Friday, November 4, 2011

I Am Not As Bad As I Have Been Painted

Tony Mullane was interviewed last night by a Globe-Democrat reporter, to whom he said: "I have not much to say, except that I am sorry I didn't stick to Lucas.  I am not as bad as I have been painted by some people, for I have not beaten anybody out of a cent, and only signed with the Toledo Club because it appeared the best thing I could do for my own protection.  I was reserved by Von der Ahe, and if I didn't get my release I would be expelled, and, as I expected to be able to play ball for four or five years yet, I ddin't want to be expelled."
"You know that Mr. Von der Ahe announced that he would not enforce the reserve rule against his players, and did you not think that he would give you your release if you asked for it?"
"Oh, no; he wouldn't have released me after I had signed with Lucas.  I was informed that he wouldn't expel me either, but that the Association would take up the case and expel me, so you see it would have been all the same.  I know now that I made a mistake in not sticking to Lucas, and I am sorry I left him." 
His Toledo Contract. 
Taking a large pocket-book from an inside breast-pocket, he continued: "It has been stated that I left him because I got more money than he had agreed to pay me.  Now, that is not so; and I want to show my contract to you at satisfy you that I signed with Toledo for just the same money.  There it is (taking the document from his pocket-book and opening it), and that line reads, as you can see, 'Twenty-five hundred dollars,' just what I signed with Lucas for.  The only extra inducement in my contract is an agreement that I will not be reserved next fall."
"What are you going to do with the injunction?"
"I am not going to do anything with it.  The club will take care of it.  They claim it won't hold, and, anyhow, it can only stop me from playing here.  Mr. Brown, the club's attorney, is here now, and will file an answer in the morning, just as soon as he can see the papers filed by Lucas.  Mr. Rodgers, Vice President of the club, started with him from Toledo on that Wabash train that was wrecked, and had a leg broken and an ankle dislocated, and was sent back home.  The Decatur doctors say it will be four months before he will be able to get around."
"It is reported that Mr. Lucas intends to follow the case to the last resort, not only here, but elsewhere." 
"Well, I have nothing to do with the case.  The club must take care of it.  I am sorry that there is any trouble, and regret that I left Lucas, but I was advised to do it, and thought I was acting on good advice.  I see now that I was mistaken, and that's all I can say."
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 8, 1884

What a great article.  My favorite moment might be when Mullane whips out his contract to show it to the reporter.  I would imagine, if this article is truthful, that this is probably the most accurate salary information we have from 1884.

Another great moment is there at the end when Mullane says "I have nothing to do with the case."  Really?  Nothing?  You have nothing at all to do with this?  It's good that he notes his regrets about jumping the contract and I kind of get his point.  But, in the end, this was a mess that Mullane made.  If he had honored his contract with Lucas, or if he had simply resigned with the Browns, none of this would have happened.

But you just have to love Tony Mullane.  The guy was something else.

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