Baseball Player Won-Loss Records
Home     List of Articles



The 1938 Season as seen through the Prism of Player Won-Lost Records



I have recently updated Player won-lost records to include more recent play-by-play data that was released by Retrosheet this summer. This includes play-by-play data for the majority of games played in three seasons prior to 1940. The most recent of these three seasons is the 1938 season.

This article takes a closer look at the 1938 season through the prism of Player won-lost records.

The Best of 1938

I calculate Player won-lost records two ways: pWins, which tie to team wins and eWins, which control for context and the ability of one's teammates. For players with more pWins than eWins, their Player wins contributed to more team wins than one might expect; for players with more eWins than pWins, just the opposite is true: their Player wins translated into fewer team wins than expected. Or more briefly: a player with more pWins than eWins was better in context, a player with more eWins than pWins was worse in context.

The top 10 players in pWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Big Bill Lee18.312.13.6
5.1
1Big Bill Lee18.312.13.6
5.1
2Red Ruffing17.812.93.1
4.5
2Joe DiMaggio22.715.63.1
4.6
3Joe DiMaggio22.715.63.1
4.6
3Red Ruffing17.812.93.1
4.5
4Mel Harder15.611.62.5
3.8
4Paul Derringer19.616.42.3
4.0
5Johnny Allen14.110.22.5
3.6
5Ival Goodman21.916.42.4
4.0
6Ival Goodman21.916.42.4
4.0
6Mel Harder15.611.62.5
3.8
7Jimmie Foxx14.07.62.4
3.2
7Johnny Allen14.110.22.5
3.6
8Paul Derringer19.616.42.3
4.0
8Billy Herman18.614.52.2
3.5
9Bill Dickey13.99.42.2
3.2
9Joe Gordon18.314.32.1
3.4
10Billy Herman18.614.52.2
3.5
10Earl Averill Sr.18.613.72.1
3.4


The top 10 players in eWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

eWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          eWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL           Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1Red Ruffing16.112.42.5
3.8
1Joe DiMaggio21.215.82.3
3.8
2Joe DiMaggio21.215.82.3
3.8
2Red Ruffing16.112.42.5
3.8
3Ival Goodman22.117.12.1
3.7
3Ival Goodman22.117.12.1
3.7
4Jimmie Foxx12.37.02.0
2.7
4Earl Averill Sr.17.613.41.7
3.0
5Lefty Gomez13.110.31.9
2.9
5Lefty Gomez13.110.31.9
2.9
6Harlond Clift12.38.21.9
2.7
6Paul Derringer18.317.11.3
2.9
7Mel Ott14.210.21.8
2.8
7Mel Ott14.210.21.8
2.8
8Joe Cronin13.29.71.8
2.7
8Jimmie Foxx12.37.02.0
2.7
9Earl Averill Sr.17.613.41.7
3.0
9Stan Hack17.413.91.5
2.7
10Thornton Lee12.09.61.6
2.6
10Joe Cronin13.29.71.8
2.7


As of August, 2013, Retrosheet has released play-by-play data for just over half of all major-league games played in 1938 (57.9% to be precise). The next two tables mirror the previous two tables except that Player won-lost records have been scaled to a consistent 154-game season. This scaling is done at the level of the team, so, for example the Player won-lost records of all of the members of the NL-pennant winning Chicago Cubs are adjusted up based on the 117 games for which I have play-by-play data (i.e., the numbers for all Cubs players are simply multiplied by 154/117 = 1.316); adjustments are not based on the number of games played by individual players.

The top 10 players in normalized pWOPA, pWORL, eWOPA, and eWORL in 1938 are shown in the next four tables.

pWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          pWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL           Player pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL
1Big Bill Lee22.314.84.4
6.2
1Big Bill Lee22.314.84.4
6.2
2Rudy York20.212.04.0
5.3
2Jimmie Foxx23.412.84.0
5.4
3Jimmie Foxx23.412.84.0
5.4
3Rudy York20.212.04.0
5.3
4Joe Cronin23.316.33.6
5.2
4Joe Cronin23.316.33.6
5.2
5Red Ruffing18.513.43.3
4.7
5Joe DiMaggio23.616.33.2
4.8
6Joe DiMaggio23.616.33.2
4.8
6Red Ruffing18.513.43.3
4.7
7Hank Greenberg23.214.33.1
4.6
7Hank Greenberg23.214.33.1
4.6
8Harlond Clift22.115.53.0
4.5
8Thornton Lee20.015.42.9
4.6
9Thornton Lee20.015.42.9
4.6
9Harlond Clift22.115.53.0
4.5
10Mel Harder18.113.42.9
4.4
10Mel Harder18.113.42.9
4.4


The top 10 players in eWins above Positional Average and Replacement Level were as follows.

eWins over Positional Average
Top 10 Players
          eWins over Replacement Level
Top 10 Players
Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL           Player eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
1Harlond Clift23.415.63.5
5.1
1Harlond Clift23.415.63.5
5.1
2Jimmie Foxx20.611.73.3
4.6
2Jimmie Foxx20.611.73.3
4.6
3Joe Cronin22.016.33.0
4.5
3Joe Cronin22.016.33.0
4.5
4Mel Ott21.915.72.7
4.3
4Thornton Lee20.316.32.7
4.4
5Emil 'Dutch' Leonard17.813.62.7
4.2
5Mel Ott21.915.72.7
4.3
6Hank Greenberg20.712.92.7
4.1
6Emil 'Dutch' Leonard17.813.62.7
4.2
7Thornton Lee20.316.32.7
4.4
7Hank Greenberg20.712.92.7
4.1
8Buddy Myer19.114.32.6
4.0
8Buddy Myer19.114.32.6
4.0
9Red Ruffing16.712.92.6
3.9
9Joe DiMaggio22.116.42.4
3.9
10Joe DiMaggio22.116.42.4
3.9
10Red Ruffing16.712.92.6
3.9


For the 1927 and 1931 seasons, the top 10 leaderboards are littered with Hall-of-Famers, most of them all-time greats. In 1927, 14 of the 16 players in the top 10 in (adjusted) pWOPA, pWORL, eWOPA, or eWORL are in the Hall of Fame. In 1931, it's 14 Hall-of-Famers out of 17 total players.

Of the 15 names in the preceding four tables, however, less than half of them are Hall-of-Famers: 7 out of 15. And it's not just a couple of guys slipping into the bottom of one table: non-HOFers are at the top of all four tables!
Ival Goodman
Based on the above tables, the top player in the major leagues in 1938 in (normalized) context-neutral player wins over positional average and replacement level and second in pWOPA and pWORL was Cincinnati Reds right fielder Ival Goodman. Ival Goodman!? Yep, Ival Goodman.

Seriously? Well, probably not.

For those who don't know - and I assume that's most of you - Goodman played for 10 seasons from 1935 - 1944, the first 8 with the Reds. He was the Reds' regular right fielder for the first six years of his career, 1935 - 1940, which included two Reds pennant winners in 1939 and 1940. Goodman led the league in triples his first two seasons in the majors and hit 10 or more triples in each of his first five seasons. He made two All-Star teams, in 1938 and 1939, and probably did, in fact, have his finest season in 1938, in which he batted .292/.368/.533 with career-highs of 30 home runs, 92 RBI, and 103 runs scored.

That's all well and good. But the only thing in which Ival Goodman led the NL in 1938 was HBP (with 15). He was 5th in the NL in OPS (.901) and 8th in plate appearances (648). Again, those are good numbers. Ival Goodman was a good player having a very good year in 1938. But Jimmie Foxx batted .349/.462/.704 with 50 home runs and 175 RBI. Hank Greenberg hit 58 home runs, drove in 146 runs and scored 144. In Goodman's National League, Johnny Mize hit .337/.422/.614 and Mel Ott hit .311/.442/.583 with an NL-leading 36 home runs and 116 runs scored. Why does Goodman show up ahead of all of these guys?

I believe that the answer, unfortunately, is that, by sheer dumb luck, I have play-by-play data for Ival Goodman's best games and am missing play-by-play data for many of Ival Goodman's worst games.

Overall, I have play-by-play data for 145 games in which Ival Goodman played in 1938, less than half of the 145 total games he played.

In 1938, Goodman's three favorite parks to hit in were Brooklyn (Ebbetts Field), New York (Polo Grounds), and Chicago (Wrigley Field), where he put up OPS's of 1.214, 1.270, and 1.035, respectively, in a combined 30 games. I have play-by-play data for 90 of Goodman's 139 plate appearances at these three ballparks (64.7%).

In 1938, Goodman's three least-favorite parks to hit in were in Boston (Braves Field), Pittsburgh (Forbes Field), and Philadelphia (Shibe Park), where he put up OPS's of 0.677, 0.645, and 0.569, respectively. I have play-by-play data for 43 of Goodman's 107 plate appearances at these three ballparks (40.2%).

In between these two extremes, I have play-by-play data for 145 of Goodman's 318 plate appearances at home (Crosley Field), where he put up a respectable .868 OPS.
note: Baseball-Reference has batting splits by ballpark based on box scores even for games without play-by-play data.

Overall, I have data for 297 of Ival Goodman's 648 plate appearances in 1938, 45.8%. But I have play-by-play data for 95 of Goodman's 166 hits, 57.2%. For the games from which I calculated Player won-lost records, Ival Goodman really did hit like the best player in the National League. Unfortunately for him (and the Reds), he played in 0 additional games in 1938.

Oh, well. It was still kind of fun to learn a little something about a player that I hadn't heard of before.

Big Bill Lee
While Ival Goodman's appearance in the above tables is something of a data anomaly, the appearance of Big Bill Lee is probably much more legitimate. First, I have play-by-play data for more of Lee's 1938 season: 38 of 44 games.

But second, and more importantly, Big Bill Lee, while a fairly mediocre pitcher for much of his career, was legitimately great in 1938. As the ace of the NL pennant-winning Chicago Cubs, Lee led the National League in pitcher wins (22), games started (37), shutouts (9), and ERA (2.66).

Unfortunately for Lee, he never had another season anywhere close to that good. After one more season as an above-average starter in 1939 (at age 29), Lee spent the next eight years as a mostly below-average starting pitcher for bad baseball teams.

But in 1938, Big Bill Lee was a legitimately great pitcher.

1938 Postseason

The 1938 World Series was one of the more lopsided World Series, fairly representative of the relative histories of the two participants, with the New York Yankees sweeping the Chicago Cubs in four straight games.

The star of the World Series, as measured by Player won-lost records, was Red Ruffing, with two complete-game victories in which he allowed a combined 3 runs.

1938 World Series: Top Player Performances
pWins pLosses pWORL
Red RuffingNYA1.80.60.7
Frankie CrosettiNYA1.40.40.6


Best of 1938 by Factor and Position

Next, let's look at the top players in (context-neutral, teammate-adjusted) eWins over Positional Average in various aspects of the game. The numbers in this section have all been normalized to 154-game seasons. As above, this adjustment is based on team games for which I have play-by-play data, not individual player games.
Best by Factor: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, Fielding
There are four basic factors for which players earn Player won-lost records: Batting, Baserunning, Pitching, and Fielding. The top players in 1938 in eWOPA by factor were as follows.

Batting
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jimmie Foxx17.99.24.1

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



See my earlier discussion about why this probably over-rates Ival Goodman's batting in 1938. Jimmie Foxx, on the other hand, was, of course, a legitimately great hitter who had a legitimately great 1938 season.

Baserunning
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Billy Herman1.50.70.4
Harlond Clift1.50.70.4
Pete Fox1.30.60.4

Positional Average excludes pitcher offense



Pitching
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Thornton Lee16.712.74.0
Emil 'Dutch' Leonard14.410.73.7


Fielding, P
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Claude Passeau0.90.50.4


Fielding, C
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Al Todd1.61.10.6


Fielding, 1B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Hank Greenberg2.62.10.5


Fielding, 2B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Buddy Myer5.54.21.2


Fielding, 3B
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Stan Hack5.54.60.9


Fielding, SS
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Lynn Myers3.22.40.8


Fielding, LF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Jo-Jo Moore5.54.31.2


Fielding, CF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Joe DiMaggio6.95.41.4


Fielding, RF
eWins eLosses Net Wins
Ben Chapman6.95.61.3


Best by Position
Next, we look at 1938 Major-League leaders in eWOPA by position. The figures shown here only include Player decisions earned while playing this particular position, and include no contextual adjustments (expected or actual).



Catcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Rudy York13.49.91.7


First Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Jimmie Foxx20.412.03.0


Second Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Buddy Myer18.214.22.1


Third Base
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Harlond Clift23.116.03.2


Shortstop
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe Cronin21.716.62.6


Left Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe Medwick21.018.70.9


Center Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Joe DiMaggio22.016.62.3


Right Field
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Ival Goodman22.317.71.9


Starting Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Emil 'Dutch' Leonard14.911.22.0
Thornton Lee16.513.31.8


Relief Pitcher
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Bill V. Swift6.24.50.6
Pete Appleton5.23.50.6
Dick Coffman4.22.80.6


For relief pitchers, context-neutral records may not be the best measure of how good they are, as context can matter a great deal, depending on how a pitcher is used. Here are the top relief pitchers of 1938 in context, in terms of pWins and pWOPA.

Top Relief Pitchers of 1938, based on pWORL
Player pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL
Charley Root7.86.20.5590.91.7
Pete Appleton7.66.00.5560.91.7
Bill V. Swift9.18.70.5110.31.4
Johnny Murphy6.25.00.5500.51.3
Dick Coffman4.12.80.5950.61.1


Finally, here are the best at three oft-forgotten positions that can nevertheless matter: pitcher offense, pinch hitting, and pinch running.

Pitcher Offense
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Hal Schumacher1.71.40.5
Monte Weaver1.30.80.5
Red Ruffing2.01.90.5


Pinch Hitter
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Buddy Myer0.60.10.3


Pinch Runner
eWins eLosses eWOPA
Gibby Brack0.10.00.0
Woody Jensen0.10.00.0
Mel Mazzera0.00.00.0
Claude Passeau0.00.00.0
Phil Cavarretta0.00.00.0
Art Rebel0.00.00.0
Joe Glenn0.00.00.0
Goose Goslin0.00.00.0
Jim Asbell0.00.00.0
Babe Dahlgren0.00.00.0
Chuck Klein0.00.00.0
Johnny Peacock0.00.00.0
Don Lang0.00.00.0
Ace Parker0.10.10.0
Max Macon0.00.00.0
Bill Knickerbocker0.00.00.0
Jo-Jo White0.00.00.0
Rollie Hemsley0.00.00.0
Goody Rosen0.00.00.0
Tuck Stainback0.00.00.0
Smokey Joe Martin0.00.00.0
Larry Rosenthal0.00.00.0
Roy Weatherly0.00.00.0
Lloyd Russell0.00.00.0
Justin Stein0.00.00.0
Mickey Haslin0.00.00.0
Mark Christman0.00.00.0
Hal Schumacher0.00.00.0
Jake Powell0.00.00.0
Billy Jurges0.00.00.0
George Scharein0.10.10.0
Slick Castleman0.00.00.0
Bucky Walters0.00.00.0
Lou Chiozza0.00.00.0
Buddy Hassett0.00.00.0
Ray Stoviak0.00.00.0
Bob Garbark0.00.00.0
Les Tietje0.00.00.0
George Case0.00.00.0
Lee Handley0.00.00.0
Harry Gumbert0.00.00.0
Bump Hadley0.00.00.0
Harry Kelley0.00.00.0
Hersh Martin0.00.00.0
Jim Tobin0.00.00.0
Billy Sullivan Jr.0.00.00.0
Preacher Roe0.00.00.0
Sam Nahem0.00.00.0
Tom Kane0.00.00.0
Gene M. Ford0.00.00.0
Frank Demaree0.00.00.0
Spud Davis0.00.00.0
Odell Hale0.00.00.0
Woody Davis0.00.00.0
Wayne Ambler0.00.00.0
Hal Wagner0.00.00.0
Ray Berres0.00.00.0
Sam Harshany0.00.00.0
Hal Epps0.00.00.0
Emerson Dickman0.00.00.0
Freddie Fitzsimmons0.00.00.0
Tom Winsett0.00.00.0
Milt Shoffner0.00.00.0
Johnny Rigney0.00.00.0
Bobby Mattick0.00.00.0
Billy Myers0.00.00.0
Billy Rogell0.00.00.0
Harry Danning0.00.00.0
Lefty Gomez0.00.00.0
Bill V. Swift0.00.00.0
Lefty Mills0.00.00.0
Mickey Owen0.00.00.0
Ted Olson0.00.00.0
Buck Marrow0.00.00.0
Roy C. Johnson0.00.00.0
Bill Dietrich0.00.00.0
Ripper Collins0.00.00.0
Kiddo Davis0.00.00.0
Denny Galehouse0.00.00.0
Slick Coffman0.00.00.0
Jimmy Ripple0.00.00.0
Joe Vance0.00.00.0
Stan Sperry0.00.00.0
Joe Grace0.00.00.0
Curt Davis0.00.00.0
Joe Cronin0.00.00.0
Leo Durocher0.00.00.0
Woody W. Williams0.00.00.0
Tommy Reis0.00.00.0
Rip Radcliff0.00.00.0
Bob Logan0.00.00.0
Frank McCormick0.00.00.0
Al Milnar0.00.00.0
Boots Poffenberger0.00.00.0
Bill Cissell0.00.00.0
Lou Gehrig0.00.00.0
Mule Haas0.00.00.0
Syl Johnson0.00.00.0
Rip Sewell0.00.00.0
Glenn McQuillen0.00.00.0
Terry Moore0.00.00.0
Monte Weaver0.00.00.0
Dick Midkiff0.00.00.0
Cookie Lavagetto0.00.00.0
Merv Connors0.00.00.0
Tex Carleton0.00.00.0
Dusty Cooke0.00.00.0
Bruce Campbell0.00.00.0
Tommy Bridges0.00.00.0
Mel Ott0.00.00.0
Lee Stine0.00.00.0
Dave M. Smith0.00.00.0
Pinky Whitney0.00.00.0
Harlond Clift0.00.00.0
Mort Cooper0.00.00.0
Jimmie DeShong0.00.00.0
Ben Chapman0.00.00.0
Vito Tamulis0.00.00.0
Johnny Niggeling0.00.00.0
George Meyer0.00.00.0
Tony Lazzeri0.00.00.0
Chet Morgan0.00.00.0
Atley Donald0.00.00.0
Lou Finney0.00.00.0
Bill Hallahan0.00.00.0
Red Lucas0.00.00.0
Joe Medwick0.00.00.0
Cecil Travis0.00.00.0
Archie McKain0.00.00.0
Ernie Koy0.00.00.0
Frank Gabler0.00.00.0
Clint Brown0.00.00.0
Nino Bongiovanni0.00.00.0
Earl Averill Sr.0.00.00.0
Elden Auker0.00.00.0
Jo-Jo Moore0.00.00.0
Red Ruffing0.00.00.0
Buck Ross0.00.00.0
Emil Bildilli0.00.00.0
Al Baker0.00.00.0
Gilly Campbell0.00.00.0
Roy Spencer0.00.00.0
Hiker Moran0.00.00.0
Ted Lyons0.00.00.0
Alex Kampouris0.00.00.0
Ken Keltner0.00.00.0
Roxie Lawson0.00.00.0
Bill Dickey0.00.00.0
Paul Easterling0.00.00.0
Ed Linke0.00.00.0
Stu Martin0.00.00.0
Al Simmons0.00.00.0
Bill Lefebvre0.00.00.0
Waite Hoyt0.00.00.0
Lou Fette0.00.00.0
Boze Berger0.00.00.0
Gee Walker0.00.00.0
Ray Benge0.00.00.0
Dick West0.00.00.0
Bill Zuber0.00.00.0
Dick Bartell0.00.00.0
Johnny McCarthy0.00.00.0
Nels Potter0.00.00.0
Pete Sivess0.00.00.0
Herb Bremer0.00.00.0
Max Butcher0.00.00.0
Merv Shea0.00.00.0
Ralph McLeod0.00.00.0
Jesse Landrum0.00.00.0
Billy Herman0.00.00.0
Al Hollingsworth0.00.00.0
Tommy Irwin0.00.00.0
Vern Kennedy0.00.00.0
Frankie Crosetti0.00.00.0
Sam Chapman0.00.00.0
Red Kress0.00.00.0
Buddy Myer0.00.00.0
Pinky Higgins0.00.00.0
Ray Hayworth0.00.00.0
Gil English0.00.00.0
Max E. West0.00.00.0
Mike Tresh0.00.00.0
Coaker Triplett0.00.00.0
Earl Whitehill0.00.00.0
Rudy York0.00.00.0
Bill Lohrman0.00.00.0
Johnny Murphy0.00.00.0
Pep Young0.00.00.0
Sam West0.00.00.0
Bob Weiland0.00.00.0
Black Jack Wilson0.00.00.0
Packy Rogers0.00.00.0
Harl Maggert Jr.0.00.00.0
Mike Kreevich0.00.00.0
Stan Hack0.00.00.0
Lee Grissom0.00.00.0
Willis Hudlin0.00.00.0
Hank Greenberg0.00.00.0
Joe Beggs0.00.00.0
Ralph Buxton0.00.00.0
Earl Browne0.00.00.0
Fred Johnson0.00.00.0
Howie Krist0.00.00.0
Mickey Livingston0.00.00.0
Bill M. Harris0.00.00.0
Luke Hamlin0.00.00.0
Art Doll0.00.00.0
Rabbit Warstler0.00.00.0
Monty Stratton0.00.00.0
Charley Root0.00.00.0
Fred 'Dixie' Walker0.00.00.0
Hank Leiber0.00.00.0
Art Jorgens0.00.00.0
Lynn Nelson0.00.00.0
Lloyd Waner0.00.00.0
Russ Van Atta0.00.00.0
Enos Slaughter0.00.00.0
Joe Vosmik0.00.00.0
Dykes Potter0.00.00.0
Al Lopez0.00.00.0
Minter 'Jackie' Hayes0.00.00.0
Augie Galan0.00.00.0
Hank Helf0.00.00.0
Charlie Gehringer0.00.00.0
Johnnie Wittig0.00.00.0
Charlie Berry Jr.0.00.00.0
Morrie Arnovich0.00.00.0
Ed Brandt0.00.00.0
Oral Hildebrand0.00.00.0
Roy Henshaw0.00.00.0
Emil 'Dutch' Leonard0.00.00.0
Fabian Gaffke0.00.00.0
Greek George0.00.00.0
Tony Cuccinello0.00.00.0
Jim Turner0.00.00.0
Luke Sewell0.00.00.0
Vance Page0.00.00.0
Lew Riggs0.00.00.0
Charley Suche0.00.00.0
Birdie Tebbetts0.00.00.0
Tommy Henrich0.00.00.0
Dario Lodigiani0.00.00.0
Emmett 'Heinie' Mueller0.00.00.0
Al Todd0.00.00.0
Mike Ryba0.00.00.0
Lee Rogers0.00.00.0
Babe Phelps0.00.00.0
Art Kenney0.00.00.0
Johnny Gerlach0.00.00.0
Al Epperly0.00.00.0
Paul Derringer0.00.00.0
Harry Eisenstat0.00.00.0
Bob Seeds0.00.00.0
Babe Barna0.00.00.0
Billy Werber0.00.00.0
Cy Blanton0.00.00.0
Tommy Heath0.00.00.0
Don Gutteridge0.00.00.0
Joe Kohlman0.00.00.0
Bobby Doerr0.00.00.0
Fred Frankhouse0.00.00.0
Mike Balas0.00.00.0
Joe Stripp0.00.00.0
Steve Mesner0.00.00.0
Clay Smith0.00.00.0
Don Ross0.00.00.0
Oscar Georgy0.00.00.0
Joe Gordon0.00.00.0
Indian Bob Johnson0.00.00.0
Tom Lanning0.00.00.0
Tommy Thevenow0.00.00.0
Don Padgett0.00.00.0
Fritz Ostermueller0.00.00.0
Van Mungo0.00.00.0
Jimmie Dykes0.00.00.0
Dizzy Dean0.00.00.0
Peaches Davis0.00.00.0
Oscar Grimes0.00.00.0
Roy Cullenbine0.00.00.0
Blondy Ryan0.00.00.0
Kemp Wicker0.00.00.0
Luther 'Bud' Thomas0.00.00.0
Russ Bauers0.00.00.0
Sig Gryska0.00.00.0
Paul Dean0.00.00.0
Gene Desautels0.00.00.0
Woody English0.00.00.0
Jim Winford0.00.00.0
Johnny Riddle0.00.00.0
Whitey Moore0.00.00.0
Frankie Pytlak0.00.00.0
Joe Rogalski0.00.00.0
Dick Coffman0.00.00.0
Gene Hasson0.00.00.0
Hal Kelleher0.00.00.0
Gus Suhr0.00.00.0
Buster Mills0.00.00.0
Lynn Myers0.00.00.0
Taffy Wright0.00.00.0
Red Nonnenkamp0.00.00.0
Heinie Manush0.00.00.0
Ira Hutchinson0.00.00.0
Bill Cox0.00.00.0
Harry Craft0.00.00.0
Bob Feller0.00.00.0
Les Powers0.00.00.0
Steve Sundra0.00.00.0
Eddie Smith0.00.00.0
Jimmie Wilson0.00.00.0
Ed Cole0.00.00.0
Creepy Crespi0.00.00.0
Rick Ferrell0.00.00.0
Doc Cramer0.00.00.0
Kiki Cuyler0.00.00.0
Ray Thomas0.00.00.0
Bobby Reis0.00.00.0
Marv Owen0.00.00.0
Big Bill Lee0.00.00.0
Ernie Lombardi0.00.00.0
Ray Mack0.00.00.0
Tony Piet0.00.00.0
Wes Ferrell0.00.00.0
Randy Gumpert0.00.00.0
Ed Heusser0.00.00.0
Johnny Rizzo0.00.00.0
George McQuinn0.00.00.0
Johnny Mize0.00.00.0
Eric McNair0.00.00.0
Wayne LaMaster0.00.00.0
Debs Garms0.00.00.0
Sugar Cain0.00.00.0
Joe Cascarella0.00.00.0
Lou Boudreau0.00.00.0
Al Benton0.00.00.0
George Myatt0.00.00.0
Dick Siebert0.00.00.0
Phil Weintraub0.00.00.0
Julio Bonetti0.00.00.0
Guy Bush0.00.00.0
Ken Chase0.00.00.0
Moe Berg0.00.00.0
Paul Chervinko0.00.00.0
Ray Mueller0.00.00.0
Newt Kimball0.00.00.0
Ted Kleinhans0.00.00.0
John Kroner0.00.00.0
Benny McCoy0.00.00.0
Joe DiMaggio0.00.00.0
Nick Etten0.00.00.0
Howie Gorman0.00.00.0
Bob Klinger0.00.00.0
Johnny Lucadello0.00.00.0
Bill McGee0.00.00.0
John Stone0.00.00.0
Johnny Marcum0.00.00.0
Elbie Fletcher0.00.00.0
Harry Boyles0.00.00.0
John Whitehead0.00.00.0
Wally Berger0.00.00.0
Johnny Allen0.00.00.0
George Archie0.00.00.0
Jumbo Brown0.00.00.0
Cliff Melton0.00.00.0
Red Rolfe0.00.00.0
Jim Reninger0.00.00.0
Al J. Smith0.00.00.0
Beau Bell0.00.00.0
Jimmy Brown0.00.00.0
Zeke Bonura0.00.00.0
Jim Bagby Jr.0.00.00.0
Dolph Camilli0.00.00.0
Fred Sington0.00.00.0
Gene Moore Jr.0.00.00.0
Thornton Lee0.00.00.0
Kirby Higbe0.00.00.0
Buck Jordan0.00.00.0
Ken Jungels0.00.00.0
Chet Laabs0.00.00.0
Chubby Dean0.00.00.0
Gene Corbett0.00.00.0
Ken Heintzelman0.00.00.0
Glenn Liebhardt Jr.0.00.00.0
Pepper Martin0.00.00.0
Bill Phebus0.00.00.0
Bill Humphrey0.00.00.0
Oris Hockett0.00.00.0
Dick Errickson0.00.00.0
Luke Appling0.00.00.0
Bob Uhl0.00.00.0
Red Barrett0.00.00.0
Big Jim Weaver0.00.00.0
Chuck Workman0.00.00.0
Tom C. Baker0.00.00.0
Gus Mancuso0.00.00.0
Monte Pearson0.00.00.0
Rusty Peters0.00.00.0
Ethan Allen0.00.00.0
Frenchy Bordagaray0.00.00.0
Pete Appleton0.00.00.0
Eddie Mayo0.00.00.0
Joe Kuhel0.00.00.0
Gabby Hartnett0.00.00.0
Johnny Humphries0.00.00.0
Bob Harris0.00.00.0
Spud Chandler0.00.00.0
George Caster0.00.00.0
Elmer Burkart0.00.00.0
Harry Kimberlin0.00.00.0
Max Lanier0.00.00.0
Rene Monteagudo0.00.00.0
Joe Heving0.00.00.0
Tom Earley0.00.00.0
Roy Weir0.00.00.0
Rupert Thompson0.00.00.0
Jack Russell0.00.00.0
Skeeter Webb0.00.00.0
Sam Leslie0.00.00.0
Alex Pitko0.00.00.0
Paul Waner0.00.00.0
Jim E. Walkup0.00.00.0
Lon Warneke0.00.00.0
Charlie Wagner0.00.00.0
Tot Pressnell0.00.00.0
Danny MacFayden0.00.00.0
Jack Knott0.00.00.0
Ival Goodman0.00.00.0
George Gill0.00.00.0
Ivy Andrews0.00.00.0
Earle Brucker Sr.0.00.00.0
Mace Brown0.00.00.0
Roy Hughes0.00.00.0
Si Johnson0.00.00.0
Buddy Lewis0.00.00.0
Lefty Grove0.00.00.0
Bert Haas0.00.00.0
Vince DiMaggio0.00.00.0
Joe P. Walsh0.00.00.0
Hank Steinbacher0.00.00.0
Carl Reynolds0.00.00.0
Gene Schott0.00.00.0
Hal Trosky Sr.0.00.00.0
Jake Wade0.00.00.0
Carl Hubbell0.00.00.0
Myril Hoag0.00.00.0
Wally Moses0.00.00.0
Hugh Mulcahy0.00.00.0
Arky Vaughan0.00.00.0
Bill Trotter0.00.00.0
Clyde Shoun0.00.00.0
Jim Tabor0.00.00.0
Bill Posedel0.00.00.0
Johnny Lanning0.00.00.0
George Gick0.00.00.0
Larry French0.00.00.0
Lonny Frey0.00.00.0
Jeff Heath0.00.00.0
Pete Fox0.00.00.0
Hy Vandenberg0.00.00.0
Irv Bartling0.00.00.0
Al Williams0.00.00.0
Joe Bowman0.00.00.0
Don Heffner0.00.00.0
Ray Harrell0.00.00.0
Joe Krakauskas0.00.00.0
Jimmie Foxx0.00.00.0
John Gaddy0.00.00.0
Butch Sutcliffe0.00.00.0
Norm Schlueter0.00.00.0
Nolen Richardson0.00.00.0
Moose Solters0.00.00.0
Schoolboy Rowe0.00.00.0
Mel Harder0.00.0-0.0
Frankie Hayes0.00.0-0.0
Johnny Vander Meer0.00.0-0.0
Mel Almada0.00.0-0.0
George Selkirk0.00.0-0.0
Jim Hitchcock0.00.0-0.0
Johnny Cooney0.00.0-0.0
Bill Atwood0.00.0-0.0
Ken O'Dea0.00.0-0.0
Skeeter Newsome0.00.0-0.0
Jim Bucher0.00.0-0.0
Eddie Feinberg0.00.0-0.0
Chief Hogsett0.00.0-0.0
Bill Brubaker0.00.0-0.0
Cap Clark0.00.0-0.0
Bob Kahle0.00.0-0.0
Bobo Newsom0.00.0-0.0
Pete Coscarart0.00.0-0.0
Lee Gamble0.00.0-0.0
Tony Rensa0.00.0-0.0
Willard Hershberger0.00.0-0.0
Tony Giuliani0.00.0-0.0
Jimmy Outlaw0.00.0-0.0
Johnny Hudson0.00.0-0.0
Lyn Lary0.00.0-0.0
Del Young Jr.0.00.0-0.0
Jimmy Wasdell0.00.1-0.0
Joe Marty0.00.1-0.0
Ossie Bluege0.00.1-0.0
Clay Bryant0.00.1-0.0


Noteworthy Players of 1938

I conclude this look at the 1938 season by looking at three all-time great players who were regulars in 1938.
Lou Gehrig
Lou Gehrig played in every New York Yankees' game from June 2, 1925 through April 30, 1939. I have play-by-play data for 1843 of the 2,130 games of this remarkable streak.

The snapshot we get of Lou Gehrig's career from these three seasons is fairly representative of Gehrig's overall career. For the 1927, 1931, and 1938 seasons, Lou Gehrig had a combined batting line of .337/.443/.651 with averages of 40 home runs, 156 RBI, and 140 runs scored per 154 games. For the rest of his career, Gehrig batted .341/.448/.627 with 154-game averages of 34 HRs, 138 RBI, and 133 runs scored.

Based on the data I have, a typical season in Lou Gehrig's career looked something like this in Player won-lost records.

Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Lou Gehrig15422.713.73.4
4.9
21.113.42.94.3


Just for some perspective, here are the best seasons in the careers of some of the best first baseman of the past 60 years, adjusted to 154 games.

Player Season Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Harmon Killebrew196715421.613.53.0
4.5
20.312.42.94.3
Willie McCovey196915422.912.54.0
5.5
20.712.62.94.3
Jeff Bagwell199415423.913.93.8
5.3
23.413.04.05.6
Frank Thomas199415420.712.73.2
4.7
21.012.73.44.9
Mark McGwire199815421.312.73.2
4.5
23.213.43.75.1
Albert Pujols200615425.013.64.7
6.0
21.513.63.14.3


Charlie Gehringer
Detroit Tigers' second baseman Charlie Gehringer was nicknamed "The Mechanical Man" because his performance was so consistent. Over 14 seasons from 1927 through 1940, Gehringer batted over .300 every season. He batted over .320 9 times in those 14 seasons; he collected 175 or more hits 9 times; he slugged over .500 7 times. I have calculated Player won-lost records for 4 of the 14 seasons of Gehringer's prime. And somehow, I missed every season he batted over .320, every season he had 175 or more hits, and every season he slugged over .500. Gehringer's top totals for those three things in the seasons for which I have Player won-lost records were .317 (1927), 174 hits (1938), and a .486 slugging percentage (1938). I also have 3 of his 4 lowest home run totals in that 14-season stretch (although I also have his peak home run season: 20 in 1938). I have only 1 of his 7 100-RBI seasons.

Gehringer played 144 or more games every season from 1928 - the year after the first year of Gehringer's for which I have play-by-play data - through 1938 (which I do have), except for one - 1931, the only year between 1928 and 1937 for which I have play-by-play data so far.

Even with all of that, the numbers that I do have for Gehringer stand up reasonably well to other Hall-of-Fame second basemen, on a per-game basis. Career averages per 154 games for Hall-of-Fame second basemen who started their career in 1947 or later are compared to Charlie Gehringer's 1927, 1931, & 1938 154-game average in the next table.

Hall of Fame Second Basemen (per 154 games)
Player Games pWins pLosses pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWOPA eWORL
Charlie Gehringer15418.717.50.7
2.2
19.417.41.12.7
--------------------------------------------------
Rogers Hornsby15423.116.93.1
4.7
23.817.13.35.0
Jackie Robinson15421.915.62.9
4.4
21.316.62.13.6
Joe L. Morgan15421.817.02.7
4.2
21.417.22.43.9
Bobby Doerr15422.117.92.3
3.9
20.618.11.43.0
Joe Gordon15421.417.02.3
3.9
20.417.41.73.2
Frankie Frisch15422.318.61.9
3.6
21.519.21.22.9
Tony Lazzeri15420.417.21.8
3.4
19.317.41.22.7
Billy Herman15421.818.81.7
3.3
21.019.51.02.6
Charlie Gehringer15420.217.51.5
3.1
21.017.71.83.5
Roberto Alomar15420.418.21.4
2.9
19.718.11.12.6
Ryne Sandberg15420.518.21.2
2.6
20.818.11.32.8
Nellie Fox15419.218.01.0
2.5
18.518.90.21.7
Rod Carew15418.416.21.1
2.4
18.716.41.12.5
Craig Biggio15419.417.60.9
2.4
19.217.70.82.3
Eddie Collins Sr.15418.717.40.6
2.0
19.517.80.82.2
Red Schoendienst15418.217.50.6
2.0
17.917.80.21.7
Bill Mazeroski15417.517.70.3
1.8
17.217.80.11.5


Bob Feller
When I had only calculated Player won-lost records going back to 1947, I wrote an article that looked at Player won-lost records for Hall-of-Fame players. Bob Feller showed up on the table of Hall-of-Famers, but he was toward the bottom of the list (which was sorted by career pWORL) with players who are either widely regarded as statistical mistakes or players for whom the bulk of their Hall-of-Fame case was prior to 1947. Bob Feller fell into this latter category.

With the addition of 1938 and the first seven years of the 1940s, we have a bit more of the Hall-of-Fame case for Bob Feller. Bob Feller's career Player won-lost records are shown in the next table. These results are not adjusted for missing games.

Bob Feller
Basic Player Won-Lost Records
Season Age Games pWins pLosses pWin Pct. pWOPA pWORL eWins eLosses eWin Pct. eWOPA eWORL
193617
13
4.42.90.6010.8
1.2
3.23.10.5120.10.5
193718
25
9.99.80.5000.2
1.1
9.29.00.5050.31.1
193819
32
15.314.10.5201.1
2.5
14.515.50.483-0.01.4
193920
39
20.415.20.5743.2
4.9
20.115.40.5662.94.6
194021
43
25.016.60.6024.9
6.7
20.715.30.5743.24.8
194122
44
23.917.40.5784.0
5.8
22.019.30.5322.13.9
194223
194324
194425
194526
9
4.74.50.5110.2
0.7
4.33.70.5330.40.8
194627
48
27.320.00.5774.4
6.7
23.919.40.5522.95.0
194728
42
20.617.10.5472.4
4.0
18.716.70.5291.63.1
194829
44
18.918.30.5080.9
2.5
16.716.50.5030.62.1
194930
36
12.514.20.468-0.5
0.6
13.513.00.5100.61.7
195031
35
16.314.00.5371.7
3.1
15.214.30.5151.02.4
195132
33
17.313.20.5672.5
3.8
15.015.30.4950.31.6
195233
30
10.512.90.449-0.8
0.2
12.013.30.475-0.20.9
195334
25
10.49.60.5200.8
1.7
10.210.60.4900.21.1
195435
19
10.17.50.5731.7
2.5
8.78.30.5130.61.4
195536
25
3.54.60.432-0.5
-0.1
4.64.80.4930.00.5
195637
19
1.53.20.323-0.8
-0.5
2.73.20.461-0.20.1
------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------ ------
CAREER (reg. season)
561
252.5215.20.54026.1
47.3
235.4216.90.52016.536.9


As I said, we have more of Feller's career, but we're still missing quite a bit: 210.2 IP with 226 K's at ages 17-18 in 1936 and 1937, his breakthrough age-20 season in 1939 when he led the American League in pitcher wins, complete games, innings pitched, strikeouts, and H/9 (and walks), and -70 of the 183 games which Feller pitched in 1938 and 1940-46 (the majority from Feller's finest season, 1946, when he struck out 348 in a mind-boggling 371.1 innings while posting a 2.18 ERA). And, of course, Bob Feller's career is missing his age 23-25 seasons (and most of his age 26 season), not because of missing Player won-lost records, but because of World War II.

Still, at least there's a definite sense now of just how special a pitcher Bob Feller was.



All articles are written so that they pull data directly from the most recent version of the Player won-lost database. Hence, any numbers cited within these articles should automatically incorporate the most recent update to Player won-lost records. In some cases, however, the accompanying text may have been written based on previous versions of Player won-lost records. I apologize if this results in non-sensical text in any cases.

Home     List of Articles