Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/301

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271
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

men to rehearse to one another their real or fancied grievances, and to plan and plot measures to secure relief.

After the world's tour, in 1888-9, when the prosperous season of '88 had ended, the Brotherhood of Players, finding fresh cause for complaint in the classification rule adopted by the League in 1888, and more reason for a hopeful outcome of their venture in the large attendance at games during the season just closed, issued a manifesto to the public.

It ought to be stated here that, previous to this time and in deference to protests against the Reserve Rule, the League had asked for a Committee from the Brotherhood to consider the subject and submit a rule to take the place of the obnoxious one. The Committee, consisting of Ward, Hanlon and Brouthers, after due deliberation, confessed, in a report made to the League, their inability to make any improvement. Indeed, in a published interview, in 1887, Mr. Ward had said upon this very subject:

"In order to get men to invest capital in Base Ball, it is necessary to have a reserve rule. Some say that this could be modified, but I am not of that opinion. How could it be modified? Say, for instance, that we began this season by reserving men for only two, three, four, or even five years. At the expiration of that period players would be free to go where they pleased, and capitalists who invested, say $75,000 or $100,000, would have nothing but ground and grandstand. Then again, players have agreed that this could' be overcome by making the length of reservation vary. It could not, and would cause no end of dissatisfaction. It would be unfair to reserve one man for two years and another for five. The reserve rule, on the whole, is a bad one; but it cannot be rectified save by injuring the interests of the men who invest their money, and that is not the object of the Brotherhood."

But the manifesto issued Nov. 4th, 1889, declared: