1908 Baseball Season Headlines
All eyes were on the pitchers' mounds during the 1908 baseball season, as that's where the majority of the news was being made. See for yourself with this selection of 1908 baseball season headlines:
Ty Cobb Takes 1908 American League Batting Title
Ty Cobb won the American League batting crown in 1908 with a .324 average, a low figure even for that time. Sam Crawford was second with a .311 mark and Matty McIntyre came in three places behind him at .295 to make it a trio of Tigers that finished among the top five. Detroit's .264 team batting average led the league.
The other seven clubs hit a combined .236, which suddenly gives Cobb's circuit-topping figure quite a different look. Cobb's .324 average would be his lowest mark in the next 20 years. In 1928, his final season, he batted .323.
Nap Rucker Picks Up Slack
Nap Rucker's offensive support in 1908 included a trio of outfielders who hit .243, .216, and .195 -- and had just 74 RBI combined. Rucker, nevertheless, won 17 games. In 1916, when Brooklyn finally assembled enough hitters to go with its always-excellent pitchers and won the pennant, he was nearly through.
Hooks Wiltse an Odd Man Out
Hooks Wiltse was a very good pitcher -- he went 23-14 in 1908 with a 2.24 ERA and 118 strikeouts -- who happened to be on a team that, during his peak years, had a couple of great hurlers. The upside was that he got to play on five pennant-winning clubs. The downside was that with people like Christy Mathewson and Joe McGinnity around, he was always the odd man out whenever there was a big game to be pitched.
Roger Bresnahan Catches 139
During most of his career, Roger Bresnahan would sometimes play other positions besides catcher; he was capable of playing them all, in fact. In 1908, though, he was stationed only behind the plate -- for 139 games, no less -- and it left its mark on him. He never again was a full-time player.
Sam Crawford Leads in HRs
Not only did Crawford top the American League in home runs in 1908, he also set a new club record for the Tigers. He totaled seven four-baggers that year. Cobb swatted nine circuit clouts the following season to set a new team mark that endured until 1920, when Bobby Veach banged 11.
Ed Reulbach Wins a Pair
What makes Ed Reulbach's doubleheader win against Brooklyn on September 26, 1908, all the more extraordinary is that never during his career was he considered a workhorse. He seems in retrospect merely to have been a good pitcher -- at times, a very good hurler -- who on one particular day, with a pennant in the offing, was able to rise to greatness.
Christy Mathewson Still a Winner
The 1908 season was the last in which Mathewson won 30 or more games. His 37 victories were one short of the number the Giants needed to claim the National League flag, as he was beaten by the Cubs on the last day of the season. His circuit-topping numbers included 34 complete games, 11 shutouts, five saves, 391 innings, 259 strikeouts, and a 1.43 ERA.
Find more highlights from the 1908 baseball season on the next page.