The New York Giants warded off challenges from Brooklyn and Pittsburgh to capture their fourth straight National League pennant in 1924. New York finished the regular season with a record of 93-60, just 1 ½ games in front of second-place Brooklyn and only three games ahead of third-place Pittsburgh.
Once again the National League’s most well-balanced team, the Giants topped the senior circuit with 857 runs scored, while also finishing third in the league with 641 runs allowed. The quartet of Irish Meusel, George Kelly, Ross Youngs, and Frankie Frisch paced the Giants on offense. Meusel batted .310 and knocked in 102 runs. Kelly hit 21 home runs, batted .324 and led the league with 136 runs batted in. Youngs scored 112 runs and placed among the league leaders with a .356 batting average. Frisch batted .328, collected 198 hits, and scored a league-leading 121 runs.
The Giants subsequently faced the surprising Washington Senators in what turned out to be one of the closest World Series ever. Four of the games were decided by one run, and two went into extra innings. After the two teams split the first six games, the Senators won their first world championship in the 12th inning of Game Seven when two ground balls took bad hops over the head of New York third baseman Fred Lindstrom. Washington also benefited from misplays by New York catcher Hank Gowdy and shortstop Travis Jackson.
Although the Giants ended up representing the National League in the Fall Classic, they spent most of the year battling the Brooklyn Robins (a.k.a. Dodgers) and the Pittsburgh Pirates for the top spot in the senior circuit.
Outfielders Kiki Cuyler and Max Carey paced Pittsburgh on offense. Rookie Cuyler batted .354, knocked in 85 runs, scored 94 others, and accumulated 16 triples and 32 stolen bases in only 117 games. Carey batted .297, scored 113 runs, and led the league with 49 stolen bases.
Brooklyn received outstanding seasons from first baseman Jack Fournier and outfielder Zach Wheat. Fournier led the National League with 27 home runs and finished second with 116 runs batted in. Wheat knocked in 97 runs and placed second in the league to Rogers Hornsby with 212 hits and a .375 batting average. Meanwhile, the pitching duo of Burleigh Grimes and Dazzy Vance combined to win 50 games, throw 620 innings, and toss 60 complete games for Brooklyn. Vance was particularly effective, leading all N.L. hurlers with a record of 28-6, a 2.16 ERA, 262 strikeouts, and 30 complete games, en route to earning the first MVP Award presented in the senior circuit.
Although his St. Louis Cardinals finished a distant sixth in the N.L. standings, 28 ½ games behind the pennant-winning Giants, Rogers Hornsby remained the league’s best hitter. The second baseman compiled the highest batting average of his career, leading the league in hitting for the fifth straight time, with a mark of .424. Hornsby also topped the circuit with 121 runs scored, 227 base hits, 43 doubles, 373 total bases, a .507 on-base percentage, and a .696 slugging percentage.
Other outstanding performers, notable events, and points of interest from around the league follow:
• July 17 - Jesse Haines of the St. Louis Cardinals pitched a no-hitter against the Boston Braves in a 5-0 win.
• September 16 - St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Jim Bottomley drove in 12 runs in the Cardinals' 17-3 victory over the Brooklyn Robins.
• September 20 - Grover Cleveland Alexander of the Chicago Cubs recorded the 300th victory of his career.
• John McGraw won his National League record 10th and last pennant.
• Heinie Groh of the New York Giants compiled a .983 fielding percentage, setting in the process a new major league record for third basemen.
• The Giants' Jimmy O'Connell became the last major leaguer to be banned for life while still active. His banishment resulted from an oral bribe he made to a Phillies player on the last weekend of the season.
• Pittsburgh Pirates centerfielder Max Carey led National League outfielders in chances accepted a league record ninth time.
• Fred Lindstrom of the Giants, age 18, became the youngest player to participate in a World Series.
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- 1924 World Series, Burleigh Grimes, Dazzy Vance, Frankie Frisch, Freddie Lindstrom, George Kelly, Hank Gowdy, Heinie Groh, Irish Meusel, Jack Fournier, Jesse Haines, Jim Bottomley, John McGraw, Kiki Cuyler, Max Carey, New York Giants, Pete Alexander, Rogers Hornsby, Ross Youngs, Travis Jackson, Zach wheat