Both the first and last pitches of the 1927 Federally Aligned Baseball Leagues' season was thrown at Philadelphia's Broad Street Park. The long-time home of the Keystones, the park was the site for the season's traditional opener as the first game of the season... and for the first time since the start of the World's Championship series, the Keystones won the pennant and represented the Federal Association.

It was a long, and not easy, road to their first pennant since the 1892 season for the Keystones. There was a key (pardon the pun) similarity between the '92 Stones and their 1927 squad, aside from the pennant win: both were led by big stars at first base. The '92 team had the legendary Zebulon Banks manning first and the '27 club featured Rankin Kellogg, easily the best player to don the Keystones' pinstriped duds since Banks left town.

Rankin Kellogg, Phi. Keystones

The Keystones consistency was their strongest suit in 1927. While they didn't lead wire-to-wire, they nearly did, and the did occupy the top spot on the 1st of every month from May through October. They did need an extra game to get past the Detroit Dynamos with whom they finished in a flat-footed tie at 85-69, but won that contest easily, by a score of 7-0 to claim the FA flag.

Kellogg won the Triple Crown, leading the Fed in average (.364), homers (32) and RBIs (133). It helped a bit that St. Louis PIoneers' slugger Max Morris was hurt in August (he had 30 homers in 117 games), but Kellogg's achievement was a rare one - he joined Morris (who had done it three times) and a pair of 19th century stars (Fred Roby in 1894 and Bob DeVilbiss in 1878) in pulling it off.

Kellogg wasn't alone in having a great season at the plate: in all, six of the eight Keystone regulars topped the .300 mark with catcher Carl Ames (.338-12-97) and centerfielder Lee Smith (.326-11-97) having particularly strong campaigns. The pitching was... well, it was ugly, finishing last in the league in runs allowed. But that just proved how outstanding the offense was for the Keystones in 1927.

Detroit's second-place finish, while a disappointing end for the club and its fans, did represent a significant uptick in the Dynamos' fortunes after three straight finishes at or near the bottom of the standings. With CF Frank Platt (.344-11-95) and LF Cy Lynch (.311-11-88) likely to be joined by 1925 #1 overall pick RF Al Wheeler (a combined 30 HRs in the minors in '27) in the not-too-distant future, the Dynamos' outlook seems bright.

Al Wheeler, Newark Aces

Similarly, third-place Chicago's fortunes seem to be rising as well. The Chiefs finished 83-71, just 2.5 games off the pace. The club allowed the least runs in the league and was second in runs scored. With a new GM coming on board at the end of the season, Chicago just could see a long-awaited return to the top in the near future.

Washington, likewise replacing its GM at season's end, was fourth, followed by St. Louis, whose pennant hopes were dashed on the rocks of Morris' season-ending Achilles injury on August 19th. The defending-Fed champs in New York took a step back and finished a disappointing sixth - but their pitching was good and they have a budding superstar in 1B Bud Jameson (.324-28-121) and a great second banana in RF Rusty Shearer (.313-16-104) so few are shedding tears for the Gothams. Pittsburgh (70-84), deep in a rebuild and Boston (67-87) rounded out the standings.

Bud Jameson, NY Gothams

While the Fed race was close, and required a one-game playoff, the Continental Association's race was one for the ages. The defending champ New York Stars were in first on May 1st. A month later it was Cleveland sitting in the catbird's seat (they were still there on July 1st too). But August saw the Philadelphia Sailors atop the standings, giving Philly fans dream of an all-Brotherly Love series (it wasn't to be...). September 1st? Toronto was on top. If you're sensing a trend, it was that there wasn't one - no fewer than five teams were in the mix in the season's final month and it was a team I haven't mentioned who ended up winning the flag: the Brooklyn Kings.

Brooklyn, back at full power with the return of young star Doug Lightbody saw their phenom hit at a .400-plus rate for the bulk of the season before tailing off in September to finish with a FABL-best .384 mark. With the league's top offense and top pitching, it was mostly bad luck that had kept the Kings out of the top spot for long. The Kings made a bold move by firing popular former-player and manager Powell Slocum, replacing him with former Boston Minuteman skipper Wally Grant. The move did appear to pay off as the Kings improved from a .517 win percentage under Slocum to a .622 percentage under Grant.

Wally Grant, Brooklyn manager

Brooklyn had a 21-game winner (Cal WIlliams, 21-10, 3.83) and a 19-game winner (Mose Smith, 19-14, 3.40). In addition to Lightbody (.384-15-98) they also had LF Bud Rogers (.335-8-84), C Mickey Dowell (.306-8-87) and three additional .300-plus hitters in their everyday lineup. The offense - as it had been in 1926 - was loaded.

There was tie for second, one game behind the Kings, between the Sailors and Toronto Wolves. Cleveland, who had led the race the longest, finished two back in fourth place. New York swooned in the early going and never really recovered, finishing fifth. Sixth-place Baltimore, at 76-78, was the best of only three clubs to finish below .500: Chicago (71-83) and Montreal (63-91) rounded out the CA's table.

Top batting performers, aside from those already mentioned, included 3B Glenn Morrison of Washington (.353) and his team mate, the best catcher in the FABL, T.R. Goins (.351-13-99) joining Kellogg atop the Fed charts. The CA had Cleveland SS Joe Standish (.343-22-86) making a big splash and the ageless wonder John Dibblee of the Cougars who not only finished third in the CA batting race (.336) but also became the second man in history to top 3500 career hits, joining Powell Slocum (and passing Zeb Banks who had been second) in the 1927 season.

T.R. Goins, Washington

On the mound, the Pioneers Jimmy Clinch (20-16, 3.50) and Detroit's Toby Runlon (20-12, 4.08) were the only Federal Assoc. hurlers to notch 20 wins. Clinch also paced the loop in innings (324.1) and Ks (116). The Continental, by contrast, had six 20-game winners, headed up by Chicago Cougars ace Vince Dacosta (22-12, 3.99) and Cleveland Foresters ace Bob Lawrence (22-12, 3.20), whose injury on September 24th might have played a role in the Foresters' failure to keep pace with Brooklyn in the final week of the season (the team lost both games he would have been likely to have pitched).

The World Series was surprising - with the top two offenses in baseball, fans expected a shootout. Instead - for at least the first three games - they got tight, pitching-focused contests which were all won by Philadelphia. Brooklyn fell 5-4 in the first game (in Kings County Park) when a ninth-inning rally fell short. The next day they failed to capitalize on the few mistakes made by Keystone starter Rube Frazier and fell 2-1.

When the series shifted to Philly, the Kings led game three 2-1 in the seventh before things fell apart and they dropped a third straight contest, this time by a 4-2 margin. The Kings finally put together a solid all-around game in game four - a 7-0 win - but it was too late. Brooklyn fell 6-0 in game five, giving the Keystones their first title since their 1892 pennant. Rube Frazier was named MVP as the winner of both the 2-1 game two and the 6-0 game five. The biggest news may have been that Kings star Doug Lightbody went just 1-for-17 in the Series. And while Rankin Kellogg hit just .222 for the series himself, he did have a pair of big home runs and drove in a team-high five runs for the Series.

Federal Association

Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Philadelphia Keystones		86	69	.555	-	901	855
Detroit Dynamos			85	70	.548	1	820	773
Chicago Chiefs			83	71	.539	2½	827	739
Washington Eagles		78	76	.506	7½	796	791
St. Louis Pioneers		76	78	.494	9½	810	804
New York Gothams		72	82	.468	13½	759	773
Pittsburgh Miners		70	84	.455	15½	714	765
Boston Minutemen		67	87	.435	18½	676	803

Continental Association

Team				W	L	WPct	GB	R	RA
Brooklyn Kings			83	71	.539	-	782	660
Philadelphia Sailors		82	72	.532	1	745	700
Toronto Wolves			82	72	.532	1	708	697
Cleveland Foresters		81	73	.526	2	760	700
New York Stars			78	76	.506	5	757	727
Baltimore Cannons		76	78	.494	7	766	797
Chicago Cougars			71	83	.461	12	773	901
Montreal Saints			63	91	.409	20	626	735

Award winners for the 1927 season were unsurprisingly:
Whitney Award (Federal Association):

Rankin Kellogg, Philadelphia

Whitney Award (Continental Association):

Doug Lightbody (Brooklyn)

Allen Award (Federal Assoc.)

Jimmy Clinch (St. Louis)

Allen Award (Continental Assoc.)

Mose Smith (Brooklyn)