Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/559

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AMERICA'S NATIONAL GAME

bellum days, with the auction block, upon which, instead of the familiar forms of the unhappy slaves, abject ball players were displayed for sale to the highest bidder. Being at that time President of the Chicago Club, and having been instrumental in promoting the sale of Kelly, I came in for much notoriety. While these daily "roasts" were being served out to me I noticed that the attendance kept increasing. Many friends, outraged at what they deemed unfair criticism, wrote me, urging me to take some action that would stop the abuse, even if I had to kill the editor.

A prominent Base Ball writer of that day was "Harmony" White, who had obtained his sobriquet from an article published in one of the Chicago papers to the effect that the only way to gain a winning team was to collect a nine whose members were so mad with one another that they would not speak. I happened to meet White on the street one day, early in the summer, and asked him:

"What's the matter with the News? You haven't been giving me the usual amount of space of late."

He replied that he was absolutely out of ammunition. I offered to furnish him fresh ammunition if he would only keep up the onslaught. His incredulous look indicated that he was not impressed with my sincerity. I then explained to him that simply as a business proposition I could not afford to be neglected in his paper, for since he had let up in his attacks our attendance was dropping off.

"Well," said he, "if you feel that way about it, and