December 2, 2023

Hardball Retrospective – 1917 Season Replay

November 22, 2016 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, Rogers Hornsby is listed on the Cardinals roster for the duration of his career while the Pirates claim Red Faber and the Giants declare Art Fletcher. 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 1917 schedule. The “Player Libraries” which include the Opening Day rosters, lineups and starting rotations for each season replay (1901-1920) are available on the Digital Diamond Baseball website via the following links: A few housekeeping items:
  • Players on defunct teams such as 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. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with 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

1917 Replay Results

The Giants compiled eight victories in their final eleven contests while the Cardinals dropped six of their last nine games as New York claimed its second consecutive pennant by a two-game margin. Dave Robertson clubbed 11 round-trippers to top the National League. George J. Burns led the League with 53 stolen bases and 87 bases on balls while placing runner-up in runs scored with 110. Heinie Groh boasted a .307 BA, paced the Senior Circuit with 41 two-base hits and finished second with an OBP of .377. Ferdie Schupp led the starting staff with a 2.43 ERA (third-best in the NL). Cards’ shortstop Rogers Hornsby swept the percentage categories as he claimed the batting crown with a .337 average while topping the NL in OBP (.390) and SLG (.475). “Rajah” also topped the leader boards with 126 runs scored and 220 base hits while placing runner-up in triples (19), home runs (8) and stolen bases (51). Redbirds’ teammate Jack Smith finished second in the batting race at .326 and slotted third in OBP (.372) and SLG (.426). Milt Stock tallied 108 aces for the Braves while teammate Rabbit Maranville pilfered 38 bases and socked 19 three-baggers. Reds’ outfielder Dode Paskert drilled 32 doubles and succeeded on 36 of 43 stolen base attempts. Red Smith manned the hot corner for the Robins and hit at a .313 clip to finish third in the race for the batting title. In addition Smith logged 198 base knocks, 37 two-baggers and 47 stolen bases. Pirates’ hurler Claude Hendrix (11-14, 2.17) secured the ERA title by a single point over Slim Sallee of the Cardinals. Center fielder Max “Scoops” Carey nabbed 49 bags and registered 191 base hits. Earl “Sheriff” Smith of the Cubs laced 23 triples to lead the NL and third-sacker Heinie Zimmerman tallied 195 safeties. The Phillies suffered 108 losses as the offense finished seventh or eighth in virtually every category. Sherry Magee placed third in the circuit with 35 two-baggers and finished among the leaders in triples (18) and batting average (.310). The Red Sox overtook the Athletics down the stretch, posting 22 wins after September 1 (vs. 17 victories for the A’s) to clinch the pennant by a half-game! Fred Anderson led the circuit with a 2.01 ERA while Babe Ruth recorded 25 victories with a 2.81 ERA. Gavvy Cravath walloped 10 four-baggers and compiled a .440 SLG. Tris Speaker delivered 40 two-base knocks, scored 102 runs and coaxed 95 walks. Athletics’ second baseman Eddie Collins tied Senators’ outfielder Clyde Milan with 51 stolen bases while supplying a .312 BA, .380 OBP, 203 base hits and 21 triples. Stan “Covey” Coveleski (22-12, 2.88) and Bob “Sailor” Shawkey (20-9, 2.69) anchored the A’s rotation. Phil Douglas (26-13, 2.76) and Reb Russell (16-13, 2.64) fostered a third-place finish for the White Sox. Edd Roush posted a .319 BA and fellow outfielder Ping Bodie accrued 102 runs. Yankees’ first baseman “Prince” Hal Chase accrued 205 base hits to top the leader boards. Joe “Moon” Harris registered League-bests in OBP (.405) and bases on balls (102). Ty Cobb (.320/6/88) amassed a League-leading .475 SLG and 22 triples. Cobb’s outfield mates Harry Heilmann (.257/4/96) and Bobby Veach (.282/8/69) led the AL in RBI and runs scored, respectively. Senators’ ace right-hander Walter “Big Train” Johnson (22-13, 2.38) placed runner-up for the ERA crown. Center fielder Clyde Milan accumulated 204 base hits, 109 runs scored and batted .304. Browns’ first-sacker George Sisler claimed the batting crown with a .321 average over Cobb (.320) and Roush (.319). “Gorgeous George” paced the Junior Circuit with 48 two-baggers and finished fourth with 202 safeties. Bunny Brief out-slugged Gavvy Cravath to take the home run title with 11 blasts. Ray Chapman nabbed 47 bags for the last-place Indians. 1917 Hardball Retro ReplayFinal Standings
1917 AL Batting Leaders 1917 AL Pitching Leaders
Team Batting Team Pitching
1917 Boston Red Sox 1917 Boston Red Sox
1917 Chicago White Sox 1917 Chicago White Sox
1917 Cleveland Indians 1917 Cleveland Indians
1917 Detroit Tigers 1917 Detroit Tigers
1917 New York Yankees 1917 New York Yankees
1917 Philadelphia Athletics 1917 Philadelphia Athletics
1917 St. Louis Browns 1917 St. Louis Browns
1917 Washington Senators 1917 Washington Senators
1917 NL Batting Leaders 1917 NL Pitching Leaders
Team Batting Team Pitching
1917 Boston Braves 1917 Boston Braves
1917 Brooklyn Robins 1917 Brooklyn Robins
1917 Chicago Cubs 1917 Chicago Cubs
1917 Cincinnati Reds 1917 Cincinnati Reds
1917 New York Giants 1917 New York Giants
1917 Philadelphia Phillies 1917 Philadelphia Phillies
1917 Pittsburgh Pirates 1917 Pittsburgh Pirates
1917 St. Louis Cardinals 1917 St. Louis Cardinals

Replay Results vs. Hardball Retrospective Findings

Boston outlasted Detroit by a five-game margin to secure the American League pennant. The Giants repeated as National League champions, finishing six games ahead of the Braves. Once again the Red Sox paced the AL charts in OWAR (54.1) and OWS (326) while New York controlled the NL leader boards with an OWAR of 36.8 and an OWS of 237.

On Deck

1918 Season Replay

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database Baseball-Reference James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print. Retrosheet – Transactions Database Seamheads – Baseball Gauge Sean Lahman Baseball Archive

About the Author

I am a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games who enjoys spending quality time with his family.

“Hardball Retrospective” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with 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.

“Hardball Retrospective – Addendum 2014 to 2016” supplements my research for Hardball Retrospective, providing retroactive standings based on Wins Above Replacement (WAR) and Win Shares (WS) for each “original” team over the past three seasons (2014-2016). Team totals from 2010 – 2013 are included for reference purposes. “Addendum” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at 

Hardball Retroactive”, published in June 2018, is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at A cross-section of essays that I penned for along with my Baseball Analytics blog spanning nearly a decade touching on subjects including “Taking the Extra Base”, “General Manager Scorecard”, “Worst Trades”, “BABIP By Location” and “Baseball Birthplaces and the Retro World Baseball Classic”. Rediscover your favorite hardball arcade and simulations in “Play Retro Baseball Video Games In Your Browser” or take a deep dive into every franchise’s minor league successes and failures in relation to their major league operations in “Minors vs. Majors”.

“Hardball Architects” examines the trades, free agent acquisitions, draft picks and other transactions for the 30 Major League Baseball franchises, divided into a 2-volume set (American League and National League). All key moves are scrutinized for every team and Sabermetric principles are applied to the roster construction throughout the lifetime of the organization to encapsulate the hits and misses by front office executives. “Volume 1 – American League Teams” is available in paperback and digital (Kindle) format at “Volume 2 – National League Teams” is tentatively scheduled for publication in the spring of 2022.


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