Of that sum, less than a quarter of a million was returned directly to the promoters for their interest in their investment. True, some of them made large profit, which was offset by very small profit on the part of others, and perhaps a trifling loss on the part of one or two.
So that in the same breath in which we can point to the great strides which the game has made, to its popularity, to its signs of assured permanency, we can also say that it is not a pastime which robs the public in any way, for the bulk of its income is turned directly back into circulation through salaries to players, expenses for travel, and the hundred and one incidentals which are a part of any great amusement enterprise.
It is by no means a selfish game, operated for purely mercenary motives. If that were the case, there is more than one man who has been prominent in Base Ball and who is still prominent in Base Ball councils who would have given up his share of the burden of maintenance long ago.
Indeed, we may go further and state that it is only within recent years that there has been anything like reasonable financial return to the investors. There are many men who have expended thousands of dollars on the national pastime who never realized a penny of income from it in their lives.
Until there was a new National Agreement, which gave the sport stability, the life of the minor league club owner was one of annoyance and hazard.
The coming of the new National Agreement was the dawn of an era of prosperity in the minor league circuits