This week on MLB Monday, we take a peek at the 1910 season, and we’re sure most of you have no idea who won the World Series in this year. Well, it was the Philadelphia Athletics, led by our choice for both the 1905 and 1907 AL MOTY awards, Connie Mack. This was the start of the first A’s dynasty, which will be followed by several others over the course of the twentieth century—as we will see in time.
Enjoy our look back at a year when William Taft was President of the United States …
1910 World Series MVP: Danny Murphy, RF, Philadelphia (AL)
The A’s ended the Detroit Tigers’ three-year run atop the American League, and they beat the Chicago Cubs in 5 games to win the World Series. The only game the Cubs won, Game 4, went to extra innings, as Philly pitcher Jack Coombs won 3 games for the A’s to take an early lead in our analysis for MVP. But his 3.33 ERA and 1.407 WHIP show us the Philadelphia hitters may be more valuable here.
In fact, four A’s hitters posted OPS marks over 1.000 in this short series, and two of them did it without committing an error on defense: right fielder Danny Murphy (1.129 OPS, 1 HR, 9 RBI) and second baseman Eddie Collins (1.097 OPS, 4 SBs, 3 RBI). Neither of them struck out in the 5 games, either. Murphy’s HR was the only one of the World Series, while Collins stole more bases than the Cubs did.
So, who do we go with here? Philly outscored Chicago, 35-15, in this matchup, and no one else drove in more than 4 runs—for either team. RBI have been a bit “de-valued” in recent years as being circumstantial, but in the end, someone has to swing the bat to score the runs, more often than not. That huge RBI number is the biggest one on the stat sheet for this October, so we go with Murphy.
1910 AL MOTY: George Stallings, New York
It was an odd year for the junior circuit, as the A’s ran away with the pennant, and only the New York Highlanders and the Cleveland Naps exceeded their Pythagorean Projection while also avoiding last place. But N.Y. finished a distant second with two different managers at the helm, while the Naps couldn’t even crack .500 on the year.
George Stallings managed the Highlanders to a 78-59 record before being replaced by first baseman Hal Chase (yes, that guy). Ironically, Stallings had accused Chase of throwing games and threatened to resign if Chase was not removed from the team. The resulting power struggle left Chase in charge for the final two weeks of the season and all of 1911. Either way, the Highlanders played way above their heads.
We’re going to give this award to Stallings, who was managing fourth-place talent to a second-place finish, even though he was removed as manager near the end of the season. Clearly, he was a man of integrity, and that’s good enough for us here in this space.
1910 NL MOTY: Frank Chance, Chicago
The Cubs won the NL pennant by 13 games over the New York Giants, and Chicago Manager Frank Chance—our winner of this award previously in both 1906 and 1907—guided his squad to a plus-3 PP mark, which was better than any other manager in the league with a plus-.500 finish on the year. That’s good enough for us to hand him his third NL MOTY trophy.