On the surface, the 1905 season didn't really seem that much different from those that came just before it - the Boston Minutemen were cruising towards another pennant in the Federal Association and the Continental Association was shaping up as a two-horse race between New York and Toronto. And everyone assumed that whichever team managed to win the Continental would probably fall quickly to George Theobald's juggernaut in the World Championship Series. And it... almost worked out that way.

One of the ripples that - in hindsight - signaled things were changing took place in the Continental Association. What had been a two-horse race in early June between the aforementioned New York Stars and Toronto Wolves suddenly had a party-crasher: the Baltimore Clippers. Baltimore, like others before them, saw a chance and made a couple of shrewd trades in an attempt to maximize their shot. They made a trade with the Chicago Chiefs to obtain shortstop Calvin Kidd - a solid defensive player who was also pretty solid at the plate. They followed that up with a seemingly minor deal with the Dixie League's Birmingham club in June. They sent their 19-year-old center fielder and $5000 in cash to Birmingham to obtain another 19-year-old centerfielder. His name was Powell Slocum and he'd turn out to be one heck of a pickup. Those two moves along with the purchase of 2B Frank Tyson from Springfield of the East Coast Association and the continuing emergence of young first baseman Jimmy Whipple and the continued veteran presence of LF Ned Vaughn, C Bill Watson and 3B Lew Flagler gave the Clippers the league's best offense. Unfortunately for them, it did nothing for their pitching and though it was good, it wasn't good enough as they finished third in runs allowed and finished six games behind New York - but three ahead of Toronto. 

The Stars claimed their third pennant in four years with their usual crew of standouts: RF George Reid (.329-1-89), SS John Waggoner (.326-0-78, 58 steals) and LF Bill Craigen (.309-4-54) powering the lineup (3rd in runs scored) and topping the league in pitching with a staff headed by Alvin Hensley (30-18, 2.37 ERA). Toronto got a bit of an off-year from Allan Allen (25-24, 2.60) and not much hitting aside from LF Rich Rowley (.330-0-70) and 2B John Partain (.300-1-67). Cleveland, with an 82-71 record, finished fourth and still had the league's best hitter in 2B Jack Arabian (.367-0-75) and RF Jimmy Massey (.315-0-55) and some capable pitching as well (2nd in runs allowed) headed up by Alex Hollingsworth (21-20, 2.47) and Jim Cathey (22-20, 2.36). Chicago was fifth - with Jack Long (23-20, 2.32) being the biggest standout performer. Brooklyn rose up from their previous last-place finish to claim sixth-place - 3B Jim Gerhart (.326-1-66) improved a ton, but unfortunately their pitching did not (7th in the league). Montreal and Philadelphia brought up the rear, though the Saints could at least boast of the league's ERA champ in Warren Miles (1.64) - unfortunately he continued to show a trend of being fragile and easily injured and Philly had the top two base stealers in Dave Campsey (68 - but he hit only .208) and former Minuteman keystone Jacob Waters (60).

Over in the Fed, the Minutemen did in fact win their fourth straight pennant with a 96-56 record, six games better than Pittsburgh (88-60). What stood out in Boston's run this time, was that they didn't have any truly outstanding individual performances. New 3B Charlie Campbell was the main reason Jacob Waters was shipped to baseball purgatory in Philadelphia - he hit .272, but was hurt at the end of the season and missed the World Series. Woody Trease posted a lackluster 23-20 record with a 2.46 ERA - an off-year from the game's best young pitcher. George Wilson (26-11, 1.85) was a major factor in their pennant win but they had a cleanup hitter in John Matyas who specialized in hitting the ball hard, but often hit it right at people (.209-19-70). The Minutemen had chinks in their armor, even if they got by on guts and experience.

Pittsburgh, which had been the FA dynasty prior to Boston's was still an excellent club. Ike Bell (27-17, 2.11) and Tom Edwards (28-11, 1.81) were top-flight pitchers and the lineup had successfully navigated some age-related changes and was still very dangerous. C Les Rowe, at 29 a veteran, enjoyed possibly his best season with a team-best .323 average. Young CF Sam Eifler improved over his rookie season with a solid .282-10-84 campaign and 26-year-old third sacker Harry Clapp hit a flat .300 and drove in 64 runs from the leadoff spot. Finishing just behind Pittsburgh was Washington (88-63) who had unearthed a great young ace of their in Bill West. "Big Bad Bill" improved on his 11-14 rookie campaign with a stellar 30-15 record and 1.50 ERA. Neither mark led the league, but he was darn close - and only 24 years old. Detroit finished fourth with a 26-victory improvement over 1904 thanks to the league's best offense, including 1B Joe Herbert, who hit 21 home runs to set a new record. Bill Temple was still throwing hard, until he hurt his arm in his last start, leaving a possible cloud over 1906. 

St. Louis was fifth with a solid 80-73 record. They had the best pitcher in the Fed (at least for 1905) in Charlie Sis who went 32-13 and posted a 1.48 - both tops in the league. Sis alone was probably enough to bump them up to their fifth-place finish. The bottom three clubs were all awful - Chicago (58-94), New York (58-95) and Philadelphia (52-97) - the nation's top three cities and all former powerhouses were terrible at the same time. And though New York fans still had the Stars to follow, both Chicago and Philly were (at best) also-rans in both leagues.

The World Series was expected to be another easy win for Boston - but the Stars had other plans. New York claimed the first game in thirteen innings - an 8-7 victory that marked Boston's first loss in the Series in ten games going back to 1902. The Stars followed that up by beating Woody Trease in game two 6-4 . Now the pundits opined that Boston would straighten itself out at home in games three, four and five - and they were almost right. Boston did win, easily, in game three 9-3 and eked out a hard fought 7-6 win in game four. But the pivotal game five saw New York's Gil Purdy out-duel Trease in a 3-2 win that put the Stars on the brink - with the Series shifting back to New York.

Boston drew first blood in game six with a run in the top of the fourth, but that would be all they'd manage to get. New York ran off three runs in the home fourth and home fifth and rookie Nate Drake put up zeroes the rest of the way giving the Stars their second World Series title. 2B Joe Casey was the star of the show - he hit .462 (12-for-26) with three home runs and 10 RBIs. Trease, normally untouchable, allowed 21 hits in 17 innings and posted a 3.71 ERA with an 0-2 record for Boston.