1904 American League All-Star Team

P-Jack Chesbro, NYY

P-Cy Young, BOS

P-Rube Waddell, PHA

P-Eddie Plank, PHA

P-Harry Howell, SLB

P-Jesse Tannehill, BOS

P-Bill Dinneen, BOS

P-George Mullin, DET

P-Bill Bernhard, CLE

P-Casey Patten, WSH

C-Joe Sugden, SLB

C-Lew Drill, WSH/DET

1B-Harry Davis, PHA

2B-Nap Lajoie, CLE

2B-Danny Murphy, PHA

3B-Bill Bradley, CLE

3B-Jimmy Collins, BOS

3B-Lee Tannehill, CHW

SS-George Davis, CHW

SS-Freddy Parent, BOS

SS-Bobby Wallace, SLB

SS-Kid Elberfeld, NYY

CF-Chick Stahl, BOS

RF-Elmer Flick, CLE

RF-Willie Keeler, NYY

 

chesbro4

P-Jack Chesbro, New York Highlanders, 30 Years Old, MVP

1901 1902 1903

41-12, 1.82 ERA, 239 K, .236, 1 HR, 17 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require four more All-Star seasons. 50 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Wins Above Replacement-11.0

Wins-41 (2nd Time)

Win-Loss %-.774 (2nd Time)

Hits per 9 IP-6.691

Games Pitched-55

Innings Pitched-454 2/3

Games Started-51

Complete Games-48

Batters Faced-1,720

Adj. Pitching Runs-44

Adj. Pitching Wins-5.2

Def. Games as P-55

Assists as P-166

4th Time All-Star-Chesbro’s 1904 season is one of the most famous of all time, as he compiled the all-time win record with 41. There’s only been one 40-win season since and there won’t be another one unless the rules are drastically changed. While 41 is the all-time record since the mound was moved back to its modern distance of 60 feet, six inches in 1893, Old Hoss Radbourn holds the actual record of 59 in 1884. This season, Chesbro finished first in WAR (11.0), second (!) in WAR for Pitchers (10.2), fourth in Earned Run Average (1.82), first in innings pitched (454 2/3), and third in Adjusted ERA+ (150).

As for Chesbro’s team, the Highlanders moved up from fourth to second, finishing with a 92-59 record. Clark Griffith managed the team which ended up just one-and-a-half games behind Boston. After a five-game winning streak late in the season, New York was up by half a game, but it ended up losing three of its last four to Boston to lose the race. The Highlanders had good hitting, led by shortstop Kid Elberfeld, but their pitching when Chesbro was sitting wasn’t good.

Griffith was an old-school manager who believed he should get the most out of his pitchers, but Chesbro’s career would never be the same after this year. Part of it is age, of course, but it’s also the strain 454 innings put on his arm. After compiling a 132-65 record his first six years, he’d be 66-67 the remainder of his career.

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P-Cy Young, Boston Americans, 37 Years Old

1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903

26-16, 1.97 ERA, 200 K, .223, 1 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Walks & Hits per IP-0.937 (5th Time)

Bases on Balls per 9 IP-0.687 (12th Time)

Shutouts-10 (7th Time)

Strikeouts/Base on Balls-6.897 (9th Time)

14th Time All-Star-Was there anything left for Young to accomplish in his storied career? Well, as it turns out, 1904 was his first season with 200 strikeouts. He’d always won with control, but he wasn’t a finesse pitcher by any means. He didn’t get the nickname Cyclone for nothing. The sad part about this year is, even though Boston won the crown, Young didn’t pitch in his second consecutive World Series because of John McGraw’s hissy fit. As it would turn out, Young would never get another chance to pitch in the Fall Classic.

Oh, well, it doesn’t take away from his great year in which he finished second in WAR (9.8), third in WAR for Pitchers (9.5), sixth in ERA (1.97), fifth in innings pitched (380), and fifth in Adjusted ERA+ (136).

Young continues to have the most All-Star teams at his position. Here’s the entire list:

P- Cy Young (14)

C-Charlie Bennett (9)

1B-Cap Anson (13)

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

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

SS-Jack Glasscock (11)

LF-Ed Delahanty (9)

CF-Paul Hines (8)

RF-Sam Thompson (7)

You might notice his manager and teammate, Jimmy Collins, joined the list this season. Boston basically had two of the greatest players at their position on the team. No wonder they were so dominant around this time. Anson actually has the most All-Star teams at this point with 17. Will Young beat that mark? If I had to guess, he’ll tie it, but not surpass it.

Oh, and one more thing, Young pitched a perfect game on May 5 of this season against Rube Waddell and the Athletics.

waddell3

P-Rube Waddell, Philadelphia Athletics, 27 Years Old

1902 1903

25-19, 1.62 ERA, 349 K, .122, 0 HR, 6 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: No (Would require three more All-Star seasons. 67 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

WAR for Pitchers-10.5 (2nd Time)

Strikeouts per 9 IP-8.201 (4th Time)

Strikeouts-349 (3rd Time)

Adjusted ERA+-165 (2nd Time)

Fielding Independent Pitching-1.59 (4th Time)

3rd Time All-Star-If we judge by WAR or FIP, Waddell was the best pitcher in the American League and that league included a 41-win pitcher. He did finish below Jack Chesbro and Cy Young in overall WAR due to his atrocious hitting. What’s funny is that through 1902, Waddell actually had a decent stick, hitting .237 with an OPS+ of 67. After that season, he would hit only .127 and have an OPS+ of…wait for it….4. Four. However, during the stretch his hitting fell apart, Waddell’s pitching was out of this world. This season, Waddell finished third in WAR (9.7), first in WAR for Pitchers (10.5), second in ERA (1.62), third in innings pitched (383), and first in Adjusted ERA+ (165). He also set the modern day (from 1893) record for strikeouts with 349, breaking his own record of 302 from 1902. This wouldn’t be beaten until Sandy Koufax K’d 382 in 1965.

As for his team, the Athletics, they dropped from third to fifth. Connie Mack guided Philadelphia to a 81-70 record, 12-and-a-half games out of first. Waddell and teammate Eddie Plank gave it great pitching, but its hitting wasn’t enough for the team to contend.

It’s important you read the SABR article for a whole catalog of Rube’s eccentricities, but here’s a story from 1904 about his compassion: “The Rube also demonstrated his more compassionate side when Athletics’ center fielder Danny Hoffman was knocked unconscious by a fastball to the temple. ‘Someone went for an ambulance, and the players crowded around in aimless bewilderment,’ wrote Connie Mack. ‘Somebody said that Danny might not live until the doctor got there. Then the man they had called the playboy and clown went into action. Pushing everybody to one side, he gently placed Danny over his shoulder and actually ran across the field.’ Rube flagged down a carriage, which carted the pair to the nearest hospital. Rube, still in uniform, sat at Hoffman’s bedside for most of the night, and held ice to Hoffman’s head.”

plank4

P-Eddie Plank, Philadelphia Athletics, 28 Years Old

1901 1902 1903

26-17, 2.17 ERA, 201 K, .240, 0 HR, 11 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

4th Time All-Star-It certainly was a golden era of pitching in the early 20th Century. Look at the top four of this list, all of them are in the Hall of Fame. With people like Christy Mathewson and Cy Young pitching, it seems Plank always got lost in the shuffle, but every year he held his own. This season, Gettysburg finished fourth in WAR (9.0), fourth in WAR for Pitchers (8.5), 10th in ERA (2.17), seventh in innings pitched (357 1/3), and eighth in Adjusted ERA+ (124). Yet, he seemed to pitch in the shadow of the aforementioned along with his own teammate, Rube Waddell. Well, Plank has something Waddell may never achieve, induction into Ron’s Hall of Fame! (Cue applause).

SABR agrees Plank was overlooked, stating, “He had some great seasons and many good ones, but there always seemed to be someone having a better one. Usually it was Walter Johnson, but there would occasionally be someone like Jack Chesbro, Ed Walsh, or Joe Wood, whose overall careers weren’t the equal of Plank’s. Accordingly, in no season was he considered the top pitcher in the American League; he had to be satisfied with being one of the top four or five, but he was in that position year after year, and while other pitchers came and went, Plank persevered, helping the Philadelphia Athletics to five American League pennants and three world championships. ‘Plank was not the fastest,’ teammate Eddie Collins once observed. ‘He was not the trickiest, and not the possessor of the most stuff. He was just the greatest.’”

howell2

P-Harry Howell, St. Louis Browns, 27 Years Old

1901

13-21, 2.19 ERA, 122 K, .221, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Range Factor/9 Inn as P-5.07 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-Since last making the All-Star team in 1901 for Baltimore Orioles, Howell pitched for Baltimore again in 1902, then New York in 1903. Then on March 6, 1904, Howell was traded to the Browns for Jack Powell. His career revived, Howell had a great season, despite his miserable won-loss record. He finished ninth in WAR (6.3) and fifth in WAR for Pitchers (5.6).

Unfortunately, Howell’s team wasn’t too good, staying in sixth place under the guidance of manager Jimmy McAleer. St. Louis finished 65-87, with miserable hitting and pitching. The Browns would have a long history of mediocrity.

From SABR: “A stocky 5’8″ right-hander who threw one of the wettest spitballs in baseball history, Harry Howell was the St. Louis Browns’ best pitcher during the Deadball Era, establishing a franchise record for career ERA (2.06) that has never been equaled. Howell learned his singular pitch from spitballing legend Jack Chesbro in 1903, and subsequently relied on it almost exclusively. Indeed, Howell’s method of loading-up the ball disgusted those who thought it uncouth and unsanitary. Eddie Collins once said, ‘Howell used so much slippery elm we could see the foam on his lips and on hot days some of the boys thought he was about to go mad.’ Some sources claim the error rates of Browns infielders spiked whenever Howell was pitching, as fielders unsuccessfully attempted to grip the saliva-soaked sphere. Known as ‘Handsome Harry,’ Howell was also a fan favorite during his seven years with the Browns, especially among women, a situation which brought about the demise of Howell’s first marriage.”

tannehill3

P-Jesse Tannehill, Boston Americans, 29 Years Old

1898 1899

21-11, 2.04 ERA, 116 K, .197, 0 HR, 6 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require four more All-Star seasons. 25 percent chance)

 

3rd Time All-Star-Tannehill last made the All-Star team as a 24-year-old pitcher for the Pirates in 1899. He continued being part of that squad through 1902, being part of two league-winning teams. In 1903, he jumped to the American League Highlanders and this season, he came to Boston in a trade for Tom Hughes. As Baseball Reference says, “The trade turned out to be a steal for Boston: Hughes was railroaded out of New York before the end of the 1904 season, combining for an awful 9-24 record between New York and the Washington Senators, while Tannehill recorded the 5th 20-win season of his career for the Americans, finishing the year at 21-11 with a 2.04 ERA.” It seems like wherever Tannehill goes, his team succeeds and this season, the Americans won their second consecutive American League pennant.

Tannehill finished sixth in WAR for Pitchers (5.3), seventh in ERA (2.04), and sixth in Adjusted ERA+ (131). He’s one of three Boston pitchers to make this list. Wikipedia says, “After six years with the Pirates in the National League, Tannehill got involved in a salary dispute with Pirates owner Barney Dreyfuss. As a result, Tannehill jumped to the startup American League franchise, the New York Highlanders. After the season, he was traded by the Highlanders to the Boston Americans for Tom L. Hughes. Tannehill still had some good years left, however. He was an important part of the Boston Americans championship team of 1904, pitched a no-hitter against the Chicago White Sox on August 17, 1904 (his brother Lee went 0 for three for Chicago) and continued to be an above average pitcher until 1907.” Lee also made the All-Star team.

dinneen6

P-Bill Dinneen, Boston Americans, 28 Years Old

1899 1900 1901 1902 1903

23-14, 2.20 ERA, 153 K, .208, 0 HR, 9 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

6th Time All-Star-Dinneen, 1903’s World Series hero, should have had another chance this season, but New York declined going to the Fall Classic and Boston, despite winning the American League title, didn’t get to show off Big Bill again. This season, he finished seventh in WAR for Pitchers (5.1), eighth in innings pitched (335 2/3), and ninth in Adjusted ERA+ (122). He’s not the most famous of the 1900 pitchers and he didn’t make the Hall of Fame, but he carved out a nice career for himself.

After his career ended, Dinneen received fame for his umpiring. SABR says, “Dinneen became the first person to play in a World Series and umpire in the Fall Classic, and is still the only person to pitch a shutout and umpire in the series. He umpired in eight different World Series, 45 games in all. He was on the field for Babe Ruth’s called shot in 1932, and six years earlier he was the umpire who called Ruth out for attempting to steal second against Grover Cleveland Alexander to end the 1926 series. Among his other umpiring highlights, Dinneen was the home plate umpire for Ruth’s 60th home run in 1927, the first All-Star Game in 1933, and five no-hitters. What type of reputation did Dinneen have as an umpire? In 1922, Dinneen ejected Ruth from a game. The following day, American League president Johnson wrote Ruth a letter stating, ‘Bill Dinneen was one of the greatest pitchers the game ever produced, and…is one of the cleanest and most honorable men baseball ever fostered.’”

mullin2

P-George Mullin, Detroit Tigers, 23 Years Old

1903

17-23, 2.40 ERA, 161 K, .290, 0 HR, 8 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Bases on Balls-131 (2nd Time)

Errors Committed as P-13

2nd Time All-Star-Mullin, despite his wildness, made his second straight All-Star team. He was Detroit’s best player, but that wasn’t going to last for long, because next year one Tyrus Raymond Cobb is going to join the team. There’s plenty of time for him later and I shudder to think how many All-Star teams he’s going to make. As for Mullin, he finished fourth in innings pitched (382 1/3). For four straight years from 1903-07, he started 40 or more games. He’s not exactly Iron Man Joe McGinnity, but he was durable and steady.

Mullin’s team, the Tigers, dropped from fifth to seventh under the guidance of Ed Barrow (32-46) and Bobby Lowe (30-44). As with most bad teams, they lacked hitting and they lacked pitching. They’ll be better in the near future.

Wikipedia says of the pitcher, “Mullin had remarkable stamina as a pitcher. He started 428 games and had 353 complete game—25th highest total in major league history. He was among the American League leaders in complete games nine straight years (1903–11) and innings pitched for eight straight years (1903–10). His career highs were 42 complete games (1904) and 382⅓ innings (1905), both Tigers team records.”

“Mullin was a powerfully built pitcher with an intimidating fastball, perhaps even more so due to his imperfect control. He hit batsmen 131 times in his career—the 19th highest total in major league history. He also threw 85 wild pitches and gave up 1238 bases on balls—45th most in major league history. He led the league in walks allowed four times (1903–06), including a career high 138 in 1905, and was among the league leaders in walks allowed 11 times.”

bernhard2

P-Bill Bernhard, Cleveland Naps, 33 Years Old

1902

23-13, 2.13 ERA, 137 K, .177, 0 HR, 13 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-Despite going 14-5 in 1903, Bernhard didn’t make the All-Star team that season, but he’s back this year as the Naps best player. He finished eighth in WAR for Pitchers (5.1), ninth in ERA (2.13), and 10th in innings pitched (320 2/3). He pitched better than Detroit’s George Mullin, but Mullin was helped by his outstanding hitting. Bernhard hit like, well, a pitcher.

You know who could hit? Nap Lajoie. That’s why this team was named after him. The Naps dropped from third to fourth, with Bill Armour managing Cleveland to a 86-65 record. Despite having great hitting, led by Lajoie, and great pitching, led by Bernhard, it still finished seven-and-a-half games out. However, this was Armour’s last year with Cleveland, because as Wikipedia says, “Despite the steady improvement each year during Armour’s tenure with Cleveland, friction had developed between Armour and the team’s star and captain, Nap Lajoie. By the last half of the 1904 season, the two were reportedly ‘not on speaking terms.’ On September 8, 1904, Armour announced his resignation as manager of the Cleveland club, effective at the end of the season. The Cleveland Plain Dealer praised Armour’s efforts in that city: ‘No better judge of a ball player’s ability than Bill Armour lives, and not a small point necessary to win games escapes him. But the ability of the players to carry out his plans has, oftimes, been lacking.’” It’s always strange to me when managers or coaches with winning records are let go, but in Armour’s case, he quit.

patten

P-Casey Patten, Washington Senators, 30 Years Old

14-23, 3.07 ERA, 150 K, .127, 0 HR, 5 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 28 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Saves-3

Hits Allowed-367

Earned Runs Allowed-122

Hit by Pitch-20

1st Time All-Star-Case Lyman “Casey” or “Pat” Patten was born on May 7, 1874 in Westport, NY. The six-foot-one, 175 pound pitcher started his Major League career as a 27-year-old pitcher for Washington in 1901. His first three seasons he had high ERAs, but two times had a winning record. This season was much the same as he had an 87 ERA+ and a losing record. Still, he was the best Washington had to offer, so he makes his first All-Star team.

If Patten’s your best player, you’re probably a bad team and, for the second straight year, the Senators finished last. They were coached by Malachi Kittridge (1-16) and Patsy Donovan (37-97) to a 38-113 record, 55-and-a-half games out of first place. They had the worst hitting and pitching in the league and that showed in the results.

SABR says of Patten, “When Case Patten filled out his player questionnaire at the request of the Hall of Fame, he declared his heritage as ‘Scotch, Irish, English, Dutch, and Indian’ – the Native American part perhaps coming from his mother Mandana’s side of the family. As far as can be determined, he was one of the first players of Native American ancestry to play in the major leagues, though one suspects that rather few people knew of his ancestry. Contemporary news accounts seem not to mention a thing about his lineage in any regard. He preceded Louis Leroy (1910) with the Red Sox but was obviously of very mixed parentage and it seems safe to assume that he was never clearly identified as Native American.”

sugden

C-Joe Sugden, St. Louis Browns, 33 Years Old

.267, 0 HR, 30 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 35 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Double Plays Turned as C-11

Fielding % as C-.989

1st Time All-Star-Joseph “Joe” Sugden was born on July 31, 1870 in Philadelphia, PA. The five-foot-10, 180 pound catcher started as a backstop for Pittsburgh from 1893-97, moved to St. Louis in 1898, and then to Cleveland in 1899. His career then started up again with the formation of the American League in 1901 when he went to Chicago. He came to the Browns in 1902 and, this season, finally produced enough to make the All-Star team. Sugden played 105 games, a lot for a catcher in those days, slashing .267/.331/.302 for an OPS+ of 106.

Following this season, Sugden played with St. Louis in 1905 and then one game for Detroit in 1912 as a 41-year-old first baseman, going one-for-four. Or as Wikipedia says, “[M]anaging a basehit in his final game on May 18, 1912, as a member of the coaching staff for the replacement Tigers called into service when the team went on strike to protest the suspension of Ty Cobb.”

This was definitely not the era of great catchers. In the American League’s first four seasons, only Harry Bemis and Boileryard Clarke have been on this list more than once. Catchers needed to be of a tough breed, and they were, but even the toughest couldn’t manage to play too many games. At this point, only Charlie Bennett and Buck Ewing are in Ron’s Hall of Fame and I don’t see many backstops joining those ranks in the future. (Deacon White is also in, but he played more games at third than at catcher.)

drill

C-Lew Drill, Washington Senators/Detroit Tigers, 27 Years Old

.255, 1 HR, 24 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 46 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Errors Committed as C-24

Double Plays Turned as C-11

1st Time All-Star-Lewis L. “Lew” Drill was born on May 9, 1877 in Browerville, MN. The five-foot-six, 186 pound catcher started in 1902 with Washington and Baltimore and then Washington again. In 1903, he gave playing for only one team a shot, catching 51 games for the Senators. In 1904, it was time to bounce around again, as he played for both Washington, for 46 games, and then Detroit, for another 51 game. He finished sixth in on-base percentage (.359), which was good for a Major League, but outstanding for a catcher. He’d play one more year for Detroit and then never play another Major League game.

Drill may be the first player on this list that was actually alive at the same time I was. I was born in 1964 and the stocky catcher lived until the Fourth of July of 1969. Can you imagine how many changes in the game Drill saw over the course of his long life?

As for his later life, Baseball Reference notes, “After his baseball career, Drill became an attorney and, as a protégé of U.S. Senator Thomas Schall (R) was appointed in 1929 to the post of United States Attorney for Minnesota. He gained notoriety when he refused to vacate his office for a Franklin Roosevelt appointee until December 1935 when Senator Schall, his sponsor, was killed in a car accident. While he held the post, however, Drill successfully prosecuted Wilbur Foshay, promoter of a holding company that underwent a spectacular crash in the Great Depression. Drill’s obituary in the New York Times incorrectly claimed he won a case against Roger Touhy, a Chicago gangster accused of kidnapped William Hamm, Jr., a millionaire St. Paul brewer. Touhy was acquitted when latent fingerprint identification showed members of the Barker-Karpis gang were responsible for the kidnapping.”

davish

1B-Harry Davis, Philadelphia Athletics, 30 Years Old

.309, 10 HR, 62 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Home Runs-10

Power-Speed #-10.9

AB Per HR-40.4

1st Time All-Star-Harry H. “Jasper” Davis, born Harry Davis, was born on July 18, 1873 in Philadelphia, PA. The five-foot-10, 180 pound first baseman started with New York in 1895-96, moved to Pittsburgh in 1896-98, then Louisville in 1898. He then played for Washington in 1898-99 and then took a year off from the Majors in 1900. With the American League becoming a Major League in 1901, Davis came to Philadelphia and would be quite a slugger from them for 11 seasons.

This season, Davis led the league in homers for the first of four straight seasons. In this Deadball Era, 10 home runs were enough to top the dinger list. In 1905 and 1907, Jasper led the league with only eight. Hadn’t these guys heard of steroids? Davis also finished third in batting (.309), second in slugging (.490), and third in Adjusted OPS+ (158). According to WAR, he always contributed offensively, but didn’t do much defensively.

Wikipedia says, “Davis was born in Philadelphia. He attended Girard College. After having played the 1900 for the minor league Providence Grays, he decided to quite baseball, but Athletics manager Connie Mack made him an offer too large to refuse to return to baseball in 1901 with the Athletics. He led the American League in home runs from 1904 to 1907, one of only five players to have ever led their league for four consecutive seasons. He also hit for the cycle on July 10, 1901. He led the AL in doubles three times and the NL in triples once.”

lajoie62B-Nap Lajoie, Cleveland Naps, 29 Years Old

1897 1900 1901 1902 1903

.376, 5 HR, 102 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

1904 AL Batting Title (3rd Time)

WAR Position Players-8.6 (3rd Time)

Offensive WAR-9.6 (3rd Time)

Batting Average-.376 (4th Time)

On-Base %-.413 (2nd Time)

Slugging %-.546 (4th Time)

On-Base Plus Slugging-.959 (3rd Time)

Hits-208 (2nd Time)

Total Bases-302 (3rd Time)

Doubles-49 (3rd Time)

Runs Batted In-102 (3rd Time)

Adjusted OPS+-203 (3rd Time)

Runs Created-122 (2nd Time)

Adj. Batting Runs-64 (3rd Time)

Adj. Batting Wins-7.3 (3rd Time)

Extra Base Hits-69 (3rd Time)

Offensive Win %-.876 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as 2B-5.61 (5th Time)

Range Factor/Game as 2B-5.55 (5th Time)

6th Time All-Star-One of the great things about players like Lajoie is not having to recap his season, because, come on, look at above! This is what happens when a great player in his prime gets to play a full season. Unfortunately, in this World Series era, Cleveland never put it all together to win the league and Lajoie would never be on baseball’s biggest stage.

Over the next few years, Lajoie would be battling for hitting supremacy with Ty Cobb, which is why he’ll only be leading in batting once more, in 1910. The difference is that Cobb was hated and Lajoie was beloved. Who would have thought that of someone named after Napoleon Bonaparte.

That isn’t to say Nap was a choirboy. Wikipedia says, “During the 1904, Lajoie received a suspension after he spat tobacco juice in an umpire’s eye. He later informally replaced Bill Armour as the team’s manager (Armour submitted his resignation on September 9 but as team captain, Lajoie had already been acting as the Naps’ field manager). After the season had concluded, Lajoie was officially named manager.”

He’s not going to make the All-Star team in 1905, due to injury. Wikipedia describes it: “Lajoie contracted sepsis from an untreated spike injury after a game in July 1905. Dye from Lajoie’s stockings entered his bloodstream and led to blood poisoning. (A rule was put into place requiring white socks to be worn underneath a player’s colored socks.) The injury worsened and Lajoie eventually came to games in a wheelchair. Amputation of the affected leg was also discussed. The injury and illness kept Lajoie out until August 28 when he began play again and returned as the team’s first baseman. Before the season was over he also sustained an injury to his ankle from a foul tip during an at bat and missed the remainder of the season (he continued to manage from the bench). He finished the season having only appeared in 65 games (a career-low, other than his rookie season when he was not called up until well after the season had begun). The Naps finished with a 76–78 record.”

murphy

2B-Danny Murphy, Philadelphia Athletics, 27 Years Old

.287, 7 HR, 77 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require eight more All-Star seasons. 50 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Errors Committed as 2B-46

1st Time All-Star-Daniel Francis “Danny” Murphy was born on August 11, 1876 in Philadelphia, PA. The five-foot-nine, 175 pound second baseman started with the Giants in 1900-01, before coming over to the Athletics in 1902. This season, he finished ninth in WAR Position Players (5.1), ninth in Offensive WAR (4.8), 10th in batting (.287), fourth in slugging (.440), and eighth in Adjusted OPS+ (134). He’ll be a steady player for the Athletics for quite a while.

SABR says of him, “For more than a decade, Danny Murphy was one of the best and most powerful hitters in the American League, a fine fielder with a strong arm, a savvy base runner, and a pioneer in the art of sign stealing. The consummate team player for Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics, he replaced one Hall of Fame second baseman, Nap Lajoie, and later stepped aside for another, Eddie Collins. To make way for Collins, Murphy moved from second base to right field in mid-career and paved the way for one of baseball’s earliest dynasties. Just 5’7″ (some sources say 5’9″) and 175 pounds, little Danny was considered a ‘long distance’ hitter…

“Though Danny was referred to as a native son throughout his career in Philadelphia, his family moved to New England when he was a youngster. He entered professional baseball at age 20 with Fall River of the New England League in 1897.” When I was writing about 1870s baseball, it seemed every other player was born in Philadelphia. Two new additions to the All-Star team, Harry Davis and Murphy were both born in the City of Brotherly Love.

bradleyb3

3B-Bill Bradley, Cleveland Naps, 26 Years Old

1902 1903

.300, 6 HR, 83 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Fielding % as 3B-.955 (2nd Time)

3rd Time All-Star-Bradley, along with Nap Lajoie, continued to give Cleveland a good one-two punch in the infield. He wasn’t good enough long enough to be one of the all-time greats, but when he was good, he was sensational. This season, Bradley finished seventh in WAR (6.6), third in WAR Position Players (6.6), third in Offensive WAR (5.7), ninth in Defensive WAR (1.5), fifth in batting (.300), eighth in slugging (.409), and seventh in Adjusted OPS+ (135).

Bradley fielded as well as he hit, according to SABR, which states, “When not slamming the ball with authority, Bradley fielded with genius. He was a fearless base blocker, grinning and awaiting the incoming runner from second, and mastered fielding the bunt with a one-motion barehanded scoop and toss. His long reach, ability to judge balls, and excellent arm were also noted. Throughout his career, Bradley led the league in many fielding categories at his position and twice made seven putouts in a nine-inning game–a record that has since been tied.

“Bradley was not only a dazzling fielder with clout, but also a clever and emotional player with peculiar habits of his own. Like former Cleveland shortstop Pebbly Jack Glasscock, Bradley had a mania for picking small stones out of the dust and tossing them away. He could be found whipping his head back a few times to read catcher’s signals and was adept at feigning being hit by a pitch, ranking among the league leaders in that category four times. Bradley was also an aggressive baserunner ‘who had to be carefully watched as he had the habit of stretching singles into doubles upon the slightest provocation,’ according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.”

collins6

3B-Jimmy Collins, Boston Americans, 34 Years Old

1897 1898 1901 1902 1903

.271, 3 HR, 67 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as 3B-156 (5th Time)

Putouts as 3B-191 (5th Time)

6th Time All-Star-Over the long history of this great game, quality third basemen are lacking. At this point in my writings, up until this season, only one third baseman is in the ONEHOF, the Hall of Fame in which just one player is inducted per year, and only one in Ron’s Hall of Fame, in which players are automatically put in if their Baseball Reference career WAR multiplied by the number of All-Star teams made is over 300. It’s the same player, Deacon White, and even he made most of his All-Star teams as a catcher not a third baseman.

So this season Collins becomes the first true third baseman to make Ron’s Hall of Fame. He also is tied for most All-Star teams made at the hot corner. (Check Cy Young’s blurb for the full list.) And if all of that wasn’t enough, he led Boston to its second straight American League crown. With a 95-59 record, it finished one-and-a-half games ahead of New York, the first of many great Boston-New York battles over the years. The Americans, led by Cy Young, had the best pitching in the league. If not for the temper tantrum of the New York Giants, they would have made their second straight World Series.

This season, Collins finished eighth in WAR Position Players (5.3), and fifth in Defensive WAR (1.9, the eighth straight year he’s been in the top 10 in this list). At the beginning of its history, the American League needed a strong team to anchor itself and a great manager to run that team and Collins did that for the Americans.

tannehilll

3B-Lee Tannehill, Chicago White Sox, 23 Years Old

.229, 0 HR, 61 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 14 more All-Star teams. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Assists as 3B-369

Double Plays Turned as 3B-22

Range Factor/9 Inn as 3B-3.63

Range Factor/Game as 3B-3.59

1st Time All-Star-Lee Ford Tannehill was born on October 26, 1880 in Dayton, KY. The five-foot-11, 170 pound third baseman started for the White Sox in 1903 and would always be known for his glove and not his stick. He was the brother of Jesse, who made the All-Star team this season for Boston. This season, Tannehill finished second in Defensive WAR (3.3) and would be in the top 10 in Defensive WAR eight of his 10 seasons. Not once during those 10 years would his OPS+ ever be above 81, which it was this season.

Jimmy Callahan (23-18) and Fielder Jones (66-47) led the White Sox to an astounding 89-65 third place finish. They had good hitting led by George Davis to help them fall just six games short of the American League crown.

Baseball Reference mentions, “Tannehill’s contract was purchased by the White Sox in 1903, and he was installed at shortstop to replace George Davis, who had a contract dispute with the team. When Davis returned to the club in 1904, Tannehill was moved to third base. At both positions, he gained a reputation for excellent defense. As a third baseman, he led the American League in assists four times.

“Despite his impressive fielding, Tannehill struggled greatly at the plate. As the ‘Hitless Wonders’ White Sox won the AL pennant in 1906, he batted just .183 in 116 games. After going just 1 for 9 in the first three games of that year’s World Series, skipper Fielder Jones removed him from the team’s lineup.”

Davis G 4025.99 PDSS-George Davis, Chicago White Sox, 33 Years Old, 1904 ONEHOF Inductee

1893 1894 1897 1899 1900 1901 1902

.252, 1 HR, 69 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Defensive WAR-3.4

Assists-514

Putouts as SS-347 (2nd Time)

Assists as SS-514

Double Plays Turned as SS-62 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as SS-5.84 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/Game as SS-5.66 (4th Time)

8th Time All-Star-Davis only played in four games in 1903. You can read his 1902 blurb to see why. However, he’s back and now he’s in the ONEHOF. It is a Hall of Fame I created which allows just the best player who’s not currently in the ONEHOF to be inducted. This year, it’s the great George Davis. And he’s not done making All-Star teams yet. Next year’s nominees for the ONEHOF are Hardy Richardson, Bill Dahlen, Charley Jones, Fred Dunlap, George Gore, Ned Williamson, Bid McPhee, Sam Thompson, Jack Clements, Amos Rusie, Cupid Childs, Clark Griffith, Jesse Burkett, and Joe McGinnity.

This season, Davis finished sixth in WAR (7.2), second in WAR Position Players (7.2), sixth in Offensive WAR (5.0), first in Defensive WAR (3.4), and fourth in steals (32).

Davis’ Career WAR is 84.3, so the question might be asked why it took until 1998 for him to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. So we might examine on whether he would get elected if we didn’t have fancy stats. Well, he hit .300 or higher nine years in a row. As a shortstop, he drove in over 100 runs three times, including a league-leading 135 in 1897. At the toughest position on the diamond, Davis finished just 335 hits short of 3000.

It seems incredible to me he didn’t get elected until 1998, but even stranger, he didn’t ever get a vote. It’s possible he was being compared to Honus Wagner and lost votes that way, but really? Not one vote?

parent3

SS-Freddy Parent, Boston Americans, 28 Years Old

1901 1903

.291, 6 HR, 77 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons. 50 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Errors Committed-63

Def. Games as SS-155 (4th Time)

Errors Committed as SS-63

3rd Time All-Star-Parent won his second straight American League crown as one of the league’s most consistent and best shortstops. He finished 10th in WAR (6.2), fifth in WAR Position Players (6.2), fourth in Offensive WAR (5.4), fourth in Defensive WAR (2.2), and seventh in batting (.291). This was a great era for shortstops. SABR says of this season, “The next year Parent again enjoyed an outstanding season, batting .291 with 85 runs scored and six home runs, tied for fourth best in the league. But he was simply a passive observer in his most famous at-bat of the season, when 41-game-winner Jack Chesbro of the New York Highlanders unleashed a wild pitch in the ninth inning on the last day of the season to bring in the run that won the pennant for the Americans. Forgotten to most, Parent followed this most famous wild pitch with a base hit that would have scored the run anyway.”

I remember in high school when I first started reading Bill James how he turned the world of stats upside down. For instance, this is the first of three straight seasons in which Parent is going to lead the American League in errors. Yet he’s one of the 1900s best shortstops. The two are not mutually exclusive. You can’t make errors on balls you don’t try for and Parent was all over the place on the field. He’s one of five shortstops in the top ten of Defensive WAR. It’s worth an error once in a while to get an out.

wallace6

SS-Bobby Wallace, St. Louis Browns, 30 Years Old

1898 1899 1901 1902 1903

.275, 2 HR, 69 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Fielding % as SS-.947

6th Time All-Star-I have been playing slo-pitch softball for many years now. Over all that time, I have only been part of one league-winning team. I like winning as much as anybody, but I still enjoy playing. It makes me think of Hall of Fame shortstop Wallace. He played 25 years and never made a World Series, but the dazzling gloveman continued to toil day-after-day, year-after-year. It’s not easy playing for losers and Wallace rarely played for teams who could even sniff a title. After finishing second with the Browns in 1902, he’d never get closer than fourth place for the rest of his long career.

This season, Wallace finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.7), seventh in Offensive WAR (5.0), and sixth in Defensive WAR (1.8). He wasn’t just a no-bat, all-glove shortstop, he could do it all. He couldn’t hit like Honus Wagner, but the Flying Dutchman couldn’t field like Wallace.

Wallace studied fielding as noted by SABR, which states, “It was on defense, though, that Bobby really earned his salary. He led the AL in assists twice and fielding percentage three times. Wallace’s defensive prowess resulted not only from his physical skills but also from his mental approach to playing shortstop. ‘As more speed afoot was constantly demanded for big league ball, I noticed the many infield bounders which the runner beat to first only by the thinnest fractions of a second,’ noted Bobby. ‘I also noted that the old-time three-phase movement, fielding a ball, coming erect for a toss and throwing to first wouldn’t do on certain hits with fast men…it was plain that the stop and toss had to be combined into a continuous movement.’”

elberfeld3

SS-Kid Elberfeld, New York Highlanders, 29 Years Old

1901 1903

.263, 2 HR, 46 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star seasons. 43 percent chance)

 

3rd Time All-Star-Elberfeld only played 90 games in 1903, but still made the All-Star team and this year he played only 122, but he’s still here. This season, he had his best year ever, finishing seventh in WAR Position Players (5.4) and third in Defensive WAR (2.8). He slashed .263/.337/.328 for an OPS+ of 106. His hitting wasn’t what it once was, but his defense was better than ever.

Some notes from SABR: “Over the next three years with New York, Elberfeld solidified his reputation as one of the best hitting shortstops in baseball. From 1904 to 1906, he had the highest batting (.275) and on-base-plus-slugging (.688) percentages of any shortstop in the American League, and second in the majors only to Honus Wagner. But injuries and suspensions continued to dog him; the Highlanders might have won pennants in 1904 and 1906 had Elberfeld not missed 89 games during those years.

“Kid Elberfeld, called ‘the dirtiest, scrappiest, most pestiferous, most rantankerous [sic], most rambunctious ball player that ever stood on spikes’ for his vicious arguments on the diamond, patterned his combative style after that of his favorite team, the Baltimore Orioles of the mid-1890s. He believed, like those Oriole players, that an umpire should be kept in his place, and that what happened behind an arbiter’s back was none of his business. But, when Elberfeld kept his volatile temper in check, he was also an ‘ideal infielder–full of ginger.’ Called by George Stallings one of the two best shortstops in baseball, his throwing arm was ‘cyclonic,’ and, though only 5’7,” 158 lbs., he was fearless in turning the double play.”

stahl3

CF-Chick Stahl, Boston Americans, 31 Years Old

1899 1901

.290, 3 HR, 67 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Triples-19

3rd Time All-Star-It’s ironic that Charles Stahl was nicknamed Chick, because he had a lot of chicks according to the write-ups about him on the net. Check that out for yourself, I can’t do everything for you. He didn’t make the All-Star team in 1902 or 1903, but is back this year. Stahl finished fifth in Offensive WAR (5.3), ninth in batting (.290), fourth in on-base percentage (.366), sixth in slugging (.416), and fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (141). It was his best offensive season ever and he was part of his second straight American League crown and his fourth title altogether.

SABR says, “In April 1903 Stahl injured his leg while sliding, and was limited to 77 games and a .274 average. Nevertheless, the Americans easily won the pennant. In the World Series against Pittsburgh, which Boston won in eight games, he was the only Boston player to hit .300, as he banged out 10 hits, including three triples, in 33 at-bats.

“Stahl’s health improved in 1904 and the outfielder returned to his old form with a .290 batting average, 27 doubles, and a league-leading 19 triples, as the Americans captured a second consecutive pennant. Stahl also showcased his glove during Cy Young’s perfect game on May 5 against Philadelphia. After the game Young expressed his gratitude for Stahl’s play on a sinking line drive off the bat of Ollie Pickering ‘that Chick caught around his knees after a long run from center.’” Stahl is going to have a tragic death, but I think he’s making another All-Star team, so I’m rolling the dice and waiting until then.

flick5RF-Elmer Flick, Cleveland Naps, 28 Years Old

1898 1900 1901 1903

.306, 6 HR, 56 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Stolen Bases-38

5th Time All-Star-No doubt the Hall of Fame can be frustrating. There are people not there that should be and people there that shouldn’t. However, one thing I’ve noticed in the project is how often the Hall gets it right. Oh, it’s not perfect, but what human organization is, besides the DMV, of course. Flick absolutely deserves the Hall of Fame and he made Cooperstown in 1963 and will make mine next season most likely. This season, Flick finished eighth in WAR (6.5), fourth in WAR Position Players (6.5), second in Offensive WAR (6.2), fourth in batting (.306), third in on-base percentage (.371), third in slugging (.449), first in steals (38), and second in Adjusted OPS+ (159).

Flick’s hometown is trying to give him an honor. According to the Bedford Historical Society, “Baseball fans and those with a soft spot for all things Bedford Ohio have an opportunity to help recognize Baseball Hall of Fame Great, Elmer Flick. The hometown hero has a spot in the athletic hall of fame at Bedford High and a ball field named in his honor, now a committee of local citizens would like to recognize Flick with a bronze statue. Funds are being raised and stored in an account of the Bedford Historical Society.” So Bedfordians, start writing those checks.

What a lineup Cleveland had! You would have to face the incredible Nap Lajoie and the stick of Flick. They just couldn’t put it all together and couldn’t get past the Americans or the Athletics and, once Ty Cobb joined the league, they’d also be behind Detroit.

keeler6

RF-Willie Keeler, New York  Highlanders, 32 Years Old

1895 1897 1899 1900 1902

.343, 2 HR, 40 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Singles-162 (5th Time)

6th Time All-Star-Keeler, a player whose size makes Jose Altuve look like Andre the Giant, made Ron’s Hall of Fame this season by making his sixth All-Star team. It’s the first time he’s made it for the American League. This season, Keeler finished 10th in WAR Position Players (5.0), eighth in Offensive WAR (4.9), second in batting (.343), second in on-base percentage (.390), ninth in slugging (.409), and fourth in Adjusted OPS+ (147). His skill set was limited to hitting for average and hitting singles, but he did it as well as anyone in his time.

After this season, Wee Willie will play five more years of the AL New York squad and finish up with the National League Giants in 1910. Altogether he will have a career in which he batted .341 with 33 home runs, 810 RBI, and a 54.0 WAR. Most likely, the little man won’t make any more All-Star teams.

As for his end, Wikipedia says, “Keeler suffered from tuberculosis and endocarditis for the last five years of his life. By late 1922, his condition had worsened and it was doubtful whether he would live into the new year. Seriously ill by New Year’s Eve, he heard bells and sirens in the streets when the new year arrived. Keeler sat up and said to his brother, ‘You see, the new year is here and so am I—still.’ He enjoyed a drink and a smoke, then said that he was ready for a long sleep. A short time later, Keeler died; he was 50. He is buried in Calvary Cemetery in Queens, New York.”

5 thoughts on “1904 American League All-Star Team

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