Felber: The Chicago Whales

From SABR member Bill Felber at The National Pastime Museum on january 10, 2017:

Imagine a Major League pennant race coming down to a final scheduled series between the contenders. Now imagine that series coming down to the final game. Now imagine that final game being halted early by natural elements, throwing the pennant to whichever team happened to be leading when those natural elements intervened.

Finally, imagine that many of the most knowledgeable baseball historians—and almost all regular fans—are unaware any of the above ever occurred.

It did, in October of 1915—the obscurity of this chain of events attributable to the fact that the championship at risk that day was of the Federal League, a two-year-old challenge to the established baseball order that ceased to exist when the game’s final out was recorded.

Beneficiaries of that muted high drama were the Chicago Whales, probably the best team produced by the Feds. Owned by “Lucky Charlie” Weeghman, who ran a series of downtown lunch counters, and managed by former Cubs star Joe Tinker, the Whales finished second in the inaugural 1914 Federal League race before edging out St. Louis and Pittsburgh for the 1915 title. They compiled a collective .565 winning percentage for the two-season period, third best of all Major League teams behind the Boston Red Sox and Braves.

Read the full article here: http://www.thenationalpastimemuseum.com/article/chicago-whales

Originally published: January 10, 2017. Last Updated: January 10, 2017.