Friday, July 25, 2008

More On Pat Deasley

New York purchased catcher Tom Deasley from St. Louis, or more probably Deasley purchased his own release after negotiating a contract with New York that made it worth his while. In order to forestall Deasley's jumping to the outlaw Union Association in the fall of 1884 St. Louis owner Chris Von der Ahe had signed him to a contract that included a provision he would not be reserved for 1885. Probably in anger over Deasley's chronic drinking and other disciplinary infractions, Von der Ahe refused to honor the commitment and the American Association would not intervene in Deasley's favor on the grounds that it regarded the provision as an attempt to "evade the reserve rule." Deasley's release was then purchased for $400 and he immediately signed with New York for a salary reported as high as $3000 or even $3500. Most sources say Deasley paid the entire $400, though according to the Brooklyn Eagle the New York club agreed to pay $300 but would go no higher, so that Deasley contributed the last hundred dollars.
-David Ball, Nineteenth Century Transaction Register

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