01 January 2008

1924 American League

The first pennant ever for the Washington Senators highlighted the 1924 AL season, and a World Series win topped it off! The Senators held a two-game margin over the Yankees, with Detroit a strong third. Detroit had the offense and the Senators the pitching, and pitching won in this year. The rest of the league was under .500, though no one lost more than 87 games, as St. Louis, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Boston, and Chicago followed in order.

Babe Ruth led in nearly every offensive category, starting with batting average (.378), on-base, slugging, OPS (1252), runs (143), homers (46), and OPS+ (220) which was way ahead of second-place Harry Heilmann at 148. Nobody else was close to Ruth, making Washington's pennant all the more amazing. Sam Rice led with 216 hits, Heilmann and Joe Sewell tied with 45 doubles, Wally Pipp with 19 triples, and Goose Goslin with 129 RBI. Charlie Jamieson was second in average at .359, Joe Hauser second in homers with 27, Ruth was second in RBI with 121 and Bob Meusel third with 120.

Washington's Walter Johnson won the pitching Triple Crown, with 23 wins, a 2.72 ERA, and 158 strikeouts. Teammate Fred "Firpo" Marberry, a pioneering relief pitcher, led with 15 saves. Howard Ehmke led in innings pitched. Herb Pennock was second in wins with 21, Sloppy Thurston and Joe Shaute won 20. Tom Zachary was second with a 2.75 ERA, Pennock third at 2.83. Ehmke was second in strikeouts with 119, Bob Shawkey third with 114.

Win Shares leaders, players; Babe Ruth (New York) 45, Harry Heilmann (Detroit) 30, Goose Goslin (Washington) 29, Ty Cobb (Detroit) 27, Eddie Collins (Chicago) 25, Sam Rice (Washington) 24, Baby Doll Jacobson (St. Louis) 23, Joe Sewell (Cleveland), Topper Rigney (Detroit) and Roger Peckinpaugh (Washington) 22.

WS leaders, pitchers; Walter Johnson (Washington) 29, Herb Pennock (New York) 27, Howard Ehmke (Boston) 25, Joe Bush (New York) 23, Joe Shaute (Cleveland) 22, Eddie Rommel (Philadelphia) and Tom Zachary (Washington) 21.

WARP3: Ruth 11.7, Peckinpaugh 6.5 (last good year, although he would win the 1925 MVP), Sewell 6.0, Goslin 5.8, Heilmann and Rigney 5.7, Cobb and Jacobson (last good year) 4.7, Johnny Bassler (Detroit) 3.9, Rice 3.8.

Pitchers: Pennock and Ehmke (best year) 7.2, Shaute 6.5 (career year), Bush and Sloppy Thurston (Chicago) 5.8, Sherry Smith (Cleveland) 5.7, Johnson 4.8 (for his first pennant winner!), Rommel 4.6, Jack Quinn (Boston) 4.4, Alex Ferguson (Boston) 4.3.

WAR leaders, position players: Ruth 13.1, Goslin 7.1, Heilmann 6.9, Cobb 5.9, Collins 5.6, Rice and Hooper 5.2, Rigney 5.0, Peckinpaugh, Jamieson, and Speaker 4.9. Pitchers: Pennock 7.0, Ehmke 6.8, Johnson 6.2, Smith 4.9, Shaute 4.4, Ferguson and Quinn 4.3, Baumgartner and Zachary 4.2, Wingard 3.9.

Actual award voting, MVP (top 8)--previous winners (Ruth and Sisler) not eligible.
Place Name Team Points
1 Walter Johnson WSH 55
2 Eddie Collins CHW 49
3 Charlie Jamieson CLE 25
4 Herb Pennock NYY 24
5 Johnny Bassler DET 22
6 Hank Severeid SLB 17
7 Joe Hauser PHA 13
8 Baby Doll Jacobson SLB 11

Top player: Babe Ruth, by a mile. He wasn't eligible for the official award, but he deserved it as usual. Missed triple crown by 8 RBI to Goslin, led in BA and HR. Ruth led in average, runs, homers and OPS. I'll put RBI leader Goslin #2. Heilmann is #3, he led in doubles and was 2nd in OPS. Ty Cobb at #4, while Eddie Collins tied Heilmann for the doubles lead and is #5.

Top pitcher: Walter Johnson, at age 36, won the pitcher's triple crown. That's good enough for me. 23-7, 2.72. Howard Ehmke was 2nd in strikeouts, 19-17, 3.46 record for #2. Herb Pennock ranks #3 with a 21-9 record and 2.83 ERA for a better team. Joe Shaute #4 and Joe Bush #5.

Top manager: Bucky Harris, the 27-year-old skipper of the pennant winners.

Top rookie: Al Simmons, a .308 hitter with 102 RBI for the A's.

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