After a relatively quiet 1888, the war between the Century League and Border Association heated up again in 1889. The first shot was again fired by the Century League as they (again) pilfered one of the Association's top teams, this time luring the St. Louis Brewers whose original owner (Hans Fuchs) had been James Tice's best friend in baseball. With Hans gone and son George running the team, the Brewers jumped. Ironically, Century League rules prohibited selling alcohol at games, so the Fuchs Brewery-owned Brewers were renamed the Pioneers.

The Bordermen wasted little time in responding, again following a familiar script by placing a new team in a Century League stronghold - this time it was Philadelphia, home of one of the CL's original clubs (the Keystones) and arguably its most popular player (Zebulon Banks). Both circuits were so focused on their own games of brinkmanship that they failed to notice a new threat rising right under their noses, which would change the face of the sport just one year later.

1888 was a relatively calm year in the lengthening hostilities between the Century League and Border Association. No clubs jumped leagues, no one put a new club in the other's territory... for once the big stories were all on the field and not off it.

Fruit magnate William W. Whitney's vision came to fruition - and yes, that's a pun - in the spring of 1876 when the Century League took the field for the first time. A West Point-educated engineer, Whitney had fallen in love with baseball while in the Union Army during the Civil War and after getting his fruit business up and running turned his attention to his favorite pastime.

John Ransom, Chicago Cougars Owner

At the close of the 1886 season, Century League President Ned Wilson completed what he saw as a coup: he "purloined" the Border Association's champions by convincing Pittsburgh Quarries owner Martin Elswich to jump leagues. Both sides had been stealing players from each other since the Association showed up in 1882, but this was a whole new level of larceny. 

Naturally the reaction from the BA President James Tice was not fit for print. But Tice was also a smart man, and he decided that though he could not duplicate Wilson's coup, he could escalate things in his own way. Wilson's office was in Chicago, the Century League's headquarters from its birth. Tice needed a replacement for Pittsburgh and decided there'd be no better place for his league's new franchise than.... Chicago. 

The first game in the history of the Century League took place on April 22, 1876 with Boston visiting Philadelphia. The visiting squad won the game by a score of 5-2 with Boston's Ted Maston getting the first hit in league history and Daniel Fallow notching the victory. In honor of the Centennial Exhibition that would take place in Philadelphia that summer, the Philadelphia squad became known as the Centennials while Boston was dubbed the Pilgrims.