The NL lost several stars to the upstart American League, but still had plenty left. Pittsburgh won the pennant with their team flush from consolidation with Louisville, and with the most exciting young player in the league, Honus Wagner. Philadelphia ran second, but it wasn't very close. Brooklyn was a solid third, St. Louis fourth, and Boston in 5th with a .500 record. Chicago, which took a bad hit from AL defections (and from the AL Chicago team winning the pennant) shared the lower reaches of the league with Cincinnati and New York. Pittsburgh was just behind St. Louis, and just ahead of Brooklyn, in offense, and also ran first in pitching, ahead of Philadelphia and Boston.
Jesse Burkett of St. Louis won the batting title at .376, with Ed Delahanty and Jimmy Sheckard next at .354 followed by Wagner's .353. Burkett also led with 142 runs, 226 hits, and 306 total bases. Wagner led with 126 RBI and 49 steals. Delahanty and Tom Daly tied with 38 doubles, Sheckard had 19 triples, Sam Crawford had 16 homers.
Bill Donovan led the league with 25 wins, Jack Harper had 23, Noodles Hahn and Deacon Phillippe 22, Jack Chesbro 21. Jesse Tannehill led with a 2.18 ERA, Phillippe had a 2.22, Al Orth 2.27. Hahn led with 239 strikeouts, Donovan 226, Tom Hughes 225, Christy Mathewson 221.
Doin' the Win Shares cha-cha-cha: players; Jesse Burkett (St. Louis) 38, Honus Wagner (Pittsburgh) 37, Jimmy Sheckard (Brooklyn) and Ed Delahanty (Philadelphia) 33, Elmer Flick (Philadelphia) 30, Fred Clarke (Pittsburgh) 28, Topsy Hartsel (Chicago) 27, Bobby Wallace (St. Louis) 26, Tom Daly (Brooklyn) and Ginger Beaumont (Pittsburgh) 25.
Pitchers; Vic Willis (Boston) 33, Kid Nichols (Boston) 32, Al Orth (Philadelphia) 29, Bill Dinneen (Boston, which finished .500 almost on pitching alone) and Wild Bill Donovan (Brooklyn) 27, Noodles Hahn (Cincinnati) 26, Deacon Phillippe (Pittsburgh) 25, Red Donahue (Philadelphia) 24.
WARP3 scores, players: Wagner 10.0, Burkett 9.5, Flick and Wallace 9.2, Sheckard 9.1, Delahanty 8.5, Clarke 7.1, Sam Crawford (Cincinnati) 6.8, Hartsel 6.7, Daly and Claude Ritchey (Pittsburgh) 5.9, Beaumont 5.7, Lefty Davis (Pittsburgh) and Danny Green (Chicago) 5.6.
WARP3 leaders, pitchers: Christy Mathewson (New York) 10.9, Hahn 8.3, Orth 7.8, Phillippe 6.1, Nichols and Jack Chesbro (Pittsburgh) 5.5, Dinneen 5.3, Donahue and Dummy Taylor (New York) 4.5, Jesse Tannehill (Pittsburgh) 4.4, Dinneen and Rube Waddell (Chicago) 4.3.
WAR leaders, pitchers: Mathewson 7.5, Willis 7.2, Hahn 6.5, Donohue and Orth 6.3, Donovan 5.8, Chesbro 5.7. Position players: Wagner 7.4, Burkett, Delahanty, and Flick 7.2, Wallace 6.8, Sheckard 6.6, Hartsel 5.7, Clarke 5.4.
Top player: For the next decade or so, the question of top NL player will be "Is it Honus?" In this year, I think so, considering defense with offense. Honus Wagner 1st, followed by Burkett, Delahanty and Flick. Sheckard was great too. Wagner led the league in RBI and steals. Burkett led in batting average, runs and OPS+, Delahanty in OPS.
#1 Honus Wagner, #2 Jesse Burkett, #3 Jimmy Sheckard, #4 Elmer Flick, #5 Ed Delahanty.
Top pitcher: Christy Mathewson. The meta-stats both rank him first, seeing his solid strikeout total and strong K/W ratio, that he was pitching well for a mediocre team in New York, and how relationship to team helped other pitchers. It's tough, there's a lot of good years here, no real great one.
#1 Christy Mathewson, #2 Vic Willis, #3 Noodles Hahn, #4 Al Orth, #5 Deacon Phillippe.
Top manager to Fred Clarke as the Pirates win their first pennant ever. He's also the guy that made Honus a regular SS, although he still moved him around at this point.
Top rookie: Doc White, 14-13 for Philadelphia with a 3.19 ERA.