Friday, July 24, 2009

PTWSW #13: The 1916 Boston Red Sox

Manager: Bill Carrigan
Record: 91-63
Ballpark: Fenway Park
Owner: Joseph Lannin
Coaches: Heinie Wagner

Future Hall of Famers: Harry Hooper, Herb Pennock, Babe Ruth

Team Leaders, Batting

BA: Larry Gardner, .308
OBP: Larry Gardner, .372
SLG: Tilly Walker, .394
OPS: Larry Gardner, .759
2B: Duffy Lewis, Tilly Walker, 29
3B: Harry Hooper, Tilly Walker, 11
HR: Del Gainer, Babe Ruth, Tilly Walker, 3
RBI: Larry Gardner, 62
BB: Harry Hooper, 80
SB: Harry Hooper, 27

Team Leaders, Pitching

Babe Ruth, 23
SO: Babe Ruth, 170
ERA: Babe Ruth, 1.75 (AL leader)
IP: Babe Ruth, 323.2
CG: Babe Ruth, 23
SHO: Babe Ruth, 9 (AL leader)
K/BB: Dutch Leonard, 2.18
SV: Dutch Leonard, 6


Oldest Player: Heinie Wagner (b. September 23, 1880). Wagner was mainly a coach at this point, but he still got into six games this season.

Youngest Player: Babe Ruth (b. February 6, 1895). For the second year in a row the Babe was actually the baby of the team.

First to Leave Us: Heinie Wagner (d. March 20, 1943)

Last Survivor: Ernie Shore (d. September 24, 1980)

First in Majors: Heinie Wagner (debut July 1, 1902)

Last in Majors: Sam Jones (final game September 28, 1935)

First to Play For the Franchise: Bill Carrigan (July 7, 1906)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Herb Pennock (August 27, 1934)

Pre-union Team: The 1913-15 Philadelphia Athletics with four (Jack Barry, Herb Pennock, Jimmy Walsh, Weldon Wyckoff). Connie Mack built a great team and the Red Sox inherited several pieces of it.

Reunion Team: The 1923 New York Yankees had six (Sam Jones, Carl Mays, Mike McNally, Herb Pennock, Babe Ruth, Everett Scott).


Rube Foster, no-hitter on June 21
Dutch Leonard, no-hitter on August 30

Season Summary

The season started with a bombshell: Tris Speaker, the Red Sox' star center fielder, was traded to the Indians just days before the opener because of a salary dispute. That left Clarence "Tilly" Walker, recently acquired from the Browns, with big shoes to fill. Speaker had perhaps the best year of his career in 1916 (he even beat out Ty Cobb for the batting title!), but the Red Sox managed just fine without him, as they still had a strong core of players and Walker proved a capable replacement.

Pitching and defense were the 1916 BoSox' biggest strengths, as they allowed the fewest runs in the AL and had its best defensive efficiency rating. Their offense was below-average, which probably explains why their final record was a merely-very-good 91-63. Still, in a year of astounding league parity (only 14.5 games separated the first and seventh place teams, with the horrendous Athletics 40 games behind the nearest competitor) it was good enough for a pennant. The Red Sox were never more than seven games out of first (which occurred during a slow start) and never more than 6.5 games ahead of the pack. They ultimately won the league title by just two games.

The World Series matched the Red Sox with the Brooklyn Robins. Like the previous season, the Red Sox borrowed Braves Field from their citymates and won the Series in five games. Game 2 was notable for being a 14-inning pitcher's duel between starters Babe Ruth and Sherry Smith that the Red Sox eventually won on Del Gainer's RBI single. Ernie Shore's three-hitter in Game 5 sealed Beantown's third World Series title of the decade. Two months after the victory player-manager Bill Carrigan retired to become a banker.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
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