February 10, 1910

Fans Fear Supreme Body in
Baseball Will Make an
Example of Him.

Will the national commission establish a precedent in organized baseball by rendering a decision unfavorable to Johnny Kling, local billiard man and Cub holdout now on the blacklist, who has applied for readmission to the fold? This is a question that is bothering the fans and judging from talk in baseball circles, the one-time Cub star is certain to encounter rough sledding before he lands back in good standing minus the black mark which now bedecks his name in the records of the court ruled over by Garry Herrmann.

The fat that the national commission is without opposition in the world of baseball at the present time makes it appear certain that it will make use of its authority when the time comes to pass upon the Kling case. Up to this year there existed on the Pacific coast the "outlaw" league, which seriously hampered the work of the commission, and a practice of granting concessions to players who had kicked the traces was followed by those in charge of the affairs of organized baseball.

This was exemplified in the case of Hal Chase, who committed a most flagrant offense by jumping from the New York Americans to the California League, only to be restored to good standing a short time after, none the worse for his rash act. This was done with the one hope of eventually wearing down the opposition to the national agreement and finally proved effectual, as last fall the "outlaws" were taken into the fold, leaving the jurisdiction of the great national game under one tribunal, the national commission.


"Since Kling sent in his request to Garry Herrmann for a consideration of his case with the purpose of seeking the good graces of the high tribunal, stories have sprung up regarding the Chase and Mike Kelley incidents in which the commission fought a losing battle. Chase was out on a charge of contract jumping in the middle of the 1908 season, when he left the Highlanders to play with the California outlaw league. Mike Kelley was in the same boat as Kling at the present time, and his restoration was due more to an error of the St. Louis club than anything else. Kelley refused to report to the St. Louis American in 1905, and as a result was kept out of organized baseball for two seasons, returning when the Mound City club failed to place his name on the reserve list through oversight, practically relinquishing claim to him.

In the face of these two verdicts, principally, it has been stated that the commission is hardly liable to turn around and refuse concessions to Kling that were granted to the others. Conditions have changed since then, however, and apparently this has been overlooked, as the national agreement is now absolute and its power, and for this reason the commission will no longer be forced to take a conciliatory attitude towards violators of the rules that govern baseball.


In the event of Kling being turned down in his request for reinstatement, it will be the first case of this nature in which the commission has won out, due to the fact that opposition to organized ball is a thing of the past, and the trio now headed by Garry Herrman are in a position to govern, absolutely without the wayward players having "outlaw" leagues to fall back upon.

The fate of Kling will probably be known February 23. Mystery surrounds the purpose of the gathering, as Herrmann failed to state anything in detail, but it is taken to mean that the application of Kling will be the principal business to come up for disposal.

The date of the meeting is four days before the departure of the Club squad on their spring training trip to New Orleans and in the event of the commission giving out a decision of the case Kling would know his fate in time to prepare to accompany his old teammates, provided the act of the commission is favorable. There is a possibility, however, of the supreme court of baseball acting upon the case and then withholding their final decision until near the opening of the season.