Hardball Retrospective – The “Original” 1924 Washington Senators

In “Hardball Retrospective: Evaluating Scouting and Development Outcomes for the Modern-Era Franchises”, I placed every ballplayer in the modern era (from 1901-present) on their original team. Therefore, Frank Robinson is listed on the Reds roster for the duration of his career while the Rangers claim Ivan Rodriguez and the Red Sox declare Jeff Bagwell. I calculated revised standings for every season based entirely on the performance of each team’s “original” players. I discuss every team’s “original” players and seasons at length along with organizational performance with respect to the Amateur Draft (or First-Year Player Draft), amateur free agent signings and other methods of player acquisition.  Season standings, WAR and Win Shares totals for the “original” teams are compared against the “actual” team results to assess each franchise’s scouting, development and general management skills.

Expanding on my research for the book, the following series of articles will reveal the finest single-season rosters for every Major League organization based on overall rankings in OWAR and OWS along with the general managers and scouting directors that constructed the teams. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The print edition is coming soon. Additional information and a discussion forum are available at TuataraSoftware.com.

Terminology

OWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “original” teams

OWS – Win Shares for players on “original” teams

OPW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “original” teams

Assessment

The 1924 Washington Senators   OWAR: 43.1     OWS: 287     OPW%: .615

Based on the revised standings the “Original” 1924 Senators obliterated the competition with the Tigers finishing a distant 13 games in arrears. Walter “Big Train” Johnson, approaching the final stop in his 21-year career, continued to blow smoke past American League batsmen. He whiffed the most batters in the Junior Circuit for the twelfth time and furnished a 23-7 mark with the best ERA (2.72) and WHIP (1.116) in the League. Johnson received the MVP Award for his efforts in ’24 and the future Hall-of-Famer retired three years later with 417 victories, a 2.17 ERA and a 1.061 WHIP along with 3,509 strikeouts and the most shutouts in Major League history (110). Johnson ranks first among pitchers in “The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract”.

Jack Bentley bolstered the Washington pitching corps, delivering 16 victories against 5 losses. Firpo Marberry split time between the rotation and bullpen, notching 11 wins and saving 15 contests (although saves were not officially tabulated until 1969).

ROTATION POS WAR WS
Walter Johnson SP 7.02 28.65
Jack Bentley SP 1.96 11.78
Firpo Marberry SP 1.48 17.72
Joe Martina SP 0.35 5.74
BULLPEN POS WAR WS
Ted Wingfield RP 0.67 2.54
By Speece RP -0.25 3.52
Slim McGrew SP -0.27 0.32
Paul Zahniser SP -0.28 3.72

Goose Goslin (.344/12/129) topped the American League leader boards in RBI while recording 199 hits and 100 runs. The future Hall of Famer surpassed the century mark in ribbies 11 times and recorded a .316 lifetime batting average. Sam Rice batted .334 with 106 runs scored and 39 two-baggers while producing a League-best 216 base hits. A .322 career hitter, Rice concluded his career only 13 hits shy of 3,000.

Charlie Jamieson rapped 213 safeties and posted a personal-best .359 BA after leading the Junior Circuit in the previous campaign with 222 knocks. First-sacker Joe Judge clubbed 38 two-base hits and delivered a .324 BA. Goslin rated 16th among left fielders in the “NBJHBA”. Rice (33rd-RF), Judge (44th-1B) and Bucky Harris (70th-2B) also placed in the top 100 at their respective positions.

LINEUP POS WAR WS
Charlie Jamieson CF/LF 3.09 19.11
Sam Rice RF 3.65 23.99
Goose Goslin LF 5.69 28.91
Joe Judge 1B 2.12 19.08
Ossie Bluege 3B 0.72 10.42
Bucky Harris 2B 0.32 13.31
Eddie Ainsmith C 0.11 0.45
Howie Shanks SS -0.02 5.21
BENCH POS WAR WS
Frank Brower 1B 1.05 5.27
Irish Meusel LF 0.98 16.78
Doc Prothro 3B 0.9 5.89
Bing Miller RF 0.83 13.65
Earl McNeely CF 0.3 5.84
Carl East RF 0.09 0.36
Ike Davis SS 0.02 0.35
Bennie Tate C -0.02 0.64
Carr Smith RF -0.13 0.04
Tommy Taylor 3B -0.13 0.85
Showboat Fisher RF -0.14 0.4
Pinky Hargrave C -0.35 0.21
Mule Shirley 1B -0.5 0.34
Frank Ellerbe 3B -0.9 2.19

The “Original” 1924 Washington Senators roster

NAME POS WAR WS General Manager
Walter Johnson SP 7.02 28.65 Thomas Noyes
Goose Goslin LF 5.69 28.91 Clark Griffith
Sam Rice RF 3.65 23.99 Clark Griffith
Charlie Jamieson LF 3.09 19.11 Clark Griffith
Joe Judge 1B 2.12 19.08 Clark Griffith
Jack Bentley SP 1.96 11.78 Clark Griffith
Firpo Marberry SP 1.48 17.72 Clark Griffith
Frank Brower 1B 1.05 5.27 Clark Griffith
Irish Meusel LF 0.98 16.78 Clark Griffith
Doc Prothro 3B 0.9 5.89 Clark Griffith
Bing Miller RF 0.83 13.65 Clark Griffith
Ossie Bluege 3B 0.72 10.42 Clark Griffith
Ted Wingfield RP 0.67 2.54 Clark Griffith
Joe Martina SP 0.35 5.74 Clark Griffith
Bucky Harris 2B 0.32 13.31 Clark Griffith
Earl McNeely CF 0.3 5.84 Clark Griffith
Eddie Ainsmith C 0.11 0.45 Thomas Noyes
Carl East RF 0.09 0.36 Clark Griffith
Ike Davis SS 0.02 0.35 Clark Griffith
Howie Shanks SS -0.02 5.21 Thomas Noyes
Bennie Tate C -0.02 0.64 Clark Griffith
Carr Smith RF -0.13 0.04 Clark Griffith
Tommy Taylor 3B -0.13 0.85 Clark Griffith
Showboat Fisher RF -0.14 0.4 Clark Griffith
By Speece RP -0.25 3.52 Clark Griffith
Slim McGrew SP -0.27 0.32 Clark Griffith
Paul Zahniser SP -0.28 3.72 Clark Griffith
Pinky Hargrave C -0.35 0.21 Clark Griffith
Mule Shirley 1B -0.5 0.34 Clark Griffith
Frank Ellerbe 3B -0.9 2.19 Clark Griffith

Honorable Mention

The “Original” 1915 Senators             OWAR: 49.1     OWS: 272     OPW%: .565

“Big Train” Johnson (27-13, 1.55) completed 35 of 39 starts while leading the American League in wins, WHIP (0.933), innings pitched, shutouts and strikeouts. The rotation was supplemented by Doc Ayers (14-9, 2.21) and Bert Gallia (17-11, 2.29). Clyde “Deerfoot” Milan swiped 40 bags and Tom Long legged out 25 triples at the top of the lineup.

The “Original” 1965 Twins                 OWAR: 46.0     OWS: 280     OPW%: .644

Zoilo Versalles topped the leader boards with 126 tallies, 45 doubles, 12 triples and 308 total bases to capture the 1965 A.L. MVP Award. Teammate Tony Oliva (.321/16/98) finished runner-up in the MVP race and collected his second batting title. Bob Allison, Jimmie Hall and Harmon Killebrew slammed at least 20 circuit clouts apiece. Jim Kaat (18-11, 2.83) anchored the starting staff and Ted Abernathy led the League with 31 saves and 84 relief appearances.

On Deck

The “Original” 1992 White Sox

References and Resources

Baseball America – Executive Database

Baseball-Reference

James, Bill. The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract. New York, NY.: The Free Press, 2001. Print.

James, Bill, with Jim Henzler. Win Shares. Morton Grove, Ill.: STATS, 2002. Print.

Retrosheet – Transactions Database

Seamheads – Baseball Gauge

Sean Lahman Baseball Archive



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Derek Bain is a New Jersey native with a passion for baseball, statistics, computers and video games. He has written a number of articles for Fangraphs and Seamheads, and enjoys spending quality time with his family.

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