Friday, October 31, 2008
President Lucas, of the Unions, was all smiles yesterday, and the occasion of his happiness was the arrival of Fred Dunlap and George Shaffer, the great second baseman and right fielder. "They are here," said he, "just as I knew they would be when I signed them. I never had a doubt about them, notwithstanding all the reports that have been circulated by the enemies of our association. The very first dealings I had with them convinced me that they were honorable men, who would honor any contract they signed. Now that they are here I think I can safely boast that I have the best second baseman and the best right fielder in the country..."-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 1, 1884
Dunlap said he was somewhat tired after his long (train) ride, but was glad he was here. "Our accommodations here," said he, "are the best that any club in the country has, and then we have fine grounds, larger than three-fourths of the League grounds, and our grand stand is the finest I have seen anywhere. If the Cleveland Club had treated me rightly I wouldn't be here."
"What were the circumstances of your engagement?"
"All there was to it was I named my terms to Mr. Lucas and he accepted them. Then when he was East this last time he came to me and asked me how I felt about being blacklisted by the Cleveland Club. I told him that I expected they would do something with me, and because base ball was my business I would like to play as long as I could, and for that reason would like to make a two-years' engagement with him. He said 'All right, I'll do it,' and did so, and I am here to play. I would have been here anyway to keep my first contract."
"Did President Appleton, of the Metropolitans, offer you $5,000 to play in New York?"
"Yes, but I never agreed to go there, nor even encouraged the offer. He asked me if I would not play in New York if he could get my release. I answered, 'You can't get my release.' He sent Lew Simmons to Cleveland and Simmons found out just what I told Appleton, that they would not release me. Al Reach afterwards went to Cleveland without consulting me, and tried to get my release. I didn't know anything about it until Charley Mason told me of it a few days ago. Reach got the same answer Simmons did."
"Did you name terms to Cleveland?"
"Yes. I asked $2,800 and they offered me $2,100."
"Base ball was my business." They should have put that on Dunlap's tombstone.