Document of the Month: Summer 1998

This new feature highlights documents from Major League Baseball's past which may be of interest to members of the Committee. I've found a number of fascinating items while reviewing the Garry Herrmann Papers and other materials at the Hall of Fame Library, and will present one per issue. Special thanks to Corey Seeman, technical services librarian in Cooperstown, for dragging boxes out of storage for me.

On November 18, 1890, C.H. Byrne of Brooklyn told NL president Nick Young how the owners had voted to reward O.P. Caylor's loyalty during the Players League war by secretly subsidizing Caylor's Sporting Times against Francis Richter's Sporting Life:

"We then took up the Caylor (or Sporting Times) proposition. It was the general feeling that the paper had been loyal and true and in a limited way had made a good fight for the League. At this time above all others it would not do therefore to let it fall by the way side and permit Richter's traitorous conduct go unpunished and let Sporting Life step to the front as the only B.B. journal of the country. It was then determined to adopt the resolutions which appear in the enclosed Minutes. This apparently is a loan or advance from the League. It is not so intended. The Sporting Times will furnish 250 copies of each of its issues commencing with the new Thanksgiving number either to the club direct or upon being furnished by the club with lists of names in the various cities forward copies direct to the parties named. Each Club will pay to you on notice the sum of $12.50 weekly `a/c advertising' as we cannot afford to have it known that our Clubs have any interest in the welfare of the paper referred to."

(Note also that although The Sporting News was seven years old when this was written, Byrne doesn't mention it as a competitor to Sporting Times or Sporting Life.)

Compiled by Doug Pappas. All rights reserved.
Originally published in the Summer 1998 issue of Outside the Lines, the SABR Business of Baseball Committee newsletter.

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