Chicago Whales

Chicago Whales
Chicago Federals playing at Weeghman Park in April 1914

The Chicago Whales were a professional baseball team based in Chicago. They played in the Federal League, a short-lived "third Major League", in 1914 and 1915. They originally lacked a formal nickname, and were known simply as the "Chicago Federals" (or "Chi-Feds") to distinguish them from the Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox.

The team was founded by Charles Weeghman. They came in second in the Federal League rankings in 1914 and won the league championship in 1915. They came to an end when the Federal League came to a deal with the National and American Leagues that disbanded all its teams. As a result of the deal owner Weeghman was allowed to purchase a stake in the Chicago Cubs. The Whales are notable as the original occupants of the stadium now known as Wrigley Field, the current home of the Cubs and the only Federal League stadium still in use.

History

Founded by Charles Weeghman, the club finished 1½ games behind the Indianapolis Hoosiers in the inaugural season for the league, during which the team lacked a formal nickname and was known simply as the Chicago Federals . Prior to the start of the season, Weeghman built a stadium for the team, called Weeghman Park, designed by Zachary Taylor Davis, who had previously designed Comiskey Park. Now known as Wrigley Field and used by the Chicago Cubs, it is the only Federal League stadium still in use.

In the league's second and final season, the Chicago Federals adopted the nickname Whales, and included the logo of a whale inside a large "C" on their uniform shirts. The Whales won the league championship, finishing with 86 wins and 66 losses, percentage points ahead of the St. Louis Terriers' 87–67 record. When Kenesaw Mountain Landis brokered a deal between the Federal League, American League and National League that ended the Federal League's existence, Weeghman was allowed to purchase the Cubs. Weeghman abandoned the wooden West Side Park and moved his team into his new steel-and-concrete structure, where they remain today. Weeghman had purchased a 99-year lease on the property, which would presumably expire in the year 2013.

Many Whales players had American and National League experience, including manager Joe Tinker, Dutch Zwilling, Mordecai Brown, and Rollie Zeider.

See also


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