1909 Brooklyn Superbas

From BR Bullpen

1909 Brooklyn Superbas / Franchise: Los Angeles Dodgers / BR Team Page[edit]

Record: 55-98, Finished 6th in National League (1909 NL)

Managed by Harry Lumley

Ballpark: Washington Park

History, Comments, Contributions[edit]

The 1909 Superbas went only 55-98, but are notable for being on the cusp of two eras. On one hand, they were the close to the end of the Harry Lumley / Tim Jordan era, while on the other hand, they were the start of the Zack Wheat / Hy Myers era.

Lumley, who was the manager in 1909, had been a highly-promising slugger who led the league in homers in 1904 and led the league in slugging in 1906. Either he or Honus Wagner was the best hitter in the National League in 1906. Jordan, for his part, had led the league in home runs twice, most recently in 1908. Both players' careers essentially ended in 1909, since neither played as many as 10 games in the majors after 1909, even though both had decent performances in 1909 with the bat.

Wheat and Myers, on the other hand, were young rookies - Wheat at age 21 and Myers at age 20. Wheat's .304 batting average and .431 slugging percentage were the best on the team. Wheat would play with the Superbas from 1909-26 while Myers would be with them from 1909-22.

The team average of .229 was not last in the dead-ball era league, but featured some astonishingly-low individual performances. Regular catcher Bill Bergen hit .139 and slugged .156 (and would stay with the team, hitting .161 and .132 in the following two seasons). Jul Kustus, the fourth outfielder, hit .145 with a .191 slugging percentage in his only major league season. Jimmy Sebring, after hitting .286 in 1908, hit .099 in 1909 in 81 at-bats.

On the plus side, Al Burch stole 38 bases, by far his career high, while Whitey Alperman, who had led the league in triples in 1907, had 12 of them in 1909 which was good for fifth in the league.

The pitching staff, not very strong, was anchored by George Bell, who went 16-15, pretty impressive for a team which went 55-98. Doc Scanlan also had a winning record of 8-7.

The Superbas were better in 1909 than in 1908, when they had lost 101 games. However, the period from 1901-15 was one in which they won no pennants. It was to be 1916 before they would again be atop the National League, with Wheat and Myers still on the team.