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Newspaper Page Text
says the national commission will not
yield an inch to the fraternity.
That's the situation, as far as any
one on the outside konws. Any pre
dictions made today are guesses only.
The biggest feature of Johnson's
rather wordy answer -to the players
was a threat to fine all players who
strike, refuse to pay them for time
lost, and close the A. L. parks and
keep them closed the rest of the sea
son if necessary.
Would the league allow Johnson to
go so far as to close the parks?
Undoubtedly, and jump at the ex
cuse to do so, if it is possible to make
the public believe that the players are
responsible for the failure to provide
It would be a great piece of busi
ness luck for the magnates. Few of
them are making money at the pres
ent time. In some cities Federal teams
have cut into the patronage. In oth
ers there are purely local causes for
the attendance slump. But the slump
By closing the parks the magnates
would not take in any coin at the
gate. But neither would they have
to pay out anything in expenses.
Which would mean a plugging of
the leak in several treasuries.
Johnson has the American mag
nates meeting in war council with
him in New York today. They will
canvass the situation carefully, and
comes to a decision.
On the say of one man depends the
result. That man is President Comis
key of the White Sox. Commy is
never given to much conversation,
but he is a power in the league, and
does not hesitate to put his foot down
when he thinks Johnson is wrong.
If Commy decides to support Ban,
then the A. L. executive will have a
free reign. But Comiskey has always
been noted as a fair man to his ath
letes, and if he thinks an attempt is
being made to put something over he
is liable to balk at any summary
Fultz seems to have taken the
magnates by surprise. The fraternity
held its meeting irv New York Sun
day and drafted a plan of campaign.
The ultimatum came unexpectedly,
and found the owners unprepared.
The case of Kraft is the immediate
cause of a break. But Fultz asserts
that in numerous instances the so
called "Cincinnati agreement," reach
ed at a conference of magnates and
players' representatives last year, has
been flagrantly violated. He claims to
have made frequent demands for
redress in behalf of some of the
slighted athletes, but in no case re
ceived any satisfaction.
The side to which the public swings
will win. If the fans decide that the
players have a just grievance, the
magnates will not get far with their
proposition to close the parks. If the
fans decide that the players are act
ing hastily, they will take the .closing
of the parks gracefully.
An affair such as this promises to
be has been in the air for some time.
It began with the formation of the
fraternity. Fultz, at its head, is an
old ballplayer, and also a clever law
yer. The magnates found they were
up against a difficult proposition
when it came to doing business with
him. He could discover the joker in
Johnson has been trying to get rid
of Fultz for some time. He refused
for a time to receive the president of
the fraternity in Cincinnati. Ban
knew that the lawyer-athlete was a
Apparently the players considered
that this was the psychological mo
ment to act. The Federal has not
waned in popularity, and any of the
athletes who strike and want to jump
will probably find positions with the
And if the A. L. closes its parks,
the players can barnstorm with slight
opposition, and make as much money
as they get now.
Fultz unquestionably has the back
ing of the majority of -the players of
both leagues. Representatives of