We take occasion to state that Fred Dunlap has informed us most positively that no matter what other players may do, he, at least, will stick to his contract with the St. Louis Club to the last.-[Sporting Life. Dunlap told you what was false. He is already preparing to get away from St. Louis.]
-Cleveland Herald, January 16, 1884
It comes as no surprise to any of my four regular readers that I'm a bit obsessed with Fred Dunlap and the above quote from the always fantastic Herald is one of the reasons why Dunlap is such a fascinating character. They present two contradictory statements about Dunlap's intentions and both, given the nature of the man, are completely plausible. The stubborn Dunlap, always sensitive to what he believed to be his due, couldn't have cared less about what others were doing and would stick to his decision, damn the consequences. The calculating Dunlap, always practical when it came to taking actions that were in his best interest, couldn't have cared less about what others were doing and would have jumped his St. Louis contract in a heartbeat, damn the consequences.
What some may see as congnitive dissonance is just Dunlap being Dunlap and this is what makes him, in my opinion, the most interesting of all 19th century baseball players.