1925 National League All-Star Team

P-Pete Donohue, CIN

P-Dolf Luque, CIN

P-Eppa Rixey, CIN

P-Jack Scott, NYG

P-Dazzy Vance, BRO

P-Bill Sherdel, STL

P-Hal Carlson, PHI

P-Pete Alexander, CHC

P-Larry Benton, BSN

P-Jimmy Ring, PHI

C-Gabby Hartnett, CHC

C-Earl Smith, PIT

1B-Jack Fournier, BRO

1B-Jim Bottomley, STL

2B-Rogers Hornsby, STL

2B-High Pockets Kelly, NYG

3B-Frankie Frisch, NYG

3B-Pie Traynor, PIT

SS-Dave Bancroft, BSN

SS-Glenn Wright, PIT

LF-Zack Wheat, BRO

LF-Ray Blades, STL

CF-Max Carey, PIT

RF-Kiki Cuyler, PIT

RF-Curt Walker, CIN



P-Pete Donohue, Cincinnati Reds, 24 Years Old

21-14, 3.08 ERA, 78 K, .294, 1 HR, 12 RBI

MVP Rank: 15

WAR Rank: 2

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Innings Pitched-301

Games Started-38

Complete Games-27

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.090

1st Time All-Star-Peter Joseph “Pete” Donohue was born on November 5, 1900 in Athens, TX. The six-foot-two, 185 pound righty started his career with the Reds in 1921. He led the National League in winning percentage (.667) in 1922, but this season was his best ever. He finished second in WAR (6.9), behind St. Louis second baseman Rogers Hornsby (10.2); third in WAR for Pitchers (6.1), trailing teammates Eppa Rixey (6.5) and Dolf Luque (6.3); third in ERA (3.08), behind Luque (2.63) and Rixey (2.88); first in innings pitched (301); fourth in Adjusted ERA+ (133); and, in this hitting era, gave up just three home runs in those 301 innings.

You can see Cincinnati featured three great pitchers in Donohue, Luque, and Rixey, so why didn’t they win the National League crown? They couldn’t hit. Jack Hendricks’ squad allowed the least runs in the league, but also scored less than the rest of the NL. The team finished in third with an 80-73 record, 15 games out of first.

SABR says, “What the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame dubbed the ‘most successful and durable staff in Reds history…the Big Three’ – Rixey, Luque, and Donohue – played together for the next eight seasons as well, averaging a combined 92 starts and 45 wins per season. They were all 20-game winners in 1923, and each led the league in both wins and shutouts once. Nonetheless, the Reds never finished better than second (1922, 1923, and 1926) – and this was decades before there were any league playoffs.

“Donohue died on February 23, 1988, in Fort Worth. His daughter Judy, two sisters, and several nieces and nephews survived him.”


P-Dolf Luque, Cincinnati Reds, 34 Years Old

1920 1921 1923

16-18, 2.63 ERA, 140 K, .255, 2 HR, 11 RBI

MVP Rank: 13

WAR Rank: 3

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


1925 NL Pitching Title (2nd Time)

Earned Run Average-2.63 (2nd Time)

Walks & Hits per IP-1.172

Hits per 9 IP-8.134 (3rd Time)

Shutouts-4 (3rd Time)

Adjusted ERA+-156 (2nd Time)

Adj. Pitching Runs-47 (2nd Time)

Adj. Pitching Wins-4.7 (2nd Time)

Base-Out Runs Saved-55.62

Win Probability Added-6.5

Sit. Wins Saved-5.0

Base-Out Wins Saved-5.8

Errors Committed as P-7 (2nd Time)

4th Time All-Star-After having one of the best pitching seasons of all-time in 1923, Luque slumped in 1924, going 10-15 with a 3.16 ERA. He’s back this season for his last great season as you can see in the stats above. I mentioned in Pete Donohue’s blurb this Reds’ team couldn’t hit, so Luque is one of those rare pitchers who led the league in ERA and still had a losing record. Cincinnati seemed to scored just one or two runs every time Cuba’s favorite son took the mound.

SABR says, “It is one of the final ironies of Luque’s career that while he was not technically the first Latin ballplayer with the Cincinnati Reds (following [Armando] Marsans and [Rafael] Almeida in that role), he did actually hold this distinction with the Brooklyn Dodgers team which he joined in 1930. And while it was with the Reds that he had made his historic first World Series appearance, it was with the Giants a decade and a half later that he made a truly significant World Series contribution at the very twilight of his career, gaining the crucial Game Five victory in the 1933 Series with a brilliant four-inning relief stint against the then-powerful Washington Senators in the nation’s capital.”

SABR also has his obituary as written by sportswriter Frank Graham, “It’s hard to believe. Adolfo Luque was much too strong, too tough, too determined to die at this age of sixty-six. … He died of a heart attack. Did he? It sounds absurd. Luque’s heart failed him in the clutch? It never did before. How many close ballgames did he pitch? How many did he win … or lose? When he won, it was sometimes on his heart. When he lost, it was never because his heart missed a beat. Some enemy hitter got lucky or some idiot playing behind Luque fumbled a groundball or dropped a sinking liner or was out of position so that he did not make the catch that should have been so easy for him.”


P-Eppa Rixey, Cincinnati Reds, 34 Years Old

1912 1916 1917 1921 1922 1923 1924

21-11, 2.88 ERA, 69 K, .214, 0 HR, 11 RBI

WAR Rank: 5

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1963)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1923)


Led in:


WAR for Pitchers-6.5

8th Time All-Star-Many people have their favorite teams due to a couple of factors. The first is usually where they grow up, rooting for the local squad. Next is the team their family cheers on, as kids tend to have the same favorite teams of their parents. There is a third reason, however. People tend to jump on bandwagons. I live in California, but there are a lot of Patriots fans here, because they’ve been good for so many years. Those fans usually don’t last for long.

I’m a Reds fan because I started as a bandwagon fan, but just never gave up on them. They used to be a great team in the ‘70s when I was starting to watch sports, so I adopted them as my own. Now living here in Southern California, I also like the Angels, but Cincinnati is still my team, even though they are far from being great at this time.

In the time I’ve been a fan of the Redlegs, they have always been known for their hitting, but during this stretch of the ‘20s, they are the best pitching team in the National League. They have Dolf Luque and Rixey taking the mound and mowing down NL batters.

Rixey this season had his best season ever, finishing fifth in WAR (6.3); first in WAR for Pitchers (6.5); second in ERA (2.88), behind Luque (2.63); third in innings pitched (287 1/3), trailing teammates Pete Donohue (301) and Luque (291); and second in Adjusted ERA+ (142), again behind his Cuban teammate, Luque (156).


P-Jack Scott, New York Giants, 33 Years Old

14-15, 3.15 ERA, 87 K, .241, 1 HR, 6 RBI

WAR Rank: 6

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


1st Time All-Star-John William “Jack” Scott was born on April 18, 1892 in Ridgeway, NC. The six-foot-two, 199 pound lefty hitting, righty pitcher started with Pittsburgh in 1916, then went to the Braves the next season. He didn’t play in the Majors in 1918 due to the war, but was back with Boston in 1919. After the 1921 season, he was traded by the Boston Braves to the Cincinnati Reds for Larry Kopf and Rube Marquard. Then during 1922, he was released by the Reds and picked up by the Giants. With New York, Scott pitched in two World Series. In 1922, he pitched a complete game four-hit shutout as the Giants went on to win the Series. Then in 1923, Scott pitched three innings allowing five runs (four earned) for an 0-1 record with a 12.00 ERA as New York lost that Fall Classic.

This season, Scott’s best ever, he finished sixth in WAR (5.9); sixth in WAR for Pitchers (5.4); sixth in ERA (3.15); ninth in innings pitched (239 2/3); and sixth in Adjusted ERA+ (129).

SABR says, “A left-handed hitter, Scott had a respectable .275 batting average in 12 seasons in the majors. He won 103 games and lost 109, with a 3.85 ERA in 1,814⅔ innings pitched. Twenty-game losses were offset by great memories for the hard-luck pitcher.

“Scott returned to his family’s tobacco and fruit farm in North Carolina, and served as Warren’s police chief for 30 years. When he died on November 30, 1959, in Duke University Hospital at the age of 67, he was undergoing emergency stomach surgery and suffered a massive hemorrhage. He is buried in Fairview Cemetery in Warrenton.”


P-Dazzy Vance, Brooklyn Robins, 34 Years Old

1923 1924

22-9, 3.53 ERA, 221 K, .143, 3 HR, 11 RBI

WAR Rank: 7

MVP Rank: 5

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1955)

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


Led in:


Wins-22 (2nd Time)

Strikeouts per 9 IP-7.496 (4th Time)

Strikeouts-221 (4th Time)

Shutouts-4 (2nd Time)

Strikeouts/Base On Balls-3.349 (2nd Time)

Hit By Pitch-10 (2nd Time)

Fielding Independent Pitching-2.70 (2nd Time)

3rd Time All-Star-After his, well, dazzling 1924 season, Vance declined a bit this year, but still made this list. He finished seventh in WAR (5.8), fourth in WAR for Pitchers (6.0), ninth in ERA (3.53), fifth in innings pitched (265 1/3), and first in strikeouts (221) for the fourth consecutive year. He also pitched a no-hitter, his only one, on September 13.

Misc. Baseball says, “Dazzy Vance of the Brooklyn Dodgers (or Robins, as they were then called), pitched a no-hitter on September 13, 1925. The New York Times’ Richards Vidmer noted: ‘Reaching back behind him were seven more hitless innings left over from last Tuesday, when he held the same [Philadelphia] Phils to one lone hit.’ Vance nearly pitched back-to-back no-hitters, the feat Johnny Vander Meer is known for, but the Phillies’ Chicken Hawks had ‘ruined an otherwise perfect game for Vance last week’ with a second-inning hit. Vidmer added a bold prediction: ‘Almost as sure as daylight follows dawn he will some day turn in a perfect performance and take his place with those other immortals, Addie Joss, Cy Young, and Charlie Robertson, the only three in modern times who have accomplished the feat.’

“The only thing I have to add to Vidmer’s account is that the discounting of pro baseball in the 1800s as pre-modern and not quite fully valid was already in place before the 20th century was even one-fourth of the way through. The perfect games by John Ward and John Richmond in June 1880 did not even warrant a mention by Vidmer.”


P-Bill Sherdel, St. Louis Cardinals, 28 Years Old

15-6, 3.11 ERA, 53 K, .205, 1 HR, 5 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Win-Loss %-.714

Fielding % as P-1.000 (3rd Time)

1st Time All-Star-William Henry “Bill” or “Wee Willie” Sherdel was born on August 15, 1896 in McSherrystown, PA. The five-foot-10, 160 pound lefty started with St. Louis in 1918 and finally made the All-Star team this year. He finished eighth in WAR (5.7), fifth in WAR for Pitchers (5.4), fifth in ERA (3.11), and third in Adjusted ERA+ (139), behind to Reds’ pitchers, Dolf Luque (156) and Eppa Rixey (142).

SABR states, “Following a dismal 65-89 record in 1924, the Cardinals got off to a terrible start in 1925 (13-25), resulting in the dismissal of Rickey as manager. Under Rickey, Sherdel had been buried deep in the bullpen and saw action strictly as a reliever, primarily in mop-up situations; that changed when Rogers Hornsby took over the team. From June through the end of the season, Sherdel emerged as the staff ace. Used exclusively as a starter, Wee Willie went 15-6 and completed 17 of 21 starts (including a career-best 11 in a row). Sherdel ‘became a changed pitcher under Rogers Hornsby,’ wrote Cardinals beat reporter Paul A. Rickert. Sherdel was quick to praise his new manager: ‘I was never too sure of myself. Maybe I had a bit of an inferiority complex . . . Hornsby saw that I could pitch and he used me. That gave me my break.’ Sherdel paced the team with 15 wins and a carved out a sparking 3.11 ERA (the league average was 4.27) in 200 innings. The Sporting News praised Sherdel as a ‘pitcher of rare grit’ and the left-hander was routinely lauded for his courage in light of his small stature. His .714 winning percentage (a highly valued statistic at the time) was tops in the league. The team responded to Hornsby’s relentless drive (64-51) and finished in fourth place.”


P-Hal Carlson, Philadelphia Phillies, 33 Years Old

13-14, 4.23 ERA, 80 K, .183, 2 HR, 8 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:



1st Time All-Star-Harold Gust “Hal” Carlson was born on May 17, 1892 in Rockford, IL. The six-foot, 180 pound righty pitcher started with Pittsburgh in 1917 then moved to Philadelphia in 1924. This season, Carlson finished seventh in WAR for Pitchers (4.8). The Phillies, coached by Art Fletcher, finished in sixth place with a 68-85 record.

SABR says, “On October 24, 1924, Carlson married Eva Nelson, a local schoolteacher, whom he had met while she was attending Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. Carlson’s granddaughter, Kristine Pratt, recalled that her grandmother said a friend asked her to go to a party where a ‘famous baseball player’ was going to be. ‘My grandmother refused initially, as she couldn’t care less about baseball players of any kind, famous or otherwise,’ Pratt said. ‘I wonder if that’s what interested him in her initially; the fact that she wasn’t in awe of him or one of his groupies?’ The Carlsons’ first child, daughter Betty, was born two years later.

“With a new team came new opportunity. When Carlson joined the Phillies in 1924, they were struggling. In 1924 and 1925, Philadelphia finished next to last in the National League, then dead last in 1926 and 1927. Against this backdrop, a mediocre hurler like Hal Carlson could distinguish himself, if he performed well. His first two years in Philadelphia were unspectacular, but in 1925 he led the National League with four shutouts.” Carlson has a fabulous season ahead and also, unfortunately, a tragic death at a young age.

alexander13P-Pete Alexander, Chicago Cubs, 38 Years Old

1911 1912 1913 1914 1915 1916 1917 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923

15-11, 3.39 ERA, 63 K, .241, 2 HR, 12 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes (Inducted in 1920)

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1938)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1913)


Led in:


Bases On Balls per 9 IP-1.106 (3rd Time)

Fielding % as P-1.000 (4th Time)

13th Time All-Star-Ol’ Pete pitched only 169 1/3 innings in 1924 and didn’t make the All-Star team, but he’s back this year. He finished eighth in WAR for Pitchers (4.4), seventh in ERA (3.39), 10th in innings pitched (236), and seventh in Adjusted ERA+ (128). Also, at this point in baseball history, I have Alexander rated as the ninth best player of all-time (through 1925). Here’s the full list:

  1. Cy Young, P
  2. Walter Johnson, P
  3. Ty Cobb, CF
  4. Tris Speaker, CF
  5. Eddie Collins, 2B
  6. Honus Wagner, SS
  7. Babe Ruth, RF
  8. Cap Anson, 1B
  9. Alexander, P
  10. Nap Lajoie, 2B

The Cubs finished last in the National League with a 68-86 record. Three managers took their turns at running the team – Bill Killefer (33-42), Rabbit Maranville (23-30), and George Gibson (12-14). Maranville would never manage again, but Killefer and Gibson would be back as skippers in the 1930s.

Joe Posnanski writes about a bad movie about Grover Cleveland Alexander’s life, saying, “’The Winning Team’ is so spectacularly bad, there is no possible way you can watch it for more than 10 minutes without your eyes bleeding. It is sort of like a two hour Little Rascals episode. It begins with someone shouting ‘Grover Cleveland Alexander, you get down here!’ And then you see Alexander at the top of a telephone pole, calling his sweetheart on a party line. She wants to surprise him with the news that her father had offered a down payment on the farmhouse! That means they can finally get married! But rascally Ol Grover Alexander goes and plays ball instead! Gets paid a buck and a quarter! Much mayhem ensues!” Read the whole thing.


P-Larry Benton, Boston Braves, 27 Years Old

14-7, 3.09 ERA, 49 K, .241, 0 HR, 1 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


1st Time All-Star-Lawrence James “Larry” Benton was born on November 20, 1897 in St. Louis, MO. The five-foot-11, 165 pound righty pitcher started with the Braves in 1923. He was 5-9 in 1923 and then 5-7 in 1924.  For those first two years, he relieved more than he started, but that changed this year. Benton started 21 of his 31 games pitched in 1925 and next year would actually have his first season of over 200 innings. He’s going to have a decent career. This season, Benton finished 10th in WAR for Pitchers (4.0), fourth in ERA (3.09), and fifth in Adjusted ERA+ (130).

Nowadays, most starters are only starters and most relievers are only relievers. I’m not including the new strategy of openers in that statement. When baseball first started in 1871, there were very few relievers at all. As a matter of fact, there were very few pitchers as one man tended to do the bulk of all the pitching. Eventually, there came staffs of starting pitchers, but still very few relievers. At this point of baseball history in which I’m writing, there are some strictly relief pitchers, but for the most part, pitchers did double duty, starting and relieving.

I want to get back to the opener idea. I think because I’ve seen a certain type of baseball my whole life – a pitcher starts, goes as long as he can, and then goes out for a relief pitcher – I don’t like it. However, one thing about doing this page is to see all the changes that happen to a game over its vast history, so I guess I’ll get used to the opener.



P-Jimmy Ring, Philadelphia Phillies, 30 Years Old


14-16, 4.37 ERA, 93 K, .109, 2 HR, 8 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Bases on Balls-119 (4th Time)

Hits Allowed-325

Wild Pitches-14 (4th Time)

Batters Faced-1,239

2nd Time All-Star-After making the All-Star team in 1923, Ring declined in 1924, leading the league in walks for the third straight season. He made the team again this season, barely, and again walked more batters than anyone in the league. Ring didn’t have a great year, but not a lot of National League pitchers did this season, so here he is again. He finished ninth in WAR for Pitchers (4.1), fourth in innings pitched (270), and first in all of those categories above. He was obviously a wild pitcher. I’m surprised he had has much success as he did.

SABR says, “After five years in Philadelphia, Ring was thrilled to escape the dungeon. On December 30, 1925, he was traded to the New York Giants for pitchers Jack Bentley and Wayland Dean. One reason the Giants wanted him was that he was particularly effective against the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Giants’ chief rival for National League supremacy in the early years of the Twentieth Century. ‘He had only to walk to the pitcher’s box, assume a haughty pose, and just by his mere presence make the Pirates quake in their shoes.’

“James Joseph Ring died of a heart attack at his summer home on Breezy Point, Queens, on July 6, 1965, at the age of 70. He was buried in St. John Cemetery in Middle Village, a neighborhood in central Queens, not far from the Maspeth area where he had lived in retirement.” He also was involved in a trade involving Rogers Hornsby.


C-Gabby Hartnett, Chicago Cubs, 24 Years Old


.289, 24 HR, 67 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1955)

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


Led in:



Def. Games as C-110

Putouts as C-409

Assists as C-114

Errors Committed as C-23 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as C-15

Range Factor/9 Inn as C-4.99

Range Factor/Game as C-4.75

2nd Time All-Star-Some 32 years before 1925, there was a left-handed catcher for the Phillies named Jack Clements. In 1893, they had just moved the mound back from 50 feet to 60 feet, six inches and the offenses of the National League went crazy. Clements himself belted 17 homers, high for the era in which he played and the highest ever for a catcher. Until Hartnett came along, that is. His 24 dingers set a new record for backstops as he continued to display why he was arguably the NL’s best catcher until Johnny Bench came along. (Just in case you’re wondering, Clements and current Brooklyn manager Wilbert Robinson were my All-Star catchers of 1893).

Hartnett finished seventh in Defensive WAR (1.2), the first of eight times he’d be in the top 10 in that category, showing he provided a glove to go with his stick. He also slugged .555, good for sixth in the league.

Wikipedia says, “Although he led National League catchers in errors, he also led in range factor and in putouts, while his strong throwing arm helped him lead the league in assists and caught stealing percentage. Leo Durocher, who played against Hartnett and was a National League manager during Johnny Bench’s career, stated that the two catchers had similarly strong throwing arms. During the major league baseball winter meetings in December 1925, it was rumored that Hartnett might be traded to the New York Giants for catcher Frank Snyder and outfielder Irish Meusel; however, Cubs president Bill Veeck, Sr., squelched the rumors saying that Hartnett would not be traded for anybody.”


C-Earl Smith, Pittsburgh Pirates, 28 Years Old


.313, 8 HR, 64 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Double Plays Turned as C-15

Passed Balls-9 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-From 1900 through 1913, led by the incomparable Honus Wagner, the Pirates never finished below fourth place, winning the National League title four times. Then from 1914-through-1917, they finished in the second division, before snapping out of it in 1918. Pittsburgh had been slowly progressing up the standings since then and this year, led by manager Bill McKechnie, it was back on top of the Senior Circuit. The Pirates finished 95-58, eight-and-a-half games ahead of the Giants. The team could hit, scoring the most runs in the NL and, despite having no All-Star pitchers, also did well from the mound, finishing second in the league in Adjusted ERA+ (115).

In the World Series, Pittsburgh beat the Senators, four games to three, and Smith was a big part of it, according to SABR, which says, “With Smith’s help, the Pirates became the first team to a win a seven-game series after being down 3-to-1. Starting six games, Smith hit .350, including a key double in Game Seven. He would have hit an even .400 were it not for one of the most controversial catches in World Series history. Smith’s eighth-inning drive in Game Three was snared by Sam Rice before he tumbled into the temporary roped-off area in right field at Griffith Stadium. Rice eventually stood up holding the ball. Cy Rigler made the out call, provoking vehement protests by the Pirates, who were sure Rice had not held on. In a letter opened after he died, Rice insisted he had.”


1B-Jack Fournier, Brooklyn Robins, 35 Years Old

1915 1920 1921 1923 1924

.350, 22 HR, 130 RBI

WAR Rank: 9

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Bases on Balls-86

Base-Out Runs Added-77.48

Win Probability Added-6.9

Situ. Wins Added-5.7

Base-Out-Wins Added-7.2

6th Time All-Star-For four years in his prime, from 1916-to-1919, when Fournier was between the ages 26-to-29, he never made my All-Star team. His play was limited during that time and he didn’t play at all in 1919. Those four years are probably what keeps the power hitting first baseman out of the Hall of Fame. If Fournier would have started his career in the 1920s, an era where slugging homers showed its value, he’d probably be in Cooperstown. Wikipedia says of this season, “He led the National League with 86 walks in 1925, batting .350 and finishing second in the league to Rogers Hornsby in both RBIs (130) as well as on-base percentage (.446, still the third-highest total in Dodgers history).”

SABR says, “Over his career Fournier undoubtedly grew sensitive to criticism, particularly when his fielding was questioned. Perhaps this led to his volatility. As the 1925 season wound down, however, Fournier’s tolerance seems finally to have reached a limit. In September, during a series in Pittsburgh, he shared with reporters how ‘vile and obscene language by the fans at Ebbets Field’ had made him determined ‘never to play in Brooklyn again.’ ‘During recent [home] games,’ he admitted, ‘I was called the vilest kind of names,’ words that were ‘shameful’ and ‘unprintable.’ (Fournier had earlier dropped an easy throw at first base and cost Brooklyn a game.) Indeed, he continued, ‘it became so bad that I refused to allow Mrs. Fournier and my personal friends to come to the park.’ The slugger’s salary that season was $12,500, a contract he deemed ‘satisfactory,’ but ‘I would have to lower my dignity to play in Brooklyn another year,’ he lamented, ‘and I’m not going to do so. … I am not going to play (the contract) through … not for $50,000 a year.’ The next time the team played at Ebbets Field, however, Fournier came up and the fans ‘cheered and clapped and whistled,’ and Jack was ‘touched by the reception’ and ‘decided to stay.’

“Jack Fournier died in a Tacoma, Washington, nursing home on September 5, 1973.”


1B-Jim Bottomley, St. Louis Cardinals, 25 Years Old


.367, 21 HR, 128 RBI

MVP Rank: 7

WAR Rank: 10

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1974)

Ron’s: No (Would require seven more All-Star seasons. 36 percent chance)


Led in:


Games Played-153




Def. Games as 1B-153

Putouts as 1B-1,466

Errors Committed as 1B-21 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as 1B-133

2nd Time All-Star-I like to remind my newer readers I base my All-Star teams on WAR. The reason I do so  is it’s a quick and easy way to compile these lists and just have an overall history of the game. My Hall of Fame is also based on WAR. I take the number of All-Star teams made and multiply it by number of All-Star teams made and if the number is 300 or higher, they’re in. Otherwise, the player is out.

This brings me to Bottomley, who is not going to make my Hall of Fame despite making Cooperstown. There are a lot of bad choices in the 1920s and 1930s for the Hall due to a couple of reasons. For one, there was a committee in the 1970s filled with players of this era who voted in a lot of their buddies. Secondly, because overall hitting numbers increased, these players tend to be overrated. There are some big numbers at this time. Look at Bottomley, who hit .367 with 128 RBI. Yet according to WAR and Adjusted OPS+, he was the fourth best offensive player in the National League. Only one more time in his career would Bottomley’s Offensive WAR be higher than it was this season. He’s going to have big numbers in a time everyone has big numbers.

According to Wikipedia, he had a big game in 1924. It says,  “In a game against the Brooklyn Dodgers on September 16, 1924, Bottomley set the major league record for RBIs in a single game, with 12, breaking Wilbert Robinson‘s record of 11, set in 1892. Robinson was serving as the manager of the Dodgers at the time. This mark has since been tied by Mark Whiten in 1993.”

hornsby102B-Rogers Hornsby, St. Louis Cardinals, 29 Years Old, 4th MVP

1916 1917 1918 1919 1920 1921 1922 1923 1924

.403, 39 HR, 143 RBI

MVP Rank: 1

WAR Rank: 1

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes (Inducted in 1924)

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1942)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1918)


Led in:


1925 NL Triple Crown (2nd Time)

1925 NL MVP

1925 NL Batting Title (6th Time)

Wins Above Replacement-10.2 (5th Time)

WAR Position Players-10.2 (8th Time)

Offensive WAR-10.3 (9th Time)

Batting Average-.403 (6th Time)

On-Base %-.489 (6th Time)

Slugging %-.756 (7th Time)

On-Base Plus Slugging-1.245 (7th Time)

Total Bases-381 (6th Time)

Home Runs-39 (2nd Time)

Runs Batted In-143 (4th Time)

Adjusted OPS+-210 (8th Time)

Runs Created-185 (6th Time)

Adj. Batting Runs-88 (8th Time)

Adj. Batting Wins-7.9 (8th Time)

Extra Base Hits-90 (5th Time)

Offensive Win %-.883 (8th Time)

AB per HR-12.9 (2nd Time)

10th Time All-Star-After guiding the Cardinals to a sixth-place finish in 1924, Branch Rickey started 1925 as St. Louis’ manager, but the team started 13-25 and Hornsby took over. Wikipedia wraps up this incredible season for Rajah, saying, “In 1925, Sam Breadon, the owner of the Cardinals, wished to replace Rickey as manager. Hornsby initially declined the job. After discovering that Rickey planned to sell his stock in the Cardinals if he was replaced as field manager, Hornsby agreed to take the job as long as Breadon would help him purchase the stock. Breadon agreed, and Hornsby became the Cardinals’ manager. Hornsby finished the year with his second Triple Crown, when he combined a .403 batting average with 39 home runs and 143 RBIs in 138 games. He bested teammate Jim Bottomley in the batting title race by nearly 40 points. His 1925 batting average has not been matched by any National Leaguer since. That year, he won the MVP Award, receiving 73 out of 80 possible votes. His .756 slugging percentage and 1.245 on-base plus slugging set National League records that stood until broken by Barry Bonds in 2001. The Cardinals finished in fourth place in 1925, finishing one game over .500, though the team won 64 games and lost 51 under Hornsby. During the year, his wife Jeanette had a son, Billy.”

                I’ve given him his fourth MVP, he’s now won four in the last five years. These are my own choice. In real life, this was his unbelievably his first Most Valuable Player award. Don’t you think my choices are more accurate?


2B-High Pockets Kelly, New York Giants, 29 Years Old

1921 1922 1924

.309, 20 HR, 99 RBI

MVP Rank: 3

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1973)

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


4th Time All-Star-When Bill James wrote about the defensive spectrum many years ago, he mentioned those playing harder positions tended to move to easier positions as they aged, but never the opposite. Yet this season, Kelly, who has made three All-Star teams as a first baseman, the easiest defensive position, moved to second base, one of the most difficult. Interestingly, while he never did too well with the glove at first, Kelly was a decent second sacker, which is part of the reason he made the All-Star team this year.

Kelly sure is a recipient of unusual votes. He was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame when he didn’t deserve it and this year, he finished third in the National League Most Valuable Player voting despite being maybe the 20th best player in the league. Maybe they were rewarding him for being able to switch positions, I’m not sure.

Wikipedia says, “Kelly, naturally a first baseman, saw regular time as a second baseman in 1925 when Frisch injured his hand, while backup Bill Terry began playing first base. With the emergence of Terry, who requested a trade so that he could receive more playing time, and Giants manager John McGraw desiring an improvement in the outfield, Kelly was traded to the Cincinnati Reds prior to the 1927 season for Edd Roush. The Reds traded Roush due to a contract dispute. With Wally Pipp at first base for the Reds, Kelly was slated to play center field. The Reds released Pipp before the 1929 season, and Kelly returned to first base.”


3B-Frankie Frisch, New York Giants, 27 Years Old

1921 1922 1923 1924

.331, 11 HR, 48 RBI

MVP Rank: 9

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1947)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1925)


5th Time All-Star-This would be the last year Frisch would play mainly at third base. Next season, he’s going to switch to second base for the rest of his career. That’s why he’s going into my Hall of Fame as a second baseman. He joins fellow second basemen Cupid Childs, Eddie Collins, Larry Doyle, Johnny Evers, Rogers Hornsby, Nap Lajoie, Bid McPhee, and Hardy Richardson.

This season, Frisch finished 10th in WAR Position Players (4.0), 10th in Offensive WAR (3.5), eighth in Defensive WAR (1.1), and went a mediocre 21-for-33 stealing.

Westerly Life says, “After several seasons of triumph, the Giants began to stumble in 1925, causing Frisch to clash with McGraw, who often berated the star player after difficult losses.  Eventually, Frisch decided he had taken enough of his manager’s verbal abuse and left the Giants late in the season.  He would eventually return before the season’s end, but the damage caused between the two was irreversible.”

I’ve mentioned a lot of undeserving players made the Hall of Fame in the 1970s and much of it was due to Frisch. The Hall of Miller and Eric has a good article on this and I suggest you read the whole thing. Here’s just a snippet: “In the past in this series, we’ve looked at individual players and tried to explain how they found their way into the Hall. Today, we’re going to consider some selections of the Hall’s Veterans Committee for the fifteen years starting in 1970. When the Hall makes a mistake with individual players, it’s upsetting. However, when the Hall makes a mistake with a generation of players, it’s even worse.

“In a story that’s been told many times, Frankie Frisch, and to a lesser extent Bill Terry, ran the Vets Committee for years, and they helped to enshrine many of their less-than-deserving teammates and other contemporaries. But it wasn’t just Frisch and Terry who helped to over-represent the era. This craziness continued even after Frisch’s death in 1973.”


3B-Pie Traynor, Pittsburgh Pirates, 26 Years Old


.320, 6 HR, 106 RBI

MVP Rank: 8

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1948)

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


Led in:


Putouts as 3B-226 (2nd Time)

Assists as 3B-303 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as 3B-41 (2nd Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as 3B-3.58 (2nd Time)

Range Factor/Game as 3B-3.53

Fielding % as 3B-.957

2nd Time All-Star-I said in Traynor’s 1923 blurb he might not make another All-Star team and I was wrong. However, I do think he is overrated and I think it has to do with the lack of good third basemen in baseball history. This season, Traynor slashed .320/.377/.464 for an OPS+ of 108. Where he did excel was in Pittsburgh’s World Series victory over Washington. He hit .346 (nine-for-26) with two triples and a home run.

SABR has more on the Series: “After having an abscess on his hip lanced in late September, Traynor was fully healthy for the World Series matchup against defending champion Washington. In Game One, Traynor homered off Walter Johnson and made a spectacular diving grab of a Muddy Ruel smash, but the Senators won, 4-1. Down three games to one, the Bucs rallied to force a classic Game Seven. In the rain and muck of Forbes Field, the Senators touched Vic Aldridge for four runs in the first inning. But Pittsburgh chipped away; in the seventh inning, Traynor rocketed an RBI triple deep into the fog to tie the game, 6-6. He was tagged out trying to stretch it into a home run. Then with the score tied 7-7 in the bottom of the eighth, Kiki Cuyler lashed a bases-loaded two-run double off a worn-out Johnson to give the Pirates their second World Series championship. Jennings called Traynor ‘the real hero of the series.’ He batted .346 and gave a virtuoso performance in the field.”


SS-Dave Bancroft, Boston Braves, 34 Years Old

1915 1920 1921 1922 1923

.319, 2 HR, 49 RBI

MVP Rank: 6

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1971)

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


Led in:


Range Factor/9 Inn as SS-6.40 (7th Time)

Range Factor/Game as SS-6.07 (8th Time)

Fielding % as SS-.945 (2nd Time)

6th Time All-Star-After helping the Giants to three straight pennants from 1921-23, Bancroft went from the penthouse to the outhouse, being traded to the Braves. SABR explains, “During the 1923 season Bancroft’s legs began to bother him. In June he reported to the Polo Grounds with a high fever but insisted on playing. At the end of the game Bancroft collapsed in the clubhouse. He ended up being hospitalized with a severe case of pneumonia, earning even more admiration from John McGraw (‘Imagine, he played nine innings with pneumonia.’). That November, as a favor to Christy Mathewson, who was then general manager of the Boston Braves, McGraw sent Bancroft and outfielders Casey Stengel and Bill Cunningham to Boston for pitcher Joe Oeschger and outfielder Billy Southworth. McGraw wanted to give his captain the opportunity to manage, but he also had Travis Jackson waiting to take over at shortstop. At age 33 Bancroft became the NL’s youngest manager.”

Bancroft’s team finished in last in 1924, but this year improved to fifth with a 70-83 record. His problem is he only had one Dave Bancroft, who was the best player on the team. They’d start falling in the standings again after this season.

I mentioned there are a lot of bad Hall of Fame picks in this era, due to teammates of the Giants’ players being on the Veteran’s Committee in the 1970s. However, Bancroft is not one of those bad picks. He deserves the Hall as the National League’s best shortstop during this time.


SS-Glenn Wright, Pittsburgh Pirates, 24 Years Old


.308, 18 HR, 121 RBI

MVP Rank: 4

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Games Played-153

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

Assists as SS-530 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as SS-109 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-Wright made the All-Star team for the second year in a row and this year made the World Series. For the year, he finished ninth in WAR Position Players (4.2); second in Defensive WAR (2.3), behind Cincinnati second baseman Hughie Critz (2.5); and with a slash line of .308/.341/.480 for and OPS+ of 102. In the Series, Wright hit .185 (five-for-27) with a homer and three RBI and the Pirates went on to defeat the Senators, four games to three.

Wikipedia says, “On May 7, 1925, Wright recorded an unassisted triple play against the Cardinals, tagging out Jimmy Cooney and future Hall of Famers Jim Bottomley and Rogers Hornsby. That same year, he finished fourth in NL MVP voting behind Hornsby, Kiki Cuyler, and George Kelly. Wright was a member of the 1925 World Series champion Pittsburgh Pirates, homering off Hall of Fame spitballer Stan Coveleski in Game Two. He was the last surviving member of that 1925 team.”

More on the triple play from SABR, which states, “’That was one of the easiest plays I ever made,’ Glenn Wright said. ‘I couldn’t help it.’ Wright’s fluke came on May 7, 1925, when he was playing shortstop for the Pirates. In the top of the ninth with runners on first (Rogers Hornsby) and second (Jimmy Cooney), the Cardinals’ Jim Bottomley smacked a line drive over second base. Wright snared it and stepped on the bag to double Cooney, who had started for third. He looked up to see Hornsby a few feet away, and tagged him. ‘We were in the dugout before the fans realized they had seen an unassisted triple play.’”


LF-Zack Wheat, Brooklyn Robins, 37 Years Old

1914 1916 1920 1922 1924

.359, 14 HR, 103 RBI

MVP Rank: 15

Hall of Fames:



Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1959)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1924)


Led in:


Def. Games as LF-149 (4th Time)

Putouts as LF-319 (8th Time)

Errors Committed as LF-13 (3rd Time)

6th Time All-Star-This is the first All-Star team Wheat made in an odd-numbered year. It will also most likely be his last. He finished sixth in WAR Position Players (5.0); fifth in Offensive WAR (5.2); third in batting (.359), behind two St. Louis players, second baseman Rogers Hornsby (.403) and first baseman Jim Bottomley (.367); ninth in on-base percentage (.403); eighth in slugging (.541); and fifth in Adjusted OPS+ (142).

Wikipedia says, “A consistent hitter throughout his 19-year career, he still holds many Dodger franchise records. Most notably, Wheat has the most hits by any player while still a member of the team in the franchise’s history, with 2,804.His brother McKinley “Mack” Wheat also played in the major leagues, and the two were teammates in Brooklyn for five seasons.

“Wheat was first voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veterans Committee in 1957, but could not be inducted because he had not been retired for the required 30 years. In 1959, the committee unanimously elected him. In 1981, Lawrence Ritter and Donald Honig included him in their book The 100 Greatest Baseball Players of All Time. In 2006, the stretch of Route 13 that runs through Caldwell County, Missouri was named the Zach Wheat Memorial Highway. Due to his Cherokee ancestry, Wheat was featured in “Baseball’s League of Nations: A Tribute to Native Americans in Baseball”, a 2008 exhibit at the Iroquois Indian Museum in Howes Cave, N.Y.

“Wheat died of a heart attack on March 11, 1972.”


LF-Ray Blades, St. Louis Cardinals, 28 Years Old

.342, 12 HR, 57 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

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


Led in:


Double Plays Turned as LF-4

Fielding % as LF-.978

1st Time All-Star-Francis Raymond “Ray” Blades was born on August 6, 1896 in Mount Vernon, IL. The five-foot-seven, 163 pound righty leftfielder started with the Cardinals in 1922 and became their regular LF in 1923. This season, his best ever, Blades finished seventh in WAR Position Players (4.5); eighth in Offensive WAR (3.8); eighth in batting (.342); fourth in on-base percentage (.423); ninth in slugging (.535); and sixth in Adjusted OPS+ (141).

Wikipedia says, “Hampered by a severe knee injury, he appeared in over 100 games only three times – from 1924 to 1926 – but he hung on as a spare outfielder for ten major league seasons (1922–28; 1930–32), all with the Cardinals, and batted .301 lifetime. In his finest season, 1925, he hit .342 in 462 at-bats. He appeared in three World Series(1928, 1930 and 1931). Beginning a transition to a management career, he was a playing coach for the Cardinals from 1930–32.

“Blades was known as a ferocious competitor with a terrible temper, and he carried that reputation with him as a manager in the Cardinals’ farm system. He managed at the top level of the St. Louis organization with the Rochester Red Wingsand Columbus Red Birds from 1933–38 and was named skipper of the Cardinals in 1939.

“Upon his appointment, he prohibited alcohol drinking among his players. In his first season, the Cards responded to Blades’ tough regimen, winning 92 games and improving from sixth to second place in the National League. But the Cardinals slumped in the early weeks of 1940, winning only 14 of their first 38 games and plunging back into sixth place. On June 7, Blades was fired and ultimately replaced by Billy Southworth.

“Ray Blades died in Lincoln, Illinois at the age of 82 in 1979.”


CF-Max Carey, Pittsburgh Pirates, 35 Years Old, 1925 ONEHOF Inductee

1912 1916 1917 1918 1921 1922 1923 1924

.343, 5 HR, 44 RBI

MVP Rank: 11

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes (Inducted in 1925)

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1961)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1922)


Led in:


Stolen Bases-46 (10th Time)

Assists as CF-17 (6th Time)

Errors Committed as CF-20 (6th Time)

Errors Committed as OF-20 (4th Time)

9th Time All-Star-Some of those who make the ONEHOF, the One-A-Year Hall of Fame of my invention, make it because they’re so dominant, there’s no other choice. Some, like Carey, just put up good years season after season and can no longer be ignored. So Scoops Carey is in. Next year’s nominees are Hardy Richardson, Jimmy Collins, Elmer Flick, Johnny Evers, Sherry Magee, Larry Doyle, Art Fletcher, Wilbur Cooper, Eppa Rixey, Charley Jones, Fred Dunlap, George Gore, Ned Williamson, Bid McPhee, Sam Thompson, Jack Clements, Amos Rusie, Cupid Childs, Clark Griffith, Jesse Burkett, Joe McGinnity, Ed Walsh, Nap Rucker, Ed Konetchy, Larry Gardner, Jake Daubert, Babe Adams, Bobby Veach, George Sisler, Heinie Groh, and Stan Covelski.

Wikipedia says, “In 1924, Carey altered his batting stance based on Ty Cobb‘s. He had a .343 batting average in the 1925 season, and the Pirates won the National League pennant that year. In the deciding game of the 1925 World Series, Carey had four hits, including three doubles, off of Walter Johnson. Carey’s .458 batting average led all players in the series, and the Pirates defeated the American League‘s Washington Senators.

“Carey was nicknamed “Scoop” for his ability to catch fly balls in front of him. His mark of 738 stolen bases remained a National League record, until Lou Brock surpassed it in 1974.

                “Carey died on May 30, 1976 at age 86 in Miami, Florida. He was buried in Woodlawn Park Cemetery and Mausoleum (now Caballero Rivero Woodlawn North Park Cemetery and Mausoleum). He was survived by his wife, Aurelia, and a son, Max Jr.”


RF-Kiki Cuyler, Pittsburgh Pirates, 26 Years Old


.357, 18 HR, 102 RBI

MVP Rank: 2

WAR Rank: 4

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1968)

Ron’s: No (Would require five more All-Star seasons. 90 percent chance)


Led in:


Games Played-153

Plate Appearances-701

Runs Scored-144


Times On Base-291

Hit By Pitch-13

Power-Speed #-25.0

Def. Games as RF-130

Putouts as RF-307

Errors Committed as RF-13

Def. Games as OF-153

2nd Time All-Star-Cuyler proved to be a big reason Pittsburgh was back in the World Series for the first time in 16 years. He had his best season ever, finishing fourth in WAR (6.7); second in WAR Position Players (6.7), behind St. Louis second baseman Rogers Hornsby (10.2); second in Offensive WAR (6.3), trailing Hornsby (10.3); fourth in batting (.357); fifth in on-base percentage (.423); second in slugging (.598), behind Rajah (.756); third in Adjusted OPS+ (152), trailing the great Rogers Hornsby (210) and Brooklyn first baseman Jack Fournier (160); and went a very good 41-for-54 stealing.

Along with hitting for the cycle during the season, Cuyler also, according to SABR, “[S]et a post-1900 NL record with 144 runs scored, led the majors with 26 triples among his 220 hits, clouted a career-best 18 home runs, and finished fourth in batting average (.357). His 369 total bases still rank as the most in Pirates history (as of 2014). Cuyler finished second in the NL MVP race to the Cardinals’ Rogers Hornsby.

“After Pittsburgh lost Game One to Walter Johnson at home, Cuyler belted a game-winning two-run homer off starter Stan Coveleski in the eighth inning of Game Two to give the Pirates a 3-2 victory. Losses in Games Three and Four left them down three games to one, but the Pirates battled back to force a Game Seven, which the Associated Press at the time described as ‘perhaps the most thrilling seen in World Series history.’ In a ‘rain-soaked, furious dramatic struggle’ at Forbes Field, Cuyler came to bat with the bases loaded against Walter Johnson in the bottom of the eighth inning with the game tied, 7-7. He hit what appeared to be a home run down the right-field foul line; however, the ball dropped in the outfield, buried itself in a tarpaulin, and was ruled a ground-rule two-run double. It gave the Pirates a 9-7 lead, and the championship.”


RF-Curt Walker, Cincinnati Reds, 28 Years Old


.318, 6 HR, 71 RBI

Hall of Fames:


Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 12 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)


Led In:


Fielding % as RF-.979 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as OF-.983

2nd Time All-Star-When I wrote up Walker in 1922, I obviously assumed he wouldn’t be back on this list, but here he is. He made the All-Star team the first time as a member of the Phillies and it certainly looked like he was off to a good career. Then in 1924, he was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies to the Cincinnati Reds for George Harper. This season, Walker finished with a slash line of .318/.387/.460 for an OPS+ of 117. He would have a few decent seasons for his new team.

There’s an interesting article at The Pecan Park Eagle about Walker. You’ll have to read the whole thing, but here’s a snippet: “If they asked me, I could write a book. But they didn’t ask. So, we will settle for a small column on the rich subject of Curt Walker as a timeline into the even taller topic of how culturally bound up the game of baseball was to so many of us when it came down to having a good father figure available when it came down to having a working father figure present in our lives — in some form, or forms — during our critical early time as innocent, but loving-needful boys and girls.

“The presence of baseball gave Curt Walker and my dad the basis for a relationship that would last a lifetime. From the late 1920s summer times of Dad and his buddies going down to the Western Union or the Beeville Bee-Picayune offices to get the late afternoon scores for the Cincinnati Reds because that was Curt Walker’s team — to all the cups of coffee they shared later as grown men regular customers of the American Cafe — baseball was healing cultural water that brought new strength to areas of life that could hurt so bad.”

3 thoughts on “1925 National League All-Star Team

  1. The contrast between Cuban born Luque (who was a fine player) getting to play in the big leagues and Cuban born Martin DiHigo (who was an all-time great) not getting his chance to play in the Majors, is a great way to see the harm the “color barrier” did to baseball.
    As always, informative and interesting.

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