25 March 2008

1934 National League

The "Gas House Gang" Cardinals won a close pennant race by two games over the Giants, powered by a free-wheeling lineup and the Dean brothers on the mound. Chicago was third, eight games back. Boston was 4th, Pittsburgh 5th, followed by Brooklyn and Philadelphia. Cincinnati was again last.

Paul Waner won the batting title with a .362 average, just ahead of Bill Terry's .354. Waner also led in runs with 122 and hits with 217. Arky Vaughan led in on-base, while Rip Collins led in slugging and OPS. Ethan Allen and Kiki Cuyler had 42 doubles each, while Joe Medwick had 18 triples. Collins tied Mel Ott with 35 homers, while Ott led with 135 RBI. Pepper Martin led with 23 steals.

Dizzy Dean put up a big 30-win year, and also led with 195 strikeouts. Carl Hubbell led in ERA at 2.30. Hubbell also led the league in saves with 8, as well as complete games with 25. It was a different time then. Most games were loaded onto the weekend during the Depression, so that somebody would come out, so doubleheaders on both Saturday and Sunday were common. Aces might start on Friday and relieve on Sunday, or vice-versa.

Win Shares leaders, players; Mel Ott (New York) 38, Arky Vaughan (Pittsburgh) 36, Wally Berger (Boston) 33, Ripper Collins (St. Louis) 32, Paul Waner (Pittsburgh) 30, Bill Terry (New York) 29, Jo-Jo Moore (New York) 26, Billy Urbanski (Boston) 25, Gabby Hartnett (Chicago) and Ducky Medwick (St. Louis) 24.

WS leaders, pitchers; Dizzy Dean (St. Louis) 37, Carl Hubbell (New York) 32, Lon Warneke (Chicago) 26, Hal Schumacher (New York) and Curt Davis (Philadelphia) 24, Van Lingle Mungo (Brooklyn) and Paul Dean (St. Louis) 22.

WARP3: Ott 10.3, Vaughan 10.1, Waner 8.6, Hartnett 7.0, Len Koenecke (Brooklyn) and Dick Bartell (Philadelphia) 6.0, Collins 5.5 (career year), Kiki Cuyler (Chicago) 4.6, Urbanski (career year), Frankie Frisch (St. Louis) and Chuck Klein (Chicago) 4.5, Moore 4.4, Terry 4.2.

Pitchers; D. Dean 9.7, Davis 8.1 (as a 30-year-old rookie), Hubbell 7.6, Mungo 7.2, Benny Frey (Cincinnati) 6.8, Paul Derringer (Cincinnati) 6.5, Warneke 5.8, P. Dean 5.4 (as a 20-year-old rookie), Ed Brandt (Boston) 5.0, Schumacher and Waite Hoyt (Pittsburgh) 4.8.

WAR leaders, position players: Ott 7.5, Vaughan 7.2, Collins 6.8, Waner 6.5, Terry 6.1, Koenecke and Berger 5.1, Leslie 4.3, Cuyler and Jackson 4.0, Hartnett 3.9. Pitchers: D. Dean 8.1, Hubbell 7.4, Davis 6.8, Mungo and Warneke 5.0, P. Dean 4.8, Hoyt 4.4, Frey 3.8, Derringer 3.7, Collins and Walker 3.5.

Actual MVP voting (top 15):
Place Name Team Points
1 Dizzy Dean STL 78
2 Paul Waner PIT 50
3 Jo-Jo Moore NYG 42
4 Travis Jackson NYG 39
5 Mel Ott NYG 37
6 Ripper Collins STL 32
7 Bill Terry NYG 30
8 Curt Davis PHI 18
9 Paul Dean STL 16
9 Carl Hubbell NYG 16
9 Hal Schumacher NYG 16
12 Wally Berger BSN 13
13 Lon Warneke CHC 10
14 Gabby Hartnett CHC 9
15 Gordon Slade CIN 5

Best player: Mel Ott, although Arky Vaughan would make a good choice too. Ott was clearly the best hitter in the league, with a .326-35-135 line. Vaughan gets the #2 spot with his .333-12-94 season, although he got just one MVP vote. Paul Waner is #3 after leading the league in average and going .362-14-90. Ripper Collins of the pennant winner was #4 with a tie for Ott for the home run lead and a .333-35-128 line. Gabby Hartnett's .299-22-90 coupled with his excellent defense puts him 5th.

Best pitcher: Dizzy Dean, of course. His 30-7 year, plus a 2.66 ERA. Carl Hubbell led the league in ERA at 2.30 and went 21-12. Curt Davis was 19-17 with a 2.95 ERA in the hitter's haven of Philadelphia. Lon Warneke was 21-10, 3.21 for 4th, Van Lingle Mungo 18-16, 3.37 for 5th.

Best rookie: Paul Dean (or Daffy, if you prefer) since he was 20 to the more productive Curt Davis' 30. Didn't help him have a better career, though. Paul was 19-11 and had a 3.43 ERA. He had the most promise, but ended with 50 career wins to Davis' 158.

Best manager: Frankie Frisch had to coordinate the St. Louis wild bunch. That was a full-time job in itself.

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