A letter was received from Dunlap, in which he coolly asks for his release. He will not get what he asks. The reason given for signing with St. Louis is the large amount offered.-[Cleveland Herald.]
-St. Louis Globe-Democrat, December 7, 1883
I know I'm hammering this point but it's central to understanding the character of Fred Dunlap.
Dunlap had three defining characteristics. First, the guy was an outstanding baseball player. That should never be forgotten. Second, he had a disregard for authority. Dunlap believed that he knew best and, if you disagreed with him, you were wrong. Umpires, captains, owners, the press, whole leagues - no one was able to control Dunlap once he set his mind to something. This disregard for authority was not reckless or self-destructive but, rather, took the form of obstinane. The guy was stubborn and, once he planted himself, he would not be moved.
The final defining characteristic of Fred Dunlap, of course, was his obssesion with his own economic well-being. And that's not necessarily a negative characteristic. If Fred Dunlap didn't take care of himself, who else was going to? Nobody today really thinks twice when a baseball player signs with the club that offers him the most money. As a fan, when I see something like that I always say that it's simply his personal business and a man has take care of himself and his family. That's life.
I actually find Dunlap's attitude refreshing and honest. He wasn't going to stand before the press and spout cliches about how he loves the team and the city and always wanted to play there, etc. The words "It's not about the money" were never uttered by Fred Dunlap. He was more than willing to tell you that baseball was his job and he wanted to get paid. Say what you want but at least he was honest about it.