Although the St. Louis Cardinals won the 1926 National League pennant, the second-place Cleveland Indians had a notable season, too. Here are some of the headlines from the 1926 baseball season.
George Burns Cops American League MVP
Due to the fact that in the 1920s, Most Valuable Player Awards could not be given to previous winners, it made a certain amount of sense to honor a member of the second-place Indians in 1926. It seems, however, that the wrong Indian was chosen. Although "Tioga George" Burns had a fine season (a .358 average, 114 RBI, and a league-leading 216 hits and 64 doubles), George Uhle turned in a better performance (27 wins, a 2.83 ERA, and 159 strikeouts).
Carl Mays Takes Reds to Second
The 1926 season was the last year as a productive starter for Carl Mays. Mays and Pete Donohue had a large hand in the Reds' second-place finish that year, just two games back of the Cardinals. Mays went 19-12 with a 3.14 ERA and a league-leading 24 complete games; Donohue went 20-14 with a 3.37 ERA in a league-high 286 innings, topping the circuit in wins and shutouts (five). The following year, Mays and Donohue won only nine games between them and the Reds fell into the second division, where they would remain until 1938. After 1926, Mays won just 14 more games in his career and was out of baseball by 1929.
Lefty Grove Tops American League in Ks, ERA
After winning 26 games for the Baltimore team of the International League in 1924, Lefty Grove was sold to the A's for close to $100,000, a record at the time. He had a rocky sophomore season in 1926, turning in a .500 pitching performance despite heading the American League in both strikeouts (194) and ERA (2.51). When his control improved sharply the following season, he never again had a losing record.
Ted Lyons Bested by Only Uhle
Ted Lyons was most likely the American League's second-best pitcher in 1926, behind George Uhle of the Indians. As with most of the top hurlers during the 1920s and early 1930s -- Lefty Grove especially -- Lyons was used as both a starter and a reliever. Seventeen of his 260 career wins came in relief roles. Lyon's big moment in 1926 came on August 21, when he no-hit the Red Sox. Lyons made short work of the Bostonians, dusting them off in a mere one hour and seven minutes.
Learn about other 1926 baseball season headlines in the next section.