William Chase Temple (December 28, 1862 - January 9, 1917) was a coal, citrus, and lumber baron during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He was also a part owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates from baseball's National League. He also established the Temple Cup, a trophy awarded to the winner of a best-of-seven, post-season Major League Baseball championship series that was conducted for four seasons in the National League, from 1894–1897.
Temple was born in Starke, Florida. However by 1879, he was an employee of Plankinton & Armour in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In June 1880, he worked as a bank clerk for Alexander Mitchell Bank in Milwaukee. By 1883, Chase returned to Florida and became a lumber baron. Between 1885 and 1889, he was a President and General Manager of the Metropolitan Electrical Service Company in New York City. He later became a manager of Babcock & Wilcox Steam Boiler Company in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania from 1890 thru 1895. While in Pittsburgh, he was on the boards of directors of more than 20 industrial, mining and financial companies.
From 1891 until 1893 Temple was the President and Owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 1894, he donated a 30-inch-high silver cup, later called the Temple Cup to the National League. The first and second-place teams of the league would play in a seven game, post season, series to determine the winner. The revenue from the series was to be split 65% to 35%; however, the players of the first series in 1894 decided to evenly split the money. However, after the series the New York Giants reportedly cheated some Oriole players out of their money, tainting the Cup and prompting Temple to sell the Pirates in disgust.
In 1898, Temple's interests expanded into football when he solely took over the team payments for the Duquesne Country & Athletic Club, a professional football team based in Pittsburgh from 1895 until 1900, ecoming the first known individual football club owner. The Duquesnes had become the best professional team in Pennsylvania and, almost certainly, in the country. In 1900, A.C. Dinkey stole most of the Duquesne players, as well as Temple, for his rivial Homestead Library & Athletic Club. Over the next two seasons (1900 and 1901), Homestead fielded the best professional football team in the country and did not lose a game.
Suspicion fell on William and Pittsburgh Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss in 1902, when it was determined that he was the secret owner of the Pittsburgh Stars of the first National Football League. Temple denied any connection to the team's finances, and the team's owner David Berry insisted that he was the team's sole owner. However, it was impossible for him to afford the money to finance the team without Temple or Dreyfuss.
In 1909, Temple founded the Florida Citrus Exchange in 1909 and served as the organization's general manager from 1910 until 1913. During that time, Temple helped increased the business of the exchange from $200,000 to $5,000,000 per year. In 1915, he was named the first president of the South Florida Chamber of Commerce. He was also the first life member of the American Automobile Association.
Temple died in 1917 in Winter Park, Florida, and is buried in the local Palm Cemetery.