In my post on Paul Wendt’s Charlie Grant research, I didn’t give enough attention to Paul’s main point, which is that the Tokohama affair ultimately became a footnote to the struggle between the American and National leagues (or at least John McGraw’s part in this struggle). You should check out this thread at Baseball Fever for more a more nuanced discussion of the whole matter. Here, again courtesy of Paul, is the actual context in the Chicago Tribune of the story about McGraw deciding he “wants his Indian” after all (May 19, 1901):
I don’t have much to add at the moment, other than to observe that there remain many mysteries concerning McGraw’s signing of Grant in the first place, including Clark Griffith’s role, whether all parties involved were aware of Grant’s true identity (at least as a player on the Columbia Giants), and exactly what role Ban Johnson played. Did Johnson perceive the potential signing of a black player as a threat to the American League’s program of “clean baseball”? How important to McGraw was the thwarting of his intention to sign Grant—was it merely a “footnote” to other problems with umpires, league authority, etc., or did his dissatisfaction start with the Tokohama affair?