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Series Wrapup

Story

Although they found themselves seriously threatened for preeminence among American League teams by Connie Mack’s rising Philadelphia dynasty, the Detroit Tigers captured their third straight A.L. pennant in 1909, edging out the hard-charging A’s by 3 ½ games in the final standings, with a record of 98-54.  While the Athletics were an extremely well-balanced club that featured good hitting, solid defense, and outstanding pitching, the Tigers had easily the junior circuit’s best player in Ty Cobb.  The Georgia Peach won the American League Triple Crown by leading the league with nine home runs, 107 runs batted in, and a .377 batting average.  He also topped the circuit with 116 runs scored, 216 base hits, 76 stolen bases, a .431 on-base percentage, a .517 slugging percentage, and 296 total bases.  It was in 1909 that Cobb replaced Honus Wagner as the game's greatest all-around player.

Nevertheless, Detroit was more than just a one-man team.  Sam Crawford placed among the league leaders in every major offensive category, topping the circuit with 35 doubles and finishing second in runs batted in (97), triples (14), slugging percentage (.452), and total bases (266).  Pitcher George Mullin led the A.L. with 29 wins and a .784 winning percentage.  Ed Willett gave the Tigers a second 20-game winner, placing third in the league with 21 victories while also compiling an outstanding 2.34 ERA.

The Tigers came up short in the World Series for the third consecutive year, though, falling to the Pittsburgh Pirates in seven games.  Ty Cobb batted a disappointing .231 during the Fall Classic, managing only one hit in 11 trips to the plate against 27-year-old Pittsburgh rookie Babe Adams, who proved to be the difference in the Series by going 3-0 with a 1.33 ERA.  Cobb never again made it back to the Fall Classic.

Meanwhile, Connie Mack’s A’s featured baseball’s best infield – one that included future Hall of Famers Eddie Collins at second base and Frank “Home Run” Baker at third.  The 22-year-old Collins placed second to Cobb in the league rankings with a .347 batting average, a .416 on-base percentage, and 63 stolen bases.  He also finished among the league leaders with 104 runs scored, 198 hits, and 62 bases on balls.  Baker had a fabulous rookie season, setting an all-time record for first-year players by amassing 19 triples.  Harry Krause joined Hall of Fame hurlers Eddie Plank and Chief Bender on Philadelphia’s pitching staff, giving the A’s the junior circuit’s deepest starting rotation.  The rookie left-hander won 18 games and captured the ERA title with a mark of 1.39.   

Other outstanding performers and notable events from around the league included:

• Chicago White Sox hurler Frank Smith led all American League pitchers with 37 complete games, 365 innings pitched, and 177 strikeouts.

• On July 9, Cleveland shortstop Neal Ball pulled off the first known unassisted triple play in major league history.

• In his first full big-league season, 21-year-old Boston centerfielder Tris Speaker led all American League outfielders in putouts, assists, and double plays.
 
• Detroit and Washington played an 18-inning scoreless tie on July 16, with Detroit starter Ed Killian going the distance for the Tigers.

• Washington scored an American League record-low 380 runs.

• Washington’s Walter Johnson established an American League record by losing 10 games in which his team failed to score a run.  Five of those losses came to Chicago.

• Washington established an American League record for futility by losing 29 games by shutout.

• Ty Cobb was indicted for the felonious assault of a Cleveland night watchman.

Cy Young returned to Cleveland, where he began his career in 1890.  The 42-year-old hurler led his team with 19 victories.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1576 4979 596 1307 474 .203 151 69 20 215 1656 .292 .245 .551 170
CHA 1591 5018 494 1109 393 .168 145 56 4 211 1378 .285 .204 .497 243
CLE 1550 5048 493 1216 407 .200 173 81 10 174 1581 .280 .246 .541 157
DET 1561 5095 666 1360 521 .230 209 58 19 280 1742 .307 .277 .584 232
NYA 1589 4981 591 1234 473 .208 143 61 16 187 1547 .321 .253 .589 198
PHA 1526 4906 601 1257 498 .236 186 88 21 205 1682 .318 .292 .620 247
SLA 1546 4964 443 1151 351 .190 116 45 10 136 1387 .265 .224 .497 141
WS1 1673 4983 382 1113 306 .177 149 41 9 136 1371 .284 .210 .510 195

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 247 88 63 1363 555 384 5429 1214 18 56.460 392 548 75 10 15 31 5
CHA 208 78 74 1430 669 340 5508 1182 8 27.180 326 461 115 26 4 29 6
CLE 206 71 82 1361 568 348 5572 1212 9 41.430 363 532 110 15 3 40 4
DET 208 98 54 1420 528 359 5748 1254 16 28.710 357 493 117 16 12 38 1
NYA 217 74 77 1351 597 422 5464 1223 21 63.150 397 592 94 17 7 37 2
PHA 214 95 58 1378 728 386 5393 1069 9 27.500 296 409 110 27 3 31 4
SLA 209 61 89 1353 620 383 5438 1287 16 53.860 433 578 105 21 4 34 2
WS1 230 42 110 1375 653 424 5729 1288 12 60.710 464 655 99 10 2 51 1

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1508 6431 4067 2073 291 .935 0 0 0 0 21
CHA 1536 6808 4281 2280 247 .951 0 0 0 0 25
CLE 1470 6397 4060 2060 277 .921 0 0 0 0 24
DET 1516 6759 4278 2206 275 .966 0 0 0 0 6
NYA 1496 6351 4019 2000 332 .908 0 0 0 0 15
PHA 1483 6298 4145 1908 245 .931 0 0 0 0 14
SLA 1481 6298 4045 1986 267 .939 0 0 0 0 17
WS1 1558 6437 4095 2062 280 .914 0 0 0 0 21

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1909 World Series, American League, Babe Adams, Chief Bender, Connie Mack, Cy Young, Detroit Tigers, Ed Killian, Ed Walsh, Ed Willett, Eddie Collins, Eddie Plank, Frank Baker, Frank Smith, George Mullin, Harry Krause, Honus Wagner, Neal Ball, Sam Crawford, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson

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