Although the World Series fix was the biggest headline of the 1919 baseball season, there was also positive news worth noting. Find some of the headlines below.
Lefty Williams Blows Series
Lefty Williams joined the White Sox in 1916 after fashioning a 33-12 record for Salt Lake City in the Pacific Coast League the previous year. He went 23-11 with a 2.64 ERA and 125 strikeouts in 1919, then set a 1919 World Series record by losing three games in as many starts. He had assumed the place of Babe Ruth as the top southpaw in the American League when he was implicated in the Black Sox scandal.
Hod Eller Wins 20 for 1919 Cincinnati Reds
Hod Eller appeared to have a prosperous career ahead of him when he first won 20 games in 1919 and a pair of contests in the 1919 World Series, yet less than two years later he was out of the majors. Slim Sallee, the Reds' other 20-game winner in 1919, was also gone after 1921.
George Burns Up Bases
Both the National League and the American League had a standout player named George Burns in 1919. The two have remarkably similar career stats. George J. Burns of the Giants, however, was the better of the two at coaxing walks, stealing bases, and scoring runs. He racked up 82 bases-on-balls, 40 swipes, and 86 runs, all tops in the National League in 1919. He was, in fact, the best in the National League in all three departments for almost a full decade.
1919 Chicago White Sox Take American League Flag
Eddie Collins, the American League stolen base king in 1919, had 33 swipes. Other notables on the 1919 Chicago White Sox were manager Kid Gleason, Joe Jackson, and Buck Weaver. Jackson tallied 12 hits and hit .375 in the World Series, but was kicked out of baseball anyway. In the 1989 movie Field of Dreams, Jackson came back from the dead to collect a few more at-bats.
Tris Speaker Sparks Tribe to 2nd
Tris Speaker was the second great Cleveland player to be appointed player/manager. Unlike his predecessor, Nap Lajoie, Speaker enjoyed almost instant success. Under him, the Indians put on a stretch drive that nearly overhauled the White Sox in 1919. Yet Speaker himself slumped, hitting just .296 that year, a result of being saddled with the additional responsibility of managing.
Ty Cobb Earns Last BA Title
In 1919, Ty Cobb picked up his last batting crown with a .384 average. In 1920, nearing 34 years of age, he seemed to have lost something when he hit just .334, his lowest average in 12 years. Cobb rebounded from the lapse to hit .389 in 1921 and .401 the year after.
For highlights of the 1919 baseball season, see the next page.
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