John Rogers

From BR Bullpen


John Ignatius Rogers

Biographical Information[edit]

John Rogers was an owner for a couple of decades.

Rogers was an attorney by trade. He served as a Democrat in the Pennsylvania legislature and was judge advocate general of the Pennsylvania National Guard. He was a director of the Philadelphia Athletics in 1873. With Al Reach, he helped found the Philadelphia Phillies (originally the Philadelphia Quakers). By the late 1880s, he was the president of the Phillies, clashing with manager Harry Wright, whom he fired in 1893.

Rogers served as the attorney for the National League, helped revise the National Agreement in 1885 and worked on legal mechanisms to fight back the Players League challenge. He helped lead the building of National League Park (the future "Baker Bowl"). An arrogant man, he got into conflict with other NL owners, notably Jim Hart of Chicago when Rogers was the lone person refusing to expel St. Louis in 1899. He also clashed with Reach over Rogers' handling of Phillies players jumping to the new Philadelphia A's of the American League, most notably Nap Lajoie. In 1903, Rogers and Reach sold the Phillies, though Rogers remained co-owner of National League Park until 1909, and was the target of numerous lawsuits when a walkway in the ballpark's outfield bleachers collapsed in August of 1903, leading to numerous casualties. He died in 1910 of a heart attack while traveling to Denver, CO.

Source: Major League Baseball Profiles: 1871-1900 ed. by David Nemec

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