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Series Wrapup

Story

Coming from behind to catch the Pittsburgh Pirates during the season’s second half, the New York Giants captured the National League pennant in 1921, finishing the campaign with a record of 94-59, four games ahead of second-place Pittsburgh.  The senior circuit’s most well-balanced team, the Giants led the league with 840 runs scored, while also allowing their opponents to score the second-fewest runs in the league (637).   

New York had easily the National League’s deepest lineup.  Shortstop Dave Bancroft batted .318 and scored 121 runs.  Outfielder George Burns batted .299 and crossed the plate 111 times.  First baseman George Kelly batted .308, knocked in 122 runs, and led the league with 23 home runs.  Outfielder Ross Youngs placed among the league leaders with a .327 batting average, 102 runs batted in, and 16 triples.  Second baseman Frankie Frisch was the team’s best player, driving in 100 runs, leading the league with 49 stolen bases, and finishing near the top of the league rankings with a .341 batting average, 121 runs scored, 211 hits, and 17 triples.  Meanwhile, Art Nehf anchored New York’s pitching staff, winning 20 games, throwing 261 innings, and tossing 18 complete games.

The Giants subsequently defeated the Yankees in eight games in the first-ever “Subway Series.”  John McGraw’s ball club overcame a 2-0 deficit to win five of the final six contests, thereby giving McGraw his first world championship since 1905.  Aided by an injury to Babe Ruth that forced the Yankee slugger to sit out the final two games, Giants pitchers held New York’s powerful offense to only one run over the final 18 innings.  The Yankees posted a team batting average of just .207 during the Series, with Giants hurlers Jesse Barnes and Phil Douglas going 4-1 with a combined ERA under 2.00.
 
The Pittsburgh Pirates proved to be New York’s stiffest competition over the course of the regular season, winning 90 games en route to finishing just four games behind the Giants.  The Pirates had the circuit’s best pitching staff, surrendering a league-low 595 runs to their opposition.  Wilbur Cooper tied for the N.L. lead with 22 victories, while Babe Adams (2.64) and Whitey Glazner (2.77) finished second and third in the league in earned run average.

The third-place St. Louis Cardinals, who finished seven games behind pennant-winning New York, had the senior circuit’s best player in Rogers Hornsby.  The St. Louis second baseman dominated the various National League hitting categories, finishing first in everything except home runs and stolen bases.  Hornsby topped the circuit with a .397 batting average, 126 runs batted in, 131 runs scored, 235 hits, 18 triples, 44 doubles, 378 total bases, a .458 on-base percentage, and a .639 slugging percentage.  Hornsby’s 21 home runs also placed him just two four-baggers behind the league-leader in that category.

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

• April 13 - George Toporcer made his major league debut at second base for the St. Louis Cardinals.  Nicknamed "Specs," he was the first position player to wear eye glasses on the field.

• New York Giants outfielder Irish Meusel was the top batsman in the 1921 World Series, collecting 10 hits and seven runs batted in.  His brother Bob played left field for the American League champion New York Yankees.

Bill Doak of the St. Louis Cardinals captured the N.L. ERA title with a mark of 2.58.

 • Brooklyn’s Burleigh Grimes and Pittsburgh’s Wilbur Cooper tied for the league lead with 22 victories.

Batting

TM G AB R H RBI AVG 2B 3B HR SB CS TB OBP SLG OPSLG GIDP SF SH
BRO 1677 5263 667 1476 584 .226 209 85 59 91 73 2032 .328 .292 .642 164
BSN 1712 5385 721 1561 630 .211 209 100 61 94 100 2153 .329 .288 .690 0 0 198
CHN 1727 5321 668 1553 609 .242 234 56 37 70 97 2010 .322 .308 .649 0 0 208
CIN 1601 5112 618 1421 560 .208 221 94 20 117 120 1890 .301 .276 .609 195
NY1 1757 5278 840 1575 748 .228 237 93 75 137 114 2223 .357 .305 .709 166
PHI 1676 5329 617 1512 573 .251 238 50 88 66 80 2114 .334 .332 .697 112
PIT 1580 5379 692 1533 623 .192 231 104 37 134 93 2083 .307 .257 .640 0 0 203
SLN 1812 5309 809 1635 733 .205 260 88 83 94 94 2320 .333 .265 .643 0 0 195

Pitching

Team G W L IP SO BB BF H HR ERA ER R GC SH SV WP BK
BRO 258 77 75 1363 471 361 5874 1556 46 48.830 560 681 82 7 12 23 0
BSN 277 79 74 1385 382 420 5927 1488 54 105.890 600 696 74 11 12 8 3
CHN 273 64 89 1362 441 409 5928 1605 67 73.930 665 775 73 6 7 17 3
CIN 248 70 83 1363 408 305 5730 1500 37 48.290 524 648 83 7 9 18 3
NY1 280 94 59 1373 357 295 5734 1497 79 36.460 542 636 71 8 18 21 2
PHI 261 51 103 1348 333 371 6018 1665 79 57.950 671 919 82 4 8 40 3
PIT 245 90 63 1416 500 322 5886 1448 37 42.650 498 595 88 10 10 19 1
SLN 309 87 66 1370 464 399 5874 1486 61 55.680 552 681 70 9 16 35 3

Fielding

Team ID G TC PO A E Fld% InOuts SB CS CS% PB
BRO 1568 6451 4087 2132 232 .947 0 0 0 0 14
BSN 1590 6396 4157 2040 199 .949 0 0 0 0 8
CHN 1583 6298 4080 2052 166 .958 0 0 0 0 7
CIN 1518 6226 4082 1951 193 .925 0 0 0 0 14
NY1 1625 6426 4111 2128 187 .942 0 0 0 0 8
PHI 1567 6511 4040 2176 295 .941 0 0 0 0 15
PIT 1516 6278 4241 1865 172 .949 0 0 0 0 8
SLN 1665 6287 4108 1960 219 .941 0 0 0 0 17

West

Central

East

Awards

Silver Slugger

Gold Glove

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Tagged:
1921 World Series, Art Nehf, Babe Adams, Babe Ruth, Bill Doak, Burleigh Grimes, Dave Bancroft, Frankie Frisch, George Burns, George Kelly, Irish Meusel, Jesse Barnes, John McGraw, New York Giants, Pete Alexander, Phil Douglas, Rogers Hornsby, Ross Youngs, Specs Toporczer, Whitey Glazner, Wilbur Cooper

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