Hardball Retrospective – What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1902 Orphans

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. 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 teams with the biggest single-season difference in the WAR and Win Shares for the “Original” vs. “Actual” rosters for every Major League organization. “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

AWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “actual” teams

AWS – Win Shares for players on “actual” teams

APW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “actual” teams


The 1902 Chicago Orphans 

OWAR: 37.4     OWS: 280     OPW%: .527     (74-66)

AWAR: 29.9      AWS: 203     APW%: .496     (68-69)

WARdiff: 7.5                        WSdiff: 77  

The 1902 “Original” Orphans finished in third place, ten games behind the Reds. Bill Bradley (.340/11/77) thrived against opposing hurlers, notching career-bests in base hits (187), runs scored (104), doubles (39), home runs and batting average. “Bad” Bill Dahlen drilled 25 two-baggers and swiped 20 bags. Danny Green delivered a .302 BA and pilfered 35 bases. Jimmy “Pony” Ryan slashed 32 two-base knocks and produced a .320 BA. Johnny “Noisy” Kling succeeded on 25 stolen base attempts. Jimmy “Rabbit” Slagle executed 41 thefts and supplied a .315 BA for the “Actual” Orphans.

Bill Dahlen rated twenty-first among shortstops in the “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract” top 100 player rankings. “Original” Orphans teammates registered in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Frank Chance (25th-1B), Johnny Evers (25th-2B), Jimmy Ryan (26th-CF), Joe Tinker (33rd-SS), Bill Bradley (46th-3B), Johnny Kling (48th-C) and Tom Daly (55th-2B). “Actuals” second-sacker Bobby Lowe placed fifty-sixth.

  Original 1902 Orphans                          Actual 1902 Orphans

Jimmy Ryan LF/CF 3.26 18.59 Jimmy Slagle LF 5.11 22.25
Davy Jones CF 2.67 13.4 Davy Jones CF 2.67 13.4
Danny Green RF 3.52 20.73 John Dobbs RF/CF 0.8 8.31
Frank Chance 1B 2.66 12.37 Frank Chance 1B 2.66 12.37
Tom Daly 2B -1.87 10.46 Bobby Lowe 2B 0.79 10.24
Bill Dahlen SS 4.65 21.9 Joe Tinker SS 3.31 16.58
Bill Bradley 3B 5.38 25.61 Charlie Dexter 3B -0.47 4.12
Johnny Kling C 2.47 17.06 Johnny Kling C 2.47 17.06
Charlie Irwin 3B 0.74 17.4 Dusty Miller LF -0.25 3.95
Joe Tinker SS 3.31 16.58 Art Williams RF -0.33 2.46
Harry Wolverton 3B 0.41 10.43 Larry Schlafly RF 0.46 2.15
Frank Isbell 1B -0.32 9.1 Bunk Congalton RF -0.99 1.55
Art Nichols 1B 0.09 8.68 Johnny Evers 2B -0.17 1.27
Malachi Kittridge C 0.59 8.44 Hal O’Hagan 1B -0.06 1.09
Duke Farrell C -0.06 5.46 Jack Hendricks RF 0.19 0.91
Dusty Miller LF -0.25 3.95 Germany Schaefer 3B -2.27 0.71
Art Williams RF -0.33 2.46 Sammy Strang 3B 0.07 0.42
Larry Schlafly RF 0.46 2.15 Jim Murray RF -0.52 0.27
Zaza Harvey RF 0.15 1.58 Mike Jacobs SS -0.15 0.18
Bunk Congalton RF -0.99 1.55 Mike Lynch CF -0.34 0.14
Johnny Evers 2B -0.17 1.27 Snapper Kennedy CF -0.06 0.14
Germany Schaefer 3B -2.27 0.71 Ed Glenn SS -0.08 0.1
Jim Murray RF -0.52 0.27 Mike Kahoe C -0.11 0.09
Mike Jacobs SS -0.15 0.18 Pete Lamer C -0.06 0.07
Mike Lynch CF -0.34 0.14 Dad Clark 1B -0.31 0.05
Snapper Kennedy CF -0.06 0.14 Chick Pedroes RF -0.1 0.03
Jim Delahanty RF -0.14 0.09 R.E. Hillebrand RF -0.06 0.01
Pete Lamer C -0.06 0.07 Joe Hughes RF -0.05 0
Dad Clark 1B -0.31 0.05
Chick Pedroes RF -0.1 0.03
R.E. Hillebrand RF -0.06 0.01
Joe Hughes RF -0.05 0

Jack W. Taylor (23-11, 1.29) paced the National League in ERA, shutouts (8) and WHIP (0.953). Mal “Kid” Eason contributed 10 victories with a 2.76 ERA and Carl Lundgren (9-9, 1.97) completed 17 of 18 starts during his rookie campaign. Jock Menefee (12-10, 2.42) and Pop Williams (11-16, 2.49) rounded out the rotation for the “Actuals”.

  Original 1902 Orphans                         Actual 1902 Orphans

Jack Taylor SP 7.47 31.24 Jack Taylor SP 7.47 31.24
Mal Eason SP 0.55 12.06 Jock Menefee SP 1.82 14.41
Carl Lundgren SP 0.89 10.79 Pop Williams SP 0.7 13.84
Tom Hughes SP 1.4 9 Carl Lundgren SP 0.89 10.79
Jim St.Vrain SP 0.51 5.85 Jim St.Vrain SP 0.51 5.85
Bob Rhoads SP -1.48 3.4 Bob Rhoads SP -1.48 3.4
Jack Katoll SP -1.74 3.04 Frank Morrissey SP 0.05 2.12
Alex Hardy SP -0.29 1.16 Mal Eason SP 0.13 1.41
Fred Glade SP -0.49 0.27 Alex Hardy SP -0.29 1.16
Jim Gardner SP -0.1 1.01
Fred Glade SP -0.49 0.27


Notable Transactions

Bill Bradley 

Before 1901 Season: Jumped from the Chicago Orphans to the Cleveland Blues. 

Bill Dahlen 

January 25, 1899: Traded by the Chicago Orphans to the Baltimore Orioles for Gene DeMontreville.

March 11, 1899: Assigned to the Brooklyn Superbas by the Baltimore Orioles. 

Danny Green 

Before 1902 Season: Jumped from the Chicago Orphans to the Chicago White Sox. 

Jimmy Ryan

Before 1902 Season: To the Washington Senators in unknown transaction.

Charlie Irwin

July 11, 1901: Released by the Cincinnati Reds.

July 12, 1901: Signed as a Free Agent with the Brooklyn Superbas.

Honorable Mention

The 1966 Chicago Cubs 

OWAR: 43.3     OWS: 235     OPW%: .510     (83-79)

AWAR: 27.1       AWS: 176      APW%: .364    (59-103)

WARdiff: 16.2                        WSdiff: 59

The “Original” 1966 Cubs placed fourth with a record north of .500 yet fifteen games off the pace of the Giants. Ron Santo (.312/30/94) merited Gold Glove honors for the third straight season and paced the circuit with 95 bases on balls and a .412 OBP. Lou Brock aka “The Franchise” tallied 94 runs and topped the National League with 74 stolen bases. “Sweet Swingin’” Billy L. Williams socked 29 long balls and registered 100 runs scored. Al “Red” Worthington (2.46, 16 SV) fashioned a 1.018 WHIP and secured the late-inning leads. Ernie “Mr. Cub” Banks contributed 23 two-baggers and a .272 BA. Ken Holtzman collected 11 victories while furnishing an ERA of 3.79 in his inaugural season.

On Deck

What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1921 Tigers

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database


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.

Retrosheet – Transactions Database

The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org”.

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive

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.

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