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Thursday, June 06, 2019

Most Meritorious Player: 1917 Discussion

The Chicago White Sox defeated the New York Giants in the World Series four games to two.

As the season went on many players enlisted in military service for World War I. John Thorn lists 76 players enlisted in 1917.

The “Colored Championship” exhibition featured the Chicago American Giants and the New York Lincoln Stars despite the fact that the New York Lincoln Giants were the best team in the East.

Vote for 10.

Player			SH WS		BBR WAR
Ty Cobb			46.8		11.3
Rogers Hornsby		37.0		9.9
Tris Speaker		37.2		7.7
Heinie Groh		35.3		7.0
Ray Chapman		31.6		7.8
George Burns		34.5		6.1
Bobby Veach		30.2		6.6
Art Fletcher		26.9		7.4
Eddie Collins		31.8		5.0
Max Carey		23.5		5.1
George Sisler		28.8		5.8
Rabbit Maranville	22.9		4.5
Heinie Zimmerman	26.0		5.3
Joe Jackson		28.9		5.8
Benny Kauff		30.8		4.7
Gavy Cravath		25.7		4.4
Happy Felsch		29.8		4.7
Edd Roush		29.3		4.9
Duffy Lewis		24.0		3.9
Roger Peckinpaugh	20.6		4.0
Donie Bush		21.5		3.6
Dave Bancroft		18.3		3.4
Braggo Roth		20.6		4.1
Casey Stengel		20.5		2.7
Ping Bodie		20.6		3.9
Ray Schalk		19.7		3.7
Wally Schang		12.8		3.6
Frank Baker		21.5		4.5
Jack Smith		21.8		3.0
Harry Hooper		23.4		3.2
Walton Cruise		23.5		3.0
Larry Gardner		19.1		4.0
Sam Rice		23.8		3.7

John Henry Lloyd	17.8		4.4
Louis Santop		4.5		1.4
Pete Hill		14.7		3.7
Ben Taylor		8.8		2.4
Oscar Charleston	8.3		1.9
Bill Pettus		3.8		0.8
John Donaldson		3.4		1.8
Candy Jim Taylor	7.6		1.6
Dick Lundy				1.0
Leroy Grant		11.2		1.6
Cristobal Torriente	3.1		0.5
Jose Mendez		2.6		-0.1

Pitcher			SH WS		BBR WAR
Pete Alexander		37.8		9.8
Eddie Cicotte		35.0		11.5
Jim Bagby		30.9		8.6
Stan Coveleski		28.5		7.6
Walter Johnson		27.8		8.0
Babe Ruth		35.0		8.6
Hippo Vaughn		23.8		6.3
Wilbur Cooper		20.5		7.4
Carl Mays		28.4		6.6
Leon Cadore		19.9		5.5
Ferdie Schupp		22.2		5.0
Jeff Pfeffer		18.4		4.6
Bob Shawkey		16.3		4.1
Ray Caldwell		17.0		3.7
Lefty Tyler		16.7		3.6
Reb Russell		17.7		4.2
Dutch Leonard		21.9		4.4
Fred Toney 		20.8		3.4

Joe Williams		18.9		4.8
Dick Redding		17.2		4.1
Juan Padron		11.3		5.8
Jose Junco		8.6		4.1
String Bean Williams	12.8		3.7		
DL from MN Posted: June 06, 2019 at 04:41 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. DL from MN Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:19 PM (#5849213)
Eric C MLEs
Player Name Age Lg  Pos  PA Rbat Rbaser Rdp Rfield Rpos  RAA   WAA  Rrep RAR   WAR
====================================================================================
Dobie Moore  21 NL  SS  570   25    0      11    8   44   5.4   18   62   7.6 (Wreckers)
Bullet Rogan  23 NL  CF  560   31    1       4   - 6   28   3.5   17   46   5.7 (Wreckers)
John Henry Lloyd  33 NL SS    590   14    0    0     2     9   25   3.1   18   44   5.4
Edgar Wesley  26 NL  1B  540   31    0       2   - 4   28   3.4   17   45   5.5
Bill Pettus  32 NL 1B    510   17    0    0     5   - 4   18   2.3   16   34   4.3
Ben Taylor  28 NL  1B  610   15    0       4   - 5   14   1.7   19   33   4.1
Cristobal Torriente  23 NL  CF  570   17    1       0   - 3    14   1.7   18   32   4.0
Louis Santop  28 NL  C  410   11    0       0    5   16   2.0   13   29   3.6
Pelayo Chacon  28 NL SS    540    1    0      2     8   12   1.4   17   28   3.6
Blainey Hall  28  NL LF   580   19    0     -2    -7    11   1.3   18   29   3.6
Pete Hill  34 NL CF   600   11    0    0     2    -3   10   1.2   19   28   3.6
Jimmie Lyons  27 NL  CF   510   10     1     0     4    - 3    12   1.5   16   28   3.5
Spots Poles  29 NL  CF  560    6    1    0     3   - 3     7   0.9   19   26   3.3
Hurley McNair  28 NL  LF  540   14    0     1     - 6    9   1.1   17   26   3.2
George Carr  22 NL  1B  570   13    0     - 1   - 5    7   0.9   18   25   3.1
Charles Earle  33  NL CF   590    9    1      0     - 3     5   0.7   18   24   3.0
Heavy Johnson  22 NL   C  200   13    0    0     1     3    16   2.0    7   23   2.8 (Wreckers)
Oscar Charleston  20 NL  CF  310   12    1     - 1   - 2   10   1.2   10   19   2.4
Dick Wallace  34 NL  SS  550  - 15    0      6    8   - 1  -0.2   17   16   2.0


               PITCHING          |  BATTING    |  TOTAL
PITCHER  AGE   IP  RAA   WAA   WAR  |   PA   WAR  |   WAR
==========================================================
Williams   31  300   39   5.2   7.9  |  100   0.4  |   8.3
Donaldson   26  300   38   5.0   7.8  |  100   0.3  |   8.1
Redding  27  300   19   2.4   5.3  |  100   0.1  |   5.3
Rogan   23  220   21   2.7   4.7  |   73   0.6  |   5.4 (Wreckers)
Whitworth 21  220   24   3.1   5.1  |   73  -0.1  |   5.0
Padron   24  300   18   2.3   5.1  |  100  -0.7  |   4.7 
Junco   27  260   14   1.7   4.2  |   87  -0.6  |   3.6 
Pedroso   30  200    4   0.5   2.4  |   67   0.4  |   2.8

   2. DL from MN Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:54 PM (#5849219)
1917 Prelim

1) Ty Cobb - this is a monster season
2) Joe Williams - Best pitcher
3) Pete Alexander - 388 IP
4) Heinie Groh - almost as good at bat as Hornsby with a lot more glove
5) Rogers Hornsby
6) Tris Speaker - 2nd best bat
7) Ray Chapman
8) Eddie Cicotte
9) Louis Santop - one of his best seasons hitting
10) Dick Redding

11-15) John Henry Lloyd, George Burns, Jim Bagby, Bobby Veach, Art Fletcher
16-19) Stan Coveleski, Eddie Collins, Walter Johnson, Babe Ruth
   3. DL from MN Posted: June 06, 2019 at 05:58 PM (#5849220)
America's entry into WWI combined with an unusually wet spring to postpone forty-eight National League games in the first month. As a result, half of all Major League clubs showed losses for the year and eight of twenty Minor League teams folded before the end of the season.


http://www.baseball-almanac.com/yearly/yr1917a.shtml
   4. DL from MN Posted: June 10, 2019 at 10:09 AM (#5849915)
When the 1917 baseball season concluded, the fans expected to see the two best pitchers in black baseball hook up for a championship series. These pitchers were Smoky Joe Williams of the New York Lincoln Giants and Dick “Cannonball” Redding of the Chicago American Giants. Instead the New York Lincoln Stars traveled to Chicago in August to play the American Giants in the title series.

Chicago was at a disadvantage when the series stared as neither of their ace pitchers (Dick “Cannonball” Redding and Tom Williams) were available to pitch. The series was a hard fought battle with each team taking alternate wins. Going into game seven, the two teams were tied with three wins each. The Chicago American Giants won a 17-7 slugfest in the final game and claimed the “Colored Championship.”

Game Location Date Winning Team Score Pitcher Pitcher
1 Chicago Aug 5th Chicago 6-4 Dick Whitworth Frank Sykes
2 Chicago Aug 5th New York 6-3 Ad Langford Judy Gans
3 Chicago Aug 13th Chicago 1-0 Frank Wickware Frank Sykes
4 Chicago Aug 14th New York 4-0 Gunboat Thompson Tom Johnson
5 Chicago Aug 15th New York 10-8 Ad Langford Frank Wickware
6 Chicago Aug 16th Chicago 7-0 Juan Padrone Gunboat Thompson
7 Chicago Aug 17th Chicago 17-7 Tom Johnson Frank Sykes

Top Hitters for the Series:

Chicago – Leroy Grant (.482), John Henry “Pop” Lloyd (.359), Jess Barbour (.333) and Harry Bauchman (.333).
New York – Zach Pettus (.357), Ashby Dunbar (.296) and Louis Santop (.296).

Leading Pitchers for the Series:

Chicago – Juan Padrone (1-0 w/ 0.00 ERA), Dick Whitworth (1-0), Tom Johnson (1-1) and Frank Wickware (1-1).
New York – Ad Langford (2-0) and Gunboat Thompson (1-1).
   5. DL from MN Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:11 PM (#5850050)
July 15 – Boston Braves catcher Hank Gowdy reports for duty with the Ohio National Guard becoming the first Major League player to enlist for service during World War I.
August 28 – The Indians' pennant chances suffer a severe blow when outfielder Tris Speaker is suspended after an argument with an umpire.


Speaker was ultimately suspended 3 games for pushing an umpire to the ground. There is a well written description in this book:

https://epdf.pub/tris-speaker-the-rough-and-tumble-life-of-a-baseball-legend.html

The book says the suspension was in April - the August 28 suspension was in 1918 for punching an umpire.
   6. DL from MN Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:19 PM (#5850066)
new information came to light regarding the 1917 AL pennant race. Swede Risberg and Chick Gandil, both participants in the 1919 Black Sox Scandal, testified that White Sox players—and even Charles Comiskey—had anted up and paid off the Tigers to lay low for two straight doubleheaders against Chicago. The White Sox won all four games. Risberg added that the St. Louis Browns were similarly funded to take it lightly against the White Sox.
In the ensuing cavalcade of hearings, those accused gave an innocent version of Risberg and Gandil’s story; that the White Sox had put together a pot of money to present to Tiger players—not as a bribe to lose, but instead as a gift for having swept Boston in an earlier series. Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis, tough on game-fixing but tiring of decade-old accusations, eventually ruled that the money probably was a gift; although he deemed it an act of wrong doing, it was not, in his opinion, criminal.


http://www.thisgreatgame.com/1917-baseball-history.html
   7. DL from MN Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:27 PM (#5850072)
Legend has it that Eddie Cicotte’s contract called for a $10,000 bonus if he won 30 games in 1917. Cicotte had never won 20 in any one season, so Comiskey figured the bait was a pipedream. But when Cicotte got to 28, Comiskey began to sweat and pressured Pants Rowland to "rest" Cicotte for the World Series rather than let him make his few remaining starts.

Comiskey’s pulling back on Cicotte may be nothing more than legend; Cicotte started two of the White Sox’ last six games in 1917—and the Sox won them both.


http://www.thisgreatgame.com/1917-baseball-history.html

I agree that this legend seems false. Cicotte pitched 9/16, 9/19, 9/25 and 9/29 with win 28 coming on 9/29. There was only one game remaining in the season at that point.
   8. DL from MN Posted: June 10, 2019 at 12:39 PM (#5850102)
Cicotte also fully exploited the era’s liberal regulations regarding the doctoring of the ball. In this area, his most infamous pitch was the shine ball, in which he rubbed one side of the ball against the pocket of his right trouser leg, which had been filled with talcum powder.
Flustered opponents protested to American League President Ban Johnson that the pitch should be outlawed, but Johnson ruled the pitch legal in 1917, and it would remain so until February 1920. Thanks to the knuckleball, the shine ball, the emery ball (ruled illegal by Johnson in early 1915), and other trick pitches, Cicotte struck out a fair number of batters, placing in the top 10 in strikeouts per nine innings three times, even though his fastball probably couldn’t break a plane of glass.


https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/1f272b1a
   9. DL from MN Posted: June 12, 2019 at 08:50 AM (#5850842)
Brock brought up an interesting point with Gavy Cravath saying that he was mostly a product of his environment and his true talent wasn't worthy of a spot on the list. Does anyone feel that way about Cicotte? He clearly didn't have the stuff to beat batters without doctoring the ball with a foreign substance. Today that would be called cheating.
   10. MrC. Posted: June 19, 2019 at 12:42 PM (#5853587)
1917 preliminary ballot

1. Ty Cobb. 13.41 WARR
2. Eddie Cicotte 10.67 WARR
3. Pete Alexander 10.35 WARR
4. Walter Johnson 9.42 WARR
5. Rogers Hornsby 9.29 WARR
6. Art Fletcher 8.49 WARR
7. Ray Chapman 8.39 WARR
8. Bobby Veach 8.33 WARR
9. Tris Speaker 8.17 WARR
10. Joe Williams 7.46 WARR

Rest of the top 15
11. Stan Coveleski
12. John Donaldson
13. Heinie Groh
14. Babe Ruth
15. George Burns
   11. DL from MN Posted: June 20, 2019 at 03:29 PM (#5854177)
John Donaldson 1917 stats:

Basic Pitching 
Year Tm Lg Age Pos W L W% G GS CG SHO SV IP R ER H HR BB K WP HBP BF ERA ERA+ 
1917 ALL WES 26 RF 3 4 .429 8 7 7 0 1 60.0 20 13 41 0 13 45 0 2 238 1.95 132 

For comparison
Dick Redding CAG SP 14 3 .824 22 16 15 5 3 153.2 19 12 87 0 44 111 0 1 587 0.70 265
Joe Williams NLG SP 10 0 1.000 12 9 9 1 0 101.0 30 19 88 0 31 70 0 1 416 1.69 263 


Not sure why Donaldson rates higher on the MLE. It looks like Redding and Williams are clearly the top pitchers in the NGL.
   12. DL from MN Posted: June 27, 2019 at 06:03 PM (#5856536)
1917 World Series
Player Name G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS SB E WPA
Eddie Collins 6 22 4 9 1 0 0 2 2 3 .409 .458 .455 .913 3 0 0.26
Happy Felsch 6 22 4 6 1 0 1 3 1 5 .273 .304 .455 .759 0 0 0.30
Joe Jackson 6 23 4 7 0 0 0 2 1 0 .304 .333 .304 .638 1 0 0.04
Buck Weaver 6 21 3 7 1 0 0 1 0 2 .333 .333 .381 .714 0 4 -0.06

George Burns 6 22 3 5 0 0 0 2 3 6 .227 .320 .227 .547 1 0 -0.14
Art Fletcher 6 25 2 5 1 0 0 0 0 2 .200 .200 .240 .440 0 3 -0.34
Benny Kauff 6 25 2 4 1 0 2 5 0 2 .160 .160 .440 .600 1 1 -0.01

Pitcher Name G GS ERA W L SV CG IP H R ER BB SO WHIP WPA
Eddie Cicotte 3 2 1.57 1 1 0 2 23.0 23 5 4 2 13 1.087 0.50

Ferdie Schupp 2 2 1.74 1 0 0 1 10.1 11 2 2 2 9 1.258 0.09


   13. bjhanke Posted: July 01, 2019 at 02:46 AM (#5857621)
DL - Thanks for the mention in comment #9. You have what I've been saying about Cravath a little wider than I really mean. My problem with Cravath is that I think the ballpark adjustments for him are wildly wrong, because the Baker Bowl was not just small in general, but absolutely tiny in Right Field. Cravath's reputation and numbers are very highly affected by his getting a certain number of fly balls to go for homers that would have been ordinary fly outs in any other ballpark. In other words, I'm not picking on Cravath because of just him; I'm picking on him because he is the only Philllie who shows up in raw rankings. I'd pick on Fred Luderus, a lefty power hitter whose career was the same years as Cravath's, if he ever showed a season like Cravath's. What I am REALLY picking on is the Baker Bowl. This will rise up and bite me real soon now. Sportsman's Park, where the Browns and Cardinals played, was not nearly as bad as the Baker Bowl, but similar. Right Field in Sportsman's was small. Sometime around 1930 (don't know the exact year), they put a screen, like the ones behind home plate today, on top of the RF fence, to control homers. If you can imagine the top two-thirds of the Green Monster being a screen, you would have the idea. I spent a decade watching ballgames from behind that screen, because they were the cheapest seats you could buy that had a roof over them. Well, my dad, born in 1911, was a Browns fan, thought that George Sisler was God. Sisler was a lefty who played in Sportsman's before the screen went up. That means that I'm going to have to take a small deduction to him every year from now until 1922. After 1922, he was half the player that he was before he got severely beaned at the end of the 1922 season, so he won't be an issue. And, every time I take that deduction, it is going to emotionally hurt. But I'm at least honest enough to take the deduction anyway. It will hurt, but I've been hurt worse.

On the Cicotte issue, I would not make a deduction. Cicotte did not play in a ballpark that severely distorted pitching stats towards lefties or righties. Doctored baseballs were completely legal in 1917, although Ban Johnson had specifically outlawed the emery ball in 1915. I think you might take a deduction on the "grandfather clause" pitchers after 1920, who were allowed to keep doctoring balls because they were central to their pitching, even though it was illegal for anyone else. Every pitcher had a legal right to doctor balls in Cicotte's time. Only a sixteenth of all players were allowed to play their home games in the Baker Bowl. It's not really the same. But only a few pitchers were allowed to keep doctoring balls after 1920. That's much more like the Baker Bowl.
   14. caiman Posted: July 02, 2019 at 02:58 PM (#5858311)
Here's the RPA top rated performers, per the the RPA method, in 1917, with the number of runs created above the median:

1. Ty Cobb 66.70 runs
2. Stan Coveleski 41.65 runs
3. Bobby Veach 38.84 runs
4. George Burns 37.42 runs
5. Heinie Groh 37.11 runs
6. Pete Alexander 35.01 runs
7. Edd Roush 34.70 runs
8. Babe Ruth 34.09 runs (28.08 pitching + 6.01 hitting)
9. Eddie Cicotte 33.28 runs
10. Rogers Hornsby 32.88 runs
11. Shoeless Joe Jackson 31.84 runs
12. Benny Kauff 31.45 runs
13. Jim Bagby 29.44 runs
14. George Sisler 29.12 runs
15. Eddie Collins 28.95 runs
16. Tris Speaker 28.46 runs
17. Gavvy Cravath 25.59 runs
   15. Chris Fluit Posted: July 03, 2019 at 01:19 PM (#5858648)
DL, I’m close to completing my ballot but I have an appointment this afternoon and might not get in in by 4. Could I have a 1 or 2 hour extension?
   16. Chris Fluit Posted: July 03, 2019 at 04:56 PM (#5858727)
1917 ballot

1. Ty Cobb, CF, Detroit Tigers: a dominant season for the Georgia Peach
2. Rogers Hornsby, SS, St. Louis Cardinals: leads the NL with 169 OPS+; adds +18 fielding
3. Cannonball Dick Redding, P, Chicago American Giants: edges Cicotte as top pitcher with 265 ERA+ in 153 innings
4. Eddie Cicotte, P, Chicago White Sox: leads AL with 174 ERA+ and 346 IP
5. Pete Alexander, P, Philadelphia Phillies: 388 IP leads NL; 154 ERA+ is 2nd
6. Tris Speaker, CF, Cleveland Indians: 2nd in AL with 172 OPS+ and 108 RC
7. John Henry Lloyd, SS, Chicago American Giants: 175 OPS+ as a shortstop
8. Stan Coveleski, P, Cleveland Indians: 2nd in AL with 156 ERA+
9. Heinie Groh, 3B, Cincinnati Reds: 148 OPS+ and +3 fielding at the hot corner
10. Smoky Joe Williams, P, New York Lincoln Giants: similar rate as Redding with 263 ERA+ but only 101 IP in league play

11. Jim Bagby, P, Cleveland Indians
12. Hippo Vaughn, P, Chicago Cubs
13. Ray Chapman, SS, Cleveland Indians
14. Bobby Veach, LF, Detroit Tigers
15. Carl Mays, P, Boston Red Sox

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