Though the full story wouldn't come out for years, the biggest trade in baseball history (to that point, at least) was triggered by the player himself. Max Morris was a supremely talented, supremely confident young man who wanted to play for a title. When his club, the Cleveland Foresters, couldn't accommodate his wishes for a winning ballclub, he went to management and demanded to be traded. This was unheard of in an era in which all power resided with the club and not the player. But Morris claimed he would not play for the Foresters. Enter the St. Louis Pioneers who were both good and had a ton of young talent. The Pioneers sent infielders Jim Cator and James Gerhardt, their RF John Hill and SP Milt Sexton, plus $10000 in cash to Cleveland for Max Morris. Mighty Max would get his wish - but ironically, the trade would end up helping both teams in a big way.

For St. Louis, the acquisition of Morris accomplished two things: first, it gave them the player they needed to finally have a shot at supplanting Detroit at the top of the Federal Association. But nearly as important, it also gave them the game's biggest gate draw. Morris had a vicious uppercutting swing that, when it connected, could send balls soaring higher and farther than anyone had before done. Batting practice at Pioneer Field became an event. Of course, the games meant more, and Morris lived up to his billing - he finished with a .359 average, 26 home runs and 79 RBIs - and he missed two months of the season due to an achilles problem. His average would have led the league and his RBI total was fifth despite playing just 97 games (and for the first time ever, he didn't pitch a single game - although he did while with Oakland on a rehabilitation stint after his injury). With Morris leading the way (most of the time at least), St. Louis posted a 95-58 record and claimed the pennant for the first time since 1890. And they did it by 11.5 games over Detroit which made it all the sweeter.

Morris wasn't the only Pioneer to have a big season: the entire team played tremendous baseball. Four other regulars topped the .300 mark, Roger Landry didn't but did hit .293 with seven homers and 70 RBIs while starring defensively. The team scored 746 runs (by far the best in the league), hit .298 as a team (ditto) and led in virtually every other offensive category (except stolen bases). The pitching was third-best in the Fed with Rip Humphrey leading the way (22-9, 2.31). The Pioneers were a very good team indeed. Detroit was second at 84-70, a good record, but not in the same neighborhood as St. Louis. Chicago finished third with their usual mix of good pitching and poor hitting. Fourth-place New York looked like a team on the rise, but that had been said before - and wrongly. Boston, Washington and Pittsburgh followed with Philadelphia turning in a last-place finish after having looked like a team on the rise (see New York in previous years).

Detroit's Don Benford won the batting crown with a .341 average with Pittsburgh's Eddie Andrews (.336) and Sam Egbert (.329) finishing two-three. Ed Kurwood of the Keystones based 20 homers to finish second to Morris in that category. Benford also won the RBI crown with 89 ribbies, just ahead of Boston's Bill McMurtrie's 88. Washington had the ERA champ in Clint Harris (2.14) with Chicago's Danny Wren (2.16) just behind and Rip Humphrey (2.31) third. Humphrey posted the most wins (22) and Detroit's Ken Murphy struck out 162 batters to lead the Fed in that category.

The Morris trade injected the Cleveland Foresters with a much-needed boost of four solid young players. Sure, none of them was Max Morris, but who was? The Foresters shocked everyone by going out and winning the Continental pennant with a team-wide thumbing of the nose at their former team mate over in the Federal Association. It wasn't easy; they had to edge out the resurgent Baltimore Clippers and the still strong Montreal Saints to do it, but they did it. Morris' replacement in right field, Danny Clark had a monster season with a .350 average and 88 RBIs. 2B Carl Martin, in his first full season, clubbed 16 home runs and led the league with 105 RBIs. 3B Jim Cator, the key acquisiton in the Morris deal, was a stud, with a .339 average in his first big league campaign. Overall, the Foresters scored 759 runs (2nd in the league) and also allowed the second-fewest runs in a suddenly-run-happy Continental Association (the league ERA was 3.70, up almost a half-run over the 1919 mark of 3.26.

Powell Slocum hit .386 to lead the league for the ninth straight season and 13th time overall. He missed about four weeks to injury and injuries to Alex Arredondo (who hit .348) and Joe Reid (.328) likely cost the Clippers the pennant. The pitching was there this season for Baltimore as they led the league in runs allowed thanks to good seasons from Phil Miller (22-17, 3.23), Moxie Nelson (17-11, 2.90) and Carl Mellen (18-15, 3.49). Montreal, the defending champs, fell to third. 3B Joe Ward (.323-4-89) 89), 1B Conrad Gardner (.303-14-79), CF Hal Eason (.275-14-71) and RF Woody Pike (.321-6-85) gave the Saints the league's best lineup and they had a pair of 20-game winners in John Bennett (20-13, 3.21) and Joe Myres (20-11, 4.20) but honestly, that was mostly because the offense could often simply outscore the opposition. Toronto was fourth with a flat 77-77 record with Charlie "The St. james Sizzler" Sis recording his 13th straight 20-win season (20-13, 3.31) to run his career mark to 384-227 (with a 2.15 ERA). 

The Cougars finished fifth at 75-79 but did have the ERA champ in Pete Boyer who posted a 2.33 ERA with a 21-10 record. Brooklyn was sixth and they had the Continental's home run champ in 1B Paul Tattersall who hit 26 dingers and a solid RBI man in Hugh Luckey who turned in a solid .325-2-89 line with 38 doubles and 12 triples thrown in for good measure. The Kings could hit, but as usual, pitching was an issue. The Stars climbed out of the basement and into seventh but their offense was lackluster and the pitching not much better. Last-place Philadelphia's lone bright spot was pitcher Rod Kratz who finished second in ERA (2.81) and led the league with 121 strikeouts. 

The World Series had some extra intrigue with Max Morris facing off against the team he had spurned in the winter. Cleveland looked like they had a bit of extra motivation in game one, a 4-3 win on St. Louis' home field despite a 2-for-3 effort from Morris who had a run and an RBI (and two walks) for the Pioneers. The momentum shifted in the next game and would stay in the Pioneers' corner the rest of the way after a 6-0 game two whitewashing. Morris again was key for St. Louis with a 2-for-4, 2 RBI game. 

Game three was back in Cleveland where Morris was roundly booed by the Foresters' faithful. The game itself was a wild one, which the Pioneers won by an 11-7 margin. Game four went to the Pioneers as well as Jimmy Clinch turned in a solid pitching performance in a 6-2 victory. Game five went badly for Cleveland early as the Pioneers plated four in the second inning and it looked like a coronation the rest of the way in a 4-1 win that gave the Pioneers their first World Series title. For the series Morris was a solid 7-for-20 with 5 RBIs, but the best player for St. Louis was LF Cy Lynch who hit .455 and also had 5 RBIs. Jim Cator, the former Pioneer farmhand, hit .500 for Cleveland for the Series.

Despite not playing the full season, it wasn't really a surprise when Max Morris was named the Whitney Award winner. He now had won the award two straight years and once apiece in the Continental and Federal Associations. His former team mate, Cleveland's Danny Clark, who had played backup to him with the Foresters, won the Continental's Whitney award, beating out fellow Forester Jim Cator.