By Harold Seymour, Dorothy Jane Mills
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Additional resources for Baseball : The Early Years
If a captain left the field beforehand or neglected his duty in any other way, he was charged a dollar. Profane or "improper" language brought a lighter penalty. In the Knickerbockers' very first outside match, J. W. Davis was given the dubious distinction of paying what was probably baseball's first fine when he was docked six cents for swearing. Presumably the gentlemen of the Knickerbockers were not often guilty of this breach of decorum, but profanity eventually became so common in baseball that in 1899 John T.
They formed themselves into a permanent body, the National Association of Base Ball Players, and appointed a committee to draft a constitution and by-laws. Annual editions of these documents can still be found on dusty library shelves. The first officers of the Association were: president, William H. Van Cott, Gothams; first vice president, L. B. Jones, Excelsiors; second vice 35 36 THE AMATEUR ERA president, Thomas S. Dakin, Putnams; recording secretary, J. Ross Postley, Metropolitans; corresponding secretary, Theodore F.
Over a dozen clubs sent delegates to Smith's Hotel on Broome Street. They elected Dr. D. L. Adams of the Knickerbockers president, and set up a committee on playing rules. But when the 1857 season was slow to begin, the New York Clipper blamed the "old fogies" at the convention for ignoring the young clubs, and causing them to lose interest. The next year the presidents of the four oldest clubs—Knickerbockers, Gothams, Empires, and Eagles—called another convention of all regularly organized clubs in the metropolitan area, to meet at 298 Bowery, headquarters of the Gothams, on March 10, 1858.
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