In the first year, 1914, some of the teams had official nicknames and some did not, but either way, sportswriters were inclined to invent their own nicknames: "ChiFeds," "BrookFeds," etc. By the second season, most of the teams had "official" nicknames, although many writers still called many of the teams "-Feds."
In order for the Federal League to succeed, it needed Big League players. Walter Johnson signed a three-year contract with the Chicago team, but the Senators' Clark Griffith went personally to Johnson's home in Kansas and made a successful counter-offer. Major League players that jumped to the Federal League included Bill McKechnie, Claude Hendrix, Jack Quinn, Russell Ford, Tom Seaton, Doc Crandall, Al Bridwell, Hy Myers, and Hal Chase. The Federal League also recruited Big League names to manage the new teams. Joe Tinker managed the Chicago team, Mordecai Brown managed the St. Louis team and Bill Bradley managed the Brooklyn team.
The league had close pennant races both years. In 1914, Indianapolis beat out Chicago by 1½ games.
During the 1914-15 offseason, Federal League owners brought an antitrust lawsuit against the American and National Leagues. The lawsuit ended up in the court of Federal Judge (and future Commissioner of Baseball) Kenesaw Mountain Landis, who allowed the case to languish while he urged both sides to negotiate. Swift action might have made a difference, but without the lawsuit going forward, the Federals found themselves in deepening financial straits.