Morgan Bulkeley was the 1st President of the National League when it formed in 1876. He did so for 1 year. And that’s about it. His contribution to the game of baseball can fit on a post-it note.
Morgan Bulkeley ran the Aetna Life Insurance Company, a company that was founded by his father. He was truly devoted to the insurance business, but felt that the game of baseball was just a pastime. As a backer for the National Association Hartford Dark Blues he was invited by William Hulbert, the founder of the National League, to attend the 1st meeting of the club owners, as a representative of the Hartford franchise. Hulbert admired Bulkeley for his business acumen and nominated him to be the 1st President of the league. Bulkeley’s name was the 1st name drawn, and by pure luck he became the President off the league.
When the post season winter meetings were held, Bulkeley didn’t even bother to attend. William Hulbert was then selected as the 2nd President of the league. Bulkeley remained associated with the Hartford team until it moved to Brooklyn at the end of the 1877 season. He would have no other ties to the game.
Bulkeley became the President of the Aetna Life Insurance Company in 1879, and held that job until he died in 1922.
When Ban Johnson was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1937 based on his service as the 1st President of the American League(an honor he well deserves) it was deemed that the 1st President of the National League should be inducted as well.
I’m sure that Morgan Bulkeley was a nice guy, and a great insurance man, as well as a fine Governor of the state of Connecticut, but he deserves being in the Hall of Fame just a little bit more than Abner Doubleday, and just a little bit more than me.