For the New York Gothams, 1931 represented an "all-in" opportunity to win the franchise's first championship since 1896. They certainly had the firepower to make it happen, having acquired the game's pre-eminent slugger in a big offseason trade following a disappointing finish to the 1930 World Championship Series, a seven-game loss to the Philadelphia Sailors. Max Morris was brought on board to push the Gothams over the hump. And he did his part with a .331 average, 34 homers and 105 RBIs, all of which led the team. The pitching was there too - Jim Lonardo offered up an encore to his 1929 Allen Award season with another Allen Award, going 20-9 with a 3.18 ERA and cementing himself as the Fed's best pitcher. Walter Murphy (14-13, 3.86) was a nice lefty complement to Lonardo as well. The problem turned out to be health. Big contributors such as Bud Jameson, Al Allen and the newly-acquired Joe Perret all missed significant time, which weakened the club, albeit not by enough to cost them the pennant. The Gothams did win the flag, posting a 93-61 mark to beat out their rivals from Philadelphia by three games.

Speaking of those Philadelphia Keystones, they had another "almost-but-not-quite" year behind the Fed's most potent lineup and a middle-of-the-road pitching staff. 1B Rankin Kellogg (.367-36-139) was phenomenal as always and a new star burst onto the scene in 20-year-old phenom Bobby Barrell. The eighth-son of OSA co-founder Rufus Barrell was a revelation in his rookie campaign, with 202 hits, 34 doubles, 12 triples and 19 home runs, finishing with a .325 average, 112 runs scored and 97 RBIs while providing excellent defense in right field. With three other .300-plus hitters in the lineup, Philly as usual had no problem scoring in bunches. Stopping the opposition was still something of a problem - though not as much as it had been. Bill Ross (16-9, 3.28) was dependable and 23-year-old lefty Frank Crawford (8-3, 3.15) was tantalizing in his 11 starts, but overall the pitching was average, and with the Gothams' star-studded roster, it wasn't quite good enough to catch the New Yorkers.

The 1930 season will go down in history as one of the most competitive in Continental Association history. The Philadelphia Sailors, two-time defending pennant winners (and 1928 World Champs) won a third-straight pennant in '30. But they did it in an all-out dogfight that saw three teams finish within four games of the top spot, five teams finish over .500 and only one team (the dismal Toronto Wolves) being completely out of contention.

The Sailors' (88-66) recent dominance of the CA apparently was nearing its end. The Baltimore Cannons (86-68) were a rising force, as were the Chicago Cougars (84-70). And in a surprise, the Montreal Saints (86-68) finished tied with the Cannons for second-place, just two games back.

The Sailors won on the strength of their pitching, which was fully one run better than average and good enough (barely) to offset the league's 7th-best offense (only the Wolves were worse).The Sailors' pitching was good and deep as five hurlers topped 200 innings while notching dougle-digit victories, but none topped twenty wins. Oscar Morse (17-8, 3.27) led the staff and also led the league in ERA. Rollie Beal (16-10, 4.08) threw the most innings (245) with Herm Lowman (14-10, 3.58), Russ Real (12-11, 4/.45) and William Jones (13-11, 3.95) rounding out the rotation. Philly's offense was below-average, but did have solid contributors in 1B Dick Walker (26 triples, .327 average), LF Irv Brady (19 HRs) and veteran CF Dick Merchant (.298-8-64). Young 2B Jack Cleaves led the team with 110 RBIs while posting double-figures in doubles (26), triples (19) and homers (15). RF Tom Taylor had a down year with a .261 average and 15 homers, well off the pace of his back-to-back Allen Award-winning seasons in '28 and '29.

Second-place was a tie between Baltimore and Montreal. The Cannons were expected to be in the thick of the race - the Saints were not. Baltimore was a well-rounded club that finished second in both runs allowed and runs scored. The Cannons had a pair of superstars in 1B Lou Kelly (.363-33-159) and C Lou Welch (.350-33-123) and an ace in Rabbit Day (22-10, 3.93) who captured the CA Allen Award.