1910 American League All-Star Team

P-Russ Ford, NYY

P-Ed Walsh, CHW

P-Walter Johnson, WSH

P-Jack Coombs, PHA

P-Chief Bender, PHA

P-Ray Collins, BOS

P-Hippo Vaughn, NYY

P-Jack Quinn, NYY

P-Bill Donovan, DET

P-Cy Morgan, PHA

C-Ted Easterly, CLE

C-Bill Carrigan, BOS

1B-Jake Stahl, BOS

2B-Eddie Collins, PHA

2B-Nap Lajoie, CLE

3B-Home Run Baker, PHA

SS-Donie Bush, DET

SS-George McBride, WSH

SS-Jack Barry, PHA

SS-Bobby Wallace, SLB

CF-Ty Cobb, DET

CF-Tris Speaker, BOS

CF-Clyde Milan, WSH

CF-Rube Oldring, PHA

RF-Danny Murphy, PHA

 

ford

P-Russ Ford, New York Highlanders, 27 Years Old, MVP

26-6, 1.65 ERA, 209 K, .208, 0 HR, 7 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Wins Above Replacement-11.9

WAR for Pitchers-11.3

Hits per 9 IP-5.827

1st Time All-Star-Russell William “Russ” Ford was born on April 25, 1883 in Brandon, Canada. The five-foot-11, 175 pound pitcher pitched one game for New York in 1909 before becoming the ace of its staff this season. This year, Ford finished first in WAR (11.9); first in WAR for Pitchers (11.3); seventh in ERA (1.65); fourth in innings pitched (299 2/3); and fourth in Adjusted ERA+ (160). It was Ford’s best season ever, but he’s going to make a few more All-Star teams. As you well know, New York will have a more famous Ford pitching for them in its future.

As for the Highlanders, George Stallings (78-59) and Hal Chase (10-4) took them from fifth to second, with a 88-63 record, 14-and-a-half games out of first. No one was going to beat the Athletics this year and it’d be another decade before New York became a historical powerhouse. According to SABR, “Highlanders star Hal Chase, with an assist from Ban Johnson, convinced Farrell to fire Stallings and install Chase as manager.”

Where did Ford’s fame come from, according to Wikipedia. “Ford is best known as the creator of the ‘emery’ or ‘scuff’ ball, a pitch that was thrown with a ball that had been scuffed with a piece of emery. Ford came across the ‘scuff ball’ by accident when playing for the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association in 1908. When pitching under a grandstand due to rain, Ford accidentally threw a ball into a wooden upright, marking the surface. Ford threw another pitch with the damaged ball, and noticed how it curved more than previous pitches.”

walsh5

P-Ed Walsh, Chicago White Sox, 29 Years Old

1906 1907 1908 1909

18-20, 1.27 ERA, 258 K, .217, 0 HR, 4 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

1910 AL Pitching Title (2nd Time)

Earned Run Average-1.27 (2nd Time)

Walks & Hits per IP-0.820 (2nd Time)

Bases on Balls per 9 IP-1.485

Games Pitched-45 (3rd Time)

Saves-5 (3rd Time)

Strikeouts/Base On Balls-4.230 (2nd Time)

Losses-20

Adjusted ERA+-187 (2nd Time)

Def. Games as P-45 (3rd Time)

Assists as P-154 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/Game as P-3.89 (3rd Time)

5th Time All-Star-Because I’m too lazy to look it up, I’m wondering if this is the only season in which the pitcher which led the league in ERA also led the league in losses. Someday I’ll look it up, but there’s no time now because Big Ed Walsh has made my Hall of Fame and I have to set up his induction ceremony in Carter Lake, IA. As for this enigmatic season, Walsh finished second in WAR (11.7), behind New York pitcher Russ Ford (11.9); second in WAR for Pitchers (11.2), again trailing Ford (11.3); first in ERA (1.27); second in innings pitched (369 2/3), behind Washington’s Walter Johnson (370); and first in Adjusted ERA+ (187).

The White Sox crashed from fourth to sixth this season, as Hugh Duffy took over the reins. They went 68-85, 35-and-a-half games out of first. Chicago’s hitting was never its strong suit, but this year it had the worst OPS in the American League. Its pitching was much better, finishing second in the league in ERA.

Along with his vaunted spitball, Walsh also added another aspect to his game which would be illegal today. SABR says, “When batters did reach base, Walsh often picked them off with the game’s most deceptive move to first base. In a motion that would probably be ruled a balk today, Walsh lifted his shoulder slightly, as if beginning his motion to throw home, before swinging around and firing the ball to first. Clyde Milan, one of the era’s best base stealers, declared the move ‘at least a half balk’ but Walsh got away with it anyway.”

johnson3

P-Walter Johnson, Washington Senators, 22 Years Old

1908 1909

25-17, 1.36 ERA, 313 K, .175, 2 HR, 12 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Strikeouts per 9 IP-7.614

Games Pitched-45

Innings Pitched-370

Strikeouts-313

Games Started-42

Complete Games-38

Hits Allowed-262

Wild Pitches-21

Batters Faced-1,367

Fielding Independent Pitching-1.38

Def. Games as P-45

3rd Time All-Star-This was the first season the real Walter Johnson showed up and he’d be a scary sight in the American League for years. He finished third in WAR (10.9), behind New York’s Russ Ford (11.9) and Chicago’s Ed Walsh (11.7); third in WAR for Pitchers (10.6), trailing the same two men, Ford (11.3) and Walsh (11.2); third in earned run average (1.36), with only Walsh (1.27) and Philadelphia’s Jack Coombs (1.30) with lower; first in innings pitched (370); and second in Adjusted ERA+ (183), behind only Walsh (187). That is a long sentence, but will be a typical one in the Johnson years.

Washington rose from eighth to seventh, with Jimmy McAleer taking over as manager. The Senators finished 66-85, 36-and-a-half games out of first. Their pitching was decent, but as a team, they lacked the big bats.

It’s interesting to look at the personalities of these all-time greats. According to Wikipedia, “Johnson had a reputation as a kindly person, and made many friends in baseball. As reported in The Glory of Their TimesSam Crawford was one of Johnson’s good friends, and sometimes in non-critical situations, Johnson would ease up so Crawford would hit well against him. This would vex Crawford’s teammate Ty Cobb, who could not understand how Crawford could hit the great Johnson so well. Johnson was also friendly with Babe Ruth, despite Ruth’s having hit some of his longest home runs off him at Griffith Stadium.” No wonder later in his life he became a politician.

coombs

P-Jack Coombs, Philadelphia Athletics, 27 Years Old

31-9, 1.30 ERA, 224 K, .220, 0 HR, 9 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Wins-31

Games Pitched-45

Shutouts-13

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

Adj. Pitching Runs-45

Adj. Pitching Wins-5.3

Def. Games as P-45

Fielding % as P-.990

1st Time All-Star-John Wesley “Colby Jack” Coombs was born on November 18, 1882 in Le Grand, IA. The six-foot, 185 pound pitcher started his career with Philadelphia in 1906 and had his best season ever in 1910. He finished sixth in WAR (9.9); fourth in WAR for Pitchers (9.5); second in ERA (1.30), behind only Chicago’s Ed Walsh (1.27); third in innings pitched (353), trailing only the Big Train (370) and Ed Walsh (369 2/3); and third in Adjusted ERA+ (182), lagging behind only Walsh (187) and Johnson (183). However, as good as that regular season was, it was in the World Series, Coombs garnered his most fame, winning three games for Philadelphia as they went on to beat the Cubs, 4-1.

It had been five seasons since the Athletics won the pennant, but they put it together this year under Connie Mack, finishing 102-48, 14-and-a-half games ahead of New York. That’s what happens when you have the best OPS and the best ERA in the American League.

SABR says of this season, “For the last half of the 1910 season, Coombs was simply unhittable, all the more remarkable because of his heavy workload. He threw 12 shutouts, pitched 250 innings and won 18 of 19 starts in July, August and September. From September 5 to September 25 he racked up 53 consecutive scoreless innings to set a major league record (broken three years later by Walter Johnson). Jack then topped off his incredible year by pitching three complete game wins against the Chicago Cubs in six days as the Athletics won their first World Championship in five games.”

bender3

P-Chief Bender, Philadelphia Athletics, 26 Years Old

1907 1909

23-5, 1.58 ERA, 155 K, .269, 0 HR, 16 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Won-Loss %-.821

3rd Time All-Star-In 1905, Bender won the only game the Athletics won in the World Series. This season, he was back in the Fall Classic and again went 1-1. This time, however, Philadelphia went on to win the Series, 4-1. As for his season, Chief had his best season ever, finishing ninth in WAR (6.0); seventh in WAR for Pitchers (5.1); fifth in ERA (1.58); and eighth in Adjusted ERA+ (150).

Bender’s Hall of Fame page says, “Bender continued to improve over the next few years, peaking in 1910 with a 23-5 record and 1.58 ERA – the eighth season in a row where he lowered his ERA from the previous campaign. The A’s won the World Series in 1910, 1911 and 1913, with Bender winning five of his seven Fall Classic starts in that stretch.”

Wikipedia adds, “[In the World Series], Bender pitched a complete-game three-hitter in the opener, striking out 8 and giving up only one unearned run. He lost game 4 of the series in another complete game effort, 4-3 in 10 innings. Bender pitched all 9 2/3 innings for the Athletics, striking out 6.”

Here’s more on this great season from SABR: “Among his victories that season was a no-hitter, thrown May 12 against the Cleveland Indians. Bender was nearly perfect; he faced just 27 hitters as the lone man to reach, shortstop Terry Turner, was caught stealing after a walk. Bender won the opening game of the 1910 World Series, and the Athletics beat the Chicago Cubs in five games—Philadelphia’s first world championship.”

collinsr

P-Ray Collins, Boston Red Sox, 23 Years Old

13-11, 1.62 ERA, 109 K, .179, 0 HR, 5 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

1st Time All-Star-Ray Williston Collins was born on February 11, 1887 in Colchester, VT. The six-foot-one, 185 pound lefty had a short career, but not too many pitchers matched his stretch from 1910-1914. He started with Boston in 1909 and this season, his best ever, he finished 10th in WAR (5.7), fifth in WAR for Pitchers (5.8); sixth in ERA (1.62); and fifth in Adjusted ERA+ (159).

Boston dropped from third in 1909 to fourth this season as Patsy Donovan took over managing. Its 81-72 record placed the Red Sox 22-and-a-half games out of first. They could hit and pitch decently, but Philadelphia was just too stacked.

Wikipedia says, “A graduate of the University of Vermont, Collins was a good-hitting pitcher and an outstanding fielder, but the key to his success was his remarkable control… He also averaged 16 wins from 1910 to 1914, including a combined 39 wins in 1913–14, and was a member of the 1912 Red Sox world champion team.

“Collins became a regular in Boston rotation in 1910. In his first full season, he pitched a one-hitter against the Chicago White Sox and compiled a 13–11 record, making him the second-winningest pitcher on the Red Sox behind Eddie Cicotte (15–11). He was 3–6 at one point in 1911, but turned his season around, finishing at 11–12 with a 2.40 ERA.” You’ll be seeing Collins around this list for the next few seasons, before he lost his spot in the Boston rotation to one George Herman Ruth.

vaughn

P-Hippo Vaughn, New York Highlanders, 22 Years Old

13-11, 1.83 ERA, 107 K, .133, 0 HR, 4 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

1st Time All-Star-James Leslie “Hippo” Vaughn was born on April 9, 1888 in Weatherford, TX. The big six-foot-four, 215 pound (thus his nickname) lefty started with New York in 1908, didn’t play Major League ball in 1909, and then had a good season this year. After this, he’d have three straight seasons of disappointment before become one of the American League’s best pitchers starting in 1914. This season, Vaughn finished sixth in WAR for Pitchers (5.2); ninth in ERA (1.83); and ninth in Adjusted ERA+ (145).

SABR says, “Vaughn rejoined the Highlanders at spring training in 1910 and so impressed manager George Stallings that he gave Vaughn the opening day assignment. Lyle Spatz notes in New York Yankee Openers that at twenty-two Vaughn was, and remains, the youngest pitcher ever to start the opening game for the Yankees. He faced the Boston Red Sox and Eddie Cicotte on April 14 at Hilltop Park. After a rough start in which he gave up three runs in the first three innings and another in the fifth, Vaughn settled down, and he and Joe Wood (relieving Cicotte) pitched shutout ball until the game was called on account of darkness after 14 innings with the score tied 4-4. The game was an indication of good things to come. Overshadowed by Russ Ford’s brilliant rookie season of 26-6 with a 1.65 ERA, Vaughn went 13-11 for the season with an excellent 1.83 ERA, 18 complete games, and five shutouts.” Oh man, what would have CC Sabathia been nicknamed in this era?!

quinn

P-Jack Quinn, New York Highlanders, 26 Years Old

18-12, 2.37 ERA, 82 K, .232, 0 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

1st Time All-Star-John Picus “Jack” Quinn born Joannes Pajkos, was born on July 1, 1883 in Stefurov, Slovakia. The six-foot, 196 pound righty started with New York in 1909 and would still be pitching as a 49-year-old for Cincinnati in 1933. He’d end up pitching for 23 years in three different Major Leagues. This season, the Mighty Quinn finished 10th in WAR for Pitchers (3.3). He was part of an outstanding New York staff this year.

I’m surprised Quinn’s longevity and good pitching didn’t get him more Hall of Fame interest. He’s got a good chance of making mine, but he never received more than 3.4 percent of the votes from Cooperstown. He’s the first player with a last name beginning with Q to make my list.

You have to read the SABR article by Charles F. Faber. He writes of the mystery of so much of Quinn’s life including his age, real name, and birthplace. Here’s a snippet, but please, do yourself a favor and read the whole thing: “As for his age, it was a popular topic of speculation among baseball writers as Quinn was getting along in years. Many were of the opinion that he was at least three or four years older than the age given in most record books. Quinn did nothing to end the controversy. ‘I’ll tell my age when I quit,’ he once said. ‘Nobody’s going to know before that.’ Eventually, the old spitballer did retire, but he reneged on his promise and even then he did not reveal his true age.”

donovan5

P-Bill Donovan, Detroit Tigers, 33 Years Old

1901 1903 1907 1908

17-7, 2.44 ERA, 107 K, .266, 0 HR, 19 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require three more All-Star seasons. 1 percent chance)

 

5th Time All-Star-After his career ended, Donovan got some Hall of Fame interest, which he should have. However, he would never have been considered for Cooperstown if he didn’t pitch on a good team like Detroit over his career. It’s not that he wasn’t a good pitcher, but his career ERA+ was 106, good but not great. This season, Donovan finished eighth in WAR for Pitchers (3.7).

Detroit didn’t win the pennant after three years of doing so. Still managed by Hughie Jennings, it dropped from first to third with its 86-68 record putting them 18 games behind Philadelphia. The Tigers’ hitting, led by Ty Cobb, continued to be stellar, but their pitching was some of the worst in the league.

Wikipedia has some notes about the later years of Wild Bill, saying, “Donovan was accused of having some knowledge of the attempt to throw the 1919 World Series but was vindicated by commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis and received an apology from his accuser, William Baker, president of the Philadelphia Phillies.

“In December 1923, while traveling on the 20th Century Limited train to Chicago for Major League meetings, Donovan, the New Haven manager, died when the train wrecked in Forsyth, New York. New Haven president George Weiss had swapped berths with Donovan and escaped with a minor injury. Phillies owner William F. Baker (the man who accused him of wrongdoing in the Black Sox scandal) was also on the train, but he was unhurt.” It was a sad end for one of the game’s most colorful players.

morgan2

P-Cy Morgan, Philadelphia Athletics, 31 Years Old

1909

18-12, 1.55 ERA, 134 K, .141, 0 HR, 9 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Bases on Balls-117

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.000

Hit By Pitch-18

2nd Time All-Star-Because Baseball Reference is constantly adjusting WAR, sometimes players make the All-Star team that would later have to be eliminated. If this was the Bible and had to be completely accurate, I would constantly revise it to make sure the right players were on the team. But that was never the point of this page. This page was supposed to give a quick and dirty All-Star team and give a historical tour through the history of baseball. All of this to say, Morgan probably shouldn’t be on this All-Star team, but I won’t be changing that until much later, like when I’m 108 years old or so.

Not that Morgan didn’t have a good season. He finished fourth in ERA (1.55), fifth in innings pitched (290 2/3), and sixth in Adjusted ERA+ (153). However, he didn’t get to pitch in the World Series.

According to SABR, “The Athletics won the 1910 World Series over Chicago, four games to one. Morgan did not pitch in the Series – in fact, no one did other than Jack Coombs and Chief Bender. With five complete games between them, Coombs was 3-0 and Bender was 1-1, though Bender’s ERA was almost a full run and a half better than Coombs’. Mack didn’t feel he needed any other pitchers, not even for an inning in relief. After the season Morgan turned to vaudeville in Martin’s Ferry, and was added to the Keith’s theater circuit for a quite satisfactory $300 per week.” Could you imagine someone with a 1.55 ERA being kept out of the World Series nowadays?

easterly2

C-Ted Easterly, Cleveland Naps, 25 Years Old

1909

.306, 0 HR, 55 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-Easterly, one of the best hitting catchers of his day, made his second consecutive All-Star team. He finished seventh in batting (.306) while his entire slash line was .306/.344/.383 for an OPS+ of 125. Because a third league is going to join the mix in a few years, he has one better year left.

Cleveland rose from sixth to fifth under the guidance of Deacon McGuire.  The Naps had a 71-81 record and finished 32 games out of first. The problem is that, except for Nap Lajoie and Easterly, the team couldn’t hit and, as indicated by their lack of All-Star pitchers, they couldn’t pitch either.

Verdun has a whole article on this Cleveland team which you can check out. Here’s part of it: “Ted Easterly remained the backstop. He hit .261 the year before and shared time with backups Nig Clark, and Harry Bemis. Both remained in 1910, but Clark ended up hurt and Grover Land became the third catcher.  Easterly would have a good year with the bat.

“A real strength of the Cleveland team, if it had one, was its aging pitching staff. The problem was the ‘aging’ part. Cy Young was 43 at the end of the 1909 season. Addie Joss, Bob Rhodes, and Cy Falkenberg were all 30. Among the starters, only Heinie Berger was under 30 (he was 27). For 1910 they kept all but Rhodes who disappears from major league rosters forever. They tried Willie Mitchell and Specs Harkness to fill in the gaps for age and loss. Mitchell pitched three games the year before and Harkness was a rookie.”

carrigan2

C-Bill Carrigan, Boston Red Sox, 26 Years Old

1909

.249, 3 HR, 53 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as C-110

Putouts as C-495

Passed Balls-15

2nd Time All-Star-Amazingly, the American League had duplicate catcher All-Stars for 1909 and 1910. As mentioned many times, catcher was such a brutal position during this era that there were no dominant catchers, except for Roger Bresnahan. This season, Carrigan slashed .249/.307/.313 for an OPS+ of 92, but his defense and a lack of good backstops in the league put him on this list.

There’s a page called Fenway Fanatics which posts some memorable moments for Bill Carrigan. Those include:

21 April 1910 – In the eighth inning of a 10-3 win, catcher Bill Carrigan and pitcher Ed Karger hit back-to-back home runs, the only instance between 1902 and 1923 that Red Sox batters hit consecutive home runs.

6 May 1911 – The Yankees turn their first ever triple play when Red Sox catcher Bill Carrigan, facing pitcher Russ Ford in the ninth inning, lines into the game-ending triple treat as New York tops Boston, 6-3.

“30 November 1926 – Former skipper Bill Carrigan comes out of retirement at the request of Boston ownership to once again manage the Red Sox. However, after three seasons of futility, Carrigan retires for good in December 1929.

14 March 2006 – Manager Terry Francona agrees to a two-year contract extension with Boston. Francona is the first manager to lead a Red Sox team to a World Championship since Bill Carrigan in 1918, having won it all with the club in 2004.”

That last tidbit is interesting. I’m sure Red Sox Nation already knew it, but I didn’t.

stahlj2

1B-Jake Stahl, Boston Red Sox, 31 Years Old

1909

.271, 10 HR, 77 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Home Runs-10

Strikeouts-128 (3rd Time)

AB per HR-53.1

Putouts-1,488

Def. Games as 1B-142

Putouts as 1B-1,488

2nd Time All-Star-In the first year of modern baseball history, 1871, Rynie Wolters struck out eight times to lead the league. Over the next couple years, in 1872 and 1873, Candy Cummings, Jim Britt, and Jack Manning struck out 14 times in a season to set the new mark. In 1875, Herman Dehlman whiffed 21 times, then Johnny Ryan K’d 23 times in 1876. After that there were new records set almost every year. In 1884, Sam Wise (not Samwise, nerds) struck out 104 times to set the all-time record, at least until 1904, when Harry Lumley whiffed 106 times. In 1906, Billy Maloney struck out 116 times, which was the record until Jake Stahl K’d 128 times this year. This record is going to stand until 1938.

As we now know, being prolific at striking out doesn’t make the player bad and Stahl had a good year, finishing sixth in slugging (.424) and ninth in Adjusted OPS+ (134). His slash line was .271/.334/.424. Whiffing as often as he did wasn’t the norm during his time, but neither was hitting 10 home runs.

SABR says, “Despite his baseball success, Jake’s off-the-field banking successes were even greater and paid more. Given the financial uncertainties associated with a baseball career at the time and the fact that he had just started a family, Jake opted to retire. He served as vice president of the Washington Park National Bank on Chicago’s South Side. Attempts to lure him back to baseball in 1911 were fruitless.” Spoiler alert, he came back.

collinse2

2B-Eddie Collins, Philadelphia Athletics, 23 Years Old

1909

.324, 3 HR, 81 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Defensive WAR-2.9

Stolen Bases-81

Def. Games as 2B-153 (2nd Time)

Putouts as 2B-402 (2nd Time)

Assists as 2B-451 (2nd Time)

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

Range Factor/9 Inn as 2B-5.50

Range Factor/Game as 2B-5.58

Fielding % as 2B-.972 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-Okay, so Collins had a good 1909, but that didn’t mean it would continue. Many players have a fluke year, but Cocky Collins proved the previous season was no fluke. He finished fifth in WAR (10.5); 2nd in WAR Position Players (10.5), behind Detroit centerfielder Ty Cobb (10.6); third in Offensive WAR (7.7), trailing fellow second baseman, Cleveland’s Nap Lajoie (10.0) and Cobb (9.7); first in Defensive WAR (2.9); fourth in batting (.324); fourth in on-base percentage (.382); ninth in slugging (.418); first in steals (81); and fourth in Adjusted OPS+ (150).

Collins also made his first World Series and was outstanding, hitting .429 (nine-for-21) with four doubles and four steals, helping lead the Athletics to a 4-1 series win over the Cubs.

SABR says, “In 1910 the club broke through, winning the first of four pennants in a five-year stretch by a convincing 14½ games. Eddie led the American League in steals, was third in hits and RBIs, and fourth in batting, while leading in most fielding categories. Philadelphia dusted the Cubs in five games to give Connie Mack his first World Series title. Collins was the star of the Series, batting .429 and hitting safely in each contest. His play in Game Two, when he had three hits, stole two bases, and made several outstanding defensive plays, confirmed his status as one of the American League’s top stars. A month after the championship was secured, Eddie married Mabel Doane, whose father was a close friend of Connie Mack’s; Mack himself had introduced them. Collins and Mack had a standing bet as to who would get married first, which Mack won by a week. The Collinses remained married for more than 30 years until Mabel’s death in 1943.”

lajoie11

2B-Nap Lajoie, Cleveland Naps, 35 Years Old

1897 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1906 1907 1908 1909

.384, 4 HR, 76 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Offensive WAR-10.0 (4th Time)

Batting Average-.384 (5th Time)

Games Played-159 (2nd Time)

At Bats-591

Hits-227 (4th Time)

Total Bases-304 (4th Time)

Doubles-51 (5th Time)

Singles-165 (2nd Time)

Runs Created-134 (3rd Time)

Adj. Batting Runs-70 (4th Time)

Adj. Batting Wins-8.0 (4th Time)

Extra Base Hits-62 (4th Time)

Times on Base-292 (2nd Time)

AB per SO-32.8 (2nd Time)

11th Time All-Star-Though their ages were over 10 years apart, the early 1900s featured a rivalry, as you will, between Lajoie and Ty Cobb. Larry was more popular with other players than the Georgia Peach, who tended to irritate people due to his fiery nature. Here in 1910, the two had their most famous battle, for the batting championship. According to Baseball Reference, Lajoie won .384-.383, but over the years, there have been many investigations into the legitimacy of this batting race.

There are literally a billion zillion articles on this race on the internet. You heard me, literally! So in trying to pick whose article I would pilfer, um, quote, I will do what I always do. Go to Posnanski. Man, do I love the writing of Joe Posnanski and he has an article on the 1910 batting race that is pure gold. The problem is the article is over 3,000 words long. So here’s what you have to do. Promise me you will. Click on the link and go read that article. You won’t be disappointed. I’m not even going to quote it because Lajoie has made more All-Star teams than any second baseman and I have to do that list. But I’m telling you, as your friend, do yourself a favor and click on that link.

So here are the leaders in All-Star teams made at each position:

P-Cy Young, 17

C-Charlie Bennett, 9

1B-Cap Anson, 13

2B-Nap Lajoie, 9

3B-Jimmy Collins, 8

SS-Jack Glasscock, 11

LF-Ed Delahanty, Fred Clarke, 9

CF-Paul Hines, 8

RF-Sam Thompson, Elmer Flick, 7

baker2

3B-Home Run Baker, Philadelphia Athletics, 24 Years Old

1909

.283, 2 HR, 74 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as 3B-146 (2nd Time)

Putouts as 3B-207 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as 3B-35

2nd Time All-Star-Baker didn’t live up to his nickname this season, but starting next year, he’ll never have a season under six homers, which doesn’t sound like much nowadays, but was sensational in his time. This season, Baker finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.2); and fifth in Offensive WAR (4.8). He finished with a slash line of .283/329/392 for an OPS+ of 125. Hitting wise, it would actually be his worst season until 1917. In the World Series, Baker lit it up, hitting .409 (nine-for-22) with three doubles and a triple as Philadelphia beat the Cubs, 4-1.

Wikipedia says, “In a late season series against the Tigers in 1909, Ty Cobb spiked Baker while sliding into third base, lacerating Baker’s arm. Baker referred to the spiking as ‘deliberate’ on the part of Cobb, while Mack called Cobb the dirtiest player he had seen, and asked American League president Ban Johnson to investigate. A photograph taken for The Detroit Newsvindicated Cobb, by showing that Baker had to reach across the base to reach Cobb. Though Baker remained in the game after wrapping his arm, he acquired a reputation for being weak and easily intimidated. Joe S. Jackson, a sportswriter for the Detroit Free Press, referred to Baker as a ‘soft-fleshed darling.’”

It’s amazing how harsh the sportswriters of the past could be. There wasn’t the political correctness we see nowadays. Instead they called ‘em as they saw ‘em. We don’t see so much of that in sports writing today, but we do see in political writing.

bush2

SS-Donie Bush, Detroit Tigers, 22 Years Old

1909

.262, 3 HR, 34 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Bases on Balls-78 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as SS-.940

2nd Time All-Star-In an era of great shortstops, Bush holds his own, mainly due to his fielding and ability to get on base. This season, Bush finished fifth in WAR Position Players (5.6); sixth in Offensive WAR (4.7); third in Defensive WAR (2.0), behind Philadelphia second baseman Eddie Collins (2.9) and Washington shortstop George McBride (2.6); eighth in on-base percentage (.365); and third in steals (49), trailing Collins (81) and teammate, centerfielder Ty Cobb (65). However, after this season, Bush will not have an OPS+ above 100 again until 1917, the last season in which he’ll do so. While he had the patience to walk, the rest of his hitting was weak.

Wikipedia states, “Bush was also one of the shortest players in the Major Leagues at five feet, six inches (1.7 meters) and weighed between 130 and 140 pounds. Bush once said, ‘I used to tell ’em it ain’t how big you are, it’s how good you are. But whenever another team had an uncommonly small player, I’d slip up and compare heights. Always turned out he was an inch taller than me.’

“Bush’s nickname, ‘Donie’, was reportedly bestowed on him as a result of a comment by Detroit teammate Ed Killian in 1909. Bush explained, ‘One day after I had struck out, I asked Eddie Killian what kind of ball I swung at and missed. Killian said it was a donie ball. I never learned what a donie ball was, but the Tigers started calling me Donie and the name just stuck.’”

mcbrideg2

SS-George McBride, Washington Senators, 28 Years Old

1908

.230, 1 HR, 55 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Assists-518

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

Putouts as SS-370 (2nd Time)

Assists as SS-518

Double Plays as SS-57 (3rd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-McBride’s fielding is so good, he continues to make All-Star teams despite the fact his hitting lacked. This was actually his best hitting year ever, judging by OPS+, as he slashed .230/.321/.288 for an OPS+ of 95. You heard me, his best hitting year ever. He did finish seventh in WAR Position Players (4.9); and second in Defensive WAR (2.6), behind Philadelphia second baseman Eddie Collins (2.9). His fielding will probably get him on a couple more of these lists.

SABR says, “George became enchanted with baseball at an early age and spent much of his youth engaged in schoolyard and sandlot games. In 1901, at the age of 21, he headed west to play third base for the Sioux Falls Canaries, an independent team participating in a loosely structured South Dakota baseball circuit. After completing the season there in early September, he returned to Milwaukee, where the local entry in the fledgling American League was mired in last place and missing the services of its starting shortstop, Wid Conroy, who had recently sprained an ankle. According to McBride, he was alerted by local newspapermen that there might be an opportunity for him to play for the Brewers in Conroy’s absence. He appeared at Lloyd Street Grounds prior to a game on September 12, and was invited by manager Hugh Duffy to suit up. ‘The new man’s play was on the brilliant order,’ the Chicago Tribune reported. McBride played in three games for the Brewers, handling twelve chances flawlessly in the field while collecting two hits in 12 at-bats.”

barry

SS-Jack Barry, Philadelphia Athletics, 23 Years Old

.259, 3 HR, 60 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Errors Committed-63

Errors Committed as SS-63

1st Time All-Star-John Joseph “Jack” Barry was born on April 26, 1887 in Meriden, CT. The five-foot-nine, 158 pound shortstop started with Philadelphia in 1908 and became its regular shortstop in 1909. This season, Barry finished ninth in WAR Position Players (4.5) and fifth in Defensive WAR (1.5). That’s right, he made the top 10 in Defensive WAR despite committing 63 errors. In the World Series, he went four-for-17 (.235) with two doubles as the Athletics went on to beat the Cubs, 4-1.

Wikipedia says, “Born in Meriden, Connecticut, Barry spent his nearly entire tenure in the big leagues on winning teams, first the Philadelphia Athletics and later the Boston Red Sox. Athletics manager Connie Mack signed Barry off the campus of the College of the Holy Cross to play shortstop on what would become his famous $100,000 infield. The unit, one of the most famous groups of teammates in baseball history, consisted of first baseman Stuffy McInnissecond basemanEddie Collins, and third baseman Frank Baker. The group was critical to the Athletics winning the American League pennant in 191019111913 and 1914, and World Championships in 1910, 1911, and 1913.”

Or as Baseball Reference states, “After attending college at Holy Cross, Barry joined Connie Mack‘s Athletics club in 1908 and by the next year, he was the team’s regular at shortstop. In 1910, the team won the World’s Series, led by their ‘$100,000 infield’ comprised of Barry, first baseman Harry Davis (replaced in later years by Stuffy McInnis), second baseman Eddie Collins, and third baseman Home Run Baker, and they repeated as champs the following year. Known as an excellent fielder, Barry had his best year at the plate in 1913, hitting .275 with 85 RBIs as the A’s won the World Series yet again.”

wallace11

SS-Bobby Wallace, St. Louis Browns, 36 Years Old

1898 1899 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908

.258, 0 HR, 37 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

Range Factor/9 Inn as SS-6.09 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/Game as SS-6.08 (2nd Time)

11th Time All-Star-I wrote in Wallace’s 1908 blurb that was probably his last All-Star team. Yet, in a season in which four shortstops made this list, the 36-year-old defensive wizard is back. He finished sixth in Defensive WAR (1.5), making it the 11th time he’s been in the top 10 in that category and he still has two more of those season left.

Wallace was the only player to make the team for the Browns, who finished last in the American League, after finishing seventh in 1909. Jack O’Connor managed them to a 47-107 record, 57 games out of first. That’s what happens when a team can’t hit and can’t pitch.

Wikipedia says, “His playing time began decreasing a decade later, with his last season as a regular coming in 1912. Wallace played in just 55 games in 1913, and never played that much again for the rest of his career. In July 1917, he returned to the National League and the Cardinals, and played in just eight games that season. After batting .153 in 32 games in 1918, Wallace retired with a .268 career batting average, 1059 runs, 34 home runs, 1121 RBI and 201 stolen bases. He played his last game on September 2, 1918 at the age of 44 years and 312 days, making him the oldest shortstop to play in a regular-season game. The record was broken by Omar Vizquel on May 7, 2012.” Wallace died in Torrance, CA at the age of 87 on November 3, 1960.

cobb4CF-Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers, 23 Years Old

1907 1908 1909

.383, 8 HR, 91 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

Ron’s: Yes

 

Led in:

 

1910 AL Batting Title (4th Time)

WAR Position Players-10.6 (2nd Time)

On-Base %-.456 (2nd Time)

Slugging %-.551 (4th Time)

On-Base Plus Slugging-1.008 (4th Time)

Runs Scored-106 (2nd Time)

Adjusted OPS+-206 (4th Time)

Offensive Win %-.896 (4th Time)

Power-Speed #-14.2 (2nd Time)

4th Time All-Star-After three years of making the All-Star team in rightfield, Cobb moved to centerfield this season and didn’t miss a beat. He finished fourth in WAR (10.6); first in WAR Position Players (10.6); second in Offensive WAR (9.7), behind Nap Lajoie (10.0); second in batting (.383), also behind Lajoie (.384); first in on-base percentage (.456); first in slugging (.551); second in steals (65), trailing Eddie Collins (81); and first in Adjusted OPS+ (206). For Joe Posnanski’s take on the controversial batting race between Cobb and Lajoie, go to Lajoie’s blurb and click on the Posnanski article. You won’t be disappointed.

Here’s SABR’s view on the batting title brouhaha: “By 1910 Cobb was recognized as the biggest star in the American League. However, he remained unpopular with his teammates and opposing players for his attitude and rugged style of play. This led to another major controversy–an attempt to fix the 1910 American League batting title. Cobb and Cleveland’s popular star Napoleon “Larry” Lajoie were locked in a tight race for the A.L. crown. Cobb sat out the final two games of the season in order to preserve his lead. But Browns manager Jack “Peach Pie” O’Connor, who hated Cobb, decided to make sure that Lajoie caught Cobb in a season-ending doubleheader between St. Louis and Cleveland, by ordering rookie third baseman Red Corriden to ‘play back on the edge of the [outfield] grass.’ Lajoie responded by dumping seven bunt singles down the third base line, as part of an 8-for-8 day that seemingly gave him the title.”

speaker2

CF-Tris Speaker, Boston Red Sox, 22 Years Old

1909

.340, 7 HR, 65 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes

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

 

Led in:

 

Putouts as CF-337 (2nd Time)

Putouts as OF-337 (2nd Time)

Range Factor/Game as CF-2.54 (2nd Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as OF-2.51 (2nd Time)

Range Factor/Game as OF-2.55 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-In doing the vast amount of research I do for this page, it was fascinating to notice how few times Speaker led in offensive categories. Because he played in the same era as Ty Cobb and Babe Ruth, he was the bridesmaid an abnormal amount of times. This season, Speaker finished eighth in WAR (7.7); fourth in War Position Players (7.7); fourth in Offensive WAR (6.8); third in batting (.340), behind Nap Lajoie (.384) and Ty Cobb (.383); third in on-base percentage (.404), trailing Cobb (.456) and Lajoie (.445); third in slugging (.468), once again behind the Georgia Peach (.551) and Larry (.514); 10th in steals (35); and third in Adjusted OPS+ (170), trailing Cobb (206) and Lajoie (198).

Wikipedia says, “In 1910 the Red Sox signed left fielder Duffy Lewis. Speaker, Lewis and Harry Hooper formed Boston’s “Million-Dollar Outfield“, one of the finest outfield trios in baseball history. Speaker was the star of the Million-Dollar Outfield. He ran fast enough that he could stand very close to second base, effectively giving the team a fifth infielder, but he still caught the balls hit to center field. In 1910 and 1911, Boston finished fourth in the American League standings.”

Wait, what? He used to stand close enough to second base to be considered a fifth infielder? That can’t be true, because he would be dominating centerfielders in assists if that was the case. He did have a lot of assists, leading outfielders three times, but not enough to think he was ever throwing out people at first on a regular basis.

milan

CF-Clyde Milan, Washington Senators, 23 Years Old

.279, 0 HR, 16 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as CF-141

Assists as CF-30

Errors Committed as CF-17

Double Plays Turned as CF-11 (2nd Time)

Assists as OF-30

Double Plays Turned as OF-10

1st Time All-Star-Jesse Clyde “Deerfoot” Milan was born on March 25, 1887 in Linden, TN. The five-foot-nine, 168 pound centerfielder started Washington in 1907 and would play his whole career with the Senators. Since he toiled at the same position as Ty Cobb and Tris Speaker, he’ll never be the American League’s best centerfielder, but he had a good stretch of play for a few years. This season, Milan finished eighth in WAR Position Players (4.5), seventh in Offensive WAR (4.6), fifth in on-base percentage (.379), and fifth in steals (44).

SABR says, “But stardom was not immediate for Milan. After making his debut with the Senators on August 19, 1907, he played regularly in center field for the rest of the season and batted a respectable .279 in 48 games. In 1908, however, Milan batted just .239, and the following year he slumped to .200, with just 10 stolen bases in 130 games. Cantillon wanted to send him to the minors and purchase an outfielder who could hit, but the Senators were making so little money that they couldn’t afford a replacement. Fortunately for Washington, Jimmy McAleer took over as manager in 1910 and immediately recognized the young center fielder’s potential. Under McAleer’s tutelage, Milan bounced back to hit .279 with 44 steals, and in 1911 he became a full-fledged star by batting .315 with 58 steals.”

He and the other Washington Senators star, Walter Johnson, were good friends and would eventually become hunting companions and inseparable friends. They could console each other about all the losses, I guess.

oldring

CF-Rube Oldring, Philadelphia Athletics, 26 Years Old

.308, 4 HR, 57 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Fielding % as CF-.985

Fielding % as OF-.978

1st Time All-Star-Reuben Henry “Rube” Oldring was born on May 30, 1884 in New York, NY. The five-foot-10, 186 pound outfielder started with the Highlanders in 1905. He was then drafted by the Philadelphia Athletics from Montgomery (Southern Association) in the 1905 rule 5 draft. He had a decent year in 1907, slashing .286/.305/390 for an OPS+ of 119, before having his best season ever this year. Oldring finished ninth in Offensive WAR (4.4), sixth in batting (.308), fifth in slugging (.430), and sixth in Adjusted OPS+ (141). He didn’t play in the World Series.

SABR says, “They finally emerged as champions in 1910, well ahead of second place New York. Rube had the best year of his career that summer, finishing in the top ten in the American League in batting average (.308), slugging percentage (.430), hits (168), total bases (235), doubles (27), triples (14), and home runs (4).

“To prepare his underdog team for the World Series against the Chicago Cubs, Mack arranged a series of exhibition games against an American League all-star team. Unfortunately for Rube, he sprained his knee trying to dodge a fly ball he had lost in the sun; Oldring did not contribute to the A’s surprising five game upset of the Chicago Cubs.”

When I saw the name Rube, I assumed like most people with that nickname that he was from a rural area and got stuck with the name derogatorily, but nope, his real name was Reuben. Funny thing, Baseball Reference has his middle name as Henry, while SABR has it as Noshier.

murphy4RF-Danny Murphy, Philadelphia Athletics, 33 Years Old

1904 1905 1909

.300, 4 HR, 64 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as RF-151

4th Time All-Star-Murphy was an important part of Philadelphia winning the pennant and then eventually the World Series. He finished 10th in WAR Position Players (4.5), eighth in batting (.300), fourth in slugging (.436), and fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (142). In the World Series, he went two-for-four with a double in Philadelphia’s one loss, in the fourth game. However, he was a big part of the clinching win in game five, raking two hits, including yet another double. Altogether, Murphy hit .400 with six runs scored, three doubles, a homer, and a team-leading nine RBI.

Or as SABR says, “By 1910 it was apparent that Mack had strengthened the club at two positions. ‘That master move started a new pennant era for Mack,’ the Sporting News said of the switch. Collins batted .324, stole 81 bases and drove in 81 runs. The 33-year old Murphy, dubbed ‘Old Reliable,’ played in 151 games, became the first player to hit for the cycle at Shibe Park on August 25, batted .300 and led the team with 28 doubles, 18 triples and four home runs (tied with Rube Oldring), and the Athletics captured the AL flag by 14.5 games. In the World Series he batted .400, lashing eight hits, including three doubles and the only home run of the series, and drove in nine runs as the Athletics crushed the Cubs 4-1 for Mack’s first World Series win.” Unfortunately, because he wasn’t consistent over his career, Murphy is going to fall short of making my Hall of Fame.

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