1887 February

6th At Hot Springs, Arkansas, Spalding meets with the Chicago players and exacts from each man a pledge of total abstinence from drinking during the coming season. With the entire outfield gone from last year’s team and P Jim McCormick holding out at home in NJ, the champion White Stockings will have to rely on young players.

8th  Mike “King” Kelly meets with Chicago owner Albert Spalding for contract talks. Kelly, who won the NL batting championship for the pennant-winning White Stockings, wants the bonus of $375 that Spalding promised for good behavior last year. Spalding refuses to give him the bonus or to rescind the additional $225 withheld from Kelly’s salary as fines for drinking.

The NL franchise in St. Louis is sold to a group from Indianapolis for $12,000, including players. The Maroons will now become the Hoosiers.

9th The Kansas City Cowboys go out of business with the sale of its players to the league for $6,000. The clubs spot in the league has already been taken by Pittsburgh.

14th  James B. Billings, one of the Boston (NL) club owners, agrees to pay Kelly a $2,000 salary and a $3,000 signing bonus if Boston can buy his reserve rights from Chicago.

The National Colored League is organized at a meeting in Baltimore. Six clubs are represented: Lord Baltimore, Pythians (Philadelphia), Keystones (Pittsburgh), Gorhams (NY), Falls City (Louisville), and Resolutes (Boston).

16th  Chicago announces the sale of Kelly to Boston for $10,000, more than twice the amount ever paid for a player before. With the contract and bonus, Kelly is dubbed a “$15,000 Beauty.”

20th New York SS and captain John Ward thinks that the open sale of players has gone too far. “I wouldn’t play in Kansas City under any circumstances,” he says, but a club could force him to play there or not play at all.