NOTE: Tom Walsh had just 1 AB for the 1906 Cubs, and Jack McCormick is listed as the trainer.
The 1906 Cubs lead by player/manager Frank Chance won the National League pennant by winning 116 games and losing just 36. Their .763 winning percentage is the best ever. This was the start of an 8 year run where they would win 807 games, a major league record. During this streak they set the record for wins over 2 seasons, 3 seasons, 4, 5, 6, and 7 seasons as well.
The NY Giants won 96 games and still finished 20 games back…..Ouch!
The Cubs scored 704 runs to lead the Majors, and allowed a record low 381 runs. Their .262 team average was best in the league, as was their 1.75 team ERA. They hit just 20 home runs but in the Deadball era it was good for 2nd in the league.
Frank Chance hit .319 and scored a league leading 103 runs. He also stole 57 bases to lead the league.
Harry Steinfeldt joined the Cubs via a trade with the Reds and provided solid defense at 3rd, while leading the team with a .327 average. Jimmy Sheckard was acquired from the Superbas for $2000 and 4 players, which included the forgettable Button Briggs. Sheckard hit .262 and scored 90 runs, good for 3rd in the league.
Catcher Johnny Kling hit .312 and was joined in the infield by Mr Tinker, Mr Evers, and the Peerless Leader Frank Chance. Tinker to Evers to Chance……….why does that sound familiar? Evers hit .255 and stole 49 bases, while Tinker hit just .233.
On the hill the Cubs dominated like few teams in the history of the league. Mordecai Brown went 26-6 with a miniscule 1.04 ERA to go along with his 9 shutouts. Rookie Jack Pfiester went 20-8 with a 1.51 ERA, and Ed Reulbach won 19 games to go with a 1.65 ERA. They finished 1-2-3 in ERA in the NL.
Carl Lundgren(17-6, 1.83) and Orval Overall(12-3, 1.88) rounded out the staff. They allowed just 12 home runs, and threw 28 shutouts. 24% of their wins came via the shutout.
Unfortunately this all added up to a 6 game loss to the White Sox in the World Series.
The 1906 Chicago White Sox finished with a record of 93- 58, 3 games up on the 2nd place NY Highlanders. The “Hitless Wonders” earned their moniker, they didn’t hit, and it’s a wonder that they won 93 games, let alone a World Series.
They hit .230 as a team and hit just 7 home runs. Not only were these totals last in the American League, but if it wasn’t for the .226 average put up by the NL Boston Beaneaters, they would have been last in the majors in both categories.
2nd baseman Frank Isbell lead the team with a .279 average and 11 triples. He hit 29 points over his lifetime average. The only other players with any significant playing time that exceeded their lifetime averages were catcher Billy Sullivan(.214, +1), Jiggs Donahue(.257, +2) and outfielder Bill O’Neill(.248, +3). O”Neill celebrated his career year by retiring at season’s end.
No player hit more than 2 home runs, drove in more than 80 runs, or scored more than 80. The Deadball Era was alive and well in Southside Chicago.
Hall of Famer George Davis did manage to hit .277 while leading the team with 80 rbi and 26 doubles.
The only moves made during the season that the White Sox made to “improve” their team were the acquisitions of Ed Hahn and Patsy Dougherty from the Highlanders. With the Highlanders Hahn was hitting a robust .091. He stepped up for the White Sox, hitting .227, while leading the team with 80 runs scored. Patsy Dougherty was hitting just .192 with the Highlanders, but improved to .233 in 75 games.
On the mound the White Sox put together a fine 4 man rotation. Frank Owen won 22 games with a 2.33 ERA. This was his 3rd straight 20 win season for the White Sox. He pitched just 3 more seasons, compiling a 9-11 record. Nick Altrock won 20 games, his 2nd straight 20 win season. After this season he would concentrate more on being “The Clown Prince” of baseball. He pitched sparingly in 11 more seasons winning just 14 games while losing 27.
Ed Walsh went 17-13 with a 1.88 ERA. This was the 1st of his 7 straight dominating seasons that would get him elected to the Hall of Fame. His 1.82 lifetime ERA is the best of all time.
Rounding out the staff is Doc White and his 18-6 record with a league leading 1.52 ERA.
Their team ERA of 2.13 was good for 2nd in the league, while their 32 shutouts lead the league.
Their 6 game victory in the 1906 World Series over the Cubs is still one of the biggest upsets in World Series history. I can’t think of another that’s this lopsided. It doesn’t look good for a repeat in the Baseball Revisited World Series, but I’ll be pulling for another upset.