With Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field opening its gates for the first time in 1913, the crosstown New York Giants captured their third straight National League pennant. The Giants finished the regular season with a record of 101-51, 12 ½ games ahead of the second-place Philadelphia Phillies.
John McGraw’s team featured a typical combination of outstanding pitching and an overachieving lineup that placed among the league leaders in runs scored even though it lacked a true star. Christy Mathewson headed New York’s pitching staff, finishing the year with a record of 25-11, 306 innings pitched, 25 complete games, and a league-leading 2.06 earned run average. Rube Marquard compiled a record of 23-10, while Jeff Tesreau finished 22-13 and placed third in the league with an ERA of 2.17. Outfielder George Burns and second baseman Larry Doyle paced the Giants on offense. Burns finished among the league leaders with 37 doubles and 173 hits, while Doyle placed near the top of the league rankings with 38 stolen bases.
The Giants faced the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series for the second time in three years and once again came up short against Connie Mack’s crew, dropping the Fall Classic in five games. Philadelphia’s pitching staff held New York’s lineup to a team batting average of just .201, sending the Giants down to their third straight World Series defeat. The Detroit Tigers of 1907-1909 remain the only other team to lose three consecutive Fall Classics.
Although the Giants won the N.L. pennant, the senior circuit’s top offensive performer played for the second-place Phillies. Outfielder Gavvy Cravath led the league with 19 home runs, 128 runs batted in, 179 hits, and a .568 slugging percentage, and he finished second in the loop with a .341 batting average. Yet, for some reason, the writers placed Cravath second in the Chalmers Award voting to Brooklyn first baseman Jake Daubert, who led the league with a .350 batting average but posted mediocre numbers in virtually every other offensive category. Making the selection even more dubious was the fact that Brooklyn finished four places and 22 games behind Cravath’s Phillies in the N.L. standings.
Pitching also figured prominently in Philadelphia’s rise to second-place in the standings. Tom Seaton led the National League with 27 wins while posting a 2.60 ERA. Grover Cleveland "Pete" Alexander went 22-8 with a 2.79 ERA.
Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:
• Christy Mathewson's shutout win in Game Two of the World Series gave the Giants their only win in the Fall Classic.
• Mathewson hurled a National League record 68 consecutive innings without giving up a walk. He ended up leading the major leagues in fewest walks per nine innings – an incredible mark of 0.62.
• New manager George Stallings lifted the Braves to fifth place, their highest finish since 1902.
• Honus Wagner batted exactly .300, posting in the process the last .300 batting average of his illustrious career.
• Philadelphia’s Doc Miller established a new major league record by collecting 20 pinch hits.
• The Chicago Cubs sent Hall of Fame shortstop Joe Tinker to the Cincinnati Reds. Tinker subsequently became Cincinnati's manager.
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- 1913 World Series, Christy Mathewson, Doc Miller, Ebbets Field, Fred Luderus, Gavvy Cravath, George Burns, George Stallings, Honus Wagner, Jake Daubert, Jeff Tesreau, Joe Tinker, John McGraw, Larry Doyle, New York Giants, Pete Alexander, Philadelphia Athletics, Rube Marquard, Sherry Magee, Tom Seaton