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Federal League from the Chronology
Jul 4, 1944 - Baltimore's Oriole Park erected in 1914 for the Federal League burns down. The team moves to the city's unroofed Municipal Stadium. It will be used this way until a second tier is added when the St. Louis Browns move in for the 1954 season.
Sep 30, 1934 - Detroit wins a pair to finish the season with a 101 wins as they beat St. Louis 10-6 and 2-6. Charley Gehringer is 2-for-7 to finish at .356 as Gehrig goes 3-for-4 to win the batting title with .363. Grover Hartley the last active Federal League veteran comes in at catcher in game 1. He'll have one game next year as a ML ump.
May 25, 1922 - The U.S. Supreme Court in a resounding 9-0 decision rule that baseball is not an interstate business. The suit had been brought by the Federal League's Baltimore franchise.
Dec 6, 1920 - A 5-year-old lawsuit that awarded $264‚000 damages to the Baltimore Federal League club on April 12‚ 1919‚ is reversed by a court of appeals‚ which upholds the reserve clause and holds that baseball is not interstate commerce nor subject to antitrust laws. The original was initiated because the Baltimore Feds were not included in the settlement of the Federal League war. They wanted a ML team in Baltimore and did not get it. This ruling will be upheld in 1922 by the U.S. Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice William Howard Taft‚ brother of Cubs former owner‚ Charles Taft.
Aug 8, 1918 - It is announced that Ebbets Field will become a Government storehouse as soon as the season is over on September 2nd. The Brooklyn team offered the park as a much-needed storage facility for war supplies and it is now expected that other teams will follow suit. The New York Times states that "the turning over of the baseball park means that the major leagues will not attempt to play next season." Washington Park the old Federal League park has already been converted to a government storehouse.
Apr 30, 1918 - Despite the failure of the NY State Legislature to approve Sunday baseball it is announced that there will be major league baseball on Sunday at the former Federal League Park in Harrison NJ. (TSN) All three New York teams-the Giants Dodgers and Yankees-will participate. This arrangement would have been in effect last Sunday but the Senators scheduled to meet the Yanks had already scheduled an exhibition game. The Sunday games in Harrison will necessitate the rescheduling of some IL games from there. The agreement in which the 2 leagues will pay $10000 a year in rent for the park comes about because of the settlement with the Federal League.
Sep 20, 1917 - Baltimore (Federal League) files suit against the NL.
May 30, 1916 - The Phillies Al Demeree an ex-Giant finally stops the Giants 5-1 on 6 hits handing New York its first loss in 18 matches. Giant 3B Bill McKecknie obtained from Newark (Federal League) in April is caught stealing 3 times. In a raucous game 2 the Giants knock out Pete Alexander in the 7th to win 10-2. Three Giants-catchers Bill Killifer and Ed Burns and Dode Paskert get tossed by umpire Harrison which provokes the fans to toss cushions and bottles at him until he is surrounded by Giants players. He gets a police escort after the game and stays in the clubhouse for an hour to avoid the mob. After Burns is ejected infielder Bobby Byrne goes behind the plate and throws out to would-be base stealers.
May 26, 1916 - Despite outfielder Benny Kauff's base running blunders the New York Giants cruise to their 14th straight road win 12-1 over Boston. Kauff the Federal League's "Ty Cobb" sets a NL record when he is picked off first base three times the only 20th century player to do this. Lefty Tyler does all three pickings. Sailor Stroud is the winner picking up his last ML victory.
Apr 20, 1916 - The Cubs play their first game in the newly built Federal League park that will soon have its name changed to Wrigley Field. The stadium minus the upper deck added later seats 14000 but 20000 fans are on hand. Greeting fans on the Addison Street side is JOA a bear cub owned by Cub's (partial) owner J. Ogden Armour. Everyone goes home happy as Vic Saier's 11th inning sac fly gives the Cubs 7-6 a win over the Reds.
Apr 8, 1916 - Tris Speaker is still a holdout as a reaction to Boston owner Joseph Lannin's proposal to cut his salary from a reported $18500 to $9000. Speaker wants $15000. Speaker's salary the highest in the game for the past two years was negotiated under the threat of Speaker jumping to the Federal League. With the demise of that league the Sox are looking to save money. The Red Sox in anticipation of resolving the contract dispute by trading Speaker purchase the hard-throwing OF Tilly Walker from the Browns.
Feb 11, 1916 - After playing two seasons in Cleveland‚ the American Association Toledo Mud Hens transfer back to Toledo. The franchise spent two seasons in Cleveland to block a Federal League team from moving in there.
Feb 10, 1916 - In a sweet deal the Cubs send cash to the sinking Chicago Whales (Federal League) and bring back Three Finger Brown Clem Clemens Mickey Doolan Bill Fischer Max Flack Claude Hendrix Les Mann Dykes Potter Joe Tinker Rollie Zeider and George McConnell.
Feb 7, 1916 - The Federal League's year-old suit charging antitrust violations by organized baseball is dismissed by mutual consent in U.S. District Court in Chicago by Judge Kenesaw M. Landis. No appellate decision is written and it will not be until 1922 when the courts rule on antitrust.
Jan 20, 1916 - The Giants buy Edd Roush from the Newark Tip Tops (Federal League) for $7‚500. Roush will hit just .188 in New York before being packaged to Cincinnati‚ where he will blossom into a Hall of Famer. Along with Roush come the contracts of C Bill Rariden from the Peps‚ infielder Bill McKecknie‚ spitballer Fred Anderson from the Buffalo Bufffeds (AKA the Blues)‚ and Federal League star‚ the colorful Benny Kauf. The price is $65‚000.
Jan 19, 1916 - A list of 123 Federal League players with free-agent status under the terms of the peace agreement is released by the National Association.
Jan 5, 1916 - The NL happy to be rid of fractious Cubs owner Charles W. Murphy allows Charles H. Weeghman owner of a restaurant chain and president of the Federal League Chicago Whales to buy the Cubs for $500000. By putting up $50000 William Wrigley Jr. becomes a minority stock holder. Whales manager Joe Tinker succeeds Roger Bresnahan and the Cubs will play in the FL's newly built park on the North Side soon to become Wrigley Field.
Jan 4, 1916 - The St. Louis Browns are the first of 2 ML franchises awarded to Federal League owners. Philip de Catesby Ball ice-manufacturing tycoon and principal stockholder of the Feds' St. Louis Terriers pays a reported $525000 for the Browns and replaces manager Branch Rickey with his own Fielder Jones.
Dec 22, 1915 - Organized baseball and the Federal League sign a peace treaty at Cincinnati‚ ending their 2-year war. Feds agree to go out of existence‚ but the ML pay an enormous price: $600‚000 for distribution to FL owners; amalgamation of 2 Fed franchises‚ one each into NL and AL; recognition of Fed players' eligibility‚ and agreement to bid for them in a Fed-controlled auction. Baltimore‚ hoping to get the Cardinals‚ balks‚ but conferees‚ eager for settlement‚ defer its claims-a decision they will repent at leisure.
Sep 11, 1915 - In a 2-0 win over Kansas City Hal Chase of the Buffeds hits a home run at Kansas City's Gordon and Koppel Field which clears the fence and lands in Brush Creek. This is Prince Hal's 4th homer in 7 games on his way to a Federal League-leading 17. In ten previous big league seasons he had never hit more than four.
Aug 28, 1915 - Pitching for St. Louis in the Federal League 39-year-old Eddie Plank records his 300th career win beating Kansis City. 3-2. Henning is the loser. Plank will post a 21-11 record this season in the FL and when the league folds post a 16-15 for the 1916 St. Louis Browns.
Aug 22, 1915 - In the Federal League Newark takes 2 from Pittsburgh winning 2-1 and 3-1 both wins coming on 10th inning inside-the-park homers by Edd Roush. Newark leads by one percentage point over Kansas City with Pittsburgh 3rd and Chicago 4th only 1 1?2 games separating the teams. The race is so close by season's end Newark will be 5th six games out. Chicago will win it by one game with 86-66 to St. Louis 87-67 and Pittsburgh's 86-67. There will be nine 20-game winners led by George McConnell's 25-10 for the Whales the only year McConnell wins more than 8 games.
Apr 29, 1915 - Federal League star Benny Kauff jumps from the Brookfeds to the New York Giants. When Boston refuses to play if Kauff is in the Giants' lineup ump Ernie Quigley forfeits the game to New York. The two teams agree to play an exhibition game. The other ump Mal Eason telephones NL president John Tener who declares Kauff ineligible until reinstated and orders Eason to forfeit the game to Boston. Meanwhile the Braves win the exhibition game 13-8. The next day Tener rules this to be an official game and both forfeits are canceled. Kauff goes back to Brooklyn where he leads the FL at .342 and McGraw has to wait until next year to sign him.
Feb 16, 1915 - Home Run Baker 28 announces retirement following a contract dispute with Connie Mack. He will sit out the 1915 season. Mack will also have salary problems with Chief Bender Eddie Plank and Jack Coombs and rather than compete with the Federal League he releases the stars.
Jan 2, 1915 - The Cardinals sue to prevent OF Lee Magee‚ 25‚ from playing for the Brooklyn Tip-Tops. Like similar suits filed by clubs against players in the past‚ the action will fail. Magee will play and manage in the Federal League.
Dec 4, 1914 - Walter Johnson accepts a $6‚000 bonus from the FL Chicago Whales and signs a three-year contract for $17‚500 per year. Clark Griffith threatens to take Johnson to court‚ claiming he has paid Johnson for the reserve option in his contract. AL Prexy Ban Johnson asserts that Johnson was on the market and is "damaged goods‚" worth getting rid of. Griffith travels to Coffeyville‚ KS‚ to persuade his franchise player that the option clause is legal and binding. Two weeks later Griffith signs Johnson for 3 years at $12‚500 per year and returns the bonus to the Feds.
Nov 1, 1914 - Connie Mack begins cleaning house asks waivers on Jack Coombs Eddie Plank and Chief Bender. Colby Jack goes to Brooklyn (NL). Plank and Bender escape Mack's maneuvering by jumping tfo the Federal League. Although all have some life left in their soupbones they are near their careers' end and departure is more sentimental than serious. Mack's excuse: retrenchment. Despite the pennant Philadelphia fans did not support the A's and the club lost $50000.
Oct 6, 1914 - In the Federal League the Chicago Whales lose to Kansas City while the Indianapolis Hoosiers beat St. Louis giving Indianapolis a 1 1?2 game pennant margin. Five .300 hitters led by Benny Kauff's .370 pace the winners. For the Whales Claude Hendrix is the FL's top pitcher at 29-11.
Sep 12, 1914 - St. Louis Federal Leaguer Bob Groom accomplishes the rare feat of umpiring and pitching in the same game. When the two regular umps don't appear Groom and Bert Maxwell of the Brooklyn Tip-Tops are selected to ump. The regular umps appear in the 3rd inning having thought the game started at 3:30 not 2:30. Groom goes to the bench but relieves in the 7th inning and allows 3 hits in the Brookfeds 4-run inning. Brooklyn wins 8-5.
Jul 7, 1914 - Suffering heavy losses from Federal League competition in Baltimore the Orioles' (IL) owner Jack Dunn offers Babe Ruth (plus Ernie Shore and C Ben Egan) for $10000 to old friend Connie Mack who refuses pleading poverty. Cincinnati which has a working agreement giving them the choice of 2 players ignores Ruth and takes OF George Twombley and SS Claud Derrick. Dunn finally peddles his threesome to new owner Joe Lannin of the Red Sox for a reported $25000.
Jun 29, 1914 - With attendance down in the Federal League Robert Ward president of the Brooklyn Tip Tops announces that ticket prices at Washington Park will be reduced from 50 cents to 25 cents. The Pittsburgh Filipinos will soon follow suit.
May 30, 1914 - In the Federal League Pittsburgh sweeps a pair from Baltimore winning 4-2 and 6-5 in 11 innings. The Pittfeds win the nightcap despite Tex McDonald being caught by the hidden ball trick in the 11th inning. Baltimore 2B Otto Knabe nabs him.
May 6, 1914 - Pittfed's Ed Lennox collects the only Federal League cycle in a 10-4 win over Kansas City. He adds a 2nd home run the first player to do that since Tip O'Neill in 1887. The next to do it will be DiMaggio in 1937.
Apr 17, 1914 - In the Federal League Buffalo's Ed Porray makes his debut in a 4-2 loss to Baltimore. Porray born "somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean" will have one more decision a loss before being set adrift.
Apr 13, 1914 - After building 8 new ballparks in 3 months the Federal League opens with the Baltimore Terrapins beating Buffalo 3-2 before 27140. Winning P Jack Quinn will win 26 and lose 14. Indianapolis will win the pennant led by rookie Benny Kauff's league-leading .370 batting average. Ex-Pirate Claude Hendrix will be 29-11.
Nov 2, 1913 - Former St. Louis Browns manager George Stovall is the first ML player to jump to the Federal League signing to manage Kansas City. With glib salesman Jim Gilmore as its president and backed by several millionaires including oil magnate Harry Sinclair and Brooklyn baker Robert Ward the Feds declare open war 2 weeks later by announcing they will not honor the ML's reserve clause. It will prove a long costly struggle similar to the AL's beginnings but with more losers than winners.
Aug 2, 1913 - The Federal League takes a big step toward another baseball war voting to expand into the East.
May 6, 1913 - Better organized and financed than other aspiring circuits the Federal League opens modestly and quietly with clubs in Chicago Cleveland Pittsburgh Indianapolis St. Louis Kansas City and Covington KY. No attempt is made to sign established ML players. Cy Young manages Cleveland Deacon Phillippe manages Pittsburgh. After a 6-week season the pennant winner is Indianapolis.
Apr 30, 1913 - Chicago's Al Bridwell ends a drought of 3246 at bats without a homer by slugging his first ML homer off George Suggs. He'll hit another next year in the Federal League. Al's dry spell stretches back to 1905.
Mar 8, 1913 - The Federal League is organized as a 6-team "outlaw" circuit and elects John T. Powers president. It will play 120 games at a level equivalent to the lower minor leagues but will enhance its status considerably in 1914 to challenge the MLs.
May 30, 1912 - Three doubleheader sweeps-Chicago Green Sox over Richmond Virginia Rebels; Cincinnati over Reading Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh Filipinos over Cleveland-end a short futile season of the would-be ML competitor the United States League. Poorly organized and financed the season began May 1st and collapsed largely through the failure of New York franchise to attract fans. The Filipinos so named because old Pittsburgh favorite Deacon Phillippe was manager had the best record: 16-8. Players and fields were barely above semipro level but promoters will be heard from again with the advent of the Federal League.
Aug 25, 1891 - The Boston NL club shocks the baseball world by announcing the signing of King Kelly away from the rival Boston AA club thereby wrecking peace talks between the leagues. Kelly signs through the 1892 season for a total of $25000 a figure that will not be topped by any player until the Federal League war of 1914 and 1915.