For 1878 the Century League returned the same six clubs it had the previous year. The results however, could not have been different. Embarrassed and angry after a dismal season in 1877, Charles Bigsby opened his wallet and remade his New York Knights. And it worked.

The new-look Knights turned it around completely, winning 39 games against 22 losses in a very competitive Century League season to capture the pennant. Charles' team finished five games ahead of his brother's Brooklyn club with Boston (30-29) finishing third, Detroit (30-33) fourth, Philadelphia (26-35) fifth and another surprise - Chicago last with a 24-37 mark. 

One of Bigsby's best finds was a 19-year-old phenom by the name of Ken Burris. Burris led his club and finished third in the league with a .356 average. Paired with veteran John Cheatom, a former Cincinnati Monarch who decided he didn't like the touring life, former Boston star Albert Friermood (.354) and former Philadelphia catcher Steve Airington (.349), the Knights led the league in hitting and were second to Detroit's potent lineup in scoring. Coupled with pitcher A.W. Morton (from Chicago) and rookie Frank Sobreville who combined posted the league's best starting ERA, the Knights were a completely different - and very talented (if high-priced) - club.

Another rookie making a big splash was Detroit's Dave Grigsby who led the league in batting average (.388) and RBIs (58) at just 21 years of age. Cal Jones of Boston was second in hitting (.368) and Jeffrey Nicks (also of Detroit) hit .355 to finish barely behind Burris in 4th-place. Morton's 2.10 topped the ERA charts while Detroit's Duane Chilton made 59 starts, went 25-30 and threw 502 innings - and did it with a 2.19 ERA (he also led the league with 192 Ks - all those innings helped).

Off the field, Whitney spent much of his summer trying to find replacement clubs to get his circuit back to the eight he believed was the ideal membership level. Ironically, he found them amongst the ranks of the independent and relatively informal barnstorming group that Cincinnati and St. Louis had joined.