Originally launched in a "thumb-your-nose" gesture by the Border Association at the Century League's William Whitney and his Chicago Chiefs, the Cougars went on to carve their own place in history as one of the Continental Association's most accomplished franchises. The whole thing started off as a way to infuriate Whitney - the Cougars' first owner was John Ransom, who ran a chain of grocery stores notable in some measure for refusing to buy its produce from Whitney's fruit and vegetable business. It turned out that Ransom's acumen for running a ballclub - which boiled down to letting the "baseball guys" do their thing was more successful than Whitney's own method which had him dabbling in his club's personnel moves, many of which did not work out. The Cougars relatively late entry into the Border Association (1887) played a role in their never winning a pennant in the BA. But they did win four while Ransom was the owner. When he passed away in 1901 his heirs sold the team to Ben Hunter and the club continued to be a contender, with three additional pennants before the Golden Jubilee of 1925.