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Series Wrapup

Story

With the short-lived Federal League folding prior to the start of the 1916 campaign, Charles H. Weeghman, former president of the upstart league’s Chicago Whales franchise, agreed to purchase the National League’s Chicago Cubs from Charles P. Taft for $500,000.  Weeghman, owner of a popular restaurant chain, headed a syndicate that also included chewing gum manufacturer William Wrigley Jr.  Whales manager Joe Tinker subsequently replaced Roger Bresnahan as skipper of the Cubs, who began playing their home games in the Federal League’s newly-built ballpark on the North Side of Chicago in 1916.  The ballpark became known as Wrigley Field shortly thereafter.  Weeghman became the first owner to officially allow fans to keep any and all balls hit into the stands.

Meanwhile, on the playing field, Brooklyn won its first pennant since the days of Ned Hanlon in 1900, finishing the regular season 2 ½ games ahead of second-place Philadelphia, with a record of 94-60.  Featuring the National League’s second-best offense, Brooklyn’s lineup included two of the senior circuit’s top players.  Fan favorite Zach Wheat batted .312, collected 32 doubles and 13 triples, and posted a league-leading .461 slugging average.  Two-time N.L. batting champion Jake Daubert finished second to Hal Chase in the batting race with a mark of .316.

Brooklyn subsequently lost the World Series to the Boston Red Sox in five games, scoring a total of only 13 runs and posting a team batting average of just .200 during the Fall Classic.  The Robins, as they were known in 1916, earned their only win of the Series in Game Three, edging out the Red Sox by a score of 4-3.     

The second-place Phillies featured the National League’s best pitcher in Grover Cleveland Alexander, who topped the senior circuit in every major statistical category for the second consecutive year.  In addition to leading the league with 33 wins and a 1.55 ERA, Alexander finished first with 167 strikeouts, 388 innings pitched, 38 complete games, and a major league record 16 shutouts.

Meanwhile, John McGraw’s New York Giants unquestionably established themselves as the National League’s strangest team over the course of the season.  Finishing fourth in the league with a record of 86-66, the Giants opened the campaign with eight straight home losses.  They followed that up with a 17-game winning streak on the road, before slumping again.  Trying to rebuild his club at midseason, McGraw inserted young outfielder Dave Robertson into the lineup, released catcher Chief Meyers, traded Fred Merkle to Brooklyn, and dealt Larry Doyle to Chicago for legendary hothead Heinie Zimmerman.  McGraw sent the great Christy Mathewson to Cincinnati to take over for player/manager Buck Herzog, receiving in return Herzog and Red Killefer.

McGraw’s reshuffling enabled the Giants to go on an all-time record 26-game winning streak, with all their wins coming at home.  Nevertheless, the Giants’ poor performance before and after the streak allowed them to finish no higher than fourth.

Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:

• The Boston Braves pulled off a triple steal in the 11th inning of a game against the New York Giants on June 22, en route to defeating the Giants by a score of 3-1.  The base-running feat remains the only extra-inning triple steal in National League history.

• William Fischer of the Chicago Cubs established a major league record on June 28 by catching all 27 innings during a loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

• Cincinnati’s Hal Chase led the National League with a .339 batting average and 184 hits.

• The St. Louis Cardinals raided the crosstown Browns, stealing their manager Branch Rickey to run their front office.

• Hall of Fame second baseman Rogers Hornsby played his first full season in St. Louis, batting .313 for the Cardinals.

Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown recorded the last of his 239 career victories for the Chicago Cubs.  Brown ended his career with a record of 239-130, with an ERA of 2.06 – the third-lowest in history.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1657 5234 585 1366 493 .211 195 80 28 187 46 1805 .342 .272 .677 203
BSN 1726 5075 542 1181 472 .200 166 73 22 141 15 1559 .296 .260 .567 202
CHN 1796 5179 520 1237 456 .204 194 56 46 133 55 1681 .279 .269 .561 0 0 166
CIN 1710 5254 505 1336 422 .220 187 88 14 157 23 1741 .299 .307 .627 0 0 127
NY1 1678 5152 597 1305 500 .200 188 74 42 206 93 1767 .329 .256 .620 0 0 134
PHI 1646 4985 581 1244 486 .169 223 53 42 149 78 1699 .303 .221 .598 0 0 179
PIT 1740 5181 484 1246 406 .188 147 91 20 173 35 1635 .300 .239 .570 166
SLN 1784 5030 476 1223 413 .224 155 74 25 182 58 1601 .313 .266 .589 116

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 248 94 60 1427 634 372 5725 1201 24 25.560 336 467 96 22 9 34 2
BSN 240 89 63 1415 644 325 5612 1206 24 24.730 345 453 97 21 11 23 2
CHN 275 67 86 1415 616 365 5792 1265 32 29.910 417 541 72 17 13 37 0
CIN 253 60 93 1408 569 461 5867 1356 35 56.710 485 617 86 6 6 29 1
NY1 258 86 66 1399 638 310 5651 1267 41 32.720 404 503 88 22 12 38 2
PHI 232 91 62 1383 601 295 5569 1238 28 36.080 362 489 97 25 9 34 2
PIT 259 65 89 1420 596 443 5846 1277 24 47.180 436 586 88 10 7 21 7
SLN 280 60 93 1355 529 445 5682 1331 31 55.400 473 629 58 10 15 29 3

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 1568 6393 4259 1910 224 .971 0 0 0 0 19
BSN 1618 6507 4243 2052 212 .934 0 0 0 0 17
CHN 1661 6680 4239 2155 286 .946 0 0 0 0 20
CIN 1580 6526 4207 2091 228 .959 0 0 0 0 19
NY1 1573 6432 4184 2031 217 .947 0 0 0 0 17
PHI 1541 6379 4140 2005 234 .953 0 0 0 0 26
PIT 1618 6413 4251 1902 260 .934 0 0 0 0 19
SLN 1656 6403 4049 2076 278 .935 0 0 0 0 22

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1916 World Series, Branch Rickey, Brooklyn Robins, Buck Herzog, Charles Taft, Charles Weeghman, Chicago Cubs, Chief Meyers, Christy Mathewson, Dave Robertson, Fred Merkle, Hal Chase, Heinie Zimmerman, Jake Daubert, Joe Tinker, John McGraw, Larry Doyle, Mordecai Brown, Ned Hanlon, New York Giants, Pete Alexander, Red Killefer, Roger Bresnahan, Rogers Hornsby, William Fischer, William Wrigley Jr., Wrigley Field, Zach wheat

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