Friday, May 29, 2009

PTWSW #1: The 1903 Boston Americans

Manager: Jimmy Collins
Record: 91-47
Ballpark: Huntington Avenue Baseball Grounds
Owner: Henry Killilea

Future Hall of Famers: Jimmy Collins, Cy Young

Team Leaders, Batting

BA: Patsy Dougherty, .331
OBP: Patsy Dougherty, .372
SLG: Buck Freeman, .496
OPS: Buck Freeman, .823
2B: Buck Freeman, 39
3B: Buck Freeman, 20
HR: Buck Freeman, 13 (AL leader)
RBI: Buck Freeman, 104 (AL leader)
BB: Patsy Dougherty, 33
SB: Patsy Dougherty, 35

Team Leaders, Pitching

Cy Young, 28 (AL leader)
SO: Cy Young, 176
ERA: Cy Young, 2.08
IP: Cy Young, 341.2 (AL leader)
CG: Cy Young, 34 (AL leader)
SHO: Cy Young, 7 (AL leader)
K/BB: Cy Young, 4.76 (AL leader)
SV: Bill Dinneen, Cy Young, 2 (AL leaders)

(Man, this Young guy should've had an award named after him.)


Oldest Player: Duke Farrell (b. August 31, 1866)

Youngest Player: Jake Stahl (b. April 13, 1879)

First to Leave Us: Chick Stahl (d. March 28, 1907). Just days after stepping down as player-manager, Stahl committed suicide for reasons that have never been completely clear.

Last Survivor: Freddy Parent (d. November 2, 1972)

First in Majors: Duke Farrell (debut April 21, 1888)

Last in Majors: Nick Altrock, who served as a longtime coach with the Washington Senators, made a pinch-hitting appearance for them on October 1, 1933. If that doesn't count in your opinion, the last one in the Majors as a regular player was Tom Hughes on October 3, 1913.

First to Play For the Franchise: Jimmy Collins, Lou Criger, Hobe Ferris, Buck Freeman, Freddy Parent, Chick Stahl, George Winter and Cy Young were all full-time players for Boston in the upstart American League's first season of 1901.

Last to Play For the Franchise: Jake Stahl (final game June 13, 1913)

Pre-union Team: The 1899 Washington Senators (Bill Dinneen, Duke Farrell, Buck Freeman, Jack O'Brien) and 1900 Boston Beaneaters (Jimmy Collins, Bill Dinneen, Buck Freeman, Chick Stahl) with four each. As you can see, the Americans didn't have to look much farther than their own city to find talent to populate their roster.

Reunion Team: The 1909 St. Louis Browns (Lou Criger, Bill Dinneen, Hobe Ferris, George Stone)


Buck Freeman, cycle on June 21
Patsy Dougherty, cycle on July 29
Cy Young, new all-time wins leader

Season Summary

The Americans struggled out the gate for the first month, but they reached first place at the end of June and never looked back. They ended up winning the pennant by 14 games, and their 106 OPS+ and 118 ERA+ both led the league. Despite playing at the hitter-friendly Huntington Avenue Grounds, their pitching staff allowed the fewest runs in the AL.

While some people didn't respect the American League as much as the more established National in those early years, the Americans proved their legitimacy by beating the Pittsburg Pirates (it was officially spelled without the "H" back then) in the first Fall Classic. Playing a best-of-nine series, the Pirates took an early 3 games to 1 lead only to be defeated by Boston in the next four matches.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

No comments:

Post a Comment