It was 1895, and Baltimore won their second straight pennant by squeaking past Cleveland in another good race, with Philadelphia a strong 3rd. Nine teams were above .500, with three lousy teams in Washington, St. Louis and Louisville that served as the league's punching bags.
Jesse Burkett won the batting title at .409, with Ed Delahanty close behind at .404. Offense remained high. Delahanty led in on-base, was second in slugging, and first in OPS, as well as doubles. Sam Thompson led in slugging, total bases, homers and RBI. Billy Hamilton led in runs and steals. Cy Young topped the league with 35 wins, Al Maul with a 2.45 ERA, and Amos Rusie with 201 strikeouts. Pink Hawley was second in wins (31), ERA (3.18) and strikeouts (142).
Win Shares leaders, pitching: Pink Hawley (Pittsburgh) 44, Cy Young (Cleveland) 37, Bill Hoffer (Baltimore) 35, Kid Nichols (Boston) and Clark Griffith (Chicago) 34, Nig Cuppy (Cleveland) 33, Amos Rusie (New York) 28, Jack Taylor (Philadelphia) and Ted Breitenstein (St. Louis) 25, George Hemming (Baltimore) 24, Adonis Terry (Chicago) and Dad Clarke (New York) 22.
Positions: Jesse Burkett (Cleveland) 35, Ed Delahanty (Philadelphia) 31, Billy Hamilton (Philadelphia) 30, Hughie Jennings (Baltimore), Mike Griffin (Brooklyn) and Bill Lange (Chicago) 29 each, Sam Thompson (Philadelphia) and Jake Stenzel (Pittsburgh) 28 each, Joe Kelley (Baltimore) 27, Ed McKean (Cleveland) 25, Willie Keeler (Baltimore) and Hugh Duffy (Boston) 23, Mike Tiernan and George Van Haltren (New York) 22.
WARP3: pitchers, Hawley 10.5, Young 10.1, Breitenstein 9.1, Rusie 8.5, Nichols 7.0, Griffith 6.9, Cuppy 6.5, Hoffer 6.4, Taylor and Al Maul (Washington) 5.6, Clarke 5.4, Terry 4.4, Frank Dwyer and Frank Foreman (both Cincinnati) 4.1.
Position players, Jennings 11.0, Griffin 8.9, Keeler and Deacon McGuire (Washington) 8.1, Thompson 8.0, Delahanty 7.7, Burkett and John McGraw (Baltimore) 7.5, Lange 6.6, Kelley and Hamilton 6.5, Jack Clements (Philadelphia) 6.1, Duffy 6.0, Stenzel and Steve Brodie (Baltimore) 5.9, McKean 5.8.
WAR leaders, pitchers: Young 10.2, Hawley 10.1, Nichols 8.6, Hoffer 8.1, Cuppy 8.0, Griffith 7.3. Position players: Jennings 8.1, Delahanty 7.1, Hamilton 6.5, Kelley 6.4, Burkett 6.2, Keeler 5.9, Griffin and McGraw 5.8, Thompson 5.7, Lange 5.5.
Best pitcher: Cy Young was the leader in wins, but Hawley was the best overall this year. I'll give it to the guy with the funny nickname.
#1 Pink Hawley, #2 Cy Young, #3 Kid Nichols, #4 Bill Hoffer, #5 Nig Cuppy.
Top player: Hughie Jennings hit .386 and played shortstop for the pennant winners. That's pretty good credentials.
#1 Hughie Jennings, #2 Ed Delahanty, #3 Billy Hamilton, #4 Jesse Burkett, #5 Sam Thompson.
Top rookie was pitcher Bill Hoffer. Jimmy Collins was the best for a full career.
Top manager to Patsy Tebeau, as Cleveland jumps from 6th to 2nd.