When Patrick Powers resigned as President of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL) in 1909, it was an easy move to elect Michael Sexton to replace him. Powers and Sexton were considered the “fathers” of Minor League Baseball.
Powers was President of the Eastern League as well as the National Association. When his league, along with the American Association, threatened to withdraw from the NA over control issues, Powers did not agree, but was caught in the middle and resigned as NA president in mid-term. Sexton was chosen to replace him. Sexton was the president of the Three-I League from 1901-1904 and 1909, and also president of the Western League from 1902-1904. Sexton was later the first president of a restarted Mississippi Valley League from 1922-1924, and again in 1927.
At the Winter Meeting in 1919, members voted to abort the National Agreement, their pact of cooperation with the major leagues, over issues including territorial rights, player limits and salary structure. The appointment in 1920 of Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis as baseball’s first commissioner has been described as the turning point for major league baseball, but it had a profound impact on the National Association as well. By January, 1921, he had the two sides back together with a new National Agreement.
Sexton realized he had served his time and agreed to retire at the Winter Meeting in 1932. He had been president for 24 years, the longest tenure of any National Association president to this day. Judge William Bramham was elected in his place.