Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/150

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becoming a man, to leave her whose tender care and fond affection had been so lavishly bestowed upon me through the years of my boyhood life? Would she approve of my going to a large city, with its dangers in the busy whirl, and its greater dangers in the temptations that so thickly abound?

Moreover, what did this offer mean? That it meant separation from the Forest City Club was quite apparent; but that problem did not count; I could not afford to rest my business interests on a mere sentiment. But there was a moral side to the question which I might not ignore. Were my services worth the proffered salary? What did I know of the wholesale grocery business that I should be offered $40 per week as bill clerk? Was I not being paid for my skill as a ball player rather than as an expert in the grocery trade? And, if so, would I not be violating at least the spirit of that rule of the National Association of Base Ball Players that forbade the payment of salaries to players?

Again, from a mere business standpoint, would it be wise for me at my age to sever the relations that had been established at the home of my youth? All my acquaintances were at Rockford. Did not they constitute an asset with which I might not lightly part? All these, and many other questions, presented themselves to my mind, and I did what I would now advise any other boy to do in like circumstances. I carried the whole subject to my mother. I knew that she approved of my connection with the game of Base Ball as a pastime; but how she would view it as a vocation I was not sure at all.