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Federal League

From Academic Kids

The Federal League was an attempt to establish a third major league in baseball in the United States. The league had started as a minor league in 1913 as the Columbia League. James A. Gilmore was the president of the Federal League. It is considered by Major League Baseball to have been a major league from 1914-1915.

The FL consisted of 8 teams each season. Most of the teams had "official" nicknames, although the sportswriters were inclined to invent their own nicknames: "ChiFeds", "BrookFeds", etc.

After the 1915 season the owners of the American League and National League bought out most of the owners of the Federal League teams.

The short-lived nature of the Fed left few visible remnants. The Baltimore entry sold their facility to the Baltimore Orioles of the International League, who renamed it Oriole Park and played there for nearly 30 years before it was destroyed by fire in 1944. The Newark ballpark was also used for minor league ball for a short time. The other FL ballparks were demolished quickly, with one exception...

The Chicago team played at Weeghman Park, better known and celebrated today as Wrigley Field, one of the last of the "jewel boxes" in the major leagues. Marc Okkonen, in his book on the Federal League, referred to Wrigley as a "silent monument" to the failed FL experiment. But there is a much larger monument that still stands...

In 1922, the Supreme Court ruled in a suit brought by the Baltimore Federal League club, one of the teams which had not been bought out, that Major League Baseball and its constituent leagues were primarily entertainment, not conventional interstate commerce, and thus were exempt from the Sherman Antitrust Act. This exemption remains intact over 80 years later, although it has been eroded somewhat by subsequent court rulings and legislation about specific issues.

Federal League Champions

  • 1914 Indianapolis Hoosiers (unofficial nickname)
  • 1915 Chicago Whales

Federal League Teams

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