1899 marked the 25th season of professional baseball and the Federal Association, born out of the old Century League, celebrated the milestone. CL and FABL founder William Whitney was no longer the young firebrand whose dream became a reality - he was now nearing his 60th birthday and passing on more of the day-to-day business of running the Chicago Chiefs to his son, Wash Whitney. The 25th season was a good one, and the FABL faced the end of the century at peace and looking to the future.

The Pittsburgh Miners remained the class of the Federal Association, rolling to a 92-48 record and 12-game cushion over second-place Philadelphia. The Miners featured a roster that was a mix of the guys who had won the flag the year before with a few impact rookies. Among the latter group was a pair of pitchers: Ike Bell (27-17, 2.65) and Aaron Wright (25-14, 3.29) who teamed with returning ace Fred Henry (32-15, 2.55) to give the Miners the league's top pitching. Young centerfielder Dolph Geis made his second season one to remember, leading the club with a .353 average (good for 3rd in the league) while RF Dan Dunn was purchased from Fort Wayne of the Western Federation and hit .343 with 11 homers and 113 runs batted in to help the club lead the league in runs scored as well.

Other standouts in the Fed included Martin Thomas of Boston who had always been a solid run-producer with a knack for hitting home runs (he had led the league in HRs and RBIs three times apiece), but shortened his stroke to fit the en vogue notion of "inside baseball" in 1899 and hit .361 to lead the league. Charlie Wilson continued to be arguably the best pitcher in baseball - he led the Fed in ERA at 2.46 and posted a 26-23 mark on a Chicago club that finished in seventh place. Second-year pitcher John Burrell finished second to Henry in wins with 30 and rookie Bell led the pitchers in strikeouts with 182. Washington picked up Sam Evans in a trade from the Chicago Cougars and he posted a 2.64 ERA, good for third place behind Wilson and Henry. Dunn's 113 RBIs led the league, and his 11 homers was second to Philly's Joe Glenn who had 12. The speedy Philip Jordan (who had stolen 106 bases in 1897) was traded from the Keystones to the Chiefs and led the league in steals for the third straight season with 72.

The Continental Association didn't have much of a pennant race either, though it was closer than the Fed's. The Chicago Cougars reclaimed the top spot behind their hallmark of top-notch hurlers. With Allan Allen traded to Toronto a few years back, the Cougars had to develop a new complementary pitcher to star Don Noftall (who led the league in wins with 31 this season) and came up with John Bigness who emerged from a spot role to be the league's ERA champ with a 2.27 mark that helped him move into the regular rotation by season's end (he went 15-10). Added to two-way CF/P Ed McCorkel who was 2nd in the league in strikeouts (151) and the Cougars were back in form. The offense was tops too - leading the league in runs scored. Young 3B Gil Hice had matured into a solid hitter, posting a .339 average with 104 RBIs. Bob Sykes (.320-4-79) and Calvin Kidd (.311-4-91) were still around and the Cougars added former Boston standout Jimmie Dunn to the team as well, though his campaign was cut short by injury. 

Toronto tumbled to second place, though they still got standout seasons from Thomas Watkins (whose .406 average led all of FABL), Rich Rowley (.392-11-116), Ossie Julious (.380, 74 steals) and Allan Allen (27-16, 3.18). They just didn't get enough from the other guys, especially pitching with Sam Goode having retired and new pickups Henry Lincoln (19-15, 3.55) and Preston Royal (14-6, 3.25) dealing with injuries. New York climbed to third as their shortstop continued his rise to stardom. John Waggoner was in his third season and had improved each year, hitting .385 this season (4th in the league) with 8 homers, 110 RBIs and 59 steals. He was also very strong defensively and at age 25, was already being lauded as the league's best at the shortstop position.

Cleveland's Ben Jameson hit .386 to edge out Waggoner for third place in the batting race behind Watkins & Rowley. Baltimore rookie Frank Robinson led the league with 14 homers and Rowley's 116 RBIs topped the circuit with Waggoner second. Julious' 74 steals were tops in that category. New York's rookie pitcher Bill Temple struck out 204 men to lead the league in that category - his 3.06 ERA was good for third place behind Bigness and Morris Harris (2.76) who had moved over from Boston to the Philadelphia Sailors. Cleveland's Abe Bowman won 28 games to finish 2nd between Noftall and Allen.

In the World Championship Series, the Miners and Cougars split the first two games in Chicago with the home team winning the opener 3-2 and losing the second game 5-1. Chicago then won all three games in Pittsburgh to claim the championship and they did it in strong fashion, winning 5-1, 11-6 and 11-1 on the Miners' home field. Noftall was his usual dominant self, winning twice and posting a 0.75 ERA while RF Frank Tyson sparked the offense with a .348 average and eight RBIs in the five game set. 

The Cougars win made it three straight for the Continentals after the Feds had won the first four. As the new century approached, things were looking good. But the 20th century would present new challenges and plenty of excitement.