YEAR IN REVIEW : 1915 Federal League

Off the field...

The Superior Court in Fulton County, Georgia accepted the charter for the establishment of the new Ku Klux Klan on December 4 th . The first Ku Klux Klan was an organization that thrived in the South during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. Subsequent groups calling themselves by the same name sprang up in much of the South after both World War I and II and in response to civil-rights activity during the 1960s. In spite of its efforts, the new Klan was not strong, and by the end of the 1960's its nationwide power and membership had declined into a small, underground movement.

Ford rolled its one-millionth automobile off the Michigan assembly line, which was responsible for manufacturing half of all cars in America. To meet the growing demands of his "Model T" automobiles, Henry Ford had opened a large factory at Highland Park, in 1910. There, the industrial visionary invented precision building, interchangeable parts and a continuous moving assembly line that revolutionized automobile production by significantly reducing assembly time per vehicle as well as labor costs.

In the American League...

On May 6 th , an "up-and-coming" pitcher for the Boston Red Sox nicknamed "The Babe" hit his first major league homerun off the Yankees Jack Warhop at New York's Polo Grounds.

A back-up catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics named Wally Schang set an American League record after nailing six would-be St. Louis base stealers during a 3-0 loss to the Browns.

On June 23 rd , Detroit's Ty Cobb stole home (again) for the fifth time in the month en route to a 4-2 Tiger victory over the St. Louis Browns. "The Georgia Peach" would finish the season with ninety-six.

In the National League...

Making his National League debut, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lee Meadows became the first player to wear glasses regularly on the field. Later that season, Carmen Hill of the Pittsburgh Pirates became the second.

The Pittsburgh Pirates became the first team since 1894 to lose game one of a doubleheader (against Baltimore 6-0), then comeback to score in every inning of the nightcap (to win, 13-5).

On August 18 th , Wilbur Good became the only Chicago Cub ever to steal second, third, and home — all in the same inning. His teammates followed his "good" example and went on to beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 9-0.

In the Federal League...

After a lengthy contract dispute instigated by the Federal League's high salary structures, "Home Run" Baker announced his early retirement from the Philadelphia Athletics at the tender age of twenty-eight. Manager Connie Mack also experienced salary problems with several other players including Chief Bender, Eddie Plank, and Jack Coombs. Refusing to compete with the rival league's higher pay scale, Mack decided to release the stars and sell Baker to the Yankees after the 1915 season.

In December, organized baseball agreed to a formal "peace treaty" with the Federal League ending a two-year political war. The Federals agreed to disband after the American and National Leagues both agreed to pay an enormous sum of $600,000 for distribution to owners, absorb two franchises (one American League and one National League) and recognize all former players as eligible picks at a Fed-controlled auction.

Around the League...

The Federal League sued organized baseball, claiming it to be an illegal trust and demanding that it be dissolved with all contracts voided. The case was formally filed in the U.S. court in Chicago, before Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the future baseball commissioner intentionally stalled his decision while waiting for peace to be declared at the end of the year.

The American League officially banned the emery ball, a pitch introduced by Russ Ford in 1910. Ford had accidentally discovered that a scuffed baseball could be made to break sharply while a semi-pro pitcher. He began intentionally doctoring the ball using emery paper, and disguised his pitches as spitballs, which at the time were legal.

On "Suffrage Day", 4,100 women bought tickets to see the Giants take on the Chicago Cubs in New York. As a publicity stunt, the suffragettes announced that they would pay five dollars to each player who scored a run. Unfortunately, "Wildfire" Frank Schulte emerged as the only recipient after leading a Chicago "double-steal" in the first inning.

Baseball Almanac Top Quote

"I'll stand at the battery and I'll take any of them (the NL & AL team owners) in pitching dollars into the sea and we'll see who quits first." - Team Owner Henry Sinclair

1915 Federal League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

St. Louis
92
Brooklyn
.342
Brooklyn
34
Baltimore
St. Louis
184
Buffalo
17
Brooklyn
.446
Chicago
94
St. Louis
97
Brooklyn
.509
Brooklyn
55
Pittsburgh
278
Chicago
19

1915 Federal League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

St.Louis
30
Newark
1.91
St.Louis
55
Buffalo
10
St.Louis
10
St.Louis
229
Chicago
.714
Chicago
25

1915 Federal League

Team Standings

Chicago Whales 86 66 .566 0
St. Louis Terriers 87 67 .565 0
Pittsburgh Rebels 86 67 .562 ½
Kansas City Packers 81 72 .529
Newark Peppers 80 72 .526 6
Buffalo Buffeds 74 78 .487 12
Brooklyn Tip-Tops 70 82 .461 16
Baltimore Terrapins 47 107 .305 40

1915 Federal League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

St. Louis
576
Brooklyn
.268
Newark
210
Brooklyn
1,348
Chicago
50
St. Louis
.340
Brooklyn
647
Brooklyn
.360
Brooklyn
249
St. Louis
81

1915 Federal League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Newark
100
Newark
2.61
Fewest Hits Allowed
Kansas City
1,210
Fewest Home Runs Allowed
Newark
15
Fewest Walks Allowed
Kansas City
390
Brooklyn
16
St. Louis
24
St. Louis
698
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baseball almanac fast facts

Trivia alert: Name the only players in history to appear in at least 1 game for each Major League franchise from Chicago: Rollie Zeider & Dutch Zwilling each appeared in games for the Chicago Cubs, the Chicago Whales, and the Chicago White Sox.

Former (1903-1910) National League pitcher Kaiser Wilhelm pitched for the Baltimore Terrapins in 1914 and 1915. In the early part of the 1915 season, Wilhelm was released by his team yet remained in the Federal League serving as an umpire. Amazingly enough, he would return again to the mound after a six year absence with the 1921 Philadelphia Phillies .

Did you know that the 1915 Federal League pennant race produced the closest grouping of the top 3 teams from any league in any Major League season in history?

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