The Philadelphia Athletics won the second pennant of their history in 1905, having won their first title in 1902, by losing four fewer games than their nearest rivals, the Chicago White Sox, while tying them with 92 wins. Like their NL opponents, the Athletics were led by a manager who was starting to build his legend, Connie Mack, and were characterized by spectacular pitching backed by solid - if underrated - hitting.
Philadelphia boasted two 20-game winners who would end up in the Hall of Fame, in Eddie Plank (24-12, 2.26) and Rube Waddell (27-10, 1.48). They were complemented by Andy Coakley (18-8, 1.84), Chief Bender, who posted an 18-11 record with a 2.83 ERA, and Weldon Henley who must have pitched in some of the worst luck of all time to finish the year with a 4-11 record in spite of a 2.60 ERA. Waddell was the most electrifying of the group, with his league-leading ERA coupled with 287 strikeouts (77 more than Plank, who finished second in the AL). Unfortunately, he was also an immature man with a bad drinking problem, and a few days before the World Series were to begin, he hurt his pitching shoulder by falling on it while horsing around with teammates on a train station platform, and could not be used at all.
The Athletics' offense was based on power (in this case, hitting doubles), and decent averages - they hit .255 as a team, while the AL average was .241. The offense was very well balanced. Their best hitter was 1B Harry Davis, who hit .284 with a league-leading 8 home runs, 83 RBI and 92 runs scored, in addition to 36 stolen bases. The other big batters were 2B Danny Murphy (.278, 6, 71), 3B Lave Cross (.266 and 77 RBI) and RF Socks Seybold (.270, 6, 59). None of the four would do much of anything against the Giants' pitching, however, which explains why the Athletics were unable to put any runs on the board. One hitter who did manage to create a few sparks was lead-off hitter LF Topsy Hartsel: in the regular season, he hit .276 with 121 bases on balls - almost twice as many as his nearest rival in the league - and 36 stolen bases, then hit .294 in the World Series, by far the best performance on the team. CF Danny Hoffman led the league with 46 stolen bases, but he was injured and would only be used once in the World Series, as a pinch hitter; he was replaced by 21-year old rookie Bris Lord, a .239 hitter with no power who took over the second spot of the batting order. SS was shared by two glove men, 19-year old rookie Joe Knight, who hit .203, and Monte Cross, who hit .270 in part-time play after hitting below .200 as a regular the previous season; Monte Cross would start all of the World Series' games. Catching duties were split between Ossee Schreckengost, a .272 hitter with some defensive challenges, and Mike "Doc" Powers an outstanding fielder who only hit .156 during the season.By BR Bullpen
- 1905 World Series, Andy Coakley, Bris Lord, Chief Bender, Connie Mack, Danny Hoffman, Danny Murphy, Eddie Plank, Harry Davis, Monte Cross, Ossee Schreckengost, Rube Waddell, Weldon Henley