Saturday, February 16, 2008

Done With Base Ball Forever

On last Wednesday night Henry V. Lucas who on that afternoon had resigned the presidency of the St. Louis League Club and forsaken base ball for good, was met at the Union depot. He had his satchel in his hand and chatted pleasantly with old friends just as though nothing had happened. He greeted the Sporting News representative warmly and said: "I shall always remember the News for its fair and impartial treatment of the Maroons and myself. I will also give you the real figures of the losses I have incurred in base ball. In 1884 while in the Union Association I lost $17,000. That loss was incurred, however, not by my own team, but by others whom I had to keep afloat. In 1885, my first year in the League, I lost $10,000. This year I have not lost a dollar. Had I continued in the business until the close of the season, however, I would have lost probably as much money this year as I did last. The money I received for Dunlap's release offset all my losses of this year."

"Have you really turned your back on the game for good?"

"Yes, for good. I have sold out every penny of the interest I held in the club to my brother-in-law and L.A. Coquard. I am now done with base ball forever."

"What will become of the club and the grounds?"

"The lease on the grounds runs until the middle of November. They will probably be dismantled then."

"Where are you bound for now?"

"I am going to Minneapolis on a pleasure trip."

Just then the Wabash train pulled out and Mr. Lucas bade his friends adieu from the rear platform of the sleeper...

The announcement that Mr. Lucas had withdrawn from the club fell like a wet blanket on the numerous cranks who had stood by the Maroons through good and bad report.

They know that his withdrawal meant that the St. Louis League team would in a day or two be a thing of the past.

Mr. Coquard knows nothing about base ball. Mr. Espenschied has had but little if any experience. It is not likely therefore that they will continue in the business and the probability is that the team will soon be sold to the highest bidder. With the team the Union Grounds will in all probability disappear.

-From The Sporting News, August 23, 1886

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