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 1919 Philadelphia Athletics
OWAR: 33.3 OWS: 224 OPW%: .381 (53-87)
AWAR: 9.0 AWS: 107 APW%: .257 (36-104)
WARdiff: 24.3 WSdiff: 116.4
The “Original” 1919 Athletics outperformed the “Actual” squad by 17 victories with a staggering WSdiff of 116.4. The “Actuals” were reduced to a shadow of their former dynasty due to a variety of factors, primarily financial. The “Originals” featured second-sacker Eddie Collins (.319/4/80), the League-leader with 33 stolen bases. “Shoeless Joe” Jackson supplied a .351 BA with 31 doubles, 14 triples and 96 ribbies in his penultimate season. Their counterparts, Whitey Witt (.267/0/33) and Merlin Kopp (.226/1/12) were barely adequate. In addition to left field and second base, the “Originals” surpassed the “Actuals” at catcher and third base. Wally Schang furnished a .306 BA and pilfered 15 bags while Steve O’Neill contributed a .289 BA with 35 doubles. Home Run Baker (.293/10/83) bested Fred Thomas (.212/2/23) at the hot corner.
Eddie Collins placed runner-up to Joe Morgan in the All-Time Second Basemen rankings according to Bill James in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.” “Original” Athletics teammates listed in the “NBJHBA” top 100 rankings include Baker (5th-3B), Jackson (6th-LF), Wally Schang (20th-C), Jimmie Dykes (52nd-3B), Steve O’Neill (54th-C), Stan Coveleski (58th-P), Stuffy McInnis (68th-1B), Charlie Grimm (85th-1B), Joe Dugan (88th-3B), Jack Barry (90th-SS), Bob Shawkey (95th-P) and Amos Strunk (100th-CF). George H. Burns (79th-1B) and Terry Turner (92nd-SS) round out the roster for the “Actuals”.
Original 1919 Athletics Actual 1919 Athletics
|STARTING LINEUP||POS||OWAR||OWS||STARTING LINEUP||POS||OWAR||OWS|
|Joe Jackson||LF||3.37||30.69||Merlin Kopp||LF||0.59||3.19|
|Amos Strunk||CF||-1.59||5.71||Tillie Walker||CF||0.87||9.67|
|Eddie Murphy||RF||0.69||3.38||Braggo Roth||RF||0.64||7.11|
|Stuffy McInnis||1B||1.07||12.03||George H. Burns||1B||1.56||11.67|
|Eddie Collins||2B||4.1||27.48||Whitey Witt||2B||-0.35||7.01|
|Joe Dugan||SS||-1.51||6.12||Joe Dugan||SS||-1.51||6.12|
|Home Run Baker||3B||1.57||19.36||Fred Thomas||3B||-3.09||3.74|
|Wally Schang||C||4.41||18.95||Cy Perkins||C||0.96||8.98|
|Morrie Rath||2B||4.18||21.36||Wickey McAvoy||C||-0.77||2.93|
|Steve O’Neill||C||2.02||16.7||Red Shannon||2B||-0.23||2.69|
|Cy Perkins||C||0.96||8.98||Dick Burrus||1B||-1.09||1.53|
|Val Picinich||C||0.79||7.27||Ivy Griffin||1B||-0.04||1.26|
|Whitey Witt||2B||-0.35||7.01||Al Wingo||LF||-0.08||1.17|
|Rube Bressler||LF||-0.08||5.96||Amos Strunk||RF||-1.35||1.02|
|Wickey McAvoy||C||-0.77||2.93||Terry Turner||SS||-1.06||0.95|
|Charlie Grimm||1B||0.27||1.81||Chick Galloway||SS||-0.93||0.63|
|Jack Barry||2B||0.03||1.68||Lena Styles||C||0.02||0.54|
|Dick Burrus||1B||-1.09||1.53||Jimmie Dykes||2B||-0.28||0.36|
|Fred Lear||1B||-0.05||1.48||Frank Welch||CF||-0.31||0.22|
|Ivy Griffin||1B||-0.04||1.26||Art Ewoldt||3B||-0.24||0.19|
|Al Wingo||LF||-0.08||1.17||Roy Grover||2B||-0.4||0.17|
|Lew Malone||3B||-0.82||1.01||Johnny Walker||C||-0.11||0.12|
|Dave Shean||2B||-1.25||0.88||Snooks Dowd||2B||-0.18||0.06|
|Chick Galloway||SS||-0.93||0.63||Charlie High||RF||-0.46||0.04|
|Lena Styles||C||0.02||0.54||Lew Groh||3B||-0.06||0.01|
|Claude Davidson||3B||0.08||0.41||Bob Allen||CF||-0.25||0.01|
Stan Coveleski averaged 23 victories per season over a four-year stretch (1918-1921). “Covey” delivered a 24-12 mark with a 2.61 ERA for the “Originals” staff. Bob Shawkey fashioned a 2.72 ERA and a 1.186 WHIP to complement his 20-11 record. Herb Pennock aka “The Squire of Kennett Square” added 16 wins with a 2.71 ERA. The “Actuals” countered with Walt Kinney (9-15, 3.64), Jing Johnson (9-15, 3.61), Rollie Naylor (5-18, 3.34) and Scott Perry (4-17, 3.58).
Original 1919 Athletics Actual 1919 Athletics
|Stan Coveleski||SP||6.29||27.45||Walt Kinney||SP||1.03||9.04|
|Bob Shawkey||SP||3.87||23.43||Jing Johnson||SP||0.79||7.49|
|Herb Pennock||SP||2.91||15.28||Rollie Naylor||SP||0.38||7.16|
|Elmer Myers||SP||0.6||7.68||Scott Perry||SP||0.96||6.52|
|Jing Johnson||SP||0.79||7.49||Tom Rogers||SP||-0.65||3.07|
|Dana Fillingim||SP||-0.06||7.35||Bob Geary||SW||-0.26||0.77|
|Rollie Naylor||SP||0.38||7.16||Jimmy Zinn||SP||-0.35||0.43|
|Tom Zachary||SP||0.15||2.78||Charlie Eckert||SP||-0.03||0.4|
|Bob Geary||SW||-0.26||0.77||Walter Anderson||RP||-0.28||0.4|
|Jimmy Zinn||SP||-0.35||0.43||William Pierson||SP||0.14||0.38|
|Charlie Eckert||SP||-0.03||0.4||Socks Seibold||SW||-0.94||0.28|
|Walter Anderson||RP||-0.28||0.4||Dave Keefe||SP||0.1||0.28|
|William Pierson||SP||0.14||0.38||Willie Adams||RP||0.03||0.18|
|Socks Seibold||SW||-0.94||0.28||Win Noyes||SP||-0.72||0.08|
|Dave Keefe||SP||0.1||0.28||Pat Martin||SP||-0.18||0.06|
|Bullet Joe Bush||SP||-0.03||0.24||Ray Roberts||SP||-0.53||0.03|
|Pat Martin||SP||-0.18||0.06||Bob Hasty||SP||-0.28||0.02|
|Ray Roberts||SP||-0.53||0.03||Dan Boone||SP||-0.54||0|
|Bob Hasty||SP||-0.28||0.02||Bill Grevell||SP||-1.19||0|
|Dan Boone||SP||-0.54||0||Mike Kircher||RP||-0.36||0|
|Dave Danforth||RP||-2.18||0||Harry Thompson||RP||-0.28||0|
|Bill Grevell||SP||-1.19||0||Mule Watson||SP||-0.33||0|
|Mike Kircher||RP||-0.36||0||Lefty York||SP||-0.86||0|
Shoeless Joe Jackson
July 30, 1910: the Philadelphia Athletics sent Shoeless Joe Jackson to the Cleveland Naps to complete an earlier deal made on July 23, 1910. July 23, 1910: The Philadelphia Athletics sent a player to be named later and Morrie Rath to the Cleveland Naps for Bris Lord.
August 21, 1915: Traded by the Cleveland Indians to the Chicago White Sox for a player to be named later, Ed Klepfer, Braggo Roth and $31,500. The Chicago White Sox sent Larry Chappell (February 14, 1916) to the Cleveland Indians to complete the trade.
December 8, 1914: Purchased by the Chicago White Sox from the Philadelphia Athletics for $50,000.
Home Run Baker
February 15, 1916: Purchased by the New York Yankees from the Philadelphia Athletics for $37,500.
December 14, 1917: Traded by the Philadelphia Athletics with Bullet Joe Bush and Amos Strunk to the Boston Red Sox for Vean Gregg, Merlin Kopp, Pinch Thomas and $60,000.
July 23, 1910: Traded by the Philadelphia Athletics with a player to be named later to the Cleveland Naps for Bris Lord. The Philadelphia Athletics sent Shoeless Joe Jackson (July 30, 1910) to the Cleveland Naps to complete the trade.
September 1, 1911: Drafted by the Chicago White Sox from Baltimore (Eastern) in the 1911 rule 5 draft.
August 23, 1913: Purchased by Kansas City (American Association) from the Chicago White Sox.
September 20, 1917: Drafted by the Cincinnati Reds from Salt Lake City (PCL) in the 1917 rule 5 draft.
August 20, 1911: Purchased by the Cleveland Naps from the Philadelphia Athletics.
December, 1912: Purchased by Spokane (Northwestern) from the Philadelphia Athletics.
November 27, 1915: Sent from Portland (PCL) to the Cleveland Indians in an unknown transaction.
June 28, 1915: Purchased by the New York Yankees from the Philadelphia Athletics for $3,000.
June 6, 1915: Selected off waivers by the Boston Red Sox from the Philadelphia Athletics.
The 1998 Oakland Athletics
OWAR: 41.6 OWS: 306 OPW%: .510 (83-79)
AWAR: 28.7 AWS: 222 APW%: .457 (74-88)
WARdiff: 12.9 WSdiff: 84.8
Mark McGwire launched 70 four-baggers and drove in 147 runs for the “Original” 1998 Athletics. “Big Mac” placed runner-up in the MVP balloting while his protégé Jason Giambi (.295/27/110) completed his third season for the “Actuals”. Scott Brosius (.300/19/98) socked 34 two-base hits and earned his lone All-Star invitation as he outclassed Mike Blowers, who batted .237 with 11 dingers in his solitary campaign for the green-and-gold crew. Darren Lewis posted career-bests in runs scored (95) and RBI (63), a significant upgrade over “Actuals” center fielder Ryan Christenson (.257/5/40). Rickey Henderson, a member of the “Original” and “Actual” A’s roster in ’98, notched the American League stolen base title for the twelfth time in his career. “The Man of Steal” tallied 101 runs scored and a League-leading 118 bases on balls.
What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1905 Beaneaters
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.
The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org”.
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.