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After finishing second in the American League with 88 victories the previous year, the Highlanders played mediocre ball throughout the 1911 campaign, ending the season in sixth place in the junior circuit, with a record of 76-76. Player/manager Hal Chase seemed unable to inspire his teammates in his first full year in his dual role, although the Highlanders did manage to establish a new franchise record by scoring 684 runs. Unfortunately, they also surrendered 723 runs to the opposition – the most in team history.
Jack Quinn and Hippo Vaughn served as the primary culprits for New York’s decreased proficiency on the mound. Quinn, who won 18 games and compiled a 2.37 ERA the prior year, finished just 8-10 with a 3.76 ERA. Vaughn also finished 8-10, while posting an ERA of 4.39, after winning 13 games and compiling a mark of 1.83 one year earlier. Rookie right-hander Ray Caldwell picked up some of the slack, winning 14 games and posting a respectable 3.35 ERA. The team’s top performer, though, was once again Russ Ford, who led the staff with a record of 22-11, an ERA of 2.27, 26 complete games, and 281 innings pitched.
Although New York’s total of 684 runs scored represented the most in team history, three other American League teams scored more runs, preventing the Highlanders’ offense from carrying them to anything more than a sixth-place finish. Hal Chase didn’t seem to let his role as manager affect his play on the field, posting one of his finest offensive seasons-to-date by batting .315, knocking in 62 runs, scoring 82 others, accumulating 32 doubles, and stealing 36 bases. Third baseman Roy Hartzell batted .296 and led the team with 91 runs batted in. Meanwhile, outfielder Birdie Cree served as the team’s primary offensive threat for the second consecutive season by driving in 88 runs and leading the club with a .348 batting average, a .415 on-base percentage, 181 hits, 90 runs scored, 22 triples, and 48 stolen bases.By Bob_Cohen