Morgan Bulkeley was Governor of the state of Connecticut, a United States Senator and a successful banking magnate. In 1876, he was also the first President of the National League, a title he held for one year. Although the real power in the National League was founder William Hulbert, his Chicago background made the other owners wary. Bulkeley, owner of NL charter team the Hartford Blues, was already a successful businessman and a safe choice. His election to the Hall, which happened concurrently with the election of the first American League President Ban Johnson, was political and many consider him to be one of the least deserving enshrinees.
Bulkeley’s only other real connection to baseball came as a member of the Mills Commission, the agency tasked in 1905 with discovering the origins of baseball. The group would determine that the game had been invented by Civil War hero Abner Doubleday, in Cooperstown, NY, a story now largely accepted as mythological.
September 20, 2010