There’s an excellent chance I won’t be blogging more in May, so I want to add in the next of my posts on the 1910 season. This one’s focus is the situation at the end of May, one and a half months into the season.
The month of May saw a shake out in the standings in both leagues, particularly the American League. Each AL team had played between 40 and 32 games with the Philadelphia Athletics taking over first place with a 26-9-1 record. They were two games up on the New York Highlanders (now the Yankees). The A’s infield was producing well and the pitching was leading the league. Chief Bender, as mentioned in a previous post, had thrown a no-hitter. The Tigers and Red Sox were in thrid and fourth place 5 and 7 games back. Both had shown spurts of good hitting, but were having pitching problems.
But the real problems were in the second division of the AL. Cleveland was already 10.5 games back and Washington 11.5. Nap LaJoie at Cleveland was doing well and would ultimately challenge for the league lead in hitting. At Washington, Walter Johnson was beginning to turn into the dominant pitcher who would take his place in Cooperstown 25 years later. The White Sox were already 13 games back and woeful St. Louis Browns were 7-28-2 and 19 games out of first (12 out of the first division). They were the only team yet to win ten games.
The National League was more competitive at this point. The Chicago Cubs were in first, but only a half game ahead of the New York Giants. The Cubs infield was doing well as was the pitching. The Cubs staff had only allowed 94 runs by this point. The third place Pirates were 3.5 back and the Cincinnati Reds at four back rounded out the upper division.
The lower division was in better shape than their American League counterparts. St. Louis was six back, Brooklyn eight back, and Phillies 8.5. All were in easy range of the first division and still in contention for a pennant. The Boston Doves (now the Atlanta Braves) were in last place 9.5 back with a record of 13-23-1 (better than either the White Sox or Browns in the AL). So at this point the NL was much more wide open.
By the end of June much will change and the races will be shaping up nicely. A couple of other things will also occur and will be dealt with when the time arrives.