Saturday, July 31, 2010

This May Or May Not Be True

It is generally believed that Mr. Von der Ahe, despite the fact that his club won the championship, did not quite clear expenses. This may or may not be true, but at any rate he is retrenching wherever he can and in cutting down expenses for the winter has discharged even Supt. Solari, Bookkeeper Schwartz, and all the park hands. The only man left at the park in fact is Jake, the barkeeper. Indeed in his work of retrenchment Chris cut out even the telephones. He will also save some money on his team next year. He has now signed all his old players and one new man-Kemmler. In order to secure peace and harmony and to prevent one player feeling jealous at the slary received by another, Von der Ahe has adopted a regular grade of salaries, paying the players who bear the brunt of the battle more than those who have little to do. The salaries of the three outfielders-Welch, Nicol and O'Neill are now $1,800, while the infielders-Comiskey, Barkley, Latham and Gleason are $1,900. The pitchers-Foutz, McGinnis and Caruthers and the catchers-Bushong, Robinson and Kemmler, who do the hardest work of all have been contracted with at $2,000 each. Last year Comiskey was paid $3,000 for his services, while Bushong received $2,800. This was for seven months' work, viz: from April 1 to October 31. This year Comiskey will ostensibly receive the same salary as the other infielders, but so as to encourage him in the managing of the team another contract will be drawn up between him and the club, in which he will receive $500 for his services as manager. This will make his salary $2,500. Bushong will be made content by a clause in his contract guaranteeing him $10 for each extra game in which he catches. In other words, he will catch two games a week and when called upon for a third or fourth game he will be paid the extra sum, which will at least bring his salary away above that received by the other catchers. The St. Louis Browns will therefore pay $5, 400 to its three outfielders; $8,100 to its four infielders, this including the $500 paid to Comiskey for managing, and $12,000 to its pitchers and catchers, this not including the extra money paid Bushong. This, in fact, will bring the salary list up to $25,000 or at least $5,000 less than was paid out last season.
-Sporting Life, December 2, 1885

I'm not sure that I'm buying this. Von der Ahe himself stated in the late 1890s that, except for the 1890 season, the club never lost money while he was running it. Also, given Von der Ahe's nature, I'm find it hard to believe that he was handing out pay cuts after the club won the championship in 1885. Rudy Kemmler was making more money than Welch, O'Neill, Latham and Gleason and was making as much as Foutz and Caruthers? How can that possibly be true? Von der Ahe was going to cut Comiskey's pay after winning the championship? I don't believe it.

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