The Chicago Chiefs were the original professional baseball club, created in 1876 alongside seven other clubs; only they and the Philadelphia Keystones (who were then called the Centennials) remained. And while the Chiefs had often been good, they had not won a pennant since 1881. In the span of the 35 seasons that followed, the Chiefs finished second nine times and third seven more. Sure, there were some very lean years in there too, but in general, the Chiefs were a decent club that just couldn't get over the final hurdle and capture the pennant. In 1917, that finally changed.

What would later be called the First World War had, by the spring of 1918, been in full throat for nearly four years in Europe. The United States, which had entered the war in April of 1917, was finally mobilized and had recently sent the American Expeditionary Force under General John Pershing, to France. In other words, the U.S. was now fully invested in the war, which had not been the case during the previous baseball season. While the impact in terms of player talent was still minimal in 1918 as most players stayed in their regular (baseball) uniform, the FABL Commission decided to shorten the season and the Fed & Continental league campaigns would end a month earlier than usual. 

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.

1919 was a momentous year: the Treaty of Versailles was signed after much wrangling, ending one World War and setting the stage for an even bigger one for the next generation; the Spanish Influenza struck and killed millions around the world; and Max Morris finally got to show what he could do at the plate as an everyday player (it turns out that it was quite a bit). Oh, and both the Federal and Continental had great pennant races too - in yet another truncated season (this time it was due to the flu epidemic).

They'd been around since 1882 as a founding member of the old Border Association. They had, sometimes, been relatively good (but usually not so much). They had a good, strong fan following and were seen by most other fans as lovable losers. They had never finished in first place. So it took a long time - much to long if you'd asked any of those long suffering fans of the team - but the Montreal Saints finally reached the promised land by winning the 1915 Continental Association pennant.