Saturday, April 30, 2011

Dunlap Deserts To The Black Banner Of The Lucas Lager Beer Syndicate

Not to Dunlap's credit be it said that the report of his signing with the Lucas gang in St. Louis is true. His friends in Philadelphia say his figures were $3500, $1,000 of which was paid as advance money. There is no certainty about the truth of the latter news. But Dunlap has deserted Cleveland. It might only be for the purpose of the forcing the Cleveland Club to higher terms, as in base ball matters his contract with St. Louis amounts to nothing. He could desert St. Louis at any time he chose before next season opens, because the League will not recognize the Union (so called) Association while it persists in its piratical course.

And now to consider that course so far as it has been shown. The Lucas club is as yet alone in the "association" to which it was given a name. It is financially strong, backed by a large lager beer establishment, and of course an advertisement for its mainspring. Lucas, its executive head, is certainly a "hustler." His business methods are not reputable, but of the sneaking order. One of the first players he secured was Dave Rowe, who played here one season. Dave is sharp and well known, and has been the agent through which Dunlap, Shaffer and others were secured. As was said before, the St. Louis Club is the only one in the alleged "association" that is not on paper. But Lucas at times has talked of establishing clubs in Cincinnati, Chicago and other places. Whether the "enemy" Cincinnati papers connect with robbing that city's club of their grounds is the Lucas gang or not, the future will show. A.H. Henderson is gathering players for the Chicago "Unions," and talks about giving four Buffalo men $10,000 for a season's work. Where is Henderson to get $10,000? Only through a backer of the greenest short. That backer may or not be the Lucas lager beer syndicate...If any "association" is to be formed it must come out of these tactics. Can such an "association" arrange games for its own convenience and gain the patronage of the people who want fair games and a hot contest every season? Hardly. Such must be inevitable when one gang owns all the clubs in a league or association.

Thus the matter stands. Looked at on all sides it appears like an insane scheme. We believe the future will show it to be such, and that its financial men and the players who enroll themselves under its black banner will be sorry for their venture. Of the two last men who have joined it, Shaffer has some excuse. He dislikes Buffalo and O'Rourke and wants to get away from them. Dunlap has no such excuse. Here he was a universal favorite, pampered by the public and not hampered in any way. His last words to the managing directors before he left for Philadelphia were: "Don't worry about me. I am all right." In his present position the latter is doubtful, and it was at first thought and hoped that his game was purely one of bluff and that he might come back. Anyway, the intervening time between 1883 and 1884 will be full of interest. Dunlap will go to St. Louis and the Cleveland Club and all reputable ball clubs will avoid him as plague-stricken in the future.

It is said above, "it was at first thought that Dunlap's game was one of bluff." But it is not. From local acquaintances it is learned that the man never intended to sign with the Cleveland Club. He has been plotting all summer to get away from Cleveland, and his well-satisfied air and protestations were all in that line of tactics. Had a contract been presented for his signature, he would have wriggled out. May the luck of a traitor go with him. The Cleveland Club's course is plain. They will not consider Dunlap at all, until he proves his treason by not signing his contract or turning up to play by April. In the meantime the rule permanently expelling jumpers of the reserve clause in the tripartite agreement will have been passed. Dunlap will be reported as one of the violators of that rule, and will, so far as the League, American Association and Northwestern League are concerned, have gone on the list with a Hall, a Doscher, a Craver and a Devlin. We believe those associations will rule in the base ball of the future, and that Dunlap will be to all intents and purposes black-listed forever. When good faith and fair dealing are rewarded as Dunlap has rewarded the Cleveland Club such punishment is deserved.
-Cleveland Herald, November 28, 1883

I really wanted to call this post "Dunlap Takes His Talent To South Beach" put "taking my talents to South Beach" has become an interesting euphemism with a colorful definition. Regardless, this article did remind me of Cleveland's reaction to Lebron's desertion, only with a veneer of 19th century rectitude. It also made me thing of what the reaction in St. Louis might be if Pujols leaves after the season.


Mike S said...

i am cursed to be a Cleveland sports fan, and "The Decision" was just another example of how Cleveland fans just have our crosses to bear. Basic research shows how far back it goes - pieces like this meaning it goes back even further then the 1899 Cleveland Spiders. (As an aside, whenever i get into a conversation with PC correct individuals who want to do away with the current team name and mascot, it's always mentioned that the Spiders name be brought back. i can never tell if they mean it sarcastically or not.)

Jeffrey Kittel said...

I'm a lifelong St. Louis Blues fan so I know all about it.

I actually have a soft spot in my heart for the Cleveland teams, especially the Browns. Been rooting for them since the days of Brian Sipe. Lost money betting on them because of both the Drive and the Fumble.

Can't imagine that anyone would seriously want to bring back the Spiders name. Might as well just call them the Cleveland Worst Team In The History Of Baseball. That was a bad club and, of course, they were the 1898 StL Browns before the Robisons pulled their stunt. I'd go with the Cleveland Blues (or even the Forest Citys) before I'd go with Spiders. Not that I'm recommending changing the name.

Btw, watched the Indians play the other day and really liked those uniforms they got. Nice, plain, simple. That's the way it should be done. Might have to get me one of those caps.