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Was G.C. Alexander's 1911 Season thw Greatest season by a Rookie Pitcher Ever

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  • Was G.C. Alexander's 1911 Season thw Greatest season by a Rookie Pitcher Ever

    While researching another matter, I happened upon the statistics of Grover Cleveland Alexander's magnificent rookie season for the 1911 Philadelphia Phillies.
    His chief numbers were 367 Innings Pitched, 227 Strikeouts, 31 Complete Games in 37 Starts (he also relieved in 11 games and earned 3 Saves), 7 Shut Outs, and a
    28-13 record for a .683 winning percentage, with a 2.57 E.R.A. These great stats were not accomplished for a fantastic offensive team that gave him great run support, either. The Phillies finished 7th in an 8-team National League in runs scored that year, with only the Brooklyn team scoring less runs. The Phillies were a middle-of-the pack team finshing in
    4th place in an 8 team league. It took Alexander's unexpected, amazing year to help them climb just above the .500 mark at 79-73. Without Alexander's contribution they were likely a seventh or last-place team. If there is any rookie year for a pitcher that rivals these numbers I would like to know about it. Alexander made his major leagues debut in the Phillies third game of the season and without any prior major leagues experience, whatsoever, he fashioned a truly awesome season. Can Alexander's 1911 season be considered the greatest year for a rookie pitcher of all-time?
    Last edited by philliesfiend55; 01-15-2013, 12:49 PM.

  • #2
    Maybe, but arguably it wasn't even the greatest rookie season by a pitcher in 1911. Vean Gregg was 23-7 (.767) and led the league with a 1.80 ERA and 1.054 walks+hits per innings pitched, for a Cleveland team that finished 80-73.

    Slightly less impressive, but equally interesting, was Henry Schmidt in 1903, when he was 22-13 for the 70-66 Brooklyn Superbas. He apparently disliked living in New York and refused to sign a contract for a second season, instead returning to Oakland to pitch in the Pacific Coast League. He never again appeared in the major leagues.


    • #3
      Alexander's 1911 is up there. Few can rival it.

      But I think Ross Ford's 1910 season was better.
      1.65 ERA
      160 ERA+
      0.881 WHIP
      29 CG
      8 SHO
      10.6 pWAR
      11.1 WAR


      • #4
        Ed Reulbach, 1905. ERA+ of 209, which was the 5th best ever for any pitcher in any season at the time (much less a rookie), is still the 28th best overall, and which no rookie has every come withing a B-2s flying distance of since.

        29 starts, 28 CG, 1.42 ERA, lowest H/9ip, 18-14, 291 innings and out pitched Three Finger Brown for the season.

        Alex had 8.1 WAR, to Reulbach's 8.0, thanks to pitching 76 more innings.
        "It's better to look good, than be good."


        • #5
          Mark Fidrych was pretty awesome in 1976.

          19-9 W-L, 2.34 ERA, 159 ERA+, 24 CG, 9.3 WAR.

          Fidrych led the American League in ERA, ERA+, and CG. Fidrych completed 24 of 29 games he started. He started the 1976 All-Star Game, won the RoY Award, and finished 2nd in the CYA voting.
          Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis


          • #6
            Pete Alexander's 1910 season with Syracuse (NYSL, Class B) was even better:

            44 Games, 35 Complete Games, 15 Shutouts, 29-12 Record that I compiled (Baseball-Reference has it as 29-11), 345 Innings, 254 Hits, 74 Walks, 218 Strikeouts.The 15 shutouts was the all-time season record in the New York State League that ran from 1889 to 1917.

            Down the stretch he had a consecutive scoreless string of over 40 innings. I misplaced my notes but think it was between 42 innings and 52 innings.
            "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
            "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."


            • #7
              Quick shout-out to Dwight Gooden's 1984 season.

              17-9, 2.60 ERA (2nd best in league), Led the all NL pitchers in strikeouts, WHIP, H/9, HR/9, and WAR.

              Not bad for a 19 year old.
              My top 10 players:

              1. Babe Ruth
              2. Barry Bonds
              3. Ty Cobb
              4. Ted Williams
              5. Willie Mays
              6. Alex Rodriguez
              7. Hank Aaron
              8. Honus Wagner
              9. Lou Gehrig
              10. Mickey Mantle


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