Hardball Retrospective – 1915 Season Replay
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. Therefore, Babe Ruth is listed on the Red Sox roster for the duration of his career while the Indians claim Ray Chapman and the Browns declare George Sisler. 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 1915 schedule. The “Player Libraries” which include the Opening Day rosters, lineups and starting rotations for each season replay (1901-1910) are available on the Digital Diamond Baseball website via the following link:
A few housekeeping items:
- Players on defunct teams such as Honus Wagner and Tommy Leach (Louisville Colonels) 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.
- I included Federal League statistics for “Original” players on the 1915 rosters. However I restricted their usage with a handful of exceptions.
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. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.
Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.
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
1915 Replay Results
The Red Sox kept pace with the Tigers for the majority of the campaign, but Detroit earned the pennant by 5.5 games. Ty Cobb (.369/3/103) collected the batting title while leading the circuit in base hits (220), OBP (.473) and SLG (.489). “The Georgia Peach” tied teammate Donie Bush for the stolen base lead with 49. Bobby Veach (.318/2/124) topped the AL in RBI and doubles (42) along with placing in the top five for batting average, OBP and SLG. Hook Dauss notched 20 victories for the Tigers’ mound crew. Babe Ruth completed 24 of 26 starts and compiled a 19-6 record with a League-best 2.22 ERA. Gavvy Cravath launched 17 long balls, plated 111 baserunners and registered 114 tallies. Duffy Lewis rapped 40 two-base knocks while fellow outfielder Tris Speaker nabbed 46 bags and accrued 113 aces. Athletics’ second-sacker Eddie Collins led the League with 155 runs scored and finished runner-up in batting average (.323), OBP (.434), base hits (203) and walks (123). Yankees’ right-hander “Salida” Tom Hughes manufactured a 20-10 record with the second-best ERA (2.33) in the League. Fritz Maisel anchored the hot corner and pilfered 46 bases for the New Yorkers.
White Sox first baseman Chick Gandil topped the leader boards with 23 triples. Joe Benz fashioned a 2.81 ERA and recorded 17 victories. Browns’ leadoff man Burt Shotton paced the League with 127 bases on balls. Carl Weilman earned 19 wins and sported an ERA of 2.57. Ray Chapman laced 18 three-base hits for the hapless Indians. Tillie Walker clubbed 8 round-trippers for the last-place Senators. Howie Shanks drove in 109 baserunners while Clyde Milan scored 104 runs and stole 48 bases. Walter “Big Train” Johnson (23-14, 2.71) led the circuit in victories, innings pitched (342.2) and complete games (34).
The Pirates claimed 10 victories in 11 mid-July contests to distance the club from their competitors. Pittsburgh registered 101 wins and cruised to the pennant over Cincinnati and New York. Al Mamaux (25-5, 1.98) led the NL in victories and tied Pete Alexander for the ERA title. Red Faber contributed 23 wins and Sherry Smith posted a 2.50 ERA for the Bucs. Max Carey swiped 42 bags and tallied 100 runs. Rube Benton and Bill Doak notched 20-win seasons for the runner-up Reds. “Wahoo” Sam Crawford led the Senior Circuit with a .436 SLG and 22 triples along with second-place finishes in OBP (.367) and runs scored (102). Dave Robertson (40 SB), Larry Doyle (39) and Fred Merkle (38) paced the Giants’ base running brigade. Jeff Tesreau compiled a 22-14 mark with a 2.50 ERA and Dick Rudolph added 21 wins for the New York crew.
Braves’ right fielder Tommy Griffith captured the batting crown with a .316 average and collected a League-leading 207 base knocks. Rabbit Maranville topped the charts with 103 runs scored. Zip Zabel furnished a 23-19 mark with a 2.66 ERA for the Robins. Shortstop Bob Fisher delivered a .304 BA and finished second to Griffith with 201 hits. Nap Lajoie of the Phillies paced the NL with 45 two-baggers. Pete Alexander supplied a 22-19 record with a 1.98 ERA. Fred Toney’s first full season included a 16-10 mark with a 2.23 ERA for the Cubbies. Chicago placed four hitters atop the home run leader boards: Cy Williams (14), Frank “Wildfire” Schulte (10), Vic Saier (9) and Fred Luderus (8). The Redbirds suffered through a 61-96 campaign.
1915 Hardball Retro Replay – Final Standings
Replay Results vs. Hardball Retrospective Findings
The pennant races in both leagues came down to the wire. In the American League, Detroit outlasted Boston by a lone game. The National League featured a four-team battle with Cincinnati emerging victorious. The Red Sox prevailed by one-tenth of a percentage point over the Tigers in OWAR (52.5) while pacing the Junior Circuit in OWS (323) by a comfortable margin. The Giants held a slim lead over the Cubs with a 236 OWS and soundly outdistanced the Pirates with a 41.5 OWAR.
1916 Season Replay
References and Resources
James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.