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.


David Ball said...

What I've read from time to time is that Sullivan was commissioned to recruit players for all the Union teams, but he concentrated his best efforts on the Maroons, producing the highly unbalanced UA pennant race that resulted. It will be interesting to see whether the coverage does anything to support or refute that story.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

It all gets cleared up in a couple of days. The confussion was the result of the Globe confussing Ted and Tom Sullivan. It drove me crazy for a few hours trying to sort it all out

Jeffrey Kittel said...

Okay I just used confuse as a noun and verb in same sentance. That's what I get for posting from my phone. Anyway I think I've seen references to Sullivan acting as an agent for other clubs but didn't post it. Doesn't really move the narrative along.

David Ball said...

No, you used "confuss," which isn't a word -- so far -- but it certainly should be.

Jeffrey Kittel said...

I blame my need for bifocals. Or the fact that I'm really not a morning person. Either way, I thank God for spellcheck.