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1910s

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The 1910s were the latter half of the Deadball Era, but offensive levels were already starting to rise, especially batting averages, with .400 becoming much more attainable. Babe Ruth set a new home run record in 1919 as power levels were on the rise by small margins as the decade wore on.

The top teams of the 1910s were the New York Giants and Philadelphia Athletics (first half of the decade). The second half of the decade was marked by more parity - the Chicago White Sox looked to be on the verge of a mid-level dynasty before the Black Sox Scandal decimated the team a year after the decade ended. The Scandal obviously had its roots at the end of this decade as one of a couple gambling scandals to hit baseball during this period. Another noteworthy team was the 1914 Braves, who became known as the Miracle Braves for their stunning comeback over the last months of the season and upset of the A's in the Series.

Top players of the decade included Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker, Walter Johnson, Eddie Collins Sr. and Grover Cleveland Alexander. Ruth made his professional debut in 1914 and became a top left-handed pitcher for a few years before his move to the outfield.

The Federal League briefly challenged the American League and National League and included players like Chief Bender and Edd Roush but it was unable to maintain its assault on the big two leagues. World War I also took its toll on the AL and NL - and especially on the minors, many of which closed down for the War, as they would during World War II.

The minor leagues were becoming fairly stable except for the War, with the top leagues becoming well-established. Membership of those leagues had become set for the most part and there would be little change over the next few decades.

The primary site of international competition remained the Cuban Winter League, where many Negro League stars spent their offseason to compete with Cuban greats, including major leaguers like Dolf Luque.

Years American League National League Postseason
1910 1910 AL 1910 NL 1910 WS
1911 1911 AL 1911 NL 1911 WS
1912 1912 AL 1912 NL 1912 WS
1913 1913 AL 1913 NL 1913 WS
1914 1914 AL 1914 NL 1914 WS
1915 1915 AL 1915 NL 1915 WS
1916 1916 AL 1916 NL 1916 WS
1917 1917 AL 1917 NL 1917 WS
1918 1918 AL 1918 NL 1918 WS
1919 1919 AL 1919 NL 1919 WS

[edit] Further Reading

  • Mark S. Halfon: Tales from the Deadball Era: Ty Cobb, Home Run Baker, Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Wildest Times in Baseball History, Potomac Books, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2014. ISBN 978-1612346489
  • Bill James: "The 1910s", in The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, The Free Press, New York, NY, 2001, pp. 94-119.
  • Jim Leeke, ed.: Ballplayers in the Great War: Newspaper Accounts of Major Leaguers in World War I Military Service, McFarland, Jefferson, NC, 2013. ISBN 978-0-7864-7546-9

[edit] Related Sites

  • [1] Article examining the effect of the spitball on star batters' statistics in the 1910s in The Hardball Times, part 1.
  • [2] Article examining the effect of the spitball on star batters' statistics in the 1910s in The Hardball Times, part 2.


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