Monday, October 26, 2009

PTWSW #18: The 1921 New York Giants

Manager: John McGraw
Record: 94-59
Ballpark: Polo Grounds
Owners: Francis X. McQuade and Charles Stoneham
Coaches: Jesse Burkett, Cozy Dolan, Hughie Jennings

Future Hall of Famers: Dave Bancroft, Frankie Frisch, George Kelly, Casey Stengel, Ross Youngs

Team Leaders, Batting

BA: Frankie Frisch, .341
OBP: Ross Youngs, .411
SLG: George Kelly, .528
OPS: George Kelly, .884
2B: George Kelly, 42
3B: Frankie Frisch, 17
HR: George Kelly, 23 (NL leader)
RBI: George Kelly, 122
BB: George Burns, 80 (NL leader)
SB: Frankie Frisch, 49 (NL leader)

Team Leaders, Pitching

Art Nehf, 20
SO: Art Nehf, 67
ERA: Jesse Barnes, 3.10
IP: Art Nehf, 260.2
CG: Art Nehf, 18
SHO: Phil Douglas, 3 (NL leader)
K/BB: Jesse Barnes, 1.27
SV: Jesse Barnes, 6


Oldest Player: Slim Sallee (b. February 3, 1885)

Youngest Player: Jim Mahady (b. April 22, 1901)

First to Leave Us: Ross Youngs (d. October 22, 1927). Bright's Disease felled the star right fielder at the age of 30.

Last Survivor: George Kelly (d. October 13, 1984). Both the first and last man from this team to die are in the Hall of Fame, though most baseball scholars would probably agree neither one belongs there.

First in Majors: Slim Sallee (debut April 16, 1908)

Last in Majors: Frankie Frisch (final game August 5, 1937)

First to Play For the Franchise: George Burns (October 3, 1911)

Last to Play For the Franchise: Dave Bancroft (May 31, 1930)

Pre-union Team: The 1920 Phillies had five, with Dave Bancroft, Red Causey, Irish Meusel, Johnny Rawlings and Casey Stengel. Four of those five were acquired by the Giants in three July 1921 trades. The 1914 Reds and 1917 Braves each had four.

Reunion Team: The 1924 Braves with five: Dave Bancroft, Jesse Barnes, Bill Cunningham, Earl Smith and Casey Stengel.


Dave Bancroft, cycle on June 1

Season Summary

The Giants had the most productive offense in the NL despite being outslugged and outhit by the Cardinals. Their league leadership in walks and stolen bases gave them an extra edge. Their defensive efficiency and ERA+ were both bettered by the Pirates, and they were second only to them in fewest runs allowed. Their staff pitched to contact, allowing the fewest walks while also striking out the second-fewest batters in the league.

McGraw's men played from behind most of the season, as the Pirates got off to a great start that allowed them to coast at times. The Giants pulled ahead of them temporarily on June 4, but a six-game losing streak put them right back where they were before. On July 1 the Giants sent third baseman Goldie Rapp, who was batting a disappointing .215, and some spare parts to the floundering (phloundering?) Phillies in a trade that landed them second baseman Johnny Rawlings. Rawlings wasn't a star, but he provided more value than Rapp on both sides of the ball. Regular second baseman Frankie Frisch was shifted to third to accomodate the move. Later that month the Gothams shored up their outfield with Irish Meusel, another Philly acquisition.

On August 23 the Giants were 7.5 games behind the first-place Pirates. The next day the Giants began an eight-game winning streak while the Pirates would continue an eventual six-game slide. The Pirates could never string together more than two wins in a row after that point, and on September 9, in the early stages of what would become a ten-game run of victories, the Giants pulled into first place for good. They ended up winning the pennant by four games.

The World Series pitted the Giants against their American League counterpart and fellow Polo Grounds-dwellers, the Yankees. This was the final year the World Series would follow the best-of-nine format, requiring five wins for the championship. The Yankees won the first two games behind shutouts from Carl Mays and Waite Hoyt, but the Giants came storming back in the next two games to tie the Series. A Game 5 victory was the Yankees' last hurrah, as an injured Babe Ruth made it easier for the Giants to win the final three matches. After losing all four World Series in which they participated during the 1910's, the Giants finally had their first title since 1905. Irish Meusel was the hitting star of the Series, with seven RBI and a .973 OPS.


Baseball Reference
Baseball Almanac
Google News Archives

No comments:

Post a Comment