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Minor leagues before 1910

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  • #16
    minor leagues before 1910

    thanks Tony for the info

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    • #17
      Originally posted by bkmckenna
      good info on 19th century classification concerning salary limits but was there actually a governing body or various other mechanisms in place to develop a universal classification system, for example:

      if salary limits were haphazard, is that a reliable method?
      how did things change on a yearly basis from 1877-1902?

      i think it would be great to classify the leagues as such but can it be done through much of the 19th century

      to my knowledge there is no set classification listings of minor leagues throughout the 19th century - you're stating it as a fact - would love to see a future work that helps establish the tiers

      is this your system of rating minor leagues or is there actually a universally accepted classification system?

      thanks for bringing the notion to my attention - hadn't been considering it
      BK: I'll try to address your questions with what I know and maybe someone else has more info. There was a governing body for the minors and they followed the spirit of capitalism. As a player got better and advanced up the ladder from low minors (Classes C through F) to high minors (Classes A and B), he deserved to be paid a higher salary. Minor league teams usually had 12 players around the late 1800's and the best leagues paid the highest monthly team salaries. A Class C league might only have a team salary limit of $700 for 12 players so most of the team earned $60 per month. Leagues actually decided what class they wanted to be in based on what the towns could afford to spend.

      The first year I have with a classification is 1888 with the Southern League being a Class B league. Researchers know of another 75 minor leagues from 1889 to 1899 that were operating as Class A to Class F leagues. I believe the NA President Nick Young had to approve the leagues and they paid a league fee to the NA. Remember that the leagues and their teams were run as businesses with some of them incorporating and having a Board of Directors.

      One league I am familiar with is the NY State League. It was a Class C league in 1898, and it's leaders voted in 1899 to move up to Class B to try and lure players away from the Class A Eastern League. The NYSL succeeded and it's pennant winner, Rome, defeated the Eastern League's winner in a series after the season ended. This defeat embarrassed the larger league.

      If you are interested in this history then look at old Sp. News or Sp. Life's or local newspapers, and you will soon see in the spring what the salary limits were etc. As I said before, it was not unusual for a rabid fan with large pockets (a businessman or a doctor, for example) to pay the $150 monthly salary of a star pitcher for the good of the team. Of course his contract might say he was only earning $50 from the team so they stayed under the limit. Some minor league pitchers even made more than ML pitchers so they had little incentive to switch clubs.
      "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
      "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

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      • #18
        good info thanks tony

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