The biggest news of 1924 was probably that the Yankees didn't make it to the World Series. There were, however, other major headlines, including the ones below.
Jimmy O'Connell Banned for Life
Jimmy O'Connell was the last major league player to be barred for either accepting or offering a bribe. His two-year career ended at the conclusion of the 1924 season. He contended that he solicited Phils shortstop Heinie Sand at the behest of several other Giants players, all of whom were exonerated by league commissioner Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis. It was widely believed that O'Connell, a substitute, was only a convenient fall guy. Nevertheless, O'Connell was cut short of a promising career. In 1924, at the tender age of 23, he batted .317. In just 104 at-bats, he scored 24 times. Two years earlier, the Giants had paid $75,000 for O'Connell's services.
Rogers Hornsby Takes National League Bat Title
Hitting was the obsession of Rogers Hornsby, and for the five-year period between 1921 and 1925 his dedication paid off in a .402 composite batting average. His mark would have been even higher were it not for an illness in 1923 that held him to just 107 games and reduced his average to a "mere" .384. He came back in 1924 to take the batting crown with a .424 average, a post-1901 record in the National League.
Goose Goslin Tops American League in RBI
Although Goose Goslin spearheaded the American League in 1924 with 129 RBI, he whacked just a dozen home runs. Not until 1952 would the American League again have an RBI leader who failed to finish among the loop's top five home run hitters (Al Rosen). In subsequent years, even though he played in mammoth Griffith Stadium, Goslin became one of the American League's more prolific sluggers, often finishing among the leaders in four-baggers.
Jim Bottomley: 12 RBI in One Day
One of the eyewitnesses to the record-shattering 12-RBI performance of Jim Bottomley on Sept. 16, 1924, was Dodger manager Wilbert Robinson, who held the one-game RBI record of 11. Bottomley started his onslaught against Dodger rookie Rube Ehrhardt, who had debuted with five straight wins before encountering Sunny Jim's hot bat.
Max Carey Brilliant in Field
Although it is safe to venture that Max Carey was the game's top base thief during the late 1910s and early 1920s, it is not so easy, in retrospect, to gauge his fielding prowess. On the evidence that is currently available, he would seem to have been one of the best, perhaps nearly the equal of Tris Speaker. In 1924, he led National League outfielders in chances accepted for the ninth time.
Find more headlines from the 1924 baseball season in the next section.