1901 National League All-Star Team

P-Christy Mathewson, NYG

P-Vic Willis, BSN

P-Noodles Hahn, CIN

P-Al Orth, PHI

P-Red Donahue, PHI

P-Bill Dinneen, BSN

P-Bill Donovan, BRO

P-Kid Nichols, BSN

P-Jack Chesbro, PIT

P-Bill Duggleby, PHI

C-Heinie Peitz, CIN

C-Deacon McGuire, BRO

1B-Jake Beckley, CIN

2B-Tom Daly, BRO

3B-Otto Krueger, STL

SS-Bobby Wallace, STL

SS-Honus Wagner, PIT

SS-George Davis, NYG

LF-Jesse Burkett, STL

LF-Ed Delahanty, PHI

LF-Jimmy Sheckard, BRO

LF-Topsy Hartsel, CHC

LF-Fred Clarke, PIT

RF-Elmer Flick, PHI

RF-Sam Crawford, CIN



P-Christy Mathewson, New York Giants, 20 Years Old

20-17, 2.41 ERA, 221 K, .215, 0 HR, 7 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:


Wins Above Replacement-9.0

WAR for Pitchers-9.1

Wild Pitches-23

Assists as P-108

1st Time All-Star-Christopher “Christy” or “Big Six” or “Matty” Mathewson was born on August 12, 1880 in Factoryville, PA. You might have heard of him. He pitched six games for the Giants as a 19-year-old in 1900, but this was considered his rookie year and it was fantastic. He finished first in WAR (9.0); first in WAR for Pitchers (9.1); fifth in innings pitched (336); sixth in ERA (2.41); and sixth in Adjusted ERA+ (138). He was wild at the beginning of his career, leading the National League in wild pitches his first three seasons, but he would eventually tone that down. Matty is well on his way to a Hall of Fame career, making all the biggies like the ONEHOF, Ron’s, and, for a consolation prize, Cooperstown.

This season is the first season the modern baseball fan might recognize. The NL had existed since 1876 and had its competitors. The American Association existed from 1882-1891, but then folded. The Union Association (1884) and Players League (1890) lasted one season each. Yet only the NL kept going and keeping Major League Baseball history alive.

That is until this season when the American League started. I’m sure that league was supposed to be like all others before it, competitive but short-lived. Needless to say, since we still have an AL nowadays, that proved not to be the case. The NL was no longer the only game in town. I’ll have more on how the AL formed in the American League write-up.


P-Vic Willis, Boston Beaneaters, 25 Years Old, 2nd MVP


20-17, 2.36 ERA, 133 K, .187, 1 HR, 8 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:


Shutouts-6 (2nd Time)

Adjusted ERA+-154 (2nd Time)

Adj. Pitching Runs-40 (2nd Time)

Adj. Pitching Wins-4.2 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-After an off 1900 season, in which Willis went 10-17 with a 4.19 ERA, he’s back on the list, having a great season. He finished second in WAR (8.7), behind only Christy Mathewson (9.0); second in WAR for Pitchers (8.8), again behind Big Six (9.1); 10th in innings pitched (305 1/3); fourth in ERA (2.36); and first in Adjusted ERA+ (154).

The Beaneaters, or the modern-day Braves, have a storied history. They started way back in earliest league, the National Association, back in 1871, and then moved to the National League in 1876. They have always been a competitive team, no matter the league, but that’s not going to be the case for Boston for a while. This season, Frank Selee, managing the team for his 12th and final season, led the team to a fifth-place 69-69 record. The Beaneaters could pitch with the best of them, but their hitting was anemic.

SABR tells about how the American League affected salaries, saying, “In 1901 the American League challenged the National as a major league, and the completion between the leagues for ballplayers bid up salaries. As some of his teammates were leaving for greener pastures in the AL, Willis reportedly agreed to jump to the American League’s Philadelphia Athletics but soon changed his mind. Other star National League hurlers saw their salaries jump from the American League threat: Noodles Hahn leapt to $4,200, Christy Mathewson reportedly made $5,000, and Joe McGinnity $3,000.” It’s funny this article is about Willis and doesn’t mention his $2,000 salary.


P-Noodles Hahn, Cincinnati Reds, 22 Years Old

1899 1900

22-19, 2.71 ERA, 239 K, .170, 0 HR, 7 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require four more All-Star seasons. 75 percent chance)


Led in:


Innings Pitched-375 1/3

Strikeouts-239 (3rd Time)

Complete Games-41

Strikeouts/Base on Balls-3.464

Batters Faced-1,524

3rd Time All-Star-Noodles reminds me a lot of Sandy Koufax, except his career was even shorter. He had a phenomenal short stretch of pitching brilliance. Oh, what kind of stats could have Hahn compiled if he pitched more than eight seasons in the Majors! He made his third consecutive All-Star team, finishing fourth in WAR (7.5); third in WAR for Pitchers (7.5), behind Christy Mathewson (9.1) and Vic Willis (8.8); first in innings pitched (375 1/3); and eighth in ERA (2.71).

As for my Reds, well, it was a terrible year. Bid McPhee took over the coaching reins and led to the team to a last place 52-87 finish. Despite the good year by Hahn, it was pitching which killed this team. The Reds went 30-68 in games not decided by Noodles.

Here’s a wrap-up of Hahn’s season from Wikipedia, which states, “In 1901, Hahn recorded 22 wins but Cincinnati finished in last place. He was the first NL pitcher to win 20 or more games with an eighth-place team. Winning 22 of his team’s 52 victories, Hahn accounted for the highest percentage of a team’s victories until Steve Carlton won 27 of the 59 games that the Philadelphia Phillies won in 1972. He led the league in innings pitched that season and was the league’s strikeout leader for the third consecutive season. In a 1901 game, Hahn struck out 16 batters, the highest single-game total in any major league since 1887.” The free encyclopedia is wrong, by the way, because in the early days of the NL, there were plenty of pitchers winning 20 games or more for eighth place or lower teams. The first one I found was in 1881 when Lee Richmond won 25 games for the 1881 Worcester Ruby Legs.


P-Al Orth, Philadelphia Phillies, 28 Years Old

20-12, 2.27 ERA, 92 K, .281, 1 HR, 15 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require five more All-Star seasons. 40 percent chance)


Led in:


Walks & Hits per IP-1.001

Bases on Balls per 9 IP-1.023


1st Time All-Star-Albert Lewis “Al” or “Smiling Al” or “The Curveless Wonder” Orth was born on September 5, 1872 in Sedalia, MO. He started in 1895 with Philadelphia and, up to this point, has a good career. Coming into 1901, Orth had an 80-60 career record. This season, Orth finished fifth in WAR (7.4); fourth in WAR for Pitchers (6.8); third in ERA (2.27), behind two pitchers from Pittsburgh, Jesse Tannehill (2.18) and Deacon Phillippe (2.22); and third in Adjusted ERA (150), trailing Vic Willis (154) and Tannehill (151).

His team, the Phillies, fell seven-and-a-half games short of Pittsburgh with  a second-place 83-57 record. Bill Shettsline, coaching for the fourth straight season for Philadelphia, led an atypical Phillies team whose pitching led the way instead of the hitting. As late in the season as August 21, Philly was just two games out, but Pittsburgh got hot the rest of the way to sprint to the title.

Baseball Reference mentions, “After attending DePauw University, Orth played for the Lynchburg Hill Climbers of the Virginia League in 1894 and 1895, winning 28 games in the latter year. His contract was sold to the Philadelphia Phillies in August 1895, and he won 8 straight games for the club that summer, going 8-1 overall. He won at least 14 games for the team the next six seasons, leading the National League with an .824 winning percentage (14-3) in 1899 and recording 20 victories in 1901.” It’s worth noting he had a lot of these good records previously because Philadelphia scored so many runs.


P-Red Donahue, Philadelphia Phillies, 28 Years Old

20-13, 2.59 ERA, 88 K, .097, 0 HR, 2 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 13 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)


1st Time All-Star-Francis L. “Red” Donahue was born on January 23, 1873 in Waterbury, CT. He pitched two games with the Giants in 1893, then moved to St. Louis in 1895, where he pitched three terrible seasons. In 1898, Red moved to Philadelphia and his ERA finally settled under 4.00. This season, Donahue finished fifth in WAR for Pitchers (6.6), seventh in ERA (2.59), and seventh in Adjusted ERA+ (131). It was his best season ever.

It has been since 1892 that Philadelphia had any pitchers make the All-Star team, but this year they would have three. It never lacked for pitching, but this year, the team had both and had a good shot at winning the league title.

Wikipedia has just a bit on the tall pitcher: “Red broke into the Majors with the New York Giants in 1893, while still attending Villanova University. After finishing college in 1895, he appeared with the St. Louis Browns near the end of the season. On July 8, 1898, he pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Beaneaters. He lost 35 games during the 1897 season, still an MLB record.”

In that infamous 1897 season for St. Louis, Donahue pitched 348 innings, allowing a league-leading 485 hits and 237 earned runs. He finished with a 6.13 ERA and -0.3 Pitching WAR. Are you telling me the nation didn’t have a pitcher somewhere to take over for Red? St. Louis had a miserable season that year, finishing 29-102, and had a team ERA of 6.17. What a mess!


P-Bill Dinneen, Boston Beaneaters, 25 Years Old

1899 1900

15-18, 2.94 ERA, 141 K, .211, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


3rd Time All-Star-Dinneen had a good year, despite his losing record. He finished sixth in WAR for Pitchers (6.1), seventh in innings pitched (309 1/3), and eighth in Adjusted ERA+ (123). Dinneen would have a career 170-177 record, but he was one of the best pitchers of his day. He’s still got some good years ahead, though those would be in the American League.

SABR says, “In his two seasons with Washington, Dinneen won a combined 23 games with an ERA under 4.00. When the National League contracted from 12 teams to eight prior to the 1900 season, Dinneen was sold to the Boston Beaneaters. He posted the first of his four 20-win seasons in 1900, tying for second in the National League with 20 victories, as the Beaneaters finished in fourth place. After a 15-win season in 1901, Dinneen jumped to Boston of the American League, where he enjoyed his greatest success.

“Dinneen was a good athlete. He played in the field ten times in his career, including center field four times, hit a respectable (for a pitcher) .192 for his career and stole 29 bases, including eight in 1901. His main two pitches were a fastball and a sharp curve, and he had textbook mechanics. Baseball Magazine praised his delivery: ‘A good step helps very much in pitching, and that it is essential to cultivate a powerful body swing, especially to follow the ball well with the arm and the body after it is delivered. Dinneen…has an especially stylish delivery in this respect, and should be a model for youth to imitate.’ Hall of Fame third baseman Jimmy Collins rated six pitchers among the best he had ever seen. The list consisted of Dinneen and five Hall of Famers: Cy Young, Addie Joss, Jack Chesbro, Walter Johnson, and Ed Walsh.”


P-Bill Donovan, Brooklyn Superbas, 24 Years Old

25-15, 2.77 ERA, 226 K, .170, 2 HR, 13 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star seasons. 57 percent chance)


Led in:



Games Pitched-45


Bases on Balls-152

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.026

Def. Games as P-45

1st Time All-Star-William Edward “Wild Bill” Donovan was born on October 13, 1876 in Lawrence, MA. The five-foot-11, 190 pound pitcher started in 1898 with Washington, before moving to Brooklyn the next year. In his first three seasons in the Majors, he pitched a total of 27 games, before becoming the Superbas’ ace this year. He finished seventh in WAR for Pitchers (5.9); third in innings pitched (351), behind Cincinnati’s Noodles Hahn (375 1/3) and New York’s Dummy Taylor (353 1/3); ninth in ERA (2.77); and ninth in Adjusted ERA+ (121).

Brooklyn, coached by Ned Hanlon, fell from first to third with a 79-57 record. Its hitting led them this season, though its pitching was decent enough. It would be a few years before this franchise won another league title and it would be 54 years before they were Major League champions.

Donovan acquired his nickname before entering the Majors, according to Wikipedia, which says, “Born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, Donovan won his ‘Wild Bill’ nickname while playing for Hartford in the minors. When Hartford teammate Cy Seymour was returned to the Major Leagues after throwing wildly over a fence behind home plate, Donovan walked nine consecutive batters. Donovan received a $10 fine and a new nickname. Donovan served as the head football coach at Georgetown University in 1898, leading the Hoyas to a record of 7–3.”

According to SABR, Wild Bill wasn’t his only moniker. He also was called Smiling Bill by sportswriters and Chowder Bill because of his love of Hartford’s chowder parties, which had drinking, singing, parades, and delicious seafood soup.


P-Kid Nichols, Boston Beaneaters, 31 Years Old

1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1900

19-16, 3.22 ERA, 143 K, .282, 4 HR, 28 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


11th Time All-Star-With Cy Young now departed to the American League, Nichols now took over as the pitching dean in the National League. Cy and he also have tied the record for most All-Star teams made as a pitcher. The list of All-Star team leaders is:

P-Tim Keefe, Kid Nichols, Cy Young (11)

C-Charlie Bennett (9)

1B-Cap Anson (13)

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

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

SS-Jack Glasscock (11)

LF-Ed Delahanty (8)

CF-Paul Hines (8)

RF-Sam Thompson (7)

As if he didn’t have enough going for him, Nichols had his best year ever with the bat, slashing .282/.316/.491 for an OPS+ of 124. His highest Adjusted OPS+ before this season was 75 in 1897. Most likely because of his improved hitting, Nichols played seven games in outfield and five games at first base. On the mound, Nichols finished seventh in WAR (7.1), eighth in WAR for Pitchers (5.8), and sixth in innings pitched (321). As baseball was officially in the Deadball Era, his 3.22 ERA didn’t make the top 10.

Amazingly, at the peak of his career, having made the All-Star team 11 out of 12 seasons, Nichols took two years off from the Major Leagues. Wikipedia explains, “After the 1901 season, Nichols purchased an interest in a minor league franchise in Kansas City. He left the Beaneaters to manage and pitch for the Kansas City club, where he won a total of 48 games in 1902 and 1903.” It’s not impossible to believe Nichols would have won 400 games if he didn’t miss those two seasons. As it was, he ended with 361 victories.


P-Jack Chesbro, Pittsburgh Pirates, 27 Years Old

21-10, 2.38 ERA, 129 K, .216, 1 HR, 8 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:



1st Time All-Star-John Dwight “Happy Jack” Chesbro was born on June 5, 1874 in North Adams, MA. He stood a five-foot-nine and weighed 180 pounds. Happy Jack started with Pittsburgh in 1899 and now has his first league championship. He’s a Hall of Famer, but that’s mainly because of one outstanding season in 1904, which we’ll get to sometime down the road. This season, Chesbro finished ninth in WAR for Pitchers (5.5), fifth in ERA (2.38), and fifth in Adjusted ERA+ (138). He’s going to have a good career, but is it Hall of Fame worthy? Probably not.

Chesbro was once traded for Honus Wagner, according to SABR, which says, “On December 8, 1899 Chesbro, Paddy Fox, Art Madison, John O’Brien, and cash were traded to Louisville for 12 players, including Honus Wagner. The Louisville club was dissolved with Chesbro and the three others assigned to Pittsburgh in March as the NL reduced from 12 to eight teams.

“With just half a season of major-league experience under his belt, Chesbro refused to accompany the team south for spring training in 1900, though he later reported for duty. His absence from spring training and threats to retire would become an almost annual event. He improved to 15-13 with a second-place club in 1900 then was 21-10 in 1901 and 28-6 in 1902, pacing the league in shutouts each year for pennant winners.” So, he was a very good pitcher and here’s the thing about the Hall of Fame. It has the word “fame” in it, so it should be for famous people. Chesbro’s 41 wins in 1904 definitely put him in that category.


P-Bill Duggleby, Philadelphia Phillies, 27 Years Old

20-12, 2.88 ERA, 95 K, .165, 0 HR, 5 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Range Factor/9 Inn as P-3.78

1st Time All-Star-William James “Frosty Bill” Duggleby was born on March 16, 1874 in Utica, NY. For whatever reason, there is limited information on him, including from what side of the plate he batted and his height and weight. He started out his career in the best possible manner, according to Philly Sports History, which says, “April 21, 1898 was a heady day for Bill Duggleby. He was taking the mound for his first ever start in the Major Leagues. Furthermore, when he stepped up to the plate for his first career at bat, the bases were juiced. ‘Frosty’ Bill, as he would come to be known for his lack of desire to make friends on the team and the fact that he wore a black suit even in summer, gave the pitch a good swing and-CRACK-sent it hurtling into the stratosphere. The Phils pitcher circled the bases and entered into the record books. He was the first player to ever hit a grand slam in his first ever career at-bat. No-one would do it again for 107 years, when Jeremy Hermida did it in his first at bat in 2005. The next year, Kevin Kouzmanoff would do it, and incredibly, in 2010 Daniel Nava would do it. After no-one had done it in 107 years, 3 guys did it in 5 years. Baseball, as they say, is a funny game.”

This season, Duggleby finished 10th in WAR for Pitchers (4.8) and didn’t hit any homers. He would end up with six dingers for his eight-year career.


C-Heinie Peitz, Cincinnati Reds, 30 Years Old

.305, 1 HR, 24 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


1st Time All-Star-Henry Clement “Heinie” Peitz was born on November 28, 1870 in St. Louis, MO. The five-foot-11, 165 pound backstop started for St. Louis from 1892-95 and then before the next season he was traded by the St. Louis Browns with Red Ehret to the Cincinnati Reds for Arlie Latham, Ed McFarland, Morgan Murphy, Tom Parrott and cash. Except for this season and the next, Peitz never was much at hitting, but in 1901 and ’02, he hit over .300. Johnny Bench only hit over .300 once, so logically Peitz must be the better Reds’ catcher, right? I’ll research this more.

Peitz achieved most of his fame from catching a particular pitcher as Wikipedia explains, “While catching for the Browns, Peitz teamed up with left-handed pitcher Ted Breitenstein, and the pair became known as the ‘Pretzel Battery.’ Peitz and Breitenstein were both sons of German immigrants and St. Louis natives. In the ‘Cardinals Encyclopedia’, authors Mike Eisenbath and Stan Musial wrote that The ‘Pretzel Battery’ was “one of the few things exciting about St. Louis’s National League team those first few seasons.’ The nickname reportedly developed when the pair were drinking beer and eating pretzels after a game, when a fan noticed them and yelled, ‘Look, it’s the “pretzel battery”.’

“The ‘Pretzel Battery’ was reunited in Cincinnati when Ted Breitenstein was sold to the Reds in 1896. Peitz developed a reputation for his ability to manage pitchers. He caught two no-hitters for the Reds, including the first no-hitter of the 20th century thrown by Reds’ pitcher Noodles Hahn in July 1900. Peitz had his best years as a batsman in 1901 and 1902 when he batted .305 and .314, respectively.”

mcguire6C-Deacon McGuire, Brooklyn Superbas, 37 Years Old

1890 1891 1895 1896 1897

.296, 0 HR, 40 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Errors Committed as C-21 (4th Time)

Stolen Bases Allowed as C-123 (8th Time)

6th Time All-Star-Way back in my 1891 write-up for the American Association, I predicted McGuire had made his last All-Star team. He has now made four since. Since his last one in 1897, McGuire played for Washington in 1898 and 1899, before he was traded by the Washington Senators to the Brooklyn Superbas for Dan McGann and Aleck Smith. This would be his last year with Brooklyn before moving on again, but at least he was there for its two league titles in 1899 and 1901. He slashed .296/.342/.375 this season for an OPS+ of 105 as Brooklyn fell short of first place.

Will McGuire make another All-Star team to further disparage my predictive abilities? Possibly a couple times for the American League, but, well, who knows. We do know he’s one of many to challenge the dreaded “reserve clause.” Wikipedia says, “In March 1902, McGuire jumped to the still new American League, signing a two-year with the Detroit Tigers. The Brooklyn club sued McGuire for breaching his contract to play there and sought an injunction prohibiting him from playing anywhere else. The case went to trial in June 1902 in Philadelphia federal court. Brooklyn club president Charles Ebbets testified in court “to the extraordinary qualities of McGuire as a catcher.” McGuire argued that his contract with Brooklyn was invalid on the ground that the ‘reserve clause’ was a violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

“After hearing the evidence, Judge George M. Dallas ruled in favor of McGuire, holding that the Brooklyn contract was unenforceable due to a lack of mutuality, and because Brooklyn had failed to prove that McGuire’s services were unique and irreplaceable.”

beckley71B-Jake Beckley, Cincinnati Reds, 33 Years Old

1889 1890 1891 1893 1894 1900

.307, 3 HR, 79 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


Def. Games as 1B-140 (3rd Time)

Errors Committed as 1B-34

Double Plays Turned as 1B-79

7th Time All-Star-This was a tough year for Beckley. If you read his 1900 blurb, you’ll see Christy Mathewson plunked him in the noggin and he was out for five minutes. There were no batting helmets in these times. Yet he still led the league in games played at first base. This was a sparse time for first basemen in the National League. In the position which often faced the league’s best hitters, no one really shined, allowing Beckley to easily remain the top of the crop at his position.

Beckley ended up slashing .307/.346/.429 for  and OPS+ of 130. The Deadball Era was in full swing as the average runs scored in the NL dropped from 5.2 a game in 1900 to 4.6 a game this season. Just seven years previously teams in the league averaged 7.4 runs per game.

Baseball Reference has a synopsis of Buckley’s career, stating, “Beckley is #46 on the all-time list for runs scored, #33 for hits, #4 for triples, and #39 for RBI (as of 2011). Based on Adjusted OPS+, his best year was his rookie season, at age 20. Although he hardly ever led the league in batting categories, he was frequently among the leaders as his Gray Ink score of 165 shows. The nine players most similar to him (based on the similarity scores method) are all in the Hall of Fame. He coached William Jewell College. Beckley was elected to the Hall on January 31, 1971 by the Committee on Baseball Veterans.”


2B-Tom Daly, Brooklyn Superbas, 35 Years Old


.315, 3 HR, 90 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:



Putouts as 2B-370

Range Factor/9 Inn as 2B-5.58

Range Factor/Game as 2B-5.47

2nd Time All-Star-Daly made his first All-Star team in 1899 at the age of 33 and now has made his second. With the departure of Nap Lajoie to the American League, there was a vacuum created at second base and Daly made the All-Star team because of it. Not to say he didn’t have a good season. Tido finished eighth in stolen bases with 31, along with having his highest OPS+ ever for a full season, 133. His team wasn’t able to win its third straight title, but you can’t blame Daly.

When Daly moved to the American League in 1902, the Chicago Tribune was so excited, it ran this blurb: “The engagement of Tom Daly to play second base for the American league (sic) team in this city will recall to the minds of Chicago fans the time when Daly played with Anson’s nine in the National League. Daly was a catcher then, and, despite his diminutive stature, was a valuable man – so valuable that Anson never ceased to grieve over losing him at the time of the brotherhood uprising. Daly was with the Chicago team at the time the latter made the trip around the world.”

Daly only has two more seasons left. As mentioned above, he moved to the White Sox in 1902 and then in 1903, played for White Sox and Reds to end his career. Tido ended up hitting .278 for his career with 49 home runs and 811 runs batted in. Daly’s career WAR was 28.0.


3B-Otto Krueger, St. Louis Cardinals, 24 Years Old

.275, 2 HR, 79 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 53 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)


Led in:


Games Played-142

Def. Games as 3B-142

Assists as 3B-275

Errors Committed as 3B-60

1st Time All-Star-Arthur William “Otto” or “Oom Paul” Krueger was born on September 17, 1876 in Chicago, IL. He played part-time for 1899 Cleveland Spiders, the worst team in history, before moving to St. Louis in 1900. This season was considered his rookie year and he did well, but the only reason he made the All-Star team was a lack of good third baseman. Ooo Paul slashed .275/.353/.363 for an OPS+ 112. All of those numbers would be career highs.

As for the Cardinals, they moved from fifth in 1900 to fourth this year. Patsy Donovan took over the club and led them to 76-64 record, 14-and-a-half games out of first place. St. Louis could hit, leading the National League in runs scored, but lacked decent pitchers, keeping them from doing better.

A book called The Days of Wee Willie, Old Cy and Baseball War: Scenes from the Dawn of the Deadball Era, 1900-1903 wrote, “The Cardinals led the league in runs scored in 1901. The only weak hitters in their lineup were [Dick] Padden and the catcher, and Padden was adept at moving runners along on the bases. The team had good overall speed and was smart and aggressive on the bases. Leadoff hitter Jesse Burkett had an outstanding season. He scored 142 runs, 19 more than anyone else, and either led the league or finished high in most of the important offensive categories. Emmet Heidrick and Bobby Wallace also had great seasons at bat.” We’ll see more on Burkett and Wallace later.


SS-Bobby Wallace, St. Louis Cardinals, 27 Years Old

1898 1899

.324, 2 HR, 91 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:


WAR Position Players-7.7

Defensive WAR-3.4

Assists-542 (2nd Time)

Errors Committed-66

Assists as SS-542

Errors Committed as SS-66

Double Plays Turned as SS-67

Range Factor/9 Inn as SS-6.50

Range Factor/Game as SS-6.48

3rd Time All-Star-This was a mediocre year for All-Star infielders at the numbered positions of first, second, and third. That wasn’t the case with shortstop, however, as all three players would have spectacular seasons. We start with the defensive wizard, Wallace. He played his best season ever, finishing third in WAR (7.7), behind New York pitcher Christy Mathewson (9.0) and Boston hurler Vic Willis (8.7); first in WAR Position Players (7.7); seventh in Offensive WAR (5.3); first in Defensive WAR (3.4), and 10th in slugging percentage (.451). His dWAR was an all-time record, at least for another few years.

Wallace’s Hall of Fame page says, “In 1901, Wallace led all shortstops in chances per game, assists and double plays, and was still a threat at the plate, batting .324 over the duration of the season. Though he wasn’t known for his hitting power, and his lifetime average is well below what it was in his best years, Wallace had plenty to offer to his teams.

“’The Scot was not the most robust hitter that ever lived, but he was no pigeon at the plate,’ sportswriter Bill Corum said, in 1952. ‘Save for that, Bobby had one weakness as a shortstop – that was that he played in the same era as Honus Wagner.’

“Wallace made more plays per game than any other shortstop who played at least 600 games during the first decade of the major leagues, including players like Wagner, Joe Tinker and George Davis.” There have many great shortstops in baseball’s long history, but this era sure got its share of them.

wagner3SS-Honus Wagner, Pittsburgh Pirates, 27 Years Old

1899 1900

.353, 6 HR, 126 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


Runs Batted In-126

Stolen Bases-49

3rd Time All-Star-Wagner, the greatest shortstop of all time, made his third All-Star team, but it’s his first at his most known position. After years as a centerfielder (1897), first baseman (1898), third baseman (1899), and rightfielder (1900), manager Fred Clarke finally tried out the Flying Dutchman at short and he’d be there for a while. At his new position, Wagner had another outstanding season, finishing eighth in WAR (7.1); third in WAR Position Players (7.1), behind St. Louis’ shortstop Bobby Wallace (7.7) and leftfielder Jesse Burkett (7.1); second in Offensive WAR (6.8), trailing only Burkett (7.3); fourth in batting average (.353); fourth in on-base percentage (.417); sixth in slugging (.494); first in steals (49); and sixth in Adjusted OPS+ (159). In a stretch from 1900-12, it was his lowest finish in overall WAR. Oh, and he won his first league championship.

Wikipedia says, “In 1901, the American League began to sign National League players, creating a bidding war, which depleted the league of many talented players. Wagner was offered a $20,000 contract by the Chicago White Sox, but turned it down and continued to play with the Pirates.” Meanwhile SABR says, “Led by Wagner, the 1901 Pirates began a three-year stranglehold over the National League. Their 90-49 record was 7½ games better than the Philadelphia Phillies, with Wagner’s 126 RBIs the major-league best for the decade.

“Wagner had primarily played shortstop in 1901, especially after the Pirates’ longtime shortstop Bones Ely jumped to the American League.” Oh, and one last accomplishment, his third All-Star team puts him in my Hall of Fame.

davis6SS-George Davis, New York Giants, 30 Years Old

1893 1894 1897 1899 1900

.301, 7 HR, 65 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


6th Time All-Star-Even with Honus Wagner and Bobby Wallace having such dominant seasons, it was impossible to leave Davis off of the All-Star team. He now just turned 30 and already made his sixth of these lists and he’s got a few more coming. Playing in an era of great shortstops, Davis held his own. He finished ninth in WAR Position Players (4.9); ninth in Offensive WAR (4.7); and fifth in Defensive WAR (1.1). He was an all-around good player.

Davis also managed the team, but didn’t have as much success in that. The Giants moved from last in 1900 to seventh this season, but their record was worse at 52-85. Despite having Christy Mathewson, New York, as a team, didn’t pitch well, and despite the bat of their manager, the Giants didn’t hit well either.

The shortstop was another one who would be making the leap to the new league, according to SABR, which says, “After a horrid 52-85 1901 season, it was apparent Davis would not be returning as manager of New York and like many other players at the time, he ignored the reserve clause and signed a contract with the White Sox drawn up by his lawyer, John Montgomery Ward. Freedman did not contest the move because he wanted to replace Davis anyway.” Or as the Chicago Tribune reported, “George Davis, former manager and Captain of the New York club and shortstop-elect of Chicago’s champions, was in the city yesterday in conference with President Comiskey of the White Stockings, and the announcement was officially made that he had signed a contract to play her next season.”


LF-Jesse Burkett, St. Louis Cardinals, 32 Years Old

1893 1895 1896 1899 1900

.376, 10 HR, 75 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


1901 NL Batting Title (3rd Time)

Offensive WAR-7.3

Batting Average-.376 (3rd Time)

On-Base %-.440

Games Played-142 (2nd Time)

At Bats-601 (2nd Time)

Plate Appearances-673 (3rd Time)

Runs Scored-142 (2nd Time)

Hits-226 (3rd Time)

Total Bases-306 (2nd Time)

Singles-181 (3rd Time)

Adjusted OPS+-181

Runs Created-132

Adj. Batting Runs-62

Adj. Batting Wins-6.4

Times on Base-295 (3rd Time)

Offensive Win %-.827

Def. Games as OF-142 (3rd Time)

6th Time All-Star-This year proved to be a great one for leftfielders as five of the eight teams have one of them on this list. The best of them was the perpetually angry Jesse Burkett, who had his best season ever. He finished sixth in WAR (7.1); second in WAR Position Players (7.1), behind teammate and shortstop Bobby Wallace (7.7); first in Offensive WAR (7.3); first in batting average (.376); first in on-base percentage (.440); fourth in slugging (.509); first in Adjusted OPS+ (181); and, of course, first in a slew of categories mentioned above. With the talent pool lessened somewhat by the emergence of the American League, Burkett took full advantage.

Guess where Burkett ended up in 1902? Yep, the American League. You’re such a good guesser! A book called Ghosts in the Gallery at Cooperstown: Sixteen Little Known Members of the Hall of Fame, written by David L. Fleitz, says, “After [John] McGraw and [Wilbert] Robinson bolted for the new league in 1901, the Cardinals returned to a semblance of normality as Jesse Burkett put together one of his finest seasons. He batted .382 in 1901 and  won the National League batting title for the third time. He also led the circuit in games played, times at bat, runs, and hits as the Cardinals bounced up to fourth place. His performance made Jess a desirable property for the American League, which moved its Milwaukee franchise to St. Louis in the fall of 1901. The new St. Louis Browns ballclub, managed by Jesse’s old Cleveland teammate Jimmy McAleer, then made offers to several of the Cardinal stars. On October 20, 1901, Jesse, Bobby Wallace, and five other Cardinal players signed contracts with the Browns.”

delahanty8LF-Ed Delahanty, Philadelphia Phillies, 33 Years Old, 1901 ONEHOF Inductee

1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899

.354, 8 HR, 108 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes


Led in:


On-Base Plus Slugging-.955 (4th Time)

Doubles-38 (4th Time)

Extra Base Hits-62 (4th Time)

8th Time All-Star-After years of great power hitting and being the star of the Phillies for over a decade, Big Ed Delahanty has been inducted into the ONEHOF, the One-a-Year Hall of Fame, in which the best player not currently in the ONEHOF, as determined by me, is allowed into that prestigious group. For 1902, the nominees are: King Kelly, Hardy Richardson, Charley Jones, Fred Dunlap, George Gore, Ned Williamson, Bid McPhee, Sam Thompson, Jack Clements, Amos Rusie, Cupid Childs, Jake Beckley, and Clark Griffith.

Delahanty also has made the All-Star team more times as a leftfielder than anyone before him. You can see the whole list at Kid Nichols’ blurb.

After not making this list in 1900, Delahanty came back with an outstanding season, finishing 10th in WAR (6.6); fifth in WAR Position Players (6.6); third in Offensive WAR (6.5), behind St. Louis leftfielder Jesse Burkett (7.3) and Pittsburgh shortstop Honus Wagner (6.8); second in batting average (.354), trailing Burkett (.376); third in on-base percentage (.427), lagging behind Burkett (.440) and teammate, centerfielder Roy Thomas (.437); second in slugging (.528), behind only fellow leftfielder, Brooklyn’s Jimmy Sheckard (.534); and second in Adjusted OPS+ (174), with only Burkett (181) ahead of him.

Delahanty is off to the American League next season and became one of the main recruiters for the new league, according to SABR, which says, “Indeed, during the final two months of the 1901 season, reports circulated that Delahanty had become an agent for the upstart league, selling his fellow players on the merits of the new circuit. Delahanty’s success can be measured by the number of players for the 1901 Phillies who donned uniforms for the American League the following year— — a total of nine players, including Elmer Flick, Red Donahue, Ed McFarland, Monte Cross, Harry Wolverton, Al Orth, and Delahanty himself, who signed a $4000 contract with the Washington Senators, including a $1000 signing bonus.”


LF-Jimmy Sheckard, Brooklyn Superbas, 22 Years Old

.354, 11 HR, 104 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Slugging %-.534


Power-Speed #-16.7

Range Factor/Game as OF-2.50

1st Time All-Star-Samuel James Tilden “Jimmy” Sheckard was born on November 23, 1878 in Upper Chanceford, PA. In a league bereft with great leftfielders, another young man joined the fray. He started with Brooklyn as a backup shortstop in 1897, before moving to the outfield in 1898. In 1899, he played with Baltimore in that team’s last season, and came back to Brooklyn in 1900, where he was part of a championship team. This season, Sheckard punched it into high gear from the plate, finishing sixth in WAR Position Players (6.4); fourth in Offensive WAR (6.1); third in batting average (.354), behind only fellow leftfielders, St. Louis’ Jesse Burkett (.376) and Philadelphia’s Ed Delahanty (.354); sixth in on-base percentage (.409); first in slugging (.534); sixth in stolen bases (35); and third in Adjusted OPS+ (169), trailing only Burkett (181) and Delahanty (174). And there are still two leftfielders to go on this list!

Baseball Reference states, “His 1901 season was notable, as he hit .354 with substantial power and drove in 104 runs. He led the league in slugging percentage. He also hit grand slams in consecutive days, an amazing feat, especially in the Deadball Era. It would be 77 years until another National Leaguer, Phil Garner, matched the accomplishment.”

If you’re wondering where Sheckard’s long given name comes from, our friends at SABR, as usual, have the answer: “Tilden Sheckard was born on November 23, 1878, in Upper Chanceford, York County, Pennsylvania. His full name reflected his father’s admiration for New York’s anticorruption governor Samuel Tilden, who lost one of the most controversial elections in American history two years before Jimmy was born.”


LF-Topsy Hartsel, Chicago Orphans, 27 Years Old

.335, 7 HR, 54 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require nine more All-Star teams. 22 percent chance)


1st Time All-Star-Tully Frederick “Topsy” Hartsel was born on June 26, 1874 in Polk, OH. The left-handed, tiny Topsy stood at five-foot-five and weighed in at only 155 pounds. He started with Louisville in 1898-99, moved to Cincinnati in 1900, but this was his first fulltime season. He made the best of it in his one season with Chicago, having his best season ever. Hartsel finished seventh in WAR Position Players (5.5), fifth in Offensive WAR (5.9), eighth in batting average (.335), fifth in on-base percentage (.414), seventh in slugging percentage (.475), second in stolen bases (behind only Pittsburgh shortstop Honus Wagner’s 49), and fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (161). All of that and he’s only the fourth best player at his position.

The Orphans stayed in sixth place with a 53-86 record. Tom Loftus managed the team for his second and final season with Chicago. Its problem was star power as Hartsel was the only Orphan to make this list.

SABR explains his nickname: “It was at Indianapolis that Tully Frederick Hartsel acquired the nickname Topsy. Hal Reid, an Indianapolis sportswriter, noted the young Hartsel’s white hair, eyebrows and lashes, pink complexion and light blue eyes and remarked, ‘Say, boy, you’re as light as Topsy of Uncle Tom’s Cabin is black.’ He was known as Topsy for the rest of his life, and still is to this day. One observer later remarked that Hartsel was ‘generally known by the fans when he steps to the plate by his shock of white hair.’”


LF-Fred Clarke, Pittsburgh Pirates, 28 Years Old

1895 1897

.324, 6 HR, 60 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


3rd Time All-Star-This was a great year for Clarke, as he not only made the All-Star team as a player, but won the league title as a manager. He came to Pittsburgh in 1900 after Louisville folded, taking over the managerial role at the age of 27. After finishing second that season, four-and-a-half games behind Brooklyn, Pittsburgh won it all this year, moving into first place on June 11 and never giving up its lead the rest of the season. The Pirates were an all-around good team, with the best pitching in the league led by Jack Chesbro and great hitting led by Honus Wagner.

Clarke also performed on the field, finishing eighth in WAR Position Players (5.0), 10th in on-base percentage (.395), ninth in slugging (.461), and ninth in Adjusted OPS+ (144).

Cap’s Hall of Fame page tells of the rarity of one so young coaching a team, saying, “Twenty-four year-olds are not often found in leadership positions, but at that age, Fred Clarke fit right in as a player and skipper of a major league club.

“As one of the first ‘boy-managers’ Clarke starred in left field and led his teams to win from the field and the dugout.

“’I tell you managing a team from the bench is far different from directing from the field,’ he said. ‘I would much rather be a playing manager not only because I like to play ball, but because when I am in there playing my mind is on the game, and not filled with the perplexities and troubles of the manager.’”

flick3RF-Elmer Flick, Philadelphia Phillies, 25 Years Old

1898 1900

.333, 8 HR, 88 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:


Assists as OF-23

3rd Time All-Star-Now that Honus Wagner moved from rightfield to shortstop, Flick moved to the top of the list as the National League’s best player at that position. He finished ninth in WAR (6.6), fourth in WAR Position Players (6.6), eighth in Offensive WAR (5.2), ninth in batting average (.333), eighth in on-base percentage (.399), fifth in slugging (.500), 10th in stolen bases (30), and seventh in Adjusted OPS+ (158). But, like so many of these players above, the lure of the American League tempted and snagged Flick.

Flick’s Hall of Fame page tells how his baseball life started, stating, “In 1891, a 15-year old Elmer Flick went down to the train station to give his hometown semi-professional baseball team in Bedford, Ohio a send-off. With the train ready to leave and only eight players present, someone asked the youngster to join them. Despite being barefoot, Flick jumped at the opportunity – and a Hall of Fame career began.

“Born on Jan. 11, 1876 in Bedford, Flick starred as a catcher for his high school team, but didn’t join real organized baseball until he made his debut with Youngstown, Ohio, in 1896. ‘In my first game for Youngstown, I hit a ninth-inning homer with one on to win, 2-1,’ said Flick. ‘That’s when they first started to call me ‘Elmer Flick, the demon of the stick’.’”

Flick, SABR lets us know, was also a fighter: “For example, twice in a game in 1899, he got angry at Nap Lajoie for going back into shallow right field to catch fly balls that Flick thought should have been his chances.  Then, during a game in 1900, he and Lajoie got into a fistfight over who owned a bat.  Despite giving away at least four inches and about 30 pounds to the larger Lajoie, Flick held his own and settled for a draw when Lajoie, missing with a punch, struck a grate, a wall, or a washstand (the sources disagree) and broke his thumb.”


RF-Sam Crawford, Cincinnati Reds, 21 Years Old

.330, 16 HR, 104 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes

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


Led in:


Home Runs-16

AB per HR-32.2

1st Time All-Star-Samuel Earl “Wahoo Sam” Crawford was born on April 18, 1880 (the first All-Star I’ve written about to be born in the 1880s) in Wahoo, NE. The big lefty stood at six-foot, 190 pounds and started with the Reds in 1899. He would go on to have a great career as the triple master, finishing as the all-time leader in that category. This season, Wahoo Sam finished 10th in WAR Position Players (4.8); sixth in Offensive WAR (5.3); third in slugging (.524), behind two leftfielders, Brooklyn’s Jimmy Sheckard (.534) and Philadelphia’s Ed  Delahanty (.528); and fourth in Adjusted OPS+ (167). If he stayed on the Reds, he might have been their greatest player of all-time, but he’s going to the American League in 1903 and will eventually be teaming up with someone of note, Ty Cobb.

It should be noted those 16 homers are the only time Wahoo Sam would ever hit double digit home runs, as the Deadball Era takes over the baseball world. Also, 12 of those 16 were of the inside-the-park variety.

The SABR article, written by Bill Lamberty, has much to say of this strong man. Here’s a snippet: “’While we are no sculptor, we believe that if we were and were looking for a model for a statue of a slugger we would choose Sam Crawford for that role,’ F.C. Lane of Baseball Magazine wrote in 1916. ‘Sam has tremendous shoulders and great strength. That strength is so placed in his frame and the weight so balanced that he can get it all behind the drive when he smites a baseball.’ Yet Crawford was much more than a one-dimensional slugger. Playing in the era’s cavernous parks, Crawford had to leg out even the longest of his drives.”

20 thoughts on “1901 National League All-Star Team

  1. You might be on to something with that Mathewson kid.
    There are a ton of accolades involving Mathewson, but my favorite stat for him is his lack of walks. The man simply never walked anybody. Look at his walk to strikeout ratio for his career (especially between about 1907 and 1912).
    As usual, nice list.

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