ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA KEYSTONES

The Philadelphia Keystones club is one of just two of the original Century League organizations to survive the tumultuous 19th century. Established in 1876 alongside the Chicago Chiefs, the-then Centennials were one of the best clubs in the Century League during that precursor circuit's 17 season run. Named in honor of the city's status as the birthplace of the Declaration of Independence in 1776, the Centennials were renamed to their current Keystone moniker in 1884. The early club featured the game's best hitter in Zebulon Banks, who would establish a slew of career records (all eventually surpassed in the 20th century) and the one constant was owner Jefferson Edgerton. "Old Jeff" as he would come to be known was a young businessman when the team was born in 1876 - 50 years later he'd be the octogenarian face of baseball's Golden Jubilee and still sharp and in charge of the club's business operations.

ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA SAILORS

The Border Association's Philadelphia entry, the Sailors earned their nickname thanks to the Civil War service of their founder, Victor Crary. Crary was graduated early from the U.S. Naval Academy in order to serve in the war and was assigned to the ironclad warship USS Patapsco. In memory of his fellow Navy veterans, Crary named his team the "Sailors" and when he convinced the city of Phialdelphia to help him build a concrete-and-steel ballpark for his team in the waning days of the First World War, he convinced them to name it the Philadelphia Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Stadium - but the fans ended up calling it Sailors Stadium. The team, created towards the end of the Border Association's run in 1889, won a pennant in its second season and was the fledgling Continental Association's top team in its early years, winning three pennants in five seasons. Alas, those days did not last and the team slowly sank to the bottom of the standings. Along the way, Victor Crary developed into a bit of an old crank to the delight of the city's newsmen who could always count on a quote from Crary even when the Sailors & Keystones were bad (which was often during the early 20th century). Some of his better musings were that Zebulon Banks was "an awful player," Keystones owner Jefferson Edgerton "fought for his namesake and friend Jeff Davis" (Edgerton had in fact served in the Union Army), and that the Keystones should leave the city as "everyone knows the Sailors embody the true spirit of Philadelphia."

ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH MINERS

The Pittsburgh Miners started out as the Quarries - one of the original clubs of the Border Association. The Quarries spent five seasons in the BA, winning the pennant in 1886 during the height of the "Border Wars" between the BA and the Century League. Quarries owner Martin Elswich, who had joined the Bordermen simply because the Century League wasn't willing to expand into Pittsburgh was an ambitious man always looking for an edge. So when CL President William Whitney approached Elswich during the fall of 1886 about bringing his club into the Century League, Elswich saw an opportunity and made his club the first in history to switch leagues. The Quarries were renamed the Miners after switching and spent the next six seasons as a Century League member and went with the other CL clubs into the Federal Association when the FABL organization was created in 1892. Elswich's club became a turn of the century powerhouse, winning four straight pennants from 1898 to 1901, although they lost the World Series in three of those years (no doubt to much delight amongst the old guard of the Continental Association who were born out of the old BA). Elswich's men won another pennant in '07 before the old man passed away in 1912. His estate sold the club to foundry owner Daniel X. Fitzpatrick who opened a brand-new ballpark made with Fitzpatrick Steel in 1923, naturally naming it after himself.

 

ABOUT THE NEW YORK STARS

The oldest team in New York, the Stars beat the Gothams into town by one year as the Border Association snuck one over on the Century League. Initially playing in the Bigsby Oval while the venue was empty, the arrival of the Gothams forced the Stars to move into a wooden park across Riverside Drive from the Oval - purposely putting the Stars as close to the Gothams as possible to further the effort to unseat the Century League. While the FABL agreement of 1892 ended the outright feud between the leagues, the Gothams-Stars feud continued to simmer. With the original Riverside Park destroyed by fire in 1905, the club moved two blocks south and built a bigger, concrete-and-steel structure that maintained their proximity to the Oval and was a key motivator in Miles Bigsby's civic shenanigans in shoehorning a 52000-seat rebuilt Oval by building over Broadway and Riverside Drive themselves. Aside from the ongoing battle with the Bigsby-owned Gothams, the Stars have had good success on the field, winning six pennant and five world titles in the first quarter of the 20th century while the Gothams were shut out over the same period.