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.

1912 was a surprising season. There was one good pennant race and one not-so-good race, but the teams winning those races were among the bigger surprises. Three FABL clubs were based in cities whose name began with the letter 'B' and all three were involved in the pennant races. Boston, the one-time powerhouse that had fallen hard after manager-personnel man George Theobald sold off his expensive talent, was back in a big way, winning 97 games and the Fed pennant by a cushy 12-game margin over Pittsburgh (another former power on the rebound). In the Continental, perennial contender Baltimore was at it again (they still had both Powell Slocum & Mike Marner after all) but the shocker was the Brooklyn Kings. The Kings hadn't sniffed a pennant since their last win way back in their Border Association days in 1891 but they won the 1912 Continental flag by two games over Baltimore in a major shocker.

By 1909 what we today call the "dead ball era" was in full swing. Batting averages were down, the bunt, stolen base and hit and run were the preferred offensive tactics and pitching was king. And no team better exemplified the era than the 1909 Detroit Dynamos, who lifted the "pitching first" credo to an art form.

Powell Slocum was 23 years old and already starting his sixth year with the Baltimore Clippers when the 1910 season opened. Slocum, "the Ragland Ripper" had long-since established himself as the game's premier hitter with three straight batting titles and four straight seasons with at least 200 hits. So when he went out and put together a .400 season, few were surprised - and this being the deadball era when .400 had been topped as recently as 1903, it didn't seem like as big a deal as it turned out to be in hindsight. Unfortunately for Slocum, a fierce competitor who hated to lose, his team did rather poorly, tumbling all the way to 5th place in the standings after winning two championships in 1907-08 and finishing a close second in 1909.

1908 was a big year in Detroit. Not only did the fledgling Ford Motor Company produce the car that would make it a powerhouse (the Model T), but the long-suffering baseball fans of the city finally got a pennant from their hometown team when the Detroit Dynamos, who had finished as high as 2nd only once in their 19-year-history (and had just two 3rd-place finishes too) put together a season to remember.