Baltimore Terrapins

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Baltimore Terrapins[edit]

The Baltimore Terrapins were the Baltimore entry in the short-lived Federal League. The team joined the Federal League when the league reorganized itself on August 2, 1913. The team was owned by Ned Hanlon who also owned the minor league team Baltimore Orioles. To manage the team the Terrapins hired the second baseman from the Philadelphia Phillies Otto Knabe. Early on in the season the team was in and around second place. By May 5th the team was in first place where they would remain for the first half of the season. Following a loss to the Kansas City Packers, the team found itself in 3rd place. The rest of the season saw the team as high as second or as low as fourth place. For two days in early August the team was in first place, but by the second week, the team was back in 3rd. The team would end the season with a 84-70-6 record.

It was hoped that the team would capitalize on the previous years success. The team even brought in Philadelphia Athletics pitcher Chief Bender. Unfortunately things did not go the way as it was hoped. The Terrapins lost their first 3 games of the season before winning over the Buffalo Bisons. After that it, for every win there was a loss. The team never managed anything longer than a 3 game win streak during the season. Bender posted a 4-16 record with no shutouts and an ERA of 3.99. The Terrapins record was overshadowed by the fact that Bender's old team went 43-109-2.

Because of this, it apparent that the league could not compete with the National League and the American League. The Federal League folded on December 22, 1915. During this time many of the players from the league wound up on various major league teams. In addition the owners of 7 of the teams were compensated by Major League Baseball. The Terrapins, however were not. Because of this the team took the league to federal court. It was felt that MLB had violated the Sherman Antitrust Act. In the end, the court ruled in favor of the National and American Leagues. It would be almost 38 years before major league baseball would return to Baltimore. That year, the St. Louis Browns moved to Baltimore and became the Orioles. The last surviving player from the Terrapins was Harvey Russell, who died in 1980.

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Further Reading[edit]

  • Samuel A. Alito, Jr.: "The Origins of the Baseball Antitrust Exemption: Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore, Inc. v. National League of Professional Baseball Players", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Volume 38, Number 2 (Fall 2009), pp. 86-93.
  • Peter Filichia: Green Cathedrals: The Ultimate Celebrations of All 273 Major League and Negro League Ballparks Past and Present, Addison Wesley Publishing Company (March 1993)
  • Daniel R. Levitt: "The Battle that Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy" Rowman and Littlefield © 2012
  • Robert Peyton Wiggins: The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs: The History of an Outlaw Major League, 1914-1915, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2008