The Magazine

Secondhand Rose

Will he, won’t he, should he be in the Hall of Fame?

Apr 21, 2014, Vol. 19, No. 30 • By EDWARD ACHORN
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In my view, there is much to be said for the approach that National League president William Hulbert took after the Louisville Grays threw the 1877 pennant. When Louisville’s star pitcher, Jim Devlin, showed up at Hulbert’s office in threadbare clothes, pleading poverty and tearfully begging to be reinstated, Hulbert slipped him $50. “That’s what I think of you, personally,” Hulbert said. “But damn you, Devlin, you are dishonest; you have sold a game, and I can’t trust you. Now go; and let me never see your face again; for your act will not be condoned so long as I live.” 

Baseball still requires that kind of tough love.

Edward Achorn, editorial page editor of the Providence Journal, is the author of The Summer of Beer and Whiskey and Fifty-nine in ’84.