Our second MLB Monday miniseries on the Daily McPlay analyzes World Series MVPs and Managers of the Year in both leagues. We have annual context from our first miniseries, and we will continue moving forward here—eventually adding some Gold Glove analysis in due time—going forward … so, enjoy this reading while you shake your head at the 2022 postseason.
1919 World Series MVP: Hod Eller, SP, Cincinnati
Yes, it’s that Fall Classic, the one where the Cincinnati Reds defeated the Chicago White Sox, 5 games to 3 games, in a weird matchup for the ages. These were the infamous Black Sox, and the Series was a best-of-nine affair for some reason. Either way, the best player was White Sox left fielder Joe Jackson (the shoeless one), who led all regulars with a .956 OPS and hit the only home run in 8 games.
The story, of course, was the Reds pitching, which posted a 1.50 ERA and held the White Sox to a .224 team batting average. And the best Cincinnati pitcher was Hod Eller (2-0, 2.00 ERA, 0.833 WHIP, 18 IP, 15 Ks). His two complete-game wins came in Game 5 and Game 8, two key moments in the matchup. Yes, he was facing the notorious Lefty Williams each time, but … still. Wins are wins.
This is weird to evaluate, of course, as we know as many as six Chicago players were in on the gamblers’ fix, including Williams, fellow starter Eddie Cicotte, and at least four position players. The stats are all we have, and Eller’s performance warrants our WS MVP accolades for this season.
1919 AL MOTY: Kid Gleason, Chicago (AL)
Lost in the shadows of this season was a pretty interesting pennant race in the junior circuit, as the Pale Hose beat out the Cleveland Indians by just 3.5 games, while the New York Yankees finished 7.5 games out, a mere half game in front of the Detroit Tigers. Four teams finishing within 8 games of each other had to make for some interesting games down the stretch in an 8-team league.
Chicago Manager Kid Gleason finished with a plus-4 PPP mark, making the difference, perhaps, between his team’s pennant win and a possible second-place finish in spite of such an allegedly talented roster. Two Cleveland managers also combined for a plus-4 PPP rating, so Gleason had to stay on his game in order for the White Sox to win the AL. He gets our nod, in a sad footnote to the team’s legacy.
1919 NL MOTY: Pat Moran, Cincinnati
Perhaps the most anonymous of World Series-winning managers ever, the Reds’ Pat Moran topped his peers in the senior circuit with a plus-4 PPP mark for the season, as no other manager compiled anything better than a plus-1 PPP figure. His team won 96 games, which was 8 more times than the White Sox won, and finished 9 games ahead of second-place New York. Moran wins this award from us, easily.