Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/159

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CHAPTER X.

FIRST PROFESSIONAL, BASE BALL CLUB—THE CINCINNATI RED STOCKINGS—BOLD DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THEIR UNEQUALLED RECORD OF VICTORIES.

1869-70

BEFORE the close of the decade of the 60's there were mutterings of discontent, disparagement, if not of actual disgust with existing conditions. It has already been noted that from the very beginning of Base Ball history betting had been openly, widely, almost generally indulged in at all contests of importance.

It is unnecessary, perhaps impossible, to catalogue all the evils that followed in the train of this pernicious practice. It is essential to the story, however, to mention the fact that one of the earliest legitimate effects of this illegitimate custom was to beget another practice even more prejudicial to the interests of Base Ball; for betting on the result of games naturally begot collusion between those who bet their money and some of those who played the game. Per consequence, it Was soon discovered that unprincipled players, under pretense of accident or inability to make points at critical stages, were "throwing" games.

Nor was this all. The determination of the founders of Base Ball to maintain it as an amateur pastime had been only partially successful from the start. The perfectly natural desire of every club to strengthen its play-

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