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Exhibition Baseball Americana

Bain News Service. The Buffalo Buffeds and Brooklyn Tip Tops, Brooklyn, 1914. Reproduction. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (109.00.00)

“Base Ball Players Are All Human”

Owners insisted on the reserve clause to prevent other teams from poaching talent and inflating player salaries, which prompted players to form unions and even leagues, such as the Players League (1890), or to join the profit-sharing Federal League (1914–1915). In the photograph shown here, the Federal League’s Buffalo Buffeds and the Brooklyn Tip Tops participate in a pre-game ceremony near a sign reminding fans that “Base Ball Players are all human.” Nevertheless, the new league did not survive, the players returned to the National and American leagues and the reserve clause endured.