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  • Writer's pictureKirk Jenkins

Previewing the (Simulated) 1904 World Series – Boston vs. New York Giants

Last time, we wound up our simulation of the 1902 major league playoffs which never happened and crowned the Pittsburgh Pirates the (simulated) world champions. Well, the first World Series happened in 1903. And the next year, the Giants won again – but Giants manager John McGraw had himself a big ol’ snit and flatly refused to play the Series. So no World Series in 1904 for you, baseball fans!

But we’re here to offer one computer-driven interpretation of the World Series that never happened. On the National League side, we have McGraw’s Giants. They play in an earlier incarnation of the Polo Grounds. They ran away with the National League title, beating the Chicago Cubs by 13 games after posting a 106-47 record.

Over on the American League side, it was much more of a race. The title was ultimately won by Boston, but not the Red Sox – this team was still known as the Boston Americans. Managed by Jimmy Collins, they won the title by a game and a half over the team still known as the New York Highlanders, posting a record of 95-59.

The Giants’ rotation was anchored by two – count ‘em, two – thirty game winners. The ace was Hall of Famer Iron Man Joe McGinnity, who went 35-8 with an ERA of 1.61.

Now, you’d think, with a nickname like “Iron Man,” that it’d be because he pitched all the time. Well, he did – he appeared in just short of a third of all the Giants games – but turns out it was because he worked in an iron foundry in the off season (yeah, they made a good bit less dough back in those days).

The Giants’ Number 2 guy was an obscure journeyman pitcher named Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson. Mathewson was 33-12 with an ERA of 2.03. The Giants’ Number 3 starter was Luther Taylor. Taylor was 21-15 for the season with an ERA of 2.34. The final member of the Giants’ rotation was “Hooks” Wiltse, who finished the season 13-3 with an ERA of 2.84.

Frank Bowerman and Jack Warner – no, not that one, the other one – split the catching duties. Bowerman hit .232 and Warner hit .199. Dan McGann was the Giants’ regular first baseman. He hit .286 for the season. Billy Gilbert (.253) was the second baseman. Bill Dahlen (.268) played shortstop. Art Devlin (.281) was the Giants’ regular third baseman. Sam Mertes was the Giants usual left fielder, hitting .276. Hall of Famer Roger Bresnahan anchored the outfield in center field, hitting .284. Right fielder George Browne hit .284.

The Boston Americans’ rotation was anchored by Hall of Famer Cy Young, who went 26-16 on the season with an ERA of 1.97. Bill Dinneen was the second starter, and he was 23-14 with an ERA of 2.20. Jesse Tannehill – yep, we saw him in the 1902 Series – was 21-11 and 2.04. Norwood Gibson was the number four starter, with a record of 17-14 and an ERA of 2.21.

Lou Criger was the Americans’ regular catcher. He hit .211. Candy LaChance was the first baseman and hit .227. Hobe Ferris played second base and hit .213. Freddy Parent was the Americans’ shortstop, hitting .291. Manager (and Hall of Famer) Jimmy Collins was the regular third baseman, hitting .271. Left fielder Kip Selbach hit .258. Center fielder Chick Stahl hit .290 and regular right fielder Buck Freeman hit .280.

Join us back here next time for Game 1!

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