1899 National League All-Star Team

P-Vic Willis, BSN

P-Joe McGinnity, BLN

P-Cy Young, STL

P-Jesse Tannehill, PIT

P-Jay Hughes, BRO

P-Frank Kitson, BLN

P-Noodles Hahn, CIN

P-Cy Seymour, NYG

P-Clark Griffith, CHC

P-Bill Dinneen, WHS

C-Ed McFarland, PHI

C-Ossee Schrecongost, CLV

1B-Fred Tenney, BSN

2B-Tom Daly, BRO

3B-John McGraw, BLN

3B-Jimmy Williams, PIT

3B-Honus Wagner, LOU

SS-Bobby Wallace, STL

SS-George Davis, NYG

SS-Bill Dahlen, BRO

LF-Ed Delahanty, PHI

LF-Jesse Burkett, STL

CF-Roy Thomas, PHI

RF-Chick Stahl, BSN

RF-Willie Keeler, BRO



P-Vic Willis, Boston Beaneaters, 23 Years Old, MVP

27-8, 2.50 ERA, 120 K, .216, 0 HR, 16 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:


1899 NL Pitching Title

Wins Above Replacement-10.2

WAR for Pitchers-10.5

Earned Run Average-2.50

Hits per 9 IP-7.275


Adjusted ERA+-165

Adj. Pitching Runs-61

Adj. Pitching Wins-5.9

1st Time All-Star-Victor Gazaway “Vic” Willis was born on April 12, 1876 in Cecil County, MD. According to Wikipedia, “He attended high school at Newark Academy, and played both on the high school baseball team and in semi-pro baseball leagues throughout Delaware. Prior to joining the major leagues, Willis played the 1897 season at the University of Delaware (then known as Delaware College), and later coached the 1907 team and parts of the 1908 team.” Willis then started for Boston in 1898, having a great year, going 25-13 with a 2.84 ERA and a 131 ERA+. This season, he had his best season ever, finishing first in WAR (10.2); first in WAR for Pitchers (10.5); eighth in innings pitched (342 2/3); first in earned run average 2.50; and first in Adjusted ERA+ (165). As if Boston didn’t have enough talent, it now had the best pitcher in the National League.

However, after winning two consecutive league crowns, Frank Selee’s Beaneaters couldn’t get past the stacked Brooklyn squad, which had picked up some key players from Baltimore. They finished 95-57, eight games out despite the best pitching in the league. It was their hitting that couldn’t keep up with the Superbas. Boston was one game back as of August 9 after a seven-game winning streak, but went 3-5 in its next eight games and never got back into the race. Selee would coach six more seasons, but never win another pennant. He’ll have to be satisfied with the five he did win.


P-Joe McGinnity, Baltimore Orioles, 28 Years Old

28-16, 2.68 ERA, 74 K, .193, 0 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:



1st Time All-Star-Joseph Jerome “Joe” or “Iron Man” McGinnity was born on March 20, 1871 in Cornwall, IL and if ever a nickname fit someone it was Iron Man McGinnity. He would lead his league in innings pitched four times and in games pitched six years. In this, his rookie year, he finished seventh in WAR (8.0); second in WAR for Pitchers (8.6), behind only Boston’s Vic Willis (10.5); fourth in innings pitched (366 1/3); third in earned run average (2.68), behind Willis and St. Louis’ Cy Young (2.58); and third in Adjusted ERA+ (147), behind Willis (165) and Young (154). It’s one of the best rookie years of all-time.

McGinnity got a late start in the Major Leagues. He’d been pitching in the minors since 1893. Then, according to Wikipedia, “Former Brooklyn Grooms player George Pinkney, who lived in Peoria during his retirement, saw McGinnity pitch, and contacted Brooklyn owner Charles Ebbets to recommend he sign McGinnity. He signed McGinnity in the spring of 1899 for $150 a month ($4,318 in current dollar terms). The syndicate that owned Brooklyn also owned the Baltimore Orioles.

“With the Orioles, McGinnity played with John McGraw, who succeeded Hanlon as player-manager, and Wilbert Robinson, who caught McGinnity. McGraw and Robinson had refused to relocate to Brooklyn due to their investment in a Baltimore restaurant. The two imparted their aggressive style of play to McGinnity. In his first year in the NL, McGinnity had a 28–16 record.” I’ll have more on the Baltimore and Brooklyn situation in the John McGraw write-up.


P-Cy Young, St. Louis Perfectos, 32 Years Old, 1899 ONEHOF Inductee

1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898

26-16, 2.58 ERA, 101 K, .216, 1 HR, 18 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

Led in:


Walks & Hits per IP-1.116 (3rd Time)

Bases on Balls per 9 IP-1.072 (8th Time)

Complete Games-40

Strikeouts/Base on Balls-2.523 (5th Time)

Assists as P-117 (3rd Time)

9th Time All-Star-Young now adds another award to his trophy case, the prestigious ONEHOF, the One-a Year Hall of Fame in which the best player not currently in that Hall is inducted. It took Young nine straight All-Star teams and being the best pitcher of his generation, but he’s in. The nominees for next year’s ONEHOF are King Kelly, Hardy Richardson, Buck Ewing, Charley Jones, Fred Dunlap, George Gore, Ned Williamson, Bid McPhee, Sam Thompson, Jack Clements, Amos Rusie, Cupid Childs, and Ed Delahanty.

There were some shenanigans going on in baseball at this time as owners could own two clubs and load their best players onto one of them. That’s how Cy Young ended up in St. Louis, as according to Wikipedia, “Prior to the 1899 season, Frank Robison, the Spiders owner, bought the St. Louis Browns, thus owning two clubs simultaneously. The Browns were renamed the ‘Perfectos’, and restocked with Cleveland talent. Just weeks before the season opener, most of the better Spiders players were transferred to St. Louis, including fellow pitcher Pete McBride and three future Hall of Famers: Young, Jesse Burkett, and Bobby Wallace. The roster maneuvers failed to create a powerhouse Perfectos team, as St. Louis finished fifth in both 1899 and 1900.” It also led to a miserable Cleveland team.

                Young finished second in WAR (8.4), behind only Boston’s Vic Willis (10.5); fourth in WAR for Pitchers (8.5); third in innings pitched (369 1/3), behind Pittsburgh’s Sam Leever (379) and teammate Jack Powell (373); second in ERA (2.58), behind only Willis (2.50); and second in Adjusted ERA+ (154), again behind Willis (165).


P-Jesse Tannehill, Pittsburgh Pirates, 24 Years Old


24-14, 2.82 ERA, 65 K, .250, 0 HR, 11 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require five more All-Star seasons. 60 percent chance)


2nd Time All-Star-Powder won 20 games for the second consecutive season and made his second straight All-Star team. He finished third in WAR (8.4), behind Boston’s Vic Willis (10.2) and St. Louis’ Cy Young (8.4); sixth in WAR for Pitchers (7.9); pitched 322 innings; finished ninth in ERA (2.82); and finished 10th in Adjusted ERA+ (134). He would never have the nickname of Iron Man because he wasn’t a workhorse. Not once in his 15 seasons did he finish in the top 10 in innings pitched. As a matter of fact, his 326 2/3 innings pitched in 1898 was his highest and this year’s total was his second highest. These would be the only two seasons Tannehill had 300 or more innings pitched.

Pittsburgh improved from its last season, moving from eighth to seventh. Bill Watkins started out the year as manager, but was released after a 7-15 start. Patsy Donovan took the reins and compiled a respectable 69-58 record. Doing the math, the Pirates finished 76-73. Watkins would never manage again, but at least he has a National League and World Series championship in 1887 to his name.

Tannehill relied on his control, according to SABR, which says, “On the mound, the short left-hander relied on an agonizingly slow curveball and razor-sharp control. Every year from 1897 to 1904, Tannehill ranked among his league’s top five in fewest walks per nine innings pitched. He wasn’t a big strikeout pitcher, either–he recorded only 940 strikeouts in more than 2,750 career innings–but his low walk totals still ensured him an annual spot among pitchers with the best strikeout to walk ratios.”


P-Jay Hughes, Brooklyn Superbas, 25 Years Old

28-6, 2.68 ERA, 99 K, .252, 0 HR, 14 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 19 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)


Led in:



Win-Loss %-.824

1st Time All-Star-James H. “Jay” Hughes was born on January 22, 1874 in Sacramento, CA. Someone told him, “Go east, young man” and he ended up on Baltimore in 1898. He came to Brooklyn this year. I’ll have more on that in a second. He won 23 games in 1898 as an already effective pitcher. This season, Hughes finished fourth in WAR (8.0); seventh in WAR for Pitchers (7.6); fifth in earned run average (2.68); and fifth in Adjusted ERA+ (145). After pitching 300 2/3 innings the year before, he pitched 291 2/3 innings this year.

Brooklyn finished 101-47 and won the league. However, it was a tainted title. Wikipedia relays the story: “The 1899 season began with the Brooklyn team and the Baltimore Orioles merging their ownership groups. Baltimore owner Harry Von der Horst and Ned Hanlon became part owners of Brooklyn. Von der Horst insisted that Hanlon become the team’s new manager, a position that had been promised to outfielder Mike Griffin, who had been interim manager the previous year. Griffin quit and wound up suing the team for lost wages. His contract was sold to the Cleveland Spiders, but Griffin never played or managed in the majors again.

“Renamed the Superbas as part of the deal, the team also siphoned off several of the Orioles’ best players. On March 11, the team brought Bill Dahlen, Mike Heydon, Jay Hughes, Hughie Jennings, Willie Keeler, Joe Kelley, Al Maul, Dan McGann and Doc McJames onto their roster from Baltimore, while assigning Harry Howell, Candy LaChance, Kit McKenna, Ralph Miller, Jack Ryan, Jimmy Sheckard and Aleck Smith to the Orioles. This influx of talent was a good part of the reason why the Superbas managed to win the National League pennant with 101 wins after winning just 54 games in 1898.” It’s not surprising Brooklyn won with all of this talent. It’s surprising Baltimore still battled despite losing it all. It was the franchise’s third league title.


P-Frank Kitson, Baltimore Orioles, 29 Years Old

22-16, 2.78 ERA, 75 K, .201, 0 HR, 8 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 12 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)


1st Time All-Star-Frank R. Kitson was born on September 11, 1869 in Watson, MI. He started pitching part-time for Baltimore in 1898 and then had his best season ever this year. Kitson finished ninth in WAR (7.8) and fifth in WAR for Pitchers (8.0). He pitched 326 2/3 innings (10th in the National League) with a 2.79 ERA (sixth) and a 141 Adjusted ERA+ (sixth). He will probably not make another All-Star team and bounced around for the rest of his career, pitching for Brooklyn (1900-02), Detroit (1903-05), Washington (1906-07), and the Highlanders (1907). He finished with a respectable 129-118 record and a 3.18 ERA.

Wikipedia fills in the blanks, stating, “Born in Hopkins, Michigan, Kitson’s major league career got off to a roller coaster start. In his first start on May 19, 1898, he shut out the Pittsburgh Pirates. Six days later, the Cubs scored 20 runs off Kitson; the game was called after 7 innings with the Cubs ahead 20–4.

“Kitson won 15 or more games for five straight years from 1899 to 1903, including 22 wins with the Baltimore Orioles in 1899. In 1899, he was among the National League leaders in ERA (2.77), wins (22), winning percentage (.636), and complete games (34).

“Kitson was one of the top left-handed pitchers at the turn of the century. After winning 22 games for the Orioles, he had consecutive 19-win seasons for Brooklyn in 1901 and 1902. In 1903, he jumped to the American League, where he did not have as much success.”


P-Noodles Hahn, Cincinnati Reds, 20 Years Old

23-8, 2.68 ERA, 145 K, .147, 0 HR, 11 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Will require six more All-Star seasons. Probably fall short)


Led in:



Fielding Independent Pitching-2.88

1st Time All-Star-Frank George “Noodles” Hahn was born on April 29, 1879 in Nashville, TN and had a sensational rookie year. The five-foot-nine, 160 pound pitcher finished eighth in WAR (7.9) and third in WAR for Pitchers (8.5), behind only Boston’s Vic Willis (10.5) and Joe McGinnity (8.6). He tossed 309 innings with a 2.68 ERA, fourth in the National League, and a 145 Adjusted ERA+, also fourth. Despite pitching only eight seasons, Noodles got some Hall of Fame interest.

Led by Hahn, the Reds, managed by Buck Ewing, finished sixth in the National League with an 83-67 record, 19 games behind Brooklyn. It was a drop-off from the team’s third place finish in 1898.

SABR has an explanation, sort of, for his nickname, saying, “He acquired his distinctive nickname as a youngster, though he claimed he didn’t know why. ‘All I know is they always called me “Noodles,”’ Hahn said. But a friend claimed to recall the origin quite well. ‘When Hahn was a boy in Nashville,’ the man explained, ‘he always had to carry his father’s lunch to him. His father worked in a piano factory, and the lunch was always noodle soup, so the nickname was a natural.’ There are at least three other variations on the story, however; in one he earned the nickname because he sold his mother’s homemade noodle soup, in a second he was simply fond of the soup, and in a third, his brothers gave him the nickname for carrying noodle soup for his grandmother to a poor neighbor.”


P-Cy Seymour, New York Giants, 26 Years Old

14-18, 3.56 ERA, 142 K, .327, 2 HR, 27 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star teams. 29 percent chance)


Led in:


Strikeouts per 9 IP-4.763 (3rd Time)

Bases on Balls-170 (3rd Time)

Errors Committed as P-20 (2nd Time)

1st Time All-Star-James Bentley “Cy” Seymour was born on December 9, 1872 in Albany, NY. The interesting thing about doing this webpage is discovering how many others besides Babe Ruth had similar career arcs where they started as pitchers and then moved to being a position player. That was Seymour, who would be mainly a pitcher for the Giants from 1896-1900, but once he left the team after that, he’d pretty much move to the outfield and have a good, long career there. This season, he made the All-Star team as New York’s best player, using effective wildness to pitch 268 1/3 innings with a 3.56 ERA and a 105 ERA+, while at the plate slashing .327/.344/.409 with two stolen bases and a 109 OPS+. His hitting, while good now, will dramatically improve in a few years.

The Giants fell from seventh to tenth this season, finishing 60-90 under the guidance of John Day (29-35) and Fred Hoey (31-55). It couldn’t have pleasant to see their city mates in Brooklyn take the title. But in a few years, the answers to their problems would come in the form of a fiery third baseman from Baltimore.

SABR tells us, “Since 1893, when the pitching rubber was moved back to sixty feet, six inches, only two players in major league baseball have pitched more than 100 games and collected 1500 hits. Babe Ruth (1914-35) stroked 2873 hits in his career and pitched in 163 games (94-46, 2.28 ERA). The other player was Cy Seymour (1896-1913), who accumulated 1723 hits and pitched in 140 games (61-53, 3.76 ERA). Seymour’s pitching career highlights include a 25-victory season with a league-leading 239 strikeouts in 1898, the best of all pitchers during the transition era of 1893 to 1900.”

griffith5P-Clark Griffith, Chicago Orphans, 29 Years Old

1894 1895 1897 1898

22-14, 2.79 ERA, 73 K, .258, 0 HR, 14 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No. (Yes as a Pioneer/Executive)

Ron’s: Yes (Made it this season)


5th Time All-Star-Welcome to Ron’s Hall of Fame, Clark Griffith. Though it’s not based in Cooperstown, but in Carter Lake, IA, where I first learned to love the game as a wee lad, it will someday be just as prestigious. Griffith made it on an off-year, he’s on the All-Star team this season as Chicago’s sole representative. He’s got a good chance at making two more All-Star teams for two different Chicago squads.

Tom Burns, who had taken over for Cap Anson the season before, managed the Orphans to an eighth place finish, down from fourth in 1898. They had a 75-73 record.

This season, Griffith pitched 319 2/3 innings. It would be the last time he’d be over the 300 inning mark. He was seventh in the league in ERA (2.79) and ninth in the National League in Adjusted ERA+ (134). All of this and he was also just a good man, according to a quote from Bobo Newsom on Baseball Reference, who says, “He was the greatest humanitarian who ever lived and the greastest pillar of honesty baseball ever had. I never played for a better man, on the field or off.”

One more thing, Griffith almost killed a man in 1899. Baseball History Daily tells us, “[Bill Phyle] went duck hunting with teammates Clark Griffith, Bill Lange, Jack Taylor and Jimmy Callahan at A.G. Spalding’s New Mexico ranch.  The Inter Ocean said of the trip:

“’A bullet from a Winchester rifle in the hands of Clark Griffith nearly ended the life of William Phyle, the promising young pitcher of the Chicago ball team.’

“Phyle, unbeknownst to Griffith, remained in the group’s boat while Griffith fired on a flock of ducks flying near the boat:

“’Griffith pulled the trigger and a ball tore its way through the stem of the boat…The ball carried in a direct line over the young pitcher’s head, and could not have missed him by more than six inches.’

“Phyle was shaken, but unhurt, while ‘Griffith’s nerves received such a shock that he was weak and almost prostrated for some time after.’”


P-Bill Dinneen, Washington Senators, 23 Years Old

14-20, 3.93 ERA, 91 K, .303, 0 HR, 4 RBI

Hall of Fames:

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star seasons. 71 percent chance)


1st Time All-Star-William Henry “Big Bill” Dinneen was born on April 5, 1876 in Syracuse, NY. In the day and age that he played, apparently being six-foot-one, 190 pounds would get you the “Big” moniker. He made the team as Washington’s only representative, but he’d have better seasons to come. Dinneen started with the Senators in 1898, going 9-16, and this season, pitched 291 innings with a 3.93 ERA and a 99 ERA+.

If it weren’t for the train wreck Cleveland squad, Washington would’ve finished last. As it was, it finished 11th for the second consecutive season. Arthur Irwin managed the team to a 54-98 record and his coaching days were over. He did lead the Boston Reds to a pennant in 1891 and got to manage the Phillies in their .400 hitting explosion of 1894, but those were the highlights in his eight-year coaching career.

SABR says of the big man, “The most controversial aspect of his life has been the spelling of his last name. Though many contemporary sources and reference works render his last name as ‘Dineen,’ this retrospective will refer to him as ‘Dinneen,’ based on the fact that the latter is the spelling on his tombstone, death certificate, and in census records. Always a big kid for his age, Dinneen was one of the hardest throwers among his friends, and thus began pitching at an early age. While playing semipro ball in the Syracuse area, he signed a contract with Toronto of the Eastern League as a 19-year-old in 1895.”


C-Ed McFarland, Philadelphia Phillies, 25 Years Old


.333, 2 HR, 57 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 15 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)


Led in:


Double Plays Turned as C-14

Passed Balls-32

2nd Time All-Star-McFarland made his second consecutive All-Star team in a very weak era for catchers. It’s not that there weren’t good catchers – McFarland certainly was one – but the position was beat up day after day and few catchers caught 100 or more games. McFarland caught 94 and he was a tough bird. In those games, he slashed .333/.403/.475 for an OPS+ of 144, along with stealing nine bases. He’d never hit better again.

Philadelphia fought for the pennant, but ended up short despite a 94-58 record. Bill Shettsline led a team with the best hitting in the league, but it lacked on the mound and couldn’t overcome that. The Phillies were only three-and-a-half games out as of August 19, but never got any closer.

Most of what you read about McFarland centered on his drinking, as in the beginning of his article on SABR, “Eddie McFarland was one of the most talented catchers of his day but suffered badly from alcoholism, many years missing big chunks of playing time during the course of a season. Despite ultimately drinking himself out of the game, he still had a long career. He must have had a strong constitution, because he also lived a very long life.

“In 1899 he was the best-hitting catcher in the league, with a .333 average, though in 96 games due to a ‘split hand’ he’d suffered in May.” Even nowadays, with better equipment, if a catcher can hit, there’s talk of moving him to first to save his bat. Not so in McFarland’s era.


C-Ossee Schrecongost, St. Louis Perfectos/Cleveland Spiders, 24 Years Old

.290, 2 HR, 47 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 22 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)


1st Time All-Star-Freeman Osee “Ossee” Schrecongost, who also played under the name of Ossee Schrenk, was born on April 11, 1875 in New Bethlehem, PA. He was one of the greatest defensive catchers of his day and got some Hall of Fame consideration. Schrecongost started by playing one game for Louisville in 1897, before coming over to Cleveland. He was part of the St. Louis-Cleveland exchange program this season, which I’ll get to in a second. Schrecongost slashed .290/.328/.375 with 18 stolen bases and a 94 OPS+. He never would have made the All-Star team if he wasn’t Cleveland’s best player, but that isn’t saying much. Why, you ask?

From Wikipedia: “In 1899, the Spiders’ owners, the Robison brothers, bought the St. Louis Browns out of bankruptcy and changed their name to the Perfectos. However, they kept the Spiders as well—a blatant conflict of interest. Believing the Perfectos would draw greater attendance in more densely populated St. Louis, the Robisons transferred most of the Cleveland stars, including future Baseball Hall of Famers Cy Young, Jesse Burkett, and Bobby Wallace to St. Louis. They also shifted a large number of Cleveland home games to the road (for instance, the original Opening Day game was shifted to St. Louis).

“With a decimated roster, the Spiders made a wretched showing. They finished with a dismal won-lost record of 20–134 (.130), the worst in baseball history, 84 games behind the pennant-winning Brooklyn Superbas and 35 games behind the next-to-last (11th) place Washington Senators.”


1B-Fred Tenney, Boston Beaneaters, 27 Years Old

.347, 1 HR, 67 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons. 33 percent chance)

Led in:


Def. Games as 1B-150

Assists as 1B-99

Double Plays Turned as 1B-107

1st Time All-Star-Frederick “Fred” Tenney was born on November 26, 1871 in Georgetown, MA. He’s been playing for the Beaneaters since 1894, as a second baseman, outfielder and now first baseman. Tenney would be with the team through 1907, before moving to the Giants. He made the All-Star team by finishing eighth in WAR Position Players (5.3), eighth in batting average (.347), and ninth in on-base percentage (.411). He would get some minimal Hall of Fame consideration, but never really got close.

According to Wikipedia, he was “Described as ‘one of the best defensive first basemen of all time’, Tenney is credited with originating the 3-6-3 double play and originating the style of playing off the first base foul line and deep, as modern first basemen do.” Defensive WAR says 1899 was his best defensive season with a 1.2 dWAR.

Tenney injured himself in his Major League debut on June 16, 1894 and was offered a contract that day. Tenney himself tells what happens that day: “I thought they were trying to have a little joke with me, and I concluded that I could do a little kidding myself. So I thought I would call their bluff by asking for some advance money. I screwed up my courage and asked Mr. Billings whether, if I signed the contract at once, I could get some advance money. He asked how much I wanted, and I thought I would mention a big sum in order to call their bluff good and strong. So I said $150. He consulted with Mr. Conant, another Director, and said that I could have the money all right, and asked me how I would like to have it– cash or check. […] I replied that I would take half cash and then half in check, and immediately he wrote out a check for $75, counted out $75 in cash, shoved the contract over to me to sign, laying the cash and check beside it.”


2B-Tom Daly, Brooklyn Superbas, 33 Years Old

.313, 5 HR, 88 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Errors Committed as 2B-63 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as 2B-69

1st Time All-Star-Thomas Peter “Tom” or “Tido” Daly was born on February 7, 1866 in Philadelphia, PA. It took him 13 Major League seasons before he made his first All-Star team. He started with the 1884 Union Association Philadelphia Keystones, playing two games at catcher. He continued to be a backstop for the 1887-88 Chicago squad and the 1889 Washington team, before coming to Brooklyn in 1890. He moved to third base in 1892 and finally his position of second base in 1893. He missed the 1897 season.

This season, Daly finished 10th in Offensive WAR (4.3) and ninth in stolen bases (43). He played a career-high 141 games, showing that if could have put together full seasons in the past, he might have made more All-Star teams. Daly also had his second championship.

After this year, Tido would play for Brooklyn for two more seasons, then move to the American League White Sox for 1902-03 and then with the Reds in 1903, retiring at the age of 37. In his years as a catcher, Daly never played more than 82 games, which was typical for backstops. The only reason his career was prolonged was he finally got to stop catching on a regular basis. Nowadays, catchers can play 140-150 games fairly easily, but it was a brutal position to play in the 1800s. Even after moving from catcher, he never could put together a season where he played 140 or more games except for this one. That’s why the career of Charlie Bennett is so fascinating to me. He was the toughest catcher there ever was.

mcgraw43B-John McGraw, Baltimore Orioles, 26 years Old

1893 1895 1898

.391, 1 HR, 33 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No (Yes as manager)

Ron’s: No (Would require three more All-Star seasons. 66 percent chance)


Led in:


WAR Position Players-8.0

On-Base %-.547 (2nd Time)

Runs Scored-140 (2nd Time)

Bases on Balls-124 (2nd Time)

4th Time All-Star-In 1899, the owner of the Orioles and the owner of the Superbas was the very same man and he sent many of his best players to Brooklyn, leaving the former powerhouse Baltimore team with limited resources. What helped it was one of the people staying with the club was John McGraw, who also took over the managerial reins of the team. What helped the manager was his best player was a third baseman named John McGraw, who had his best season ever. McGraw finished fifth in WAR (8.0); first in WAR Position Players (8.0); second in Offensive WAR (7.4), behind only Philadelphia’s Ed Delahanty (7.7); third in batting average (.391), trailing Delahanty (.410) and St. Louis’ Jesse Burkett (.396); first in on-base percentage (.547); second in stolen bases (73); behind only teammate Jimmy Sheckard (77); and second in Adjusted OPS+ (168), again trailing only Delahanty (191).

As a first-time manager, McGraw led his threadbare team to a fourth place 86-62 season, an absolute stellar job at the helm. You might have heard his name as a future great manager and it all started here at the age of 26.

Wikipedia, on the Hall of Fame manager: “Despite great success as a player, McGraw is most remembered for his tremendous accomplishments as a manager. In his book The Old Ball Game, National Public Radio‘s Frank Deford calls McGraw ‘the model for the classic American coach—a male version of the whore with a heart of gold—a tough, flinty so-and-so who was field-smart, a man’s man his players came to love despite themselves.’” How ironic to have some writing from Deford, who, as of this writing, just passed away.


3B-Jimmy Williams, Pittsburgh Pirates, 22 Years Old

.354, 9 HR, 116 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require nine more All-Star seasons. 44 percent chance)


Led in:



Def. Games as 3B-153

Putouts as 3B-251

Errors Committed as 3B-67

1st Time All-Star-James Thomas “Jimmy” Williams was born on December 20, 1876 in St. Louis, MO and had a spectacular rookie season. The five-foot-nine, 175 pound third baseman finished third in WAR Position Players (6.9), behind only Baltimore’s John McGraw (8.0) and Philadelphia’s Ed Delahanty (8.0); third in Offensive WAR (6.9), behind Delahanty (7.7) and McGraw (7.4); fifth in batting average (.354); eighth in on-base percentage (.416); third in slugging (.530), behind Delahanty (.582) and Washington’s Buck Freeman (.563); and fourth in Adjusted OPS+ (159). It was his best season ever.

SABR has some highlights from his spectacular rookie season: “In May-June he had a 26-game hitting streak, which was finally stopped by fellow-rookie Charles Phillippe of Louisville. On May 30 Jimmy’s five-hit/three-run game beat Washington 4-3 in ten frames. Later Williams slashed out a 27-game streak, ironically halted once again by Phillippe on September 8. (Phillippe had also no-hit the New York Giants in late May 1899.) Jimmy had hit better than .400 off the gentlemanly ‘Deacon’ in six 1898 Western League games when the Blues played Minneapolis. In fact Phillippe opened the 1898 campaign versus Kansas City. With all the great Pirate hitters in the last 106 years, Williams’ 27-game mark is still tops, now in its third century, as is his rookie triples mark, a number that may never be surpassed. He may have also set another record in late July in a five-game series sweep versus the cross-state rival Phillies. Jimmy was 13 for 20, scoring 10 times and knocking in 18 runs with five triples and two homers.”


3B-Honus Wagner, Louisville Colonels, 25 Years Old

.341, 7 HR, 114 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


1st Time All-Star-John Peter “Honus” or “The Flying Dutchman” Wagner was born on February 24, 1874 in Chartiers, PA. Ever since I began this project, I’ve been looking forward to writing about him. First things first, according to Baseball Reference, his first name doesn’t rhyme with bonus, but is pronounced HONN-us. Anytime I’ve heard his name said on TV, it was always HONE-us. That apparently is wrong. He started his career with Louisville in 1897 and, though Wagner is most famous as a shortstop, that wouldn’t become his regular position until 1903.

This was Louisville’s last season and Fred Clarke led it to a ninth place 75-77 record. Next year, the league will condense from 12 to eight teams and the Colonels would be one of them that was gone.

Wagner finished fourth in WAR Position Players (5.8) and fifth in Offensive WAR (5.2), which would be the lowest he’d finish in those categories until 1913. He was 10th in batting average (.341), fourth in slugging percentage (.501), and eighth in Adjusted OPS+ (142). And the best is yet to come.

                In one game, reported by SABR, the Colonels beat the mighty Perfectos, due to Wagner who “…led off the bottom of the 10th with a single past Wallace; it was Wagner’s fifth hit of the game. He then stole second base. Ritchey made three unsuccessful attempts at a sacrifice bunt and struck out. Woods flied out to Blake for the second out. Wagner headed to third base as Cy Young delivered to Wills, who grounded the ball to Childs at second base. It was an easy play for Childs, but he fumbled it. Wagner aggressively rounded third and sprinted home. Childs’ throw to the plate was too late. The final score was Louisville 13, St. Louis 12.”


SS-Bobby Wallace, St. Louis Perfectos, 25 Years Old


.295, 12 HR, 108 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:



2nd Time All-Star-In a few seasons, when Honus Wagner moves to shortstop permanently, Wallace won’t stand a chance to be the game’s best player at that position, but for right now, no one is playing better than him there. He finished seventh in WAR Position Players (5.5) and second in Defensive WAR (2.1), behind only Boston’s Jimmy Collins (2.6). Wallace moved from Cleveland to St. Louis this year as part of the shenanigans pulled by the owners, the Robison brothers, who owned both teams and put the best players on St. Louis.

Scott Schul writes on SABR, “Perhaps the greatest defensive shortstop of his generation, Bobby Wallace was a fair right-handed hitter whose spectacular glove work catapulted him to the Hall of Fame. Wallace began his major league career as a pitcher, where his dazzling fielding soon convinced management to find a position that better suited his unique combination of skills. After spending two seasons at third base, Wallace moved to shortstop in 1899, where his strong arm, spectacular range, and fluid motion revolutionized the way the position was played.

“Bobby logged over 300 games at the hot corner until June 5, 1899, when he finally moved to the position that earned him the nickname ‘Mr. Shortstop.’ By then, thanks to syndicate ownership, Wallace and Tebeau had been transferred from the hapless Spiders to the St. Louis Perfectos, the first of three seasons Bobby would spend with the franchise. ‘We were in Philadelphia when Manager Pat shifted me from third to short and right off the bat I knew I had found my dish,’ said Wallace. ‘Footwork was more a part of the new position than it had been at third. I suddenly felt I had sprouted wings. A world of new possibilities opened for me.’”

Davis G 4025.99 PDSS-George Davis, New York Giants, 28 Years Old

1893 1894 1897

.337, 1 HR, 59 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes (Made it this season)


Led in:


Range Factor/9 Inn as SS-7.04

Range Factor/Game as SS-6.72 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as SS-.946

4th Time All-Star-Davis is now in my Hall of Fame and has a good shot at also making the ONEHOF, the One Player a year Hall of Fame. He didn’t make the All-Star team in 1898 as his hitting was a little off, but he’s back this season. Davis finished 10th in WAR Position Players (4.9) and seventh in Defensive WAR (1.7). He’d never again match the .337 batting average and .394 on-base percentage he had this season, but that will be normal in the Deadball Era where the offensive stats for all players will drop. It is generally thought to last from 1901 to 1920.

When Davis finally got into the Hall of Fame in 1998, it was due to some lobbying. Wikipedia says, “Davis was up for a vote before the Hall of Fame’s Veterans Committee in 1998. Before the committee voted, sportswriter Dave Anderson wrote an article in The New York Times on Davis’s Hall of Fame candidacy. He pointed out the work of Cohoes city historian Walt Lipka, which favorably compared Davis to almost all of the shortstops in the Hall of Fame. Anderson supported Davis’s election, saying, ‘It’s as if he were discarded nearly a century ago into a time capsule that was forgotten until now… For too long, George Stacey Davis has been his era’s most forgotten best player.’ He was selected for induction that year.

“Prior to his Hall of Fame induction, a Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) chapter in New York put out a call to locate a descendant of Davis to be present at the induction ceremony and announced plans for a historical marker in Cohoes. As a great deal of time had passed since his death, no relatives could be located, but a group of about 50 people from Cohoes traveled to the ceremony in support of Davis.”


SS-Bill Dahlen, Brooklyn Superbas, 29 Years Old

1892 1896 1898

.283, 4 HR, 76 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: Yes (Made it this season)


4th Time All-Star-SABR says, “inally, on January 25, 1899. Chicago traded him to Baltimore for Gene De Montreville. Softening his earlier criticism, [Chicago President Jim] Hart showed decorum. ‘In dropping Dahlen from the roll, I do not wish to be considered in any way as reflecting upon Dahlen’s playing ability, for a more expert fielder never wore a baseball uniform,’ eulogized Hart. ‘If he had greater ambition I do not doubt but that he would be the acknowledged star of the baseball world.’

“A new ownership syndicate controlled the Baltimore Orioles and the Brooklyn franchise (then known as the Superbas) in 1899. Brooklyn was this group’s favored location, though a club continued to operate in Baltimore in 1899. Dahlen expressed resignation at joining the Superbas, indicating submission rather than enthusiasm. ‘Of course, I hadn’t been consulted when I was traded for DeMont,’ Dahlen said. ‘I am expected to go wherever I am sent, and I suppose I have no recourse but to go. I haven’t seen Hart for three weeks, but have been expecting this. At the same time I am not raising any howl. The Baltimore boys are all friends of mine.’”

Dahlen finished fifth in Defensive WAR (1.7). He was in the second of nine straight years he would finish in the top 10 in that category. He was no longer among the National League’s elite hitters, though his Adjusted OPS+ was still above 100 at 116. It would never be that high again, but his fielding will put him on a few more All-Star teams. He was also part of his first championship team. Oh, and also welcome to Ron’s Hall of Fame, Bad Bill!

delahanty7LF-Ed Delahanty, Philadelphia Phillies, 31 Years Old

1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898

.410, 9 HR, 137 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


Offensive WAR-7.7 (2nd Time)

Batting Average-.410

Slugging %-.582 (4th Time)

On-Base Plus Slugging-1.046 (3rd Time)


Total Bases-338 (2nd Time)

Doubles-55 (3rd Time)

Runs Batted In-137 (3rd Time)

Adjusted OPS+-191 (3rd Time)

Runs Created-156 (3rd Time)

Adj. Batting Runs-74 (5th Time)

Adj. Batting Wins-7.2 (5th Time)

Extra Base Hits-73 (3rd Time)

Offensive Win %-.860 (3rd Time)

7th Time All-Star-With Delahanty now 31 years old and making his seventh straight All-Star team, it’s hard to believe this was his best season so far with one more that even arguably beats this one. There wasn’t anything this man couldn’t do with a bat as he over .400 for the third time with his highest average ever (.410). He also continues to lead in All-Star teams for a leftfielder. Here is the complete lineup:


P-Tim Keefe (11 All-Star teams made)

C-Charlie Bennett (9)

1B-Cap Anson (13)

2B-Fred Dunlap, Bid McPhee, Cupid Childs (7)

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

SS-Jack Glasscock (11)

LF-Ed Delahanty (7)

CF-Paul Hines (8)

RF-Sam Thompson (7)

Despite that, he’s moving to first base next season.

Delahanty finished sixth in WAR (8.0); second in WAR Position Players (8.0), behind only Baltimore’s John McGraw (8.0); first in Offensive WAR (7.7); first in batting average (.410); second in on-base percentage (.464), again behind only McGraw (.547); first in slugging (.582); and first in Adjusted OPS+ (191). It was just an incredible year.

Wikipedia tells us, “In 1899, Delahanty hit four doubles in the same game. He remains the only man with a four-homer game and a four-double game. The same year Delahanty collected hits in 10 consecutive at bats. He tallied six-hit games in 1890 and 1894.” By next season, Delahanty will be making $3,000 for the season. It’s just impossible to imagine how much a hitter like Delahanty, who was so consistent and had so many good seasons, would be making in the modern era.


LF-Jesse Burkett, St. Louis Perfectos, 30 Years Old

1893 1895 1896

.396, 7 HR, 71 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


4th Time All-Star-Burkett hadn’t made an All-Star team since 1896 and this year, according to Baseball Reference, “Burkett moved on to the St. Louis Cardinals (then known as the Perfectos) as part of the shenanigans that turned the Spiders – one of the top teams in baseball over the previous decade – into the worst team ever.” You heard BR, shenanigans! However Crab got to St. Louis, baby, he had a good season once there. He finished fifth in WAR Position Players (5.8); fourth in Offensive WAR (5.8); second to Ed Delahanty (.410) in batting average (.396); third in on-base percentage (.463), behind Baltimore’s John McGraw (.547) and Delahanty (.464); fifth in slugging (.500); and third in Adjusted OPS+ (161), behind only Delahanty (191) and McGraw (168).

Burkett lived up to his Crab nickname. SABR reports, “During his major league career, Burkett was once benched for throwing a baseball at a crowd of hecklers in the stands. On the field, ‘The Crab’ was regarded by many as the meanest player on the infamously rowdy Cleveland Spiders, ‘and Crab Burkett’s claws were in every rhubarb,’ one writer recalled. ‘Even when he was hitting .400, he played ball with a perpetual scowl.’ On August 4, 1897, the Spiders were forced to forfeit the opening game of a doubleheader to the Louisville Colonels after Burkett refused to leave the field following his ejection from the game. In the second game of the doubleheader, Burkett was again ejected for arguing with the umpire, who then called two policemen to have Burkett forcibly removed from the grounds.”


CF-Roy Thomas, Philadelphia Phillies, 25 Years Old

.325, 0 HR, 47 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No  (Would require seven more All-Star seasons. 71 percent chance)


Led in:


Times On Base-310

1st Time All-Star-Roy Allen Thomas was born on March 24, 1874 in Norristown, PA. Did Philadelphia have a factory that just pumped out All-Star outfielders? Thomas was tall and lanky, based on this five-foot-11 height and 150 pound weight. He had a sensational rookie season, finishing ninth in WAR Position Players (5.0), sixth in Offensive WAR (4.7), fourth in on-base percentage (.457), and 10th in stolen bases (42). His main skill over all of his years was drawing the base on balls. He would finish first in walks seven times in his career and this season, his 115 base on balls was second to John McGraw’s 124.

Wikipedia says, “During his 13-season career, Thomas was one of the most productive table-setters in the National League. His relentless patience at the plate infuriated opposing pitchers and prompted the NL to change its rule regarding foul balls in 1901. The new rule also was adopted by the American League two years later. He is, in fact, reported by James to hold the unofficial consecutive foul-ball record – 22, in one plate appearance.” The article doesn’t explain what the new rule was. So I did something called “research” and Baseball Reference states, “The foul strike rule was first adopted by the National League in 1901 as a response to some players (most notoriously Roy Thomas) developing the ability to foul of pitch after pitch to force a walk. Rulesmakers thought that this upset the balance between hitting and pitching. It was also disruptive because umpires normally had only two game balls at a time, and balls fouled off into the stands had to be retrieved from spectators. The foul strike rule was adopted to penalize players for hitting too many fouls. The American League did not adopt the foul strike league immediately, and the rules difference probably contributed to higher offense in the AL than NL in 1901 and 1902. The AL adopted the rule as part of the NL/AL peace agreement in the 1902-3 off-season. The adoption of the foul strike rule has been suggested as a possible contributor to decreased scoring in the Deadball Era.”


RF-Chick Stahl, Boston Beaneaters, 26 Years Old

.351, 7 HR, 52 RBI, 0-0, 9.00 ERA, 0 K

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require nine more All-Star seasons. Impossible)


1st Time All-Star-Charles Sylvester “Chick” Stahl was born on January 10, 1873 in Avilla, IN. The five-foot-10, 160 pound outfielder was a good hitter for average from the get-go, as he hit .354 for Boston in his rookie year of 1897. This season was his best season ever as he finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.6), eighth in Offensive WAR (4.6), seventh in batting average (.351), fifth in on-base percentage (.426), sixth in slugging (.493), and seventh in Adjusted OPS+ (143). Though he’s not Hall of Fame-worthy, he’ll have a decent and consistent 10-year career. His life, however, had a tragic end.

Baseball Reference says, “Stahl was born in Avilla, IN in a German catholic family of 24 children (according to an interview Stahl gave in 1898). However, teammate Jake Stahl was not related to him, although a number of reference sources have erroneously claimed over the years that they were brothers. Chick Stahl grew up in Fort Wayne, IN and continued to reside there in the off-season. He began his career in organized baseball in 1895 for the Roanoke Magicians of the Virginia League. A .311 batting average, 13 triples, and brilliant fielding led to a contract with the Buffalo Bisons of the Eastern League the following year. There he hit .336, scored 130 runs, stole 34 bases and slugged 23 triples. Stahl led the EL in triples and runs. He was ready for the major leagues.

“Manager Frank Selee of the Boston Beaneaters drafted Stahl for the 1897 season. Originally given a utility role, he quickly claimed the regular right field job, hitting an outstanding .354, a mark that is still a Braves franchise record for rookies through 2006. Boston won the pennant in both 1897 and 1898, when Stahl hit .308. The team fell down in the standings in 1899, but Stahl had an outstanding all-around season, hitting .351 with 202 hits, 19 triples, 7 homers, 284 total bases, 72 walks, 33 stolen bases and scoring 122 runs.”

keeler3RF-Willie Keeler, Brooklyn Superbas, 27 Years Old

1895 1897

.379, 1 HR, 61 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require three more All-Star seasons. 99 percent chance)


Led in:


Runs Scored-140

Singles-190 (3rd Time)

AB per SO-285.0 (3rd Time)

3rd Time All-Star-Sometime in May, Keeler struck out. It was his second whiff of the season, but incredibly, it was also his last. In Roy Thomas’ blurb, he is given the credit for the introduction of the rule that credited the first two foul balls as strikes, but it appears Wee Willie had more to do with that than anyone. I feel Keeler is a little overrated in baseball lore, because of his high batting average, but it doesn’t mean he was bad by any means. This season, Keeler finished ninth in Offensive WAR (4.4), fourth in batting average (.379), sixth in on-base percentage (.425), seventh in stolen bases (45), and ninth in Adjusted OPS+ (138). Keeler just had very little power as only 26 of his 216 hits this season were for extra bases.

And so I come to the last write-up I’ll be doing for the 1800s. It is a fascinating time of baseball. It has colorful stars, great teams, and, of course, terrible racism. Any chance black players had at getting into Major League baseball quickly were shut down in this time and that’s awful. However, if there’s one thing I’ve learned doing this project, it’s that you have to judge an era by its own standards, not ours. When organized Major League baseball first started in 1871, the Civil War ended just six years prior. While it should be obvious people should not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character, it wasn’t the lay of the land in the 1800s. It’ll be a long time until I get to 1947 in these All-Star teams, but it doesn’t make all who came before that year defective. Onward to the 1900s!

21 thoughts on “1899 National League All-Star Team

  1. I look at someone like Clayton Kershaw, who’s been dominating for a few years, and then look at Young and the incredibly long stretch of time he was one of the top pitchers of the game and it gives me a greater appreciation of the Cyclone.

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