02 May 2007

1894 National League

Baltimore took the pennant in a close race with New York as Boston ran third, then a group of teams bunched together with Louisville and Washington at the end. What was beginning to happen about now was that the same owners were buying up pieces of multiple teams, which would lead to one of the darkest chapters in major league history, syndicate ownership. Teams would transfer top players to one team they owned, effectively creating a league where teams were competing against their own farm teams, thirty years before farm teams were invented by Branch Rickey. This abomination would come to dominate the rest of the 1890s.

Walks counted as hits in this one season, so batting averages were wild. Hugh Duffy led the league with a .440 average which today would be roughly his on-base percentage. If only we had kept counting it that way. He also led in hits, total bases, doubles, homers, and RBI in a career year. Tuck Turner had a .418 average, Sam Thompson .415, Ed Delahanty .404, Billy Hamilton .403. Sliding Billy Hamilton scored 192 runs. Think about that for a minute. Hamilton also led in stolen bases, naturally.

Amos Rusie won the pitching trifecta, leading in wins, ERA and strikeouts. Rusie had 36 wins with teammate Jouett Meekin at 33, Kid Nichols with 32. Rusie had a 2.78 ERA, way ahead of Meekin at 3.70. Win Mercer was at 3.85 and Cy Young 3.94. Rusie had 195 strikeouts, Ted Breitenstein was second with 140. Meekin had 137.

Win Shares leaders:
Pitching; Amos Rusie (New York) 56, Jouett Meekin (New York) 48, Cy Young (Cleveland) 39, Kid Nichols (Boston) 37, Ted Breitenstein (St. Louis) 36, Jack Stivetts (Boston) 33, Pink Hawley (St. Louis) 29, Nig Cuppy (Cleveland) 28, Ed Stein (Brooklyn) 27, Sadie McMahon (Baltimore) and Brickyard Kennedy (Brooklyn) 24, Frank Dwyer (Cincinnati) 23, Tom Parrott (Cincinnati) 22.

Positioning; Hugh Duffy (Boston) 33, Joe Kelley (Baltimore) 30, Billy Hamilton (Philadelphia) 29, George Davis (New York) 25, Hughie Jennings and John McGraw (Baltimore) and Jake Stenzel (Pittsburgh) 24 each, Willie Keeler (Baltimore) 23, Lave Cross and Ed Delahanty (Philadelphia) 22, Dan Brouthers (Baltimore), Bill Dahlen (Chicago), Jesse Burkett (Cleveland), and George Van Haltren (New York) 21.

WARP3 leaders, pitchers: Rusie 12.0, Meekin 9.6, Breitenstein 8.8, Young 6.9, Win Mercer (Washington) 6.2, Jack Taylor (Philadelphia) 6.1, Clark Griffith (Chicago) 5.8, Stein and George Hemming (Louisville) 5.7, Nichols 5.6, McMahon 5.2, Hawley and Dwyer 4.8.

WARP3 leaders, position players: Hamilton 9.7, Cross 8.1, Kelley 7.7, Delahanty 7.4, Jennings 7.0, Duffy 6.8, Davis 6.7, Mike Griffin (Brooklyn) 6.3, Bill Joyce (Washington) 6.2, Keeler 5.7, Duke Ferrell (New York) 5.6, Sam Thompson (Philadelphia) 5.4, McGraw 5.3, Heinie Peitz (Baltimore) 5.2, Cupid Childs (Cleveland) 5.1.

WAR leaders, pitchers: Rusie 13.3, Meekin 10.9, Young 8.4, Breitenstein 7.8, Nichols 7.4, Taylor 6.1. Position players: Hamilton 8.0, Duffy 7.3, Kelley 6.9, Delahanty 5.5, McGraw, Davis, and Joyce 5.2, Jennings 5.1.

Best pitcher: Amos Rusie was the leader in wins, strikeouts and ERA, so it's hard not to vote for the Triple Crown leader, even if he did walk more than he struck out. He led in ERA by nearly a full run over teammate Meekin.
#1 Amos Rusie, #2 Jouett Meekin, #3 Cy Young, #4 Ted Breitenstein, #5 Kid Nichols.

Top player: Duffy was the standout batter in this year, leading the league in average, slugging, total bases, hits, doubles, homers, RBI, and OPS. A nearly clean sweep of the stats. It was Duffy's age 27 year, and by far his best work. Billy Hamilton is #2 with a lead in walks, OBA, steals and runs. Joe Kelley ranks #3.
#1 Hugh Duffy, #2 Billy Hamilton, #3 Joe Kelley, #4 Ed Delahanty, #5 John McGraw.

Not much in the rookie department in 1894. Fred Clarke may have become the best player of the lot.

Best manager to Ned Hanlon, for pulling the Baltimore Orioles up to the pennant.

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