06 August 2007

1916 National League

A good four-team race with Brooklyn emerging on top, ahead of Philadelphia (previous year's winner), Boston (1914 winner) and New York (1913 winner). Chicago, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Cincinnati made up the second division. The Giants had the hitting, Boston had the pitching, but Brooklyn had the best balance.

Statistical leaders: Hal Chase won the batting title at .339, and led in hits with 184. It is one of the few years when Chase lived up to his billing as one of the best players in the game. He would soon be chased from organized baseball in the gambling scandals. Gavy Cravath led in on-base average at .379, Zack Wheat slugged .461, and Cy Williams led with an 831 OPS. George Burns led with 105 runs, Heinie Zimmerman with 83 RBI, Bert Niehoff with 42 doubles, and Max Carey with 63 steals.

Among pitchers, Pete Alexander won the Triple Crown again, with 33 wins, 167 strikeouts, and a 1.55 ERA. He was challenged by Larry Cheney, who was one strikeout short, and Rube Marquard with a 1.58 ERA. Second in wins was Jeff Pfeffer's 25.

Win Shares leaders, players; Zack Wheat (Brooklyn) 32, Rogers Hornsby (St. Louis) 28, Rabbit Maranville (Boston), Benny Kauff (New York) and Dode Paskert (Philadelphia) 27, Ed Konetchy (Boston) Gavy Cravath (Philadelphia) and Billy Hinchman (Pittsburgh) 26. Hal Chase had 22.

WS leaders, pitchers; Pete Alexander (Philadelphia) 44, Jeff Pfeffer (Brooklyn) 32, Hippo Vaughn (Chicago) and Eppa Rixey (Philadelphia) 24, Dick Rudolph (Boston) 21. Rube Marquard had 20, as did Lefty Tyler and Wilbur Cooper.

WARP3: Heinie Groh (Cincinnati) 7.2, Wheat 6.9, Art Fletcher (New York) 6.0, Maranville and Dave Robertson (New York) 5.0, Chase 4.8 (best year), Jake Daubert (Brooklyn) 4.5, Hornsby and Max Carey (Pittsburgh) 4.3, Honus Wagner (Pittsburgh) 4.2, Cravath and Hinchman (last good year) 4.1.

Pitchers: Alexander 13.6, Pfeffer 7.0, Vaughn 6.4, Cooper 5.8, Rixey 5.2, Rudolph 4.9, Fred Toney (Cincinnati) 4.6, Claude Hendrix (Chicago) 4.0, Tyler and Fredie Schupp (New York) 3.9, Slim Sallee (New York) 3.8.

WAR leaders, position players: Wheat 7.0, Fletcher 6.5, Groh 5.9, Hornsby 5.6, Carey and Maranville 5.3, Hinchman 5.2, Williams 4.9, Cravath, Doyle, and Daubert 4.6. Pitchers: Alexander 9.8, Pfeffer 6.4, Vaughn 5.4, Cooper 5.2, Schupp 4.6, Marquard 4.3, Rixey, Rudolph, and Toney 4.2, Sallee 3.3.

Top player: Zack Wheat, who led Brooklyn to a surprise pennant with a super season. Wheat led the league in slugging and total bases. Emerging Rogers Hornsby at #2, Art Fletcher #3, Heinie Groh #4, Bill Hinchman #5.

Top rookie: Rogers Hornsby, following an 18-game debut the season before. He would soon own the top player award.

Top pitcher: Pete Alexander, and it's not close. Alexander was on a run of being the dominant pitcher in the NL. He led the league in wins, strikeouts, ERA, shutouts, and a bunch of other stuff. Jeff Pfeffer is #2, second in wins and 5th in ERA. Eppa Rixey #3, Hippo Vaughn #4, Dick Rudolph #5.

Top manager: Wilbert Robinson, guiding his Robins to the pennant.

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