1902 saw the American League get stronger and the National League get nervous. The American League drew approx. 30% more fans for the season, outdrawing the National League in several key cities including Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago and St Louis. The National League battled over leadership of the league, finally settling on a 3 man National Committee to run the league, consisting of Arthur Soden, John T. Brush, and James Hart. The American League still had the strong presence of Ban Johnson.
Just before the start of the season a Pennsylvania appeals court ruled in favor of the National League regarding Nap Lajoie. Lajoie was illegally playing for the American League Philadelphia A’s, because of a 3 year contract that he had with the Philadelphia Phillies. The N.L. “victory” was negated when it was realized that the ruling applied to just the state of Pennsylvania. Connie Mack sold Lajoie’s contract to Cleveland after just 1 game played. As long as Lajoie didn’t play any games in Pennsylvania there was nothing the National League could do.
Fred Clarke’s Pirates ran away with the NL pennant winning by a whopping 27.5 games over the Superbas. Their record setting 103 victories would deny the NL any kind of a pennant race. The Athletics led by a 39 year old Connie Mack(Was Connie Mack ever 39 years old???) outlasted the St Louis Browns by 5 games, winning the 1st of many pennants for Mack. The 4th place White Sox finished just 8 games out.
John McGraw stirred the AL pot after becoming disgruntled with the league and Ban Johnson. With some wheeling and dealing he coerced John Brush to purchase the Orioles at mid season. He would go on to manage Brush’s Giants while Brush would release several key players from the Orioles. Joe McGinnitty, Roger Bresnahan, Joe Kelley, and Cy Seymour among others. All of them would go on to sign NL contracts. The Orioles would become the NY Highlanders in 1903. The AL would eventually have to step in and supply players for the Orioles in order for them to finish the season.
There would be no post season series between the A’s and the Pirates. This long simmering match-up will be settled in the DMB World Series.
Other Baseball Stuff:
The only team change between the 2 leagues from 1901occurred when the Milwaukee Brewers were shifted to St. Louis to become the Browns.
4/26- Addie Joss makes his ML debut against the St Louis Browns. He proceeds to toss a 1 hit shutout, winning 3-0. The only hit was a disputed bloop single off the bat of Jesse Burkett. Right fielder Zaza Harvey claimed vehemently that he had caught the ball.
5/7- Jack Taylor(Cubs) would beat Christy Mathewson(Giants) 4-0. The Giants would protest the game, claiming that Taylor was pitching in front of the rubber. The game would later be invalidated by the league.
5/16- Dummy Hoy(Reds) would face off against Dummy Taylor(Giants). The only time these 2 deaf-mutes would face each other. Hoy would get 2 hits off Taylor, and the Giants would score 5 runs in the 9th to win the game 5-3.
6/3- Mike O’Neill(Cardinals) would hit a grand slam against the Beaneaters. The 1st ever ML pinch hit grand slam was an inside the park home run. It would be hit by a pitcher and a native of this blogger’s hometown of Scranton, PA.
9/20- Nixey Callahan(Chicago) no hits the Tigers 1-0.
12/12- Harry Pulliam is elected President of the National League.
1902 Final Standings
Team Name G W L T PCT GB RS RA Pittsburgh Pirates 142 103 36 3 .741 - 775 439 Brooklyn Superbas 141 75 63 3 .543 27.5 564 519 Boston Beaneaters 142 73 64 5 .533 29.0 572 516 Cincinnati Reds 141 70 70 1 .500 33.5 633 566 Chicago Cubs 143 68 69 6 .496 34.0 544 505 St. Louis Cardinals 140 56 78 6 .418 44.5 517 695 Philadelphia Phillies 138 56 81 1 .409 46.0 483 649 New York Giants 141 48 88 5 .353 53.5 405 604
Team Name G W L T PCT GB RS RA Philadelphia Athletics 137 83 53 1 .610 - 775 636 St. Louis Browns 140 78 58 4 .574 5.0 619 607 Boston Americans 138 77 60 1 .562 6.5 664 600 Chicago White Sox 138 74 60 4 .552 8.0 675 602 Cleveland Broncos 137 69 67 1 .507 14.0 686 667 Washington Senators 138 61 75 2 .449 22.0 707 790 Detroit Tigers 137 52 83 2 .385 30.5 566 657 Baltimore Orioles 141 50 88 3 .362 34.0 715 848
**These awards were not awarded in 1901. How else could Cy Young win a Cy Young? The MVP and CY YOUNG awards are my choice, the ROY was determined by a SABR vote back in 1985.
## Delahanty edges out Charlie Hickman(.361-11-110) partly based on the fact that he played with 2 teams during the season(Bos/Cle)
Lindbergh and the Spirit of St Louis “I’ll get you my pretty.”
2/4- Charles Lindbergh-1st to solo the Atlantic
2/20- Ansel Adams- American photographer
3/2- Moe Berg
3/9- Will Geer- Grandpa Walton
3/17- Bobby Jones- Golfer extraordinaire
5/21- Earl Averill
5/22- Al Simmons
6/11- Ernie Nevers-PLayed professional football and baseball
8/4- Clara Peller- Where’s the beef!!
8/19-Ogden Nash-American Poet-
10/5- Ray Kroc- Two all beef patties!!!
12/9- Margaret Hamilton-The Wicked Witch of the West
3/7- Pud Galvin
9/26- Levi Strauss-Blue jeans
1/1- The 1st College football game is played at the Rose Bowl. Michigan would beat Stanford 49-0. There would not be another Rose Bowl played until 1916.
4/2- The 1st movie theater opens in Los Angeles. The Electric Theatre
5/8- Mount Pelee erupts in Martinique, killing 30,000
7/10- A methane gas explosion in the Rolling Mill Mine, Johnstown, PA kills 112
8/30- Mount Pelee erupts again killing 1000