Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In A Quiet Condition

The local base ball situation is one of extreme quietude, neither of the rival organizations developing anything of public interest...

The Union Association Club is working quietly to perfect its organization, and while President Lucas has nothing specific to communicate he says that he is receiving numerous applications for positions on his nine from good ball players, and there need be no doubt that the vacancies in the team will be filled with first-class men. It is a quiet rumor that Bushong will be here to face Mullane when the club takes to the diamond. He is a graduate of the Philadelphia College of Dentistry, and is now in Paris studying the French practice of the profession. It is said that in letters that have been received from him he states that if he played ball again he desires to do so in a place where he can devote himself remuneratively to dentistry in the winter months, and eventually retire from the diamond to a good practice. If this is true there is little doubt but President Lucas can offer him much better inducements to come to St. Louis than can be offered him by the Cleveland Club managers, and that he will become a citizen of this city is highly probable.

Ted Sullivan arrived home on Thursday. His trip extended through the Northwest, Milwaukee and Chicago.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, January 6, 1884

Monday, May 30, 2011

Let The Good Times Roll

I can't believe I'm going back to this but it's necessary.

The Lucas nine will be managed by Ted Sullivan, who closed an engagement with Mr. Lucas on yesterday afternoon. The success of the St. Louis Club while he handled it the past season is evidence of his capacity as a manager. He will not have an easy task in controlling the nine that he is about to take charge of and there appears to be but one thing for him to do, and that is, enforce strict discipline. Good ball playing and dissipation do not go hand-in-hand and as every member of the team will be paid a good salary to play ball, dissipation by any of them must not be tolerated. There is good material on the nine, and it is to be hoped that Sullivan will succeed with it.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 23, 1883

Timothy Paul Sullivan officially agreed to manage the Maroons on December 22, 1883. End of story. Res ipsa loquitur. Let the good times roll.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

This Is Wickedly Cynical

I love it:

The idea advanced, some days ago, that the Union Association would leave the players that have joined it in a tight place after the season opened, is being used on all sides. It is true. After the seceders from the old associations have been black-listed, they are settled, so far as those associations are concerned. With no other avenue for their work, the Union Association can do with them as it likes. I predict that next season a more stringent rule than that of reservation and salary limit will be adopted by the Unions, and the seceders cannot again secede, but must stand the grind.
-Cleveland Herald, December 31, 1883

A healthy dose of cynicism is just the tonic I need to wash away the bitterness of that Sullivan nonsense. Of course, a week earlier, the Herald was predicting that the UA wouldn't even make it to the opening of their first season and here they're predicting not only a second season but what kind horrendous results a second season would bring about.

Never let consistency and logic stand in the way of a good argument.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Really? Are We Absolutely Sure About This?

The paragraph that appeared in yesterday morning's Globe Democrat, stating that T.P. Sullivan had not been engaged by the Lucas nine as manager was an error. It should have referred to Tom Sullivan, the well-known catcher. Tom has not signed yet, notwithstanding the statement of a morning paper that he had. T.P. Sullivan, familiarly known as "Ted," has signed as manager of the Lucas nine.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 31, 1883

Frustrating. I've just spent about an hour of my life writing up these last few posts and running down information about "Ted" Sullivan. And it was all an error. Now I'm not going to pretend that I've never confused Ted Sullivan and Tom Sullivan because I do it all the time but this is making me a bit cranky.

And, just to complicate matters a bit more, Thomas Jefferson Sullivan (a.k.a. Tom Sullivan, a.k.a. Sleeper Sullivan, a.k.a. Old Iron Hands) did sign with the Maroons at some point. Unless I'm confusing this Tom Sullivan with another Tom Sullivan or, possibly, Tim Sullivan.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sometimes You Just Throw Your Hands Up (or Difficulties in Historical Methodology, Part Two)

T.P. Sullivan, manager of the Lucas Union Base Ball Club of St. Louis, to-day, engaged Joe Quinn, formerly of the Dubuques, as a member of the reserve nine of the above club. Mr. Quinn is a remarkably active and ambitious player, and will undoubtedly fill his position with credit.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 30, 1883


This not only appeared in the same edition of the Globe in which it was reported that Sullivan denied that he had agreed to manage the Maroons but it actually appears in the paragraph directly above the one which reported the denial.

So in the same edition of the Globe, on the same page and in consecutive paragraphs, you have Sullivan signing players for the club and identified as the manager and then you have Sullivan stating that he was not the manager of the club.

Then again, if we parse his words, maybe Sullivan was only denying that he had signed a contract. I really don't know. Sullivan was a bit of a slippery fish and he had a way of getting his view of things into the papers. If I had to guess what was really going on here, I'd say that Sullivan still had some sort of contractual agreement with the Richmond club that had not been resolved but he had already decided, by the end of October, to manage the Maroons. He was acting in that capacity throughout the fall of 1883 but, because he had not been officially released from his committment to Richmond, had to deny that he was doing so.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Difficulties In Historical Methodology

T.P. Sullivan, who managed the St. Louis Base-ball Club last year, has signed a contract to manage the new Union Club that has been organized in [St. Louis.] Henry N. Lucas, the President of that organization, has sent Sullivan on a roving commission with power to engage any player whose services would be likely to strengthen the new club. Sullivan will visit Pittsburg, New York, Cleveland, and other League and association cities. The club needs another first-class pitcher and two catchers, and Sullivan will secure these at any cost.
-New York Times, December 28, 1883

T.P. Sullivan says the report that he has signed with the Lucas Club as manager is incorrect, and he wishes it denied.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 30, 1883

We know that Sullivan was working with the Maroons as early as late October 1883. In the first week of November, it was mentioned that he would be the new manager of the club and, at the end of November, he was signing players for the club. But in late December 1883, according to his own words, he had still not agreed to manage the Maroons. He may have still had ties to the Richmond club but I thought that had all been settled in early November.

Regardless, we know that at some point Sullivan will agree to manage the club.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Fight Grows More So

The fight between the new and old base ball association has grown "more so" during the past week. The Union Association held its meeting in Philadelphia, and, as predicted, has coalesced with the Union League. This sharpens the issue and simplifies matters. It is the associations who are parties to the National agreement against the Unions. Neither will win if the unions last until the opening of the season...
The manner in which the Union Association is arranging its clubs in Baltimore, Chicago and St. Louis makes it sure that one management is financially supporting all three clubs. That management is in St. Louis. The question is, will the public take interest in games between clubs thus connected? The life has been sustained in the League only by clean, hard fighting, and for the new association to prosper it must throw off all suspicion of prearranged games. As it is, the surface appearance of affairs between these clubs looks as if such an arrangement will be on...

Of course anything like an interchange of games between rival Association teams in the several cities will be impossible. If they were, the Union teams, except St. Louis, would be found weaklings...

The Unions are trying to snare the Ohio League into their Alliance. The Ohio League is not to be caught by such a proposition when they can enter the National agreement pool upon application. It is for the Ohio League to consider whether they can get a more profitable exchange of games from the League and American Association on one hand or the Union Association on the other.
-Cleveland Herald, December 24, 1883

I'm enjoying the Herald's coverage of all of this. Their editorial stance is a nice counter to the Globe's. I don't necessarily agree with what they write but I really like how uncompromising they are in their opinion.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

A Very Intelligent, Respectable And Infuential Body

Henry V. Lucas, President of the Union Base Ball Association, arrived home last night from Philadelphia, where he had been attending the Association's Convention. He said that he found the gentlemen composing the Convention a very intelligent, respectable and influential body of men, and felt highly honored by being chosen as their presiding officer. As for news, he has none. He had devoted himself exclusively to the convention while away, and did nothing of special interest to this community. Desiring to be at home during the holidays he carefully avoided becoming involved in negotiations with players which might lead to his detention. The Globe-Democrat reports, he says, covered the transactions of the Convention so fully that he is left with nothing new to impart. In his opinion the six clubs now in the Association will be all that it will take into membership for a year. The sentiment of the Convention was to that effect. Future circumstances may make a change of plans, but none is now anticipated. When asked about a catcher for his nine he said: "Don't be alarmed about that. We will have a catcher, and one that will be a credit to the club and the city."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 22, 1883

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Complete Success

At 11 o'clock this morning the Union Base Ball Association held an adjourned session in the Bingham House. All persons not members of the association were rigidly excluded from the meeting-room. President Lucas called the meeting to order, and after roll-call the association discussed at length the admission of certain clubs into membership, the arrangement of finance and other questions. It was decided to leave the matter of uniforms with each individual club, with an arrangement that no two clubs should wear the same kind of uniform. Thomas Gunning was not expelled from membership in the association, as was erroneously stated yesterday. Letters of explanation were received from him, and no action will be taken in the matter until the next meeting of the association, in Baltimore, on the third Tuesday of December next. In the meanwhile he will be held to his contract with the Chicago Club. It was arranged that the Schedule Committee should meet at Cincinnati some time between March 5th and 20th next. An extended discussion on the newly adopted Standard Ball engaged the attention of the Association for some time. After a long debate on the matter of official umpires it was decided that they should be appointed at the meeting of the Schedule Committee at Cincinnati. About two dozen applications for the position of umpires were received and placed on file...

Two applications were also received from gentlemen in two prominent cities who wish to organize clubs as members of the association. Several prominent ballplayers of Philadelphia were busy effecting negotiations for membership with the various Union Association clubs. It was rumored that George W. Bradley has completed a contract to play with the Cincinnati Club. At 1 o'clock the meeting adjourned. This first annual meeting of the Union Association has been a marked success. Fifty-five players from all portions of the United States have rallied around the new organization and have effected membership with the various clubs, while about a dozen others are negotiating for contracts.

Six Strong Clubs

are now in the Union Association, and the full complement of membership will be made when two more clubs are admitted. Then the Association will probably have a membership of about 100 players.

Secretary William Warren White, in a conversation, said: "The status of our association is established beyond a doubt, and it is the firm determination of each individual club to weather the season of 1884. I have been a base ball player for twenty years, and during all that time no association has launched out under more favorable circumstances than the Union. The individual members are gentlemen of well-known business integrity and ability. Then, too, we guarantee security that all players who sign with this association shall have their salaries forthwith upon demand. Overtures are also being made by the Union League for co-operation, interchanges of games and recognition of contracts with the Union Association."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 20, 1883

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Proceedings Of The Union Association Of Base-Ball Players

The first annual meeting of the Union Association of Professional Base-ball Clubs was begun at the Bingham House to-day, and after two long sessions an adjournment was had until to-morrow morning. The delegates were: From Baltimore-B.F. Matthews and J.W. Lowe; Chicago-A.H. Henderson and E.S. Henzel; Cincinnati-Justus Thorner; Philadelphia-Thomas J. Pratt; St. Louis-Henry V. Lucas and Theodore Benoist; Washington-A.B. Bennett and M.B. Scanlan. The first business was the election of the new Cincinnati Club as a member. Applications from Dayton, Ohio, Covington, Ky., and Kingston, N.Y., were referred to the Board of Directors. The remainder of the day and evening was spent by the convention in revising the constitution, by-laws, and playing rules of the American Association, which were first adopted as a whole. Among the changes made in the constitution was the rule on election of new members. A majority vote now elects. No exhibition games will be made with association clubs and managers will not hereafter be engaged by written contract. A player released by one club will not be eligible to contract with another club until 10 days have elapsed. The championship is to be decided by the greatest number of games won. An alliance clause was adopted and initiation fee was placed at $10. The following officers were elected for the ensuing year: President-Henry Lucas, of St. Louis; Vice-President-Thomas J. Pratt, of Philadelphia; Secretary and Treasurer-William Warren White, of Washington, and A.H. Henderson, of Chicago. Messrs. Pratt, Thorner, and Henzel were appointed a Schedule Committee, to meet at Washington in March.
-New York Times, December 19, 1883

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I Forgot About This One

Henry V. Lucas and Ellis Wainwright, St. Louis capitalists, have rented a large plot of ground at Twenty-fifth and Biddle streets, and intend fitting it up for base-ball purposes.
-New York Times, October 25, 1883

I'd been looking for the earliest reference to the Lucas-Wainwright partnership and posted that it dated to mid-November 1883. But I forgot about this article from the Times, talking about the establishment of the Union ballpark. While this specific ballpark didn't get built, we can say with certainty that Wainwright's involvement with Lucas and the Maroons date back to at least the end of October 1883.

Also, I had written that Wainwright was involved with two of the more important pieces of St. Louis architecture, the Wainwright Building and the Wainwright Tomb. I don't think it's much of a stretch to add the Union Park to that list. It might not have been designed by Louis Sullivan but it was a significant piece of 19th century St. Louis baseball architecture.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Meeting At Bingham House

The first regular meeting of the Union Base Ball Association was held at the Bingham House yesterday. Five clubs were represented at the opening of the convention, which included the cities of Chicago, St. Louis, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington. Immediately after the organization the Cincinnati club was admitted to the association and the delegates took their seats. The report of the Committee on Constitution was received and adopted, with a few slight alterations. The principal features of the rules adopted were the abashment of the foul-bound rule, and the strict enforcement of the rule in reference to pitching, requiring the pitcher to keep his hand below the line of the shoulder. Each club will play sixteen games with each other, of which eight will be played on each of the home grounds. The graduated system of the division of the receipts was adopted, each home club supporting itself and giving each visiting club $75. A schedule committee was appointed, which will report at a meeting to held in Cincinnati on the 20th of March. H.B. Lucas, of [Philadelphia,] was elected president and Warren White secretary.
-The North American, December 19, 1883

The North American had a few of the facts wrong. Lucas, of St. Louis, was elected president and Thomas Pratt, of Philadelphia, was elected vice-president. Regardless, the Bingham House meeting marks the official birth of the Union Association. I'll have more on the meeting over the next few days.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Sensational Developments May Be Expected

Henry Lucas says his last trip was entirely in the interest of the association and that he made no effort to engage a single player while away. His park is nearly graded and the space for the diamond is being sodded. Just as soon as the grading is completed the field will be sown with blue grass seed and the cinder path will be laid out and built. He left last night for the East, his objective point being Philadelphia, where the Union Association meets to perfect its organization on Tuesday. Before going he dropped an intimation that sensational developments may be expected within a few days.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 16, 1883

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

He Had A List

Mr. H.V. Lucas, of the Lucas-Wainwright club, and the prime mover in the new Union Association, now creating such a stir in baseball circles, arrived [in Cincinnati] last evening, and held a conference with Mr. Justus Thorner, ex-President of the Cincinnati club, and the leading spirit in the new Union team to be organized here. The gentlemen were closeted at the Gibson House for quite a long time perfecting the arrangements for securing a team of good playing ability to represent this city in the association. Mr. Lucas is on his way home from a trip East, and he is very enthusiastic over the prospects of the Union. He says that there is not the slightest doubt but that Cincinnati will be admitted and that with clubs at St. Louis, Chicago, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Washington, it will be a good enough circuit to open up with. He had a list of the reserved players in the league and association nines who had not yet signed contracts. These were examined carefully, and correspondence will be opened soon by the Cincinnati management to secure several of the most desirable men. The clubs that are now sure, Mr. Lucas assured Mr. Thorner, were all backed by rich capitalists, and there was no doubt in the world of their ability and willingness to play through the entire schedule of games, even if they had to do it to losing business the first year. "It is all a mistake about my paying such enormous salaries," said Mr. Lucas. "I have now eleven men under contract, and I will venture to say that they will not average over $1,900 apiece."

Mr. Lucas will return home to-day and will start east Sunday evening to attend the meeting of the Association at Philadelphia next Tuesday.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 15, 1883 [from the Cincinnati Enquirer]

The last quote from Lucas is, obviously, the most interesting thing about this article but what really struck me was that these guys were working off a list of unsigned, reserved players from the NL and the AA to secure players for their clubs. That was obviously one source of talent but it doesn't appear to have been a very effective one.

As I mentioned in the comments last week, the baseball talent pool had to have been larger then the players that were in the NL, the AA and the Northwestern League. There must have been talented players who were not in those leagues and available to the UA clubs. I understand that it would have taken some effort to find those players but it was rather short-sighted on the part of Lucas and the UA not to pursue that avenue of talent. In the end, they got dregs and that had a negative impact on the quality and health of the league.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mr. Lucas Goes To Washington

Mr. Henry V. Lucas, of the Union Base Ball Association, St. Louis, is [in Washington] in conference with Baltimore and Washington base ball men, regarding the association's prospects for the coming season.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 12, 1883

This was Lucas' final trip before the Philadelphia meeting that would officially organize the Union Association (not to spoil the ending or anything). I'm hoping that once I get passed that meeting we can move quickly to the 1884 season and get to some baseball. But I'm not promising anything. I'm finding the organization of the Maroons to be rather fascinating and I'm enjoying the day to day coverage of all of this.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A Mean, Silly Fabrication

A story is going the rounds of the press that Henry Lucas offered Morrill, of the Boston Club, $3,600 to play with his nine next year. Mr. Lucas says he did not see Morrill when at Boston, and has not made him any offer through any third party. The report is undoubtedly a mean, silly fabrication.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 11, 1883

This isn't particularly relevant but I loved that turn of phrase in the last sentence. So I'm posting it.

Morrill, one has to assume, is Long John Morrill. If you check his stats at B-Ref, he doesn't, on a surface glance, look like much but, if you really look at the numbers, the guy was a rather useful ballplayer. He had some power, took some walks, and could run the bases. Morrill was a decent offensive player and would have done well in the UA.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ellis Wainwright

Ellis Wainwright was a significant figure in the history of 19th century St. Louis. Born on August 3, 1850 in Godfrey, Illinois, Wainwright was a prominent businessman and brewer and his name is linked to two of the more important pieces of architecture in St. Louis.

His father, Samuel Wainwright, was the founder of the Wainwright Brewing Company, which began operations in 1846. While the history of the company is complicated, Ellis Wainwright gained control of its operations by 1875 and incorporated it as a stock company in 1883. In 1889, the company was bought by the St. Louis Brewing Company, of which Wainwright was president. The company was probably the second largest brewing company in St. Louis during the 19th century.

In 1890, Wainwright wanted a new office building for the company and hired Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler to build it. The Wainwright Building, at the corner of Seventh Street and Chestnut Avenue, was completed in 1891 and was one of the prototypes of the modern office building and the modern skyscraper.

In 1902, Wainwright was caught up in the Boodle Scandal (along with Charles Hunt Turner) and he is mentioned in Lincoln Steffens' The Shame of the Cities. As a result of the scandal, in which he was accused of bribing Missouri legislators, he fled to Paris, where he lived for the next twenty years. It appears that he returned to St. Louis in 1911, when he was indicted for his participation in the scandal, but the charges were dropped in November of that year due to the fact that all the main witnesses had either died or fled the city. Wainwright then immediately left again for Paris.

At some point in 1924, Wainwright once again returned to St. Louis and died in the city on November 6, 1924. He is buried in the Wainwright Tomb at Bellefontaine Cemetery. The mausoleum, like the Wainwright Building, was designed by Louis Sullivan and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has been described as one of Sullivan's masterpieces.

The two photos above were taken by Connie Nisinger and Jim Miller respectively and appear at Find A Grave.

Wainwright, as I've been chronicling lately, was also involved in the establishment of the Union Association and was one of the owners of the St. Louis Maroons. His involvement with the Maroons is significant, I believe, because it appears to represent an attempt by the establishment of St. Louis to regain control of the city's baseball market after Chris Von der Ahe had seized control of the Brown Stockings in 1882.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

St. Louis In 1814

Note: This was the post I was working on as the Great Blogger Crash of 2011 occurred. I'm thankful that it was restored. I may have my problems with Google and Blogger but I appreciate the folks who were, I'm certain, busting their rear ends trying to get all of this fixed. Good work on their end.

I'm working on a short biographical sketch of Ellis Wainwright that I hoped to have finished and posted today but, as the poet said, the best laid schemes o' mice an men gang aft angley. I'll have it up tomorrow. Until then, here's a neat picture of St. Louis as it looked in 1814, just fifty years after the founding of the city. The picture comes from the February 16, 1964 issue of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. I found it at Genealogy in St. Louis and it is part of Dave Lossos' personal collection.

To tie all of this to baseball, you'll find Charles Gratiot's house in the picture (labeled as 12). Charles Gratiot, Sr. was the father of Henry Gratiot, who we know played ball in St. Louis in the late 18th/early 19th century. Motard's Mill, the site of Gratiot's ball-playing, would have been out to the left of this picture and over the hill.

And to give you a sense of where those buildings stood, the Arch is currently located on top of the hill that see in the back of the picture. Here's what the area looks like today:

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blogger's Been Down

Blogger's went down yesterday at about 2:30 and it ate the post that was supposed to go up this morning. I was finished with the thing and was going to attach a couple of pictures when the thing went all wonky. We'll return tomorrow with our regular scheduled programing.

Thank you, Google.

Edit (7:45 PM): I just exported my blog to an external hard drive and copied that file to Dropbox so all my stuff, through today's post, is safely backed up. Should do that more often and, after seeing what has happened to some other folks who use Blogger, I plan on doing it on a regular basis.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Drink Wainwright Bottled Beer: It's Awesome

I went back to find the first mention of Ellis Wainwright's involvement with the Maroons and, just to get this out of the way, there's a reference to the Lucas-Wainwright club in the Globe on November 15, 1883. I don't see anything prior to that. But, even better, I found a bunch of advertisements for the Wainwright Brewing Company that are so cool, I feel the need to pass some of them along. All of these blurbs appeared in the Globe in April and May of 1883:

The Wainwright Brewing Company is now bottling a very superior article of larger beer, to which the attention of the public is directed. It is entirely free from the objectionable features usually attached to bottled beer. It is bright, clear and strong, and especially adapted for fine family trade.

Go to Wm. Gundelfinger's for Wainwright's Bock Beer.

It has become fashionable to have the Wainwright bottled beer in the house. Fashionable people know what is nice and appreciate what is good.

Don't allow your grocer to substitute any other brand of beer if you order the Wainwright bottled beer. It is the best, brightest and purest.

The Wainwright bottled beer is unsurpassed as a tonic. Hops and malt are its ingredients.

Ladies who drink beer by advice of their physician should take the Wainwright Bottle Beer for its strengthening properties.

To which I can only say that I, also, drink bottled beer for its strengthening properties, on the advice of my physician.

In all seriousness, the image above, which is just fantastic, comes from carlylehold's flickr stream and he reserves all rights to said image. He's got some really neat vintage advertising stuff that I'd encourage you to check out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I Don't Get It

Corcoran, of Chicago, is likely to sign with the Lucas club. It has more cash than experience.
-Rocky Mountain News, December 10, 1883

I understand the insult but what I don't understand is how, specifically, the insulting charge would apply to signing Larry Corcoran. Assuming that that's who they're talking about, Corcoran was a darn fine ballplayer and would have made a fine addition to the Maroons. This doesn't really have anything to do with anything but I'm just puzzled why anyone would think that signing Corcoran would be a bad idea.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mert Hackett Doesn't Sign With The Maroons

Hackett signed to-day to play with the Bostons next season at a salary of $1,600. President Lucas, of the St. Louis Union Association Club, offered him $2,500 and a blank contract was sent [to Boston] for him to sign. Mr. Lucas' agent did everything in his power to urge Hackett to accept his offer, but Hackett said he preferred to play with the Bostons.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 8, 1883

There had been rumors floating around for at least a week that the Maroons were going to sign a League catcher and Lucas, himself, had stated that he was close to signing someone. Obviously, the guy he was after was Mortimer Hackett.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Dunlap Liked Money

A letter was received from Dunlap, in which he coolly asks for his release. He will not get what he asks. The reason given for signing with St. Louis is the large amount offered.-[Cleveland Herald.]
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 7, 1883

Was there ever any doubt that Dunlap signed with the Maroons for the money?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The House Organ

The St. Louis Republican is the Lucas-Busch Annhiser Brewing Company's Union Association organ.
-Cleveland Herald, December 7, 1883

This is interesting for two reasons. First, there was something in the Globe a few days prior to this replying to a charge in another paper that they were the Maroons house organ. They said something along the lines that they were journalists and not anyone's organ. And then I found this same charge directed at another St. Louis paper a few days later.

The second reason is a bit obvious. If the Republican was the Maroon's house organ, then I really need to get my hands on the Republican. Sadly, at the moment, all the microfilm is being stashed in a warehouse in St. Louis as the public library downtown is being renovated. I can't just walk in and grab what I need. That is a pain in the rear but I'm stashing the information away for future reference.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Lucas-Wainwright-Busch Club

[From the Cincinnati Enquirer, December 2.]

...Henry V. Lucas, the moving spirit in the well-known Lucas-Wainwright Club, of St. Louis, and A.H. Henderson, prominently connected with the clubs at Chicago and Baltimore included in the new [Union Association,] spent the most of yesterday in the Queen City...They left early last evening, but before their departure were seen by an Enquirer reporter, who had received a "quiet tip" that they were in the city...

"Is the outlook good for your association?" was the first question propounded by the scribe.

"It is far better than we expected," was Mr. Lucas' reply. "Every day it is becoming more flattering."

"More than that," broke in Mr. Henderson, "every club that has joined forces with us has a strong financial backing, and numbers among its stockholders some of the most influential citizens in the places they represent. This enterprise is of no mushroom growth," he continued, "but has been organized carefully, and has come to stay."

"You have ignored the reserve rule held so sacred by the three older organizations. Are you not afraid you will get yourself into trouble?" suggested the reporter.

"That," said Mr. Lucas, "is the most arbitrary and unjust rule ever suggested, and ought to be broken. I can not see how a body of men has the right to dictate what another man shall do. It is all right when a player signs a contract. Then I have nothing to say but as long as the reserve clause is the only thing hanging over him it will not deter me from hiring a player if I want him. The players seem to appreciate this fact, and if I dared show you all the letters I have received, you would be surprised to see the names of some League players who want to go with me."

"What cities will be represented in the Union Association?"

"Well," said Mr. Lucas, "St. Louis, Chicago, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington will be sure. Boston and Hartford probably, with a possibility of a club in [Cincinnati.] This talk about the men at the back of the club being irresponsible is all bosh. Mr. Wainwright is worth over $2,000,000 and Mr. Adolph Busch, of the Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company, who is also associated with us, is one of the wealthiest men in the West. When I started out to sign players the latter said: 'Don't stop until you have secured the strongest nine that ever represented St. Louis, no matter what it costs.' I pride myself that I have already secured that, and I am not through by any means..."

"What play will you adopt as to the division of receipts?"

"The same as now used by the National League. This will give clubs in the smaller cities something to depend on beside their home patronage."

"Who are your officers?"

"We have not elected any yet, but at the annual meeting, which takes place at the Bingham House, in Philadelphia, on the 18th of this month, we will organize."

"Have all the clubs grounds?"

"Yes, and in nearly every instance they are more centrally and desirably located than the parks used by the clubs in the older associations."

"Who will compose your nine, Mr. Lucas?"

"So far I have secured Bill Taylor, Lou Dickerson and Mike Mansell, of the Alleghenies; Mullane, of Von der Ahe's team; Tom Brennan and Woulffe, of New Orleans; Dunlap, of the Clevelands; Jack Gleason, of the Louisvilles; George Schaeffer, of the Buffalos; Dave Rowe, of the Baltimores, and Gallagher, an amateur, of St. Louis. I am now negotiating with a prominent league catcher, and I think I will get him."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 3, 1883

This is the first real mention of Lucas' partners that I've seen in the papers. There was talk of the Lucas-Wainwright club (as you see at the beginning of this article) but I hadn't come across anything specific prior to this. Obviously, Lucas, Wainwright and Busch had reached some kind of partnership or investment agreement prior to this and that most likely took place sometime in early November. I really should go back and see if I can find anything about when, specifically, Wainwright and Busch joined up with Lucas.

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Report Was Probably False

One of the rumors that was floating around at the end of November in 1883 was touched on in the last post but I thought I'd lay it all out:

The new Union Base-Ball Club of St. Louis, it is reported, have signed contracts with Ward, the pitcher, and Connors, the first base man, of last year's New York team. Both these men have been reserved by the New York Club and they have broken the reserve rule to sign with St. Louis.
-New York Times, November 21, 1883

The followers of base-ball in this City were agitated yesterday by a report from St. Louis claiming that Ward and Connor, of the New York team, had signed with the new St. Louis Club. Neither of these players could be found, but it was stated on good authority that the report was probably false. Both are very shrewd business men, and it is not likely that they will sever their connection with a club competent to pay their salaries and join a new organization, being ignorant of its financial backing. Ward and Connor have both received large salaries from the New York Club. The former was not satisfied with the manner in which he was supported by the remainder of the team, and before last season was half over said that he would go to college next year and retire from professional ranks. Connor, however, had nothing to complain of.
-New York Times, November 22, 1883

Buck Ewing, the high priced catcher of the New York League base-ball team, is negotiating with the new St. Louis Club. Letters were seen to-day and as the terms which he named are acceptable, he will in all probability be engaged immediately by T.P. Sullivan, the new St. Louis Club's agent, who is now playing with Sullivan in the South.
-New York Times, November 28, 1883

The new St. Louis Club deny that they have entered into a contract with "Buck" Ewing, of the New York League team...
-New York Times, November 30, 1883

This, to me, all smells of fear and panic. Lucas was shaking things up and nobody really knew exactly what he was up to or what he was going to do next. The baseball establishment was afraid that Lucas was coming for their guys next and I think that was what fueled a lot of the rumors that we see in November of 1883. By ignoring the reserve rule, Lucas created a rather chaotic situation that stoked the fires of the hot stove league. Rumor upon rumor followed in his wake.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Distinquished Representatives Of The Beauty Of American Beer And Liquor

Dave Rowe and the American Association St. Louis Club are fighting. Mr. Von der Ahe claims that Rowe agreed to sign with his club, but when the contract and advance money were sent to him, he returned them and signed with the Lucas Club. Of the latter fact there is no doubt, but the fight has caused Mr. Lucas to publish Rowe's telegrams to him. In one of them Rowe refers to a "good man" that he can secure, and in another that he had contracts awaiting him from Cleveland, Providence and the St. Louis American Association Club. This shows that Rowe has used tricks. He never had a contract from Cleveland in his possession. The "good man" was evidently Dunlap.

Meanwhile no new Union Association Clubs are being organized. It is still hard to see the ability of the Association to gather the knot of clubs necessary to play through a season. If one is raised by one syndicate, the public can and will have no faith in it. If the St. Louis Club is to be run round the country on the old Hop Bitters plan, it may pay its owners as an advertisement for a brand of St. Louis beer. In the latter case the judgement of Mr. Lucas in selecting such men as Bill Taylor, Mike Mansell and "Little Buttercup" Dickerson is to be commended. They are distinguished representatives of the beauty of American beer and liquor as applied-in liberal quantities-to the ball player...In a letter to the editor clear-headed Frank Bancroft, in commenting on the St. Louis Club, says: "I met Ward recently, and he denies signing with the St. Louis. A League player who joins any such wild-cat scheme, certainly can be questioned closely as to his sanity, for the League, who has fostered base ball and nursed it into its present flourishing state, does not propose to let such mountebanks take its talent away without doing something to convince deserters that they will be remembered."
-Cleveland Herald, November 29, 1883

It's not everyday that you see "mountebanks" used in a sentence. That's a word we need to bring back.

And, for the record, it looks like Dave Rowe was the one who recommended that Lucas sign Dunlap.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

He Is Pretty Slippery

In an interview with a Globe-Democrat reporter last night, President Von Der Ahe stated that he believed that there were sufficient grounds for the expulsion of Dave Rowe by the American Association. "Under our rules," he said, "he could not have signed with any other club after he had given me his terms. I did not do the business with him. It was done by Williams, who reported to me that he had accepted Rowe and had agreed to give him $200 advance money. I then sent on a contract and a draft for $200. The draft, which has come back, was dated November 14. On the 17th, Williams wrote me that he was afraid that Rowe would not keep his agreement, and, to settle the matter, he had written him a sharp letter, requesting him to either sign or refuse to. The next day he wrote that Rowe had signed with another club, and that he had black and white on him, and would present the case to the annual meeting at Cincinnati. Rowe wrote, as well as telegraphed, to Williams, and there is where we have got him fast. He is pretty slippery. He fooled Barnie out of reserving him by assuring him that there was no necessity for naming him, as he wanted to play ball in Baltimore next season. Barnie had made him a sort of assistant manager, and had great confidence in him, and so all that he had to do to get off was to say to Barnie: 'You needn't reserve me. I know that you want more than eleven men, and as I want to remain with you there is no occasion to reserve me. I'll sign with you anyhow.' Barnie took him at his word and did not reserve him. That was the way that Rowe tied up the other Baltimore players and got free himself. For my part, I don't care about a violation of the reserve rule. I never did approve of it, and don't think it will stand; but when a man names terms to a manager and is accepted, and then signs with another club, that is

A Different Thing,

and I think that man ought to be punished. To my mind, the reserve rule is doing more harm than anything else. It is forcing up salaries, because a player feels more important when he has been reserved than he would if left to find employment on his merits, and he won't sign as quickly nor on as reasonable terms as if he had to look for an engagement instead of having one forced on him. And then I don't want any player that I must force into my club. I don't see how any one can think that such a man will do his work as earnestly and as well as a man who works where he pleases. I told all my men they could consider themselves free, and the only one I have lost is Mullane...
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 28, 1883

I must say that it's interesting to hear Von der Ahe's thoughts on the reserve rule. I'm not sure if I'm buying what he's selling but it's interesting none the less.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Great Pictures Of Hall Of Famers

I'll pass this along because I figure you all will like it and it's pretty neat stuff.

Summer Anne Burton, an artist from Austin, has a website called Every Hall of Famer, where she's posting her work. You can see some examples above.

I think these are just great and encourage you to stop by her site and maybe even purchase some of her work. It looks like she does requests.

Hat tip to keystone at Baseball Fever for passing along the information.

Monday, May 2, 2011

This Was Probably A Little Awkward

Fred Dunlap was awarded the gold medal offered by a merchant of Cleveland for the member having the best batting and fielding average in the Forest City nine.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, November 27, 1883

Well, it probably wasn't that awkward for Dunlap. I'm sure he had no problem taking the medal.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Asserted On Good Authority

It is asserted on good authority that Dunlap, the well-known second base man of the Cleveland Club, has deserted the League and will play in the new St. Louis team. His salary is said to be $3400 a year, $1000 of which he received in advance. Dunlap was one of the best players in the Cleveland Club and his loss will weaken the team to some extent.
-New York Times, November 28, 1883

Dunlap was not "one of the best players in the Cleveland Club." He was the best player on the club and arguably the best player in the League.