Jun 11

The Plot to Rule the World

In December 1900 the story broke about a plan to create a “Baseball Trust” that would control all of professional baseball and in time all other sports. The proposed “Baseball Trust” was created by John T Brush[1] and supported by Andrew Freedman[2] and Arthur Soden.[3] A large corporation was to be formed in New Jersey, financed largely by Freedman with capitol said to reach into the millions with common and preferred stock. Each National League Club would receive a portion of the preferred stock with New York, 30%, Cincinnati 12% and St. Louis 12%,[4] controlling the corporation.

The Trust after would then purchase other leagues. The Trust would it was planned eventually control all of the baseball leagues[5] in the nation. Player salaries would be controlled by the trust. The trust would in time take over sporting goods and other professional sports including horse racing. The board would appoint managers and approve contracts.

Brush and Freedman were confident Soden could be counted on and expected Barney Dreyfss[6] to support the plan. During the summer and fall an attempt were made to wreck the American League but this failed. Then the National Agreement was abrogated so as to stampede the minor leagues. This was nullified by the organization of the minor leagues into an independent organization under PT Powers[7]. Dryefuss refused to join the trust and the details of the trust were released to the press before the League meeting.

[1] Cross ownership in several teams, Cincinnati and New York. His classification plan brought about the Brotherhood revolt in 1890.

[2] Majority owner, New York Giants. Hated by many, our friend, Barry, who remains an ardent Giants baseball fan, detests him.

[3] Owner of the Boston NL team. He is credited with creating the Reserve Clause.

[4] Owned by Frank Robison and Stanley Robison

[5] Assuming that there would be no other major league.

[6] Pittsburgh

[7] Eastern League President and baseball executive.