Pittsburgh won again, but didn't run away and hide this year. New York, now refortified, and Chicago gave them a run for their money. St. Louis filled the basement, and deservedly so. The Pirates also accepted the challenge of the Boston Pilgrims for a post-season series, but lost to the AL upstarts. It was the start of something historic. Also, the leagues made a peace agreement to stop raiding each others' players.
League leaders included batting champ Honus Wagner with a .355 average and 19 triples, Ginger Beaumont with 137 runs and 209 hits, Jimmy Sheckard at 9 HR, Sam Mertes with 104 RBI, Mertes, Fred Clarke, and Harry Steinfeldt with 32 doubles, and Frank Chance tied with Sheckard at 67 steals.
Joe McGinnity's 31 wins just edged Christy Mathewson's 30, Sam Leever posted a 2.06 ERA, and Mathewson led the way with 267 strikeouts. Leever and Deacon Phillippe won 25 games. Mathewson was second with a 2.26 ERA, Jake Weimer third at 2.30.
Here's the Win Shares:
Players; Honus Wagner (Pittsburgh) 35, Jimmy Sheckard (Brooklyn) 33, Frank Chance (Chicago) 31, Ginger Beaumont (Pittsburgh) 28, Roger Bresnahan (New York) 27, Sam Mertes (New York) 26, Jimmy Slagle (Chicago) and Fred Clarke (Pittsburgh) 25 each, Mike Donlin and Cy Seymour (both Cincinnati) 24, Bill Dahlen (Brooklyn) and Roy Thomas (Philadelphia) 23.
Pitchers; Joe McGinnity (New York) 40, Christy Mathewson (New York) 37, Sam Leever (Pittsburgh) 28, Deacon Phillippe (Pittsburgh) 27, Jack Taylor (Chicago) 25, Noodles Hahn (Cincinnati) 24, Oscar Jones (Brooklyn) and Jake Weimer (Chicago) 23.
WARP3, players: Wagner 9.2, Johnny Kling (Chicago) 8.2, Sheckard 7.8, Pat Moran (Boston) 6.7, Thomas 6.2, Dahlen 5.7, Seymour 5.5, Clarke and Claude Ritchey (Pittsburgh) 5.4, Chance 5.3, Beaumont 5.0, Harry Steinfeldt (Cincinnati) 4.9.
WARP3 pitchers: McGinnity 10.6, Mathewson 8.7, Vic Willis (Boston) 6.6, Taylor 5.8, Leever 5.5, Weimer 5.1, Hahn 4.8.
WAR, players: Wagner 9.1, Sheckard 8.4, Chance 6.8, Thomas 6.5, Bresnahan 6.1, Dahlen 6.0, Donlin 5.8, Beaumont and Clarke 5.6. Pitchers, McGinnity 10.5, Mathewson 8.9, Hahn 6.8, Leever 6.5, Weimer 5.3, Phillippe 5.2, Willis 5.1, Sparks 4.7.
Top player: Honus Wagner. It comes down to Sheckard or Wagner for top player. Wagner was .355/414/518, winning the batting title and leading in triples. Sheckard led the league in home runs and tied for the lead in steals, and was 332/423/476 in a tougher hitter's park. Wagner's team won the pennant.
#1 Honus Wagner, #2 Jimmy Sheckard, #3 Frank Chance for surging Chicago, #4 Roy Thomas, #5 Bill Dahlen.
Top pitcher: Christy Mathewson. It's between teammates Mathewson and McGinnity. McGinnity was 31-20 2.43, and Mathewson 30-13 2.26 for the same team. One win vs. 0.17 in ERA. It's pretty much a dead heat, but for top pitcher I'll take Mathewson and his big lead in strikeouts with McGinnity a close second. Sam Leever, the ERA leader, is a good #3 but well back of the top 2.
#1 Christy Mathewson, #2 Joe McGinnity, #3 Sam Leever, #4 Noodles Hahn, #5 Deacon Phillippe.
Wagner and Mathewson. Probably say that a lot this decade.
Not much for rookies. The best was Jake Weimer, 20-8 with a 2.30 ERA for Chicago. He was 3rd in ERA and 5th in strikeouts. Mordecai Brown was 9-13, but with a 2.26 ERA and a 126 ERA+ in St. Louis. He had the best career.
Best manager to Fred Clarke of Pittsburgh, but that's partly because I know John McGraw will have lots of chances at this.