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Series Wrapup

Story

After two years of turmoil and constant bickering, the American and National Leagues finally made peace prior to the start of the 1903 campaign.  Having rejected the senior circuit’s offer to form another 12-team league, A.L. president Ban Johnson agreed to adopt the modern two-major league format.  The new National Agreement also set up a National Commission consisting of League presidents Harry Pulliam and Ban Johnson, as well as Johnson-ally Garry Herrmann. This arrangement made Johnson the most powerful man in all of baseball for much of the next two decades.  Other points of the Agreement included the American League’s adoption of the foul-strike rule and the National League’s acceptance of an American League franchise in New York.

The Baltimore Orioles served as the precursor to the junior circuit’s new team in New York, with Johnson arranging for Frank Farrell and Bill Devery to purchase the struggling franchise and subsequently move it to Manhattan.  Farrell and Devery quickly secured a piece of land situated on Broadway, between 165th and 168th streets, and hastily constructed a ballpark that they named Hilltop Park, since it sat on one of the highest points in Manhattan.  The stadium’s location also prompted the nickname Highlanders to be affixed to the team.  The owners then raided the rosters of several National League clubs, securing the services of Hall of Fame outfielder Willie Keeler from Brooklyn, star pitcher Clark Griffith from Chicago, and fellow standout hurlers Jack Chesbro and Jesse Tannehill, both from Pittsburgh.  

The acquisitions made the Highlanders an extremely representative team in their first year in the junior circuit.  They finished the campaign in fourth place in the American League, with a record of 72-62.  Nevertheless, they failed to contend for the league championship, since the Boston Americans ran away with the A.L. flag by posting a mark of 91-47 that placed them 14 ½ games ahead of runner-up Philadelphia.  Boston topped the circuit in both runs scored and fewest runs allowed.  Outfielders Patsy Dougherty and Buck Freeman led the team on offense.  Dougherty batted .331 and led the league with 107 runs scored and 195 hits.  Freeman finished first in the league with 13 home runs and 104 runs batted in.  Meanwhile, Cy Young anchored Boston’s pitching staff, leading the league with a record of 28-9, 341 innings pitched, 34 complete games, and seven shutouts, and placing among the leaders with a 2.08 ERA.  

A list of other outstanding performers and notable events around the league follows:

• Boston won the first modern World Series.

• Cleveland’s Nap Lajoie led the American League with a .344 batting average and a .518 slugging average.

• Philadelphia’s Rube Waddell established a new post-1893 record by striking out 302 batters.

• Washington's Ed Delahanty fell to his death from a railway trestle.

• The first moving picture of a game was made, featuring Cleveland's Nap Lajoie and Harry Bay.

• The pitcher's mound was restricted in height to no more than 15 inches.

• Detroit’s newly appointed player/manager Win Mercer committed suicide in the preseason.

• Rube Waddell pitched a four-hitter vs. New York on August 1 -- Kid Elberfeld collected all four hits.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1337 4919 708 1336 609 .265 222 113 48 141 1928 .351 .361 .731 148
CHA 1312 4670 516 1152 436 .231 176 49 14 180 1468 .313 .286 .599 142
CLE 1307 4773 639 1265 550 .184 231 95 31 175 1779 .288 .239 .547 153
DET 1283 4582 567 1229 451 .224 162 91 12 128 1609 .302 .277 .603 170
NYA 1293 4565 579 1136 474 .186 193 62 18 160 1507 .271 .249 .552 129
PHA 1314 4673 597 1236 502 .220 227 68 32 157 1695 .320 .298 .665 101
SLA 1301 4639 500 1133 408 .195 166 68 12 101 1471 .269 .253 .544 111
WS1 1311 4613 437 1066 372 .214 172 72 17 131 1433 .275 .287 .563 81

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 159 91 47 1255 579 269 5046 1142 22 22.180 358 505 123 20 4 18 1
CHA 164 60 77 1235 391 287 5218 1233 24 22.780 414 613 114 9 4 22 1
CLE 155 77 63 1246 521 271 5172 1161 16 49.150 377 578 125 20 1 27 0
DET 152 65 71 1197 554 336 5044 1169 19 45.690 366 539 123 15 2 21 0
NYA 162 72 62 1202 463 245 5026 1171 19 42.050 411 573 111 7 2 22 1
PHA 165 75 60 1207 728 315 4987 1124 20 37.250 399 519 112 10 1 38 2
SLA 155 65 74 1223 511 237 5125 1220 26 31.350 376 525 124 12 3 22 0
WS1 158 43 94 1224 452 306 5280 1333 38 23.330 519 691 122 5 3 25 1

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1305 5832 3761 1832 239 .935 0 0 0 0 26
CHA 1288 5851 3704 1850 297 .942 0 0 0 0 30
CLE 1291 5963 3730 1911 322 .943 0 0 0 0 24
DET 1269 5581 3586 1714 281 .902 0 0 0 0 19
NYA 1283 5652 3603 1785 264 .931 0 0 0 0 21
PHA 1285 5448 3618 1613 217 .948 0 0 0 0 20
SLA 1288 5756 3661 1827 268 .934 0 0 0 0 12
WS1 1296 5705 3668 1773 264 .932 0 0 0 0 12

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
American League, Baltimore Orioles, Ban Johnson, Bill Devery, Boston Americans, Buck Freeman, Clark Griffith, Cy Young, Ed Delahanty, Garry Herrmann, Harry Bay, Harry Pulliam, Hilltop Park, Jack Chesbro, Jesse Tannehill, Kid Elberfeld, Nap Lajoie, New York Highlanders, Patsy Dougherty, Rube Waddell, Willie Keeler, Win Mercer

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