Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/264

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dishonesty of selfish, thoughtless and corrupt professional players and managers.

At the time I was the captain and pitcher of the Chicago Club, and believing that a document bearing my signature would have weight with the fraternity, Mr. Mills, who had been asked by President Hulbert to assist him, asked the privilege of attaching my signature to a circular letter he had written and which contained some essential matter bearing upon the importance of professional players standing by their contracts. It was a very urgent appeal to players, from one of their own number, and in the interests of the game, to remain absolutely loyal to the clubs with which they had signed, and under no circumstances whatever to play with any other organizations. To this document, of which several hundred copies were printed and sent by mail to managers and players, every one bore my name, though the real author was A. G. Mills.

Now, at this time in the history of Base Ball, it was not customary during the season's play to carry on trips around the circuit a lot of utility players, as at present. Ten or, at the most, eleven men constituted the limit. It was therefore of not infrequent occurrence, when players became ill or incapacitated through accident, to fill the team from the ranks of disengaged or surplus professionals in cities where visiting teams happened to be.

I remember that one day, our nine being scheduled to play at Boston, I found it necessary to go skirmishing for someone to take the place of a disabled man on our team, and met with a very sharp and unexpected rebuff.