1917 Leaders & Numbers

Perched at or near the top of practically every offensive category, Ty Cobb had one of his most dominant campaigns yet. The consistent George Burns, who hit anywhere between .272 and .303 over 11 full-time seasons, gave it a little extra while NL offense in general slumped. Were it not for George Sisler—who hit some 100 points higher than his teammates—the Browns would have surely landed in the AL cellar. Edd Roush used a 48-ounce bat, said to be the heaviest ever in the bigs, to win his first NL batting crown. Benny Kauff, the Ex-Fed searching for superstardom in the NL, came the closest to it in 1917. Heinie Zimmerman, going by Henry as anti-German sentiment swept wartime America, nevertheless felt at home playing in his hometown of New York. Sam Rice was the latest in a growing trend of future Hall-of-Famers (Sisler, Babe Ruth) who arrived as hot pitching prospects and proceeded as even better hitters. Jim Bagby went the opposite way, thriving as a screwball pitcher after years in the minors as an outfielder. Pete Alexander finished his salad days at Philadelphia—leading the NL in wins, shutouts and ERA for the third straight year—before reporting to the front lines of the Great War. Eddie Cicotte was a long way from the bad ol’ days when the Tigers gave him to a minor league team in exchange for ballpark rent. Ferdie Schupp’s later wildness would make his wonderful 1917 effort stand out like a major spike in his year-by-year ledger. Wilbur Cooper was the sole shining light on a Pirate team that was clearly baseball’s worst.

The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1917
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB
1. Rogers Hornsby St. Louis 145 .327 523 86 171 24 17 8 66 45 4 17
2. George Burns New York 152 .302 597 103 180 25 13 5 45 75 1 40
3. Edd Roush Cincinnati 136 .341 522 82 178 19 14 4 67 27 5 21
4. Gavvy Cravath Philadelphia 140 .280 503 70 141 29 16 12 83 70 1 6
5. Benny Kauff New York 153 .308 559 89 172 22 4 5 68 59 5 30
6. Heinie Groh Cincinnati 156 .304 599 91 182 39 11 1 53 71 8 15
7. Max Carey Pittsburgh 155 .296 588 82 174 21 12 1 51 58 10 46
8. Heinie Zimmerman New York 150 .297 585 61 174 22 9 5 102 16 1 13
9. Red Smith Boston 147 .295 505 60 149 31 6 2 62 53 6 16
10. Hal Chase Cincinnati 152 .277 602 71 167 28 15 4 86 15 1 21
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1917
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB
1. Ty Cobb Detroit 152 .383 588 107 225 44 24 6 102 61 4 55
2. Tris Speaker Cleveland 142 .352 523 90 184 42 11 2 60 67 7 30
3. Bobby Veach Detroit 154 .319 571 79 182 31 12 8 103 61 9 21
4. Eddie Collins Chicago 156 .289 564 91 163 18 12 0 67 89 3 53
5. Joe Jackson Chicago 146 .301 538 91 162 20 17 5 75 57 7 13
6. Ray Chapman Cleveland 156 .302 563 98 170 28 13 2 36 61 0 52
7. Happy Felsch Chicago 152 .308 575 75 177 17 10 6 102 33 6 26
8. Braggo Roth Cleveland 145 .285 495 69 141 30 9 1 72 52 2 51
9. George Sisler St. Louis 135 .353 539 60 190 30 9 2 52 30 3 37
10. Sam Rice Washington 155 .302 586 77 177 25 7 0 69 50 3 35
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1917
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Pete Alexander Philadelphia 1.83 30 13 .698 0 45 44 387.2 348 79 56 2 6 0
2. Ferdie Schupp New York 1.95 21 7 .750 0 36 32 272 223 59 70 3 4 0
3. Fred Toney Cincinnati 2.20 24 16 .600 1 43 42 339.2 312 83 77 3 6 1
4. Fred Anderson New York 1.44 8 8 .500 3 38 18 162 125 26 34 5 2 0
5. Slim Sallee New York 2.17 18 7 .720 4 34 24 215.2 211 52 34 0 1 1
6. Hippo Vaughn Chicago 2.01 23 13 .639 0 41 38 295.2 264 66 91 2 9 0
7. Pol Perritt New York 1.88 17 7 .708 1 35 26 215 195 45 45 1 7 0
8. Art Nehf Boston 2.16 17 8 .680 0 38 23 233.1 209 56 39 5 4 1
9. Eppa Rixey Philadelphia 2.27 16 21 .432 1 39 36 281.1 252 71 67 6 5 2
10. Wilbur Cooper Pittsburgh 2.36 17 11 .607 1 40 34 297.2 288 78 54 1 4 0
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1917
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Eddie Cicotte Chicago 1.53 28 12 .700 4 49 35 346.2 252 59 70 1 3 2
2. Stan Coveleski Cleveland 1.81 19 14 .576 4 45 36 298.1 208 60 94 3 1 0
3. Walter Johnson Washington 2.21 23 16 .590 3 47 34 328 257 80 68 7 12 0
4. Jim Bagby Cleveland 1.96 23 13 .639 7 49 37 320.2 295 70 73 2 6 0
5. Carl Mays Boston 1.74 22 9 .710 0 35 33 289 233 56 74 6 14 0
6. Babe Ruth Boston 2.01 24 13 .649 2 41 38 326.1 250 73 108 5 11 0
7. Reb Russell Chicago 1.95 15 5 .750 3 35 24 189.1 173 41 32 1 1 0
8. Dutch Leonard Boston 2.17 16 17 .485 1 37 36 294.1 269 71 72 7 5 0
9. Hooks Dauss Detroit 2.43 17 14 .548 2 37 31 270.2 252 73 87 4 7 1
10. Red Faber Chicago 1.92 16 13 .552 3 41 29 248 227 53 85 1 10 1

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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