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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

Previewing the Simulated 1902 ALCS – The Philadelphia Athletics Take On the St. Louis Browns

So now that we have one of our 1902 Simulated World Series teams, we turn to the American League and the best-of-five ALCS.

Connie Mack’s Philadelphia Athletics won the regular season championship in 1902, finishing 83-53, five games ahead of the St. Louis Browns, managed by Jimmy McAleer (that’s how you know this is a computer simulation – the Browns almost never won anything in the real world).

The Athletics’ staff was anchored by one of my favorite eccentrics in baseball history, Rube Waddell. Waddell was 24-7 for the year with an ERA of only 2.05. Connie Mack had “acquired” Waddell by sending two Pinkerton agents to California, where Waddell was pitching in what ultimately became the PCL, to, um, “escort” him to Philadelphia. On July 1, 1902, Waddell became only the second pitcher in baseball history to strike out the side on nine pitches. Waddell’s fellow Hall of Famer Eddie Plank was next, going 20-15 for the year with a 3.30 ERA. Number three starter Bert Husting was 14-5 with a 3.79 ERA, and Snake Wiltse and Fred Mitchell split duty as the number 4 starter. Wiltse was 8-8 with a 5.15 ERA and Mitchell was 5-8 with a 3.59 mark.

Ossee Schrecongost and Doc Powers split the catching duties for the Athletics. Ossee was the better hitter - .324 to .264 for Powers. But Ossee’s main claim to fame was that he once demanded that the club add a contract clause barring pitcher Rube Waddell (his roommate) from eating crackers in bed. First baseman Harry Davis hit .307 and second baseman Danny Murphy hit .313. Light-hitting shortstop Monte Cross hit .231, but third baseman Lafayette “Lave” Cross – no apparent relation – led the team with .342. Left fielder Topsy Hartsel hit .283, center fielder Dave Fultz hit .302 and right fielder Socks Seybold rounded out the regulars with a .316 average.

Like most teams of the era, the Browns ran a four-man pitching rotation. Jack Powell was 22-17 and Red Donahue was 22-11. Their ERAs were similar – Powell 3.21, Donahue 2.76. Catcher Joe Sugden hit .250. First baseman John Anderson hit .284. Second baseman Dick Padden hit .264. Shortstop Bobby Wallace hit .285 and third baseman Barry McCormick hit .246. Hall of Famer Jesse Burkett was in left and was one of only two .300 hitters on the ballclub, hitting .306. Right fielder Charlie Hemphill hit .317. Center fielder Emmet Hendrick hit .289.

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