1893 Winter Meetings: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bunt

This article was written by John Bauer

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

Baseball's 19th Century Winter Meetings: 1857-1900If the business of baseball seemed bleak following the previous season, the 1893-1894 offseason started from a different place in attitudes toward the business of baseball. Following the upheaval of recent seasons, Sporting Life proclaimed, “Both artistically and financially the season was the most successful since 1889.”1

Just as the negative outlook following the 1892 season led to a series of changes that contributed to the success of 1893, that success did not mean that the new offseason would be without its own issues. Maintaining this success was paramount to National League business. Rules changes, particularly those related to bunting, sought to balance aesthetics with perceived public opinion. The League dealt with franchise uncertainty and a row over admission prices and gate receipts. The 1893-1894 winter was not for resting on laurels.

The Fall Meeting

Ahead of the annual fall meeting, League President Nick Young declared the 1893 season a financial success. Young asserted that the “season now closed has been a grand one financially for the League for every club has shown a decided improvement over last season, and the consequence is that every one has a balance to their credit.”2 Increased attendance, reduced player salaries, and an equal division of gate receipts brought every club into the black. New York, Pittsburg, and Philadelphia led the way with estimated profits of $50,000 each.3 With the League flush with money, Young announced that the entire $140,000 debt from the National League-American Association amalgamation of 1891 had been paid in full.4

Convening on November 15-17, 1893, at New York’s Fifth Avenue Hotel, the magnates discussed issues with an eye to their potential impact on League finances. The League had used the double championship, or split season, format for its first post-consolidation season in 1892. The League abandoned the format for 1893, but the possibility of reversion to the double championship emerged as a topic. Young recognized the benefit but acknowledged the challenges, stating that “it gives trailers a chance. As a rule, however, the public disapprove of it.”5

Cleveland President Frank Robison advocated for the double championship: “It means new life and new interest in baseball.”6 If “new life” did not mean improved attendance over the second half of the season, there was little reason to pursue the change. In New York, the issue died for lack of interest. The magnates directed Young to prepare the 1894 schedule on the same plan as 1893, and passed a constitutional amendment to make Young a standing committee of one in preparing the League’s schedule in the future.7

Another issue with a pocketbook impact concerned the possible “double umpire” system. As the game became faster, some believed an additional set of eyes would improve the on-field product. Louisville second baseman Fred Pfeffer pointed out that “a single umpire cannot watch balls and strikes, and at the same time be in position to correctly judge a close base decision.”8 The Sporting News recognized that the double-umpire system “has some advocates, but not enough to make it become a law.”9 With implementation likely to cost each club an extra $1,000 in expenses,10 the magnates effectively decided against doubling the umpiring corps when it adopted a resolution authorizing Young to appoint seven umpires (one for emergency duty) for the 1894 season.11

The magnates increasingly perceived player conduct as an economic issue, and there were several proposals to address “dissipation” among the players. While many examples could be cited, the impetus for placing this matter before the League appeared to be a late-season game in Cincinnati where the Boston players celebrated clinching the pennant with a lively (likely drunken) celebration on the field.

Robison and Cincinnati President John Brush became the most ardent advocates for action. Robison proposed taking discipline out of club hands through a League constitutional amendment that would have imposed a graduated series of fines and suspensions for on-field drunkenness. Brush recognized the substantial investments clubs made into ground improvements and did not want drunken players to drive away patrons. In the end, the matter was simply referred to the rules committee for further consideration.

The League curtailed the practice of clubs playing exhibition games on Sundays during the season. Some Western clubs would schedule Sunday home games against non-League opposition in hopes of filling their grounds when visiting Eastern clubs refused to play on Sundays; similarly, some visiting clubs to the New York area scheduled Sunday exhibition games in New Jersey to make extra money. With the adoption of a constitutional amendment, playing non-League games during the season would subject an offending club to a $250 fine. Clubs would have to consider whether unsanctioned Sunday baseball justified the fine.

Despite the actions taken in New York, several key issues were not resolved. Discussions initiated on franchise sales, rules changes, and gate receipts would continue into the winter, bridging the gap between the League’s November and February gatherings.

Cleveland and Washington for sale

Although the business of baseball appeared strong, the League could not avoid an offseason without questions about the current 12-team alignment. Despite the Spiders finishing second and third in the first two seasons since the NL-AA combination, the future of baseball in Cleveland was in doubt as Robison looked to sell. Claiming “he had too much to do in his regular business to attend to baseball,”12 some thought financial losses during the recent economic panic actually motivated Robison.

In addition to possible local interest in purchasing the team, Detroit and Buffalo were mentioned as landing spots for the Spiders. Buffalo, however, failed to impress when a Spiders exhibition game played there resulted in a crowd that “did not amount to anything.”13 The meager crowd reinforced the perception of Buffalo as a minor-league city.

Home of the 1887 champions, Detroit had been without League baseball since the end of the 1888 season. Frederick Stearns, a local pharmaceutical businessman and former president of the extinct Wolverines, was rumored to be communicating with League executives and assembling a group prepared to spend $50,000 to acquire the Spiders.14 Whether the League wanted to sanction a sale and relocation was another matter. Sporting Life quoted anonymously one League executive dismissive of a sale and move, “The League will not allow its franchises to be hawked about and sold to the highest bidder.”15 Chicago President James Hart went on the record opposing a sale: “If any club doesn’t like the way things are being run in the League, let it resign immediately; but nobody will be permitted to sell out.”16

The Cleveland question occupied the final day of the League’s fall meeting. Robison claimed he possessed an offer from Detroit interests (as well as Buffalo) to buy his club for $45,000.17 Recalling the failure of the Wolverines in the 1880s as well as the prevailing view that Detroit was “not a desirable city,”18 Robison’s League counterparts generally opposed the sale. Further, the League constitution provided that a member club could not be disposed of or transferred without League consent, meaning the issue was not Robison’s alone to settle.

The fall meeting concluded with no resolution other than the appointment of an Emergency Committee composed of Brush, Brooklyn’s Charles Byrne, and Boston’s Arthur Soden. In addition to overseeing the disposition of the Spiders, the committee was charged generally with reporting to the League on any applications for sales, transfers, or new memberships.19

Meanwhile, Detroit’s prospects began to fizzle for reasons other than League opposition. While Stearns had been active in initiating events, there appeared to be a disconnect in Detroit about who was going to do what in order to acquire a team. Some local businessmen were willing to take stock in a club but seemed to be expecting Stearns to do most of the work.20 Stearns appeared unwilling to take the lead, content instead to persuade other businessmen to buy the team. When Stearns was the only attendee at a meeting to raise the necessary funds, “the apathy of the local capitalists” ended Detroit’s League prospects.21

As Detroit faded, Indianapolis emerged as a potential relocation site. Possibly owing to hopes about the influence of Brush, who owned the Indianapolis Hoosiers in the late 1880s, there were reports of money being raised to purchase the Spiders. The Sporting News, however, claimed that “[t]hose in a position to know say that Indianapolis would not pay half the price demanded and that it is folly to talk it up.”22

With outside groups dropping out, attention shifted to local Cleveland interests. Reports surfaced that Robison agreed to sell the club to a syndicate involving former shareholders George Howe and Davis Hawley as well as Albert Johnson, the former owner of Cleveland’s Brotherhood club. Johnson, however, demurred with respect to his reported involvement, saying, “Do you think I would pay $45,000 for a franchise when I had one for nothing and lost money?”23

Howe also denied making an offer, reportedly noting that “though he and Robison occupy desks in the same room, they have never exchanged a word on the subject of base ball since the announcement was made that the Cleveland club is for sale.”24 Robison announced a deadline of December 9 for Cleveland interests to offer the $45,000 he wanted, adding that “Cleveland people seem to be possessed of the idea that I can’t secure a transfer of my franchise to any other city and that they can get the club for a song in consequence.”25

When his deadline came and went, all indications pointed to Robison keeping the Spiders. Indeed, Robison assembled local newspapermen at his Cleveland office in mid-January to announce he would keep the club in Cleveland. Claiming to have lost money (apparently despite Young’s proclamations about profitability generally), Robison attached conditions to his maintenance of the team. He stated that Cleveland’s roster would be reduced from 18 players to 14, complimentary tickets now would be issued only to newspapermen, and the club would conduct preseason training in the gymnasium of the Cleveland Athletic Club instead of touring through the South.26 Under Robison, Cleveland remained a first-division club until its historically disastrous 1899 season after which the League contracted the Spiders.

In a lesser story of franchise intrigue, questions about Washington and its owners added to rumors about the League’s composition. Brought into the League by brothers Earle and George Wagner in the 1891 consolidation, Washington seemed intent on aggravating its meager fan base. The Senators transferred several 1893 late-season games to other cities. As a result, the last-place Senators played 81 out of 130 games, including their entire September schedule, away from Washington, which “almost wrecked interest in that city.”27

While the transfers allowed the Wagners to finish the season with a small profit owing to larger crowds in other cities, it also led to the adoption in November of a new League bylaw that made the transfer of games without necessary permission subject to a $1,000 fine and exclusion of such games from League standings. Also, one season after trading Danny Richardson to Brooklyn, the Wagners would send two of their better players (catcher Duke Farrell and pitcher Jouett Meekin) to New York for $7,500 and two spare parts from the Giants bench.

Walter Hewitt, a co-owner of the late-1880s NL Nationals, emerged as a possible buyer for the Senators. The Wagners were believed to have offered the club to Hewitt for a “moderate price” the previous year.28 Hewitt attempted to assemble a local syndicate, but stock pledges amounted only to $20,000 and it was believed the Wagners were seeking $30,000. Buffalo hovered in the background, too.

No offer forthcoming, the Wagners, like Robison, maintained control of their club, despite the view, as expressed in The Sporting News, that “continuation of the present management would be fatal to any success next season.”29 Like Cleveland, the Senators remained a League club until 1899 but, unlike Cleveland, would never have a winning season during the decade.

Bunting and other rules changes

After the 1892 season, the magnates altered several rules in an effort to add excitement to the game and entice more cranks to League grounds. With results from 1893 demonstrating increases both to offense and attendance, one might have expected a quieter offseason in relation to rules changes. On the contrary, the 1893-1894 winter proved to be just as active (if not more so), and bunting was at the center of this offseason’s discussion about the rules of the game.

While bunting today seems intrinsic to the game of baseball, there was a time when bunting almost died of its own accord. Peter Morris noted that bunting had died out in the 1870s due to the banning of the fair-foul hit and the invention of the catcher’s mask.30 With the legalization of flat bats in 1886, bunting reemerged as an element of the game.31 In addition, Morris found that “the reemergence of the bunt gained momentum from the recognition that the tactic had benefits besides the possibility of a base hit. The primary one was the advancement of base runners.”32

Without the penalty of a strike call for foul bunts, bunting also became a tactic to tire pitchers by the repeated fouling off of pitches. This aspect of bunting slowed down the game and, following a season of improved offense and attendance, there were calls to eliminate or limit bunting as a time-wasting (and pitch-wasting) tactic.

As the season concluded, there was no shortage of influential figures within the game advocating abolition of the bunt. Baltimore manager Ned Hanlon argued for abolishing bunting when men were on base, asserting, “There is no interest in the play” to advance a runner.33 Giants manager John Montgomery Ward agreed with Hanlon, stating that “it will compel the batsmen to hit the ball out and thus give the fielders more chances for clever double plays.”34 Al Buckenberger, manager of the Pittsburg Pirates, asserted, “It is hitting that the people want, and I think the bunt stands in the way of much good sport.”35 His president, William Kerr, agreed: “It is not what the people want to see, this bunting; they want batting.”36

Some figures favored keeping the bunt. Cleveland manager Patsy Tebeau opined that it was better to have a runner on second with one out than a runner on first with no out, and bunting was the means to this end.37 (Sabermetricians of today’s era would disagree with Tebeau’s analysis.) Arthur Soden offered that “[i]t is one of the prettiest points in the play. … The umpires have enough on their shoulders now without calling upon them to decide when it is and when it is not that a player bunts.”38

St. Louis manager Bill Watkins argued, “Let the bunt remain. … Let us instill into the minds of all our players that individual success amounts to nothing.”39 Watkins’ solution was for players to perfect their bunting skill so they might be useful to their clubs when called upon to bunt.40

Baseball writer Henry Chadwick dismissed the anti-bunting movement, writing, “The crusade against the ‘bunt hit’ is marked by some of the silliest arguments in favor of its abolition. … One would suppose that bunting a ball was the rule in batting instead of the exception.”41

Despite the column inches devoted to the issue, bunting received scant attention during the League’s November meeting. Instead, the magnates appointed a Committee of Rules composed of Brush, St. Louis owner Chris Von der Ahe, and Philadelphia co-owner Al Reach to review this and other rules proposals ahead of the League’s February conclave. The committee would represent the range of opinions about bunting. Brush favored keeping bunting in the game, believing it to be a “nice play.”42 Brush also wanted to “give the artists a chance to show their skill.”43 Viewing the play as a hindrance to baserunning and having “outlived its usefulness,”44 Von der Ahe favored its elimination. Reach adopted the middle ground. While he opposed bunting, he proposed penalizing the play by calling every foul bunt a strike.45

The committee assembled in Cincinnati on February 5. Reach proved unable to attend although he “forwarded a large, fat envelope”46 with his views. Brush and Von der Ahe, believed to “know probably as little about baseball rules as any of the magnates,”47 spent two days working through various letters addressed to the committee. With regard to bunting, the committee opted to propose recommendations that would define bunting and punish unsuccessful attempts at it. They proposed to define a “bunt, or sacrifice hit” as a ball falling within fair ground “made for the obvious purpose of advancing a runner” resulting in the batter being put out (or having been put out except for an error on the play).48

The penalty for an unsuccessful attempt was addressed by adding to the rule on strikes a provision declaring a strike to be a foul hit while attempting the newly defined bunt or sacrifice hit that falls in foul territory between home and either first or third base. Brush and Von der Ahe included these proposals in the report they intended to present during the League’s coming meeting.

When the League opened its winter meeting in New York on February 26, 1894, the magnates discussed the committee report that afternoon. With bunting, “there was a long wrangle.”49 Baltimore, through Ned Hanlon, along with Brooklyn and New York, led the charge to penalize every bunt landing in foul territory as a strike, not just those attempted with runners on base. Taking a position aligned with the rules committee, Boston, Cincinnati, and Pittsburg amassed a 9-to-3 majority to adopt a rule defining a “sacrifice bunt” consistent with the committee proposal such that only those foul bunts attempted with runners on base would be penalized as strikes.

With so many writers, players and managers hanging around the Fifth Avenue Hotel, the League’s actions were bound to stimulate conversation among the “surging mass of masculinity”50 during the night. The reaction was decidedly negative, and the decision to define foul bunts as strikes depending on whether a runner occupied a base drove the criticism.

In the Fifth Avenue Hotel corridors, the consensus favored a clearer approach. Hanlon and Byrne ushered the reconsideration of the topic when the meeting reconvened the following day. The League rescinded its newly adopted definition of a sacrifice bunt, substituting instead a succinct rule declaring that “[a] bunt is a fair hit to the ground within the infield.”51 In addition, the League deleted the word “sacrifice” from the strike rule so that any bunt hit, whether a sacrifice or not, that fell or rolled foul would be a strike.

The magnates appeared to strike a balance between supporters and opponents of bunting. For supporters like Brush, the changes preserved “one of the prettiest plays” in baseball.52 Buckenberger offered, “Games ought to be quicker under the new bunt rule. I always argued that a game of 1h. 35m. or thereabouts was about the right thing.”53 (One wonders what Buckenberger would think of the average Red Sox-Yankees clash in the modern age.) Opponents like Hanlon acknowledged that the compromise was consistent with public opinion,54 and The Sporting News could predict that “[t]he new rule penalizing the bunt hit is going to cause that disgusting and baby feature to become almost extinct.”55

While bunting generated the most passion, the so-called trapped-ball play garnered enough attention to lead to adoption of the precursor of today’s infield-fly rule. With the trapped-ball play, an infielder would trap (or let drop) popups that would otherwise be outs in order to generate double plays, particularly with baserunners holding the bag or otherwise uncertain about whether to advance a base. Peter Morris traced the use of this tactic to 1864,56 but by this time only a few players, namely Bid McPhee and Fred Pfeffer, possessed the requisite skill to execute the play. The rules committee took no action on the play during its meeting in Cincinnati, possibly reflecting Sporting Life’s view that the rarity of the play created no pressing demand for its abolition.57 In New York, however, the League adopted a one-sentence rule: “The batsman is out if he hits a fly ball that can be handled by an infielder while first base is occupied, with only one out.”58

Perhaps because of the brouhaha over the bunting rules, the League never returned to the trapped-ball topic. After the meeting, however, Pfeffer and Chicago manager Cap Anson spoke out against the rule. Pfeffer declared that the play was “one of the most scientific points in base ball. … They might as well abolish base running because [1893 stolen base leader] Tom Brown and a few others steal bases a little more successfully than the rest. …”59 Anson contended that abolishing the play was a “mistake,” adding that “[i]t was argued that the reason the League abolished the trap was to prevent a possible double or triple play. That is just the reason why it should have been retained.”60

Moreover, the succinctness of the new rule would prove challenging in application. In coming years, the rule would be amended to apply to situations with no outs and more than one baserunner and to address gaming of the rule by having an outfielder sprint in to make the play instead of the infielder.61

Bunting and the trapped ball were not the only rules changes discussed and adopted during the rules committee and League meetings in February. When Brush and Von der Ahe met in Cincinnati, they also examined hit batsmen and on-field conduct. Their package of changes proposed to declare the batter out if he swung and missed at a third strike that happened to hit him and to expand the authority of the umpire to remove players for repeatedly using “profane” language.

The magnates largely adopted these proposals during the League meeting. Indeed, the batter would be out if he was hit by a third strike at which he swung and missed but the batter would otherwise be awarded first base if hit by a ball while making no attempt to strike it.62

In addition to permitting the umpire to remove players for repeated use of profane language, players and coaches were not allowed to use language directed at the umpire from the field of play or coaching boxes, respectively. In New York, Brush proved successful in gaining unanimous support for a series of changes intended to ensure that clubs possessed accurate diamonds at their grounds. Brush sought to rectify differences in the distances between home and second base and between first base and third base that were too common across League grounds for his liking.

Philadelphia and division of receipts

During the 1891 NL-AA consolidation, the magnates established general admission fees at 50 cents and an even division of gate receipts. There was a limited allowance for 25-cent admissions in certain areas of grounds. After trying 50-cent baseball for the 1892 season, Philadelphia reverted to a 25-cent general admission prices in 1893 with a 50-cent fee for entry into the Philadelphia Baseball Grounds grandstand.

In settling accounts for games with other clubs, the Phillies split revenues on the basis of the 25-cent admission and pocketed the extra quarter from grandstand admissions. With most clubs feeling shortchanged about receiving only 12.5 cents per admission in Philadelphia, this issue figured prominently on the second day of the League’s fall meeting.

Philadelphia co-owner and lawyer John Rogers spent over an hour presenting the Phillies’ case.63 Asserting that Philadelphia opposed the 1891 consolidation plan, Rogers claimed that the Phillies assented to the deal because of informal agreement with the other then-League clubs that Philadelphia could revert to 25-cent admission prices if 50-cent baseball proved unsuccessful.64 Rogers added that Philadelphia wanted a signed agreement to memorialize the arrangement but Robison instead proposed putting the terms of the agreement into the minutes.65 Rogers produced a copy of the resolution in Nick Young’s handwriting to prove his point.66

In implementing quarter baseball for 1893, Philadelphia had made side deals with the former Association clubs to accept shares based on 25-cent admissions when visiting those clubs67 and proceeded to reduce admissions without notice to the pre-consolidation League teams. When the latter clubs noticed their shares were less than anticipated, their reactions fell into two camps. Brooklyn, Chicago, New York, and Pittsburg accepted their splits under protest, but Boston, Cincinnati, and Cleveland “entered strong objections” and withheld payments or divided receipts on the same 12.5-cent basis as the Phillies.68

Brush said he recalled the resolution but added that he had not been asked to vote on it. In fact, no vote was indicated in the record, and others could not remember the circumstances under which the supposed agreement was placed into the minutes.69 Brush argued that the resolution would have required a unanimous vote and he did not see how Philadelphia could charge an admission other than agreed rate. He also criticized the side agreements with the four former Association clubs. Angered by Brush’s comments, Rogers replied to Brush “unmercifully and vindictively,”70 proceeding to tell Brush “what he thought of him, and … he would forever regard any action by Brush with suspicion.”71 The meeting threatening to turn into a free-for-all, Reach and Phillies manager Harry Wright escorted Rogers from the hotel.

Attempting to restore order, Von der Ahe presented a resolution hoping to close the matter. Through Von der Ahe’s resolution, the League agreed to abide by the terms of the apparent 1891 resolution for the 1893 season. Differences over gate receipts for 1893 were “terminated” and the Indianapolis agreement appearing in the minutes was “hereby withdrawn and abrogated.”72

Thus, the League essentially ratified Philadelphia’s basis for dividing receipts for the 1893 season, but the Phillies would have to follow the League constitution’s provision for 50-cent general admissions in the future. The resolution passed by a vote of 11 to 1, with Rogers’ lead antagonist Brush dissenting.73

Giving no ground, Rogers unloaded to a group of reporters after the vote, stating, “This is the worst bit of rascality that the League has ever been guilty of. They’re just robbing Philadelphia, that’s all.”74 Adding, “We’ll settle with visiting clubs on whatever basis we please,” Rogers and Reach indicated after the meeting that the Phillies had no intention of charging a 50-cent admission in 1894.

The dispute simmering over the winter, Brooklyn’s Gus Abell facilitated a discussion during the February meeting about allowing each club to establish its own admission prices.75 The constructive vibe opened the door for a compromise. Claiming later to be the architect of an eventual settlement, Robison consulted with Brush, Byrne, and Soden about settling with Philadelphia.76

The principals found common ground over a plan whereby Philadelphia agreed to divide all receipts equally with other clubs in return for those clubs doing the same in return. In what amounted to an agreement to divide gross receipts evenly, Philadelphia would continue to charge 50 cents as a grandstand admission with a quarter entry as a general admission and divide its total gate equally with visiting clubs.77 The Philadelphia correspondent to Sporting Life cheered the deal of behalf of Phillies fans, “who are practically assured the continuance of popular-priced base ball.”78

Boxing champion to Baltimore?

In one of the more interesting offseason negotiations, the story broke in February of Ned Hanlon negotiating with champion boxer James J. Corbett to play outfield for the Orioles during July and August. Considering this era in which the recognized maximum salary was $2,400, Hanlon’s purported offer of $1,000 per week grabbed attention. Corbett seemed up for the challenge in stating, “[I]f [Hanlon] really wants to give me $8,000 for those two months he can have me. … I think I will be able to fill the bill satisfactorily without making a farce of it.”79

Chadwick urged the League to stop the proposal, writing that “[t]his offer … is a new departure which every right minded magnate in the League should condemn as a violation of the spirit of the League constitution. …”80 The magnates, including Byrne, Von der Ahe, and Al Spalding, largely agreed with Chadwick.

Despite the opposition to Hanlon signing Corbett, other magnates, including Soden and Robison, acknowledged that there was likely little that could be done to prevent the deal from happening. In the end, though, Hanlon yielded. He commented, “I do not want to antagonize the League, and thereby injure base ball, especially in Baltimore.”81 Thus, Corbett would not be part of the Orioles team that would topple Boston and claim the 1894 pennant.

Other League business in February

In addition to reaching agreements over the playing rules and Philadelphia gate receipts, the League adopted its 1894 schedule during its February meeting. Beginning on Thursday, April 19, 1894, the 132-game schedule featured more clubs willing to play on Sundays. While New York, Boston, and Philadelphia still resisted playing Sunday games at home or away, more clubs than ever were willing, where permitted, to play on Sundays away from home. As The Sporting News observed, “In all of our great cities the tendency is to make Sunday a day of pleasure rather than of penitence.”82 Sunday baseball was becoming a feature of modern industrial society.

In other business, Byrne announced the donation of what would become the Temple Cup, a trophy to be contested between the first- and second-place clubs at the conclusion of the season. Following his managerial sacking from Philadelphia in December, the magnates appointed Harry Wright as the League’s umpiring chief for a period of one year at a salary of $1,800. After completion of League business, President Young invited reporters, players, and other attendees to join the magnates in toasting Wright as “The Father of National Game.”83 The three cheers that greeted Wright also might be stated to represent the optimism for the coming baseball season.



In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author also consulted:

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).



1 “The Battle Over,” Sporting Life, October 7, 1893: 3.

2 Sam, “Nick Young Feels Confident,” The Sporting News, October 7, 1893: 1.

3 “The Battle Over.”

4 “Nick Young Feels Confident.”

5 Senators, “President Young’s Figures,” The Sporting News, October 14, 1893: 4.

6 Euclid, “A Double Season,” The Sporting News, November 4, 1893: 1.

7 “The Big League,” Sporting Life, November 25, 1893: 2.

8 Sam McKee, “Pfeffer in Line,” Sporting Life, October 28, 1893: 5.

9 “Base Ball a Gold Mine,” The Sporting News, October 21, 1893: 2.

10 Ibid.

11 “The Big League,” November 25, 1893.

12 D.H., “The Cleveland Club,” The Sporting News, November 18, 1893: 2.

13 “Detroit and Buffalo,” The Sporting News, October 28, 1893: 1.

14 “Detroit Hits Back,” Sporting Life, November 11, 1893: 1.

15 “Chicago Ideas,” Sporting Life, November 11, 1893: 1.

16 Gotham, “Want the Double Season,” The Sporting News, November 18, 1893: 1.

17 “The Big League,” November 25, 1893.

18 “Baseball Men in Session,” New York Times, November 18, 1893: 3.

19 “The Big League,” November 25, 1893.

20 “Detroit’s Fizzle,” Sporting Life, November 18, 1893: 1.

21 Ibid.

22 “Indianapolis Wants the Spiders,” The Sporting News, December 9, 1893: 4.

23 Chas. W. Mears, “Still Guessing at Cleveland,” The Sporting News, December 9, 1893: 2.

24 Charles Mears, “Still in Statu Quo,” The Sporting News, December 30, 1893: 1.

25 Mears, “Still Guessing.”

26 Hollenden, “Robison Will Stay,” The Sporting News, January 27, 1894: 7.

27 “Base Ball a Gold Mine.”

28 Sam, “Senators for Sale,” The Sporting News, November 18, 1893: 1.

29 Ibid.

30 Peter Morris, A Game of Inches: The Game on the Field (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2006),


31 Morris, 80.

32 Ibid.

33 “Abolish the Bunt,” The Sporting News, October 21, 1893: 1.

34 Joe Vila, “Ward Against It,” Sporting Life, October 21, 1893: 1.

35 “War on the Bunt,” Sporting Life, October 28, 1893: 1.

36 Ibid.

37 “Cleveland Wants the Bunt,” The Sporting News, October 28, 1893: 1.

38 Jacob C. Morse, “Soden’s Views,” Sporting Life, October 21, 1893: 2.

39 W.H. Watkins, “To Bunt or Not to Bunt,” The Sporting News, October 28, 1893: 2.

40 Ibid.

41 Henry Chadwick, “Chadwick’s Chat,” Sporting Life, November 4, 1893: 3.

42 D.O.K., “Old and New Rules,” The Sporting News, February 10, 1894: 1.

43 “Baseball Brevities,” New York Times, February 8, 1894: 6.

44 “The Rule Changes,” Sporting Life, February 10, 1894: 1.

45 “Old and New Rules.”

46 Ibid.

47 “Baseball Brevities,” New York Times, February 8, 1894: 6.

48 Paul Chamberlain, “Cincinnati Chips,” Sporting Life, February 10, 1894: 2.

49 “The Big League,” Sporting Life, March 3, 1894: 2.

50 Gotham, “The League,” The Sporting News, March 3, 1894: 1.

51 “The Big League,” March 3, 1894.

52 Chamberlain.

53 Circle, “Another Change,” Sporting Life, March 3, 1894: 3.

54 “Ned Hanlon’s Call Down,” The Sporting News, March 17, 1894: 2.

55 Editorial, The Sporting News, April 21, 1894: 4.

56 Morris, 237.

57 Editor, “The League Meeting,” Sporting Life, February 24, 1894: 1.

58 “The Big League,” March 3, 1894.

59 Crittenden [?] E. Young, “They Will Make Money,” The Sporting News, March 10, 1894: 3.

60 “Windy City News,” Sporting Life, April 7, 1894: 4.

61 Harold Seymour, Baseball: The Early Years (New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989), 275; Morris, 237.

62 “Revising Baseball Rules,” New York Times, February 27, 1894: 6.

63 “The Big League,” November 25, 1893.

64 Ibid.

65 Ibid.

66 “Rogers Roasts Brush,” The Sporting News, November 18, 1893: 1.

67 Seymour, 293.

68 “The Big League,” November 25, 1893.

69 Ibid.

70 Ibid.

71 “Rogers Roasts Brush.”

72 “The Big League,” November 25, 1893.

73 Sporting Life reported the dissenting club as Philadelphia, but the New York Times and The Sporting News credited Brush with the dissenting vote. “The Big League,” November 25, 1893; “Van Haltren to Play Here, New York Times, November 17, 1893: 3; “Rogers Roasts Brush.”

74 “Mr. Rogers Excited,” The Sporting News, November 18, 1893: 1.

75 “The Big League,” March 3, 1894.

76 “Honor to Whom Honor, Etc.,” Sporting Life, March 17, 1894: 4.

77 “The Big League,” March 3, 1894.

78 “Philadelphia Pointers,” Sporting Life, March 10, 1894: 4.

79 “For a Thousand a Week,” The Sporting News, February 3, 1894: 1.

80 Henry Chadwick, “Corbett Not Wanted,” The Sporting News, February 10, 1894: 2.

81 “Hanlon Yields,” Sporting Life, February 17, 1894: 1.

82 “As to Sunday Games,” The Sporting News, February 24, 1894: 5.

83 “The Big League,” March 3, 1894.