View Poll Results: My Candidate for the Greatest Team Ever

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  • 1926-29 New York Yankees

    9 15.79%
  • 1929-32 Philadelphia Athletics

    9 15.79%
  • 1936-43 New York Yankees

    12 21.05%
  • 1917-20 Chicago White Sox

    2 3.51%
  • 1910-14 Philadelphia Athletics

    0 0%
  • 1921-24 New York Giants

    0 0%
  • 1894-96 Baltimore Orioles

    1 1.75%
  • 1955-58 New York Yankees

    0 0%
  • 1949-56 Brooklyn Dodgers

    2 3.51%
  • 1949-53 New York Yankees

    9 15.79%
  • 1997-2002 New York Yankees

    3 5.26%
  • 1906-10 Chicago Cubs

    3 5.26%
  • 1970-76 Cincinnati Reds

    4 7.02%
  • 1988-92 Oakland A's

    0 0%
  • 1972-74 Oakland A's

    2 3.51%
  • 1976-81 New York Yankees

    0 0%
  • 1930's Pittsburgh Crawfords

    0 0%
  • 1930's Homestead Greys

    1 1.75%
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Thread: Philadelphia Athletics, 1928-1932

  1. #1
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    Philadelphia Athletics, 1928-1932

    I would like to throw some love to the team that I have long-considered the Greatest Team of them all. The 1929-32 Philadelphia Athletics. I think it is time to give them some much over-due props and respect.

    I am aware that I am probably the only Fever member who feels this way.

    1928 A's---98-55, .641, 2nd Pl, 2.5 g behind
    1929 A's---104-46, .693, 18 g ahead, (WS: W 4-1 over Cubs)
    1930 A's---102-52, .662, 8 g ahead, (WS: W 4-2 over Cardinals)
    1931 A's---107-45, .704, 13.5 g ahead, (WS: L 4-3 to Cardinals)
    1932 A's---94-60, .610, 2nd Pl, 13 g behind


    The Second Dynasty (1927–1933)
    After that, Mack began to build another winner. In 1927 and 1928, the Athletics finished second to the New York Yankees, then won pennants in 1929, 1930 and 1931, winning the World Series in 1929 and 1930. In each of the three years, the A's won over 100 games.

    As it turned out, this would be the Athletics' last hurrah in Philadelphia. Mack again sold or traded his best players in order to reduce expenses. The Great Depression was well under way, and declining attendance had drastically reduced the team’s revenues. The construction of a spite fence at Shibe Park, blocking the view from nearby buildings, only served to irritate potential paying fans. However, the consequences did not become apparent for a few more years, as the team finished second in 1932 and third in 1933.

  2. #2
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    Mack/McGraw:

    I rate Connie Mack as the Greatest Manager Ever. I rate McGraw as having the greatest record ever compiled. Contradiction? Not in BurgessLand.

    1. Connie Mack - Pirates (1894-96), Phil. A's ('01-50) BB's closest thing to a saintly person.

    2. John J. McGraw - Balt. (1899-1902), NY Giants (1902-32); From '03-31, 28 yrs., came in lower than 3rd only 5 times.

    Explanation. From '03-31, 28 yrs., McGraw came in lower than 3rd only 5 times. That is a record I doubt can be broken. His strength came from having been a very good player. He was able to routinize his teaching of the different skills, such as fielding, sliding, throwing the ball in on one bounce, etc.

    Since he played in a big market (NY), he seldom had financial problems. He was acknowledged as a master of the trading market. Not a winter would pass by, without him trying to strengthen his squads. He tried in vain since 1920 to buy Rogers Hornsby from Branch Rickey, who wouldn't sell him, even when offered $300K. McGraw also tried to get Cobb in Dec., 1926. But Landis told him, "Lay off, Cobb." Landis intended to restore TC to Detroit, to shove it up Ban Johnson's butt, who had sworn TC would never play in the AL again.

    So the question might be, why would I put Mack over McGraw, if I think McGraw had the better record? Simple. They didn't have a level playing field. McGraw had advantages Mack didn't. And Mack couldn't level the conditions out.

    McGraw, in NYC, had no "blue laws", prohibiting activities on Sundays, after 1919. Mack did not receive his liberation from blue laws until Nov., 1933, and it caused, indirectly, Mack having to break up his teams in 1914, and 1933-35.

    McGraw had fans who supported the Giants no matter what. Mack had fans who refused to come out to the games, and support their local team. And since Mack was legally prevented from playing games on Sundays until 1934, his attendance stunk. Even when he won pennants, he had attendance problems. I put in red, where he won the pennant.
    Code:
    -Yr.---Attend.
    1925-----1st
    1926-----2nd
    1927-----4th 
    1928-----2nd 
    1929-----3rd
    1930-----2nd
    1931-----2nd
    1932-----3rd
    1933-----6th
    1934-----6th
    So one can see from the above chart that Mr. Mack had a real problem getting his fan base to turn out and support their team. And in the days before TV money, fan attendance forms the foundation of a teams income.
    It was bad enough to not be able to play on Sundays until 1934, but poor fan interest really killed the A's. Connie had good teams in all of the above yrs. except perhaps 1934. And he failed to come in the top 3 in attendance 7 times out of 20. This is the reason why he couldn't afford to pay his players well.

    In 1914, the A's finished 1st, but placed only 5th in attendance. When his players wanted increases to match what the Federal L. was dangling in front of them, he couldn't match the Fed's offers. So Plank and Bender jumped to the Federals. And to keep the rest from doing the same, Connie sold his players off, before they could jump, and leave him with nothing.

    I believe that if Mack had no blue laws to cramp his attendance before 1934, he would not have felt compelled to break up his 2 great teams, and hence would have surpassed John McGraws great record. So that is how I justify placing Mack on top, while still feeling that McGraw had the most impressive record, on paper. Different conditions. At least that's how it looks to me.

    Since it bears so heavily on how teams create wealth, I give the following.

    The following cities received their liberation from no-Sunday baseball games "blue laws" in the following years.
    Detroit - 1910,
    Cleveland - 1911,
    New York - 1919,
    Boston - 1929,
    Philadelphia/Pittsburgh - Nov. 8, 1933.
    Wash. DC before 1919.

  3. #3
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    A's/Yankees:

    The late 20's A's vs. Yankees rivalry is one of the fun subjects for me. The Yanks hit their high water mark in 1927, the A's in 1929. Both teams merit all time status. They were very fierce rivals.

    1927 Yankees - 110-44 - .714 - 19 games ahead of Phil.
    1929 A's----- - 104-46 - .693 - 18 games ahead of Yanks.

    1927 Yankees' Hall of Famers - Ruth, Gehrig, Pennock, Lazzeri, Combs, Hoyt, Huggins,
    1929 A's Hall of Famers----- - Foxx, Cochrane, Grove, Simmons, Collins, Mack,

    Mack/Ruppert were exceedingly determined men. Ruppert had the edge financially. I'd like to insert a few sentences from my Ty as Manager article, which I warehouse in Ty Cobb Thread. It's only a couple of paragraphs.
    --------------------
    Another critical issue that one must look at is how much a team invests to keep improving. Certain other teams were going all out to bolster their clubs. For example, in NY, Jake Ruppert was conducting operations like a mad scientist. He brought almost the entire Red Sox team to NY. Ruppert was serious about his club. In pitchers alone, he raided these from Boston: Carl Mays, Herb Pennock, Sam Jones, Waite Hoyt, Joe Bush, Ernie Shore. He also raided shortstop Everett Scott, catcher Wally Schang, left fielder Duffy Lewis. These alone will win you a pennant.

    When the '25 Yankees collapsed to 7th place, Huggins and Barrow got rid of some players and started their '26 spring training with others. While Ty was making do with the scraps from other teams leftovers, Jake Ruppert was just barely beginning to flex his wallet. During Ty's days managing the Tigers, Jake Ruppert armed his Yankee dugout with Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Bob Meusel, Earl Combs, Marty Koenig, Joe Dugan, as well as the championship Red Sox team from '15-18. Jake was intent on making his team the envy of Balldom.

    Meanwhile, over in Philadelphia, hardly less earnest activity was in progress to meet the Yankees challenge on even terms. Mack suddenly was spending like Ruppert in an exclusive men's clothing shop. Mack & Ruppert turned the '20's into dueling checkbooks, & neither were bouncing any checks. Over in Philly, Mack was rebuilding & Connie wasn't kidding. In '21 he got Eddie Rommel, in '22, Bing Miller & Joe Hauser, '23 Rube Walberg, in '24, he got Al Simmons & Max Bishop.

    For 1925, he picked up Grove, Cochrane, Foxx, veteran pitcher Jack Quinn. For '26, he got shortstop Billy Wambsganss and vet pitcher Howard Ehmke, whom Ty had discarded after '22. These players proved that Connie wasn't fooling about bringing pennants home. He paid $100K for Grove in 10 installments, $50K for Cochrane( plus $150K invested in Portland team, just to sign Cochrane). These were major moves.

    Both these teams, the 20's Yankees and Phil. A's were only 2 of the teams that Ty's men had to face on the open battlefield. Coping with 2 of the greatest baseball teams of history, is utterly germane to whether Ty was a good manager. To this day, most of the most respected, authoritative baseball minds consider the '29-31 Phil. A's & the '26-28 Yankees as 2 of the very finest baseball teams in all-around balance, that ever played the game.
    --------------------------------------
    Back to basics.

    Here I'd like to show the results of the Yanks/A's rivalry for the era.

    -------------A's-Yanks---------------Shibe---Yankee S.
    1926----------13-9--------------------5-6----------8-3
    1927-----------8-14-------------------5-6----------3-8
    1928----------6-16-------------------2-9----------4-7
    1929----------14-8--------------------7-4----------7-4
    1930----------12-10------------------12-10---------5-6
    1931----------11-11-------------------7-4----------4-7
    1932-----------8-14-------------------6-5----------2-9
    totals-------82-72-1----------------39-38-------33-44
    (numbers taken from baseball-reference)

  4. #4
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    Re: Connie Mack, on his decsion to play Cobb/Speaker in 1927/1928
    Quote Originally Posted by Originally Posted by BaseballHistoryNut
    Well, I don't think I'd put Connie Mack's opinion at the top of the list. By almost ALL historians' opinions, it was his love for the ancient Cobb and Speaker which cost the 1928 A's the pennant to the fantastic-hitting, but very mediocre-pitching 1928 Yankees. So his opinion's value is a bit compromised, wouldn't you concede?

    BHN Jim
    Well, we all have those who's judgment we feel was the best. When I provided the link, you don't have to single out Connie. Look who it includes. Speaker himself. Babe too. When taken collectively, it is over-whelming. Hardly leaves anyone out. Owners, players, umps. When we consider that not a single person had a single reason to lie for Cobb, it leaves us without an ulterior motive for saying Ty was their #1.

    We must also note that those 250 Prominent BB figures were some of the most competitive guys we had. Speaker, Sisler, Collins, Hornsby, Mack. It just goes on and on.

    So, I cannot in all honesty, even begin to think that Mack's judgment in playing Cobb in 1928 was flawed. Connie had choices. He could play Ty, Mule Haas, Simmons, Bing Miller, Tris Speaker, Walter French. In any combination of 3 he chose.

    Who Connie put in there was based largely on how they did in 1927. And by any stretch, only Simmons did better.

    Here's how Connie's OFers stacked up in 1927.

    Simmons - .392 - 106 games
    Cobb - .357 -134 games
    Haas - didn't play
    Miller - .325 - 143 games
    Speaker - .327 - 141 games (for Washington)
    French - .304 - 108 games
    ------------------------------------------------
    So, how did Connie's OFers do in 1928?

    Simmons - .351 - 119 games
    Miller - .329 - 139 games
    Cobb - .323 - 95 games
    Haas - .280 - 91 games
    Speaker - .267 - 64 games
    French - .257 - 48 games
    --------------------------------------------
    Now, to be really fair to the opinion that you've read, that Connie erred in playing Ty/Tris in 1928, (and I've also read that opinion often), I must bring some objective info to the table.

    Cobb was known as a slow starter, and was one of a relatively small % of hitters who was well-known to come on towards the end of the season. And when he was taken out of the lineup in mid-season in 1928, he was deprived of his usual phase were he would have his normal late season drive.

    Cobb played as a regular up until July 27, 1928. It was his 86th game of the year. He was hitting .332. He hit better when he was playing regularly.

    I have also read that Tris/Ty had slowed down so much in the OF, that Connie had to sit them on the bench in 1927/28. So, to that end, I will provide a piece of fan mail that addresses Ty's fielding in 1927.

    Baseball Magazine, December, 1927, pp. 334.
    Mr. Lane,
    Dear Sir:--
    As I am one of those who pulled for the Philadelphia Athletics to win a pennant this year I want to take the present opportunity to say that I think Ty Cobb was a tower of strength for them. He deserves all the credit in the world. He has played a brilliant game, and has worked wonders with the batting of the others on the team. He brought ten of the Athletics up over the .300 mark this year, more .300 batsmen than any other Major League club this season. Philadelphia club batting at the close of last season was .269--this season it is .303, an improvement of 34 points. But for this improvement in the batting this year which Cobb brought about there is no doubt in my mind but that the A's would have been much lower in the race than they were. Cobb's own playing has been marvelous.

    When Simmons was injured July 24, Ty was put in center field, and he fielded so brilliantly that the Athletic pitchers were able to pitch seven shut-outs, their only shut-outs of the season, and during the rest of the season with Cobb in centerfield the Athletics looked like a new team and won almost all their games; to be exact, they won 35 games and lost only 15 during the time Cobb played center until he left on his hunting trip. This was a tribute to Ty's defensive ability in the outfield, while he was shining as an offensive star also, getting 3, 4 and even as many as 5 hits a game.

    Yes, Ty Cobb has played a wonderful game for the Athletics this year, has helped the other players to bat much better, and in every way has been a very present inspiration. And I hope he remains with the Athletics. A Fan.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    At the end of the day, I must support Connie decision to use Ty in 1928. Tris was showing his age a lot more than Ty.

    Thanks, SO VERY MUCH, BHN for giving me a chance to go back into my old backyard and dig cool stuff out of my Bill Burgess' Cabinet of Wondrous Forgotten BB Lore! It sure felt good. Like going home after a long vacation away.

    What a pleasure to chat about the old stuff.

  5. #5
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    1929 Philadelphia Athletics; 104-46, .693, 18 g ahead, (WS W 4-1 over Cubs)--- BB-Reference

    Top Row: L-R: Edmund 'Bing' Miller (RF), Bill Breckinridge (P), George 'Mule' Haas (CF), Eddie Collins (coach), Bill 'Kid' Gleason (coach), Jimmy Foxx (1B), Robert 'Lefty' Grove (P), Howard Ehmke (P), Al Simmons (LF).

    Middle Row: L-R: Homer Summa (OF), George 'Rube' Walberg (P), Carroll Yerkes (P), Connie Mack (Mgr.), George Burns (1B), George Earnshaw (P), James 'Jimmy' Cronin (2B).

    Bottom Row: L-R: Sammy Hale (3B), Gordon 'Mickey' Cochrane (C), Walter French (OF), Jimmy Dykes (SS/3B), John 'Joe' Boley (SS), Ralph 'Cy' Perkins (C), Earl Mack (coach).



    1929 Philadelphia Athletics; 104-46, .693, 18 g ahead, (WS W 4-1 over the Cubs)---BB Reference---Player identifications provided courtesy of Gary Livacari (GaryL).

    L-R: Eddie Collins (coach), Kid Gleason (coach), Walter E. French (OF), Jimmie Dykes (3B), Jim Cronin (IF), Homer Suma (RF), Max Bishop (2B), Sammy Hale (3B), Bevo LeBourveau (OF) , Mickey Cochrane (C), Cy Perkins (C), Bill Breckinridge (P), Jimmy Foxx (1B), Connnie Mack (Mgr.), Bing Miller (RF), Al Simmons (LF), Eddie Rommell (P), Rube Walberg (P), Lefty Grove (P), Howard Ehmke (P), George Earnshaw (P), Jack Quinn (P), Mule Haas (CF), Bill Shores (P), George Burns (1B), Joe Boley (SS), Earle Mack (coach).
    Front: Lawrence Moard? (mascot)


    Last edited by Bill Burgess; 12-18-2011 at 09:17 AM.

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    1930 Philadelphia Athletics; 102-52, .662, 8 g ahead, (WS W 4-2 over Cardinals)---BB Reference

    Top Row, L-R: Eric McNair (IN), Lefty Grove (P), Max Bishop (2B), Mule Haas (CF), Joe Boley (SS), Rube Walberg (P), Wally Schang (C), Charlie Perkins (P), Jim Moore (LF), Homer Suma (RF), Dib Williams (IF), George Earnshaw (P), Lee Roy Mahaffey (P), Jack Quinn (P), Eddie Rommell (P).

    Bottom Row, L-R: Frank 'Pinky' Higgins (IF), Cy Perkins (C), Mickey Cochrane (C), Jimmy Dykes (3B), Connie Mack (Mgr.), Al Simmons (LF), Bing Miller (RF), Jimmy Foxx (1B), Eddie Collins (coach), Kid Gleason (coach).



    1930 Philadelphia Athletics; 102-52, .662, 8 g ahead, (WS W 4-2 over Cardinals)---BB Reference---Player identifications provided courtesy of Gary Livacari (GaryL).

    Top Row, L-R: *Doc Edward E. Ebling (trainer), Lee Roy Mahaffey (P), George Earnshaw (P), Mule Haas (CF), Bill Shores (P), Wally Schang (C), Earl Mack (coach), Jack Quinn (P).

    Middle Row, L-R: Charlie Perkins (P), Pinky Higgins (IF), Homer Suma (RF), Jimmie Foxx (1B), Dibrell Williams (IF), Bing Miller (RF), Lefty Grove (P), Jimmy Moore (OF), Cy Perkins (C).

    Bottom Row, L-R: Joe Boley (SS), Max Bishop (2B), Jimmie Dykes (3B), Eddie Collins (coach), Connie Mack (Mgr.), Bill 'Kid' Gleason (coach), Eddie Rommel (P), Al Simmons (LF), Mickey Cochrane (C).

    Rube Walberg/Eric McNair are not pictured.

    *Doc Edward E. Ebling joined the Philadelphia A's in 1915. He died February 11, 1938 at the age of 63. He was their trainer/chief masseur.

  7. #7
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    1931 Philadelphia Athletics; 107-45, .704, 13.5 g ahead, (WS L 4-3 to Cardinals)---BB Reference---Player identifications provided courtesy of Gary Livacari (GaryL).

    Top, L-R: Roy Mahaffey (P), Dib Williams (SS), Doc Cramer (OF), Waite Hoyt (P), Mule Haas (CF), Hank McDonald (P), Eddie Rommel (P), Lew Krausse (P), Johnnie Heving (C), Jim Peterson (P).

    Middle: Lefty Grove (P), Bing Miller (RF), Mickey Cochrane (C), Eddie Collins (Coach), Connie Mack (Owner/Mgr.), Bill (Kid) Gleason (Coach), Earl Mack (Coach), Al Simmons (LF), Max Bishop (2B), Jimmy Moore (OF), Jimmy Dykes (3B).

    Bottom: Joe Palmisano (C), Eric McNair (UT), Jimmy Foxx (1B), Rube Walberg (P), Marcucci (mascot), *Doc Edward E. Ebling (trainer), Joe Boley (SS), Phil Todt (1B).




    1931 Philadelphia Athletics; 107-45, .704, 13.5 g ahead, (WS L 4-3 to Cardinals)---BB Reference
    ---Player identifications provided courtesy of Gary Livacari (GaryL).

    Top, L-R: Roy Mahaffey (P), Dib Williams (SS), Doc Cramer (OF), Waite Hoyt (P), Mule Haas (CF), Hank McDonald (P), Lew Krausse (P), Johnnie Heving (C), Jim Peterson (P).

    Middle: Lefty Grove (P), Bing Miller (RF), Mickey Cochrane (C), Eddie Collins (Coach), Connie Mack (Owner/Mgr.), Bill (Kid) Gleason (Coach), Eddie Rommell (P), Al Simmons (LF), Max Bishop (2B), Jimmy Moore (OF), Jimmy Dykes (3B).

    Bottom: Joe Palmisano (C), Eric McNair (UT), Jimmy Foxx (1B), Rube Walberg (P), Marcucci (mascot), *Doc Edward E. Ebling, Joe Boley (SS), Phil Todt (1B), Earl Mack (Coach).



    Al Simmons, 1924-27.------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Bing Miller, 1924


    Jimmy Dykes, Philadelphia A's IF, 1924-27---BB Ref


    March 17, 1934: Fort Myers, FL spring training; L-R: Jimmy Foxx, Dib Williams, Eric McNair, Frank Higgins.


  8. #8
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    Weak Sisters:

    One of my past posts, concerned the issue of lack of competitive balance in eras past (1900-1930). Here was the thrust of my argument.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    10. Another important factor in attracting the fans to come out is to have attractive, competitive teams, featuring good players.

    Around the turn of the century, BB lacked competitive balance. In the AL, the Browns, Senators, Highlanders, were the weak sisters in the league, upon whom the others beat up on. It was hard for those teams to compete for fans.

    In the NL, the Phillies, Braves, Dodgers, Reds, Cards were the weak sisters. The Cubs, Giants, Pirates, were the strong teams.

    And that lack of competitive balance contributed to low attendance. Plus the lack of stars to go all the way around. There were no good stadiums until the Pirates built Forbes Field in '09. First modern steel/concrete park.

    To summarize: A fan in 1905 Pittsburgh/Detroit had little money to go to a game, which were only held in afternoons, where he'd sit on wooden stands, which held around 15,000 fans, enjoyed primitive concessions facilities, had to fight rush hour traffic to get home.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Jeffrey made response to my above argument:

    Weak sisters? Anyone heard of Tampa Bay, Milwaukee, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Kansas City, Texas for the most part. Strong teams? Anyone heard of the Yanks, Braves, Twins, Oakland, Boston?
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    In order to bolster my arguing points, I'd like to submit the following data.
    An example of the lack of competitive balance in a league is demonstated by the following data.

    Code:
    1927 New York Yankees------------------1929 Philadelphia Athletics
    St. Louis Browns------21-1----.955-----Boston Red Sox--------18-4---.818
    Boston Red Sox--------18-4----.818-----Detroit Tigers--------18-4---.818
    Chicago White Sox-----17-5----.773-----Washington Senators---16-4---.800
    Philadelphia A's------14-8----.636-----Cleveland Indians-----14-7---.667
    Detroit Tigers--------14-8----.636-----New York Yankees------14-8---.636
    Washington Senators---14-8----.636-----Chicago White Sox-----13-9---.591
    Cleveland Indians-----12-10---.545-----St. Louis Browns------11-10--.524
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So, this is an example of the lack of competitive balance, which rendered it difficult for the bottom weak sisters to draw on their fan base.

    One of the reasons why I always resist singing the praises of the High & Mighty 1927 New York Yankees, is because as one can see at a glance, they were able to roll up the score on a league which had a team which couldn't defend themselves that yr. So the Yanks were able to appear like gods, and finish 19 games ahead due to the extreme weakness of the Brownies, BoSox and White Sox, not because they were gods. So much for hype.

    Curiously, 2 yrs. later, the Brownies were the hardest team for the mighty A's to beat up, but they also beat the snot out of the 3 weak sisters in the league.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1927 Yankees Pitchers/1929 Athletics Pitchers:

    Now that we've all agreed that a pitcher's W-L record is so team-dependent, as to be devoid of all meaning in showing a pitcher's value, I think the next stat to go into the rubbish bin, would have to be his team's W-L record without him.

    Example: Pitchers on teams which win over 100 games, obviously have some other good pitchers. 1927 Yanks & the 1929 Athletics had:

    Code:
    1927 NY Yankees pitchers-------------1929 Philadelphia Athletics pitchers
    Waite Hoyt,-----22-7, 146 ERA+-------Lefty Grove,      20-6,  151 ERA+
    Urban Shocker,--18-6, 136 ERA+-------George Earnshaw,  24-8,  129 ERA+
    Wilcy Moore,----19-7, 169 ERA+-------Rube Walberg,     18-11, 118 ERA+
    Herb Pennock,---19-8, 128 ERA+-------Ed Rommel,        12-2,  149 ERA+
    Dutch Ruether,--13-6, 113 ERA+-------Bill Shores,      11-6,  118 ERA+
    George Pipgras--10-3,  94 ERA+-------Jack Quinn,       11-9,  107 ERA+
    Myles Thomas-----7-4,  79 ERA+-------Howard Ehmke,      7-2,  129 ERA+
    Bob Shawkey------2-3, 133 ERA+
    Their hitting got them runs, but great pitching/defense suppressed the other teams runs-producing potential. So it wasn't all done with offense alone. But team W-L minus pitchers record, makes it appear their team won their games for them, which is a very insideous half-truth. It was mutually beneficial.

    Of what real value can it have, since it so utterly favors pitchers on weak teams (Young, Johnson, Alexander, Carlton, Vance), while it makes pitchers on strong teams (Matty, Brown, Ford, Grove, Pennock, Hoyt, Shawkey) appear good only due to team strength. Team WPCT minus the pitcher's W-L PCT. gotta go, guys.

  9. #9
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    AG2004 contributed this analysis to beautifully refute my above theory:
    The Browns weren't a last-place team in 1927; Boston finished last in the AL that year.

    In 1927, the Yankees went 14-8 against 2nd-place Philadelphia, 14-8 against 3rd-place Washington, and 14-8 against 4th-place Detroit. That's an impressive performance against the better AL clubs.

    Competitive balance in a league does play a role - if the league as a whole is better, that makes the overall record of the champion more impressive than otherwise. However, since the 1927 Yanks did so well against the league's top clubs, their 21-1 record against the Browns doesn't matter a lot.

    The 1954 Indians, by contrast, really beat up on the bottom-feeders. The Indians went 111-43, but there were only three AL teams better than .450; the league was very unbalanced. (The 1927 AL had four teams with winning records and five teams above .450.) The 1954 Indians went just 11-11 against the second-place Yankees, and 11-11 against the third-place White Sox. They proceeded to get swept by the Giants in the World Series.

    The 1927 Yankees were impressive against the top teams. Beating up on the 7th-place Browns and 8th-place Red Sox helped their record, but they would still be legendary had they lost a few more games to the bottom-feeders. The 1954 Indians, however, needed to dominate the bottom teams in order to get their impressive record; they were just average against the better teams that year.

    As I pointed out earlier, the 1927 Yankees had a better winning percentage against upper-division teams than the 1929 Athletics had. The Yankees' performance against St. Louis doesn't count towards that record, since the Browns were 7th. If one were to ignore the games against lower-division clubs, the 1927 Yankees would still have a better record than the 1929 Athletics, despite the abolition of the league competitiveness issue.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    let's see how the teams did against the just the top teams in baseball.
    Let's throw out all the games against the bottom-feeders, and just focus on how
    the teams did against clubs that finished in the top four in their league.

    1927. The Philadelphia Athletics finished second in the AL, the Washington
    Senators finished third in the AL, the Detroit Tigers finished fourth in the AL,
    and the Pittsburgh Pirates won the NL. Against only those four teams , the
    New York Yankees went 46-24, for a .657 winning percentage.

    1929. The Yankees finished second in the AL, Cleveland finished third, the
    Browns finished fourth, and the Cubs won the NL pennant. Against only those
    four teams , the Philadelphia Athletics went 43-26, for a .623 winning
    percentage.

    1917. Boston finished second in the AL, Cleveland third, and Detroit fourth.
    The Giants won the NL pennant. Against only those four teams , the Chicago
    White Sox went 45-26, for a .634 winning percentage.

    And, out of curiosity,

    1998. Boston, Cleveland, and Texas all finished among the top four in winning
    percentage in the AL. San Diego and Atlanta finished among the top four in
    winning percentage in the NL (they were the only such teams that the Yankees
    played that year). Against only those five teams , the New York Yankees went
    36-16, for a .692 winning percentage. If you look at the regular season alone,
    the New York Yankees went 25-13, for a .658 winning percentage.

    So, here's a short list of how various clubs did against only those teams that
    finished in the top four in their league:

    1998 New York Yankees, .692 winning percentage (including postseason)
    1998 New York Yankees, .658 winning percentage (regular season only)

    1927 New York Yankees, .657 winning percentage (including postseason)
    1927 New York Yankees, .636 winning percentage (regular season only)

    1917 Chicago White Sox, .634 winning percentage (including postseason)
    1917 Chicago White Sox, .630 winning percentage (regular season only)

    1929 Philadelphia Athletics, .623 winning percentage (including postseason)
    1929 Philadelphia Athletics, .609 winning percentage (regular season only)

    From this we see that:

    1) The 1927 Yankees did a better job against the league's top teams than the
    1929 Athletics.

    2) The 1998 Yankees were even better against the league's top teams than those
    earlier squads, despite the fact that the overall standard of teams was better
    in the 1990s than it was pre-integration.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    1927 Yankees - Reported Salaries


    Miller Huggins, Manager $37,500
    Ed Barrow, GM $25,000

    Babe Ruth, OF $70,000
    Herb Pennock, P $17,500
    (plus $1,000 bonus if attained 25 wins)
    Urban Shocker, P $13,500
    Bob Meusel, OF $13,000
    Joe Dugan, 3B $12,000
    Waite Hoyt, P $11,000
    (plus $1,000 bonus if attained 20 wins)
    Earle Combs, OF $10,500
    Bob Shawkey, P $10,500
    Benny Bengough, C $8,000
    Tony Lazzeri, 2B $8,000
    (plus round trip train fare for he and his wife at the beginning and end of season)
    Lou Gehrig, 1B $7,500
    Mark Koenig, SS $7,000
    Pat Collins, C $7,000
    Ben Paschal, OF $7,000
    Myles Thomas, P $6,500
    John Grabowski, C $5,500
    Mike Gazella, IF $5,000
    Joe Giard, P $5,000
    Cedric Durst, OF $4,500
    George Pipgras, P $4,500
    Wilcy Moore, P $2,500
    (plus $500 bonus if finishes year with club)
    Julie Wera, IF $2,400

    Total Payroll (est.) $250,000
    Average $10,000
    Median $7,000

    Each player received a 1927 World Series winner's share of $5,592.17.

  10. #10
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    My Greatest Teams:

    Connie Mack once said that anyone can win a pennant, but only the really good teams repeat, and only the great ones can win 3 in a row. Which is how I think of my greatest teams.

    1. 1929-31 Philadelphia Athletics
    2. 1917-19 Chicago White Sox
    3. 1910-14 Philadelphia Athletics
    4. 1926-28 New York Yankees
    5. 1936-43 New York Yankees
    6. 1921-24 New York Giants
    7. 1894-96 Baltimore Orioles
    8. 1955-58 New York Yankees
    9. 1949-56 Brooklyn Dodgers
    10. 1949-53 New York Yankees
    11. 1997-2002 New York Yankees
    12. 1906-10 Chicago Cubs
    13. 1970-76 Cincinnati Reds
    14. 1988-92 Oakland Athletics
    15. 1972-74 Oakland Athletics
    16. 1976-81 New York Yankees
    17. 1930's Pittsburgh Crawfords (Negro Leagues)
    18. 1930's Homestead Greys (Negro Leagues)
    Quote Originally Posted by RuthMayBond View Post
    Yeah, those 1918 Chisox were world beaters

  11. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    My Greatest Teams:

    Connie Mack once said that anybody can win a pennant, but only the really good teams repeat, and only the great ones can win 3 in a row. Which is how I think of my greatest teams.

    1. 1929-31 Philadelphia Athletics
    2. 1917-19 Chicago White Sox
    3. 1910-14 Philadelphia Athletics
    4. 1926-28 New York Yankees
    5. 1921-24 New York Giants
    6. 1894-96 Baltimore Orioles
    7. 1955-58 New York Yankees
    8. 1949-56 Brooklyn Dodgers
    9. 1936-43 New York Yankees
    10. 1997-2002 New York Yankees
    11. 1906-10 Chicago Cubs
    12. 1970-76Cincinnati Reds
    13. 1988-92 Oakland Athletics
    14. 1972-74 Oakland Athletics
    15. 1976-81 New York Yankees

    great list

    but it is missing the only team to win 5 straight world championships the 1949-53 Yankees, and if you add that in 1954 they won more games than any of the 5 world champs, then won pennants in 55-58 (listed) and 60-64 (not listed), that is quite impressive

    I would add the 1969-71 Baltimore orioles and the A's of course won divisions in 71 and 75
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    If memory serves, didn't Al Lopez win a pennant in that run? And didn't the Dodgers win in 1955?
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    Actually, that's incorrect. The Milwaukee Braves won the Series in '57, and even in all the other years you mentioned, although NY teams won those Series, they didn't win every game. Only the 1950 (Yankees) and 1954 (Giants) won in 4-game sweeps in that period.

  12. #12
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    My criteria is one more - 4 consecutive pennants, like Von der Ahe and McGraw achieved, but the Yanks were striving for (unsuccessfully) since Ruth showed up.
    Their first run met head up with the unstoppable Walter Johnson, getting his rightful time in the World Series, in the mid-20s. Then, after building up another head of steam, culminating in the renouned 1927 Yankees, Mack was Back - as was pointed out - to firmly turn them away once again. By 1935 Ruth was gone, and Gehrig only had four years left.
    Each of Gehrig's last four years (and parts) were successful in achieving that milestone which perhaps only I recognize.
    And yes, the Yanks did go on to surpassing this performance level in the 50s. But that era was a tremendous baseball period for NYC. They won every World Series game from '49 - '57 - forty seven straight games, if I recall correctly.

    So although my view may be more anti-yankee, than pro-Athletics; I support your assessment wholeheartedly.

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    One of the most essential components of a baseball winner is the willingness of an owner, and the depths of his pockets, in bringing a winner to his town.

    Connie Mack and Jake Ruppert turned the 1920's into dueling checkbooks.

    Later owners, like Tom Yawkey or Powel Crosley, were likewise determined to bring home winners, but it took more than money. It also required baseball acumen, the ability to size up prospects. Many an owner or GM has thrown bonus money at hot prospects, only to see that prospect fizzle under the pressure of the Big Time.

    Here are some sentences I wrote about the Mack/Ruppert gi-normous, titantic spending frenzy of the 20's.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------
    Mack/Ruppert were exceedingly determined men. Ruppert had the edge financially. I'd like to insert a few sentences from my Ty as Manager article, which I warehouse in Ty Cobb Thread. It's only a couple of paragraphs.
    --------------------
    Another critical issue that one must look at is how much a team invests to keep improving. Certain other teams were going all out to bolster their clubs. For example, in NY, Jake Ruppert was conducting operations like a mad scientist. He brought almost the entire Red Sox team to NY. Ruppert was serious about his club. In pitchers alone, he raided these from Boston: Carl Mays, Herb Pennock, Sam Jones, Waite Hoyt, Joe Bush, Ernie Shore. He also raided shortstop Everett Scott, catcher Wally Schang, left fielder Duffy Lewis. These alone will win you a pennant.

    When the '25 Yankees collapsed to 7th place, Huggins and Barrow got rid of some players and started their '26 spring training with others. While Ty was making do with the scraps from other teams leftovers, Jake Ruppert was just barely beginning to flex his wallet. During Ty's days managing the Tigers, Jake Ruppert armed his Yankee dugout with Lou Gehrig, Tony Lazzeri, Bob Meusel, Earl Combs, Marty Koenig, Joe Dugan, as well as the championship Red Sox team from '15-18. Jake was intent on making his team the envy of Balldom.

    Meanwhile, over in Philadelphia, hardly less earnest activity was in progress to meet the Yankees challenge on even terms. Mack suddenly was spending like Ruppert in an exclusive men's clothing shop. Mack & Ruppert turned the '20's into dueling checkbooks, & neither were bouncing any checks. Over in Philly, Mack was rebuilding & Connie wasn't kidding. In '21 he got Eddie Rommel, in '22, Bing Miller & Joe Hauser, '23 Rube Walberg, in '24, he got Al Simmons & Max Bishop.

    For 1925, he picked up Grove, Cochrane, Foxx, veteran pitcher Jack Quinn. For '26, he got shortstop Billy Wambsganss and vet pitcher Howard Ehmke, whom Ty Cobb had discarded after '22. These players proved that Connie wasn't fooling about bringing pennants home. He paid $100K for Grove in 10 installments, $50K for Cochrane( plus $150K invested in Portland team, just to sign Cochrane). These were major moves.

    Both these teams, the 20's Yankees and Phil. A's were only 2 of the teams that Cobb's men had to face on the open battlefield. Coping with 2 of the greatest baseball teams of history, is utterly germane to whether Ty was a good manager. To this day, most of the most respected, authoritative baseball minds consider the '29-31 Phil. A's & the '26-28 Yankees as 2 of the very finest baseball teams in all-around balance, that ever played the game.

  14. #14
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    Great thread Bill.

    My head won't let me consider them the greatest team ever, but they've always been my favorite of the great teams of history.

  15. #15
    I consider the 1929 A's a top 5 all time team

    1931 would have been great if they had won the series

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    The 1929 A's were only third in their league in adjusted batter runs, but the team stretch from 1929-1932 is darn fine.
    Sorry, you can delete the opening fact if it doesn't fit your thread
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  17. #17
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    Thanks, Mark and RoyHobbs. I would hope that most people would consider the 1929 A's a Top 5 All-Time team. Maybe they do and I'm just not aware of it.

    I would have loved to have been able to see lots of A's/Yankee games, 1927-32. They were that day's equivalent of the present Yankee/Red Sox rivalry.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    My Greatest Teams:

    Connie Mack once said that anybody can win a pennant, but only the really good teams repeat, and only the great ones can win 3 in a row. Which is how I think of my greatest teams.

    1. 1929-31 Philadelphia Athletics
    2. 1917-19 Chicago White Sox
    3. 1910-14 Philadelphia Athletics
    4. 1926-28 New York Yankees
    5. 1921-24 New York Giants
    6. 1894-96 Baltimore Orioles
    7. 1955-58 New York Yankees
    8. 1949-56 Brooklyn Dodgers
    9. 1936-43 New York Yankees
    10. 1997-2002 New York Yankees
    11. 1906-10 Chicago Cubs
    12. 1970-76Cincinnati Reds
    13. 1988-92 Oakland Athletics
    14. 1972-74 Oakland Athletics
    15. 1976-81 New York Yankees

    Bill this list is totally illogical. The 1949-1956 Dodgers are # 8, but the 1949-1953 Yankees are NOT ON THE LIST?

    The 1936-1943 Yankees are not as good as the 1921-1924 Giants?

    The 1936-1939 Yankees are CLEARLY the greatest team of all time. It's really not all that debnatable. You can look at run differential over the 4 years, their 16-3 trecord in 4 world series, or whatever you want. They are easily the best team of all time.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    Bill this list is totally illogical. The 1949-1956 Dodgers are # 8, but the 1949-1953 Yankees are NOT ON THE LIST?

    The 1936-1943 Yankees are not as good as the 1921-1924 Giants?

    The 1936-1939 Yankees are CLEARLY the greatest team of all time. It's really not all that debatable. You can look at run differential over the 4 years, their 16-3 record in 4 world series, or whatever you want. They are easily the best team of all time.
    Roy Hobbs brought to my attention that I forgot to list the 1949-53 New York Yankees. I will have to insert them. Sorry about that, Bruce.

    I did not do any kind of statistical analysis so this was just off the top of my head, from memory of the great teams. So, I guess I'm not prepared to debate my order 'of greatness'.

    But I did want to give the A's some love and spark some discussion. So, thanks for participating. You can do some analyzing or discussing if you're in the mood. I hope some others join you and we can get something going.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burgess View Post
    Roy Hobbs brought to my attention that I forgot to list the 1949-53 New York Yankees. I will have to insert them. Sorry about that, Bruce.

    I did not do any kind of statistical analysis so this was just off the top of my head, from memory of the great teams. So, I guess I'm not prepared to debate my order 'of greatness'.

    But I did want to give the A's some love and spark some discussion. So, thanks for participating. You can do some analyzing or discussing if you're in the mood. I hope some others join you and we can get something going.

    Okay, Bill. Here's what some sophisticed statistical analysis says about this issue. This comes from the book "Baseball Dynasties" by Rob Neyer and Eddie Epstein. It is based on standard deviations.

    I will list their top 5 teams for each group (one through five) of consecutive seasons. I will edit out repeat teams in the multiple year tables (for example I won't list the 1998-1999 Yankees since the 1997-1998 Yankees are already listed)

    ONE SEASON
    1 - 1998 Yankees
    2 - 1906 Cubs
    3 - 1962 Giants
    4 - 1927 Yankees
    5 - 1917 Giants

    TWO SEASONS
    1 - 1997-1998 Yankees
    2 - 1969-1970 Orioles
    3 - 1938-1939 Yankees
    4 - 1936-1937 Yankees
    5 - 1906-1907 Cubs

    THREE SEASONS
    1 - 1969-1971 Orioles
    2 - 1937-1939 Yankees
    3 - 1997-1999 Yankees
    4 - 1986-1988 Mets
    5 - 1942-1944 Cardinals

    FOUR SEASONS
    1 - 1936-1939 Yankees
    2 - 1969-1972 Orioles
    3 - 1985-1988 Mets
    4 - 1968-1971 Orioles
    5 - 1942-1945 Cardinals

    FIVE SEASONS
    1 - 1935-1939 Yankees
    2 - 1969-1973 Orioles
    3 - 1986-1990 Mets
    4 - 1906-1910 Cubs
    5 - 1942-1946 Cardinals

    These are based on standard deviations, meaning how much each team's runs scored and runs allowed exceeded the league norms. It is only based on regular season numbers. Once you throw in the post season it becomes very clear that the 1936-1939 Yankees were clearly the greatest team of all time.

    Your favorite team does not score all that well here, as the 1931 season was not all that great in standard deviations. The best that those teams do on any of these lists would be an 11th place finsih for the 1928-1929 A's on the TWO SEASON list.

  21. #21
    great list(s) above

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post

    These are based on standard deviations, meaning how much each team's runs scored and runs allowed exceeded the league norms. It is only based on regular season numbers. Once you throw in the post season it becomes very clear that the 1936-1939 Yankees were clearly the greatest team of all time.

    Your favorite team does not score all that well here, as the 1931 season was not all that great in standard deviations. The best that those teams do on any of these lists would be an 11th place finsih for the 1928-1929 A's on the TWO SEASON list.
    That kind of analysis underrates those A's teams, since they beat their pythagorean W/L record every year, sometimes by large amounts. In otherwords, they were a greater team than their stats suggest.

    1927 +4 wins
    1928 +1 win
    1929 +4 wins
    1930 +9 wins
    1931 +10 wins


    If they could have gotten it done against the Cards in '31, and managed to beat out the Yankees in '28, I might be able to see them as the best ever. But since they didn't, I must also go with those incredibly deep late 30's Yankees' teams of Gehrig & DiMaggio as the best ever.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by SavoyBG View Post
    The 1936-1939 Yankees are CLEARLY the greatest team of all time. It's really not all that debatable. You can look at run differential over the 4 years, their 16-3 record in 4 world series, or whatever you want. They are easily the best team of all time.
    Wouldn't logic suggest that it would depend on the definition that one uses?

    Just as in our previous Greatest Player discussion, it would largely rely on which definition one chose to use. While many, even most people would probably agree with you, Bruce, on using a statistical definition, there will always be those who hold out for a more traditional definition, which is more subjective, and based on intangibles.

    For example, in my companion thread, the 1926-29 New York Yankees, I explored why that particular team initially became so imbued with fame. An intangible-laden definition, while perhaps too subjective to satisfy today's stat-based fan, is still embraced, and enjoyed by a small number of fans. Like me.

    But let's keep this a pleasant discussion, shall we? Alright?

  24. #24
    27 Yankees
    Lazzerri,Meusel were set ups for prime Ruth and Gherig
    Kinda scary

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by joshfan View Post
    27 Yankees
    Lazzerri,Meusel were set ups for prime Ruth and Gherig
    Kinda scary
    As is OBP machine Max Bishop setting up prime Cochrane/Simmons/Foxx. And he best defense and pitching in baseball didn't hurt either. And don't forget who dethroned that great Yankees' team in dominating fashion - even with prime Gehrig and Ruth and Combs, Lazzerri having his best year ever, and young Bill Dickey behind the plate.

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