After days of rumors, it’s now official: the “Peerless Leader” of the National League championship Chicago Cubs, player-manager Frank Chance — baseball’s best first baseman, and the inspiration for the greatest-ever sports poem, “Baseball’s Sad Lexicon — has called off a planned one-year hiatus from baseball. Chance has signed a three-year contract to manage the New York Americans, of late more commonly called the “Yankees,” for an estimated $120,000: “the greatest amount ever paid a baseball player.”
Recently there has been much talk about what motivated Chance to agree to travel to New York to speak with owner Frank J. Farrell. At this juncture one could not fault Chance if he responded to inquiries about why he signed with the Yankees with sarcasm: “You mean, besides the 120 thousand dollars?” Instead, as the San Francisco Examiner reports, with his characteristic directness Chance “candidly admitted” that “he had been offered terms which no one in his right mind could refuse.” Seeing as he is going “to get the greatest sum anybody ever got for piloting a baseball club,” he pledged “to come as near earning it as I can.”
Still, one not inclined to root for the Yankees must worry about the prospect that this marks the start of an ominous era, one in which the Yankees will seek to outperform other teams not by cultivating their own talent but by using their checkbook to snap up top talent on other teams.