Wesley Branch Rickey
Develops Farm System
Rickey served for twenty-six years as an executive of the Cardinals, and he was also the team's field manager for over six seasons during this period. In 1922, a controlling interest in the Cardinals was purchased by a wealthy St. Louis businessman, Sam Breadon. Although Breadon and Rickey were temperamental opposites, they combined to create one of baseball's most successful franchises. The heart of the Cardinals operation was the much maligned but ultimately successful "farm system" (at first called by its detractors "chain store" or "chain gang" baseball), which was copied in due course by every major league team. Although the idea of a farm system was not entirely new, Rickey almost single-handedly put it into execution and brought it to fruition. By forging working agreements with minor league clubs at various levels, Rickey could develop talent without having to worry that the owner of a rival team would outbid him for a player (as had happened in earlier days, when minor league owners made it a practice to sell their marquee players to the highest bidder).
- Wesley Branch Rickey - Signs Robinson
- Wesley Branch Rickey - Becomes Major League Executive
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