MLB Monday celebrates the 1913 season in its second miniseries, looking at World Series MVPs and Managers of the Year in both leagues. We have context from our first miniseries, and we will continue rolling along here—eventually adding some Gold Glove analysis in due time—for a long time going forward—because everyone loves a bit of baseball to kick off their work week, right? Right!
[And make sure to check out our analyses of MVPs and Cy Youngs for this season, too …]
1913 World Series MVP: Frank Baker, 3B, Philadelphia (AL)
The Philadelphia Athletics made quick work of the New York Giants in the Fall Classic, dropping them like a bad habit in 5 games. Three A’s hitters posted 1.000-plus OPS marks, as Philly outscored N.Y. in the matchup by a 23-15 margin. Famously needing only 3 pitchers the entire series, the A’s were simply way too much for the Giants to handle here.
We try to avoid pitchers who lost a game, so Eddie Plank (1-1, 0.95 ERA, 0.632 WHIP) is out. We also try to avoid pitchers with high ERAs, so Chief Bender (2-0, 4.00 ERA, 1.111 WHIP) is also not going to win our trophy. As for the three hitters, two of them drove in 7 runs each: third baseman Frank Baker and rookie catcher Wally Schang. Baker added a stolen base, though, so we’re going to go with him.
“Home Run” Baker topped the AL in homers three straight seasons (1911-1913), and he added one of only three dingers hit in this matchup as well. Overall, his stat line—.450 average, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1.050 OPS, 1 SB—looks pretty good from a distance today.
1913 AL MOTY: Clark Griffith, Washington
The Washington Senators finished 6.5 games behind the A’s in the American League, but Manager Clark Griffith (who won our first two AL MOTY nods in 1903 and 1904) posted a plus-9 PP mark to make the pennant race a lot more competitive than it should have been. The Senators never had a losing month, and they posted a 32-13 record in one-run games.
1913 NL MOTY: John McGraw, New York
Giants Manager John McGraw wins this award for the third straight season for posting a plus-6 PP mark in a season where his team won the pennant by 12.5 games. What is interesting here? New York lost all three World Series in this stretch of brilliance for McGraw. It’s hard to fathom, but it’s a reminder that October is often more about luck than anything else. Overall, McGraw was just 3-7 in the World Series.