Wednesday, June 17, 2009

PTWSW #8: The 1911 Philadelphia Athletics

Manager: Connie Mack
Record: 101-50
Ballpark: Shibe Park
Owners: The Shibe Family, Connie Mack, Frank Hough and Sam Jones

Future Hall of Famers: Frank Baker, Chief Bender, Eddie Collins, Eddie Plank

Team Leaders, Batting

BA: Eddie Collins, .365
OBP: Eddie Collins, .451
SLG: Frank Baker, .508
OPS: Eddie Collins, .932
2B: Frank Baker, 42
3B: Frank Baker, Rube Oldring, 14
HR: Frank Baker, 11 (AL leader)
RBI: Frank Baker, 115
BB: Eddie Collins, 62
SB: Frank Baker, Eddie Collins, 38

Team Leaders, Pitching

Jack Coombs, 28 (AL leader)
SO: Jack Coombs, 185
ERA: Eddie Plank, 2.10
IP: Jack Coombs, 336.2
CG: Jack Coombs, 26
SHO: Eddie Plank, 6 (AL leader)
K/BB: Chief Bender, 1.97
SV: Eddie Plank, 4 (AL leader)


Oldest Player: Harry Davis (b. July 19, 1873)

Youngest Player: Stuffy McInnis (b. September 19, 1890). Davis and McInnis. Remember those names. There's a cool story involving the two of them this season.

First to Leave Us: Jack Lapp (d. February 6, 1920). Less than four years after playing his final Major League game Lapp passed away from pneumonia.

Last Survivor: Elmer Leonard (d. May 27, 1981). The first World Series champion with a member who made it to the 1980's! The 1911 A's actually had another in Allan Collamore, who died on August 8, 1980.

First in Majors: Harry Davis (debut September 21, 1895)

Last in Majors: Eddie Collins (final game August 5, 1930). Collins was mainly an Athletics coach at the time, but he was also the last to get significant playing time in the Majors just three years earlier.

First to Play For the Franchise: Harry Davis and Eddie Plank both played for the Athletics in their inaugural 1901 season. Plank debuted on May 13 and Davis joined the team on May 22, making Plank their longest-tenured player.

Last to Play For the Franchise: Eddie Collins (August 5, 1930)

Pre-union Team: The 1898 Louisville Colonels (Harry Davis and Topsy Hartsel). Not much of a pre-union team, but there it is.

Reunion Team: The 1912 Cleveland Naps, 1916 Chicago White Sox and 1919 Boston Red Sox each had three.


Frank Baker, cycle on July 3

Season Summary

"The $100,000 Infield," they were called. 1911 was the first season where third baseman Frank Baker, shortstop Jack Barry, second baseman Eddie Collins and first baseman Stuffy McInnis were all full-time starters. Their strong outfield of Bris Lord, Rube Oldring and Danny Murphy was no slouch either. Whereas the 1910 team dominated at run prevention and was about equal to the Tigers in run production, the 1911 team dominated on offense and was merely among the best at pitching and defense. Control seems to have been an issue for their pitching staff, as it was among AL leaders in walks and hit batsmen. Fortunately, it was among AL leaders in strikeouts as well.

The pennant race was more exciting than the previous season's. The Athletics spent most of 1911 trailing the Tigers for first place, eventually taking the lead in early August and pulling away in September. On September 25, a day before the pennant clincher, McInnis was hit in the wrist against Detroit, which made veteran Harry Davis the Philadelphia first baseman for the World Series.

Against the Giants in the Series, Frank Baker gained his famous nickname "Home Run" when he hit crucial homers in back-to-back games. In Game 2 his 6th-inning two-run shot gave the A's the lead by which they'd eventually win and his 9th-inning solo clout tied Game 3, which the A's would go on to win in extras. In Game 6, with one out left to go for a World Series championship, the veteran Davis stepped off the field so that young McInnis could experience the victory. The final play was a grounder to third on which McInnis made the putout and the Athletics were repeat champions.


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