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Old 04-24-2005, 11:54 AM   #1
SelzShoes
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Prequel--An OOTP History

Excerpts from “The History of Professional Base Ball” (1941)

As odd as it may seem to the throng that hails Base Ball as the National game; a scant seventy years ago the professional game barely existed. It did not exist in a form now familiar to the nearly nine million people who cross the turnstiles at the “major” league level and nearly half that number at the various “minor” league levels.

The heroes of these early days have faded from our collective memories—replaced by men whose skills with the bat and ball push the game to higher and higher levels. . .

Men were paid to play as early as 1858 as the club teams from New York, Brooklyn and Philadelphia battled one another for the right to declare themselves “National Champions.” It was not uncommon for a talented baseballer to bat and pitch for as many as three different clubs in a single weekend. Teammates one day would be on opposite sides the next.

These loose arraignments and tournaments lasted well over a decade, until what is considered the watershed moment in the development in professional baseball: The 1869 tour of the Cincinnati Base Ball Kings.

While the sporting press focused on the eastern cities, the “Western Game” was developing its own stars. A. J. Helmuth, a promoter most noted for scandalous theatrical performances, hit upon the idea of hiring the best ballplayers and touring—taking on all comers. Attaching the club, initially at least, with the Longwood Circus, the Base Ball Kings started modestly beating local nines in Western Pennsylvania and the Midwest. By the time the club reached Chicago for a two-week stay against the top clubs there, they were already becoming a legend.

The stay in Chicago resulted in a remarkable 18 wins in 14 days against what had been regarded as the best clubs in the center of Midwestern baseball. The results were similar in Saint Louis, Indianapolis and Louisville. The Kings had begun to acquire a mystique about them.

With the attention of the press beginning to face westward, many of the best eastern clubs decided to quash the notion that these “backwards players who can’t possible know the game like we do,” could be the true masters. An eastern leg, stretching from Washington to Boston was quickly arranged; and late August through October was to show who really were the “Base Ball Kings.”

One of the innovations of the Kings was what we now call the “pitching rotation.” While most clubs had rosters of 11 or 12 men, with 1 primary pitcher, the King’s schedule required a roster of 15 men, with 3 men who were top-flight pitchers. Rarely was a man asked to pitch on back-to-back days—the rest allowed by the expanded roster made a better-rested club. Few squads the Kings encountered had the depth to compete. The Base Ball Kings were also able to exploit rules, such as substitute batters, that other clubs did not have the manpower to use.

By the time Cincinnati swept the five top Brooklyn nines, the Eastern press proclaimed them National Champions—with a full two weeks left in the tour. When all was said and done, the Kings had won 75 to 90 straight games (records for the early portion of the tour are incomplete) with an amazing 22 straight against the so-called powers from Brooklyn, New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Boston.

That winter, from Saint Louis to Boston, the top clubs started consolidating talent—buying the best players from weaker clubs. Bidding for some of the best players reached $1,000.00. By mid-summer 1870, distinct levels of play were developing. And as the masses clamored fro the higher level of play; prominent businessmen gathered in Philadelphia to organize the first Professional League.

Moguls from the “centers of baseball” gathered in August of 1870 to plan this association. Chicago, Cincinnati, Brooklyn, New York, Philadelphia and Boston all would be represented. A 40 game schedule was agreed upon, so as to leave room for the numerous (and profitable) exhibitions against lesser clubs. And in the case of Brooklyn and New York, a total of 10 additional head to head games were played that did not count as “official” league games.

When play began in the spring of 1871, the wildest dreams of these moguls and players could not have envisioned the gift they would bestow on a grateful nation.

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Old 04-24-2005, 12:00 PM   #2
SelzShoes
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Join Date: Apr 2005
What I'm doing: This is a dynasty that I've run on the OOTP Forum for a couple months. At the suggestion of someone there I've started popping by your forum. I really like the stuff I read here, so I decided if I was posting something here, I would be more likely to stop by regularly if I had something, anything to do. I'm actually building towards a 1946 dynasty, but I didn't like the idea of something just 'existing', I needed a history. I decided I had three options: make up a history, use the real history, or run OOTP for 70 seasons and build a history. I chose the latter. This thread will basically: set the histories of some of the characters I use in the dynasty and give me the background stats needed to fill out a history.

How am I doing it: I'm using plain old Lahman's with one little twist: I've edited all players so they enter at 20. I did this by copying the player's worst OPS+/ERA+ season as that first season. I know-not the way most of you would do it, but mostly (as the test I've run show) it keeps everyone from being imported as Major League ready. And I like the fact it is actual numbers the player created, and not some "normalized" line. Again, not the way most of you would handle it, but it is my world.

I've also made the decision to "split" players who had pitching/batting stats this way: if they had 10% of their games as a pitcher (if mainly a fielder) 0r 10% of thier games as a fielder (if mainly a pitcher) then they are imported as two seperate players.

I've also made the decision to give each player fictional names. Why bother doing that? Well, there is an arc I'd like the league histories to take--knowing who a player developed into, even with the crapshoot development, makes it easier to build that history. I mean, I know Lou Gehrig may not become a "monster" player, but he has a better shot than, say Charlie Carr. So if you see a player and think, "hmm, he reminds me of Ty Cobb," well he very well could be. I just want to disconnect my reader from seeing the names and having preconcived notions of who that player is.

Well, Thanks already for giving me some good reading, I hope I can return the favor.

Last edited by SelzShoes : 04-24-2005 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 04-24-2005, 12:04 PM   #3
SelzShoes
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1871--The Early Days

It is agreed that all players will be paid a flat $500.00 fee, but many clubs, notably Chicago and New York, pay their top player over that amount. The League victory is promised a “jeweled loving cup exceeding $1,000.00 for possession of a season.” Players on the victorious team are to receive $100.00 bonuses.

It was assumed, by the Eastern press, that one of the four “Atlantic” clubs would win the league. It was also assumed the two “Western” clubs, despite the history of the Cincinnati Kings, would simply battle for last place. To the shock of many, the Chicago Browns battled the Boston Unions until the last week of the season for the inaugural pennant.

Boston had the steady bats of 3B Alton Emch and C Norman Lent, who hit .500 and .476 respectively, which proved the difference down the stretch. They were able to take advantage of the fact that league games sometimes had two weeks stretches between games to keep fresh and ready. Boston’s Richie Alaibilla is hailed as the best hurler in the league and Alton Emch, who had a 30 game hitting streak at one point, is unsurprisingly declared the top Batsman.

Chicago was hurt by Horacio “Charmer” Pfahlert being injured before the last series of the season. A line drive fractured his hand in early September, and the Browns were forced to start amateur Mac Tomehak against the Kings. Chicago goes 1-3 against the Kings while Boston finished 2-2.

More shocking to the Eastern Press was the showing of the Philadelphia Brotherhood—who won their first game of the season before losing their next 25 in a row. So embarrassed were the backers by the 3-37 showing, the club—which just 4 seasons earlier had been declared “National Champions”—disbanded for lack of support by the locals. Aron Mousser regarded as the man who “invented” the shortstop position appears in 9 games, hitting .154. After promising an easy pennant at the start of the season, he is replaced by a younger Marlon Bosshart, who can only manage to hit .173 with 19 errors in 35 games. The ace of the squad is Tony Amuso, who has a 2-8 record.

On May 12, Chicago battered Philadelphia 26-3, with Second baseman Henry Parnell lacing 6 hits. As was the tradition of the time, Philadelphia starter Newton Peckenpaugh went the distance—one of five games he surrendered at least 20 hits.

At the mid-season league meeting, a motion to require all playing fields to be surrounded by chicken wire “for the protection of the spectator” is voted down, as is a proposed rule to require players to wear gloves. The Eastern clubs feel the glove rule is against tradition and would make a mockery of the players “true” abilities.

Brooklyn outfielder Moises Crytser became the first man to hit 2 home runs in a game on August 25. He “circled the bases with such speed, the retrieval of the ball by the outfielders appeared to take place in a fine molasses.”

Cincinnati’s Tory Claessens, a key part of the Base Ball Kings tour of 1869, loses 5 decisions by 1-run.

A.J. Helmuth, after his Kings finish in 5th place, sells his interest to Max Von Schriber for $4,000.00. Helmuth retains the deed to the Cincinnati Avenue Grounds where the Kings play and makes more money as landlord than team owner. Helmuth was, interestingly enough, key in defeating a motion the prior season that would have required league members to own the park they played in.

Just a week after the season ends, the Great Chicago Fire occurs. The Chicago Browns will go dormant for 2 years.

Code:
Empire League Standings Team W L PCT GB Home Away XInn 1Run Boston 28 12 .700 - 15- 5 13- 7 0-3 3-7 Chicago 25 15 .625 3.0 14- 6 11- 9 4-1 12-4 New York 25 15 .625 3.0 14- 6 11- 9 5-2 7-3 Brooklyn 22 18 .550 6.0 12- 8 10-10 4-3 7-7 Cincinnati 17 23 .425 11.0 11- 9 6-14 3-4 3-8 Philadelphia 3 37 .075 25.0 2-18 1-19 1-4 2-5
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Old 04-24-2005, 12:12 PM   #4
Comey
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Join Date: Nov 2003
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I strongly suggest using Cato's utility with this.

I did this same thing for an online league, creating a fictional history from 1901-2002 before we took over. You can find that here: www.thepostgamereport.com/abl/almanac/ . It was a lot of fun, but adding that kind of utility gives you an added dimension, and will really keep your history organized.
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Old 04-24-2005, 12:24 PM   #5
SelzShoes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Comey
I strongly suggest using Cato's utility with this.

I did this same thing for an online league, creating a fictional history from 1901-2002 before we took over. You can find that here: www.thepostgamereport.com/abl/almanac/ . It was a lot of fun, but adding that kind of utility gives you an added dimension, and will really keep your history organized.
I'm one of those Cato failures. Which isn't too bad, and actually keeping myself limited to what the game tracks is more reflective of the statistical information that would have been available at the time. I also copy in the OOTP and burn onto CD each league file, so I have accesses to specifc seasons pretty readily. I will probably give Cato another whirl after the 1901 season, that unofficial dividing line of ancient and modern.
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Old 04-24-2005, 04:11 PM   #6
fantastic flying froggies
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Welcome to FOFC!
Your dynasty looks very promising, I'll be reading.
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Old 04-24-2005, 05:08 PM   #7
SelzShoes
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1872-The Early Days

With Chicago inactive because of the Fire and Philadelphia surrendering, there was concern that there would not be enough clubs to start the next season. However, clubs in Troy, New York; Washington, Baltimore and Cleveland were added. The fourth franchise almost was awarded to Buffalo, but Cincinnati objected to the lack of a second western franchise. Going so far as to accuse the other clubs of trying to push the Kings out of business. There is a little truth to this. Afraid of the showing of the Chicago Browns (and the complete failure of the Philadelphia entry) the remaining first season eastern clubs felt they might not be able to dominate as they thought they could. By concentrating the clubs along the seaboard, the hope was to make it financially impossible for a single western club to survive.

Chicago owner James Winfred McCormick warns an eight team league is too large. “There is simply not enough crack players to compete at the level we envision. When the Browns retake the field the talent that does exist will abandon these lesser clubs, ruining what men have been told are solid investment.” There is some truth in what he says. With an expanded schedule (clubs playing between 55 and 57 games) the holdover clubs all won at least 36 games, no new club won more than 20.

Beset with injuries, the Baltimore club is on the brink of falling out of the league. In exchange for the promise of an additional western club for 1873, the Cincinnati Kings transfer two young pitchers, Johnie Dolly and Connie Pozar to the Terrapins. The Kings drop from second to fourth after the transfer.

Henry Panell is signed by the Cleveland franchise after Chicago goes dormant. While Panell challenges the Boston combination of Emch and Lent for individual honors, hitting .492, his teammates are so inept at the bat and pitch, the Eries finish a distant 8th.

Baltimore finishes the season a combined 3-22 against the established clubs,

Brooklyn hurler Hank Imfeld throws the first perfect game in history against the Washington Congressionals.

Cincinnati’s Tory Claessens is declared the top hurler, while Alton Emch wins outstanding batsman for the second year. The Boston Unions boasted three .400 hitters in their line up, but a merely average pitching staff kept the race close all year.

With Boston’s hitter dominating the league, accusations of “talent hording” are levied the Winter Conference. “Without a method of sharing talent; Boston has created a perpetual ‘dynasty’ that can never be broken,” says Washington owner J. O’Brien Hickey. A motion to add two more clubs is voted down, and the Troy franchise is transferred to Saint Louis, making good on the promise made to the Cincinnati club. A motion to reintroduce a “balanced” schedule, as was had in the first year is taken under consideration and adopted to “preserve the integrity of the championship season.”

Code:
Empire League Standings Team W L PCT GB Home Away XInn 1Run Boston 42 15 .737 - 20- 7 22- 8 3-0 6-4 New York 39 16 .709 2.0 18-10 21- 6 5-0 8-8 Brooklyn 37 19 .661 4.5 24-10 13- 9 1-3 9-7 Cincinnati 36 20 .643 5.5 12-11 24- 9 4-1 9-8 Washington 20 36 .357 21.5 11-18 9-18 2-4 6-4 Troy 18 38 .321 23.5 10-21 8-17 0-3 3-6 Baltimore 16 39 .291 25.0 8-20 8-19 1-4 3-7 Cleveland 16 41 .281 26.0 7-17 9-24 2-3 8-8
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Old 04-24-2005, 05:11 PM   #8
SelzShoes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantastic flying froggies
Welcome to FOFC!
Your dynasty looks very promising, I'll be reading.
Thanks FFF. It is a little odd coming to a site that has a mix of so many sports and RL dynasties, but it does make a nice variety.
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Old 04-24-2005, 05:42 PM   #9
PatchMK
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Join Date: Apr 2005
this has been a very interesteing read....im hoping to see a louisville midwest team here in the coming years
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Old 04-24-2005, 08:36 PM   #10
Wolfpack
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Join Date: Feb 2003
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You say this will be a history with generally fictionalized players based on real life players. Will the franchises be real ones or will you be working creatively on that as well? (i.e., do the Yankees become the Yankees or do they stay the Hilltoppers, or does such a franchise ever get to exist, depending on how the world unfolds from this starting point?)
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Old 04-24-2005, 10:04 PM   #11
Buccaneer
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Very interesting. I love people who know and respect baseball history.
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:37 AM   #12
SelzShoes
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Join Date: Apr 2005
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfpack
You say this will be a history with generally fictionalized players based on real life players. Will the franchises be real ones or will you be working creatively on that as well? (i.e., do the Yankees become the Yankees or do they stay the Hilltoppers, or does such a franchise ever get to exist, depending on how the world unfolds from this starting point?)
For the 19th Century the league/teamset up is based more on how many players are available--there will be an American Association--and possible a Union Association and Players League if I can work something out with the limits of OOTP's 2-league setup, but it will have a different life arc than the real one. When I get to 1901, I'll will be following the traditional AL/NL structure. As I mentioned above, this is really just setting up a 1946 dyansty I want to do, so I'll be nudging the universe towards that goal--understanding the players may have different opinons on how the games shake out. So the answer to your Yankee question is yes and no--there won't be a Yankees in this universe, but a powerful New York club that everyone hates/loves is not out of the question.
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Old 04-25-2005, 08:57 AM   #13
SelzShoes
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1873--The Early Days

In January, Cleveland’s Association Grounds collapses. A new park is quickly built on Kennard Street, with half of the capacity of the former yard. A dispute with City officials over the stability of a proposed grandstand that would overhang the sidewalk limits the seating. The City’s concerns proved well founded when a similarly designed park in New Haven collapses, killing 52—7 of the deaths were on the walk.

The Saint Louis Cobblers send shockwaves through the league by allowing beer and whiskey to be sold at Grand Avenue Park. Baltimore, owned by State Representative and Temperance Party member Horace Soleabea, announces they will refuse to make their trip to Saint Louis. A compromise is reached with the games played in Chicago, with Baltimore forfeiting their share of the visitors’ receipts. By the end of the season, Cincinnati and Cleveland will allow liquor sold at their games, with the Eastern clubs parks staying “dry”. Soleabea is told to either sell his interest or be expelled if he refused to play a league member. He will comply in the fall of 1873.

On opening day Richie Alaibilla ruptures a disc in his back. Alaibilla was the best of Boston’s pitchers over the first two seasons:
Code:
Year G GS W L SV ERA IP HA R ER BB K CG SHO 1871 10 10 8 2 0 2.01 89.2 86 24 20 5 19 10 1 1872 12 12 9 2 0 1.83 113.0 107 31 23 13 20 11 2 1873 1 1 0 1 0 6.75 1.1 1 2 1 0 0 0 0 Total 23 23 17 5 0 1.94 204.0 194 57 44 18 39 21 3

When he returns, Boston uses him only in a substitute role.

Norman Lent of Boston matches Alton Emch’s 30 game hit streak of 1871. Emch is criticized in the sporting press for trying to go for the long hits, watching his batting average drop from 1871’s .500 to .329 this season. Lent leads the league in hitting for the second straight year, an amazing feat for a catcher of this time. Overall, there are only two .400 hitters this season, which the hitters attribute to the “soft” ball used. League officials insist they have made no changes to the equipment.

Marquis Nicolet of Boston wins 12 decisions without a loss and is acclaimed Hurler of the year.

Washington is discovered mid-summer to have depressed attendance figures in order to share less of the gate receipts. They are fined $175.00, which paid to the League. Brooklyn, Cleveland and Cincinnati, the teams victimized by Washington’s ruse, object strenuously—the Ohio clubs citing their travel cost--and demand reimbursement. When Washington visits Cleveland for a 4 game set, the Eries charge no admission to the fans, instead selling scorecards at 52¢ instead of the normal 2¢. The Congressionals appeals to the League falls on deaf ears.

The pitchers Cincinnati transferred to Baltimore in 1872 have less than stellar seasons for the Terrapins. Johnnie Dolly fashions a 1-13 record, while Connie Pozar spends most of the season nursing a problem shoulder. Despite their lackluster outings, murmurings of allowing contract transfers during the season begin to build among the owners.

Boris Seekell of Cincinnati bests Saint Louis’ Chester Jackman in a 14-inning duel complete game.

At the League meeting Chicago announces their intention to play in the 1874 season. The League adds a tenth team, a former amateur nine from Hartford, over the objection of the Western clubs who felt Louisville or Indianapolis more deserving. The Eastern clubs push the Hartford squad to retain a 6-4 advantage in League matters. A rule is passed limiting clubs to no more than 4 hurlers on a squad to prevent stockpiling. The Eastern clubs also pass a resolution banning the sale of “intoxicating agents” at games.

Code:
Empire League Standings Team W L PCT GB Home Away XInn 1Run Boston 38 18 .679 - 20- 8 18-10 0-3 7-8 New York 36 20 .643 2.0 18-10 18-10 4-2 10-6 Brooklyn 32 24 .571 6.0 16-12 16-12 3-2 9-5 Cincinnati 32 24 .571 6.0 14-14 18-10 5-0 7-9 Baltimore 24 32 .429 14.0 11-17 13-15 1-2 4-6 Saint Louis 22 34 .393 16.0 12-16 10-18 0-4 9-9 Washington 22 34 .393 16.0 7-21 15-13 6-2 11-9 Cleveland 18 38 .321 20.0 8-20 10-18 0-4 4-9
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Old 04-25-2005, 10:04 PM   #14
SelzShoes
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1873-1874 Offseason

At a meeting between Boston, New York and the prospective Hartford owner results in terror from the establish team’s owners. When asked what players Hartford might be signing for the upcoming season, Hartford’s Raleigh Bourne replies that the amateur nine that were runner ups in the Connecticut State Tournament should do well enough. Faced with a possible disaster as the Philadelphia Brotherhood club of 1871 had, Boston’s Mick Avery and New York’s William Temple immediately offer to secretly buy the interest of the club to assure a competitive club. When the matter comes to light in 1877, it is found that Bourne realized he did not have the capital to operate a professional club and “conned” Boston and New York into buying him out.

Horace Soleabea sells his interest to a group who moves the club to Philadelphia. The group, which featured some of the original investors in the Brotherhood club, feels betrayed over the lack of support Boston and New York supplied during that first season, will side with the Western clubs in votes of league matters. This 5/5 split will make it impossible to conduct league business with no tiebreaker available.

The clubs do agree that the practice of naming a captain prior to each game to deal with the umpires and line-ups must end. Each team is required to name a field captain at the beginning of the season. Most teams give little thought to this, but the new Philadelphia club names Aron Mousser, the man who invented the shortstop position, as their field captain. Mousser will start the process of not only the field captain making line up and pitching decisions, but start taking over strategic decisions—which to this point were determined by the individual players based on the game situation--as well. In a sense, he is the first modern manager.

To combat the ban on selling liquor, the Saint Louis club tears down the half of the seats on the visitor’s side, and builds a two-story beer garden overlooking the playing field. Despite on the lowest official attendance in the league, they are indirectly the most profitable, as the beer garden is filled for every game. To protect the visitors from the many tossed bottles and glasses, the visitors bench is enclosed, becoming the first “dugout’ in baseball history.
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Old 04-25-2005, 10:08 PM   #15
SelzShoes
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1874

Weeks before the season starts, Alton Emch announces he will not play for Boston. “I refuse to play in a city where the sporting press imagines they understand the game better than those on the field of play.” Emch has changed his personal theory of hitting over the three years of the EL, turning from a pure line drive hitter to a fly ball hitter. His average has dropped significantly, but Emch maintains he is responsible for driving in more of his teammates home (RBI were not an official statistic until 1920, and only unofficially counted since the 1880s). “The long hit is the future of the game,” Emch states, “Teams failing to adopt this style will fall by the wayside.” Norman Lent being named field captain by Boston instead of him also personally hurts Emch. Boston’s owner Mick Avery tells Emch if he can find a team who wants him, he is free to make a deal. Chicago quickly signs him to anchor their new roster for the unheard of salary of $1,000.00 a season.

There is outrage from the other owners over the salary openly paid to Emch, though many have paid players “under the table” in excess of the league mandated maximum for years. “We stand to average less than 1,000 souls a game,” Saint Louis owner Petre Goethe states without a sense of irony. “The era of the $1,000.00 player will kill the teams in the smaller cities.”

“If we paid all players such salaries,” Cincinnati’s Max Von Schriber cries, “only New York, Boston and Chicago will get the best talent.” Von Schriber predicts the first $1,500.00 player is around the bend and “will be the ruination of the league.”

Browns’ owner McCormick is resolute, “if we want the best players, we have to pay the best salaries. The moment we undervalue our talent is the moment a rival will appear. I want to assure my investment succeeds—whether the Empire League survives or not.”

Emch can only help the Browns to a 9th place finish; the pitching was too young to win.

Hartford’s Mac Tomehak pitches in 50 of his teams’ 72 games and is credited with 24 losses.

Darryl Weisenburger is one of 3 .400 hitters, and the first non-Boston player to win the crown.

New York and Boston are the only clubs to hit over .300 for the season, .326 and .321 respectively. Without those two clubs, the league batting average drops from .291 to .282. Brooklyn, playing in the same park as New York (The Brooklyn Union Grounds) manages a .295 average. There is increased clamor for provisions in contracts to allow player movement to end New York and Boston’s stranglehold on the top spots in the league.

Boston Shortstop Steve Alves is the first player to score 200 career runs, achieve the feat in 209 games.

Cleveland is contending until young hurler Antoine Kane ruptures a muscle in his arm. The Eries’ pitching quickly slips them out of contention.

The Cincinnati press demands the removal of Tory Claessens as field captain. “While Mr. Claessens was important in putting the Queen City on the Base Ball map, his disinterest in games he is not playing in cost our team a chance at the pennant. Until someone who take the game seriously whether they are on or off the field leads this squad, there will be no champions along the Ohio River.” The Kings outscore their opponents 383-294, but finish two games under .500.

New York becomes the first club other than Boston to win the title. While loath to admit it, the Boston press points to the lack of “timely long hits, such as Alton Emch used to provide” as a major reason for the Unions lost season.


Code:
Team W L PCT GB Home Away XInn 1Run New York 49 23 .681 - 28-10 21-13 2-3 11- 8 Boston 45 27 .625 4.0 20-14 25-13 1-3 13-14 Brooklyn 42 30 .583 7.0 21-15 21-15 6-1 11- 7 Saint Louis 40 32 .556 9.0 22-14 18-18 2-2 11- 5 Philadelphia 38 34 .528 11.0 15-21 23-13 3-4 10-12 Cincinnati 35 37 .486 14.0 20-16 15-21 2-0 9-12 Cleveland 32 40 .444 17.0 17-19 15-21 1-4 8-10 Washington 29 43 .403 20.0 16-20 13-23 5-2 11-12 Chicago 27 45 .375 22.0 15-22 12-23 1-4 11- 9 Hartford 23 49 .319 26.0 9-26 14-23 2-2 5-11
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Old 04-26-2005, 12:35 PM   #16
SelzShoes
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Join Date: Apr 2005
1874-1875 Off Season

Two more clubs are added at the insistence of Boston and New York. Both clubs are losing money from their secret deal to purchase the Hartford franchise, but unwilling to fold the team to prevent their machinations from becoming public. The entrance fee of the new teams is needed to help meet the upcoming season’s payroll. For travel purposes, the eastern team in placed in New Haven, Connecticut. Chicago’s McCormick finds an investor—his brother—to place a team in Keokuk, Iowa. His reason: “The east has their undeserving city in New Haven, we have to have one of our own to balance the scales.” McCormick opposes expansion, maintaining at least 1/3 of the players already in the league do not have the talent to play at the level the Empire League imagines it has. McCormick favors reducing the size of the league to “no more than eight, with 6 preferred.”

The approves an 88 game schedule, and many players openly complain the $500.00 league mandated salary (openly violated for Alton Emch and covertly for others) was fine for the original 40 game schedule and should be increased. “The days of slavery were ended by Lincoln,” New York first baseman (and 1874’s outstanding hitter) Darryl Weisenburger says. “We deserve the respect every workingman craves.” Owners issue warnings of the increasing “socialism” among the players. New York third baseman Frank Richardson, 22 years old and already a four-year veteran, endears himself to ownership by taking a strong stand against those “European radicals who would destroy this great country.” Richardson publicly challenges Weisenburger by assuring, “if he [Weisenburger] brings any of his anti-Christian, anti-American friends to our clubhouse, they will be shown how a real American treats Reds.” Some of Richardson’s stronger comments, about the influence of “Jewish and Negro saboteurs” do not get the same coverage as his more jingoistic quotes. Richardson is rewarded by being named field captain; Weisenburger is released by New York. He is quickly signed by Chicago, which is quickly gaining a reputation as a destination for talented malcontents.

Privately many owners are becoming concerned with the financial health of the league. Keokuk, Hartford and New Haven are all question marks as viable “elite” professional cities. Washington and Cincinnati find themselves searching for new investors to make up for sagging attendance. Cincinnati, for failing to live up to the legacy of the 1869 Base Ball Kings and Washington for the constant losing. Several owners express concern the league could collapse after the 1875 season, if not sooner.
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Old 04-26-2005, 04:56 PM   #17
SelzShoes
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1875-Off Season

From the Philadelphia Almanac

“Given the contentiousness between the so-called Eastern and Western factions of the Empire League, one wonders if it time for the bond betwixt them to be broken. The Western faction, lead by Chicago owner James Winfred McCormick, and which our own Philadelphia Quakers adhere to, has pushed for progressive—if not entirely wholesome—changes in the manner the League conducts its business. The Eastern faction, lead by New York and Boston, have favored the status quo—only to preserve their position as the elite nines and to the detriment of other clubs’ development . . .

“Let Hartford, Washington and Brooklyn have their fates decided before the first pitch is thrown. The Western faction would not only serve their interest, but the interest in the growth of the Grand American Game to sever ties with the New York/Boston cabal. The formation of a new league based on mutual competitiveness and not supporting the hubris of the “Atlantic” powers can only increase the enjoyment for the common fan.”

From the Boston Post

“For the first time in recent memory, our Unions are unable to proclaim themselves “National Champions” of Base Ball. Many cranks blame owner “Mick” Avery for allowing Alton Emch and his ability to get the “long hit” go to Chicago. Now many of the same type of cranks in New York are wailing at the loss of Darryl Weisenburger to the same lakeside nine . . .

“The fact that Chicago owner James Winfred McCormick, a man who knows not the word humility, would stoop to satisfy the base demands of a confirmed egoist and agitator prone to “European” influence proves nothing. If the cost of victory on the pitch is dealing with agents of the devil, then that is a price too high . . .

“We at the Post have on good authority that both the Unions and Nine will filed a roster of Christian gentlemen; while the Browns and remainder of the “Western Faction” would take the field with womanizing drunkards. Our successes, and New York’s, are a tribute to what a solid Christian ethic can do in a man’s professional and personal life.”

From the New York World

Many cranks applaud the decision of the Nine’s management to cut ties with Darryl Weisenburger; and sing the praises of young Frank Richardson’s denunciations of Weisenburger. The fact remains, the Nine released the most feared batsman this side of Norman Lent for a proclaiming a desire for respect and equitable treatment . . .

Richardson, a firebrand on and off the field, has played to the emotion of the common fan, and not their intellect . . .

While many men cry for union in their workplace, they decry another’s demand for equity as “socialism.” As Chicago and others are willing to pay a fair wage to the best players, we shall watch as the Nine, Unions and Atlantics are surpassed for their “moral” stance. Will the common crank fill the Union Grounds to see defeat after inglorious defeat, even with the comfort of knowing they lost with moral gentlemen? The days of playing for honor ended when a few pieces of silver passed from owner to player.”

At the spring owner's meeting, McCormick proposes lowering league admission to 25¢ and increasing the maximum salary to $1,500.00. The motion is defeated 10-2, with only Chicago and Keokuk in favor. McCormick argues the lower admission will “attract so many cranks, we will all seek larger quarters for our fields.” And again insists the $500.00 across the board salary, openly and covertly flaunted, invites a rival league, while robbing players of any need to improve their performance. “If the Eastern clubs had their way, we would charge $1.00 a game and force player salaries even lower. I am not a “Red;” I believe in the religion of business—people will not pay marquee prices for an inferior product. The Empire League already is foisting an inferior brand of Base Ball in half of its cities—and without reform there is no future for this league. Mark my word, within 2 years we will be lucky to have four viable franchises; and I will do what I can to make sure the Browns are one of them.”

Many clubs express concern the 25¢ admission would attract the “wrong” crowd. “Like the sort who fill the Saint Louis beer garden?” snorts McCormick. “There are more of the common man than the gentile businessman we believe our base,” he argues. “The businessman has the theater and other diversions to spend his dollars on; we can become the ONLY option of the workingman at the right price.”

Still, Cleveland cries the lower admission with the limited capacity of the Kennard Street Grounds would be a financial disaster. Boston and New York, barely meeting payroll because of the extra expense of keeping a failing Hartford club alive—but unwilling to fold said club—also are vocal in their opposition.
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Old 04-26-2005, 05:32 PM   #18
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1875-Regular Season, Part 1

Marquis Nicolet, possibly the most overlooked pitching star in the early days of the EL, shuts out Cincinnati on 2 hits, and only 65 pitches. Nicolet is an amazing 45-5 over the first 4 seasons (and 1 game) of the EL.
Code:
Year G GS W L SV ERA IP HA R ER BB K CG SHO Teams 1871 10 10 9 0 0 2.63 85.2 71 25 25 5 14 6 2 BOS 1872 11 11 8 2 0 2.22 93.1 86 35 23 5 14 7 1 BOS 1873 14 14 12 0 0 1.38 117.0 96 24 18 12 16 4 0 BOS 1874 19 19 15 3 0 2.48 167.0 146 56 46 15 35 17 1 SLC 1875 1 1 1 0 0 0.00 9.0 2 0 0 0 0 1 1 CHI Total 55 55 45 5 0 2.14 472.0 401 140 112 37 79 35 5


From New York World
EPIC HOME OPENER FOR THE NINE

“The home opener for this Championship season was the most anticipated game in New York since fabled Cincinnati Base Ball Kings came through our city on their legendary tour. Not only would the Championship Loving Cup be unveiled for the first time outside the confines of the Hub City, but the Chicago Browns would be in town—with Darryl Weisenburger, late of our fair city. Weisenburger’s conflict with field captain Frank Richardson hastened his exit from the roster of the Nine and to McCormick’s club. The largest crowd ever to see a game at the Union Grounds was on hand to see how the drama within the game would play out.

“On the first pitch, Chicago’s Prince Gray rolled a slow ball to Cappy Richardson, who—to the astonishment of the overflow throng bobbled the pea. Kinan however showed enough composure for twice the number in attendance getting Emch and Weisenburger to ground out. Weisenburger, late of the Nine and previously hailed as the peoples’ champion, until he showed his true nature, was greeted with a cascade of hisses and hoots. When Kinan handled the weak ground hit, sure of an out, the masses were assured New York had made the right decision in ridding themselves of the agitator.

“But the joy turned quickly, as Johnny Luster’s hands did not live up to his name and “Magnet” Flink chased the two Browns home with a shot that split Bullis and Inghram; showing the young Browns have been listening to Alton Emch and his theory of hitting.

“The crafty hurling of Jackson Rainey robbed the fans of the confrontation they had paid their hard earned money for: Cappy Richardson was coaxed into a easy pop hit to the right fielder Staton. The meeting at first between the rivals would have to wait.

“In the second, the Nine raised the question if they had rubbed their hands with butter as Bullis could not handle Rainey’s long fly, chasing home Staton.


“In the home fourth, the second chance for the Richardson/Weisenburger meeting arrived; but a weak grounder back to the mound, and the accompanying toss to the first bags man, Richardson cut towards the Nine bench before reaching the fielder he held in such contempt. Shouts of “coward” and “blackguard” (and others which we can not print for concern of our more gentile reader) now started to rain on Richardson and not Weisenburger. When Richardson failed to make a play on Rod Beddoe’s line hugger, the fickle loyalties of the fans had completely changed. “We know who the gentleman is now,” a crank spat at Richardson. Cappy, occupied with leading his charges back to victory, ignored the taunts and could be seen saying to himself the simple motto: “bear down.”

“When Staton finally showed the gloves the Browns required their players to wear did not make the invincible to the muffed play, Richardson stepped to the plate for his third chance to make good a hit. With the score now 5-2 Chicago, the thought of confronting the rival had completely left the minds of the ocean of men crowding the lines. All they wanted was Cappy to show the Chicagos did not have the exclusive on the “long hit.” As he almost always does in these situations, Cappy chased home Luster and found himself standing on first, mere feet from the man who the whole knew what his feeling towards was. Weisenburger did not acknowledge the man standing to his left; and Richardson, apparently embarrassed by his and his Nine’s performance said nothing as well. The moment so eagerly anticipated an hour before hand had become just another base hit like so many others.

“In the eighth, second baseman Raymond Flake almost gave the crowd a thrill, sending a long fly to the deepest reaches of the Union Grounds, but Justin Staton out ran the ball as lightning outruns thunder, making the catch seemingly without seeing it. Hats flung into the air half in celebration of such a wondrous play and half in disgust that they had seen the end of the Nine’s hopes on the day. The catch by Beddoe on Walters fly following was lost in the glow of the previous play.

“Worry abounded in the final frame when Rainey lined a ball off his counterpart. Kinan, to the delight of the multitude, was not injured.

“Richardson showed he still had fight in the Nine’s ultimate inning, with a one out single. Again, the game dictated the rivals concentrate on the game and not the personal differences between them. Richardson eventually scored on hits by Blackburn and Narum. Upon reaching the bench, Cappy sent Kinan out to hit rather than go with a substitute batter—Brice would have a chance to extend the game. At first the decision seemed to be the right one, Kinan fouling off pitch after pitch before sending a “long hit” toward centerfield. But the superior hands of the Chicagos once again shown thru, and Beddoe made the catch to end the game.

“While the human drama did not match what almost 10,000 souls had paid a dear half-dollar for, the play was worth every penny. And though the New Yorks had exposed a frightening tendency to avoid the ball whilst on defense, there was plenty of fight in Cappy Richardson’s squad—fight that should assure another Championship season for our New Yorkers.”

**The opening series between New York was split 2-2, with Weisenburger going 5-15, with 4 RBI and Richardson 10-16 but only 3 RBI. Kinan went 10 innings in the final game to get the win for New York.**
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Old 04-27-2005, 12:35 PM   #19
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1875--The Season, Part 2

From the Boston Post
NORMAN LENT OUT
Foot injury may cost Unions pennant


“Norman Lent, the most feared hitter in all of base ball, will be missing for a good portion of the season. While rounding the bases in the 7-0 defeat of the New Yorks, Lent came up lame. Initial word of a break proved unfounded, but the extent of the injury is unknown.

“The Unions, who entered the day 3 victories behind the Philadelphians, will rely on Lincoln Denny and Eddy Rowland to man the backstop. Denny, a first year player, has hit well, but not at the level of Lent; while Rowland failed to show much ability as Lent’s primary replacement last season. Denny and Rowland were expected to see increased time in any event with the expansion of the schedule.”

From the Boston Post
FATE CRUEL TO UNIONS
Promising hurler sees season cut short


“Boston faithful are bemoaning the existence of a ‘curse’ on their favorite nine. Richard Orr, a youthful hurler who has the misfortune of working on days the Unions leave their bats behind, has fallen victim to what a doctor is calling a tired shoulder. He has been advised not to participate in any ball related activities for at least a week and possibly longer.

“The fresh faced 18 year old, who the crowds at the South End Grounds have dubbed ‘Pud’, had shown grand promise will be missed on the pitch.

“Since Lent went down with his foot ailment; the Bostons have slipped from second to a tie for sixth with New York and Cleveland. The Brooklyns are looking to be the last hope for the Eastern faction as five of the Westerns are within three wins of first.”
----------------------
After 29 games, seven clubs were within 2 games of first, the most competitive race so far in the EL. But when New Haven saw two hurlers go down with injuries (while in a surprising 9th place of 12) they petitioned the 7th place New York club to transfer a pitcher to their roster. New York was by no means out of the race, with just under ¾ of the season to go, but was not faring well in a season in which pitching was dominating. Initially, the Nine refused, but when New Haven threatened to side with the Western clubs, tilting the balance of power to McCormick, the Nine relented. One wonders what all the fuss was about, as the player transferred was Robt Bakios who had not even appeared in a game during the 1875 campaign.

When Chicago sweeps a 4 game set at Keokuk against a terrible Hawkeye squad (9-4, 12-1, 8-7, and 24-8) the Eastern press levies accusations of game fixing. Keokuk, owned and half hearted managed by James Winfred McCormick’s brother is well on their way to a barely .300 winning season at that point. While Chicago was leading league, just ahead of Philadelphia, Cleveland and a very game Boston squad. Upon sweeping four from Brooklyn in the next series, McCormick wondered if the Eastern scribes thought the Atlantics fixed those games as well.

In the off-season, the Cleveland Eries acquired the contract of Son Honahnie from Boston and made him their field captain. Never a regular, Honahnie had nevertheless shown an outstanding ability to get clutch hits for the Unions, and endeared himself with the “wet” element of the South End Grounds fandom. “He loves to play in Saint Louis,” Norman Lent would say, “since he does not even have to travel back to our boarding home to find a draft. He merely needs to yell to some crank and a ball is traded for a fine dark beer.” Honahnie, running the Eries, felt since he was field captain, he should also be the regular first baseman and was doing a grand job at both. But as the summer wore on, Son began to wilt; his average started to slide and the Eries started to fall further behind the red-hot Browns. After a 12-0 drubbing at the hands of state rival Cincinnati, Leander Tanner, a rookie shortstop that had started every game for the Clevelands found his manager calmly enjoying a pint or more of beer at a nearby watering hole. Accusing his captain of being a drunkard with a mind more on suds than ball, Honahnie proceeded to show the youngster that not all of Son’s hits came with the bat. Tanner played for about a week looking like a boxer who had taken a dive.

With the season on the line, Boston—which survived an extended injury by Norman Lent to hang close most of the year--comes to Chicago with a 2 game lead on the Browns for a four game set. The Unions sweep and push the Browns into 4th place. The Browns will rally to finish tied for 2nd, but their 2-6 record against Boston is the difference.

Boston’s Valentin Gauani and Chicago’s Jackson Rainey are the first 20 game winners in the league. Henry Panell is the only official .400 hitter, as Norman Lent’s injury keeps him from the required plate appearances.

For the first time, no team hits .300 on the season.

Many writers wonder if the expanded season is good for the health of the players, noting that in addition to Lent several key players missed time down the stretch, most notably Frank Richardson of New York. Cincinnati pitcher and field captain Tory Claessens also missed time at the end of the season with an arm injury, leading Queen City scribes to note “while our Kings continued to lose, it was at least honest losses and not the disinterested ones that have marked Claessens’ tenure in the Empire League.”

Code:
Team W L PCT GB Home Away XInn 1Run Boston 54 34 .614 - 26-18 28-16 6-3 18-12 Brooklyn 51 37 .580 3.0 28-16 23-21 8-7 19-14 Chicago 51 37 .580 3.0 24-20 27-17 6-7 14-16 Washington 50 38 .568 4.0 26-18 24-20 3-5 16-14 New York 49 39 .557 5.0 26-18 23-21 10-0 19-11 Cleveland 48 40 .545 6.0 26-18 22-22 4-5 16-17 Philadelphia 47 41 .534 7.0 24-20 23-21 5-3 18-16 New Haven 43 45 .489 11.0 23-21 20-24 1-8 13-15 Saint Louis 42 46 .477 12.0 25-19 17-27 4-9 18-22 Cincinnati 38 50 .432 16.0 19-25 19-25 3-7 16-19 Hartford 28 60 .318 26.0 16-28 12-32 3-3 7-16 Keokuk 27 61 .307 27.0 14-30 13-31 5-1 16-18
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Old 04-27-2005, 10:30 PM   #20
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1875-1876 Off Season

From the Buffalo Courier
“A group of investors have announced the formation of a 6 team base ball association in our area. While the level of play will not be at the level of the Empire League that has captured the attention of base ball fanciers across the east, it should provide an outlet for those cranks, as devotees of the game are called, who can only follow the game through newspaper reports. The ticket prices should be affordable for both workingman and businessman alike. “We intend to provide an alternative for the local talent seeking to go Boston or New York at this time,” Buffalo investor Winfred Siemens stated to this reporter. When asked if this loop would precluded an Empire League team, as many local cranks have clamored for, Siemens stated he expected the Association to defend its territories and would respect the Empire League’s territories as well. The other clubs will be in London and Guelph, Ontario; Syracuse, Rochester, and Manchester.”

Following a surprising season in which they finished 43-45, the New Haven franchise announced in a letter to the other owners that they would not participate in the 1875 season. New Haven was a financial disaster, averaging in the high 100’s for games not involving New York or Boston. “All the sport fans in New Haven only want to ‘go Yale;’ they find the professional game profane,” the letter read in part. Coming before the annual league meeting, the 5 remaining eastern clubs felt a sense of panic. The New York World stating that “the ownership of Boston and New York have confided to this reporter they fear what type of power play that vile character McCormick has in store for the next league meeting.” While publicly vowing to install a “loyal to the game” franchise in the East; privately they admitted that the balance of power so delicately maintained in the league had shifted towards McCormick and the west. McCormick, expressed disappointment in the failure of the New Haven club, saying, “Anything that weakens the public perception of the Empire hurts the whole of us.” In private, McCormick knew he had a window of opportunity to seize control and run the league as he saw fit.
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Old 04-28-2005, 09:24 AM   #21
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1875-1876 Off Season

From the Boston Post
Empire League Meeting this Week End
Moguls from Across League in our Fair City

“. . . The main issues to be confronted by the leaders of the Grand American Game are expected to include finding a replacement for the now defunct New Haven squad.

“The other issue of interest will be one dividing the traditional fan from those new to the game: whether players shall be permitted to wear workingmen’s gloves on the field of play. Over the past several seasons many of the West’s top players have taken to wearing leather work gloves on their hands to aid them on especially hard deliveries. The Chicagos, Keokuks and Saint Louisians require their players to don the gloves, while the Bostons and New Yorks forbid such adornment. The famed backstop, Norman Lent has expressed no desire to wear a glove, saying the material would “deaden” his feel for the orb thrown by hurler. “I’d much rather know when it is time to close my hand, and suffer the scars of battle, than allow a pitch to fall because I could not feel it.” Lent also has noted some players use the ‘baby trick’ of stuffing their gloves with linen or straw to protect their hands from the swelling of flesh that occurs over the summer. “This should not be allowed—we are men, and the use of these materials threatens to turn the game into a pink tea,” New York’s Frank Richardson has said.

“Long time cranks feel the use of a glove detracts from showcasing the true ability of the player. While those new to the game, mostly from the west, think the fielder shows himself more adept at making the “spectacular” catch while wearing the glove, since he feels less likely to suffer injury. “We never had gloves in my day,” noted local backer and former great from the pure days of baseball Tad Wenslaw told us in an exclusive. “But the younger cranks don’t care about the battle between men, only if they can see one outstanding play among a hundred misplayed routine ones.”
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Old 04-29-2005, 10:30 AM   #22
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1875-1876 Off Season

From Notes of Wm Frederick Adams, Personal Secretary to Thaddeus Hamilton
Owners Fall Meeting September 1874
Black Bay Supper Club, Boston, Mass

Present— Hamilton, Brooklyn; McCormick, Chicago; McCormick, Keokuk; Avery, Boston; Von Schriber, Cincinnati; Hickey, Washington; Temple, New York; Goethe, Saint Louis; Chesterfield, Cleveland

Franklin, Philadelphia acting as chairman

Hartford owner absent, letter notes Temple of New York to act as proxy.

Franklin at head of table, each side of table housing E./W. owners

New business to be raised after a fine five-course supper. Goethe of SL supplying two casks of the dark beer his garden is so famous for. Hamilton of Bro shares what he described as fine cigars rolled at his wife’s family farm. It is noted Avery of Bos refrains from either.

Franklin-ask for new business

Avery-moves to discuss replacement for new haven

Temple-seconds

Franklin-opens floor to discussion

McC (chi)-asks to have discussion tabled

Shouts of ‘why’ and ‘how dare you’ from e side of table

Franklin-asks for order, asks McC to explain

McC-New Haven situation shows financial instability in league

Temple—shouts what are you saying

E side of table tries to shout down McC

Franklin-asks for order, after shouts quiet to murmur, directs McC to continue

McC-desires success for league, begins list of concerns
Failed franchises hurt public perception
Mentions rumors of missed payrolls by Wash—no reaction by Hickey
1 or 2 under funded clubs could wreck whole league if collapse mid-season
Mentions Hartfds lack of involvement—noting Temple or Avery always acting as proxy

Temple and Avery resuming shouts of what are you implying—many mild oaths from the e side of table

Chesterfield demands McC be heard

Franklin, demands order, after shouts end, directs McC to continue

McC-states discussion of new team should be put off until the solvency of remaining teams is assured.

Chesterfield-seconds

Hamilton—asks how solvency is to be proven

McC-states by the posting of a $5000 bond

Many gasps from e side. Much wailing, Hickey looks dejected—Avery and Temple threaten fisticuffs

Order restored by Franklin

McC-the bond would cover payroll and stadium expenses, allow team to operate if owner failed to raise capital during season. Provides league time to find stable investor.

Hickey begins yelling at w owners, accusing them of planning to ruin him

Hickey-we have business interest other than base ball

Goethe-says baseball can be their only business for league to survive


Hickey-I have other interest more important than base ball

McC-says he can arrange investors to purchase club if he is unable to raise the money

Shouts of blackguard and fraud from e side

Chesterfield-if we don’t act now, our investments will be lost

Von Schriber-I want to assure my backers there will be someone to play

Goethe-I have made many improvements to our grounds, I have too much paper invested to let men who aren’t serious about this endeavor ruin me

Hickey-don’t you see what McC is doing, he’s trying to ruin our teams to dominate the league

VS-better him than Avery

Chesterfield-seconds feeling

Franklin restores order asks for vote to table discussion of new club
Motion caries 6-5, Bro, wash, n york, bost, and hartfd dissenting

Franklin opens discussion on bond

Temple-why discuss, they already have made up their crooked little minds

VS-moves to vote

Chesterfield-seconds

Motion carries 6-5, Brook, wash, n york, bost, and hartfd dissenting

McC-moves owners meeting be closed until “we see who will be playing next year”

Chesterfield-seconds

Motion carries 6-5, Brook, wash, n york, bost, and hartfd dissenting

Meeting is adjourned for a period of one month, owners to meet in Phila at Park Ballroom with bond in hand before more business is conducted
-------------
From New York World
Could Nine Leave Empire?
Temple gives exclusive

“After a league meeting that sources state was marked by much contentiousness and belligerence from the Western faction; New York owner Horace Temple has told the World he may have no option but to form a new league free of the diabolic influence of Chicago owner James McCormick. “He has demanded we open our books to prove our investments solid,” Temple told this reporter with grim countenance. “I know of no other endeavor where your competition is allowed access to your accounting; but McCormick has used the artificial majority he has created to push through decidedly un-American practices.”

“When asked of the motivation behind this attempt to force open the financial record of every team to Chicago, Temple offered a simple explanation: “If McCormick knows how much paper each club has available, he will be able to offer higher salaries—undoubtedly in violation of the league mandated ceiling—and convince otherwise honorable men to have their souls and flesh purchased for silver.” Temple suggested to this reporter the Eastern clubs, tiring of the influence McCormick has over the weak willed Western clubs, may have to form their own Association. “I believe with Boston, Brooklyn, Washington and Hartford, we could have the base for the strongest professional league the Republic has ever known,” Temple offered, “and I know in my heart at least two of the Westerners could be shown the error of their ways. Giving McCormick such an advantage will lead to domination by Chicago that will only be the Empire’s downfall.”

When contacted by the World, Brooklyn mogul Thaddeus Hamilton stated he felt Temple misrepresented the proposal by McCormick; and that he truly believed steps to assure solvency of the various franchises, in light of the failure of the New Haven club, was in the best interest of the Empire League. On a follow-up conversation with Mr. Temple, we informed him of Mr. Hamilton’s statement. Temple simply shook his head, and lowered his eyes as if in mourning. “Players are apparently not the only ones who have their souls for sale.”
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Old 04-29-2005, 04:44 PM   #23
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1875-1876 Off Season

A letter from Washington owner, J. O’Brien Hickey to New York owner William Temple.

Mr. Temple,
I hope this message finds you in good spirits, for I fear I have rather fretful news to report. I find myself unable to raise the $5,000.00 bond our fellow owners have foisted upon us at the direction of Mr. McCormick.

Undoubtedly you know, our club was late with payroll on numerous times this past championship season, and while able to operate with the incoming capital of admission and road fees, I fear to post such a sum upfront means the end of the Washington team. In addition, our banker has not only refused to offer us another loan—indeed he is calling in the notes we have previously obtained to maintain the club as a viable enterprise.

As I know you fear domination of the league by Mr. McCormick as much as I do, I plead with you to forward us the sum necessary to secure the bond. As our park, and my personal residence, is already mortgaged—I only have my word as a gentleman the funds will be returned in due course. Hopefully a successful season on the field will allow us to turn a profit this upcoming year.

To enter our nation’s centennial without a club in the capital city would disgrace the Empire League. To allow McCormick to taint the game further with his so-called reforms would be even more damaging. Losing the Washington franchise would further tilt the balance of power towards the western faction.

Please let me know by wire when the funds could be transferred to us; this must be done immediately, as the rescheduled league meeting is less than two weeks out.

Sincerely,
J. O’Brien Hickey

Sadly for Hickey, Temple and Avery find themselves in a cash poor situation from not only raising the bond for their clubs, but for Hartford as well. Temple and Avery will attend the league meeting finding the Eastern faction another club smaller. James McCormick will use this opportunity to change the structure of the Empire League. William Temple and Mick Avery will not realize the magnitude of the changes for another season.
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Old 04-29-2005, 05:02 PM   #24
fantastic flying froggies
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Location: Sunny South of France
Come on, don't leave us hanging...
__________________
Detroit Vampires (CFL) : Ve 're coming for your blood!
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fantastic flying froggies
Come on, don't leave us hanging...
Well, I don't want to throw everything I have up at once! I'm through 1877 on the OOTP board, and in a week or two should be updating both sites with the same post.

Thanks for reading--I do enjoy coming here, not that I understand the non-American football threads, but maybe I'll learn a little bit!
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Old 04-29-2005, 06:06 PM   #26
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1875-1876 Off Seaon

From the diary of Wm Frederick Adams, Personal Secretary to Thaddeus Hamilton, owner Brooklyn

“If Mr. Hamilton’s body was as strong as his spirit, there is no telling how great a man he would have become. Mayor would be barely a start, and governor not high enough. He has grown quickly into is native intelligence; controlling the purse-strings of the powerful and those who desire to be powerful. Wrecked with fever and prone to fits of cough which reveal to the world the gravity of his situation; people realize they are conversing with a dead man. Doctors have told him a better clime, such as the thinner air of the mountain or the dry air of the dessert, would make his soon to be too short life more comfortable. But he refuses to leave his beloved Brooklyn; especially now that he has provided something other than his considerable skills as a banker and speculator to the city. He dreams of a Brooklyn who can overshadow it’s larger, more boisterous brother city. He feels Brooklyn can be hailed throughout the nation as not only Manhattan’s equal, but it’s superior.

“But the more joy he feels from his Atlantics on the pitch, the more I see his body wither. The conflict of east and west no longer matters to him, as the fighting and constant browbeating from Temple to “side with true sport” further clouds his health. He is not long for this world, and he has begun to neglect his profession for a child’s game. All he wants is to best Manhattan before he walks into the arms of our creator. Would I consider a deal with a devil in his stead? To live a life, and find too close to the end your true desire is a ring even Dante did not imagine.”
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Old 04-30-2005, 02:32 PM   #27
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1875-1876 Off Season: Owners Meeting

The cane shattered against the oak table sending splinters across the table; the bare wood falling as a grotesque snow. William Temple, crimson with rage barely restrained by Franklin and the portly Hessian from Cincinnati. Temple waved the remaining ash in his hand at the face of William Adams, unleashing a torrent of abuse and oaths never expected from this company of gentlemen.

Adams averted his eyes from the picture of rage to note Boston’s Mick Avery slumped in his chair, whispering to himself, “Mene, mene, tekel, upharsin.” Only moments before Temple had been so cordial and welcoming to Adams, that such a simple phrase would reveal his Pecksniffian nature amazed the messenger.

“You would pile Pelion on Ossa and destroy us all,” shouted Temple who had now crossed into a maroon Adams had never seen on a man’s face.

“I am simply delivering the wishes of my employer to this esteemed council,” Adams said as stoically as one can be with a broken stick and enraged Manhattanite in your face. James McCormick and his brother started to pull the personal secretary to Thaddeus Hamilton away from the table, lest their hero be injured in the moment of triumph.

“Capaneus to Zeus, Temple—a lesson you should pay heed to,” McCormick taunted the powerless aggressor, not realizing the irony in his words. The brothers McCormick pulled their charge into the hallway, to a chorus of oaths and laments.

“Good Lord, is this true, tell me I am not dreaming,” the elder McCormick finally allowed himself to smile. “Get this man a brandy—no a cognac!”

“I am merely a messenger, sir.”

“Messengers are routinely shot for bad news, take reward when you deliver good, son.” The wait staff quickly delivered the warmed liqueur to the trio. “So I was wise to wire Mr. Hamilton last week.”

“Yes sir, he sends his regrets that his health precludes his attendance.”

“Damn shame, bright young man like . . .” McCormick bit off the remaining pity before he spoke.

“Mr. McCormick, there is a personal message Mr. Hamilton would like me to relay to you,” Adams caressed his glass nervously.

“By all means, speak lad.”

“He wants you to know while he supports your proposals, and has full confidence in you as his proxy, this is no endorsement of you personally. He finds you a vulgar, vile man who deserves whatever fate the good Lord has planned for you.”

McCormick bellowed a laugh that rung Adams to his feet. “Son, I would not trust a man I do business with who did not think the same.” The messenger felt his shoulders involuntarily relaxed; there was more tension about than he had allowed himself to feel.

“There is also a caveat to his support of you as league president.” The Chicagoan had now begun to puff a cigar as thick and black as Adams had ever seen, and simply motioned with his glass to continue the conversation. “He suggests, for propriety sake, that you divest your interest in the Chicago club.”

“Sound suggestion, I’d demand the same from Temple if our situations were reversed. But you know the difference between Temple and I?” Adams shook his head as the glass touched his lips. “I’ll actually do it!” McCormick turned to his shadow of a brother, “wire that chap in Pittsburgh who was interested in a club—offer to sell him your interest in Keokuk. You’re coming back to Chicago!”

The brother dutifully trudged off, leaving Adams to wonder how independent the Chicagos really would be.

“Do you know why I love the business of baseball, lad?”

“I could only guess, sir.”

“I am not like your Mr. Hamilton, I am not a self-made man. Truly to the manor born. Everything I achieve in Chicago is credited to the circumstances of my birth, rather than any ability I actually have. And even if credit is given within my home city, those New York and Boston bluebloods discount it because it is Chicago. As if location is the sole determinate of greatness. But in baseball, I’ve built the club from the ashes of the Great Fire—and when the line shows Chicago besting New York or Philadelphia, there is no questioning who the victor is, no discount because we are from Chicago. Everything in this business is so new, what I accomplish now cannot be ignored. I feel, for the first time I am receiving all the approval and accolades I have so desired my whole life.”

“Mr. Hamilton and you are not as different as you think, sir.”

“Well spoken lad; now let’s see if Temple’s fit of apoplexy has ended. We have business to attend to.”
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Old 04-30-2005, 05:20 PM   #28
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1875-1876 Off Season

From New York World
Tragedy in Phila; Traitor in Brooklyn
Hamilton’s nature exposed

“In a move dooming the five year old Empire League, a vote of the owners delivered the newly formed position of League President to Chicago’s James Winfield McCormick. The fatal blow to those who favor pure sport was delivered by Brooklyn’s own Thaddeus Hamilton who, for unspecified advantage, pushed power into hands of the rouge sworn to destroy the purity of the Grand American Game.

“With the failure of the New Haven and Washington clubs this fall, William Temple had felt the more reasoned Western owners could be swayed to stave off the madman from the Great Lakes. When Hamilton communicated, cowardly, through an emissary he had cast his lot with Chicago all hope for a fair compromise was lost.

“William Temple could not be reached for comment, but his secretary assured the World if McCormick conducts league business as they suspect he will, a new league is not out of the question.”

From Cleveland Tribune
Empire's Future Assured
Game Saved from Eastern Faction

“Owner Hiram Chesterfield stated while he does not personally agree with all of Mr. McCormick’s proposed reforms, he has shown a concern for the growth and stability of the Empire League as a whole. “He [McCormick] has shown a propensity to put aside personal gain for the good of the Empire. Our investment will only grow under his watch.”

“Our Mr. Chesterfield, along with Franklin of Philadelphia and Hamilton of Brooklyn, has been charged with writing a formal constitution for the Empire. There has even been suggestion of contacting the famed Henry Chadwick to formalize the rules of play.”
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Old 05-01-2005, 01:09 PM   #29
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Letter from Jolyon Forsyte to Obie McCormick, owner Chicago
Mr. McCormick,

Your brother has asked me to contact you directly since he is no longer involved with the day-to-day operation of the Chicago Base Ball club.

When the Troy team was sold to the Saint Louis interest, your brother was especially generous to me in assuring I received top dollar for my club. I promised him if a player of exceptional ability came through our city, I would be sure to notify the Chicagos. Such a man is now on my Trojans squad.

He is the most arrogant man I have ever seen on the field of honor—calling himself “the King” and demanding all other do as well. He humiliates opponents when victory is well in had, confounds umpires with his encyclopedic knowledge of the rules, and chides mates who give anything less than all. Women swoon at his looks and men burn with envy not only at his talents, but his appetites that know no satisfaction. His passion for ball is only matched by his passion for drink.

But the passion for ball is unsurpassed by anyone I have ever seen on the field—including the famed Richardson of New York. Balls most backstops would allow to spirit away, he can pounce with cat quick reflexes. I’ve seen him throw unsuspecting runners out from a crouch at the second and third bases. His bat rivals Norman Lent, his legs always taking the extra base. Pity the opponent who fails to put all mind and spirit on the pitch

In Saint Louis or Cincinnati the Germans would only ply him with enough drink to make him tragic. In Boston he would be shunned as a sinner. And in New York, he would be lost among the multitude of vice. But in Chicago there is enough to keep him interested and not enough to lose his focus. He may struggle at the bat for a year or so against the best hurlers in the nation, but some humility would serve him—and only push him harder. In Chicago he will outshine all others; in Chicago he will become a star.

For the price of $200.00, I will gladly sell the contract of Aubrey Fraire and an assurance for first right of all players on my club for a period of five years. Please let me know your attitude.

Respectfully,
Jolyon Forsyte

The 20-year-old Aubrey Fraire would debut as the Browns backup catcher for the 1876 season.
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Old 05-02-2005, 12:41 PM   #30
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From the Empire League Constitution

Section 1—Defense of the Game
1.1 The member clubs agree to act in such a way to promote the sport of base ball in a positive light.

Section 2—Office of President
2.1 This Constitution establishes the Office of the President. The President can appoint up to five (5) executive officers to assist in the operation and promotion of the Empire League. Salary for said positions is to be paid by the member clubs and should be commensurate with the officers’ experience and excellence.
2.2 The President shall be nominated by a member club and elected with a simple majority.
2.3 The President shall be elected for a term of five (5) years. At the expiration of this term, if the number of clubs wishing to dispose of his service is less than ¾ of the member clubs, he shall continue as President of the League for an additional five (5) year term. At any point during the second term, or any subsequent term of office, a vote of no confidence by ¾ of the member clubs will be sufficient to remove him from office.
2.4 The President shall have the power to fine member clubs and players, as he sees fit, for violation of this the Constitution and the Official League Rules
2.5 In the best interest of the game, the President may take action on any matter not covered by the Constitution or Official League Rules, as he sees fit. Within 30 days of a decision made by invoking this clause, a ¾ vote of member clubs can override said decision.

Section 3—Rules Committee
3.1 A standing committee reviewing the rules of base ball is formed.
3.2 Member clubs will serve in rotation for a period of one (1) year.
3.3 The committee will comprise of three (3) member clubs.
3.4 Any decision by the rules committee must be approved by a simple majority. In the case of a split vote, the President shall cast the deciding vote.

Section 4—Player Contracts
4.1 All Player contracts are subject to approval by the Office of the President.
4.2 All monies paid to player must be listed on the contract. Any payment beyond the specified contractual amount is a violation of the League Constitution and member clubs are subject to a fine equal to twice the amount paid to the player.
4.3 Member clubs may reserve the service of a contracted player if notice is given to the League Office ten (10) days before the conclusion of the championship season. No other club may negotiate a contract for the services of a reserved player without permission of the player’s prior club.
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Old 05-03-2005, 12:34 PM   #31
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From a letter returned to James McCormick as “undeliverable”

Mr. Bourne,
Since your approval as the primary investor in the Hartford club, you have shown a blatant disregard in League business. You have yet to attend an Owner’s meeting choosing only to use Mr. Temple or Mr. Avery as your proxy. While this is well within your right, I feel compelled to tell you changes are afoot in how the League is being run. As you may have read in the newspapers I am now President of the Empire League, and there are several issues concerning the Hartford club I find very disturbing.

First, the bond posted to assure your solvency was drawn on a bank that neither you nor the Hartford club has an account with. In fact, cheques drawn from an account showing regular deposits from Mr. Avery and Mr. Temple pay players on your club. By itself, this is not an issue, but a search of the corporate records of the State of Connecticut reveals you have not incorporated your club. Legally, your franchise does not exist. Again, by itself not an issue, but combine the two and we start down a troubling path.

More troubling are the letters of direction showing Mr. Avery and Mr. Temple as your proxy at league meetings. Comparing signatures from your application and acceptance document and the said letters shows to me at least two and possibly three different men have signed in your stead. Further, the notary seals are from the States of New York and Massachusetts, depending on who is acting as your notary.

If you fail to appear at the League Meeting scheduled at the end of the Championship Season, your franchise will be forfeit. If it is found you have been acting in concert with other owners to foist a fraud upon the Empire League, the lot of you shall be expelled from the League forthwith. I would take the time you have before then to do what you and your Judas’s need to save your respective reputations.

Respectfully,
James McCormick, President
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Old 05-03-2005, 03:25 PM   #32
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From the Cincinnati Bugle
King Hurler Disgrace to City
Seen at “Sin Parlors”

In an exclusive granted to the Cincinnati Bugle, Charlotte Hemphell, a woman of low morals, has reported Base Ball Kings hurler and field captain Tory Claessens has spent many a day in the “sin parlors” just across the river. Miss Hemphell, has revealed not only does Mr. Claessens partake in liquor prior to games, he has engaged in sins of the flesh with many harlots and jezebels in the tawdry districts the Commonwealth provides weak willed citizens of our fair city. Miss Hemphell herself has revealed, much to the distaste of this reporter, the lurid details of times the “hero of the box” had exchanged monies for carnal debauchery with her and other fallen women.

“It started innocently enough,” she related, “but the demon rum and suggestive dances he’d learned on trips to New York City overcame my virtue. Soon, I found myself toiling in houses of ill-repute to satisfy the lust in the flesh he had aroused.” Miss Hemphell, formerly of Cairo, Illinois, told this reporter she had been making her way to relatives in Philadelphia and a sound job as a housekeeper when the vile beast Claessens forced her into a life of sin. “My Christian virtue was lost but for one night of animal lust induced by him and his wicked ways.”

More shocking, Miss Hemphell has reported she is with child, and the father is none other than the leader of our Base Ball Kings. Claessens, who is married with two children, has refused to acknowledge the situation he has placed her in, “he has not only soiled my flesh, but my spirit as well.” The vile philanderer could not be reached to verify his responsibility to the young woman he hath debased.

The “sin parlors” across the river are noted for their easy women, flowing gin and gambling houses. Unfortunately they are outside the laws of Ohio, and our city; but civic minded people can take action by reporting to this paper, or their church, the names of those who would stray so the public can remind these souls of the righteous path.
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Old 05-03-2005, 05:04 PM   #33
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Edicts from President James McCormick

Salary ceiling is raised to $1,200.00 from the $500.00 it had been since the inception of the league. McCormick had long tried to convince his fellow owner’s to raise the league mandated salary to $1,500.00 but fears of losing control of cost had kept the owners from taking action. McCormick felt the raise was necessary because of Section 4.2 of the League Constitution, several players were already being paid in excess of $500.00, and McCormick wanted to make these contracts ‘legal’. New York and Boston, in dire financial straits because of the Hartford situation, begin releasing many of their veteran players rather than pay them higher salaries.

Admission is lowered league wide to 25¢ to attract more fans to the park. McCormick allows clubs to petition for a higher rate if “exceptional circumstances prevail.” Cleveland, New York, Boston and Hartford apply for an exemption. Cleveland, argues their small park cannot support a team at the lower admission, while the three Atlantic clubs cite the ‘cost of doing business’ in their cities. Cleveland is allowed their appeal for one season—but McCormick tells Chesterfield to find a ‘field worthy of our level of play.’ Boston is also allowed to have the higher admission. New York’s appeal is rejected, “If Brooklyn can survive in the same park at 25¢, so can you Temple.” Hartford’s appeal is also rejected for “gross indifference” to league affairs.

Liquor can now be sold at EL parks. Only Boston, New York and Hartford will refrain. Concessions at this point are not an organized effort for any team. Most of the food and drink is sold by freelancers who actually pay admission to get into the game. Saint Louis will be the first team to realize profits can be made from the concessions, by limiting alcohol sales to what is available from owner Petre Goethe’s beer garden.
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Old 05-04-2005, 12:42 PM   #34
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Letter from Leander Tanner, Cleveland
Dearest Maggie
My body still aches from a winter’s worth of labor, but the strenuous work has kept my blood flowing for the long summer ahead. However, my summer in Cleveland may be shorter than I hope.

This past fall, two teams in our association failed and there are more men than ever desiring to make a career at base ball. No longer content to play before spartan crowds such as in the local leagues back home, but before as many as 5,000 a day, these men come from as far away as California with nothing but bat and ball on their mind. I am very worried, my confrontation with Mr. Honahnie last summer can only work against me. Instead of being assured a position, I am but one of near a score of men made to “try out” for the roster. He has told the local papers improvements are needed for our club to contend for a pennant; specifically mentioning my position of short stop. Many of us have been told if we can not make the grade with the Clevelanders, a team in Akron or Portsmouth will be willing to take us on in case injury opens a spot on the roster.

At $500, the summer is worth the sweat and tears. But these other squads are like the locals back home, playing for a few dollars and a cold beer after the game. I do not know if I could take to that life so far from you. With another summer of improvement, I can have enough income from the game and winter labor to purchase us a humble cottage to begin our married life in. Without the game, I fear we would have to postpone our wedding until I can earn enough from traditional means. Some of the established players talk of making close to $1,000.00 this summer, I fear to even ask Mr. Honahnie a penny more for fear he will release me from my contract.

I do not mean to fill your head with worry for me, but it is hard to confide in men who hold the same desires as you. I see men pushing themselves as hard as I and cheer silently as they fail; and feel sick knowing they do the same to me. The good Lord is testing my spirit and body. Last summer I lacked the control and discipline needed to earn Mr. Honahnie’s respect as a player and man. I only have a few days to show him I am not the foolish boy of a summer ago.

Yours in love,
Leander Tanner
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Old 05-04-2005, 05:27 PM   #35
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From Chicago Eagle
Empire Announces Seasonal Awards
Excellence on the pitch to be honored

President and Chicagoan James McCormick announced to-day the Empire League will honor outstanding performances on the field with official awards. A finely struck medallion, engraved with the player’s name and achievement, will be given in eight categories; four for batsmen, four for hurlers.

Batsmen will have the opportunity to earn honor in the following categories: Average number of hits per time at bat, long hits [what we now call extra base hits], extra bases [steals] and runs scored. Hurlers will be awarded for total victories pitched in [not wins as we know them today, but team victories the hurler appeared in], outs recorded, responsible runs per nine innings [due to inconsistency of scoring practices, this was closer to total runs allowed per 9 innings than the ERA that became fashionable in the late teens and early twenties] , and batters struck. While many long-time admirers of the game may scoff at the inclusion of batters struck, McCormick feels it is a skill few hurlers have. “When a hurler can make a batsman miss the tossed orb, I personally find that amazing; especially if it is in a tense situation!”

Official scorecards are being printed by the Franklin Paper Company of Philadelphia. Thaddeus Hamilton, owner of the Brooklyn franchise, will oversee the tabulation of the scorecards, given his ability with figures. Each park will be equipped with the most advance wiring devices, so totals for league leaders should be updated within one or two days of games being played. “We hope to release to the press a full leader board from the past week every Monday morning. Never before has the common crank been able to chart the progress of his heroes with such precision!”

In addition to the medallion, players achieving this immortality will receive a $75.00 cash bonus from the league.
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Old 05-05-2005, 06:16 PM   #36
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1876-McCormick's Triumph

From “The Base Ball Memories of Cappy” by Frank Richardson (1902)

It was opening day of 1876 I swore I would never play for the Chicagos. James McCormick, a man so many say saved the game of base ball from itself, had undertaken a mission to ruin my nine. Jealous he could not beat us on the field, he devised a way to beat us with paper. Our owner, William Temple, was forced to release anybody with any talent and surrounded me with kids who could barely shave, let alone play ball. We looked like a varsity squad; it was shameful a city like New York would be represented by such a motley band. Player for player it was the least talented squad I ever was associated with. Still, we had an advantage no one else could claim—my superior base ball intellect and my unmatched drive to win . . .

Even then, when it was all over, McCormick—a name I will curse until the day I die—found a way to destroy what Temple and I had fought so hard to build. To this day, the first line I check in my newspaper is Chicago’s, and nothing fills me with as much joy as to see them on the losing end of any battle they fight.
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Old 05-06-2005, 10:20 AM   #37
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1876--McCormick's Triumph

After not appearing in any games during the 1875 season, Aron Mousser announces he does not intend to play at all during the 1876 campaign to concentrate on his duties as field captain. Philadelphia owner Zacariah Franklin relieves Mousser of his duties. “There is no profit in a man who can not play and run a ball club at the same time. The day a man has enough base ball intellect to merely sit back and watch the action unfold is a long way off.” The day isn’t as long off as Franklin thinks, as Mousser takes the helm of the Chicago franchise the next season, and while not appearing in any league games, he will continue to play in exhibitions until an errant throw by a backup second baseman breaks three of his fingers in 1886 when he is 50 years old. Mousser began playing for pay before the War Between the States, and while his totals in the Empire are unimpressive, his contributions to the game (reportedly he was the inventor of the short stop position, and is regarded by many as the first ‘modern’ manager) go well beyond hits and outs.

Code:
Year G AB H 2B 3B HR RBI R BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS Teams 1871 9 26 4 0 1 0 3 0 1 2 0 0 .154 .185 .231 .416 PHI 1872 17 34 8 0 0 0 7 1 2 2 0 1 .235 .278 .235 .513 BAL 1873 10 21 6 1 0 0 4 3 2 0 0 1 .286 .348 .333 .681 BAL 1874 6 7 4 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 .571 .571 .571 1.143 BAL Total 42 88 22 1 1 0 14 5 5 4 0 2 .250 .290 .284 .574


Even with two franchises failing, the league extends the season to 90 games, the longest yet. Some owners do grumble about the shrinking opportunities to schedule the highly profitable exhibition games with lesser clubs, but nothing comes of it. The owners are also concerned about the expansion of rosters that could follow the expanding seasons. While there are no set roster rules, a team could conceivably carry a nine-man squad through an entire season, teams usually have twelve to eighteen men under contract at any one time. Travel, injuries, and number of consecutive games affect the number of ‘active’ players at any one time. The sporting press also expresses concern the extended seasons are not ‘healthful’ for players; citing the rash of injuries at the end of the previous year. Wm Bausman of Saint Louis is philosophical, “Is four or five months of ball really more injurious to a man’s health than the rail man’s daily toil? The concern is not whether the player is to be injured, but whether the team is to be. The more time spent with osteopath lessens the chance of victory.”

With Chicago struggling early because of weak pitching, and Brooklyn unable to find enough offense or time for all of their hurlers, the first ‘trade’ in history takes place. The Atlantics send Aron Boday and Sydney Kubiszewski to the Browns for Alton Emch and Price Gray. Emch had not found his hitting stroke yet, but Thaddeus Hamilton felt a return east would clear the batsman’s mind. Chicago, with the improved pitching, makes an immediate run at first place, while Brooklyn continues to struggle along.

The trade for pitching proves fortuitous for the Browns. Brice Kinan, a former 4 year starting pitcher for the New Yorks missed significant time with an elbow complaint and Flip Giles, a talented, but oft injured thrower missed the beginning and middle of the season with various muscle and back problems.

Leander Tanner managed to stick with the Eries as a substitute, and was not performing well in the role (4-25) when starter Nelson Hepworth strained his back and would miss a 1/3 of the season. Cleveland had spent most of the first part of the year in the first division until the team went into a collective slump dropping them out of the race.

Both Brooklyn and Cincinnati tear off 10 game win streaks in the first half to stay in the race, conversely Hartford brings back memories of the 1871 Philadelphia squad with their 16 game losing streak. Cincinnati’s 2nd 10 game streak of the year push them into first with 1/3 of the season left.

Late injuries to second baseman Raymond Flake and pitcher Aron Boday cool off the Browns into 4th place.

For the first time ever, a western club wins the Empire League title. The Cincinnati Kings, the pitching lead by Boris Seekell and Rodney Stollings at the bat, outpace Boston and Philadelphia by 4 games. “It is appropriate the Cincinnati, whom Tory and I represented in the days before the Empire, win this crown,” Stollings remarked. “We are the Kings in more than name.”

Henry Pannell of Cleveland wins his second batting title with a .416 average; Norman Lent is second with his first sub-.400 season. Rodney Stollings leads in Long Hits, 61 of his 138 total and runs, 70. Steve Alves of Chicago takes the most extra bases with 27.

Boris Seekell is credited with pitching in 20 victories and 2.21 responsible runs allowed. Merlin Humphries of Cleveland is credited with 779 outs pitched; this will be changed to innings pitched for 1877. Brice Kinan of Chicago leads with 61 batters struck.

Other than Hartford (which finished 36 games behind Cincinnati), the New York Nine score the fewest runs. But somehow, Frank Richardson leads them to a 42-48 record, which could have been even better if not for a season ending 8 game losing streak. Making due with players like Kurtis Holderby, starter in 81 games at first and hitting .181 on the year, Richardson kept the club competitive for the entire season. A tribute to his will to win.

Cleveland finished in 9th, as the pitching was the worst in the league. Leander Tanner showed some improvement at the bat, raising his average every month, and showed promise not as a shortstop, but as a back up catcher.

Alton Emch never gets on track in Brooklyn, but the Atlantics do finish a respectable 5th, winning 50 games. It is puzzling to many why the Atlantics did not do better, as the pitching and hitting are both among the best in the Empire League. Thaddeus Hamilton attributes the placement to the poor showing on the road, and has high hopes for the next season. He is very pleased at finishing 8 games better than New York. "If I can not have a championship," he confides in William Adams, "at least let us best the New Yorks."

While his former club did not win, James McCormick was very pleased to see the stranglehold Boston had on the League title end. Finally, other cities could expect a championship. The fear he held that domination by Boston and New York would choke off interest could be placed aside. Besides, he knew the upcoming owner’s meeting would be more exciting than any pennant race; he knew victory over his rival was at hand; and with it, the power and pennants would surely move west . . .

Code:
Team W L PCT GB Home Away XInn 1Run Cincinnati 57 33 .633 - 29-16 28-17 3- 3 18-18 Boston 53 37 .589 4.0 26-19 27-18 5- 3 15-11 Philadelphia 53 37 .589 4.0 29-16 24-21 5- 2 18-12 Chicago 51 39 .567 6.0 25-20 26-19 4- 0 11-10 Brooklyn 50 40 .556 7.0 28-17 22-23 4- 2 13-12 Saint Louis 47 43 .522 10.0 29-16 18-27 5- 4 12-15 New York 42 48 .467 15.0 21-23 21-25 4- 5 17-13 Pittsburgh 40 50 .444 17.0 24-22 16-28 5- 2 21-15 Cleveland 36 54 .400 21.0 20-25 16-29 1-10 8-19 Hartford 21 69 .233 36.0 15-30 6-39 2- 7 10-18
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Old 05-06-2005, 07:16 PM   #38
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1876-1877 Off Season

From an open letter to the Brooklyn Sun
While most of those who go Brooklyn are excited about the solid season by our squad, it pains us to note the ledger could have been more positive. In fact, the seven game deficit could have been easily erased but for what could politely described as indifferent play by several key member of the Atlantics.

Many of our backers point to the arm injury by Candy Skewis as the downfall of our nine, but a more likely culprit was the late hurling by Elmo Broenneke. When the base situation called for the boxman to ‘bear down’ he would lay an easy ball in for the batsman. In key situations, even a muffin could be counted on for a solid hit. When we needed a strong effort from our hurler, Broenneke was strangely absent.

But Broenneke was not alone in this peculiar effort. First Baseman Bennie Zoellner could not be counted on for a hit when the season was on the line. And further, decisions by field captain Bryon Mosholder puzzled even the most dedicated of crank. Alton Emch, famed for his skill in getting the long hit, sat on the pine while Jonathon Goodstein—adequate substitute but far from a skilled afield—played everyday. Mosholder, who’s skills peaked before the Empire was formed, insisted on patrolling right field of the Union Grounds while younger and more able players were given no chance.

We, the undersigned players implore Thaddeus Hamilton to rid the Brooklyn roster of these men of questionable motives and replace them with men who are not so prone to the influence of loose money and men of persuasion.

Signed, Alton Emch, Bennie Kafka, Everett Waugh and Clarence Walters

The players had approached Hamilton with their concerns after the season, but were dismissed outright. “The days of games being within the pocketbook of the numbers masters disappeared with the formation of the Empire. What we have here are the accusation of players who are trying to place blame for their own failings and eroding skills. These agitators will admit the error of their slander, or find employment elsewhere next summer. Bryon Mosholder has my highest confidence, and to suggest his decisions intentionally caused us to fail in our goal of a championship is beyond the pale,” Hamilton would state in print. "No man would disappoint the Brooklynite by trying to serve two masters."
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Old 05-09-2005, 10:56 AM   #39
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1876-1877 Off Season

“What is wrong Temple? You look as if you’ve seen a ghost?” the question dripped with mock concern. In many ways though, William Temple had just gazed upon a dead man.

Raleigh Bourne. Almost 3 years earlier approved as the primary investor of the Hartford franchise, and almost as quickly laid out a plan assuring Mick Avery of Boston and William Temple of New York would buy his interest. The deal was kept secret, to prevent McCormick from trying tip the balance of power. However; events of the past two seasons had achieved McCormick’s wish of control, but Avery and Temple were convinced they could keep the Chicagoan at bay with three solid votes in opposition to the President. They did not count on the depths of McCormick’s determination to end any impediment to him dictating his will.

The President stood slowly measuring every inch of his rival’s reaction. “You would be surprised what those Pinkertons can find when they put their mind to it. Out in Arizona Territory he was. Arizona! For the past three years! Leaves many a mysteries still in the air, does it not, Mr. Temple?”

Avery returned to the room from the privy, wiping vomit from his mouth. Temple’s hand reached to the breast pocket where the forged letter of proxy rested. McCormick’s steps toward the conspirators were deliberate allowing the gathered to turn the spectacle over and over.

“We are beaten,” Avery spoke softly to Temple. “We are at his mercy.”

McCormick gestured grandly towards Bourne, “Why don’t you share you story, Mr. Bourne? I am positive the owners here would be interested to know how our two eastern friends came to represent your interest so passionately.” Of course, Bourne had shared his story twice already—once in private to McCormick and a second time to the other Empire owners. The motive was not disclosure, but humiliation.

Temple blood began to boil as Bourne related how, realizing he could not afford the upkeep of professional club, he devised a way to “make a profit of the matter.” The rage grew and grew as the shiftless man from Connecticut revealed how the fear of McCormick was twisted into a secret buyout. The rage was not directed at Bourne but at the Chicagoan who could not control his laughing at the matter.

“So,” McCormick asked between chortles, “they paid good money for a club you had no intention of fielding?”

“That is correct.”

“And if they had waited a month or so, you would have been forced to sell—legitimately—to someone else? Someone from Hartford perhaps?”

“More than likely, Mr. McCormick.”

“A fraud for no reason, what do you think of that Temple?”

Temple bit his lip trying to keep control of his temper. “You’ve had your fun. Now let’s get on with the real business of this meeting,” the words pushed through his clinched teeth.

“Well, I am the President. I thought I decided what is necessary to discuss and deal with at this gathering,” the good humor of a moment ago had left his voice. He stood overdramatically, Temple and the rest braced for the speech.

McCormick had developed the habit on “Very Important Matters” of delivering the same speech about being the shepherd of the game. The particulars would change to fit the situation, but the preamble and conclusion where always the same.

“We have a public trust as the shepherds of baseball. To conduct our business above board, to assure fair play and to carry ourselves in a manner befitting the Grand American Game. . .”

“Just tell us what the fine is you blowhard and get on with it! You have had your fun, now get on with it,” Temple was in no mood for theatrics. “If we are in endgame, call ‘mate.’ Do not waste my time with your useless words.”

McCormick paused and looked daggers at the New Yorker. Part of the show was making the moment last, watching Temple and his New York money squirm, wondering what would become of him and his club. McCormick felt no need to end his victory speech any sooner than pride demanded. It was clear though Temple would not allow a man savor his rightful moment. If dramatics were not allowed, then cold reality would rule.

“Mr. Bourne, since you have already sold your interest in the Hartford club, we have no need for you anymore. The Hartford franchise is hereby dissolved for lack of a legitimate owner.” McCormick turned to Avery, who appeared on the brink of vomiting again. “Mr. Avery,” the Bostonian managed to gesture futility, “how soon can you have an appropriate buyer in place for your club.”

Avery lifted his head and nodded. “The Hartford situation made it impossible to sell, but I have had inquires. I shall direct them to contact you for approval.” He no longer appeared a man defeated; the weight of his secrets and debt finally lifted.

“So that is my fate, sell the New Yorks to one of your cronies? Eh, McCormick.”

“The New York franchise is hereby dissolved for you acts of fraud.”

Not even Temple’s rage made a sound. Someone finally gasped, “Good Lord,” breaking the silence.

“Avery was lead astray by this contentious bastard. Temple was the source of corruption and deserves to face a stiffer penalty.” The explanation came for the unasked question on everyone’s mind. “Besides, the success of the Bostons makes it very difficult to turn them out.”

Temple pounded the table, causing the gathered to recoil, “You NEED a team in New York! YOU CAN NOT DO THIS TO ME!”

“Clause 2.5 of the Constitution: In the best interest of the game, the President may take action on any matter not covered by the Constitution or Official League Rules, as he sees fit. I see fit to dissolve your club and permanently ban you from any association with the Empire League. Fraud on this grand a scale must be dealt with swiftly and forcefully. We have a club in Brooklyn, sharing a field with our former ‘New York’ club; I feel that is sufficient for our League’s profile in the area. With Hartford out, we must have an even number of clubs, and it is much easier to take yours away than find another owner.”

“I shall sue,” Temple began ranting, shouting accusations at all gathered; telling how much they would owe for his indiscretion.

“Yes, let us go to court! Let your business partners and associates wonder what frauds you engage in with them. Let us know how base your soul.”

Temple turned from the President to the other owners, “Don’t you see what he is doing? If he can take my club, he can take yours.”

“You can override my decision with a ¾ vote; I’ll even allow you Boston and Hartford’s votes. Do you honestly think 5 of them will side with you?”

The formerly imposing man refused to beg and plead; quickly he saw it was to no purpose. Quietly, he gathered his items and staggered to the door. “You have not heard the last of this McCormick. If it is war you want, it is war you shall have.”

The room collectively exhaled when the New Yorker left. “Thank God, we can get back to normal business,” Chesterfield sighed.

But the President did not move. His eyes coursed over the remaining owners. “Do you know why you elected me President of this league?” For a second time, the room fell silent. “Do you?”

“Because you wanted it?” stammered Goethe of Saint Louis.

Distaste filled to his eyes as McCormick rose. “I am President, because other than Hamilton, you are all followers. None of you are a leader of men. None of you could make the decisions I make.” The men shifted nervously in there hardback chairs. “Hamilton’s secretary is more a leader than any of you. You would let Temple and his ilk run roughshod over what we are building in a vain attempt to curry favor with the men who do lead. Without me, Temple would be ruining your investments and you would smile at him while you trod to the poorhouse.”

“That’s uncalled,” Chesterfield of Cleveland objected. “How did we become successes if we are not leaders.”

“Being born to money does not a leader make. Of all of us, only Hamilton has made himself into what he is today, the rest of us are an accident of birth.” McCormick could see the faces which moments ago had hailed him were now on the brink of revolt. “Do you doubt me?” The owners tried to hide their nods. “Very well: there are eight of us now. If six of you are leaders, you can remove me from my position.”

“I’m with you,” shouted Obie McCormick

“And I too,” said Hamilton.

“So, I give you Boston’s vote. Now, who will cast the first vote of no confidence? Which one of you will lead the way?”

In less than a minute, they had all casts a vote of support for President McCormick. “Very well,” triumphantly he returned to his chair, “we have business to attend.”
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Old 05-09-2005, 12:49 PM   #40
Tellistto
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Very nice read, keep up the good work!


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Old 05-09-2005, 02:16 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Tellistto
Very nice read, keep up the good work!


Tell

I'll second that.
One of the most enjoyables dynasties in quite a while!
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:28 AM   #42
SelzShoes
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1876-1877 Off Season

Letter from Thaddeus Hamilton to Frank Richardson
Mr. Richardson,
It is unfortunate the New Yorks will not be fielding a club this coming year. However, I believe the opportunity in Brooklyn is greater than the situation you had experienced.

I am prepared to offer you a contract of maximum value and the position of field captain. While this will no doubt be the equal to what others can offer you, Brooklyn has two advantages.

Our club is close to being a champion. I believe with your leadership you can spur on our boys past the last obstacle. You possess a temperament which can push the most ordinary of player to the limits of his ability. Our failure on the pitch last season came from men be comfortable with doing only what the situation required, and not playing the scientific game for which you are renowned. Take the lash to their spirits and drive them to victory, I know of no other man who can.

It is no secret you have become the hero to those who follow sport in the area. Brooklyn would afford you the chance to play on the same field before the same fans. You would not be compelled to leave your numerous business interests behind to the care of another man. You could track your investments locally, and not have the worry of what care they receive as you spend a summer in Saint Louis or Cleveland.

Further, with the additional manpower now available through out the Empire, I shall allow you to assemble the best talent available at what ever price they require. I should like our team to resemble a picked nine and not the junior clubs I have been unfortunate enough to cull together.

Please respond quickly, I know your services will be in great demand.

Sincerely,
Thaddeus Hamilton
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Old 05-10-2005, 08:30 AM   #43
SelzShoes
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Thanks for the kind words gentlemen. As I said earlier, it is everyone elses work on this board that has me posting, I don't think I'd come here as often if I didn't have something to offer.
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Old 05-10-2005, 10:12 AM   #44
Wolfpack
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Very creative work. I'm assuming the tossing of the NY owner will be the precursor for the birth of a rival American Association clone (I can't say it'll be the AA because your world isn't a true copy of the real one, but a slightly altered version).

It does beg the question: how much time are you spending in creative writing versus actually playing the game? Of course, reporting a history takes more time than actually coming up with the results to report on, but you seem to be taking a lot of effort to construct storylines and arcs that proceed in the background of the game, particularly since I'm pretty sure there's no real-life information available to base these characters on.

At this rate, it'll take you a while to get to your post-WWII world.
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Old 05-10-2005, 01:53 PM   #45
SelzShoes
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1876-1877 Off Season

From an Editorial in the New York World

The expulsion of Hartford and New York from the Empire League, for reasons based on flimsy pretext, should be hailed as a blessing by the common crank. Yes, the season will continue without proper representation of the city where the passion for the game was born, but an opportunity is afforded.

While James McCormick and his band of thieves plunder the national game for profit and greed, William Temple can form a congregation of men dedicated to what he calls ‘true sport.’ The idea that men who play for love of game and country more than the base allure of gold would provide a better sort of entertainment. While McCormick would have the ballyards overflow with low born men filled with drink, Temple envisioned a healthful spectacle where gentlemen could converse with full view of the Creators majestic bounty.

We at the World pray Mr. Temple has not soured on base ball. With the spread of organized leagues across this great land finding like minded men who place ball before profit should be not a trial. The year of our Lord 1877 may appear to be a dark summer for fans of the game. We encourage patience and hope. If there is justice and right in the universe, a new horizon shall be viewed; one without the interference of those who would destroy all that is good and right with the game.
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:03 PM   #46
SelzShoes
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfpack
Very creative work. I'm assuming the tossing of the NY owner will be the precursor for the birth of a rival American Association clone (I can't say it'll be the AA because your world isn't a true copy of the real one, but a slightly altered version).

It does beg the question: how much time are you spending in creative writing versus actually playing the game? Of course, reporting a history takes more time than actually coming up with the results to report on, but you seem to be taking a lot of effort to construct storylines and arcs that proceed in the background of the game, particularly since I'm pretty sure there's no real-life information available to base these characters on.

At this rate, it'll take you a while to get to your post-WWII world.
The first couple dynasties I did at OOTP, I was a very slow player--my last one took over 6 months to get just half way into a season. I had a month where I didn't play at all (working for my wife's business and the CPU was being debugged) and I started thinking about what my next dynasty was going to be. So, I spend about a month doing most of the pre-writing and planning.

Before I start each season I look at my time line I charted out and pick 4 or 5 'themes' to look for each year. All told, from off-season to end of season, I can run a season in about a week. So , yeah, the post-WWII season is looking to be a year off, but that's ok with me. I had orgininally thought I could have started the 1946 season near the end of this year, but I found taking a week off from the project helps keep me fresh. (I'm just at the start of the 1878 season on the OOTP boards.)

The players/execs are based on a real people, granted some are more broadly drawn than others (for example, when we reach him the "Babe Ruth" will be very recognizable)--Frank Richardson is based on Cap Anson, James McCormick on William Hulbert. The 1871-1899 era is my weakest spot where baseball history is concerned, but being a history nerd, I've enjoyed doing the research.

Thanks again for your interest, I'm always willing to talk about the process!
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Old 05-10-2005, 02:06 PM   #47
SelzShoes
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1876-1877 Off Season

From William Temple's speech at the Manhattan Winter Sports Banquet

Friends, competitors and assembled members of the press.
For the past several months, since our beloved Empire League team was summarily dismissed from the league (chorus of hisses) I have been asked on countless occasions when I would endeavor to start my own league based on the ideal of pure sport (huzzahs).

First, if I was to form my own league, I would assure an able council would run the game, lest the whims of a single madman ruin the investment of all (various cheers and whoops).

Second, I would assure the men involved were of the highest integrity and honor—traits which are notoriously short supplied in the Empire. As of now the roster of owners consists of a peddler of sin in Saint Louis, a Shylock in Brooklyn and a puppet in Chicago (loud laughter)! James McCormick (hisses), the so-called President (more hisses), has allowed his jealousy of the centers of commerce and own personal short comings to cloud his judgment—what little he possesses anyway (laughter).

Whatever method he could devise to root out those who defended the game, and replace them with men loyal to him and him alone were used. His so-called leadership has left a quality ballplayer and American like Cappy Richardson (very loud cheers), searching for a position well below his reward (hisses). I have on good authority my expulsion was a simple trick to lure Cappy to that lakeside pit—and to his credit Cappy would starve than toil for the Devil’s Agent (Thunderous applause and cheers, Cappy stands and wave to the crowd to even louder cheers)

McCormick has no vision of what the game can be. As I speak, New York, Buffalo, Washington, Baltimore, and some lesser western cities that are base ball mad are not represented in the Empire! And why? Because James McCormick can not find men of equally base morals willing to submit to him! Because James McCormick would rather treat the clubs as his personal plaything and not as a way to promote the finest qualities our nation has to offer. Because James McCormick would rather have men who see base ball as a business and not dedicate themselves to the public trust! (ovation of some length)

I make this promise on this day to you friends: New York will soon have a team, I will own it, and the Empire will be no more (Huzzahs). It may not be this summer or the summer next, but soon my dear friends, soon. And James McCormick will rue ever deciding to take the coward’s way instead of besting New York on the field of honor (shouts and much clapping).
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Old 05-10-2005, 03:18 PM   #48
SelzShoes
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1877-That Amazing, Shameful Season

The National cycle of recession/depression that culminated with the Panic of 1877, further strained the Empire. Prepared to enter the season with eight clubs, only six would start the season: Boston, Brooklyn, Philadelphia, Chicago, Cincinnati and the relocated Cleveland franchise in Buffalo. Pittsburgh and Saint Louis failed to meet their annual obligation to the league just weeks before the start of the season. Cleveland, unable to purchase adequate grounds for a park “sufficient to maintain profit” was sold to investors in Buffalo who had been shut out of the Ontario-New York League formed some two seasons before. While the other owners, notably Franklin of Philadelphia and Hartpence of Boston (who had purchased the club from Avery in the off season), urged readmitting Temple’s New Yorkers and adding another club from “the stronger teams in the lesser league in abundance these days.” McCormick held firm:

“Why should we rush headlong and add two clubs, when we will need to find two clubs to replace them next season, and two more the season next. I am committed to fielding the strongest league possible, not the largest.”

The hastily redrawn schedule called for each club to face each other 18 times, and the personal battles between players began to grow. “Before then you’d see a fellow twice, and if he did something to bug you, well, you had time to cool down—a couple weeks or a whole winter,” Rodney Stollings recalled. “Now, if someone was busting you, a week later, there he was again, doing the same thing—you started to hate the other fellow.”

Team payrolls began to skyrocket as the best players won roster slots over the cheaper ‘muffins’ that usually rounded out a bench. Quality players, stars in their own right, found themselves relegated to junior squad status. Sport writers early on called it “That amazing season.”

“Never has the top talent of the game been so concentrated, never has the game been so blessed,” wrote the Boston Post. “If there was any question of the status of the game in the hearts of Americans, this championship battle leaves no doubt. Memories of East/West conflict are gone; the game has risen above such petty battles.”

But the cheering of the press and crowds only hid battles yet to be fought. Battles that would test the strength of the Empire.
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:13 PM   #49
SelzShoes
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1877-The Battle for Buffalo

Letter from Winfred Siemens to James McCormick

Mr. McCormick,
I must object in no uncertain terms to the placement of an Empire League club in Buffalo. For the past several seasons the Ontario-New York League has operated, with success within the limits of the city. While not as nationally hailed as your Empire League, our clubs in Toronto, Syracuse and other cities in the area have become the pride of the locals. I believe this feeling compels us to defend our territories from interlopers.

The current fad in business is to accept products and goods made elsewhere at the expense of familiar names. I refuse to allow my club or league to be ruined by outside forces. If the Buffalo Empires follow through with their intention to play, I shall bring suit to keep them from playing. I will bring suit against any landowner who permits them to use their playing field. I will bring suit against anyone who facilitates the degradation of our league and investment. The good citizens of Buffalo will not stand for carpetbagger interest to spoil our borders.

Yours,
Winfred Siemens

[I'm picking up my posting here since I'm probably leaving the OOTP forums, want to get this 'current' as soon as possilble]
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Old 05-10-2005, 04:47 PM   #50
SelzShoes
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Who's Who--James McCormick

(at this point at the OOTP forums I had a request to do some bios, I'll share them with you as well)

President Empire League

Born June 5, 1821, the eldest son of one of Chicago's early prominent families he worked in the shadow of his father for most of his life. A strong supporter of sport, he became fascinated with the game of base ball on an 1860 business trip to Philadelphia which coincided with the all-city tournament. The business deal almost fell through, but a love of the game was instilled.

After the War Between the States, McCormick built several ball yards throughout the city of Chicago, wanting to build the city as the Western center of the game. When the Empire League was being formed, McCormick utilized the family fortune, of which he was now in control of, to assure Chicago was represented. His support for the League and the Chicago franchise was a way to break away from the family name and carve his own identity. To his private dismay, the more power and influence he gains, the more like his father he is becoming--and odd combonation of honesty and ruthlessness.

After the Great Chicago Fire, McCormick was disillusioned with the influence the Eastern clubs held over the league, and began to solidify the support of the Westerns behind him. The well-spoken, aggressive man was a natural choice to lead; he had the ability and money to back up his statements. The failure of the New Haven club, which briefly gave the Westerns a voting advantage, and the defection of Thaddeus Hamilton’s Brooklyns from the Easterns, vaulted McCormick into the position of League President, which was created by him, for him.

McCormick’s main disagreement with the Easterns, especially William Temple of New York, was base ball was a business and should be run to be as profitable as possible. The Easterns held the ideal they were running teams for the glory of their city and players should put love of game before money. McCormick understood not allowing players to be paid top dollar would invite a rival. To McCormick, a small strong league with the best players from around the county was preferable to the constantly expanding, diluted league favored by the Easterns. McCormick also wanted to move from a “gentleman’s” league, to a venue the masses can enjoy: his support of lower admission and sale of liquor are aimed to bring the workingman as well as the businessman to the games. McCormick also pushed to have a formal League Constitution, worked to have a standard set of rules, and formalize the league schedule.

He also has shown, with his reaction to the Hartford scandal, he is swift to act. He is willing to deal with opposing views, but only if the other is honest with him. His brother, Obie McCormick, who took over Chicago when James was elected President, and Hamilton of Brooklyn, who finds him personally profane but just what the emerging league needs, are his strongest supporters. He has challenged the other owners to stand up to him, but as he suspected they do not have the collective will to oppose him. He rules, at this point, by fiat and not by consensus. As he is getting older, his temper is getting shorter, and is effecting his ability to woo the press--an ability becoming more and more important in the world of sport.
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