Rickey Awards 1930s

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.

1930 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1930 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Babe Ruth NY 716
2. Lou Gehrig NY 668
3. Al Simmons Phil 573
4. Earle Combs NY 554
5. Charlie Gehringer Det 553
6. Joe Cronin Wash 549
7. Jimmie Foxx Phil 533
8. Max Bishop Phil 495
8. Sam Rice Wash 495
10. Ed Morgan Clev 494

What I Learned:

Quality bunch, the top 7 plus Sam Rice are in the Hall of Fame.

Al Simmons exceeded the max for runs scored but wouldn’t have caught Gehrig or even come close to him with the additional points he would of received.

The Yankees had the best offense in 1930, however there runs allowed were in the bottom half of the league and they came in third place.

A player named Ski Milillo tied for 9th in stolen bases. Despite 6 years as a regular second baseman and 4 years as a semi regular he had a career WAR of .2. He played a total of 12 years. He had two years of 3.0 WAR. He never had a positive WAR for offence. He was an above average fielder, but apparently not a great fielder.

1930 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1930 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Kiki Cuyler Chi 667
2. Babe Herman Brook 650
3. Hack Wilson Chi 609
4. Bill Terry NY 606
5. Mel Ott NY 587
6. Chuck Klein Phi 584
7. Woody English Chi 569
8. Lefty O’ Doul Phi 559
9. Fred Lindstorm NY 549
10. Paul Waner Pitt 544

What I Learned:

Hardly anyone stole any bases as there was a lot of hitting for power and players were getting on base. Because of this Kiki Cuyler won the Rickey Award due to his stolen bases. He led the league with 37 stolen bases which was more than double of Babe Herman and Paul Waner who tied for second with 18 each.

Chuck Klein, Woody English and Kiki Cuyler exceeded the max on runs scored. It had an effect on one position. If Klein’s 8 runs would have counted, he would have passed Mel Ott. I am letting you know but decided to follow the rules I made when I started this. I might feel bad if it was a battle for first.

St. Louis the National League Champions had no one in the top 10 even though they led the league in runs scored. While a lot of players had solid seasons, no one really had an outstanding season. The leading player in WAR was Frankie Frisch. He had only 4.7 WAR. Not enough for the top 10 even for position players. Burleigh Grimes was the leading pitcher according to WAR. He also had 4.7 WAR. He pitched real well but didn’t pitch often. I’m guessing he was hurt part of the year. He pitched in 22 games, starting 19 games. His record was 13-6 with an ERA of 3.01.

I just found out Grimes started the season with Boston and didn’t pitch well at all there. His record was 3-5 and he was lucky to get that as his ERA was 7.35. He had some hard luck as his FIP was 5.48.

1931 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1931 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Babe Ruth 703
2. Lou Gehrig NY 643
3. Ben Chapman NY 615
4. Lu Blue Chi 537
5. Earl Averill Clev 515
6. Al Simmons Phil 507
7. Max Bishop Phil 491
8. Ed Morgan Clev 488
9. Goose Goslin StL 479
10. Earle Combs NY 461

What I Learned:

Lou Gehrig exceeded the maximum for runs scored, but Ruth would have beat him anyway.

The Yankees had the top 3 and four of the top 10. They led the league in runs scored.

The pennant winning A’s had 2 of the top 10.

1931 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1931 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Kiki Cuyler Chi 467
2. Bill Terry NY 460
3. Chuck Klein Phil 459
4. Woody English Chi 452
5. Chick Hafey StL 429
6. Mel Ott NY 422
7. Frankie Frisch StL 412
8. Paul Waner Pitt 402
9. George Grantham Pitt 397
10. Wally Berger Bos 387

What I Learned:

Kike Cuyler won again. He didn’t dominate the league as he did in 1930. He was in a 4 way tie for sixth in stolen bases. Frankie Frisch was the easy leader in stolen bases.

All three categories saw decreases, significant decreases in on base percentage and runs scored. Only 5 players scored 100 runs. Stolen bases were already low.

1932 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1932 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Jimmie Foxx Phil 647
2. Babe Ruth NY 624
3. Lou Gehrig NY 590
4. Earle Combs NY 505
5. Ben Chapman NY 478
6. Mickey Cochrane Phil 460
7. Dale Alexander Det-Bos 436
7. Al Simmons Phil 436
9. Earl Averill Clev 431
10. Heinie Manush Wash 429

What I Learned:

The World Champion Yankees had 2nd thru 5th place.

Jimmy Foxx exceeded the maximum points for runs, but just barely and he still won.

A play named Liz Funk of the White Sox tied for fifth in stolen bases. For his career he earned .7 WAR with .6 being earned in 1932. He was a regular for two seasons.

1932 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1932 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Chuck Klein Phil 568
2. Lefty O’ Doul Brook 519
3. Mel Ott NY 504
4. Don Hurst Phil 472
5. Paul Waner Pitt 447
6. Bill Terry NY 424
7. Dick Bartell Phil 418
8. Babe Herman Cinn 373
9. Kiddo Davis Phil 366
10. Danny Taylor Chi-Brook 364

What I Learned:

Chuck Klein went over the maximum in runs, which cost him 4 points. However, he did play in one of the easiest hitting parts in baseball history. He also (surprising to me) led the league in stolen bases.

For those of you interested in unusual names look at number 9.

1933 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1933 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Jimmie Foxx Phil 554
2. Lou Gehrig NY 551
3. Mickey Cochrane Phil 550
4. Ben Chapman NY 491
5. Babe Ruth NY 490
6. Evar Swanson Chi 483
7. Max Bishop Phil 455
8. Charlie Gehringer Det 409
9. Bob Johnson Phil 404
10. Joe Kuhel Wash 399
10. Tony Lazzeri NY 399

What I Learned:

Very close race. Any of the top 3 could have won. Cochrane is impressive with a third-place finish (and being so close to first) as a catcher.

Despite Philadelphia (with 4 players) and New York (with three players) dominating Washington (with one player who tied for tenth) won the pennant.

1933 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1933 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Pepper Martin StL 496
2. Chuck Klein Phil 491
3. Arky Vaughan Pitt 355
3. Paul Waner Pitt 355
5. Chick Fullis Phil 336
6. Mel Ott NY 333
7. Danny Taylor Brook 319
8. Frankie Frisch StL 318
9. Wally Berger Bos 304
10. Spud Davis Phil 298


What I Learned:

Ok, Pepper Martin winning really surprised me. He did bat leadoff, but I never considered him a real good hitter. I think of his 1931 World Series as a fluke. However, he led in runs (by 21 a significant margin) and stolen bases (by 8 which was enough) He also was 4th in on base average.

Future hall of fame manager Al Lopez was in the top 10 in stolen bases. I would never guess he was a base stealer. All right, he tied for 10th (with Kiddo Davis, what a name) at 10 stolen bases so he wasn’t really a base stealer.

1934 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1934 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Lou Gehrig NY 613
2. Charlie Gehringer Det 603
3. Billy Werber Bos 572
4. Jimmie Foxx Phil 571
5. Jo-Jo White Det 516
6. Earl Averill Clev 499
7. Hank Greenberg Det 471
8. Buddy Myer Wash 462
9. Babe Ruth NY 455
10. Billy Rogell Det 453

What I Learned:

Babe Ruth made the top 10 in his last good year, but he was definitely fading.

The scores are very high in the American League this year.

Billy Werber took third as he led the American League in stolen bases with 40. He led by a comfortable margin.

I just finished watching “Glory Road” on Disney Plus. Jo Jo White the basketball player is portrayed in the movie as an All-American guard who plays against Texas Western in the NCAA playoffs. He steps out of bounds taking away the winning shot in the game. This actually happened as in the movie, with an exception it was at the end of the first overtime instead of the second. White said he actually did have his foot out of bounds as someone on the sidelines told him. I was only 7 when that game was played, but I remember White playing for the Celtics in the early 70s. He was quite a player and won a finals MVP. Bill Simmons had him as the 95th best player in his original “Basketball Book”.

1934 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1934 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Paul Waner Pitt 526
2. Arky Vaughan Pitt 522
3. Mel Ott NY 468
4. Bill Terry NY 446
5. Ripper Collins StL 424
6. Dick Bartell Phil 411
7. Len Koenecke Brook 404
8. Sam Leslie Brook 383
9. Jo-Jo Moore NY 367
10. Kiki Cuyler Chi 359

What I Learned:

This year (1934) is the introduction of the guys named Jo-Jo, White in the American League and Moore in the National League.

Neither Mel Ott nor Bill Terry stole a base.

Of course, not many bases were stolen in 1934. Pepper Martin easily led the league with 23 despite missing 44 games. It took only 9 to make the top 10.

1935 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1935 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Lou Gehrig NY 606
2. Jimmie Foxx Phil 576
3. Buddy Myer Wash 531
4. Mickey Cochrane Det 505
5. Luke Appling Chi 498
6. Charlie Gehringer Det 497
7. Hank Greenberg Det 474
8. Pete Fox Det 438
9. Harlond Clift StL 414
10. Ben Chapman NY 409

What I Learned:

Lou Gehrig repeated with almost the same score.

World Champion Detroit had half of the top 8.

1935 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1935 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Arky Vaughan Pitt 610
2. Augie Galan Chi 530
3. Mel Ott NY 461
4. Joe Medwick StL 448
5. Billy Herman Chi 410
6. Stan Hack Chi 404
7. Hank Leiber NY 398
8. Ripper Collins StL 388
9. Paul Waner Pitt 386
10. Pepper Martin StL 384

What I Learned:

Arky Vaughn won because of his great on base percentage. He had an on base percentage of .491 and Mel Ott was in second with .407. It was comparable to a Ted Williams type of year.

1936 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1936 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Lou Gehrig NY 665
2. Luke Appling Chi 600
3. Jimmie Foxx Phil 579
4. Harlond Clift StL 574
5. Earl Averill Clev 557
6. Lyn Lary StL 543
7. Charlie Gehringer Det 542
8. Zeke Bonura Chi 504
9. Frankie Crosetti NY 502
10. Ben Chapman NY-Wash 496

What I Learned:

Lou Gehrig won for the third year in a row. His runs exceeded the maximum.

Joe DiMaggio scored 132 runs but had a mediocre year in on base average, keeping well out of the top 10 for the Rickey Award.

There was a lot of good hitting in the American League from players who didn’t get on this list. Great year for hitters.

1936 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1936 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Arky Vaughan Pitt 568
2. Mel Ott NY 554
3. Paul Waner Pitt 527
4. Dolph Camilli Phil 509
5. Gus Suhr Pitt 466
6. Pepper Martin StL 457
7. Stan Hack Chi 447
8. Joe Medwick StL 413
9. Kiki Cuyler Cinn 400
10. Frank Demaree Chi 398

What I Learned:

Arky Vaughn repeated despite not having nearly as dominating a year in on base percentage. He and Ott had basically the same statistics in the three categories with Vaughn’s just a bit better in on base percentage and runs.

St. Louis had a player named Stu Martin, he finished tied for second in stolen bases. His teammate Pepper Martin led the league in stolen bases. I’m sure there is a way to combine their names to come up with a slogan to advertise them both, but I can’t think of one off hand.

1937 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1937 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Lou Gehrig NY 634
2. Charlie Gehringer Det 615
3. Hank Greenberg Det 570
4. Joe DiMaggio NY 533
5. Ben Chapman Wash-Bos 481
6. Luke Appling Chi 464
7. Bob Johnson Phil 459
8. Harlond Clift StL 456
9. Billy Werber Phil 447
10. Gee Walker Det 439

What I Learned:

Look at the top 4 on the list. How would you like to have them in positions 1 thru 4 in your lineup? You wouldn’t need much in the other 4 positions to be competitive.

1937 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1937 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Dolph Camilli Phil 512
2. Johnny Mize StL 466
3. Joe Medwick StL 462
4. Stan Hack Chi 436
5. Mel Ott NY 435
6. Paul Waner Pitt 426
7. Billy Herman Chi 410
8. Frank Demaree Chi 390
9. Hersh Martin Phil 361
10. Augie Galan Chi 355

What I Learned:

Being in Philadelphia Dolph Camilli was helped by his ballpark. Before this project I didn’t realize he was with the Phillies for so long. Well 3 and 2/3rds years is long in baseball. I always thought of him as a Dodger.

For the people interested in interesting names look at the player who came in 9th. In 10th place was Augie Galan; I can guess his nickname from Chris Berman.

1938 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1938 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Jimmie Foxx Bos 617
2. Hank Greenberg Det 583
3. Charlie Gehringer Det 558
4. Harlond Clift StL 514
5. Buddy Myer Wash 493
6. Red Rolfe NY 475
6. Earl Averill Clev 475
8. Joe Cronin Bos 473
9. Frankie Crosetti NY 471
10. Lou Gehrig NY 468

What I Learned:

Lou Gehrig got 10th place in his final full season. He stole 6 bases in 7 attempts.

The bottom 5 are all within 7 points of each other.

1938 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1938 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Mel Ott NY 522
2. Stan Hack Chi 488
3. Arky Vaughan Pitt 484
4. Dolph Camilli Brook 416
5. Johnny Mize StL 414
6. Gus Suhr Pitt 364
7. Ival Goodman Cinn 351
8. Phil Weintraub Phil 349
9. Joe Medwick StL 338
10. Johnny Rizzo Pitt 333

What I Learned:

Stan Hack led the league in stolen bases with 16, so the stolen base title didn’t help that much.

Besides Ival Goodman coming in seventh, a play named Debs Garms was ninth in on base percentage. Debs played 12 years and in 1940 won the batting title. Why have I never heard of him before?

1939 AL

Here are the leaders for the 1939 AL Rickey Awards:

1. Jimmie Foxx Bos 600
2. Bob Johnson Phil 555
3. George Selkirk NY 546
4. Ted Williams Bos 540
5. Joe DiMaggio NY 521
6. Red Rolfe NY 507
7. George Case Wash 497
8. Charlie Keller NY 486
8. Hank Greenberg Det 486
10. Luke Appling Chi 472

What I Learned:

The great Yankee team had 4 of the top 10.

Ted Williams edge Joe DiMaggio in their first year, although DiMaggio had an overall better year.

George Case led the AL in stolen bases with 51 easily out distancing the rest of the league.

1939 NL

Here are the leaders for the 1939 NL Rickey Awards:

1. Johnny Mize StL 496
2. Mel Ott NY 474
3. Billy Werber Cinn 451
4. Dolph Camilli Brook 431
5. Augie Galan Chi 416
6. Billy Herman Chi 405
7. Stan Hack Chi 403
8. Cookie Lavagetto Brook 402
9. Arky Vaughan Pitt 394
10. Lonny Frey Cinn 381

What I Learned:

This stat really surprised me Enos Slaughter never had more than 9 stolen bases in any season. His stolen bases percentage in the years tracked isn’t much over .500. His base running according to baseball reference is 3 runs above average for his career.

1930s AL Leaders

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 1930s Decade leaders for the Rickey Leaders in the American League:

  1. Lou Gehrig 87
  2. Jimmy Foxx 77
  3. Charlie Gehringer 46
  4. Babe Ruth 42
  5. Ben Chapman 29
  6. Hank Greenberg 28.5
  7. Earl Averill 23.5
  8. Luke Appling 22
  9. Mickey Cochrane 20
  10. Harlond Clift 19

Babe Ruth is in the top 10 for the third decade.

Of the top 10 players 8 are hall of famers. Also, Ben Chapman and Harlond Clift were fine players.

1930s NL Leaders

Here ae the 1930s Decade leaders for the Rickey Leaders in the National League:

  1. Mel Ott 78
  2. Arky Vaughan 51.5
  3. Paul Waner 44.5
  4. Chuck Klein 35
  5. Dolph Camilli 33
  6. Stan Hack 30
  7. Bill Terry 29
  8. Johnny Mize 28
  9. Kiki Cuyler 27
  10. Joe Medwick 20

What I Learned:

Mel Ott won only one year but was in the top 10 every year in the decade.

The National League had 7 hall of fame players. The three who aren’t are Dolph Camilli, Stan Hack and Kiki Cuyler.

1 Comment

  1. I have a correction to make on the article above. Kiki Cuyler is in the hall of fame. Sorry about the mistake. I need to double check these things more.

    Like

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