By the end of the 1923 season Powell Slocum was generally acknowledged as the greatest hitter in the nearly 50-year history of professional baseball. He was 37 years old, a 15-time batting champion, three-time World champion and was also known as a good leader on and off the field (although he was known to have a bit of a temper at times). When longtime manager Walter Love retired at the end of the 1920 season, Slocum found himself playing for another manager for the first time since joining the Clippers in 1905. He didn't mesh well with Davey Kincaid who was much more of a tactical manager than Love had been. By the end of the '23 season, which saw him post his worst average ever (a still respectable .320) and with the team falling into seventh place, Slocum decided he wanted out - going directly to owner Oscar Jones with his demand for a trade. Jones refused but Slocum threatened to retire, so the owner acquiesced. Kincaid found a good deal with Brooklyn - who had just won the pennant and fit Slocum's desire to both remain in the Continental (where he knew all the pitchers) and go to a contending club. Baltimore received SS Jesse Moore and RF Dick Hand while Brooklyn received Slocum, P Phil Miller and SS Jack Van Landingham. Slocum was happy and things looked promising for the Ragland Ripper. But that wouldn't last.

Slocum played well and the Kings were contending - the pitching was a bit weak and they entered July in third place, six games off the pace set by surprise front-running Philadelphia. Brooklyn had catcher Paul Tattersall, an aging catcher whose replacement, Mickey Dowell, appeared more than ready to step in. The New York Gothams had a disgruntled pitcher, Danny Goff, they needed to deal. So a trade was made - Goff and fellow pitcher Leon Campbell for Tattersall. Goff's first five starts with Brooklyn were tremendous - he went 4-1 with a 2.08 ERA and then he hurt his elbow on July 21st, ending his season. The injury also ended Brooklyn's season. The Kings were 47-40, 6.5 games back of the Sailors in third place on the 21st. When the season ended two months later, they were 67-87, 22.5 back of the pennant-winning New York Stars and in last place. Slocum hit .331, nursed a hamstring injury, and was just as unhappy in October of '24 as he had been a year earlier. Brooklyn, unlike Baltimore, fired their manager, replacing him with.... yep, Powell Slocum.

Baltmore, for their part, finished fourth with an 80-73 record. Jesse Moore stepped in as the new shortstop and hit .327 as the leadoff man. Dick Hand hit .302, splitting time in right with Sandy Lovelle (who hit .342) as replacements for Slocum. The Clippers pitching staff turned it around, finishing third in the league with 647 runs allowed. Max Wilder went 18-12 with a 2.97 ERA, Oscar Jefferson won 19 games and Ken Carpenter went 16-15 with a 3.27 ERA. 

As mentioned above, the Continental pennant was won by the Stars. New York returned to the top with a second-half surge. They were eight games back of the Sailors on July 1st, 4.5 on August 1st and had tied Philly by September 1st before winning the flag by eight over the Sailors and Montreal Saints. Luke Smith pitched well when healthy, going 11-5 with a 2.39 ERA in 177 innings over 23 games (22 starts) and Pete Scanlon went 21-13 with a 3.37 ERA to lead the league's top pitching staff. The offense was tops as well with 1B Job Readus leading the league with 204 hits and finishing with a .324 average and 92 RBIs (3rd best in the CA) and former first-rounder Gordie Loftus hitting .315 with 10 homers and 89 RBIs.

Though the ending was a disappointment, the 1924 season was a step forward for the Philadelphia Sailors. They were in first-place for the bulk of the season before faltering down the stretch which was a vast improvement for a team that hadn't finished higher than fourth since 1898. Pitcher Rube Smith had his best season ever (and did it at age 31) with a 22-9 record and 2.21 ERA - both tops in the Continental. Rod Kratz added a 13-9, 2.82 stat line in 27 games after joining the team from AAA San Francisco and overall the Sailors were second in both runs allowed and ERA to the pennant-winning Stars. A season-ending shoulder injury to David Merchant in late July stripped the offense of its best player and with Merchant (.332-7-53) the team struggled to score runs, falling all the way to seventh in runs scored. Philly fans could only wonder "what if?" when it came to Merchant's injury and the club's pennant chances.

Montreal finished tied with the Sailors at 81-72 in second place. Catcher Sam Sanderson placed third in the league in homers with 12, but had just a .214 batting average while second baseman Edwin Segovia was second in RBIs with 94 (he hit .301). The Saints pitching was average which held back the league's second-ranked run-scoring outfit. Behind the fourth-place Clippers were the Cougars and Foresters, tied with identical 72-81 records. The Cougars had the batting & RBI champ (Art Panko with a .348 average and 102 RBIs) and the Foresters the league's home run king (Carl Martin with 35) and stolen base leader (Danny Clark, 45). The Cougars also had one good pitcher in Bill Ross who led the league in strikeouts (129) and was second in wins with a 21-15 record despite a 3.70 ERA (overall the team was seventh in pitching). Cleveland's best pitcher was Mose Smith and he went 16-20 despite a relatively good 3.25 ERA as the Foresters placed sixth in runs scored.

Seventh-place Toronto was just a game back of the Cougars & Foresters at 71-83. Toronto added a good hitter via trade in RF Jack Mack, acquired from the Eagles during the offseason. Seeing his first full-time action, Mack hit .312 with 33 doubles and 17 triples and was the Wolves' best hitter leading them in average, homers (9), RBIs (80) and steals (33). The pitching remained an issue. Brooklyn, as mentioned above, ended up last - the blame for their collapse remains a subject for debate, although the injury to Goff was certainly a factor. 

The Federal had a great race. Pittsburgh, New York and Washington each finished with 85 victories. Only the fact that the Miners played two fewer games, and therefore had fewer losses, than the Gothams and Eagles, made Pittsburgh the pennant winners. This situation was somewhat controversial and was discussed at the winter meetings where it was determined that makeup games would have to be played in the future to prevent this from happening again. Regardless, for 1924, the Miners were Fed Champs. They had the league's top pitcher in Carl Mellen who led in both ERA (2.95) and wins (he went 26- 7) and a second 20-game winner in Bob Simmon (21-12, 3.30) as part of the league's stingiest staff. The offense was pretty good too: CF Clint Casstevens hit .334 and led the league in hits (217), doubles (54) and triples (26), adding 8 homers and 115 RBIs (2nd in the league).

The Gothams had a strong season, at least partially due to having most of a season out of the oft-injured Ed Ziehl. The longtime face of the franchise was now 37 years old and hadn't played 150 games or more since 1921. The Gothams got 122 games out of him in '24 and he hit .333, collecting 155 hits and pushing his career total over the 3000-hit mark. Moxie Nelson, acquired a few years back from Baltimore, had his best season since his Clipper days in a mixed starter-reliever role that saw him go 17-9 with a 3.15 ERA with 26 starts and 14 relief appearances covering 240 innings. They did have issues with pitching depth and a second solid arm would likely have meant their first pennant since 1896.

Washington's run at the top halted (at least for one season) thanks largely to uneven pitching. The lineup was dynamic: young T.R. Goins was becoming a true star. The second-year catcher hit .354 with 16 homers and 114 RBIs, teaming with 3B Glenn Morrison (.340-6-101) to give the Eagles one of the league's best one-two punches. Add in LF Paul Bailey (.321-7-87) and 1B George Clark (.338-3-84) and Washington's top-ranking in runs scored (and most other offensive categories) was no surprise.

Chicago was fourth and could have used some of that Washington offense (the Chiefs were dead last in runs scored) because the pitching was pretty solid. The Chiefs had a pair of 20-game winners in Denny Wren (20-15, 3.89) and Red Adwell (21-16, 3.75) and allowed the second-fewest runs in the Fed. St. Louis, the fifth-place finisher, had Max Morris miss 40 games (he still put up a solid .346-26-96 stat line) which short-circuited their chances at a pennant, especially when you factor in the .347-16-121 line of LF Art Charles and the ever-talented Roger Landry's .343-11-78 output. The Pioneers gave 1B Mike Cann a little more playing time in '24 and he seemed to hold up pretty well with a .380 average and 33 doubles in just 368 at-bats after posting .356 and .321 averages in just over 100 at-bats each of the past two seasons. St. Louis' problem was - again - a lack of pitching. 

Boston was a game worse than St. Louis. They handed the starting 2B job to Frank Todd and went out and won the batting title with a .356 average (he also added 24 doubles, 18 triples and 8 homers), scored 92 runs and drove in 79. He looked like a keeper and as a native of Vermont, was likely to become a fan favorite in New England. Detroit's season was very similar to St. Louis' - they had good hitting with Dick York (.348-5-80), Danny James (.305-29-114) and Red Lange (.335-11-54) but the pitching (aside from John Reay's 17-15, 3.58) was poor and in fact allowed the most runs in the Fed Association. James ended up tied with Morris for 2nd in homers and York was third in average. The home run crown went to former Montreal Saint and now Philly Keystone CF Hal Eason. Eason followed up his 43 bombs in 1923 with 31 in 1924, good enough to lead the circuit with Morris' abbreviated campaign. Eason, a big swinger, also whiffed 148 times and was representative of the Keystones themselves - sometimes thrilling but often coming up empty when it came to winning ballgames. 

The World Series was again not a particularly good one with New York largely manhandling Pittsburgh in a five-game victory. Game one saw the Stars take a 7-0 lead through five and cruise to an 8-3 victory with Job Readus (3-for-3, 4 runs scored) and Gordie Loftus (3-for-4, 2 RBI) leading the way. Game two was the Miners' lone victory - pitcher Carl Mellen was fantastic in the 6-1 win. With the scene shifting to New York for the next games, the Stars got rolling in game three (a 7-2 win) and kept it up in game four (5-1 win) and game five (3-1). Their pitching was impressive, with the Miners' only good game at the plate coming in game two. Luke Smith won a pair of games, including the 3-1 clincher and 3B Ed Riddle hit .389 for the series. Readus (.389) and Loftus (.333) were solid in defeat for the Miners.

The Stars arguably got even better after the Series; dealing from a positon of strength, they sent fourth-outfielder Bobby Salyer and minor leaguer Jack Sneed to Cleveland for 2B Danny Bottorf, a promising 25-year-old who shored up New York's weakest position. 

The Whitney Awards featured some new winners - the Continental Whitney winner was Sailors pitcher Rube Smith, who 22-9, 2.21 season helped Philly ride the top of the standings for much of the season. And over in the Federal, where Max Morris had had a chokehold on the award, Morris' injury opened the door for Pittsburgh CF Clint Casstevens to win his first Whitney (Washington's T.R. Goins was second and Morris - even with missing a third of the season - finished third in the voting).