1910s Rickey Awards

I was reading the Old STATS Baseball Scorecards and they had a leadoff Triple Crown. It consisted of On Base Average, Runs and Stolen Bases. This is logical as On Base Average relates to batting average, Runs relates to RBIs and stolen bases is like, but not as helpful to winning as home runs.

I wondered who would be the leaders every year, as non-leadoff hitters try to get on base and score runs. Some even try to steal bases. I developed a formula like Bill James did for the regular triple crown. As Bill did his study, he came up with 1,000 total points which is impossible to hit. I did the same:

On Base Average: Maximum 400 points. I award two points for every point above .300 and up to .500.

Runs. Maximum 300 points. I awarded 2 points for every run up to 150 runs.

Stolen Bases. I award 3 points for each stolen base up to 100.

I debated the number of points for stolen bases, but decided I wanted an advantage for actual lead off men. Also, there haven’t been many years someone exceeded 100 stolen bases.

After reading a few of these listings, a Bill James online a reader came up with the name Rickey awards after Rickey Henderson, the man many of us consider the greatest leadoff man in baseball history. So, I will periodically call these the Rickey Awards.

1910 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1910 AL:

1. Ty Cobb Det 717
2. Eddie Collins Phi 569
3. Nap Lajoie Clev 554
4. Tris Speaker Bos 497
5. Clyde Milan Wash 468
6. Donie Bush Det 455
7. Harry Wolter NY 415
8. Harry Hooper Bos 374
9. Burt Daniels NY 371
10. Davy Jones Det 353

What I Learned:

Cobb won easily leading in on base and runs and coming in second in stolen bases. He wasn’t close to stolen base leader Eddie Collins. Collins used his stolen base title to move to second.

1910 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1910 NL:

1. Sherry Magee Phil 657
2. Fred Snodgrass NY 517
3. Miller Huggins StL 502
4. Bob Bescher Cinn 488
5. Johnny Evers Chi 484
6. Solly Hoffman Chi 465
7. Dode Paskert Cinn 457
8. Josh Devore NY 455
9. Larry Doyle NY 449
10. Johnny Bates Phil 445

What I Learned:

Honus Wagner didn’t make the top 10 despite being in the top 10 in on base percentage and runs. His stolen bases went down considerably from the previous year.

The National League had a lot of players over 400. Not as dominate on top, but they have more balance down below.

Sherry McGee had a dominate year finishing first in on base and runs and coming in fourth in stolen bases.

1911 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1911 AL:

1. Ty Cobb Det 875
2. Shoeless Joe Jackson Clev 711
3. Sam Crawford Det 605
4. Eddie Collins Phi 600
5. Clyde Milan Wash 582
6. Birdie Cree NY 554
7. Harry Hooper Bos 498
8. Tris Speaker Bos 487
9. Donie Bush Det 470
9. Danny Murphy Phi 470

What I Learned:

Cobb would have won the triple crown with one or two more hits as he only lost the on base crown to Jackson by 2 percentage points.

I’m guessing Collins played hurt part of the year. He did miss 22 games but might have spent some recovery time playing. He stole “only” 38 stolen bases, the only year he didn’t steal at least 50 in a 6-year period.

1911 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1911 NL:

1. Bob Bescher Cinn 625
2. Jimmy Sheckard Chi 606
3. Josh Devore NY 527
4. Larry Doyle NY 512
5. Johnny Bates Cinn 507
6. Fred Snodgrass NY 505
7. Miller Huggins StL 493
8. Bill Sweeney Bost 491
9. Honus Wagner Pitt 480
10. Buck Herzog Bos-NY 454

What I Learned:

The rules for qualification were different at the time, but baseball reference list of the top 10 in on base average has the following 5 Giants finishing 6th thru 10th:

Art Fletcher NY
Larry Doyle NY
Fred Snodgrass NY
Chief Meyers NY
Art Devlin NY

No wonder they won the pennant that year.

Both Bob Bescher and Miller Huggins had an on base average of 385 and score 106 runs. Bescher had many more stolen bases. In fact, he led the league with 81.

1912 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1912 AL:

1. Eddie Collins Phi 763
2. Tris Speaker Bos 756
3. Ty Cobb Det 735
4. Shoeless Joe Jackson Clev 663
5. Clyde Milan Wash 628
6. Home Run Baker Phi 560
7. Donie Bush Det 479
8. Morrie Rath Chi 461
9. Burt Shotton StL 459
10. Sam Crawford Det 434

What I Learned:

Hall of Famers did will taking 5 of the top 6 positions. Only Clyde Milan stopped them from being the top 5. Sam Crawford is also in the hall of fame. Later correction, Joe Jackson is not in the hall of fame as he is not eligible. I don’t know where my brain was when I wrote that.

For once, Cobb didn’t win, but he had tough competition. Despite losing out for the Rickey Award, I would have voted Speaker MVP. His team won and he had the most WAR.

1912 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1912 NL:

1. Bob Bescher Cinn 603
2. Dode Paskert Phil 552
3. Miller Huggins StL 513
4. Max Carey Pitt 507
5. Heinie Zimmerman Chi 495
6. Larry Doyle NY 490
7. Bill Sweeney Bost 481
8. John Titus Phil-Bos 463
9. Johnny Evers Chi 456
10. Honus Wagner Pitt 450

What I Learned:

I would have never guessed that Bob Bescher would win the Rickey Award two years in a row as I didn’t even know there was a Bob Bescher. This is the fourth year in a row, but the last time Bob will lead the league in stolen bases. 1912 was a career year for him and he came in 5th in the MVP award. He had a career best 3.7 WAR and a total of 21.2 career WAR. He had 8 years of more than 100 games. A solid player for 8 years, not a bad career.

It seems in the last two years in the National League, the leaders in runs have done better in stolen bases than in on base average. This is a rare exception. The National League winning Giants had 5 players in the top 10 for stolen bases, but only one made the top 10 for the Rickey Awards.

1913 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1913 AL:

1. Eddie Collins Phi 697
2. Ty Cobb Det 625
3. Shoeless Joe Jackson Clev 616
4. Tris Speaker Bos 608
5. Home Run Baker Phi 560
6. Burt Shotton StL 549
7. Clyde Milan Wash 543
8. Eddie Murphy Phi 455
9. Donie Bush Det 416
10. Danny Moeller Wash 406

What I Learned:

The top 4 has been consistent thru this decade. You can see why with the quality of these players. The top 5 are hall of famers except for Jackson and Jackson isn’t in because of the quality of his play.

Cobb miss over 30 games in 1913 and will miss over 50 in 1914. I never knew this. A close look at these statistics show a little down grade in his game when he did play. However, his OPS+ only went from 200 to 194. The key stats where he went down was doubles and runs. He only hit 18 doubles. In 1914 in nearly 100 less plate appearances he will hit 22. I assume it was some kind of fluke as he stole bases at about the same rate. However, his percentage of extra base hits was down. It was also a down offensive year in the AL. The other interesting thing is he scored “only 70 runs” which is low for his statistics. This is 50 less runs than he scored in 1912. He is still great, but through the years I just looked at his rate stats and just assumed he was just super great from year to year. Now I realize is that he had two years where injuries slowed him down in his prime years, ages 26 and 27. However, just looking at his rate stats I would never have known this.

Clyde Millan and Danny Moeller of the Senators finished first and second in stolen bases. Milan had 75 and Moeller had 62 for a total of 137. I bet that is more than the Minnesota Twins had in half their years in Minnesota as a team. It’s a different game.

1913 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1913 NL:

1. Miller Huggins StL 481
2. Max Carey Pitt 459
3. Tommy Leach Chi 443
4. Bob Bescher Cinn 440
5. Jake Daubert Bro 437 405
6. Hans Lobert Phil 425
7. Jim Viox Pitt 412
8. Vic Saier Chi 406
9. Gavvy Cravath Phil 400
10. Sherry Magee Phil 391

What I Learned:

Miller Huggins lead the league in on base percentage by a nice margin and held on despite just being good in the other two categories.

This was the first year Bob Bescher finished in the top 10 in on base percentage, so was in the top 10 in all three categories, but went from first to fourth.

The Giants easily won the pennant but didn’t have anyone in the top 10 in the Rickey Awards. They weren’t the best offense but led the league by a lot in stolen bases.

1914 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1914 AL:

1. Eddie Collins Phi 722
2. Ty Cobb Det 575
3. Tris Speaker Bos 574
4. Eddie Murphy Phi 468
5. Fritz Maisel NY 446
6. Donie Bush Det 445
7. Sam Crawford Det 399
8. Shoeless Joe Jackson Clev 386
9. Home Run Baker Phi 385
10. Burt Shotton StL 372

What I Learned:

Cobb got second despite being hurt a lot of the year. Collins easily dominated with him not 100 percent.

Philadelphia won the pennant and had three players in the top 10.

1914 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1914 NL:

1. George Burns NY 592
2. Sherry Magee Phil 460
3. Miller Huggins StL 458
4. Jake Daubert Bro 403
5. Gavvy Cravath Phil 398
6. Jack Dalton Bro 379
7. Johnny Evers Bos 378
8. Casey Stengel Bro 375
9. Heinie Groh Cinn 372
10. Joe Connolly Bos 350

What I Learned:

George Burns led the league in runs and stolen bases. He lost the on base percentage title to Casey Stengel by one percentage point. He also led position players in WAR.

Casey Stengel had an on base average of 404 in 484 plate appearances. That means he was on base 196 times. He scored only 55 runs.

Bob Bescher just missed the top 10 as he had a on base average of only 336.

Johnny Evers the league MVP finished 7th as he led the miracle Braves to being World Series Champions.

1915 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1915 AL:

1. Ty Cobb Det 948
2. Eddie Collins Chi 694
3. Tris Speaker Bos 535
4. Burt Shotton StL 533
5. Jack Fournier Chi 493
6. Donie Bush Det 431
7. Ray Chapman Clev 416
8. Ossie Vitt Det 406
9. Eddie Murphy Phi-Chi 405
10. Clyde Milan Wash 392

What I Learned:

Ty Cobb came back with a vengeance. Eddie Collins had no shot despite finishing second in on base percentage and runs, with a third in stolen bases. Cobb won the triple crown and it wasn’t really close in any of the categories. He almost maxed out in every category but didn’t max out in any of the three.

1915 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1915 NL:

1. Gavvy Cravath Phil 397
2. Larry Doyle NY 354
3. Vic Saier Chi 335
4. Bill Hinchman Pitt 331
5. George Burns NY 313
6. Max Carey Pitt 312
7. Joe Connolly Bos 309
8. Miller Huggins StL 307
8. Dave Bancroft NY 307
8. Bob Bescher StL 307

What I Learned:

These scores are low. There is a huge difference between the two leagues. Gavvy Cravath would have been 10th in the American League. Max Carey led the league in stolen bases with 36, which is 60 less than Cobb.

Gavvy Cravath led the league in WAR also leading the Phillies to the pennant. There was no MVP that year, but it would have come down to him or Alexander.

1916 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1916 AL:

1. Ty Cobb Det 732
2. Tris Speaker Clev 649
3. Eddie Collins Chi 504
4. Burt Shotton StL 501
5. Shoeless Joe Jackson Chi 440
6. Amos Strunk Phil 391
7. Bobby Veach Det 390
8. George Sisler StL 378
9. Ward Miller StL 361
10. Jack Graney Clev 352

What I Learned:

George Sisler shows up on the list for the first time. This is the fun part of the project seeing hall of fame players all the sudden show up among the leaders.

For those of you fascinated with player’s names Braggo Roth of the Cleveland Indians tied for 10th in stolen bases.

1916 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1916 NL:

1. Max Carey Pitt 443
2. George Burns NY 413
3. Benny Kauff NY 358
4. Jake Daubert Bro 355
5. Heinie Groh Cinn 349
6. Zach Wheat Bro 341
7. Gavvy Cravath Phil 325
8. Hal Chase Cinn 324
9. Dode Paskert Phil 322
10. Rogers Hornsby StL 315

What I Learned:

The top 2 this year were actually leadoff men.

Possum Whitted of the Phillies was 6th in the league in stolen bases.

Max Flack of Chicago had a .320 on base average and a .320 slugging average.

Dave Robertson of the Giants had 619 plate appearances with only 14 walks turning his .307 batting average to a .326 on base average.

1917 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1917 AL:

1. Ty Cobb Det 667
2. Tris Speaker Clev 534
3. Eddie Collins Chi 519
4. Ray Chapman Clev 492
5. Donie Bush Det 466
6. George Sisler StL 411
7. Bobby Veach Det 407
8. Braggo Roth Clev 401
9. Sam Rice Wash 379
10. Shoeless Joe Jackson Chi 371

What I Learned:

Another dominant victory for Cobb with Speaker and Collins having outstanding seasons for second and third.

1917 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1917 NL:

1. George Burns NY 486
2. Max Carey Pitt 440
3. Benny Kauff NY 426
4. Heinie Groh Cinn 397
5. Rogers Hornsby StL 393
6. Edd Roush Cinn 385
7. Red Smith Bos 306
8. Jack Smith StL 305
9. Gavvy Cravath Phil 296
10. Milt Stock Phil 279

What I Learned:

Wow, the top 3 are the same and Groh also finished in the top 5 both years. I’m guessing Hornsby will be in the top 5 a lot of years. After the top 6 the scores go way down.

The Federal League

I meant to the Federal League as I did the American and National League. I had it all planned out but thought the Federal League came about later in the decade for some strange reason. So, I done the Federal League between the 1917 and 1918 American and National League seasons. Which isn’t too hard as the league only last 8 years. The Federal League was built as competition to the National and American Leagues with play starting in 1914. In short it ended after two seasons.

1914 FL

Here is the 1914 Federal League:

1. Benny Kauff Ind 759
2. Bill Mckechnie Ind 491
3. Steve Evans Bro 472
4. Duke Kenworthy KC 441
5. Baldy Louden Buf 433
6. Chet Chadbourne KC 428
7. Ed Lennox Pitt 427
8. Al Shaw Bro 424
9. Benny Meyer Balt 411
10. Vin Campbell Ind 398

What I Learned:

Benny Kauff dominated. He won the triple crown, thus just floating to an easy win for the Rickey Award. Indianapolis the pennant winner had three of the top 10 including first and second.

1915 FL

Here are the leaders for the 1915 Federal League:

1. Benny Kauff Brook 641
2. Ward Miller StL 459
3. Babe Borton StL 435
4. Claude Cooper Bro 419
5. Steve Evans Bro-Balt 417
5. Max Flack Chi 417
7. Marty Berghammer Pitt 412
8. Jack Tobin StL 409
9. Art Wilson Chi 396
10. Lee McGee Brook 388

What I Learned:

Kauff won again easily despite not being not quite as dominate as 1914.

Claude Cooper of Brooklyn had a career WAR of 1. However, his WAR in 1915 was 3.2. His other year in the Federal and 3 years in the National League he was negative 2.2 WAR. So, Claude wasn’t much of player, but he had one year where he played competitive major league baseball.

All Time Federal League Rickey Leaders

My method for the all-time leaders is the same for decade leaders, 12 points for first place, 10 for second, 8 for third and down a point for every position until 1 for 10th. Here ae the all-time Rickey Leaders for the Federal League:

1. Benny Kauff 24 points
2. Steve Evans 13.5
3. Bill McKechnie 10
3. Ward Miller 10
5. Babe Borton 8
6. Duke Kenworthy 7
6. Claude Cooper 7
8. Baldy Louden 6
9. Max Flack 5.5
10. Chet Chadbourne 5

What I Learned:

That Kauff basically dominated this award in the Federal League.

1918 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1918 AL:

1. Ty Cobb Det 516
2. George Sisler StL 453
3. Ray Chapman Clev 435
4. Tris Speaker Clev 412.4
5. Harry Hooper Bos 397.8
6. Braggo Roth Clev 363.4
7. Eddie Collins Chi 360.6
8. Babe Ruth Bos 317.8
9. George Burns Phi 308
10. Burt Shotton Wash 299.2

What I Learned:

The year was shortened because of WWI, so I multiplied on base average over 300 by 1.8 instead of 2. That is why we have so many tenths of a point. This makes the scores lower.

Babe Ruth made the top 10 despite my taking points away from his strongest category on base percentage.

Ray Chapman led the league in runs with 84, a very low total.

Coming in 9th in the American League is the other George Burns. who was a good player. However, he wasn’t a leadoff hitter, he had more power, but stole bases less often than the Giant’s George Burn. This George Burn spent his whole career in the American League and had more power than the Giant’s George Burn. I believe the Giant’s George Burn was a better player.

1918 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1918 NL:

1. Max Carey Pit 427.4
2. George Burns NY 377.2
3. Heinie Groh Cinn 376
4. Charlie Hollocher Chi 364.2
5. Edd Roush Cinn 316.4
6. Dode Paskert Chi 309.6
7. Ross Youngs NY 292.4
8. Les Mann Chi 276.6
9. Max Flack Chi 276.4
10. Al Wickland Bos 266.6

What I Learned:

Max Carey won because he stole a lot more bases than anyone else.

Les Mann beat Max Flack by .2 points, which is something you get when you figure these things down to 10ths.

1919 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1919 AL:

1. Babe Ruth Bos 523.4
2. Ty Cobb Det 511.2
3. Eddie Collins Chi 463
4. George Sisler StL 447
5. Bobby Veach Det 417.2
6. Shoeless Joe Jackson Chi 416.8
7. Nemo Leibold Chi 410.6
8. Tris Speaker Clev 403.5
9. Joe Judge Wash 398.4
10. Wally Schang Bos 389.4

What I Learned:

The year was shortened because of WWI, but not as much as 1918 so I multiplied on base average over 300 by 1.9 instead of 2. That is why we have so many tenths of a point. This makes the scores lower.

Babe Ruth came through with his first Rickey Award. He will probably get more.

The famous Black Sox had 3 of the top 7 players.

1919 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1919 NL:

1. George Burns NY 474.4
2. Heinie Groh Cinn 395.8
3. Ross Youngs NY 377.6
4. Edd Roush Cinn 358
5. Rogers Hornsby StL 346.6
6. Milt Stock StL 297.9
7. Morrie Rath Cinn 286.7
8. Max Flack Chi 283.4
9. Carson Bigbee Pit 275.8
10. Benny Kauff NY 273.6

What I Learned:

George Burns won the triple crown for the Rickey Award, leading the league in all three categories.

The World Champion Cincinnati Reds had players finish second thru fifth in runs scored. It was a balanced lineup:

2. Jake Daubert 79 runs
2. Heinie Groh 79 runs
4. Morrie Rath 77 runs
5. Edd Roush 73 runs

Roush tied with three other players for 5th. All but Daubert made the Rickey Award top 10. All in the top 7 just like the White Sox in the American League.

Top 10 AL 1910s

My method for decade leaders is 12 points for first place, 10 for second, 8 for third and down a point for every position until 1 for 10th. Here ae the 1910s Decade leaders for the Rickey Leaders in the American League:

  1. Ty Cobb 110 Points
  2. Eddie Collins 91 Points
  3. Tris Speaker 73 Points
  4. Shoeless Joe Jackson 40 Points
  5. Donie Bush 29 Points
  6. George Sisler 25 Points
  7. Clyde Milan 23 Points
  8. Burt Shotten 23 Points
  9. Ray Chapman 19 Points
  10. Babe Ruth 15 Points

What I Learned:

There are 5 hall-of-famers on the list and 4 (Cobb, Collins, Speaker and Ruth) are all time greats.

Cobb won as I thought, but what I didn’t consider he had two other great players who primarily played in this decade (Collins and Speaker) who gave him a battle. Collins even was in the lead for a while as he won three straight Rickey Awards.

Ray Chapman would die in 1920 after being hit by a pitch.

Top 10 NL 1910s

  1. George Burns 62 Points
  2. Max Carey 56 Points
  3. Miller Huggins 42 Points
  4. Bob Bescher 40 Points
  5. Heinie Groh 33 Points
  6. Gavvy Cravath 26 Points
  7. Larry Doyle 24 Points
  8. Sherry Magee 23 Points
  9. Dode Paskert 21 Points
  10. Jake Daubert 20 Points

What I Learned:

Max Carey was ahead of George Burns coming into 1919 but Carey got hurt during the year.

The top three players were all actually leadoff men. Bob Bescher might have been it is hard to tell in those days.

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