Hardball Retrospective – What Might Have Been: The “Original” 1904 Phillies

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. 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 teams with the biggest single-season difference in the WAR and Win Shares for the “Original” vs. “Actual” rosters for every Major League organization. “Hardball Retrospective” is available in digital format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, GooglePlay, iTunes and KoboBooks. The paperback edition is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and CreateSpace. Supplemental Statistics, Charts and Graphs along with a discussion forum are offered at TuataraSoftware.com.

Don Daglow (Intellivision World Series Major League Baseball, Earl Weaver Baseball, Tony LaRussa Baseball) contributed the foreword for Hardball Retrospective. The foreword and preview of my book are accessible here.

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

AWAR – Wins Above Replacement for players on “actual” teams

AWS – Win Shares for players on “actual” teams

APW% – Pythagorean Won-Loss record for the “actual” teams

Assessment

The 1904 Philadelphia Phillies

OWAR: 45.3     OWS: 293     OPW%: .478     (74-80)

AWAR: 18.6     AWS: 156     APW%: .342   (52-100)

WARdiff: 26.7                        WSdiff: 137.7  

The “Original” 1904 Phillies outperformed the “Actual” squad by 22 victories and finished the season only three games under .500. The “Originals” showcased a 40-Win Share campaign by Nap Lajoie, who collected his fourth batting title (.376) and posted League-bests in hits (208), doubles (49), RBI (102), OBP (.413) and SLG (.546). Kid Gleason, the second-sacker on the “Actual” squad, countered with a .274 BA, no home runs and 42 RBI. Right fielder Elmer Flick tallied 31 Win Shares, pilfered a League-leading 38 bases and contributed a .306 BA with 97 aces for the “Originals” while counterpart Sherry Magee (.277/3/57) competed in his inaugural season. Sam Mertes accumulated 26 Win Shares and stole 47 bases while the fourth outfielder on the “Originals” crew, “Silent” John Titus (.294/4/55) patrolled left field for the “Actuals”. Despite ordinary results, shortstop Ed Abbaticchio (.256/3/54) outclassed Rudy Hulswitt (.244/1/36). The “Originals” well-stocked bench featured the aforementioned Titus along with George Browne, Jimmy Callahan, Kid Elberfeld, Dave Fultz and Phil Geier. Browne swiped 24 bags and topped the NL with 99 runs scored.

  Original 1904 Phillies                              Actual 1904 Phillies

STARTING LINEUP POS OWAR OWS STARTING LINEUP POS AWAR AWS
Sam Mertes LF 4.47 26.77 John Titus LF 2.04 20.62
Roy Thomas CF 5.91 26.27 Roy Thomas CF 5.91 26.27
Elmer Flick RF 6.87 30.3 Sherry Magee RF 0.98 11.65
Johnny Lush 1B -1.58 11.68 Johnny Lush 1B -1.58 11.68
Nap Lajoie 2B 9.91 40.9 Kid Gleason 2B 0.26 16.5
Ed Abbaticchio SS -1.48 18.96 Rudy Hulswitt SS -2.19 6.03
Bob Hall 3B -1.41 0.28 Harry Wolverton 3B 0.54 12.01
Mike Grady C 2.89 15.72 Red Dooin C 0.72 8
BENCH POS OWAR OWS BENCH POS AWAR AWS
John Titus LF 2.04 20.62 Frank Roth C 0.3 5.56
George Browne RF 2.21 20.52 Jack Doyle 1B -0.66 2.93
Jimmy Callahan LF 0.47 18.57 Hugh Duffy LF 0.29 2.63
Kid Elberfeld SS 1.92 17.6 Shad Barry RF -0.74 1.26
Kid Gleason 2B 0.26 16.5 Deacon Van Buren LF -0.14 0.62
Dave Fultz CF 1.44 14.67 She Donahue SS -1.48 0.46
Phil Geier CF -1.75 11.68 Bob Hall 3B -1.41 0.28
Sherry Magee RF 0.98 11.65 Klondike Douglass 1B -0.03 0.27
Red Dooin C 0.72 8 Doc Marshall C -0.15 0.17
Frank Roth C 0.3 5.56 Jesse Purnell 3B -0.11 0.08
Fred Jacklitsch 1B 0.11 1.77 Herman Long 2B -0.03 0.03
Doc Marshall C 0.01 1.72 Tom Fleming RF -0.1 0.02
Dutch Rudolph RF -0.01 0.1 Butch Rementer C -0.02 0.01
Jesse Purnell 3B -0.11 0.08
Butch Rementer C -0.02 0.01

“Strawberry” Bill Bernhard (23-13, 2.13) established personal-bests in victories and innings pitched (320.2) while completing 35 of 37 starts. Doc White registered 16 wins and fashioned a 1.78 ERA. “Smiling” Al Orth (14-10, 3.41) and Ned Garvin (5-16, 1.72) rounded out the rotation for the “Originals”. The “Actuals” starting staff consisted of Chick Fraser (14-24, 3.25), Tully Sparks (7-16, 2.65), “Fiddler” Frank Corridon (11-10, 2.64) and “Frosty” Bill Duggleby (12-13, 3.78).

  Original 1904 Phillies                                    Actual 1904 Phillies

ROTATION POS OWAR OWS ROTATION POS AWAR AWS
Bill Bernhard SP 2.61 21.66 Chick Fraser SP -0.94 7.19
Doc White SP 0.06 15.42 Tully Sparks SP -0.8 5.21
Al Orth SP 0.61 13.98 Frank Corridon SP 1.78 4.2
Ned Garvin SP 0.46 11.06 Bill Duggleby SP -2.21 3.96
BULLPEN POS OWAR OWS BULLPEN POS OWAR OWS
Tully Sparks SP -0.8 5.21 Jack Sutthoff SP -0.52 3.12
Bill Duggleby SP -2.21 3.96 Fred Mitchell SP -0.34 2.43
Happy Townsend SP -2.53 3.69 Ralph Caldwell SP -0.48 1.51
Ralph Caldwell SP -0.48 1.51 John McPherson SP -1.8 1.29
Tom Barry SP -0.4 0 Tom Barry SP -0.4 0
John Brackenridge RP -1.43 0 John Brackenridge RP -1.43 0
Davey Dunkle SP -2.11 0

 

Notable Transactions

Nap Lajoie

Before 1901 Season: Jumped from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Philadelphia Athletics.

April 21, 1902: Granted Free Agency.

May 31, 1902: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Bronchos.

 

Elmer Flick

October 19, 1901: Jumped from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Philadelphia Athletics.

April 21, 1902: Granted Free Agency.

May 16, 1902: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Bronchos.

 

Sam Mertes

July, 1898: Traded by Columbus (Western) with a player to be named to the Chicago Orphans for Buttons Briggs and Danny Friend.

Before 1901 Season: Jumped from the Chicago Orphans to the Chicago White Sox.

Before 1903 Season: Jumped from the Chicago White Sox to the New York Giants.

 

George Browne

July 21, 1902: Purchased by the New York Giants from the Philadelphia Phillies.

 

Bill Bernhard

Before 1901 Season: Jumped from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Philadelphia Athletics.

April 21, 1902: Granted Free Agency.

May 31, 1902: Signed as a Free Agent with the Cleveland Bronchos.

Honorable Mention

The 1972 Philadelphia Phillies

OWAR: 38.2     OWS: 233     OPW%: .451     (73-89)

AWAR: 28.1     AWS: 176     APW%: .378   (59-97)

WARdiff: 10.1                        WSdiff: 56.2  

Dick Allen crushed 37 round-trippers and drove in 113 baserunners while batting .308 to earn MVP honors. The “Wampum Walloper” registered 40 Win Shares for the “Original” 1972 Phillies, easily outdistancing the output of “Actuals” rookie first-sacker Tom Hutton (.260/4/38). “Actuals” ace Steve Carlton trumped all members of the “Originals” starting rotation as “Lefty” garnered the Cy Young Award with a record of 27-10 along with League-bests in ERA (1.97), complete games (30), innings pitched (346.1) and strikeouts (310). However, the “Actuals” staff boasted Fergie “Fly” Jenkins (20-12, 3.20), Rick Wise (16-16, 3.11) and Mike G. Marshall (14-8, 1.78, 18 SV).

On Deck

What Might Have Been – The “Original” 1919 Athletics

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

The information used here was obtained free of charge from and is copyrighted by Retrosheet. Interested parties may contact Retrosheet at “www.retrosheet.org”.

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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