Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/307

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277
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

They knew there was no urgency for the consideration of their claims, and knowing that the League could not, without sacrifice of time, money and other conflicting interests, convene its clubs in midsummer, and anticipating and desiring a refusal, to cover the conspiracy, which it now appears was then hatching, they started the organization of a rival association while receiving most liberal salaries from their employers. Under false promises to their fellow players that they would only secede in the event of the League refusing them justice, they secured the signatures of the latter to a secret pledge or oath to desert their clubs at the bidding of their disaffected leaders. Upon the publication of their plot, September T, 1889, they and their abettors denied, day after day, that there was any foundation for the story, and repeatedly plighted their words that the League should have a chance to redress their alleged grievances before they would order a "strike."

How false their promises and pledges, how evasive, contradictory and mendacious have been their every act and deed, from first to last, we leave to the readers of the daily and weekly press for verification.

An edifice built on falsehood has no moral foundation, and must perish of its own weight. Its official claims to public support are glittering generalities, that lack detail, color and truth, and the National League, while notifying its recalcitrant players that it will aid its clubs in the enforcement of their contractual rights to the services of those players for the season of 1890, hereby proclaims to the public that the National Game, which in 1876 it rescued from destruction threatened by the dishonesty and dissipation of players, and which, by stringent rules and ironclad contracts, it developed, elevated and perpetuated into the most glorious and honorable sport on the green earth, will still, under its auspices, progress onward and upward, despite the efforts of certain overpaid players to again control it for their own aggrandizement, but to its ultimate dishonor and disintegration.

By order of the National League of Base Ball Clubs,

A. G. Spalding Committee
John B. Day
Philadelphia, November 21, 1889. John I. Rogers,

A careful perusal of these two manifestos, in which the issues that led up to the Brotherhood War of 1890 are well defined, will give to the student of Base Ball history a pretty good idea of the situation at the beginning of that memorable struggle, the counterpart of which