Major and Minor League Occupancy at Cleveland’s League Park, 1914–15

This article was written by Alan Cohen

This article was published in Spring 2024 Baseball Research Journal

League Park as seen from the air. Note the large bleacher section in left field. (Strongsville Public Library / Public Domain)

League Park as seen from the air. Note the large bleacher section in left field. (Strongsville Public Library / Public Domain)


In 1914 and 1915, for the only time in baseball history, two baseball teams, one a major league team and the other a minor league team, played a full schedule of games in the same ballpark.1 It came about in an unusual fashion.

A Federal League club, managed by Cy Young, had played at Cleveland’s Luna Park in 1913. In that season, the Federal League was considered an independent league. It was in its first season and had started out as a six-team Midwestern league with modest goals. The Cleveland Green Sox finished second in the league with a 64–54 record. Most of the players were unknown and were not a part of the scene beyond 1913 in Cleveland or anywhere else.

Only four members of the 1913 Green Sox 30-man roster were heard from again. John Potts, an outfielder who batted .341 in 92 games, played the 1914 season with Kansas City when the Federal League was recognized as a major league. Frank Rooney, a first baseman who batted .300 in 100 games, played 12 games with Indianapolis in the Federal League the following season. Harry Juul, a pitcher who went 7–7 in 1913, went 0-3 for the Federal League Brooklyn Tip-Tops in 1914. Gil Britton, after batting an unremarkable .211 in 21 games with Cleveland in 1913, completed that season with the Pittsburgh Pirates, appearing in three games. He was hitless in 12 at-bats.

In 1914, the Federal League expanded to eight teams and declared itself a major league, adding teams in Baltimore, Brooklyn, and Buffalo to the holdovers from Chicago, Kansas City, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis. The Federal League’s attempt to put a team in Cleveland in 1914 was pre-empted by owner Charles W. Somers of the Cleveland Naps (now the Guardians) of the American League. Somers had been an owner in the American League since it came to Cleveland in 1900 as a minor league, led the drive that brought Sunday baseball to Cleveland in 1911, and was an early proponent of the farm system. By the end of the 1913 season, the Cleveland minor league chain included teams in Toledo; New Orleans; Portland, Oregon; Ironton, Ohio; and Waterbury, Connecticut. He had developed a working relationship with manager Walter McCredie of Portland in 1908 and had obtained ownership stakes in the other teams over the next five years.2

Somers’ intent was to keep a Federal League team with big-league caliber players out of Cleveland. He did not want to compete for the Cleveland fan base. The preemptive move by Somers was to relocate his Toledo team in the minor-league American Association to Cleveland and have two teams—one major league and one minor league—share the fourth incarnation of League Park. The American Association team, known as the Bearcats in 1914 and the Spiders in 1915, had several players with major-league experience. None of them had played with the 1913 Cleveland Green Sox.

In 1914 and 1915, not only did the two teams coexist, but some of the players went back and forth between them. One of those players, Sad Sam Jones, after going 10–4 for the Bearcats in 1914, went on to play 22 seasons in the American League with a career record of 229–217. He went 16–5 for the World Series champion Boston Red Sox in 1918 and 21–8 for the New York Yankees in 1923, their first world championship season.

Somers, along with preempting a Cleveland entry in the Federal League, had been a combatant in the war between the new major league and Organized Baseball. Before the 1914 season, he’d had all he could handle in fighting off the Federal League raid on his pitching staff. The raiders were particularly after his top three pitchers, who had gone a collective 58–33 in 1913. He retained most of his players with higher than usual salaries. The most substantial loss was that of pitcher Cy Falkenberg, who had gone 23–10 in 1913. He went to Indianapolis in the Federal League in 1914. After Falkenberg’s departure, rumors circulated that three other pitchers would jump to the new league. Somers opened his wallet and signed Vean Gregg in March. Gregg had been 20–13 in 1913 and would go on to a 9–3 record in 1914.

The most controversial case was that of pitcher Fred Blanding, who had gone 15–10 for the Naps in 1913. Blanding had jumped to Kansas City of the Federal League but, before the ink was dry, he had second thoughts and returned to Cleveland, setting off a firestorm of legal maneuvering. Kansas City sought to have its contract with Blanding honored but did not prevail in court.3 Blanding went 4–9 for Cleveland in 1914.

Another pitcher, George Kahler (5–11 in 1913), appeared to have been lured away by the Buffalo team in the Federal League but sent back the advance money and stayed with the Naps. In 1914, he went back and forth between the two Cleveland teams. After starting the season with the Naps and only appearing in two games, he was sent to the American Association, where he went 15–11.

The Naps were coming off a 1913 season that saw them finish third in the American League. Nap Lajoie was still with the team and, at age 38, had batted .335. The top player was Shoeless Joe Jackson, who had batted .373 with 63 extra-base hits.

But the success of 1913 would not carry over.

The Naps began the 1914 season losing their first seven decisions (five in a row by one-run margins) and never recovered. Lajoie was 39 years old and his career, which had begun in 1896, had experienced an inevitable downturn. He joined Cleveland in 1902 and his batting average was .345 in his first 12 seasons with the team.

After opening the season with an 0–7 road trip, the Naps played 12 of their next 15 games at home. When they left Cleveland and turned the ballpark over to the American Association team, their record stood at 7–14 (there had been a 3–3 12-inning tie against the St. Louis Browns on April 30). In the last game before departing, they defeated the Browns and former teammate Bill James, 4–0.

James ((William Henry James, not to be confused with William Lawrence James, who spent four seasons with the Boston Braves), had gone 2–0 in two starts against his former mates in the past two weeks. In 1911 and 1912 with Cleveland, he had done little to distinguish himself. The Cleveland Plain Dealer implied that he had spent more time in transit between Cleveland and Toledo than he had spent pitching for the Naps. James was on the long end of the decision in his next game in Cleveland as the Browns won, 10–5, on June 1. During that game, Jackson had his only League Park homer of the season. Unfortunately, his defensive lapses that day contributed to the Browns win.

It was the Deadball era, but the Naps’s home run output, especially at home, was anemic even by contemporary standards. They were last in the league in homers with 10, only four of which were hit at League Park. Jackson’s homer on June 1 was the only one that went over the fence. The team finished last with a 51–102 record. It was Cleveland’s first season with more than 100 losses since joining the American League in 1900. The franchise did not lose as many games in a season again until 1971.


Sad Sam Jones, after going 10-4 for the Bearcuts in 1914, pitched for the Cleveland Indians in 1914 and 1915. In all he spent 22 seasons in the American League with a career record of 229-217. (Library of Congress, Bain Collection)



The Mud Hens identity was left in Toledo when the team moved to Cleveland, and it took a while for the club to settle on a name.4

They were known as the Scouts, Spiders, Warriors, and Shecks (for manager Jimmy Sheckard) before they officially became the Bearcats on June 21.5 Cleveland was competitive after getting off to a slow start. The Bearcats, to use the name they settled on, played 24 games on the road at the beginning of the season, and by the time of their home opener on May 14, they were in last place with an 8–16 record. They then proceeded to win 27 of their next 39 to pull within a game of first place.

Due to scheduling issues (the initial schedule was drawn up before the move from Toledo) and park availability, the Bearcats played only 65 of their 166 games at League Park in 1914, of which they won 40. Only six American Association homers were hit at the venue that season (four by the home team), but if the balls did not go a long way, some of the games did—in innings, that is. And runs were scored—most of the time.

In a wild encounter on May 20, the first homers of the American Association League Park season were hit. In a 12-inning win by the unwieldy score of 15–14, Denney Wilie homered for Cleveland (they were the Scouts at the time), and Bunny Brief homered for the Kansas City Blues. Brief’s two-run homer capped a five-run second inning that gave Kansas City an early lead. Wilie’s three-run homer came in the bottom of the second and closed the gap to 5–4.6

Wilie homered again six days later in a losing cause against the Milwaukee Brewers. He played parts of three seasons in the majors and had two big-league homers, both at the Polo Grounds in New York. He was one of the players who shuttled between the American Association and the American League during the 1914–15 period without having to pack a suitcase. In August 1915, he was promoted to the Cleveland American League team, by then known as the Indians. He batted .252 in 45 games as the Indians limped to a 57–95 finish, good for seventh place.

Alfred “Greasy” Neale was hardly a renowned slugger. His only homer of the 1914 season came in his debut, on June 28, in a 5–2 Bearcats win. It was gift-wrapped. Columbus Senators left fielder Bill Hinchman allowed a line drive to “percolate through his legs.”7 Neale is remembered not for his prowess on the diamond but for his genius on the gridiron, where he coached the Philadelphia Eagles to back-to-back NFL championships in 1948–49. But that win in which he homered put Cleveland within two games of first place.

Among the players that Somers kept for the Naps when the Federal League teams were making tempting offers was Jack Lelivelt, the team’s top pinch-hitter (9-for-23) in 1913. The Naps brought him into the fold in January 1914.8 While with the Yankees in 1912, Lelivelt had torn a muscle in his leg. He was limited to pinch-hitting when he joined Cleveland in June 1913. In 1914, he returned to the outfield for the Naps.

On June 25, Lelivelt was sent to the Cleveland Bearcats, becoming one of several players to take the field for each of the two Cleveland teams from 1914 through 1915. Lelivelt was batting .328 when he was sent down, but the minor-league squad had some chance of winning, as opposed to the Naps, whose 1914 season was an unqualified disaster from start to finish. Lelivelt was not happy with the change of team (if not the scenery) and did not report right away. He sat out four games. With the Bearcats, Lelivelt played first base and batted .295 in 92 games. He never returned to the majors.

When Lelivelt began to play, the immediate results were unsatisfactory. The Bearcats lost successive games to the Indianapolis Indians by scores of 9–3 and 15–2. The latter game resulted in a somewhat comedic article by C.L. Kirkpatrick in the Cleveland Plain Dealer with the headline “Indians Win in Real Comedy.” The first paragraph included a note that “loyal fans enjoyed the merry swat, swat of bat against leather and the sizz and zang of wildly hurled balls” and went on to make light of the lopsided game.9 Then Louisville came to town and the Bearcats won consecutive doubleheaders on July 4–5 to move into second place. Up and down movement in the standings became an everyday thing, with six teams within 41⁄2 games of each other.

On July 19, the Bearcats were in second place, a game behind Milwaukee, as the Brewers came to Cleveland for a doubleheader. The largest crowd of the season, 10,000, went home happy as the Bearcats won the doubleheader to move into first place by percentage points.10 When they lost a doubleheader to Milwaukee two days later, they slid to third place. They then went on the road for almost a month and lost further ground, dropping 18 of 30 games and slipping to fifth place. They came home to sparse crowds in September, drawing as little as 200 fans to a doubleheader played in cold weather on September 8. The Bearcats finished the season in fifth place with an 82–81 record.


The Naps were on the road beginning on May 12 and were away from League Park for all but four games before returning home for a long homestand on June 6. They started the homestand in eighth place with a 14–28 record and proceeded to pour gasoline on their own fire, losing five straight. When they defeated the Philadelphia A’s, 3–0, on June 11, only 955 fans were in attendance. Bill Steen was the winning pitcher in his only shutout of the season. Writing in the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Henry P. Edwards joked that manager Joe Birmingham “was forced to call upon his entire pitching staff, as Bill Steen worked throughout the nine innings.”11 He was not far off the mark: The win was his third in four decisions, and his three wins from May 30 through June 11 were the club’s only victories against 10 losses. After the win on June 11, his record stood at 3–3 with an earned-run average of 1.09. Over the full year, he was 9–14 with a team-leading ERA of 2.60.

The Naps were going nowhere in the standings and looked for help from their farm system. Not only were players shuttled back and forth between the Naps and the Bearcats, but Somers drew on his relationships with other minor-league teams, including the one in Waterbury, Connecticut.

Elmer Smith was 21 years old in 1914 and began the season with Waterbury in the Class B Eastern Association. He batted .332 in 93 games and was promoted to the Bearcats on August 19. He played in 23 American Association games and batted .311. Smith’s ascendance was complete when he advanced to the Naps and made his major-league debut on September 20. He appeared in 13 games with the Naps and batted .321. He had two or more hits six times and, on September 29, his three hits led the Naps to a 10–4 win over the Chicago White Sox. Unfortunately, his performance had nominal impact as the Naps only improved to 50–100 with that victory.

As the 1914 season drew to its close, Lajoie was closing in on his 3,000th hit. In the first game of a doubleheader on September 27 at League Park, he went 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles as the Naps defeated the Yankees, 5–3, bringing his career hit count to 3,001.12

They were his last hits with Cleveland. He was given the second game off. Three days later, in his Cleveland swan song, he appeared as a pinch-hitter against Chicago and walked.

The first game on September 27 was notable for another reason. Pitcher Guy Morton, who had begun the season on the Waterbury farm club, posting an 8–1 record, earned his first win with the Naps—after 13 losses. He had been promoted in June and, despite posting a 3.23 ERA, had lost 13 decisions in 24 appearances. The following season, Morton improved to 16–15.

Toward the end of the 1914 season, there was speculation, fueled by an article in Sporting Life, that the Federal League’s Kansas City Packers would move to Cleveland.13 The speculation was just that. The Packers stayed put in 1915.

The biggest change in 1915 involved financial reversals suffered by Cleveland owner Somers. Money woes plagued the ballclub as they drew only 185,977 fans in 1914 (worst in the American League), and Somers still had to cover the expenses of the American Association team. Not only had his Cleveland baseball teams not done well in 1914, but his non-baseball interests, particularly in the coal industry, experienced a reversal of fortune. His liabilities were estimated in the range of $1.75 million.14 A committee of bankers from Cleveland, Buffalo, and Elyria, Ohio, moved to establish cost-cutting measures to keep Somers afloat. Lajoie was sold to the A’s, which cut the team payroll. Somers also cut the scouting staff, dismissing Charlie Hickman, Bill Reidy, Jack McAllister, and Bade Myers.15 The 1915 payroll was only $50,000.

After two years in the Eastern Association, Somers sold off his interest in the Waterbury team.16 The decision had come before Somers’ financial woes became public. The Hartford Courant wrote on September 6, 1914: “The Cleveland club is tired of its bargain and is anxious to dispose of the franchise, and it will be on the market this fall waiting for a buyer. Moreover, it is hinted that it will not take any great lump of money to secure the franchise.”17 Baseball-wise, Waterbury had been a success. The team finished 70–61 in 1913 and 69–51 in 1914. Five members of the 1914 team moved up to the Indians, including manager Lee Fohl, who became a Cleveland coach in 1915.

On January 16, 1915, the Bearcats became the Spiders, and the Naps were renamed the Indians. The teams again shared League Park, which was renamed Somers Park. The Spiders had a new manager in 1915: Jack Knight replaced Sheckard at the helm. The Indians retained Joe Birmingham.

On the way back from spring training, the teams played each other in Louisville, and the Indians won, 3–2. Missing from the Indians lineup was Jackson, who had sprained his ankle. He healed in time to play in every regular-season game through June 1. Once up north, both teams got off to bad starts. The Spiders, plagued by bad pitching, were in sixth place for a good part of the season. Nick Carter and Lefty James (yet another Bill James: William L. James) were the only reliable pitchers.

The Spiders were the first of the Cleveland teams to play at Somers Park in 1915 and began the season with a 3–3 homestand. When they took to the road, their fortunes worsened, and by the time they returned to Cleveland for a Memorial Day doubleheader, they were 14–17. After losing the holiday pair to Indianapolis, another road trip beckoned. They limped home with a record at 14–21.

They then feasted on home cooking, winning seven of eight games, including five in a row from June 6 through June 11. This boosted their record to 21–22. On June 9, they staged a spectacular ninth-inning rally to defeat Minneapolis, 12–11. In that game, Billy Southworth had two triples and two singles, one of which drove in a run in the six-run ninth inning.18 After that, Southworth, who was batting .336 through his first 40 games, was promoted from the Spiders to the Indians. The need for the immediate promotion was fueled by arm problems that had caused Jackson to be out of the starting lineup since June 4.19 The Indians defeated Philadelphia on June 9, but they, like the Spiders, were under .500. Southworth joined a team that was in sixth place with a 19–24 record.

Amid reports that the Spiders were being transferred back to Toledo, they went on a road trip in mid-June during which they lost two no-hitters. However, they won 10 of the 16 games on the trip and came home at the beginning of July to sweep Columbus in two straight doubleheaders and climb to the dizzying heights of third place. The move to Toledo fell through and so did the move to the first division: The Spiders went on a long road trip in July, and when they returned to Cleveland, they were in sixth place once again.

The Indians, having finished last in 1914, got off to a bad start in 1915. Jackson was batting .358 through 28 games but he was just about the only bright spot in the lineup. After starting the year 7–9, the Indians began a long homestand on May 1. They dropped seven of the first 12 games of that stand, and Birmingham was fired as manager on May 21.

Owner Somers was in no rush to replace him. When speculation arose that he would choose George McBride, then with the Washington Nationals, Somers said, “For the present, I am in no hurry to appoint a manager for my ball club. I am willing to admit that I have talked to [Clark] Griffith about McBride, but we have come to no terms.”20 Coach Lee Fohl ran the team in the interim. Reports had Somers considering Spiders skipper Knight as a replacement, but Fohl stayed on as manager into the 1919 season.


Long road trips were the norm for the Spiders in 1915, and like their nineteenth century namesake that finished the 1899 season with a 20–134 record (11–101 on the road), they played far more games outside of Cleveland than at home. The Sporting News on July 15 wrote:

Knight’s team has played a great many of its games on the road. The Spiders practically haven’t a home town. Cleveland fans are not strong for them by any means and they were always compelled to play second fiddle to the American League team. Then the talk about transferring the club to Toledo was brought up and then the players’ salaries were sliced. Outside of that, Knight didn’t have a thing to buck up against, and yet he has had his men fighting day in and day out.22

The original 154-game schedule called for only 65 Spiders home games due to the lack of local interest and the club losing money. Even some of those games were switched to opponents’ cities, meaning only 50 games were played in Cleveland, with the Spiders posting a 24–26 record. Just as it had been in 1914, the long ball was all but invisible at Somers Park for the American Association games. Only four homers were hit there all season, two by the Spiders.

The first homer at Cleveland during the American Association season came off the bat of Southworth on April 20. Southworth spent the bulk of his career in the National League, and each of his 52 career big-league homers was hit in the National League. In July 1913, he was acquired by the Naps and appeared in one game before being sent to Toledo. He spent 1914 with the Bearcats. After joining the Indians following his terrific start with the Spiders, he batted .220 in 60 games. By the end of August, when he was sent to Portland of the Pacific Coast League, the Indians were 46–74 and battling for sixth place with the St. Louis Browns.

Adding to the Indians’ on-field woes had been the loss of outfielder Jack Graney, who broke a bone in his leg against Washington on July 20 and was out of the starting lineup until August 21. By then, the team’s fate in the standings was pretty much a certainty. There was some talk of moving Billy Nixon, who had played under Fohl at Waterbury, up from the Spiders, but Nixon never got an opportunity to play in the big leagues.23

The Indians lost successive doubleheaders to the Detroit Tigers at Somers Park on August 16–17 to fall to 41–66.

At that point in the season, the crowd of 4,150 fans who showed up for the first of those doubleheaders constituted a mob, and they were treated to classic inefficiency by the home team. In the first game, the Tigers stole eight bases, victimizing Cleveland catcher Ben Egan, and won, 6–2.

The second game featured one of the best pitching performances of the season—albeit by Detroit pitcher Bernie Boland. The Tigers, helped along by a Bill Wambsganss error when Egan finally found the range with one of his throws to second base, took a 2–0 lead in the fourth inning, and the Indians scored one in their half. Ray Chapman was hit by a pitch, the ball bouncing off his head and into the grandstand. Chapman stole second and advanced to third on a passed ball by the Detroit catcher. After Jackson walked, putting runners at the corners, Cleveland tried a double steal. Tigers shortstop Donie Bush intercepted the throw from the catcher and threw to third. The throw went over everything, and Chapman scored.24

Boland did not allow a hit until there were two outs in the eighth inning, and the hit came from an unlikely source. Nineteen-year-old Ben Paschal, who had spent his first professional season with Dothan, Alabama, in the Class D Florida-Alabama-Georgia League, had just been called up by the Indians. He was sent up to pinch-hit for pitcher Rip Hagerman. In his second major-league at-bat, Paschal singled to center field. It was the only hit of the game as Detroit won, 3–1.

The following day, Detroit won by scores of 10–3 and 7–3 in front of 2,462 fans.

At the conclusion of play on August 20, a whitewashing at the hands of Washington, Somers, to survive financially, traded Jackson to the Chicago White Sox.25 Jackson was batting .327 at the time and the price was estimated at $25,000 plus three White Sox players.26

By the time the Indians left Somers Park for a road trip at the end of August, they were in seventh place with a 45–74 record. The Spiders stayed on the road and did not return to Cleveland until September 12. They limped home in seventh place with at 62–78.

After taking two of three from St. Paul, the Spiders welcomed Kansas City and old friend Lelivelt for a doubleheader on September 15. The Spiders won the first game, 4–1, to give them a 3–1 record for the homestand. In the nightcap—a real nightcap as darkness due to an impending storm caused play to be stopped after seven innings—the Spiders lost, 4–2. The second Somers Park homer of the 1915 minor-league season was hit in the second game by Lelivelt.

The final two Somers Park minor-league homers were belted in the Spiders’ last home game, against Minneapolis on September 18. Cleveland manager Knight, who would lead his team with four homers, hit one as his team lost, 9–4, in a game that clinched the pennant for Minneapolis. Wally Smith homered for the victorious Millers. The Spiders played the balance of the schedule on the road and finished in seventh place with a 67–82 record.

Jay Kirke was perhaps the longest-tenured player to play for both the Bearcats/Spiders and Naps/Indians. His career began in 1906 in the low minors. He made his first big-league appearance in 1910 in a handful of games with Detroit. In both 1914 and 1915, he began the season with Cleveland in the American Association and was called up to the majors in midseason. Other than 17 games with the New York Giants in 1918, Kirke spent the rest of his career in the minors, retiring after the 1927 season.

The Indians spent most of the last month or so of the 1915 season on the road, playing only five games at home after August 29, with estimated attendance figures of ranging from 650, twice, to 2,150. They finished the season in seventh place with a 57–95 record. Total attendance for the season was 159,285, sixth in the American League.


After the season, the Federal League disbanded as two owners bought AL/NL franchises (Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Browns), and a financial settlement was reached with the other Federal League owners. In Cleveland, with no potential threat from the Federal League and Somers under mounting financial pressures, it was decided that he would give up his interest in the Spiders.27 In 1916, the Spiders returned to Toledo. Somers continued as owner of the Indians—but not for long.

Somers’ problems had not been helped by the record of his American League team in 1914 and 1915. After finishing in third place with an 86–66 record in 1913, the team had fallen on hard times, with 102- and 95-loss seasons the next two years. Even with the absence of a Federal League rival, the attendance plummeted, and Somers’ woes did not abate.

Remember Joe Birmingham? The manager fired by Somers sued for $20,000 in back wages and damages. The matter was settled out of court in late February 1916. By that point, Somers was no longer the owner of the team.28

It was announced on February 17, 1916, that railroad executive James C. Dunn would head up a group that would purchase the club, which had fallen into receivership. On March 11, it was announced that the new ownership would abandon its farm system.29 Somers’ advocacy of the practice was long forgotten when Branch Rickey built his Cardinals powerhouse on the farm system in the upcoming decades.

Somers’ legacy was unintended. The hiring of Lee Fohl, the only manager he could afford (Fohl’s pay did not change when he was promoted from coach to manager), wound up working out well for the Indians. When Dunn bought the team, he retained Fohl. As the Indians improved in 1916, reaching sixth place and the .500 mark, writer Frank Menke remarked, “Fohl, with the genius that is his, rooted out the dissension that had wrecked the club earlier, brought order out of chaos, cured the ‘soreheads,’ and brought about harmonious conditions.”30

Fohl was fired in 1919 after starting the season 44–34, and was replaced by Tris Speaker. In 1920, Speaker, as both manager and star center fielder, led the Indians to the World Series championship, the first in the history of the franchise.

ALAN COHEN chairs the BioProject fact-checking committee, and is a datacaster (MiLB stringer) with the Eastern League Hartford Yard Goats. He also works with the Retrosheet Negro Leagues project and serves on SABR’s Negro Leagues Committee. His biographies, game stories, and essays have appeared in more than 70 baseball-related publications. He has four children, nine grandchildren, and one great-grandchild, and resides in Connecticut with wife Frances, their cats Zoe and Ava, and their dog Buddy.



The author thanks Don Jensen for his review of the initial manuscript of this story.



In addition to the sources shown in the endnotes, the author used Baseball Reference, Retrosheet, and:

“Kilfoyl Quips Naps – Sells Share to Somers, Latter Now Owning Club Alone,” Washington Post, July 27, 1910, 8.

Menke, Frank G. “Big Question of Day is Whether Fellow Magnates Will Help,” Oregon Sunday Journal, January 17, 1915, 19.

Rainey, Chris, “Guy Morton,” SABR BioProject,

Schuld, Fred. “Charles Somers,” SABR BioProject,

Wancho, Joseph. “Greasy Neale,” SABR BioProject,



1 Other cities have had major-league and minor-league baseball at the same time but in different ballparks. Five cities (Indianapolis, Kansas City, Buffalo, Baltimore, and Newark) had both a Federal League and minor-league presence at the same time.

2 “Portland’s Friend in Major Leagues,” Oregon Sunday Journal, December 7, 1913, 3–2.

3 “Somers Makes Answer to President Gilmore,” Hartford Courant, March 4, 1914, 16.

4 Toledo, despite the move of its American Association team, did have professional baseball in 1914. The newly founded Southern Michigan League put one of its 10 teams in Toledo, and Somers owned that team as well as the teams in Cleveland. See “Toledo Franchise in Southern Michigan League Said to be Owned by Charles Somers,” Cincinnati Enquirer, March 20, 1914, 6. The Toledo Mud Hens finished in eighth place and did not return to the Southern Michigan League in 1915. The league itself did not have prolonged success, folding in July 1915. Other than 1956–64, the 1915 season was the only one in the twentieth century during which Toledo did not have professional baseball.

5 “‘Bearcats’ New Name for Sheckard’s Crew,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 22, 1914, 10.

6 C.L. Kirkpatrick, “Scouts Take Real Batfest,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 21, 1914, 11.

7 Kirkpatrick, “Bearcats Win, then it Rains,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 29, 1914, 9.

8 “Sweeney Joins Feds,” Cincinnati Enquirer, January 24, 1914, 6.

9 Kirkpatrick, “Indians Win in Real Comedy,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 4, 1914, 9.

10 Kirkpatrick, “Bearcats in First Place by Twice Beating Brewers,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, July 20, 1914, 9–10.

11 Henry P. Edwards, “Naps Reward Small Bank of Loyal Fans by Winning,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 12, 1914, 13.

12 “Lajoie Third Player to Make 3,000 Hits,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, September 28, 1914, 9.

13 Ed Bano, “Plea for Peace: The Cleveland Club an Object Lesson as to the Cost of War – Why the Organized Ball and Federal League Powers Should Get Together,” Sporting Life, August 29, 1914, 9–10.

14 “Ball Club Owner Fails,” The New York Times, January 1, 1915, 12.

15 “Timely Baseball Bits,” Hartford Courant, February 5, 1915, 20.

16 “O’Rourke Boosting Waterbury Club: Somers, Owner of Franchise, Has Gone into Bankruptcy,” Hartford Courant, January 2, 1915, 20.

17 “O’Rourke Blind to M’Cann’s Methods,” Hartford Courant, September 6, 1914, 2–3.

18 Kirkpatrick, “Terrific Rally in Ninth Inning Defeats Millers,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 10, 1915, 13.

19 “Southworth Goes; Spiders Get Player,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, June 10, 1915, 13.

20 William Peet, “George McBride Slated to Manage the Indians,” Washington Herald, May 22, 1915, 9.

21. Edwards, “Somers May be Watching Knight for Indian Pilot,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, May 30, 1915, 15.

22 George Biggers, “Grand Upset for Association Fans,” The Sporting News, July 15, 1915, 2.

23 “Nixon May be Seen with Naps,” Hartford Courant, July 23, 1915, 16.

24 Edwards, “Indians Twice Beaten in Double Bill by Detroit,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 17, 1915, 9. This was, of course, a foreshadowing of a similar beaning of Chapman in 1920 that resulted in his death.

25 Edwards, “Comiskey is Kind Indeed to Somers,” The Sporting News, August 26, 1915, 4.

26 Edwards, “Joe Jackson Goes to White Sox in Baseball Deal,” Cleveland Plain Dealer, August 21, 1915, 10.

27 Edwards, “Fellow Magnates Rally to Somers,” The Sporting News, December 23, 1915, 1.

28 “Joe Settles with Cleveland Indians,” Grand Rapids Press, February 26, 1916, 14.

29 “Will Cut Out Farms,” Washington Evening Star, March 12, 1916, 5–2.

30 Frank G. Menke, “Busher Manager Proves a Master,” Omaha Sunday Bee, September 3, 1916, 4-S.