The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball 2002


The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball 2001 covers the history of every player, every team, and every season from 1902 through 2001, with detailed statistics and text summaries, as well as full coverage of this year's exciting pennant race.

-Which team became the first in history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series?
-Who was ...
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The Sports Encyclopedia: Baseball 2001 covers the history of every player, every team, and every season from 1902 through 2001, with detailed statistics and text summaries, as well as full coverage of this year's exciting pennant race.

-Which team became the first in history to come back from a 3-1 deficit to win the World Series?
-Who was the only player to hit a pinch-hit World Series homerun?
-Who became the first to manage five straight pennant winners, and in what year did he do it?
-What 1970s team won a pennant with only one player hitting more than twenty homers, no player driving in eighty runs, no player stealing even ten bases, no player hitting .300, and one pitcher winning more than fifteen games?

The answers to these and thousands of other baseball questions can be found in this fully up-to-date, fact-filled reference book.

Stats, history, and trivia — from 1901 through 1995 — are all included in the latest edition of this popular, low-priced reference. "This is probably the one reference book in the field that I use the most, and would recommend the most wholeheartedly." — Bill James.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312272265
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 3/6/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 22
  • Pages: 792
  • Product dimensions: 8.34 (w) x 10.72 (h) x 1.72 (d)

Meet the Author

David S. Neft is a noted sports historian and co-author of the The Sports Encyclopedia series. He is a statistician and vice president of research for the Gannett Company. He lives in New York City.

Michel L. Neft, the son of David Neft, assisted in the research of this book.
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Read an Excerpt

1908 — Forty—Five Feet Toward Immortality

Fred Tenney woke upon September 23rd in the throes of a lumbago attack, and 19—year—old substitute Fred Merkle was sent in to take his place at first base. As events turned out, fate would treat Merkle unkindly that day. With 25,000 fans assembled in the Polo Grounds, the second—place Chicago Cubs were playing the leading Giants with only percentage points separating the clubs. A 1—1 tie held fast until the Giants came to batin the bottom of the ninth. There were two outs: Moose McCormick was on third and young Merkle perched on first after singling to right, (What follows is one account of the many which were offered of what is still known as the greatest goof of all time.) Al Bridwell lashed a Jack Pfiester serve into center field for a clean single, scoring McCormick and apparently ending the game. However, as the crowd started surging onto the field, Merkle, halfway to second, immediately sprinted for the clubhouse without bothering to touch second base, the common practice at the time. With the jubilant New York fans already piling onto the playing field, Cub second baseman Johnny Evers realized that Merkle would be forced out at second for the third out, thereby nullifying the run. Evers called frantically for center fielder Solly Hofman to throw him the ball, but Hofman — unable to clearly see Evers in the crowd — overshot the mark with a heave towards first base. Giant first base coach Joe McGinnity realized what was happening, outwrestled Cub shortstop Joe Tinker for the ball, and with Tinker on his back heaved it toward shortstop. Rube Kroh, a second—line Cub pitcher who was not even in the game, saw a spectator pick up the ball, demanded it, and slugged the customer when he would not cough it up. Kroh retrieved the ball from the now—prone fan, worked his way through the still—unaware crowd, and handed the ball to Evers on second. Umpire Hank O'Day was supposedly watching the whole affair; he called Merkle out and disallowed the run, using darkness as an excuse to call the game a tie. The Giants screamed bloody murder when notified in the clubhouse that their victory was rescinded, but league president Harry Pulliam upheld O'Day's decision. The matter finally went before the Board of Directors who, on October 5, sustained Pulliam's decision. The game grew in proportion when the Cubs and Giants finished the regular season with identical 98—55 records. The tie was rescheduled for October 8, and a record 35,000 spectators crammed into the Polo Grounds and watched Three Finger Brown, in relief, best Christy Mathewson in a 4—2 come—from—behind Chicago victory, which gave the Cubs their third consecutive National League crown.

The Cubs fielded a solid, balanced squad, good in all departments and expected to repeat as champions. The Giants relied on a strong offense led by Mike Donlin and a thin pitching staff aced by Mathewson and Hooks Wiltse to challenge all the way, and the Pirates —eliminated only on the last day ofthe season — also fielded a balanced squad led by superstar Honus Wagner, the National League batting leader for the sixth time.

The National League held no monopoly on tight races as the Detroit Tigers repeated as champions only by defeating the White Sox on the final day of the season in one of the tightest races ever staged in the American League. Detroit, Cleveland, and Chicago all battled for the top into the final two days of the season, with the Tigers finishing half a game and .004 percentage points ahead of Cleveland. Detroit's victory was blemished somewhat by a rain—out game they did not have to makeup, The White Sox did not figure to win the pennant, but got as far as they did because of the iron—man work of spitballer Ed Walsh. Staring regularly with two days rest, relieving between starts, and winning an incredible 40 games over the course of 464 innings, Walsh turned in one of the finest pitching efforts in history. He also took part in the greatest pitching duel ever staged under pressure conditions when, on October 2, against Cleveland, he gave up four hits and struck out 15, only to be victimized h 0 by the perfect game performance of Addie Joss.

The World Series proved anticlimactic as the favored Cubs disappointed no one in disposing of the Tigers in five games despite Ty Cobb's .368 swinging. Frank Chance, Johnny Evers, and Joe Tinker starred for the Cubs at bat and afield, while Orvie Overall and Three—Finger Brown accounted for all the victories on the mound to end a circus—like season which, oddly enough, would be remembered only for the "bonehead" play of an inexperienced youngster.

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Table of Contents

Preface 3
Codes and Explanations 4
The Great Mississippi 5
1876-1900 A Journey Through a once and Distant Time 9
1876-1900 Stars 10
1901-1919 When the Ball Was Dead and the Bases Alive with the Scurrying of Feet 11
1901 A Name by Any Other Was Not the Same (A.L.) Breaking Up That Old Monopoly (N.L.) 12
1902 Checkmate (A.L.), the Worst Laid Plans... (N.L.) 16
1903 The First Embarrassment of a New Peace 20
1904 Chesbro and the One That Got Away (A.L.), One Iron Hand, Two Iron Arms, and Only a Pennant...(N.L.) 24
1905 Whitewashing the Elephants 28
1906 West Side, South Side, It's Still Chicago 32
1907 A Peach in the Summer and a Goat in the Fall 36
1908 Forty-Five Feet Toward Immortality 40
1909 Cobb-Everything But the Last Laugh 44
1910 The Day It All Became "Official" 48
1911 The Fire Fighters of Philadelphia 52
1912 All for One and All to Sixth 56
1913 Offenses and Defenses Along the Eastern Front 60
1914 The Miricle in Boston (A.L. and N.L.) 64
1914 Gilmore's Green Glory (Federal League) 68
1915 A Short Life (Federal League) 70
1915 The White Elephant Crumbles (A.L. and N.L.) 72
1916 Streaking to Nowhere 76
1917 Little Napoleon Returns to the Front 80
1918 The "Non-Essential" Season 84
1919 Prelude to Disaster 88
1901-1919 Alphabetical Register of Batters 92
1901-1919 Alphabetical Register of Pitchers 110
1920-1945 Then There Was Ruth, the Yankees, and the Things You Could Count on 123
1920 Here Comes De Judge 124
1921 The Year They Took the Series Underground 128
1922 It's a Bird, It's a Plane, It's... 132
1923 The Haunting Eviction 136
1924 New York-Seven Flags in Four Years 140
1925 The Abdominal Disaster That Ached a Dynasty 144
1926 The Spoils of Temperament 148
1927 The Finest Crop 152
1928 That Near Eclispe Over the Bronx 156
1929 The Return From Exile 160
1930 The Guns of Summer 164
1931 Adding Pepper to the Wounds 168
1932 Start with Hornsby and End with Ruth 172
1933 A Starry Conglomerate 176
1934 Dizzy and Daffy and Dizzy 180
1935 A Last Hurrah and a First Championship 184
1936 Pains and Streaks and Tears 188
1937 The Battery Trouble in Detroit 192
1938 The Struggle for Second Fiddle 196
1939 Mccarthy's Final Walk 200
1940 Baker's Shift and Mckechnie's Dozen 204
1941 That Magnificent Streak 208
1942 Branch Rickey and His Victory Garden 212
1943 The Lesser Struggle 216
1944 Meet Me in St. Louis, Louie... 220
1945 Greenberg's Grand Return 224
World War II Military Service 228
1920-1945 Alphabetical Register of Batters 230
1920-1945 Alphabetical Register of Pitchers 250
1946 -1960 GOIN' for the Pump 265
1946 South of the Border 266
1947 Never a Dull Moment 270
1948 Nylons and Orchids 274
1949 The Arrival of Casey and his Magic Bag 278
1950 Whiz, Sweep, and a Couple of Farewells 282
1951 Ouch 286
1952 A Lesson from the Old Professor 290
1953 One More Time 294
1954 The Year the Indians Almost Took It All Apart 298
1955 Forget about Next Year 302
1956 October's Revenge 306
1957 Glory for the Gentry and a Championship To the Young 310
1958 O'Malley's Rambling Meadows 314
1959 Don't Count Your Pennants Until They Hatch 318
1960 Stengel's Last Hurrah 322
1946-1960 Alphabetical Register of Batters 326
1946-1960 Alphabetical Register of Pitchers 336
1961-1972 Unlocking the Floodgates 345
1961 Preserving History with an Asterisk 346
1962 Circulating Into a Second Place 351
1963 Shutting Out the Ghost of Autumns Past 356
1964 Play It Again, Phil 361
1965 An Appointment with Disaster 366
1966 Heads You Win, Tails You Lose 371
1967 The Fury at Fenway 376
1968 The Revenge of '30 381
1969 The Miricle at Flushing Meadows 386
1970 Damned if You do 392
1971 Fast and Blue and Wait 'Til Next Year 398
1972 Tragedy, Protest, and Finley's Moustache Brigade 404
1961-1972 Alphabetical Register of Batters 410
1961-1972 Alphabetical Register of Pitchers 419
1973-2000 427
1973 O, Charley O. 428
1974 Aaron in April, Oakland in October 435
1975 Coming Up Red 441
1976 100 Years Later 447
1977 All That Money Can Buy 453
1978 A Fold for All Seasons 461
1979 The Older They Get 469
1980 Anything Worth Waiting for 477
1981 The Sixteenth Man 485
1982 Coming Back from a Strike 495
1983 Weaver's Replacement Does It All 503
1984 And the Lights Did Not Go On 511
1985 A Good Year Nevertheless 519
1986 Heroics Upon Heroics 528
1987 A Year of Homers and Heroics 537
1988 The Unexpected Dodgers 546
1989 Giamatti/Rose and the Quake 555
1990 Reds' Rise and the Year of the No-Hitter 564
1991 And the Last Shall Be First 573
1992 Oh, Canada! 582
1993 Carter's Blast Makes Jays' Reign Last 591
1994 The Fans Are Struck Out 601
1995 A Season for Healing 609
1996 The Year of the Homer 620
1997 Purists Go Home 631
1998 McGwire 70, Sosa 66 642
1999 A Satisfactory Finish 654
2000 New Millenium, Old Game 666
2001 Stocks Down, Bonds Up 678
1973-2001 Alphabetical Register of Batters 690
1973-2001 Alphabetical Register of Pitchers 718
Leaders and Features 745
Hall of Fame 746
Pennant Winners 748
Yearly Batting Leaders 750
Yearly Pitching Leaders 758
Single Season Leaders 764
Lifetime Leaders 769
No-Hitters 775
Team Leaders 777
Awards 779
World Series Leaders 781
Non-Playing Managers 783
Active Leaders 784
73 786
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