December 2, 2023

Hardball Retrospective – 1905 Season Replay

June 16, 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. Therefore, Frank Chance is listed on the Cubs roster for the duration of his career while the Reds claim Sam Crawford and the Giants declare Christy Mathewson. 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 1905 schedule.

Several housekeeping items:

  • American League schedule was omitted from the 1905 season replay due to a lack of ballplayers on each team. (Apologies to Eddie Plank). The AL season replay will begin with the 1909 season.
  • Players on defunct teams such as Joe McGinnity (Baltimore-NL), George Davis and Cy Young (Cleveland Spiders), or 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

1905 National League – Replay Results

In a virtual repeat of the previous campaign the Giants thundered past the Cubs in the final ten days of the season to capture the pennant. Cy Seymour (.369/8/100) collected the batting title and fell just short in the other Triple Crown categories. Seymour’s offensive barrage included League-bests in base hits (229), OBP (.435), SLG (.531) along with 38 doubles, 19 triples and 110 runs scored. Willie Keeler rapped 212 safeties and tied Seymour for the team lead in aces. Christy Mathewson (25-16, 2.42) paced the National League in ERA and completed 38 of his 43 starts. Red Ames (22-17, 3.00) and Hooks Wiltse (21-13, 2.71) also topped the 20-win plateau. Frank “Wildfire” Schulte legged out 20 three-base hits to lead the circuit while Bill Dahlen finished third with 41 stolen bases. “Long” Tom Hughes and “Big” Ed Reulbach fashioned sub-3.00 ERA’s. Chicago’s starting rotation featured three 20-game winners as Jack Taylor joined Hughes and Reulbach in this elite club.

Cincinnati placed a distant third (13 games behind New York) while Brooklyn and Philadelphia tied for fourth with a 78-77 record. Jesse “Powder” Tannehill furnished a 2.51 ERA to complement a 20-11 mark for the Reds. Harry “Deer Foot” Bay supplied a .319 BA and “Wahoo” Sam Crawford belted 10 round-trippers to top the leader boards.

Superbas’ right-hander Harry Howell (29-24, 3.27) spun a no-hitter against the Reds on May 9, 1905. Howell retired 27 consecutive batters following a leadoff walk by Miller Huggins to start the game. Fielder Jones registered 115 tallies and swiped 53 bags in 59 attempts to lead the League in both categories. Phillies’ outfielder Roy Thomas placed runner-up behind Jones with 111 runs scored and 52 thefts. Doc White (17-12, 2.45) delivered the second-best ERA in the National League.

Bucs’ shortstop Terry Turner pilfered 37 bags and finished fourth in the League with 181 base hits. Jack Chesbro (20-15, 2.78) completed 27 of 33 starts. Beaneaters’ second baseman Charlie Hickman topped the charts with 101 RBI. “Turkey” Mike Donlin (.350/6/93) drilled 39 two-baggers, 15 triples and placed second in batting average, OBP (.419) and SLG (.490).


1905 National League – Hardball Retro Replay – Final Standings


1905 NL Batting Leaders 1905 NL Pitching Leaders
Team Batting Team Pitching
1905 Boston Beaneaters 1905 Boston Beaneaters
1905 Brooklyn Superbas 1905 Brooklyn Superbas
1905 Chicago Cubs 1905 Chicago Cubs
1905 Cincinnati Reds 1905 Cincinnati Reds
1905 New York Giants 1905 New York Giants
1905 Philadelphia Phillies 1905 Philadelphia Phillies
1905 Pittsburgh Pirates 1905 Pittsburgh Pirates
1905 St. Louis Cardinals 1905 St. Louis Cardinals


Replay Results vs. Hardball Retrospective Findings

The Giants (98-56) outlasted the Phillies to secure the organization’s third pennant in a row by a three-game margin. Furthermore, New York led the Senior Circuit in OWAR (69.9) and OWS (348) while Philadelphia finished second in both categories.

On Deck

1906 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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