The Packers moved to Kansas City in July 1913 from Covington, Kentucky when the Federal League was an independent minor league. When the league declared itself major, the Packers’ first signing was of former St. Louis Browns manager, George Stovall, reportedly the first signing of a major league player in violation of his reserve clause.
The Packers began their major league life on April 23, 1914 as the visiting team in the first game played in what is now known as Wrigley Field. George “Chief” Johnson was the Packers’ starting pitcher in that historic game, but was removed after two innings when served with an injunction from his former team, the Cincinnati Reds.
The Packers’ home season ended early for them, when a flash flood that hit Kansas City after a heavy downpour knocked down the walls of the ballpark, Gordon and Koppel Field. The Packers finished on the road, and ended in sixth place, 20 games behind the pennant-winning Indianapolis Hoosiers.
During the 1914-1915 off-season, the Federal League tried to move the franchise to Newark, New Jersey, but were prevented by injunctions by obtained by Kansas City management. The Packers went into spring training believing they would be playing in Newark, but last-minute negotiations led to the Indianapolis franchise being moved instead.
In the course of the closest pennant race in major league history, the Packers led until late August before fading and finishing 4th, five and one-half games behind the first place Chicago Whales, and one-half game ahead of the fifth place Newark Pepper.