1935 National League All-Star Team

P-Dizzy Dean, STL

P-Curt Davis, PHI

P-Cy Blanton, PIT

P-Syl Johnson, PHI

P-Bill Swift, PIT

P-Carl Hubbell, NYG

P-Paul Dean, STL

P-Hal Schumacher, NYG

P-Lon Warneke, CHC

P-Larry French, CHC

C-Gabby Hartnett, CHC

C-Ernie Lombardi, CIN

1B-Ripper Collins, STL

1B-Bill Terry, NYG

2B-Billy Herman, CHC

3B-Stan Hack, CHC

SS-Arky Vaughan, PIT, 1st MVP

SS-Lonny Frey, BRO

LF-Joe Medwick, STL

LF-Augie Galan, CHC

LF-Jo-Jo Moore, NYG

CF-Wally Berger, BSN

CF-Hank Leiber, NYG

RF-Mel Ott, NYG

RF-Paul Waner, PIT, ONEHOF Inductee

 

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P-Dizzy Dean, St. Louis Cardinals, 25 Years Old

1932 1933 1934

28-12, 3.04 ERA, 190 K, .234, 2 HR, 21 RBI

All-Star: Yes (1 IP, 1 BB, 1 K)

MVP Rank: 2

WAR Rank: 2

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1953)

Ron’s: No (Would require three more All-Star seasons. 67 percent chance)

 

Led in:

 

Wins-28 (2nd Time)

Innings Pitched-325 1/3 (2nd Time)

Strikeouts-190 (4th Time)

Games Started-36

Complete Games-29 (2nd Time)

Hits Allowed-324

Batters Faced-1,362 (2nd Time)

Base-Out Runs Saved-47.95 (2nd Time)

Sit. Wins Saved-5.1

Base-Out Wins Saved-4.9

4th Time All-Star-After having his best season ever in 1934, Dizzy followed it up with another great year. If there were Cy Young Awards at the time, he’d certainly be clearing off his mantelpiece for another one this year. He continued to pitch an incredible amount of innings, especially since he relieved in 14 games along with the league-leading 36 he started. Too bad his career is going to be so short.

The Gashouse Gang, managed by Frankie Frisch, dropped from first to second this year, finishing 96-58, four games behind the Cubs. St. Louis was tied for first on Sept. 13 before going 9-8 to round out the year and fall out of the running. Three of those losses came to Chicago. Thanks to the Dean brothers, the Cards’ pitching was great, but their hitting was only a bit above the National League average.

SABR says his ego got him in trouble with his teammates, stating,

“The frustration felt by Dean’s teammates toward him came to a head at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh on June 4, 1935. Staked to a 2-0 lead in the third inning, Dean was a victim of a lackluster defense as Pittsburgh answered back with four runs. All the runs were unearned and Dean was cursing his teammates on the mound. Reasoning that others were not trying, so why should he, Dean began to lob the baseball to the plate as if he were pitching batting practice. The Pirates showered the field with hard smashes to all corners.”

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P-Curt Davis, Philadelphia Phillies, 31 Years Old

1934

16-14, 3.66 ERA, 74 K, .173, 1 HR, 6 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 21

WAR Rank: 5

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Putouts as P-21

2nd Time All-Star-It wasn’t easy to be a pitcher for the Phillies. Their home park was the Baker Bowl and it ate many pitchers over the years for lunch. Yet Davis seemed to have figured out this bandbox and once again shined in the National League. Of course, his pitching was much better on the road where he went 11-5 with a 2.48 ERA. At home, Davis was 5-9 with a 4.93 ERA. It was still a great year in a difficult situation.

Jimmie Wilson managed the Phillies again and they finished in seventh place for the third straight year, racking up a 64-89 record. Despite their home park, they had the worst hitting in the National League.

SABR wraps up his 1935 season, saying,

“He was almost as effective in 1935 — 16-14, 3.66. Davis did not strike out many; his sinkers made hitters pound the ball into the ground and induced a lot of double plays. He seldom walked a batter. He had established himself as an elite pitcher on a losing team. After the season he married Lillian Preston, whom he had met in Philadelphia.”

It’s too bad Davis didn’t get to pitch for a decent team during these two years. He’d probably be better known that he is now. Fortunately for him, Davis is going to be traded during the next season and get to pitch for some better squads. He’s also most likely going to make one more of these lists. If only he started pitching in the Majors before he was 30.

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P-Cy Blanton, Pittsburgh Pirates, 26 Years Old

18-13, 2.58 ERA, 142 K, .134, 0 HR, 6 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 15

WAR Rank: 6

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

1935 NL Pitching Title

WAR for Pitchers-7.2

Earned Run Average-2.58

Walks & Hits per IP-1.081

Hits per 9 IP-7.785

Shutouts-4

Home Runs per 9 IP-0.106

Adjusted ERA+-159

Fielding Independent Pitching-2.77

Adj. Pitching Runs-40

Adj. Pitching Wins-4.1

1st Time All-Star-Darrell Elijah “Cy” Blanton was born on July 6, 1908 in Waurika, OK. The five-foot-11, 180 pound lefty hitting, righty pitcher started by pitching one game for Pittsburgh in 1934, allowing three runs in eight innings. He followed that with this outstanding year, a season that if it could have been matched a few times, might have earned him his moniker of Cy.

Pie Traynor managed the Pirates and led them to a fourth place finish, once place higher than the previous year. Led by Arky Vaughan, Pittsburgh could hit the ball, and led by Blanton, it could also pitch. The Bucs looked like an up and coming team.

SABR pithily wraps up his career, stating,

“In 1935 Cy Blanton broke in with the Pittsburgh Pirates in a blaze of glory. The hard-throwing right-hander with an array of screwballs, curves, and sinkers led the National League in ERA and tied for the lead in shutouts, and was the hardest-to-hit pitcher in the big leagues. In his first four seasons he averaged 14 wins and 226 innings despite suffering from chronic elbow tenderness. Weeks after tossing an ill-fated no-hitter in a meaningless exhibition game in 1939, Blanton tore ligaments in his elbow, effectively ending his career. He won only 12 more games over the next four years as he battled injuries and the effects of alcoholism that led to his death in 1945 at the age of 37.

“He died on September 13, 1945, at the age of 37. According to his death certificate, Blanton had suffered multiple internal hemorrhages caused by cirrhosis of the liver, and was diagnosed with toxic psychosis.”

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P-Syl Johnson, Philadelphia Phillies, 34 Years Old

10-8, 3.56 ERA, 89 K, .241, 1 HR, 7 RBI

All-Star: No

WAR Rank: 10

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

1st Time All-Star-Sylvester W. “Syl” Johnson was born on New Year’s Eve, 1900 in Portland, OR. The five-foot-11, 180 pound righty pitcher started with Detroit in 1922, winning 12 games for the Tigers in 1923. After the 1925 season, he was acquired by the Cardinals and relieved two games for them in the 1928 World Series, giving up four hits, two runs (one earned) in two innings. He also pitched in 1930 and ’31 Series for the Cardinals, combining in the two to pitch 14 innings and give up seven runs. Johnson was part of the St. Louis championship team of 1931.

Before the 1934 season, Syl was traded by the St. Louis Cardinals with Bob O’Farrell to the Cincinnati Reds for Glenn Spencer. Then midseason, he was traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Johnny Moore to the Philadelphia Phillies for Ted KleinhansArt Ruble and Wes Schulmerich. It ended up being a good trade for the Phils as Johnson in 1935 had his best season ever.

                SABR says of his life in baseball:

“As the years progressed, Johnson was invited to several old-timers games to meet with old teammates from the Portland Beavers and the Cardinals. After leaving the Dodgers in 1961, Johnson said goodbye to baseball. He had played for 19 years in the major leagues and ten in the minors, and had spent 15 years as a scout: 44 years devoted to Organized Baseball.

“Just after his 84th birthday, Syl Johnson died in Portland on February 20, 1985. Months before his death he and Ruth had observed their 62nd wedding anniversary. Ruth died in 2001, preceded by their son David W. Johnson in 1995.”

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P-Bill Swift, Pittsburgh Pirates, 27 Years Old

15-8, 2.70 ERA, 74 K, .244, 0 HR, 11 RBI

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Fielding % as P-1.000

1st Time All-Star-William Vincent “Bill” Swift was born on June 19, 1908 in Glen Lyon, PA. The six-foot-one, 192 pound righty pitcher started with Pittsburgh in 1932 and gave them solid pitching for eight years. This was his best season ever as evidenced by his 2.70 ERA (152 ERA+).

Wikipedia gives a synopsis of his playing career, saying,

“Swift led the National League in walks/9IP (1.09) in 1932 and hit batsmen (8) in 1934. He ranks 71st on the MLB career walks/9IP list (1.93). In 11 seasons he had a 95–82 win–loss record, 336 games (163 started), 78 complete games, 7 shutouts, 119 games finished, 20 saves, 1,637​23 innings pitched, 1,682 hits allowed, 753 runs allowed, 651 earned runs allowed, 103 home runs allowed, 351 walks, 636 strikeouts, 36 hit batsmen, 11 wild pitches, 6,891 batters faced, 1 balk, a 3.58 ERA and a 1.241 WHIP.

“Swift was an above average hitting pitcher in his career. He posted a .227 batting average (134-for-591) with 34 runs, 3 home runs and 54 RBI.

“Born in Glen Lyon, Pennsylvania, Swift died in Bartow, Florida, at the age of 60.”

That’s the good and the bad thing about baseball is how easily a man’s career can be wrapped up in numbers. For people like Bill Swift, there are not a lot of details about his life, just all of the numbers he compiled. There’s no explanation for why he pitched better than ever in 1935 and then went back down to his mediocrity.

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P-Carl Hubbell, New York Giants, 32 Years Old

1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934

23-12, 3.27 ERA, 150 K, .239, 1 HR, 12 RBI

All-Star: Yes (Didn’t play)

MVP Rank: 6

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1947)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1933)

 

Led in:

 

Home Runs Allowed-27

Strikeouts/Base On Balls-3.061 (4th Time)

7th Time All-Star-If judged by WAR for Pitchers, Hubbell starts to fade a bit this year. From 1929-31, he finished sixth or seventh. Then from1932-34, Meal Ticket always finished in the top three in Pitchers WAR. For three of the next four years, Hubbell will finish seventh or below in that category. There’s just an exception next year which we’ll look at down the road.

SABR says of his season,

“The next season, 1935, was another disappointing year for Hubbell and his teammates. After leading the league all season through late August, the Giants fell back as the Cubs won 21 straight to take the pennant. The losses in 1934 and 1935 came despite Hubbell’s continuing effectiveness. In effect, he duplicated his brilliant 1933 performance, winning 21 and 23 games the next two years with excellent ERAs considering the livelier ball used after 1933.”

You might notice above King Carl led the National League in homers allowed. He actually gave up quite a few homers for the era in which he played. Hubbell finished in the top 10 in dingers given up nine times in his career. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just shows the great control of the pitcher. If you’re around the plate, you’re going to give up the occasional long ball. Four of the top five pitchers in career HR allowed are in the Hall of Fame, so it’s not a career killer to give up homers. The key is to not have many people on base when you do so.

Paul Dee

P-Paul Dean, St. Louis Cardinals, 22 Years Old

1934

19-12, 3.37 ERA, 143 K, .133, 0 HR, 3 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 21

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 27 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

Hit By Pitch-9

Win Probability Added-5.4

2nd Time All-Star-People talk about the tragedy of Dizzy Dean’s career as it was shortened by a line drive that hit his foot in an All-Star game, but his brother Paul’s is even sadder as he pitched two great seasons by the age of 22 and then would fade quickly. When you look at his career through this year, you could only think he’s off and running to being one of the all-time greats, but it’s not going to happen.

SABR wraps up his career, saying on the 1936 campaign,

“On June 2, with only two days’ rest, Paul pitched a shutout for eight innings against Brooklyn, but allowed four runs (three earned) in the ninth. Two days later he pitched two innings in relief against Brooklyn, gave up three runs, and took the loss. He remembered feeling a little twinge in his shoulder that did not bother him at the time, ‘but when I went out the next day to get in a pepper game, I couldn’t hardly raise it.’ He did not realize that he had torn a piece of cartilage. He tried resting, and even blamed his pain on a sore tooth. After X-rays ruled out a dental problem, Dr. Robert F. Hyland, the Cardinals’ physician, diagnosed a pulled tendon and prescribed ‘easy throwing for a few days.’ Paul again felt like leaving baseball and returning to his farm.

“He never dominated hitters in the big leagues again. After the day he felt pain in his arm, he pitched in only five more games that season, giving up 28 hits in 13⅓ innings, with a 13.50 ERA.

“On March 17, 1981, Paul died of a heart attack in Springdale, Arkansas. He is buried in Oakland Cemetery in Clarksville, Arkansas.”


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P-Hal Schumacher, New York Giants, 24 Years Old

1933

19-9, 2.89 ERA, 79 K, .196, 2 HR, 21 RBI

All-Star: Yes (4 IP, 1 R, 5 K)

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Assists as P-89

Range Factor/9 Inn as P-3.54

Range Factor/Game as P-3.12

Fielding % as P-1.000

2nd Time All-Star-Despite going 23-10 in 1934, Schumacher didn’t make my All-Star team. It was a good season, but there were a lot of good pitching seasons that year. He didn’t win 20 games this year, but here he is on the list. He wasn’t striking out a lot of batters at this time, but he was getting batters out and continued to be one of New York’s best hurlers. However, what little chance he had at making my Hall of Fame went away when he missed making this list last campaign.

You might be interested to know a whole book has been written about this man. Its title is Hal Schumacher – the Prince of the New York Giants: And the Pride of Dolgeville, written by Roger Glen Melin. That book says of this season,

“1935 was a year of statistical excellence for Prince Hal Schumacher. He had won 11 consecutive games between May 19th and July 15th which was the longest such streak of the season in the National League. On the field he did as well as can be expected from any player at any position on the diamond: zero errors in 103 chances, a fielding percentage of 1.000, perfection. If baseball had honored players in the 1930s with awards such as the Gold Glove Award, there can be almost no doubt but that it would have gone to Hal Schumacher in 1935. He finished the season with a most impressive ERA of 2.89, third in the league behind rookie Cy Blanton and his teammate Bill Swift.”

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P-Lon Warneke, Chicago Cubs, 26 Years Old

1932 1933 1934

20-13, 3.06 ERA, 120 K, .220, 0 HR, 15 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 12

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Wild Pitches-10

4th Time All-Star-Warneke didn’t make Cooperstown and he’s not going to make my Hall of Fame, but he was a very good pitcher. From 1932-through-1941, he won 13 or more games and he’s now made my All-Star team four consecutive years. It’s interesting he led the National League in wild pitches considering he only walked 50 batters in 261 2/3 innings.

Behind Warneke’s arm, the Cubs, managed by Charlie Grimm, won the National League pennant with a 100-54 record. In September, they won 21 consecutive games to take over first. While Warneke shined for Chicago on the mound, Billy Herman and others gave it the hitting it needed.

Even though the Cubs lost the World Series, 4-2, to the Tigers, they couldn’t blame Warneke, who garnered both of their victories. In those two wins, he pitched 16 2/3 innings, giving up just nine hits and one run.

SABR tells about Game1, featuring two hurlers from the same state:

“The first game of the World Series featured two Arkansas pitchers Lon Warneke from Mount Ida and his friend, “Schoolboy” Rowe from El Dorado.

“Warneke shut out the Tigers 3-0. Following the game, Mickey Cochrane, Tigers manager stated, ‘You’ll go a long time until you see better pitching than that Warneke tossed at us this afternoon.’ A reporter noted that the Tigers fans would like to see Warneke disappear for several days. ‘In fact, they’d pay his taxi-fare back to Arkansas just to get rid of him.’”

In the fifth game, Warneke went out with a sore shoulder in the seventh inning.

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P-Larry French, Chicago Cubs, 27 Years Old

1930 1933

17-10, 2.96 ERA, 90 K, .141, 0 HR, 5 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Shutouts-4

3rd Time All-Star-French went from having a 99 percent chance of making my Hall of Fame in 1933 to being a sure thing this year. This was the key year as he was on the borderline of making the team, but since he did, he’s easily going to make four more of these, so he’s in. Some might complain he shouldn’t make the Hall of Fame with no 20 win seasons and less than 200 wins, but those people can write their own pages (and I’m sure they have).

SABR says of this season,

“On November 22 the Pirates shipped French and future Hall of Famer Freddie Lindstrom to the Chicago Cubs for pitchers Guy Bush and Jim Weaver, and outfielder Babe Herman.

“Beat reporter Edward Burns was not impressed with the acquisition of French and brooding right-hander Tex Carlton from St. Louis, and considered the staff ‘short of pennant class.’ Burns’s prediction initially seemed correct, as French got off to a slow start, losing five of his first seven decisions. But in June he showed the Cubs that he was the best lefty in the NL not named Hubbell by winning five straight decisions, including two shutouts, the latter of which was an impressive 12-inning 1-0 victory over the Pirates on June 29.

“[In the World Series,] Befitting his ‘jinxed’ reputation, French lost two games in heartbreaking fashion.”

From 1930 to 1936, only Carl Hubbell and Dizzy Dean won more games than French in the National League. Maybe Cooperstown should take another look at Frenchy.

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C-Gabby Hartnett, Chicago Cubs, 34 Years Old

1924 1925 1927 1928 1930 1933 1934

.344, 13 HR, 91 RBI

All-Star: Yes (No AB)

MVP Rank: 1

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1955)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1933)

 

Led in:

 

1935 NL MVP

Assists as C-77 (6th Time)

Double Plays Turned as C-11 (6th Time)

Caught Stealing as C-35 (4th Time)

Caught Stealing %-60.3 (6th Time)

8th Time All-Star-It seems to me catchers get their share of the writers’ MVP awards. Yet not one catcher has received the Most Valuable Player award from me yet. That’s because I use WAR to award those and WAR is a counting number that is higher the more games a player is in. Catchers never come close to playing a whole season, so they don’t normally rate high in Wins Above Replacement. Hartnett doesn’t rate in the top 10 in WAR this year at all and as a matter of fact, he’s only number nine when it comes to position players. That’s why I gave the award to Arky Vaughan.

Yet I don’t have a problem with Hartnett winning the award because he did have an outstanding season and helped lead the Cubs into the World Series against the Tigers. Even though Chicago lost to Detroit, 4-2, Hartnett did his job, hitting .292 with a homer and two RBI.

It’s a wonderful time for catchers during this time in baseball history. Mickey Cochrane made his ninth All-Star team this year, tying him with 1800s catcher Charlie Bennett for most All-Star teams at his position and Hartnett just made his eighth appearance on this list. There’s also Bill Dickey and Ernie Lombardi behind the plate so there are many great backstops during this time.

Yet Old Tomato Face might be the best there is. He could hit and he could field. He had an outstanding arm that made life difficult for base stealers.

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C-Ernie Lombardi, Cincinnati Reds, 27 Years Old

1932

.343, 12 HR, 64 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 13

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1986)

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

 

Led in:

 

AB per SO-55.3

Passed Balls-10 (2nd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-After hitting well in 1932, Lombardi didn’t clout the ball as much in 1933 and 1934, but came back this season. Starting this year, Lombardi is going to hit .330 or above the next four seasons and five of the next eight. It’s so tough to predict the times catchers  will make the All-Star team so I can’t tell whether Schnozz has six more of these lists in him.

Manager Chuck Dressen took the Reds out of last and into sixth with a 68-85 record. That’s not too bad for a team that couldn’t hit and couldn’t pitch.

SABR says,

“Lombardi possessed some distinctive physical characteristics, including a pair of huge hands and a bigger-than-normal nose. There is a picture of Lombardi holding seven baseballs in one hand. His nose was said to be just as enormous. ‘They first began kidding me about the nose and calling me “Schnozz” back in the Coast League,’ he said. ‘But the funny thing was, I didn’t get too much razzing from the bench jockeys. Mostly, it came from the fans.’ Lombardi was good-natured about the kidding he received, and often showed off a self-deprecating humor of his own.

“Lombardi enjoyed some of his biggest career days at the Philadelphia bandbox, at the expense of the Phillies. On May 8, 1935, he tied a league record with four doubles in a game as the Reds pasted the Phils, 15-4.”

Another reason Lombardi didn’t make this list the last two seasons is his slowness of foot. In both 1933 and ’34, he led the National League in grounding into double plays, the first two seasons that stat was officially kept.

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P-Ripper Collins, St. Louis Cardinals, 31 Years Old

1934

.313, 23 HR, 122 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-1)

MVP Rank: 21

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-Collins is back on my All-Star team for the second straight year and then he’s going to encounter that unbeatable foe, age. In 1934 and ’35, Ripper’s two best years, he played 150 or more games. Next year, he’s going to play only 103 games and then be traded to the Cubs where he wouldn’t hit near as well as he did with the Cardinals.

SABR wraps up his career, stating,

“On May 11, 1935, Collins took Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Euel Moore deep, hitting career home run 74, the major-league record at the time for switch-hitters. For the season Collins hit .313 with 23 round-trippers. On August 21 an unusual feat occurred when he played an entire game at first base without a putout. Collins placed in the top ten in several batting categories for the ’35 season.

“Collins hit over .300 in four of his nine big-league seasons. His 135 home runs were tops among major-league switch-hitters until Mickey Mantle surpassed him. A clutch hitter, Collins referred to himself as ‘the All-American Louse,’ a moniker he chose after breaking up four no-hitters during his major-league career. He was elected to the Rochester Red Wings Hall of Fame in 1989.

“In the spring of 1969 Collins, scouting for the Cardinals, was hospitalized in Oswego, New York, after suffering a serious heart attack. On April 15, 1970, at the age of 66, Ripper had to a fatal attack in New Haven, New York. He is buried in Mexico Village Cemetery, Mexico New York.”


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1B-Bill Terry, New York Giants, 36 Years Old

1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934

.341, 6 HR, 64 RBI

All-Star: Yes (1-3, 1 RBI)

MVP Rank: 6

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1954)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1932)

 

Led in:

 

Assists as 1B-99 (5th Time)

Range Factor/9 Inn as 1B-10.46 (7th Time)

Range Factor/Game as 1B-10.34 (8th Time)

Fielding % as 1B-.996 (2nd Time)

9th Time All-Star-In one of Terry’s write-ups early in his career, I wondered if he would have enough good seasons to make my ONEHOF, the Hall of Fame of my invention that admits just one player a year. I would guarantee he is going to do so. This would be his last full season, but he ended up having a sterling career.

As a manager, Terry guided the Giants to third place with a 91-62 record. Led by Mel Ott, the Giants led the National League in slugging.

SABR says,

“The Giants followed up that disappointment with a less traumatic, but extremely depressing, 1935 season, leading the league by seven games in mid-season but falling before a withering, late-season, 21-game winning streak by the pennant-winning Cubs. Terry’s knees ached badly as he played in every game while the Giants were still in the running but he went down fighting, hitting well over .400 on the Giants’ last western trip and drawing grudging cheers from the rival fans at each stop. The Giants boss took no comfort in his last season as a regular when he hit .341 to tie for fifth in the league in batting average. After the last game, he announced that he was retiring as a player and was planning a drastic housecleaning.

“Terry was belatedly voted into the Hall of Fame in 1954 and later that year he became president of the South Atlantic (Sally) League…He remained involved with his family, his old baseball friends, and his many local interests for the rest of his life. Terry died in Jacksonville on January 9, 1989.”

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2B-Billy Herman, Chicago Cubs, 25 Years Old

1934

.341, 7 HR, 83 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-3)

MVP Rank: 4

WAR Rank: 4

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1975)

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

 

Led in:

 

Hits-227

Doubles-57

Sacrifice Hits-24

Assists-520

Def. Games as 2B-154 (3rd Time)

Putouts as 2B-416 (2nd Time)

Assists as 2B-520 (2nd Time)

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

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

Fielding % as 2B-.964

2nd Time All-Star-For the next three seasons, Herman’s bat is going to come alive. He relied mainly on his glove for his fame, but during this stretch, he was a great all-around player. This was his best year ever as he helped guide the Cubbies to the National League pennant.

In the World Series, Herman did well, hitting .333 (eight-for-24) with two doubles, a triple, and a homer. Despite that, the Cubs lost to the Tigers, 4-2.

SABR summarizes this season, saying,

“The 1935 season may have been Herman’s best, as he led the league in hits (227), doubles (57) and sacrifice hits (24) while batting a career-high .341. He led second basemen in assists (520), putouts (416), double plays (109) and fielding percentage (.964). His keystone partner, Billy Jurges, led all shortstops in the same four defensive categories. Often, Herman would move a few feet, depending on the batter or the pitch count. Known as a smart player, he often played the percentages to his advantage. For players who hit most times to left field, Herman would station himself behind the second base bag. He estimated that he was successful about 70% of the time. Herman also estimated that another half-dozen times he was able to snare line drives that got by the pitcher with this positioning. For bigger, slower runners, Herman would set up shop deep on the grass between first and second base. The ball might not be hit hard, but with a slow runner, he had plenty of time to make the play.”

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3B-Stan Hack, Chicago Cubs,  35 Years Old

1934

.311, 4 HR, 64 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

2nd Time All-Star-There weren’t very many good third basemen in baseball during these days, but Hack was starting to make his name in the game. Surprisingly, he isn’t being voted to the All-Star Game and he isn’t getting MVP votes, but what he was doing was winning as the Cubs won the National League pennant.

Here’s Wikipedia’s summary of his 1935 season:

“He quickly became one of the sport’s most popular players, and 21-year-old team employee Bill Veeck (William’s son) staged a 1935 promotion in which fans were given mirrors labeled ‘Smile with Stan’, with Hack’s face on the reverse side; but the fans used the mirrors to reflect sunlight into the eyes of opposing batters, and the umpires threatened to forfeit the game if they didn’t stop. The NL office quickly banned any similar promotions in the future. Batting an unusually low seventh in the 1935 World Series against the Detroit Tigers, he hit only .227 as the Cubs lost in six games. In Game 3 he singled, stole second base and scored to give Chicago a 2–0 lead in the second inning, and singled and scored again in the ninth as the Cubs tied the game at 5, though they lost 6–5 in 11 innings. In Game 6 at Navin Field, he doubled with two out in the sixth inning, and tripled to lead off the ninth with the score tied at 3, but the Cubs were unable to drive him in. Manager Charlie Grimm opted to let starting pitcher Larry French bat with one out, and French hit a ground ball to the pitcher, Tommy Bridges, with Augie Galan flying to left to end the inning; the Tigers won the Series in the bottom of the inning when Mickey Cochrane scored on Goose Goslin‘s single.”


vaughan4

SS-Arky Vaughan, Pittsburgh Pirates, 23 Years Old, 1st MVP

1932 1933 1934

.385, 19 HR, 99 RBI

All-Star: Yes (1-3, 1 R, 1 2B)

MVP Rank: 3

WAR Rank: 1

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1985)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1935)

 

Led in:

 

1935 NL Batting Title

Wins Above Replacement-9.7

WAR Position Players-9.7

Offensive WAR-10.0 (2nd Time)

Batting Average-.385

On-Base %-.491 (2nd Time)

Slugging %-.607

On-Base Plus Slugging-1.098

Bases on Balls-97 (2nd Time)

Adjusted OPS+-190

Runs Created-147

Adj. Batting Runs-72

Adj. Batting Wins-6.8

Times On Bases-296

Offensive Win %-.855

4th Time All-Star-There is a tendency for the baseball writers to cast their Most Valuable Player votes for players on pennant-winning teams. This year, the writers voted for catcher Gabby Hartnett, who was the catcher on the Cubs, winners of the National League. Their second-place vote  went to Dizzy Dean, a pitcher for second-place St. Louis. Arky Vaughan, who easily had the best season in the league did manage to finish third in MVP voting, probably because his Pirates finished fourth.

I sometimes wonder if Arky was a hologram who couldn’t be seen completely because he never got his due in MVP voting and it took until 1985 for him to make Cooperstown. Well, Vaughan, you won’t have to wait that long to make my Hall of Fame because you’re going in this year. He’s the 11th shortstop to be admitted. The full list is here.

SABR says,

“In 1935 Vaughan had the best season of his career. He was hitting .401 in mid-September, but an eight-game slump lowered his final batting average to .385. Arky led the league in walks (97), on-base percentage (.491) and slugging percentage (.607), and his nineteen home runs and ninety-nine runs batted in were career highs. His .491 on-base percentage remains the highest ever for a Pirates’ player. Vaughan finished third in the baseball writers vote for the National League’s Most Valuable Player; however, The Sporting News selected him as their MVP in the National League and the shortstop on their postseason Major League All-Star team.”

freyl

SS-Lonny Frey, Brooklyn Dodgers, 24 Years Old

.262, 11 HR, 77 RBI

All-Star: No

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Errors Committed-44

Errors Committed as SS-44

1st Time All-Star-Linus Reinhard “Lonny” or “Junior” Frey was born on August 23, 1910 in St. Louis, MO. The five-foot-10, 160 pound switch-hitting, righty throwing shortstop started in Brooklyn in 1933 as a backup before becoming a regular in 1934. This wasn’t a great season, but he was the best the Dodgers had to offer so here he is.

Casey Stengel took this crew of mediocre players and had a decent fifth place season. Brooklyn finished 70-83, despite some terrible pitching that tied for the National League lead in wild pitches with 38.

SABR states,

“He immediately became Brooklyn’s starting shortstop and maintained a grip on the position for the next three-plus seasons. Frey hit well for a shortstop, flashing occasional power and demonstrating a good eye. In 1935 he ranked in the top ten in the National League in extra-base hits and walks. He didn’t steal many bases—few in that era did—but he was a fast, aggressive runner, unafraid to take an extra base or crash into a pivot man. His quiet, professional approach earned him the post of team captain prior to the 1936 season.

“On the downside, Frey was a dreadful defender. ‘Shortstop was not my position as far as pro ball was concerned,’ he admitted. He led the majors in errors in both 1935 and 1936, and his range was adequate at best. Frey lacked the arm strength required of a big league shortstop so he was always in a rush to scoop up the ball and get it away as quickly as possible. The result was an endless mess of misplayed grounders and off-target throws.”

medwick2

LF-Joe Medwick, St. Louis Cardinals, 23 Years Old

1933

.353, 23 HR, 126 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-3, 1 BB, 1 K)

MVP Rank: 5

WAR Rank: 7

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1968)

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

 

Led in:

 

Total Bases-365

Extra Base Hits-82

Base-Out Runs Added-67.53

Win Probability Added-7.3

Situ. Wins Added-5.8

Base-Out Wins Added-6.3

Errors Committed as LF-13 (3rd Time)

2nd Time All-Star-Ducky surprisingly didn’t make my 1934 All-Star team despite leading the league in triples with 18 and helping lead St. Louis to the National League title. Oh well, I’ll make it up to him by putting him in my Hall of Fame eventually. He’s got some monster seasons coming up in the future.

Wikipedia mentions an incident involving Medwick in the 1934 World Series, saying,

“He made his MLB debut with the Cardinals in 1932. By 1934, he hit .319 with 18 home runs and 106 runs batted in (RBIs). Though Medwick swung at any pitch near the strike zone, he was difficult to strike out. He became known as one of baseball’s rising stars, but it was also noted that Medwick had a self-centered nature.

“Medwick’s hard-charging style of play got him pulled out of the seventh game of the 1934 World Series by Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis after a hard slide into third baseman Marv Owen on a triple which caused Detroit Tigers fans to pelt Medwick with fruits and vegetables. Landis also ordered Owen benched. Medwick remains the only known player to be thrown out of a game for his own personal safety. When asked about the incident after the game, Medwick replied, ‘I knew why they threw them. What I don’t understand is why they brought them to the ballpark in the first place.’”

Baseball seems so genteel compared to the old days, doesn’t it? I mean there’s an occasional scuffle on the ballfield, but they’re rare enough to draw a lot of attention when they happen.

galan

LF-Augie Galan, Chicago Cubs, 23 Years Old

.314, 12 HR, 79 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 9

WAR Rank: 8

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Plate Appearances-748

Runs Scored-133

Stolen Bases-22

Power-Speed #-15.5

Putouts as LF-323

Double Plays Turned as LF-4

Fielding % as LF-.977

1st Time All-Star-August John “Augie” Galan (pronounced guh-LANN) was born on May 23, 1912 in Berkley, CA. The six-foot, 175 pound switch-hitting, right-handed throwing leftfielder started out as a second baseman for Chicago in 1934, but was moved to leftfield this season, his best season until the sport was diluted by the many players fighting in World War II. In the World Series, Galan hit .160 (four-for-25) with a double as the Cubs lost the Series to the Tigers, 4-2.

Wikipedia says,

“One of eight children, Galan was born in Berkeley, California. Galan’s parents had emigrated from France in the late 19th century, and his father operated a French hand laundry on Berkeley’s University Avenue. At age 11, Augie Galan broke his right elbow playing sandlot ball. He concealed the injury from his parents, fearful of being barred from further play. The arm was never set, healed improperly, and it was never fully healthy throughout Galan’s professional career. He graduated from Berkeley High School.”

SABR speaks of this season, stating,

“The Cubs’ first baseman in 1935, Phil Cavarretta, looked back on that season many years later. ‘Augie Galan originally was a second baseman, but we had Billy Herman, so Charlie moved him out to center field, because we needed a center fielder, and Augie turned out to be one of the best fielding center fielders I’ve ever seen. He had a great arm, and he was a good little hitter. He was our leadoff man. Billy Herman was hitting second, and I’m not just saying this just because they were my teammates, but as far as hit-and-run men are concerned, to me Augie Galan and Billy Herman were the best.’”


moorej

LF-Jo-Jo Moore, New York Giants, 26 Years Old

.295, 15 HR, 71 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-2)

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

Ron’s: No (Would require 16 more All-Star seasons. Impossible)

 

Led in:

 

At Bats-681

Outs Made-486

Def. Games as LF-155

1st Time All-Star-Joe Gregg “Jo-Jo” or “The Gause Ghost” Moore was born on Christmas Day, 1908 in Gause, TX. The five-foot-11, 155 pound lefty hitting, righty throwing leftfielder started with New York in 1930, had his rookie year in 1932, and played in the 1933 World Series that the Giants won in five games from Washington. Moore hit .227 (five-for-22) with a double. He made the All-Star Game in 1934 and then had his best year ever this season.

Wikipedia wraps up The Gause Ghost’s career, saying,

“In 1932, Moore enjoyed a 20-game hitting-streak despite appearing in just 86 games. His most productive season came in 1934, when he collected a career-high .331 batting average with 106 runs, 192 hits, 15 home runs and 37 doubles. A year later he fell to .295, but collected 201 hits with 108 runs, nine triples and 71 RBI, all career numbers, while adding 15 home runs. During the next three seasons Moore hit .316, .310 and .302, with a career-high 205 hits in 1936.

“Underrated because he was overshadowed by more colorful teammates, Moore was a fixture for the Giants in left field. He appeared in three World Series (1933193637), and six times was named to the National League All-Star team (1934–38 and 1940). In the 1933 Series Moore had two hits in one inning, and in the 1937 Series he tied a record of the time by collecting nine hits in a five-game series.

“Moore died in his hometown of Gause at the age of 92.”

berger5

CF-Wally Berger, Boston Braves, 29 Years Old

1931 1932 1933 1934

.295, 34 HR, 130 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-2, 1 K)

MVP Rank: 6

WAR Rank: 9

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Home Runs-34

Runs Batted In-130

AB per HR-17.3 (2nd Time)

Putouts as CF-411

Errors Committed as CF-17

Putouts as OF-458

Errors Committed as OF-17

Range Factor/Game as CF-2.81

Range Factor/9 Inn as OF-3.28

Range Factor/Game as OF-3.13

5th Time All-Star-When the Braves finished in fourth place in 1934 with a 78-73 record, it looked like Manager Bill McKechnie had this team on the right track. Yet that wasn’t the case as Boston crumbled this season and finished 38-115. It couldn’t hit, finishing last in the National League in runs scored and couldn’t pitch, having the worst ERA in the league.

There were only two players of any interest on this team – Wally Berger, who led the NL in homers and RBIs, and Babe Ruth, who played 28 games for the Braves in his last season, hitting six homers including three in one game.

Berger never had a season like this again and he’d start to decline starting next year.

                SABR wraps up his career, stating,

“In his introduction to Freshly Remember’d, George Morris Snyder summed up a solid, workmanlike career: ‘Berger was modest, quiet, hard-working, conscientious, and disciplined. He didn’t kick dirt on umpires, become engaged in scandal, or engage in wacky behavior. He didn’t make good copy for the boys in the press box. In his prime he played in a “pitchers park” with a team that never came close to winning all the marbles. It was a club out of the mainstream. It was inadequately financed, poorly administered, and usually overmatched on the field. Despite all this, the Braves were always an interesting team, a team that had its great moments…And for seven seasons their most brilliant, courageous, and persevering player was Walter Anton Berger.’

“Wally Berger died November 30, 1988, in Redondo Beach, California.”

leiber

CF-Hank Leiber, New York Giants, 24 Years Old

.331, 22 HR, 107 RBI

All-Star: No

MVP Rank: 11

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: No

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

 

Led in:

 

Hit By Pitch-10

Double Plays Grounded Into-20

Def. Games as CF-154

1st Time All-Star-Henry Edward “Hank” Leiber was born on January 17, 1911 in Phoenix, AZ. The six-foot-one, 205 pound righty centerfielder started with the Giants in 1933, had his rookie year in 1934, and had his best year ever this season. On August 24, he hit two home runs in an inning in a game against the pennant-winning Cubs. He’s one of six All-Stars on New York, which explains why it will be the best team in the National League the next couple seasons.

Be a Better Hitter has more info on that two-homer inning:

“On Saturday, August 24, 1935 in the second inning Hank Leiber hit two home runs in the Polo Grounds. Batting 6th in the lineup that day he lead off the inning with a solo home run and then as the ninth player to bat this fateful inning hit a two run homer. All in all the Cubs used three pitchers, the Giants sent 11 men to the plate and scored 8 runs on seven hits. The Giants as a team hit for the cycle in that inning and also had a walk and sacrifice fly plating a run. The final score was 9 to 4 with a Giants victory. Leiber’s two home runs in an inning was one of only two instances in the National League from 1900 to 1940, making it a remarkably rare event at the time. (Hack Wilson was the other player to do this feat).”

My guess is Leiber still has one more All-Star list left.

ott8

RF-Mel Ott, New York Giants, 26 Years Old

1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934

.322, 31 HR, 114 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-4, K)

MVP Rank: 20

WAR Rank: 3

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: No

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1951)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1930)

 

Led in:

 

Assists as RF-18 (2nd Time)

Double Plays Turned as RF-7 (3rd Time)

Double Plays Turned as OF-7 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as RF-.990 (2nd Time)

Fielding % as OF-.990

8th Time All-Star-When you look at the all-time greats, like Ott certainly is, the seasons tend to blur together. Ho-hum, Master Melvin had another season with a high on-base percentage and slugging average. He had 100 RBIs for the seventh consecutive season. He hit at least 30 homers again, the fourth time he did it. Honestly, if I put up his numbers during the Thirties, I think even the most hardcore baseball experts would have a hard time guessing which season was which.

Ott was probably the best player in the National League at this time, but ironically, he was not usually the BEST player during a particular season. I gave him the MVP in 1932, but the writers voted him 10th that year. This year, in which he finished third in WAR, he was 20th in MVP voting. Did baseball writers really believe there were 19 better seasons than Ott’s in the NL?  Some of the people ahead of him included Pepper Martin, the Cardinals’ third baseman, whose OPS+ was 107; Frankie Frisch, the St. Louis second baseman who played only 103 games and whose hitting was below the league average; and Johnny Moore and Ethan Allen, two players helped by their home park in Philadelphia who still didn’t hit as well as Ott.

There’s a tendency to think players from the Big Apple are overrated because they get so much more publicity, but that certainly didn’t seem to be the case for Ott. At least he’ll have a couple more World Series’ to add to his achievements in the next couple years.

waner10

RF-Paul Waner, Pittsburgh Pirates, 32 Years Old, 1935 ONEHOF Inductee

1926 1927 1928 1929 1930 1931 1932 1933 1934

.321, 11 HR, 78 RBI

All-Star: Yes (0-1)

MVP Rank: 24

Hall of Fames:

ONEHOF: Yes (Inducted in 1935)

Cooperstown: Yes (Inducted in 1952)

Ron’s: Yes (Inducted in 1930)

 

10th Time All-Star-During this era, there were a lot of big name players, people like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Dizzy Dean, and Carl Hubbell. Lost in the shuffle of all of these greats was a small Pittsburgh rightfielder who dominated with his bat yearly, yet seemed to lack the recognition of those others above. Maybe it’s because his team wasn’t normally good or maybe during this time, homers were king and those who didn’t hit tons of dingers were forgotten. Until fairly recently, Weber didn’t even have a display in the Pirates Hall of Fame.

Well, if he was ignored during his time, he won’t be ignored by me as he makes my ONEHOF, the One-Player-a-Year Hall of Fame, where just one player is inducted every calendar year. That means only the elite make it in and that’s Big Poison as he becomes the sixth rightfielder inducted following King Kelly, Sam Crawford, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Ruth, and Harry Heilmann. Next year’s nominees are Lefty Grove, Bill Terry, Mickey Cochrane, Hardy Richardson, Elmer Flick, Johnny Evers, Larry Doyle, Art Fletcher, Wally Schang, Joe Sewell, Gabby Hartnett, Mel Ott, and Foxx.

Another thing that should be noted is Waner has made 10 of these teams at rightfield, behind only Ruth, who made 11. Of course, Ruth also made five in leftfield and two as a pitcher, but it still means Paul Waner is one of the greatest at his position of all time. According to Baseball-Reference, the most similar batter to him is Tony Gwynn, who also seemed to lack recognition.

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