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The San Francisco call. (San Francisco [Calif.]) 1895-1913, July 07, 1907, Image 4

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THE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF BASEBALL
William J. Slattery
THE great game of baseball has
prospered throughout the length
and breadth of the 'land for many
yeare. It has known its trials
and tribulations, its moments of pros
perity and its days of strife; but today
it stands as the greatest outdoor sport
In the wide "world.
There are thousands of fans in every
. city, village and hamlet of the United
"States who believe that they ure fa
miliar with each and every phase of
the national pastime, but it is safe
to assert that many of them are not
aware of the fact that the fiftieth anni
versary of the professional baseball
club has just been celebrated.
Fifty years ago last month the first
baseball commission met in the city
of Xew York. It was then that the
firet set of playing rules was drafted
and the foundations laid for the mam
moth organization that now directs
the affairs of baseball in this country
and Canada.
Perhaps trie few men who attended
that meeting and framed the plans for
the formation of a great . American
league were confident that the game
would -prosper for a few years, or until
* uch tt:ne at least as the novelty of the
thing vrould appeal to the populace. If
one of these old patriarchs should be
allowed to stalk on earth again and
survey the baseball field as it is today,
he sure would feel proud of the work
that lie and his associates performed
half a century ago.
Baseball has, during these 50 years,
developed into a gigantic commercial
project as well as. a great outdoor
spore Thousands of men are making
their living out of the "game while mil- ,
lions of its admirers, known as "fans,"
derive from it their chief amusement.
From the quarters and halves which
these persons deposit in the'box'of
fices, the salaries of the thousands of
ball tossers?, managers and magnates
arc paid and millions of dollars in divi
dends are declared in the many leagues
that are under control of the National
Association of Professional Baseball
Clubs. This is one of the most capable
and ably directed bodies that govern
any of tin? large enterprises of which
the United States can boast.
• The reason why baseball has pros
pered aiM become a national pastime
is because it is a square sport. Wh'en
one stop* to consider tin* **/Bnees that
present themselves *to tempt players
and managers alike to forsake the
straight and narrow path of honesty
arfd clean up thousands of dollars at •
every turn of a crooked wheel. It is
marvelous, indeed, to figure out how -
the sport is kept pure and clean. But,
nevertheless, the fact remains that the
honor of baseball has been preserved
/luring a!l these 50. years, though the
men who control the game have been
obliged to fight many a bitter battle
for clean sport.
It will be interesting for the Califor
nia fan* to learn that there are at
present 37 leagues from Maine to"Cali
fornia that are under the control of
the national association. This does not
include the hundreds of semiprofes- \u25a0
sional leagues and minor _ organiza
tions known to the fan as the "bush
brigade." The clubs under the. control
of the national body arc all classed
and graded. Each has Its. officers, it*
managers and its set of rules to abide
by and is compelled to live up to its
«srreement in every particular
Some Star Salaries
Jn these 37 leagues of organized base
ball there are 232 clubs. Each has on
its salary list all the way from 15 to 20
players.- The grand total of etars who
perform in, these various leagues is no
Joss than 3026 on an average. As the
salary of each of these players ranges
all the way from $I.ooo* to $10,000 for
a season's work, it can readily be
noted that the game'bf baseball, is prof
itable to the young man who Is ath
letic and brainy, enough" to hold his
place in the ranks. ' :*.
The money expended " each , year .in
conducting baseball in these 27 leagues
would finance many an important cor
poration. At a glance the casual fan '
*cou ld scarce believe his eyes if he
wore told that the grand 'total lof /the '
rjpenees rcaciles nearly- $6,000,000 be
fore a single cent of dividends Is. at-.
clared. But it is a : fact/nevertheiess.
and the estimate is only a conservative
one. v «. •
A noted student of the game has com
piled a table showing the amount spent
each year by the various clubs of the
larger leagues. First of .all come the
salaries of the players, for which the
tidy sum of ?3, 400.000 is .expended .an
nually. Then come the exp«nses of the
teams on the road, which generally to
tal in the neighborhood of $717,000.
..The rental of grounds and other Inci
dentals connected" with the running of
well equipped _ parks cost the mag
nates $600,000 .each year." The salaries*
of the umpires reach In the neighbor
hood of $200,000, while thespring train
ing before each season opens represents
an outlay of $,150,000.
The* managers o^ the ; various clubs
in these" leagues "receive about $100,000
a year all told, which, by Ithe, way,- is
one of the smallest items* in the vast
expense account. .The organization ex
penses and incidentals connected | with
each league, cost In the- neighborhood
of. $75,000. while the : uniforms- thaf the
player's wear stand- the clubs about
$50,000 a season. The .baseballs repre
sent an outlay of: about $25,000 and in
cidental expenses. "of $100,000" bring the
grand yearly total up' to within strik
ing distance of $6,000,000. .>- , > \u25a0 \u0084.;
After studying, these figures, the fan
can readily see that the" magnates must
take in many a piore of • silver at tlje
box onlee before it is possibhv for-thern
to declare a dividend In any club or
any league, lt'also can I)t> understood
then why every man who "j>wns an in
terest in a ball team wantsto see it
win gamps, for it Is thowinning team
that .gets the pennant and. draws' the
largest crowds ; both on the home
grounds and on the road. Everybody
is 'anxious to see the. star team per
form.-no matter in what city* or league
it might be, and it. is principally, fer
this reason that the -great 7 rivalry that
makes baseball .so exciting exists . in
every town from the bush clrcuit'to the
national league, i -. • ' • v
. It Is the desire towin that has made
baseball; a sport worth going miles to
see. Vlctoryon'the diamond is'deafer
to the heart of the "player or the mag
nate than ; anj'thing else in thiSiWorld.
When he -is.winning-he.. ix. happy, but
, whenever the' dreaded slump. sets. in, he
Is down in .' the', mouth and nobody,, has
the power to comfort nor console him.
And the fan is built on somewhat the
came lines. He loves the- home team
with a love born of . the ., stars and
stripes. "While ' the boys arc 'winning
the'fan iR in his" element,' but ras*. soon
as the tide of; fortune turns i ; he gen
erally becomes. dyspeptic. 1 he : has.no use
for the good tmngs of ufe.'and, In fact,
at times hefigures that there is.no use
In living, now* that; the home' talent" is
down and out without a chance- to
bring; home the pennant.
- While the game of baseball has been
forging ahead "during; all these years,
piacticaily every state in! the union has
contributed its mite -toward, making'' the'
groat; pastime, what ; it : is.- r Xew York
is practically the : .mother; state, of ! the
game, "while 1 Pennsylvania, Massachu
setts, . Connecticut \u25a0[ and"; other of * the
great- eastern* have
bce^n Identified "very closely with it. ,
California's Great Players
But none of them, have, done more
to make baseball- what.it" is- than \u25a0 Cali
fornia. ,Kyei\. since Jpionceridays," vwhen
Market street was .a side, thoroughfare
and" Fillmorc a" pile" of : sand," the \u25a0 nao^a
of; California has been closely -linked'
' with; the '-national ,' pastibieV'/'V- - •
• When the", baseball ;.{ fever* began I to.
spread, throughout -the.. country; in dv«
time It; reached'' the- Golden^state.'/Th*:
scrni" was. veryi contagious,"; and ,'bafora?
many moons- there -were '\ professional
and amateur/, baseball -teams -in \ nearly
every V city of California*. '<J',
Old ,can "lo'ok> back, about'; 3S:
- years 'A\slien. the. park at .;tho;"corner£oC.
'\u25a0Twenty- sixth and Harrison: slroets; was
built. - They'ican '".remember, when : th«i
game- was played :oh;the old/.A.lameda'
grounds when it. was necessary- for <tha
fans- to rise bright: and Nearly \>in "tlie:
morning and -do. many a" hot -step, before?
they' reached?/. tho .old^grounds., across
th« bay. wlu-re. the stars of former
days wre ; wont to shine.' \u25a0
. \u25a0'•• In those days .Califoniia's 1 fans^.were
•developed. ;~ Those were the'dayS; of th«;
true fan— 'the fan who' would- walk' allJ
day long for a^ chance^ to-;. witness Va;
game fof • baseball, that;; would 'furnish;
him with ;'a stock of < conversation t ilafgb':
enough to last till the next .game was
playedr * '\u25a0\u25a0 ,'_ "'\u25a0 ri \u25a0 :-*,V/^ ' \u25a0i" v '"''-'--- : '' ' . '--
"In 'those- times baseball was : not\ so^
'well "organized 5 as" itis at the" present
i ime. '.The governing -body of ' the
sport-was not the power that ' it: is:
now, and 'jibe ''system of^^ drafts, < releases
and contracts was ;, not "'down', to ' tKo;
fine point -of «' perfection f ;" : that f'» it now
is.' But the./ foundation _ for, all '.theie
things was. la id then," and laid, weli^ and
indue time California. fell in'llne -with
the other 'great ;of \ "the. nation
and i helped them "build ' up- the national'
pastime; from^ 'year to year!" : '7y"; \'s ' V./" :
* Perhaps no mother "- state:, has i"*con^
tributed so many: wonderful ' ball ;'playV
ers .; to the big , leagues *as ? Calif ornia.-i
Thereare'people in^the^ast'jWho* will
sniff and ;' scoff atl this* statement,^;ljut*
nevertheless' "Jt'J le ! true.^ Vof 5 30 *'yea I rs \
past "California \u25a0 has b«eu ; sending > back \u25a0
star : after 'star, w]jo" has made, his" marjc"
with; the , fans : of U the': larger^ "eastern s
cities. -^ In yaria bly, , ;_'. Cal if or nia's .^pla y- ;
ers have : become^ favorites,"*.' but* the'.ma-,
"jorlty. of the.farjson '.the/oth^erjsidei-'ofi'
\u25a0 the 1 Rockies Igenerally^1 generally^, \u25a0 forget. '^ where
4 these 'men} learned .^to * play ;the~ game,:
.and j.when'i "tliey jhave 'made^ good'* and:
helped . win pennants they '\u25a0 •; are -.-; in-';
'variably "claimed; by }: tlie ," ci ties Vwliere*
, they V make '; their I mark, % and, Las /usual,
ICalifornia; gets > the -worst; of it. / ,
;. .Then,; again.i there e has .been "manyja;
star in . the s big 1 leagues; J.whb.y though ,
he is -riot entitled to;"claim\the ? Golden';
sta te as : his" horn e/'f made} his \ mark] hVre,i
.and r In Jfact^learned^how^totplay^the'
game* under .; bur^sunhy .* skies. 4 ;*' Thes e;
men iiprobably . were Spossessed^ of ;' the*,
'ability, but; it is *a; singularicoincidencc
all,; the Earne 4 that, ; af terK,"playing'^ih^
other leagues* for; years 'without-" ga in-
Ing- reputations;, they drlf £ed out; here ;
.and ; in (a , short ; time - became'fit) sub-/
jects; for the -major .organizations. "
A Famous Pitcher.,-^;'O' - , ;
' \u25a0-.'-" There .'is many, a -fan \u25a0} today ."who Is ;
/notj aware '\u25a0 of the fact that the* greatest ;
ipltcher/of .his- time/ and considered %by*
isomeUo\b'ave been * ! the 'greatest ;L?the.'
i gam c *' has J: eye r P k nown ?.': was ; - C hafley,:
'\u25a0 Sweeney,"-' a ; ~~ San*:-; Francisco \u25a0\u25a0 boy," who
.'went jback \u25a0 to- : Providence 'and . won J the T
pennant for - that ;* team' in>theV days J of ;
i the T old ; 188 1. - Sweeney ;: per-/
: formed v a : f ea t ion :|the" i ancient '\u25a0> Boston ;
•grounds i" tliatv has. never jbecii 'equaled
'since, and; perhaps »riever- will "bc.' : , ' lie '
struck . out 1 D of : the Ofamous t Bbston
ians, shutting; 'thcm\o*ut'*an'd'fpltchihs .'a'
fgameHhe'like' of 'which 'was; never ! sur- ;
;paa3edjin;any league.:. .' ' :.;',' . • ' '
ov" 1 1 ; was i Gharlby Sweeney^.wiio won the ;
pennant for Proyidehcß.that vyear."*Be
' side's^ being , a grand /pitcher- he i could,
.wield > a club- with aTflercenoss; that.;
:drove 'many; a pitcher | fi'om'-.the-. slab:'
Sweeney ;' .(won •' one remarkable/^ game j
;for,f Providerice* : ; by ; knocking ;': the f;v ball
; out"; of ; the lot ; in ; the : eighteenth J inning/;
: scorih g ' the \u25a0 onlyir unVof ; the : most ; mem- .'.
• ofable ; contest -of;- its ' timer i, And^ af ter^
7all;the7glorjvhc.Mvon on jtho green dia
< nionirl *: Sweeney >*d icd alone < and ftf t unat-'
Itended at'; the /city,' and* county, hospitals
*h<JreJjflve>; years: ago;-rlt: s was .not ,'till,
'after his 'death? that; the : thousands\\vho }
iknew/ him;, hi Jhlft;; palmy < days y realized?
•what -a/, wonder jhci,was.j;:li..( '.!?>.%-: :(
i%i Then there Jwas/the?great Carroll and
'Morris Jbattery that iwent back to Phila-'t
Idelphia tin HheslaterJ seventies; and jtook;
.the ;-" Quaker .'';_CityJ%by storm.'-^ Carroll i
wwas ?at lef t\ handed I pitqher J and? Morris *
a j catcher ~J who * could^.wing "^the -iball \
•around the field' better^than;any;;one tin {
Miis,Jday/. l VAfter4years?fof|triumph{;the^
E^^teturnedH.oXCaliforni_aVlwhere'!tn'ey..'
Hook j;, their,*; places?: ani6ng ; i>the^ many;
other i former \u25a0 greate/and are ' now > heard i
,ot •Inof.more.*.-".--.;'"^ *\u25a0:' \u25a0 v/^C:/ .'\u25a0.•. ;< -'-' \u25a0 :. '
; Everybody ;'^hoV;:;followsWbaseballt
;,knows; all; about George iVan JHal-'j
atren.vithe^patriarch'iiof vjtheMOaklandx
jteam. v" For, the? last -25k; years -Vani has,
"been:; aVstar^ of diamond^ \ He -.was;
\u25a0 - . ; . , \u25a0. . * , •
, one of h the \u25a0 most talked 'about * men *in
.: baseball H when .he > wwars r drafted \u25a0 by the.
; ;»ld c Chicago T; White '\u25a0 Sox '\u25a0 ln> the'J early
eighties. 5, Kver- since -; that.^tlme s Van
"\u25a0 has i. held.': his own; in every ,dub; with
: ; which *he Jlias? played. \u25a0;. He v was i oneV of .
;\u25a0 the I most '- popular r vmen who ever i chased
f ; flies % ori'i the £•; famous t New York i polo
;he^cbuld/ib«\therefyet,' despite '
f his?years,';had he-not preferred; to play/
: iii i his t; native 'town, where *he \ started 7
:.out" asf atladfonHhe: sandflot;so many;
. years ? ago ; that :rione : ; save -' the real * old
1 tin-lei's \u25a0\u25a0 ccayn y remember; v- \u0084/"''* , : % '
; California- lalso;; gave -, Jerry Denny,"
the 'greatest jthird |basenian"; of - ; his time,
to I tlie^ biglleagiie. : i ; Jerry i was with' 1 the
- old v New 4 York rr Giants '« wh'en Ktheyj: won
;jthefpennant I Jih;:lßß9jand>lß9o. IThis^ls
v stilly considered Sbyjfther-; fans, to ?have ,
V been ' thVifgreatest". aggregation I of," ball!
if_tosseraj_that'eyeriperformed-on,'anyCdla'i?
r mond.f'andX that iisisayingfa%whole t lot."
"cPatsy Cahill.'ffindly known) as "White
•Wings," Vis ? : Tariofher ;=; Calif ornian " who '
"wonUhej hearts; of ithe^bleachers; in ;the
; \u25a0 old ; National "league. 5> Patsy .was' air in-"
'< fielder t wlio : had- few; eauals.-^Hef passed
: away iin! Oakland^ several V< years? ago
tif ter an ""; honored 'career In ; thetfield.' - • j '
r"-!;Has Chicago i 1 everj^known 1 -; 1 a"hother.
:,«batter^ like*r Big, 1 Bill'.Lange.' the . largest :
• man> in s\the "diamond', in ? the^ old s
:iEvery£honest!fanMn?, the -windy ;city:
fjwll l';teii ; you no.':" Bill.; or ! VLltt le : Eva.'*
i-as everybody called j.hlm^, is" a' California^
• .boy^and^lunlike imostS of ithei old • stars,^
is 1 aspr6sperous\busineßs ?man * inp this ;
ci ty v at • 'the; present v time/ iThere; are'
H few^meniinibaseballi today Xwho'can?hlt ;
Cthelballjor>run?bases}Jlke!the'blglfer- ;
; loV.^and tlfj Chjcagb^ould^get^him^to J
|rejbarn\ttfeT6ld \ tlmejf ans iWoul#be ; hap"-?
• pier * than< they have^bee'n '• f of* many „* a ;
1 --^.'';".;' ;';' ;; -'.- " -',;''-."V-7'.?., i. ' >_\u25a0 _ .". .~';-"r \
, - Then : there was • Joe-Corbett, who'
; came S a ;, little ;• later/ ; ;.When 1 Joe f.was - ;
f forjthei .old .^Baltimore! Orioles V
H:in""i.| 1894 ,}.£ the y> fans lof city v :
I swore"iby;-hlrh.UThey, all agreed' that Jit '
j4was t due 5 tb]hls] wonderful' pi tchln g3 that;
|Baltlmprelw6htthejchampionship';of{the ; i
/\u25a0Nationallleague.^lJoelwas^ considered i
ionejofithejsreatest^curvefcballipitchersi'
iTvho;- ;e'ver, stepped*- into|the\boz,^and : he :
-Thfc S&tt~ Francisco Sunfla:?. Qa&
learned the game at oia St. -M^ry^s coU
; leare In Oakland. v'--' •\u25a0'-•;.: :-^-.---' . -.* \u25a0
" •;•\u25a0; Parke r "Wilson > was V one ? of "T" T the i few
.catchers who* was -capable of holding
the I cannon ' ball ; " - shoots »-•\u25a0 of • the t only
Amos \u25a0 Rusie/ whose W speed V has \u25a0 never
;been;; equaled.^". Parke; went "from • San i
r Francisco\;to- join*, the -Giants In -New
Tork * wh.en ;' Rusie' 'was " i pitching for
them.\ -J^arke shone i for, many; a .year
as af big:* league i star.-- and "{now *Is
managing- ithe - Vancouver- team r of* the
Paclflc j northwest ' league. ',-_. ,-.tc ; -jk"?V
i 1?i 1 ? During^ the Uast •; few; years -California
has ;. sent .backl. many i sensational ;"• per
\u25a0 formers .whose names are.too'numerous
to Jjrien tlon. * A Take, < f or^r Instance, ; Ovle
, Overall, Vi] the ,• - former, blue : and ; gold
pitcher rwh'pae, great work' in : the box -Is
jkeeping the Chicago Cubs in first place.
: Theh Tthere; is ? Hal t Chase, '» the • Santa
.Claraicolleice jboy.y who has "not; a ; peer
as a first, basemaa;toda>," and .whom the
New j'Torki fans {' compelled i.ClarkTGrlf-*
:flth,tQ bring iback^no.matter how much
salary,,; he!deraanded.\r p« \u25a0 - . ; * : \u0084**
. = Joey Nealon; s'the v i former: SL 5 Ignatius
collegejandSeallflfst'baseman, is'clout
ing r tl\e ball :hard(f or ; Plttsburg j and ln
cidentally.Sdrawing 'the 'largest^ salary
teveri paid l a E youngster in.'
Tommy,: SheehanVsonithe^sameHeam, 1 is
best* remembered .fas .] membe'r.rof ?: the
oldiSacrameritoandtTaeoma clubs, while
1 ittle Bobb le \ Keef e'A wi th? the " New-York
Americans* ls : maklngsgood<withla*ven-*
geance;and-.fodlihgHll*e;best-6fibatsmeh'
with|his t wqrider'ful:curvesra'nd "shoots/i '
-\u25a0I If fone *werit'dowh < the* llne« and^care- -
fully I studied } the * lists fof r players * In
theg clubs league:
.teams-;, today * he f could " readily ' pick* out*
a ¥j sc Pr®; oC l^ li fofnlans.'t r orSmeh';:who
learned »td"iplay; the'game^as'.it+sh'ould'
be played \ in r Callfornia/>-They/are \ ail ;
;raaklns *oo<s. In ; tact, ; most of them
_are. stars, and,so;lt Is that ' California
has done; more .than " Its ; share toward
supplying talent to the big leagues.
-Today, baseball in California I 3 as
popular -as it .ever wa3. The .fan' of
-today Is : just as ardent as the fan of
the.» past, and one has 'but to take a
glance •at :,the bleachers l at Recreation
park some sunny Sunday afternoon and
note the 10,000 or -more enthusiasts to
satisfy; himself of this.
""Today California*- is developing ma
terial for 'the big leagues just . as it
has done in Uhe past "When the pres
ent season comes to a close, It is safe
to-, assert? that there will be many a
Colifornla boy on the drafted lists of
»the?Xational and American leagues; It
goes without saying .that they will
make good in .fast company. They
-\u25a0 have always \u25a0 responded s lri 1 the • past, so
.they realize that it Is 'up to them to
the honor of the Golden Stato *-
; the * future7|HTOßyißW| ~*
\u25a0> The 5 spirit of California a3 a great
sporting "community was never more
clearly Illustrated than afterj the recent
disaster.. The ball park; went when the
flames: swept" south' of Market 1 street
but*in;ies3Uhan. six weeks the league
officials got together, paid up their
. men s and,startedout anew^on the Oak- :
11 < f n t d ' fi fi d - livery: club ;of : the league ".
nnjshed^the: regular; season and -the
fans 4 who; attended 'the games did so 4
fhSKJ?* s usual custom/ forgetting, in'
their glee, that' the ashes of , the burned
city were, still : hot.~ : -They ; were deter
mlnedithat-baseball should not die. and
: was due>to* their^determinaUon \u25a0 and
\u25a0w!»'fK™ en ?? S - of v the /officials
.that the national game is now flourish-

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