Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/222

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As shown heretofore, there was no stability in the fabric of the organization. A club standing well at the front in one season's race for the pennant would be out of the game the following year. There was no tie to bind the clubs in a bond strong enough to hold them together. The game had loyal friends and true, many of them, who were willing to back it with time and money; but a single season was usually quite sufficient to satisfy any capitalist who was willing, temporarily, to act as "angel," that the emissaries from the lower regions had control of the sport and that Base Ball, under then existing conditions, was only a hole in the ground into which he might pour his wealth as water, without hope of possible recovery.

What, then, was the matter? It was quite evident that the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was no better equipped to deal with the situation than had been its predecessor. The abuses that had played havoc with the old association were not only continued, but were rapidly increasing in numbers and strength under the new organization. It was not conceivable that the men who were depending upon the game as a means of obtaining a livelihood were desirous of deliberately wrecking it. Nor could it be imagined that those who year after year met in convention and roundly denounced the outrageous practices that had attached themselves to Base Ball were dishonest in their clamor against those wrongs. All were agreed that the game must be reformed. But how?

About this time it began to be apparent to some that