Year In Review : 1906 National League

O ff the field...

More than five-hundred people were killed during the great San Francisco earthquake, which struck the "City by the Bay" on the morning of April 18 at 5:15 AM. Modern analysis estimated the tremors to register at an 8.25 on the Richter scale (By comparison, the quake that hit San Francisco on October 17, 1989 registered 6.7). The greatest destruction came from the fires that were ignited and the ensuing inferno ravaged the city for three days before burning out. In the end, the maelstrom destroyed four-hundred ninety city blocks, a total of 25,000 buildings and rendered over 250,000 residents homeless. Damage estimates topped $350,000,000.

I n the American League...

The New York ban on Sunday baseball was temporarily lifted on April 29 th as the Highlanders and Philadelphia Athletics played a benefit game for the victims of the San Francisco earthquake, raising $5,600.

St. Louis Browns first baseman Tom Jones recorded an American League record twenty-two putouts on May 11 th against the Boston Red Sox. New York Highlander Hal Chase tied the record four months later (September 21), but would not be matched himself until Yankee captain Don Mattingly duplicated the effort during a 7-1 win over the Minnesota Twins in June of 1987.

In August, the Boston Americans set an unwanted Major League record after suffering four straight shutout losses (0-3 on August 2; 0-4 on August 3; 0-1 on August 4 and 0-4 on August 6).

I n the National League...

On April 12 th , Boston Braves outfielder Johnny Bates became the first modern player to hit a home run in his first Major League at bat. The inaugural round tripper came courtesy of Dodger Harry McIntire who lost twenty games or more in three seasons with Brooklyn's miserable turn-of-the-century teams.

New York Giants pitcher Hooks Wilste became the first pitcher of the modern era to strike out four batters in a single inning (after a third-strike error) en route to a twelve-K, 4-1 victory over the Cincinnati Reds. He also fanned the side in the fourth inning for a total of seven batters struck out in just two innings for the first and only time in Major League history.

On October 4 th , the Cubs recorded their one-hundred sixteenth victory of the year. The 4-0 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates gave Chicago a 60-15-road record with a .800 percentage mark that has never been equaled. They also became the first team to finish with fewer than two-hundred errors and their pitching staff combined for a league-leading 1.76 ERA.

A round the league...

In an effort to curb accusations and/or suspicions of tampering, a new rule was set putting the umpire in sole charge of all game balls. (The home team manager previously had some say as to when a new ball was introduced).

Harry Pulliam was unanimously re-elected president of the National League with an increased salary of $10,000. The American League increased Ban Johnson's salary to $15,000 for the remaining four years of his contract.

Hank O'Day, a National League umpire unsuccessfully proposed that the batter's box be outlined with white rubber strips (rather than chalk) to prevent batters from erasing them with their spikes.

"But during a fifteen year career, from 1902 through 1916, he (Joe Tinker) saved his teams an astonishing two-hundred three fielding runs. He deserves his immortality." - Total Baseball
1906 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Philadelphia

107

Batting Average

Pittsburgh

.339

Doubles

Pittsburgh

38

Hits

Chicago

176

Home Runs

Brooklyn

12

On Base Percentage

New York

.419

RBI

Pittsburgh

83

Chicago

Runs

Chicago

103

Pittsburgh

Slugging Average

Brooklyn

.477

Stolen Bases

Chicago

57

Total Bases

Pittsburgh

237

Triples

Pittsburgh

13

Chicago

1906 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

37

ERA

Chicago

1.04

Games

New York

45

Saves

New York

7

Shutouts

Chicago

9

Strikeouts

Chicago

171

St. Louis

Winning Percentage

Chicago

.826

Wins

New York

27

1906 National League

Team Standings

Chicago Cubs

116 36 .763 0

New York Giants

96 56 .632 20

Pittsburgh Pirates

93 60 .608

Philadelphia Phillies

71 82 .464 45½

Brooklyn Superbas

66 86 .434 50

Cincinnati Reds

64 87 .424 51½

St. Louis Cardinals

52 98 .347 63

Boston Beaneaters

49 102 .325 66½

1906 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

New York

563

Batting Average

Chicago

.262

Doubles

Philadelphia

197

Hits

Chicago

1,316

Home Runs

Brooklyn

25

On Base Percentage

New York

.343

Runs

Chicago

705

Slugging Average

Chicago

.339

Stolen Bases

New York

288

Triples

Chicago

71

Cincinnati

1906 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Boston

137

ERA

Chicago

1.75

Fewest Hits Allowed

Chicago

1,018

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Chicago

12

Fewest Walks Allowed

Pittsburgh

309

Saves

New York

18

Shutouts

Chicago

30

Strikeouts

Chicago

702



Obscure trivia alert - on May 6, 1906, the Pittsburgh Pirates became the first team to pull a tarpaulin across the infield during a rain delay.

On April 12, 1906, Johnny Bates became the first player of the twentieth century to hit a home run in his first at-bat . Do you know which two players accomplished the feat during the nineteenth century?

On August 13, 1906, starting pitcher Jack Taylor of Chicago was removed from a game during the third inning. This ended his record of 187 consecutive complete games in which he started.

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