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Series Wrapup

Story

With World War I drawing to a close in Europe and team owners worried about their patriotic image, the baseball establishment decided to limit the 1919 season to 140 games.  The Cincinnati Reds posted the National League’s best record over the course of the abbreviated campaign, finishing the regular season with a record of 96-44, nine games in front of the second-place New York Giants.  

A well-balanced ball club, the Reds placed second in the senior circuit in runs scored and allowed the fewest runs of any team in either league.  Edd Roush paced Cincinnati on offense, winning his second batting title with a mark of .321, while also finishing among the league leaders in runs batted in, runs scored, hits, triples, total bases, and slugging percentage.  Meanwhile, Cincinnati’s league-leading pitching staff included 20-game winners Slim Sallee and Hod Eller, as well as Dutch Ruether, who recorded the third-lowest ERA in the league with a mark of 1.81.

The Reds subsequently defeated the Chicago White Sox in the World Series, five games to three, in what turned out to be one of the darkest moments in the history of the national pastime.  Referred to down through the years as the “Black Sox Scandal,” the 1919 World Series will long live in infamy as the Series eight members of the White Sox intentionally lost after they accepted bribes from known gamblers.

Although the Reds clearly established themselves as the class of the National League over the course of the regular season, the second-place New York Giants had the top offense in the senior circuit.  George Burns led the league with 40 stolen bases, 86 runs scored, and 82 walks.  Budding star Ross Youngs topped the circuit with 31 doubles and finished third in the league with a .311 batting average.

Meanwhile, the third-place Chicago Cubs had the league’s two best pitchers in Grover Cleveland Alexander and Hippo Vaughn.  Dealt to the Cubs from the Phillies just prior to entering the military one year earlier, Alexander won 16 games despite pitching for the league’s lowest scoring team.  He also completed 20 games and led all N.L. hurlers with a 1.72 ERA and nine shutouts.  Vaughn won 21 games, placed second in the league to Alexander with an ERA of 1.79, threw 25 complete games, and topped the circuit with 141 strikeouts and 307 innings pitched.

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

• February 5 - Charges brought in 1918 by Reds owner Garry Herrmann and manager Christy Mathewson against Hal Chase for betting against his team and throwing games in collusion with gamblers were dismissed by National League president John Heydler.

• March 7 - Christy Mathewson, back from World War I, rejoined the Giants as pitching coach and heir apparent to John McGraw.

• Hod Eller of the Reds established himself as the pitching star of the 1919 World Series, earning two complete-game victories.

• On September 28, the Giants beat the Phillies 6-1 in a record 51 minutes.

• The Giants released Hal Chase, Heinie Zimmerman, and Jean Dubuc for suspicions of conspiring to fix games.  None of the three men ever played in the major leagues again.

• Ed Konetchy of Brooklyn established a 20th-Century National League record by collecting 10 consecutive hits.

• Cincinnati’s Hod Eller tossed a no-hitter versus the Cardinals on May 11.

• Philadelphia’s Gavvy Cravath led the National League with 12 home runs despite compiling only 214 at-bats.

• New St. Louis Cardinals player-manager Rogers Hornsby finished second in the National League with a .318 batting average.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1466 4844 525 1272 452 .203 167 66 25 112 1646 .288 .254 .573 153
BSN 1512 4746 465 1201 399 .218 142 62 24 145 1539 .312 .270 .606 156
CHN 1470 4581 454 1174 387 .211 166 58 21 150 1519 .325 .264 .620 167
CIN 1423 4577 578 1204 489 .212 135 83 20 143 1565 .323 .285 .644 199
NY1 1506 4664 605 1254 505 .191 204 64 40 157 0 1706 .318 .240 .611 0 0 128
PHI 1455 4746 510 1191 436 .259 208 50 42 114 0 1625 .328 .337 .686 0 0 123
PIT 1410 4538 472 1132 394 .206 130 82 17 196 0 1477 .298 .266 .575 0 0 143
SLN 1580 4588 463 1175 398 .218 163 52 18 148 0 1496 .314 .274 .597 0 0 142

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 191 69 71 1281 476 292 5271 1256 21 28.900 389 513 98 12 1 22 3
BSN 214 57 82 1271 374 337 5298 1313 29 47.730 447 563 79 5 9 29 3
CHN 219 75 65 1265 495 294 5109 1127 14 42.800 311 407 80 21 5 20 1
CIN 214 96 44 1274 407 298 5063 1104 21 22.290 316 401 89 23 9 12 2
NY1 236 87 53 1256 340 305 5148 1153 34 82.300 377 470 72 11 13 11 1
PHI 195 47 90 1251 397 408 5371 1391 40 95.810 576 699 93 6 2 34 5
PIT 193 71 68 1249 391 263 5030 1113 23 37.300 400 466 91 15 4 18 0
SLN 275 54 83 1218 414 415 5084 1146 25 72.090 437 552 55 6 8 37 6

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 1373 5929 3835 1876 218 .940 0 0 0 0 17
BSN 1408 6015 3807 2004 204 .968 0 0 0 0 12
CHN 1390 5927 3789 1952 186 .953 0 0 0 0 6
CIN 1375 5819 3821 1846 152 .940 0 0 0 0 16
NY1 1425 5969 3756 1997 216 .932 0 0 0 0 16
PHI 1358 5913 3752 1942 219 .958 0 0 0 0 19
PIT 1351 5581 3746 1669 166 .955 0 0 0 0 6
SLN 1446 5820 3637 1966 217 .933 0 0 0 0 13

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1919 World Series, Black Sox Scandal, Chicago White Sox, Christy Mathewson, Cincinnati Reds, Dutch Ruether, Ed Konetchy, Edd Roush, Garry Herrmann, Gavvy Cravath, George Burns, Hal Chase, Heinie Zimmerman, Hippo Vaughn, Hod Eller, Jean Dubuc, John Heydler, Pete Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Ross Youngs, Slim Sallee

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