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Series Wrapup

Story

The 1908 campaign proved to be a banner year for pitchers, as hitters in each league combined to bat just .239 – the lowest mark ever posted in either circuit.  Seven hurlers threw no-hitters, seven of the all-time 50 lowest single-season ERAs were compiled, and only one of the 16 major league pitching staffs (the New York Highlanders) posted a team ERA in excess of 3.00.  Individual milestones reached included Ed Walsh’s 40 wins (the second-highest total in history) and 20th century record 464 innings pitched, Addie Joss’s 1.16 ERA (the seventh-lowest in history), and 41-year-old Cy Young’s mark of 1.26.

A four-team race developed in the American League, with the Detroit Tigers barely edging out both Cleveland and Chicago for their second consecutive pennant.  The Tigers finished the regular season with a record of 90-63, just ½ game and .004 percentage points ahead of second-place Cleveland.  The margin of victory represents the smallest in American League or National League history.  Chicago finished a close third, just 1 ½ games back, while St. Louis faded down the stretch to finish 6 ½ games out.

Detroit star Ty Cobb won his second consecutive batting title, finishing with a mark of .324, and he also led the league in runs batted in, runs scored, hits, doubles, triples, slugging percentage, and total bases.  Teammate Sam Crawford topped the circuit in home runs and placed second to Cobb in runs batted in, runs scored, batting average, hits, total bases, and slugging percentage.  Largely through the efforts of Cobb and Crawford, Detroit led the league with a team batting average of .264.

In the end, though, the Tigers were humiliated by the Chicago Cubs in the World Series for the second straight year.  It took the Cubs only five games to defeat the Tigers, with Chicago’s lineup posting a .293 team batting average against Detroit’s pitching staff.  Meanwhile, Cub hurlers compiled a team ERA of 2.60, with staff ace Mordecai Brown throwing 11 scoreless innings.  Ty Cobb was one of the few Tigers who performed well in the Series, as the A.L. batting champion knocked in four runs, stole two bases, and batted .368.  

Although the Tigers represented the American League in the World Series and Ty Cobb was the circuit’s top offensive player, the league’s dominant performer over the course of the regular season was Chicago White Sox hurler Ed Walsh.  The right-hander kept his team in the pennant race almost single-handedly, leading league pitchers in almost every statistical category.  He finished with a record of 40-15 and an ERA of 1.42 (third in the league), while topping the circuit in strikeouts (269), innings pitched (464), complete games (42), shutouts (11), and saves (6).

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league included:

• Sam Crawford became one of only two players (Mark McGwire is the other) to lead both the National League and the American League in home runs.  
 
• Cleveland's Addie Joss pitched a perfect game over Chicago on Oct. 2, the first ever in a pennant race.  Joss ended up leading the league with an ERA of 1.16 and finishing second with 24 wins.

• Although the Chicago White Sox finished third, just 1-1/2 games out, they batted just .224 and hit only three home runs as a team.

• The song "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" was first introduced to the public.

• Ed Walsh defeated both New York and Boston a record nine times.

• Cy Young threw a no-hitter vs. New York on June 30.

• Cleveland's Dusty Rhoads tossed a no-hitter against Boston on Sept. 18.

Frank Smith of the White Sox no-hit the A's on Sept. 20.

Bill Donovan pitched a two-hitter on the season's final day to beat the White Sox and give Detroit the flag.

Walter Johnson pitched three shutouts in a four-day period vs. New York.

• Although the A's finished sixth in the league with only 68 wins, they earned 23 of their victories by shutout.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1594 5048 563 1239 444 .191 117 88 14 167 0 1574 .275 .234 .546 0 0 173
CHA 1626 5027 535 1127 430 .173 145 41 3 209 1363 .366 .208 .583 236
CLE 1579 5108 570 1221 458 .219 188 58 18 177 0 1579 .314 .276 .609 0 0 243
DET 1515 5115 645 1347 520 .220 199 86 19 165 1775 .280 .268 .549 191
NYA 1565 5047 458 1190 372 .189 142 50 13 231 1471 .272 .229 .525 153
PHA 1580 5065 487 1131 392 .169 183 50 21 116 1477 .261 .212 .507 186
SLA 1572 5151 543 1261 447 .227 173 52 20 126 1598 .300 .289 .589 197
WS1 1631 5041 479 1186 378 .227 132 74 8 170 1490 .288 .296 .585 196

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 220 75 79 1382 624 364 5277 1200 18 90.160 349 512 102 12 7 41 5
CHA 218 88 64 1414 623 284 5533 1170 11 34.900 349 479 107 21 10 30 3
CLE 218 90 64 1424 548 328 5526 1172 16 46.770 319 466 108 18 5 23 1
DET 192 90 63 1375 553 318 5605 1313 12 22.570 367 552 119 15 5 33 1
NYA 230 51 103 1364 585 458 5721 1288 26 49.830 479 710 90 11 3 34 0
PHA 231 68 85 1401 741 410 5621 1194 10 62.270 398 563 102 23 4 46 1
SLA 216 83 69 1397 607 387 5527 1151 7 21.820 333 478 107 15 5 22 0
WS1 215 67 85 1391 649 348 5562 1236 16 40.050 362 541 106 14 7 48 2

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1508 6556 4137 2118 301 .933 0 0 0 0 22
CHA 1536 6840 4239 2368 233 .961 0 0 0 0 13
CLE 1514 6694 4252 2185 257 .952 0 0 0 0 22
DET 1458 6516 4131 2078 307 .935 0 0 0 0 7
NYA 1502 6416 4079 1998 339 .903 0 0 0 0 14
PHA 1523 6330 4168 1890 272 .930 0 0 0 0 20
SLA 1497 6544 4180 2127 237 .946 0 0 0 0 23
WS1 1520 6543 4145 2122 276 .908 0 0 0 0 15

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1908 World Series, Addie Joss, American League, Bill Donovan, Cy Young, Detroit Tigers, Ed Walsh, Frank Smith, Mordecai Brown, Sam Crawford, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson

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