George Tebeau, who played in the field for the old Cleveland, Cincinnati and other major league clubs, is today one of the wealthiest and most influential men connected with the National game.
At one time, Mr. Tebeau was charged with running syndicate baseball, it being alleged that he owned the Denver, Kansas City, and Louisville Clubs.
Today, however, it is generally admitted that Mr. Tebeau controls only one club in the American Association-the Kansas City.
George Tebeau is sure enough a self-made man.
He began his baseball career on the lots in North St. Louis where the Water Tower stands now.
He first gained prominence locally when he played with the Shamrocks of North St. Louis in 1885. While with them he proved himself a great all around player, filling all the positions on the team, pitching when a pitcher was needed and catching when the regular receiver was down and out, but his home position was left field. He was so alert and plucky in his work that in 1886 he received a call from Denver and he did so well out West that Denver clung to him for (several) years.
...(His) fame as a player spread and he came into major league company playing in turn with the Cincinnati, Columbus, Grand Rapids, and Cleveland Clubs.
In the three last named organizations he was associated with (Tom) Loftus and from the latter Tebeau perhaps learned those rudiments of the game that in later years made him the most successful and wealthy of minor league managers.
Tebeau, although a most aggressive and pushing player and manager, had many fine traits, his reputation for honesty and square dealing being always above par.
Tebeau comes of a family of ball players in St. Louis, his brother, Oliver (Pat) Tebeau, being famous as the third baseman of the great Cleveland Club.
Tebeau, who played right field under his brother Pat at Cleveland some fifteen years ago and who was much pleased with his $1,200 salary, is rated a millionaire.
Tebeau earned a little money out of the old Western League and is getting good money out of the American Association. Two years ago he ran three clubs. First of all he sold Denver. Last August he disposed of Louisville for $100,00. He can get $175,000 for his Kansas City Club, it is said. Incidentally he will probably make $60,000 out of the latter club this year, as he evidently has an improved team, and Kansas City, just like every other town in the land, is baseball enthusiastic, and anything like a winning article will get the fans out in force.
Some seven or eight years ago Tebeau leased a hole in the ground, a poor bit of real estate, for an annual rental of $900. He likewise got an option to purchase it for $65,000 at any time during a period of ten years. Now Kansas City is going to have its new railroad station. Tebeau's ball park is so located that it must be grabbed up. The railway people have kept on increasing their bid until now there is a chance of Tebeau getting a million or so out of the ground and he deserves every penny he can get.
From The National Game
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Note: The above picture shows the old brick water tower at Bissell Point that Al Spink mentioned in his piece on George Tebeau.