A new abuse has crept into the professional arena within the past year, and that is the open transfer of players from one club to another. We do not refer to cases where a player who has signed a contract with one club an then desires to get a release, and to do this induces the club he wants to change to pay a bonus for his release. What we have reference to is the actual bargin and sale of contracted players from one club to another without the consent of the professionals immediately concerned...This plan of course can be exended to include a whole team of players, who are thereby made to become a mere herd of base-ball cattle, as it were. This phase of the transfer business is simply a gross abuse, in violation of all equity and common justice. If it is not in direct opposition to the rules of the national agreement it should promptly made so. Of course if the player consents to this indiscriminate transfer of his services it ceases to be oppressive. But under the best view of the working of the system it is objectionable, and should not be encouraged.-[New York Clipper.]
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 3, 1884
This isn't really St. Louis related but, as we've been talking a lot about player movement, it seems relevant to consider what the Clipper had to say about all of that.