The Players League
History, Clubs, Ballplayers and Statistics
About the Book
After talks with baseball’s owners broke down in the fall of 1889, some of the greatest players of the day jumped their contracts and declared open revolt against the American Association and National League. Tired of life under the hated reserve clause, which bound players to their teams and left them with no bargaining power, John Montgomery Ward and some 140 others set out to form a rival major league. The Players League would last only a season and end quite badly for both the players and the American Association, which folded a year later; but as a representation of the first major battle between the players and owners, the league occupies an important place in baseball history.
This remarkably comprehensive book opens with an historical introduction to the league, including detailed information about its origins and failure. A biographical dictionary follows, with entries for every player in the league’s brief tenure and additional profiles of prominent players who chose not to dignify the revolt with their participation. Profiles of the teams are also included.
About the Author(s)
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Bibliographic Info: bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2006
Table of Contents
1. Plaid “Ditters”: Swells and Blokes 3
2. ’Ot and Spicy Entertainment 27
3. Traveling “On the Continong” and at Home 73
4. “By Jingo”: Protecting the Homeland 104
5. The Blues: Women and ’Arry 145
6. Finale 177
Book Reviews & Awards
Winner, Sporting News–SABR Baseball Research Award
“[the story of the Players League] is painstakingly chronicled”—Sports Collectors Digest; “Koszarek’s diligent research provides interesting tidbits to be learned about various players. For those who want to get their hands on everything having to do with the Players’ League or who have a penchant for baseball statistics, this book can be recommended”—Swans Commentary.