One of the greatest challenges to MLB hegemony came about with the emergence of the Federal League in 1913. Not long after the National League had accepted a partnership with the rival American League, the short-lived Federal League proved another prickly thorn in the side by capturing a fair share of talent and providing a top quality level of play. The NL and AL took quick action to thwart this rival upstart with a buyout, which led to the fold of the Federal League in 1915. The Baltimore Terrapins franchise was not included in this buyout and filed an anti-trust lawsuit, which was eventually shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court on the basis that "base ball games" did not constitute "interstate commerce."
While active in 1914, the Terrapins fan draw cut into the minor league Baltimore Orioles receipts, causing Jack Dunn to sell Babe Ruth to the Red Sox and we all know how that turned out. Additionally the high salaries paid by the FL gave players the first inkling of the value of the free agent market and in a trickle down scenario, the Orioles moved into Terrapin Park after the Terrapins vacated and became a popular draw. This led to a move into Baltimore (Memorial) Stadium in 1944 after a fire destroyed the wood structure of Terrapin Park and the O's ensuing popularity caught the attention of the MLB, leading to the approval of the relocation of the St. Louis Browns to Baltimore in 1954.
All of these historic occurrences can be traced back to Baltimore politician and liquor magnate Carroll W. Rasin (d.1940), who was instrumental in establishing both the Federal League and its Baltimore franchise the Terrapins. Joining forces with Ned Hanlon in team ownership, Rasin also served as team president and personally oversaw the raising of capital through sales of stock in his FL franchise. Offered is a Rasin TLS with content pertinent to the funding of the Terrapins. Typed on "Rasin, Craig & O'Conor Inc" letterhead, this antique letter is dated 6/2/1914 and is addressed to the "Hon. Wm. F. Stone, Custom House, City". Trimmed to 8-1/2 x 7-1/4", this ancient document is adorned with fantastic period graphics and stately lettering at top. The body of the letter addresses a $100 purchase of "Federal Base Ball Club Stock" and Rasin's distinctive fountain pen signature shows bold ("8-9") potency in the customary location at bottom right. Several original period compacting folds have minimal effect on the abundant display appeal of this genuine Federal League relic and overall this crisp sheet shows (EX-MT) quality. Auction LOA from JSA.