1921 Leaders & Numbers

The second chapter of Babe Ruth’s monster act showed that he was still a good ten years ahead of everyone else. Rogers Hornsby slumped in the final weeks to miss becoming the NL’s first .400 hitter since 1899; he’d get a few more shots. Harry Heilmann also barely fell below the magic average, but he did outhit his tutor, first-year Tiger manager Ty Cobb, to become the AL’s first right-handed batting leader since 1905. Bobby Veach joined Cobb and Heilmann to give the game one of its most potent outfields (combined average: .372). Austin McHenry’s promising path to stardom would be cut tragically short a year later by a deadly brain tumor. The spitballing “grandfathers” ruled; Urban Shocker and Burleigh Grimes led their respective leagues in wins, as did Red Faber and Bill Doak in ERA. Only a hardened soul like Carl Mays could channel all the anger aimed at him a year after fatally beaning Ray Chapman, and reign as baseball’s best non-spitballer. Eppa Rixey boxed in his own famous post-game tantrums a year after losing 22 at Philadelphia and skimmed over .500 with the Reds—allowing a NL record-low one home run over 300 innings. The Red Sox’ Sad Sam Jones and Bullet Joe Bush committed the sin of being too good; they’d be Yankees in 1922. Joe Oeschger, historically grounded with awful teams, soared towards fleeting success before crashing back to reality.

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The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1921
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB IB HB SB CS GD
1. Rogers Hornsby St. Louis 154 .397 592 131 235 44 18 21 126 57 3 7 13 13 4
2. Frankie Frisch New York 153 .341 618 121 211 31 17 8 100 42 0 1 49 13 4
3. Austin McHenry St. Louis 152 .350 574 92 201 37 8 17 102 35 3 2 10 20 4
4. Jack Fournier St. Louis 149 .343 574 103 197 27 9 16 86 55 1 8 20 22 7
5. Ross Youngs New York 141 .327 504 90 165 24 16 3 102 70 1 1 21 17 3
6. George Kelly New York 149 .308 587 95 181 42 9 23 122 36 4 3 4 12 13
7. Irish Meusel Philadelphia-New York 146 .343 586 96 201 33 13 14 87 29 4 2 13 13 13
8. Dave Bancroft New York 153 .318 606 121 193 26 15 6 67 66 0 4 17 10 7
9. Edd Roush Cincinnati 112 .352 418 68 147 27 12 4 71 28 3 5 19 17 3
10. Zack Wheat Brooklyn 148 .320 568 91 182 31 10 14 85 36 8 3 11 8 7
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1921
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB CS
1. Babe Ruth New York 152 .378 540 177 204 44 16 59 171 145 4 17 13
2. Harry Heilmann Detroit 149 .394 602 114 237 43 14 19 139 53 2 2 6
3. Ty Cobb Detroit 128 .389 507 124 197 37 16 12 101 56 3 22 15
4. George Sisler St. Louis 138 .371 582 125 216 38 18 12 104 34 5 35 11
5. Ken Williams St. Louis 146 .347 547 115 190 31 7 24 117 74 4 20 17
6. Bob Meusel New York 149 .318 598 104 190 40 16 24 135 34 2 17 6
7. Bobby Veach Detroit 150 .338 612 110 207 43 13 16 128 48 1 14 10
8. Tris Speaker Cleveland 132 .362 506 107 183 52 14 3 75 68 2 2 4
9. Jack Tobin St. Louis 150 .352 671 132 236 31 18 8 59 45 3 7 12
10. Elmer Smith Cleveland 129 .290 431 98 125 28 9 16 85 56 2 0 2
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The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1921
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB IB WP HB BK SB CS GD
1. Burleigh Grimes Brooklyn 2.83 22 13 .629 0 37 35 302.1 397 95 68 8 6 5 0 28 28 21
2. Eppa Rixey Cincinnati 2.78 19 18 .514 1 40 37 301 378 93 65 1 6 5 0 20 12 9
3. Bill Doak St. Louis 2.59 15 6 .714 1 32 29 208.2 249 60 37 0 5 4 1 3 7 9
4. Whitney Glazner Pittsburgh 2.77 14 5 .737 1 36 25 234 280 72 55 3 2 12 0 14 26 10
5. Wilbur Cooper Pittsburgh 3.25 22 14 .611 0 38 38 327 464 118 77 3 4 10 0 12 11 27
6. Johnny Morrison Pittsburgh 2.88 9 7 .563 0 21 17 144 163 46 33 0 4 1 0 4 16 13
7. Dolf Luque Cincinnati 3.38 17 19 .472 3 41 36 304 408 114 63 1 2 1 0 8 13 6
8. Babe Adams Pittsburgh 2.64 14 5 .737 0 25 20 160 222 47 16 2 0 0 1 8 8 3
9. Joe Oeschger Boston 3.52 20 14 .588 0 46 36 299 377 117 94 3 5 15 1 16 17 7
10. Jesse Barnes New York 3.10 15 9 .625 6 42 31 258.2 385 89 42 2 2 3 0 11 22 19
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1921
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Red Faber Chicago 2.48 25 15 .625 1 43 39 330.2 323 91 87 5 7 0
2. Carl Mays New York 3.05 27 9 .750 7 49 38 336.2 365 114 76 2 9 0
3. Waite Hoyt New York 3.09 19 13 .594 3 43 32 282.1 310 97 81 3 5 1
4. Sad Sam Jones Boston 3.22 23 16 .590 1 40 38 298.2 321 107 78 1 6 0
5. Stan Coveleski Cleveland 3.37 23 13 .639 2 43 40 315 359 118 84 5 4 0
6. George Mogridge Washington 3.00 18 14 .563 0 38 36 288 337 96 66 3 7 0
7. Urban Shocker St. Louis 3.55 27 12 .692 4 47 38 326.2 408 129 86 3 6 0
8. Bullet Joe Bush Boston 3.50 16 9 .640 1 37 32 254.1 274 99 93 7 6 0
9. Walter Johnson Washington 3.51 17 14 .548 1 35 32 264 286 103 92 7 2 0
10. Eric Errickson Washington 3.62 8 10 .444 0 32 22 179 202 72 65 4 9 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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