The New York Giants won their third consecutive National League pennant in 1923, finishing 4 ½ games ahead of the second-place Cincinnati Reds, with a record of 95-58. The two-time defending champions topped the senior circuit with 854 runs scored, and they also finished second to the Reds with 679 runs allowed.
The Giants featured a well-balanced attack that included four of the league’s most productive offensive players. Irish Meusel topped the senior circuit with 125 runs batted in. George Kelly placed among the league leaders with 103 RBIs. Ross Youngs batted .336 and led the N.L. with 121 runs scored. Frankie Frisch led the league with 223 hits and 311 total bases, and he also finished among the leaders with 111 runs batted in, a .348 batting average, and 116 runs scored.
The Giants subsequently faced the New York Yankees in the World Series for the third straight year. However, after defeating their American League counterparts in each of the previous two Fall Classics, the Giants came up short in the 1923 Series, falling to their former Polo Grounds co-occupants in six games. The Yankees outscored the Giants by a combined margin of 26-12 over the course of the six contests, to claim their first world championship.
The Cincinnati Reds proved to be New York’s stiffest competition during the regular season, posting 91 victories and surrendering a league-low 629 runs to their opposition. Dolf Luque anchored Cincinnati’s pitching staff, proving to be the senior circuit’s most formidable pitcher over the course of the season. Luque led all N.L. hurlers with 27 wins, a 1.93 ERA, six shutouts, and a .771 winning percentage. He also finished second with 28 complete games and 322 innings pitched. In a year when two National League teams compiled batting averages in excess of .290, opponents hit only .235 off Luque.
Meanwhile, Rogers Hornsby continued to be the senior circuit’s best hitter. Although the St. Louis second baseman appeared in only 107 games due to injury, he led the league with a .384 batting average. Cardinals teammate Jim Bottomley finished second in the batting race with a mark of .371. Philadelphia’s Cy Williams led the league with 41 home runs.
Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:
• September 17 - The New York Giants' George Kelly established a major-league record by hitting home runs in three consecutive innings (3rd, 4th and 5th) against the Chicago Cubs' Vic Aldridge during a 13-6 New York victory. Kelly added a single and double to run his total bases to 15 for the game.
• October 6 - In the fourth inning of the second game of a doubleheader, Boston Braves shortstop Ernie Padgett turned the fourth unassisted triple play in major league history in a 4-1 Braves win over the Philadelphia Phillies.
• In addition to winning his fourth consecutive batting title with a mark of .384, Rogers Hornsby led the National League with a .459 on-base percentage and a .627 slugging percentage.
• Cy Williams’ 41 homers left him just one shy of Hornsby’s then-N.L. record of 42.
- 1923 World Series, Cy Williams, Dolf Luque, Ernie Padgett, Frankie Frisch, George Kelly, Irish Meusel, Jim Bottomley, John McGraw, Max Carey, New York Giants, Rogers Hornsby, Ross Youngs, Vic Aldridge