William Hulbert was the founder of the National League baseball league and a backer and President of the Chicgao White Stockings team, later renamed the Chicago Cubs, which both would land him in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
William Hulbert married into a wealthy family that owned a chain of grocery stores in the mid 1800s. He would soon turn to the coal business and invest his earnings to back the newly created Chicago White Stockings baseball organization. He would become their president in 1874, just 3 years after their creation.
After controlling the team through a couple seasons, he became upset with the National Association which the club was part of. The Association had no foundation or rules. The players ran the league with their gambling and unfair play by taking money to throw series. One other problem was that their was no tean unity, and thats because the players wouldnt stay with the same team. They were called contract jumpers. They sold theirselves to the highest bidder each year. Hulbert didnt like this and decided to form his own league, the National League.
As owner and President of this new league, his first team was the Chicago White Stockings. He then brought other teams like Cincinnati, New York, and Philadelphia in. He did this by promising players that only bigger cities would have franchises and this offered players the opertunity to play in front of bigger crowds and make more money. He started offering bigger contract and upholding the players to thos contracts with incentives. He, however, made it clear that there would be no gambling or throwing games again. When 4 players from the Louisville franchise throw games in the 1881 series, Hulbert banned them from the league for life.
The National League was taking off until the American League was started by Ban Johnson to compete with the famous National League. The American League took all the teams that had fallen through with the National League. Hulbert wouldnt live to see how well the 2 leagues would do, he would die of a heart attack in 1882.
20 years after his passing, his Chicago baseball club would change their names to the Chicago Cubs but it would take over 100 years before he would be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. He was inducted in 1995 on a veterens vote. He is buried in Graceland Cemetery in Chicago, Il.