ONEHOF-Buck Ewing, C
P-Cy Young, STL
P-Bill Dinneen, BSN
P-Noodles Hahn, CIN
P-Joe McGinnity, BRO
P-Deacon Phillippe, PIT
P-Clark Griffith, CHC
P-Sam Leever, PIT
P-Kid Nichols, BSN
P-Ned Garvin, CHC
P-Brickyard Kennedy, BRO
C-Ed McFarland, PHI
C-Chief Zimmer, PIT
1B-Jake Beckley, CIN
2B-Nap Lajoie, PHI
3B-John McGraw, STL
SS-George Davis, NYG
SS-Bill Dahlen, BRO
LF-Jesse Burkett, STL
LF-Kip Selbach, NYG
LF-Joe Kelley, BRO
CF-Billy Hamilton, BSN
CF-George Van Haltren, NYG
RF-Honus Wagner, PIT
RF-Elmer Flick, PHI
1900 ONEHOF Inductee-Buck Ewing, C
.303, 71 HR, 883 RBI, 2-3, 3.45 ERA, 23 K, 47.6 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, 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 and can see both lists in the About page on this site.
Ewing is arguably the best catcher of the 1800s, with the argument coming from Charlie Bennett fans like myself. But since the tough Bennett was inducted seven years ago, there’s plenty of room in the ONEHOF for Ewing. He was part of two championship teams in 1888 and 1889.
Catching takes its toll on its denizens and Ewing stopped catching at the age of 31, moving to mainly first base and the outfield. For Cincinnati, Ewing also managed for five seasons, guiding the Reds to above-.500 years every time. This season, he started by managing the Giants, the team he garnered the most fame, but after they started 21-41, he was done and wouldn’t manage again.
19-19, 3.00 ERA, 115 K, .177, 1 HR, 13 RBI
Hall of Fames:
Wins Above Replacement-7.3 (4th Time)
WAR for Pitchers-7.5 (4th Time)
Bases on Balls per 9 IP-1.008 (9th Time)
Shutouts-4 (4th Time)
Strikeouts/Base on Balls-3.194 (6th Time)
10th Time All-Star-After eight straight seasons of the National League fielding 12 teams, the league condensed down to eight this season. Louisville, Washington, Cleveland, and, most surprisingly, Baltimore were pared from the league, leaving Brooklyn (now Los Angeles), Boston (now Atlanta), Philadelphia, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and New York (now San Francisco). Those teams all remain to this day and would make up the NL all the way through 1961, or 61 years of consistency. Next year, in 1901, the American League will begin, adding eight more teams, and those 16 teams would be Major League Baseball all the way through 1960 (not counting the Federal League in 1914 and 1915 or the switch of Baltimore to New York in 1903).
It might be a changed league, but it was the same old Cy Young. He had an off-season, winning less than 20 games for the first time since 1890, but still led the league in WAR (7.3) and WAR for Pitchers (7.5). Young finished fourth in innings pitched (321 1/3), eighth in ERA (3.00), and 10th in Adjusted ERA+ (121).
Cyclone’s team switched nicknames from the Perfectos to the Cardinals this season and it remains that even to this day. Patsy Tebeau (42-50) and Louie Heilbroner (23-25) led the team to a fifth place 65-75 record, 19 games out of first.
According to SABR, Young “actually thought he had won 20 games, and it was reported as such at the time in both The Sporting News and the Spalding Guide but, as Reed Browning explains, later reconstruction of the historical record (including regularizing scoring rules) deprived him of one victory. The count at the time showed Young with 20 wins, and had everyone believed he was one win short of the number, there were two opportunities that might have been handled otherwise and given him a shot to reach 20.”
20-14, 3.12 ERA, 107 K, .280, 0 HR, 9 RBI
Hall of Fames:
Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons. 66 percent chance)
Adj. Pitching Runs-32
Adj. Pitching Wins-3.0
2nd Time All-Star-Wild Bill had his best season ever after coming over to the Beaneaters after Washington went defunct. He finished second in WAR (6.8) to Cy Young (7.3) and second in WAR for Pitchers (6.5), once again to Young (7.5). Dinneen finished fifth in innings pitched 320 2/3 and sixth in Adjusted ERA+ (132). Boston’s South End Grounds was a huge hitters’ park, which explained Dinneen’s high ERA of 3.12.
The Beaneaters fell from second place in 1899 to a fourth place 66-72 finish this season. Frank Selee coached Boston for his 11th straight season, but next year will be his last.
Since I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to tell this story, I’ll do it now. From Wikipedia on Dinneen’s days as an umpire: “Dinneen had his own confrontation with [Babe] Ruth in the 1922 season. On June 19, the outfielder got into an argument with the umpire, and during the next day’s game he again insulted the official. In response, AL president Ban Johnson on June 21 sent a letter to Ruth, reading in part:
“’ I was keenly disappointed and amazed when I received Umpire Dinneen’s report, recounting your shameful and abusive language to that official in the game at Cleveland last Monday. Bill Dinneen was one of the greatest pitchers the game ever produced, and with common consent we hand to him today the just tribute. He is one of the cleanest and most honorable men baseball ever fostered. … Your conduct at Cleveland on Monday was reprehensible to a great degree – shocking to every American mother who permits her boy to go to a professional game. The American League cares nothing for Ruth. The individual player means nothing to the organization. When he steps on the ball field he is subject to our control and discipline. … Again you offended on Tuesday. You branded Umpire Dinneen as “yellow.” This is the most remarkable declaration a modern ball player has made. Dinneen stands out in the history of the game as one of the most courageous players we have ever had. If you could match up to his standard you would not be in the trough you occupy today. … Coupled with your misconduct on Monday, you doubled the penalty on Tuesday. You are hereby notified of your suspension for five days without salary. It seems the period has arrived when you should allow some intelligence to creep into a mind that has plainly been warped.’”
16-20, 3.27 ERA, 132 K, .209, 2 HR, 9 RBI
Hall of Fames:
Ron’s: No (Would require five more All-Star seasons. 80 percent chance)
Strikeouts-132 (2nd Time)
2nd Time All-Star-Hanh continued to be the Reds’ best pitcher, despite his young age. He also is going to have a short career, which is probably going to keep him out of my Hall of Fame. But while he did pitch, there weren’t too many better than Noodles. This season, he finished fourth in WAR (6.2) and third in WAR for Pitchers (6.4), behind only St. Louis’ Cy Young (7.5) and Boston’s Bill Dinneen (6.5). Hanh was seventh in innings pitched 311 1/3 with a 3.27 ERA. This wasn’t a good year for pitchers since only the best of the best remained in the league after the contraction of teams from 12 to eight.
It also wasn’t a good year for my Cincinnati Reds as the Bob Allen-led squad finished seventh in the National League with a 62-27 record. Allen only managed once before, in 1890 with the Phillies, and would never coach again.
Of this season, Wikipedia says, “By 1900, Hahn was beginning to look at careers beyond baseball. Though his friends had urged him to develop his talent for piano, Hahn wanted to pursue the study of electricity. He made plans to work for a large Memphis electrical company in the offseason following the 1900 season. He pitched the first no-hitter in the 20th century on July 12, 1900 against the Philadelphia Phillies. The day after being shut down by Hahn, the Phillies scored the most runs the team posted all year, defeating Pittsburgh 23–8. Hahn led the NL in shutouts that season.”
28-8, 2.94 ERA, 93 K, .193, 0 HR, 16 RBI
Hall of Fames:
Ron’s: No (Would require four more All-Star seasons. A virtual lock)
Wins-28 (2nd Time)
Bases on Balls-113
Hit By Pitch-40
2nd Time All-Star-Iron Man McGinnity moved from Baltimore to Brooklyn after the Orioles folded, but continued to pitch often and pitch well. He finished ninth in WAR (5.1) and fourth in WAR for Pitchers (5.7). His walks probably hurt him in the WAR category, but I probably would have given him my Cy Young vote. He led the league in innings pitched (343), finished seventh in ERA (2.94), and seventh in Adjusted ERA+ (130). As was typical, McGinnity pitched a lot of innings and we haven’t seen the best of this yet.
So, led by Iron Man’s arm, Brooklyn took the National League crown for the second consecutive season. Ned Hanlon coached the team to an 82-54 record and the Superbas finished four-and-a-half games ahead of Pittsburgh. It was their hitting that led the way as they finished first in runs scored in the league.
Wikipedia says there was a playoff between the Superbas and Pirates at the end of the season. It states, “McGinnity also pitched two complete games in the Chronicle-Telegraph Cup, as the Superbas defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates. Rather than draw straws to decide who would keep the trophy, the team voted to award it to McGinnity.”
By the way, his nickname didn’t come from his arm, but his occupation. According to SABR, “Joe McGinnity was truly an ‘Iron Man’ in almost every sense. Though he said that the nickname came from his off-season work in his wife’s family business, an iron foundry in McAlester, Oklahoma, McGinnity became famous for pitching both ends of doubleheaders and led his league in innings pitched four times in the five seasons from 1900 to 1904.”
20-13, 2.84 ERA, 75 K, .203, 0 HR, 10 RBI
Hall of Fames:
Ron’s: No (Would require eight more All-star seasons. 38 percent chance)
1st Time All-Star-Charles Louis “Deacon” Phillippe (pronounced FILL-eh-pee) was born on May 23, 1872 in Rural Retreat, VA. He started in 1899, winning 21 games for the Louisville Colonels, before coming over to Pittsburgh after the Colonels folded. He’s not going to make the Hall of Fame, but will be an integral part of the first official World Series in 1903. This season, Phillippe finished fifth in WAR for Pitchers (5.1), fifth in ERA (2.84), and eighth in Adjusted ERA+ (128).
Pittsburgh battled for the pennant, finishing second with a 79-60 record, four-and-a-half games behind Brooklyn. Phillippe and Sam Leever gave the Pirates the best pitching in the league and had Pittsburgh within one-and-a-half games of first place as of September 24. Fred Clarke’s squad stumbled the rest of the way, going 6-7, and never got any closer.
There was an unofficial postseason this year, as Wikipedia mentions: “In 1900, he pitched for the Pirates in Game 3 of the Chronicle-Telegraph Cup series to determine the National League champion between the Pirates and the Brooklyn Superbas. Pittsburg avoided the series sweep as Phillippe threw a six-hit shutout and the Pirates’ bats added 10 runs. The Pirates lost the series 3 games to 1.” Also, “Deacon is a distant relative of actor Ryan Phillippe, who named his first son Deacon in honor of the pitcher in 2003.” Ryan is probably most famous for being married to Reese Witherspoon for a number of years. So, if you’re ever going to use one of these players in one of those degrees of separation games, it might be good to start with Deacon.
14-13, 3.05 ERA, 61 K, .253, 1 HR, 7 RBI
Hall of Fames:
Cooperstown: No (Yes as Pioneer/Executive)
6th Time All-Star-To show the type of pitcher the Old Fox was, he had an off year and still made the All-Star team. Off year or not, he was the best player on the Orphans. It’s shocking to me he didn’t make the Hall of Fame as a player. His chances kept increasing yearly as he started getting two percent of the vote in 1937, three-point-eight percent in 1938; seven-point-three in 1939; 30.5 in 1942; and 43.7 percent in 1945. Yet on his final ballot in 1946, it dropped to 31.2 percent. That was the year he elected as a pioneer/executive by the Old Timers Committee.
Tom Loftus manned the reins in the Windy City, but Chicago had a tough year, finishing 65-75 and in sixth place. They had pretty good pitching, but no hitting and it hurt them.
Griffith fell to 248 innings this season, but he still managed to finish ninth in ERA at 3.05. The managers who took over for Chicago after the departure of Anson certainly didn’t feel the need to wear out arms like ol’ Cap did. What he’s most famous for is detailed in Wikipedia, which says, “When Ban Johnson, a longtime friend, announced plans to form the American League, Griffith was one of the ringleaders in getting National League players to jump ship. Using the cover of his post as vice president of the League Protective Players’ Association (a nascent players’ union), Griffith persuaded 39 players to sign on with the new league for the 1901 season. Griffith himself signed on with the Chicago White Stockings as player-manager.”
15-13, 2.71 ERA, 84 K, .205, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Hall of Fames:
Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star seasons. 43 percent chance)
Home Runs per 9 IP-0.077
1st Time All-Star-Samuel “Sam” or “Deacon” or “The Goshen Schoolmaster” Leever was born on December 23, 1871 in Goshen, OH. He started with Pittsburgh in 1898 and would remain with it his entire 13-year career. The lanky five-foot-10, 175 pound hurler finished fourth in the league in ERA (2.71) and fourth in Adjusted ERA+ (134). Deacon Leever and Deacon Phillippe made a formidable one-two punch from the Pirates’ mound.
SABR says, “The fourth of Edward and Amerideth Leever’s eight children, Samuel Leever was born on December 23, 1871, on a farm in Goshen, Ohio, about twenty miles northeast of Cincinnati. Like many of their neighbors, the Leevers were of Pennsylvania German heritage. After graduating from Goshen High School, Leever taught there for seven years before he signed his first baseball contract at the advanced age of 25.
“As an 1899 rookie, Leever pitched in a league-leading 51 games and 379 innings, and compiled a record of 21-23. Manager Patsy Donovan not only let him complete 35 games, Leever also led the league by finishing 11 games for other pitchers and by saving (as retroactively calculated) three games. Though a sore right arm nagged him occasionally throughout his career, Leever never had another losing season, and never again had an ERA as high as 3.00.
“During the years 1900-1902, with an exceptionally deep and talented pitching staff at his disposal, manager Fred Clarke used what amounted to a five-man rotation most of the time, thus preventing any of his great pitchers from accumulating huge win totals.” Even back in 1900, there was a five-man rotation.