True to his promise, Charles Victory Faust…appeared bright and early yesterday at the Waldorf-Astoria to offer his services to the highest bidder among the National League owners. For some reason or other, the aforesaid owners did not fall all over one another in an effort to sign Charlie, and…the demon jinx drifted down to a room where sundry liquids are dispensed to compose his thoughts and plan his next move. Before he could realize what was going on, an auction was in progress.
“Representatives” of the Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Seattle, San Francisco, and many other clubs were introduced to Charlie, and the price for his services was run up to $21,000. Fifty cents, according to [Christy Mathewson], was required to be deposited as an evidence of good faith.
Among the bidders and interested spectators were Iron Man McGinnity, Rube Marquard, Cy Seymour, Roger Bresnahan, McGraw and numerous scribes and “fans”.
When the price had been forced up to $21,000, McGraw stepped in and asked Charlie, for old friendship’s sake, to let him make the last bid.
I always sort of thought of the Victory Faust saga as a goofy sideshow in baseball history, but the more I read about it, the more it feels like a depressing story about people screwing with a guy with obvious mental illness.
But I guess that’s easy to say in retrospect and from the perspective of the 21st century.