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.
Expanding on my research for the book, the following series of articles will reveal the teams with the biggest single-season difference in the WAR and Win Shares for the “Original” vs. “Actual” rosters for every Major League organization. “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
AWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “actual” teams
AWS – Win Shares for players on “actual” teams
APW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “actual” teams
The 2002 Toronto Blue Jays
OWAR: 51.4 OWS: 312 OPW%: .572 (93-69)
AWAR: 34.2 AWS: 234 APW%: .481 (78-84)
WARdiff: 17.2 WSdiff: 78
The 2002 “Original” Blue Jays breezed to the American League East title, vanquishing the Yankees by a nine-game margin. Toronto topped the American League in OWAR and OWS. Shawn Green (.285/42/114) registered 110 tallies, achieved his second All-Star appearance and finished fifth in the MVP balloting. Jeff Kent (.313/37/108) drilled 42 doubles and attained a career-high in home runs. Carlos Delgado belted 33 round-trippers and coaxed 102 bases on balls. John Olerud (.300/22/102) laced 39 two-base hits and collected the Gold Glove Award. In the midst of five straight seasons with a batting average above .300, Shannon Stewart sliced 38 doubles and scored 103 runs. Vernon Wells reached the century mark in RBI and added 34 two-base knocks in his first full season. The “Actual” squad featured 2002 AL Rookie of the Year Eric Hinske (.279/24/84) at the hot corner.
Jeff Kent placed forty-eighth among second-sackers in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings while John Olerud secured the 53rd slot at first base.
Original 2002 Blue Jays Actual 2002 Blue Jays
Roy “Doc” Halladay (19-7, 2.93) warranted his first All-Star invitation and led the American League with 239.1 innings pitched. David “Boomer” Wells compiled 19 victories with a 3.75 ERA. Toronto’s superb bullpen staff was anchored by Billy Koch (3.27, 44 SV) and Jose Mesa (2.97, 45 SV). The setup corps consisted of Steve Karsay (3.26, 12 SV), Ben Weber (7-2, 2.54) and Kelvim Escobar (4.27, 38 SV).
Original 2002 Blue Jays Actual 2002 Blue Jays
November 8, 1999: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with Jorge Nunez (minors) to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Pedro Borbon and Raul Mondesi.
August 27, 1992: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with a player to be named later to the New York Mets for David Cone. The Toronto Blue Jays sent Ryan Thompson (September 1, 1992) to the New York Mets to complete the trade.
July 29, 1996: Traded by the New York Mets with Jose Vizcaino to the Cleveland Indians for Carlos Baerga and Alvaro Espinoza.
November 13, 1996: Traded by the Cleveland Indians with a player to be named later, Julian Tavarez and Jose Vizcaino to the San Francisco Giants for a player to be named later and Matt Williams. The Cleveland Indians sent Joe Roa (December 16, 1996) to the San Francisco Giants to complete the trade. The San Francisco Giants sent Trent Hubbard (December 16, 1996) to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade.
December 20, 1996: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays with cash to the New York Mets for Robert Person.
October 27, 1997: Granted Free Agency.
November 24, 1997: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Mets.
October 29, 1999: Granted Free Agency.
December 15, 1999: Signed as a Free Agent with the Seattle Mariners.
December 7, 2001: Traded by the Toronto Blue Jays to the Oakland Athletics for Eric Hinske and Justin Miller.
The 1995 Toronto Blue Jays
OWAR: 27.1 OWS: 208 OPW%: .469 (76-86)
AWAR: 25.4 AWS: 168 APW%: .389 (56-88)
WARdiff: 1.7 WSdiff: 40
The “Original” ’95 Jays plodded to a fourth-place finish in the AL East, eleven games behind the Orioles while the horrific “Actuals” placed 30 games behind the Red Sox. David Wells delivered a 16-8 record with a 3.24 ERA and made his first appearance at the Mid-Summer Classic. Jose Mesa (1.13, 46 SV) blossomed in the closer’s role, meriting second place in the Cy Young Award balloting along with a fourth-place finish in the MVP race. Derek Bell pilfered 27 bases and established personal-bests in BA (.334) and OBP (.385). Fellow outfielder Glenallen Hill clubbed 24 long balls and set career-highs with 86 RBI and 25 stolen bases. Geronimo Berroa clubbed 22 taters and knocked in 88 runs. Jeff Kent contributed 20 dingers and John Olerud socked 32 doubles.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1902 Cubs
Baseball America – Executive Database
James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York, NY.: The Free Press, 2001. Print.
James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.
Retrosheet – Transactions Database
The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org”.
Seamheads – Baseball Gauge
Sean Lahman Baseball Archive
The 1992 San Diego Padres
OWAR: 52.6 OWS: 324 OPW%: .595 (96-66)
AWAR: 37.3 AWS: 246 APW%: .506 (82-80)
WARdiff: 15.3 WSdiff: 78
The ’92 Friars fiercely engaged the Braves but when the dust settled, the San Diego crew emerged two games behind Atlanta. The Padres led National League in OWAR and OWS. Roberto Alomar (.310/8/76) nabbed 49 bags in 58 attempts and registered 105 tallies. Carlos Baerga (.312/20/105) collected 205 base knocks, rapped 32 doubles and merited his first All-Star selection. Shane Mack supplied a .315 BA and scored 101 runs. Dave Winfield drilled 33 two-baggers, walloped 26 big-flies and plated 108 baserunners. Dave “Head” Hollins manned the hot corner and responded to full-time status with personal-bests in home runs (27), RBI (93) and runs scored (104). John Kruk laced 30 two-base hits and posted a .323 BA. In the final season of a 13-year consecutive Gold Glove Award streak, Ozzie Smith aka “The Wizard of Oz” delivered a .295 BA and succeeded on 43 of 52 stolen base tries. “Mr. Padre” Tony Gwynn contributed a .317 BA with 27 doubles.
Gary Sheffield (.330/33/100) and Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff secured their first invitations to the Mid-Summer Classic and accounted for a substantial chunk of the “Actuals” offensive production. “Sheff” claimed the batting title and placed third in the 1992 NL MVP balloting. McGriff topped the Senior Circuit with 35 bombs while driving in 104 runs.
Tony Gwynn rated sixth among right fielders in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” San Diego teammates enumerated in the “NBJHBA” top 100 lists include Ozzie Smith (7th-SS), Roberto Alomar (10th-2B), Dave Winfield (13th-RF), Kevin McReynolds (45th-LF), John Kruk (72nd-1B), Ozzie Guillen (74th-SS) and Carlos Baerga (93rd-2B). Fred McGriff (21st-1B), Tony Fernandez (24th-SS) and Gary Sheffield (54th-RF) attained top-100 status among those who played exclusively for the “Actual” 1992 Padres.
Original 1992 Padres Actual 1992 Padres
Andy Benes fortified the “Original” and “Actual” Padres rotations with 13 victories and a 3.35 ERA. Rich Rodriguez and Mike Maddux enhanced the “Actuals” bullpen with identical 2.37 ERA’s while southpaw Bruce Hurst contributed to the starting rotation with a 14-9 record. Omar Olivares registered 9 wins with a 3.84 ERA and Bob Patterson posted a career-best 2.92 ERA for the “Originals”.
Original 1992 Padres Actual 1992 Padres
December 5, 1990: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Joe Carter to the Toronto Blue Jays for Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff.
December 6, 1989: Traded by the San Diego Padres with Sandy Alomar and Chris James to the Cleveland Indians for Joe Carter.
December 4, 1989: Drafted by the Minnesota Twins from the San Diego Padres in the 1989 rule 5 draft.
October 22, 1980: Granted Free Agency.
December 15, 1980: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
May 11, 1990: Traded by the New York Yankees to the California Angels for Mike Witt.
October 30, 1991: Granted Free Agency.
December 19, 1991: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
December 4, 1989: Drafted by the Philadelphia Phillies from the San Diego Padres in the 1989 rule 5 draft.
Traded by the San Diego Padres with a player to be named later and Steve Mura to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later, Sixto Lezcano and Garry Templeton. The San Diego Padres sent Al Olmsted (February 19, 1982) to the St. Louis Cardinals to complete the trade. The St. Louis Cardinals sent Luis DeLeon (February 19, 1982) to the San Diego Padres to complete the trade.
The 1986 San Diego Padres
OWAR: 47.6 OWS: 298 OPW%: .518 (84-78)
AWAR: 29.2 AWS: 222 APW%: .457 (74-88)
WARdiff: 18.4 WSdiff: 76
The ’86 Padres ended the season in a virtual tie with the Dodgers. Tony Gwynn (.329/14/51) paced the Senior Circuit with 211 base hits and 107 runs scored. He swiped 37 bases in 46 attempts and collected his first Gold Glove Award. Kevin McReynolds (.288/26/96) began a streak of five successive seasons with at least 20 round-trippers. Ozzie Smith succeeded on 31 of 38 stolen base attempts. Dave Winfield crushed 24 moon-shots and plated 104 baserunners. Johnny Grubb contributed a .333 BA with 13 jacks in a part-time role and John Kruk delivered a .309 BA in his inaugural campaign. Eric Show fashioned a 2.97 ERA and tallied 9 victories for the San Diego starting staff.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 2002 Blue Jays
The 1978 Pittsburgh Pirates
OWAR: 49.0 OWS: 345 OPW%: .559 (91-71)
AWAR: 40.0 AWS: 263 APW%: .547 (88-73)
WARdiff: 9.0 WSdiff: 82
Pittsburgh emerged victorious from a three-team battle with Montreal and Philadelphia for the National League Eastern Division crown. The “Original” Pirates paced the Senior Circuit in OWS and accrued an 82-point Win Shares differential compared to the “Actual” Bucs.
Dave Parker (.334/30/117) collected his second straight batting crown and earned NL MVP and Gold Glove honors. “Cobra” scored 102 runs and topped the League with 340 total bases and a .585 SLG. Willie Randolph recorded 36 steals in 43 attempts and coaxed 82 bases on balls. Willie “Pops” Stargell (.295/28/97) achieved All-Star status for the seventh time. Al “Scoop” Oliver drilled 35 two-base knocks and posted a .324 BA. Mitchell Page (.285/17/70) supplied a solid sophomore season after placing runner-up in the Rookie of the Year balloting in the previous campaign. Don Money batted .293 with 30 doubles to secure his fourth All-Star invitation. Omar Moreno and Frank Taveras ran wild on the base paths, swiping 71 and 46 bases, respectively.
Willie Stargell rated ninth among left fielders in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Pirates teammates registered in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Dave Parker (14th-RF), Willie Randolph (17th-2B), Al Oliver (31st-CF), Manny Sanguillen (42nd-C), Dave Cash (50th-2B), Don Money (55th-3B), Richie Hebner (56th-3B), Richie Zisk (69th-RF), Freddie Patek (73rd-SS), Bob Bailey (79th-3B), Tony Armas (89th-RF) and Rennie Stennett (90th-2B). Jim Fregosi (15th-SS), Bert Blyleven (39th-P) and Phil Garner (41st-2B) achieved top-100 status among the individuals who played solely for the “Actual” 1978 Pirates.
Original 1978 Pirates Actual 1978 Pirates
Don “Caveman” Robinson (14-6, 3.47) produced a WHIP of 1.139 and placed third in the NL Rookie of the Year balloting. “The Candy Man” John Candelaria contributed 12 victories and a 3.24 ERA following a 20-win effort in the previous campaign. The bullpen trifecta consisted of Doug Bair (1.97, 28 SV), Gene Garber (2.15, 25 SV) and Kent Tekulve (2.33, 31 SV). Bert Blyleven tallied 14 victories for the “Actuals” while posting a 3.03 ERA.
Original 1978 Pirates Actual 1978 Pirates
December 11, 1975: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Ken Brett and Dock Ellis to the New York Yankees for Doc Medich.
December 8, 1977: Traded as part of a 4-team trade by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Nelson Norman to the Texas Rangers. The Atlanta Braves sent Willie Montanez to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Tommy Boggs, Adrian Devine and Eddie Miller to the Atlanta Braves. The Texas Rangers sent a player to be named later and Tom Grieve to the New York Mets. The Texas Rangers sent Bert Blyleven to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The New York Mets sent Jon Matlack to the Texas Rangers. The New York Mets sent John Milner to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Texas Rangers sent Ken Henderson (March 15, 1978) to the New York Mets to complete the trade.
March 15, 1977: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Tony Armas, Doug Bair, Dave Giusti, Rick Langford and Doc Medich to the Oakland Athletics for Chris Batton, Phil Garner and Tommy Helms.
October 25, 1972: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Kansas City Royals for Jim Rooker.
July 12, 1974: Purchased by the Philadelphia Phillies from the Kansas City Royals.
December 15, 1967: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Harold Clem (minors), Woodie Fryman and Bill Laxton to the Philadelphia Phillies for Jim Bunning.
October 31, 1972: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with Bill Champion and John Vukovich to the Milwaukee Brewers for Ken Brett, Jim Lonborg, Ken Sanders and Earl Stephenson.
December 7, 1976: Traded by the Pittsburgh Pirates with Jimmy Sexton to the Seattle Mariners for Grant Jackson.
The 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates
OWAR: 46.1 OWS: 303 OPW%: .597 (97-65)
AWAR: 24.2 AWS: 236 APW%: .488 (79-83)
WARdiff: 21.9 WSdiff: 67
The “Original” 2012 Bucs bested the Brew Crew by four games and trounced the “Actuals” by an 18-game margin. Andrew McCutchen (.327/31/96) established personal bests in batting average, home runs, RBI, runs (107), hits (194) and SLG (.553). He placed third in the NL MVP race and earned his first Gold Glove Award. Aramis Ramirez (.300/27/105) topped the circuit with 50 two-base hits. Pedro “El Toro” Alvarez dialed long distance 30 times and knocked in 85 baserunners. Jose A. Bautista bashed 27 long balls despite missing nearly half the season due to injury. Jeff Keppinger boasted a .325 BA in a platoon role.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1992 Padres
The 1904 Brooklyn Superbas
OWAR: 36.2 OWS: 250 OPW%: .500 (77-77)
AWAR: 21.5 AWS: 167 APW%: .366 (56-97)
WARdiff: 14.7 WSdiff: 83
Brooklyn placed fifth in ’04 as the Giants battered the opposition en route to the National League pennant. The “Original” Superbas bettered the “Actuals” by 19 games. Fielder Jones registered 25 stolen bases and Jimmy Sheckard added 21 for Brooklyn. “Honest” John Anderson and Claude “Little All Right” Ritchey laced 12 three-base hits apiece. Rookie outfielder Harry “Judge” Lumley paced the League with 18 triples and 9 home runs.
Jimmy Sheckard placed twenty-fourth among left fielders in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Superbas teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Jimmy Sheckard (24th-LF), Fielder Jones (41st-RF), Claude Ritchey (59th-2B) and John J. Anderson (86th-LF).
Original 1904 Superbas Actual 1904 Superbas
Harry Howell accrued 21 losses in spite of a 2.19 ERA and a WHIP of 1.048. Oscar “Flip Flap” Jones completed 38 of 41 starts and recorded a 17-25 mark with a 2.75 ERA. Jack Cronin contributed 12 wins in his final campaign along with an ERA of 2.70.
Original 1904 Superbas Actual 1904 Superbas
Before 1901 Season: Jumped from the Brooklyn Superbas to the Chicago White Sox.
Before 1897 Season: Purchased by the Cincinnati Reds from the Brooklyn Bridegrooms for $500.
February 3, 1898: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds with Red Ehret and Dummy Hoy to the Louisville Colonels for Bill Hill.
December 8, 1899: Traded by the Louisville Colonels with Fred Clarke, Bert Cunningham, Mike Kelley, Tacks Latimer, Tommy Leach, Tom Messitt, Deacon Phillippe, Rube Waddell, Jack Wadsworth, Honus Wagner and Chief Zimmer to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Jack Chesbro, George Fox, Art Madison, John O’Brien and $25,000.
John J. Anderson
May 19, 1898: Sent to the Washington Senators by the Brooklyn Bridegrooms as part of a conditional deal.
September 21, 1898: Returned by the Washington Senators to the Brooklyn Bridegrooms as part of a conditional deal.
March 24, 1900: Purchased by Milwaukee (American) from the Brooklyn Superbas.
September 26, 1900: Drafted by the Brooklyn Superbas from Milwaukee (American) in the 1900 rule 5 draft.
February, 1901: Jumped from the Brooklyn Superbas to the Milwaukee Brewers. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
October 6, 1903: Traded by the St. Louis Browns to the New York Highlanders for Jack O’Connor.
September, 1898: Purchased by the Brooklyn Bridegrooms from Meridan (Connecticut State).
March 11, 1899: Assigned to the Baltimore Orioles by the Brooklyn Superbas.
March, 1900: Assigned to the Brooklyn Superbas by the Baltimore Orioles.
Before 1901 Season: Jumped from the Brooklyn Superbas to the Baltimore Orioles.
The 1967 Los Angeles Dodgers
OWAR: 45.4 OWS: 274 OPW%: .515 (83-79)
AWAR: 32.5 AWS: 218 APW%: .451 (73-89)
WARdiff: 12.9 WSdiff: 56
The “Original” 1967 Dodgers placed fifth in the National League, 13 games behind the front-running Giants. Nevertheless the “Originals” outpaced the “Actuals” by a 10 game margin. Roberto Clemente (.357/23/110) collected his fourth batting crown, led the circuit with 209 base hits and secured the seventh of twelve consecutive Gold Glove Awards. Frank “Hondo” Howard dialed long distance 36 times. Maury Wills nabbed 29 bags and Tommy H. Davis scorched 32 doubles while producing matching batting averages at .302. Jim Merritt tallied 13 victories and delivered a 2.53 ERA along with a WHIP of 0.993. Don Drysdale equaled Merritt’s win total while fashioning an ERA of 2.74 with 196 strikeouts.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1978 Pirates
The 1997 Boston Red Sox
OWAR: 63.7 OWS: 317 OPW%: .583 (94-68)
AWAR: 41.4 AWS: 234 APW%: .481 (78-84)
WARdiff: 22.3 WSdiff: 83
The “Original” 1997 Red Sox cruised to the pennant by a ten-game margin over the Yankees. Jeff Bagwell delivered a 30/30 season (43 HR / 31 SB), drove in a career-high 135 baserunners, rapped 40 doubles and coaxed 127 walks. Brady Anderson followed his 50-home run campaign in ’96 with 39 two-base knocks and 18 dingers. A trio of “Original” and “Actual” Sox infielders provided additional firepower in Boston’s stacked lineup. Nomar Garciaparra (.306/30/98) merited the 1997 AL Rookie of the Year Award as he registered 209 base hits, 122 runs scored, 44 doubles, 11 triples and 22 stolen bases. Mo “Hit Dog” Vaughn slammed 35 circuit clouts and supplied a .315 BA. John Valentin (.306/18/77) led the League with 47 two-baggers.
1B Jeff Bagwell and 3B Wade Boggs placed fourth at their respective positions in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Red Sox teammates specified in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Roger Clemens (11th-P), Mo Vaughn (51st-1B), Brady Anderson (63rd-CF) and Ellis Burks (77th-CF).
Original 1997 Red Sox Actual 1997 Red Sox
Roger Clemens (21-7, 2.05) collected the 1997 AL Cy Young Award while posting a personal-best with 292 whiffs. Curt Schilling (17-11, 2.97) overpowered the opposition with a career-high 319 strikeouts. Paul Quantrill furnished a 1.94 ERA in 77 relief appearances. Tom “Flash” Gordon notched 11 saves for the “Actuals”.
Original 1997 Red Sox Actual 1997 Red Sox
November 5, 1996: Granted Free Agency.
December 13, 1996: Signed as a Free Agent with the Toronto Blue Jays.
August 30, 1990: Traded by the Boston Red Sox to the Houston Astros for Larry Andersen.
July 29, 1988: Traded by the Boston Red Sox with Curt Schilling to the Baltimore Orioles for Mike Boddicker.
July 29, 1988: Traded by Boston Red Sox with Brady Anderson to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for Mike Boddicker.
January 10, 1991: Traded by Baltimore Orioles with Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley to the Houston Astros in exchange for Glenn Davis.
April 2, 1992: Traded by Houston Astros to Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for Jason Grimsley.
December 20, 1995: Granted free agency.
December 21, 1995: Signed by Philadelphia Phillies.
The 1927 Boston Red Sox
OWAR: 32.6 OWS: 230 OPW%: .463 (71-83)
AWAR: 13.7 AWS: 153 APW%: .331 (51-103)
WARdiff: 18.9 WSdiff: 77
The “Original” 1927 Red Sox tied for last place with the Indians yet managed to finish 20 games better than the “Actual” squad. Babe Ruth (.356/60/165) established the single-season home run record and paced the Junior Circuit with 158 runs scored, 137 walks, a .486 OBP and a .772 SLG. Tris Speaker sported a .327 BA and laced 43 two-base hits in his penultimate season.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1904 Superbas
The 1969 Cincinnati Reds
OWAR: 59.0 OWS: 355 OPW%: .619 (100-62)
AWAR: 37.4 AWS: 267 APW%: .549 (89-73)
WARdiff: 21.6 WSdiff: 88
The “Original” 1969 Reds outdistanced the Giants by a fourteen-game margin to secure the National League pennant. Pete Rose (.348/16/82) aka “Charlie Hustle” led the NL with 120 runs scored and registered personal-bests in home runs, RBI, batting average, OBP (.428) and SLG (.512). “The Toy Cannon”, center fielder Jim Wynn swatted 33 big-flies, nabbed 23 bags and tallied 113 runs. Completing the outfield trio with 30+ Win Shares, Frank “The Judge” Robinson crushed 32 long balls and knocked in 100 baserunners while posting a .308 BA.
The Cincinnati infield, with the exception of second-sacker Tommy Helms, produced 23+ Win Shares each. Tony “Big Dog” Perez (.294/37/122) manned the hot corner while the “Big Bopper”, Lee May (.278/38/110) earned his first All-Star assignment over at first base. Leo “Mr. Automatic” Cardenas (.280/10/70) provided a steady bat at shortstop. “Little General” Johnny Bench (.293/26/90) delivered an encore to his 1968 NL Rookie of the Year campaign. The Reds’ reserves featured the fleet-footed Cesar Tovar (.288, 45 SB) and Tommy Harper (73 SB) along with seven-time Gold Glove Award-winning center fielder Curt Flood.
Bench ranked second behind Yogi Berra at catcher in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Reds teammates enumerated in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Frank Robinson (3rd-RF), Pete Rose (5th-RF), Jim Wynn (10th-CF), Tony Perez (13th-1B), Vada Pinson (18th-CF), Curt Flood (36th-CF), Lee May (47th-1B), Leo Cardenas (50th-SS), Johnny Edwards (53rd-C), Tommy Harper (56th-LF), Cookie Rojas (69th-2B), Cesar Tovar (79th-CF), Tony Gonzalez (82nd-CF) and Tommy Helms (99th-2B).
Original 1969 Reds Actual 1969 Reds
Claude Osteen (20-15, 2.66) established career-highs with 321 innings pitched, 41 starts, 16 complete games, 7 shutouts and 183 strikeouts. Mike Cuellar (23-8, 2.38) claimed the Cy Young Award and fashioned a personal-best 1.005 WHIP. Jim Maloney contributed a 12-5 mark with a 2.77 ERA as a member of the “Original” and “Actual” Cincinnati rotations. Diego Segui tallied 12 wins and 12 saves to anchor the bullpen. Wayne Granger saved 27 contests in his sophomore season for the “Actuals” and topped the Senior Circuit with 90 appearances.
Original 1969 Reds Actual 1969 Reds
December 9, 1965: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Baltimore Orioles for Jack Baldschun, Milt Pappas and Dick Simpson.
November 26, 1962: Drafted by the Houston Colt .45’s from the Cincinnati Reds in the 1962 first-year draft.
November 21, 1968: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Minnesota Twins for Jim Merritt.
December 4, 1964: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Minnesota Twins for Gerry Arrigo.
September 16, 1961: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the Washington Senators for a player to be named later and cash. The Washington Senators sent Dave Sisler (November 28, 1961) to the Cincinnati Reds to complete the trade.
December 4, 1964: Traded by the Washington Senators with John Kennedy and $100,000 to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player to be named later, Frank Howard, Ken McMullen, Phil Ortega and Pete Richert. The Los Angeles Dodgers sent Dick Nen (December 15, 1964) to the Washington Senators to complete the trade.
Before 1963 Season: Sent from the Cincinnati Reds to the Cleveland Indians in an unknown transaction.
Before 1964 Season: Obtained by Jacksonville (International) from the Cleveland Indians as part of a minor league working agreement.
Before 1964 Season: Returned to the St. Louis Cardinals by Jacksonville (International) after expiration of minor league working agreement.
June 15, 1965: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals with Ron Taylor to the Houston Astros for Chuck Taylor and Hal Woodeshick.
December 4, 1968: Traded by the Houston Astros with Tom Johnson (minors) and Enzo Hernandez to the Baltimore Orioles for John Mason (minors) and Curt Blefary.
The 1907 Cincinnati Reds
OWAR: 39.9 OWS: 275 OPW%: .527 (81-73)
AWAR: 30.3 AWS: 198 APW%: .431 (66-87)
WARdiff: 9.6 WSdiff: 77
Cincinnati ended the 1907 season in a fourth-place tie with Philadelphia but finished only six games behind the front-running Cubbies. “Wahoo” Sam Crawford (.323/4/81) laced 34 doubles, 17 triples and led the circuit with 102 runs scored. Orval Overall (23-7, 1.68) flummoxed opposing batsmen, posting a 1.006 WHIP with a League-high 8 shutouts. “Long” Bob Ewing compiled 17 victories with a 1.73 ERA and a WHIP of 1.094 while completing 32 of 37 starts. Patsy Dougherty swiped 33 bags while Mike Mitchell rapped 12 three-base hits in his rookie campaign. Harry Steinfeldt drilled 25 two-baggers and Socks Seybold drove in 92 baserunners.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1997 Red Sox
The 2004 Kansas City Royals
OWAR: 40.4 OWS: 264 OPW%: .483 (78-84)
AWAR: 16.8 AWS: 173 APW%: .358 (58-104)
WARdiff: 23.6 WSdiff: 91
The “Original” 2004 Royals placed third in the American League Central division, 12 games behind the Indians. The “Actual” 2004 Royals lost 104 contests. Carlos Beltran (.267/38/104) enjoyed a monster campaign as he narrowly missed the 40/40 club. The Royals center fielder compiled 121 tallies and swiped 42 bags in 45 attempts. However he only earned 11.4 Win Shares for the “Actual” Royals (vs. 29 WS for the “Originals) due to a mid-season trade to the Houston Astros. Fellow outfielder Jeff Conine contributed 35 doubles while first-sacker Mike Sweeney went yard on 22 occasions.
Juan Gonzalez of the “Actuals” placed 52nd in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings.
Original 2004 Royals Actual 2004 Royals
Jon Lieber recorded 14 victories and yielded only 18 bases on balls in 27 starts. Glendon Rusch fashioned a 3.47 ERA as he split time between starting and relief roles. Zack Greinke delivered 8 victories and a 3.97 ERA in his inaugural season. Tom “Flash” Gordon (9-4, 2.21) whiffed 96 batsmen in 89.2 innings and achieved All-Star status.
Original 2004 Royals Actual 2004 Royals
June 24, 2004: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Kansas City Royals to the Houston Astros. The Oakland Athletics sent Mark Teahen and Mike Wood to the Kansas City Royals. The Houston Astros sent Octavio Dotel to the Oakland Athletics. The Houston Astros sent John Buck and cash to the Kansas City Royals.
January 8, 2001: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Kansas City Royals with Mark Ellis to the Oakland Athletics. The Oakland Athletics sent Ben Grieve to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The Oakland Athletics sent Angel Berroa and A.J. Hinch to the Kansas City Royals. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays sent Cory Lidle to the Oakland Athletics. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays sent Roberto Hernandez to the Kansas City Royals.
November 5, 2001: Granted Free Agency.
December 21, 2001: Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
October 30, 1995: Granted Free Agency.
December 21, 1995: Signed as a Free Agent with the Boston Red Sox.
November 1, 2000: Granted Free Agency.
December 14, 2000: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.
August 22, 2002: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to the Houston Astros for players to be named later and Russ Rohlicek (minors). The Houston Astros sent Travis Anderson (minors) (September 11, 2002) and Mike Nannini (minors) (September 11, 2002) to the Chicago Cubs to complete the trade.
October 29, 2002: Granted Free Agency.
January 23, 2003: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago White Sox.
October 27, 2003: Granted Free Agency.
December 16, 2003: Signed as a Free Agent with the New York Yankees.
The 2009 Kansas City Royals
OWAR: 45.7 OWS: 268 OPW%: .544 (88-74)
AWAR: 25.3 AWS: 194 APW%: .401 (65-97)
WARdiff: 20.4 WSdiff: 74
Kansas City clinched the American League Central division title by a lone game over Minnesota. Zack Greinke (16-8, 2.16) merited the 2009 AL Cy Young Award as he paced the Junior Circuit in ERA and WHIP (1.073) while posting career-highs in strikeouts (242) and innings pitched (229.1). Johnny Damon (.282/24/82) tied his personal-best in home runs, slashed 36 two-base hits and registered 107 tallies. Billy Butler aka “Country Breakfast” drilled 51 doubles and swatted 21 big-flies. David DeJesus contributed 13 jacks and knocked in 71 runs. Carlos Beltran supplied a .325 BA but missed more than two months of the season due to injury. J.P. Howell saved 17 contests and collected 7 victories as the Royals’ relief ace.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1969 Reds
The 1984 San Francisco Giants
OWAR: 42.9 OWS: 294 OPW%: .508 (82-80)
AWAR: 27.7 AWS: 198 APW%: .407 (66-96)
WARdiff: 15.2 WSdiff: 96
The “Original” 1984 Giants ended the season with a winning record but merely earned a fifth place finish, 9 games behind the Astros. Gary “Sarge” Matthews established a career-best with 101 runs scored while pacing the circuit with 103 walks and a .410 OBP. Chili Davis contributed a .315 BA and merited his first All-Star invitation. Dave “Kong” Kingman walloped 35 four-baggers and knocked in a personal-best 118 baserunners. Bob Brenly achieved his lone All-Star nod with a .291 BA, 20 dingers and 80 ribbies. Jack Clark supplied a .320 BA with 11 long balls prior to a season-ending injury in mid-June. Dan “Dazzle” Gladden ignited the offense following his recall from the minor leagues in late June, posting a .351 BA and swiping 31 bags.
Jack Clark is ranked 27th among right fielders according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” “Original” Giants teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include George Foster (34th-LF), Gary Matthews (46th-LF), Garry Maddox (56th-CF), Chili Davis (64th-RF), Chris Speier (68th-SS) and Dave Kingman (98th-LF). Al Oliver (31th-CF), Manny Trillo (49th-2B) and Dusty Baker (54th-LF) make the register for the “Actual” Giants.
Original 1984 Giants Actual 1984 Giants
Bob Knepper rebounded from an 11-28 mark in the previous two campaigns to achieve a 15-10 record with a 3.20 ERA and 1.190 WHIP. Gary Lavelle notched 12 saves and fashioned a 2.76 ERA as the primary closer. Frank Williams collected 9 victories in a long relief role during his rookie year.
Original 1984 Giants Actual 1984 Giants
November 17, 1976: Signed as a Free Agent with the Atlanta Braves.
March 25, 1981: Traded by the Atlanta Braves to the Philadelphia Phillies for Bob Walk.
March 26, 1984: Traded by the Philadelphia Phillies with Porfi Altamirano and Bob Dernier to the Chicago Cubs for Bill Campbell and Mike Diaz.
February 28, 1975: Purchased by the New York Mets from the San Francisco Giants for $150,000.
June 15, 1977: Traded by the New York Mets to the San Diego Padres for Paul Siebert and Bobby Valentine.
September 6, 1977: Selected off waivers by the California Angels from the San Diego Padres.
September 15, 1977: Traded by the California Angels to the New York Yankees for Randy Stein and cash.
November 2, 1977: Granted Free Agency.
November 30, 1977: Signed as a Free Agent with the Chicago Cubs.
February 28, 1981: Traded by the Chicago Cubs to the New York Mets for Steve Henderson and cash.
January 30, 1984: Released by the New York Mets.
March 29, 1984: Signed as a Free Agent with the Oakland Athletics.
May 29, 1971: Traded by the San Francisco Giants to the Cincinnati Reds for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert.
February 10, 1982: Traded by the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Mets for Greg Harris, Jim Kern and Alex Trevino.
December 8, 1980: Traded by the San Francisco Giants with Chris Bourjos to the Houston Astros for Enos Cabell.
The 1906 New York Giants
OWAR: 65.9 OWS: 361 OPW%: .591 (91-63)
AWAR: 50.8 AWS: 287 APW%: .632 (96-56)
WARdiff: 15.1 WSdiff: 74
The New York Giants secured the organization’s fourth consecutive pennant in 1906 with a record of 91-63, placing three games in front of the St. Louis Cardinals. Third-sacker Art Devlin pilfered 54 bases and delivered a .299 BA. Harry H. Davis topped the leader boards with 12 big-flies and 96 ribbies. Converted outfielder Cy Seymour nabbed 29 bags and drove in 80 baserunners while “Wee” Willie Keeler batted .304 with 23 steals. Christy Mathewson furnished 22 victories along with a 2.97 ERA. Left-hander Hooks Wiltse recorded 16 wins with an ERA of 2.27 and a WHIP of 1.143.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 2004 Royals
The 1975 Houston Astros
OWAR: 50.0 OWS: 291 OPW%: .535 (87-75)
AWAR: 28.7 AWS: 192 APW%: .398 (64-97)
WARdiff: 21.3 WSdiff: 99
The “Original” 1975 Astros fell six games short of the National League Western Division title as the Big Red Machine tallied 93 victories. Joe L. Morgan produced a .327 BA with 17 dingers, 94 ribbies and 107 runs scored to secure the NL MVP Award. “Little Joe” succeeded on 67 of 77 stolen base attempts and coaxed a League-leading 132 bases on balls. First-sacker John Mayberry racked up personal-bests in doubles (38), home runs (34), RBI (106), runs (95) and bases on balls (119). Rusty Staub swatted 19 big-flies and knocked in 105 baserunners. Cesar Cedeno swiped 50 bags and batted .288 while Bob “Bull” Watson delivered a career-high BA (.324) for the “Original” and “Actual” ‘Stros.
Joe L. Morgan is ranked as the top second baseman according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” “Original” Astros teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Cesar Cedeno (21st-CF), Rusty Staub (24th-RF), Bob Watson (33rd-1st), John Mayberry (49th-1B), Doug Rader (64th-3B) and Jerry Grote (66th-C). “Actual” Astros outfielder Jose Cruz places 29th among left fielders.
Original 1975 Astros Actual 1975 Astros
Houston hurlers failed to generate much excitement during the ’75 campaign. Larry Dierker completed 14 of 34 starts and fashioned a record of 14-16 with a 4.00 ERA. Pat Darcy posted an 11-5 mark with a 3.58 ERA in his inaugural season. Dave Giusti furnished a 2.95 ERA and saved 17 contests despite accruing more walks than strikeouts.
Joe L. Morgan
November 29, 1971: Traded by the Houston Astros with Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Denis Menke to the Cincinnati Reds for Tommy Helms, Lee May and Jimmy Stewart.
December 2, 1971: Traded by the Houston Astros with David Grangaard (minors) to the Kansas City Royals for Lance Clemons and Jim York.
January 22, 1969: Traded by the Houston Astros to the Montreal Expos for Jesus Alou and Donn Clendenon. Donn Clendenon refused to report to his new team on April 8, 1969. The Montreal Expos sent Jack Billingham (April 8, 1969), Skip Guinn (April 8, 1969) and $100,000 (April 8, 1969) to the Houston Astros to complete the trade.
April 5, 1972: Traded by the Montreal Expos to the New York Mets for Tim Foli, Mike Jorgensen and Ken Singleton.
The 2013 Houston Astros
OWAR: 26.6 OWS: 218 OPW%: .427 (69-93)
AWAR: 8.3 AWS: 151 APW%: .315 (51-111)
WARdiff: 18.3 WSdiff: 67
Following a transfer to the American League West prior to the start of the 2013 campaign, the “Original” Astros finished dead last in the division. Nonetheless it represents a WSdiff of 67 and 18 additional wins compared to the “Actual” Astros from the same season. Hunter Pence established career-highs with 27 round-trippers and 22 stolen bases. Ben Zobrist laced 36 doubles and earned his second All-Star nod. Chris Johnson produced personal-bests in batting average (.321) and two-base hits (34). Jason Castro drilled 35 two-baggers and posted a .276 BA. Jose Altuve batted .283 and pilfered 35 bags.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1984 Giants
The 1908 St. Louis Cardinals
OWAR: 29.2 OWS: 247 OPW%: .375 (58-96)
AWAR: 13.5 AWS: 146 APW%: .318 (49-105)
WARdiff: 15.7 WSdiff: 101
Despite a dismal effort and last-place finish, the “Original” 1908 Cardinals bested the “Actual” Redbirds by a 9-game margin and a confounding Win Shares differential of 109. “Turkey” Mike Donlin (.334/6/106) tallied 198 base knocks, pilfered 30 bags and recorded a career-high in ribbies. Fellow outfielder Charlie “Eagle Eye” Hemphill swiped 42 bases and batted .297 for the “Original” Cardinals. Red Murray supplied a .282 BA with 48 stolen bases for both the “Original” and “Actual” Redbirds.
Mordecai Brown ranks twentieth among pitchers according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” “Original” Cardinals teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Ed Konetchy (48th-1B) and Mike Donlin (52nd-CF).
Original 1908 Cardinals Actual 1908 Cardinals
Mordecai “Three-Finger” Brown, in the midst of six straight seasons with 20+ victories, furnished a 29-9 record with a 1.47 ERA and a career-best WHIP of 0.842. He completed 27 of 31 starts and saved 5 contests in 13 relief appearances for the “Original” Cardinals. Billy Campbell contributed 12 wins with a 2.60 ERA and a 1.116 WHIP in 221.1 innings. “Actuals” ace Bugs Raymond suffered through a 15-25 campaign despite a 2.03 ERA and 1.021 WHIP. Johnny Lush (11-18, 2.12) endured similar results as the Redbirds rotation was unable to overcome a lackluster offense.
Original 1908 Cardinals Actual 1908 Cardinals
December 12, 1903: Traded by the St. Louis Cardinals with Jack O’Neill to the Chicago Cubs for Larry McLean and Jack Taylor.
Before 1901 Season: Jumped from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Baltimore Orioles.
Before 1902 Season: Released by the Baltimore Orioles.
August, 1902: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cincinnati Reds.
August 7, 1904: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Cincinnati Reds to the New York Giants. The New York Giants sent Moose McCormick to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Pittsburgh Pirates sent Jimmy Sebring to the Cincinnati Reds.
March 2, 1901: Jumped from the St. Louis Cardinals to the Boston Americans.
Before 1902 Season: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Bronchos.
June, 1902: Released by the Cleveland Bronchos. (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
June 4, 1902: Signed as a Free Agent with the St. Louis Browns.
August 23, 1905: Purchased by the St. Louis Browns from St Paul (American Association). (Date given is approximate. Exact date is uncertain.)
November 5, 1907: Traded by the St. Louis Browns with Fred Glade and Harry Niles to the New York Highlanders for Hobe Ferris, Danny Hoffman and Jimmy Williams.
The 1983 St. Louis Cardinals
OWAR: 54.8 OWS: 310 OPW%: .517 (84-78)
AWAR: 36.1 AWS: 237 APW%: .488 (79-83)
WARdiff: 18.7 WSdiff: 73
The “Original” 1983 Cardinals seized the National League Eastern Division flag by a single game over the Expos. The flock featured left fielder Jose Cruz (.318/14/92), the NL leader with 189 base hits. “Cheo” reached the 30-steal mark for the fifth time in his career. Terry Kennedy (.284/17/98) registered a personal-best in RBI. Keith Hernandez earned the sixth of eleven consecutive Gold Glove Awards. John Denny (19-6, 2.37) merited the NL Cy Young Award. Larry Herndon notched personal-highs in batting average (.302), hits (182), doubles (28) and RBI (92). Ted “Simba” Simmons delivered a .308 BA with 39 two-baggers and 108 ribbies. Steve “Lefty” Carlton whiffed 275 batsmen and fashioned a 3.11 ERA. George Hendrick (.318/18/97) received his fourth All-Star invitation and posted a career-high in batting average for the “Actual” Redbirds.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1975 Astros