In 1912, there was a startup third major league called the United States Baseball League. In March 1912, organizers of the proposed league, led by president William Abbott Whitman–described by members of the sports establishment as an "outlaw league"–met in New York's Hotel Imperial. The league's regular season began May 1, 1912 and ended shortly therafter on June 5. An attempt to restart the league in 1913 by a few of the remaining teams, lasted only a few games. A unique aspect of the USBL: the league approached the players as if they weren’t chattel. No reserve clause in the contracts. Multi-year deals. Annual free agency for those who signed for only one team.
Despite these lofty ambitions, the league quickly incurred the scorn and hostility of the baseball establishment. Additionally burdened with weak leadership, limited financing, poor attendance, and a lack of skillful players, the U.S. Baseball League. Many sports historians view the U.S. Baseball League as "a major precursor to the Federal League of 1914–1915".