Chicago won "only" 107 games this year, but that was enough to defeat Pittsburgh by 17 games. Philadelphia and New York also played well, but were well short of the flag. Brooklyn, Cincinnati, Boston, and St. Louis trailed the pack. Chicago won with pitching and defense again, allowing less than 3 runs per game.
Statistical leaders: Honus Wagner hit .350 with 264 total bases, 38 doubles, and 61 steals, all of which led the league, as did his on-base, slugging, and 921 OPS. Spike Shannon had 104 runs, Ginger Beaumont 187 hits, Sherry Magee 85 RBI. Magee was also second in average, on-base, and slugging.
Christy Mathewson led the league with 24 wins and 178 strikeouts, while Jack Pfiester's 1.15 ERA edged teammate Carl Lundgren's 1.17. Orval Overall had 23 wins, Tully Sparks 22. Bob Ewing had 147 strikeouts, Red Ames 146. And Three-Finger Brown was third in ERA with a 1.39 mark. That Cubs defense was exceptional.
Win Shares leaders:
Players; Honus Wagner (Pittsburgh) 44, Sherry Magee (Philadelphia) 38, Fred Clarke and Tommy Leach (Pittsburgh) 29, Ginger Beaumont (Boston) 28, Frank Chance and Jimmy Sheckard (Chicago) 23, Dave Brain and Fred Tenney (Boston), Tim Jordan (Brooklyn), Johnny Evers and Jimmy Slagle (Chicago), Art Devlin (New York) and John Titus (Philadelphia) 22 each.
Pitchers; Orvie Overall (Chicago) 32, Mordecai Brown (Chicago) and Christy Mathewson (New York) 29, Carl Lundgren (Chicago) 25, Tully Sparks (Philadelphia) 24, Ed Reulbach (Chicago), Bob Ewing (Cincinnati) and Ed Karger (St. Louis) 21 each.
WARP3 scores: Wagner 10.5, Magee 7.6, Devlin 5.7, Beaumont 5.4, Leach 5.3, Johnny Kling (Chicago) 4.9, Chance 4.6, Clarke 4.5, Tenney 4.3, Jordan and Cy Seymour (New York) 4.2.
Pitchers; Karger 7.4 in his career year, Mathewson 6.8, Overall 4.7, Ewing 4.6, Brown 4.3, Lundgren 3.9 (career year), Jim Pastorius (Brooklyn) 3.5, Vic Willis (Pittsburgh) 3.2.
WAR, position players: Wagner 10.1, Magee 7.7, Leach 6.5, Clarke 6.3, Devlin 6.0, Beaumont and Evers 5.7, Steinfeldt 5.5, Brain 5.4, Tenney 5.1.
WAR, pitchers: Mathewson 6.6, Overall 5.6, Ewing 5.5, Karger 5.3, Brown 5.2, Lundgren 5.0, Sparks 4.4, Willis 4.1, Reulbach 3.5, Leever 3.2.
Best player? Glad you asked! Honus Wagner! It's the standard answer, and the right one since Honus led the league in average, on-base, slugging, doubles, extra-base hits, and steals. He was also playing his usual excellent shortstop. No one else was really close, although Magee had a very good year with the bat.
Sherry Magee would be #2, with Ginger Beaumont #3, Tommy Leach #4 and Fred Clarke #5.
Best pitcher is more interesting. I'll take Christy Mathewson, who led in wins and strikeouts. The Cubs staff always benefitted from that strong defense, which made them all look great. Orval Overall would be #2 with Three-Finger Brown #3, and hard-working Bob Ewing #4. I have a soft spot for Ed Karger, 15-19 with the last-place Cardinals. He's #5.
For putting together that great team defense, the Best Manager is again Frank Chance. It was quite a team that the Cubs put on the field, with no real standout stars. They just played together like a fine-tuned machine.
Top rookie to Nap Rucker, 15-13 with a 2.06 ERA for Brooklyn.