Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/455

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423
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

disband for lack of patronage are, of course, unknown or lost to sight. But the magnates who have made good are known to everybody. They are exploited by the bright young men of the press; they are looked upon by the general public as beings to be envied; as men without a care in all the world, except to expend upon their persons and their pleasures the alleged countless coins that flow in an unending stream through the turnstiles of their clubs. That these men have any other vocation in life than to enjoy an uninterrupted good time, a succession of blissful holidays, with free ball games as a continual performance, seems never to enter the minds of many.

It is to correct this very serious error that this chapter is written. I shall not here refer to the unlucky financiers whose enthusiasm for the game has led them into the backing of forlorn hopes in hopeless territory; nor shall I dwell upon the misfortunes of those who have gone to the wall by reason of inability to meet competition on the business side of the game. I shall undertake, however, to show that the Base Ball magnate who achieves what the world denominates success is up against a serious enterprise; that he must go "the pace that kills," that ownership of a great ball club in a populous and prosperous city involves man-killing experiences; that the management of a major (and sometimes of a minor) league club often Works havoc to the health and happiness of the man who undertakes it, and that the long list of physical and mental wrecks strewn along the shores of Base Ball history tells a story of sacrifice to our national game that is not generally appreciated or known.