Monday, September 28, 2009

Wrap Up on the 1909 American Association Season and Key Louisville Stats

Two games were played to wrap up the 1909 American Association season, both at Swayne Field in Toledo. The results from those games are provided here for the sake of completeness.

Game 1
Toledo Mud Hens.....5
Minneapolis Millers.....3
After jumping on Irv Young for four runs in the first inning, the Mud Hens kept the Millers at bay as Earl "Chink" Yingling picked up the win during Game one of this Monday doubleheader. Toledo first-baseman, and former Miller, Jeremiah "Buck" Freeman, homered for the Hens in that productive first frame.

Game 2
Minneapolis Millers.....5
Toledo Mud Hens.....3 (five innings)
The Millers flipped it around on the hosts in Game two in the league's season finale. After grabbing a two-run lead in the second, the Hens gave up a pair in the fourth, and reclaimed the lead in their half of the fourth with one run. But the Millers rallied with three runs in the fifth and final frame, and the Hens could not answer. Tom Hughes the winner for the visitors; lefty Frederick Donovan took the loss.

A note concerning the final standings. There is some confusion over the exact record for each of the three contending teams, as the running tally presented in this blog in the past week does not line up with the record posted in Sporting Life; likely, a few box scores were omitted at some point during the season.

Here are the final standings as published in Sporting Life and substantiated by Marshall Wright's American Association roster book (1994):

St. Paul.....80-83
Kansas City.....71-93

Here is a summary of the pennant race published in the October 9, 1909 edition of Sporting Life:


The Eighth Consecutive Race of the Great Organization Results in Louisville's Triumph After the Closest Race in the
History of the Association.

The eighth annual championship race of the American Association, which began April 14, ended September 27, during which time this organization achieved the unprecedented feat of crowding in and playing out a 168-game schedule. The 1909 race was the closest and most remarkable in the history of this organization. From start to finish four teams -- Milwaukee, Louisville, Minneapolis and Indianapolis -- made a desperate fight for the flag, and each in turn at some time seemed destined to land the prize. At the same time no a team was ever out of the race until towards the end. In the last month of the campaign the fight had apparently narrowed down to Milwaukee and Minneapolis, with chances favoring the former. But in the last week of the season Louisville took advantage of a temporary faltering of the leaders, brought itself abreast of them, and two days before the season closed the Colonels went to the front and remained there to the close, thus giving Louisville the American Association championship for the first time. Milwaukee's great work of 1909 under [Louisville native] John McCloskey's management, was rewarded with the [second] place -- a great gain over last year when the Brewers finished sixth. Minneapolis also made a tremendous gain in finishing third as against fifth last year. The champion Indianapolis team was left at the post, but later braced up and made a long and game struggle to overcome the handicap of a miserable start -- an effort which, contrary to expectations, was rewarded with the respectable fourth place. St. Paul, under Mike kelley's management, recovered much of its ancient power and prestige and finished a close fifth, as against last in 1908. Toledo and Columbus were the sole disappointments of the season, the Mudhens dropping from the first division to a sixth place finish this year and Columbus falling from third last year to seventh this season. The closeness of the race is demonstrated by the fact that there was a difference of only 121 percentage points between the championship team and the tail-ender. The high class of ball tendered the patrons of the American Association was appreciated and the attendance exceeded even the liberal total of last year, every club thus clearing more or less profit. The affairs of the league were well conducted by President [Joseph] O'Brien and there was general good order on the field and a remarkable absence of contention among the magnates.


Some Key Louisville Stats

Team vs. team won-loss records for 1909:
vs. Milwaukee: 9-15

vs. Minneapolis: 11-13
vs. Indianapolis: 15-9
vs. St. Paul: 14-10

Louisville Batting Leaders
Batting Average: Jack Dunleavy (OF), .244
Runs Scored: Orville Woodruff (OF/3b), 66
Hits: Emery Olson (2b), 151
Doubles: Emery Olson and Frank Delahanty (OF), 22
Triples: Emery Olson and Orville Woodruff, 7
Home Runs: Frank Delahanty, 3
Stolen Bases: Emery Olson and Jack Dunleavy, 34
Games Played: Emery Olson, 170
Games Played at Position: Emery Olson, 167 (2b)

Louisville Pitching Leaders
Wins: Orville Selby, 20
Winning Percentage: Orville Selby, .606
Games: Orville Selby, 41
Innings Pitched: Orville Selby, 305
Strikeouts: Bill Hogg, 125

Louisville Offensive Team Rankings
Runs Scored: 7th (511)
Hits: 6th (1,237)
Doubles: 7th (169)
Triples: 5th (42)
Home Runs: 6th (13)
Stolen Bases: 1st (203)
Batting Average: 6th (.233)
The cumulative league batting average: .237

Despite the statistical breakdown shown above, Louisville was able to use its strength in pitching to out-duel the other seven American Association teams. After its second-place finish in 1908 (88-65), the Colonels capitalized on a late-season surge to surpass the front-runners, Milwaukee and Minneapolis, pulling away in the final days of the season to nail down the American Association crown for 1909.

Hail to the Champs, the 1909 Louisville Colonels,
One Hundred Years ago Today!

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