The NL contracts to 8 teams in this year, setting up next year's emergence of the AL. Cleveland, Washington, Louisville, and (surprisingly) Baltimore disappeared, with the best players going to existing franchises. The cream of Louisville went to Pittsburgh, giving them a strong team. Washington's best players went to Boston. Baltimore's pipeline to Brooklyn continued. Cleveland's best players had already gone to St. Louis. Where there was excess, players got scattered, and some retreated to smaller leagues. Ban Johnson's Western League absorbed some players and cities, was renamed as the American League, and in 1901 would announce themselves as a new major league.
Brooklyn won the pennant again, in a good race with Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. With the sad-sack teams gone, those were the only three teams over .500, but there were no real bad teams. Boston was fourth, then St. Louis, Chicago, and Cincinnati. New York finished last but only 23 games out, as talent evened out.
Honus Wagner emerged as a force, leading the league with a .381 average and 45 doubles, also leading in total bases, triples, slugging, and OPS. Elmer Flick batted .367, Jesse Burkett .363, Willie Keeler .362. Roy Thomas led in runs scored with 132 while Jimmy Slagle was next with 115. Jimmy Barrett and George Van Haltren scored 114. Keeler had 204 hits, Burkett 203, Wagner 201, and Flick 200. Wagner had 45 doubles, Nap Lajoie 33. Wagner had 22 triples, Joe Kelley and Charlie Hickman 17. Herman Long had 12 home runs. Flick led with 110 RBI, Ed Delahanty had 109, Wagner 100. Patsy Donovan and George Van Haltren tied for the lead in steals with 45 while Barrett had 44.
Joe McGinnity won 28 games, while second place was 20, a four-way tie by Bill Dinneen, Brickyard Kennedy, Deacon Phillippe, and Jesse Tannehill. Rube Waddell led with a 2.37 ERA, Ned Garwin came in at 2.41, Jack Taylor 2.55. Noodles Hahn led with 132 strikeouts, Rube Waddell had 130, Cy Young 115.
And now........your 1900 Win Shares data! Welcome to the doorway to the 20th century!
Position players; Honus Wagner (Pittsburgh) 34, Elmer Flick (Philadelphia) 32, Kip Selbach (New York) 27, Roy Thomas (Philadelphia) and Jesse Burkett (St. Louis) 25, Billy Hamilton (Boston) and Jimmy Barrett (Cincinnati) 23, Willie Keeler and Joe Kelley (Brooklyn) and Nap Lajoie (Philadelphia) all 22.
Pitchers; Joe McGinnity (Brooklyn) 30, Bill Dinneen (Boston) 27, Brickyard Kennedy (Brooklyn) Deacon Phillippe and Jesse Tannehill (both Pittsburgh) 23 each, Cy Young (St. Louis) 22, Noodles Hahn (Cincinnati) 21, Win Mercer (New York) and Sam Leever (Pittsburgh) 20.
WARP3 scores, players: Wagner 10.1, Flick 9.4, Lajoie 7.4, Selbach and Hamilton 7.3, Keeler and John McGraw (St. Louis) 6.9, Burkett 6.8, Bill Dahlen (Brooklyn) and Jimmy Collins (Boston) 6.4, George Davis (New York) 6.3, Jake Beckley (Cincinnati) 6.0.
WARP3 scores, pitchers: Young 7.6, Hahn 7.2, Clark Griffith (Chicago) 6.8, Phillippe and Mercer 6.4, Dinneen and Tannehill 6.2, Ned Garvin (Chicago) 5.9, Al Orth (Philadelphia) 5.4, McGinnity and Leever 5.3, Chick Fraser (Philadelphia) and Pink Hawley (New York) 5.2, Kennedy 5.1.
WAR for pitchers: Young 6.4, Dinneen 5.7, Hahn 5.4, McGinnity 5.0, Phillippe 4.6, Leever 4.3, Nichols 4.1, Tannehill 3.7, Kennedy 3.6. Position players: Wagner 7.0, Flick 6.4, Burkett 5.9, McGraw 5.8, Selbach 5.5, Hamilton 5.4, Keeler 4.6, Davis and Lajoie 4.2.
Honus Wagner was the top player. Elmer Flick is a notable second, overshadowed by Honus, a great year overwhelmed by a greater year. Wagner led the league in average, doubles, triples, slugging and OPS. Flick led in RBI and was 2nd in OPS.
#1 Honus Wagner, #2 Elmer Flick, #3 Jesse Burkett, #4 Kip Selbach, #5 Willie Keeler.
Best pitcher has to go to Joe McGinnity, 28-8 with a 2.94 ERA. No one else had more than 20 wins. Iron Man benefited from the good club around him, and while a case could be made for the other guys, that sterling record still looks you in the face. So it's the Win Shares this time.
#1 Joe McGinnity, #2 Bill Dinneen, #3 Deacon Phillippe, #4 Jesse Tannehill, #5 Cy Young.
Ned Hanlon of the pennant-winning Superbas for top manager again.
Best Rookie: Jimmy Barrett, with a caution he may not qualify. Barrett hit .316 with an OPS+ of 120. Very few rookies debuting in this contraction year. Doc Newton pitched in 234 innings for the Reds, was just 9-15 with an ERA worse than league average. Christy Matthewson became the best player but didn't do much in 1900, going 0-3 in six games. He got better.