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 Robinson is listed on the Reds roster for the duration of his career while the Rangers claim Ivan Rodriguez and the Red Sox declare Jeff Bagwell. 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 finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The print edition is coming soon. Additional information and a discussion forum are available at TuataraSoftware.com.
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
The 1924 Washington Senators OWAR: 43.1 OWS: 287 OPW%: .615
Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1924 Senators obliterated the competition with the Tigers finishing a distant 13 games in arrears. Walter “Big Train” Johnson, approaching the final stop in his 21-year career, continued to blow smoke past American League batsmen. He whiffed the most batters in the Junior Circuit for the twelfth time and furnished a 23-7 mark with the best ERA (2.72) and WHIP (1.116) in the League. Johnson received the MVP Award for his efforts in ’24 and the future Hall-of-Famer retired three years later with 417 victories, a 2.17 ERA and a 1.061 WHIP along with 3,509 strikeouts and the most shutouts in Major League history (110). Johnson ranks first among pitchers in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract”.
Jack Bentley bolstered the Washington pitching corps, delivering 16 victories against 5 losses. Firpo Marberry split time between the rotation and bullpen, notching 11 wins and saving 15 contests (although saves were not officially tabulated until 1969).
Goose Goslin (.344/12/129) topped the American League leader boards in RBI while recording 199 hits and 100 runs. The future Hall of Famer surpassed the century mark in ribbies 11 times and recorded a .316 lifetime batting average. Sam Rice batted .334 with 106 runs scored and 39 two-baggers while producing a League-best 216 base hits. A .322 career hitter, Rice concluded his career only 13 hits shy of 3,000.
Charlie Jamieson rapped 213 safeties and posted a personal-best .359 BA after leading the Junior Circuit in the previous campaign with 222 knocks. First-sacker Joe Judge clubbed 38 two-base hits and delivered a .324 BA. Goslin rated 16th among left fielders in the “NBJHBA”. Rice (33rd-RF), Judge (44th-1B) and Bucky Harris (70th-2B) also placed in the top 100 at their respective positions.
The “Original” 1924 Washington Senators roster
|Walter Johnson||SP||7.02||28.65||Thomas Noyes|
|Goose Goslin||LF||5.69||28.91||Clark Griffith|
|Sam Rice||RF||3.65||23.99||Clark Griffith|
|Charlie Jamieson||LF||3.09||19.11||Clark Griffith|
|Joe Judge||1B||2.12||19.08||Clark Griffith|
|Jack Bentley||SP||1.96||11.78||Clark Griffith|
|Firpo Marberry||SP||1.48||17.72||Clark Griffith|
|Frank Brower||1B||1.05||5.27||Clark Griffith|
|Irish Meusel||LF||0.98||16.78||Clark Griffith|
|Doc Prothro||3B||0.9||5.89||Clark Griffith|
|Bing Miller||RF||0.83||13.65||Clark Griffith|
|Ossie Bluege||3B||0.72||10.42||Clark Griffith|
|Ted Wingfield||RP||0.67||2.54||Clark Griffith|
|Joe Martina||SP||0.35||5.74||Clark Griffith|
|Bucky Harris||2B||0.32||13.31||Clark Griffith|
|Earl McNeely||CF||0.3||5.84||Clark Griffith|
|Eddie Ainsmith||C||0.11||0.45||Thomas Noyes|
|Carl East||RF||0.09||0.36||Clark Griffith|
|Ike Davis||SS||0.02||0.35||Clark Griffith|
|Howie Shanks||SS||-0.02||5.21||Thomas Noyes|
|Bennie Tate||C||-0.02||0.64||Clark Griffith|
|Carr Smith||RF||-0.13||0.04||Clark Griffith|
|Tommy Taylor||3B||-0.13||0.85||Clark Griffith|
|Showboat Fisher||RF||-0.14||0.4||Clark Griffith|
|By Speece||RP||-0.25||3.52||Clark Griffith|
|Slim McGrew||SP||-0.27||0.32||Clark Griffith|
|Paul Zahniser||SP||-0.28||3.72||Clark Griffith|
|Pinky Hargrave||C||-0.35||0.21||Clark Griffith|
|Mule Shirley||1B||-0.5||0.34||Clark Griffith|
|Frank Ellerbe||3B||-0.9||2.19||Clark Griffith|
The “Original” 1915 Senators OWAR: 49.1 OWS: 272 OPW%: .565
“Big Train” Johnson (27-13, 1.55) completed 35 of 39 starts while leading the American League in wins, WHIP (0.933), innings pitched, shutouts and strikeouts. The rotation was supplemented by Doc Ayers (14-9, 2.21) and Bert Gallia (17-11, 2.29). Clyde “Deerfoot” Milan swiped 40 bags and Tom Long legged out 25 triples at the top of the lineup.
The “Original” 1965 Twins OWAR: 46.0 OWS: 280 OPW%: .644
Zoilo Versalles topped the leader boards with 126 tallies, 45 doubles, 12 triples and 308 total bases to capture the 1965 A.L. MVP Award. Teammate Tony Oliva (.321/16/98) finished runner-up in the MVP race and collected his second batting title. Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall and Harmon Killebrew slammed at least 20 circuit clouts apiece. Jim Kaat (18-11, 2.83) anchored the starting staff and Ted Abernathy led the League with 31 saves and 84 relief appearances.
The “Original” 1992 White Sox
References and Resources
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.
Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games. He has written a number of articles for Fangraphs and Seamheads, and enjoys spending quality time with his family.