Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/332

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Soon after the American sport became established as a national pastime, and was showing for its promoters a balance on the right side of the ledger, a certain clique came into the League for purposes of pelf. They at once let it be known by their acts that they were in Base Ball for what they could get out of it. They were absolutely devoid of sentiment, cared nothing for the integrity or perpetuity of the game beyond the limits of their individual control thereof. With these men it was simply a mercenary question of dollars and cents. Everything must yield to the one consideration of inordinate greed. It will not be difficult to understand that any man who dominated such a faction as has here been described, while he might have a pleasing personality, would nevertheless be a standing menace to the perpetuity of the game.

I do not know how better to characterize the monstrous evil which at this time threatened the life of Base Ball than to denominate it "Freedmanism"; for Andrew Freedman, owner of the New York franchise, absolutely held sway over one-half the League interests and was the incarnation of selfishness supreme. Surrounding himself by a coterie of men willing to follow such a leader; dictating policies that were suicidal as to the League of which these men were an important integral part, it is no wonder that this destructive element in those years worked havoc to our national pastime.

The special phase of aggressive onslaught against League interests that called me from an unofficial position, as simply an honorary member, into an active struggle to protect the game from enemies in its own household, was