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Series Wrapup

Story

With team owner and manager Connie Mack having dismantled his Philadelphia Athletics dynasty during the offseason after his club lost the 1914 World Series to the Boston Braves, the Detroit Tigers and Boston Red Sox spent the entire 1915 campaign vying for supremacy in the American League.  In what turned out to be a battle between Boston’s arms and Detroit’s bats, the Red Sox finally prevailed, finishing first in the junior circuit, 2 ½ games ahead of the second-place Tigers, with a record of 101-50.    

Tris Speaker led the Red Sox on offense, batting .322, scoring 108 runs, and compiling a .416 on-base percentage.  It was Boston’s pitching, though, that enabled them to edge out Detroit for the American League pennant.  Five Boston starters reached double figures in wins, including southpaws Babe Ruth (18-8) and Dutch Leonard (15-7) and right-handers Rube Foster and Ernie Shore, each of whom finished the year 19-8.  Shore also placed third in the league with a 1.64 ERA.  Despite being relegated to spot-starting duty due to an ailing pitching shoulder, Smokey Joe Wood finished 15-5 with a league-leading 1.49 ERA.

Boston’s superior pitching enabled them to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies rather handily in the World Series.  The Red Sox disposed of their National League counterparts in five games, holding Philadelphia’s lineup to a mere .182 batting average and limiting slugger Gavvy Cravath to just two hits.  

Meanwhile, the Tigers’ powerful offense, which scored a league-leading 778 runs, nearly enabled them to overcome a mediocre pitching staff in their quest to finish atop the A. L. standings.  Outfielders Bobby Veach and Sam Crawford tied for the league lead with 112 runs batted in.  Veach also topped the circuit with 40 doubles, while Crawford finished first with 19 triples.  Ty Cobb was the American League’s best player, winning his fifth consecutive batting title with a mark of .369 and also topping the circuit with 144 runs scored, 208 hits, a .486 on-base percentage, and 96 stolen bases.  Cobb’s 96 steals remained the single-season major league record for 47 years, until finally surpassed in 1962 by the Dodgers’ Maury Wills.  

Other notable events from around the league and players who distinguished themselves over the course of the season included:

• The franchise in Cleveland officially changed its nickname from the “Naps” to the “Indians.”

• Philadelphia Athletics catcher Wally Schang established a new American League record by throwing out six potential base stealers during a 3-0 loss to the St. Louis Browns.

Eddie Plank became the first southpaw to register 300 victories.

• Rube Foster, with two complete-game wins for Boston, established himself as the hero of the 1915 World Series.

Walter Johnson again dominated the statistical categories for A.L. pitchers.  In addition to placing among the league leaders with a 1.55 ERA and 336 innings pitched, Johnson topped the circuit with 27 wins, 203 strikeouts, 35 complete games, and seven shutouts.

• In his first full season, Boston's Babe Ruth won 18 games, batted .315, and hit four home runs.

• Ruth hit his first major league homer at New York’s Polo Grounds on May 5, 1915, off Jack Warhop of the Yankees.

• After sitting out the entire season over a contract dispute, Philadelphia A’s third baseman Frank “Home Run” Baker was sold to the Yankees for $35,000 prior to the start of the 1916 campaign.

• Desperately in need of money, Cleveland dealt star outfielder Shoeless Joe Jackson to the Chicago White Sox for three nondescript players and $31,500 in cash.

• The White Sox also purchased Eddie Collins from the A’s for $50,000 prior to the start of the 1915 season.

• Hall of Fame first baseman George Sisler made his major league debut for the St. Louis Browns – as a pitcher.

• The Tigers, the last team to wear collars on their uniforms, finally abandoned them.

• The Chalmers Award was discontinued prior to the 1915 season, ending MVP selections until the 1920s.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1749 5024 668 1308 575 .225 202 76 14 118 117 1704 .360 .298 .658 0 0 265
CHA 1606 4914 717 1269 598 .191 163 102 25 233 183 1711 .337 .242 .607 0 0 270
CLE 1720 5034 539 1210 456 .206 169 79 20 138 117 1597 .304 .256 .561 0 0 176
DET 1707 5128 778 1372 647 .231 207 94 23 241 146 1836 .375 .300 .701 0 0 202
NYA 1622 4982 583 1162 459 .187 167 50 31 198 133 1522 .345 .235 .606 168
PHA 1650 5081 545 1204 440 .176 183 72 16 127 89 1579 .292 .216 .553 0 0 137
SLA 1761 5112 521 1255 439 .169 166 65 19 202 160 1608 .362 .204 .626 0 0 173
WS1 1680 5029 570 1225 465 .207 152 79 12 186 106 1571 .339 .253 .617 187

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 254 101 50 1397 634 446 5543 1164 18 31.940 371 499 81 16 15 29 5
CHA 246 93 61 1401 635 350 5557 1242 14 31.910 378 509 91 16 9 19 6
CLE 292 57 95 1371 610 518 5565 1287 18 61.530 477 670 62 11 10 35 6
DET 265 100 54 1414 550 492 5722 1259 14 35.610 449 597 86 9 19 36 2
NYA 220 69 83 1383 559 517 5589 1272 41 50.870 470 588 101 12 2 20 0
PHA 249 43 109 1348 588 827 5777 1358 22 177.540 643 888 78 6 2 68 4
SLA 290 63 91 1403 566 612 5718 1256 21 120.880 474 679 76 6 7 39 4
WS1 254 85 68 1393 715 455 5526 1161 12 35.170 357 491 87 19 13 36 7

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1629 6364 4186 1952 226 .946 0 0 0 0 22
CHA 1533 6419 4198 1999 222 .958 0 0 0 0 19
CLE 1565 6447 4116 2051 280 .942 0 0 0 0 19
DET 1590 6656 4228 2170 258 .953 0 0 0 0 26
NYA 1503 6370 4145 2008 217 .941 0 0 0 0 18
PHA 1540 6405 4044 2023 338 .918 0 0 0 0 17
SLA 1648 6586 4185 2065 336 .920 0 0 0 0 30
WS1 1578 6330 4184 1916 230 .938 0 0 0 0 14

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1915 World Series, American League, Babe Ruth, Bobby Veach, Boston Red Sox, Connie Mack, Detroit Tigers, Dutch Leonard, Eddie Collins, Eddie Plank, Ernie Shore, Frank Baker, Gavvy Cravath, George Sisler, Harry Hooper, Jack Warhop, Joe Jackson, Joe Wood, Pete Alexander, Philadelphia Phillies, Rube Foster, Sam Crawford, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Wally Schang, Walter Johnson

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