Sunday, September 04, 2005

From The Sporting News, July 21, 1900

From The Sporting News, July 21, 1900.

In The Montana League:
Salary Limit Raised
Montana League is Liberal with its Players

Butte, Mont., July 13— Special Correspondence:— At a special meeting of the directors of the Montana State League held in this city July 11 the salary limit of the league was raised to $1,200 per month. This is considered a good move by the patrons of the game here and elsewhere as it gives the clubs represented a better opportunity to secure good men and pay them good salaries. The league is on a paying basis and players who are fortunate to secure positions here are sure of their money and are accorded good treatment.

President W, H. Lucas should be congratulated on the success of the League as his wise and able management has enabled the people of Montana to see some very clever exhibitions of the great national game.

The San Francisco papers are making a howl over the signing of a number of good men by the Butte management, but they have no kick coming, as the Butte management have been in the open in their business relations with they players and the sooner the California League get under the National Agreement just that soon will the players quit leaving California for more lucrative positions in our prosperous league.

Note: The Montana League stole more than a few players from the California League, but they tended not to be first line players, and, as to pitchers, were the second pitcher in the good-old two-man rotation. The California League, as I mentioned before, was not signatory to the National Agreement because Jay Hughes did want to pitch back East in the Majors, and so the Cal League “arranged it” for him to stay home by becoming an outlaw league.

Professional baseball leagues in Montana has a very long history. They can be tracked at least as far back as the early 1890s, and continued until through the 1920s as one of the prime areas for independent ball in the U. S., with many team being sponsored by mining concerns.