The Detroit Dynamos had become something of an enigma. After back-to-back pennants in 1907-08 (with a championship in the latter season) and another pennant in 1911, the team had bounced up and down in the standings - usually contending for portions of the season before ending up third or fourth. The one constant had been the stellar play of Jim Golden. Entering the 1916 season, Golden had thrice led the league in victories but was known mainly as a hard-throwing workhorse who had yet to really reach his potential. In 1916 he finally put it all together with a season for the ages. And that made a big difference for the Dynamos.

Their ballparks were less than 40 miles apart, but because they played in different associations the only time they faced off was an occasional exhibition.. or in the World Championship Series. So when the Washington Eagles and Baltimore Clippers got together for the 1913 Series, it was great for fans of both teams who could attend the away games with relative ease. That 1913 series was a bit of a downer (unless you were an Eagles fan) as Washington won it in surprisingly easy fashion. And when both teams repeated as pennant winners in 1914, the scene was set for one of the best Series thus far.

The World Championship Series was not yet even 20 years old so when history unfolded in the 1911 Classic, few understood just what the Toronto Wolves had accomplished. The Continental champs dropped the first three games (two of them at home) to the Fed champion Detroit Dynamos... and then came back and won four in a row to claim the championship. While this impressed fans at the time, no one really understood just how rare an occurrence this would be in professional sports over the next century-plus.

The end of the road finally came for Bill Temple in 1913. The once-dominant lefty's years of hard drinking had begun to catch up to him in 1909 when he wore out his welcome in Detroit and was shipped to Boston. Legendary manager George Theobald wasn't able to work much magic with Temple's increasingly tired arm and after a third straight 20-loss season in 1911, Temple was banished to the minor-league Worcester club. Even lower-level opposition didn't make him look any better and so at the end of the 1913 season he was released by Worcester and retired. His FABL resume was a strong one: a 284-230 record, 2.31 ERA and 3131 strikeouts, over 700 more than any other pitcher in history.

As of 1911, the Federally Aligned Baseball Leagues' Managing Commission was comprised of League President Robert Owings (representing the tie-breaking vote) and four owners (two from each Association): Tim Hillyard (Baltimore), Rich Tanner (Montreal), Jefferson Edgerton (Philadelphia) and Steve Cunningham (Boston). Three of the owners (Tanner, Edgerton & Cunningham) were in their 70s and very much conservative and what we'd today call "old school" and while Hilyard was not young (66), he was progressive in his thinking and set forth a two-pronged proposal that would radically change the way FABL did business: the addition of a draft to "fairly allocate talent" and directly affiliating the FA/CA clubs with one minor club at each level (then consisting of AAA, AA and A). Cunningham (with George Theobald whispering in his ear) was the first to get on board. Tanner and Edgerton were more reluctant, but eventually Edgerton saw the light and agreed. Hillyard wouldn't budge, but with 3 of the 4 members in favor, his nay was overridden and the measure passed. Both the amateur draft and the "farm system" were born.