Year In Review : 1915 National 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 Phillies rode the pitching of Grover Cleveland Alexander and the slugging of outfielder Gavvy Cravath to their first National League flag. Alexander tossed four one-hitters and won 31 games in 1915 (the first of three straight years in which he reached the 30-victory mark). Cravath slammed 24 home runs - a major-league high to that point in the century - and drove in 115 runs." - The Sporting News
1915 National League Player Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Philadelphia

86

Batting Average

New York

.320

Doubles

New York

40

Hits

New York

189

Home Runs

Philadelphia

24

On Base Percentage

Philadelphia

.393

RBI

Philadelphia

115

Runs

Philadelphia

89

Slugging Average

Philadelphia

.510

Stolen Bases

Pittsburgh

36

Total Bases

Philadelphia

266

Triples

St. Louis

25

1915 National League Pitcher Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Philadelphia

36

ERA

Philadelphia

1.22

Games

Boston

50

Saves

Boston

9

Shutouts

Philadelphia

12

Strikeouts

Philadelphia

241

Winning Percentage

Philadelphia

.756

Wins

Philadelphia

31

1915 National League

Team Standings

Philadelphia Phillies

90 62 .592 0

Boston Braves

83 69 .546 7

Brooklyn Robins

80 72 .526 10

Chicago Cubs

73 80 .477 17½

Pittsburgh Pirates

73 81 .474 18

St. Louis Cardinals

72 81 .471 18½

Cincinnati Reds

71 83 .461 20

New York Giants

69 83 .454 21

1915 National League Team Review

Hitting Statistics League Leaderboard

Base on Balls

Boston

549

Batting Average

St. Louis

.254

Doubles

Boston

231

Hits

Cincinnati

1,323

Home Runs

Philadelphia

58

On Base Percentage

Boston

.321

Runs

St. Louis

590

Slugging Average

Chicago

.342

Stolen Bases

Pittsburgh

182

Triples

St. Louis

92

1915 National League Team Review

Pitching Statistics League Leaderboard

Complete Games

Philadelphia

98

ERA

Philadelphia

2.18

Fewest Hits Allowed

Philadelphia

1,161

Fewest Home Runs Allowed

Pittsburgh

21

Fewest Walks Allowed

New York

325

Saves

Boston

13

Shutouts

Philadelphia

20

Strikeouts

Chicago

657



On April 15, 1915, Rube Marquard of the New York Giants walked two, struck out two, and no-hit the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds .

Did you know that the longest appearance by a relief pitcher took place on June 17, 1915, when Cubs' reliever Zip Zabel took the mound with two outs in the first inning then pitched the next 18.1 innings?

On July 29, 1915, Honus Wagner , who was now forty-one years old, hit a grand slam versus the Dodgers making him the oldest player in Major League history to hit a grand slam — a record that would stand for for more than fifty years.

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