Ah yes, the Deadball Era. Only one player hit at least 100 HR in the decade, and the league ERA was just below 3.00. Errors were commonplace, causing about 1/4 of all runs scored to be unearned. This decade also marked the last attempt of competition to the NL and AL. The Federal League lasted just two years, 1914 and 1915, but its effects lasted a long time. World War I had a much smaller impact on the game, though the 1918 was cut short a month early, fitting the World Series in before the “Work or Fight” mandate began. Seven of the players selected are in the Hall of Fame.
C- Wally Schang
The lowest profile two-decade selection, Schang used his good OBP to just over 20 WAR in the decade. Chief Meyers, Ray Schalk, and Art Wilson were the only other catchers to amass 15 WAR.
1B- Ed Konetchy
One of the better extra-base threats, Konetchy produced about 35 WAR in the decade, which included one season in the Federal League. Stuffy McInnis, a member of the A’s “$100,000 infield,” and Jake Daubert each provided about 30 WAR and George Sisler was off to a great start, providing almost 25 WAR his first 4.5 years.
2B- Eddie Collins
Collins, one of the most underrated players in history, amassed nearly 80 WAR in the decade. He was a very good defender and his .424 OBP was the third-best of the decade, the key to the A’s infield before moving to the White Sox. He also finished just short of 1000 runs scored and 500 stolen bases during the ’10s. Larry Doyle provided nearly 40 WAR, mostly for the Giants.
3B- Home Run Baker
Though he led the AL in HR four times, Baker only hit 76 in the decade, but a good all-around game led to about 55 WAR. Another member of the A’s infield, he sat out ’15 in a contract dispute then got sold to the Yankees. Larry Gardner and Heinie Zimmerman each amassed about 35 WAR, while Heinie Groh did not start his ML career until ’13 and produced over 30 WAR.
SS- Art Fletcher
Despite being an average hitter, Fletcher was a defensive wizard, ranking +133 for the decade, leading to 40 WAR for the Giants. Starting the decade at age 36, Honus Wagner still produced about 35 WAR before retiring in 1917. A young Rogers Hornsby started his career at SS, providing about 25 WAR his first four seasons.
LF- Sherry Magee
A power threat for the time, Magee provided about 35 WAR for the decade. George Burns was nearly in a dead heat with Magee, while Zack Wheat and Bobby Veach each accumulated about 30 WAR. A young Babe Ruth also produced about 20 WAR in 1328 PA, sprinkling in some time in LF but pitching most of the time.
CF- Ty Cobb
Posting an amazing .387/.457/.541 slashline, good for a 198 wRC+, Cobb accrued about 90 WAR in the decade. Tris Speaker was a top 3 player in the decade, accumulating about 80 WAR, as the all-time doubles king hit 367 of them in the decade. Federal League star Benny Kauff amassed about 30 WAR for the decade, though half of that was during the two FL years.
RF- Shoeless Joe Jackson
Probably the most unfair ruling in a controversial decade, Jackson was shunned of a HOF career in the Black Sox scandal. Posting a 166 wRC+, he provided over 55 WAR, despite missing most of ’18 working at a shipyard to avoid combat. Harry Hooper gave the Red Sox about 35 WAR. Gavvy Cravath used the Baker Bowl to his advantage, hitting nearly 80% of his 116 HR there. Triples king Sam Crawford also ended his career with 30 WAR in the decade.
P- Walter Johnson, Pete Alexander, Eddie Cicotte, Hippo Vaughn, Babe Adams, Christy Mathewson, Ed Walsh
The best decade by a pitcher so far, Johnson amassed 90 WAR in nearly 3500 IP. His 1.59 ERA and 327 complete games are by far the most in the decade. Alexander nearly matched Johnson in shutouts, 74 to 70, providing about 60 WAR. Cicotte was an inconsistent pitcher, gaining most of his 40 WAR in three seasons before being exiled in the Black Sox scandal. Vaughn ended the decade with a surge, posting half of his 35 WAR the last three years of the decade. Adams makes the team posting about 30 WAR for the Pirates, despite struggling in ’16 and spending most of the next two years in the minors. Mathewson posted his 30 WAR the first four years of the decade, not walking anyone. Walsh only needed three seasons to amass nearly all of his 30 WAR, squeezing out over 1100 innings from ’10-’12. Eddie Plank, Slim Sallee, Claude Hendrix, Nap Rucker, Rube Marquard, and Dutch Leonard all came up just short of making the team.
2B Eddie Collins
RF Joe Jackson
CF Ty Cobb
3B Frank Baker
LF Sherry Magee
C Wally Schang
1B Ed Konetchy
SS Art Fletcher
P Walter Johnson
This is definitely a deadball-era lineup, using average-fueled OBP to succeed.
Filed under: All-Decade Teams