This article was written by Ed Edmonds
This article was published in the The National Pastime: Baseball in the Big Apple (New York, 2017)
In 1953, the United States Supreme Court issued a one paragraph opinion in Toolson v. New York Yankees, Inc.1 The decision affirmed three lower federal court decisions that turned aside lawsuits challenging the Court’s 1922 ruling regarding the application of the nation’s antitrust laws to Organized Baseball. The life and baseball career of the plaintiff at the heart of the 1953 Toolson case is largely unknown.On November 9, 1953, the United States Supreme Court issued a one paragraph opinion in Toolson v. New York Yankees, Inc.1 The decision affirmed three lower federal court decisions that turned aside lawsuits challenging the Court’s 1922 ruling regarding the application of the nation’s antitrust laws to Organized Baseball.2 The concluding sentence succinctly declared that “without re-examination of the underlying issues, the judgments below are affirmed on the authority of Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore v. National League of Professional Baseball Clubs … so far as that decision determines that Congress had no intention of including the business of baseball within the scope of the federal antitrust laws.”3 Although the majority opinion was challenged by a much lengthier and strenuously argued dissent by Justices Harold H. Burton and Stanley Reed, the Toolson decision reinforced baseball’s exemption from antitrust challenge.
Nearly two decades later in Flood v. Kuhn, the Court revisited the question again, ultimately determining that “with its reserve system enjoying exemption from the federal antitrust laws, baseball is, in a very distinct sense, an exception and an anomaly. Federal Baseball and Toolson have become an aberration confined to baseball. … Accordingly, we adhere once again to Federal Baseball and Toolson and to their application to professional baseball.”4 The decisions in all three cases are frequently criticized, but they are still legally important. In the past few years, the reach of baseball’s antitrust exemption was a critical factor in two cases reaching conflicting conclusions in cases dealing with broadcast blackout restrictions and franchise relocation.5
The life and baseball career of the plaintiff at the heart of the 1953 Toolson case is largely unknown. In fact, he is almost always identified as George Toolson, his given first and last names, or his complete name, George Earl Toolson, used in the legal documents surrounding the case. Because George Earl Toolson’s father was also named George, the son was known by family and teammates by his middle name Earl. This article will address the life of the very real man behind one of baseball’s major legal challenges against its business practices. Rather than focus on the federal court decisions, this article will review Earl’s early years in Burley, Idaho, his college years at Willamette, his military service during World War II, his minor league career, and the reasons behind his decision to file a lawsuit against the New York Yankees.
EARL’S EARLY LIFE
Earl Toolson was born in Burley, Idaho, on September 30, 1922, the second son of George H. and Ella Matthews Toolson. Burley is primarily located on the southern side of the Snake River in Cassia County in the south central part of the state adjacent to the path of the Oregon Trail. The town was founded in 1905, just 15 years after Idaho gained statehood, incorporated in 1909, and named for Oregon Short Line Railroad Company passenger agent David E. Burley.6
Earl’s parents were married in Salt Lake City on February 24, 1920. George, Earl’s father, was a dentist. The family first lived on Miller Avenue where Earl’s older brother Tom was born on January 27, 1921. Earl’s sister Margaret arrived in 1925, and William (“Bill”) followed a little over two years later. The burgeoning family moved to Conant Avenue, and Earl’s youngest brother James Richard (“Dick”) was born in 1934.7 George displayed an early interest in baseball, helping to organize games and teams in the young city. He later managed American Legion teams that included Tom and Earl. Earl’s prowess emerged at an early age; as a 15-year-old he pitched for the Burley team in the Northwest Regional Legion Junior Baseball Championship on August 13, 1938. Unfortunately, he was “erratic” on the mound and his team’s six errors contributed to a 14–2 loss to the Postoffice Pharmacy team from Portland, Oregon.8 The following year, Earl pitched and led his Burley team to a 16–15 victory over Twin Falls to take the Idaho south-central district championship by striking out 18 and batting 3-for-4 with a three-run homer.9 During the summer of 1940, Earl also pitched for the Idaho Falls Tigers in the Idaho semi-pro tourney.10 Earl starred in baseball, basketball, and track at Burley High School.
After graduating from high school, Earl enrolled at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon, where he starred in both baseball and basketball for the Bearcats.11 He also participated in track and earned letters in all three sports.12 As a freshman, Earl started Willamette’s initial game of the 1941 baseball season, a 10–0 victory over the Greys, a team comprised of inmates at the state penitentiary. Described as “the widely heralded Idaho youngster,” Toolson hurled “smoothly despite nervousness, striking out six, walking three, and allowing but two hits.”13 On April 12, 1941, “Big” Earl tossed a 6–0 shutout, scattering nine hits while striking out 11 to defeat the University of Oregon Ducks.14 Earl, a right-handed pitcher, was often described as big. He was variously listed during his career at either six feet or 6-foot-1 and weighing 195-208 pounds (with an excellent curve ball).
Earl pitched the first game of the Northwest Conference championship series against Whitman College on May 22, 1941. Despite Toolson recording 11 strikeouts, Whitman defeated Willamette 8–3 at the Blues diamond in Walla Walla, Washington.15 Whitman relied on six errors in the first two games to capture the championship.16 Earl led the Silverton Red Sox semi-pro team to the Oregon state championship during the summer of 1941.17 During the 1942 Willamette season, Toolson dropped a “well pitched ball game” to the Oregon State Beavers 4-3, when the Corvallis nine scored twice in the ninth to earn a come-from-behind triumph.18 The Oregon Ducks prevailed over Toolson in the second game of a doubleheader on April 4, pushing across three unearned runs in the eighth inning for a 5–2 win.19 The following year the Bearcats avenged their 1941 loss to Whitman by capturing the Northwest Conference title on May 23, by winning the first game 6–0 while Earl lost the second game, 2–1, a 7-inning decision to the Blues despite giving up only two hits.20 With fellow pitchers Bill Hanauska and Jack Richards, Earl formed Willamette coach Spec Keene’s “The Big Three.” In 1942, all three signed minor league deals.21
Soon after the completion of Willamette’s season, Earl signed with Boston Red Sox scout Ernie Johnson for a $2,500 signing bonus. He was assigned to Boston’s Greensboro, North Carolina, franchise to begin his minor league career.22 The B-level Greensboro Red Sox won the Piedmont League crown during the playoffs after finishing the year functionally tied for first place, mere percentage points ahead of the Portsmouth Cubs with a 78–53 record.23 Hall of Famer Heinie Manush was the Red Sox manager. Earl posted a 2–5 record with a 4.86 ERA in 11 games. In 63 innings, Toolson surrendered 58 hits and 46 runs with 34 of those runs earned. Earl displayed a career-long issue by issuing 48 walks for the Red Sox. In an era before WHIP was an acknowledged statistic, Earl checked in at 1.683 for the season. In the fall, Earl returned to Willamette, where he noted in an interview with Statesman Journal columnist Al Lightner that many of his appearances were in relief because Manush “didn’t want to take any chances with the rookies” while the team battled Portsmouth for the league crown.24
In 1943, Earl was promoted to the Double-A American Association Louisville Colonels. He appeared in the Colonels’ May 5 opening day 7–4 loss to Columbus, entering the game in the fourth inning with Louisville trailing, 5–3. Louisville Courier-Journal writer Tommy Fitzgerald described Earl as “a boy from Idaho who can throw the potato” and noted that in 3 2/3 innings, the young hurler surrendered only one hit to Emil Verban.25 Four days later he won a complete game 1-0 shutout against the Toledo Mud Hens when Columbus scored in the bottom of the ninth inning. Fitzgerald noted, “Toolson’s control was perfect. He didn’t issue a walk and turned back six batters on strikes.”26
On May 15, Toolson’s control deserted him as he issued three walks, threw two wild pitches, and balked once in a 5–2 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.27 In his next outing against the Kansas City Blues on May 20, Earl, “a rookie whose previous efforts had merited the plaudits of the mob, didn’t have his stuff and was rapped rather vigorously” for four runs and six hits in 1 2/3 innings.28 Four days later, Toolson was tagged with another loss when three of the four batters that he walked scored in a 4–2 Minneapolis victory.29 Earl’s next starting assignment was on June 12, and “for five innings … [he] had the Millers feeding from the palm of his pitching hand. He shut them out with only two hits.” However, in the sixth inning a two-run, pinch-hit home run by Joe Vosmik produced a 5-1 Minneapolis win.30 A few days later Toolson suffered a knee injury, and he would not return to action until July.31 Earl was ineffective in his relief efforts in August and September. For the season Earl appeared in 24 games winning three of his eight decisions with a 5.33 ERA.
1944-45: MILITARY SERVICE
After the 1943 season, Earl was granted a medical discharge from the Marines where he had served in the reserves. He subsequently joined the Army Air Corps, where he arrived for enlistment on February 14, 1944, on crutches due to knee surgery, and he was assigned to Williams Field in Higley, Arizona.32 While serving as a cadet, his athletic prowess was recognized, and he served most of his military time as a physical training (PT) instructor while playing basketball and baseball for the Williams Field team. While serving in the military, Toolson married Pasadena native Lucile Chisholm on March 17, 1945.33 Earl spent many years working offseasons in the Hollywood film industry. Toolson completed his military service on November 2, 1945.
Earl returned to the Louisville Colonels for the 1946 season, and he helped his team capture the American Association pennant. The Colonels had moved up to the AAA level, and Earl won five and lost three while posting a 3.88 ERA in 58 innings. After being used infrequently early in the season, Toolson notched his first win on May 17, a three-hit, five-walk, 6–5 complete game effort over the Milwaukee Brewers. In early July, the hurler was sidelined by a cyst on his hip that ultimately required surgery.34 He returned to the mound on August 23, picking up the loss in an 8–6 Toledo victory.35
In 1947, Toolson posted some of the top numbers of his career with 11 wins against six losses, a 3.19 ERA, and 125 hits in 127 innings. Toolson’s ERA ranked eighth amongst American Association pitchers who logged 45 or more innings.36 Prior to the season, Earl was fearful that he would not be able to pitch because of the pain in his left leg and hip near the area where the cyst had been removed.37 Although Earl did not pitch during the month of March, Colonels manager Harry Leibold still felt that Toolson would be able to contribute to the team’s efforts and named him as one of the 12 pitchers for his staff coming out of spring training.38
On May 5, Earl entered a 5–5 game against Minneapolis and won the game despite loading the bases with walks, including two intentional passes. Jim Gleeson’s “brisk grounder” went through the Miller shortstop’s legs to tally the winning run in the ninth.39 On May 12, Toolson surrendered a bases-loaded single in the tenth inning of a wild 12–11 loss to Kansas City.40 On May 25, Toolson was granted a win in a 1–0 victory over Toledo when he relieved “hard luck” Jim Wilson—who suffered a broken leg when struck by a blast off of his left shin, putting Wilson “out of commission … for possibly two months.”41 In the second game of a May 30 Memorial Day doubleheader in Indianapolis, Toolson was locked in a scoreless pitching duel with Indians starter Ken Gables before the home team erupted for four seventh-inning runs, paving the way to a 4–0 loss for Earl and his Colonels teammates.42 On June 23, Earl, pitching “probably his best ball of the season” against the Columbus Red Birds, threw eight strong innings before giving way to Al Widmar in a 2–1, 14-inning Columbus win.43
Earl surrendered two runs in the first inning against Kansas City on July 18, but he settled down to strike out ten Blues before running into trouble in the bottom of the ninth after his teammates scored four times in the top half of the inning. Reliever Clem Dreisewerd locked down the 6–4 win, but only after the two runners that he inherited from Toolson scored to narrow the Colonel lead.44 On July 24, “Toolson turned the Brewers into complete submission” with a 6–1 complete game victory, and he “would have had a shutout but for Chuck Koney’s error in the ninth.”45 On August 3, Earl captured a 4–2, seven-inning win against Milwaukee in the second game of a doubleheader when he was aided by a sixth inning three-run rally.46
One week later, Earl pushed his season log to 9–5 with “distinctive seven-hit ball” in a 4-2, complete-game win over the Minneapolis Millers in the second game of a doubleheader.47 During the playoffs on September 11, Colonels shortstop Billy Goodman unleashed two throwing errors that propelled the Minneapolis Millers to a 13-8 win that hung a loss on Earl.48 At the end of the 1947 season, Toolson’s record demonstrated his persistent battle with wildness, and his 67 walks pushed his season WHIP to 1.512. The Colonels finished the season in second place.
The Louisville Colonels dropped to last place in the American Association in 1948, and Earl’s career took a step backwards as well. He won only four of his 14 decisions despite turning in a career high with 140 innings pitched. However, he allowed 160 hits, 64 walks, with a 5.21 ERA.
During spring training Earl pitched in a 12-6 exhibition game loss to Kansas City in Bradenton, Florida, on April 6 with Baseball Commissioner Happy Chandler in attendance. Tommy Fitzgerald quipped in the Louisville Courier-Journal, that the executive “refused to nullify the victory on the ground the conduct of the Blues was detrimental to baseball in Louisville.”49
On April 27, “Toolson’s lack of control got the Colonels off to a disadvantage. Three passes and a couple of singles … spotted the home team [Minneapolis Millers] a pair of runs.” In three innings, Earl was responsible for five Miller runs in a 9–5 loss; Bill Elbert relieved him.50 On May 4, “Toolson gave a reasonably good account of himself for five periods and then weakened in the sixth for three extra base wallops and as many runs” in a 6-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers.51
Earl picked up one of his four wins in relief against the Saint Paul Saints on August 1. The Colonels scored seven runs in the seventh and eighth innings to pull out an 8–4 decision.52 On August 8, Earl nearly caused a bench-clearing brawl in the second game of a doubleheader with Kansas City. Blues outfielder Bill Sinton, a former Louisville player, broke Colonels catcher Russ Rolandson’s nose in a collision at home plate while tying the score at 3–3 in the seventh inning. When Toolson’s first pitch to Sinton in the eighth was inside, the Kansas City player headed “toward the mound with bat in hand.” Earl ultimately lost a 5–4, 8-inning decision.53
The Colonels spent much of the year trading players in search of a winning formula. Earl and fellow pitcher Bill Elbert had been strong contributors in 1947 only to slip badly during the 1948 campaign. Although they lasted the entire 1948 season with the Colonels, that situation was remedied in early October when the pair was traded to Kansas City—the New York Yankees farm team in the American Association—for pitcher Bob Alexander and “an unstipulated amount of cash.”54
In mid-April 1949, before Earl could pitch a single game for the Blues, the Yankees engineered a swap from Kansas City to their other Triple-A affiliate, the Newark Bears.55 Toolson started 11 of his 12 games for the woeful Bears, a club destined to finish the season in last place. He won one-half of his ten decisions with a 4.74 ERA. On July 22, the Yankees, attempting to bolster their big league relief corps, shipped Earl and cash to the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League for 38-year-old veteran Ralph Buxton.56
On July 24, Earl pitched in his first game for the Oaks against the San Francisco Seals, giving up two hits and one earned run in three innings of relief in a 5–2 Oaks loss.57 Emmons Byrne, a writer for the Oakland Tribune, wrote that the Oaks “did introduce an effective new pitcher in the sixth when Earl Toolson, who reported two days ago from Newark … A right hander, he’s big and he’s strong. His curve ball certainly baffled the Seals.”58
Earl Toolson notched his first PCL victory on July 29 in a 6–3 Oaks win over Seattle, helping himself at the plate with two RBIs.59 However, Earl soon became ineffective due to a recurrence of his hip ailment and a sore back. The Oaks placed him on the disabled list in August and the Yankees were later forced to assign pitcher Ernie Groth as additional compensation for Buxton’s acquisition.60
On February 8, 1950, The Statesman (Salem, OR) reported that general manager Bill Mulligan of the Portland Beavers had purchased Earl’s contract from the Oakland Oaks on a 30-day conditional basis.61 Toolson never pitched for the Beavers. As he recovered from his injuries, the Yankees decided in May to outright his contract to the Class-A Binghamton Triplets in the Eastern League. When Earl refused the assignment, he was placed on the ineligible list. While his status was being considered, he was actually allowed to accept a conditional assignment from Binghamton to the San Francisco Seals, where Seals manager Lefty O’Doul, “needing pitching help,” took a chance that Earl’s “sore arm has been cured.”62 Unfortunately, Earl pitched very ineffectively in three games for the Seals, giving up 10 earned runs, 15 hits, and seven walks in six innings. After the season ended, the Seals returned Toolson’s contract to Binghamton.
After the 1950 season, Earl sought advice from boyhood friend Howard Parke, now an attorney in Santa Barbara, California.63 Working with Parke’s colleagues Gene Harris and Harry Ross, the group decided to file a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of California on May 1, 1951, challenging the continued viability of the Supreme Court’s 1922 Federal Baseball decision.64 On November 6, Judge Ben Harrison rendered his opinion based upon his determination that “the simple issue of this case is whether the game of baseball is ‘trade or commerce’ within the meaning of the Anti-Trust Acts, and whether the structure known as ‘Organized Baseball’ is engaged in such trade or commerce.”65 Laying out a traditional view of the role of a federal court judge, Harrison turned aside Toolson’s claim:
Plaintiff seeks to have this court disregard an adjudication made thirty years ago by the Supreme Court. I am bound by the decision of the Supreme Court. It is not my function to disregard such a decision because it is old. If the Supreme Court was in error in its former opinion or changed conditions warrant a different approach, it should be the court to correct the error.66
The case was appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.67 On December 12, 1952, that court affirmed Judge Harrison’s decision in a one sentence per curiam opinion.68 Toolson’s legal team appealed their case to the United States Supreme Court.
MOTIVATION FOR THE LAWSUIT
On February 19, 1970, during the Curt Flood litigation, Rube Samuelsen, the long-time Pasadena Star-News sports writer and editor, published an article based on an interview between Earl and Eddie West. Toolson, at that time the president of Mortgage Correspondent, Inc., provided one answer to his motivation in bringing his lawsuit: “I had suffered a spinal injury, a ruptured disc, much like Charley Keller’s. It was a baseball injury, no question of that. The Yankees refused to assume any responsibility for my injury. They wanted me to go to Binghampton (sic), a minor league affiliate, and work my way back to the big club. I refused. They put me on their suspended list. For that matter I’m still on it.”69 During a 2007 interview with Earl’s brother Bill and son Pete, they noted that Earl was also upset that they wanted to cut his salary due to his demotion from Triple-A to an A-level team. Earl felt that the Yankees should honor the salary in his contract.70
Earl was first stricken with cancer in 1982 and had his kidney removed. He died on November 27, 1987.71 Orange County Register writer Keith Sharon noted that “for the most part, Toolson was far removed from his baseball past. He spent much of his time in pain. Mrs. Toolson said her husband underwent 17 surgeries since his playing days.”72
ED EDMONDS is Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Notre Dame. He is the former law library director at William & Mary, Loyola New Orleans, St. Thomas (MN), and Notre Dame. He is a frequent speaker at the NINE Spring Training Conference and the Cooperstown Symposium. With Frank Houdek, he is the co-author of “Baseball Meets the Law ” (McFarland, 2007). He has taught a seminar on sports law for over 30 years and written numerous law review articles on the legal aspects of labor and antitrust law and baseball.
1 346 U.S. 356 (1953).
2 Toolson v. New York Yankees, Inc., 200 F.2d 198 (9th Cir. 1952), Kowalski v. Chandler, 202 F.2d 413 (6th Cir. 1953), Corbett v. Chandler, 202 F.2d 428 (6th Cir. 1953)
3 346 U.S. at 357.
4 407 U.S. 258, 282, 284 (1972).
5 City of San Jose v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, 776 F.3d 686 (9th Cir. 2015); Garber v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball, 120 F. Supp. 3d 334 (S.D.N.Y. 2014).
6 Valarie K. Bowen and the Cassia County Historical Society, Cassia County (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Publishing, 2009), 38; Cassia County History, CassiaCounty.org, http://www.cassiacounty.org/about-cassia-county/history.htm.
7 Brief History of George H. Toolson, Father of William E. Toolson, FamilySearch, https://familysearch.org/photos/artifacts/7295384.
8 Ron Gemmell, “Postoffice and Shelton Left To Fight for Regional Crown,” Oregon Statesmen (Salem, OR), August 14, 1938.
9 “Burley Legion Team Defeats Twin Falls,” Post Register (Idaho Falls, ID), July 25, 1939.
10. “Aupperle’s Strong Nine Enters Preston Tourney,” Post Register (Idaho Falls, ID), July 18, 1940.
11. “Bearcats vs. Packards In Hoop Bill Tonight,” Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), December 6, 1940; “’Cat Hoopsters Hard at Work,” Oregon Statesmen Journal (Salem, OR), November 17, 1940 (Toolson listed as a freshman); “Bearcats Stop Whitman, 54-43; Top Circuit,” Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), February 5, 1941; Fred Zimmerman, “Skits and Scratches,” Capital Journal (Salem, OR), March 22, 1941.
12. “Letter Award Assembly for WU Athletes,” Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), May 21, 1942.
13. “Keene Quiet As ’Cat Chuckers Stop Greys, Oregon Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), March 30, 1941.
14. “Willamette Bearcats Blank Oregon Webfoots, 6-0,” Register Guard (Eugene, OR), April 13, 1941.
15. “Whitman Takes First Game From Bearcats,” The Capital Journal (Salem, OR), May 23, 1941.
16. “Bearcats Lose to Whitman in Playoff,” Capital Journal (Salem, OR), May 24, 1941; “Bearcats Win Over Whitman Nine, 11-1,” Capital Journal (Salem, OR), May 26, 1941; Fred Zimmerman, “Skits and Scratches,” Capital Journal (Salem, OR), May 27, 1941.
17. “Silverton Takes State Semi-Pro Championship,” The Observer (La Grande, OR), July 14, 1941.
18. “Bearcats Lose to Beavers By 4-3 Score,” The Capital Journal (Salem, OR), March 31, 1942.
19. Al Lightner, “Webfoots Hand Bearcats Double Baseball Dunk at Waters Park, 7-3, 5-2, Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), April 5, 1942.
20. “Bill Hanauska Hurls ’Cats to Ball Title,” Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), May 24, 1942.
21. Al Lightner, “From the Bleachers,” The Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), May 30, 1942.
22. Who’s Who in the American Association, 1948 Edition, 35. The bonus information was obtained from official card maintained by the Boston Red Sox and Al Lightner, “From the Bleachers,” The Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), June 4, 1942; Fred Zimmerman, “Skits and Scratches,” The Capital Journal (Salem, OR), June 1, 1941.
23. J. Chris Holaday, Professional Baseball in North Carolina: An Illustrated City-by-City History, 1901-1996, 77.
24. Al Lightner, “From the Bleachers,” The Statesman Journal (Salem, OR), September 22, 1942.
25. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Colonels Lose In Opener By 7 to 4,” Louisville Courier-Journal.
26. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Toolson Hurls Shutout As Colonels Ruffle Hens 1-0, 4-3,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 10, 1943.
27. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Brews Bunch 9 Blows With Toolson’s Wildness to Win 5-2,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 16, 1943.
28. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Cols Get Only 5 Hits In 16 Innings And Bow to Blues By 8-1, 3-1,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 21, 1943.
29. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Colonels Break Even – But Not Financially,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 24, 1943.
30. George Barton, “Vosmik’s Homer Beats Kens 5-1,” Louisville Courier-Journal, June 13, 1943.
31. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Tired Colonel Hurlers Gain Split; Help to Come As Rebel Traded,” Louisville Courier-Journal, June 21, 1943.
32. Who’s Who in the American Association, 1948 Edition, 35
34. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Cols Win, Gain But Limp Away,” Louisville Courier-Journal, July 27, 1946; Bob Hooey, “American Association: 15 Wins on Road Put Colonels on Top,” The Sporting News, August 21, 1946.
35. Sam Levy, “American Association: Braves Take Over Brewers October 1,” The Sporting News, September 4, 1946.
36. Earl Flora, “Dreisewerd, Lanky Lefty, A. A. Pitching Pace-Maker,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1947.
37. Tommy Fitzgerald, “McDermott and 20 Pounds My Be Great Combination,” Louisville Courier-Journal, March 16, 1947.
38. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Buffalo Defeats Louisville 2 to 0,” Louisville Courier-Journal, March 29, 1947; Tommy Fitzgerald, “Colonels May Be Minus Genovese,” Louisville Courier-Journal, April 1, 1947.
39. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Errors In Ninth Bring Colonels Victory By 6-5,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 6, 1947.
40. Ernie Mehl, “Colonels Get 5 in 9th, Lose to Blues By 12-11 In 10th,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 13, 1947.
41. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Wilson Breaks Leg to Mar Pair of 1-0 Colonel Wins,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 26, 1947.
42. Les Koelling, “Cols, Despite Fine Fielding, Bow to Hoosiers 4-3, 4-0, Louisville Courier-Journal, May 31, 1947.
43. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Wild Pitch Wins For Clark In 14th,” Louisville Courier-Journal, June 24, 1947.
44. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Colonels Rally for 4 In ninth And Whip Kansas City By 6-4,” Louisville Courier-Journal, July 19, 1947.
45. Red Thisted, “Toolson Scores Over Brews 6-1,” Louisville Courier-Journal, section 3, July 24, 1947.
46. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Goodman Is Hero Again As Colonels Capture Two,” Louisville Courier-Journal, August 4, 1947.
47. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Ostrowski, Toolson Hurl Cols To 3-0, 4-2 Wins Over Millers,” Louisville Courier-Journal, August 11, 1947.
48 Tommy Fitzgerald, “5 Gift Runs in 8th Beat Cols By 13-8,” Louisville Courier-Journal, September 12, 1947.
49. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Blues Club Elbert for 6 Runs In 5th as Chandler Watches, Louisville Courier-Journal, April 7, 1948.
50. George Barton,“Cols Score 5 in 9th But Kels Win 9-5,” Louisville Courier-Journal, April 28, 1948.
51. Amos Thisted, “Brewers Down Cols 6-4; Toolson Weakens in 6h,” Louisville Courier-Journal, May 5, 1948.
52. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Himes Enslaves Us Again to Give Saints Split,” Louisville Courier-Journal, August 2, 1948.
53. Tommy Fitzgerald, “Rolandson’s Nose Broken In Plate Play That Leads Almost to Riot in Twin Loss,” Louisville Courier-Journal, August 9, 1948.
54. “Colonels Trade Elbert, Toolson for Alexander,” Louisville Courier-Journal, October 3, 1948.
55. “Deals of the Week Majors-Minors,” Sporting News, April 20, 1949.
56. John Drebinger, “Raschi Gains 15th Victory, 5 to 3, As Bombers Take 5 ½-Game Lead, New York Times, July 22, 1949; Al Wolf, “Ignited Seraphs Burn Stars Again,” Los Angeles Times, July 23, 1949.
57. “Oakland Blanks Seals, Then Loses Nightcap,” Los Angeles Times, July 25, 1949.
58. Emmons Byrne, “Oaks Divide With Seals, Capture Series,” Oakland Tribune, July 25, 1949.
59. Emmons Byrne, “Toolson Hurls Oaks to 6-3 Victory,” Oakland Tribune, July 30, 1949; “Toolson Twirls Oaks 6-3 Win,” Los Angeles Times, July 30, 1949.
60. Emmons Byrne, “The Bullpen,” Oakland Tribune, April 17, 1950; John B. Old, “It’s Stars’ Hurling vs. Padres Batting,” The Sporting News, April 26, 1950; “Oaks Get Hurler.” Oakland Tribune, August 24, 1949. In the February 7, 1951, issue of The Sporting News, Oakland owner Brick Laws complained that the Yankees were supposed to provide a “good pitcher” in the Buxton deal, “but they sent us Earl Toolson. He pitched only ten or 12 innings for us and we let him go. Naturally, I let out a growl to the Yanks about it.” Jack McDonald, “Laws Duels With Devine on Yank Aid,” The Sporting News, February 7, 1951.
61. “Portlands Buy Earl Toolson,” The Statesman (Salem, OR), February 8, 1950. A similar article appeared on February 7 in the Oakland Tribune. “Toolson to Bevos,” Oakland Tribune, February 7, 1950.
62. John B. Old, “Attendance Below Last Year’s Rate,” The Sporting News, July 12, 1950.
63. Keith Sharon, “Challenger to Baseball Reserve Clause Dies at 65: Yankees Pitcher Lost Case in Supreme Court,” Orange County Register, Dec. 24, 1987.
64. “Baseball Player Asks $375,000 in Damage Suit,” Los Angeles Times, May 2, 1951; “Game’s Reserve Clause Under Fire From Two Angles,” The Sporting News, May 9, 1951.
65. Toolson v. New York Yankees, Inc., 101 F. Supp. 93, 94 (S.D. Cal. 1951).
66. 101 F. Supp. at 94–95.
67. “Supreme Court Test of Clause Is Probable,” Binghamton (NY) Press, November 8, 1951, at 26, col. 3.
68. Toolson v. New York Yankees, Inc., 200 F.2d 198 (9th Cir. 1952).
69. Rube Samuelsen, “Reserve Clause Was Tested With Little Luck by Yankee,” Honolulu Advertiser, February 19, 1970.
70. Interview with William “Bill” Toolson and George “Pete” Toolson, Las Vegas, Nevada, June 16, 2007.