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The Battle That Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy

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In late 1913 the newly formed Federal League declared itself a major league in competition with the established National and American Leagues. Backed by some of America's wealthiest merchants and industrialists, the new organization posed a real challenge to baseball's prevailing structure. For the next two years the well-established leagues fought back furiously in the press, in the courts, and on the field. The story of this fascinating and complex historical battle centers on the machinations of both the owners and the players, as the Federals struggled for profits and status, and players organized baseball's first real union. Award winning author, Daniel R. Levitt gives us the most authoritative account yet published of the short-lived Federal League, the last professional baseball league to challenge the National League and American League monopoly.

336 pages, Hardcover

First published January 1, 2012

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Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews
Profile Image for James.
Author 8 books33 followers
July 1, 2012
Well-researched, well-organized account of the Federal League, which had an impact that lasted much longer than its three years. The information on the business side of things was very thorough, but I would have liked more on what was happening on the field, particularly which players stood out and what they did.

The book mentions Benny Kauff as one of the stars of the league but doesn't go into much detail on what he hit. Looking at his numbers and comparing them to what he did in the NL after the Federal League folded, it seems clear the level of talent in the Federal League wasn't major league, despite what they were trying to pass themselves off as. I would have liked to have gotten a better feel for exactly how the talent stacked up overall.

Aside from that, though, it was well done and I recommend it for anyone interested in early 20th century baseball.
482 reviews4 followers
January 26, 2016
Early baseball history - from 1913 to 1915, an upstart Federal League challenged "Organized Baseball" which meant the National League and the American League (the junior circuit). The closest things got to breaking the stranglehold owners had on baseball players until Marvin Miller and modern free agency.

A really niche topic - I love baseball but I found it more than enough information than I needed about the topic. It tells the 'facts', I'm sure, but easily could have been delivered in a more readable fashion.
21 reviews13 followers
June 5, 2012
Dull and heavy at times with an ending that doesn't really explain the title. Still, it provides an interesting glimpse at Federal League history.
Profile Image for Charles Edwards.
11 reviews
December 13, 2012
Interesting account of how baseball was like in the old days. Gives the reader a good perspective of how things were.
Profile Image for Chris Dean.
343 reviews6 followers
February 29, 2016
Well documented forgotten era in the game's history. On and off the field maneuvering is covered extensively and it is loaded with "I didn't know that" moments. Recommended.
Displaying 1 - 7 of 7 reviews

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