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Old 04-21-2018, 04:22 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by prisonerno6 View Post
What was in the water during the early 1900's in Philadelphia
The real short answer is pitching and Nap Lajoie. Lajoie won 5 MVPs and the Phillies had a collection of great pitchers over the decade including Al Orth, Doc White, Bill Bernhard and towards the end Jack Chesbro and Johnny Lush. The Athletics had Eddie Plank (237-122), Rube Waddell (351-164) and Deacon Phillippe (134-56) from 1901 and would add Chief Bender (279-158). Hall of Famers Goerge Davis and Bill Lange were the early offensive stars before Eddie Collins took over midway through the decade and the addition of Shoeless Joe Jackson kept the Athletics the class of the American League right through the mid-teens.

Here is a quick year by year run down of those great Philadelphia teams of the early 1900s

1901- The Phillies were the class of both leagues by going 101-39 and finishing 19 games ahead of Cincinnati atop the National League. Nap Lajoie led all batters hitting at a .424 clip. Lajoie won the triple crown with 18 homers and 134 rbi's. Meanwhile the trio of Doc White, Al Orth and Bill Bernhard combined to go 65-23. Lajoie was named MVP for the second time in his career while White claimed both the top pitcher and top rookie award.

The Athletics won 97 games, good for an 8 game bulge on the second place Baltimore Orioles in the American League. The A's had plenty of offense from the likes of Bill Lange (.364,8,95), Danny Green (.264,9,115), Topsy Hartsell (.308,6,72), George Davis (.360,4,89) and Sammy Strang (.305,1,56) but their real strength was the deepest pitching staff in the game. Deacon Phillippe (27-7, 2.01), Rube Waddell (24-5, 1.53), Eddie Plank (20-13, 2.78) and Casey Patten (19-12, 2.35) led the way. Waddell claimed his 4th straight pitcher of the year award while Davis was named American League MVP.

The Athletics took a 3 games to one lead in the 1901 World Series only to see the Phillies charge back and win 3 straight to claim the title. Lajoie led all hitters by batting .414 in the series.

1902 - The Athletics topped the 100 win mark this time as their 103-37 record was 23 games better than the second place Washington Senators. They led the AL in just about every category as Rube Waddell (28-3, 1.21), Eddie Plank (27-5, 1.83) and Deacon Phillippe (19-9, 2.27) once more dominated AL batters. The outfield trio of Bill Lange (.366,1,73), Topsy Hartsel (.329,4,68) and Danny Green (.348,4,86) led the Athletics offense. For the fifth year in a row Waddell was named top pitcher and he also claimed his second American League MVP award. The Athletics lost Deacon Phillippe to an arm injury in the final week of the season. It would cost him the entire 1903 campaign and while he would return to form in 1904 he would be bothered by injuries the rest of his career.

Nap Lajoie(.377,5,92) again led the majors in batting as the Phillies won 97 games and finished 12 up on second place Cincinnati. Lajoie took home the MVP but Phillies pitchers were nosed out by Noodles Hahn (31-14, 2.36) of the Reds for top hurler. Bill Bernhard missed much of the season with an arm injury but Win Kellum (22-6) stepped up to join Doc White (21-11) and Al Orth (23-8) as mainstays of the rotation.

For the second year in a row the Phillies prevailed in the Series, winning in 6 games this time. Little know catcher Bob Wood was the hero in the deciding game, hitting a 2-run single with 2 out in the top of the ninth to lift the Phillies to a 4-3 win and their second straight title. 29 year old Phillies first baseman Tom O'Brien (.308,1,88) is named series MVP.

It was much the same story in 1903 for the Athletics as they went 91-49 and finished 18 games ahead of Chicago. Waddell (28-4, 1.42) and Plank (28-8,1.28) carried the pitching staff as they struggled to fill the back half of the rotation with Phillippe sidelined and Casey Patten (6-9,2.24) less effective than in previous years. A solution came mid-year in the form of 19 year old Chief Bender. The rookie joined the rotation in August and went 3-4 but showed great promise of things to come. Waddell's seasons earned him both the MVP (for the second year in a row) and a 6th straight top pitcher award.

The Phillies faced a big challenge in Cincinnati but a late winning streak allowed them to finish 5 games ahead of the Reds. Another batting title and MVP award for Nap Lajoie(.343, 7,66). Bill Bernhard (25-10, 2.18), fully recovered from last year's injury, led the rotation while Doc White (17-10, 2.19) and Al Orth (14-6, 3.11) were still prominent.

The World Series was a best of nine this year but it only took the minimum as the Athletics got revenge for two previous Series loses by sweeping the Phillies. George Davis hit a 3-run double in the top of the ninth of game five to ensure the sweep as it gave the Athletics a 4-1 victory in the contest and a second win in the series for Eddie Plank. Athletics second baseman Danny Murphy hit .450 in the series and was named MVP.

The Athletics continue to dominate the American League, going 102-52 and finishing 17 games ahead of the White Sox. Rube Waddell (23-9, 1.49) won his 7th straight pitcher of the year award but lost the MVP to teammate Sammy Strang (.310,8,59). After a career year last season, Eddie Plank (6-5) struggled and got bumped to the pen. Deacon Phillippe (21-13, 1.83) returned from his injury but this would be the last great year of his career as he would be derailed by further arm troubles. Chief Bender (19-10, 1.98) had a breakout year and would be a force for the next decade.

The Phillies again won the National League, going 97-57 and finishing 8 games up on the Giants. The Reds, who provided a big challenge last year, struggled all season and dropped to last place. Nap Lajoie (.335,2,79) lost the batting title to Mike Donlin (.362) of the Cardinals, but Elmer Flick (.334,2,62) and rookie Sherry Magee (.277,6,82) played bigger roles in the Phillies offense. On the mound, Doc White (26-8, 2.24) and Bill Bernhard (21-12, 2.24) were still going strong but Al Orth (4-6, 3.07) got bumped from the rotation and looks to be on the downside of his career at age 30.

No strangers to each other the Athletics and Phillies met in the series once again. This one was back to a best of seven and it went the distance with the American Leaguers winning the deciding game by a 6-1 score. Rube Waddell allowed just 5 hits in going the distance while series MVP Sammy Strang hit .444 with a homer and 8 rbi's in the series.

The 1905 Phillies set a record that still stands today, winning 113 games. The 1915 White Sox would be next with 110 victories. As for the '05 Phillies it was the pitching of Doc White (27-9, 1.54), Bill Bernhard (26-9, 1.81), 20 year old Johnny Lush (20-4, 1.65) and a revitalized Al Orth (21-8,1.76) that made the club unstoppable. The Phillies finished 30 games ahead of second place Chicago. Lajoie's numbers (.309,2,78) dipped a bit but the pitching was so strong it didn't matter.

The Athletics also had a big year, winning 107 games and finishing 19 ahead of second place Cleveland. Rube Waddell (29-8, 1.34) won the 8th and what would be the final Cy Young Award of his career. Chief Bender (23-15, 1,70) also had a big season.

The Phillies were favoured heading into the series but the Athletics beat them for the third year in a row, this time 4 games to one. Immediately after the series the A's shocked the baseball world by trading Rube Waddell to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for infielders Tommy Leach and young Harry Lord. The move was panned at the time as Waddell had just turned 29 and was coming off all those pitcher of the year awards. In retrospect, it was a big reason the A's dynasty kept going. Waddell pitched well for the next half dozen years in Boston but Leach and Lord both became key offensive contributors as the A's remained a powerhouse for another decade.

Chief Bender (30-6, 1.52) took over for Waddell as the Athletics ace and won the Cy Young Award. Eddie Plank (26-12, 2.05) returned to form after a pair of off years and 26 year old Charles Smith (21-10,2.28) had a breakout year. Newcomer Leach (.281,4,64) would settle in to the lineup which had plenty of offense from the likes of Tim Jordan (.322,9,84), Eddie Collins (.331,1,86), George Davis (.281,4,64), Bris Lord (.303,1,63) and Sammy Strang (.283,2,23). The A's won what remain a franchise record 108 games and finished 27 up on Cleveland.

The Phillies dipped to 98-56 after their record year but it was still enough to finish 7 games up on Pittsburgh atop the National League. Doc White (25-8, 2.14) was again dominant on the mound. Lajoie (.295,3,68) is not the same threat he was but the Phillies have plenty of depth led by Sherry Magee (.324,4,51), Elmer Flick (.293,4,80) and catcher Johnny Kling (.296,3,71).

The World Series went the distance with the Phillies rallying from a 3-games to one deficit to claim the title. Johnny Lush tossed a 3-hit shutout for a 1-0 win in game five and Happy Townsend blanked the A's 3-0 while allowing 4 hits in game six.

Game Seven of the 1906 World Series might be considered the greatest deciding game ever as the Phillies prevailed 8-5 in 16 innings. The Phillies were down to their final out in the ninth inning when Lajoie tied the game with an rbi single and then he drove in the go ahead run in a 3-run top of the 16th to give the Phillies their third title in 6 meetings with the Athletics this decade.

Another dominant season for the A's as they won 95 games and finished 7 up on Cleveland. Chief Bender (24-12, 1.55), Eddie Plank (23-13, 1.77) and Charlie Smith (23-14, 2.22) led the league's best pitching staff. There was plenty of offense as well, courtesy of Eddie Collins (.346,4,73) and Bill Lange (.362,0,26).

The Phillies surpassed the 100 win mark for the third time in the decade. Jack Chesbro (23-12, 2.43) came over from the Cubs in a winter deal that sent Kid Elberfeld the other way. Chesbro combined with Johnny Lush (26-12, 2.55) and Doc White (25-14, 2.11) to help the Phillies lead the National League in most pitching categories. Lajoie (.294,2,79) and Magee (.295,3,75) were still the key pieces of the offense.

Just like last year the Athletics took a 3 games to 1 lead in the series only to see the Phillies charge back and win the final 3 games. Also like last year, game seven went into extra innings before the Phillies pulled out a 4-3 victory. The A's had tied it in the top of the ninth on a 2-out rbi single off the bat of veteran Bill Lange but Tom O'Brien would single in Art Devlin in the bottom of the 10th to give the Phillies their 4th World Series title.

1907 would mark the end of Philadelphia dominance as both clubs would fail to win their respective league titles in 1908. The Athletics would have just a 1 year absence before Shoeless Joe Jackson arrived to help lead them to 5 more American League crowns and 4 more World Series. The Phillies would have to wait until 1916 for their next pennant and 1918 for another World Championship.

Both clubs left their legacy as the Athletics of the first decade of the new century sent Chief Bender, Eddie Collins, George Davis, Bill Lange and Rube Waddell to the Hall of Fame along with the Phillies Nap Lajoie.
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