Tuesday, June 2, 2009

PTWSW #4: The 1907 Chicago Cubs

Manager: Frank Chance
Record: 107-45
Ballpark: West Side Park
Owner: Charles Murphy

Future Hall of Famers: Mordecai Brown, Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, Joe Tinker

Team Leaders, Batting

BA: Frank Chance, .293
OBP: Frank Chance, .395
SLG: Johnny Kling, .386
OPS: Frank Chance, .756
2B: Harry Steinfeldt, 25
3B: Johnny Kling, 8
HR: Johnny Evers, Frank Schulte, 2
RBI: Harry Steinfeldt, 70
BB: Jimmy Sheckard, Jimmy Slagle, 76
SB: Johnny Evers, 46

Team Leaders, Pitching

Orval Overall, 23
SO: Orval Overall, 141
ERA: Jack Pfiester, 1.15 (NL leader)
IP: Orval Overall, 268.1
CG: Orval Overall, 26
SHO: Orval Overall, 8 (NL leader)
K/BB: Mordecai Brown, 2.68
SV: Mordecai Brown, Orval Overall, 3


Oldest Player: Jimmy Slagle (b. July 11, 1873)

Youngest Player: Heinie Zimmerman (b. February 9, 1887)

First to Leave Us: Harry Steinfeldt (d. August 17, 1914)

Last Survivor: Heinie Zimmerman (d. March 14, 1969)

First in Majors: Mike Kahoe (debut September 22, 1895)

Last in Majors: Johnny Evers, by then coaching with the Braves, made a one-game appearance on October 6, 1929. The last to play as a regular was Heinie Zimmerman on September 10, 1919.

First to Play For the Franchise: Frank Chance (April 29, 1898)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Four members of this team played with the Cubs during the 1916 season. The last one to get into a game was Joe Tinker on September 22.

Pre-union Team: No team had more than two. The ones that did were the 1899-1901 Cincinnati Reds, the 1900 Philadelphia Phillies, the 1901 Boston Beaneaters, the 1903 Pittsburg Pirates, the 1905 Beaneaters and the 1905-06 Reds.

Reunion Team: The 1913 Reds, under new manager Joe Tinker, saw four '07 Cubs suit up: Mordecai Brown, Johnny Kling, Jimmy Sheckard and Tinker himself.

Season Summary

After winning 116 games the previous season and suffering a disappointing World Series loss to the White Sox, the Cubs went right back to winning with machine-like efficiency in 1907. Had it not been for a hot start by the Giants they would've led wire-to-wire (if you don't believe me, on May 18 they were 23-4 and a game out of first).

Three years before they were immortalized in Franklin P. Adams' "Baseball's Sad Lexicon," the famous Tinker-to-Evers-to-Chance double play combination roamed the Cub infield. Their strong team defense may have been what helped the Cubs' pitching staff stand head and shoulders above the rest of the league. Their team ERA+? 144. When you lead the NL in ERA by 0.68 while playing in a park that favors hitters and not leading in any peripheral rate stats you have to believe that many of those hits were prevented by the eight surrounding the mound.

The Cubs cruised to another pennant, winning the NL by 17 games, and redeemed themselves for 1906. This time they defeated the Detroit Tigers in five games (one was a tie), outscoring them 19-6 for the series.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
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