September 29, 2020

Hardball Retrospective – 1901 Season Replay

March 28, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition.  Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.

Using a modified version of the Lahman Database (with the ballplayers linked to their original franchises), I imported the players into Digital Diamond Baseball and conducted a full-season replay with the as-played 1901 schedule.

Several housekeeping items:

  • American League schedule was omitted from the 1901 season replay due to a lack of ballplayers on each team.
  • Players on defunct teams such as Cy Young (Cleveland Spiders), Honus Wagner (Louisville Colonels) and Jesse Burkett (Indianapolis Hoosiers) are excluded because their original team’s league ceased to exist by 1901.
  • I attempted to emulate player usage in the DDBB replay to real-life usage whenever possible.

This series of articles will reveal the results for each season replay and compare the outcomes to the OPW%, OWAR and OWS standings from Hardball Retrospective. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. Additional information and a discussion forum are available at


OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams

OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams

OPW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “original” teams

1901 National League – Replay Results

The Philadelphia Phillies coasted to the 1901 National League pennant as the Pittsburgh Pirates finished 24 games in arrears. Phillies’ second-sacker Nap Lajoie paced the Senior Circuit with a .431 BA, .481 OBP, .617 SLG, 139 runs and 243 base hits. “Smiling” Al Orth (30-6, 2.63) led the League in victories and placed third in ERA behind teammate Bill Duggleby (23-5, 2.52) and Bucs’ right-hander “Happy” Jack Chesbro (18-13, 2.33). “Big” Ed Delahanty (.339/5/123) topped the leader boards in RBI, laced 199 base knocks and nabbed 27 bags. Elmer Flick boasted a .325 BA and surpassed the century mark in runs scored along with Lajoie and Delahanty. Roy A. Thomas contributed a .328 BA, led the League with 95 bases on balls and supplied the second-highest OBP (.441).

Pittsburgh’s lineup featured five batsmen who eclipsed the .300 mark in batting average and three tallied more than 90 aces. George Van Haltren recorded 199 safeties and batted at a .339 clip. Bert Husting matched Chesbro with 18 victories and furnished a 2.97 ERA. Jimmy Collins (.335/8/99) manned the hot corner for the Beaneaters. He clubbed 48 two-baggers and placed among the top ten in several offensive categories. Vic Willis paced the pitching staff with a 21-16 record and a 3.02 ERA.

Jimmy Sheckard (.390/15/120) enjoyed a banner year at the dish, leading the circuit in triples (26) and home runs while placing in the top five in almost every major offensive category. “Honest” John Anderson (.314/12/109) swiped 27 bags and topped the leader boards with 53 doubles. Second sacker Tom Daly slashed 40 two-base hits, legged out 17 triples and led the Cubs with a .351 BA.

“Turkey” Mike Donlin (.361/7/81) registered 219 base knocks and scored 113 runs for the Cardinals. Socks Seybold tied Donlin for third place in the batting race while Reds’ teammate Sam Crawford posted a .324 BA with 20 triples. Noodles Hahn (25-20, 3.07) finished second in victories and strikeouts (136). “Wee” Willie Keeler sparked the Giants offense with a .358 BA, 230 safeties and 108 aces.

1901 National League – Hardball Retro Replay – Final Standings

1901 NL Batting Leaders 1901 NL Pitching Leaders
Team Batting Team Pitching
1901 Boston Beaneaters 1901 Boston Beaneaters
1901 Brooklyn Superbas 1901 Brooklyn Superbas
1901 Chicago Orphans 1901 Chicago Orphans
1901 Cincinnati Reds 1901 Cincinnati Reds
1901 New York Giants 1901 New York Giants
1901 Philadelphia Phillies 1901 Philadelphia Phillies
1901 Pittsburgh Pirates 1901 Pittsburgh Pirates
1901 St. Louis Cardinals 1901 St. Louis Cardinals

Replay Results vs. Hardball Retrospective Findings

The Beaneaters edged the Phillies by one game in the Pythagorean Win Percentage (OPW%) standings with a record of 78-62 (.557). Philadelphia (46.2) collected top honors in OWAR with Brooklyn (43) placing runner-up while the Superbas logged the highest OWS score (277). Based on the replay results, the Phillies’ OWAR totals compared favorably with the squad’s dominant season in the DDBB replay.

On Deck

1902 Season Replay

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database


James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.

Retrosheet – Transactions Database

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive

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