1914: Owner by Oil Tycoon Harry Sinclair, the Indianapolis Hoosiers were one of the Federal League’s strongest teams in the league’s first year as a Major League. Managed by Bill Phillips, the Hoosiers defeated the St. Louis Terriers 7-3 in their first game on April 16th. The Hoosiers posted a 3-4 record in their first week of games on the road before being blanked 3-0 by the same Terriers in their home debut at Federal League Park. The first two months were rather a struggle for the Indianapolis Hoosiers as they won just 15 games in April and May combined. However, Indianapolis soon hit their stride in June, winning 21 games, highlighted by a 15 game winning streak that shot them to the top of the Federal League standings. Despite a July slump, the Hoosiers again were in first place at the start of September as they won 13 of 15 games near the end of August. The Hoosiers would battle the Chicago Feds for the Federal League Pennant through September. With first place on the line, the Hoosiers blanked the Feds 3-0 in the Circle City as Cy Falkenberg earned his team leading 23rd win on the way to a record of 25-16. The Hoosiers would go on to win seven straight to close the season with a record of 88-65, finishing a game and a half ahead of the Feds for the Federal League’s first championship. The Hoosiers top player was Benny Kauff who was the league’s top hitter at .370 with eight home runs and 95 RBI. Kauff also scored 120 runs and stole 75 bases, as Frank LaPorte had a team best 107 RBI. Despite winning the Federal League Title, the Indianapolis Hoosiers would not return for a second season, becoming the only team to relocate in the league’s two years of existence as they moved to Newark, New Jersey for the 1915 season. To this date the city of Indianapolis has yet to get a Major League consideration, though it has long been home to teams in the high minors.
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Page created on August 16, 2015. Last updated on August 16, 2015 at 12:45 am ET.