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, Frankie Frisch is listed on the Giants roster for the duration of his career while the Indians declare Rocky Colavito and the Mariners claim David Ortiz. 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 1969 Cincinnati Reds OWAR: 58.1 OWS: 362 OPW%: .619
Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1969 Reds recorded 100 victories and claimed the National League Western Division by 14 games over the Giants. Cincinnati topped the circuit in OWS and OWAR. GM Gabe Paul acquired 27 of the 40 ballplayers (68%) on the 1969 Reds roster.
Pete Rose (.348/16/82) notched his second straight batting title and paced the League with 120 runs scored. “Charlie Hustle” rapped 218 base knocks including 33 doubles and 11 triples while establishing personal-bests in OBP (.428) and SLG (.512). Jim Wynn aka the “Toy Cannon” unleashed 33 bombs, nabbed 23 bags, tallied 113 runs and topped the circuit with 148 bases on balls. Frank “The Judge” Robinson (.308/32/100) registered 111 aces and finished third in the MVP balloting. Third-sacker Tony “Big Dog” Perez belted 37 round-trippers, knocked in 122 runs and merited his third consecutive All-Star invite. “The Little General” Johnny Bench swatted 26 big-flies and drove in 90 runs during his sophomore season. Lee “Big Bopper” May crushed 38 moon-shots and plated 110 baserunners to earn his first appearance in the Mid-Summer Classic.
Johnny Bench places runner-up to Yogi Berra in the All-Time Catcher rankings according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” Teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Robinson (3rd-RF), Rose (5th-RF), Wynn (10th-CF), Perez (13th-1B), Vada Pinson (18th-CF), Curt Flood (36th-CF), 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).
Mike Cuellar (23-11, 2.38) earned the Cy Young Award while fashioning the lowest WHIP (1.005) of his career. Claude Osteen (20-15, 2.66) delivered career-bests in victories, innings pitched (321), strikeouts (183) and WHIP (1.143). Jim Maloney contributed a 12-5 record with a 2.77 ERA and Casey Cox (12-7, 2.78) furnished strikingly similar statistics. Diego Segui anchored the bullpen with 12 wins, 12 saves and a 3.35 ERA.
The “Original” 1969 Cincinnati Reds roster
|NAME||POS||WAR||WS||General Manager||Scouting Director|
|Jim Wynn||CF||7.36||36.09||Bill DeWitt|
|Tony Perez||3B||5.77||30.41||Gabe Paul|
|Johnny Bench||C||5.69||29.93||Bill DeWitt|
|Frank Robinson||RF||5.31||31.84||Gabe Paul|
|Claude Osteen||SP||5.09||24.65||Gabe Paul|
|Mike Cuellar||SP||4.91||24.57||Gabe Paul|
|Pete Rose||RF||4.83||36.77||Gabe Paul|
|Jim Maloney||SP||3.93||14.63||Gabe Paul|
|Cesar Tovar||CF||3.37||20.31||Gabe Paul|
|Lee May||1B||3.31||25.11||Gabe Paul|
|Leo Cardenas||SS||2.81||23.74||Gabe Paul|
|Art Shamsky||RF||2.61||16.22||Gabe Paul|
|Curt Flood||CF||2.14||19.71||Gabe Paul|
|Casey Cox||SP||2.14||12.03||Bill DeWitt|
|Johnny Edwards||C||1.94||14.95||Gabe Paul|
|Tony Gonzalez||LF||1.89||17.19||Gabe Paul|
|Tommy Harper||3B||1.78||16.64||Gabe Paul|
|Gary Nolan||SP||1.71||7.02||Bob Howsam|
|Diego Segui||RP||1.38||11.3||Gabe Paul|
|Brant Alyea||LF||0.62||6.52||Bill DeWitt|
|Joe Azcue||C||0.61||6.49||Gabe Paul|
|Don Pavletich||C||0.5||4.96||Gabe Paul|
|Mel Queen||SP||0.37||1.17||Gabe Paul|
|Vada Pinson||RF||0.11||10.97||Gabe Paul|
|Chico Ruiz||2B||0.03||2.68||Gabe Paul|
|Clyde Mashore||–||-0.01||0||Bill DeWitt|
|Billy McCool||RP||-0.04||2.88||Bill DeWitt|
|Bernie Carbo||–||-0.04||0||Bill DeWitt|
|Dan McGinn||RP||-0.04||6.86||Bob Howsam|
|John Noriega||RP||-0.19||0||Bob Howsam|
|Vic Davalillo||RF||-0.21||2.26||Gabe Paul|
|Fred Kendall||C||-0.26||0.31||Bob Howsam||Jim McLaughlin|
|Jack Baldschun||RP||-0.3||3.57||Gabe Paul|
|Sammy Ellis||SP||-0.33||0||Gabe Paul|
|Gus Gil||3B||-0.64||1.8||Gabe Paul|
|Cookie Rojas||2B||-0.66||2.56||Gabe Paul|
|Jose Pena||RP||-0.68||0||Bob Howsam|
|Len Boehmer||1B||-0.91||0.58||Gabe Paul|
|Tommy Helms||2B||-0.93||5.57||Gabe Paul|
|Darrel Chaney||SS||-1.23||1.8||Bob Howsam|
The “Original” 1974 Reds OWAR: 52.6 OWS: 336 OPW%: .557
Cincinnati scrapped with Atlanta in the final weeks of the season. The Braves emerged with the division crown by two games while the Reds paced the National League in OWAR and OWS. Johnny Bench (.280/33/129) scored a career-high 108 runs and topped the RBI charts. Jim Wynn walloped 32 circuit clouts, drove in 108 baserunners and amassed 104 tallies. Pete Rose’s batting average dipped below .300 for the first time in ten years. All the same, “Charlie Hustle” paced the circuit with 45 doubles and 110 runs scored. Dave Concepcion earned his first of five Gold Glove Awards and contributed a .281 BA with 14 wallops and 41 steals. Hal McRae (.310/15/88) responded with 36 doubles after earning a full-time role. Ross “Scuz” Grimsley furnished an 18-13 record with a 3.07 ERA.
The “Original” 1939 Yankees
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.