March 31, 2023

Hardball Retrospective – 1904 Season Replay

May 24, 2015 by · 2 Comments 

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, Jack Chesbro is listed on the Pirates roster for the duration of his career while the Beaneaters claim Kid Nichols and the Superbas declare Fielder Jones. 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 1904 schedule.

Several housekeeping items:

  • American League schedule was omitted from the 1904 season replay due to a lack of ballplayers on each team.
  • Players on defunct teams such as Joe McGinnity (Baltimore-NL), Cy Young (Cleveland Spiders), Rube Waddell and Honus Wagner (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.

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. Additional information and a discussion forum are offered at

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

1904 National League – Replay Results

The Cubs held a comfortable lead for the majority of the season until the Giants reeled off 14 victories in 15 games during a mid-September stretch. The clubs entered the final week of the campaign tied for first place but New York handed the pennant to Chicago by losing 9 of 10 contests to close out the campaign. Jack Taylor (24-13, 2.94) and Fred Glade (21-12, 2.73) paced the Cubbies’ rotation. Giants’ ace Christy Mathewson led the Senior Circuit with 28 victories. First-sacker Harry Davis topped the leader boards with 13 home runs and 111 RBI. “Wee” Willie Keeler supplied a .314 BA with 104 aces and a league-best 220 safeties.

Cincinnati limped home with a 1-9 finish but held onto third place by a half-game margin over Pittsburgh. Patsy Dougherty rapped 198 base knocks and Jimmy Barrett registered 102 tallies. Jesse “Powder” Tannehill (21-18, 2.90) and Noodles Hahn (18-12, 3.30) presided over the Reds’ mound corps. The Pirates’ ace righty “Happy” Jack Chesbro assumed a heavy workload, twirling a league-high 443 innings with a 2.99 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Jake “Eagle Eye” Beckley placed runner-up in batting average (.341) and OBP (.392) while finishing third in slugging (.429). Ginger Beaumont sparked the Bucs’ offense with a .314 BA and 47 stolen bases; he recorded 199 hits and topped the National League with 106 runs.

Harry “Judge” Lumley slashed 21 triples and led the Superbas with 89 ribbies. Harry Howell compiled 24 victories while fashioning an ERA of 3.08 and a 1.16 WHIP. Nap Lajoie (.359/7/81) collected his second batting title and topped the League in OBP (.396), SLG (.565) and doubles (53). Elmer Flick pilfered 48 bags to edge Beaumont for the stolen base title. Doc White paced the Phillies’ hurlers with a 2.89 ERA (5th in the NL). Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown (19-11, 2.50) furnished a 1.05 WHIP and claimed the ERA title. Homer Smoot plated 100 baserunners and drilled 31 two-base hits. Jimmy Collins cracked 35 doubles and Charlie “Piano Legs” Hickman knocked 21 triples for the cellar-dwelling Beaneaters.

1904 National League – Hardball Retro Replay – Final Standings

1904 NL Batting Leaders 1904 NL Pitching Leaders
Team Batting Team Pitching
1904 Boston Beaneaters 1904 Boston Beaneaters
1904 Brooklyn Superbas 1904 Brooklyn Superbas
1904 Chicago Cubs 1904 Chicago Cubs
1904 Cincinnati Reds 1904 Cincinnati Reds
1904 New York Giants 1904 New York Giants
1904 Philadelphia Phillies 1904 Philadelphia Phillies
1904 Pittsburgh Pirates 1904 Pittsburgh Pirates
1904 St. Louis Cardinals 1904 St. Louis Cardinals


Replay Results vs. Hardball Retrospective Findings

The Giants (95-59) coasted to the franchise’s second of four consecutive titles by a comfortable margin (11 games) over the Reds. The Cubs finished third with a mark of 81-73, fourteen games behind. New York dominated the circuit with regards to OWAR (68.5) and OWS (349).

On Deck

1905 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


2 Responses to “Hardball Retrospective – 1904 Season Replay”
  1. Cliff Blau says:

    When is the American League going to start playing?

  2. Derek Bain says:

    Cliff, that is an excellent question. The 1905 White Sox only have 5 position players – 3B Dave Brain, 2B Gus Dundon, 3B Lee Tannehill plus two catchers with a combined 26 plate appearances (Hub Hart 23, Branch Rickey 3). The Athletics are in a similar bind with 6 position players – OF’s Danny Hoffman, Bris Lord and Matty McIntyre along with SS John Knight, 2B Jim Mullin and C Harry Barton. The 1906 Senators roster features 4 position players while the ’07 Pale Hose has only 7. Chicago’s 1908 entire roster yields 9 players! So it looks like the American League will join the competition in the Hardball Retrospective season replays for the 1909 campaign. – Sincerely, Derek

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