Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/219

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CHAPTER XIV.

STATEMENT OF CAUSES THAT LED TO THE FORMATION OF THE NATIONAL LEAGUE—INABILITY OF FORMER ASSOCIATIONS TO CORRECT DEMORALIZING ABUSES.

1875-80

IT IS the purpose in this chapter to consider events leading up to the organization of the National League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, an alliance which, through many trials and discouragements, has successfully weathered all the storms that have beaten about its head during thirty-five years of all kinds of weather, and which stands to-day the honored pioneer Major League in Base Ball history.

The seasons of 1873 and 1874 had been characterized by an increase of the abuses and evils which the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players had inherited from the National Association of Amateur Base Ball Players. It may be possible that had the professional management been in control of affairs at the beginning of organized Base Ball things might have been different. We have, however, to deal with things as they were, not as they might have been. And they were "rotten." Gambling, in all its features of pool selling, side betting, etc., was still openly engaged in. Not an important game was played on any grounds where pools on same were not sold. A few players, too, had become so corrupt that nobody could be certain as to whether the issue of any

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