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 Tanana is listed on the Angels roster for the duration of his career while the White Sox declare Edd Roush and the Yankees claim Hippo Vaughn. 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 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
The 1931 Philadelphia Athletics OWAR: 53.6 OWS: 347 OPW%: .524
Connie Mack acquired all of the ballplayers on the 1931 Athletics roster. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1931 A’s finished in second place, two games behind the Yankees. Philadelphia paced the Junior Circuit in OWS and led the League in OWAR for the fourth straight season (1928-1931).
“Bucketfoot” Al Simmons (.390/22/128) collected his second successive batting title and placed third in the American League MVP balloting. Mickey Cochrane drilled 31 doubles and delivered a .349 BA. Max “Camera Eye” Bishop amassed over 100 bases on balls in eight consecutive seasons (1926-1933). Jimmie Foxx belted 30 round-trippers and drove in 120 baserunners. Charlie Grimm aka “Jolly Cholly” contributed a .331 BA with 33 doubles and 11 triples.
Jimmie Foxx ranks second to Lou Gehrig among first basemen while Lefty Grove places runner-up to Walter Johnson according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Teammates cataloged in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Cochrane (4th-C), Simmons (7th-LF), Wally Schang (20th-C), Bishop (43rd-2B), Jimmie Dykes (52nd-3B), Grimm (85th-1B), Joe Dugan (88th-3B) and Doc Cramer (91st-CF).
Lefty Grove claimed the 1931 American League MVP award with a dominant performance including League-bests in victories (31), ERA (2.06), WHIP (1.077) and complete games (27). He also struck out the most batsmen in the circuit for the seventh year in a row. George “Moose” Earnshaw topped the 20-win plateau for the third straight season. Herb Pennock and Tom Zachary furnished 11 victories apiece.
The “Original” 1931 Philadelphia Athletics roster
|NAME||POS||WAR||WS||General Manager||Scouting Director|
|Lefty Grove||SP||10.74||41.58||Connie Mack|
|Al Simmons||LF||5.89||33.75||Connie Mack|
|Mickey Cochrane||C||5.68||28.31||Connie Mack|
|George Earnshaw||SP||5.57||28.08||Connie Mack|
|Max Bishop||2B||5.27||24.91||Connie Mack|
|Tom Zachary||SP||3.99||19.78||Connie Mack|
|Jimmie Foxx||1B||3.93||24.11||Connie Mack|
|Charlie Grimm||1B||3.02||20.08||Connie Mack|
|Herb Pennock||SP||2.78||9.47||Connie Mack|
|Eddie Rommel||SP||2.6||12.06||Connie Mack|
|Charlie Berry||C||1.88||10.79||Connie Mack|
|Fred Heimach||SP||0.85||9.61||Connie Mack|
|Jimmie Dykes||3B||0.65||13.13||Connie Mack|
|Rube Bressler||LF||0.39||3.09||Connie Mack|
|Lou Finney||RF||0.31||1.69||Connie Mack|
|Val Picinich||C||0.18||1.41||Connie Mack|
|Lew Krausse||SP||0.11||0.92||Connie Mack|
|Hank McDonald||SP||0.05||3.95||Connie Mack|
|Glenn Myatt||C||-0.05||3.87||Connie Mack|
|Jim Peterson||SW||-0.1||0.3||Connie Mack|
|Joe Palmisano||C||-0.1||0.72||Connie Mack|
|Lena Styles||C||-0.15||0.73||Connie Mack|
|Cy Perkins||C||-0.16||0.49||Connie Mack|
|Joe Dugan||3B||-0.19||0.09||Connie Mack|
|Wally Schang||C||-0.32||1.16||Connie Mack|
|Dib Williams||SS||-0.32||9.16||Connie Mack|
|Sol Carter||RP||-0.32||0||Connie Mack|
|Eric McNair||3B||-0.35||5.71||Connie Mack|
|Doc Cramer||CF||-0.54||3.61||Connie Mack|
|Bill Shores||SP||-0.64||0.14||Connie Mack|
|Frank Sigafoos||3B||-0.68||0.34||Connie Mack|
|Dolly Gray||SP||-0.95||9.99||Connie Mack|
|Joe Boley||SS||-1.15||3.29||Connie Mack|
|Socks Seibold||SP||-1.22||6.27||Connie Mack|
The “Original” 1911 Athletics OWAR: 46.1 OWS: 303 OPW%: .597
Philadelphia coasted to the pennant by a nine-game margin over Boston. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson posted a .408 BA in his first full season. He collected 233 safeties, scored 126 runs and led the Junior Circuit with a .468 OBP. Eddie Collins swiped 38 bags while batting at a .365 clip. “Home Run” Baker (.334/11/115) topped the American League in circuit clouts for the first of four consecutive campaigns. Matty McIntyre totaled 102 runs and produced a .323 BA. “Gettysburg” Eddie Plank delivered a 23-8 record with a 2.10 ERA including six shutouts. Jack Coombs led the League with 28 victories despite allowing 360 hits in 336.2 innings pitched. Bris Lord aka the “Human Eyeball” supplied a .310 BA and accrued 92 tallies.
The “Original” 2002 Athletics OWAR: 45.8 OWS: 304 OPW%: .578
Jason Giambi (.314/41/122) coaxed 109 bases on balls and tallied 120 runs as the ’02 squad finished five games ahead of the Angels for the American League pennant. Miguel Tejada (.308/34/131) achieved MVP honors and made his first All-Star appearance while registering 108 aces and 204 base knocks. Barry Zito claimed the Cy Young Award with a record of 23-5 and an ERA of 2.75. Tim Hudson contributed 15 victories and a 2.98 ERA while portsider Mark Mulder accrued 19 wins. Eric Chavez launched 34 long balls, drove in 109 baserunners and earned the second of six consecutive Gold Glove Awards.
The “Original” 1907 Phillies
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.