Baseball History: Chicago Whales


Joe Tinker played with the Chicago Cubs, which World Series in 1907 and 1908. In 1915, he managed the Chicago Whales to the Federal League title in 1915.

As the Chicago Cubs celebrate their latest post-season appearance, the organization is looking for its first World Series title since 1908.

Although the Cubs didn’€™t play in their current ballpark until 1916, that facility did celebrate a baseball championship a year earlier.

The Chicago Whales of the Federal League edged the St Louis Terriers and the Pittsburgh Rebels. Chicago and St. Louis ended the season in a virtual tie.

Since there wasn’€™t a post-season, the Whales earned the 1915 championship with a difference of .001 in winning percentage over the Terriers. The Rebels finished third just a half game behind the other two teams.

Joe Tinker was a player/manager for the Whales as they were known in their second of two seasons in the Federal League. He played 31 contests in 1915 with a batting average of .269.

Tinker in the Hall of Fame

Tinker was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1946, he played for Chicago from 1902 to 1912 when he was traded to the Cincinnati Reds. Like many other big leaguers, Tinker jumped to the Federal League with the Chicago franchise in 1914.

Tinker played in the World Series four times with the Cubs from 1906 to 1908 and 1910. Chicago won back-to-back championships in 1907 and 1908.

The Players

Among the starters for the Whales, Max Flack was the leading hitter for the Whales .314 batting average and led the team with 37 steals. Dutch Zwilling topped the squad with 13 homers and a league-high 94 RBI.

On the mound, the Whales were led by a pair of aging veterans. George McConnell was 37 as he posted the most wins in the league with a 25-10 record, while 38-year old Mordecai Brown was 17-8. Brown would be a Hall of Fame inductee in 1949.

Merging with the Cubs

When the Federal League folded after the 1915 season Charles Weeghman, the owner of the Whales, was able to purchase the controlling interest in the Cubs. He moved the team into its current facility, which was known as Weeghman Field from 1914 to 1919.

It was called Cubs Park from 1920 to 1926 before being named Wrigley Field the following season.

Weeghman also purchased several of his former players and they became Cubs with Tinker managing the team in 1916. Weeghman eventually sold his shares of the team to William Wrigley.

Da Bears and Soccer

The Chicago Bears played in Friendly Confines from 1921 to 1970 and won eight National Football League championships with the last coming in 1963.

The most recent titles were by the Chicago Sting in 1981 and 1984. The North American League Soccer franchise used multiple venues in the Chicago area including Wrigley Field.