13 August 2007

1920 National League

Brooklyn took the pennant by seven games over New York, with Cincinnati running 3rd. The Robins then lost the Series to the Indians. It was Brooklyn's second pennant in five years. Six different teams had won pennants in the previous six years, following a three-peat by New York. The Giants would end the parity with another run. Pittsburgh was fourth, St. Louis and Chicago tied for fifth, Boston and the Phillies at the bottom. The Phillies, after a brief period of success, were sinking into a very long period of horrible baseball.

Statistical leaders: Rogers Hornsby heralded his arrival as the dominant player in the NL. He led with a .370 average, 218 hits, 44 doubles, and tied George Kelly with 94 RBI. Hornsby also led in the percentage categories. Hy Myers had 22 triples, Cy Williams 15 homers, and Max Carey 52 steals. George Burns had 115 runs, Dave Bancroft was second with 102, Jake Daubert third with 97. Ross Youngs was second in batting average at .351, Edd Roush third at .339, Zack Wheat .328, Cy Williams .325.

Meantime, Pete Alexander reasserted his pitching dominance, winning another Triple Crown with 27 victories, 173 strikeouts, and a 1.91 ERA. Wilbur Cooper won 24, Burleigh Grimes 23. Babe Adams had a 2.16 ERA, Grimes 2.22. Grimes and Hippo Vaughn struck out 131.

Win Shares leaders, players; Rogers Hornsby (St. Louis) 38, Edd Roush (Cincinnati) and Ross Youngs (New York) 33, Dave Bancroft (Philadelphia/New York) 31, Heinie Groh (Cincinnati) and Zack Wheat (Brooklyn) 28, Hy Myers (Brooklyn) 27, Jake Daubert (Cincinnati), George Burns (New York) and Cy Williams (Philadelphia) 24, Pat Duncan (Cincinnati) 23.

WS leaders, pitchers; Pete Alexander (Chicago) 36, Burleigh Grimes (Brooklyn) 32, Wilbur Cooper (Pittsburgh) 31, Babe Adams (Pittsburgh) 25, Hippo Vaughn (Chicago) 22, Leon Cadore (Brooklyn) and Fred Toney (New York) 21.

WARP3: Hornsby 10.6, Youngs 7.9 (peak season), Groh 6.9, Roush 5.5, Bancroft 5.2, Burns 4.8, Wheat 4.2, Williams 4.0 (peak season), Frankie Frisch (New York) 3.8, Daubert and Pete Kilduff (Brooklyn) 3.5.

Pitchers, Alexander 13.9, Grimes 7.7, Vaughn 6.4, Cooper 5.7, Bill Doak (St. Louis) 5.3, Cadore 5.0, Adams 4.8, Sherry Smith (Brooklyn) 4.5, Lee Meadows (Philadelphia) 4.3, Eppa Rixey (Philadelphia) 4.1, Dolf Luque (Cincinnati) 3.9.

WAR leaders, position players: Hornsby 9.6, Youngs 6.6, Bancroft 6.1, Roush 5.7, Williams 5.0, Wheat 4.9, Burns 4.7, Myers 4.1, Groh 3.8, Fletcher 3.7. Pitchers: Alexander 10.0, Grimes 5.6, Cooper 5.3, Adams 5.1, Vaughn 4.6, Ruether 4.2, Cadore and Doak 4.0, Luque 3.7, Meadows 3.0.

Best player: Rogers Hornsby. Hornsby breaks out as the NL's premier player, a status he would hold for most of the decade. Hornsby led the league in average, hits, total bases, and doubles. Ross Youngs for the #2 spot, he was 2nd in average and tied with Hornsby for times on base. Edd Roush #3, Zack Wheat #4, Dave Bancroft #5.

Best pitcher: Pete Alexander, winning the pitching triple crown. Burleigh Grimes, 23-11 with a 2.22 ERA for the pennant winners would be 2nd. Wilbur Cooper, 24-15 with a 2.39 ERA, ranks 3rd, Hippo Vaughn #4, Babe Adams #5.

Best rookie: Russ Wrightstone, .262 in 76 games at 3B for Philadelphia, is the best I can find. Pie Traynor also debuted, but played very little.

Best manager: Wilbert Robinson. "Uncle Robby" rode a deep pitching staff to a Brooklyn pennant, their second in five years. They wouldn't win another until 1941.

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