Year In Review : 1915 American League

O ff the field...

The Superior Court in Fulton County, Georgia accepted the charter for the establishment of the new Ku Klux Klan on December 4 th . The first Ku Klux Klan was an organization that thrived in the South during the Reconstruction period following the Civil War. Subsequent groups calling themselves by the same name sprang up in much of the South after both World War I and II and in response to civil-rights activity during the 1960s. In spite of its efforts, the new Klan was not strong, and by the end of the 1960's its nationwide power and membership had declined into a small, underground movement.

Ford rolled its one-millionth automobile off the Michigan assembly line, which was responsible for manufacturing half of all cars in America. To meet the growing demands of his "Model T" automobiles, Henry Ford had opened a large factory at Highland Park, in 1910. There, the industrial visionary invented precision building, interchangeable parts and a continuous moving assembly line that revolutionized automobile production by significantly reducing assembly time per vehicle as well as labor costs.

I n the American League...

On May 6 th , an "up-and-coming" pitcher for the Boston Red Sox nicknamed "The Babe" hit his first major league homerun off the Yankees Jack Warhop at New York's Polo Grounds.

A back-up catcher for the Philadelphia Athletics named Wally Schang set an American League record after nailing six would-be St. Louis base stealers during a 3-0 loss to the Browns.

On June 23 rd , Detroit's Ty Cobb stole home (again) for the fifth time in the month en route to a 4-2 Tiger victory over the St. Louis Browns. "The Georgia Peach" would finish the season with ninety-six.

I n the National League...

Making his National League debut, St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Lee Meadows became the first player to wear glasses regularly on the field. Later that season, Carmen Hill of the Pittsburgh Pirates became the second.

The Pittsburgh Pirates became the first team since 1894 to lose game one of a doubleheader (against Baltimore 6-0), then comeback to score in every inning of the nightcap (to win, 13-5).

On August 18 th

I n the Federal League...

After a lengthy contract dispute instigated by the Federal League's high salary structures, "Home Run" Baker announced his early retirement from the Philadelphia Athletics at the tender age of twenty-eight. Manager Connie Mack also experienced salary problems with several other players including Chief Bender, Eddie Plank, and Jack Coombs. Refusing to compete with the rival league's higher pay scale, Mack decided to release the stars and sell Baker to the Yankees after the 1915 season.

In December, organized baseball agreed to a formal "peace treaty" with the Federal League ending a two-year political war. The Federals agreed to disband after the American and National Leagues both agreed to pay an enormous sum of $600,000 for distribution to owners, absorb two franchises (one American League and one National League) and recognize all former players as eligible picks at a Fed-controlled auction.

A round the league...

The Federal League sued organized baseball, claiming it to be an illegal trust and demanding that it be dissolved with all contracts voided. The case was formally filed in the U.S. court in Chicago, before Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis and the future baseball commissioner intentionally stalled his decision while waiting for peace to be declared at the end of the year.

The American League officially banned the emery ball, a pitch introduced by Russ Ford in 1910. Ford had accidentally discovered that a scuffed baseball could be made to break sharply while a semi-pro pitcher. He began intentionally doctoring the ball using emery paper, and disguised his pitches as spitballs, which at the time were legal.

On "Suffrage Day", 4,100 women bought tickets to see the Giants take on the Chicago Cubs in New York. As a publicity stunt, the suffragettes announced that they would pay five dollars to each player who scored a run. Unfortunately, "Wildfire" Frank Schulte emerged as the only recipient after leading a Chicago "double-steal" in the first inning.

"The longest home run ever witnessed at the local American League park." - The Sporting Life (1915)
1915 American League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Chicago

119

Batting Average

Detroit

.369

Doubles

Detroit

40

Hits

Detroit

208

Home Runs

Chicago

7

Cleveland

On Base Percentage

Detroit

.486

RBI

Detroit

112

Runs

Detroit

144

Slugging Average

Chicago

.491

Stolen Bases

Detroit

96

Total Bases

Detroit

274

Triples

Detroit

19

1915 American League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Washington

35

ERA

Boston

1.49

Games

Detroit

50

Chicago

Saves

Boston

7

Shutouts

Washington

7

Chicago

Strikeouts

Washington

203

Winning Percentage

Boston

.750

Wins

Washington

27

1915 American League

Team Standings

Boston Red Sox

101 50 .669 0

Detroit Tigers

100 54 .649

Chicago White Sox

93 61 .604

Washington Senators

85 68 .556 17

New York Yankees

69 83 .454 32½

St. Louis Browns

63 91 .409 39½

Cleveland Indians

57 95 .375 44½

Philadelphia Athletics

43 109 .283 58½

1915 American League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Detroit

681

Batting Average

Detroit

.268

Doubles

Detroit

207

Hits

Detroit

1,372

Home Runs

New York

31

On Base Percentage

Detroit

.357

Runs

Detroit

778

Slugging Average

Detroit

.358

Stolen Bases

Detroit

241

Triples

Chicago

102

Detroit

1915 American League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

New York

101

ERA

Washington

2.31

Fewest Hits Allowed

Washington

1,161

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Washington

12

Fewest Walks Allowed

Chicago

350

Saves

Detroit

19

Shutouts

Washington

21

Strikeouts

Washington

715



Babe Ruth smashed his first career home run on May 6, 1915, but the quotation at the top of the page is in reference to a shot hit on July 21 in Sportsman's Park where Ruth's ball cleared the rightfield stands, crossed Grand Avenue, and broke the window of a car dealer.

On August 21, 1915, the Chicago White Sox acquired Shoeless Joe Jackson from Cleveland in exchange for Larry Chappell , Ed Klepfer , Braggo Roth , and $31,500.

In 1980, Rickey Henderson became the first American League player to steal one-hundred bases during a single season. The record Henderson broke that season was previously set by Ty Cobb who stole ninety-six bases during the 1915 season (the final steal was on October 5, 1915).

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@krbach @mcall I did typo that entry, and was off by a little, but not by much! 😉
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