Felber: The Thomas Noyes affair

From SABR member Bill Felber at The National Pastime Museum on May 18, 2015:

On August 21, 1912, Thomas Noyes, a prominent editor at the Washington Star and owner of the Washington Senators American League baseball team, died. Of that there is no doubt.

The official cause, as fixed by the physician who performed his autopsy, was pneumonia. That’s how it was listed on Noyes’ death certificate, and that’s how it remains today. Yet an eyewitness told a different, far more controversial story. If that eyewitness is to be believed, Noyes may hold a unique distinction among the owners of Major League ball clubs: homicide victim.

Noyes was hardly a threatening figure, even considering his newspaper role. An 1899 graduate of Princeton, he went to work as a reporter for his dad, editor of the Star, earning promotions to assistant city editor, city editor, news editor, and finally, on the death of his father, treasurer. Elected to the Board of Trade in 1895, he became a director of that body in 1910, and president a year later. He was also a past master of his local Masonic Lodge.

Noyes led a consortium that purchased controlling interest in the Senators—probably with the financial support of AL President Ban Johnson and/or Cleveland owner Charles Somers—from Fred Postal in 1903 and had operated the club since then.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/thomas-noyes-affair

Originally published: May 19, 2015. Last Updated: May 19, 2015.