(No wonder I hadn’t seen any “Likes” for Part 1 – I loaded it into Drafts, but forgot to publish it! So you get TWO posts today! Hooray.)
You may have noted that although I considered the short-lived Federal League, there’s no sign of the Negro Leagues. This was deliberate. I felt that since Major League Baseball didn’t recognize their existence as “real” leagues at the time, they would never have thought of giving awards to those players when the Negro Leagues were active. There’s also the possibility that the Negro Leagues themselves may have given out individual achievement awards (I haven’t checked).
In any case, I leave it as an exercise to the reader to find players in the Negro Leagues worthy of receiving a Most Valuable Player or “Best Pitcher” award. Now that the stats are on Baseball Reference (thanks in large part to the researchers at Seamheads), it shouldn’t be too hard.
AL: Lefty Grove was even better this year with a 31-4 record and 2.06 ERA. Only 175 Ks, but he still led the majors in all of those categories. If that’s good enough for the MVP award….
NL: A much closer race. The Cardinal’s Paul Derringer had the league’s best record at 18-8, but teammate Bill Hallahan led the league in strikeouts with 159, and his 19-9 record was almost the same. Bill Walker of the Giants led the league in ERA with 2.26, and his record of 16-9 wasn’t too shabby. I’ll go with Walker thanks to his major league leading 6 shutouts.
AL: Another one for Lefty Grove (25-10, 2.84 ERA), but he’d have a little competition from the Senators’ General Crowder (26-13, 3.33 ERA).
NL: Lon Warneke of the Cubs led the league in wins with a 22-6 record, and the majors in ERA with 2.37.
AL: Lefty Grove (24-8, 3.20 ERA) edges out the Senators’ Earl Whitehill (22-8, 3.33 ERA) for his fourth straight Cy Young Award.
NL: Pitching for the Giants, Carl Hubbell’s record of 23-11 would have been impressive in any year. But a 1.66 ERA in over 300 innings pitched? He should be a unanimous choice.
AL: Lefty Gomez of the Yankees led the league in wins (26-5 record), ERA (2.33), and strikeouts (158).
NL: It would be hard to top the Cardinals’ Dizzy Dean, with a 30-7 record and 2.66 ERA (2nd in the NL).
AL: Another one for Lefty Grove (20-12) now with the Red Sox, with a league-leading 2.70 ERA – though teammate Wes Ferrel (25-14, 3.52 ERA) might have picked up a few votes.
NL: The Cardinals’ Dizzy Dean led the majors in wins with a 28-12 record and 190 K’s while compiling a 3.04 ERA.
AL: Lefty Grove led the league in ERA with 2.81, but could only manage a 17-12 record. Of the pitchers with more wins in the AL, the best ERA belonged to the Indians’ Johnny Allen (20-10, 3.44 ERA). Even someone who was “wins above all” might hesitate at giving the award to anyone but Grove.
NL: The Giants’ Carl Hubbell led the majors in wins (26-6) and ERA (2.31).
AL: Lefty Gomez of the Yankees won the pitching “triple crown” in the league (21-11, 2.22 ERA, 194 K’s).
NL: Carl Hubbell (22-8, 3.20 ERA, 159 K’s) edges out teammate Cliff Melton (20-10, 2.61 ERA, 142 K’s) for the honor. The Boston Braves’ Jim Turner (20-11, 2.38 ERA) might have collected a few votes, too.
AL: The Yankees’ Red Ruffing led the league with a 21-7 record while compiling a 3.35 ERA, which was second only to Lefty Grove’s 3.08.
NL: Bill Lee of the Cubs led the majors in wins (22-9) and ERA (2.66). The Reds’ Paul Derringer (21-14, 2.93) might have picked up a few votes.
AL: The Indians’ Bob Feller led the league in wins (24-9) and the majors in strikeouts (246) while pitching to a 2.85 ERA. Red Ruffing (21-7, 2.93) would have come in second.
NL: The Reds’ Bucky Walters led the majors in wins and ERA (27-11, 2.29).
AL: Another one for Bob Feller (27-11, 2.61, 261 K’s), beating out the Tigers’ Bobo Newsom (21-5, 2.83, 164 K’s).
NL: A repeat for Bucky Walters, too (22-10, 2.48 ERA), edging out the Cubs’ Claude Passeau (20-13, 2.50 ERA).
AL: Tough call between Bob Feller (25-13, 3.15 ERA, 260 K’s) and the White Sox’ Thornton Lee (22-11, 2.37 ERA (leading the league), 130 K’s (2nd in the league)). Since Lee led the league in ERA+ (173) and WHIP (1.165), and edged out Feller in WAR (8.6 to 8.2), I’ll give the award to him.
NL: The Dodgers’ Whit Wyatt tied for the league lead in wins (22-10), and was second in ERA to the Reds’ Elmer Riddle (2.34 to 2.24). He was second in strikeouts to the Reds’ Johnny van der Meer (176 to 202). Teammate Kirby Higbie (22-9, 3.14 ERA) would have picked up a few votes, but I think Wyatt’s major league leading 1.058 WHIP would get him the nod over the stiff competition.
To Be Continued….