December 1900

10th  At the NL meetings at the Fifth Avenue Hotel in New York, rumors fly. Ban Johnson says the AL has signed a lease on a park in Detroit. The Players Protective Association says its members will not sign with the NL.

11th  A rumor that the PPA leaders have gone to Philadelphia to meet with Ban Johnson causes NL owners to “have something closely resembling a fit,” says the New York Times. Players later admit the meeting took place.

12th  The NL considers going back to 12 teams to counter AL moves into some cities. They invite Ban Johnson to come to the NL meeting, but change their mind about compromise and leave the AL head outside the meeting room. The NL awards the AL’s Minnesota and Kansas City territories to the new Western League, even before the AL officially abandons them. The NL agrees to hear the players in a public meeting, but rejects all their demands.

14th  Suffering from a drop in attendance in 1900, NL owners vote to cut costs with a 16-player limit after May 1. The PPA claims the move is aimed at pressuring players into signing by shrinking the number of jobs.

15th  Amos Rusie, out for the past 2 years with arm problems, is traded to the Reds by the Giants for young Christy Mathewson. Though only 30, Rusie, a future Hall of Fame pitcher, will not have the ability that brought him 8 straight 20-game seasons, and he will not add to the 245 wins he collected in 9 seasons. Appearing in just 3 games in 1901, he will finish with an 0–1 record. Mathewson, 0–3 with the Giants but 20–2 with Norfolk (Virginia League), is much coveted by Cincinnati owner John T. Brush, who is currently negotiating to buy control of the Giants from the unscrupulous Andrew Freedman. Before he takes over, Brush wants Mathewson in place as a Giants’ starter, rather than the “pitched out” Amos Rusie.