The Yankees’ second season in the Polo Grounds proved to be only slightly more successful than their first, as they finished sixth in the American League, with a record of 70-84. Yet, the Yankees improved their run-differential considerably, scoring 537 times, while allowing their opposition to score a total of 550 runs – 118 fewer than they surrendered the previous year.
New York entered the campaign with a completely revamped roster. Even manager Frank Chance failed to last the entire year, being replaced as skipper by 23-year-old shortstop Roger Peckinpaugh with only 20 games left on the schedule. Peckinpaugh had been acquired from the Cleveland Indians one year earlier, and he gradually worked his way into the starting lineup over the course of that 1913 season. He developed into New York’s leader on the field in 1914, before being assigned the position of interim manager upon Chance’s dismissal. Peckinpaugh, though, displayed little punch at the plate, batting just .223, although he finished second on the team with 38 stolen bases. New York’s leader in that department was third baseman Fritz Maisel, who replaced Birdie Cree as the team’s best player. Although Cree finished first on the club with a .309 batting average, injuries limited him to a total of only 77 games. Meanwhile, Maisel batted just .239, but he led the team with 76 walks, enabling him to compile a very respectable .334 on-base percentage. He also scored a team-leading 78 runs and led the American League with 74 stolen bases.
With Russ Ford having jumped to the rival Federal League during the off-season and Ray Fisher compiling a record of only 10-12, Ray Caldwell emerged as the team’s best pitcher. The right-hander finished 18-9, with a 1.94 ERA, five shutouts, and 22 complete games.
The Yankees’ sixth-place finish and the continued success of the Giants prevented New York’s American League entry from dramatically improving its home attendance. The Yankees drew only about 2,000 more people to the ballpark than they did the previous year, attracting a total of 359,477 fans to the Polo Grounds over the course of the 1914 campaign.By Bob_Cohen
- Birdie Cree, Frank Chance, Fritz Maisel, New York Yankees, Polo Grounds, Ray Caldwell, Ray Fisher, Roger Peckinpaugh, Russ Ford