1916 American League All-Star Team

P-Walter Johnson, WSH

P-Babe Ruth, BOS

P-Bob Shawkey, NYY

P-Harry Coveleski, DET

P-Carl Mays, BOS

P-Dutch Leonard, BOS

P-Bullet Joe Bush, PHA

P-Harry Harper, WSH

P-Carl Weilman, SLB

P-Reb Russell, CHW

C-Les Nunamaker, NYY

C-Ray Schalk, CHW

1B-George Sisler, SLB

1B-Wally Pipp, NYY

2B-Eddie Collins, CHW

2B-Del Pratt, SLB

3B-Larry Gardner, BOS

SS-Roger Peckinpaugh, NYY

LF-Shoeless Joe Jackson, CHW

LF-Bobby Veach, DET

LF-Burt Shotton, SLB

CF-Tris Speaker, BOS

CF-Ty Cobb, DET

CF-Amos Strunk, PHA

CF-Happy Felsch, CHW

 

johnson9

P-Walter Johnson, Washington Senators, 28 Years Old, 1916 ONEHOF Inductee

1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915

25-20, 1.90 ERA, 228 K, .225, 1 HR, 7 RBI

WAR Rank: 1

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes (Inducted in 1916)

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1936)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1909)

 

Led in:

 

Wins Above Replacement-10.7 (5th Time)

WAR for Pitchers-9.8 (5th Time)

Wins-25 (4th Time)

Strikeouts per 9 IP-5.551 (4th Time)

Innings Pitched-369 2/3 (5th Time)

Strikeouts-228 (6th Time)

Complete Games-36 (6th Time)

Hits Allowed-290 (3rd Time)

Strikeouts/Base on Balls-2.781 (5th Time)

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

Batters Faced-1,410 (5th Time)

Fielding Independent Pitching-1.82 (5th Time)

9th Time All-Star-Well, that didn’t take long. At the age of 28, Walter “Big Train” Johnson has entered the One-A-Year Hall of Fame, the Hall of my creation that allows just one player to enter per calendar year. The full list is here. Next year’s nominees are Roger Bresnahan, Hardy Richardson, Jimmy Collins, Elmer Flick, Johnny Evers, Sherry Magee, Eddie Collins, and Tris Speaker. That is not going to be an easy pick.

Walter is also one of the top 10 (technically top five) players of all-time, as of 1916. Here’s that list:

  1. Cy Young, P
  2. Honus Wagner, SS
  3. Cap Anson, 1B
  4. Ty Cobb, CF
  5. Walter Johnson, P
  6. Nap Lajoie, 2B
  7. Kid Nichols, P
  8. Christy Mathewson, P
  9. Roger Connor, 1B
  10. Eddie Plank, P

Washington, managed by Clark Griffith, dropped from fourth in 1915 to seventh this season with a76-77 record.  The Senators had no power, having the lowest slugging percentage in the American League, and had passable pitching.

Surprisingly, this will be the last season Johnson leads the AL in innings pitched. He’ll still pitch over 300 innings for the next two seasons, but then start declining after that. Of course, he is all of 28 at this point and still has an incredible amount of seasons left. My prediction is he’s going to wind up with 18 All-Star teams, which at this point would be the all-time record. I better start researching his life, because I’m going to be writing a lot about him apparently!

ruth

P-Babe Ruth, Boston Red Sox, 21 Years Old, 1916 AL MVP

23-12, 1.75 ERA, 170 K, .272, 3 HR, 16 RBI

WAR Rank: 2

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1936)

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

 

Led in:

 

1916 AL Pitching Title

Earned Run Average-1.75

Hits per 9 IP-6.396

Games Started-40

Shutouts-9

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.000

Adjusted ERA+-158

Adj. Pitching Runs-37

Adj. Pitching Wins-4.4

Putouts as P-24

1st Time All-Star-George Herman “Babe” or “The Bambino” or “The Sultan of Swat” or “Jidge” Ruth was born on February 6, 1895 in Baltimore, MD. The six-foot-two, 215 pound left-handed pitching, left-handed hitting pitcher is going to end being the greatest player of all-time. He started with Boston in 1914 and had an 18-8 record in 1915, but didn’t make the All-Star team. That’s okay, he’s got plenty of these lists in his future. I also named him the American League MVP this year, the first of many.

With Babe leading the way, Boston won the AL pennant, with Bill Carrigan coaching it to a 91-63 record. On May 19, Boston was 13-15 and seven games out of first, but went 78-48 the rest of the way to win the league by two games over the White Sox and four games over Detroit. Surprisingly, the Red Sox couldn’t hit, having the second lowest amount of homers in the league ironically. Their pitching staff, led by Ruth, had the lowest AL team ERA.

Boston then won its second consecutive World Series, defeating the Robins, four games to one. Ruth pitched 14 innings in game two to give Boston a 2-1 victory. He allowed six hits and one run.

Wikipedia says, “In 1916, there was attention focused on Ruth for his pitching, as he engaged in repeated pitching duels with the ace of the Washington Senators, Walter Johnson. The two met five times during the season, with Ruth winning four and Johnson one (Ruth had a no decision in Johnson’s victory). Two of Ruth’s victories were by the score of 1–0, one in a 13-inning game. Of the 1–0 shutout decided without extra innings, AL President Ban Johnson stated, ‘That was one of the best ball games I have ever seen.’”<

shawkey

P-Bob Shawkey, New York Yankees, 25 Years Old

24-14, 2.21 ERA, 122 K, .183, 0 HR, 4 RBI

WAR Rank: 7

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Saves-8

Games Finished-24

1st Time All-Star-James Robert “Bob” or “Sailor” Shawkey was born on December 4, 1890 in Sigel, PA. The five-foot-11, 168 pound righty pitcher started with Philadelphia in 1913, pitching in the World Series in 1914. He started one game, giving up three runs (two earned) in five innings and received the loss. In the middle of 1915, Shawkey was purchased by the New York Yankees from the Philadelphia Athletics for $3,000. Sailor came to life this year, finishing seventh in WAR (6.9); third in WAR for Pitchers (7.1), behind Walter Johnson (9.8) and Babe Ruth (8.8); eighth in ERA (2.21); eighth in innings pitched (276 2/3); and seventh in Adjusted ERA+ (132).

As for the Yankees, the Bill Donovan-managed team moved up from fifth to fourth with a 80-74 record. They had average hitting and pitching and finished with an average record.

SABR says, “Shawkey was acquired by the Yankees midway through an uninspired 1915 season. His 1916 season was outstanding: a 17-10 record in 27 starts, plus a 7-4 record and league-leading eight saves in 26 relief appearances. His 24 wins were second in the AL behind Walter Johnson, and his 2.21 ERA ranked eighth in the league. Shawkey’s work as both a starter and reliever in 1916 was unusual: The only other pitcher in major league history to start at least 24 games, and finish at least 24 games as a reliever, was Mordecai Brown in 1911. Shawkey ‘is beyond any doubt one of the best right-handers in the game,’ wrote Grantland Rice. Shawkey attributed his success in 1916 partly ‘to the fact that he drove his high-power racing car in moderation.’ He left the vehicle at home in the spring so that it would not be a distraction.”>

coveleski2

P-Harry Coveleski, Detroit Tigers, 30 Years Old

1914

21-11, 1.97 ERA, 108 K, .212, 0 HR, 7 RBI

WAR Rank: 8

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Assists as P-119 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-After making the All-Star team in 1914, Coveleski had a good, if not All-Star, 1915, finishing 22-13 with a 2.45 ERA. This season, The Giant Killer finished eighth in WAR (6.6); fourth in WAR for Pitchers (6.5); fourth in ERA (1.97); second in innings pitched for the third consecutive season (324 1/3), behind only Walter Johnson (369 2/3); and fourth in Adjusted ERA+ (145).

Hughie Jennings managed Detroit to a third place 87-67 record, four games out of first. The Tigers, led by Ty Cobb, led the league in runs scored, but their pitching lacked, as they gave up the second most runs in the American League. Detroit was actually up by a game as late as Sept. 17, but went 4-7 the rest of the year to fall out of the running.

SABR says, “In 1916 he was even better, as his 1.97 ERA ranked fourth in the league and he pitched a career-best 324 1/3 innings, finishing the season with a record of 21-11. For the three year span of 1914-1916, Coveleski had won 65 games against only 36 defeats, and tossed 940 1/3 innings. The heavy workload proved too great for his well-traveled left arm, however, and, according to newspaper reports, his wing ‘went back on him’ during 1917 spring training. Coveleski struggled through 11 starts, winding up with a record of 4-6 before he was shelved for the season. He managed only one start in 1918 before drawing his release.

“Coveleski passed away on August 4, 1950 at the age of 64. He was buried in St. Stanislaus Cemetery, in Shamokin.”

maysc

P-Carl Mays, Boston Red Sox, 24 Years Old

18-13, 2.39 ERA, 76 K, .234, 0 HR, 8 RBI

WAR Rank: 10

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Range Factor/9 Inn as P-4.78

Range Factor/Game as P-2.95

1st Time All-Star-Carl William “Sub” Mays was born on November 12, 1891 in Liberty, KY. The five-foot-11, 195 pound righty started with Boston in 1915 and led the American League in games finished (27) and saves (7). This season, he finished 10th in WAR (5.3) and ninth in WAR for Pitchers (4.5). In the World Series, Mays got the save in Game One, pitching one-third of an inning and allowing one hit, but no runs. He was the pitcher in Boston’s only loss, starting Game Three and allowing four earned runs in five innings pitched. The Red Sox won the Series over the Robins, 4-1.

He’s going to easily make my Hall of Fame and I have a feeling a lot of pitchers who pitched a majority of their careers in the 1920s are going to be underrated due to the increased runs scored of the era. I also wonder if there were those who didn’t want to induct the only pitcher to (inadvertently) kill a batter with a throw.

Baseball Reference says, “Mays is remembered for an incident during his rookie season in which he was naive and ignorant enough to pick a fight with Ty Cobb. In one game, he threw high and inside to Cobb, and the latter replied by laying a bunt down the first base line, where Cobb plowed into him and spiked his leg. After that, the two hard men held a grudging respect for the other’s no-holds-barred sense of competitiveness.” That’s one brave man!

leonard2

P-Dutch Leonard, Boston Red Sox, 24 Years Old

1914

18-12, 2.36 ERA, 144 K, .200, 0 HR, 10 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-After setting the ERA record with a 0.96 in 1914, Leonard didn’t make the All-Star team in 1915 despite a 15-7 record and a 2.36 ERA. He did pitch in the World Series and won his only start, allowing one run in nine innings. This year, Leonard finished sixth in WAR for Pitchers (5.0); 10th in innings pitched (274); and 10th in Adjusted ERA+ (117). He then pitched in the World Series, starting one game, and winning it with only one unearned run allowed. Is this Groundhog Day? I say that because if you look closely at his 1915 and 1916 seasons, they’re very similar.

Leonard also pitched a no-hitter this season against the Browns on August 30.

SABR says, “A hard-throwing, spectacularly talented left-hander who posted the best single-season earned run average in American League history in 1914, Dutch Leonard was also one of the Deadball Era’s most controversial figures. At nearly every stop along his journey in professional baseball, Leonard feuded with management over his salary, and at one point was even suspended from organized baseball for nearly three years for refusing to report for work. Regarded as a selfish, cowardly player by many of his contemporaries, Leonard frittered away much of his major league career, alternating periods of brilliance with long bouts of inertia. ‘As a pitcher, he was gutless,’ Hall of Fame umpire Billy Evans once declared. ‘We umpires had no respect for Leonard, for he whined on every pitch called against him.’” What kind of career could have Leonard had if he just focused on the game?

bushb

P-Bullet Joe Bush, Philadelphia Athletics, 23 Years Old

15-24, 2.57 ERA, 157 K, .140, 0 HR, 6 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require eight more All-Star seasons. 38 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Losses-24

Wild Pitches-15

1st Time All-Star-Leslie Ambrose “Bullet Joe” Bush was born on November 27, 1892 in Ehime, MN. The five-foot-nine, 173 pound righty started with Philadelphia in 1912. In two World Series games pitched in 1913 and 1914, he went 1-1 with a 2.25 ERA. He stayed with Philadelphia even when they dumped their best players in 1915 and this year finished fifth in WAR for Pitchers (5.6) and sixth in innings pitched (286 2/3). I thought Philadelphia would have only one player per All-Star team out of necessity, but even in their terrible years, they had a couple of good ones.

Oh, did I say terrible year? Connie Mack’s squad went 36-117, a mere 54-and-a-half games out of first. They were so bad that even the seventh place Senators were only one game below .500.

Wikipedia says, “Bush led the American League in losses (24) in 1916, walks allowed (109) in 1924, and wild pitches in 1916 (15), 1923 (12) and 1924 (7). While with the Athletics in 1916, when he led the league in losses, he won 15 games; the entire team won only 36 during what was then a Major League-worst 36-117 (.235 won-loss percentage) season. This was 41.7% of the team’s total wins. On August 26 of that season, Bush no-hit the Cleveland Indians 5-0 at Shibe Park; a first inning, leadoff walk to Jack Graney was the only baserunner that kept him from a perfect game.” I can imagine how difficult it was to pitch on a team that lost day after day. Can you imagine where the A’s would have been without Bullet Joe?

harperh

P-Harry Harper, Washington Senators, 21 Years Old

14-10, 2.45 ERA, 149 K, .207, 0 HR, 1 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

1st Time All-Star-Harry Clayton Harper was born on April 24, 1895 in Hackensack, NJ, the same city as Miss Teschmacher’s mom.

From Superman, the Movie (as opposed to what?):

Miss Teschmacher: [after learning that there is a missile heading toward Hackensack] Lex, my mother lives in Hackensack.

[Luthor checks his watch and shrugs]

Back to Harper. He started with Washington as an 18-year-old in 1913. This season, he finished seventh in WAR for Pitchers (4.9). It must be tough pitching under the shadow of Walter Johnson.

SABR says, “Harper’s professional baseball career began in 1913. He was a protégé of pitcher George Davis, who had gone with 18-year-old Harry to his home in order to secure his mother’s consent for him to join the Washington Senators.4 His first appearance was in the big leagues, for the Senators, working the last three innings in the second game of a doubleheader on June 27, 1913, against the visiting Philadelphia Athletics. He gave up one run in the 11-5 loss. ‘Harper did so well yesterday,’ wrote the Washington Post, “that Griffith was thoroughly tickled.” The paper observed that he ‘has much to learn about fielding his position’ but was impressed that he had not been intimidated by ‘such a collection of vicious hitters as the Athletics.’

“Harper went on a postseason trip of all-stars and impressed Johnny Evers, who agreed with Griffith that ‘he must be classed with the best left-handers in either league.’ He was given the nickname ‘South,’ reflecting his status as a southpaw.”

weilman3

P-Carl Weilman, St. Louis Browns, 26 Years Old

1914 1915

17-18, 2.15 ERA, 91 K

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

3rd Time All-Star-Weilman once again had a  losing record and once again made the American League All-Star team. He finished eighth in WAR for Pitchers (4.6), seventh in ERA (2.15), ninth in innings pitched (276), and eighth in Adjusted ERA+ (126).

His Browns had a new manager, Fielder Jones, and improved from sixth to fifth with a 79-75 record. They were second in the league in OBP, thanks to George Sisler, and were third in the league in ERA, thanks to Zeke.

SABR speaks of his later life, stating, “[H]is 1917 season was cut short in early May by his nemesis, mycobacterium tuberculosis; the contemptible pathogen had infected one of his kidneys. The tubercular kidney was surgically removed on May 17, 1917, eight days after his wife gave birth to their only child, daughter Mary Louise.

“Weilman sat out the remainder of the 1917 season and all of the 1918 season, endeavoring to regain his strength and fitness. Many doubted that he would return to baseball. He could earn a comfortable living as a machinist and avoid the physical strain of pitching. But Weilman returned to the Browns in 1919 with a performance worthy of a Comeback Player of the Year Award.

“[Starting in 1921], Weilman scouted for the Browns, and during spring training served as a pitching coach. He became critically ill in the spring of 1924 and died in Hamilton on May 25, 1924. The cause of death was tuberculosis of the throat.

“George Sisler, now manager of the Browns, said Weilman ‘stood for something more than baseball to us. … He was ever uncomplaining regardless of what happened to him. He was a genuine real friend who was a help to all who knew him.’”

russell2

P-Reb Russell, Chicago White Sox, 27 Years Old

1913

18-11, 2.42 ERA, 112 K, .143, 0 HR, 6 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Walks & Hits per IP-0.942

Bases on Balls per 9 IP-1.430

2nd Time All-Star-After making the All-Star team in 1913, Russell faltered in 1914 and 1915, but is back this season. He finished 10th in WAR for Pitchers (4.2), with the ability not to allow people on base.

Chicago almost won the American League title, finishing two games behind Boston. Pants Rowland guided the White Sox to a 89-65 finish. They were in first as late as August 8, but never made it back to the top after that. Thanks to Eddie Collins, the Sox scored the third most runs in the league and, thanks to Russell, had the best ERA in the AL.

Wikipedia summarizes the rest of his career, saying, “Russell helped the White Sox win the 1917 American League pennant, with a won-loss record of 15–5 and an ERA of 1.95. He was the starting pitcher of Game 5 of the 1917 World Series, but was unable to retire a batter and was replaced in the first inning by Eddie Cicotte.

“Russell developed arm trouble in 1918 and, after a poor start, he was released by Chicago. However, in the minor leagues the decent-hitting Russell converted to playing the outfield and returned to the majors in 1922, playing for Pittsburgh. That year, he batted .368 with 75 RBI in 60 games. He was released by the Pirates at the end of the 1923 season, after which he returned to the minor league American Association (the highest level of minor league play in his era). Russell remained a highly paid star in the AA through age 40, and won the league batting title (.385) when he was 38 years old.”

Russell died at the age of 84 on September 30, 1973 in Indianapolis.

nunamaker

C-Les Nunamaker, New York Yankees, 27 Years Old

.296, 0 HR, 28 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 26 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

1st Time All-Star-Leslie Grant “Les” Nunamaker was born on January 25, 1889 in Malcolm, NE. The six-foot-two, 190 pound catcher started with Boston in 1911. Then on May 13, 1914, the Yankees purchased him from the Red Sox. In a weak year for catchers, Nunamaker slashed .296/.380/.404 for an OPS+ of 133 and made the list.

 SABR says, “Ornery, rambunctious, and immensely talented, Leslie Nunamaker became one of baseball’s stoutest hitting and best throwing catchers during the last decade of the Deadball Era—and one of the game’s colorful personalities. Cut from the same temperamental cloth as contemporaries Ty Cobb and John McGraw, Nunamaker was prone to explosive on-field behavior that resulted in an assortment of ejections and punishments in his 12-year American League career. “Leslie Nunamaker wants to run amuck when he gets mad,” Washington Post reporter J.V. Fitz Gerald remarked in 1918 after witnessing one of the catcher’s outbursts. Nunamaker got mad often, and his irascible nature often attracted as much publicity as his tremendous physical gifts and feats on the diamond. Equipped with a magnificent right arm, he once threw out three baserunners in an inning, tying a major-league record. His bat could be equally formidable: Twice he led American League catchers in hitting and might have done so again had he not been seriously injured in an automobile accident while still in his prime.

“Leslie Nunamaker developed carcinoma of the thyroid and died from complications in Hastings on November 14, 1938, at the age of 49. He is buried in Aurora, [Nebraska].”

schalk3

C-Ray Schalk, Chicago White Sox, 23 Years Old

1914 1915

.232, 0 HR, 41 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1955)

Ron’s: No (Would require eight more All-Star seasons. 44 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Putouts as C-653 (4th Time)

Assists as C-166

Fielding % as C-.988 (2nd Time)

3rd Time All-Star-I’m giving Schalk a chance to make my Hall of Fame, but it’s not much. He’ll have to make it on his defense and, wouldn’t you know it, he continues to do so. This year his OPS+ was only 84 as he slashed .232/.311/.305, but he’s still here thanks to finishing fifth in Defensive WAR (1.7). The question will be how often his glove will carry him.

Wikipedia says, “In 1916, Schalk had a career-high 30 stolen bases (a record for a catcher, until John Wathan broke it in 1982) and led the league in fielding percentage, putouts assistsand range factor as the White Sox finished in second place, only two games behind the Boston Red Sox. His pitch-calling skills were evident as he guided the White Sox pitching staff to the lowest earned run average in the league.”

I like this from SABR, which states, “Another off-field adventure drew the ire of owner Charles Comiskey. Looking to use the Chicago skyline’s newly constructed Tribune Tower for a promotional stunt, a movie company came upon the idea of using Schalk to catch a ball dropped from the top of the Tower – a height of 463 feet. Smiling for the cameras, Cracker caught the third ball tossed. ‘Didn’t sting me any more than one of those high fouls Babe Ruth used to hit,’ he later said. But Comiskey caught wind of the stunt and was irate when Schalk arrived at the ballpark later that day. Comiskey chided Schalk over the consequences had his star catcher misjudged the ball. Schalk’s unadorned response – ‘But I didn’t misjudge it’ – did not placate the Old Roman.”

sisler

1B-George Sisler, St. Louis Browns, 23 Years Old

.305, 4 HR, 76 RBI, 1-2, 1.00 ERA, 12 K

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1939)

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

 

Led in:

 

Errors Committed as 1B-24

1st Time All-Star-“Gorgeous George” Harold Sisler was born on March 24, 1893 in Manchester, OH. The five-foot-11, 170 pound lefty first baseman would be one the American League’s great hitters for a while. He started with the Browns in 1915 and this season, finished 10th in Offensive WAR (4.2), eighth in batting (.305), eighth in Adjusted OPS+ (133), and was a poor 34 for 60 stealing.

SABR stated, “The highlight of his rookie season was a 2-1 win over Walter Johnson on August 29 in which he limited the Senators to six hits and struck out three, winning the game thanks to Del Pratt‘s successful execution of the hidden ball trick. For the remainder of his life, Sisler spoke of that game as his greatest thrill in baseball. ‘Sisler can be counted a baseball freak,’ the Washington Post reported the next day. ‘[Rickey] plays him in the outfield and he makes sensational catches… he plays him on first base and actually he looks like Hal Chase when Hal was king of the first sackers, and then on the hill he goes out and beats Johnson.’

Wikipedia says, “Sisler entered the major leagues as a pitcher for the Browns in 1915. He posted a career pitching record of 5–6 with a 2.35 earned run average in 24 career mound appearances. He defeated Walter Johnson twice in complete-game victories. In 1916, Sisler moved to first base, and finished the season with a batting average above .300 for the first of seven consecutive seasons. He also had 34 stolen bases that season, and stole at least 28 bases in every season through 1922.”

pipp

1B-Wally Pipp, New York Yankees, 23 Years Old

.262, 12 HR, 93 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Home Runs-12

Strikeouts-82

Power-Speed #-13.7

Def. Games as 1B-148 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as 1B-89 (2nd Time)

1st Time All-Star-Walter Clement “Wally” Pipp was born on February 17, 1893 in Chicago, IL. The six-foot-one, 180 pound lefty first baseman started with Detroit in 1913. Then on February 4, 1915, he was purchased with Hugh High by the New York Yankees from the Detroit Tigers. The fact he made an All-Star team should convince you he shouldn’t only be famous for missing a game and having Lou Gehrig take over, thus losing his position. He was a decent player in his own right.

SABR says, “Tall, lithe-limbed and broad-shouldered, the 6′ 2″, 180 lb. Wally Pipp carried himself with an unmistakable air of confidence and distinction, befitting one of the Deadball Era’s premier sluggers. Whether disembarking from a train, haggling with management over bonus money, scooping up grounders around first base, or swatting home runs, Pipp ‘was a high-class specimen of the ball player,’ New York Times reporter James R. Harrison observed. ‘On and off the field, he was a prime favorite.’ A harbinger for the style of play that would grip the game beginning in the 1920s, in 1916 the left-handed, free-swinging Pipp became the first player in American League history to lead the league in both home runs and strikeouts. In addition to his batting exploits, Pipp was one of the finest defensive first basemen of the Deadball Era; in 1915, he led all American League first basemen in putouts, assists, double plays, and fielding percentage.” He’ll make at least one more All-Star team and I’ll tell the Gehrig story then.

collinse8

2B-Eddie Collins, Chicago White Sox, 29 Years Old

1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915

.308, 0 HR, 52 RBI

WAR Rank: 5

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1939)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1911)

 

Led in:

 

Double Plays Turned as 2B-75 (4th Time)

Fielding % as 2B-.976 (5th Time)

8th Time All-Star-Part of the appeal of this great game is stockier people like Babe Ruth and smaller people like Jose Altuve and Collins can all succeed. If I worked hard and had any talent, I could play baseball with my body frame, but it would be difficult for me to make it in basketball or football. Collins was small and had no power, but even in the 1920s, when homers were more prevalent, Collins still had some great seasons. He had the attitude of a winner and everywhere he went, victories followed.

This season, Collins finished fifth in WAR (7.1); third in WAR Position Players (7.1), behind Tris Speaker (8.7) and Ty Cobb (8.0); fourth in Offensive WAR (6.2); sixth in batting (.308); third in on-base percentage (.405), trailing Speaker (.470) and Cobb (.452); fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (140); and was a mediocre 40 for 61 stealing bases.

A website called Baseball Egg names Collins the second greatest second baseman of all-time. It says, “Collins rates behind Rogers Hornsby and ahead of Joe Morgan in second place on our list of the 100 greatest second basemen in baseball history. Collins was a great player at the age of 22 and a very good player at the age of 39. In between, he never had a bad season. He came into the league at almost the exact time as Ty Cobb and the two were together in the AL for 23 seasons. They were teammates for the last two years of Cobb’s career with the Athletics, but both were pretty ancient by then and served as part-time players for Connie Mack.”

pratt3

2B-Del Pratt, St. Louis Browns, 28 Years Old

1914 1915

.267, 5 HR, 103 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Games Played-158 (4th Time)

Runs Batted In-103

Assists-491

Def. Games as 2B-158 (3rd Time)

Putouts as 2B-438 (4th Time)

Assists as 2B-491

Errors Committed as 2B-33 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/Game as 2B-5.88 (2nd Time)

3rd Time All-Star-Pratt, the durable second baseman, made his third consecutive All-Star team for the improving Browns. He finished eighth in WAR Position Players (4.8) and seventh in Offensive WAR (4.4). He would have got a lot of attention in some MVP votes for the 103 RBI.

A website called Historic Baseball says, “Pratt signed with the St. Louis Browns and proved to be a versatile player on the field. In his career, he played second base, shortstop, third base and in the outfield. He earned a reputation for being a hard-nosed player on the field and someone who would argue with his coaches, managers and owners off the field. Pratt even filed a lawsuit against the owner of St. Louis Browns when he suggested that the team had let up in a game. The suit was settled out of court — in Pratt’s favor.

“In 1916, Pratt hit  .267 with five home runs and drove in 103 runs. His RBI total led the American League.

“Pratt had quite a reputation for his temper and his willingness to fight anyone who insulted him. One of the stories of that temper came from his time in St. Louis. During the IntraCity Exhibition games between the Browns and the Cardinals, Pratt is described as becoming quite angry over an insult hurled at him from the Cardinals dugout.

“An angry Pratt ran into the Cardinals’ dugout and punched out rookie Zinn Beck. After that, the entire Cardinals team decided to defend their player.

“When the fight had ended, Pratt was unharmed except for a couple of bruises. The fight did earn him a suspension that forced him to miss two games of the exhibition series.”

gardner3

3B-Larry Gardner, Boston Red Sox, 30 Years Old

1911 1912

.308, 2 HR, 62 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require four more All-Star seasons. 88 percent chance)

3rd Time All-Star-As all of you know, making my All-Star team is the most prestigious honor any player can earn. That’s why Gardner’s hitting slump from 1913-15 hurt him, because if he would have made this list just one time in those three years, he’d be almost a guarantee for another great prize, making my Hall of Fame. He did make the World Series in 1915, hitting .235 (four-for-17) with a triple in helping Boston win the championship.

This season, Gardner finished ninth in WAR Position Players (4.7); sixth in Offensive WAR (4.7); fifth in batting (.308); and eighth in on-base percentage (.372). He didn’t hit for a great average in the Series, batting only .176, but did hit two homers. One was in the fifth game, an inside-the-park homer that gave Boston a 3-2 lead they’d never relinquish. Or as SABR and Grantland Rice say, “In Game Four, with two men on base and Boston down 2-0, Gardner hit a fastball from Rube Marquard for an inside-the-park homer, giving the Red Sox a 3-2 lead they never relinquished. ‘That one blow, delivered deep into the barren lands of center field, broke Marquard’s heart, shattered Brooklyn’s wavering defense, and practically closed out the series,’ wrote Grantland Rice. Boston went on to win in five games, and Larry Gardner was considered the hero of the Series. As Tim Murnane put it, he had ‘a way of rising to the occasion as a trout rises to a fly in one of his favorite Vermont streams.’”

peckinpaugh

SS-Roger Peckinpaugh, New York Yankees, 25 Years Old

.255, 4 HR, 58 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require six more All-Star seasons. 92 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as SS-145 (2nd Time)

Assists as SS-468

1st Time All-Star-Roger Thorpe Peckinpaugh was born on February 5, 1891 in Wooster, OH. The five-foot-10, 165 pound shortstop started with Cleveland in 1910. Then on May 25, 1913, he was traded by the Cleveland Naps to the New York Yankees for Jack Lelivelt and Bill Stumpf. He would have some success for the Yankees, mainly because of his glove. This season, Peckinpaugh finished 10th in WAR Position Players (4.4) and third in Defensive WAR (2.0), behind Ossie Vitt (2.6) and Doc Lavan (2.1).

SABR says, “Jacob Ruppert and Cap Huston bought the New York franchise after the 1914 season and started turning the Yankees into winners. Ruppert hired Wild Bill Donovan to take the managerial reins but he kept Peck as captain. With the Federal League dangling big money in front of established stars, the Yankees signed Peck to a three-year contract at $6,000 per year for 1915 to 1917. While he continued to post pedestrian batting averages over that span–topping out at .260 with 63 runs scored in the final year of his contract–Peckinpaugh repaid the Yankees’ loyalty with his glove, leading the league in assists in 1916 and double plays the following year. To aid his fielding, Peck liked to chew Star plug tobacco, and then rub the juice into his glove. ‘[It] was licorice-flavored and it made my glove sticky,’ he later said. He also used the tobacco to darken the ball, ‘and the pitchers liked that. The batters did not, but…there was only one umpire[sic].’”

jackson5LF-Shoeless Joe Jackson, Chicago White Sox, 28 Years Old

1911 1912 1913 1914

.341, 3 HR, 78 RBI

WAR Rank: 6

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1916)

 

Led in:

 

Total Bases-293 (2nd Time)

Triples-21 (2nd Time)

Extra Base Hits-64

Double Plays Turned as LF-5

5th Time All-Star-Most likely, Shoeless Joe is never going to make it into Cooperstown and that’s okay with me. As a Reds fan, I’m asked if Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame and I’m actually good with him not being there. If you want to be in the Hall of Fame, don’t gamble on games. However, the reason I have the ONEHOF (the One-a-Year Hall of Fame in which one player is inducted yearly) and Ron’s Hall of Fame is that players will be inducted on stats only. To get in my HOF, I multiply All-Star seasons by Career WAR and if the number is 300 or over, you’re in. No judgments on personality or wrong doings. If you’re a great player, you’re in. This year, Jackson is in. He is the sixth rightfielder inducted along with Sam Crawford, Sam Thompson, Elmer Flick, Willie Keeler, and King Kelly.

After not making the All-Star team in 1915, a year in which he was traded from Cleveland to Chicago, he was back to his old self this season, finishing sixth in WAR (7.0); fourth in WAR Position Players (7.0); third in Offensive WAR (6.8), behind centerfielders Ty Cobb (8.7) and Tris Speaker (8.6); third in batting (.341), trailing Speaker (.386) and Cobb (.371); fifth in on-base percentage (.393); second in slugging (.495), behind The Grey Eagle (.502); and third in Adjusted OPS+ (166), lagging behind Speaker (186) and the Georgia Peach (179). You could form an unbeatable outfield with Speaker, Cobb, and Shoeless Joe on your team.

veach2

LF-Bobby Veach, Detroit Tigers, 28 Years Old

1915

.306, 3 HR, 89 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require five more All-Star seasons. 80 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Double Plays Turned as LF-5

2nd Time All-Star-Veach was in a great stretch of seasons and made the All-Star team for the second consecutive year. He finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.0); eighth in Offensive WAR (4.4); seventh in batting (.306); 10th in on-base percentage (.367); fourth in slugging (.433); and seventh in Adjusted OPS+ (136). He still has greater years to come.

Wikipedia says, “On June 9, 1916, Veach scored a run to end Babe Ruth‘s scoreless innings streak at 25. Ruth then evened the score with one of the longest home runs ever at Navin Field, deep into the right field bleachers.”

If Veach doesn’t make my Hall of Fame, and right now it looks like he’s going to fall a little short, it’s going to be because of his defense. Most of these great players are good at bat and good in the field, but not this leftfielder, at least according to Baseball Reference dWAR. He also was one of those players who played in wrong era as he was already 32 by the time the Roaring Twenties and their emphasis on the long ball came. He did have back-to-back seasons of double digit homers in 1920 and 1921, but then started to decline after that.

Veach does get some Hall of Fame interest online, but most of it seems to come from his RBIs. However, when you hit behind Ty Cobb, it’s easy to have opportunities to drive in runs, so that’s a weak argument. The only way Veach will make my Hall is he has an unexpected All-Star season and that’s not impossible.

shotton4

LF-Burt Shotton, St. Louis Browns, 31 Years Old

1912 1913 1915

.283, 1 HR, 36 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

At-Bats-614

Plate Appearances-727

Bases on Balls-110 (2nd Time)

Caught Stealing-28

Def. Games as LF-156

Putouts as LF-357

Assists as LF-25

Errors Committed as LF-20 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as LF-5

Def. Games as OF-156 (2nd Time)

Errors Committed as OF-20 (4th Time)

Range Factor/Game as LF-2.45

4th Time All-Star-Shotton made his fourth All-Star game in five years, but most likely it’s his last. This was his best season ever, though his base stealing continued to be miserable. He stole just 41 of 69 attempts. He did show great range in the outfield and continued to do well at drawing the base on balls.

Of his famous managing gig, Wikipedia says, “He inherited a contending Brooklyn team that had finished in a flatfooted tie for the 1946 National League pennant before losing a playoff series to the Cardinals. He also inherited what historian Jules Tygiel called Baseball’s Great Experiment — the Dodgers’ breaking of the infamous color line by bringing up Jackie Robinson from their Triple-A Montreal Royals farm club at the start of the 1947 season to end over sixty years of racial segregation in baseball. The rookie was facing withering insults from opposing players, and a petition by Dodger players protesting Robinson’s presence had only recently been quashed by Durocher.”

Though Shotton was Robinson’s main manager in 1947, he wasn’t his first. Clyde Sukeforth helmed the first two games of the season. However, it was Shotton who bore the brunt of this circus and from all I can read, kept the team calm throughout.

Wikipedia continues, “Shotton died in Lake Wales, Florida, from a heart attack at age 77 during the second All-Star break in 1962. Although his career win-loss record as a big league manager was 697–764 (.477), his mark with the Dodgers was 326–215 (.603).”

speaker8

CF-Tris Speaker, Cleveland Indians, 28 Years Old

1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915

.386, 2 HR, 79 RBI

WAR Rank: 3

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1937)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1911)

 

Led in:

 

1916 AL Batting Title

WAR Position Players-8.7 (3rd Time)

Batting Average-.386

On-Base %-.470 (2nd Time)

Slugging %-.502

On-Base Plus Slugging-.972

Hits-211 (2nd Time)

Doubles-41 (3rd Time)

Singles-160

Adjusted OPS+-186

Adj. Batting Runs-64 (3rd Time)

Adj. Batting Wins-7.1 (3rd Time)

Times On Base-297 (2nd Time)

Def. Games as CF-151 (3rd Time)

Double Plays Turned as CF-10 (5th Time)

Double Plays Turned as OF-10 (5th Time)

8th Time All-Star-With his eighth All-Star team made at centerfield, The Grey Eagle tied Paul Hines for most All-Star teams at that position. Here’s the whole list:

P-Cy Young, 17

C-Charlie Bennett, 9

1B-Cap Anson, 13

2B-Nap Lajoie, 11

3B-Jimmy Collins, 8

SS-Honus Wagner, 13

LF-Fred Clarke, 10

CF-Hines, Speaker, 8

RF-Sam Crawford, 9

Scott Maxwell has a website called Son of Sam Horn or SOSH that details Boston sports. He has an excellent article on why Speaker was traded to Cleveland between the 1915 and 1916 seasons and I suggest you read the whole thing. Here’s some of it:

“Despite Speaker’s reluctance, Lannin traded Speaker to Cleveland on April 9th, three days before the season began. The deal sent Boston $55,000 (roughly $1.25M today) in cash, along with players Sad Sam Jones, a relief pitcher, and Fred Thomas, a utility infielder. It was all about the money, and it set an unfortunate precedent. The deal rocked the baseball world. Red Sox players were stunned at the news, and opponents were delighted. Fans were shocked and mourned the loss of the team’s best player and two-time champion.

“Speaker continued his Hall of Fame career, finally pushing his way past Ty Cobb to win the 1916 batting title with a career-high .386 average. Despite having a remarkable .345 average over his 22-year career, it was the only batting title he ever won. To put it in context, Speaker’s 186 OPS+ that year is tied on the all-time list with Manny Ramirez’s 2000 campaign during which he batted .351 and hit 38 HR, good enough for a career-high 1.154 OPS.”

cobb10

CF-Ty Cobb, Detroit Tigers, 29 Years Old

1907 1908 1909 1910 1911 1912 1913 1914 1915

.371, 5 HR, 68 RBI

WAR Rank: 4

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes (Inducted in 1915)

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1936)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1908)

 

Led in:

 

Offensive WAR-8.7 (6th Time)

Runs Scored-113 (5th Time)

Stolen Bases-68 (5th Time)

Runs Created-125 (6th Time)

Offensive Win %-.851 (9th Time)

Errors Committed as CF-17 (2nd Time)

10th Time All-Star-When a player makes this list as often as Cobb does, it can be difficult to find new things to write every year. However, that’s not a problem for the Georgia Peach, because he was such a big personality who did numerous non-baseball (and non-gentlemanly) extra-curricular activities. That’s why I like to focus on his baseball. Like how Cobb has made 10 consecutive All-Star teams and is not yet 30. How he might already at this time be the fourth greatest player of all-time, behind Cy Young, Honus Wagner, and Cap Anson. (You can see the full list here.) If I just concentrate on baseball, it’s a pretty picture.

This season, Cobb finished fourth in WAR (8.0); second in WAR Position Players (8.0), behind Cleveland centerfielder Tris Speaker (8.7); first in Offensive WAR (8.7); second in batting (.371), trailing Speaker (.386); second in on-base percentage (.452), behind The Grey Eagle (.470); third in slugging (.493), with Speaker (.502) and White Sox leftfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson (.495) ahead of him; second in Adjusted OPS+ (179), behind Speaker (186); and finished an acceptable 68 for 92 stealing.

Here’s another fascinating story about Cobb from Cut4: “Pop quiz hotshot: It’s 1916 and baseball season hasn’t started yet. What’s going to be the biggest news in sports? If you answered “Ty Cobb losing a diamond ring,” then ding, ding, ding, we have a winner.

“On March 11, 1916, the Toledo Bee reported that Cobb was ‘mourning the loss of a $600 diamond ring which he has been wearing for the past 10 years,’ with the ring likely residing somewhere along ‘the Big Four railroad tracks between Ivorydale and Lockland, near Cincinnati.’ The Tigers star had lost the jewelry while washing in a ‘new style basin’ — whatever that is.

“Two weeks later, the Pittsburgh Press reported that the ring was found by ‘Richard Harley, son of a railroad laborer,’ in the Elmwood Place neighborhood of Cincinnati. The paper made sure to note that in the time since Cobb had lost it, ‘every youngster in the neighborhood has been searching for the ring.’” Read the whole article by Michael Clair.

strunk2

CF-Amos Strunk, Philadelphia Athletics, 27 Years Old

1915

.316, 3 HR, 49 RBI

WAR Rank: 9

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-It’s important to realize Strunk had a tremendous season and some years he would have been the best centerfielder in the league. Not this year, not with the seasons Cleveland’s Tris Speaker and Detroit’s Ty Cobb had. It was still Strunk’s best season ever as he finished ninth in WAR (5.6); fifth in WAR Position Players (5.6); fifth in Offensive WAR (5.4); fourth in batting (.316); sixth in on-base percentage (.393); seventh in slugging (.421); fourth in Adjusted OPS+ (151); and was a terrible 21-for-44 stealing.

Wikipedia has the wrap-up, saying, “Strunk reached the majors in 1908 with the Athletics, spending nine years with them before moving to the Boston Red Sox (1918–19), and played again for Philadelphia (1919–20) and in parts of four seasons with the Chicago White Sox (1920–23). Then, he returned with the Athletics in 1924, his last major league season. Five times he led American League outfielders in fielding percentage, and played in five World Series with the Athletics (191011191314) and Red Sox (1918).

“In a 17-season career, Strunk was a .284 hitter (1418-for-4999) with 15 home runs and 530 RBI in 1512 games played, including 696 runs, 213 doubles, 96 triples and 185 stolen bases.

“Following his baseball career, Strunk spent fifty years in the insurance business. He died in Llanerch, Pennsylvania, at the age of 90.

“He was the last surviving member of the 1910, 1911 and 1913 World Champion Philadelphia Athletics.” He played on some of the best and worst teams of all time.

felsch

CF-Happy Felsch, Chicago White Sox, 24 Years Old

.300, 7 HR, 70 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 15 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Fielding % as CF-.981

Fielding % as OF-.981

1st Time All-Star-Oscar Emil “Happy” Felsch was born on August 22, 1891 in Milwaukee, WI. The five-foot-11, 175 pound centerfielder started with Chicago in 1915 and was, of course, one of the eight Black Sox banned from the game for his role in fixing the 1919 World Series. More on that down the road. For now, this season Felsch finished ninth in batting (.300); sixth in slugging (.427); and 10th in Adjusted OPS+ (130).

SABR says, “The coming 1916 baseball season surely brought hope to Felsch and the White Sox. The promising club advanced to second place, overcoming a slow start to finish only two games behind the Red Sox. Charles Comiskey, the White Sox owner, was spending money to make money. Adding a pitcher of the caliber of Claude ‘Lefty’ Williams to a staff that already included stars Eddie Cicotte, Red Faber, and Reb Russell helped the White Sox break their attendance record with 679,923 fans, 140,462 more than in 1915.

“Comiskey Park loyalists enjoyed watching Felsch belt seven home runs, out of a team total of 17. He led the Deadball Era White Sox and tied for third in the American League. Suddenly the sophomore from the sandlots of Milwaukee was in the upper echelon of AL hitters as he batted an even .300 and finished sixth in the league with a slugging average of .427. Under the tutelage of coach William ‘Kid’ Gleason, the sure-handed Hap, an honorable mention member on Baseball Magazine’s AL All-America Baseball Club, topped all AL outfielders with a fielding percentage of .981.”

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