1912 Leaders & Numbers

On the mound, the majors continued to be ruled in a big way by Big Six (Christy Mathewson) and the Big Train (Walter Johnson). Both were complemented by worthy sidekicks; for Mathewson, it was Rube Marquard, who won his first 19 games of the year; for Johnson, it was Bob Groom, who three years earlier lost 19 straight as a rookie. Smoky Joe Wood had strong and unlikely supporting help from Red Sox partners Buck O’Brien and Hugh Bedient (a combined 40 wins in 1912—and a combined 32 in other years). Larry Cheney became the latest in a succession of rookies whose careers peaked at the starting block. In what would be his last year as, virtually, an everyday pitcher, Ed Walsh was both the White Sox’ top starter and reliever, leading the majors in games started and saves. Heinie Zimmerman was the NL’s first triple crown winner, but then he wasn’t; later research would strip him of the RBI title. Tris Speaker’s dominant campaign included three different hitting streaks of 20 games or more. A month after his fiery altercation with a handicapped heckler, Ty Cobb was simply on fire—batting .511 with a record 68 hits in July. Honus Wagner, now the NL’s oldest player, was still one of its very best. Bill Sweeney, typically a .250 hitter, climaxed a two-year spike in which he led the Braves in almost all things offensive; too bad he couldn’t pitch for the team’s woeful staff (101 losses, major league-worst 4.17 ERA). One look at Clyde Milan’s basestealing totals, and it’s easy to understand how he got the nickname Deerfoot.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1912
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB
1. Heinie Zimmerman Chicago 145 .372 557 95 207 41 14 14 99 38 6 23
2. Honus Wagner Pittsburgh 145 .324 558 91 181 35 20 7 102 59 6 26
3. Larry Doyle New York 143 .330 558 98 184 33 8 10 90 56 2 36
4. Bill Sweeney Boston 153 .344 593 84 204 31 13 1 100 68 5 27
5. Chief Wilson Pittsburgh 152 .300 583 80 175 19 36 11 95 35 2 16
6. Bob Bescher Cincinnati 145 .281 548 120 154 29 11 4 38 83 6 67
7. Fred Merkle New York 129 .309 479 82 148 22 6 11 84 42 8 37
8. John Titus Philadelphia-Boston 141 .309 502 99 155 32 11 5 70 82 10 11
9. Max Carey Pittsburgh 150 .302 587 114 177 23 8 5 66 61 5 45
10. Dode Paskert Philadelphia 145 .315 540 102 170 37 5 2 43 91 7 36
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1912
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB CS
1. Tris Speaker Boston 153 .383 580 136 222 53 12 10 90 82 6 52 28
2. Ty Cobb Detroit 140 .409 553 120 226 30 23 7 83 43 5 61 34
3. Joe Jackson Cleveland 154 .395 572 121 226 44 26 3 90 54 12 35 20
4. Frank Baker Philadelphia 149 .347 577 116 200 40 21 10 130 50 6 40 26
5. Eddie Collins Philadelphia 153 .348 543 137 189 25 11 0 64 101 0 63 22
6. Sam Crawford Detroit 149 .325 581 81 189 30 21 4 109 42 2 42 13
7. Clyde Milan Washington 154 .306 601 105 184 19 11 1 79 63 5 88 31
8. Nap Lajoie Cleveland 117 .368 448 66 165 34 4 0 90 28 7 18 5
9. Larry Gardner Boston 143 .315 517 88 163 24 18 3 86 56 1 25 23
10. Stuffy McInnis Philadelphia 153 .327 568 83 186 25 13 3 101 49 3 27 16
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1912
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Christy Mathewson New York 2.12 23 12 .657 4 43 34 310 329 73 34 3 2 0
2. Nap Rucker Brooklyn 2.21 18 21 .462 4 45 34 297.2 290 73 72 6 3 1
3. Rube Marquard New York 2.57 26 11 .703 1 43 38 294.2 313 84 80 8 3 0
4. Claude Hendrix Pittsburgh 2.54 24 9 .727 1 39 32 288.2 274 83 105 7 9 0
5. Hank Robinson Pittsburgh 2.26 12 7 .632 2 33 16 175 155 44 30 2 10 1
6. Jeff Tesreau New York 1.96 17 7 .708 1 36 28 243 183 53 106 6 10 0
7. Slim Sallee St. Louis 2.60 16 17 .485 6 48 32 294 307 85 72 5 6 1
8. Larry Cheney Chicago 2.85 26 10 .722 0 42 37 303.1 277 96 111 18 7 0
9. Babe Adams Pittsburgh 2.91 11 8 .579 0 28 20 170.1 181 55 35 0 3 0
10. Howie Camnitz Pittsburgh 2.83 22 12 .647 2 41 32 276.2 280 87 82 1 13 0
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1912
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Walter Johnson Washington 1.39 33 12 .733 2 50 37 369 265 57 76 11 16 0
2. Smoky Joe Wood Boston 1.91 34 5 .872 1 43 38 344 273 73 82 7 12 0
3. Ed Walsh Chicago 2.15 27 17 .614 10 62 41 393 350 94 94 10 2 5
4. Eddie Plank Philadelphia 2.22 26 6 .813 2 37 30 259.2 237 64 83 5 6 1
5. Bob Groom Washington 2.62 24 13 .649 1 43 40 316 296 92 94 6 5 0
6. Buck O'Brien Boston 2.58 20 13 .606 0 37 34 275.2 246 79 90 5 10 1
7. Ray Collins Boston 2.53 13 8 .619 0 27 24 199.1 204 56 42 0 2 0
8. Vean Gregg Cleveland 2.59 20 13 .606 2 37 34 271.1 254 78 90 9 10 0
9. Hugh Bedient Boston 2.92 20 9 .690 2 41 28 231 224 75 55 2 3 2
10. Jack Coombs Philadelphia 3.29 21 10 .677 2 40 32 262.1 242 96 94 1 10 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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