1907 Washington Nationals
Manager: Joe Cantillon 1st Season (1st with Washington 49-102-3)
49 W 102 L 3 T 506 RS 693 RA 8th AL 43.5 GB (Detroit Tigers 98-52-3)
3.29 RPG (AL = 3.66) 3.11 ERA (AL = 2.54)
.675 DER (8th AL)
Franchise (1901-1907) 371-638-23
A New Chief
On October 21, 1906 the Washington club named a new manager. Joe Cantillon had an impressive career in baseball and was reportedly being courted to manage Cleveland and Boston in addition to the Nationals. Though he had no major league playing or managing experience, Cantillon had success in the minor leagues, most recently with Milwaukee of the American Association. In addition to his managing experience, Cantillon was also involved in baseball in other ways, including as an umpire.
It was Cantillon’s ambition to take a non-contender and make them a winner. In that sense, Washington was the perfect fit.
Former manager Jake Stahl was sold to the Chicago White Sox in May. He did not play a game in 1907.
A Couple of Rookies
Though he was described as a man of few words, Cantillon made several proclamations before the 1907 season started. Among them was that he would scour the nation to find the best young players to help build the team up. True to his word, Cantillon signed two rookies who would be important players for the team in the years to come.
The first was a 20 year old center fielder out of Tennessee. Clyde Milan played only 48 games in 1907, but would become a fixture in center for 16 seasons in Washington.
In July of 1907, Cantillon signed the second rookie; a young pitcher out of the Idaho State League. Cantillon was very high on the little-known player, claiming that on the days that the kid would pitch, all of the fielders save the catcher could take the game off.
As it turned out, Cantillon may not have been exaggerating. On August 2, 1907 Walter Perry Johnson made his debut. The result of the game was a 3-2 loss to Detroit, but Johnson impressed many in his debut, including the man who got the first hit off of him: Ty Cobb. The hit was a bunt single laid down by Cobb. Five days later against Cleveland, the 19-year-old earned his first win.
Both Milan and Johnson would stick around for a while. They were roomates from the start and quickly became friends.
1907 World Series
The Chicago Cubs, though they won “only” 107 games, were able to defeat Ty Cobb’s Detroit Tigers in the World Series. It took the Cubs five games to win the best-of-seven series, even though they didn’t lose a game. Game one ended in a 3-3 tie after 12 innings due to darkness.
Bold = player new to Washington in 1907
C Jack Warner .256/.306/.280 0 HR -0.4 BFW 4 WS
Warner was purchased from the Tigers in August of 1906. A veteran reciever, he spent most of his career with the New York Giants.
1B John Anderson .288/.359/.348 0 HR 1.3 BFW 13 WS
Anderson was purchased by the White Sox after the season.
2B Jim Delahanty .292/.367/.386 2 HR 1.8 BFW 17 WS
Ed’s brother Jim was purchased from the Browns in June 1907. Of the five Delahanty brothers, Jim is considered the second best, behind Ed.
SS Dave Altizer .269/.319/.326 2 HR 0.8 BFW 15 WS
Similar numbers to his 1906 season.
3B Bill Shipke .196/.292/.249 1 HR 0.3 BFW 3 WS
His name at birth was William Shipkrethaver, but he changed it to fit the box scores when he entered baseball. He played just two games for Cleveland in 1906.
Bill Shipke photograph from http://www.thedeadballera.com
LF Otis Clymer .316/.382/.403 1 HR 1.1 BFW 10 WS
The Nats purchased Clymer from Pittsburgh in the middle of the season. Though he put up some good numbers, persistent leg injuries prevented him from having a long career in baseball.
CF Charlie Jones .265/.304/.343 0 HR -0.2 BFW 11 WS
This would be Jones’ final season in center field for Washington. In 1908, Clyde Milan took over.
RF Bob Ganley .276/.337/.314 1 HR 1.2 BFW 16 WS
An offseason purchase from Pittsburgh, Ganley had his best season as a pro in 1907. He led AL outfielders in errors. Ganley had one more year playing everyday in Washington.
P Case Patten (L) 12-16 3.56 ERA 1.41 WHIP -3.9 PW 4 WS
Just one year after his best season, the 33-year-old fell off and had maybe his worst full season. Patten pitched only four more games for Washington after the 1907 season.
P Charlie Smith 10-20 2.61 ERA 1.18 WHIP -0.5 PW 7 WS
Though his ERA was almost a run lower than Patten’s, Smith was the 20-game loser for the 1907 Nationals.
P Cy Falkenberg 6-17 2.35 ERA 1.16 WHIP -0.6 PW 6 WS
Another pitcher whose days as a Nat were numbered, Falkenberg was purchased by the Cleveland Naps in the middle of the 1908 season.
P Tom Hughes 7-17 3.11 ERA 1.20 WHIP -1.2 PW 6 WS
Hughes improved on his rough 1906 season, and had a few good seasons ahead of him.
P Walter Johnson 5-9 1.88 ERA 1.09 WHIP 0.5 PW 4 WS
In only 12 starts, the 19-year-old made an impact, and was the one bright spot on an otherwise horrible pitching staff.