The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs

The History of an Outlaw Major League, 1914–1915

$29.95

In stock (can be backordered)

SKU: 9780786469390 Categories: , ,

About the Book

The last independent major league ended its brief run in 1915, after only two seasons at the national pastime’s top level. But no competitor to establishment baseball ever exerted so much influence on its rival, with some of the most recognizable elements of the game today—including the commissioner system, competition for free agents, baseball’s antitrust exemption, and even the beloved Wrigley Field—traceable to the so-called outlaw organization known as the Federal League of Base Ball Clubs.
This comprehensive history covers the league from its formation in 1913 through its buyout, dissolution, and legal battles with the National and American leagues. The day-to-day operation of the franchises, the pennant races and outstanding players, the two-year competitive battle for fans and players, and the short- and long-term impact on the game are covered in detail.

About the Author(s)

Robert Peyton Wiggins, a member of the Society for American Baseball Research, works in the University of Virginia Health System. The author of several books, he won the 2010 SABR Larry Ritter Award for the Society for American Baseball Research for his book, The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs (McFarland, 2009). He lives in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Robert Peyton Wiggins
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 368
Bibliographic Info: 31 photos, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012 [2009]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6939-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

Introduction      3

1. Federal League Beginnings      9

2. A Challenge to Organized Baseball      21

3. Lucky Charley      28

4. “A Fifty Per Cent Raise Looked Too Good to Turn Down”      35

5. The Baseball Players’ Fraternity      45

6. The Federal League Survives a Crisis      51

7. Ad Brennan and Tom Seaton      58

8. The World Tourists      62

9. Opening Day      66

10. “The Nerviest Proposition I Ever Saw”      72

11. Three Finger Brown      78

12. Weeghman’s “Edifice of Beauty”      84

13. The Emery Ball Specialist      93

14. The Terrapins Set the Pace      99

15. Rowdyism and Umpire Woes      105

16. Washington Park      110

17. Pittsburgh’s Rebels      117

18. “I Will Pitch for the One That Gives Me the Most Money!”      123

19. Prince Hal      128

20. Ty Cobb of the Feds      135

21. Tinker’s Invalids      142

22. Fielder Jones      147

23. The Stretch Run      152

24. A Gloomy State of Affairs      160

25. The Big Train Almost Becomes the Federal Express      168

26. The Federal League vs. Organized Baseball      173

27. Jumpers and Flip-Floppers      178

28. “An Embarrassing Situation”      186

29. Opening Day 2      193

30. Benny Kauff Goes Astray      201

31. Rebels Resurgent      207

32. The Top Whale Goes Down      214

33. Buffalo’s Got the Blues      218

34. “This Season You Are Playing for Me”      222

35. The Colonial League      228

36. Lee Magee Style      232

37. “My Resignation Was Wired to Mr. Ball This Afternoon”      240

38. “The Belgium of Baseball”      245

39. The Deacon Takes the Pulpit      249

40. The Tribune’s Amateurs      256

41. Davenport and Plank      264

42. The Pivotal Series      269

43. The Big Bluff      276

44. Peace!      284

45. The Big Auction      291

46. The Aftershock      298

47. The Browns/Terriers      305

48. The Cubs/Whales      311

49. The Outcasts      318

50. The Benny Kauff Story      322

51. Back into Good Society      329

Epilogue      336

Chapter Notes      341

Bibliography      353

Index      355

Book Reviews & Awards

Winner, Larry Ritter Book Award—SABR
“At last. We now have a definitive history of that infamous and somewhat esoteric subject that haunts baseball trivia contests—the Federal League…well researched”—The Inside Game; “an extensively researched and thorough examination of the origins of the Federal League.”—Society for American Baseball Research; “valuable…stands alone as the ‘major’ history of the Federal League”—Journal of Sport History; “comprehensive history”—Sports Collectors Digest;
“A stunning scholarly undertaking…[Robert Wiggins] has gotten his arms around a complex subject. He captures the story and its key participants from beginning to end…so the reader has an understanding of the players and issues of the different teams, as well as the league as a whole.”—Steve Steinberg, author (with Lyle Spatz) of 1921: The Yankees, the Giants and the Battle for Baseball Supremacy in New York (forthcoming from Nebraska); “Robert Peyton Wiggins’ The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs…is just as meaty and satisfying as the food served up at one of Charley Weeghman’s 24-hour lunchrooms. … [It] should satiate any Deadballer’s hunger for knowledge about the great rival league that failed.”—Tom Simon, founder, SABR’s Deadball Era Committee.