1939 Winter Meetings:  Tie Goes To The Commissioner

This article was written by Jason C. Long

This article was published in the Baseball’s Business: The Winter Meetings: 1901-1957


Introduction and Context

The 1939 baseball winter meetings were held in Cincinnati, with the major and minor leagues meeting together for the first time since 1923. But meeting together provided little impetus for agreement. The minor leagues approved several measures to govern major-minor affiliations, but when the American and National Leagues split on whether to approve them, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis cast his tie-breaking vote against them. The meetings similarly saw no player movement that would be meaningful for the 1940 season.

The American and National Leagues had always held their meetings in New York or Chicago, but decided to meet in Cincinnati as part of the yearlong celebration of baseball’s centennial. Based on the story that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839, the centennial celebrations included the Hall of Fame opening in Cooperstown, New York; each major league producing a film about baseball; and more than $100,000 spent on other promotions. Cincinnati was chosen as the winter meetings’ location because it was the home of the first professional baseball team, the Red Stockings; coincidentally, the present-day Reds were the reigning National League champions.

About 1,500 people attended the meetings, representing more than 40 leagues and some 300 baseball clubs. The meetings opened at the Netherland Plaza Hotel in downtown Cincinnati on December 4. The minor leagues conducted business on the 4th through the 6th, followed by the major leagues, which were scheduled to meet on the 7th and 8th and conclude with a joint session on Saturday, December 9.

On the Field

As the meetings approached, there was buzz that teams would trade star players. For example, there was wide speculation that the Boston Bees would trade Max West. At least seven teams were interested in the outfielder, who hit .285 with 19 home runs during his sophomore season in 1939. Cardinals outfielder and future Hall of Famer Joe Medwick was also rumored to be on the move, with Dodgers president Larry MacPhail stating that he would bid “as high as any club” for him.1 Other stories had the Tigers trading Hank Greenberg, who had demanded a raise in exchange for moving from first base to left field to make room for Rudy York; the Yankees acquiring Browns All-Star first baseman George McQuinn; several clubs pining for Phillies All-Star outfielder Morrie Arnovich; and the Giants, coming off a fifth-place finish, pledging that they “must do something for 1940.”2

One of the first moves came from the hometown Reds, who re-signed the key members of their pennant-winning pitching staff. Bucky Walters, who won 27 games and the National League MVP Award in 1939, signed a $20,000 contract for 1940. Paul Derringer, who went 25-7, signed a two-year contract for an amount close to $20,000 per year. Pitcher Johnny Vander Meer and utilityman Bill Werber also re-signed.

The Dodgers provided a highlight of the meetings’ opening day when MacPhail, “holding court” in the Netherland Plaza’s Presidential Suite, announced a contract extension for Leo Durocher. Durocher had led the Dodgers to a 15-game improvement in his first year as manager, so the extension was no surprise. But when MacPhail held a press conference wearing “the latest cut” in white flannel pajamas to announce that there was “never any question” about Durocher’s return, it was “hilarious.” Durocher got in on the act too, stating that he had agreed to “keep MacPhail for another year.”3

In more serious business, the White Sox were offering outfielder Gerald “Gee” Walker around, seeking a catcher, but ultimately traded him to Washington for pitcher Pete Appleton and outfielder Taft Wright. The deal followed a late-night meeting that stretched into the early morning between Chicago manager Jimmy Dykes, Senators manager Bucky Harris and team president Clark Griffith. Chicago also traded outfielder Rip Radcliff to the Browns for outfielder Moose Solters and sold third baseman Marv Owen to the Red Sox.

The Cubs were also shopping for a shortstop. Dick Bartell, an All-Star with the Giants in 1937, was the Cubs shortstop in 1939. But his poor season led the Cubs to eye the Dodgers’ Johnny Hudson, the Pirates’ Arkie Vaughn, and the Bees’ Eddie Miller as possible replacements. Nothing came of that, so the Cubs traded “worn-out shortstops” with the Tigers, exchanging Bartell for Billy Rogell.4 Recognizing Rogell’s limitations, the Cubs subsequently attempted to acquire Marty Marion, a minor-league shortstop in the Cardinals system. But the Cardinals declined, and Marion went on to become a seven-time All-Star and the 1944 National League MVP.

The Cubs were also in the market for a catcher and were rumored to be seeking Dodgers All-Star Babe Phelps. Instead, they traded catcher Gus Mancuso and minor-league pitcher Newel Kimball to the Dodgers for catcher Al Todd. The trade placed Todd on his fifth National League team and made him teammates with pitcher Dizzy Dean, with whom Todd brawled when both were in the Texas League in 1931.

The Boston Bees were another team dealing at the winter meetings. First the Bees traded Jim Turner, the “gray bearded rookie sensation of 1937,” to the Reds for first baseman Les Scarsella and cash.5 This reunited Turner with Bill McKechnie, the Reds manager who had managed Boston in 1937 when Turner won 20 games; Turner had gone just 4-11 in 1939. The Bees also traded pitcher Johnny Lanning to the Pirates for pitcher Jim Tobin and cash. In a separate deal, the Pirates sent pitcher Bill Swift and cash to the Bees for pitcher Danny McFayden. The Bees also signed reliever Dick Coffman, who was a free agent after the Giants released him, and purchased outfielder Hubert Bates from the Phillies for the waiver price.

Finally, the A’s and Tigers made a last-minute deal that lasted only about a month. The A’s offered outfielder Wally Moses to the Tigers, reportedly seeking Rudy York, who hit .307 with 20 home runs in 1939. But as the meetings wound down, the A’s agreed to send Moses to Detroit for second baseman Benny McCoy and pitcher George Coffman. Based on the Tigers violating minor-league rules, however, in January 1940 Commissioner Landis declared McCoy and 92 other players in the Tigers system to be free agents. As a result, the trade was void; Moses and Coffman returned to the A’s and Tigers, respectively, and McCoy was free to sign with any team.

Quite a courtship followed for the 23-year-old, who was considered a top prospect after hitting .302 with 13 doubles and 6 triples in 227 plate appearances in 1939. McCoy signed with the A’s, whose $45,000 signing bonus with a $10,000 salary for two years was the highest of 10 reported offers. This proved to be only a moderately successful investment for the A’s; McCoy’s best season came in 1941 when he hit .271 with eight home runs. After that, he went off to World War II and never played in the major leagues again.

The star players who had been the subject of speculation stayed with their teams. Bees manager Casey Stengel did not “expect to get anyone any good” for Max West, and he did not; potential trading partners refused the Bees’ demands. Reds coach Jewel Ens quipped that Boston was asking for so many players for West that a trade would put the Bees “way over the limit.” Otherwise, Boston sought star quality, not, as Stengel put it, “four or five guys named ‘Joe’ who couldn’t play regular.”6 In fact, Stengel deadpanned that the Bees would “trade West to anybody — for Medwick.”7 As for Medwick, Dodgers president MacPhail gave up hope of trading for him, at least at the winter meetings. The lack of any major player movement was described as “a striking feature” of the winter meetings.8

The Business of Baseball

Whatever drama the 1939 meetings lacked in player movement, they made up in wrangling between the major and minor leagues. Heading into the meetings, the headliner was Commissioner Landis addressing the “evils of farm clubs.”9 Baseball’s rules neither provided for nor prohibited affiliations between major-league and minor-league teams. But after the World Series, Landis had refused to approve any new major-minor working agreements, and there was tension over existing affiliations. Indeed, not only had Landis rebuked major-league teams for their minor-league relationships, but heading into the meetings he fined the Tigers, the Dodgers, and two minor-league teams for their handling of minor-league players. As the meetings opened, however, the news from the commissioner struck a different note. Judge William G. Bramham, president of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, the minors’ umbrella group, announced that Landis had instructed him to issue a bulletin approving working agreements between major- and minor-league teams.

The Minor-League Meetings

With this concession in hand, the minor leagues set about to strike the “biggest blow ever” at Landis’ opposition to major-minor affiliations.10 On December 5 the NAPBL unanimously adopted four proposed amendments to the rules governing these relationships:

  • The first explicitly authorized working agreements between major- and minor-league teams. Notably, this was an amendment to the minor-league rules that did not require approval from the major leagues.
  • The second amendment allowed major-league clubs to sign players and assign them to their minor-league affiliates, and later obtain the players themselves. In the past, major-league clubs could recommend players to minor-league clubs only if they wanted to later have the players on their own rosters. This too was a minor-league rule that did not require major-league approval.
  • A third amendment provided that each club in an affiliated system must be considered a separate entity. Landis had interpreted the existing rules to treat all affiliated clubs as one entity, and this amendment would overrule his interpretation. This rule required major-league approval.
  • The fourth amendment would preclude the commissioner from placing interpretations on any rules, requiring that each rule must be applied strictly according to its text without the commissioner’s gloss. This rule also required approval from the major leagues.

These amendments were expected to “revolutionize” major-minor affiliations. Moreover, several major-league teams building large farm systems supported the amendments, suggesting that the major leagues would approve them. But when Landis, who had not even arrived at the meetings when the NAPBL adopted the amendments, was advised of them, he said, “I haven’t a thing to say about it. Goodbye.”11

The NAPBL also adopted a rule requiring a major-league team that wished to move into a Double-A league’s territory to pay the league compensation to be determined by a board. Previously, the rules called for $5,000 in compensation. This proposal also required major-league approval.

The Major-League Meetings

After the minor leagues completed their business, each major league began its meeting on Thursday. In the National League, the Reds and Dodgers co-sponsored the NAPBL amendments. Addressing these amendments took up most of the day, but in the end the National League unanimously approved them. On the other hand, every American League team but the Yankees voted to reject the measures. Other American League clubs viewed loosened restrictions on farm systems as a benefit to the Yankees, whom they were trying to limit.

The National League addressed other matters beginning with Larry MacPhail’s proposal to expand the postseason. In addition to the league champions meeting in the World Series, MacPhail called for a postseason series between the teams that finished second, third, and so forth. The plan was derided before the meetings, but the league surprisingly referred it to a study committee. Next, the National League adopted a rule that when a Sunday game in a city with a baseball curfew was not completed to 4½ or five innings, the game would resume later with the same score and player positioning as when the game was called. The league also increased its internal waiver price from $6,000 to $7,500, matching the American League price. Finally, the league named Boston’s Bob Quinn, Chicago’s Philip Wrigley, Horace Stoneham of New York, and Pittsburgh’s Bill Benswanger as its new Board of Directors.

The American League likewise addressed some specific provisions, including an effort to curb the Yankees. At a league meeting over the summer, Senators owner Clark Griffith, who had long been trying to limit the Yankees, proposed a rule that would prohibit the league champion from making nonwaiver trades. Griffith was apparently motivated by the Yankees trading bench players Joe Glenn and Myril Hoag to the Browns for Oral Hildebrand, a useful pitcher, after the 1938 season. The league tabled the proposal, but Griffith continued lobbying the owners. Yankees president Ed Barrow, who had a sometimes “abrasive” personality and no longer had beloved but recently deceased Yankees owner Jacob Ruppert as his backstop, did not effectively counter Griffith’s salesmanship.12 Thus, when Griffith revived his proposal at the winter meetings the league unanimously — that is, including the Yankees’ vote — adopted the rule barring the league champion from making nonwaiver trades.

The National League rejected this rule in short order, so it applied only to the American League. But it applied immediately, ending the Yankees’ pursuit of the Browns’ McQuinn, for whom the Yankees were rumored to have offered Babe Dahlgren, other players, and $75,000. Explaining the Yankees’ vote to adopt the rule, Barrow publicly proclaimed that the rule did not matter because the Yankees relied on their farm system for talent, though Barrow privately recognized the need for trades to obtain the right mix of players. In any event, in another move aimed at the Yankees, Griffith proposed to limit major-league farm teams to one per class. When league President Will Harridge considered the proposal so drastic that it required further study, Griffith withdrew the proposal.

The non-Yankees business in the American League meeting involved the league flatly rejecting MacPhail’s postseason plan and changing the means of selecting its All-Star manager. Instead of the reigning pennant winner’s manager running the American League team, Red Sox manager Joe Cronin was chosen for the job. Larry MacPhail reacted with disdain:

Those American League babies figure it this way. Cronin knows he’s not going to win the pennant anyway, see, so he can concentrate on preparing for the All-Star Game . . . They’re always cutting corners, those guys.13

The American League also named New York’s Ed Barrow, Boston’s Tom Yawkey, Alva Bradley of Cleveland, and Chicago’s Harry Grabiner as its new Board of Directors.

In other business, both leagues approved a rule allowing Saturday night games, lifting the previous rule limiting teams to seven night games per season. Both major leagues rejected the NAPBL’s proposed rule for compensating Double-A leagues. And officials from the Yankees and Browns met with American League President Harridge in a private session to discuss means of helping the downtrodden St. Louis club, though they emerged with nothing to report.

The Hall of Fame

After the leagues’ individual meetings, the Baseball Writers Association of America voted Lou Gehrig into the Hall of Fame without an election to commemorate the end of his consecutive games streak. Gehrig’s 2,130-game streak ended in Detroit on May 2, 1939, when the Iron Horse benched himself and was later found to be suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, now commonly called Lou Gehrig’s disease.

The AL-NL Joint Session

The American and National Leagues were scheduled to meet jointly on Saturday, December 9. But the National League met late into the night on Thursday to finish its business, allowing the joint session with Commissioner Landis to begin on Friday. Landis began the session by reading each NAPBL proposal; after each, the National League voiced its “yes” vote and the American League voiced its “no.” The tie between the leagues empowered Landis to cast the tie-breaking vote. His replies to the league votes were variously described as “solemn” or “gruff,” but he replied in each instance by stating, that “The Commissioner votes ‘no.’”14 National League President Ford Frick sought a poll of each league, as in the past Landis had sometimes voted with the overall majority of clubs notwithstanding the league votes. Landis refused Frick’s request and went on to the next order of business. MacPhail, who drafted the amendments, stormed out of the joint session “in a rage” before 15 minutes had passed.

Although major-minor relationships were the primary order of business, they were not the only one. Landis continued casting his tie-breaking vote with the American League to approve a rule requiring unanimous approval for a major-league team to move into a location where a team from the other major league already played. Previously, such a move required only approval from a majority of teams. The American League adopted this rule with an apparent concern that the Cardinals were considering a move to Detroit. The National League had rejected the rule, empowering Landis to break the tie in favor of the requirement.

The leagues also addressed a few rules of play on the field. In an effort to boost flagging batting averages, the leagues reinstated the sacrifice fly rule, which did not charge a batter with an at-bat if he hit a run-scoring fly ball. That rule had been adopted in 1926 but eliminated after the 1930 season. In a move less favorable to batters, the leagues decided that a batter would not get a run batted in when a run scored as a result of the batter hitting into a double play. Yankees president Barrow proposed a rule to allow a pitcher to notify the umpire that he wanted to intentionally walk a batter and eliminate the formality of throwing four wide pitches. Barrow’s proposal was tabled.

In any event, with Landis proceeding in a “staccato” fashion, the entire session was complete in less than 40 minutes. Afterward, farm system supporters were outspoken. MacPhail expressed exasperation with Landis’ stance:

What is the use? . . . Here we have gone to all the trouble of clarifying rules governing farming systems. But the commissioner’s mind is made up. He has always been dead set against chain-store baseball, and a group of American Leaguers, determined to tear down the Yankees, are using this as a means toward gaining their end.15

A National League team official who did not want to be identified predicted that Landis’ votes would damage the minor leagues:

Chain-store baseball . . . has been the lifeblood of minor-league baseball for the past eight or nine years. Back in 1931 there were only about ten or eleven minor leagues. Today we have forty-one . . . I predict that today’s failure to pass these amendments will see more than twenty of these minor leagues fold up . . . 16

Officials from the Reds, the Phillies, and the minor-league Newark Bears voiced similar sentiments. In the face of Landis’ votes, NAPBL President Bramham urged patience:

I hope all our club owners will allay what concerns they may have until we have had time to give full and clear consideration to the situation which now confronts us . . . We have all been through problems before and have learned there usually is a way to have our troubles righted.

Bramham vowed to continue his efforts, urging that “[t]here is more to be accomplished through conferences than through battles.”17 When asked the reason that he rejected the unanimous minor-league proposals, Landis replied that the “legislation didn’t originate in the minors. It originated in the majors.”18 With the joint session complete, “[m]ost of the game’s brass hats were on their way homeward before the shades of night fell” on Friday.19

Integration

Integration was not a formal topic at the 1939 winter meetings, but an unlikely source brought it to the fore. After several sportswriters had taken up black players’ cause during the 1930s, an American Communist Party organization followed suit in 1939. The organization gathered as many as 50,000 signatures for a petition to integrate the major leagues. At some point during the winter meetings, the organization presented the petition to the commissioner. Landis considered himself a “super-patriot,” so receiving a petition from the Communist Party may have “further deafen[ed] the commissioner’s ears to the burgeoning sounds of integration.”20

Summary

Just as the 1939 winter meetings lacked player movement, the commissioner’s tie-breaking votes in the joint session blocked the rule changes that might have significantly affected the business of baseball. Instead of “revolutionizing” major-minor affiliations, the meeting solidified the status quo. But despite the dire predictions, the effect on the minor leagues was inconclusive. The number of minor-league clubs dipped to just 62 during 1943, but that was at the height of World War II; by 1949 the minors had swelled to their high-water mark of 438 teams in 59 leagues. Perhaps the most significant consequence of the meetings was the trade restriction for the American League champion, which was blamed for hamstringing both the 1940 Yankees and the 1941 Tigers before being dropped for 1942.

 

Sources

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

“18,500,000 Attendance Recorded by Minor Leagues at 1939 Games,” New York Times, December 5, 1939.

“Athletics Sign Simmons,” New York Times, December 10, 1939.

“Barrow Criticizes Play-Off Proposal,” New York Times, November 14, 1939.

“Barrow Urges Change for Intentional Pass,” New York Times, December 2, 1939.

“Baseball Executives Gather for Meetings,” New York Times, December 1, 1939.

“Baseball in Brief,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 5, 7, and 9, 1939.

“Baseball Trade Winds to Blow Around Major League Clubs,” Milwaukee Journal, October 12, 1939: 2.

“Bees Trade McFayden to Pirates in Exchange for Swift and Cash,” Meriden (Connecticut) Record, December 9, 1939.

“Carew Tower-Netherland Plaza Hotel,” National Historic Landmarks Program. tps.cr.nps.gov/nhl/detail.cfm?ResourceId=1849&ResourceType=. Accessed April 20, 2011, and February 1, 2012.

“Csar Landis Swings Ax — Declares 93 Detroit Farmhands Free Agents,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, January 15, 1940: sports 2.

“Dodgers Acquire Berger, Infielder,” New York Times, December 27, 1939.

“Dodgers, in Deal With Cubs, Get Mancuso and Kimball for Todd,” New York Times, December 9, 1939.

Drebinger, John. “American League Bars Champion’s Trades With Rival Clubs Except on Waiver,” New York Times, December 8, 1939.

—–. “Bramham to War on Clubs in Minors for Flouting Rules,” New York Times, December 5, 1939.

—–. “MacPhail and Durocher Deadlocked After Long Session on Latter’s Contract,” New York Times, December 4, 1939.

“Expect Miserly Baseball Meet,” Spokane Spokesman-Review, November 8, 1939.

“Facts, Rumors From Cincinnati Baseball Meets,” Chicago Daily Tribune, December 5, 7, and 8, 1939.

“Fat Contract Awaits McCoy Soon as He Makes Up His Mind,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, January 29, 1940: sports page 1.

“Fireworks Are Expected at 1939 Winter Session of Major League Owners,” Calgary Herald, December 2, 1939: 7.

“Frisch Signs Flowers as Pirates’ Coach; Other News From the Baseball Meetings,” New York Times, December 7, 1939.

Frye, John. “Big Changes Coming in Baseball,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 8, 1939: 14.

“Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza,” Hilton Hotels & Resorts. 1.hilton.com/en_US/hi/hotel/CVGNPHF-Hilton-Cincinnati-Netherland-Plaza-Ohio/index.do. Accessed April 20, 2011, and February 1, 2012.

“Hilton Cincinnati Netherland Plaza,” Historic Hotels of America, National Trust for Historic Preservation. Historichotels.org/hotels-resorts/hilton-cincinnati-netherland-plaza/. Accessed April 20, 2011, and February 1, 2012.

“History,” Hoy Texas School for the Deaf Tournament. tsd.state.tx.us/hoyx/history.html. Accessed May 3, 2011.

Lanctot, Neil. Negro League Baseball: The Rise and Ruin of a Black Institution (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2004).

“Lombardi Wins Oddity Prize for Beauty Nap,” Chicago Tribune, December 17, 1939: B3.

McGowen, Roscoe. “MacPhail Offers New Inter-League Series Plan,” New York Times, October 26, 1939.

“Major, Minor Baseball Winter Meeting Starts,” Los Angeles Times, December 4, 1939: A14.

Morris, Jeff, and Michael Morris. Haunted Cincinnati and Southwest Ohio (Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing, 2009).

“New Rules Proposed for Minor Leagues,” New York Times, November 14, 1939.

“Out of the Past.” Chicago Daily Tribune, December 6, 1939: 35.

Pietrusza, David. Judge and Jury: The Life and Times of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (South Bend: Diamond Communications, 1998).

Pitts, Carolyn. “National Historic Landmark Nomination, Carew Tower-Netherland Plaza Hotel” (Washington, D.C.: National Parks Service, 1993).

“Rule on Invasions Changed In Minors,” New York Times, December 7, 1939.

Schwartz, John. “The Sacrifice Fly,” 1981 SABR Baseball Research Journal. Accessed May 3, 2011.

“Showdown Looms on Farm Issue at Baseball Meetings This Week,” New York Times, December 3, 1939.

Smith, Lou. “Rest Easily, You Redleg Fans, Bucky And Johnny Sign,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 8, 1939: 14.

—–. “Sports Sparks,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 7 and 8, 1939.

“Stress Technique in Baseball Film,” New York Times, November 9, 1939.

“Tigers Acquire Bartell,” New York Times, December 7, 1939.

Vaughan, Irving. “Medwick Will Be Chief Topic at Major Meet,” Chicago Tribune, November 26, 1939: B8.

—–. “Landis Levies $2,500 in Fines on Four Clubs,” Chicago Tribune, November 30, 1939: 27.

—–. “Sox Trade Walker; League Curbs Yankees,” Chicago Tribune, December 8, 1939: 35.

—–. “Landis May Rule Today on Player Deals,” Chicago Tribune, December 22, 1939: 27.

Wolner, Edward W. “A City-Within-a-City and Skyscrapers Patronage in the 1920’s,” Journal of Architectural Education, XLII, Winter 1989: 10-23.

“Writers Move to Place Gehrig in Hall of Fame,” New York Times, December 8, 1939.

 

Notes

1 Lou Smith, “Reds Hope to Make Deals at Meet Opening Here Monday,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 3, 1939: 14.

2 John Drebinger, “Giants and Six Other National League Clubs Bid for Outfielder West of Bees,” New York Times, December 6, 1939.

3 Lou Smith, “If Giles Can Outtalk Bobby Quinn He May Get Max West,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 5, 1939: 16.

4 “1939.” Charlton’s Baseball Chronology. https://baseballlibrary.com/chronology/byyear.php?year=1939. Accessed May 9, 2011.

5 John Drebinger, “Bees Part With Pitchers Turner and Lanning in Deals With Reds and Pirates,” New York Times, December 7, 1939.

6 Lou Smith, “Give Us Outfielder or Two and We’ll Repeat, Says Giles,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 4, 1939: 14.

7 Lou Smith, “Reds Get Jim Turner for Scarsella and Cash,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 7, 1939: 15.

8 John Drebinger, “Baseball Chains Face Strict Rule,” New York Times, December 10, 1939.

9 Irving Vaughan, “Trade Winds Are Soon to Shift to Cincinnati,” Chicago Tribune, December 3, 1939: B2.

10 “Baseball Chains Score Over Landis,” New York Times, December 6, 1939.

11 Ibid.

12 Daniel R. Levitt, Ed Barrow: The Bulldog Who Built the Yankees’ First Dynasty (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2008), 332.

13 Lou Smith, “Hope for New Outfielder Is Abandoned by Warren Giles,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 9, 1939: 13.

14 “Landis Wrecks Efforts to Restrict His Control Over Farm Systems,” Baltimore Sun, December 9, 1939, 14; George Kirksey, “Steam Roller Steered by Landis,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 9, 1939: 12.

15 John Drebinger, “Landis’ Vote Decides for American League Policy Curbing Farm Systems,” New York Times, December 9, 1939.

16 “Hope for New Outfielder Is Abandoned by Warren Giles.”

17 “Yankees Discuss Help for Browns,” New York Times, December 9, 1939.

18 “Steam Roller Steered by Landis.”

19 “Hope for New Outfielder is Abandoned by Warren Giles.”

20 Talmage Boston, 1939: Baseball’s Pivotal Year (Ottawa: The Summit Publishing Group, 1994), 170.

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