Welcome back to MLB Monday on this Halloween of 2022! There will be nothing scary in our column today, although there was a sad incident in 1920 that every baseball fan should remember. That being said, here is some context for our analysis today of the World Series MVP and the Managers of the Year. Enjoy the read, and here’s to a safe and sound Halloween …
1920 World Series MVP: Stan Coveleski, SP, Cleveland
The Cleveland Indians won their first World Series with a 7-game victory, five wins to two, over the Brooklyn Robins. Yes, MLB still was experimenting with a best-of-nine format in the Fall Classic. The Robins took a 2-1 lead in the matchup before losing four straight games while scoring just twice over those final 36 innings. Cleveland scored just 21 runs itself overall, so we have to look to the Indians pitching staff for our MVP pick.
Stan Coveleski, who also won our AL Cy Young for this season, continued his dominance through the World Series, pitching three complete game victories while posting a 0.67 ERA and a 0.630 WHIP over 27 innings pitched. Coveleski won Game 1, Game 4, and Game 7 to shut down the Robins, who had averaged 4.3 runs per game during the regular season. They got just 2 runs total against Coveleski, proving the old adage that momentum always comes down to the starting pitcher in baseball.
1920 AL MOTY: Kid Gleason, Chicago (AL)
The Indians won the pennant by 2 games over the Chicago White Sox and by 3 games over the New York Yankees. Of the three managers in question, Chicago’s Kid Gleason was easily the most impactful, again, with a plus-7 PPP mark. Without his deft touch around a roster deprived of serious talent thanks to the fallout from 1919, there’s no way the Pale Hose would have been in this fight at all. Cleveland Manager Tris Speaker posted a plus-1 PPP finish, but Gleason was clearly a lot better overall.
1920 NL MOTY: Wilbert Robinson, Brooklyn
The Robins won the NL pennant by 7 games over the New York Giants, and Brooklyn Manager Wilbert Robinson broke even on the season with a zero PPP effort. It’s interesting to note that Giants Manager John McGraw—a 3-time winner of this award in 1911, 1912, and 1913—may have cost his team the pennant due to his excessive roster meddling (minus-7 PPP). Sometimes? Do nothing is the smart thing to do, so Robinson wins his third MOTY nod (1915, 1916) from us for not screwing it up in 1920.