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tv   Lectures in History  CSPAN  September 27, 2015 12:01am-1:18am EDT

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boss. she had little to say to the media after unforgettable public moments. industries that a good part of her white house years in missouri -- and she spent a good part of her white house years in missouri. truman, and "first ladies," examining the influence on the presidency. sunday on 8:00 p.m. eastern on american history tv on c-span3. >> next, ucla professor joan waugh talks about the rise of sports in the 21st century.
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baseball in particular grew to be a national pastime and big business. she describes the efforts of baseball club owners to modify the rules of the game, establish a national league, and attract a broad middle class audience. the class is about an hour and 15 minutes. professor waugh: good morning ucla students. good to see you for my lecture baseball becomes professional. it wasn't too long ago that these subjects were controversial, if you can can imagine. sports and consumerism, they weren't important enough. it would have raised eyebrows. like i am raising my eyebrows now. sports, department stores buying
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stuff, will not anymore. sports and consumer culture our research and written about, made boring like every other topic by historians. now they're even professors of sports history. why? because professors have found that we cannot ignore sports. why? because it represents money and big power, big business. we can't ignore sports for another reason. it's also cultural and emotional. there is this tension between professionalism, big business, and the emotional tie that is exemplified by this letter, written by a baseball fan and published in a newspaper sports section. let me read a quote. "these modern ballplayers care about nothing but money. they don't care about their team, or their city, with their fans. in my day, things were different." oh, that sounds familiar. at least it does to me.
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this lament, this complaint is quoted from a letter written in 1859. if it sounds familiar, it is. we do well to listen to baseball's major philosopher, a mr. yogi berra, who said "it's deja vu all over again." that is kind of the motto for historians as well. i will say this as i begin the sports lecture, as a sports fan myself, a ucla fan, a dodgers fan, i could go on but i won't -- your life is to experience a broken heart on a regular basis. depression, anguish, and hope, this is a time of hope for baseball fans. and occasionally thrilling moments that you will never forget if you are lucky. the outline for today's lecture is this.
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we're going to talk about baseball, baseball's origins, amateur to professional, capital labor, the strikes, the fans, something we're going to quote that i call heads up. before that we are going to look at sports mania in the gilded age. i want to begin my background by making the point that between the civil war and the turn-of-the-century, america went sports crazy. baseball became vague knowledge national game, boxing exploded in popularity. football became a college mania and basketball took firm root in the urban athletic club. croquet, polo, tennis, golf, swimming, and bicycling swept over the middle class, including women, in successive waves of popularity.
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before i get to baseball then, my main topic of this lecture, i want to briefly discuss this background by selecting two previews and examples of the enthusiasm at work for sports that really encapsulated and symbolized the gilded age that would be sports for women, and college football. i'm going to show you a series of slides that shows this. if you could advance the slides. another one. this is croquet. how many of you have played croquet? more than i thought. in my backyard when i was growing up, we had a croquet set. and here you can see that women
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are participating in this. well dressed, fully dressed women in the victorian age, and yet they are engaging in physical exercise. if you could advance to the next slide. this is a tennis game. you see the tennis togs these women are wearing, they are very fulsome, fully covered, not the way we are used to seeing tennis players. this is coney island beach, you read about that in your essay. coney island is a pleasure park, so to speak. again, these swimming togs are not the ones we are used to, but you see that it was for men and women and children. another one. these are bicyclists and one of my favorite places in the world, general grant's tomb in manhattan in new york city. men and women participated in the bicycle craze as well.
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very, very popular. one more. and here are women baseball players. this happens to be a team named the vassar resolutes, which was a women's baseball team. you might notice their uniforms look a lot different than our excellent ucla women's softball team, which is advancing to the finals, they play at easton stadium, our own beloved campus here. and i want to take just a minute to expand the slides. at first, women were only supposed to bring -- to be spectators. to bring refinement any given sport. but it was found that you can keep them out. they wanted to join exercise clubs. they wanted to go boating and
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swim, became very popular among young women in the 1860's, and 1870's, 1880's, 1890's. the gilded age. baseball and other sports flourished at the new women's colleges, like vassar, which you see here, where freshmen women in this depiction, formed a baseball team. and they really loved it. they really loved it. however, you should note that tragedy ensued, and that is because their mothers complained to the college. they complained that baseball was too violent for young ladies. and it was disbanded, only to be reformed when those mothers saw their daughters graduate, and there was no other concern about it. there were also from this point on, ladies baseball clubs.
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these were professional baseball clubs, women participated in them, as you can see, ladies baseball club presenting this lizzie arlington, the famous lady pitcher. these are the bloomer girls with appropriate costumes. truthfully advertised and honestly conducted, very important. a high-class organization suitable for the most fastidious, and one can hardly imagine an advertisement like that today. but then, we are studying history, aren't we? this is basketball, if you could advance the slides. basketball also took root all over the country. and especially women's basketball teams were popular in the midwest. where they still are very popular today. how can you explain this mania for sports? well, there were two things that we are studying in this class in
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the period of the gilded age that speak to us in this. first of all is that the rise of big business, and with it, the rise of productivity, which led to a rise of the standard of living. in other words, everybody had more money in their pocket. obviously, the working class didn't have as much money as the middle class and the middle class didn't have as much money as the extremely wealthy, but it brought an interest in a possibility of engaging in various leisure activities. there was also something else, anxiety about the kind of society, the kind of life, the kind of culture that was emerging in these decades. would young men and women live up to the standards of their parents? would they -- would they be able to be patriotic americans? and what they develop the character that americans like to
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think that they had, and they would put in their children? so all of these concerns and changes were part of the explanation of why sports became so popular. let's look at my second example of the enthusiasm for sports in the gilded age before we get to baseball. and look at college football so we can have some basis of comparison. look at this. the rise of college football, and what at this time was a sport of the elite. this is a depiction of a football game between yale and princeton in the time that we are speaking about. now on campuses like ucla, when ucla wasn't exist and then come but ucla wasn't extent then,
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but on campuses across the country, there were all kinds of sports the became popular. i already mentioned baseball, but boxing, wrestling, rolling, swimming, sailing. as the popularity of college sports arose, intercollegiate competition group. it grew especially prominent and important, and sporting events became serious things, especially when it came to football. can you go to the next slide? this is a picture of a game between army and navy again in this period. football originated in informal matches or games between intraclass intercollegiate at colleges, and football was originally played with the rules of two games sort of combined. rugby and soccer. football became so popular that it almost immediately grew into more formal contest matches. and the first allegedly formal game between colleges was played
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by rutgers and princeton in 1869. harvard and yale played in 1875. in 1876, four ivy league institutions formed the intercollegiate football association to standardize the rules, and rugby won out. football followed more the rules of rugby rather than soccer. the new rules might be familiar to some of us in this class. blocking, alternating ball possessions, and fixed numbers of downs that made american football unique. by the 1880's and 1890's, football was a central feature of college life. and it had become a really important sport. the ivy league and western conference that was established, bringing in such public school universities as the university of michigan, they were
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well-established, rivalries had formed, and teams traveled long distances for games. as football's popularity increased, the alumni gained more and more power over college sports. universities saw that football was a machine for making money. for example, yale football receipts average $100,000 a year, almost 1/8 of that institution's total income in the gilded age. the annual thanksgiving day championship, a game that was well-established during this time, featured a contest between the two best teams, usually yale and princeton. and it drew as many as 40,000 spectators. the ivy league schools, the schools of the elite were the powerhouse football teams during the gilded age. college football, even though it
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was accepted and popular, did generate some controversy. it was considered a brutal sport, causing frequent injuries. in a 19 year period, 50 college players died from injuries sustained on the field. in 1905 alone, 18 died on the gridiron. can you imagine that happening today? or that kind of casualty rate, as we call it when we speak of war? let's look at one of the rules that came under scrutine, because this wasn't acceptable. one of the rules that was common during this time allowed one player to hit another three times with closed fist before being ejected from the game. you had to do it three times though. three times and you are out. obviously, it was beginning to develop a winning at all costs
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mentality that invited corruption. i know you're going to be shocked, but colleges in the gilded age began to engage in shady, dishonest reporting recruiting practices. for example, a player named martin thayer performed for 13 years at nine different schools. what a career he had. as the century came to a close, university officials looked at this, and began to denounce football, the sport. and they were led by harvard president charles elliott, who, for posterity, said this about football. "no honorable sport," he said, "embraces the barbarism of warfare."
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football "is a boy killing education prostituting editorial sport." added the president of columbia for good measure, "football is nothing more than madness and slaughter." in 1905, as i mentioned before, so many players that died that college season that president theodore roosevelt, a huge champion of football and the manly sports called a white house conference of football's leadership that led to the establishment of the ncaa. and now every thing is all right, no more scandals. happily ever after. that football survive these early controversies is largely due to the effort of one man, yale football coach walter camp. let me just tell you a little bit about walter camp. this is walter camp, appearing in his football togs at yield yale university, where he was a star football player. walter camp went to medical school but dropped out of medicine to take a position with the new haven connecticut clock company. ultimately becoming the
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president of this clock company. in his off time and unpaid, he coached yale's football teams and builds it into a powerhouse program. walter camp was a brilliant innovator, organizer, and tactician. he transformed rugby style football into american football. he explicitly links football with business principles. this is a portrait of walter camp towards the end of his life, and it is currently hanging in the national gallery in washington, d.c. walter camp, from the very
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beginning of his career, explicitly links football with business principles. by the way, football was the first major american spectator sport in which the clock played a major role. in any case, he links football with business principles, and the battlefield. that is, organized violence, focused on the capture of territory, with bureaucratic efficiency of training and practice. and he said this. "american business puts down american college football, the epitimization of present-day business methods." he defended the game, and made its controversial style of play into a virtue, returning boys into men. walter camp was the game's national spokesman for decades. he articulated the ideals of student athletes, and of
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football, in speeches published essays, and in over 30 books. he wrote and published a classic on the ideals of the student-athlete, which even if you are a student athlete and you have never heard of walter camp, that is what you aspire to. like any set of ideals that we have been talking about in this class, or throughout history, they are seldom lived up to, but worthy of aspiration. by the way, football was mostly amateur in the 19th century, although an early professional organization was established in 1895, the nfl was not founded until 1921. but football was not the national sport in the gilded age. it was not america's pastime. for that, we turn to today's case of study and focus, baseball. it was not a natural occurrence
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anymore than the rise of the steel industry or the transcontinental railroad, or the meatpacking industry was natural. dare i bring up human initiatives? human ingenuity, and human energy? the three important ingredients that explain the surging economy in the late 19th century. it took all of those three things and much more to bring baseball into the lives of millions of americans, where it remains more or less today. i love this quote. "whoever wants to know the heart and mind of america had better learn baseball." and i would add whoever wants to know the history of america had better learn baseball. why? baseball writers have often claimed that the 19th century game embodied the best and worst of american character. and in claiming so, they point to the fact that baseball was much more than a game, it was more than entertainment. the best of america is found in
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baseball's expression of 19th century rural origins, and its adjustment to a new urban scene. the best of america is found in baseball's expression of a unique individualism, the batter versus the pitcher. as well as in the expression of teamwork in baseball, each side, each team taking an equal turn. the worst is also part of baseball's story, as it is the part of america's story. and that is racism. there was jim crow, or jim crow laws and terrible discrimination in the south. but there was also jim crow baseball. it didn't start out that way. but -- but what happens is in the 1870's, a few african-american stars emerged such as moses fleetwood walker. and their presence bother the
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white players to such an extent that they threatened to boycott against any owner that employed african-americans. and by the 1880's, they were shut out of the white leagues. but they had their own leagues and clubs. and this is the bristol baseball club. as far as i have been able to determine, i don't know the names or the information regarding this team, but it was on the circuit and played baseball games, they were very popular. we have a heritage here at ucla that i do want to talk about. and that heritage came in the mid-1940's, on the left, wearing the bruins uniform is jackie robinson. and jackie robinson was a --
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starred in four sports at ucla in 1945. our men's baseball team plays in jackie robinson stadium. both our women's and men's teams are doing very well this year, we are excited for them. we hope they continue the shining example and add to ucla's record-breaking ncaa championships that we have won. here's a close-up of jackie robinson. jackie robinson is famous for many things. but we do know, or you should know that he broke the color line in professional baseball in 1947. and if you could just -- this is a picture of jackie robinson in a dodgers outfit. now you might note that there is a b on his cap. and that is part of dodgers history you don't really have to know. it's a very unimportant part when they were in this place called brooklyn, new york.
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their real history and achievement came when they moved to los angeles in the mid-1950's. [laughter] professor waugh: just so you are clear on that. the game of baseball was a symbol of an earlier rural modern american pastime, innocent and fun. its growing popularity brought both professionalism, and with professionalism, with the idea that it was a business, it made it a symbol for the growing tension between capital and labor, between black and white, between fun and profit. and between business and pleasure. let's go back to the origins of america in baseball. this is a painting that was completed in 1845. like so many portraits, in the 19th century, especially of children -- no real boy ever
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looked like that, so neat. especially when he was going to engage in sports. but that's what it is. that's what we should know right now, that baseball started as a children's game. and it became very popular by the 1830's and 1840's. it was known by many names. axe, one old cat, feeder, bat and ball, but the most common game was rounders, from an english children's game dating from the 17th century. here's a boy's baseball team. whatever it was called, the game involved this. and this is a slide eliminating illuminating what i'm going to be talking about. the game involved four bases laid out in a diamond shape, a
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feeder, which is the pitcher, who tossed the ball to a striker, meeting the batter. and out, when a striker missed the ball three times or the ball was caught in the outfield and so forth and so on. around the early 20th century, the official story of how baseball was invented was published by the national league, the most powerful organization of baseball owners at that time. and here's how the story went. it's a wonderful story. one summer afternoon in 1839, in cooperstown, new york, boys from a local school were playing rounders. one bright boy named abner doubleday sat himself down the field, pulled out a pencil, and drew up the name and the rules for game that he called baseball. the story, which is enshrined a in cooperstown, baseball's hall of fame, has been demolished by baseball historians, it turns out to be a myth with no foundation in truth.
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the next thing they are going to tell me is there is no santa claus. this is a picture of abner doubleday, who is credited with founding baseball. abner doubleday was famous in the 19th century. he was a decorated union officer. in fact, he rose to the rank of major general. a hero at gettysburg, very successful businessman after the war. and while he and his family did live in cooperstown, in 1839, he was at west point completing his military training. at no time during his life did he ever claim to invent the game. it's even possible that he never attended a baseball game. but he did have a friend who liked baseball. the point of this myth, however, was to demonstrate that the origins of baseball were american, rather than english. in any case, historians now, those -- those joy killers, have
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officially established that rounders, the english game, was the immediate precursor of professional baseball, and its rules were used in the first organized baseball club for men, not boys, called the knickerbockers baseball club of new york played its first game on an empty lot in manhattan in 1842. this is a picture of the new york knickerbockers, who played the first official game between men, and the founder of the club is alexander cartwright, in the middle. he was one of the many who helped develop rules and customs for the game. from that date, 1842, baseball extended its reach from a children's game, a kid's game, to a manly sport. how so? by the late 1850's, organized
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baseball clubs spread throughout the country. especially popular in the most heavily populated part of our country, the northeast. some clubs were made up of professional men. for example, in washington, d.c., the treasury department fielded an amateur baseball club of clerks. other clubs featured working-class men. for example, the new york city shipyard boasted several clubs. these baseball clubs were what we can call sporting fraternal organizations. groups of men in different and varied occupations who liked to play sports. and there was no money paid as of yet. it was strictly amateur, as i said.
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but the interest in baseball that seemed to be growing in the 1850's attracted entrepreneurs. one of those entrepreneurs who want to make baseball more than it was, more than amateur, was a man named henry chadwick, and henry chadwick is much more deserving of the title of the inventor of baseball then abner doubleday ever was. indeed, henry chadwick is the person who started making baseball america's game. this is before the civil war. from the late 1840's, this british-born newspaperman, who loved to play and watch the game, convinced the "new york times" to publish accounts of popular amateur baseball clubs. he was also the editor of another influential paper called the "brooklyn eagle." and chadwick served as the countries in fact first official baseball editor, and from that position, he began a campaign to
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sing the sport's praises. here is what chadwick believed. he thought baseball was better equipped for the fast-paced american life that was emerging. i'm going to quote him and don't doubt me that he said this. "americans do not care to dawdle over a sleep inspiring game," and here he was referring to soccer. "what they do, they want to do in a hurry. in baseball, all as lightning. every action is a swift as a seabird's flight," end of quote. chadwick, like other leaders in other sports, walter camp and so forth, headed a drive for improved rules, better playing, and the keeping of statistics. he edited baseball guides and yearbooks. you are seeing one of them, his manuals right here. and that's just an example of
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the many publications, this one put out by the man called the father of baseball. chadwick's efforts through the 1850's popularized the game to such an extent that by the election of 1860, which featured abraham lincoln versus stephen douglas, republican versus democrat, there were many cartoons that use baseball expressions. to make points, political points. he struck out, he caught a home run, that kind of thing. that is how familiar americans were becoming with the sport. and then the civil war happened. i -- i'm not going to give you a lecture on the civil war, except to say baseball was probably the most widely played sport among both union and confederate soldiers. this is a depiction of union
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soldiers playing the game, and this is a marvelous photograph of union soldiers who are taking, commemorating themselves for posterity. they have their rifl, but they also have their baseball bats. it was that important to them. the point is that the civil war introduced thousands, hundreds of thousands of young men to new levels of sporting enthusiasm, and in a sense, paved the way for the nationalization and the professionalization of the game. by the time that u.s. grant accepted robert e. lee's surrender at appomattox courthouse, on april 9, 1865, more young men had played baseball than ever before. and when they went home, they were prepared to participate in the sport itself, but also, to be fans of the sport. the baseball clubs after the civil war flourished as never before.
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and then they began the steps to professionalization. and that's when going to talk about right now, after 1865. baseball clubs begin playing a much more rigorous schedule, especially the popular ones. in a series of games that would take the teams all over, not only the east, but the midwest as well. in doing so, clubs began to openly pay money. some clubs under the table, but many clubs above the table. to their stars. who were attracting bigger and bigger crowds. they featured better players, these games between baseball clubs, with rules that were beginning to be accepted by all teams and recognizable today. nine players on each side, the same set up of bases i described earlier, the pitching, the centerpiece of defense.
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by the late 1860's and early 1870's, clubs were developing into commercial undertakings. clubs established organizations that they joined, national association of baseball clubs, 300 amateur teams belonged to it. rules consistently codified and overhauled, which by the way, never ends. there are always new rules and sports. adjusting for something or the other. all the pitching was now overhand, because that was more exciting to watch. and as the games were drawing bigger crowds, the businessmen who sponsored the clubs began to think of profits and professionalization of the sport. again, much more common to openly pay players now. they began to do some thing they had never done before -- charge admissions to games. baseball games were being played on a regular basis, attracting
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crowds between 10,000 and 12,000 fans. and this is something that hadn't happened before. and it was exciting, it was an opportunity. in 1869, this team, the cincinnati red stockings became the first team to place all of their players under contract for a whole year, for a whole season. we can, in fact, describe them as the first proudly all professional team in history. in 1869, the red stockings went on a well-publicized tour of the country in which they astonished and delighted fans by sweeping all other teams 65-0. when is this going to happen to our dodgers? not this season, maybe next. the red stockings set the stage for baseball as business by their practices. and their 1869 success brought a permanent breach between the
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clubs that wished to remain amateur, and those that wanted professionalization. for example, the red stockings were financed by a group of ohio investors. they hired a well-regarded manager, whose name was harry wright. wright was a british-born son of a professional cricket player, harry wright before you. he loved baseball, he played baseball, as did his brother. as a manager, harry wright worked his players hard, but also paid them high salaries. this star shortstop earned $1400 a year, again, a lot of money in those days. as player manager, he saw the game's commercial appeal and worked hard to give fans their money's worth. a year or so after their spectacular season, the cincinnati club folded as so many businesses did during the
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gilded age, but right believed harry wright, in the future of the game, and took his team to boston, where he renamed it the boston red stockings. from the cincinnati red stockings -- stockings was big in the 19th century as a sports name. naturally, since he renamed it the boston red stockings, he took the team to boston. they were drawing up to 70,000 fans to their games. this is pretty incredible. i want to just draw your attention -- this is harry wright here, and this is brother george, who also played on the team. and standing to the left, right there, standing to the left is albert goodwill spalding, a good
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-- soon to be a prominent baseball on to rhetoric. second from the right, you can see him, if somebody would never recognize, his name was james white, his nickname was deacon. becausunlike almost every professional baseball player, he was a christian minister. and he was very pious, clean living. occasionally there was one found in baseball history. not very often. but james deacon white was a catcher. he caught the ball that the pitcher threw, and he devised a piece of equipment because so many catchers were being seriously injured when the ball would hit them in the chest. he devised a piecef equipment called the chest protector. he was the first player as well to wear a catcher's mask, for which he was called a sissy by chanting fans. this is a picture of how a catcher, roger bresnahan in 1907, obviously a yankee, who
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wore the full panoply of armaments to protect themselves against football, he also earned catcalls for his outfit before people got used to it. in the late 1860's and through the mid-1870's, we see the emergence of a professional sport with tantalizing possibilities for both entertainment and profits. it's not quite there yet, but the clubs were now owned by businessmen who were excited by the possibilities of more profits, but frustrated by certain elements of the game. the still lack of organization and control at the management level. the potential to baseball's future success, they knew, the
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owners knew, were the players. the players, the athletes themselves, they must never forget this. the audiences were coming to see the athletes. especially the popular clubs like the boston red stockings i just told you about, it was the athlete's skills, their talents, their work that made the games exciting, competitive events. working-class people flocked to the stadiums to see their own, especially irish and german players. they were proud of them. irish and german recent immigrants to the country, they did their time in the civil war, that was to their credit. it improve their status in american society, it was very anti-immigrant at this time. they were proud of them. many of the names of the baseball players during this time were familiar irish and
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german names. they loved it. in this time period that i'm talking about, late 1860's to the mid-1870's, you had all of the elements ready to take the next step. to make baseball a real business. but there was a problem. as far as the baseball owners were concerned, and that had to do with the instability of the game, and the instability of the product, the labor, the players. the star players at this point commanded what they consider to be high salaries, and perks, and the owners didn't like that so much. a number of them controled their working conditions, if you are a star, you could.
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and their salaries. and they moved easily from team to team at their own pleasure and desire. and that was a problem. the baseball player controlled baseball was not working well. from 1871 to 1875, they continued to have problems fixing it playing schedule, attendance up and down, players jumped contract, showed for discipline. players gambled on games. which is a big no-no. from the perspective of the owners, this made the business dangerous. they needed to do two things. lower the salaries, the cost of doing business. most businesses, their highest cost is labor, obviously. addition, the players' productivity needed to be measured and controlled. the owner of the most popular, powerful, and successful baseball clubs decided they needed to join together and put baseball on a businesslike basis. so in 1876, the national league of the professional baseball club was established.
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established. i will just call it the national league. this is a picture of the national league owners. the reason for the founding of the national league -- they told us. they left is the record of why they did it. to capitalize and extended baseball's popularity. what does this mean? they wanted to establish familiar features to us, but new to the time -- a recognized national championship, control and standardize the game rules, so somebody attending a baseball game in cincinnati would also be able to attend one in boston or new york and understand the game just as well. the national league at this time was limited to eight. its number would rise. it was comprised of very well-financed teams from cities that were generally enjoyed populations of at least 75,000. the national league in the beginning tried to bar liquor from the stadiums.
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they wanted no gambling, they at first didn't offer sunday games, although that would change. they were trying to make their game open to the widest variety of fans possible, including the middle-class. including women. and they wanted to organize their business like other gilded age concerns. and the sentiment was put down explicitly by albert goodwill spalding. there is right there with the handlebar mustache. when he was one of the founders of the national league, and he said this -- "the idea was as old as the hills. but its application to baseball had not yet been made. it was, in fact, the principal conflict between labor and capital asserting itself under a
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guise. like every other form of business enterprise," spalding says, "baseball depends for results on two independent -- interdependent systems. one to control the system, and the other to engage and of executive branch the actual work of production." in other words, the very establishment of the national league for the first time formalized the division between ballplayers and clubs, so now there were workers and management. so just because you for my league, you have your picture taken, and you make these kinds of declamations, doesn't mean anything is going to happen. what was their plan? here was their plan in a nutshell. rolled out in three directions from 1875 by the national league. three things simultaneously. a manager enforced moral code, the use of statistics, and the reserve clause.
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and i will go through each one. a manager enforced moral code meant to control players with the goal of attracting more middle-class fans. the use of statistics with a goal of evaluating a player's performance. and the reserve clause with the goal of clamping down on players ability to sell their labor on the free market. let's start with the manager enforced moral code. this elevated the team's manager beyond training and directing the team. they were now the point man between the players and their bosses. their authority supposed to be absolute, they were to control and enforce training, assign the positions, supervise their labor force with a goal toward obedience and discipline that was supposed to extend from early morning to late at night. the managers were charged with enforcing the new written down moral code, which particularly focused on the control of
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drinking. but also included as part of that, bed checks and hire detectives. the managers, if they thought it necessary, could suspend their players for quote, "conduct unbecoming a gentleman." an example of the morals clause that was inserted in the players contracts, quote, "during the playing season, every member of the club is required to gain from the use of intoxicating liquors in any shape, and from keeping late hours." one manager remarked that if these rules had been strictly enforced, "all nine of his players would have been immediately disbanded as they were." how are managers going to enforce these kinds of rules over the players who had never experienced this kind of control
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before? it actually -- excuse me -- the code was more easily accepted then you might think. most of the players were young, of course they tried to evade them. but the managers came to the father figures for many of these players. there was still, however, many who resisted. and the biggest case for the new rules -- the biggest test case came with the biggest star of the game, a player named mike kelly. this is a picture of mike kelly. he was the most popular baseball player of his era. which ran from the late 1870's to the 1890's. here's another picture of him. mike kelly was born in troy, new york. he was the son of irish immigrants. his father enlisted in the 125th new york regiment, fought in the war. from a very early age, he demonstrated that he was a great
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athlete. and he was an even greater showmen, who made watching games fun and exciting. and that's why fans go to games. he could hit harder, run faster, throw farther than anyone else during his very turbulent career. which included stints with many different ballclubs. the chicago white stockings, and the boston red stockings, for example. mike kelly led the league in batting, and in runs scored. his ability to steal bases was immortalized in a song called "slide kelly slide." and i am going to just play a little bit now. you have to turn it on.
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there you go. >> ♪ i played a game of base-ball, i belong to caseys nine, the crowd was feeling jolly, and and the weather it was fine a nobler lot of players i think were never found when the omnibuses landed that day upon the ground the game was quickly started, they sent me to the bat i made two strikes, says casey, "what are you striking at?" i made the third, the catcher muffed and to the ground it fell i run like a devil to first base, when the gang began to yell slide, kelly, slide, your running's a disgrace slide, kelly, slide, stay there, hold your base if some one doesn't steal you, and your batting doesn't fail you
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they'll take you to australia, slide, kelly, slide ♪ professor waugh: that is a wonderful song it, and don't tell me it isn't. [laughter] professor waugh: king kelly as he came to be called, proved a headache for owners, and provided the first big test of the disciplinary regulations that i have been speaking of. trust me, they didn't want to discipline him, we never want to discipline our most popular athletes, do we? but here's a quote from a sportswriter of the time. "mike kelly was the trickiest player who ever handle the baseball. baseball rules were never made for kelly." let's see some examples. mike kelly was almost as good an actor as he was a player. once, playing outfield and early evening game in his home ballpark, it was the top of the
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ninth inning, and he was -- it was a very exciting game. it was close, there were two outs in the ninth inning, and his team, the chicago white sox -- stockings, held a one run lead. the opposition had a high fly to center field, and kelly leave up in the air to pull it from the sky. it was a spectacular play, it saves the day, the crowds cheered, the game was over. and when it was over, mike kelly trotted back into the dugout. the manager comes up to him, and it was a practice at that time if you caught a ball, you saved it and use it for the next game. the owner did not like to waste them. the manager says kelly, give me the ball.
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"the ball?" kelly answered. "it was a mile over my head." that was funny in the 19th century. mike kelly sometimes skipped on his way to third, he skipped second based on his way to third when the umpire was not looking. for those of you who don't know what i'm talking about, you've never seen a baseball game, there are three bases, first, second, third, and home. lots of metaphors from that emerge in our culture as well. [laughter] professor waugh: when he played catcher, because he played a variety of positions, he liked to confuse players running into home by covering the plates with his mask. but by far, the greatest problem was with the drinking. if asked if he drank during the game, he said it depends on the length. once observed downing a few by a pinkerton detective hired by his manager to keep tabs on the player, kelly angrily denied a report he had been seen drinking lemonade at 3:00 a.m. in chicago's nightclub district. he said this for the newspapers. it was straight whiskey.
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i never drank a lemonade at that hour in my life. students, nothing ever good happens at 3:00 a.m. in a nightclub. anyway. these antics kept him in hot water, but when he was playing well, when he was a star, didn't seem to affect him too much. and certainly didn't affect the love -- the fans love and appreciation for him. the team that he rose to fame with, the chicago white stockings, finally got sick of them, and decided to sell him to the boston red stockings, keep him in the stockings family. they told him for $10,000, and amazingly high sum. boston fans were thrilled. they gave him a fancy house in a fancy carriage with two white horses to ride to and from the ballpark in. mike kelly was the best and richest player of his era.
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he received $2000 a year for playing, which was a huge fortune. he received $3000 for the use of his picture. in fact, he was the first professional player, baseball player to utilize his off earning potential in the winter months. in the winter months, he often appeared on the vaudeville stage, reciting a very famous baseball poem they came out "casey at the bat." many of us can predict what eventually happened to kelly. the sales to boston failed to mature him more sober him up. he ended his career with the new york giants in 1893, increasingly unable to play, increasingly showing up for games in an inebriated way. this is the captain of his team in a cartoon going like this -- "laid off without pay, this is the king." he ended his career with the
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giants in 1893. he died in 1894, one year later. at age 36. this is his commemorative plaque in cooperstown, new york, baseball's hall of fame. thousands and thousands attended his funeral. but the point that i'm making here is that he was the exception that showed that the rules were being enforced, or at least trying to be enforced. and let me continue with the professionalization of baseball, the moral code, first, and then statistics. let's go to statistics. what do i mean? how does this control the labor product? keeping numbers and records on ballplayers' performances and putting them in the record books, scoring, statistics, the e.r.a., earned runs average,
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this gave owners a new and scientific method of evaluating their workers, a standard from which they could reward or punish them for their performances. we read about this and heard about andrew carnegie and his obsession with efficiency in the steel industry, and among his steel mill workers. this was a similar effort, right here. as baseball players became baseball workers, employed by baseball businesses, statistics multiplied and became ever more sophisticated. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
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