The second MLB Monday miniseries on this site looks at World Series MVPs and Managers of the Year in both leagues. We have annual 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 … so, enjoy this reading while you enjoy the upcoming League Division Series playoffs for 2022!
1917 World Series MVP: Red Faber, SP, Chicago (AL)
The Chicago White Sox beat the New York Giants in six games to claim their last World Series title until 2005. Everyone slobbered so much over the 2004 Boston Red Sox for breaking an 86-year drought, but less people seemed to care about the Pale Hose snapping their 88-year slump. Go figure. Anyway, we digress: Who should be the MVP for this Fall Classic?
White Sox second baseman Eddie Collins was the offensive leader with a .913 OPS, 3 SBs, and 2 RBI. Meanwhile, Red Faber posted a 3-1 record with 1.67 ERA and a 0.889 WHIP on the mound, over 27 total IP via three starts and one relief appearance. Faber’s effort in this Series is unique as he lost Game 4 and then won both Games 5 and 6—each taking place 2 days apart.
Eddie Cicotte also pitched well (1.57 ERA in 23 IP), but Faber was better. Collins did just fine, too, but with Faber’s mound presence, Chicago was able to overcome the offense’s quiet presence in this matchup. The White Sox only held a 21-17 scoring advantage, and without Faber, they probably would have lost the Series—just like they did in 1919 without him when he was ill … ahem.
1917 AL MOTY: Lee Fohl, Cleveland
The White Sox were managed by Pants Rowland, who posted a minus-1 PPP mark, while second-place Boston was managed by Jack Barry, who broke even on the PPP scale. Even so, the Red Sox finished 9 games behind. In the end, we give this award to the only AL manager to post a positive PPP for the year: Cleveland Indians Manager Lee Fohl (plus-6), for finishing in third and 12 games out of first. Simple!
1917 NL MOTY: Miller Huggins, St Louis (NL)
The Giants won the pennant by 10 games in spite of Manager John McGraw (minus-2 PPP). This really was an easy award to give here, as St. Louis Cardinals Manager Miller Huggins—who achieved later fame with the New York Yankees in the 1920s—posted a plus-11 PPP mark, which is absolutely crazy. The Cards benefitted from a 29-19 record in one-run games, thanks to Huggins’ deft touch.
Overall, St. Louis still finished 15 games out first place, but the team probably would have been under .500 without Huggins leading the way.