12 February 2008

1928 National League

Odd year in the NL, with 6 teams over .500, and two terrible teams in the Boston Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. St. Louis won the pennant in a close race, with New York 2 games behind, Chicago four games behind, and Pittsburgh 9 games back. Cincinnati and Brooklyn were in the second division, but over .500. The Braves lost 103 and the Phillies 109.

Rogers Hornsby won the batting title with a .387 average, with Paul Waner second at .370. Hornsby led in all the percentage categories, on-base, slugging, and OPS, as well as walks. Waner led with 142 runs and 50 doubles. Fred Lindstrom collected 231 hits. Jim Bottomley led with 20 triples, 31 homers, and 136 RBI, while Hack Wilson tied in homers. Kiki Cuyler led with 37 steals.

On the pitching side, Larry Benton and Burleigh Grimes tied with 25 wins, while Dazzy Vance led with a 2.09 ERA and 200 strikeouts. Benton and Grimes also led in complete games, while Grimes led in innings.

Win Shares leaders, players; Paul Waner (Pittsburgh) 34, Rogers Hornsby (Boston) 33, Freddy Lindstrom (New York) 32, Jim Bottomley (St. Louis) 30, Hack Wilson (Chicago) 28, Gabby Hartnett (Chicago) and Lloyd Waner (Pittsburgh) 26, Del Bissonette (Brooklyn) and Chick Hafey (St. Louis) 25, Bill Terry (New York) and Taylor Douthit (St. Louis) 24.

WS leaders, pitchers; Dazzy Vance (Brooklyn) 32, Larry Benton (New York) and Burleigh Grimes (Pittsburgh) 30, Sheriff Blake (Chicago) and Bill Sherdel (St. Louis) 24, Pat Malone (Chicago) 23, Eppa Rixey (Cincinnati) 22, Pete Alexander and Jesse Haines (St. Louis) 19.

WARP3: Hornsby 9.4 (only year in Boston), Lindstrom 7.5 (best year), P. Waner 7.0, Hartnett 6.7, Travis Jackson (New York) 6.1, Bottomley 5.5 (best year), Douthit (best year) and Frankie Frisch (St. Louis) 5.4, Wilson 4.8, Pie Traynor (Pittsburgh) 4.3, Mel Ott (New York) 4.1, Bissonette (rookie, best year) and Harvey Hendrick (also Brooklyn) 4.0 , Hafey 3.8.

Pitchers, Vance 9.6, Benton (career year) and Grimes (best year) 6.3, Blake 5.8 (career year), Sherdel 5.1 (best year), Rixey 4.9 (last big year), Malone 4.6 (rookie), Art Nehf (Chicago) and Ray Kolp (Cincinnati) 4.3, Watty Clark (Brooklyn) 4.1, Doug McWeeny (Brooklyn) 3.9, Alexander 3.8 (last good year), Haines and Red Lucas (Cincinnati) 3.6.

WAR leaders, players: Hornsby 9.8, Waner 7.8, Lindstrom 7.6, Bottomley 6.5, Jackson 6.3, Wilson 6.2, Hafey 6.0, Bissonette 5.5, Terry and Frisch 5.1, Hartnett and Richbourg 4.9. Pitchers, Vance 9.0, Benton 6.9, Blake 5.4, Grimes 5.3, Sherdel 5.0, Haines 4.3, Clark 4.2, Rixey 4.1, Malone 3.9, McWeeny 3.8.

Actual MVP voting (top 13):
Place Name Team Points
1 Jim Bottomley STL 76
2 Freddie Lindstrom NYG 70
3 Burleigh Grimes PIT 53
4 Larry Benton NYG 37
4 Hughie Critz CIN 37
6 Pie Traynor PIT 28
7 Hack Wilson CHC 21
8 Shanty Hogan NYG 17
9 Travis Jackson NYG 16
10 Rabbit Maranville STL 14
11 Dazzy Vance BRO 13
12 Chick Hafey STL 11
13 Rogers Hornsby BSN 10

Best player: Rogers Hornsby. The choice: Hornsby, excellent with a horrible club; Bottomley, the league RBI leader for the pennant winners; or Waner, best all-around for a team that failed to repeat their pennant. I'll go with the guy who led in OPS by a mile. Hornsby's triple crown stats were .387-21-94. Waner is #2, he hit .370 with 142 runs scored. I'll put Fred Lindstrom #3 in his career year, he batted .358 with 231 hits. Bottomley #4, Gabby Hartnett #5.

Best pitcher: Dazzy Vance, in a year that might have been better than 1924's 28-win season. His ERA+ was 191, compared to 171 in 1924. Led league in ERA and strikeouts, 3rd in wins with 22. Rube Benton #2, he was 25-9 with a 2.73 ERA. Burleigh Grimes #3, he was 25-14 with a 2.99 ERA. Sheriff Blake #4, Bill Sherdel #5.

Best rookie: Del Bissonette, a 28-year old rookie in his only good major league year. He hit .320 with 25 HR and 106 RBI. Pat Malone gets second place, 18-13 with a 2.84 ERA.

Best manager: Bill McKechnie guided St. Louis back to the winners' circle.

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