Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/337

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307
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

and responsibilities attaching to the office for which I had been named.

But I was terribly in earnest in my desire that Freedmanism should not obtain ascendancy in the League, and so I found myself an interested spectator of the proceedings of the National League Convention on Wednesday, December 11, 1901, and immediately thereafter I was in one of the sharpest Base Ball battles of my life. Let it be remembered that at the formation of the National League I had engaged in a struggle against abuses that had grown up under the mild, pacific, fostering influences of the two National Associations of Amateur Base Ball Players and Professional Base Ball Players. I had fought with President Hulbert to stamp out gambling and pool-selling. Later I had been engaged in ridding the game of players who were in collusion with the gambling fraternity. Still later I united with those who found it necessary to free Base Ball from a lot of irresponsible, unreliable drunkards, who, although good players, were a disgrace and hindrance to the game.

Now, for the first time, I was face to face with a situation full of graver menace than any of the others had been, because those who were seeking its ruin now were men of real power, men of ability, men of acute business instincts—an enemy that knew how to fight.

In all the former battles for the life of our national sport the men who stood for the preservation of Base Ball in its integrity had won. Every form of abuse had been so completely eradicated that public confidence had been regained, the press of the country was united in its declar-