1907 American League All-Star Team

P-Ed Killian, DET

P-Cy Young, BOS

P-Ed Walsh, CHW

P-Eddie Plank, PHA

P-Addie Joss, CLE

P-Bill Donovan, DET

P-Ed Siever, DET

P-Chief Bender, PHA

P-Jack Chesbro, NYY

P-Charlie Smith, WSH

C-Nig Clarke, CLE

C-Ossee Schrecongost, PHA

1B-Harry Davis, PHA

2B-Nap Lajoie, CLE

3B-Jimmy Collins, BOS/PHA

SS-Bobby Wallace, SLB

SS-George Davis, CHW

SS-Terry Turner, CLE

LF-George Stone, SLB

LF-Topsy Hartsel, PHA

LF-Davy Jones, DET

CF-Sam Crawford, DET

CF-Fielder Jones, CHW

RF-Ty Cobb, DET

RF-Elmer Flick, CLE

 

killian2

P-Ed Killian, Detroit Tigers, 30 Years Old, MVP

1905

25-13, 1.78 ERA, 96 K, .320, 0 HR, 11 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Wins Above Replacement-8.1

2nd Time All-Star-Killian didn’t make the All-Star team in 1906 due to only 149 2/3 innings pitched and a 3.43 ERA, but he came back this season with his best season ever. He finished first in WAR (8.1); third in WAR for Pitchers (6.6), behind Chicago’s Ed Walsh (7.7) and Boston’s Cy Young (7.6); second in ERA (1.78), behind only Walsh (1.60); seventh in innings pitched (314); and second in Adjusted ERA+ (146), trailing only Walsh (150). What put his season over the top was his great hitting as he slashed .320/.346/.410 for an OPS+ of 138. Killian’s hitting was so good, he actually got playing time in the field.

Hughie Jennings took over the reins from Bill Armour after Detroit finished sixth in 1906 and led it to the American League pennant. The Tigers finished 92-58, one-and-a-half games ahead of Philadelphia. They had the league’s best hitting, led by Ty Cobb, and the league’s best pitching, led by Killian. As of September 15, Detroit still trailed in the standings by three games, but a 10-game winning streak towards the end of the season put it on top to stay. In the World Series, they couldn’t overcome the Cubs juggernaut and were swept, 4-0-1.

Killian pitched relief in Game 3 and allowed one run in four innings. His hitting continued to be spectacular as he singled for one of Detroit’s six hits.

This was the last of the great seasons for Twilight Ed. He pitched three more years with the Tigers, never pitching over 180 2/3 innings and finished his career 103-78 with a 26.8 Career WAR and a 2.38 ERA.

young16P-Cy Young, Boston Americans, 40 Years Old

1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905

21-15, 1.99 ERA, 147 K, .216, 1 HR, 5 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Walks & Hits per IP-0.982 (7th Time)

16th Time All-Star-For 15 consecutive years, I had to write about the great Cy Young, as he made the All-Star team every year from 1891 to 1905. When he didn’t make it last year, I thought about shutting everything down, because the world just didn’t make sense anymore! Yet, he’s back, at the age of 40, still dominating on the mound. He has made more All-Star teams than any other pitcher. The leaders at every position are:

P-Cy Young, 16

C-Charlie Bennett, 9

1B-Cap Anson, 13

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

3B-Jimmy Collins, 8

SS-Jack Glasscock, 11

LF-Ed Delahanty, 9

CF-Paul Hines, 8

RF-Sam Thompson, Elmer Flick, 7

Cyclone finished second in WAR (7.9), behind only Detroit’s Ed Killian (8.1); second in WAR for Pitchers (7.6), behind only Chicago’s Ed Walsh (7.7); fifth in ERA (1.99); fourth in innings pitched (343 1/3); and fifth in Adjusted ERA+ (129). This was a great season for anyone, but an unbelievable season for a 40 year old.

Boston fell apart in 1906, dropping to last place. This season, it improved to seventh but was still bad. Young coached the first six games and went 3-3. The Americans also put George Huff (2-6), Bob Unglaub (9-20), and Deacon McGuire (45-61) at the helm. They finished 59-90 with the worst hitting in the league and only mediocre pitching when Young wasn’t on the mound.

If I had to guess, Young has just one All-Star team left, in 1908. This will tie him Cap Anson for most All-Star teams made with 17.

walsh2

P-Ed Walsh, Chicago White Sox, 26 Years Old

1906

24-18, 1.60 ERA, 206 K, .162, 1 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

1907 AL Pitching Title

WAR for Pitchers-7.7

Earned Run Average-1.60

Games Played-56

Saves-4

Innings Pitched-422 1/3

Games Started-46

Complete Games-37

Wild Pitches-14

Batters Faced-1,622

Adjusted ERA+-150

Adj. Pitching Runs-36

Adj. Pitching Wins-4.1

Def. Games as P-56

Assists as P-227

Range Factor/9 Inn as P-5.59

2nd Time All-Star-Oh, what a different era it was in Walsh’s day. Pitchers could still pitch over 400 innings back then. Well, actually only Walsh, who was the first pitcher to throw that many innings since Jack Chesbro in 1904 and will be the last pitcher to throw over 400 innings ever in 1908. At least until the day when robots have taken over baseball. This season, Walsh finished fourth in WAR (7.6), first in WAR for Pitchers (7.7), first in ERA (1.60), first in innings pitched (422 1/3), and first in Adjusted ERA+ (150). He was easily the best pitcher in the league at this time.

From How Stuff Works: “Besides acquiring the best spitter in the game, Walsh also worked overtime to improve his fielding. A liability to himself early in his career, Walsh by 1907 had become his own biggest asset. That year he collected 227 assists, an all-time record for pitchers. Walsh also won 24 games in 1907 and worked 422 innings, but both figures were dwarfed by what he accomplished the following year.”

Bleacher Report says, “The next year, Walsh went 24-18 with a 1.60 earned run average. The less then impressive record is misleading, though. Walsh had eight losses in which he allowed two or less runs and lost. He had 37 complete games in 46 starts and pitched 422 innings. His ERA also led the league.” Most articles you read paint Walsh as the best White Sox pitcher ever and that certainly looks to be the case. However, it’s important to remember that as good of pitcher as Big Ed was, his ERA is a result of the time in which he pitched, the Deadball Era.

plank6P-Eddie Plank, Philadelphia Athletics, 31 Years Old

1901 1902 1903 1904 1905

24-16, 2.20 ERA, 183 K, .211, 1 HR, 9 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Shutouts-8

6th Time All-Star-There is a sadness that comes over me when I write about Gettysburg Eddie. I just want to write about one year where he dominates the league and gets his due. But that wasn’t him. He was only once in the top three in WAR and that was in 1915 in the Federal League and he was only in the top three in WAR for Pitchers twice, once in 1903 and once again for the FL. He pitched in a pitcher’s era against some phenomenal pitchers like his teammate, Rube Waddell; the rubber-armed Cy Young; and the dazzling Ed Walsh. Plank was never the best, but he was consistently good.

This season, Plank finished sixth in WAR (6.6); fifth in WAR for Pitchers (6.2); and third in innings pitched (343 2/3), behind Chicago’s Walsh (422 1/3) and Detroit’s George Mullin (357 1/3).

As for the Athletics, they finished just one-and-a-half games out of first place. Connie Mack managed the team to a 88-57 record, as it relied on its hitting, second best in the league and led by leftfielder Topsy Hartsel, and its pitching, also second best in the league, dominated by Plank.

SABR says, “Appearing in a league-leading 43 games in 1907, the southpaw went back to his usual chores, pitching 343 2/3 innings and returning to the 20-win club, going 24-16 with a 2.20 ERA and a league-high eight shutouts. In addition, he was third in the league with 183 strikeouts. The year would be his last venture into 300 or more innings, as he would never again pitch more than 268 1/3 innings in any season, and that would be in the Federal League in 1915.”

joss3

P-Addie Joss, Cleveland Naps, 27 Years Old

1905 1906

27-11, 1.83 ERA, 127 K, .114, 0 HR, 6 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Wins-27

3rd Time All-Star-If you look at the 1930s, you would think there were a plethora of incredible batters during that era. It’s the same as if you look at the 1890s. Yet every era has to be judged on its own merits. There were many good pitchers in the 1900s, including Joss, but it was also a pitcher’s era. We look at earned run averages below 2.00 and are dazzled, but it actually happened pretty frequently during this decade. I’m not trying to take away from Joss, who was a great pitcher for a short time, but fairness dictates rating people by their own peers, not our own preconceived notions of good and bad.

Joss finished eighth in WAR (5.6); fourth in WAR for Pitchers (6.3); third in ERA (1.83), behind Chicago’s Ed Walsh (1.60) and Detroit’s Ed Killian (1.78); fifth in innings pitched (338 2/3); and third in Adjusted ERA+ (136), trailing Walsh (150) and Killian (146).

SABR says, “Joss won his first ten starts in a row to begin the 1907 season. That year he would tie for the American League lead with 27 victories. One of these victories was on September 5, when he threw a one-hitter against the Detroit Tigers. Three weeks later, on September 25, Joss fired another one-hitter, this time against the New York Highlanders. The following day, teammate Heinie Berger followed with his own one-hitter, marking the second time since 1900 that teammates threw back-to-back one-hitters.” What this man could have done with a longer career, eh?

donovan3

P-Bill Donovan, Detroit Tigers, 30 Years Old

1901 1903

25-4, 2.19 ERA, 123 K, .266, 0 HR, 19 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Win-Loss %-.862

3rd Time All-Star-It’s been four years since Wild Bill Donovan made an All-Star team and it looked like his 1906 season, when he was 29 years old could have done him in. He had an ERA+ of 87 and a disappointing 9-15 record. But playing with the good run support Detroit gave him this year seemed to inspire him and he had a good season, finishing 10th in WAR (5.6) and eighth in WAR for Pitchers (4.7). The usually anemic hitter also boosted his batting stats, slashing .266/.304/.367 for an Adjusted OPS+ of 111, easily his best year at the bat in his career.

In the World Series, he pitched 12 innings in Game 1, allowing 10 hits and three runs, only one of which was earned. That game ended up in a tie. Then in Game 4, with the Cubs leading the Tigers 2-0-1, Donovan pitched another complete game, but gave up six runs (three earned) in a 6-1 loss.

SABR says, “Under new manager Hughie Jennings, Wild Bill bounced back in a big way. Donovan enjoyed his finest season in 1907, when he posted a 25-4 record with a 2.19 ERA, despite missing the first six weeks of the season because he wasn’t ‘in shape’ to pitch. In The Neyer/James Guide to Pitchers, a Bill James statistical analysis proclaims Donovan’s 1907 campaign the luckiest pitching season in baseball history; according to James, Donovan’s merely passable ERA should have produced a record more like 16-13. In the campaign’s most crucial series, Donovan escaped two bases loaded jams to defeat Philadelphia 5-4 on the last Friday in September, and after two off days, came back Monday to pitch all 17 innings of a tie game, the last 10 brilliantly, to keep Detroit in first place.”

siever3

P-Ed Siever, Detroit Tigers, 32 Years Old

1901 1902

18-11, 2.16 ERA, 88 K, .160, 0 HR, 4 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

3rd Time All-Star-Wikipedia gives details of Siever’s life since making the All-Star team in 1902. “In December 1902, contract negotiations between the Tigers and Siever broke down over money. In the end, Siever was sold to the St. Louis Browns. In 1903, he compiled a record of 13-14 with a 2.48 ERA in 254 innings pitched. The following year, he had a 10-15 record 2.65 ERA in 29 games with the Browns.

“In January 1905, the Browns released Siever to the Indianapolis Indians in the minor leagues. He ended up with the Minneapolis Millers and, with his arm in “perfect working order,” compiled a 23-11 record with a 2.74 ERA in 35 games for the Millers.

“In February 1906, Siever signed with the Detroit Tigers. He appeared in 30 games for the 1906 Tigers and compiled a 14-11 record and 2.71 ERA in 222-2/3 innings pitched. The following year, Siever compiled an 18-11 for the 1907 Tigers team that went 92-58 and lost to the Chicago Cubs in the 1907 World Series. Siever’s 2.16 ERA ranked 10th in the American League in 1907. Siever started one game in the 1907 World Series and gave up two earned runs in four innings pitched. The Detroit Free Press later called 1907 season ‘the zenith of his career’ and described a change in strategy in Siever’s approach to the game: ‘While control and speed were “Eddie’s” best assets in his early career, in later years he resorted to the use of a slow ball, by using it in conjunction with a ball that burned its way plateward, he got away with many sensational victories.’

“After retiring from professional baseball, Siever continued to play amateur baseball in a Detroit Masonic league until he was badly injured in a fall. Siever was employed by the Board of Water Commissioners. He was married and had three sons with his wife, Charlotte. Siever died suddenly in 1920 at age 44. The cause of death was believed to be heart disease.”

bender

P-Chief Bender, Philadelphia Athletics, 23 Years Old

16-8, 2.05 ERA, 112 K, .230, 0 HR, 8 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

1st Time All-Star-Charles Albert “Chief” Bender was born on May 5, 1884 in Crow Wing County, MN. The six-foot-two, 185 pound pitcher started with the Athletics in 1903 and consistently shut down batters during his first four years. It was this year he turned it up a notch, finishing seventh in WAR for Pitchers (4.8), sixth in ERA (2.05), and sixth in Adjusted ERA+ (127). He has quite a few good seasons ahead and is part of Cooperstown.

As for his nickname, Chief, it was one of many, according to Wikipedia, which says, “Bender was born in Crow Wing County, Minnesota as a member of the Ojibwe tribe. His father was German and his mother was part Chippewa. As a child, he received the Indian name ‘Mandowescence’, meaning ‘Little Spirit Animal.’ His family had 160 acres on the White Earth Indian Reservation near Bemidji, Minnesota. His father taught him to farm on the reservation. He graduated from Carlisle Indian Industrial School and attended Dickinson College.”

And Wikipedia details the ugly side of the 1900s: “He also faced discrimination on the field. Swift writes that taunting from the bench was common in Bender’s era and that the opposition or the fans often made war whoops or yelled taunts such as ‘Nig!’ or ‘Back to the reservation!’ Bender usually remained calm, sometimes smiling at the insults. After an inning in which he had pitched particularly well, he might yell back, ‘Foreigners! Foreigners!’” We’ll read much more on this Native American pitcher over the years as he’ll making quite a few of these lists.

chesbro6

P-Jack Chesbro, New York Highlanders, 33 Years Old

1901 1902 1903 1904 1905

10-10, 2.53 ERA, 78 K, .197, 0 HR, 4 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.000

6th Time All-Star-When you think of the Yankees franchise, don’t great hitters come to mind? Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, those are the people I think of. Yet New York’s first superstar wasn’t a hitter, but a pitcher, Happy Jack Chesbro. Due to an off year in 1906, he didn’t make the All-Star team, but he came back this year, mainly due to the fact he’s the Highlanders best player. Chesbro finished ninth in WAR for Pitchers (4.5).

New York, still led by Clark Griffith, dropped from second to fifth with a 70-78 record. Considering the team had some of the worst hitting and pitching in the American League, that wasn’t actually a bad record.

It was the beginning of the end for Chesbro, as in 1908, he had a 14-20 record with a 2.93 ERA and in 1909, he lost all five of his decisions, splitting time between the Highlanders and the Red Sox. He ended up with a 198-132 record with a 2.68 ERA and 1265 Ks, all leading to lifetime WAR of 41.4.

From SABR: “In The Politics of Glory, Bill James illustrated how Chesbro’s career numbers (198-132 W/L, 2.68 ERA) were similar, and probably poorer, than his Pittsburgh teammates Sam Leever (194-100, 2.47), Deacon Phillippe (189-109, 2.59), and Jesse Tannehill (197-117, 2.80.) Primarily on the basis of one fantastic season, Chesbro is the only one of the quartet to receive baseball’s highest honor — election to the Hall of Fame. He was selected by the Old-Timers Committee in 1946.”

smithc

P-Charlie Smith, Washington Senators, 27 Years Old

10-20, 2.61 ERA, 119 K, .143, 0 HR, 2 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 31 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.000

1st Time All-Star-Charles Edwin “Charlie” Smith was born on April 20, 1880 in Cleveland, OH. The six-foot-one, 185 pound pitcher started his career with Cleveland in 1902, then didn’t play in the Major Leagues for three seasons. He pitched 235 innings for Washington in 1906 and then had his best season ever this year. Of course, Smith only made the All-Star team because the Senators needed a representative.

Speaking of those Senators, Joe Cantillon took the reins and the team dropped from seventh to eighth with a 49-102 record. In a league in which the total ERA was 2.54, Washington’s was 3.11.

SABR says, “He won ten games in 1907, though he lost 20, despite an improved ERA of 2.61. This was for a last-place team which won 49 and lost 102, almost the same winning percentage as in 1906. Smith struck out a career-high 119, walking 75. And he had some tough luck, wrote the Washington Post: ‘On just one occasion this season has he had an easy game…in all his other games this season, he has had tight games to contend with, and has unquestionably lost more games by one run than any other pitcher in the league.’ He had, the Post wrote a week later, ‘a chin that indicates determination.’

“He seems to have gone into working with horses. When he registered for the draft in 1918, he was working at a boarding stable in Cleveland. At the time of the 1920 census, he was married and living in Cleveland with his wife Alice Hueffed; he was the proprietor of a livery stable. Pneumonia did him in, and he died in the greater Cleveland area (Wickliffe, Ohio), on January 3, 1929. Perhaps oddly, his profession was listed on his death certificate as a pitcher for the Chicago National League ballclub. Tragically, one hour after the funeral service for her husband Charley, Alice lost her mother – also to pneumonia – while Alice was still at the burial.”

clarken2

C-Nig Clarke, Cleveland Naps, 24 Years Old

1906

.269, 3 HR, 33 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 32 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as C-115

Passed Balls-25 (2nd Time)

Stolen Bases Allowed as C-120

2nd Time All-Star-Clarke made the 1906 American League All-Star team due to an incredible year with the bat, though he only played 57 games. This season, he played many more games and still hit well, but not up to his 1906 level. Still, Clarke finished eighth in slugging (.372) and ninth in Adjusted OPS+ (124). In the era in which he played, at the position at which he toiled, those were great numbers.

Wikipedia says, “After spending the offseason playing winter baseball in Florida with several other major leaguers, Clarke became the everyday catcher for the 1907 season. He started off hitting well, and had a batting average of .381 through the first month of the league, which was second in the American League. He started nearly every game for the Naps until his finger was hit by a foul ball in a game in June, causing him to miss two weeks. By the end of the season, he had stopped playing well, finishing the season with a .269 batting average and six triples in 120 games, as well as a league-leading 25 passed balls. During the offseason, Clarke played winter baseball in Cuba, then returned to Cleveland in March.

“At the time of the 1920 U.S. Census, Clarke and his wife were living in Detroit. In June 1929, Clarke rejoined the Marine Corps, serving until August 1932. At the time of the 1930 U.S. Census, Clarke was stationed at the Quantico Marine Barracks in Prince William County, Virginia. After being discharged from the Marine Corps, Clarke built a house in River Rouge, a suburb of Detroit, where he lived with his mother. In June 1949, Clarke was found dead at his home in River Rouge.”

schrecongost4

C-Ossee Schrecongost, Philadelphia Athletics, 32 Years Old

1899 1903 1905

.272, 0 HR, 38 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Putouts as C-640 (6th Time)

Assists as C-145

Caught Stealing as C-94

Range Factor/Game as C-7.93 (6th Time)

Fielding % as C-.985 (2nd Time)

4th Time All-Star-There aren’t many catchers during this time who consistently make All-Star teams, but Schrecongost was one of the best for his day. He finished ninth in Defensive WAR (1.0) as he continued to have a reputation as one of the league’s best glove men at his position. If you just look at his stats, you would say he doesn’t deserve even the least consideration for the Hall of Fame, but the people who saw him and remember him best would say differently.

From SABR: “Whatever other issues may have obtained, perhaps Schreck had simply passed his peak in terms of play on the field. The stats he put up in 1907 were comparable to 1906: .272 instead of .284, three fewer RBIs, one more run scored, and he improved on defense to a .985 fielding percentage, remarkably high for a catcher. He did suffer what at first, seemed to be a broken thumb on July 13, but it turned out to be just one which was ‘mashed’; he still played in 101 games.

“In 71 games in 1908, Schreck hit .222 for the Athletics, with only 16 RBIs. Near the end of the season, he was ready to leave Philadelphia ‘and had outlived his welcome with the fans of that city,’ so Mr. Mack placed him on waivers. One wonders what else was going on with the team; an August 1 story in Sporting Life said, ‘[h]alf a dozen of the Athletics have shaved their heads to stall off baldness. Schreck mowed a four-inch swathe along the middle of his scalp.’ There were indeed recurring notes in his last few years that made it clear Schreck had a problem with alcohol.”

davish4

1B-Harry Davis, Philadelphia Athletics, 33 Years Old

1904 1905 1906

.266, 8 HR, 87 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Doubles-35 (3rd Time)

Home Runs-8 (4th Time)

Power-Speed #-11.4 (4th Time)

AB per HR-72.8 (4th Time)

Errors Committed as 1B-38 (2nd Time)

4th Time All-Star-In an era without a lot of good first basemen, Davis stood out. He couldn’t get on base, but he still had the kind of power which led the American League in homers for the fourth consecutive year. He finished fifth in slugging (.395) and eighth in Adjusted OPS+ (125). His age was starting to catch up with him, and it’s doubtful he makes another All-Star team.

According to SABR, “1911 would be Harry’s last real hurrah with the Athletics as a player, although it did not get off to a promising start. Harry struggled mightily at the plate in the early season, starting out 2-for-28 as the A’s stumbled out of the gate in April. It was early May before the team reached .500. On May 3, at the Hilltop Grounds in New York, Harry hit his last home run, a long drive into the centerfield bleachers, as the A’s beat the Highlanders. Fittingly, Jack ‘Stuffy’ McInnis, the A’s young recruit who would soon take Davis’s place, also homered in that game. The torch was passed, though no one knew it at the time. McInnis, known historically for the high quality of his fielding at first base, ironically played himself into a regular position because of his bat. His work at shortstop for the A’s was abysmal, but he was hitting well over .400 and Harry wasn’t hitting a lick. By early June, McInnis was the regular first baseman and Davis’s playing days were virtually over. Harry, ever the professional, handled the move with class, tutoring McInnis on the finer points of play around first, and the youngster eventually developed into one of the finest fielders in history. The A’s began winning and took the pennant going away.”

lajoie82B-Nap Lajoie, Cleveland Naps, 32 Years Old

1897 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1906

.301, 2 HR, 63 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

WAR Position Players-7.6 (5th Time)

Defensive WAR-3.3

Assists as 2B-461 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as 2B-86 (4th Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as 2B-6.15 (6th Time)

Fielding % as 2B-.969 (4th Time)

8th Time All-Star-Starting this season, Lajoie and Ty Cobb are going to battle for hitting supremacy, but the problem is Cobb is 20 years old at this time, while Larry is 32. After winning four consecutive batting titles from 1901-04, Lajoie would win only one more, in 1910, a controversial one in which he bested the Georgia Peach by .001, .384 to .383.

But I’m way ahead of myself. This season, Lajoie finished third in WAR (7.6), behind Detroit pitcher Ed Killian (8.1) and Boston hurler Cy Young (7.9); first in WAR Position Players (7.6); seventh in Offensive WAR (4.3); first in Defensive WAR (3.3); sixth in batting (.301); ninth in on-base percentage (.347); sixth in slugging (.395); and sixth in Adjusted OPS+ (135). How good his season was depends on how seriously you take Defensive WAR, because it was actually an off year for Lajoie in hitting.

He also managed the Naps again and the team dropped from third to fourth place with a 85-67 record. With Addie Joss leading the way, Cleveland actually had good pitching, but its hitting wasn’t up to its usual standards. This was one of those rare seasons where a Lajoie-managed team actually did better than their Pythagorean W-L record would indicate.

Of his managing, SABR states, “Despite this assortment of talent, under Lajoie’s leadership the Naps only twice challenged for the American League pennant, losing out to the White Sox by five games in 1906 and the Detroit Tigers by .004 in 1908. Lajoie blamed himself for the team’s second-place finish in 1908, as he batted just .289 for the season and failed in the clutch in two critical games down the stretch. In fact, there is much evidence to suggest that Lajoie’s managerial responsibilities detracted from his on-field performance. After winning four consecutive batting titles from 1901 to 1904, Lajoie put together only one comparable season during his managerial career, posting a .355 batting average in 1906. In both 1907 and 1908, Lajoie failed to clear the .300 barrier.”

collins83B-Jimmy Collins, Boston Americans/Philadelphia Athletics, 37 Years Old

1897 1898 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905

.278, 0 HR, 45 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as 3B-139 (6th Time)

8th Time All-Star-Well, Collins surprised me, because I gave him the ol’ wrap up in his 1905 write-up. Yet he made yet another All-Star team. He continues to be the third baseman with the most of these lists to his credit. See Cy Young’s blurb for the entire list. It’s hard to believe Boston would trade its one-time manager and an all-time great. According to Wikipedia, “In 1905, the Americans slipped to fourth place, and Collins clashed with team president John I. Taylor, reportedly quitting on the team during the season. As a player, Collins batted .276, but again missed time due to injury. In 1906, Collins found himself in hot water, as not only were the Americans in last, but he himself was suspended twice, and was eventually was replaced as manager by Chick Stahl. He also missed the end of the season with a knee injury.

“Collins began 1907 with Boston, but it was only a matter of time before he departed. Unable to cope with the pressures of managing, Stahl had committed suicide during the offseason, but instead of Collins the Americans turned to Cy Young as manager. After playing 41 games for Boston, Collins was traded to the Philadelphia Athletics in 1907 for infielder John Knight. While he batted .278, he had a career-low (to that point) .330 slugging percentage, and failed to hit a home run for the first time in his career. In 1908, he slumped even further, batting just .217, and was let go.”

wallace9

SS-Bobby Wallace, St. Louis Browns, 33 Years Old, 1907 ONEHOF Inductee

1898 1899 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906

.257, 0 HR, 70 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Assists-517 (4th Time)

Def. Games as SS-147 (2nd Time)

Assists as SS-517 (3rd Time)

Errors Committed as SS-54 (2nd Time)

9th Time All-Star-Wallace becomes the fourth consecutive shortstop to make the One-A-Year Hall of Fame, the ONEHOF, which inducts the best player every year who isn’t currently part of that Hall. The nominees for the 1908 ONEHOF are Hardy Richardson, Jimmy Collins, Nap Lajoie, Elmer Flick, Charley Jones, Fred Dunlap, George Gore, Ned Williamson, Bid McPhee, Sam Thompson, Jack Clements, Amos Rusie, Cupid Childs, Clark Griffith, Jesse Burkett, Joe McGinnity, and Fred Clarke.

Jimmy McAleer managed Wallace’s Browns this season and the team dipped from fifth to sixth, finishing with a 69-83 record. St. Louis was a good hitting team, thanks to leftfielder George Stone, but its pitching lacked.

This season, Wallace finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.3), eighth in Offensive WAR (4.0), and fourth in Defensive WAR (2.4).

While Wallace had a reputation as a defensive wizard, it didn’t mean every play was easy for him, according to SABR, which states, “The toughest play for Wallace was the ball hit directly at him. He explained that ‘when you were going either way, you could gauge the length, height and speed of the hit as you moved over to get it. But you had to play the ones straight at you by ear.’” Still, he was good enough for Barney Dreyfuss, the Pittsburgh owner, to say, “The best player in the American League, the only man I would get if I could, plays on a tail-end team, and few people pay any attention to him. I mean Bobby Wallace of St. Louis. There’s boy who can play any position and hit. I wish I had him.”

davis11

SS-George Davis, Chicago White Sox, 36 Years Old

1893 1894 1897 1899 1900 1901 1902 1904 1905 1906

.238, 1 HR, 52 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

11th Time All-Star-Want to know how easy it is to underestimate the great Davis? When his name came on this list once again, I said to myself, “Really? 11 All-Star teams?!” In a league that averaged only 3.65 runs per game, the hitting stats look mediocre at first glance, but, as always, we have to take into account the era in which these players toiled. Despite Davis’ .238 average, he finished seventh in WAR Position Players (4.6); and third in Defensive WAR (2.9), behind Cleveland second baseman Nap Lajoie (3.3) and shortstop Terry Turner (3.2). During this era, Bobby Wallace had the better defensive reputation. Everything you read on him speaks of the fluidity of his play and his changing of the game. However, based on Defensive WAR, Davis trails only 28.7 to 24.0 and Wallace had a much longer career.

Now, if people actually read this page, there might be questions about why the emphasis on Defensive WAR, that it’s not a very accurate or reliable stat. All of that’s true, but this page is just meant to put together quick and easy All-Star teams and give a bird’s eye view history of the game. After this season, I still have 110 seasons and 222 leagues to write up (oh my gosh, I think I’m going to be sick) so I’m not taking the time to go in-depth. By the time I finish (222 leagues, oh man….) hopefully the best players in the game will be lauded and their place in the history of the game will be examined.

turner2

SS-Terry Turner, Cleveland Naps, 26 Years Old

1906

.242, 0 HR, 46 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons. 83 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Double Plays Turned as SS-67 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as SS-.950 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-As good as Bobby Wallace and George Davis were with the glove, Turner might have been better at short. However, after this season, Turner is going to have injury issues and be moved all over the diamond. According to last year’s blurb, the reason he’s being moved about is because he could play any position well. I don’t know how true that is, but it’s a ridiculous theory. If a man can play short as well as Turner could, that’s where he should be – the game’s most important defensive slot.

This season, Turner finished eighth in WAR Position Players (4.4) and second in Defensive WAR (3.2), behind only teammate, second baseman Nap Lajoie (3.3). No matter what position he would play over the next few seasons, he would be in the top 10 in Defensive WAR five more times.

Wikipedia says, “Listed at 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m), 149 lb., Turner was basically a line-drive hitter and a fearless base stealer. Because normal slides hurt his ankles, he pioneered the use of the head-first slide. As a fielder, he spent most of his playing time between shortstop and third base. He also broke up three no-hitters and spoiled a perfect game effort by Chief Bender after receiving a fourth-inning walk.

“In 1904 Turner started a long tenure with Cleveland that lasted 15 years, appearing in a team-record 1,619 games.” There have been a lot of famous Cleveland ballplayers over the years, but you rarely see Turner included in that list.

stone3

LF-George Stone, St. Louis Browns, 30 Years Old

1905 1906

.320, 4 HR, 59 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Times on Base-256

3rd Time All-Star-Stone made his third consecutive All-Star team as he continued to plaster the ball. He definitely took a step down from his incredible 1906 season, but not too many players can hit at that level too many times. This season, Stone finished fifth in WAR Position Players (5.5); fourth in Offensive WAR (5.1); third in batting (.320), behind Detroit outfielders Ty Cobb (.350) and Sam Crawford (.323); second in on-base percentage (.387), trailing Philadelphia leftfielder Topsy Hartsel (.405); fourth in slugging (.399); and fourth in Adjusted OPS+ (152). It’s important to note Stone’s numbers went down from 1906, but so did the numbers throughout the league.

SABR says, “After his great initial success, Stone held out for $5,000 to start the 1907 campaign. In order to make sure that team owner Robert Hedges met his demands, Stone did not report to the team until right before the start of the season. The holdout, as one publication put it, ‘seems to have been the turning point of his career.’ On one level, ‘the papers aired the case and naturally by some Stone was censured for what was termed unreasonable demands.’ Moreover, ‘when he was finally granted the amount he asked, the fans figured that a player getting such big money should never fail to deliver the goods. Any time Stone failed, and unfortunately for him he had a rather tough year in 1908, he was roasted to a turn by the fans. Stone began to show signs of slowing up that year.’”

hartsel3

LF-Topsy Hartsel, Philadelphia Athletics, 33 Years Old

1901 1905

.280, 3 HR, 29 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

On-Base %-.405 (2nd Time)

Bases on Balls-106 (4th Time)

3rd Time All-Star-One area Hartsel consistently excelled was drawing walks. He would lead the American League in walks four straight seasons (1905-08) and also in 1902. Hartsel had an off season in 1906, but this season, he finished ninth in WAR Position Players (4.3), fifth in Offensive WAR (4.5), first in on-base percentage (.405), ninth in slugging (.367), and fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (144).

SABR says, “The A’s returned to the top of the American League in 1905. Now 31 years old, Hartsel was on top of his game, too. He led the league in on base percentage (.409) and bases on balls (121) while swiping 37 bases. The A’s again led the league in scoring and won the pennant narrowly over Chicago. In a pivotal September series with the White Sox Hartsel was involved in a very rare play. Until 1954 players left their gloves on the field when they came in to bat. Seldom did these ever come into play, but such was not the case for a game in Philadelphia on September 28, 1905. Hartsel scored from second base on a single to left by Harry Davis when the batted ball struck Hartsel’s own glove, providing just enough delay for Hartsel to score the winning run on a very close play at the plate. The A’s went on to finish just two games ahead of the Sox. In that year’s World Series against the New York Giants, Topsy tied for the team lead with four hits and had two walks, a pair of steals and scored a run–one third of the A’s series total (all three runs were unearned) as they were shut down by Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity.”

jonesd

LF-Davy Jones, Detroit Tigers, 27 Years Old

.273, 0 HR, 27 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 18 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Range Factor/Game as OF-2.38

1st Time All-Star-David Jefferson “Davy” or “Kangaroo” Jones was born on June 30, 1880 in Cambria, WI. The five-foot-10, 165 pounder is one of three Detroit outfielders to make the All-Star team this year and easily the least famous of them. He started as a part-time outfielder for the Milwaukee Brewers in 1901. When they moved to St. Louis in 1902, so did he, for part of the year anyway. Then Kangaroo hopped over to the National League and played three years for the Orphans/Cubs. After not playing in the majors in 1905, he came to Detroit in 1906. This year, Jones finished seventh in on-base percentage (.357) and eighth in steals (30).

Jones had a very good World Series in a losing cause, hitting .353 (six-for-17) with four walks and three steals. Detroit still lost 4-0-1.

Wikipedia says, “Jones spent much of his career playing outfield with the Detroit Tigers, alongside Hall of Fame outfielders, Ty Cobb and Wahoo Sam Crawford. With Cobb and Crawford solidly entrenched in the outfield, Jones was forced to battle for the 3rd outfield spot with Matty McIntyre each year from 1906 to 1910.

“As a speedy leadoff man, he was a reliable run scorer with Cobb and Crawford following him in the lineup. Jones’ speed also made him a fine outfielder, with tremendous range. In 1907, he made 282 putouts and had a range factor of 2.45, 58 points higher than the average outfielder of his day. Jones had his best season in 1907.”

crawford5CF-Sam Crawford, Detroit Tigers, 27 Years Old

1901 1902 1903 1905

.323, 4 HR, 81 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Runs Scored-102

Extra Base Hits-55

5th Time All-Star-Despite a good year in 1906, Crawford didn’t make the All-Star team, but he’s back this season. He and Ty Cobb would be synonymous starting this season as two of the greatest outfielders in the American League. Cobb would garner much of that fame, of course, which short shrifts the great Crawford. Detroit is going to be good for next three seasons, but with these two incredible outfielders on the team, I’m surprised it didn’t win even more pennants.

This season, Crawford finished seventh in WAR (5.9); third in WAR Position Players (5.9), behind fellow Hall of Famers Nap Lajoie (7.6) and Cobb (6.8); second in Offensive WAR (5.8), trailing Cobb (6.5);  second in batting (.323), again behind Cobb (.350); fifth in on-base percentage (.366); second in slugging (.460), trailing the Georgia Peach (.468); and second in Adjusted OPS+ (160), once again playing bridesmaid to Cobb (167). Crawford trailing Cobb will be a common thread throughout the next few seasons.

Wahoo Sam didn’t have a great World Series, hitting .238 (five-for-21), with a double, no walks, and no steals. Detroit lost 4-0-1.

SABR says, “[Cobb] made for himself a slew of enemies within the clubhouse, including the normally easygoing Crawford. Cobb ‘came up with an antagonistic attitude, which in his mind turned any little razzing into a life-or-death struggle,’ Crawford recounted for Lawrence Ritter in The Glory of their Times years later. ‘He came up from the South, you know, and he was still fighting the Civil War. As far as he was concerned, we were all damn Yankees before he even met us.’”

jonesf5

CF-Fielder Jones, Chicago White Sox, 35 Years Old

1901 1902 1905 1906

.261, 0 HR, 47 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

5th Time All-Star-Jones continued to be a successful outfielder and manager in the league. As a hitter, he finished 10th in WAR Position Players (4.1) and 10th in on-base percentage (.345). This wasn’t bad for a 35-year-old centerfielder.

As a manager, his team dropped from first to third with an 87-64 record. The White Sox still couldn’t hit and this year, their pitching lacked from where it was in 1906. Still, it was a good seaaon and though he didn’t seem to have the fame of Jimmy Collins, he was right up with in when it came to player-managers.

SABR starts mentioning the C Word, Charles Comiskey, stating, “Charles Comiskey didn’t help the team’s title chances for 1907. After the World Series victory, Commy gave the players a check for $15,000 to share as bonus money. But as the players got their contracts for the ’07 season, they found the bonus was factored into their salaries. In February Walsh announced that he might hold out. Jones was only enticed back to the team with a contract worth $10,000, the most money paid to date by Comiskey for any player. The White Sox players were not happy going into 1907. Comiskey had done nothing to improve the team’s offense. The White Sox had the oldest lineup in the AL in 1906 and suffered from numerous injuries. They were only older and more injury-prone in 1907. The White Sox offense showed little improvement and the team was carried by the league’s best pitching staff. The Sox were in first place in early August, but their lack of depth ruined their chances. They again had the league’s best pitching and defense and finished third in runs scored. Jones felt that defense and pitching were more important than offense. He believed that if his team got a one-run lead, they would win the game. But the Tigers, who scored 106 more runs than Chicago, won the pennant. Detroit scored too many runs for the Sox pitching and defense to overcome. In November, Jones once again pondered retirement. But a blank contract from Comiskey, lured Jones back to the fold. Jones was able to name his price, $10,000.” The signs for the disaster of 1919 were already there.

cobb

RF-Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers, 20 Years Old

.350, 5 HR, 119 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

1907 AL Batting Title

Offensive WAR-6.5

Batting Average-.350

Slugging %-.468

On-Base Plus Slugging-.848

Hits-212

Total Bases-283

Runs Batted In-119

Stolen Bases-53

Singles-165

Adjusted OPS+-167

Runs Created-106

Adj. Batting Runs-43

Adj. Batting Wins-5.0

Offensive Win %-.817

Assists as OF-30

Double Plays Turned as OF-12

1st Time All-Star-Tyrus Raymond “Ty” or “The Georgia Peach” Cobb was born on December 18, 1886 in Narrows, GA, woke up and said, “I’m going to wreak havoc on the world of baseball.” I’m thinking he’s going to make so many All-Star teams, I’m going to run out of words to write, but he is absolutely without a doubt one of the best players the game has known. He was also, with just some doubt, one of the worst people the game has known. Hey, but he didn’t use steroids, so he’s got that going for him.

Cobb started with Detroit in 1905, played 98 games while hitting .316 in 1906, and then started his march through the American League this season, leading the Tigers to an American League pennant. In the Series, Cobb fizzled, hitting .200 (four-for-20), with a triple and no stolen bases. The Cubs had an outstanding pitching staff and kept him and most of the Detroit hitters at bay.

Wikipedia says, “On August 8, 1905, Cobb’s mother fatally shot his father with a pistol that his father had purchased for her. Court records indicate that Mr. Cobb had suspected his wife of infidelity and was sneaking past his own bedroom window to catch her in the act. She saw the silhouette of what she presumed to be an intruder and, acting in self-defense, shot and killed her husband. Mrs. Cobb was charged with murder and then released on a $7,000 recognizance bond. She was acquitted on March 31, 1906. Cobb later attributed his ferocious play to his late father, saying, ‘I did it for my father. He never got to see me play… but I knew he was watching me, and I never let him down.’”              

flick8

RF-Elmer Flick, Cleveland Naps, 31 Years Old

1898 1900 1901 1903 1904 1905 1906

.302, 3 HR, 58 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Triples-18 (3rd Time)

 

8th Time All-Star-At this point in his career, the great Flick is only 31-years-old and seems to have some great career numbers in front of him, but this would be his last All-Star season and his last full season. He finished 10th in WAR (5.6); fourth in WAR Position Players (5.6); third in Offensive WAR (5.2), behind Detroit’s Ty Cobb (6.5) and Sam Crawford (5.8); fourth in batting (.302); third in on-base percentage (.386), trailing Philadelphia’s Topsy Hartsel (.405) and St. Louis’ George Stone (.387); third in slugging (.412), behind Cobb (.468) and Crawford (.460); second in steals, trailing Cobb (53); and third in Adjusted OPS+ (153), behind only Cobb (167) and Crawford (160). He also has more All-Star teams than any other rightfielder. You can see the full list at Cy Young’s blurb. It was another great season, but then trouble came.

SABR says,Flick came down with a gastrointestinal illness that caused him to miss most of the 1908 season and play in a total of only 90 games during the 1909 and 1910 seasons.  He lost weight, his power and speed declined, and the pain was so severe there were times when he thought that he would die.  ‘My last three years [with the Naps] . . . were awful,’ Flick later admitted. ‘I shouldn’t have played at all.’ Initially, Flick’s doctors were mystified by what was ailing him, and the exact cause of the illness was never determined, but according to Flick, many of the physicians said that it was acute gastritis, which resulted in Flick taking pills for the rest of his life.”

5 thoughts on “1907 American League All-Star Team

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