Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/549

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517
AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME


"I think I can get you $5,000!" said I.

He beamed all over at the prospect.

"Now, Mike," I said, "you don't care ——— how much we get for your release."

"If you get me $5,000 I don't care a if you sell me for a hundred thousand."

"All right. Now keep mum, and let me conduct negotiations; and remember, if you get a letter from Boston, asking your terms, it's $5,000—not $4,000."

I took the matter up with the manager of the Boston club, telling him that King Kelly might possibly be secured. He bit. In a few days I received a letter, asking the price. I replied that $10,000 would purchase the King. He couldn't wait to write. He wired me, "Terms for Kelly accepted," and the sale was made.

Meanwhile Kelly had also been receiving telegrams, and got his contract for three years at $5,000. It was understood between us that he was at liberty to play the "poor Base Ball slave" act to the limit. He did his part with such splendid effect that I soon had the whole press of Chicago applying to me names that, to say the least, were far from complimentary. To these attacks I replied by having the check received from Boston published in fac-simile in the Chicago "papers. I had learned to know the value of good newspaper advertising, and it came good and plenty as long as Kelly remained to weep and wail over his sad fate in being sold away from the city he loved so well.

But other members of the team soon caught on, and I found myself besieged by players begging to be sold into