Bill Deane selected "hypothetical" winners beginning in 1900, for Total Baseball (1989). He "felt a certain responsibility to make my selections consistent with the perceptions and voting trends of a particular era. . . . they are the ones which can be best justified with the available evidence." Between editions 2 and 3, 1991-93, he revised one selection.
STATS, Inc., selected "retroactive" annual award winners from 1876, for The All-Time Major League Baseball Sourcebook (1998) . "We didn't try to guess what the voting trends might have been in a particular era. We concentrated on individual statistics (offensive and defensive) and team performance."
Notes continue below the tables.
- means that modern selectors disagree Selector Bill Deane STATS, Inc. contemporary TB 1989 1998 writers Federal League 1914F Kauff RF-Ind Kauff 1915F - Zwilling CF-Chi Kauff CF-Bkn American League 1901A Lajoie 2B-Phi Lajoie 1902A - Young P-Bos Delahanty LF-Was 1903A Lajoie 2B-Cle Lajoie 1904A Chesbro P-NY Chesbro 1905A Waddell P-Phi Waddell 1906A - Lajoie 2B-Cle Stone LF-SL 1907A Cobb RF-Det Cobb 1908A Walsh P-Chi Walsh 1909A Cobb CF-Det Cobb 1910A - Coombs P-Phi Cobb CF-Det Chalmers Award, 1911-14, selected by eight baseball writers 1911A (Chalmers panel and detail vote) Cobb CF-Det 1912A Speaker CF-Bos 1913A Johnson P-Was 1914A Collins 2B-Phi 1915A - Collins 2B-Chi Cobb CF-Det 1916A Speaker CF-Cle Speaker 1917A - Cicotte P-Chi Cobb CF-Det 1918A Ruth P-Bos Ruth 1919A - Jackson LF-Chi Ruth LF-Bos National League 1900N Wagner U-Pit 1901N Wagner RF-Pit Wagner 1902N Wagner RF-Pit Wagner 1903N Wagner SS-Pit Wagner 1904N - McGinnity P-NY Wagner SS-Pit 1905N Mathewson P-NY Mathewson 1906N - Chance 1B-Chi (TB3) Chance Steinfeldt 3B-Chi (TB2) 1907N Wagner SS-Pit Wagner 1908N Mathewson P-NY Mathewson 1909N Wagner SS-Pit Wagner 1910N Magee LF-Phi Magee Chalmers Award, 1911-14, selected by eight baseball writers 1911N (Chalmers panel and detail vote) Schulte RF-Chi 1912N Doyle 2B-NY 1913N Daubert 1B-Bkn 1914N Evers 2B-Bos 1915N Alexander P-Phi Alexander 1916N Alexander P-Phi Alexander 1917N - Alexander P-Phi Hornsby SS-SL 1918N Vaughn P-Chi Vaughn 1919N - Roush CF-Cin Groh 3B-Cin Elector Bill Deane STATS, Inc. contemporary TB 1989 1998 writersScope. Bill Deane's selections begin with the National League in 1900, one year before the founding of the American League and the advent of the "Deadball Era" as it defines the Deadball Era Research Committee, SABR. He includes the Federal League in 1914-15 and I have included those selections here.
Position. Deadball first- and third-basemen handled many bunts and were second-rate batters by contemporary standards, not to mention modern standards. Deadball catchers commonly played only half of the games. On the other hand, Deadball pitchers carried heavy workloads and achieved statistical wonders by modern standards. Such historical changes underlie the remarkable distribution of hypothetical/retroactive MVPs by position.
P C : 1B 2B SS 3B : LF CF RF += sum Chalmers 1 1 3 2 1 += 8 Deane/TB 14 1 4 3 2 4 5 += 33 STATS 9 1 2 5 1 4 6 4 += 32Here Honus Wagner is a rightfielder, 1900-02, and Frank Chance is Deane's selection for NL1906 (revised from Harry Steinfeldt).
First-Place MVPs. Players on pennant-winning teams won 4 of 8 Chalmers Awards, 19 of 33 MVPs named by Bill Deane, 14 of 33 named by STATS.
Repeat MVPs. Bill Deane named Honus Wagner MVP six times (including
four in a row), Grover Cleveland Alexander three, Nap Lajoie three. STATS
named Wagner six times, Ty Cobb five. Cobb won two Deanes and one Chalmers
or five STATS and one Chalmers.
Among the early winners, Lajoie was first a strong candidate in 1901, Wagner in 1900. Cy Young ranks 1-2-2-2-4-*-3-2 in the 1892-99 National League by "Total Baseball Rating" (* not in the top five, 1897).
Acknowledgments. STATS, Inc., The All-Time Major League Baseball Sourcebook (1998). See Bill Deane, "Awards and Honors", Total Baseball (any edition), for his entire hypothetical MVPs or for more history of the official MVP awards.