1933 National League All-Star Team

P-Carl Hubbell, NYG

P-Lon Warneke, CHC

P-Ed Brandt, BSN

P-Dizzy Dean, STL

P-Hal Schumacher, NYG

P-Van Mungo, BRO

P-Larry French, PIT

P-Huck Betts, BSN

P-Ed Holley, PHI

P-Charlie Root, CHC

C-Spud Davis, PHI

C-Gabby Hartnett, CHC

1B-Bill Terry, NYG

2B-Hughie Critz, NYG

3B-Pepper Martin, STL

SS-Arky Vaughan, PIT

SS-Billy Jurges, CHC

LF-Joe Medwick, STL

CF-Wally Berger, BSN

CF-Freddie Lindstrom, PIT

CF-Chick Hafey, CIN

RF-Chuck Klein, PHI

RF-Mel Ott, NYG

RF-Paul Waner, PIT

RF-Babe Herman, CHC

 

hubbell5

P-Carl Hubbell, New York Giants, 30 Years Old, 1st MVP

1929 1930 1931 1932

23-12, 1.66 ERA, 156 K, .241, 1 HR, 6 RBI

MVP Rank: 1

WAR Rank: 1

All-Star: Yes (2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 K)

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1947)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1933)

 

Led in:

 

1933 NL MVP

1933 NL Pitching Title

Wins Above Replacement-9.0

WAR for Pitchers-9.0

Earned Run Average-1.66

Wins-23

Walks & Hits per IP-0.982 (3rd Time)

Innings Pitched-308 2/3

Shutouts-10

Strikeouts/Base On Balls-3.319 (2nd Time)

Adjusted ERA+-193

Fielding Independent Pitching-2.53

Adj. Pitching Runs-55

Adj. Pitching Wins-6.3

Base-Out Runs Saved-65.80

Win Probability Added-10.3

Sit. Wins Saved-6.3

Base-Out Wins Saved-7.9

Putouts as P-23 (2nd Time)

Assists as P-94 (3rd Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as P-3.41

5th Time All-Star-Something new was added to the grand game this year, an actual All-Star game. Wikipedia says, “The first official MLB All-Star exhibition game on July 6, 1933, was held at Comiskey Park (1910–1990) and was part of the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair during the city’s centennial. The 1933 MLB All-Star Game was the idea of Arch Ward, the sports editor of the Chicago Tribune, after the Mayor of Chicago, Edward J. Kelly, had first approached the Tribune’s publisher for a major sport event. The game was intended to be a one-time event to boost morale during the Great Depression. Ward decided that the fans would select the starting nine players and the managers the other nine players for each of the NL and AL All-Star teams. The Tribune called it the ‘Game of the Century’, and 55 newspapers across the country printed the fans’ ballots in their papers. The Tribune estimated the game’s attendance on July 6, 1933, at 49,000. The proceeds ($45,000, net gate receipts) from the game went to a charity for disabled and needy major league players. The All-Star Game would afterwards be known as MLB’s ‘Midsummer Classic’.”

Despite his great season, Hubbell was selected by the manager and not the fans. The All-Star team selection process will change throughout the years with the fans picking sometimes and the managers others.

For once, baseball writers and I agree on the MVP. Hubbell so easily dominated as a pitcher, it would have been a crime to pick anyone else.

In the World Series, which the Giants won four games to one over Washington, Hubbell started two games, winning both and allowing no earned runs. In game four, Hubbell tossed 11 innings, giving up eight hits and one unearned run.

King Carl also made my Hall of Fame this year, the 40th pitcher. The full list is here.

warneke2

P-Lon Warneke, Chicago Cubs, 24 Years Old

1932

18-13, 2.00 ERA, 133 K, .300, 2 HR, 13 RBI

MVP Rank: 20

WAR Rank: 3

All-Star: Yes (4 IP, 2.25 ERA, 2 K)

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Complete Games-26

Fielding % as P-1.000

2nd Time All-Star-It certainly looked like the Cubs were going to have an outstanding pitcher for many years to come and they would, just not as long as they probably thought. Still, having an ERA of 2.00 in a year baseballs flew around the field isn’t bad.

As for Warneke’s team, the Cubs dropped from first to third in Charlie Grimm’s first full season of managing. In their 1932 pennant year, Grimm took over from Rogers Hornsby. Chicago finished 86-68, six games behind the Giants. As late as July 23, the Cubbies were within two games of first, but lost the next six games and never got close again.

Wikipedia says, “Warneke pitched for the National League in the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game in 1933, hitting the first triple and scoring the first National League run in All-Star game history.”

SABR has more details, stating, “The first Major League Baseball All-Star game took place on July 6, 1933, at Chicago’s Comiskey Park. Warneke, chosen to be a part of the National League’s inaugural squad, relieved Bill Hallahan (Cards) in the third inning with the American League on top 3-0. Warneke pitched the third through the sixth innings giving up one run on six hits, two strikeouts (Ruth and Gehrig) and no walks. During his only time at bat, Warneke hit a ball to right field that skipped by Ruth for a triple. It was the first triple in All-Star history. The American League went on to win by a 4-2 margin.” Ho-hum, he just struck out Ruth and Gehrig.

brandt2

P-Ed Brandt, Boston Braves, 28 Years Old

1931

18-14, 2.60 ERA, 104 K, .309, 0 HR, 6 RBI

All-Star: No

WAR Rank: 6

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-After making the 1931 All-Star team, Brandt had a tough 1932 year, going 16-16 but with a 3.97 ERA or 95 ERA+. He came back this year as his strikeouts increased and he was the Braves’ most solid pitcher.

Boston increased from a fifth-place finish in 1932 to a fourth-place finish this season. Bill McKechnie led the Braves to an 83-71 record, nine games out of first. Even as late in the year as August 31, Boston was just five games back, but went 13-16 the rest of the season to fall out of the running.

SABR says of Brandt’s 1933 season, “He could again claim to be, along with Carl Hubbell, one of the top two left-handers in the National League. His 2.60 earned-run average was fourth lowest in the league while his 23 complete games were the third most and his 288 innings were fourth highest.

“Brandt pitched in tough luck early in 1933 and his 5-3 loss to the Pirates on June 18 dropped his record to 4-8, even though his earned-run average stood at 2.77. But from there he went 14-6, benefiting from better run support as he continued to pitch well. During one stretch Brandt won six decisions in a row, including a four-hit shutout against the Cincinnati Reds on July 2. He finished the season by winning four of five starts, including another four-hit shutout of the Reds on September 19.”

He didn’t have enough good seasons to be considered for Cooperstown or my Hall of Fame, but for a stretch of time, he was impressive.

dean2

P-Dizzy Dean, St. Louis Cardinals, 23 Years Old

1932

20-18, 3.04 ERA, 199 K, .181, 1 HR, 12 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 7

WAR Rank: 9

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1953)

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

 

Led in:

 

Strikeouts per 9 IP-6.113 (2nd Time)

Games Pitched-48

Strikeouts-199 (2nd Time)

Complete Games-26

Def. Games as P-48

2nd Time All-Star-While Carl Hubbell was the best pitcher in the National League at this time, there might not have been a more exciting pitcher than Jay Hanna “Dizzy” Dean. He led the NL in strikeouts for the second straight season and continued to pitch a plethora of innings. It’s pretty well-known his downward trek started with getting hit by a line drive in an All-Star game, but the amount of innings put on his arm couldn’t have helped.

Dean’s team, the Cardinals, started out the season 46-45 and then replaced Gabby Street with Frankie Frisch. It’s a tough sport, isn’t it, because Street had just led St. Louis to a World Championship in 1931. He finished 312-242 with the Cards. As for Frisch, he was 36-26 as skipper and St. Louis finished 82-71, nine-and-a-half games back of the Giants.

On July 30, 1933, Dean pitched a phenomenal game. SABR says, “’[He] pitched with devastating speed, his curves breaking fast and baffling the best of the Cubs hitters,’ gushed the Associated Press after Dizzy Dean’s record breaking performance. The 23-year-old Cardinals hurler fanned 17 to set a post-1900 record for most strikeouts in a game. St. Louis sportswriter L.C. Davis exulted that ‘the Great Dean proceeded to turn out a masterpiece that dwarfed all his former efforts.’ J. Roy Stockton of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch praised Dean as the ‘brilliant young Cardinals pitcher, whose skill, showmanship and color make him the Babe Ruth of the National League.’”

In case you’re wondering, the record for strikeouts in a game at this point was 19, by Hugh Daily and Charlie Sweeney, both in the year of 1884.

schumacher

P-Hal Schumacher, New York Giants, 22 Years Old

19-12, 2.16 ERA, 96 K, .214, 0 HR, 10 RBI

All-Star: Yes (Didn’t play)

MVP Rank: 12

WAR Rank: 10

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 10 more All-Star seasons. 20 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Hits per 9 IP-6.924

1st Time All-Star-Harold Henry “Prince Hal” Schumacher was born on November 23, 1910 in Hinckley, NY. The six-foot, 190 pound righty pitcher started with the Giants in 1931 and came into his own this year, being selected to the newly formed All-Star Game. He gave New York a righty counterpart to the great Carl Hubbell.

In the World Series, Schumacher went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA, pitching 14 2/3 innings, as the Giants went on to beat the Senators, four games to one.

Wikipedia has more details on the season, stating, “Schumacher helped pitch the Giants to the 1933 National League pennant and World Series championship. His 19 victories, 258​23 innings pitched, 21 complete games, seven shutouts and 2.16 earned run average were second on the staff only to Carl Hubbell, the future Baseball Hall of Fame left-hander. During the 1933 fall classic, he started two games against the Washington Senators and won Game 2, 6–1, turning in a complete game, five-hit effort and driving in three runs himself. He also started the clinching Game 5, and departed in the sixth inning with the score tied, 3–3. Adolfo Luque came on in relief and was the winning pitcher, as the Giants triumphed 4–3 in extra innings.”

There were a lot of good young pitchers in the NL at this time and it certainly seemed like the league was set for this position for a while. However, many of these young pitchers are going to have a handful of good seasons, but fade quickly.

mungo

P-Van Mungo, Brooklyn Dodgers, 22 Years Old

16-15, 2.72 ERA, 110 K, .179, 0 HR, 4 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

1st Time All-Star-Van Lingle Mungo was born on June 8, 1911 in Pageland, SC. The six-foot-two, 185 pound righty pitcher started with Brooklyn in 1931 and showed an impressive arm from the beginning. However, it was also a wild arm, as he led the National League in walks with 115 in 1932. It’d be a continual struggle of Mungo’s over the years.

Max Carey managed his last season for the Dodgers as the team finished in sixth place with a 65-88 record. Carey finished with a career 146-161 record as a two-season Brooklyn skipper.

                SABR tells us, “’He is another Vance, another Dazzy, I’m telling you. Hasn’t the best disposition in the world. You know some of those Carolina fellows get funny ideas sometimes, but he certainly can buzz that ball over. Best young pitcher I’ve seen since Rube Marquard. Only he is faster than Rube was. Say, maybe he is another Walter Johnson. I’ll bet he will be winning 20 to 25 games a year for this club for a long time.’ So said manager Wilbert Robinson late in the 1931 season when a young Van Lingle Mungo joined the Dodgers for the first time.

“Eloise Clamp of Salley, South Carolina, was teaching school in Mount Croghan, ten miles east of Pageland. One day she was en route to the post office in Pageland when Mungo drove by with some friends. One look was all that was needed. The car stopped and Van met Eloise. The two fell in love, but Eloise’s father, Ernest, who worked for the post office, frowned on his daughter marrying a ‘celebrity.’ Nonetheless, Van and Eloise were secretly married on December 10, 1932.”

He’s an interesting guy to say the least.

french2

P-Larry French, Pittsburgh Pirates, 25 Years Old

1930

18-13, 2.72 ERA, 88 K, .149, 0 HR, 8 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 15

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Games Started-35

Hits Allowed-290 (3rd Time)

Batters Faced-1,209 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-Pittsburgh’s workhorse screwball pitcher French didn’t make my All-Star team in 1931 or ’32, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t productive. He would have a stretch of seven straight seasons of 240 or more innings as he delivered for the Pirates consistently every fourth or fifth game. He didn’t throw heat, but the 25-year-old used guile to keep the batters off guard. I’m wondering why he never received a Hall of Fame vote.

George Gibson managed the Pirates to an impressive 87-67 second place finish, but they fell short of the Giants, trailing by five games. Pittsburgh got off to a 24-13 start and were leading the National League, but lost eight of its next nine games and never came back.

He had an interesting game this season. Wikipedia mentions, “With his team leading the Boston Braves 8–0 in the ninth inning during their game on July 12, reliever French figured he could duck out of the bullpen and hit the showers early. Little did he know as he was getting clean that the Braves had rallied to make the score 8–7. When the call came for French to pitch, he did not even have time to rinse off. He put on his uniform and hustled out to the mound with soap trickling down his neck.”

Why would he do this? Did he have a hot date with his wife, Thelma? Who knows. It’s sad this is what he’s known for instead of being one of the standout pitchers of the Thirties.

betts2

P-Huck Betts, Boston Braves, 36 Years Old

1932

11-11, 2.79 ERA, 40 K, .224, 0 HR, 5 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-Betts continued to produce, making my All-Star team for the second straight season. He pitched 242 innings and only struck out 40, but his 36-year-old arm still fooled batters around the National League. Interestingly, there will be a more famous Betts in Beantown many decades later as another man with an interesting nickname would garner acclaim. I’m of course talking about Mookie Better and I’ll be writing about him when I’m a hundred years old. I’m just kidding about that, I hope!

Wikipedia wraps up his career, saying, “He also did well in 1933, going 11-11 with a 2.79 ERA, which again put him in the top 10 of pitchers who qualified for the ERA crown. His ERA went up to 4.06 in 1934, but his won-loss record was the best of his career at 17-10.

“His career ended the following year, going 2-9 for the woeful 1935 Boston Braves, often identified as one of the worst major league baseball teams of all time.

“In 10 seasons Betts had a 61–68 win–loss record, 307 games, 125 games started, 53 complete games, 8 shutouts, 128 games finished, 16 saves, ​1,366 13 innings pitched, 1,581 hits allowed, 716 runs allowed, 596 earned runs allowed, 83 home runs allowed, 321 walks, 323 strikeouts, and a 3.93 ERA.

“He threw a fastball, a curveball, and a screwball.

“In 1980, Betts was inducted into the Delaware Sports Museum and Hall of Fame. He died in his hometown at the age of 90.”

holley2

P-Ed Holley, Philadelphia Phillies, 33 Years Old

1932

13-15, 3.53 ERA, 56 K, .162, 0 HR, 5 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 61 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Home Runs Allowed-18

Fielding % as P-1.000

2nd Time All-Star-If you made your living pitching a baseball, the last place you’d want to be is the Baker Bowl in Philadelphia. Holley was a decent pitcher but still led the league in homers allowed. Not surprisingly, 10 of those were given up at home where he a 4.33 ERA. On the road, Holley’s earned run average was 2.81.

As for Holley’s team, the Phillies dropped from fourth to seventh. Burt Shotton managed his last season with Philadelphia, guiding it to a 60-92 record. His next full season at the helm would be with the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers when he was 62 years old.  (I think something famous happened that year.) Altogether in six seasons, Shotton went 370-549 with the Phillies, only once, in 1932, having a record over .500.

There isn’t a lot of information on the internet about Holley, who pitched just one more season. In 1934, he started with the Phillies, going 1-8 with a 7.18 ERA. The Pirates must have thought it was just his home park hindering him, because they purchased him from their home state rivals. He did even worse for the Bucs, losing all three decisions with a 15.43 ERA. He gave up 16 runs in nine-and-a-third innings pitched. However, there was one area he did succeed with Pittsburgh, at the plate. He went two-for-two with both of those hits being doubles. Maybe he could have been another Roy Hobbs.

It didn’t matter, he was done after that year and ended up living until he was 87, dying in 1986 in Paducah, KY.

root3

P-Charlie Root, Chicago Cubs, 34 Years Old

1926 1929

15-10, 2.60 ERA, 86 K, .171, 1 HR, 10 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

3rd Time All-Star-If you want information about the event for which Root is best known, click here and read about Babe Ruth calling his shot. (Spoiler alert-Ruth claims he didn’t do it). Of course, it was just the tip of the iceberg of bad luck for Root in the World Series. He would end up pitching in four different Fall Classics, going 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA.

Here’s a wrap-up of his life from SABR, which says, “In 1933, Grimm’s first full season as manager, the Cubs plodded along and never challenged for the pennant. The 34-year-old Root pitched solidly, completing 20 of 30 starts, notching 15 wins, and posting a career-low 2.60 ERA. He pitched four extra-inning complete games, including a career-high 13 innings in a 3-2 loss to the Phillies on September 9. The Cubs scored three runs or fewer in all of his ten losses (a total of 15 runs), an oft-repeated refrain for the season.

“Among the highest-paid players in baseball in the 1930s, Root invested wisely during the Great Depression and lived within his means. After living in Los Angeles during the offseason for many years, he and Dorothy later lived on their 1,000-acre Diamond-R Ranch in Paicines, 120 miles southeast of San Francisco, where Root became a successful cattle rancher and enjoyed hunting and fishing. After an extended illness, Root died on November 5, 1970, at the age of 71 near his home in Hollister, California. He was cremated at Garden of Memories Memorial Park in Salinas, California, and his ashes were scattered.”

daviss3

C-Spud Davis, Philadelphia Phillies, 28 Years Old

1931 1932

.349, 9 HR, 65 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 25

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Stolen Bases Allowed as C-56 (2nd Time)

3rd Time All-Star-Spud made his third consecutive All-Star team as he continued to smack the ball around the Baker Bowl. He hit .402 in his home park and .308 on the road. It’s still good enough to make this list. SABR states, “Davis had one of his best years in 1933. He hit .349 for the Phillies while playing in 141 of the team’s 152 games. Davis’ batting average was good enough for second in the National League and third in all of baseball, trailing only each league’s batting champ, teammate Chuck Klein in the National League and Jimmie Foxx of Philadelphia’s other major-league team. in the American League. Spud’s .395 on-base percentage was also second in the NL, again trailing only Klein.”

After 1933, he was traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with Eddie Delker to the St. Louis Cardinals for Jimmie Wilson. While with the Cardinals in 1934, he made his only World Series. As SABR mentions, “Davis caught 94 games for the Cardinals in 1934 but made only two appearances in the seven-game World Series victory over the Tigers, both as a pinch hitter. He singled in both at bats, and following his hit in Game Four was pinch run for by Dizzy Dean.”

Finally, in my third cut-and-paste from SABR, we learn, “After being let go by the Cubs, Davis retired to his hometown of Birmingham, living on his baseball pension and a bit of money he had saved from his career in the game. He was inducted into the Alabama Hall of Fame in 1977. He remained in Birmingham from the time he retired until his death on August 14, 1984 at the age of 79, after which he was buried at Birmingham’s Elmood Cemetery.”

hartnett6C-Gabby Hartnett, Chicago Cubs, 32 Years Old

1924 1925 1927 1928 1930

.276, 16 HR, 88 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-1, 1 K)

MVP Rank: 18

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1955)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1930)

 

6th Time All-Star-Sometime between the time I did the write-ups for 1930 and the present time, Baseball Reference tweaked their Wins Above Replacement calculations. My Hall of Fame is computed by taking the amount of All-Star teams made and multiplying those by a player’s Career WAR. In 1930, Hartnett’s Career WAR around to BR was 60.1, but now it’s 56.9. What this means is he wouldn’t have made my Hall of Fame in 1930 with his current bWAR. However, I’m not going to go back and recalculate all of those so I’m still putting him in my Hall of Fame in 1930, even though with his current numbers he wouldn’t have made it until this season. (Wow, that paragraph needs an editor).

In the 1932 World Series, in which the Yanks swept the Cubbies, Hartnett did well, hitting .313 (five for 16) with two double and a homer. He’ll make two more Fall Classics.

Here’s an interesting story from 1931, according to Wikipedia, which says, “During an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox on September 9, 1931, Hartnett was photographed while signing an autograph for gangster Al Capone. After the photograph was published in newspapers across the United States, Hartnett received a telegram from Baseball Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis instructing him not to have his photograph taken with Capone in the future. Hartnett replied with a telegram to the Commissioner whimsically stating, ‘OK, but if you don’t want me to have my picture taken with Al Capone, you tell him.’“

terry7

1B-Bill Terry, New York Giants, 34 Years Old

1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932

.322, 6 HR, 58 RBI

All-Star: Yes (2-4, 2 Singles)

MVP Rank: 4

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1954)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1932)

 

Led in:

 

Range Factor/9 Inn as 1B-11.31 (5th Time)

Range Factor/Game as 1B-11.30 (6th Time)

6th Time All-Star-It couldn’t have been easy taking over for a legend. Terry took the reins of the Giants in mid-season 1932 after John McGraw stepped down, but this was his first full season and he crushed it, winning the World Championship. The Giants won their first National League crown since 1924, beating the Pirates by five games. They were in first by June 4 and never looked back.

In the World Series, New York faced Washington four games to one. In Game 4, Terry launched a homer, giving the Giants a 1-0 lead. They’d go on to win the game, 2-1. New York wrapped it up the next day, beating the Senators in 10 innings, 4-3. Strangely, both teams had player-managers as Joe Cronin, the Washington shortstop, was the Senators’ skipper.

SABR tells us a bit about Terry’s managing strategy, stating, “The Giants were a pleasant surprise in the first quarter of the season, in third place on Memorial Day. Terry was on the bench with a broken wrist but his emphasis on pitching and defense paid off in a season when the National League employed a deadened baseball. Hubbell, Fitzsimmons, Schumacher, and Parmelee rotated starting assignments and the all-purpose Hubbell and Luque excelled in relief. Ott led the attack and Moore was a proficient leadoff man and superb leftfielder. A season highlight came on July 2 in a doubleheader win over the Cardinals with Hubbell pitching an incredible 18 scoreless innings to win the first game. The writers covering the Giants began to refer to Hubbell as Terry’s ‘Meal Ticket.’”

critz2

2B-Hughie Critz, New York Giants, 32 Years Old

1926

.246, 2 HR, 33 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Defensive WAR-4.1 (2nd Time)

Assists-541

Assists as 2B-541

Range Factor/Game as 2B-6.44

Fielding % as 2B-.982 (4th Time)

2nd Time All-Star-Critz hadn’t made an All-Star team since his third season with the Reds in 1926. After that, he continued to be a good glove man, weak hitter for Cincinnati until 1930 when during midseason, he was traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Giants for Larry Benton.  Critz’s hitting never improved for the Giants, but man, could he play defense! His Defensive WAR of 4.1 this year was the highest in the National League since Frankie Frisch, St. Louis’ second baseman in 1927.

Critz didn’t hit much in the World Series either, going three-for-22 (.136). It didn’t matter as the Giants beat the Senators, four games to one.

SABR says, “The new-look Giants took over first place in June. Critz was struggling to keep his batting average above .200, and Ryan was no better, but the team was winning with the league’s best pitching and defense. Hubbell’s 1.66 ERA was the best since the Deadball Era. Critz came alive in the final month. He hit .345 down the stretch as New York held off the Pirates and Cardinals to win its first pennant since 1924. The Giants defeated the Washington Senators in five games to claim the World Series championship.

“Although Critz’s bat had become a clear liability, he turned in two of his best defensive seasons in 1933 and 1934. He led all NL fielders both years in defensive wins above replacement and led second basemen in range factor per game, assists, and fielding percentage.”

martinp

3B-Pepper Martin, St. Louis Cardinals, 29 Years Old

.316, 8 HR, 57 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-4, 1 RBI)

MVP Rank: 5

WAR Rank: 7

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Runs Scored-122

Stolen Bases-26

1st Time All-Star-Johnny Leonard Roosevelt “Pepper” or “The Wild Horse of the Osage” Martin was born on February 29, 1904 in Temple, OK. The five-foot-eight, 170 pound righty outfielder and third baseman started in 1928 as a rightfielder for the Cardinals. He didn’t play in the majors in 1929 and then was back on the Cards in 1930. In 1931, he moved to centerfield and already garnered fame for his World Series play in which he had 12 hits in 24 at-bats, hitting four doubles, one homer, and knocking in five runs. St. Louis won that Series over the Athletics, four games to three. This season, he moved to third base and had his best season ever.

SABR says, “Martin was a Renaissance Man of sorts, and not just for his ability playing what he called the “gittar.” He was in the fight game as co-manager of a boxer, played basketball for the House of David basketball team, served briefly as a placekicker for the National Football League’s Brooklyn Dodgers, and was an avid outdoorsman.

“In 1961, after he had left Organized Baseball, Martin worked as the athletic director for the Oklahoma State Penitentiary, where he coached the prison’s baseball team, and, presumably, taught his players how to steal.

“Martin died on March 5, 1965, at the age of 61 in McAlester, Oklahoma, from a heart attack he had suffered the night before at his ranch in Blocker. His wife, Ruby, and three daughters, Alyne, Jennie and Alice, survived him.”

vaughan2

SS-Arky Vaughan, Pittsburgh Pirates, 21 Years Old

1932

.314, 9 HR, 97 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 23

WAR Rank: 5

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1985)

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

 

Led in:

 

Triples-19

Errors Committed-46 (2nd Time)

Def. Games as SS-152

Errors Committed as SS-46 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-There was no sophomore jinx for Vaughan who continued to be hard hitting and a good fielder, despite what his league-leading errors might indicate. It’s too bad his Pittsburgh squad was so terrible during the time he played on it.

Wikipedia tells us, “Vaughan solidified his position as the Pirates’ starting shortstop in 1933. Improving on almost all of his offensive statistics, Vaughan played in 152 games, batting .314 with 97 RBI, seventh- and fifth-best in the NL respectively. He also led the league with 19 triples. He finished in the league top five in on-base percentage (.388, 3rd), slugging percentage (.478, 5th) and walks (64, 4th). Although he led the league in errors again with an identical 46 to the previous year, due to his increased playing time his fielding percentage improved a bit from .934 to .945. For the second straight year, he finished 23rd in the MVP voting.”

On June 24, he hit for the cycle against the Dodgers. Vaughan hit a homer in the second, a single in the third, another single in the fifth, a double in the seventh, and a triple in the eighth. He ended up five-for-five with a walk, three runs scored, and drove in five runs.

One more tidbit, this from SABR, which says, “After Vaughan again made forty-six errors at shortstop, the Pirates hired their legendary shortstop Honus Wagner as a coach. Wagner even roomed with his young protégé on the road. According to a Wagner biographer, Wagner wasn’t much of an instructor but his presence and guidance helped Vaughan settle down.”

 

jurges

SS-Billy Jurges, Chicago Cubs, 25 Years Old

.269, 5 HR, 50 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 10 more All-Star seasons. 35 percent chance)

 

1st Time All-Star-William Frederick “Billy” Jurges (pronounced JUR-gezz) was born on May 9, 1908 in the Bronx. The five-foot-11, 175 pound righty shortstop and third baseman started with Chicago in 1931 and was a full-time player by 1932. In that World Series, Jurges hit .364 (four-for-11) with a double and two steals. Chicago still was swept by the Yankees. This season was his best ever as his hitting was better than usual. However, for the rest of his career, he’d be mainly contributing with his glove not his bat.

He was part of a scary event in 1932, according to Wikipedia, which states, “On July 6, 1932, Violet Valli, a showgirl with whom Jurges was romantically linked, tried to kill Jurges at the Hotel Carlos, where both lived. Jurges had previously tried to end their relationship. Valli (born Violet Popovich) also left a suicide note in which she blamed Cubs outfielder Kiki Cuyler for convincing Jurges to break up with her. Although initial reports stated that Jurges was shot while trying to wrestle the gun from Valli, later reports, based on Valli’s suicide note, stated that she was trying to kill Jurges as well as commit suicide.

“A week after the shooting, charges were dismissed against Valli when Jurges appeared in court and announced that he would not testify and wished to drop the charges. Valli was later involved in a lawsuit when she sued a real estate developer who was blackmailing her by threatening to release letters in which Valli threatened Jurges.”

medwick

LF-Joe Medwick, St. Louis Cardinals, 21 Years Old

.306, 18 HR, 98 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 18

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1968)

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

 

Led in:

 

Def. Games as LF-147

Putouts as LF-284

Assists as LF-17

Errors Committed as LF-7

Fielding % as LF-.977

1st Time All-Star-Joseph Michael “Joe” or “Ducky” or “Muscles” Medwick was born on November 24, 1911 in Carteret, NJ. The five-foot-10, 187 pound righty leftfielder started with the Cardinals in 1932 and hit .349 in 26 games. That gave him a regular spot starting this year. He’s going to be a valuable member of St. Louis over the next few years.

Wikipedia mentions, “The son of Hungarian immigrants, Medwick was born and raised in Carteret, New Jersey. He excelled in baseball, basketball, football, and track at Carteret High School. University of Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne made arrangements for Medwick to play football there, however Medwick decided to forgo college and enter professional baseball.

“Medwick entered professional baseball with the Scottdale Scotties of the Middle Atlantic League in 1930. In 75 games with the Scotties, he had a .419 batting average and 22 home runs. He spent most of the next two seasons with the Houston Buffaloes of the Texas League. He played 161 games for Houston in 1931, hitting .305 with 19 home runs. He played in 139 games for the team the next year, hitting .354 with 26 home runs before being called up to the major leagues.”

This is as good a place as any to mention how much scoring has changed in the National League over the last few years. In 1930, teams averaged 5.68 runs per game, a mark that hasn’t been matched since. However, the NL deadened the ball this season and the runs per game dipped to 3.97 a game.

 

berger3

CF-Wally Berger, Boston Braves, 27 Years Old

1931 1932

.313, 27 HR, 106 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-4)

MVP Rank: 3

WAR Rank: 4

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Strikeouts-77

AB per HR-19.6

Double Plays Turned as CF-4 (2nd Time)

3rd Time All-Star-After what some labeled an unremarkable season in 1932, Berger came back this year with his best year ever. Why do I say that? Well, he finished third in the MVP voting, his highest finish ever, and he finished fourth in WAR, also the top rank he’d ever attain. He also put these monster stats together in a year the National League played with a dead ball.

There is a wonderful article by SABR about Wally Berger hitting a home run on October 1 of this season that put the Braves into the first division which gave the team extra bonus money. The homer is known as the “$10,000 homer.” I’ll just put a bit about the clout itself.

SABR says, “Maranville was a .218 hitter near the end of his Hall of Fame career, and McKechnie figured this might be his best chance to use Berger. He called Rabbit back, sent Berger up to pinch-hit, and put Ben Cantwell in at first base to run for Hogan. Berger’s broad back flashed his familiar number 3 as he carried several bats to the plate, and then flung all but one aside. ‘They came out to talk with him [Grabowski],’ Berger told Beverage, ‘and I just know he’s going to come in with that dinky little curve.’

“Berger swung and missed on Grabowski’s first pitch, losing his grip and sending his bat flying, but managed to work the count to 2-and-2. Then, according to Gerry Hern of the Boston Post, Grabowski ‘tried to push an inside pitch through the slot for the third strike’ and Berger met the anticipated dinky little curve dead on. The ball sailed into the left-field stands for a grand slam, and the crowd and bench erupted.” I suggest you read the whole thing.

lindstrom3

CF-Freddie Lindstrom, Pittsburgh Pirates, 27 Years Old

1928 1930

.310, 5 HR, 55 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1976)

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

 

Led in:

 

Range Factor/Game as CF-3.06

Range Factor/9 Inn as OF-3.11

Range Factor/Game as OF-3.04

3rd Time All-Star-Since making my All-Star team in 1930 for the Giants, both at third base, Lindstrom played two more years for New York before he was traded as part of a 3-team trade by the New York Giants to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Giants sent Chick Fullis to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Glenn Spencer to the New York Giants. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Gus Dugas to the Philadelphia Phillies. The Philadelphia Phillies sent Kiddo Davis to the New York Giants. Got all that?

Wikipedia says, “Lindstrom was included in the balloting for the National Baseball Hall of Fame starting in 1949, but he never received more than 4.4% of the vote from the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA). Former Giants teammates Terry and Frankie Frisch joined the Veterans Committee in 1967, and aided the elections of several of their former teammates, including Jesse Haines in 1970Dave Bancroft and Chick Hafey in 1971Ross Youngs in 1972George Kelly in 1973Jim Bottomley in 1974, and Lindstrom in 1976.

“Lindstrom’s selection, along with some of the other selections made by Terry and Frisch, has been considered one of the weakest in some circles. According to the BBWAA, the Veterans’ Committee was not selective enough in choosing members. Charges of cronyism were levied against the Veterans’ Committee. This led to the Veterans Committee having its powers reduced in subsequent years. In 2001, baseball writer Bill James ranked Lindstrom as the worst third baseman in the Hall of Fame.”

Lindstrom died on October 4, 1981 in Chicago.

hafey5CF-Chick Hafey, Cincinnati Reds, 30 Years Old

1927 1928 1929 1931

.303, 7 HR, 62 RBI

All-Star: Yes (1-4, Single)

MVP Rank: 25

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1971)

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

 

Led in:

 

Double Plays Turned as CF-4

 

5th Time All-Star-In Hafey’s 1931 write-up, I already wrote him off, so to speak. When I come to the blurb that I feel contains their last All-Star team, I usually add a bit about life after baseball and give the date of death. I did that with Hafey in 1931, not expecting the Reds to have so few good players in 1933. Since Cincinnati needs a representative, Hafey made this team.

Donie Bush took over for Dan Howley as manager for this season, but didn’t do any better, as the Reds finished last again with a 58-94 record. It would be Bush’s last year as manager after winning a National League pennant for the Pirates in 1927. His final career managerial record was 497-539.

You might be wondering how Hafey came to the Reds. Well, before the 1932 season, he was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals to the Cincinnati Reds for Benny FreyHarvey Hendrick and cash. It was a good pickup for the Reds especially considering the dearth of good players on this squad. He also switched from leftfield to centerfield this year where he would wrap up his career. Hafey played three more years for the Reds, but didn’t play in 1936. Wikipedia says, “In June 1935, suffering from sinus problems and influenza, he returned to his ranch near Berkeley and his relatives there said that he would not return to baseball that season. The team wanted team surgeons to perform sinus surgery, but Hafey planned to have a procedure performed by his own doctor. He tried a minor league comeback in 1936, but he gave that up in April because he was experiencing vision problems and dizzy spells still attributed to sinusitis.”

klein5

RF-Chuck Klein, Philadelphia Phillies, 28 Years Old

1929 1930 1931 1932

.368, 28 HR, 120 RBI

All-Star: Yes (1-4, Single)

MVP Rank: 2

WAR Rank: 2

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1980)

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

 

Led in:

 

1933 NL Batting Title

1933 NL Triple Crown

WAR Position Players-7.9

Offensive WAR-8.2 (3rd Time)

Batting Average-.368

On-Base %-.422

Slugging %-.602 (3rd Time)

On-Base Plus Slugging-1.025 (2nd Time)

Hits-223 (2nd Time)

Total Bases-365 (4th Time)

Doubles-44 (2nd Time)

Home Runs-28 (4th Time)

Runs Batted In-120 (2nd Time)

Adjusted OPS+-63 (2nd Time)

Runs Created-154 (4th Time)

Adj. Batting Runs-63 (2nd Time)

Adj. Batting Wins-6.4 (2nd Time)

Extra Base Hits-79 (4th Time)

Times On Base-280 (2nd Time)

Offensive Win %-.852 (2nd Time)

Power-Speed #-19.5 (2nd Time)

Base-Out  Runs Added-79.46 (3rd Time)

Win Probability Added-7.1

Situ. Wins Added-6.5 (3rd Time)

Base-Out Wins Added-7.6 (2nd Time)

Assists as RF-21 (3rd Time)

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

Assists as OF-21 (3rd Time)

5th Time All-Star-Before I get into this probably being Klein’s last time making my All-Star team because he’s going to be traded from Philadelphia, can I just take a minute to glance at those stats above and just say, “Wow!” Yes, as I’ve mentioned every time, Klein was helped by playing in the Baker Bowl, one of baseball’s best hitters’ parks ever. This year Klein slashed .467/.516/.789 at home and .280/.338/.436 on the road. That’s a good enough reason to give Carl Hubbell the MVP, which the writers and I both did. It’s still a great season.

Wikipedia states, “On November 21, 1933 Klein was traded to the Cubs for $65,000 (equivalent to $1,283,792 in 2019) and three other players, Klein did not perform as well in Chicago as he did when he was with the Phillies. Even so, he hit 20 and 21 HRs in his two full seasons with the Cubs (1934, 1935) and batted .301 and .293 in those seasons respectively. These were far below the numbers he posted in Philadelphia, leading to claims that Klein would not have hit nearly as many homers had he not played in notoriously hitter-friendly Baker Bowl. The Phillies reacquired him on May 21, 1936. On July 10, 1936, in the spacious Forbes Field, against the 42-34 Pirates, Klein became the first NL player to hit four home runs in a game in the 20th century, and only the 4th player in major league history to accomplish the feat. His fourth home run that game was a leadoff home run in the top of the tenth inning, the Phillies scored 2 more runs to win the game 9-6 after ten innings.

“After retiring, he owned and operated a bar in Kensington, Philadelphia until 1947. He endured some difficult financial times, largely due to a drinking problem. Eventually, a stroke damaged his nervous system and left one leg paralyzed. By 1947, Klein was living with his brother, and his wife in Indianapolis, Indiana. He died there in 1958.”

ott6

RF-Mel Ott, New York Giants, 24 Years Old

1928 1929 1930 1931 1932

.283, 23 HR, 103 RBI

All-Star: No

WAR Rank: 8

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1951)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1930)

 

Led in:

 

Bases on Balls-75 (4th Time)

6th Time All-Star-If judged by his rank in WAR, this is Ott’s worst season between 1929 and 1940. He shockingly didn’t make the first All-Star Game and didn’t receive one MVP vote. What he did do was make his first World Series and did very Mel Ottish things. SABR says, “The National League used a deadened baseball in 1933 and pitchers dominated. Several Giants pitchers — lefthanded screwball specialist Carl Hubbell, sinkerballing Hal Schumacher, knuckleballer Freddie Fitzsimmons and fastballer Roy Parmelee — delivered excellent seasons. In a low-scoring year, the Giants won the pennant by virtue of a magnificent performance by Hubbell — a league-leading 23 wins, 10 shutouts, and an 1.66 ERA — Terry’s .322 average, and Ott, who led the National League in walks and ranked third in homers and RBI. The Giants defeated the Washington Senators in a five-game World Series. National League MVP Hubbell won two games without a loss and Ott led the Giants’ offense. He hit .389, went 4-for-4 in Hubbell’s first-game victory, and hit the Series- clinching home run in the tenth inning of the final game.”

                One of his homers was controversial as shown in this YouTube clip:

This would be the first of three World Series in which Master Melvin participated, but be his only championship in his 22-year career. It wouldn’t surprise me if in two or three more seasons, Ott enters my ONEHOF, the One-a-Year Hall of Fame which admits just one player per calendar year.

waner8RF-Paul Waner, Pittsburgh Pirates, 30 Years Old

1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932

.309, 7 HR, 70 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0 AB)

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1952)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1930)

 

Led in:

 

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

Putouts as RF-339 (3rd Time)

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

8th Time All-Star-With the National League using a deadened ball this year, stats weren’t as impressive this year. For instance, Waner went from hitting 62 doubles in 1932 to 38 this year. Only one more time, in 1936, would Big Poison hit over 50 doubles again. Still those 38 two-baggers ranked fourth in the NL this season. Most likely, Waner is going to make the ONEHOF next year. That’s the One-A-Year Hall of Fame in which I induct just one great player a year.

Judged just by Baseball Reference’s Wins Above Replacement, Waner is the third greatest Pirate of all time. You can probably guess who’s number one. Yep, you got it, the great Honus Wagner. In second is someone I haven’t written about yet, and won’t be for years. It’s someone from Waner’s own position, Roberto Clemente. That means as great as Waner was, he’s not the best player ever on his team and not even his own position.

Still I would have never believed he would have made this many All-Star teams. Most likely, he’s got three more to go, which will put him in double digits, something only the truly great accomplish. At this point, 29 players have made 10 or more All-Star teams and there are some incredible players on that list.

At this point in his career, Waner has played 150 or more games six of his eight seasons. After this, he’s just going to do that once. That tends to happen when players reach 30 years old.

herman4RF-Babe Herman, Chicago Cubs, 30 Years Old

1929 1930 1932

.289, 16 HR, 93 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

4th Time All-Star-After having an All-Star season in one year with the Reds, Herman was traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Chicago Cubs for Rollie HemsleyJohnny MooreLance Richbourg and Bob Smith. That’s a lot of players for one man, but at the very least, Herman gave the Cubs one All-Star season.

Wikipedia wraps up his career, saying, “Herman played for the Chicago Cubs in 1933–34, batting .304 in the latter season. On July 20, 1933 he hit three home runs, and on September 30 he hit for the cycle for the third time, a feat only he and Bob Meusel accomplished in the 20th century. (In 2015, Adrián Beltré also hit for the cycle a third time). After a brief stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1935, he was traded back to the Reds, staying with them through 1936. On July 10, 1935, he hit the first home run ever in a major league night game. He played briefly for the Tigers in 1937, hitting .300 in 17 games, and then returned to the minor leagues. Nine years later in 1945, he was re-signed by Brooklyn at age 42, and played his 37 final big league games with the team. He received a strong ovation from the Ebbets Field crowd in his first turn at bat, and tripped over first base after hitting a single. After retiring, he worked as a scout for several teams until 1964. Herman ended his major league career with a .324 batting average, 1818 hits, 181 home runs, 997 RBIs, 882 runs, 399 doubles, 110 triples and 94 stolen bases in 1552 games. Herman hit better than .300 in nine major league seasons.

“He died in Glendale, California at age 84 following a bout with pneumonia and a series of strokes.”

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