Year In Review : 1909 American League

O ff the field...

The United States military intervened to aid in the removal of President Jose Santos Zelaya from Nicaragua. Since 1893, Zelaya had been trying to create a union of Central American countries by intervening actively in their affairs. After he began executing those who opposed him (including two Americans) the U.S. took over the rebel faction and ousted him promptly.

I n the American League...

On April 27 th , the Chicago White Sox won their third 1-0 game over the St. Louis Browns in three days, setting an early American League record for consecutive 1-0 wins. Hits in all three games (by both teams combined) totaled a meager eighteen.

The Chicago White Sox also set a modern Major League record on July 2 nd after stealing twelve bases (three of home) during a 15-3 massacre over the St. Louis Browns at South Side Park III.

Detroit Tigers legend Ty Cobb clinched the American League home run title after hitting nine, inside-the-park round-trippers. In doing so, he became the only player of the century to lead a league in home runs without ever actually hitting one "out of the park".

I n the National League...

The National League deprived umpires the ability to levy fines and declared that all relief pitchers must retire at least one batter before being relieved themselves.

Pittsburgh Pirate Honus Wagner stole his way around the bases in the first inning of a May 2 nd nightcap against the Chicago Cubs. In doing so, Wagner set a National League record as the first player ever to pull off the feat three times. Amazingly, he would duplicate the effort again the following day.

On July 3 rd , the St. Louis Cardinals tied an unwanted Major League mark after committing seventeen individual errors during a doubleheader loss to the Cincinnati Reds, (10-2 and 13-7).

A round the league...

Play-By-Play, broadcasting came one step closer as the first use of wireless technology to transmit baseball results was conducted at the Columbia University Wireless Club. The proceedings of the game between the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia were relayed from the Bellevue-Stratford in Philadelphia to New York's Waldorf Astoria, where Columbia students received the messages.

National League President John Heydler called an emergency meeting with the league's officials to propose a new two-umpire system for preventing fights with the players.

In June, Benjamin Shibe, of Bala, Pennsylvania, obtained a patent for a new cork-centered baseball. Spalding Sporting Goods later licensed the idea and began manufacturing it for distribution in both the major and minor leagues.

"Every time I hear of this guy (Ty Cobb) again, I wonder how he was possible." - Joe DiMaggio
1909 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Detroit

88

Batting Average

Detroit

.377

Doubles

Detroit

35

Hits

Detroit

216

Home Runs

Detroit

9

On Base Percentage

Detroit

.431

RBI

Detroit

107

Runs

Detroit

116

Slugging Average

Detroit

.517

Stolen Bases

Detroi

76

Total Bases

Detroit

296

Triples

Philadelphia

19

1909 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Chicago

37

ERA

Philadelphia

1.39

Games

Chicago

51

Saves

Boston

8

Shutouts

Chicago

8

Strikeouts

Chicago

177

Winning Percentage

Detroit

.784

Wins

Detroit

29

1909 American League

Team Standings

Detroit Tigers

98 54 .645 0

Philadelphia Athletics

95 58 .621

Boston Red Sox

88 63 .583

Chicago White Sox

78 74 .513 20

New York Highlanders

74 77 .490 23½

Cleveland Naps

71 82 .464 27½

St. Louis Browns

61 89 .407 36

Washington Senators

42 110 .276 56

1909 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Chicago

441

Batting Average

Detroit

.267

Doubles

Detroit

209

Hits

Detroit

1,360

Home Runs

Philadelphia

21

On Base Percentage

Detroit

.325

Runs

Detroit

666

Slugging Average

Philadelphia

.343

Stolen Bases

Detroit

280

Triples

Philadelphia

88

1909 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Detroit

117

ERA

Philadelphia

1.93

Fewest Hits Allowed

Philadelphia

1,069

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Chicago

8

Fewest Walks Allowed

Chicago

340

Saves

Boston

15

Shutouts

Philadelphia

27

Strikeouts

Philadelphia

728



On July 2, 1909, Chicago stole twelve bases against St. Louis. Of those steals, three were of home including one by the pitcher Ed Walsh .

On July 19, 1909, Neal Ball of Cleveland caught an Amby McConnell line drive. He then stepped on second base, to retire Heinie Wagner , and finished the first unassisted triple play when he tagged Jake Stahl coming from first.

On September 13, 1909, Ty Cobb hit his league leading ninth home run in a Triple Crown season. The most amazing fact is that all nine of his home runs this season were inside the park variations making him the only player to lead the American League in home runs without having a single one leave the park.

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