New York won this pennant easily, with a 106-47 record. Chicago was second, 13 games out. Three teams (Brooklyn, Boston, Philadelphia) finished at least 50 games out. This was a year of haves and have-nots. It was not a great year of baseball, topped off by the refusal of New York manager John McGraw to play another World Series, as the Pirates and Boston had the year before. That little problem would soon be rectified.
Statistical leaders: Honus Wagner, of course. Honus won the batting title at .349, had 44 doubles and 53 steals. Jake Beckley was second in the batting average race with a .325 mark, followed by Cy Seymour at .313, Frank Chance at .310, and Ginger Beaumont at .301. Sam Mertes was second in doubles with 28, and Mertes tied with Bill Dahlen for second with 47 steals. George Browne scored 99 runs, Wagner and Beaumont had 97, Miller Huggins 96. Beaumont had 185 hits, Beckley 179, and Wagner 171. Bill Dahlen tallied 80 RBI, Mertes and Harry Lumley 78.
Joe McGinnity led pitchers with 35 wins, teammate Christy Mathewson had 33, and the next best total was 23 by Jack Harper. McGinnity had a 1.61 ERA to lead the way, with Ned Garvin at 1.68, Mordecai Brown 1.86, and Jake Weimer 1.91. Mathewson powered to 212 strikeouts, Vic Willis 196, and Weimer 177.
Win Shares leaders:
Players; Honus Wagner (Pittsburgh) 43, Frank Chance (Chicago) 29, Roy Thomas (Philadelphia) 28, Sam Mertes (New York) 27, Cy Seymour (Cincinnati) 26, Bill Dahlen and Art Devlin (New York) and Tommy Leach (Pittsburgh) 25 each, Ginger Beaumont (Pittsburgh) 24, Roger Bresnahan (New York) and Jake Beckley (St. Louis) 23.
Pitchers; Joe McGinnity (New York) 42, Christy Mathewson (New York) 34, Jake Weimer (Chicago) 28, Kid Nichols and Jack Taylor (St. Louis) 27, Noodles Hahn (Cincinnati) 25, Buttons Briggs (Chicago) and Jack Harper (Cincinnati) 24, Luther "Dummy" Taylor (New York) and Patsy Flaherty and Sam Leever (Pittsburgh) 23.
WARP3 leaders, players: Wagner 8.0, Chance 5.4, Devlin 5.3, Dahlen 4.9, Leach 4.8, Thomas 4.7, Seymour 4.6, Bresnahan 4.5, Mertes and Beckley 4.3.
WARP3 leaders, pitchers: McGinnity 7.0, Vic Willis (Boston)5.8, Togie Pittinger (Boston) 5.6, Mathewson 5.3, Flaherty 5.1, Hahn 5.0, Leever and Nichols 4.8, Weimer 4.2.
WAR leaders, position players: Wagner 9.7, Chance 6.8, Dahlen 6.5, Thomas 6.3, Devlin 6.1, Dan McGann (New York) 5.6, Mertes 5.4, Beckley 5.1, Seymour 5.0, Harry Lumley (Brooklyn) 4.8, Leach 4.7.
WAR leaders, pitchers: McGinnity 10.2, Nichols 6.9, Mathewson 6.1, Hahn 5.9, Weimer 5.7, Taylor 4.8, Harper and Leever 4.6, Taylor 4.5, Flaherty 4.3.
Top player was Honus Wagner, of course, for the fifth year in a row. He led the league in batting average, on-base, slugging, OPS, total bases, doubles, extra-base hits, and OPS+. #2 Frank Chance, #3 Roy Thomas, #4 Cy Seymour, #5 Bill Dahlen.
Top pitcher was Iron Man Joe McGinnity. He led in ERA, wins, saves, WHIP, games, innings, shutouts, and ERA+. #2 Mathewson, #3 Kid Nichols in his final encore, #4 Jake Weimer, #5 Noodles Hahn.
Top rookie was Art Devlin. He hit .281 in 130 games, playing 3B for pennant-winning New York.
It is a well-known story that John McGraw declined to repeat the previous year's "World Series" by refusing to face the Boston AL winner, who had beaten Pittsburgh the previous year. Reasons differ on why this is so. McGraw, with twin aces McGinnity and Mathewson, and the best offense in the NL, had reason to be confident. The Pilgrims had a fine team of their own. This did set up a hue and cry that led to the establishment of a permanent NL/AL postseason series.