“The Wildest Kind of Crank”: The Story of Players’ League Magnate Al Johnson

 

Ethan M. Lewis © 20077

 

 

 

 

At 3:38 on the afternoon of April 19, 1890, Albert Johnson was on top of the world.  When Boston’s Matt Kilroy threw the first pitch to Brooklyn leftfielder Emmet Seery, a revolution in American sports began. 1   The thirty-year-old Johnson, who had spent his working life making a fortune in street railway lines in Louisville, Cleveland and Brooklyn, had been the leading financier of the Players’ League (PL).  The PL, whose teams were stocked with stars from National League (NL) and American Association (AA) teams, was being run on a co-operative basis, in which players would be co-owners of their teams and would share in the profits of the league.  Johnson must have been proud on this Opening Day, especially when he saw the receipts, which showed that the PL greatly outdrew the other two major leagues.  Opening Day 1890 was the high point in Johnson’s career as a baseball man.  While many savvy baseball fans recognize the name of John Montgomery Ward (the player most responsible for organizing the league), few today know anything about Al Johnson. A century later, it is time to rescue him from obscurity, and remind baseball fans of his contributions to the game.

 

Al Johnson was born in Kentucky to a slave-owner father, Albert Johnson, Sr., who fought as a Confederate officer in the Civil War.  Al Johnson (1860-1901)  was the youngest of three brothers; his eldest brother, Thomas Loftin Johnson was a prominent businessman, inventor and progressive politician. Tom Johnson’s memoir provides interesting background information about the Johnson brothers’ upbringing.  Tom describes his father’s politics, in the process revealing a great deal about the Johnson family’s commitment to loyalty and fairness. According to Tom, their father (Albert, Senior), who had served in the Confederate Army throughout the entire war:

 

 was a great admirer of Lincoln and very much opposed to slavery, and many, many times, even while sectional feeling was most bitter, he told me that the South was fighting for an unjust cause. My own hatred of slavery in all forms is doubtless due to that early teaching which was the more effective because of the dramatic incidents connected with it. Father's sympathies were with the North but loyalty to friends, neighbors and a host of relatives who were heart and soul with the South kept him on that side. 2 

 

Tom Johnson also described a memory from the first few months of the war, when his father was forced to carry out an order to burn all cotton in the district. “The burning of this cotton made a great impression on my mind, especially the sorrow of the negroes who stood around the smouldering bales and cried like children at sight of the waste of what had cost them such hard work to raise.”  This early childhood memory, perhaps, became a touchstone to a family whose members later took a great interest in working people. 3

 

Postwar attempts to revive the family plantation using free labor resulted in failure, and the Johnsons moved to Louisville, Kentucky where Tom Johnson (six years older than Albert) took a job on the street railway in Louisville. 4   Streetcars played a major role in the growth of cities, as they greatly increased the distance people could travel in one day.  In his early twenties, Tom Johnson invented the coin-operated fare box that is in use on public conveyances to this day. 5   Soon thereafter, with proceeds from the fare box, and a $30,000 loan from the duPont family (who owned the Louisville lines) the Johnsons moved to Indianapolis where Albert Johnson, Sr. became the President of the streetcar company, and Tom became “the board of directors”.  Baby brother Albert took a job in the company to learn the ropes of the business. 6

 

The Johnson family continued to pursue opportunities to increase their streetcar ownership, holdings, and soon moved to the larger city of Cleveland.  Soon thereafter, Albert Jr. struck out on his own, while maintaining partnerships in his family’s enterprises. While Albert’s endeavors (a road in East Liverpool, Ohio and another connecting Allentown, Pennsylvania to surrounding villages) were not the grand successes he sought, he steadily made money.  Johnson’s biggest success was the Nassau Railroad Company of Brooklyn.  Among the features of the line was a five-cent fare to Coney Island, which was the cheapest rail route to “Sodom by the Sea” as New York’s favored getaway was called. 7   When all of Brooklyn’s lines consolidated some years later, the Johnsons sold for an estimated $4 million, which established them among the truly wealthy of the Gilded Age. 8   The family built adjoining mansions on Shore Road in Brooklyn, overlooking the ocean, and used them as vacation homes for the rest of their lives. 9

 

At 6’1”, and over 200 pounds, Albert Johnson was a sporting enthusiast, and a follower of baseball. 10 Besides harboring a love of the sport, he could not have failed to notice that thousands of spectators traveled to ballparks on streetcar lines in the various cities of the National League and American Association. In Cleveland, a friendly competitor in the street railway business was Frank Robison, who owned the National League Spiders. 11 In his late twenties, flush with an astronomical fortune and looking for new challenges, Albert Johnson was in the right place at the right time to try to recreate the business model of professional sports.

 

In 1889, major league baseball consisted of two eight-team leagues with clubs in Boston, Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas City, New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Washington, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Kansas City, and Louisville, The term "major league" sprang from the loftily titled "National Agreement" of 1883, in which the National League and the American Association declared their clubs to be major league teams. This agreement established a maximum salary of $2000 and it also made the reserve rule a mandatory part of each player's contract. 12

 

While the maximum salary rule was vexing to some players, many more players were opposed to the reserve clause, especially the way that it allowed teams to “sell” players to other teams, without giving the player a percentage of the sale.  In 1885, New York Giants shortstop John Montgomery Ward and eight of his teammates formed the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players. The Brotherhood's purpose, as stated in its charter (penned by Ward, who was an attorney in the off season) was "to protect and benefit its members collectively and individually, to promote a high standard of professional conduct, and to advance the interests of the National Game". 13 By the beginning of the 1887 season, the Brotherhood had 107 National League and American Association players on its membership rolls, and had chapters organized in every major league city.  14

 

That year, Ward wrote an article in Lippincott’s Magazine called “Is the Base-ball Player A Chattel?” In the piece, the Brotherhood leader stated clearly the players’ position that "[E]very dollar received by the club in [a sale] is taken from the pocket of the player; for if the buying club could afford to pay that sum as a bonus, it could just as well have paid it to the player in the form of increased salary. The whole thing is a conspiracy, pure and simple, on the part of the clubs, by which they are making money rightfully belonging to the players.” 15 When Detroit Wolverines infielder Deacon White was sold to Pittsburgh in 1889, he refused to play, saying, “No man can sell my carcass unless I get half”.  Wolverines’ owner Frederick Stearns displayed the typical baseball magnate’s attitude when he responded, “He’ll play in Pittsburgh or he’ll get off the earth!” 16

 

Around this time, Pittsburgh player-manager and Brotherhood member Ned Hanlon looked up Al Johnson when on the western swing to Cleveland. 17   According to Johnson:

 

One evening…Ed Hanlon called on me and asked if I did not have a ball ground on my streetcar line.  He spoke of how the League had broken faith with them so often, and that he, Ward [Fred] Pfeffer and [Jim]Fogarty…had thought of getting capital in each city to build the grounds for them, for which they would allow a fair percentage of the risk, the players to receive a portion of the profits, and to try, if such were possible, to liberate themselves from the tyrannical rule of the league….I agreed to lend all the assistance in my power to help them accomplish their aim.  So as each visiting club came we held meeting after meeting, until every league player had heard our views and suggested whatever he thought would be best for the best interests of such an organization. 18

 

 

Referring to that heady time later, John Montgomery Ward recalled:

 

A.L. Johnson was the organizing genius…of the new League.  He spent time and money for the benefit of the cause he had espoused, traveled long distances to attend meetings, and give form and encouragement to the various groups out of which the Players’ National League was formed. Mr. Johnson’s services were of inestimable value to the new League…Without this aid, the ball players could not have carried out the project started by the Brotherhood. 19

 

Johnson was sold on the chance to give the players a better deal, and on the opportunity to make a buck (the new league would need new ballparks, and they would be built along Johnson-owned lines). As a longtime resident of Cleveland, Johnson intended to operate the PL franchise in that city. Helping the Players’ League succeed would give personal satisfaction and help the Johnson family gain more prominence in Cleveland, a town crucial to the family’s future. 20   After all, Tom Johnson later served the city as mayor, running on a platform that included the guarantee of three-cent fares for city streetcars. 21

 

 Only a generation removed from emancipation, Al Johnson, the son of a former slaveholder, was receptive to the players’ arguments that their inability to control where and for whom they worked was akin to involuntary bondage.  As always, the Johnson family was united in pro-labor sentiments. Tom, the eldest and richest Johnson was also committed to fairness.  After a street urchin persuaded him to buy a copy of 1880’s bestseller Progress and Poverty by single-tax advocate Henry George, Tom Johnson decided to enter politics. In 1890, the same year his brother spent running the Players’ League, Tom Johnson was elected to Congress, where the “young millionaire street railway monopolist” spent his terms actively opposing any tariffs designed to protect the steel industry that made the rails upon which his fortune depended. 22 Tom Johnson had always encouraged unions among his workers, and was known to settle strikes quickly. 23 The middle Johnson brother, Will, told The Sporting News (which was strongly in favor of the Brotherhood) “No man living that I know of feels friendly to the way the League bosses have been running things. This selling and trading of players as though they were so much cattle is all wrong and the time has come when the players must take the bull by the horns and do something for themselves.”  24 Before the 1890 season began, Al Johnson told The Chicago Tribune:

 

I see that [the Brotherhood] are termed “anarchists”.  I can hardly see how the term fits them, for it is not a division of profits gained in the past that they ask for, nor is it the wild, visionary scheme of Socialism that this struggle is for. …While it may be a bitter pill for the magnates who claim to have the ownership of these men…[the players] believe that they ought to share in that which they earn. 25

 

The 1890 season saw three major leagues, the Players’ League, the National League, and the American Association take the field.  While total attendance was up, the existing leagues took the aggressive step of scheduling games in direct conflict with the PL.  Day by day, gate receipts were examined like auguries of the strength of the respective leagues.  The tone was set by the New York Times in reporting on baseball’s Opening Day, when it began its article with “In this city the Players outdrew the League over two to one in attendance, and, in consequence, the backers of the Brotherhood are jubilant.  In all other cities the result was the same.” 26 The Sporting News crowed, “The Brotherhood teams have scored the first blood and the first knock-down.” 27

 

So much attention was paid to attendance figures, in part because they were the barometer of success for the Leagues and in part because they were so often lies. With the exception of Ward's Brooklyn team, every club supplied its turnstile count to the press for publication, and quite naturally the clubs did their best to look good. Years after the Brotherhood War, Albert Spalding (the owner of the NL’s Chicago White Stockings) wrote, "if either party to this controversy ever furnished to the press one solitary truthful statement...a monument should be erected to his memory." Spalding gave a humorous example of this:

 

 I recall being present one day at Chicago when the attendance was particularly light. At the close of the contest I was talking to [club] Secretary Brown, when a reporter came up, asking: "What's the attendance?" Without a moment's hesitation the official replied "Twenty-four eighteen." As the scribe passed out of hearing, I inquired, "Brown, how do you reconcile your conscience to such a statement?" "Why," he answered, "Don't you see? There were twenty-four on one side and eighteen on the other. If he reports twenty-four hundred and eighteen, that's a matter for his conscience, not mine. 28

 

Besides the gate, off-field business developments were of great interest to the sporting public all season long.  On May 15th, 1890, the Tribune reported that St. Louis “street railway magnate Will Johnson” was in negotiation to buy a large share of the AA Browns in exchange for Johnson’s streetcar line.  The article speculated that with Sportsmen’s Park’s lease coming due soon, eccentric Browns owner Chris von der Ahe would sell and the team would move to the Brotherhood park, which was built along Johnson’s line. 29 On July 4th, Spalding and other NL owners gave $80,000 to beleaguered New York Giants owner John B, Day to float his floundering franchise. 30   During the first week of September, Al Johnson reportedly chaired a meeting between PL and AA representatives to plan a merger between the two leagues. 31 In the closing days of the 1890 campaign, more financial casualties were reported: the owners of Philadelphia’s PL franchise bought that city’s bankrupt AA Athletics, and Albert Johnson purchased the NL Cincinnati Reds, announcing plans to move that club to the PL for the 1891 season. 32

 

Financially, all three Leagues failed to make a profit, with estimated losses in the National League ranging anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000. The Players' League suffered an operational loss of approximately $125,000. 33   The Sporting News estimated the losses of both Cleveland franchises at over $50,000. 34 The American Association was even worse off; in addition to the bankruptcy of the Philadelphia ballclub, the Brooklyn AA team also went under, and finished the last month of the season in Baltimore. Overall, the Brotherhood War adversely affected every outpost of big-league baseball. However, as impetus for a settlement grew, the Players' League seemed to be the circuit least hurt during the season, and by virtue of its control over the game's star players, was in the best position to come out of the peace talks unscathed. 35 Unfortunately, as events transpired, the Players' League, having won the war, proceeded to lose the peace.

 

In October 1890, the Players' League was in a dominant position. In less than one year from its' first public declaration the PL had built eight stadiums, signed the leading players of the day, won court decisions invalidating the NL contract, produced an exciting season, and outdrew the venerable National League. Plans were already in high gear for the 1891 Players' League season, and as The Sporting News noted, "With all due respect, the Players' League is a pretty healthy yearling." 36  However, within a month the war was over, and the PL was dissolved. The demise of the Players’ League came rather suddenly, and for the first time, Albert Johnson was left on the outside, instead of being the center of the movement.

 

Accounts of the negotiations between the leagues agree that the Players’ League backers (wealthy men, though not on the scale of Johnson) were shocked at the losses they had incurred, and said as much to National League representatives Albert Spalding and Nick Young, who were coy about their own financial bloodbath.  Whether the PL capitalists were naēve to expect profits in a year in which ball parks had to be built, advertising conducted, and entire teams recruited is hard to judge.  Regardless, the plans for the PL to make sizable profits (some of which would be given to the players) did not come to fruition, and the backers were nervous. Many PL moneymen sought a separate peace with the NL, without consulting with the Brotherhood (with whom they were partners). John Addison, a Chicago contractor and builder, sold his share of the Chicago PL unit to Albert Spalding, in exchange for stock in the team which went on to become the Cubs.  Wrigley Field currently sits adjacent to a street named for Addison. Edward Talcott (a New York financier) sold his share of the New York PL team, which immediately merged with the NL Giants. 37 Future Hall of Famer Tim O’Keefe, Brotherhood member and pitcher for the New York Players, expressed shock at these machinations:

 

It looks rather strange to me…I don’t know what to think about it all…. The capitalists have all along professed to have our interests at heart, and yet it seems as though they were doing something underhanded…. I still feel that [Talcott] has the players’ interests at heart, but I don’t like this secret conference business. 38

 

In the midst of these defections, Albert Johnson stuck with the Brotherhood and the players who had become his friends.  He claimed to want no compromise; he was willing to merge into a unified organization called the “United League”, but he wanted the players’ interests respected. 39   When asked about this, Ward insisted that the reserve rule was abusive to players, a detriment to the game, and must be abolished. 40   When Ward, Hanlon and Art Irwin (representing the Brotherhood) came to the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York to attend negotiations between the leagues, they were turned away. John Ward rose to speak in defense of his fellow players, identifying themselves as stockholders as well as athletes, saying:

 

 I believe I have more money at stake proportionately than any other gentleman on any committee. I have every dollar I own invested in the Players' League and if I were not a player there could probably be no objection to my presence here. …Mr. Spalding, are you willing to put such a stamp of infamy upon the profession of which for years you were a member and to which you owe your start in life? 41

 

After this rebuff, the players, along with Al Johnson, walked out on the meeting. 42    A week later, The Sporting News reported:

 

There will be no compromise in Cleveland.  That is a positively assured fact.  As one of the [National] League officials said the other day, ‘Johnson is in the streetcar business and we are in the base ball business.’  Al seems determined to have the games played by Willson Avenue or not at all. 43

 

Johnson himself, in an interview given after returning triumphantly from his brother’s successful campaign for Congress, stated:

 

As far as the Cleveland situation, we are all right.  I will take $25,000 and put it aside to lose next season in holding up my end at the Forest City.  I will go broke in my club if necessary, and I think I can carry a club for several seasons before such a catastrophe happens. 44

 

Despite his devotion to the cause, Johnson did not have the chance to risk more of his fortune as the PL collapsed due to lack of funds, desertion of backers, and a seeming unwillingness on the part of the public to endure another season in which business was the lead in baseball stories.  Even The Sporting News soured on the PL by the end, saying “the players having shown their complete inability to manage their affairs we see no way out of the difficulty but a return to the old order of things.... It is a pity, but Ward, Ewing et al will have to be slaves once more.” 45   In a final obituary for the PL, the paper declared:

 

Al Johnson’s association with the national game has carried with it dignity and honor. His love of base ball has cost him thousands of dollars, and his manly action and nobility of purpose in sacrificing his money and his valuable time will always be to his credit.

 

He entered the Players’ National League firm in the conviction that the cause he espoused was right and just.  He made a gallant fight in furtherance of its interests and now that the cupidity of one or two of his associates has precipitated the developments of the past few weeks, he is the last to forsake the organization.

 

He stood the test like a man, never swerving to the right or left, but unflinchingly standing at his post.  He had no scheme with which to “throw anybody down”, but he fought against odds to save the organization even to the last…Al Johnson is the soul of honor.  He is staunch, true and sincere in all his dealings and he deserves a world of credit for the magnificent fight he made in behalf of the Players’ National League. 46

 

With the demise of the PL, Johnson’s interest in baseball ownership seemed to collapse.  As the owner of the Cincinnati NL/PL team, he led a movement to defect to the AA, but that fell apart within weeks, and Johnson sold the Reds to John T. Brush who, after the AA evaporated in 1892, helped create the National League cartel which dominated baseball until the creation of the American League in 1900. 47

 

Al Johnson only survived for another decade after leaving baseball.  He stayed engaged in his railroad interests, and spent a great deal of time on grand projects, such as a unified trolley system between New York and Philadelphia which would carry passengers between the two metropolises for forty cents, a tunnel between Brooklyn and New York, and an effort to bring three-cent trolley fares (his brother’s pet issue) to New York City. 48   Showing typical loyalty, Johnson hired John Montgomery Ward as company lawyer when suits were filed against the Nassau Railway in Brooklyn, until the family sold its stake in the line. 49   At the young age of 41, Johnson died of a heart attack at his home in Brooklyn on July 2, 1901.  It is no surprise that his mother, his brother Tom, his wife and four children surrounded this man, who was so devoted to his family, on his deathbed.  The earliest obituaries of Johnson failed to mention his experiences with the national game, but a week later, the Chicago Tribune, in a pictorial tribute wrote:

 

When the death of Albert L. Johnson of Cleveland, “the Brooklyn trolley magnate” was announced last week, a great many people did not know it was the man who was famous in the winter of 1889-90 as the principal financial backer of the Brotherhood of Baseball Players [sic]…Johnson lost thousands of dollars in the failure of the brotherhood scheme, and lived just long enough to see a second rebellion against National League rule, based on more conservative lines, succeed. 50

 

The last line of the Tribune’s piece referred to the NL’s agreement to finally modify the reserve rule so that it only gave clubs a one-year option to renew player contracts, not a lifetime ownership of a player’s services. 51

 

Though Al Johnson’s services to baseball have been covered by the shifting sands of time, he brought a sense of crusading idealism to the sport at the height of the Gilded Age.  Only two years before National League owners formed “The Big League”, a cartel operated more for owner’s profits than to benefit fans in NL cities, Johnson helped spearhead a movement that would have treated players as skilled entrepreneurs, instead of unskilled labor. Perhaps naēve, Johnson’s loyalty, dedication and respect for the athletes ran counter to the trend of his time, although in keeping with his family’s tradition of honoring the common laborer.  This made Al Johnson an uncommon man for his time, and one worthy of being remembered for his contribution to the sport of baseball.

 

 

 



[1] “’Twas A Beauty” Boston Daily Globe; Apr 20, 1890; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Boston Globe (1872 - 1923) 4.

[2] Tom L. Johnson, My Story, ed. Elizabeth J. Hauser (1911) 6.  Accessed online http://clevelandmemory.org/ebooks/johnson/index.html.

[3] Johnson, My Story  3.

[5] Johnson, My Story 12.   

[6] Johnson, My Story 14.  Johnson soon came to hold many patents, including those covering the making of the rails themselves. Eventually he came to own a steel mill at Johnstown, PA where rails were manufactured. The mill was damaged in the disastrous flood at Johnstown in 1889.

[7] “Al. L. Johnson Dead From Heart Disease”. New York Times  (1857-Current file); Jul 3, 1901; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2003) pg. 1;

[8] John F. Kasson Amusing The Million: Coney Island At the Turn Of the Century (New York: Hill & Wang, 1978), 7.

[9] ”Al. L. Johnson Dead From Heart Disease”. The modern equivalent would be over $70 million.  The Johnsons experimented with using cables to pull their cars, but horses or mules pulled most of their lines. "Al L. Johnson Dead From Heart Disease”;

[10] Al. Johnson Wins a Race. The Washington Post  (1877-1954); Jun 8, 1890; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1990 pg. 14.

[11] “Affairs in Cleveland” The Sporting News November 15, 1890.

[12] Ethan M. Lewis “A Structure to Last Forever: The Players’ League and the Brotherhood War of 1890” [http://www.ethanlewis.org/pl/ch2.html]

[13] John Montgomery Ward, Baseball: How To Become a Player (Cleveland: Society For American Baseball Research, 1993), 32; Tim Keefe "The Brotherhood and It's Work" Players' National League Guide (Chicago: W.J. Jefferson, 1890), 7.

[14] Lewis

[15] John Montgomery Ward “Is The Base Ball Player A Chattel?” Lippincott’s August, 1887. (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~HYPER/INCORP/baseball/wardtext.html).

[16] Lewis.

[17] “Albert Johnson Talks”. Chicago Tribune; Oct 30, 1889; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849 - 1985). 6

[18] “Albert Johnson Talks”.

[19] John M. Ward “The Players’ National League” 1890 Players’ National League Base Ball Guide (Chicago: F.H. Brunell, 1890), 5.

[20] “A Double Headed President” The Sporting News October 19, 1890.

[21] Johnson, My Story xviii.

[22] “Tom Johnson Dead—Made Millions in Business, But Fought On the Side of the People” Boston Daily Globe (1872-1922); Apr 11, 1911; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Boston Globe (1872 - 1923) 1.

[23] Johnson, My Story, xxi.

[24] "The Brotherhood" The Sporting News September 21, 1889.

[25] “Albert Johnson Talks”.

[26] “The Season of Baseball” New York Times  (1857-Current file); Apr 20, 1890; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The New York Times (1851 - 2003) 3.

[27] "Caught on the Fly" The Sporting News April 26, 1890.

[28] Albert Spalding, Base Ball: America’s National Game, ed. Samm Coombs and Bob West (San Francisco: Halo, 1991), 179-181.

[29] “Rumors of a Deal At St. Louis”. Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963); May 16, 1890; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849 - 1985) 2.

[30] Lewis.

[31] “The Latest News-Players and Association Men in Session” The Sporting News September 6, 1890.

[33] David Q. Voigt, American Baseball: From Gentleman's Sport to the Commissioner System (Norman: University of Oklahoma, 1966), 166; Harold Seymour, Baseball: The Early Years (New York :Oxford, 1960), 238.

[34] "Caught On The Fly" The Sporting News, October 25, 1890.

[35] While attendance figures for 1890 are unreliable, those for 1889 are not, and it is indisputable that the NL did not reach its attendance figures of 1889, which were 1,355,468. Equally without question is that the AA did not draw close to 1889's 1,576,254. Daniel Pearson, Baseball in 1889: Owners vs. Players (Bowling Green State University Popular Press: Bowling Green, Ohio, 1993), 159.

[36] "Caught on The Fly" The Sporting News October 18, 1890.

[37] Lee Lowenfish, The Imperfect Diamond-A History of Baseball’s Labor Wars (New York: Da Capo, 1991), 48.

[38] “News” New York Clipper November 11, 1890.

[39] “News From New York” The Sporting News October 18, 1890.

[40] "Ward and Spalding" New York Clipper December 20, 1890.

[41] "The Tripartite Committee Meets" New York Clipper November 1, 1890.

[42] Lowenfish, The Imperfect Diamond 48.

[43] “Affairs in Cleveland” The Sporting News November 15, 1890.

[44] “Loyal Al Johnson” The Sporting News November 15, 1890.

[45] "The Reasons For It" The Sporting News November 8, 1890.

[46] “The Players’ League” The Sporting News November 29, 1890.

[47] “Three Clubs Sell Out”. The Washington Post; Jan 17, 1891; ProQuest Historical Newspapers The Washington Post (1877 - 1990) 1; “Base Ball Men Revolt” Chicago Daily Tribune; Feb 19, 1891; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849 - 1985) 6.

[48] “Al L. Johnson’s Life”. The Hartford Courant (1887-1922); Jul 4, 1901;ProQuest Historical Newspapers Hartford Courant (1764 - 1922) 9.

[49] David Stevens, Baseball’s Radical For All Seasons: A Biography of John Montgomery Ward (Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press) 1998 186.

[50] “Death of the Brotherhood’s Backer”. Chicago Daily Tribune (1872-1963); Jul 7,1901; ProQuest Historical Newspapers Chicago Tribune (1849 - 1985) 19.

[51] Lowenfish, The Imperfect Diamond 60-65.