After three straight losing seasons, the Highlanders returned to prominence in the American League in 1910, posting a very respectable 88-63 record. Unfortunately for New York, Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics finished 14 ½ games ahead of them, with an exceptional mark of 102-48. Nevertheless, the Highlanders made great strides, placing second to the A’s while compiling the third best record in their eight-year history. In spite of his team’s improved play, owner Bill Devery elected to replace manager George Stallings at the helm with only 14 games left on the schedule, assigning Hal Chase the task of serving as the club’s player/manager.
The 27-year-old Chase had a solid year for the Highlanders, posting a batting average of .290 and leading the team with 73 runs batted in and 40 stolen bases. Outfielder Harry Wolter chipped in with 39 steals and a team-leading 84 runs scored. Meanwhile, second-year outfielder Birdie Cree batted .287, stole 28 bases, tied Chase for the team lead with 73 runs batted in, and led the club with 16 triples.
The team made its greatest improvement, though, on the mound. Right-hander Jack Quinn compiled a record of 18-12 in his first full season, along with a 2.37 ERA and 20 complete games. After making a brief appearance with the ball club two years earlier, Hippo Vaughn won 13 games, while completing 18 of his starts and posting an exceptional 1.83 ERA. However, New York’s best pitcher was right-hander Russ Ford, who led the team in every major statistical category. The 27-year-old rookie finished 26-6, with a 1.65 ERA, 209 strikeouts, eight shutouts, 29 complete games, and 300 innings pitched. Ford gave the Highlanders the ace their pitching staff lacked the previous two seasons, helping them advance three places in the American League standings.By Bob_Cohen
- Bill Devery, Birdie Cree, Connie Mack, George Stallings, Hal Chase, Harry Wolter, Hippo Vaughn, Jack Quinn, New York Highlanders, New York Yankees, Russ Ford