The Stars were a professional American football team based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that were only in existence for one season in 1902. The team was member of what was referred to as the first National Football League, which has no connection with the National Football League of today. The whole league was a curious mixture of baseball and football. The Stars were managed and funded, on paper, by Dave Berry, the manager of the professional Latrobe Athletic Association. However, the team was suspected of being secretly financed by the Pittsburgh Pirates. During 1902, the league's only year in existence, the Stars won the league championship, beating out two teams that were financed by the owners of baseball's Philadelphia Athletics and the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Stars, and the league, began as a part of the baseball wars between the National League and the newly formed American League, which began in 1901. Across the state in Philadelphia, two major league teams fought for control of the city's baseball market. These teams were the Athletics, which were represented in the American League and the Phillies of the National League. The interleague fighting began when the Athletics lured several of the Phillies' players from their contracts, only to lose them again through court actions.
In 1902, Phillies owner John Rogers decided to start a football team, he therefore took control of the "Philadelphia Football Club" team and renamed them the Philadelphia Phillies. The Athletics owner, Ben Shibe, followed suit and fielded, named a team named Philadelphia Athletics, which was made-up of several baseball players as well as some local football players. He appointed his baseball manager Connie Mack as the team's general manager and named former Penn player, Charles "Blondy" Wallace as the team's coach. However, both Rogers and Shibe knew that in order to lay claim to a "World Championship", they needed to have a team from Pittsburgh, which was the focal point of football at the time, in the new league. They called on pro football promoter Dave Berry, the former manager of football's first fully professional team, the Latrobe Athletic Association, to raise a Pittsburgh-based team for the two Philadelphia teams to face. Berry met with the two Philadelphia owners and agreed to establish a team. Due to the animosity between Rodgers and Shibe, Berry was then elected as league president.