One of the most important and influential meetings ever held of professional club-representatives was that which assembled Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the Gibson House in Cincinnati, O., and organized the American Baseball Association, composed of six clubs exhibiting a strong financial basis, and thereby establishing the fact that the new association is to be a success. The following delegates were present: J. Thorner, G.L. Herancourt and O.P. Caylor representing Cincinnati; C. Von der Ahe, David L. Reid and E.T. Goodfellow, St. Louis; J.H. Pank and J.W. Reccins, Louisville; H.D. McKnight, Pittsburg; Wm. H. Barnie, Brooklyn; Charles Fulmer and H.B. Phillips, Philadelphia; Louis H. Mahn, Boston; and James Mutrie and W.S. Appleton, New York. The meeting was called to order by H. D. McKnight, who stated briefly the objects of the assemblage. He referred to the revival that had taken place in baseball matters in several cities and said that these places, exhibiting a desire to form themselves into a protective baseball body, had gathered for that purpose. On motion, H.D. McKnight was made temporary chairman, and James A. Williams of Columbus, O., was chosen temporary secretary. Messrs. Pank, Caylor and Von der Ahe, with McKnight, ex-officio, were appointed a committee to examine the credentials, or rather the financial standing, of the clubs that desired to be admitted, and after due investigation they reported in favor of St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburg, Louisville and Brooklyn. Philadelphia was represented by two clubs, and both asserted that their financial support was excellent. It was announced at the meeting that they would make an effort to consolidate, and Fulmer telegraphed to Philadelphia to ascertain if such a plan would be acceptable, and received an answer saying that consolidation could not be thought of After due deliberation it was decided to admit Chas. Fulmer as the representative of the Athletics, of Philadelphia, and not recognize H. B. Phillips' club. The delegates from the Metropolitan Club of New York City could not, without exceeding the authority given them, bind their club to the new association, but they say that it will be only a matter of time and form for them to officially apply for admission. It is expected that they will bring with them into the association a strong professional club hailing from Newark, N.J. This will make the whole number of clubs eight, equally divided between the East and the West. This circuit is a splendid one, the cities represented being very large, among the best supporters of baseball in former days, and one and all have had a wonderful revival in interest during the present season, and bespeak an equally brilliant success for the campaign of 1882. The constitution of the League was taken as a basis, and the greater part of it was adopted. The material modifications were made with a view of affording more liberal conditions to clubs and players and making the clubs self-supporting. The organization agreed to adopt the name of "The American Association of Baseball Clubs," with the motto, "Liberty to all." Its objects were defined as being to promote and protect the interests of the clubs and the players and to establish and regulate the baseball championship of America. It was decided to elect the officers and directors by ballet, and the duties and responsibilities of the same were made identical with those of the League. It was agreed that, when a club disbands before the end of the season, a new one shall be admitted to play out the schedule of its predecessor, and its games and those of the first club shall be counted as one. The association did not deny the right of clubs to release players, either with or without cause, but held that when the management desire to let a man go they must give half a month's salary. When a player, however, is released through indiscretions or violations, or at his own request, no portion of his salary is to be paid. Released players are permitted join another club and participate in its games at once. It was agreed to let anybody duly authorized represent a club, whether he is under contract or not, and the clubs belonging to the association were allowed to play with whom they wish. Each club is to be assessed $50 to pay the various expenses of the association, including the purchase of a championship pennant. Under this system there is no necessity for the arbitrary rule of the League which prohibits the home club from playing outside clubs on the home ground on off-days for fear of lessening the attendance upon League championship contests. After some discussion the following rule was adopted with a view of making each club self-supporting, or, in other words, to let each reap the benefits of its own patronage:
Each club shall have exclusive control of its own grounds; shall be entitled to all receipts from admission or otherwise of schedule games played on its grounds; shall be permitted to play outside clubs, or exhibition games with association clubs on any days not reserved for schedule games, provided that said home club shall pay the visiting club in cash the sum of $65 on the day of such schedule game before leaving the grounds upon which said game is played, and in case the home club fail to pay said sum as herein provided, it may be reported to the Board of Directors by the visiting club, and, upon proof of such non-payment, said club shall be expelled. These provisions shall not apply to schedule games played upon the Fourth of July, Decoration-day, or State holidays. Upon the aforementioned days, the receipts for admission to schedule games shall be equally divided between the two contesting clubs, and the home club shall not be required to pay the sum herein before provided.
-New York Clipper, November 12, 1881
With the founding of the AA, the restoration of major league baseball to St. Louis was complete and we are at the end of this series of posts. I have the rest of this article tomorrow and then a little something to wrap all of this up on Friday. I have absolutely no idea what I'm going to do after that.