1912 Chicago Cubs
1912 Chicago Cubs / Franchise: Chicago Cubs / BR Team Page
Managed by Frank Chance
History, Comments, Contributions
The 1912 Chicago Cubs suffered two major setbacks before the season got underway, as starting 3B Jim Doyle died of appendicitis on February 1st, and 1B Frank Chance suffered from chronic headaches and was only able to play two games. Another top star, P Mordecai Brown, was limited to 15 games by a wrenched knee that ended his season in July. The New York Giants got off to a historically strong start, and by mid-season, the Cubs were in second place - but already trailing the Giants by 13 1/2 games. However, the Gothams could not keep up their scorching pace, and by the end of August, the Cubs were back within four games of the lead. They would not be able to get any closer, though, as the Giants found their second wind and increased their lead throughout September, while the Cubs eventually fell into 3rd place.
3B Heinie Zimmerman was the best player on the team, as he led the National League in hits, doubles, home runs, RBIs, batting average and slugging percentage. His Triple Crown was disputed over the years, as there was some uncertainty about his RBI total, but the most recent figures confirm that he did indeed finish first in all three categories. 2B Johnny Evers had the best two months of his career as he hit .414 with an OBP of .486 in July and August, when the Cubs went 45-16 to melt the Giants' lead. Another strong performer was rookie P Larry Cheney who became the staff ace in Brown's absence, going 26-10 with 28 complete games and 303 1/3 innings.
The final appearance of the season by Frank Chance on April 12th was also the 718th and final time that the famous infield of Tinker to Evers to Chance was together on the field (the third member, besides Chance and the aforementioned Evers was SS Joe Tinker). This was the most by any such threesome at the time and is still third most all time, after that of SS Jimmy Rollins, 2B Chase Utley and 1B Ryan Howard who appeared together in 910 games for the Philadelphia Phillies from 2004 to 2014, and SS Bill Russell, 2B Davey Lopes and 1B Steve Garvey with886 games with the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1973 to 1981. All three team were very successful, but the Cubs had the best winning percentage by a wide margin, at .677.