Boston Braves team ownership history
This article is part of the Team Ownership Histories project. Click here to read more articles.
The baseball team known as the Braves makes its home in Atlanta, but traces its diamond ancestry back through Milwaukee and to Boston, where it began in 1871. In fact, the Atlanta Braves are the only baseball team that has played every season consecutively since 1871, outdating even the National League itself. While forgotten by most fans today, the Boston National League club was a dominating force in the early years of professional baseball. This is the story of the business leaders who made the Boston team alive and thrive in an era where teams folded due to lack of local support and finances. It all began with a dream of a Boston businessman in 1871.
Ivers W. Adams was a clerk at John H. Pray, Sons & Company in Boston, “part of the emerging white-collar middle class that filled the void between the rich and poor social classes.”1 He was building up his wealth, and would not need to work beyond the age of 44, retiring in 1882.2 He had seen George Wright and his brother Harry of the Cincinnati Red Stockings come to town with their gleaming red uniforms and sparkling play in the field. Adams would pass Boston Common, where local amateur clubs like the Lowell team played, as he caught the train for home. He may have seen the Red Stockings playing Lowell on June 10, 1869. The Red Stockings, baseball’s first openly professional team, toured coast-to-coast, going undefeated against every team they faced from 1869 through the middle of June 1870. The best local talent in the Boston area, on the best amateur teams the city could produce, was simply no match. Adams, though, had plans. What if these fantastic Wright brothers would come east? Boston could certainly support a professional squad; the crowds that turned out for these Red Stockings proved it, and Adams knew several people of means who would put the money down to make a Boston team a reality.
The Red Stockings eventually lost, and their backers in Cincinnati decided a team that lost now and then was not worth the investment. This was now Adams’s chance. He convinced the Wrights that Boston would welcome them with open arms and wallets. While baseball in Boston dated to at least 1854 with amateur games played on the Common,3 several factors had made the city the only major urban area in the Northeast without a serious baseball team. For one, it took time for the “New England Game” version of baseball (which included a smaller diamond and distance from home plate to the pitcher’s box, more players on the field, and outs being recorded by “soaking,” or plunking a runner with the ball) to give way to the more prevalent “New York Game.”4 Another factor was the lack of an adequate playing field, which was solved when the Union Grounds were built in 1869 in Boston’s South End. (The ballpark was later called the South End Grounds.) And besides these, people with big pockets were needed to fund a professional team, and Adams was the one with connections to do so.
Harry Wright already knew how to assemble a new team. He brought his brother George, Charlie Gould, and Cal McVey from Cincinnati, Dave Birdsall from the Union Club of Morrisania, Harry Schafer from the Philadelphia Athletics, and Al Spalding, Ross Barnes, and Fred Cone from the Rockford, Illinois, team. Harry found the players, Adams found the bucks.
The Massachusetts Legislature incorporated the team with $15,000 capital, made possible by several prominent businessmen.5 Adams met these fellow Boston-area entrepreneurs at Boston’s Parker House, on January 20, 1871. Adams emphasized to them that these Wright brothers “were the only two men possessing the knowledge and the ability to manage and discipline a nine … and whose honesty and integrity I could place implicit confidence.”6 Two hundred tickets of membership sold to interested people, granting them free admission to games all season long as well as use of the clubhouse.7 Evidently, these tickets of membership were not stock in the corporation, but more like season tickets along with membership in a somewhat exclusive fan club. According to newspaper accounts two years later, the team had 25 shareholders who’d agreed to pay the $100 face value of the 150 shares of stock. However, the purchase price was more of a pledge than an actual payment. When necessary, the stockholders could be called on to pay further assessments on their pledge up to the face value of the stock.8
“Boston can now boast of possessing a first-class professional Base Ball Club,” declared the Boston Journal, “as all the efforts tending to establish an institution of this kind here culminated yesterday.”9
The next step involved joining a league of professional teams, a move that had been on the horizon as amateur and professional baseball teams were parting ways. The 1870 fall meeting of the National Association of Base Ball Players had been “a fiery affair marked by hot words between the two camps, and it ended with the amateurs staging a walkout.”10 It was clear that baseball would be expanding from the world of fun and recreation to fun, recreation, and business. Possessing the vision of a new professional league but little time to properly organize and hammer out specifics, these new pioneers quickly created a new league, and on March 17, 1871, “‘The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players’ thereby sprang into existence.”11
The 1871 season saw Boston (20-10) finish a close third in the National Association’s inaugural season as Barnes, McVey, and George Wright batted over .400, although an injury to Wright early in the season cost the Red Stockings some wins that would have decided the pennant.
At a meeting on December 7, 1871, the Boston Base Ball Association was officially incorporated. A treasurer’s report was given, but sadly the details are lost to history. “We have not allowed the sale of intoxicating drinks upon our grounds, and that other attendant evil, betting, has been strictly prohibited,” Adams told the meeting. “These provisions, we believe, have assisted in drawing the better class of our people to witness the many exciting contests which have taken place from time to time.”12
“If we have been instrumental in elevating the standard of our national pastime,” Adams continued, “to the accomplishment of which object we have turned our special attention, then we have cause for satisfaction. … We look forward to the coming season with confidence.”13 Adams was unanimously re-elected, but declined, a second term as president. John A. Conkey was elected in his place. Conkey was a clerk for Tuckerman-Townsend, noted tea merchants. He later became a customs broker, forwarder, estate trustee, and bank notary.14
The 1872 season saw Boston win its first pennant, as Spalding went 38-8 with a 1.85 ERA and Barnes batted .430. While they dominated on the field, however, the Red Stockings were failing financially, so much so that there was doubt whether the pennant-winning team would continue in 1873. As the Herald reported, “The close of the base ball season of 1872 finds the Boston club in a crippled financial condition,” with debt in the area of $4,000-$5,000.15 While reports of the amount of debt differed, there was a general consensus that the team was losing money. The New York Clipper blamed “an error in the management of its affairs during the closing part of the season,” when the team scheduled a poorly conceived tournament that drew small crowds, and “sundry exhibition contests” that failed to profit the team much of anything.16 There were unpaid salaries to some players. There was the Great Fire that swept through Boston in November 1872. Some players lost homes and possessions, By December, Spalding himself was owed $800 and got an offseason job at the New York Graphic.17
But Harry Wright was determined that the team would continue.18 Covering the club’s annual meeting on December 4, 1872, at the Parker House, the local papers reported slightly different income numbers, which makes it hard to clarify the exact situation.19 The Globe said the 1871 debt alone was $7,000 and for 1872 was $716. The Herald said the current debt was $4,000. The Journal reported that the season of 1872 brought in $18,700 income, but this was $4,000 less than the club’s costs, which arose from the leasing of the Union Grounds and “about $3,000 of unpaid assessments on the capital stock.”
None of these numbers looked good. The 25 stockholders had “subscribed in the fond belief that at the worse no more than fifty per cent of the amount would ever be called for.” However, the stockholders had been called upon in 1871 to meet the $7,000 deficit and were being tapped again for the 1872 deficit, so “some of the stockholders refuse to pay their assessments and signify their willingness to throw up their stock. The cause for this unpleasant state of things was thought to be mainly due to the large salaries paid.” Players, they said, “must entertain more moderate notions of compensation … and it is probable that $1,800 salaries will be less frequent than heretofore.”
In addition to soliciting existing stockholders and cutting salaries, those at the meeting decided to seek additional investors. More broadly, “a committee of five was chosen to report at a future meeting a plan or plans for assisting in paying off the debt … and also for raising a (guaranty) for carrying on the club next season.”20
Charles H. Porter was elected president, succeeding Conkey. Porter was a Civil War veteran who later became the first mayor of Quincy, Massachusetts. He had organized the Quincy Actives Base Ball Team and served as Quincy park commissioner. He also served terms on the city school board and fire department, and formed the Quincy Water Company.21
A week later, at Boston’s Brackett’s Hall, a meeting was held to hear the report of the five-man committee. A brand-new organization called the Boston Base Ball Club was formed and would inherit the debt of the Boston Base Ball Association, now reported as $2,700, as well as a majority of its stock. The Club would serve as a “booster club” and infuse money into the association.22 “A year’s lease of its buildings and grounds and its charter, as well as the purchase of the majority of stock would, by the proposed plan, “give to the new club control of the affairs of the (Boston Base Ball Association), without involving the members of the new (Boston Baseball Club) in the debts of the association,” wrote the Globe.23 The report was accepted, and over 40 new members were reported. All members paid a $15 initiation and $10 yearly dues, which gave them a season ticket to the games and a say in the control of stock. Players who were owed money would be repaid in installments, and a recommendation was made that “the players be handsomely remembered in case a surplus of funds existed.”24 The new constitution was adopted on December 14.25 Another meeting, on January 2, 1873, in which the pennant was hung on the wall, saw the number of new members rise to 100.26
The 1873 season was another success on the field, as Boston won a second straight pennant. Spalding went 41-14 and six starters batted .325 or better. Financially, the team was on more solid footing as well. At the annual meeting in December at Boston’s Hampshire Hall, the membership was listed at 108, and $2,730 was collected from membership fees. Numbers vary, but the Boston Traveler listed profits around $4,245.63, while the Daily Advertiser listed profits (actually probably income) near $27,832 and expenses at $27,200. Whatever the exact numbers, the team was able to pay off the debts from previous years and still have $767.93 in the bank.27 Nicholas T. Apollonio was elected president for the coming year. The son of an Italian immigrant (perhaps the first such associated with professional baseball), Apollonio was an accountant and clerk who directed operations for the Great Falls Manufacturing Co. for 35 years. He later became involved with the Winchester Savings Bank.28
The 1874 season included a losing endeavor to make money on a trip to bring baseball to England. With 74 renewals of membership the team raised $739 from current members and $845 from 34 new members.29 The Frederick E. Long Papers at the Baseball Hall of Fame list Boston’s total revenue at $31,699.10 and expenses of $30,865.97. The trip overseas cost $2,318.13 and brought in $1,660.69.30 Still, Boston won another pennant, and was in the black financially. It was reported C.C. Adams became president over Apollonio, but Apollonio was still mentioned being president throughout the year, so it is uncertain who exactly was president in 1875, or if both served.
The 1875 season was Boston’s most dominating season (71-8), as it won its fourth pennant in a row, but it proved the final season of the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. Spalding, Barnes, McVey, and Deacon White left for Chicago, whose owner, William Hulbert, opened his wallet, the only way the Red Stockings could be defeated. Income for the year was reported as $37,787.06 and expenses $34,525.99.31 While it would be an oft-repeated business move to sign players from other teams, this was the first such outright defection in baseball history. There was talk at the winter convention in March 1876 of expelling the defecting Boston players from the league.32 But before there was a chance that this could happen, Hulbert and Spalding drafted the constitution for a new National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs. The structure of professional baseball was changing. The National Association’s five-year run was a player-driven endeavor; now, power would be in the hands of the owners. Harry Wright, sensing Hulbert’s business sense, went along with the new league, as did other clubs. The National League was born, and a new chapter in baseball history had begun. Because of the loss of its stars, Boston limped into fourth place in 1876 and revenue dropped 17 percent. Only cutting expenses kept the team afloat.33
Arthur Soden, 1877-1906
The 1877 season “proved one of the most significant seasons in franchise and league history because of the influential new owners who purchased the Red Stockings.”34 The major player in the new ownership was Arthur H. Soden, who would run the franchise for the next 30 years.
A year or two before, Soden had purchased three shares of stock for $45 and he continued to build his stock holdings.35 The Boston “Booster” Club was dissolved after the 1876 season, and its shares were absorbed by the Association. A total of 78 shares were now divided among the Association’s membership.36 A December 6, 1876, meeting ended in dispute over a quorum being present, then a later meeting saw disagreements, perhaps between those who owned stock in the Club versus those of the Association. “The affairs of the association are mixed up considerably, some claiming that a part of the stock is dead, and others that is not,” the Transcript reported. The ownership “has got into a serious family quarrel over the respective rights of the club and association stockholders,” the Springfield Republican reported. “Some members left the meeting in disgust.” The meeting was adjourned until December 27, when “upon this decision being made the books and property of the old club were turned over to the Association,” wrote the Globe. Once the dust settled, Porter had resigned and Soden was elected club president, a post in which he would remain for three decades.37
Soden, a Civil War veteran, had formed Chapman and Soden Company, a roofing and supply business in downtown Boston.38 In baseball ownership, he was joined by two other executives, James B. Billings, a shoe factory owner, and William Conant, a manufacturer of hoop skirts and rubber goods. They became known as the “Triumvirs,” in reference to the Ancient Roman triumvirate of Caesar, Pompey, and Crassus. “Boston’s threesome wielded fully as much power in the National League as their predecessors wielded in the Roman league, and they survived to live considerably longer and happier lives,” wrote Boston sportwriter Harold Kaese.39 These Triumvirs were known for their New England frugality: Complimentary tickets were unheard of during their reign, and the budget for hotels and road trips was slashed. The Triumvirs themselves would be seen selling and collecting tickets at the gate.40
The Red Stockings (known as Red Caps or just Reds at this point, although fans still called them Red Stockings) won back-to-back pennants in 1877-1878. There was a large financial dropoff happening, however, after 1877, which saw nearly $31,000 in revenue. For 1878 it fell to $25,000 and for 1879 to just under $20,000.41 Historian David Quentin Voigt noted Boston’s net losses from 1876 to 1880:42
- 1876: ($777.22)
- 1877: ($2,230.85)
- 1878: ($1,433.31)
- 1879: ($3,346.90)
- 1880: ($3,315.90)
“Although managerial austerity, salary cuts, and new stock issues lightened the burden somewhat,” Voight wrote, “it was a discouraging picture.”43
On the field the 1879 season saw a big change, with George Wright and Jim O’Rourke leaving Boston for the Providence Grays, Wright becoming manager. The two teams’ rivalry became more intense. With the additional departures of Jack Manning, Andy Leonard, and Harry Schafer, only manager Harry Wright remained in Boston from the National Association days. Harry’s Boston team finished second in 1879 to George’s pennant-winning Providence squad. The club fell to sixth-place finishes in 1880 and 1881; receipts for 1881 totaled $21,647.42 with a balance-on-hand of $75.08. A new grandstand ($1,400) was mentioned among the expenses.44
Soden was among other club officials who met in Buffalo on September 29, 1879, with NL President William Hulbert. The results of the meeting ushered in a new era in baseball history, as teams now had the right to designate five players in a Reserve Clause that prevented them from signing with another team. This kept struggling teams from losing star players to the highest-bidding teams, and while the clause originally was limited to five players, over time it was expanded to the entire roster. (The clause went unchecked for nearly a century until the Messersmith/McNally decision in 1975.) While Soden has often been pictured as the mastermind of the Reserve Clause, his role was probably more in collaboration with other executives.45
Boston improved to third in 1882 (45-39) and revenue increased by $13,000, to $62,224.43.46 The manager that year was John Morrill, who succeeded Harry Wright after 11 years. Sportswriters also began referring to the Boston team as the Beaneaters, and the name would last through the 1890s.
In 1883, the pitching of Jim Whitney (37-21, 2.24) and Charlie Buffinton (25-14, 3.03) and the hitting of Jack Burdock (.330) and John Morrill (.319) powered Boston to a surprise pennant. At the annual meeting, 63 shares of stock were represented and amendments were made to the bylaws including one that “empower[ed] the board of directors to dispose of stock on certain conditions, and direct[ed] that hereinafter the treasurer shall submit his report to the directors instead of to the stockholders.”47 Clearly, the Triumvirs were consolidating their control. Due to illness, no expense report was given.48 Soden raised season-ticket prices from $20 to $30, which led to a petition by 33 stockholders and season-ticket purchasers.49 He also withheld dividends.50
Boston fell to second in 1884, fighting not only Providence but also another Boston team, which played in the new Union Association and was managed by George Wright. The annual meeting in December had 67 shares represented and for the first time the Triumvirs were mentioned as the first three officers, with Soden president, Billings treasurer (as A.J. Chase retired), and Conant general manager. The stockholders voted to purchase the South End Grounds, which the club had leased since 1871, for $100,000, financed mostly by a mortgage.51
The 1885 club finished fifth. At the annual meeting in December, stockholder George Lloyd demanded that a committee be appointed to investigate a number of issues: first, stock being sold to “sundry individuals” and returned for nonpayment; second, the fact that the membership had not received a treasurer’s report for 1883 or 1884; third, what were the reasons for the purchase of the South End Grounds and what were its terms and conditions; fourth, the changes in the bylaws; fifth, whether the directors have voted themselves salaries and how much; and sixth, a full financial audit. Lloyd was also disturbed because “a large majority of the shares of stock are held by three or four gentlemen.” (The Triumvirs owned 60 of the 78 shares of stock.) Lloyd’s motion failed to pass.52 By the 1886 meeting, however, tensions had eased.53 The team finished fifth again in 1886.
Despite a reputation for frugality, there were moments the Triumvirs flexed their wallets when a goal was in mind. On February 14, 1887, they made an announcement that the Herald said “will not only carry a thrill of joy to the heart of every admirer of the national game in Boston, but will create a sensation throughout the entire base ball world.” Boston paid Chicago $10,000 for “the best all-around player to be found on the diamond,” Michael “King” Kelly.54 The Babe Ruth of his day, Kelly had tremendous skill (his .388 batting average led the league), but his performance was dimmed by his rowdy character, and trouble often followed him. Kelly’s salary was $5,000. Still, Boston finished fifth.
Late in the 1887 season, the Triumvirs announced plans to replace the “old, time-worn, rickety structure which has served as a grand stand on the Boston league base ball grounds for many years,” reported the Herald, “and a new, elegant and commodious one erected in its place in time for next season’s sport.”55 The park would be built on the same Walpole Street site. The cost was initially estimated at $35,000, but wound up close to $70,000. The Herald reported that the team had made $100,000 in 1886, so the new stadium was considered a high-cost risk. The Triumvirs decided to take the higher-cost project rather than settle for a less expensive structure.56 The “elaborate two-tiered, curving grandstand, complete with a series of towers featuring conical ‘witches caps,’ was compared to a medieval castle. Designed by Philadelphia architect John Jerome Deery, the new ballpark had a seating capacity of 6,800.
The annual meeting in December again brought minority stockholders into focus. They questioned the expenses of the organization and the lack of dividends. They questioned the Kelly purchase, considering that “the impossibility of winning the prize [pennant] next year will not make the public come in greater numbers.” Soden claimed he had not seen the financial books, but was sure they showed a profit.57
Soden still was spending money, acquiring star pitcher John Clarkson from Chicago for the now-familiar price of $10,000. “News that Boston had at last secured Clarkson got out upon the street last night,” reported the Herald, “and hearty congratulations were heard on every hand. Most complimentary allusions were made to Messrs. Soden, Conant, and Billings for the liberality they had displayed and the determination they had evinced, and successfully carried out, to meet the desires of the Boston base ball public.”58
The new ballpark opened on May 26, 1888, to great fanfare and a crowd of 15,000, well above the maximum. “There was scarcely foothold on the cars bound to the south end, drawn by jaded and wearied animals,” the Herald wrote. The season itself was a disappointment in the standings, as Boston finished fourth, but an estimated 300,000 came to visit the new palace.59 Newspapers didn’t report an annual meeting that year, possibly because Lloyd, the last minority stockholder, had sold out.60 At the end of the season the triumvirate were in a spending mood again, sending $30,000 to the Detroit Wolverines for Charlie Bennett, Dan Brouthers, Charlie Ganzel, Hardy Richardson, and a returning Deacon White. Brouthers led the league in hitting (.373) and had 118 RBIs. Clarkson went 49-19 and Old Hoss Radbourn won 20. Boston finished second, a mere game behind Chicago; the pennant was decided on the last game of the season. Still, attendance was 295,000 at the South End Grounds and a $100,000 profit was reported.61
In 1890 there was a mass exodus of players not only from Boston but other NL teams to join the new Players League. Boston finished fifth (76-57), a disappointment to new manager Frank Selee. Attendance was only 147,539, no doubt affected by the Players League rivals in Boston. Fearful of losing more talent, the Triumvirs signed players to multiyear deals, and while the rival league didn’t last beyond 1890, the club was stocked with talent for a three-year pennant dynasty. First baseman Tommy Tucker, shortstop Herman Long, and young pitcher Kid Nichols brought championships and revenue to Boston. The 1891 club finished 87-51 with Nichols and Clarkson winning more than 30 games each to compensate for the team’s weak hitting. Attendance rose to 184,472.
The 1892 club won 102 games (102-48) and captured a postseason series against Cleveland. Both Nichols and Jack Stivetts won 35 games, but attendance dropped to 146,421. The 1893 club finished 86-43 as Boston’s new faces, dubbed the Heavenly Twins, outfielders Tommy McCarthy and Hugh Duffy, batted .346 and .363 respectively. Nichols was again the ace, with 34 wins. The attendance rose to 193,300, who celebrated another pennant for Selee’s crew. “The record the Triumvirs liked best,” wrote Kaese, “was made at the gate. The club made money, as well as base hits, and the Triumvirs rejoiced, as well they might after several lean years during which they practically carried the whole National League on their dollar-padded shoulders. Time after time, Nick Young, president of the National League, called on Soden to rescue a sinking club during these years, and always Soden threw out a life preserver filled with ten thousand or more bills.”62
Boston was expected to repeat as champion again in 1894, but tragedy struck on the field and off. Catcher Charlie Bennett’s career ended in a horrible train accident in the offseason. Then the South End Grounds burned down on May 15. “The fire destroyed the bleachers, the $75,000 grandstand … and some 170 buildings covering twelve acres around the park,” wrote Kaese. “The total damage was estimated at one million dollars.”63 The fire, later dubbed the Great Roxbury Fire, burned 12 acres, destroyed 200 buildings, and left 1,900 homeless.64 A city-installed hydrant at the ballpark reportedly could have contained much of the fire, but the Triumvirs had not paid the $15 city water tax, so it was shut off.65 There is altogether too much of the ‘penny wise and pound foolish’ method in the management of their club business,” wrote Sporting Life.66 Many of Boston’s games were held at the nearby Congress Street Grounds while the third version of the South End Grounds was being built. The team returned on July 20 to a much smaller ballpark, since insurance did not cover the cost of a full rebuild.
After two mediocre seasons, Boston was again pennant-bound in 1897 with a 93-39 record and attendance that jumped from 240,000 to 334,800, upsetting the three-year reign of the Baltimore Orioles. Seven starters on the team batted over .300 and Kid Nichols won 31 games. The season was legendary for the emergence of the Royal Rooters fan club led by local saloon owner Michael “Nuf Ced” McGreevey. The Rooters traveled with the club on road trips, bringing horns and rattles.67 The Beaneaters lost the meaningless (in standings and profit) Temple Cup series to Baltimore, the last such series. The club reportedly made $120,000 profit.68
The team repeated as the pennant winner in 1898 with a 102-48 record, tied for most wins in franchise history until surpassed by the Atlanta Braves’ 104 wins in 1993. Despite the dominance on the field, attendance dropped to 229,275 and the club’s profits dropped to $90,000.69 “Was it the [Spanish-American] war,” wrote Kaese, “or were Boston fans growing a little tired of the success of the Beaneaters?”70 They had won five pennants in eight years, but this was the climax of the Triumvirs’ reign and the 1899 team fell to second. “Attendances were not good,” wrote Kaese, referring to the drop to 200,384 patrons in 1899. “The Triumvirs were more unpopular than ever. There was dissension among the players. … The great Beaneaters were no more. The minor flaws of 1899 became major fissures in 1900.”71 It was the worst Boston club since 1886, finishing 66-72. And it wasn’t going to get any easier as the twentieth century began.
Soden, who had fought off rival leagues in his three decades with the club, had little left to fight off the new American League. He looked like “a weary Roman emperor facing a new horde of barbarians,” wrote Kaese. Determined to make the AL a success, Connie Mack signed a lease for a plot of land on Huntington Avenue. Boston was going to have a new team in 1901. Star players Jimmy Collins and Hugh Duffy were among the defecting Beaneaters. At this point, the Triumvirs looked old and out-of-touch, being “too complacent, too confident,” wrote Kaese. “They understood the strength of Ban Johnson’s new league. They were going to brush that fly off their noses when they got around to it, but they were too slow getting around to it. The fly turned out to be a hornet, and the Triumvirs got stung. … The Triumvirs had become symbols of stinginess. In saloons and on street corners they were ridiculed by fans who took their cue from the newspaper writers.”72 While the Boston Americans stayed in their pennant fight to the end of the season, the Beaneaters finished 69-69 in fifth. Their attendance of 146,502 paled in comparison to their in-town rivals, who drew 289,448 in their inaugural season. Kid Nichols finished his 14th and final season in Boston, and Selee managed his last game in Boston after 12 seasons and five pennants.
The pattern continued: poor performance, poor attendance and a fan base switching to the American League rivals. By 1904, even the Triumvirs succumbed as Billings resigned, selling his stock to Soden and Conant. Fred Tenney was hired as the new manager and given stock, being told by Soden, “We don’t care where you finish, so long as you don’t lose money with the team.”73 One way Tenney saved the team money and earned favor with Soden and Conant was by racing into the stands to retrieve foul balls.74
By the time the 1906 season began, Soden and Conant were looking for a buyer for their team, which was devoid of talent, was surpassed in popularity by the Americans, and who played in a ballpark greatly in need of repair.75 The era of the Triumvirs was approaching an end.
George B. Dovey & John S. Dovey, 1907-1910
The Dovey Brothers, George B. and John S.C., paid $75,000 and assumed the $200,000 mortgage on the South End Grounds to buy the Beaneaters in October of 1906. Tenney closed the sale on behalf of Soden and Conant.76 He retained his 40 percent of stock.77 The Doveys had begun with large interests in the coal industry in Kentucky. But after flood damage, they switched to railroads. Behind the Doveys’ money was financial support from Barney Dreyfuss of the Pittsburgh team and John Harris, a Pittsburgh theater man. Their involvement remained unknown to the public. “We will do everything in our power to give the club the prestige it once had,” George Dovey said later, “and if we do not succeed it will not be from lack of effort.”78
One of the first decisions Dovey made was to change the team uniforms, eliminating the red stockings that had been prominent since the team was founded in 1871. This came on the advice of Tenney, “who fears that the dye in any colored stocking is apt to give blood poisoning when a player is cut … sliding or on being spiked on a play or a bruise from a shinnied ball or a pitched ball.”79 The home uniforms would be white and the road uniforms blue. These colors have essentially been the Braves’ colors ever since, while the red stockings look was taken by the other Boston major-league team, who became known as the Red Sox in 1908.
Another move was to have “the prettiest score card ever published in this city, to see that it will be a souvenir every visitor to the grounds will desire to carry away with him.”80 Upon touring the South End Grounds, Dovey discussed improvements with John Haggerty, the superintendent of the grounds. The visitors’ clubhouse, which had always been in the basement on the left-field side in the middle of the grandstand, would need installations of showers and heat, lockers, and a couch.81 Plans were also made for a new press box on the roof of the grandstand, extending the length of the middle section. “A box directly back of the catcher will be assigned to the telegraphers and on either side of this reservation will be four boxes, one for each paper,” wrote the Herald. “Each press box will seat five persons. A stairway will lead to the press boxes from the rear of the grand stand, and no one will have access to it except the scribes and their invited guests. This is a needed reform and will shut out intruders who have hitherto usurped privileges to which they were in no way entitled.”82 Dovey’s brother, John S.C. Dovey, resigned from his St. Louis car-company position to be the team’s business manager.83
The Boston baseball world was shocked at two tragedies in as many days during spring training in 1907. On March 28, Boston Americans manager Chick Stahl committed suicide at the age of 34. The very next day, Dovey lost one of his very own players: outfielder Cozy Dolan died of typhoid fever, also at the age of 34. “This has been a peculiar trip,” Dovey said. “Yesterday afternoon, you brought us news of Stahl’s death, and now we are leaving on account of one of our own men. I don’t know how to express myself on the loss of Dolan, which I feel as keenly as any man who has been shoulder to shoulder with him on the diamond. … The team suffers a distinct loss.”84
The team was also dubbed the Doves during this time, although Beaneaters was also still used in newspapers. Sometimes both names appeared in the same article. No matter the team name, they finished seventh at 58-90, but attendance did rise to 203,221, an increase of almost 42 percent. Tenney was replaced by Joe Kelley. Tenney unsuccessfully tried to sell his $10,000 worth of stock to George Dovey for $12,500, but Dovey refused. Tenney held onto his shares until he was bought out by William Russell in the summer of 1910.
The seating capacity of the South End Grounds was increased to 11,000 for 1908 with the addition of 4,000 bleacher seats. The bleachers would extend from right field to left field with an entrance at the end of Columbus Avenue and at Cunard Street. About 500 more seats were added to the third-base bleachers.85 There was also discussion of building an awning “to protect the fans from the hot cinders and the clinkers of the trains” over the third-base bleachers.86 Some adjustments had to be made once the season started. On Opening Day “a horde of boys came over the back fence into the outfield bleachers,” the Herald noticed.87 The team itself barely improved in 1908, finishing sixth at 63-91, but the added seats helped raise attendance to 253,750.
On June 19, 1909, while scouting players in Ohio, George Dovey died of a hemorrhage. John assumed the presidency of the club. With all the changes, one thing remained constant: the failure of the Doves on the field. The team finished a dreadful 45-108 with a .223 team batting average and a league-high 340 errors. At the annual meeting, John P. Harris emerged as a stockholder wanting to take a more active role with the team. One plan Harris introduced was a portable stage so that vaudeville performances could be held at the South End Grounds in the summer.88 Harris, a future Pennsylvania state senator, “is credited with introducing the world to the motion picture theater,” according to his biography on the Pennsylvania State Senate website. Harris and his father “produced vaudeville shows and introduced Pittsburgh to its first motion picture presentation in 1897. The brief 30-second to five-minute reels showed while customers of an amusement center were entering or exiting from a live Vaudeville act.” The father-son team realized people might enjoy and, more importantly, pay to see an entire show on film. In 1905 the younger Harris created a “Nickelodeon” theater, and saw huge crowds pack it.89 The biography briefly mentions his financial involvement in the Pittsburgh National League team, but not about Boston, which was a very brief period compared to his success in the motion-picture industry.
William Hepburn Russell, 1911
“A squirrel on a treadmill couldn’t have produced more action with less progress than the Boston Nationals of 1911,” wrote Harold Kaese.90 On November 12, 1910, John S.C. Dovey sold his interest in the team to Harris, who stated, “I have confidence in its future, notwithstanding [its] lowly position, and believe that the team can be restored to its former strength.”91 Harris then sold his stock to William Hepburn Russell, Louis C. Page, George A. Page, and Frederic J. Murphy. Russell, a New York lawyer, was born in Hannibal, Missouri, and was a boyhood friend of Mark Twain. The Page brothers were in the publishing business in Boston, while Murphy was a Boston insurance executive. They paid $100,000 for the 765 shares of stock owned by Harris. Russell became club president.92 The new owners also purchased other shares bringing their total to 980 of the 1,000 shares available.93
Fred Tenney was brought back to manage for the 1911 season. The team was now known as the Rustlers. There was dissension among the Page brothers and Russell over trades Russell was making and over who had a say in team affairs. Meanwhile, Ned Hanlon, of 1890s Baltimore Orioles fame, was putting together an offer to buy the club outright from Russell, who was offering it for $250,000. Hanlon wished to move the club to Baltimore.94
On July 24, Russell bought out L.C. Page’s stock and “became to all practical purposes the chief owner of the Boston National Club,” wrote the Herald. Russell gave Page a certified check for $28,650, and that settled the squabbles. “I plan to sell between 200 and 300 shares of my entire holdings,” Russell remarked, “but this will leave me more than 600 shares myself. And now that I have Mr. Page’s stock, I shall make a statement I never have made before, and this is that the control of the Boston club is not for sale.”95 The team in 1911 was in last place at 44-107, the franchise’s worst mark until 1935. The team ERA was the worst in all of baseball at 5.08, far higher than the league average of 3.39. The attendance plummeted again, to 116,000.
Tragedy struck the Boston front office yet again. Russell died of a heart attack on November 21, 1911, the second club president in two years to die unexpectedly. The team had to be put up for sale yet again, this time by Russell’s estate.
James E. Gaffney, 1912-1915
James E. Gaffney was a millionaire New York lawyer and politician with strong Tammany Hall connections. He had a background in construction, having built Penn Station and Grand Central Terminal in New York City. He named John Montgomery Ward team president.96 Ward, a one-time baseball star and then a New York lawyer, desired to run a ballclub. Gaffney, with his political and financial connections, was recommended to Ward by New York friend John Carroll. The price the trio paid was around $180,000 for the team97 and assumption of a $210,000 mortgage on the ballpark.98 Gaffney had immediate plans to upgrade the South End Grounds, and depended greatly on the baseball advice of Ward.
“All were of the impression,” wrote John J. Hallahan of the Herald as Gaffney, Ward, and company explored the grounds in January of 1912, “that the changing of the home plate towards the third base bleachers and placing home plate and second base on a line where the right field fence joins the centre field bleachers would do away with having two short fields.” The grandstand would now have two new sections and the third-base bleachers were built higher and deeper. The left-field bleachers were taken out altogether. A high screen was built above the fence in right field “so it will not be an easy matter to knock the ball over.” Left field was to be increased from 250 feet to 350 feet, although other records indicate that the true distance became 275 feet. The other new item was the players’ uniforms. Once again they would wear red stockings and “it is very likely that a profile of an Indian’s head, denoting a brave, will be placed on the pocket of the shirt,” wrote Hallahan.99 Ward “is satisfied that the title ‘Braves’ will cling to his team next season,” wrote player turned sportswriter Tim Murnane in the Globe.100 The Braves nickname and the logo of an Indian head with full headdress were taken directly from Tammany Hall.101 So the team became the Braves, and as they say, the rest is history.
A new name and logo didn’t matter, as on the field the Braves of 1912 lost another 100 games (52-101), while the Red Sox won the World Series. Ward resigned as team president on July 31, selling all his holdings to Gaffney, and Gaffney became president.102 Johnny Kling’s one-year managerial career was a disaster, and George Stallings became the manager. The 1912 attendance was barely higher than the year before at a league-worst 121,000. “I’ve been stuck with terrible teams in my time,” Stallings said upon accepting the offer to manage, “but this one beats ’em all.”103
Things started to turn around in 1913, as the Braves moved “all the way” to fifth, finishing 69-82, and attendance grew by nearly 100,000, to 208,000. Gaffney bought more property to build a new grandstand, purchasing adjoining land and demolishing the properties there.104 But the work was suspended as Gaffney contemplated other ideas.105 He leased a tract of land in Somerville, outside Boston, that seemed suitable for a ballpark.106 The lack of seating capacity at South End was a major factor.
Things would not be the same in 1914, as the team dubbed the Miracle Braves won the World Series after being in last place 15 games behind on July 4. The club rallied by finishing 18-10 in July, 19-6 in August, and 26-5 in September, then swept the heavily favored Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series. The Braves saw record attendance of 382,913, bettering every other NL team. Stallings would be known thereafter as “The Miracle Man” and his crew of memorable stars became legends in Boston. There was Joe Connolly and his .306 batting average in the outfield, the double-play combination of Johnny Evers at second and Rabbit Maranville at shortstop, with two 26-game winners on the mound, Dick Rudolph and Bill James. Still, Kaese called the Braves “weak, lucky, and game.”107 But Gaffney and Stallings are forever remembered for their roles in putting together the “miracle” team, an accomplishment when one considers that in the previous 10 seasons the club finished eighth five times, seventh three times, and fifth and sixth once each.
When the Braves returned from a road trip on Labor Day to play a doubleheader against the New York Giants, the games were moved to Fenway Park. Close to 75,000 turned out to see the two teams battle for first place. Joe Lannin, a one-time stockholder in the Braves and now the Red Sox owner, gave Gaffney free use of Fenway Park for the remainder of the Braves’ home games. August 11 was the last official major-league game at the South End Grounds.
A crowd heads toward Braves Field. The ticket and administration building (shown at left) still stands and today serves as the headquarters for the Boston University police. Note the trolley tracks in the foreground, indicating the path of transit vehicles exiting from within the ballpark itself. (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY)
When the 1915 season began, the Braves continued to play home games at Fenway Park. Gaffney had purchased a plot of land on Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue that would become Braves Field for $600,000.108 It was the site of the former Allston Golf Club, bordered by the railroad once again with “belching smoke and cinders.”109 Ground was broken in March 1915 and the team could use Fenway Park until the new ballpark, dubbed Braves Field, was completed. It was a dramatic change of venue when the new ballpark opened on August 28.
“Players who moved from the chummy South End Grounds to new Braves Field complained of loneliness. It was like moving from a modern three-room apartment into a nineteenth-century mansion,” wrote Kaese, referring to the new 40,000-seat facility, the largest such at the time.110 Kaese noted that the cagey Gaffney had built the ballpark on the back of the lot so he “was able to sell the frontage at a handsome profit and also do the cleaners and launderers a good turn by putting his customers within easy range of smoke from the railroad yards when the wind was easterly.”111 The Braves fell to second place in 1915, Gaffney’s last as team president. In his short time he had been a part of a miracle championship and built a ballpark that would be used as long as the franchise was in Boston.112 But Gaffney sold the team in January of 1915. Gaffney, Kaese noted, “was essentially a businessman, not a sportsman. He admitted selling the Braves for a lot more than the $187,000 he had paid for the team four years earlier.”113 The deal didn’t include Braves Field, on which Gaffney continued to collect rent.
Percy D. Haughton, 1916-1918
Gaffney sold the Braves on January 8, 1916, to a syndicate including the bankers Millett, Roe, and Hagen, who had financed the construction of Braves Field. Percy D. Haughton, the hard-nosed football coach at Harvard, was elected team president, while former Massachusetts Governor David I. Walsh was named vice president. Arthur C. Wise became the treasurer. Wise was an investment banker who later became treasurer and director of the Boston Garden Corporation.114 The reported $400,000 price for the Braves did not include Braves Field, which Gaffney retained. Gaffney had not even publicly announced that the Braves were for sale. “But when I discovered that I could secure a price upon the stock that would net me a substantial profit I could not, as a business man, turn down the proposition,” he said.115
Haughton was said to be “as happy as Henry Ford with a new idea,” in the words of N.J. Flatley in the Herald. Haughton said, “I want to make it clear to the tens of thousands of baseball fans in this city and vicinity that in devoting my time to the club and its interests in the future I shall strive to give the patrons of the game exactly as high and, if possible, even a higher standard of baseball at Braves Field than they have been accustomed to witness in the past.”116
Haughton gave a good impression of a college football coach’s speech when he addressed the team at spring training 1916. “We are not going to sit down and wait for the fans to come to us. We are going right out and get them. Today I sold 13 season box tickets myself. When I went into this baseball business I was informed that it was soft. I was d—fool enough to think it was. But it isn’t. … [I]t’s hard work all the time. But hard work is what I like and what I live for. We intend to keep the Braves fighting. We don’t like rowdyism, but we’re strong for clean, hard, aggressive winning ball.”117 The new boss also unveiled an insurance plan for the players, with a “preventative” health system in which “the best of doctors will always be at the beck and call of our ballplayers, and we will have a healthy team anyhow, whether we win or not.”118
Haughton took out a $500,000 insurance policy to cover the Braves so that in the event of “the wiping out of the whole ball club in an earthquake, tidal wave or any other huge calamity, the entire $500,000 would have to be paid over, and there may be times this summer when P.D. Haughton will be tempted to shoot the 30 men and spend the money.”119
Some changes were made to Braves Field prior to Opening Day. “A swell lunch room has been installed in the back of the grand stand,” beamed R.E. McMillon of the Journal, “and the first tier of boxes has been lowered to permit an (uninterrupted) view for those who sit in the second tier. … Concrete had to be split apart by hand drills and the entire grandstand front lowered by excavation. As it now stands there isn’t a bad seat in the grandstand.”120 Hot-air balloons were launched on Opening Day and an energetic crowd of 8,000 filed it.121 The 1916 team, despite a lower attendance (313,495, down 62,788), was near first place throughout the season.
The 1917 and 1918 clubs were nothing in comparison, finishing under .500 both years (72-81, 53-71), and attendance nosedived (174,253 and 84,938) as World War I outshadowed baseball. The 1918 regular season ended on September 2 as baseball was not considered essential employment in wartime. Haughton resigned as president in July after the US Army Department of Chemical Warfare with the rank of major.122 Haughton would not return to the Braves, and the team would be sold early in 1919.
George Washington Grant, 1919-1922
George Washington Grant, whom Harold Kaese described as a “somewhat mysterious … derby-wearing … cane-carrying”123 friend of John McGraw, purchased the Braves on January 30, 1919, from Miller, Roe & Hagen. Grant had spent the previous 10 years “being the pioneer American moving picture house man in England,” owning cinemas and selling them for a huge profit in 1917.124 He returned to the United States “where he has since been casting about for an opportunity in some enterprise that looked attractive,” wrote the Globe.125 He had sold newspapers growing up in Cincinnati and developed a love for baseball. He became a messenger boy and delivered copy to the desk of Ban Johnson, the sporting editor of the Cincinnati Commercial and later American League president.
The price for the club was reported as $400,000, which Grant paid in cash, and the deal included only the team, since Gaffney still owned Braves Field. His goal, according to the Globe, was to “endeavor to build up a championship team and improve the value of his investment … and not as a speculation.” Grant also had plans to make Braves Field a multipurpose stadium, saying, “I do not like the idea of the large amount of money invested in that plant working only about 70 days in the year.”126
Grant assumed the position of president, with Arthur Wise remaining as a director. “There is no better baseball city than Boston,” Grant said, “and that is one reason why the Braves appeal to me as a business proposition at this time. The fans here are loyal. But what they want, and what is the corner stone of success in the game, is a winning team. I want to succeed with the Braves, and to do so I must have a winner, although I realize one cannot be secured in a minute.” Grant had wanted to buy the Braves years before, when Russell owned the team, but Gaffney and Ward beat him to it. “My interests on the other side kept me away for a good many years,” he said, “but I always followed the big league games by the scores in the American papers.”127
Three weeks into his term, Grant announced that all grandstand seats, except box seats, would be available to any fan for 75 cents (plus the war tax) except on holidays. To that point, 3,000 to 4,000 grandstand seats would usually be reserved at an “advanced price” of $1.50. The first row of box seats would remain priced at $1.50, but the second and third rows were lowered from $1.50 to $1.00. “I cannot see the sense of having many of these seats vacant and compelling the patrons of the game to watch the game from further back,” Grant said. “I believe in giving the baseball public all I can give it for its money.”128
It was hard to get around Boston in 1919. Strikes among the streetcar workers raised fares, so Boston’s attendance was last in the league, although the total of 167,401 was an improvement over 1918. But the Braves finished sixth (57-82), so that may have had something to do with it, too. Grant, looking for quality outfielders, acquired the legendary athlete Jim Thorpe, who had excelled as an Olympian and star football player. Thorpe played in 60 games and batted .327, his best season of the six in his baseball career, but it would also be his last.129 Grant was also willing to trade away proven veterans, like pitcher Art Nehf and second baseman Buck Herzog. The return was, most importantly, cash (the Nehf deal itself was reportedly $55,000 along with four players). “All I ask,” Grant said, “is for the Boston baseball public to defer judgment until these things work out. I am the one who is paying the bills of the Boston club.”130 A report in the Herald estimated that Grant lost $40,000 on the team that season, while the pennant-winning White Sox made $400,000.131
One less loss kept the Braves (62-90) from falling into last place in 1920, but attendance (162,483) was on the bottom again. Stallings, the “miracle” manager, had seen enough, and resigned in November. Stallings’ eight-year stint ranks behind only Frank Selee and Bobby Cox for longest tenure of Braves managers. “The club was a contender for a couple of years thereafter [the World Series in 1914],” quipped O’Leary in the Globe, “and then chiefly because the owners could not see their way clear to strengthen the team by the purchase of new talent, it began to deteriorate and lose class despite all Stallings or any other manager that happened to be in charge of it could do.” Stallings was making $15,000, which according to the Globe’s O’Leary, “was more than a second division club could afford to pay.”132
The man Stallings once referred to as “my right eye,” Fred Mitchell, who helped Stallings with his pitching staff in the 1914 season, became the new Braves manager.133Mitchell was a fan favorite, and the team improved in attendance (318,627) and the standings (fourth place at 79-74). Grant estimated however, that the Braves easily lost $100,000 because of poor weather early in the season, prompting cancellations of three Saturday games.134 Still, 1921 was profitable for Grant.
Grant traded the popular Rabbit Maranville to Pittsburgh for $15,000 and three players, including Billy Southworth, who batted .308, and Walter Barbare, who hit .302. “I deeply appreciate the indulgence of Boston fans and their patience while we have been trying to rebuild the team. I realized that the fans would rally to the team as soon as we began to win,” Grant said.135
“I would give $50,000 for a pitcher or an infielder of known ability that was certain to fill the bill,” Grant said in early 1922. “But where am I to get such a player? The Boston Club could not afford to give any such sum for a minor leaguer and take a chance of his making good; that would be something of a gamble.”136
Despite success in 1921, neither Grant nor Mitchell would see such again. The 1922 season was a disaster when the Braves fell to 53-100. Rising star pitcher Hugh McQuillan was sold to the Giants so the Braves could mainly get $100,000 cash to make up for the losses of the team last in the league and at the gate (167,195). “My club must be reconstructed,” Grant said. “It takes money to pay running expenses and to buy ball players, and it hasn’t been coming in at Braves Field. The amount of money received in this deal will enable me to purchase promising young players, and I have done what I consider is for the best interests of the Boston club.”137
But Grant’s interest in the Braves had already soured. He was looking for a buyer, and the team was sold in January of 1923. Grant was always remembered as a cordial, friendly man who loved baseball. “Grant leaves the game with the best wishes and the high esteem of those with whom he came in contact here,” wrote Whitman of the Herald. “He was a game loser, yet a determined fighter for the best there was for his team and his manager. He goes to private life and expects to take a long vacation from business worries, along with Mrs. Grant.”138
“I am leaving my interests in Boston with much regret,” Grant said, “as I always have been received cordially here and will leave behind many friends. I have always been a fan 100 percent and I don’t believe that I will ever change.”139
Judge Emil Fuchs, 1923-1935
“Without any preliminary blare of trumpets, without signs, tokens or portents, the announcement of the sale of the club came like a bolt out of the blue sky,” wrote James C. O’Leary in the Globe.140 The new era began with a dinner party at the Lambs Club in New York City, according to Harold Kaese.141 John McGraw, New York Giants manager, had invited actor and songwriter George M. Cohan, noted commissary operator Harry M. Stevens, and Judge Emil Fuchs, a prominent attorney in New York City who had also been a city magistrate and deputy attorney general. Fuchs had defended such prominent clients as major leaguer Benny Kauff and Gov. Charles S. Whitman. McGraw excitedly pointed out to them the current owner of the Braves.
“Why, there’s George Washington Grant. Did you know you can buy his ball club for half a million dollars?” None of the three guests knew the Braves were for sale, and gave expressions of interest and curiosity. McGraw directly asked Cohan, who said he wasn’t interested.
The purchase of the Braves took place on February 20, 1923, although it was the legendary pitcher Christy Mathewson who garnered the headlines. George Washington Grant, after four years of ownership, sold the Braves to Mathewson, Judge Fuchs, and James Macdonough, vice president of Columbia Bank. Twenty-five percent of the club’s stock “has been and is still owned by Bostonians,” the Herald reported. “It is the idea of the new owners to interest Boston capital.”142 Both manager Fred Mitchell and business manager Eddie Riley were retained. Mathewson became the club president and treasurer and Fuchs the vice president. The price was listed as more than $500,000.
“The matter has been under consideration less than three weeks,” O’Leary wrote of the hush-hush deal, “and the interested parties kept it so closely to themselves that there was no inkling of the sale known outside until late yesterday afternoon.”143 O’Leary also reported that this new ownership group was the only one he had ever disclosed a price for, and “were the only ones that had ever seriously asked him to do so.”144
While Mathewson had the baseball know-how and the popular name, it was Fuchs & Co. who took on the financial burden. “I told (Mathewson) not to assume any financial burden,” Fuchs said years later in his memoirs. “The opportunity would always be there at the original price if the club were successful. I was always glad I did not permit him to assume that additional worry.”145
Mathewson had been gassed in World War I and had suffered from tuberculosis for the previous few years. He had been recuperating in the fresh air of Saranac Lake in upstate New York, and his physician warned that he might live only a couple of years if he attempted to return to baseball. But Mathewson accepted Fuchs’ offer, declaring, “I would rather spend another two or three years in the only occupation and vocation I know than to linger many years up in Saranac Lake.”146
“We will try to give Boston the best,” Fuchs said. “We have enough money. You must have patience. It is a fact in baseball history that the best loved teams have been those developed in the city where they have won championships. The process of building up such a team requires time.”147
Fuchs and Mathewson were the stars of Boston in the first month after the purchase as they stirred up interest in the Braves. “They are taking the city by storm,” wrote Burt Whitman in the Herald. “They chat affably and intelligently with the chamber of commerce, the City Club, the Engineers, the newsboys or the Press Club. They have a message of better baseball at Braves Field, believe in that message, and talk manfully and cleanly of what they plan and hope to do.”148 These good vibes also extended to the players when it was announced that every Braves player would receive a raise for the 1923 season, as Fuchs announced Mathewson’s desire “to have satisfied and contented players on the team.”149
Fuchs admired Mathewson not just for his baseball wisdom but also his temperament. Known as “The Christian Gentleman,” Mathewson served as a moral model Fuchs wanted the Braves to be known for, whether they were a winning club or not. “He wants his team to win,” wrote O’Leary, “but he wants it to win without resorting to tactics that will injure players, that take an unfair advantage of opponents, or that offend the high ideals of patrons. … The new Braves will stand for only that which is clean and aboveboard. Fuchs wants the Braves to be a family.”150
Fuchs and Mathewson not only had dreams of improving the team on the field, but also using the field in other capacities to generate needed income. On May 1 the Herald displayed a picture of Fuchs and Mathewson signing contracts with Marcus Loew, motion-picture entrepreneur and vaudeville magnate. The caption read that Loew was to “stage night motion pictures, band concerts, fireworks and vaudeville at Braves Field this summer.”151 Anticipation built over the highly publicized “Loew’s Opening Night,” on June 25, and a crowd of 8,000 came to enjoy the dancing, the stars of stage and screen, the movie Trifling with Honor shown on two large screens facing the grandstand with projectors mounted on the dugouts, and the fireworks. Two immense dance floors had been constructed between the grandstand and the baselines running from home plate, and Alex Hyde led a 40-piece orchestra on a stand erected under the netting behind the plate. Soft orange lights dominated the field with ever-changing colors from the spotlights. Deemed a success, “the huge stunt is booked for all clear evenings throughout the summer,” wrote the Herald.152 Loew created the Braves Field Exhibition Company as a corporation,153 but the costs were too high to continue.154
Another idea was ladies’ day, started in July. Women could enter the ballpark free of charge.155 This would become a regular feature at both Braves Field and Fenway Park.
The Braves finished the 1923 season 54-100, “good” enough for seventh place, four games better than the last-place Philadelphia Phillies. Fred Mitchell resigned as manager on November 12, but would remain with the Braves as a scout and business manager until retirement in 1938.156 The new manager would come from the New York Giants. In a major trade that Whitman of the Herald called “the biggest in which the Braves have figured in years,” the club acquired shortstop Dave Bancroft, who would become the team’s player-manager. Boston acquired in the deal outfielders Casey Stengel and Bill Cunningham, while sending to New York outfielder Billy Southworth, pitcher Joe Oeschger, and cash. Bancroft, wrote Whitman, “will be shortstop, captain and manager of a team that needs a lot of upbuilding.”157 At age 31, Bancroft was the National League’s youngest manager.
There was an unproved but widely believed rumor that the Braves were simply a farm club of the New York Giants and were under their influence. This idea harkened back even to the days of Gaffney and the Tammany Hall crowd. This trade did nothing to silence those whispers. The facts that Fuchs and MacDonough were from New York and were friendly with Charles Stoneham, the Giants owner; and that Mathewson was a disciple of McGraw, brought scrutiny to every transaction made. Whitman even wrote a piece to stop the “sputtering at New York control.” The biggest shareholder of the Braves, he wrote, was Albert H. Powell, a millionaire coal dealer in New Haven, Connecticut, who was “the owner of the biggest office building in Connecticut.” Powell had been buying up the remaining available stock in the club.158
Apparently this was enough to convince Whitman that there was no conniving, despite the fact that New Haven is closer to New York City than Boston. Nevertheless, this fact made it “fit and proper for the baseball muck-rackers to forget their jeering innuendo directed against the New York ownership of the Braves or the ‘pipe-line’ which leads … direct into the New York Giants office.” Powell also owned the Worcester Panthers club in the Eastern League, and his stock in Braves was listed at $250,000.159
Despite the optimism and the offseason trades, the Braves were in the cellar in 1924. They also finished last in league attendance, at just 177,478. One way to increase attendance and revenue would be playing on Sundays, which the Massachusetts legislature was discussing. The Herald reported that Fuchs said he was solicited by a lobbyist for $100,000 to add to a slush fund for bribing the legislators. “I will say that I was much astonished when the proposition was made,” the Herald quoted Fuchs as saying, “but the interview was a very short one, for I told the man ... that the owners of the Braves would not pay a red cent for legislation of any character.”160 The next day Fuchs said he was misquoted and he denied getting the bribe offer.161
There were two historically significant games at Braves Field in the early part of 1925. Opening Day on April 14 included the first radio broadcast from Braves Field. WBZ had a microphone set up, and an announcer (whose name was not mentioned) called the action. The Springfield Republican said it was believed to be the first time a game other than a World Series contest had been broadcast.162 On May 9, the Braves hosted the Chicago Cubs in the first Jubilee Game, celebrating 50 years of the National League. Among the honored guests were old-time Braves player George Wright and former Triumvir William Conant.163
On May 20, the report came that the Braves were officially purchasing the Worcester club, making Powell and Fuchs the co-owners. “Their intent,” wrote the Herald, “will be to give Worcester a winning team in the Eastern League, put in a high-class manager, and incidentally develop a lot of young talent.”164 The very next day came the report of the new “high-class manager,” who was beginning a legendary managerial career. Casey Stengel, a veteran outfielder, saw his playing career end that very month. One of the World Series heroes for the New York Giants in 1923, Stengel was now a 34-year-old reserve outfielder on the Braves batting a meager .077. He was released by the Braves, and was then hired to be the team president and player-manager of the Panthers. “The team will be run without doubt in close co-operation with the Braves,” wrote the Herald, but neither Powell nor Fuchs would be an officer of the club itself. The move was approved by the Eastern League in June.165
“This was not wholly altruism on Fuchs’ part, not just a gesture of kindness toward an aging warrior,” wrote Stengel’s biographer, Robert W. Creamer. “In those days a minor-league team would be a good investment. Casey could still hit well enough to shine in the minors, and he was a headline name, certain to draw crowds in Worcester.”166 Stengel’s flamboyance entertained the crowds for the 1925 season, and the team finished a satisfying third.
Fuchs was in Pittsburgh to see Game One of the World Series on October 7. Later that night he was interrupted during his bridge game and told that Mathewson had died. The flag was lowered to half-staff for Game Two, and both the Senators and Pirates wore black armbands.167 The Braves board of directors on October 21 named Fuchs as club president. Powell was elected vice president and would continue as treasurer.168
On November 20, Fuchs and Powell moved the Panthers from Worcester to Providence, Rhode Island.169 Stengel requested and was denied a raise for 1926. Stengel instead became manager of the Toledo club. To make this happen, Stengel the manager released Stengel the player, and then Stengel the president fired Stengel the manager. Stengel the president then resigned.170 Albert M. Lyon, a Boston-area lawyer, became a member of the Braves board of directors in January 1926.171
On August 31, 1926, Fuchs bought out the 33⅓ percent stock holdings of Powell, who would remain in office until the end of the year. “This transaction makes Judge Fuchs one of the big powers in the National League,” proclaimed the Herald. Powell had recently acquired a coal mine in Pennsylvania to add to his real estate and wholesale and retail business ventures, and was devoting his time to these. “The Boston Braves franchise is now considered to be worth a million dollars,” the Herald reported.172 Powell remained in control of the Providence Grays, who were no longer associated with the Braves.173
The Powell shares didn’t stay in Fuchs’ hands very long. On May 15, 1927, they were purchased by Charles F. Adams, V.C. Bruce Wetmore, and Charles F. Farnsworth, with Adams being the major shareholder. Adams was well known in the Boston area as president of the Boston Bruins hockey club. He would now become vice president of the Braves, and was praised by Fuchs as “a true sportsman, a successful business man and a lover of baseball.”174 Wetmore, president of an electrical supply company, and Farnsworth were business associates of Adams.
“It is with great personal gratification,” said Fuchs, “that I am able to announce my success in inducing Mr. Charles F. Adams of Boston and Framingham, a true sportsman, a successful business executive and a lover of baseball, to purchase the holdings of Mr. Albert H. Powell from me, and join me in continuing our effort to give Boston an improved baseball club worthy of its approval and support.”175
Before the season ended, the Braves reacquired the Providence minor-league club, reportedly for $18,000.176
Manager Dave Bancroft was released at the 1927 season.177 Despite the optimism when he arrived in 1924, Bancroft’s tenure as manager saw the Braves finish eighth, fifth, and seventh (twice), with a record 249-363. Jack Slattery was named the new manager in early November.178 Slattery was a Boston-area native who had been coaching baseball at Boston College. Despite Fuchs’ word that Slattery was “a man of unquestioned character and loyalty, who we are absolutely satisfied, will give his all to his city and his club,”179 the outcome was a disaster.
Another move by Fuchs in the offseason was moving in the fences of Braves Field to provide more home runs for Braves’ hitters. The proposal was approved at the December meeting of the National League owners. “It seems that practically every other team in the league, as far as its players and managers were concerned, disliked to come to Braves Field and play on a field where the outfielders needed motorcycles to retrieve drives between the outfielders,” Fuchs said.180 The Braves had finished last and next to last in home runs the past two seasons. “I feel that the shortening of Braves Field will have the sure tendency to make the Braves of 1928 a more confident, fighting, aggressive ballclub,” said Slattery. “It surely was a liability to the Braves to play on that rifle range.”181 While dimensions varied in the accounts of the time, the left field fence was moved in from 402 to 320 feet, left-center from 402 to 330, center field from 550 to 387, and right field from 365 to 310.182
On January 10, 1928, the Braves made front-page headlines with a trade Whitman of the Herald called “the most important in which a Boston club has participated in many years.”183 The Braves acquired future Hall of Famer and .400 hitter Rogers Hornsby. His salary was $40,000 and included being “field captain” of the Braves, so the owners would need to “dig down deeply as a result of the trade,” Whitman wrote.
In spring training, Fuchs gave Hornsby a new contract “as a reward for the remarkable spirit he has demonstrated in coming to the preseason training in advance of the date on which he was ordered to report, and the industrious manner in which he had gone about the tedious work of preparing himself physically for the campaign.” The three-year contract was for $40,600 a year, with $600 being the expenses in being the “field captain.” It was the second highest salary in the major leagues, trailing only that of Babe Ruth.184
The new-look Braves Field brought a startling realization to fans immediately. After an 8-3 Opening Day loss to the Giants, Whitman remarked, “there was quick evidence that the new outfield bleachers will mean a tremendous number of homers at Braves Field.” Already, it was the opposing team hitting the majority of them. “It hurts to switch around your yard to help your rivals and so handicap yourself.”185 Fuchs made a quick solution in a matter of days. “We will put up a 10- or 15-foot wire netting,” he said. “If that is not enough to preserve the decent standards of the game, we’ll move back the stands, but not this year.”186 The Herald even joked that the new slogan of Braves Field should be “Buy a 75-cent left field bleacher seat and get a baseball free.”187 Finally in June, a 30-foot canvas was erected above the left-field fence. “We have received a large number of protests,” Fuchs said, “and all that I can say is that I agree with them all and will endeavor to remedy the situation as speedily as possible.”188
That trend of opposing team home runs continued all season, however, and the Braves home runs allowed rose from 43 in 1927 to 100 in 1928, while the Braves themselves hit 52, up from 37 in 1927.
With the Braves in seventh place in May, Slattery suddenly resigned, and Hornsby was “persuaded” to become manager.189 The Hornsby experiment ended on November 7 when he was traded to the Chicago Cubs for five pitchers and $200,000 of needed cash. Fuchs announced that he himself would manage the team in 1929, with Johnny Evers as his assistant and “right eye.” “These are the ingredients of the most sensational and most unusual baseball story which has broken in Boston in many and many a year,” Whitman wrote in the Herald.190 Now with money to spend, Fuchs seemed to be comfortable acquiring veteran players around him, and in addition to Evers, brought shortstop Rabbit Maranville and catcher Hank Gowdy, all three members of the Braves 1914 championship team. “If I don’t make good,” Fuchs reportedly said, “no one will realize it quicker than I, and it will be perfectly simple for me to remove myself as manager.”191
Boston voters in November 1928 passed a Sunday sports referendum bill allowing events to be played on Sunday. Fuchs was a major supporter of the measure, so much so that he was fined $1,000 for attempting to influence the vote. Fuchs spent $200,000 out of his own pocket, Kaese noted, which allowed him to print a million booklets and 4 million sample ballots. Placards were even placed in streetcars.192 Some Boston legislators tried to delay or stop the referendum from becoming law, but in late December the Boston City Council agreed to implement it.193
Fuchs looked like a genius becoming manager, as the Braves started strong and were 9-4 and in first place on May 7. But they finished last (56-98). Attendance did grow to 372,351. In October, Fuchs resigned and Bill McKechnie was given a four-year contract to manage the club.194
McKechnie was able to see improved play in 1930, as the Braves moved up to sixth with a 70-84 record and attendance jumped to 464, 835. The biggest sensation of the season, however, was rookie slugger Wally Berger and his 38 home runs. After this season, the outfield fences were gradually moved back. Philip Lowry determined that left field, 340 feet in 1930, was moved back to 359 feet in 1933, in to 353 feet in 1934, and to its longest distance of 368 feet in 1936. Center field changed every year or two as well, moving back from 359 feet in 1928 to 365 feet in 1942. Right field evolved from 297 feet in 1929 to 378 feet in 1938.195 “Braves Field never looks the same in any two photographs from this period,” wrote baseball historian Ray Miller.196
The 1931 team took a step backward, however, falling to 64-90, 37 games behind first-place St. Louis. Despite the losses, attendance rose in Boston to 515,005 while baseball as a whole fell just over 1.6 million as the Great Depression began to take hold. “There’s absolutely nothing to indicate that anything approaching panic times will hit big league baseball in 1932,” Fuchs confidently declared. “[T]here are many people who turn to baseball, comparatively cheap, inexpensive and not too great a thief of time, when their money and their time must be considered.”197 Fuchs hosted a “Jobless Carnival” at Braves Field on June 29, 1932, to raise money for the unemployed.198 On the field, the 1932 Braves finished .500 (77-77), their first .500 or better season since 1921. Boston fans continued to buck national trends, and the 507,606 attendance was third in the league, while across baseball attendance was down almost 1.5 million.
Fuchs increased the number of lowest priced seats at Braves Field, extending the 1,500-seat 50-cent “Jury Box” section in right field to 5,200 seats extending to the left-field line. Both Fuchs and Red Sox President Bob Quinn moved the ladies day games” from Fridays to Saturdays.199 Fuchs changed the times of Saturday games to 2:15 P.M. “out of consideration of women employed in offices and department stores, and who have a week-end half-holiday.”200 Fuchs also announced it was necessary to cut player salaries “under the present circumstances.” “Baseball, like every other business is affected by the depression, and the players should realize this fact as well as the club owners,” he said.201
On July 7, it was announced that Fuchs no longer had majority control of the Braves. Desperate for cash, he had borrowed money from Adams and Wetmore, and put some of his stock up as security. Adams and Wetmore had the controlling interest in the club. Later that month, Fuchs began the process of buying out the shares owned by Adams and Wetmore in an effort to regain control of the Braves. It was reported that the first payment was $100,000. “I have just made the first payment under an agreement with Charles F. Adams which will enable me to pay off my financial obligation to Mr. Adams and to purchase the stock of the Boston National League Baseball Club, which is now held by both Mr. Adams and V.C. Bruce Wetmore, providing I meet the terms and payments specified in that agreement,” Fuchs said. “Mr. Adams has personally loaned me money and took over a loan that I had in New York stating that he desired to have all the Boston baseball stock in Boston. His investment, through his purchase of stock and his loan to me, is very large and substantial. He has drawn neither salary nor expenses.”202
The 1933 season saw the Braves win more games (83) than they had since 1916 and be in the pennant race only six games behind New York on August 31. Attendance increased to 517,803 while league attendance still continued to drop (down 885,535). For the fourth year in a row, the Braves outdrew the Red Sox, who saw only 268,715 at Fenway Park. Wally Berger hit 27 home runs but the Braves’ pitching was the biggest feature with a 2.96 team ERA (third best in the NL). “The flame of baseball interest in Boston burned brightly in 1933,” wrote Kaese. McKechnie was rewarded with a new five-year contract.203 It would, however, be another 13 years before the Braves won as many games as they did in 1933.
The Braves of 1934 were at least competitive, finishing in fourth at 78-73, but the team ERA rose to 4.11 and their batting average was next to last at .272. There was a huge drop in attendance, which at 303,205 was a 214,598 loss. This was at a time when baseball as a whole seemed to be recovering from the Depression, as attendance in the entire league rose 1,084,431, and even closer to home, fans deserted Braves Field for Fenway Park. The attendance at Fenway grew to 610,640, an increase of 341,925. But fans had motivation to enter the turnstiles at Fenway. New Red Sox owner Tom Yawkey was spending loads of money: modernizing Fenway Park and bringing in fresh faces like pitching ace Lefty Grove. Kaese wrote, “[A]bout this time in their history, more attention was being paid to Braves owners than to Braves players. It wasn’t so much a question where the Braves would finish, but if they would finish.”204
According to Fuchs, the Braves had made money between 1929 and 1933, to the tune of $500,000, but most of the money had been put right back into the club. But by the end of the 1934 season there were financial problems and Fuchs felt desperate.205 Fuchs saw an opportunity to raise revenue for the Braves by having greyhound racing at Braves Field in the evenings after baseball games. The plan was to construct a portable race track. “It would not interfere with baseball at all,” Fuchs said. “I have implicit faith in what engineers can do.”206 Although no horse-racing track could come within a 15-mile radius of the Boston city limits, entrepreneurs were seeking out greyhound-racing permits.
The Braves board of directors, including Fuchs, Adams, Wetmore, Charles H. Innis, and Leopold M. Goulson, were in favor of the petition to be given to the newly organized Massachusetts State Racing Commission.207 Fuchs received a favorable response from the commission but now “found himself the center of what may develop into quite a verbal tempest before it’s all over,” the Associated Press reported.208 The next step was to get the other National League owners to approve the measure, which was already making waves as Fuchs arrived in New York City for the Winter Meetings.
“Absolutely preposterous,” NL President-elect Ford C. Frick said of the proposal.209 “It is entirely at variance with the principles for which baseball has battled so strenuously. … Organized Baseball has outlawed players for gambling and it is ridiculous to conceive that baseball now could permit a sport founded on gambling to move into the same premises with it.”210 The AP reported that sentiments from major-league baseball owners as well as Commissioner Kenesaw M. Landis were mostly negative.211 A National League rule stipulated that a club would lose its membership in the league if it allowed “open gambling or betting pools on its grounds or any of the buildings that are the property of that club.”212
“It looks as though I’ve already talked too much,” Fuchs said. “I am not combating anybody. In Boston we have a proposition that looks very good to us and one that will in no way cast any reflections on baseball. … But I am still confident that when other owners have heard my complete story they will take another view of the situation.”213 The issue never was voted on at the Winter Meetings as other business, mainly the hotly contested issue of night baseball, took center stage. There were undoubtedly plenty of conversations behind closed doors and at the water fountains. The sentiments against the greyhound proposal were strong, and on December 12 Fuchs issued the following statement to the owners: “Nothing will be done by me which will embarrass baseball or the National League. Under the constitution of the National League, betting, legal or otherwise, is prohibited in its ballparks, where baseball is played. I have and always will abide by the constitution of the National League. This statement is simply a reiteration of the only statement for publication ever issued affecting this subject or authorized by me as published by the Associated Press.”214
The racing issue would not go away. In January of 1935, the Boston Kennel Club submitted an application for a license to run the dog races at Braves Field irrespective of what the National League ruled.215 The Commonwealth Realty Trust, the holding company of the Gaffney Estate and the current landlord of Braves Field, even told Frick that he had no authority in such matters and that it believed dog racing “is a better investment in the way of a lease than baseball.”216 The realty group revealed that the Braves had already violated their lease through late rental payments. “We no longer consider the Braves as our tenant,” said Arthur C. Wise, treasurer of Commonwealth Realty Trust. “They have not lived up to the terms of their lease and we have declared it broken. We are now negotiating with the Boston Kennel Club, Inc., and a lease is in the process of being written.”217
The possibility of the Braves using Fenway Park for home games was also not a reality, as Yawkey wanted no such agreement.218 The Braves suddenly found themselves homeless, and rumors came that Baltimore and Montreal were both interested in a major-league club if the Braves had to leave Boston, a situation called “very unlikely.”219 Frick called an emergency meeting of National League club owners.220 The National League had taken over the 11-year lease on Braves Field from the Gaffney Estate. This gave the Braves exclusive rights to the field and dog racing was disallowed. Frick even disclosed that the estate had never officially signed a lease with the kennel club.221
Meanwhile, Frick was seeking new owners for the Braves. Fuchs was generally cooperative with the league in recognizing that new ownership was needed, and said he was more concerned about the welfare of the stockholders: “I am willing to sacrifice my equity in the Boston club if by so doing I can save the other stockholders from any loss through their investment in the club since I have been connected with it.”222 Fuchs still had large financial obligations that were due February 5, and Massachusetts Governor James Michael Curley promised “to use his influence with Boston bankers on behalf of the judge to get an extension of the notes that fall due next week.”223 “It is generally recognized,” wrote the Herald, “that the morale of the players is at a low ebb, and that former patrons of the Braves have turned to the popular Red Sox for their baseball entertainment.”224
Fuchs and Adams met at the State House with Governor Curley, Boston Mayor Frederick Mansfield, and Massachusetts Attorney General Paul A. Dever to discuss financial options for the club. One was the encouragement of fans to buy booklets of five tickets each for $5, good for any games. “Wide-spread patronage of this method would provide sufficient capital to permit the Braves to finance their approaching spring training trip,” reported the Herald.225 The plan was an immediate success, with $30,000 raised by February 1 for Opening Day and five-game block tickets.226
National League owners on February 5 ruled that Fuchs could remain as owner. The owners were convinced by Fuchs’ report that $43,400 had been raised in ticket sales to that point, as well as $10,000 in cash, enough money to keep the team afloat. It was now up to Fuchs, who had an idea of someone who could save the Braves.
The Boston Globe headline on February 27 stirred more talk in baseball about the Braves than there had been for years: “Boston Fans Hail Ruth’s Return: Babe Is Coming to Braves for Three Years as Player and Official.”227 It was reported that Ruth carried three titles as player, assistant manager, and second vice president.228 “The obtaining of Ruth undoubtedly will have a wonderful effect on the interest in the National pastime by all lovers of baseball in New England,” O’Leary wrote in the Globe. “It looks like a masterful stroke of business for the Boston club.”229 It was reported Ruth’s salary was $25,000 as a player with $5,000 more as second vice president.230 “The landing of Babe Ruth by the Braves was one of the master strokes of Boston’s baseball history,” said the “Sportsman” column in the Globe.231
Correspondence from Fuchs to Ruth contained the ambiguous idea of Ruth managing the club in 1936. “If it was determined,” Fuchs wrote, “after your affiliation with the ball club in 1935, that it was for the mutual interest of the club for you to take up the active management on the field, there would be absolutely no handicap in having you so appointed.”232 Wires were crossed, however, as Ruth publicly stated, “It’s been definitely decided that I will take charge of the Braves on the field next year.”233 To Adams, 1935 was a probationary year for Ruth that would show whether he had the skills to guide the Braves ship in 1936. “There can be but one boss,” Adams said, “and no one can ever be fit to give orders until he has learned how to take orders.”234 In any event, Ruth was quite at home that night as he devoured broiled scrod, baked beans, and brown bread covered in relish. “We’re on our way to become real Bostonians once again,” he bellowed.235 McKechnie, while saying Ruth at the plate would help any team, still made it clear who the manager was. “There never has been a ball club that could stand two managers and there never will be,” he said. “I’m manager until such a time as the club sees fit to ask me to step down or I think it right to step down myself.”236
By May 13, Fuchs owed the first payment to Adams, and the second and larger payment was due by August 1. Time was running out. The Braves did draw well early in the season, but damp and rainy weather caused postponements and also led to Ruth catching a cold he couldn’t shake off for several days.237 By the time Fuchs gave the Braves a “fight talk” on May 14,238 threatening major changes unless play improved, the team was already 6-14 and Ruth was hitting .171 with two home runs. Ruth had already been telling friends he should retire from active playing, but felt obligated to try to help Fuchs and the team, as his presence in the lineup could still draw fans.
The Ruth/Braves era ended on June 2. Ruth asked permission of Fuchs to represent baseball at a social function in New York City, which Fuchs denied. “I do not have to put up with this sort of treatment,” Ruth declared to the newspapermen pressing around him just as they had three months earlier upon his arrival. “I will not return to the Braves so long as Fuchs remains in control of the club.”239 Ruth apparently had not been given the notice that he had already been released. Fuchs also acknowledged that he did not have the capital needed to acquire quality ballplayers or even keep the top talent the club currently had. “So far as I am concerned,” confessed the judge, “I am unable to provide such capital, as I have exhausted every personal financial means. My heart and soul is for Boston and New England. They deserve the best, and it occurred to me that it may be my situation, just described, that is handicapping the course. I am willing to sacrifice the large equity I have in the Braves.”240
Fuchs had until August 1 to repay Adams, and was busy until that time in unsuccessful bids to sell the Braves. He failed, and resigned on that date, turning over full control of the club to Adams, who was busily involved as president of the Boston Bruins hockey team and a major force in the Suffolk Downs racetrack. Fuchs’ equity in the club was listed at $400,000.241 Kaese reported that Adams already held 65 percent of the shares, so this implies a franchise value around $1.2 million. “I expect that (Adams) will make an effort to sell the club as soon as possible,” Ford Frick said. “I believe his chances of selling are considerably increased now that there is a single ownership.”242
Charles F. Adams, 1935
Ironically, control of the Boston Braves was now in the hands, temporarily, of Charles F. Adams, who was directly involved in horse racing and the culture of betting that the National League denounced when Fuchs sought permission for greyhounds races less than a year before.
It was not a long ownership period.
Adams assumed the presidency of the Braves from Judge Fuchs out of necessity: Fuchs owed him money. Adams, president of the Boston Bruins and one of the key movers and shakers of the Suffolk Downs racetrack, had no desire to be heavily involved in the Braves, not even considering himself a “baseball man.” His other business ventures kept him busy enough, so his energies were engaged in finding a buyer for the Braves. George Preston Marshall, who owned a chain of laundries in Washington, D.C., as well as the Boston Redskins football club, had a plan to buy the Braves,243 as did other groups.
In September Adams made a public plea to all Braves stockholders to contribute a loan of $15,000 ($1 per share) to keep the team afloat through the end of the year. Adams’s goal for reorganizing the team would cost an estimated $500,000. “It is so serious,” Adams said, “that unless the club finds some immediate financial support there is danger of the loss of its franchise and player assets. Briefly stated, the club now owes $200,000 on demand notes and approximately $50,000 of known current liabilities. … The club has practically no liquid assets with which to meet these obligations.” The financial statement said administrative costs for the team, reaching $152,541 in 1929, had been cut to $74,504 in 1934, but that player salaries had not been cut.244 A stockholder meeting later in September gave Adams the go-ahead for financial reorganization of the club.245 There would need to be major reorganizing, as the Braves finished with one of the worst records in baseball history: 38-115, a .248 winning percentage, 61½ games behind the first-place Cubs.
In early November, $175,000 of the announced $350,000 needed to put the Braves on a sound financial basis had already been pledged, with the other half to be raised by November 15. “It was agreed that for every five shares of stock now held, we would take one of the shares of new common stock,” Adams said. “For instance, if a man held 5,000 shares at present, he would turn that in for 1,000 shares of new stock.”246 Stockholders hoped they could reorganize the Braves on their own, and one of the largest stockholders was Major Francis P. Murphy, a future New Hampshire governor.247
However, the plan failed, because the cash was not raised. On November 26, at a meeting in New York of National League club owners, action was taken to dissolve the stockholder group, and the National League now owned the Boston Braves. NL President Ford Frick curiously described the change as a “friendly forfeiture” of the team.248 The league would now receive proposals from potential buyers for the club. “The club is not bankrupt,” Adams declared. “It ought to be able to pay dollar for dollar and clear off all its debts. In fact, I myself am no small creditor.”249 Adams, however, was not willing to step aside until the Braves creditors were repaid in full. The estimate of debt the Braves owed Adams was $110,000.250
Bob Quinn was a recognized name in the Boston area; he had served as president of the Red Sox from 1923 to 1933. He was now general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, and his name alone carried with it respect and local Boston credibility. Quinn estimated the value of the Braves franchise at $325,000.251
“Twin earthquakes changed the Boston big league map,” wrote Whitman, describing the first day of the baseball Winter Meetings.252 The Red Sox acquired slugger Jimmie Foxx and pitcher Johnny Marcum from the Philadelphia Athletics. This was a huge move that would definitely get droves of fans to Fenway Park. Two hours later, Frick announced that the Braves franchise had been awarded to Quinn, “who will have the credit of C.F. Adams behind him. … [H]is proposition was the only one received by the league which would enable the payment of debts and the protection of creditors for 100 cents on the dollar.”253 Meanwhile, the acquisition of Foxx and Marcum, boasted a hopeful Whitman, “make(s) the Sox loom as sure pennant contenders for 1936.”254
Quinn was the first person in baseball history to be president of both American and National League clubs. Adams would no longer have any stock in the Braves or hold any official position. “Adams has voluntarily taken this position because of the ruling of the commissioner of baseball concerning any tie-up between racing and baseball,” the official statement read, calling it “a stand on the part of the commissioner for which Adams has every respect.”255
On December 31, majority and minority stockholders held a “snappy” meeting (in O’Leary’s words), and voted to sell all assets of the Braves to Quinn. But it didn’t happen without a squabble. At Boston’s Copley Plaza hotel, a last-minute offer of $250,000 (including Murphy’s cash offer of $100,000) to purchase the Braves was declined. Fuchs was present at the meeting and stated that his losses in the Braves amounted to $700,000. “I paid $450,000 cash for the ball club, and … I borrowed money subsequently to purchase other shares in order to add to my holdings, and that there were several lean years during the period 1922 to 1928 inclusive, before the advent of Sunday baseball, in which financial losses were incurred.”256 The Adams-V.C. Wetmore stock interests totaled 11,184 shares out of the 15,000 total.257 Despite the newspaper stories, Quinn did not actually take ownership of the club, which remained with Adams and his associates.
“Thus,” wrote O’Leary, “the Boston National League Baseball Company bows itself into retirement.”258
Bob Quinn, 1936-1944
Bob Quinn had many challenges in taking over as president of the Braves, a nearly bankrupt franchise losing its fan base to the crosstown rival Red Sox. For whatever reason, Quinn saw his first act of business changing the team’s nickname, which had been Braves since 1912. As the old Braves organizational structure was being replaced, so was the club name. Boston National Sports Inc. was the new corporate name of the team, established at the law office of Goodwin, Proctor & Hoar at 84 State Street in Boston. Quinn wanted the fans to vote on the new team name, with six finalists to be selected. The fan with the chosen team name would win two season passes.259
Fans submitted 1,327 names, 15 of them with the winning selection of Bees. The winning fan was Arthur J. Rockwood of East Weymouth, Massachusetts, who wrote, “As a new name for your club, I submit ‘The Boston Bees.’ The ‘B’ is significant of many things, Boston, beans, baseball, etc., and not too hard to learn, being similar to ‘Braves.’ And if your club develops the bees’ characteristics, you should have honey this Fall.”260 The team’s corporate name was changed to “The National League Baseball Club of Boston,” and the ballpark would be renamed National League Park, although it was expected that fans would call it the Beehive.261
While there was a buzz over the new name, this did not produce success on the field. But the fourth annual All-Star Game was held on July 7 at the Beehive, which had the lowest attendance in All-Star Game history (25,534). A newspaper reported incorrectly that the game was already sold out, contributing to the Braves’ latest debacle.262 As far as the Bees on the field were concerned, a sixth-place finish at 71-83 was considered a success considering all that had happened with the club’s uncertainty. Attendance rose to 340,585, a sign of improvement. The 1937 Braves were a winning club, finishing in fifth place at 79-73. They were again last in major offensive categories but were stellar on the mound with two 20-game winners in Lou Fette and Jim Turner, and the lowest ERA in the NL. Attendance rose slightly, to 385,339.
After eight seasons as manager, Bill McKechnie resigned to become manager of the last-place Cincinnati Reds.263 In an unlikely modern-day scenario, McKechnie actually received The Sporting News manager of the year award for guiding the mediocre Bees to fifth place.264 Quinn chose Casey Stengel, who was manager in Brooklyn from 1934 to 1936 (including the time when Quinn was the GM), as the new manager. Stengel already had a reputation that would make him one of the beloved characters in baseball history. “I know he’s got a reputation for being a clown,” Quinn said, “but actually he’s one of the most serious-minded baseball men I’ve ever had work for me. He’s a hustler from the word go, is not afraid to try things with his ballclub and above all is unflinchingly loyal.”265 Stengel approached the job as a wait-and-see endeavor with talent: “All the players we now have, and any that we may acquire later, will be given a chance to show what they can do, and it will be a case of the survival of those who in our opinion are the most fit.”266
The Boston baseball landscape changed drastically in 1937. The Red Sox signed “a string-bean 19-year-old outfielder from San Diego in the Pacific Coast League,” wrote Hy Hurwitz of the Globe.267 Ted Williams would spend a year in the minors, and then burst on the scene in 1939, becoming arguably the greatest hitter who ever lived and an American sports icon.
The 1938 Bees finished 77-75 in fifth place, and were last in batting average, and on-base percentage. Pitching was a strength with a second-best 3.40 team ERA. “They had courage,” Stengel said of the ’38 team. “All you had to do was tape ’em together.”268 Vince DiMaggio didn’t remind anyone of his brother Joe of the Yankees, especially when he struck out 134 times. Attendance fell slightly, to 341,149.
The Bees ended the 1930s disastrously, finishing seventh at 63-88 in 1939. Offensively, the team finished near the bottom in most categories, and the pitching was mediocre. Even acquiring an aging star in Al Simmons proved to be meaningless, and he was traded late in the season to Bill McKechnie’s pennant-winning Reds. Attendance dropped again, to 285,994, while the Red Sox drew 573,070.
The 1940 season was no better as the Bees finished seventh again (65-87) with attendance dropping to 241,616. Prior to the season, the left-field wall was moved in from 368 feet to 350 feet from home plate, and right field was reduced from 373 feet to the same 350 feet. A 24- foot wire screen was erected atop the 4-foot-high wall from left to right, with the farthest distance being 400 feet. “The building inspectors have ordered the club, as a matter of public safety, to rebuild the center-field bleachers or to remove those there at present, and so it was decided to remove them altogether,” O’Leary reported in the Globe.269
Prior to the 1941 season, Adams’s majority 73 percent stock in the Bees was purchased by a group headed by Quinn himself, and including Stengel, Louis Perini, and 12 other men, mostly based in the Boston area.270 Quinn remained in his position as team president, and the syndicate voted to drop the Bees nickname and become the Braves again.271 The name change did not produce changes on the field, however.
By early 1944, after two more dismal seasons, Jerry Nason of the Globe reported on the financial difficulties of the Braves. “The club has faltered financially during the past season,” Nason wrote, “with attendance sloping off — due to both an inadequate team and the war. Quinn has several times enabled the club to show a profit by his genius for cutting down overhead expenses. The point has been reached where it is impossible to reduce salaries or sell prominent players without permanent injury to the team and the value of the franchise.”272
Before the 1944 season a new ownership group emerged and took control of the Braves. A trio of stockholders, Louis Perini, Guido Rugo, and C. Joseph Maney, bought out the shares of other stockholders, giving them the majority. Perini had started in his father’s construction company and never looked back, becoming president of the company he ran with his brothers. The construction company went international, and as of 2016 existed as Tutor Perini. He and fellow contractors Rugo and Maney, once they bought out the other stockholders, each pitched in an additional $250,000 to pay off creditors and provide some needed cash to run the team.273 Called “the Steam Shovels” by Harold Kaese, the trio were all contractors “who had made fortunes building ammunition dumps, wharves, piers, roads, tunnels, and airports during the war.”274 Stengel, who had commented that they should stick to their cement mixers and let him run the team, resigned as manager.275 Bob Coleman, one of his coaches, succeeded him. The new contractor-owners already had an eye on making changes to Braves Field, and they put in a 10-foot warning track in front of the outfield wall, moved the right-field wall in to 320 feet, and moved the Braves bullpen to center field.276 The Braves struggled to another sixth-place finish at 65-89. The 1944 attendance of 208,691 was the smallest in both leagues, and the smallest Braves attendance since 1924.
Quinn resigned as team president on his 75th birthday on February 14, 1945, to head up the Braves farm system. The man who had come to the rescue of the bankrupt Braves in 1936 was now going to work with the future of the team. Quinn’s son John became general manager of the Braves.277
Lou Perini, 1945-1958
Louis Perini had baseball and management in his blood from an early age, raising money in the community of Ashland, Massachusetts, for his youth baseball team.278 He was now taking over a team that had been through a lot financially and emotionally in the past several years. The Braves had survived near-bankruptcy during the Great Depression, before Quinn brought stability in the late 1930s. Yet, the team still failed to finish higher than fifth from 1935 to 1944. The Braves were consistently outdrawn by the Red Sox. Also, the Braves were hit hard, as all teams were, by the demands of World War II. Military service took 31 players, including two young pitchers, Warren Spahn and Johnny Sain, who appeared in 1942 but did not return until 1946.279
Perini and business partners Rugo and Maney had made their fortunes in the construction business, which Perini saw as an advantage. “Lack of baseball background is an advantage,” he said. “We take a sound business approach to the game. As contractors we are planners, and we know that good organization will accomplish wonders. Baseball is a side line with us, but it is also a business challenge that we want to meet.”280
The 1945 season was another lost cause for the Braves and a difficult beginning for Perini as president. The Braves finished sixth (67-85), although attendance (374,178) was the highest since 1938. An improved offense was led by Tommy Holmes, who led the NL in hits (224), total bases (367), and home runs (28), had a 37-game hitting streak, and missed the batting title by three points (.352). With travel restrictions in place, the All-Star Game was canceled, and both Boston teams decided to play a game for the benefit of the War Fund. The Red Sox beat the Braves 8-1 and $70,000 was raised by the crowd of 22,809.281
For 1946, former Braves outfielder Billy Southworth, who had managed the Cardinals to two pennants and one World Series title in the previous four years, was named manager in November.282 Perini offered a multiyear deal and $100,000 in salary and bonuses.283 He was one of several former Cardinals that Perini and company sought, and sportswriters nicknamed the club the Cape Cod Cardinals.284
The 1946 season was a turning point for the Braves and baseball in general. Attendance was up everywhere as the postwar boom began. The Braves’ attendance rose 39 percent to 969,673, the highest in franchise history, helped by night games, the first of which was on May 11 when 37,407 saw that “Braves Field looked like a Christmas tree,” in the words of the Globe’s Jerry Nason.285 The home opener against Brooklyn was a “colorful” affair as damp weather prevented the newly painted green grandstands from drying. “Hundreds of fans, well-decorated with green in the region of the rumble seat, filed in steady procession up the stairs to the front offices after the game, to leave their names and addresses,” wrote Nason.286 The trio was stuck with a bill around $6,000 to cover dry-cleaning costs, and needed lawyers to sort out true claims from the false (such as those from California, Nebraska, and Florida). The owners concluded that it had not been smart business, but the publicity and good will made it worthwhile.287 Perini also lured Boston College and its football schedule away from Fenway Park.288
The 1947 team built on the success of 1946 and for the first time in club history passed a million in attendance (1,277,361). A crowd of 36,006 came in August for Appreciation Day, with one fan winning a brand-new Packard automobile and another a Ford via a 95-cent raffle ticket. Neither man owned an automobile.289 Times were definitely good at Braves Field. A third-place finish, their first since 1916, and a record of 86-68 (their highest win total since the 1914 world championship year), brought baseball alive at Braves Field in a way few had ever seen. Spahn and Sain each won 21 games and the Braves had the best batting average in the league at .275, powered by the ferocious hitting of Bob Elliott, whose .317 average, 22 home runs, and 113 RBIs made him the National League MVP, the first Brave so honored since Johnny Evers in 1914.
The stage was now set for the remarkable Braves season of 1948, “the most exciting Boston had ever known,” wrote Kaese.290 Only a Red Sox one-game playoff loss prevented baseball’s first all-Boston World Series. The Braves won their first pennant in 34 years, as Holmes led the team in hitting (.325), Elliott in home runs and RBIs (23, 100), and shortstop Alvin Dark was the NL Rookie of the Year. Sain was 24-15 and the Braves had the league’s best ERA. They finished 91-62 and saw 1,455,439 come to Braves Field. “The Steam Shovels have built roads, docks, airports, tunnels and piers,” wrote Nason, “but the real monument to their ability to build is the Boston Braves of 1948.” The cost was estimated at over $2 million.291 The Braves lost the World Series to the Cleveland Indians and would never look so good in Boston again.
In fact, trouble started brewing during 1948 itself, when Perini paid a $52,000 bonus to Johnny Antonelli, a left-handed pitcher who had just graduated from high school. Veteran players were understandably upset, and friction between players and management began. Players even refused to vote for a World Series share for Antonelli, and Commissioner Happy Chandler had to intercede. A player revolt was led by Spahn and Sain, and salary increases were demanded. Players lost confidence in Southworth, whom they saw as weak.292
Two off-the-field events made the 1948 season historic. The popular radio game show Truth or Consequences was airing part of a live episode from Boston Children’s Hospital. Host Ralph Edwards asked questions of young Einar Gustafson, who was given the name “Jimmy” to protect his identity. Gustafson, a 12-year-old patient of Dr. Sydney Farber, was being treated for Burkitt’s non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Gustafson mentioned that his favorite baseball team was the Braves, which prompted Braves publicity director (and future Boston/New England Patriots owner Billy Sullivan) to arrange for Braves players to visit Jimmy at his bedside while the program was airing, bringing autographed bats and balls. Southworth brought a uniform for the young fan and invited him to Braves Field for the doubleheader on May 23. Edwards told his listeners that if they could raise $20,000, a new television set would be given to Jimmy so he could watch Braves games. In the weeks to come, donations flooded in from all over the country, many of the envelopes marked “Jimmy — Boston, Mass.” The Braves won both games of the doubleheader for Jimmy,293 and by the end of the summer, $231,485.51 had been raised for what became known as the Jimmy Fund. Perini organized cookouts, clinics, and other events for Braves players to raise money for cancer research, and his family continued that support over the decades. After the Braves left Boston, the Red Sox adopted the Jimmy Fund as their official charity. In 1998, Jimmy was reunited with Edwards at Fenway Park to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Jimmy Fund.294
The other event was the first televised baseball game in Boston, which took place on June 15. WBZ-TV, which had just debuted on June 9, broadcast the game with play-by-play announcer Jim Britt.295 Perini, undoubtedly anxious about this new endeavor, addressed the crowd in pregame festivities and said, “On this hysterical occasion,” then caught himself, “I mean historical — you know I was hysterical when the Braves came home (from their road trip).”296
Perini purchased Braves Field, which the Braves had been leasing for years, in January of 1949,297 with a goal of expanding the seating capacity to 50,000.298 Meanwhile, the team was falling apart. Faced with rumors that his players were threatening mutiny, Southworth requested a meeting for them to take a vote of confidence in him, which he didn’t receive.299 “We don’t want you to ruin your career for just a few weeks,” Perini told Southworth in August. “Why don’t you go home for the rest of the season and come back next spring good as ever?”300 Southworth took a paid leave of absence. The Braves dropped to fourth place (75-79) and attendance dropped slightly.
Southworth returned in 1950 and along with him came Boston’s first African-American professional baseball player, Sam Jethroe. The trio of owners became a duo when Rugo sold his stock to Perini and Maney in January of 1951.301 In June the Globe reported that attendance was down 24 percent after a lackluster crowd of 1,577 on June 4. At that rate, the writer quipped, Perini was not going to get a beautiful new stadium because “it does not look as though they would even be able to buy a new gas oven.”302 Attendance for the year was 487,475, an almost 50 percent drop from 1950. The Braves again finished fourth (76-78). Southworth finally left for good and Tommy Holmes became manager.
The 1952 season was the final season in Boston for the team that had begun as the Red Stockings in 1871. Holmes didn’t last until June and was replaced by Charley Grimm. Perini denied rumors that he was going to move the club.303 Yet by the end of September, the situation was grim, and there were estimates that the Braves had lost $600,000, more than any team in a given season in baseball history. “We are picking up the greatest check in baseball history this season,” Perini admitted.304 While the estimated losses were high, Perini’s description stands. According to a congressional investigation, the Braves showed a 1952 loss of $459,009. That made the total loss for the Perini years at least $257,995 and probably close to double that.305 The fans didn’t know it at the time, but the game on September 21 was the last Braves game ever at Braves Field.
Perini, with his brothers Joseph and Charles, bought up all remaining stock of the minority stockholders, mostly held by Maney.306 On March 14, Perini made the announcement. “I have a difficult announcement to make. We are moving the Braves to Milwaukee. I shall make an application to the commissioner.” The club was in Florida for spring training, with less than a month before the regular season began. The Braves owned a farm team in Milwaukee, and reports circulated in the spring of 1953 that the city wanted Perini to give up his territorial rights so Bill Veeck could move the St. Louis Browns there.307 The deal was confirmed by National League owners on March 18. The Browns moved to Baltimore for the 1954 season.
The club that began at Boston’s Parker House on January 20, 1871, was now moving to Milwaukee, where their story would continue.
BOB LeMOINE lives in New Hampshire, where he works as a high school librarian and adjunct professor. Especially fascinated with Boston and 19th-century baseball history, Bob has contributed to several SABR book projects. In 2016, he was a co-editor with Bill Nowlin on "Boston's First Nine: The 1871–75 Boston Red Stockings." Inspired by Ned Martin on his black-and-white TV, Bob wanted to be a Red Sox announcer when he grew up. Instead, he settled for Martin being the subject of his first SABR biography.
In addition to sources listed in the text, the author was also assisted by the following:
Bishop, Bill. “Casey Stengel.” SABR Baseball Biography Project. http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/bd6a83d8.
Frierson, Eddie. “Christy Mathewson.” SABR Baseball Biography Project. http://sabr.org/bioproj/person/f13c56ed, accessed October 8, 2015.
3 Harold Kaese. The Boston Braves, 1871-1953 (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 1954), 4; John Thorn, “Early Baseball in Boston, Part 2,” accessed July 6, 2015, http://ourgame.mlblogs.com/2012/07/07/early-baseball-in-boston-part-2/.
4 Christopher Devine. Harry Wright: The Father of Professional Baseball (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Co, 2003), 79. [Google E-book Edition].
5 George V. Tuohey, A History of the Boston Base Ball Club … A Concise and Accurate History of Base Ball From Its Inception (Boston: M.F. Quinn & Co., 1897), 61 [Google Books version].
7 “The New Boston Club,” New York Clipper, January 28, 1871: 338.
8 Boston Journal, December 5, 1872.
9 “The Boston Base Ball Club. A Permanent Organization Effected. All the Players Engaged,” Boston Journal, January 21, 1871.
10 David C. Voigt, American Baseball: From Gentleman’s Sport to the Commissioner System (Norman, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 1966), 35.
11 “Base Ball. The Professionals in Council. A National Association Organized,” New York Clipper, March 25, 1871: 402.
12 “The Boston Club — Annual Meeting — Election of Officers,” Boston Journal, December 8, 1871: 1.
14 Richard “Dixie” Tourangeau, “The Boston Red Stockings Organizational Meeting, January 20, 1871, Parker House, Boston,” in Bob LeMoine and Bill Nowlin, eds., Boston’s First Nine: The 1871-75 Boston Red Stockings (Phoenix: Society for American Baseball Research, 2016).
15 “Base Ball Matters,” Boston Herald, December 5, 1872: 1.
16 “The Boston Base Ball Club,” New York Clipper,” December 14, 1872: 290; for the tournament, see William J. Ryczek, Blackguards and Red Stockings: A History of Baseball’s National Association 1871-1875 (Wallingford, Connecticut: Colebrook Press, 1992), 86-95.
17 Kaese, 11.
18 Ryczek, 96.
19 Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Boston Journal, December 5, 1872.
20 “Base Ball Matters,” Boston Herald, December 5, 1872: 1.
22 Richard Hershberger, “Boston Club Finances in the Early Professional Era,” in Boston’s First Nine, 188.
23 “Base Ball: Relief for the Red Stockings,” Boston Globe, December 12, 1872: 8..
24 “Base Ball — Meeting of the Friends of the Game in Brackett’s Hall — a New Club Organized,” Boston Herald, December 12, 1872; “Base Ball: Relief for the Red Stockings.”
25 “The Boston Base Ball Club,” Boston Herald, December 16, 1872: 1.
26 “Base Ball Matters,” Boston Herald, January 2, 1873: 2.
27 “Base Ball. Annual Meeting of the Boston Club,” Boston Globe, December 4, 1873: 5; “Boston Base Ball Association,” Boston Traveler, December 15, 1873: 1; “Base Ball. The Annual Meeting of the Boston Base Ball Association — A Gratifying Exhibit of the Years Play,” Boston Daily Advertiser, December 15, 1873: 4; “Annual Meeting of the Boston Club,” Boston Evening Transcript, December 4, 1873: 1; Kaese, 13.
29 “Base Ball. Annual Meetings of the Boston Base Ball Association and Club — Election of Officers and Other Routine Business,” Boston Globe, December 3, 1874: 5; “The Boston Base Ball Club,” Boston Daily Advertiser, December 3, 1874: 4.
30 Information from the Long Papers came from SABR member Richard Hershberger, who researched the Red Stockings’ finances for Boston’s First Nine: the 1871-75 Boston Red Stockings.
31 “Boston Base Ball Association,” New York Clipper, December 25, 1875: 307.
32 Kaese, 15.
33 Hershberger, citing the Long Papers.
34 Gary Caruso. The Braves Encyclopedia. (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1995), 10.
35 Kaese, 22.
37 “Base Ball. An Adjourned Meeting of the Boston Base Ball Association — Election of Officers — Annual Reports,” Boston Daily Advertiser, December 28, 1876: 1; “Eastern Massachusetts,” Springfield (Massachusetts) Republican, December 8, 1876: 6; “Boston Base Ball Association,” Boston Journal, December 28, 1876: 1; “The League Book,” Chicago Tribune, December 24, 1876:3; “Boston Base Ball Association,” Boston Globe, December 8, 1876: 5.
39 Kaese, 22-23.
41 Long Papers. The Boston Daily Journal (December 18, 1879) listed the exact figure of $19,802.64, down $5,387.66 in 1878. The Boston Post (December 19, 1878) listed that year’s revenue as $6,272.17 less than in 1877, and said salaries would be $3,500 less in 1879 as a result.
42 Voigt, 76.
44 “Boston Base Ball Association,” Boston Post, December 22, 1881: 1.
45 David Nemec The Great Encyclopedia of 19th Century Major League Baseball (New York: David I. Fine Books, 1997), 13, 125; Peter Morris. A Game of Inches: The Story Behind the Innovations That Shaped Baseball (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2010), 465.
46 “Profitable Ball Playing,” Boston Journal, December 21, 1882: 3; “Annual Meeting of the Stockholders of the Boston Base Ball Club,” Boston Globe, December 21, 1882: 2.
47 “Boston Base-Ball Association,” Boston Daily Advertiser, December 20, 1883: 8.
48 “Base Ball,” Boston Herald, December 30, 1883: 3.
51 “Season Ticket Petition,” Boston Herald, March 9, 1884: 13
50 Kaese, 37.
51 “Boston Base Ball Club. Annual Meeting of the Association,” Boston Journal, December 17, 1884: 1.
52 “Concealing the Facts. Meeting of the Boston Base Ball Association,” Boston Herald, December 17, 1885: 3; “A Stormy Meeting,” Boston Journal, December 16, 1885: 1.
53 “Boston Base Ball Association,” Boston Journal, December 15, 1886: 1.
54 “A Trump Card. Kelly Signs to Play With the Bostons,” Boston Herald, February 15, 1887: 8.
55 “A New Stand. Palatial Quarters for the Thousands,” Boston Herald, September 16, 1887: 5.
56 Bob Ruzzo, “Baseball Is Back: An Unexpected Farewell: The South End Grounds, August, 1914.” http://bostonbaseballhistory.com/an-unexpected-farewell-the-south-end-grounds-august-1914/ accessed July 2, 2016.
57 “Boston Base Ball Club. Annual Meeting of the Association,” Boston Journal, December 22, 1887: 1.
58 “Gets Clarkson,” Boston Herald, April 4, 1888: 5.
60 “Sporting Gossip. Base-ball,” Springfield Republican, December 2, 1888: 3.
61 Kaese, 54-55.
62 Kaese, 63-64.
63 Kaese, 67-68.
64 “1900 Persons Homeless. South End Fire Causes Loss of $300,000 — Insurance $150,000 — Twelve Acres Burned Over,” Boston Globe, May 16, 1894: 1; “The Great South End Grounds Fire of 1894,” http://newenglandhistoricalsociety.com/great-south-end-grounds-fire-1894/
65 “Dread Doubt,” Boston Globe, May 17, 1894: 1.
66 “Chadwick’s Chat,” Sporting Life, May 26, 1894: 5.
67 Kaese, 86.
68 Kaese, 113.
70 Kaese, 94.
71 Kaese, 97-98.
72 Kaese, 101.
73 Kaese, 110-111,
74 Caruso, 291.
75 Caruso, 113.
76 Caruso, 114-115.
77 “George B. Dovey Is President of Boston Nationals,” Boston Herald, October 10, 1906: 5.
78 “Dovey Talks of Boston Nationals,” Boston Herald, December 9, 1906: 22.
79 “Boston Nationals Will Ditch Red Stockings,” Boston Journal, December 7, 1906: 8.
81 “Dovey and Tenney at South End Grounds,” Boston Journal, December 19, 1906: 8.
82 “Old Grad” column. Boston Herald, January 13, 1907: 16.
83 “Big Fellow Dovey Will Soon Be Here,” Boston Herald, January 23, 1907: 9.
84 “Dolan’s Death Follows Close Upon the Suicide of Captain Chick Stahl,” Boston Journal, March 30, 1907: 5.
85 Arthur McPherson, “Bleacher in Center Field at South End Grounds,” Boston Journal, December 20, 1907: 8; Tim Murnane, “Bleachers in Centrefield,” Boston Globe, January 7, 1908: 5.
86 “Planning for Big Crowds at the South End Grounds,” Boston Journal, January 1, 1908: 8. This work didn’t begin until the summer of 1910. “Doves and Cincis Play Double-Header Today,” Boston Herald, June 11, 1910: 4.
87 “Doves Fail to Make Good in Opening Game in This City,” Boston Herald, April 23, 1908: 1.
88 Herman Nickerson, “Dovey Re-Elected, Is to Vote for Heydler,” Boston Journal, December 8, 1909: 8.
89 “John Paul Harris,” Pennsylvania State Senate Historical Biographies. Retrieved October 15, 2016. http://legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/legis/BiosHistory/MemBio.cfm?ID=5595&body=S.
90 Kaese, 125.
91 “Harris Now Owns Doves,” Boston Herald, November 13, 1910: 7.
92 Kaese, 122; “Boston National Club Is Sold,” Boston Herald, December 14, 1910: 8.
93 “Russell Gives Details of Deal,” Boston Globe, December 14, 1910: 7.
94 “Hanlon Wants Boston Club for Baltimore,” Boston Journal, July 22, 1911: 1.
95 “Russell Takes the Page Stock,” Boston Herald, July 25, 1911: 4.
96 “New York Man Buys the Heps,” Boston Herald, December 14, 1911: 10.
97 Tim Murnane, “Splits With Old League,” Boston Globe, December 13, 1911: 1.
98 “Ward’s Opportunity,” Sporting Life, January 6, 1912: 12; cited in Rory Costello, “James Gaffney,” SABR BioProject, sabr.org/node/27111.
99 John J. Hallahan, “To Make Over South End Park,” Boston Globe, January 20, 1912: 6.
100 Tim Murnane, “Ward’s Field Changes Will Be Put Through,” Boston Globe, January 20, 1912: 6.
101 Father Gerald Beirne, “Were the Boston Braves Really Controlled by the Giants and Tammany Hall?” SABR Business of Baseball Committee newsletter, Fall 2010, accessed July 15, 2016. http://sabr.org/research/were-boston-braves-really-controlled-giants-and....
102 “Ward Quits Braves,” Boston Herald, August 1, 1912: 1.
103 Kaese, 136.
104 “New Grandstand for Braves’ Park for 1914 Season,” Boston Journal, October 13, 1913: 9.
105 Francis Eaton, “What Has James E. Gaffney in Sleeve,” Boston Journal, January 12, 1914: 10.
106 “Gaffney Gets Option on Somerville Land for Braves’ Battleground,” Boston Herald, January 25, 1914: 16.
107 Kaese, 152.
108 R.E. McMillon, “Braves Buy New Park in Allston,” Boston Journal, December 5, 1914: 1; Kaese, 173.
109 Kaese, 173.
112 Eventually Braves Field was sold to Boston University, an abuttor. The university continues to use the field, but almost none of the original grandstand remains.
113 Kaese, 174-175.
114 “Arthur C. Wise,” Boston Globe, June 27, 1952: 32.
115 N.J. Flatley, “Haughton and Group of Boston Men Buy Braves,” Boston Herald, January 9, 1916: 1, 1-S; “Ex-Governor Walsh Vice-President of the Braves,” Boston Herald, February 3, 1916: 3.
117 N.J. Flatley, “Haughton Outlines a New Health Plan,” Boston Herald, February 22, 1916: 5.
119 Francis Eaton, “Braves Insured $500,000 Policy,” Boston Journal, February 29, 1916: 9.
120 R.E. McMillin, “Braves at Home to Boston Fans,” Boston Journal, April 20, 1916: 11.
121 R.E. McMillin, “Balloons and Brooklyn Go Up,” Boston Journal, April 21, 1916: 1.
122 “Haughton Resigns Braves’ Presidency,” Boston Globe, July 30, 1918: 4; James C. O’Leary, “Wouldn’t Have Missed War for Anything, Says Haughton,” Boston Globe, January 5, 1919: 41.
123 Kaese, 181.
125 “New York Man Buys the Braves,” Boston Globe, January 30, 1919: 1.
126 James C. O’Leary, “Braves’ New Owner Has Eye on Pennant,” Boston Globe, January 31, 1919: 9.
128 James C. O’Leary, “Grant Lets Down Grandstand Bars,” Boston Globe, February 14, 1919: 9.
129 “Braves Buy Jim Thorpe, Famed All-Around Athlete,” Boston Globe, May 22, 1919: 18.
130 James C. O’Leary, “Grant Is Pleased Over Player Deals,” Boston Globe, August 12, 1919: 11.
131 “Bob Dunbar” column, Boston Herald, October 22, 1919: 16.
132 James C. O’Leary, “Stallings Resigns as Braves’ Manager,” Boston Globe, November 7, 1920: 14.
133James C. O’Leary, “Mitchell Signs to Manage Braves,” Boston Globe, December 1, 1920: 1.
134 James C. O’Leary, “Bad Weather Cost Braves $100,000,” Boston Globe, July 10, 1921: 14.
135 Ed Cunningham, “Grant Always Wanted to Own a Baseball Club; he Has a Dandy Now,” Boston Herald, July 17, 1921: 14.
136 James C. O’Leary, “Would Give $50,000 for a Good Pitcher,” Boston Globe, January 25, 1922: 11.
137 James C. O’Leary, “$100,000 Cash and Players,” Boston Globe, July 31, 1922: 1.
138 Burton Whitman, “Christy Mathewson Is President of Braves; Grant Sells Out Club,” Boston Herald, February 21, 1923: 11.
140 James C. O’Leary, “Braves Sold to New York Group,” Boston Globe, February 21, 1923: 11.
141 Kaese, 190.
142 “Christy Mathewson Is President of Braves.”
143 “Braves Sold to New York Group,”
145 Robert S. Fuchs and Wayne Soini, Judge Fuchs and the Boston Braves, 1923-1935 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 1998), 24.
146 Fuchs and Soini, 24.
147 “Christy Mathewson Is President of Braves.”
148 Burton Whitman, “Braves Putting on War Paint; Hit Trail Tonight for That Dear St. Pete,” Boston Herald, March 2, 1923: 17.
149 Burton Whitman, “‘Jocko’ Conlan’s Work at Third Is Feature of St. Petersburg Practice,” Boston Herald, March 14, 1923: 19.
150 Burton Whitman, “President Harding and Boston Prelates Will See Braves Games Free,” Boston Herald, March 26, 1923: 8.
151 “Marcus Loew Shows Matty the Dotted Line,” Boston Herald, May 1, 1923: 23.
152 “Stars of Stage and Screen Appear. Opening Night at Braves Field Draws Great Crowd,” Boston Herald, June 26, 1923: 6.
153 “Braves Field Exhibition Company Gets Charter,” Springfield Republican, June 2, 1923: 2.
154 “Electric Layout for Show Is Vast. Lighting Loew Entertainment at Braves Field Big Task,” Boston Herald, July 15, 1923: 45.
155 “Women Have a Chance to See Braves Free Today,” Boston Globe, July 20, 1923: 10.
156 Bill Nowlin, “Fred Mitchell,” SABR Biography Project, sabr.org/bioproj/person/67676a31.
157 Burton Whitman, “Bancroft, Star of Giants, Will Manage Braves,” Boston Herald, November 13, 1923: 1.
158 Kaese, 199.
159 Burton Whitman, “Powell Biggest Gun of Braves,” Boston Herald, November 28, 1923: 1.
160 “Fuchs Says Lobbyist Asked for $100,000 to Pass Sunday Ball Bill,” Boston Herald, December 6, 1924: 1.
161 Burton Whitman, “Nothing to It, Says Boston Braves Chief,” Boston Herald, December 7, 1924: 1.
162 “WBZ Will Put Major League Game on Air Today, New Departure,” Springfield Republican, April 14, 1925: 1.
163 Ford Sawyer, “Veterans of Boston Teams of 70’s at Golden Jubilee Celebration,” Boston Globe, May 9, 1925: 8.
164 “Worcester Club Sold to Braves,” Boston Herald, May 20, 1925: 20.
165 “‘Casey’ Stengel Becomes President-Manager of Worcester Baseball Club,” Boston Herald, May 21, 1925: 19; Donald B. Bagg, “Games in Hartford on Half-a-Dozen Sundays,” Boston Herald, June 9, 1925: 12.
166 Robert W. Creamer, Stengel: His Life and Times (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1996), 172.
167 Michael Hartley, Christy Mathewson: A Biography (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2004), 168.
168 “Judge Fuchs Is Elected President of Braves to Fill Mathewson Vacancy,” Boston Herald, October 22, 1925: 13.
169 “Tribal Officials Put Casey in Providence,” Boston Herald, November 21, 1925: 5.
170 Creamer, 174.
172 “Judge Fuchs Buys Out Powell’s One-Third Interest in Braves,” Boston Herald, September 1, 1926: 10.
173 Springfield Republican, December 31, 1926: 10.
174 Burt Whitman, “C.F. Adams, Owner of Boston Hockey Team, Buys Shares in Braves,” Boston Herald, May 16, 1927: 1.
175 Burt Whitman, “C.F. Adams, Owner of Boston Hockey Team, Buys Shares in Braves,” Boston Herald, May 16, 1927: 12.
176 “King Bader New Leader of Grays; Former Lynn Manager Takes Charge of Providence After Braves Buy Club,” Springfield Republican, September 3, 1927: 12.
177 Burt Whitman, “Bancroft Quits as Manager of Braves; Signs With Brooklyn,” Boston Herald, October 15, 1927: 1, 12.
178 Burt Whitman, “Slattery Will Manage Braves,” Boston Herald, November 3, 1927: 1, 17.
179 “Slattery Will Manage Braves”: 17.
180 Burt Whitman, “Johnny Cooney Will Begin His Comeback Campaign at the Braves Camp After New Year,” Boston Herald, December 22, 1927: 15.
181 Burt Whitman, “Shortening Wigwam Fence Will Help Braves to Apply Their Power, Says Slattery,” Boston Herald, December 23, 1927: 13.
182 These figures were gathered from Philip J. Lowry’s Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebration of Major League and Negro League Ballparks (New York: Walker & Company, 2006), 32. Kaese, 205, notes the changes but gives slightly different dimensions.
183 Burt Whitman, “Braves Get Hornsby From Giants in Trade for Hogan and Welsh,” Boston Herald, January 11, 1928: 1.
184 W.E. Mullins, “$40,600 a Year for Hornsby; Signs Three-Year Contract,” Boston Herald, March 2, 1928: 1.
185 Burt Whitman, “Hornsby, Hogan, Lindstrom and Terry Hit Homers as Giants Defeat Braves, 8-3,” Boston Herald, April 22, 1928: 32.
186 Burt Whitman, “Braves to Put High Wire Net on New Bleachers; Unwise to Move Stands This Year,” Boston Herald, April 29, 1928: 23.
187 “Bob Dunbar” column, Boston Herald, April 23, 1928: 9.
188 “Braves to Erect 30-foot Canvas Screen on Top of New Bleachers,” Boston Herald, June 14, 1928: 15.
189 Burt Whitman, “Hornsby New Manager of Braves; Jack Slattery Resigns From Tribal Berth,” Boston Herald, May 24, 1928: 1.
190 Burt Whitman, “Hornsby Sold to Cubs for 5 Men and Cash,” Boston Herald, November 8, 1928: 1.
191 Kaese, 209.
192 Kaese, 207.
193 Ibid.; Donna L. Halper, “A Lord’s Day Boston First,” in Bill Nowlin and Bob Brady, eds., Braves Field: Memorable Moments at Boston’s Lost Diamond (Phoenix: Society for American Baseball Research, 2015), 95.
194 Burt Whitman, “McKechnie Signs Four-Year Contract to Manage Braves, Fuchs Announces at Chicago,” Boston Herald, October 8, 1929: 31.
195 Lowry, 32.
196 Ray Miller, “A Biography of Braves Field,” in Braves Field: Memorable Moments at Boston’s Lost Diamond, 6.
197 Burt Whitman, “No Panic Seen by Braves Head,” Boston Herald, February 19, 1932: 35.
198 James C. O’Leary, “Red Sox’ Big Eighth Defeats Braves, 6-3,” Boston Globe, June 30, 1932: 22.
199 James C. O’Leary, “Braves and Red Sox Announce ‘Ladies’ Day’ Will Be Held at Both Parks on Saturday,” Boston Globe, January 7, 1933: 10.
200 James C. O’Leary, “Boston National League Club to Have 5,200 Bleacher Seats at Lowest Admission Price,” Boston Globe, January 25, 1933: 21.
201 James C. O’Leary, “Judge Fuchs Admits Some Salaries of Braves’ Players Cut in Adjustment to Conditions,” Boston Globe, February 15, 1933: 9.
202 “Tribal Control to Judge Fuchs,” Boston Globe, July 21, 1933: 20.
203 “Bill McKechnie to Direct Braves Five More Years,” Springfield Republican, August 31, 1933: 7.
204 Kaese, 225.
205 Burt Whitman, “Fuchs Confident League Will Approve His Carrying Out of Its Assignments,” Boston Herald, February 3, 1935: 31.
206 “Fuchs Plans Dog Racing at Wigwam; Will Not Interfere With Baseball,” Boston Herald, November 17, 1934: 11.
207 James C. O’Leary, “Braves Directors to Apply for License to Race Dogs,” Boston Globe, November 17, 1934: 5.
208 “Braves President Plans to Conduct Dog-Racing Track,” Christian Science Monitor, December 8, 1934: 8.
209 Victor O. Jones, “Frick Opposes Fuchs’ Action. Would Bar Dog Racing in Baseball Parks,” Boston Globe, December 8, 1934: 1.
210 “Braves President Plans to Conduct Dog-Racing Track.”
211 Associated Press, “National League Won’t Allow Braves to use Park for Ball Games and Dog Racing,” Hartford Courant, December 8, 1934: 13.
212 John Drebinger, “Major Problems Confront Baseball Magnates at Conventions Opening Today,” New York Times, December 11, 1934: 30.
213 “Major Problems Confront Baseball.”
214 Edward Burns, “Night Games Approved by National League,” Chicago Tribune, December 13, 1934: 25.
215 “Seek License to Hold Dog Races,” Boston Globe, January 13, 1935: A29.
216 “Braves’ Lease on Ballpark Broken; ‘Hands Off,’ Frick Is Told on Racing,” Boston Herald, January 14, 1935: 1.
217 “Braves Lose Field, Sox Will Not Rent Fenway,” Springfield Republican, January 15, 1935: 13.
218 Burt Whitman, “National League Has Four Options in Braves Case — Seven-Club League, All Games Away, Franchise Sale, Dogs,” Boston Herald, January 16, 1935: 27.
219 James C. O’Leary, “Homeless Braves Are Awaiting the Decision,” Boston Globe, January 17, 1935: 1.
220 “N.L. President Calls Meeting of Club Owners,” Boston Herald, January 15, 1935: 1; Burt Whitman, “Owners Agreed on Braves Case,” Boston Herald, January 19, 1935: 1.
221 “Frick Says a Lease Is Soon to be Signed,” Boston Globe, January 30, 1935: 16.
222 James C. O’Leary, “National League to Save Boston Braves,” Boston Globe, January 30, 1935: 16.
223 “League Takes Long Lease on Braves Field,” Boston Herald, January 29, 1935: 1.
225 “League Takes Long Lease on Braves Field,” Boston Herald, January 29, 1935: 16.
226 “Fuchs Confident League Will Approve His Carrying Out of Its Assignments.”
227 Boston Globe front page, February 27, 1935.
228 James C. O’Leary, “Boston Fans Hail Ruth’s Return,” Boston Globe, February 27, 1935: 1.
231 “Live Tips and Topics,” Boston Globe, February 27, 1935: 20.
232 “Text of Correspondence Leading to Signing,” Boston Globe.
233 James C. O’Leary, “Ruth to Lead Braves in 1936,” Boston Globe, February 28, 1935: 1.
234 “Ruth to Lead Braves,” 40.
235 Whitman, “Boston Hails Babe Ruth as Hero,” 40.
236 “Boston Fans Hail Ruth’s Return,”
237 “Ruth May Pilot Tribe by Aug. 1,” Boston Herald, May 7, 1935: 18.
238 Burt Whitman, “Fuchs Gives Braves Squad Fight Talk; Threatens Major Changes Unless Team Shows Marked Improvement on Road,” Boston Herald, May 15, 1935: 14.
239 Burt Whitman, “Fuchs Releases Ruth After Row,” Boston Herald, June 3, 1935: 1.
240 “Fuchs Will Sell Equity in Braves if Team, Stockholders Do Not Suffer,” Boston Herald, June 3, 1935: 14.
241 “Fuchs Resigns as Braves Head,” Boston Herald, August 1, 1935: 1.
242 Gerry Moore, “Braves Taken by Adams as Judge Fuchs Resigns,” Boston Globe, August 1, 1935: 19.
243 Burt Whitman, “Marshall Here Early This Week to Talk Over Control of Braves,” Boston Herald, August 4, 1935: 1.
244 Burt Whitman, “Adams Seeking Aid for Braves,” Boston Herald, September 7, 1935: 13.
245 “Braves Assured Reorganization,” Boston Herald, September 18, 1935: 22.
246 Burt Whitman, “Half of $350,000 Needed for Braves Subscribed; Rest Likely by Nov. 15, Says Adams; Plan Partner-Manager,” Boston Herald, November 8, 1935: 45.
247 James C. O’Leary, “Fate of Boston National League Club Hangs in Balance as Stockholders Confer,” Boston Globe, November 7, 1935: 21.
248 Burt Whitman, “Braves Forfeit Franchise, Players to League; Stockholders Lose Out,” Boston Herald, November 27, 1935: 1.
249 “Braves Forfeit,” 22.
250 Burt Whitman, “Adams Takes Definite Stand,” Boston Herald, December 1, 1935: 35, 40.
251 Burt Whitman, “Quinn to Bid for Braves With Adams’ Backing,” Boston Herald, December 7, 1935: 14.
252 Burt Whitman, “Red Sox Get Foxx, Marcum in Big Deal; N.L. Awards Braves Franchise to Quinn With Adams as Backer,” Boston Herald, December 11, 1935: 1.
254 “Red Sox Get Foxx”: 34.
256 James C. O’Leary, “By Vote of the Stockholders the Boston National League Baseball Company Is Dissolved,” Boston Globe, January 1, 1936: 36.
257 Burt Whitman, “Dissolution of Old Braves Sees Quinn Quit Meeting in Anger, Turn Down $250,000 Offer From Murphy Syndicate,” Boston Herald, January 1, 1936: 29.
258 “Dissolution of Old Braves.”
259 James C. O’Leary, “ ‘Braves’ Drop Old Nickname,” Boston Globe, January 4, 1936: 1.
260 James C. O’Leary, “National League Baseball Club of Boston Will Be Known as ‘Bees’ — Picked From 1,300 Names,” Boston Globe, January 31, 1936: 23.
262 Ray Miller, “A Biography of Braves Field,” in Braves Field: Memorable Moments at Boston’s Lost Diamond, 5.
263 Gerry Moore, “Bill McKechnie Signs to Manage Reds for Two Years,” Boston Globe, October 10, 1937: 1.
264 Edgar G. Brands, “Barrow, McKechnie, Allen, LaMotte, Flowers and Keller Win ’37 Accolade,” The Sporting News, December 30, 1937: 1.
265 Gerry Moore, “Casey Stengel to Manage Boston Bees Next Season,” Boston Globe, October 26, 1937: 19.
266 James C. O’Leary, “Casey Stengel Impresses Sportswriters With His Seriousness as Quinn Introduces Him at Luncheon,” Boston Globe, November 23, 1937: 19.
267 Hy Hurwitz, “Sox Give Cash, D'Allesandro, Niemic For Outfielder Williams, San Diego--N.L. Adopts Dead Ball,” Boston Globe, December 8, 1937: 22.
268 Kaese, 243.
269 James C. O’Leary, “Braves to Pull in Fences, Tear Down Center Field Bleachers,” Boston Globe, March 5, 1940: 16.
270 Hy Hurwitz, “Hub-Controlled Syndicate Buys Adams’ Stock in Bees,” Boston Globe, April 21, 1941: 1.
271 “Bees Resume Braves Name,” Boston Globe, April 30, 1941: 1.
272 Jerry Nason, “Trio Ultimately Will Buy Braves Club Outright,” Boston Globe, January 22, 1944: 1.
273 Gary Caruso, “Lou Perini,” in Boston Braves Encyclopedia, 324.
274 Kaese, 254.
275 Kaese, 255.
276 Kaese, “Wigwam Has Face Lifted by Maney,” Boston Globe, May 23, 1944: 9.
277 “Perini Succeeds Quinn as President of Boston Braves,” Boston Globe, March 20, 1945: 13.
278 Hy Hurwitz, “Perini, New Part-Owner of Bees, Was Baseball Magnate at Age of Nine,” Boston Globe, April 24, 1941: 21.
279 Bob Brady, “How the Boston Braves Survived the War But Lost the Battle for Boston,” in Marc Z. Aaron and Bill Nowlin, eds., Who’s on First: Replacement Players in World War II (Phoenix: Society for American Baseball Research, 2015), 22.
280 Kaese, 255.
281 Gene Mack, “Sox Win, 8-1; Fund Gets $70,000,” Boston Globe, July 11, 1945: 1; Harold Kaese, “Red Sox Defeat Braves 8-1,” Boston Globe, July 11, 1945: 6.
282 Gerry Moore, “Bill Southworth Choice to Succeed Bissonette,” Boston Globe, November 7, 1945: 1.
283 Brady, 27.
284 Brady, 26.
285 Jerry Nason, “37,407 See Braves Arclight Debut; Bonham Ends Red Sox Streak, 2-0,” Boston Globe, May 12, 1946: C1.
286 Jerry Nason, “ ‘Colorful’ Opener at Braves Field Makes Fans Green — With Paint,” Boston Globe, April 17, 1946: 1.
287 Kaese, 264.
288 Kaese, 263.
289 Gene Mack Jr, “36,000 Storm Braves Field; 2 Everett Men Win Autos,” Boston Globe, August 21, 1947: 1.
290 Kaese, 270.
291 Jerry Nason, “Steam Shovels Keep Promise, But It Cost them $2,250,000,” Boston Globe, September 27, 1948: 6.
292 Brady, 28; Kaese, 272.
293 “‘Jimmy’ Thrilled as He Sees Tribe Win Game for Him,” Boston Globe, May 24, 1948: 7.
296 “Perini Gives TV ‘Hysterical’ Sendoff,” Boston Globe, June 16, 1948: 22.
297 “Perini Buys Braves Field,” Boston Globe, January 22, 1949: 1.
298 Roger Birtwell, “Perini Discloses Vast Braves Field Expansion Plans,” Boston Globe, January 25, 1949: 1, 18. Other plans included decreasing grandstand seating to make fans more comfortable, a restaurant, a parking area beyond the center-field fence between the Charles River and the railroad tracks, a footbridge over the railroad tracks proving access to the ballpark, a Braves Field Railroad Station, and roofs over the pavilions.
299 Hy Hurwitz, “Braves Ball Players Refused Southworth ‘Confidence’ Vote,” Boston Globe, April 13, 1949: 26.
300 Harold Kaese, “There’s a Limit to Man’s Patience, So Billy Leaves,” Boston Globe, August 17, 1949: 1.
301 Hy Hurwitz, “Rugo Sells Stock to Perini and Maney,” Boston Globe, January 23, 1951: 1.
302 “Attendance 24 Percent Below Last Season,” Boston Globe, June 5, 1951: 1.
303 Hy Hurwitz, “Braves Stay in Boston, Perini Says,” Boston Globe, September 1, 1952: 55.
304 Bob Holbrook, “Perini Sticks With Boston Despite ‘Greatest Loss in Baseball History,’” Boston Globe, September 22, 1952: 8.
305 Hearings Before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Study of Monopoly Power, 1951: 1600, and Hearings Before the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, 1952: 1298. The hearings did not report profits or losses for 1951. However, that year’s attendance was barely half of the 1950 figure and 1951 had produced a loss of $316,510, so it seems safe to assume 1951 showed a loss as well.
306 Roger Birtwell, “Perini Contracting Firm to Acquire Braves Stock,” Boston Globe, November 27, 1952: 1.
307 Caruso, “Lou Perini.”