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1909 Baseball Season

1909 Baseball Season Headlines

A triple-play and a triple crown are among the most newsworthy occurrences of the 1909 baseball season. Read about these and see other headlines below:

Harry Krause Turns in 1.39 ERA

Harry Krause won precisely half of his 36 victories in the majors as a rookie with the 1909 A's, leading the American League with his 1.39 ERA that year. He won his first ten starts, six of which were shutouts.


By 1912, he was in the minors, where he stayed until 1929 without ever getting a second chance up top. A native San Franciscan, Krause pitched for over a decade with the Oakland Oaks in the Pacific Coast League. He won well over 200 games in the PCL, and over 300 games in his professional career.

Howie Camnitz Posts Best Season

Howie Camnitz had a career year in 1909 -- a 25-6 record, a league-leading .806 winning percentage, a 1.62 ERA, and 133 strikeouts -- and the Pirates needed all of it to hold off the charging Cubs. In the 1909 World Series, the Kentucky native was knocked out early in his lone start and saddled with the loss.

Camnitz would post two more 20-win seasons before going a miserable 9-20 in 1913. He ended his career in 1915 with the Pittsburgh Rebels of the Federal League.

Neal Ball Turns Triple Play

There is still some doubt as to whether or not Neal Ball's unassisted triple play in 1909 was really the first in major league history. In any event, it was his main claim to fame in a mediocre seven-year career. Ball, oddly enough, was deemed in his day to be a decent hitter for a shortstop, yet not much of a fielder.

Babe Adams Stars in 1909 World Series

Unknown to Tiger hitters prior to the 1909 World Series, Babe Adams would become unforgettable to them over those nine days, Adams is the only pitcher to win three games in a Series after serving during the regular season as only a second-line hurler.

Forbes Field Opens Doors

Forbes Field opened on June 30, 1909. The standing-room crowd in the outfield cut the size of the playing field somewhat on this day, but it was still gigantic: The plate-to-foulpole distances were the longest in the National League.

George Mullin Has Career Year

George Mullin holds many Tiger pitching records, among them the most losses in a season (23 in 1904). Although his 1909 campaign was the best by far (29-8, .784, 2.22 ERA), he had several other good years as well. Mullin closed his career in the Federal League.

Ty Cobb Wows 'Em Again

No one came close to matching Ty Cobb's stats in any of the three Triple Crown categories in 1909: a .377 average, nine home runs, 107 RBI. One irony is that even as Cobb first demonstrated his hitting greatness, he was playing on his last pennant-winning team.

Find more highlights from the 1909 baseball season on the next page.

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