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The New York Giants: Baseball's 1st Dynasty

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  • The New York Giants: Baseball's 1st Dynasty

    ----------------------------------------------------The New York Giants: Baseball's 1st Dynasty

    I'd like to showcase the game's 1st dynasty of the 20th Century, the New York Giants. I hope you all enjoy it.

    From 1903 - 1931, a period of 28 years, the John McGraw-led New York Giants came in lower than 3rd only 5 times! An almost impossible record to beat! Came in 1st 12 times, 2nd 10 times.

  • #2
    I thought the Cubs were baseball's first dynasty of the 20th century? Great photos by the way.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


    • #3
      What is a definition of a dynasty then?

      The Chicago team of the National League from 1876 to 1891 won the pennant 6 times and finished second or third 6 other times. Appeared in two World Series and won one of them.

      The 1903 to 1920 Cubs team finished first 5 times, came in second or third 8 times and finished lower than third 5 times. Plus that team had the greatest 1 year run, 2 year run, 3 year run, 4 year run, 5 year run, 6 year run, 7 year run, 8 year run, 9 year run, and 10 year run.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Ubiquitous
        Appeared in two World Series and won one of them.
        won none of them

        St Louis had a claim to the 1885 series that is commonly recognized as a draw. The clubs split the prize. (The seven game results were St Louis 3, Chicago 3, one tie, with one of the Chicago wins by forfeit.)
        St Louis clearly won the 1886 series (games St Louis 4, Chicago 2).

        On the other hand, I credit the Cubs with "greatness" 1903-1912, the seasons under Frank Selee and Frank Chance except 1902. The New York Giants were also "great" in 1903, the first full season under John McGraw. Selee and McGraw were very successful piloting them back to the top. The Chicago and New York owners made a couple of good hires there.

        Chance, Tinker, Sheckard, and Brown all moved on following the 1912 season, so it's in the spirit of "1902-1907" and "1909-1914" to consider them practically a new team. The prominence of Plank 1901-1914 and Bender 1903-1914 may actually lend more continuity to the Athletics.


        • #5
          If we're really looking for the first dynasty without qualifying the title by century, then I'd say it's Boston. They won five pennants between 1872 and 1878, and over the entire course of the first thirty years of professional league baseball, they were the premier franchise.

          If you're willing to be a little more broadminded, though, then the first dynasty would probably be the Atlantics, the perennial champions of the 1860's.

          As for the Giants, is it just me, or is it true that the older John McGraw got, the more he resembled W.C. Fields?
          “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes


          • #6
            My mistake, Boston won six pennants between 1872 and 1878.
            “Money, money, money; that is the article I am looking after now more than anything else. It is the only thing that will shape my course (‘religion is nowhere’).” - Ross Barnes


            • #7
              Well, I guess it depends on how each of us classify a dynasty.
              To me, winning four consecutive pennants achieves that status.
              Sounds simple, and it was done right off in the NA by Boston.
              Then St. Louis AA achieved that performance level ten years later.
              But NY NL did not get their piece of the pie until near the end of the career of the Big Train. Thanks for the pictures Bill. As always, they are great !
              The Yanks did not score their four year dynasty requirement until after Ruth was gone - during Gehrig's last four years.
              So, not so easy.
              But then the Yanks established a dynasty record including five consecutive WS trophies, and a much greater series of pennants than anyone really hopes to equal.


              • #8
                I define "dynasty" as...

                ... a crappy TV show from the '80s.

                "Hey Mr. McGraw! Can I pitch to-day?"


                • #9
                  I judge a 'dynasty' by length of duration.

                  The Cubs were wonderful for a relatively short window. By contrast, the McGraw Giants were great for 30 years. That's 3 decades.

                  The Yankees, 1920-64, were great for 4 decades. That's how I judge 'dynasty'. For me, it's not enough to be a decade team. You must endure longer than that, for me.


                  • #10
                    Okay then, from 1876 to 1938 nobody in baseball had more wins than the Cubs. In that time they went to 11 World Series. Won the pennant 15 times,finished 2nd or 3rd 21 times, and had the greatest stretch of consecutive seasons 1 through 10 years. That is 63 seasons stretching over 7 different decades.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ubiquitous
                      Okay then, from 1876 to 1938 nobody in baseball had more wins than the Cubs. In that time they went to 11 World Series. Won the pennant 15 times,finished 2nd or 3rd 21 times, and had the greatest stretch of consecutive seasons 1 through 10 years. That is 63 seasons stretching over 7 different decades.
                      Wish you'd post that on the 1906-12 Cubs thread. I was looking for this kind of statistical analysis there and no one stepped up.

                      Nice stats, Ubi.


                      • #12
                        Charles Abraham Stoneham:

                        Owner: New Yorks Giants, 1919-1936

                        Born: July 5, 1876, Jersey City, NJ
                        Died: January 6, 1936, age 59, lived in NYC, but died at Hot Springs, Arkansas of Bright's disease.

                        Charles's bio (below)/photo (side, left) as they appeared in 1933's
                        Who's Who in Major League Baseball, edited by Harold (Speed) Johnson

                        1930-32: L-R: unidentified, James J. Tierney, Charles Stoneham, John McGraw, Eddie Brannick.

                        L-R: McGraw, Charles Stoneham, Eddie Brannick?, 1926-27-------------McGraw/Stoneham

                        1926-27: Charles Stoneham, John McGraw, unidentified, James J. Tierney

                        Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-12-2011, 04:59 PM.


                        • #13
                          John Tomlinson Brush:

                          Owner: New York Giants, 1903 - 1912

                          Born: June 15, 1845, Clintonville, NY
                          Died: November 26, 1912, St. Charles, MO, age 67

                          Originally owned Cincinnati BB franchise & was a stock holder of the New York Giants BB franchise. He also owned Indianapolis of the minor American League.
                          John T. Brush: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
                          John Tomlinson Brush was an American sports executive who was the owner of the New York Giants franchise in Major League Baseball from 1890 until his death. He also owned the Indianapolis Hoosiers in the late 1880s, and the Cincinnati Reds from 1891 to 1902. Under his leadership, the Giants were revived as a franchise after a decline during the 1890s. Brush was also a leader in the formation of the rules that govern the modern World Series. He was one of 11 executives who were honored by the Baseball Hall of Fame on a Roll of Honor in 1946.

                          Born in Clintonville, New York, Brush was orphaned at age 4 and was raised by his grandfather until he left to enter business college at age 17. During the Civil War he enlisted in the First New York Artillery in 1863, and after the war's end he went into business running clothing stores in Albany, Troy and Lockport, New York. He moved to Indianapolis in 1875, eventually opening a department store, and became involved in local baseball as a means of promoting his store. He built a ballpark in 1882, and it became home to the Indianapolis Hoosiers of the American Association for their only major league season in 1884; they played in the Western League before that circuit folded after the 1885 campaign.

                          When the National League put the St. Louis Maroons franchise up for sale after the 1886 season, Brush bought it and relocated the team to Indianapolis. He renovated his ballpark, adding a special celebrity box which attracted such figures as President Benjamin Harrison, poet James Whitcomb Riley, and future novelist Booth Tarkington. In 1888 he offered a tryout to Bud Fowler, but ultimately decided not to challenge the sport's color line. Brush also devised a salary scale system which was designed to curtail player salaries, a move which helped contribute to the breakaway Players League in 1890.

                          When the Indianapolis team folded after the 1889 season, Brush was compensated with $67,000 and a share of the Giants franchise, along with a promise of the next available team; he quickly acquired the Reds club after its financial collapse during the three-league competition of 1890. Instead of relocating, he kept the team in Cincinnati, and survived a challenge from a short-lived American Association competitor, the Cincinnati Porkers. Brush frequently was at odds with sportswriter Ban Johnson of the city's Commercial Gazette, and in an attempt to reduce the writer's local influence he helped Johnson become president of the new Western League – a move which eventually backfired when the league achieved major status as the American League in 1901, with Johnson remaining as president.

                          As chairman of the NL's executive committee, Brush took a lead role in combating the AL, joining with Giants majority owner Andrew Freedman to sabotage the AL's Baltimore club by offering the managing jobs of the New York and Cincinnati teams to John McGraw and Joe Kelley respectively; Baltimore was forced to relocate to New York after 1902, eventually becoming the New York Yankees. The acrimony also contributed to controversy in the selection of a new NL president in 1902, as the Giants supported incumbent president Nicholas Young against Albert Spalding, who favored better relations with the AL; in the deadlock, both candidates were forced to withdraw, with Harry Pulliam being selected as a compromise choice. Freedman left baseball shortly thereafter, with Brush taking over as majority owner and team president, selling his interest in the Reds for $180,000 to a group headed by Garry Herrmann. When the Giants won the 1904 NL pennant, Brush refused to allow the team to meet Boston's defending champions in the World Series due to his animosity toward Johnson; a permanent agreement between the leagues was eventually made after meeting some of Brush's conditions, and the Giants won the 1905 World Series against the Philadelphia Athletics.

                          However, Brush's health deteriorated quickly after becoming majority owner in 1902, as he suffered from locomotor ataxia, a nervous system affliction, as well as rheumatism. The Giants won another pennant in 1911, the same year in which he oversaw the reconstruction of the Polo Grounds. Brush attended World Series games as the team again advanced in 1912, but his failing health was apparent, particularly in the aftermath of an auto accident that September 11 in which his car was struck by a truck and overturned, causing two broken ribs. After the Series he left by train to recuperate in California, but died in his private car near Louisiana, Missouri; his car was detached and rerouted to St. Louis, and his body was returned to Indianapolis. His funeral was held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, with accompanying Masonic rites. He was succeeded as Giants president by his son-in-law, Harry Hempstead.

                          Baseball: The Biographical Encyclopedia (2000). Kingston, NY: Total/Sports Illustrated. ISBN 1-892129-34-5.
                          Reach Official American League Base Ball Guide (1913). Philadelphia, PA: A.J. Reach Co.
                          Allen, Lee. The National League Story (1961). New York, NY: Hill & Wang.
                          Allen, Lee. The American League Story (1962). New York, NY: Hill & Wang.

                          SABR biography
                          New York Times obituary
                          Indiana Historical Society: John T. Brush Collection
                          John T. Brush - A Power in BaseballPDF (34.3 KiB) - by John B. Foster
                          Retrieved from ""

                          article: John Brush by John Saccoman

                          A sufferer from locomotor ataxia, a painful disease of the nervous system that caused him to walk with two canes, John T. Brush was a successful retail magnate who owned the New York Giants from 1903 until his death in 1912. Though the Giants became the most valuable franchise in professional sports during his tenure, and he was generally regarded as the most influential magnate in the National League's executive sessions, Brush was not well-liked by players or the press. "Chicanery is the ozone which keeps his old frame from snapping," wrote one critic, "and dark-lantern methods the food which vitalizes his bodily tissues."

                          John Tomlinson Brush (some suggested the T stood for "Tooth") was born in Clintonville, New York, on June 15, 1845. Orphaned at age four, John lived with his grandfather until going to Boston at age 17 to seek his fortune in the clothing business. After serving with the First New York Artillery during the Civil War, he opened a department store in Indianapolis when he was only 30 years old. Brush's first contact with baseball came in 1887 when he bought into the upstart Indianapolis Hoosiers of the National League as a means of advertising his store. In 1889 he formulated the "Brush Classification Plan," under which players were placed into one of five groupings based on both on- and off-field performance. Each class had a corresponding salary cap—Class A players could earn $2,500 annually, and the salaries decreased $250 in each lower class so that Class E players could earn $1,500. The plan, which was approved by Brush's fellow owners, caused a backlash among the players, leading directly to the formation of John Montgomery Ward's Players League.

                          The NL dropped Indianapolis in 1890 so Brush bought stock in the New York Giants and became owner of the Cincinnati Reds the following year. In Cincinnati he came under fire from Ban Johnson, then a local sportswriter. When the newly formed Western League was searching for a president in 1894, Brush interceded to make sure Johnson got the job, thus ending criticism from the young reporter's pen. The two continued to lock horns, however. Brush still owned stock in the Indianapolis franchise of the American Association, and Johnson criticized his shady dealings involving the rosters of the AA Hoosiers and the NL Reds. The upshot was that the Cincinnati owner was forced to divest himself of his stock in the Indy club. Prior to the 1898 season Brush floated another "Brush Rule" past his fellow owners, this one stating that any player who addressed an umpire or fellow player in a "villainously filthy" manner would be brought before a three-man disciplinary board and banished for life if found guilty. The players received the rule about as well as Brush's 1889 edict limiting their salaries, and it had about the same lasting impact.

                          In 1901 Brush attended a meeting with fellow NL owners Andrew Freedman of New York, Frank Robison of St. Louis, and Arthur Soden of Boston at Freedman's estate in Red Bank, New Jersey. Earlier this quartette had decried syndicate baseball, but now they were formulating a plan for an even larger syndicate, the National League Base Ball Trust, which would hire all managers and assign players to teams that would no longer be individually owned. The four robber barons proposed that the former owners would hold shares in the trust, with Freedman receiving a 30% share, his three compatriots receiving 12% each, and the others not present receiving less (the Brooklyn ownership would receive only 6%). The syndicate plan died on the vine because, not surprisingly, it didn't gain the fifth vote necessary for approval.

                          On August 12, 1902, Giants owner Freedman announced, "I will turn the inside affairs of the business over to Mr. Brush, as I have little or no time to give to baseball, while Mr. Brush will be able to devote practically all his time to the game." In retrospect it seems clear that Brush had favored New York all along. In 1900 the Giants purchased Christy Mathewson from Norfolk of the Virginia League. When the rookie did nothing to distinguish himself in three games, Freedman sent him back to Norfolk where he went 21-2. After the season Brush drafted him for the Reds, then "traded" him to the Giants for sore-armed Amos Rusie, who hadn't pitched since 1898. Mathewson, of course, went on to win 372 games for New York, while Rusie didn't win a single game for Cincinnati.

                          Brush purchased the Giants outright from Freedman in 1903. At the time the department-store mogul still owned the Reds and also owned the American League's Baltimore Orioles, and the rash of personnel transactions that preceded the sale of his Cincinnati and Baltimore shares positioned New York to be a juggernaut for the first third of the twentieth century. The most important of those moves was the signing of John McGraw away from his own Orioles to manage the Giants, but he also released from their Baltimore contracts future Hall-of-Famers Roger Bresnahan and Joe McGinnity, both of whom signed with New York. When the loaded Giants ran away with the NL pennant the following year, Brush (with prodding from McGraw) became responsible for the cancellation of the 1904 World's Series. "There is nothing in the constitution or playing rules of the National League which requires its victorious club to submit its championship honors to a contest with a victorious club in a minor league," he announced.

                          Brush lived to see his Giants play in three World's Series (1905, 1911, and 1912). Shortly after the last of those fall classics, he was thrown from an automobile in Harlem and sustained a serious hip injury. On November 26, 1912, while en route to a sanatorium in Southern California for recuperation, Brush died aboard a train as it was passing through Missouri. He was survived by his second wife, stage actress Elsie Lombard, who was 25 years his junior. Brush's obituary in The New York Times described him as "one of the wisest and ablest counselors in the National League."

                          Note: A slightly different version of this biography appeared in Tom Simon, ed., Deadball Stars of the National League (Washington, D.C.: Brassey's, Inc., 2004).

                          Nemec, David. The Great Encyclopedia of 19th Century Major League Baseball. Donald Fine, 1997.
                          Solomon, Burt. Where They Ain't. pp. 217-218. The Free Press, 1999.
                          Sowell, Mike. July 2, 1903. Macmillan, 1992.
                          Total Baseball. Total Sports, 1989
                          Ward, Geoffrey C. and Ken Burns. Baseball: An Illustrated History. Knopf, 1994.




                          • #14
                            Harry N. Hempstead:

                            New York Giants' President, November 27, 1912 - January 14, 1919

                            Born: June 25, 1868, Philadelphia, PA
                            Died: March 26, 1938, age 69,---d. stroke

                            Following the 1912 World Series, Giants' owner, John Brush headed to California to regain his health. He died in his private car in Louisiana, Missouri. The team passed to his heirs; his wife Elsie Lorraine (b. February 19, 1889, Kansas City, MO) and daughters, Eleanor B. (b. March 18, 1872, Albany, NY) and Natalie. Eleanor's husband, Harry Hempstead, who had served as the team's vice-president, assumed control over the team's day to day affairs, and rose to team President. He sold most of his stock to a group headed by New York broker Charles A. Stoneham on January 14, 1919.


                            • #15
                              Horace Charles Stoneham:

                              Owner: New York Giants: 1936 - 1976

                              Born: April 27, 1903, Newark, NJ
                              Died: Januray 7, 1990, Scottsdale, AZ, age 86

                              Wikipedia: Horace C. Stoneham (April 27, 1903 - January 7, 1990) was the principal owner of Major League Baseball's New York/San Francisco Giants from the death of his father, Charles Stoneham, in 1936 until 1976. During his ownership, the team won National League pennants in 1933, 1936, 1937, 1951, 1954 and 1962, a division title in 1971, and World Series titles in 1933 and 1954.

                              New York baseball fans and media vilified Stoneham and Brooklyn Dodgers owner Walter O'Malley when they moved their clubs to California after the 1957 season. Stoneham was alarmed by a dramatic post-1954 drop-off in attendance at his team's historic ballpark, the Polo Grounds in Upper Manhattan. Impressed by the success of the Braves after their 1953 shift from Boston to Milwaukee, Stoneham decided to move his Giants to Bloomington, Minnesota, where a stadium had just been constructed for his AAA farm team, the Minneapolis Millers.

                              When Stoneham confided his plan to O'Malley, the Dodger chief informed him that he (O'Malley) was negotiating to move his club – the Giants' bitter rival – to Los Angeles. He suggested that Stoneham contact San Francisco mayor George Christopher and explore moving his team there to preserve the rivalry. Stoneham then abandoned his Minnesota plan and shifted his attention, permanently, to San Francisco.

                              At the New York Giants' last home game, Stoneham was confronted by fans both angry — one sign read: "We want Stoneham! (With a rope around his neck!)" — and grief-stricken. After meeting with a group of weeping youngsters who begged the team to stay, Stoneham was moved, but said: "I feel badly for the kids, but we haven't seen too many of their fathers [i.e. paying fans] around here lately."

                              Writer Roger Kahn said years later, during promotional tours for his book The Era 1947-57, that the Giants' deteriorating ballpark and shrinking fan base made it necessary for Stoneham to abandon New York. He noted, however, that the Dodgers – a year removed from the 1956 pennant and two from Brooklyn's first world championship – were still profitable and O'Malley's move West was motivated by a desire for even greater riches.

                              While their early years in San Francisco produced only one pennant, the Giants of the late 1950s and 1960s were one of the most talented assemblages in the National League. They included five Hall of Famers — Willie Mays, Willie McCovey, Juan Marichal, Orlando Cepeda and Gaylord Perry — and many other stars. The Giants were the first major league team to heavily scout and sign players from the Dominican Republic.

                              But the NL was so powerful and competitive — it had far outpaced the American League in signing African-American and Latin American players — the Giants had only one pennant to show for a decade-plus of contention. Stoneham was partially to blame for this, as he squandered the resources of his productive farm system through a series of poorly advised trades, and hired as his manager from 1961-64 Alvin Dark, who had a brilliant baseball mind but a poor relationship with at least some of his minority players. Dark was fired after the '64 Giants fell just short in a wild, end-of-season pennant race but, more notably, he had made derogatory remarks to the press about Latin ballplayers during the season. (He later said he was misquoted.)

                              After their initial success, Stoneham's Giants fell on hard times during the 1970s. Attendance at cold and windy Candlestick Park plummeted, and Stoneham faced financial hardship. Finally, in 1976, he put the team up for sale. The Giants very nearly moved back east, to Toronto. In addition, it was briefly rumored they considered a return to the metropolitan New York area, perhaps to a new baseball stadium in the New Jersey Meadowlands. But local businessman Bob Lurie stepped in as the buyer, and the Giants remained in Northern California.

                              Born in Newark, New Jersey, Stoneham died at age 86 in Scottsdale, Arizona.
                              At the age of 33, he inherited team from his father Charles upon his death January 7, 1936. Had become club executive (1929). Plucked Dodger manager, Leo Durocher, from cross-town rivals in mid-season 1948. Bad attendance (1956-57), caused him to give up on his long-time home in NYC in favor of milder climes in San Francisco.
                              Sporting News' obituary, January 22, 1990, pp. 53.

                              L-R: Bob Carpenter (Phillies' owner),
                              Horace Stoneham (Giants' owner),
                              Warren Giles (NL Pres.),
                              Walter O’Malley (Dodgers).
                              --------------------------------------------------------------July 20, 1951, signing Leo Durocher to his contract.

                              December 6, 1941: Stoneham, Eddie Brannick, Mel Ott.---------------------------July 26, 1954: Walter O'Malley, Stoneham.

                              November 14, 1973: Walter O'Malley, Stoneham, Warren Giles (NL President).--------------June 4, 1957: Walter O'Malley, New York Mayor Robert Wagner, Horace Stoneham.

                              Horace Stoneham, Eddie Brannick, Leo Durocher.-------------------------------------------1948: Horace Stoneham, Mel Ott, Leo Durocher.

                              1940-1948: Eddie Brannick, Horace Stoneham, Mel Ott.
                              Last edited by Bill Burgess; 07-21-2013, 01:07 PM.


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