A successful New York contractor and politician with Tammany Hall connections, Gaffney was instrumental in putting together the 1914 Miracle Braves and bringing about a settlement of the Federal League war. He bought the Braves in 1911 and named John Montgomery Ward as president, but soon fired him and took over the operation himself. Gaffney set out to build a winner faster than his old friend Frank Farrell, the Yankees’ owner. He hired George Stallings as manager and paid to keep Johnny Evers, the key man on the ’14 team, from the Federal League. During the 1915 WS, Gaffney arranged a peace conference between the National Commission and the upstart Federal League. That fall he sold the Braves to a syndicate that included Harvard football coach Percy Haughton.