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Series Wrapup

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With no one comparable to Babe Ruth performing in the National League, offensive numbers rose more gradually in the senior circuit than in the A.L. in 1920.  Philadelphia Phillies outfielder Cy Williams led the N.L. with only 15 home runs, while Rogers Hornsby and George Kelly topped the circuit with just 94 runs batted in.  Nevertheless, the rule changes implemented prior to the start of the campaign significantly enhanced overall offensive numbers throughout the league.  Whereas National League clubs combined to score only 4,071 runs the previous year, they tallied a total of 4,893 runs in 1920.  The New York Giants led the charge, scoring a league-leading 682 runs.  They were followed closely by the St. Louis Cardinals (675) and the Brooklyn Robins (660), who also allowed the fewest runs of any team in the league (528).  Brooklyn’s solid offense and league-leading pitching staff enabled them to capture their second National League pennant in four years.  The Robins finished the regular season with a record of 93-61, seven games ahead of the second-place Giants.

Outfielders Hy Myers and Zach Wheat paced Brooklyn on offense.  Myers batted .304, scored 83 runs, led the club with 80 runs batted in and 36 doubles, and topped the senior circuit with 22 triples.  Wheat placed among the league leaders with a .328 batting average, 89 runs scored, and 191 hits.  Meanwhile, Burleigh Grimes anchored Brooklyn’s pitching staff, going 23-11, with a 2.22 ERA, 25 complete games, and 303 innings pitched.

Brooklyn subsequently lost the World Series to the Cleveland Indians, five games to two, before entering into a dark period in team history that saw them fail to return to the Fall Classic for another 21 years.

Meanwhile, the runner-up Giants, whose lineup included emerging stars Frankie Frisch, Ross Youngs, and George Kelly, were on the verge of establishing a mini-dynasty in the senior circuit that captured the next four National League pennants.

Still, the two best players in the league in 1920 performed for other teams.  Playing for the fifth-place St. Louis Cardinals, who finished 18 games behind pennant-winning Brooklyn, Rogers Hornsby established himself as the senior circuit’s top hitter.  Hornsby led the league with a .370
batting average, 94 runs batted in, 218 hits, 44 doubles, 329 total bases, a .431 on-base percentage, and a .559 slugging percentage.  He also placed among the leaders with 20 triples and 96 runs scored.
     
The National League’s other top player was Grover Cleveland Alexander, who pitched for a Chicago Cubs team that tied St. Louis for fifth-place in the final standings.  Despite battling alcoholism and epileptic seizures, the 33-year-old right-hander topped all N.L. hurlers with 27 wins, a 1.91 ERA, 173 strikeouts, 363 innings pitched, and 33 complete games.  

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

• May 1 - Leon Cadore of Brooklyn and Joe Oeschger of Boston both pitched all 26 innings of a 1-1 tie.

• October 2 - Pittsburgh and Cincinnati played the last major league tripleheader.

• The Giants' Benny Kauff was banned during the season after he was tried for being part of a stolen car ring; Kauff was found not guilty.

•Philadelphia’s Gene Paulette was banned for allegedly betting on games in 1919.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1671 5399 660 1493 566 .248 205 99 28 70 80 1980 .356 .330 .699 189
BSN 1655 5218 523 1358 456 .192 168 86 23 88 98 1767 .320 .256 .605 0 166
CHN 1638 5117 619 1350 536 .216 223 67 34 115 129 1809 .328 .279 .649 220
CIN 1582 5176 639 1432 546 .264 169 76 18 158 128 1807 .336 .320 .656 0 0 194
NY1 1700 5309 682 1427 590 .185 210 76 46 131 113 1927 .305 .231 .579 124
PHI 1679 5264 565 1385 483 .203 229 54 64 100 83 1914 .285 .271 .578 159
PIT 1621 5219 530 1342 449 .193 162 90 16 181 117 1732 .324 .249 .600 174
SLN 1743 5495 675 1589 600 .215 238 96 32 126 114 2115 .351 .268 .671 0 0 192

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 248 93 61 1428 553 327 5848 1381 25 23.570 416 530 89 17 10 29 3
BSN 226 62 90 1387 368 415 5864 1464 39 44.810 545 670 93 13 6 27 1
CHN 247 75 79 1389 508 382 5859 1459 37 78.780 504 635 95 13 9 22 1
CIN 236 82 71 1392 435 393 5742 1327 26 40.920 448 569 90 11 9 21 4
NY1 258 86 68 1408 380 297 5762 1379 44 40.420 439 543 86 17 9 23 3
PHI 255 62 91 1380 419 444 5906 1480 35 42.840 557 714 77 6 11 26 2
PIT 240 79 75 1415 444 280 5796 1389 25 44.850 454 552 92 17 10 27 2
SLN 290 75 79 1428 529 479 6100 1488 30 104.360 544 682 72 9 12 23 6

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 1584 6560 4277 2057 226 .941 0 0 0 0 19
BSN 1534 6614 4163 2212 239 .936 0 0 0 0 5
CHN 1548 6513 4163 2125 225 .936 0 0 0 0 9
CIN 1520 6305 4181 1924 200 .948 0 0 0 0 11
NY1 1603 6682 4232 2240 210 .956 0 0 0 0 15
PHI 1547 6476 4127 2117 232 .957 0 0 0 0 21
PIT 1515 6401 4240 1975 186 .974 0 0 0 0 10
SLN 1631 6642 4277 2109 256 .953 0 0 0 0 18

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1920 World Series, Benny Kauff, Brooklyn Robins, Burleigh Grimes, Cy Williams, Frankie Frisch, Gene Paulette, George Kelly, Hy Myers, Joe Oeschger, Leon Cadore, Pete Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Ross Youngs, Zach wheat

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