The Chicago Cubs began a three-year reign as National League champions in 1906, dominating the league with an incredible record of 116-36 that enabled them to finish 20 games ahead of the second-place New York Giants. The Cubs featured outstanding defense and a solid offense that outscored the nearest team by 80 runs. Their lineup included future Hall of Fame infielders Joe Tinker, Johnny Evers, and Frank Chance, with the latter serving as the team’s player-manager. In addition to leading the team to an all-time National League record 116 victories, Chance tied Honus Wagner for the league lead in runs scored (103) and on-base percentage (.406). Meanwhile, third baseman Harry Steinfeldt batted .327 and topped the circuit with 83 runs batted in and 176 hits.
Still, it was the Cubs’ pitching that truly separated them from the rest of the National League. The Cubs had four starters that finished among the league leaders in earned run average, en route to posting an all-time best 1.76 team ERA and allowing their opponents a total of only 381 runs. The best of the Chicago hurlers was Mordecai Brown, who compiled a 26-6 record and a league-leading nine shutouts, completed 27 of his 32 starts, and established a 20th century record by pitching to a 1.04 ERA.
Chicago so dominated the senior circuit that the entire second division – Brooklyn, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Boston – finished 50 or more games off the pace. Yet, the Cubs found themselves victimized in the World Series by the Chicago White Sox, who shocked their crosstown rivals by upsetting them in six games.
Other notable events and outstanding performances from around the league follow:
• On Oct. 10, Cubs hurler Ed Reulbach pitched the first one-hitter in World Series history.
• Joe McGinnity of the New York Giants led the National League with 27 wins.
• New York manager John McGraw engaged in a savage fight with Phillies rookie infielder Paul Sentell.
• By compiling a record of 60-15 on the road, the Cubs posted the best road record in major league history.
• Johnny Lush of the Phillies threw a no-hitter against Brooklyn on May 1.
• Mal Eason of Brooklyn tossed a no-hitter against St. Louis on July 20.
• On May 15, the Giants' Hooks Wiltse became the first pitcher since 1893 to fan seven batters in a row in one game.
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- 1906 World Series, Chicago Cubs, Christy Mathewson, Ed Reulbach, Frank Chance, Harry Steinfeldt, Honus Wagner, Hooks Wiltse, Joe McGinnity, Joe Tinker, John McGraw, Johnny Evers, Johnny Lush, Mal Eason, Mordecai Brown, Paul Sentell