Manager: Tom Loftus 7th Season (1st with Washington 61-75-2)
61 W 75 L 2 T 707 RS 790 RA 5th AL 22.0 GB (Philadelphia 83-53-1)
5.12 RPG (AL Avg = 4.89) 4.26 ERA (AL = 3.57)
.670 DER (7th AL)
Franchise (1901-1902) 122 W 147 L 7 T
1902 may have been the most vicious year when it comes to the National League’s war on the American League. The biggest opportunity for the NL came as a result of the rivalry between AL President Ban Johnson and Baltimore mangager John McGraw. Johnson had suspended McGraw several times during the 1901 and 1902 seasons, mostly for harrassing umpires.
When Johnson suspended McGraw indefinitely in July 1902, McGraw began negotiations to sell the AL’s Baltimore franchise to John T. Brush, chairman of the NL Executive Committee. Upon acquiring the franchise, Brush sold most of Baltimore’s players, including manager McGraw, and was unable to field a team for a July 17th game against St. Louis. Johnson used his authority to revoke Baltimore’s franchise due to the forfeit, and took the team over and was able to finish the season.
When the franchise moved to New York before the 1903 season, the NL knew that it may be time to call a truce, a move that would be much less expensive than continuing the war.
Tom Loftus played nine major league games in a playing career that included the 1877 and 1883 seasons. He had a much longer career as a manager. Prior to taking the position in Washington, he led teams in Milwaukee (AA), Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Chicago (NL), though he never stayed with any one team longer than two seasons. One of Loftus’ signatures is a belief that a manager should never change pitchers, and in fact brought in relief pitchers only eight times in 1902. For that reason, Loftus was able to get through 1902 using only six different pitchers (and two of those pitchers shared only 14 games).
from baseballhalloffame.org’s “Dressed to the Nines” exhibit
Washington was the recipient of several key defections from the National League prior to the 1902 season. The biggest name was Ed Delahanty, who played most of his 16 year career with the Philadelphia Phillies. Also among the defectors were pitchers Al Orth and Happy Townsend.
Ed Delahanty baseballhalloffame.org
Of Washington’s eight every day starters, only two were below the age of 30. Of the six who were 30+, five of them had not been with Washington the year before, including 34 year old Delahanty. Among the every day players were two who were pushing 40: Bones Ely and Jimmy Ryan. Predictably, the veteran’s provided a short term boost in offense, but wouldn’t be around long enough to see any winning in Washington.
Player in Bold = New to Washington this year
C Boileryard Clarke .268/.330/.381 6 HR 0.3 BFW 8 WS
Clarke’s second year with the franchise, he showed some power in 1902 averaging a home run for every 48.5 at bats (3rd in AL).
1B Scoops Carey .314/.350/.440 0 HR 1.1 BFW 13 WS
Scoops last surfaced in baseball with the 1898 Louisville Colonels of the National League. At 31, he easily had the best season of his four years in the major leagues.
2B Jack Doyle .247/.311/.317 1 HR -1.7 BFW 5 WS
Doyle played the first part of 1902 with the NL Giants. The 32 year old put up some good numbers in New York, but was released in early June. Doyle had some experience managing, including a stint as the original Washington Senator’s manager in 1898.
SS Bones Ely .262/.301/.310 1 HR -1.9 BFW 5 WS
Another veteran acquisition, Ely (39 years old) had spent the better part of six years playing shortstop for the Pittsburgh. He was accused of persuading other players to jump to the AL in mid-1901, and was dismissed from the team in favor of a converted outfielder named Honus Wagner.
3B Bill Coughlin .301/.348/.414 6 HR 1.5 BFW 17 WS
Improved on his impressive rookie season with Washington.
LF Ed Delahanty .376/.453/.590 10 HR 5.0 BFW 31 WS
Ed Delahanty has established himself as one of the premier stars of 19th century baseball, mostly with the Philadelphia. The 34 year old Delahanty may have been the AL MVP in 1902 (if such an award existed). In his first season with Washington, he led the AL in OBP, SLG, OPS (1.043), Doubles (43), and Runs Created (125).
CF Jimmy Ryan .320/.384/.448 6 HR 1.5 BFW 19 WS
Ryan spent the previous 16 years in Chicago, mostly with the Cubs. He was also an established star of the NL in the 19th century. At the age of 39, Ryan gave his last good season in 1902.
RF Watty Lee .256/.319/.366 4 HR -0.8 BFW 11 WS
Mostly a pitcher for Washington in 1901, Lee moved to the outfield for the 1902 season. He still pitched in 13 games.
P Al Orth 19-18 3.97 ERA 1.26 WHIP -0.3 PW 19 WS
Orth’s nickname was “the Curveless Wonder”. He had great control but never used a curveball. He walked only 40 men in 324 innings pitched in 1902.
P Case Patten (L) 17-16 4.05 ERA 1.40 WHIP -2.2 PW 14 WS
Patten had a season similar to his rookie season, one of the major differences being that he had more innings pitched in 1902, partially due to the fact that he completed more games- a direct result of the new manager’s philosophy.
P Bill Carrick 11-17 4.86 ERA 1.61 WHIP -3.3 PW 7 WS
Carrick’s career ended after this, his fourth straight losing season.
P Happy Townsend 9-16 4.45 ERA 1.46 WHIP -1.6 PW 9 WS
Townsend was known for erratic control control and a knack for losing. 1902 was his first full season.