1908 Leaders & Numbers

Honus Wagner had one of the more dominant years of his storied career while Ty Cobb one of his least dominant, but they continued to stand head and shoulders above the rest as baseball’s two premier hitters. Mike Donlin, continuing to flip-flop between acting and baseball, gave it one last impressive go-around on the field before returning to the stage. Sam Crawford became the first player to win home run titles in both the NL and AL. Nap Lajoie, in the midst of a relative mid-life crisis at the plate, still was putting up good numbers—but missed on his best chance to reach the World Series. “Silent JohnTitus quietly continued to play Sherry Magee’s equal in the Phillies lineup, though he stuck more and more out of a crowd with a handlebar mustache that had grown passé by 1908. Christy Mathewson was, in a word, incredible. Ed Summers was the best of four Detroit starting pitchers named Ed. Ed Walsh was arguably the best pitcher in all of baseball, regardless of first name. Eccentric Rube Waddell helped give the Browns a rare prominence after his tiresome Philadelphia teammates lobbied to get him traded. The A’s replaced one Rube with another in one-shot wonder Rube Vickers, who would lack Waddell’s irksome panache—but also his career stamina. George McQuillan looked destined for greatness as he followed up a wowing late-season stint in 1907, but 1908 would be as good as it got. Kaiser Wilhelm returned to the majors a much better pitcher after two years away—but still couldn’t shake the stigma of being a 20-game loser.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1908
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB
1. Honus Wagner Pittsburgh 151 .354 568 100 201 39 19 10 109 54 5 53
2. Mike Donlin New York 155 .334 593 71 198 26 13 6 106 23 5 30
3. Hans Lobert Cincinnati 155 .293 570 71 167 17 18 4 63 46 2 47
4. Sherry Magee Philadelphia 143 .283 508 79 144 30 16 2 57 49 11 40
5. Red Murray St. Louis 154 .282 593 64 167 19 15 7 62 37 8 48
6. Johnny Evers Chicago 126 .300 416 83 125 19 6 0 37 66 5 36
7. Roger Bresnahan New York 140 .283 449 70 127 25 3 1 54 83 6 14
8. John Titus Philadelphia 149 .286 539 75 154 24 5 2 48 53 14 27
9. Fred Clarke Pittsburgh 151 .265 551 83 146 18 15 2 53 65 6 24
10. Frank Chance Chicago 129 .272 452 65 123 24 4 2 55 37 8 27
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1908
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB
1. Ty Cobb Detroit 150 .324 581 88 188 36 20 4 108 34 6 39
2. Sam Crawford Detroit 152 .311 591 102 184 33 16 7 80 37 3 15
3. Matty McIntrye Detroit 151 .295 569 105 168 24 13 0 28 83 7 20
4. Doc Gessler Boston 128 .308 435 55 134 13 14 3 63 51 11 19
5. Nap Lajoie Cleveland 157 .289 581 77 168 32 6 2 74 47 9 15
6. Charlie Hemphill New York 142 .297 505 62 150 12 9 0 44 59 3 42
7. Patsy Dougherty Chicago 138 .278 482 68 134 11 6 0 45 58 10 47
8. George Stone St. Louis 148 .281 588 89 165 21 8 5 31 55 3 20
9. Germany Schaefer Detroit 153 .259 584 96 151 20 10 3 52 37 1 40
10. Jake Stahl New York-Boston 153 .250 536 63 134 27 16 2 65 31 23 30
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1908
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Christy Mathewson New York 1.43 37 11 .771 5 56 44 390.2 300 62 42 2 3 0
2. Three Finger Brown Chicago 1.47 29 9 .763 5 44 31 312.1 217 51 49 6 5 0
3. George McQuillan Philadelphia 1.53 23 17 .575 2 48 42 359.2 266 61 91 5 6 0
4. Vic Willis Pittsburgh 2.07 23 11 .676 0 41 38 304.2 245 70 69 4 6 0
5. Kaiser Wilhelm Brooklyn 1.87 16 22 .421 0 42 36 332 275 69 83 5 6 0
6. Hooks Wiltse New York 2.24 23 14 .622 2 44 38 330 282 82 73 4 9 0
7. Bugs Raymond St. Louis 2.03 15 25 .375 2 48 37 324.1 242 73 95 9 14 0
8. Howie Camnitz Pittsburgh 1.56 16 9 .640 2 38 26 236.2 200 41 69 2 5 0
9. Ed Reulbach Chicago 2.03 24 7 .774 1 46 35 297.2 243 67 106 5 12 1
10. Lew Richie Philadelphia 1.83 7 10 .412 1 25 15 157.2 128 32 49 3 6 0
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1908
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Addie Joss Cleveland 1.16 24 11 .686 2 42 35 325 238 42 30 6 2 0
2. Ed Walsh Chicago 1.42 40 15 .727 6 66 49 464 349 73 56 10 9 2
3. Cy Young Boston 1.26 21 11 .656 2 36 33 299 233 42 37 4 2 0
4. Frank Smith Chicago 2.03 16 17 .485 1 41 35 297.2 219 67 73 7 2 0
5. Ed Summers Detroit 1.64 24 12 .667 1 40 32 301 280 55 55 5 20 1
6. Bill Burns Washington 1.70 6 11 .353 0 23 19 164 144 31 18 1 4 0
7. Walter Johnson Washington 1.65 14 14 .500 1 36 30 256.1 194 47 53 13 11 1
8. Harry Howell St. Louis 1.89 18 18 .500 1 41 32 324.1 282 68 70 6 17 0
9. Rube Waddell St. Louis 1.89 19 14 .576 3 43 36 285.2 223 60 90 7 8 0
10. Rube Vickers Philadelphia 2.21 18 19 .486 1 53 34 317 264 78 71 12 11 0

Brown type indicates league leader.
Notes: Walks (BB) do not include intentional walks (IB). For pitchers, caught stealing (CS) also includes pickoffs.
How does This Great Game determine the best hitters and pitchers? Find out here.


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