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Poor Connie Mack 1915
Connie Mack, the gentleman owner and manager of the dynamic Philadelphia Athletics fell victim to the brief existence of the Federal League. The Feds now in their second and final season were raising the stakes in an effort to join the Major Leagues. The attempts at recruiting MLB players had increased the salaries of the big name players. Following their fourth pennant in five years, Mack’s all star players became a target for the upstart league. Even with their success, Mack was not one of the deep pocket owners and when attendance dropped in 1914, he had difficult decisions to make. He was not in a position to compete with the high stakes bidders so he made the decision to sell his stars to other Major League teams as opposed to helping the owners of the Federal League teams. By the start of the season pitchers Eddie Plank, Chief Bender and Jack Combs were gone.as were hitters Eddie Collins and Eddie Murphy. To top it off, Homerun Baker decided to retire to his farm. During the season he traded pitchers Bob Shawkey and Herb Pennock along with SS Jack Barry. The results were predictable as the defending champs dropped to the cellar with a record 103 losses. Th once proud franchise would stay in last place for the rest of the decade. In current times fans in smaller market cities are used to this type of desperation referred to as “tanking”.