Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/546

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the public. It is not so well known, however, that, while playing with the Bostons, the great fire of 1872 occurred, paralyzing the business interests of that city and nearly wrecking the Boston Base Ball Club.

Following that fire, I found myself short $800 in salary, and was forced to accept the offer of an old friend to take a place on the New York Graphic, an illustrated weekly paper that had recently been established there. The Graphic soon failed, of course, and, my back salary having been made up and future payment of salary secured, I returned to Boston and devoted my time strictly to playing ball professionally, until I embarked in business for myself, since which time I have not been connected with any more commercial failures.

The first time I had to do with the selling of players was in 1887. I had withdrawn from active participation in the game as a player, but was President of the Chicago White Stockings, at that time the finest team of ball players in the world. Although the traffic in players, under the National Agreement, had been in vogue for some time, I had never looked with much favor upon it, rather from sentiment than any other reason, I suppose, for I knew that such changes usually benefited club and player alike. The newspapers had made much ado about the arbitrary authority given to managers along this line. It had been quite generally denounced by the press; and the public, influenced, no doubt, by the changes rung on such headlines as "Slave Traffic," "Another Ball Player Sold," etc., had come to regard the practice as awful.