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. Consequently, Giancarlo Stanton is listed on the Marlins roster for the duration of his career while the Mets declare Ken Singleton and the Expos / Nationals claim Tim Raines. 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 1939 New York Yankees OWAR: 60.8 OWS: 345 OPW%: .607
Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1939 Yankees registered 94 victories and outlasted the Indians to secure the pennant by a 7-game margin. New York paced the American League in OWS and OWAR. GM Ed Barrow acquired all of the ballplayers on the 1939 Yankees roster.
“Joltin’” Joe DiMaggio claimed his first batting title and the 1939 American League MVP Award. “The Yankee Clipper” produced a .381 BA with 30 four-baggers, 126 ribbies and 108 runs scored. Red Rolfe (.329/14/80) topped the leader boards with 213 safeties, 139 aces and 46 two-base knocks. Fellow third-sacker Billy Werber registered 115 runs scored and drilled 35 doubles. Bill Dickey belted 24 round-trippers and tallied 105 RBI along with a .302 BA. George “Twinkletoes” Selkirk (.306/21/101) posted career-bests in homers, runs scored (103) and bases on balls (103). Joe Gordon smashed 28 long balls and drove in 111 baserunners during his sophomore season. Charlie “King Kong” Keller supplied a .334 BA in his inaugural campaign.
Lou Gehrig is listed as the top ballplayer in the All-Time First Baseman rankings according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include DiMaggio (5th-CF), Dickey (7th-C), Gordon (16th-2B), Keller (17th-LF), Tony Lazzeri (19th-2B), Dixie Walker (30th-RF), Rolfe (44th-3B), Ben Chapman (55th-CF), Frankie Crosetti (67th-SS), Lefty Gomez (67th-P), Werber (78th-3B) and Lyn Lary (80th-SS).
Lefty Gomez (12-8, 3.41) earned his seventh All-Star nomination. Atley Donald furnished a 13-3 mark with a 3.71 ERA. Marius Russo contributed an 8-3 record with a 2.41 ERA and a 1.095 WHIP in his freshman year.
|Russ Van Atta||SP||-0.4||0|
The “Original” 1939 New York Yankees roster
|NAME||POS||WAR||WS||General Manager||Scouting Director|
|Joe DiMaggio||CF||8.71||34.04||Ed Barrow|
|Joe Gordon||2B||7.1||24.83||Ed Barrow|
|Red Rolfe||3B||6.59||29.64||Ed Barrow|
|Bill Dickey||C||5.82||27.2||Ed Barrow|
|George Selkirk||LF||5.58||25.02||Ed Barrow|
|Charlie Keller||RF||5.49||21.47||Ed Barrow|
|Billy Werber||3B||5.15||25.15||Ed Barrow|
|Lefty Gomez||SP||3.34||14.06||Ed Barrow|
|Marius Russo||SP||3.16||11.54||Ed Barrow|
|George McQuinn||1B||3.11||18.15||Ed Barrow|
|Pinky May||3B||2.51||12.54||Ed Barrow|
|Buddy Hassett||1B||1.91||13.83||Ed Barrow|
|Johnny Allen||SP||1.69||9.48||Ed Barrow|
|Frankie Crosetti||SS||1.58||16.52||Ed Barrow|
|Atley Donald||SP||1.54||10.46||Ed Barrow|
|Ben Chapman||CF||1.23||18.88||Ed Barrow|
|Vito Tamulis||SP||1.21||8.9||Ed Barrow|
|Willard Hershberger||C||1.09||6.93||Ed Barrow|
|Dixie Walker||LF||0.99||10.84||Ed Barrow|
|Tony Lazzeri||2B||0.7||3.94||Ed Barrow|
|Joe Glenn||C||0.6||5.05||Ed Barrow|
|Hank Johnson||RP||0.48||2.88||Ed Barrow|
|Buddy Rosar||C||0.35||3.4||Ed Barrow|
|Spud Chandler||RP||0.32||2.32||Ed Barrow|
|Ernie Koy||LF||0.31||13.53||Ed Barrow|
|Jim Tobin||SP||0.26||6.64||Ed Barrow|
|Les Powers||1B||0.09||1.67||Ed Barrow|
|Arndt Jorgens||C||0.01||0.02||Ed Barrow|
|Chris Hartje||C||0||0.23||Ed Barrow|
|Joe Gallagher||RF||-0.01||5.64||Ed Barrow|
|Len Gabrielson||1B||-0.06||0.07||Ed Barrow|
|Marv Breuer||RP||-0.06||0||Ed Barrow|
|Johnny Murphy||RP||-0.07||6.51||Ed Barrow|
|Lyn Lary||SS||-0.08||2.55||Ed Barrow|
|Leo Durocher||SS||-0.29||10.99||Ed Barrow|
|Lou Gehrig||1B||-0.4||0.08||Ed Barrow|
|Russ Van Atta||SP||-0.4||0||Ed Barrow|
|Don Heffner||SS||-0.77||4.2||Ed Barrow|
|Johnny Niggeling||SP||-0.8||0.1||Ed Barrow|
|Johnny Broaca||RP||-1.07||1.26||Ed Barrow|
|Myril Hoag||RF||-1.23||6.73||Ed Barrow|
The “Original” 1932 Yankees OWAR: 52.6 OWS: 336 OPW%: .588
The Philadelphia Athletics ended the season in a virtual tie with the Bronx Bombers. The A’s edged the Yankees by a few percentage points to take the pennant while New York led the Junior Circuit in OWAR and OWS. Lou Gehrig pummeled opposition hurlers, belting 42 doubles and 34 round-trippers. “The Iron Horse” registered 138 tallies, 208 base knocks and 151 ribbies along with a .349 BA. Lefty O’Doul (.368/21/90) collected his second batting title and topped the 200-hit mark for the third time in four campaigns. Tony “Poosh ‘Em Up” Lazzeri supplied a .300 BA with 15 dingers and 113 RBI. Earle Combs aka “The Kentucky Colonel” scored 143 runs and posted a .321 BA as the Yankees’ primary leadoff hitter. Ben Chapman rapped 41 doubles, swiped a League-leading 38 bases and topped the century mark in runs scored (101) and RBI (107). Bill Dickey (.310/15/84) and Kiddo Davis (.309/5/57) bolstered the prolific lineup. Lefty Gomez (24-7, 4.21) anchored the starting rotation and finished fifth in the 1932 A.L. MVP balloting in spite of his high ERA and walk totals. Johnny Allen fashioned a 17-4 record with a 3.70 ERA in his rookie year.
The “Original” 1906 Cubs
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.