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Series Wrapup

Story

The home run revolution rolled on in both leagues during the 1921 baseball season, as homer production in the majors increased by roughly 50 percent over that of the previous season.  The New York Yankees led the way, establishing a new major league record by hitting 134 home runs as a team, while also setting a new A.L. mark by scoring 948 runs over the course of the regular season.  The Yankees’ powerful offense enabled them to capture their first American League pennant by finishing the year with a record of 98-55, 4 ½ games ahead of the second-place Cleveland Indians.

Although the Yankees scored more runs than any other team in the junior circuit, the impressive offensive numbers they posted could be attributed largely to one man.  In his second year in New York, Babe Ruth had arguably the greatest offensive season of any player in baseball history.  Ruth established new single-season marks by hitting 59 home runs, driving in 171 runs, scoring 177 others, and accumulating 457 total bases.  He also batted .378, collected 16 triples, 44 doubles, and 204 hits, and led the league with 145 walks, a .512 on-base percentage, and a slugging percentage of .846.  Ruth’s 177 runs scored and 457 total bases remain all-time single-season records.

While Ruth was clearly the driving force behind New York’s first league championship, he had a considerable amount of help from his teammates.  Second-year outfielder Bob Meusel scored 104 runs, batted .318, and placed among the league leaders with 24 home runs, 135 runs batted in, and 16 triples.  Carl Mays anchored a pitching staff that led the A.L. with a team ERA of 3.79.  Mays threw 30 complete games, compiled a 3.05 ERA, and topped the circuit with 27 wins and 337 innings pitched.  Waite Hoyt won 19 games in his first year in pinstripes, posted an ERA of 3.09, and tossed 21 complete games.  Bob Shawkey chipped in with 18 victories and 18 complete games.   
 
The Yankees subsequently made their first World Series appearance against the Giants, in a best-of-nine Series played entirely within the confines of New York’s Polo Grounds.  After winning the first two games of the first-ever “Subway Series” by identical 3-0 scores, the Yankees went on to lose five of the next six contests, falling to the Giants in eight games.  An injured Babe Ruth found himself unable to take the field in either of the final two contests.      

Although New York featured the league’s most potent offense, the second-place Cleveland Indians weren’t very far behind.  The Indians scored only 23 fewer runs than the Yankees, while also allowing their opposition to cross the plate just four more times.  Tris Speaker led the Cleveland attack, batting .362 and topping the junior circuit with 52 doubles.  Teammate Larry Gardner drove in 120 runs and scored 101 others.  Meanwhile, Stan Coveleski won 23 games for the Tribe and completed 28 of his 40 starts.   

The third-place St. Louis Browns and the sixth-place Detroit Tigers also had two of the league’s top offenses.  George Sisler had another tremendous year for St. Louis, compiling a .371 batting average, 125 runs scored, and a league-leading 35 stolen bases.  Teammate Ken Williams hit 24 home runs, knocked in 117 runs, scored 115 others, and batted .347, while fellow Brownie Jack Tobin batted .352, led the league with 18 triples, scored 132 runs, and collected 236 hits.  Detroit’s attack featured the tremendous outfield trio of Harry Heilmann, Ty Cobb, and Bobby Veach.  Heilmann finished second in the league with 139 runs batted in, and he topped the circuit with a .394 batting average and 237 hits.  Cobb finished second to Heilmann in the batting race with a mark of .389, and he also placed among the league leaders with 124 runs scored and a .596 slugging percentage.  Veach batted .338, knocked in 128 runs, scored 110 others, and collected 207 hits.   

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

• July 12 - Babe Ruth hit his 33rd and 34th home runs of the season, giving him 137 for his career.  That total placed him one ahead of 19th century slugger Roger Connor on the all-time list, making him baseball’s all-time home run king.  Ruth held that title for the next 53 years.

• August 9 - The St. Louis Browns defeated the Washington Senators 8-6 in 19 innings.  Dixie Davis pitched all 19 innings for St. Louis.

• August 19 - Ty Cobb became the fourth player in history to amass 3,000 career hits.

• October 5 - The New York Yankees defeated the New York Giants 3-0 in the first World Series game in franchise history.  The contest was the first to be broadcast on radio.  Announcer Thomas Cowan recreated the game over Westinghouse-owned WJZ in Newark, listening to phoned-in reports from the stadium.

• Yankee pitcher Waite Hoyt won two games and compiled a perfect 0.00 ERA in his three World Series starts but lost the Series finale by a score of 1-0.

• The A's finished last in the American League for an all-time record seventh straight year.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BOS 1623 5202 666 1437 589 .228 248 69 17 83 65 1874 .333 .302 .660 0 0 187
CHA 1630 5319 677 1509 609 .237 242 82 35 94 93 2020 .330 .296 .669 0 0 183
CLE 1758 5376 925 1657 847 .248 355 91 42 51 42 2320 .448 .337 .849 232
DET 1712 5456 887 1723 793 .246 270 99 58 95 89 2365 .386 .320 .755 0 0 227
NYA 1604 5250 948 1576 863 .279 284 87 134 89 64 2436 .367 .390 .758 190
PHA 1680 5455 655 1493 609 .201 255 64 82 69 56 2122 .301 .263 .600 0 0 136
SLA 1715 5446 835 1651 726 .261 246 105 67 91 71 2308 .372 .351 .758 0 0 205
WS1 1629 5292 703 1470 614 .219 242 97 42 112 66 2032 .355 .285 .683 0 0 185

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BOS 236 75 79 1364 446 452 5924 1521 53 65.330 604 695 88 9 5 15 1
CHA 260 62 92 1366 392 549 6105 1603 52 105.510 749 857 84 7 9 23 5
CLE 268 94 60 1377 475 431 5989 1534 43 53.940 597 709 81 11 14 20 3
DET 269 71 82 1386 452 495 6229 1634 71 69.210 678 852 73 4 16 19 7
NYA 249 98 55 1364 481 470 5940 1461 51 53.900 579 706 92 8 15 23 3
PHA 274 53 100 1400 431 548 6280 1645 85 123.990 718 889 75 1 7 34 7
SLA 296 81 73 1379 477 556 6140 1541 71 91.420 707 845 77 9 9 17 4
WS1 262 80 73 1385 452 442 6034 1568 51 58.650 611 738 80 10 10 28 2

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BOS 1528 6211 4087 1967 157 .964 0 0 0 0 12
CHA 1542 6423 4099 2124 200 .968 0 0 0 0 12
CLE 1660 6196 4123 1869 204 .964 0 0 0 0 12
DET 1585 6337 4158 1948 231 .942 0 0 0 0 15
NYA 1532 6275 4090 1965 220 .955 0 0 0 0 13
PHA 1574 6462 4181 2004 277 .935 0 0 0 0 14
SLA 1591 6228 4117 1887 224 .962 0 0 0 0 7
WS1 1529 6294 4140 1920 234 .920 0 0 0 0 8

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1921 World Series, American League, Babe Ruth, Bob Meusel, Bob Shawkey, Bobby Veach, Carl Mays, Dixie Davis, George Sisler, Harry Heilmann, Jack Tobin, Ken Williams, Larry Gardner, New York Giants, New York Yankees, Stan Coveleski, Tris Speaker, Ty Cobb, Waite Hoyt

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