All-Decade Team: The 1920s

The Roaring 20’s brought the roar of the home run into the game, increasing scoring by nearly a full run per game for the decade.  Two hitters dominated the decade, posting the highest WAR totals of any player so far.  No pitcher was able to maintain great success, due to the change in offensive philosophy and the aging of some of the best of all time.  11 of the selections are in the Hall of Fame.

C- Wally Schang
Despite amassing only 25 WAR, Schang gets the spot behind the plate despite being in his 30’s the whole decade.  His .404 OBP was his greatest strength.  A bunch of catchers finished just shy of 20 WAR, including Bubbles Hargrave, Bob O’Farrell, Johnny Bassler, and a young Mickey Cochrane and Gabby Hartnett.

1B- Lou Gehrig
Gehrig only needed five years to compile just over 40 WAR, fueled by a 171 wRC+.  He beat out a large group of players just shy of 30 WAR: Lu Blue, Joe Judge, George Sisler, Jack Fournier, Jim Bottomley, and High Pockets Kelly.  Sisler had three great years before sinusitis all but ended his career.

2B- Rogers Hornsby
Using a .382/.460/.637 slashline, Hornsby nearly totaled 100 WAR in the decade.  He won two Triple Crowns and led the NL in all the slashline stats seven of the ten years, despite playing on four different teams the last four years of the decade.  Frankie Frisch was also a top 5 player in the decade, producing nearly 60 WAR largely due to his defense, and an aging Eddie Collins neared 40 WAR.

3B- Pie Traynor
Another weak position, Traynor squeaks in, barely reaching 25 WAR for the decade.   Willie Kamm and Jimmy Dykes each compiled about 20 WAR, while a very young Freddie Lindstrom had a good pace to begin his career.

SS- Joe Sewell
Known for his contact ability, Sewell surpassed 40 WAR for the decade.  He struck out 96 times in his 6166 PA, but still walking over 600 times and hit over 350 doubles.  Dave Bancroft produced nearly 35 WAR and a young Travis Jackson had 30 WAR, each providing great defense.

LF- Babe Ruth
The one who started the revolution, Ruth hit 467 HR in the decade, leading to nearly 110 WAR.  He maintained a 206 wRC+, despite striking out more than any other decent hitter of the era.  Goose Goslin and Ken Williams each neared 40 WAR, with Goslin beginning his career and Williams ending his.

CF- Tris Speaker
Starting the decade at age 32, Speaker still provided over 50 WAR to end his career.  The all-time leader in doubles nearly hit 400 of them, and also posted a 6:1 BB/K ratio.  Ty Cobb ended his career with about 40 WAR, profiling very similar to Speaker.

RF- Harry Heilmann
Another high doubles, high average hitter, Heilmann exceeded 55 WAR for the Tigers during the decade.  His .364/.433/.558 slashline was good for a 154 wRC+.  Aside from Ruth, only Sam Rice was within 25 WAR, qualifying in both center and right.

P- Dazzy Vance, Pete Alexander, Eppa Rixey, Red Faber, Urban Schocker, Dolf Luque, Eddie Rommel
Vance did not win a game until 1922 at age 31, but he was the strikeout king of the time, accumulating about 45 WAR in the decade.  Alexander was also old, starting the decade at age 33, nearly amassing 45 WAR.  A lot of that production was in the 1920 season, with his innings tailing off greatly after that.  Rixey was an extreme contact pitcher, but kept the ball in the park, leading to about 40 WAR.  Faber had a great beginning to the decade, ending up just shy of 40 WAR with the White Sox.  Shocker only pitched through ’27, having to retire, and eventually die, the next year due to a heart condition.  The Cuban-born Luque had a 10 WAR ’23 season, providing about 35 WAR to the Reds during the decade.  Rommel made nearly half of his appearances in relief, providing nearly 35 WAR for the A’s.  He walked more than he struck out, but held his ERA low.  Herb Pennock, Burleigh Grimes, and Stan Coveleski all just missed the cut, while Lefty Grove was on a great pace but started too late to make the team.

CF- Tris Speaker
2B- Rogers Hornsby
LF- Babe Ruth
1B- Lou Gehrig
RF- Harry Heilmann
C- Wally Schang
SS- Joe Sewell
3B- Pie Traynor
P- Dazzy Vance

Another decade of Ruth/Gehrig in the middle, but the end of the lineup is fairly weak.

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2 Responses

  1. get a life

  2. But thank you, your information was very useful.

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