Baseball Short Story
Vexatious Veecks - I
Bill Veeck: Baseball's Greatest Maverick, Paul Dickson (2012)
Shortly after persuading recalcitrant NL and AL owners to support the playing of the first All-Star Game in 1933, Bill Veeck Sr., General Manager of the Chicago Cubs, proposed another radical idea.

Bill Veeck Sr.
Veeck senior was in New York City on August 22 (1933) for the Cubs-Giants game, but it was rained out. Gotham scribes were "looking for a rainy day story," which Veeck gave them. With an eye to Cubs attendance, which had shrunk by about 400,000 dur­ing the season, he proposed a series of mid-season games between American and National league teams as a means of stimulating interest in the game. He maintained that the game was in "critical condition" and that aggressive action had to be taken to revive interest before the 1934 season. "There is no use kid­ding ourselves any longer," Veeck told Alan Gould of the Associated Press. "Only one big league club of 16 made money last year." He pointed out that anyone who looked at the attendance figures from July 5 until the middle of August saw that the game was in the doldrums.
Calling these weeks the game's "dog days," Veeck urged their monotony be broken with interleague games that counted in the standings. Veeck's plan was quite specific: thirty-two interleague games for each club, with four against each team of other league - two home and two away.
Gould's story appeared in every major city. The reaction to what the Chicago Daily News called a "radical prescription" was immediate. Cleveland Indians president Alva Bradley and Brooklyn Dodgers president Stephen W. McKeever had declared themselves definitely in favor of the idea, and the Cardinals' Sam Brea­don and the Pirates' William Benswanger felt it was worth considering.
Soon though, the "Veeck Plan," as it was known, was attracting serious American League opposition. Opined Clark Griffith, the gray-haired president of the Wash­ington Senators, "Nobody thinks of that sort of stuff unless he's deaf, dumb, and blind." Col. Jacob Ruppert, the owner of the Yankees, dismissed the notion, saying he had not given it "a single thought." The American League believed itself the superior circuit and did not want to share the box office draw of Ruth, Gehrig, and others.
Tetelo Vargas
The day after Veeck's interview with Alan Gould was published, a letter dated August 23, 1933, was sent to Veeck's office from Syd Pollock, owner of the Cuban Stars, a semipro team playing in the Negro leagues. Addressing Veeck's statement that only one major-league club was profitable, Pollock urged that the ban on Negro teams be lifted, which would boost gate revenue throughout baseball. He proposed "pla­cing an entire Colored club to represent a city like Cincinnati in the National League and Boston in the American League." ...
Pollock based his argument on having sent his Cu­ban Stars to play in thirty-two states during the previous season, in the process beating every white minor-league team they faced. He wrote about one of his stars, Tetelo Vargas, who he predicted would steal more bases during the season than any two cur­rent major-league players combined. Vargas had also hit seven consecutive home runs in two days against top semipro competition in 1931, but this feat was entirely ignored by the white press. "With a colored club in either or both circuits, these feats, common among colored ballplayers, would not go unnoticed and bring greater interest in baseball, with the necessary publicity to go with it."
To bolster his argument, Pollock quoted Babe Ruth's comment that "the colorful­ness of Negroes in baseball and their sparkling brilliancy on the field would have a tendency to increase attendance at games," [and] Pirates coach Honus Wagner's assertion that "the good colored clubs played just as good as seen anywhere" ...
The letter ended with the assurance that Pollock was in a position to assemble such a team or teams for the 1934 season. ... Pollock sent a copy of the letter to the local North Tarrytown Daily News, which published it the day after it was mailed to Veeck. In due course, it was picked up by the Chicago Defender, Pittsburgh Courier, Amsterdam News, and other Negro newspapers.
Whether Veeck had any thoughts of acting on the idea of a black team or teams in the majors is unknown. No surviving record exists of a response by Veeck to Pollock, which is most likely explained by the fact that Veeck was suffering the early stages of the illness [leukemia] that would take his life.