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, Mark Grace is listed on the Cubs roster for the duration of his career while the Dodgers declare Frank “Hondo” Howard and the Diamondbacks claim Dan Uggla. 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. Additional information and a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.
Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony La Russa 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 1948 Cleveland Indians OWAR: 57.9 OWS: 291 OPW%: .606
GM C.C. Slapnicka acquired 52.5% (21/40) of the ballplayers on the 1948 Indians roster. Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1948 Indians outpaced the Red Sox, taking the American League pennant by eight games.
Lou Boudreau set personal-bests with a .355 batting average, 199 base hits, 18 dingers and 106 ribbies. “Old Shufflefoot” earned the 1948 American League MVP award and made his seventh All-Star appearance. Tommy “Old Reliable” Henrich (.308/25/100) topped the circuit with 138 runs scored and 14 triples. Ken Keltner posted career-highs in home runs (31), RBI (119) and runs (91). Larry Doby contributed a .308 BA with 83 tallies in his first full season. Jeff Heath swatted 20 big-flies and hit .319 for the Tribe while Dale Mitchell supplied a .336 BA with 204 base knocks and 30 two-baggers. Five-time All-Star backstop Jim “Shanty” Hegan clubbed 21 doubles and 14 taters.
Larry Doby placed 11th among center fielders according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Thirteen teammates join him in the top 100 rankings including Lou Boudreau (12th-SS), Bob Feller (12th-P), Al Rosen (14th-3B), Sherm Lollar (31st-C), Tommy Henrich (34th-RF), Ken Keltner (35th-3B), Jeff Heath (44th-LF), Jim Hegan (44th-C), Bob Lemon (48th-P), Ray Boone (69th-3B), Eddie Robinson (86th-1B), Phil Masi (93th-C) and Dale Mitchell (95th-LF).
Bob Lemon (20-14, 2.82) paced the Junior Circuit with 293.2 innings pitched, 20 complete games, 10 shutouts and a 1.226 WHIP. Johnny “Bear Tracks” Schmitz earned his second All-Star nod with a record of 18-13 along with a 2.64 ERA while Joe “Burrhead” Dobson (16-10, 3.56) made his lone appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic. Allie Reynolds (16-7, 3.77) battled control problems as he yielded over 100 walks eight times in his first nine seasons. Bob Feller (19-15, 3.56) led the League in strikeouts.
The “Original” 1948 Cleveland Indians roster
|NAME||POS||WAR||WS||General Manager||Scouting Director|
|Lou Boudreau||SS||9.79||34.4||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Bob Lemon||SP||7.06||25.52||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Ken Keltner||3B||6.34||24.93||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Tommy Henrich||RF||5.76||28.94||Billy Evans|
|Johnny Schmitz||SP||3.99||22.37||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Joe Dobson||SP||3.68||19.36||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Allie Reynolds||SP||3.46||15.58||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Larry Doby||CF||3.34||18.28||Bill Veeck|
|Jeff Heath||LF||3.25||20.16||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Dale Mitchell||LF||2.97||20.43||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Bob Feller||SP||2.38||16.44||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Sheldon Jones||SP||2.33||14.58||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Satchel Paige||SP||1.72||6.79||Bill Veeck|
|Jim Hegan||C||1.7||17.08||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Denny Galehouse||SP||1.49||9.68||Billy Evans|
|Steve Gromek||SW||1.48||9.66||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Red Embree||SP||0.68||4.61||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Dick Kokos||RF||0.63||7.03||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Phil Masi||C||0.46||9.73||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Mike McCormick||LF||0.4||10.59||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Hank Edwards||RF||0.36||4.46||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Joe Tipton||C||0.32||2.97||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Pat Seerey||RF||0.25||9.75||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Doyle Lade||SP||0.21||4.56||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Cliff Mapes||LF||0.18||2.1||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Jack Conway||2B||0.13||1.4||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Mike Garcia||RP||0.1||0.26||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Ray Boone||SS||0.07||0.28||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Al Rosen||3B||-0.05||0.02||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Ernest Groth||RP||-0.05||0||Bill Veeck|
|Ray Murray||–||-0.06||0||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Pete Milne||CF||-0.19||0.07||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Thornton Lee||SP||-0.26||0.84||Billy Evans|
|Eddie Robinson||1B||-0.3||9.18||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Sherm Lollar||C||-0.38||0.4||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Johnny Blatnik||LF||-0.47||8.46||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Ralph Weigel||C||-0.5||1.25||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Hal White||RP||-0.67||0.77||C.C. Slapnicka|
|Ray Poat||SP||-0.89||5.92||Roger Peckinpaugh|
|Bryan Stephens||SP||-1.25||1.84||Bill Veeck|
The “Original” 1999 Indians OWAR: 55.5 OWS: 298 OPW%: .555
The Tribe outdistanced the Royals and White Sox by eight games en route to claiming the 1999 American League pennant. Manny Ramirez (.333/44/165) secured his lone RBI title and finished third in the MVP balloting. Brian S. Giles slammed a career-best 39 circuit clouts, knocked in 115 baserunners and registered 109 tallies while batting .315. Jim Thome topped the leader boards with 127 bases on balls and slugged 33 four-ply swats. Albert Belle walloped 37 round-trippers and plated 117 baserunners. Sean Casey aka “The Mayor” achieved All-Star status with a .332 BA, 42 doubles, 25 home runs and 99 ribbies. Bartolo Colon fashioned a record of 18-5 with a 3.95 ERA.
The “Original” 1946 Tigers
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.