In 1912, a Pittsburgh-based team was established and began play in the outlaw United States Baseball League. The team was known as the Pittsburgh Filipinos in honor of their manager, Deacon Phillippe, a former pitcher with the Pittsburgh Pirates and a member of their 1901 and 1902 National League Championship teams as well as their 1909 World Series team. The Filipinos finished in first place during the league's inaugural season, which lasted only one month, with a 19-7 record.
In 1913 he moved his Pittsburgh team, still called the Filipinos, to the Federal League, a year before it became a "major" league. The Federal League was established in April 1913 and the Filipinos were one of the original teams established by the league. The team was later renamed the Stogies that season.
In early 1914, the Federal League president James Gilmore discussed with Robert B. Ward, owner of the Brooklyn Tip Tops, that he was concerned about the financial backing of the Stogies franchise. Ward then found Edward Gwinner, a railroad contractor with deep pockets. Gwinner was then partnered with architect C. B. Comstock as the new backers of the Pittsburgh Stogies. Doc Gessler was named the Stogies' manager. However he was fired after only one month. Gessler was replaced by player-manager, Rebel Oakes. The team then took on the nickname of the Rebels, after Oakes took over as the team's manager. With some strong financial backing, the team did not fare so well on the field. They ended up in seventh place (next to last) that season, with a 64-86 record.
During the 1915 season, the team finished in third position with an 86-67 mark, 0.5 games behind the first place Chicago Whales, who would go on to win the league pennant. That season Frank Allen pitched the first no hitter of the season, after the Rebels defeated the St. Louis Terriers 2-0 on April 24, 1915.
Pietrusza, David (1991). The Formation, Sometimes Absorption and Mostly Inevitable Demise of 18 Professional Baseball Organizations, 1871 to Present. Jefferson (NC): McFarland & Company. ISBN0-89950-590-2.
Wiggins, Robert Peyton (2008). The Federal League of Base Ball Clubs: The History of an Outlaw Major League. McFarland. ISBN978-0-7864-3835-8.