Home » Uncategorized » 1894 National League All-Star Team

1894 National League All-Star Team

ONEHOF-John Clarkson

P-Amos Rusie, NYG

P-Jouett Meekin, NYG

P-Ted Breitenstein, STL

P-Cy Young, CLV

P-Kid Nichols, BSN

P-George Hemming, LOU/BLN

P-Pink Hawley, STL

P-Sadie McMahon, BLN

P-Clark Griffith, CHC

P-Frank Dwyer, CIN

C-Wilbert Robinson, BLN

C-Jack Clements, PHI

1B-Jake Beckley, PIT

2B-Cupid Childs, CLV

3B-George Davis, NYG

3B-Lave Cross, PHI

3B-Bill Joyce, WHS

SS-Hughie Jennings, BLN

LF-Joe Kelley, BLN

LF-Ed Delahanty, PHI

CF-Billy Hamilton, PHI

CF-Hugh Duffy, BSN

CF-Jake Stenzel, PIT

CF-Mike Griffin, BRO

RF-Sam Thompson, PHI


clarkson91894 ONEHOF Inductee-John Clarkson

1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891

328-178, 2.81 ERA, 1978 K, 84.0 WAR


For any new readers, every year I pick a player who I believe to be the best player not currently in the ONEHOF, the One-a-Year Hall of Fame. I also have a second Hall of Fame, which is creatively called Ron’s Hall of Fame (Hi, I’m Ron), in which any player whose career WAR multiplied by the number of All-Star teams made is 300 or greater is in. You’ll see those in the individual player write-ups.

The following list is the prestigious ONEHOF and the Yes or No indicates whether that player is in the Cooperstown Hall of Fame. The picks thus far are:

1871-George Zettlein, P (No)

1872-Al Spalding, P (Yes)

1873-Bobby Mathews, P (No)

1874-Dick McBride, P (No)

1875-Ross Barnes, 2B (No)

1876-George Wright, SS (Yes)

1877-Cal McVey, 1B (No)

1878-Deacon White, 3B (Yes)

1879-Tommy Bond, P (No)

1880-Cap Anson, 1B (Yes)

1881-Jim O’Rourke, LF (Yes)

1882-Joe Start, 1B (No)

1883-Paul Hines, CF (No)

1884-Jim McCormick, P (No)

1885-Will White, P (No)

1886-Tim Keefe, P (Yes)

1887-Pud Galvin, P (Yes)

1888-Mickey Welch, P (Yes)

1889-Dan Brouthers, 1B (Yes)

1890-Jack Glasscock, SS (No)

1891-Roger Connor, 1B (Yes)

1892-Harry Stovey, 1B (No)

1893-Charlie Bennett, C (No)

1894-John Clarkson, P (Yes)

ONEHOF Nominees for 1895: King Kelly, Monte Ward, Old Hoss Radbourn, Hardy Richardson, Buck Ewing, Charley Jones, Fred Dunlap, George Gore, Ned Williamson

Clarkson started with Worcester in 1882, but then established his fame as the main pitcher for Cap Anson’s White Stockings from 1884-1887, winning 53 games in 1885. He then pitched for Boston from 1888-92, winning 30 games three times, including 49 in 1889. He finished his career with Cleveland from 1892-94.

rusie5P-Amos Rusie, New York Giants, 23 Years Old

1890 1891 1892 1893

36-13, 2.78 ERA, 195 K, .280, 3 HR, 26 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


1894 NL Pitching Title

1894 NL Pitching Triple Crown

Wins Above Replacement-14.3 (2nd Time)

WAR for Pitchers-14.3

Earned Run Average-2.78


Walks & Hits per IP-1.410

Hits per 9 IP-8.635 (4th Time)

Strikeouts per 9 IP-3.953 (4th Time)

Strikeouts-195 (4th Time)

Games Started-50 (2nd Time)

Shutouts-3 (3rd Time)

Bases on Balls-200 (5th Time)

Adjusted ERA+-188

Adj. Pitching Runs-112 (2nd Time)

Adj. Pitching Wins-9.3 (2nd Time)

Assists as P-113 (3rd Time)

Errors Committed as P-14 (4th Time)

5th Time All-Star-For the second straight year, the Hoosier Thunderbolt led the league in WAR and, in a league with Cy Young and Kid Nichols, was the dominant pitcher of his time. It was mainly because of Rusie the mounds were moved back in 1893 by 10 feet and yet it seems to be Rusie reaping the rewards. Baseball Reference lists him as winning the pitching Triple Crown, but no one cared about this back then and, compared to the batting Triple Crown, it draws little interest nowadays. I don’t really have to list everything Rusie accomplished because you can see above, he dominated the league. It was his best season ever.

The New York Giants had the two best pitchers in the league and, by WAR, the two best players in the league. They should have won it all, but ended up falling three games short to the Baltimore Orioles. Those pitchers did allow the Giants to lead the league in fewest runs allowed, but their hitting lacked, as they placed ninth in the league in runs scored. John “Monte” Ward guided the team to an 88-44 record, but they weren’t in first place at any time during the season. Ward would never manage again.

There was an unofficial championship series going on at this time. Wikipedia reports, “After the conclusion of the 1894 regular season, a Pittsburgh sportsman named William C. Temple sponsored a trophy for the winner between the regular season 1st and 2nd place teams in the National League. The runner-up Giants swept the Baltimore Orioles, who featured Hall of Famers John McGraw and Wilbert Robinson, 4-0. Amos Rusie was virtually untouchable in the Temple Cup, giving up only one earned run while winning two complete games and compiling a 0.50 ERA; if that was not enough, he even batted .429. Amos Rusie’s win total that year was fourth best since the establishment of the modern pitching distance of 60’-6″.”


P-Jouett Meekin, New York Giants, 27 Years Old

33-9, 3.70 ERA, 137 K, .276, 5 HR, 29 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 10 more All-Star seasons)


Led in:


Win-Loss %-.786

Wild Pitches-22

1st Time All-Star-George Jouett Meekin was born on February 21, 1867 in New Albany, IN. He was tall for his day at six-foot-one and weighed in at 180 pounds. This season is the epitome of a fluke season as it was great, but he’ll most likely never make another All-Star team. Meekin played with the 1891-92 Louisville Colonels, 1891 in the American Association and 1892 in the National League. He then moved to the 1892-93 Washington Senators. At this point in his career, Meekin was 29-51 with a 4.33 ERA and an 87 ERA+. For whatever reason, the 27-year-old figured it out with the Giants this season. He finished second in WAR (11.6), behind only teammate Amos Rusie (14.3) and second in WAR for Pitchers (11.3), again behind only Rusie (14.3). In 418 innings (third in the league behind St. Louis’ Ted Breitenstein’s 447 1/3 and Rusie’s 444), he had a 3.70 ERA (behind, you guessed it, Rusie’s 2.78) for an Adjusted ERA+ of 141 (you know the drill, behind Rusie’s 188). This was already a phenomenal season and if it wasn’t for his Hall of Fame teammate, it would have been more recognized.

Meekin could also hit, smashing five homers and, on the Fourth of July, provided the fireworks with three triples, a record for pitchers even to this day. He would remain with the Giants through 1899 and then finish off his career with the Beaneaters and Pirates. Meekin had other decent years, but 1894 stands is easily the year for which he’ll be remembered.


P-Ted Breitenstein, St. Louis Browns, 25 Years Old


27-23, 4.79 ERA, 140 K, .220, 0 HR, 13 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require four more All-Star seasons)


Led in:


Games Pitched-56

Innings Pitched-447 1/3

Games Started-50

Complete Games-46

Hits Allowed-497

Earned Runs Allowed-238

Batters Faced-1,987

Def. Games as P-56

Putouts as P-42 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-Breitenstein pitched his way to his second straight All-Star season and he made it this year due to endurance. In 1893, he led the National League in ERA, this season his earned run average ballooned. Still, the amount of innings he garnered still made this a good season. Theo finished third in WAR (9.6), behind New York’s Amos Rusie (14.3) and Jouett Meekin (11.6), and fourth in WAR for Pitchers (9.7). He led the league with 447 1/3 innings pitched with a 4.79 ERA and a 112 ERA+. It certainly wasn’t as great as the previous season, but in an era in which runs were being scored in bunches, it wasn’t as bad as it looks. No left-hander since 1893 ever had more innings pitched.

As for the Browns, Doggie Miller managed his only season and finished with a 56-76 record, in ninth place, 35 games out of first. Led by Breitenstein and Pink Hawley, St. Louis had decent pitching, but putrid hitting.

The moving back of the mound in 1893 continued to have profound effects on the league. In 1892, when the mound was a 50 feet, there were 5.1 runs scored per game. The next season, the mound moved back to 60 feet, six inches and there were 6.6 runs per game. In 1894, that increased to 7.4 runs per game. In 2016, the Major Leagues averaged 4.48 runs per game, so you can see it was a whole different ball game than we’re seeing nowadays.


P-Cy Young, Cleveland Spiders, 27 Years Old

1891 1892 1893

26-21, 3.94 ERA, 108 K, .215, 2 HR, 26 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


Bases on Balls per 9 IP-2.334 (3rd Time)

Strikeouts/Base on Balls-1.019 (2nd Time)

4th Time All-Star-Baseball is cyclical, moving back and forth between whether hitters dominate or pitchers do. This tide can be affected by rule changes or just player adjustments or steroids. Young, the greatest control pitcher of all-time, walked over 100 batters for the fourth straight season, but you can see he still led the league in fewest bases on balls per nine innings. He’s adjusting and will never walk over 75 batters in a year for the rest of his career. For the season, Young finished fourth in WAR (9.2) and third in WAR for Pitchers (10.1), behind only New York’s Amos Rusie (14.3) and Jouett Meekin (11.3). Young’s hitting was his worst ever, coming in at a -1.0 WAR, which allowed Ted Breitenstein to have a better WAR despite having a worse year pitching. Young pitched 408 2/3 innings with a 3.94 ERA and a 138 Adjusted ERA+, which was third behind Rusie (188) and Meekin (141). Ho-hum, another great Cy Young season.

Except for 1892, Young’s pitching wasn’t helping the Spiders much in the standings. Manager Patsy Tebeau guided the team to a 68-61 record, which was only good enough for sixth in the standings and 21-and-a-half games out of first. Their pitching was pretty good, their hitting, not so much.

John Clarkson, this year’s ONEHOF inductee, and Cy Young were teammates from 1892-94 and Clarkson would retire from Major League duties after this season. It was the passing of the torch, but it wasn’t completely amicable, as Young, the great one, made less money than Clarkson, the former great one, $2,500-$2,300. Can you imagine how much money Young would make nowadays?


P-Kid Nichols, Boston Beaneaters, 24 Years Old

1890 1891 1892 1893

32-13, 4.75 ERA, 113 K, .294, 0 HR, 34 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:



5th Time All-Star-If someone asked you which Braves franchise player won the most games in their career, you might rightly guess Warren Spahn, who won 356 for the Braves. For second place, you’d probably throw out names like Greg Maddux or Tom Glavine. You would then be laughed at and scorned and told, no, it’s Kid Nichols, of course! He won 329 games for the club when it was the Beaneaters and before it was the Braves. He had another great season, finishing fifth in WAR (8.2) and fifth in WAR for Pitchers (8.0). He pitched his usual 407 innings with a decent 1894 ERA of 4.75 and 124 ERA+. When I start writing up the hitters, you’re going to see some monster numbers, but it’s important to remember numbers are only helpful if calculated in fair comparisons.

With the help of Nichols and coached by the great Frank Selee, Boston finished in third place with a 83-49 record, eight games behind Baltimore. It scored more runs than any other team, but its pitching, especially in games Nichols wasn’t on the mound, was average.

In Nichols’ own words, he tells how he got his nickname: “When I first joined the Kansas City Club, at 17 years of age, being of light build, I looked even younger.

“The public and the newspapers called me ‘Kid.’ This name has remained with me throughout the years. I’m best known as Charles ‘Kid’ Nichols.” I suggest you read the whole thing and I’m guessing I’ll be quoting from it before Kid’s career is over.


P-George Hemming, Louisville Colonels/Baltimore Orioles, 25 Years Old


17-19, 4.27 ERA, 70 K, .257, 2 HR, 13 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 18 more All-Star seasons)


2nd Time All-Star-Hemming made the All-Star team for the second straight season and had his best year ever, finishing seventh in WAR (6.9) and sixth in WAR for Pitchers (6.9). Between Louisville and Baltimore, he pitched 339 2/3 innings with a 4.27 ERA and a 120 ERA+. After this season, he’d pitch for Baltimore (1895-96) and go back to Louisville (1897). It’s wasn’t a great career or even a good one, but, for the time in which he pitched, it was a decent one.

The 1890s Baltimore Orioles were known as one of the greatest teams of all-time. They also had the reputation of one of the dirtiest teams of all-time. Led by Ned Hanlon, they won the first of three straight league titles with an 89-39 record. They were second in runs scored and runs allowed and first in run differential. They certainly had a lot of superstars on the team, but they also had a win at all cost attitude.

On the opposite side of the spectrum was Hemming’s other team, the Colonels, who finished in last place with a 36-94 record, 54 games behind Baltimore. The Orioles’ former coach, Billy Barnie, held the reins, but would leave the team after this disappointing season.

You need ballplayers to win games, though occasionally a team that doesn’t have many All-Stars will win. But for the most part, the team with the best players wins. Baltimore had five All-Stars, while Hemming was the only one for the Colonels. He finished 13-19 for Louisville and 4-0 for the Orioles.


P-Pink Hawley, St. Louis Browns, 21 Years Old

19-27, 4.90 ERA, 120 K, .264, 2 HR, 23 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star seasons)


Led in:



Hit By Pitch-21

Games Finished-10

1st Time All-Star-Emerson Pink Hawley was born on December 5, 1872 in Beaver Dam, WI. I love that ballplayers come from places like Beaver Dam. He was average height at five-foot-10 and weighed 185 pounds. He was now pitching his third year for the Cardinals and, while he has yet to have a winning season, was improving every season. This season, he finished ninth in WAR (6.7) and seventh in WAR for Pitchers (6.6), pitching 392 2/3 innings with a 4.90 ERA and a 110 ERA+. It’s incredible to see all of these high ERAs on this prestigious All-Star team, but it was a huge hitters’ year.

SABR writes, “He was born Emerson Pink Hawley on December 5, 1872, in Beaver Dam to Francis and Cornelia (Davis) Hawley. Beaver Dam is a small town which lies about 65 miles northwest of Milwaukee. Emerson was born one of two twins, the other being named Elmer. People had trouble telling the twins apart so the nurse who assisted in their birth pinned a blue ribbon to one and a pink one to the other. This resulted in Emerson being given the middle name Pink, and the brothers were known thereafter as Pink and Blue.

“The Hawley boys grew up in Beaver Dam where Pink attended the Wayland Academy. The Wayland Academy is a private school located in Beaver Dam. The Hawley twins had an older brother, Fred, and the three of them became legends in Beaver Dam baseball. Pink was the pitcher, Blue the catcher and Fred the first baseman. The twins were known as the Pink and Blue battery and both appeared to have bright futures as Blue was every bit as talented as his twin. But Blue’s life was cut short by pneumonia in 1891.”


P-Sadie McMahon, Baltimore Orioles, 26 Years Old

1890 1891 1892 1893

25-8, 4.21 ERA, 60 K, .286, 0 HR, 25 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require three more All-Star seasons)


5th Time All-Star-You don’t hear the name Sadie McMahon much, but he has now made five straight All-Star teams, two in the American Association and three in the National League. And in Baltimore’s first great year on its eventual great run, Sadie was the team’s best pitcher. He finished eighth in the league in WAR for Pitchers (6.0), tossing 275 2/3 innings with a 4.21 ERA and a 129 ERA+. He’d pitch well over his final three years, but his innings would continue to be reduced and he’s most likely made his last All-Star team.

SABR has much to say about McMahon’s part in the Orioles’ amazing run: “He continued to pitch well, winning over 20 games each year from 1892 through 1894. In 1894 he was having one of his best seasons, with a 25-8 record, when he was sidelined by a shoulder injury at the end of August. The Orioles won the pennant anyway, but lost the postseason Temple Cup matches to the runner-up New York Giants.

“As the shoulder was slow to heal, Sadie decided to sit out the next season. Meanwhile, the Orioles and the Cleveland Spiders were fighting for the 1895 pennant. During the summer the two teams alternated in first place. Led by first baseman-manager Patsy Tebeau, who was reputed to be a brawler and a bully, the Spiders were giving the Orioles a run for their money, not only in the pennant chase but also in the rowdiness department. At one point Baltimore had fallen to third place and the team’s championship hopes looked dim.

“About this time Baltimore manager Ned Hanlon ran into Sadie on a downtown street corner. Burt Solomon reconstructed the ensuing conversation as going something like this:

“’What’s the matter, Ed. You look downhearted.’

“’I am, Mac. I’m afraid they’ve got us licked.’

“’Don’t worry. I’m ready to go now and I’ll win you that championship.’

“The pitcher was true to his word.”


P-Clark Griffith, Chicago Colts, 24 Years Old

21-14, 4.92 ERA, 71 K, .232, 0 HR, 15 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No (as player, made it as pioneer/executive)

Ron’s: No (Would require four more All-Star seasons)


1st Time All-Star-Clark Calvin “The Old Fox” Griffith was born on November 20, 1869 in Clear Creek, MO. He was voted into the Hall of Fame by the Old Timers Committee as a Pioneer/Executive in 1946, but the truth is he’s going to have a great playing career and has a good chance of making my Hall of Fame. He started pitching for the American Association St. Louis Browns and Boston Reds in 1891, then took a year off from the Majors, before going to the Colts in 1893. Cap Anson, the Chicago skipper, always had a way of finding talent and he picked up another good one here in Griffith.

Griffith finished ninth in WAR for Pitchers (5.9), pitching 261 1/3 innings with a 4.92 ERA and a 114 ERA+. It didn’t help Anson’s Colts, who finished eighth with a 57-75 record, 34 games out of first. It was the third straight season Chicago finished under .500.

The Old Fox had a tough childhood, according to Wikipedia, which says, “When Griffith was a small child, his father was killed in a hunting accident when fellow hunters mistook him for a deer. Sarah Griffith struggled to raise her children as a widow, but Clark Griffith later said that his neighbors in Missouri had been very helpful to his mother, planting crops for her and the children. Fearing a malaria epidemic that was sweeping through the area, the Griffith family moved to Bloomington, Illinois.” By the age of 17, Griffith was making money for pitching.


P-Frank Dwyer, Cincinnati Reds, 26 Years Old


19-21, 5.07 ERA, 49 K, .267, 2 HR, 28 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons)


2nd Time All-Star-Dwyer’s season wasn’t great, but he was the best player on the Reds, so he’s back on the All-Star team. It would have been grueling to be a pitcher in 1894, with it being an extreme hitters’ year. I’ve played slo-pitch softball for years and have pitched much during that time and one of the most helpless feelings is when the opposition starts unloading on you and the inning drags on forever. If you’re trying to understand the scoring phenomenon that went on this season, Dwyer made the All-Star team with a 5.07 ERA. He pitched 348 innings and that ERA ended up being a 108 Adjusted ERA+. He still has some All-Star teams left, but my guess is he doesn’t have six of them, which he’ll need to have to make my Hall of Fame.

I would have been one depressed baseball fan in 1894 as my Reds finished 10th with a 55-75 record, despite being managed by the great Charlie Comiskey.

In Major League baseball at this time, there were 12 teams with one team winning the league and an exhibition playoff between the two top teams, the Temple Cup. Nowadays, as of 2017, we have 30 Major League baseball teams and 10 teams make the playoffs. I sometimes think too many teams make the playoffs, considering the teams have already played 162 games and, after that many games, we should know who’s worthy and who’s not, but it would be boring watching the 1890s National League if your team wasn’t one of the ones competing for the title. The good thing about more playoff teams is that it keeps eyeballs on the teams for a longer time.


C-Wilbert Robinson, Baltimore Orioles, 30 Years Old


.353, 1 HR, 98 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No as player, Yes as manager

Ron: No (Would require 20 more All-Star seasons)


Led in:


Def. Games as C-109 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-I said in last year’s blurb Robinson wouldn’t make another All-Star team, but I also gave myself the caveat that it’s tough to predict catchers. Anyhow, here he is and he had what looks like a great season, but it’s going to turn out to be average in 1894. As I start writing up the hitters, you’re going to start noticing big numbers, but realize that because everyone had great offensive production that great years lose their value. As a league, batters slashed .309/.379/.435. That’s everyone combined! So when you see Robinson hit .353, you can definitely cheer, but understand all three regular outfielders on Baltimore topped that. Uncle Robbie slashed .353/.421/.430 with 12 stolen bases for an OPS+ of 102. His batting average and on-base percentage would be career highs.

                Here are some career highlights from Wikipedia: “The star catcher of the Orioles dynasty which won three straight titles from 1894 to 1896, he compiled a career batting average of .273, with a peak of .353 in the heavy-hitting season of 1894. Durable behind the plate, he caught a triple-header in 1896, followed by a double-header the following day. He also was the first catcher to play directly behind the batter at all times, as the previous practice had been to play farther back when there were fewer than two strikes. A highlight of his career was a seven-hit game June 10, 1892. He also batted in 11 runs in that game; on September 16, 1924, as manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, he saw that record eclipsed as Jim Bottomley of the St. Louis Cardinals batted in 12 runs.”


C-Jack Clements, Philadelphia Phillies, 29 Years Old

1890 1891 1892 1893

.351, 3 HR, 36 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require five more All-Star seasons)


5th Time All-Star-It’s worth noting these All-Star teams are not the top 25 players in the league. Every team has to be represented and every position has to be filled. Clements did have a good season, but he played only 48 games. But in a league with a lack of good backstops, that’s good enough to make his fifth straight All-Star team. He had an all-time high up to this point in batting average (.351), his career high in on-base percentage (.459), and his highest slugging average to this point of .497. Clements stole six bases and had a 135 OPS+. If catcher wasn’t such a brutal position and Clements could have played more games, there’s definitely a possibility he’d be in the Hall of Fame. He still has some great seasons left and most likely an All-Star team or two still to go.

Arthur Irwin, who had managed the American Association Boston Reds to the pennant in 1891, took over from Hall of Famer Harry Wright. He led the team to a 71-57 fourth place finish, 18 games out of first. The Phillies could really hit, averaging 8.9 runs per game, just 0.3 behind the leader, Boston.

SABR writes of this season, “In 1894 Clements was off to his best start ever until a broken ankle shelved him after just 46 games.”

From the same article, here’s a bit on Clements’ inventiveness: “Clements likewise developed a unique chest protector, one that required him to blow it up before every game, and was also known for his trademark ‘indispensable sweater’ that he wore everywhere, even on the bench during hot summer games, ostensibly to protect his throwing arm, although by the late 1890s fellow players thought it was really donned to help him sweat off poundage after he developed a serious weight problem. By the end of his career it is almost certain that he tipped the scales at a significantly higher figure than his listed avoirdupois of 204.”


1B-Jake Beckley, Pittsburgh Pirates, 26 Years Old

1889 1890 1891 1893

.345, 7 HR, 122 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


Putouts-1,230 (2nd Time)

Def. Games as 1B-132

Putouts as 1B-1,230 (2nd Time)

Assists as 1B-85 (4th Time)

5th Time All-Star-When I first started writing about Beckley in 1889, I questioned his Hall of Fame creds, but I don’t anymore. In this year of inflated hitting stats, he was the only one to make the All-Star team at the position which usually provides the best bats, first base. Admittedly, it was a down year for first sackers, as Dan Brouthers and Roger Connor had off years. (Here’s what off years look like in an inflated offensive year. Brouthers slashed .347/.425/.560 and Connor .316/.402/.552. By the way, Cap Anson played only 84 games, but he slashed .388/.457/.539. It would be fun to have APBA cards from 1894.) As for Beckley, Eagle Eye slashed .345/.412/.521 with 21 stolen bases for an OPS+ of 126. It was his highest batting average and on-base percentages ever.

The Pirates were a middle of a road team, finishing 65-65 under the guidance of Al Buckenberger (53-55) and one Cornelius Alexander Mack (12-10). It was the first of 53 seasons in which Mack would manage in the Major Leagues.

Here’s what SABR says of Beckley’s Hall of Fame induction: “When Jake Beckley gained election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1971, 53 years after his death, most baseball fans had no idea who he was or why he should be honored with a plaque in Cooperstown. Beckley’s reputation suffered because he never played on a pennant winner, and only one team he played for (the 1893 Pirates) finished as high as second place. Still, the colorful ‘Eagle Eye’ compiled a .308 lifetime average, hit .300 or better in 13 of his 20 seasons (including the first four seasons of the Deadball Era), and retired in 1907 as baseball’s all-time leader in triples.”


2B-Cupid Childs, Cleveland Spiders, 26 Years Old

1890 1891 1892 1893

.353, 2 HR, 52 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require two more All-Star seasons)


5th Time All-Star-At this point in his career, Childs has played five full seasons and has now made the All-Star team every time. His chance’s for making my Hall of Fame continue to increase. This season, Childs hit .353, his highest average so far; had his highest ever on-base percentage of .475; slugged .459; and stole 17 bases for an OPS+ of 123. He was the dominant second sacker in the land and I’m pretty sure he’s got one All-Star season left. If he can sneak in another one, he’ll be in my Hall of Fame and there will be celebrations throughout his home state of Maryland.

SABR writes of his 1894 season, “Childs had another good year in 1894, hitting .353. He had 169 hits, 107 walks, 21 doubles and 12 triples for the year. He also scored 143 runs and stole 17 bases. Throughout his career Childs missed his share of games due to injuries and sickness but he also was capable of playing hurt. On August 8, 1894, Childs fell and broke his collarbone after he was tripped by Pittsburgh first baseman Jake Beckley while he was running down the first base line. Cupid must have had great recuperative powers because he was back in the Cleveland lineup at second base just 13 days later. In September of that year, Childs handled 16 chances without an error in the first game of a double header against Brooklyn. Remarkably, Childs finished the 1894 National League season with just 11 strikeouts.”


3B-George Davis, New York Giants, 23 Years Old


.352, 9 HR, 93 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require two more All-Star seasons)


2nd Time All-Star-Davis is back for his second consecutive season and he had very similar stats to his All-Star 1893 year. Of course, that means he did worse, relatively speaking, because it was a lot easier to hit in 1894. Here’s what I mean. In 1893, he slashed .355/.410/.554 and in 1894, he slashed .352/.434/.541. Pretty close. However, in the former year, his Adjusted OPS+ was 155, while this season it was 135. He’s still a great player, but it shows the difficulties that come with just making judgments on straight stats. Still, Davis finished fifth in WAR Position Players (5.4), ninth in Offensive WAR (4.6); and sixth in Defensive WAR (1.1). By the way, in case you’re wondering how bloated offensive stats were in 1894, Davis’ .434 on-base percentage didn’t even rank in the top 10.

I didn’t mention this last year, but SABR has a good write-up on Davis’ 1893 season, saying, “Prior to the 1893 season, New York Giants manager John Montgomery Ward traded heralded veteran Buck Ewing for the young 22-year old Davis, just off a subpar year in which he had batted .241. Ward installed Davis at third base and the switch-hitter, aided by the new 60’6″ pitching distance, hit an impressive .355 with 119 RBI and a career-high 27 triples. He also set a major league record with a 33-game hitting streak, though the mark would be broken by Bill Dahlen the next year. The New York fans embraced their new player and Ward became a mentor to Davis, who grew a handlebar mustache that mirrored Ward’s, making it difficult to tell the two apart.”


3B-Lave Cross, Philadelphia Phillies, 28 Years Old

.387, 7 HR, 132 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons)


Led in:


Double Plays Turned as 3B-24

Range Factor/Game as 3B-4.12

1st Time All-Star-Lafayette Napoleon “Lave” Cross was born on May 12, 1866 in Milwaukee, WI. The five-foot-eight, 155 pound third baseman has garnered some Hall of Fame consideration and because of his dazzling fielding, it’s not impossible he makes my Hall of Fame. He started his career as a catcher, first for the American Association Louisville Colonels (1887-88), then for the AA Philadelphia Athletics (1889). Then like so many, Cross jumped to the Players League in 1890, catching for the Athletics and then went back to the AA in 1891, playing again for Philadelphia. Since then, he’s been with the Phillies, where he was switched to third base in 1892 and then went back to catcher in 1893. This season, Cross made third base his primary position for the rest of his long career. He’d play 21 seasons in four different leagues.

Third base seemed to fit Cross, who finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.3), 10th in Offensive WAR (4.6), and fifth in Defensive WAR (1.1). This was his best season ever. He slashed .387/.424/.528 and stole 23 bases for an OPS+ of 133. All of those numbers, sans stolen bases, are all-time highs for him.

A page called Hall of Fame Debate seems to think Cross belongs in the Hall. It also says of his 1894 season, “Lave was a solid offensive performer but in 1894, he had his breakout season.  Cross elevated his game by hitting a robust .386 in ’94 while driving in an astonishing 125 runs.  That year, Lave played in 119 games, scored 123 runs and drove in 125 runs, making him one of but a few players who have averaged both a run scored and a run driven in per game.  He eclipsed the 100 RBI mark the following year as well while only fanning eight times all season.”


3B-Bill Joyce, Washington Senators, 26 Years Old


.355, 17 HR, 89 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require eight more All-Star seasons)


Led in:


AB per HR-20.9

2nd Time All-Star-Joyce is not a Hall of Fame player because he played only eight seasons, but he ran into some incredible bad luck. Well, maybe that’s not the word for it, because much of it was brought on by Joyce himself. For instance, after an All-Star season in the American Association in 1891, he moved to the National League in 1892, playing for Brooklyn. Then, in 1893, according to SABR, “The Brooklyn Grooms traded Joyce to the Washington Senators in the offseason, but he refused to play for the Senators at the salary offered and held out for the entire 1893 season. Reportedly, he spent much of that summer betting on horse races in St. Louis and hanging out with Alderman Jim Cronin, a lieutenant of Edward Butler, the city’s Irish political boss.” In the prime of his career, he sat out a whole Major League season.

He came back strong, finishing eighth in WAR Position Players (5.2) and fifth in Offensive WAR (5.5). This could have been one of the all-time great seasons, but he played only 99 of the team’s 132 games. Still he slashed .355/.496/.648 with 21 stolen bases for an Adjusted OPS+ of 178. He ranked behind only Philadelphia’s Sam Thompson (.696) and Boston’s Hugh Duffy (.694) in slugging and behind only Thompson (182) in Adjusted OPS+.

As for Washington, Gus Schmelz coached them to an 11th place 45-87 record. He’d be its manager for three more seasons, but the team would never do well under his guidance.


SS-Hughie Jennings, Baltimore Orioles, 25 Years Old

.335, 4 HR, 109 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star seasons)


Led in:


Defensive WAR-2.0

Hit By Pitch-27

Putouts as SS-307 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as SS-.928

1st Time All-Star-Hugh Ambrose “Hughie” or “Ee-Yah” Jennings was born on April 2, 1869 in Pittstown, PA, having the same birthday as my sister-in-law, Terri. He started his career with the American Association Louisville Colonels in 1891, then moved to the National League for them in 1892 and 1893. He was traded with Harry Taylor to the Orioles on June 7, 1893 for Tim O’Rourke and would then become a legend for one of the all-time great teams. As for this season, Ee-Yah finished 10th in WAR Position Players (4.8) and first in Defensive WAR (2.0). He’s one of the great defensive shortstops of all time. He slashed .335/.411/.479 with 37 stolen bases for an OPS+ of 110. He has some great seasons ahead.

Wikipedia says of this great team, “Jennings played with the Orioles for parts of seven seasons and became a star during his years in Baltimore. The Baltimore Orioles teams of 1894, 1895, and 1896 are regarded as one of the greatest teams of all time. The teams featured Hall of Fame manager Ned Hanlon and a lineup with six future Hall of Famers: first baseman Dan Brouthers, second baseman John McGraw, shortstop Jennings, catcher Wilbert Robinson, right fielder “Wee Willie” Keeler, and left fielder Joe Kelley. Amidst all those great players, Jennings was appointed captain in 1894, his first full season with the team.

“During the Orioles’ championship years, Jennings had some of the best seasons ever by a major league shortstop.” That’s true, to a point, but it’s also important to remember everyone was a great hitter during this era.


LF-Joe Kelley, Baltimore Orioles, 22 Years Old

.393, 6 HR, 111 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require five more All-Star seasons)


1st Time All-Star-Joseph James “Joe” Kelley was born on December 9, 1871 in Cambridge, MA and, like so many Baltimore players, was off to a Hall of Fame career. And like so many of those, it’s a toss-up in my mind. If he played in the 1960s, he’d be an unbelievable hitter, but in the time in which he played, there were many hitters like him. I’m not saying he wasn’t a good hitter or a good player, but does he deserve Cooperstown? That’s a tough call.

Kelley started with Boston in 1891, then played for Pittsburgh and Baltimore in 1892. He’d be on the Orioles through 1898. He finished 10th in WAR (6.5); third in WAR Position Players (6.5), behind only Philadelphia’s Billy Hamilton and Boston’s Hugh Duffy; and third in Offensive WAR (6.1), behind those same two (7.8 and 6.7 respectively). He slashed .393/.502/.602 with 46 stolen bases for an Adjusted OPS+ of 161. All of those slash numbers would be the highest in his career. He was second in OBP to Hamilton (.521). According to SABR, “On September 3, 1894, Kelley, batting leadoff, stroked nine straight hits in a doubleheader sweep of the Cleveland Spiders in front of a Labor Day crowd of over 20,000 fans at Baltimore’s Union Park. The hard-hitting Irishman put the finishing touches on his great day by slamming four consecutive doubles off Cy Young in the nightcap.” This season was his second year of 11 consecutive seasons in which he’d above .300.


LF-Ed Delahanty, Philadelphia Phillies, 26 Years Old


.404, 4 HR, 133 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require three more All-Star seasons)


2nd Time All-Star-As of this writing in 2017, it has been 76 years since anybody hit .400. It is an incredibly difficult feat to hit .400 in a whole Major League season. I play slo-pitch softball and I doubt I hit that high and the ball is being lobbed to me! Yet five people in 1894 hit .400 and four of them were on the same team. I’m going to be writing about three of those four as all of the regular Philadelphia outfielders hit .400. But the Phillies backup outfielder also hit over .400 as Tuck Turner hit .418. He didn’t have enough at-bats to make the All-Star team. The only non-Philadelphia .400 hitter was Hugh Duffy, who hit .440. More on him later.

This season, Delahanty finished fourth in WAR Position Players (6.0) and sixth in Offensive WAR (5.4). He hit .404, with a .475 on-base percentage and .584 slugging average. He stole 21 bases and ended up with a 159 OPS+. But he has much better seasons ahead.

Wikipedia wraps up everything I just said, saying, “In 1894, despite his high average of .407, the batting title went to Hugh Duffy with a major league record-setting .440. The 1894 Phillies outfield had a big season, with all four players averaging over .400. That season, Delahanty hit .407, Sam Thompson batted .407, Billy Hamilton .404 and spare outfielder Tuck Turner finished second to Hugh Duffy in hitting at .416… Delahanty was surrounded by talent in the Philadelphia outfield. Author Bill James wrote, ‘Any way you cut it, the Phillies had the greatest outfield of the 19th century.’”

hamilton5CF-Billy Hamilton, Philadelphia Phillies, 28 Years Old

1890 1891 1892 1893

.403, 4 HR, 90 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


WAR Position Players-8.2 (2nd Time)

Offensive WAR-7.8 (2nd Time)

On-Base %-.521 (3rd Time)

Plate Appearances-702

Runs Scored-198 (2nd Time)

Bases on Balls-128 (2nd Time)

Stolen Bases-100 (4th Time)

Singles-181 (4th Time)

Times on Base-362 (2nd Time)

Putouts as OF-370

Range Factor/Game as OF-2.92

5th Time All-Star-In a career loaded with great seasons, this was Hamilton’s best season ever. He finished sixth in WAR (8.2), first in WAR Position Players (8.2), and first in Offensive WAR (7.8). He led the league with a .521 on-base percentage and 100 stolen bases. Sliding Billy also hit .403 with a .523 slugging average and a 157 OPS+. It was his highest batting average and on-base percentage ever and, oh, yeah, Hamilton also set an all-time record for runs scored with 198. In 132 games.

Most importantly, his fifth straight All-Star season puts the great Hamilton into my Hall of Fame. He’ll most likely be in the ONEHOF someday.

So I’m writing about all of these incredible Philadelphia seasons and you must be thinking that Philadelphia Baseball Grounds must have been a bandbox, a real hitter’s paradise. (It’s amazing how you and I so often are thinking about the same thing.) Well, you’d be wrong, it was actually a pitcher’s park. Which makes these mind-blowing stats that much more amazing.

Wikipedia shines a lens on his incredible season, saying, “That year Hamilton set the all-time standard for most runs scored in a season (198); since then, Babe Ruth has come closest to Hamilton in runs scored, with 177 in 1921, setting the American League and modern MLB record. Hamilton also set the record for most stolen bases in one game, with seven on August 31, 1894. He set the record for most consecutive games scoring one or more runs, with 35 runs in 24 games in July–August 1894.”


CF-Hugh Duffy, Boston Beaneaters, 27 Years Old

1890 1891

.440, 18 HR, 145 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require four more All-Star seasons)


Led in:


1894 NL Batting Average (2nd Time)

Batting Average-.440

On-Base Plus Slugging-1.196

Hits-237 (2nd Time)

Total Bases-374


Home Runs-18

Runs Created-187

Adj. Batting Runs-68

Adj. Batting Wins-5.6

Extra Base Hits-85

Offensive Win %-.852

Power-Speed #-26.2 (2nd Time)

3rd Time All-Star-Batting average is baseball’s most famous stat. Yes, it’s true, we’re smarter nowadays and understand BA doesn’t do a good job of telling a player’s value, but it’s an easy way to make a judgment of a player and how good they are at hitting. On scoreboards around the league, when the lineup is shown, the batting average of the player is also displayed. Here, in these three numbers, we’re letting you know how good the player is, the scoreboards seem to be telling us.

Yet, I know you know the career home run leader is Barry Bonds and he broke the record of Mark McGwire, who beat Roger Maris, who beat the Babe. But do you know the person with the highest batting average of all time? Well, since I’m writing about him, you’ve probably guessed it’s Hugh Duffy in this 1894 season. Unless you include the National Association, because Levi Meyerle hit .492 in 1871. But he only played 26 games that season, so we’ll throw that out.

Of course, some people don’t give Duffy credit either, because for some, baseball didn’t really start until 1901 when the American League formed. Then the record belongs to Nap Lajoie, who hit .426 in 1901. I’ve also heard the highest batting average of all-time belongs to Rogers Hornsby, who hit .424 in 1924, because, um, reasons!

I don’t have to go through all of Duffy’s stats because he led in so many and you can see those above. I will say this is his best season ever, but it’s possibly his last All-Star season.


CF-Jake Stenzel, Pittsburgh Pirates, 27 Years Old

.352, 13 HR, 121 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 14 more All-Star seasons)


1st Time All-Star-Jacob Charles “Jake” Stenzel born Jacob Charles Stelzle was born on June 24, 1867 in Cincinnati, OH. He started as a part-time catcher for Chicago in 1890, then went oh-for-nine with the Pirates in 1892. From that beginning, we seem him in 1894 finishing seventh in Offensive WAR (5.0) while slashing .352/.440/.577 with 61 stolen bases and a 145 OPS+. Because of some of the gaudy numbers we’ve seen in the last few write-ups, you might overlook Stenzel, but this was a good season.

Here’s some info on Stenzel from SABR: “The son of German immigrants, he was born Jacob Charles Stelzle in Cincinnati, Ohio, on June 24, 1867. He changed his name to Stenzel when he left Cincinnati to play professional baseball in Wheeling, West Virginia, while still a teenager. A right-handed hitter and thrower, he began as a catcher despite possessing excellent speed and being on the light size for a catcher, weighing 165 pounds on a 5′-10″ frame.

“In 1894 he posted his career- best numbers, leading Pittsburgh in average, hits, doubles, home runs, stolen bases, walks, and runs. He achieved career bests in triples (20), home runs (13), runs (149), RBI (121), and walks (75). On June 6, 1894, against Boston he slammed two home runs in the third inning to tie the major league record. The Pirates, however, slipped to the second division.

“Charles Faber has rated the mid-nineties Pirate outfield of Patsy Donovan, Stenzel, and Elmer Smith as one of the top three outfields of the nineteenth century.”


CF-Mike Griffin, Brooklyn Grooms, 29 Years Old


.357, 5 HR, 76 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons)


2nd Time All-Star-There was no lack of good centerfielders in the National League this season. Griffin is the fourth one to make the All-Star team. He also had the highest WAR on Brooklyn and is the only one of the Grooms to be an All-Star. He slashed .357/.466/.485 with 39 stolen bases for an OPS+ of 137. He’s not going to make any of the Hall of Fames, but Griffin had a decent career. Because of the proliferation of runs this year and the era in which he played, his on-base percentage of .467 is the highest of all-time in what would eventually become the Dodgers’ franchise. For a team with its long history and tremendous success, that’s quite a feat.

Despite having only one All-Star, Brooklyn didn’t do badly. Dave Foutz managed the team to a fifth-place 70-61 finish. Judging by their runs scored and runs allowed, the Grooms should have finished .500, but played over their heads. When you see a team playing above its Pythagorean record, how much of that credit should go to the manager and how much is just luck?

Here’s some random details on his career from Wikipedia, which states, “Scouted and signed by Billy Barnie of the Baltimore Orioles, while playing for the local Utica professional team, he was one of the premiere ball players at the time, leading his league in runs scored in 1889 and doubles in 1891. On April 16, 1887, he became the first major league player to hit a home run in his first plate appearance.”


RF-Sam Thompson, Philadelphia Phillies, 34 Years Old

1886 1887 1891 1892 1893

.415, 13 HR, 147 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require one more All-Star season)


Led in:


Slugging %-.696 (2nd Time)

Runs Batted In-147 (2nd Time)

Adjusted OPS+-182

Fielding %-.972

6th Time All-Star-Since I started this webpage, I keep running into things I want to count. I’ve developed two Halls of Fame and then I started counting who makes the most All-Star teams at every position. Here’s where they stand so far:

P-Tim Keefe, 11

C-Charlie Bennett, 9

1B-Cap Anson, 13

2B-Fred Dunlap, 7

3B-Ned Williamson, Ezra Sutton, Denny Lyons, 6

SS-Jack Glasscock, 11

LF-Charley Jones, 5

CF-Paul Hines, 8

RF-Sam Thompson, 6

So at least by that measure, Big Sam Thompson is the game’s best rightfielder so far. This season, he finished seventh in WAR Position Players (5.2) and fourth in Offensive WAR (5.5). He missed 30 games or he would have rated higher. Thompson hit .415, third in the league behind Hugh Duffy (.440) and Tuck Turner (.418); had an on-base percentage of .465; led the league in slugging; stole 27 bases; and had a league-leading Adjusted OPS+ of 182. All of his slash numbers along with his OPS+ were all career highs.

According to Wikipedia, “Thompson missed a month from the 1894 season with an injury to the little finger on his left hand. Doctors determined that the smaller bones in the finger were dead, and portions of the finger were surgically removed in mid-May 1894. Despite the injury and partial amputation, and being limited to only 102 games, Thompson compiled a .407 batting average with a career-high 28 triples and a league-leading 147 RBIs. His 1894 ratio of 1.44 RBIs per game remains the all-time major league record. Also, his 28 triples was the second highest total in major league history up to that time and remains the fifth highest of all time. Thompson also led the National League with a career-high .696 slugging percentage, and he hit for the cycle on August 17, 1894.”


19 thoughts on “1894 National League All-Star Team

  1. Back on 4 June 2012 I did a short bit on Clarkson titled “An Ugly Story.” You might want to check it out if you’re interested in Clarkson.

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