drawing cards in Chicago were scheduled for weekdays and lesser teams would visit on weekends. Indeed, if Chicago believed the World’s Fair would help its attendance, the League provided the means for Chicago to carry out its plans.

Other League business

At the League annual meeting, Young, Soden, and Von der Horst were elected to serve as the new Board of Directors. (Young had received a multiyear contract to continue as League president during the previous year’s annual meeting.) Among the magnates, most of the focus was on members stepping away from active roles in club affairs. Day having surrendered the presidency of the Giants, the League unanimously adopted a resolution making him an honorary League member in recognition of his service to the game.

Albert Spalding had previously ceded active management of the Colts in deference to his other business interests, many of which were headquartered in New York. One evening during the March meeting, there occurred a reunion of the players who participated in Spalding’s 1888-1889 world tour. Attendees organized the Base Ball Globe Trotters Association and named Spalding its president.

Also, the League received a formal complaint from the Eastern League that National League clubs “gobbled up (its players) surreptitiously”66 in violation of the National Agreement. Consistent with the terms of the Agreement adopted in 1892, the EL clubs claimed that they paid $1,500 for the protection offered by the National Agreement and that it submitted a list of reserved players.

Despite claims by National League clubs that the EL disbanded in September, the EL was found to comply with the terms of the National Agreement. Affected NL clubs were ordered to return the players to EL clubs within 10 days unless satisfactory arrangements could be made. This action concerned 15 players, including six who signed with St. Louis.67 Perhaps the National Agreement would indeed provide the game with a stable governance structure to weather current challenges by holding accountable the most powerful member clubs.

Heading into the 1893 season, magnates hoped the changes would provide organizational and financial stability. Organizationally, the League emerged from the financial crisis with its structure intact. Financially, reductions in player salaries as well as rules changes to enhance offense were expected to improve the bottom line. The League structure survived (though the players might have asked at what cost), but it seemed baseball positioned itself to end 1893 in a better place than it ended 1892.

 

Sources

Alexander, Charles C. Turbulent Seasons: Baseball in 1890-1891 (Dallas: Southern Methodist University Press, 2011).

Nemec, David. The Beer and Whiskey League (Guilford, Connecticut: Lyons Press, 2004).

Nemec, David. The Great Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Century Major League Baseball, Second Edition (Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2006).

Voigt, David Quentin. American Baseball, Volume I (University Park, Pennsylvania, and London: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1990).

Voigt, David Quentin. The League That Failed (Lanham, Maryland, and London: Scarecrow Press, Inc., 1998).

 

Notes

1 “The New York Club,” The Sporting News, November 5, 1892: 3; “Your Uncle Nick Talks Shop,” The Sporting News, November 5, 1892: 3.

2 “Your Uncle Nick.”

3 Sam, “Wagner Is Satisfied,” The Sporting News, November 26, 1892: 1.

4 Harold Seymour, Baseball: The Early Years (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 269.

5 Seymour, 268.

6 “Three Players Released,” New York Times, October 7, 1892: 3.

7 “Baseball Brevities,” New York Times, October 8, 1892: 3.

8 “Baseball Brevities,” New York Times, October 12, 1892: 3.

9 George Munson, “The League Annual,” The Sporting News, November 19, 1892: 1.

10 The New York Clipper says that Nick Young was present at the meeting, but not that he was on the board of directors. See “The League-Association,” New York Clipper, November 26, 1892: 608.

11 Munson.

12 “No Florida Trips,” The Sporting News, November 26, 1892: 1. In addition, Brooklyn canceled plans in February to go south for spring training, citing the expense. “President Byrne Talks About Ward’s Release,” The Sporting News, February 25, 1893: 1.

13 “The Prospects of Base Ball,” The Sporting News, December 3, 1892: 3.

14 “Burns Gets a Verdict,” New York Times, January 20, 1893: 3.

15 “Caught on the Fly,” The Sporting News, January 28, 1893: 3. Pennsylvania state law prevented Burns from receiving damages based on future services.

16 He did manage the ’98 and ’99 Chicago Orphans.

17 “Baseball Notes,” New York Times, January 31, 1893: 3.

18 “Baseball Notes,” New York Times, January 24, 1893: 3.

19 “Baseball Notes,” New York Times, January 31, 1893: 3.

20 “In the Quaker City,” The Sporting News, February 11, 1893: 3.

21 “Baseball Notes,” New York Times, March 6, 1893: 6.

22 “Baseball Men in Session,” New York Times, October 5, 1892: 3.

23 “Favors Twelve Clubs,” The Sporting News, November 5, 1892: 1.

24 “Base Ball Scribes,” The Sporting News, January 14, 1893: 2.

25 “Advertising for a Park,” The Sporting News, February 11, 1893: 1.

26 “Indianapolis to Succeed Louisville,” The Sporting News, January 28, 1893: 1.

27 Francis, “Milwaukee Watchful,” The Sporting News, February 4, 1893: 1; “Buffalo May Be in the League,” The Sporting News, February 4, 1893: 1.

28 “Lines from Louisville,” The Sporting News, February 18, 1893: 5.

29 “Caught on the Fly,” The Sporting News, February 18, 1893: 3.

30 “All Favor the New-Yorks,” New York Times, March 7, 1893: 3.

31 Gotham, “The National League Meeting,” The Sporting News, March 11, 1893: 4.

32 Francis, “They Want League Ball,” The Sporting News, April 22, 1893: 3.

33 “Discussing Baseball Changes,” New York Times, November 17, 1892: 3.

34 Munson.

35 “Wagner Is Satisfied.”

36 “The Committee on Rules,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1892: 2; [author illegible], “Notes From Cleveland,” The Sporting News, January 7, 1893; 4.

37 See Peter Morris, A Game of Inches: The Game on the Field (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006), 38. Also informative is John Thorn’s excellent post on the distance between the pitcher and home plate. See ourgame.mlblogs.com/2015/02/27/a-brief-history-of-the-pitching-distance/. This post certainly indicates there are nuances to calculating the distance between the pitcher and home plate, and asserting a specific distance depends on the place from which one is doing the measuring.

38 “Base Ball Scribes.”

39 O.P. Caylor, “Caylor’s Comment,” The Sporting News, January 14, 1893: 5.

40 “Pittsburg Paragraphs,” Sporting News, March 4, 1893: 4.

41 “All Favor the New-Yorks.”

42 “Discussing New Rules,” New York Times, March 8, 1893: 3.

43 “The National League Meeting.”

44 Ibid.

45 Ibid.

46 Ibid.; “The New Rules Adopted,” New York Times, March 9, 1893: 3.

47 “The Season’s Expenses,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1892: 3.

48 “Notes From New York,” The Sporting News, December 24, 1892: 3.

49 “New-York Ball Club’s Affairs,” New York Times, January 7, 1893: 3.

50 Henry Chadwick, “Ward of Brooklyn,” The Sporting News, January 28, 1893: 3.

51 “The Baseball Situation,” New York Times, January 12, 1893; 2.

52 “Mr. John B. Day Retires,” New York Times, February 10, 1893: 3.

53 Ibid.

54 “Back With His Old Nine,” New York Times, February 11, 1893: 6.

55 “Ward Signs With New York,” The Sporting News, February 18, 1893: 4.

56 “President Byrne Talks About Ward’s Release.”

57 “Baseball Notes,” New York Times, February 6, 1893: 6.

58 “The National League Meeting.”

59 Charles Mears, “The Secret Is Out,” The Sporting News, March 11, 1893: 3.

60 “All Favor the New-Yorks.”

61 Ibid.

62 “Caught on The Fly,” The Sporting News, December 24, 1892: 4.

63 Harry Leach, “Sunday Games at Chicago,” The Sporting News, December 24, 1892: 3.

64 “And May Play All at Home,” The Sporting News, December 3, 1892; 1.

65 “Plenty of Sunday Games,” The Sporting News, March 25, 1893: 2.

66 “The New Rules Adopted.”

67 “A Very Pretty Play,” The Sporting News, March 11, 1893: 1.

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