This Day in Sports History

January 9, 1903

Baseball went through two years of turmoil at the turn of the century; not this century, I’m talking about 1901 and 1902 when baseball’s two leagues, the established National League and the American League which was in its infancy were at each other’s throats: literally .It was an era filled with raids, rivalries that were unlike todays, much more aggressive then. There was actually stealth like, covert backstairs, and clandestine espionage happening in the hopes of steeling away top players from other teams. The leagues despised one another, players were flip-pin, hush money was paid due to the rats on the streets and for some reason the new American League was dominant over its National League opponent. Despite it all, something good came of it a meeting to settle things, the World Series.

There was much back and forth trying to get the leagues together and here were the main issues.

  1. A commission was formed, not a New York Mob 5 Family type, but one set up to rule the game. 
  2. A Reserve Clause to protect each team’s sovereignty for their roster; not necessarily good for players, but team owners loved it, and finally .
  3. The owner and president of the American League wanted his Baltimore Orioles, no relation to today’s Orioles and move them to New York to compete with the Giants. In New York they took the name Highlanders, then changed it to the Yankees. It was on this day in sports history however when this was all hammered out in the city of Cincinnati in 1903.