1909 American League All-Star Team

P-Frank Smith, CHW

P-Ed Walsh, CHW

P-Cy Morgan, BOS/PHI

P-Chief Bender, PHA

P-Eddie Plank, PHA

P-Harry Krause, PHA

P-Addie Joss, CLE

P-Jack Warhop, NYY

P-Barney Pelty, SLB

P-Walter Johnson, WSH

C-Bill Carrigan, BOS

C-Ted Easterly, CLE

1B-Jake Stahl, BOS

2B-Eddie Collins, PHA

2B-Nap Lajoie, CLE

3B-Home Run Baker, PHA

3B-Harry Lord, BOS

3B-George Moriarty, DET

SS-Donie Bush, DET

SS-Freddy Parent, CHW

LF-Clyde Engle, NYY

CF-Tris Speaker, BOS

CF-Sam Crawford, DET

RF-Ty Cobb, DET

RF-Danny Murphy, PHA

 

smithfr

P-Frank Smith, Chicago White Sox, 29 Years Old

25-17, 1.80 ERA, 177 K, .173, 0 HR, 20 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

WAR for Pitchers-7.0

Games Pitched-51

Innings Pitched-365.0

Strikeouts-177

Games Started-40

Complete Games-37

Hits-278

Batters Faced-1,376

Def. Games as P-51

Putouts as P-26

Assists as P-154

1st Time All-Star-Frank Elmer “Piano Mover” or “Nig” Smith was born on October 28, 1879 in Pittsburgh, PA. The five-foot-10, 194 pound pitcher stated his career with the White Sox in 1904. He’d always been a good pitcher, but this year Manager Billy Sullivan handed him the ball every four days and his rubber arm made him the best pitcher in the American League this season. Smith finished third in WAR (7.7), behind Detroit rightfielder Ty Cobb (9.9) and Philadelphia second baseman Eddie Collins (9.7); first in WAR for Pitchers (7.0); eighth in ERA (1.80); first in innings pitched (365); and 10th in Adjusted ERA+ (132).

Sullivan’s White Sox dropped from third to fourth with a 78-74 record, 20 games out of first. The Hitless Wonders continued to struggle at the plate, though their pitching continued to be among the best in the league, led by Piano Mover.

Wikipedia says, “Smith had his best statistical season in 1909. Finally the White Sox staff ace, he pitched a career-high 365 innings and went 25–17 with a 1.80 ERA. He led all AL pitchers in games started, innings pitched, and strikeouts, and he finished second in wins. In 1910, Smith started off 4–9 and was traded to the Red Sox in August. He was then sold to the Reds in 1911. Smith spent 1912 and 1913 in the International League and led the league in innings pitched in 1913 while winning 21 games. He finished his career with two seasons in the Federal League.”

walsh4

P-Ed Walsh, Chicago White Sox, 28 Years Old

1906 1907 1908

15-11, 1.41 ERA, 127 K, .214, 0 HR, 11 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Walks & Hits per IP-0.938

Shutouts-8 (3rd Time)

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.000

Adj. Pitching Runs-25 (3rd Time)

Adj. Pitching Wins-3.1 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as P-4.54 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/Game as P-3.74 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as P-.991

4th Time All-Star-With Cy Young’s career starting to fade out, someone had to take over the reins as the American League’s best pitcher. Walter Johnson wasn’t there yet, so the title went to Ed Walsh, the spitball master. This season was the only one from 1907-1912 in which Walsh pitched less than 300 innings, but he was still outstanding. Big Ed finished fourth in WAR (6.7); third in WAR for Pitchers (6.2), behind teammate Frank Smith (7.0) and Boston and Philadelphia hurler Cy Morgan (6.9); second in ERA (1.41), trailing Philadelphia’s Harry Krause (1.39); and second in Adjusted ERA+ (169), once again beat out by Krause (174).

SABR says of this season, “In 1909, Walsh’s numbers dipped as he recovered from the heavy workload he had sustained the year before. Starting in only 28 games, he finished the year with a 15-11 mark in 230 1/3 innings, less than half his 1908 total. Though his 1.41 ERA was nearly identical to his 1908 mark, Walsh’s strikeout rate fell slightly while his walk rate nearly doubled. The cause of this sudden bout of ‘wildness’ was that he was tipping his pitches. Specifically, the Cleveland Naps believed they had deciphered when he was going to throw the spitter, by noticing that he had a habit of ticking the bill of his cap prior to unleashing a wet one. Word spread quickly around the league, and hitters started to lay off the spitter, which usually dropped out of the strike zone. When Walsh learned what was happening, he changed his style.”

morgan

P-Cy Morgan, Boston Red Sox/Philadelphia Athletics, 30 Years Old

18-17, 1.81 ERA, 111 K, .096, 0 HR, 5 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 30 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Hits per 9 IP-6.259

1st Time All-Star-Harry Richard “Cy” Morgan was born on November 10, 1878 in Pomeroy, OH. The six-foot, 175 pound pitcher started with the St. Louis Browns from 1903-1905 and then didn’t play in the Majors in 1906. He came back for the Browns in 1907 and then was traded to Boston. That’s where he started this season, going 2-6 for the Red Sox until he was purchased with Biff Schlitzer by the Philadelphia Athletics from the Boston Red Sox for $3,500. It was his stretch with Philadelphia this year, when he went 16-11 with a 1.65 record that put him on his first and, most likely, only All-Star team.

With Morgan on the mound, Connie Mack managed his Athletics to a 95-58 second place finish, up from sixth in 1908. Philadelphia was three-and-a-half games out of first behind Detroit. It was the best hitting team in the league thanks to a newcomer named Eddie Collins and also the best pitching team in the league, thanks to Morgan. What it didn’t have was Ty Cobb and the fireplug led Detroit to its third straight American League title.

Fred Lake managed Boston to a third-place finish with an 88-63 record, nine-and-a-half games behind Detroit. Another newcomer named Tris Speaker helped the Red Sox’s hitting, but with the decline of Cy Young, their pitching was only average.

Morgan finished eighth in WAR (6.2); second in WAR for Pitchers (6.9), behind only Chicago’s Frank Smith (7.0); ninth in ERA (1.81); fifth in innings pitched (293 1/3); and eighth in Adjusted ERA+ (136).

bender2

P-Chief Bender, Philadelphia Athletics, 25 Years Old

1907

18-8, 1.66 ERA, 161 K, .215, 0 HR, 9 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Strikeouts/Base on Balls-3.578

Fielding Independent Pitching-1.58

2nd Time All-Star-After an off season in 1908, Bender is back. So don’t you…forget about him. Breakfast Club, we salute you! This season, Chief finished seventh in WAR for Pitchers (4.8); third in ERA (1.66), behind teammate Harry Krause (1.39) and Chicago’s Ed Walsh (1.41); and fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (147). He’s going to have a good career, but I doubt he’s going to make my Hall of Fame, despite making Cooperstown.

Bender’s Hall of Fame page says, “The winningest manager in baseball history saw his share of outstanding big-game pitchers. But when Connie Mack had everything on the line, Chief Bender was his guy.

“’If everything depended on one game, I just used Albert – the greatest money pitcher of all time,’ said Mack of Charles Albert Bender, a full-blooded Ojibwa Indian who pitched for Mack for the Philadelphia Athletics from 1903-14. ‘I’d tell Albert when I planned to use him in a crucial series. Then I relaxed. He never let me down.’”

There’s a whole article by SABR on Chief Bender’s trapshooting prowess. I urge you to read the whole thing, but I print for you here a bit of it: “In an interview that appeared in the April 1915 issue of Baseball Magazine, Chief Bender explained his partiality for trapshooting:

“I have been shooting clay targets for about thirteen years and with every visit to a trapshooting club the hold of the sport on me grows…It would be pretty hard to give the biggest reason why trapshooting appeals.”

plank8

P-Eddie Plank, Philadelphia Athletics, 33 Years Old

1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1907 1908

19-10, 1.76 ERA, 132 K, .219, 1 HR, 7 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

8th Time All-Star-I have grown up in the era of Reggie Jackson, Vida Blue, and Rickey Henderson; all great A’s players. But did you know the player with the highest lifetime WAR for this storied club is Gettysburg Eddie Plank? The top three for the franchise is Eddie Plank, 78.3; Rickey Henderson, 72.7; and Lefty Grove, 63.7. I’ll bet you could win a lot of bets with that knowledge.

This season, Plank finished ninth in WAR (6.0); fifth in WAR for Pitchers (5.5); seventh in ERA (1.76); eighth in innings pitched (265 1/3); and seventh in Adjusted ERA+ (138).

SABR says of this season, “In 1909, Philadelphia rebounded to second place, 3.5 games behind Detroit, and Plank came back with them. He finished the year 19-10 with his career-best ERA, a tiny 1.76. He had the honor of pitching the game dedicating Shibe Park on Monday, April 12, and responded by beating Boston, 8-1, giving up just six hits. The game had a tragic ending, however. A’s catcher Doc Powers caught all nine innings in agonizing pain due to suspected food poisoning, and was taken to a local hospital afterward. Two weeks later he was dead, with ‘strangulation of the intestines’ listed as the official cause. Powers, who was also a physician, starved to death because he could not eat. His intestines were mangled due to a hernia, which some believed he had suffered when he collided with the new park’s concrete wall while chasing a foul popup in the seventh inning.”

krause

P-Harry Krause, Philadelphia Athletics, 20 Years Old

18-8, 1.39 ERA, 139 K, .156, 0 HR, 7 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

1909 AL Pitching Title

Earned Run Average-1.39

Adjusted ERA+-174

1st Time All-Star-Harry William “Hal” Krause was born on July 12, 1888 in San Francisco, CA. He started his career with Philadelphia in 1908, pitching four games and starting two. He then had his best season ever, and most likely his only All-Star season, this year, finishing 10th in WAR (5.7); fourth in WAR for Pitchers (5.9); first in ERA (1.39); and first in Adjusted ERA+ (174). If you take his 18-8 record from this year, Krause had an 18-18 record. After this year, he pitched for Philadelphia through 1912 and then went midseason to Cleveland to wrap up his short four-year career.

Just because his Major League career was limited doesn’t mean he didn’t have a lengthy pitching career. According to Wikipedia, “In 1913 and 1914, Krause won a total of 39 games with ERAs below 2.30. He had an off year in 1915, however, and played in the Western League in 1916. He went back to the PCL in 1917 with the Oakland Oaks.

“Krause spent 12 years in Oakland. In his first season there, he set career-highs in wins and innings pitched in the long PCL season, going 28–26 with a 2.35 ERA in 428.2 innings. He continued to pitch well for the Oaks over the next decade, becoming a fixture in the starting rotation and winning over 20 games two more times. In 1928, he joined the Mission Reds, where he finished his playing career. Krause won a total of 249 games in the PCL over 16 seasons. He is also a member of the Pacific Coast League Hall of Fame.”

joss5

P-Addie Joss, Cleveland Naps, 29 Years Old

1905 1906 1907 1908

14-13, 1.71 ERA, 67 K, .100, 1 HR, 5 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Bases on Balls per 9 IP-1.150 (2nd Time)

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

5th Time All-Star-What kind of career would Joss have had hadn’t he died so young. In just nine seasons, he ended up 160-97 with a 1.89 ERA and a 44.2 WAR. This season, Joss finished sixth in WAR for Pitchers (5.5); fourth in ERA (1.71); and third in Adjusted ERA+ (150), behind Philadelphia’s Harry Krause (174) and Chicago’s Ed Walsh (169).

Of his death, Wikipedia says, “Joss attended spring training with Cleveland before the start of the 1911 season. He collapsed on the field from heat prostration on April 3 in an exhibition game in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He was taken to a local hospital and released the next day. As early as April 7, press reports had taken note of his ill health, but speculated about ‘ptomaine poisoning’ or ‘nervous indigestion.’ The Naps traveled to Toledo for exhibition games on April 10 and Joss went to his home on Fulton Street where he was seen by his personal physician, Dr. George W. Chapman. Chapman thought Joss could be suffering from nervous indigestion or food poisoning. By April 9, as Joss was coughing more and had a severe headache, Chapman changed his diagnosis to pleurisy and reported that Joss would not be able to play for one month and would need ten days of rest to recover. Joss could not stand on his own and his speech was slurred. On April 13, Chapman sought a second opinion from the Naps’ team doctor, who performed a lumbar puncture and diagnosed Joss with tuberculous meningitis. The disease had spread to Joss’ brain and he died on April 14, 1911, 2 days after his 31st birthday.”

warhop

P-Jack Warhop, New York Highlanders, 24 Years Old

13-15, 2.40 ERA, 95 K, ,128, 0 HR, 3 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Hit By Pitch-26

1st Time All-Star-John Milton “Jack” or “Chief” or “Crab” Warhop was born on the Fourth of July, 1884 in Hinton, WV. The five-foot-nine, 168 pound pitcher started with New York in 1908. This season, he finished eighth in WAR for Pitchers (4.6). As shown by how many batters he hit, Warhop could be wild.

As for his team, the Highlanders, George Stallings took over as manager and the team improved from eighth to fifth with a 74-77 record, 23-and-a-half games out of first. The team’s hitting was average, but it’s pitching was among the league’s worst.

If you’ve heard of Warhop before (I hadn’t), then it’s probably because of this bit of trivia from Wikipedia, which says, “John Milton Warhop (July 4, 1884 – October 4, 1960) was an American baseball pitcher who played eight seasons in Major League Baseball from 1908 to 1915 for the New York Highlanders/New York Yankees. He is best known for giving up Babe Ruth‘s first two career home runs.

“Warhop had an underhand submarine delivery, which gave him the nickname “Crab”. He was also known for his rather small size, which is a subject of some conflict, although most historians and statisticians agree that he measured between 5 feet, 8 inches, used by several historians like Marty Appel[2] or 5 feet 9 inches, used by Baseball-Reference.com.” Well, someone had to give up the Bambino’s first dinger and, since later in his career, Warhop would give up a lot of homers, it had to be him.

pelty2

P-Barney Pelty, St. Louis Browns, 28 Years Old

1906

11-11, 2.30 ERA, 88 K, .165, 0 HR, 3 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-Pelty last made the All-Star team in 1906 and had decent seasons in 1907 and 1908 before making it again this season as the St. Louis Browns only representative. He pitched 199 1/3 innings with a 2.30 ERA and a 105 ERA+, which wasn’t great and wouldn’t have made the team if every squad didn’t need representation.

The Browns, still managed by Jimmy McAleer, dropped from fourth to sixth this season with a 61-89 record, 36 games out of first. As with most bad teams, they couldn’t hit and they couldn’t pitch.  After eight years of managing St. Louis, it would be McAleer’s last season. He finished with a 551-632 record for the Browns, a .466 winning percentage, which wasn’t terrible considering the team he led.

Here is some information on him from Wikipedia: “In 1909 he pitched 5 shutouts, 5th-best in the AL. He also was 10th-best in the league in fewest hits allowed per 9 innings pitched (7.13)

“It was often erroneously reported that he had changed his name from Peltheimer.

“Pelty was proud of his Jewish heritage as indicated by his nickname, and did not change his name or hide his identity like some other Jewish players of the era.

“During his career, Pelty ran a bookstore in his Farmington hometown in the off-seasons. He worked as an inspector for the Missouri State Food and Drug Department, and was an alderman for several terms in Farmington.

“Pelty pitched one last game in 1937 in an exhibition against Grover Cleveland Alexander, dropping the decision.”

johnson2

P-Walter Johnson, Washington Senators, 21 Years Old

1908

13-25, 2.22 ERA, 164 K, .129, 1 HR, 6 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

2nd Time All-Star-One thing about the all-time greats is they don’t usually make the All-Star team by a fluke, but that is the case for Johnson this season, who made it as the Senators’ lone representative. He had a decent year, finishing third in innings pitched (296 1/3), behind Chicago’s Frank Smith (365) and Detroit’s George Mullin (303 2/3). He would be among the league’s leaders in innings pitched for many years to come, making him a freak of nature much like Cy Young. And with his second All-Star team appearance, the Big Train already makes my Hall of Fame. The full list is here.

Joe Cantillon managed the Senators again, who dropped from seventh to eighth with a pathetic 42-110 record, 56 games out of first. They had the worst hitting and pitching in the league and Cantillon would never manage in the Major Leagues again.

He was a legend from the beginning, according to Wikipedia, which states, “Johnson was renowned as the premier power pitcher of his era. Ty Cobb recalled his first encounter with the rookie fastballer:

“’On August 2, 1907, I encountered the most threatening sight I ever saw in the ball field. He was a rookie, and we licked our lips as we warmed up for the first game of a doubleheader in Washington. Evidently, manager Pongo Joe Cantillon of the Nats had picked a rube out of the cornfields of the deepest bushes to pitch against us. … He was a tall, shambling galoot of about twenty, with arms so long they hung far out of his sleeves, and with a sidearm delivery that looked unimpressive at first glance. … One of the Tigers imitated a cow mooing, and we hollered at Cantillon: “Get the pitchfork ready, Joe—your hayseed’s on his way back to the barn.” … The first time I faced him, I watched him take that easy windup. And then something went past me that made me flinch. The thing just hissed with danger. We couldn’t touch him. … every one of us knew we’d met the most powerful arm ever turned loose in a ball park.’”

carrigan

C-Bill Carrigan, Boston Red Sox, 25 Years Old

.296, 1 HR, 36 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 24 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

1st Time All-Star-William Francis “Bill” or “Rough” Carrigan was born on October 22, 1883 in Lewiston, ME. He started with Boston in 1906 and then didn’t play in 1907. He was a part-time catcher for it in 1908 and then became its main backstop this season, finishing with a slash line of .296/.341/.368 for an OPS+ of 121. His .296 batting average was eighth in the league. He wasn’t great, but he did garner some Hall of Fame interest.

It wasn’t easy in these days for catchers, even as the equipment began to improve. Even nowadays, catcher is a brutal position. It’s why players like Joe Mauer are moved to other positions. Carrigan would play a total of 10 years and only once play over 100 games, in 1910. He’d never hit as well as he did this season, but he was decent and caught a good game.

He also lived a long time, dying at the age of 85 back where it all started, in Lewiston. He was one of those rare players of this era alive at the same time as me. I was born in 1964 and Carrigan died in 1969. If I would have known I was going to start this webpage in my 50s, my five-year-old self could have called Carrigan and asked questions about his career.

If you’ve been reading this list, you’ll realize the American League shuffles out new catchers just about every year for this list. There were no dominant backstops in the AL at this time.

easterly

C-Ted Easterly, Cleveland Naps, 24 Years Old

.261, 1 HR, 27 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 23 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

1st Time All-Star-Theodore Harrison “Ted” Easterly was born on April 20, 1885 in the capital of Nebraska, Lincoln. The five-foot-eight, 165 pound catcher had a good first year and would continue to be one of the better hitting catchers in the league for the next few years. He finished 10th in the American League in slugging this season (.390).

From a book entitled “Napoleon Lajoie: King of Ballplayers” written by David L. Fleitz, it says, “The most important addition to the Cleveland pitching staff for the 1909 season was Cy Young, who had already won more games than any pitcher in the history of baseball. Young was the oldest pitcher in the game in 1908, but had pitched 299 innings for the Red Sox, winning 21 games and posting a 1.26 earned run average for a sub-.500 team. At season’s end the Red Sox, perhaps in a cost-cutting move, decided that the aging legend was past his prime and sent him to the Naps for $12,500 and two younger hurlers, Charlie Chech and Jack Ryan. Neither Chech nor Ryan lasted long with the Red Sox, and the deal appeared to be a steal for the Naps.

“The Naps had tried to work out a deal with the Red Sox for Lou Criger, a 37-year-old verteran who had served as Cy Young’s personal catcher for the previous 13 seasons on three different teams, but the Boston club sent Criger to the St. Louis Browns instead. The Naps then picked up catcher Ted Easterly, a rookie from the Pacific Coast League.”

stahlj

1B-Jake Stahl, Boston Red Sox, 30 Years Old

.294, 6 HR, 60 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Strikeouts-94 (2nd Time)

1st Time All-Star-Garland “Jake” Stahl was born on April 13, 1879 in Elkhart, IL. The six-foot-two 195 pound first baseman started with Boston in 1903 before not playing in the Majors in 1907. He started in 1908 with New York before being purchased by the Red Sox midseason. This season, Stahl, at 30 years old, made his first All-Star team, finishing ninth in Offensive WAR (4.2), ninth in batting (.294), fifth in on-base percentage (.377), sixth in slugging (.434), and third in Adjusted OPS+ (153), behind Detroit rightfielder Ty Cobb (.193) and Philadelphia second baseman Eddie Collins (170).

Wikipedia says, “Garland ‘Jake’ Stahl (April 13, 1879 – September 18, 1922) was an American first baseman and manager in Major League Baseball with the Boston Red SoxWashington Senators, and New York Highlanders. A graduate of the University of Illinois, he was a member of the Kappa Kappa chapter of Sigma Chi. He started off as a catcher before being traded to the Senators, where he moved to first base full-time, with occasional stints in the outfield. He was regarded as a good fielder and an average hitter, although he did lead all hitters in the American League in home runs with 10 in 1910. He also struck out 128 times that year, a record that would stand until 1938.

“Stahl has a measure of immortality as the acknowledged eponym of the term ‘jaking it’, a baseball phrase for faking an injury to stay out of the lineup, or otherwise loafing.” Never heard that term.

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2B-Eddie Collins, Philadelphia Athletics, 22 Years Old

.347, 3 HR, 56 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as 2B-152

Putouts as 2B-373

Assists as 2B-406

Double Plays Turned as 2B-55

Fielding % as 2B-.967

1st Time All-Star-Edward Trowbridge “Eddie” or “Cocky” Collins, Sr. was born 79 years before my brother, Rob, on May 2, 1887 in Millerton, NY. The five-foot-nine, 175 pound second baseman started his outstanding career as a part-time player for Philadelphia in 1906, before becoming fulltime this year and showing the world what was to come. Collins had his best season ever, finishing second in WAR (9.7), behind only Detroit rightfielder and longtime rival Ty Cobb (9.9); second in WAR Position Players (9.7), trailing only Cobb (9.9); second in Offensive WAR (8.5), behind the Georgia Peach (9.6); seventh in Defensive WAR (1.3); second in batting (.347), trailing that pesky Cobb again (.377); second in on-base percentage (.416), behind, well, you know the drill (.431); third in slugging, trailing blah-blah (.517) and blah-blah’s centerfielding teammate Sam Crawford (.452); second in steals (63), behind holy cow, how many categories can Cobb lead in! (76); and second in Adjusted OPS+ (170), trailing Cobb’s 193.

Britannica says, “Collins was raised in affluent circumstances in the suburbs outside New York City. He attended Columbia University, where he was the quarterback of the football team as well as the shortstop of the baseball team. While still in college, he began playing semiprofessional baseball under an assumed name. When his side job was uncovered by Columbia, he forfeited his senior year of eligibility. His moonlighting paid dividends, however, when a vacationing Philadelphia Athletics player saw Collins play and raved about him to Athletics manager Connie Mack. Mack signed Collins to a contract, and the young infielder played abbreviated seasons with the Athletics in 1906 and 1907 before joining the team full-time in 1908 after graduating from Columbia.”

lajoie10

2B-Nap Lajoie, Cleveland Naps, 34 Years Old

1897 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1906 1907 1908

.324, 1 HR, 47 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Double Plays Turned as 2B-55 (6th Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as 2B-5.52 (8th Time)

Range Factor/Game as 2B-5.46 (7th Time)

10th Time All-Star-In one of his previous blurbs, I mentioned Lajoie’s on-field performance was probably dampened by him managing. Well, after years of doing that, he finally was let go as manager during the season and got to concentrate on playing. Not coincidentally, he will have a great season in 1910. Not that this one wasn’t good. Lajoie finished sixth in WAR (6.5); fourth in WAR Position Players (6.5); seventh in Offensive WAR (5.1); fifth in Defensive WAR (1.4); third in batting (.324), behind Detroit rightfielder Ty Cobb (.377) and Philadelphia second baseman Eddie Collins (.347); fourth in on-base percentage (.378); seventh in slugging (.431); and fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (151). With Collins in the league, he would have a rival as the American League’s best second baseman.

Lajoie also has made the most All-Star teams at his position. For the full list, click here.

As for the Naps, they dropped from second to sixth while being managed by Lajoie (57-57) and Deacon McGuire (14-25) for a combined 71-82 record, 27-and-a-half games out of first.

Wikipedia says of his time ending as manager, “Lajoie recommended to Somers on August 17, 1909, he find the team a new manager, although he wanted to remain on the club as a player. Somers responded to Lajoie by giving him more time to finalize his decision but when Lajoie came back days later and announced the same decision, Somers acted quickly to find a replacement. Lajoie later described the decision to take on the added duties as a player-manager as the biggest mistake of his career as he felt it negatively affected his play. The highest-paid player in the league, he also offered a $10,000 ($272,370 in current dollar terms) reduction in salary. Somers promoted Naps coach Deacon “Jim” McGuire to manager. The team finished 71–82 while Lajoie’s .324 average was third in the AL and 33 doubles second.”

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3B-Home Run Baker, Philadelphia Athletics, 23 Years Old

.305, 4 HR, 85 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Triples-19

Def. Games as 3B-146

Putouts as 3B-209

Assists as 3B-277

Errors Committed as 3B-42

1st Time All-Star-John Franklin “Home Run” Baker was born on March 13, 1886 in Trappe, MD. The five-foot-11, 173 pound third baseman started with Philadelphia in 1908, but this was his rookie season and it gave a glimpse of what was to come. He finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.7); fourth in Offensive WAR (6.0); seventh in batting (.305); fourth in slugging (.447); and seventh in Adjusted OPS+ (146). Baker has many great seasons to come.

SABR has a long article on how Baker acquired his nickname. It was not because he hit two home runs in the 1911 World Series, as is widely believed. It came earlier. Read the whole thing. Here’s just a bit. “Lest fans feel they would be deprived of seeing any of the Athletics’ new talent, the article noted that the split ‘does not mean that Philadelphians will not have a chance to see at least some of his [Mack’s] new men in the series. Confident in their ability to make good, Mack assigned [Heinie] Heitmuller, the big California outfielder, ‘Home-run’ Baker, his sensational third sacker, and catcher [Jack] Lapp, who has shown ability, to the veteran combination.’

“What had earned Baker his nickname? The North American article continued, ‘All of these men have played impressively in the South [the Athletics had trained in New Orleans]. Baker’s work has possibly been the most spectacular. On three occasions he has won close games with home runs, while his fielding inspires the belief that Mack will have the best man at the corner since the days when Lave Cross was good.’”

lord

3B-Harry Lord, Boston Red Sox, 27 Years Old

.315, 0 HR, 31 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

1st Time All-Star-Harry Donald Lord was born on March 8, 1882 in Porter, ME. The five-foot-10, 165 pound third baseman started with Boston in 1907. This season was his best ever as he finished ninth in WAR Position Players (3.9); eighth in Offensive WAR (4.3); fourth in batting (.315); and fourth in steals (36). He possibly has one more All-Star team left in him.

Wikipedia reports of his early career, “He broke into Organized Baseball at age 24 in 1906, with Worcester in the New England League and the next year moved up to Providence in the Eastern League. His performance there caught the attention of the Boston Americans and, at 26 years of age, he began playing professionally on September 25, 1907, for Boston. He played for with the team for three years. On May 30, 1908, Washington Senators‘s Jerry Freeman’s single was the only hit allowed by Boston’s Cy Young. Lord had four hits to back Cy’s pitching. On April 21, 1909, Lord stole home on the front end of a triple steal in the bottom of the seventh, with Tris Speaker taking third and Doc Gessler taking second. The Sox won the game, 6-2.”

In a lot of the articles I’m reading, including this Wikipedia one on Lord, there is fascination with people who played on Boston in 1908, because that was the first year it was the Red Sox. But how important is that really? The American League Boston club still existed before it was the Red Sox, just under the nickname of the Americans.

moriarty

3B-George Moriarty, Detroit Tigers, 23 Years Old

.273, 1 HR, 39 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 21 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Fielding % as 3B-.939

1st Time All-Star-George Joseph Moriarty was born on July 7, 1885 in Chicago, IL. The six-foot, 185 pound third baseman started his career as a 17-year-old with the Cubs in 1903. He played one game for them in 1903 and four games in 1904. He didn’t play in the Majors in 1905, then started up again with the Highlanders in 1906. Before this season, Detroit purchased him from New York and it benefited it greatly. Moriarty finished sixth in Defensive WAR (1.4) and seventh in steals (34). In the World Series, he went six-for-22 (.273) with a double and three walks.

Speaking of the World Series, Detroit made it into the Fall Classic for the third straight year and lost all three times. Hughie Jennings managed the team to a 98-54 record, three-and-a-half games ahead of Philadelphia. They had great hitting and good pitching, despite not having any pitchers on the All-Star team. Pittsburgh and Detroit exchanged wins throughout the series and the Tigers lost, 4-3. Jennings would manage Detroit 11 more years, but he’d never win another league title.

Wikipedia has much to say about him as an umpire, including his defense of Jewish player Hank Greenberg while Moriarty was umpiring. It says, “Moriarty also was noted for coming to the defense of Tiger slugger Hank Greenberg in the 1935 World Series (eventually won by Detroit), when he warned several Chicago Cubs to stop yelling antisemitic slurs at Greenberg. When they defied him and kept up the abuse, he took the unusual step of clearing the entire Chicago bench—a move that got him fined by longtime Commissioner/Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis (known primarily to posterity for keeping blacks out of the major leagues throughout his quarter-century in office).”

bush

SS-Donie Bush, Detroit Tigers, 21 Years Old

.273, 0 HR, 33 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star seasons. 99 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Games Played-157

Plate Appearances-678

Bases on Balls-88

Sacrifice Hits-52

Assists-567

Errors Committed-71

Def. Games as SS-157

Assists as SS-567

Errors Committed as SS-71

1st Time All-Star-Owen Joseph “Donie” Bush was born on October 8, 1887 in Indianapolis, IN. The small five-foot-six, 140 pound shortstop started with Detroit in 1908, but became its starting shortstop for many years to come starting this year. He actually does have a chance at making my Hall of Fame. If he does make it, it will be because of his fielding and his ability to walk. This season would be the first of four straight years leading the American League in base on balls and the first of five altogether. Bush had his best season ever, finishing fifth in WAR (6.5); third in WAR Position Players (6.5), behind teammate Ty Cobb (9.9) and Philadelphia second baseman Eddie Collins (9.7); fifth in Offensive WAR (5.7); third in Defensive WAR (2.2), trailing Chicago players, third baseman Lee Tannehill (2.5) and shortstop Freddy Parent (2.5); third in on-base percentage (.380), lagging only behind Cobb (.431) and Collins (.416); and third in steals (53), with only Cobb (76) and Collins (63) ahead of him. In the World Series, Bush did well in a losing effort, finishing seven-for-22 (.318) with five walks and five runs scored. He also was hit by pitches twice to give him a World Series on-base percentage of .483.

Wikipedia says, “At the end of the 1908 season, Baseball Magazine wrote: ‘This diminutive and youthful shortstop came to the rescue of the Detroit club and made it possible for them to win the American League pennant. . . . He helped to win the American Association pennant for the Hoosiers by his wonderful all around work, and then came on to Detroit in time to save Jennings‘ team from defeat. He is about as fast as Cobb on the bases, a great fielding shortstop and a good batsman, a man who hits right or left handed with equal efficiency.’”

parent4

SS-Freddy Parent, Chicago White Sox, 33 Years Old

1901 1903 1904

.261, 0 HR, 30 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

4th Time All-Star-When Parent last made the All-Star team in 1904, he had a 50 percent chance of making my Hall of Fame. As you can see, it is now impossible. In four years of his prime, he never made this list. After the 1907 season, Parent was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Boston Americans to the Chicago White Sox. The New York Highlanders sent Frank LaPorte to the Boston Americans. The Chicago White Sox sent Jake Stahl to the New York Highlanders. He bounced back this season on Chicago, finishing eighth in WAR Position Players (5.3); second in Defensive WAR (2.5), behind teammate and third baseman Lee Tannehill (2.5); and eighth in steals (32).

Baseball Reference says of his connection with baseball’s most famous player, “At age 37, he edged Neal Ball as Baltimore’s main second baseman, hitting .268/~.354/.309 with 15 steals in 79 games. In 1914, he served as a mentor to young left-handed pitcher Babe Ruth, who was making his professional debut. The Orioles were in financial straits by that point, facing competition from the Baltimore Terrapins of the new Federal League, and Parent advised Boston manager Bill Carrigan to buy the young pitcher, even if he was still raw. Parent remained a starter at his old age, playing 108 games, including a team-high 90 at shortstop. He hit .280/~.363/.348.”

Since shortstop is the most important defensive position, a player doesn’t have to be a great hitter to make an All-Star team there. However, they do have to be a decent hitter and Parent couldn’t even meet that low standard, which is why he’s not in Cooperstown and he’s not going to make my Hall of Fame.

engle

LF-Clyde Engle, New York Highlanders, 25 Years Old

.278, 3 HR, 71 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 34 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Putouts as LF-271

Assists as LF-17

Double Plays Turned as LF-6

Range Factor/Game as LF-2.40

1st Time All-Star-Arthur Clyde “Hack” Engle was born on March 19, 1884 in Dayton, OH. The five-foot-10, 190 pound leftfielder started out his career with his best season ever, but he’d never live up to his rookie potential. This season, Hack finished 10th in WAR Position Players (3.6). After this season, he would move from New York to Boston during the 1910 season, then move from Boston to the Federal League Buffalo Buffeds (really?) during the 1914 season. He’d finish his career with Cleveland in 1916.

Wikipedia says, “Engle will be known forever as the man who hit the ball that Fred Snodgrass missed in the eighth and final game of the 1912 World Series. The Series lasted eight games, due to a 6–6 tie in Game 2 when the game was called by darkness after 11 innings. Engle had appeared twice before during the Series in pinch-hitting duties. In Game 6, he hit a two-run RBI double off Giants pitcher Rube Marquard that scored Boston’s only runs in a 5–2 losing effort. The decisive Game 8 at Fenway Park faced Joe Wood for Boston and Christy Mathewson for the New York Giants, who had broken a 1–1 tie by scoring a run in the first half of the 10th inning. The Red Sox started its half and manager Jake Stahl sent Engle to pinch-hit for pitcher Wood. Then, he hit a fly ball off Mathewson that came toward CF Snodgrass, who dropped the ball. Snodgrass made a fine catch on the next batter, Harry Hooper, but Mathewson walked Steve Yerkes, gave a single to Tris Speaker, and Engle went on to score the tying run. Another walk to Duffy Lewis and a sacrifice fly by Larry Gardner scored Yerkes with the winning run to give Boston the game and the series.”

speaker

CF-Tris Speaker, Boston Red Sox, 21 Years Old

.309, 7 HR, 77 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as CF-142

Putouts as CF-319

Assists as CF-35

Double Plays Turned as CF-11

Putouts as OF-319

Assists as OF-35

Double Plays Turned as OF-12

Range Factor/Game as CF-2.49

Fielding % as CF-.973

Range Factor/9 Inn as OF-2.59

Range Factor/Game as OF-2.49

1st Time All-Star-Tristram E. “Tris” or “The Grey Eagle” Speaker was born on April 4, 1888 in Hubbard, TX. The five-foot-11, 193 pound centerfielder started his career with Boston in 1907 as a 19-year-old, but this year he showed the world what was to come. Speaker finished seventh in WAR (6.3); fifth in WAR Position Players (6.3); sixth in Offensive WAR (5.5); sixth in batting (.309); seventh in on-base percentage (.362); fifth in slugging (.443); sixth in steals (35); and sixth in Adjusted OPS+ (151). He’s going to be on these lists for a long time to come.

Of his early career, Wikipedia says, “Speaker’s abilities drew the interest of Doak Roberts, owner of the Cleburne Railroaders of the Texas League, in 1906. After losing several games as a pitcher, Speaker converted to outfielder to replace a Cleburne player who had been struck in the head with a pitch. He batted .318 for the Railroaders. Speaker’s mother opposed his participation in the major leagues, saying that they reminded her of slavery. Though she relented, for several years Mrs. Speaker questioned why her son had not stayed home and entered the cattle or oil businesses.

“He performed well for the Texas League’s Houston Buffaloes in 1907, but his mother stated that she would never allow him to go to the Boston Americans. Roberts sold the youngster to the Americans for $750 or $800 (equal to $19,698 or $21,011 today). Speaker played in seven games for the Americans in 1907, with three hits in 19 at bats for a .158 average. In 1908, Boston Americans owner John I. Taylor changed the team’s name to the Boston Red Sox after the bright socks in the team’s uniform. That year, the club traded Speaker to the Little Rock Travelers of the Southern League in exchange for use of their facilities for spring training. Speaker batted .350 for the Travelers and his contract was repurchased by the Red Sox. He logged a .224 batting average in 116 at bats.”

crawford7

CF-Sam Crawford, Detroit Tigers, 29 Years Old

1901 1902 1903 1905 1907 1908

.314, 6 HR, 97 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Doubles-35

Extra Base Hits-55 (2nd Time)

7th Time All-Star-It seems nowadays the definition of dynasty might have to change because it’s so hard to make the World Series. The last time any team made the World Series three times in a row or more was the New York Yankees of 1998-2001. Here in the early days of the World Series, it happened with the Cubs from 1906-08, the Tigers from 1907-09, and in a couple years, the Giants from 1911-13. Surprisingly, neither the Tigers or Giants won any of the Series. After this year, the Detroit Tigers of this era, featuring Crawford and Ty Cobb would never make the Fall Classic again, nor would those two Hall of Fame players.

Crawford this year finished seventh in WAR Position Players (5.6); third in Offensive WAR (6.1), behind Cobb and Philadelphia second baseman Eddie Collins (8.5); fifth in batting (.314); sixth in on-base percentage (.366); second in slugging (.452), trailing Cobb (.517); ninth in steals (30); and fourth in Adjusted OPS+ (152). In the World Series, Wahoo Sam struggled for the third straight year, hitting only .250 (seven-for-28) though he did smack three doubles and a home run, a solo shot to deep centerfield in a losing cause.

More on the Cobb-Crawford rivalry from Wikipedia, which says, “The competition between the two was intense. Crawford recalled that, if he went three for four on a day when Cobb went hitless, Cobb would turn red and sometimes walk out of the park with the game still on. When it was initially (and erroneously) reported that Nap Lajoie had won the batting title, Crawford was alleged to have been one of several Tigers who sent a telegram to Lajoie congratulating him on beating Cobb.”

cobb3RF-Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers, 22 Years Old, MVP

1907 1908

.377, 9 HR, 107 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

1909 AL Triple Crown

1909 AL Batting Title (3rd Time)

Wins Above Replacement-9.9

WAR Position Players-9.9

Offensive WAR-9.6 (3rd Time)

Batting Average-.377 (3rd Time)

On-Base %-.431

Slugging %-.517 (3rd Time)

On-Base Plus Slugging-.947 (3rd Time)

Runs Scored-116

Hits-216 (3rd Time)

Total Bases-296 (3rd Time)

Home Runs-9

Runs Batted In-107 (3rd Time)

Stolen Bases-76 (2nd Time)

Singles-164 (2nd Time)

Adjusted OPS+-193 (3rd Time)

Runs Created-126 (3rd Time)

Adj. Batting Runs-62 (3rd Time)

Adj. Batting Wins-7.2 (3rd Time)

Times On Base-270

Offensive Win %-.874 (3rd Time)

Power-Speed #-16.1

AB Per HR-63.7

Def. Games as RF-154 (2nd Time)

Putouts as RF-220 (2nd Time)

Assists as RF-21 (2nd Time)

Errors Committed as RF-13 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as RF-5 (2nd Time)

Def. Games as OF-156

3rd Time All-Star-Wow, just wow! For all of his faults as a human being which certainly shouldn’t be excused, this man could play baseball. Along with all of the above in which he led the league, he also made it to this third straight, and last, World Series. Cobb and his Tigers also lost his third straight Fall Classic. For the second time in three Series, Cobb’s hitting was mediocre as he hit .231 (six-for-26) with three doubles. In his long career, he’ll never play in the postseason again.

Wikipedia wraps up this season, saying, “The Tigers won the AL pennant again in 1909. During that World Series, Cobb’s last, he stole home in the second game, igniting a three-run rally, but that was the high point for him, finishing with a lowly .231, as the Tigers lost to Honus Wagner and the powerful Pirates in seven games. Although he performed poorly in the postseason, he won the Triple Crown by hitting .377 with 107 RBI and nine home runs, all inside the park, thus becoming the only player of the modern era to lead his league in home runs in a season without hitting a ball over the fence.

“In the same season, Charles M. Conlon snapped the famous photograph of a grimacing Cobb sliding into third base amid a cloud of dirt, which visually captured the grit and ferocity of his playing style.” You can check out that picture on Wikipedia. It’s too bad we don’t have any film of the Georgia Peach playing.

murphy3

RF-Danny Murphy, Philadelphia Athletics, 32 Years Old

1904 1905

.281, 5 HR, 69 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Double Plays Turned as RF-5

Fielding % as RF-.977

Fielding % as OF-.977

3rd Time All-Star-Murphy missed the All-Star team for three straight seasons, but with Eddie Collins taking over second base for the Athletics, Murphy moved to rightfield and is back on this list. This season, he finished eighth in slugging (.412) and ninth in Adjusted OPS+ (132) and will contribute a couple more good seasons, before his career starts petering to an end.

Of his transition to the outfield, SABR says, “Late in the 1907 campaign, 20-year old Eddie Collins played six awkward games at shortstop. In 1908 Collins played shortstop and in the outfield before Mack decided he might be better suited for second base. ‘So I got another idea,’ Mack later told sportswriter Fred Lieb. ‘I thought, why not put my second baseman, Danny Murphy, in right field and see what Eddie could do at second base? Though Danny had been my second baseman since my first pennant winner in 1902, he didn’t pivot too well on double plays, but Murphy always was a sweet hitter.’ The move was not popular with either the Philly faithful or the rest of the Mackmen. Murphy was well liked, and his fresh-out-of-college replacement had already earned the moniker ‘Cocky’ Collins. If Murphy himself was bitter, he didn’t show it…By 1909, when Mack opened baseball’s first steel and concrete stadium, Shibe Park, Murphy (who recorded Shibe’s first RBI, double and inside the park home run) was entrenched in right field. He batted .281, stole 19 bases, and ranked among the league’s top 10 with five homers and 69 RBI. Although Cobb and the Tigers won their third straight pennant, the Athletics’ climbed to second.”

3 thoughts on “1909 American League All-Star Team

  1. Ya know, given another year or so, Mack might just make something out of that A’s team. Remember, you heard it here first.
    I would have never guessed Plank, Henderson, Grove as 1-3 in A’s WAR. Thanks for that bit of info.
    v

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