The defection of Tony Mullane from the Union Association ranks is the topic of the day in base ball circles. It not only partakes of the nature of a sensation, but is engendering a strong feeling of partisanship, and leaves little room for doubt that the coming season will witness a vigorous war between the Lucas and St. Louis Clubs. The general acceptance of the case is that a pool was formed to deliberately purchase Mullane's dishonorable conduct, and so far as public sentiment is concerned it strongly condemns both the means and the end. It is useless to attempt to conceal the fact that the St. Louis Club management comes in for strong denunciation, the withholding of Mullane's release until it would subserve American Association ends, and the alacrity with which it was furnished when the Toledo Club asked it, being taken as conclusive evidence that they were parties to the questionable transaction. Judging by popular expression, if President Von der Ahe contributed anything toward a fund to be used to secure the breaking of Mullane's contract, he has made a costly mistake, and would do well to pay a considerably larger sum to recall that act. The extent of the interest manifested in the affair in business circles is actually incredible.As stated in the Globe-Democrat yesterday, the defection of Mullane is positively the result of a matured scheme arranged within the American Association. Information to this effect was obtained some weeks ago from a gentleman closely identified with that association, and there can be no doubt of its authenticity. The scheme also comprehends the return of Bradley to the Athletic Club, which explains the intimations of the Commercial Gazette that that player will not pitch for the Cincinnati Unions. The project may be regarded as a judicious and commendable one among base ball managers, but among the patrons of the game it fails to commend itself, and if the legitimate result shall be, locally or generally, the disrepute of the national game, the managers will have only themselves to blame. Intrigue, trickery and bribery are not calculated to inspire public confidence.
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 3, 1884