1905 American League All-Star Team

P-Rube Waddell, PHA

P-Ed Killian, DET

P-Cy Young, BOS

P-Eddie Plank, PHA

P-Harry Howell, SLB

P-Jesse Tannehill, BOS

P-Addie Joss, CLE

P-Al Orth, NYY

P-Jack Chesbro, NYY

P-Tom Hughes, WSH

C-Ed McFarland, CHW

C-Ossee Schrecongost, PHA

1B-Harry Davis, PHA

1B-Jiggs Donahue, CHW

2B-Danny Murphy, PHA

3B-Bill Bradley, CLE

3B-Jimmy Collins, BOS

SS-George Davis, CHW

SS-Bobby Wallace, SLB

LF-George Stone, SLB

LF-Topsy Hartsel, PHA

CF-Fielder Jones, CHW

RF-Sam Crawford, DET

RF-Elmer Flick, CLE

RF-Socks Seybold, PHA

 

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P-Rube Waddell, Philadelphia Athletics, 28 Years Old, 2nd MVP

1902 1903 1904

27-10, 1.48 ERA, 287 K, .172, 0 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

1905 AL Triple Crown

1905 AL Pitching Title (2nd Time)

Wins Above Replacement-9.2 (2nd Time)

WAR for Pitchers-9.2 (3rd Time)

Earned Run Average-1.48 (2nd Time)

Wins-27

Win-Loss %-.730

Hits per 9 IP-6.326 (2nd Time)

Strikeouts per 9 IP-7.859 (5th Time)

Games Pitched-46

Strikeouts-287 (4th Time)

Adjusted ERA+-179 (3rd Time)

Adj. Pitching Runs-39

Adj. Pitching Wins-4.6

Def. Games as P-46

Errors Committed as P-15

4th Time All-Star-It was another great year for George Edward Waddell, as he continued to mow down American League batters. He finished first in WAR (9.2), first in WAR for Pitchers (9.2), first in Earned Run Average (1.48), fourth in innings pitched (328 2/3), and first in Adjusted ERA+ (179).

This season led the Athletics to the league crown and the World Series. Connie Mack guided Philadelphia to a 92-56 record, beating out the White Sox by two games. Led by Harry Davis, it had the best hitting in the league and also great pitching, led by you-know-who. It was the Athletics’ and Waddell’s second American League title.

SABR’s Steven A. King wrote an article on Waddell missing most of the last month of the season and the World Series. Controversy brews about whether he injured his shoulder or was bribed to sit out. The official story from the article is, “A story has been told about a bit of horseplay when Waddell tried to destroy the straw hat worn by Philadelphia Athletics teammate Andy Coakley at the train station in Providence, Rhode Island, on September 8, 1905, resulting in Rube injuring his shoulder, causing him to miss most of the last month of the regular season, and the whole World Series versus the New York Giants.

“Whether Waddell was actually injured as he claimed, or was bribed to fake an injury, has remained at the core of the controversy. Biographies of Waddell and Connie Mack, his manager, have described it, and it has even been the subject of a mock trial staged at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2008. A majority of those who voted on the verdict in this trial acquitted Waddell of the charge of bribery and faking the injury and most writers on the subject have generally taken a similarly sympathetic view.” It’s a long, long article, but take some time and read the whole thing.

killian

P-Ed Killian, Detroit Tigers, 28 Years Old

23-14, 2.27 ERA, 110 K, .271, 0 HR, 19 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 11 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Shutouts-8

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.000 (2nd Time)

1st Time All-Star-Edwin Henry “Twilight Ed” Killian was born on November 12, 1876 in Racine, WI. The five-foot-11, 170 pound pitcher started with Cleveland in 1903. Before the next season, he was traded by the Cleveland Naps with Jesse Stovall to the Detroit Tigers for Billy Lush. He could have easily made the All-Star team in 1904, despite a 15-20 record. This season, Killian finished second in WAR (7.9), third in WAR for Pitchers (6.8), eighth in innings pitched (313 1/3), and ninth in Adjusted ERA+ (120).

Detroit finished in third place with a 79-74 record. Bill Armour’s team finished 15-and-a-half games out, but the most important thing to happen for the Tigers was the rookie season of an 18-year-old outfielder named Ty Cobb who would be the best player on the team for many years to come.

Bleacher Report says, “His dad, Andrew, was a wheelwright. His mom, Etta, was a German immigrant. As a kid, Ed was very strong and athletic. He found himself on semi-pro teams early in life. In 1902, at 26, he signed his first professional contract with Rockford of the Three-I League. By the end of the year, he was on the Cleveland Naps and was 3-4 with a 2.48 ERA in eight starts.

“Killian had a typical build for major leaguers during his time, despite being considerably bigger than kids when he was one.” Who knows if Twilight Ed wouldn’t have had a better career if hadn’t started pitching professionally so late in life.

young15P-Cy Young, Boston Americans, 38 Years Old

1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904

18-19, 1.82 ERA, 210 K, .150, 2 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Walks & Hits per IP-0.867 (6th Time)

Bases on Balls per 9 IP-0.842 (13th Time)

Strikeouts/Base on Balls-7.000 (10th Time)

Fielding Independent Pitching-1.69 (6th Time)

15th Time All-Star-Back in 1890, Cy Young and Kid Nichols started their Major League careers. Cyclone was 23 years old and pitched just 17 games for Cleveland, while the Kid started at 20-years-old, won 27 games and made his first All-Star team. Both of them would continue mowing down hitters through the ‘90s and, if you had to guess, Nichols would end up with the better career.

However, what no one could know at the time is that Young’s arm was made of a different substance that most human limbs. It kept going and going and Young kept winning and winning. This season, he finished third in WAR (7.6), second in WAR for Pitchers (7.6), third in ERA (1.82), sixth in innings pitched (320 2/3), and second in Adjusted ERA+ (147).

Young, of course, has more All-Star teams than any other pitcher. His 15 is followed by Nichols’ 12.  Here’s the complete list of most All-Star teams made by position:

P- Cy Young (15)

C-Charlie Bennett (9)

1B-Cap Anson (13)

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

3B-Jimmy Collins (7)

SS-Jack Glasscock (11)

LF-Ed Delahanty (9)

CF-Paul Hines (8)

RF-Sam Thompson (7)

At this point in his career, Young has 423 wins, 68 more than Pud Galvin, who was in second place at the time. He still has two 20-win seasons left and 88 more wins left in his 38-year-old arm. This is his 15th consecutive season with 300 or more innings. In modern baseball, there hasn’t been a pitcher who tossed that amount since Steve Carlton in 1980 or 37 years at the time of this writing.

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P-Eddie Plank, Philadelphia Athletics, 29 Years Old

1901 1902 1903 1904

24-12, 2.26 ERA, 210 K, .230, 0 HR, 5 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Games Started-41 (2nd Time)

Complete Games-35

Hit by Pitch-24 (2nd Time)

5th Time All-Star-Is it possible a pitcher with a 326-194 lifetime record was underrated? It was Plank’s fate to pitch in an era of outstanding hurlers. Yet the five-foot-11 lefty held his own and will continue to make All-Star teams for many years. What more could you ask for if you’re Connie Mack but to have a pitcher you could put out every three or four days who would give you great results? It had to be more refreshing than having to deal with the half-crazed Rube Waddell all the time.

This season, Plank finished fourth in WAR (7.3), fourth in WAR for Pitchers (6.6), second in Innings pitched (346 2/3), and 10th in Adjusted ERA+ (117). Also, he pitched in his first World Series, but unfortunately met the juggernaut that was Christy Mathewson and went 0-2 despite his 1.59 ERA.

Wikipedia gives more info on the World Series, saying, “In 1905, Plank made his first trip to the World Series. He faced Christy Mathewson in the first game and Joe McGinnity in the fourth game. Though Plank gave up only three runs in 17 innings during the series, the Athletics lost to the New York Giants in five games and did not score an earned run in the entire series.” SABR states, “Plank’s 1905 performance, in which his teammates scored zero runs for him, foreshadowed his fate in World Series play, as he would often pitch just brilliantly enough to lose in heartbreaking fashion.” He would eventually win a championship, so don’t weep for him too much.

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P-Harry Howell, St. Louis Browns, 28 Years Old

1901 1904

15-22, 1.98 ERA, 198 K, .193, 1 HR, 10 RBI

Hsll of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Complete Games-35

Assists as P-178

Range Factor/9 Inn as P-5.54

3rd Time All-Star-Howell continued to show great skill for a bad team and also perfectly display the limitations of the won-loss record. This season, Howell finished sixth in WAR (6.6), fifth in WAR for Pitchers (6.2), sixth in ERA (1.98), fifth in innings pitched (323), and eighth in Adjusted ERA+ (129).

As for the Browns, Jimmy McAleer coached them to their worst season thus far, a last place 54-99 record. They had the second worst hitting in the league as gauged by OPS+ and the third worst ERA+. What do they say about teams that can’t hit or pitch? Oh yeah, they stink.

SABR says, “The spitter became both a source of Howell’s success and also a contributing factor in his failures. An enthusiastic proponent of the spitball, Howell, according to one report, ‘simply loves to throw the “spitter” and tries his hardest to retire every batter on strikes. When pitching, Howell always has a mouth full of slippery elm and he simply covers the ball with saliva. When Howell is pitching, the infielders always complain about handling the ball.’ The infielders’ difficulty may have contributed to his uneven record, as Howell typically gave up more unearned runs than the average Browns pitcher. In 1905, for example, when Howell went 15-22 despite a 1.98 ERA, he surrendered 38 unearned runs, 35 percent of his total runs allowed. The league average that year was 29 percent, a figure in line with the rest of the St. Louis pitching staff.” I hope St. Louis didn’t have any germophobic infielders.

tannehill4P-Jesse Tannehill, Boston Americans, 30 Years Old

1898 1899 1904

22-9, 2.48 ERA, 113 K, .226, 1 HR, 12 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

4th Time All-Star-Tannehill had another good year, but this is probably his last All-Star team. This season, Powder finished seventh in WAR (6.4) and eighth in WAR for Pitchers (5.5). At this point in his career, Tannehill is 175-94 and looks like he should easily wind up with 200 wins. Spoiler alert, he didn’t. He started declining in 1906, but remained with Boston until 1908, when he was moved midseason to the Senators. He pitched for Washington in 1909 and then didn’t pitch in the majors in 1910. He finished his career pitching one game for the Reds in 1911, giving up seven runs in four-and-a-third innings. Tannehill ended up finishing three wins short of 200.

Wikipedia says, “After retiring as a player, Tannehill managed the Portsmouth Truckers of the Virginia League in 1914. He then served as an umpire in the Ohio State LeagueInternational League, and Western League, before returning to the Majors as a coach for the Philadelphia Philliesin 1920, a stint that lasted one season. In 1923 he managed the Topeka Kaws in the Southwestern League.

“In his later years, Tannehill worked in a Cincinnati machine shop and was a frequent visitor to Crosley Field, the home of the Cincinnati Reds from 1912 to 1970. He died of a stroke at Speers Hospital in Dayton, Campbell County, Kentucky on September 22, 1956.” Tannehill did get a smidgen of Hall of Fame consideration which is fair because when he was good, he was really good. He could have easily made another All-Star team, which would give him five, which puts a player right on that line of being in or out of Cooperstown.

joss

P-Addie Joss, Cleveland Naps, 25 Years Old

20-12, 2.01 ERA, 132 K, .134, 0 HR, 3 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

1st Time All-Star-Adrian “Addie” Joss was born on April 12, 1880 in Woodland, WI. He was tall for his day at six-foot three and weighed in at 185 pounds. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1978 and I’m okay with it. He could have easily made the All-Star team in 1903 when he went 18-13 with a 2.19 ERA or in 1904 when he went 14-10 with a league-leading 1.59 ERA. That would give him three All-Star teams at this point in his career and he would easily make the seven required for him to make my Hall of Fame. However, those things didn’t happen and his career was short, nine seasons, so it’s a toss-up.

Joss actually started for Cleveland in 1902 and would remain with it his whole career, through 1910. This season, he finished eighth in WAR (5.9), seventh in WAR for Pitchers (5.8), seventh in ERA (2.01), and seventh in Adjusted ERA+ (130). He’s got better seasons to come.

Wikipedia says, “Joss’s repertoire included a fastball, a ‘slow ball’ (today known as a changeup), and an ‘extremely effective’ curve. Baseball historians Rob Neyer and Bill James ranked Joss’ fastball third (1900–1904) and sixth (1905–1909) in the major leagues. George Moriarty explained that Joss had only one curveball because ‘he believed that with a few well mastered deliveries he could acquire great control and success with less strain on his arm.’  In an era filled with spitball pitchers, Joss achieved his success without ever altering the baseball. Joss threw with a corkscrew windup motion, described as ‘an exaggerated pinwheel motion.’ Shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh described his windup: ‘He would turn his back toward the batter as he wound up, hiding the ball all the while, and then whip around and fire it in.’”

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P-Al Orth, New York Highlanders, 32 Years Old

1901

18-16, 2.86 ERA, 121 K, .183, 1 HR, 8 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-Since last making the All-Star team for the Phillies in 1901, Orth jumped to the Senators in 1902 and pitched for them until 1904, when he was traded mid-season to the Highlanders. He and Jack Chesbro made a lethal combo this season as Orth finished 10th in WAR (5.9), sixth in WAR for Pitchers (5.9), and 10th in innings pitched (305 1/3).

Led by Clark Griffith, the Highlanders finished in sixth place in the American League with a 71-78 record, dropping from second in 1904. They finished third to last in OPS+ and third in ERA+, getting good pitching from Orth and Chesbro. However, they didn’t 41 wins out of Chesbro this season and it showed.

Orth was a two-way player. According to Wikipedia, “Orth was also known for his hitting skills, finishing seventh all-time among pitchers in hits, with .389. Orth would frequently hit above .300. The left-handed hitter was used as a pinch hitter 78 times and even played the field on a few occasions, including fifty-five games as an outfielder and eight at shortstop during his time with the Washington Senators.”

From SABR: “Shortly after his arrival with the Highlanders, Orth turned his season around, helping to keep New York in the pennant race until the last day of the season with an 11-6 record and league-average 2.68 ERA. Orth’s turnaround was probably due in part to teammate Jack Chesbro, who rode the spitball to a 41-win season that year. Orth himself said he first used the spitball at the end of the 1904 season and considered the pitch ‘more effective than a curve’ with a ‘quicker break.’ Orth threw it ‘regularly’ in the 1905 season, as he posted an 18-16 record with a 2.86 ERA for the sixth place Highlanders.”

chesbro5

P-Jack Chesbro, New York Highlanders, 31 Years Old

1901 1902 1903 1904

19-15, 2.20 ERA, 156 K, .188, 0 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

5th Time All-Star-It’s worth asking the question of whether it was worth it to future of the Highlanders to pitch Chesbro 454 innings in 1904, despite his incredible results. He’s probably got one more All-Star team after this season and then would fade quickly. How many pitches does a Major League’s pitcher have in it anyway? Just don’t include Cy Young in that equation, because he’s a freak. Happy Jack has now made five All-Star teams in a row, but Young is up to 15 in a row and isn’t done yet. Cyclone should have his own Hall of Fame.

Led by his spitball, Chesbro finished ninth in WAR for Pitchers (5.3), 10th in ERA (2.20), and fifth in Adjusted ERA+ (133). His problem was he pitched 150 fewer innings than in 1904.

Wikipedia mentions, “Before the 1905 season, Chesbro announced that he had created a pitch he called the ‘jump ball’. He struggled in the 1905 season, registering a 19-15 record. During the 1905 season, Chesbro was involved in the first squeeze play in baseball. At third base, Chesbro mistakenly thought he had received a steal sign from manager Clark Griffith, while Willie Keeler bunted for a hit. As Chesbro scored, Griffith made a note of the play and taught it in spring training the following season.”

It’s not clear how successful Chesbro would be nowadays, with the outlawing of the spitball and new balls being put in play every few pitches. But for his era, Chesbro was one of the best — for a little while.

hughest

P-Tom Hughes, Washington Senators, 26 Years Old

17-20, 2.35 ERA, 149 K, .212, 1 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 17 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

1st Time All-Star-Thomas James “Long Tom” Hughes was born on November 29, 1878 in Chicago, IL. Apparently being six-foot-one and 175 pounds garnered the moniker of “Long” in those days. He started with Chicago in the National League in 1900-01, before moving to the American League in 1902 where he pitched for both Baltimore and Boston. In 1903, he had an outstanding 20-7 record for the Americans in helping them win the first World Series. In the Series, he started one game, lasting only two innings and giving up three runs, two of them earned. The year 1904 found him pitching for both New York and finally Washington, where he will remain for the rest of his career. This season, he made the All-Star team as Washington’s best player, pitching 291 1/3 innings with a 2.35 ERA.

The Senators, coached by Jake Stahl, did move up from eighth to seventh this year with a 68=83 record. They were last in OPS+ and ERA+, but still finished 11 games ahead of the last place Browns.

SABR says, “In 1905, Hughes enjoyed one of his best seasons in Washington, finishing the year with a 2.35 ERA in 291 1/3 innings, though his 17 wins were offset by 20 losses. He pitched six shutouts, five over the same team, the Cleveland Naps. ‘His one ambition this season has been to be the master of that team of heavy-hitters at Cleveland,’ the Washington Post reported. ‘And now that he has succeeded…the baseball world is talking about his achievement. Hughes is regarded by ball players as one of the most skilled pitchers in either big league. They claim he has no superior when he wants to exercise all his pitching talents. But Tom doesn’t always feel that way.’ At season’s end, one Washington paper collected money for a fan testimonial for ‘Long Tom.’ In appreciation for his efforts, the fans presented Hughes with a diamond scarf pin in the shape of a fleur-de-lis.”

mcfarland4

C-Ed McFarland, Chicago White Sox, 31 Years Old

1898 1899 1900

.280, 0 HR, 31 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

4th Time All-Star-In McFarland’s 1900 blurb, I wrote, “Catcher is the hardest position in which to predict future All-Star teams. My guess would be McFarland is done making them, but who knows.” It is almost impossible to predict the future for backstops, but in a weak year at the position, McFarland, five years after last making an All-Star team, is back. He slashed .280/.345/.364 for an OPS+ of 129 in 80 games, which isn’t bad at all for a catcher. Okay, NOW he’s done making All-Star teams.

McFarland will, however, be a part of the White Sox 1906 pennant-winning team and actually get one at bat in the World Series. He grounded out to third. Hey, have you played in the World Series? Then don’t judge!

Of his later life, SABR says, “After baseball McFarland became, according to a nephew, a landlord. He apparently didn’t keep up with former teammates or others in baseball; National League President Ford Frick at one point issued an appeal to the public to locate a couple of dozen major leaguers – including McFarland – with whom the league had lost touch. In 1942, in the year he turned 69, McFarland married Zelda Palmer.

“McFarland had to have had a strong constitution, since he lived to the age of 86. In November 1959 he suffered a fall that broke his pelvis, and after undergoing treatment at Cleveland’s Huron Road Hospital, McFarland died on November 28.” That’s an incredibly long life for someone who struggled with drinking throughout his Major League career.

schrecongost3

C-Ossee Schrecongost, Philadelphia Athletics, 30 Years Old

1899 1903

.271, 0 HR, 45 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 20 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as C-114

Putouts as C-790 (4th Time)

Double Plays Turned as C-11

Range Factor/9 Inn as C-8.19 (4th Time)

Range Factor/Game as C-7.94 (4th Time)

Fielding % as C-.984

3rd Time All-Star-Schrecongost may have had his best season ever this year, finishing sixth in Defensive WAR (1.3). He’s most famous for being Rube Waddell’s catcher, but he was a fine player on his own. In the World Series, Shrek (yes!) went two for nine with a double. His .222 average in the Series was below only Topsy Hartsel’s .235. The team, as a whole, hit only .155 against the tough Giants’ staff. How many players can say they doubled off the amazing Christy Mathewson in a World Series. Shrek can!

Of his 1905 year, SABR states, “Osee’s 1905 season got off to a halting start. He missed most of spring training, with his father dying and then, not long after he returned to camp, his sister, Annie, died and he had to go back home once more.

“Things turned around in 1905. Schreck hit .271, drove in 45 runs, improved his fielding percentage to .984 in 123 games, and helped roommate Waddell post a 27-10 record with an ERA of 1.48 (leading the league in wins and ERA), and helping boost the Athletics from 1904’s fifth place to the pennant. He set a record, catching 29 innings in one day, on July 4, 1905, in Boston. This year was his worst one, though, for working bases on balls. He came to the plate 429 times and walked just three times.” You should read the whole SABR article for a comprehensive look at the relationship between Waddell and Schrecongost. It’s very amusing!

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1B-Harry Davis, Philadelphia Athletics, 31 Years Old

1904

.285, 8 HR, 83 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons. 16 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Runs Scored-93

Doubles-47 (2nd Time)

Home Runs-8 (2nd Time)

Runs Batted In-83

Extra Base Hits-61

Power-Speed #-13.1 (2nd Time)

AB per HR-75.9 (2nd Time)

Def. Games as 1B-150

2nd Time All-Star-Oh, if Davis could have been born in a time when homers really mattered, he’d be all over the Hall of Fame. He led the American League in homers for the second straight season while also finishing ninth in WAR (5.9), second in WAR Position Players (5.9), fifth in Offensive WAR (4.8), eighth in batting (.285), fourth in slugging (.422), fifth in steals (36), and sixth in Adjusted OPS+ (137). Davis also helped the Athletics make the World Series where he went four-for-20 with a double in a losing cause.

SABR says, “Long before Babe Ruth revolutionized the game with the home run, during a period when hitting a baseball was likened by some to swatting a cabbage, Harry Davis was one of the country’s most feared sluggers. Known today primarily for leading the American League in home runs four consecutive seasons, the right-handed Davis was as apt to win games with his brains as he was with his bat. Hand picked by Connie Mack, he was the heart and soul of the early Philadelphia Athletics teams who dominated the newly formed A.L., winning six titles and three World Series. Davis really had two separate major league careers: one before 1900 and the other after; one as an itinerant player without a steady team or position, the other as the cornerstone of a dynasty. He was credited with being ‘at least 25 per cent of the brains of the Philadelphia American League baseball club.’ Over a career that spanned more than thirty years as a player, coach, manager and scout, Harry Davis was one of the most respected and admired figures in baseball.”

donahuej

1B-Jiggs Donahue, Chicago White Sox, 25 Years Old

.287, 1 HR, 76 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Putouts-1,645

Putouts as 1B-1,645

Assists as 1B-114

Double Plays Turned as 1B-77

Fielding % as 1B-.988

1st Time All-Star-John Augustus “Jiggs” Donahue was born on July 13, 1879 in Springfield, OH. The six-foot-one, 178 pound first baseman received his nickname as a youngster, according to SABR, which says, “As a young teen John worked at a cigar store in the downtown arcade. Never one to stay indoors, when the store wasn’t busy he stepped outside and did dance steps. Customers started calling him Jiggers, after the Chigoe flea, or jigger. The nickname was later shortened to Jiggs.”

Donahue started in 1900 playing three games for Pittsburgh and then played two games for the Pirates in 1901, before jumping to the American League and becoming a full-time catcher for Milwaukee, which then became the Browns in 1902. After a year off, he came to Chicago in 1904, now being moved to first base, a position at which he was a natural. This season, Jiggs finished seventh in WAR Position Players (5.0), seventh in batting (.287), ninth in on-base percentage (.346), and eighth in steals (32). It was his best season ever.

Wikipedia says, “Donahue had his greatest success from 1904 to 1908, after switching to first base for the Chicago White Sox. Donahue’s defensive skills were a key to the White Sox’ 1906 World Series championship team, and he led American League first basemen in fielding percentage, assists, and putouts for 3 consecutive seasons, from 1905 to 1907. In 1907, Donahue had 1,846 putouts, which is still the major league record for putouts by a first baseman. He also holds the major league single season record for most chances accepted per game with 12.65 in 1907.”

murphy2

2B-Danny Murphy, Philadelphia Athletics, 28 Years Old

1904

.277, 6 HR, 71 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as 2B-151

2nd Time All-Star-With an injury besetting Nap Lajoie, Murphy became the top second baseman in the American League, at least for one season. He finished fifth in WAR Position Players (5.3), eighth in Offensive WAR (4.4), 10th in slugging (.389), and 10th in Adjusted OPS+ (128). In the World Series, Murph struggled, as did most of the Athletics, going three-for-16 with a double, as the A’s lost to the Giants, 4-1. Or as SABR recaps it, “Philadelphia made its first World Series appearance in 1905 as Murphy smacked 42 extra base hits and tied for third in the AL with six home runs. The smart little second sacker batted .277 during the season, but collected just three hits in 16 at-bats as the Mackmen were blanked three times by Danny’s old Giants teammate, Christy Mathewson.” In the Series, Murphy also committed four errors.

The fact that Murphy’s .389 slugging percentage ended up in the top 10 in the American League shows how low run production was during this Deadball Era of baseball. Teams in the Junior Circuit averaged just 3.68 runs per game and almost 30 percent of those were unearned. It was a time of banjo hitting, sacrifice bunting, and shutdown pitching. The AL started in 1901 averaging 5.35 runs per game, but it continued to drop. By 1908 and 1909, runs scored per game will be at their lowest ever, 3.44. At least until 1968. I’ve always liked the Earl Weaver three-run homer strategy and that’s what it looks like nowadays in 2017, but I do have nostalgia for bunting, hit-and-running, and steals.

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3B-Bill Bradley, Cleveland Naps, 27 Years Old

1902 1903 1904

.268, 0 HR, 51 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require five more All-Star seasons. 20 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Putouts as 3B-190 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as 3B-17 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as 3B-.945 (3rd Time)

4th Time All-Star-When considering the low-scoring era in which he toiled, there weren’t too many stretches matching Bradley’s play in the early 1900s. This season, he finished eighth in WAR Position Players (5.0) and third in Defensive WAR (1.7), His hitting, which was sensational the past few years, started to decline in 1905 and would never get back to where it was. It was the beginning of the end for the great third baseman.

Bradley also took over the managerial reins for Nap Lajoie late in the year. After Lajoie coached the team to a 56-57 record, the third baseman managed Cleveland to a 20-21 record the rest of the season. The Naps dropped from fourth to fifth place with a 76-78 record.

SABR says, “But things began to unravel for Bradley during the 1905 season, when he was diagnosed with ‘autotoxicity’, a stomach ailment. Weakened by the illness, Bradley’s batting average plummeted to .268, and for the first time in his career he failed to hit a single home run.

“Even his personal life had taken a turn toward the macabre. In November, 1905, a 36-year-old book agent, Christian Schlather, entered the Bradley home, fondled Bradley’s 14-year-old sister, Alice, and threatened to kill her if she would not elope with him. When she met the man later, Bill jumped out and thoroughly thrashed Schlather, who was later convicted of intoxication, carrying concealed weapons, and assault and battery. The would-be kidnapper and rapist was almost lynched by a hostile crowd of Bradley supporters before police arrived.”

collins7

3B-Jimmy Collins, Boston Americans, 35 Years Old

1897 1898 1901 1902 1903 1904

.276, 4 HR, 65 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

7th Time All-Star-I sometimes wonder if we appreciate when we’re watching the all-time greats. Of course, I’m sure the Boston fans had great appreciation for the career of Cy Young, but did they realize they were watching one of the great third basemen of all time. This has a good chance of being his last All-Star team, but Collins shined for a long time at a tough position and most of this while also managing the team. Look at Cy Young’s blurb to see the list of leaders by position in All-Star teams made.

Collins finished ninth in Offensive WAR (4.0) and ninth in Defensive WAR (1.1). As a manager, his team dropped from first to fourth as the Americans finished with a 78-74 record.

After this season, Collins would remain with Boston until 1907 when he was traded to Philadelphia. He would finish as a player for the Athletics in 1908. Despite a lifetime 455-376 as a manager for Boston from 1901-06, he’d never manage again. As a hitter, he’d finish his career with a lifetime 53.2 WAR, a .294 average, 65 homers and 983 runs batted in. His stats would seem more impressive had he played in almost any other era of baseball.

Wikipedia states, “When Collins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1945, he was the first to be chosen primarily as a third baseman. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. Collins became a charter member of the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame in 1985.

“Jimmy Collins married Sarah Murphy in 1907, and the couple had two daughters. After his retirement from baseball, they moved back to Buffalo, where Collins worked for the Buffalo Parks Department. Collins died of pneumonia on March 6, 1943 at the age of 73.”

davis9SS-George Davis, Chicago White Sox, 34 Years Old

1893 1894 1897 1899 1900 1901 1902 1904

.278, 1 HR, 55 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

WAR Position Players-7.2

Defensive WAR-2.8 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as SS-56 (4th Time)

Fielding % as SS-.948 (4th Time)

9th Time All-Star-Back in the 1800s, Jack Glasscock dominated at the shortstop position. He had the misfortune of not playing on any winning teams and didn’t get the recognition due. He’s still not in the Hall of Fame. Having the difficult task of comparing different eras, I’d give Glasscock the nod over Davis, but Davis is a great one to be sure. He’s not Honus Wagner, but who is? It’s like saying the great pitchers are not Cy Young. Well, of course they aren’t, because no one is. There’s a reason the best pitcher wins the Cy Young Award and not the Jack Chesbro Award.

This season, Davis had his best season ever, finishing fifth in WAR (7.2), first in WAR Position Players (7.2), second in Offensive WAR (5.5), first in Defensive WAR (2.8), 10th in batting (.278), sixth in on-base percentage (.353), and ninth in steals (31). Just an outstanding overall season, all at the age of 34.

SABR’s overall synopsis of Davis’ career says, “Known as ‘Gorgeous George’ for his graceful play and blond locks, George Davis established himself as one of the game’s most well-rounded players during his 20 seasons in the major leagues. At the plate, the switch-hitting Davis was a model of consistency, batting better than .300 every year from 1893 to 1901. In the field, the shortstop was steady and reliable, leading his league in fielding percentage four times. On the basepaths, the 5’9″, 180-pounder was a constant threat, swiping 619 bases in his career, the third most ever by a player whose primary position was shortstop, behind Honus Wagner and Bert Campaneris. John McGraw described Davis as ‘an exceptionally quick thinker,’ a reputation which led to Davis spending time as the manager of the New York Giants. Yet despite his many achievements, Davis vanished from sight after his career ended and died in obscurity.”

wallace7

SS-Bobby Wallace, St. Louis Browns, 31 Years Old

1898 1899 1901 1902 1903 1904

.271, 1 HR, 59 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

Led in:

 

Games Played-156

Def. Games as SS-156

7th Time All-Star-Did the baseball fans of this era realize they were watching four of the greatest shortstops of all time? They got to watch the powerful Honus Wagner, who couldn’t field as well as the next three, but was the best of them all. Then there was George Davis, whose hitting prowess was dimmed by playing in the Deadball Era, but still great with the bat and the glove. Bill Dahlen, the only of these four who isn’t in Cooperstown, though he is in my Hall of Fame, was steady at the position year after year. Finally, there’s Wallace, playing every game for terrible teams for basically his entire career. He was the wizard with the glove at a time that was rare in baseball.

This season, Wallace finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.2), third in Offensive WAR (5.1), and fifth in Defensive WAR (1.3). He’s got a good shot at making the ONEHOF in the next couple years.

SABR says, “During his prime years with the Browns, Bobby was a fearsome hitter; though his batting average never surpassed .285 during his 15-year stay with the club, Wallace at various times ranked among AL leaders in hits, walks, total bases, doubles, triples, and slugging percentage. He was also almost annually among the RBI leaders, ranking in the top ten during eight out of 12 seasons from 1897-1908.” There have definitely been many shortstops over the history of baseball who fit the no-hit, all-glove stereotype, but Wallace isn’t one of them. He could do both equally well.

stone

LF-George Stone, St. Louis Browns, 28 Years Old

.296, 7 HR, 52 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 11 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

At Bats-632

Plate Appearances-691

Hits-187

Total Bases-259

Runs Created-89

Def. Games as OF-154

1st Time All-Star-George Robert Stone was born on September 3, 1876 in Lost Nation, IA. (That’s an awesome name for a town.) Stone started with the Boston Americans in 1903, playing two games and having only two at bats. He struck out both times. He didn’t play in 1904, but became the starting leftfielder with the Browns this season and Stone lit it up from the very beginning. He finished 10th in WAR Position Players (4.8), fifth in Offensive WAR (4.8), sixth in batting (.296), eighth in on-base percentage (.347), fifth in slugging (.410), and fourth in Adjusted OPS+ (144).

SABR says of his stance, “Stone’s batting style was the subject of considerable fanfare. ‘When [Stone] first joined the Browns he was let go by Boston because Jimmy Collins did not like his style and considered him a doubtful batter owing to it,’ The Sporting News remarked in 1906. ‘Stone crouched down over the plate, with his bat tight against his shoulder, took two steps and soaked the ball for all he was worth…His explanation of the advantages of the crouch is that it gets the eyes in a better position to follow the ball, as they are almost on a direct line with any delivery that comes over the plate. Secondly, the crouch sets the muscles so that a quick chop can be taken at the ball instead of the longer swing employed by most players. As a matter of fact, Stone can and does hit the ball with terrific force, when it looks as though he is going to let it pass without attempting to hit it, so close is the leather to him before he starts his stroke.’”

hartsel2

LF-Topsy Hartsel, Philadelphia Athletics, 31 Years Old

1901

.275, 0 HR, 28 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

On-Base %-.409

Bases on Balls-121 (2nd Time)

Times on Base-270

2nd Time All-Star-Hartsel made the National League All-Star team in 1901 for the Orphans, then jumped to the American League Athletics after the season. He played well from 1902-04, just not good enough to make the All-Star team, despite leading the AL in steals and walks in 1902. This season, Hartsel finished seventh in Offensive WAR (4.7), first in on-base percentage (.409), fourth in steals (37), and fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (138). In the World Series, Topsy topped Philadelphia in batting average, hitting .235 (four-for-17) with one double and two steals.

SABR says, “Standing just 5’5″ and a stocky 169 pounds, Topsy Hartsel used his small size to become the most effective leadoff batter of the Deadball Era. During his 10 seasons with the Athletics, Hartsel led the American League in walks five times, on base percentage twice, and runs scored once. His 121 free passes in 1905 remained the American League record until Babe Ruth shattered it in 1920. Batting at the top of Connie Mack’s order and playing a solid left field, he set the table for some of the era’s best teams as his Philadelphia Athletics won four pennants during his ten year tenure with the club. The Sporting News said on reporting his death in 1944, ‘Though never an outstanding batsman, Hartsel, who was only five feet five inches tall, was one of the game’s greatest leadoff men. He was a lefthanded hitter, very fast, with an uncanny eye at the bat. And once he got on base he was a difficult man to stop.’”

jonesf3CF-Fielder Jones, Chicago White Sox, 33 Years Old

1901 1902

.245, 2 HR, 38 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

3rd Time All-Star-Though I say Jones has a 75 percent chance of making my Hall of Fame, the truth is he’s not going to. It would have helped if he made the All-Star team in either 1903 or 1904. As a matter of fact, if he would have made either of those teams, he’d most definitely be in my Hall of Fame. That was Fielder’s problem. He had five full-time seasons before he made his first All-Star team at the age of 29 and then had a couple more seasons in his prime that weren’t among the league’s very best.

This season, Jones finished ninth in WAR Position Players (4.9) and  eighth in Defensive WAR (1.2). (Hey, he really is living up to this name!) He also managed the White Sox, who moved up from third to second. Chicago played to a 92-60 record as George Davis helped it finish third in OPS+ and first in ERA+ (124), despite not having any All-Star pitchers. Next year, fielding and pitching will lead the team to a World Series title and give them the nickname, “Hitless Wonders.”

SABR states the same thing, saying, “The White Sox moved up to second place in 1905, just two games behind Philadelphia. The pitching staff was the best in the AL and the team was second in runs scored. The Sox weren’t eliminated from the race until they dropped two of three to the Athletics late in September. According to STATS, Jones’ squad won 10 more games than expected.”

crawford4

RF-Sam Crawford, Detroit Tigers, 25 Years Old

1901 1902 1903

.297, 6 HR, 75 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Fielding % as OF-.988

4th Time All-Star-After an off-season in 1904, Crawford is back on the All-Star team and also made my Hall of Fame. Congratulations, Wahoo Sam! This season, he finished third in WAR Position Players (5.3), third in Offensive WAR (5.1), fourth in batting (.297), fourth in on-base percentage (.357), third in slugging (.430), and third in Adjusted OPS+ (148).

Ty Cobb joined the Tigers this season and he and Crawford would be teammates for 13 seasons. Wikipedia has much to say about the relationship of these two superstars, stating, “Sam Crawford and Ty Cobb were teammates for parts of 13 seasons. They played beside each other in right and center field, and Crawford followed Cobb in the batting order year after year. Despite the physical closeness, the two had a complicated relationship.

“Initially, they had a student-teacher relationship. Crawford was an established star when Cobb arrived, and Cobb eagerly sought his advice. In interviews with Al Stump, Cobb told of studying Crawford’s base-stealing technique and of how Crawford would teach him about pursuing fly balls and throwing out base runners. Cobb told Stump he would always remember Crawford’s kindness.

“The student-teacher relationship gradually changed to one of jealous rivals. Cobb was unpopular with his teammates, and as he became the biggest star in baseball, Crawford was unhappy with the preferential treatment given Cobb. Cobb was allowed to report late for spring training and given private quarters on the road – privileges not offered to Crawford. The competition between the two was intense.”

flick6

RF-Elmer Flick, Cleveland Naps, 29 Years Old

1898 1900 1901 1903 1904

.308, 4 HR, 64 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

1905 AL Batting Title

Offensive WAR-5.5

Batting Average-.308

Slugging %-.462

On-Base Plus Slugging-.845

Triples-18

Adjusted OPS+-166

Adj. Batting Runs-38 (2nd Time)

Adj. Batting Wins-4.5 (2nd Time)

Offensive Win %-.789

 

6th Time All-Star-In an era with Honus Wagner and Ty Cobb, it’s easy to forget about the contributions of Elmer Harrison Flick. Yet there weren’t too many better than this short rightfielder, as he constantly showed his prowess in the American League. This season, his .308 average led the league, which was the lowest figure to lead the AL until Carl Yastrzemski’s .301 in 1968. He also finished fourth in WAR Position Players (5.3), first in Offensive WAR (5.5), second in on-base percentage (.383), first in slugging (.462), seventh in steals (35), and first in Adjusted OPS+ (166). That .462 slugging is the lowest to ever lead the Junior Circuit.

Flick’s family will also make the journey to Carter Lake, IA, for his Ron’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. He made his sixth All-Star team multiplied by his 53.2 career WAR putting him over 300, which is all it takes to make my Hall of Fame. It’s much tougher to make the ONEHOF, which only inducts the one player a year who is the best that is not currently in the One-a-Year Hall of Fame and Flick might make that one, too.

SABR says,Best known as the player who Cleveland would not trade for the young Ty Cobb or as the man who won the American League batting title with the lowest average prior to 1968, Elmer Flick was more than just an answer to a trivia question.  An underrated Hall of Famer whose on-the-field accomplishments are nearly forgotten today, Flick was a hard-hitting, fleet-footed outfielder who had his major league career curtailed by a mysterious gastrointestinal ailment.”

seybold2

RF-Socks Seybold, Philadelphia Athletics, 34 Years Old

1902

.274, 6 HR, 59 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 11 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

2nd Time All-Star-I’m not sure anyone who played their rookie year at the age of 30 or older ever had a better career than Seybold. This season, he finished seventh in slugging (.402) and eighth in Adjusted OPS+ (133). Then, like so many of the Athletics, his bat went silent in the World Series. Seybold was two-for-16 with no extra base hits in the Fall Classic as Philadelphia lost to the Giants, 4-1.

After this season, Seybold would play three more years with the Athletics before retiring after the 1908 season. Altogether, in nine seasons, Seybold had a 24.4 career WAR with a 294 average, 51 homers, and 556 RBI. It doesn’t look great, but he didn’t play fulltime in the Major Leagues until he was 30-years-old.

Wikipedia says of his later life, “At the end of July 1919, Babe Ruth equaled Seybold’s American League record of 16 home runs in a season; Ruth went on to hit 29 homers in 1919.

“Seybold was married but had no children. His wife, Wilhelmina ‘Minnie’ Heitz, died in 1917. In his later years, Seybold was employed as a steward of a social club (Fraternal Order of Eagles) in Jeannette, Pennsylvania. In 1921, Seybold was driving a car when it overturned at a sharp curve on the Lincoln Highway east of Jeanette; he was killed instantly. He left an estate valued at $20,000. Seybold was buried next to his wife at Brush Creek Cemetery in Irwin.” Seybold had a short career and short life, but packed a lot into it.

5 thoughts on “1905 American League All-Star Team

  1. Knew about the questions concerning Waddell’s 1905 “injury.” Didn’t realize there was a mock trial about it. Will have to look up the particulars.
    Thanks for letting me know.
    v

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