1929 Leaders & Numbers

Playing for his fourth team in four years, Rogers Hornsby gave journeymen everywhere a good name by finishing a decade in which he averaged a record 209 hits per season. Jimmie Foxx and Lefty Grove may have hogged the marquee for the Athletics, but Al Simmons quietly commanded the most attention from weary opponents. Lefty O’Doul, a disaster of a pitcher earlier in the decade, proved a worthy reinvention of himself by setting the NL record for hits. Lew Fonseca was one of the first major leaguers to get opposing pitchers caught on camera, studying their deliveries to help win the AL batting title. Rebounding from a mediocre 14-18 mark in 1928, Charlie Root got the winning knack back and became the stingiest component of a strong Cub rotation. Firpo Marberry, baseball’s ultimate reliever of the day, was given as many starts as relief roles in 1929—and led the Senators in both wins and saves. Carl Hubbell’s first full-scale assault on hitters included the first no-hitter thrown by a lefty in 11 years. Rube Walberg’s continued improvement made him one of many prime talents to slip away from the Giants during the 1920s. While performing a star turn from the mound, Red Lucas had an intriguing side job: Leading the NL in pinch hits. Barely 21, rookie Wes Ferrell threw like a star veteran—and kept throwing like one in the first of four years winning at least 20 games. Watty Clark, a former batting practice pitcher for the Indians, held his own as Brooklyn’s most reliable pitcher of the moment despite pacing the NL in losses.

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The Ten Best National League Hitters, 1929
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB
1. Rogers Hornsby Chicago 156 .380 602 156 229 47 8 39 149 87 1 2
2. Mel Ott New York 150 .328 545 138 179 37 2 42 151 113 6 6
3. Chuck Klein Philadelphia 149 .356 616 126 219 45 6 43 145 54 0 5
4. Hack Wilson Chicago 150 .345 574 135 198 30 5 39 159 78 2 3
5. Lefty O'Doul Philadelphia 154 .398 638 152 254 35 6 32 122 76 4 2
6. Babe Herman Brooklyn 146 .381 569 105 217 42 13 21 113 55 0 21
7. Kiki Cuyler Chicago 139 .360 509 111 183 29 7 15 102 66 5 43
8. Chick Hafey St. Louis 134 .338 517 101 175 47 9 29 125 45 2 7
9. Paul Waner Pittsburgh 151 .336 596 131 200 43 15 15 100 89 3 15
10. Bill Terry New York 150 .372 607 103 226 39 5 14 117 48 0 10
The Ten Best American League Hitters, 1929
Name Team G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB HB SB CS
1. Babe Ruth New York 135 .345 499 121 172 26 6 46 154 72 3 5 3
2. Al Simmons Philadelphia 143 .365 581 114 212 41 9 34 157 31 1 4 3
3. Jimmie Foxx Philadelphia 149 .354 517 123 183 23 9 33 108 103 2 9 7
4. Lou Gehrig New York 154 .300 553 127 166 32 10 35 126 122 5 4 3
5. Dale Alexander Detroit 155 .343 626 110 215 43 15 25 137 56 0 5 9
6. Charlie Gehringer Detroit 155 .339 634 131 215 45 19 13 106 64 6 27 10
7. Harry Heilmann Detroit 125 .344 453 86 156 41 7 15 120 50 2 5 6
8. Tony Lazzeri New York 147 .354 545 101 193 37 11 18 106 68 4 9 10
9. Lew Fonseca Cleveland 148 .369 566 97 209 44 15 6 103 50 7 19 11
10. Earl Averill Cleveland 152 .332 597 110 198 43 13 18 96 63 3 13 14
The Ten Best National League Pitchers, 1929
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Charlie Root Chicago 3.47 19 6 .760 5 43 31 272 322 105 83 1 3 0
2. Red Lucas Cincinnati 3.60 19 12 .613 0 32 32 270 309 108 58 1 2 1
3. Burleigh Grimes Pittsburgh 3.13 17 7 .708 2 33 29 232.2 278 81 70 0 4 0
4. Pat Malone Chicago 3.57 22 10 .688 2 40 30 267 319 106 102 6 6 1
5. Carl Hubbell New York 3.69 18 11 .621 1 39 35 268 324 110 67 5 6 0
6. Watty Clark Brooklyn 3.74 16 19 .457 1 41 39 279 337 116 71 6 3 0
7. Guy Bush Chicago 3.66 18 7 .720 8 50 30 270.2 325 110 107 7 4 0
8. Bill Walker New York 3.09 14 7 .667 0 29 23 177.2 221 61 57 0 4 0
9. Jesse Petty Pittsburgh 3.71 11 10 .524 0 36 25 184.1 233 76 42 1 0 0
10. Dazzy Vance Brooklyn 3.89 14 13 .519 0 31 27 231.1 289 100 47 3 9 0
The Ten Best American League Pitchers, 1929
Name Team ERA W L PCT SV G GS IP TB ER BB WP HB BK
1. Firpo Marberry Washington 3.09 19 12 .613 11 49 26 250.1 251 85 69 2 6 1
2. Lefty Grove Philadelphia 2.81 20 6 .769 4 42 37 275.1 302 86 81 8 3 0
3. George Earnshaw Philadelphia 3.29 24 8 .750 1 44 33 254.2 257 93 125 8 5 0
4. Willis Hudlin Cleveland 3.34 17 15 .531 1 40 33 280.1 320 104 73 2 1 1
5. Tommy Thomas Chicago 3.19 14 18 .438 1 36 31 259.2 321 92 60 3 0 1
6. Wes Ferrell Cleveland 3.60 21 10 .677 5 43 25 242.2 277 97 109 2 3 3
7. Rube Walberg Philadelphia 3.60 18 11 .621 4 40 33 267.2 322 107 99 4 0 0
8. Jake Miller Cleveland 3.58 14 12 .538 0 29 29 206 248 82 60 0 7 0
9. Danny MacFayden Boston 3.62 10 18 .357 0 32 27 221 249 89 81 2 5 0
10. Sam Gray St. Louis 3.72 18 15 .545 1 43 37 305 390 126 96 7 1 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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