istorically the owners of baseball teams have not been able to control their desire to win and have proven that they will do almost anything to achieve a winning team. Constantly attempting to attain the best players, 19th century owners blindly threw money at the ballists and did not immediately see the long term effects that this money would have on future contracts and owner profits. The Reserve Clause was intended to keep the owners from outbidding each other, reduce player salaries and increase profits.
The Reserve Clause was born on September 29, 1879 and each National League team was allowed to "reserve" five players for the 1880 season. These players were not allowed to be enticed to play for another National League team and were off limits to any bidder. Generally each of the team's best pitcher and catcher were retained along with an infielder and an outfielder.
To help ensure their control over the players and help maximize their profits, the owners regularly increase the number of players that were allowed to be reserved.
At the end of the 1879 season the Syracuse Stars disbanded. The 1879 Cincinnati Club also withdrew from the National League and was replaced by a different Cincinnati Club, although they were also known as the Red Stockings. The new Cincinnati Club and the new Worcester Ruby Legs Club were not part of the 1879 Reserve Clause.
The list below is the original list of players that each of the 1879 teams submitted to reserve for the 1880 season. Players marked with an asterisk (*) did not return to the team that reserved them for the 1880 season.
Pop Snyder* (C-80 games) - Played 2 games in the outfield in 1879. Did not play in 1880.
Tommy Bond (P-64 games) - Played 5 games in the outfield and 1 game at 1B in 1879. In 1880, pitched in 63 games, played 26 games in the outfield, 1 game at third and 1 game at 1B.
Jack Burdock (2B-All 84 games) In 1880, played all 86 games at 2B.
John O'Rourke (CF-71 games) In 1880, played 81 games at CF.
Ezra Sutton (SS-51games) - Played 33 games at 3B in 1879. In 1880, listed as a third baseman although played 39 games at SS and only 37 games at 3B.
Pud Galvin (P-66 games) - Played 1 game at SS in 1879. In 1880, pitched in 58 games and played 19 games in the outfield.
John Clapp* (C-63 games) - Managed the Buffalo Bisons and played 7 games in the outfield in 1879. In 1880, played 73 games at C and 10 games in the outfield for the Cincinnati Reds.
Hardy Richardson (3B-78 games) - Played 1 game at C in 1879. In 1880, played 81 games at 3B and played 5 games at C.
Bill Crowley (RF-43 games) - Played 10 games at C, 7 games at 1B and 3 games at 2B in 1879. In 1880, Played 74 games in CF and played 22 games at C.
Oscar Walker (1B-72 games) In 1880, he was a substitute and played 24 games at 1B and 11 games in the OF.
Ned Williamson (3B-70 games) - Played 6 games at first base and 4 games at C, in 1879. In 1880, played 63 games at 3B, 11 games at C and 3 games at 2B.
Joe Quest (2B-All 83 games) In 1880, played 80 games at 2B and 2 games at SS.
Cap Anson (1B-51 games) - Took over for Silver Flint as the manager the Chicago White Stockings in 1879. In 1880, played all 82 games at 1B.
Silver Flint (C-79 games) - Began the season as the manager of the Chicago White Stockings and played 1 game in the OF in 1879. In 1880, played 63 games at C and 13 games in the OF.
Frank Hankinson* (P-26 games) - Also played 14 games in the outfield and 5 games at 3B in 1879. In 1880, he pitched in 4 games, played 12 games in the outfield and played 56 games at third base for the Cleveland Blues.
Jim McCormick (P-62 games) - Managed the Cleveland Blues and played 13 games in the OF and 4 games at 1B. In 1880, Managed the Cleveland Blues, pitched in 74 games and played 4 games in the OF.
Doc Kennedy (C-46 games) - Played 4 games at 1B. In 1880, played 65 games at C and 5 games in the OF.
Jack Glasscock (2B-66 games) - Played 14 games at 3B. In 1880, played 77 games at SS.
John Lee Richmond* (P-1 game) - Pitched for the Boston Reds in 1879. In 1880, pitched in 74 games and played 20 games in the OF for the Worcester Ruby Legs.
Orator Shaffer* (RF-72 games) - Played 1 game at 3B in 1879 for the Chicago White Stockings. In 1880, played 83 games in the OF.
George Wright* (SS-All 85 games) - Managed the Providence Grays in 1879. In 1880, played 1 game at SS for the Boston Red Caps.
Joe Start (1B - 65 games) - Played 1 game in the OF in 1879. In 1880, Played 82 games at 1B.
Paul Hines (CF-All 85 games) In 1880, played 75 games in CF, 6 games at 2B and 4 games at 1B.
John Ward (P - 70 games) - Played 16 games at 3B and 8 games in the OF. In 1880, was the second Manager of the season for the Providence Grays, pitched in 70 games, played 25 games at 3B and played 2 games in the outfield.
Mike McGeary (2B - 73 games) - Played 12 games at 3B in 1879. In 1880, he was listed as a substitute and played 17 games at 3B, 2 games at 2B and 1 game at SS.
Jake Evans (RF-72 games) - In 1880, played 47 games in RF and pitched in 1 game.
Ed Caskin (SS-70 games) - Played 22 games at C and 6 games at 2B. In 1880, played 82 games at SS and played 2 games at C.
John Cassidy (Substitute - 9 games) - Played 8 games in the OF and 2 games at 1B. In 1880, played 82 games in RF and 1 game at 2B.
Bob Ferguson (Substitue-30 games) - Ended the season as the Manager of the Troy Haymakers, played 24 games at 3B and 6 games at 2B. In 1880, managed the Troy Haymakers and played 82 games at 2B.
Fred Goldsmith* (P-8 games) - Played 2 games in the OF and 1 game at 1B. In 1880, pitched in 26 games, played 10 games in the OF and 4 games at 1B for the Chicago White Stockings.
In order to further police themselves the owners instituted the Brush Salary Classification Plan for the 1889 season, which put a limit on the money spent for players by ranking them and paying them accordingly. This was introduced by Indianapolis Hoosiers owner John T. ("Tooth" as referred to be the players) Brush. Players were rated from "A," being the best, to "E" and the maximum salary for an "A" player was $2500. Each subsequent level below was reduced by $250.
The Reserve Clause, The Brush Salary Classification Plan and the treatment of Ned Williamson by Albert Spalding, on the 1888 - 1889 world tour, spurred John Montgomery Ward to help form the Brotherhood of Professional Base Ball Players in 1885 and also lead to the player controlled Players' National League of Base Ball Clubs in 1890.